International Ministry is Thriving -Covered LE in Quebec!

Several years ago, I (Jonathan) had the privilege of meeting Eric Beauchamp, an officer who drove from Quebec to attend the FCPO-USA Conference.  Since that time, God has moved in spectacular ways to develop a thriving Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers Chapter there.

Eric took our Covered Law Enforcement logo and ministry materials back, and has on more than one occasion asked for more to distribute.  Help us celebrate and give all glory to God for the way He is moving in law enforcement!  Those of you who support this ministry are making it possible for us to reach officers for the Kingdom.

Check out the pics and this update from Eric:

I have placed your decal on my locker when I came back from Chattanooga 2 years ago and people keep asking for your decal!

There is a pin on my vest which looks like a service medal. So when people ask me who I saved to earn that medal I tell them that I didn’t save anyone but that someone actually saved MY life and not the other way. Then it opens amazing doors to preach Jesus’ name!!!

Some have placed it on their motor bikes and on their tablets! But your pin is definitely the most appreciated! A female officer from a different PD even stole it from one of our PD officer’s shirt telling him to find another one for him!!!

And if you could only know how your pin opened doors to share the Gospel on the job. It’s even beyond my expectations!

There is also a picture of the decal on a car, on someone’s motor bike helmet, on a tablet and you already have the picture of the decal on my locker at the job.

Finally, I told a friend of mine at my church who is a mechanic about the FCPO and shown him your decal. He found it so cool that he is currently looking to start a ministry just like the FCPO but for mechanics. He already found some informations on internet about mechanic ministries in the US and it’s without any surprise that he has proudly put your decal on his toolbox so everyone at the job will ask him the meaning of the decal and then he will have a huge opened door to testify!

Your decal not only made it’s way throught LEOs but it also sparked something in someone’s heart strong enough to create a ministry!!!

4 of my co-workers who are not Christians have decided to join our chapter in the last 6 months! Keep praying that they will accept Jesus one day …

God bless you a 1000 times!

For more information on FCPO-Quebec, visit www.CopsfortheCross.ca

For more information on FCPO-Canada, visit www.FCPOCanada.com.

For more about FCPO-USA, visit www.FCPO.org.

Advertisements
Posted in General | Leave a comment

Can a Cop Be a Christian? Chuck Gilliland Responds on Michael Easley’s “In Context” Radio

GillilandChuck Gilliland, President of the National Board of Directors for the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers and Sergeant with the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Police, was recently featured as a guest on Michael Easley’s “In Context” radio program – a program that focuses on living “in context” as a believer in your particular profession.  He did an excellent job of explaining the role of the believer who serves in context as a law enforcement professional, and even answers critics who assert that being a Christian and being a Cop are antithetical to one another.


EASLEY: The Apostle Paul when he wrote the letter to Rome arguably his most doctrinaire book writes some very practical instructions in the last half of the book. In chapter 13 he begins, Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities for there is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. The passage we don’t like to read. We don’t like to think about following authority. Today in the studio we have the privilege of having Chuck Gilliland. Chuck is the president of the National Board of Directors of The Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers. Chuck is that an oxymoron? Christian Peace Officers?

GILLILAND: Believe it or not, we hear it alot. I get emails constantly. Can a police officer be a Christian? There was a guy that wrote a book. I won’t give his name or the book because the premise was military and police officers cannot be Christians.He tried to make a lot of arguments to prove his point. No,I believe that every police officer should be a Christian. Of course I believe every person should be a Christian.

E: You know it’s interesting in the New Testament especially, whenever we are dealing with a soldier, which would be an equivalent I would argue, probably first century…

G: Yes.

E: They are always in a good light in the New Testament. They are men of good faith; they understand authority; Christ exchange with them is always in a positive light but you don’t hear much about that, do you?

Continue reading or listen to the broadcast online…

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Transforming Our Culture in the Power of the Holy Spirit (Audio Sermon) | FCPO Conference 2014

Transforming Culture

On Saturday, October 18, 2014, I had the privilege of speaking at the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers USA National Conference in Chattanooga, TN.  Listen to the message that burdened my heart for our profession, and an outline is below.

OUTLINE:

As I studied this story in Acts 3-5, God spoke to me in a powerful way that the three (3) groups of people found in this story represent the 3 groups of Christians and types of churches in our culture today.

If we are going to participate in the transformation of lives, and thereby the transformation of our culture, we must decide to which group we will belong.

1. The Lame Man

– He had no strength to stand

– He was a fixture in the community

– He was a beggar

– He was eager to receive, but had nothing to give

– Other than asking alms, he had nothing to say.

2. The Religious Leaders

– They dress and act the part

– They could quote the Scripture

– They were concerned with preserving political influence

– They were obsessed with their position of power

– They, too, were fixtures in the community

– They are oftentimes condemning and judgmental

– They have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof

3. Spirit-Empowered Believers

– They walked in anointing and power

– They were connected to the source

– They had authority and boldness

– They transformed lives and shook the culture of the day

– They operated in the miraculous

– They were out to make a difference, not a name for themselves

– They did not engage in power struggles

– They simply pointed back to Jesus

There are at least 3 characteristics that stand out about these believers:

1. They spent time with Jesus.

2. They were connected to the source of the power – the Holy Spirit.

3. They had boldness to proclaim the Gospel.

Conclusion:

My call to action for everyone who hears this message is that we would commit ourselves to being Holy Spirit empowered believers that bring about transformation to the lives of everyone we encounter.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Rehabilitation is Just the Beginning: Cops Ministering on the Streets

Prison Cell

Two recent events make this guest post by Mykael Ray especially relevant and thought-provoking.  First, media reported on the outrage after Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted cop killer who is on death row, delivered a pre-recorded commencement address to a group of college graduates in Vermont.  While I am not saying that I advocate what he was allowed to do, what if someone like him encountered Christ, expressed remorse, and presented a positive message?  Would we EVER be able to extend grace and forgiveness to a cop killer?  Would we be willing to enter into a relationship whereby we would have the opportunity to share Christ?  While a cop killer should still suffer the punishment and consequences for his or her actions,  are we willing to accept the fact that Jesus would forgive and grant eternal life to one who repented and turned to Christ?  What about the other offenders that we encounter daily on the streets?

The second event has to do with the Indiana Trooper who was sued for sharing Christ and a Gospel tract with a woman while on a traffic stop.  Situations like this cause many to shy away from sharing Christ while on the job, but I still contend that there is a time, a place, and a method by which we can live out our faith and share with others.  Do we distinguish between our Christian faith and our position in law enforcement?

Read what Mykael writes about the opportunity Christian cops have to minister to parolees and other offenders, and then work through the discussion questions.  Feel free to comment and share your thoughts with us.


In the criminal justice field, sending people to prison is part of the job.  It’s pretty basic; you commit a crime, you pay the price for it.  What about when the offenders are let back into the community?  Where do they go?  What is expected from them? Are they prepared for what lies ahead of them?  Rehabilitation systems are in place to answer these questions for them, but does it actually work?  After all, a report from the University of Cincinnati says that an estimated 65% of those released eventually return to prison.

According to the Rand Corporation, inmates who participated in a rehab program had a 13 percent less chance of going back to prison.  Even in the same findings they have a 13 percent higher chance of getting employed once released as well.  It should be noted that even this study states that more and bigger studies need to be done to verify these findings, but considering that these are the findings from a single study, the numbers are promising.

So yes, prisons have rehabilitation programs, and they do work.  But they only work as long as they are in prison.  After that, they are under the authority of their parole officer.  What about the other 87% whom the system didn’t or couldn’t help?  With the pressure that society puts on ex-convicts, all that mentoring they receive in rehab can very easily be washed away.  A video called Mass Incarceration in the US makes it very clear that society continuously punishes these ex-cons far after they have been released by making it more difficult to get a job, welfare, financial help with school, and more.  All of which puts pressure on them to succeed on their own, with only the help of their close friends and family (if they themselves don’t have a record), and their parole officer.

Police officers are the ones with all the power once these convicts have been released.  This is where it becomes relevant to the rest of us.  I can imagine that where most officers could find dealing with ex-cons as an inconvenience or a waste of time, Christians should find this to be an opportunity to show the love and compassion of God.  I understand that these guys did something bad enough to land them in prison, and that trust isn’t really a work that is associated with such people, but if we as Christians are going to show the love of God through grace shouldn’t that include the ones who don’t inherently deserve it?  Yes, your job is tough and places strict expectations to uphold the law when these ex-cons step out-of-bounds.  But likewise, for those who are trying, who are putting in the extra effort, who legitimately want to succeed, you as an ambassador of Christ should be on the front lines directing and supporting them, when the rest of the world couldn’t care less if they went back to prison.

Mathew 25:40 says, “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”  By human standards, they may not deserve our compassion, but we are held to higher standard.  While the unbelieving cop next to you may want nothing more than to put them back “where they belong,” we have been called to a higher purpose.

I am not a cop, but we all should recognize that these are people just like you and me, and not only did they make a mistake, they have to live with it the rest of their lives.  Grace sets us apart from everyone else, and the prophetic word sets us apart from those who only have grace.  It is up to us to be there for them in a world that only makes it more difficult for them to succeed.  Armed with the word of God, our Christian cops can make a difference in many people’s lives that would not get that chance otherwise.

Discussion Questions:

1. Have you considered the possibilities for ministry to offenders?  Is there a time when you took advantage of the opportunity to minister the love and grace of Jesus during one of those interactions?

2. While we must be mindful of the history of those we interact with, have you considered how our attitude and treatment reflects or takes away from the love and grace of Jesus?

3. Do you think prison rehabilitation and offender re-entry programs, apart from the heart transformation that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ, can truly be effective?  Do you have experience with any such program and recidivism rates?

4. What has God spoken to you through this article?

Contributing Author Bio:

Mykael Ray is a freelance writer who also partners with Pearson Online Learning Service, representing the University of Cincinnati, and has been impacted by the ministry of Covered Law Enforcement.

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Loving and Pastoral Open-Letter Response About Brittany Maynard, the Portland Wife Ending Her Life on November 1st

be still

I’m going to veer off the beaten path of our ministry just a little in order to respond to this story that is suddenly becoming viral on Facebook.  It affects all of us, and even more specifically, it affects several cop families who are going through similar struggles as we speak.  In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, news outlets are reporting on a young wife, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, who is dying of terminal brain cancer.  She moved to Oregon so that she can end her life – and the terrible agony of physical suffering – using a doctor prescribed pill on November 1st.  Click HERE to read one such article.

I see so many good people pondering this issue, and many of them are Christians.  This is a very tragic and troubling story, and our hearts go out to her family.  It also becomes very personal as we think of our own struggles and possibilities of the future.  So I want to share a few thoughts that will hopefully help us gain a biblical and God-centered view of this issue.

1. This is a new take on the old discussion of EUTHANASIA.

Euthanasia, or mercy killing, has been a topic of debate for many years.  Remember “Dr. Death” – Dr. Jack Kevorkian?  He was sentenced to eight years in prison for practicing doctor-assisted suicide.  Society has pondered this as a moral-ethical dilemma for many years, but the younger generation will now take it up in this new package that the media delivers.

2. What Brittany Maynard is committing is SUICIDE.

One article said that Brittany wants to live a healthy life.  She conveys that not a cell of her being wants to die, so what she is doing is not suicide.  She also doesn’t want to continue in suffering or place her husband and family through further agony, so she is methodically ending her life.  That, my friends, is suicide no matter what you call it – euthanasia, mercy killing, doctor assisted, or any other.

For those who may be looking for me to answer the sin or not, right or wrong, question, you will be disappointed.  I will say that this is a much different issue than what we recently faced with the death of actor Robin Williams.  Suicide as relates to euthanasia is much different from suicide as relates to mental illness.  With that, I believe that God is so merciful and gracious that we cannot comprehend His great love and compassion for us.  While I do not believe it is God’s will for us to end our own lives, the discussion would take much more than I can write here.

3. This most certainly is a BIBLICAL issue.

Many commenters on social media assert that this is not a biblical issue.  To that, I simply respond that every issue is a biblical issue.  There is no separation of life or its issues from the Giver of Life.  So, to say this is a matter of personal decision that doesn’t involve God or the Scriptures is naïve at best.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and because we have been bought with a price – namely the precious blood of Jesus Christ – we are not our own.  We are God’s prized possession.  He formed us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139), He numbers our days (Psalm 39:4, Job 14:5, and others), and He directs the path our life is to take (Proverbs 3:4-5).

4. Suffering, sickness, and disease are a part of the FALLENESS of humanity.

When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), death entered the world along with all of the means that lead to death (Romans 5:12).  Suffering terminal brain cancer is certainly not part of God’s original design in Creation.  Here it is that the issue of “Theodicy” comes in – that is, if God is good and holy then how and why does evil exist and why do bad things happen?

The Bible tells us the rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45) and that we will face troubles in this world (John 16:33).  Life happens to all of us, and now the ugliness of sin and death have reared their heads.  To be clear, as in the stories of the blind man in John 9 and Job, I am not saying that Brittany Maynard sinned, deserved this suffering, or is being punished in some way.  She is experiencing life – and death – in a Fallen world.

5. All of fallen humanity has now been REDEEMED by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The latter part of John 16:33 tells us that although in this world we face troubles, Jesus has overcome the world.  Through His death, he redeemed us – bought us back to God.  Both in this life and in the eternal life to come, all those who believe His sacrifice, ask for His forgiveness from sins, and confess Him as Lord and Savior will receive life.  The Kingdom of God comes to life in us, opening the possibility for healing here and now.  Even if and when we die a physical death, we enter into eternal life where there is no more suffering, sickness, sadness, or crying (Isaiah 25:8, Revelation 21:4).  That reality becomes our HOPE.

6. Suffering serves a very real PURPOSE in the life of believers.

One Facebook commenter said, “God does not expect us to experience the pain that Jesus experienced.”  Never has the influence of Western Christianity and prosperity preaching been more prevalent and damaging.  The Bible is very clear that Jesus suffered, and that we will not be exempt from suffering and persecution (a completely different matter and discussion).  Because of the scriptures in Isaiah 53 and elsewhere, Jesus is called the “Suffering Servant.”  Because He suffered, He can now IDENTIFY with us in our suffering (Hebrews 4:15).  There is something very real and powerful about ministry from our weaknesses – identifying with and ministering to others out of our own deep pain, suffering, and experience.  While none of us should seek or glamorize suffering as some in history have, we also should not avoid it when God allows it.

Jesus did not take a way of escape, but endured the will of the Father.  Likewise, we should endure whatever the portion of our lives, trusting in God’s plan and purpose.

Paul was given grace to deal with the thorn that plagued him, and considered it an honor for God to entrust him with suffering and persecution.  James chapter 1 tells us to consider it joy when we face various trials.  Why?  Our faith in God is developed and produces patience.  Paul, in Romans 5:3-4 goes on to say that troubles produce patience, experience, and hope.  I love the Andrae Crouch song “Through it All,” which says:

I’ve had many tears and sorrows,
I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
there’s been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consolation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.

Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God.

Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

7. Our test leads to our testimony, which brings GLORY to God’s name.

The manner in which we endure our tests, trials, and troubles stands as a witness to the world that God is real.  He is a comfort in times of trouble.  He gives grace to the weak.  He exalts the humble.  The world is watching how we live our lives, and the hope is that we will be faithful so that He can be exalted.  Then, others will be drawn to Him for salvation.  Every day until her death, even when she is suffering and no longer able to speak, is a testimony of God’s grace and a reason for hope in salvation and eternal life.

8. Jesus is still a HEALER.

Because Jesus suffered, and because through the Holy Spirit the Kingdom of God is alive in us, the healing of the Kingdom can also break into the here and now.  Every sickness is an opportunity for Jesus to perform a miraculous sign, which thereby proves that He is the Christ and the Son of the Living God.  Throughout His ministry on Earth, Jesus healed many.  John’s Gospel records seven specific miraculous signs, and then tells us the purpose for recording them in John 20:30-31.  They are written so that we will believe Jesus, and by believing, we will have eternal life.

When Jesus departed the Earth, He sent the Holy Spirit – another Comforter like He was through His physical presence on Earth.  The Holy Spirit worked through the Apostles, the Early Church, and throughout all of history.  He is still working today.  I am a witness of Jesus’ miraculous healing power, and my wife was literally raised from the dead.  Every moment, even until Brittany Maynard’s last breath and beyond, is an opportunity for Jesus to heal her and bring glory to His name.

I know barren women who gave birth.  I know many people who were miraculously healed of cancer.  I have seen the dead raised.  I have seen and experienced fevers and infections relieved.  Jesus is still alive, He still heals, and we should continue to pray for Brittany’s healing.

9. We must demonstrate complete TRUST in the will of God.

Hosea 14:9 NLT says, “Let those who are wise understand these things.  Let those with discernment listen carefully.  The paths of the LORD are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them.”  I also like the KJV, and quote it often.  “The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them.”

As I heard an old minister say once at a funeral home, God is too wise to make a mistake and too just to do any wrong.  Even when we don’t like what we are facing, even when it seems unfair, even when we don’t understand, we must learn to trust God…that “we’ll understand it better by and by.”

10. As a community, we will MOURN with the Maynards and share in their burden.

The Bible tells us to weep with those weeping (Romans 12:15), to love one another (John 15:12), and to help carry the burdens of others (Galatians 6:2).  We don’t stand in judgment of Brittany, but grieve at the struggle she is facing.  We join in solidarity to pray for her, and pray that she has come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  As easy as it is to say “If I were you…,” I believe we must encourage her to seek life and trust the plan of God as difficult as that may be.  God could take her before November 1st.  He could heal her and she could live for 70 more years.  Either way, it should be God’s plan for her life and not anyone else’s.

———–

There are other issues that come into play, such as God’s sovereignty.  Another good article to consult is “What does the Bible say about euthanasia / assisted-suicide?” from the GotQuestions.org website.

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments