Monday, June 25, 2007

Take Up The Shield Project Update

To date, the Take Up The Shield Project has distributed more than 4,200 gift copies of Take Up The Shield to members of the law enforcement family, throughout the United States, Canada, and Nigeria. This has been made possible by the Take Up The Shield Project team, churches, and individuals who see the book as a valuable evangelism and discipleship tool. Through the efforts of so many, Take Up The Shield has been an encouragement to Christian officers, and it has brought the gospel to an untold number of officers who need to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Most recently, the book has been used to serve Christ and to seek the lost, in the following ways.

My pastor and I recently attended LAPD's "Faith Night." During the event, we gave away approximately 100 copies of the book to members of the law enforcement family. This gave me opportunities to have several encouraging conversations with people who came by our table--people like:
  1. The spouse of one of the officers involved in the "North Hollywood Shoot-Out."

  2. A sergeant who picked up the book and said, "I've been looking for something like this. It's hard to balance being a cop and being a Christian."

  3. A deputy sheriff who is also serving as a chaplain for a smaller agency.

Yesterday, I made a one-day trip to Sacramento to preach at Celebration Church. During my flight to Sacramento, I sat next to a recently retired high school teacher. Her name was Sandy. She was on her way to Alaska to enjoy a cruise with some friends. Her father, who passed away not long ago, served with the L.A. City Fire Department for more than 30 years. We had a great conversation. Before we landed in Sacramento, I gave her a copy of Take Up The Shield.

When I returned to LAX, I took a bus toward home. Sitting next to me on the bus was a man named Mark. Mark was returning home from a trip to Italy. He and his sister took their 83-year-old father to Italy so he could visit with family--maybe for the last time. As the bus pulled into the station, I reached into my bag and removed a book. I handed it to Mark and said, "From one Italian to another, thanks for caring so much for your dad." He smiled and thanked me for the book. We shook hands and went our separate ways.

Today, I delivered 110 copies of the book to Chief Robert Sanderson, with the Arcadia Police Department (CA). Chief Sanderson is a brother in the Lord. I sent him a copy of the book with a letter asking his permission to give the book to every member of his department. After reading the book, he called me and accepted my offer. More than 100 members of the law enforcement family (sworn, reserve, and civilian) will now have an opportunity to either be encouraged in their Christian faith, or to hear the gospel--maybe for the first time.

Here is what officers have recently said about the book:

"By God's grace and with His help I have been able to pass out your book, Take up the Shield, to many officers, including my C.O. and X.O. they are not saved as of yet. Yesterday my X.O. was talking to me and said, he and his wife has been reading the book . . . I was excited and almost without words to hear that my X.O. and his wife actually read the book. I must have had a smile on my face the size of my head. I hope seeds fell on good ground and will take root. Praise Jesus!" ~ An officer in New York.

"I ran across your book by browsing the Police One website, and it caught my eye. It’s hard to find good reading material when it comes to Law Enforcement, especially material with a Christian reference. I appreciate it." ~ A sergeant with a sheriff's department, in Texas.

"Our department received the Take Up The Shield books yesterday from my church . . . My Pastor came to all three roll calls and presented the book to the guys. I have been praying that the book will have a impact on several of the guys. I am blessed with an awesome Church that wants to get involved with encouraging the lives of others. My Church is very active in missions in Brazil, Costa Rica, and New York and I am very excited about the opportunity to be involved here with our local Police Departments. I pray that we will carry this message even further to other departments in our area. Being a police officer, you understand how hard it is for someone to get through to the guys; but your book puts God's Word in a way that they will read it and understand it and like it. Thank you for what you do and the way that you do it." ~ A lieutenant in Alabama.

The Take Up The Shield Project was most recently featured in the Tulsa World Newspaper.

I would like to encourage you to order the book. Read it and decide for yourself. If you believe, as we do, that the book is an effective way to bring the gospel to the law enforcement family, then join the team! There are more than 900,00 sworn officers in the United States, which means the law enforcement family numbers in the millions. We want to reach all of them with the gospel. If you haven't already, won't you join us in the effort?

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