Maybe I can share something...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Street Cop Uses the Police Uniform to Illustrate the Armor of God

As I was surfing the internet tonight I came across the website of Ten-Four Ministries which is a ministry run by Tony Miano, a twenty-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office. During his time in law enforcement, Tony served as a gang investigator, field training officer, drug recognition expert, and a DUI enforcement specialist. Tony is now retired(March 2007) and working as a full-time missionary, serving as the founder and director of Ten-Four Ministries since its inception in 2002.

I'm always excited to see not just a Christian police officer, but one who puts his faith into action. I have had the opportunity to spend an immense amount of time with and around law enforcement officers. During that time I've seen enough to get the "gist" of the job. There are many things that must be dealt with that are neither fun, nor pretty. And the way you respond to these situations speaks volumes about who you are as a person, and as a professional.

I'm always encouraged when speaking to Christian officers and hear this line, "You can be both". What they are saying is, you can be a Christian, AND a police officer. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard a cop say, "If you're offended by cussing, then you'd better look for another career.", I may not be a millionaire, but I'd have a nice wad of cash. Many times I hear more profanity coming from the officers mouths than those we deal with in the public! "You can be both.", just because the people you deal with, many times only understand a "certain language" doesn't mean that you must speak to them in their "tongue". I've seen profanity used and not used and both rendering the desired results. So if you can do your job effectively and professionally without the potty mouth, then why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how many of your arrestees notice that you're a "different officer" than others they've come in contact with. In fact, it might save your life one day.

Making the career change that I've made is moving me from one end of the spectrum to the complete opposite. For the most part the majority of full-time southern gospel music ministries are "preaching to the choir". Most attendees of our concerts are already believers and are there for a time of Christian entertainment(yes it does exist!), and a spiritual uplifting of God's word through song. In the law enforcement world, a vast number of people we deal with are a far cry from regular church goers. But what a marvelous mission field to be placed in! How many times have we heard they saying, "When we're at our worst, God's at His best."? What a perfect time to let someone know that God loves them, and that this life here on earth can get better.

I just ordered Tony Miano's new book, "Take Up the Shield". I'm very excited about reading it and continue growing as a Christian in a predominately non-Christian career that deals with the majority of the non-Christian world. Maybe I'll offer a review of the book when I'm done. We'll see! Until then here's the press release with information about Tony's book.

Be sure and visit Ten-Four Ministries online and support them in any way

Spiritual armor explained for today’s audience

SANTA CLARITA, CA—In Ephesians 6, Paul described the armor of God using an illustration familiar to his readers—the Roman soldier’s attire. In Take Up the Shield (Genesis Publishing Group), author Tony Miano uses a contemporary equivalent—the police uniform—to give readers fresh insight into this well-known passage. A street cop,Miano uses engaging, real-life police stories to drive home the importance of each piece of equipment.

“The similarities between the uniform of the police officer and God’s armor go beyond the pieces of equipment themselves, however,”Miano explains. “They extend to the importance of preparation for duty and the cost when we fail to use the right equipment in the right way.We must understand how to ‘wear’ and ‘use’ this armor.”

A police chaplain as well as a cop, Miano writes from the perspective of a Christian who wears and uses the armor of the police officer every day, fighting both the physical battle against crime in our society and the spiritual battle against evil that all individuals are called to fight.

“There is a spiritual war raging between two kingdoms—the kingdoms of good and evil. Like it or not, believe it or not, it is true. The battle is real. And every individual is in the midst of the battlefield,” he writes. “We too must be in uniform and prepared for battle. Unless we have on the full armor of God, Paul warns us, we will not be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

As a member of the Sheriff ’s Department, the author has worked the streets of metropolitan Los Angeles and walked the cellblocks of one of the most dangerous county jails around. In describing the officer’s uniform, he recounts his experiences in responding to the infamous L.A. Riots and the devastating 1994 Northridge earthquake, and gives insight into a cop’s life—working in jails, making arrests, firing at a suspect, taking a hit in a bullet-proof vest.

Using the analogy of civil law, he then gives readers a look into the courtroom of the Judge of all mankind. “Just as there are civil laws that apply to all of society, there is a universal Moral Law by which we are to abide,” he tells readers. “You don’t want to go through life thinking you’re doing the right thing only to face the frightening prospect of finding yourself before the Judge and declared guilty of breaking the Law.” He helps readers examine their lives in light of God’s standard and encourages them to “take up the shield” of faith by placing their trust in Jesus Christ.

Biographical Sketch:
Tony Miano is an 18-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department (sworn and reserve), where he presently serves as a department chaplain.He is the founder and director of Ten-Four Ministries, which provides practical and spiritual support to the law enforcement community.He speaks frequently at churches, law enforcement seminars, and chaplain conferences. Tony and his wife live in Santa Clarita, CA, with their three daughters.

Suggested Questions:
● In the preface of the book, you speak passionately about the law enforcement “family.”Why do you see the law enforcement community as a distinct mission field?

● Since the book addresses a spiritual topic, how do you help non-Christians see that it also applies to them?

● How do your experiences in law enforcement help you better understand and appreciate the believer’s armor?

● Ephesians 6:11 mentions the “schemes of the devil.”What are some of Satan’s deceptive schemes that we must guard against?

● In writing about the “belt of truth,” you identify the Bible as the ultimate source of truth.What do you say to the person who believes the Bible isn’t true, or is only one source of truth?

● You write about the dangers of working patrol without wearing body armor. How can Christians avoid the trap of taking off their body armor—the breastplate of righteousness—and falling prey to spiritual attacks?

● You state that Christians need to constantly be at the ready to share their faith. How do you keep yourself “at the ready”? What evangelism methods do you use when sharing the gospel?

● In your chapter about the “shield of faith,” you refer to Christianity as the “one true faith.” In a world where ecumenism and pluralism are common, how would you answer those who claim this belief smacks of intolerance?

● In writing about the “helmet of salvation,” you talk about your experiences during the L.A. Riots. What was it like to be a cop in the midst of the danger and chaos of that time?

● You make a distinction between being offensive and offending others with the truth of God’s Word.What do you mean by that? In wielding the “sword of the spirit,” shouldn’t Christians avoid offending unbelievers at all costs?

● In the chapter “Your Day in Court,” you emphasize helping unbelievers to see that they have broken God’s Law. Can you explain your courtroom analogy? How does this help people understand the gospel?


Take Up the Shield: Comparing the Uniform
of the Police Office & the Armor of God
Tony Miano
Genesis Publishing Group
Trade Paper, $10.99
128 pages
May 2005
ISBN: 0-9749300-7-5

1 Comments:

  • Tracy,

    Thank you for mentioning Ten-Four Ministries and "Take Up The Shield" on your blog. I hope the book is an encouragement to you.

    By Blogger Tony Miano, At 10:09 AM  

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