Friday, July 3, 2009

Enter To Win Take Up the Shield!

Tony Miano not only is one of my fellow co-workers at Living Waters Publications but he is also a dear friend to me. Tony has a huge heart for the Lord and he loves to share his faith. His blog has been a source of encouragement to me and his zeal for evangelism is contagious. Tony has written a book called, "Take Up the Shield--comparing the uniform of the police officer and the armor of God".

Recently Travis Yates of Ten-Four Ministries joined my husband and I at a One Day Evangelism Crash Course held at Grace Community Church in Arlington, TX and he surprised me with a copy of Tony's book and a Ten-Four Ministries Collectible Coin to give-a-way to one of you!

But not only are we giving the book away and the collectible coin (as seen below) but sit back, relax and enjoy as I take you on two interviews with my dear friends Tony Miano and Travis Yates:

Tony thank you for taking the time out of your day to be here. Tell us, how long have you been a Christian?

I came to repentance and faith in Christ on September 4, 1988.

You've served many years at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, how many years did you serve?

20 years (1987-2007). During the last 8 years I also serves as a department chaplain (pastor to the deputies)

When did the idea of "Take Up the Shield" first enter your mind?

The idea came as a result of a sermon I preached at several church's called "The Armor of God's Patrolman." My pastor at the time had asked me to preach through the Armor of God in Ephesians 6. He also asked me to preach in my sheriff's department uniform. Before long, I was preaching the message at other churches and law enforcement ministry events.

One day, after I preached the message at a church, several people approached me and asked me if I was going to write a book. I love to write, so I figured I would give it a shot. I figured the worse thing that could happen was that I would make a fool out of myself by setting myself up for repeated rejection.

At about the time I had finished the first draft of the manuscript, I read Ray Comfort's book, "What Hollywood Believes." I saw that his book was published by Genesis Publishing Group. I contacted Lynn Copeland with Genesis, via e-mail. I fully expected to either never hear from Lynn, or receive a short note of rejection. To my surprise, Lynn e-mailed me a couple weeks later saying she would like to publish my book.

In your mind, how are street evangelists and street officers similar?

Street evangelists and officers are similar in both positive and negative ways. Most officers and street evangelists have a genuine desire to help people. Officers do so by enforcing the law. Street evangelists do so by preaching the Law and the Gospel. However, there are some officers who do the job for no other reason than they get a buzz or a rush out of it. For these officers, helping people is of secondary importance, with people being little more than a means to an end. I think, sadly, there are some street evangelists who are the same way. They preach on the streets for the buzz or the rush, or out of a personal sense of glory.

In your chapter "Shoes Fitted For Readiness" you talk about the time when you were a member of your station's gang unit and you served a lot of search warrants, tell us about how you relate standing in the doorway of a suspects home to being ready and prepared to preach the gospel?

Sturdy shoes were a necessary piece of equipment in virtually every aspect of my job, as a deputy sheriff. I often had to walk in places, and through environments and substances (such as hot pavement, rocky hills, brush, broken glass, various liquids and other forms of debris, and even blood) where most people wouldn't dream of walking. My work shoes had to be sturdy, with a non-slip sole. I had to be able to maintain my balance in some pretty hairy situations and in some pretty strange places.

Sometimes, my shoes were the means by which I gained entry into a location. Sometimes people either didn't want me to open the door or they were in distress and they couldn't open the door for themselves, so I had to kick it open.

Like an officer who must be ready at all times to use his or her feet to either stand their ground, fight, or force access into an area; the Christian must always stand firm--must always be prepared to stand their ground, fight the good fight of the faith, and bring the gospel of peace to lost and dying people.

Unfortunately, many Christians these days are like the person who knows they should have a pair of shoes by their bed in case they have to get up in a hurry (i.e. a house fire, earthquake, tornado, intruder, etc), but never seem to have their shoes when they need them. They are not representative of the "beautiful feet" mentioned in Scripture. Their feet are not shod in preparation with the gospel of peace. One reason many professed Christians are never prepared to bring the gospel of peace to lost and dying people is because they themselves do not know the peace of God. They are false converts who have yet to truly repent and believe the gospel of peace.

Travis thank you for taking the time to be on here today. Tell about your serving as a captain in the Tulsa Police Department?

I've been with the Tulsa Police Department for 16 years and it has been an incredible blessing. I come from a law enforcement family. My father retired as a Captain with 27 years of service and my father-in-law was a trooper who was killed in the line of duty. I'm not originally from Tulsa and I intended to stay a few years and then move on to a Federal position but I was so blessed here and liked it here, it only made sense to stay.

My current rank, Captain, is a management rank and I have been at that rank for 5 years. At the time I wasn't sure why God enabled me to get to that position so quickly but as I look back I can definitely see why. Many doors have been opened up to me and I have met many officers from around the country that I would not have normally met if it wasn't for my rank and various assignments. In fact, the ministry is currently partnered up with a Muscle Shoals Lieutenant and giving away free ballistic vests along with The Gospel - http://www.vestforlife.com/ - . I met Clint through a training course that I would not have been eligible to attend if it were not for my rank.

It's ironic that when I was getting promoted it was for selfish reasons, the wrong reasons. I was not saved and getting promoted was just a way to make more money, to have power. After obtaining virtually every career goal that I had in mind in about a decade, God saved me and my position is now used for His glory, to further The Gospel. God is amazing.2. "How has Tony Miano's book "Take Up the Shield" impacted you as an officer and a Christian"?
The book was amazing. I had pre-ordered the book and read it as soon as I received it. I had never seen anything like it. A presentation of The Gospel from a law enforcement officer's perspective. I could identify with everything in it. It made The Gospel real to me. It impacted me greatly. In fact, I haven't told many people this story so I will break it out on Fish With Trish.

I had been exposed to Christianity as a child and at a young age made a profession of faith and was baptized. My life never changed and while in a worldly sense I seemed better morally than most, I was a wretched sinner. I loved my sin, I planned it and I would half-heartedly apologize to God afterwards. I thought that because I had made a "Decision" at one time I was fine. Well I was not and about the time I became a police officer I felt something was wrong.

This was further confused with what I saw in the church. Even though I thought I was a false convert, I looked and acted just about like everyone else in church. I went to church leaders over the course of several years and told them about my feelings. All of them reassured me that I was saved and one of them simply led me through the sinner’s prayer again and then proclaimed my salvation.

I had tried just about everything I could and had given up. I had no peace. I was miserable. Here I was in the middle of the Bible Belt and I had never been witnessed to, the church wasn't helping and from what I know now, I had never heard the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Several years ago I was leaving church and I saw a funny looking blue tract in the corner of a bookshelf. It was really funny looking and cheesy but it talked about sin and it convicted me. I took it home and kept it in my office for a few years. I must have read it 50 times and then I got a copy of Tony's book.

While I cannot tell you the exact time God saved me, I can tell you when He gave me peace and assurance. I was in a hotel in Houston, Texas for work. I had already read "Take Up the Shield" but I brought it with me anyway. I sat on a couch in that hotel room and I turned to the back of the book. It was Tony's Gospel presentation. That presentation was also unique because it talked about the Law of God. I had read it many times but this time was different. I was broken by what I read, by what I knew. I was sent to my knees and I wept for my transgressions against a Holy and Perfect God. God enabled me to Repent of my Sins and trust in Him.

You originally asked me how "Take Up the Shield" impacted me. It may have literally been the last tool God used to save me. That is why it has been so important to get this book in the hands of as many law enforcement officers as possible. We launched the "Take Up the Shield" Project - http://www.takeuptheshield.com/ - where churches and individuals can provide these books to law enforcement in their area for just $5 per book. Over 5000 have been given out so far and we hope to give out thousands more.

Travis, would you encourage others that are not in law enforcement to read Tony's book, "Take Up the Shield"?

Absolutely, in fact more non-law enforcement reads the book than law enforcement. It is a great book, with great stories and a great Gospel presentation. In general, people are interested in the police. Just take a look at the television shows out there. If you are looking at a tool to give to a non-believer, this book may do the trick simply because it is coming from a police perspective.

***Contest Rules:
1) Comment here and some way for me to contact you if you win--email or blog link is fine (as long as there's an email address attached to the blog link).

2) Get an additional entry for blogging about this contest or putting it on your website, facebook, twitter, or any other networking site you have. Then make sure you tell me where you've posted it.

Note: You do not have to leave a comment to win. Winning isn't based on what you say. One winner will be drawn randomly...so, it's fine to simply leave your name and email. * No duplicate comments please.* Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail. *You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

***If you are not able to post a comment, please send your entry to email [at] fishwithtrish.com. Comments will be opened NOW until July 19th and I will announce the winner on the comment section of this blog on Monday, July 20th 2009! Open to U.S. residents only.

28 comments:

Lisa said...

Hey, I'm first! Thanks for all you do to share the gospel Trish.
\o/
Praising HIM,
Lisa

Jason said...

Uh Oh. The first entry never wins. Oh well.

Jason Vaughn

Jason@higherhopedecor.com

Tweeted contest at

http://twitter.com/stlballoonart

Bobbie C (wife and mommy) said...

Hi my hubby and I are wretches and he says this would be great book to have.

Love your site..

ben said...

Wonderful and Faithful Servants of Christ Jesus ,on spreading his Gospel You and this ministry are doing a great job. God bless you all.

Ben Weber

Bigweb2@gmail.com

bell said...

bell917@yahoo.com

Saved said...

glenn.parker@gatech.edu

Thanks Trish!

Bobby said...

Trisha,
I hope you and Emilio are well. I would love to win the book. No worries though, if I don't, I will try to pick one up at the academy in August. Please pray God will give me a humble heart so I can learn from the excellent staff there. God bless.
Bobby McCreery

bmccreery3@gmail.com

Joe Byrd said...

sarge2482003@yahoo.com

R. Venegas said...

Thanks Trish.
God Bless You,.
Rafael Venegas

venegasr@verizon.net

Tony Miano said...

Bobby,

Everyone who attends the Academy receives a copy of the book and other resources when they arrive. :-)

Chris said...

The book sounds great.

Tweeted at http://twitter.com/averychris82

avery.chris82@gmail.com

Rachel said...

whatever0134@gmail.com
and I tweeted...
http://www.twitter.com/what_ever4321

Danielle said...

These interviews were encouraging to read. Reading Tony's description about the shoes and feet ("Shoes Fitted for Readiness") give a whole new meaning to Romans 10:15. I started reading that and immediately thought of "how beautiful are the feet…" I find it a privilege that He names our feet beautiful when used for Him and His glory!!
Many blessings to your ministry!
~Danielle
www.pitter-patters.blogspot.com
hunybear81@yahoo.com

Wretched Sinner said...

I'd like to be in the contest, you have my contact info already.

Tony, tear it up today brother. For His Glory.
-Mike

Euaggelion said...

oohh oohh pick me!! :-)

payton.dooley@gmail.com

Renee said...

rheaton2007@sbcglobal.net

Will also put on FB page!

Word and Lyric said...

Greetings from Orlando, Florida, USA, Earth, Milky Way. I'd like to toss my name in the pot for the book. wrsharp ~at~ bellsouth.net

Roger

Fish with Trish said...

Thanks gang for the encouragment. Can't wait to see who wins. I'm going to be throwing in a few other goodies too. :-)

ApollyMan said...

Thanks for evangelizing! The gospel must be proclaimed!

troyhagen@yahoo.com

sybonner said...

This is a great book. I gave my last one away! Also shared with 2 officers in our church. (the pastor and a deacon)Keep fishing! Susan
sybonner@msn.com

Sandra said...

slclary [a.t.] aol [dot] com

:-)

Shnew4 said...

Love the website Trish. Thanks for helping us find our own voice.

Shawn Nuffer

shawnnuffer@Yahoo.com

Brazen Hussey's said...

James Hussey

Brazenhusseys.blogspot.com

brazenhusseys@gmail.com

I'm blogging about this at brazenhusseys...and if you want my wife to hook you up with some mad coupons and coupon tricks, you can email her at cheaphusseys@gmail.com

Just thought I'd sweeten the deal!

Thanks, Tony, and Trish! Keep up the fab job.

Casie Kyle said...

Please, can I have two chances to win.

My email is casieusa@yahoo.com

my facebook which I will post this on is: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=1639547817&ref=profile

Thanks,

Casie Kyle

Bobbie C (wife and mommy) said...

I posted my entry earlier but just now put it on my facebook page

www.facebook.com/bobbie.conover

Jessy said...

thehyles@gmail.com

s said...

The book looks good but I want your dog also! =)

Fish with Trish said...

Wretched Sinner (Mike), congrats you're the winner!

Shoot me your shipping address to email [at] fishwithtrish.com and your book and coin will be in the mail!