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An Old School Cop and Old Fashioned Soul Winner

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  • An Old School Cop and Old Fashioned Soul Winner

    About 30 years ago, a guy and his wife visited the Church I was pastoring just up the road in the next county over.
    As I talked to them, I just got the sense that these people were gonna be outstanding "really good people", and long time friends.

    I found out he was a Sheriff's deputy, and she worked at Texas A&M where my wife works. Immediate bonding kind of stuff.

    Over the years, PJ and I became really good friends. I would often be at my office late Saturday night just looking over my sermon for the morning, and spending some quiet time with the Lord. Sgt. PJ would stop by when he was working the graveyard shift, and take a break from patrol, and we'd sit and talk for an hour or two, sometimes, if it was a quiet night, til the wee hours of the morning.

    He would often ask for prayer because he was working a case, and "The Lord knows 'who done it', but I don't, and I'd really like to catch this guy". Time after time he would solve the case after praying about it, and even after he retired, the SO called him back to work on cold case files.

    I kept up with PJ over the years, and when I would visit a prisoner in that County Jail, I would always hope PJ was on duty, and I could 'catch up' with him.

    Some of you remember a situation where one of my Church members was a jailer in our own county, and lost his temper and struck a prisoner, ending up being arrested for abuse of power and sent to this neighboring county's jail.

    Well, this past Monday morning, PJ passed away from COVID and pneumonia. He was 81, having spent 51 years in law enforcement, and still an active police officer right up to his retirement as a Captain about a year ago.

    Back to the guy from my church who spent time in that jail. One day I was visiting Chris in prison, and PJ showed up in the lobby outside the visitation area. Chris looked at me, pointed to PJ, and said "see that guy"? I said, yes, but didn't reveal that PJ was one of my best friends - Chris had no way of knowing that.

    Chris asked, "do you want to know the very first thing that guy said to me when I booked in?" He said, "he put his hand on my shoulder, looked right into my eyes, and asked very politely, 'Do you know Jesus'?" (Chris was a Christian who was tormented by his own bad temper - really never should have been in law enforcement)

    PJ became the "prisoner transport" guy, and over the years, won many prisoners to Jesus. The testimony from people at the funeral was awesome, how PJ, as a law enforcement officer, believed so much in Grace, Forgiveness, and "everybody deserves a second chance". He would arrest somebody for some crime they committed, then talk to them on the way to jail about God's love and mercy.

    He was a great example of 'justice, mercy and grace', and the role each of those play in our lives.

    Just before he retired last year, the Sheriff promoted PJ to captain. After the funeral, the Sheriff approached me, thanking me for my "kind words" about PJ, and telling me that PJ was clearly the unofficial chaplain of the Sheriff's department, and always managed to encourage, pray for, and care about both the Jail staff, deputies, local police, all of law enforcement, and always treated the prisoners with dignity and respect, always giving them the benefit of the doubt, and often winning them to Christ.

    His wife, Jennifer, knows PJ is with Jesus, will miss him, but is comforted by Paul's words - that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

    It was such a blessing to be able to address over 100 law enforcement officers with the example of PJ's testimony - that the most important decision you can ever make is to accept Christ as Savior, then share the same Grace He showed you with even the criminals you arrest.

    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

  • #2

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman


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