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A Little Offer of Help From A Friend Print E-mail
Written by Ray Fairman   


Recently I attended the 25th Annual National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) Conference as I have done for many years. I was a founding member of that great organization when it was birthed out of the Florida Association of School Resource Officers (FASRO) back in 1990. (I am now the Chaplain for the fledgling Georgia SRO Association called Georgia Association of School Safety Professionals - GAASSP) For the last 12 years I have been attending NASRO as both an SRO and an assistant to NASRO Chaplain Archie Hodge a former Jackson MS SRO and Chaplain.

Archie began n Evening Praise Service and I began a Sunday Morning Worship and Communion Servicein about 2000. I also man a booth during the Exhibit Hall hours dedicated to Police Chaplaincy where I provide at low or mostly no cost, inspirational items to the attendees and their families. I give out Police Bibles (Now called Law Enforcement Officers Bibles) , Children's books, copies of my books and articles, Books by other Christian authors and police related materials as well. I also try to offer encouragement, advice when asked for, historical wisdom if appropriate and counsel when asked. I feel someone needs to support the LEO and Military Families and having spent over 4 decades in each profession; still being married to the only wife I ever had for those same 4 decades, I have accepted the challenge. God Bless those who try because I sure can't do it all by myself and I surely can't do it without Him.

During this last conference a young lady came up to my booth and offered me a deck of playing cards, She was an SRO and an Artist. She told me that they were very special cards and she wanted me to have them. She was the artist who designed the deck and she has designed the artwork on several other decks being produced a former high school Financial Secretary with whom she worked and then later became friends. The SRO's name was Andrea and the first thing I thought of when I saw the deck she offered me was the old Tex Ritter song about a soldier brought before the Provost Marshal for playing cards in church. I will add the words to that old classic to the end of this article. Anyway, the deck of cards Andrea gave me had "Serve and Protect" artwork on the back of the card and in addition to the suit and card rank there were Special Scripture Verses on the front that all apply to the law enforcement profession. Andrea thought that I might not only like the cards but since I deploy to disaster scenes in my ministry that I might be able to use them to offer some encouragement to both my military and LEO brothers as well as some EMT's and Fire folks as well. One of the other decks is an Armor of God Deck with different appropriate verses assigned. I loved the idea but since the decks are a new home business for the owner, Leslie, and since I operate my entire ministry on my retirement checks that also need to support my wife and I and our retired life I was limited to only purchasing a few decks to add to my inventory.

However, Leslie contacted me after praying about it and wrote a post on her blog about an idea she had for helping me increase that inventory before I head out to ny next conference. I am asking you to click on the links below to read her post and to see the cards she has produced. There may be others of you who feel they could use her cards in their own work as I intend to do.

  https://www.myinspirationcards.com/serve-how-can-we-serve/                         https://www.myinspirationcards.com/store/

Thanks forreading this and I did promise to include the words to Tex's old classic so here they are:   "Friends, this is Tex Ritter with a strange story about a soldier boy and a deck of cards.

During the North African campaign, a bunch of soldier boys had been on a long hike and they arrived in a little town called Casino. The next morning being Sunday, several of the boys went to church. A Sergeant commanded the boys in church and after the Chaplain had read the prayer the text was taken up next. Those of the boys who had a prayer book took them out. But this one boy only had a deck of card and so he spread them out. The sergeant saw the cards and said, "Soldier, put away those cards." After the services were over the soldier was taken prisoner and was taken before the Provost Marshal. The Marshal said Sergeant, "Why have you brought this man here?" "For playing cards in church, Sir." "And what do you have to say for yourself son?" "Much, Sir" replied the soldier. The Marshal said, "I hope for if not, I shall punish you more harshly than any man was ever punished." The soldier said, "Sir, I have been on a march for six days and I had neither Bible nor prayer book, but I hope to satisfy you, Sir, with the purity of my intentions." With that the boy started his story.

You see sir when I see the Ace it reminds me that there is but one God. And the deuce reminds me the Bible is divided into two parts, the Old and the New Testament. And when I see the three, I think of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. When I see the four, I think of the four evangelists who preached the gospel, there was Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. And when I see the five it reminds me of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps. There were ten of them, five were wise and were saved and five were foolish and were shut out. And when I see the six it reminds me that in six days God made this great heaven and earth. And when I see the seven it reminds me that on the seventh day God rested from his great work. And when I see the eight, I think of the eight righteous people God saved when he destroyed this earth. There was Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. And when I think of the nine, I think of the leapers our savior cleansed and nine of the ten didn't even thank him. When I see the ten, I think of the Ten Commandments God handed down to Moses on a table of stone. When I see the king, it reminds me that there is but one king in heaven, God all Mighty. And when I see the queen, I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is queen of heaven. And the Jack or knave is the Devil.

When I count the number of spots of a deck of cards I find three hundred and sixty-five, the number of days in a year. There are fifty-two cards, the number of weeks in a year. There's four suits, the number of weeks in a month. There's twelve picture cards, the number of months in a year. There are thirteen tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter.

So you see, Sir, my deck of cards serves me as a Bible, almanac, and prayer book. And friends I know that story is true ‘cause I knew that soldier."

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