Take Cover: Finding Peace in God’s Protection by Philip De Courcy, Salem Books, US $24.00, Pp 132, November 2018, ISBN 978-1621578048
We all live in constant fear. Is it possible to live without fear? Can we leave our anxieties behind? Most people will answer this question in the negative. In Take Cover, Police officer-turned-pastor Philip De Courcy says with confidence it is possible. Philip De Courcy was born in Belfast, Ireland, and served as a part-time reserve police officer in the Royal Ulster Constabulary in North Belfast. Philip De Courcy says, as a Christian police officer, his faith in Christ made a huge difference in how he responded to the constant danger, seen and unseen. He writes, “As a justified man I sought to live by faith in the promise of God’s constant presence and protection. I’ve reflected many times on my days there and I know how I found peace in Northern Ireland amid all the killing and terror. That’s where and when I learned many valuable lessons, the greatest being that security is not the absence of danger but the presence of God. The crucible of the conflict in Northern Ireland proved to be the furnace in which I forged a strong faith in God.” Even though he carried a gun and wore body armor on and off duty while patrolling the streets of Belfast, his ultimate security lay in God as my shield and defense.
Philip De Courcy now serves as the senior pastor of Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills, California. He is also a speaker on the daily radio program, Know The Truth. As a police officer in the RUC, Philip De Courcy learned how to live in peace by taking refuge under God. He says that he learned to use the constant threat of death as a motivation to live wisely and well. As an RUC police officer, you were never safe even when you were off duty. You were just as likely to be killed out of uniform as in. The threat posed by IRA and other violent groups was always present. He says that God ministered to him through several biblical verses reminding him to repeatedly consider the end of life, allowing the approach of death to bring about a new beginning of obedience and deeper spiritual accountability in my life.
While he was serving in the RUC, he learned to leave the final act of justice and judgment to God. One of the things he struggled greatly with during his time in the police was the arrogance of evil men and the fact that in many of their cases justice was never serviced. Their crimes went unpunished, their murders went unresolved, and bad guys went unpunished. The widows of soldiers and policemen and the orphans of terrorism seemed to go unnoticed. Philip De Courcy says that his struggle of faith was with the prosperity of the wicked and the apparent absence of God’s judgment against evil. At times it seemed God was an absentee landlord in relation to the world and its woes. You may be feeling the same way. But Philip De Courcy took cover in God’s word when he was tempted to become bitter and doubted the goodness and holiness of God. Scripture reminded him that the scales of justice would someday be balanced in favor of the righteous.
As a police officer, he also learned that God is not the enemy of his enemies for God is not even the enemy of his enemies. He says one of the most amazing things he encountered during his days as a police officer in Northern Ireland was the all-encompassing, wondrous power of the gospel to change lives. It was marvelous and astonishing to see men of violence become loving, men who advocated death become preachers of the life-giving Gospel of Jesus Christ. The God who saved the thief-cum-terrorist by Jesus’s side on the cross did it many more times during the conflict in Northern Ireland. He writes, “I witnessed firsthand the amazing nature and transforming the power of God’s grace while still in police and preparing for ministry at the Irish Baptist College in Belfast.” Lastly, he learned during his days in the police in Northern Ireland that genuine security is not found in the absence of danger but in the presence of God. He writes, “As a police officer under constant threat, I took my personal security seriously. My trust in God did not alleviate me of my responsibility concerning my physical welfare. I prayed to God and kept my eyes wide open for danger. God desires we live in confidence, not in fear. And confidence biblically speaking is not to be found in the absence of God but in the presence of God.”
Philip De Courcy says that, in a world riddled with fear, swimming in anxiety and swamped by threatening trends from the Middle East to China, the Christian alone has the best chance of surviving the madness with an unshakeable faith in God and His Son, Christ Jesus, Like Chrysostom, we need not allow ourselves to be bullied out of our faith or hope. Why? Because since nothing threatens God, nothing threatens the lives of those who make God their refuge and take cover in the promise of His presence and protections. The Christian is immortal until God says otherwise.
Take Cover is an amazing spiritual book in which a police officer-turned-pastor tells his true story of how he defied the established wisdom and found peace in a dangerous world where anxiety rules the hearts and minds of nearly everybody. He says if he could find peace by taking refuge under God, you can also achieve peace of mind. Take Cover is an easy-to-read and motivating book that may change how you look at life and the world around you. It is certainly not easy to “take cover under God” but Take Cover will prepare and equip to do the needful – in other words, live under God’s protection. Philip De Courcy does not ask you to run away from life but to face it with the help of God. Take Cover teaches you how to do that.