August 11, 2016

Greetings on yet another wonderful summer day!

Last week we were away for a few days to share in the celebrated moment of our daughter, Spencer’s wedding.  Our travels took us straight up the Interstate 5, into Oregon near Grants Pass, just past Medford.  And oh… how beautiful that place is.  The Rogue River meandering its way through the forested landscape with rolling hills and towering mountains in the background was picturesque.  The place was gorgeous.  I can see why many people would like to move to this land.

I’ve decided to share a few photos of the day before… and the day of, with you.  Thank you for allowing us this time away.  It was truly a special blessing to be with the family at the wedding.  In fact, just one more highlight for you:  I have officiated in many, many ceremonies, but I can’t remember the last time I was honored to have both sets of parents AND all four sets of grandparents present all at the same time.  I thought that I had a photo of the grandparents, but I don’t.  Perhaps the photographer captured it.  But, what a special blessing that was.  And in the middle of the ceremony, I called up all 8 grandparents to the platform overlooking the river.  Logan (the groom) had previously gone out and collected 130 smooth stones.  He wanted to use them in the ceremony… so we had everyone present throw a stone in the river.

I had explained the effect a stone tossed in the river can have on the water… the waves that roll and keep on rolling.  And what we saw in Spencer and Logan… started way back, before the moms and dad… with grandmas and grandpas… and all of them were present.  So… after the vows, and the exchanging of the rings… all 8 of the grandparents took their stones and tossed them into the river… some, barely made it to the waters… others skipped across the water making a great splash in the river.

My challenge to Logan and Spencer were to make a great SPLASH in their journey through life together!

spencer8 spencer7 spencer6 spencer4 spencer5 spencer3 spencer2 Spencer1 spencer

ENCOURAGEMENT You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.  (II Timothy 2:1-2)  Pass it on!  We hear it… receive it… experience it… and pass it on to others.  That is life!  That stone, when it skips across the water… bouncing as it travels along… at some point, it slows down… the skips decrease in length… and the momentum shrinks… until at last… the stone sinks.  But when it sinks… it makes a splash… and that splash causes a ripple in the water… and that ripple grows… and continues… Don’t you just love the picture Paul portrays for us.  

Have you been watching the Olympic Games?  Today while I was visiting in the hospital, I glanced up at the TV and caught one of the swimming relay races in the pool.  It was the 4X200 Freestyle where all four legs swam 200 meters.  Just as soon as the swimmer touched the wall for the 4th time, the next teammate was in the water swimming for all their worth… then the third leg… and finally the anchor.  Passing it on…  That’s what it’s all about.  

Just like the grandparents in the wedding mentioned above… they’re passing on the gift of life to the parents who in turn pass it along to the children… and the wave continues.  

How thankful I am for those who invested time in my life… teaching… training… equipping.  May I have the courage to continue the same.  How are you doing?  Is there anyone in your life whom you are preparing for life’s journey? 

MEMORIAL SERVICEOn Sunday morning, July 31, we said good-bye to a beloved pastor, churchman, friend, and brother in Pastor Ron Salsbury, who went home to be with His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He was a man of encouragement and incredible optimism.  A man of faith and joy.  A truly gifted pastor and teacher.  He, along with his wife Cathi and two children Jeff and Sara have been a part of the Los Angeles District since Pastor Ron’s days back in L.A. First.  

We will all miss Pastor Ron, and we lift up his family in our prayers these days, as we also pray for our Pismo Beach Community Church in their time of mourning as well.  The memorial service will be held at the Pismo Beach Church on Saturday, August 20 at 11:00AM.  I know that your cards are welcomed and may be sent to:  990 James Way, Pismo Beach, CA 93449. 

PASTORS AND SPOUSES’ RETREATPastors… are you coming?  Church Boards… are you sending your pastor and spouse to the retreat?  There’s not much time left to register.  The dates are Monday – Wednesday, September 12-14 at Pismo Beach.  The cost is $400 per couple for two nights, two dinners, two breakfast and a full program with our special guest speaker Dr. Carla Sunberg, President of NTS.  Come join us for a time of relaxation… Refreshment… Recharge… Restoration… Re…  It’s going to be fun! 

DISTRICT NMI MISSIONS’ PROJECT:  Two months ago while at PazNaz for our annual convention and assembly, we were all challenged to participate in the District Missions’ Project… Amazon Work.  The L.A. District Work & Witness Team is headed to the Amazon October 3-18 to hold two Pastor’s Conferences and do repair work on the mission stations.  You help is needed.  If you made a pledge and have yet to make payment, would you do so ASAP.  If your church did not make a pledge, we could still use your help with any contribution possible.  Please make the checks payable to L.A. NMI and send them to 225 E. Santa Clara St. #300, Arcadia, CA. 91006.  Thank you! 

YOUTH & CHILDREN’S WORKERS:  Our district SDMI council is hosting  a retreat for youth and children’s pastors. Please see attached flyer.  Rsvp to Kathy Cannon at  The deadline to rsvp is September 12.  


·         Today in history, August 11, 1880, Uncle Buddy Robinson gave his heart to the Lord.
·         For the first time in nearly 5 years your district building here on Santa Clara St. in                 Arcadia is filled with tenants.  PTL!
·         Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian since Leonidas in the second                         century B.C.  That’s a long time.
·         During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.                   Anyone want to go swimming? 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  These are great days to be a blessing to someone.  Go out there… and do it.  I love you and hope to see you down the road.

Greg Garman

July 28, 2016

Greetings!  I just heard that we have 150 days left until Christmas.  You had better get shopping…

Another thing I just heard was that the school year is about to start up again.  How much faster can time fly?  We are now at the end of July, August is next week… and life is moving along way too fast.  At a personal level… in just over a week I will be walking my daughter down the aisle to give her away in marriage.  I’m not all that sure that I’m ready for this.  She was just born yesterday, wasn’t she?  Where did these 25 years travel off to so rapidly?

ENCOURAGEMENTSometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright, God leads His dear children along.  Sometimes in the valley in darkest of night, God leads His dear children along.  Some thro’ the waters, some thro’ the flood, some thro’ the fire, but all thro’ the blood.  Some thro’ great sorrow, but God gives a song in the night season and all the day long.  (God Leads Us Along by G.A. Young 1903)  More than 100 years ago these words were penned to a tune that have been sung in churches all across the world… in various languages and cultures… for many different reasons.  I’ve always loved singing this hymn.  The words are a true testament for God’s saving and sustaining grace. 

God is leading us along.  And how many times do we find the psalmist reminding us that when we go up the mountain in the midst of a storm… He is there as our REFUGE!  In psalm 139 we discover that we can’t escape His presence.  If we go up… He is there.  If we go down… He is there.  If we take off to the right… He is there.  And on the left… He is there.  Go to bed… He is there.  Wake up… He is there. 

Therefore, because of that knowledge… we had might as well invite Him to do some searching in the deepest and most secretive areas of our hearts and lives.  As He touches us and removes the stain… it’s time for us to follow. 

Yesterday I took the day to drive up north to see a few pastors and spend a few moments with Pastor Ron Salsbury in Pismo Beach.  Most of you have heard by now, but Brother Ron is now at his home receiving hospice care.  There are many things I can say about Brother Ron:  He is a godly family man first.  He loves the Lord Jesus Christ with his whole heart… and holds his family very close to his side.  Ron is a pastor… but, more importantly… he is a churchman.  He loves the church and throughout his ministry life he has encouraged hundreds of pastors along the way, including me.  I cannot count the number of times Brother Ron has said something of encouragement to me.  He believes in people.  He is more than a pastor… he is a friend.

I will never forget a Work & Witness trip we were on together way back into the deep Amazon jungle of Peru in 1998.  His son, Jeff, also was part of the team.  One of our main projects was to build the church in the village of Wee (Wugh).  In order for us to get to Wee, we had to travel down the Marañon River… then up the Kusu River where we stayed overnight in Chigkamai (Ching-kah-my).  The next day we were supposed to have a 3 hour hike up and over a jungle mountain… but some in the group came down with the stomach flu… and it was ugly!  The journey on foot took some on the team nearly 10 hours.  And they arrived puking up their guts… some even had to return back… thus never making it to Wee.  Ron and Jeff were two of the faithful hikers.  Some through the water… some through (I wanted to change the word here) the mud… because we were experiencing some very difficult times. 

God does lead His dear children along.  And today, some of you are experiencing sorrow… some are in the midst of chemo or radiation treatment… some of you have family in the hospital… others of you have family members far away from the Lord.  He knows all of our journeys.  And He leads us along. 

For 12 plus years we have been praying for Pastor Ron… and the Lord has led him along.  We have prayed for complete healing… and even now, we pray for God’s healing touch upon Brother Ron.  After all, Jesus is the Great Physician and the Lord who is still the God of Miracles… He can take care of the impossible.  So we pray for Pastor Ron.  We pray for his family.  We pray for Pismo New Life.  And we pray that whenever the time comes for any one of us to be called home to see Jesus face to face… that the Lord’s powerful grace of comfort and care will rest upon the family.   

So I close with this… as I was driving back home again… I put Pastor Ron’s CD in my player… just to listen, once again, to the stroke of the guitar, and to hear his voice of CD #5 “I Choose to Follow”.  I think that was the title.  If you haven’t heard the lyrics… you ought to check them out.  Through water… through flood… through fire… through sorrow… But Ron has joined the church by saying “all through the blood…” God gives us a song.  Yes, Ron Salsbury has chosen to follow Jesus in everything he does. 

Will you join me in continued prayer for Pastor Ron and his family?

DISTRICT MATTERS I do enjoy hearing and seeing the ministries unfolding across the district.

  • Santa Monica:  I was with Pastor Scott & Katie Savage this Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful time in worship there at Santa Monica.  What a joy it is to take part in the church there along the coast! 

Santa Monica SM SM1

  • Santa Monica Spanish:  This ministry has been a satellite from Pastor Hugo Aldana and the Panorama City Spanish Church… and let me say that Pastor Edgar & Rosario Monteroza have done an outstanding job leading this Spanish speaking work.  They are now transitioning into a CTM (Church Type Mission) as they begin operating on their own abilities with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Please pray for them! 
  • Tujunga Spanish and La Luz a las Naciones:  On Sunday afternoon we had an inaugural service where more than 100 people came for the worship celebration.  Under the leadership of Pastor Gary Armstead and the Tujunga Church, along with the support of Spanish Coordinator Pastor Josue Tiguila, we have open a new CTM on this campus.  Otoniel Flores will be the new leader for this new ministry start.  I ask you to pray for this great group. 

TS TS1 TS2 TS3 TS4 TS5 TS6 Tujunga Spanish

THANK THE LORD As I review the records for our Unified “Budget” (Allocation) payments… allow me a moment to thank the Lord through you for the best start we have had to a first quarter ever.  And not only for the Unified, but also for Education, Pension, and WEF.  There are still a few of you who have yet to send in a payment, and if you have and we have not received it just yet… we will watch for the check.  If you haven’t… may I challenge you to share something?  It would be so nice to see 100% participation.  Every little bit… goes a long way!

I love you and I look forward to seeing you in a church sometime soon!

Greg Garman