Few Thoughts 8-18-2017

Greetings!  Leslie and I continue to improve, though, in many ways, it seems to be slower than what we would like.  I am itching to return to running, but my calf and shoulder will just not allow it quite yet.  I will be seeing an orthopedic shoulder specialist next week so I hope to have some idea as to what all I can do.  Leslie is still suffering from her concussion with headaches every day.  Yet, we are thanking the Lord for His protecting and healing hand upon us all the time.  So… once again, thank you for your many, many prayers, cards, and words of encouragement.  You are a blessing to us!

One of the running events I have always looked forward to is what is called the COC Summer Race Series held at our local JC.  It’s a 3 mile cross-country race held each Thursday night throughout the summer, and the Finals were held last night (Thursday, August 17).  I was looking forward to the Finals, but had to lay low… though I did go watch and walk a bit.  Of course, the real reason I like being there on the night of the Finals, they bring the Taco Truck for dinner afterwards.  Who’s going to miss the Taco Truck?  Not me!  So… I was there.

A few months ago, some of the runners I hang out with decided to make a weekend running trip to Mammoth where one of our friends owns a home.  Four of us went up for the weekend… of course, I had made the plans when I was able to run.  So, I tagged along to walk around… and spend the time just being away.  On Saturday night at 7:00PM there was a 3-mile race from the bottom of Mammoth Mountain where the Gondola is to the top of the mountain.  Since I had planned to run it… though I was injured… I just had to do the trek.  Of course, no running, but I managed to walk up the mountain during the race.  The view is spectacular.  I love the mountains!

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ENCOURAGEMENTSUMMER IN THE PSALMS Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol Him, all you people.  For great is His love towards us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.  Praise the Lord!  (Psalm 117:1-2)  As you are aware this is the shortest Psalm in all of scripture.  Only two verses in length.  Yet this psalm says it all, doesn’t it?

  • Twice, in these shorts verses the phrase is written, “Praise the Lord”.  Church, THAT is what we are asked of the Lord to do.  Praise Him.  He’s invited us to BELONG to His family.  Each and every Sunday, we get to have a great family reunion with our local church.  And I know… family reunions can be fun, and also can be awkward just a bit.   As a young kid I never liked getting my cheek pinched and hearing words like, “Look how big you’re getting.”  There were always a few adults I was scared to approach.  But, the bottom line… food was ALWAYS great… and it was a blast to connect with cousins and kids just like me.  Now, as an adult… I like to connect with family members I haven’t seen in a while.  Sundays, Midweek services, or Small Group gatherings, are all opportunities to come and rejoice.  One of the things I look forward to most about Sundays is having fun.  I do!  And when I praise… I am having fun!
  • The psalmist also uses the word “extol”… another word for PRAISE… but this word is even stronger.  The word for us is to Praise Him enthusiastically…  Not half-heartedly… He wants our all.  Just as a coach will not ask his or her players to give 50%.  I’ve never heard ANY of my coaches tell us right before a game, “Ok, guys, now at the start of the game I’m looking for you to give 38%.”  No way… they always challenged us to give 100%… and sometimes I heard “110%!”  We are blessed when God calls us to EXTOL HIM… This Sunday I want to come in a praise Him enthusiastically!  In fact, why wait until Sunday… it can start even now!
  • I finish with this:  And the question is “WHY?”  “Why praise Him?”  The psalmist says, because He has shown us His love and He is faithful.  Today, I can honestly say… Leslie and I are praising the Lord.  The situation and outcome could have been much worse.  But we started off our trip by committing our journey and our lives into His hands… We asked Him for His protection.  And He was faithful.  Sure… we lost a car.  Many items were broken.  Our health has temporarily been damaged… but He has been faithful to show us His watchful care from one step to another.  He is faithful and God is love. 
  • I will praise Him enthusiastically!  Are you praising Him?

 

DISTRICT MATTERS:  Leslie and I can hardly wait for this coming Saturday as we will host about 20 PKs from the district for our BBQ and Swim Party.  The pool will be heated and they’ll be enough hotdogs and chips and other junk food to keep us all going.  We will have fun as the moms and dads take off for a few hours on their own.

  •  Baldwin Park:  Just this week I was at the Baldwin Park Spanish Church for a meeting and happened to see this giant playground in the backyard of the church.  WOW!  The Lord provided them at an incredibly low cost this great play equipment, and they laid down this rubberized flooring… making a great place for the kids to enjoy.  Great job church!

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  • Bishop:  Since I was up in Mammoth this past weekend… I thought that I should take advantage of the location and join the Bishop Church in worship on Sunday morning.  Pastor Eddie Davis drove up the mountain to pick me up and the running guys picked me back up on our way back home to Valencia.  But what a joy to worship and spend time in the Word together with our brothers and sisters in Bishop.  The Lord is moving among our church in the foothills!  Thank you Pastors Les, Eddie, and Mark, along with your families for what you are doing there.

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  • Pastors’ and Spouses’ Retreat:  Thank you to those who have already registered.  For those of you who haven’t, please register today!

Refresh Retreat Info (2)

Basic Info:

Cost is $400 per couple

Please make checks payable to the LA District and mail them to the District Office:  at 225 E. Santa Clara St, #300 Arcadia, CA 91006

Local resident with no room is $150 per person. 

Single with a room by themselves – $325 (Let us know ahead of time if you need a roommate to keep the cost down to $200 a piece and we will work to pair you up.)

Please register by August 20th by emailing your name and how many you would like to register. josh@newnaz.org   

Dates – September 18th-20th

Location – Seacrest Hotel in Pismo Beach

Arrive as early as 4pm to check into the Hotel

 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP?:  Many of you may remember the Rwanda Choir that visited our district a few weeks before General Assembly… back in June.  I think that I even gave a brief announcement at District Assembly about their journey in our district.  Well, Bonnie Traylor, a member of our church in Newhall is working on a project, and I think it might be a great project for our churches to participate in.   Here’s what she wrote up for us: 

 I’ve been talking to Simon Pierre about helping him with the coffee shop he’s starting in Rwanda.  This is a place to give young adults a job. Unemployment is very high and college is too expensive for most high school grads.  

Simon took back some Curtis Coffee machines, thanks to Mike Curtis from NewNaz.  He still needs the equipment to scan cards and print receipts as well as a coffee grinder. I have the info on the models he wants.  I’m not sure if he needs an espresso machine as well. I would also like to have some things printed up with the coffee shop’s logo.  I will work on that part – I have a friend who does promo materials. The equipment they need is about $1000.  Can you broadcast this a bit and see if anyone is willing to help out?  

We also need to assemble a team who can go to Rwanda to deliver the goods. No date yet- Simon has narrowed down the possibilities for shop locations so that is getting close. I will go but I would love to have someone with us who has been there or at least traveled more than me. 

If you would like to have your church help out… please be in touch with Bonnie Traylor at:  btraylor1@socal.rr.com  

Well… these are great days to be active in ministry!  I love you and I look forward to seeing you soon.  May the Lord bless you as you PRAISE HIM ENTHUSIASTICALLY this week. 

 

Praying for you,

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene

 

 

Few Thoughts 8-11-2017

Greetings on a Warm and Sunny Summer Day!

Life, as you know, has its twists and turns, doesn’t it?  What is it that James wrote in 4:13-15?  Now listen you, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 

Boy… how true these words are.  Less than two weeks ago Leslie and I returned home from church, packed our belongings in the car, and proceeded up the interstate to make our way to our camping destination… Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon.  Our plans were in concrete, so we thought… ready to pull into camp, set things up, build a campfire, have a light dinner and ENJOY.  We had all things laid out for the few short days up near the South Fork King’s River.  We had family already there waiting our arrival.  My running shoes were in the back of the car, lawn chairs were in order, as were the cots on which we would be sleeping.  Just in case I had a few moments to do some work… the laptop was handy.  We were all set.  But then… halfway into our journey, the vehicle in front of us stopped to make a left turn across the highway… I slowed down to a stop… peeked in the rearview mirror only to notice a pickup trust barreling down the highway.  I knew we were going to get hit, but attempted to avoid as much of the impact as possible by scooting to the right-hand shoulder… but it wasn’t enough and we were hit by this moving F350 Diesel powered truck at a speed of 60mph.  It knocked us silly.  We were taken to the hospital for X-Rays and CT Scans.  Leslie received a concussion and I had some shoulder and leg issues.  The good news is that the Lord was with us the entire time.

We returned home the following day and laid around for the remainder of the week.  Not quite the way we had planned to spend a short vacation.  It dawned on us afterwards that the Lord does answer prayer.  Leslie and I have the custom of praying in the car each time we are about to go somewhere.  So, after I start the engine, and before we back out the driveway to begin our journey anywhere, we commit our lives, the car, our children, the work… into the Lord’s hands, praying that He will watch over us on the road.  And He is faithful to His Word.  We thank the Lord for His watchful care on us.  Things could have been much, much worse!

Thank you for the many cards, text messages, emails and all that we have received from our loving church and district family.  We are blessed to belong to such a caring church.  You are a source of encouragement to Leslie and me.  May the Lord bless you for blessing us so much!

ENCOURAGEMENTSUMMER IN THE PSALMS:  My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.  Awake, harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn.  I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.  For great is your love, higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth.  (Psalm 108:1-5) To wake up each and every morning and give thanks to the Lord for all He does and to praise His holy name… always blesses my heart.  He is good.  He is faithful.  He is always watching over me.   

DISTRICT MATTERSI’m still journeying my way across the district from church to church and enjoying the various places I’ve been able to worship and minister in.  God is so good!

  1. Lancaster Westside:  This last Sunday, August 6, I was able to preach in the Westside Church.  Please be in prayer for our church here as we continue the search for a new pastor.  Lots of work is being done here as they clean up the grounds and prepare the parsonage for the new pastor.  
  1. San Fernando:  The Sunday before, in fact, the day of our accident, I was with Pastor Adrian and Elvira Velasco and the wonderful people of SF Valley.  It was the Sunday morning when VBS was concluding as we spent an awesome time in worship and teaching together.  May the Lord bless this great church as they reach their community for Christ! 

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  1. Pastors & Spouses’ Retreat:  Quick reminder to all pastors… the retreat is scheduled for September 18-20 (Monday – Wednesday) and we hope to see all pastors there in Pismo Beach.  You should have received all the information regarding the retreat by now.  Special Speaker is Pastor Ron Fay and we will be at the Seacrest Hotel and Resort in Pismo Beach.  
  1. Pool Party and BBQ for P.K. at the Garman Home 

ATTENTION ALL LOS ANGELES DISTRICT PKS

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WHAT:  BBQ & Swim Party

WHERE:  Pastor Greg & Leslie’s House:  25631 Bellerive, Dr. Valencia 91355

WHEN:  Saturday, August 19 from 11:00AM – 2:00PM

 We want to let our District PKs know how much we love and appreciate them, and we want to give our Pastors some much-needed time to go out to lunch, go shopping, etc.  All you need to do is come… drop your kids off… and take off a few hours to enjoy your time alone… & we’ll take care of your little ones. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

RSVP TO LESLIE GARMAN

661.645.8696 or email leslie_garman@yahoo.com

And bring a towel!

That’s it!  Hope you can make it! 

 

I love you and I look forward to a journey that will bring me your way… or when you will be near where I am.  I hope to see you soon! 

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazaren