Few Thoughts 12-9-2017

Merry Advent!

Thank you for the many prayers offered up for the families, churches, and people who are caught in the middle of these messy fires.  Boy, it has been one very tough week!  I know that many of you are helping, providing food and shelter, and praying for so many who are affected by the scattered fires spreading throughout the Southland.  On Monday night, in the middle of our District Christmas Dinner, the Santa Paula Team had to leave Temple City to return to the church to pull files, computers, and other equipment from the church.  We thank the Lord that nothing was lost or damaged as the flames departed elsewhere.

Unfortunately, “elsewhere” meant Ventura… and Pastor Dan Hull has informed me that one of their member’s houses burned down while several others are still evacuated from their homes.  We have also learned that one of our Newhall member’s home burned down in Ventura only three days after they closed escrow.  Pastor Josh Johnson is assisting this family who is also in need.  I spoke again with Pastor Ismael Joaquin from Santa Paula and he says that there are still several families in the church who have yet to return to their homes.  And then to learn of all these others fires flaring up across the Southland.  Please continue in prayer for the many who are now without a home during the advent season.

PERSONAL NOTE:  On behalf of Leslie and our family, I want to share our appreciation to you for your many cards, concerns, and expressions of love towards us since the passing away of Dearl Caulk (Leslie’s father).  Dearl was a Faithful Churchman… a Committed Christian… Devoted Father and husband… and an Encouraging person.  He IS and will be missed.  The Memorial Service for Dearl will be on Saturday, December 9 at 10:00AM in the Porterville Church of the Nazarene. 

 ENCOURAGEMENT May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  (Galatians 6:14)  Do you ever focus on the Cross of Christmas?  Have you ever thought about the Cross of Christmas?  Did you know that there is such a thing as the Cross of Christmas? 

IMG_8046

The Apostle Paul recognized the value of the Cross of Jesus.  In fact, remember when he reminds us that each time we come to the Lord’s Table to be served, and we eat the bread and drink… he tells us what we are doing:  When we take communion we are “proclaiming the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  In other words, we all become preachers for the cross.  Jesus tells us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave…”  In His giving of life He knew that we would become a redeemed people.  That’s the Cross of Christmas!

 Don’t you just love the story of the old man Simeon entering the Temple on the very day Joseph and Mary came to Jerusalem to offer their sacrifice and offering?  When He spots Mary carrying Jesus, he hurries over to the parents, takes the baby boy in his arms and celebrates the very fact that he can NOW die because he came in contact with the Christ-Child.  And then he turns to Mary and gives her the prophecy… and she learns of the reason why Jesus had come.  That’s the Cross of Christmas!  

As we journey our way through this Advent season… let’s not forget the Cross of Christmas.  It has been our tradition for many years to place the three crosses in the middle of our Christmas Tree to remind us of the love God has for us… especially at Christmastime.  Thank God for the Cross of Christmas!

 DISTRICT MATTERS:  As we enter this second week in advent, I pray the Lord’s anointing on all of our churches as we share the Good News of Christmas!

  •  NYI… JNI…:  Last Saturday night many of the NYI members from across the L.A. District got together at L.A. First for an awesome evening of worship, fellowship, fun, and food!  District NYI President and Pastor Josh Johnson along with his team of leaders did an outstanding job in this great ministry where the sanctuary was jam packed with youth worshiping the Lord together.  Great job, young people!  We love you!!

 NYI3 NYI2 NYI IMG_3662 IMG_3658 IMG_3638 IMG_3637

  • Glendora:  I was blessed to be with our wonderful people in Glendora where Pastor Mike Platter is doing an incredible job in ministry along with his team of leaders.  What a joy it was to bump into Pastor Jerry Ferguson while worshipping there!  May the Lord bless our Glendora Church as they minister this advent season!

IMG_3677 IMG_3683 IMG_3672 IMG_3670 IMG_3665 IMG_3695

 

  • District Christmas Dinner:  On Monday night we had a host of pastors and leaders together for our annual Christmas Dinner in Temple City Immanuel where Pastor Jeff and Louise Lin provided such great leadership hosting the event.  Thank you TC Immanuel for doing an excellent job!  What a special night we all enjoyed together!!!  And thank you Pastor Ariel Babikian for emceeing the event… Pastor Karen Wood for your Devotional thought – may we not waddle like ducks through the advent season but learn to soar with wings of power!  Thank you Koreans for the special number and the Altadena Church for the worship… and so much more.  Leslie and I also thank you, the Los Angeles District, for your generosity and love expressed to us this Christmas season.  We love you!

IMG_3721 IMG_3712 IMG_3717 IMG_3722 IMG_3720 IMG_3708 IMG_3715 IMG_3710 IMG_3705 IMG_3703 IMG_3702 IMG_3709

  • District Center:  You are aware that we have been doing a lot of work on the district center (building) preparing it for new tenants.  I am most grateful for the diligent work of Shay Pierson overseeing this project and caring for the building.  We are nearly full now, with tenants occupying and leasing floor space.  Last night we had a great get-together with the tenants and brokers to “show-case” the two remaining suites.  God is good and faithful to provide. 

IMG_3738 IMG_3736

May the Lord bless you with His holy presence as you shine your light for Him this second week in advent!  I love you and I look forward to the next gathering we’ll have that will bring us together.  

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene

 

 

Few Thoughts 11-3-2017

November Greetings to You!

Don’t forget to change your clocks before going to bed on Saturday night.  Make sure you move them BACK an hour so you get an extra hour of sleep! 

With less than 2 months before we enter the New Year, we come to this period of time when we’re reminded of the many reasons we have to be thankful.  Thanksgiving Day is now less than three weeks away.  Plans are underway for how we’ll spend those days with family and friends… and then it’s the Advent Season… another reason to be thankful.  Though, the L.A. Dodgers fell slightly short of their ultimate goal of winning the World Series, it’s probably been a very good celebratory event for the city of Houston after all they’ve been through.  So… perhaps half of the country is thankful for the outcome.  I don’t know.

But today, I am thankful for every pastor on our district!  I trust that your local church took some time… somewhere in these recent days to express their appreciation to you, for all you do, and the journey you are on together as you proclaim the grace and peace of the Lord in our lives.  I love you, pastor, and I am so thankful for the time you spend preparing yourself to preach, lead, and love each and every week.  I don’t have the opportunity to meet up with every one of you this month, but I do hope that you will be able to come to the District Christmas Dinner we have scheduled this year at our Immanuel Temple City Church on Monday night, December 4 at 6:00.  I hope to see you there!

ENCOURAGEMENTDo not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  (Ephesians 4:29-30)  Boy… this can be hard to do sometimes, can’t it?  Quite often we are so quick to speak our minds.  Yet, the Apostle Paul reminds us that we must guard our tongue.  If what I’m about to say is not glorifying the Lord, or edifying the church body… I best keep my mouth shut! 

It’s interesting that there is only one other instance in all scripture where this second sentence is found, to not “grieve the Holy Spirit…” and it’s found in the Old Testament.  (Isaiah 63:10)  “Yet they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit.  So He turned and became their enemy and He Himself fought against them.”  And oh boy, oh boy!!!  I don’t know about you, but as I take a closer look at my own life… I’ve got enough struggles and battles of my own… I do NOT need the Holy Spirit turning on me and fighting against me.  

As we enter this wonderful month of Thanksgiving may we all remember the greatest opportunities we have to bless others.  Our mouths can be such an incredible tool for blessing… or it can be used to bring ruin.  Let’s glorify Jesus… and build each other up!  I love you and I look forward to celebrating these days along with you.  

DISTRICT MATTERS:  There are a number of coming up and are just around the corner… 

  • Thanksgiving Offering:  Let me remind you that Sunday, November 19th is our annual Thanksgiving Offering Sunday.  Will you prepare, even now, to share with your churches the great privilege of participating with all churches around the globe… in 162 world areas… as we receive an offering to be used for Global Missions.  Our charge is to make Christ-like disciples in all the nations. 

WEF

  • Women’s Retreat Information:  I hear that spaces are filling up quickly, so please make sure to reserve your spot today!

FullInfoFlyerP1 FullInfoFlyerP2

  • Temple City Immanuel:  Last Saturday night I was invited to take part in the 30-Hour Famine for Hunger at the T.C. Church where Pastor Jeff Lin and his team were leading a great group of young people in this fundraising effort.  More than 60 youth came to this ministry night where they fasted for 30 hours, prayed together, shared in outreach, listened to the Word, and played some games.  What a special night and day they enjoyed together.  Great job, church!

 IMG_3444 IMG_3442 IMG_3438 IMG_3451 IMG_3453 IMG_3437 IMG_3454

  • Lone Pine:  On Sunday I went on up into the high desert to our Lone Pine Church where I had the privilege to preach the Word.  Again… I simply enjoy going up that way to visit the church in Lone Pine.  May the Lord bless Doug and Sherrie Wilson as they lead this church until we get our next pastor!

IMG_3457 IMG_3459

COMING SOON

  • Multi-Congregational Church Meeting:  All pastors and leaders of multi-congregational churches and ministries are invited to take part in a one-day consultation at the Northridge Church on Monday, November 13 from 10:00AM – 6:00PM.  Dr. Ron Benefiel from PLNU will be present to share in this one-day meeting.  If you would like further information, please contact Pastor Josue Tigüilá or Pastor Josh Santin.  
  • District Pastors’ Day:  Please don’t forget about our District Pastors’ Day in Camarillo on Tuesday, November 14 from 8:30-2:00.  Breakfast goodies will be provided as will lunch.  The topics to be covered are much needed items we deal with on a regular basis.  I hope to see you there.  Pastors… PLEASE BE SURE TO BRING WITH YOU KEY LEADERS FROM YOUR CHURCH. **REMINDER:  NEED YOU TO RSVP THROUGH THE DISTRICT OFFICE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SO WE CAN HAVE A HEADCOUNT FOR LUNCH. Thank you! 
  • District Christmas Dinner:  This year, as you have seen, the dinner will take place at our Temple City Church on Monday night, December 4 beginning at 6:00PM.  I do hope to see you there.  **REMINDER: THE DEADLINE TO RSVP FOR THE DINNER IS NOVEMBER 10TH.  PLEASE CONTACT VANIA AT THE DISTRICT OFFICE TO CONFIRM RESERVATIONS.  vania@ladistnaz.org 

I love you and am praying for you these days.  May the Lord guide us together as we reach out to win those who work and live around us to Jesus!  May we disciple those who come through our doors!  And may we equip them all for further ministry!    

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene