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. 

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

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  • 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!

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  • 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!

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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

 

Few Thoughts 10-27-2017

Greetings on a Gorgeous October Day!

As I take a closer look outside my office window I can see that the leaves on the trees are not even moving and the skies are clear… I believe that it may even be warm out there.  I haven’t been able to watch much of the World Series just yet, although I did get home in time to see the final 2 innings (extra innings)… and from the sounds of things, that’s all I needed to see.  WOW!  So, there will be a game 5 for sure.

Many of you have been asking how Leslie and I are doing since the accident.  Now that it’s been 3 months (and I can’t believe that it’s been that long) since we were injured, we are improving each and every day.  Leslie’s headaches are still there, but they seem to be decreasing in the amount of discomfort and pain.  She’s been seeing a doctor on a regular basis and that appears to be helping a great deal.  As for me, I’ve finally finished my last physical therapy… not because I am 100%, but because I’m able to do the therapy on my own now.  My shoulder is better, and I am able to run, once again… though my times are much slower than they had been before.  Thank you for your concerns and prayers.

ENCOURAGEMENTFor in the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, “The righteous will live by faith!”  (Romans 1:17)  There are some great articles in the recent Holiness Today magazine on the 500th Anniversary of The Reformation when Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the Wittenberg door of the Castle Church. The entire Reformation was anchored in its principle teachings on the Christian faith.  Klaus Arnold, Rector of the European Nazarene College, summarized the principle teachings into four: 

  • “Solus Christus” = Christ alone
  • “Sola fide” = Faith alone
  • “Sola gracia = Grace alone
  • “Sola scriptura” Scripture alone

May we, Church of the Nazarene, hold true to the teachings found in God’s Holy Word!  The truth is found in His Holy scriptures that it is only by His grace where we come to faith in Christ alone.  This is our message. 

DISTRICT MATTERS:  The ministries across the district continue to grow.  May the Lord bless you in your outreach opportunities in these next several weeks: 

  • Rosemead:  I love the way that several churches and congregations come together to assist in various needs.  Thanks to the leadership of Pastor Tere Martinez and her husband Jose, they lead a great Food Bank of ministry to the people of Rosemead.  Also assisting in this ministry are the youth from Xaris, Walnut Blessing, and the worship by Diamond Bar and Immanuel in Temple City.  Thank you pastors for your cooperative effort for the cause of Christ! 

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  • Spanish Pastors’ Day:  Just as soon as I was able to shift gears from the Food Bank at Rosemead, I returned to the District Center for our quarterly Spanish Pastors’ Day meetings.  Thank you Pastor Josue Tiguila for guiding us in this time together.  And thank you, Pastor Yordan Mitrovith and Pastor Marcos Canales for your leadership in the various things of the day.  We are blessed with a great team of equipped leaders on the L.A. District.

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  • Azusa:  Thank you Pastor Ruben and Martha Mora for your years of ministry there in Azusa.  I was privileged to preach there this past Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed my time with you in this bilingual church.  The Lord is at work among you and I am praying for you these days as you continue to reach the community near and around you for Christ. 

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  • L.A. North:  I had the most wonderful and encouraging night with Pastor Carlos Carmona and his Church Board this past Monday night for their review.  God is at work in this church and I am grateful for the years of service he has provided for us on the district.  Muchas gracias hermanos por el ministerio allí en L.A. North.  Son una bendición para mí!  A demás, gracias por la comida después de nuestra reunión juntos.  Thank you for the delicious meal afterwards.  I love you! 

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  • Newhall:  It’s that time of the year again… Family Fall Festivals… Trunk or Treat nights… and NewNaz, under the leadership of Pastor Josh Johnson is doing a great job reaching their community for Christ!  I was able to drop in and catch a moment of the fun they were all experiencing the other night.

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THANKSGIVING OFFERING:  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. 

District Pastors’ Day:   Is coming soon… Tuesday, November 14 from 9:00AM – 2:00PM at the Camarillo Church.  We will be covering four major items on this day.  Insurance related issues… Legal matters… Financial and administrative concerns… as well as matters pertaining to Granite Ridge Christian Camp.  Shay has sent out an email regarding this day, and if you have any questions or comments… especially for the three gentlemen who will be joining us in their fields of expertise (Howard Wooton, Terry Mowers, and David Morse), please email your questions or concerns to Shay at shay@ladistnaz.org so that she can forward them on to the panel of leaders.  We will then devote time from 1:00 to 2:00PM for discussion on the camp.  I do hope to see all of you there.  And please bring your board secretary, treasurer, administrative assistants, and key leaders.  This will be a great day for all.  *** Reminder:  Please email Shay to RSVP for Pastors’ Day so she may have a headcount for lunch.

District SENIOR HIGH PK CHRISTMAS POOL PARTYThere’s another PK gathering scheduled on Friday night, December 1st and will end on Saturday morning, December 2nd for Senior High PKs.  This means if you are a PK (Lead Pastor’s Kid, Congregational Pastor’s Kid, Associate Pastor’s Kid… you get the picture) in Senior High, we are inviting you to our home for a Christmas gathering… and it’s an all- nighter…(Not that I, myself, will be up all night long!)  Momma G (Leslie) is getting a flyer ready to send out to all of you.  It’s a pool (and yes, I will heat the pool) party with a Christmas Movie while in the water… with food, fun and fellowship.  More details to come later.  

It is a joy to serve the Lord along with you here on the Los Angeles District.  I trust that you will have a wonderful weekend filled with God’s joy, peace, hope and love!  I love you and hope to see you soon!

 

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene