Few Thoughts 4-20-2018

Greetings Los Angeles District!  Before you know it, we’ll be back together at PazNaz for our District Assembly and Conventions.  It amazes me to see how fast time flies by!  I really don’t think time went by this fast when I was in school.  Something has happened.

Leslie and I were away for a couple of days last week (Thursday and Friday) in Dallas where American Airlines has their headquarters.  Aubree was graduating from Flight Attendant Academy and was getting her wings.  What a special day this was for us.  She is now stationed in Philadelphia and has officially started her new career.  So if you are ever flying on American Airlines… keep an eye open for Aubree… she could be on your flight… and make sure she doesn’t spill coffee all over you.

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ENCOURAGEMENTFour things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise; Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.  (Proverbs 30:24-25)  Twice in the Book of Proverbs the writer speaks on this small animal… the ant.  I love to observe and study ants.  They are the most amazing of all animals.   They are tough.  They are strong.  They are determined.  They are resilient.  They are cooperative in teamwork matters.  Ants are wild!  Ants are cool.  I read this the other day: “Ants are healthy because they have little antibodies.” 

There are stinging ants and edible ants… There are fire ants and just annoying ants… There are large ants and tiny ants.  There are flesh eating ants and leaf cutting ants.  You name it, there is nearly an ant for nearly anything you can find.  There are ants in dry climate conditions and in wet climates… Ants can be found in the most humble of homes, or they can be found in the greatest of palaces.  Ants are nearly everywhere. 

 In this writing the author points to the fact that even though they may be small in stature, they work hard and they work together… thus, making them wise.  Extremely wise!  As we take a look around the church… district… globe, how well are we doing in our workings together?  These are such great days to be in action for the Lord.  The church needs to step up and work together for the cause of Christ.  Let’s “ant up!”  

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 DISTRICT MATTERS

  • Pastor’s Reports:  Pastors and office assistants… please be sure to get your reports in ASAP!  The deadline to turn in your paperwork is April 30th!  District Assembly is just around the corner. 
  • District Conference “BOLDAGEOUS”:  Everything will take place at PazNaz June 13-15.  The NMI Convention begins on Wednesday night at 7:00PM with giant Mission’s Rally.  Special Speaker is District Superintendent Rev. Simone Pierre of Rwanda.  They will continue with their business on Thursday morning at 8:30.  The District Assembly will begin at 3:00PM Thursday afternoon with the opening business and reading of the Board of Ministry Report.  The Ordination Service will be at 7:00PM.  Assembly business will resume on Friday morning at 8:30.  We will conclude everything by 4:30PM on Friday. 
  • LADTC: Rev. Ramiro Juarez is our new Director for the Los Angeles District Training Center.  If you would like to know what is going on, please click:  https://ladtc.org/register/ and you will find out more of the happenings in ministry training.  Dr. Peter Lundell will be teaching his final class for us as he and Pastor Kim have relocated to Louisiana.  LADTC — 2nd Announcement: Systematic Theology 2  (THE-3033)

                May  11 – 12  (Fri.-Sat.)  and  June  1 – 2  (Fri.-Sat.)       

Deadline for Systematics 2 registration: Friday, April 27th!

  • Lancaster Valley View:  I was able to be part of the worship and ministry this past Sunday in our Lancaster Valley View Church where we have both and English and Spanish speaking ministry.  Thank you, Pastor Mike and Kami Whitten, along with your team of leaders as you continue working in ministry there in the Antelope Valley.  Great days are ahead as you wait upon the Lord.  I would also like to thank Pastor Moises and Ester Salazar for their recent arrival to assist us in the Spanish speaking department there in Valley View.  

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I am praying for you.  May we follow our Lord in every way, working together to win our city to Christ.  Jesus is Lord!

 In prayer,                               

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene

 

Few Thoughts 4-13-2018

Greetings on a wonderful Spring Day in the SoCal area!  Earlier this week we experienced record breaking temps and I loved it.  I sure do miss the hot weather.  But, summer is just around the corner and I can hardly wait.  Another thing I read a while ago: “Dear Naps, I’m sorry I was a jerk to you when I was a kid.” 

ENCOURAGEMENTDevote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open up a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  (Colossians 4:2-6)  Just the other day Leslie and I were talking as to how to be the right witness to neighbors, acquaintances, and people whom we have contact with on a weekly basis.  And what a great reminder Paul gives to us all in this passage.  He is clear… articulate… and direct.  

First, he says we must be committed to prayer.  Praying always with an attitude of watchfulness and gratitude.  How many times in your prayer life are you giving thanks?  Do you spend a greater time asking, or thanking the Lord.  But, what I really appreciate of Paul in this passage is the fact that he is so open.  His humility comes out in his writing.  He doesn’t say that he has all of the answers, but he willingly pour himself out before the Colossians.  “Don’t forget to pray for me… I need it too!  I want to speak the truth in clarity, with boldness, and it doesn’t really matter that I’m in chains.  The Lord has a purpose for my life.”  

Finally, the Apostle Paul concludes with the words, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt…”  Full of grace… how much grace do you have today?  Are you living daily in God’s grace?  And are you seasoning your conversations with just the right amount of salt?  Not too much… and not too little.  As busy as life can get… with all the worries the world loads upon you, do you have just the right amount of salt in your life?  As I journey through life my goal is to be Christ-like to everyone I meet.  I hope to shed the Gospel light on those with whom I fellowship and meet. 

 Lord, please help me be the person of gratitude for all you have provided for me in life.  I am so thankful that You are with me everywhere I go, in every moment of the day.  Grant me the grace and right amount of salt to be your witness today.

 DISTRICT MATTERS:  Some of you have sent me photos of various ministries on your campus, or I have just journeyed through social media.  I love what I see.  In one of these photos you will see a local church conducting their Annual Meeting.  I am praying for you as you start the new fiscal year with your newly elected leadership team.  May this coming year be a very fruitful year as you labor in the Lord and seek His powerful Holy Spirit. 

 Alhambra:  Pastor Eleazar and Laura Torres sent me these photos of events that took place over the Easter week.  May the Lord continue building His church in Alhambra where we have three congregation: Chinese, English and Spanish.  

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  • Fillmore/Santa Paula:  I have some very exciting news to share from these two churches.  Leslie and I were privileged to be present for the Fillmore English Service at 9:00AM and then we welcomed the first Sunday that Santa Paula was planting their satellite ministry on the Fillmore property.  Pastors Arturo Guardia and Marco Alejos are leading the way, along with their team of leaders.  I am so grateful for these doors opening up for future ministry.  Thank you, Pastor Ismael Joaquin, for the vision you share in planting new ministries… and thank you Fillmore, for opening your doors and being receptive for this new work.  God is good! 

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  • Amazon Work & Witness:  Just a quick note to remind you that if you are wanting to be part of this team heading to the Amazon July 9-24, you will need to let us know very soon.  The deadline for getting us the deposit is April 23.  The team is filling up quickly.  

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  • Can you Help? As the District Work & Witness Team prepares to go to the Amazon… our plan will be to conduct two conferences:  the first conference is for pastors and spouses in Iquitos; the second conference is for Sunday School teachers and workers in New Horizons.  We are looking for items to take as give-a-ways.  Would your church be willing to collect things like:  Dish Towels, Tooth Brushes, Toothpaste, Kitchen Utensils (spatula, large spoons, tongs…); Sewing Kits, Zip-lock Bags, Beanie Babies, Small Stuffed Animals… perhaps you could place a basket with a sign in your lobby to receive these items so that we can fill our suitcases and take along with us to Peru.  THANK YOU!

It’s always great connecting with you through these Few Thoughts.  May the Lord bless you as you shine your light for Him!  I love you and I hope to see you soon. 

 

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene