Monthly Archives: August 2015

Greg’s Few Thoughts – Thursday, August 13, 2015

Good Morning!  As we roll quickly through the month of August great events and ministries continue happening across the L.A. District.  Of course… summer is coming to closure very soon, and that’s a bummer for me.  I just love the warmer weather.  And with the arrival of fall, it means that school is about to begin.  In fact, some school districts have already started.  Therefore, my prayers go out to all teachers, administrators, and students as you return to the classroom.

Along with the starting of school, many of you are gearing up for the start of new ministries with mid-week services, dinners, and activities very soon.  I trust that you will have the greatest of days as you continue forward in teaching and reaching others for Christ.

ENCOURAGEMENT“Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”  There are some things I really don’t mind waiting for… yet, other things, I can hardly wait for.  It’s interesting to read through the Word of God, that it seems God is never in a rush.  As I read through the Gospels I don’t ever see Jesus rushing from place to place.  It appears that He was fine having to wait.  And all throughout the scriptures we read that we are encouraged to wait.  Years ago the focus was on the “lay away plan”… but today… we get it and pay later.  There is something special about waiting for something.  While we wait, we pray.  We dream.  We plan.  We think strategy.  We become goal oriented.  And today, as I find myself in this new position, I’m praying for Godly wisdom in everything I’m doing. 

The Lord is so good to me… and as I travel around from church to church… board meeting to board meeting, visiting people, I discover that I am truly blessed by the Lord to belong to a tremendous team of godly people.  The Los Angeles District is loaded with potential.  We are equipped with some of the greatest minds, leaders, pastors, laymen who want to win this city for Jesus Christ.  And as we wait on the Lord, we will NOT sit back and do nothing… we are strengthening ourselves in Him… serving the Lord daily… and He will be faithful to bring about His perfect will as He builds His church through us.  So… I am actively waiting on the Lord. 

This coming Saturday, following the Memorial Service for Chuck Baker (Lois Ward Baker’s husband), I will head back over to the San Fernando Church to participate in the final few hours of the conference our Spanish speaking pastors and laymen are participating in.  Como plantar Iglesias is the theme of the conference.  As we dream forward… we plan in the waiting on the Lord. 

PERSONAL NOTELast week I received a phone call from a good friend… who happens to work next door.  Thank you Gary Morris for the incredible gift to our family.  In the midst of many week night meetings with various church boards… Leslie, Aubree, Spencer and I got away on Tuesday night to watch the Dodgers beat the Nationals in a shutout, 5-0.  Even I decided to take a selfie.  Thank you Gary, for thinking of us.  We had a special family time, where I got to treat us all to hotdogs, nachos, fries, coke… and COTTON CANDY.  Boy, would my doctor be proud of me!

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SPEAKING OF THE DODGERS:  As we watched the Dodgers the others night… it was the night for Yasiel Puig… He hit a 2-run homerun and a 3-run triple that game.  The Cuba sensation was sensational.  Five runs batted in… not a bad night.  However, as I watched him come to the plate, I couldn’t help but think of what our G.S. Dr. David Busic spoke some months back, “Our Cuban pastors are restricted by the government of being paid more than $15 per month.”  That’s what every Nazarene pastor is paid by the church in Cuba.  And yet, when there have been catastrophic events take place around the world… the Cuban churches have been first to line up and receive offerings for the need.  Can I just say, “WOW!”  May the Lord bless our brothers and sisters in Christ who work so hard in Cuba! 

Last week I had the privilege of sitting in on the Tri-District Prime Timers Planning Retreat Committee Meeting.  The dates are set for next year: April 18-21, 2016.  But, I’m so thankful that the leadership team has caught the vision always focusing on a mission’s project.  And this coming year’s project will be for Cuba Housing.  I hope that we have a great response from the L.A. District with many prime timers headed to the retreat.  Would you, even now, begin encouraging your P.T. folk to place this date on their calendars? 

DISTRICT SUPPORT:  Allow me a moment to say THANK YOU to our churches… all across our great district, for your support in remembering the district and operations of the church world-wide.  You are part of a great team.  And as we give towards the WEF (World Evangelism Fund) we are supporting many missionaries all over the world.  We are assisting 3rd world countries.  We are aiding in hospitals and other compassionate needs.  And when you support the Unified District… you are supporting a great ministry that keeps the team together.  In just over one month from now, the pastors and spouses of the district will gather together in Pismo Beach for a great time of fellowship, worship, and relaxation together under the teaching of Dr. David Busic.  If your pastor has not yet made plans to attend… it’s not too late.  Register at www.lanazretreat.org

So… again… thank you for your work and great support!

May the Lord bless you this weekend!  I do pray that you will have the greatest of Lord’s Day this Sunday. 

Actively waiting…
Greg Garman
L.A. D.S.
Church of the Nazarene

Greg’s Few Thoughts – Friday, August 7, 2015

Good Morning!  As the fog lifts in the SoCal area it will turn out to be another gorgeous day… I love the warm weather… well, I really enjoy the hot weather. Yet, I know that fall and winter are just around the corner.

Leslie and I were able to escape for a few days to one of our favorite get-away places… Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon National Park, just beyond the Giant Sequoias, though there are many sequoias in Kings Canyon.  The South Fork of the King’s River is as low as I have ever seen it.  With the lack of rain and snow in the mountains, all the rivers are extremely low.  The nice thing about the rivers being lower than normal is that the water temperature is not as cold.  Makes for a nicer bathing situation.  After a nice long run in the mountains I always enjoy relaxing in the cold waters of the King’s River.  Leslie’s family has been camping up in Cedar Grove for over 40 years now.   And we’ve been part of the experience for all of our married lives… unfortunately, our girls were unable to join us this year.  As they grow older… have jobs… makes it more difficult for them to get away.  Take a look at some of these photos… and see just why we enjoy Kings Canyon so much.

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ENCOURAGEMENT:  How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither, and in whatever he does, he prospers.  (Psalm 1:1-3)  I believe that every time we make our way to the mountains… this psalm comes to mind.  Every year!  As I stare at the Giant Sequoias or the towering Ponderosa Pines… I dwell on these powerful words from the Bible.  I can’t think of anything I’d rather experience in life than to be “like a tree firmly planted…”  

I went on a few hikes and several runs while there… one thing I noticed was that some of the trees had become sick… diseased.  And the rangers had begun striping the bad ones with a stripe of paint.  They would soon be coming down.  For whatever reason these trees had become unhealthy.  But the Book of Psalms opens with these great words… You want to be healthy?  You want to a fruit producing believer?  You want to NOT wither?  You want to be spiritually prosperous?  He gives us the answer:  Meditate… study… read… memorize… pray… and make it a daily habit.  Sometimes it a good thing to turn off the radio or CD player while in the car… spend those moments with the Lord.  May the Lord bless you as you take time this weekend to devote yourself to the Word of the Lord!  As you do… you will be able to stand the storms of life. 

COMO PLANTAR IGLESIASEstoy tan animado en estos días por saber que tenemos un grupo de pastores y laicos con el deseo de plantar más Iglesias y ministerios en nuestro distrito.  Hay una población por Los Ángeles que necesitan Cristo Jesús.  Nosotros tenemos las llaves para abrir las puertas.  Estuve, por un tiempo corto, con mis hermanos del distrito en la Iglesia de San Fernando el día sábado.  Ellos tomaron su día libre para estudiar… aprender… y orar por nuestras ciudades.  Gracias hermanos! 

Last Saturday I had the privilege of joining several pastors and lay leaders in the San Fernando Church for a time of learning… praying… and studying how to plant churches.  A great group of leaders were present.  And I especially thank the San Fernando Church for hosting the event… thanks to the teachers who received training (Pastora Tere Martinez, Pastores Josue Tiguila, Oto Flores, and Ramiro Juarez) and in return were training us.  These sessions are all in Spanish and they will resume this Saturday and will conclude on August 15.  The church is on the move!

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With summer winding down… school about ready to start… and vacations may be coming to a close… I pray that we all will experience a tremendous month in August filled with God’s blessing.  I love you and I look forward to seeing you around the corner…

Greg Garman
L.A. D.S.
Church of the Nazarene