LA Naz Few Thoughts – November 12, 2015

Good Afternoon LA District!

What is your favorite candy?  The “tricker treaters” have come and gone, and we have a boat-load of candy left over.  I do like to eat Twix… Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups… Snickers… but I really, really do enjoy Peanut M&Ms.  My word!  They are the best.  I was given a huge bag of Peanut M&Ms for my birthday (back in September) and I still have a bunch in my desk cabinet.  They are so good.  I especially like the fact that the chocolate comes from the cacao bean that comes off a tree… therefore, it is healthy to eat… AND the peanut is a nut, which we are told… is very healthy for us.  So… I am snacking with things that are good for me.

Seems like winter has arrived in our home.  The furnace is now up and running full throttle.  The other morning when I went out for a run, the temps read high 30’s.  I can hardly wait for summer to come.  At 5:00AM, it means gloves, two long sleeve shirts, and a beanie over my cold and frosted ears.  Headlamp on the forehead and off we go.  So with the cold conditions, it does mean that Thanksgiving is just around the corner with Christmas quickly approaching.  I do hope you are experiencing great days as we roll through November.  I am!

ENCOURAGEMENTTaking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves.  Then He gave them to His disciples to distribute to the people.  He also divided the two fish among them.  (Mark 6:41)  This may be, perhaps, one of the most well-known miracles of Jesus recorded in the Bible.  Lots of people know some element to this story.  Those of us raised in the church remember Bible lesson, VBS, Sunday School discussions, or sermons from this text.  It’s a great one… the disciples all had the same idea as to what Jesus should do, “GET RID OF THE PEOPLE.”  There’s just not enough food to feed them all.  It’s late, both the people AND the disciples are getting tired.  Just send them home! 

I can remember as a small boy, when the natives would come to the house while we were living in the jungle, and they’d come seeking my dad or mom.  Sometimes it would be late afternoon.  We were getting ready to do something as a family.  Of course, when I was a kid… the favorite pastime was to go water skiing on the river.  And we needed dad to drive the boat.  It wasn’t until we were older in our early teens did we learn to drive the boat ourselves.  And just as we were getting the skis ready, dad would grab the gas tank as we’d make our way to the boat… a long dugout canoe with a 40HP Johnson outboard in the back… a group of Aguarunas would show up, and most of the time it was for a need in the clinic.  Timing was everything!  And I would always think… and even say, “Not now, Dad, send them away!”

I know just how the disciples felt.  They had other things on their minds.  They were hungry.  They were tired.  But, Jesus used them and had them find some food.  Five loaves… Two fish.   And Jesus, just before He broke the loaves and parted the fish to hand out to the crowds, He gave thanks for what He had.  How many times do we find Jesus giving thanks in the scriptures?  A lot!

With Thanksgiving two weeks away, I’m reminded at the many blessings I have in which I need to be thankful for.  Jesus looked upward.  He looked to His Father in heaven and gave thanks.  Jesus would rise early in the morning to give thanks.  I’m certain He would give thanks before He would lay His body down for the night.  Jesus gave thanks. 

As I read this passage, I’m reminded to not discard the things around me.  There is no need to “send them away”, but to think on that which I should be thankful for.  I have a lot… do you? 

CAMARILLOAs you know, we installed a new pastor and family in our Camarillo Church a couple of months ago, Rev. James and Lindsey O’Connell.  We are also blessed to have a vibrant, growing Spanish congregation there as well under the leadership of Rev. Alan and Gladys Arevalo.   Just last weekend, Leslie, the girls and I had the privilege to worship with them in two evening revival and evangelistic services.  Here are a couple of photos of the congregation and worship team.  I thank the Lord for what He is doing in Camarillo.

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LANCASTER VALLEY VIEWLast Sunday I had the opportunity to worship and preach in the two services at Valley View:  English and Spanish.  Our English group is in search for a new pastor, but the Spanish church is doing so well under the leadership of Rev. Ruper Lopez.  What a joy it was to take part in their honoring of their leaders for Pastor Appreciation Month!  Here are a few photos of the work happening at Lancaster Valley View.

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LOS ANGELES FIRST ENGLISH It was pointed out to me a few hours ago that the acronym for these four words in Spanish is “LA FE”.  This translates into “The Faith”.  As many of you know, we have been without a Lead Pastor in our English congregation for nearly a year.  Pastor Scott Chamberlain has been our Interim Pastor and has provided great leadership during this period.  However, after numerous board meetings with the leadership team, I am happy to announce that we will soon, by faith, install Pastor Josue Tiguila as the English Pastor for this wonderful body.  His first Sunday will be December 6.  I would appreciate your prayers for Pastor Josh and the church.  

MISSIONARIES PAT JOHNSTON AND PAUL HETRICK

  • Retired missionary Paul Hetrick was getting ready to celebrate his 100th birthday when he passed away on November 7.  He and his late wife, Mae, served for 34 years in Swaziland, Mozambique, & Antigua.  A memorial service was held on Wednesday, November 11.
  • Retired missionary Pat Johnston passed away on Friday, November 6 after suffering a massive heart attack on November 2.  Pat and Gordon served for 34 years in Jordan, PNG, & Lebanon.  A memorial service was held on Monday, November 9 at Pasadena First Church. 

Please be in prayer for both families during these days as they mourn their loss.  

Pat Johnston

 PLNU POINTLESS MUSIC GROUPFollowing is an insert from Austin McKinley, the VP of Pointless:  My name is Austin McKinley and I am contacting you on behalf of “Pointless”, the men’s a cappella group from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. As the Vice President of Pointless, I am currently scheduling our annual Winter Ministry Tour and looking for churches to host our ministry during the first weeks of January, 2016.

If your church is willing, we would be privileged to lead a worship service at your church on our Winter Ministry Tour, which begins Sunday, January 3rd and ends Sunday, January 10th. Each “Pointless” service consists of a congregational worship set, a lot of fun a cappella entertainment (including both secular and sacred songs), as well as testimonies from our group members.

Although we hate to ask, there are a few provisions that are necessary for our ministry. The winter tour is a preparation and fundraiser for future ministry projects, which are financed by church donations and love offerings. We would love to be a part of your services and would greatly appreciate your support in the receiving of a love offering for our ministry. All donations will be used for our current and future ministry projects, one of which includes financially funding underprivileged students to attend Windward Nazarene Academy in Kailua, HI each year.

Additionally, we ask that the church will organize home stays for the group on the night of our worship service, and provide a meal before the service.

If there are any questions on the logistics of these requests, please do not hesitate to ask!

I hope that your church will find that they are able to host our ministry for a day. If you have any questions please call me at (916) 838-8676 or aburgett1994@pointloma.edu. . One of our group members also plans to call the church office in the following days to speak with someone personally.

Thank you so much for your consideration, and we cannot wait to hear back from you! Blessings,

Austin McKinley
Check out our Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/PLNUPointless

 LADTCDr. Peter Lundell reminds us of the classes that are being offered just around the corner, www.LADTC.org  

 May the Lord bless you this weekend!  I do thank all of our Veterans who have served our country in years gone by… and continue to thank those of you who are serving, even today.  Thank you, pastors, leaders, and laymen… all alike.  You are a blessing to me and I look forward to my journeys across the district and to your church.  I love you and hope to see you soon!

 Greg Garman
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene