February 4, 2016

Greetings on an absolute gorgeous February day in the SoCal area!  I just came in from walking around outside, and we have the most beautiful day today.  In fact, I am told that the temps are to continue climbing through the weekend.  Sometimes, a few days following some rain and wind… the skies are completely wonderful… I can hardly wait to go running.

Mt. Wilson is hiding the view of Mt. Baldy… but I did see it a few moments ago and the snow-capped peak is awesome looking.  For you skiers… these are great days to take advantage of our location.  This past weekend I was returning home from the central coast… and in my travels I kept glancing out the window to capture the rolling green hills blanketed with cows, vineyards, and horses.  Slow down to take a look at what is all around you.  These are great days to be alive.  Remember, This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.  Are you doing just that?

ENCOURAGEMENTListen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.  I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.  For I too, was a son to my father, still tender and cherished by my mother.  Then he taught me and said to me, take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.  Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.”  (Proverbs 4:1-5)  I’m so grateful for the instruction, guidance and example set by my parents.  I, perhaps should have taken more notes when I was growing up.  The writer here in Proverbs said it correctly… and we can learn a whole lot from those who have walked this way before us.  How thankful I am for godly counsel and spirit-led wisdom!   

You know… come to think of it, the 5th commandment of the Great Ten speaks to this very issue.  It’s the first of the commandments listed that deals with our relationship with people.  It so happens to be the one directed to children who have parents.  “Honor your father and mother so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”   

Are your parents still around?  Perhaps, this is a great time to call them up… let them know your love for them.  With our smart phones so handy… it wouldn’t be that difficult to do.  Come to think of it… I think I’ll do it on my drive home today.  (I have hands free phone) 

DISTRICT MATTERS Well… someone wiser than me said, “A picture is worth a thousand words”… and Shay may kill me later for so many photos I’m placing in these Few Thoughts.  But, these past two weeks have been filled with blessing and joy.  Take a few moments to celebrate with these ministry groups along with me:
·         The NMI is always active and busy across the district.  Thanks to Debra Hamrick, she is moving about, meeting in churches, and encouraging people everywhere she goes.  In our most recent NMI Council Meeting, Pastor Paul Doctorian celebrated his 29th birthday for the umpteenth time. 


 ·         IGNITE Conference:  Let me give a shout out to Pastor Lamar Davis and his wonderful team at LA Grace.  WOW!  We enjoyed a special day this past Saturday in worship led by their outstanding Worship Team, then Pastor Lamar shared his testimony, and this was followed with a great seminar by Dr. Michael Mata.  What a special day this was for all who attended!  Thank you everyone… we even had special seminars by various presenters.


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  ·         Maranatha Church:  I had the privilege of dropping in on Pastor Felix Lam on a Sunday morning and loved the time I spent with this great Chinese Church.


  ·         Monterey Park Trinity Church:  I also had the opportunity to be with the Trinity Church and see the ministry of Pastors Albert & Christine Hung, along with their great team of leaders.  God is using them in a mighty way to share the Gospel of Christ around the world.  Did you know that they have raised $10,000 for wells and water projects in Africa… Best wishes to all of you running in the LA Marathon!


  ·         Spanish Pastors’ Day:  Under the leadership of Pastor Josue Tiguila, we had an outstanding day a few Saturdays ago here at the district office.  There were more than 30 present for worship, learning and training.  Pastor Marcos Canales and his team from PazNaz La Fuente Ministries challenged us to learn and understand better how to minister to the Latino Millennials today.  We had a very special time together.  Muchas gracias a todos que llegaron en este día especial.  Agradezco mucho a los líderes, pastores, los reportes y todo más… Dios está haciendo algo bueno con nosotros.  Estamos experimentando bendiciones de nuestro Salvador por medio de su Espíritu Santo.  Sigamos fieles con Cristo Jesús!

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OPPORTUNITIESAs we look ahead, there are many ways to engage in learning… connecting… and serving:
·         Thursday, February 18 at APU many of us pastors and leaders will gather together for the Wesleyan Holiness Consortium.  I am looking forward to seeing many of you there.  ·         This Weekend, Friday-Sunday (February 5-7) at LA 1st Spanish… they are having their Holiness Campaign.  Please be in prayer for Missionary Milton Gay who is the guest preacher for the weekend.  Todos son invitados a La Primera para la Campana de Santidad este fin de la semana.  Además, el hermano Gay va a tener talleres el día sábado para levantar fondos para el juvenil y el congreso que va a realizar en Meso-América.
·         Los Angeles District Pastors’ Day is now set to be held in Newhall on April 12 from 9:00-3:00.  More info to come later.
NYI FUSION at the San Fernando Church February 26-27… Are your youth going? 

As I wrap up these few thoughts of mine… let me say how thankful I am for you and the ministries you lead in your place of influence for the kingdom.  As I drive around the district, and picture you in my head… I am praying for you.  You are loved by many people.  Later on this month we’ll continue interviewing candidates for licenses… we’ll meet to do our best to encourage and even challenge. 

Remember… the church year is quickly coming to a close.  For those of you who have been on top of your unified allocations and other giving areas… THANK YOU!  If you have gotten a bit behind, can you do your best to help us out?  I am so thankful for the sacrifices made by so many of you.  You bless me every day!

 I love you and I do hope to see you soon.  Oh… one more thing:  If you are running in the LA Marathon for WELL WATER… would you let me know how much your group has raised?  I’d love to share that number with the district family…

Keep up the great work.  All for Jesus!

Greg Garman