Greetings on a beautiful Southern California Day!
We are quickly rolling through the first month of the New Year… Have you noticed? The beginning of the month we started off with plenty of rain… but things have slowed down just a bit. Perhaps more is yet to come.
And speaking of showers… for Christmas this year, one of the gifts I received was a bar of soap. Takes me back to the days in the jungle when we, literally, used the river as our bathtub. Following an afternoon of soccer or water skiing, and just as the sun was going down, we’d make our way down to the Kusu River where our boats were tied up. With towels draped over our shoulders, a bar of soap in hand, and a pair of trunks… we’d dive in the cool waters of the river. I still remember the chill as we jumped in… always hoping it would be a bit warmer.
After swimming around a bit, we’d return to the shore, take that bar of soap we had carefully placed on a banana leaf to keep it from getting muddy… and return to the cool waters to soap up. The sandy flooring underneath its waters felt good between our toes. And as we’d take that bar of soap in hand… pass it along… it seems that someone would always squeeze that bar just a bit too hard… and it would slip out from underneath, disappearing in the water or sand below. Once in a while, we’d retrieve it… only to find sand, mud and grit clinging to it. And who wanted to use it next… rough, sandy, gritty… ugh!
And then… one furlough mom and dad discovered Soap on a Rope. What a perfect gift! I think they must have purchased a bunch of them because every year, for Christmas, all of us kids received a Soap on a Rope. Just hang that soap around the neck and all was well.
So this Christmas… I didn’t get a Soap on a Rope… but as my name was called out, I opened my gift to find a clear… see through… bar of soap… but something was in it. Wrapped up inside the bar was a rolled up $$$ bill. Could be as large as a $50 bill… could be a $20… or a $10… $5 or… as you can see, as I scrubbed the living daylights each time I showered… I finally managed to clean my way through that bar of soap to discover my rolled up $1.00 bill.
ENCOURAGEMENT: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. (Psalm 100:1-2) As I journey my way through these days, reading the devotional along with you, 30 Days with Wesley, I’m reminded of his great words of wisdom:
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
I see this quote each morning I come to the office and sit at my desk. And right here in the Psalms we see the great challenge… to shout for joy (each day)… worship the Lord (all day long)… in gladness (right now)… with joyful songs (sing along in the car).
My prayer is to have that joyful heart no matter what. And you know, as well as I know… that’s hard to do when circumstances around me are not the way I want them to be. May the Holy Spirit be your guide today! Rest in Him. Delight in Him. Find your joy in Him.
DISTRICT MATTERS: I still love going from place to place. God is good. And I rejoice in the many blessings I see week after week.
· “Heaven on Earth”… Did you read the article in Holiness Today written by our very own, Pastor Albert Hung (Monterey Park Trinity CON), pages 14-17 in this month’s magazine? Pastor Albert and Christine, along with their great team of leaders, are ministering in a wonderful way and the Lord is blessing their every effort as they reach multiple ethnic groups surrounding their community.
· Board of Ministry: Thanks to the leadership of Pastors Peter Lundell and Josh Santin, along with all members of the board, we completed our first day of interviews for ordination and first time licensees. Let me also give a shout out to Shay for the many hours organizing this first day to take place. Believe me… it’s not easy pulling this together!
COMING UP…: Please keep a few dates on the forefronts of your minds. You will NOT want to miss these great opportunities of learning and connecting with the district family.
· Tomorrow, January 23, 9am is the Spanish Pastor’s Meeting at the district office.
· IGNITE CONFERENCE… There are two dates and two locations. The first one will be held at L.A. Grace. And they are excited to be hosting us this year: Saturday, January 30 from 9:00AM-1:00PM. The second conference will be held in Santa Barbara on March 19. · Holiness Pastor’s Day is always a great day for pastors to get together for learning and listening. The event will take place on the APU campus and the details are included on the enclosed flyer. The date is Thursday, February 18. You will not want to miss this conference sponsored by the Wesleyan Holiness Consortium. Lunch will be provided for all who register. Please let us know here at the district office if you plan to come and we will register for you. Deadline for registering is Friday, January 29.
These are wonderful days to be actively involved in ministry. May the Lord equip you with His loving Spirit, and guide you in winning lost souls for Jesus. I love you and am praying for you today!