Monthly Archives: April 2016

April 21, 2016

Greetings from Murrieta Hot Springs where the skies are clear and the sun is shining!

Leslie and I have been spending a few days with the Prime Timers of the three neighboring districts (Anaheim, SoCal and L.A.) for their annual P.T. Retreat.  Dr. Jim Bond has been the special keynote speaker, Song Evangelist Brian Arner – the musician… and the days have been wonderful.  We have especially enjoyed getting to know many of our district family members, as well as others from the nearby districts.

So… last night I was asked to lead us in communion.  As we were fellowshipping around the evening meal table, Leslie and I were sitting next to Brian Arner (song evangelist) and I asked them if they would sing a duet while the bread and cup were being distributed around the tables.  They agreed.  I shared a few words, and called them forward to sing.  We prayed… they sang… and we all shared in communion.  As we were leaving the building, a lady came up to Leslie and said, “I just loved your song, and your husband! Oh, I just love him.  You must be so proud.”  She replied, “Well, I am… and he works hard… traveling across the district.”  To which she said, “Oh, and I just love his voice… he sings opera so well!”  Leslie replied, “No, no, he’s not my husband… my husband is the one who led us in communion.”

Her answer, “You mean the skinny one! He’s nice too.”

Last night as we were gathering together for the last evening of worship I was thinking of the many churches across our district that would love this retreat setting.  We have large groups of Prime Timers from PazNaz and from New Life in Pismo as well as others from various churches.  I hope to see more representatives next year.  And Leslie and I are already looking forward to returning next April, 2017.

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ENCOURAGEMENTBlessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.  (Proverbs 3:13-14)  And isn’t this the truth!  Who doesn’t like to receive an unexpected check in the mail?  But, you and I both know and realize that those funds will NOT last forever.  Money won’t bring true joy and happiness… they may bring quick energy and excitement… but the wise counsel and biblical understanding is more valuable than the richest treasure. 

These past few days have been fruitful for me.  I have enjoyed the times spent with our Prime Timers who have paved the roads for so many of us.  I especially appreciated the messages from our special speaker Dr. Jim Bond who imparted words of wisdom from God’s Word to me.  In one of his messages Dr. Bond had us return to the familiar story in I Samuel 17… the story of David and Goliath.  He mentioned that the message would be one of challenge as he retold the story of David making his way to the brook to pick up 5 smooth stones.  Allow me the privilege of sharing with you his five points that these stones represented… as we face the giants in our day:

  •   Stone 1: Decide to be a positive source for good.  David realized quickly… he needed to be a positive source with this problem that was at hand.

·         Stone 2: Have a passion and ignite the fire… Paul said it well, “Fan the flame” because the natural tendency is for the fire to go out.

·         Stone 3: Take a leap… or a risk.  When is the last time you or your church dreamed great dreams?  David took a huge risk as he gathered these stones to meet the giant in the battlefield.

·         Stone 4: Engage the divine resources… Prayer plus faith accomplishes much!  David had infinite resources that could not been seen with the naked eye.

·         Stone 5: Expect the amazing from God!  David went out to the battlefield expecting the Lord to do something great.

Are you expecting God to do great things through you and within you?

DISTRICT MATTERSLife is never boring… and I trust that you are growing in your journey with the Lord.  My travels through the district this week have put me in a few locations:

·         Granite Ridge Christian CampYou are aware that we have our Christian Camp up near the Paso Robles and Atascadero churches of our district.  This last weekend on Friday and Saturday we had our quarterly camp meetings to pray, plan and discuss Granite Ridge.  You are aware that we own the campground… you own the campground.  And we are trying to be the best stewards of the land and resources that God has entrusted to us.  I am grateful for the board that is meeting faithfully to cast vision for Granite Ridge. 

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 Tujunga Church of the NazareneIf you were to drive on I-210 and take the Sunland exit and head east about two miles… you will come upon the Church of the Nazarene.  Leslie and I were there this past Sunday with Pastor Gary Armstead and the church.  I am so thankful for these wonderful people in Tujunga.  May God bless you as you continue to reach your community for Jesus!

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  ·         Murrieta Hot Springs:  I need not say much more about this retreat with the Prime Timers.  I just hope to see more of our district at the retreat next year. 

·         Installation Services:  As April is quickly passing by… May will be here before we know it.  With the arrival of May… and as I glance at my calendar I am excited to say that the month is filled with the installation of pastors:

1.       May 1:  I will be joining the Hillside Church in Rowland Heights and several members of the Monterey Park Trinity Church to install Rev. Albert Hung as the Lead Pastor at Hillside as we unite the two churches as one with a multi-site model.  I am so pleased to see how these two teams have joined together to become one force in the San Gabriel Valley.  May Jesus bless these two congregations along with Pastors Albert and Christine Hung!

2.       May 15:  On this date I will be in Santa Maria to install Rev. Chad Bohi as Lead Pastor of this wonderful church called Cornerstone.  Pastor Chad has been serving as an Associate Pastor at New Life in Pismo Beach and he has had an incredible ministry for more than 10 years up there.  And now… New Life is releasing Pastor Chad and Haley Bohi to lead the church in Santa Maria.  I am beyond excited to see all that God has in store for this wonderful church. 

3.       May 22:  PazNaz will be welcoming their new Lead Pastor as I come to install Rev. Tara Beth Leach.  She, along with her husband, Jeff, will be coming to our district from the Chicago area to work here on our district. I look forward to the things Pastor Tara Beth will do as she leads Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene into the future.  I am certain you will welcome the Leach family into our district family as they begin their ministry with us.

4.       May 29:  And finally… on the final Sunday in May, I will be installing Rev. Timothy Smith as the Lead Pastor at Ridgecrest.  Pastor Tim and Bree Smith, along with their family, are coming to us from the Anaheim District where he was serving as Lead Pastor in the Hermosa Beach Church of the Nazarene.  The church is very excited for their arrival, and I too am looking forward to their ministry to begin in the desert.  

These are great days for us all.  I am so glad to see the way the Lord is opening doors for further ministry.  To God be the Glory! 

ORDINANDS WORKSHOPThis is just a simple reminder to those who have been recommended by the BOM (Board of Ministry) to the District Assembly to be ordained this June… that we are having a Workshop for you and your spouses on Saturday, April 30 from 9:00-1:00 right here in the Conference Room of the District Resource Center.  I hope to see you all here.   

DISTRICT ASSEMBLYHave you been passing the word around that things are changing up just a bit for assembly this year?  Please remember:

·         Wednesday night, June 15 at 7:00 PM NYI, NMI, SDMI Celebration Service

·         Thursday, June 16:  8:30AM – 3:00PM Convention Business with lunch serve on campus (get your tickets ahead of time); 3:00PM – 4:00PM District Assembly Convenes; 7:00PM Ordination Service with General Superintendent Dr. Eugenio Duarte

·         Friday, June 17:  8:30AM – 12:00 Noon District Assembly Business and D.S. Report; Lunch break on your own until 1:30; 1:30PM – 4:30PM District Assembly re-convenes until adjournment at 4:30. 

PASTOR’S PACKETSPlease… ATTENTION all pastors… please go on line and fill out your materials for assembly.  You have reports to be filled out.  Materials for me… and other papers.  These have been emailed to you, if you haven’t received them, check your junk folder and then contact Shay if you still haven’t received them.  Please look everything over and get the reports and registrations all back to us by May 6.  PLEASE… PLEASE… PLEASE.  Thanks! 

PASTOR’S FAMILY PHOTO A very special thank you to those who have already submitted your photo for the Assembly Booklet.  If you have yet to get the picture to us… please do so ASAP.  It will really help us out.  Thanks.   

Thanks again, for your prayer support and financial contributions to the district.  The Lord is always faithful to meet our needs.  I am praying that He will guide you with His loving care as you have already entered a new church year.  I love you and I do look forward to seeing you soon! 

Greg Garman

April 14, 2016

Greetings on another beautiful SoCal day!

As I begin these few thoughts of mine, it’s Wednesday afternoon… and I’m getting ready for another meeting in just a little while.  Earlier today I was catching up on some of the news that’s going around.  The political situation remains unchanged… as I focus on my biblical and family values, I scratch my head in wonder, asking God, “Please help!”  Or, at times I simply say, “Lord come quickly!”

But the world of sports is quite fascinating… at least right now.  Perhaps you may not be interested, but it is a bit fun.  Tonight, Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant will play his final professional game of basketball.  Many say that he will go out as one of the greatest to ever play the game.  He will be remembered for many great shots, points scored in a single game, and probably as one who couldn’t get along with Shaq back in the day… and a few other things I won’t mention.  Then there is Vin Scully… long time Dodgers’ announcer… 67 years.  That is impressive!  But tonight is also another record setting possibility… the Golden State Warriors could have the greatest single season record of all time.  If they win, they will have 73 wins for the season against 9 losses… That’s incredible!  Perhaps, I’ll get through with my meeting in time to capture one or two of these special events…

Next week is the Tri-District Prime Time Retreat… I am going.  In fact, Leslie and I are both heading over to Murrieta for the retreat.  We look forward to this time we will spend together in worship, fellowship, and fun.  I hope to see some of you there.

ENCOURAGEMENTYou, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.  (Psalm 63:1)  Each one of us knows what it’s like to thirst.  We have all been thirsty at some point in time.  You’ve had that feeling when your throat is dry, lips are parched, and you’re craving something to drink.  On Monday of this week, it was one of those special days when I didn’t have an evening meeting.  I got home at around 5:30 and told Leslie that I was going out for a run.  

I glanced real quickly on my cell phone to see what the weather was to be like.  It read, “40% showers”, so I changed clothes quickly, put my running shoes on and headed out the door.  There were a few clouds overhead, but there were also many patches of blue sky.  All of us who live in Southern California know that 40% means… NO RAIN.  The air was humid as I took off for my run.  I decided to do an easy one mile warm up and then 5 hard miles… finish at the park to do some exercise drills for strengthening before returning home.  When I came up on my fourth mile… the clouds rolled in and opened up and it DUMPED!  It was totally awesome.  Raindrops were the size of basketballs bouncing on my head and running down my face.  I opened my mouth wide, taking in as much water as I possibly could.  It really did feel good! 

In this Psalm David simply says… I yearn for you… “I thirst for You…”  There should be days in our lives when we thirst for the Lord.  There may be days when we may not feel so thirsty… but when we do, we yearn… we seek… we long for something to drink.  How awesome it is to be driving in the car and a song of praise comes to mind and I worship the Lord all alone!  How wonderful it is to be hiking somewhere in the hills contemplating God’s great creation… and I seek Him out.  I love the fact that He fills my whole being as I seek to know Him no matter where I may be located… or what I may be doing.  Do you thirst for Him today?   

DISTRICT NEWS We have now entered a new church year and many of you are in the midst of Annual Church Meetings… State of the Church messages… Elections… and more.  I pray that you are experiencing great days of transition from the old year to the new:

  • Korean Pastors’ DayLast Saturday we had nearly 20 Korean pastors from across the district gather together for worship, fellowship and instruction.  I am grateful for the leadership of our Korean Language Coordinator Pastor John Lee for his guidance in this special day together.  I wish you could have heard the testimonies and stories shared around the table of God’s grace and mercy.  But, let me share with you one high point:  Our Arise Mission Church under the leadership of Pastor Jong Whan Lee is ministering to North Korean refugees.  He shared of those who have recently come to the states… found Christ and 6 new members have joined the church.  But the message Pastor Lee kept announcing was the joy that they were experiencing in the church.  PTL!

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  La Puente SpanishLast Sunday I had the privilege of installing Pastor Wallger Gonzalez as Lead Pastor.  The church is excited for the days ahead as they begin working together along with Pastor Wallger and Gloria Gonzalez. 

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Pastors’ Day at NewhallThis past Tuesday we had 60 pastors and leaders together for our annual Pastors’ Day where we worshipped together, shared in a devotional thought by Pastor Karen Wood, and listened to a panel of 3 pastors talk on subject matters we deal with on a near daily basis.  Thank you Pastors Lamar Davis, Albert Hung and Marcos Canales for your teaching and leadership.  I am also grateful for the many others who shared reports and cast vision for the days ahead.  A special thank you to the Newhall Church for hosting the event.  Your team of leaders did an outstanding job!

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PASTOR’S REPORTSYesterday Shay emailed out the district assembly packets to each church.  Please mark your calendars for the due date of May 6.  Please help her out in getting on this material as soon as possible.  I know times flies, but we don’t want to wait until the last minute and find out there might be a problem in doing the paperwork or being able to submit the report.  Please call/email Shay if you have any questions (shay@ladistnaz.org or 626-446-7300), she is more than willing to help as best as she can. 

FAMILY PHOTOPastors… Thank you to those who sent in their family picture already, for those that haven’t, I need your help!  With District Assembly just around the corner… I am discovering that many people across the district do not know who you are.  You may know a few pastors around you… but you may not know everyone.  For District Assembly this year we are doing something different.  Would you please submit a photo of your family… one that is a close-up shot, so we can see who you are… and we plan to include it in the District Assembly handbook.  You can email me the photo, or hand deliver it to me at Pastors’ Day.  Would please also list the names of your children if you include them in the picture.  We would like these photos by the end of April.  Of course… the sooner the better.  If you don’t do it now… you may forget.  You WILL forget.  

DISTRICT ASSEMBLY:  Plans are underway for this year’s convention and assembly.  Please mark your calendars… Things are a bit different this year:  The dates are June 15-17, 2016.  Dr. Eugenio Duarte will be our presiding General Superintendent.  And our theme for the three days together is BUILDING BRIDGES…

·         Wednesday Night:  7:00 Opening Service
·         Thursday 8:30AM – 3:00PM NMI, SDMI, NYI Business
·         Thursday 3:00-4:00 Assembly Business
·         Thursday 7:00 Ordination Service
·         Friday 8:30AM – 4:30PM Assembly Business and Adjournment 

As I wrap up these Few Thoughts, allow me a moment to thank you for the many expressions of encouragement you pour out my way.  We are seeing some great ministries take shape across the district.  Churches that have been without pastoral leadership are now preparing to welcome their pastor.  Here are a few churches that are now just waiting for the date of installation to take place.  I will have the privilege of installing:
·         Pastor Albert Hung at Hillside Community in Rowland Heights on May 1, 2016 as he, along with his pastoral team, begin this multi-site adventure with Monterey Park Trinity.
·         Pastor Chad Bohi at Cornerstone in Santa Maria on May 15, 2016.  This is an exciting journey for the Bohis as they transition from an associate at Pismo Beach to Lead Pastor.
·         Pastor Tim Smith at Ridgecrest on May 29, 2016, along with his family.  The Smith come to us from Hermosa Beach on the Anaheim District.  We welcome the Smiths to Los Angeles.  

So, as you can see, the month of May is a busy month for installations on the Los Angeles District.  I appreciate your prayers on my behalf as I continue to travel throughout the district.  And thank you for the financial support to the District in the payment of your allocations (which we are still taking church 2015-2016 – just make sure to mark your check, through the month of April).  It is a joy to serve the Lord through this great Los Angeles District.  I love you and I look forward to seeing you soon! 

Greg Garman 

p.s. It’s now way past Wednesday night and I did catch the last part of the two basketball games.  Kobe Bryant had quite the finish with 60 points and a victory.  The Lakers actually won their final game of the season.  Who would have thought?  But the bigger game for many was that the Golden State Warriors made history.  They won 73 games this season against 9 losses.  And they did not lose to any team in the NBA twice this year.  That could mean trouble for any team that they play against in the play-offs.  I love basketball!