Greetings to You!
I’m so glad you’re taken the time to read these few thoughts… or at least glance at the pictures. We are trying to get these Few Thoughts to show up in a variety of places… email… Facebook… www.nazla.org and some of you, I have heard, even print this out to share with others who don’t have a computer. Thank you!
If you are a sports’ fan… these are fun times. The start of baseball season… NHL Play-offs… NBA Play-offs… World Cup Qualifying Matches… and so much more. The bummer for L.A. is that the Lakers never made it this year. The Clippers may be on their way out with the loss of their two stars. The Kings were taken out quickly. And most recently the Ducks fell short in the seventh game. Well… I’m rooting for the Warriors. And the Spurs. And baseball is now going strong and I believe the two local teams are doing quite well. And in the soccer world, I have to keep in touch with my younger brother who knows everything about all teams everywhere. He especially keeps me up to date on the Peruvian National Team. They need some help.
Allow me a moment to share my thanks to those of you who have already filled out the necessary forms on line for District Assembly. You are on top of it all and we are most grateful for your quick work. If you have yet to complete your Pastor’s Report and other documents needed to be sent back to us, please do so before May 6. Take a look at your calendar and you will discover that May 6 is just around the corner… it’s next week… in fact, two days before Mother’s Day.
ENCOURAGEMENT: I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Philippians 4:1-11) I will not compare my circumstances to that of the Apostle Paul. He was beaten… imprisoned… shipwrecked… hungry… abandoned… and suffered far beyond my wildest imagination… He was a man who knew that his calling was from God. He never held back on the message he proclaimed… He was a church planter. He was an evangelist. He was a preacher. He was a friend. He was an encourager. And right here in this passage I pick up on one great and powerful truth: The Apostle Paul was a thankful man. He felt that he was a better man because of those who encouraged him. May I just take a few moments to express my thanks:
· Thank you churches on the Los Angeles District who are so faithful to meet and encourage one another each week. As I visit the churches across the district, I walk away more encouraged than when I arrived. You bless me.
· Thank you pastors and church boards for your faithful financial support to send us the Unified Allocation to the district. Did you know that your giving pays the salaries of the staff, as well as help fund many ministries throughout the district? Thank you!
· Thank you pastors and leaders who faithfully meet in zones and language group meetings to encourage each other. I love those special times when I am invited to participate along with you when you meet.
· Thank you district boards and committees who continually meet when the needs arise… and many times before the needs arise. Most recently, the Board of Ministry has met numerous times for interviews, and the review of classes that all students are taking. You are the best!
· Thank you teachers in all of our educational institutions that are preparing students for current and future ministry. We need you to continue the training and we are a stronger district because you take the time to study and teach.
· Thank you for your prayers. I can’t tell you how many times I hear you and your churches saying, “Greg, we are praying for you and the journeys you make across the district.” I can’t tell you how much those words encourage me.
So… as you can see, I may not be imprisoned, or beaten, or even going hungry… but I am well cared for because you care. Thank you! And as we prepare to assemble in a month and half, I can hardly wait for our district family to be together in Pasadena. I do hope you will be there. We plan to have loads of fun in worship and business. I am so excited to share with you the vision I believe the Lord has laid on my heart for us all. There is so much work to be done… He has called us… and we are responding. How thankful are you today?
DISTRICT MATTERS: There is always “just one more thing to do”… have you noticed that? So I will, once again begin this section by saying…
· Pastor’s Reports and other important documents: Please be sure to make the deadline of May 6, and get these materials in to us. THANK YOU!
· Prime Time Retreat: Just one more picture from last week’s retreat… this is the PazNaz group that was represented at Murrieta. Thank you Pastor Darwin for your work and ministry!
· Glendora: I had the privilege of joining the Glendora Men’s Breakfast Group last Saturday. Burl Simons and Pastor Mike Platter are doing a fabulous job in leading these men. And what a feast we enjoyed. They have a chef that is out of this world!
- L.A. First English: This past Sunday I was with the L.A. First English and witnessed, as they called the youth forward for prayer… these young people are going on the Missions’ Trip to Oahu this summer. It is a blessing to see what Pastor Josh Tiguila is doing with his leadership team. They had nearly 60 people in worship together that morning. Great things are happening in LA!
L.A. First Spanish: While attending the English service, I stayed to worship with the Spanish congregation and took part in their Annual Church Meeting. Pastor Juan Fajardo preached a great message on the election of the deacons to the First Church of Jerusalem from the Book of Acts.
Lone Pine: Congratulations to Pastor Jeff and Indra Bassett on the healthy birth of Emmaus Aleksander on April 19. He weighed 7.7 pounds and was 20 inches long. I hope to see him next Saturday when Pastor Jeff kills me in having me run a 50K (31 mile) run in the foothills below Mt. Whitney. Pastor Jeff is running the 50 miler. I’m not in shape for that kind of distance.
Have a wonderful weekend! May the Lord bless you and your church as you enter this month of May. Mother’s Day is just around the corner. I’ll be busy in this month installing four new pastors. Can you believe that? God is so good! I will have pictures to share with you and I know great comments to make on each one.
Don’t forget to put in down in your calendars… District Assembly… JUNE 15-17… Are you coming? I’ll be there.
Love you all…