Greetings on a warm and sunny summer day!
I heard someone say that we are in a heat wave right now. Boy… would I ever like to be outside. These last few days I’ve been indoors way too much. Yet, I can look out the office window and see the hills behind Pasadena. The sky is crystal clear and the sun is out. Wow! I love these days.
Our L.A. District Work & Witness Team to Oahu have all arrived back home safely having had a wonderful and productive ministry in Hawaii. I look forward to hearing further reports on all that they accomplished while on the island. Thank you Debra Hamrick and team for this incredible ministry!
ENCOURAGEMENT: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the path of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law if the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3) What a way to open up the Book of Psalms! I couldn’t think of a better opening to a book containing 150 psalms than these words. The bottom line is… I would like to be blessed by the Lord. I would love for the Lord to bless my family… my home… my ministry… my hobbies… my life… my country… my world… How about you?
One of my favorite activities is observing trees. I enjoy running through trails that take me up into the hills that are covered with trees. Oak trees, pine trees, redwoods, sequoias, balsa trees… it really doesn’t matter. I love trees. Some trees grow quickly… others take a long time to grow. They tell me that some of the valley oaks in our valley are more than 500 years old. They were there long before explorers arrived from across the seas.
My family and I enjoy camping up in the sierras… especially in King’s Canyon… just beyond the Giant Sequoias. Have you ever stopped to take a look at a sequoia? They are an incredible tree. Big… tall, scraggly… they are the most unique tree in the world… and I love them. Some, I’m told were here before Jesus was born. Say what? That is old! Some have been struck by lightning storms… not once, but multiple times… and they keep on growing. They are firmly planted by the streams of water.
As I journey through life, my desire is to stay firmly grounded in God’s Word… storms will come… floods will rise… days will grow hot… and sometimes cold… but, as I stay rooted in Him… He will guard me along the way.
DISTRICT MATTERS: A year, ago at this time, we had 7 churches in need of a pastor. So… I was a bit busy going from board meeting to board meeting…church to church working with search committees. And through the process, the Lord led us to some great and wonderful pastors. Some of which came from off the district… others came from within. And when everything was said and done… after one year, I had the joy of installing 12 pastors on the district. Today, we only have one church in the search mode.
· Los Angeles Elysian Park: Please pray for Pastor Alejandro Castillejos who has been recently hospitalized with a blood infection.
· Montrose: Please find at the end of these Few Thoughts a note from Pastor Scott Chamberlain about the work that their Work & Witness Team did in Swaziland.
· Northridge New Life: This past Sunday I preached in Northridge and had the privilege of seeing several of their ministries in action. Please join me in prayer for this church as we continue to search for their new pastor. Pastor Chuck Smith was here for nearly 16 years.
· Pismo Beach: Please continue to keep Pastor Ron Salsbury in your prayers with his health matters. We are asking God for His healing hand to touch Pastor Ron today.
· Pasadena First: Two memorial services are coming up:
Ø Mrs. Betty Sedat, retired missionary to Central America for nearly 40 years passed away and the memorial service for her is on Friday, July 22 at 11:00 a.m. in the Royal Oaks chapel located at 1763 Royal Oaks Dr. North, Bradbury, CA. 91010
Ø Rev. Gordon Johnston, retired missionary for the Church of the Nazarene in the Middle East and PNG for many years, will have his services at PazNaz this Monday, July 25 at 4:00PM. His wife, Pat, passed away in 2015.
· San Fernando: Last week we completed the church and pastoral review in San Fernando where Pastors Adrian and Elvira Velasco are doing an excellent job in ministry with the leadership team. What a joy it is to see the way God is using this campus to bless the community in San Fernando!
PASTORS AND SPOUSES’ RETREAT: Please do not forget to register… today! It would be nice to have as many pastors and spouses together as possible. You cannot beat the location… We’re going to Pismo Beach. Who doesn’t like the beach? And our special speaker is Dr. Carla Sunberg… president of NTS. Hope to see you there. Register at www.lanazretreat.org. Questions contact Josh Johnson at email@example.com.
I love you all… and I look forward to seeing you somewhere along the way. Keep enjoying the summer days.
Montrose Church Work & Witness: From Scott Chamberlain
Montrose Church participated in a mission trip to Swaziland from June 9-22, with 18 members. It was an amazing trip where we accomplished so much, and worked alongside local leaders. This posture was great community development that empowered and focused our expertise and resources to be a catalyst for ongoing ministry in Swaziland. Montrose Church is making a 10 year commitment to Swaziland and the South Africa Region. The primary areas of work conducted were:
- Construction: Our team dug trenches and poured concrete on the Soweto Church Building, as well as financially contributed towards this project. We also had the joy of celebrating in Ntintinyane, where we paid for a roof to be added to their church building
- Health Care & HIV: Our team had profound interaction with people who were suffering as they allowed us into their homes as we shared food and prayed for them. Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV per capita in the world, and the team makes sure the clients are medication compliant, as well as making sure they have enough food. A few of our members also volunteered at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital.
- Compassion/Children’s Ministry: Our team conducted children’s programs as CDC’s as well as work projects at a public school. We were emotionally moved at the CDC in Nduma, where 80% of children were orphaned, due to HIV.