May Greetings! And once again, another gorgeous day in SoCal. Schools are winding down… graduation ceremonies are taking place…. and summer is just about here! May the Lord bless your every effort to shed the Gospel light in your area of the world.
I’ve been making a few extra trips around the district, and isn’t it a shame that just as soon as the rains slow down… the hills seem to quickly return to their brown colors? That’s something I have noticed nearly everywhere I’ve traveled these recent weeks. What was once wet and green is now turning dry and brown! And we don’t need any fires this coming season. Perhaps, this may be one more item we can be praying for.
ENCOURAGEMENT: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) There are several things that are true in life… and this is one. We are all BETTER TOGETHER. I find it absolutely fascinating that nature understands it. The Bible has proclaimed it for thousands of years. We all know it… but all too often we forget the truth in it… and we try to accomplish things off on our own.
I’m really not a cyclist, but I do enjoy riding… and I especially love to watch races, either live or on TV. This week, if you have been following the world of cycling, you know that the Amgen Tour (Tour of California) is going on. It’s the equivalent to the Tour de France that takes place every summer. The major difference is that the Amgen Tour is for one week… the Tour de France is a three-week race. Of course, there are other differences, but I love watching these races. For, in the Tour de France, there are multiple races within the race itself. There’s the battle for the Stage Win. Then there’s the best young rider (white jersey). The sprint champion (green jersey). The polka-dot jersey for the king of the mountain. And the coveted yellow jersey for the overall leader and winner. There is also the team competition and so much more.
If you ever watch the races in each stage… you will find that some days are longer than others. Some days are flat and long (120 miles or more). Some days are extremely hilly. Some days are short where there’s only an individual time trial or they might have the team time trial. But… my favorite part of the racing happens early on in a long day where they take off together. Inevitably, a group of riders will split from the pack and move out in front. There could be 4 riders or 14. Each of them, strategically working for a cause. (Two are better than one) One may go out early, to prepare to help his teammate, who is wearing the yellow jersey, when he comes along in the afternoon and in need of assistance. There are many strategies taking place all at the same time.
But, you all have heard the word peloton. The peloton is the main group of riders that keep together as a pack. In cycling, there is an incredible force, much like a vacuum that sucks a rider in, where not as much energy is used to stay in the group. With 3 miles to go in a race, it’s amazing to see the peloton gobble in those front riders after a 130-mile bike ride. By simply watching the race on TV, one would think that a front rider, with a minute lead and less than 5 miles to go in the race, will hold off the peloton… but he can’t. All too often, when that front rider peels away to ride by himself, he has no one to draft off of… so he works, he suffers, he pedals harder and harder… while those back in the peloton, keep drafting off of one another… each taking turns, leading for 30 seconds, and falling off to draft again… rotating among the 50 or more riders in the group. (Better Together)
I love to watch the birds fly in the V. Who told them that drafting made it so much easier to fly? And they learn so early in their lives, that two are better than one. It’s amazing to watch the way leaf cutter ants will work together to remove a tree of all its leaves. Have you seen how towering pine trees in the forest cluster together to stand firm when strong fierce winds and storms strike against them? Their roots dig around rocks and boulders and entangle around each other to hold them up in great storms.
Do you have someone in your life you take turns drafting off of? Who are you encouraging? Who’s encouraging you? Remember… we are much better together than we are apart.
- Tujunga: For Mother’s Day in the morning service I worshipped with our Tujunga Church where Pastor Gary Armstead is leading this congregation. Thank you church body for the ministry taking place in Tujunga.
- Luz a las Naciones – Tujunga Spanish: I returned in the afternoon to worship with our newly begun Spanish speaking ministry in Tujunga. They have not been there for quite a year just yet, but the Lord is blessing the efforts of Pastor Oto Flores and his team of leaders. We enjoyed a great day in worship and fellowship.
- District Finance Committee: If you are ever wondering who are some of the members who lead our district… here is a photo of our Finance Committee. Thank you all, for your service to the district this year. You are a blessing to me!
- May 20: Dr. Stan Toler Seminar on Leadership in San Luis Obispo beginning at 9:00AM
- May 26-28: NYI Elev8 at PLNU with the entire Southwest Region
- June 8-10: PK Retreat… youth who are pastors’ kids are invited to the PLNU campus with other PKs from the region for inspiration and Christian formation. Register at southwestnyi.org
- June 20-30: General Conventions and Assembly in Indianapolis
- July 12-14: Los Angeles District Conventions and Assembly at PazNaz
- July 16-21: High School Camp at Granite Ridge
- July 23-28: Kids’ Camp at Granite Ridge. Some scholarships are also available for Kids’ Camp. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- July 30-August 4: Jr. High Camp at Granite Ridge
- September 18-20: Pastors’ and Spouse Retreat – Seacrest Hotel & Resort, Pismo Beach. Register with Josh Johnson at Josh@NewNaz.org Registration Deadline is August 1st.
I love you and I hope to see you soon!
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene