Happy Mothers’ Day! Looks like the wonderful weather of warm sunshine decided to leave us for a few days. I know that some of you like this cooler stuff, but not me. I keep looking outside to see when it’s going to start snowing. I’ve been freezing lately. I can hardly wait for the sun to begin working again…
So… it’s the week of Mother’s Day and what do you do? Six weeks ago I decided to do a surprise for Leslie. I checked on our daughter Spencer’s schedule to see when she could squeeze in a couple of days this week to be flown down from her home in Medford. We found that Wednesday of this week would work out, but she had to return the following day for her work. I then mentioned to Leslie that I wanted her and me to have a dinner date on Wednesday night. We both penciled it in… and all was well… until, this last week, Leslie says, “Greg, the high school needs me to play piano for them, so I need a raincheck on the Wednesday night date.”
I wanted to tell her, but it would ruin the surprise. And… thinking I would “fake” something… and call her home, there wouldn’t be a problem and she’d be soon with us. I mentioned to Shay and Vania that I’d be working from home on Wednesday and wouldn’t be coming in the office. I picked up Spencer from the airport. And as I was approaching home, I called Leslie to inform her that “I’d had a rough day, and was coming home.”
Oh boy! This started a mess. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Are you sick? Did someone die? Greg tell me.” You know… it’s really hard to NOT break the 9th Commandment. I didn’t want to lie. But I wanted her to come home quickly to see her surprise. She hadn’t seen Spencer since December. Well… to make a long story short, Leslie was called to Burbank to play at various schools. By the time she got to come home… it was nearly time to take Spencer back to the airport the next morning.
Folk, any ideas how to surprise your wife next time? Happy Mother’s Day to you, Leslie! And to my mom, Addie Garman, as well.
ENCOURAGEMENT: On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and His disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve Me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” (John 2:1-5) What an incredible story! Jesus’ first recorded miracle… sort of. I kind of think it was miraculous in the way He called Nathaniel… after all, Nathaniel was quite stunned that Jesus knew so many details about him.
But the bottom line is that Mary, Jesus’ mother, was well aware… for perhaps 30 years, that her Son was incredibly special. She had witnessed the way His disciples had already begun to follow Him. She knew He was gifted. She knew that her Son was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She was the only one walking the land who knew that she had never been with a man before Jesus’ birth. Jesus was different. And she knew it.
I don’t know if this miracle occurred on Tuesday or if it happened on the third day of the wedding celebration. It really matters not. But, there was a need and a mom who was there knew just where to find the answer. I love to hear stories of moms who go to the right source for answers. I’ve witnessed that time and time again. While on the mission field, in the Amazon jungle of Peru, many times we had no communication with the outside world… AND THERE WAS A NEED. Sometimes it was a snake bite victim who was lying on their deathbed. Other times it was a girl burned in the fire and half dead. Or a nose bleeding man coughing up blood and going unconscious. (How many times was there the fear factor that if a patient died in the clinic, the people in the jungle would hold the “witchdoctor, or overseer, or doctor” responsible! And their lives were on the line.) A young mother not able to deliver the afterbirth… or her own son (Rusty) who was near death with malaria… another son (Tim) who accidently drank kerosene and went unconscious before he had even learned to walk. My mom, just like Mary, also knew just where to go. To the corner of her bed… on her knees, she too, went to Jesus. Not once… or twice… but time and time again. When’s the last time you went to Jesus?
DISTRICT MATTERS: Blessings on you as you honor the mothers in our churches this Sunday! Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms!
- Spanish Pastors’ Day: Thank you, Pastor Josué Tigüilá, for bringing us together in the Conference Room last Saturday. We had nearly 30 people present and Pastor Ismael Joaquín did an outstanding job in giving us the devotional. Thank you, Howard Wooton for coming in on this Saturday to speak on Insurance issues. You are a blessing to the district and to me!
- Santa Monica Spanish: What a joy it was to worship this past Sunday with our brothers and sisters in Santa Monica where there is life and enthusiasm. God’s presence was certainly with us as we joined together to officially organize the Spanish Church. Pastor Edgar & Rosario Monterroza, along with their team of leaders are doing an exceptional job in ministry. We thank the Lord for the growth taking place.
- Northridge Korean: Following the wonderful service in Santa Monica, I hopped back on the freeway to meet up with Leslie at Northridge where we joined the Korean congregation in their 1 Year Anniversary of ministry. Thank you, Pastor Jack & Mari Kim, for the great ministry you are leading among the people near Northridge. It was a blessing to see so many of our other Korean Pastors from across the district.
- District Building: Well… as you can imagine… changes are always taking place, here… there… everywhere. And right here underneath us, the very building the district owns, we are having to make huge capital and tenant improvements as we gather new tenants. I thank the Lord for Shay Pierson, and her diligent work overseeing many of these projects.
- PASTOR’S REPORTS: Pastors… All reports should now have been completed. Thank you!
- 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’m so grateful for you and your ministry. May the Lord bless you as you honor mothers across the district this Sunday! It’s a great day to be active in ministry. I love you and I hope to see you soon.
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene