Monthly Archives: August 2017

Few Thoughts 8-25-2017

Greetings!  It’s a bit hazy out there these recent days with temps cooling off a little as we enter the fall months.  Perhaps, there is still time left for one more hot summer day…

Again, Leslie and I want to thank you for your prayer support and encouragement as we continue on this road to complete recovery.  Leslie is still fighting daily headaches, but she is returning to the things in life that have kept her moving and busy.  She works a lot with the local high school choirs, and right now… she is returning home from 3 days in Houston with her sister who is undergoing an experimental treatment for mesothelioma.  As for me, the report from the orthopedic surgeon is “severe shoulder injury” with torn cartilage, tendons and rotator cuff.  However, we are trying to NOT have surgery, and see if I can heal on my own.  We will know better in 4 weeks.  So for now, I will try and run (slow jog) so long as my shoulder and calf allow.  Doc says that running will not injure the shoulder anymore.

ENCOURAGEMENTSUMMER IN THE PSALMS   Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth.  We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped.  Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  (Psalm 124:6-8) I’ve always been afraid of teeth.  Have you ever been bitten by a dog?  I remember days back in the jungle when my friends and I would journey out to Kashibo Cocha to go fishing… Piranha fishing.  That was always the best.  Before placing the bait of caiman (alligator) meat on the hook, we’d get copper wire and wind it up the nylon fishing line about an inch up from the hook so that when the fish would bite… they wouldn’t bite through the line.  We’d then paddle our way out in our small wooden canoe to the reeds of the lake where the water was calm and warm.  Then we’d splash the water, bang our paddles against the canoe drawing all piranha to hang out underneath us… and we’d drop our lines that were tied to the end of a bamboo cane.  Within seconds we’d pull in a fish.  As soon as we brought one in… took the hook out of its mouth, and placed the bait back on the hook… we were ready to go again.  And one thing I remember… I hated to get bit by a piranha… it’s not that it hurts a ton… their teeth are sharp… and they are quick.  But… when we would get careless, taking the hook out of its mouth… inevitably, we’d get bitten.  And we’d bleed.  Of course… that’s what our mouths were for, to suck the blood off our fingers… and get back to work.  

Never fun to be bitten… I was always afraid of getting bitten by a bat… for fear of rabies.  One time I was high up in the Andes of Ecuador, and my friends and I trapped this mink looking like animal… I was closest to it, so I reached down and grabbed him.  He did not like to be grabbed, as his neck cranked around and his mouth connected with my hand, he took a chunk out of me.  I dropped him and he was on his way to freedom.  I had a few pet caimans growing up… they too, have sharp teeth.  And then there are monkeys… their teeth are not so sharp… but when they don’t want to be played with… they too, will bite.  And that’s, yet, another story… 

So I echo these words of David when he writes, “Praise the Lord who has not let us be torn by their teeth…”  Of course, everything described above was all my fault… and through it all, I was protected.  But, what I really love in this psalm are the final words… “Maker of heaven and earth.”  Many of us took a few moments out of our day on Monday to don those silly looking glasses… as we passed them around, for one simple reason… to see the solar eclipse.  And wow!  It was a pretty neat experience.  I loved it… though we did not get a 100% blocked view… it was still quite amazing.  Those living up in the north or east of us may have had a better and more full view… but this did not all come about by chance.  It didn’t just happen to get this way.  I praise the Lord for His complete control and creative power over all the land… water… skies… and universe.  My God is an awesome God!  And He IS IN CONTROL. 

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DISTRICT MATTERS:  Most of our schools are back in full session… though there are a few that have yet to begin.  With this mindset, we return to many of our routine things in life.  I am praying that the Lord will use us to be effective ministers in all of our places of influence.  God has us where we are for a purpose.  And I want to do my best to glorify Him in everything!

  •  Allocations:  Allow me this moment to remind all of our churches to stay on top of the WEF, Pensions, Educational and District Unified Allocations.  We are called to belong to the team… and many missionaries, hospitals, clinics, educational institutions, retired pastors, and the Los Angeles District rely on your support.  For those churches who have stayed with it through the summer months… thank you!  If you are behind in your giving to these ministries, would you please take a close look and do your best to get caught back up?  Thank you for your faithfulness! 
  • PK BBQ & POOL Party:  Leslie and I had an AMAZING time last Saturday with 22 PKs in our back yard eating hot dogs, chips, junk food and swimming.  Thank you moms and dads for bringing them our way.  We hope that it was a nice time for the kids to connect and to reconnect with each other.  We love our PKs! 

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  • North Hollywood: This past Sunday I was with our people in North Hollywood, spending a brief moment with the Armenian Church and privileged to preach in the Spanish speaking Church.  Pastors John Tashjian and Carlos Perla, along with their leadership teams are working to find new ways to reach their community for Christ.  Please join me in praying for these two congregations as they work to win N. Hollywood for Jesus!   

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  • Pastors & Spouses’ Retreat:  I’m looking forward to our time together in a few weeks as we meet up at Pismo Beach for this retreat.  Rev. Ron Fay will be our special speaker and as I glance over the schedule to our time together… we are in for an awesome time!  If you have yet to sign up… please do so, NOW!!!

 

I love you and I hope to see you soon.  May Jesus shine through you as you shed His light on others!

 

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene

 

 

Few Thoughts 8-18-2017

Greetings!  Leslie and I continue to improve, though, in many ways, it seems to be slower than what we would like.  I am itching to return to running, but my calf and shoulder will just not allow it quite yet.  I will be seeing an orthopedic shoulder specialist next week so I hope to have some idea as to what all I can do.  Leslie is still suffering from her concussion with headaches every day.  Yet, we are thanking the Lord for His protecting and healing hand upon us all the time.  So… once again, thank you for your many, many prayers, cards, and words of encouragement.  You are a blessing to us!

One of the running events I have always looked forward to is what is called the COC Summer Race Series held at our local JC.  It’s a 3 mile cross-country race held each Thursday night throughout the summer, and the Finals were held last night (Thursday, August 17).  I was looking forward to the Finals, but had to lay low… though I did go watch and walk a bit.  Of course, the real reason I like being there on the night of the Finals, they bring the Taco Truck for dinner afterwards.  Who’s going to miss the Taco Truck?  Not me!  So… I was there.

A few months ago, some of the runners I hang out with decided to make a weekend running trip to Mammoth where one of our friends owns a home.  Four of us went up for the weekend… of course, I had made the plans when I was able to run.  So, I tagged along to walk around… and spend the time just being away.  On Saturday night at 7:00PM there was a 3-mile race from the bottom of Mammoth Mountain where the Gondola is to the top of the mountain.  Since I had planned to run it… though I was injured… I just had to do the trek.  Of course, no running, but I managed to walk up the mountain during the race.  The view is spectacular.  I love the mountains!

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ENCOURAGEMENTSUMMER IN THE PSALMS Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol Him, all you people.  For great is His love towards us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.  Praise the Lord!  (Psalm 117:1-2)  As you are aware this is the shortest Psalm in all of scripture.  Only two verses in length.  Yet this psalm says it all, doesn’t it?

  • Twice, in these shorts verses the phrase is written, “Praise the Lord”.  Church, THAT is what we are asked of the Lord to do.  Praise Him.  He’s invited us to BELONG to His family.  Each and every Sunday, we get to have a great family reunion with our local church.  And I know… family reunions can be fun, and also can be awkward just a bit.   As a young kid I never liked getting my cheek pinched and hearing words like, “Look how big you’re getting.”  There were always a few adults I was scared to approach.  But, the bottom line… food was ALWAYS great… and it was a blast to connect with cousins and kids just like me.  Now, as an adult… I like to connect with family members I haven’t seen in a while.  Sundays, Midweek services, or Small Group gatherings, are all opportunities to come and rejoice.  One of the things I look forward to most about Sundays is having fun.  I do!  And when I praise… I am having fun!
  • The psalmist also uses the word “extol”… another word for PRAISE… but this word is even stronger.  The word for us is to Praise Him enthusiastically…  Not half-heartedly… He wants our all.  Just as a coach will not ask his or her players to give 50%.  I’ve never heard ANY of my coaches tell us right before a game, “Ok, guys, now at the start of the game I’m looking for you to give 38%.”  No way… they always challenged us to give 100%… and sometimes I heard “110%!”  We are blessed when God calls us to EXTOL HIM… This Sunday I want to come in a praise Him enthusiastically!  In fact, why wait until Sunday… it can start even now!
  • I finish with this:  And the question is “WHY?”  “Why praise Him?”  The psalmist says, because He has shown us His love and He is faithful.  Today, I can honestly say… Leslie and I are praising the Lord.  The situation and outcome could have been much worse.  But we started off our trip by committing our journey and our lives into His hands… We asked Him for His protection.  And He was faithful.  Sure… we lost a car.  Many items were broken.  Our health has temporarily been damaged… but He has been faithful to show us His watchful care from one step to another.  He is faithful and God is love. 
  • I will praise Him enthusiastically!  Are you praising Him?

 

DISTRICT MATTERS:  Leslie and I can hardly wait for this coming Saturday as we will host about 20 PKs from the district for our BBQ and Swim Party.  The pool will be heated and they’ll be enough hotdogs and chips and other junk food to keep us all going.  We will have fun as the moms and dads take off for a few hours on their own.

  •  Baldwin Park:  Just this week I was at the Baldwin Park Spanish Church for a meeting and happened to see this giant playground in the backyard of the church.  WOW!  The Lord provided them at an incredibly low cost this great play equipment, and they laid down this rubberized flooring… making a great place for the kids to enjoy.  Great job church!

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  • Bishop:  Since I was up in Mammoth this past weekend… I thought that I should take advantage of the location and join the Bishop Church in worship on Sunday morning.  Pastor Eddie Davis drove up the mountain to pick me up and the running guys picked me back up on our way back home to Valencia.  But what a joy to worship and spend time in the Word together with our brothers and sisters in Bishop.  The Lord is moving among our church in the foothills!  Thank you Pastors Les, Eddie, and Mark, along with your families for what you are doing there.

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  • Pastors’ and Spouses’ Retreat:  Thank you to those who have already registered.  For those of you who haven’t, please register today!

Refresh Retreat Info (2)

Basic Info:

Cost is $400 per couple

Please make checks payable to the LA District and mail them to the District Office:  at 225 E. Santa Clara St, #300 Arcadia, CA 91006

Local resident with no room is $150 per person. 

Single with a room by themselves – $325 (Let us know ahead of time if you need a roommate to keep the cost down to $200 a piece and we will work to pair you up.)

Please register by August 20th by emailing your name and how many you would like to register. josh@newnaz.org   

Dates – September 18th-20th

Location – Seacrest Hotel in Pismo Beach

Arrive as early as 4pm to check into the Hotel

 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP?:  Many of you may remember the Rwanda Choir that visited our district a few weeks before General Assembly… back in June.  I think that I even gave a brief announcement at District Assembly about their journey in our district.  Well, Bonnie Traylor, a member of our church in Newhall is working on a project, and I think it might be a great project for our churches to participate in.   Here’s what she wrote up for us: 

 I’ve been talking to Simon Pierre about helping him with the coffee shop he’s starting in Rwanda.  This is a place to give young adults a job. Unemployment is very high and college is too expensive for most high school grads.  

Simon took back some Curtis Coffee machines, thanks to Mike Curtis from NewNaz.  He still needs the equipment to scan cards and print receipts as well as a coffee grinder. I have the info on the models he wants.  I’m not sure if he needs an espresso machine as well. I would also like to have some things printed up with the coffee shop’s logo.  I will work on that part – I have a friend who does promo materials. The equipment they need is about $1000.  Can you broadcast this a bit and see if anyone is willing to help out?  

We also need to assemble a team who can go to Rwanda to deliver the goods. No date yet- Simon has narrowed down the possibilities for shop locations so that is getting close. I will go but I would love to have someone with us who has been there or at least traveled more than me. 

If you would like to have your church help out… please be in touch with Bonnie Traylor at:  btraylor1@socal.rr.com  

Well… these are great days to be active in ministry!  I love you and I look forward to seeing you soon.  May the Lord bless you as you PRAISE HIM ENTHUSIASTICALLY this week. 

 

Praying for you,

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene