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!
ENCOURAGEMENT: SUMMER 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!
- 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.
- Pastors’ and Spouses’ Retreat: Thank you to those who have already registered. For those of you who haven’t, please register today!
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. firstname.lastname@example.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: email@example.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