Happy New Year 2018!
I hope you enjoyed a wonderful and Merry Christmas with family and friends and that you are now gearing up for a fantastic New Year. I was telling Leslie the other day that I can’t remember a Thanksgiving to Christmas Season since coming to California from the jungle that we have NOT received at least one rain storm. The hills surrounding SoCal are still brown and dry. We’ve experienced the greatest and largest fire in our state’s history in the month of December. The air is dry… extremely dry! And the climate is the warmest for the end of the year as I ever recall. Just the other day it was 86 degrees at our house. And then the other night I was watching the news of the greatest and coldest snow blizzards in many parts of the Northeast happening, even now! We need rain, but I’m glad I’m not living in blizzard country!
It’s been a New Year’s morning tradition of mine to run up the nearby mountain on New Year’s Day with a couple of running friends. The mountain we run up from Santa Clarita is high enough to over-look the Pasadena basin. We aren’t able to see the city of Pasadena, but we can certainly see the major portions of LA… and can even see some of the high risers in Glendale and Downtown. But the real reason we enjoy this early morning run… we leave at 4:30 or so in the morning to run up the mountain… with headlamps lighting the way, we meander our way to the top for the sunrise. Once at the top we’ve been able to capture the B2 Bomber, as it prepares for the beginning of the Rose Parade and Bowl Game. But the coolest thing of all is to see the plane flying below us from where we are standing. Hopefully, a photo to come your way next week. You ought to try it. Of course, to do this… you need to go to bed a little earlier on New Year’s Eve, and not stay awake until midnight.
ENCOURAGEMENT: For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) On Friday night of last week… I didn’t hear the voice of the archangel… nor did I hear the trumpet call of God. I was in Walmart with our daughter, Spencer. The Christmas music was playing, and the last minute shoppers were busy about with their purchases. As we were coming out of the store we noticed many shoppers stopping at the curbside, staring into the night sky. Many of them snapping pictures with their cellphones.
Since it was December 22, I knew that it couldn’t be Santa… though it DID look like he had just sneezed! But, just like everyone else, I had to pull out my phone to capture this sight. At that moment, it was a UFO. I could not identify it, nor could anyone around us. It was truly, an Unidentified Flying Object. Of course, moments later we discovered and identified the SpaceX Rocket 9 that was sent up from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Yet, for that one moment, I was thinking of Larry Norman’s song, “He’s an Unidentified Flying Object, you can see Him in the Air. He’s an unidentified flying object, you will drop your hands and stare. He will come back as He promised with the price already paid; He will gather up His followers and take them all away.” Just as the Apostle wrote to encourage the Thessalonians, we too, ought to be encouraged… the day is coming. “It may be morning, may be noon, may be evening, ‘it will’ be soon; coming again. Coming again… coming again… Jesus is coming again!” The final verse in this chapter reminds us that we are to encourage each other with this great reminder and truth. Jesus is coming to reclaim His church. And when He comes, let us all be ready! With all of these gorgeous sunrises and sunsets we’ve been experiencing recently, I am looking up. Are you? Are you listening for the voice of the archangel… in tune to the trumpet sound of God… focused on the return of Jesus? He may be coming in 2018! Are you doing your best to share the Good News with those who live and work around you?
DISTRICT MATTERS: I’ve stayed closer to home these recent days and had the opportunity to worship in the very church we pastored for so many years. What a joy it was to be in NewNaz with the many people we worshipped with during that time.
LADTC Announces New Testament Gospels (BIB-2033)
January 19 – 20 (Fri.-Sat.)
February 16 – 17 (Fri.-Sat.)
Deadline for registration: Friday, January 5.
Please visit www.LADTC.org for all forms and information. There you will also find our annual academic calendar.
All LADTC courses are required for ordination, and they are all accredited by Nazarene Bible College for B.A. degrees.
Peter Lundell PeterLundell.com
MINISTERIAL INTERVIEWS: We have more than 40 L.A. District Licensed Ministers to interview for new licenses and renewals this year. I am simply reminding you that the interviews will take place on two days: Friday and Saturday, January 12-13 right here at the District Office. Shay Pierson is working on the schedule for interviews… so please be looking for an email giving you your time and date for the interview.
THANK YOU! I am so grateful for all of our churches and congregations we have on the L.A. District. As you wrap up things for 2017 and prepare for 2018, I want you to know that I am praying for God to pour out His Spirit upon you… upon us. Thank you for your denominational support. You are a blessing to the Church of the Nazarene and to me. To finish up with a thought from the Pen of Paul in his first writing to the Thessalonians… “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it!”
I love you and I hope to see you soon!
Greg A. Garman
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene