Happy New Year 2018!
How many times have you made the mistake in this first week by writing “2017” on a check, or a form, or some other document? As for me, it usually takes me a few weeks to get into the groove of writing in the correct year. We ARE in 2018! And THAT is hard to believe! But, I trust you had a wonderful and blessed Christmas with family and friends… and that your New Year’s Celebration was just as good! Leslie and I both enjoyed a very quiet New Year’s Day.
I posted some of these photos already on social media, but thought that I’d share them once again. Last week I mentioned that I have a tradition of running up this mountain near Santa Clarita… which is high enough to overlook the San Fernando Valley and even see Downtown L.A. and the valley leading through San Gabriel. The only problem this year was that the LA Basin was covered with a haze, fog, or leftover smoke from the fires. I couldn’t tell. The Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys were crystal clear. We always like to see the jets fly overhead as they prepare to kick off the Rose Parade. This year things weren’t quite so clear. Yet… a wonderful 8-mile run up the mountain… and of course, that means coming back down again. So with my headlamp on we left in the early dark morning hour.
ENCOURAGEMENT: You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16) The other day Leslie and I decided to go through a LOT of stuff in the garage and the attic. I remember years ago, just after we were first married, when Leslie and I were living in an apartment, and then in a one bedroom duplex… at the time, we had to park in the street. I mentioned to Leslie, as I took a look around at all our neighbors, and said, “If we ever can afford a home with a garage, I don’t want us piling so much junk in the garage that we can’t park the car there.” She agreed. And would you believe it? Here we are years later, having lived in 4 different houses after that statement, and we’ve been able to park both cars in the garage. Even to this day…
HOWEVER… we have accumulated, still, a lot of stuff. And you know where it is? Yep! Up in the attic. We just keep throwing it up there. Box after box… and item after item. So it was a few days ago, Leslie mentioned that we needed to go through the stuff, prepare for a yard sale, and get rid of a bunch of things. We both climbed up in the attic. Under the roof of the garage I had installed a small light with a pull chain. And when we got up there, I turned the light on… but because of all the stuff piled high, we still could not see through the mess. So I grabbed another clamp on lamp, plugged it in, and attached it as high as I could to shine directly on the spots where we were working. If we moved to a different area in the attic… the lamp had to be unclamped and placed anew.
This got me thinking. Sometimes I feel like I’m really connected with the Lord. I mean… He and I are on the same page and life is perfect. So I go on my long run, come home, enjoy my family time with my wife… and when the girls are home… life is great. And there’s nothing wrong with that… except, Jesus has called me to get my light shining so others can see Him through me. This statement has got me thinking more as I enter 2018. I have many friends who have yet to make a decision for Christ. I am having to ask myself, “Greg, are they able to see the good deeds in your life?” It’s my prayer that the Lord will use me much, much more to be His light… not under a bowl, but out in the open for others to see Jesus through me.
It’s amazing once Leslie and I went through the attic… sorting through the junk, tossing some things away and preparing other things for the yard sale… and once it was all organized again, the single light overhead was sufficient to brighten up the entire attic. Any junk lying around your life that needs to be cleaned up?
- Every January our churches are challenged to receive a special offering for NTS (Nazarene Theological Seminary). Pastors and leaders, here is a link to a great and short promotional video you can use in one of your services: http://www.nts.edu/seminarianoffering
- El Morro: To close out the old year, Leslie and I were privileged to be part of the worship services in El Morro this past weekend. I would encourage you to join me in prayer as we continue the pastoral search for this wonderful church!
- Holiness Summit: Attention all pastors and leaders… you are invited to participate in this great day of teaching provided by the SoCal District. This upcoming February 17th, Riverside Arlington Ave. Church of the Nazarene will be hosting a “Holiness Summit” specifically designed for pastoral staff* in the greater Southern California area, regardless of district. Beginning at 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM, we will hear from General Superintendent Emeritus J.K. Warrick and Dr. Roger Hahn, Professor of New Testament at Nazarene Theological Seminary on preaching holiness and the centrality of holiness in the New Testament, respectively. PLNU’s concert choir will also be joining us, providing times of music and worship. Mark your calendars and plan to be with us for this formative event.
- Burbank Faith: Pastor Joe Torosian has just completed and put to print a wonderful devotional booklet, Faith Views for Storm Riders. Thank you, Pastor Joe, for this fine work. I have been enjoying my devotional readings since the New Year began!
- LADTC: LADTC Announces New Testament Gospels (BIB-2033)
January 19 – 20 (Fri.-Sat.) and 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 over 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.
- MISSIONARIES ON DEPUTATION: LANMI DEPUTATION: Picavea, Germán and Patti for March 3, 2018 – March 11, 2018
Missionaries, Patricia Pandolfo (12/4/1962) and Germán Picavea (10/31/1961), were born in Rosario, Argentina, where they met the Lord and both (individually) received the call to ministry.
CALENDAR AND OPEN DATES:
SATURDAY 3 SLO
SATURDAY 3 (5PM)Trinity Church – Roland Heights
SUNDAY 4 (10 am) La Fuente Ministries – Pasadena
SUNDAY 4 (4 pm) Luz a Las Naciones – Tujunga
Wednesday 7 LA First Church
FRIDAY 9 San Fernando
SATURDAY 10 Rosemead (Couple Conference)
SUNDAY 11 (10:30am) Baldwin Park
SUNDAY 11 (pm)
*** please let me know if you would like to host them: contact Pastor Josue (Josh) Tiguila Sr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-350-2734
I love you all and I am so grateful for this great district! May Jesus guide you and me together as we work to win this city for Christ!
Greg A. Garman
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene