Good Morning! So quickly we seem to be rolling through the month of February. WOW! This Sunday will be our final weekend for this month… and then March. Where does the time go? But, as you journey through this Lenten season and prepare for Palm Sunday… then Good Friday may our eyes be focused on the cross of our Lord Jesus, the place He bled and died to take away our sin. That’s the way we’ll close out the month of March before we return on the first day of April to celebrate the greatest of all celebrations… Jesus, resurrected from the grave to live and reign forever.
Perhaps, you, like so many of us… we’ve been reading all sorts of “Billy Graham statements” these past few days. Things he said many years ago… and some things spoken most recently. However, I know you have already read this statement but, I believe it is worth repeating: “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will have just changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.” – Billy Graham
Missionaries do lots of traveling… even MK’s traveled quite a bit. Suitcases… luggage… flights… border crossings… passports and visas… all of which are needed when traveling internationally. I remember hearing from my Uncle Clyde Golliher (Missionary to Peru for many years) once, when I was visiting him and Aunt Leona one day at Casa Robles, he said to me, “Greg, my passport is ready, I’m just waiting on my visa!” It wasn’t long after those words spoken to me that the Lord presented him with his visa and he, too, joined many others in his eternal home with Jesus his Savior.
PRAISE THE LORD FOR HEAVEN! Are you ready… right now… if this was your final day on earth? I am!
ENCOURAGEMENT: Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of the reverence for God. (II Corinthians 7:1) Boy, this is a great verse… a very challenging verse! In fact, to be very blunt, a convicting verse. In the previous chapter the Apostle Paul gave some warnings to the church, in areas such as idolatry, living in harmony with wickedness, and conforming to the ways of the world. And as I read this verse, Paul clearly reminds us of some of the promises from God’s Word:
- “I will live in them”
- “And walk among them”
- “I will be their God”
- “And they will be My people”
To belong to the Family of God is a beautiful thing. And when the Lord comes to dwell within me and walk with me, I am called to give it all up for Him. I know, many people are talking these days about the “things they are giving up for lent” but I am certain that what the Lord calls us to give up is much deeper than that. Perhaps, this is just one more reason I believe in the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. When I wake up daily to the words, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there’s any wicked way in me and lead me in the everlasting way,” I am certain when I came to the point in my life saying, “Ok, Lord, I’m yours… I give you my EVERYTHING… to include, me, my stuff, my present status, my future (whatever that could mean) my will…” in that moment His living presence dwells in me… so I am to live in love, grace and truth. It is my desire to NOT contaminate my body or spirit with the junk of the world. And that, my friends, is sometimes hard to do. Isn’t it? Stuff on TV… jokes passed around by friends… influences all around us. Let’s not forget Romans 12:1-2… “Don’t be conformed to the world…”
Are you careful to live in His holiness today? May Jesus help us walk in obedience to Him!
DISTRICT MATTERS: My prayer is that this weekend will be one of your greatest weekends leading up to Easter. Have you been making plans to have a BIG DAY? I hope so. Even though all days are big days for us, but I trust that you are prepared to give your community the very best… for there will be many people coming to your churches in about 5 weeks. Welcome them, give them the greatest reception they could possibly receive… and be Jesus to them!
- Holiness Summit: There was a small group of us from the L.A. District who gathered along with the SoCal and Anaheim Districts for this special day last Saturday. Dr. J.K Warrick and Dr. Roger Hahn did great jobs sharing with us the message of Holiness. I especially want to thank D.S. Rev. Tom Taylor for opening the doors for us to come. We are planning to have another Saturday event just like this one in 2019 as well. BTW… PLNU’s Concert Choir came to share 30 minutes of music… and WOW! Do you recognize any of the singers in the photos? Some of them are from our district.
- March Madness with Missions: Please take a look at the attached flyer… I hope to see you up in SLO! The LA District NMI Council has put together a very special program for this day. And if you want to see the same PLNU Concert Choir in action… they will be here at the mission’s event as well. It’s going to be FANTASTIC!
- Trinity: Many of you are aware that Pastors Albert and Christine Hung have transitioned from Trinity to be the NorCal District Superintendents and I had the privilege of preaching in three services this past Sunday in two locations. Remember, we did a merge nearly two years ago of both these campuses so that they could become one Church. I am so grateful for the leadership of all staff and the church board during these transitioning days. May the Lord continue His guiding hand as we move forward to find a new pastor!
- Rowland Heights Campus: Leslie and I first made our way to the RH campus for the first service in Spanish. Immediately following the Spanish speaking service we had the English Speaking service with these special people. What a joy it was to see such a healthy group of folks!
- Monterey Park Campus: Before we could finish the second service at RH, we were rushed out of there, to drive over to the MP campus, where they were already in the middle of the service. Within 10 minutes of our arrival, I was preaching. And again… what a joy to be with our wonderful church here in Trinity!
- Board of Ministry: On Thursday members of the BOM met to interview candidates for Ministerial Licenses, and once again, I am grateful for the time commitment that these men and women give for the kingdom of God and the Church of the Nazarene. What a special… and very long day we had together! On a side note… many of you are aware that Pastor Peter Lundell is in transition these days to join his wife, Kim Lundell, who is already serving as a Korean Pastor in Louisiana. We are going to miss them, and especially Pastor Peter who has provided us with great and steady leadership to the LADTC and BOM. Thus, we had to take a few moments in the day yesterday to honor him! We love the Lundells!
- Peru Work & Witness Trip: We will be leading a group to the Amazon Jungle in Peru this summer to lead in a couple of Pastors and Leaders Conferences. The dates are set for July 9-24. The cost for everything is $2,200. The plan will be to fly from LAX to Lima, then to the jungle city of Iquitos for 6 days where we will hold the first Pastors and Spouses’ Conference. There will be plenty of work to be done on the buildings surrounding the District Center to keep everyone occupied. We will then return to Lima by plane, catch another flight to Jaén before heading to the jungle mountains to visit some ruins called Kuelap. We will then travel by road to Nuevo Horizonte where we’ll spend the next 5 days holding a Leadership Conference for the Aguarunas before returning to the states. Those who are interested can make an extra trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu at the end. Please let me know if you are interested in being part of this W&W Team.
- LADNYI: Upcoming events…
NYI Convention and Worship Night
June 9th 3pm-6pm
Location: Newhall Church of the Nazarene
Being that it is a Saturday night, overnight stays at the church will not be available.
Contact: Moises Arreola, Vice President – firstname.lastname@example.org or Josh Johnson Co-President – email@example.com
3:00pm-3:45pm – Welcome and Worship
3:35pm – 4:30pm – Structured Games (Gym) and NYI Convention (Sanctuary)
4:30-5:00pm- Pizza and Drinks
5:00-6:00pm – Worship, Devotionals, Voting Results
Registration for our annual Elev8 event in San Diego (over Memorial Day weekend) opens up on March 1st! Once this event is full they will not accept any late registrations! What IS Elev8 and how can you reserve a spot?? Keep reading:
Elev8 is held at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and it is taking place from May 25th – May 28th! This retreat is for all students currently in 7th-12th grade! Price is $125 per student. The event begins with registration on Friday morning (11am) and ends on Monday morning by 9am. Our District will be staying together in dorm rooms on the University campus. We will also experience great times of worship and messages, playing/watching different sports competitions (basketball, dodgeball, volleyball, etc.) and talent competitions (preaching, singing, short film, battle of the bands, etc.), and much more!
- Jr. High and High School Camp:
- Children’s Summer Camp: If your church would like to participate in Children’s Camp this summer please contact Kathy Cannon at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. If your church has already scheduled your children to attend camp this summer, regardless of the location, and would like information on scholarships, please contact Kathy.
May the Lord bless you today as you walk in holiness! I love you and I hope to see you next week in SLO…
Greg A. Garman
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene