Monthly Archives: February 2018

Few Thoughts 2-9-2018

Good Morning LA District Family,

It’s another gorgeous day the Lord has made and I am rejoicing and glad to be alive in it!  We need rain, but I sure am enjoying the sunshine.  In my daily devotional life the Lord has been directing me to several encouraging truths… primarily in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians:  One of these truths he continually focuses on is the power of Jesus death on the cross… power of the bodily burial in the tomb… and the POWER OF THE RESURRECTED CHRIST.  I am so grateful to Him who forgives, indwells and empowers.  Jesus is our sanctifying Lord.  Praise His name!

You read last week, or a few weeks ago of my desire to run in the LA Marathon this year to raise funds for the Arise Mission Church on our district.  I am so thankful for the way people have responded.  Not only from the LA District… but from other parts of the country as well.  God is good!  Now… as to my training:  I’ve been trying to put in the miles to prepare myself for this race.  Logging in the miles is tough when I’m going from place to place… meeting to meeting.  With only 5 weeks left, and three weeks of real training (before the taper) I’m trying to fine tune these older legs to cooperate with the mind to get the job done.  Once again, I’m so grateful that the Lord allows me opportunities to get outdoors and run.   You all know how much I enjoy this.

ENCOURAGEMENT … and asking that the way you live will always please the Lord and honor Him so that you will always be doing good kind things for others, while all the time you are learning to know God better and better.  (Colossians 1:10-11 Living Bible)  Do you have a Bible in your possession that was given to you many years ago?  I do… in fact, I have several.  This Living Bible was given to me by my mom and dad for Christmas in 1977.  I was 17 years old.  

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What I especially love is the fact that one of my Christmas gifts that year was a Bible… and a Bible that was easy for a 17 year old to read and understand.  Below, the scripture verse that my mom had handwritten she also wrote these words: 

“We are praying too that you will be filled with His mighty glorious strength so that you can keep going no matter what happens – always full of the joy of the Lord.  Merry Christmas 1977 Greg, From Mom and Dad” 

 The greatest gift we can leave our children is the gift of God’s Holy Word.  Leading by example.  Living for Jesus!  Alive in His Spirit.  I am so grateful for godly parents who showed me the way.  I know without any doubt… they prayed for me daily while I was away at boarding school.  And when I came home for vacations they never stopped praying for me or encouraging me to walk with the Lord.  Are you setting the example for your children… grandchildren?  Does your family know that you are praying for them today?  Are you?  Do your parents know that they are being prayed for? 

 DISTRICT MATTERS:  Leslie and I will be away for a few days beginning this Saturday as we gather in Carlsbad with all other superintendents from the USA/Canada Region.  The Board of General Superintendents will be present as well and leading us in worship and study.  I look forward to getting away with my wife for a few days to gain some new insight. 

 

  • Women’s Retreat:  I know that it was a retreat for women… and that is why I slipped away for only a moment to capture a few photos of their time together.  Leslie, as well as several other women shared that they had an incredible District Ladies’ Retreat at The Oaks.  I believe they have Rev. Janine Metcalf locked in for next year as the special speaker. 

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  • Glendora:  I was invited to participate in Glendora’s Faith Promise Weekend for Missions this past Sunday… and what a joy to be with the church family there.  Missionary President Cory Autrey is doing an amazing job leading this church in so many different projects for missions.  Thank you, Pastor Mike, for allowing me the privilege of getting involved.  

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  • Prime Timers: .  Please mark your calendars for April 23-27, 2018.  Once again we will be at Murrieta Hot Springs.  Details coming soon.

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  • Holiness Summit:  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.  I am hoping to see you there.  I am looking forward to this special day! 
  • March Madness with Missions:  Please take a look at the flyer … I hope to see you up in SLO!

 March Madness

  • Save the Dates
  • A. District Conventions and Assembly:  June 13 – 15 at PazNaz. 
  • PALCON:  July 30 – August 1, 2018 at PLNU.  Please get this on your calendars today.  This event only takes place once every four years.  Details to be out real soon. 
  • Pastors & Spouses’ Retreat:  Change of date… the new date is October 8 – 10 at the Seacrest Hotel in Pismo Beach.  $400 per couple. 

 

I love you and I look forward to seeing you down the road somewhere.  May the Lord bless you this weekend with His holy presence! 

 

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene

 

 

Few Thoughts 2-2-2018

Good Morning and Happy February!  As I begin these Few Thoughts of mine… I’m sitting in a hotel room in Yucca Valley.  Early this morning, after my weekly men’s breakfast meeting at IHOP, I went back home to pick up my daughter, Aubree, to head out for Joshua Tree National Park.  I mentioned to her the other week that I was hoping to return to The Tree to do some rock climbing that I hadn’t done since Leslie and I were married nearly 33 years ago.  She’s always wanted to go rock climbing, and I had always wanted to don my old pair of EBs (Rock Climbing shoes) and harness… so off we went.  I borrowed some gear… and we made our way to Joshua Tree.  My… how things have changed in 33 years.  Paved roads… you gotta pay to enter the park… and trying to remember where the climbs were all located.  Of course, climbing 5.10a routes were now out of question for me.  My shoes hardly fit, and my fingers had difficulty working the granite rock.  But, boy did we have fun!

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ENCOURAGEMENTThe Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.  Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites.  Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”  So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.  (Exodus 17:8-10)  This is one of my all-time favorites in the Old Testament.  I love this story.  It’s a story filled with so many great lessons.  The Israelites… a bunch of brick layers, and inexperienced in battle are now going out in faith to meet up against an army.  Joshua, who really doesn’t have much experience at all in leading, becomes their General.  Immediately… not some time later… but immediately following a moment of great victory (read the first 7 verses of this same chapter) when God provided water from a rock so Israel could drink… that’s when Amalek comes out to fight.  WATCH OUT FOR THE ENEMY… SATAN KNOWS WHEN TO ATTACK, and quite often it’s just after great victory.  Remember, Jesus was tempted just after His victorious moment as He came out of the water and the voice was heard from heaven, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON!”  

But… one other piece to this story I like is teamwork.  God has never expected us to journey through some of life’s greatest struggles alone.  We need help!  And this is one great reason He ascended to the Father so that He would send us His Spirit… the Comforter… the “Come alongside One”!  For this reason He has given us the church.  That’s why we have pastors, counselors, brothers and sisters in the faith.  So when Joshua went to the battlefield… Moses went to the top of the Rock… not alone, but with Aaron and Hur.  Teamwork!  Later in the story we learn that Moses’ arms grew weary.  So long as Moses kept his arms uplifted with the staff of God, Israel would prevail… but when his arms grew tired, Amalek would start winning.  Go ahead and read the story… So Aaron and Hur find a rock for Moses to sit upon… and they reach out to support his arms on either side.  Teamwork!  

I’ve always enjoyed rock climbing and mountaineering… but one thing I learned years ago… there is danger in some of these sports… especially when you don’t pay attention to the elements surrounding you.  You need teamwork.  When Aubree and I started our first climb… we put on our rock climbing shoes… prepared the gear, rope, carabiners, webbing, slings, and studied the route before attempting the ascent.  After getting Aubree all prepared for the belay, I reminded her of the importance of belaying me as I began the ascent.  I spoke out, “On belay?”  She replied, “Belay is on!”  I replied, “Climbing!” Her answer, “Climb on!” 

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There was no way I was going to climb one step without knowledge that she was belaying me.  I wanted to be secure in the event I would fall.  The same was true when I belayed her as you can see Aubree climbing in this photo.  Teamwork!  Injuries and even death can happen in rock climbing when there are no teammates.  In your spiritual journey, who’s on your team?  Do you have people praying for you… holding you accountable?  Got Teammates?

 DISTRICT MATTERS:  It’s been a great week filled with ministries and activities! 

  • SDMI Inspire:  Last Friday night Leslie and I had the privilege of meeting up with SDMI Chair (Pastor Kathy Cannon) and her team of leaders as they welcomed Sunday School teachers, workers, and sponsors from around the district for this great event.  On Friday night we even had an Escape Room.  If you’ve never experienced one of these… you need to check one out!  Thank you SDMI Team!  A great weekend: 

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  • DISTRICT NMI COUNCIL:  Thank you District President, Debra Hamrick… along with your team of leaders.  We had a very productive meeting on Saturday, praying and planning the next event.  Up on the northern part of the district we will have MARCH MADNESS FOR MISSIONS at the SLO Church on Saturday, March 3.  We will have a special missionary speaker, reports on various projects, great fellowship, as well as ministry from PLNU’s Concert Choir.

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  • Tujunga:  On Sunday morning I was with our group in Tujunga where Pastor Gary Armstead is pastoring.  I know that they, too, appreciate your prayers as they minister to the people in their surrounding community. 

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  • New Hope at the Hills:  Immediately following the morning service in Tujunga, I drove my way over to Van Nuys where Pastor Rodrigo Quema and his staff lead a growing church.  The Lord is on the move in this place and I am certain that great days are in store for them as they serve to meet the needs of the communities they minister to. 

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  •  Prime Timers:  On Monday the three districts of SoCal, Anaheim, & L.A. got together for a planning session as the retreat is soon to be here.  Please mark your calendars for April 23-27, 2018.  Once again we will be at Murrieta Hot Springs.  Details coming soon.

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  • Holiness Summit:  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.  I am hoping to see you there.  I am looking forward to this special day!

 

  • Save the Dates
  • A. District Conventions and Assembly:  June 13 – 15 at PazNaz. 
  • PALCON:  July 30 – August 1, 2018 at PLNU.  Please get this on your calendars today.  This event only takes place once every four years.  Details to be out real soon. 
  • Pastors & Spouses’ Retreat:  Change of date… the new date is October 8 – 10 at the Seacrest Hotel in Pismo Beach.  $400 per couple. 

 The Lord is good all the time!  As you get ready for the first weekend in February, I want you to know that I am praying for you and your worship services, Sunday School Classes, Small Groups, ministries… There are so many opportunities the Lord is giving us through the power of His Holy Spirit to learn, grow, and shed light in the world we live in.  Some of you know that I’ve recently started training to run in the L.A. Marathon.  As I was talking with the District Staff a couple of weeks ago, mentioning to them that many people run this race for charities… and we got to thinking, “Why not for one of our greatest needs on the district?” … and that’s when Arise Mission Korean Church came to Shay’s mind.  So… there it is… I have put it out there on social media already, and I am having some positive results already.  Remember, Arise Mission is the only North Korean Christian Church in America… and they are right here on our district.  These funds I am raising will go to help support their outreach ministries as defectors come in through three different countries.  Many of them arrive malnourished, unable to speak in English, and with few skills to help them in this new world they find themselves in… and finally to assist the pastor in getting legal counsel to aid them in proper documents as they settle in. 

 The church is NOT slowing down.  We have been chosen.  We have been called.  We are Christian!  We are Holiness!  We are Missional!  We are to be like Him!

 

In prayer,

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene