Few Thoughts 4-13-2018

Greetings on a wonderful Spring Day in the SoCal area!  Earlier this week we experienced record breaking temps and I loved it.  I sure do miss the hot weather.  But, summer is just around the corner and I can hardly wait.  Another thing I read a while ago: “Dear Naps, I’m sorry I was a jerk to you when I was a kid.” 

ENCOURAGEMENTDevote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open up a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  (Colossians 4:2-6)  Just the other day Leslie and I were talking as to how to be the right witness to neighbors, acquaintances, and people whom we have contact with on a weekly basis.  And what a great reminder Paul gives to us all in this passage.  He is clear… articulate… and direct.  

First, he says we must be committed to prayer.  Praying always with an attitude of watchfulness and gratitude.  How many times in your prayer life are you giving thanks?  Do you spend a greater time asking, or thanking the Lord.  But, what I really appreciate of Paul in this passage is the fact that he is so open.  His humility comes out in his writing.  He doesn’t say that he has all of the answers, but he willingly pour himself out before the Colossians.  “Don’t forget to pray for me… I need it too!  I want to speak the truth in clarity, with boldness, and it doesn’t really matter that I’m in chains.  The Lord has a purpose for my life.”  

Finally, the Apostle Paul concludes with the words, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt…”  Full of grace… how much grace do you have today?  Are you living daily in God’s grace?  And are you seasoning your conversations with just the right amount of salt?  Not too much… and not too little.  As busy as life can get… with all the worries the world loads upon you, do you have just the right amount of salt in your life?  As I journey through life my goal is to be Christ-like to everyone I meet.  I hope to shed the Gospel light on those with whom I fellowship and meet. 

 Lord, please help me be the person of gratitude for all you have provided for me in life.  I am so thankful that You are with me everywhere I go, in every moment of the day.  Grant me the grace and right amount of salt to be your witness today.

 DISTRICT MATTERS:  Some of you have sent me photos of various ministries on your campus, or I have just journeyed through social media.  I love what I see.  In one of these photos you will see a local church conducting their Annual Meeting.  I am praying for you as you start the new fiscal year with your newly elected leadership team.  May this coming year be a very fruitful year as you labor in the Lord and seek His powerful Holy Spirit. 

 Alhambra:  Pastor Eleazar and Laura Torres sent me these photos of events that took place over the Easter week.  May the Lord continue building His church in Alhambra where we have three congregation: Chinese, English and Spanish.  

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  • Fillmore/Santa Paula:  I have some very exciting news to share from these two churches.  Leslie and I were privileged to be present for the Fillmore English Service at 9:00AM and then we welcomed the first Sunday that Santa Paula was planting their satellite ministry on the Fillmore property.  Pastors Arturo Guardia and Marco Alejos are leading the way, along with their team of leaders.  I am so grateful for these doors opening up for future ministry.  Thank you, Pastor Ismael Joaquin, for the vision you share in planting new ministries… and thank you Fillmore, for opening your doors and being receptive for this new work.  God is good! 

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  • Amazon Work & Witness:  Just a quick note to remind you that if you are wanting to be part of this team heading to the Amazon July 9-24, you will need to let us know very soon.  The deadline for getting us the deposit is April 23.  The team is filling up quickly.  

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  • Can you Help? As the District Work & Witness Team prepares to go to the Amazon… our plan will be to conduct two conferences:  the first conference is for pastors and spouses in Iquitos; the second conference is for Sunday School teachers and workers in New Horizons.  We are looking for items to take as give-a-ways.  Would your church be willing to collect things like:  Dish Towels, Tooth Brushes, Toothpaste, Kitchen Utensils (spatula, large spoons, tongs…); Sewing Kits, Zip-lock Bags, Beanie Babies, Small Stuffed Animals… perhaps you could place a basket with a sign in your lobby to receive these items so that we can fill our suitcases and take along with us to Peru.  THANK YOU!

It’s always great connecting with you through these Few Thoughts.  May the Lord bless you as you shine your light for Him!  I love you and I hope to see you soon. 

 

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene