Author Archives: rgjerde

Greg’s Few Thoughts – Sunday, October 5, 2015

Good Morning!

There are certain things in life I especially enjoy doing.  I am loving the various churches I am privileged to worship in, and even preach each Sunday.  WOW!  The Los Angeles District is a source of encouragement to me!  I enjoy coming home and sitting with Leslie, and if the girls are there… playing a game or two with them.  We have fun in the Garman home.  Of course, I love to travel to Peru whenever I get the chance.  I do get homesick for the jungle.  And there really are dozens of other things I enjoy doing…

ENCOURAGEMENTAnd most of you know by now… one of those things I so enjoy… I like to run.  Most recently, I turned 55.  Yep… an old man my girls will say.  But, this old man still likes to run.  And the good news is that I am now in a new age group.  I’m finally the young one in the new group: 55-59.  So, I will continue to run so long as my health allows me to do so.  I know that there are some verses in the scriptures that may be taken out of context to make a point, but I like what the writer to the Hebrews said in 12:1-2.  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…”   I don’t know whether or not the author was a marathoner… but he certainly knew something about marathons… though not everything.  I’ll speak to the “not everything” first:  I have run many marathons… and I’ve been to several professional sporting events.  Boy… you talk about “a cloud of witnesses”… there is nothing like the roar of a stadium filled with 100,000 screaming soccer fans.  In a marathon race… there may be 17 people waving cow bells as we run by… and you never see them again.  They are there for a moment… and they’re gone. 

But here is what he gets right as it compares to marathon running:  When we run, we look for the lightest pair of racing shoes.  I like to race in a singlet and lightweight shorts… and a marathon requires incredible patience… endurance or perseverance.  If you start off too fast… you will most certainly “blow up”… “hit the wall”… or “tank”. 

Tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 2) I will join a few guys from the running club to drive up to Utah to race in the St. George Marathon on Saturday.  It’s a certified 26.2 mile race.  The only problem with this upcoming marathon is that I’m not in the best shape for a race.  The training was going well until I was elected to serve as D.S.  Whatever routine I had in life was thrown out the window.  And then, within a few weeks into my new assignment, my brother passes away.  And for a week or so… there went my motivation. 

But, today is a new day.  Just like a college student doing his best to cram for a final exam… my training started back up 3 weeks ago.  Yet, I am learning that one cannot cram for a marathon.  To race a marathon requires months and months of proper training.  But, I am excited to head out on this brief road trip… and race on Saturday.  I will throw off any junk that may slow me down and keep my eyes on the finish line.  

The same is true in my daily life.  My eyes are fixed on Jesus… so all of the junk of the world is daily discarded… tossed aside… so that I am free to live as Jesus leads me.  May the Lord bless you this weekend! 

Oh… one other thing, our family is taking off Sunday night for vacation… we’re headed to Kauai.  I’ve never been there.  I plan to relax, and relax some more. 

WELCOME O’CONNELL FAMILY I meant to include this photo of our newest pastoral family to the L.A. District Family.  Rev. James and Lindsay O’Connell and kids have been recently installed as our pastors in the Camarillo Church. 

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DISTRICT CHURCH PLANTING TRAININGAre you looking for creative ways to learn how to plant churches?  Do you have questions as for what to do?  Where to start?  How to do it?  One of the greatest ways to win people to Christ is to start new works.  New ministries…  Here is a perfect opportunity for you to learn and get connected.  From October 26-30 we will host a DCPI Conference for anyone interested to learn and grow.  These meetings will be all day meetings.  Details will come to you in the next email. 

BALDWIN PARK:  I mentioned how much I enjoy journeying from church to church.  Most recently I had the privilege to preach in our Baldwin Park Church where Pastors Juver and Cristina Ramirez are ministering.  What an exciting day I spent with them.  There was joy!  There was excitement!  There was the presence of the Lord!  Estamos contentos de ver lo que Dios esta hacienda en nuestra Iglesia de Baldwin Park.  Gracias por alimentarme cuando estuve allí con ustedes.  Tanto me gustó la comida, pero más… la bendición de conectar en las alabanzas y adoración! 

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I love you all… I look forward to seeing you upon my return from the island…

Greg Garman
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene

Greg’s Few Thoughts – Thursday, September 24, 2015

Good Morning!

I am finally back in the saddle having been away for a couple of weeks.  My word!  It’s been quite the ride.  It all started back on Saturday, September 5 when Leslie and I flew out to Chicago for a few meetings along with the wonderful group of Southwest DS’s and their wives.  We spent some moments in worship, meetings, and even went to a Cub’s game.  That was a treat!  Of course, you all know my love for running… so on the day we arrived in Chicago, and knowing I had a few hours before our first meeting, I just had to go for a long run.  Once we were checked into the hotel… I took off for Lake Michigan.  The lake is HUGE.  And remember, this is now Saturday (of Labor Day Weekend).  There were people everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  Disneyland must have been vacant on this day because EVERYONE on America was visiting Chicago.

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I was weaving my sweaty body through countless crowds… people were walking… stopping… visiting… as I kept trying to find the opening along the way to get to the lake where I had open trails to run on.  I’ve now gone about 2 miles when I hear someone shout, “Pastor Greg!”

My immediate response was, “What?  You’ve got to be kidding me!  Someone spotted me (of course, I was the only person running) among the millions on the street.  It was Michael, a member of NewNaz, and his young bride out on a walk.  Of course, I had to stop my watch and visit with them for just a second.

We then took the train to Milwaukee for meetings with the entire team of superintendents and wives from USA and Canada.  What a privilege it was to meet this great group and be part of a wonderful team!

CAMARILLOLeslie and I returned home for a couple of days, and I had the privilege of installing Pastor James O’Connell as pastor of our CamNaz Church.  He and his wife, Lindsey, along with their 3 children: Ryan, Annie and Lacey join us now all the way from Idaho… We welcome you to the Los Angeles District Family.  Please be in prayer for this wonderful family as they begin their ministry in Camarillo.

Leslie and I then made another flight to Lenexa where we spent a few days at the GMC (Global Ministry Center) along with 6 other newly elected District Superintendents and wives.  We met with some great leaders going over all sorts of material one could expect to see in district ministries.  All meetings were incredibly helpful.  I have come away with an even greater appreciation for our church.  I’m so glad to belong to the Church of the Nazarene.

 PASTORS AND SPOUSES’ RETREATThese past few days nearly 85 of us gathered in Pismo Beach at the Seacrest Hotel for a time of relaxation, teaching, and encouragement.  Dr. David Busic was our special speaker and we all enjoyed a terrific time together.  A special thanks to the committee for their many hours of planning and preparing:  Pastors Josh Johnson, James Kinzler, Wes Thompson and Doug Pittam were key leaders in gathering us together.  I would also like to thank Pastor Kevin and Heather Ross for leading worship each session.  A special time…

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CHURCHESI am happy to share with you that we have filled one of the churches on this district with a new pastor… as I have already written.  Today, we still have five vacancies and I appreciate your prayers for these fine churches as they continue their search:  Hillside Community in Rowland Heights, La Puente, Los Angeles First, Newhall, and Pasadena First. 

ENCOURAGEMENTA cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  (Proverbs 17:2)  I love this verse.  So… go ahead and smile more… encourage… bless someone today with a word of encouragement. 

I love you and I look forward to seeing you down the road. 

Greg Garman
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene