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…
ENCOURAGEMENT: And 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.
DISTRICT CHURCH PLANTING TRAINING: Are 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!
I love you all… I look forward to seeing you upon my return from the island…
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene