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Few Thoughts 3-23-2018

Good Morning!  It’s a rainy Thursday morning today, but I understand that the skies are to clear up over the weekend and give us great sunshine days next week.

Last weekend I was able to participate in the L.A. Marathon where I bumped into a few of our Nazarene runners.  I’m not really sure how everyone did… but as for me the run was going quite well until mile 16 or so.  I needed to pull it back a bit and ended up with a bit slower time than I had hoped for.  Needless to say, the Lord is faithful and helped us raise over $12,000 for the needs at Arise Mission Korean.  God is good!

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ENCOURAGEMENTAs they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of His disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden.  Untie it and bring it here.  If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘the Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”  (Mark 11:1-3) 

It’s Palm Sunday… and Jesus has been back and forth a number of times to or near Jerusalem.  A few weeks earlier He was nearly stoned by those who hated Him, but He, along with His disciples managed to slip away.  And while away… He receives word that His dear friend, Lazarus, was extremely ill… to the point of death.  After waiting a few more days, Jesus, along with the 12 make their way back to Bethany much to the grumbling of the disciples.  Lazarus was raised from the dead… and perhaps this was still on the minds of many people in the Bethany and Bethphage region as He approached Jerusalem.  They were NOW ready to make Him king!

 People gathered in the streets… perhaps many had followed Him from Jericho… or even went on ahead of Him to prepare those in Jerusalem for His arrival.  Crowds had gathered… palm branches were being cut… clothes were laid out… and the cheering was about to begin.  I love this story. 

 Jesus stops… perhaps at the top of the Mount of Olives… He sees the crowds gathering… He remembers the scriptures (Psalm 118:22-29)… He sends two of His disciples ahead to untie the colt.  And this is what I really like:  Jesus knew EXACTLY what these two disciples would encounter.  He still knows everything you and I will encounter.  Can I… Will I trust Him?  And these two guys go into town and find things JUST as Jesus had described.  But, my favorite part is the statement Jesus gave to the two:  “The Lord needs it…”  It’s interesting that Jesus could multiply bread and fish to feed 5000… He could walk on water… He could heal the sick… give sight to the blind… touch the lepers… kick demons out of people… and raise the dead.  He could have created a colt out of a wooden pole.  He could have called for one out of the corral to come on over… but He chose to use two men… and He still works the same today.  He has called you and me to “Make Christlike Disciples in the Nations”.  The Lord needs me.  The Lord needs you!  That method of Jesus has not changed in 2000 plus years. 

 What are you doing for Jesus this Palm Sunday? 

“BOLDAGEOUS” CONFERENCE:  The Lord has called us to be “bold” and “courageous” in our journey with Him.  In just a few months we’ll be, once again, gathering at PazNaz for our annual NMI Convention and District Assembly to share… listen… fellowship… worship… and take care of business together.  Everything will begin on Wednesday night, June 13 at 7:00PM with the Mission’s Service and carry over until 3:00PM the following day.  District Assembly will begin on Thursday, June 14 at 3:00PM with the Ordination Service that same evening.  Assembly will conclude by 4:00PM on Friday, June 15.  

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 PALCON 2018:  The theme for the 2018 PALCONs is “Come & See”an invitation to transformational conversations on calling, on the church, and on its mission.   You can register for the summer’s event at www.palcon2018.org where you can find out more details as well.

 

WORK & WITNESS: PERU
JULY 9 – 24, 2018
Dear Work & Witness Team:
Dates are set: Monday morning, July 9 – Tuesday morning July 24. Our flight will leave LAX in the early afternoon and fly directly to Lima. We will arrive and go through customs… then hang out in the airport for a few hours before our 5:00AM flight to Iquitos on Tuesday. You will have the chance to rest that day in the hotel before we begin with a great service that evening at the District Center and Church. The following day will begin a 3-day conference for pastors and spouses while work will be going on around the district center. Saturday we’ll spend the day sightseeing the Amazon River and the Bora Tribe. Sunday in various churches. Monday we’ll fly to Lima then a connection flight to Jaén. A van will meet us there to take us to another hotel near the Kuelap Ruins. Tuesday we’ll take a cable car to the Chachapoyas Ruins in Kuelap. Wednesday we take cars to the jungle Mission Station in Nuevo Horizonte. On our way, time permitting, we’ll visit the gravesite of Esther Carson Winans by crossing the Marañon River on cable car. Wednesday night we’ll have a large service with all Sunday School Workers coming for the conference the next two days. While the conference is happening work in repairs and painting will go on there at the station. On Saturday we’ll take a trip down the river to visit a few native villages before returning to the station. Sunday services in the morning before heading back to Bagua for a service that evening. Monday noon flight to Lima from Jaén (near Bagua)… afternoon in Lima to shop until you drop. Dinner and for those going to Cusco and Machu Picchu (night in the hotel) before leaving Tuesday morning for Cusco. Those not going to Cusco will depart for LAX on Monday night at midnight. 
 
FYI… Itinerary can… AND quite often does change. 
 
Cost: $2,200.00 for trip July 9-24 without Cusco. For those desiring Cusco add another $600.00 for three nights away. (Tuesday in Aguas Calientes and Wednesday – Thursday in Cusco)… Thursday you fly back to Lima and fly out that night for LAX arriving in LA early Friday morning.
Deposits Due: I will need a deposit of $1000.00 by April 23 in order to purchase the plane tickets. Please make checks out to the L.A. District Church of the Nazarene. 

                     

May the Lord bless you this Easter week coming up!  I love you and I look forward to seeing you soon…

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene

 

 

Few Thoughts 3-5-2018

Good Morning Church Family!

As I begin these few thoughts of mine… it’s Thursday morning and I can see the clouds growing in the blue skies that are all around.  The weather folks may have gotten this one right as they are calling for rain to hit the SoCal area tonight through Saturday.  We need the rain… but I invite you to pray along with me for protection over the areas still recovering from mudslides caused by the fires.  There is a lot of concern in many parts of our land.

In less than two weeks many of us from the L.A. District and beyond will toe the line at Dodger Stadium to run in the L.A. Marathon.  Several of you are running for fun… others for a time… still others for a charity (we have a lot of people running for “clean water”)… and I will be running for Arise Mission Korean Church.  I look forward to getting out there in a couple of weeks to run with the many needs our Nazarene Church here in the heart of L.A. does in ministry to assist the N. Korean refugees.  The Lord has been so good and faithful as I have been witnessing funds coming in from several of you expressing your desire to help.  If you would like to participate:  100% of the funds raised will go to Arise Mission Church to be used in tutoring, legal issues for documents needed, nutrition, and much, much more.  Checks can be made out to the L A District Church of the Nazarene and sent to the District Office (225.E. Santa Clara St #300 Arcadia, CA 91006).  You will receive a contribution statement in a few weeks.  Many blessings on you!

A humbling story:  A few Saturdays ago several of us from our running club went to Westlake to run in two races: a 10K and then 45 minutes later a 5K.  I thought this would be a great way to fine tune my training for the L.A. Marathon.  As we were getting back in the van, one of the guys mentioned to us that he had overheard some young people who were working the finish line, commenting to each other as I was crossing the finish line in the 5K, “Wow, look at that old man… he also ran in the 10K!”  My question, “Am I THAT old?”  Ouch!!!

ENCOURAGEMENTAnd they exceeded our expectations:  They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God to us.  (II Corinthians 8:5)  What a great and inspiring verse this is to all of us!  First things first!  Paul recognized the poor conditions of the churches in Macedonia… they were poor… they were lacking in many things… many were persecuted, yet, they had been begging Paul to have the privilege of participating in giving an offering for the needs that the church had back in Jerusalem. 

 There aren’t many churches around who are begging pastors to take up another offering.  But these Macedonians were dong that very thing.  I love it!  And Paul nearly says, “This just blew my mind!”  “And they exceeded our expectations.”  So how was this possible?  I believe the key is found in the second part of that verse… “They gave themselves first of all to the Lord…”  

When I pray “Search me, O God, and know my heart…” I’m really inviting Him to take first place in everything… my will, my family, my work, my wallet.  What a joy it is to journey around the churches on the LA District, and to see so many of you joining in by giving and supporting the needs of so many others.  I trust that the Lord will continue to provide for you as you trust Him with your EVERYTHING!

 DISTRICT MATTERS:  May I remind you to finish the church year strong!  This is our final month in the financial year for the church, and I trust that you will be certain to send all of your allocations to the four groups:  WEF, Pensions, Education, and District Unified.  Thank you! 

  • Trinity: Monterey Park and Rowland Heights:  On Saturday, February 24, the church gathered together in a large auditorium for a Commissioning Service for Pastors Albert, Christine Hung, and family.  More than 350 of us were together to say our “thank-yous and good-byes”.  What a special afternoon this was and what a fabulous job the church did by putting all of this together.  Pastor Albert… we will miss you in your new journey along with your precious wife, and Co-Pastor Christine as you journey to NorCal to minister as superintendents.  We will keep you very close to our hearts.  May Jesus bless your every move!

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  • Ridgecrest:  On Sunday, February 25, I had the honor of preaching in the Ridgecrest Church of the Nazarene.  I can’t tell you how awesome it is to rise early in the morning to make that drive up and through the desert.  I so enjoy that journey.  And then to worship with the church family, and share the Word with them.  God is good!  Thank you pastoral team for all that you do… and thank you church board for your encouragement as we work till Jesus comes.  

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PRIME TIMERS RETREAT:  The dates are set… APRIL 23-26, 2018 with the theme “Legacy” where the three districts will gather together at Murrieta Hot Springs for a wonderful retreat time together.  Leslie and I will be there… now that I’ve been labeled “old”.  We enjoy this retreat every year and we look forward to the time spent together once again.  If you need further information, please check with your local church who should have the brochures for you… or check in with Vania here at the District Resource Center.  We can get some brochures for you as well.  

May the Lord bless you this week!  I know these Few Thoughts came out a bit later than normal… and I hope to get the next ones out sooner.  I love you and count it a privilege to serve the Lord on this great Los Angeles District.  I hope to see you soon!

 

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene