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.  

image1  image3image2

  • 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! 

IMG_4549 IMG_4562 IMG_4552 IMG_4559 IMG_4554 IMG_4553 IMG_4545 IMG_4551 IMG_4548 IMG_4560 

  • 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.  

IMG_8427 IMG_8424  IMG_8420IMG_8425

 

  • 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

 

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!

image1

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.  

IMG_1902 IMG_1875 IMG_1915

 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