Few Thoughts 3-26-2021


Greetings, Los Angeles District Family! 

And a very Warm Palm Sunday to you!!! Isn’t it amazing how quickly we are flying through this year? We are just about to finish up the month of March, which will mean we are ¼ of the way through the calendar year. April 1st will be here very soon, and I’m not joking!


I signed up to run in the Hogeye Marathon in the state of Arkansas on Saturday, April 24th, but my injury from last year from running in circles in the backyard while being stuck in Lima has returned to me. I have had difficulties even jogging this past week. I’m not quite sure how the injury came back on me, but with only 4 weeks to go before the marathon, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to run in it. Hopefully, I will feel better in the next few days and can get back to my running to prepare for Hogeye. I hope to because Leslie and Aubree are both joining me on the trip and they are planning to run in the 5K. We will wait and see!

ENCOURAGEMENT: As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

(Matthew 21:1-9)

We have heard, and even preached, countless messages on this passage of scripture. I love this great story that is told in all four Gospel accounts. And as we all know, Matthew, the former tax collector, was there as well. So, he did not get this story from some outside source. He was there all along. He heard the words from Jesus instructing the two disciples to go into town and to untie the two animals and bring them back to Him. He watched as the crowds gathered and he heard the shouts of praise from everyone. He was, perhaps, even one of the disciples placing his cloak on the colt upon which Jesus rode. MATTHEW WAS THERE!


As we approach Palm Sunday in just a few days, may I remind us of some of the great truths revealed in this passage. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Master of the Universe, did not come in any way to earth to show off. He did not come to be served, but to serve. We see this time and time again, all throughout His ministry. Jesus could have been born in the greatest of hospitals in His day. He could have been raised in the wealthiest of homes. He could have lived in the fanciest of mansions. But, Jesus did none of that. He was born in a cave, and placed in a feeding trough, a manger, in the small insignificant town of Bethlehem. Jesus was raised by a carpenter in the town of Nazareth. And as He grew up we learn that He didn’t even have a place to rest His head. He wandered from place to place visiting, encouraging, healing, teaching, and SHOWING the way to the Father. 


Jesus could have demanded a stallion or some giant horse for the disciples to bring his way, but He called for a donkey and her colt, and His instructions to the disciples were that if anyone questions what you are doing, just tell them that the Lord needs them. The Lord needs them! Common, every day donkeys and colts… the Lord has need of them. 


Sometimes, we look for the greatest, the most valuable, the strongest of influences, and all things that can make the biggest of difference, but here Jesus looks for that which is common and simple. I know there are times we look at ourselves and think that we aren’t gifted enough. Sometimes we think we don’t have the strengths to do certain tasks in the church. But, one of the great truths about Palm Sunday is that Jesus uses even the most simple of things, and He will use you and me to bring about His Kingdom here on earth. This is the reason, Jesus, the Master and Lord, took the basin and towel, and went from one disciples’ feet to the other, washing them and drying them off. He came to serve and to show us how to serve. 


Especially during these pandemic days, CHURCH, you have a gift that Jesus has need of. He is calling for you to serve today. It could be a neighbor that is in need of Christ. Perhaps, a family member you can share the love of Jesus with. Today, may we all know and understand that the Lord has need of you and me! Praise His name!

Rev. Raymon Baker: Yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from Pastor Lamar Davis that Pastor Ray Baker went home to be with the Lord just around noon. I was aware that Pastor Ray had a pacemaker placed in his heart a few weeks ago, but was not aware that he was in a serious condition. Pastor Ray Baker and I were in the same Ordination Class on May 25, 1990. I am going to miss this great brother of mine. Please be in prayer for the boys he was fostering, teams he was coaching, and for the L.A. Grace Church of the Nazarene during these days.  

San Fernando: This past Sunday I was invited back to the San Fernando Church to share in the Word of God since Pastor Adrian Velasco had not been feeling well. I thank the Lord that he is much better today and, in fact, was able to be present with us in church on Sunday morning. I am so grateful for the leadership and ministries taking place in this church and community. God is on the move and great ministries are taking place today. May the Lord continue to bless Pastors Adrian & Elvira Velasco with wisdom as they lead this wonderful church.


Newhall: After leaving San Fernando, I was able to catch the final song and prayer as NewNaz’s service was coming to a close on Sunday.  This was Pastor Bobbi McMasters’s final Sunday on our district as she is now relocating to the state of Washington to serve as co-pastor on the Northwest District. May the Lord lead you, Pastor Bobbi and family, and may He guide us this coming week as we welcome the new Lead Pastor in Newhall.  

Churches in Pastoral Transition: As I mentioned above, this weekend on Palm Sunday I will have the privilege to install the new pastor for Newhall, but we still have 4 other churches in pastoral search mode: They are Northridge, Trinity, The Glory Barn and Pasadena First. What a joy it has been for me to join these church boards as we are in process of finding God’s choice to lead in these coming days. Here is a photo of my last church board meeting with PazNaz. May the Lord lead us by His Holy Spirit!  

Memorial Services: This has been a season of memorial services for me and, perhaps, many others. Last week Leslie and I were honored to take part in an outdoor service in Eternal Valley for Ron Kelley. 


Then, on Saturday we had a great Memorial Service for a fellow MK from Peru. Our parents served together on the same field for many years and Rusty Gray was a great and wonderful member of the Newhall Church where I had pastored for many years.  


And then on this past Tuesday, we had a special memorial service for my uncle, Benny Broussard (brother to my mom), who was a member of the College Avenue Church of the Nazarene. What a special man he was to so many people!


Leslie, Tim (my brother), and I had the opportunity to take my dad, Dr. Larry Garman, to LAX on Tuesday afternoon where he was able to catch a flight to Lima, Perú. Upon arriving in Lima, he was able to care for a few items of business before he caught his flight on Wednesday afternoon to Jaén, where a couple of pastors picked him up to take him to Bagua where he spent the night. I had the chance to speak with one of these pastors on the phone who informed me that he was there with them. On Thursday morning he took a car ride on in to the jungle and is now at the Nuevo Horizonte Mission Station. I thank the Lord that travel is opening up and we will be able to freely travel to Perú in July for the dedication celebrations in the various villages in the jungle. If you would like to join us, there is still space available. Just let me know. 


Special Need: Rev. Ernesto Lozano, retired pastor and Seminary President of the Seminario Nazareno Teológico has been extremely sick with COVID-19 and is in need of financial help. The family lives in Chiclayo, Perú, and they have run out of funds and are in need of oxygen tanks and other meds for Rev. Lozano. If you would like to help out in this need, you can send a check to the “L.A. District Church of the Nazarene” since we have an account already set up to assist in the needs in Peru. Thank you!


I love you all, and I am praying that you and your church family will encounter a special blessing as the Lord guides you through Palm Sunday and into Holy Week. I hope to see you soon!


In Service for Him,

Greg A. Garman

Los Angeles District Superintendent

Church of the Nazarene