Few Thoughts 9-20-2018
LOS ANGELES DISTRICT
Greetings to All! 

Fall, if not winter, in my estimation, has arrived. I’ve had to pull out my long sleeves and gloves and put them on before heading out the door for my early morning runs this week. Some of my running friends think that I am a wimp, but it’s been 54 degrees out there! That’s just 22 degrees above freezing and 46 degrees below 100. Therefore, it’s a lot closer to freezing than triple digits; and I like triple digits. 
Oh well… there’s always next year.  
ENCOURAGEMENT: Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. (Mark 1:35)  

Did you know that the phrase, “early in the morning”  appears more than 40 times in the Bible and in 20 different Books? Many of the authors of the Holy Scriptures saw something very special about the early morning hours in the day. In fact, I happen to prefer the early morning hours of the day over the late night evening ones. You can ask my family, because all while growing up in the jungle I was never a night owl. By the time 9:00PM rolled along, I was usually through. My eyes were heavy, and I was always ready for bed. 
 
Yet, there is something to say about the early morning hours. Sometimes, that’s the best time to go fishing. I do a lot of running in the early morning hours before the sun even begins to rise. There’s nothing better than grabbing a cup of coffee, finding a nice quiet place in the early morning hours to have my devotional time. Several months ago Leslie had given me some flower seeds to plant, so I did. One of which is the Morning Glory Flower. As you can see in these photos outside our dining room window, this plant has taken off. Throughout the day, not one flower is blooming, but late, late at night and in the early morning hours these flowers open up and shine. 
Jesus also found value in the early morning hours. And while everyone else was still sleeping, He got up, dressed Himself, and headed out to a quiet and secluded place to pray. There is something special about that time of the day. It’s quiet. It’s very still. It’s peaceful. There have been a number of times we’ve made our way to LAX in the early morning hours, and there is NEVER any traffic at 4:00AM. A perfect time to be on the freeway. 
 
I thank the Lord for each and every day He gives me.  This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!  Are you enjoying the Lord’s presence in your early day today?  
CHURCH MINISTRIES:
  • NewNaz: Leslie and I dropped in for an hour or so on the Work Day they were having in Newhall this past Saturday. Lots of work is being done on the Youth Center as they renovate and clean things up.
  • Pasadena Armenian: While Pastor Paul Doctorian was away on Mission’s work in Armenia and Lebanon, I was honored to preach this past Sunday in this church. What a joy it was for me to reunite with these brothers and sisters. I even got the chance to reconnect with my old college roommate – Sam Doctorian. It was Sam who first introduced me to baklava. When he would go home to Pasadena from Point Loma, his mom would always send fresh baklava to us. I loved those trips he would make back home. And today I just love all Armenian food!!! Blessings on this wonderful church, Pastor Paul and Takouhi and their team of leaders.
  • Tujunga: When I was through in Pasadena Armenian, I quickly drove over to Tujunga where Leslie was providing a concert at the church there. She has been filling in for me in places where we are in the midst of pastoral transitions. Pastor Gary Armstead had his final Sunday on September 2. We wish the very best for Pastor Gary in his new journeys awaiting him. 
  • Ventura: If you have not heard, allow me to share with you that after 31 years of faithful ministry in Ventura, Pastor Dan and Lisa Hull have announced their retirement from pastoral ministry. They are relocating to the city of Phoenix, AZ where he has already accepted a position as a Hospice Chaplain. Please be in prayer for the Hulls and the church during these days in transition. Their final Sunday in Ventura will be September 30. Thank you, Pastor Dan and Lisa. We will miss you!!! 
REMINDER:
District Pastors and Leaders' Day: 
Please do not forget to put this in your calendar. This will be one of the most important and informational days in the year for you. 
I am hoping to see every church pastor represented, along with key leaders from the church. Tuesday, October 23 at 8:30 a.m.
in Santa Paula.  

Lunch will be provided, so please make sure to RSVP to the District Office in order for us to get a headcount.
 
May the Lord bless you today! May you have the greatest of weekends you have had in a long time! These are wonderful days for the church to be the church in the world we live in today. I love you. I pray for you. And I hope to see you soon!
 
Greg A. Garman
Los Angeles District Superintendent
Church of the Nazarene