Grinch in the Mirror

Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) was asked in 1957 after How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was published, “Who is the Grinch, and where did he come from?”  He answered, “I was brushing my teeth on the morning of the 26th of last December, when I noted a very Grinch-ish countenance in the mirror.  It was Seuss! Something had gone wrong with Christmas, I realized, or more likely with me. So I wrote the story about my sour friend, the Grinch, to see if I could rediscover something about Christmas that obviously I’d lost.” (“Grinch in the Mirror”, Danielle Mages Amato)

The Apostle Paul was concerned that the Corinthians not diminish in their faith, hope, and love in Christ. The Corinth of the New Testament was a mirror-manufacturing center. Referencing this livelihood, The Apostle Paul hooks the Corinthian audience’s attention with this statement, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12, NIV).  Paul alludes in this statement to Moses’ relationship with God.  Through “face to face” encounters with God, Moses afforded a clear assessment of his life and was enabled to adopt a divine perspective of his life situations.  What is it that the Corinthians would discover about themselves after a Holy Spirit-assisted reflection?  What is it that we would discern about ourselves?  This sanctifying process targets self-centered childish desires to have things the way we want them (13:11).  When we agree with the Holy Spirit (confess) and change our ways (repent), our faith, hope, and love are enhanced.  Grinch-like behaviors and attitudes are exposed and we are enabled to bear the image of Christ, reflecting that image to the world.

As mirror-peering is important for hygienic needs, so is soul-peering for periodic self-reflection and confession.  This should be not only a personal rhythm, but an exercise for a gathering community of Christ.  Sometimes I wonder if Nazarenes have diminished vital opportunities for self-reflection and confession in our gatherings. We need to regularly ask ourselves, “Is there a readiness to or a resistance to change?" Do our true core values and behaviors (personal and congregational) reflect an aversion to a kingdom-of-heaven mentality? Are there childish behaviors that need to be eliminated? Are there “sacred cows” that need to be sacrificed? The Good News for Spirit-filled believers is that there is always the possibility of change and renewal through Christ in order for the Kingdom of God to come on earth.

Geisel continues, “Can’t you see that the Grinch in my story is the hero of Christmas? Sure, he starts out as a villain, but it’s not how you start out that counts. It’s what you are at the finish.”  

Amato’s article concludes, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is about more than celebrating the holidays. It’s about celebrating hope and the possibility of change. And that’s not just for Grinches. It’s not just for kids. It’s also for the Grinch that stares back at us from our own mirrors.”

Your District Superintendent,

Tom Taylor

 

SDMI Fresh start

"Passion with a Purpose," this year's Fresh Start is right around the corner! Saturday, February 13th, 8:45 AM to 3 PM, The Bridge Church of Bloomington, CA. will host SDMI's "Fresh Start" conference with General Superintendent David Busic. (This will be his last event on our district.) The cost is $12.00 per person (Includes lunch).  We are asking every church to pay the way for their teachers, directors, staff, and pastors as an investment in equipping them to be more faithful, committed, innovative servants in the Kingdom. Sign-ups are now available HERE and at the district website under the "Events" tab! Please sign up ASAP so we can plan appropriately.

 

Living your purpose

January 12th from 7-9 PM, Rock Church Point Loma will be hosting an evening of empowering women for service in ministry! NTS President Carla Sunberg and Kimberly Dirmann will speak with a Q&A time afterwards hosted by Pastor Miles McPherson - open to all. For more information visit here. This would be a great event for high school females and women with a calling to full-time ministry!

 

Dynamic Church Planting Conference

Our rescheduled DCPI conference will take place February 29th - March 3rd at Mission Church of the Nazarene.  The cost is only $35.  Three tracks will be offered: CPE (Church Planting Essentials), CPC (Churches Planting Churches) and CT (Certified Trainer).  You can start your registration on our district website.

Starting a new church is the single best method of evangelism. A new, culturally-specific or affinity-group church can make in-roads into a group that the sponsor church never could.  Just as new believers bring new spirit and life to an existing congregation, new churches breathe new life into our denomination.  Dynamic Church Planting International subscribes to the motto: "All kinds of churches for all kinds of people," and have arranged their resources accordingly.

 

STUDENT NEIGHBORHOOD MINISTRY TEAMS

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) is looking for host sites for their student ministry teams as they work in the neighborhoods.  Here’s a wonderful evangelistic outreach opportunity for your church community.  If interested, please contact the District Office.

 

all future and currently licensed ministers!

This February, the district will be having its annual licensing and ordination interviews at our Murrieta Gateway Church. Meetings for district license renewals will be held on February 2, while new licensee and ordination interviews will be held on February 16 - please mark your calendars accordingly. For an appointment contact Steve Rodeheaver at steverodeheaver@pointloma.edu. Record of completed courses must be submitted in December to Wink Davis at wink.davis@gracept.org.

All ordination candidates must have completed their ministerial studies. They also must have completed three (3) consecutive years of assigned ministry and currently be serving in an assigned role.

 

Teen Bible Quizzing

The next two quizzes are coming up. Please contact Jerry Goodwin for further inquiries.

  • Saturday, January 30, 8:30 am - Pasadena Latin Church (Gal+Eph+Phil)
  • Saturday, February 27, 8:30 am - El Cajon Church (Gal+Eph+Phil+Col) 

 

Monthly Reporting

Pastors, please remember that the district needs your monthly church stats reported here.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated as it allows your D. S. to minister more effectively throughout the district. FYI, Rev. Taylor has a dart board with a picture of every non-reporting church on it in his office. Our secretary has noted how relaxed and pleasant he seems when leaving in the afternoons.  #Nazarenevoodoo

 

Year-End USA/Canada Regional Report

Dr. Robert Broadbooks has released the summary of the 2014-2015 regional report, including 6 "Top-Ten" lists of the 80 districts in USA/Canda. The Southern California District was listed on three of these reports (Membership Gain; Membership Percentage, and Newly Reporting Churches). Though graphs and charts only note certain benchmarks of changed lives and souls, we are aware that God has done magnificent work through His Church in so many areas.  Dr. Taylor wants to join Dr. Broadbooks in communicating a hearty thank you to all the faithful pastors and laity who have labored for the Kingdom of God!

 

Women's Retreat

Please mark your calendars now for the Spring 2016 Women's Retreat on March 11-13, 2016. If you have not registered yet for Women's Retreat, time is running out!  Please send $50 and registration forms in by January 15th to registrar Kim Smith (address below). After January 15th, registrations will be accepted on a space available basis. 

Send one church check to: Kim Smith [10489 Bellflower Ave., Cherry Valley, CA  92223 - (909) 915-4734; ordwoman4god@aol.com.

Registration

Quad         $190 per person

Triple        $215 per person

Double      $265 per person

Single       $405 per person

For full information, please visit the Women's Retreat website

 

Prime Time Retreat

Mark your calendars! On April 18 - 21, 2016 Murrieta Hot Springs Resort will be hosting "The Gathering" Prime Time retreat. Our speaker will be Dr. Jim Bond, former General Superintendent and PLNU president. In addition, Brain Arner will be joining us in concert Monday evening. Additional information will continue to be made available on the Prime Time retreat district webpage.

 

socal Roundup

Formerly known as "Caravan Roundup," the SoCal Roundup will be taking place May 20 - 22 at the  Indian Hills Camp in Jamul, CA. It'll be a weekend packed with outdoor activities for all ages as well as inspiring times of praise and worship. Camp areas are available for churches interested in making this weekend a youth or family camping trip. Prices range from $30 - $57 per person for tent, cabin, or structure camping. For more information contact Janet Crow. And, remember - you don't need to have a Caravan program to participate!

 

"Funding the mission" Release

Good news! On January 11th, the old "Funding the Mission" site will be turned off and the new site will go live. You'll be able to log in and use the intuitive format and giving page. The ability to create, edit, and delete transactions will be at your fingertips. In many cases, you'll even be able to give to your district or school on the new site. Additionally, there will be a webinar for the new site on January 12. Please visit fundingthemission.org for more info.

 

Tecate Nazarene Seminary Building Project

The Southern California District is partnering with Lazarian World Homes to help build a new married student housing complex at the Tecate, Mexico Nazarene Seminary. While Lazarian Homes has already pledged $95,000 for the project, we are looking to fund the remaining $5,000 of the total $100,000 being spent towards a January 2016 completion date. We have made it extremely easy for any and all to give to the project. Simply visit either the facebook page or the district website link, click on the donate tab or the donate widget, and this will take you to our Razoo account site where you can enter your credit card/debit card info for a donation.

Any of the above links will also give more information on the work being done.

Upcoming Events

  • Encuentro 2 Latino Youth - January 15 - 18
  • District Ministerial Board - February 2
  • "Fresh Start" w/ Dr. Busic - February 13
  • District Ministerial Board - February 16
  • DCPI SoCal District CPE - February 29 - March 3
  • Women's Retreat - March 11 - 13
  • Prime Time Retreat w/Dr. Bond - April 18 - 21
  • SoCal Roundup - May 20 - 22
  • Children's Camp: "The Quest" - July 25 - 29

 

 

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