Worship Services in the Sanctuary Continue! We have now had 2 Sabbaths back in our beautiful sanctuary, and we’ve been blessed by the comfort, beauty, and worship experience there. We will continue to do so while maintaining masking, social distancing, open doors, and refraining from singing congregationally. Let’s all cooperate toward good health & prevention measures so that we can keep enjoying our sanctuary for the long-term. This week Pastor Nathaniel will bring us the message from the Word.
If you recently missed a church service, and would like to see it online, they are being posted at our Anaheim Sunkist SDA Church youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfZrh44kEB7LJUy2c37XrFA
Raising funds for unexpected funeral costs
As mentioned above in the prayer request section, the Sellers/Goodman and Abesolo families are facing financial need, in addition to the emotional loss of having lost beloved family members. If you could donate to The Sellers’/Goodman’s fund (https://gofund.me/d6b1d6f2) and/or Gina’s fund (https://gofund.me/cf0ddbf4) it would be most appreciated.
Wednesday Food Bank Distribution
This evening, and each Wednesday beginning at 5 p.m., our volunteers will be distributing boxes of pre-packed food into people’s trunks. If you or someone you know could benefit, do not hesitate to come/invite them to the church to come & receive. A big thanks goes out to Sharon Gladden, the Jauregui sisters, and the other volunteers who help collect, organize, and distribute the food. We will continue such distributions on Wednesdays going forward. If you would like to help out in some manner, don’t hesitate to let us know!
Wednesday evening Discussion & Prayer Group
Our mid-week prayer group continues to meet weekly, in classroom 206, or over Zoom. We meet at 6:00 p.m. to discuss a chapter of a book and pray together. This week, we discussing chapter 23 of the book The Great Controversy, entitled “What is the Sanctuary?”, (available online at https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/132.1851#1851). If you’d like to join us online, the zoom mtg ID# is 7053955673, with password 172569.
Church-wide “Read through the Bible in 2021” project continues
We now in our fourth month of our year-long effort to read the scriptures together. May God bless this effort as we dedicate ourselves to going deeper with Him in the study of His Word. The full calendar of readings is available here: http://www.mcheyne.info/calendar.pdf, and Pastors Mark and Nathaniel are also creating daily accompaniment videos to discuss, clarify, and bring out spiritual points from each day’s readings. You can find all the daily videos on our Anaheim Sunkist SDA Church YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfZrh44kEB7LJUy2c37XrFA
Sabbath Afternoon Discipleship Class
completed its 3rd session this past week, and had a certificate presentation ceremony toward the end of church. It is now taking a 2-week break, and will begin its 4th session on May 1st. Registration for this group has closed.
Families in Acute Financial Need
Thank you to those who have donated to this fund, we have been able to help some members a bit with urgent needs (particularly related to Covid), and continue to collect for future ability in this purpose. You can donate to fund #119 on a tithe envelope, or use the “community services” tab in Adventist Giving site (note: you may have to click “More Offering Categories” to see it). Families can also apply to benefit from this fund by turning in a description of their need to the office, with accompanying copies of bills needing payment. Please be aware that these will not be large or ongoing fulfillments, but we want to be helpful in the way we can for church families.
Though we are meeting exclusively outside, our church and conference still have ongoing costs of utilities, education subsidies, and workers to pay. Your tithes (10% of your increase) and offerings are most appreciated during this time. Adventist giving has both a phone app and a website you can donate through: adventistgiving.org. Any donations made here are applied directly, with no percentage skimmed off, and your donations will come in your year-end receipt, seamlessly integrated with donations made in the church. May God bless us as we partner with him in faith through our finances.
Several days ago, as I was pulling out of a gas station, I saw a somewhat disheveled man walking, muttering to himself, and gesticulating irritably into the air. As my soul winced, I thought: “there’s a poor soul, struggling with some sort of inner battle1.” However, as I looked closer, I noticed a black rectangle in his hand, and a wireless earbud in his ear. This man wasn’t ‘crazy’, he was on the phone! What seemed a lone conversation was actually an interaction with someone else somewhere. I shook my head at my own pre-assumption, chuckled at myself, and continued on my way.
I remember when (wired) earbuds with built-in microphones became available in my college years, it was really confusing! I’d see someone walking toward me and begin to initiate a conversation, only to get a brief head-shake and point at the ear, as the person would walk by in low conversation. “This is wild!” I thought – “you can’t tell who’s ‘crazy’, versus who’s just on a phone call!”
While it seems ‘crazy’, or at least odd, to be in conversation while no-one else is there, this is, ironically, something we are called to do as Christians. :-O As our ‘spotlight’ verse above indicates, we are to be in constant communication with our heavenly Father via the Spirit. Whether these prayers be made with our lips or merely within our internal spirit communing with God’s, we needn’t ever ‘hang up the phone’, cutting off communication.
A chapter on prayer which I really love, from the Spirit of Prophecy book “Steps to Christ”, says this:
“There is no time or place in which it is inappropriate to offer up a petition to God. There is nothing that can prevent us from lifting up our hearts in the spirit of earnest prayer. In the crowds of the street, in the midst of a business engagement, we may send up a petition to God and plead for divine guidance, as did Nehemiah when he made his request before King Artaxerxes.2 A closet of communion may be found wherever we are. We should have the door of the heart open continually and our invitation going up that Jesus may come and abide as a heavenly guest in the soul.
Although there may be a tainted, corrupted atmosphere around us, we need not breathe its miasma, but may live in the pure air of heaven. We may close every door to impure imaginings and unholy thoughts by lifting the soul into the presence of God through sincere prayer. Those whose hearts are open to receive the support and blessing of God will walk in a holier atmosphere than that of earth and will have constant communion with heaven. (SC p. 99)
I love this passage, and the truth that it conveys. We can effectuate Jesus’ promise “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”3 any time we want! It makes me feel like: if God gives us so wonderful an opportunity constantly, why in the world do I fail to take advantage of it so often?!
At times I have done better with this command/invitation/opportunity from our spotlight verse, and at other times I haven’t done so well. I want to do better: not so I can merely pat myself on the shoulder for being a ‘good Christian’, but so I can experience the closeness and blessing of being continually in touch with my Maker, Lord, and Friend!
I hope you, today, and further in the week, will take the opportunity to not only have a devotional time with prayer, but to take that devotional spirit and open prayer-line ‘atmosphere’ with you wherever you go! Cell-phone advancements in the recent decades have been impressive. But, praise the Lord, He set-up a marvelous form of wireless communication long ago for us. 🙂
May God bless you and your families this week and beyond.
Pr. Mark Tatum
1 Having minored in Psychology in college, I came to see folks who mutter to themselves or otherwise suffer mental illness not as primarily scary/dangerous, but rather as victims of their illness, doing their best to get by with what they are going through. While, yes, some mental illness can be brought on or exacerbated by substance abuse (or even demon possession), they are still primarily souls in need of compassion and help – if they will choose to accept it.
2 Nehemiah 2:4-5.
3 Matthew 28:20
Last updated on 4/15/2021