Anaheim SDA Church
Mid-week Pastor’s Update
October 17th, 2018
“Abraham believed God, and it was
credited to him as righteousness”
Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3
From a very young age, we are instilled with the message that, in
general, you get what you deserve and what you work for. You didn’t finish your
supper? No dessert. You didn’t clean your room? No allowance. You didn’t study
for the science test? Failing grade. You didn’t show up to work on time? Or get
that project done? You get reprimanded, or fired. You can’t pay your mortgage?
You lose your house.
It is immensely easy to project this cause/effect relationship upward
to God. You do good enough in life? You get rewarded with heaven. You don’t?
Tough beans. It’s destruction for you. (hey, at least we don’t believe in an eternally burning hell as many
But this is actually not what the Bible promotes. Surely, living
well, honestly, and following the commandments will help things go well for you
in this life, and you will get a lot of earthly rewards; but in terms of
salvation, it is not we who achieve it for ourselves.
Rather, we are encouraged dozens, if not hundreds of times in
scripture, to trust in the Lord and His goodness (Proverbs 3:5, Psalm
37:3, Isaiah 26:4, Jeremiah 17:7, etc.). But that begs the question: trust what
exactly? Trust that he will be like a fair boss, who gives you what you
The Bible flat-out says that we cannot deserve heaven. “There is no-one
who is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10), “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), “Death came to all mankind, for all sinned”
(Romans 5:12). So the upward-associating of the world’s ‘justice’, that we
learn from childhood, and all the way up to adulthood, to God, cannot apply.
Even if it did, it would not produce rejoicing
in the Lord, which is so often depicted and encouraged in scripture (Revelation
7:9-10, Philippians 4:4), but would rather produce a nodding of assent in the
logic of God’s fairness.
Rather, we are called to trust
God’s goodness and his grace, His mercy and His love, to actually give us far
beyond what would be fair! We’re already given a pretty “fair” deal on earth. But
the Bible promises so much more.
We are to trust God’s plan of
salvation. The design he put into effect so many centuries ago, with the
sending of His only son to be our atoning sacrifice (John 3:16, 1st
John 2:2), was to be an effective
sacrifice, bringing the ability to forgive sin and purge unrighteousness
(Hebrews 9:12, 13:12). Do we trust
that? Do we trust it to be efficacious
on our behalf?
Abraham had a tough call to trust God in a seemingly impossible
situation. And though he had his weak moments (as we all do), he ultimately
did, and thus became the father of our faith (and two other of the most
significant world religions as well). He is held up in the New Testament as an
example of faith that God would come through, completing his promises (Hebrews
11:8, 17). We are urged to have similar faith: not merely in God’s fairness,
but in His power to bring about His promises beyond what we could ever deserve
or procure for ourselves.
This faith, and seeing it become sight, produces rejoicing, not in ourselves (!), but rather in Him who is able to
accomplish beyond what we can imagine! (Ephesians 3:20) We of course, in our rejoicing, cooperate
with God’s plan for our lives by obeying, but it is far from a transactional “if/then” approach from our work/reward
orientation of our daily lives!
I finish with a text that sums it up so perfectly: Romans 3:23-24: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory
of God, and are justified freely by his grace through
the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Will we believe it, friends? Will we rejoice in it (despite how it exposes
our utter unworthiness)? Will we echo the joyful strain of “All praises to Him who has accomplished our salvation”?
I pray so, friends. I pray that our trust, and rejoicing, in the Lord
would be complete! It is all God, all Jesus, all the time. “The Author and Finisher of our faith”. Hebrews 12:2.
God bless you all.
Pastor Mark Tatum
pray for those still suffering in the wake of Hurricane Michael in Cuba,
Florida, and Georgia. This is of course in addition to praying for the
Carolinas recovering from their recent hurricane, as well as places around the
world like Asia & Indonesia, recovering from their recent natural
Cardinale is praising God that her adult nephew’s surgery went well last week,
and he has been released from the ICU. She asks continued prayer for his
recovery, as well as for her extended family, as her brother, Ramón, passed
away suddenly two weeks ago. May God comfort them in their grief, and may they
be reunited on the day of the Resurrection.
Please continue to keep in
prayer others who are enduring long-term illnesses:
* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s Father, who is receiving immunotherapy for
a cancer on his foot.
* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law Rosa and niece Carol, who are both
being treated for health problems. Thankfully, Rosa is improving, having had a
surgery and being put on some medications. Carol is still struggling, pray for
her to improve.
* Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and Daniel Geli, who are enduring
effects of long-term illness. May they do so with grace, faith, and improvement
* Lloyd & Esther Sellers, who have both had
health problems, that they would gradually strengthen and be able to return to
* Mark Hennig, who is improving in his digestion
after an odyssey of surgeries & baffling (& frustrating)
non-improvement. He can get a percentage of his calories through eating again,
and is hoping to return to work (and us at church) before too long.
Please pray for stability
and improvement in each case, that God would strengthen and sustain so many
sincere children of his.
Pray for families and
relationships that are strained and broken. Pray for prodigals to be ‘nudged’
by the Holy Spirit to return home to the faith of their upbringing. Pray also
for the church’s marriages to be strong & fulfilling.
Pray for our leaders,
local, broad, and abroad, to be wise and judicious in their leadership. Let’s
remember that the Bible’s instruction is to pray for our leaders (Romans 13:1,
1 Tim. 2:1-2) so we can live peaceably, doing God’s work day by day.
There is, of course, much
more to pray for. Please consider joining our weekly prayer groups, and if you
have a prayer request to submit for our list, please communicate it either to
pastor Mark or the church office. God bless you.
Food Bank Distribution Tonight
From 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., our food bank will be open for distribution. If you or someone
you know could benefit from some free food, please encourage them to come and
Grupo de Oración en Español reúne esta tarde a las 5:30 en el fellowship hall. Estamos continuando a
leer el libro Deseado de Todas las Gentes
(esta semana capitulo 44, “La Verdadera Señal”, y oramos juntos. Por favor
considera reuniendo con nosotros para recibir una bendición.
Pastor’s Availability: Both this week and
next Pastor Mark will continue being available by appointment. He can meet
either at the church, or at a home or other place. Feel free to call/text him
at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail .
Saturday Morning Sabbath
Schools commence at 9:30
Saturday mornings for all age groups! Kids and Youth begin in
the youth room with morning refreshments and songs, before going to their
age-level classes at 10:00. Adults begin at 9:30 in the in the
sanctuary. Then, lesson study is at 10:00, in room 305/306 as usual. Esta semana los
hermanos Hispanos reunirán en el Fellowship Hall a las 9:00 para Escuela
Sabática. Pr. Mark dará el devocional a las 10:00, continuando su serie en 1er
de Juan. May we all be blessed with
this most dynamic, participatory part of our day.
Conference “Gear Up”
Training this Sabbath afternoon at Loma Linda Academy: This Sabbath,
from 3:00 to 7:00, over 25 seminars will be held on training in various areas.
Registration is free, and supper is included. Go to the website at https://seccpresident.adventistfaith.org/gamechangers
to get more info and sign-up. We also had/have bulletin inserts both last &
this Sabbath with further info.
Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders
and Adventurers are on for this
Sabbath, at 3:00 Sabbath Afternoon in front of the Youth room. The Adventurers will
be heading to a museum in Fontana, and the Pathfinders will be participating in
Orangewood Academy’s upcoming Fall Festival on the 21st. Ask club
leaders Margarito G. (Pathfinders) or Craig V. (Adventurers) for any questions
regarding registration or future activities. May God bless our kids and
volunteers as they spend many fun afternoons learning and growing in Jesus.
Sociedad de Jovenes, our bilingual
closing of the Sabbath program, will be taking place this Sabbath afternoon at
5:30 as usual. Come to sing, enjoy a Bible game, and hear a speaker discuss an
interesting and relevant topic to living as young people in our modern day and
Mid-week Prayer: meets each week on Tuesday @ 6:30 in
English in room 304, and Miercoles en Español a las 5:30. As usual, we
will be reviewing a chapter of Desire of Ages (next week, chapter 45, “The Foreshadowing
of the Cross”) and will lift up petitions in group prayer. It is a great
spiritual re-charge during the week. Please consider joining.
Orangewood Academy will be having its
annual Alumni Weekend this weekend, including its Fall Festival this
Sunday, the 21st. Come see booths with food & activities as we
raise funds for IT needs at the school. Also keep in mind the dollar-for-dollar
match for donations toward the emergency fund.
“Family Friendly Halloween
Alternative” Oct. 31st: as in past years, we will be having a small
gathering at our church on Halloween evening, in which the kids will be able to
do crafts, have snacks, and enjoy a bounce house. We’d love to have you join us
as we celebrate good and happy things on a night otherwise dedicated to negatives.
Future Dates for Your
Oct. 20-21 – Orangewood Academy Alumni Weekend
Oct. 21st – Pathfinder Club participating in OA Fall Fair
Oct. 27th – Church Fall Social
Oct. 31st – Family Friendly Haloween
Alternative 6:30 – 8:30
Nov. 1-4 – Pathfinder conference-wide Camporee at Rancho
Jurupa Park in Riverside
Alright! It looks like that
is what’s going on for our church community! We pray that you and your families
are blessed as you continue walking in God’s grace. May we ever be seeking his
guidance, comfort, and will in our lives.
God bless you all.