Mid-week Pastor’s Update 3-13-19

*Anaheim SDA Church *

*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*

*3-13-2019*

[image: path cross.jpg]

*Search me, God, and know my heart;*
*test me and know my anxious thoughts.*

* See if there is any offensive way in me, * *and lead me in the way
everlasting.*

* Psalm 139:23-24*

What kind of a God is out there?

Atheists would say they reject the idea of a capricious, tyrannical God who
sternly looks over the world, scrutinizing and judging its inhabitants.
They would just rather deal with science & observable things.

Polytheists would say that, in the multiple gods, some are good and some
are bad. Some are in charge of certain places or aspects of life, and one
can choose how many to worship.

Jews & Muslims would affirm a mighty creator God, who rules with authority
& power. They are eager to live uprightly, that they might honor their
(respective version of) God.

And Christians probably have a much more intimate picture of God than the
other options listed above. Jesus, after all, chose to incarnate Himself &
become intimate with His world from the inside, getting to know us as
equals, before we, tragically, rejected & crucified Him. But He loves us
despite this, and still offers the ability to become children of God to any
who believe (Jn. 1:12, 3:16, 1st John 3:1).

A big concept in Christianity that I don’t perceive in the other religions
is the concept of *intimate knowing*. Though some verses that affirm this
come from the Old Testament (which Jewish people affirm), the concept is
taken much further in the New Testament.

First, we have the intimate knowing described at the end of Psalm 139,
quoted above. This is an authentic prayer that we can pray, inviting God
into a knowing, familiar relationship to us.

In Isaiah 53, the chapter that prophesies strongly about Jesus as the
‘suffering servant’, it says that He “has borne our griefs and carried our
sorrows” (v. 4). Even as He voluntarily took our place as sacrifice, He
chose to know, intimately, our burdens and pains.

In Matthew 11, Jesus encourages us to come to Him, exchanging our burdens
for His light yoke. He invites us to learn His humility and gentleness, and
rest in Him (vv. 28-29). Contrastingly, in Matt. 7:23, Jesus tells the
wicked that the reason He’s telling them to depart is because they never
gave Him the chance to enter into intimate knowing: “I never knew you” He
says. Permitting this knowing, vs. not, seems to be key in salvation.

In Revelation 3:20 we see Jesus describing his standing at the door,
knocking, asking for entrance into our hearts. An intimate meal together is
described for those who open the door, inviting Him in. Surely this
represents a familiar, *knowing* experience.

And the Apostle Paul, in wrapping up his famously beautiful chapter on
love, reflects on how, when our relationship comes to its fullest, *intimate
knowing* will be realized: *For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face
to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, just as I am fully
known.”*.

I really think that *intimate knowing* is as important to our Christian
walk as other factors, like affirming Jesus’ resurrection or keeping the
commandments. God wants more than a head-knowledge affirmative belief
system, or even an obedience-based one. He wants to *get to know us*, and
for us to get to know Him. The other things will fall into place if this is
permitted to happen authentically.

*Pray without ceasing* (1 Thess. 5:17) is an example of keeping the *knowing
intimacy* going throughout our daily activities. We’re keeping the
communication line open; relating up to God what we’re experiencing, and
asking Him what He thinks about certain things, or asking how we should act
in given situations. God loves the relationship to be continual!

I pray that, as we go throughout the rest of our week, that we will be both
letting God into our hearts to know us, and seeking to know Him. God has
surely done the bigger work in condescending to us to get to know us & let
Himself be known. I count that as a great opportunity that should not be
passed up on. May we seek to know, and be known, by our God.

May God bless you & your families the remainder of the week.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

*Prayer Requests:*

My heart goes out to the millions of people in Venezuela who are suffering
under the political chaos there. News is that almost the entire country has
been without power for about a week, and many fragile & vulnerable people
are affected & even dying as hospitals and other key services are
practically unable to operate. Please pray for the people there, and that
this disaster might be resolved soon. I struggle to imagine what it would
be like to live in that country right now.

Please pray for the victims of the tornadoes that have taken place recently
in Georgia. Last I heard, some 2 dozen people unexpectedly lost their
lives. Let’s pray for their families, as well as the rescue & aid workers
who are working tirelessly. Let’s tie this win with prayers for victims of
other tragedies both natural and man-made, in places near and far around
the globe. Fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars never stop
making their marks, leaving tragedies in their wakes. Come quickly, Lord
Jesus!

Michael & Carmen Warr are requesting prayer for Carmen’s daughter, Liza,
who is sick and getting medical treatment. They pray for good results on
the medical tests, and for quick recovery.

Please continue to pray for comfort and consolation for the Tolan family,
after the passing away of Victor’s father, Vasile (nicknamed “Leslie”). He
was a long-time member of our church, and very committed. A “Celebration of
life” service remembering him will be held the first Sabbath of April.

We are praising the Lord that Lloyd Sellers was able to return home
recently, after nearly a month of treatment & observation, including a
heart procedure. Pray that he will continue to strengthen, as well as
Esther, that they may have good quality of life & hopefully be able to
return to attending church with us. The Sellers request prayers for their
children & grandchildren as well, in various life situations.

Christina Rebensczuk requests prayer for her health & ability to sleep, as
well as for her sister, who is dealing with a couple health problems, and
her neighbor, who is in his 90s and is in a fragile state as well. May God
uphold these people in strength.

Please keep in prayer Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law niece Carol, and
friend Lupe, who are both suffering with health problems.

Please continue to keep in prayer others who are enduring long-term
illnesses, including Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and Daniel Geli, who
are enduring effects of long-term illness. May they do so with grace,
faith, and improvement over time.

Let’s pray for our government leaders, both domestic and international, as
peoples’ ability to live stable, peaceable lives depends on them making
good, wise decisions. Let’s continue to pray for those 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.

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.

*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.*

————————————————————————–

*Announcements:*

*“Festival of Nations” social a success! *Thanks to all who came out &
participated in our international social this past Saturday night. What a
fun time was had experiencing the flavors, cultures, & richness of various
cultures represented in our church. A big thanks goes out to Edie Furness
for organizing, and for so many others who helped it be a great time.

*Food Bank Distribution Tonight (Wednesday)*: 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 receive. A
big thanks goes out to our volunteers who dedicate dozens of hours per week
in collecting, organizing, & distributing the food. Also we are looking for
additional *drivers* who would be able to help out with doing grocery
pickups 1 or more mornings per week. Please let Pastor Mark or the church
office know if you are able to help.

*Grupo de Oración en Español: *Reunimos a las 5:30 en el Fellowship hall
para revisar un capítulo del Deseado de Todas Las Gentes, y elevar
peticiones en oración. Esta semana estamos revisando el capítulo 65: *“Cristo
purifica de nuevo el templo”*. Ven para experimentar una bendición en
compartir fe con hermanos y comunar con Dios y otros.

*OC Young Adult Bible Study resumes tonight!* At 7:00, some young adults
from various churches will be gathering here at our church to sing, study &
fellowship together. Light refreshments will be provided. Come to
experience community in the faith & walking together with Jesus. This will
be held 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month going forward.

Our* Sabbath Morning **schedule* will be normal, with a 9:30 start time.
Adults will meet in the sanctuary, with Pastor Mark presenting, followed by
lesson study is 10:00 in room 305/306. *Kids & Youth* will be meeting at
9:30 in the Youth room as usual for songs & light breakfast, before going
to their age-based Sabbath school classes in the various classrooms. En
esta semana los hermanos *Hispanos* reunirán en el santuario, junto con los
hermanos anglos, y tendrán su lección de Escuela Sabática allí. Come and
join our most dynamic & interactive part of the church day!

*“Diabetes Undone” Health Seminar continues this Sabbath Afternoon *and
continuing through the remainder of March & April. Cost is $99 to attend,
which includes book & video materials, guided sessions, plus food samples &
examples. (and only $10 to add a spouse). If you missed last week, a
“catch-up” session will be held at 12:30, pretty much immediately after
church, then the regular session will begin at 1:30 as usual. Thanks to
Michael Warr & others who are helping out in leading this series!

*Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders & Adventurers* are on for this Sabbath
afternoon, starting at 3:00 p.m. in front of the youth room. The
*Adventurers* will also be doing a *fund-raiser after Sociedad de
Jovenes*, *selling
plates of warm supper* in order to raise money for their investiture
service in April. May God guide & direct our volunteers as they lead our
kids in God’s path, learning more about Him while having fun &
accomplishing tasks. A big thanks goes out to Margarito Gonzales & Craig
Voelker, as well as their volunteers in leading out our kids’ clubs.

*Sociedad de Jovenes* will be held at its new time: *6:00 p.m.* in the
youth room. Come to sing, play bible games, and hear a speaker on a
relevant topic. Also, afterward, there will be an *Adventurer fund-raiser
of selling plates of warm supper* in order to raise money for their
investiture service next month. So bring a little $$ and stay for dinner
afterward. 🙂

*Tuesday Night Prayer Meeting:* will be meeting next week at 6:30 p.m. in
Room 304. Each week we review a chapter of The Desire of Ages (next week,
chapter 66: “Controversy”, between Jesus & the religious leaders), and lift
up petitions in prayer. Please consider coming & joining this close-knit
group of faith & friendship.

*Pastor’s Availability: *Pastor Mark plans to be available for the
remainder of this week, as well as next week, for meetings by appointment
either at the church, your home, or another location. Feel free to
call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail prmarktatum@gmail.com if you’d
like to communicate something to him, or arrange for a time to meet
together.

*Board Meeting a week from tonight:* Next Wednesday, March 20th, at 6:30
p.m. in the primary room. Leaders & Elders, please prioritize attending. If
any have agenda items, please get them to Pastor Mark or Maritza ASAP. And
all church members: please pray for our church’s plans going forward, that
they may be both inspired by and fueled by God & His loving power.

———————————————————

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.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

Mid-week Pastor’s Update 3-6-2019

*Scroll down to see some special announcements, highlighted in yellow!*

*Anaheim SDA Church*

*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*

*March 6th, 2019*

[image: tree river.jpg]

*“Blessed is he…** whose delight is in the law of the Lord… he is like a
tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and
whose leaf does not wither— whatever he does prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3 NIV*

As I discussed in a previous update, I’ve really been enjoying the greenery
and flowers that have appeared as a result of this winter’s (significant)
rains. As I drive, my eyes and soul are refreshed at seeing things verdant
and full of life – a stark contrast from the parched brown that normally
pervades the hills. I even find myself, when driving over rivers or creek
beds, craning my neck to see if water is running in them, and inevitably
smile when I see that it is.

These rivers & creeks, though, are really “washes”, only running when
rainfall waters them. The greenery that has sprung-up in and around them
will inevitably fade back to its usual arid brown. It makes me think how we
need to relish, enjoy, and ‘drink in’ the green-ness all the more!

Jesus, in his parable of the seeds in Mark 4 & Matthew 13, talks about the
contrast between those who spiritually “spring up” quickly, only to wither
and die, vs the ones who endure into a lasting, harvestable crop. As the
Psalm highlighted above illustrates, finding joy in God & His principles is
likened to a tree which does not find its nourishment by fleeting
sprinklings, but rather drinks deeply from an exhaustless supply, not
threatened by variables of change.

God would certainly have us be the latter: well-rooted, well-founded, and
ready for times of difficulty which surely must come (see 2 Tim. 3:12 &
Matt 7:24-27). Ours is not a fleeting, shallow experience; rather, it is a
long-established, nourished relationship that is based on sure principles.
These things will carry us through in the long-run. We will be able to give
fruit & leaves even when circumstances around us seem barren.

As lovely as this winter’s greenery has been, it is just temporary. We,
however, will thrive through the scorching summer & the longest droughts.
May God help us as we endure in His strength, and to His ultimate glory.

May God bless you all,

Sincerely,

Pr. Mark Tatum

—————————————————————-

*Prayer Requests:*

We are praising the Lord that Lloyd Sellers was able to return home last
week, after nearly a month of treatment & observation, including a heart
procedure. Pray that he will continue to strengthen, as well as Esther,
that they may have good quality of life & hopefully be able to return to
attending church with us. The Sellers request prayers for their children &
grandchildren as well, in various life situations.

Please pray for the victims of the tornadoes that are taking place recently
in Georgia. Last I’ve heard, some 2 dozen people unexpectedly lost their
lives. Let’s pray for their families, as well as the rescue workers who are
searching tirelessly for survivors. Let’s tie this win with prayers for
victims of other tragedies both natural and man-made, in places near and
far around the globe. Fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars
never stop making their marks, leaving tragedies in their wakes. Come
quickly, Lord Jesus!

Please continue to pray for comfort and consolation for the Tolan family,
after the passing away of Victor’s father, Vasile (nicknamed “Leslie”). He
was a long-time member of our church, and very committed. A “Celebration of
life” service will be held the first Sabbath of April.

Christina Rebensczuk requests prayer for her health & ability to sleep, as
well as for her sister, who is dealing with a couple health problems, and
her neighbor, who is in his 90s and is in a fragile state as well. May God
uphold these people in strength.

Please continue to keep in prayer others who are enduring long-term
illnesses:

* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law niece Carol, and friend Lupe, who are
both suffering with health problems.

* Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and Daniel Geli, who are enduring
effects of long-term illness. May they do so with grace, faith, and
improvement over time.

Let’s pray for our government leaders, both domestic and international, as
peoples’ ability to live stable, peaceable lives depends on them making
good, wise decisions. Let’s continue to pray for those 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.

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.

*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.*

————————————————————————–

*Announcements:*

*Food Bank Distribution Tonight (Wednesday)*: 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 receive. A
big thanks goes out to our volunteers who dedicate dozens of hours per week
in collecting, organizing, & distributing the food. Also we are looking for
additional *drivers* who would be able to help out with doing grocery
pickups 1 or more mornings per week. Please let Pastor Mark or the church
office know if you are able to help.

*Grupo de Oración en Español: *Reunimos a las 5:30 en el Fellowship hall
para revisar un capítulo del Deseado de Todas Las Gentes, y elevar
peticiones en oración. Esta semana estamos revisando el capítulo 63: *“Tu
Rey Viene”*. Ven para experimentar una bendición en compartir fe con
hermanos y comunar con Dios y otros.

*Sabbath Morning *schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. Adults
will meet in the sanctuary, with Marie Bouse presenting on some Daniel &
Revelation prophecy information, followed by lesson study is 10:00 in room
305/306. *Kids & Youth* will be meeting at 9:30 in the Youth room as usual
for songs & light breakfast, before going to their age-based Sabbath school
classes in the various classrooms. En esta semana los hermanos *Hispanos*
reunirán en el Fellowship Hall para su servicio a las 9:00. Pr. Mark dará
la devocional allá. Come and join our most dynamic & interactive part of
the church day!

*“Diabetes Undone” Health Seminar starts this Sabbath!* This 8-part series
will be held on Sabbath afternoons through the remainder of March & April.
Cost is $99 to attend, which will include 8 guided sessions plus food
samples & examples. Only $10 to add a spouse! We will be meeting at 1:30
p.m. in the youth room with a food sample & demonstration, followed by main
discussion at 2:00. If you are interested in more info and the possibility
of enrolling, speak with Pr. Mark or Michael Warr.

*Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders & Adventurers* are back on for this Sabbath
afternoon, starting at 3:00 p.m. in front of the youth room. May God guide
& direct our volunteers as they lead our kids in God’s path, learning more
about Him while having fun & accomplishing tasks. A big thanks goes out to
Margarito Gonzales & Craig Voelker, as well as their volunteers in leading
out our kids’ clubs.

*“Festival of Nations” Church Social this Saturday Night!* We will gather
in the fellowship hall to celebrate the flavors, music, and traditions of
the various cultures represented in our church. If you know traditional
dishes, songs, poems, skits, etc., bring them to share them with others!
This is a wonderful event to invite friends, neighbors, & co-workers to. We
will start with a sundown worship @ 5:30, followed by a potluck-style meal.
Speak to Edie Furness if you are interested in decorating a table, or
helping out somehow.

*Tuesday Night Prayer Meeting:* will be meeting next week at 6:30 p.m. in
Room 304. Each week we review a chapter of The Desire of Ages (next week,
chapter 64: “A Doomed People”, about the Jews who rejected Jesus), and lift
up petitions in prayer. Please consider coming & joining this close-knit
group of faith & friendship.

*Pastor’s Availability: *Pastor Mark plans to be available for the
remainder of this week, as well as next week, for meetings by appointment
either at the church, your home, or another location. Feel free to
call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail *prmarktatum@gmail.com * if you’d like to communicate something to him, or
arrange for a time to meet together.

*OC Young Adult Bible Study Re-Starting Next Wednesday!* A group of Young
Adults will come together to fellowship & study God’s word every 2nd & 4th
Wednesdays of the month @ 7:00 p.m., starting on March 13th. Come to get to
know other SDA young people from other churches & grow & learn together in
community.

———————————————————

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.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

Mid-week Pastor’s Update 2-27-2019

*Anaheim Seventh-day Adventist Church*

*Mid-Week Pastor’s Update*

*February 27th, 2019*

[image: jesus shepherd.jpg]

*“Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”*
Matthew 5:9

Earlier this week, I decided to check-out a vegan restaurant near where I
live. So I went to the “Loving Hut” restaurant on Tustin Street in Orange.
I happened to take in my copy of “Desire of Ages” to read the current
chapter in preparation for the mid-week prayer groups. While I was waiting
for my food and reading my book, I was surprised to see that the TV in the
little restaurant was playing a video that had religious content.
Particularly, pictures of Jesus, and even Jesus’ 2nd coming, grabbed my
attention! “Wow,” I thought “Could these guys be into the return of Jesus?”
As I watched a little farther though, and read the subtitles, I found that
their purpose for evoking these images was very different.

They were saying that Jesus was one of many “masters”, sent with messages
of peace, as were other peace leaders like Ghandi and the Buddha.
Furthermore, they were saying that Jesus *has* already come within us (if
we let him), and has *also* been embodied in a “Grand Master Ching Hai”,
who apparently leads some kind of a religion that runs these restaurants.
The woman was on the screen saying proverbs and giving advice for peace.

There was kind of a “good news broadcast” section that included world
events that were positive & peaceful (what a contrast from most news
broadcasts!), which included refugees being freed, peace treaties being
agreed to, and, not too surprisingly, the (surface) peace that North Korea
has declared with the South & the U.S. was touted. Basically the message
was saying that we’re on the cusp of an unprecedented 1,000 years of peace,
which Grand Master Ching Hai, along with her followers, will usher in.

While seeming very positive, I could quickly see that this was pretty
heretical, and went back to reading my book (almost felt like holding my
book between myself and the screen to ‘block’ the heresy coming from there
:-p ). But I thought of just how backwards this religious broadcast was
from Jesus’ true message, and just how obviously they strayed from his
words. “If someone tells you ‘he is in the desert’, or ‘he is in the inner
rooms’ do not go”. “As lightning that flashes in the east and is seen in
the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be” “Every eye will see
Him”, etc. Plus, a gradual turning to peace is *not* what the Bible
predicts, saying rather that wars will continue ‘till the end (Daniel 9:26,
Revelation 16:16). Only a real, literally visible return of Jesus will
change things for the world.

So, then I came home, and remembered a couple of hours later that someone
at church had mentioned to me about a (supposedly SDA) YouTube channel
they’d been watching some, called something like “Controversy 7”. So I
looked it up, and was just appalled by the thumbnails & titles that
appeared! Conspiracy theories and “shouted” (all-caps) titles, and general
click-bait: how this or that was tied to the illuminati, how Obama was
ushering in the New World Order, etc. I saw that this channel had thousands
of views on its videos, and even a few million views for some of them. I
was disgusted, and clicked away from the channel without watching any
videos.

I got to thinking about the contrast of what I’d seen in the new-agey
religious cult video, and then this conspiracy-filled “Adventist” one. And
thought “Why is the heretical one filled with lovely images and messages of
peace, while the “Christian” one is full of negativity and baseless
accusations?” It made me roll my eyes and shake my head. It reminded me
that we must strike a balance between extremes, and always be agents of
peace *while also* adhering to the truth. One without the other will not
fulfill God’s will for the world.

I leave you with a salutation from the apostle John in his 2nd
Epistle: *“Grace,
mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s
Son, will be with us in truth and love.”* (2nd John 1:3)

Let us strive for *all* of these characterizations, never skimping on any
of them! Let us be agents of *both* peace and Truth as it is in Jesus.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

————————————————————————

*Prayer Requests:*

Please pray for comfort and consolation for the Tolan family, after the
passing away of Victor’s father, Vasile (nicknamed “Leslie”). He was a
long-time member of our church, and very committed. A “Celebration of life”
service will be held the first Sabbath of April.

Christina Rebensczuk requests prayer for her health & ability to sleep, as
well as for her sister, who is dealing with a couple health problems, and
her neighbor, who is in his 90s and is in a fragile state as well. May God
uphold these people in strength.

Please continue to keep in prayer others who are enduring long-term
illnesses:

* Lloyd Sellers, who had a successful heart surgery two weeks ago. Pray
that he will be able to return home from a care facility later this week.
Also for Esther, who is undergoing dialysis regularly, that she may be
strengthened, and that the family may be stable and positive overall.

* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law niece Carol, and friend Lupe, who are
both suffering with health problems.

* Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and Daniel Geli, who are enduring
effects of long-term illness. May they do so with grace, faith, and
improvement over time.

Let’s pray for our government leaders, both domestic and international, as
peoples’ ability to live stable, peaceable lives depends on them making
good, wise decisions. Let’s continue to pray for those 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.

Let’s of course continue praying for victims of tragedies both natural and
man-made, in places near and far around the globe. Fires, earthquakes,
tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars never stop making their marks, leaving
tragedies in their wakes. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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.

*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.*

————————————————————————–

*Announcements:*

*Food Bank Distribution Tonight (Wednesday)*: 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 receive. A
big thanks goes out to our volunteers who dedicate dozens of hours per week
in collecting, organizing, & distributing the food. Also we are looking for
additional *drivers* who would be able to help out with doing grocery
pickups 1 or more mornings per week. Please let Pastor Mark or the church
office know if you are able to help.

*Grupo de Oración en Español: *Reunimos a las 5:30 en el Fellowship hall
para revisar un capítulo del Deseado de Todas Las Gentes, y elevar
peticiones en oración. Esta semana estamos revisando el capítulo 63: *“Tu
Rey Viene”*. Ven para experimentar una bendición en compartir fe con
hermanos y comunar con Dios y otros.

*Sabbath Morning *schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. Adults
will meet in the sanctuary, followed by lesson study is 10:00 in room
305/306. *Kids & Youth* will be meeting at 9:30 in the Youth room as usual
for songs & light breakfast, before going to their age-based Sabbath school
classes in the various classrooms. En esta semana los hermanos *Hispanos*
reunirán en el santuario para el servicio a las 9:30. Come and join our
most dynamic & interactive part of the church day!

*Potluck This Sabbath! *Being the first Sabbath of the month, we will be
gathering in the fellowship hall after main church service to enjoy a time
together of food & sharing. Bring a vegetarian dish to share, and let’s
enjoy each other’s company.

*Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders & Adventurers* are back on for this Sabbath
afternoon, starting at 3:00 p.m. in front of the youth room. May God guide
& direct our volunteers as they lead our kids in God’s path, learning more
about Him while having fun & accomplishing tasks. A big thanks goes out to
Margarito Gonzales & Craig Voelker, as well as their volunteers in leading
out our kids’ clubs.

*Sociedad de Jovenes:* Our Sabbath afternoon youth program is on for this
week at 5:00 p.m. in the youth room. Come for a fun, warm time together as
we say farewell to the Sabbath together in singing, playing a Bible game,
and welcoming the new week.

*“Diabetes Undone” Health Seminar *is an 8-part series that will be held on
Sabbath afternoons beginning March 9. Cost is $99 to attend, which will
include 8 guided sessions plus food samples & examples. Several folks
showed high interest after last month’s post-potluck information session.
If you missed that, but are still interested in info and the possibility of
enrolling, speak with Pr. Mark or Michael Warr sometime here in February.

*Tuesday Night Prayer Meeting:* will be meeting next week at 6:30 p.m. in
Room 304. Each week we review a chapter of The Desire of Ages (next week,
chapter 64: “A Doomed People”, about the Jews who rejected Jesus), and lift
up petitions in prayer. Please consider coming & joining this close-knit
group of faith & friendship.

*Pastor’s Availability: *Pastor Mark plans to be available for the
remainder of this week, as well as next week, for meetings by appointment
either at the church, your home, or another location. Feel free to
call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail *prmarktatum@gmail.com * if you’d like to communicate something to him, or
arrange for a time to meet together.

———————————————————

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.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

Mid-week Pastor’s Update 2-20-19

*Anaheim SDA Church*

*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*

*February 20th, 2019*

[image: book of life.jpg]

*“Surely every one of my days was written in your book before one of them
came to be” *

*Psalm 139:16*

If you’ve ever had children, you know that at around age 5 they begin
asking really interesting questions. Well, Josiah has been increasingly
doing so lately, and one he asked me last week as we were getting pajamas
on for bed really made me think. He asked “Daddy, how many days have I been
alive?”, and I did a little math in my head as I cocked my head toward the
ceiling, and concluded that, being a little over 5 years old, he was
getting close to 2,000 days old. “Getting close to two thousand days” I
responded. “Whoooah!” he said, as his eyes got big. Pretty soon we were on
to other things like brushing teeth and having family worship. He went to
sleep without mentioning it again.

But afterward my mind was churning about it! How many days had *I* been
alive? As I’m approaching 40, and it takes about three years to get to a
thousand, my (straining) brain estimate was a bit more than 13,000 days! I
actually googled “age calculator”, and, after inputting my birth date,
found that I had been living for 14,221 days. As I looked at that number,
it looked big, but at the same time, kinda small! That’s not a *whole lot*
of grains on a seashore, or dollars in a bank. Yet all my life; my sense of
self, my concept of the world, my joys, my sorrows, my frustrations, my
preferences, my passions, are all encapsulated in those 14,000+ days of
existence.

The Lord surely provides us with lots of opportunities. *Every day* is an
opportunity, is it not? And, going by that metric, He has given us
thousands upon thousands of them. What have we done with them? How will we
choose to use the ones that are still ahead? I ask these questions, not to
produce guilt, but rather to help us see that these days, while numerous,
are ultimately finite, and we *will* have only a certain number of days on
this earth. Are we happy with what we’ve been & done so far? And what will
we do with those that remain?

At the end of Jesus’ parable of the landowner and the 3 servants in Matthew
25, the master is overjoyed to see that 2 of his servants have done well
with their opportunities, and have produced an increase. Though their
amounts are different, his response is the same: *“Well-done, my good and
faithful servant! You have been faithful with few things, you will be put
in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” *(Matthew
25:21, 23)

The third servant, who had nothing for show for the resources & time given
him, cites the harshness of the master as the reason why he hasn’t improved
upon opportunities. Has the master displayed harshness by providing the
money, the time, and the rewards with the other servants? I don’t see it
anywhere in the parable (nor do I in so many other parables: the prodigal
son of Luke 15, the man who had two debtors of Luke 7), I think it’s a
projection of the third servant’s fears!

Yet his prediction becomes, in a sense, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Though
given opportunities, he didn’t even do the minimum of drawing interest from
the bank. He has no excuse (other than his claims on the master’s
harshness), and in the end has what he had been entrusted with taken away,
and he is dismissed.

While this is a tough and a sobering parable, I hope we don’t lose sight of
the optimistic part because of the unnerving, or cautionary part. God
starts out giving. We simply receive and are invited to respond
accordingly: creatively, dynamically, happily! We can do any number of
professions, hobbies, and forms of service to others and ultimately God.

So consider how you’ll spend your next 1,000 days, or even your next
hundred or ten or one. Will we bless, encourage, and build-up with them? Or
alternatively waste, criticize, & tear-down? God is described as having
several ‘books’ in heaven, with the book of life being the most important
(Luke 10:20). Whatever we do, let’s make sure our names are written there.
If you don’t know how to start, *ask* Him to write yours there! Jesus said
that those who ask receive. Matthew 7:7). And, of course, we are happy to
speak with you at the church office for any questions, guidance, study,
prayer, etc.

May God bless you and your families the remainder of this week, until we
are reunited again.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

——————————————————————-

*Prayer Requests:*

Please keep Elder Lloyd Sellers high on your prayer list. He had a heart
procedure late last week, that, praise God, appears to have gone well. Pray
for him as he recovers, that he would strengthen considerably. Esther
continues to be weak as well please keep her in prayers as she continues in
dialysis multiple times per week. They also ask prayers for their children
& grandchildren in health, stability, & security.

Please continue to keep in prayer others who are enduring long-term
illnesses:

* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s Father, who is recovering from a surgery he had to
remove a cancer on his foot.

* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law niece Carol, and friend Lupe, who are
both suffering with health problems.

* Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and Daniel Geli, who are enduring
effects of long-term illness. May they do so with grace, faith, and
improvement over time.

We are glad that the danger of a 2nd government shutdown has ended. Please
pray for our branches of government to work together to keep serving the
people, rather than be perpetually locked in partisan standoffs. And pray
the government doesn’t shut-down again, that those workers & families don’t
have to go without pay again. You can wrap these into your overall prayers
for our leaders, as we’re praying for those 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.

Let’s of course continue praying for victims of tragedies both natural and
man-made, in places near and far around the globe. Fires, earthquakes,
tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars never stop making their marks, leaving
tragedies in their wakes. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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.

*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.*

————————————————————————–

*Announcements:*

*Food Bank Distribution Tonight (Wednesday)*: 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 receive. A
big thanks goes out to our volunteers who dedicate dozens of hours per week
in collecting, organizing, & distributing the food. Also we are looking for
additional *drivers* who would be able to help out with doing grocery
pickups 1 or more mornings per week. Please let Pastor Mark or the church
office know if you are able to help.

*Grupo de Oración en Español: *Reunimos a las 5:30 en el Fellowship hall
para revisar un capitulo del Deseado de Todas Las Gentes, y elevar
peticiones en oración. Esta semana estamos revisando el capitulo 62: *“La
Fiesta en la Casa de Simón”*. Ven para experimentar una bendición en
compartir fe con hermanos y comunar con Dios y otros.

*Sabbath Morning *schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. Adults
will meet in the sanctuary, with Pastor Mark presenting on the topic of
“God as Shepherd”followed by lesson study is 10:00 in room 305/306. *Kids &
Youth* will be meeting at 9:30 in the Youth room as usual for songs & light
breakfast, before going to their age-based Sabbath school classes in the
various classrooms. En esta semana los hermanos *Hispanos* reunirán en el
para tener su clase de Escuela Sabática, y devocional, lo cual Dr. Israel
Chambi dará con el tema “Como prevenir el Cáncer”. Come and join our most
dynamic & interactive part of the church day!

*Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders & Adventurers* will be on hold this Sabbath,
being the last Sabbath of the month. They will resume on March 2nd. A big
thanks goes out to Craig Voelker & Margarito Gonzales, our club leaders, as
well as the parents & volunteers who dedicate time & care to bringing up
our kids in a knowledge of the Lord. Also, a congratulatory recognition
goes out to the Pathfinders for having led our church service last week.

*Sociedad de Jovenes:* Our Sabbath afternoon youth program is on for this
week at 5:00 p.m. in the youth room. Come for a fun, warm time together as
we say farewell to the Sabbath together in singing, playing a Bible game,
and welcoming the new week.

*“Diabetes Undone” Health Seminar *is an 8-part series that will be held on
Sabbath afternoons beginning March 9. Cost is $99 to attend, which will
include 8 guided sessions plus food samples & examples. Several folks
showed high interest after last month’s post-potluck information session.
If you missed that, but are still interested in info and the possibility of
enrolling, speak with Pr. Mark or Michael Warr sometime here in February.

*Tuesday Night Prayer Meeting:* will be meeting next week at 6:30 p.m. in
Room 304. Each week we review a chapter of The Desire of Ages (next week,
chapter 63: “Thy King Cometh”, about Jesus’ triumphal entry), and lift up
petitions in prayer. Please consider coming & joining this close-knit group
of faith & friendship.

*Pastor’s Availability: *Pastor Mark plans to be available for the
remainder of this week, as well as next week, for meetings by appointment
either at the church, your home, or another location. Feel free to
call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail *prmarktatum@gmail.com * if you’d like to communicate something to him, or
arrange for a time to meet together.

———————————————————

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.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

Mid-week Pastor’s Update 2-13-2019

*Please note some important prayer requests and announcements below,
highlighted in **yellow!*

*Anaheim SDA Church*

*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*

*February 13th, 2019*

[image: poppies.jpg]

*“Consider the Lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor
spin.” Matthew 6:28*

Last week, as I drove toward Riverside through Santa Ana Canyon on the 91
freeway, I saw something that stunned me. For some weeks I’d been enjoying
the greenery of the hills, the result of the rains we’ve been having (such
a treat to the eyes, compared to the scruffy brown that is usually there!)
But last week I spotted something that I’d only seen before on the
“Grapevine” of Interstate 5 headed toward central California: in stark
contrast to the lush green, I saw bright swatches of orange and yellow,
standing out as boldly as if somebody had come by and marked the hills with
a hi-liter marker! These were Calfiornia poppies I was seeing, our state
flower, which are known to be fleeting and only bloom under certain,
specific weather conditions. There are destination spots I’ve been to in
the high desert or plateaus south of Lake Elsinore before, but never had I
seen volunteer poppies in Santa Ana canyon. As the sun shone on them, they
were almost uncomfortably bright to look directly at! But my heart rejoiced
at this display of God’s beauty in nature.

I noticed something else, too. While the entirety of the hills were green,
some places were a ‘compromised’ or ‘dingy’ green, with dry brush still
overcovering the young chutes of grass. Other parts were uncompromisingly
bright green, and I wondered for a moment why some spots looked like a
mixture of death and life, while other parts looked purely verdant. Then I
quickly realized: the spots that look so much better are the spots that
burned in the Santa Ana canyon fire a year and a half ago! What was once
the *ugliest* part of the hills, barren moonscape stained by ash, was now
the *most lovely* part of them! It reminded me that beauty comes after
tragedy, that rainbows come after the rains, that every cloud has a silver
lining, etc.

It actually reminded me of what Jesus said about the Gospel: how ‘new wine’
(unfermented) could not be put in ‘old wineskins’. How old, stodgy
conceptions can *hinder* the uncompromised beauty that God wants to bring
about. I asked myself: am I like the marred green parts of the hills, that
still have dead scrub above the green blades? Or am I like the verdant,
bright green parts, perhaps even the parts with neon orange poppies
sprouting forth?

Let me take a moment to clarify that I’m not asking for tragedy in my
personal life, nor in the church! 😛 But it made me ask myself if I am
open to change, to newness, to being surprised by God’s beauty? God may
want to make a positive change in us that hopefully doesn’t take a ‘jolt’
of hardship or tragedy to produce. I think of Jesus’ illustration of the
vines producing grapes, and the vinedresser (God the Father) pruning the
branches so they would be more abundant. Please, Lord, let us reach the
fruitful, abundant places with as little pain as possible!

Let us remember that there are lessons all around us in nature if we would
search for them and ask God what we might learn from what we observe. I
believe that in so many situations, God has teachings for us that are
hanging right there in front of us if we are perceptive to them. I pray
that we would be ‘radiant’ Christians, untainted by compromise with the
world, and that our faith might not be merely a soothing green, but a
surprising orange! A surprising joy and pleasure to those who observe it.
For God’s glory always, of course. May that be all of our prayer as we
continue through the week.

May God bless you all.

Sincerely,

Pr. Mark Tatum

————————————————————–

*Prayer Requests:*

Please keep Elder Lloyd Sellers high in your prayers, as he is having a
heart procedure today to improve bloodflow. Esther continues to be weak as
well: please pray for them to be strengthened, their days lengthened, and
that they may return to us soon.

Please continue to keep in prayer others who are enduring long-term
illnesses:

* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s Father, who is recovering from a surgery he had to
remove a cancer on his foot.

* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law niece Carol, and friend Lupe, who are
both suffering with health problems.

* Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and Daniel Geli, who are enduring
effects of long-term illness. May they do so with grace, faith, and
improvement over time.

We are glad that the government shutdown has ended, for the time being.
Please pray for our branches of government to work together to keep serving
the people, rather than be perpetually locked in partisan standoffs. And
pray the government doesn’t shut-down again, that those workers & families
don’t have to go without pay again. You can wrap these into your overall
prayers for our leaders, as we’re praying for those 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.

Let’s of course continue praying for victims of tragedies both natural and
man-made, in places near and far around the globe. Fires, earthquakes,
tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars never stop making their marks, leaving
tragedies in their wakes. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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.

*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.*

————————————————————————–

*Announcements:*

*Food Bank Distribution Tonight (Wednesday)*: 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 receive.
Also we are looking for additional *drivers* who would be able to help out
with doing grocery pickups 1 or more mornings per week.

*Grupo de Oración en Español: *Reunimos a las 5:30 en el Fellowship hall
para revisar un capitulo del Deseado de Todas Las Gentes, y elevar
peticiones en oración. Esta semana estamos revisando el capitulo 61:
*“Zaqueo”*. Ven para experimentar una bendición en compartir fe con
hermanos y comunar con Dios y otros.

*Church Board Meeting Tonight!* (Wednesday), at 6:30 p.m. in the Primary
room. Elders and department leaders, please plan on attending. If you have
any agenda items, please get them to Pastor Mark or the church office as
soon as possible. And all members: please keep our leaders in prayer as
they seek to discern God’s will & plan for our church’s future accordingly.

*Sabbath Morning *schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. Adults
will meet in the sanctuary, followed by lesson study is 10:00 in room
305/306. *Kids & Youth* will be meeting at 9:30 in the Youth room as usual
for songs & light breakfast, before going to their age-based Sabbath school
classes in the various classrooms. En esta semana los hermanos *Hispanos*
reunirán en el santuario, juntos con los anglos-parlantes, para tener su
devocional y clase de Escuela Sabática. Come and join our most dynamic &
interactive part of the church day!

*Pathfinder Sabbath At Church This Week!* Our Kids’ club will be taking
charge of the church program this Sabbath, with their able director
Margarito Gonzales heading, and OC regional director Joel Milla preaching.
The Adventurer club will be participating as well! Come see our young
people show their growth & abilities as we praise the Lord together for
this great event.

*Sociedad de Jovenes:* Our Sabbath afternoon youth program is on for this
week at 5:00 p.m. in the youth room. Come for a fun, warm time together as
we say farewell to the Sabbath together in singing, playing a Bible game,
and welcoming the new week.

*“Diabetes Undone” Health Seminar:* We are planning to hold a Sabbath
afternoon health seminar through March & April which will focus on
reversing the progress & effects of Diabetes naturally & healthfully. Cost
is $99, which will include 8 guided sessions plus food samples & examples.
Several folks showed high interest after last week’s post-potluck
information session. If you missed that, but are still interested in info
and the possibility of enrolling, speak with Pr. Mark or Michael Warr
sometime here in early February.

*Tuesday Night Prayer Meeting:* will be meeting next week at 6:30 p.m. in
Room 304. Each week we review a chapter of The Desire of Ages (next week,
chapter 62: “The Feast at Simon’s House”), and lift up petitions in prayer.
Please consider coming & joining this close-knit group of faith &
friendship.

*Pastor’s Availability: *Pastor Mark plans to be available for the
remainder of this week for meetings by appointment either at the church,
your home, or another location. Next week, he’ll be out of town for the
first part of the week, but will be available in the latter part. Feel free
to call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail prmarktatum@gmail.com if
you’d like to communicate something to him, or arrange for a time to meet
together.

———————————————————

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.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

Mid-week Pastor’s Update 2-6-2019

*Anaheim SDA Church*

*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*

*February 6th, 2019*

[image: jesus second coming nathan greene.jpg]

*“Every eye will see him…** and all peoples on earth will mourn because of
him.” Revelation 1:7*

I start my devotional today with a question: What is your attention worth?
So many things in society are clamoring for our attention (billboards,
radio ads, sales calls, etc.) that it must be worth a lot. In fact, I
recently heard a numeric value placed on the event of the year that gets
the single greatest number of eyeballs on it: for this year’s Superbowl,
CBS was charging an unprecedented $5.25 million dollars for a 30-second
advertisement slot. I don’t know if any company at all purchased a full
minute ad, that would set them back more than $10 million (in addition to
costs incurred for actually *producing* the commercial)!

Most of us see/hear dozens if not hundreds of ads per day, and the chances
are slim that any one of them will actually affect our spending patterns.
But, *just on the chance* that a tiny percentage of people will consider
and decide to purchase a given product or service, advertisers are willing
to fork over big bucks for the opportunity.

Sometimes I come close to despairing, thinking: how does the Good News of
the Gospel stand a chance, given society’s over-saturation in undesired
messages? Why isn’t God (or various churches at least,) trying to keep pace
with frequent advertisements, trying to keep up with the likes of Pepsi or
Geico?

But then I sit and consider what God *has* given us: firstly, he has given
us *time* – months, years, several decades even! He didn’t have to give us
so much of it: humanity would be able to survive & procreate with a 20-30
year time-span. But God gives us *extra* decades to become dissatisfied
with the world’s empty promises, and seek and find Him (Jer. 29:13). And it
is often in those last decades where the ‘pull’ of God is the strongest,
outweighing the world’s short-lived claims.

What else does He give us? He gives us His Word: yes, it sits silently on
the shelf all too often, but when the Netflix cue is exhausted, it still
offers its testimony to any who will pick it up. I, for one, praise the
Lord that the Bible is available in motel rooms and on phone apps or
websites at the touch of a button.

He’s also given us relationships: families, friends, co-workers, etc.
Likely all people, religious or not, know someone who is: and when a crisis
or other time of dissatisfaction comes, that person can be there to testify
of the goodness of God, and the reliability of His promises.

Taken together, these factors (plus undoubtedly more) end-up *outweighing*
the clamor and fleetingness of the easily-visible advertisements. God’s
Gospel has outweighed former titans of commerce (anyone remember Sears,
Blockbuster, and Radio Shack?), and, if we can imagine it, it will endure
past Amazon, Google, and Wal-Mart. All the way to Jesus’ 2nd coming is his
promise! (Matt. 24:30, 38-41).

Revelation’s ominous prophecy, quoted above at the beginning of this
devotional, declares that Jesus will indeed make Himself visible to
everyone at once, but so many who have refused to acknowledge the small,
persistent call of God will be loathe to receive him. That is a sad
testimony, which is why we should be working to minimize it with the time &
resources God has given us now! We at the church are always ready to help
by providing Glow tracts, Bible lessons, etc. for sharing our faith here
before the door of opportunity has closed.

May God keep Jesus and his selfless ministry forefront in our attention,
despite the scores of other things vying for it. And may we be loving him,
growing closer to him, and serving others until that Great Day comes.

May God bless you all.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

———————————————————————-

*Prayer Requests:*

Please pray for Elder Lloyd Sellers, who was taken to the hospital
yesterday with respiratory disability. Praise the Lord, he’s awake and
alert, but will be staying at the hospital for a few days for observation.
He appreciates the church’s prayers and overall support. Please keep
Esther’s fragile health condition in prayer as well.

Please continue to keep in prayer others who are enduring long-term
illnesses:

* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s Father, who is recovering from a surgery he had to
remove a cancer on his foot.

* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law niece Carol, and friend Lupe, who are
both suffering with health problems.

* Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and Daniel Geli, who are enduring
effects of long-term illness. May they do so with grace, faith, and
improvement over time.

* Lloyd & Esther Sellers, who have both had health problems, that they
would gradually strengthen and be able to return to us. They also request
prayer for their children & grandchildren as they go through various
challenges in their decisions in life.

We are glad that the government shutdown has ended, for the time being.
Please pray for our branches of government to work together to keep serving
the people, rather than be perpetually locked in partisan standoffs. And
pray the government doesn’t shut-down again, that those workers & families
don’t have to go without pay again. You can wrap these into your overall
prayers for our leaders, as we’re praying for those 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.

Let’s of course continue praying for victims of tragedies both natural and
man-made, in places near and far around the globe. Fires, earthquakes,
tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars never stop making their marks, leaving
tragedies in their wakes. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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.

*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.*

————————————————————————–

*Announcements:*

*Food Bank Distribution Tonight (Wednesday)*: 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 receive.
Also we are looking for additional *drivers* who would be able to help out
with doing grocery pickups 1 or more mornings per week.

*Grupo de Oración en Español: *Reunimos a las 5:30 en el Fellowship hall
para revisar un capitulo del Deseado de Todas Las Gentes, y elevar
peticiones en oración. Esta semana estamos revisando el capitulo 60: *“La
ley del Nuevo Reino”*. Ven para experimentar una bendición en compartir fe
con hermanos y comunar con Dios y otros.

*Sabbath Morning *schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. Adults
will meet in the sanctuary, followed by lesson study is 10:00 in room
305/306 with Pr. Mark leading the discussion. *Kids & Youth* will be
meeting at 9:30 in the Youth room as usual for songs & light breakfast,
before going to their age-based Sabbath school classes in the various
classrooms. En esta semana los hermanos *Hispanos* reunirán en el
fellowship hall a las 9:00 para tener su devocional y clase de Escuela
Sabática. Come and join our most dynamic & interactive part of the church
day!

*Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders and Adventurers* are back on for this Sabbath,
meeting at 3:00 p.m. in front of the youth room. A big thanks goes out to
Craig Voelker (Adventurers) and Margarito Gonzales (Pathfinders), as well
as their volunteers for leading our kids in growing in God through their
activities and projects. The Pathfinders have a special Sabbath coming up
on the 16th, in which they will be providing our church service for us!

*Sociedad de Jovenes:* Our Sabbath afternoon youth program is on for this
week at 5:00 p.m. in the youth room. Come for a fun, warm time together as
we say farewell to the Sabbath together in singing, playing a Bible game,
and welcoming the new week.

*“Diabetes Undone” Health Seminar:* We are planning to hold a Sabbath
afternoon health seminar through March & April which will focus on
reversing the progress & effects of Diabetes naturally & healthfully. Cost
is $99, which will include 8 guided sessions plus food samples & examples.
Several folks showed high interest after last week’s post-potluck
information session. If you missed that, but are still interested in info
and the possibility of enrolling, speak with Pr. Mark or Michael Warr
sometime here in early February.

*Tuesday Night Prayer Meeting:* will be meeting next week at 6:30 p.m. in
Room 304. Each week we review a chapter of The Desire of Ages (next week,
chapter 61: Zacchaeus), and lift up petitions in prayer. Please consider
coming & joining this close-knit group of faith & friendship.

*Church Board Meeting* meets a week from tonight, Wednesday the 13th, at
6:30 p.m. in the Primary room. Elders and department leaders, please plan
on attending. If you have any agenda items, please get them to Pastor Mark
or the church office as soon as possible. And all members: please keep our
leaders in prayer as they seek to discern God’s will & plan for our
church’s future accordingly.

*Pastor’s Availability: *Pastor Mark plans to be available for the majority
of this week and next for meetings by appointment either at the church,
your home, or another location. Feel free to call/text him at (714)
650-1245, or e-mail prmarktatum@gmail.com if you’d like to communicate
something to him, or arrange for a time to meet together.

———————————————————

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.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

Mid-week Pastor’s Update 1-30-2019

*Anaheim SDA Church*

*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*

*January 30th, 2019*

[image: cursed ground thistle.jpg]

*“Cursed is the ground for your sake…both thorns and thistles it shall
bring forth for you.” Genesis 3:17-18*

Because of the rains we had a couple weeks back, the weeds around my house
took advantage and sprang forth from crevices, from the wood-chip areas,
and from along the fence. So I got out my 2-gallon container of plant
poison from the shed, and began to spray them into submission.

As I sprayed, I thought about the *vigor* of life: how it pushes against
obstacles and bursts forth given any opportunity. Some of the crevices
between the tiles in the front walkway were no more than 2 millimeters
wide! But given a couple drops of water that fell just right, and dirt
below with dormant seeds which must’ve pre-dated the laying of the bricks,
and the sun just edging into that crevice, the weeds took their shot and
stretched forth their barbed, stiff chutes upward.

And here I was trying to *kill* that tenacious, miraculous force! I kind of
laughed at the irony, given that I’m a pastor, who’s all about life eternal
and the Giver of all life. 🙂 Then I thought, of course, “Well, this is
*bad* life, so, yeah! I’m justified.”

A few of the weeds were growing abutted right against the stalks of good,
intended plants, obviously stealing the water those plants would’ve
otherwise gotten. I thought of the farmer’s response to the weeds appearing
in Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13: *“An enemy has done this” (v. 28)*, and
got to thinking about how Satan sows in the bad to intermingle with the
good.

I then of course thought of how I would love God to separate out the bad
from the good in the world right now, as the hired men did in Jesus’
parable did. But the owner’s response in v. 29-30: *“No, lest while you
gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow
together until the harvest, and at that time I will say to the reapers,
‘First gather the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather
the wheat into my barn.’” *This shows that sin, as terrible as it is, must
be allowed to mature, to show its full evil, so that once it is ‘gathered’
and eradicated it will not rise up a second time (Nahum 1:9-10).

So I sighed and thought about how the Great Controversy is illustrated even
in the plant world. This of course is from the beginning of sin, that
thorns and thistles would frustrate and bother us, as God said would be the
case in Genesis 3, quoted above.

I of course long for the day when there will be no thistles, thorns, nor
briars, either in the literal sense, or in the much more important
moral/spiritual sense. I long to be at rest, at peace with the creation,
and at peace with my Maker. Praise the Lord, he has already done this
(Romans 5:1), but I do long for the realization of reconciliation &
restoration of all things under Christ. (1st Corinthians 15:24-28).

May we endure the hardships, the weeds, the ‘thorns’ of life, as those who
have gone before us have (2nd Corinthians 12:7-9). And may we never lose
sight of that new day that is dawning, as the Sun of righteousness dawns in
our hearts (Malachi 4:2, 2 Peter 1:19).

God bless you all,

Sincerely,

Pr. Mark Tatum

*Prayer Requests:*

We are glad that the government shutdown has ended, for the time being.
Please pray for our branches of government to work together to keep serving
the people, rather than be perpetually locked in partisan standoffs. And
pray the government doesn’t shut-down again, that those workers & families
don’t have to go without pay again. You can wrap these into your overall
prayers for our leaders, as we’re praying for those 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.

Please continue to keep in prayer others who are enduring long-term
illnesses:

* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s Father, who is recovering from a surgery he had to
remove a cancer on his foot.

* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law niece Carol, and friend Lupe, who are
both suffering with health problems.

* Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and Daniel Geli, who are enduring
effects of long-term illness. May they do so with grace, faith, and
improvement over time.

* Lloyd & Esther Sellers, who have both had health problems, that they
would gradually strengthen and be able to return to us. They also request
prayer for their children & grandchildren as they go through various
challenges in their decisions in life.

Let’s of course continue praying for victims of tragedies both natural and
man-made, in places near and far around the globe. Fires, earthquakes,
tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars never stop making their marks, leaving
tragedies in their wakes. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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.

*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.*

————————————————————————–

*Announcements:*

*Church-Wide Birthday Party Social A Success! *A big thanks goes out to
Edie Furness and all of the volunteers who helped in various areas to make
last Saturday night’s social event a fun and safe one for all. The table
decorations were beautiful, the food delicious (thanks to Claudia Flores
and the other food helpers), and we raised close to $1000 for the Peru
mission trip. We hope the joy of that event continues for a long time. 🙂

*Food Bank Distribution Tonight (Wednesday)*: 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 receive.
Also we are looking for additional *drivers* who would be able to help out
with doing grocery pickups 1 or more mornings per week.

*Mid-week Prayer Groups *both meet tonight! Grupo de espanol a las 5:30 en
el Fellowship Hall, and English group at 6:30 in room 304. In both groups,
we review a chapter of the “Desire of Ages” (this week, chapter 59,
“Priestly Plottings”), and lift up petitions and thanksgivings in prayer.
Next week, English group will be back to its normal time on Tuesday.
Consider coming and joining these mid-week groups, that bolster our faith
and refresh us for the remainder of the week.

*Sabbath Morning *schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. Adults,
both English- and Spanish-speaking, will meet in the sanctuary. Then lesson
study is at 10:00 in room 305/306 with Pr. Mark leading the discussion. *Kids
& Youth* will be meeting at 9:30 in the Youth room as usual for songs &
light breakfast, before going to their age-based Sabbath school classes in
the various classrooms. Come and join our most dynamic & interactive part
of the church day!

*Church Potluck & Afternoon Business Meeting This Sabbath after church. *As
usual, we will be having our first Sabbath of the month potluck after
church service. Bring a vegetarian dish to share, and enjoy great
fellowship. Then stay by for an important *church business meeting*, in
which we will talk about a diabetes health seminar we are hoping to hold in
March & April. Practical information and a Q&A session will be held
regarding this health outreach program.

*Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders and Adventurers* are back on for this Sabbath,
meeting at 3:00 p.m. in front of the youth room. A big thanks goes out to
Craig Voelker (Adventurers) and Margarito Gonzales (Pathfinders), as well
as their volunteers for leading our kids in growing in God through their
activities and projects. The Pathfinders have a special Sabbath coming up
in a few weeks, in which they will provide & run the church service!

*Sociedad de Jovenes:* Our Sabbath afternoon youth program is on for this
week at 5:00 p.m. in the youth room, where Pastor Mark will be giving the
devotional. Come for a fun, warm time together as we say farewell to the
Sabbath together in singing, playing a Bible game, and welcoming the new
week.

*Home Caretaker Position:* Though a few people have made contact, the home
caretaker position first announced a couple weeks ago is still available.
It would involve driving to an elderly couples’ house 2-3 times a week, and
helping them with some housework, cooking, and basic care. It is a paid
position, looking for 25-30 hours per week. Please let Pastor Mark or the
church office know, and they can get you in touch with this family.

*Pastor’s Availability: *Pastor Mark is returning from his pastoral retreat
this afternoon, and will be available during the second part of the week
for appointments either at the church, your home, or another location. Feel
free to call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail prmarktatum@gmail.com if
you’d like to communicate something to him, or arrange for a time to meet
together.

———————————————————

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.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

Mid-week Pastor’s Update 1-23-2019

Anaheim SDA Church

Mid-week Pastor’s Update

1-23-2019

 

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

 

When someone is going through a hard time, I have sometimes heard the statement “The Lord works in mysterious ways” said as an attempt to console or soothe the distressed/affected person. While it is hard to argue against such a saying, I’ve often found its result to be a hollow platitude, given the vague nondescript helpfulness it is attempting to convey. “That may be true in principle, but how is it supposed to help me NOW?” I’ve imagined saying back to someone trying to comfort/advise me with it. It’s just like there’s no ‘meat on the bone’ to that saying.

But man, when I look in the scriptures, what examples I find! I’ve been struck several times just in the last week how God works things that were absolutely unexpected seemingly impossible to various characters in their situations.

It was the will of God that took Abraham up Mount Moriah to (almost) sacrifice his only son. (Gen. 22)

It was the plan of God that took Joseph into slavery in Egypt, then to the prison house because of a false accusation (Gen. 37, 39, 50:20).

It was faithfulness to God that put Daniel in the lions’ den, and his three friends in the fiery furnace (Daniel 6, 3).

It was God’s great plan of salvation that had Jesus born to itinerant parents in a stable. (Luke 2)

And within Jesus’ ministry, Jesus was always confusing people around him, including:

            John the Baptist: Matt. 3:14

            Jesus’ family: John 7, Mark 3:31-35

Jesus’ disciples: John 11:7-8, 14-16

Of course, we know that Jesus’ ministry as a whole was fulfilling God’s foreordained plan. This is why Jesus could say “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” in Luke 24:44.

Even further in the New Testament, the persecutions and imprisonments of the Apostles, while seemingly a setback in the short-term, actually served to bolster the church in the long-run, since we have several writings that were written in prison, which we likely would not have gotten otherwise (the books of Revelation, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon were all written from prison/incarceration).

So what we find in scripture is not the blind assertion that ‘God is mysterious in His dealings’, rather, we get several dozen concrete examples of how circumstances were worked out beforehand to produce an unpredictable, yet wonderful outcome!

It is in light of such marvelous and unexpected results that we should feel confident to put our lives in God’s hands. None of the (earthly) characters listed above could see the end from the beginning: they might have been justified in giving-up partway through. But if they had done so, we might not have the records of the marvelous resolutions to their stories!

So the next time you, or someone you know is going through a hard time, rather than saying a hollow statement about God’s methods, why not open a Bible, and explore a certain character in a similar situation, asking how they might have felt throughout the various parts of their story, not knowing the end from the beginning (as we don’t in our own stories). We may very well find that their resolutions bring us relief, joy, and confidence that God can do something wonderful to turn around and improve our situation, perhaps even beyond our wildest dreams, if we will submit to Him throughout the confusion.

The complete text of the scripture verse quoted above reads:

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Let’s let that sink in, and let God be God, and we his faithful servants, through whatever path he leads us in (Psalm 23:3-4).

May God bless you all the remainder of the week.

Sincerely,

     Pr. Mark Tatum

—————————————————————-

Prayer Requests:

 

Let’s praise the Lord for the change in weather! The rain has replenished the earth, and the sun and wind have dried us out and made everything look clean and new. While we rejoice, let’s remember in prayer those who have been negatively impacted by the rain in flooded and fire-scarred areas.

Please pray for those affected financially by the government shutdown. Some 800,000 people are going without either/both work or paychecks while this political stalemate lingers. The one case I have heard of from our congregation, is thankfully financially okay for the time being. Many, however, are not, and depend on the government being open for their livelihoods. Please pray for quick resolution to this issue, and you can wrap that into your overall prayers 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.

Please continue to keep in prayer others who are enduring long-term illnesses:

* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s Father, who is recovering from a surgery he had to remove a cancer on his foot.

* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law niece Carol, and friend Lupe, who are both suffering with health problems.

*  Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and Daniel Geli, who are enduring effects of long-term illness. May they do so with grace, faith, and improvement over time.

* Lloyd & Esther Sellers, who have both had health problems, that they would gradually strengthen and be able to return to us. They also request prayer for their children & grandchildren as they go through various challenges in their decisions in life.

Let’s of course continue praying for victims of tragedies both natural and man-made, in places near and far around the globe. Fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars never stop making their marks, leaving tragedies in their wakes. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

            

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.

   

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.

  

————————————————————————–

Announcements:

  

OC Pathfinder Sabbath A Success! If you were at church last Sabbath, you no doubt saw the evidence of the hundreds of people we hosted for the annual Orange County Pathfinder Sabbath. Young people came together from all over our county to sing praises, pray, (friendlily) compete, and have fun in a Christian atmosphere. The day was a big success, thanks in no small part to the efforts & organization of Joel & Cledy Milla. Thanks goes out to Margarito Gonzales and his volunteers as well, who hosted a fund-raiser food sale during the game time after sundown.

 

Food Bank Distribution Tonight (Wednesday): 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 receive. Also we are looking for additional drivers who would be able to help out with doing grocery pickups 1 or more mornings per week.

 

Grupo de Oración en Español reunirá esta tarde a las 5:30 en el Fellowship Hall. Cada semana, revisamos un capitulo del libro “El Deseado de Todas Las Gentes” (esta semana: capitulo 58: Lazaro, Ven Fuera), y elevamos las peticiones de nuestros miembros, y también la lista de la iglesia. Ven y experimenta la bendición de discusión y oración en grupo.    

 

Sabbath Morning schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. The Adult Sanctuary service will include more information about our up-coming health seminar effort, in the form of more informative video presentations brought to us by Michael Warr. Then lesson study is at 10:00 in room 305/306 with Pr. Mark leading the discussion. Kids & Youth will be meeting at 9:30 in the Youth room as usual for songs & light breakfast, before going to their age-based Sabbath school classes in the various classrooms. Los hermanos Hispanos reunirán a las 9:00 en el Fellowship Hall, con Pr. Mark predicando la devocional (titulado “Tres Encarcelados”) al principio, y después los estudios de la lección de Escuela Sabática. Come and join our most dynamic & interactive part of the church day!

  

Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders and Adventurers will be on hold for this Sabbath, being the last weekend of the month. Club activities will pick-up again on February 2nd.

   

Church-Wide Birthday Party Social This Saturday evening, we will be holding our January social in our fellowship hall, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Pastor Mark will be presenting the sabbath-ending program & devotional, followed by a donation-based fund raiser supper, which will go toward the up-coming Flores family mission trip to Peru. Then we’ll get into the birthday celebrations. It’ll be a great time! Come enjoy a great Saturday evening with our church family. Of course, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. are welcome to be invited too!

 

Orangewood Academy “Preview Day” This Sunday! January 27th, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., our sister school will be hosing an open house in which prospective high school students can get a glimpse of what student life is like there. Get a campus tour, meet some teachers, talk to the principal, etc. Located at 13732 Clinton Street in Garden Grove.

 

Pastor’s Availability: Early next week, Pastor Mark will be going on a Pastoral retreat for a few days. He will be available during the second part of the week, however, for appointments either at the church, your home, or another location. Feel free to call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail prmarktatum@gmail.com if you’d like to communicate something to him, or arrange for a time to meet together.     

Church Potluck & Afternoon Business Meeting Feb. 2nd. As usual, we will be having our first Sabbath of the month potluck after church service. Bring a vegetarian dish to share, and stay by for an important church business meeting, in which we will talk about a diabetes health seminar we are hoping to hold in March & April. Practical information and a Q&A session will be held regarding this health outreach program.

 

———————————————————

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

     Pastor Mark Tatum

Mid-week Pastor’s Update 1-16-2019

Anaheim SDA Church

Mid-week Pastor’s Update

January 16th, 2019

 

god scrolls judging.jpg

 

“He rules the
world in righteousness,
 and judges the peoples with equity.”  Psalm 9:8

 

Last week, I was called in for
a couple of days of jury duty. My emotions were a mix of dread for the time it
would take, (given that I would have to figure out how to arrange my schedule
to accommodate it), and interest at the prospect of serving on a jury.

 

It was interesting to see the
mix of people on the day I reported: a diversity of ages, cultures, and
lifestyles were represented, and we were all there for the purpose of doing our
civic duty, with the ideal of achieving impartiality and justice in coming to a
decision based on evidence presented within a courtroom setting.

 

When we got into the courtroom,
where the judge and various legal professionals began to describe the case and
evaluate jurors, I saw that there were over a hundred of us there, with the
goal of getting the jury down to 12 principal jurors and 6 alternates. Four-fifths of the people here will be going
home!
I thought to myself: all sides were trying to get a fair and balanced
jury that could adequately stand as the defendants’ peers.

 

The judge, as well as the D.A.
representative and defense lawyers, instructed us again and again on the importance
of impartiality when weighing evidence. In a courtroom, there is no place for
prejudice (defined as ‘pre-judging’), given any external factors. The fact that
a person is a police officer doesn’t mean they’re necessarily telling the
truth. The fact that a person has tattoos doesn’t mean they’re lying. The fact
that they’re under oath doesn’t mean you can assume all that comes out of their
mouth is accurate, etc.

 

Multiple people reminded us
that in our system, accused people are considered innocent until proven guilty (this is different than in some other countries,
including Mexico and France). It was even brought up a couple times that it’s worse to convict an innocent person than
it is to let a guilty person go free
. While I agreed with this thought in
principle, I was taken aback when one of the defense lawyers quoted Benjamin
Franklin as having said that it was actually better to let 100 guilty men go free than to wrongfully imprison an innocent
one. He went on to explain that to falsely imprison an innocent person for a
crime they didn’t commit actually is
to let a guilty person go free as well, since, because the wrong person is
paying for the crime, an actually guilty is therefore going free.

 

Though in the end I didn’t get
placed on the jury (again, a mix of emotions), it gave me a lot to think about.
Of course, large in my mind throughout was my concept of God as judge and the
universe’s beings as onlookers. I thought: with all the care that is given to
impartiality and putting away of prejudices, wouldn’t heaven’s justice system
be even more careful that every
person gets a fair hearing?

 

We of course believe in a God
who wants all people to be saved (2nd Peter 3:9), so He has great
interest in seeing the accused acquitted! Furthermore, it is Jesus who is our ‘advocate’
or defense lawyer (1st John 2:1), who defends us as he pleads his
blood over offenses we (the accused) have committed. The only accuser in the equation is Satan (Revelation
12:9-10) who is rebuked in the judgment scene portrayed in Zechariah 3:1-2. So
we should have no concern as to
whether or not we get a fair trial: if anything, the courtroom will be bent in
our favor!

 

I left the jury duty experience
overall heartened that such care is taken for fairness and impartiality in our
justice system. My appreciation for God’s care in the judgment was also
heightened, because God must be far
and above any of our human aspirations for justice. Let’s remember that God’s
judgment doesn’t happen in secret, but before many witnesses (Daniel 7:9-10,
Revelation 20:4), and that at the end, we will say, along with those who have
witnessed the judgment process: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true
and just are your judgments.” (Revelation 16:7).

 

May God bless you all the remainder of this week.

 

Sincerely,

     Pr. Mark Tatum

 

 

Prayer Requests:

 

It has been a wet week around Southern
California: hopefully we all have a place that’s warm and dry where we can be.
Let’s keep in prayer those without consistent shelter, though, that they may be
brought through this wet & cold time okay.

 

Please pray for those affected financially by
the government shutdown. Some 800,000 people are going without either/both work
or paychecks while this political stalemate lingers. The one case I have heard
of from our congregation, is thankfully financially okay for the time being.
Many, however, are not, and depend on the government being open for their
livelihoods. Please pray for quick resolution to this issue, and you can wrap
that into your overall prayers 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.

 

Please continue to keep in prayer others who are
enduring long-term illnesses:

* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s Father, who is
recovering from a surgery he had to remove a cancer on his foot.

* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law niece Carol,
and friend Lupe, who are both suffering with health problems.

*  Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and
Daniel Geli, who are enduring effects of long-term illness. May they do so with
grace, faith, and improvement over time.

* Lloyd & Esther Sellers, who have both had
health problems, that they would gradually strengthen and be able to return to
us. They also request prayer for their children & grandchildren as they go
through various challenges in their decisions in life.

 

Let’s of course continue praying for victims of
tragedies both natural and man-made, in places near and far around the globe.
Fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars never stop making their
marks, leaving tragedies in their wakes. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

            

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.

   

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.

  

————————————————————————–

 

Announcements:

  

Food Bank Distribution Tonight (Wednesday): 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 receive. Also we are looking for
additional drivers who would be able to help out with doing
grocery pickups 1 or more mornings per week.

 

Grupo
de Oración en Español 
reunirá esta tarde a las 5:30 en el Fellowship Hall. Cada semana,
revisamos un capitulo del libro “El Deseado de Todas Las Gentes” (esta semana:
capitulo 57: Una Cosa Te Falta), y elevamos las peticiones de nuestros
miembros, y también la lista de la iglesia. Ven y experimenta la bendición de
discusión y oración en grupo.    

 

Home Care Assist Position: A job is available for caring for some older folks, helping them with
tasks around their home. This is a paid position, with 25-30 hours/week
requested, spread over 2-3 days. Somewhat flexible scheduling is available. If
interested, please contact Pastor Mark or the church office for more details.

 

Sabbath Morning schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. Pastor Mark will
be leading service in the sanctuary. Then lesson study is at 10:00 in room 305/306. Kids
& Youth
 will be meeting at 9:30 in the Youth room as usual for
songs & light breakfast, before going to their age-based Sabbath school
classes in the various classrooms. 
Los hermanos Hispanos reunirán
a las 9:30 también en el Santuario, juntos con los anglo-parlantes. 
Come and join our most dynamic & interactive part of the
church day!

 

Sociedad de Jovenes, our bilingual closing of the Sabbath service, will be held this
Sabbath afternoon at 5:00 p.m. in the Youth Room. Come to enjoy group singing,
a Bible game, and an engaging speaker.

 

Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders and Adventurers are on for this Sabbath. The Adventurer Club will
be going on an outing to Irvine Park, and are encouraged to bring a sack lunch
to church, to facilitate a quick departure afterward. Pathfinders will
be hosting the Orange County-wide Pathfinder day, which will be held in
our fellowship hall & parking lot . It will be a most fun & thrilling
day! Thanks to our leaders & all volunteers for their great contributions
to our kids’ clubs.

   

Pastor’s Availability: Pastor Mark is available for appointments either at the church,
your home, or another location. Feel free to call/text him at (714) 650-1245,
or e-mail 

prmarktatum@gmail.com if you’d like to communicate something to him, or arrange
for a time to meet together.     

   

Upcoming Events:

            Jan.
19th OC Pathfinder day, held in Fellowship Hall

            Jan.
26th Church-wide birthday party social, 5:00 p.m., fellowship
hall

           
Feb. 2nd: Potluck & Church Business Meeting in Fellowship Hall

 

———————————————————

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

     Pastor Mark Tatum

 

 

Mid-week Pastor’s Update 1-9-2019

Anaheim SDA Church

Mid-week Pastor’s Update

January 9th, 2019

 

new jerusalem.jpg

 

“[The angel] measured the walls [of the
New Jerusalem] and found them to be 216 feet thick… its gates will never be
closed…”   (Rev. 21:17, 25 NLT)

 

There is a lot of debate going on just now regarding the expediency of
building a “wall” at our southern border with Mexico. This discussion is taking
place on a political, national level, as well as at a personal level in many of
our homes and businesses.

 

The aspects of
the matter are complicated, and while I don’t want to meander into divisive
political issues, I can’t help but be fascinated by what the Bible says about
both the defenses, as well as the openness of the New Jerusalem, the destiny we
are longing for, “in which righteousness dwells” (2nd Peter 3:13).

 

In Bible times,
any city was only as safe as its defenses, and people’s sense of security was
surely proportional to how well the city was protected. Bible characters would
probably be alarmed to see our cities today, which just gradually ‘start’, and
even blend into one-another, with little to no visible defenses! We would of
course have to explain to them about how things like camera surveillance and
air and vehicular defenses work.

 

Can you imagine the security, though, of a wall
over 200 feet thick? That might be the length of our sanctuary! ‘Absolutely
impenetrable’ is the implication intended for prospective citizens of the New
Jerusalem. They are to feel safe, secure, protected with the Lord. What a
blessing for people who had to live constantly on edge, wondering if their
cities or dwellings would be penetrated!

 

Yet, at the same
time, the New Jerusalem’s gates never
close! The reason given in Revelation is because there will be no night there (v. 25). The scary, chaotic time in
which most crimes are done will cease to exist. Of course, all the negative
things of thievery, malice, murder, etc. will be done away with by that time (vv. 4, 8). So in a sense, there will be
nothing that we’ll be needed to be protected from.

 

Why the description
of the super-thick walls, then? My guess is, that in the ancient world, the
concept of ‘walls’ equaling ‘security’ was so ingrained in the people’s minds,
that God accommodated to their way of thinking. Does that mean that I think the
description is merely symbolic, then? Not necessarily. I frankly expect to see
what has been described. If we should get there, however, and discover that it is
somehow different, I will say “hallelujah” just the same.

 

Security yet perpetual openness. That’s
what’s described in Revelation as to what the Kingdom of God offers. What a
relief it will be for those who have lived in fear! Of course, those traits are
secondary to the real purpose of being there: “Behold, the tabernacle of
God is with men, and
He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with
them and be their God…
They
shall see His face, and 
His name shall
be on their foreheads.” (Rev. 21:3, 22:4).
That is the great goal for which we long
and strive. And which God joyfully shares with us. I pray we can live our lives
with that knowledge and that expectation spurring us on, motivating us in all
we do.

 

May God bless you
all.

 

Sincerely,

     Pr. Mark Tatum

 

———————————————————————————-

 

Prayer Requests:

 

Lloyd and Esther Sellers
are breathing a sigh of relief and thanking God, after their grandson, Beau,
was able to go home from the hospital after having been airlifted there with a
systemic infection. May baby Beau continue to improve, and have a happy, active
childhood ahead of him.

 

Praise the Lord, Susan
Hasso’s father-in-law Daniel has improved somewhat in his strength from a
couple of weeks ago. He still has a long way to go, however. Please pray for
his continued improvement. She is also giving thanks that her aunt, who was hospitalized
a few weeks back, is doing much better new.

 

Please pray for those affected financially by
the government shutdown. Apparently some 800,000 people are going without
either/both work or paychecks while this political stalemate lingers. The one
case I have heard of from our congregation, is thankfully financially okay for
the time being. Many, however, are not, and depend on the government being open
for their livelihoods. Please pray for quick resolution to this issue, and you
can wrap that into your overall prayers 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.

 

Please continue to keep in prayer others who are
enduring long-term illnesses:

* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s Father, who is
recovering from a surgery he had to remove a cancer on his foot.

* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law niece Carol,
and friend Lupe, who are both suffering with health problems.

*  Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and
Daniel Geli, who are enduring effects of long-term illness. May they do so with
grace, faith, and improvement over time.

* Lloyd & Esther Sellers, who have both had
health problems, that they would gradually strengthen and be able to return to
us. They also request prayer for their children & grandchildren as they go
through various challenges in their decisions in life.

 

Let’s of course continue
praying for victims of tragedies both natural and man-made, in places near and
far around the globe. Fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars never
stop making their marks, leaving tragedies in their wakes. Come quickly, Lord
Jesus!

            

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.

   

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.

  

————————————————————————–

 

Announcements:

  

Food Bank Distribution Tonight (Wednesday): 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 receive. Also we are looking for
additional drivers who would be able to help out with doing
grocery pickups 1 or more mornings per week.

 

Grupo
de Oración en Español
reunirá esta tarde a las 5:30 en el Fellowship
Hall. Cada semana, revisamos un capitulo del libro “El Deseado de Todas Las Gentes”
(esta semana: capitulo 56: Jesús bendiciendo los niños), y elevamos las
peticiones de nuestros miembros, y también la lista de la iglesia. Ven y
experimenta la bendición de discusión y oración en grupo.   
 

 

Sabbath Morning schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. Pastor Mark will
be leading service in the sanctuary. Then lesson study is at 10:00 in room 304.
Kids & Youth will be meeting at 9:30 in the Youth room as usual for
songs & light breakfast, before going to their age-based Sabbath school
classes in the various classrooms.
Los hermanos Hispanos reunirán a las 9:00 en el Fellowship Hall,
con Anciano Margarito Gonzalez proveyendo la devocional.
Come and join our most dynamic & interactive part of the
church day!

 

Sociedad de Jovenes, our bilingual closing of the Sabbath service, will be held this
Sabbath afternoon at 5:00 p.m. in the Youth Room. Come to enjoy group singing,
a Bible game, and an engaging speaker.

 

Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders and Adventurers are on for this Sabbath. The Adventurer Club will be
going on an outing to Irvine Park, and are encouraged to bring a sack lunch to
church, to facilitate a quick departure afterward. Pathfinders will meet
at 3:00 p.m. in front of the fellowship hall/youth room area, as usual. They
will also be having thier OC Pathfinder day on Jan. 19th, in
which we will be hosting over a dozen pathfinder groups in our Fellowship Hall.
It will be a most fun & thrilling day! Thanks to our leaders & all
volunteers for their great contributions to our kids’ clubs.

   

Pastor’s Availability: Pastor Mark currently has Jury Duty, so his daytime availability
is limited. Evenings and weekends should be unaffected, however. The Pastor is
available for appointments either at the church, your home, or another
location. Feel free to call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail 
prmarktatum@gmail.com if you’d like to communicate something to him, or arrange
for a time to meet together.     

   

Upcoming Events:

            Jan.
19th OC Pathfinder day, held in Fellowship Hall

            Jan.
26th Church-wide birthday party social, 5:00 p.m., fellowship
hall

            Feb. 2nd:
Potluck & Church Business Meeting in Fellowship Hall

 

———————————————————

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

     Pastor Mark Tatum