Anaheim SDA Church
January 2nd, 2019
Mid-week Pastor’s Update
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
Being in just the first few days of the new year, I hope it’s going
well for you! 🙂 As for me & my family, we have enjoyed watching videos of
the fireworks presentations from around the world, as well as the Rose Parade
Tuesday morning. Near and far, it is a time of festivity and cheer, largely
based around the concept of having a “fresh start” or a “clean slate”, and of leaving
behind the baggage of yesteryear.
Do we as Christians affirm “fresh starts”, “clean slates”, and leaving “baggage”
behind? Absolutely! Though for us it isn’t based on a certain date: we don’t
have to look to our calendars to await the anticipated date of Dec. 31st/Jan.
1st to be relieved. For Christians, the ‘fresh start’, the ‘clean
slate’ comes from forgiveness, which God is happy to provide at any time! God
says ‘let’s end the drama, end the baggage, and start anew together, today!’ From His side, He’s already made
peace with us (Romans 5:1), and it is our choice whether we will be at peace
with Him & others going forward (2 Cor. 5:20, Luke 12:58, Matt. 5:9).
Of course, many in the world use the occasion of New Years’ eve to
drink and party as well. The Bible speaks directly to this, saying: Be alert and of sober mind, and Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled
with the Spirit (1 Peter 5:8, Eph. 5:8). Why dumb down our minds & spiritual perceptions when we could be enhancing them?! Again, Peter, in his 2nd epistle, rhetorically
asks: "what kind of
people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of
God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the
heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are
looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness
dwells." (2nd Peter 3:11-13)
So we, of course, never find our source of joy (or revelry) in the
world, for that will be destroyed. And every New Year that comes puts us one
click closer to that certain, prophesied event. But rather, we look beyond the destruction of the world for
our joy, our fulfillment, our hope: that we can go to heaven with Jesus (1
Thess 4:17), and return to the earth made new after that (Rev. 21:1-3).
That will be the cause of the
greatest celebration: reconciliation with God! Not just in a spiritual sense
through forgiveness, but in an actual, physical, face-to-face presence with our
Lord and maker! Truly, the description speaks to the deepest longings of the heart.
Friends, no earthly party, or ambitious gain, or amount of wealth can
substitute for that greatest of goals for the Christian. Let’s remember to
continuously put our hope in the Lord, and to seek and work toward His soon return, as we “look forward to the day of God, and speed
May God bless us all through 2019, the year of our Lord.
Pr. Mark Tatum
While Susan Hasso is rejoicing over the recent
improvement of her aunt, Nawal Ashkar, she urgently requests prayer for her
father-in-law, Daniel, who has been extremely weak lately. Please pray for him
to strengthen, and find his strength in the Lord.
Please pray for those affected financially by
the government shutdown. Apparently some 400,000 people are going without
either/both work or paychecks while this political stalemate lingers. Please
pray for quick resolution to this issue, and 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.
Please pray for the victims
of the recent tsunami in Indonesia, as well as rescue workers working in the
area. Thousands of these folks were inundated without warning, many of them as
they slept. And let us take the lesson that we are never to take our continued
safety and stability for granted 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, 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.
Recent Special Events a Success! Thanks to those who came to the afternoon
concert this past Sabbath from the M.A.P. (Music with A Purpose) ministry. We
were so blessed seeing the talents and testimonies of these young people for
the Lord. Also, a thanks goes to Ana Elias and other helpers for the potluck
and also the Monday night new year’s eve service we had in the fellowship hall.
It was lovely singing, discussing, and sharing communion with the brothers
& sisters there. May God bless us all throughout this new year!
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 our English & Spanish prayer groups will be taking
place tonight, Wednesday. This is due to the holiday having fallen
on Tuesday. Spanish is at 5:30 in the fellowship hall, and English is at 6:30
in room 304. In both groups we review a chapter of The Desire of
Ages (this week, chapter 55: “Not With Outward Show”), and lift up
prayers from the church prayer list as well as personal concerns. Please
consider joining this mid-week blessing and fellowship connection. Next week we
will be back to Tuesday for our English group.
Sabbath Morning schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. Pastor Mark will
be leading service in the sanctuary, juntos con los hermanos hispanos. 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. 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 will be resuming this Sabbath, at 3:00 p.m. in front of the
fellowship hall/youth room area. Both groups have done great jobs in their
recent Christmas activities and efforts. Thanks to our leaders & all
volunteers for their great contributions! OC Pathfinder day is coming up
Jan. 19th, in which we will be hosting several pathfinder groups in
the Fellowship Hall. It will be a most fun & thrilling day!
Pastor’s Availability: Pastor Mark is available for appointments, the remainder of this
week. For next week, Pr. Mark has to call in nightly for Jury Duty, and isn’t
sure in advance what his daytime schedule will permit. Evenings should be
unaffected. 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 email@example.com if you’d like to communicate something to him, or arrange
for a time to meet together.
19th OC Pathfinder day, held in Fellowship Hall
26th Church-wide birthday party social, 5:00 p.m., fellowship
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.
Pastor Mark Tatum