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.*

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*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.

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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