Anaheim SDA Church
Mid-week Pastor’s Update
January 9th, 2019
“[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
May God bless you
Pr. Mark Tatum
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
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.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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