Mid-week Pastor’s Update 10-17-18

*Anaheim SDA Church*

*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*

*October 17th, 2018*

[image: abraham stars.jpg]

*“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” *

*Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3*

From a very young age, we are instilled with the message that, in general,
you get what you deserve and what you work for. You didn’t finish your
supper? No dessert. You didn’t clean your room? No allowance. You didn’t
study for the science test? Failing grade. You didn’t show up to work on
time? Or get that project done? You get reprimanded, or fired. You can’t
pay your mortgage? You lose your house.

It is immensely easy to project this cause/effect relationship upward to
God. You do good enough in life? You get rewarded with heaven. You don’t?
Tough beans. It’s destruction for you. (hey, at least we don’t believe in
an *eternally* burning hell as many Christians do!).

But this is actually *not* what the Bible promotes. Surely, living well,
honestly, and following the commandments will help things go well for you
in this life, and you will get a lot of earthly rewards; but in terms of
salvation, it is not we who achieve it for ourselves.

Rather, we are encouraged dozens, if not hundreds of times in scripture, to
*trust* in the Lord and His goodness (Proverbs 3:5, Psalm 37:3, Isaiah
26:4, Jeremiah 17:7, etc.). But that begs the question: trust what exactly?
Trust that he will be like a fair boss, who gives you what you deserve?

The Bible flat-out says that we cannot *deserve* heaven. *“There is no-one
who is righteous, no, not one” *(Romans 3:10), “*All our righteous acts are
like filthy rags” *(Isaiah 64:6), *“Death came to all mankind, for all
sinned”* (Romans 5:12). So the upward-associating of the world’s ‘justice’,
that we learn from childhood, and all the way up to adulthood, to God,
cannot apply. Even if it did, it would not produce *rejoicing* in the Lord,
which is so often depicted and encouraged in scripture (Revelation 7:9-10,
Philippians 4:4), but would rather produce a nodding of assent in the logic
of God’s fairness.

Rather, we are called to *trust* God’s goodness and his grace, His mercy
and His love, to actually give us far beyond what would be fair! We’re
already given a pretty “fair” deal on earth. But the Bible promises so much
more.

We are to *trust* God’s plan of salvation. The design he put into effect so
many centuries ago, with the sending of His only son to be our atoning
sacrifice (John 3:16, 1st John 2:2), was to be an *effective* sacrifice,
bringing the ability to forgive sin and purge unrighteousness (Hebrews
9:12, 13:12). Do we *trust* that? Do we *trust* it to be efficacious on our
behalf?

Abraham had a tough call to trust God in a seemingly impossible situation.
And though he had his weak moments (as we all do), he ultimately did, and
thus became the father of our faith (and two other of the most significant
world religions as well). He is held up in the New Testament as an example
of faith that God would come through, completing his promises (Hebrews
11:8, 17). We are urged to have similar faith: not merely in God’s
fairness, but in His power to bring about His promises beyond what we could
ever deserve or procure for ourselves.

This faith, and seeing it become sight, produces *rejoicing*, not in
ourselves (!), but rather in Him who is able to accomplish beyond what we
can imagine! (Ephesians 3:20) We of course, in our rejoicing, cooperate
with God’s plan for our lives by obeying, but it is *far* from a
transactional “if/then” approach from our work/reward orientation of our
daily lives!

I finish with a text that sums it up so perfectly: Romans 3:23-24: *“**all
have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by
his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.**”*

Will we believe it, friends? Will we rejoice in it (despite how it exposes
our utter unworthiness)? Will we echo the joyful strain of “All praises to
*Him* who has accomplished our salvation”?

I pray so, friends. I pray that our trust, and rejoicing, in the Lord would
be complete! It is all God, all Jesus, all the time. *“The Author and
Finisher of our faith”*. Hebrews 12:2.

God bless you all.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

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*Prayer Requests*

Please pray for those still suffering in the wake of Hurricane Michael in
Cuba, Florida, and Georgia. This is of course in addition to praying for
the Carolinas recovering from their recent hurricane, as well as places
around the world like Asia & Indonesia, recovering from their recent
natural disasters.

Jeannette Cardinale is praising God that her adult nephew’s surgery went
well last week, and he has been released from the ICU. She asks continued
prayer for his recovery, as well as for her extended family, as her
brother, Ramón, passed away suddenly two weeks ago. May God comfort them in
their grief, and may they be reunited on the day of the Resurrection.

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

* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s Father, who is receiving immunotherapy for a
cancer on his foot.

* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law Rosa and niece Carol, who are both being
treated for health problems. Thankfully, Rosa is improving, having had a
surgery and being put on some medications. Carol is still struggling, pray
for her to improve.

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

* Lloyd & Esther Sellers, who have both had health problems, that they
would gradually strengthen and be able to return to us

* Mark Hennig, who is improving in his digestion after an odyssey of
surgeries & baffling (& frustrating) non-improvement. He can get a
percentage of his calories through eating again, and is hoping to return to
work (and us at church) before too long.

Please pray for stability and improvement in each case, that God would
strengthen and sustain so many sincere children of his.

Pray for families and relationships that are strained and broken. Pray for
prodigals to be ‘nudged’ by the Holy Spirit to return home to the faith of
their upbringing. Pray also for the church’s marriages to be strong &
fulfilling.

Pray for our leaders, local, broad, and abroad, to be wise and judicious in
their leadership. Let’s remember that the Bible’s instruction is to pray
for our leaders (Romans 13:1, 1 Tim. 2:1-2) so we can live peaceably, doing
God’s work day by day.

*There is, of course, much more to pray for. Please consider joining our
weekly prayer groups, and if you have a prayer request to submit for our
list, please communicate it either to pastor Mark or the church office. God
bless you.*

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*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.

*Grupo de Oración en Español* reúne esta tarde a las 5:30 en el fellowship
hall. Estamos continuando a leer el libro *Deseado de Todas las Gentes*
(esta semana capitulo 44, “La Verdadera Señal”, y oramos juntos. Por favor
considera reuniendo con nosotros para recibir una bendición.

*Pastor’s Availability: *Both this week and next Pastor Mark will continue
being available by appointment. He can meet either at the church, or at a
home or other place. Feel free to call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or
e-mail prmarktatum@gmail.com.

*Saturday Morning Sabbath Schools* commence at 9:30 Saturday mornings for
all age groups! *Kids and Youth* begin in the youth room with morning
refreshments and songs, before going to their age-level classes at 10:00.
*Adults* begin at 9:30 in the in the sanctuary. Then, lesson study is at
10:00, in room 305/306 as usual. Esta semana los hermanos *Hispanos*
reunirán en el Fellowship Hall a las 9:00 para Escuela Sabática. Pr. Mark
dará el devocional a las 10:00, continuando su serie en 1er de Juan. May we
all be blessed with this most dynamic, participatory part of our day.

*Conference “Gear Up” Training this Sabbath afternoon at Loma Linda Academy*:
This Sabbath, from 3:00 to 7:00, over 25 seminars will be held on training
in various areas. Registration is free, and supper is included. Go to the
website at https://seccpresident.adventistfaith.org/gamechangers to get
more info and sign-up. We also had/have bulletin inserts both last & this
Sabbath with further info.

*Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders and Adventurers* are on for this Sabbath, at
3:00 Sabbath Afternoon in front of the Youth room. The Adventurers will be
heading to a museum in Fontana, and the Pathfinders will be participating
in Orangewood Academy’s upcoming Fall Festival on the 21st. Ask club
leaders Margarito G. (Pathfinders) or Craig V. (Adventurers) for any
questions regarding registration or future activities. May God bless our
kids and volunteers as they spend many fun afternoons learning and growing
in Jesus.

*Sociedad de Jovenes*, our bilingual closing of the Sabbath program, will
be taking place this Sabbath afternoon at 5:30 as usual. Come to sing,
enjoy a Bible game, and hear a speaker discuss an interesting and relevant
topic to living as young people in our modern day and age.

*Mid-week Prayer:* meets each week on Tuesday @ 6:30 in English in *room
304*, and Miercoles en Español a las 5:30. As usual, we will be reviewing a
chapter of Desire of Ages (next week, chapter 45, “The Foreshadowing of the
Cross”) and will lift up petitions in group prayer. It is a great spiritual
re-charge during the week. Please consider joining.

*Orangewood Academy *will be having its annual *Alumni Weekend* this
weekend, including its *Fall Festival* this Sunday, the 21st. Come see
booths with food & activities as we raise funds for IT needs at the school.
Also keep in mind the dollar-for-dollar match for donations toward the
emergency fund.

*“Family Friendly Halloween Alternative” Oct. 31st: *as in past years, we
will be having a small gathering at our church on Halloween evening, in
which the kids will be able to do crafts, have snacks, and enjoy a bounce
house. We’d love to have you join us as we celebrate good and happy things
on a night otherwise dedicated to negatives.

*Future Dates for Your Calendar:*

Oct. 20-21 – Orangewood Academy Alumni Weekend

Oct. 21st – Pathfinder Club participating in OA Fall Fair

Oct. 27th – Church Fall Social

Oct. 31st – Family Friendly Haloween Alternative 6:30 – 8:30

Nov. 1-4 – Pathfinder conference-wide Camporee at Rancho Jurupa
Park in Riverside

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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