Mid-week Pastor’s Update 10-24-2018

Anaheim SDA Church

Mid-week Pastor’s Update

October 24th, 2018

 

 

“The love of money is a root of
all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith,
and have pierced themselves with many griefs” 1st Timothy 6:10.

 

It seems that in the last week, people all around the country have come
down with “Lottery Fever” with the Mega Millions jackpot reaching a record 1.6 billion
dollars. Lotto fascination seems to be on everyone’s lips, on the national
news, and I am reminded of it by the giant billboard on the 57 freeway every
time I drive to/from church. Even people who generally don’t play the Lotto are
buying tickets, because , hey, “If you don’t play, you can’t win” (a phrase I’ve
heard no fewer than half-a-dozen times throughout the past week or so).

Of course, the chances of winning are infinitesimally small, on par
with getting struck by lightning twice, or getting attacked by a shark while
solving a Rubik’s Cube. 😛 In 99.99% of cases, the proverb “A fool and his
money are soon parted” (Thomas Tusser, 1573), comes true. But the fantasy, the hope, the what if? Draws people to reach into their pockets to give of
(hopefully) disposable income that otherwise could’ve gone to something else.

Late last week I got curious just how much disposable income has to go
in to the Lotto system for the jackpot to get to $1.6 billion. So I went to the
California Lottery website, where I learned that, after the initial $40
million, which is put in by the lottery, just 1/3 of money spent on ticket
purchases is fed back into jackpot amounts. (another 1/3rd goes to
education, which is certainly a noble cause, but I highly doubt it’s what on
peoples’ minds as they shell out for lotto tickets! I understand it was a
provision proposed at the beginning to make the ballot measure passable for
legalized gambling).

That means that an astounding almost $4.8 Billion of disposable income
has been spent by Americans, in order to get the jackpot to $1.6 Billion. What
else could’ve been done with that money! Even if we subtract the other $1.6
Billion that does go to the worthy cause of education, you still have 3.2
Billion that could go to a host of worthier causes than a sliver’s chance of riches
for one or a few people.

What kind of a difference could that cash make for homelessness, mental
health needs, or other community services? These, of course, would need to come
out of private donations, since some tax money is already set aside for such
causes. Yet, the selfishness of human nature is exposed by people being far more
eager to buy a lotto ticket than give to a charitable cause.

An additionally discouraging statistic is that it is disproportionately
the lower classes that play the Lottery. This is their choice, of course, but I
just find it ironic that those who have the least disposable income in the
first place seem to be the ones throwing it toward the artificial dream of
riches. (Even for those that do win, a substantial proportion end-up declaring
bankruptcy within the next few years! Crazy! It just shows that many lotto
jackpots go to people who don’t know how to adequately manage them.)

By the time you’re reading this, the jackpot will have either been won,
or else will have grown even larger, spurring more “Lotto Fever”. Isn’t it strange
that the longer no-one gets the dream, winning the jackpot, the more
people want to try?

For Christians, verses like the one quoted above from 1st
Timothy should be a deterrant. As should be Ecclesiastes 5:10: “He who loves money never has money enough.
Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is
meaningless”
, and the 10 commandments’ directive that we “shall not covet” Exodus 20:17. Jesus,
too warns about the seductiveness of money, saying that it is impossible to
serve both it and God (Matthew 6:24, Luke 12:15).

Eventually, someone will win this enormous jackpot. And their life will
no-doubt be changed forever. I pray they do a great amount of good with it, and
don’t ruin their personal finances in the long-run.

But friends, how much clearer can the contrast be, than that having
Jesus “in our pocket” is having a winning “lotto ticket” for sure? Not
in terms of immediate financial gain, but having all our needs taken care of in
a heavenly home without suffering or sadness? It sounds ironically close to lotto
aspirationists’ dreams to me. Yet, why doesn’t society catch “fever” about
that? It’s sad, because, truly, we could all be “winners beyond our wildest dreams”.
To put Jesus aside is, in effect, to throw away the “winning lotto ticket”.

May God bless you all. And, of course, no personal offense to anyone
who may have bought a lotto ticket in the last week. 😛

Sincerely,

      Pastor Mark Tatum

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Prayer Requests

 

Please
pray for those still suffering in the wake of recent hurricanes. This includes Hurricane
Willa in central Mexico, Hurricane Michael in Florida, and Georgia, and others
in Asia & Indonesia, who are 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. Also we are looking for additional drivers who would
be able to do grocery pickups 1 or more mornings per week.

 

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 45, “Previsiones de la Cruz”, y oramos juntos. Por favor
considera reuniendo con nosotros para recibir una bendición.   

 

Friday Evening Young Adult Bible
Study:

This Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship hall, a group of Adventist
young adults from around the various churches will be meeting together to study
the Gospel of John. Please come and share in this exceptional chance to study
and fellowship with other young people.

 

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, where Pastor Mark Tatum will be continuing his series on “The Spirit
of Missions”, focusing on William Carey first Christian missionary to India. 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.

  

Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders
and Adventurers:
The
Adventurer club will be meeting this Sabbath, but will be taking next
Sabbath, Nov. 3rd, off. The Pathfinders won’t be having their
regular club meeting, but will be hosting a fund-raiser for the church’s Fall
Social in the fellowship hall. More details on that below. The Pathfinders also
have a conference-wide campout next weekend, Nov. 1st – 4th.
Speak to club leader Margarito Gonzalez for more details.
   

 

Church Fall Social this Saturday
Evening!
We
will be having a fun, fall-themed get-together in our fellowship hall. We begin
at 5:30 with an ending-of-the-Sabbath worship service, followed by a donation-based
dinner provided by the Pathfinders
at about 6:15, and games and fun
afterward. We will have a bounce house, face painting, and more!

 

Mid-week Prayer: meets each week on Tuesday @ 6:30 in
English in room 304, and Miercoles en Español a las 5:30 en el
Fellowship Hall. As usual, we will be reviewing a chapter of Desire of Ages
(next week, chapter 46, “The Transfiguration of Jesus”) and will lift up
petitions in group prayer. It is a great spiritual re-charge during the week.
Please consider joining.

  

“Family Friendly Halloween
Alternative” Oct. 31st:
as in past years, we will be having a small
gathering at our church on Halloween evening, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., 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