Anaheim SDA Church
Mid-week Pastor’s Update
October 31st, 2018
“…If, while we were
God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been
reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Romans 5:10
I try not to let the week’s
news dictate too many of my mid-week devotional thoughts. But I was thinking:
how can I do any other, given that the mid-term election is less than a week away,
and that there was a horrific shooting at a synagogue this past Sabbath? Surely
these things, and spiritual reflections on them, deserve our attention.
And as I was considering what
& how to write, it struck me that there is one uniting theme that weaves
these, and so many other of our modern-day worries together: drama.
While most of us hate drama,
I think that much of humanity, in secret at least, loves to hate its drama. It’s
why our politics is in a place of continual ‘emergency’, of vociferous
name-calling and grand-standing, and why much of our entertainment is focused
on regeneration and regurgitation of action sequences and personal drama between characters.
A series’ primary goal, of
course, is to be successful and to keep going. Thus, dramatic plots need to not
resolve, and rather must perpetuate themselves in order to achieve maximum success.
I’ve actually, over the years, stopped watching some dramatic series I’d been
watching, partly because I could sense that drama was just kind of artificially
being invented to keep things going. Even some shows I’d enjoyed the first
season or two of, I’d think, “Really? They’re not letting this storyline
resolve, but are sending it hurtling down this next rabbit hole?”.
I’m similarly finding myself
continually wearied by our national news coverage, which seems to jump from one
crisis to another, keeping the adrenaline level at “10”, no matter what the
issue at hand is. I remind myself that many of the full-time news channels, and
even network news outlets, exist to perpetuate themselves.
God’s kingdom, on the other
hand, offers us a release from this purgatory of perpetual drama. Opposite from
the yin-yang philosophy of eastern religions, Christianity asserts that there
will indeed be an end to all sickness, sadness, suffering, strife, etc., for
the old order of things will pass away (Revelation 21:4). It will essentially
be a reality free from drama: but rather filled with joy, harmony, sweetness,
and fulfillment. The carnal mind may say “but that sounds boring! Where will
the excitement be?” We must remember that it is the sick parts of ourselves
that enjoy conflict, envy, and strife. We must ask God to be cured of this sickness.
God, from his part, has already said “I’m
done with the drama” with humanity, having reconciled us to himself through Christ, as
asserted in our Romans 5 passage above. Redemption and eternal life through
Jesus is the promise for all who accept his offer and joyfully respond in
obedience. It is now our choice whether we will be at peace with God as well.
I pray that we will say yes!
That we will believe God loves us
& has saved us, and stop wallowing and worrying if we’re really good
enough. I pray that we will similarly dial down the drama with kids, spouses,
neighbors, co-workers, etc., and be ambassadors for peace, like we are called to
be in the scriptures. (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Jesus said “Blessed are the peace-makers, for they will be called
children of God” in Matthew 5:9.
In light of those passages,
it makes me wonder just how many, or few, politicians or people in the
entertainment business have their priorities on the things of God. I fear the
answer is ‘very few’, which then makes me question just how much of my
attention they deserve. The answer I’m gradually coming to, as you have
probably guessed, is ‘very little’.
May God smile down on us as
we turn our attention to ‘the most excellent things’ (Philippians 4:8).
May God bless you all the
remainder of this week.
Pastor Mark Tatum
Of course, our hearts go out to the members of the synagogue in Pennsylvania, who endured
the horror and the loss of the mass shooting this past Sabbath. May God comfort
them as they draw together in mourning. And may we pray for peace in a time of a
very charged political climate.
also for the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico. Whatever your political
thoughts on the matter, many thousands are having a hard time in Central America
with violence, and I can’t blame them for wanting to come northward for
something better. Please pray that the most compassionate yet fair treatment
may be done for these people, particularly the mothers and children involved.
are praising God that Mark Hennig has continued to improve after his
long-running bout of trouble with surgeries and digestive problems. I heard a
report recently that Mark is now able to get all his needed calories through
eating, praise God. He still has bad bouts, however, so let’s pray for him to
return to full health soon, so that he can return to his regular life, which of
course includes work, as well as attending church here.
pray for those still suffering in the wake of recent hurricanes, earthquakes,
and other natural and man-made disasters. We may only hear of these for a few
days (or in extreme cases, weeks), but lives are often affected for decades if
not forever. Pray for comfort and recovery for the affected.
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
* Lloyd & Esther Sellers, who have both had
health problems, that they would gradually strengthen and be able to return to
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.
alternative activity TONIGHT! (Wednesday): From 6:30-8:30 p.m., we will be having a
family-friendly get-together in the church courtyard. We will have food,
crafts, face-painting, and a bounce house, so come out and enjoy some positive
fun, while much of society focuses on negatives. (Also could be called “Protestant
Reformation Day celebration!” 😊 ).
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
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, “La Transfiguración”, y oramos juntos. Por favor
considera reuniendo con nosotros para recibir una bendición.
Conference-wide Pathfinder Camporee: begins tomorrow (Thursday) evening in Rancho
Jurupa park in Riverside. Our young people will be joining hundreds of other
Pathfinders from across the conference in praising God, learning skills, and
growing together. A big thanks goes out to brother Margarito, who will be leading
the group, as well as many other faithful volunteers. Club will resume regular
meetings on the 9th
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 George Müller, who famously ran orphanages in
Britain, to huge success, based on his Christian faith. Then, lesson study is
at 10:00, in room 305/306 as usual. Esta semana los
hermanos Hispanos reunirán en el santuario a las 9:30 para Escuela
Sabática. May we all be blessed with
this most dynamic, participatory part of our day.
Church Potluck is on for this coming Sabbath, being the
first Sabbath of the month. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share as we enjoy
a meal with our fellow members and visitors. Please, also, lend a hand in cleanup
afterward if you are able. It helps our volunteers a lot.
Pastor’s Availability: Pastor Mark’s availability
will be limited both for the remainder of this week, as well as next, due to
helping with 2 camping trips. Feel free to call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or
Kids’ Adventurer Club will not be
meeting this Sabbath, as they are taking the break they would’ve ordinarily had
last Sabbath. They will have their next club meeting on Nov. 9th.
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 47, “Jesus’ Ministry”) and will lift up petitions in group
prayer. It is a great spiritual re-charge during the week. Please consider
Orange County Friday Night
Young Adult Bible Study takes place every other Friday evening in
our fellowship hall. The next one will be held on November 9th. Join young adults from
different churches around orange county as they come together to study the Gospel
of John. All are welcome.
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.