Mid-week Pastor’s Update
November 7th, 2018
“There will be no more death or mourning or crying or
pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Well, the hotly-contested mid-term election is finally behind us. I was
encouraged on social media today seeing scores of “I voted” stickers posted,
rather than the usual political vitriol, which lately seemed to have been
turned-up to 11. Hopefully now we can take a breath and remember that we are
Americans first, and members (or leaners) of a political party 2nd. Done
are the tv ads, the phone calls, the signs at yards and intersections. Done are
the vilifications of the other side, and the endless speculating and poll-taking
for various races.
…done for 2 years, that is. Or, in reality, more like 8 months until
presidential contenders begin announcing their candidacies and begin jockeying
for position. Absolutely enjoy the relative break we will have from political
wranglings, but rest assured they will be back, as vociferously as ever in a
political climate that only seems to get more extreme and volatile.
This is why I’m so relieved at the verse’s assertion above that “the
old order of things [will have] passed away”. This is actually a snippet from a
broader section that reads: “And
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold! God’s dwelling place is
now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his
people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
It is a relief just to consider it. How wonderful it will be when we experience it in actuality: when God’s
Kingdom comes, and He reigns forever and ever! While on this side of eternity,
democracy is by far the best system of governance, we will happily give it up
for a monarchy that is truly benevolent.
Please don’t get me wrong as a complete cynic: I felt patriotic voting
yesterday, to the point of getting misty-eyed at the great opportunity we had
to vote and make our choice known fairly. That is a rare blessing; how many
millions (billions) live under circumstances in which they have no say? I
recalled seeing footage of celebrating citizens in places like Afghanistan,
their fingers purple with dye indicating their having voted, in places where
they hadn’t done so in a generation, due to cruel dictators repressing their
God is not like those cruel dictators, in fact, you could reason that
the reason why the Great Controversy has been allowed to continue is just that: because God
doesn’t simply destroy his political opponents. The way the world is set-up is
essentially to let us all ‘cast our vote’ over the course of a lifetime for who
we believe should rule: God or Satan (the latter presenting the deceitful claim that it
is ourselves we are living for).
For those who choose God and life and everything pure, an everlasting Kingdom, and the description
above is their reward. For those who choose Satan, a consuming fire commensurate
to their level of sin, and then eternal non-existence is their destiny (Revelation 22:12, Malachi 4:1, Great Controversy pp. 672-673).
The universe will finally be at peace, restored to harmony. I praise
God we don’t believe in the doctrine of an eternally burning hell. It would
make the focus verse above impossible!
I pray that the newly elected leaders will realize the solemnity and
weight of the responsibilities they bear, and will decide judiciously, and
prayerfully, for the good of all. I of course pray that you and your families will
be blessed going forward as well. Enjoy, hopefully, a drama-free week ahead.
Pastor Mark Tatum
We are praising God for Mark Hennig having returned to us at church
this past week! It has been a long, slow road to recovery for him, but he is now
able to get all his nourishment from food, and has the strength to get out of
the house, and do some daily tasks. Do keep praying for him to strengthen and
have good health for the long term.
pray for those still suffering in the wake of recent disasters and difficulties,
including the Jewish community in Philadelphia, the ‘migrant caravan’ in Mexico,
as well as victims of 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.
Camporee a success! Last weekend, our youth Pathfinder club went camping
at a regional park in Riverside, with hundreds of fellow Pathfinders from
dozens of clubs across Southeastern California. We thank God for the good weather,
the safe travels, and the bonding, learning and growing our young people were
able to do together. A big thanks goes out to Margarito Gonzalez and the other
volunteers who helped this trip become a reality. Next campout is Joshua Tree
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 47, “Nada Os Será Imposible”, y oramos juntos. Por favor
considera reuniendo con nosotros para recibir una bendición.
Orange County Friday Night
Young Adult Bible Study will be taking place this Friday at 7:00 p.m. in
our fellowship hall. Join young adults from
different churches around orange county as they come together to study the
Gospel of John. Refreshments are provided, and all are welcome. (Please note:
this is an every other Friday occurrence).
Pastor’s Availability: Pastor Mark’s availability will be limited both for the remainder of this week, due to helping with an Orangewood Academy camping. Next week he should be available most of the week, though. Feel free to call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail
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 people who do amazing things for the Lord, according
to their Christian faith. 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, y Pastor Mark dará el devocional a las
10:00, terminando su serie en primera de Juan. May we all be blessed with this most dynamic,
participatory part of our day.
Kids’ Clubs of Adventurers
will be meeting this Sabbath at their regular times: 3:00 p.m. in front of the
youth room. A big thanks goes out to Margarito Gonzalez and Craig Voelker, as
well as their volunteers, for steering our kids right in growing with the Lord
and each other. Do not hesitate to contact either leader regarding questions
you may have about the clubs.
New Mid-week Prayer Format:
Our Tuesday evening
group is changing its time
and format slightly: it will now be meeting each week @ 6:00 on Tuesdays
in room 304, and will include a light supper of soup and salad, before
delving into study & prayer time. As usual, we will be reviewing a chapter
of Desire of Ages (next week, chapter 48, “Who is the greatest?”) and will lift
up petitions in group prayer. It is a great spiritual re-charge during the
week. Please consider joining.
As per church tradition, we are planning on holding a vegetarian, potluck-style
breakfast in the fellowship hall the morning of Thanksgiving (the 22nd).
Mark it on your calendars, and look for more details as the date grows closer.
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.