Mid-week Pastor’s Update 2-13-2019

*Please note some important prayer requests and announcements below,
highlighted in **yellow!*

*Anaheim SDA Church*

*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*

*February 13th, 2019*

[image: poppies.jpg]

*“Consider the Lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor
spin.” Matthew 6:28*

Last week, as I drove toward Riverside through Santa Ana Canyon on the 91
freeway, I saw something that stunned me. For some weeks I’d been enjoying
the greenery of the hills, the result of the rains we’ve been having (such
a treat to the eyes, compared to the scruffy brown that is usually there!)
But last week I spotted something that I’d only seen before on the
“Grapevine” of Interstate 5 headed toward central California: in stark
contrast to the lush green, I saw bright swatches of orange and yellow,
standing out as boldly as if somebody had come by and marked the hills with
a hi-liter marker! These were Calfiornia poppies I was seeing, our state
flower, which are known to be fleeting and only bloom under certain,
specific weather conditions. There are destination spots I’ve been to in
the high desert or plateaus south of Lake Elsinore before, but never had I
seen volunteer poppies in Santa Ana canyon. As the sun shone on them, they
were almost uncomfortably bright to look directly at! But my heart rejoiced
at this display of God’s beauty in nature.

I noticed something else, too. While the entirety of the hills were green,
some places were a ‘compromised’ or ‘dingy’ green, with dry brush still
overcovering the young chutes of grass. Other parts were uncompromisingly
bright green, and I wondered for a moment why some spots looked like a
mixture of death and life, while other parts looked purely verdant. Then I
quickly realized: the spots that look so much better are the spots that
burned in the Santa Ana canyon fire a year and a half ago! What was once
the *ugliest* part of the hills, barren moonscape stained by ash, was now
the *most lovely* part of them! It reminded me that beauty comes after
tragedy, that rainbows come after the rains, that every cloud has a silver
lining, etc.

It actually reminded me of what Jesus said about the Gospel: how ‘new wine’
(unfermented) could not be put in ‘old wineskins’. How old, stodgy
conceptions can *hinder* the uncompromised beauty that God wants to bring
about. I asked myself: am I like the marred green parts of the hills, that
still have dead scrub above the green blades? Or am I like the verdant,
bright green parts, perhaps even the parts with neon orange poppies
sprouting forth?

Let me take a moment to clarify that I’m not asking for tragedy in my
personal life, nor in the church! 😛 But it made me ask myself if I am
open to change, to newness, to being surprised by God’s beauty? God may
want to make a positive change in us that hopefully doesn’t take a ‘jolt’
of hardship or tragedy to produce. I think of Jesus’ illustration of the
vines producing grapes, and the vinedresser (God the Father) pruning the
branches so they would be more abundant. Please, Lord, let us reach the
fruitful, abundant places with as little pain as possible!

Let us remember that there are lessons all around us in nature if we would
search for them and ask God what we might learn from what we observe. I
believe that in so many situations, God has teachings for us that are
hanging right there in front of us if we are perceptive to them. I pray
that we would be ‘radiant’ Christians, untainted by compromise with the
world, and that our faith might not be merely a soothing green, but a
surprising orange! A surprising joy and pleasure to those who observe it.
For God’s glory always, of course. May that be all of our prayer as we
continue through the week.

May God bless you all.

Sincerely,

Pr. Mark Tatum

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*Prayer Requests:*

Please keep Elder Lloyd Sellers high in your prayers, as he is having a
heart procedure today to improve bloodflow. Esther continues to be weak as
well: please pray for them to be strengthened, their days lengthened, and
that they may return to us soon.

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.

We are glad that the government shutdown has ended, for the time being.
Please pray for our branches of government to work together to keep serving
the people, rather than be perpetually locked in partisan standoffs. And
pray the government doesn’t shut-down again, that those workers & families
don’t have to go without pay again. You can wrap these into your overall
prayers for our leaders, as we’re praying for those 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.

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 Jesus!

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.*

————————————————————————–

*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 help out
with doing grocery pickups 1 or more mornings per week.

*Grupo de Oración en Español: *Reunimos a las 5:30 en el Fellowship hall
para revisar un capitulo del Deseado de Todas Las Gentes, y elevar
peticiones en oración. Esta semana estamos revisando el capitulo 61:
*“Zaqueo”*. Ven para experimentar una bendición en compartir fe con
hermanos y comunar con Dios y otros.

*Church Board Meeting Tonight!* (Wednesday), at 6:30 p.m. in the Primary
room. Elders and department leaders, please plan on attending. If you have
any agenda items, please get them to Pastor Mark or the church office as
soon as possible. And all members: please keep our leaders in prayer as
they seek to discern God’s will & plan for our church’s future accordingly.

*Sabbath Morning *schedule will be normal, with a 9:30 start time. Adults
will meet in the sanctuary, followed by lesson study is 10:00 in room
305/306. *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. En esta semana los hermanos *Hispanos*
reunirán en el santuario, juntos con los anglos-parlantes, para tener su
devocional y clase de Escuela Sabática. Come and join our most dynamic &
interactive part of the church day!

*Pathfinder Sabbath At Church This Week!* Our Kids’ club will be taking
charge of the church program this Sabbath, with their able director
Margarito Gonzales heading, and OC regional director Joel Milla preaching.
The Adventurer club will be participating as well! Come see our young
people show their growth & abilities as we praise the Lord together for
this great event.

*Sociedad de Jovenes:* Our Sabbath afternoon youth program is on for this
week at 5:00 p.m. in the youth room. Come for a fun, warm time together as
we say farewell to the Sabbath together in singing, playing a Bible game,
and welcoming the new week.

*“Diabetes Undone” Health Seminar:* We are planning to hold a Sabbath
afternoon health seminar through March & April which will focus on
reversing the progress & effects of Diabetes naturally & healthfully. Cost
is $99, which will include 8 guided sessions plus food samples & examples.
Several folks showed high interest after last week’s post-potluck
information session. If you missed that, but are still interested in info
and the possibility of enrolling, speak with Pr. Mark or Michael Warr
sometime here in early February.

*Tuesday Night Prayer Meeting:* will be meeting next week at 6:30 p.m. in
Room 304. Each week we review a chapter of The Desire of Ages (next week,
chapter 62: “The Feast at Simon’s House”), and lift up petitions in prayer.
Please consider coming & joining this close-knit group of faith &
friendship.

*Pastor’s Availability: *Pastor Mark plans to be available for the
remainder of this week for meetings by appointment either at the church,
your home, or another location. Next week, he’ll be out of town for the
first part of the week, but will be available in the latter part. Feel free
to call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail prmarktatum@gmail.com if
you’d like to communicate something to him, or arrange for a time to meet
together.

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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