Mid-week Pastor’s Update 2-27-2019

*Anaheim Seventh-day Adventist Church*

*Mid-Week Pastor’s Update*

*February 27th, 2019*

[image: jesus shepherd.jpg]

*“Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”*
Matthew 5:9

Earlier this week, I decided to check-out a vegan restaurant near where I
live. So I went to the “Loving Hut” restaurant on Tustin Street in Orange.
I happened to take in my copy of “Desire of Ages” to read the current
chapter in preparation for the mid-week prayer groups. While I was waiting
for my food and reading my book, I was surprised to see that the TV in the
little restaurant was playing a video that had religious content.
Particularly, pictures of Jesus, and even Jesus’ 2nd coming, grabbed my
attention! “Wow,” I thought “Could these guys be into the return of Jesus?”
As I watched a little farther though, and read the subtitles, I found that
their purpose for evoking these images was very different.

They were saying that Jesus was one of many “masters”, sent with messages
of peace, as were other peace leaders like Ghandi and the Buddha.
Furthermore, they were saying that Jesus *has* already come within us (if
we let him), and has *also* been embodied in a “Grand Master Ching Hai”,
who apparently leads some kind of a religion that runs these restaurants.
The woman was on the screen saying proverbs and giving advice for peace.

There was kind of a “good news broadcast” section that included world
events that were positive & peaceful (what a contrast from most news
broadcasts!), which included refugees being freed, peace treaties being
agreed to, and, not too surprisingly, the (surface) peace that North Korea
has declared with the South & the U.S. was touted. Basically the message
was saying that we’re on the cusp of an unprecedented 1,000 years of peace,
which Grand Master Ching Hai, along with her followers, will usher in.

While seeming very positive, I could quickly see that this was pretty
heretical, and went back to reading my book (almost felt like holding my
book between myself and the screen to ‘block’ the heresy coming from there
:-p ). But I thought of just how backwards this religious broadcast was
from Jesus’ true message, and just how obviously they strayed from his
words. “If someone tells you ‘he is in the desert’, or ‘he is in the inner
rooms’ do not go”. “As lightning that flashes in the east and is seen in
the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be” “Every eye will see
Him”, etc. Plus, a gradual turning to peace is *not* what the Bible
predicts, saying rather that wars will continue ‘till the end (Daniel 9:26,
Revelation 16:16). Only a real, literally visible return of Jesus will
change things for the world.

So, then I came home, and remembered a couple of hours later that someone
at church had mentioned to me about a (supposedly SDA) YouTube channel
they’d been watching some, called something like “Controversy 7”. So I
looked it up, and was just appalled by the thumbnails & titles that
appeared! Conspiracy theories and “shouted” (all-caps) titles, and general
click-bait: how this or that was tied to the illuminati, how Obama was
ushering in the New World Order, etc. I saw that this channel had thousands
of views on its videos, and even a few million views for some of them. I
was disgusted, and clicked away from the channel without watching any
videos.

I got to thinking about the contrast of what I’d seen in the new-agey
religious cult video, and then this conspiracy-filled “Adventist” one. And
thought “Why is the heretical one filled with lovely images and messages of
peace, while the “Christian” one is full of negativity and baseless
accusations?” It made me roll my eyes and shake my head. It reminded me
that we must strike a balance between extremes, and always be agents of
peace *while also* adhering to the truth. One without the other will not
fulfill God’s will for the world.

I leave you with a salutation from the apostle John in his 2nd
Epistle: *“Grace,
mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s
Son, will be with us in truth and love.”* (2nd John 1:3)

Let us strive for *all* of these characterizations, never skimping on any
of them! Let us be agents of *both* peace and Truth as it is in Jesus.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

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*Prayer Requests:*

Please pray for comfort and consolation for the Tolan family, after the
passing away of Victor’s father, Vasile (nicknamed “Leslie”). He was a
long-time member of our church, and very committed. A “Celebration of life”
service will be held the first Sabbath of April.

Christina Rebensczuk requests prayer for her health & ability to sleep, as
well as for her sister, who is dealing with a couple health problems, and
her neighbor, who is in his 90s and is in a fragile state as well. May God
uphold these people in strength.

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

* Lloyd Sellers, who had a successful heart surgery two weeks ago. Pray
that he will be able to return home from a care facility later this week.
Also for Esther, who is undergoing dialysis regularly, that she may be
strengthened, and that the family may be stable and positive overall.

* 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.

Let’s pray for our government leaders, both domestic and international, as
peoples’ ability to live stable, peaceable lives depends on them making
good, wise decisions. Let’s continue to pray 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.*

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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. A
big thanks goes out to our volunteers who dedicate dozens of hours per week
in collecting, organizing, & distributing the food. Also we are looking for
additional *drivers* who would be able to help out with doing grocery
pickups 1 or more mornings per week. Please let Pastor Mark or the church
office know if you are able to help.

*Grupo de Oración en Español: *Reunimos a las 5:30 en el Fellowship hall
para revisar un capítulo del Deseado de Todas Las Gentes, y elevar
peticiones en oración. Esta semana estamos revisando el capítulo 63: *“Tu
Rey Viene”*. Ven para experimentar una bendición en compartir fe con
hermanos y comunar con Dios y otros.

*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 para el servicio a las 9:30. Come and join our
most dynamic & interactive part of the church day!

*Potluck This Sabbath! *Being the first Sabbath of the month, we will be
gathering in the fellowship hall after main church service to enjoy a time
together of food & sharing. Bring a vegetarian dish to share, and let’s
enjoy each other’s company.

*Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders & Adventurers* are back on for this Sabbath
afternoon, starting at 3:00 p.m. in front of the youth room. May God guide
& direct our volunteers as they lead our kids in God’s path, learning more
about Him while having fun & accomplishing tasks. A big thanks goes out to
Margarito Gonzales & Craig Voelker, as well as their volunteers in leading
out our kids’ clubs.

*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 *is an 8-part series that will be held on
Sabbath afternoons beginning March 9. Cost is $99 to attend, which will
include 8 guided sessions plus food samples & examples. Several folks
showed high interest after last month’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 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 64: “A Doomed People”, about the Jews who rejected Jesus), 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, as well as next week, for meetings by appointment
either at the church, your home, or another location. 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