mid-week pastor’s update 3-27-19

*Anaheim SDA Church*

*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*

*March 27th, 2019*

[image: jesus resurrection.jpg]

*“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1st Corinthians 15:26 NIV*

We had a funeral for the father of a church member earlier this week, and
we have another in a week and a half. In both cases, months of struggle and
suffering were ended when they closed their eyes for the last time. In both
families, feelings of ambivalence pervade: relief that the loved one is not
suffering anymore, and gladness that Jesus will wake them up on
resurrection morning, but the bitter ache of loss as day-by-day there is a
hole in the families’ hearts as that beloved father is missed.

Make no mistake of it, death is an enemy. It is arguably the strongest
weapon of Satan’s, whose entire motive is to “steal and kill and destroy”1.
Those who say ‘death is just a part of life’ have lowered their view from
the Bible’s assertion that God is the God of life2, and that death is an
imposter3.

I actually get kind of mad when I hear pastors and leaders from other
denominations say “Jesus called them home to heaven” or something similar.
I know such sentiments are intended to comfort the grieving and soften the
loss, but it ascribes to Jesus that which is Satan’s doing. I imagine Satan
smirking at the thought that he can do his mischief, and have people
ascribe it to God.

I praise the Lord that death does not have the last say, does not have the
last laugh. Though death ‘mocks’ us now, with a 100% mortality rate for
everyone eventually, the day will come when the tables will turn, when the
laws of life will fundamentally change, and *we* will be able to gloat over
death, saying “Where, o death, is your sting? Where, o grave, is your
victory?”4

In the meantime we wait, in agony, for that promise to come true. I praise
the Lord that it is not just an empty ‘hope’, but that we already have
living proof that it indeed is the case. Jesus rising from the tomb and
surprising everyone demonstrated his power over the grave,5 and he promises
to share that ability with all who sleep in their graves.6

And I praise the Lord for the detailed description we have of the
resurrection given in 1 Thess. 4, which I leave you with today. May it
bring comfort and hope to those grieving.

*But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have
fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we
believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with
Him those who sleep in Jesus.** For this we say to you by the word of the
Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by
no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend
from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the
trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are
alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to
meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the
Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”*

May we all live in certainty of that promise, and may God bless you all the
remainder of the week,

Sincerely,

Pr. Mark Tatum

*Citations used:*

1 John 10:10

2 John 1:4, 5:26; Mark 12:27, Revelation 1:18

3 Romans 5:12

4 1st Corinthians 15:55

5 John 20:16,19-20; Revelation 1:18

6 John 5:25,29

7 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18, NKJV

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*Prayer Requests:*

Please keep the two families who have recently lost fathers in your
prayers, especially Rosa Ferreras & Victor Tolan themselves. May Jesus come
quickly and wake these men up to be restored to their families on the
resurrection day.

Please keep in prayer the places that have been rocked with religious &
political violence recently, including New Zealand, Ethiopia, and
Venezuela. Many people who, like us, are trying to live their daily lives
have found their societies rocked by instability & violence. Pray for
peace, stability, & mutual understanding to prevail.

Please pray for the victims natural disasters taking place recently: floods
in Nebraska & tornadoes in Georgia have devastated peoples’ lives for the
long-term. Even the natural world is affected by the Great Controversy
(Romans 8:21-22). But let’s pray for God’s angels to continue holding back
the winds of strife for a time (Revelation 7:1-3).

Please keep medical/health prayer requests in mind for the following
families:

· Carmen Warr’s daughter, Liza, who is undergoing tests &
treatment. Pray for quick recovery.

· Lloyd & Esther Sellers, who we are thankful are at home, but have
significant health challenges. Pray for strengthening and physical healing,
that they might be able to return to us.

· 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.

· 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.

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 67: *“Ayes
sobre los Fariseos”*. Ven para experimentar una bendición en compartir fe
con hermanos y comunar con Dios y otros.

*OC Young Adult Bible Study meets tonight* (Wednesday) at 7:00 p.m. in the
primary room. Come to fellowship together with other young adults, enjoy
singing, light refreshments, and Bible study, continuing their topic of the
attributes of God.

*Special Sabbath Speaker: *Daniel Geli’s brother, who works for the Life
Talk radio network, will be presenting this Sabbath at 9:30 in the
sanctuary about Christian media ministries. Come and enjoy an insight into
how God’s word is going far & wide through multimedia. Then, lesson study
will be held at 10:00 in room 305/306 as usual. Esta semana, los Hermanos
*Hispanos* tendrán su servicio de 5o sabado en el Fellowship hall a las
9:00, y tendrán sus clases de escuela sabática allí tambien.

*Communion Sabbath this weekend:* Our schedule will be modified slightly,
with Sabbath schools ending at 10:40 to accommodate our footwashing service
in the various classrooms. There will be signs to follow for who partakes
where. Then, we will start church service slightly later, with
announcements being at 11:05.

*“Diabetes Undone” Health Seminar continues this Sabbath Afternoon *and
continues through the remainder of March & April. The group has had a good
time so far getting to know each-other, eating delicious food samples, and
learning great health principles. If you’re interested in joining the
group, albeit late, talk to Michael Warr about the possibility. Cost of
materials & foods provided is $99.

*Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders & Adventurers* will be on hold this Sabbath,
being the last Sabbath of the month. Clubs will resume on April 13th. A
special thanks goes out to our club leaders, Craig Voelker & Margarito
Gonzales for making the clubs great as our kids learn more about God’s
love.

*Sociedad de Jovenes* empezará a las *6:00 p.m.* en el salón de jóvenes,
con hermana Ilsa Gonzales presentando el tema allá. Ven para cantar, jugar
un juego bíblico, y escuchar un tema relevante y inspiracional por nuestros
días.

*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 68: “Jesus in the Outer Court”, and lift up petitions in prayer.
Please consider coming & joining this close-knit group of faith &
friendship.

*Children’s Ministry Meeting Next Tuesday* at 7:00 p.m. in the Junior room.
Anyone interested to help with coming up VBX reunion/visitor Sabbath and or
summer Vacation Bible Xperience, feel free to come lend a hand as we serve
& lead our kids to love Jesus.

*”Celebration of Life” service for Vasile Tolan Sabbath, April 6th* at 4:30
p.m. that afternoon we will gather to remember the life of the wonderful
man, “Leslie” who blessed our church & community so many years. A reception
will be held afterward in the Fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, the
family requests that donations in Vasile’s name be made to Orangewood
Academy.

*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