*Anaheim SDA Church*
*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*
*May 1st, 2019*
[image: dandelion wind.png]
*“Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is
meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 6:9*
If you have been paying any attention to the news or social media this past
week, you know that society has been all abuzz about twin action/drama
epics that have come out recently. Both the concluding 6th season of the
Game of Thrones HBO show, and the 11-year, 21-movie Avengers series are
drawing to a close, in which long-running plot-lines climax in epic battles
and surprise endings. I, not having followed these series throughout the
years, nor intending to start now, couldn’t help but feel a little ‘left
out’ as people buzzed about it in person and online. But it gave me lots to
ponder on, nonetheless.
Why do such epic action/dramas resonate with our hearts and imaginations
so? I read a Christian book some time ago that considered this*, and I have
to say that I wholly agree with its conclusion: we resonate with and
respond to epic tales of struggle between good and evil because, in the
background of our consciousness, we are innately aware that we are involved
in such a struggle between good and evil in our own lives. Yes, people
grow-up, marry, work, retire, and die, but amidst all that, we have a sense
that huge meaning is behind it, and that huge decisions will have lasting
effects and eternal consequences. In essence, we would say the great themes
that are often explored in entertainment are those which, in real life, are
the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan (depicted vividly in
Revelation ch. 12). This is true in everything from the light/dark side
struggle in Star Wars, to the apocalyptic, end-of-the-world movies that
come out every year or two.
The Bible says in many places that our minds/hearts are implanted with
hints of something far more significant than our daily lives: from King
Solomon declaring that “God has laid eternity in the hearts of men” in
Ecclesiastes 3:11, to Paul stating that “men are without excuse” in Romans
1:20 as to the knowledge of God based on the testimony of creation, the
Bible testifies that we are all aware of something far greater going on if
we are honest with ourselves.
Theologian and Philosopher (among many other things) Blaise Pascal reasoned
that we all have a God-shaped vacuum or hole in our hearts that we long to
fill. Only God can fill that void correctly, but the carnal heart seeks to
fill it by pouring in all sorts of worldly and ultimately destructive
things (Matthew 15:19, Romans 5:5-8). Things such as lust, envy, desire for
power, wealth, or fame are utterly futile and can never satisfy
(Ecclesiastes 5:10, 1st John 2: 15-17). We who put in the right thing,
though: God and purity and holiness and truth, will not have continued
futile longing as those in the world do (John 4:13-14, Philippians 4:8-9).
So, I fully expect that the big studios will continue trying to produce
‘epic’, gripping content to enthrall the masses. The hunger for it will be
continuous, for where hunger is, there are dollars, and where dollars are,
there are companies vying to get those dollars by producing to that need.
We can stand to the side, however, calmly observing that it’s all fluff,
all fundamentally bankrupt at its core, and offer those who realize its
ultimate emptiness true nourishment and fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
I pray that your walk with God fills your ‘God-shaped void’ magnificently,
and that you will find yourself to be described as the tree planted by
still waters in Psalm chapter 1.
God bless you all the remainder of the week,
Pr. Mark Tatum
* The book I read was called “Searching for God Knows What” by Donald
Miller. I should pick it up and read it again!
We are praising God that two dear ones to us, who have been in the hospital
recently (for entirely separate reasons) have been discharged & sent home:
James Woods, music teacher at Orangewood Academy, was admitted to the
hospital late last week, and thus we couldn’t have the concerts we had
planned on Sabbath. I got word, however, that he has been home a few days,
and was even at school working yesterday. Praise God for his recuperation.
And Pastor Pedro Chambi, after having suffered a fall on his morning walk a
few days ago, has been released after recovering nicely. The family is
grateful to God for his protection & sustenance during this time. They will
be heading to Peru this weekend for Pr. Pedro to be the guest of honor at a
100th anniversary celebration for a school there.
Please keep in your prayers the families of those who have lost loved ones
recently. This includes the Fererrases, the Tolans, and the Lohstroh
families. May God comfort them as they miss their loved ones, Jesus
reunites these families in joy on the resurrection day. May it come
Please also pray for recent victims of religious violence & loss in various
areas, including Sri Lanka, San Diego, New Zealand, and Paris. We are
concerned for any whose sense of security is shattered as they gather to
worship. May those who disagree with & dislike religion see that violence
is not the answer.
Please keep Lloyd & Esther Sellers in continued prayer for their health &
treatments they’re undergoing. May God strengthen them to be able to return
to worshipping with us. They also request prayer for their daughter,
Christine, who is taking care of them while she works & supports her own
family too. Additionally, they request prayer for their other children &
grandchildren who are in various situations. The Sellers’ greatest prayer
is that the family can be united in the faith & making decisions in their
daily lives that lead to stability & happiness.
Please keep medical/health prayer requests in mind for the following
· 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 &
*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
*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 72: *“**En
Memoria de Mi**”*. Ven para experimentar una bendición en compartir fe con
hermanos y acomunar con Dios y otros.
*No Potluck this Sabbath:* Due to special potlucks in both April & May, we
won’t be having our regular, first Sabbath of the month potluck this week.
We do plan on holding potlucks on both the 11th, and 18th of May, however,
in celebrating baptisms/baby dedication, and in thankfulness to a Men’s
choir coming to bless us with their music.
*“Diabetes Undone” Health Seminar *will be meeting again this Sabbath after
church in room 305/306. We have two sessions left! Ask Michael Warr if you
have any questions on details.
*Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders & Adventurers* have a big month here in May!
*Adventurers* have a conference-wide campout in the mountains that some
families will be attending, hence, there will be no club meeting down here.
Next week they will have a fire station visit, investiture service, and
bike-a-thon further in the month. Thanks to Craig Voelker for all he’s
doing with the club. The *Pathfinder Club* is having a regular meeting this
Sabbath at 3:00 p.m., and will be *selling Mothers’ day flowers* for $10
and up, which will be delivered on Mother’s Day Sabbath. They also have
their investiture on a future Sabbath this month. Please check with club
leaders Craig Voelker (Adventurers) or Margarito Gonzalez (Pathfinders) for
further details on upcoming events..
*Sociedad de Jovenes* empezará a las *6:00 p.m.* este Sábado en el salón de
jóvenes. 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 73: “Let Not Your Hearts be Troubled”, and lift up petitions in
prayer. Please consider coming & joining this close-knit group of faith &
*Pastor’s Availability: *Pastor Mark is available for home or office visits
the remainder of this week, as well as next week. Feel free to call/text
him at (714) 650-1245, or e-mail him at *firstname.lastname@example.org
*Concierto y Cena para ahorrar fondos:* El cuarteto “Voces Para Cristo”
tendrá un concerto y cena la tarde de Mayo 25 para ahorrar fondos para su
grupo. Ven y traigan una donación para bendecir este ministerio.
*Future Calendar:* Looking further ahead in our schedule, there are several
more things to be anticipating as well!
· May 4th: *No* potluck (due to other special potlucks in April &
· May 11th: Baby Dedication & Baptismal Service (+ potluck)
· May 18th: William Chunestudy Men’s Chorus joins us for church &
possible afternoon concert. (+ potluck)
· May 25th: Concierto/Cena con Voces para Cristo.
Okay! I believe that pretty well sums it up for what’s going on in our
community this week! Thanks to all who committedly dedicate themselves to
the Lord’s service in the many ministries this church provides. May God
continue to oversee & bless our community.
Pastor Mark Tatum