Mid-week Pastor’s Update 8-7-2019

*Anaheim SDA Church*

*Mid-week Pastor’s Update*

*August 7th, 2019*

[image: ohio vigil.jpg]

*“Weeping may endure for a night,** But joy comes in the morning.”*

*Psalm 30:5 NKJV*

If you’re like me, you started your week being shocked and saddened by
finding out about not one, but *two* mass shootings that combined took some
40 lives over the weekend. *Oh no, not again!* we thought: *when will
enough be enough?*

The pattern is all too familiar to us now: scenes of mourning, vigils,
prayers for the victims and their families. Political outrage, and members
of both parties going to predictable talking points about guns, background
checks, mental health, and how something like this can be prevented again
in the future.

The pattern makes me both sad and sick: some of these victims this weekend
were doing a task as inoccent as *buying school supplies! *And then hatred,
horror, and trauma struck instantly. If that weren’t enough, national media
attention is immediately flooded on surviving witnesses and family members.

The families should be free to mourn out of a spotlight: people should be
able to grieve without politics or added controversy pushing itself in
their faces. People need to cling to each-other. Our society needs to
examine itself. And above all, we need to be good to each-other.

May God console the family members of the victims who lost their lives.
While ‘thoughts and prayers’ are as often mocked nowadays as viewed as
beneficial, we believe praying is crucial for getting through unspeakable
mourning in the wake of senseless tragedy.

I don’t know how secular people get through a tragedy like this remaining
just secular. Tragedies like this make me turn to my faith all the more, as
we “*long for a city in which righteousness dwells*” (2nd Peter 3:13).
Promises like the one quoted above in Psalms, as well as *He shall wipe
every tear from their eyes* in Revelation give me comfort in knowing that
our cycles of devastation will not be endless: there will be an end, there
will be a resolution, and we will be healed from our traumas.

When several of these kind of attacks some years ago were seemingly
religiously motivated, people shouted *Islam is the problem!* Or *Religion
in general is the problem!* But in this weekend’s attacks, neither attacker
claimed religion, nor a religious motive for their behavior. It is a *broken
human nature* that causes this: while it sometimes expresses itself in a
religious aspect, we actually find it to be universal. Secularists who
claim that humanity is fundamentally good, or that we are on our way to a
greater society or plane of existence have to ignore an increasing mountain
of evidence to the contrary. *Salvation from ourselves* is what we need:
the mending of humanity’s broken nature is not something that can be found
within us. We need to collectively cry out to God to save us from our own
twisted hearts.

It is in the light of sorrow and unspeakable sadness that God’s promises
shine most brightly. I pray that many in Texas, Ohio, and elsewhere will
turn to them, to Him, to His word, and find healing, hope, and motivation
to go on after the devastation. I do, of course, pray that we will find
social solutions and that these kinds of tragedies can be minimized.
However, I believe the problem will never be ‘solved’ until Jesus comes to
rescue us unto Himself for eternity.

May God bless you all as you grieve, pray, work, and serve your communities
the remainder of the week.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum

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*Prayer Requests*

Keep high in your prayer lists the numerous victims of the mass shootings
in Texas and Ohio that took place over the weekend. While they grieve, may
they cling to God as their hope to see their loved ones again in heaven.
May the Lord console and shelter them in their sadness.

Jenny Hastings requests prayer for her daughter Nicole, who recently came
down with pneumonia and needed a surgical procedure of heart stints to help
strengthen her. Her immune system is compromised because of the cancer she
has been fighting for some time. Please pray for her to recover fully and
be able to live a long, full life.

The Sellers request prayer for Lloyd’s strengthening, as he is undergoing
chemotherapy for his cancer. He also had a blood transfusion last week, as
well as a round of strong, but expensive medication to push back the
advance of his sickness. Pray that grants and other financial opportunities
can come through, as continuing these treatments will cost more than $1,000
per month after insurance. This is a prohibitive amount for their finances.
Please pray for a way to be made for his recovery. In addition, Esther’s
stability & strengthening as she continues with her dialysis, and their
daughter Christine’s strength as she serves them selflessly. Also pray for
their other children & grandchildren in the choices they make and the lives
they lead.

One of Jimena’s co-workers is dealing with a particularly hard situation
with her son, who is living out of state. Pray that Mason will be able to
get over his addiction, and can turn the corner to having a productive life.

Our Pathfinder club will be heading out this Saturday evening to the
international Pathfinder Camporee in OshKosh, Wisconsin. Please pray for
our club (as well as thousands of others) to have safe travels and a
wonderful mountaintop religious experience there. May tens of thousands of
young people dedicate their lives to Christ through this!

Brenda, a woman who frequents our church, requests prayer for her young
adult daughter who is overseas and apparently making bad life decisions.
Please pray for ‘Mel’ to be freed from the bondage she’s entered into, and
for her to return to the better way of living she knows from her
upbringing.

Christina Rebenszcuk requests prayer for her mother, who recently had to
have a leg amputated below the knee in order to stop progression of a skin
cancer that was growing there. Pray that her mother recovers from her
procedure(s) well, that the cancer is fully ousted, and that her mother can
come to grips living with the loss of a foot. 🙁 Christina also requests
prayer for herself in health & life choices, as well as for her sister, who
is dealing with some health problems, and for her neighbor, who is in his
90s and is in a fragile state as well. May God uphold these people in
strength.

Our group of “Literature Evangelists” (colporteurs) will be finishing their
work in Orange county at the end of next week. May God bring a significant
harvest from their efforts. Please pray for success for them & Spiritual
awakening for our neighbors to feel their need & seek God.

Betty Caballero requests prayer for her sister, who is in the hospital with
health problems in another country. Praise the Lord that prayers are
effective, no matter the distance! Please pray that Betty’s sister
recuperates and is able to return home soon.

Please remember in your prayers the victims of natural disasters near and
far. This includes those suffering from intense heat, storms, and
earthquakes in various places around our country and world. May God help
all the rescuers & repairers that have rushed into the affected areas in
wake of the disasters. And may he bring people peace, despite significant
loss.

Please pray for the continuing crisis on our Southern border, as desperate
people from the south come northward, and often encounter dangerous
conditions and harsh treatment. News and images from there have been
shocking and demoralizing. Pray that the workers down there, as well as the
policy-makers in Washington, will do their work judiciously and
compassionately. And may we remember that every soul is of equal value to
God.

Gerald Taylor requests prayer for his brother, Michael, who is having
significant health concerns regarding his lungs & heart. Please pray that
the doctors will be able to get to the bottom of what’s causing these
problems, and that Michael can recover.

Please keep in prayer others in our congregation who have been suffering
from long-term illnesses: Vivian Rodriguez, Rosa Ferreras, and Daniel Geli,
who are enduring effects of long-term weakness. 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 their 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 and stably, 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:*

*Church Food Bank Distrubution Tonight:* This evening, and every Wednesday,
from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., our food bank is open to distribute food to
community members in need. If you or someone you know could benefit from
receiving free food, do not hesitate to invite them to come receive. A big
thanks goes out to our many volunteers who bring, organize, and help
distribute the food week by week. Your efforts are appreciated by the
community, and are seen in heaven!

*Grupo de Oración en Español *reúne esta tarde y cada Miercoles a las 5:30
en el Fellowship Hall. Ven para elevar peticiones a nuestro Señor
benevolente. También revisamos un capitulo cada semana del libro “El
Deseado de Todas Las Gentes”. Esta tarde, estamos revisando capitulo 85:
“De Nuevo a Orillas Del Mar”. Ven para experimentar una bendición con el
Señor, y hermanos Cristianos.

*Saturday Morning Sabbath Schools* begin at 9:30 for all ages! *Kids &
Youth* will be meeting for morning refreshments & song service in the youth
room, before heading to their age-based classes. *Adults* meet in the
sanctuary, where Daniel Geli will be giving the service. Then lesson study
will start at 10:00 in room 305-306 as usual. Este Sábado los hermanos
*Hispanos* reunirán en el Fellowship Hall a las 9:00, para empezar su
servicio de Escuela Sabatica allí. Tambien tendrán su servicio de
devocional a las 10:00.

*Sociedad de Jovenes* will be meeting at its normal time: 6:00 p.m. Sabbath
afternoon in the Youth room. This bilingual service closes the Sabbath with
singing, a Bible activity, and a relevant topic from a speaker. Come join
us in this lovely evening service.

*“Literature Evangelists” finishing their time at our church:* We have been
blessed to be hosting 20 or so “Youth Rush” members who have been staying
at our church the past few weeks. This coming Sabbath will be their last
one with us, and they will finish Thursday the 15th. May God bless their
efforts as they finish strong their work in Orange County.

*Pastor’s Availability: *Pastor Mark is departing tomorrow morning
(Thursday) to drive to the International Pathfinder Camporee in Wisconsin.
Though out of town, he will still be checking his phone regularly. If you
need to communicate with him, you can call/text him at (714) 650-1245, or
e-mail him at prmarktatum@gmail.com. He will be returning on the 21st.

*Pathfinders depart Saturday Evening for International Camporee!* Our
Pathfinder club has for months (if not years) been preparing for the
once-every-5-years International Pathfinder Camporee in OshKosh, Wisconsin.
Our club will be meeting together with tens of thousands of other young
people. Pray for safe travels, and that this will be a defining moment in
the lives of all the youth, that they make their stand for God, dedicated
to live for him forever. A big thanks goes out to Margarito Gonzales, Jenny
Hastings, and Joel Milla, who have all been working toward a great Camporee.

*Orangewood Academy Starts August 19th!* We are excited to start a new
school year at our sister school in Garden Grove. We have a new principal,
as well as several new staff coming to the school this year. If your child
has never attended Seventh-day Adventist education before, we’d like to
encourage you to give our local school a consideration. Up to 4 tuition
discounts are possible: SDA church membership, 1st time to SDA Education
bonus, income-based discounts through the business office, and local church
tuition subsidy (application due Aug. 27). Please let Pastor Mark or the
Business Manager at Orangewood Academy know if you’d like to look at the
possibility of sending your child(ren) to Orangewood. Their number is (714)
534-4694.

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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.

Sincerely,

Pastor Mark Tatum