I apologize for this update being a day late. I haven’t
been feeling well this week.
Anaheim Seventh-day Adventist Church
Mid-week Pastor’s Update
October 11th, 2018
“Jesus did many other
things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that
even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
Last week I found myself
with a bit of free time in my schedule, and decided to go to a bookstore I had seen while driving. It was
the first time I’d set foot in bookstore in a while (with exception to our
small Adventist bookstore in Riverside, or ordering books online). Upon entering, I was taken aback as to how large it was, and the sheer volume of reading material available!
I felt like a kid in a
candy store: I wanted to get half-a-dozen books off the first display table
alone! And as I wandered the aisles, I was again amazed by the diversity and
amount of material available: from art books to anthologies, and zoology to
Zumba. Truly enough to fill a lifetime of reading! How could one choose just
the best few titles to invest their time in?
I meandered through
various sections, considering what each contained:
Self-help: seemingly a thousand options: book covers adorned with put-together
people smiling sparkily, offering to share their secret of life advice so you can be as happy as they are. I don’t
want to discount or dismiss the whole category, but wondered & worried
about people who would come into that department needing help, trying to
discern which book was right for them when all the blurbs and covers shouted
out “I’m the one that will solve your problems!”
Fiction: a veritable cadre of worlds and intriguing scenarios thought up by
creative minds, all hoping to grip and enthrall their readers. These authors
are virtually like gods in the worlds they create: bringing forth characters
and events, tragedies and victories. I wondered if they were more merciful
toward their created worlds than our heavenly Father is toward ours.
History: from individual biographies to vast eras and regions, chronicles on what
has happened in times and places past with the goal to educate, inform, and
avoid committing similar errors in the future. Of course, narrative threads are
provided to help make sense of the often random and chaotic happenings in our
world: narratives like manifest destiny and
triumph over adversity seeking to
inspire and enlighten.
Religion & Spirituality: a vast array of diverse (and often
mutually exclusive) claims as to ultimate reality in the supernatural realm,
which overarches our daily reality. Plenty of Bibles & Christian authors
were displayed there, but neighboring shelves held writings & sacred books
of other worldviews & philosophies such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism,
Transcendentalism, etc. all claiming to put one in touch with ultimate reality,
God, or the universe.
Beyond this, there were
areas of children’s books, strategy guides, travelogues, recipe books, etc. A
hundred hobbies intended to fill our (scant) free time with fun &
In all, this bookstore
had more than enough material to satisfy any intellectual appetite (literal
appetite, too, as it had a café built in on one side!). In all, it exists to be
all things to all people: selling & displaying books that claim a thousand
different truths, yet itself being noncommittal to any and all of them.
I don’t blame a
bookstore for being this way: their main objective is to stay in business; a
significant task in the day-and-age of digital print & videos! It just
struck me how much knowledge was
there with no claim to wisdom of
discerning one truth as opposed to another.
It reminded me of a
couple prophecies of the last days, including Daniel 12:4 “Seal up the book,
Daniel, until the time of the end: men shall run to and fro, and knowledge
shall increase” (Daniel 12:4), and “In
the last days men shall be lovers of money, lovers of themselves… having an
image of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
I hope we realize both
how fortunate we are to live in a time of such abundance of knowledge, yet at
the same time are sobered that such a time is prophesied to not endure forever.
I praise the Lord that
in the coming Day there will be one truth that is made known above all
others: truth as it exists in Jesus Christ & His eternal Kingdom. All are
welcome to come and enjoy the benefits of His great salvation, but must put
down their man-made philosophies and idols in order to partake in his abundant
of my favorite verses, which I know I’ve mentioned before, is “The knowledge of God shall cover the earth
as the waters cover the sea” Isaiah 11:9. I really long for that day, when
all other knowledge will be subordinate to an intimate knowledge of Him who
made all things. May we pray for that day to come, and may we hasten it
practically, getting to know God & His word ourselves, and helping educate
any who show an interest.
God bless you all.
Pr. Mark Tatum
pray for those suffering the effects of Hurricane Michael in Cuba, Florida, and
Georgia, as the fast-moving, devastating storm has left a swath of destruction
in its wake. This is of course in addition to praying for the Carolinas
recovering from their recent hurricane, as well as places around the world like
Asia & Indonesia, recovering from their recent natural disasters.
Cardinale has two requests: first for her family and that of her brother, Ramón,
who passed away suddenly last week in Mexico. May God comfort them in their grief, and
may they be reunited on the day of the Resurrection. Also for her (adult)
nephew, Fernando, who underwent heart surgery in Santa Ana earlier this week.
Praise God, the surgery appears to have been successful, but pray for him as he
recuperates, that no complications or infections will set-in.
Please continue to keep in
prayer others who are enduring long-term illnesses:
* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s
Father, who is receiving immunotherapy for a cancer on his foot.
* Betty Caballero’s sister-in-law Rosa and niece Carol, who are both being
treated for health problems. Thankfully, Rosa is improving, having had a surgery and being put on some medications. Carol is still struggling, pray for her to improve.
* 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.
* Lloyd & Esther
Sellers, who have both had health problems, that they would gradually
strengthen and be able to return to us
* Mark Hennig, who appears
to be improving in his digestion after an odyssey of surgeries & baffling
(& frustrating) non-improvement.
Please pray for stability
and improvement in each case, that God would strengthen and sustain so many
sincere children of his.
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.
Pray for our leaders,
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.
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.
Session a Success! This past Sunday, over a thousand delegates
(including some from our church), met in Riverside to vote on conference
officers and plans going forward. A lovely worship service was held, and we voted
to keep our conference President, Executive Secretary, and Treasurer for the
next five years. Some new names were voted for the Executive Vice presidents of
Hispanic, Black, and Asian ministries throughout the conference.
Pastor’s Availability: This week and next Pastor
Mark will continue being available by appointment. He can meet either at the
church, or at a home or other place. Feel free to call/text him at (714)
650-1245, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday Morning Sabbath
Schools commence at 9:30
Saturday mornings for all age groups! Kids and Youth begin in
the youth room with morning refreshments and songs, before going to their
age-level classes at 10:00. Adults begin at 9:30 in the in the
lesson study is at 10:00, in room 305/306 as usual. Esta semana los hermanos
Hispanos reunirán en el Fellowship Hall a las 9:00 para Escuela
Sabática. Pr. Mark dará el devocional a las 10:00, continuando su serie en 1er
de Juan. May we all be blessed with
this most dynamic, participatory part of our day.
Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders
and Adventurers are on for this
Sabbath, at 3:00 Sabbath Afternoon in front of the Youth room. The Adventurers will
be heading to a museum in Fontana, and the Pathfinders will be participating in
Orangewood Academy’s upcoming Fall Festival on the 21st. Ask club
leaders Margarito G. (Pathfinders) or Craig V. (Adventurers) for any questions
regarding registration or future activities. May God bless our kids and
volunteers as they spend many fun afternoons learning and growing in Jesus.
Sociedad de Jovenes, our bilingual closing
of the Sabbath program, will be taking place this Sabbath afternoon at 5:30 as usual.
Come to sing, enjoy a Bible game, and hear a speaker discuss an interesting and
relevant topic to living as young people in our modern day and age.
Mid-week Prayer: meets each week on Tuesday @ 6:30 in
English, and Miercoles en Español a las 5:30. As usual, we will be reviewing a
chapter of Desire of Ages (next week, chapter 44, “The True Sign”) and will
lift up petitions in group prayer. It is a great spiritual re-charge during the
week. Please consider joining.
Food Bank Distribution continues each week on Wednesday
evenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Please encourage anyone you know who would
benefit to come and receive free food. A big thanks goes out to our volunteers
who spend many hours per week collecting and organizing the food. Also, we
are in need of drivers who can go do grocery store pickups on either
Monday, Tuesday, Friday, or Sabbath mornings. Please let Pastor Mark or Martha
Jauregui know if you are able to help us.
Orangewood Academy will be having its
annual Alumni Weekend on October 20-21, including its Fall Festival
on that Sunday the 21st. Come see booths with food & activities
as we raise funds for IT needs at the school. Also keep in mind the
dollar-for-dollar match for donations toward the emergency fund.
Future Dates for Your
Oct. 20-21 – Orangewood Academy Alumni Weekend
Oct. 21st – Pathfinder Club participating in OA Fall Fair
Oct. 27th – Church Fall Social
Nov. 1-4 – Pathfinder conference-wide Camporee at Rancho
Jurupa Park in Riverside
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.