mid-week pastor’s update

Anaheim Seventh-day Adventist Church

Mid-Week Pastor’s Update

November 14th, 2018

 

burned devastation paradise.jpg

 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures
on earth, where thieves & moths & rust destroy…” Matthew 6:19

 

Hello,
esteemed friends & church members,

 

I
was planning on writing my mid-week Pastor’s update on a different, smaller
reflection topic. Given the extremity in recent events, however, I felt
compelled to push that thought back to a future week, and concentrate on
current events.

 

If
you’re like me, you’ve been shocked and heartbroken at seeing the photos &
video coverage of the devastating fires in Paradise in Northern California, and
Thousand Oaks/Malibu closer to us here south. To think of the dozens who have
died, the thousands who have lost all their property, and the tens (hundreds)
of thousands who have been evacuated, is just overwhelming.

 

Also
if you’re like me, you’ve been experiencing feelings of helplessness &
fatigue. What can I really do? and Do I even have the energy to do something,
given that I donated & prayed for hurricane victims earlier, and earthquake
victims before that, and shooting victims before that?
Compassion fatigue
is real. There are statistics on it: it can be quantified and charted.

 

If
you’re anything like me, though, you’re feeling more than just compassion
fatigue, you’re also experiencing ‘outrage fatigue’ from our recent, vitriolic
election season, and ‘daily life’ fatigue from balancing work, traffic,
finances, kids, relationships, etc.

 

This
is just where I find it so helpful to be connected to the Lord. First of all, He’s
not wanting to be another ‘fatigue’-causing area of life, quite the opposite: He
invites us to come to Him to find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28). In
addition, He tells us to take a day off from our daily stresses and toils, commands us even. It’s like He’s saying
“Take it easy, I’m in control. I’m the one who holds all things in my
hands (Psalm 95:3-5). I’m the one who
sanctifies you (Ezekiel 20:12).” I count it an unsurpassed blessing to trust in
that.

 

Praise
the Lord, God does not suffer from compassion fatigue. Rather, “God is close to the broken-hearted and
saves those who are crushed in spirit”
Psalm 34:18. The ones who suffer now
are just as known and important to him as the ones who did last year, and the
year before, and last century, millennia, etc. Jesus assures us that not even a
sparrow falls from the sky without the Lord knowing about it, and to take
heart, because we ‘are worth many sparrows’ Matthew 10:29-31.

 

So
what have I resolved to do? I’ve resolved to give as much as I gave for the
last environmental disaster: because the money I give does the same amount,
whether I feel fatigued or not. (I also say a thanks of gratitude to God for
the helpers – the firefighters, red-cross workers, etc. who go in and help
despite being extremely fatigued
themselves). I also am determined to pray as much as I did for the last
disaster. That is both a duty and a privilege to us as Christians: to help by enabling God to send angels, given His
self-imposed restrictions as a part of this Great Controversy we’re in. When
the enemy pushes, we push back.

 

Part
of those prayers will be for the Lord to give me a heart of compassion for
those affected this time, as I had for those affected previous times. Diminishment
of care is surely a defense mechanism, but it’s a worldly one, one we should be
aware of and pushing back against, as Christians. As we pray to have a heart
that is likened to God’s heart toward the world, that includes being
steadfastly compassionate toward the suffering. Where would we be if the Lord
had been indifferent or ‘fatigued’ toward us? We’d be, frankly, nowhere. So how
can we do less than our little part toward those we know to be suffering?

 

I
pray a blessing for you & your families this week, friends. I pray that you
will find the balance between social concern & consciousness, yet being
able to manage your own lives and families without being overwhelmed. Remember
that to hold God’s hand is a great relief. We may lean on Him; we may cast our
burdens on him, for he cares for us (1st Peter 5:7).

 

Sincerely,

    Pastor Mark Tatum

 

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Prayer
Requests:

 

Of
course, our hearts go out to victims of the recent tragedies, including the
Calfornia fires, and those involved in the Thousand Oaks bar shooting and Philadelphia
Synagogue shooting. May these events galvanize us in our longing for our
heavenly home, and our pleading for and working toward Jesus’ second coming.

 

Pray also for the migrant caravan making its
way through Mexico. Whatever your political thoughts on the matter, many
thousands are having a hard time in Central America with violence, and I can’t
blame them for wanting to come northward for something better. Please pray that
the most compassionate yet fair treatment may be done for these people,
particularly the mothers and children involved.

 

We are praising God that Mark Hennig has
recovered to the point that he is able to be up and around, out of the house,
and even at church a couple Sabbath’s ago. May God bless him with long life and
health going forward.

 

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

* Vasile Tolan, Victor’s
Father, who is recovering from a surgery he had to remove 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.

 

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.

 

 

————————————————————————–

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.
Also we are looking for additional drivers who would be able to help out
with doing grocery pickups 1 or more mornings per week.

 

Grupo de Oración en Español reúne esta tarde a las 5:30
en el fellowship hall. Estamos continuando a leer el libro Deseado de Todas las Gentes (esta semana capitulo 48, “¿Quién es el
Mayor?”, y oramos juntos. Por favor considera reuniendo con nosotros para
recibir una bendición.   

 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 with Pastor Mark, before going to their age-level
classes at 10:00. Adults begin at 9:30 in the in the sanctuary,
where Dr. Israel Chambi will be presenting the main topic. Then, lesson study
is at 10:00, in room 305/306 as usual. 
Esta
semana los hermanos Hispanos reunirán en el santuario a las 9:30 para
Escuela Sabática. 
May
we all be blessed with this most dynamic, participatory part of our day.

 

Kids’ Clubs of Pathfinders
and Adventurers
are
on for 3:00 this Sabbath afternoon as usual. A big thanks goes out to Margarito
Gonzales, and Craig Voelker, leaders of our Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs, respectively,
as well as to all their talented & dedicated volunteers who serve to help
our kids grow up in the knowledge of the Lord.

 

Sociedad de Jovenes our bilingual youth
program is set for 5:30 this Sabbath afternoon. Come to close the Sabbath
together, enjoying singing, a Bible game, and a relevant message.

 

Pastor’s
Availability:
Pastor Mark is in town both this week and next, and
is available for appointments 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.
  
  

 

Mid-week
Prayer:
 meets
each week on Tuesday @ 6:00 in English in room 304. We have
recently begun sharing a light meal together, and then move into study & prayer
time. As usual, we will be reviewing a chapter of Desire of Ages (next week:
chapter 49, “At the feast of Tabernacles”) and will lift up petitions in group
prayer. It is a great spiritual re-charge during the week. Please consider
joining.

  

Thanksgiving
Morning Breakfast Potluck:
Come join our church family
this coming Thursday, the 22nd, to celebrate God’s provision and blessing
in our lives with abundant hearts. Begins at 8:00 a.m. in the fellowship hall.
A small devotional program will be held as well.  

 

———————————————————

 

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