For the members, family and friends of the Downey Adventist Church
Walking with God
Keep on Growing by Pastor Mitch
f you were on a committee to select a person to write a book of the Bible, what attributes would you consider important before making that choice? Would a hypocrite make your list? How about a person who denied knowing Jesus? What if a candidate’s application reported he was proud and boastful? Peter certainly wouldn’t make my list. Why? Peter behaved like a hypocrite when he refused to associate with the Gentile
believers even after the Lord made it clear to him in a vision that they were accepted into his family (Acts 10:15).
had to die, he would never disown the Lord. Yet, when the time of crisis came, he disowned the Lord three times (Matthew 26:35).
The occasion of denying the Lord is well known about Peter. Jesus was arrested and taken by force to the courtyard of the high priest. When asked if he were one of the Lord’s followers, he denied knowing the Lord (Matthew 26:74).
Wow! It’s true. God chose a man with multiple character flaws to write the book of the Bible known as 2 Peter. How could this happen? “. . . . The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7b NIV.
His boastful, proud voice roared that even if he
continued on page 1
The essence of the Christian life is knowing God and walking with him. It’s about sticking with him when the sky is blue and also when it’s filled with clouds or choked with smoke. It’s about walking with the Lord thorugh thick and thin, and pressing on through every heartache and trial that happens to come our way. —Greg Laurie
Small Groups - Growing in Jesus
Keeping Watch is on page 3
Protest or Prepare? is on page 4
ur small groups are starting up again. We will begin on February 4 for our new series called Growing in Jesus. This 6 week series is based on the second half of the book Caught Between Two Worlds by Karl Haffner. If you are not currently in a small group, please sign up in the foyer at church. This series, with its book, will help us all learn how
to keep growing in Jesus. It’s based on II Peter and is full of helpful, God-inspired advice. You won’t want to miss out on this. If you’d like to host a small group, please talk to Bill or Pastor and let them know. Thanks. =
Ginny’s Kitchen on page 5 What’s happening? see pages 6 & 9 Can You Spare Some Change? on page 7 Our Church Family page 10 Kid’s Page on page 11
THE LATEST WORD Keep on Growing (cont. from page 1) how his personal experiences of God’s love and forgiveness is witnessed through his writing in 2 Peter. Like many of us,
attempt was unsuccessful. The USA Today carried a quote by the defensive end on the University of Georgia football team. Pollack said he would do anything to make himself taller. He said, ‘I’ve been sleeping upside down. It’s not working.’” We can’t make ourselves taller or shorter for we are what we are. However, the Bible does have an attitude check that, if followed, will lead to living a victorious life everyday—in all circumstances. What that attitude check is and how to apply it to your life is part of the message on February 11, entitled Planting the Seed.
“ If the Lord could
We kick-off the winter small groups on February 4, with the message Preparing the Soil. The theme over the course of the next 6 Weeks is Growing in Jesus. With that in mind, the titles of the messages will center on preparing, planting, weeding and harvesting God’s fruit in our lives. This first message will focus on Peter’s life and
use Peter..., he has room for us as well.
Peter learned the hard way but God never gave up on him, nor will he ever give up on us. Don’t miss this foundational message. In his book, Caught Between Two Worlds, Karl Haffner writes: “David Pollack tried to grow taller in his own power. His
Peter offers us an insight into his motivation for writing 2 Peter. He wrote: “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me” (2 Peter 1:13-14). In this revealing scripture Peter opens to us his prayer life and communion with our Lord Jesus. The message on February 18, is entitled, Tending the Plants, we’ll explore God’s word to discover how we may communion with our Lord. On February 25 the
message is Promoting Growth. Peter writes that we have the prophetic message of the power and the soon coming of our Lord. He isn’t merely repeating a message he was told but was an eyewitness of the power and glory of Jesus. Be ready to compare the Old Testament with the New Testament as we evaluate the prophetic message that takes on new meaning to us who live in the twentyfirst century. This could be the opportunity for “the day dawns and the morning star” to rise in your hearts. See you when the church gathers. = The Latest Word V 24 N 02 BILL AUMACK
WE DID IT
If the Lord could use Peter as one of his servants, he has room for us as well. The unconditional love and abundant forgiveness of God in the life of Peter gives us hope and courage to continue to serve the Lord even when we stumble.
responsible for this
LINDA AUMACK copy editor
HATZUKO AISPURO paper distribution
MITCH WILLIAMS pastor
address mail to: Downey Seventh-day Adventist Church 9820 Lakewood Blvd. Downey, CA 90240 office: 562.869.6013 fax: 562.622.1691
distributed monthly issue date: Feb. 2012 copyright 1992-2012
February 2012 God, Webster & You by Linda Bewley
ebster that “watch” means “to keep someone or something under close observation...” (Merriam-Webster Online).
od says “The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life...” (Psalm 121:7 NIV). One of my funny memories as a teen involves a family trip to Disneyland. I was with my mom, my aunt and uncle and two of their children–my cousins, Brenda and Gary. Brenda is close to me in age, and Gary was likely around 7 or 8 at the time. At some point the adults gave in to our request to go to a particular part of the park without adult supervision. The only condition
Keeping Watch was that we had to take Gary with us and watch over him. “No problem,” Brenda and I said. After the allotted time was just about over, something horrible happened. We discovered that we had lost Gary. Aaaagggghhhh! There was nothing to do but meet up with the adults and tell them what happened. I don’t remember the exact conversation of course, but it went something like this: Us: “We can’t find Gary.” The Adults: “What do you mean you can’t find Gary? How or why did you let go of his hand? Weren’t you watching him like you were told? Where did he go?” Okay, I apologize, but if we knew where he went, he wouldn’t be lost, would he?! I’m sure we
Worship Schedule February 4 Mitch Williams
February 18 Mitch Williams
February 11 Mitch Williams
February 25 Mitch Williams
Preparing the Soil
Planting the Seed
Tending the Plants
did not say that, because Brenda and I are both still alive, haha! But we did offer whatever other excuses that came to mind. I’m almost positive that somewhere in our defense, either directly or indirectly, we would have pointed out that the blame must be Gary’s because he didn’t stay with us. It’s not our
fault if he didn’t properly follow us! Luckily, Gary was found without too much trouble and within a short time frame, and we are all alive and well to laugh at the story now. This morning as I was getting dressed for work, my eyes fell on the calendar next to my bed. The calendar contains a different Bible verse for each day. The page I saw was 10 days old, because I haven’t changed it for awhile. But even though the date was incorrect, the message could not have been more timely for me. It contained Jesus’
words, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” I thought for a moment about what it means to follow someone and was cut to the heart, because I think there are times when I do not do a good job following the Lord. I imagine that if I did, I would never lose sight of the important things in life, and I would not get sidetracked by the small things in life that seem to trip me up from time to time. That’s when I remembered the Disneyland story and realized how easy it is to get distracted, even lost. So I decided to cut myself some slack, just a little, by recognizing that it likely happens to most everyone at some point. And maybe, every now and then, we need the little reminders that God places in our paths to get our attention and to help us to regain our focus. Thankfully, God does a great job watching over us, and we are never out of his sight! =
THE LATEST WORD Before the Father by Linda Fernandez
Protest or Prepare?
T “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
There is injustice in the world..., but how are we to respond to it?
here seems to be much to protest about these days. The Occupy Everywhere people are angry at big business and the “rich”. There is an outspoken church group making the news by protesting at the funerals of our military men and women who have come home to be laid to rest. Recently a young man went on an arson rampage protesting the deportation of his mother back to their native country. I was thinking about all these protests and wondering after all is said and done, what good has come from them? Have the Occupy protesters had any effect on society other than creating tons of waste to be cleaned up. Has the church group’s protests stopped any wars? Will the destruction of the cars of innocent neighbors help that young man’s plight? Who has benefited from these protests and who has been harmed by them? There is injustice in the world to be sure, but how are we to respond to it? As I have continued in the reading of Made For His Pleasure by Alistair Begg, referring to Paul’s letter to Titus, Begg notes that “The people of God should be eager to do what is
good and careful to devote themselves to that end.” One biblical example of how to respond in the face of injustice is Daniel. When faced with an edict deliberately created to trap him into compromising his faith, did Daniel cry in the town square or distribute peti-
tions to spare him from the unfair law? No, he quietly continued to go before his God as was his custom. As was his custom…..Daniel’s method of protest was prayer, disciplined and regular prayer. This was not a last ditch idea he had; Daniel spent his life taking every care and concern to the Lord. This situation was to be no different. In 2 Chronicles 7 we read, “…if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves
and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” There will soon come a time when our desire to serve God will not be tolerated, and as Christians we may even be the target of unfair and unjust laws. We may see protestors in the streets railing against our belief system. We cannot wait until that time is upon us, we must be preparing now to face that difficult time. Now is the time to spend time with God in prayer. Let’s pray…Father, even as you have prepared a place for us, may we prepare our hearts to dwell there. =
February 2012 From Ginny’s Kitchen Red Raspberry Pretzel Dessert by Becki Wagnaar (Ginny’s daughter)
Crust ½ bag of stick pretzels, crushed
Jello & Raspberry Filling
½ cup melted butter
2 - 3 oz. packs of Raspberry Jell-O
½ cup sugar or 2 T. of Agave
2 - 10 oz. packs of frozen red raspberries
Mix well together and press with fork into 9 X 12 dish and bake at 350 for 6 minutes. Set aside.
2 cups hot water. Mix Jell-O with hot water in bowl, add both packages of frozen red raspberries, stir to separate fruit and dissolve the Jell-O. Place in freezer and take it out to stir it every 5 to 10 minutes to keep the fruit suspended in the Jell-O.
Topping 1 - 8 oz. soft cream cheese ½ cup sugar or 2 T. Agave 1 - 8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed Mix well, add to the crust and spread up sides. Add Jell-O mixture and smooth if needed. Refrigerate to set, about ¾ hours. =
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee; I give thee back the life I owe, That in thine ocean depths its flow May richer, fuller be. George Matheson (1842-1906) wrote the words to this muchloved hymn while feeling intensely lonely and afraid.
Years back, his fiancé had broken their engagement upon learning he was going blind. Despite that challenge, Matheson had followed God’s call to a fruitful pastoral ministry — with his sister’s assistance. Now his sister was getting married, and Matheson worried about who would take care of him and if anyone would ever want to marry him. Amid such despair, Matheson later shared,
God gave him all four verses of this hymn in five minutes. It’s a poignant
reminder that God’s love sustains us even when human love falls short. =
Downey Adventist Church Sunday
5:23 pm sunset 7 pm Agape Feast
10:50 am Worship Mitch Williams
10 5:30 pm sunset
11 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Mitch Williams
1:00 pm - Youth Big Game Party (kick off at 3:30pm)
7 pm Women’s Prayer Group
10 am Friends & Love Valentines Brunch
7 pm Band Practice
5:37 pm sunset
18 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Mitch Williams
7 pm Women’s Prayer Group
9 am Pathfinder/ Adventurer Meeting
9:30 am S.S.
3 pm Pathfinder/ Adventurer Meeting
7 pm Women’s Prayer Group
9 am Pathfinder/ Adventurer Meeting 10 am C.S.
7 pm Band Practice
3 pm Pathfinder/ Adventurer Meeting
24 5:43 pm sunset
25 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Mitch Williams
7 pm Women’s Prayer Group
7 pm Band Practice
6 pm Harvey’s Broiler Small Group Party
29 Visit www.downeychurch.org S.S. – Sabbath School C.S. – Community Service
February 2012 Stewpot by Gordon Botting, DrPH, CHES.
story is told about a community charity that had never received a donation from the town’s prominent banker. So one year the director of this non-profit made a personal call to the banker. “Sir, according to our records, your annual income is over half a million dollars, and yet you haven’t given one thin dime to our important cause. Wouldn’t you like to support your community this season?” The merchant banker replied, “Did you not know my mother is very sick and her medical costs are extremely expensive?” “No, Sir,” answered the charity’s director, “I did not know.” “Or that my sister is both blind and unemployed? Or that my brother’s wife died, leaving him with three children to care for?” “I… I…. I… I’m sorry, Sir,” mumbled the director, “I didn’t know.” “So,” continued the banker, “If I don’t give my family financial support, why do you think I would give any money to your charity?” 1 We may smile at this
Can You Spare Some Change? implausible story, but, unfortunately, there is an ounce of truth in its message. Far too often we assist large, organizational charities but forget there are many needy individu-
als or families in our own backyard. Is there a struggling college student in your church who would really appreciate a gift certificate to the university bookstore? Maybe you could pay his or her rent for a quarter. Or is there a single mum whose vehicle growls like a lion when it should purr like a kitten? Make your donation a complete tune-up for her car. And with a little TLC of cleaning, washing and polishing, your children could donate their time and talent to making her car sparkle, both inside and out. Contact your local assisted living center to see if they know of a client who has no relatives or family close by and would enjoy a surprise excursion to a local zoo or museum, and include a homemade picnic lunch as an additional treat.
Since the economy has been down, the fund-raising drives from churches, missions and non- profits kick have kicked into high gear. It’s important that Christians put a great deal of thought into which organizations they wish to support with their donations. Approximately 80% of the world’s evangelistic and ministry dollars come from the United States. What a remarkable responsibility for American Christians! To reassure you that the money you give is being wisely spent, here are six guidelines to help you choose astutely and prudently.
Where should you give? When it comes to choosing a charity or ministry, as a donor you must first determine what causes you are most passionate about — relief and development, foreign or home missions, evangelism, community services, senior care, education, the arts, music and literature endowments or scientific research. continued on page 8
“God sees the heart, not the hand —the giver not the gift.” — Benjamin R. De Jong
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” — Amy Carmichael
THE LATEST WORD Can You Spare Some Change? (cont. from page 7) How often should you give? It is best, as the donor, you contribute to just a few charities in which you believe, trust and fully champion. For example: having personally participated in two overseas church building tours for Maranatha International, I feel more comfortable supporting their “one-day” school or church projects because I have experienced the organization’s accomplishments.
How should I give? If an organization sends you an e-mail or calls on the phone, never commit on the spot but rather say to them, “Please send me something in the mail. If I’m interested, I will respond, but I do not donate over the telephone.”
Is this charity financially efficient?
No charity can operate without some over-head expenses. The responsible agencies attempt to operate with less than 30% of donations going to overhead and a few are able to function with as little as 15% going to over-head. Most try to manage their
ministry so that the majority of the contributions go directly to the projects for which the funds were solicited. For additional facts about Christian charities, go to ministrywatch.com or ecfa.org [Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability], and for the broader nonprofit sector, give.org, (better business guide), charitynavigator.org, (data analysis regarding fundraising efficiency on more than 5,500 charities ), and guidestar.org, (a database of 1.8 million IRS- recognized nonprofits).2
out neglecting their basic purpose?
they may be national organizations, which have affiliates in your local area. =
Does this charity have a good track record?
Most of us are familiar with disaster relief ministries such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army who for over one hundred years have been consistent in
Do they have long-term solutions? Is this charity just out to continue its existence and to keep the money flowing in? Do they have a long-term view or just frequent quick fixes? We all feel empathy for hungry children because of their country’s famine, but sometimes helping with food and clothing is not the answer. A better method could be donating funds to educate the people about better farming methods and supplying them the resources to grow their own food. Also, is this organization willing to try new methods and creative ideas—with-
75% of Americans give less than 1% to charities. their humanitarian work and services. Another well-known and respected organization is the American Cancer Society. Unfortunately, millions of their dollars are diverted to other cancer charities because of their look-alike appeals, copycat names and logos. To avoid confusion, the best policy is to donate to charities, though
1. “Laugh!”, Reader’s Digest Magazine, June/July, 2011, p. 202. 2. Concepts from: Kristen Scharold, “Which Charity Should I Give To?” Christianity Today, December 2008.
February 2012 THIS MONTH
Upcoming Events February Birthdays
David Martinez – 2 Issac Diaz – 5 Mark Jackson – 7 Akeem Meade – 7 Jasmine Huinquez – 9 Irene Garcia – 11 Victoria Zamora – 11 Maggie Zamora – 15 Ellis Perry – 19 Teresa Miranda – 22 Donna Morgan – 24 Linda Fernandez – 26 Armando Cabrera – 26 Kevin Williams - 28 Letty Duran-Garcia – 29 Susie Duran – 29
Thursdays - 7 p.m. Women’s Prayer Group Fridays - 7:00 p.m. Band Practice Feb. 3 - Agape Feast Communion 7pm Feb. 4 - Pathfinder/Adventurer Meeting - 3pm Feb. 5 - Pathfinder/Adventurer Meeting - 9am Feb. 11 - Pathfinder Convocation @ White Memorial Feb. 12 - Valentine’s Brunch - 10am Feb. 18 - Pathfinder/Adventurer Meeting - 3pm Feb. 19 - Pathfinder/Adventurer Meeting - 9am Feb. 25 - Harvey’s Broiler Party
If your birthday is left out in the monthly newsletter, please contact the church office so we can put it in.
The Latest Word deadline is the 5th of the month.
Coming Soon Mar. 17 - Celebration Sabbath & Luncheon Apr. 7 - Easter Sabbath
Be sure to sign up to be in a Small Group in the foyer.
THE LATEST WORD The Latest About
Our Church Family Congratulations to Irela Molina, Tania Puentes, Doris Ramirez, Andy Leyva, Dylan Jospeh and Julian Patino. They were baptized on Dec. 17th. Be sure to get to know them and welcome them to family.
Our sympathies to the Edberg family. Patricia Edberg passed away recently. Please remember the family in your prayers.
veryone is invited to join the Adventurer Club on Sunday, February 12th at 10am, for Friends & Love Valentine’s Brunch. This brunch is for everyone to celebrate their love for friends, family or that someone special. The food will be catered Mexican food, because nothing says love like a good plate of Mexican food. There will be some music, prizes and Arrowmail. If your’re not familar with Arrowmail, it will allow you to make card and have it delivered during the brunch by little Cupids (also known as Adventurers). There will also be a Photo Spot
Thank you to everyone who has been saving Box Tops for Education. That is greatly appreciated. For the Box Tops for Education, please save the Box Tops coupon. Please give your labels to Linda Aumack. Thank you for your support! =
If you have any Church Family news, please con-
Friends & Love Valentine’s Brunch
tact the church office so we can get it into the newsletter. =
where you can take pictures with your family or friends, so be sure to bring your camera. The cost is a very reasonable $5 per person and children under 3 are free. This is a fund raiser for the Adventurers, so they will accept generous tips and donations as well. Sign up to reserve your spot in the foyer. This will also help them know how much food to order. They will collect the money on Sunday at the brunch. Come on out for a good time and support our Adventurer Club! =
oin us on Friday, February 3, at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall for our annual Agape Feast. The tables will be set with table cloths, candle light and the Bread and the Cup of Communion. Bring the whole family and invite a friend for this memorable service.
Ponder This... = “To love another person is to see the face of God.” —Lyrics from Les Misérables, Claude-Michel Schönberg = “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” —Anne Bradstreet = “Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.” —Kahlil Gibran
Downey-Florence Seventh-day Adventist Church 9820 Lakewood Blvd., Downey CA 90240
DATED MATERIAL Return Service Requested