For the members, family and friends of the Downey Adventist Church
by Pastor Mitch
ife rarely turns out the way we expect. Youthful enthusiasm generally paints the future with a rosy hue. Falling in love and, of course, marrying mister or misses right. Once married, the prospect is harmonious approval about everything. Then— mostly slowly—love, family and the bills paid give way to unmet expectations. Cruel circumstances, unfortunate accidents and financial struggles find a way to sneak into life. While
life may surprise us with detours and heart aches the journey is still worth taking. The Mother’s Day message on May 12 is The Journey. The Bible character featured in the morning’s message is familiar. She started life with all the joys of youth and the promise of a prosperous future. Her pathway seemed to take a sharp turn into a direction completely unexpected. While the things of life were falling apart, she
grew in her faith in God. In her senior years she witnessed a remarkable turn of events. Living with disappointments, her faithful tenacity was rewarded. Many years later, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV). Mark your calendar to be with us on Mother’s Day to hear continued on page 1
Mother’s Day Sabbath
abbath, May 12, will be our special Mother’s Day service. Of course, we love our moms all year long. Hopefully we all take the time to tell her too. But it’s always good to have a special day when we can remember mom and give her a special day. Invite your moms, or that someone special who had a motherly influence on
Prayer lays hold of God’s plan and becomes the link between his will and its accomplishment on earth. Amazing things happen, and we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy Spirit’s prayer. —Elisabeth Elliot
INSIDE Crossing the Line on page 3
you, to this special service. Pastor Mitch has a message to encourage all the mothers who attend. After the service there will be a catered luncheon and the men will take care of serving and cleaning up. Ladies, you get the day off. Don’t miss this special service! =
Compliance or Commitment? is on page 4 Ginny’s Kitchen on page 5 What’s happening? see pages 6 & 9 Saving for the Wrong Reasons on page 7 Our Church Family page 10 Kid’s Page on page 11
THE LATEST WORD The Journey (cont. from page 1) Can’t Fail. Insurance companies often refer to the bad things in life like To honor our moms earthquakes, floods and on May 12th, we’re hostfires as Acts of God. Like ing a fellowship luncheon somehow God has and each mom will failed to be the kind receive a musical and loving God he gift. The guys will If God can’t abandon should be. We’ve take charge of the some specus, then how come seen catered, oriental tacular failures from themed, luncheon so we feel lonely or Christian leaders the moms can rest and sometimes even abandoned? and enjoy their spethe entire church cial day. or denomination. At such times the The message on opportunity for all of us to question is often asked, if May 5 is called A Window Christians or the church in Time. What do you want grow in him. Let’s seize the day of opportunity for fails, does that mean God your child to be when he our kids. has failed? Can we fail or she grows-up? Dream while representing God large for your kids. We For the last two and God still remain infalserve the Almighty God Sabbaths of May, Bill lible? Invite a friend as we and are any dreams too Aumack will continue explore why God Can’t big for our children or the series, Things God Fail. ourselves with God at our Can’t Do. On May 19, sides? Jesus said, “With the sermon title is God We’ve all had moments where we’ve felt alone. We’ve felt like we have no friends, and no one understands us. Basically, we feel abandoned. On May 26 we continue the series Things God Can’t Do with the message God Can’t Abandon You. If God can’t abandon us, then how come we feel lonely or abandoned? Even Jesus seemed to feel abandoned on the cross, crying “My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?” Our feelings are not the best this uplifting message of a woman of faith.
man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). The Lord is opening a window of
way to evaluate the truth of God’s promise to be with us. Invite your friends to join us as we evaluate God’s promises to always be with us. It’s a word of hope in today’s disconnected world. See you when the church gathers. =
The Latest Word V 24 N 05
WE DID IT
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: May 2012 copyright 1992-2012
May 2012 God, Webster & You by Linda Bewley
ebster says “flourish” means “to grow luxuriantly. . . to achieve success. . . to be in a state of activity or production (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary).
od says, “. . . the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted into the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green” (Psalm 92:12-14). Have you ever done a Sudoku puzzle? I used to do crosswords, but Sudoku puzzles have replaced that hobby. It started a number of years ago when
Thinking Outside of the Box Reader’s Digest published a Sudoku puzzle in one of its issues. I was intrigued and for some reason decided I wanted to learn how to do the puzzle. In case you’ve never played, the puzzle consists of 9 grids of 9 squares each. You are to place a number from 1 to 9 inside each square. You can’t repeat a number in any square, and you cannot have a number repeat itself in either a horizontal or vertical line. It was actually quite frustrating when I first started learning. The biggest problem was that I wanted to complete one square at a time, but that doesn’t work. You have to work on all 9 squares at the same time. I’ve been trying to teach someone else how to play the game and wasn’t surprised to
Worship Schedule May 19 Bill Aumack
May 5 Mitch Williams
Things God Can’t Do #2 God Can’t Fail
May 12 Mitch Williams
May 26 Bill Aumack
A Window in Time
The Journey Mother’s Day
Things God Can’t Do #3 God Can’t Abandon You
hear her say that she has difficulties, because she wants to finish one square before moving on to the next one. So I chuckle when I tell her, “it can’t be done, that’s not how it works.” That is one puzzle which causes you to think outside the box, pun intended. You have to look at the big picture, or you will fail. Thinking outside the box. I don’t hear that term much anymore. This
morning, though, after talking to a friend on the phone, that phrase hit home with me. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that cause us to do just that. One of my favorite pastors calls it being stretched—something I often find uncomfortable, because I don’t like going outside my comfort zone. The term “tunnel vision” describes a physical problem with
one’s vision, but it’s also a good way to describe what happens to us when we find ourselves concentrating on one issue or problem. And, truth be known, there are at times those issues which completely consume and worry us. I guess that’s the result of being human. But when we focus on the issue to the exclusion of everything else, we may fail to realize that God is looking at and working on a bigger
picture, one that we can’t see. Perhaps the situations that cause us to think outside the box or step outside our comfort zone are designed to help us see that God is all powerful and capable of sustaining us, for He promises that we will “grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.” =
THE LATEST WORD Before the Father by Linda Fernandez
Delay or Denial?
I “Three times I called upon the Lord and besought (Him) about this and begged that it might depart from me…” II Cor. 12:8 (Amplified)
“a delay does not necessarily mean a denial”
recently came across the story behind one of this year’s most popular Christian songs. The song is “Blessings” by Laura Story. She and her husband have been married only a short time, but early in their marriage, she began to notice odd behavior in her new husband. The doctors they went to see shrugged it off, but he eventually was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After going through several surgeries, this song came about as she was driving, trying to see a little light at the end of the very long and dark tunnel they were traveling through. I listened to several versions of the song and tried to memorize the lyrics as they reminded me of Paul’s struggle with the ‘thorn’ in his side. The Bible says he asked the Lord three times to remove the disability so he could be of more service, but the Lord’s only response was that His grace was sufficient. Listening to Laura’s story, I heard the same dilemma. Although her husband, Martin has regained some of his mobility, there is much healing left to become evident. She says she believes God is 100% able to heal completely and that He is 100% loving, so
in her mind bringing the two together would mean 100% healing for Martin. That, however, has not been the case thus far. I can identify with Paul and his ‘thorn” as I have one of my one I would like to have the Lord take away permanently. Indeed, I also know the
pain of mother’s broken heart and the helplessness of a wife who must wait to see how the medical tests for her husband will turn out. When the Lord delays an answer to prayer, should we always interpret it as a denial? Or perhaps, with God’s grace are we able to take a step back and try to see the larger picture God sees for us? Paul was content with God’s response; Laura seems to be getting there as well. The Lord seems to have been able to con-
vey to her that perhaps His blessings come in raindrops and healing through tears. My challenge comes when I see miracles happening all around me, but the miracles for me seem to be on hold. I pray I will have the grace to wait and to be content in all things, knowing that He has a plan for me…yes a very good plan. No, a delay does not necessarily mean a denial, but neither should it cause me to doubt God’s love for me. I pray it will cause a deeper thirst for his presence in my life. Let’s pray, Lord, as I wait upon you in the darkest moments of this life, let me speak only of your blessings and your love. =
May 2012 From Ginny’s Kitchen Strawberry Vinaigrette with Strawberry Lettuce Salad ½ cup of almonds or pecans, roasted in the oven at 350 for about 7mins. Careful not to burn. Set aside.
Vinaigrette Dressing 1 cup whole fresh & cleaned strawberries ½ olive oil ½ balsamic vinegar 4 teaspoon Dijon mustard ground salt & pepper 1 T. Agave Nectar syrup
or 3 T. sugar Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Set aside
Green Salad mixture In a lovely glass clear bowl make up this salad: 5 cups of mixed torn lettuce. (I combine several mixed greens, Romaine, Arugula). 1 cup fresh whole strawberries & some sliced (to mix into the salad).
2 cups fresh celery chopped from the tiny stems inside including the heart of the celery. Fresh parsley chopped and green chopped onion to taste. (I used about ½ cup of each). Toss the salad mixture together, adding celery and some sliced strawberries, parsley and onions.
dressing over before serving. Serve immediately. =
Top salad with whole strawberries and roasted nuts and drizzle vinaigrette
A Mother’s Prayer
ake me a wise mother, O Lord. Keep me calm and give me patience to bear the small, irritating things in the daily routine of life. Give me tolerance and understanding to bridge the gulf between my generation and that of my children. Let me not be too ready to guide my children’s stumbling feet, but allow me to be ever near to bind their bruises. Give me a sense of humor that I may
laugh with them but never at them. Let me refrain from preaching with words; let me show by example instead. Keep me from forcing their confidences, but give me a sympathetic ear when my children come to me. Make me humble. Keep my children close to me, O Lord, though miles may separate us. And let Thy light so shine upon me that they, too, will perceive Thy glory. Amen.
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Downey Adventist Church Sunday
7:38 pm sunset
5 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Mitch Williams 3 pm Pathfinder/ Adventurer Meeting
7 pm Women’s 7 pm Band Prayer Group Practice
9 am Pathfinder/ Adventurer Meeting
11 7:44 pm sunset
12 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Mitch Williams 12:30 Luncheon
8 to noon workbee
7 pm Women’s Prayer Group
7 pm Band Practice
18 7:49pm sunset
19 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Bill Aumack
7 pm Women’s Prayer Group
9 am Pathfinder/ Adventurer Meeting
7 pm Band Practice
25 7:54 pm sunset
26 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Bill Aumack
7 pm Board Meeting 7 pm Women’s Prayer Group
3 pm Pathfinder/ Adventurer Meeting
7 pm Band Practice
31 7pm AUS Graduation @ Bellflower Church
Visit www.downeychurch.org S.S. – Sabbath School C.S. – Community Service
May 2012 Stewpot by Ed Fargusson
couple of years ago I was attending a meeting at a church in our conference where one of our administrators made an announcement. This was at the beginning of the economic downturn and we were taking action to cut our budget so we would not have to let any pastors go or cut salaries. This particular congregation was without a pastor and the conference administrator told them that they were going to be placed in a district instead of having a pastor of their own. One of the members angrily announced, “If you are giving us half a pastor then I am going to give you half of my tithe!” Since that time the sentiment expressed by that man has caused me to think about the impact that consumerism has had upon our church. The essence of consumerism is that I am paying for a service and I will only pay for that which gives me value. In this article I want to compare consumer thinking with stewardship principals.
Consumers Go To Church Consumerism The heartbeat of consumerism is greed. The idea is, “I want the most for the least.” Give me a high rate of return on my investment while I pay low interest for my debt. I want great products but at low prices. Typically I don’t care about the methods, I just want my results. The other day I heard an editorial on the radio. The speaker was pointing out that when he buys products he doesn’t question whether the CEO is fat or thin, if he or she has had an affair or not, what kind of car they drive or house they live in. We don’t usually know anything about the people or the company behind the products we purchase, but we buy those products anyway. He was arguing that we should not care therefore about the character of the person that we will elect president. “Only the results matter” was his argument. I disagree with that
kind of thinking. I believe that the character of politicians does matter. I also believe that the “What’s in it for me” mentality has infected our marriages, our friendships and even our churches and schools. If I don’t believe that my marriage fulfills me, I will get divorced and find another person who will meet my needs. If one church doesn’t give me what I want I’ll just move down the street and find one that will. When I am only interested in how things affect me, then everything in my life becomes disposable.
Stewardship A comedian once quipped that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, but is apparently bad at managing money. This is the way it seems to many people because the church is always asking for money. This constant asking for money has left a bad taste in the mouth of many in our society. God does indeed appear to them to be a beggar. To many, it just means the church is bad at money management. They reason that if we were better at managing our money, we wouldn’t need to keep asking. continued on page 8
“Self -pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.” —Maya Angelou
“If Moses had been a committee the Israelites would still be in Egypt.” — J. B. Hughes
THE LATEST WORD Consumers Go To Church (cont. from page 7) God does not use giving to fund His church; rather He uses giving to grow His people into the likeness of His Son! We are reminded by Paul that, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me,” Galatians 2:20, NKJV. Christ gave Himself for us! The truth of stewardship is that giving is not about God or the church needing money; it is about our need to live with the same mindset that God has. God gave us His son, Christ gave himself and we should give to others. Tithes and offerings should be given not based upon the needs of the church or its ministries but rather on our need to sacrificially give.
Some might argue, “I give, but I give where I know my money actually does good.” I would be the first to admit that there is always room for improvement in the church, including in the area of money management. However,
the passive-aggressive action of withholding tithe and offering serves little to address true accountability but rather reveals an unhealthy relationship trend. I won’t give to you until I get what I want, is the message, and it is a selfish one. Belonging to a church is like belonging to a family. Withholding isn’t the answer, engagement and involvement are! If you don’t like the way you believe the church is using its funds, there are proper ways to hold it accountable:
Find out the facts. I find that most
people who are unhappy
Don’t leave it up to someone else. If you are on the church board, you will not only know how the money is spent on the local level, you will be responsible for it. Become a delegate to your conference constituency session. Become active in ministry and you will be in the know.
Express yourself in a Christ-like manner. There are
three levels of resistance: I don’t understand, I don’t like your idea, and I don’t like you. We tend to jump to the third level way too fast. Assume that people have good motives and work toward understanding. Christ rarely demonstrated anger and angrily addressed only those who thought they knew everything.
Accept the results. You won’t
with the way the church uses its funds, actually don’t know how the funds are being spent. They have presumptions, or they have “heard” from someone or some source that may not have the facts either. Church organizations finance statements are large and difficult to read but you can find out how the money is actually used, if you ask.
always get your way. Once you have had a chance to express your point of view, accept the results. When you are part of a committee, freely express your ideas but once the group takes action, you need to support that decision even if it wasn’t the position you advocated. That is why we have committees, so that no one person or group controls the church.
Conclusion Consumerism is the dominant theme in our culture. We, however, have a different calling. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God,” Romans 12:1, 2, NKJV. In this verse we are reminded that our service to God is a response to His mercy. Our giving is not to bless God but rather because He has blessed us. Let’s not conform to the consumerism of this world and operate on its premises. Rather let us be transformed by giving to God and thus be changed into the image of His Son. = Brief Bio of Ed Fargusson Ed Fargusson currently serves as Human Resources Director and Assistant to the President of the Northern California Conference. He has spent 20 years as a pastor and 10 years in church administrative work. He and his wife, Anne, have twin sons who attend Loma Linda University School of Medicine.
May 2012 THIS MONTH
Upcoming Events May Birthdays
Chris Martin – 1 Dudley Meade – 1 Victor Zamora – 4 Linda Aumack – 6 Michael Fernandez – 6 Kaye Navarro – 10 Grace Huinquez – 10 Byron Molina Jr. – 11 Vanity Duarte – 12 Justine Amezaga – 13 Bill Aumack – 17 Ray Munguia – 18 Frank Duran – 23 Mimi Gonzalez – 26 Alex Aumack – 28 Phillip Mondragon - 28
Thursdays - 7 p.m. Women’s Prayer Group Fridays - 7:00 p.m. Band Practice May May May May May May May May May
If your birthday is left out in the monthly newsletter, please contact the church office so we can put it in.
5 - Pathfinder/Adventurer Meeting - 3pm 6 - Pathfinder/Adventurer Meeting - 9am 6 - Workbee - 8am 12 - Mother’s Day Sabbath & Luncheon 13 - Mother’s Day 19 - Pathfinder/Adventurer Meeting - 3pm 20 - Pathfinder/Adventurer Meeting - 9am 28 - Memorial Day 31 - AUS Graduation, 7pm Bellflower
The Latest Word deadline is the 5th of the month.
Coming Soon June 2 - Pathfinder Investiture June 3 - Pathfinder Yardsale June 16 - Father’s Day & Luncheon July 16-20 - Vacation Bible School
Check out the audio and video sermon podcasts at www.downeychurch.org/ sermons.html
THE LATEST WORD The Latest About
Our Church Family Remember Sammy and Pedro Ramirez, and their families, in prayer. Their father recently passed away. Congratulations to Alex Chavez who was on honor roll at AUS. Also to David Chavez and
Sebastian Zegarra who got high honors. Keep up the good work! All three of them were also on the perfect attendance list. Way to go! We are looking for graduates. If you know someone
who is graduating this year, please contact the office or let Bill Aumack know. Thanks! Congratulations to Frankie and Patty Duran. They are the proud parents of twin boys, Frankie Jr. and Nicholas. They were born April 7th. Everyone is doing well.
Acts of God
nexpected “flash mob” musical performances have sprung up in public places such as airports and malls. Philadelphia’s 600-member Opera Company scattered among Macy’s crowds and broke out in the “Hallelujah Chorus.” A university choir did the same at a Fargo, North Dakota, food court. Groups have also performed impromptu rendi-
tions of “Silent Night,” “Amazing Grace” and well-known secular songs. These events have been called “random acts of culture,” but they might better be called “purposeful acts of God.” Through music, we can praise God anywhere. Whenever Christ’s disciples move beyond church buildings and Christian gatherings to share the gospel, God is surely at work. =
omeday is a snake whose tongue has mastered the talk of deception. “Someday,” it hisses, “I’ll take her on that cruise... we’ll have time to sit and chat...”
If you have any Church Family news, please contact the church office so we can get it into the newsletter. =
The seized opportunity brings joy — the neglected one brings only regret! = —Max Lucado, And the Angels Were Silent
But you know the truth before I even write it, don’t you? Someday never comes! Wise up! Invest the time. Send the flowers. Write the letter. Make the apology. Take the trip. Purchase the gift. Do it!
Armed Forces Day
rmed Forces Day, the third Saturday of May, is a time to remember and appreciate people who have served or who are now serving in the military.
Today, service members are volunteers who willingly leave their families and homes to serve as protectors, defenders and servants of our beloved country. Their roles often involve great danger, peril-
ous missions and harm to their bodies, minds and spirits. Let those in military service know that you appreciate their service and sacrifice on behalf of
America. Pray for them, speak appreciatively to them and let them know of your support. =
Ponder This... = “The Holy Scriptures … are nothing less than the ongoing Pentecost miracle.” —Martin Kähler = “The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” —Honoré de Balzac = “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” —Mary Anne Radmacher
Downey-Florence Seventh-day Adventist Church 9820 Lakewood Blvd., Downey CA 90240
DATED MATERIAL Return Service Requested