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For the members, family and friends of the Downey Adventist Church

Japan’s Tsunami Update

A Powerful Weapon

by Pastor Mitch

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devastating tsunami swept the coastal plans of Japan in March of 2011. Ginny and I contacted our friends working in Japan with ADRA. They were safe and reported some damage but no loss of life among the Adventists. A few months later, our friends were called to serve at the language school in Gardena. On September 15, Elder Chris Ishii and his wife, Becky, will be with us. Elder Ishii will share some of his slides and talk

about the work of ADRA. Make a point to invite your family, friends and neighbors to hear Elder Ishii’s hope filled message. Labor Day is September 3rd. It’s a day to “celebrate” labor, yet strangely enough we don’t work on that day, we take the day off from work so we don’t have to labor. How do you feel about your job? Most of us need a job, we have bills to pay. Yet given the choice, many would prob-

ably prefer to not have to work. However your job can be a much larger blessing than just providing income. Income to pay our bills is good, but there is so much more to work than that. The key to unlocking greater joy from your job is understanding who your real boss is. Join us on September 1st as Bill Aumack brings us the message Your Real Boss. Communion is September 8. All of us continued on page 1

Chris Martin Organ Concert

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oin us on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30pm in the Downey Seventhday Adventist Church Fellowship Hall for a free organ concert.. Chris will debut the new organ that he built. His newly formed company will be offering these instruments for sale.

Satan dreads nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray. —Samuel Chadwick

INSIDE God’s Promises on page 3

There will be refreshments for sale during the intermission. Invite some friends to the free organ concert. Learn more about the organ here: www.martindigitalorgans.com =

Obedience or Obligation? page 4 Ginny’s Kitchen on page 5 What’s happening? see pages 6 & 9 The Great Estate Debate on page 7 Our Church Family page 10 Kid’s Page on page 11


THE LATEST WORD Japan’s Tsunami Update (cont. from page 1)

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word. Walking on water means discovering and embracing the unique calling of God on your life. Walking on water means experiencing the power of God in your life to do something you would not be capable of doing on your own.” (John Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on the Water, You’ve Got to Get out of the Boat.) See you when the church gathers. =

The Latest Word V 24 N 09 BILL AUMACK

WE DID IT

look forward to this healhe built. Chris is playus. How should we reply ing service and the new ing the concert in the felwhen a friend shares with beginnings it provides. lowship hall. This is our us a bit of gossip we know This is the service to chance to invite a friend to be inaccurate? Or shares invite those who haven’t or neighbor to this free a critical comment you attended for a while know to be false. and those who feel Some, hoping to unworthy. All of preserve the relaus are unworthy but The key to unlocking tionship might say what keeps us comgreater joy from your nothing. Another ing is that we have might seek help job is understanding who from a friend or a a Savior and He is Worthy. He invites person of authority your real boss is. us to come boldly to talk with the gosto his throne with sip/critical comment our prayers. He is maker. Most do not the one who established event. Refreshments will enjoy confrontation, they the Communion service be available during the would rather walk away. and the One who forgives. intermission. But, the Bible insists that This service offers all of we stand up for the truth. The Lord has called us a new start. The message is called us to “love one another.” Love One Another. Invite a Also, in the evening of On September 22, we’ll friend to hear this message September 8, at 7:30 p.m. explore a portion of lovand put it into practice— Chris Martin will play an ing one another that might you’ll be glad you did. organ concert on the organ seem difficult for some of The Bible narrative of Peter asking the Lord to “tell me to come to you on the water.” is the theme of our fall small group’s study. On September 29, the morning’s message is Water Walking. The narrative is found in Matthew 14. While it was still dark, in the early morning hours, Jesus came walking on the water to meet his disciples. They were “unnerved” to say the least. Peter, reacting to his fear, asked the Lord to invite him onto the sea and he did. “Walking on water means facing your fears and choosing not to let fear have the last

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

downeychurch@gmail.com www.downeychurch.com

distributed monthly issue date: Sept. 2012 copyright 1992-2012


September 2012 God, Webster & You by Linda Bewley

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ebster says ““promise” means “a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified” (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary).

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od’s word says, “Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled” (Joshua 21:45 NIV). Sometimes God’s comfort is unmistakable. Toward the end of June and into July, I had a series of episodes involving auto repair. All of the incidents were unexpected and costly. Thankfully, and on the bright side, they all occurred on the weekend, and none of them left me stranded on the side of the road. But by the third

God’s Promises episode, I was starting to feel overwhelmed. It happened on the Sunday preceding VBS. I still had some prep work to be done for VBS as well as normal Sunday chores so I really did not want to spend my precious Sunday hours without wheels or spend more money. But a trip to Sears Auto told me that’s exactly what I would be doing. The timing was good, as a friend was able to pick me up and take me home, and I was sure I could take a bus back to pick up my car or, worse case, just walk the four miles back. And being at home, I would be able to finalize my VBS tasks, one of which was to make posters with daily memory verses. Nonetheless and in spite of the positive, I was feeling overwhelmed.

Worship Schedule September 1 Bill Aumack Your Real Boss

September 8 Mitch Williams Communion

September 15 Chris Ishii ADRA

September 22 Mitch Williams Character Building

September 29 Mitch Williams

These expenses, coupled with other unexpected expenses earlier this year, were taking a toll on me. Thinking about all of that, I felt a little despaired, to be honest with you. It was in that state of mind that I started to make the VBS posters. The theme of VBS this year was about God’s promises. My task was easy. I only needed to write some of God’s promises on poster boards. I wasn’t expecting God to speak to me during the activity. The first promise was this: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). So what do you think I thought at that moment? One might think I would have said, “YIPPEE, that must be just for me!” But actually, I just sighed and thought, “Can God really help me out? I’m not sure this promise is for me right now.” I finished that poster and moved on to the next which said, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7). O boy, at that point, my heart started to soften a little.

Well, guess what needed to be on the next poster? “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). At that moment, it was unmistakable. My previously burdened heart was completely softened and encouraged by God’s presence and promises. If you know me well, you probably know what I was doing at that point. Crying! The reason is that although I was preparing these verses for children, I felt at that moment God was speaking directly to me and to the financial situation which was causing me distress. I spent some time thinking about why I had not found time to get it done prior to that day. Then I realized that God knew that Sunday was the day I would need the encouragement the most. It seems God decided to teach me a lesson about his promises while I was preparing to teach children the same. And that was pretty awesome. It was a reminder of the great God we serve, and the many promises he has given to us in his word to help us each day. =

Water Walking

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THE LATEST WORD Before the Father by Linda Fernandez

Obedience or Obligation?

T “But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin…you became slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:17-18

How would becoming a willing servant of Christ change our motives...?

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he word slavery leaves a bad taste in our mouths as we look back into our country’s history and involvement in this practice. We have come far from those days, but in many countries, slavery is still a very real part of life for many people. Whether you are a slave by purchase or by choice, obedience is the obligation of being owned by another. The Israelites of old were not free to live where they wished or as they liked. The terms of the covenant made for them by God outlined all the rules and judgments He commanded them to live by. There were blessings if they followed the rules, but there were also punishments if they did not. This brings up an interesting point of motive. In Romans 6 Paul says we are no longer slaves to sin, having been saved by Christ, but that now we are slaves of righteousness. How would becoming a willing servant of Christ change our motives for obedience from that of being a slave to sin? When we lived in sin, we were definitely (at least for me) willing participants, but now those same

behaviors are no longer appealing to us. Why? In light of that, I must ask myself, “What is my motive for now following and serving Christ?”

ever came from my previous service, but guilt and shame were my constant companions. Now, my servitude is voluntary. It is a bondage of love.

I think part of the answer for me is that I recall my deliverance from sin. Christ truly brought me out of a

If the Bible tells us anything, it is that Jesus has the right to reign over men. In accepting His rule over us we begin to see the master/servant relationship in vastly different terms. It is no longer arbitrary, but now a friendship. We pray for fellow followers and for those who remain in one type of slavery or another. Many in our society refute Jesus’ authority over their lives, but that does not change the fact that He is master and Lord of all. On that last day, all will bend their knee to him, either as a friend or as a foe. Let’s pray,

type of slavery. Now I am comfortable in surrendering to God’s sovereignty over my life. I no longer am willing to demand that God accept me as I was, but now am willing to be broken and reformatted, if you will, to fit his design for my life. Another aspect of choosing obedience over obligation is resting in his claim of divine ownership of my life. Being a slave to Christ had much greater privilege and promise than my old ‘master.’ Nothing good

Father, help us to stand firm in our obedience to you with holy motives in our service to Christ. =


September 2012 From Ginny’s Kitchen Ginny’s VBS Pasta Salad 1 pound of cooked & cooled pasta (Use various kinds of pasta, like spiral assorted) ¼ cup Wishbone Italian bottled dressing

1 red-pepper, sliced 1 can drained & rinsed red kidney-beans 1 T. squeezed lemon juice salt & pepper

2 T. to ¼ cup of mayo

garlic salt

¼ cup bottled ranch dressing

top with ½ grated Parmesan Cheese

1 small jar of Presto 1 can drained plain artichokes, cut in half 1 can drained whole green olives 1 can drained black olives 1 large sliced red onions

In a medium side bowl mix the cooked and cooled pasta and marinate it in the Wish-Bone dressing and let it stand for ½ hour. Next add the mayo and ranch dressing, and jar of

Pesto together. Add this mixture to the marinated pasta and side aside. In a larger bowl, gently toss all the rest of the items listed, olives, beans, artichokes, onions, etc. together including salt and pepper and garlic salt.

Before serving top with grated Parmesan Cheese. =

Combine the pasta with the dressing over all the vegetable items and gently stir together. Cool in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Parent - Parish Partnership

Let no Christian parents fall into the delusion that Sunday school is intended to ease them of their personal duties,” said 19th-century British preacher Charles H. Spurgeon. “The first and most natural condition of things is for Christian parents to train up their own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Studies show that parents are their kids’ strongest influencers in faith matters. Dr. Christian

Smith, director of the influential National Study of Youth and Religion, wrote: “In most cases, parents are the most important Christian pastors teenagers will ever have — for better or worse.” The sense of separateness between home and church, he said, “must be replaced by a more cooperative, integrated, comprehensive approach to the faith formation of young people.” =

Be sure to keep up with the latest news by signing up for the Wednesday email. You can sign up here www.downeychurch.org/Signups.html or send us an email at DowneyChurch at gmail dot com and we’ll add you.

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Downey Adventist Church Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1 7:20 pm sunset Visit www.downeychurch.org S.S. – Sabbath School C.S. – Community Service

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9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Bill Aumack

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5

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7 7:12 pm sunset

8 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Communion 3 pm Pathfinders/ Adventures

7 pm Women’s Prayer Group

Office Closed

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10

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12

13

7 pm Band Practice

7:30 pm Chris Martin Organ Concert

14 7:02 pm sunset

15 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Chris Ishii

7 pm Women’s Prayer Group

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19

20

7 pm Band Practice

21 6:52 pm sunset

22 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Mitch Williams

7 pm Women’s Prayer Group

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26

27

7 pm Band Practice

First Day of Autumn

28 6:43 pm sunset

29 9:30 am S.S. 10:50 am Worship Mitch Williams

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7 pm Women’s Prayer Group

7 pm Band Practice

3 pm Pathfinders/ Adventures


September 2012 Stewpot by Richard Magnuson, Jr.

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t’s a fact. Well over half of American adults don’t have an estate plan or even a simple will. If you already have a will, congratulations! You have created a plan to help provide peace of mind for your family. But are you planning to leave a greater portion of your estate to one adult child than to the rest? Or maybe you have decided to leave a large percentage of your estate to a church ministry rather than entirely to your family and friends. This is a delicate and emotional issue for most families. Having worked with families going through the probate process, I have observed that equal inheritances do help maintain family harmony when you’re gone. On the other hand, an estate plan with an unequal division can set the field for a future battle royal. In spite of the pitfalls, sometimes parents believe that there are good reasons to differentiate in distributing their estate. A good indicator of whether or not an unequal division will cause conflict among your children when you are

The Great Estate Debate gone will be whether your children also recognize and understand your reasons and can be supportive of them. Situations involving a special–needs child, for example, can necessitate that the bulk of one’s estate be dedicated to their continued care and support. Siblings will generally recognize your moral obligation, as well as the practical reality that, in the absence of a parent, the care of their special–needs sibling may well fall to them, so an unequal inheritance from your estate may actually relieve them of a future financial burden. Usually, though, the motivation behind a desire to have an unequal estate distribution is less obvious. In these situations, the success of an uneven estate distribution strategy will depend almost entirely on the family dynamics before the death of the parents. While a healthy supportive family will work through any feelings of jealousy or resentment, there are many more families in which even small discrepancies in an inheritance could be the blow

that drives them permanently apart. For example, maybe your reason to want to leave unequal shares is to take into account the relative success of your various children. One might be a business executive who makes a lot of money, while another is a social worker who makes much less. It may seem to make sense to leave the social worker more of your estate. But none of us can see into the future. The financially successful child might lose the business or come down with a chronic illness. Or they might feel that you have penalized them for their success. However, if you have a conversation with them you may find that the well–off child will agree completely with your reasons for wanting to reduce their inheritance in order to give their struggling sibling more. Consider sharing this information with your children individually, rather than announcing it at a family gettogether. However, even sharing it with your children as a group is far preferable to letting them find out about it when your will is read after you are gone. There are also situations in which parents have already helped one child financially much more than the continued on page 8

Well over half of American adults don’t have an estate plan or even a simple will.

In estate contests in our courts often the only real winners are the lawyers.

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THE LATEST WORD The Great Estate Debate (cont. from page 7)

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others. This can be a particular issue in our current time of recession, when many of our children have struggled with unemployment or have lost homes in foreclosure. You may decide that this prior support is simply water under the bridge and divide your estate equally anyway. Or you might keep track of your gifts, especially if they are large ones, such as help to save a home from loss, and reduce that child’s inheritance by the same amount. One of the most challenging situations in this area occurs when one of your children helps to take care of you in time of illness or disability. If you decide to leave that child more in your will, his or her siblings might suspect that they took advantage of their ailing parent and maybe even used undue influence in order to leverage a greater share of the estate. This very situation has led to many estate contests in our courts where often the only real winners are the lawyers for each of the warring siblings. You avoid these conflicts altogether by paying the child for their care services or by giving them monetary gifts while you’re alive and then split the remainder of your estate

equally. Real estate can create particularly difficult problems. Say you have a mountain cabin which one child loves the other lives too far away to really enjoy it. Since leaving it to both equally would likely stir up trouble when it came to splitting the financial upkeep expenses for the property, you should ask your children what they think about sharing and paying those expenses. The best solution might just be to sell the house now and add the proceeds to your retirement funds. One of the greatest mistakes I have seen in estate planning comes when children have either not been made aware of their parents’ intentions or been invited to participate in the decision–making process. I believe that

the biggest reason for not discussing estate plans with our family members is often simple fear. We may be afraid that our children will disapprove of our plans, will depend on an inheritance, or will be resentful of other siblings and heirs. So here are some straightforward suggestions that might help to ease the awkwardness of the situation. Start by explaining your values. Presumably your estate plan is going to reflect your values when it comes to money, giving, and providing for your family. The more openly you are able to communicate those values during your lifetime, the more your family members will know what to expect from your estate when you are gone. For example, if your children know that you strongly support the mission of your church, they won’t be surprised to find that a church ministry is included in your will. Once they understand your values, explaining how you intend to leave your estate will be much easier. However,

if you can’t bring yourself to talk about your estate plans with your family, one alternative is to leave a letter with your will that explains the reasons for your decision. If the tone of your letter is compassionate and addresses the questions and even the resentments and disappointments that your children may have it will go a long way toward fulfilling the goal of preserving these precious family relationships. Parents who say nothing may inadvertently create a time bomb that will explode when they are not around to diffuse it. This not only can tarnish the memories your family will have of you, but a challenge to the will may significantly deplete your estate through legal fees and costs, and your intentions for a gift to support ministry may be thwarted. Whatever you decide about inheritance, remember that the future of your family’s harmony is at stake and whenever possible equal shares do the trick. = Richard Magnuson, Jr. is the Director of Planned Giving & Trust Services for the Northern California Conference.


September 2012 THIS MONTH

Upcoming Events September Birthdays Yazmin Williams – 2 Abraham Guevara – 3 Pilar Centeno, Jr. – 5 Pat Novinski – 6 Destinee Macias – 8 Kean Aispuro – 9 Elora Chavez – 9 Shelby Jackson – 11 David Guerrero – 12 Mario Delgado – 12 Dolores Gamboa – 13 Amber Macias – 15 Mitch Williams – 19 Hector Archila – 21 Enoch Aispuro – 22 Matthew Macias – 22 Patricia Jackson – 23 Eloy Luna – 23 Dessirey Torres – 24 Dennis Navarro – 26 If your birthday is left out in the monthly newsletter, please contact the church office so we can put it in.

Thursdays - 7 p.m. Women’s Prayer Group Fridays - 7:00 p.m. Band Practice Sept Sept Sept Sept Sept Sept

3 - Labor Day 8 - Pathfinders / Adventures @ 3pm 8 - Chris Martin Organ Concert 11 - 911 Memorial Day 22 - First Day of Autumn 29 - Pathfinders / Adventures @ 3pm

The Latest Word deadline is the 5th of the month.

Coming Soon Oct. - Small Groups Oct. 27 - Fall Party Nov. 17 - Celebration Sabbath

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THE LATEST WORD The Latest About

Our Church Family Patricia Jackson and Mark and Shelby are back from their vacation to Belize. Ask them about it. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the Pathfinder Yard Sale and Car Wash.

If you have any Church Family news, please contact the church office so we can get it into the newsletter. =

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! =

Traits of friends

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n Confessions, St. Augustine (A.D. 354430) called human friendship “a nest of love and gentleness.” He wrote of the many joys of Christian friendship: “To make conversation, to share a joke, to perform mutual acts of kindness, to read together well-written books, to share in trifling and in serious matters, to disagree though without

animosity — just as a person debates with himself — and in the very rarity of disagreement to find the salt of normal harmony, to teach each other something or to learn from one another, to long with impatience for those absent, to welcome them with gladness on their arrival. These and other signs … [act] as fuel to set our minds on fire and out of many to forge unity.” =

Labor Day reflections

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abor Day brings to mind picnics, cookouts and family gatherings. Falling on the first Monday in September, it marks the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of a new school year. But

the holiday was created in 1882 to honor the social and economic contributions of American workers. In a strong economy, it’s easy to take for granted the ability to work and be paid well. But times

have changed during the past few years, with many people still struggling with unemployment and underemployment. During our holiday celebrations this year, let’s give thanks for the jobs

we have, pray for those who aren’t as fortunate and offer words of encouragement or help to someone who needs it. =


September 2012

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September 2012

Ponder This... = “‘I must do something’ always solves more problems than ‘Something must be done.’” —Unknown = “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” —Anthony J. D’Angelo

Downey-Florence Seventh-day Adventist Church 9820 Lakewood Blvd., Downey CA 90240

DATED MATERIAL Return Service Requested

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Sept. 2012 The Latest Word