Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: August 17, 2019

Web Master - Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Family Alter

Don Jacobsen's blog last weekend was titled The Family Alter. It has some great thoughts about praying together as a family that are worth considering, especially if you have kids living at home with you.

You probably noticed that I spelled the title incorrectly. You knew it should be family altar. Actually, I did that on purpose to make a point: When families pray together, it alters them.

A recent report by the National Association of Marriage Enhancement tells us that when couples regularly pray together it almost divorce-proofs their marriage. Although nearly half of US marriages end in divorce, among those who pray together daily the rate is only 1 out of 1,156. Amazing but not surprising. Although it may be trite, it’s basically true: The family that prays together stays together. (You can read the article here by Dr. David Stoop.)

With that much encouragement you’d think the practice of daily prayer among Christian couples would be nigh universal. But some studies show the percentage is actually about 4%. Pastoral couples lead the way – barely – with about 6% reporting daily prayer with their spouse. I am often suspicious of statistics, as I am of these, but if the reports are anywhere near accurate, it helps us understand why the percentage of divorces inside the Christian church in America is nearly as high as outside.

It might be enlightening to see some studies about the effect on kids of praying parents. I’m sure there are such studies available, I just don’t have access to them as I’m writing this. And my goal is not to chide families for what might have been, but rather to raise a question …

What is happening in your church to urge your families to take advantage of every tool God makes available? There may never have been a time in the history of our planet when the enemy has had an arsenal of distractions as clever as those he uses today. But God has promised that “those who are with us are greater than those who are with them.” Have you built into your church’s discipling strategy some intentional steps to train and motivate your families on the essentials and the delights of praying together as a family?

Personal praying is basic, but there is something about hearing those who love you pray a hedge of protection around you on a regular basis that readies you and steadies you for the hand-to-hand battle with the powers of darkness you will encounter as you begin your day.

Is it too much to assume that that kind of intercession will alter the outcome of the battles we face? Is your church helping build family alters? (Click here to read this on line.)

Click here to sign up to receive the HOPE Heals weekly messages. Click here to go to their website, Hope-Heals.org.

Calendar Events

Pathfinders are at Oshkosh. They will return home late this Sunday (Aug. 18). Let’s pray for their safety and for a good time of spiritual growth for them. Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information about the International Camporee (e-mail or 402-201-6370).

Sunset this Friday – 8:21 p.m.                                                          

This Sabbath at Church

    • Breakfast in the Fellowship Hall, 9:20 – 9:50 a.m.
    • Sabbath School (10:00 a.m.)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class, Church Sanctuary: Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class, Hearth Room – Quest for Glory: So You Want To Be A Hero: We will look at the individual stories of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11 to see what made them a hero of faith and how we can apply those principles to our lives. Click here to see a basic outline of our study.
    • Worship Service (11:15 a.m.) – This Sabbath, we will celebrate the beginning of a new school year and be reminded of Jesus’ love and sacrifice through our annual late-summer Communion Service.

Pathfinders & Adventurers are on summer break until the fall. Contact Holly Degerness for more information about Pathfinders (e-mail or 402-917-4718); or Lori Knutson for the Adventurer Club (e-mail or 402-980-5018).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2019-2020 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2019-2020 Adventurer Calendar.

Prayer Meeting is taking a summer break. We will pick back up in the fall. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

NAD Whole & Holy Women’s Ministries Convention: September 26-29, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Click here or see below for more information.

Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings will be in our community on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at Golden Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ultrasound screenings to Identify risk factors for Cardiovascular disease include; Carotid Artery (plaque buildup-a leading cause of stroke), Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (an enlargement or weak area in the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body), Peripheral Arterial Disease (hardening of the arteries in the legs), a Heart Rhythm Screening (an EKG to detect Atrial Fibrillation-irregular heartbeat) and an Osteoporosis Risk Assessment for men and women. Being proactive about your health by knowing your risks helps you and your doctor address problems early. Register online TODAY by clicking here, calling toll-free 866-229-0469, or texting the word circle to 797979 to receive your Community Circle discount and your Preferred Appointment! For more information about the services provided, click here.

Healthy for a Lifetime: October 19, 2019 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha (455 N. 10th St., Omaha, NE). Click here for a  printable information sheet. Click here to go to their website. See below for more information

Response Worship Summit October 31-November 2, 2019 at College View Church in Lincoln NE. Three days of rich worship experiences, captivating speakers, biblical preaching, and expert equipping. Pastors, worship leaders, and worshippers who long to get beyond the show and back to the substance, join us as this year we worship through the riches of inspiration, instruction, and experience within the Psalms. For more information and to register, visit www.responsesummit.org.

Hospice Volunteers Needed

Hospice Volunteers provide companionship for individuals living with terminal illnesses and their families. Volunteers choose the hours they are able to serve and determine the geographical location in metro Omaha/Council Bluffs and surrounding area. Volunteer education will take place in September (9/5, 9/9, 9/10) and is sponsored by CHI Health at Home Hospice, VNA Hospice, and Hospice House – The Josie Harper Residence. Please call one of the agencies below to request an application. Space is limited.

NAD Whole & Holy Women’s Ministries Convention

(From Sue Carlson.) We have a unique opportunity to experience inspiration and education on a grand scale! September 26-29, 2019 in Orlando, Florida is the date and place for the NAD Whole & Holy Women’s Ministries Convention. If you have ever been to one of these you will know what I mean when I say it’s like attending a women’s retreat on steroids!! You just can’t take it all in and it’s so wonderful! This event only happens once in five years! If you are able to attend this I guarantee you will be blessed! Click here for more information.

Healthy for a Lifetime

Healthy for a Lifetime offers a powerful and positive message of hope to everyone who has seen family and friends affected by heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other conditions. There are few things more important than our health and while much time, effort, and money has been spend on ways to improve health over the past 50 years, obesity has nearly tripled, diabetes is up about 600%, and heart disease remains the leading killer.

Only whole food plant-based nutrition has been scientifically proven to actually reverse all these conditions without negative side effects, but this information has not been widely shared with the public. This is an opportunity to hear the evidence firsthand from the leading experts in a relaxed, fun, and non-medical atmosphere where all are welcome.

Healthy for a Lifetime will take place Saturday, October 19, 2019 starting at 9:00 a.m. and concluding around 5:00 p.m. at the CHI Health Center in Omaha (455 N. 10th St., Omaha, NE). The cost for the seminar is $49.50 per person ($39.50 for full-time students) and includes a buffet lunch, free parking, and a gift bag. Click here for a  printable information sheet. Click here to go to their website. Click here to register.  

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Spiritual Lessons from the Human Body: The marvelous human body holds endlessly fascinating secrets. The resilience of skin, the strength and structure of the bones, the dynamic balance of the muscles—our physical being is knit according to a pattern of stunning purpose. Consider how the human body is a window into biblical teaching. Bible Gateway interviewed Philip Yancey, who, along with the late Dr. Paul Brand, wrote Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image. (Click here to read more.)

From KKK Terrorist to Follower of Jesus Christ: How does reading the Bible change a man from a convicted KKK terrorist to a devoted follower of Jesus Christ? How does the dramatic power of Scripture bring liberation from the grip of racial hatred and violence and cause a man to become co-pastor of a racially mixed church and the president of the C.S. Lewis Institute? Bible Gateway interviewed Thomas A. Tarrants about his book, Consumed by Hate, Redeemed by Love: How a Violent Klansman Became a Champion of Racial Reconciliation. (Click here to read more.)

Hope Despite Evil: Mass casualties in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio caused by the personification of evil remind us of sin’s devastating and wicked consequences by gunmen bent on extreme violence. And we cry out to God … (Click here to read more.)

Learn about and download the free award-winning Bible Gateway App by clicking here.

Check Out the entire Weekly Brief by clicking here. To subscribe to any one of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Help for Survivors of Current Natural Disasters: ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) works with other disaster relief agencies to assist survivors of the many current natural disasters. To find out how you can help, click here.

Used Stamps Needed! Your used stamps can help Christian Record Services for the Blind raise money. Just tear them off the envelope, being careful to include the entire stamp and bring them to church. Put them into the container provided out on the table and we will take care of getting them where they need to go.

Miscellaneous Information

Lippincott Family Updates: Check out the latest update from Lorilee and Bryon Lippincott about their family’s experiences serving God in Asia. To access a PDF copy of the most recent update, click here. To access a PDF copy that includes all we have received from 2019, click here; 2018, click here; 2017, click here; 2016, click here;  2013-2015, click here. To check out their website, click here. Don’t forget to check out Sharing Dots for Kids. To sign up for their e-mail newsletter, click here.

Free Estate Planning & Wills: Norm Zimmerman, Trust Director for the Kansas Nebraska Conference, is available by appointment to assist anyone who needs Estate Planning, Wills, etc. For more information contact Norm (e-mail or 402-617-2001).

On-Line Giving Available! Our church offers on-line giving through our website. If you would prefer to give electronically or if you are going to be away and want to stay up-to-date with your giving, click here. Adventist Giving now has an App you can download directly to your smart phone to make the process even easier. For an iPhone, click here. For Android phones, click here.

Our Church E-Mail Newsletter, Directly to Your Computer! If you would like to receive our weekly, e-mail newsletter, directly to your computer, click here and enter your information in the space provided in the lower right-hand portion of our church home page.

Adventist Screening Verification

Verified Volunteers has changed their name to Sterling Volunteers. The NAD has decided to select a parent name that can remain in their publications and website landing pages on a permanent basis. The name chosen for all our background screening and training needs is Adventist Screening Verification.

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Adventist Screening Verification to provide background checks and on-line education for our church officers and everyone who works with our children. This helps ensure that we have some training to help us recognize and avoid situations that would put our children at risk. In addition to our elected Church Officers, everyone who works with Pathfinders and Adventurers, Children’s or Youth Sabbath School Classes, Children’s Church, and VBS must go through this training and submit to a background check (there is no cost to you or to our church). It will take about an hour of your time.

To go to the website where you begin this process, click here and then select First-Time Registrant and follow the instructions. For more information, contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Prayer Watch

There are several people and concerns that we are praying about, for more information about any of these or to request something to be added to our list, feel free to contact Pastor T. (e-mail or 402-517-5333)

    • The Holy Spirit – to fill and guide our church
    • Our Church Leaders (Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Board Members, Sabbath School Class Leaders, Pathfinder/Adventurer Leaders, Etc.)
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Gary Jeffers, Michael McKinnie, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Christian Willey, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. is studying with)
    • The Lippincott Family
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Al Bakerlis (Diane Harrington’s brother-in-law), Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tammy Burville (Amy Newman-Holub’s cousin), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Brenda Carroll (Judy Carroll’s sister-in-law), Dennis Cushman, Emma (Mary Jane Agan’s granddaughter), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Irene (Mike Guy’s mother), Jane (Mary Jane Agan’s daughter-in-law), Janice (Elma’s friend), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson, Ginger Kroeker, Paul Lostaglia, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, Donna & Gary Parker, Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), Charise Talley, Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents)

Pastors Contact Information

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