Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Dec. 1, 2018

Web Master - Wednesday, November 28, 2018

God with Us!

I have been thinking about something Kalvin shared a couple weeks ago as he called for the offering.

He said the good news is: Thanksgiving has risen to be the number one holiday, especially among younger people.

The bad news is: As a result of the secularization of our country, Christmas is losing it attraction, especially among young people, as they are tiring of the selfish focus and commercialism of the Christmas holiday season.

I find this sad. It has been one of the two times each year (the other being Easter) when it is easier to direct people’s hearts toward Jesus and why He’s the most important person who ever lived.

This means you and I must be more deliberate and focused in how we proclaim the Good News of Immanuel (God with us – see Matthew 1:23).

It’s important every day of the year, the fact that God is with us.

    • It’s the only source of our salvation.
    • It’s the only source of hope in our world.
    • It’s what powers our lives so we can effectively point to God.
    • It’s what enables you and me to become the hands, the feet, and the mouth of God – God’s love with flesh on it!

The experience of crossing paths with people – such as you and me – who have been transformed by His power is especially important for those who have given up on God or don’t even think about Him at all.

In a generation of young people who want to be part of something bigger than themselves – to make a difference in this world – seeing God’s love in action is critical.

They will not be argued in. They will not be moved by cold doctrinal studies just so they can be “right”. They will only respond to real followers of Jesus who illustrate how He makes a difference. They will take notice of those who can say “this is how Jesus made a real impact in my life”!

This is the message which was begun at Bethlehem, culminated on the Cross, and was super-powered through the Resurrection.

The Christmas story is not just about a cute baby surrounded by adoring shepherds warming their hands at a cozy fire.

It’s about a loving God, Who – giving up eternal power – left the most beautiful, loving place in the universe to become a Baby, born in a stinky, messy, cattle cave. A Baby who would grow up to die the death we all deserve, so we would have the option to live with Him for eternity.

Let’s be sure we allow Him to be born inside of us, and to grow up and kill the selfishness and apathy in our lives so as we interact with people, this season and beyond, they will see an accurate, attractive picture of Jesus.

Let’s help people know what the Baby is capable of doing in their lives! Let’s live the real meaning of Christmas!

Member Update – Flo Filkins

Flo had surgery this morning to remove a cyst that has been pushing against her spine. Hopefully this will bring her some relief from the pain she has been experiencing. Please remember her and her medical team in your prayers. She is at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 4:56 pm                                                           

This Sabbath at Church

    • No Breakfast at the Church this Sabbath morning
    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • 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: Studying the Gospel of John using the book God With Us - According to John by James W. Gilley (book 1, book 2). Paper copies of the book will be available at class but if you wish to purchase one for your tablet – for a Kindle (book 1, click here; book 2, click here), for i-Tunes (book 1, click here; book 2, click here), or for a Nook Book (book 1, click here, book 2, click here).
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath we will conclude our series on the book of Acts with Pastor T’s sermon title Holy Service, based on Paul’s last two missionary trips and his trip to Rome.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Holy Disagreement, click here.
    • Potluck After Church this Sabbath. If you’re a member, please plan to bring your favorite dish to feed your family plus a few more. If you’re a guest, just show up and enjoy it!

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Dec. 3), at 6:30 pm. Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information about Pathfinders (e-mail or 402-201-6370) or Lori Knutson for the Adventurer Club (e-mail or 402-980-5018).

Prayer Meeting meets this Tuesday (Dec. 4) at 6:00 pm. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Pathfinder Lock In, one week from Saturday night (Dec. 8). Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information (e-mail or 402-201-6370).

Golden Hills Church Cookie Exchange, December 9 at 2pm, In the Fellowship hall. See below for more information.

Our Annual Christmas Worship Service takes place two weeks from Sabbath (Dec. 15). For more information contact Trisha (e-mail) or Rita (e-mail).

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Terminal Illness Brings Intimacy with God: How can a terminal diagnosis lead to experiencing God's intimate, comforting, tangible presence? At middle age, John Paine thought he knew what it meant to have a relationship with God. But his journey into true, mystical intimacy with God began when a neurologist diagnosed him with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Bible Gateway interviewed John Paine about his book, The Luckiest Man: How A Seventeen-Year Battle with ALS Led Me to Intimacy with God. (Click here to read more.)

Devotional Reflections on Handel’s Messiah: George Frideric Handel's Messiah is one of the most beloved musical works of the western world, playing an especially sentimental role in many people's Christmas traditions. The libretto of the work, taken directly from the King James Version (KJV) text of 14 books of the Bible, has turned many phrases into memorable, singable, cherished lines of Scripture. Bible Gateway interviewed Jessica Miller Kelley (@JMillerKelley), editor of the devotional book, Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel's Messiah. (Click here to read more.)

3 Common Arguments Against Trusting the Bible: Here are three frequently quoted statements people use to say the Bible is untrustworthy, along with reasons why they’re mistaken … (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.

Cookie Exchange, December 9

You’re invited to a Cookie Exchange on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 2:00 pm here in our Fellowship Hall. The theme is Christmas Cookies. Your spouse/significant other is invited – along with your family.

The Rules of the Cookie Exchange are:

    • All cookies should be homemade or from a bakery (not from the cookie aisle at the grocery store)
    • Please bake and bring one to four dozen cookies of One Kind.
    • You may take home as many cookies as you bring.

No time to bake? Burnt your cookies? Still want to attend? Go to a bakery and pick up 1 to 4 dozen of the same kind of cookies and come join us!

Church Positions Available

We are looking for people to fill some vacant positions here at church. If you would be interested or would like to suggest someone for these jobs contact John Stroman (e-mail or 402-871-9764) or Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

    • Head Deaconess: This person would coordinate the activities of our Deaconess Group. This would include preparation and participation in Communion services and may include arranging for things like flowers for people in the hospital, planning meals for funerals, and providing support and assistance to people in need.
    • Women’s Ministries: This person would work to connect with the women of our congregation and plan some events that would bring them together and provide mutual support. They would also be our contact person with the Conference Women’s Ministries Coordinator.
    • Social Media: If you are really into social media and would like to help our church have a greater visible presence there (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), please let us know.

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  2018, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2017, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2016, click here. To access a PDF copy of all the updates we received prior to 2016 (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.

Verified Volunteers – Child Protection Screening

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Verified Volunteers 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). It will take about an hour of your time.

To download a PDF page of instructions and links to help you through this process, click here. 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).

Last Week’s Sermon

To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Holy Disagreement, click here.

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.)
    • Flo Filkins had surgery this morning to remove a cyst that has been pushing against her spine. Hopefully this will bring her some relief from the pain she has been experiencing. Please remember her and her medical team in your prayers. She is at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs.
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Gary Jeffers, Michael McKinnie, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Tom Plant, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Christian Willey, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. is studying with)
    • 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), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Brenda Carroll (Judy Carroll’s sister-in-law), Emma (Mary Jane Agan’s granddaughter), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Jane (Mary Jane Agan’s daughter-in-law), Janice (Elma’s friend), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson, Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Chad Pelley (Flo Filkins’ grandson),  Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), Cindy Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastors Contact Information

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