Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Oct. 19, 2019

Web Master - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

I’m Thankful!

This is actually my favorite time of year. It’s not just because fall is my favorite time of the year. It’s because it leads up to my two favorite holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas!

I must clarify a bit – I don’t especially enjoy the commercialization of Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Thanksgiving is just a slight pause in some of the biggest shopping days of the year.

And, It feels way too early to be seeing Christmas displays and listening to Christmas music as we shop stores full of invitations to purchase things to make this the “most spectacular Christmas ever!” It’s troubling that one of the most sacred events in this earth’s history – the birth of Jesus – is used for commercial gain.

But, one does not need to focus on that part. I choose to focus on what these two holidays mean to me as a Christian.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

    • I have a wonderful family, full of love
    • I have relatively good health with outstanding health care available for those times my health falters
    • I live in a house with heat and AC and have more than enough food each day – something the vast majority of people in this world do not have.
    • I have a vehicle that works and the resources to put fuel in it allowing me to go wherever I need to or want to
    • I have a church family that supports and loves us and is filled with volunteers:
      • Who keep the church clean and in good repair
      • Who give of their time to help our children and young people meet Jesus
      • Who participate in our worship experience
      • Who plan social events that bring about enjoyable fellowship
      • And, much more
    • I have a dog who thinks I’m the greatest person in the world

And most of all, I have a Savior who knows all about me – including every sinful thought and action; Who said:

 For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, the Voice)

I am thankful I can substitute my name in there for “the world” – your name goes there too!

Mathew, writing about Jesus’ birth, said:

Years and years ago, Isaiah, a prophet of Israel, foretold the story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus: A virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and His name will be Immanuel (which is a Hebrew name that means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:22-23, the Voice)

I am thankful that God become one of us through Jesus, and that He promised:

… “I will never leave you; I will always be by your side.” Because of this promise, we may boldly say, “The Lord is my help – I won’t be afraid of anything. How can anyone harm me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6, the Voice)

And I am especially thankful that Jesus has eternal plans for us to be with Him in a recreated world: Jesus said:

“Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. (John 14:1-3, the Voice)

The apostle John wrote this near the end of his life when he saw Heaven in vision:

I looked again and could hardly believe my eyes. Everything above me was new. Everything below me was new. Everything around me was new because the heaven and earth that had been passed away, and the sea was gone, completely. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride on her wedding day, adorned for her husband and for His eyes only. And I heard a great voice, coming from the throne.

See, the home of God is with His people. He will live among them; They will be His people, And God Himself will be with them. The prophecies are fulfilled: He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; Mourning no more, crying no more, pain no more …” (Revelation 21:1-4, the Voice)

As we move towards the Holiday Season, let’s do what we can to keep the focus where it belongs – on Jesus!

Online Bible Study with Laura Story

Join the I Give Up Online Bible Study with Laura Story: You're invited to join the I Give Up Online Bible Study with Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and Bible teacher Laura Story to discover the peace and joy that can be found in living a surrendered life. You'll get FREE access to Laura's five study videos, FREE downloads of the first chapters of the book, I Give Up: The Secret Joy of a Surrendered Life and study guide, printable Scriptures and affirmations, and other goodies! (Click here to read more.)

Save the Date – Christmas Cookie Exchange

Plan now to participate in the Christmas Cookie Exchange to take place on Sunday, December 8 at 2:00 pm. Watch for more information about it as we get closer.

Calendar Events

Pathfinders are participating in an area-wide camp-out this weekend. Let’s pray for their safety and that they draw closer to Jesus through their activities.

Sunset this Friday – 6:38 pm

Healthy for a Lifetime, this Sabbath (Oct. 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

This Sabbath at Church

    • Breakfast in the Fellowship Hall, 9:20 – 9:50 am.
    • 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 – 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 am) – This Sabbath, we will continue our sermon series The Sermon, based on Matthew 5 – 7. Pastor T’s sermon is titled “When You Pray …”. The book, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings provides important insight into this passage as does Desire of Ages, Chapter 31.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of the last sermon in this series titled You Have Heard … (Concluded), click here.

No Pathfinders or Adventurers this Monday (Oct. 21). For information about Pathfinders contact Holly Degerness (402-917-4718) or Marina Nolasco (402-594-0671); for information about Adventurers, contact Lori Knutson (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 meets this Tuesday (Oct. 22) at 6:00 pm. For more info contact Pastor T (402-517-5333).

MLT Meeting this Tuesday (Oct. 22) at 7:15 pm in the Hearth Room. If you wish to submit something for them to discuss, please contact Kalvin Tuel (402-201-6370).

Called – Conference-Wide Women’s Retreat, October 25-27, 2019: Bonita Shields, the keynote speaker, will present Courage, Character, Commitment and Confidence for the Call. There will multiple seminars to choose from and a Saturday night full of fun! Registration forms and brochures are available in the church lobby or by clicking here. For more information, call 785-478-4726.

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.

Daylight Savings Time Ends, November 3 – turn your clocks back one hour.

Christmas Cookie Exchange, December 8 at 2:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Watch for more information.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

The New Testament in Seven Sentences: Do you explore individual passages of Scripture but neglect to examine where they fit in to the whole of the Bible? Do you find a verse to be inspiring and easy to grasp, but its sweeping context difficult, requiring persistence in studying the full tapestry of Scripture? Bible Gateway interviewed Gary M. Burge, author of The New Testament in Seven Sentences: A Small Introduction to a Vast Topic. (Click here to read more.)

If an Organization Was a Person: Jeff Henderson, author of Know What You’re FOR: A Growth Strategy for Work, An Even Better Strategy for Life, says, "Whether it's a business, organization, church, or relationship, every person is asking the question: 'Do they care about me?' Applying the Golden Rule is crucial." (Click here to read more.)

Hallowed Be God’s Name: Justin McRoberts, author of May It Be So: Forty Days with the Lord’s Prayer, says, "At the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer, we're invited to call ourselves a child of God and a member of God’s family. Praying 'hallowed be your name' takes us further. The power in a gift is that it changes the recipient."  (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.

Church Positions

There are several positions we need to fill here at the church over the next few months. If you are interested in any of these, or have suggestions for someone to fill these, please contact Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-6370) or Pastor T. (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

    • Head Elder: The Head Elder works as the Pastor’s Associate here at church in providing for Spiritual leadership and direction. He/She also functions as the Chairman of the Church Board.
    • Treasurer: The Treasurer manages the finances of our church. He/She maintains the financial records, pays our bills, and is instrumental in planning and maintaining our budget.
    • Sabbath School Secretary: The Sabbath School Secretary orders and maintains the supply of Sabbath School lessons for all our Sabbath School Classes. They also collect the Sabbath School Offering each Sabbath morning from the classes.
    • Junior Sabbath School Leader: The Junior Sabbath School Leader coordinates the teaching and activities of the Junior Sabbath School Class (Ages 10-12).
    • Communications Director: The Communications Director coordinates and publishes the Golden News (email Newsletter), and develops other means of getting information to our members.

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 am and concluding around 5:00 pm 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.  

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

On-Line Church Directory Information: Now you can sync our church directory directly to your Apple, Android, or Kindle Fire device with a Free App! You can search for other members – and then email, call, or text right from the directory app. It’s easy!

    1. Go to your device’s App Store.(Click here for Apple products, click here for Android devices, or click here for Kindle Fire.
    2. Search for Instant Church Directory.
    3. Enter your email as it’s listed in our church directory.
    4. Follow the directions on the screen to complete the login process.

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 (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 (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. (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.)
    • Bev McNeal and her children as they mourn the loss of Ron.
    • Donna & Gary Parker continue to have serious health. Donna is at Nebraska Med Center and Gary is at Hillcrest Heath and Rehab in Bellevue.
    • 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)

Pastor’s Contact Information

To contact Pastor T, leave him a message by clicking here.  

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