Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Apr. 11, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, April 09, 2020

Love Does Not Envy

This is part three of a series titled Love Matters Most, a blog on Lightbearers website. To read part 1, click here; part 2, click here.

Kids believe weird stuff. For example, I have a friend who, when he was young, didn’t think girls pooped. I guess, for him, femininity and bodily functions couldn’t co-exist. (Little did he know.)

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love does not envy.” Envy is one of the biggest enemies of love, because it makes us believe weird stuff. In his book Living for God, theologian Frank Hasel defines envy as “a form of blindness in which I can no longer realistically see my own gifts, or the blessings God has given me. Instead, my perception is intensely focused on the achievements, possessions, or strengths of others.” 1 In other words, when we’re envious, we’re looking at others through a “girls don’t poop” lens. Envy tells us they sit on a throne of only blessings.

I used to be jealous of a friend. I thought she was funnier, more popular, and a better writer. She had struggles, but my focus was on the gifts and talents I wanted. If I could talk to my younger self, I’d explain an idea I read about in Frank’s book. Let’s call it the chocolate box fallacy.

When we envy, we act like a person’s blessings are arbitrarily put together, like a box of chocolates. We fantasize about how much better off we’d be if only we could insert whatever they have into our own life. But people aren’t like boxes of chocolate. Everything in our lives is connected to something else. Every blessing has a story. When we see people, we see only what we envy, but, Frank writes, when God looks at us, He sees “the liabilities that come along with each blessing” (ibid, pg. 49).

The question to ask is, if I want someone’s blessing, would I take their story too? Would I take the depression that forged a friend’s ability to make people laugh? Would I take the loneliness that often comes from always having something intelligent to say but never knowing how to listen and make lasting friends?

If you struggle with envy, practice being grateful that you’re you. When we begin to accept ourselves – the blessings and flaws – we can begin to accept and love others without resentment, because, well, they poop too. (Click here to read this online).

1. Frank Hasel, Living for God: Reclaiming the Joy of Christian Virtue, Pacific Press, March 2020, pp. 47 and 49.

Christian Record Services for the Blind

The emphasis for the World Budget offering this Sabbath is Christian Record Services for the Blind. This North American Division ministry has been serving the blind community for more than 120 years. When you give to Christian Record, you give hope to a marginalized community. Please mark your offering for Christian Record (give through our church by clicking here) or give directly at To view a video from Christian Record, click here. To read a letter for the Director of Christian Record, click here.

COVID – 19 Response

We are still not having any face-to-face meetings due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

We are having our worship service online each Sabbath morning at 11:15 am. You can see it on our Facebook Page or our YouTube Channel.

We are having Prayer Meetings, Board Meetings, and MLT Meetings on our Zoom Channel (click here for instructions on how to join these meeting)

We are communicating through Golden News (our e-mail newsletter), the Pastor’s Blog, the homepage of our Website (, our Facebook Page , and through Remind.

To get notices through Remind, our emergency alert service, you must be signed up. You can do this by simply texting the message “@tmartinse” to the number 81010 (or 941-787-5566) – click here for more detailed instructions.

For the most reliable, up-to-date information, on the COVID-19 virus situation, check out the CDC, the World Heath Organization, Adventist Risk Management, and Adventist Health, UNMC, and the University of Minnesota, COVID-19 Resource Center.

Church Facebook Page

To stay up to date with current information and spiritual thoughts, click here to go to our new page, Golden Hills SDA Church. If you Like It, you will get information from it in your News Feed on Facebook.

Sabbath School Quarterlies

You can pick up a current Sabbath School Quarterly by stopping by the church. You will find them in a box just outside the lobby doors on the side of the Education Building (the west side). If you are unable to get to the church and you would like one, text Pastor T (402-517-5333 or send him an email at

Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes

We received an update from Samaritan’s Purse regarding Operation Christmas Child’s 2019 season here in the Omaha area. Here are a couple of things they shared - to read the entire update, click here.

    • The Omaha area (includes five counties) sent 16,217 shoebox gifts in 2019
    • Most of our shoeboxes went to Mexico and Ukraine

Wall of Love

For the month of April, we will be collecting Funds for the Bellevue Food Bank. Many have had their income cut during this time by business closures and layoffs due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This has created a strain on Food Banks around the country, including the one here in Bellevue.

If you have been blessed by the ability to continue to work from home or have a continued steady income stream, please consider giving to this project this month in addition to your regular giving. If you use our Online Giving Portal (click here to get to it) just designate this as Local Community Service. You may also mail us a check at Golden Hills SDA Church, 3005 Golden Blvd., Bellevue, NE 68123. Make the check out to Golden Hills SDA Church and put Food Bank in the memo line.

If you wish to give food directly to the Bellevue Food Bank, they are there to accept donations on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at 1912 Hancock Street in Bellevue.

Kansas Nebraska Conference Announcements

The Conference office is currently closed due to shelter in place regulations. You can reach the Conference by leaving a voice mail on their main phone (785-478-4726). They will get back to you within 24 hours.

Adventist Book Center information for the month of April, click here.

Camp Meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska has been cancelled for this year.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Christian History Told Through 33 Objects: If you had to select 33 objects throughout history to represent the birth, growth, and effectiveness of Christianity, what would you choose to best reflect God's enduring grace through the centuries? And what narrative would you write that would weave them all together in telling the story of what God is accomplishing in the world? Tangible relics such as these offer rich links of understanding between Christians of the first and 21st centuries. Bible Gateway interviewed Tim Challies about his book, Epic: An Around-the-World Journey Through Christian History. (Click here to read more.)

Even Non-Believers Can Agree on Facts Concerning Jesus: Did you know that, even though they don't believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, scholars who are not Christians do agree with believers on some matters concerning Jesus? Surprisingly, there's a lot upon which everyone can agree. When surveying historical scholarship, Christians, agnostics, and skeptics have no other option but to affirm certain truths about Jesus. Bible Gateway interviewed Justin W. Bass about his book, The Bedrock of Christianity: The Unalterable Facts of Jesus' Death and Resurrection. (Click here to read more.)

How to Create Calm in the Midst of Chaos: Three-time Emmy award nominee actor Dondré Whitfield, author of Male vs. Man: How to Honor Women, Teach Children, and Elevate Men to Change the World says, "I work in an industry where super-talented people go off the deep end and make decisions that damage their reputations. Most of this comes from feeling like they’re always in an environment of chaos, unable to feel calm or secure. But God is my measure of security …” (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.

What’s Happening

Sunset this Friday – 7:59 pm

This Sabbath at Church: There will be no face-to-face activities at the church until further notice due to the dangers of COVID-19 and the recommendation of the CDC. Here are some resources available for your worship time.

Sabbath School Resources

    • Our Alternate Sabbath School Class is meeting through video conferencing. If you would like to be a part of this group, please text Alfredo Diaz (920-216-3625) to get the information you need to join them.
    • To study the current Sabbath School Lesson on-line, click here .
    • Hope Sabbath School, click here.

Worship Service Options

    • Golden Hills Live Stream (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, we will have special Passover/Easter season service. Be sure to have your Bible and your cell phone handy so you can participate.
      • You can watch last week’s sermon, Ask, by clicking here (the service begins following the countdown.
      • You can watch any of our previously recorded worship services by clicking here.
    • Loma Linda University Church, live stream and recorded services, click here.
    • Pioneer Memorial Church (Andrews University): for their live stream, click here; for their recorded sermons, click here.
    • Kansas Nebraska Conference collection of sermons by numerous presenters, click here.

Pathfinders & Adventurers will not meet until further notice. 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 will take place online this Tuesday, April 14 at 6:00 pm on our Zoom Channel. For instructions on how to participate, click here . We will be praying together and spending some time looking at Psalm 32 . Contact Pastor T for more information.

Church Board Meeting will take place online this Tuesday, April 14 at 7:15 pm on our Zoom Channel. For instructions on how to participate, click here. If you have any items that need to be considered, please text or email Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-0630).

It is Written Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens begins one week from Friday, (Apr. 17) at 8 pm (CDT). To sign up for it and for more information, click here. You can invite your friends to watch as well!

Life Line Screening has been cancelled for April 29, 2020.

Camp Meeting has been cancelled for this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 Virus situation.

Online Resources for You and Your Family

Online giving for your tithe and offerings – click here.

The General Conference Ministerial Department has created Resources for Ministry in the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is a large list with ideas for all ages. To view it, click here.

Our Conference Family Ministries Department have assembled numerous resources for you and your family. These include articles, children’s activities, and much more. Click here children’s ministries and click here for family ministries.

Free download of Guide Magazine, click here; free download of Primary Treasure, click here.

From Advent Source, Free Adventist Preaching DVDs, you will only pay for the postage. Click here for their selections.

From NAD Prayer Ministries, a number of prayer ministries – click here.

From Bible Gateway, listen to Scripture as you read it – click here.

From Home Touch Ministries, free resources for the elderly and homebound – click here.

From Children’s Worship Bulletins, free resources for children – click here.

From Queen of Free, free resources for children (read the disclaimer) – click here.

From Church Tech Today, 7 Best Bible Memorization Apps – click here.

Miscellaneous Information

Remind is our emergency alert service. To get notices through Remind, you must be signed up. You can do this by simply texting the message “@tmartinse” to the number 81010 (or 941-787-5566) – click here for more detailed instructions.

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.

Video Streaming: We are now live streaming our sermons each Sabbath – you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here. You can also watch it on our Facebook Pageclick here to find it.

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.

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, the Golden News, directly to your computer, click here and enter your information in the space provided.

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.

Adobe Reader: To read and download many of the documents we post here you need Adobe Reader installed on your computer. To get a free copy of the latest version, click here.

Last Week’s Sermon

You can watch last week’s sermon, Ask, by clicking here (the service begins following the countdown).

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 COVID-19 Virus epidemic here and around the world
    • Donna Parker passed away this past Saturday morning. Please remember Gary and their daughter Melody in your prayers.
    • The Future of Our Church – Please pray that God will make His will and the path to achieving it known and that we will have the courage to follow wherever it leads
    • 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. has 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, Bill Agan, Al Bakerlis (Diane Harrington’s brother-in-law), 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, Jane (Mary Jane Agan’s daughter-in-law), Janice (Elma’s friend), Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson, Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, Gary Parker, Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s step mom), Charise Talley, Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents)

Pastor T’s Contact Information or call/text 402-517-5333.  

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