Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Apr. 18, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, April 16, 2020

Love Does Not Parade Itself

This is part four of a series titled Love Matters Most, a blog on Lightbearers website. To read part 1, click here; part 2, click here; part 3, click here.

It’s easy to criticize the Pharisees, but I think we have more in common with them than we realize.

Pharisees built their sense of worth by trying to look “good.” Speaking of them, Jesus said, “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside…” (Matthew 23:5, NLT).

These guys were so desperate to look “good” that they literally wore supersized Bible verse boxes to show their respect for God’s law. Unfortunately, this habit of parading their “goodness” tricked them into missing out on Jesus. Who needs a Savior when you’re already so good?

But are hyper-religious people the only ones who struggle with self-righteousness? Martin Luther didn’t think so:

“Each one of us carries in our heart a horrible religious fanatic,” he said. “We would all like to be able to do something so spectacular that we could boast, ‘Look what I’ve done! With all my prayers and good works, I’ve done enough for God today that I can feel at peace …’ This joy is impure because it isn’t based on faith. It’s the kind of happiness that can make your conscience confused. Consciences are delicate. We need to guard them against the sin of arrogance… We should realize that we all carry in our hearts a horrible religious fanatic, who will destroy our faith with foolish delusions of good works” (Martin Luther, Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional, March 1).

Self-righteousness is a virus that infects our very best ideas and efforts—our personal ideals, our good habits, our social activism, our generosity, our politics, our thoughts of what others or the church should do, etc. Like the Pharisees, we compare ourselves to others in countless ways, secretly hoping to end up ahead—secretly trying to be “good enough.”

God wants to protect us from these “foolish delusions of good works,” because He knows that self-righteousness damages our faith and our ability to love others. So what’s the solution to parading ourselves? Here’s what Martin Luther says:

“The Holy Spirit provides us with a way to counter this godless delusion. We need to hold tightly to what we have received through the grace of God. God’s approval doesn’t come to us by what we do. Rather, it comes through the holiness of Christ, who suffered for us.”

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

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.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Living a Life of Wisdom Is Similar to Becoming a Great Jazz Soloist: What is the Bible's blueprint for becoming the kind of person who can deal with all of life's challenges? What is wisdom and how does a person acquire it? What are the practical steps to pursue in becoming wise? And how is living a life of wisdom similar to becoming a great jazz soloist? Bible Gateway interviewed Daniel Grothe about his book, Chasing Wisdom: The Lifelong Pursuit of Living Well. (Click here to read more.)

How to Follow Jesus: Has following Jesus become unnecessarily complicated by modern Christian jargon and heavy systematic theology? Are new believers in Christ paralyzed by being overwhelmed trying to master complicated doctrines, frustrated by a large list of rules for policing their lives, and bewildered by a new (and strange) vocabulary? Bible Gateway interviewed Craig Springer, author of How to Follow Jesus: A Practical Guide to Growing Your Faith. (Click here to read more.)

Sneak Peek – My Name Is Tani: Here's a Bible Gateway exclusive Sneak Peek and First Listen of the new book and audiobook of My Name Is Tani … and I Believe in Miracles: The Amazing True Story of One Boys Journey from Refugee to Chess Champion by Tanitoluwa Adewumi. It's the true story of a family escaping Boko Haram, sacrificing everything, living with nothing but hope. Eight-year-old Tani jumped into his new life with courage and perseverance – and an unusual mind for chess. In less than a year after he learned to play chess, Tani won the New York State chess championship. (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

It is Written Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens begins this Friday at 6 pm (CDT). To sign up to watch it and for more information, click here. You can invite your friends to watch as well! Click here to download a schedule of the meetings.

Sunset this Friday – 8:06 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 (11:05 am) – This Sabbath, we begin a new online feature. Beginning at 11:05 am we will share a children’s corner. Then we will continue our sermon series Taking the Plunge in a study titled Yield. We will examine Philippians 2:1-11. Be sure to have your Bible, your cell phone, a P.R.A.Y. Guide, and the current page with this week’s Bible Verses, Questions, and Assignment handy. You can view it on our website, our Facebook Page, or our YouTube Channel.
      • To download and print a copy of the P.R.A.Y. Guide, click herewe will be looking especially at the Yield section.
      • To download and print a copy of this week’s Bible Verses, Questions, and Assignment, click here.
      • You can watch last week’s sermon, He is Risen! 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.

It is Written Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens continues Saturday (Apr. 18) at 6 pm (CDT). To sign up to watch it and for more information, click here. You can invite your friends to watch as well! Click here to download a schedule of the meetings.

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 21 at 6:00 pm online. For instructions on how to participate, click here. We will be praying together and spending some time looking at Psalm 139. Contact Pastor T for more information.

It is Written Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens continues Tuesday (Apr. 21) at 6 pm (CDT). To sign up to watch it and for more information, click here. You can invite your friends to watch as well! Click here to download a schedule of the meetings.

It is Written Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens continues Wednesday (Apr. 22) at 6 pm (CDT). To sign up to watch it and for more information, click here. You can invite your friends to watch as well! Click here to download a schedule of the meetings.

It is Written Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens continues Friday (Apr. 24) at 6 pm (CDT). To sign up to watch it and for more information, click here. You can invite your friends to watch as well! Click here to download a schedule of the meetings.

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.

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.

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.

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 our Websiteclick here, on our Facebook Pageclick here, or on YouTubeclicking here.

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, He is Risen! 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
    • 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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