Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Apr. 25, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, April 23, 2020

What’s Your Legacy?

This past Friday I conducted a graveside service for Mary Givehand. She was the second of my church members to die during the last week of March and the first week of April. Neither were related to COVID-19.

Mary was 97 years old. She was born in Nebraska City and lived her whole life there except for the years she spent in college and grad school (she had a masters degree in education). Her current home is across the street from the home she was born at and grew up in.

She worked in Omaha as a first grade teacher for 30 years – making the drive from Nebraska City and back every day. She never missed a day of school.

She was dearly loved by both her students and other staff members. I’ve only known Mary for eight years, but during that time she would often share with me letters from former students or tell me one had stopped by to visit.

She raised three children. It seems like every person I have met that lived in Nebraska City for more than just a few years knows Mary or one of her children.

At a time when the church in Nebraska City was struggling – down to two people attending each week – Mary, and one other lady who passed away some years ago, would come to church, fellowship together, and bring enough food with them to feed anyone else who showed up.

The church has grown and shrunk several times in the past years and was finally closed at the end of 2019 – it broke Mary’s heart.

Why do I share all this?

Thinking about Mary’s life and seeing how much of a difference she made in her world – her legacy – makes me think about my life and influence.

What is it that makes up the legacy of a person like Mary?

In reality, it’s pretty simple. It’s just the way they lived their life day after day.

Mary live her life with an outward focus. She loved people and helped take care of them. She was active in the community.

She fed whoever showed up at home with her kids. She loved God and expressed it day after day.

A legacy is not about some great accomplishment that makes a big splash in the news. It is about how you touch people day after day.

Jesus tells us what our legacy should be when He said:

“… Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35, NLT)

As Christians, our legacy should be about loving others like Jesus loves us.

This is not necessarily about some big, noteworthy act – it is about our everyday interactions with our families and everyone we come in contact with. It’s about how we treat grocery clerks, annoying neighbors, the person we talk to at the Walmart Call Center when we call to complain, the waiter who can’t seem to get the order right, and so on.

Loving people like Jesus loves us is not natural. Developing into a person who can love unlovable people in everyday circumstances depends on another day by day practice – spending time with Jesus.

We can only love like Jesus if we have Jesus living in us. We can only have Jesus living in us if we invite Him to come in and take charge. All this happens when we take some quality time with Him each day.

One of my favorite promises is found in Psalm 32:

I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel. (Psalm 32:8, CSB)

This happens as we spend time with Him. Don’t sell yourself short – spend regular time with Jesus. Listen to His counsel. Follow His instructions. Build a legacy of loving like He does!.

Open Windows

Don Jacobsen's blog last weekend was titled Open Windows and shares some interesting facts about the number of people attending our digital worship service here in the middle of COVID-19.

… Christian pollster, George Barna, just announced that according to his tally since the first of the new year 50% of the churches in North America have shown growth. And it’s true of small churches, medium-sized churches, and large.

Now, it’s not the same, I know. I’m a recovering hugger and I miss it. But here’s the up-side. A high percentage of those we reach digitally are not those who have worshiped with us before … (Click here to read the entire post.)

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

On-line Church Directory

If your contact information has changed in the last few months (phone number, email, address, etc.) please either log on to the Church Directory App and correct it or send a note with your updated information to Judy Carroll ( or 402-290-3306).

Church Facebook Page

To stay up to date with current information and spiritual thoughts, click here to go to our Facebook Page. 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 Pantry. 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. Click here for more information about the Bellevue Food Pantry.

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 Pantry, they are there to accept donations on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at 1912 Hancock Street in Bellevue. Their phone number is 402-292-2961.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

The Unlikely Friendship from the Oklahoma City Bombing: How is it possible that two men destined to be enemies were able to forge an unexpected bond in the wake of abhorrent terrorism and tragedy? What transpired in the heart-stirring story of how the father of a young woman killed in the Oklahoma City bombing and the father of her killer (Timothy McVeigh) became friends and found forgiveness? Bible Gateway interviewed Jeanne Bishop, author of Grace from the Rubble: Two Fathers' Road to Reconciliation after the Oklahoma City Bombing. (Click here to read more.)

How to Respect Different Viewpoints While Keeping Your Own: How can Christians today interact with those around them in a way that shows respect to those whose beliefs are radically different but that also remains faithful to the gospel? Bestselling author Timothy Keller and legal scholar John Inazu bring together a range of artists, thinkers, and leaders—such as Lecrae, Tish Harrison Warren, Kristen Deede Johnson, Claude Richard Alexander, Shirley Hoogstra, Sara Groves, Rudy Carrasco, Trillia Newbell, Tom Lin, and Warren Kinghorn to provide a guide to biblical living in a pluralistic, fractured world. Bible Gateway interviewed Timothy Keller and John Inazu about their book, Uncommon Ground: Living Faithfully in a World of Difference. (Click here to read more.)

What Does the Book of Proverbs Say About Fools? The book of Proverbs was specifically written millennia ago to clearly contrast the dismantling ways of foolishness with the restorative properties of wisdom. Here, then, are several proverbs warning us not to be fool. (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’s Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens continues this Friday at 6 pm (CDT). To sign up to watch it and for more information, click here. Click here to download a schedule of the meetings.

Sunset this Friday – 8:14 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: Our Children’s Corner begins at 11:05 am with the Worship Service following right after. This Sabbath, we conclude our sermon series Taking the Plunge in a study titled Rinse & Repeat. 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 here.
      • To download and print a copy of this week’s Bible Verses, Questions, and Assignment, click here.
      • To download and print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Yield, click here. You can watch it 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’s Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens continues this Saturday (Apr. 25) at 6 pm (CDT). To sign up to watch it and for more information, click here. 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 28 at 6:00 pm online. For instructions on how to participate, click here. We will be praying together and spending some time looking at Romans 8. Contact Pastor T for more information.

MLT Meeting will take place online this Tuesday, April 28 at 7:15 pm. For instructions on how to participate, click here. For questions, contact Kalvin Tuel (402-201-6370).

It is Written’s Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens continues Tuesday (Apr. 25) at 6 pm (CDT). To sign up to watch it and for more information, click here. Click here to download a schedule of the meetings.

It is Written’s Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens continues Wednesday (Apr. 28) at 6 pm (CDT). To sign up to watch it and for more information, click here. Click here to download a schedule of the meetings.

It is Written’s Online Evangelism Series titled Hope Awakens continues Friday (May 1) at 6 pm (CDT). To sign up to watch it and for more information, click here. 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 and Primary Treasure – along with Sabbath School Lesson Materials.

From NAD Prayer Ministries, a number of prayer resources – 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.

Kansas Nebraska Conference Announcements

The Conference office is currently closed due to shelter in place regulations. You can reach Conference personnel by leaving a voice mail on 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 an Interactive Worship Service Online each Sabbath morning at 11:05 am. You can see it on our Facebook Page, our Homepage, 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 2020, click here; 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

To download and print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Yield, click here. You can watch it 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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