Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Apr. 4, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, April 02, 2020

Love Suffers Long

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

I ran my first marathon at 23. The first half was a breeze. By mile 18, I felt sore. At mile 23, a young man ran up beside me and asked: “Sooo … what are you gonna do after the race?” If he was asking me out, I totally missed it. “I’m gonna cry” was all I could say.

I suffered long to run that race. Training included giant blood blisters, a 20-mile run including 90-degree weather, and many long hours of preparation. I suffered long because the joy of finishing a marathon was more valuable to me (at the time) than the comfort of avoiding pain.

Love is like a long-distance race. And Jesus is its ultra Athlete. This Iron Man of love was pierced with iron spikes. He didn’t just sweat; He sweated drops of blood. He cried with agony at the sense of separation He felt from His Father (Matthew 27:46 ). Jesus suffered long because He had the most noble goal and the most healthy, loving heart of anyone in the universe: “for the joy set before Him He endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2 , NIV).

What was the “joy” that motivated Jesus? It was you. It was His desire to reverse the damaging effects of the fall in your life, and to restore you to the connection and joy you were designed for. Christ’s love motivated Him to “go the extra mile” until there were no more miles left to go.

You can be an athlete of love, too. How? By tenaciously, stubbornly, and unconditionally reflecting Christ’s love to those around you, even when it’s difficult: “Love suffers long and is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 , NKJV). Thankfully, this type of suffering has a flip side. According to Paul, the suffering required to love others is actually something to celebrate: “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope …”

Every opportunity to love well, no matter how difficult, has the potential to transform you into what C.S. Lewis calls “a creature of splendid glory.” The more you lean into this process, the more you will become like Jesus. And as you become more like Him, your capacity for joy will increase. Yes, love suffers long, but it always leads to joy. (Click here to read it online).

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 Meeting on our Zoom Channel each Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm (click here  for instructions on how to join the 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.

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.

Special Passover/Easter Season Service

We will not have a program here at church focusing on Jesus’ death and resurrection as we usually do during this season since we are in isolation; but, we would like to do something special.

Perhaps there is some special thing you were hoping to do – read a poem, sing a song, share a thought about how much you love Jesus, or something else creative that focuses us on Him.

Practice it a bit, and record a video of it on your phone – make it the best you can! And, then share it with us by sending it to Pastor T at no later than Monday, April 6. We will share as many of these as we have time to share on April 11. Hope to see you on video!

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

Being Afraid Is the Best Time to Adore God: Do you long to experience God in the thick of life's demands? If you're honest with yourself, do you admit, "I barely know you, God"? Do you consider God to be a familiar stranger? Bible Gateway interviewed Sara Hagerty, author of Adore: A Simple Practice for Experiencing God in the Middle Minutes of Your Day. (Click here to read more.)

How to Intentionally Strengthen Your Faith: You won't lose weight unless you're deliberate about it. You won't gain muscle unless you intentionally exercise. You won't earn a college degree unless you plan to achieve it. What does it mean to intentionally seek a deeper relationship of faith with God? Bible Gateway interviewed Allen Jackson about his book, Intentional Faith: Aligning Your Life with the Heart of God. (Click here to read more.)

COVID-19 – Bible Reading Plan of Assurance: During these unusual days, we need to regularly remind ourselves of God’s providence, power, and love. To that end, Bible Gateway has created the following 14-day Bible Reading Plan to help you focus your attention on God’s grandeur and greatness by reading Bible stories of his miraculous accomplishments and showing his desire to be involved in our lives.  (Click here to read more.)

Stuck at Home with Your Kids? Bible Gateway Has Free Resources for Families: With extended school closures around the country, many families are now facing a new reality. If you’re looking for learning opportunities to keep you and your children occupied during this time, Bible Gateway has a number of useful, free resources … (Click here to read more.)

Sneak Peek – Jesus Over Everything: Here's a Bible Gateway exclusive Sneak Peek and First Listen of the new book and audiobook Jesus Over Everything: Uncomplicating the Daily Struggle to Put Jesus First by Lisa Whittle, who says, "If you choose to put Jesus in his place of preeminence, he will bless your life. He will sort things out that you’ve never been able to sort out before…” (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 – 7:51 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 will be experimenting with a video conferencing option for Sabbath School. If you would like to be a part of this group, please text John Stroman (402-871-9764) so he can send you an invitation to participate.
    • 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 continue our sermon series, Take the Plunge, with an interactive, online study titled Ask. View it on our Facebook Page or our YouTube Channel. Be sure to have your Bible, a copy of P.R.A.Y , and your cell phone handy.
    • 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 on-line this Tuesday, April 7 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 91. Contact Pastor T for more information.

Video selections for our Annual Passover/Easter Season special program (via live stream) are due one week from Monday on April 6. See above for more information.

Life Line Screening will be here at our Church April 29, 2020. Click here to register. Click here for more details.

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 download a PDF copy of last week’s sermon, Rejoice and Reflect, by clicking here. You can watch it online by clicking here (the service begins after about six and a half minutes of music).

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 is currently being transferred to Hospice care as her kidneys are no longer function and she is unable to undergo dialysis. Please remember Donna & Gary in your prayers. They are praying for a miracle.
    • 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), 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, 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, 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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