Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: April 13, 2019

Web Master - Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Spring; Finally!

As I write this, we are about four weeks past the moment that winter gave up by flooding our rivers and displacing numerous people in one of the worst natural disasters we have seen in this area of the country.

Since then, the rivers have gone down, the temperatures have risen, the lawns are turning green and the trees seem reading to blossom into spring.

This year illustrates an important truth in our lives. It often seems like things get worse before they get better.

This can be true in mundane things such as lawn and yard care – in order to make some things better, you have do some pruning, power raking, aerating, and trimming that can make things appear worse before it starts looking better.

It often happens in our relationship – I noticed it most with my kids as they were growing up. There were some incredibly difficult times when I wondered if we would all live through their teenage years. We survived and my teenagers grew up to be responsible, decent adults – that I am proud of!

And this year, it happened with our weather. We were all wondering if spring would ever arrive – and it finally did, in a way that produced a lot of damage that many people have not yet recovered from.

The point is, spring finally has arrived. And as the weather improves it has allowed the process of healing to begin. It has brought with it the promise of new life and a fruitful summer.

As Christians, we have been looking forward to Jesus’ coming for as long as I can remember – I never believed I would get this old before He came. But, here I am.

While many people have been working around the world to improve things for people, the world continues to deteriorate – both in terms of our physical environment and in our culture’s morality.

This is exactly what we would expect, based on Bible prophecy. In fact, if we are reading it right, things will get much worse – more disasters, uncontrolled disease, an increase in hate … and the list could go on.

What we can learn from spring is that the better life that God has promised is coming. There will come a day when we experience what we read about in Revelation 21:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone … I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:1-4, NLT)

Until then, we simply need to hang on to Jesus as He leads us through the troubled times ahead.

VBS Leader

The youth are planning to do a VBS this summer (a 3-day event on Friday, Sabbath, and Sunday – exact date has not been set) and need an adult sponsor or two to work with them. If this is something you would like to do, please contact Pastor T. (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

MLT Ballots

Last Sabbath and this next one we casting ballots to select our new MLT (Ministry Leadership Team). If you turned one in last Sabbath, you’re all set and don’t need to do a thing. If you did not, look for the ballots this Sabbath at church. If you’re not going to be at church this Sabbath, you can access a ballot by clicking here. Print it, fill it out, then take a picture of it and text or email it to either John Stroman (e-mail or 402-871-9764) or to Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Challenge Your Assumptions

Don Jacobsen's blog last week has some great questions for us as a church to consider as we examine our mission. It’s titled Challenge Your Assumptions. You can read the entire selection by clicking here or on the link following the next couple paragraphs.

I have a question for you: How recently have you attended a Muslim mosque? When was the last time you worshiped in a Jewish synagogue? How long since you slipped into the back row of a Buddhist service? Unless you're a member of one of those faith groups it has probably been quite a while.

A follow-up question: If you did attend, what time of day did you plan to arrive? Would you leave your shoes at the door? Would you feel comfortable to participate? Would you know when to sit, stand, kneel? (click here to read more)

Calendar Events

Pathfinder/Adventurer Family Campout this weekend! This Weekend, the annual Pathfinder/Adventurer Family Campout will take place at Woodland Acres. For more information contact Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-6370) or Lori Knutson (e-mail or 402-980-5018).

Enterprise/Great Plains Academy Alumni Weekend takes place this weekend (Apr. 12-13) at the Enterprise SDA Church located in Enterprise, Kansas. We pray that each one who can attend the 56th annual Alumni Weekend will experience not only a wonderful weekend reminiscing with their former classmates and faculty members, but also leave having a closer friendship with our Savior.

Sunset this Friday – 8:00 pm                                                           

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: Studying the Gospel of John using the book God With Us - According to John by James W. Gilley (book 1, book 2). Paper copies of the book will be available at class but if you wish to purchase one for your tablet – for a Kindle (book 1, click here; book 2, click here), for i-Tunes (book 1, click here; book 2, click here), or for a Nook Book (book 1, click here, book 2, click here).
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, John Roney, our Student Pastor from Union College, will present our sermon.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled The Wonderful Promise, Part 2, click here.
    • Due to the Pathfinder/Adventurer Campout there will be no Children’s Church this Sabbath.

No Pathfinders or Adventurers this Monday (Apr. 15). Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information about Pathfinders (e-mail or 402-201-6370) or Lori Knutson for the Adventurer Club (e-mail or 402-980-5018).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Adventurer Calendar.

Prayer Meeting meets this Tuesday (Apr. 16) at 6:00 pm. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Friday Evening Communion Service, April 19: Our annual Passover/Easter Season Friday evening Communion Service/Agape Feast will take place one week from Friday (Apr. 19) on the first day of Passover. The Footwashing Service will begin in the church lobby at 6:45 pm.

Mid-America Spiritual Retreat & Prayer Conference: April 19-21, 2019 at Lied Lodge & Conference Center in Nebraska City. The guest speaker is Pavel Goia, the Editor of Ministry Magazine. Registration closes this Thursday (Apr. 11). For more information, contact Susan Treolo at 785-478-4726.

Mary Grace, April 27: Mary Grace, a pianist with only a stump where her right hand should be, will present a concert of piano music along with her personal testimony. You can read more about her by clicking here. To watch a video that includes an interview and some samples of her music, click here.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Why Is It Important to Be Present Here and Now? Does life seem to be passing you by? Are you so busy that you’ve become disconnected from your actual life? The one you're living right here, right now? How can we stop neglecting the lives we’re living today and instead intentionally walk in the peace and fullness God offers moment to moment? Bible Gateway interviewed Kate Merrick about her book, Here, Now: Unearthing Peace and Presence in an Overconnected World. (Click here to read more.)

Can We Trust the Gospels? Why does the Bible have four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – that each tell about the life of Jesus? How reliable are they? How were the accounts handed down throughout history? What are the answers to skeptics who say the Gospels are merely historical fiction and were simply created to fit existing messianic prophecies? Bible Gateway interviewed Peter J. Williams about his book, Can We Trust the Gospels? (Click here to read more.)

When Trusting Jesus Means Stepping Out into Unknown Waters: Singer-songwriter, worship leader, and founding member of the global worship movement Jesus Culture, Kim Walker Smith, author of Brave Surrender: Let God’s Love Rewrite Your Story, says, "I saw others in my circle of friends who felt they were supposed to do something different but allowed fear to keep them standing still. As I talked to Jesus about it, I began to hear his still small voice whispering to my heart, 'Step out. You can trust me' …" (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.

Volunteers Needed – Church Positions to Fill

We are looking for people to fill some vacant positions here at church. If you would be interested or would like to suggest someone for these jobs contact John Stroman (e-mail or 402-871-9764) or Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

    • Women’s Ministries: This person would work to connect with the women of our congregation and plan some events that would bring them together and provide mutual support. They would also be our contact person with the Conference Women’s Ministries Coordinator.
    • Social Media: If you are really into social media and would like to help our church have a greater visible presence there (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), please let us know.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Help Those Impacted by Our Recent and Continuing Flooding

    • Volunteer Your Time: The Seventh-day Adventist Disaster Relief Team has turned the warehouse for flood relief supplies over to the Salvation Army. The warehouse is located at 8457 W Center Road in Omaha. Volunteers are still needed. To volunteer, click here, then fill out the form and submit it. You will then receive further instructions via email. 
    • Donate Money through Golden Hills Church: If you would like to donate through our church, you may send a check, written to Golden Hills SDA Church, 3005 Golden Blvd., Bellevue, NE 68123 (please note flood relief in the memo line of your check or on a tithe envelope before you turn it in). If you wish to donate on-line, click here and list the funds in the Local Community Services line. These funds will be sent to the Norfolk SDA Church, where they will be distributed as needed in their community. You may also donate to the Kansas – Nebraska Conference disaster fund by writing that in on your tithe envelope or marking it through our on-line giving option.

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

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 (e-mail or 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.

Verified Volunteers – Child Protection Screening

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Verified Volunteers 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). It will take about an hour of your time.

To download a PDF page of instructions and links to help you through this process, click here. 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 (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Last Week’s Sermon

To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled The Wonderful Promise, Part 2, click here.

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. (e-mail or 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.)
    • Steve Wilhelmsen as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
    • Betty Cushman has asked that we pray especially for Dennis as the effects of Parkinson’s disease continues to impact his life.
    • Gary & Donna Parker ask that we specially lift up their daughter Melody who has had some complications from surgery and had another surgery today (Wednesday) to fix them.
    • 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), 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, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, Donna & Gary Parker, Chad Pelley (Flo Filkins’ grandson),  Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents).

Pastors Contact Information

Pastor T – E-Mail:, Cell Phone: (402) 517-5333

John Roney – E-Mail:, Cell Phone: (573) 982-9385

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