Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: August 24, 2019

Web Master - Wednesday, August 21, 2019


When I was a teacher, one of the darker jokes going around among many of the staff was - this would be a great job if there were no students around. Of course, they were mostly joking because if there were no students … well, you know what I mean.

The point is that every once in a while, students could be extremely frustrating. On the other side, there were many who were a joy to work with.

Sometimes we feel the same about people. It would be a great life if there weren’t so many frustrating people around.

As Christians, it often seems like we deal with more broken, seemingly hopeless people than others have to put up with. We fail to realize, that in Jesus’ view, this is why we are here.

As I am re-reading the Gospels, I have been struck with how little Jesus has to say about the sins we seem to like speaking about – sexual immorality, abusing our bodies with alcohol and drugs, dishonesty at work, etc.

The sins He addresses most often are those that stand in the way of people coming to Him – pride; feelings of superiority; failing to help and interact with broken, hopeless people; and focusing on ourselves at the expense of others.

The only people He really rebuked were the religious folk who thought they knew it all, were better than others, and used others for personal gain – in the name of religion. (See Matthew 23:1-39 and Luke 11:37-52.)

When Jesus describes His followers, it is almost always in terms of helping and loving others.

During the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7), Jesus said:

“… You are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, NLT)

And, He described this perfection in terms of how God treated people, especially people who considered Him an enemy.

The main time He speaks of judgement, those who are saved are people who regularly help others, especially the homeless, the hungry, the prisoners, the sick, and the poor. (See Matthew 25:31-46.)

The one command He spoke of on the final night He was with His disciples prior to His arrest and death was in regards to how we treat others.

“So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.” (John 13:34-35, the Voice)

Jesus knows this type of love is not possible for sinful people. It only can happen as a result of His supernatural work in our lives. However, it is the sure sign of our allegiance to Him.

Jesus’ solution to our need is this invitation:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NLT)

His invitation is to come to Him and stay with Him – His promise is He will teach us, and empower us, to love like He loves.

This is the part we play in salvation and growth – coming to and staying with Jesus. As long as we do this, we will become more and more like Him.

We will reflect the perfect love of God. We will find love in our hearts for people God wants us to care for. And as His disciples, our lives will give people glimpses of His love.

This is what’s important to Jesus. When we embrace Him, it will also become important to us!

Take Time to Pray, from 24-7 Prayer

“So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God's kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him”
Matthew 6:33, Passion Translation -

Today, wherever you are, take time to acknowledge God and trust in Him again.

    1. Give God your worries: Life can often feel overwhelming and it's easy to forget to pray about the things that worry us the most. Take a moment to give each thing you're worrying about back to God.
    2. Give God your praise: Give thanks for the good things you're experiencing and practice gratitude for everything God's given you at this present moment.
    3. Give God your time: Commit to taking time today or tomorrow to be in God's presence - whether it's 10 minutes or a whole hour. Devote a period of time to simply sitting and resting with Him.

Have a wonderful week! To visit their website, click here.
For more about prayer,
click here.

Lippincott Family Update

Check out the latest update from Lorilee and Bryon Lippincott about their family’s experiences serving God in Asia by clicking here.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 8:11 p.m.                                                          

This Sabbath at Church

    • Breakfast in the Fellowship Hall, 9:20 – 9:50 a.m.
    • Sabbath School (10:00 a.m.)
      • 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 – Quest for Glory: So You Want To Be A Hero: We will look at the individual stories of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11 to see what made them a hero of faith and how we can apply those principles to our lives. Click here to see a basic outline of our study.
    • Worship Service (11:15 a.m.) – This Sabbath, we will hear a report from the Pathfinders who went to Oshkosh. We will then continue our sermon series titled The Sermon, based on Matthew 5 – 7, what we commonly refer to as the Sermon on the Mount. This week’s sermon by Pastor T is titled Salty Light. The book, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings provides important insight into this passage as does Desire of Ages, Chapter 31.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of the last sermon in this series titled Blessed, click here.

Pathfinders & Adventurers are on summer break until the fall. Contact Holly Degerness for more information about Pathfinders (e-mail or 402-917-4718); or Lori Knutson for the Adventurer Club (e-mail or 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 is taking a summer break. We will pick back up on Tuesday, September 10 at 6:00 p.m. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

MLT Meeting this Tuesday (August 27) at 7:15 pm in the Hearth Room. If you wish to submit something for them to discuss, please contact Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-6370).

Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2019

NAD Whole & Holy Women’s Ministries Convention: September 26-29, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Click here or see below for more information.

Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings will be in our community on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at Golden Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ultrasound screenings to Identify risk factors for Cardiovascular disease include; Carotid Artery (plaque buildup-a leading cause of stroke), Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (an enlargement or weak area in the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body), Peripheral Arterial Disease (hardening of the arteries in the legs), a Heart Rhythm Screening (an EKG to detect Atrial Fibrillation-irregular heartbeat) and an Osteoporosis Risk Assessment for men and women. Being proactive about your health by knowing your risks helps you and your doctor address problems early. Register online TODAY by clicking here, calling toll-free 866-229-0469, or texting the word circle to 797979 to receive your Community Circle discount and your Preferred Appointment! For more information about the services provided, click here.

Healthy for a Lifetime: October 19, 2019 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha (455 N. 10th St., Omaha, NE). Click here for a  printable information sheet. Click here to go to their website. See below for more information

Response Worship Summit October 31-November 2, 2019 at College View Church in Lincoln NE. Three days of rich worship experiences, captivating speakers, biblical preaching, and expert equipping. Pastors, worship leaders, and worshippers who long to get beyond the show and back to the substance, join us as this year we worship through the riches of inspiration, instruction, and experience within the Psalms. For more information and to register, visit

Hospice Volunteers Needed

Hospice Volunteers provide companionship for individuals living with terminal illnesses and their families. Volunteers choose the hours they are able to serve and determine the geographical location in metro Omaha/Council Bluffs and surrounding area. Volunteer education will take place in September (9/5, 9/9, 9/10) and is sponsored by CHI Health at Home Hospice, VNA Hospice, and Hospice House – The Josie Harper Residence. Please call one of the agencies below to request an application. Space is limited.

NAD Whole & Holy Women’s Ministries Convention

(From Sue Carlson.) We have a unique opportunity to experience inspiration and education on a grand scale! September 26-29, 2019 in Orlando, Florida is the date and place for the NAD Whole & Holy Women’s Ministries Convention. If you have ever been to one of these you will know what I mean when I say it’s like attending a women’s retreat on steroids!! You just can’t take it all in and it’s so wonderful! This event only happens once in five years! If you are able to attend this I guarantee you will be blessed! Click here for more information.

Healthy for a Lifetime

Healthy for a Lifetime offers a powerful and positive message of hope to everyone who has seen family and friends affected by heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other conditions. There are few things more important than our health and while much time, effort, and money has been spend on ways to improve health over the past 50 years, obesity has nearly tripled, diabetes is up about 600%, and heart disease remains the leading killer.

Only whole food plant-based nutrition has been scientifically proven to actually reverse all these conditions without negative side effects, but this information has not been widely shared with the public. This is an opportunity to hear the evidence firsthand from the leading experts in a relaxed, fun, and non-medical atmosphere where all are welcome.

Healthy for a Lifetime will take place Saturday, October 19, 2019 starting at 9:00 a.m. and concluding around 5:00 p.m. at the CHI Health Center in Omaha (455 N. 10th St., Omaha, NE). The cost for the seminar is $49.50 per person ($39.50 for full-time students) and includes a buffet lunch, free parking, and a gift bag. Click here for a  printable information sheet. Click here to go to their website. Click here to register.  

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

How to Be a Peacemaker: What does it mean to be not only a peacekeeper, but a peacemaker? How can peace be achieved when conflict is inevitable? How do we find peace without ignoring our problems? How do we pursue unity without compromising on our principles? Bible Gateway interviewed P. Brian Noble about his book, The Path of a Peacemaker: Your Biblical Guide to Healthy Relationships, Conflict Resolution, and a Life of Peace. (Click here to read more.)

The Significance of Shepherds and Sheep in the Bible: Margaret Feinberg, author of Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild, says, "Shepherds and sheep are not merely token characters in a handful of stories in the Bible. They're integral to the stories of God …" (Click here to read more.)

Devotional Insights on Risk by Bear Grylls: Adventurer Bear Grylls, author of Soul Fuel: A Daily Devotional, says, "Life is so inherently full of risk that if we never train to deal with it we become woefully ill-prepared to deal with life …” (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.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

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.

Adventist Screening Verification

Verified Volunteers has changed their name to Sterling Volunteers. The NAD has decided to select a parent name that can remain in their publications and website landing pages on a permanent basis. The name chosen for all our background screening and training needs is Adventist Screening Verification.

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Adventist Screening Verification 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 or to our church). It will take about an hour of your time.

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).

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.)
    • Donna Parker is in Hillcrest Health & Rehab Center in Bellevue. She will be there until after Gary’s surgery on August 30. Please remember them in your prayers. They do enjoy visitors.
    • 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), Dennis Cushman, 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, Paul Lostaglia, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, Donna & Gary Parker, Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), Charise Talley, Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents)

Pastor's Contact Information

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