Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Dec. 12, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, December 10, 2020


The story of the wisemen is really amazing when you think about it.

In fact, one might think that setting out on a journey like they did, with as little information as they had, as not being the wisest move they could make.

Following God is like that sometimes.

The fact that they recognized God at work in the unusual things they were observing in the sky and connected them to something Balaam had written hundreds of years before was amazing. And then, that they somehow connected the dots in the Hebrew Scriptures to know that a Divine King was to be born among the Jews about that time is even more amazing.

It is a testament to the power of God’s Spirit at work on hearts honestly searching for truth so they can follow it.

It was an example of what Jesus later promised to His followers that last night they spent together prior to His arrest and death, when He said:

“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. (John 16:12-15, NLT)

If He can do this for those wisemen, He can do it for you and me too!

If you come to Jesus honestly searching for the truth so you can follow it you can count on His leadership.

And then, even if it doesn’t look like the wisest move at the moment, following it will make you look like a wiseman (or a wisewoman) too, because there is no one wiser the God.

My Brother’s Brother

This week Don Jacobsen's blog is titled My Brother’s Brother.

Early in the Scripture narrative there appears a story that likely caused you to gasp the first time you heard it. There had been an excruciating confrontation between the first two people God made and the devil camouflaged as a snake. The people lost. As the devil was slithering out of the beautiful garden I suspect he looked back over his shoulder and snarled, “I’ll be back for your children.” And he did.

Scene II occurs probably 25 or 30 years later. The two sons subsequently born to Adam and Eve were coming together for a worship service. Abel brought a lamb for a sacrifice; Cain brought cucumbers. Abel’s offering was accepted, Cain’s was not. Cain was so angry, he killed his brother. You know that part of the story (Genesis 4 ), but here is the part that I find unfathomable. God confronted Cain and inquired about Abel, “Where’s your brother?” Cain’s answer catches your breath … In effect he answers, “I am not my brother’s keeper.” (Click here to read the rest of the story.)

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

Ladies Talk & Pray 

Women’s Ministries is planning to start a Ladies Night to Talk & Pray via zoom coming up soon. If you would like to be a part of this, please text Andria (402-949-0006) to get the details. To download the instructions on how to participate, click here.

COVID Response Update

We continue to meet online only. We are currently not hosting any in-person events at our facility. For a more complete statement see below or click here.

MLT Ballot

MLT stands for Ministry Leadership Team. They function as a standing nominating committee, being sure we have the people in place to lead our church as we grow closer to Jesus and learn to represent Him better in our community. They also look at ways we can improve our ministry to those around us. It is one of the most important planning groups in our church.

It is designed to have 10 members. The pastor is a standing member. There are eight adults – college aged through ancient – that serve staggering two-year terms so each year four rotate off and four new ones come on. There is one youth member (7th – 12th grade) that changes each your.

It is now time to vote on a new group of MLT members. We have made a ballot on SurveyMonkey.Com and ask that if you are a member of our church you go there and submit your selections. You can find our ballot by clicking here.

Please check four names from the Adult list for a two-year term and select one name from the Youth Dropdown Box for a one-year term.

Be sure to click on the green [Done] button at the bottom to submit your vote.

The following are not eligible to be elected this year and are not on the list of available members:

    • Those currently serving on the MLT Committee (Andria Bethelmie, Brenda Eitel, Rita Swensen, Kalvin Tuel, and Pastor T.)
    • Those whose term is just now ending (MaryJane Agan, Bill Agan, Judy Carroll, Anita St. Onge, & Hannah Eitel)
    • Those who rotated off the committee last time (Trisha McGann & Trey Wisecup)

Click here to get started.

Wall of Love

During the months of December and January our Wall of Love Project will be the Bellevue Food Pantry. There are so many without work right now needing the extra help with food that the Food Pantry provides. You may give to the Wall of Love by marking it on your tithe envelope and mailing it to the Church (3005 Golden Blvd., Bellevue, NE 68123) or going to our online giving portal (click here) and entering the amount under Wall of Love. Our church will be matching your gifts and adding more to this important help for our community.

Communications/Social Media Team

We are looking for people to be a part of a Communications/Social Media Team for our Church. This team will be responsible for communicating our mission and activities to our members and our community.

They will use a combination of methods to reach as many people as possible. This would include keeping our website and calendar useful and up to date. It would also include using text messaging, Facebook (and other online social media), and emails along with the more traditional methods of mail, newsprint, radio, and TV ads as appropriate.

If this sounds interesting to you and you would like to explore it further, contact either Kalvin Tuel ( or 402-201-6370) or Pastor T ( or 402-517-5333).

What’s Happening

Sunset this Friday – 4:55 pm

Sabbath School and Church is not meeting in person at church right now due to the increase in COVID cases in our community. See below or click here for more information about this.

Sabbath School Resources:

    • Our Alternate Sabbath School Class meets online 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.

This Sabbath Online:

    • Our Worship Service begins online at 11:10 am with Mission Spotlight followed by the Children’s Corner. This Sabbath, we continue celebrating Christmas with a message from Trey Wisecup, one of our young people who is taking Theology at Union College, focusing on the Magi to point us to Jesus. To download the assignment for Sabbath, click here. You can view our service on our Website, our Facebook Page, or our YouTube Channel.
    • To download the assignment for December 19, click here.
    • To watch last Sabbath’s Service on YouTube, with Brenda Eitel sharing about Mary & Elizabeth, click here.
    • You can watch any of our previously recorded worship services by clicking here.

Pathfinders and Adventurers are not currently meeting. For information about Pathfinders contact Holly Degerness (402-917-4718) or Marina Nolasco (402-215-6048); for information about Adventurers, contact Lori Knutson (

Prayer Meeting meets this Tuesday (Dec. 15) at 6:00 pm. We are going through the book of 1 John. We are still meeting on-line. For instructions on how to participate, click here. Contact Pastor T for more information (402-517-5333). We will then be taking two weeks off and will not meet on Dec. 22 & 29. The next time we meet will be on January 5, 2021.

COVID Response Update

If you have been following the news, you know we are still seeing a high rate of COVID infections and hospitalizations here in the Omaha area.

Because of this, our Church Board has voted to discontinue all in-person activities and only hold online services going forward. We will re-evaluate this at our board meeting each month and will return to our building as soon as it seems safe to do so.

This means there will be no in-person Worship Services, Sabbath School Classes, Pathfinders, Adventurers, Prayer Meetings, Board Meetings, or MLT Meetings at our Church Facility.

We will continue to livestream our Worship Service each Sabbath beginning at 11:10 am with Mission Spotlight and our Children’s Corner. You can view it on our Website, our Facebook Page, or our YouTube Channel.

Prayer Meetings, Board Meetings, and MLT Meetings will continue via our Church Zoom Channel. Click here for instructions on how to join one of these meetings.

As we move forward from here, we will use the Pastor’s Blog, Golden News, our Website, and Remind to keep you informed.

I know this is disappointing. It felt like we were just getting some momentum building back up – and however we may frame it, it feels like a step backward.

However, Jesus’ mandate to love each other (see John 13:34-35) means we will not expose others to unnecessary risks. We will not provide more opportunities for COVID to expand in our community.

It also means we will look out for one another. Please call and check in on people God brings to your mind. They may not need any specific help, but a thoughtful conversation can change the outlook of an otherwise bleak and lonely day.

Above all, keep your connection with God secure. Don’t neglect to spend time with Him in the Bible and talking with Him in Prayer. This is where your strength to survive, and even thrive will come from.

(To download and print a copy of this information – plus some additional COVID resources, click here.)

Life Line Screening

Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings will be in our community on Monday, January 20, 2020 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 or calling 1-866-229-0469 to receive your discount and preferred appointment time.   

Worship Service DVDs

There is a video recording made of each week’s worship service. It is available on DVD. If you would like to receive these please contact Lori Knutson (402-980-5018).

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 Website, our Facebook Page, or our YouTube Channel.

On-Line Church Directory Information: 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 (402-290-3306).

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.

Golden News – our church e-mail newsletter, directly to tour inbox! 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 by clicking here. To check out their website, 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.

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 begin this process, click here, then select First-Time Registrant and follow the instructions. If you have completed this in the past three years, you should get an email reminder when it is time for you to renew your certification. For more information, contact Pastor T (402-517-5333).

Last Week’s Sermon

To watch last Sabbath’s Service on YouTube, with Brenda Eitel sharing about Mary & Elizabeth, 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. (402-517-5333)

    • The COVID-19 Virus Pandemic that is rising here and around the world
    • That God will bring healing to our country and will control the direction of our country and world. May He come soon!!
    • The Holy Spirit – to fill and guide our church
    • 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.)
    • The Lippincott Family
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: 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, 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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