Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Dec. 19, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, December 17, 2020

God With Us!

One of my favorite Christmas verses is found towards the end of Matthew 1.

You remember the story. Joseph found out the Mary was pregnant and knew he didn’t do it. And apparently he was having a hard time believing her story about the angel and the Holy Spirit. Which is not especially surprising.

So, he intended to do what he believed was the right thing. He didn’t want to publicly humiliate Mary, so he decided just to quietly break off the engagement.

As he was considering this, an angel came to him in a dream and said:

“Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21, NLT)

And then Matthew adds this reference to Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14, 8:8, 10) to show its connection to the Scriptures of their day:

All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:  “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:22-23, NLT)

God with us! What a beautiful picture. Jesus came to be God with us. To live with us so we can know He understands from experience what it takes to live here. And so we can see what God in human flesh looks like, what He wants us to look like as we live our lives.

Matthew goes on to describe Joseph’s response to the angel:

When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.(Matthew 1:24, NLT)

Just like Mary, when God shared His plan, Joseph said “yes, I’m in.” and he took Mary as his wife.

Now, rather than being able to say I am innocent, the child isn’t mine, he claimed the child and took on whatever shame was sent their way as a result of people not understanding or accepting God’s plan.

His home became the first place where God lived as a human on this earth. Joseph’s hands held God, comforted Him, at times burped Him, and maybe even sang some lullabies to Him.

Because he had said yes to God’s plan, he got to know God intimately as God with him!

That’s Where Hallelujah Comes From

This week Don Jacobsen's blog is titled That’s Where Hallelujah Comes From.

My friend, Paul, lives in the central part of the United States. His widowed mother still lives in Europe; Romania actually. She is 79 and she lives alone; in the same house for decades. It’s a friendly neighborhood; she knows all her neighbors, and they know her.

Paul is in touch with her regularly, but because of current travel restrictions he doesn’t get to see her often. A week ago he received a chilling message: “Your mom has tested positive for Covid-19.” Maybe it won’t be a serious case, but at 79 she is in the age bracket which is the greatest concern. Paul prayed and waited. He also sent money for food, for medicines, to help with utilities. And he asked her neighbors to check on her.

But as contagious as Covid is, he discovered that her neighbors were not eager to knock on her door. What to do, besides pray?

One evening last week he phoned to check on her. She sounded terrible on the phone, and in the course of the conversation she confided to him that, besides her other symptoms, she had begun coughing up blood (Click here for 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

Thank you for voting for our new MLT members. We are now in the process of asking those you voted for to serve on this team.

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 – 4:57 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 Online with our annual Christmas Program titled Immanuel. 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 a page with the Christmas Story from the Bible in Chronological order, click here.
    • To watch last Sabbath’s Service on YouTube, with Trey Wisecup sharing about the Magi, 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 is taking a couple of weeks off. We will begin meeting again on January 5, 2021. Contact Pastor T for more information (402-517-5333).

Christmas Eve is next Thursday, Dec. 24.

Christmas is a week from Friday, Dec. 25.

MLT meets one week from Tuesday (Dec. 29) at 7:15 pm. For instructions on how to participate, click here. If you have any items that need to be considered, please text or email Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-0630).

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 Trey Wisecup sharing about the Magi, 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
    • Elma is facing surgery again. What type depends on the results of the pathology test that is pending.
    • 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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