Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Dec. 29, 2018

Web Master - Wednesday, December 26, 2018

What's Your One Thing? 

I have shared a number of blogs through the past couple of years from the website, They are written by Don Jacobsen, a leader in the North American Division Prayer Ministries. The one I received about a week ago is especially relevant as we look towards the New Year. The question it asks, “What’s your one thing?” is important as we  each seek to live the best life we can in Jesus.

Chances are you've likely been to Yellowstone National Park. If so, I think you'll agree with me that it's one of the most fascinating places in America, covering more than 3,500 square miles.

A couple of decades ago scientists began to notice that the ecosystem of the park was changing. They sensed that the park was not as vibrant, not as verdant. The animal population seemed to be dwindling, there were more patches of brown vegetation, less robust flow in the streams.

So in 1995 they made a rather bizarre decision: They re-introduced a pack of 14 wolves into the park. Wolves. Almost before their eyes, Yellowstone began to change. Wolves are great hunters so predictably the deer population began to dwindle. With fewer deer now, their previous habitat began to change, plants grew. Aspen and willows began once more to flourish. Berries sprouted in the new underbrush. And bugs.

The new environment became a happy place for birds again, lots of them (including bald eagles). With more delectable young vegetation, beavers returned. And as they built their dams, otters and muskrats and reptiles found new homes.

Wolves are natural enemies of the coyote, and as the coyote population diminished, their natural prey ... rabbits and mice, returned. The new crop of vermin attracted red foxes, weasels, badgers, and hawks. Because the better balance between predator and prey caused vegetation to flourish and therefore erosion to subside, river banks stabilized, channels narrowed, more pools formed, ducks returned, rivers stayed in their banks.

In a relatively short time a single contagious act transformed the world's first national park again into a thing of beauty. If you visit there today you can't help but notice.

I heard it said once, and I believe it's true, that you never do just one thing. The right thing done in the right way nearly always causes ripples. More than once we've seen the leadership of a struggling congregation decide they would ask God to re-shape their agenda and help them become a prayer-force for the Kingdom. New life begins to appear. Those patches of Laodicean brown turn to luscious green. Life-giving water flows again. The beauty is restored.

What one thing has God laid on your heart? What one thing do you sense would honor Him and multiply the influence of your church in your city? What one decision would radicalize your church's presence to the folks you serve? I believe if you ask He'll let you know. (Click here to read this article on-line.)

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

From the Kansas Nebraska Conference

This Sabbath there will be a special offering collected for evangelism within our Conference. An additional $50,000 is needed to help cover the planned evangelism events in 2019. Please consider making a special offering this Sabbath by putting it in a tithe envelope and mark it for Conference Evangelism.

Hospice Volunteers are Needed

Hospice Volunteers are needed to provide companionship and support 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 February 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.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:02 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, Pastor T will share a sermon titled “The Main Thing” based on Micah 6:8 and Matthew 7:12.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Immanuel, click here.

New Year’s Eve – this Monday, Dec. 31

No Pathfinders or Adventurers this Monday (Until January 7, 2019). 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.

New Year’s Day – this Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019

No Prayer Meeting this Tuesday. We are taking a holiday break and will resume on January 15. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Diabetes Undone begins January 12  at 4:00 pm in the Omaha Memorial SDA Church. There will be eight session, all on Sabbath Afternoon concluding on March 2. For more information, click here. This seminar is sponsored by Health Returns. Registration is required. Call 402-639-8996 or email ( to register (by Dec. 29 to guarantee your participant kit) or for more information. Click here to download an informational flyer.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Seeing the Creator in the Wonders of Our Cosmos: The heavens beckon us, telling us this wonderful, mind-boggling cosmic display is indeed the work of the creator. And now, using rovers and satellites, explorations venture further out into the vastness of space than ever before. Bible Gateway interviewed Dr. David Bradstreet about his book, Star Struck: Seeing the Creator in the Wonders of Our Cosmos. (Click here to read more.)

God of the Big Bang: Leslie Wickman PhD, is a former Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space corporate astronaut, rocket scientist, and engineer on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station programs. Bible Gateway interviewed Dr. Wickman about her book, God of the Big Bang: How Modern Science Affirms the Creator. (Click here to read more.)

Take the Bible Gateway Christmas Quiz: Think you know the facts about the birth of Jesus? Have fun taking this brief Christmas quiz to find out. Encourage your family, friends, and social media followers to try their hand at it, too. (Click here to read more and take the quiz.)

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.

Church Positions Available

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).

    • Head Deaconess: This person would coordinate the activities of our Deaconess Group. This would include preparation and participation in Communion services and may include arranging for things like flowers for people in the hospital, planning meals for funerals, and providing support and assistance to people in need.
    • 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 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  2018, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2017, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2016, click here. To access a PDF copy of all the updates we received prior to 2016 (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 Immanuel, 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.)
    • Jeane & Mike Guy are asking for special prayer for his mother, Irene, who just found out she has late stage Pancreatic Cancer.
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Gary Jeffers, Michael McKinnie, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Tom Plant, 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), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Brenda Carroll (Judy Carroll’s sister-in-law), 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, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), 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 Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastors Contact Information

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