Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Jan. 11, 2020

Web Master - Wednesday, January 08, 2020

When Martyrdom Doesn’t Matter

This week I’m sharing an article written by Ty Gibson, one of the founders of Light Bearers. This is the introduction to a series he will share over the course of the next 12 months based on 1 Corinthians 13. I will try to reference each one as it comes out.

The article spoke to my heart and gives perspective to what we are exploring in our current sermon series, Take the Plunge. I pray that you will be blessed by these thoughts.

Shortly after I became a follower of Jesus, somebody in a group Bible study said something that was kind of like theological shock therapy for me. “You know,” he said, “not all the martyrs in Christian history are going to be in heaven.”

I thought to myself, “Of course they will be. That’s a crazy idea. Why would you say such a thing?” At that point in my rather young faith, I couldn’t imagine a more absolute evidence of a person’s commitment to Christ than to allow themselves to be burned at the stake rather than deny Him. Then the fella with the aggravating idea quoted a line from the apostle Paul: “Though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”

Oh my!

That’s when a sense of shock jolted through my theology and woke me up to a deeper sense of need for Jesus.

    …love is the one thing that gives meaning to everything else…

In that moment, a light flipped on in my mind: it is possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason, which means that the standard to which I’m called is far higher than I’ve imagined. I immediately remembered that Peter, in a fit of religious zeal, was willing to defend Jesus with violence and die for Him, but then turned around and denied Him when circumstances required that he live for Him (Matthew 26:51, 69-75). I have since realized, over and over again, that religion is probably the best place in the world to hide from God.

Apparently, this thing the Bible calls “love” is a really big deal. In fact, according to Paul, love is the one thing that gives meaning to everything else, and in the absence of which any given thing becomes meaningless. The standard is so high that we simply cannot meet it if left to ourselves. This is why we need a Savior.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

For the rest of this year, this monthly devotional will explore eleven attributes of genuine love in 1 Corinthians 13 . (Click here to read this article on-line.)

Click here go to their website – there’s a place on their home page to subscribe to their blog (right side about half-way down).

  The Future of our Church

On the first Sabbath in February (Feb. 1), we will be holding a meeting following Potluck to evaluate where we are as a church and look at where we would like go in the future. Bring your thoughts and ideas on any aspect of church life: our worship service, the sermons, community service opportunities, evangelism, etc. Please write down your ideas and plan to be a part of this important event!

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:14 pm

This Sabbath at Church

    • 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 – The Haystacks Church: We are discussing and studying the principles found in The Haystacks Church. To purchase a paper copy of this book, click here. To purchase an e-book for Apple Products, click here; for a Kindle version, click here; or for a nook book, click here.
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – Jesus words recorded in Matthew 11:28-30 is an invitation to rest in Jesus as we allow Him to change the direction of our life. This Sabbath, as we continue our series titled Take the Plunge with Pastor T.’s sermon titled L, O, or LOL, we will explore the three ways we can respond to His invitation.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of the last sermon in this series titled A Yoke?, click here . You can watch it by clicking here .
      • To watch John Roney’s sermon from last Sabbath on lessons we can learn from Rahab, click here.
    • Children’s Church this Sabbath at 11:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Jan. 13) at 6:30 pm. For information about Pathfinders contact Holly Degerness (402-917-4718) or Marina Nolasco (402-594-0671); for information about Adventurers, contact Lori Knutson (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 meets this Tuesday (Jan. 14) at 6:00 pm.

Church Board meets this Tuesday (Jan. 14) at 7:15 pm in the Board Room of the Education Annex. If you have any items that need to be considered, please contact our Head Elder, Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-0630).

Chili Cook-Off will take place One week from Saturday night (Jan. 18) in our Fellowship Hall beginning at 5:30 pm.

Wall of Love – Deadline for Project Harmony Leggings: All leggings for Project Harmony should be brought to church no later than Sabbath, Jan. 25. For more information, see below.

Church Planning Meeting, Sabbath, February 1 following Potluck. See above for more details.

Life Line Screening will be here at our Church April 29, 2020. Click here to register. See below for more details.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

When You’re Disappointed, Disillusioned, and Wondering About the Reality of God’s Goodness: What happens when life doesn't turn out the way you expected? What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, his lack of intervention hurtful, and his promises doubtful? In this Bible Gateway Q&A, Lysa TerKeurst talks about her book, It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered. (Click here to read more.)

How Esther Shows God Has a Purpose for Your Life: Do you believe God has a purpose for your life, and every action or event that occurs within it has been used to make that purpose a reality? Do you read the story of Esther as a series of coincidences strung together to deliver the Jews from certain death? Or as God having a particular purpose at a particular time? In this Bible Gateway Q&A, Dr. Tony Evans talks about his book, Pathways: From Providence to Purpose. (Click here to read more.)

How Bad Communication Can Spoil a Good Relationship: Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, authors of Love Talk: Speak Each Other’s Language Like You Never Have Before, say, "Love relationships maintain themselves linguistically. But a mere exchange of information – no matter how well it is communicated – is not enough to keep a love relationship alive. (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.

Life Line Screening

Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings will be in our community again on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 here at our 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 and receive your “Community Circle” discount and your Preferred Appointment!

Remind App

We are using the Remind App as an emergency contact system for our church. Through it, we can easily and quickly send out a text message to everyone on the system. One way we would use it would be to notify you if church is cancelled due to bad weather. The App is designed to work in a school setting so you will see education terminology as you sign up. Our church is considered a class in this system.

To sign up, choose one of the methods below:

    • If you have a smartphone, you can get push notifications. On your iPhone or Android phone open your web browser and go to: rmd.at/tmartinse. Follow the instructions to sign up for Remind. You will be prompted to download the mobile app.
    • If your phone is not so smart, you can still get text notifications. Text the message @tmartinse to the number 81010. If you’re having trouble with 81010, try texting @tmartinse to (941) 787-5566.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Wall of Love: Our church board recently approved a new community focus project call the Wall of Love. Each month we will collect needed items for a service agency in our community. We’re focusing on Project Harmony during the month of January. They’re in critical need of leggings of all sizes for girls and women (they are in shortest supply of the larger sizes). These are available at Walmart and most other department stores for under $20. Please consider buying a pair or two and dropping them off here at church on or before January 25.

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.

Ride to Church Needed: An older gentleman, who lives near L Street and 132nd Street (not too far from the Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, and Target), is looking for a fairly regular ride to church on Sabbath mornings. If you live out that direction and would be willing to explore the possibilities, please contact Pastor T. (402-517-5333).

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

Breakfast at Church: We are no longer serving breakfast at Church on Sabbath mornings. If this is something you would like to see come back and would be willing to coordinate it, please let Kalvin Tuel or Pastor T. know.

Video Streaming: We are now live streaming our sermons each Sabbath – you can watch them by clicking here. This will now be a regular feature of our church.

On-Line Church Directory Information: Now 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.

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 (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.

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

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 (402-517-5333).

Last Week’s Sermon

To watch John Roney’s sermon from last Sabbath on lessons we can learn from Rahab, 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 Holy Spirit – to fill and guide our church
    • Our Church Leaders (Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Board Members, Sabbath School Class Leaders, Pathfinder/Adventurer Leaders, Etc.)
    • Elma Johannessen has been discharged from the hospital is now at home.
    • Paul Lostaglia has been discharged from Rehab and is now at home.
    • Donna & Gary Parker are at Hillcrest Heath and Rehab in Bellevue.
    • Bill Agan continues radiation therapy for the cancer in his throat.
    • 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. has 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, 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

To contact Pastor T, leave him a message by clicking here.  

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