Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Jan. 12, 2019

Web Master - Thursday, January 10, 2019

First … More than Anything Else! 

Well, here we are a week and a half into 2019. I wonder: How many resolutions have been broken already and given up on?

From past experience, I would say there have been many.

The most common resolution to be made and broken is to lose weight.

Now, if you made that resolution, I’m not here to discourage you, but I want to offer this encouragement. Every day is a new day, so if you blow it today, begin again tomorrow – don’t give up on it.

However, the reason I’m writing this is not so you’ll stick by your decision to lose weight, but to direct you to the one resolution that can power the rest of them.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of priorities. After discussing the things He knows we need, He said:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6:33, CSB)

He laid out the one priority that it is critical to your life and to your eternity. He said if you will make God your highest priority, He will take care of you to be sure your needs are met.

So, how do you do this once you realize He is not really your highest priority?

You begin on your knees and confess that you have priorities higher than Him. Ask Him to forgive you. And, give Him permission to rearrange your priorities.

And then, seek to get to know Him. That’s right, don’t work on changing your priorities, work on getting to know God. 

    • Spend time reading about Him or listening to Scripture being read.
    • Contemplate the things you’re learning.
    • Ask Him about the things you’re finding hard to understand.
    • Respond to the directions He gives - choose to accept He knows what is best and act on them.
    • Continually ask Him to make Himself known to you.

And you know what will happen? As you come to better understand His love, you will respond to Him. You will actually fall deeply in love with God!  

This love will go way beyond just feelings. You will have a confidence in Him that will allow you to trust Him, even in the middle of the tough stuff that happens to us because we live in a world dominated by sin.

And because you love Him, you will want to please Him – which is the most powerful motivation for change there is!

Listen to these promises that are made to you by God Himself – in Scripture, they are recorded as direct quotations!

Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories … I am the Lord your God. I am holding your hand, so don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. (Isaiah 41:10 & 13, CEV)

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people … For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:33-34, NIV)

“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27, NLT)

Did you catch what God is promising us?

    • He will always be as close to you as a loving Father who is holding your hand!
    • He will put His laws of love into your mind and your heart!
    • He will forgive you and forget your sins – as if you had never sinned! (see Steps to Christ, pages 62-63)
    • He will clean you. He will give you a new, pure heart that responds to Him. And, He will put His Spirit in you so you will be able to follow His directions and keep His laws!

All of this as you get to know Him and stay with Him day after day! This is what will fuel any resolution God puts into your heart!

Don’t put this off. This is the most important decision you will ever make.

And if you blow it, remember, tomorrow is a new day, just come back to Him and stay with Him!

New Update from Lippincotts

To access a PDF copy of the most recent update, click here.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:15 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) – Diversity. It can make us stronger or tear us apart. This week, we will be examining how Jesus' disciples had to deal with some of their own prejudices surrounding the diverse world they were trying to reach after His departure from their immediate presence in a message presented by John Stroman called "You say potato ..."  Let's NOT call the whole thing off.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Welcome to Rome, click here.
    • Children’s Church this Sabbath at 11:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.

Diabetes Undone begins this Sabbath afternoon at Omaha Memorial SDA Church, 4:00 pm. 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 or for more information. Click here to download an informational flyer.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Jan. 14) at 6:30 pm at the Church. 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).

Prayer Meeting this Tuesday (Jan. 15) at 6:00 pm. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Mid-America Spiritual Retreat & Prayer Conference, April 12-14, 2019 at Lied Lodge & Conference Center in Nebraska City. The guest speaker is Pavel Goia, the Editor of Ministry Magazine. The early bird registration deadline is January 31. For more information or to register go to or call 785-478-4726.

Grief Education and Support Program

John A Gentleman Mortuaries offers three free sessions a week to help adults who have experienced a recent death. Their current series focuses on the progression of grieving (“How long does this take?”). The will also look at how to regain your motivation during the winter months and buck the blues. Joining this support group will give you a chance to meet many wonderful people who understand what you are feeling and who will walk with you as you move through your grief. For more information or to register call 402-391-1664 and ask for Rich Hopkins. The sessions are listed below.

    • Tuesday Afternoons: 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Bellevue/Sarpy Chapel (3402 Samson Way, Bellevue), begins January 8 and ends February 12, 2019.
    • Wednesday Afternoons: 2:00 – 3:15 pm, 72nd Street Chapel (1010 N. 72nd Street,, Omaha), begins January 9 and ends February 13, 2019.
    • Thursday Evenings: 6:30 – 7:45 pm, Pacific Street Chapel (14151 Pacific Street, Omaha), begins January 10 and ends February 14, 2019.

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.)

Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2018: On an almost daily basis, archaeological discoveries help us better understand the Bible and affirm its details about people, events, and culture. Here are the top excavation findings reported in 2018 which have increased our knowledge of the biblical world and the early history of Christianity. (Click here to read more.)

How Bad Communication Can Spoil a Good Relationship: According to Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, authors of Love Talk: Speak Each Other’s Language Like You Never Have Before, "Whether a relationship sinks or swims depends on how well partners send and receive messages, and how well they use their conversations to understand and be understood. Communication, more than any other aspect of your relationship, can either buoy relational intimacy or lead to its demise." (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.

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.
    • Prayer Coordinator: This person would work with a prayer team from the church to coordinate special requests and prayer for our church’s outreach and events. They can choose to moderate the Church Prayer Team Facebook page as a tool to communicate with the prayer team and the church.
    • 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

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.

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.

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 Welcome to Rome, 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.)
    • 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), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Brenda Carroll (Judy Carroll’s sister-in-law), 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, 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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