Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Jan. 5, 2019

Web Master - Wednesday, January 02, 2019


I wish you a wonderful New Year, where God is becoming more real to you and you are following His lead in your life. As I was reading from the devotional book My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, the last reading of the year caught my attention and spoke to my heart. It has some great thoughts for us as we head into 2019.

You shall not go out with haste … for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. (Isaiah 52:12, NKJV)

Security from Yesterday. “… God requires an account of what is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15). At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.

Security for Tomorrow. “… the Lord will go before you …” This is a gracious revelation – that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our “rear guard.” And God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.

Security for Today. “You shall not go out with haste …” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him. (My Utmost for His Highest, Dec. 31)

To purchase My Utmost for His Highest, click here. For an iBook version for Apple products, click here. For a Kindle version, click here. For a Nook Book, click here. To read it online or to subscribe to devotionals based on it, click here.

The Death of Dull

Here is the most recent blog post from the website, It was so good, I wanted to be sure you had the opportunity to read it.

It is my settled conviction that one of the most flagrant ways God's people can insult Him is to make the stuff of the gospel boring. You've sat through church services like that and so have I. The content of the message is heavy, just barely relevant. You're thinking the clock on the back wall must have stopped. But what happens in God's house must be more than informative, it must be transformative. Only then is it worthy to be called gospel.

Hear it again for the first time. I mean, hardly has the Book opened ... in the first three chapters ... before two of the central characters have forfeited every gift a perfect God had chosen to give them and the beautiful narrative goes drastically askew. Read the story again – as though for the first time. Instead of giving them what they deserve, the Author-King gives them Himself. The Star-hanger agrees to jostle 9-months in the womb of an unmarried teenage girl before He appears. As a Lamb. You'd think we'd have a parade or a coronation; instead, we killed Him. (Click here to read the rest of it)

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

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:08 pm                                                           

This Sabbath at Church

    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, we will begin a new sermon series on the Book of Romans. Pastor T will share a sermon titled When in Rome based on Romans 1:1-17.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled The Main Thing, click here.
    • Potluck After Church this Sabbath in the Fellowship Hall. If you’re a member, please plan to bring your favorite dish to feed your family plus a few more. If you’re a guest, just show up and enjoy it!

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Jan. 7) 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).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Adventurer Calendar.

Grief Education & Support Program begins Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 2:00 pm at John A Gentleman Mortuaries’ Bellevue Chapel (3402 Samson Way, Bellevue), see below for more information.

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).

Grief Education & Support Program begins Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 2:00 pm at John A Gentleman Mortuaries’ 72nd Street Chapel (1010 N. 72nd Street,, Omaha), see below for more information.

Grief Education & Support Program begins Thursday, Jan. 10 at 6:30 pm at John A Gentleman Mortuaries’ Pacific Street Chapel (14151 Pacific Street, Omaha), see below for more information.

Children’s Church one week from Sabbath (Jan. 12) at 11:15 am in the Fellowship Hall.

Diabetes Undone begins one week from Sabbath (Jan. 12)  at 4:00 pm at 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 or for more information. Click here to download an informational flyer.

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

Learning the Promises of God One Day at a Time: Times of change, trouble, or doubt can leave us looking for answers, wondering what God says about our situation. Millions have trusted Jack Countryman books based on the promises of God. Just in time for 2019, his first 365-day devotional – God's Promises® Every Day – brings encouragement and assurance through Scripture and writings about the promises God has for your life. Bible Gateway interviewed Jack Countryman about his book, God's Promises Every Day: 365 Day Devotional. (Click here to read more.)

Kids Ask the Best Questions About God and the Bible: Children ask such questions as, "How do I know the Bible is true?" "What does it mean when the Bible talks about the kingdom of God?" "How can God be three persons at the same time?" "Why couldn't Jesus just stay on Earth forever?" "What is baptism?" "Who invented time?" Bible Gateway interviewed Kathryn Slattery about her book, 365 Bible Answers for Curious Kids. (Click here to read more.)

Here’s One Strategy for Reading the Bible Without Distractions in 2019: When talking about distractions, many people – myself includedlike to partly blame technology. But technology can also be our key to beating distractions. (Click here to read more.)

This Year Select a Bible Reading Plan That’s Right for You: If you haven’t already determined to regularly and consistently read the Bible, RIGHT NOW is always the best time to make that decision. And you can always rely on Bible Gateway to provide you with a variety of resources to make it happen. (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  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 The Main Thing, 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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