Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: June 29, 2019

Web Master - Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Thoughts on Death

I have been thinking about death this week. A long-time member of the Nebraska City Church, and personal friend, Ron Palmer, passed away this past Saturday night at 10:30 pm.

While it was not totally expected, it happened much quicker than expected. Last Thursday I sat with him in his room at the Good Samaritan Center in Syracuse and talked, laughed, and joked around – never imagining that this Thursday I would be conducting his memorial service.*

As I have become more mature (I’m almost 67 now) I have been thinking a bit more about life, and death. Living here on Planet Earth is terminal.

It has been said that there are two things we can count on – taxes and death. Taxes have been a pretty sure thing. Most people I know are still living; but, I would venture to guess that if the earth continues for another 100 years (which I think is unlikely) most everyone I know will be dead – including me.

As a Christian, I know that is not the end of things. The reason there is so much suffering and pain in our life here is that a power other than God has been embraced by so many. I also know God has promised to set things right again.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, NLT)

The Apostle John, in vision, wrote this:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:1-4, NLT)

While it is true that life on this earth is terminal, we are blessed to see beyond to a time when all those who have accepted the gift of salvation God freely offers, will live forever in a place free from the presence and influence of evil!

Knowing this takes the sting out of death. We will still grieve, because we miss their presence in our life. But we can also rejoice if we know they have accepted God's gift of eternal life. They are now beyond Satan’s reach and the pain and suffering of this life. And, we can know we will see them again!

What a comfort!

And, what an incentive to share Jesus’ love with those who do not know Him yet – so they too can have this comfort and assurance.

* Ron’s Memorial service will be held Thursday, June 27, at 11:00 a.m. at the Fusselman-Allen-Harvey Funeral Chapel located at 644 Park Street, Syracuse, NE. The family will greet friends from 10-11 a.m. prior the service at the Funeral Chapel.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 9:00 p.m.                                                          

This Sabbath at Church

    • Breakfast in the Fellowship Hall, 9:20 – 9:50 a.m.
    • Sabbath School (10:00 a.m.)
      • 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 a.m.) – This Sabbath, we will continue our sermon series on the Book of Romans. Pastor T will share a sermon titled A Living Sacrifice Defined, based on Romans 13:1 – 15:13.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled A Living Sacrifice, click here.

Pathfinders & Adventurers are on summer break until the fall. Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information about Pathfinders leading up to the International Camporee (e-mail or 402-201-6370); Holly Degerness for more information about Pathfinders after the Camporee (e-mail or 402-917-4718); or Lori Knutson for the Adventurer Club (e-mail or 402-980-5018).

Prayer Meeting will Not Meet this Tuesday (July 2). For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Celebrating Freedom, a free community event for the whole family, is happening this Tuesday (July 2) at 8:00 p.m. at the Lifespring Church (13904 S 36th Street, Bellevue, NE). It will included an indoor patriotic service (our own Carol Fennessy will be singing in the choir), snacks, door prizes, and a fireworks show provided by Wild Willy’s Fireworks.

Independence Day, Thursday, July 4

Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings will be in our community on Thursday, October 3, 2019 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 and receive your “Community Circle” discount and your Preferred Appointment! For more information about the services provided, click here.

Ride for Richard

Richard Coffman is in need of someone who can regularly pick him up at the Eastern Nebraska Veterans’ Home (about 1.5 miles from church) and bring him to church on Sabbath Mornings and back again after church. He is willing to help with gas money. If this is something you would be willing to add to your Sabbath Morning routine, please contact Pastor T. (e-mail or 402-517-5333). For the occasional Sabbaths you would need to be someplace else, we can arrange for an alternate.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Help for the Christian Man: What are the major issues facing Christian men and how should they be addressed from a biblical point of view? How should a Christian man avoid the pitfalls of life; lead a more balanced life; have a deeper walk with God; be an attentive husband; becoming a difference-making dad; overcome lust? Bible Gateway interviewed Patrick Morley about his book, The Christian Man: A Conversation About the 10 Issues Men Say Matter Most. (Click here to read more.)

How Do I Know When It Is Wise to Give? Dr. John Townsend, author of People Fuel: Fill Your Tank for Life, Love, and Leadership, says, "Here is a simple matrix for determining whether you should care for someone or some organization, and to what extent, and whether you are supporting or enabling. It is five questions …" (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.

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 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 A Living Sacrifice, 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.)
    • Mun and his wife are asking for special prayer for their daughter, Nyadhol
    • 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), 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, 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, 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), Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents)

Pastor's Contact Information

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