Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: May 18, 2019

Web Master - Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Do You Remember Andrew?

Don Jacobsen's blog last week was titled Do You Remember Andrew?. I found it exceptionally inspiring so I am sharing it with you.

You perhaps remember Andrew. You may have prayed for him. Andrew Brunson is the 50-year old American pastor who was arrested in Turkey on the charge of “membership in an armed terrorist organization.” His real crime was serving as pastor of a 25-member Presbyterian church in Ankara, Turkey. He and his family had served there for 23 years.

Ruthie and I had the privilege a few days ago of hearing him personally tell his story. It was an amazing 40-minutes. On October 7, 2016, Brunson went to a government office in Turkey to update some paperwork. He and his wife, Norine, had fallen deeply in love with the Turkish people and were making application for permanent residence there. But this day he was arrested and put in prison – h e was told it would be a life-sentence – for allegedly being part of a recent coup against the government.

Conditions instantly became nearly unbearable. He was housed with 21 others in a cell that was initially built to house eight. In the next 24 months he would lose 50 pounds. The food would barely maintain life, the water was vile, and he had nothing except the clothes he was wearing the day he was arrested. He was allowed out of the cell one hour per week for “exercise.”

During one seven week stretch he was held in solitary confinement and had no contact with any other human. It was here in his story that he spoke emotionally about what the treatment had done to him. Prayer was his only lifeline. He knew he was not guilty, but the government had found “witnesses” who said he was. He wrestled with his trust in God. Nearly a quarter of a century he and Norine had invested in helping these people learn about the true God, and now feelings of abandonment frequently swept over him. Knowing that countless people around the world were praying gave him hope.

But as the dark interminable days passed, Brunson began to sense a new closeness to God. No sound, no conversation, no music, no idea of what was happening in the Turkish government. He began to develop a new sense of the presence of God. They spoke often and intimately. He learned new meaning for the word trust. As Jonah praised God from the belly of the fish, Brunson learned that God is trustworthy even when the events of the next day are uncertain.

After two years, in the autumn of 2018, Brunson stood trial. The Prosecutor was determined to find him guilty. And he did. And then inexplicably released him. On October 12 a million Christians around the world breathed a sigh of relief and hallelujah. Brunson told the group of about 600 of us that evening that it was the most painful and precious time of his life. But the prayers of others and of his own in a difficult time built in him a love for God greater than he had ever known.

It's true: learning to trust Him in the valleys makes us strong. (Click here to read this on line.)

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

No Services at Golden Hills on June 1

Two weeks from Sabbath, on June 1, there will not be any services here at our church due to Camp Meeting. Memorial SDA Church will still be holding services and the services at Camp Meeting are usually great. They are held at the College View SDA Church in Lincoln – click here to view an on-line copy of the Camp Meeting Brochure.

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. 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.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 8:34 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 our worship service will be presented by our Pathfinder/Adventurer Clubs for their annual Investiture Service. John Roney will present the sermon.

Following Sabbath’s Worship Service, Pathfinders & Adventurers will be on summer break until the fall. 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 meets this Tuesday (May 21) at 6:00 pm. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

MLT Meeting this Tuesday (May 21) at 7:15 pm in the Hearth Room. If you wish to submit something for them to discuss, please contact John Stroman (e-mail or 402-871-9764).

Prayer Meeting will not meet one week from Tuesday, on May 28, due to Camp Meeting.

No Services at Golden Hills Church two weeks from Sabbath, on June 1, due to Camp Meeting. Memorial SDA Church will still be holding services and the services at Camp Meeting are usually great. They are held at the College View SDA Church in Lincoln – click here to view an on-line copy of the Camp Meeting Brochure.

Camp Meeting, May 29 – June 1, 2019, will take place at the College View SDA Church in Lincoln (click here for a map). This year’s theme is Following Jesus with speakers Mike Tucker (Faith for Today), Bonita Shields (NAD), Gary Thurber (MAUC), and music by Charles Haugabrooks. Send all reservations for Free Lodging to: Kansas-Nebraska Conference, 3440 SW Urish Ro., Topeka, KS 66614 or contact Sue Sweigart ( or 785-478-4726). Click here to view an on-line copy of the Camp Meeting Brochure.

Newsletter Delivery

If you have chosen to receive the Church Newsletter delivered to your email address, please watch your email for delivery. If you are expecting delivery by this method and do not receive it, please check your spam box to see if it was sent by error. If this happens, you will need to add Judy Carroll’s email address ( to your contacts and that should fix the problem. If you do not receive your newsletter, please check with Judy Carroll (e-mail) to see if your email address is correctly entered.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

What is True Manhood? How does the biblical concept of heroism contrast with what's depicted in comic books and movies? Why is heroism important to a man’s identity? What is the biblical model for being heroic? Bible Gateway interviewed Bill Delvaux about his book, Heroic: The Surprising Path to True Manhood. (Click here to read more.)

When You Feel Like You’re Not Enough: Jamie C. Martin, author of Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy, says, "If God’s power works best in weakness, it’s better to have weaknesses! Better to be 'not enough,' because then he can work without me getting in the way. Suddenly I saw this verse as an equation that literally adds up to enough for those in my home …" (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).

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.)
    • James Clingan’s mother died this week. Let’s remember him and his family in our prayers.
    • Paul Lostaglia, Vickie Pelley, & Judy Woods are all dealing with health challenges.
    • 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, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, 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 & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents), Steve Wilhelmsen.

Pastors Contact Information

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