Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: May 23, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, May 21, 2020

Overwhelming Victory

When Paul penned one of the most beloved promises of all time found at the end of Romans 8, he added a statement that to us, seems out of place.

The promise begins in Romans 8:31:

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? ( Romans 8:31, NLT)

It then expands on this giving a wonderful assurance of God being on our side.

Then, it changes gears with this question:

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? ( Romans 8:35, NLT)

This doesn’t sound particularly hopeful. But it continues down this same path:

(As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) (Romans 8:36, NLT – quoting Psalm 44:22)

For those of us who have lived our whole life here in the United States, we have a hard time relating to these thoughts. We have certainly been down, but most of us have not even come close to what Paul is describing here.

But, for the Christians in Rome, who Paul was writing this letter to, this was a present reality. They were living the life Paul was here describing! The natural questions they would have been asking are: Does God really love us? Does this mean God has abandoned us?

Paul was trying to lift their eyes to the eternal reality that God will win in the end. And He will take us with Him!

Paul goes on:

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39, NLT)

Hard things are a part of life here on earth and God will love us right through them. His love is unconditional and eternal. This means that if you or I do not choose to stay with Him and are lost, there will be a hole in His heart forever.

I believe that Someone who loves me this much is safe to trust. How about you?

COVID-19 Update

For our most recent update (updated on May 17), click here.

Love Does Not Parade Itself – Love is Not Rude

This is Part 5 of a series titled Love Matters Most, a blog on Lightbearers’ website. To read Part 1, click here; Part 2, click here; Part 3, click here; and Part 4, click here.

My heart sank as I checked my Facebook notifications. I had commented about emotions I was feeling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While I’m confident of God’s goodness, I’m still very concerned about how the pandemic will impact people around the globe. That’s why it stung a little to read this reply from a complete stranger: “You’re weak” he said. He might be right, but I didn’t understand why it was necessary to say.

I don’t want to expend valuable emotional energy being offended. It was a very minor comment, and “love keeps no record of wrongs.” I’m not sharing this to garner sympathy or hold a grudge, but simply to illustrate a point. Rudeness causes pain, tearing people down rather than building them up. Scripture reminds us: “Love is not rude…” (1 Corinthians 13:5, NCV).

Our culture has become increasingly polarized, opinionated, and rude. (Click here to read the rest of the article.)

Church Facebook Page

To stay up to date with current information and spiritual thoughts, click here to go to our Facebook Page. If you “Like” it, you will get information from it in your News Feed on Facebook.

Wall of Love

We are extending our campaign to support the Bellevue Food Pantry through the month of May

Due to the continued increase in unemployment during the COVID-19 crisis, food pantries have seen a large increase in traffic. This is true for the Bellevue Food Pantry, which serves the Bellevue zip codes 68005, 68123, 68147, 68157. People in need – living in these zip codes – can pick up food every 30 days on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-12 am and 1-4:00 pm. Seniors can pick up food every 21 days. 

You can take food donations to their office on Wednesdays between the hours of 1-4 pm (1912 Hancock Street in Bellevue – phone number 402-292-2961).

You may give funds through our Online Giving Portaldesignate your gift as Local Community Service. You may also mail a check to Golden Hills SDA Church, 3005 Golden Blvd., Bellevue, NE 68123. Make the check out to Golden Hills SDA Church and put Food Pantry in the memo line. 

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

How a Middle Eastern Worldview Helps Us Better Understand Jesus: What are the cultural insights Westerners often miss when the Eastern context of the Bible is ignored? What were the ways Jesus taught that were thoroughly Eastern – rooted in story, honor, and community – yet appeal to Western thinking – based in reasoning and linear process – today? How does understanding Eastern idioms and customs make mysterious or seemingly confusing Bible passages understandable? In this Q&A, Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray talk about their book Seeing Jesus from the East: A Fresh Look at History's Most Influential Figure. (Click here to read more.)

When Escape from Suffering Is Not the Answer: When your prayers for healing haven't been answered, the fog of depression isn't lifting, your marriage is ending in divorce, or grief won't go away, it's easy to feel you've failed God and, worse, he's failed you. If God loves us, why does he allow us to hurt? Bible Gateway interviewed K.J. Ramsey, author of This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers. (Click here to read more.)

The Quran with Christian Commentary: The Quran is the scripture of the Muslim community. Because it addresses itself to Muslims and non-Muslims, a careful study of its contents and a response to its claims from non-Muslims is appropriate. Since this is currently the season of Ramadan, here's an essay on the Quran's perspective on salvation from The Quran with Christian Commentary: A Guide to Understanding the Scripture of Islam by Gordon Nickel. (Click here to read more.)

Rascal Flatts – Grace Beautifies the Broken Road: Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts and author of Shotgun Angels: My Story of Broken Roads and Unshakable Hope, says, "Grace covers you. It carries you. It helps heal you when you’ve fallen. Grace beautifies the broken road. You and I—we’re flawed, broken, and screwed up, but it doesn’t matter. Once you accept Jesus as your Savior, you’re sealed with his blood. And there’s nothing on this earth that can separate you from his love...." (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.

What’s Happening

Sunset this Friday – 8:42 pm

This Sabbath at Church: There will be no face-to-face activities at the church until further notice due to the dangers of COVID-19 and the recommendation of the CDC. Here are some resources available for your worship time.

Sabbath School Resources

    • Our Alternate Sabbath School Class is meeting through video conferencing. If you would like to be a part of this group, please text Alfredo Diaz (920-216-3625) to get the information you need to join them.
    • To study the current Sabbath School Lesson on-line, click here.
    • Hope Sabbath School, click here.

Worship Service Options

    • Golden Hills Live Stream: Our Children’s Corner begins at 11:05 am followed by the Worship Service. This Sabbath, we will pause our Worship Series to enjoy a special Memorial Day Service coordinated by Steve Wilhelmsen. You can view our service on our Website, our Facebook Page, or our YouTube Channel.
      • To download and print a PDF copy of last week’s worship service where Pastor T. shared Symptom or Disease? click here. You can watch it by clicking here . You can download the page with Bible verses, questions, and the assignment by clicking here .
      • You can watch any of our previously recorded worship services by clicking here.
    • Loma Linda University Church, live stream and recorded services, click here.
    • Pioneer Memorial Church (Andrews University): for their live stream, click here; for their recorded sermons, click here.
    • Kansas Nebraska Conference collection of sermons by numerous presenters, click here.

Pathfinders & Adventurers will not meet until further notice. 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).

No Prayer Meeting this Tuesday, May 26 at 6:00 pm.

MLT Meeting is postponed one week to Tuesday, June 2 at 7:15 pm. For instructions on how to participate, click here. For questions, contact Kalvin Tuel (402-201-6370).

Online Resources for You and Your Family

Online giving for your tithe and offerings – click here.

The General Conference Ministerial Department has created Resources for Ministry in the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is a large list with ideas for all ages. To view it, click here.

Our Conference Family Ministries Department have assembled numerous resources for you and your family. These include articles, children’s activities, and much more. Click here children’s ministries and click here for family ministries.

Free download of Guide Magazine and Primary Treasure – along with Sabbath School Lesson Materials.

From NAD Prayer Ministries, a number of prayer resources – click here.

From Bible Gateway, listen to Scripture as you read it – click here.

From Home Touch Ministries, free resources for the elderly and homebound – click here.

From Children’s Worship Bulletins, free resources for children – click here.

From Queen of Free, free resources for children (read the disclaimer) – click here.

Miscellaneous Information

Remind is our emergency alert service. To get notices through Remind, you must be signed up. You can do this by simply texting the message “@tmartinse” to the number 81010 (or 941-787-5566) – click here for more detailed instructions.

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.

Video Streaming: We are now live streaming our sermons each Sabbath – you can watch it on our Website, on our Facebook Page, or on YouTube.

On-Line Church Directory Information: If your contact information has changed in the last few months (phone number, email, address, etc.) please either log on to the Church Directory App and correct it or send a note with your updated information to Judy Carroll (judylcarr@aol.com or 402-290-3306).

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.

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, the Golden News, directly to your computer, click here and enter your information in the space provided.

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 2020, click here; 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.

Senior Care Resource: Caring.com is a leading senior care resource for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses and other loved ones. We have been featured by AARP, The Administration for Community Living, The National Legal Resource Center, and Forbes, as well as referenced by many governmental agencies and organizations across the Internet. To find local resources to help in this type of care, click here. If you do not live in the Bellevue, NE area, click here to search for a facility near you.

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.

Last Week’s Sermon

To download and print a PDF copy of last week’s worship service where Pastor T. shared Life or Death? click here. You can watch it by clicking here. You can download the page with Bible verses, questions, and the assignment by clicking 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 COVID-19 Virus epidemic here and around the world
    • Lon Pelly’s mom, Wally, who is a resident of Life Care Center in Elkhorn where COVID-19 has struck nearly 75% of their population.
    • Diane Harrington and her family
    • The Future of Our Church – Please pray that God will make His will and the path to The Future of Our Church – Please pray that God will make His will and the path to achieving it known and that we will have the courage to follow wherever it leads
    • 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. 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, Bill Agan, Al Bakerlis (Diane Harrington’s brother-in-law), 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), Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson, Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, Gary Parker, Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s step mom), Charise Talley, Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents)

Pastor T’s Contact Information

martinsent@gmail.com or call/text 402-517-5333. 

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