Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Nov. 16, 2019

Web Master - Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Two Miracles On the Train

Don Jacobsen's blog last weekend was titled Two Miracles On the Train. This a thoughtful reflection on a foundational principle of Christianity.

Following World War II a Jewish family named Yankel opened a family bakery in Brooklyn. The fact that the family had survived the hardships of the war in Europe was itself a miracle. But let the senior Yankel tell the story:

“You know why it is that I’m alive today? I was a kid, just a teenager at the time, 1939. We were on the train, in a boxcar, being taken to the internment camp at Auschwitz. Night came and it was freezing, deathly cold in that boxcar. Enroute, the Nazis would often leave the cars on the side of the tracks overnight, sometimes for days on end, without any food or sanitation, and of course no blankets to keep us warm.

“I found myself sitting next to an older Jewish man – a beloved elderly man whom I recognized from my hometown. Although I had seen him before, I had never seen him like this. He was shivering from head to toe, was thin as a stick and he looked terrible. I spoke to him but he could hardly reply. So I wrapped my arms around him and began rubbing him to warm him up. I rubbed his arms, his legs, his hands, his face, and his neck. I begged him to hang on.

“All night long, I kept the man warm this way. I was tired, I was freezing cold myself, and my fingers were numb, but I didn’t stop rubbing the heat onto this man’s body. Hours and hours went by. I was tempted to give up, but I could feel some warmth coming into his extremities.

“Finally, night passed, morning came, and the sun began to shine. There was a bit of warmth in the car and I looked around to see how some of the other Jews in the car had fared. To my horror, all I could see were frozen bodies. I listened but all I could hear was a deathly silence.

“Nobody else in that car made it through the night – they died from the cold – every one of them. Only two people survived: the old man and me. The old man survived because somebody kept him warm; I survived because I was warming him.”

God told us about that principle a long time ago. Through the Old Testament Prophet Isaiah, 700 years before the birth of Christ, He told His people that when we reach out to help those in need, we ourselves find healing. (Isa 58:7, 8) I’m sure you discover that each time you bless someone in your neighborhood or your workplace. Works every time. (Click here to read this online.)

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

Cookie Exchange, December 8

You’re invited to a Cookie Exchange on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm here in our Fellowship Hall. The theme is Christmas Cookies. Your spouse/significant other is invited – along with your family.

The Rules of the Cookie Exchange are:

    • All cookies should be homemade or from a bakery (not from the cookie aisle at the grocery store)
    • Please bake and bring one to three dozen cookies of One Kind.
    • You may take home as many cookies as you bring.

No time to bake? Burnt your cookies? Still want to attend? Go to a bakery and pick up 1 to 3 dozen of the same kind of cookies and come join us!

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:05 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 – Quest for Glory: So You Want To Be A Hero: We will look at the individual stories of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11 to see what made them a hero of faith and how we can apply those principles to our lives. Click here to see a basic outline of our study.
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, we will continue our sermon series The Sermon, based on Matthew 5 – 7. Pastor T’s sermon is titled Bring it On!. The book, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings provides important insight into this passage as does Desire of Ages, Chapter 31. Live Stream the sermon by clicking here.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of the last sermon in this series titled When You Pray …, Part 3, click here. You can watch it by clicking here.

Making Greeting Cards: this Sunday (Nov. 17) at 2:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall, Brenda Ladig (Brittanie Lehman’s mom) from Lincoln will be teaching us how to make a variety of cards for different occasions.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Nov. 18) at 6:30 pm. 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).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2019-2020 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2019-2020 Adventurer Calendar.

Prayer Meeting this Tuesday (Nov. 19) at 6:00 pm. We are doing the I Give Up Bible Study Series – for more information, click here. If you wish to participate and don’t have your book and study guide, contact Pastor T (402-517-5333). There is more information about this below.

Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes are due one week from Sabbath (Nov. 23). See below for more information.

Christmas Cookie Exchange, December 8 at 2:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. See above for more information.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

How an Atheist Turned to Jesus Despite the Church: Critics ask, "Why would anyone become a Christian when there's so much hypocrisy in the church?" With de-conversion stories being reported, why is it that the church inadvertently produces atheists despite its life-giving message? Does atheism explain the human experience better than Christianity? How can the truth of Christianity matter when the behaviors of some Christians are reprehensible? Bible Gateway interviewed Mary Jo Sharp, author of Why I Still Believe: A Former Atheist's Reckoning with the Bad Reputation Christians Give a Good God. (Click here to read more.)

Gospel Hope for the Discouraged Soul: In a world surrounded by 24-hour news and reminders on social media of tragedy and heartache, it's easy to fall into the abyss of discouragement and anxiety. Even Jesus followers struggle to hold on to hope. What is the hopeful guidance from God's Word for times when you feel overwhelmed, defeated, and worthless? How can the Bible help you conquer despair when the past paralyzes, today disappoints, and the future is frightening? Bible Gateway interviewed Jason Meyer about his book, Don't Lose Heart: Gospel Hope for the Discouraged Soul. (Click here to read more.)

YOU'RE INVITED – Join the FREE Case for Christmas Online Bible Study: Sign up to discover the historical evidence of the true Christmas story! The Case for Christmas is a 4-week video Bible study (ending January 5) you can do on your own, with our online community, or with friends, family, and neighbors! Countdown to Christmas learning from Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus. (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.

Online Bible Study with Laura Story

Join the I Give Up Online Bible Study with Laura Story: We will be going through this study at Prayer Meeting on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm in the Hearth Room. If you have not yet gotten your book and study guide, contact Pastor T.

If you are unable to attend Prayer Meeting, but would like to go through the study, you may do so by joining the I Give Up Online Bible Study with Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and Bible teacher Laura Story to discover the peace and joy that can be found in living a surrendered life. You'll get FREE access to Laura's five study videos, FREE downloads of the first chapters of the book, I Give Up: The Secret Joy of a Surrendered Life and study guide, printable Scriptures and affirmations, and other goodies! (Click here to read more.)

Operation Christmas Child

It is that time of year again! We have the opportunity to make a big difference in a child’s life by participating in Operation Christmas Child. These boxes may be turned in here at church anytime during the next several weeks, no later than November 23, 2019.

You will find plenty of boxes and supplies on the table in our Lobby. For information and ideas on packing a box, click here – for a list of things to include and what cannot be included, click here.

For more information about the program, click here or speak with Carol Fennessy or Pat Martinsen.

Christmas Shoe Boxes cost $9.00 each to ship.

    • Please remember to include a check in the box for this amount made out to Samaritan’s Purse (note OCC on the memo line) or include $9.00 in cash.
    • Click here to pay this amount on-line and print out a label for your box if you would like to know where your box goes.

If you would like to donate funds to help ship the boxes our children’s departments are preparing, please turn it using one of our tithe envelopes marked Operation Christmas Child.

You may donate funds directly of Samaritan’s Purse for their many outreach and humanitarian projects by clicking here.

Church Positions

There are several positions we need to fill here at the church over the next few months. If you are interested in any of these, or have suggestions for someone to fill these, please contact Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-6370) or Pastor T. (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

    • Head Elder: The Head Elder works as the Pastor’s Associate here at church in providing for Spiritual leadership and direction. He/She also functions as the Chairman of the Church Board.
    • Treasurer: The Treasurer manages the finances of our church. He/She maintains the financial records, pays our bills, and is instrumental in planning and maintaining our budget.
    • Sabbath School Secretary: The Sabbath School Secretary orders and maintains the supply of Sabbath School lessons for all our Sabbath School Classes. They also collect the Sabbath School Offering each Sabbath morning from the classes.
    • Junior Sabbath School Leader: The Junior Sabbath School Leader coordinates the teaching and activities of the Junior Sabbath School Class (Ages 10-12).
    • Communications Director: The Communications Director coordinates and publishes the Golden News (email Newsletter), and develops other means of getting information to our members.

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

Video Streaming: We are now live streaming our sermons each Sabbath – you can watch them by clicking here. This will now be a regular feature of our church.

On-Line Church Directory Information: Now 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!

    • Go to your device’s App Store. (Click here for Apple products, click here for Android devices, or click here for Kindle Fire.
    • Search for Instant Church Directory.
    • Enter your email as it’s listed in our church directory.
    • Follow the directions on the screen to complete the login process.

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 (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.

Adventist Screening Verification

Verified Volunteers has changed their name to Sterling Volunteers. The NAD has decided to select a parent name that can remain in their publications and website landing pages on a permanent basis. The name chosen for all our background screening and training needs is Adventist Screening Verification.

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Adventist Screening Verification 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 or to our church). It will take about an hour of your time.

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 (402-517-5333).

Last Week’s Sermon

You can view last week’s sermon by Steve Wilhelmsen 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 Holy Spirit – to fill and guide our church
    • Our Church Leaders (Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Board Members, Sabbath School Class Leaders, Pathfinder/Adventurer Leaders, Etc.)
    • Donna & Gary Parker continue to have serious health problems. Donna is Nebraska Medicine, Bellevue and Gary is at Hillcrest Heath and Rehab.
    • 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, 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), Charise Talley, Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents).

Pastor’s Contact Information

To contact Pastor T, leave him a message by clicking here.  

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