Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Nov. 30, 2019

Web Master - Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s just amazing to me that we’ve come around again to the holiday season with Thanksgiving tomorrow, along with Christmas and New Years in just a month!

I think time must go faster the older you get – at least that has been my experience. Not saying I’m getting old, just older than I was last year at this season …

I hope this season is everything you hope it will be – a time of peace, love, and joy.

In the midst of all the food, the buying and receiving presents, and the beginning of another new year, don’t miss out on what is most important – connecting with God!

Take time to be thankful for everything you have already been given.

Take time to study more about the Baby who conquered evil through love.

And as we move into a new year, take quality time everyday to get better acquainted with the One who loves you more than He loved His own life!

The Rookery

Don Jacobsen's blog last weekend was titled The Rookery. This is a beautiful description of what our church ought to look like and how it should function.

Having lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, less than a hundred miles from the Arctic Circle, I have a lot of respect for outdoor creatures that can survive intense cold. One January morning I went outside to check the temperature and the little bulb at the bottom of the mercury column on the thermometer wasn’t quite full. The radio said it was officially -70°.

Emperor penguins live in the Antarctic and survive that kind of temperature, even though it may be driven by 100 mph winds. You probably know how they do it – they huddle tightly together. The word snuggle comes to mind.

Some great theology in that.

Dr Francois Blanchette, an applied mathematics prof at the University of California, Merced, discovered that while the cold environment is spread quite evenly over the group, the temperature at the center of the flock can reach near 70°. Another phenomenon he and his students discovered is that the pack keeps cycling the birds in the outer rings inward toward the middle. Those on the edges are moved intentionally toward a warmer, safer place.

I like that. It reminds me of a healthy church. The group survives best when it hangs together, and those who begin to falter from the unfriendly circumstances on the outside are rescued from certain disaster by the protective warmth of the flock. There’s something really churchy about that.

The Antarctic is not a user-friendly place to raise a family. The male and female penguins bond, often for life, and after the single egg is laid, mom waddles off for as far as 50 miles to find food while dad stays home and babysits – or actually, egg sits. He stands there for two months, his body heat keeping the egg warm in his “brood pouch” till mom gets back, then they trade jobs.

And there’s another parallel with the human situation: only about a third of the chicks survive childhood. There are sufficient natural predators that it demands constant vigilance from mom and dad – and the rest of the flock – to protect them. When an enemy appears the entire flock goes into protect mode. I’m sure you picked up on that parallel right away.

When the church was born, the world was a cold and inhospitable scene. The story is recorded: “On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.” (Acts 2:1 NLT) That’s the template whenever the church has been healthy. Huddling together to draw warmth and courage from each other. Protecting the fragile. Making provision for those on the edge. Arms around the young. Among penguins it’s called a rookery. For the rest of us, it’s called church. (Click here to read this article online.)

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

Ride to Church Needed

An older gentleman, who lives near L Street and 132nd Street (not too far from the Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, and Target), is looking for a fairly regular ride to church on Sabbath mornings. If you live out that direction and would be willing to explore the possibilities, please contact Pastor T. (402-517-5333).

Kansas Nebraska Conference Survey

The Conference is trying to collect some important information from us as members so they can make appropriate plans for the future – evangelism, strategies, staffing, etc. If you are a member of this Conference, please take a couple of minutes to answer this brief, 10-question survey. All answers are anonymous. Click here to begin.

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 4:56 pm

This Sabbath at Church

    • No Breakfast this week.
    • 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 conclude our sermon series, The Sermon, based on Matthew 5 – 7. Pastor T’s sermon is titled Don’t Be Foolish. The book, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings provides important insight into this passage as does Desire of Ages, Chapter 31. Live Stream the service by clicking here.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of the last sermon in this series titled Bring it On!, click here. You can watch it by clicking here.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Dec. 2) 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 (Dec. 3) at 6:00 pm. We are doing the I Give Up Bible Study Series – for more information, click here. This will be our last session of this study and during the holidays, we will take some time off. We will begin again on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

MLT Meeting this Tuesday (Dec. 3) at 7:15 pm in the Hearth Room. If you wish to submit something for them to discuss, please contact Kalvin Tuel (402-201-6370).

Potluck After Church one week from Sabbath (Dec. 7) 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!

Pathfinder Lock-In one week from Saturday Night (Dec. 7-8). For more information about contact Holly Degerness (402-917-4718) or Marina Nolasco (402-594-0671).

Christmas Cookie Exchange, one week from Sunday (Dec. 8) at 2:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. See below for more information.

Prayer Meeting one week from Tuesday (Dec. 10) at 6:00 pm. We are doing the I Give Up Bible Study Series – for more information, click here. This will be our last session of this study. We will take some time off for the holidays, beginning again on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

Church Board meets one week from Tuesday (Dec. 10) at 7:15 pm in the Board Room of the Education Annex. If you have any items that need to be considered, please contact our Head Elder, Steve Wilhelmsen (e-mail or 402-708-2730).

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

The Bible’s Beautiful Story Line: Why is the Bible—the most popular and culture-shaping text in the world—still the least understood book of all time? What are the life-changing themes woven through the mosaic of the Bible's various stories? How can the Bible's collection of history, poetry, genealogy lists, and mystifying prophecies best be seen? Bible Gateway interviewed Steve Green about his book, This Beautiful Book: An Exploration of the Bible's Incredible Story Line and Why It Matters Today. (Click here to read more.)

The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers: American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers died in 2003 but his influence seems to be growing stronger each year. He was known as the creator, composer, producer, head writer, showrunner, and host of the preschool PBS television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968–2001), known for its slow pace and calm manner. What is the spiritual legacy Mr. Rogers left for all of us? Bible Gateway interviewed Amy Hollingsworth, author of The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World's Most Beloved Neighbor. (Click here to read more.)

The Gift of Pain and How to Press Through It: Luke Lezon, author of Your Mess Matters: Trusting the God Who Creates from Dust and Redeems by Blood, says, "Comfort cannot be present where pain has been absent. Where there is suffering, there can be soothing. Where there is soothing, there is a Savior.” (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.

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:

    1. All cookies should be homemade or from a bakery (not from the cookie aisle at the grocery store)
    2. Please bake and bring one to three dozen cookies of One Kind.
    3. 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!

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).

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.)
    • Elma Johannessen will be having surgery on December 10 at Nebraska Medicine, Bellevue. It will be a rather delicate surgery and she is requesting our prayers.
    • Donna & Gary Parker continue to have health problems. Donna is at Nebraska Medicine, Bellevue hoping to return to Hillcrest Heath and Rehab soon.
    • 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, 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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