Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Feb. 3, 2018

Web Master - Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Transformed by Beholding

Those of you who follow my blog know that I read the book My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers as a part of my personal devotions – it helps remind me of Jesus’ faithfulness and my need for Him. Below is recent reading I found helpful.

We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image … (2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV) ·Print

The greatest characteristic a Christian can exhibit is this completely unveiled openness before God, which allows that person’s life to become a mirror for others. When the Spirit fills us, we are transformed, and by beholding God we become mirrors. You can always tell when someone has been beholding the glory of the Lord, because your inner spirit senses that he mirrors the Lord’s own character. Beware of anything that would spot or tarnish that mirror in you. It is almost always something good that will stain it – something good, but not what is best.

The most important rule for us is to concentrate on keeping our lives open to God. Let everything else including work, clothes, and food be set aside. The busyness of things obscures our concentration on God. We must maintain a position of beholding Him, keeping our lives completely spiritual through and through. Let other things come and go as they will; let other people criticize us as they will; but never allow anything to obscure the life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). Never let a hurried lifestyle disturb the relationship of abiding in Him. This is an easy thing to allow, but we must guard against it. The most difficult lesson of the Christian life is learning how to continue “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord …” (My Utmost for His Highest, Jan. 23)

To purchase My Utmost for His Highest, click here. For an iBook version for Apple products, click here. For a Kindle version, click here. For a Nook Book, click here. To read it online or to subscribe to devotionals based on it, click here.

Congratulations to Our Pathfinders

Last Sabbath at the Conference Pathfinder Bible Experience (PBE), our group took one of three first place spots – along with the College View Pathfinder teams. This puts them into the Mid-America PBE which will take place in two weeks, Sabbath, February 17 (2:00 pm) at the College View SDA Church in Lincoln. Lori Knutson has been their teacher and coach. Way to go Pathfinders! We are proud of you!!

Inspiration from 24-7 Prayer

The Importance of Half-Hearted, Faithless Prayers: “… And then I prayed. A half-hearted, desperate and faithless prayer …” (Click here to read more.)

The Power of Relentless Prayer for a Forbidden Nation: Picture this. Your mission is to see a spiritual revolution in a nation you’re not allowed to enter. In fact, the closest you can live to this nation is a hundred miles away. These people do not speak your language, and they’ve been warned about “people like you.” (Click here to read more.)

The Incredible Story of Maruwaan: One of the ministries of Tree of Life is CRU62, a home for young men looking for help leaving gangs and drugs behind. Maruwaan joined CRU62 in May 2015 as a Muslim, addicted to heroin, and caught up in a life of crime. (Click here to read more and view the video.)

Kindness, Hope and Revelation on the Streets of Ibiza: "The more people I meet, the more I see Christ in them ..." For over a decade, 24-7 Ibiza have been serving holidaymakers on the streets. Read this beautiful update on the amazing things God is doing on the island. (Click here to read more.)

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

The Lord’s Prayer is Revolutionary: Through the centuries the Lord’s Prayer has been domesticated and tamed, turned into a safe series of comforting words and made familiar by repetition. But when truly considered, the Lord’s Prayer is meant to turn the world upside down, toppling every earthly power and announcing God’s reign over all things, in heaven and on earth. Bible Gateway interviewed R. Albert Mohler Jr. about his book, The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord's Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution. (Click here to read more.)

Help! My Husband Is Tuning Me Out. What Can I Do? In this guest Blog post, Gary Thomas, author of Loving Him Well: Practical Advice on Influencing Your Husband, says, “The male brain functions much differently than the female brain. When a woman doesn’t understand the way a male brain works, she risks fostering an extremely destructive male response, something researchers call stonewalling ...” (Click here to read more.)

Overcome Your Fears: Fear and worry tend to put a choke-hold on life. They whisper uncertainties, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But what does it mean when the Bible portrays God as drawing close and saying, ‘Fear not. I am with you’? What is a ‘fear fighter’? Bible Gateway interviewed Kelly Balarie about her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears. (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 anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Calendar Events

Our bi-annual Church Leadership Retreat takes place this weekend (Feb. 2-4) at the Lied Lodge in Nebraska City. This includes all those who are on our Church Board. Please pray for us as we prayerfully consider the direction of our church. If you have something you would like for us to consider or discuss, please contact Pastor T. (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Sunset this Friday – 5:41 pm                                                           

This Sabbath at Church:

    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class – Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (Church Sanctuary, 10:00 am (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class – Studying the New Testament books 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Jude using the book Exploring the Letters of John & Jude by George Knight (Hearth Room, 10:00 am. The emphasis is on making it relevant with personal application for each class member. Hard copies of the book will be available at class but if you wish to purchase one for your tablet – click here for a Kindle, click here for I-Tunes, and click here for a Nook.)
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, our message will be presented by David Soriano. His sermon, based on Luke 19:10, is titled Seeking & Saving.
    • Potluck has been postponed until next Sabbath, Feb. 10.

Maplewood Academy Alumni Meeting: The Lincoln Alumni Chapter of Maplewood Academy is hosting a Nacho Feast, this Saturday night (Feb. 3) at 6:30 pm. It will be held in Heartland Hall at the College View Church (4801 Prescott Ave., Lincoln, NE). This is nacho regular alumni meeting! Join us for an evening of food, fellowship and sharing memories. Nathan Shields, VP for Development and Alumni will give a presentation and hand out MWA gear as door prizes. RSVP Kathy Bollinger (email or 402-499-2938).

Financial Peace University continues Sunday (Feb. 4) at 3:00 pm. With Dave Ramsey’s class Financial Peace University, you CAN take control of your money and start planning for your future. This will be hosted by the New City Church and will meet at Golden Hills SDA Church located at 3005 Golden Blvd., Bellevue, NE. To sign up, click here. For more information, message Erin (e-mail or 402-880-7855).

No Children’s/Youth Baptismal Study Class this Monday. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Pathfinders & Adventurers Meet this Monday (Feb. 5) at 6:30 pm. 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 this Tuesday (Feb. 6) at 6:00 pm in the Hearth Room. We continue our Study of Daniel – we will be beginning chapter 8 this week. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Valentine’s Dinner & Movie: February 10 – Dinner at 5:30; Movie (Despicable Me) at 7:00, $6/person in the Fellowship Hall of the Church. Contact a Pathfinder or Pathfinder Leader for tickets. Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information (e-mail or 402-201-6370).

Adventist Books Available

If you have been looking for the Bible Story set, Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories, or a variety of other Spirit of Prophecy books, Rick Baesler has them available; new and many still in the wrappers. Check out his add on Craig’s List or contact him directly (e-mail or 402-884-2894)

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Hospice Volunteers Needed: Hospice Volunteers provide companionship and support for individuals living with terminal illnesses and their families. Volunteers choose the hours they are able to serve and determine the geographical location in metro Omaha/Council Bluffs and surrounding area. Volunteer education will take place in March and is sponsored by CHI Health at Home Hospice, Methodist Hospice, VNA Hospice, and Hospice House – The Josie Harper Residence. Please call one of the agencies below to request an application. Space is limited.

Syrian Muslims in Crisis need Bibles! One of our partners witnessed something amazing on a recent trip to the Syrian border. Stepping into a church service, he watched a room full of Muslim converts and veiled women praying earnestly to Jesus. "I learned more about prayer than you can ever imagine," he shared. "The convicting reality that Muslims have a greater expectation that Jesus will answer their prayer than I do – is something I will never forget. They pray with an expectation unlike anything I've ever seen," he added. Because of the nature of the ongoing crisis, primarily in Muslim-dominated areas, countless Muslims are seeking Jesus. Place a Bible into the hands of a Muslim seeker or new convert for just $5 – click here to give. Click here for more information about Open Door Missions – sign up for their email newsletter at the bottom right of their home page. Click here for information about Open Door International.

Important Needs for Omaha Refugees: Omaha has a large number of refugees from several countries – many of them Adventist. Branden Watson, a student at Union College is heading up a program to help them find places to live and items to furnish their living spaces. They need gently used furniture (sofas, chairs, tables, shelves, lamps, beds. etc.). If you have some things to donate, please contact Branden at (314) 520-6039.

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.

Books Needed: If you have any extra copies of books such as Desire of Ages, Steps to Christ, Great Controversy, etc. around your home and would like to see them put to good use, please bring them to the church and they will be shared with interested people in our community.

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  2017, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2016, click here. To access a PDF copy of all the updates we received prior to 2016 (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.

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.

Eye Tip (Courtesy of Christian Record Services for the Blind)

Register Now for Blind Camp! Christian Record Services for the Blind is excited to announce the schedule for the 2018 National Camps for Blind Children (NCBC) summer camping season. People who are legally blind, ages 9-65, are invited to register to attend camp at one of 10 locations around the United States. Campers enjoy confidence-building experiences such as archery, swimming, crafts, horseback riding, and more (experiences vary by location), as well as opportunities to build lifelong friendships. NCBC, a Christian Record program, has offered camping experiences for children and adults who are legally blind since 1967. Click here to learn more about National Camps for Blind Children and the summer roster.

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. These need to be finished ASAP.

Even if you have recently completed this process with Shield the Vulnerable, you need to do this now with Verified Volunteers because the information did not transfer from one program to the other and we are no longer using Shield the Vulnerable due to many problems with their work.

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 Holy Love 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.)
    • Sheila’s brother, Paul, who is fighting cancer.
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Tom Plant, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. is studying with)
    • The Lippincott Family
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Steve Newton (and family)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Marilyn Sabata, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), and Cindy Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastor T’s Contact Information

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.

This Week at Golden Hills: Jan. 27, 2018

Web Master - Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Intimate with Jesus

Those of you who follow my blog know that I read the book My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers as a part of my personal devotions – it helps remind me of Jesus’ faithfulness and my need for Him. Below is recent reading I found helpful.

Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?" (John 14:9, NIV)Facebook ·Print

These words were not spoken as a rebuke, nor even with surprise; Jesus was encouraging Philip to draw closer. Yet the last person we get intimate with is Jesus. Before Pentecost the disciples knew Jesus as the One who gave them power to conquer demons and to bring about a revival (see Luke 10:18-20). It was a wonderful intimacy, but there was a much closer intimacy to come: “… I have called you friends …” (John 15:15). True friendship is rare on earth. It means identifying with someone in thought, heart, and spirit. The whole experience of life is designed to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ. We receive His blessings and know His Word, but do we really know Him?

Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away …” (John 16:7). He left that relationship to lead them even closer. It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to walk more intimately with Him. The bearing of fruit is always shown in Scripture to be the visible result of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (see John 15:1-4).

Once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely and we never lack for understanding or compassion. We can continually pour out our hearts to Him without being perceived as overly emotional or pitiful. The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. This is the outcome of allowing Jesus to satisfy every area of life to its depth. The picture resulting from such a life is that of the strong, calm balance that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him. (My Utmost for His Highest, Jan. 7)

To purchase My Utmost for His Highest, click here. For an iBook version for Apple products, click here. For a Kindle version, click here. For a Nook Book, click here. To read it online or to subscribe to devotionals based on it, click here.

Hospice Volunteers Needed

Hospice Volunteers provide companionship and support for individuals living with terminal illnesses and their families. Volunteers choose the hours they are able to serve and determine the geographical location in metro Omaha/Council Bluffs and surrounding area. Volunteer education will take place in March and is sponsored by CHI Health at Home Hospice, Methodist Hospice, VNA Hospice, and Hospice House – The Josie Harper Residence. Please call one of the agencies below to request an application. Space is limited.

Maplewood Academy Alumni Meeting

The Lincoln Alumni Chapter of Maplewood Academy is hosting a Nacho Feast, Saturday, February 3 at 6:30 pm. It will be held in Heartland Hall at the College View Church (4801 Prescott Ave., Lincoln, NE). This is nacho regular alumni meeting! Join us for an evening of food, fellowship and sharing memories. Nathan Shields, VP for Development and Alumni will give a presentation and hand out MWA gear as door prizes. RSVP Kathy Bollinger (email or 402-499-2938).

Stop to Pray | from 24-7 Prayer

"Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him ..." (Psalm 37:7, NIV)

God is present in our everyday, but sometimes, we just have to take a moment to encounter the Spirit at work. So, wherever you are right now, stop to pray: 

Ask God to help you wait: So often when we pray, we don’t receive immediate answers. Lift one of these unanswered prayers to God and ask for a renewed sense of patience and strength.

Invite God into your daily waiting: Whether it’s waiting for the kettle to boil, a delayed train or a slow moment in your daily work, invite the Spirit to be present in these times. Use them to encounter God.

Memorize a verse: Take time to remind yourself, and memorize, a Bible verse that will help you in times of impatience. You could even set a reminder to look at it each day.

Have a wonderful week, The 24-7 Prayer Team

This month we’re exploring what it looks like to #StartSlow and invest time in God's presence: check out the blog series by clicking here.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

How to Fight Fear, Wrestle Worry, and Allay Anxiety: Sometimes Jesus’ call to "fear not" seems like the hardest instruction to follow. Some days you faultlessly juggle everything that is your life—kids, husband, house, job, church, friendships, school, pets, appointments, and on and on. Other days the very thought of which ball you’re going to drop puts your anxiety level through the roof. Bible Gateway interviewed Alli Worthington about her book, Fierce Faith: A Woman's Guide to Fighting Fear, Wrestling Worry, and Overcoming Anxiety. (Click here to read more.)

Do I Have a Right to Die? In this guest Blog post, Joni Eareckson Tada, author of When Is It Right to Die? A Comforting and Surprising Look at Death and Dying, says, "For the moment, forget everything you’ve heard about right to die or right to life positions. Put aside the court rulings and the tug-at-your-heart stories ..." (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 anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Calendar Events

Pathfinders will be at Honor’s Fest this weekend held at CVA in Lincoln. Let’s pray for them as they enjoy this weekend with Pathfinders from all around the Kansas Nebraska Conference. Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information (e-mail or 402-201-6370).

Sunset this Friday – 5:33 pm                                                           

This Sabbath at Church:

    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class – Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (Church Sanctuary, 10:00 am (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class – Studying the New Testament books 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Jude using the book Exploring the Letters of John & Jude by George Knight (Hearth Room, 10:00 am. The emphasis is on making it relevant with personal application for each class member. Hard copies of the book will be available at class but if you wish to purchase one for your tablet – click here for a Kindle, click here for I-Tunes, and click here for a Nook.)
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, we will continue our series on the book of Acts titled New Beginnings. Pastor T’s sermon is titled Holy Love and will look at the picture of the early church found in Acts 2:41-47. How can we show that kind of love?

Financial Peace University begins Sunday (Jan. 28) at 3:00 pm. With Dave Ramsey’s class Financial Peace University, you CAN take control of your money and start planning for your future. This will be hosted by the New City Church and will meet at Golden Hills SDA Church located at 3005 Golden Blvd., Bellevue, NE. To sign up, click here. For more information, message Erin (e-mail or 402-880-7855).

No Children’s/Youth Baptismal Study Class this Monday. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

No Pathfinders or Adventurers this Monday. 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).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2017-2018 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2017-2018 Adventurer Calendar.

Prayer Meeting this Tuesday (Jan. 30). We continue our Study of Daniel – we are beginning chapter 7. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Our bi-annual Church Leadership Retreat will take place February 2 – 4 at the Lied Lodge in Nebraska City. This includes everyone on our Church Board. Please pray for them as they prayerfully consider the direction of our church. If you have something you would like for them to consider or discuss, please contact Pastor T. (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Valentine’s Dinner & Movie: February 10 – Dinner at 5:30; movie at 7:00, $7/person. Fellowship Hall of the Church. Contact a Pathfinder or Pathfinder Leader for tickets. Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information (e-mail or 402-201-6370).

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Syrian Muslims in Crisis need Bibles! One of our partners witnessed something amazing on a recent trip to the Syrian border. Stepping into a church service, he watched a room full of Muslim converts and veiled women praying earnestly to Jesus. "I learned more about prayer than you can ever imagine," he shared. "The convicting reality that Muslims have a greater expectation that Jesus will answer their prayer than I do – is something I will never forget. They pray with an expectation unlike anything I've ever seen," he added. Because of the nature of the ongoing crisis, primarily in Muslim-dominated areas, countless Muslims are seeking Jesus. Place a Bible into the hands of a Muslim seeker or new convert for just $5 – click here to give. Click here for more information about Open Door Missions – sign up for their email newsletter at the bottom right of their home page. Click here for information about Open Door International.

Important Needs for Omaha Refugees: Omaha has a large number of refugees from several countries – many of them Adventist. Branden Watson, a student at Union College is heading up a program to help them find places to live and items to furnish their living spaces. They need gently used furniture (sofas, chairs, tables, shelves, lamps, beds. etc.). If you have some things to donate, please contact Branden at (314) 520-6039.

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.

Books Needed: If you have any extra copies of books such as Desire of Ages, Steps to Christ, Great Controversy, etc. around your home and would like to see them put to good use, please bring them to the church and they will be shared with interested people in our community.

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  2017, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2016, click here. To access a PDF copy of all the updates we received prior to 2016 (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.

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.

Eye Tip (Courtesy of Christian Record Services for the Blind)

Drugstore Reading Glasses – How to Pick a Perfect Pair: One of the more obvious signs of getting older involves your vision. When once-crystal-clear words on a page or screen start to blur, it may be a sign that you need reading glasses. Perhaps that’s all you need. But it’s still important to consult a doctor for an eye exam to rule out other, more serious, problems – especially if you have concerns or symptoms related to your eyes or vision.

What happens as we start getting older: Ophthalmologist Rishi Singh, MD says the need for reading glasses first becomes evident when you're holding reading material farther and farther away from you in order to see it better. That’s because, as we age, our eyes become less mobile, making it more difficult to focus on objects that are close to us. An optometrist can help you choose a good pair of high-quality reading glasses. In a pinch, you can also get inexpensive glasses at any drugstore. (And anyone who needs reading glasses can tell you you’ll want plenty of spares around the house.)

If you do go the drugstore route, how can you find the perfect pair to makes those fuzzy letters and words clear again? Click here for tips on choosing the right reading glasses, courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic. 

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. These need to be finished by October 1, 2017.

Even if you have recently completed this process with Shield the Vulnerable, you need to do this now with Verified Volunteers because the information did not transfer from one program to the other and we are no longer using Shield the Vulnerable due to many problems with their work.

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 Holy Fire 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.)
    • Leadership Retreat coming up Feb. 2-4
    • Alice Sugut is requesting prayer for her family
    • Sheila’s brother, Paul, who is fighting cancer.
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Tom Plant, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. is studying with)
    • The Lippincott Family
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Steve Newton (and family)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Marilyn Sabata, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), and Cindy Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastor T’s Contact Information

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.

This Week at Golden Hills: Jan. 20, 2018

Web Master - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Surprise!

Last week sure ended up looking different than I was planning.

I was very productive on Sunday and Monday, even had everything prepared for preaching at Nebraska City on Sabbath!

I got up Tuesday morning full of plans to get caught up on some projects and get a head start on some others – had a good feeling about the week.

As we were finishing breakfast, I began noticing an ache in my chest.

After breakfast, I went downstairs to my office and as I started working at my desk, the pain became more intense – and it was radiating into my left shoulder and down my left arm. This made me a bit nervous, and I think I must have started hyperventilating, because it seemed like I was getting out of breath.

Soon Pat came downstairs to start some laundry and I told her what was going on. We finally decided I would rather feel foolish for a false alarm than be dead – so we called 911. It took me about 45 minutes to come to this point – the paramedic in charge said if I was his father, he would have some serious words with me for waiting so long).

They showed up in less than five minutes and before long had me aboard the ambulance headed for Nebraska Medicine, Bellevue.

I remember thinking: “This is going to shoot my day!” But, I figured I’d be home later that day and be able to continue my activities.

At the ER, it was determined I was not having a heart attack, but they saw some things they felt needed to be checked out, so I was admitted to the hospital and the next morning had an echo stress test.

I was sure I would pass it with flying colors and then get to go home.

Again, the cardiologist saw some things he was concerned about. He told me he was sure I had a blockage that would need to be corrected with by-pass surgery. He said we would need to do a heart catheterization to know for sure what was going on – so I had the privilege of spending another night.

Don’t get me wrong – Nebraska Medicine, Bellevue is a great hospital. The rooms are nice, and everyone was wonderful – I got excellent care. I just prefer being home!

On Thursday morning I was prepped for the procedure and it was completed by 11:00 am. The cardiologist said it was very good news – all I had was mild coronary artery disease with one artery blocked about 45% and another about 35%.

He told me it could be corrected with medicine along with some lifestyle changes – I’m discovering what food tastes like without salt. I was able to go home Thursday afternoon.

I’m not sharing this to make you feel sorry for me – I know I am extremely blessed!

I share this because I know many you want to know what happened and because I learned a couple of things.

First, your life can change direction instantly. Just because you have good plans doesn’t mean any of them will happen. I was blessed, my life only took a detour, there was no permanent damage.

But, I know many people who have had a different experience: A good friend fell while hiking and is now a paraplegic; another friend’s career was cut short by injuries from a car accident; my great uncle simply dropped dead from a heart attack while coming in the front door to his home. Things can change fast, and we often have no control over the changes.

Also, I’m glad for the wake-up call. I have a chance to make some changes that will make my body healthier, and should make me feel better. I’m not counting on another chance with this – I need to make this one count.

And finally, I came to realize again how much I am dependent on God. I know He has walked with me each step of my life journey and, regardless of outcomes, He will continue be with me. His promise to me (and to you too) is:

“I am the Lord your God. I am holding your hand, so don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” (Isaiah 41:13, CEV)

I will never leave you or abandon you. Therefore, we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. (Hebrews 13:5-6, CSB)

Red Hats Project Completed

Our Women’s Ministries team completed more than 280 knitted red hats for newborns! Great job ladies – this will keep a lot of little heads warm!

From Open Door Missions

Syrian Muslims in Crisis need Bibles! One of our partners witnessed something amazing on a recent trip to the Syrian border. Stepping into a church service, he watched a room full of Muslim converts and veiled women praying earnestly to Jesus.

"I learned more about prayer than you can ever imagine," he shared. "The convicting reality that Muslims have a greater expectation that Jesus will answer their prayer than I do – is something I will never forget. They pray with an expectation unlike anything I've ever seen," he added.

Because of the nature of the ongoing crisis, primarily in Muslim-dominated areas, countless Muslims are seeking Jesus. Place a Bible into the hands of a Muslim seeker or new convert for just $5 – click here to give. Click here for more information about Open Door Missions – sign up for their email newsletter at the bottom right of their home page. Click here for information about Open Door International.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

How to Encounter God When Reading the Bible: Do we approach the Bible believing that the One who spoke and brought the universe into existence, whose voice thundered from Mount Sinai, and whose words healed the sick is the same God who speaks to us today through Scripture? Are we reading the Bible not merely to learn information about God but to hear his voice and encounter his presence? Bible Gateway interviewed Tim Chester about his book, Bible Matters: Making Sense of Scripture. (Click here to read more.)

Scanning an Ancient Biblical Text That Humans Fear to Open: A technique 14 years in development reads ancient scrolls that are too fragile to unwrap. Fine-detail CT scanners can visualize the ink of letters inside such scrolls. (Click here to read more.)

Read the Bible in 2018 at Your Own Pace with Help from Bible Gateway: Don't be discouraged. Make this the year you complete one book of the Bible, or all four Gospels, or the New Testament, or another goal you decide. We'll help you do it with any of our Bible reading plans. Choose the one that's right for you! (Click here to see a number of Bible Reading Plans.)

Not This Way: Any listening and reading of Scripture is better than none at all; but, some ways that people come to the Bible end up restricting their spiritual growth. Many people started listening to or reading the Bible for a weak reason and then over time adjusted their motivation. Here are a few ways NOT to approach the Bible. This list isn’t exhaustive, but perhaps it can serve as a catalyst for you to explore your own motivation for coming to the Bible. (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 anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:24 pm                                                           

This Sabbath at Church:

    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class – Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (Church Sanctuary, 10:00 am (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class – Studying the New Testament books 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Jude using the book Exploring the Letters of John & Jude by George Knight (Hearth Room, 10:00 am. The emphasis is on making it relevant with personal application for each class member. Hard copies of the book will be available at class but if you wish to purchase one for your tablet – click here for a Kindle, click here for I-Tunes, and click here for a Nook.)
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, we will continue our series on the book of Acts. Pastor T’s sermon is titled Holy Fire and will look at the events found in Acts 2. What would our church look like if we embraced the Holy Spirit like they did? For some additional insights you may wish to read chapters 4 (Pentecost) and 5 (The Gift of the Spirit) in the book Acts of the Apostles.

Children’s/Youth Baptismal Study Class meets this Monday (Jan 22) at 6:00 pm in the Pastor’s Study. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Jan. 22) at 6:30 pm. 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).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2017-2018 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2017-2018 Adventurer Calendar.

Prayer Meeting this Tuesday (Jan. 23). We continue our Study of Daniel. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

MLT Meeting this Tuesday (Jan. 23) at 7:15 pm in the Pastor’s Study. If you wish to submit something for them to discuss, please contact John Stroman (e-mail or 402-871-9764).

Financial Peace University begins January 28 at 3:00 pm. With Dave Ramsey’s class Financial Peace University, you CAN take control of your money and start planning for your future. This will be hosted by the New City Church and will meet at Golden Hills SDA Church located at 3005 Golden Blvd., Bellevue, NE. To sign up, click here. For more information, message Erin (e-mail or 402-880-7855).

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Important Needs for Omaha Refugees: Omaha has a large number of refugees from several countries – many of them Adventist. Branden Watson, a student at Union College is heading up a program to help them find places to live and items to furnish their living spaces. They need gently used furniture (sofas, chairs, tables, shelves, lamps, beds. etc.). If you have some things to donate, please contact Branden at (314) 520-6039.

It is Written Mission Trips: It is Written is sponsoring three mission trips in 2018. Click on the trips below to see more information on each one.

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.

Books Needed: If you have any extra copies of books such as Desire of Ages, Steps to Christ, Great Controversy, etc. around your home and would like to see them put to good use, please bring them to the church and they will be shared with interested people in our community.

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  2017, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2016, click here. To access a PDF copy of all the updates we received prior to 2016 (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.

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.

Eye Tip (Courtesy of Christian Record Services for the Blind)

Anne Lowe Scholarship: Do you know a young adult who is preparing for college or is a returning college student? The Anne Lowe Scholarship, offered by Christian Record Services for the Blind, is awarded annually to further the educational pursuits of people who are legally blind who meet the following criteria: United States citizen engaged full-time in undergraduate studies at an accredited U.S. college or university with a minimum 2.0 GPA. 

Applicants must supply a financial budget; physician’s note, dated within the past 12 months, verifying the applicant’s legal blindness; an essay, detailing the applicant’s background, achievements, and educational and life goals; a recent photo with a release for publication; proof of U.S. citizenship; and three letters of recommendation.

For more information regarding the application process and to access the online form, click here. Christian Record Services will accept applications through Sunday, April 15, and scholarship winners will receive notification of their awards in August.

  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. These need to be finished by October 1, 2017.

Even if you have recently completed this process with Shield the Vulnerable, you need to do this now with Verified Volunteers because the information did not transfer from one program to the other and we are no longer using Shield the Vulnerable due to many problems with their work.

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.)
    • Sheila’s brother, Paul, who is fighting cancer.
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Tom Plant, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. is studying with)
    • The Lippincott Family
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Steve Newton (and family)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Marilyn Sabata, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), and Cindy Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastor T’s Contact Information

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.

This Week at Golden Hills: Jan. 13, 2018

Web Master - Friday, January 12, 2018

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. (Psalm 46, NLT)

Red Hats

All the knitted red hats for newborns need to be turned in this Sabbath, Jan. 13. Elizabeth needs to turn them in the AHA on Sabbath Afternoon. Elizabeth says, “thank you” to all who participated! We went beyond last year’s total of 133 hats with 154 hats already turned in! Great job ladies!!!

From My Outlook

Good News from Pathway to Health: 6,770 people in Phoenix, Arizona, received medical, dental, vision, physical therapy, lifestyle education, financial, legal, child care, haircuts, and even surgical specialties free of charge during Christmas weekend. (Click here to read more.)

Hear Their Voices: If you haven't listened to last month's podcast with Kristy Childs, you can now watch a video version of Childs' interview where she talks about her foundation Veronica's Voice, the world of human trafficking in America, and what we can learn from her experiences. (Click here to view it.)

To Subscribe to My Outlook, click here.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Why Is Spiritual Warfare a Continuing Struggle? Do you ask yourself, "Why do I still struggle if I'm faithfully following God?" How can you discern whether you’re dealing with battles within yourself, resistance from God, or genuine fights with the devil? What did Jesus say about our spiritual authority and the certainty we have in him? Bible Gateway interviewed Havilah Cunnington about her book, Stronger than the Struggle: Uncomplicating Your Spiritual Battle. (Click here to read more.)

Here’s One Strategy for Reading the Bible Without Distractions This Year: Most people learn and retain information better when reading and listening simultaneously. That’s exactly what our new free Bible Audio App is designed to do. It provides the words as it reads them to you. You can download the Bible Audio App on your mobile device in iOS or Android and listen wherever you go!  (Click here to read more.)

Scripture Engagement Compared to Bible Study: Scripture engagement is not the same thing as studying the Bible. It is a complement to deep study of the Scriptures. (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 anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Financial Peace University

What if you knew where all of your money was going each month? What if you were debt-free, investing and making wise spending decisions? With Dave Ramsey’s class Financial Peace University, you CAN take control of your money and start planning for your future.

Financial Peace University begins January 28 at 3:00 pm. It will be hosted by the New City Church and will meet at Golden Hills SDA Church located at 3005 Golden Blvd., Bellevue, NE. To sign up, click here. For more information, message Erin (e-mail or 402-880-7855).

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:16 pm                                                           

This Sabbath at Church:

    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class – Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (Church Sanctuary, 10:00 am (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class – Studying the New Testament books 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Jude using the book Exploring the Letters of John & Jude by George Knight (Hearth Room, 10:00 am. The emphasis is on making it relevant with personal application for each class member. Hard copies of the book will be available at class but if you wish to purchase one for your tablet – click here for a Kindle, click here for I-Tunes, and click here for a Nook.)
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, John Stroman will share a sermon titled Poor Me, Pour Me. We will be reviewing some of the experiences from the recent Phoenix Pathway to Health; but in a bigger picture, we will look into this choice through the eyes of someone who could have fallen into either category. Through this, we will examine our own choices and some of the possible outcomes for Poor Me or Pour Me.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled The End – The Beginning! click here.
    • Children’s Church in the Fellowship Hall this Sabbath at 11:15 am.
    • Pathfinder Area PBE this Sabbath afternoon at 2:00 pm right here at our church.

Children’s/Youth Baptismal Study Class meets this Monday (Jan 15) at 6:00 pm in the Pastor’s Study. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Jan. 15) at 6:30 pm. 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 this Tuesday (Jan. 16). We continue our Study of Daniel. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Financial Peace University begins January 28 at 3:00 pm. It will be hosted by the New City Church and will meet at Golden Hills SDA Church located at 3005 Golden Blvd., Bellevue, NE. To sign up, click here. For more information, message Erin (e-mail or 402-880-7855).

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Important Needs for Omaha Refugees: Omaha has a large number of refugees from several countries – many of them Adventist. Branden Watson, a student at Union College is heading up a program to help them find places to live and items to furnish their living spaces. They need gently used furniture (sofas, chairs, tables, shelves, lamps, beds. etc.). If you have some things to donate, please contact Branden at (314) 520-6039.

It is Written Mission Trips: It is Written is sponsoring three mission trips in 2018. Click on the trips below to see more information on each one.

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.

Books Needed: If you have any extra copies of books such as Desire of Ages, Steps to Christ, Great Controversy, etc. around your home and would like to see them put to good use, please bring them to the church and they will be shared with interested people in our community.

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  2017, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2016, click here. To access a PDF copy of all the updates we received prior to 2016 (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.

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.

Eye Tip (Courtesy of Christian Record Services for the Blind)

Gene Therapy That Treats Rare Blindness Gains FDA Approval: The Food and Drug Administration approved a new gene therapy called Luxturna for the treatment of a rare, hereditary type of vision loss on December 19, marking the first time therapy for a specific gene mutation has cleared the FDA’s approval process. Produced by Spark Therapeutics, Luxturna is intended to treat a condition called biallelic RPE65 mutation-associated retinal dystrophy, which affects between 1,000 to 2,000 people in the U.S. and is marked by a progressive form of vision loss that often leads to blindness. People with biallelic mutations have a defect in both copies of a specific gene in the retina. The newly approved gene therapy, which is administered by a surgeon, provides instructions to the faulty retinal genes, essentially casting off the defects and replacing them with healthy genes. Learn more about this therapy through Vital Updates by clicking here.

 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. These need to be finished by October 1, 2017.

Even if you have recently completed this process with Shield the Vulnerable, you need to do this now with Verified Volunteers because the information did not transfer from one program to the other and we are no longer using Shield the Vulnerable due to many problems with their work.

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 The End – The Beginning! 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.)
    • Sheila’s brother, Paul, who is fighting cancer.
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Tom Plant, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. is studying with)
    • The Lippincott Family – Lorilee has been seriously ill and it has caused them to suspend their work for a time. To see their most recent update, click here.
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Steve Newton (and family)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Marilyn Sabata, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), and Cindy Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastor T’s Contact Information

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.

This Week at Golden Hills: Jan. 6, 2018

Web Master - Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The End – The Beginning!

With Jesus’ death, His followers felt like all their hopes and dreams had ended in vain. Their thoughts are summed up in this statement made to Jesus when He appeared to the two disciples heading home to Emmaus following the Passover weekend:

“We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel.” (Luke 24:21, NLT)

They had forgotten that Jesus had told them on several occasions that He would rise again. They had forgotten the lessons He taught them, such as:

“I will be with you only a little longer … So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:33-35, NLT)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12, NLT)

“No, I will not abandon you as orphans – I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:18-20, NLT)

And these were things He told them just a little bit before His arrest!

What they didn’t realize, was this apparent ending, was just the beginning of something so huge, it would radically change lives and even topple kingdoms – even on down to our times.

The Book of Acts is the story of this beginning. As we examine it together over the next few months, my prayer is that it will make a difference in our lives, just like it did in theirs.

Hope you’ll be with us for this journey!

New Sermon Series – Acts

This Sabbath, we will begin a new series on the Book of Acts. We will look at the history of the early church and try to understand what made it so successful in sharing the Good News about Jesus. Pastor T’s first sermon in this series is titled The End – The Beginning and is based on Acts 1.

The Acts of the Apostles gives a wonderful commentary on the material we will be covering, to access it on-line, click here. For this week’s sermon, you may want to read Chapter 1, God's Purpose for His Church, Chapter 2, The Training of the Twelve, and Chapter 3, The Great Commission.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

What Can We Learn from the Bad Guys of the Bible? Do we have anything in common with the bad guys of the Bible? How do we guard against the sins of wrath, idolatry, and abuse of power? How can we learn at the warnings of lives gone wrong? Bible Gateway interviewed JR. Forasteros about his book, Empathy for the Devil: Finding Ourselves in the Villans of the Bible. (Click here to read more.)

Atheist Flag to Be Raised Over Ten Commandments Monument: In Somersworth, New Hampshire, two opposing symbols will share the same public space during January. (Click here to read more.)

Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2017: Each year, on an almost daily basis, archaeological discoveries help us better understand the Bible and affirm its details about people, events, and culture. Here are top excavation findings reported in 2017 which have increased our knowledge of the biblical world and the early history of Christianity. (Click here to read more.)

Browse the Biblical Archaeology section in the Bible Gateway Store by clicking here.

Plan Now to Read the Bible in 2018: Do you want 2018 to be the year you really get to know the Bible? Get a jump on your New Year resolutions right now by choosing the Bible Gateway Bible reading plan that's right for you! (Click here to explore options.)

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 anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:09 pm                                                           

This Sabbath at Church:

    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class – Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (Church Sanctuary, 10:00 am (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class – Studying the New Testament books 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Jude using the book Exploring the Letters of John & Jude by George Knight (Hearth Room, 10:00 am. The emphasis is on making it relevant with personal application for each class member. Hard copies of the book will be available at class but if you wish to purchase one for your tablet – click here for a Kindle, click here for I-Tunes, and click here for a Nook.)
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, we will begin a new series on the Book of Acts. We will look at the history of the early church and try to understand what made it so successful in sharing the Good News about Jesus. Pastor T’s sermon is titled The End – The Beginning and is based on Acts 1.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Hanging Out! click here.
    • Potluck Following Church 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!

Children’s/Youth Baptismal Study Class meets this Monday (Jan 8) at 6:00 pm in the Pastor’s Study. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Jan. 8) at 6:30 pm. 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 this Tuesday (Jan. 9). We will resume our Study of Daniel beginning at Chapter 5. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Church Board meets Tuesday (Jan. 9) 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).

Grief Education and Support Program

John A Gentleman Mortuaries offers three free sessions a week to help adults who have experienced a recent death. Their current series focuses on the progression of grieving (“How long does this take?”). The will also look at how to regain your motivation during the winter months and buck the blues. Joining this support group will give you a chance to meet many wonderful people who understand what you are feeling and who will walk with you as you move through your grief. For more information or to register call 402-391-1664 and ask for Rich Hopkins. The sessions are listed below.

    • Tuesday Afternoons: 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Bellevue/Sarpy Chapel (3402 Samson Way, Bellevue), begins January 9 and ends February 13, 2018.
    • Wednesday Afternoons: 2:00 – 3:15 pm, 72nd Street Chapel (1010 N. 72nd Street,, Omaha), begins January 10 and ends February 14, 2018.
    • Thursday Evenings: 6:30 – 7:45 pm, Pacific Street Chapel (14151 Pacific Street, Omaha), begins January 11 and ends February 15, 2018.

Faith for Today

Faith for Today is a television ministry committed to sharing God's grace with the world through broadcast media. That’s been our vision since 1950, when Faith for Today launched its live inspirational television drama on ABC from New York City. That was more than 60 years ago, and we are now the oldest religious television broadcast in the world!

Lifestyle Magazine is a half hour television talk show focused on living a full, healthy and balanced life.  It is the second longest show on air after “Meet the Press.”  The show features panel discussions, interviews and demonstration segments focused on whole life health, which includes fitness, nutrition, relationships, outlook and more ways to promote overall health.  This multiple award-winning show reaches a wide age demographic and covers a wide variety of topics and was recently voted a Top 20 brand influencer for health & fitness on Twitter (above Shape Magazine, GQ and more) by analyst group Onalytica.

The award winning “Lifestyle Magazine” can be seen on the NRB network on DirecTV on Tuesdays at 4:30pm EDT on channel 378 and Sky Angel 1 on Saturday and Sundays at 3pm and on Thursdays at 2:30pm. You can also see it on DISH, the Hope Channel and many other stations.

For more information go to Lifestyle.org or call our office at 805-955-7681.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Important Needs for Omaha Refugees: Omaha has a large number of refugees from several countries – many of them Adventist. Branden Watson, a student at Union College is heading up a program to help them find places to live and items to furnish their living spaces. They need gently used furniture (sofas, chairs, tables, shelves, lamps, beds. etc.). If you have some things to donate, please contact Branden at (314) 520-6039.

It is Written Mission Trips: It is Written is sponsoring three mission trips in 2018. Click on the trips below to see more information on each one.

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.

Books Needed: If you have any extra copies of books such as Desire of Ages, Steps to Christ, Great Controversy, etc. around your home and would like to see them put to good use, please bring them to the church and they will be shared with interested people in our community.

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  2017, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2016, click here. To access a PDF copy of all the updates we received prior to 2016 (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.

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.

Eye Tip (Courtesy of Christian Record Services for the Blind)

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month: Currently, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma.  The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase. Glaucoma is called "the sneak thief of sight" since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it's permanent.  As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing. Learn more via the Glaucoma Research Foundation by clicking here.

 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. These need to be finished by October 1, 2017.

Even if you have recently completed this process with Shield the Vulnerable, you need to do this now with Verified Volunteers because the information did not transfer from one program to the other and we are no longer using Shield the Vulnerable due to many problems with their work.

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 Hanging Out! 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.)
    • Tanner Knutson
    • Sheila’s brother, Paul, who is fighting cancer.
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Tom Plant, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. is studying with)
    • The Lippincott Family – Lorilee has been seriously ill and it has caused them to suspend their work for a time. To see their most recent update, click here.
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Steve Newton (and family)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Marilyn Sabata, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), and Cindy Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastor T’s Contact Information

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