Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills, July 6, 2013

Web Master - Thursday, July 04, 2013

The Cost of Freedom

Today is the 4th of July! In some ways it is a bit ironic that we celebrate an event that cost so many people their lives with things that reflect comfort, indulgence, and relative wealth. For most it is a day to have fun rather than a day for remembering and appreciating the costly sacrifices made in our behalf. It is so easy for most of us to take our freedom for granted. 

This is especially true in a spiritual sense. We take the gift if freedom from sin for granted. Because sin has become so familiar that we don’t realize how evil and destructive it is – and how much we need to be rescued; we often fail to consider what our freedom cost God and as a result don't really appreciate His sacrifice and gift. 

The Old Testament clearly presents the cost of our salvation in the prophecy of Jesus’ suffering found in Isaiah 53. By comparing the life and death of Jesus with this passage we find compelling evidence that Jesus was in fact the Messiah. Consider these selections (quoted from The Voice, a new Bible translation that uses our current English):

So he was despised and forsaken by men … it was our suffering he carried … he was hurt because of us … Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him … the injuries he suffered became our healing. We all have wandered off, like shepherdless sheep, scattered by our aimless striving and endless pursuits; The Eternal One laid on him, this silent sufferer, the sins of us all … They snuffed out his life.  And when he was dead, he was buried with the disgraced in borrowed space (among the rich), Even though he did no wrong by word or deed.

… God says, “My just servant will justify countless others by taking on their punishment and bearing it away … he took on himself the sin of many and acted on behalf of those who broke My law.” (Isaiah 53:1-12, The Voice)

Paul tells us that: 

At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:6-10, NIV)

Today, as we celebrate freedom, let us pause to remember the cost (countless lives sacrificed). And let us especially remember the Sacrifice of God. We must never forget what Jesus endured to provide us the gift of freedom from sin; for now, and forever!

This Sabbath’s Worship Service

This Sabbath’s my sermon is titled “The Cost of Freedom” and is based on Isaiah 53, John 8:31-36, John 14:5-7, Romans 5:1-11, and Romans 8:1-4.

Potluck after Church this Sabbath

This Sabbath we will host a Potluck after Church in the Fellowship Hall. If you are 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! For more information contact Hope by phone at 402-292-8280 or by email by clicking here.

Tuesday Evening Ladies Group

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm, a group of ladies from our church meets together in the Hearth Room to share, pray, and study. They are going through the book, Adventurous Prayer by Women of Faith. All ladies are welcome to come and to bring friends. For more information contact Pat Martinsen (to email click here; to phone 402-517-8836).

Church Board Meeting

Church Board will meet this coming Tuesday, July 9 at 7:00 pm in the Board Room of the Education Annex. If you have any items that need to be considered there, please contact our Head Elder, Steve Wilhelmsen (email: click here, phone: 402-708-2730) or contact me (email: click here, phone: 402-517-5333).

Prayer Meeting

Prayer Meeting takes place every Wednesday evening. A light supper of soup and bread is served at 5:30 pm so you can come straight from work. Our study begins at 6:00 pm and ends promptly at 7:00 pm. Next Wednesday (July 10) we will explore Psalm 71.

Mike Newman’s Memorial Service

There will be a Memorial Service for Mike Newman at our church in a week and a half some time on Sabbath Afternoon, July 13. There will be more details coming as we get closer.

Chris Klesh Update

Chris is in the hospital again and is expected to be there for a couple of months while they try to get his pressure sores to heal. He is in danger of losing his toes or feet also. He is a bit discouraged and I know would love to receive some encouraging communications. Mail is better than a phone call, but I have included the number to his hospital room in case you feel impressed by God’s Spirit to call. His mailing address is: Chris Klesh, Room 129, St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, 555 So. 70th, Lincoln, NE 68510. The phone number there is 402-219-8129.  

Omaha Memorial Adventist School Information

The Omaha Memorial Adventist School is now accepting applications for the 2013-14 School Year.  Please contact Debra Dehning at 402-571-9899 for enrollment information.  Plan now to reserve a place for your student's future! For more information click here.

Church Directory

We are in the process of taking photos and updating information for an updated Church Directory. Bill Maxey is taking pictures in the Fellowship Hall at various times Sabbath Morning. Please connect with him to get your picture done and your personal information updated.

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. (email click here, phone 402-517-5333)

  • Amy Newman – As she continue to get things in order following Mike’s death (see above)
  • Chris Klesh and his family – See note above

This Week at Golden Hills, June 29, 2013

Web Master - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Trouble

As I have been trying to write this today, I have been bombarded with bad news and a seemingly hopeless situation regarding a person I have grown to love and value since coming here to Nebraska. Due to my recent bout with illness, I have been unable to be personally involved other than phone calls and prayer.

I am being reminded again of the real battle going on for our allegiance and both the wickedness and cruelness of our enemy. The Bible tells us to:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9, NKJV)

There are times that I have no answers to suffering; I cannot make sense of it – except in the context of this passage. We have an enemy whose goal is to destroy us; and, he seems to enjoy making us suffer as much as possible in the process.

And, at this moment I have two choices. I can focus on the pain and suffering and allow it to fill my heart, pushing God out. Or, I can follow the words brought to me by James, the brother of Jesus – who was familiar with suffering himself:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. … Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:7-10, NIV)

My only chance at victory is to submit myself to God. This doesn’t mean that I get to dictate the outcome or to exercise any control. It simply means that I will come to God, submitting myself to His heart of love leaving all the consequences in His capable hands. While I may not understand many things, I can understand and trust that He loves us and will always be at work for our God.

Jesus’ last words of teaching to His disciples before His arrest and crucifixion are found at the end of John 16:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 15:33, NIV)

Because of Jesus death and resurrection, this enemy will be destroyed; the world will be made new again. Days like today remind me of how much I am looking forward to that time!

 VBS is Going Great!

There have been more than 25 kids, along with several adults, attending VBS each night so far. There are still three more nights. I personally appreciate every one of the volunteers who is working to make this a great week for our children! It’s not too late to join us for the rest of the week!! If you have any questions, please contact Mereta (email click here: phone 402-657-2269).

Prayer Meeting

Prayer Meeting will not meet tonight due to our on-going VBS program this week. Due to the holidays surrounding July 4 we will also not meet next Wednesday evening (July 3). We will pick up again on July 10 with Psalm 71.

Elders’ Meet and Pray Time

This Sabbath morning at 9:00 am in the Hearth Room, the Elders will meet to share and to pray. If there is something that you wish for us to pray about, please contact me (or any of the Elders).

This Sabbath’s Worship Service

This Sabbath’s Pastor T’s message is titled “Compassionate and Gracious” and is based on the experience Moses had with God recorded in Exodus 33 and 34.

Tuesday Evening Ladies Group

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm, a group of ladies from our church meets together in the Hearth Room to share, pray, and study. They are going through the book, Adventurous Prayer by Women of Faith. All ladies are welcome to come and to bring friends. For more information contact Pat Martinsen (to email click here; to phone 402-517-8836).

Andrews Study Bible Available

We are coming up on the last few days to order a copy of The Andrews Study Bible. It includes the complete text of the New King James Version along with comprehensive study guides. It is available to us in three styles, Hard Cover ($33.74 – discounted cost), Black Leather ($67.49 – discounted cost) or Burgundy Leather ($67.49 – discounted cost). If you would like to buy one send me an email (click here) letting me know which one you would like or give me a call (402-517-5333). The order deadline is July 1 which is this Monday.

Church Directory

We are in the process of taking photos and updating information for an updated Church Directory. Bill Maxey is taking pictures in the Fellowship Hall at various times Sabbath Morning. Please connect with him to get your picture done and your personal information updated.

Camp Meeting CDs and DVDs

They are still making Camp Meeting available through CD or DVD; to view information, click here. If you are interested seeing the presentation by Rita Hoshino portraying Ellen White (which was very good) you need to order the Sabbath School DVD. The afternoon session was not recorded but you can watch a You Tube presentation of her work by clicking here. For more information about her click here, to contact her 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. (email click here, phone 402-517-5333)

  • Eirene: She is the daughter-in-law of Lori’s good friend and mother of two small girls. She had surgery and is still in a coma. They were able to remove 70% of the tumor.
  • Amy Newman – As most of you know, Amy’s husband, Mike, died last week. Amy needs our continuing prayers and support.
  • Chris Klesh and his family – He is in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lincoln (402-219-8129) and will be there a couple of months. At the moment, he is feeling completely hopeless and wants to die.

This Week at Golden Hills, June 22, 2013

Web Master - Thursday, June 20, 2013

A New Place!

I have been thinking about being sick for a while – maybe because I have been. Don’t worry; I’m not going to try to make you feel sorry for me by giving you a list of all the things I am dealing with. I have been around enough people with real health problems to know that overall; I’m not in real bad shape.

When I am sick, what I really am thinking about is “How can I get well?” For those first couple of days after coming down with the flu I wonder if I will ever feel ok again – it’s easy to forget how bad you can really feel. And then as the days drag on and I just don’t have any energy I start thinking about all the healthy things I can do so that I won’t ever get sick again. After a few more days, when I’m feeling a lot better, I stop thinking about health again – I have other things on my mind.

I know many who suffer from chronic conditions and never really feel well. They are sick continually or in pain so often that it almost seems normal. They can hardly remember what it feels like to be well.

This is a lot like sin. It is a disease that works in every corner of our lives. We have become so accustomed to it that it often times seems normal. And only when something especially painful happens – broken relationships, sickness, disasters, death, etc. – are we reminded that things in this world are not right – we are not living life as God designed it to be lived.

It is at those moments, when we are longing for a better place that our thoughts often turn to God. These words in Revelation speak of a time, not far distant (actually no further away to you than your lifetime), when God will restore the earth and His people, wiping out the this disease that plagues us all, sin.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4, NIV)

I think what we experience here is the exception rather than the rule of the universe. This one small place is out of step with God. I am looking forward to experiencing life as God originally designed it. I am anxious to know Him now, to learn to trust Him enough so that as He applies His healing principles to my life, I embrace them.

I can hardly imagine what it will feel like to live with a different normal, where it is normal to physically be in God’s presence; where radiant health is normal, peace and self-sacrificing love are normal, and the disharmony of sin will never again raise its ugly head! But, I want to find out; I want to experience it – how about you?

King's Heralds Coming This Sabbath!

This Sabbath’s Worship Service (June 22) will be presented by the King’s Heralds Quartet. We look forward to a great service with good music, one that many of our friends, relatives, and neighbors may enjoy.

VBS is Next Week!

VBS begins this Monday evening and will go through Friday evening! Each session will begin at 5:30 pm and end at 8:00 pm. This year’s theme is Kingdom Rock. If your child is planning to attend but has not yet registered, please do so right away by clicking here.

There is still a lot of work to do in setting up for it. If you can help anytime on Sunday afternoon, beginning at 1:00 pm, or if you have any questions, contact Mereta (to email click here: to phone 402-657-2269).

Tuesday Evening Ladies Group

Our Tuesday Evening Ladies Group will not meet next week due to VBS. They will pick up again on July 2.

Prayer Meeting

Prayer Meeting will not meet next week due to VBS or the following week due to the holidays surround July 4. We will pick up again on July 10 with Psalm 71.

Ride Needed to Church

Elma Johannessen's normal ride to church will not be available during the month of July.  Anyone who can drive by the apartment complex just east of the Chandler off-ramp from Kennedy Freeway (Hwy 75) is asked to consider giving her a ride - even if for only one or two of the Sabbath's. If you can help, call her at 402-619-9095.

Andrews Study Bible Available

The Andrews Study Bible is being made available to church members for a 25% discount (if enough of our members order one). It includes the complete text of the New King James Version along with comprehensive study guides. It will be available to us in three styles, Hard Cover ($33.74 – discounted cost), Black Leather ($67.49 – discounted cost) or Burgundy Leather ($67.49 – discounted cost). If you would like to buy one send me an email (click here) letting me know which one you would like or give me a call (402-517-5333). The order deadline is July 1.

Church Directory

We are in the process of taking photos and updating information for an updated Church Directory. Bill Maxey is taking pictures in the Fellowship Hall at various times Sabbath Morning. Please connect with him to get your picture done and your personal information updated.

Camp Meeting CDs and DVDs

 If you missed Camp Meeting and want to order some of the sessions on CD or DVD, click here. If you are interested seeing the presentation by Rita Hoshino portraying Ellen White (which was very good) you would need to order the Sabbath School DVD. The afternoon session was not recorded but you can watch a You Tube presentation of her work (at another Camp Meeting) by clicking here. For more information about her click here, to contact her 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. (email click here, phone 402-517-5333)

  • Eirene: She is the daughter-in-law of Lori’s good friend and mother of two small girls is undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor.
  • Amy Newman – Mike died Wednesday
  • Chris Klesh and his family – He is back in the hospital in Lincoln and will be having surgery on Thursday morning. He is expected to stay in the hospital for at least a couple of months. When I get his address there, I will let you know in case you would like to send him a note of encouragement.
  • The Panker Family – This is a family that Steve Hasse is working with and they are still in need of our prayers and support

This Week at Golden Hills, June 15, 2013

Web Master - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Just Walk Across the Room

I just finished the book Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels a couple of days ago. I have been moved and inspired by this book in ways that few books, other than the Bible, have moved me. I will be preaching a sermon series on this before to long.

The basic premise of the book is this. God has put us all where we are for a reason (work, neighborhood, school, etc.). If we will ask God to open our hearts to the leading of His Spirit, He will show us how to love those people we meet on a daily basis and give us opportunities to point them to Him.

Just to get you thinking more about this, here are excerpts from a few paragraphs in the book (pages 178-180).

I am deeply moved each time I read the gospel accounts that show Jesus accepting, including, and deeply loving people. Wherever he went, whomever he met – despite age, race, gender, social standing, and moral failings – Jesus always exhibited “radical inclusiveness”. … “Come as you are!” he would say time and time again. “The door to the kingdom is open to you … yes, even you!”

Oh, if only my arms could be as wide open as his! If only I enfolded people with the care and compassion that he exhibited. Just imagine what would happen in our churches if every real estate broker, carpenter, airline pilot, lawyer, homemaker, business person among us said, “I love my job because I’m in the people business. Yeah my pay stub is from XYZ Corporation, but my mission is from Christ. Because of that, I try to show Christ’s care for people by throwing open my arms to the lost and the found. To the black and the white. To the rich and the poor. To the young and the old, all the while asking the Holy Spirit what he wants me to say and what he wants me to do. …

In his life and in his death, Jesus deftly and ruthlessly protected his people-priority. His every word and every action proclaimed, There is nothing better than pouring your life into the goal of welcoming home a wandering soul! In fact, in Luke 15:10 Jesus said in essence, “All the courts of heaven erupt in cosmic celebration when a single, sin-infested human being bends the knee in repentance and faith!” The Father’s heart explodes in joy, Jesus said, over every human reclamation. Every single one!

Think about this for a minute. Do you believe this about your own process of redemption? The day you chose to submit your life to the God of the universe who created you, the entire population of heaven rose to their feet in joyous, thundering applause. Just imagine what life would be like if you lived with this same exuberance for reclaiming God’s people for him!

Prayer Meeting Tonight

Prayer Meeting takes place every Wednesday evening. A light supper of haystacks is served at 5:30 pm so you can come straight from work. Our study begins at 6:00 pm and ends promptly at 7:00 pm. Tonight (June 12) we will explore Psalm 69. Next Wednesday (June 19) we will explore Psalm 70. We would love to have you come and fellowship with us!

This Sabbath’s Worship Service

This week, in a sermon titled “The Breakfast of Champions” I will share some thoughts from my personal devotional life to give some ideas on what you can do to connect more personally with Jesus. Here is a list of the passage I will be referencing in case you would like read ahead: Joshua 1:5-9; Psalm 51:10-12; Isaiah 40:28-31, 41:10 & 13; Jeremiah 31:33-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Matthew 11:28-30; John 13:34-35; Romans 5:6-10; Philippians 4:4-9; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 John 5:10-13; 2 Peter 3:3-15; and Revelation 21:1-8.

Tuesday Evening Ladies Group

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm, a group of ladies from our church meets together in the Hearth Room to share, pray, and study. They are going through the book, Adventurous Prayer by Women of Faith. All ladies are welcome to come and to bring friends. For more information contact Pat Martinsen (to email click here; to phone 402-517-8836).

Church Board Meeting

Our Church Board was postponed last week and will meet this next Tuesday (June 18) evening in the Fellowship Hall at 7:00 pm. We appreciate each one who gives of their time to help guide our church. If you have something you need the board to discuss, please get a hold of our Board Chairman, Steve Wilhelmsen (to email click here, to phone 402-708-2730).

King’s Heralds in Concert

One week from Sabbath (On June 22) we will host the King’s Heralds Quartet in concert for our worship service. It will be a great concert, one that many of our friends and relatives may enjoy.

Andrews Study Bible Available

The Andrews Study Bible is being made available to church members for a 25% discount (if enough of our members order one). It includes the complete text of the New King James Version along with comprehensive study guides. It will be available to us in three styles, Hard Cover ($33.74 – discounted cost), Black Leather ($67.49 – discounted cost) or Burgundy Leather ($67.49 – discounted cost). If you would like to buy one send me an email (click here) letting me know which one you would like or give me a call (402-517-5333). There will be an insert in this week’s bulletin with more information.

VBS Coming Soon

VBS begins in a week and a half – Monday, June 24 through Friday, June 28. Each session will begin at 5:30 pm and end at 8:00 pm. This year’s theme is Kingdom Rock. It is important for us to know who will be attending so if your children plan to attend, please register them by clicking here. We are also in need of more volunteers. To volunteer or for more information contact Mereta Post (to email click here: to phone 402-657-2269).

Church Directory

We are in the process of taking photos and updating information for an updated Church Directory. Bill Maxey is taking pictures in the Fellowship Hall at various times Sabbath Morning. Please connect with him to get your picture done and your personal information updated.

This Week at Golden Hills, June 8, 2013

Web Master - Wednesday, June 05, 2013

God says … But!

For the last couple of days my daily readings in the book My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers, have focused on Hebrews 13, verses five and six.

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6, NIV)

I am ashamed to admit how many times I have actually lived my life as it this is not true. When something comes my way that is unexpected and hard to handle I am tempted to think that somehow God is absent, not watching over me like He promised He would – and I sometimes even find myself panicking.

It is easy for me to think that I have to figure it out, I have to take care of it, I have to handle it – and lots of times I don’t have a clue. I often borrow trouble by worrying about what I have to do tomorrow or what tomorrow might bring. In my mind I often see lots of possible outcomes – most of them bad – and through all of this I am in danger of worrying myself right out of God’s hand.

Am I alone in this? Do you struggle with this too? Am I the only one who often feels inadequate to the job I have today and many times focus on my lack of ability rather than on God’s presence and promise of help? One of my absolute favorite promises is found in Isaiah 41:

“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)

Perhaps it is time to quit focusing on my limitations and look instead at God’s promises. If we believe that God means what He said (the only other option is to call Him a liar), our lives would be so much simpler. Not that our troubles would go away, just that we would focus on God and His solutions rather than spending lots of fruitless time worrying and running down dead-end paths.

Thank you Lord for promising to always be with me; please help me to trust in your heart of love!

Prayer Meeting Tonight

Prayer Meeting takes place every Wednesday evening. A light supper of soup and bread is served at 5:30 pm so you can come straight from work. Our study begins at 6:00 pm and ends promptly at 7:00 pm. Tonight (June 5) we will explore Psalm 68. Next Wednesday (June 12) we will explore Psalm 69. We would love to have you come and fellowship with us!

This Sabbath’s Worship Service

This week, John Stroman will examine the idea of  a "Christian Special Olympics" as he does a character study of a man named Demas, in a message entitled "Don't Duplicate the Downhill Demise of  Demas".  If you want to read ahead, read the book of Philemon, Colossians 4, 2 Timothy 4, and Hebrews 12:1-3.

Ice Cream Social Saturday Night

This Sabbath evening, beginning at 7:00 pm we will have an ice cream social in the Fellowship Hall. Bring your family and friends (along with your favorite ice cream topping) and enjoy the fun. For more information contact Hope Harrison (email click here, phone 402-292-8280)

Tuesday Evening Ladies Group

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm, a group of ladies from our church meets together in the Hearth Room to share, pray, and study. They are going through the book, Adventurous Prayer by Women of Faith. All ladies are welcome to come and to bring friends. For more information contact Pat Martinsen (to email click here; to phone 402-517-8836).

Church Board Meeting

Our Church Board will meet next Tuesday evening in the Fellowship Hall at 7:00 pm. We appreciate each one who gives of their time to help guide our church. If you have something you need the board to discuss, please get a hold of our Board Chairman, Steve Wilhelmsen (to email click here, to phone 402-708-2730).

Andrews Study Bible Available

The Andrews Study Bible is being made available to church members for a 25% discount (if enough of our members order one). It includes the complete text of the New King James Version along with comprehensive study guides. It will be available to us in three styles, Hard Cover ($33.74 – discounted cost), Black Leather ($67.49 – discounted cost) or Burgundy Leather ($67.49 – discounted cost). If you would like to buy one send me an email (click here) letting me know which one you would like or give me a call (402-517-5333). There will be an insert in this week’s bulletin with more information.

VBS Coming Soon

VBS begins in two and a half weeks – Monday, June 24 through Friday, June 28. Each session will begin at 5:30 pm and end at 8:00 pm. This year’s theme is Kingdom Rock. It is important for us to know who will be attending so if your children plan to attend, please register them by clicking here. We are also in need of more volunteers. To volunteer or for more information contact Mereta Post (to email click here: to phone 402-657-2269).

Church Directory

We are in the process of taking photos and updating information for an updated Church Directory. Bill Maxey is taking pictures in the Fellowship Hall at various times Sabbath Morning. Please connect with him to get your picture done and your personal information updated.

This Week at Golden Hills, June 1, 2013

Web Master - Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day – Forever!

We just celebrated Memorial Day, which is a special time for us to remember those who have given their lives so that we can live in freedom and peace. More than 1.3 million people have died in service to our country through the years. More than 1.5 million have been wounded. And, over 38,000 are missing – presumably dead, but unaccounted for. To me this is mind boggling.

In some way, these people are examples of Jesus. He gave His life not just so that we could enjoy a few years of freedom on this earth, but so we could have an eternity to look forward to! His selfless act changed the course of history in that it provided us with an alternate ending. Without His sacrifice, we would be doomed to miss out on eternity, slaves to sin and Satan. By His sacrifice He has set us free from sin and death, offering us eternity as a gift of His love!

We have a weekly memorial of His love and re-creative power, a memorial that will be celebrated through-out eternity (see Isaiah 66:22-23). God has given us the Sabbath each week as an opportunity to develop a deeper connection with Him! It’s a day to remind us that He has all the power and strength needed to see us through this life into the next. It’s a day to rest in that power and the knowledge that Jesus has done everything needful for our salvation – all we need to do is embrace Him, salvation is included!

What we do with this Memorial Day is much more important than how we celebrate the holiday that just passed. Take advantage of this gift of time that God has given you – use it to get to know Him!

Prayer Meeting Tonight

Prayer Meeting takes place every Wednesday evening. A light supper of soup and bread is served at 5:30 pm so you can come straight from work. Our study begins at 6:00 pm and ends promptly at 7:00 pm. Tonight (May 29) we will explore Psalm 67. Next Wednesday (June 5) we will explore Psalm 68. We would love to have you come and fellowship with us!

Camp Meeting Begins Tonight

Camp Meeting begins tonight (May 29 – June 1) on the campus of Union College in Lincoln - for detailed information click here. If you can spare some time to enjoy this special yearly event, I would encourage you to make the effort, you will be blessed!

This Sabbath’s Worship Service

Because Camp Meeting is taking place this Sabbath, our attendance is usually small. While it won’t be business as usual, there will be Sabbath School for any of the children that show up and we will have an informal worship service together. If you can’t make it to Lincoln for Camp Meeting, come on over with some food (we are planning on potluck), we’ll have a great time!

Tuesday Evening Ladies Group

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm, a group of ladies from our church meets together in the Hearth Room to share, pray, and study. They are going through the book, Adventurous Prayer by Women of Faith. All ladies are welcome to come and to bring friends. For more information contact Pat Martinsen (to email click here; to phone 402-517-8836).

VBS Coming Soon

VBS will take place Monday, June 24 through Friday, June 28 this year. Each session will begin at 5:30 pm and end at 8:00 pm. This year’s theme is Kingdom Rock. It is important for us to know who will be attending so if your children plan to attend, please register them by clicking here. We are also in need of more volunteers. To volunteer or for more information contact Mereta Post (to email click here: to phone 402-657-2269).

This Week at Golden Hills, May 25, 2013

Web Master - Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vacation Over - Back Home!

Most of you know that I have been on vacation for the past couple of weeks. Pat and I took my folks down to Cottonwood, Arizona to spend some time with my brother and his family. Meme and Papa got to see two of their grandsons and all four of their great-grandchildren. We had a good time.

Along the way we stopped at Campion Academy, where we all used to live. We drove through Rocky Mountain National Park. We spent a night with Pat’s brother and sister-in-law in Grand Junction, Colorado. And, we drove through some spectacular country from Grand Junction on down through Moab and into Arizona.

As you know, it is great to go on vacation. It’s nice to have a different routine. It’s nice to not have the pressure of work. It’s wonderful to connect with family members that we have not seen for months, some of them years.

But, it’s always nice to come home – especially after two longs days of driving. It’s nice to sleep in our own beds, work in our kitchen, sit in the chairs we have reformed into an image of our backsides, and even to get back into the routine of work. Home feels like the place we belong.

Heaven will be like that. Even though we have never been there and can’t remotely imagine what it will be like; I think it will feel like coming home. We will be comfortable there in ways we cannot imagine. I think we will look back on anything we have experienced here and conclude that however uncomfortable the trip was, whatever we had to experience getting there was a small price to pay.

Jesus said that He was preparing a place for you – a place you can call home for eternity, a place that will fit you perfectly in every way. He said:

“Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. (John 14:1-3, The Voice)

Don’t forget, this world is not really our home, even if where we are at the moment is comfortable. This world, this life we now live, is only the journey that takes us home. Don’t give up before you get there, because there is no place like home!

Prayer Meeting Tonight

Prayer Meeting takes place every Wednesday evening. A light supper of soup and bread is served at 5:30 pm so you can come straight from work. Our study begins at 6:00 pm and ends promptly at 7:00 pm. Tonight (May 22) we will explore Psalm 66. Next Wednesday (May 29) we will explore Psalm 67. We would love to have you come and fellowship with us!

Elders’ Meet and Pray Time

This Sabbath morning at 9:15 am in the Hearth Room, the Elders will meet to share and to pray. If there is something that you wish for us to pray about, please contact me (or any of the Elders).

This Sabbath’s Worship Service

This Sabbath we will share a special tribute to celebrate Memorial Day. I will also preach a short sermon titled “Repentance and Rest.” We will look at salvation from the perspective of God’s message to His people recorded in Isaiah 30:15.

VBS Planning and Training Time

If you will be helping out with VBS this year, there is a special planning/training session this Sunday, May 26 at 1:00 pm. Please plan now to attend this important session! For questions and more information contact Mereta Post (to email click here: to phone 402-657-2269).

Tuesday Evening Ladies Group

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm, a group of ladies from our church meets together in the Hearth Room to share, pray, and study. They are going through the book, Adventurous Prayer by Women of Faith. All ladies are welcome to come and to bring friends. For more information contact Pat Martinsen (to email click here; to phone 402-517-8836).

MLT Meeting, May 28

MLT meets next Tuesday, May 28 at 7:00 pm in the Hearth Room.

Camp Meeting, May 29 – June 1

Camp Meeting begins next week (May 29 – June 1) on the campus of Union College in Lincoln. You may contact Susan Sweigart at the Kansas Nebraska Conference office to reserve a free room in a Union College dormitory (email click here or by phone 785-478-4726). For more information about Camp Meeting click here.

This Week at Golden Hills, May 18, 2013

Web Master - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pastor T, Still on Vacation

Pastor T is still out of the office taking a few days off. He will resume his blog next week. Please contact our Head Elder, Steve Wilhelmsen, in case of an emergency (to email click here; phone 402-708-2730).

Prayer Meeting Tonight

Prayer Meeting takes place every Wednesday evening. A light supper of soup and bread is served at 5:30 pm so you can come straight from work. Our study begins at 6:00 pm and ends promptly at 7:00 pm. Tonight (May 15) we will explore Psalm 65. Next Wednesday (May 22) we will explore Psalm 66. We would love to have you come and fellowship with us!

This Sabbath’s Worship Service

This Sabbath our Adventurer and Pathfinder Clubs will present our Worship Service. Kalvin Tuel, our Pathfinder leader will present the message.

Tuesday Evening Ladies Group

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm, a group of ladies from our church meets together in the Hearth Room to share, pray, and study. They are going through the book, Adventurous Prayer by Women of Faith. All ladies are welcome to come and to bring friends. For more information contact Pat Martinsen (to email click here; to phone 402-517-8836).

VBS Planning and Training Time

If you will be helping out with VBS this year, there is a special planning/training session scheduled for Sunday, May 26 at 1:00 pm. Please plan now to attend this important session! For questions and more information contact Mereta Post (to email click here: to phone 402-657-2269).

Camp Meeting, May 29 – June 1

Camp Meeting will take place May 29 – June 1 on the campus of Union College in Lincoln. You may contact Susan Sweigart at the Kansas Nebraska Conference office to reserve a free room in a Union College dormitory (email click here or by phone 785-478-4726). For more information about Camp Meeting click here.

This Week at Golden Hills, May 11, 2013

Web Master - Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Pastor T on Vacation

Pastor T is taking a few days off and is not writing his blog this week.  Please contact our Head Elder, Steve Wilhelmsen, in case of an emergency (to email click here; phone 402-708-2730).

Prayer Meeting Tonight

Prayer Meeting takes place every Wednesday evening. A light supper of soup and bread is served at 5:30 pm so you can come straight from work. Our study begins at 6:00 pm and ends promptly at 7:00 pm. Tonight (May 8) we will explore Psalm 64. Next Wednesday (May 15) we will explore Psalm 65. We would love to have you come and fellowship with us!

This Sabbath’s Worship Service

This Sabbath Karen Yingst, one of our Elders and our Women’s Ministry Coordinator, will present our sermon. Her title is “Mothers, Who are They?” Of course, you remember that Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday!

Church Game Night

This Saturday night we will enjoy snacks and games in the Fellowship Hall. Come at 7:00 pm with your favorite snacks. For more information contact Hope by phone at 402-292-8280 or by email by clicking here.

Tuesday Evening Ladies Group

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm, a group of ladies from our church meets together in the Hearth Room to share, pray, and study. They are going through the book, Adventurous Prayer by Women of Faith. All ladies are welcome to come and to bring friends. For more information contact Pat Martinsen by phone at 402-517-8836 or by email by clicking here.

Special ADRA Offering this Sabbath

This Sabbath (May 11), we as a church family will be participating in the Disaster and Famine Relief Offering. This special offering is held once a year and will go towards the global ministry of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), helping millions of people in dire need. You can find more about ADRA or donate on-line by clicking here.

Camp Meeting, May 29 – June 1

Camp Meeting will take place May 29 – June 1 on the campus of Union College in Lincoln. You may contact Susan Sweigart at the Kansas Nebraska Conference office to reserve a free room in a Union College dormitory (email click here or by phone 785-478-4726). For more information about Camp Meeting click here.

This Week at Golden Hills, May 4, 2013

Web Master - Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Gift of Fellowship!

Last night at Prayer Meeting as we were praying together and studying Psalm 63 (a great Psalm by the way – you should read it sometime), I was reminded of how blessed I am to have such a great group of people surrounding me!

We have been studying the Psalms now for about 63 weeks. I remember those first few sessions as we were in the process of getting to know each other and figuring out how to pray together. While they were wonderful, meaningful sessions, we had not yet forged the deep relationships that are developing now.

When you share with other loving Christians the concerns of your life, the struggles you go through, and the little victories that God brings into your days; you begin to experience Christian fellowship as it was designed to be. It means a lot to know that if you need it, there are several people who care and will immediately lift you up in prayer. And not only will they pray, but they will do anything they can do to help!

It’s not that any of us are perfect or have it all figured out, it’s just that we can safely share our lives with each other knowing we will find grace and acceptance – we are seeing Jesus’ love in each other!

I know that some of you live too far away to join us on a regular basis – but you are all invited to come and see if this fellowship meets your needs. And for those of you that live too far away, perhaps you would like to get something started in your neighborhood. I would be happy to help you in any way I can.

This is a part of what Jesus was talking about when He gave the “new” commandment while eating supper (fellowshipping) with His disciples just prior to His arrest and death.

“So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.” (John 13:34-35, the Voice)

Fellowship with others is where this begins; it’s pretty hard to find or express this love on your own! God has given us the gift of fellow believers, people who are trying to follow Jesus as they live their lives. Don’t miss out on this great gift, find a way to get together and fellowship with people that will love you in Jesus – it will change your life!

Memorial Service Friday Morning

On Friday morning (May 3) there will be memorial service for Frieda, the mother of Janice Bothel who has been having Bible Studies with Jeanette Sanders and me. The service begins at 11:00 am in our Sanctuary and will be followed by a meal for their family in the fellowship hall. Any of you are welcome to come meet the family and share the fellowship.

This Sabbath’s Worship Service

This Sabbath we will be blessed with a piano concert and special presentation from Mary Grace. She has overcome great adversity and lives her life to honor God. You don’t want to miss this special worship service! It will be a great Sabbath to invite friends and family to join us!

Potluck after Church this Sabbath

This Sabbath we will host a Cinco de Mayo Potluck after Church in the Fellowship Hall. If you are a member, please plan to bring your favorite Mexican-style dish to feed your family plus a few more. If you’re a guest, just show up and enjoy it! For more information contact Hope by phone at 402-292-8280 or by email by clicking here.

Tuesday Evening Ladies Group

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm, a group of ladies from our church meets together in the Hearth Room to share, pray, and study. They are going through the book, Adventurous Prayer by Women of Faith. All ladies are welcome to come and to bring friends. For more information contact Pat Martinsen by phone at 402-517-8836 or by email by clicking here.

Prayer Meeting on Wednesday

Prayer Meeting takes place every Wednesday evening. A light supper of soup and bread is served at 5:30 pm so you can come straight from work. Our study begins at 6:00 pm and ends promptly at 7:00 pm. Next Wednesday (May 8) we will explore Psalm 64. We would love to have you come and fellowship with us!

Special ADRA Offering, May 11

On May 11 we as a church family will be participating in the Disaster and Famine Relief Offering. This special offering is held once a year and will go towards the global ministry of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), helping millions of people in dire need. You can find more about ADRA or donate on-line by clicking here.

Camp Meeting, May 29 – June 1

Camp Meeting will take place May 29 – June 1 on the campus of Union College in Lincoln. You may contact Susan Sweigart at the Kansas Nebraska Conference office to reserve a free room in a Union College dormitory (email click here or by phone 785-478-4726). For more information about Camp Meeting click here.

Hospice Volunteers Needed

Hospice Volunteers are needed to 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. We are specifically looking for volunteer support during day time hours and those willing to do in-home visits. To request an application, please call one of the agencies below:

  • VNA Hospice, Gina Binder (402-930-4143)
  • Methodist Hospice, Angela Wichita (402-354-3200)
  • Alegent Creighton Hospice, Mary Pendell (402-898-8150)

Update on Imprisoned Pastor and Member in Togo

Please click on this link to see the latest information and to sign the petition to release Pastor Antonio Monteiro and church member Bruno Amah from their arbitrary imprisonment in Togo. According to Williams Costa, from the General Conference Ministerial Department, this is a matter of life and death. We need one million signatures.