Pastor Thure Martinsen

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

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: Dec. 30, 2017

Web Master - Wednesday, December 27, 2017

It All Begins!

Here is our final installment of the Christmas story. Let these Scriptures be reminders that Jesus needs to be central in our lives during this time too! To read it in a different translation, just click on the text at the end of each selection.

The Wise Men/Escape to Egypt

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”

King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.” (Matthew 2:1-16, NLT)

God With Us! | from 24-7 Prayer

Take a moment to stop. To be still. To remember the significance of Jesus:

"But the angel said to them: 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people!'” (Luke 2:10, NIV)

As you pray today, give thanks for:

...the truth of these words

...the impact of the birth of Jesus,

...the reality that God is with us, now.

More prayer ideas at 24-7 Prayer, click here. To view a series of short (1-2 minute) video blogs on the real meaning of Christmas, click here. To view the 24-7 Prayer’s YouTube Channel, click here.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

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 checking out these Bible reading plans from Gateway!  (Click here to see them.)

A Tour Through the Bible: Approaching the Bible for the first time can be intimidating. At 66 books, nearly 800,000 words, and numerous kings, prophets, and deliverers, as well as priests and apostles, where should you begin? In what order should you read it? Is there an alternative to reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation? Bible Gateway interviewed John Goldingay about his book, A Reader's Guide to the Bible. (Click here to read more.)

Archaeological Discovery: Biblical City Corinth, Visited by Apostle Paul, Found Underwater: Underwater excavations at Lechaion, the ancient harbor of Corinth, provide insight into engineering by the Roman Empire. Read about Corinth in Smith's Bible Names Dictionary on Bible Gateway by clicking here.

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

Who Was Herod? One of the central figures in the Christmas story is Herod the Great, who was king of the Jews when Jesus was born. Herod and his sons ruled Judea during Jesus’ life and ministry. But who was this man? And why was he so hostile to the news of the birth of Jesus?  (Click here to read more.)

Learn about and download the free award-winning Bible Gateway App by clicking here.

See more Bible-related articles in the Bible News Roundup by clicking here. To subscribe to anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:03 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 conclude our series The Breath of Life. Pastor T’s sermon is titled Hanging Out and will look at what God wants from us more than anything else.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled The Baby Wins! click here.

New Year’s Eve, Sunday, Dec. 31

New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, 2018

No Pathfinders or Adventurers Monday (Jan. 1). 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).

No Prayer Meeting this Tuesday (Jan. 2). We will resume our Study of Daniel on January 9. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

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.

 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 Baby Wins! 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: Dec. 23, 2017

Web Master - Wednesday, December 20, 2017

It All Begins!

Here is the next installment of the Christmas story. Let these Scriptures be reminders that Jesus needs to be central in our lives during this time too! To read it in a different translation, just click on the text at the end of each selection.

Jesus Birth

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. (Luke 2:1-7, NLT)

The Shepherds & Angels

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. (Luke 2:8-20, NLT)

Jesus is for All of Us | from 24-7 Prayer

Often, we forget to think about the big picture of what's happening because of the circumstances around us. As you stop to pray right now, ask God to place a nation in your mind and heart. This might be somewhere you've been before; somewhere that's on the news, or somewhere completely different. Now, lift up those living in that nation. Pray:

    • For the people to be blessed by God.
    • For the Church to shine brightly.
    • For God's Presence to be present in that place.

More prayer ideas at 24-7 Prayer, click here. To view a series of short (1-2 minute) video blogs on the real meaning of Christmas, click here. To view the 24-7 Prayer’s YouTube Channel, click here.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

The Year I Dreaded Christmas: In this Blog post, Walter Wangerin Jr. reflects on his childhood memory of Christmas Eve 1955, as an example of how God’s love breaks into our lonely moments in unexplainable ways. (Click here to read.)

Happy Hanukkah – Know Why It’s Important: The purpose and traditions of Hanukkah are so intriguing, that Christians should appreciate this festival more than a passing acknowledgment of the season. (Click here to read.)

How to (and Why You Should) Live in God’s Presence: Why don't we intentionally experience God's presence more than we do? After all, he's everywhere and always with us. How do life's distractions drown out God's voice? How should we cultivate a life living in God's presence? Bible Gateway interviewed Ken Boa about his book, Life in the Presence of God: Practices for Living in Light of Eternity. (Click here to read more.)

As in the First Creation, God will Re-Create You: Do you desire to change or completely start over? How does the Genesis account of creation reveal a divine sequence applicable for us today? What lessons does the Genesis story teach about abiding in Christ and staying in step with the Holy Spirit? Bible Gateway interviewed Nika Maples about her book, Everyday Genesis: Inviting God to Re-Create You. (Click here to read more.)

Learn about and download the free award-winning Bible Gateway App by clicking here.

See more Bible-related articles in the Bible News Roundup by clicking here. To subscribe to anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 4:58 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, Pastor T will help us look at Christmas from a different perspective in a sermon titled The Baby Wins!

Christmas Eve this Sunday, Dec. 24

Christmas this Monday, Dec. 25

No Pathfinders or Adventurers Monday (Dec. 25). 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.

No Prayer Meeting this Tuesday (Dec. 26). We will resume our Study of Daniel on January 9. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

New Year’s Eve one week from Sunday, Dec. 31

New Year’s Day, one week from Monday, January 1, 2018

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, our guest speaker at church July 8, 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)

Newly Developed Glue Can Seal Eye Injuries in Battlefields in Just Five Minutes: When a soldier sustains a traumatic eye injury on the battlefield, any delay in treatment may lead to permanent vision loss. With medical facilities potentially far away and no existing tools to prevent deterioration, medics are in a high-stakes race against the clock. A multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers at the University of Southern California are close to solving the problem. They have developed a reversible, temperature-sensitive temporary seal that changes from a fluid to a super-strong semi-solid when applied to the eye. When the patient is ready for surgery to permanently close the injury, doctors can remove the seal by adding cool water. Click here to learn more about this temporary treatment option via Daily Accord.

Bonus View – Monthly Giving: Think about the purchases you make on an automatic basis each month. Why not add philanthropy to that list? Become a monthly donor today and empower people who are blind with confidence-building camps and reading services that encourage hope and resiliency. When you commit to a monthly gift of $5 or more by December 31, 2017, you will receive a special 2018 calendar by artist and Christian Record client Marye McKenney. Click here to donate.

 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 – 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: Dec. 16, 2017

Web Master - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It All Begins!

Over these next couple of weeks until Christmas, I will be sharing parts of the Christmas story. Let these Scriptures be reminders that Jesus needs to be central in our lives during this time too! To read it in a different translation, just click on the text at the end of each selection.

The Cousin

When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son. And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.

When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”

“What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.

Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.

Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy:

“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago …

“And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins …” (Luke 1:57-79, NLT)

The Husband

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25, NLT)

Christmas Hope Tree

Gifts must be turned in this weekend! This year we have partnered with the New City Church to provide Christmas to local families through a Hope Tree. Each ornament on the tree represents a gift. Please feel free to take an ornament and purchase the gift(s) listed. Please return each gift ornament with a gift receipt and the unwrapped gift no later than Sunday, December 17. We also have boxes with a list of food items to provide a full Christmas meal. If you would like more information, contact Erin (e-mail or 402-513-1800).

Infinite Empathy | by Ty Gibson | December 4, 2017

Emotions are a mysterious phenomenon. Think about it. A person’s smile has the power to make you feel something pleasant inside. A person’s tears can throw you into tears with them even before you know why they’re crying. The mere fact that another human being is happy or sad somehow impacts your own state of being. Emotions are invisible links of identification with the experiences of others.

How strange.

Or maybe not … (Click here to read more – from the Light Bearers)

Great Joy from the Lord | from 24-7 Prayer

Today, take a moment to focus on joy – Pause and reflect on the significance of joy in this season.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy...” (Psalm 16:11, ESV)

Now, stop and bring to mind someone who you can bring great joy to this week. This could mean simply praying for them; writing them an encouraging message; or even giving an early Christmas gift.

More prayer ideas at 24-7 Prayer, click here. To view a series of short (1-2 minute) video blogs on the real meaning of Christmas, click here. To view the 24-7 Prayer’s YouTube Channel, click here.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

‘That’s What Christmas is All About, Charlie Brown’ December 9, 1965 is when the TV animated special A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered on the CBS network. It has continued to be loved by successive generations for half a century. See the video clip by clicking here.

Why Biblical Archaeology is Important for Your Bible Reading (An Interview with Randall Price): Archaeology uncovers buried civilizations. What does this contribute to our understanding of the Bible written so long ago by so many different people in so many different cultures? Bible Gateway interviewed J. Randall Price, who, along with H. Wayne House, is the author of Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology. (Click here to read more.)

Confidence in Difficulty – Mercy to Carry My Cross: Julia Attaway, contributor to Daily Guideposts 2018: A Spirit-Lifting Devotional (Zondervan, 2017), prays, "Lord, keep me from fighting the cross you have given me and help me to use that energy to carry it instead...."  (Click here to read more.)

Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Because of Bethlehem: An Interview with Max Lucado by clicking here.

Learn about and download the free award-winning Bible Gateway App by clicking here.

See more Bible-related articles in the Bible News Roundup by clicking here. To subscribe to anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Calendar Events

Be our guest! Christian Record Services for the Blind will host a Christmas Open House to celebrate its first year in its office in the Trade Center at 5900 South 58th Street, Suite M in Lincoln (click here for a map). All are welcome this Thursday, December 14, from 1-5 p.m. Guided tours will be offered every 30 minutes, starting from The Space, located next door. Following your tour, visit with Christian Record staff, learn more about the new online library and how you can become a partner or volunteer, and enjoy light refreshments.

Sunset this Friday – 4:56 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 have our annual Christmas Worship Service. Come and enjoy music and thoughts about Jesus’ birth.

Cookie Exchange Social, this Sunday at 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. The theme is Christmas Cookies, plain or fancy. Make 4 dozen of one kind of Homemade cookie. Exchange and take home 4 dozen assorted cookies from the party. Of course, your spouse/significant other is invited. No time to bake? Burnt your cookies? Still want to attend? Please go to a real bakery and get 4 dozen cookies (no store packaged cookies please).

Children’s/Youth Baptismal Study Class meets this Monday (Dec. 18) 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 (Dec. 18) 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).

No Prayer Meeting this Tuesday (Dec. 19). We will resume our Study of Daniel on January 9. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Christmas Eve one week from Sunday, Dec. 24

Christmas, one week from Monday, Dec. 25

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the NAD, will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27see below for more information.

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.

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the North American Division of SDAs (NAD), will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27. 3,500 dental, medical, and non-medical volunteers are needed for potentially 10,000 patients. Bring the whole family and allow each to be the "Gift of Love" to those in need. Individuals 13 years and above may volunteer, and there will be a children's program for those younger. For more information and volunteer registration click here. If you have questions or would like help with registration, arranging lodging, airlines, etc., contact Michael or Debra Dehning (402-639-8996 or e-mail).

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, our guest speaker at church July 8, 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)

Corneal Transplants: The cornea is the clear, front window of the eye. It helps focus light into the eye so that you can see. The cornea is made of layers of cells. These layers work together to protect your eye and provide clear vision. Your cornea must be clear, smooth, and healthy for good vision. If it is scarred, swollen, or damaged, light is not focused properly into the eye. As a result, your vision is blurry, or you see glare. If your cornea cannot be healed or repaired, your ophthalmologist may recommend a corneal transplant. This is when the diseased cornea is replaced with a clear, healthy cornea from a human donor. Learn more about corneal transplantation, the causes of corneal problems, surgery options, and more through the American Association of Ophthalmologists by clicking here. 

Bonus View – Monthly Giving: Think about the purchases you make on an automatic basis each month. Why not add philanthropy to that list? Become a monthly donor today and empower people who are blind with confidence-building camps and reading services that encourage hope and resiliency. When you commit to a monthly gift of $5 or more by December 31, 2017, you will receive a special 2018 calendar by artist and Christian Record client Marye McKenney. Click here to learn more.

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.)
    • Rita's Aunt Mollie who is dying.
    • Sheila’s brother, Paul, who is at the Buffet Cancer Center.
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, 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: Dec. 9, 2017

Web Master - Wednesday, December 06, 2017

It All Begins!

Over these next few weeks until Christmas, I will be sharing parts of the Christmas story. Let these Scriptures be reminders of us throughout this season that Jesus needs to be central in our lives during this time too! To read it in a different translation, just click on the text at the end of each selection.

Before the Beginning

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:1-5, CSB)

The Announcement

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be.

Then the angel told her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”

Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?”

The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. “And consider your relative Elizabeth – even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38, CSB)

Praying Good News (from 24-7 Prayer)

Open a news website or news app today, and read through the headlines. Pray for God’s presence to bring transformation to the news headlines that you read, asking God to be good news to the people and situations you read in each news story. (Click here for more prayer ideas) 

Christmas Hope Tree

This year we are partnering with the New City Church to provide Christmas to local families through a Hope Tree. Each ornament on the tree represents a gift. Please feel free to take an ornament (or 2 or 6 …) and purchase the gift(s) listed. Please return each gift ornament with a gift receipt and the unwrapped gift no later than Sunday, December 17. We also have boxes with a list of food items to provide a full Christmas meal. If you would like more information, contact Erin (e-mail or 402-513-1800).

Pathfinder Fund-Raisers

The Pathfinder Cookie Dough Fundraise continues! Orders (click here for an order form) are due by this coming Monday (Dec. 11). The orders will be available on December 18, just in time for Christmas baking! For more information, contact Tammy Wisecup (e-mail) or any of the Pathfinders.

You can still purchase Yankee Candles on-line to benefit our Pathfinder Club. To do so, click here (our group number is 990105812)

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

The Spiritual Effect Raising Children Has on Parents – An Interview with Gary Thomas: Have you considered that perhaps God not only uses parents to influence their children, but that he uses children to change their parents? Could it be that parenting is a school for adult spiritual growth? Bible Gateway interviewed Gary L. Thomas about his book, Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls (Click here to read more.)

4 Things to Remember When Praying for Your Prodigal: Jodie Berndt, author of Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children: Trusting God with the Ones You Love (Zondervan, 2017), says, "God knows exactly what it’s like to love a child, to teach him to walk, to feed him, and to kiss his cheek – and then to have that child grow up and walk away, choosing a world marked by bondage, destruction, and violence. All of the grief, anger, and frustration that we experience as parents are bound up in his heart as well...."  (Click here to read more.)

The People, Places, and Timeline of the First Christmas: Back by popular demand is our Christmas “subway map” Infographic that shows the who-where-and-when of the Nativity when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. (Click here to read more.)

See more Bible-related articles in the Bible News Roundup by clicking here. To subscribe to anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 4:55 pm                                                           

Adventist Community Services (ACS) Offering this Sabbath: ACS is an outreach ministry for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the North American Division. ACS serves communities by providing assistance to people affected by flooding, fire, and other disasters. This Sabbath’s offering will help ACS continue this important work. For more information or to donate on-line, visit us at communityservices.org.

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, Arvid Barr, one of our Elders, will present a sermon titled What Did Jesus Do.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled The Friend Syndrome, click here.
    • Children’s Church (11:15 am) in the Fellowship Hall

International Christmas Smorgasbord hosted by Linda & Arvid Barr, this Sunday, at 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Bring a dish of your holiday heritage to share. There will be a lot of fun and door prizes! For more info, contact Linda Barr (402-330-7711).

Children’s/Youth Baptismal Study Class meets this Monday (Dec. 11) 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 (Dec. 11) 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 (Dec. 12) at 6:00 pm in the Hearth Room. We will continue our Study of Daniel. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Church Board meets Tuesday (Dec. 12) 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).

Be our guest! Christian Record Services for the Blind will host a Christmas Open House to celebrate its first year in its office in the Trade Center at 5900 South 58th Street, Suite M in Lincoln (click here for a map). All are welcome on Thursday, December 14, from 1-5 p.m. Guided tours will be offered every 30 minutes, starting from The Space, located next door. Following your tour, visit with Christian Record staff, learn more about the new online library and how you can become a partner or volunteer, and enjoy light refreshments.

Cookie Exchange Social, 1 week from Sunday, Dec. 17 at 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. The theme is Christmas Cookies, plain or fancy. Make 4 dozen of one kind of Homemade cookie. Exchange and take home 4 dozen assorted cookies from the party. Of course, your spouse/significant other is invited. No time to bake? Burnt your cookies? Still want to attend? Please go to a real bakery and get 4 dozen cookies (no store packaged cookies please).

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the NAD, will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27see below for more information.

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018 – see below for more information.

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.

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the North American Division of SDAs (NAD), will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27. 3,500 dental, medical, and non-medical volunteers are needed for potentially 10,000 patients. Bring the whole family and allow each to be the "Gift of Love" to those in need. Individuals 13 years and above may volunteer, and there will be a children's program for those younger. For more information and volunteer registration click here. If you have questions or would like help with registration, arranging lodging, airlines, etc., contact Michael or Debra Dehning (402-639-8996 or e-mail).

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica: This year’s Young Adult Mission Trip will go to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018. They will be joining Mission 517 to work in the Tamarindo area with a small Adventist School. The project will include some renovating work at the school as well as interacting with their students and providing a community VBS. The trip will include some time in the Arenal rainforest sightseeing and zip-lining. Click here to download a complete Mission Trip Information and Registration Package. For more information contact Tim Floyd at the Kansas Nebraska Conference (email or 785-478-4726).

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, our guest speaker at church July 8, 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)

Researchers Discover Critical Trigger for Leading Form of Vision Loss: In a major step forward in the battle against macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among the elderly, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered a critical trigger for the damaging inflammation that ultimately robs millions of their sight.  The finding may allow doctors to halt the inflammation early on, potentially saving patients from blindness. Learn about this trigger, an enzyme called cGAS, via News: Medical & Life Sciences by clicking here.

Bonus View: Thank You! Giving Tuesday was November 28, and Christian Record encouraged giving through its #IGiveConfidence campaign. Through the generosity of many donors and two matching fund challenges, the organization raised over $10,500 for confidence-building reading services and programs for people who are blind. Thank you for your loving support and prayers! If you missed out on the opportunity to donate on Giving Tuesday, please visit our Giving Tuesday Website by clicking here. Every day, people who are blind seek ways to build confidence, which your generosity provides. Thank you!

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 Friend Syndrome, 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.)
    • Our follow-up from A Pale Horse Rides
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, 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), Robert Gagne, Tammy Gagne, Robert Harrington, John Hiers, Judy (Donna Parker’s sister-in-Law), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Sally Krulac (Rita Swensen’s Aunt), LuWana (Diane Harrington’s friend), Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Tim (Donna & Gary Parker’s nephew), 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: Dec. 2, 2017

Web Master - Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Seriously, a Baby?

Thanksgiving is behind us for another year.

Now the focus is ramping up on Christmas, especially buying stuff!

Is it only me, or is your email full of “easy” ways to save money (by spending it) on Christmas Presents? And don’t forget yourself!

There is no other holiday that has the financial overtones of Christmas. It’s so easy to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in all the spending and parties that we totally forget, and disrespect, the Person it is supposed to celebrate.

If we are really celebrating Jesus’ birthday (and we don’t know for sure when that was), why does everyone else get the presents? The push should be giving to Him!

How would you feel if everyone used your birthday to give things to everyone but you; and you were hardly noticed?

And while babies are wonderful, and our manger scenes are warm and engaging; the birth of Jesus was anything but warm and fuzzy. It was really a declaration of war. It put Satan on notice that he was doomed – and this baby was going seal the deal.

The greatest battle for our salvation and our allegiance began with an act of love. God loved humanity in the form of Mary, taking her as His bride, and the result was Immanuel – God with us – in the form of Jesus. And like all the rest of us, He came into this world as a Baby!

Seriously, a Baby? It would seem like a warrior riding in on a white stallion leading a large army of angels would have a better chance of defeating the enemy.

But, God’s strategy is often unconventional. He chose to fight with something much more powerful than brute force.

While God is all powerful, His defining characteristic is love. He didn’t want to just destroy evil, He wanted to free us from eternal death and enable us to live in love, trust, and peace – so His weapon was love, expressed in Jesus’ life!

And in the decisive battle, God – through Jesus – took the death that sin demanded (and we deserved), along with all the abuse Satan could heap on Him so we would be free to choose our destiny.

In the beautiful words found in Steps to Christ:

… Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ's character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned. (Steps to Christ, page 62)

Talk about an incredible gift!

And after His death, Jesus’ was resurrected and taken to Heaven as an exclamation point! It was a demonstration of the power of God’s love and a promise that anyone who died loving Him would also be resurrected and taken to Heaven, accompanied by those of us still alive who have allowed Him to be Lord of our lives! (See 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

This is what Christmas is really all about!

Pathfinder Cookie Dough Fundraiser

The Pathfinder Cookie Dough Fundraise has begun. Orders (click here for an order form) are due by one week from this coming Monday (Dec. 11) and the orders will be available on December 18, just in time for Christmas baking! For more information, contact Tammy Wisecup (e-mail) or any of the Pathfinders.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

How to Find Unshakeable Strength in the Bible: An Interview with Christine Caine. Are you struggling with insecurity, fear, or uncertainty? How can the Bible help you discover what it means to be unashamed, undaunted, and unstoppable in the Lord? Bible Gateway interviewed Christine Caine about her book, Unshakeable: 365 Devotions for Finding Unwavering Strength in God's Word (Click here to read more.)

Help Your Kids Read the Bible: An Interview with David Murray. How should you introduce your 6- to 12-year-old kids to the most important passages and big-picture storyline of the Bible? How can you best answer your children's questions about the Bible when you don't know the answer yourself? Bible Gateway interviewed David Murray about his book, Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids … (Click here to read more.)

World’s Largest Museum of the Bible Now Open: Nov. 17, one day before Museum of the Bible opened to the public, a diverse group of faith and secular leaders from around the world gathered at the eight-story, 430,000-square-foot museum in Washington, DC, to dedicate the newest museum in the nation’s capital in front of a standing-room-only crowd. Bible Gateway is a Founding Advocate member of the museum, and is included in the museum’s One Million Names wall commemoration … (Click here to read more.)

See more Bible-related articles in the Bible News Roundup by clicking here. To subscribe to anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Calendar Events

Sunset this Friday – 4:56 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 continue our series The Breath of Life. Pastor T’s sermon is titled The Friend Syndrome and will look at what it means to be friends with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. (John 15:9-17).
    • 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!
    • Calming Bottle Project: Please plan to stay after Potluck Sabbath to help creating calming bottles requested by therapists and children at Project Harmony.

Pathfinder Lock-in this Saturday night. Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information (e-mail or 402-201-6370)

Piano Recital Fundraiser this evening at Omaha Memorial Adventist School, beginning at 6:00 pm, students and staff members will play for your enjoyment to raise funds to pay for their new piano. There will be refreshments. (Click here for a map.)

Finance Committee, this Sunday (Dec. 3) at 9:00 am in the Board Room of the Education Annex. This includes all Department Heads, the Head Elder, the Treasurer, and the Pastor.

No Pathfinders or Adventurers this Monday (Dec. 4). 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 (Dec. 5) at 6:00 pm in the Hearth Room. We will continue our Study of Daniel. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

MLT Meeting this Tuesday (Dec. 5) 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).

Adventist Community Services (ACS) Offering One Week from Sabbath: Your offering on December 9 will help ACS continue to transform communities and people’s lives in practical ways. ACS accomplishes this through programs for youth, seniors and their caregivers, urban dwellers, and more. For more information or to donate on-line, visit us at communityservices.org.

International Christmas Smorgasbord hosted by Linda & Arvid Barr, 1 week from Sunday, Dec. 10 at 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Bring a dish of your holiday heritage to share. There will be a lot of fun and door prizes! For more info, contact Linda Barr (402-330-7711).

Be our guest! Christian Record Services for the Blind will host a Christmas Open House to celebrate its first year in its office in the Trade Center at 5900 South 58th Street, Suite M in Lincoln (click here for a map). All are welcome on Thursday, December 14, from 1-5 p.m. Guided tours will be offered every 30 minutes, starting from The Space, located next door. Following your tour, visit with Christian Record staff, learn more about the new online library and how you can become a partner or volunteer, and enjoy light refreshments.

Cookie Exchange Social, 2 weeks from Sunday, Dec. 17 at 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. The theme is Christmas Cookies, plain or fancy. Make 4 dozen of one kind of Homemade cookie. Exchange and take home 4 dozen assorted cookies from the party. Of course, your spouse/significant other is invited. No time to bake? Burnt your cookies? Still want to attend? Please go to a real bakery and get 4 dozen cookies (no store packaged cookies please).

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the NAD, will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27see below for more information.

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018 – see below for more information.

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.

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the North American Division of SDAs (NAD), will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27. 3,500 dental, medical, and non-medical volunteers are needed for potentially 10,000 patients. Bring the whole family and allow each to be the "Gift of Love" to those in need. Individuals 13 years and above may volunteer, and there will be a children's program for those younger. For more information and volunteer registration click here. If you have questions or would like help with registration, arranging lodging, airlines, etc., contact Michael or Debra Dehning (402-639-8996 or e-mail).

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica: This year’s Young Adult Mission Trip will go to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018. They will be joining Mission 517 to work in the Tamarindo area with a small Adventist School. The project will include some renovating work at the school as well as interacting with their students and providing a community VBS. The trip will include some time in the Arenal rainforest sightseeing and zip-lining. Click here to download a complete Mission Trip Information and Registration Package. For more information contact Tim Floyd at the Kansas Nebraska Conference (email or 785-478-4726).

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, our guest speaker at church July 8, 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.

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 Praise & Thankfulness, 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.)
    • Our follow-up from A Pale Horse Rides
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, 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), Robert Gagne, Tammy Gagne, Robert Harrington, John Hiers, Judy (Donna Parker’s sister-in-Law), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Sally Krulac (Rita Swensen’s Aunt), LuWana (Diane Harrington’s friend), Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Tim (Donna & Gary Parker’s nephew), 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: Nov. 25, 2017

Web Master - Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Let All That I Am Praise the Lord!

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. 

The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone-as though we had never been here. But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!

The Lord has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything.

Praise the Lord, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will! Praise the Lord, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord. (Psalm 103, NLT)

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

The Bible Verses That Were to Be Read Before Texas Church Shooting: The memorial inside First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas—where 26 people were murdered by a gunman during a worship service on November 5, 2017—includes a Bible open to Psalm 149 and Psalm 150 as well as the first three chapters of Proverbs … (Click here to read more.)

Longings of My Soul that Nothing on Earth Can Satisfy: Award-winning author Ken Gire, author of Windows of the Soul: Hearing God in the Everyday Moments of Your Life, asks, "Do you long for a richer experience with the presence of God and deeper meaning in everyday life?” … (Click here to read more.)

See more Bible-related articles in the Bible News Roundup by clicking here. To subscribe to anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Calendar Events

Thanksgiving Day this Thursday   

Sunset this Friday – 4:58 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 Prayer titled The Breath of Life. Pastor T’s sermon is titled T & P and will look at what it means to be thankful in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Pathfinders Meet this Monday (Nov. 27) 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 (Nov. 28) at 6:00 pm in the Hearth Room. We will continue our Study of Daniel. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Piano Recital Fundraiser: One week from Sabbath (Dec. 2) at Omaha Memorial Adventist School, beginning at 6:00 pm, students and staff members will play for your enjoyment to raise funds to pay for their new piano. There will be refreshments. (Click here for a map.)

Finance Committee, Sunday, Dec. 3 at 9:00 am in the Board Room of the Education Annex. This includes all Department Heads, the Head Elder, the Treasurer, and the Pastor.

Dec. 9 Offering Supports Adventist Community Services (ACS): Your offering on December 9 will help ACS continue serving communities across the North American Division. ACS fulfills Christ’s mission to reach people by coordinating education and services for senior citizens, equipping youth to help others through Young Adults Emergency Services (YES!), and more. For more information or to donate on-line, visit us at communityservices.org.

International Christmas Smorgasbord hosted by Linda & Arvid Barr, 2 weeks from Sunday, Dec. 10 at 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Bring a dish of your holiday heritage to share. There will be a lot of fun and door prizes! For more info, contact Linda Barr (402-330-7711).

Cookie Exchange Social, 3 weeks from Sunday, Dec. 17 at 3:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. The theme is Christmas Cookies, plain or fancy. Make 4 dozen of one kind of Homemade cookie. Exchange and take home 4 dozen assorted cookies from the party. Of course, your spouse/significant other is invited. No time to bake? Burnt your cookies? Still want to attend? Please go to a real bakery and get 4 dozen cookies (no store packaged cookies please).

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the NAD, will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27see below for more information.

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018 – see below for more information.

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.

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the North American Division of SDAs (NAD), will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27. 3,500 dental, medical, and non-medical volunteers are needed for potentially 10,000 patients. Bring the whole family and allow each to be the "Gift of Love" to those in need. Individuals 13 years and above may volunteer, and there will be a children's program for those younger. For more information and volunteer registration click here. If you have questions or would like help with registration, arranging lodging, airlines, etc., contact Michael or Debra Dehning (402-639-8996 or e-mail).

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica: This year’s Young Adult Mission Trip will go to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018. They will be joining Mission 517 to work in the Tamarindo area with a small Adventist School. The project will include some renovating work at the school as well as interacting with their students and providing a community VBS. The trip will include some time in the Arenal rainforest sightseeing and zip-lining. Click here to download a complete Mission Trip Information and Registration Package. For more information contact Tim Floyd at the Kansas Nebraska Conference (email or 785-478-4726).

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, our guest speaker at church July 8, 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.

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.)
    • Our follow-up from A Pale Horse Rides
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, 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), Robert Gagne, Tammy Gagne, Robert Harrington, John Hiers, Judy (Donna Parker’s sister-in-Law), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Sally Krulac (Rita Swensen’s Aunt), LuWana (Diane Harrington’s friend), Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Tim (Donna & Gary Parker’s nephew), 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: Nov. 18, 2017

Web Master - Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Death Again …

I know death is a dreary subject, but life here on this earth is terminal. And, there have been a number of deaths close to me again, as well as regular tragedies unfolding around the world reported in graphic detail on the news.

I won’t detail all of them for you here. My guess is you’re experiencing some of this as well – and if not, just be patient because it will come.

Thankfully, Jesus lived and died for us so that death need not be permanent. He has promised to return, to wake up those who have died trusting in Him, and – along with those alive when He returns who are living in Him – take us home to a place where death will no longer be the norm.

This promise in 1 Thessalonians is comforting to me when this kind of week comes along:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope …

We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.

First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, NLT)

The Apostle John continues this description in Revelation 21:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:1-4, NLT)

Paul, a little later in 1 Thessalonians tells us what we should do in response to all this:

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT)

I am not thankful for death and the pain it causes – it is a perpetual reminder that we live in a broken, sinful world.

But, I am thankful that through Jesus, we can look beyond death to an eternity where we will never need to say goodbye again! And in the meantime, I am grateful for this promise found in Hebrews:

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)

Pathfinder’s Canned Food Drive

The Pathfinders did their first annual community canned food drive this week. They are accepting donations through this week. If you’re able to donate any non-perishable food items, please bring them to church this Sabbath. All donations will go to the Bellevue Food Bank.

Be Still: Stop to Pray – Right Now!

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him ... (Colossians 3:17, NIV)

It’s easy to get caught up in the busy nature of our day to day. Yet the incredible thing is that God’s presence is with us. So right now, take a moment to stop and pray:

    • Pray God’s presence into the place you’re in right nowwhether that's your home, university or your local community. 
    • Set a reminder on your phone or computer to stop and pray in a few hourstrain yourself to continue to welcome God's presence.
    • Take a moment to pray for one person on your mind – pray for your relationship with them; for their situation; for God to be near to them. (Click here for more ideas on prayer.)

Jesus, the Happiest Man Ever?

by Dr. Nick Howard | Nov 9, 2017

Recently I started to reengage with my book entitled “Enjoying More Happiness.” As the writing journey has unfolded, I found myself faced with an unexpected question: Could Jesus be the happiest man ever? (Click here to read more.)

Operation Christmas Child Deadline

The deadline to turn in our shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child is this Sabbath – November 18. Let’s see how many kids we can touch with this project. For more information, see below.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Christian Faith and Mental Health – An Interview with Sheila Walsh: How can the spiritual disciplines of confession, prayer, and Scripture meditation form a daily connection to Jesus to help women in their mental health struggles? In the following question-and-answer, Sheila Walsh talks about her book, In the Middle of the Mess: Strength for This Beautiful, Broken Life. (Click here to read more.)

Finding Freedom from the Fear of Not Having Enough – An Interview with Jack Alexander: Why do we fear scarcity when the Bible says God will provide? How can Christians experience true abundance, both spiritually and practically and not worry about not having enough? Bible Gateway interviewed Jack Alexander about his book, The God Guarantee: Finding Freedom from the Fear of Not Having Enough. (Click here to read more.)

See more Bible-related articles in the Bible News Roundup by clicking here. To subscribe to anyone of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Offering for Adventist Community Services on Dec. 9

Your offering on December 9 will help Adventist Community Services to continue assisting people with their physical, social, mental, and spiritual needs. To learn more or to donate on-line, go to communityservices.org.

Calendar Events

Communion Service Rehearsal Friday Evening (Nov 17), 6:30 pm at the church for everyone who will be involved with the communion service on Sabbath.

Sunset this Friday – 5:03 pm                                                           

Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Deadline, This Sabbath (Nov. 18) – see below for more information.

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 celebrate our annual Thanksgiving Communion Service. We hope you will make plans to attend this special service.

Baptismal Studies for Youth and Children will begin this Monday (Nov. 20) at 6:00 pm in the Pastor’s Study. We will spend 30 minutes each Monday evening that Pathfinders/Adventurers meet until we have completed the course (8-10 weeks). For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Pathfinders & Adventurers Meet this Monday (Nov. 20) 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 (Nov. 21) at 6:00 pm in the Hearth Room. We will continue our Study of Daniel. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Thanksgiving Day, Thursday (Nov. 23)

Finance Committee, Sunday, Dec. 3 at 9:00 am in the Board Room of the Education Annex. This includes all Department Heads, the Head Elder, the Treasurer, and the Pastor.

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the NAD, will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27see below for more information.

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018 – see below for more information.

Operation Christmas Child

The deadline to turn in the shoe boxes is this Sabbath! We have the opportunity to make a big difference in a child’s life by participating in Operation Christmas Child.

You will find plenty of boxes and supplies on the table in our Lobby. It would be wonderful if we could contribute more than 50 boxes for children around the world! For information and ideas on packing a box, click here – for a list of things not to include, click here.

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

For a coupon to purchase an item for your box
at Hobby Lobby for 40% off,
click here.

Christmas Shoe Boxes cost $9.00 each to ship – please take care of this in one of the following two ways.

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

If you would like to donate funds to help ship the boxes our children’s departments are preparing, please turn it in using one of our tithe envelopes marked Operation Christmas Child. You may also donate funds directly to Samaritan’s Purse for Operation Christmas Child by clicking here.

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.

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the North American Division of SDAs (NAD), will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27. 3,500 dental, medical, and non-medical volunteers are needed for potentially 10,000 patients. Bring the whole family and allow each to be the "Gift of Love" to those in need. Individuals 13 years and above may volunteer, and there will be a children's program for those younger. For more information and volunteer registration click here. If you have questions or would like help with registration, arranging lodging, airlines, etc., contact Michael or Debra Dehning (402-639-8996 or e-mail).

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica: This year’s Young Adult Mission Trip will go to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018. They will be joining Mission 517 to work in the Tamarindo area with a small Adventist School. The project will include some renovating work at the school as well as interacting with their students and providing a community VBS. The trip will include some time in the Arenal rainforest sightseeing and zip-lining. Click here to download a complete Mission Trip Information and Registration Package. For more information contact Tim Floyd at the Kansas Nebraska Conference (email or 785-478-4726).

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, our guest speaker at church July 8, 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)

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month – Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease:

    • Diabetic eye disease comprises a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma.
    • All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness.
    • Controlling diabetes by taking medications as prescribed, staying physically active, and maintaining a healthy diet can prevent or delay vision loss.
    • Because diabetic retinopathy often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs, people with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.
    • Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with several therapies, used alone or in combination.

Learn more about diabetic eye disease via the National Eye Institute by clicking here.

Bonus View – #IGiveConfidence on #GivingTuesday: Giving Tuesday is November 28, and we need your help to meet the $5,000 #IGiveConfidence Matching Fund. So far, nearly $1,000 has been raised toward the match! Library services client Romayne says, "Thanks for the inspirational and spiritual books. You are appreciated." Because of you, Christian Record clients receive free braille, large print, or audio reading materials and confidence-building adventures at summer and winter camp. Thank you! Please give now to help us meet this goal by clicking here. And, please share with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter.

  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.)
    • Our follow-up from A Pale Horse Rides
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, 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), Robert Gagne, Tammy Gagne, Robert Harrington, John Hiers, Judy (Donna Parker’s sister-in-Law), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Sally Krulac (Rita Swensen’s Aunt), LuWana (Diane Harrington’s friend), Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Tim (Donna & Gary Parker’s nephew), 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: Nov. 11, 2017

Web Master - Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Thankful in Everything?

For the past several weeks we have been looking at prayer through our sermon series, The Breath of Life*.

There are two passages of Scripture we have been following through much of this series; first:

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT)

And:

The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7, CSB)

These share a common thought we have not yet spent much time with: Be thankful in all circumstances and in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Both passages stress being thankful in all circumstances and in everything!

Unless I am missing something here, God is telling us that being thankful should always be a part of our lives.

I don’t know about you, but this seems to be often lacking in my life. In some circumstances I tend to lash out, especially at God. And, there are definitely things going on that don’t make me well up in thankfulness.

Notice however; what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say be thankful for all circumstances and for everything. But rather, be thankful in all circumstances and in everything. There is a huge difference.

When I find myself in the middle of a rotten circumstance, I can choose to trust God and be thankful that I have someone like Him to pray to, someone who has promised to walk through it with me (see Hebrews 13:5-6).

We can be thankful that Jesus, who is smarter and stronger that even our enemy, will lead us through this – and we can know He has our best interest in mind since He actually choose to die instead of letting us be destroyed for eternity (see Romans 5:6-8 & Romans 6:23).

We can be thankful that Jesus has a place prepared for us to spend eternity, where we will be with Him and will no longer experience pain, suffering, and death (see John 14:1-3 & Revelation 21:1-4).

We could go on and on with this. The point is we can always be thankful for God’s involvement in our lives and the assurance that there will be a better place coming!

And, why is this so important? Why are we instructed to always be thankful, in every circumstance?

Because this places our primary focus on God. As we focus on Him, we will see His love, strength, and wisdom. And, our problems, rather than looming up larger and larger (as they would if we focused on them) will be put in their place. They will be viewed with an eternal perspective, rather than dominating our thinking and our emotions.

As is often the case, the Message translation of Philippians 4, especially verse 7, puts this all into perspective:

… Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4:7, the Message)

This is something to be thankful for!
_______________

*Below is a list of the sermons we have had in this series so far. To open one up, just click on the title.

      1. September 2, 2017: Prayerlessness
      2. October 7, 2017: Abiding
      3. October 21, 2017: All Night?
      4. November 4: Just Do It!

Special Update from the Lippincotts

We recently received a special 3-part update from the Lippincotts in Thailand. Click here to read it.

Operation Christmas Child Deadline

The deadline to turn in our shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child is just one week from Sabbath – November 18. Let’s see how many kids we can touch with this project. For more information, see below.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

The Pilgrims May Not Be Who You Think They Were – An Interview with Jay Milbrandt: Do you see the Pilgrims as folksy people in funny hats? The true story of the Pilgrims' great journey to America was one of courageous faith, daring escape, and tenuous survival. Theirs is the story of refugees who fled intense religious persecution. Bible Gateway interviewed Jay Milbrandt about his book, They Came for Freedom: The Forgotten, Epic Adventure of the Pilgrims. (Click here to read more.)

The Bible’s Most Outrageous Claims: Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, and his wife Jackie – founding family of Museum of the Bible and co-authors of This Dangerous Book: How the Bible Has Shaped Our World and Why It Still Matters Today – say, "Whether you love the Bible or hate it, it's worth your time to get to know it, as many great thinkers and leaders throughout history have done ..." (Click here to read more.)

See more Bible-related articles in the Bible News Roundup by clicking here.

Calendar Events

Our Pathfinder Club is camping this weekend. Let’s pray that they have a great time while staying warm and safe!

The Kansas Nebraska Conference Youth Rally scheduled for this weekend at Broken Arrow Ranch has been cancelled.

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, Steve Wilhelmsen will share a special program honoring our veterans.

Pathfinders Meet this Monday (Nov. 13) at 6:30 pm to collect the bags from their Canned Food Drive. 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 (Nov. 14) at 6:00 pm in the Hearth Room. We will continue our Study of Daniel. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Church Board meets Tuesday (Nov. 14) 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).

Communion Service Rehearsal (Nov 17), 6:30 pm at the church for everyone who will be involved with the communion service on Nov. 18.

Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Deadline, November 18 – Just over one week away – see below for more information.

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the NAD, will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27see below for more information.

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018 – see below for more information.

Operation Christmas Child

The deadline to turn in the shoe boxes is just over a week away! We have the opportunity to make a big difference in a child’s life by participating in Operation Christmas Child. These boxes may be turned in here at church anytime during the next several weeks, no later than November 18, 2017.

You will find plenty of boxes and supplies on the table in our Lobby. It would be wonderful if we could contribute more than 50 boxes for children around the world! For information and ideas on packing a box, click here – for a list of things not to include, click here.

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

For a coupon to purchase an item for your box
at Hobby Lobby for 40% off,
click here.

Christmas Shoe Boxes cost $9.00 each to ship.

    • Please remember to include a check in the box for this amount made out to Samaritan’s Purse (note OCC on the memo line) or include $9.00 in cash.
    • Click here to pay this amount on-line and print out a label for your box if you would like to know where your box goes.
    • If you would like to donate funds to help ship the boxes our children’s departments are preparing, please turn it using one of our tithe envelopes marked Operation Christmas Child.
    • You may also donate funds directly to Samaritan’s Purse for Operation Christmas Child by clicking here.

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.

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the North American Division of SDAs (NAD), will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27. 3,500 dental, medical, and non-medical volunteers are needed for potentially 10,000 patients. Bring the whole family and allow each to be the "Gift of Love" to those in need. Individuals 13 years and above may volunteer, and there will be a children's program for those younger. For more information and volunteer registration click here. If you have questions or would like help with registration, arranging lodging, airlines, etc., contact Michael or Debra Dehning (402-639-8996 or e-mail).

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica: This year’s Young Adult Mission Trip will go to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018. They will be joining Mission 517 to work in the Tamarindo area with a small Adventist School. The project will include some renovating work at the school as well as interacting with their students and providing a community VBS. The trip will include some time in the Arenal rainforest sightseeing and zip-lining. Click here to download a complete Mission Trip Information and Registration Package. For more information contact Tim Floyd at the Kansas Nebraska Conference (email or 785-478-4726).

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, our guest speaker at church July 8, 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)

What is Convergence Insufficiency? Convergence insufficiency is a condition in which your eyes are unable to work together when looking at nearby objects. This condition causes one eye to turn outward instead of inward, with the other eye creating double or blurred vision.

Convergence insufficiency is usually diagnosed in school-age children and adolescents. It can cause difficulty reading, for which parents or teachers might suspect the child has learning difficulties rather than an eye disorder. Treatments are usually effective for convergence insufficiency.

Click here to learn about symptoms, causes, complications of convergence insufficiency via the Mayo Clinic.

Bonus View: EYE RUN 2017 Photos: Thank you again to everyone who participated as a volunteer, walker, runner, or sponsor at the 2017 EYE RUN! Click here to view the official event photos. 

 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 Just Do It! 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.)
    • Our follow-up from A Pale Horse Rides
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, 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), Robert Gagne, Tammy Gagne, Robert Harrington, John Hiers, Judy (Donna Parker’s sister-in-Law), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Sally Krulac (Rita Swensen’s Aunt), LuWana (Diane Harrington’s friend), Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Tim (Donna & Gary Parker’s nephew), 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: Nov. 4, 2016

Web Master - Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Justification by Faith

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 a reading that challenged and inspired me this past week.

If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:10, NIV)

I am not saved by believing – I simply realize I am saved by believing. And it is not repentance that saves me – repentance is only the sign that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus. The danger here is putting the emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause. Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship with God. And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God’s grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings justification with a shattering, radiant light, and I know that I am saved, even though I don’t know how it was accomplished.

The salvation that comes from God is not based on human logic, but on the sacrificial death of Jesus. We can be born again solely because of the atonement of our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through their repentance or their belief, but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus which preceded all of our experience (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-19). The unconquerable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. We do not have to accomplish these things ourselves – they have been accomplished through the atonement of the Cross of Christ. The supernatural becomes natural to us through the miracle of God, and there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done – “It is finished!” (John 19:30). (My Utmost for His Highest, October 28)ebook

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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.

Kansas Nebraska Conference Youth Rally

Kansas Nebraska Conference Youth Rally, November 10-12 at Broken Arrow Ranch – see below for more information.

Operation Christmas Child Deadline

The deadline to turn in our shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child is just over two weeks away – November 18. Let’s see how many kids we can touch with this project. For more information, see below.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Secularization—The Unintended Consequence of the Reformation: An Interview with Brad S. Gregory: What are the complicated and unintended legacies of Martin Luther and the epochal 500-year-old movement known as the Reformation that continue to shape the world today? How did Luther's earnest questioning lead to the rise of competing churches, political conflicts, social upheavals, and moral relativism? Bible Gateway interviewed Brad S. Gregory about his book, Rebel in the Ranks: Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts That Continue to Shape Our World  (Click here to read more.)

How I Rise Above the Lies that Haunt Me: Candace Payne (the famous Chewbacca Mom from the hugely viral Facebook video), author of Laugh It Up! Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy (Zondervan, 2017), says, "Currently, I am on a quest to abolish the list of can’ts I have believed about myself. In my present struggles, I am still tempted to embrace counterfeit joy over authentic joy ..." (Click here to read more.)

See more Bible-related articles in the Bible News Roundup by clicking here.

Calendar Events

Prayer Meeting begins tonight (Oct. 31) at 6:00 pm in the Hearth Room. Bring your Bible and a heart to know God better through our study of Daniel. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Sunset this Friday – 6:17 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 Prayer titled The Breath of Life. Pastor T’s sermon is titled Just Do It! and will focus what Jesus taught about prayer.
    • 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!

Daylight Savings Time Begins, Sunday, Nov. 5 – Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour.

Pathfinders Meet this Monday (Nov. 6) 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 (Nov. 7) at 6:00 pm in the Hearth Room. We will continue our Study of Daniel. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Kansas Nebraska Conference Youth Rally, November 10-12 at Broken Arrow Ranch – see below for more information.

Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Deadline, November 18 – Just two weeks away – see below for more information.

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the NAD, will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27see below for more information.

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018 – see below for more information.

Kansas Nebraska Conference Youth Rally

This year’s Kansas Nebraska Conference Youth Rally will take place November 10-12 at Broken Arrow Ranch. The cost is $10 per person, which covers food and lodging.

The featured speaker is Carl Wilkens. As a humanitarian aid worker, he moved his young family to Rwanda in the spring of 1990. When the genocide was launched in April 1994, Carl refused to leave, even when urged to do so by close friends, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the United States government. Thousands of expatriates evacuated, and the United Nations pulled out most of its troops. Carl was the only American to remain in the country. Venturing out each day into streets crackling with mortars and gunfire, he worked his way through roadblocks of angry, bloodstained soldiers and civilians armed with machetes and assault rifles in order to bring food, water and medicine to groups of orphans trapped around the city. His actions saved the lives of hundreds.

The music will be provided by Engage Ministries, a worship team from Southern Adventist University that serves events across the southeast and upon request throughout the NAD. Engaging God in worship; engaging the church in fellowship.

To download and print a Schedule for the Weekend, click here. To download and print a Registration Form, click here. To download a poster, click here.

Operation Christmas Child

The deadline to turn these in is just over two weeks away! We have the opportunity to make a big difference in a child’s life by participating in Operation Christmas Child. These boxes may be turned in here at church anytime during the next several weeks, no later than November 18, 2017.

You will find plenty of boxes and supplies on the table in our Lobby. It would be wonderful if we could contribute more than 50 boxes for children around the world! For information and ideas on packing a box, click here – for a list of things not to include, click here.

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

For a coupon to purchase an item for your box
at Hobby Lobby for 40% off,
click here.

Christmas Shoe Boxes cost $9.00 each to ship.

    • Please remember to include a check in the box for this amount made out to Samaritan’s Purse (note OCC on the memo line) or include $9.00 in cash.
    • Click here to pay this amount on-line and print out a label for your box if you would like to know where your box goes.
    • If you would like to donate funds to help ship the boxes our children’s departments are preparing, please turn it using one of our tithe envelopes marked Operation Christmas Child.
    • You may also donate funds directly to Samaritan’s Purse for Operation Christmas Child by clicking here.

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.

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic, a Ministry of the North American Division of SDAs (NAD), will be held in Phoenix, AZ, Dec 25-27. 3,500 dental, medical, and non-medical volunteers are needed for potentially 10,000 patients. Bring the whole family and allow each to be the "Gift of Love" to those in need. Individuals 13 years and above may volunteer, and there will be a children's program for those younger. For more information and volunteer registration click here. If you have questions or would like help with registration, arranging lodging, airlines, etc., contact Michael or Debra Dehning (402-639-8996 or e-mail).

Young Adult Mission Trip – Costa Rica: This year’s Young Adult Mission Trip will go to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, March 2-11, 2018. They will be joining Mission 517 to work in the Tamarindo area with a small Adventist School. The project will include some renovating work at the school as well as interacting with their students and providing a community VBS. The trip will include some time in the Arenal rainforest sightseeing and zip-lining. Click here to download a complete Mission Trip Information and Registration Package. For more information contact Tim Floyd at the Kansas Nebraska Conference (email or 785-478-4726).

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, our guest speaker at church July 8, 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)

Eye-opening Facts – Most Common Eye Diseases: Want to raise awareness about eye health?  This infographic, available online via the National Eye Institute, gives an at-a-glance look at the predicted increased rate of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Many of these diseases are treatable if diagnosed early. Click here to download a copy to print and share with your friends and loved ones, and invite everyone to complete a comprehensive eye exam before the end of this year. For more information on eye diseases via the National Eye Institute, click here.   

Bonus View: Giving Tuesday is Coming Soon! First, comes Thanksgiving Day, which is followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday. After that comes Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

    • Click here to learn more about Christian Record's Giving Tuesday campaign, #IGiveConfidence, and plan to give on Tuesday, November 28.
    • Click here to download a printable Giving Tuesday flier for your church.

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.)
    • Our follow-up from A Pale Horse Rides
    • Brett Knutson – health issues; the doctors are having a hard figuring out what is wrong and how to treat it.
    • Cody & Jie Kaiser
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, 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), Robert Gagne, Tammy Gagne, Robert Harrington, John Hiers, Judy (Donna Parker’s sister-in-Law), Dick & June Klein, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Sally Krulac (Rita Swensen’s Aunt), LuWana (Diane Harrington’s friend), Dagny Martinsen, Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Don & Judy Phelps, Tim (Donna & Gary Parker’s nephew), 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.