Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: April 21, 2018

Web Master - Wednesday, April 18, 2018


During the past week, two teenagers close to my circle of influence attempted suicide. Fortunately, neither were successful.

I have known too many young people who have committed suicide; and numerous others – including our daughter – who made unsuccessful attempts at it.

Did you know suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers? Accidents are the leading cause with murder being a close third. And, about twice as many males commit suicide as females, but females attempt it twice as often.

This speaks to the pain and hopelessness many of our teenagers are experiencing. This can come from all sorts of places: trouble at home, bullying, feeling like a failure, unrealistic expectations, prolonged chronic illness, broken relationships … and the list could go on.

If you have a teenager in your life, I know it can be a bit stressful – I lived through two of them. But please don’t fall into the deception that he or she is immune to depression and suicide. I’ve seen kids from all type of situations attempt it, even from apparently well balanced and loving homes.

From my experience – and I’m not an expert – what most teenagers crave is love and acceptance. He or she needs to know that – in spite of inevitable bad choices, dumb decisions, and critical mistakes – he or she is not a failure and is still loved and accepted.

So, what do you do? How do you find the balance between wholesome guidance and loving acceptance?

This advice from the book of James is a good place to start:

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (James 1:19, NLT)

Few things say “I love and value you” more than taking the time to listen. Not listening for a break so you can put your two cents in; but really listening to understand their heart, their fears, and their dreams. Don’t offer advice or direction until you have heard and understood what they are trying to tell you.

Let them know you’re in this journey with them – they don’t have to face the world alone. You have their back! Solomon shared this wisdom:

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble … A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NLT)

And help them understand that Jesus provides real, trustworthy guidance and help. Live this in your life and point them to promises such as this one in Philippians:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT)

And then, if you see things that make you wonder if your teenager is okay, don’t just take a wait and see approach. Let them know your observations and concern. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and to go with them if you sense a professional is needed.

As you pray for your teenager, God will open your eyes and your heart. He will prompt you to act if it’s needed. He will give you words of love, even if you don’t feel it. And, He will give you strength to do whatever needs to be done.

Remember, God loves our teenagers even more than we do. Don’t hesitate to put them into His hands!

Be Still | Stop to Pray | from 24-7 Prayer

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest ..." (Matthew 11:28, NIV)

We live in a world which encourages us to be busy. Yet Jesus reminds us that He provides us with rest. So right now, take a moment to stop, rest and pray.

    1. Be still and allow the presence of Jesus to bring rest to you, right now.
    2. Identify anything making you weary or burdened - and give it back to God. You might like to physically represent this by clenching your hands and then letting them go.
    3. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you an opportunity to rest. Write it down in your diary or your phone and spend that time with God.

For more prayer ideas at 24-7 Prayer, click here. To view the 24-7 Prayer’s YouTube Channel, click here.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

New Children’s Bible Includes 1,000 Bible Quiz Questions: Quizzing can be a fun way to learn unfamiliar topics. That concept is now applied in a Bible specifically designed for kids ages 8-12. On each page are quiz questions for readers to uncover answers in all the books of the Bible, such as, "What did God create on the third day?" "What were the first clothes in the Bible made from?" "Who committed the first murder in the Bible?" Bible Gateway interviewed editor Troy Schmidt about the NIV Kids' Quiz Bible. (Click here to read the interview and take the quiz.)

Why the Apostle Paul Is One of My Heroes: In this guest Blog post, one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Choco De Jesús, author of Move Into More: The Limitless Surprises of a Faithful God (Zondervan, 2018), says the reason he loves the apostle Paul so much is because he learned that to experience God's more, we must focus less on ourselves. (Click here to read more.)

Spotlight: Journaling Scripture - This feature in Weekly Brief is intended to help you become aware of one of several practices explained in our Scripture Engagement section. This week read Journaling Scripture by clicking here.

Quiz: Do You Know These Obscure Facts in the Bible? What’s the largest assembled army in the Bible? What’s the longest book in the Old Testament? Or, here’s a really challenging one: What’s the longest word in the Bible? (Click here to read more.)

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

Check Out the entire Weekly Brief by clicking here. To subscribe to any one of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Tutoring Needed

We have a church member who needs some tutoring help to finish up his high school experience. English is not their first language, so the help will be mainly in understanding English. If you would be able to take some time regularly for a few weeks, please contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Calendar Events

Our Pathfinder PBE Team is in Florida this weekend competing with 189 other teams from all around the North American Division. Let’s pray for their safety and their success.

Sunset this Friday – 8:08 pm                                                           

This Sabbath at Church:

    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class – Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (Church Sanctuary, 10:00 am (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class – Studying the New Testament books 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Jude using the book Exploring the Letters of John & Jude by George Knight (Hearth Room, 10:00 am. The emphasis is on making it relevant with personal application for each class member. Hard copies of the book will be available at class but if you wish to purchase one for your tablet – click here for a Kindle, click here for I-Tunes, and click here for a Nook.)
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, we will continue our series on the book of Acts titled New Beginnings. Pastor T’s sermon is titled Holy Rescue and is based on Acts 5:12-42. For some additional insights into this passage you might want to check out Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 8.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of the last sermon in this series, titled Holy Response, click here

The Pathfinder Zoo Day scheduled for Sunday (Apr. 23) has been cancelled due to the PBE Team trip. Contact Kalvin Tuel if you have questions (e-mail or 402-201-6370).

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Apr. 23) at 6:30 pm. Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information about Pathfinders (e-mail or 402-201-6370) or Lori Knutson for the Adventurer Club (e-mail or 402-980-5018).

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

Prayer Meeting this Tuesday (Apr. 24) at 6:00 pm in the Hearth Room. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

MLT Meeting this Tuesday (Apr. 24) 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).

The SWAT (Students with a Testimony) Team from Campion Academy will present our Worship Service on April 28. There will be an Haystack Lunch that day hosted by our Social Committee. It will be a great Sabbath.

Sarpy County Earth Day coming up Sunday, April 29. Click here for their website. Contact Judy to volunteer or for more information (email or text at 402-290-3306) – see below for more info.

Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings will be in our community on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Golden Hills SDA Church (click here for a map). Ultrasound screenings to Identify risk factors for Cardiovascular disease include; Carotid Artery (plaque buildup-a leading cause of stroke), Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (an enlargement or weak area in the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body), Peripheral Arterial Disease (hardening of the arteries in the legs), a Heart Rhythm Screening (an EKG to detect Atrial Fibrillation-irregular heartbeat) and an Osteoporosis Risk Assessment for men and women. Being proactive about your health by knowing your risks helps you and your doctor address problems early. For more information or to register click here. Register today to receive your “Community Circle” discount and your Preferred Appointment!

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Volunteers Needed – Sarpy County Earth Day coming up Sunday, April 29. Our church is sending a team of volunteers to help with set-up and assist with the events that day between 9 am and 2 pm. You are invited to wear a t-shirt with a Bible text or church logo if you have one. Click here for their website. Contact Judy to volunteer or for more information email or text at 402-290-3306).

Used Stamps Needed! Your used stamps can help Christian Record Services for the Blind raise money. Just tear them off the envelope, being careful to include the entire stamp and bring them to church. Put them into the container provided out on the table and we will take care of getting them where they need to go.

Miscellaneous Information

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  2018, click here. To access a PDF copy 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. Adventist Giving now has an App you can download directly to your smart phone to make the process even easier. For an iPhone, click here. For Android phones, click here.

Our Church E-Mail Newsletter, Directly to Your Computer! If you would like to receive our weekly, e-mail newsletter, directly to your computer, click here and enter your information in the space provided in the lower right-hand portion of our church home page.

Verified Volunteers – Child Protection Screening

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Verified Volunteers to provide background checks and on-line education for our church officers and everyone who works with our children. This helps ensure that we have some training to help us recognize and avoid situations that would put our children at risk. In addition to our elected Church Officers, everyone who works with Pathfinders and Adventurers, Children’s or Youth Sabbath School Classes, Children’s Church, and VBS must go through this training and submit to a background check (there is no cost to you). It will take about an hour of your time. These need to be finished ASAP.

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

To download a PDF page of instructions and links to help you through this process, click here. To go to the website where you begin this process, click here and then select First-Time Registrant and follow the instructions. For more information, contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Last Week’s Sermon

To download or print a PDF copy of the last sermon in the Pastor’s series on Acts, titled Holy Response, 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 Pastor’s Mom, Dagny (known as Meme by most) is having surgery this Thursday to fix a Zenker’s diverticulum in her throat that makes eating and swallowing difficult. It is normally an outpatient procedure unless there are complications. Please pray for its success.
    • Mary Jane Agan has requested special prayer for her great-granddaughter, Emma, who has Craniosynostosis and will be having surgery towards the end of April; and for her daughter-in-law, Jane, who has been very ill, and they have not yet figured out what is causing it.
    • 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 is again struggling with her health
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Janice (Elma’s friend), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson (click here for updates and to contribute towards her medical expenses), Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Marilyn Sabata, Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), and Cindy Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastor T’s Contact Information

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