Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: August 18, 2018

Web Master - Thursday, August 16, 2018

Your Pastor's Back

Each week or so I receive a blog written by Don Jacobsen, a leader in the North American Division Prayer Ministries. It usually contains some inspirational thoughts about prayer. I am always blessed by them. I especially resonated with the most recent one titled Your Pastor’s Back. At the risk of seeming a bit self-serving, I am sharing it with you. It will tell you the very best thing you can give me as your pastor.

It's right there in front of you. You can recognize it even from a distance. I don't mean your pastor has returned, I mean we're looking at him/her from behind. Here's why: If your church seems to be a target, your pastor is the bullseye. Sometimes it seems like it's painted on his (or her) back.

Why is that? Simple. When a big tree falls in the forest it takes others down with it. The bigger the tree that falls, the more damage done to those nearby. That being the case we'd be surprised if the enemy didn't intensify his cunning whenever a pastor is part of the narrative. A church that experiences a pastor's moral fall may never fully recover. I've seen it happen; I hope you haven't. It's one of the most painful things you'll ever observe.

All of that to say this: If you haven't already, it's time to gang up on your pastor. To draw such a tight prayer circle around him or her that the devil can't get through the hedge. Offer to be a prayer partner for your pastor and to cover them with prayer daily. Draft a group of volunteers to cover them on Sunday, another group on Monday, and on through the week. Get your kids excited about interceding regularly for their pastor. Maybe a group praying in a side room all the time your pastor is preaching.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month and gifts are nice, but how about a special prayer cover by the entire congregation during that month. What a gift!

Find out when your pastor does sermon prep and pray especially during that time. Find out when your pastor does visitation and pray especially during that time. You can't make it to prayer meeting this week? Phone your pastor with the assurance you will be in prayer for them during the service. Got shut-ins? How about turning them into prayer warriors? Send your pastor a surprise text that says simply, "I'm praying for you right now."

The secret favorite song of most pastors is, "I Need the Prayers of Those I Love." They do. Spiritual leaders are the focus of the devil's cleverest devices. Early on in their assignment it becomes evident that they are not fighting against only earthy forces, but rather spiritual enemies against which they are personally impotent. Spiritual battles are only won with spiritual weapons. You and your congregation have access to those weapons.

I marvel at how frequently in his letters, Paul the stalwart champion of a burgeoning global church pleads with his friends to pray for him. He knew, as does your pastor, that without the consistent, supernatural infusion of Spirit power he was no match for the one who was intent on destroying him and his influence. Let your pastor know you've got his back. Or hers.

Don Jacobsen

Click here to go to their website, Click here to subscribe to the Hope Heals blog.

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 changes in the seasons, the changes in our lives, and the changes to the upcoming holidays. For more information or to register call 402-391-1664 and ask for Rich. The sessions are listed below.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

The Light of the World: Annie Downs, author of Speak Love: Making Your Words Matter, says, "Trust God with your words – with their potential and reach. Whether it is one conversation in a coffee shop in India with a young woman who has never heard of Jesus or one blog post that is read by millions, your words matter ..." (Click here to read more.)

When You Want to Trust But Life Won’t Let You: This guest Blog post is by Craig Groeschel, author of Hope in the Dark: Believing God Is Good When Life Is Not. We want to know God, feel his presence, and trust that he hears our prayers, but in the midst of great pain, we may wonder if he really cares about us. Even when we have both hope and hurt, sometimes it’s the hurt that shouts the loudest. Can God be good when life is not? (Click here to read more.)

The Benefits of Asking For, and Giving, Forgiveness: How would you live differently if you only had one month to live? Read this guest Blog post by Kerry and Chris Shook, authors of One Month to Live, to understand the life-changing benefits and freedoms of asking for, and giving, forgiveness. (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.

Calendar Events

Communion Rehearsal, Friday, 7:00 pm in the Church Sanctuary

Sunset this Friday – 8:19 pm                                                           

This Sabbath at Church

    • Breakfast in the Fellowship Hall, 9:20 – 9:50 am
    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class – Church Sanctuary: Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class: Hearth Room: Studying the New Testament books 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Jude using the book Exploring the Letters of John & Jude by George Knight. 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 both the baptism of Marcus Gentillon and a Communion Service with a message from Pastor T titled Stringing Pearls.

Pathfinders & Adventurers are taking a summer break. Their first meeting for the new year will be Monday, August 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 is taking a Summer Break and will begin again in the fall. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Pathway to Health, Fort Worth, Texas, September 19-21, 2018: See the announcement below for more information, to sign up as a volunteer, click here.

Christian Record Services EYE RUN: Join Christian Record Services for the Blind’s EYE RUN on Sunday, October 7, at 10:00 a.m. at Holmes Lake Park in Lincoln, Nebraska. Or if you live too far away, or are traveling, participate virtually. That's right! Register for the run, snap a picture of yourself, and we'll send you the EYE RUN t-shirt. Registration is $25 per person. Proceeds from the EYE RUN provide magazines, books, Bibles, and more, to people who are legally blind through the ministry of Christian Record Services for the Blind. Register now at

Christian Woman’s Retreat will take place October 26-28 in Grand Island, Nebraska. For more information, or to register – click here for the adult version; click here for the teen version.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Pathway to Health Free Mega Clinic (a Ministry of the North American Division of SDAs) will be serving in Fort Worth, TX, Sep 19-21. We need 2,500 volunteers to serve the 4,500+ patients expected. In addition to the numerous dental and medical professionals needed, we cannot be successful without the many non-medical volunteers (80% of the total number of volunteers) that serve the patient population. Come serve as the hands and feet of Jesus and be a blessing to those in need! For more information or to sign up, click here. To speak with a local person please contact Michael or Debra Dehning (e-mail or 402-639-8996).

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).

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.)
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Tom Plant, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Christian Willey, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. is studying with)
    • The Lippincott Family
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Al Bakerlis (Diane Harrington’s brother-in-law), Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Emma (Mary Jane Agan’s granddaughter), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Jane (Mary Jane Agan’s daughter-in-law), Janice (Elma’s friend), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson, Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), Cindy Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastor T’s Contact Information

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