Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: August 25, 2018

Web Master - Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Absolutely Empty

Have you ever felt absolutely empty? Like you have nothing to give, nothing to share?

This morning, as I sit here to write this blog, that is exactly how I feel.

I’m empty of ideas, empty of energy, empty of motivation – I don’t even want to sit and think, just sit.

But I’m reminded of Paul’s struggle with something – he didn’t tell us what it was, only that he didn’t want to deal with it anymore. He said:

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” … That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses …  For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10, NLT)

I would guess we can say the same about feeling empty – it definitely seems weak.

However, you can only put as much into a container as there is space. If it’s empty, there’s more room for whatever you want to fill it with.

Maybe empty is exactly how God wants us. When we’re empty, there’s more room for God’s Spirit to fill us!

More of Him, and less of me – that actually sounds more like a position of strength. That sounds like a winning combination!

New Student Pastor

John Roney, a senior theology student at Union College will be our student pastor for this semester (now until Christmas Break). His email address is and his cell phone number is (573) 982-9385. Please welcome him today when you see him. He will split his time between Golden Hills and Nebraska City.

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

What is the Bible? What is the history of the Bible from its beginnings to the present day? How was the Bible written and its various books chosen? How reliable is it? How were the Old Testament and New Testament formed? Bible Gateway interviewed Ryan M. Reeves and Charles Hill about their book, Know How We Got Our Bible. (Click here to read more.)

Revolutionize Your Bible Study by Tracing Themes Through Scripture: If you're exasperated with Bible studies that haphazardly pick arbitrary passages to draw vague applications for your life, Zondervan’s new free Bible study Trace the Themes is exactly what you're waiting for. (Click here to read more.)

Does God Ever Refuse to Answer Our Prayers? Most of us believe that when we “cry out” to God – that is, appeal to him through prayer – he always hears those prayers. But what about Bible passages that suggest that sometimes God doesn’t listen to our prayers? (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

Sunset this Friday – 8:09 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 be blessed with two baptisms, Aubrey and Nate Degerness. Also, we will continue our series on the book of Acts with Pastor T’s sermon titled Holy Gentiles, based on Acts 10:1 – 11:18.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of the last sermon in this series titled Holy Encounter, click here.
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Stringing Pearls, click here.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Aug. 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).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Adventurer Calendar.

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).

Last Week’s Sermon

To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Stringing Pearls, 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.)
    • 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).

Pastors Contact Information

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