Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Dec. 14, 2019

Web Master - Wednesday, December 11, 2019


Don Jacobsen's blog last weekend was titled Thanksgetting. He has some beautiful thoughts on giving and a great example of a church that made a difference in their community during the Christmas Holiday season.

Ruthie and I were sitting in a restaurant in South Carolina the day before Thanksgiving. Our food was a long time in coming so I got interested in the conversation going on in the family sitting at the table next to ours. There was Grandma, a teenager, and two or three others.

I tuned in to the conversation when I heard Grandma ask the teen what he wanted for Christmas. The lad didn’t have to think long before he began his list. “Uhh,” he mused. “I want a pony, some ice cream, a new video game, football cleats, a new skate board …” He paused, hoping he hadn’t stopped talking too soon. Then he concluded with this gem, “Well, Grandma, let me just text you my list.”

It made me wish we had started a Christmas tradition where the youngster sits on Santa’s lap and Santa says to the child, “And what are you planning to give away this Christmas?”

But as we drove away we found ourselves acknowledging that it’s not just teens and other kids who get their values twisted. Big kids do, too. I’m interested by how many commercials there are on evening TV where the husband buys a new car for his wife or the wife has a new Lexus parked in the driveway with a bow on top. I know, transportation is essential, but the untold story is whether they sat down together first and processed the question, “Honey, before we get something for ourselves, what can we do for someone else? Who needs help that we can provide? Who can we bless this year? What example can we set for the children?”

It’s a nice custom to have a big holiday dinner for the church. But here’s a new take on that. A Methodist church in Hilton Head, SC, has been leading the way for 21 years. One family in the church writes a check for the food, a local restaurant, Hudson’s, provides the facility and the kitchen staff, church members become the servers. Anyone is welcome and you pay as you are able. But since all of the expenses of the meal are covered, all the money goes to Africa to dig wells for villages where there is no water available. The day we were there they fed 1,600 people. It’s not possible to calculate how many were blessed … for years to come … with fresh water. And that doesn’t even include the givers. (Click here to continue reading this online.)

Click here to sign up to receive the HOPE Heals weekly messages. Click here to go to their website,

Joshua Rogers: I kissed my wife, my daughter saw me and said one word I won't ever forget …

I was moved as I read this article about how our love for our spouse affects our children’s lives. This is important, especially if you have children still living at home.

One day, my wife and I were listening to a playlist of Disney songs with our two little girls when the sentimental love song "I See the Light" from “Tangled” came on.

I walked over to my wife, who was in the kitchen, took her in my arms and started dancing with her slowly.

I could tell it caught her off-guard and embarrassed her a little – it came out of nowhere. Thank goodness she stayed in my arms and danced with me anyway.

As the song approached the final chorus, I looked in my peripheral vision and suddenly realized we weren't alone. Our daughters were standing there watching us in silence.

The song approached the end and as the strings played the last notes, I decided to give the girls a Hollywood ending. I took my wife's face in my hands and kissed her.

After I pulled away, I looked over and saw my oldest daughter's face lit up with adoration, and her eyes filled with tears. Then she came over, buried her face in my wife's legs, and cried. (Click here to read the entire article at

Member Updates

Elma Johannessen: As I write this on Wednesday Evening, Elma has survived her second surgery but is in critical condition. Thank you for all your prayers. I will send out an update via the Remind App (see below for more info) when I receive new information.

Paul Lostaglia: Paul had triple bypass surgery on Monday. He is also dealing with some complications and is in a lot of pain. Please pray for him as well.

Pastor T & Pat on Vacation

Pastor T and Pat are taking a few days of vacation to enjoy time with their son and daughter-in-law. They will be available again on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Feel free to contact any one of our Elders if you need prayer or assistance. Click here for a current list with contact information.

Ride to Church Needed

An older gentleman, who lives near L Street and 132nd Street (not too far from the Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, and Target), is looking for a fairly regular ride to church on Sabbath mornings. If you live out that direction and would be willing to explore the possibilities, please contact Pastor T. (402-517-5333).

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 4:55 pm

This Sabbath at Church

    • 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 – Quest for Glory: So You Want To Be A Hero: We will look at the individual stories of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11 to see what made them a hero of faith and how we can apply those principles to our lives. Click here to see a basic outline of our study.
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath Nicholas St. Onge, one of our Youth Group members, will be sharing our message. It is titled Characters of Christmas – the Shepherds.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Dec. 16) at 6:30 pm. For information about Pathfinders contact Holly Degerness (402-917-4718) or Marina Nolasco (402-594-0671); for information about Adventurers, contact Lori Knutson (402-980-5018).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2019-2020 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2019-2020 Adventurer Calendar.

No Prayer Meeting this Tuesday. We will begin again following the holidays on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

Church Christmas Musical Worship Service one week from Sabbath (Dec. 21) at 11:15 am.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Why Being Faithful is Important: What does the Bible mean when it speaks of being faithful and steadfast? How should we best guard our hearts and be on the alert against temptation? What are the daily routines we should establish to follow Christ well and finish strong? Bible Gateway interviewed Cynthia Heald about her book, The Faithful Way: Remaining Steadfast in an Uncertain World. (Click here to read more.)

Moving from Troubled to Bold Faith: Read this brief reflection by Walter Wangerin, Jr, author of Acts of the Almighty: Meditations on the Story of God for Every Day of the Year, on the announcement by the angel Gabriel (his name means “God is my hero”) to Mary that she was going to be the mother of Jesus. (Click here to read more.)

Returning Our Minds to God: Mike Donehey, author of Finding God’s Life for My Will: His Presence is the Plan, says, "It is essential for each of us to find some method by which we can return our minds to communion with God, because perpetual communion is what our God is after.” (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.

Remind App

We are using the Remind App as an emergency contact system for our church. Through it, we can easily and quickly send out a text message to everyone on the system. One way we would use it would be to notify you if church is cancelled due to bad weather. The App is designed to work in a school setting so you will see education terminology as you sign up. Our church is considered a class in this system.

To sign up, choose one of the methods below:

    1. If you have a smartphone, you can get push notifications. On your iPhone or Android phone open your web browser and go to: Follow the instructions to sign up for Remind. You will be prompted to download the mobile app.
    2. If you don’t have a smart phone, you will get text notifications. Text the message @tmartinse to the number 81010. If you’re having trouble with 81010, try texting @tmartinse to (941) 787-5566.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Help for Survivors of Current Natural Disasters: ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) works with other disaster relief agencies to assist survivors of the many current natural disasters. To find out how you can help, click here.

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

Video Streaming: We are now live streaming our sermons each Sabbath – you can watch them by clicking here. This will now be a regular feature of our church.

On-Line Church Directory Information: Now you can sync our church directory directly to your Apple, Android, or Kindle Fire device with a Free App! You can search for other members – and then email, call, or text right from the directory app. It’s easy!

    1. Go to your device’s App Store. (Click here for Apple products, click here for Android devices, or click here for Kindle Fire.
    2. Search for Instant Church Directory.
    3. Enter your email as it’s listed in our church directory.
    4. Follow the directions on the screen to complete the login process.

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 2019, click here; 2018, click here; 2017, click here; 2016, click here;  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 (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.

Adventist Screening Verification

Verified Volunteers has changed their name to Sterling Volunteers. The NAD has decided to select a parent name that can remain in their publications and website landing pages on a permanent basis. The name chosen for all our background screening and training needs is Adventist Screening Verification .

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Adventist Screening Verification 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 or to our church). It will take about an hour of your time.

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 (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. (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.)
    • Paul Lostaglia had triple bypass surgery on Monday. He is also dealing with some complications and is in a lot of pain. Please pray for him as well.
    • Donna & Gary Parker are finally at home again. Please continue to remember them in your prayers.
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Gary Jeffers, Michael McKinnie, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Christian Willey, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. has 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), Tammy Burville (Amy Newman-Holub’s cousin), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Brenda Carroll (Judy Carroll’s sister-in-law), Dennis Cushman, 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, Paul Lostaglia, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, Donna & Gary Parker, Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), Charise Talley, Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents)

Pastor’s Contact Information

To contact Pastor T, leave him a message by clicking here.  

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