Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Dec. 21, 2019

Web Master - Thursday, December 19, 2019

Early Christmas     

We had an early Christmas this year as Jonathan and Corrine visited us from Tacoma, Washington this past weekend.

We had such a good time together. We hardly left the house – except to go out and eat once. We visited, we made cookies, we put together puzzles (2,500 pieces worth of a couple of the most challenging ones I have ever worked on), we looked at pictures – we just enjoyed being together.

In Matthew, where it tells about Joseph’s dream and God’s instructions for naming Jesus, it gives this parenthetical statement:

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,” (see Isaiah 7:14 & 8:8-10)

 which means “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:22-23, NLT)

Jesus came here as Immanuel; God with us! There is nothing God wants more that to be with you and me, and for us to be with Him!

The greatest gift you can give Jesus this year on His birthday (actually on any day) is to just be with Him.

Hang out with Him a bit each morning and share thoughts and problems with Him. Talk to Him about the things that matter to you. Tell Him your joys and your troubles. Look for His answers in the Bible.

Then, invite Him to lead you through your day.

It brings me great joy is when my kids want to spend time with me. You can bring that joy to God. And, you will find yourself blessed beyond measure.

Member Updates

Elma Johannessen has improved enough to be removed from the ventilator (Tuesday evening) and may move out of ICU today (Thursday). She is at Nebraska Medicine – Bellevue. She enjoys visitors and will be able to have them as soon as she is moved out of ICU. Please continue to pray for her complete recovery.

Paul Lostaglia is currently in a rehab program as he recovers from his triple by-pass surgery. He is at Hillcrest Millard (13225 Westwood Lane, Omaha, NE 68144). The phone number for his room is 531-365-3069. He enjoys visitors as well. Please continue to pray for him.

Donna Parker is back in the hospital at CHI Health – Bergan Mercy. Please continue to pray for her and Gary.

Hospice Volunteers Needed

Hospice Volunteers are needed to provide companionship and support for individuals living with terminal illnesses and their families. Volunteers choose the hours they are able to serve and determine the geographical location in metro Omaha/Council Bluffs and surrounding area. Volunteer education will take place in February and is sponsored by CHI Health at Home Hospice, VNA Hospice, and Hospice House – The Josie Harper Residence . Please call one of the agencies below to request an application. Space is limited.

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 – 4:57 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 we will enjoy our annual Christmas Musical worship service coordinated by Rita Swensen.

No Pathfinders or Adventurers (Dec. 23). We will begin again on January 6. 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.

Christmas Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 24.

Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

America’s Religious History: Since the founding of America centuries ago, Americans have been a pervasively religious people. What is the theological and ethnic diversity and enduring strength of American religion in general, and Christianity and evangelical faith in particular? How have faith commitments and actions shaped the nation? Bible Gateway interviewed Thomas S. Kidd, author of America's Religious History. (Click here to read more.)

Avoid Hurry and Stay Healthy: Who are you becoming? Is the rush of everyday life wearing you down and drawing you away from the fulfilling life in Christ? Is hurry the great enemy of your spiritual life? Bible Gateway interviewed John Mark Comer about his book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World. (Click here to read more.)

The Year I Dreaded Christmas: Walter Wangerin Jr., author of  Wounds Are Where the Light Enters: Stories of God’s Intrusive Grace, writes, "On Christmas Eve Day 1955 we gathered at our front windows to watch for the mare and her wagon, and for the milkman to come bustling up the front walk. Mother wanted to be shed of us and our wild joy so that she could bake cookies in peace.” (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:

    • If you have a smartphone, you can get push notifications. On your iPhone or Android phone open your web browser and go to: rmd.at/tmartinse. Follow the instructions to sign up for Remind. You will be prompted to download the mobile app.
    • 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.

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.

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.)
    • Elma Johannessen has improved enough to be removed from the ventilator (Tuesday evening) and may move out of ICU tomorrow (Thursday). She is at Nebraska Medicine – Bellevue. She enjoys visitors and will be able to have them as soon as she is moved out of ICU. Please continue to pray for her complete recovery.
    • Paul Lostaglia is currently in a rehab program as he recovers from his triple by-pass surgery. He is at Brookestone Meadows (600 Brookestone Meadows Plaza, Elkhorn, NE 68022). He enjoys visitors as well. Please continue to pray for him.
    • Donna Parker is back in the hospital at CHI Health – Bergan Mercy. Please continue to pray for her and Gary.
    • 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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