Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Dec. 28, 2019

Web Master - Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas!   

It’s hard to believe we have made it around the calendar to Christmas again. In all the business of this season, take some time to remember that we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday (not yours or mine).

And take some time to reflect on what Jesus coming to this world means in terms of your life and eternity.

May you be blessed and be a blessing as you celebrate Jesus’ birth this year!

Where Else?

Don Jacobsen's blog last weekend was titled Where Else?. He has some beautiful thoughts on Christmas, including a song to listen to (it was a song I had not heard before).

I love the whole season … the lights, the trees, the music, the re-reading of the story, the family gatherings … all of it. However, the real reason I enjoy it so much is because of what it represents. Without Christmas, I would have nothing to sing about, and how could I possibly even understand the word joy? The lights and “stuff” are just earthy symbols of the time of year when much of the whole world pauses and collectively considers the reality of the birth of Christ and what that birth actually means.

Without His birth He would not have fulfilled the hundreds of prophecies predicted about Him. Without His birth, He would not have been able to relate to us as “God in flesh”… Immanuel, God with us. God for us. The entire hope of the human family was wrapped in rags and laid in a feeding trough. (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,

Breakfast at Church

This will be the last Sabbath we will be serving breakfast at Church on Sabbaths other than Potluck Sabbath. If this is something you would like to see continue and would be willing to coordinate it, please let Kalvin Tuel or Pastor T. know.

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:01 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 – The Haystacks Church: We will be starting a new study the first week of January, entitled The Haystacks Church. It will based on a book titled The Haystacks Church. To purchase a paper copy of this book, click here. To purchase an e-book for Apple Products, click here; for a Kindle version, click here; or for a nook book, click here.

    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – How do you approach God’s will and salvation? This Sabbath Pastor T will explore this topic as he shares a message titled L, O, or LOL.

No Pathfinders or Adventurers (Dec. 30). 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 (Dec. 31). We will begin again following the holidays on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31.

New Year’s Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Blessed to Bless: What does it mean to flip the blessing by blessing others in the way God has blessed us? How can we turn giving into a game and experience an exponential joy in the process? What does the Bible say about blessings? Bible Gateway interviewed Mark Batterson about his book, Double Blessing: How to Get It. How to Give It. (Click here to read more.)

Learning the Promises of God One Day at a Time: Times of change, trouble, or doubt can leave us looking for answers, wondering what God says about our situation. Millions have trusted Jack Countryman books based on the promises of God. His first 365-day devotional – God's Promises® Every Day – brings encouragement and assurance through Scripture and writings about the promises God has for your life. Bible Gateway interviewed Jack Countryman about his book, God's Promises Every Day: 365 Day Devotional. (Click here to read more.)

What Is the Purpose of My Pain? Seth Haines, author of  The Book of Waking Up: Experiencing the Divine Love That Reorders a Life, asks, "Is emotional pain a gift? Is it a signaler, an opportunity to invite the great God of healing and comfort to be with us?” (Click here to read more.)

Happy Hanukkah – Know Why It’s Important: The purpose and traditions of Hanukkah are so intriguing, that Christians should appreciate this festival more than a passing acknowledgment of the season. (Click here to read more.)

Learn More About the Genealogy of Jesus this Christmas: Sometimes it’s easy to overlook how miraculous Jesus’ birth was, even while we celebrate his arrival on Christmas. But the more closely you read into the genealogies in the Gospels, the more fully you can come to appreciate the fulfillment of God’s covenant. (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: 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

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).

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 is at Nebraska Medicine – Bellevue, room 420. She enjoys visitors. Please continue to pray for her.
    • 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.
    • Bill Agan will begin radiation therapy for the cancer in his throat early in the new year. Please pray for his recovery.
    • 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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