Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Feb. 1, 2020

Web Master - Wednesday, January 29, 2020

An Angel Story       

This was written by Mike Wells, a new member from Nebraska City, in response to a challenge from a sermon preached a couple of weeks ago. (You can read that sermon by clicking here or watch it by clicking here.) I was moved by the article and thought you might be encouraged by it as well.

At Golden Hills Church we were challenged to meditate on two verses, Isaiah 40:28-31 and Isaiah 41:13. The first was already on my radar but Isaiah 41:13 was something new for me to consider. It says:

“I am the Lord your God. I am holding your hand, so don’t be afraid. I am here to help you”. (Isaiah 41:13, CEV)

As soon as I saw that verse I sensed that this promise was for me at that specific time and that I was headed for trouble that I could not yet anticipate. You see, God does not reveal a promise to us unless He knows we will be needing to claim it soon. I thought, if God is going to have to hold my hand, that means that I am going to be having trouble soon. I winced at the thought knowing that the next day I would be traveling to Cameroon, Africa. I wondered: “What experience is God about to take me through, and will I be willing to completely trust in Him?”

The next day I boarded the second leg of my flight to Africa. I was in Atlanta Georgia and my seat on the aircraft was in the middle column of seats on a wide body Bowing 777. As I stumbled over the gentlemen who was my seat mate I must have looked like on old man in need of help who was confused and trying to find his way. The man was very polite and though his English was not as good as mine, we had a short conversation. He found that I would have the same connecting flight as he at the Paris France airport. He then made it very clear that he was willing to be my guide and help me navigate the complexity of that difficult airport.

The flight was long from Atlanta Georgia to Paris France but we had no further conversation until we were about to land in Paris. I told him that I would gladly take him up on his offer to be my guide. Then I indicated to him that for some reason when I was given boarding passes in Kansas City I was not given a boarding pass for the final leg of the flight to Cameroon. He was concerned about that because he knew I would not be able to go through security and re-board in Paris unless I had a boarding pass.

The layover time at this airport was very short and my guide looked nervously at his watch. “We are really going to have to hurry on this one” he said as we were rushing through the corridors of the airport. Then he suddenly stopped because he saw an Air France service desk. While we waited in line for our turn my to get help, my guide was nervously watching his watch. Time was running out. It occurred to me that he was willing to risk missing his flight in order to make sure I was taken care of. It was almost as if he had been given a divine commission to be my personal assistant.

When it was finally our turn to approach the service desk I tried to explain my situation but language barriers were causing problems and burning precious time. So my guide took over in fluent French and got the results that were needed. Somewhere along the way I asked him if he was a Christian. His answer was rather vague but it seemed that perhaps he was. I told him that I thought he may be an angel sent from God to help me through the situation where I was obviously helpless. He said “no time for that discussion now, we got to run”.

From then on it was a frantic mad dash to find our next terminal, go through security and finely find our departure gate. By the time we got to the gate, the boarding process had already started. My heart was racing, I was out of breath and my adrenaline was running in high gear. I was boarding a different section of the aircraft then he so my angel left me off in the queue I needed to be in while he went to his.

I have heard these stories before, you know the ones where an angel holds your hand during time of crisis only to disappear at the last minute. Well, I have to say, I could no longer find him. I looked all over as I was boarding but saw no trace of him. I wondered, is it possible........?

I spent the next five hours marveling at Gods gracious care. It was more then obvious that if left alone I would not have been on that flight. I had pondered the promise given in Isaiah 41:13 that very morning but I was not claiming it for this problem because I was not aware that the problem even existed until I was in the thick of it. Then everything was happening so fast I could not really formulate a proper prayer. No problem, long before I even knew there was a problem God had provided the answer back on Atlanta by giving me a seat mate to be my guardian angel.

It did not really matter to me if this helper was a heavenly angel or if he was a human being that God called to take care of me. Either way he was an angel. I did finally find my angel towards the end of the flight as I was walking towards the back of the aircraft to use the restroom. Yes, God had used a human this time to be my angel.

In reflecting on these events I think of Gods call for each of us to be his human angels in the same way as this man was mine. God has called us to daily impact the lives of those around us as He daily empowers us by connecting His Spirit with our spirit. It is my daily prayer that I will live a life so connected with God that I will find myself being His guardian angel for someone else when they are in need.

This experience gives me courage to wait patiently on the Lord as I go through my daily life. The more I have these experiences the more I have become bold in letting go of the reins of life and waiting patiently on the Lord.

God says:

“I am the Lord your God. I am holding your hand, so don’t be afraid. I am here to help you” (Isaiah 41:13, CEV)

God gave me the privilege of experiencing this promise first hand so I could develop a stronger trust in Him.

To download or print a PDF version of this story written by Mike Wells, click here.

The Future of our Church

This Sabbath (Feb. 1), we will be holding a meeting following Potluck to evaluate where we are as a church and look at where we would like go in the future. Bring your thoughts and ideas on any aspect of church life: our worship service, the sermons, community service opportunities, evangelism, etc. Please write down your ideas and plan to be a part of this important event!

Liberty Magazine Campaign

Our Religious Liberty Offerings sponsor Liberty Magazine subscriptions to high-level government official, federal, state, and provincial judges, and prominent social and religious leaders throughout North America. It is also used to support the North American Division litigation fund – resources needed to defend and preserve your religious liberty in court when necessary. And a portion of the offering is returned to the Mid-America Union to be used in our community as needed. To give you may choose any of the following options.

    • If you received a handout at church last week, just put your offering into the envelope provided and turn it in with the offering.
    • You can bring your donation with you this Sabbath and put it into a tithe envelope marked Religious Liberty or use one of the Religious Liberty inserts and turn it in with the offering.
    • You can go directly to Liberty Magazine’s Website and give through their on-line portal.
    • You can also give via our on-line portal (click here), go to the World category and click More Offering Categories, search for Liberty Magazine, click on it and then put the amount into that line and follow the instructions for donating.

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:39 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 – The Haystacks Church: We are discussing and studying the principles found in 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) – This Sabbath, we will take a break from our sermon series to explore what is God’s ideal for us as individuals and as a church in a sermon titled A Tale of Two Families. You may want to read 1 John 3 – 4 to get some idea of where we may be headed …
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Dig In!, click here.
    • Potluck After Church this Sabbath in the Fellowship Hall. If you’re a member, please plan to bring your favorite dish to feed your family plus a few more. If you’re a guest, just show up and enjoy it!
    • The Future of Our Church – Planning Meeting, this Sabbath following Potluck. We will begin at 2:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. See above for more details.

We will be hosting a special social event this Sunday (Feb. 2), beginning around 5:00 pm to watch the Super Bowl. Bring your family and enough of your favorite snacks to share.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Feb. 3) 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.

Prayer Meeting meets this Tuesday (Feb. 4) at 6:00 pm

MLT Meeting meets Tuesday (Feb. 4) at 7:15 pm in the Hearth Room. If you wish to submit something for them to discuss, please contact Kalvin Tuel (402-201-6370).

Breakfast at Church will begin again one week from Sabbath (Feb. 8).

Our February 8 Worship Service will be a special presentation by our Sudanese Group. You will not want to miss this service!

Mid-America Union Children’s Ministries Convention 2020: Are you excited about ministering to children? Do you wish to have training to effectively minister to children? Looking for resources to help you program and meet the needs of children?  You want to attend the 2020 Children’s Ministries Convention, February 28-29, 2020 at the Omaha Marriott Regency. To Register (or for more information), click here or call (800) 732-7587.  See below for more details.

Life Line Screening will be here at our Church April 29, 2020. Click here to register. See below for more details.

Backfire (HOPE Heals)

Don Jacobsen's blog last weekend was titled Backfire and has some powerful thoughts about prayer.

Virtually the whole world has been dazed to watch the wildfires ravaging the beautiful island nation of Australia. How do you attack a savage maelstrom that seeks to engulf an entire country? …

One of the words a friend alerted me to in this epic event is the word backfire. Firefighters courageously move ahead of the fire and burn the combustibles out of the way so that when the wildfire reaches that place there is nothing left to burn. Simple but strategic …

At the risk of over-dramatizing the parallel, may I suggest that in the global destructive carnage in process in the great controversy, God also has an effective backfire plan. It’s called a prayer group ….

For instance: A group of prayer warriors I know well became aware recently of a pastoral family in trouble. A former strong spiritual leader, he became ill, then other complications appeared. His wife and children were surprised, then frightened. Before becoming a believer he had dabbled seriously in the occult. Could this be a residual? Where to turn?

Click here to read the entire story.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Live God’s Presence and Change Your Life: How can the sentence "GOD is here" be the key to more happiness, less boredom, more rest, less rush, more love, less drama, more peace, less fear? How should you change your perspective from merely enjoying the good moments in your life to worshiping the God who is right here, right now? Bible Gateway interviewed Mike Novotny about his book, 3 Words That Will Change Your Life: The Secret to Experiencing the Joy of God's Presence. (Click here to read more.)

Let Bible Gateway Help You Read the Bible Every Day in 2020 in These Simple Ways: Bible Gateway has a variety of ways to make your decision to read the Bible this year manageable and fun. Here are 3 of them. (Click here to read more.)

You’re Never Beyond Repair: Nona Jones, author of Success from the Inside Out: Power to Rise from the Past to a Fulfilling Future, says, "We invite God’s grace into our lives when we surrender our wills to his Word and submit our pain to his purpose. (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.

MAUC Children’s Ministries Convention 2020

Are you excited about ministering to children? Do you wish to have training to effectively minister to children? Looking for resources to help you program and meet the needs of children?  You need to attend the 2020 Children’s Ministries Convention, February 28-29, 2020 at the Omaha Marriott Regency Hotel.

You’ll receive:

    • In-depth, hands on training through breakout options (For a list of Breakout Sessions click here).
    • Training for the new Seventh-day Adventist HEROES VBS Curriculum.
    • Resource Center full of children’s ministry specific resources.
    • Meaningful networking with other leaders like you.

Registration: $25.00 per person – Includes Registration materials, Sabbath Lunch, In-depth hands on training through Breakout Sessions, Resources, Networking.

Venue: Omaha Marriott Regency, 10220 Regency Circle, Omaha, NE 68114.

Housing: There is a convention room block at the Omaha Marriott Regency. Rate is $91.00 per night plus tax (18.16%). Click here to make a reservation or call 1-402-399-9000 and ask for MAU Room Block Price.

To Register (or for more information), click here or call (800) 732-7587.

Life Line Screening

Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings will be in our community again on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 here at our Church. Ultrasound screenings to Identify risk factors for Cardiovascular disease include; Carotid Artery (plaque buildup-a leading cause of stroke), Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (an enlargement or weak area in the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body), Peripheral Arterial Disease (hardening of the arteries in the legs), a Heart Rhythm Screening (an EKG to detect Atrial Fibrillation-irregular heartbeat) and an Osteoporosis Risk Assessment for men and women. Being proactive about your health by knowing your risks helps you and your doctor address problems early. Register online TODAY by clicking here and receive your “Community Circle” discount and your Preferred Appointment!

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 your phone is not so smart, you can still 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

Wall of Love: Our church board recently approved a new community focus project call the Wall of Love. Each month we will collect needed items for a service agency in our community.

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).

Last Week’s Sermon

To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Dig In!, 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. (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.)
    • Donna & Garry Parker are at Life Care Center of Omaha (6032 Ville de Sante Dr., Omaha, NE 68104), room 603. They will be there at least through the weekend but may get to go home sometime next week.
    • Bill Agan continues radiation therapy for the cancer in his throat.
    • 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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