Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Feb. 22, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, February 20, 2020

Death, Yet Again – You Don’t Have to Do This Alone!

It seems that one of the challenges or growing older is the loss of friends and family through death happen more frequently. My guess is the longer you live, the more loss you will have to deal with.

This past Monday, Pat’s sister died unexpectedly. While she had been sick for quite some time, no one had any idea it would happen this soon.

Many of you, I know, have dealt with this or are dealing with it. For me, it is one of the least appealing consequences of sin and evil in this world.

The older I get, the more I long for something better than this world. God has made a number of promises regarding this. And while Scriptures do not tells much about what that will be like – I don’t think we would understand much of it anyway – it does highlight what will not be a part of Heaven and of life here on earth once it has been cleaned of sin and restored to it’s original splendor.

In Revelation 21, it tells what will be missing there:

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:3-4, NLT)

Did you catch that?

“… He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:3-4, NLT)

I’m not exactly sure what Heaven will be like, but anyplace where you will live forever that is missing death, sorrow, crying, and pain already sounds like a great place to be.

It is also the place where God resides. And as I’m getting to know Him better – spending an eternity with Him sounds pretty appealing!

We don’t have much control over death, sorrow, crying, and pain here. But we do have control of our destiny!

Jesus offers it to you as a gift. He also offers to walk with us here and now as we experience the inevitable results of sin – death, sorrow …

He invites you to come to Him and stay with Him. And even here in the midst of all the stuff going on, we can experience His peace and rest in our lives (see Matthew 11:28-30). The only condition is that we stay with Him.

If you have not experienced this, don’t put it off. Isaiah tells you how God feels about you and what He wants to do for you:

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)

You don’t have to do this alone!

Wall of Love

Our church is partnering with Restoring Dignity during the month of February. Restoring Dignity brings lasting change and hope to local refugees. They actively advocate for the human dignity of our refugee population by providing critical resources that both relieve suffering and enable displaced families to thrive in their new environments. One of the ways they do this is to teach families how to use specific cleaning supplies. Here are some needed cleaning supplies:

    • The Works Toilet Cleaner
    • Simple Green All Purpose Cleaning Spray
    • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
    • Dawn Dish Soap
    • Great Value Glass Cleaner
    • Comet Bathroom Cleaner
    • Toilet Brush

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 6:05 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 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 continue our sermon series titled Take the Plunge with Pastor T.’s sermon titled Abide/P.R.A.Y. What do plants and our spiritual lives have in common?
      • To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Loving the Law?, click here . You can watch it by clicking here .
    • There will be a Youth/Young Adult Bible Study this Sabbath afternoon at Pastor T’s home (3418 Scott Dr., Bellevue, NE 68123) beginning at 4:00 pm.
    • Chili Cook-Off this Saturday Evening beginning at 6:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Hope you’ll join us!

Women’s Bible Study, this Sunday (Feb. 23) at the home of Lori Knutson (3316 N 47th Ave., Omaha, NE 68104) from 9:30 – 11:00 am. If you are interested in attending, please see Lori Knutson after church, email or call/text (402) 980-5018.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Feb. 24) 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. 25) at 6:00 pm.

MLT Meeting this Tuesday (Feb. 25) 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).

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.

The Future of Our Church (Part 2) – Planning Meeting, on March 7 following Potluck.

Revive Us Again - Prayer Conference will talk place April 10-12, 2020 at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City. The featured presenter will Dr. Philip Samaan, author of several books including Christ’s Way to Pray. There will also be a program for kids 6-10 years of age. For more information see below. To register, click here.

Church Leadership Retreat, April 24-26 at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City.

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

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Think Different: What if the greatest spiritual battle of our generation is taking place in the space between our ears? Does how we think actually shape how we live? What are toxic thinking patterns and what does the Bible say about them? Bible Gateway interviewed Jennie Allen, author of Get Out of Your Head: The One Thought That Can Shift Our Chaotic Minds. (Click here to read more.)

Dare to Pray These Dangerous Prayers: Do you ever wonder, "Why doesn't God answer my prayers?" Do you wish you could see the evidence that prayer changes lives? Are you tired of playing it safe with your faith? Does prayer really move the heart of God? What does it mean to pray boldly and powerfully? What are dangerous prayers? In this Q&A, Craig Groeschel talks about his book, Dangerous Prayers: Because Following Jesus Was Never Meant to Be Safe. (Click here to read more.)

My Escape from Slavery: Rebecca Bender, author of In Pursuit of Love: One Woman’s Journey from Trafficked to Triumphant, says, "I knew I needed professional help if I wanted to get my life together and my little girl back. Bryan, my pimp, was furious … I called my mom and got a list of women’s rehabs in the Pacific Northwest that she’d compiled for me. Last on the list was Victory Outreach, a Christian women’s home.” (Click here to read more.)

66 Ways God Loves You: Jennifer Rothschild, author of 66 Ways God Loves You: Experiencing God's Love for You in Every Book of the Bible, summarizes each book of the Bible in light of God's love. For example, Genesis — God Fashions Me with His Hands; Exodus — God Delivers Me from Slavery; Leviticus — God Grants Me Access to Him. (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.

Revive Us Again - Prayer Conference

This years Prayer Conference will talk place April 10-12, 2020 at Lied Lodge & Conference Center in Nebraska City. Prayer, properly understood, is all about a living relationship with Jesus. The mission of the Prayer Conference is to inspire and empower people to renew their relationship with Jesus!

The featured presenter will Dr. Philip Samaan, a captivating storyteller and dynamic teacher. He has served as a professor of religion at Southern Adventist University and has authored several books including Christ’s Way to Pray. There will also be an amazing interactive children’s program for ages 6-10.

The price per person for a double occupancy room is just $165 per person for early-bird registration (which ends on March 10). This includes amazing meals, lodging at the Lied Lodge, and all the programming. For more information or to register, contact Susan Treolo at 785-478-4726 or click here.

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

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 Loving the Law?, click here. You can watch it by clicking 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 Future of Our Church – Please pray that God will make His will and the path to achieving it known and that we will have the courage to follow wherever it leads
    • Our Church Leaders (Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Board Members, Sabbath School Class Leaders, Pathfinder/Adventurer Leaders, Etc.)
    • 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, Bill Agan, 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 T’s Contact Information or call/text 402-517-5333.  

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