Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Mar. 21, 2020

Web Master - Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Don’t Let Your Heart be Troubled?

If you have spent any time watching the news you know there is a lot to be troubled about.

We are going through something right now that I have never experienced or even imagined. Life definitely feels out of control.

In the course of a couple weeks, we have gone from fairly normal life to extreme social distancing. To add to the confusion, our stores are out of stuff we need, the economy is crashing, and we can’t get together even to comfort each other or to worship.

I have spoken to a number of people who are disoriented and afraid of what may be coming. How are you feeling right now?

I must admit I have moments of fear. The constant bad news and the rush of information and change is confusing, intimidating, and overwhelming. As a pastor, I’m way out of my league right now.

But, when I look up – away from the horrible news that keeps rushing at me – I actually find peace. My hope is not in my abilities, my strength, or my wisdom – my hope is in God.

In a time just before the most difficult time of their lives – just after telling them how badly they would fail – Jesus told His disciples:

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me …” (John 14:1, NLT)

A few minutes later He said:

“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid …” (John 14:27, NLT)

He ended the evening with:

“… Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NLT)

Knowing what He was facing, how could He be so upbeat?

He could be so sure, because He knew His Father:

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never becomes faint or weary; there is no limit to his understanding. He gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31, CSB)

He knew His Father is the most powerful being and force in this universe. He wants you to remember this as well, because His Father, is also your Father! He also knew His Father’s promise, spoken from His own mouth, recorded just a few verses later:

“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)

Not only is your Father the most powerful force and being in this universe, He is also tender and loving. He is walking with you, holding your hand.

I don’t know what even tomorrow will bring let alone next week or next month. But I do know Who is ultimately in control and I choose to trust Him.

“… Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NLT)

COVID – 19 Response

Our board voted Monday to cancel all face-to-face activities at our church until we are on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis. During this time, we will have a worship time together on-line each Sabbath Morning at 11:15 am using our video streaming service . We are exploring other ways we can stay connected and will update you with any new developments

Any business that needs to be conducted by the MLT or the Church Board will be done via email or video conferencing. Pastor T and our Elders can be reached by phone or email (click here to download a list of Elders with their contact information).

We know there are those in our congregation that are not on-line. We are working to be sure they also have the information they need. However, please check in on anyone you know that is not likely to be reading this on-line to see how they are doing and give them the information. And please let us know if things are going on with them that we need to respond to and help with.

There will be additional changes and new information available as the situation progresses. We will communicate regularly through Golden News (our e-mail newsletter), the Pastor’s Blog, the homepage of our Website (, and through Remind.

To get notices through Remind, our emergency alert service, you must be signed up. You can do this by simply texting the message “@tmartinse” to the number 81010 (or 941-787-5566) – click here for more detailed instructions.

For the most reliable, up-to-date information, on the COVID-19 virus situation, check out the CDC, the World Heath Organization, Adventist Risk Management, and Adventist Health, UNMC, and the University of Minnesota, COVID-19 Resource Center.

Here are some additional resources for you if you wish to use them:

Kansas Nebraska Conference Announcement

The Conference office is closed to the public through April 3. Office personnel are still available during regular office hours (785-478-4726). Please call ahead if you need supplies or want access to the ABC for food, etc.

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 7:36 pm

This Sabbath at Church: There will be no activities at the church until further notice due to the dangers of COVID-19 and the recommendation of the CDC. Here are some resources available for your worship time.

Sabbath School Options

    • Our Alternate Sabbath School Class will be experimenting with a video conferencing option for Sabbath School. If you would like to be a part of this group, please text John Stroman (402-871-9764) so he can send you an invitation to participate.
    • To study the current Sabbath School Lesson on-line, click here.
    • Hope Sabbath School, click here.

Worship Service Options

    • Golden Hills Live Stream (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, we will look at some of the promises that give us home in uncertain times. Click here to find us at 11:15 am.
    • Loma Linda University Church, live stream and recorded services, click here.
    • Pioneer Memorial Church (Andrews University): for their live stream, click here; for their recorded sermons, click here.
    • Kansas Nebraska Conference collection of sermons by numerous presenters, click here.

Women’s Bible Study, this Sunday (Mar. 22) at the home of Lori Knutson has been cancelled.

Pathfinders & Adventurers will not meet until further notice. 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 will not meet until further notice. We will be experimenting with an on-line option. Watch for more information.

MLT Meeting this Tuesday (Mar. 24) at 7:15 pm, if needed, will take place as a video conference. You will receive an invitation to the meeting from Kalvin. Please contact Kalvin if you have any questions (402-201-6370).

Kansas Nebraska Conference Men’s Retreat, April 3-5, has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 Virus situation.

Revive Us Again - Prayer Conference has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 Virus situation.

Our Annual Passover/Easter Season Friday Evening Communion Service and Musical Worship Service have been cancelled.

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

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Want a Transparent, Resilient, and Fearless Life of Faith? Read the Psalms: How does the book of Psalms help make sense of life, art, metaphor, violence, suffering, and mortality? How do the Psalms reflect God's attributes of justice, grace, goodness, healing, power, and refuge? How are the millennia-old psalms a guide to living faithfully the modern Christian life in the midst of joys, sorrows, angers, doubts, praises, and thanksgivings? Bible Gateway interviewed W. David O. Taylor about his book, Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life. (Click here to read more.)

Saint Patrick Loved the Bible: In this Blog post are examples showing the 4th-5th century Saint Patrick’s dependence on the Bible when he wrote his Confesio (click the links to read the Scriptures in both English and Latin (the translation of his day) on Bible Gateway). (Click here to read more.)

What Answers are People Looking for from the Bible in an Age of Coronavirus? If we survey the queries on Bible Gateway that are trending above normal this week, they fall into three main categories: the end of the world, disease, and fear. Also bats …  (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.

Miscellaneous Information

Remind is our emergency alert service. To get notices through Remind, you must be signed up. You can do this by simply texting the message “@tmartinse” to the number 81010 (or 941-787-5566) – click here for more detailed instructions.

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.

Video Streaming: We are now live streaming our sermons each Sabbath – you can watch it by clicking here.

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.

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, the Golden News, directly to your computer, click here and enter your information in the space provided.

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.

Last Week’s Sermon

To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled Pause, 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 COVID-19 Virus epidemic here and around the world
    • 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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