Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Mar. 7, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, March 05, 2020

How Do You Look?

Don Jacobsen's blog last weekend was titled How Do You Look? and has some important thoughts on looking at others through Jesus’ eyes.

I believe it’s true to say that it’s not what we look at that determines what we see, it’s our eyes.

While I’m not a connoisseur of Impressionist art, I do know a bit of the story of Claude Monet, one of its most famous painters. Incidentally, one of his early works sold in May, 2019, for $110 million. It was an 1890 painting of a haystack.

Monet was born in 1840 and before he was thirty he began to develop early age-related cataracts in both eyes. Because it affected how he could see colors it began to change his painting. Later he would write, “… Colors no longer had the same intensity to me … reds had begun to look muddy.”

He continued to paint, but he numbered the tubes of paint on his palette and kept them in precise order. He began using broader strokes with his brushes and over time all of his paintings began to take on a strong bluish tint.

By now cataract surgery was a hundred years old but less than 50% successful. Against his better judgment, Monet allowed friends to persuade him to have the surgery and after lying immobilized by sandbags for ten days, he wrote to his surgeon, “It is to my great chagrin that I regret having this fatal (sic) operation. Pardon me for speaking so frankly and let me tell you that it is criminal to have put me in this situation.”

With corrective lenses his vision would gradually improve some – enough that he destroyed some of the work he had done prior to his surgery. There are more than 2,500 of his works known, and he painted till near his death in 1926. I am told you can line up an assortment of his canvases and tell whether they were painted before his surgery or after simply by how true the colors are.

Like I said, it’s not what we look at that determines what we see, it’s our eyes. Some of the religious leaders in Jesus’ day looked at a young woman and saw a prostitute. Jesus looked at the same woman, and saw a precious treasure. It depends on how you look. When Judas showed up in the Garden he was on the verge of committing the most heinous crime in the history of planet earth; Jesus called him friend. It depends on how you look.

A dear friend recently described to me how she was sitting in church one day and realized there were people there she didn’t like being around. Right there she asked the Lord to do whatever was necessary to change her heart. And He did. He loves to do that, to give us eye salve so we may see as He does. (Rev 3:18) The Pharisees were critics; Jesus was a lover. You and I want to look like Jesus. (Click here to read the article online).

Click here to sign up to receive the HOPE Heals weekly messages. Click here to go to their website,

The Future of our Church – Phase 2

This Sabbath afternoon (Mar. 7), we will be holding a meeting following Potluck (about 2:00 pm) to continue the process we began with our SWOT Analysis earlier this month. We will explore next steps as we look to balance our priorities for community impact. 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 continuing process!

Wall of Love – Stephen Center

We are focusing on the  Stephen Center during the month of March. Their Executive Director, Michael Wehling, describes their mission like this: “At Stephen Center, we hope that program participants never stop dreaming. Our job is to help the homeless achieve housing, the addicted achieve sobriety, the sick achieve wellness, and the fearful achieve strength …”  

This month we will be collecting travel sized personal items for new arrivals at Stephen Center . Here are some needed items: shampoo, shave cream, toothpaste, hand /body lotion, toothbrushes, disposable razors, combs/brushes, deodorant, etc.

Is Your Church Kind?

I have come to believe that the real test of any Christian congregation is how effective it is at teaching relational wholeness. Does it produce people who are tangibly more Christlike? By that I mean beyond theological questions, Bible studies and carefully honed messages, are the people in this group easily recognized in the wider world because of the practical kindness they exhibit? (Click here to read more.)

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 6:21 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) – Is your life getting a LOT on the hectic side? This Sabbath we will be looking to Isaiah for looks at keeping our priorities on Jesus in the middle of a crazy, mixed up world. John Stroman will present our sermon titled Savor Staying on the Shores of the Shiloh.
    • 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 (Phase 2) – Planning Meeting this Sabbath following Potluck at 2:00 pm. See above for more information.

Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday (Mar. 8) at 2:00 am. Don’t forget to “spring forward” by setting your clocks ahead an hour.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Mar. 9) 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 this Tuesday (Mar. 10) at 6:00 pm.

Church Board meets this Tuesday (Mar. 10) at 7:15 pm in the Board Room of the Education Annex. If you have any items that need to be considered, please contact our Head Elder, Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-0630).

Campion Academy – Academy Days is designed to give prospective 7-11th grade students the opportunity to visit classes, stay a night in the dorm, eat "cafe" food, tour the campus, make some new friends and just “get a feel" for academy life! This year’s Academy Days is scheduled for March 27 & 28, 2020. Our theme this year is “Knocking Out Giants” and is featuring a Human Bumper Ball Tournament, Teen friendly Jousting, ice cream outing, awesome mixers, games and tons of food. You can register for this event by going to

Kansas Nebraska Conference Men’s Retreat, April 3-5, 2000 at Broken Arrow Ranch. Karl Haffner, the Vice President for Student Experience at Loma Linda University will be the featured speaker. Click here for more information and registration instruction or call Cheryl Barker at (785) 478-4726.

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.

Our Annual Passover/Easter Season Musical Worship Service will take place on Sabbath, April 18. If you would like to participate with a song, a poem, a reading, etc., that especially highlights Jesus’ death and resurrection, please contact Rita Swenson (402-215-2015) or Trisha McGann (402-415-9015).

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

When Two Christian Scientists Disagree About Creation and Evolution: The topics of creation and evolution can be divisive in today's church. How can followers of Jesus who worship together but differ in their views on these topics get along with each other? How can they demonstrate the practice of loving one another, friendship, and mutual respect despite arriving at opposite scientific conclusions? Bible Gateway interviewed Todd Charles Wood and Darrel R. Falk about their book, The Fool and the Heretic: How Two Scientists Moved Beyond Labels to a Christian Dialogue About Creation and Evolution. (Click here to read more.)

Learn Bible Lessons from the Holy Land: How should the ancient history of the Bible define our modern faith walk? How do the stories of the Old Testament have bearing on the death and resurrection of Jesus, as well as on our own life today? In this season of Lent, Bible Gateway interviewed bestselling author Ray Vander Laan about his video and book, The Path to the Cross. (Click here to read more.)

Even in the Face of Illness, We Have No Fear: "Fear not!" Are we radical enough to apply the knowledge of God’s love to the Coronavirus outbreak and even the common flu? (Click here to read more.)

SNEAK PEEK – Don’t Ignore Your God-Sized Dream: Here's a Bible Gateway exclusive Sneak Peek and First Listen of the forthcoming book and audiobook It's Not Over: Leaving Behind Disappointment and Learning to Dream Again by Joshua Gagnon, who says, "We need more input when it comes to identifying which needs (and which dreams) God is using to direct our steps. (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.

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

       You can watch last week’s worship service 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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