Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Nov. 10, 2018

Web Master - Thursday, November 08, 2018

I’m Thankful!

This is actually my favorite time of year. It’s not just because fall is giving way to winter. It’s because it leads up to my two favorite holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas!

I must clarify a bit – I don’t especially enjoy the commercialization of Christmas. It feels way to early to be listening to Christmas music as we shop stores full of invitations to purchase things to make this the “most spectacular Christmas ever!” It is troubling that one of the most sacred events in this earth’s history – the birth of Jesus – is used for commercial gain.

But, one does not need to focus on that part. I choose to focus on what these two holidays mean to me as a Christian.

As I reflect on my life, I realize I have a lot to be thankful for.

    • I have a wonderful family, full of love
    • I have relatively good health with outstanding health care available for those times my health falters
    • I live in a house with heat and AC and have more than enough food each day – something the vast majority of people in this world do not have.
    • I have a vehicle that works and the resource to put fuel in it allowing me to go wherever I need to or want to
    • I have a church family that supports and loves us and is filled with volunteers:
      • Who keep the church clean and in good repair
      • Who give of their time to help our children and young people meet Jesus
      • Who participate in our worship experience
      • Who plan social events that bring about enjoyable fellowship
      • And, much more
    • I have a dog who thinks I’m the greatest person in the world

And most of all, I have a Savior who knows all about me – including every sinful thought and action; Who said:

 For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. (John 3:16, the Voice)

I am thankful I can substitute my name in there for “the world” – your name goes there too!

Mathew, writing about Jesus’ birth, said:

Years and years ago, Isaiah, a prophet of Israel, foretold the story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus: A virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and His name will be Immanuel (which is a Hebrew name that means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:22-23, the Voice)

I am thankful that God become one of us through Jesus, and that He promised:

… “I will never leave you; I will always be by your side.” Because of this promise, we may boldly say, “The Lord is my help – I won’t be afraid of anything. How can anyone harm me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6, the Voice)

And I am especially thankful that Jesus has eternal plans for us to be with Him in a recreated world: Jesus said:

“Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. (John 14:1-3, the Voice)

The apostle John wrote this near the end of his life when he saw Heaven in vision:

I looked again and could hardly believe my eyes. Everything above me was new. Everything below me was new. Everything around me was new because the heaven and earth that had been passed away, and the sea was gone, completely. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride on her wedding day, adorned for her husband and for His eyes only. And I heard a great voice, coming from the throne.

See, the home of God is with His people. He will live among them; They will be His people, And God Himself will be with them. The prophecies are fulfilled: He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; Mourning no more, crying no more, pain no more …” (Revelation 21:1-4, the Voice)

I have a lot to be thankful for! How about you?

Calendar Events

Kansas Nebraska Youth Rally will take place this weekend at Broken Arrow Ranch. Click here to register. Contact Tim Floyd at the Conference office for questions (email or 785-478-4726)

Sunset this Friday – 5:10 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: Studying the book Boot Camp for the Last Days by Randy Maxwell. Paper copies of the book will be available at class but if you wish to purchase one for your tablet – click here for a Kindle, click here for I-Tunes, or click here for a Nook.
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, Steve Wilhelmsen – our first Elder – will lead out in our annual Veteran’s Day Service.
    • Children’s Church meets this Sabbath at 11:15 in the Fellowship Hall.
    • Game Night in the Fellowship Hall beginning at 6:30 pm. Bring your favorite games and snacks to share.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Nov. 12), at 6:30 pm. Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information about Pathfinders (e-mail or 402-201-6370) or Lori Knutson for the Adventurer Club (e-mail or 402-980-5018).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Adventurer Calendar.

Prayer Meeting meets this Tuesday (Nov. 13) at 6:00 pm. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Church Board meets Tuesday (Nov. 13) 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, Steve Wilhelmsen (e-mail or 402-708-2730).

Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Deadline, one week from Sabbath (Nov. 17)To check out their website, click here. There are still plenty of materials in the Church Lobby. See below for more information.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

How to Win the Battle Against Sin: Is the way to fight sin to grit your teeth, strengthen your resolve, and rise above the onslaught of temptation? What does the Bible say about breaking the chain of sin and doing what is right instead of what is wrong? In this Facebook Live video with Bible Gateway, David Bowden talks about his book, Rewire Your Heart: Replace Your Desire for Sin with Desire for God. (Click here to read more.)

How Many Denominations Are There? What are denominations and why are they important? What's their history, doctrines, and practices? How many are there and why do they exist? Bible Gateway interviewed Roger E. Olson, who, along with Frank S. Mead, Samuel S. Hill, and Craig D. Atwood, is editor of the Handbook of Denominations in the United States, 14th Edition. (Click here to read more.)

The Church of Outlandish, Outrageous Faith: In this guest Blog post, Grant Skeldon, author of The Passion Generation: The Seemingly Reckless, Definitely Disruptive, but Far from Hopeless Millennials, says, "A few years ago, some friends and I had the privilege of grabbing lunch with Bob Goff. And by that I mean he put his phone number in the back of his national bestselling book, so I called him. It was one of the coolest experiences because Bob told me something I’m never going to forget ..." (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.

Operation Christmas Child

The deadline to turn in your shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child is about one and half weeks away – November 17, 2018!

You will still find plenty of boxes and supplies on the table in our Lobby. It would be wonderful if we could contribute more than 50 boxes this year for children around the world! For information and ideas on packing a box, click here – for a list of things not to include, click here.

For more information about the program, click here or speak with Carol Fennessy or Pat Martinsen.

Christmas Shoe Boxes cost $9.00 each to ship.

    • Please remember to include a check in the box for $9.00 made out to Samaritan’s Purse (note OCC on the memo line) or include $9.00 in cash.
    • Click here to pay this amount on-line and print out a label for your box if you would like to know where your box goes.
    • If you would like to donate funds to help ship the boxes our children’s departments are preparing, please turn it using one of our tithe envelopes marked Operation Christmas Child.
    • You may also donate funds directly of Samaritan’s Purse for Operation Christmas Child by clicking here.

Church Positions Available

We are looking for people to fill some vacant positions here at church. If you would be interested or would like to suggest someone for these jobs contact John Stroman (e-mail or 402-871-9764) or Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

    • Head Deaconess: This person would coordinate the activities of our Deaconess Group. This would include preparation and participation in Communion services and may include arranging for things like flowers for people in the hospital, planning meals for funerals, and providing support and assistance to people in need.
    • Women’s Ministries: This person would work to connect with the women of our congregation and plan some events that would bring them together and provide mutual support. They would also be our contact person with the Conference Women’s Ministries Coordinator.
    • Webmaster: This person would keep our website updated with current news, announcements, and dates. It would be helpful to understand HTML a bit, but not completely necessary.
    • Social Media: If you are really into social media and would like to help our church have a greater visible presence there (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), please let us know.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

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

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  2018, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2017, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2016, click here. To access a PDF copy of all the updates we received prior to 2016 (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 (e-mail or 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.

Verified Volunteers – Child Protection Screening

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Verified Volunteers 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). It will take about an hour of your time. These need to be finished ASAP.

Even if you have recently completed this process with Shield the Vulnerable, you need to do this now with Verified Volunteers because the information did not transfer from one program to the other and we are no longer using Shield the Vulnerable due to many problems with their work.

To download a PDF page of instructions and links to help you through this process, click here. 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 (e-mail or 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. (e-mail or 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.)
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Gary Jeffers, Michael McKinnie, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Tom Plant, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Christian Willey, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. 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), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Brenda Carroll (Judy Carroll’s sister-in-law), 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, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Chad Pelley (Flo Filkins’ grandson),  Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), Cindy Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastors Contact Information

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