The second was by far my favorite. And while it won’t make as much sense without reading the first, it can stand on its own.
Here’s why it really got to me.
It’s about a topic I have been recognizing more in Scripture for some time. I’m having a growing conviction about its importance. And, I feel like I struggle with it on a daily basis. It’s loving others the way Jesus loves me (see John 13:34-35).
Some people are easy to love. I recently had an appointment with my audiologist. She is a delightful young woman. We had a great conversation and I prayed with her before I left. She had tears in her eyes after the prayer. It was a bit unusual for a medical appointment, but not so hard.
But then there are those other people – you know the ones I’m talking about.
I have been convicted for some time that this love for others is the single most important characteristic of Jesus’ followers – because that’s what Jesus said (again see John 13:34-35). He said it’s what will identify us.
And I see so little of it in American Christianity. I don’t see so much of it in my life either.
Everybody, Always shares Bob’s struggle with this – his successes and his failures.
It gives me hope as it encourages me to stay focused on Jesus. It kept reminding me of what I often forget – He’s the only source of this kind of love.
This book also reminds me how – more than anything – God wants to be with me. He want to be with you just as much too!
This is also the message of Christmas. In fact, it’s one of the names Jesus took on when He was born – Immanuel, “God with Us!” (see Matthew 1:23 ).
And, crazy as it may sound, He wants to use you and me to be with the people we come in contact with.
He wants every day to be Christmas. He wants to be with your friend through you whenever you’re together. He wants to with the cashier at the grocery store through you as you encounter her there.
He just needs you and me to say yes.
How about we try an experiment? First thing when you wake up tomorrow, ask God who He wants to be with through you today. And then ask Him to be sure to point that person out to you in a way that you’ll recognize.
And later, when He does, take a deep breath, step in, and engage that person. Take a few minute to really be with them.
Let me know what happens – okay? (MartinsenT@gmail.com or 402-517-5333).
Oh, and you might want to read the book – I think you’ll be blessed by it..
I love to be the rainbow in someone else’s storm, don’t you? I mean, what can be more satisfying than to find someone going through a really dark valley, and then sense that you are being used by God to help them discover they are not alone, that He is at their side to help them get through it. I just love when that happens.
I read a comment recently that said, “I’m going to stay up on New Year’s Eve, not just to see the new year arrive but so I can be sure the old one leaves.” It’s been a tough year for a lot of folks. Covid deaths alone are approaching 1.5 million globally. That’s a lot of tears.
Last weekend some dear friends of ours had their 11-year-old granddaughter abducted out of an upstairs bedroom window … (Click here to read the rest of the story.)
COVID Response Update
We continue to meet online only. We are currently not hosting any in-person events at our facility. For a more complete statement see below or click here.
MLT stands for Ministry Leadership Team. They function as a standing nominating committee, being sure we have the people in place to lead our church as we grow closer to Jesus and learn to represent Him better in our community. They also look at ways we can improve our ministry to those around us. It is one of the most important planning groups in our church.
It generally has 10 members. The pastor is a standing member. There are eight adults – college aged through ancient – that serve staggering two year terms so each year four rotate off and four new ones come on. There is new youth member (7th – 12th grade) each year.
Please check four names from the Adult list for a two-year term and select one name from the Youth Dropdown Box for a one-year term.
Be sure to click on the green [Done] button at the bottom to submit your vote.
The following members are not eligible to be elected this year:
- Those currently serving on the MLT Committee (Andria Bethelmie, Brenda Eitel, Rita Swensen, Kalvin Tuel, and Pastor T.)
- Those whose term is just now ending (MaryJane Agan, Bill Agan, Judy Carroll, Anita St. Onge, & Hannah Eitel)
- Those who rotated off the committee last time (Trisha McGann & Trey Wisecup)
Click here to get started.
Wall of Love
During the months of December and January our Wall of Love Project will be the Bellevue Food Pantry.There are so many without work right now needing the extra help with food that the Food Pantry provides. You may give to the Wall of Love by marking it on your tithe envelope and mailing it to the Church (3005 Golden Blvd., Bellevue, NE 68123) or going to our online giving portal (click here) and entering the amount under Wall of Love.
Communications/Social Media Director
We are looking for people to be a part of a Communications/Social Media Team for our Church. This team will be responsible for communicating our mission and activities to our members and our community. They will use a combination of methods to reach as many people as possible. This would include keeping our website and calendar useful and up to date. It would also include using text messaging, Facebook (and other online social media), and emails along with the more traditional methods of mail, newsprint, radio, and TV ads as appropriate. If this sounds interesting to you and you would like to explore it further, contact either Kalvin Tuel (firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-201-6370) or Pastor T (email@example.com or 402-517-5333).
Sunset this Friday – 4:55 pm
Sabbath School and Church is not meeting in person at church right now due to the increase in COVID cases in our community. See below or click here for more information about this.
Sabbath School Resources:
- Our Alternate Sabbath School Class meets online through video conferencing. If you would like to be a part of this group, please text Alfredo Diaz (920-216-3625) to get the information you need to join them.
- To study the current Sabbath School Lesson on-line, click here.
- Hope Sabbath School, click here.
This Sabbath Online:
- Our Worship Service begins online at 11:10 am with Mission Spotlight followed by the Children’s Corner. This Sabbath, we continue celebrating Christmas with a message from Brenda Eitel, one of our Elders, focusing on Mary and Elizabeth – two mothers with miraculous births. To download the assignment for Sabbath, click here.You can view our service on our Website, our Facebook Page, or our YouTube Channel.
- To watch last Sabbath’s Service on YouTube, with Kalvin Tuel sharing about Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, click here.
- You can watch any of our previously recorded worship services by clicking here.
Pathfinders and Adventurers are not currently meeting. For information about Pathfinders contact Holly Degerness (402-917-4718) or Marina Nolasco (402-215-6048); for information about Adventurers, contact Lori Knutson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Prayer Meeting meets this Tuesday (Dec. 8) at 6:00 pm. We are going through the book of 1 John. We are still meeting on-line. For instructions on how to participate, click here. Contact Pastor T for more information (402-517-5333).
Church Board meets this Tuesday (Dec. 8) at 7:15 pm. For instructions on how to participate, click here. If you have any items that need to be considered, please text or email Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-0630).
COVID Response Update
If you have been following the news, you know we are still seeing a high rate of COVID infections and hospitalizations here in the Omaha area.
Because of this, our Church Board has voted to discontinue all in-person activities and only hold online services going forward. We will re-evaluate this at our board meeting each month and will return to our building as soon as it seems safe to do so.
This means there will be no in-person Worship Services, Sabbath School Classes, Pathfinders, Adventurers, Prayer Meetings, Board Meetings, or MLT Meetings at our Church Facility.
We will continue to livestream our Worship Service each Sabbath beginning at 11:10 am with Mission Spotlight and our Children’s Corner. You can view it on our Website, our Facebook Page, or our YouTube Channel.
Prayer Meetings, Board Meetings, and MLT Meetings will continue via our Church Zoom Channel. Click here for instructions on how to join one of these meetings.
I know this is disappointing. It felt like we were just getting some momentum building back up – and however we may frame it, it feels like a step backward.
However, Jesus’ mandate to love each other (see John 13:34-35) means we will not expose others to unnecessary risks. We will not provide more opportunities for COVID to expand in our community.
It also means we will look out for one another. Please call and check in on people God brings to your mind. They may not need any specific help, but a thoughtful conversation can change the outlook of an otherwise bleak and lonely day.
Above all, keep your connection with God secure. Don’t neglect to spend time with Him in the Bible and talking with Him in Prayer. This is where your strength to survive, and even thrive will come from.
(To download and print a copy of this information – plus some additional COVID resources, click here.)
Life Line Screening
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 or calling 1-866-229-0469 to receive your discount and preferred appointment time.
Worship Service DVDs
There is a video recording made of each week’s worship service. It is available on DVD. If you would like to receive these please contact Lori Knutson (402-980-5018).
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.
On-Line Church Directory Information: If your contact information has changed in the last few months (phone number, email, address, etc.) please either log on to the Church Directory App and correct it or send a note with your updated information to Judy Carroll (402-290-3306).
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!
- Go to your device’s App Store. (Click here for Apple products, click here for Android devices, or click here for Kindle Fire.
- Search for Instant Church Directory.
- Enter your email as it’s listed in our church directory.
- 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.
Golden News – our church e-mail newsletter, directly to tour inbox! 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.
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 begin this process, click here, then select First-Time Registrant and follow the instructions. If you have completed this in the past three years, you should get an email reminder when it is time for you to renew your certification. For more information, contact Pastor T (402-517-5333).
Last Week’s Sermon
To watch last Sabbath’s Service on YouTube, with Kalvin Tuel sharing about Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, click here.
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 Pandemic that is rising here and around the world
- That God will bring healing to our country and willcontrol the direction of our country and world. May He come soon!!
- The Holy Spirit – to fill and guide our church
- 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.)
- The Lippincott Family
- Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
- Those dealing with Health Issues: Bill Agan, Al Bakerlis (Diane Harrington’s brother-in-law), 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), Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson, Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, Gary Parker, JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s step mom), Charise Talley, Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents)
Pastor T’s Contact Information
email@example.com or call/text 402-517-5333.