In this issue of the New Heights Newsletter, Pastor Dan reflects on thanksgiving and contentment, there are upcoming church events and more!
NEW HEIGHTS REFLECTIONS: “Are You Content?”
November is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving. Did you know one of the benefits of being thankful is contentment? Webster’s defines contentment as “the state of being happy and satisfied.” Contentment is something we all strive for but it seems to puzzlingly elude our grasp for most of our lives. We live in a culture that communicates a message that true contentment is found in the pursuit of pleasure, a full schedule, and the acquisition of wealth and possessions. But attempts to find contentment through these things always leaves us disappointed.
Did you know the Bible gives us a completely different avenue to contentment? It teaches that contentment has nothing to do with our wardrobe, our bank account, how many appointments we have on our schedule, what kind of car we drive or what house we live in. Contentment is arrived at in a completely different manner! Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:6-9 says, “If one is godly and content, there is great profit! We brought nothing into the world and we can’t take anything out of it. If we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with these things. But the people who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish desires that hurt them. These things drown men in ruin and destruction.” (IEB). It’s not material prosperity but “godliness with contentment” that the apostle Paul called great profit for the Christian.
Paul also reminds us that we come into this life penniless and we leave this world penniless. We should be happy and satisfied with what God has given us, not always longing for material possessions we don’t have. Nothing we can gain through material possessions has any lasting value. The logical conclusion to this truth is that we should invest in things eternal during this life. Things like showing the love of Jesus, sharing the Gospel, and inviting others to church can make an impact on where a person spends eternity. A life lived after eternal things definitely adds to a godly life filled with contentment.
The last thing Paul warns us about it that pursuit of material riches leads to temptation which, if given into, can lead down the road to destruction. The more material wealth we acquire, we tend to become more self-reliant and less God-reliant. A simple life satisfied with what you have is far less likely to be plagued with temptations than one lived in the pursuit of riches and things material.
During this month of November as celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s all make an effort to be truly thankful to our God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. Let’s seek to have contentment in our hearts for what God has so graciously given us. Let’s give up the constant pursuit of material wealth that tends to drive us to despair, not contentment. Let us live a life that invests in eternal things rather than material things. And let us free ourselves from all the worldly trappings that tend to lead us into temptation. If we do these things, we will truly be thankful this Thanksgiving!
- Pastor Dan
- Garrett’s Ministry – For the month of November, Garrett – one of our church’s children – is collecting shoe boxes full of gifts and supplies for Operation Christmas Child who will ship these boxes to less fortunate children around the world. There are shoe boxes with instructions available at the resource counter at church.
- Men’s Discipleship Breakfast – Saturday November 14 at 8:00 am at Sunlight Restaurant in located at the corner of Marie and 7th Avenue in South St Paul. Join the men of New Heights as we enjoy great food, fellowship and the opportunity to be challenged to grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
- Thanksgiving at New Heights - Sunday November 22nd at 10:00 am we’ll have a Thanksgiving oriented worship service followed by our annual and much anticipated Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner where we’ll also have the opportunity to share what we are most thankful for. Invite your F.R.A.N.s (Friends, Relatives, Associates at work or school, Neighbors) and don’t miss this annual church highlight!
- Thanksgiving Eve Service – Wednesday November 25th at 6:30 pm at Mt Bethel United Methodist Church located at the corner of 70th Street and Carmen in Inver Grove Heights. We’ll be joining our brothers and sisters from Mt Bethel in offering thanks to our God. A pie social will follow.
- Christmas Sunday at New Heights – On Sunday December 13th we have a day packed with Christmas cheer:
- We’ll have our Annual Children’s Christmas Program during our morning worship service at 10:00 am. Be sure to invite your F.R.A.N.s (Friends, Relatives, Associates at work or school, Neighbors) to hear the Christmas message presented by our children.
– Then at 3:00 pm, we’ll go Christmas Caroling at Woodlyn Heights Senior Care Center located less than a block west of Hwy 52 on Upper 55th Street
- We’ll close this glorious day by going to Pastor Dan & Marsha’s home located at 8146 Dawn Ave in Inver Grove Heights for our Christmas Party dinner and gift exchange (bring a wrapped gift of a value $10 or less).
- Pre-Service Prayer – 9:15 am every Sunday morning in the children’s room. Join us as we pray for God to bless our worship service and do a powerful work in each person’s heart.
SMALL GROUP BIBLE STUDIES:
We at New Heights believe strongly that our small group Bible studies will deepen your understanding of God’s Word and give you an opportunity to ask questions and apply the Bible to your life. We also spend time each week praying for each other’s needs. Our small groups are also a place where you can meet new people and form deep and meaningful relationships that can encourage and uplift you. We have 3 small groups to choose from and all will be doing questions related to the sermon topic on the Gospel of Mark.
- Monday – 6:30 pm at Darryl & Jo Bunn’s home located at 208 10th Avenue S in South St Paul. Questions? Call Darryl at (651) 451-1962.
- Tuesday – 6:30 pm at various locations in Hastings. This group meets every other week. Contact Pastor Sherry at (651) 276-9127 for more information.
- Thursday – 6:00 pm at Dan & Marsha’s home located at 8146 Dawn Avenue in Inver Grove Heights. Contact Pastor Dan at (651) 216-0923 for more information.
YOUTH GROUP NEWS:
Our youth group is for students in grades 6-12 and meets on Sundays after church at around 11:20 am by the tables near the swimming pool at the Grove. Youth Group will include a Bible lesson, games, and exciting things like pizza lunches and afternoon outings. For more information contact Pastor Sherry at (651) 276-9127.
“It is when we stop thinking about what we don’t have or what we lack, and become grateful for who we are, that we can gain access to true unlimited inspiration.” - Frank Arrigazzi
“In all things give thanks.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” - Maya Angelou
“For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing.” – William Law
“Give thanks to the Lord , for He is good. His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1