In the January 2016 edition of the New Heights Newsletter, Pastor Dan reflects on New Year’s resolutions, there are upcoming church events and more!
NEW HEIGHTS REFLECTIONS: A New Year’s Resolution for 2016!
It’s January 2016 and with a new year many people pause and reflect on what changes they would like to make for the upcoming year. Most people resolve to make changes by losing weight, quitting a bad habit, exercising more, etc. For 2016, I would like to suggest a different type of resolution.
Around 3400 years ago, the people of Israel were facing a transition not unlike what we face when pondering a new year. Joshua, the leader of the Israelite nation, was old and nearing death. He called the leaders of the people together for a farewell message. Joshua reflected on what the Lord God had done in bringing the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan. Now, the people were faced with a choice: what will they do in the future when the torch of leadership is passed from Joshua to someone new? Joshua 24:14-15 says, “So honor the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve…. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” (NLT). Joshua issued a challenge to the Israelites to make a choice right then and there. Whom will you serve? The false gods or the Lord? He affirmed that he and those that follow him in his family line will serve and remain dedicated to the Lord God. The people responded to the challenged and affirmed they would serve the Lord and Him only.
I would like to issue the same challenge to you this new year. Whom or what will you serve in 2016? This is an important question to contemplate. We all serve something with the choices we make on a daily basis. Our choices speak volumes on what our lives stand for. Will you obey God by giving your time, talents and treasure for His purposes? Will you commit yourself to furthering of the Kingdom of God through the ministry of New Heights Community Church? Will you chase after the idols of materialism, entertainment, popularity, power, sex, etc? Or will you choose to serve the Lord God and Him only?
May 2016 be the year of great spiritual growth of each of us as individuals and for us as a church! Will you join me and the people of New Heights Community Church in making a commitment before the Lord to serve Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength this year and for the rest of your life?
- Pastor Dan
Tiffany’s Totes for the Homeless – Tiffany has felt led to started a ministry to the homeless that you can help with by donating things like: purses and pouches, mini brushes and combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hand Sanitizer and face wipes, hand warmers, gloves, hot chocolate and hot apple cider packets since most places have free hot water, and anything else that could be useful to them during this time of year. Bring these items to church and leave them at the resource counter. We’ll be packing the totes in January and delivering them to the homeless in St Paul.
Leadership Team Meeting – Sunday January 10th after church.
Men’s Discipleship Breakfast – Saturday January 16 at 8:00 am at Sunlight Restaurant located near the corner of 7th Avenue & Marie 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.
Church Service at Mt Bethel – On Sunday January 24th at 10:00 am we will be putting on our worship service for the congregation of Mt Bethel United Methodist Church at their church located at 3239 70th Street East in Inver Grove Heights. There will be no worship service at the Veterans Memorial Community Center this Sunday.
Annual Meeting – Sunday January 31st in the children’s room at the Community Center. We’ll eat lunch together, hear ministry reports, vote on Elders and the 2016 budget, and more! Everyone is invited to attend the Annual Meeting however only members of New Heights can vote. Talk to Pastor Dan if you are interested in becoming a member.
Sex Trafficking Awareness – Thursday February 18th at 7:00 pm at the Simley High School auditorium. Grant Snyder, lead detective for sex trafficking for the Minneapolis Police Department, will be our speaker. The goal of this seminar is to raise our awareness of this growing problem in our community and learn about things we can do to prevent sex trafficking. Everyone is invited to attend. This event is sponsored by the IGH Ministerial Association. See Pastor Dan for more information.
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.
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
“The Man and the Birds” by Paul Harvey
Now the man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men, but he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas time. It just didn’t make sense, and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus story about God coming to earth as a man.
“I’m truly sorry to distress you”, he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas eve”, he said he’d feel like a hypocrite, that he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. So he stayed and they went to the midnight service.
Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later, he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another. And then another; sort of a thump or a thud. At first, he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.
Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly, he put on a coat and goulashes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn.
He opened the doors wide and turned on a light. But the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow making a trail the yellow lighted, wide open door to the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them. He tried “shooing” them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. Instead, they scattered in every direction except into the warm lighted barn.
Then he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could let them know that they can trust me. That I’m not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led, or “shooed” because they feared him.
“If only I could be a bird”, he thought to himself “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to the safe warm ———-
—- to the safe warm barn, but I would have to be one of them so they could see and hear, and understand.”
At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. He stood there listening to the bells, Adeste Fidelis. Listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.