March 2018 New Heights Newsletter

In the March 2018 Edition of the New Heights Newsletter, Pastor Dan reflects on Lenten rest, there are upcoming church events and more!

NEW HEIGHTS REFLECTIONS: Finding Lenten Rest

Lent started on Ash Wednesday, Feb 14 and runs through Holy Week, the last week of March.  Lent is a time of fasting and prayer as we prepare ourselves spiritually for Jesus’ death and resurrection on Easter.  Lent is a 40-day period patterned after Jesus’ 40 days in the desert.  Jesus fasted for those 40 days seeking God in preparation for His public ministry.  But also, Jesus was in the wilderness.  He was away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  He was finding rest for His soul.  Jesus said in Matthew 11:29-30 “Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (NLT).

I know of only one way to enter into this rest that Jesus is talking about. If understood properly, this truth will bring you into the most wonderful peace possible on this side of heaven and put an end to all feelings of insecurity (Philippians 4:7).  The foundational truth on which this rest is built is the doctrine of justification by faith. It is the one doctrine you must understand if you hope to enter into the rest that Jesus offers.

Why is justification by faith so important to finding true rest?  Because we humans so easily fall into the trap of justification by performance.  Justification by performance is the belief that our acceptance with God is determined by our performance of good works.  This produces stress and anxiety as we never know for sure if our good works are enough.  The Bible clearly teaches that justification by performance is not possible.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (NLT).

For those who desire this supernatural rest that only Jesus offers, here’s what you need to do:

  • First, confess your sins to God and trust Jesus’ death on the cross for your forgiveness.  When Jesus went to the cross, His blood washed away all our guilt.  He paid the punishment for our sins that each of us deserved.
  • Second, realize you are accepted by God not because of our good works but because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross.   It’s through our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice that we are made holy so we can stand before God as righteous.
  • Third, stop trying to earn God’s love by your performance.  It is only by God’s grace and mercy we are forgiven.  Serve God and obey Him because of the love for Him that wells up in your heart over what He has done for you.

This Lent, enter Jesus’ rest. Yes, fast and pray for God to move in your life, our church and our world.  But also enter God’s rest.  Is the anxiety and stress of this world really that appealing that we must hang on to it rather than embrace the rest of Jesus Christ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Pastor Dan

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • Lenten Fellowship & Study – Wednesday evenings through Mar 21 at 6:00 pm with appetizers in the foyer followed by a study in the worship center  at 6:30 pm on Jesus’ final words on the cross.
  • Men’s Discipleship Breakfast – Saturday March 3rd at 8:00 am at Perkins Restaurant on Robert Street in West St Paul.  Come join the men of New Heights for a great time of food, fellowship and learning how to grow as a disciple of Jesus!
  • S.H.A.P.E. Class – Sunday March 18 after church at Pastor Dan & Marsha’s home located at 8146 Dawn Avenue in Inver Grove Heights.  No this isn’t about improving your figure but it is about improving how you serve God with the gifts and talents He has blessed you with!  SHAPE is an acrostic that stands for: Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personalities, and Experiences.  Putting these five things together help us see how God has “shaped” you for ministry.  Lunch will be served. Sign up at church at the Resource Table.
  • Bowling Bonanza – Saturday March 24 at 3:00 pm at Drkula’s Bowling Center located at 6710 Cahill Ave, Inver Grove Heights.  What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than having a great time with your church family? Cost is $10 per person for 2 games and shoes. Bring your family and invite some friends!
  • Vacation Bible School Meeting - Sunday March 25th after church in the pastor’s office.  We’ll be fixing the dates and times and organizing volunteers.  Contact Elisha, our children’s ministry director, for more information.
  • Feed My Starving Children – Wednesday March 28 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at their Eagan Warehouse located at 990 Lone Oak Rd #136, Eagan, MN 55121.  Join us as we gather to pack meals to help feed hungry children overseas.   Register on the sign up sheet in the back of church on Sunday.  
  • Easter Sunday – April 1 we start with a free Community Breakfast at 9:00 am.  At 10:00 am is our worship service celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. After the service is an Easter Egg Hunt for the children.  Everyone is invited!
  • Pulse Twin Cities - Friday May 18 at 7:00 pm at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.  We are seeking to fill the stadium with over 66,000 Christians and those who need to hear the Good News about Jesus. There’ll be awesome music and a Gospel message from Nick Hall.  Begin praying for who God is calling you to invite.  See Felicia, our Outreach Director, for more information.

Call Pastor Dan at (651) 216-0923 for more information about our upcoming events.

 

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 4 Bible studies to choose from:

  1. Lenten Fellowship & Bible Study - Wednesdays at 6:00 pm at church during the Lenten season (Through March 21).  Join us for appetizers at 6:00 pm followed by a Bible study on the final words of Jesus before His death on the cross.        
  2. Thursday Evenings at 6:00 pm at Pastor Dan & Marsha’s home located at 8146 Dawn Avenue in Inver Grove Heights.  Leader: Pastor Dan (651) 216-0923.
  3. Hastings Group – Contact group leader Pastor Sherry at (651) 276-9127 for the next day, time and location for the group.
  4. Men’s Discipleship Breakfast – Twice a month on Saturday morning at 8:00 am alternating between Sunlight Restaurant, Darryl Bunn’s home, & Pastor Dan’s home.

Get involved in a Bible study today!

 

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY:  We have an exciting Children’s ministry program at New Heights! We believe the Christian education of our children in solid, biblical instruction is of the utmost importance. It can make a difference not only in our children’s eternal destiny but in those they affect during their lifetimes. We offer the following children’s classes held during our Sunday worship service:

  • Nursery: newborn through 4 years old
  • God’s Little Lambs: K – 1st Grade
  • Jesus’ Little Lambs: 2nd – 3rd Grade
  • Sonshine Kids:  4th – 5th grade

We have held our first meeting for this summer’s  Vacation Bible School.  Dates and volunteer opportunities will be coming soon.  Contact Elisha our Children’s Ministry Director at (651) 343-5236 for more information.

 

YOUTH GROUP:  Our youth group is for students in grades 6-12.  We meet on Sundays before church church at 9:00 am and also do periodic fun activities. For more information contact: Pastor Sherry at (651) 276-9127

 

QUOTES FOR MARCH:

  • “The ashes remind me I am a sinner.  The shape of the cross reminds me that I have a Savior!” – Mike Schmitz
  • “The Lord measures out perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds, but by the manner in which we perform them.” – St. John of the Cross
  • You don’t know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and as soon as you have said, ‘Lord, I don’t know how to pray!’ you can be sure you’ve already begun.” -Saint Josemaría Escrivá
  • Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.” – Fulton Sheen
  • When people pray and fast, there is an increase in Holy Spirit activity.  That is a fact!” – Mike Bickle

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