Welcome to Mt. Olive's Online Newsletter! This site serves to herald the activities and day-to-day happenings at Mt. Olive, as well as provide resources for continued learning and community awareness. Links on the right point to various groups that operate at Mt. Olive as well as points of interest and additional resources. The space below contains articles and information from the newsletter. A up-to-date church calendar is always at the bottom of the page. Thanks for visiting and please let us know what you think!

For more information on Mt. Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church please visit our website.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Workshop Opportunity - St. Luke Church, Cabot. Pa

How can I bless my family and my Church for generations to come?

Find out at an exiting workshop where you'll enjoy good Christian fellowship and a warm meal while exploring the wisest ways to pass on an inheritance to your family and the ministries God has placed in your heart.

Wednesday, June 11, 6:30pm --- Dinner Provided --- Reservation required.

You will be blessed with:

1. CONFIDENCE that your family and ministries receive the intended gift ftom your estate.

2. STRATEGIES to help minimize taxes and maximize deductions.

3. KNOWLEDGE about different types of gifts that provide longer lasting support.

4. SUCCESS overcoming the three greatest fears and mistakes in estate planning.

Seating is limited so call today to make your reservation. 724-352-2777

St. Luke Lutheran Church, 330 Hannahstown Rd, Cabot, Pa

Thursday, May 22, 2008

All Things to All Men or One Thing to Some?

"I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." 1 Corinthians 9:22b

Beginning in verse 19, Paul begins to describe in general terms how he approaches people with the gospel. The main point is that he becomes what they are so that he can build a bridge on which to cross with the gospel. This goes by many terms today: Some call it establishing a relationship. Others might call it gaining their permission. No matter what we call it, there are a couple of points that are clear:

Paul does not hit them over the head with doctrine.

Paul uses what they have in common as a bridge.

Paul approaches them on the basis of what they know (or don't).

Paul's motive is pure: it is always the Good News of salvation.

As members of the body and LCMS specifically, it is fair to ask: How do we approach people? Or maybe more correctly: How do others perceive our approach to them?

We are a people of doctrine. This is both our greatest strength and our stumbling block. If we foremost have the importance of doctrine in our heart, then we cannot first have in our heart the concern Christ has for the lost. If Paul is to be our example, we need to have be able to say "that I by all means might save some."

Our walk is challenged at every turn. But our task is to be true to the gospel. We do that by showing the love Christ has for us in our walk and in our words. Peter says: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

We always give our witness in love, with gentleness and respect. As we build that bridge, whether it is measured in minutes or months, we approach them with their terminology, letting them know the love and personal relationship Christ has with and for us, is available to them. This isn't rocket science, it isn't theologically complex. It is simply introducing someone to Jesus.

Provided by Jack Rawlins,

Equipping to Share Presenter

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

He Understands --- by Max Lucado

Cries of loneliness. Tune out the traffic and turn down the TV. The cry is there. You can hear their cries. You can hear them in the convalescent home among the sighs and the shuffling feet. You can hear them in the prisons among the moans of shame and the calls for mercy. You can hear them if you walk the manicured streets of suburban America, among the aborted ambitions and aging homecoming queens. Listen for it in the halls of our high schools where peer pressure weeds out the “have-nots” from the “haves.”

Many of you have been spared this cruel cry. Oh, you have been homesick or upset a time or two. But despair? Far from it. Suicide? Of course not. Be thankful that it hasn’t knocked on your door. Pray that it never will. If you have yet to fight this battle, you are welcome to read on if you wish, but I’m really writing to someone else.

I am writing to those who know this cry firsthand. I’m writing to those of you whose days are bookended with broken hearts and long evenings. I’m writing to those of you who can find a lonely person simply by looking in the mirror.

For you, loneliness is a way of life. The sleepless nights. The lonely bed. The distrust. The fear of tomorrow. The unending hurt.

When did it begin? In your childhood? At the divorce? At retirement? At the cemetery? When the kids left home?

Maybe you have fooled everyone. No one knows that you are lonely. On the outside you are packaged perfectly. Your smile is quick. Your job is stable. Your clothes are sharp. Your waist is thin. Your calendar is full. Your walk brisk. Your talk impressive. But when you look in the mirror, you fool no one. When you are alone, the duplicity ceases and the pain surfaces.

Or maybe you don’t try to hide it. Maybe you have always been outside the circle looking in, and everyone knows it. Your conversation is a bit awkward. Your companionship is seldom requested. Your clothes are dull. Your looks are common. Ziggy is your hero and Charlie Brown is your mentor.

Am I striking a chord? If I am, if you have nodded or sighed in understanding, I have an important message for you.

The most gut-wrenching cry of loneliness in history came not from a prisoner or a widow or a patient. It came from a hill, from a cross, from a Messiah.

“My God, my God,” he screamed, “why did you abandon me!” (Matthew 27:46)

Never have words carried so much hurt. Never has one being been so lonely.

Out of the silent sky come the words screamed by all who walk in the desert of loneliness. “Why? Why did you abandon me?”

I keep thinking of all the people who cast despairing eyes toward the dark heavens and cry “Why?”

And I imagine him. I imagine him listening. I picture his eyes misting and a pierced hand brushing away a tear. And although he may offer no answer, although he may solve no dilemma, although the question may freeze painfully in midair, he who also was once alone, understands.
From No Wonder They Call Him the Savior© (W Publishing Group, 1986, 2004) Max Lucado

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bad Boys of the Bible -- Rage, Ruin, Redemption

This is a daily devotional provided by "TODAY IN THE WORD" a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. The devotional reading for May 1, 2008 is included here. The rest of the series can be accessed at: www.todayintheword.com

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Read: Jeremiah 17:5-10

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23

Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky said, “Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.” That will be our challenge this month as we study the “bad boys” of the Bible. The simple part is identifying the most infamous sinners in Scripture and pointing out what they did wrong; the difficult but crucial task will be relating to their weaknesses and recognizing how we can and do commit similar acts.

What makes this humble caution so daunting is our tendency to imagine a division between ourselves and the really bad sinners. We use words like they and them instead of we and us to describe people like Goliath and Ahab who blatantly opposed God, or like the Pharisees and angry crowds who rejected Jesus. But their sins are not as easy to avoid as we think.

Today's passage tears down the walls of classification built up to distinguish levels of sinfulness in humanity. Verse 9 paints humanity with a broad brush. Some people believe that deep down, we're all basically good people. But Jeremiah teaches here that deep down we are all helplessly depraved. The phrase “beyond cure” in the niv is elsewhere translated “desperately sick,” “desperately wicked,” “hopelessly dark,” and “exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick!” It's hard to put a positive spin on that.

But God does. He holds the cure for our sin. Jeremiah sets up the great division of sin, not between the terrible sinners and the not-so-bad sinners, but between the sinners who rely on their own power and those who put their trust in God to save them.

Dostoevsky claimed nothing was more difficult than to understand an evildoer, and Jeremiah supports that idea completely. Indeed, we can't (v. 9)! We must not depend on an innate sense of morality to save us from evil. Our basic sin nature leads us down the same roads that consumed the worst evildoers. But God understands the heart (v. 10). His Word will reveal our sin, and point us to the cure.

Why focus on bad boys? In their extremes, they reveal the darkness we think we can cover up. This month we'll look at three main groups: those who chronically rebelled against God, those whose lives were destroyed by one critical bad decision, and those whom God redeemed from the depths of badness. Prepare your heart to see what Scripture wants us to learn from these men. It is by His grace alone that we can avoid such colossal failure.