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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2 Thessalonians Week 12

 Hey everyone, it's a new book of scripture! We are starting 1 Thessalonians. Our study will lead us to cover three main topics: persecution, the Antichrist, and warnings against idleness. We have already covered some of this in detail, but 2 Thessalonians gives us a new angle on our material.  

1) 2 Thessalonians 1:4 "Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring." 

We are supposed to be humble...right? Should Paul really boast about a church? 

He is not boasting about his work, but he is boasting about God's work.  It is ok to brag about the work of God, because it isn't really bragging. God can back it up! When was the last time you boasted about God's work? 

Read the article below, and if you are pressed for time just read the last couple of paragraphs:

2) Read 2 Theassalonians 1:6-7 "God is just: he will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to those who are troubled, and to us as well." 

How do you think the Thessalonians dealt with the temptation to lash out against their persecutors? 

Romans 12:19 "Do not take revenge my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay' says the Lord." 

How can god help us to control our personal need for revenge? 

3) Read 2 Thessalonians 1:11 "With this in mind we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith." 

We struggle against our sinful nature, and our own flaws to be counted worthy of God's calling. Can you think of any areas in your life where you could use God's help to improve, and fulfill your calling? 

When you pray for God's help to fulfill your calling you pray that his Kingdom would come. Hearwhat Luther says in the small Catechism: 

"God's kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and in eternity." 

Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation, "Lord's Prayer", St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House (1986).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

1 Thessalonians Week 11

We have come to the end! This is the last week for 1 Thessalonians, next week we will dig into 2 Thessalonians.  I hope you continue to follow us as we begin a new section of scripture. Until, then let's wrap up 1 Thessalonians 5. 

1) Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8  

Since we know by faith that Christ will certainly come, we will not be surprised by the way that he comes (as a thief in the night). However, we might be surprised when he comes.

Paul is encouraging us to stay alert for Jesus return. Saying that we need to be ready 24/7. How can we stay alert and watchful for Christ's return all of the time? 

Verse 8 gives us a good start. In part, we can stay ready by putting on the armor of faith, hope, and love.  How can putting on the armor of faith, hope, and love strenghten us until the Last Day? 

How does the armor of God protect us? 

2) Read 1 Thessalonians 5:9-15 

"Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other."

I posted sometime ago on the topic of Pastors. We learned how Pastors serve their congregations. How can a congregation serve and respect its pastor?   

That brothers and sisters in Christ would live in unity was always one of Paul's biggest hopes for the church. How does living in peace with those who have been called as pastors help the church live in peace? 

3) Read 1 Thessalonians 5:28 

Compare this with 1 Thessalonians 1:1.  

Paul uses almost the same words to open his letter. This is because Paul wanted his reader to see grace from end to end. The grace of Jesus Christ should pour out from all of our words. Whether we are instructing, critiquing, encouraging, or just chit chatting with our neighbors. This grace should be behind everything we say. 

Does the grace of God pour out from your lips in your everyday conversations?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

1 Thessalonians Week 10

It's the end of the world! Well.. that is what we are talking about this week anyway. On Sunday, I will come out of my bunker to teach about the Second Coming.

Paul concludes chapter 4 and begins chapter 5 with this subject. He does this only after talking about how to live for Christ before he returns. I hope that you will see the connection between the The Second Coming and how we live today.

1) Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18


What do you look forward to most in the Second Coming? For many, it is the reunion with the dead. 1 Thessalonians tells us that every one of the faithful will be accounted for. What a day that will be! However, we will also be reunited with the Lord, who we have only been able to touch and see in the Lord's Supper and the other means of grace. What will it mean for you to be reunited with Jesus Christ?

2) Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

The term "like a thief in the night" is thrown around a lot when we talk about the nature of Jesus return. Paul uses these images to warn of the judgement that is to come. He did not want the church to become lax. What is the danger in forgetting that Jesus will come at an unknown time like a thief in the night?

The video below connects the term "like a thief in the night" to several disasters, including September 11th. Watch how the narrator makes this connection. Is it good to connect these disasters to specific verses in the Bible? Is this how we should reach out to the unchurched about the last day?

The Bible does say that there will be natural disasters and wars, and they will be signs that mark the end. It does not say which ones will mark the end! One the one hand every disaster should remind of us the end and the effects of sin in the world, but we cannot use these disasters to pinpoint Jesus' return. The Bible does not give specifics about them.

Since we live in the time of grace, God no longer deals with us out of his wrath. Jesus has taken on the fullness of God's punishment. Therefore, since we live in grace, we should reach out to the unchurched with grace. Instead, of using scare tactics about God's judgement; we should approach them with the promise of the Gospel. Point them to the end of suffering, the end of spiritual struggle, and the reunion with the dead. Let them know that God wants to save them on the last day. By faith they can take hold of these promises.

3) When Jesus returns we will be given new bodies. What does 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 tell us about our new bodies?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

1 Thessalonians Week 9

The Sunday class is a little behind from last week. Instead of beginning our topic on the Second Coming of Jesus. We will continue with the topic of holy living.

1) We are saved by grace, not by obedience to the law. Are the Ten Commandments still important to Christians?

The answer is pretty simple. If a Christian is confused about how to live a life that pleases God, but they are not sure how; point them to the commandments. While we do not depend on obedience for salvation, the law still shows us our sin, and guides us in how to live. Not to mention that there are many other common sense benefits. (i.e. not murdering people is great for society.)

How would you teach the Ten Commandments to your children?

2) How does Jesus help us to live a holy life?


1 Thessalonians 1:5 mentions imitating Christ. After reading the devotion from the link above; how can imitating Christ help you live in a God-pleasing way?

3) In the last post, I posted a link on sanctification. Sanctification on a personal level, is the Holy Spirit bringing you to recieve God's grace, and empowering and guiding you to serve Christ.

Some denominations say that in order to prove that you have the holy Spirit you need to speak in tongues, or preform other miracles. How is that different from what we, as Lutherans, believe about the work of the Holy Spirit?

Read the story below:


Lutherans are cautious about speaking in tongues. It does not show that you are more sanctified than anyone else. It is not necessary to prove that you have the Holy Spirit, and it may not be edifying to the entire church. The article above showed the confusion that can be caused by putting a heavy emphasis on speaking in tongues over all of the other spiritual gifts.

Paul speaks clearly on this in 1 Corinthians 12 posted below:


The Holy Spirit helps us to overcome sin and the devil, as well as, giving us gifts to serve the Church. These gifts do not have to be spectacular or miraculous. They can be ordinary and everday things that do tremendous good.

What gifts do you have?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Marriage Weekend Information

Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Chippewa Township will host a 2-day Marriage Enrichment Weekend for couples on November 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. and November 22 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. This program will take place at our church located at 2679 Darlington Road, Beaver Falls, PA 15010

The program is designed to enhance the viability and health of marriages through the refinement of skills that sustain, improve and enrich relationships.

A trained facilitator will guide couples through a series of fun-filled activities and topics. A curriculum titled "Prepare and Enrich" will provide the framework. Topics such as: the effects of our family of origin; communication; conflict resolution; finance and goal setting and emotional and physical intimacy will be covered.