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.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Leaning on the Word of God in Challenging Times - Part 3

This will be the second and final part of our study on the Word of God and the Spirit. We talked about the relationship of the Spirit and God's Word in general last week. Now we will get a little more specific and talk about how the Spirit relates to the Word in its three forms. 

1) Written Word of God 

How does the Bible help you to grow in your faith? Can you think of a time when you were troubled and opened up the Bible, and found something that spoke to you? 

This kind of thing happens in the written word all of the time, whether it helps us emotionally or not. The Holy Spirit is always working through the Words that come to us from the written page. 

If he is always working than what is his goal? Read John 20:30-31 to find out. 

2) Jesus also had the Holy Spirit, and it helped him in significant ways. 

Read Acts 10:37-38 What was Jesus annointed with? How did this help him in his ministry? 

Read John 6:63 The Spirit was not only present in his actions, but also in his ________ 
(Answer: Words!) 

We don't typically think of the Holy Spirit and Christ. We don't see the Holy Spirit working through Christ as much as we ought to. (There is much more to say about this subject, but for now 

What if you had the same Spirit? 

3) You do have the same Spirit! Christ sends out his Holy Spirit to all believers. Therefore, we have the power to speak Spirit-filled words. 

Through faith we are given the Holy Spirit, anf the ability to speak the Words of God. This comes in the form of proclaiming the Gospel to others, and assuring our brothers and sisters in Christ of their forgiveness and salvation. God speaks through you! Cool! 

Read 1 Peter 5:9  

Please Post any questions or comments below! 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Leaning on the Word of God in Challenging Times- Part 2

The Written Word (Bible), the Incarnate Word (Jesus), and the Spoken Word (Preaching) all receive their power from the Holy Spirit. For the next couple of weeks we will focus on the Spirit's work through the Word. This week's lesson focuses on the Holy Spirit's connection to the Word. We will look at how Satan will subtly try to twist God's Word until he can break us off from the Spirit's power. This will show us that without the Holy Spirit the Word will not be able to do its work. How comforting it is to know that God puts himself into his words, so that we know his promises are true! (This lesson like many others will draw heavily upon John T. Pless's book Word: God Speaks to Us in the Lutheran Spirituality Series [Concordia Publishing House: St. Louis, 2006].)


1) Read Hebrews 4:12-16


What does God's Word do? (Pless, 2006) Who makes the Word living and active?


    Hebrews 4 gives us a powerful reminder that it is God's Word that judges us. We do not judge God's Word. We live in light of the Word, because God has given it to us and we are to revere it by keeping it in its pure form. In that form, the Holy Spirit makes it living and active. The Holy Spirit gives it life so that it can call us back to God, forgive our sins, strengthen our faith, and give us eternal life.

2) Read Genesis 3:1 (Pless, 2006)

Notice how Satan is trying to twist God's Words. Adam and Eve rejected the Holy Spirit when they wanted be like God. Have you ever been tempted like this? Have you ever wondered if God really meant what he said? This is Satan and our sinful nature trying to cut us off from the Spirit in God's Word. In these times we have a Savior who has been tempted in every way, just as we are tempted. When you start to question cry out to God for help! Thank God that Christ has conquered Satan and the sinful nature so that we can be forgiven for the times when we pull ourselves away.

3) Read Matthew 4:1-17 (Pless, 2006)

    Satan is using the same strategy that he used against Adam and Eve. How does Jesus defend himself against these temptations?

    What does this tell you about God's Word?

    God has given his children a powerful weapon. The Holy Spirit brings us under God's Word. This Word becomes a shelter against Satan's attacks. The Spirit uses these words to repel even the strongest pitfalls. Satan and the sinful nature aren't strong enough to separate God's Word from the Holy Spirit.


4) Is it possible to have the Word without the Spirit? (Pless, 2006)

    No, if you lose one you lose them both. You cannot obey God on your own, and you cannot sanctify yourself. God has graciously given us both his Word and his Spirit in the fullest measure to redeem us, and sanctify his church.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Leaning on the Word of God in Challenging Times- Part 1

Welcome back! Now that we are finished with Thessalonians it is time for something new! This Bible Study will focus on the value of the Word of God in the life of a Christian. We will look for ways to develop a consistent approach to personal devotions. Also, we will search God's Word for the comfort of the Gospel. This will lead us to look at how we need to apply both Law and Gospel, we will look at biblical examples of the faithful in difficult times, and how the Spirit builds up our faith through the Word. These are just a few of the topics we will study! We will rely heavily upon a Bible study from the Lutheran Spirituality Series called Word: God Speaks to Us by John T. Pless. (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis: 2006) 

First we will look at how God is speaking to us. Then we will examine the importance of God's Word to believers.

  1. There are times when the church seems to have its own language. For example, we use the phrase "The Word of God" or the "Word", but what is it? What is the Word of God? How would you describe it to someone who did not know?


    The Word of God is simply what God says to us in order that we would be saved. Typically, the Word of God is broken up into three categories: the written word (the Bible), the Word Incarnate (Jesus), and the spoken Word (preaching).


    Read 2 Timothy 3:15-16- What are some uses for the Written Word of God? How has the written Word affected your own life?


    Jesus is the Word Incarnate, because he fulfilled everything that was prophesied about him in the flesh. Also, he came to earth full of grace and truth proclaiming the gospel, and did nothing but his Father's will. Read Luke 24: 25-27- On the "Road to Emmaus" Jesus, the Word Incarnate, told the disciples about how he was the fulfillment of prophecy. Many Christians are envious of the disciples, but where do we encounter the Word of God in the flesh? We encounter it at the Lord's Supper, and when we hear preaching that proclaims Christ as the fulfillment of prophesy, and salvation.


    Consider the Spoken Word. Usually, we think of Pastors in the pulpit giving their sermons. Jesus has commissioned Pastors to faithfully preach the Word of God. However, he has also given responsibility to every believer to tell the world about the forgiveness of sins, the law, and the work that he has done. Read John 17:13-19- How have you used your authority to speak the Word of God to others?

 2. God is still speaking through the Written Word, the Word Incarnate, and the Spoken Word. What things get in your way of hearing God's Word? (Pless 2006, 7) What can you do to avoid those things? 

  3. Think about how you have grown in your faith since you were baptized. Can you name at least one way that each category of the Word of God has helped you? (i.e. How has the Written Word helped you grow?, How has the Word Incarnate…) Look back to 2 Timothy 3:15-16 if you need a little direction.  


Every week I will post a spiritual exercise that might help you in your devotional life. This one comes from Word: God Speaks to Us by John T. Pless. Pray Psalm 119:33-40. By praying this psalm you will be asking God to instruct you in his Word, and to confirm his promises.


Please post any comments or questions below!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Council Meeting December 8


IN ATTENDANCE: Matt McCauley, Debra McCauley, Rex Pagani, Vicar Zach,
Janet Frisch, John Musser, Steve Peterson, Pastor Pingel, Bob
Trimble, Patty Dauer, Kathy Brown, Scott Rodenbeck, Ann
Emge, and Marilyn Huber

1) Matt and Debra McCauley reviewed social events for ’09. 1/24/09 @ 5PM will be the Chili cook-off. 3/25/09 is the wine tasting event. 5/31/09 is the 2nd annual Ice Cream Social event. Sometime in 09/09, they want to plan a tail gate party in the church parking lot for a Steelers game. They are looking for help to plan the Octoberfest this year.
2) Bob Trimble continues working of the Stewardship program. He believes they are more than ½ ways done.
3) Patty Dauer reported the Evangelism committee visited 3 Nursing Homes in Beaver County. They went the Friendship Ridge, Franciscan Manor and Elmcrest and felt they were very well received. They entertained the residents with singing and visiting.
4) Steve Peterson reports the last Elder’s meeting was 12/10/08 and discussion surrounded the dismissal of the Vicar program for a couple of years and how helpful the program has been to us. The LCDF fund will provide $7,000.00 to help pay off the past 3 months of bills. He past out copies of the 08-09 Budget to the Committee that was already approved by the Elders. Pastor turned down a raise. Instead, the church will match his retirement fund. The ’09 budget reflects a $12,000.00 savings from this year.
5) Ann Emge announced the teachers received their gifts today.
6) Scott Rodenbeck confirmed the Stewardship program is ongoing.
7) Kathy Brown discussed MOPS events. They will have the Ladies Tea party the 1st Sat. in May. There is a Craft & Hostess fair later in 1/09. They continue fund raising for their yearly convention. They are planning to start a Night time MOPS program in ’09.
8) Vicar Zach is looking into developing a Calendar of Events for the whole year to post so non-members attending church will know when events are upcoming.
9) Janet Frisch discussed work with the Publicity committee and ways to increase the hall rental and using photos to promote the hall. Posters will be put into store front businesses.
10) Pastor Pingle mentioned that Deb Leveto continues to work on the Transitional Kindergarten program. Also, plans are in the works for the Youth Group to hold a servant event at our church in July.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2 Thessalonians Week 15

We will pick up where we left off a few weeks ago in 2 Thessalonians. Our discussion will be based on the third and final chapter, after this week we will begin a new Bible Study.  Chapter 3 is about Christian Discipline. This can be a very difficult topic as we ask how can we love our brothers, but still apply discipline. Yet, Paul offers us some guidance on this topic. 

1) Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10 

Why did Paul work so hard to provide for himself when he was with the Thessalonians? 

How can your quality of work and attitude be a witness toward others? 

Paul tells warns us to avoid the brothers who ingore his teaching. Why should we avoid those in the church who ingore the Word of God? 

2) Read 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 

Giving glory to God does not always come in the form of formal worship with preaching, and hymns on Sunday mornings. (While formal worship where the means of grace are given is necessary for every believer.)   We can glorify our God by providing for our families, and waking up every morning and going to work.  So while you have been grinding out day after day, you have served others and have not wasted your time being idle. Did you know that you were glorifying God all along?  

3) Read 2 Thessalonians chapter 3:14-15 

Consider this scenario: What if a member of this church had a drinking problem, but they attended church faithfully?  This person has been confronted by some members of the church, and he has confessed his sins. He seemed sincere in trying to stop drinking, but he continues to go out. He is struggling with a severe addiction. He is in a position of responsibility, and his family has attended for generations.  

How would you apply church discipline in this  situation? 

How would you treat this person as a brother in Christ? The truth is church discipline is hardly ever a cut and dry issue. We need to approach our brothers and sisters in Christ knowing that we are all vulnerable to sin.  However, we need to remind them that Christ would not have us continue in our old ways. We should repent and recieve his abundant forgiveness, but seek help and put all other responsibilities in the church on hold. The sin of one person can do great damage to the rest of the church. That brother should adress his problems, and then return giving glory to God for his healing and forgiveness. 

4) Read 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18 

After dealing with many disturbing issues: persecution, the Anti-Christ, and church discipline; Paul blesses the congregation with peace. What disturbs you? What has you unnerved? It is in those areas that Christ has come to give you peace. 

We have come to the end! 

Thank you for following this blog on 1 and 2 Thessalonians. 

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." 2 Thessalonians 3:16