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  • Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

    Updated Dec 29, 2023

    You know, Lord, a friend shared that as this year ends, she sensed You, Lord, telling her to "Receive My Peace." She realizes that peace is probably everyone's deepest need; that You, Lord, long to pour Yourself into our neediness. She added that her pastor shared 2 Corinthians 4:7; she quoted, "But we are this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." She already knew we're all made as a jar of clay, that we're set...

  • Out Our Way: Joy to the World!

    Updated Dec 22, 2023

    Luke 1:44 - "As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leapt for joy." Out our way, you get to see great sights on a regular basis - especially if you are one of the lucky ones who gets to see the world from the saddle. Watching the thunderstorm in Canada 60 miles away from atop a ridge while Doc and I catch our breath is one I have shared before. The sight of herds of deer and antelope racing across the prairies in the late afternoon is...

  • Pastor's Corner: The Word Incarnate

    Updated Dec 22, 2023

    (Read John 1:1-18) Jesus the Word is the creator of everything: this is his world. This passage not only underscores Jesus' full ownership of all creation as his rightful possession but also serves as a foundation of his love and providential care for all he has made. Jesus, the Creator of the world, was unwilling to leave his "very good" creation to the destructive powers of sin, but rather, he came to redeem his handiwork. The Incarnation has profound implications for...

  • Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

    Updated Dec 22, 2023

    You know, Lord, Christmas is just around the corner! Friend, Linda, shared that when she was young, she'd been told to hide Your Word in her heart, Lord, mentioning how she loved Hebrews 2:1; "We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."  She added that we're to be alert and attentive in all areas of our life, especially spiritually. Linda then shared what she remembered about what had happened quite some time...

  • Out Our Way: This is the way

    Updated Dec 15, 2023

    Isaiah 40:1 - "Every valley shall be raised up and every hill and mountain leveled, the twisted places straight and uneven ground leveled ... ." Out our way, I am amazed at how the cattle trails always seem to be the easiest roads to follow. Occasionally we have new pastures as Big Mike will lease out different grazing grounds, but Charlie rides point and guides us in the best and easiest route. He knows where the water is and the gate that opens into fresh pasture, and also...

  • Pastor's Corner: A time to ... wait?

    Updated Dec 15, 2023

    When you are waiting for something special, time seems to come to a stand-still. For children anticipating Christmas, it can feel like an eternity waiting for Santa to make his world-tour. For adults rushing to get every last holiday detail in place, Christmas can come too soon. And yet the span of days for the children is the same span of days for adults, making our experience of time relative to our frame of reference. Einstein had a theory when it came to our experience of...

  • Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

    Updated Dec 15, 2023

    You know, Lord, the month of December usually puts us in a giving mood, right?  For some folks it's typically cash, but it needn't be cash; clothes, shoes, socks, also toys could also be donated, as well as art, or like one friend we heard about, he gave an automobile to a gal who had lost her car in a wreck. Now and then, just giving time is also a wonderful item to give, when thinking about giving something.  Another friend loved making quilts; each year, she'd pick a...

  • Out Our Way - Yes, I ride drag

    Updated Dec 8, 2023

    Romans 12: 1- 8 Out our way, the spring and fall roundups are a big deal. Of course it's nothing like the old days, when trail drives went clear cross country and lasted for weeks. For us it is within the confines of a large fenced area and likely takes less than a day. Even so, the process of moving the cattle remains the same and even when four-wheelers often replace cow ponies in the process, the herders pretty much have the same job as their predecessor The top hand(s)...

  • Pastor's Corner: Mark of the beast

    Updated Dec 8, 2023

    (Revelation 13:11-14:10) Are we living in the end times? People have been asking me that recently. Some ask me about the mark of the beast. Many people have speculated on the meaning of the mark of the beast in Revelation 13, but however it might be fulfilled, it could "symbolize all our allegiances to the gods of this world or all the emperors who try to usurp God's place." These chapters in The Revelation stir us Christians - who can face life realistically because we know t...

  • Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

    Updated Dec 8, 2023

    You know, Lord, it was most interesting to recently read a devotional about never being forgotten. The gal wrote how her kids wanted her to start playing the piano again; she mentioned that she had not played the piano for two decades. She was surprised, when she sat at the piano, that she even remembered, then feeling brave, she played seven different scales that she'd learned by heart, years ago.  She mentioned that those years of practicing so long ago, had imprinted the...

  • Out Our Way: Who is More than What

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    Luke 9:48 - 'Whoever is least among you shall be the greatest' Out our way, we sometimes mix with a few celebrities - and while some are stuck up snobs, most seem like decent folk who just want to be left alone. The snobs usually get taken down a notch because in Montana who you are is more important than "what" you are. A friend who was from the Big Sky area told me of a time a big Hollywood type came into a local restaurant over that way. She decided to be a jerk because...

  • Pastor's Corner: Do we need God in our lives?

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    Well, here we are at the beginning of Advent - AGAIN. It seems like it happens every year about this time. How many times do we have to remember Jesus' birth before we can stop celebrating Advent every year and just go right into Christmas. I wonder what the value of the season Advent is. I have asked myself this question a number of times over the years and it is only after visiting that question over and over again that I am beginning to get a bit of an understanding of the...

  • Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    You know, Lord, it was interesting reading a blurb about doing our role, encouraged by 1 Peter 4:10 where it says, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace." It unveiled how two little girls wanted leading roles in a play, but they ended up being flowers, which meant they did vital but not-so-high-profile work but were excited for their friends and enjoyed cheering them on, also sharing in their excitement....

  • Grief Poem - Remembering Dear Ones

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    Remembering folks in Holidays, seems good to do just that! Remembering guys in our family who wore a special hat!   December is a special time - though it can be quite cold. Our Mamma dressed us in warm coats when we weren't very old.   But now many dear ones have left, they flew off straight to YOU! Just thinking back of special days, some days we feel quite blue.   There's Birthdays by the dozens, Lord, 'bout half of them are kin! To 'reach' those who remain with us, just...

  • Out Our Way: The stormcloud in the sunshine

    Updated Nov 24, 2023

    Psalm 97 Out our way, we sometimes refer to the vast prairies as "Big Sky" or "The Big Open." I recall some national radio personality once ridiculed Montana for those terms. "They have the same sky as everyone else." Then he came for a visit. Sometime later he published his script for all the states whose nicknames he had mocked. His reference to Montana had been left out.   It is "Big Sky" and "The Big Open" out our way. I love Glacier and Yellowstone, have been many...

  • Pastor's Corner: The chase

    Updated Nov 24, 2023

    Today is the day of anticipation for shoppers; of high anticipation for retailers. It's a day of frenzy as shoppers chase after enticing sales, bargain hunters seek out the best deals, and merchants gratefully watch their bottom lines pull out of the red with each crack of the wallet or swipe of a card. Hence, this day has been colloquially named Black Friday. If you are reading this hot off the press, perhaps you were the early bird who hit those red-eye sales before the...

  • Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

    Updated Nov 24, 2023

    You know, Lord, You give great kindnesses to us, reminding us of one of life's great realities. You not only deserve our love and worship, You also deserve our thankful hearts as everything that is good in life comes from You. We can read that in James 1:17: where it says: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. This verse reminds us that all good things come fr...

  • Out Our Way: Because Charlie said so

    Updated Nov 17, 2023

    Matthew 7:14 - "For straight is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life." Out our way, when pushing the herd to new pasture, you aim for the gate that leads to it. There are many cattle trails that cross, but only one will take you to the gate. That's why Charlie rides point to show the way and I ride drag and sometimes swing to keep the herd moving and on the right trail.  Now, as the new guy and tenderfoot herder, I didn't know the way on my own, so I relied on C...

  • Pastor's Corner: Cat vs. Griz vs. God

    Updated Nov 17, 2023

    When my husband and I moved to Havre in 2020, we often asked people what we should know about living in Montana. People told us a wide range of information, but they often joked, "Are you gonna be Cat or Griz?" That's when we first learned about this historic Montana rivalry. Suddenly, the bumper stickers and specialty license plates I saw around town made a lot more sense! The upcoming Cat-Griz game has me thinking about rivalries. The world encourages us to pick sides,...

  • Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

    Updated Nov 17, 2023

    You know, Lord, any day it's great to watch things, like clouds, trees, flowers, traffic, you name it, right? Can't we just hear a group of kids using that word: "Let's watch those clouds - they're really moving fast." Angie says, "Since we live in a valley, we like to watch the sun rise over the hills, or see the clouds coming up OR going down behind the hills, my favorite is to watch the full moon rising over the hills." Deb adds, "We live on top of a hill, we get...

  • Out Our Way: Head for the barn

    Updated Nov 10, 2023

    Hebrews 12:1 - "With perseverance let us run the race marked for us" Out our way, the long days can be a real test of strength and endurance. Most of you have heard my old joke - at least 10 times, no doubt - of how when Charlie asked me to come cowboy with him I said, "Sure! What can it hurt?" Boy, did I find out! Anyway, those of you who have worked cattle know it can be a long, hard and, sometimes, painful day. The heat of the sun all day, right in your face - even the si...

  • Pastor's Corner: Have you checked your oil?

    Updated Nov 10, 2023

    This coming Sunday's gospel reading is the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids found in Matthew 25:1-13. Here's the takeaway: What can one do to avoid being embarrassed like the five bridesmaids whose lamps ran out of oil, or - to use a modern metaphor - whose smartphone batteries were deader than disco? To fully understand the power of this parable, it's necessary to review how Matthew arranges Jesus' red-letter words of the two previous chapters: 23 and 24. Chapter 23 is full of...

  • Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

    Updated Nov 10, 2023

    You know Lord, 'twas fun listening to kids talk about numbers. Here's a bit of what they said. D. J.: "My grandma's having a hard time trying to remember her cellphone number, but when her phone rings, even in her old age, she's smart enough to answer it." Chuckles. Taylor said, "My dad reminded us that we should remember our house number, P.O. Box number, our area code, probably what size shoe or shirt we wear as well as today's date." Sally laughed about that. Eddie added, "...

  • Out our Way: Yaze! A Modern Job Speaks!

    Updated Nov 3, 2023

    Job 19:26-27 - "I know that my redeemer lives!" Out our way, we all know the old saying, "Ain't a horse that can't be rode; ain't a cowboy can be throwed." And that is pretty much true for all walks of life. Everybody gets tossed now and then. But sometimes it seems some end up "sunning their moccasins" more than others. If into each life some rain must fall - some of us end up under a waterfall! I can certainly testify to that! If you regularly read these columns, you know...

  • Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

    Updated Nov 3, 2023

    You know, Lord, it might be fun to go back in time (for a short time) when life moved at a slower pace. We'll leave behind: high speed internet, cellphones, telephones, TV, GPS and electricity. Back then, daily chores were milking cows, gathering eggs, cleaning coop and barn, slopping pigs, feeding bucket calves, hoeing garden and plum trees, cooking meals from scratch and, in autumn, making jams, jellies, canning fruits, vegetables and meat, making soap, making some of our...

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