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Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

You know, Lord, J. F. Newton wrote, “Only God could have thought of Christmas. Its beauty is beyond the intelligence of mortals, so simple in its sublimity, so homey, yet so heavenly. It is a scene to sanctify the world, as if to teach us that God...

 

Our Our Way: The spring roundup

Out our way, even in the dead of winter, Charlie and I were looking forward to the spring roundup. Though we did it year after year, the changing from the old pasture to the new always seem to inspire a lift and a freshness of new beginnings. You...

 

Young and faithful: Blue Christmas

This is a time of year when the expectations are so high and the demand for joyfulness is so great. We are filled with tunes like “Joy to the World” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas;” we race around shopping for the perfect gifts, getting...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

“The sky can still remember the earliest Christmas morn, when in the cold December the Savior Christ was born. No star unfolds its glory; no trumpet wind is blown, but tells the Christmas story in music of its own. “O never-failing splendor! O...

 

Out Our Way: The glow on the ridge

Out our way, the pre-dawn air can get chilly, even in mid summer. This is especially true up in the Bear Paws, where lots of folks camp out and stay tucked in their tents or campers until broad daylight. But sometimes there is a special magic to...

 

Out Our Way: Silent Night - Psalm 46:10

Out our way, the best way to learn some things is to just be quiet. I recall Charlie and I riding fence one day when we came across a lone calf far from the rest of the herd. Usually the little tykes stay close to mama — but this one was apparently...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara

You know, Lord, here’s an interesting Bible verse for this season from Psalm 62:5: “My soul waits silently for God alone, for my expectations are from Him.” As we practice Your Presence, Lord, we can expect. A story is told of a mother who...

 

Pastor's Corner: Service held for people with a blue Christmas

Friday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m., Van Orsdel United Methodist Church will host its second annual “Blue Christmas” service. But just what is a “Blue Christmas” service? I hear you ask. Let me try to answer that for you now. For many people, the...

 

Out Our Way: Waiting for a Chinook

Out our way, winter has hit and hit hard. I recall last year, in mid-October, the Alberta Clipper came and buried us and some folks were without power for several days. As I recall, we took “first place” in the National Weather Service poll of...

 

Pastor's Corner: Christmas - It's who you know

During the recent mid-term elections, I noticed an interesting political tactic: Question your opponent’s Montanan heritage. Here’s how it works: Candidate A was born and raised in Montana. He is a “local” and by virtue of his growing up in M...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara

Look Lord, our first December snow! Snowmen appear, they’re big or small. Geese are V-ing south, snow kisses touch our mouth. Fluffy flakes afloat which lightly “dust” our coat. Eddies on the roof, blow a handful — poof! Drifting swirling sno...

 

Grief Poem - We're Missing One

Montana’s snow arrives again and blustery winds do howl. We dream we’re warm and snug inside, but hear our tummy growl.   We’re thankful for our comforter and snug in our warm house. Snow is forecast by gloomy gray which makes us miss our spou...

 

Out Our Way: God wears chaps

Out our way, there are different ways of herding cattle. I recall on one round up, Big Mike, the boss, brought some friends with four-wheeler quads to push the main herd and I suspect they managed some 200-plus head that day. But Mike knew that the...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

You know, Lord, the word “terminal” sometimes causes a bit of a shock when we think about our own life — not that any of us really ever figured that we were going to live down here on earth forever. An interesting article had a graph of weeks f...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara

You know, Lord, this month — on the 22nd — the full moon is called the Beaver Moon and, according to folklore, that’s when the beavers become active while preparing for winter. A friend also mentioned that November’s full moon might also be...

 

Out Our Way: Losing weight

Out our way, winter is usually a time of less activity for both Doc and me. But it is not a time of less feed and by spring we both find we have trouble with cinch and belt. More than once, as I saddled up for that first ride in the spring, I found...

 

Out Our Way: Tov Shabbat

Out our way, one learns to take the time to do it right — and sometimes that means slowing down and tsking a rest. Charlie and I, if we were riding in rough country on a hot day, knew that now and then we needed to give Doc and Jet a rest if we...

 

Young and Faithful

Bass reverberates through the auditorium floor as a hipster worship leader wearing skinny jeans and a polo shirt pauses to invite the congregation, submersed in the light of two giant screens, to tweet using #JesusLives. The scent of freshly brewed...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara

You know, Lord, a recent devotional suggested that we be bold to intercede, asking on somebody’s behalf, for answer to their special needs and prayers, based not on our worthiness, but only on You, Lord. Residents in the “Pear Tree...

 

Out Our Way: The crying bull - 1 John 4:16

Out our way, Shakespeare isn’t often quoted — ’specially when pushing cattle — but I believe I may have uttered a quotation from Hamlet one day out on the Tiger Ridge. To wit: “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of...

 

Young and Faithful

Imagine for a moment a young person who you know personally. What would they find when they walk into your congregation? Is the worship time and location available and accurate? Is the entrance to the sanctuary easy to navigate? Is there someone ther...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara

You know, Lord, as we’re out and about enjoying lovely weather, we can’t help but notice that the season of autumn is changing. The weather is a bit chillier, snow might be on the near horizon, but meanwhile, we become aware of falling leaves...

 

Grief Poem - We're aging

With faltering steps and shaking hands, we’re thankful for clear mind. Some of our dear ones headed home, caretakers were so kind.   We’re blessed with friends with cheery smiles as we enjoy our tea. While there are some whose eyes grow dim, we...

 

Out Our Way: It's not if but when - 2Corinthians 12:7-10

Out our way, it's not unusual to see fellow riders in the doctor's office or hospital. My doctor, who is a horseman himself, got a chuckle the last time I was in with sprained ribs. "Doc toss you...

 

Young and Faithful - Why I am a Christian

"You are a young pastor so you will bring young people to the church." As a young pastor, I have heard this line again and again. And to be honest, it usually makes me cringe a little because I do...

 

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