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Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

You know, Lord, a long time ago there was a story about the local economy in a small town having troubles so they invited a successful businessman to come speak to them. Picture the scene: The...

 

Out Our Way: The right trail

Out our way, Charlie and I always had the advantage of the cow-calf units and the bulls because we knew the "right trail." When we started moving the herd we knew where they were going and why they...

 

Pastor's Corner: Celebrating 'Small Town U.S.A.'

When I saw the theme for this year’s Festival Days, “Small Town U.S.A.,” it started to remind me of my family’s time in Montana and all of the blessings I am thankful for and attribute to several “small towns U.S.A.” In August of 1992, I...

 

Out Our Way: Charlie's wheelchair?

     Out our way, more than a few of us show up for church walking stiffly or with a pronounced limp. Some even come in wheelchairs. You take old Charlie now — after “Freckles” went ballistic on him while moving cows up on a friend’s...

 

Pastor's Corner: Authentic hospitality

Last week, I talked about the famous biblical duo of Mary and Martha, but today I am going to focus on an even more well-known Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. Right after Mary finds out from the angel Gabriel that she is going to conceive and give...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

You know, Lord, it seems like just about everyone knows that this month and the next three months all end with a “brr” and our friend shivered when she mentioned it. We all know that our weather will soon be getting colder as the days/weeks...

 

Pastor's Corner: Our choices matter

This summer, my congregations have been looking at the testimonies of different women from the scriptures; one of the stories we’ve heard is from Mary and Martha. Mary and Martha were preparing to give a dinner party for Jesus. No pressure, right?...

 

Grief Poem - They've Gone Ahead

A little girl left earth this week, her parents are distraught. Then neighbor, "Jill," left this earth, too, tough battle she had fought.   A brother of a special friend took off for Heaven's...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

You know, Lord, as the season rapidly changes into autumn, we notice that the birds are preparing to leave. A friend reminded me of a story she had heard about a bird's nest under the railroad...

 

Out Our Way: Eight seconds isn't forever, but ... - Isaiah 26:1-4

Out our way, rodeo is a major sport. I have never ridden a bucking horse - although I have had horses buck - nor done any bull riding, but I have been able to attend a number of events to watch folks...

 

'God's Work - Our Hands' set for Sept. 8

Press release A free worship service and community meal, “God’s Work — Our Hands,” will be held in Pepin Park Sunday, Sept. 8. The worship service and community meal is hosted by Christ, Messiah and First Lutheran churches in Big Sandy and...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

It’s back to school for young and old, a happy day for some! Buy needed things, supplies and clothes, which is the rule of thumb. Then tackle fear which some kids have but most know school is fun! Good thoughts — good sleep; take it easy — then...

 

On Religion: Babylon bee wrestles with news, reality and satire

When it comes to mainstream journalism, it’s hard to imagine a stronger brand than The New Yorker. This prestigious magazine is, of course, also known for humor and cartoons. A recent satire feature proclaimed: “Chick-fil-A Introduces New Hate...

 

Out Our Way: Over the ridge - 1Corintians 2:6-9

Out our way, open country still has surprises from those who will ride over the ridge to take a look. Those who never look for nor see anything but the road they are on often miss incredible sights and experiences. For example, out by the Fort...

 

Out Our Way: After the Snows - 2 Thess. 1:3-5

Out our way, the winters can be harsh. Charlie Russell’s “Waiting for a Chinook” is a classic portrayal of that part of Montana life we all know. I can recall Alberta Clippers that dropped tons of snow and temperatures dropping to minus-40...

 

From the Chaplain: Would you wish that on anyone?

I stumbled on a mini-revelation recently. I had heard about a tragic situation and I thought: “I wouldn’t wish that on … ” — and I thought of someone. I stopped and considered: “Is there someone I hold in such disregard that I would wish...

 

Pastor's Corner: The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane as expressed in our lives

I am not sure if you have noticed, but sometimes life is really hard. Often our personal choices — good or bad — lead us to a place of discomfort, emotional and physical struggle and sense of loss. Sometimes it seems life just hands out misery...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

You know, Lord, sometimes the wind moans and groans and whistles as it gently flaps the curtains at the open window which we like to have open a bit during this summer season. We know some older folks who in fact seem to know how to read the moods an...

 

Out Our Way: You called, Lord? - Luke 5:32

Out our way, “Pride goeth before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18) is not mere Bible thumping but a reality every cowhand knows. Some can learn it from wise older hands and some of us have to learn it by hard knocks. I fear I have been in the latter...

 

From the Chaplain: The value of senior ministry

In September of 2018 I had the good fortune of becoming the chaplain of Northern Montana Health Care. My duties are primarily in the Northern Montana Care Center, the long-term care facility. In my 31 years of pastoral ministry I didn’t get as...

 

Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

You know, Lord, it was surprising to discover that some of us have incorrect blinking habits. There are even exercises designed to develop correct blinking so that the fluid movement of the eye lids prevents dry eyes. That’s when “time” or...

 

Pastor's Corner: Thankful for U.S.A. citizenship

I just returned from a vacation in Florida, where we spent time with our youngest son, who is stationed there in the U.S. Navy. While there, I spent a significant amount of time soaking in outside hot tubs. During one of those soaking times, I ended...

 

Out Our Way: Check your back trail

Out our way, you can ride for miles over some beautiful country and just enjoy the scenery — but suddenly realize you have no idea where you are or how to get home. Years ago, out in the EmpireRanch in Wyoming, my friend and mentor Elsie told me...

 

Pastor's Corner: Thoughts and prayers

Jesus says, “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life.” As I write this, I am still struggling to work through my own grief and anger after three more mass shootings this week in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio. I have attended...

 

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