The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Opinion

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 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 21, 2021 

Patching Cracks

Last Sunday Evening, I was writing my weekly newspaper column, when I started getting notifications about some bad weather coming our way. My wife sent me out to get the laundry off the line before it hit, but otherwise I thought about the scary look...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    July 21, 2021 

Thoughts with Zoe

I needed a break. A break from dry brown land. A break for high heat. A break from discouragement and depression. I went and visited my sister, Dena, in Billings. I knew she would have a lush green...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 14, 2021

Patching Cracks

In a few weeks, my family will be moving. We have been living in the parsonage that belongs to the Church of God for over 9 years. We are trying our best to get ready to buy a house here in town. Time and again, I have explained to folks who have...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    July 7, 2021

Thoughts with Zoe

A couple of weeks ago, I received a message asking me to be a true journalist. It contained a comment about a politician I should be pointing out is not a good representative of the state of Montana. In other words, I would only be a good journalist...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 7, 2021

Patching Cracks

17 yeas ago, I started my job at the Children’s Home. For 8 years, I worked with abuse victims, sex offenders, drug addicts, violent clients, and almost any other issue you can think of. I learned more in that job than I have in any other work I...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 30, 2021

Patching Cracks

The Biblical book of Daniel opens with a pretty dire set of circumstances. Jerusalem is under siege. The armies of Nebuchadnezzar have conquered every other nation in the area, now they are about to sack the capital of Judah. God’s people are...

 

Father's Day Tributes by the 4th Grade Class

“My dad is special because he multi-tasks. He is a pastor, a sub, and a news article writer. He also picks me up and drops me off. He is very good at these things and he still has time to help us when we need it and he also has time for our dog...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 16, 2021

Patching Cracks

“I meet millions who tell me that they feel demoralized by the decay around us. Where is the hope? The hope that each of us have is not in who governs us, or what laws are passed, or what great things that we do as a nation. Our hope is in the...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 9, 2021

Patching Cracks

When I was a kid, my friends and I used to play baseball in the backyard. Along with baseball came tons of talk about how different baseball players swung the bat, made catches, slid into bases, or whatever. Then we would practice to play like them....

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 2, 2021

Patching Cracks

It is easy to look at other folks and get the sense that they have it all together. I talk to folks often who tell me about how they wish they were more like other people around them. I once talked to two different moms in a week who pointed at each...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 26, 2021

Patching Cracks

There is a thinking error that we see in our world often: “The Fallacy of Change.” It refers to the idea that you can change other people through your efforts. It’s hard to see this as a thinking error, because we don’t like the idea that we...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    May 12, 2021

Thoughts with Zoe

I like reading autobiographies because I enjoy getting to know people. I find them inspirational. I have never read a movie star's autobiography, and to be honest, I don't care, but I was impressed...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 12, 2021

Patching Cracks

One of my favorite arguments to stoke while hanging out with friends is the “Ford-verses-Dodge-or-Chevy-or-whatever” debate. I don’t have strong opinions on the quality of many vehicles or a loyalty to any brand of car. I jut like teasing...

 
 By Ann Denning    Opinion    May 5, 2021

Spring prompts dieting

(Editor’s Note: The follow is the opinion of Ann Denning and should not be considered an endorsement. Please see a doctor before any dieting.) A quote by Lord Tennyson says,” In spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to love.” I can’t...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 5, 2021

Patching Cracks

In ancient Israel, the Jewish people followed a very strict set of dietary laws. There are a lot of reasons for these laws, most of them having to do with reminding the Jews that they were separate from other nations and holy. In Acts 10, the...

 

Patching Cracks

“If I have a superpower in life, it’s the ability to find almost anything interesting.” My brother told me this last year during a conversation we were having related to how to become a renaissance man. A renaissance man is a well-rounded indiv...

 

Patching Cracks

There’s a difficult bit of teaching in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus talks about picking the sawdust out of your neighbor’s eye. The idea is that anyone who is going to set about cleaning the eyes of their neighbors should check their own...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    April 14, 2021

Thoughts with ZOE

Maybe you have noticed. After the first of the year, I had a good look at the direction the Mountaineer was taking and realized I needed to do more. It still felt like we were struggling to stay connected, to feel a part of a rural community. It...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    April 7, 2021

Patching Cracks

In the first century, when Jesus lived and taught, the Jewish people were living under the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire. The Jewish people were violently opposed to the Romans, a fact that resulted in more than a few violent uprisings that...

 

Patching Cracks

In the ancient world, Jews and Samaritans hated each other. The conflict between the two groups went back hundreds of years and frequently reached levels of venom and spite that we rarely see in our culture. It was common for Jews to kick the dust...

 

Guest Editorial - Jon Tester

Targeted COVID Package Will Reopen Our Economy One year into this pandemic, Montanans are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our vaccines are safe and effective, COVID cases are falling thanks to the tireless efforts of our...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    March 31, 2021

Thoughts with Zoe

I find it strange myself. So it's ok if you do too. Easter is only a few days away, and writing a movie review as a way to celebrate Easter just isn't done. I clearly know that Walt Disney movies are...

 

Patching Cracks

A few weeks ago, I made a peanut butter sandwich for my son for lunch. He took his sandwich with him to his room, where he ate and played. Because he’s a typical four year old, it didn’t take long before he forgot about the sandwich and wandered...

 
 By Shon Tester    Opinion    March 24, 2021

Remembering and buildig new traditions

For me, the adventure began in the late 80s. My first memory of going to Andy’s Supper Club is with my grandpa and grandma Ron and Betty Bitz and my grandfather’s uncle, Reinholt, and his wife, Lucille Bitz. Reinholt was a hoot, and Lucille, “h...

 

Patching Cracks

I deal with a handful of hard deadlines every week. By Sunday morning, I have to have a sermon written. By Monday morning, I need to complete two articles and a column. Monday through Thursday I have to have the kids out of bed, dressed, fed, and...

 

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