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 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 21, 2020

Patching Cracks

One of my favorite books by C.S. Lewis is The Screwtape Letters, which is written from the perspective of a demon named Screwtape instructing another demon on how to tempt a young man into hell. It’s one of my favorites, because Lewis has a keen...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 15, 2020

Patching Cracks

This weekend, I will have been married to my wife for 22 years. I am happy and cannot imagine sharing my life with any other person. However, I can honestly say that our lives together have not gone anything like what I thought it would when I said...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    July 15, 2020

Thoughts with Zoe

I have three ways to renew myself during these crazy times. It's challenging to stay positive without jumping on the bandwagon and criticize everything that is going on. I am determined to live above...

 
 By Gay Pearson    Opinion    July 8, 2020

River Ramblings South

We are climbing on the wings of summer and will soon be in full flight to hot days, warm nights, and delicious garden produce. Thankfully, we have had some pleasant rains giving us much needed...

 

Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor, I’d like to thank you with love Zoe for the very special poster size pictures honoring our awesome 2020 Seniors, displayed in our businesses along main street. A very thoughtful gift in this dark confusing time to lift our...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 1, 2020

Patching Cracks

Nearly 15 years ago, I read a book on management by Peter Drucker. I remember that it was excellent, but I only recall one clear lesson from it: The more decisions you make, the more likely you are to make a mistake, so make a decision once and apply...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 24, 2020

Patching Cracks

A few years ago, before my daughter learned to read, I read her the book “Alice in Wonderland”. In the book, Alice sort of wanders from encounter to encounter without a strong purpose. The plot is summed up well when she asks the Cheshire Cat...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    June 17, 2020

Summer Challenge- July 17

I was sitting outside the Mountaineer on the new bench, working on writing on what it means to be from a rural community. I smile because it means something precious. Three senior citizens were puttin...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 17, 2020

Patching Cracks

Daryl Davis is a blues musician who, for the last 30 years, has been collecting KKK robes. He has over 200 in his home, which he saves as a reminder of the work he has been doing. Mr. Davis is an African American man whose uses his spare time to...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 10, 2020

Patching Cracks

I’ve spent the last few months studying the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. Most people are familiar with the story of Daniel being tossed into the lion’s den as a death sentence, only to be saved by God. That’s really just a minor...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    June 10, 2020

Thoughts with Zoe

Summer 2020 Challenge One of my favorite songs, because my mom and brother, both gone now because of cancer, loved it: Summertime, an' the livin' is easy.Fish are jumpin' an' the cotton is high. Oh,...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 20, 2020

Patching Cracks

A couple of decades ago I graduated from high school and went off to college. I had a straight path in mind regarding what I was going to do with my life. I had intended on finishing a pre-seminary degree from a little private college I was...

 

River Ramblings South

The country is taking steps to open our doors. I believe it is a good decision and necessary to help us get over the changes we have lived through. Change can be a good thing under the right...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 13, 2020

Patching Cracks

During the lockdown, one of the weirdest challenges I have taken on has been keeping my kids from eating nothing but junk food. If they had their way breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, supper, dinner, and every snack in-between would consist purely...

 

Patching Cracks

While teaching one day, Jesus was asked by an expert in the Jewish law codes ‘what is the most important commandment.’ His answer was to repeat the Old Testament summary of the 10 Commandments: Love God with all your being and love your neighbor...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    April 29, 2020

Thoughts with Zoe

Earth Day came and went without a mention from me. Surprisingly, because right now, walking outside is what brings normalcy to my life. My granddaughter was the one that brought it to my attention....

 

Patching Cracks

In 165 AD, an epidemic swept through the Roman Empire, ravaging the western world for 15 years. The disease may have been smallpox, though it’s difficult to say with any certainty. Regardless of the nature of the illness, the result was...

 
 By Gay Pearson    Opinion    April 22, 2020

River Ramblings south

Hello April! Wow, that March lion cut loose a few days late! We were somewhat prepared for the storm as the warnings were out there, but it's always a surprise when the weatherman is right. It had...

 

Patching Cracks

On Easter morning, I got out of bed early and spent some time reviewing my sermon notes for the morning. Taking a break from the effort, I posted something about my previous day’s activities on Facebook. Pastor Sean from the Lutheran Church...

 

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor, This letter is to express the heartfelt thanks to a couple that have been bringing noon meals to several people in Big Sandy for several Saturdays now. That very special couple are Karen and Norman, Reinertson. I am sure there...

 

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor As schools finish up what has traditionally been their Easter break, they will be entering into the fifth week of school closures in Montana. Closures are scheduled to go until at least April 24, with the potential that the school closure...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    April 15, 2020

Thoughts with Zoe

During this time of trial, I see a lot of caring people, reaching out to help, to bless those who are in need. But I also hear and read a lot of negativity. It is during times like this I am reminded...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    April 8, 2020

Patching Cracks

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, the day that launches Holy Week in the church calendar. It is kind of an interesting and often misunderstood event. The gospels recorded it as the day that Jesus arrived in Jerusalem setting off a series of events...

 

Autism Month Awareness is Important Kindness and Words Matter

I've been thinking about something lately. When I was a kid, there were words I heard (and used) a lot at the time that didn't mean a damn thing to me. I didn't think about what they meant or if they...

 
 By Ella Idleman    Opinion    April 8, 2020

"It's Not Easy, Being Quarantined" -"Kermit's new song."

Editor's note: Ella Idleman, 11 and in the sixth grade, is the daughter of David and Brianna Idleman "Oh, great. They added three more weeks of quarantine and no school," thought Annemarie as she...

 

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