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Patching Cracks

Over the past month, I have been researching and preaching on Jesus’ temptation in the desert in Matthew 4. The story takes place right after Jesus is baptized, and God proclaims that Jesus is His son. From the baptism, the Holy Spirit led Jesus...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    August 9, 2023

Birthday girl, August 6

Since I was short on articles this week, I thought, why not find out why August 6 is a special day? I was born on August 6, 1952. But what I found out about August 6 that brought me much joy was it is also International Forgiveness Day. On August 6,...

 

Patching Cracks

When I moved to Big Sandy a little over a decade ago, I understood little to nothing about farming. When friends and neighbors discussed harvest, I didn’t properly grasp all of the implications of that part of the work year. On a few occasions, I...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    August 9, 2023

Thoughts with Zoe

Finding Joy Recently I fell in love with a book called Laughing Through the Ugly Cry by Dawin Barton. I loved it because she could express clearly what I believe. Finding joy in my life and finding...

 

Patching Cracks

I moved to Chicago when I was 19 to attend college. I spent the next several years living in the suburbs, going to school, and working various jobs. One of the necessities for my college survival was the purchase of a car. I didn’t know anything...

 

Just Thinkin'

Editor’s note: We are fast approaching fire season. I found this old Mountaineer article written by Arnold Hokanson and decided to run it to remind us all to be careful and watchful because of all the rain we now have amble fuel for fire this...

 

4th of July celebrates us all

As we approach the 4th of July, I’m reminded that it is the only holiday that celebrates all of us in union. We often define ourselves based on divisions over politics, race, religion, and a host of other issues, which is unfortunate. Our country...

 

Guest Editorial-

My name is Judy Yirsa. I am a wife, a mother of three daughters and a resident of Big Sandy. I also am a co-collaborator of the Protect our Choteau County Kids petition and attended and spoke at the board meeting in May during the public comment...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 21, 2023

Patching Cracks

For the last several days, I have been studying the ancient Greek idea of citizenship. Like so many foundational ideas in our culture, the Greeks were the first to conjure up the idea of citizenship in our culture. It was a revolutionary idea and...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 14, 2023

Patching Cracks

In the book of Mark, there is a story about Jesus coming into a town where he is quickly surrounded by huge crowds of people. As He walks through the town, with the crowds pressing in from all sides, he is approached by a woman. This woman had a...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 7, 2023

Patching Cracks

Many years ago, while I was working as a chaplain for a mental health facility that worked with children, we would take a group of clients on a trip to canoe, camp, and fish in the Boundary Waters Wilderness in Northern Minnesota. One year, on the...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    May 24, 2023

Thoughts with Zoe

It’s amazing how many people are hurt. With this month being Mental Health Month, I’ve written a couple of articles, only to discover that way more people in our community live in pain. I’ve been stopped on the street and stood before The Groce...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    May 10, 2023

Thoughts with Zoe

Several years ago, a Big Sandy Convalescent Home patient attended church. She came into the church and sat in the back pew. When it came time to share prayer concerns, she raised her hand and said, "Please pray my husband dies quickly so I can marry...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    May 10, 2023

Things my mother taught me

Mother’s Day always brings up memories. I wanted to have some fun this Mother’s Day by interviewing several kids and adults and asking them, “ What has your mom taught you?” The following answers are from children between 9-14 years old....

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 3, 2023

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...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    April 26, 2023

Thoughts with Zoe

"The roads are terrible!" I've heard that over and over. I may have said it over and over. Even so, it's a picture of our society these days. There is a way to fix the roads. There is a way to fix...

 

Patching Cracks

A Boy Named Sue is one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs. Most people are familiar with the tune, but for those who have never encountered Cash’s humorous song, it tells the story of a man whose father was a worthless drunk who abandoned his...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    April 5, 2023

Thoughts with Zoe

For the last few years, I have found myself in a loop of grayness, same after same after same. I could blame it on COVID, but honestly, it started before that. But it's Easter, a great time to reflect on rebirth, new beginnings, or a fresh breeze....

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    April 5, 2023

Patching Cracks

Over the weekend, my wife and I went to Great Falls to run errands. While we were there, we stopped at Goodwill to look for a few odds and ends. Before we stepped out my wife started looking through the books. She came across 4 volumes of “The...

 

Patching Cracks

Recently, the testing scores for Intelligence Quotient (more commonly known as IQ) have been observed to be in decline. Specifically, scores related to abilities in verbal reasoning (logic, vocabulary), visual problem solving/analogies,...

 

Patching Cracks

During the first few centuries that the church existed, it face a handful of internal struggles on top of persecution from the Roman Empire and hostile neighbors. Most of the struggle, both internally and externally, came about because the gospel...

 

Letters to the Editor

An ad in the paper got me thinking about what a great school board member would look like. Someone whose goal is to serve the children of the community by working with others to provide the best learning experience for each and every one of them? Or...

 

Patching Cracks

One of the neat features of Facebook that turns up in my timeline every day is the flashback from the same day in past years. Last week, an 11 year old picture popped up. It was my wife in a borrowed coat, holding our 1 year old daughter, in a...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    March 8, 2023

Patching Cracks

Your time is like water. Water naturally flows from higher places to lower ones. In the same way, everyone has both strengths (higher places) and weaknesses (lower places). We tend to spend less time in our areas of natural talent and more in areas...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    March 1, 2023

Patching Cracks

The 18th century Danish Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once wrote a story about a circus performance. With a large crowd out front, the performers were preparing to a start the show, when suddenly a fire broke out backstage. Knowing that the huge...

 

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