Opinion

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 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 10, 2019 

Patching cracks

This morning, I read an interesting op-ed written by a woman who is a lawyer and mom. She talks at length about the difficulty she has in that role and the hard truth that she often chooses her work life over her family because it fits her...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 26, 2019

Patching Cracks

I am allergic to dandelions. Every spring, my lawn begins to grow, the dandelions show up, and I start to develop headaches and sinus problems. When it gets tiresome enough, I mow in an effort to beat them back. Every home owner knows that mowing won...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 19, 2019

Patching Cracks

When I was a kid, I knew a handful of guys who were rabid baseball fans. They could tell you any stat for any player on their team going back 10 years. They collected baseball cards religiously, stored them in little plastic sleeves and studied them...

 

My Answer

Q:American Christians seem to be comparing modern politicians with leaders who are mentioned in the Bible—good and bad. Is it right to make such comparisons, and who is the most wicked king in the Old Testament? A: Judging belongs solely to the...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 12, 2019

Patching Cracks

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This quote, from motivational speaker Jim Rohn has made the rounds in the world of self-improvement for years, and it’s worth taking a moment to consider, because it has a...

 

My Answer

Q: Is belief in God the same as the belief the devil has in God? A: The devil and his demons know God exists; certainly Satan stands before the throne of God accusing mankind, as seen in the book of Job. The demon world also believes in the facts of...

 

My Answer

Q: My biggest struggle as a Christian is to know God’s will and the purpose of my life. The more people I talk to about it, the more confused I get. Is it difficult to know God’s will? A: There is a simple answer which is this: God’s will is fo...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 29, 2019

Patching Cracks

About 15 years ago, the church I was working for as a Youth Pastor made significant budget cuts that resulted in me taking a 50% pay cut. This meant being forced to start working a second job. The job I found was at a facility that worked with kids...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 22, 2019

Patching Cracks

Wabi-sabi is the Japanese word referring to their cultural understanding of beauty. It’s an interesting perspective that is very different from what we generally accept in the west. Whereas we tend to look at things that are perfect as beautiful,...

 

My Answer

Q: Some of my friends criticize me because I take better care of my pets than I do myself. But it is because my pets bring me great joy and they love me unconditionally. Am I wrong, and what does the Bible say about animals? A: Animals are God’s...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 8, 2019

Patching Cracks

I recently read the Wizard of Oz and was surprised at some of the differences between the film and the novel. The most interesting difference related to the story of the Tin Man, who was originally just a regular woodsman. He was cutting wood to...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 1, 2019

Patching Cracks

“A man and a woman are walking up to a building. The man notices the woman and runs ahead to open and hold the door for her. As she walks in, she turns to the man and asks ‘Are you holding this door because I am a woman?’ He responds: ‘No. I...

 

Patching Cracks

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, the first day of was is often called Holy Week. In the account of Palm Sunday, Jesus is arriving in Jerusalem for passover. At this point in the story, he has amassed a large following and a huge reputation. As he...

 

Patching Cracks

My younger brother sent me an article written by a prominent millionaire outlining the 12 things that folks need to attend to in order to live a fulfilled life. The interesting thing is that the individual went through a nasty divorce recently after...

 

My Answer

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham Q: America has been a land of plenty for much of its history and some believe our nation can never fall. Are we in danger of going the way of other great and powerful nations? A: Fifteen hundred years ago th...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    April 10, 2019

Thoughts with Zoe

I just returned from a real vacation. You know the kind that energizes you while you’re gone. The kind of vacation that when you get home you don’t need to take a vacation to recover from your vacation. But, let’s face it, it isn’t pretty...

 

Patching Cracks

I do a bit of marriage counseling as a part of pastoring. Sometimes this is with individuals, other times it’s with couples. I’ve read dozens of books on the subject of marital harmony, taken classes on the subject, and worked hard to improve my...

 

My Answer

Q: I grew up in a volatile home environment. Is anger inherited or learned? Didn’t God show anger? A: Every human being is capable of demonstrating anger. Think of a tiny baby who exhibits fits of temper before they can even talk. A toddler can...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    April 3, 2019

Patching Crack

I had a friend in Indiana who competed in off-road bicycle racing. He and his wife owned a bicycle store, and he spent an absurd amount of time riding and training for races, many of which were on dangerous courses that required a high degree of...

 

My Answer

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham Q: Is it true that Queen Victoria believed in Jesus Christ? A: In the biography of Queen Victoria there is a heart-warming story told. She went into the slums of London and visited the home of an elderly lad...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    April 3, 2019

Thoughts with Zoe

I’m sitting under a temperate rain forest tree and remembering this year’s Montana Winter. I have always loved moss growing on trees, so sitting by a carpet of moss lifted my spirits. Many of the trees are still bare, but they are almost ready to...

 

Big Sandy High School students weigh on hot topics in the News

Editor’s Note: The Mountaineer approached Tucker Taylor, Big Sandy High School teacher of the 12th grade Government, 11th grade U. S. History, and World History about having his students writing essays on current issues. Each student is required...

 

Patching Cracks

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…” This quote from Theodore Roosevelt ca...

 

My Answer

Q: I am a young mother with four children under 10 years old. My friends at church criticize me because I do not work outside the home or attend their women’s Bible studies and help with their various ministries. They tell me I should be working...

 

Patching Cracks

Eight years ago, about a year after my daughter was born, I was working at a job I loved. I was the chaplain at a mental health facility for young people. The problem was, that the work was so demanding that I often would only see her first thing in...

 

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