Opinion / Passages


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  • Thought for the day

    Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church|Jul 11, 2024

    There are days that depth of spirituality looms massively. There are other days that there is just a steady stream of awareness that God is good and present in day-to-day living. As the country song reminds us, “some days a diamond, some days a stone.” Diamonds and stones both have value, it just depends on where you find them and what you do with them. A Christian faith is like that as well. It is stony times that build foundations for us. Try building anything with a diamond but try carrying a foundation stone on your finger. Neither wor...

  • "And those who find it are few." Matthew 7:14

    Diana Taylor, Defendress of the Catholic Faith|Jul 4, 2024

    Looking back, I can recall and reveal glimpses of my journeys that ultimately connected me to the straight path leading to the narrow gate of life through the one, true Church. There are no coincidences; nothing happens without God within His Divine Providence in which He gives us free will while subtly guiding us to receive and embrace His numerous gifts such as faith and cooperation with His abundant, beneficial grace. Attending elementary Sunday school with the Methodists, I memorized numerous Psalms being especially thankful for Psalm 23...

  • Dark night of the soul

    Carrie Benton, Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church|Jun 27, 2024

    Not everyone has to go through hard times in order to see the beauty of what they can be. Sometimes I imagine what life might have been like if certain events hadn’t occurred, certain abuses, pains, rejections. Would I still be the same person today? Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is that the things that have happened, have happened. They simply are. How I choose to understand them, live into the complexities of meaning, that’s where life is interesting. In fact, that’s really where life is. S...

  • The edge of chaos

    Kapp Johnson, Retired pastor living in Seeley Lake|Jun 6, 2024

    “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25 As ancient Israel settled into the promised land their social and governmental organization was quite loose. The main feature at this time was the emergence of individuals who delivered their fellow countrymen from various oppressors, e.g. the Philistines. But it really didn’t work too well. The more serious problem was the independence of the tribes from each other, thus exposing the ancient Israelites to all sorts of social and polit...

  • How nature helps me connect with the creator

    Sherman Smith, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints|May 30, 2024

    I’m grateful for the spiritual places we can go to get away from the busyness of life, like the temple or even a quiet room in our homes. I have also found that being in nature and its peacefulness has helped me connect with Heavenly Father. Is it great to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, smelling the scent of fresh rainfall, or hearing the sound of a babbling creek. These things have allowed me to quiet my soul and prepare my heart to connect with heaven. Even the simplicity of c...

  • Thought for the week - Paradise!

    Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church|May 23, 2024

    What thoughts come to mind when you see the word paradise? For some it is a lovely beach with sunshine and warm sand. Maybe paradise is the view from the top of a mountain. For me, it would be a big shop building with all sorts of tools and projects with time to work on them all. We all have our own ideas of what makes paradise in our lives. Spring comes in many forms. I just know that I now laugh at the idea of April showers bringing May flowers. Spring is that time of perfect temps, not too hot and not too cool, cool nights and warmish days....

  • Come, Holy Spirit of truth

    Diana Taylor, Defendress of the Catholic faith|May 16, 2024

    Jesus ascended to Heaven to receive the glory due to Him because of His humility and obedience (Philippians 2:1-18); to be our Mediator and Advocate sitting at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 9:11-28); and to send the Holy Spirit. (John 16:1-33) Before ascending Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with y...

  • Prayer for community healing and wholeness

    Carrie Benton, Pastor, Seeley Lake|May 9, 2024

    Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m. the whole community is invited to gather for prayer at the Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church at 3292 Highway 83. Together we will join hearts and minds in a spirit of prayer for our community, our churches, our nation and the world. Together we will pray for healing and wholeness in every facet of life. In biblical Greek, the word that is translated as “healing and wholeness” can also be translated as “salvation.” The noun is soteria, the verb is sozo. For me, studyin...

  • St. Mark, the Evangelist

    Rev. Kapp L. Johnson, Seeley Lake|Apr 25, 2024

    Today, April 25, the Church celebrates the Feast Day of St. Mark, Apostle, and Evangelist. He is the second of the four writers of the Gospels (Matthew, Luke and John) and associated with the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew and Luke). Most of what we know about St. Mark we learn from Scripture generally and his Gospel in particular. There is general agreement that the Mark of the second Gospel is the John Mark of Acts 12:12. He was part of the early missionary efforts of Apostles. He left his home in Jerusalem to accompany Barnabas and Paul as a...

  • Easter thoughts

    Sherman Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints|Apr 11, 2024

    Easter is the Christian holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. After Christ died on the cross, His body was placed in a sepulcher, where it remained, separated from His spirit, until His Resurrection, when His spirit and His body were reunited. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affirm and testify that Jesus Christ was resurrected and lives today with a glorified and perfected body of flesh and bone. Following His Resurrection, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene...

  • Easter celebrations

    Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church|Apr 4, 2024

    Having come from Scotland the Easter refrain was given by the minister as “He is Risen!” to which the reply was the obvious reply of “He is Risen Indeed!” I am blessed to have a church family that knows that here in Seeley Lake and replies in kind. After the cacophony of Palm Sunday and the celebration of Easter, I find church life is a bit slower paced in the church calendar. So much so that in Scotland the Sunday following Easter is called Low Sunday for a reason. The Sunday after Easter the attendance is LOW! I’m hoping it will not be so her...

  • "I do believe, help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)

    Diana Taylor, Defendress of the Catholic Faith|Mar 28, 2024

    Holy Thursday: At the Lord's Supper approximately 2,000 years ago, Jesus instituted His Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist for Holy Communion with Him: Jesus said the blessing, broke the bread saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me," giving His Apostles the power to offer His Sacrifice as validly ordained Priests. Jesus gave thanks, gave them the cup saying, "This is my blood...which will be shed for many for the forgiveness of sins." Approaching death, Jesus spoke literally with emphasis, clarity and repeti...

  • Naming the pain in preparation of Holy Week

    Pastor Carrie Benton|Mar 21, 2024

    Church, Know Thyself Acts 17:27-28a (NLT) “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him — though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist.” If we want to know more fully who God is, we need to dig deeper into understanding ourselves. As the French Reformation-era theologian John Calvin put it: “Without knowledge of self, there is no knowledge of God. Our wisdom, insofar as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts:...

  • Journey to Easter and to freedom

    Michelle Jenkins|Mar 14, 2024

    On Feb. 14, “ValentAsh Wednesday,” this year, we began the holy season of Lent, and many of us received blessed ashes as a symbolic gesture of our repentance and of our resolve to live the 40 days of Lent to grow in virtue. In this holy season, we accompany Jesus in His 40 days of temptation in the desert. It is a time of purification and growth. It is a springtime for the soul. And it is a journey to freedom. In our Lenten journey to Easter, we are encouraged to move from where we are to where the Lord wants us to be: to a greater obe...

  • Perpetua and Felicity Christian martyrs

    Kapp Johnson, Retired pastor Seeley Lake|Mar 7, 2024

    Today, March 7, is the commemoration of two early Christian martyrs: Perpetua and Felicity. They were residents of Carthage in North Africa and died in 202 A.D. In that same year, the emperor Septimius Severus forbade conversions to Christianity. Perpetua, a noblewoman, Felicity an enslaved woman, and other companions were all catechumens (preparing for baptism in the Christian faith). They were imprisoned and sentenced to death. In prison they were baptized. Perpetua’s father, who was not a Christian, visited her in prison and begged her to l...

  • How Can The Savior & Our Heavenly Father Help Us In Our Trials Of Today?

    Sherman Smith Church of Jesus Christ LDS|Feb 15, 2024

    As we seek to follow Jesus Christ and walk the path of discipleship, line upon line, the day will come that we will experience that unimaginable gift of receiving a fullness of joy. As we nurture and prepare our children, we allow for their agency, we love them with all our heart, we teach them God’s commandments and His gift of repentance and we never, ever, give up on them. After all, isn’t this the Lord’s way with each of us? Young men and young women, as you grow older, making fun of others can evolve very dangerously. Anxiety, depre...

  • Identity Matters

    Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church|Feb 8, 2024

    I was able to celebrate one year of being in Seeley Lake the first of January. I’m not sure where the year has flown to, but despite my best efforts it has come and gone and though in many ways I am still a stranger here, I am feeling right at home. Scotland is still a beloved part of my life, and still, I have many connections each week back to Brechin. It is a challenge at times to be American, then Scottish and now trying to become American again. Then try to add the twist of becoming a Montanan. So, who am I really? I have been preaching t...

  • " … 'Behold, I make all things new.'" (Rv 21:5)

    Diana Taylor, Defendress of the Catholic Faith, Seeley Lake, Montana|Feb 1, 2024

    "For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man … they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark [where just eight were saved as they continued preparations for forty days, a metaphor for gestation, anticipating new beginnings, a rebirth of humanity] … the flood came and [all others perished because of wickedness, evil, corruption, lawlessness, and depraved lives, see Genesis 6:5-11 ]. So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man … Therefore, [be prepare...

  • Sacred Gifts

    Rev. Carrie A. H. Benton, Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church|Jan 25, 2024

    I read a story recently about a woman who looked out her window and noticed something beautiful: sunlight glistening on moist leaves. Immediately prior to this, the day was very gloomy, as was her mood. But that brief moment of light reminded her of beauty and she recognized it as a sacred gift. I need this kind of reminder again and again. The reminder to lift my gaze and pay attention to all the wondrous beauty and goodness, to those moments of light breaking through, moments of kindness unexpectedly shown, moments of joy and laughter...

  • My greatest joy

    Ryan Dailey, Camp Utmost|Jan 11, 2024

    Have you ever felt far from God? When the Israelites were in exile before the coming of Jesus, they were far from the dwelling place of God as he chose to dwell among them in the temple. Even though we are in an age of God dwelling with and among us, I often put myself in exile from God’s presence by removing myself from him in difficult times. I’m sure many of you do the same. Today I’d like to challenge all of us to turn our affections toward Christ and to find our deepest satisfaction in hi...

  • Looking to the birth of Christ

    Kapp Johnson, Retired Pastor in Seeley Lake|Dec 28, 2023

    Luke 2:17 And when they (the Shepherds) saw it (Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger), they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child (from the heavenly host). 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. Mary and Joseph now have a three-day old baby boy. He came into the world in quite a fuss. The Birth announcements was not cute cards with the picture of the newborn and the new family with length and weight duly...

  • Christmas: Its myth, folklore and mystery

    Michelle Jenkins, Director of the Sycamore Tree Catholic Retreat Center|Dec 21, 2023

    Christmas, especially an American Christmas, is “a many splendored thing.” It engages the imagination and the heart. And while it is a Christian feast – celebrating the birth of Christ - unlike other Christian feasts, it is celebrated not just by Christians but by just about everyone. And in America we start celebrating it right after Halloween! We celebrate it with fanfare and great expectations. What is an “American Christmas?” There is some myth: Santa Claus, reindeer and Christmas elves for starters. Santa Claus has his origins in a real...

  • Share the light around the world

    Sherman Smith, President of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints|Dec 14, 2023

    In a world where darkness is ever increasing, light will always continue to shine. That light, which brings our hope and happiness, comes because of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. “Jesus Christ is the light of the world because he is the source of the light which ‘proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.’ His light is ‘the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ “… His example and his teachings illuminate the path we should walk....

  • Growing to love the Advent Season

    Pastor Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church|Dec 7, 2023

    Thanksgiving has come and gone; it is time to start reflecting on the Advent Season. After 21 years in Scotland, the Lectionary became a part of my Advent season build up to Christmas. I wish I could do the whole of the Advent writing to build the beauty of the incarnation. Ultimately Christmas is about the incarnation and God coming in the flesh, in the person of Jesus Christ, on our behalf. I have not always been a big fan of Christmas. The commercialism and ‘sell, sell, sell’ being the mantra does my head in. Och aye, this is why year aft...

  • The church necessary for salvation

    Diana Taylor, Defendress of the Catholic Faith|Nov 30, 2023

    As Advent begins, may we reflect upon Jesus, our Savior, who by the riches of God’s grace took on flesh by being born of the Blessed Virgin to be the perfect blood sacrifice for our redemption and for the forgiveness of sins (see Ephesians 1:7). By contemplating God’s holy word, praying daily, and filling our souls with sacramental grace through His Church, let our belief and repentance grow virtues of faith, hope, and love to produce the fruit of joy and peace. “...God our Savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of...

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