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  • Our shared power in Christ

    Rev. Carrie A. H. Benton, Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church|Nov 23, 2023

    One of the primary struggles for the church today is an ancient struggle. This struggle is about power, specifically, confusion about divine power. Divine power as displayed in the life and ministry of Jesus is about power with others, power for others. It has a communal focus, a shared-life-together focus. The purposes of divine power are to create, to transform, and to liberate. This divine power is most evident in the person and work of Christ. The person and work of Christ is concerned with abundant life for all. Christ’s power, divine p...

  • Strength in weakness

    Pastor Erik Iverson, Faith-Holy Cross Lutheran Churches Condon-Seeley Lake|Nov 16, 2023

    Admiral Horatio Nelson is one of England’s greatest heroes, yet his fame was gained not only due to his strengths, but arguably even more so from his weaknesses. Having lost his mother at the age of nine, he began his military career at the age of 13 as an ordinary seaman. From his first day at sea through the rest of his life, he would suffer from constant seasickness. His frailness also left him susceptible to other illnesses, contracting yellow fever, recurring bouts with malaria, and an unidentified debilitating sickness in the West I...

  • Identified and prepared

    Ryan Dailey, Camp Utmost|Nov 9, 2023

    In my last article I said I wanted to do a small series looking at the armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-18. Last time I wrote about the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith. This time I would like to take a look at the helmet of salvation and the shoes that Paul describes in this way: “your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” So what do these two pieces of armor look like historically and how do they help us understand the spiritual implications Paul is ad...

  • Revival: Then What?

    Dale Terrillion|Oct 26, 2023

    John Wesley once said to his preachers: “How dare you lead people to Christ without providing adequate opportunity for growth and nurture? Anything less is simply begetting children for the murders.” I like the way Hebrews 3:12-13 puts it. ‘See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.’ Pretty hard to encourage one another when you see them only...

  • What a mess!

    Rev. Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church|Oct 19, 2023

    Two big events recently are the Afghan earthquake and the Israel/Hamas conflict. There is still the Ukraine situation ongoing but out of the spotlight for the moment. Sadly, the devastation in the earthquake has been overshadowed by the Israel/Hamas conflict. The death toll will probably never be known as the area is burying the dead almost as fast as they are found. Prayers for the Afghan people in that area are most appropriate. Honestly, I’m not sure where to start with a response. Perhaps best to start with the problem, it’s that crazy old...

  • Humble yourself

    Sherman Smith, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints|Sep 28, 2023

    To be humble is to recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies. We can be both humble and fearless. We can be both humble and courageous. Jesus Christ is our greatest example of humility. During His mortal ministry, He always acknowledged that H...

  • Thought for the day

    Rev. Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church|Sep 21, 2023

    I bought a used snowblower on a 78 degree day. End of summer in Montana, I think we spend six months planning for winter and six months living winter. Everyone is buying, cutting, splitting and stacking firewood in anticipation of snowy cold weather. Amazing. Last week it was 9-11, a day that lives in our memories and we all have stories to tell about where we were and thoughts evoked as the news got out. After that day, the thoughts that have woven their way throughout our society and way we live, are interesting to contemplate. There are...

  • Do I need to be baptized?

    Mark Taylor, Layman|Sep 14, 2023

    As references I will be using the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church as resource material. What did Jesus say? Jesus said, “I solemnly assure you, no one can enter into Gods kingdom without being begotten of water and Spirit” (John 3:5). At the ascension, Jesus said, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Jesus commanded the apostles, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. T...

  • More than words

    Rev. Carrie Benton, Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church|Sep 7, 2023

    Languages and words have always fascinated me. The way one word in one language is not easily translatable in another language. The way words are not merely words. The way we communicate with more than our speech or our writings. In high school and college the Spanish language held my attention. In seminary it was Greek and Hebrew. Creole when traveling to Haiti; Norwegian when traveling to Norway. I have come to understand that language is more so much more than words. This was made even more clear to me recently when listening to the Irish...

  • Hearing God

    Pastor Erik Iverson, Holy Cross Faith and Lutheran Churches, Seeley Lake and Condon|Aug 31, 2023

    Elijah was a man strong and faithful in serving God, even standing up against 450 pagan priests at one point. After this, Queen Jezebel was so enraged that she sent her armies to find and slay him. Yet as strong as his faith was, even he knew fear upon hearing of this, falling into deep disconsolation and despair. It was at this point that he was told to, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the L...

  • The art of war

    Ryan Dailey, Camp Utmost|Aug 24, 2023

    I’ve spoken much on the importance of the local church, but I’ll keep harping on the topic. In this article and a few more to come, I want to focus on the armor of God. Specifically for this article, I’ll be focusing on the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6:16-17 reads: “Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” When Paul wrote thi...

  • Almighty God will have the final say

    Dale Terillion, Christian Logger|Aug 17, 2023

    One only has to read a paper or listen to the evening news to see what events are taking place. It’s getting pretty wild out there. Morally America is bleeding and sinking into depravity. Psalm 12:8 says, “the wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.” And of course the climate is changing. Everything is blamed on climate change. Some people think man can control the climate by doing away with fossil fuels. I think I will go with Him who created the climate in the first place. Men will never control disasters, acts of Go...

  • Light in the Dark

    Pastor Gary Wayne, Faith Chapel of Seeley Lake|Aug 10, 2023

    In 2 Chronicles 6:1 Solomon said, “The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud.” Did you know that Jesus started His ministry in a dark place? When Jesus was choosing His disciples, Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote-- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. (John 1 45-46) Nazareth was in the region of Galilee and was considered backward. Isaiah called t...

  • Peace is the tranquility of order

    Michelle Jenkins, Director of the Sycamore Tree Catholic Retreat Center|Aug 3, 2023

    “What is peace?” Some might say: “Peace is the absence of war;” “Peace is freedom from turmoil;” “Peace is the avoidance of hostility;” “Peace is the termination of anxiety,” and so on. Some people think that peace is nirvana, but this word can mean death, or at least a state of feelinglessness. Is peace just a form of anesthesia? Is peace merely the cessation of pain? If so, why do we long for it so? We should want peace to convey something positive, something that improves our lives. We should be concerned about what peace is, rather th...

  • Finding the Truth

    Wayne Dunn, Elder at Mission Bible Fellowship|Jul 27, 2023

    In America today, we are bombarded from every direction with countless sources of competing claims of “truth.” These competing claims clash and oppose each other, yet all claim to be truth. So let’s take a few minutes to ask the questions: What is truth? Why is it important? And how is truth determined? Perhaps truth is best defined as that which conforms with fact or reality. Real truth is not subjective. Truth is not determined by personal feelings, desires, or popular opinion. When we call these things “truth,” we are wrong, and we open the...

  • We don't have all the answers

    Kapp Johnson, retired pastor|Jul 20, 2023

    3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 3:2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3:3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; The Book of Ecclesiastes (ESV) No doubt you can sing the rest of the verses. Well, if you are a child of the 60’s like I was. The Byrds popularized the book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 with their hit Turn, Turn, Turn. The theme of the Book is “The Meaningless of Life.” 1:2 Vanity of va...

  • A message on kindness

    Matthew Piippo, church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|Jul 6, 2023

    Lately, I’ve been more and more concerned as people I know voice their worries about the world we live in. As things get worse, more friends ask the same question: “But, what can I do? I’m just one person. How can I make a difference? We certainly live in a world plagued by hate, division, and distrust. In an environment such as this…how does anyone stay positive about anything anymore? As life becomes increasingly difficult, negative, and more and more depressing…how can we possibly make a difference for good? For me part of the answer ca...

  • A passage on freedom

    Rev. Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church|Jun 29, 2023

    The Fourth of July is coming between now and the time the next edition of the paper comes out so thought that would be a journey worth taking. As I write this Juneteenth has just happened. I think this is a worthy celebration as we consider those that were enslaved in the past. I’m just trying to figure how it went from a local Texas holiday, to a national one, well worthy of recognition because the slaves in Texas were finally notified on that day almost two and a half years after they were actually free. Freedom matters. After living in S...

  • The Holy Eucharist

    Mark Taylor|Jun 22, 2023

    Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence is the belief that Jesus Christ is literally, not symbolically, present in the Holy Eucharist: body, blood, soul and divinity. Why do we Catholics believe this? Because Jesus said so. Simple as that. Jesus does not deceive. It takes faith to accept this teaching of Jesus. “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one e...

  • No Lightning Bolts

    Reverend Carrie A. H. Benton, Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church|Jun 15, 2023

    There are many images of God that are beautiful, healing and life-giving. God as a loving Father with open arms (Luke 15:11-32); God as a mother-hen gathering her chicks protectively under her wings (Matthew 23:37). Likewise there are many that can be harmful and destructive, especially for the life of faith. How aware are we of our images of God, how they have shaped us, how they continue to shape us? I firmly believe that awareness of how we imagine God is important. So much of our thought... Full story

  • How we came to be here

    Reverend Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church|Jun 8, 2023

    Last time I wrote Passages it was too close to Easter for really doing any kind of proper introduction. I note in the Passages dated June 1, that Jonah was mentioned in a contrast of Jonah to Isaiah, and the heart’s willingness and result. I can well relate to that story of Jonah. A quick “who I am,” I identify as a follower of Jesus Christ. I tell folk I don’t do religion well, but I am trying to do Jesus better and better. Too often we identify by what we do, so, I’ll give a wee glimpse into that as well. I was born a Nebraska boy but at an... Full story

  • A tale of two prophets

    Ryan Dailey, Camp Utmost|Jun 1, 2023

    In my last article, I wrote about the prophet Isaiah. His response to God’s call was, “Here I am, send me.” He was willing to be used by God before he even knew what God was asking of him and was faithful to carry out every difficult task. In this article I want to focus on the prophet Jonah. God specifically told him to go to Nineveh, calling the people to repent of their wickedness. Instead, he ran in the opposite direction to Tarshish. Jonah ran because Nineveh was a very evil place, enemi... Full story

  • Heart of gold

    Dale Terrillion|May 25, 2023

    This year is the fourth time I’m reading through the Bible in a year. In the past I read all the books but not all in one year. Seems like there are always verses I seem to not have noticed before, or forgot after. Like this year, in Genesis 6:6 “The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth and His heart was filled with pain.” As I read that over and over I began to realize “God’s heart was filled with pain.” I wonder if we can really grasp that - ‘God’s heart was filled with pain!’ Can anyone even come close to know how God felt... Full story

  • The source of division

    William Campbell, Faith Chapel|May 18, 2023

    Recently I had a phone conversation with a childhood friend. As we had not seen each other, nor talked, for quite some time we first exchanged health updates; and since he is wrestling with some very serious and life threatening issues, I asked about his eternal security (future destination and plans). He laughed and said he planned to go to heaven. So I asked if he’d made his reservation. He said he had. So I asked who he had made them with. And, this led us to a conversation about church, church doctrine, and hypocrisy within the church. I... Full story

  • A refuge in the lord

    Craig Wilson, Mission Bible Fellowship|May 11, 2023

    A memorable experience in my teenage years was a strenuous hike up Mount Rainier in Washington State. I ascended the mountain to an elevation of just a little over 10,000 feet at Camp Muir. This camp contains shelters that are important staging camps for mountaineers desiring to summit the peak of Mount Rainier. Those planning to reach the summit of the mountain rely on the refuge of Camp Muir to provide shelter while awaiting a mountain summit. There is no way to accurately plan or predict... Full story

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