The Sunday Message

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

This week the lives of 17 people were taken in a mass shooting. There were 14 students and three adults killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

There are several others who were injured.

Families are now making plans for the funerals of those who died.

I think in regard to mass shootings my heart broke after hearing about the gunman killing 20 first graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. That was in 2012. How could anyone do this to these sweet children?

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The Sunday Message

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy. – Anton Chekhov

I was beginning to think that spring was just around the corner, but then this latest cold front moved in and dumped about 7-9 inches of snow on my property. Temperatures dipped below zero. Now spring seems a long way away.

And so goes another year in Big Sky Country Montana!

I actually thought about needing a snow blower the other day. It was 5:30 a.m. and the temperature was well-below zero. The snow I was scooping was deep.

I kind of think snow blowers are for wimps, but as I grow older one might come in handy. Maybe when I hit 70 I’ll ask Santa for one.

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Published in: on February 11, 2018 at 2:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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The Sunday Message

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NIV)

Today (February 4) is Super Bowl Sunday. It’s the last NFL game until August when preseason starts. The 2018 regular season begins September 6.

Football is my favorite sport to watch, so when the season ends it leaves a big void in my life.

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Published in: on February 4, 2018 at 2:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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The Sunday Message

These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. – Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)

I’ve attended church most of my adult life. There have been times when I have seen members of churches sow discord among members so much that it basically killed the church. Some churches never recovered. Some people that the discord was aimed at never recovered, either.

I think that has to be one of the major concerns of any church – members spreading negative and unflattering things about other members.

The classic example is the church gossiper saying that he/she needs to know what is happening with John/Jane Doe so “I can pray for them.” Then after finding out, he/she tells other members, “Did you hear what happened to the Doe family.”

Some churches have small groups that meet to discuss the Bible and sermons. These are great places for discord to be sown in these little groups. It’s harmful when a gossiper is in a small group because members can’t be open about their problems for fear it will be all over the church or social media in a day or two.

Social media does its part. I heard about a lawsuit that was filed against some former church members and although the former members are presumed innocent until proven guilty, some members spread the one-sided story to other members via Facebook. That was a classic example of church gossipers sowing discord. Shame on them.

Some people may have heard the story of Ray Donovan. He was the Secretary of Labor in the Reagan Administration. Back in the late 1980s, the NY Times reported that Donovan and others were indicted by a Bronx County, New York, grand jury for larceny and fraud. To make a long story short Donovan and the other defendants were acquitted, after which Donovan was famously quoted as asking:

Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?

When sowing discord there are two sides that are damaged: The person who sows it because they now have the reputation as a gossiper and people feel they cannot trust them to keep information private, and the person(s) they are spreading the discord about. Their reputation is damaged.

A real Christian is a person who can give his pet parrot to the town gossip. – Billy Graham

 

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Published in: on January 28, 2018 at 2:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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The Sunday Message

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. – Will Rogers

The Federal Government of the United States of America shutdown began at 12:00 AM EST on January 20, 2018.

No matter which side you take on this latest shutdown, or if you stay in the middle, this is a serious problem. Who knows how long it will last, but the blame game will go on for a long time.

I can remember back when the different sides in Congress worked out their differences. I can also remember when they were much nicer to each other and just because you were from a different party, you could work together for the good of the USA.

I think we’ve lost our way.

In Romans 13:1 it says:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

We need to pray for those in authority. We need to pray that those in authority make Godly decisions for our country. We need to pray that they put their country before politics.

Amen!

## HAVE A GREAT WEEK ##

Published in: on January 21, 2018 at 2:00 am  Comments (2)  
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The Sunday Message – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tomorrow (Monday, Jan. 15) is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., day. It is a Federal holiday and observed on the third Monday of each year.

I enjoy posting quotes on Facebook and Twitter. One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King is this one:

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

I believe in God and read the Bible frequently. I struggle to take that “first step” sometimes because my faith is weak.

Here are some more of my favorite *quotes from Dr. King:

  • We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.
  • The time is always right to do what is right.
  • In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
  • Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

*SOURCE: Brainy Quote

Have a great week!

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Published in: on January 14, 2018 at 2:00 am  Comments (2)  
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The Sunday Message

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.1 Timothy 6:10 (NIV)

A single ticket purchased in Florida won the $450,000,000 Mega Millions lottery Friday night. (CBS)

Maybe it’s just one person or maybe several people went in together and bought tickets.

Think of that – a single ticket won $450 million. If you select the cash option, you will get a one-time check of $281,000,000.

I hope that someone who really needs it won.

That is life-changing. In some parts of the world, winning $50 would be life-changing. Having food to eat and/or clean water would be life-changing in some places.

Do you play the lottery? Some people think that playing the lottery is a sin. I don’t feel that way. I think a person could do a lot of good in the world with winning $450 million.

So I play the lottery and I dream.

The first thing I would do if I won the lottery is tithe.

I’ve dreamed of winning big and going to a bank and getting $100 dollar bills and heading to a store and handing them out. I’ve dreamed of buying houses for my family and friends and new cars. I’ve dreamed of helping veterans and of establishing scholarships.

Realistically, there’s still a lot I could do to make this world a better place even without $450 million in my bank account.

Have a great week!

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Published in: on January 7, 2018 at 2:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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The Sunday Message

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. ― Edith Lovejoy Pierce

It will soon be 2018 and this means it is a great time to start a Bible reading plan for the year. You can pick one to read the whole Bible or just parts of the Bible, like the Old or New Testament.

You can find some reading plans from BibleGateway.com by clicking HERE.

Bible.com has some reading plans that you can review HERE.

Maybe taking on a whole year is too much. There are shorter plans to fit your schedule.

I enjoy listening to the Bible being read. Some plans have audio programs.

Have a great 2018!

 

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Published in: on December 31, 2017 at 2:00 am  Comments (6)  
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The Sunday Message – Merry Christmas!

We have much to be thankful for this Christmas. We are truly blessed!

Please take a moment to say a prayer for those away from their loved ones this Christmas protecting our freedom. Please say a prayer for their families back home, too.

Here’s a short video that tells the real meaning of Christmas:

Thank you for reading The Western Word this past year! May God bless you and your family this Christmas!

## MERRY CHRISTMAS ##

Published in: on December 24, 2017 at 2:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message – Merry Christmas!  
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The Sunday Message

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store. – Dr. Seuss

There are about eight or nine days left before Christmas. That means some people (like me) have about eight days before I need to shop!

I like to read (or listen) to the Bible and I also like to read or listen to the Christmas story. Over at the blog, YouVersion, they have several “Christmas Plans” that you might find interesting.

They range in length from just a few days to a few weeks. Check them out HERE.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”Luke 2:8-14 NKJV

 

## MERRY CHRISTMAS ##

Published in: on December 17, 2017 at 2:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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