The Sunday Message

While reading the paper Saturday morning I happened to catch this story:

State senators in Idaho have voted 34-3 to approve a bill allowing for the academic study of the Bible in public schools.

In Senate Bill 1342, legislators noted that “the Bible is expressly permitted” for use as a reference tool where religion intersects with other subjects, such as literature, comparative religion, U.S. and world history, music, sociology, astronomy, ethics, biology, and “other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant.”

You can read the whole article from the Christian Examiner HERE.

I think this bill is a good compromise. Times have changed.

I remember when I played middle and high school football my team would kneel and recite The Lord’s Prayer before we took the field. Our coach would lead the team in reciting the prayer.

I did not have a problem with it. I don’t think my parents did either. They were not overly religious, but they did send me to Vacation Bible School almost every summer, but we seldom attended church – unless someone died.

I don’t ever remember anyone getting upset about the team saying The Lord’s Prayer. In today’s world, a team from a public school could probably still recite the prayer because of freedom of speech, but the coach could probably not lead it.

Today we are a more diverse society. What if some players were not Christians or believed in another religion?

Our country was founded on the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

I enjoy studying (not judging) the differences between religions. I’ve had friends that would answer my questions about their religion and ask me questions about mine. I’ve read books about the differences in the major religions in the world. It’s fascinating.

One thing I have learned is that there are good and bad people in each religion. People struggle with their religious beliefs and doing what is right.

In short, life is a journey. Enjoy it. Learn from it. Be kind to others.

Racial prejudice, anti-Semitism, or hatred of anyone with different beliefs has no place in the human mind or heart. – Billy Graham

 

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The Sunday Message

Wow – we made it to 2016. Congratulations!

I was hoping to use this “Sunday Message” column to change the world or, at least, use this spot on the internet to write something insightful enough that it sticks with my readers during the week and makes a difference.

The Sunday Message idea was this: For at least one day each week I would write about religion or church or something along those lines. I almost quit writing the Sunday Message a year or so ago, but I guess God stepped in. I happened to watch a video from one of the pastors in my church. He said something about connecting to people that made me want to continue writing this weekly column.

And so it continues…

As for me writing something insightful – that is up to you – the reader – to determine. I guess lyrics from the Cheers theme song may fit what I am trying to do:

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

I am not an expert on religion or the Bible or anything like that. I do try to read/listen to the Bible each day. I attend church almost every week, although I sometimes find it boring.

I’ve failed as a Christian more times than I have succeeded.

I’ve been a Christian since I was 18 years-old. I have encountered many mountains and many valleys along the way. In other words, I’ve been stuck in the ditch many times in my walk with God, but I have also experienced some very wonderful things.

I have been mad at God many times in my life. I have also spent many times praising him for all the good he has done.

So that is kind of where I’m coming from with The Sunday Message.

Going into 2016, some people are more hateful and intolerant toward others than I have ever seen. That should bother us all. I don’t care about the color of your skin or your religion or who you date or who you marry. We need to respect each other. We need to pray for each other. We need to pray for our leaders, even if we did not vote for them.

I know that in the end, God will sort it all out. The great pastor Billy Graham once said, “I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out all right.”

I guess I will end my message with this question (just to make you think):

Someone once said, “If you were brought before a jury and charged with the ‘crime’ of being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

Have a great week – and a wonderful 2016!

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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to another (almost)award-winning edition of “Caught My Eye!”

Before we get started today, I just want to dispel the rumors about the new movie “Magic Mike XXL.” The movie is not about me. Let’s move on…

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted here every Friday morning. This column is where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both. Buckle up…

Today’s topics include Veterans’ Graveside Service, MT Legislature lobbyists, COOL, Flag Day & U.S. Army’s birthday, the pool party, Franklin Graham, CNN Quiz Show, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

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The Sunday Message

God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’ – Billy Graham

Happy Easter! I hope you will be able to attend church and be with your families on this special day.

When I think back one particular Easter Sunday stands out. It was 1981. On April 17 (Friday) of that year I had joined the U.S. Air Force and headed to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, for basic training. Sunday, April 19, was Easter Sunday. Those of us who wanted to attend marched to a sunrise Easter service which was being held at one of the parade fields on the base. I don’t remember much about the message. I do remember seeing the sun shining over the base, and I was filled with this feeling that no matter where the Air Force decided to send me in this world, God would be with me. I was at peace with my decision to join the military.

God is still with me all these years later. Friends have come and gone, but God has been with me.

There are many people who do not understand the meaning of Easter. Here’s a short explanation:

On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Resurrection means the rising of Christ after His death and burial. Christians believe that Jesus came back to life or was raised from the dead three days after his death on the cross.

You can read all about the Easter Story in the Gospel of Mark, Chapters 14-16.

Have a great week!

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Caught My Eye…

It’s Friday – are you ready for this?

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted here every Friday morning! This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – or maybe both.

Today I write about the Great Falls Armed Forces Reserve Center, the Montana State Senate & federal gun laws, the Montana Legislature & Chickenpox & Right-to-Die, Franklin Graham, Justin Moed, plus we have #MeanTweets from President Obama! Buckle up…

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The Sunday Message

I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.  –Billy Graham

I just finished reading the Bible again, although I should probably say I listened to it more than I read it. This time I mostly listened to a man, whose name I believe is Max McLean, read it to me through my Bible app called YouVersion.com. There are over 140,000,000 (and counting) installs of YouVersion on smartphones and tablets. It’s free!  It’s amazing how much technology has changed even the way we hear and study the word of God.

There are over six billion Bibles in print. The last Bible I purchased was probably 15-20 years ago, and I don’t use it that much. If an update to my Bible app is available, I install it quickly. I have bookmarks and high-lighted verses on my app – and it’s always near me because it’s on my smartphone.

I think this is probably the second or third time I have completed the Bible, and the daily reading is one of the things to which I look forward. It only takes about 10-15 minutes each day. I don’t consider myself even close to being an expert about the Bible at all. I still have a hard time finding the Books of the Bible quickly, but having a Bible app helps. You can also conduct searches.

So why do I read the Bible each day and read it over and over? I read it to be closer to God – to be a better a person, I read it to try and understand life better – and I don’t understand life at all. Almost every time I read the Bible, I learn something.

So if reading the Bible bores you, try listening to it!

Your word is like a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.Psalm 119:105 (NCV)

 

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Thursday Numbers

Thanks for stopping by to read “Thursday Numbers!”

If this is your first time reading “Thursday Numbers,” this is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about Billings Schools, unemployment, broken ballot machine, Jeannette Rankin, road trips for Montana high school football teams, Steve Daines & the House, Billy Graham, the internet, John Bohlinger, John Walsh, Peter Brady, voter turnout, taser wager, Veterans Day, campaign contributions, Kansas City Chiefs, born in Van Nuys, and a lot more so read on!

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