The Sunday Message

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. – Mark 10:14 (NIV)

A headline I read this past week was shocking and sickening:

301 ‘Predator Priests’ Named In Pa. Grand Jury Sex Abuse Report: ‘They Were Raping Little Boys & Girls’

Before I start, I am not a Catholic. I do know several people who are Catholics and they are genuinely good people. When they do talk about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals with children, they are sick about it.

CBS in Pittsburgh reported:

“To make it easier to target their victims, the priests gave their favored boys gifts – gold crosses to wear as necklaces. The crosses were markings of which boys had been groomed for abuse.”

That is sick.

The abuse has been going on for years. How do we know it’s stopped?

Friday night on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, he made this observation about the latest sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church:

If it was anything other than the Catholic Church, if you heard this about Jiffy Lube if you read in the paper at Jiffy Lube over 300 technicians were found guilty of molesting over a thousand children, would people still go to Jiffy Lube. It’s amazing how they get away with it.

I think they get away with it because they have money and they are an enormous organization.

As an outsider, the cold hard fact is when I see a Priest on TV or in public my first thought is “I wonder how many children he has molested?”

I’m sure I am not the only one. If I had small children the last place I would want them to go would be a Catholic Church.

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. – Acts 20:28 (NIV)

Have a great week!

 

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The Sunday Message

Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is. – Mahatma Gandhi

Gallup polling released a report this past week that told us that President Donald Trump’s approval rating — early in his presidency — is significantly higher among highly religious Americans than among those who are not religious.

Trump had a 51% approval rating from those who considered themselves “highly religious” and 44% approval rating from those who are “moderately” religious. His approval rating from those “not religious” was 32%.

Republicans usually have a higher rating from those who consider themselves religious than those who are not religious, so this report was not that shocking.

Trump’s overall approval rating on Friday from a three-day rolling average was 41%.

You can read the whole report and see how Trump compares to other presidents HERE.

Religion does play a big part in our politics – and in my opinion, that is good and bad.

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion. – Abraham Lincoln

 

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Published in: on March 26, 2017 at 2:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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The Sunday Message

Here are some of my favorite quotes about religion:

So I say to you, Ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. – Jesus Christ

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. – Martin Luther

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live as if there isn’t and to die to find out that there is. -Albert Camus

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life. – Buddha

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means. – George Bernard Shaw

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. – Billy Sunday

Have a great week!

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Published in: on October 2, 2016 at 2:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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The Sunday Message

Don’t matter how much money you got, there’s only two kinds of people: there’s saved people and there’s lost people. – Bob Dylan

Yes – that quote is from singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. Like many of the lyrics in his songs Dylan is spot-on. I don’t pretend to know Dylan’s relationship with God or even your relationship with God (or judge you for it), but I do know that life is better if you have that relationship.

Just as there are different people, different languages, different countries, people have different views (or none at all) about a relationship with God. Do a Google search for “religions” in your town and see what you find. Then do a Google search for “churches” in your town and prepare to be amazed at how many different churches you find which, for the most part, will follow one of those religions.

Then your job (if you decide to take it), is to visit one of these churches.

I can’t tell you which one will be right for you. Often religious preferences are based on what your family did in the past. Maybe you would like a quickie service (in at 11 and out by 12) kind of like a drive-thru service! Maybe you don’t want to dress up, or maybe you like contemporary music instead of hymns. Maybe your schedule prevents you from attending a Sunday service, so you need to find a church that has Saturday services.

Why even attend church and have to meet people and act nice? In Matthew 18:20 (NIV) it says, For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

If you need to know more about being what people mean when they say they are “saved,” you can read about it and how easy it is HERE

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

Have a great week!

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Published in: on May 17, 2015 at 4:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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The Sunday Message

There are no atheists in foxholes.  -Anonymous

A study conducted by Gallup International and the WI Network of Market Research conducted 63,898 interviews in 65 countries and found that 90 percent of all Chinese consider themselves to be atheists or not to be religious. On the other end of the scale, 94% of the people from Thailand consider themselves religious.

The survey also found that in the USA, 56% consider themselves religious, 33% are not religious, and 6% are atheists. See the answers HERE.

You can read a story in the Washington Post HERE about the least religious countries.

The survey can serve as a guide for church and groups to determine where to best go to spread the good news about religion to other parts of the world. I do admire people who travel to foreign countries to talk to others about God. It’s rewarding work although sometimes it is dangerous.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

 

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Published in: on April 19, 2015 at 4:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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The Sunday Message

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

Back in 1957 Gallup conducted a poll that asked people if they thought religion could answer most of today’s problems or if it was old fashioned and out of date.

Back then, 82% said that religion could answer most of today’s problems and only 7% said it was out of date.

On Friday, Gallup released their 2014 data on the same question and reported “Fifty-seven percent of Americans say that religion can answer all or most of today’s problems, while 30% say that religion is largely old fashioned and out of date.”

By the way, Religion is defined as “a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.”

People still believe strongly in God. In 2011, a Gallup poll found that 92% believed in God.

Over the years we’ve seen religion take a lot of negative hits. For some it was deserved. But the big picture is that when someone involved in religion does something wrong it hurts all those who are involved in religion. We have to remember that even though a person is a priest, pastor, reverend, or a worker in a church, they are just a person and they sin.

The person delivering the message today at church will probably let you down at some point in your life. The religious organization in which you belong will probably let you down at some point.

Therefore it is important to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…”

 

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Published in: on June 29, 2014 at 4:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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Thursday Numbers

Thanks for stopping by The Western Word – I hope you enjoy this week’s edition of “Thursday Numbers!”

If you are a new visitor, this column is where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes laced with just a little sarcasm).

DISCLAIMER: By reading this column you may be able to use the information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers. Please consider this your warning.

This week I write about highway money, lobbyists, Arlington National Cemetery, Twitter followers of Montana’s major newspapers, the evaluation of the Great Falls Airport Director, Montana Republican Convention, unemployment, Meadowlark, Barbara Eden, losing religion, a very live update, Michele Bachmann, a scooter, working mothers, Barry Beach, and much more!

(more…)

The Sunday Message

Romans 8:28 (NIV):

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Enjoy the music video:  (more…)

Published in: on November 18, 2012 at 4:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message  
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Just Not Right

There’s some news this Tuesday (that seems like a Monday because of the Labor Day holiday) that a church in Florida plans to hold an “International Burn A Koran Day” on September 11.

The Church, Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, is reported to have 50 members, but they have made the “big time” with this outrageous plan. They have created an “International Burn A Koran Day” facebook page. Sadly, there are over 8,000 people who “like” the page.

General David Petraeus has said the church’s plan could endanger U.S. troops stationed around the world. I agree.

The church’s website gives readers “Ten Reasons to Burn a Koran” with the opening line saying, “On 9/11/10 we are burning Korans to raise awareness and warn. In a sense it is neither an act of love nor of hate. We see, as we state in the Ten Reasons below, that Islam is a danger.” (more…)

Jesus is Alive!

The time around Easter is interesting.  We see stories and commentaries about religion and God from many sources.  I even saw a poll or two.  I’m sure this is not the first time nor will it be the last that a poll was conducted about Jesus Christ.

According to a poll released on Easter Sunday from Rasmussen Reports about Easter:

Today’s the day Christians believe Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead, and 78% of Americans share that belief.

I am one of the 78% – and I am proud to say it.  I am also one of the three in ten in this poll who attends Church at least once per week (Ok, I don’t make it every week, but most weeks I am there). (more…)

Published in: on April 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm  Comments Off on Jesus is Alive!  
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