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  • New Year's Wishes--- Hello God, it's me, Mara

    Jan 10, 2024

    You know, Lord, a New Year has dawned and as we flick the calendar to the New Year, we come face to face with the fact that our days on earth are numbered. As we turn to this clean, fresh, new page on the calendar we’re also aware that we have a new day, a new year, in our lives. It is up to us to fill in those pages. Please help us to choose wisely, Lord, as we forget about the past and begin to look forward to what You have in store for us. Your Word is full of promises for us, all-be-it, we are Your way-ward, stubborn, stiff-necked c...

  • A TIME TO … WAIT?

    Dec 20, 2023

    When you are waiting for something special, time seems to come to a stand-still. For children anticipating Christmas, it can feel like an eternity waiting for Santa to make his world-tour. For adults rushing to get every last holiday detail in place, Christmas can come too soon. And yet the span of days for the children is the same span of days for adults, making our experience of time relative to our frame of reference. Einstein had a theory when it came to our experience of time. He called it the Special Theory of Relativity. Einstein...

  • NUMBERS ------------------------------ Hello God, it's me, Mara

    Nov 15, 2023

    You know Lord, t’was fun listening to kids talk about numbers. Here’s a bit of what they said. D. J.: “My grandma’s having a hard time trying to remember her cell phone number, but when her phone rings, even in her old age, she’s smart enough to answer it.” Chuckles. Taylor said, “My Dad reminded us that we should remember our house number, P.O. Box number, our area code, probably what size shoe or shirt we wear as well as today’s date.” Sally laughed about that. Eddie added, “Uncle Dick loves play cards, dice, you name it – if it has numbers...

  • Bands of Belonging

    Bailey Billmayer|Nov 8, 2023

    I belong to a tribe of ranchers who base their happiness on harvest and whether the cows get home, women who throw their hair in a bun and cook until the skies are full of warm colors, and small-town country kids who work in the time they aren’t cramming ‘unwanted’ knowledge into their brains. I am a sister, granddaughter, friend, and student. I belong to a tribe of people who find peace in being alone, and happiness with the few people they surround themselves with. I turn my back on unwanted drama, and go down the path of many uncer...

  • Super Guys Hello God, it's me, Mara

    Oct 25, 2023

    You know Lord, a couple cousins shared what their girls were looking for in boyfriends to make the boys super husbands. The cousins got a kick out of listening to that chatter - sensing that their girls had noticed several neighbors, some as super families, some just so-so. The cousins giggle, wondered if maybe they, as moms, should make a list to give to YOUNG mothers to encourage their little boys. C.Z. and M.C. took a look at their own husbands, making some comments. C.Z. mentioned: “My hubby’s honest, huggable, faithful, clean, sweet, sup...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Vincent G. Vaccaro|Sep 27, 2023

    As a past Paramedic/firefighter I want to bring attention to another 1st Responder that is rarely recognized or thanked. Recently one of our County Newspaper articles had a thank you given only to the Police, Fire, and ambulance. We do not value our Tow Truck Drivers or Wrecking Crews. They too face the horrors of every bad accident scene; get called out at all hours of the night and work in the worst weather, longer than any other 1st responders. More Tow Truck Drivers are killed or injured every year on these calls than police or fire...

  • Encourage Someone - Hello God, it's me, Mara

    Sep 13, 2023

    You know Lord, looking back to a time in our life, to someone who encouraged and helped us along our way, Lord, You may be calling us to DO the same for someone in our life who might need a bit of help, cheer or even some praise right now. K.A., a former neighbor shared how her special three sisters encouraged each other, no matter that they didn’t live near each other. It’s been a long while ago, but thinking about them, one of them became a teacher, one became a Dr., one was a devoted mother and wife. It was interesting to listen as ‘Ka...

  • Grant Us Wisdom Hello God, it's me, Mara

    Aug 16, 2023

    You know, Lord, not every day is easy…. J.J. from out of town, shared that as she was driving the two-lane highway toward her neighbors, a loud vehicle zoomed up behind her, could have passed, but waited until a vehicle was coming toward them in the left-hand lane, then zoomed by her, nearly hitting her car, nearly running into the one coming. In a moment, that vehicle was behind another car, could have passed, but again, waited until a truck was buzzing toward them in the lefthand lane, then, again, zooming around that car that was in front o...

  • Happy Moments - Hello God, it's me, Mara

    Aug 2, 2023

    You know, Lord, we all love happiness. How about a family get-together; sharing some happy moments, that was fun! ‘Oh, it’s delightful to see you here – lets have some ‘Happy Moments’, eh?’ Elly laughed. Lady #1: ‘Well, as old as we are, I’d say that WE have a happy marriage, peace and a nice home.’ The group agreed, Lady #2 spoke, ‘I’ll tell you about two neighbor girls. I’d never seen twirling, cartwheels, as those 2 girls did! They’re probably in Middle School. They sure were fun to watch.’ We all laughed. Elly, said, ‘I’m across town from...

  • God's Calendar-------------- Hello God, it's me, Mara

    Jun 14, 2023

    You know, Lord, innumerable words have been, and still could be written about June. Here’s an excerpt from “God’s Calendar”, By William A. Quayle: “June is the rose month, but God’s calendar is not made by things men grow but by things God grows Himself. Wild roses, gentle of perfume, flushed like the cheeks of a happy girl, petal dainty as cut by some skilled lapidist from sardonyx freighted with wonder. Wild roses are not double. Some flowers do not improve by doubling up. The rose does not. Simplicity is the heritage of violets and wild ro...

  • Is it a Sin to be Patriotic?

    Guest Column|Jun 7, 2023

    Special Article Submitted in honor of Flag Day. Some people call me “Old Glory” others call me “The Star-Spangled Banner;” but whatever they call me, I’m your flag-the flag of the United States of America. Something’s been bothering me, and I thought I might talk it over with you because it’s about you and me. I remember some time ago, people lined up on both sides of the street to watch the parade; and naturally, I was seen in every parade proudly waving in the breeze. When your daddy saw me coming, he immediately removed his hat, placed i...

  • In rural America, we are more self-reliant, more capable

    Jamie Henneman|May 31, 2023

    In our highly politicized, mass-media, instant-news culture there are ongoing messages about inequality, gender disparity, unfairness, race conflicts and other social ills. People argue that more regulations or more government money or more programs will fix these issues. But those who promote such “answers” do not understand the premise that “for every government benefit, a freedom must be surrendered.” The idea that you can, and should, take care of yourself is really at the backbone of what it means to be an American. This idea, however...

  • Sugarbeeters to send Three to State C Golf Tournament in Great Falls

    Kody Farmer|May 17, 2023

    The Chinook Sugarbeeter Girls and Boys Golf Teams have certainly faced a number of obstacles that they had to overcome. It’s fair to say all teams have faced similar obstacles with a few managing to get on the course more than others. In Chinook’s case the entire team was never able to compete together at a meet, nor were they able to practice together on the course adding another challenge to how Head Coach Nick Turner and Assistant Coach Brent Schellin managed their practice schedule. For the first month of the season the team split pra...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Mar 8, 2023

    Respect Isaiah 17:7 – At that day shall a man look to his maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. Philippians 4:11 – Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in. whatsoever state I’m there with to be content. Colossians 3:25 – But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. Leviticus 19:15 – You shall do no unrighteousness in judgement thou shalt do not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness sha...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Feb 1, 2023

    As many know about ten nursing homes in smaller towns in Montana have closed, partly because Medicaid did not reimburse the facility the cost for skilled long term care. Several others are just barely staying open unless the state can increase the amount of reimbursement, those will close I was in contact with former Senator, Daryl Toews of Lustre, he sent names and addreesses of Legislators we should contact to enourage the state to increase the amount of Medicaid reimbursement to nursing homes for skilled care per bed per day. Daryl, who is...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Dec 7, 2022

    To whom it may concern I would like to give a huge shout out to all those who have come forth to support the revamping of the Chinook Pool and Park. As many are aware, our pool and park serve many functions in our town. It gets used for family reunions, picnics, Girl Scout events, Swim meets, recreation for out of town guests and just a fun place for our kids to have fun in the summer. As a taxpayer with several rentals in chinook, I understand how people may feel about adding additional costs to their taxes. However, understanding how...

  • A smattering of observed curiosities from western Washington state

    Steve Edwards|Nov 23, 2022

    It's that time of the year, my wife and I are back in Woodinville, WA (east suburb of Seattle) dog/house sitting while the owners spend some time in Florida. The couple owns an Airbnb we used several times coming to visit our daughter and her family just a few minutes away. For the second year we are 'guests' with a purpose. Alert readers may recall the series of calamities that beset us last year-a serious financial scam involving Apple gift cards supposedly for a friends' dying cousin, two...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Nov 23, 2022

    Dear Editor, This letter goes out to the members of the Bear Paw Credit Union. It pertains to the proposed merger with Altana Federal Credit Union. I am urging all members to vote no on this merger until all facts can be gathered. I received a letter from the President of the Board of Directors asking for our vote on this issue. Very little information about the tentative merger was mentioned, and they asked that we submit our ballots by 4 p.m. on December 1, 2022. A special meeting will be held that same day at 5 p.m. to discuss this proposed...

  • Where the "Copper Kings" reigned

    Steve Edwards|Oct 12, 2022

    I recently wrote about my wife and I visiting the Merry Widow Health Mine in Basin, Montana. Before that stop we stayed three days in the Anaconda/Butte area and had the opportunity to learn about that part of the state where the Copper Kings reigned back in the day. I decided to write about my impressions of the area and its mining history. I came from a coal mining family and was curious to see how hard rock mining in Montana compared to underground and surface mining in the Midwest where I...

  • A first visit to the Merry Widow Health Mine

    Steve Edwards|Oct 5, 2022

    On a recent outing to southwest Montana my wife and I made an overnight stop in Basin in order to visit the Merry Widow Health Mine. Sherry, my wife, has wanted to visit Basin for some time as she knows a Korean minister named Rev. Okee Kim who started a "house Presbyterian church" in the old mining town. His purpose was to minister to visitors, especially Asians, to the nearby health mine. Basin is an old mining town along I-15 that has about 100 residents. The other health mines are the Earth...

  • Letter to the Editor

    Sandra McNeill|Aug 31, 2022

    I am writing this letter in support of my daughter, Courtney Bell’s decision to recently resign from the Chinook School System where the school board recently passed a policy that said guns would be carried by some of their staff. I am proud of the way she has stood up for her belief that guns DO NOT belong in the hands of teachers in the school. I also DO NOT believe teachers should be asked to carry guns. Teachers have already been asked to wear many hats besides trying to educate our children. Now asking them to police the school where s...

  • Ancient Order of the Deep: Lutefisk Eaters

    Steve Edwards|Aug 17, 2022

    When my wife and I moved to North Dakota we lived among a lot of Norwegians, a new experience for us. We'd never heard of lutefisk...and certainly never eaten it. We learned a lot about "lutefisk and meatball dinners" and other Norwegian traditions. Not realizing the large geographic spread of Norwegian culture in our own country we were amazed when we moved to Libby, Montana, then Chinook, and also found lutefisk eaters in those places. A recent surprise in Chinook was to learn that back in...

  • God works for the good ---- Hello God, it's me, Mara

    Aug 10, 2022

    You know, Lord, sometimes our thinking gets mixed up, we think the quality of our life is based on what happens to us, but that isn’t so - we’re forgetting that the quality of our life is how we respond. We probably know someone-including ourselves who’ve become bitter instead of becoming better, when tragedy befalls us. No matter what, we need to remember that You, Lord, have secured our victory. We’re to take hold of that truth, internalizing Your gospel gift and live it out amid our broken world. In other words, we are to make our faith our...

  • Hello God, it's me, Mara

    Aug 3, 2022

    You know Lord, it was precious to see a gentleman help a young lady gather her two little kids and help them into church while she carried a baby. He helped them cross the parking lot, helped keep them together, while their Daddy parked the car. The gentleman asked the little girl where she was going; she said, “…to church and Sunday school, ‘cause teacher is going to tell us how to Shine for Jesus.” He smiled, took her hand, as she was headed in the wrong direction; Mama smiled. Then Daddy arrived, picked up their little boy, and thanked...

  • Cinco de Mayo and the American Civil War

    Steve Edwards|May 4, 2022

    Alert readers will be aware that tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo-the May 5th annual celebration of Hispanic culture and its role in the U.S. The holiday is based on an event in Mexico but not widely celebrated there. Interestingly, the holiday was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1863 by Hispanic immigrants who wanted to highlight the effects of a war being waged against Mexico by the French army. There are many misunderstandings about the origins of the Cinco de Mayo celebration and its significance....

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