Here I sit in a hotel in beautiful Lewistown, MT, which is a two-hour drive north from my home in Billings and smack in the center of our gorgeous state. History abounds here. Today we’re going to go out and explore some of that history. Yesterday we took a long walk down by the winding Big Spring creek. The marshy, soft dirt of the wetlands stretched on with a scintillating quiet. I stopped my son so we could listen to the dry grasses pop and rustle. I was sure a rabbit or bird would jump out any second. He looked at me and smiled and then in three-year old wisdom said, “It’s the wind Mama.” With the Judith Mountains soaring behind us, the Little Belt Mountains sitting aplomb to the south and the Snowy Mountains just south-west of us, we seem to have found the valleys of the Garden of Eden. Each mountain’s feet bathes in a light spring run-off mixed with the purest spring water found this far west. They all seem to be waiting for central Montana’s, later than usual, winter to finally lose its chill and free them from its snowy clutches.
I yearn for the country at this time of year. It must have been like this for others as well. I hear tales of Lewis and Clark explorers, railroaders, muzzleloaders, miners, pioneers and the ever-present and watchful ministers of God’s Word. Lewistown has me enchanted by its rich history and wooed by the sights of its vast wilderness.
Throughout Lewistown’s long life as one of the first cities in our state, God’s children must have been among the first explorers here. They came with their Bible’s and rifles along side all the others who traveled by wagon train from the east coast. We know that many were pastors, and ministers, but God says in Ephesians that, He gave all the gifts to the body of Christ. So there must have been evangelists, apostles, prophets and teachers as well. Teachers who could be God’s weapons for mass instruction throughout history. Apostles who could shed new light of the Word of God on the His children living in pioneer days. We see the Bonanza episodic reruns of Christians back in those days and assume that it must have been like that. Has Hollywood portrayed Christians today properly? No. There is someone living today who was there. God. He took His children safely through an unknown wilderness. He guided their plans and communities. He watched out for them and when they prayed and believed God, saved them from harm.
As I explore today, I’m curious and would like to find some remnant of Lewistown’s faith. A large church, probably as old as the city itself, sits just off main street. It’s decorated bell towers and spires scrape the downtown sky. Are their members alive with the fire of God’s love? Do they know what God gave them in this gift of holy spirit? Did their ancestors faithfully sow the Truth of God’s Word into their towns and country side. Do they have groups that meet in homes? Or have the churches parted from the original Greek and Hebrew like so many I’ve seen. Do their leaders lack instruction and spiritual leadership? Is there an underground of believers operating all nine manifestations somewhere? If not, can we sow those seeds. Bill and I are looking for people where ever we go. We know that God has hungry ones out there who are crying out to Him for help. It’s how He expanded His church all over the world. If a group of believers were to learn all nine manifestations, they could change the face of their town forever.
So here we go, modern pioneers with our Bibles and internet by our sides. What history can we make today? Only God knows.
God Bless You Today!