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What is Thanksgiving Anyway? — TalesAlongTheWay

My blogger friends from other countries have asked what exactly America is celebrating each year on the fourth Thursday in November? It is not just overeating , football , and Black Friday shopping which has made its way into Thursday Thanksgiving Day at some stores eager to start the Christmas buying season. It was […]

via What is Thanksgiving Anyway? — TalesAlongTheWay

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A Beautiful Prayer

Lately, it seems all I see, hear, read, and perceive is the wrestling and groanings of those whose hope mainly rests in politics across the globe. What pure joy to discover the heart of our Orthodox friends cited in the prayer below! May He come soon with grace and truth; the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

“I believe with full faith in the coming of the Messiah. And even though he tarries, with all that, I await his arrival with every day.”

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Agriculture, History, Minnesota, Uncategorized

Bonanza Farms 1875

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Investors grow wheat on a grand scale in the Red River Valley. Their “bonanza farms” cover thousands of acres and are harvested by huge crews and the latest machinery.
A financial panic in 1873 stopped the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad to the Red River Valley. In order to pay back its Eastern investors, the bankrupt company allowed its investors to exchange their bonds for land. As a result, large urban investors immediately became owners of thousands of acres of land (unlike homesteaders who had to live on the land for five years to get 160 acres). The new owners turn the land into large-scale commercial farms run by hired managers with cheap labor and expensive machinery.

Lord, You hate corruption of any sort in any relationship. “The LORD detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.” Proverbs 11:1* This panic of 1873, again at the hands of the railroads under federal authority, really stole land from the homesteaders. (The principle of sowing and reaping? The homesteaders just years before may have been party to land being swindled from the Dakota.) Anyway, we are people capable of both sharing and defrauding land from our neighbors.

Will You forgive us this debt? Will You cause restoration and repentance to grow in the hearts of this state and nation? Will You forgive Minnesotans’ resentments against the Federal Government? Will You forgive the Railroads for manipulating the Panic of 1873 to their benefit? Will You remove this curse from our land, skies, waters, and hearts? Thank you that You deal with us in such a generous manner!

*http://biblehub.com/proverbs/11-1.htm

 

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Faith, Uncategorized

Laura Ingalls in Minnesota May 1874 to Jul 1876

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Seven-year-old Laura Ingalls and her family settle 1.5 miles north of Walnut Grove along the banks of Plum Creek. Charles and Caroline Ingalls settle on the property in May 1874, declaring their intent to homestead it. After three consecutive years of crop failures they decide not to complete the homestead process and instead purchase the land in July 1876 from the U.S. government and immediately sell it and move to Iowa.

In 1932 Laura Ingalls Wilder writes the story of the time that she, Pa, Ma, and sister Mary spent in their dugout house On the Banks of Plum Creek.*

It may strange to say, Eternal Father, but almost nothing helps me see You more than the story of another human being. How many readers have had their minds opened to this era because an ordinary girl recorded the stories of herself, her family, and their everyday life!?! To me, Ms. Ingalls-Wilder demonstrates that every life is an adventure, each day is a universe, and that You are there profoundly in the simple moments.

I praise You for Laura Ingalls; both the author and her story! Will You bless our writers in each generation to see the value of their lives, and to tell their tales with such similar and stark honesty as she? Thank You for shaping her Minnesota experience, and blessing her with a heart to share her story!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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A Simple Election Prayer

Lord, forgive the misogyny of our major candidates. Lord, will You forgive any ways we dishonor women as a people and culture? Will You give us Your mothering tenderness of love?

Conversely, forgive the misandry of our major candidates. Lord, will You forgive any ways we dishonor men as a people and culture? Will You give us Your fathering strength of love? Amen!

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Civics, Faith, History, Prayer, Uncategorized

Cushman Becomes Governor Jan 7, 1874 to Jan 7, 1876

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During his single term as Minnesota’s seventh governor, Cushman K. Davis confronted a menace that threatened to ruin the state’s farm economy. A five-year-long grasshopper plague began in 1873, and Davis’s offer of aid to farmers whose crops had been devoured by invading locusts represented an early form of state-sponsored disaster relief.*

“The state, governed by three different men during the grasshopper plague years, also failed to provide adequate relief to affected farmers. Under governors Horace Austin and Cushman K. Davis, the state provided small sums of direct, state-funded relief, but the governors focused their efforts on encouraging charitable giving to the cause. Unlike his predecessors, Governor John S. Pillsbury did not call for any direct, state-funded relief for farmers. Elected in 1876, Pillsbury believed that poverty was a fact of life on the frontier and that providing relief would make farmers dependent on the state. Instead, Pillsbury focused on efforts to eradicate the grasshoppers. This included a controversial bounty measure that required every able-bodied man in affected counties to destroy grasshopper eggs for one day a week, for five straight weeks.
In the summer of 1877, the grasshoppers left just as quickly as they had arrived. An April snowstorm damaged many of their eggs, which encouraged farmers to redouble their efforts to destroy the grasshoppers. The surviving grasshopper eggs hatched, but by August, the grasshoppers had flown away. Many attributed the end of the grasshopper plague to divine intervention, since Governor Pillsbury had proclaimed April 26 a day of prayer, after receiving many requests to do so.”
https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2013/06/winged-menace-minnesota-grasshopper-plagues-1873-1877
I’m first thunderstruck by two facts jumping off the page at me: that Cushman spearheaded state charity, and that a day of prayer is recorded as an action point. Will You guide me to ponder these notions? Will You give some insights as to how to intercede?

To the first point, it seems quite unusual for a Republican of this era to use state-funded relief. Cushman appears to be a man of principals, but not so rigid that he fails his constituents during such dire times of need. Will You bless him, and his commitment to the survival of his fellow man? Will You keep balance in this constant teeter-totter of public versus private charity within the souls of our leaders? If taxes were gifts, we would give them for Christmas. If charity is coerced, the heart disengages, and it no longer is charity but, perhaps, extortion. Have mercy on our “mercy”!

It’s curious to me that politicians sometimes endorse prayer as an action point. Many leaders currently would see the endorsement of prayer as a failure to adequately separate “Church and State”. (Help me probe this a little longer!) Yet we condition our minds and spirits through repetitive thoughts daily; we listen to songs over and over, view movies again and again, and repeat instructions internally to project us past sales objections. (I know these are quite random, but perhaps they are also a form of prayer?)

I’m grateful to You, the masterful inventor of every grasshopper, for Your beautiful destruction of our security. Will You forgive our barriers to seeing the heart and mind conditioning, aka “prayer” as a legitimate response to the plagues of our lives? Will You make us flexibly rigid in our principals enough to love our neighbor?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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Agriculture, Prayer, Uncategorized

Grasshopper Plague 1873

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Grasshoppers darken the skies of southwestern Minnesota. For the next five summers they strip the land bare. Charities and the state provide some relief, but many farmers lose everything.
“‘The wheat!’ Pa shouted. He dashed out the back door and ran toward the wheat-field.
“The grasshoppers were eating. You could not hear one grasshopper eat, unless you listened very carefully while you held him and fed him grass. Millions and millions of grasshoppers were eating now. You could hear the millions of jaws biting and chewing.
“Pa came running back to the stable. Through the window Laura saw him hitching Sam and David to the wagon. He began pitching old dirty hay from the manure-pile into the wagon, as fast as he could. Ma ran out, took the other pitchfork and helped him. Then he drove away to the wheat-field and Ma followed the wagon.
“Pa drove around the field, throwing out little piles of stuff as he went. Ma stooped over one, then a thread of smoke rose from it and spread. Ma lighted pile after pile. Laura watched till a smudge of smoke hid the field and Ma and Pa and the wagon.
“Grasshoppers were still falling from the sky. The light was still dim because grasshoppers covered the sun.”*

Holy Spirit, we don’t know why You allow tragedy, but we thank you that you work ‘all things together for good for those that trust him.” This event must have felt like some kind of biological warfare; its’ devastation being so total.  How helpless it must have felt to take any useful action in the face of this swarm?!

Many would find this type of annihilation a ‘proof’ that You are not God. They may fail to see beyond the immediate to the fact that You’ve given us a will to choose lightness or darkness when our the object of our security is touched. They may fail to see that in the depths of pain, one’s greatness of character arises. Nearly every Bible story contains a main character who suffers, and often suffers unjustly.

Lord, I do not want to judge my state in their response to this plague. I do want to ask forgiveness for responses of anger or bitterness and unforgiveness towards You. Whether You allowed us to be tested, or whether the grasshoppers came because of natural law and overpopulation; You are righteous in Your judgments. Lord, forgive us our lack of trust that You bring life to the land, whether human or not? You truly are King of the Universe! May we bless You and not forget the days of life and health you have given. Will You show us how to work with insects in balance? Will You bless all insect and plant life through out our land?

We are fickle. We think You serve us instead of the truth that we are Your people and the sheep of Your pasture. Father, help Your Church to not cower in fear in the face of this accusation of the enemy, but answer with confidence in Your love. May we believe as David, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust him.”

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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