In the summer of 2010, I was invited to be support person for a friend’s counseling session. Discovering an area of unresolved pain, the counselor suggested that my friend recount and forgive the exact words and phrases used by his father to control or manipulate him, and his gut responses to them. My friend chose to do so, releasing his dad with great specificity for these long past offenses, and acknowledging his own choice to respond with hatred. Imagine his shock when moments after this prayer, his estranged father calls him up to invite him to a baseball game?! We were all in awe of the moment!

For weeks after this amazing session, I wrestled with God about it — at first on a personal level, but as time passed I found it meshing with my lifelong interest in history. A larger picture began to take shape.

Over and over I prayed, “If this principle works on an individual basis, can it work on a larger one: families, cultures, tribes, states or nations? If it does, who will confess the sins and separations of the past? What right does one have to confess conflicts of another?” His still quiet answer came over time, “Come and see. Watch history with me.”

So here I am. I am on a journey to watch and pray through a timeline of some major events of my home state, Minnesota, from about 1650 to the present. I move forward, wanting to practice looking at the past as the Master sees it; through the merciful lens of the Eternal Now.

I want to encourage site visitors to view the past in terms of how we as a people have broken with the Lord, often through our dealings with one another — and to acknowledge those points of separation, live more freely in the present, and pass blessings to future generations of Minnesotans instead of curses.

I am deeply indebted to the wonderful and comprehensive work of the Minnesota Historical Society. When I discovered their timeline tool* at http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm, I was inspired to meditate on Minnesota’s history. The timeline provided an essential framework for the ideas and expressions posted here.

Welcome to all, from curious to serious, who want to encounter some significant stories and events of Minnesota history as they occurred in the past, impact the present, and inform the future!

– James Orvis

*(NOTE – the timeline tool may not be currently available. I will update the timeline link if a new address exists.)



7 thoughts on “Welcome!

      • I thank you. You are an inspiration. May God bless you. I personally felt content in your Welcome and Why PTH ? pages can be made as separate pages instead of posts ( which fade away with time). If your dashboard allows you may follow these steps ( I’m sure you already know these but did not consider the need 🙂 ) : Create a ‘New Page’ under Pages . After publishing it, go to “Appearances” —> Menus .. Select the pages you want to get under the Menu. I think that’s it.

      • After reading your posts I prayed especially for my sister, who has gone through quite many sad events in her life and holds resentment. Since she is unable to take the initiative to forgive her past, I became the proxy to an extent I could recall. I hope to share your posts with her soon to encourage her.

        Why I started blogging? Well I don’t really remember the initial thought (strange). I am a Catholic turned Atheist turned Agnostic turned Catholic.And here I am in love with Christ and praying for an ever increasing love for the Most Holy Trinity. It is with time my faith evolved, in stages. On my blog I don’t really post my own thoughts, I do that somewhere else and rarely. Whenever I pray the prayers of Saints or read from their works, if something resonates with me, I just post that on my blog or its FB page. If even one person prays the same prayer some day, I will have helped in multiplying that prayer. This is the thought. : )

        Grace and peace to you!

        – Carol

      • Weve had similar paths! I dont think G- wastes our questions or suffering.i went ‘around the world ‘too w/ faith. I believe that you are being used. My grandmawas a runaway nun, but Ive been so blessed by the Catholic church my whole life?!Her prayers can be felt sometimes!

      • True that. He foresees everything, even the evil we stumbled upon and uses it for our own future good and also for others! In your case, He is using you as an intercessor for healing your city. Genesis 50:20 : You thought evil against me: but God turned it into good, that he might exalt me, as at present you see, and might save many people..

        Yes, your grandma must be praying for you : )

  1. Hi James, I was checking for ‘About’ page in your blog and located the first post which gives details of your blog. Please create a separate page. This is a gem of a post hidden in the archives…:) Pax!

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