St. Paul MN

Bio: As a lifelong student of history and a person of faith, I have been moved to combine my passions into this blog. What you will read here is my personal journey as I literally "pray through history." I want to encourage site visitors to view the past in terms of how we as a race of humans have broken with the Lord in our dealings with one another -- and to acknowledge those points of separation, live more freely in the present, and pass blessings to future generations instead of curses. I am deeply indebted to the wonderful and comprehensive work of the Minnesota Historical Society (www.mnhs.org). When I discovered their timeline tool at http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm, I was inspired to meditate on -- and pray over -- Minnesotan 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

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40 thoughts on “About

  1. James, thank you for your interest in my “Blogging through the Bible,” and especially for introducing me to your very creative inspiration to pray through history. I don’t think I’ve come across anything quite like it. God bless you.

    • Your very welcome! I simply believe our vision is clouded wherever we have tolerated unforgiveness. We have a false impression of the Lord’s willingness to reveal separation (sin) and heal our land!

  2. spacetojourney says:

    Hi I like the sentiment of ‘Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future’. You might want to read through some of Richard Rohr’s writtings – ‘We are not free at all until we are free from ourselves. It is that simple and that hard’ (cac@cacradicalgrace.ccsend.com)

    • I agree. Therefore I practice. I am humbled to realize how much I am just like the good guys and the bad guys of history because I am human who needs forgiveness and a Savior. Thank you for your comment!

  3. Hi James, what an awesome idea. I’m definitely going to be following along. I would guess that this will lead you into things related to the “alternate” histories of the U.S. (Howard Zinn) and the Church (Diana Butler Bass). Very exciting in any case. God bless!

    • I know a little about Zinn and dig that he was a happy warrior according to friends; he hated injustice but kept his sense of humor. I’m working on an historical model called omnipresent history. I want a way to view the past that builds empathy, without throwing justice under the bus.

  4. Thanks for your comment on my recent post about Pope Francis. I have written the following posts about the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862:

    dwkcommentaries.com: Posts Regarding Native Americans 10/17/15

    # Date Title
    340 11/03/12 The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, http://dwkcommentaries.com/2012/11/03/the-u-s-dakota-war-of-1862/

    341 11/06/12 White Settler’s Contemporaneous Reaction to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, http://dwkcommentaries.com/2012/11/06/white-settlers-contemporaneous-reaction-to-u-s-dakota-war-of-1862/

    426 05/21/13 President Abraham Lincoln’s Involvement in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, http://dwkcommentaries.com/2013/05/21/president-abraham-lincolns-involvement-in-the-u-s-dakota-war-of-1862/

    436 06/11/13 U.S. Military Commission Trials of Dakota Indians After the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, http://dwkcommentaries.com/2013/06/11/u-s-military-commission-trials-of-dakota-indians-after-the-u-s-dakota-war-of-1862/

    441 06/24/13 President Abraham Lincoln’s Involvement in the Military Commission’s Convictions and Sentences of the Dakota Indians, http://dwkcommentaries.com/2013/06/24/president-abraham-lincolns-involvement-in-the-military-commissions-convictions-and-sentences-of-the-dakota-indians/

    344 11/09/12 Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, http://dwkcommentaries.com/2012/11/09/commemoration-of-the-150th-anniversary-of-the-u-s-dakota-war-of-1862/

    344A 12/11/12 Comment: Minnesota Public Radio’s Resources on the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

    367 12/26/12 Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Hanging of the “Dakota 38, ” http://dwkcommentaries.com/2012/12/26/commemoration-of-the150th-anniversary-of-the-hanging-of-the-dakota-38/

    373 01/12/13 Minneapolis and St. Paul Declare U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 “Genocide,” http://dwkcommentaries.com/2013/01/12/minneapolis-and-st-paul-declare-the-u-s-dakota-war-of-1862-genocide/

    347 11/18/12 Remembering the U.S.-Dakota War at Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church (Part I), http://dwkcommentaries.com/2012/11/18/the-u-s-dakota-war-remembered-by-minneapolis-westminster-presbyterian-church-part-i/

    350 11/25/12 Remembering the U.S.-Dakota War at Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church (Part II), http://dwkcommentaries.com/2012/11/25/the-u-s-dakota-war-remembered-by-minneapolis-westminster-presbyterian-church-part-ii/

    351 11/29/12 Remembering the U.S.-Dakota War at Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church (Part III), http://dwkcommentaries.com/2012/11/29/the-u-s-dakota-war-remembered-by-minneapolis-westminster-presbyterian-church-part-iii/

    357 12/10/12 Personal Reflections on the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, http://dwkcommentaries.com/2012/12/10/personal-reflections-on-the-u-s-dakota-war-of-1862/

    387 02/13/13 Jurisdictional Black Hole for Certain Violent Crimes by Non-Indian Men Against Indian Women on Indian Reservations, http://dwkcommentaries.com/2013/02/13/jurisdictional-black-hole-for-certain-violent-crimes-by-non-indian-men-against-indian-women-on-indian-reservations/

    394 03/01/13 Congress Passes Violence Against Women Act of 2013, http://dwkcommentaries.com/2013/03/01/congress-passes-violence-against-women-act-of-2013/

    • I simply believe that in Christ, all have authority to confess sin at any point in human history. The Enemy can’t hold those for generations thise whom G-d has forgiven. I believe the Lord encouraged the Church to: wrestle, reason, debate, ponder, sit in silence, listen, and basically every other term of dialogue with Him. We can pray specifically and accurately because that is His mind. Thanks!

  5. What a wonderful idea! I have a keen interest in history and nearly majored in history as an undergrad. I love studying Jesus’ geopolitical world but never thought of praying through history! I will visit your blog often. Thank you for stopping by TheNoontimes.

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I find yours fascinating. A New Hampshirite now I have pieces of my grandmother’s brief biography of her mother arriving in Minnesota in the 1870’s and have found it deeply meaningful.

  7. A great way to share history! I always thought Minnesota was beautiful.. I derived my thoughts from Little House.. was the series really filmed there? I wish they still made shows like that today.. Thank God for old archives 🙂

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