Art, Intercession, music

My Wrestling Match is Prayer

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Don’t know why, but call it whimsy. Maybe reading and pondering Mike Scott’s book this morning, (“Adventures of a Waterboy”), brought me courage to share a common battle of an artist, or an intercessor? On the one hand, being assured one has something good, meaningful, and necessary to say or contribute to the human race, and having moments of uttermost uncertainty that confuse like the overcast winter skies of Minnesota; all is grey, so where am I, who am I to think I have answers, am I snow-blind ?

12-7-11 Wednesday
Lord, Tonight I’m searching these questions: “Who is my audience?” and “What is my message?”
I can make rational decisions about ‘to whom’ am I sent based on history, interest, etc. However, I don’t know if I’ve ever put the question directly to You ; “Who is my audience?”
I want to believe that You are my first and greatest audience regardless of how often I forget that I am living free because of You. I am really beginning to believe that being loved by Your INFINITY is superior to any and all mechanisms or relationships I have, would, or will devise to gain a sense of acceptance.
I’ve pursued You in a religious way, imposing the shortcomings of my dad, LeRoy, on You. I’ve pursued You with a sense that You are an unpleasable father, and therefore, I must be an unacceptable son. I’ve imposed the manipulations that were prevalent in my relationship with my dad on You. “Dad, if I martyr myself enough, try hard enough, will You speak peace to me? Will You be pleased with the shape and content of my life?” Or “Father God, will You send me relief? I need an answer to my anxious questions that have been building for decades. If I humble myself in prayer and fasting for a day, a week, a month or longer, will I be able to see and hear and know You then?”
I wrestle at times at the vanity of this project. Who am I to think that I can call on the omnipresent nature of God? Who am I to think that simply and specifically acknowledging the separations, sins, broken relationships of my forbearers before You will change things in the present, and future generations? Is this my idea, or Your idea?
Jesus, You knew that You were sent to the children of Israel. Paul knew he was sent to the Jews first, and the Gentiles second. What about me? Right now, I spend the most time with room sets, walls, props, and furniture for photo shoots, not people. I don’t get it. Help my unbelief!
It is easier that You have planted themes into my life:
“Wash the inside of the cup, and the outside will also become clean…”
“Every pot and dish will be HOLY TO THE LORD…”
“Love your enemy…”
What I don’t get is this: how do I pursue these life themes in the context of a family? Do I make money in unrelated work, and follow these passions on the side? I’ve tried that for years with varying results, but have felt constantly torn between undesirable outcomes:

-taking time and attention from my family (disappointing family)
-being chronically half-hearted, lacking courage (disappointing myself)
-feeling unfaithful, distrustful of You and Your abilities to provide the practical needs of my family (disappointing You)
All this being said, I believe in the GOODNESS of Your character! I believe that I am a child of the Most High! I believe that the covenant given to Abram, and fulfilled by Jesus, has been passed down to me. Even me?! (And to whomever will receive their reception in You.)
Overcome the idols of my life! Overcome my fears! Overcome the rebellion in my heart! If these choices are mine, confirm it to me! Cause me to choose wisely! If these decisions are Yours, let me hear again and again and again Your thoughts. Good night!
Isaiah 42:17 “…Those who trust in idols will be turned back in utter shame.”
Psalms 8:2-8 “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise…

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19th Century, Art, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Oscar Wilde Speaks in Twin Cities

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“Hear no evil, speak no evil-and you’ll never be invited to a party.” Oscar Wilde

Mar 15, 1882
The quotable Oscar Wilde takes his American lecture tour to the Twin Cites. The young Irish writer’s affected speech and knee breeches fail to impress local newspaper reporters who label him an “Ass-thete.” “Speaking at the Opera House, his subject “”was ‘art,’ consisting of a sort of lament that there was so little ‘art,’ especially in this country…. He was shocked by our buildings, by the mud in the streets, and especially by the rooms and furniture in the hotels…. The lecture was well worded, and at times quite poetical. It was certainly harmless and does not entitle Mr. Wilde to either abuse or ridicule. It was simply the smooth sentences of a languid poet, which strike the ear somewhat melodiously without arousing any overwhelming enthusiasm or creating sufficient excitement in the listener to cause him or her to burst a blood vessel.””
-St. Paul Daily Globe, March 17, 1882″

Lord, thank you for poetry and writing! Thanks for the “music of the spheres” and of the universe of words! Thank You for the talents of Oscar Wilde! How You must enjoy Your audacious children, especially Mr. Wilde?!
We often love our heroes, perhaps even worship them, and then are disappointed when to find out they’re human. Was this the case when Wilde toured here? Lord, will You forgive the artists and writers of Minnesota any judgments of Mr. Wilde? Will You forgive his assessments of our state, art, and writers? In any case, may we grow in forbearance to appreciate the creators of this world, and to see Your light in their talents though they stretch our provincial aesthetics?
Lord, I confess that we as a people love to put artists on a pedestal. We invest lots of time, energy, and treasure in those who move us. I believe You are the first artist, and that those who are talented in that arena move us because they wake our slumbering spirits. Jesus, we have made artistic brothers and sisters into gods. Will You forgive us this offense? Will you bless the artists of this state, their generations, and their creations?

Note: I once was a member of a much-beloved local band called “Romantica”. Check out the link to hear their tribute to Oscar Wilde?
https://romantica.bandcamp.com/track/oscar-wilde

*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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19th Century, Art, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, music

Schubert Club Formed 1882

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Marion Ramsey

Forty St. Paul Women form the Schubert Club (named for the Austrian composer) “to give concerts and teach people about the joys of music.”*

What a gift You have given this state in the joys of music! Thank You for the diligence of these women, and their heart to bless others! May we excel in our hearts first, the mastery of instruments second, and the expressions of the stories You place within!

See what’s happened in the past 134 years? https://schubert.org

Learn about its namesake? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Schubert

*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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19th Century, Art, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

1st Public Art Gallery in Northwest 1879

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Lumberman Thomas B. Walker attaches an art gallery to his house and opens it to the people of Minneapolis—the first public art gallery in the Northwest.

He later deeds his collection and a building to house it to the city, thus laying the groundwork for the famous Walker Art Center.*

Thank you Lord that you created beauty for all to enjoy. Thanks that Mr. Walker decided to share his collection with the state of Minnesota. I’m still surprised to learn that the present Walker Art Center was started by a lumberman. Forgive my false assessments of him, and or the notion that “workman” fail to see or ponder what is beautiful.                                   It is also curious that Walker’s generosity seemed to be blocked, or otherwise doomed to failure from outside forces. The city of Minneapolis even refused the gift of his art, and donated land to build a public gallery?! You can quickly read a few more  of these rejections here :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._B._Walker

Lord, will You soothe the pain of this rejection past, and make opportunities to give publicly smoother and easier in the present and the future? You’ve given authority to city and county government, but forgive our leaders their short sighted choices, and failures of pride. We, too often, have loved things, and used people. Have mercy!

Will You forgive the false assessments made of artists, and artistic movements in Minnesota through the years. Lord, I invite You to re-open the Walker. Holy Spirit will You reside there and make it a praise to You? Will You lead our minds higher and to more reality through visual art?

*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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19th Century, Art, Culture, farming, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, State Government

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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19th Century, Art, Culture, education, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Emerson Speaks 1867

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Ralph Waldo Emerson braves sub-zero weather in an open sleigh to lecture in Winona. The poet and essayist–known to many as “the wisest American”–gives four other speeches in Minnesota before returning to Massachusetts.
“Mr. Emerson leaves to the world no system of philosophy, no orderly presentation of new or great truths; but he has done a a great and usually salutary work by stimulating the thought of two generations and by helping courageously to clear away the intellectual rubbish which the centuries had gathered. . . He has done the needed work of the iconoclast in so kindly and decorous a way as to hurt as little as possible the enduring good.” Minneapolis Tribune April 28, 1882 as cited by Hubert H. Hoeltje in “Emerson in Minnesota”
http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/11/v11i02p145-159.pdf
Lord, I have not experienced much of Emerson’s wisdom, but I ask that You bless him, his generations, dwellings, and property in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! May we follow in his footsteps to do the intellectual work You have for us in this life. May we bless the future of Minnesota with “enduring good”!

*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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19th Century, Art, Culture, education, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Thoreau Visits 1861  

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Henry David Thoreau

Hoping western air will cure his consumption, Henry David Thoreau makes a trip to Minnesota. But the author of Walden is so sick that he returns to Massachusetts far earlier than planned.*

Thank you for Thoreau and his desire to learn what living means. His book touched so many lives with the idea of being content and living simply. Sometimes, learning what we don’t need is the best gift we receive.

Jesus, will you remember him in this sickness? Jesus, will you dissolve any bitter root thoughts that may have formed from the disappointment of this visit and leave a blessing for Thoreau’s lineage and philosophical heritage? G-d, it’s a hard lesson when one goes from self-help to becoming dependent. Will You teach us to help dependents in our lives, and remember what its like to be humbled like Henry today?

*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!

 

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