Our nation suffers from an identity crisis. We are forgetting that we are a nation of laws and not men. What’s that old saying, “with liberty and justice for all”? How we have embraced fear, envy, suspicion, and dissent based on a constant flow of dis-information, mis-information, and constant deluge of news that attacks our identity.
Along those lines, below is an excerpt of a letter I sent to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Executive Council; Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Secretary of State Simon, and State Auditor Blaha on Monday July 13, 2020.
“Worship, I believe, in the Old English means something akin to ” worth-ship, or to call something worthy”. Simply put, worship is choosing what is valuable to us. Our choices forge our experiences, and our experiences create our sense of memory. Our memory is what creates our identity.
Composer Clive Wearing suffers from retrograde and anterograde amnesia. to his psychologists, he is known as “30-second Clive” because his condition usurps his past. In effect, he has largely lost his personality. **
Why is this relevant? There is an unprecedented cessation or censorship of worship for approximately 2.9 billion people internationally because of the Covid pandemic. What are the international results? We are experiencing one of the most profound attacks on history or historical statues and symbols in recollection; primarily through youth movements.
Will this results in personal and cultural amnesia for our kids? Are we raising a “30-second generation”? Dear Governor Walz, how will we build and retain a common cultural identity if we allow the trend of erasing history? Our character is shaped by our successes and failures; shouldn’t we remember both?”
Similarly, shouldn’t we be grateful for our Bill of Rights, and especially our right to vote? Some states of our Union are erasing our history of peaceful elections following a lawful process for a corruptible system designed to deny our citizens’ votes and political will. Dean Briggs and Lou Engle are calling the Ekklesia, (aka those in the Church that know their authoritative position in Christ) to call on the Justice of the Universe to bring right judgments to our broken 2020 Election process.
How can we trust election results with these current allegations on the table? (This is not a partisan attack, but a stand against election corruption coming from any party.)
States and counties have disallowed observers from all parties on the ballot to count and verify the vote?
We are using an election software that is hackable? Current court cases allege voting software can: switch votes, eliminate votes, upload non-vetted votes, or report actual votes as a fractional value.
Hundreds of counties nationwide exceeding 100% registration? * (Also, more than 100% of eligible voters included in the current vote tallies.) Simply put, there are more votes collected than the actual number of voters.
Will we remain a people if our good laws are ignored? Why are we, allegedly, erasing the civic identities of millions by destroying, withholding, or otherwise tampering with their votes?
Let’s hear the Words of G-d, spoken over 2000 years ago through the pen of the Apostle Paul for this present moment. Will You join in this Thanks giving Prayer Strike to pray for our government and our election results, “so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives”?
A Call to Prayer 1First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men 2for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. 3This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom for all—the testimony that was given at just the right time.
7For this reason I was appointed as a herald, an apostle, and a faithful and true teacher of the Gentiles. I am telling the truth; I am not lying about anything. 8Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or dissension.
A vintage Golden Eagle microphone circa late 1960’s
Let’s begin this transmission with a message broadcast by an author, Qoheleth, likely King Solomon roughly 2400 yrs ago. (One could say it’s a “Golden Oldie”!) This king is alleged to be the wisest human being of all time. We’ll roll this pre-recorded interview for your listening pleasure! Enjoy!
DJ: Qoheleth, is that you?
Q: It is I.
DJ: The people of the future have a pressing question for Your Majesty, are you willing to oblige them.
Q: I am.
DJ: King, live forever! Forgive my many words, but I must explain the backstory of my question because it is from the future.
Q: You may proceed.
DJ: The year is 2020 AD, and it is unlike any before it because the entire world is cowering before a pandemic. Earth’s people are largely shuttered. Their governors’ are practicing a form of soft monocracy; simultaneously shuttering millions of humans from: buying, selling, working indoors, working outdoors, play and recreation outdoors and on the seas, and even closing the doors of their temples forbidding the worship at Passover.
There are many chasms of ethnic strife. There are peaceful protests in the streets as well as fires of insurrection. Instead of solving these problems, face to face, all this melisma and cacophony is filtered through a device known as a computer. This device is neither good nor bad, but is as useful or harmful as its user or programmer. (One who instructs it what to do.)
Natural relationships are disrupted. Children do not know play. There is fear, suspicion, and distrust in those who were comrades and neighbors only months before! People see things going the wrong way, but do not know how to effect change.
Allow me to illustrate further, O King? These peoples have a tradition and a high holy day where they express gratitude; to each other, to their families, to the Most High. Many are forbidden this practice! Even more are disallowed to eat a meal in their own homes, “for their own good”, by their satraps, rector provinciae, governors, and proconsuls. These leaders mesmerize the people with trading liberty for the temporal illusion of security against this omnipresent pandemic.
What say you Qoheleth? What wisdom will you convey to us from Adonai?
“1There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
2A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
End of show.
Friends, I am first a man of prayer. I only wish to engage the political culture of this world when it steps on the Laws of Nature, and Nature’s G-d. It is time to raise our voices. It is time to write. It is time to give voice to oppose those who would stifle our humanity; even our expressions of gratitude in the dangerous act of sharing a Thanksgiving meal?!?
Pray Through History: A New Way of Looking at History
Though this post mostly portrays my theology and touches on historiography, I want to bravely lead out with baring my heart. I pray through history out of love of Our Father. I pray because it is a calling. I’m incensed at the wrongs our human race commits towards Him. I’m humbled at my own betrayals of myself, my G-d, and others. We spend so much time academically threading the needle of who is offended by whom at what time in our past, but we rarely, so rarely, if ever look above the heads of our beloved enemies to see the offenses and betrayals committed against the “I AM”. How will we move forward as the human race if we maintain permanent grudges against each other? How do we heal the huge chasms caused by deep and real wounds, “ethnos to ethnos”, if we do not have a way to forgive, and an academy too often stuck in the same trap?
Dear and Holy Messiah, how grateful I am that You made a way! You literally gave Your blood and yielded Your life so that when we, too, are falsely accused and crucified by our neighbor(s); we also will rise again! Forgiveness may be the most costly of all the virtues You exhort us to live by. It is not a feeling that can be manufactured. It is not a commodity that can be bought or sold. It is not an exercise of the mind, or an intellectual “ism”. It is a habit of Your Kingdom; of those eternally committed to unconditional love. It is an impossibility without Your impartations of humility, revelation, and a new heart to replace our hearts of stone.
Though not in Scripture, You crystalized this human condition through the pen of English poet Alexander Pope. About 1711, he wrote a powerful poem entitled so appropriately “An Essay on Criticism, Part II”. What did You speak to us through this beautiful man’s mind but ‘To err is human; to forgive, divine’?!
May You be honored by our repentance, Eternal Father. May we break off the bitter branches of this tree of humanity. May we prune our own branches so that our neighbors may again enjoy Your light! How we love You, and need You this day to survive! Your adoring adopted son, James
A PRAYERFUL MODEL TO ANALYSE HISTORY
I. THERE ARE SPECIFIC ‘MOMENTS OF SEPARATION’ IN HUMAN HISTORY.
> For example, the Seljuk Turks attack Jerusalem.
II. ACTION-BASED JUDGMENTS IN PRESENT TIME.
> Jews to Seljuks, Jews to all Turks, Jews towards any outsider
> Seljuks to Jerusalem’s Jews, Seljuks to all Jews
III. FUTURE JUDGMENTS ARE FORMED BASED ON MEMORY, PERCEPTION, AND BITTER ROOT JUDGMENTS ARE SOLIDIFIED.
> Transference on a cultural scale.
> Perpetuation of offense.
IV. PARTIES ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND JUDGMENTS IN THE LORD’S JUSTICE.
> Even righteous anger betrays the victim. Even if the victim is a city, culture, tribe, or nation. We have been forgiven all, and therefore must forgive all. (This is not easy. The decision of the will may be simple, but the maintaining a heart of forgiveness is divine. )
> This is not an endorsement of living without boundaries, especially personal boundaries. Rather, it is a challenge of the rights of a human being to hold another prisoner by the maintenance of an offense.
V. WE CAN REPRESENTATIONALLY ACKNOWLEDGE HISTORICAL SIN BEFORE OUR LORD.
> Through Christ we have access to his Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence. He is present to all history, the present, and future events. He is within time, and beyond our comprehension of time. He knows all and can guide us to pray representationally, (intercession) for events of history, the present, and the future. He truly has unlimited power to forgive, heal, restore any human condition!
>His only limitation is self-imposed: He is a gentleman with boundaries. He believes in good and evil, justice and injustice, lightness and darkness, separateness and relationship. Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” We can trust in distinctions because He trusts in distinctions. Denial of sin within the context of our relationship with Him or others offends God because it denies our condition of separateness, or that we may have a need to address. Denial allows us to keep our pride, hold a grudge, or maintain anger. To use an old Baptist analogy,
“The whole world stand under the Niagara Falls of the Lord’s love. Some have their cups turned up and are filled. Others, although they under a deluge of love, can’t seem to keep a drop because their cups are turned upside down.”
VI. THROUGH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF HISTORICAL SINS, WE SET THE PROCESS OF RESTORATION IN MOTION.
A. We become aware of historical sin through experience or education.
B. We confess it to the Lord. This is a legal admission of guilt.
C. We pronounce the Lord’s forgiveness of confessed sin. (1 John 1: 8-10)
D. He will guide it through the full process of restoration.
1. Confession leads to remorse.
2. Remorse leads to repentance.
3. Repentance leads to reconciliation.
4. Reconciliation leads to restoration.
VII. ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES OR MANDATES THAT OUTLINE OR AUTHORITY TO PRAY THROUGH HISTORY.
A. “It is never the will of God that the judgment due the wicked should come upon the righteous.” pp 14-15 citing Genesis 18: 23,25 NIV
1.”Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” v. 23 Abraham asks.
2.”Far be it from you to do such a thing-to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” v. 25
B. “Every Christian has dual citizenship.” pp 32-35
1. “By natural birth he is a citizen of an earthly nation, and he is subject to all the ordinances and requirements of his nation’s lawful government. But by spiritual rebirth through faith in Christ, he is also a citizen of God’s heavenly kingdom. This is the basis of Paul’s statement, already referred to in our previous chapter: “We…are citizens of heaven.” Philippians 3:20 NEB
2. Example of dual citizenship: Jeremiah 1: 5,10 NIV
-”I approinted you as a prophet to the nations.” v.5
-”See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” v.10
– Jeremiah was subject as a citizen of Judah: “he did not “preach or practice political subversion or anarchy. Nor did he ever seek to evade or resist decrees made by the government concerning him, even though these were at times arbitrary and unjust. Yet on the spiritual plane to which God elevated him through his prophetic ministry, Jeremiah exercised authority over the very rulers to whom he was in subjection on the natural plane.”
Derek Prince, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting, (Springdale, PA: Whittaker House,1973)
Mark 2:1-12 NIV
v 5. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “ Son, your sins are forgiven.”
v 10. “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…”He said to the paralytic, v11. “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
“It is interesting to note that in John 20:22-23, Jesus breathes upon his disciples to receive the Holy Spirit, and then pronounces, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Jesus is giving the church the authority to announce His forgiveness in the lives of those who come to Him in faith. We do not have the innate ability to forgive anyone’s sins against God, or to withhold God’s forgiveness of sins from anybody. But Jesus has given the church the authority to act as His regents or representatives in the world, and to speak on His behalf. We can declare that “God forgives you” with all the authority of Jesus, because we are not declaring our forgiveness, but rather His forgiveness in Christ. We are merely pronouncing the forgiveness made possible by the sacrifice of Christ.”
Timothy Tennent, President Asbury Theological Seminary
His Holiness John Paul II, First Sunday of Lent, “Day of Pardon” Presentation
12 March 2000
I. The meaning of the celebration
1. On 12 March 2000, the First Sunday of Lent, the Holy Father will celebrate the Eucharist with the Cardinals and will ask forgiveness from the Lord for the sins, past and present, of the sons and daughters of the Church.
The celebration of the Day of Pardon was expressly desired by the Holy Father as a powerful sign in this Jubilee Year, which is by its very nature a moment of conversion.
“As the Successor of Peter, I ask that in this year of mercy the Church, strong in the holiness which she receives from her Lord, should kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters. All have sinned and none can claim righteousness before God (cf. 1 Kgs 8:46)… Christians are invited to acknowledge, before God and before those offended by their actions, the faults which they have committed. Let them do so without seeking anything in return, but strengthened only by the ‘love of God which has been poured finto our hearts’ (Rom 5:5)” (Incarnationis Mysterium, 11; cf. Terno Millennio Adveniente, 33).
2. Consequently, the Church, in a Eucharistic celebration at the beginning of her Lenten journey, and thus in an act of thanksgiving to the Lord, confesses, proclaims and glorifies God’s work within her during the past two thousand years of Christianity. The Lord has been living and present in his Church, and through the Saints he has demonstrated that he continues to be at work in human history, in the midst of his community. Certainly, Christians, as pilgrims and wayfarers towards the Kingdom, remain sinners, frail, weak and subject to the temptations of Satan, the Prince of this world, despite their incorporation into the Body of Christ. In every generation the holiness of the Church has shone forth, witnessed by countless numbers of her sons and daughters; yet this holiness has been contradicted by the continuing presence of sin which burdens the journey of God’s People. The Church can sing both the Magnificat for what God has accomplished within her and the Miserere for the sins of Christians, for which she stands in need of purification, penance and renewal (cf. Lumen Gentium, 8).
3. “The Church cannot cross the threshold of the new millennium without encouraging her children to purify themselves through repentance of past errors and instances of infidelity, inconsistency and slowness to act” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 33). Consequently, a liturgy seeking pardon from God for the sins committed by Christians down the centuries is not only legitimate; it is also the most fitting means of expressing repentance and gaining purification.
Pope John Paul II, in a primatial act, confesses the sins of Christians over the centuries down to our own time, conscious that the Church is a unique subject in history, “a single mystical person”. The Church is a communion of saints, but a solidarity in sin also exists among all the members of the People of God: the bearers of the Petrine ministry, Bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful.
Courtesy Charles M. Schulz Museum. “The New Yorker” October 22, 2007
“St. Paul cartoonist Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” appears in papers and soon becomes the most popular comic strip in the United States. Clearly drawn from the “Li’l Folks” cartoons he penned for the St. Paul Pioneer Press between 1947 and 1950, Charlie Brown and company eventually take their adventures to books and television specials.” *
Commencing on October 2, 1950 this comic strip’s first publishing marked the fulfillment of thirteen years of effort. Schulz endured and yet thrived through many challenges in this span. What can we learn about his life previous to this time that enabled him to create, perhaps, the greatest and most ubiquitous cartoon of all time?
Citing a few facts from the Charles M. Schulz Museum’s website, we find some insights. ***
1940- He decides to take correspondence courses from Federal Schools based on their emphasis on cartooning.
1942- At age 20, he is drafted into the United States Army and serves in World War II. (He observed later in his life that “The army taught me all I needed to know about loneliness.”)
1943- His mother, Dena, dies of cervical cancer shortly after his induction to the service.
1945- From February through July 1945, he served in Germany.
1946-1947- He lived with his dad above a barbershop in St. Paul, Minnesota, and gained employment through his former art school, now known as Art Instruction Schools, Inc. He corrected students’ work for the cartooning division of the school, and developed his tastes and talents as to what kind of work he most wanted to produce.
1947-1950- Charles scores his first round of success publishing work for magazines: ‘Collier’s’ and ‘The Saturday Evening Post’, and for newspapers in the ‘Minneapolis Tribune’, and the ‘Saint Paul Pioneer Press’.
Now we pivot to You; the Master Illustrator and Storyteller of the Universe. We remember the Messiah’s ability and use of parables to convey in emotional pictures the deep things of our hearts. Dear Holy Spirit, how we need You today, as everyday, to come and bring revelation. Will You let us erase strife and remember the eternal joys You hold out to us right now? What do You want to say about the everyday heroism of Mr. Schulz, and his beloved storytelling through the characters of “Peanuts”?
As we reflect on this chapter of history with You, we look for a root motive from its author. The main character of Peanuts is an ordinary boy, Charlie Brown, who never stops trying to succeed, but is often hampered with failure and humiliations. His observations about life range from the humorous to the serious. His nature is just like ours; simultaneously plagued with self-doubt and yet unquenchable hope that one day he will be victorious. Let’s go to the mind of the author and see what he had to say about, perhaps, the most beloved and known character of a story of the entire 20th century?
“Charlie Brown has to be the one who suffers, because he is a caricature of the average person. Most of us are much more acquainted with losing than we are with winning.” Charles Schulz **
An omnipresent symbol for generations of readers is summed up in his interactions with Lucy playing football; she holds the ball, he does a tremendous run up for the kick, and at the last second, she pulls the ball away, and he goes flying landing flat on his back. Yet, he never gives up on the notion of making a huge kick-off.
(Allow us an aside to pray this point, Sovereign Lord? Will You forgive the ways we have broken faith in You, ourselves, and others as children? Will You search our root arrogance and character deformations made in our childhood vows? Will You forever make Minnesota a place where the innocent beliefs and hopes of children are returned by their peers and communities? Will You make adults more visible and present in the lives of our future generations?)
Additionally, we see Charlie Brown living in a world of children and their pets. Adults, to my recollection, are never visible. “Peanuts” pulls back the curtain on the lives of his neighborhood kids, and demonstrates that even the very young have strong temperaments and unique character to their personalities. Maybe, this is part of what makes this story stand apart from legions of its competitors; even the small universe of a community or ordinary neighborhood is still a microcosm of our future?
So, we bring You adoration for Charles M. Schulz and the world of “Peanuts”. We thank You that he overcame so many times in the decade before his first publications and successes. He lost his mother, and yet dutifully went to the war. He, subsequently, lost his home, yet adapted to living with his father above a barbershop. He stoked the fires of his dream with commitment to his craft and desire for more for a decade. He shared what he learned with others. He believed in the characters of Peanuts, and we were blessed by his insights into their very small but exceedingly important world(s).
As Minnesotans, we thank You for the fun and “5 cent Psychology” stand lessons of Peanuts! We thank You for a man who, like Charlie Brown, never broke faith on his dream to tell an Odyssey-sized story four cartoon panels at a time. Will You bless our artists, observers, and story-tellers to have the persistence of Schulz? One day, they will win, they will have a glorious kick-off because You are holding the football!
“1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2Jesus invited a little child to stand among them. 3“Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me.” ***** Matthew 18:1-5 BSB
* P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
To Honorable Governor Walz, and the Minnesota Executive Council (Lt. Governor Flanagan, Attorney General Ellison, Secretary of State Simon, and State Auditor Blaha.)
As a courtesy, allow me a brief introduction? My name is James Orvis, married to Chris with three teenage daughters that all speak Mandarin. (Thanks Yinghua Academy!) We are currently residents of the Como neighborhood in St. Paul. I worked for years as a touring drummer (Romantica), currently pay the bills working photoshoots for a large Minnesota retailer, and for a light hobby have researched and written a prayerful interpretation of Minnesota’s most significant events of the past 300 years. My wife and I both have the distinction of surviving a coup d’tat; mine in Tallinn, Estonia (’91), and hers in Haiti when Aristide was ousted in 1994.
We have seen and tasted enough politics of the world to last a lifetime, and that is why I come hesitantly to ask one question; when will you restore our freedoms of religion, and reiterate for posterity that worship is essential? My personal mourning for this loss is so deep that I began fasting and praying for myself and all Minnesotans’ since May 11, 2020. I need my freedom to worship the G-d I love more than food!
I, as most Minnesotans’, do not blame you for your initial use of emergency powers to shut down the state. We had no data and were facing a colossal pandemic. For example, on March 11, 2020, “Congress’ in-house doctor (Dr. Brian Monahan told Capitol Hill staffers at a close-door meeting this week that he expects 70-150 million people in the U.S. — roughly a third of the country — to contract the coronavirus, two sources briefed on the meeting tell Axios.”* Most of us did not envy the weight of your responsibility given such claims and expectations.
In response to information such as that, you gave the initial declaration of peace time emergency on March 13, 2020. On April 8th, you extended the Stay at Home (Executive Order 20–33) order until May 3 at 11:59 PM. Again, you extended the stay at home order on April 30th for Minnesota until Sunday May 17 at 11:59 PM.** Today, you extended Minnesota’s peacetime emergency through August 12th.
Again, I appeal to you Governor and executive council members to take off your political hats, and try to see our life through a G-d’s eye lens. What is the cause and effect since the shutdown? A few examples:
No Easter, even in the Vatican, for the first time in 1700 years!? No Sacraments? No grace flowing from the altar into the community. Though I’m a Christian with a Swedish Lutheran, Polish Jewish and Polish Catholic heritage, I seriously mourn that Minnesotans’ felt the loss of Ramadan, Pesach or Passover, and meditating at their temples.
A state-imposed limitation of our work. To work is to participate in Creation, and to express our human dignity. It is a primary act of worship; i.e. “I may be changing tires, but I choose to work as if the King of the Universe were my customer.”
We have paid dearly during the Peacetime Emergency for the loss of relationship between small business owners and their customers. It is not just an economic hit, but a hit on the basic trust and voluntary connections between neighbors. We spend money where we know and trust the people.
We have allowed the fear of Covid 19 to rob us of the things that bring us joy: going to the park, eating a meal, having a beer, watching a ballgame, going to school, playing with friends, buying a coffee, sitting in a cafe, going to the theatre, shopping in a favorite store, and going out to dance. Etc. How are these simple pleasures an act of worship? Whether we acknowledge the Deity or not, when we feel joy we are reminded that “something is good in this universe, I’m tangibly experiencing it, and I belong here. I matter to somebody, and somebody matters to me.”
Worship, I believe, in the Old English means something akin to “worth-ship, or to call something worthy”. Simply put, worship is choosing what is valuable to us. Our choices forge our experiences, and our experiences create our sense of memory. Our memory is what creates our identity. Composer Clive Wearing suffers from retrograde and anterograde amnesia. To his psychologists, he is known as “30-second Clive” because his condition usurps his past. In effect, he has largely lost his personality.**** Why is this relevant? There is an unprecedented cessation or censorship of worship for approximately 2.9 billion people internationally because of the Covid pandemic. What are the international results? We are experiencing one of the most profound attacks on history or historical statues and symbols in recollection, primarily through youth movements. Will this result in personal and cultural amnesia for our kids? Are we raising a “30-second generation”? Dear Governor Walz, how will we build and retain a common cultural identity if we allow the trend of erasing history? Our character is shaped by both our successes and failures; shouldn’t we remember both?
To further the point, we see a crisis of justice. We have experienced and tasted the bitter fruits of George Floyd’s unnecessary death. We have seen a huge response of justice and righteous indignation expressed in peaceful protest. Yet we also saw protest boil over and result in approximately 1500 acts of property damage and violence committed against those who were not the cause of a botched detainment! For some of us, race, class, and gender could be construed as causal in this context; but what happens if we dig past these political labels to the heart? Perhaps it is an internal dysfunction? When we experience deep pain we have a choice; insurrection or introspection. We can choose to hold onto an offense, yet that is precisely what bonds us to our offender. Some call this principle ‘trauma bonding’. Dear Governor, how will our people heal without the introspection learned by giving and receiving both the Grace and Truth; the forgiveness and the judgment of Christ?
So now it’s time for some pointed statements based on nine years of interceding through our State’s history, four months of my experience of a worship-less Minnesota, and nine weeks of mournful fasting. I truly don’t relish rebuking you or your council, but ask that You listen to the kindness and sternness of G-d. (You may not understand or believe in prophecy, but I will share what I’ve heard in prayer and nothing more. Please test it against the Scriptures and your life experiences. Judge for yourselves if I’m wrong about the principles of sowing and reaping judgment.)
Hear the message of the Lord:
Whether You accept it or not, you are my masterpiece. You were created for this moment in history to guide the political state of Minnesota into good government. Part of this understanding is the humility to understand that all political authority is subject to the Authority of Heaven.
I have these offenses against you:
You have judged that you are the arbiter of your citizens’ health, and have stolen their rights and responsibilities for their own health.
You have judged that “Worship is not essential” to Minnesota, and still withhold the freedoms of religion and the practice of faith from my people!
You have both withheld freedom from the people of Minnesota, and added to their burdens.
Governor Tim Walz, and the Minnesota Executive Council, I will now spiritually judge you and the Minnesota Executive Council precisely in the areas of your judgements. I, too, will govern your healthcare choices. I will withhold from you what you deem worthy of value, and goals you find praiseworthy; that which you worship. Humble yourselves! Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good. May You experience my Grace and Truth as you practice these principles of good self-government. Judgment is a windmill. Return to me and I will return to you.”
The Lord, Jesus Christ, Messiah and King of the Universe
In sum, Honorable Governor Walz, we love you, pray for your success, and need you to survive. The Peacetime Emergency powers are crushing our humanity, and extinguishing the light of our heritage of faith and generosity of spirit in Minnesota. Will you lift this burden off of us so we can worship, think for ourselves, and thrive?
Just another man who loves Minnesota, James D. Orvis
My title is not a reference to bovine droppings, but fill-in-the-blank Bible Study workbooks!
My wife made it a goal to teach our daughters the Word during this shut-down. A noble and worthy goal. Several of her friends wanted to study the same materials together, and they picked a series by Beth Moore.
Though I bristle at her women-o-centric presentation, I love Beth Moore and am glad that she’s out there. She clearly loves the Bible, the Christ of the Bible, and wants to help women know Him. Maybe I’m a rebel, but I just cringe at fill-in-the-blank anything!
That said, I’m doing her Bible study, but taking the rabbit trails I need to in order to reach revelation. Maybe I have a slow brain, and I need to look at a questions from multiple angles before I have an opinion? Her readings are centered on Genesis 1:26-2:17 and Genesis 3:1-9 and ask the questions: “Where are you?” and “Where is G-d?”
My process of reading scripture, if I have one, is to invite the Holy Spirit to help me learn what He wants today, and read until something “pops”. That’s it. My internal questions most days sound more like, “Hey Dad, what are You up to today? Can I come along?”
So, back on track, the first thing that bounced in this reading was Genesis 2:5.
“Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,” *
What did this say to me? That we, humans, planted everything on the face of the earth. I had never noticed that we were made to be planters, horticulturalists, or farmers before today. (Sort of an irony that our Maker and our faith is so scorned on Earth Day when He put us here to make things grow, isn’t it?)
So I kept reading dutifully, blah, blah, blah, the whole text through 3:9. Nothing. Crickets. Then I re-read Genesis 2:16-17 and got bounced again on the noggin by the Counselor.
“And the LORD God commanded him, “You may eat freely from every tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” **
Two more coins dropped, and two questions popped into my mind; “What does the Lord mean by “eat freely”? and “What’s so bad about knowledge of good and evil?”
Pondering the first question, I am led to believe that the Master loves sharing! He wants us to explore; climb every mountain and ford every stream. He generously gave us a universe filled with the answer “Yes!”
Yet, within His universe of freedoms there we find one “no”; “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” It seems completely illogical at first glance that learning about good and bad, this and that, lightness and darkness could be, (gulp) deadly?
But thankfully, today G-d took me down a different rabbit trail to contemplate the sin before the “original sin”. What was it about Satan’s thinking and heart that ejected him, such a beautiful and awe-inspiring creature, from the presence of the Eternal One forever? What is another word that encapsulates and crystalizes “knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil”? Surely, the King of the Universe does not withhold or resent our learning, contemplation, and exploration of everything, so what is it?
Let’s focus on what He said, rather than on the Serpent’s hissing? ”
“for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:17b
G-d is the great “I Am”. He is the Only One Eternally Present. Therefore, He is the Only One worthy of the name Elohei Mishpat; G-d of Justice! He told us plainly, “You can’t eat this food of judgment or you will die.”
Not to be vain, but for the sake of argument, let’s cross check G-d, ok? Satan begins the cycle of sin in Isaiah 14:14 with a heart of judgment.
“I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” BSB ***
Look again, friends and what do you see; “I will” and “I will”! Satan’s original original sin is judging: a. That he is capable of knowing good and evil. b. That his assessment’s are more just than G-d.
But he is just the author of the cycle of judgment and counter-judgment. His ejection was the belief that he could rightly divide good and evil APART from the Omniscient One. His logical theorems, postulates, and arguments always fail. Forgive my wordiness, but indulge me an example or two?
To perfectly assess and judge good and evil, one must have perfect and total knowledge.
To have perfect and total knowledge, one must be eternal.
To be eternal, one must not be a creature or creation.
Therefore, a creature or creation is not eternal, and by definition cannot possess perfect and total knowledge.
Satan falsely judged Elohei Mishpat based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil.
Satan’s judgement of G-d based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil broke relationship with G-d. (This is important. G-d did not leave him. He left the Presence of G-d.)
Satan’s exit of the Presence of G-d began his practice of the cycle of judgment based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil.
Satan’s practice of the cycle of judgment based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil entered the human race through Adam and Eve’s abandonment of Justice.
Therefore, the practice of the cycle of judgment based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil is Satanic, and excludes us from the Presence of G-d.
Exclusion from the Presence of G-d is willfully practicing the cycle of Death through judgment and counter-judgment based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil.
All this long-windedness to say that all forms of human separation started with a rejection of our Kind Judge. In turn, we have accepted the mores of the Enemy, a cruel judge whose false assessments are also based on false information. He is truly the Author of Prejudice! He pre-judged G-d and abandoned the Truth. He strives to teach humanity pre-judgement and the abandonment that any truth exists.
Insofar as we believe the Author of Prejudice and the Abandoner of G-d, we enter into his dominion of eternal co-dependency. We must kill and covet. We must reject love to protect ego. We must constantly remain in “fight or flight” mode because “our will must be done”! Our value is up for grabs because it is not rooted in Elohei Mishpat. We have self-rejected staying in the present through the grace and truth of I Am, and walk backwards over the cliffs of injustice. And that, dear friends, is the B as in B, S as in S of the Enemy of All Humanity!
We heal history because our Messiah believes in doing so!
We overlook and overcome lies and temptations to enact our “street justice” on our enemies.
We practice the Presence of G-d by remaining present to our lives through forgiveness and an acceptance of being a chosen and dearly-loved member of His family.
We remember, record, and bring our offense to the Only One who can take it.
We release the prisoners of the Enemy because we, too, know the horrors of “my will be done”!
We correctly accept that Justice is His, and He will fairly judge all when the game is over because He is the Christ of Post-justice not Prejudice!
Photo credit:”Governor Luther Youngdahl”. St. Paul Dispatch. January 1949.
Jan 8, 1947 to Sep 27, 1951
Luther W. Youngdahl takes office as the state’s 27th governor.*
Luther W. Youngdahl, first known for his integrity as a judge, ran to become Minnesota’s governor in an era where inner moral challenges became greater than the external ones. His critics labelled him the “Sunday school governor” for his clear-cut stance against gambling, vice, and moral decline. ** He couldn’t change the hearts of some Minnesotans, but sought to work on enforcing and expanding the laws that protected innocence and virtue.
In the first place, he negated the effects of harmful laws. One year after the legalization of bingo, he was elected governor of Minnesota. During his campaign, Governor Youngdahl had pledged to rid the state of slot machines and, upon taking office, he began to make good on his promise. The number of taxed slot machines dropped from 8,579 in 1946 to 797 in 1950 to two in 1952. ***
Additionally, he created laws of good conscience. Youngdahl advocated for the most vulnerable Minnesotans, and sought ways to relieve the burden of our society on their loved ones. During his first year in office, the American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMD) held its annual convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their concerns were around parental advocacy and the needs and rights of developmentally disabled (retarded) citizens. ****
Just two years later, under the leadership of President Mildred Thompson, the group met in Minneapolis with the objective of creating a national organization. It was her opinion that a cohesive national presence would be the best way to help struggling parents. By 1950, we find Governor Youngdahl a vigorous supporter of their dreams. Please read the following speech carefully, and realize the heart of Youngdahl towards our most vulnerable citizens.
“The point is this, ladies and gentlemen, the retarded child is a human being … And for reasons for which neither he nor his family are responsible, he is retarded. He has the same rights that children everywhere have. He has the same right to happiness, the same right to play, the right to companionship, the right to be respected, the right to develop to the fullest extent within his capacities, and the right to love and affection…
We cannot discriminate against this child, deny to this child the rights other children have because of the one thing that neither he nor his family can help, because he is retarded …
He has a right to these things and his parents have a right to know that he has these rights. For they, too, are entitled to peace of mind about what is happening to a retarded child separated from them.” *****
As can be seen throughout his career, L.W. Youngdahl expressed a clear conscience informed by a great respect for our laws. Even his detractors gave obeisance to his character and wise judgments; he broke up rackets and built institutions for those who were rejected by our community.****** He went on to serve three terms as governor of Minnesota before being called by President Truman to serve as a Federal judge for the District of Columbia.*******
Now we turn in recognition to You as Lawgiver and Judge; Nomothetēs kai Kritēs! ******* We respond to You with the scripture cited by President Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address.“The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” Psalms 19:9 KJV We also recognize that the meaning of the word “fear” used here means reverent respect. We agree with the Psalmist that we feel “clean” inside when we practice honoring Your wisdom and living with a clear conscience!
Father of Good Sense, we ask forgiveness for the excesses and spiritual deficits of this era. We were just past the time of surviving the Depression and WWII, and then some of us turned aside to follow the gods of gambling. We looked past You for our sustenance and joy in this era past, and latched onto the rush of a “one-armed bandit”. Will You forgive us this offense of Your ability to provide us with enough? We have thought Your arms are also to short to save us from purposeless existence, boredom, and koinonia. Forgive this dishonor to Your riveting personality, humor, and ever-flowing vitality; You are the life of the party!
Balanced One, we recognize also our failure to protect and recognize those who most need it. We have failed, at times, developmentally disabled citizens of Minnesota, nor properly honored them as citizens of Your country. Furthermore, we have ostracized those who battle with: mental illness, mental disorders, depression, derangement, neurosis, neurotic disorders, nervous breakdowns, schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder, and dementia. Will You forgive us where we have devalued these neighbors whom You have honored with life and worthiness? Will you bring Your Healing Presence into our broken minds, our disrupted physiologies, and our traumas of spirit?
We acknowledge the shortcomings of Governor Youngdahl to You; in his humanity he is no better or worse than us. However, this day we commend a few of his victories for our state to You. He shielded many innocents from beginning a life of gaming by curtailing the use of slot machines. He added momentum to the AADM, and encouraged the parents and individuals with developmental disorders. He made a place for those displaced by our society because of mental illness. Will You give favor to those who continue his heritage of leadership on these issues?
It’s fitting that Youngdahl was a judge both before and after his political career. He made a lifelong habit of life-giving judgements, and made the way better for those whom society condemned. May we forever take the baton of wisdom passed down through examples like his, and run our leg of the race! May we run until Your mercy overcomes our injustice!
“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” Romans 14:13 NIV *********
“Notorious bank robber John Dillinger escapes authorities by blasting his way out of a Lexington Avenue apartment house in Saint Paul. Four months later “Public Enemy No. 1” is killed by federal agents in a gun battle outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.” *
“What made them do it?” This is a common question that the law-abiding portion of society has of the criminally minded. To better investigate, let us lay out some of what is known in the days leading up to this infamous Dillinger event.
03/03/34 – Dillinger escapes from jail using a wooden gun, and steals a Sheriff’s car.**
03/06/34 – Dillinger robs bank in Sioux Falls, SD. with Baby Face Nelson and others. The heist nets them approximately $49,500.**
03/07/34 – The Department of Investigation, (FBI), because in stealing and transporting a sheriff’s car he commits a Federal crime.**
03/13/34 – Dillinger robs bank in Mason City, IA. with gang, and is injured in shoulder. The theft yields about $52,000.**
03/14/34 – Dillinger is treated at home of Dr. Nels Mortenson at 2522 Fairmount Av. St. Paul, MN.**
03/16/34 – Dillinger arrives in Chicago and attempts to obtain divorce from the husband of his girlfriend Billie Frechette.**
03/19/34 – Frechette delivers sums of money and wooden gun to Audrey Hancock and Dillinger’s father.**
03/20/34 – Dillinger and Frechette rent apartment together in St. Paul, MN.**
03/30/34 – Dillinger and Frechette host a raucous party at the Lincoln Court apartments which lasts most of the night.**
03/31/34 – The caretaker tips off the Department of Investigation, (FBI), and Dillinger and Frechette escape after shoot-out. Dillinger receives wound in the left calf.**
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2 ESV ***
What shall we pray for this tragic event, and the transgressions of John Dillinger? Lord, we give You thanks that You are the author of the law of life that has set us free from separation and death. You are the Good Father that waits for all prodigal sons and daughters to stop rebelling, turn around, and come back home.
You are the only proper Judge of all humanity, whether those who do justly, or those who live in defiance. Your character is not defiled by our hatreds, or limited to our finite vantage point of our neighbor’s life. Give us humility and wisdom to watch this event with You, and to receive Your Rhema Word for ourselves and our state.
To open, Your Word tells us that we become both what we practice, and what we think about.
“Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to the one who searches for it.” **** Proverbs 11:27 NIV
“As someone thinks within himself, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7
Dillinger’s calendar is a portrayal of some of his thoughts and actions just for the month of March 1934. His actions betray a mind almost singularly set on crime, and personal gain. He thinks of self and worships self. He even steals a “marriage” with Billie from her husband in prison?!
Will You forgive any in our society in his day that idolized him as a folk hero? Will You forgive those who capitalized on his notorious contempt for for the law; even using him to sell their brand of cars? Will You forgive the press of his day for their greedily hyping and sensationalizing his story to sell more newspapers? We traded our scruples to be participants in his defiling story; they sold it, and we, the public bought it. Why are we such passive thinkers and indirect participants in crime? Have mercy onus!
Will You release us from the curse of worshipping an antihero like Dillinger in Saint Paul, and throughout Minnesota in the present? We idolize thugs in the music business, and our youths have become more cruel. We venerate icons of technology, though they betray our privacy for gain, and have become voyeurs. We steal from our neighbors and employers with liberality, and vote for politicians who steal our liberty. By the Authority of Jesus Christ, we break the spirit of the Antihero over our society!
Show us a better way in the future! Bless us to report crime in ways that do not honor or popularize or capitalize on the worst actors in our culture. Bless us to receive Your thinking about those committed to lawless thinking that leads them to lawless actions. May we practice “meditating on Your laws day and night” like King David! May we agree with Your thoughts, spoken through the prophet Micah;
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” *****
“The Court of Indian Offenses at Red Lake enforces rules forbidding plural marriages, dances, destruction of property following death, intoxication, liquor traffic, interference with the ‘civilizing program,’ and leaving the reservation without permission.” *
Come Lord Jesus! Share Your heart and mind regarding the Court of Indian Offenses. Your wisdom is invited and neededto observe this moment in history. Lord, so much of the problem in this relationship is based on sovereignty. What does a dependent sovereign nation within a sovereign nation look like? This appears to be the crux of the matter then and now.
First, as a Minnesotan and as a human brother to the First Nations of this state, I acknowledge that our judgments and counter-judgments are piled high before You! We as citizens of the United States and Minnesota and First Nations have offended Your Sovereignty because our laws are shifting sands. We waver between enforcing the “letter of the Law” and the “spirit of the Law”! We lack the mercy inherent in Your justice, and have often broken relationship with each other!
Will You forgive the sins committed by the Court of Indian Offenses in Minnesota? Will You reverse the numerous breeches of justice that began in 1884 and taint our relations today? Will You overcome our offenses that make us the prisoner of each other, instead of being the co-beneficiaries of Your unmerited favor?
By the authority of the Risen Messiah, I pronounce the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit on all inheritors’ of these events! Teach us to live as humble sovereign nations serving under the King of the Universe!
“The notorious Jesse James gang sticks up the First National Bank in Northfield, but leaves town without the money. Three outlaws are killed, three are captured, only Jesse and his brother Frank escape.
Cole Younger, along with his brothers Bob and Jim, had been robbing banks and trains with Frank and Jesse James and other members of the James-Younger Gang since the Civil War. After more than a decade of life as an outlaw, Cole’s exploits were halted by that fateful attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield. The Northfield Raid, as the robbery attempt has come to be known, has inspired endless speculation and multiple theories of the sequence of events and who actually participated.” *
Lord, have mercy on those of us who sin by the filling of banks. Lord, have mercy on us who sin by emptying banks. Lord, will You forgive this offense against You, and the myriad of offenses caused by both our love of, or envy of others’ money? Will You set us free today from the bitter roots Minnesotans have towards banks, and those who commit economic crimes? Will You move us to a proper relationship with money? As individual’s, town’s, counties’, states’, and nations’?