20th Century, Climate, History, Minnesota, Prayer, Uncategorized

Heat Setting Record

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July 16, 1936
A temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit in Moorhead ties a record set in Beardsley in 1917 for the highest ever recorded in the state.*

Beardsley, Minnesota is a town of 233 people. It sits in the little “elbow” of Minnesota’s western border in Big Stone county. It’s name came from W.W. Beardsley who homesteaded its first farm and platted it ca. 1880.**

Another little snippet about the history of Big Stone county:
“Scientists declare that men lived on the shores of Big Stone Lake and Lake Traverse nearly twelve thousand years ago. A skeleton, thought by some investigators to be that of one of these people, was exhumed from a gravel pit in Browns Valley Village a few miles north of the Big Stone County line, in 1934. It is known as “The Browns Valley Man”. With the skeletons, were six beautiful flint artifacts of the oldest type that has been classified in America.

Evidences of a more recent prehistoric occupancy of Big Stone County by an Indian-like race are plentiful. Overlooking the lower part of Big Stone Lake, scattered along the Minnesota River below the foot of the lake, and on a prominence near Artichoke Lake, are a number of artificial mounds of earth which have been scientifically surveyed and mapped. Most of these mounds are round and of considerable size and some are flat-topped. Features of the fortified site 60 feet above the river at Odessa are an embankment 722 feet long and 20 feet wide with a height of 1½ to 2 feet, and a diamond-shaped mound varying from 42 to 54 feet in diameter, with a flat top, 20 X 28 feet.”***

Ok G-d, I don’t know a lot about this place other than it’s small, farming-oriented, and contains some ancient history. Oh, and it’s the site of the hottest recorded heat in my home state. Where do You want to lead me in prayer today?

I begin with giving thanks for this small town. You care about each and every place in this universe, and so I commend You for being so watchful over it today. We remember You as the Observant One of All today!

Next, I want to express gratitude for Your creation of weather, and how You masterfully control the climate of the world for the benefit of all creation, and for Your greatest purposes. We do not ponder enough how exactly You limit the range of high temperatures within the fairly narrow bandwidth that we can survive. Thank You, dear Father, that our high temperature record is only 115 degrees Fahrenheit!

However, we can be so fickle as a people because of the yearly swings we endure in our weather. Few places on the earth have a larger average yearly temperature swing. Where else on earth can it feel like 115 degrees in the summer, and down to minus 30 degrees in the winter?**** Forgive our offense to You in cursing the summer heat, and grumbling about the most frigid times in winter.

In sum, we thank You for the extremes of our climate, and for how they shape our character as a people. We are somewhat forced to relent and remember that we can’t control all the variables of our lives, and that is a good realization. We invite Your continued blessings on the weather over Beardsley, Big Stone, and the entire North Star State. Well done! You are the peace when we can’t take the heat!

* 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!
** http://lakesnwoods.com/Beardsley.htm
*** http://www.bigstonecounty.org/county_history/ancient_civilization.php
**** http://www.fox9.com/news/an-earth-rarity-minnesotas-large-temp-swings

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Intercession, Prayer, Uncategorized

Please don’t forget to Pray for Me?

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December 9, 2018 Sunday
Today, a crystal-clear cold and sunny day, I’m sitting in front of the fire and just relaxing. I’m listening to the classic gospel song “Pray for Me” by Reverend Richard White, and trying to revive an old suit by sewing on new buttons. Song after song has me weeping as the greatness and kindness of G-d the Father comes through.

I don’t often bring my personal situations to this blog, but today I’m breaking my own rules. My mom, Mary Leona Orvis, an unusually spry 82 year-old, has been through the mill this month. She went into the hospital one way and came out with level 2 Alzheimer’s disease. We are grateful for her progress, but I’m having a hard time accepting this as her new normal.

I want to say it’s a reaction to all the meds she’s on. I want to think that she just needs better nutrition and sleep. Maybe she’s just too dehydrated. (Some of these months in MN feel like you’re being freeze dried.) But I’m wrestling with seeing this woman, a retiree of nursing after 51 years, become the patient.

She has been a pillar of strength to thousands, and is even more so to me and my family! How can I watch her crack and crumble? O Jesus, pray for me! Family of G-d, will you pray for me? I invite you to listen to this genuine plea from “Mr. Clean” a.k.a. Richard White. Maybe the Lord has something for you also in his cry for help?

Sincerely, James D. Orvis

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20th Century, History, horses, Prayer, Uncategorized

“Whiskey” Retires

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1932
Leaping through rings of fire, then bowing shamelessly for applause, the celebrated jumping horse “Whiskey” was a star attraction at Fort Snelling and throughout the Northwest.*

Below are a few fun snippets from “Smartest Horse in the U. S. Army” by Marilyn L. Slovak.
“He went into training in 1921, reached his peak of popularity in the late 1920s, and retired from performance in 1932. In 1944 Whiskey was buried with full military honors and a government headstone near the present Federal Building at Fort Snelling.
The future initially appeared bleak for this wild horse that reputedly “didn’t even wear shoes” and “could kick a hole in a battle-ship.” Considered unsuitable for the army because of his rebellious spirit, he might have been destroyed were it not for another 1921 arrival at the fort, Lt. William Reuben Hazelrigg. Seeing the possibility of greatness beneath the horse’s unruly exterior, the experienced equestrian selected the chestnut as his assigned mount and, perhaps because of the sway in his walk, named him Whiskey.”**

“Whiskey’s greatest talent was jumping. Combining spectacular jumps with a repertoire of tricks, the horse and his rider did double duty at fort polo games, also supplying the half-time entertainment. No obstacle deterred the fearless, high-flying horse, be it a team of mules hitched to a supply wagon; the white mule, Snelling, standing between two fences; a group of diners seated at a table; a human hurdle; or a blazing jump. When the crowds in the stands clapped and shouted their approval, the Minneapolis Star reported, “it seemed Whiskey knew they were cheering at him.”**

“At night, using a front hoof to maneuver the two-by- four that held the door closed, Whiskey routinely escaped from his stall. “I’d meet this horse in the aisle every night,” recounted Stewart Montgomery, a former sentry and Third Infantry band member. “I’d try to get him back into his stall with no success. Whiskey wasn’t going to follow my instructions. He just didn’t like to be locked up.”**

Today, after reading about the connection between Lt. Hazelrigg and Whiskey, I ponder the significance of the relationship of animals and human beings, Lord. Why is it that animals can play such a crucial role in revealing Your heart to humankind? Why is the Bible so full of revelations that are brought or symbolically taught a lesson through another species?

A brief list from the top of my head:
The heart of the greatest ruler on earth was tempered by gnats, lice, frogs, and locusts in Exodus 8-10.
The nation of Israel miraculously escapes Egypt by the hand of the Almighty. Then they miss having meat so G-d delivers so much quail they struggle to eat it all in Numbers 11.
Jonah runs away from his destiny and is delivered back to it by the trauma of being swallowed by a whale in Jonah 1.
Elijah, driven into hiding, was fed by ravens in I Kings 17.
Daniel refused to stop praying, and was thrown into a den of lions as punishment. Yet, he was spared, and his accusers were torn to shreds when they shared the same fate in Daniel 6.

We see an archetype of animals being agents or messengers of change to specific individuals and peoples. Our contemporaries scoff at Biblical accounts of the miraculous interventions of Your creatures. We often rationalize along with them, and have been ashamed of Your word in an era of science. Will You forgive us?

We have forgotten that the King of the Universe can use anything, anywhere, at any time to convey His messages. We train domestic animals, but what do we know about communicating with them, or listening to their speech? We pat ourselves on the back for cloning animals, yet we cannot create a creature as magnificent as Your horse.

I thank You today for the life of Whiskey and Lt. Hazelrigg. I thank You for their example of the redeeming relationship between Your creatures and humans. I thank You for the lessons taught by Bill Hazelrigg to his horse, and by the lessons kindled by Whiskey to him.

I do not want to diminish the value of either human beings or animals in Your kingdom. According to Your word, we are to be the managers and stewards of Your creation, but You are the owner of all.**** I want to acknowledge that Your heart is on display when there is a strong bond between us and the animals we know.

Can a horse experience joy? Only You know. Does a horse do tricks for anything other than a conditioned response-reward cycle? You also understand this.

We do thank You for bravery of war horses like Whiskey. We thank You that our animals seem to have sense of humor. We thank You for how we grow to “know” them, and as they may “know” us. We thank You for the heritage of Whiskey, and all creatures that make us better creatures! Amen!

Whiskey’s gravestone marker resides alongside the fallen soldiers of Fort Snelling, Minnesota and reads; “Whiskey / a great horse /a stout heart / 1911–1943.”***

**“Smartest Horse in the U. S. Army” by Marilyn L. Slovak ibid pp 337-339
http://collections.mnhs.org/mnhistorymagazine/articles/61/v61i08p336-345.pdf
*** http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMRRHP_Whiskey_the_Horse_Fort_Snelling_Minneapolis_MN
**** https://biblehub.com/genesis/1-28.htm and https://biblehub.com/psalms/24-1.htm
^ Lieutenant William Hazelrigg and Whiskey jump the army mule Maud. Creator: Minnesota Historical Society, Photo Lab. 10/21/1922. Courtesy: © Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN (USA) photo “Donkeyversity” Pinterest

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20th Century, Agriculture, farming, History, Minnesota, Prayer, Uncategorized

Canning Corn Innovation

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1929
Big Stone Canning Company introduces its Butter Kernel brand of whole canned corn. A local innovation perfects the process of cutting whole kernels off the cob, bringing canned corn to kitchen tables in addition to the creamed corn previously available.

“Minnesota Canneries
Early settlers grew bumper wheat crops on south Minnesota’s fertile prairies, land that today supplies produce for a thriving 270-million-dollar-a-year canning industry.
Sweet corn canneries opened in Austin and Mankato in the early 1880s, followed soon after by similar factories in Faribault, Owatonna, and LeSueur.  Soon Minnesota’s canners were experimenting with new technologies and new products, and in 1903 the automated Big Stone Cannery Company founded by F.W. Douthitt changed the industry nationwide.  Douthitt’s plant in Ortonville had a conveyor system, mechanical corn husking machines, and a power driven cutter that produced the first whole kernel canned corn.  The Green Giant Company, introduced golden cream-style corn in 1924 and the first vacuum packed corn in 1929.
Corn is still the major canning crop in Minnesota.  The state’s more than thirty plants also freeze and can peas, beans, carrots, tomatoes, pork, beef, chicken products, and such unusual items as rutabagas.  Mankato was the site of the nation’s first carp cannery in 1946.” (text of highway marker WM2R64) **

The goal of canning fresh vegetables is long life. The problem with canning, if done or sealed improperly is disease and death. Success in preservation largely hinges on maintaining an airtight seal.

What was it like to be a farmer who knew he had a delicious crop of beautiful sweet corn, yet was at the mercy of the market and the railroad to sell before it spoiled? Surely they dreamed of a way to share this blessing that would take the pressure off to panic sell. How could they sell sweet corn all year instead of dumping all their crop in a few weeks?

F.W. Douthitt created a process that gave sweet whole kernel corn a long shelf life. He had an imagination that overcame the obstacles of the sweet corn industry’s woes. Further, he streamlined the process to a degree that it was affordable for all.

So we pray to the Lord, thank You for the gift of sweet corn to Minnesota! Thank You that You introduced this crop to Native Americans who introduced this crop to the world! We give You thanks for sharing the inspiration of hybridization with those who found varieties fit for human and animal consumption.

We give thanks for F.W. Douthitt and his gifts of processing corn to Minnesota and the world. We ask Your blessing on him and his generations, both in his family and in the field of food processing. We thank You for the example of Your word that good business is in the service and betterment of our neighbor as well as ourselves. We thank You for the countless family farms that were saved because they had a new and local market to sell to!

Will You help us, like Douthitt, see our worthiness being part of the process? Open our eyes to the value any aspect of any job adds to the lives of our neighbors? Whether we grow something, chop something, can something, ship something, or design a better can, may we see and know Your pleasure in our labor? May we forever seek to feed our neighbor that we too are fed!

Labor not for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for on him has G-d the Father set his seal. John 6:27 KJV ****

 

* 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!
** http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2R64_Minnesota_Canneries
*** https://www.butterkernel.com/our-story/
**** http://biblehub.com/john/6-27.htm

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20th Century, authors, Faith, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Politics, Prayer, Uncategorized

Shaping History?

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One of the great joys of my life is reading Derek Prince. Often, when feeling lonely in my call to a lifestyle of prayer and intercession, the Lord seems to speak encouragement to me through his books. I must close my mind to the overwhelming division, selfishness, and ugliness of the bad news cycle, and remember the good.

Below is my treasure for the day. It comes from Mr. Prince’s 1973 classic on the call of the Church to pray for their government and authorities; “Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting”. May the Lord speak something true to you this day through it!

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of G-d our Savior; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4

“Our conclusion, therefore, is that good government facilitates the preaching of the Gospel, while bad government hinders it. For this reason, good government is the the will of G-d.
We are now in a position to present the teaching of 1 Timothy 2:1-4 in a series of logical steps:
The first ministry and outreach of believers as we meet together in regular fellowship is prayer.
The first topic for prayer is the government.
We are to pray for good government.
G-d desires all men to have the truth of the Gospel preached to them.
Good government facilitates the preaching of the Gospel, while bad government hinders it.
Therefore, good government is the will of G-d.” (pp. 52-53)

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20th Century, authors, History, Immigration, Minnesota, Prayer

“Giants in the Earth” Published

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1927
Ole Rølvaag, a Norwegian-born professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, publishes Giants in the Earth, his brooding, epic novel of immigrant pioneer life. The book becomes a huge success both in Norway and the United States.*

“The infinitude surrounding her on every hand might not have been so oppressive, might even have brought her a measure of peace, if it had not been for the deep silence, which lay heavier here than in a church. Indeed, what was there to break it? She had passed beyond the outposts of civilization; the nearest dwelling places of men were far away. Here no warbling of birds rose on the air, no buzzing of insects sounded; even the wind had died away; the waving blades of grass that trembled to the faintest breath now stood erect and quite, as if listening, in the great hush of the evening….”

-Giants in the Earth, excerpt from Chapter II “Home-founding.” *

Rolvaag, named after his birthplace five miles from the Arctic Circle, was born one of seven children in 1876. He worked as a fisherman with his father and brothers for six years until he was recruited to be a farmhand in South Dakota at age twenty. After a few years, he went after his education graduating from: Augustana Academy in 1901, Saint Olaf both in 1905 (B.A.), and 1910 (MA). His rugged life experiences gave authenticity and realism to his recollections of the struggles of Norwegian pioneers in the Midwestern United States.**

We remember, with You, the plight of the pioneers from Norway to the Midwest. We remember that this earth is Yours, as well as all its peoples and resources, and that in Your forbearance You move them where You choose. So we give thanks for the example of these aliens, and that within their hardships of displacement that they were perfectly placed to thrive by the King of the Universe!

We give thanks to You for the life and extreme austerity experienced by Ole Rolvaag. He knew both the frigid waters of Norway’s Lofoten fishing area, and the burning sun of South Dakota. He battled the elements for the privilege to enrich his mind, and truly took in the discipline and lessons of both.

We recognize the tribulations of the Norwegian characters of “Giants in the Earth”, and reflect on their lessons for all peoples at all times. Each immigrant must wrestle the elements of his environment, a culture that is unfamiliar, and the loneliness for home. We also ponder the judgments of aliens against Your Sovereignty.

Will You forgive our ancestors their environmental judgments against their new home land? Will You forgive the thoughts and words this wave of Norwegians made in their attempt to tame the “amber waves of grain”? Will You forgive our judgments in this era of them? We have forgotten what pestilence means: losing whole crops to blight, grasshoppers, and fire.

Will You forgive Norwegian Americans their judgments and false assessments of their neighbors? They encountered foreigners, also from Europe, who though racially similar held no common culture or language. They met Native Americans who led migratory lives following the buffalo, again somewhat relatable to fisherman following their catch, but different. For all their cultural struggles we seek Your mercy and restoration.

Granted, these are stalwart, hearty people who endured much more than our present generations, but even giants have hearts of flesh. Because of Your kindness, will You forgive the inward struggles of these pioneers? It’s understandable that one would ask, “Who am I?” while at home, but even more so, “Who am I in this new place?” Will You forgive their sins of fear and doubt related to their identity stemming from Norway rather than the Maker of Norway?

We, like them, are displaced from the heritage of our Creator. Much of our travail is that our identity is based on geography, ethnicity, and culture, but these are comforting false gods. Will You give us an unshakable sense of place that can only come from the Cornerstone of the Universe and Your unchanging Word?

17″You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow’s garment in pledge. 18″But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing. 19″When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.…
Deuteronomy 24:17-19 NASB***

* 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!
**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ole_Edvart_Rølvaag
***http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/24-18.htm

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Catholic, Christian, Faith, Intercession, Judaism, Prayer, Uncategorized

Prayers for Travelers

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Tonight, through my lack of sleep, I’m reminded of the power of the Holy Spirit through the use of Holy Water to bless and keep us from the works of the Enemy.* We have authority over the Enemy in, under, and through Christ’s perfect authority. We don’t have to submit ourselves to our Accuser’s plan of attachments and entanglements through physical objects or places such as a hotel room, hotel, airport, or the city it resides in.

Please consider reading the excellent article by Fr. Edward Looney “Priest: Why holy water comes with me whenever I travel” before using these excerpts?

Prayer to cleanse hotel room using holy water:
“Almighty God, I ask you to send your angels to be with me in this place, and protect me from all assaults of the Evil One. Please forgive any wrong that has been perpetuated in this room, and grant those who offend you the grace of conversion. Dispel the powers of darkness which may be in this room and protect me this night, and those who will sleep here in the forthcoming nights. Jesus I trust in You!.”

From the Night Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours:
“Lord, we [or I] beg you to visit this house [room] and banish from it all the deadly power of the enemy. May your holy angels dwell here to keep us in peace, and may your blessings be upon us always.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”**

Christ has died! Christ has risen! Christ will come again! May you and yours be blessed and kept from the Devil and his works. May all hindrances in our places and spaces go up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ!

“Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water.” Numbers 5:17 NIV***
*https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/The-Holy-Spirit-Described-As-Water
**https://aleteia.org/2017/11/17/priest-why-holy-water-comes-with-me-whenever-i-travel/
***http://biblehub.com/numbers/5-17.htm

 

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