21st Century, death, Life, Prayer, Uncategorized

What to do when someone dies?

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jeremyszopinski.com

I’m up early this morning, about 4:15am, and am not able to drive Uber because my phone fell into a snowdrift and is malfunctioning …again. I’m wondering about my mom and siblings who are making a 600 mile trek from Minneapolis to Springfield, Missouri on snow-dusted Interstate 35. They are braving the elements to pay last respects for my cousin Stephen. He was an exceptionally gifted and eternally curious man who packed a lot of life into 58 years. Still too soon. Far too soon.

Cousin, may I tip my hat to you with the words of Yeats? I only found this poem because: the snowfall, my phone dying, moisture in USB port, and a kind message in Spanish from a new friend halfway around the world. (Please follow the link to Juan Re Crivello.)  G-d, You don’t make our paths easy, but You make them meaningful! Amen!

An Irish Airman foresees his Death

By William Butler Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before…

Please follow the link and finish this poem?

https://gobblersmasticadores.wordpress.com/2020/01/16/5-famous-irish-poets-w-b-yeats/

 

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

Patty Berg Helps Found LPGA

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1948
Minneapolis’ Patty Berg lights up the links of women’s golf in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, winning more than 80 amateur and professional championships. A founder of the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association in 1948, she is one of 13 charter members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.*

To the author’s recollection, Patty Berg’s name has always been synonymous with competition locally. As a child, she loved football and her neighborhood team, the 50th Street Tigers, fought hard to be the best in South Minneapolis. Bud Wilkinson, one of her teammates, would go on as a stellar coach for Oklahoma during their hot streak in the fifties.**

In her young teens, allegedly, her mother tired of her daughter’s cuts, bruises, and torn skirts. More accurately, she could see Patty’s natural determination, but didn’t like the extra mending work. Her parents found a way out of her football pursuits when she expressed jealousy over her brother’s country club membership. Her father agreed to get Patty a membership to play golf, contingent on a commitment to practice everyday. ***

It wasn’t long before she began competing in amateur events like the Minneapolis City Championship. As a freshman in high school, she entered and lost, but steeled her resolve to practice hard, and won as a sophomore in 1934. The following year she narrowly lost the Women’s Amateur to Glenna Collett-Vare; the woman who most dominated the sport the previous decade. By the time she was 20 years old, she won 75-80% of all events she entered. *****

Below is an excellent synopsis of her professional career and contributions to the sport of golf.
“Berg turned professional in 1940, when there were only a handful of women professionals. Her income was earned doing clinics and exhibitions for Wilson Sporting Goods. For her first victory, the 1941 Women’s Western Open, she received a $100 war bond. Shortly after, Berg was in a car accident that severely injured her left knee. The leg had to be reset twice, but during 18 months away from golf, Berg rehabilitated successfully by working out in the camp of a boxer. After a two-year stint in the Marines, in which she went to cadet school and graduated a second lieutenant, Berg won the first U.S. Women’s Open in 1946, defeating Betty Jameson in Spokane, 5 and 4. In 1948, the LPGA was established, and Berg, along with Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Betty Jameson and Louise Suggs, became the Big Four of the women’s game. Berg, who was also the association’s first president, won three titles that first year. She was the LPGA’s leading money winner in 1954, 1955 and 1957, won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average in 1953, 1955 and 1956 and was three times voted outstanding woman athlete of the year by the Associated Press. She is the first woman to win $100,000 in career earnings. In 1963, the USGA honored her with the Bob Jones Award. Only 5-2 with red hair and a freckled face, Berg was known as a supreme shot maker. Carol Mann called Berg “the most knowledgeable person, man or woman, of different golf shots that I’ve ever known.” According to Mickey Wright, “Patty Berg is the perfect golfer for a woman.” The LPGA honored her by establishing the Patty Berg Award in 1978 which is given to the lady golfer who has made the greatest contribution to women’s golf during the year.” *****

Now we turn to You, the Maker of all games of patience and strategy. Though beyond time, You have imperturbable and undistracted resolve to set up a single moment of meaning within history. Come, help us ponder Your message to us through the life of Patty Berg.

We commence this prayer with the obvious; Patty’s commitment and success as a mentor. We are grateful for teachers who stick with us; like Berg. We are inspired by those who not only convey the lesson, but can demonstrate it with excellence. We will never forget those whose leadership forged new paths; and Berg led multitudes of women into golf. Bravo Lord!

Next, we thank You for gifting her with an imagination for strategy. We thank You for the testimony of her peers that she was “the most knowledgeable person, man or woman, of different golf shots that I’ve ever known.” In this, she is so much like her Heavenly Dad; making impossible shots against impossible odds. May I list a few examples to You?
Abram was a no name man from an obscure place, but You made a name for him by taking the “H” out of Your own, and imparting its greatness to both Abraham and Sarah!

Moses lack of self-control, though incensed by injustice, led to murder, which led to the desert, which led to obscurity, which led to leading animals, which led to the burning bush and the presence of “I Am”, and finally to leading Your people out of Egypt.

It looked like “game over” for the followers of our Messiah. The most powerful religious and political laws condemned Him to death. They were terrified of the power of Rome and the Sanhedrin. Your resurrection emboldened them to wait and pray; seemingly a very passive move to their enemies. Yet, You emboldened these scalawags and cowards with Your Spirit of grace and truth to boldly tell people everywhere of the G-d that came to them, for them, to free them!

We thank You for her example of bravery to her generation of women! Throughout her life, she believed in the capability of women. She believed women: could play football, play golf, endorse sports, do the business of sports well, serve in the Marines, and create a legacy.

You have written of the legacy of brave women in Your Word. We remember to You the faith and actions of these female Biblical heroes: Sarah, Deborah, Hannah, Ruth, and Queen Esther to name but a few! ****** Will You embolden and give bravery to the women of Minnesota present and future to live courageous lives as they?

Will You forgive the obstacles placed in the way of women in her generation? Will You forgive us, Minnesotans past and present, of limiting or invalidating the thoughts, actions, and dreams of our foremothers? We have shunned Your image insofar as we have shuttered them. Will You forgive and heal our judgments? We call out to You this day our invitation; send us more like Patty Berg?

* 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!
** Rippel, Joel. “Patty Berg: Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Class of 1958”, Star Tribune, Minneapolis,MN. Nov. 4 2019. http://www.startribune.com/patty-berg-minnesota-sports-hall-of-fame-inductee-class-of-1958/563308382/
*** https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/berg-patty-1918
**** https://www.interlachencc.org/About-Us/History.aspx
***** http://www.worldgolfhalloffame.org/patty-berg/
****** https://rachelwojo.com/women-in-the-bible/

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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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