20th Century, History, Industry, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Labor, Lake Superior, Mining, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Suffering, Unions

Iron Range Strike 1916

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June 3, 1916 to September 17, 1916

“Forty miners walked off the job on June 3, beginning the 1916 strike. The unorganized miners soon realized they needed help. Unlike the 1907 strike, this time the Western Federation of Miners was not interested in organizing the miners. Instead, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) responded, sending in some of their top organizers. Many of the strikebreakers from 1907, ironically, became instrumental in the 1916 strike. The number of strikers swelled to over 8,000. The 1916 strike was marked by violence and repression. Unlike 1907, strikebreakers were not as readily available and other tactics were employed to end the strike. The civil liberties of strikers were violated, mine guards and police used force to intimidate strikers, union leaders were jailed, economic pressure was exerted on merchants who extended credit to strikers, and finally, the Oliver Iron Mining Company refused to negotiate with the strikers. The strike was called off on September 17.” *

Even attempting to intercede for the Iron Range Strike of 1916 is unsettling, Lord. We can empathize with both the ones who own the business, create jobs and make useful products for society, (Oliver Iron Mining Co.),  and those who do the work, (the miners as represented by the IWW). Will You illuminate this moment of history, and lead our prayers and reflections this day, and leave us with a blessing for the future?

Your Word informs of the importance of both why we work, and how we work because it reflects both our character and our assessment of your character. To begin, we work because it is necessary for our survival, and provision for those in our care.

“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’ “ 2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV **

Yet, You also challenge us to take joy in our tasks, and appreciate even the undesirable aspects of them?!

“And do all that you do with all your soul, as for Our Lord, and not as for the children of men.” Colossians 3:23 Aramaic Bible in Plain English ***

Perhaps You want us to take pride in work because it balances our employers reaction of our performance to the pleasure that a job well done gives You?

What’s in Your heart for the working man or woman? What of those who own nothing but their labor? What is the position of Your Kingdom towards their employers?

“Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. “Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.” Leviticus 19:13 NLT ****

Your Word connotes that those of us who own a company are obliged by the Owner of All Property to account honestly and pay employees on time. 

So, what heart should a CEO have towards his staffers, laborers, hired hands, and factory workers? 

“For the Scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,’ and, ‘The worker is worthy of his wages.’ “ I Timothy 5:18 BSB****

In Your economic model, the boss is to remember those with noses to his grindstone are essential as employees, and people of infinite worth as human beings. These Scriptures are a counter-balance to the common lie both the executive and small businessman misbelieves while making payroll; “I’m paying these guys way too much.” 

With this in mind, we pray about  this strike. Lord, will You forgive the pain caused to Oliver Mining Company by the judgments of the Wobblies? Will You forgive the discontent of these miners towards their bosses, and indirectly with Your means of provision for their lives? Will You forgive their rebellions against Minnesota statute and the laws of Your dominion? Will You forgive their envy?

Conversely, we remember the sins and separations of the Oliver Iron Mining towards You and its workers. Will You forgive the injustices of the contract labor system? ******* No one should have to participate in graft or bribery to one’s boss to maintain employment! Will You forgive the pain caused to the miners and their unions? (IWW-Industrial Workers of the World and WFM-Western Federation of Miners) Will You forgive their failures as leaders to understand that right principles alone do not make right relationships or satisfy Your chesed?

Your Honor, will You change our defiance towards You in the maintenance of antagonistic relationships between labor and industry? Will You bless the future of mining in Minnesota, and create fellowships between companies and unions that enhance, not limit, the growth of the other? Will You break our strike against Your peaceful resolutions for our workplaces? Amen.

“Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” Psalm 89:14 KJV

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**http://biblehub.com/2_thessalonians/3-10.htm

*** http://biblehub.com/colossians/3-23.htm

****http://biblehub.com/leviticus/19-13.htm

*****http://biblehub.com/1_timothy/5-18.htm

******http://biblehub.com/psalms/89-14.htm

*******https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2015/10/breaking-1916-iron-range-strike

 

 

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19th Century, Agriculture, Current Events, farming, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Suffering

Grasshopper Plague 1873

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June 12, 1873

“Grasshoppers darken the skies of southwestern Minnesota. For the next five summers they strip the land bare. Charities and the state provide some relief, but many farmers lose everything.” * 

“’The wheat!’ Pa shouted. He dashed out the back door and ran toward the wheat-field. 

The grasshoppers were eating. You could not hear one grasshopper eat, unless you listened very carefully while you held him and fed him grass. Millions and millions of grasshoppers were eating now. You could hear the millions of jaws biting and chewing. 

Pa came running back to the stable. Through the window Laura saw him hitching Sam and David to the wagon. He began pitching old dirty hay from the manure-pile into the wagon, as fast as he could. Ma ran out, took the other pitchfork and helped him. Then he drove away to the wheat-field and Ma followed the wagon. 

Pa drove around the field, throwing out little piles of stuff as he went. Ma stooped over one, then a thread of smoke rose from it and spread. Ma lighted pile after pile. Laura watched till a smudge of smoke hid the field and Ma and Pa and the wagon. 

Grasshoppers were still falling from the sky. The light was still dim because grasshoppers covered the sun.” Excerpt from “On the Banks of Plum Creek” by Laura Ingalls Wilder **

Holy Spirit, we don’t know why You allow tragedy, but we thank You that You somehow reverse every curse! 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 King James Version ** In recent memory, You’ve allowed Japan to be struck a fantastic blow: an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor instability. ***  

Many would find this a ‘proof’ that You are not God. They fail to see beyond the immediate to the fact that You’ve given us a will to choose You, or our own way. As a fallible human being, I may fail to see that in the depths of pain the potential for greatness of character arises. Nearly every Bible story contains a main character who suffers unjustly. 

Lord, I do not want to judge my state in their response to this plague. I do want to ask forgiveness for responses of anger or bitterness and unforgiveness towards You. Whether You allowed us to be tested, or whether the grasshoppers came because of curses on the land; You are righteous in Your judgments. Lord, forgive us our lack of trust that You bring life to the land. You truly are King of the Universe! May we bless You and not forget the days of life and health You also have given. 

We are fickle. We think You serve us instead of the truth that we are Your people the sheep of Your pasture. Father help Your Church to not cower in fear in the face of this accusation of the enemy, but answer with confidence in Your love. May we believe as David, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust him.” 

*http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** “On the Banks of Plum Creek”; Newly illustrated, uniform ed. LC Online Catalog. Retrieved 2015-09-18.

*** https://biblehub.com/romans/8-28.htm

**** Fukushima Daiichi Accident, March 11, 2011. Internet. https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-daiichi-accident.aspx

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