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

University of Minnesota Founded 1851

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Twenty students begin at the University of Minnesota. Beginning in a small building with only one teacher, the university won’t offer college-level instruction until 1869.*

Great Teacher, thanks for the blessings we have today because of these small beginnings! What good things grow from small seeds? Will You lead my thoughts and prayer for the “U” today?

Here’s a basic summary of the founding of the school as given on it’s website:

“The University of Minnesota was founded as a preparatory school in 1851 seven years before the territory of Minnesota became a state. Financial problems forced the school to close during the Civil War, but with the help of Minneapolis entrepreneur John Sargent Pillsbury, it reopened in1867. Known as the father of the University, Pillsbury, who was a University regent, state senator, and governor, used his influence to establish the school as the official recipient of public support from the Morrill Land-Grant Act, designating it as Minnesota’s land-grant university.” https://r.umn.edu/node/511

Thank you for the opportunities this university created for students in the 1850-60’s! Thank you for the synergy of it’s re-opening: one part government, one part business, one part Pillsbury influence. How many students had a chance to learn because of the determination and will of J.S. Pillsbury? Today we thank You for these individuals, and the impact of this school on their lives!

It would be difficult to summarize the impact of our University on our state, nation, and world over these past 150 years. Every discipline seems to exert a significant force; important discoveries across all! Students from the entire continent of North America gather here to learn. Our culture values education that results in a college degree.

What do You think about a university education, Lord? On the one hand the Scripture says that we should ‘study to show ourself approved’ 2Timothy 2:15, and myriads of other words reinforce this sentiment. However, it is easy to find teachings on education that seem in direct contradiction to the accumulation of knowledge. We are warned about those who are ‘always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.’ 2 Timothy 3:7 Why this distinction?

Perhaps a limitation of education is that knowledge is not necessarily relational?
Counselor, will You have mercy on the roots of the false pride of knowledge that grew from this founding seed? Will You have mercy on those who rebelliously cling to ignorance? In teacher and student? Throughout the greater culture of Minnesota?

“…We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. but the man who loves God is known by God.” 1Corinthians 8:1-3

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19th Century, Culture, education, History, Intercession, Jesus, Ministry, Minnesota, Native Americans

Pond Brothers arrive in Minnesota 1834

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Samuel and Gideon Pond, missionaries at Lake Calhoun, begin a lifelong study of the Dakota language. They compile dictionaries and grammars and put Dakota speech into written form.*

Lord, thanks that you speak to us in ways that we understand. You impress your ideas on us in a plethora of ways, including, but not limited to, our language. Thanks that your light shines through to us where ever and whenever we are in this world! You know the subtleties of our “mother tongue!”

These men, Samuel and Gideon, seem to have captured Your heart in this. They were not out to just meet the Dakota; they meant to live their lifetime with them! Will You bless this commitment to the Dakota peoples and their spoken language?

Furthermore, they rightly represent you as the living “Word” of God. How fitting that they were content to learn the words of the Dakota, and write them down. This was not enough, they wanted these words to flow the way they were thought and spoken, and so undertook to worship You by understanding Dakota grammar! Will You bless them, and their generations who want all Minnesotan languages to be cherished and recorded? May we as a State know you better by knowing the language of our fellow man!

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .  The current URL is http://www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

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19th Century, Business, Culture, Economics, History, Intercession, Jesus, Leadership, Minnesota, State Government

American Fur Company 1833

 

 

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Young Henry Sibley takes over the American Fur Company post at Mendota in 1834 and stays on to be a leader in building Minnesota. He will become Minnesota’s first territorial delegate to Congress and its first state governor–an indivisible part of the state’s history for more than 50 years.*

 

 

Thank you for the life of Henry Sibley, and his leadership role in this state. You have seen Sibley’s work and heart, will You guide this prayer? Will You give insight into the ramifications of this new role for Sibley as head of this important company so long ago?

 

I do not know how conscientious or just he was, or if he favored the American Fur Company in his civil leadership roles. Lord, I just want to acknowledge that when I have power, it is tempting to favor those with whom I have the strongest trust and relationship. Will You forgive me this sin?

Forgive any favoritism, or judgments against those favored by Henry Sibley, the American Fur Company, and the government of Minnesota? Will You forgive us as Minnesotans’ from our savior-complex? Sometimes we shield those we favor from learning by the cause and effect of their actions. God, these are some contemporary examples of our civic favoritism: >“This company (or bank) is too big to fail.” >”We need a new Vikings stadium.” >”Our state can pay for equality of outcomes.” You are the Savior of Minnesota! Cleanse us from 1833 to now of our favoritism.

Why is this offensive to You, Just One? Is it because misuse of authority exhibits the limitations of our trust for our fellow man, or their Maker? Do we deny those around us that they also have Your inalienable right of choice?

Of course, there are times when you authorize and condone our exercise of judgment on behalf of others. For example, a mother must choose, moment by moment, what is best for the care of her newborn child. Yet if this same woman were to be constantly advising her adult child, it would be a sick relationship, and probably feel quite smothering.

In the same way, will You bless the future of all leaders of this state with Your proper balance of authority? May they be blessed with strength balanced by tenderness! May they neither fear the loneliness of leadership, nor the humility that nurtures future leaders. Amen!

 

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