19th Century, History, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Softball, sports

Softball Invented in Minneapolis 1895

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1895

“Minneapolis fireman Lewis Rober invented outdoor softball in 1895. Called kitten ball by Rober, who hand-made the leather balls himself. Rober was inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame in 1996.” *

 What is significant about the invention of this game? What makes challenging another to a team sport appealing? Is it simply about getting some exercise? Jesus, guide my thoughts and heart this day. Help me bless and confess what may stem from the invention of kittenball.

Thank You for Lewis Rober, and his desire to organize a fun activity for his firemen. Waiting is fatiguing enough, let alone waiting for events that may involve risking one’s life. By inventing a kitten ball, bigger and softer than a baseball, he made a wonderful sport that occupied his firefighters, gave them exercise, and perhaps most importantly, took their minds off the incessant waiting for danger! Will You bless the heritage of Lewis Rober, of all who have, are, or will play the game he loved so much?

Next, it seems important to meditate on the nature of competitive sport. A

 challenge can be a fun test or a fight without weapons, therefore testing the character and heart of the players. Frequently, children are told to “be a good sport” in their games by parents who are quite inconsistent in modeling that same. 

So, our kids go through this mental wrestling match: wanting the glory of winning vs. contentment in a game well-played. We see the benefit of them facing “fight or flight” challenges as a means of conditioning them for life’s tests, and building endurance and tenacity in adversity. We teach them to choose their attitude with phrases like, “it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” 

Yet, we often fail to see these same benefits on a cosmic scale. So often we judge Your character, and wonder: “Why would a Father send his son to die? Why would a G-d of love allow this natural disaster? Why do the rich fleece the poor, generation after generation? Why does an all-powerful being allow hunger, genocide, terrorism, and war?” It seems consistent with the theme that good parents sometimes allow their kids to experience the effects of the “bad sports”, without intervention, even though they have the ability to spare them.

It may seem like a jump, to go from kitten ball to genocide, but You are are the King of Quantum Leaps. You are before time, in time, and beyond time. You observed the exact moment, the exact decision, that led a benevolent ruler’s heart from leading all the people to choosing the tyranny that exists beyond the law. Yet, many times You have chosen not to intervene.

Why? Why should we be faced over and over throughout the span of time with the decision to hate our enemy, or love our enemy? Do You want us to shake hands with evil and say “Good game”? You box us in and force us to choose: “What will it be today, forgiveness or bitterness? What world do you want to create? Do you want to be a microcosm of division, or unity?”

Have mercy Lord! If we still haven’t learned to play softball, what will we do in the face of hardball! There is so little love in us for those that offend, disgrace, and injure us in small ways. What will we do in the face of the atrocities of this age? Give us enough love for this day! Give us grace that overcomes our opponent with a game well-played! Will You make us firefighters in our field today?

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

** Take a peek at the birthplace of kittenball; the Minneapolis Fire Department? http://www.extraalarm.org/ltrober.htm

***Fire Station No. 19 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Station_No._19_(Minneapolis,_Minnesota)

 

 

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19th Century, Americana, Architecture, Business, Civics, Energy, History, Industry, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Real Estate, Science, Technology

Industrial Exposition 1886

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1886

“The Mill City answers St. Paul’s State Fair with the Minneapolis Industrial Exposition. Despite elaborate attractions and the latest wares of 800 exhibitors, the exposition can’t compete with the fair and closes its doors in 1893.” * 

“The idea for an exposition in Minneapolis arose in August 1885, when it became known that St. Paul had secured the permanent home of the Minnesota State Fair. Prominent citizens of Minneapolis such as Minneapolis Tribune owner Alden Blethen felt slighted, and an open meeting was called to gauge public support for an annual Minneapolis industrial fair, or exposition, to rival St. Paul’s agricultural one.” **

 Lord, we are competitors. Competition is not a sin, but the envy or covetousness that often accompany it leads to disunity or complete breaks in relationship. What do You want to reveal in this moment of rivalry in 1886? 

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have had friendly rivalries that go far into our history. Will You forgive, first, the jokes, speech, and written words that have been used to put down the ‘other’ Twin City? Will You forgive the heart it reveals, one of mockery and pride? 

How many actions have resulted in our heritage because one “prominent citizen” felt slighted? There is nothing wrong with a human being of any status in society taking leadership according to their conscience. However, if the attitude of civic pride, in this case personified by Alden Blethen was an offense to You, will You forgive us? Will You forgive us our pettiness over another’s blessing? Will you help us; “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:7 ***

You have ideas for both of these places that we have not considered. What are they? Will You replace the rivalry of Minneapolis and St. Paul stemming from the Industrial Exposition of 1886 with blessing? Will You download into us a mindset that rejoices at the success of the other? Will You bless us with the kind of competition that brings virtue, excellence, and mutual respect?

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

**Learn about the short life of this huge structure?

http://www.mnopedia.org/structure/industrial-exposition-building-minneapolis

***http://biblehub.com/jeremiah/29-7.htm

 

 

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19th Century, Agriculture, Business, farming, Food, History, Industry, Intercession, Minnesota, Mississippi River, omnipresent history

Minneapolis Nation’s Flour Milling Capital 1880

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1880

“Minnesota wheat and the power of St. Anthony Falls make Minneapolis the nation’s capital of flour milling. A year later, Pillsbury’s new A Mill is the largest flour mill in the world.” * 

My first thought is, ”How do I pray for a flour mill, and why is it important?” Show me why Lord. Possible reasons:

1. The Washburn mill exploded, which was the biggest in the world, allowing Pillsbury a chance to take the lead. So, do I pray about the effects of professional pride and jealousy?

2. It could be a simple acknowledgement of a real accomplishment; an amazingly quick rebuild! Simply viewing it as a story of hope.

3. What did the flour industry do for the city of Minneapolis and the State?

Jesus, You know our inmost thoughts, and yet you love us. Lord, Washburn and Pillsbury were competitors in the milling business. There’s nothing wrong with competition between these companies, or any other for that matter. However, if there were underhanded or bitter motives between them, will You release us from  the burden of their jealousy, and or pride? Will You cleanse St. Anthony Falls from any guilt brought on by any unethical competition?  

If everything was on the up and up, and the Washburn mills explosion was purely accidental, will You also cleanse us from the bitterness and sense of loss of that incident? Will You cleanse us of the spirit of blame? Will You heal this rift between  companies then, and show our present-day business culture how to compete without hating their rivals? I thank you today for blessings of outstanding Minnesota companies in the grain and milling business: General Mills and Cargill to name a few! 

Thank you for leaders who face major setbacks, and rebuild something amazing; brick by brick. Will You forgive our judgments of business leaders in milling, as well as their peers in all major industries here? The average person knows nothing of the intensity, risk, and sheer loneliness of being on top. Will You inform our hearts’, minds’, and creativity in the context of leadership?

Will You show us new ways of doing business in Minnesota that honor You and the creation we are stewards of, and help us redeem the business culture of the world? May our progeny say with Isaiah,

“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” Isaiah 50:7 **

*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://biblehub.com/isaiah/50-7.htm

*** A wonderful synopsis of the explosion of Washburn A Mill. https://www.mnopedia.org/event/washburn-mill-explosion-1878

 

 

 

 

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19th Century, Business, Canada, Civics, Exploration, History, Industry, Intercession, Leadership, Minnesota, railroad, Transportation

Hill’s First Railroad 1879

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1879

“James J. Hill and his Canadian partners buy the near-bankrupt St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and rename it the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba. This is the beginning of the railroad career that will earn Hill the title “Empire Builder” and cement the importance of the Twin Cities as a commercial center. 

Hill’s career didn’t begin with railroads. He came to Minnesota at age 18, convincing a steamboat man to hire him as a clerk. From making sure freight reached the right people, he expanded into handling freight by boat, stagecoach, and wagon. By the time his empire was built, he was one of the nation’s leading industrialists. 

In 1891 James J. Hill will crown his success by building a house at 240 Summit Avenue in St. Paul. As massive and well-built as its owner’s railroad empire, the mansion will take three years to build and cost $931,275.01, furnished.” * 

Lord, thanks that You deal with us so patiently. You allow us to learn from our errors and seek You for mercy and truth. Thank You for the blessings of James J. Hill and his railroads.

However, we still feel the weight of the blessing and curses in the wake of his empire building! He was alleged to be duplicitous in his business dealings. He allegedly manipulated land grants or sales from cities, tribes, states, and the nations of Canada and the United States. He may have wreaked havoc on the stock market in his battle with Harriman of the Union Pacific line. **

Hill proved to be cut from a different cloth than the Robber Barons of his age whose modus operandi included manipulation of the stock market, public institutions and opinions, or Federal or State governments. In many ways, he retained the common-sense lessons of his Scots-Irish upbringing in Manitoba, Canada and the Midwestern states. A few examples of his forthright tongue and blue-collar wisdom below.

“Give me snuff, whiskey, and Swedes, and I will build a railway to hell.”

“Work, hard work, intelligent work, and then more work.”

“The wealth of the country, its capital, its credit, must be saved from the predatory poor as well as the predatory rich, but above all from the predatory politician.” ***

Lord, You are the righteous ruler and justice of North America. Will You remove the curses we have laid on James J. Hill and the lines he laid? Will You forgive his debts to the people of North America and the Midwest? Will You forgive us our injustices and betrayals of Your trust?

Like Mr. Hill, we kill our competitors and covet and build empires in our hearts. We plunder our enemies in our thoughts, and do not see our brothers and sisters as precious lives that You died and rose for! Have mercy on us: the ambitious, the coward, the sluggard, and the average! Remove the curses brought on us, our generations, the land, the property, and our homes both now and until Your return! May the pathway of this railway become a track of blessing to both Manitoba and the Twin Cities! Amen!

*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://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/harriman-vs-hill

*** https://www.azquotes.com/author/6703-James_J_Hill

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