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, Governors, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Politics, State Government

Hubbard Becomes Governor

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January 10, 1882 to January 5, 1887

“Lucius F. Hubbard becomes the state’s 9th governor on January 10, 1882.

Hubbard forcefully urges government intervention in public health, corrections, charities, railroads, agriculture, and commerce, and the legislature complies by increasing the state’s regulatory and licensing powers. His second term lasts three years, in accordance with a state constitutional amendment to have state, county, and federal biennial elections all coincide.” * 

 

Lord Jesus, what do You think of government force and intervention? Emotionally, I am grieved when I read of “government intervention”, but maybe I’m imbalanced in that skepticism. Intercession is also a form of intervention, and I’m not skeptical of that, or of Your example through Christ. “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25 NIV ** Help me see what You see, gather more information, and guide my prayers.

First, I thank You for the blessings of the governorship of Lucius F. Hubbard. May You bless Him, his generations, dwellings, and property with grace and truth. Will You bless the real, the good, that he envisioned in guiding the state of Minnesota?  

Next, will You cover over any sins he may committed against You or our people through the extension of governmental authority? Lord, so often we try to manage our lives, our environments, and others through control. We take away the decision making power of others’ when it is deemed unwise, unjust,  or even simply unpleasing to us. We put up barriers, often unnecessarily, to even the expressions of others opinions before we clearly understand them. Lord have mercy on our impatience, and failure to clarify! Christ have mercy; we can be too quick to judge! 

Eternal Father, Eternal Mother, Eternal Savior, Eternal Counselor hear this petition: Forgive our lack of understanding that willful force quashes the good message, the life-giving message You have planted in our brothers’, our sisters’ , our mothers’, and our fathers’! We often centralize and streamline decision making because we are fearful, or do not want equal relationships with others. Make us a humble, respectful, honest, and understanding people. May our leaders reflect the graciousness and truthfulness of Your nature!

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

** http://biblehub.com/hebrews/7-25.htm

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19th Century, Agriculture, farming, Governors, History, Intercession, Jesus, Leadership, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Politics, State Government

Cushman Becomes Governor

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January 7, 1874 to January 7, 1876

“Cushman K. Davis takes office as the state’s seventh governor. During his single term as Minnesota’s seventh governor, Cushman K. Davis confronted a menace that threatened to ruin the state’s farm economy. A five-year-long grasshopper plague began in 1873, and Davis’s offer of aid to farmers whose crops had been devoured by invading locusts represented an early form of state-sponsored disaster relief.” * 

“The state, governed by three different men during the grasshopper plague years, also failed to provide adequate relief to affected farmers. Under governors Horace Austin and Cushman K. Davis, the state provided small sums of direct, state-funded relief, but the governors focused their efforts on encouraging charitable giving to the cause. Unlike his predecessors, Governor John S. Pillsbury did not call for any direct, state-funded relief for farmers. Elected in 1876, Pillsbury believed that poverty was a fact of life on the frontier and that providing relief would make farmers dependent on the state. Instead, Pillsbury focused on efforts to eradicate the grasshoppers. This included a controversial bounty measure that required every able-bodied man in affected counties to destroy grasshopper eggs for one day a week, for five straight weeks.

In the summer of 1877, the grasshoppers left just as quickly as they had arrived. An April snowstorm damaged many of their eggs, which encouraged farmers to redouble their efforts to destroy the grasshoppers. The surviving grasshopper eggs hatched, but by August, the grasshoppers had flown away. Many attributed the end of the grasshopper plague to divine intervention, since Governor Pillsbury had proclaimed April 26 a day of prayer, after receiving many requests to do so.” **

I’m first thunderstruck by two facts jumping off the page at me: that Cushman spearheaded state charity, and that a day of prayer is recorded as an action point. Will You guide me to ponder these notions? Will You give some insights as to how to intercede?

To the first point, it seems quite unusual for a Republican of this era to use state-funded relief. Cushman appears to be a man of principals, but not so rigid that he fails his constituents during such dire times of need. Will You bless him, and his commitment to the survival of his fellow man? Will You keep balance in this constant teeter-totter of public versus private charity within the souls of our leaders? If taxes were gifts, we would give them for Christmas. If charity is coerced, the heart disengages, and it no longer is charity but, perhaps, extortion. Have mercy on our “mercy”! 

It’s curious to me that politicians sometimes endorse prayer as an action point. Many leaders currently would see the endorsement of prayer as a failure to adequately separate “Church and State”. (Help me probe this a little longer!) Yet we condition our minds and spirits through repetitive thoughts daily; we listen to songs over and over, view movies again and again, and repeat instructions internally to project us past sales objections. (I know these are quite random, but perhaps they are also a form of prayer?)

I’m grateful to You, the masterful inventor of every grasshopper, for Your beautiful destruction of our security. Will You forgive our barriers to seeing the heart and mind conditioning, (aka “prayer”), as a legitimate response to the plagues of our lives? Will You make us flexibly rigid in our principals enough to love our neighbor as they experience heartache and misfortune?

** https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2013/06/winged-menace-minnesota-grasshopper-plagues-1873-1877

 

 

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