19th Century, education, Governors, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Social Studies, State Government

Pillsbury Becomes Governor

george_alfred_pillsbury

 

January 7, 1876 to January 10, 1882

“John S. Pillsbury became the state’s 8th governor. As Minnesota’s eighth governor, Pillsbury was a practical and compassionate administrator, finally resolving a sensitive railroad bond issue and increasing aid to those ravaged by the grasshopper plague. He also encouraged legislators to create the office of public examiner to detect and purge corruption in public office.” * 

Lord, thanks that You have chosen to spread Your gifts out among us so we are aware of our need for each other! Thanks for John S. Pillsbury and the benefits of his governorship.  It appears that he was skilled in mediation and negotiation. Will You forgive the bitter roots that come from even his best negotiations? 

Will You again kindly watch between the railroad interests, ( or any major future economic power), and the people and Minnesota? Will You forgive  us when we expect the State to rescue us, and do not see the provision that You have for us? Will You sanctify the suffering caused by: the grasshopper plague, the corruption of the government, and the dominance of the railroads? Forgive us our flippant and well-forged assessments as we forgive our assessors!

 

Standard
19th Century, death, Geology, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, Treaties, U.S. Government, war

U.S. – Dakota War Battle of Birch Coulee Sep 2, 1862

Unknown

September 2, 1862
“Just before sunrise the sharp crack of a warning shot signaled the start of the Battle of Birch Coulee, one of the hardest fought battles of the U.S.-Dakota War. The Dakota kept U.S. soldiers under siege for 36 hours before a relief detachment arrived from Fort Ridgely.” *

A coulee is a term derived from the French word “couler” which means “to flow”.
In the Midwest, coulee often describes a three-sided valley formed by erosion. Perhaps both of these descriptions seem symbolic of spiritual and relational realities that the Holy Spirit wants to reveal through this event. Let’s think about this!

In the context of this battle, a three-sided valley acted as a place of entrapment where the blood flowed. Where can one escape in a three-sided valley with the enemy blocking the only hope for escape? Yet, geographically Midwestern coulees are often green places of growth, a shelter from the wind, and a location where the water flows outward in one direction.

What apt symbols of war and peace? Like in the Battle of Birch Coulee, when human beings practice a mindset of “us versus them” there is no escape; only kill or be killed. Yet, Jehovah Shalom (G-d our Peace), shows us a way out of our two-sided oppositional positions, and reveals a third perspective to us; one where His mercy triumphs over our judgment. When we can yield our pride to Him, maybe we can see the lovingkindness He has for our opponent, gain a new perspective, and flow peacefully together in one direction?

In Your mercy, Lord hear our prayer. Will You intervene in the long-term aftermath of this battle? We have sinned against You and the place of Birch Coulee. Will You forgive the bitter judgments of all participants? Will You make this site a holy site of peace? To the Minnesotan, American, and Dakotan of this event, and their generations, I speak this truth; “…A Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

To many of my contemporaries, even the concept of a Savior, or needing a Savior, is offensive. Yet, I wish to add a confession of behalf of myself, my peers, and especially the Church within this State. We live in a time where “self-determination” is esteemed as a political right, and sometimes as a worldview that shapes much of our decision-making. Will You forgive us this offense, and the places we have become imbalanced in terms of “self”?

We correctly see that we have a right to our “self”, but our trust is broken and incomplete . We don’t see another’s right to “self” because we trust solely in our human abilities. We do not seek, believe in, or rely on an “other” perspective greater than our “self”. So, we do battle, both parties attempting to preserve their precious “self”.

So, we do battle to preserve this precious “self” that You have given us.Yet there is another way! You are the rightful Advocate and Mediator of all our relationships because only You completely see the Infinite worth of every human, every life, all matter, all Spirit under the sun! You would bring Infinity and timeless perspective to our moments of potential conflict if we only inquired, listened, and received Your insights.

Will You show us the eternal “win-win”, “honor-honor”, and “mercy-mercy” of our negotiations? Will You teach us the ways of “other-determination”? Amen.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3,4

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

 

Standard