20th Century, Agriculture, History, Intercession, Minnesota, State Government

Nonpartisan League

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1918
The farmers’ Nonpartisan League, a reform group that advocates state control of the grain industry, runs candidates in the Republican primary. The NPL loses in the primary, but joins Minnesota’s branch of the Minnesota American Federation of Labor in forming the Farmer-Labor party.*

“In the 1910s, farmers began to decry poor market conditions and violations of their economic rights. Middlemen in the grain elevator, stockyard, cold storage, banking, and rail industries regularly gouged farmers. To fight corporate interests, the NPL was formed in North Dakota in 1915.
The NPL was founded by former Socialist Party member Arthur Townley, who was also a failed flax farmer. The NPL advocated state-run mills, grain elevators, stockyards, and warehouses. In order to protect farmers further, the NPL fought for state insurance programs, pensions, and employment bureaus. After success in North Dakota’s 1916 election, the NPL began to expand. Minnesota became the center of its activities.”**

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Lord, we say we love fairness, justice, and equal rights under the law, but our practice of these traits are very imperfect and human! Have mercy! Farmers of this era wanted to address the folly and failures of the Democrats and Republicans to represent their views and grievances. They wanted a way out of the “us versus them” paradigm in Saint Paul, and Washington! Lord, hear their prayers!

Will You forgive their root judgments based on politics? Will You forgive the Wall Street Republicans their willingness to commoditize a Democratic farming way of life, and to see all Progressives as revolutionary radicals instead of neighbors desperate for change? Will You forgive the Socialist and Progressives their judgments of the passivity of the Democrats, and characterizing all Republicans as greedy “Wall Streeters”? Will You forgive Democrats their judgments and fears of Socialist extremism, Progressive utopianism, and Republican heartlessness?

We have failed You as traders and transporters of commodities. Those who weighed the grain and set the prices for the train have dishonored You, and the farmers of Minnesota. Through Solomon, perhaps the greatest economic mind the earth has ever known, You have said: “The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.” Proverbs 11:1 NIV Will You have mercy on all forms of dishonest trading and transport of agricultural commodities? Will You restore our broken trust, and teach us better ways to raise, assess value, and distribute food?

Our Socialism, Progressivism, Democratism, and Republicanism has tested You as the owner of all the yields of the Land of 10,000 Lakes. We have ignored Your voice because we listen through the filter of all our ‘isms’. We have discounted each other in opinion and fact. Have mercy!

We listen and ponder this parable of Jesus:
“A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one they beat and treated shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. He sent a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.
Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘this is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” Luke 20:9-16 NIV

In its original context, this story was a rebuke of the misuse of authority of the chief priests, elders, and teachers of the law known as the Sanhedrin. The farmers of the vineyard symbolize the people of Israel. The servants represent the prophets of G-d whom the people rejected, the heir represented the Messiah, and the landowner is G-d the Father.

Yet, I see another interpretation of this text relevant to the NPL, the “isms”, and the economic forces of Wall Street. Perhaps each of these forces stumble over their self-importance: the farmer-laborer, the politicians, the bankers, and the traders? Is it possible that each sees themselves as the owner, therefore, possessing the final say over their property? Each has refused the reasonable messages of the servants and heirs sent to them?

Eternal Father, will You forgive us for attempting to own Your possessions? Will You forgive us the rejection of our opponent’s message and messengers? Will You forgive the misbelief in the revolutionary spirit of our heart that drives us to overthrow and possess? Will You forgive the independence of the NPL, the co-dependence of the Democratic and Republican parties and Wall Street?

We give You the false heart motives of this era, and ask that take them up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ. We ask that Your blood cleanses and frees us from every attachment of the Enemy that hinders the agriculture of Minnesota. We ask that You establish proper boundaries for all these groups both present and future. Will You be the Judge of Minnesota, so we can practice the blessing of being truly Nonpartisan?

*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!
**Excellent source of information on NPL and all history Minnesota! http://www.mnopedia.org/group/nonpartisan-league

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19th Century, Architecture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Transportation

Stone Arch Bridge Opens

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Nov 23, 1883
The Stone Arch Bridge spans the Mississippi below St. Anthony Falls. Once called “Jim Hill’s Folly,” the bridge provides a crossing for trains and becomes a Minneapolis landmark.*

First, I need to confess my bias against the railroad barons based on my reading in college. The rails often made choices that yielded pain for the Midwestern farmer, manufacturer, or anyone who wasn’t in partnership with them. (They would have sweetheart deals for themselves and their allies, and charge exorbitant prices to the farmer whose harvest would spoil if they waited for a better deal. I do not abhor competition, but bristle when I sense oligarchic or monopolistic control.)
I find myself harboring bitterness towards them, and towards this spirit in man that is willing to use the law in SELF service. I confess my judgements and bitterness towards James Hill, and the way the railroads were constructed in this state and nation. Lord, quite honestly, I hate the heritage of price fixing and theft! I abhor the curse that these judgments have put on our state, its’ people, our freedom of travel, and all lands that were granted, bought or stolen by the railroad lines. I despise how the rails withheld the good that they could have chosen to perform for their fellow man, and still yielded a generous profit!
Yet, I am a man of mixed motives just like them. I withhold from doing the good I know I can do, and sin against my brother in my heart. I judge them. I think evil of them in my thoughts. I harbor resentment. Lord Jesus, King of the Universe, have mercy on me a sinner for my judgments!
Lord Jesus, it is You who taught the fish to swim, the rabbit to hop, the horse to run, the people to walk, the wind to blow, the moon to orbit, and sent us the sunshine we feel today from millions of light years’ away! You are the Master of All Transportation! Will You forgive the sins by James J. Hill against Minnesotans’? Will you forgive our collective counter judgements of him, his companies, and generations? Will You bring blessing to every rail, every piece of land, every train, every rail employee, and all the cargo that enters or exits this state of Minnesota? Will You profoundly bless the Stone Arch bridge, and redeem its’ symbolism? Will You be the bridge and span this rift? 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!

**Read more about these lovely arches? https://www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/historical_sites/stone_arch_bridge/#group_2_150339

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19th Century, Civics, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics

Hubbard Becomes Governor

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Jan 10, 1882 to Jan 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. Hubbard County, established in 1883, is named in honor of him.*

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. ^(see Hebrews 7:25 link) 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 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!

*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/hebrews/7-25.htm

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19th Century, Business, History, Industry, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Railroad Introduction Jun 28, 1862

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Minnesota’s first railroad line begins operation when the William Crooks travels ten miles from St. Paul to the village of St. Anthony (present-day Minneapolis). Within ten years the state is laced with railroad lines, opening up vast inland regions to farming and lumber.

To get here, the William Crooks rode on tracks to LaCrosse, Wisconsin then was shipped by steamboat to St. Paul. Until the railroads, steamboats and the rivers they ride are the most efficient way to move goods in and grain and logs out.*

Thanks for the innovations that led to the railways in MInnesota! We have been blessed with excellent passenger and freight transportation here for about 150 years! I bless the changes the William Crooks brought to this generation by the authority of Jesus. May these rails continue to be a blessing to this state in perpetuity!

Good Dad, as I meditate today with You on the subject of trains, I feel a bit of melancholy. Like any good father, You relish the growth, achievements, and inventions of Your kids as they play. You “play trains” with us, and relish as we delight in building, connecting, and traveling.

While this snapshot of time, the coming of the William Crooks, was born peaceably, our methodology and timing in building many future rail lines left much to be desired. What would a dad say to a kid, who when playing with his siblings, demanded that they sign numerous deeds or legal contracts that gave him dominance of their shared playroom or basement? What would a dad say to a daughter who demanded that her brother be permanently removed from the premises because she needed more room for her elaborate train set?

Granted, the real-life complexities of building these lines in 1862 were much more severe than the basement scenario. How does one negotiate a deal between two parties that share little commonality in their definitions of property and ownership? How does one reach resolution when each parties’ land needs or transportation needs are so different?

Lord, forgive and heal Minnesota of every bad fruit and judgment that sprung from the dissonance of these deals. Will You forgive railway companies, their land agents, or any other parties in authority their sins against Native Americans stemming from the land granted them by the federal, state, or local government? We still bear their burden of having sinned against You when we take land or property from one, and give it to another without price! Will You forgive tribes, though often truly wronged, the maintenance of this offense into the present era? (May they receive justice, but be free from transference in their hearts.) How will You heal these broken hearts? Bind us up, Lord!

Hear my prayer, may all forms of coercive redistribution of wealth and property cease in the state of Minnesota! May your Holy Spirit so move on our state and people that we would give and share our land and property, our selves, and our time according to Your pleasure! In many ways, we have lost the joy of giving because our much of our charity is routed through faceless government institutions rather than through human relationships. Help us solve this problem too.

Holy Spirit, will You enable us to give the unlimited resources of heaven to our fellow man through prayer and fasting! May You fill internal chasms of heart that sometimes drive our reckless consumption and fuel our frenetic needs for doing, and cut us off from being. Change what we desire; what we want! In the words of David in Psalms 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”

*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!

 

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