Today is Easter morning, and it was so good this morning to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and our life in Christ. As I am now at home relaxing in Him, I want to share with you one of my adventures about a week ago. I walked across the Coon Rapids Dam and along the Mississippi River. I will give you just a few of the photos I took along the way. This is Mr. Canada geese–very common in Minnesota.
I also saw these Mallard ducks. I don’t know why but the female always takes the lead. It is a picture of our backward culture, since the male (the husband) is to be the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23), though I suppose he can lead from the back.
Part of the way along the river is quite treacherous. But that is part of the adventure.
This is the Coon Rapids Dam, in Coon Rapids Minnesota. There is a walking path above the dam. On a windy day when you walk across you will feel sprinkles of water from the water falls.
It was so sad to see those few cops badly abuse and kill George Floyd. They all should have been arrested and charged for murder immediately. We all saw what happened. There was no doubt about what happened. They murdered that poor man.
We all were stunned and angered, and what Mayor Jacob Frey said about it didn’t help at all. He inflamed the situation. He immediately declared that it was racial hatred, white against black, when there was no evidence of it. So, before long protesting began. At first, it was about justice; but very soon an evil riotous nature rose up in many hearts and things quickly got out of control. What began as a protest for the killing of George Floyd soon turned into mindless rioting and venting of anger. Here are few relevant quotes:
Looting is not protesting. Burning down homes and businesses is not protesting.
The thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd.
The rioters have nothing to do with George Floyd.
But why wasn’t the rioting stopped at the start? Why was it allowed to continue? Here are a few reasons:
Lack of Leadership. Minneapolis has a total lack of leadership: a very weak and radical left Mayor—Jacob Frey.
Criminal friendly policies. Progressive Democrats are incapable of keeping their people safe, because they have criminal-friendly policies that are pathetic, that are dangerous, and now we are seeing the results not only in Minneapolis, but in many other cities.
Lack of courage in fighting crime. Democrat Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Democrat Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz should resign because they gave up a police precinct. They told their police officers to flee a precinct and it burned down by the rioters. They both should resign and be replaced by somebody who can protect the people.
Other relevant quotes:
In Democrat cities you can get arrested for opening a business but not for looting one.
We need to fight and arrest the bad guys [not let them take over].
All the cities that are defended so poorly are run by liberal Democrats.
What we need to do?
We need to clearly see the situation as it is and do something. All Minnesotans need to see that they need better, stronger leadership. They need to kick out the Democrats who are clearly tearing the state apart. They need to elect good Republican leaders who care for the people, root out crime, and do a better job at governing.
After I graduated from Coastal Carolina Community College, it seemed right for me to move home to Minnesota, and to reconnect with my mom. Even though I did drive home every Christmas (with my friend Dave Peterson who also lived in Minnesota), I hadn’t been home for any extended time since I graduated from high school. I went from high school right into the Marines and Vietnam; and then after the Marines I stayed in North Carolina with the Navigators for the next four years. I was definitely ready to go home.
My mom was recently divorced, had sold her house, and was now living in an apartment in St. Louis Park. When I got home, I had no plans, so, at first, I was just bumming off of mom. But after a week or so I found a job as a kitchen Stewart at the Radisson Hotel in Bloomington. My job description was a kitchen supervisor, but I actually did a lot more than supervise. Yes, I supervised the dish washers, but I also did scheduling, made coffee for all the parties and events, and made sure there was enough dishes washed for all the events. It was a huge job and I didn’t get paid much more than a dish washer. I didn’t complain much, but now that I think about it, I should have gotten paid twice as much as a dish washer—because of all the responsibility I had. I think I worked there for about four months, until I started asking myself, “Why am I here?” and “What do I rally want in my life?”
The answer to myself, and really to my prayers, were to continue on the same course that I was on with the Navigators—something in Christian ministry. I knew my mom had gone to Northwestern Bible College for a short time, so that seemed like the logical choice. I went right for it. I quit my job at the Radisson, I talked to a counselor at the college, and before I knew it, I was all set up. I was surprised at how fast things were moving. I was accepted almost right away, I had no problem getting a government school loan, and I had an entire year of classes that transferred from my previous college—no problem.
Well, I was going to college again. But this time I felt I had a clearer purpose and a stronger desire.
My grandparents on my mom’s side were a lot different than my grandparents on my dad’s side. Grandpa was a house painter for the first few years of his work life; and then, when he was about forty, he began working in the Minneapolis Post Office until he retired. I think what people most remember about Him was his dedication to Christian ministry. In his younger years he would travel around and sing gospel songs in a men’s group, and my mom would play the piano. She was only about 16 or 17; of course, I wasn’t born yet, but I heard about it and have seen pictures.
My grandpa was also a fill-in preacher. But I think his biggest mission was what he did with Christian literature. He and a few others would meet regularly and box up and send used and slightly damaged books and literature overseas to missionary groups and churches all over the world. I helped out one time and I was quite impressed by how much literature they were able to get—which was donated from Christian book stores, and groups such as the Billy Graham Association.
Grandpa and Grandma Anfinsen moved a few times, but the place I remember most was their house in Minnetonka, Minnesota, right on Lake Minnetonka. I remember that house so well, and grandpa saying that Rosie (or grandma) wanted a pink house. So he painted the entire house bubblegum pink. He also painted the garage pink and the fence around the house pink, and even the fishing barge pink. Grandma loved it! And she loved flowers; she planted mostly pink ones all around the house, and the garage, and along the fence, and around the trees. It was plain to see that grandpa and grandma loved each other—just by the way they looked at each other and how they talked to each other.
Every summer they invited all the relatives (about 50, on my mom’s side) over to their home just to sit and visit and eat. There was always plenty of room in the back yard, and it was beautiful with all the flowers. And for the kids, grandpa or uncle Marv would break out the croquet set. And then later in the afternoon grandpa would fire up the barge motor to go fishing. The pink barge was quite large, about 20 feet square. Grandpa made it himself. It was a simple floor with a fence around it; and under the floor were 60-gallon drums that made it float. Fishing was always good. We never caught any big ones, like Northerns or Walleyes, but we always caught plenty of Crappies and Sunfish—with worms.
Christmas time was always special, and it was the tradition to meet at grandma Knutson’s house in Minneapolis. That was my grandma Anfinsen’s mother. Grandma loved to see everyone; and she was funny, and would love to laugh and talk to the kids, and to remind them to be good! She was all Norwegian and had a strong Norwegian accent.
The thing I remember most about Christmas at grandma Knutson’s house was when all us kids, about a dozen of us, would go wild in the basement and run around and around the furnace. I must have been very young then, about 6 or 7. I also liked all the sweet foods laid out on the tables—all the Norwegian sweets like krumkake and lefsa.
The last thing we all did was gather around and sing carols—and opened gifts. Grandpa would always take charge of announcing and leading the songs, and leading the devotional and prayers. And the way he led, and what he said, and the way he said it was always so inspirational. You could tell he was so proud of his family; and you also knew he was so dedicated to God.
Later in life grandpa and grandma moved to a smaller house in Ortonville, Minnesota; and again, on a lake. And I didn’t see them much anymore. And the most touching thing was when they died. Both of them died almost at the same time, only a few hours apart. Everyone said that that was so fitting; for just as they were always together in life on this earth, they left this earth in the same way—together.