The Making of American California
Essay by Ronald W. Kirk
Imagine a vast, empty California! Alta California, under Spanish rule through the American colonial era remained virtually empty and undeveloped. The Spanish finally established missions to the Indians, the first in 1769 in San Diego, to counter Russian colonization on the northern coast. The Russians sought furs. Then came the rancho land grants.
Under the occupation of a handful of very large Spanish land grant ranchos, and later around 600 Mexican land grant ranchos, California continued essentially idle until near the mid-1800s. Imagine the entire state of California divided into only about 600 private properties, where a small contingent of aristocrats employed a permanent peasant class of workers pacified with fiestas. Read On
Compare Then and Now
Please consider the absurdity of irreligion and increasing trouble in the world we now live along side of the remarkable God-centeredness revealed in the foundations of American California. Ironically, a 1960s cult-classic movie shockingly seems to have foreboded the tyrannical implications of godlessness. The second essay of this newsletter focuses on that absurdity and irony. Today, God's wonderful mercy and grace once more is giving Americans the opportunity to bring goodness out of sinful chaos, a chance to rebuild the old waste places (Isaiah 58:12)…
Wild in the Streets—a Prophecy of Today?
Essay by Ronald W. Kirk
This was one of those eerie déjà vus. (What is the plural of déjà vu?) The Obama administration had arrived. The day after the election, I sadly but animatedly exclaimed to a beloved older relative that this was the end of historic America. A liberal, he didn't believe it. It wasn't long after this, I had a recurring thought—nightmare really—my déjà vu. And here it is:
Back in 1968, I saw a campy, but apparently popular movie called Wild in the Streets. I finally found Wild in the Streets, recently posted, on YouTube and I have watched it (now removed from YouTube). Shelly Winters, Ed Begley Sr., Richard Pryor, and Hal Holbrook starred. However, the lead was played by the then-young, well not that young, but now perhaps largely forgotten Christopher Jones. The IMDB.com biography for Christopher Jones, nee William Frank Jones, says he briefly enjoyed some cult-star fame after Wild in the Streets. In this movie, Christopher Jones plays Max Frost, a typical radical of the era. Apparently, the movie was quite successful financially. It included Cameos by well-known celebrities, such as Dick Clark, for example... Read On
In His love again immersed,
The painful pageant is rehearsed.
'Crucifixing-up' the worst,
Christ became for all…'the cursed'.
While men berate Him, hurt Him, hate Him
He yet loves them, one by one:
"You'll be with me"…"I'll forgive thee",
"Be His mother"…"Be her son".
Pain unslackened, sky was blackened,
Hell was coming, very near;
Aching, breaking, God-forsaking
Jesus Christ, His Son, so dear.
Then 'twas ended, He descended,
All was mended…gone, His breath.
Love transcending, heaven blending,
Made a tunnel out of death.
Though sin's still clinging, ever stinging,
Sorrow bringing, He'll forgive.
No more 'whying', fearing, crying,
Through His dying, all can live.
Amazing Raising, mind emblazing,
Back to life our Savior came.
Obeyed perfection, sin's correction,
Resurrection…Praise His Name!