Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Redlands: A Place I Call Home pt. 2

I finished the book on Redlands 'Old Timers' today on my lunch break at work. I was almost late going back because I couldn't put the book down! I still have to digest some of the stories from the people at the beginning, so I don't even know where to start! All I know is that I see Jesus all over these pages, working in the lives of people who offer everything they have for the betterment of those around them. Who doesn't love stories of redemption, crime fighting and restoration?!

Lewis Jacobs: When I read about Jacobs I get a picture of a man truly after business. It seemed that it
didn't matter the type of business he was in, it was the adventure itself that seemed captivating. He went from owning a store, to owning a saw mill to opening the first private bank in San Bernardino County. Through the bank, Jacob's was able to fund several projects that directly affected the growth of the cities in our valley. Just a few accomplishments were:

1. Panamint Stage Line, which made San Bernardino the supply center for mining
2. Arizona Stage Line to Yuma and Tucson
3. California Southern Railroad to San Diego
4. Electrification of the street car system
5. The citrus industry in Redlands and Riverside

He also loaned money to Judson and Brown to build the Bear Valley Dam in 1883. I am sure these were only a handful of the many things he was able to do with the resources he had gained from opening the bank. I can only imagine what it would be like to have the resources to fund the first steps of transportation into my city, or be a lender for business and exploration! For a brief article on some more history check this out!

Thomas J. Fitzgerald: Coined 'One of God's Gentlement', Father Fitzgerald came to America, Colorado to be specific, from Ireland to help in the recovery of his illness (not mentioned what it was). After a death diagnosis, he lived four more years in Colorado until he moved to Beaumont. When people learned that he was trained in the priesthood, they desperately wanted him to start a catholic church here in Redlands. At the time, Catholics had been highly persecuted by Spaniards and Indians and only about 10 Catholic families were left in the area. He finally accepted and started his work as a priest.

The thing I find most interesting is his attitude toward his community. He was a catholic, of course, but despite the recent history of persecution he went out of his way to meet the needs of his whole community, not just his church. He was on call day and night, without regard to denomination or race. He kept a hospital room to be ready for any emergency. It is noted that he was solely responsible for shifting the mindset of his community toward Catholics. "It is no mean achievement to have changed the thinking of a community and that is what Father Fitzgerald did." I would love to be able to put that on my resume: Skills: Excel, Outlook, Erasing prejudice, Organization......

Its not always what we do, but who we are that leaves the greatest impact, for if I do one million deeds but refuse to love a single person, I will go unseen... and even worse, Jesus himself will remain confined in the human eye. Its not for business, but for adventure! Its not for church, but for community! Its not for riches, but wealth in resources! Its not for me, but for all who desire to dream! Today is a day for redemption if you simply set aside the things that continue to tell you you can't, and just follow your feet because chances are you'll end up on someone's doorstep!

Until next time, have another full day of work, love, rest and of course a delicious cup of coffee!

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