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(4Desire Justice | Mount Up)

Rain From Heaven [09 May 2005|08:47pm]

I'll give this a shot if you don't mind that is ;)...

Episode #137 from Season #5. Here's a fine episode that displays a man's faith in God being restored. In this episode it opens with a rainmaker and his family riding into drought ridden Virginia City. He firmly believes that he can bring rain to the city and of course Ben doesn't believe any of the nonesense.

The man, Tulsa Weems believes that the drought is being caused by the devil himself and that the devil is also the cause for his daughter being so sick. When Ben refuses to buy into the guys nonesense Tulsa becomes upset and tries to shoot Ben. Roy Coffee of course arrests him. Meanwhile the Weems family has fled and taken refuge on the Ponderosa. Hoss comes across them and taking the risk because of the big heart he has, locks himself alone in the house with the Typhoid Fever sick child. He tries despertly to save the little girl all the while Ben is arguing with Weems and the man agrees to fighting this draught because of Hoss' sacrafice.

He tries and tries, yelling at the devil he has created in his mind and after complete failure Ben tells him that he should be looking to a different power. He tells Tulsa he should pray to God. Tulsa finally conceeds to Ben's argumentative claim and prays.

Back at the Ranch Hoss has managed to save the little girl and we see the rain has arrived at last. This episode teaches a lot about faith, love and human sacrafice.

(3Desire Justice | Mount Up)

[02 Mar 2005|10:21am]

[ mood | crazy ]

Alrighty, I want to open Discussion on "The Legacy" and "The Cricible"

In "The Legacy" Ben is believed dead and all three of the boys struggle with what kind of action to take.

In "The Crucible" Adam is held hostage in the wilderness and made to work until he 'breaks'.

These two eps are somewhat similiar in my opinion and bring to light a ton of thoughts about revenge and raw human emotion. 

The floor is open guys, have at it. 

I'll post my exact thoughts after I see yall taking part. 

(3Desire Justice | Mount Up)

Thoughts on "The Stranger" [17 Feb 2005|01:37am]

[ mood | pensive ]

Episode 24, Season 1
"The Stranger"
February 27, 1960

I really enjoyed captain_corky's reading of "The Stranger," and wanted to add some thoughts about that episode.

One thing that's really interesting about this episode is the way it addresses (or refuses to address) the moral status of Marie Cartwright. Marie is, at once, the sainted mother of Little Joe, and also the fallen woman. We are to identify her strongly with New Orleans, a town almost literally synonymous with decadence (Mardi Gras, anyone?). When it comes to Marie, the Bonanza-verse wants to have its cake and eat it, too. Her past is both nothing to be ashamed of and something to hide.

If Marie were still alive, we might be able to separate her experience into Marie's past and her repentant present. But, she is deceased, so what we have is not past and present, but past and past. This complicates the representation of Marie. We cannot separate her virtue from her sin, because they are both iterations of the dead Marie, which is exactly the problem Little Joe runs into when confronted with the truth about his mother. And so the question becomes one of rescuing her virtue. If her virtue is commingled with her sin, inseparable from it, then there is the concern that the sin may contaminate the virtue. This, we are told, is something that Marie herself was aware of. She was always concerned that the sin of her (then) old life would contaminate the domestic virtue of her (then) new life.

When Little Joe finds about his mother, he inherits the problem. His vision of his mother as sainted, domestic, virtuous, is threatened by a new representation of her as fallen, sinful. The representation of fallen Marie threatens to contaminate his vision of sainted Marie. And the episode becomes the story of how Little Joe reconciles these two representations of his mother.

First, he simply refuses to accept that his mother was ever anything but a picture of traditional womanhood. This cannot hold up against the evidence. Then, he tries to avoid a trial, because at a trial, the truth about his mother would come out for all to know1. It is Ben who reveals that back in New Orleans, he had avoided trial for the same reason, even though Marie did not want him to, not for her sake. And so the problem of reconciling the two representations of Marie is not her problem, it is the problem of men. It is they who find it so difficult to understand that a woman can be more than one thing, can have more than one kind of life, and need not deny one part of herself in order to be true to another part. When Ben convinces Little Joe to stand trial, he emphasizes that if Little Joe is escaping trial in order to hide Marie's past, he cannot be doing it for her sake. In allowing Marie's sin to become part of the public record, far from exposing her to humiliation and ridicule, he frees her to be a human being like any other human being, not a one-dimensional caricature of white womanhood (another theme with which Bonanza is obsessed, but more on that, elsewhere).

The symbolism of the trial is effective in two ways: one, it shows that Marie's entire experience can be put on public record without any damage to her dignity, and two, it's worth mentioning that literally speaking, it's not Marie on trial. It's first Ben and later Little Joe, only they make the mistake of thinking it's Marie in danger, when really it's only them. It's as though any questions of whether or how Marie is to be judged are not answerable by appeal to social institutions in general or man's institutions, in particular. The issue of Marie's virtue isn't settled by the maneuverings of these men--Ben, Little Joe, LaDuque. The men don't resolve her character so much as they discover a resolution that was already there.

We are, at all times, invited to share in Ben and Little Joe's high estimation of Marie, and we are invited to hate the man who would use her "past" as a weapon against her. It turns out that what's wrong with LaDuque is not just that he threatens to expose Marie's hidden past, but moreover that he thinks Marie's past is anything to be ashamed of at all. And yet the episode insists on the wrongness or sinfulness of that past, even while it insists that Marie ought not to be ashamed of it. And it's not just because she turned a new leaf, because we are forced to see her not as a woman who changed, but as a woman who was always two contradictory things at once.

This insistence on the rounded complexity of a woman makes "The Stranger" something of a feminist text (surprisingly enough for Bonanza!). But not wholeheartedly so. Schizophrenically, Bonanza passes judgment on Marie even while it denies its own authority to do so.

1I would like to thank Winter for opening discussion about "The Stranger." She makes many wonderful insights; I do, however, have one small bone to pick with her reading. Little Joe's decision to escape trial, and Ben's argument for facing trial, are not predicated on the rightness or wrongness of complying with the law. Little Joe's stated reason for escaping trial is that he wishes to protect his mother's virtue. Ben's stated reason for why Little Joe should face trial is primarily that Joe's mother wouldn't have wanted him to do such a thing for the sake of her reputation, and only secondarily that attending trial is the right thing to do. Ben doesn't actually contradict the assumption that in theory, if Marie had wanted her past hidden at all costs, then it could have been right for Little Joe to escape trial. I grant that these are only their explicitly stated reasons, but I see no evidence in "The Stranger" that they are being less than truthful in expressing their beliefs about this matter.

(6Desire Justice | Mount Up)

[31 Dec 2004|04:31pm]


Let's Welcome crazybeutuiful  to our home on the Ponderosa!!

(3Desire Justice | Mount Up)

[29 Dec 2004|11:46am]

[ mood | accomplished ]

The Hopefuls

October 8, 1960
Pretty Regina Darien persuades Adam to escort her wagon train on a treacherous journey west.
Written by: E. Jack Newman
Directed by: James Neilson
Guest stars: Patricia Donahue (Regina Darien), Larry Gates (Rev. Jacob Darien), Dennis Patrick (Sam Board) 


I hope nothing bad happens. I hope things will turn out al right. I hope, I hope, I hope. Hope is only a part of the bigger picture. Hope will get you nowhere without faith. Hope will get you nowhere without action. You can’t simply hope for good grades, hope for money, hope for justice. You must act. That is what we see in ‘The Hopefuls’. In the beginning, the family’s way of life seems reasonable. They wish everyone peace and they cause no trouble. They claim to have faith in God.


They came through Virginia City quickly and quietly, except for a small scuffle, ended by Adam. Adam and a new friend decide to accompany them for a way and this is when the trouble starts. The friend, Sam Board, soon decides the peace loving family will be easy to rob and leaves the group and waits, waits until Adam is supposed to leave. But Adam does not. Sam finds that he has been found out but robs them anyway.




Adam is left with the decision. Get the money back and risk going against the peaceful teaching of the people, one of which he has come to admire or let Sam get away with everything they had.



It comes to the realization that action, even violent action, is necessary at the right time.


*The peaceful family has a mentality mentioned in Proverbs 16:13 “The lazy person is full of excuses, saying, “I can’t go outside because there might be a lion in the road! Yes, I’m sure there is a lion out there!”


*They are willing to be trampled by the evil ones simply to avoid trouble.

Proverbs 15:26 “If the godly compromise with the wicked, it is like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.”


*They will not speak against anyone. But as said in Proverbs 27:5 “An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”


*Their way of life is based on scripture such as Proverbs 20:22 “Don’t say ‘I will get even for this wrong.’ Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.”


Perhaps peace is misunderstood. It is hard to make peace. A person, finding himself in the middle of a war, can pretend he is living in a peaceful country until he dies, but it will not be so. To find peace he must either leave the country or fight to gain peace again. Pretending will never do.



Mathew 10: 16 “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be as weary as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and beaten in the synagogues. And you must stand trial before governors and the kings because you are followers. This will be your opportunity to tell them about me-yes, to witness to the world.”


*To be as weary as serpents means to be wise and cunning. As harmless as doves means to not provoke any kind of ill will.



God doesn’t work as he did in biblical times. Perhaps if it had been the Israelites life saving the crooks stole a great pillar of fire would have stopped them and the money would have been returned. However, this was not the case and the peaceful people perhaps didn’t realize that their miracle was in the form of a man named Adam Cartwright.


“We shall pray that this test shall come not to us and that once again we shall be delivered.”—Jacob


 *How long can they expect that God will not test them? God does test Hid people. To deny this is to deny a character building life.

“7These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”


In the Bible, God sent plenty of his people to war, especially when it was the Israelites. God promised them the Land but they had to work for it, they had to fight and die for it. In ‘The Hopefuls’ the family just hopes to get there by the skin of their teeth. The only work they did to get there was to travel from Ohio, a long trek but hardly a desperate trial.

Deut 20:1-3   “1 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: "Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them.”


*When God ordains the fight and when the reasons for it are just, He will deliver His people.


We cannot live in a Hopeful way, we must live in a faithful way, a bold way, the way Christ lived as an example to us.


2 Timothy 4:7  

7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

(1Desire Justice | Mount Up)

[29 Dec 2004|10:07am]

[ mood | busy ]

Please excuse the lack of pictures with 'the Stranger' study. A technical problem arose during spell check. This will not happen again, if I can help it.

Expect a new study within the next two days.


(1Desire Justice | Mount Up)

The Stranger [29 Dec 2004|10:06am]

Episode 24, Season 1
"The Stranger"
February 27, 1960
Undeserved Kindness Saves lives in "The Stranger"
By Megan (~Winter~)
When "The Stranger" opens we are presented with the wonderful news that Ben Cartwright plans to run for Governor when Nevada finally becomes a state.

But there's this guy. Now we don't like him to begin with because he practically attacks Little Joe, after commenting negatively about Ben. Something’s going on, obviously. Of course Joe is angry, who wouldn't be. Not that it isn't common place to hear a random stranger spout nonsense about his Father, it seems to happen often but poor Little Joe will never get used to it, as he shouldn't.
The man's name is Charles LaDuke and he's in Virginia City to retrieve Ben Cartwright for trial, trial for murder.
"Now I know you're lying." Little Joe tells him after hearing the charges against his Father.
Marie Cartwright, Little Joe's Mother was Louisiana French, as we have heard often but in this episode we find that she may have had a past she was quite ashamed of or simply didn't want to have brought into her new life with Ben Cartwright and his two sons. When faced by a man from her past, Simon LaRoch, she succumbed to his blackmail and paid to keep that past hidden. When Ben found out he was furious and immediately found LaRoch to settle the matter. Sadly the story ends in the killing of LaRoch. As usual Ben fired in self-defense and as usual there was someone who said that was a lie, Charles LaDuke. After fleeing LaDuke's murderous chase, Ben was pardoned for LaRoch's murder and for 20 years now had stayed clear of the matter. But because LaDuke fell during the chase and shot himself in the knee he has never forgiven Ben Cartwright. Now he has come with a false warrant for Ben's arrest and plans to kill him before they reach Louisiana where the trial is supposedly to be held.
Little Joe, after hearing all this from his Father returns to Virginia City to face LaDuke and ends up killing his partner. When Ben finds out he suddenly feels shame. It seems to him that his own story is playing out in his son and now the lie has come up again, La Duke accuses Joe of killing the man in cold blood.

Ben, find Little Joe as his Mother's grave and convinces him to return to Virginia City and face what he has done. Joe is sure he will not be pardoned. LaDuke was so set on slandering his Mother and bringing him down in the process, while still trying to get Ben for himself.
* LaDuke's Futile Plans for destruction
Proverbs 16: 2 tell us: "Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an unfair curse will not land on its intended victim" LaDuke's attempt to frame Ben Cartwright is futile. His 'curse' is unfair or unwarranted. He cannot succeed in his evil attempt to destroy Ben's life or to kill him.
*LaDukes Desire for destruction will never be fulfilled
"Just as death and destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied." Proverbs 27: 20 LaDuke's desire for evil is human. It is natural to desire revenge and unnatural to desire to be kind to our enemies.
*Ben's Amazing Patience
"It is better to be patient than powerful; it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city." Proverbs 16:32. When Ben found out about LaDukes arrival in town and then that he had hit his youngest son, the natural thing for a Father and Husband to a diseased wife to do would be to seek out the man and do him 'justice' as soon as possible. But Ben is smarter than that. He cannot be sure that LaDuke's warrant for his arrest is false. And refusing to obey the law can't help the situation at all. "To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them." Proverbs 28:4. By obeying LaDuke's orders Ben draws attention to the fact that he is not guilty of cold-blooded murder, a true murderer would flee justice. By fleeing the law he would add fuel to the already growing fire against him.
*Ben's Sacrifice
Perhaps the most astonishing and moving part about this episode is when Ben forsakes his own safety to get LaDuke to clear Little Joe of the charge of murder.

"Now, you clear my boy and I'll go back to New Orleans with you." Ben tells LaDuke and LaDuke agrees wholeheartedly. And so Ben goes, unarmed, alone, on horseback with LaDuke, leaving his three some to wonder, perhaps to never hear from him again. But Little Joe is safe and so is Marie Cartwright's name.
*Ben's unmerited Kindness
Another moving and unexpected moment in "The Stranger" that truly teaches us a lesson is when Ben refuses to break his word to LaDuke, even after the man admits he has plans to kill Ben before reaching New Orleans.

"No, I don' want to kill you." Ben tells LaDuke and he means it because after being ambushed my Indians and becoming horseless they set off on foot to the next weigh station, 20 miles away. Before they reach it however, LaDuke almost looses consciousness because of the long hard journey and his knee. Perhaps it isn't as astonishing as all that, Ben usually makes the best choice in these matters, but today in the world that we live in, we rarely see his self sacrificing choice to drag LaDuke the rest of the way, forsaking the discarded gun and saving the man who wanted to desperately to kill him.

"Why didn't you leave me out there to die? I intended to kill you."
Deuteronomy 32:35 God says: "I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it. In due time their feet will slip." Ben made the right choice in saving LaDuke from certain death, he could have easily picked up the shotgun dropped by LaDuke and taken care of business then and there. He could have found the weigh station alone, requested a horse and ridden back to the Ponderosa free. But what really makes this seem wrong is when LaDuke makes this statement: "Can't kill without hate, and now the hate is gone." By doing what he did Ben did more than just save LaDuke's physical life, he restored the man's dignity by erasing the hate that LaDuke had stored for so many years.
Proverbs 25:21-22 sums up the message of this episode perfectly and cause us to truly think: "If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. You will heap burning coals on their heads, and the Lord will reward you."

(Mount Up)

[16 Dec 2004|02:22pm]

[ mood | curious ]

A great Ponderosa welcome to sandwalker and sparowe !!!

Feel free to post any thoughts. I feel like I'm out here alone in the desert. lol.


(2Desire Justice | Mount Up)

False Witness (Finsh what you start) The Avenger [16 Dec 2004|01:28pm]

[ mood | contemplative ]

The Avenger

March 19, 1960

Written by: Clair Huffaker

Directed by: Christian Nyby

Guest stars: Vic Morrow (Lassiter), Jean Allison (Sally Byrnes)


False witnesses and strong finishers in "The Avenger"

By Megan



When this episode opens we automatically know everything is going to be fine. How else could there be over 300 more episodes to come if Ben and Adam die? But the road to understanding this episode is long and we pay attention, yes everything is going to turn out good, but how do the events take a turn? The circumstances leading to the happy ending of "The Avenger" can speak volumes to one willing to listen.


This episode demonstrates the consequences of being a false witness and the guilt that goes along with it. The courage to finish what you start and hold out to the bitter end, no matter who you are standing against or what the odds are.




*The Cartwright’s good reputation earns them true loyalty even from a stranger. The man we meet, and he's known as Lasiter because of the town he came from, comes looking for the man who hanged his father. He assumes that it must be Ben Cartwright after asking some questions around town. But when he visits Ben and Adam in jail and witnesses their peacful appraoch to the possibility of death, he comes to realize that men with such integrity could not be guilty of murder.

 Proverbs 22:1 "Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold."



 As the time of the hanging draws near, Hoss and Little Joe begin to find out who their real friends are. Person after person refuses to sign the petition to release Ben and Adam. Lasiter however, as soon as he left the jail, decided on his stand on the matter.

"You a friend of the Cartwrights?" A man asked him in the saloon.

"Yeah" Lasiter answered uninterestedly.

"Long standin'?" The man askes, looking for trouble.

"Ten or fifteen minutes." Lasiter answeres truthfully, knowing full well who he is talking to, a man against the Cartwrights.

Proverbs 17:17 "A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need." 



 It was Sally's father who was murdered. And Ben and Adam who she accuses of that murder. With the only other witness gone, she is now the only person who could stand in the way of the noose. She chooses to step aside. Lasiter visits her and slowly but surely plants the seed of doubt in her mind. He calmly talks to her and does not sharply condemn her as Little Joe has done before, accusing her of lying. As true as it is, she does not react to being yelled at but the shrewd tactics of the stranger work on her mind. Lasiter demonstraits perfectly Mathew 10:16 "Behold, I send you as sheep amoung wolves.: Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." With his soft rebukes but blunt honesty he persuades Sally to tell the truth. 

Proverbs 14:25 "A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor."



Ben Cartwright has always been a moral man and we see this often enough. When put in such a situation we see the basis of this morality, the basis of his faith. He is constantly reading his Bible and the evil men in town scorn him for it. "Think he's prayin' for one of them miricles?" One of the trouble makers says in the saloon.

 Proverbs 15:29 "The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears the prayers of the righteous."

Proverbs 11:11 "Upright citizens bless a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart."



  Poor Jimmy. The Sheriff was going to give him a quarter for delivering the Cartwright's last meal. But the boy didn't accept the job for the quarter, he wanted to do somthing good for the Cartwrights, he told Lasiter. When the rowdy men drop dirt and ashes in the bucket of stew, the boy is angered. Lasiter has the best advice for him: "You finish what you started." And Jimmy goes off again to fill the bucket.



  "I was too late they told me. They was tyin' up their hands so's to hang 'em." Jimmy says, coming dejected and discouraged in the door of Sally's resuraunt. But even with this loss, Lasiter won't let the boy's spirits be  dampened. "Everything's gonna turn out alright." He tells the boy. 

 Deut 31:6 "Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them! The Lord your God will go a head of you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you."





 It's true that without Little Joe and Hoss things wouldn't have turned out so good but without the man we knew for a short time as Lasiter, things may have been dark indeed. The man he was looking for he found and it was the man that headed up the accusations against the Cartwrights. And then, humbly, he rode off into the darkness having finished his duty of vengance and having saved two other lives.


Other Scripture

Exodus 23:1 "Do not pass along false reports. Do not cooperate with evil people by telling lies on the witness stand. Do not join a crowd who plans to do evil. When you are on the witness stand, do not be swayed in your testimony by the opinion of the majority."


Deut 5:20 "Do not testify falsely against your neighbor."


Proverbs 22:8 "Those who plant seeds of injustice will harvest disaster, and their reign of terror will end."

(2Desire Justice | Mount Up)

Welcome! [10 Dec 2004|10:34am]

[ mood | creative ]

Welcome to Bonanza Lessons!

Please join us an often as you wish to discuss Bonanza episodes and what we can learn from them. Any kind of discussion is permitted as long as it is all about Bonanza or making a point about a lesson learned. This Community is Christian Based so please do not be offended by posts that include scripture or Biblical principle, please take it for what it is worth and move on if that isn't your thing.

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