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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Angel

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For the last two weeks, ACORN has followed what could be a success story. It could be time for Jake Coles to close shop and head out for a long vacation. Lola will be left in charge. The American dream has always promised this; work hard and give your all and things happen. This could be why people are risking their lives to cross the border into the 48 States.

The season is upon us and if you blinked, you could have missed Christmas trees and toys are already in the stores. I know that other holidays are to be celebrated first but get the juices flowing so when the time comes we will help the merchants report the best spending time ever!

I know I am rushing it, but snow is already falling in the northwest. It takes me back many years as a boy that snow meant home made custard and jam cake and many songs to sing at church about the Christmas time. It might be the baby Jesus and angels in the heavens but it is always a special time of the year.

A friend in an act of kindness gave my wife a small angel statue that can display wings of different colors;it’s very impressive. Of course we do not know what these spiritual beings created to be messengers and stand in the presence of God really look like. They took a form to visit Abraham (Genesis 18) and one wrestled with Jacob(Genesis 32). Books upon books have been written on the subject of angels. TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL ran for 9 seasons on TV and made all the actors very rich. We are now in the holiday season and many stores will be selling articles pertaining to angels. If you do get to discuss angels with someone while shopping be prepared for a fully functioning system that angels are essential to our modern society. The following are a few questions people have posted on the internet:

(1) Have you ever met a supernatural messenger or envoy?
(2) When you heard someone speak about meeting angels, did you think they were weird?
(3) What do you think an angel feels when humans reject its message ?
(4) If you believe that angels exist and act in our world,how should you live your life?
(5) What image do you think of when you see angels portrayed at Christmas?

Are angels sent forth today as ministering spirits to mankind would be the question to answer. The whole concept is that this would be a miraculous event but miracles have ended (1 Corinthians 13:8-10;Ephesians 4:8-16). Since the supernatural stage no longer exist so God employs angels to implement his will on the behalf of his saints in today’s world. It cannot be proven today angels appear in the human form as in ancient times (Acts 10). BUT in extreme times of danger this should not stop us from praying that God will intervene on our behalf (Daniel 3:19-25).

The friend and my wife have passed away—I try my best to remember both as special people.
(next week, I will try to solve a problem, common to many of us!)

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Life

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Two senior citizens were sitting on a courthouse bench whittling and discussing the merits of being rich. A friend of theirs had most of what money could buy. As they listed what he had, they comically would say,”And I wouldn’t want to live like that!”

Many have the chance to “live like that” today.

If a family has two good incomes it is possible to have an 8,000 sq. ft.home with 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths and a three car garage and swimming pool. When this happens these families have to have help to keep their lives on an even keel. Pets will require lawn cleanup services. Dogs have to be walked and people to come and groom the animals. If the family is away for a day or more, there is pet sitting.

Executive Cleaning comes twice week to get and return dry-cleaning. A-1 Mowing comes and does the lawn while another company is there to nurture the plants and flowers. A college student can be paid to take the teens to the mall and do errands for shut-in relatives. Groceries are ordered over the internet and delivered to the personal chef. The chef will prepare meals to await the arrival of family members.With more and more Americans eating out, some of the large homes or mini-mansions are opting to have the builder leave out the kitchen. Meals are then bought over the cell phone and eaten in a small dining area. If you can’t organize closets and the like, someone is available to do this while you are at work. Shop4You is a service that will run those gopher errands that you hate and also wait for the repairmen to do plumbing and etc while you are at work.

Last but not least! How about all that paper that seems to be forever attempting to bury you. Magazines are stacked everywhere. Books, paperbacks seem to never get back to the bookcase. You have extracted articles from other sources that you find interesting but have never finished reading them. Catalogs, bulletins, brochures, and paper debris that suggests a purpose-eeks! You can’t find the time to deal with it! Not too worry! While you are away on vacation or at work, a company will send an employee to organize this flotsam and jetsam of paper and put it into its proper place. A printed list with title and location of each offender will be given to you as often as you require it.

I’m satisfied with just a cottage below A little silver and a little gold But in that city where the ransomed will shine I want a gold one that’s silver lined I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop In that bright land where we’ll never grow old And some day yonder we will never more wander But walk on streets that are purest gold Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely I’m not discouraged I’m heaven bound I’m just a pilgrim in search of a city I want a mansion, a harp and a crown I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop In that bright land where we’ll never grow old And some day yonder we will never more wander But walk the streets that are purest gold. (John 14: 1-3)

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: LOLA

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Matthew 25:35 – For I was hungry and you gave Me something …

While Jake was on his METRO way to the office, he put off possible business for today and instead gave his back a pat that he no longer had a car; he sold it years ago and never looked back. He had more time now to think, and not about traffic jams. Oh no! Fred has already sent me an e-mail. Open the tablet and get the full text.

BOSS THAT BAG OF BONES THAT YOU SENT ME IS HAVING HER LUNCH SENT IN…EVERY DAY, SHE IS BUYING NEW OFFICE EQUIPMENT AND UPDATED ALL SOFTWARE. SHE IS TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN HERE IN THE FIELD, UPSIDE DOWN!!!. SHOULD I DO SOMETHING!

reply…SHE HAS A CREDIT CARD I GAVE HER. UNLESS ROCKS ARE FALLING FROM THE SKY! DON’T CONTACT ME. THIS IS NOT A SOCIAL CLUB THIS IS A COMPANY THAT MAKES MONEY AND PLENTY OF IT, IF I HAVE MY WAY. IF YOU HAVE A WISH LIST, SEND IT; I WILL LOOK AT IT AND SEND IT BACK TO LOLA! O.K.

In the office, Jake dealt with the overnight mail and thought about details of a starting a second company, WIRE & CABLE, never too late to deploy and beat the competition. Every building of any size has elevators…time to get a piece of that OTIS action…watching the toy market, how about DYNAMIC PUZZLE; I will hold that thought for another time. Fred never answered my REPLY, he must be ticked or just accepted the status quo.

Yes! My diamond in the ruff. Weeks ago, I was about to reach for the revolving door to the building and a pile of homeless rags at that moment shot out a leg and almost tripped me. WHAT THE and I swore in Swedish! I’M HUNGRY! All I have is brown bag with baloney with mayo on white bread!  A hand shot out and took the bag, no thanks?  At lunch time I went back but Rags was gone. The next morning, it was a repeat. Third morning, same, fourth. I asked for a name, HAM ON RYE PICKLES WITH MUSTARD, come noon I returned, only this time the HAM ON RYE was tied to a bag with some cash and coveralls and an invite to the office.

Day was waning, I was bent over at the PC screen, there was a smell and a rustle of someone, it was Rags. Oh, my, I think it is a woman…JAKE — she replied, PAT HIGGINS, LOLA’s O.K. Would you like work, a job of any sort. YES! The reply was so enthusiastic that I took a chance. Here is a credit card and more cash get a taxi or walk, out the front door go left, four blocks is ABBY’s MOTEL, check in, clean yourself up, buy clothes and whatever a woman might need, eat, relax, next morning at 8 o’clock a pickup from my field office will give you a lift to your job. Fred will be looking for you. Do you have any education! YES!

Then, Good-bye
(next week?)

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The Cracked Acorn: Where birds can’t fly!

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Genesis 50:21 – Therefore do not be afraid. I will provide …

It was like any other day: ride public transportation, hope to get there in 24 hours. I see all these people and not the same ones every day. That is amazing!.

We are all heading for the biggest piece of cheese in a large city; mine happens to be 50 stories up, not even the birds fly that high unless on oxygen. What I would give for something to see that was not concrete and steel. But I can’t complain it was to be this way, I guess.

Her words: farming is a hard life, get a good education and I did as mother wished. It surely would be nice to have a small house somewhere and some green grass and a small putt-putt to cut it. I would not complain if there was someone interested in green grass and me! That seems so far away, if I get to the office (actually a small cube) I am going to pray to HIM above to remember me and give me a small wish or two.

At that wishful point in Jake Coles’ life, brakes churned and screed and gave the metro train a sudden stop and doors popped open to the outside world. Time to rush across the plaza ad into the nearest elevator and up and up and up. When the Otis counted off his floor and stopped, the iphone in his pocket vibrated, Jake saw that it was a Fred msg “Call me!”

It was war time, hit the front lines to make some money. It was his cube…oh my! It’s my drab place of existence, not even a picture of a dog or (well don’t go into that!) He hit quick dial for Fred out there somewhere. Almost immediately Fred answered,”Boss, we have a problem, delivery has gotten slower and slower — we need lots of pipe if we’re going to keep within our time limit of this contract. Lola has a suggestion,,,Want to hear it?”

IF YOU HAVE YOUR TABLET …SEND IT TO ME NOW…TELL LOLA TO KEEP SUGGESTING, BYE!

Within few seconds Lola’s suggestion appeared on the computer screen.

IF NUTS&BOLTS IS GOING TO KEEP IN THE GAME; DELIVERIES OF PIPE MUST BE DELIVERED DAILY AND OVERNIGHT…I HAVE SURFED AND FOUND A COMPANY THAT HAS 18-WHEELERS PULLING TRAILORS THAT HAUL MORE, PROMISE THAT. THEN THESE SMALL TOWNS WITH AGING WATER LINES WILL CALL NUTS& BOLTS. REMEMBER ME IN YOUR KINGDOM, YOUR LOYAL SERVANT?

Jake fired back to Fred,,,”Sic Lola on to one of those trucking companies she found and we wait…whatever Lola wants Lola gets! Also, I looked at another of her suggestions about a tool from Sweden that would last longer for cutting new pipe , purchase what we need.. don’t worry about money, if we close on time, money will come to us.” From the Ivory Tower.

That was easy! Now, I can lean back, lace my hands behind my head; this is the moment when I get my best ideas. Maybe, it could be “a leap forward” for NUTS&BOLTS and start a 2nd party of people on other contracts…that could be Lola!

(and then it happened, Jake’s sound asleep…we leave him here, QUIET!, until next week.)

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: To Be Alive

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“How many times have you heard someone say “If I had his money, I could do things my way”?

But little they know, it’s so hard to find 1 rich man in 10 with a satisfied mind.” (Johnny Cash, circa 1978)

Money can’t buy back your youth when you’re old…  or a friend when you’re lonely… or a love that’s grown cold.

April 15, 2013, Monday, 2:49 p.m. , this date will probably soon be forgotten by many of us, but for thousands who were there on this day in the Boston Marathon, it will never go away.

Television and radio and maybe movies yet to come will keep alive this terrible event, hoping that this will not occur again. In the “course of human events” it is impossible to promise that this will ‘never’ happen again.

Those who survived , some were fortunate enough to be out of range of the explosions, look back and say that they are glad to be alive. There is no mention of the loss of wealth or the possibility that lawsuits could occur, just the ” I am glad to be alive!” and said by some who lost legs, “I am glad to be alive!”

Our country has always tried its best to keep alive the memory of those caught in these events. The list is a long one from World Wars to the Trade Center and to the present time when tragedy seems to become local. We love closure and set up monuments and even wooden crosses along the roadside to make sure that those gone are remembered.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? … Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. – Psalm 2

This seems to be our heritage. What is the answer? (I knew you were going to ask!)

Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].  – James 4:14…Amplified Bible

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

After a torpedo attack on the convey, A sailor is anxious… his friend answers-

“Why is the Captain slowing? He always does, to pick up survivors!” C.S. Forester’s character is so like JESUS, who will always be there for survivors in our lives. (THE GOOD SHEPHERD,1955)

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The Cracked Acorn: Movement

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For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:28)

I watch foreign mystery films, especially Swedish ones. I have noticed that on the English subtitles that the translators take advantage of several commonly used English words to convey action. We have a wonderful language and I often am amazed by the difficulty it must present to language people when they have to translate English into another language. The Bible must be its own voice or else where would be when we try to reach people beyond our shores.

Eventually, I want to ‘talk’ about one of those words, but first…are you old enough to remember ‘dollar’ watches, I do. When I reached the 5th or 6th grade, my aunt gave me my first wrist watch which did not survive the school playground. It was the first time that I grew interested in the inside of a watch. I had overheard from the older people that I was looking at the movement. I thought it was the most and ventured to repair’ my broken wrist watch, which never worked out, but I did get knowledge and respect for those who had made the watch. This was also the day of the pocket watch. Blue jeans came with a pocket for your watch, this was handy for farmers…it provided protection and safety for your Bulova pocket watch.

The word ‘movement’ is a noun. (Remember those English classes!) “We watched the graceful movements of a dancer.”

Christ is our ‘movement’ through Him we ‘move’ and have our being in Him. Again: Acts 17:28.

Philippians 3:14…So I run straight (make movement) toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above.

John 5:8…Jesus said to him, “Get up,(make the movements),pick up your mat, and walk.”

John 14:6…“I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life; no one (makes the movement) to go to the Father except by me.”

Proverb 3:5,6…Trust in the Lord with all you heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall (make the movements) to direct your paths

Movement is Kinetic energy and not stationary or as I heard a Church of Christ minister put it, “If we wish to accept Christ and have it all, we could just enter our car, take off and put it on cruise and say, “Christ come into my heart!”, indeed many today wish that this could complete their salvation and no nothing there after.

I had the fortunate experience to hear Brother Marshall Keeble at my year in David Lipscomb…the following is good Christian advice.

“When mean things happen to you, don’t get angry, just pray for him, then go off and live so your prayers will be answered. Live so your friends won’t believe it, and your enemies can’t prove it”

“I’ve never murmured or complained at anything that ever happened to me. I’ve just stood still while God handled it, and He’s brought me this far. The people of Israel murmured and complained and God told them, ‘Stand still, I’ll handle it.’”

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The Cracked Acorn: the PRIME

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Ecclesiastes 10:20 – Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

During the early days of my past government career, I married and came in from field work in the Middle East to work in computations. It so happened that I was caught in a reduction in force (RIF) and offered a GS 4 to work in the printing plant down the hill on McArther Blvd. I told Gloria of the possibility of looking for other work. Instead, I took a GS 5 at the plant, where I was trained by Elizabeth Moran, a very nice person. As days went by, I told my wife of how nice Liz was and the people I now worked with. Another young man met the same fate and came to work with us, daily he bad-mouthed his former woman boss and all those in his former section. Weeks went by and he was recalled, leaving us at the plant. I wondered if he was enjoying his bitter pill or maybe it was just an act.

The OUTPOST , the medieval sci-fi, TV program, I am still watching has me waiting from week to week. The young Queen, has her problems. One problem is the PRIME, a force determined to overthrow her kingdom and is a thorn in her side. One of the Squires does not like the Queen and takes every chance to spread rumors about her heritage and is constantly sowing distrust against her.

The Queen calls for the Squire and he appears before her. She is obviously displeased with him and purses her lips and face as if she has forced to swallow a bug. Finally, she said, “Squire, I need your support and men to join with me and fight the PRIME. If I marry a man of your choosing, you will have a King, I will also give you one-half of my kingdom. Together, we will defeat he PRIME! How say ye?”

There is a long pregnant pause, the Squire is shaken: He will be rich. His son may be a king, and it is the chance for all he ever wished for. (the writers know the recipe for keeping us watching for the Squire’s reply, which is:) A bow and a “Yes! My Queen!” Will the PRIME show its ugly head and invade? Is the Queen going to keep her word? Will the Squire met some untimely fate, maybe die in battle? Stay tuned.

2 Corinthians 5:1 1 – For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

How say ye? My reply” “Yes, my LORD!”

(My wife wanted to visit Mrs. Moran. We did and had a wonderful day with her and husband in their Maryland home. They had a tiny dog that was excited by a Life Saver to chomp on – HA!)

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Upcoming Events

Oct
15
Tue
10:00 am Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 15 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Acrylic Painting: An Individualized Approach @ Art in the Valley
With an emphasis on individuality and creativity, this acrylic painting class welcomes all skill levels. Some concepts we will explore include various paint application techniques, color theory, and composition. Within these basic parameters, we will[...]
Oct
16
Wed
10:30 am Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Oct 16 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class "Fall is Here" @ Art in the Valley
We are offering classes for children ages 7-12 who would enjoy expressing themselves through art. The students will expand their creative side with drawing, painting and constructing, using various mediums such as acrylic, pastels, watercolor[...]
7:00 pm Author Jeff Hunt book signing @ Warren Rifles Confederate Museum
Author Jeff Hunt book signing @ Warren Rifles Confederate Museum
Oct 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Author Jeff Hunt book signing @ Warren Rifles Confederate Museum
Author Jeff Hunt will be presenting and signing copies of his books from the Meade and Lee Series at multiple events in the state of Virginia. The first event is at 7:00 pm on Wednesday,[...]
Oct
17
Thu
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 17 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful oil paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with oils necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
18
Fri
10:00 am R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Oct 18 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy will welcome alumni and their families back to campus on Friday and Saturday, October 18th and 19th, during the annual Homecoming weekend. Events that are open to the general public include the Homecoming[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 18 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful acrylic paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with acrylics necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
19
Sat
10:00 am R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Oct 19 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy will welcome alumni and their families back to campus on Friday and Saturday, October 18th and 19th, during the annual Homecoming weekend. Events that are open to the general public include the Homecoming[...]
10:30 am 2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Bre... @ Valley Roots Farm
2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Bre... @ Valley Roots Farm
Oct 19 @ 10:30 am – 7:00 pm
2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Brewers Festival @ Valley Roots Farm
Join us for the 2nd annual Peak Leaf Music & Brewers Festival! Come party on Saturday, October 19th, 2019, for a day of live music, local brews, local merchants, and local food trucks; all for a[...]
1:00 pm Workshop: An Introduction to Col... @ Art in the Valley
Workshop: An Introduction to Col... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 19 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Workshop: An Introduction to Color Theory @ Art in the Valley
This one day workshop will be an introduction to color theory as it applies to image-making. We will talk about primary, secondary and tertiary colors and how to mix them from a simple palette for[...]
5:30 pm 7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Oct 19 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Put on your best zombie costume and practice your best shambling limp, because it’s time for the annual FRONT ROYAL ZOMBIE WALK! The Walk will begin at Bing Crosby Stadium at 6pm sharp. We will[...]