Years ago, I purchased a 1956 Chrysler Imperial from a friend. When we cleaned out the trunk, I was impressed that he was prepared for all types of road hazards and in all kinds of weather. He had backups to the backups and clothing to change into to put on a spare tire or to do on-road maintenance.
My sons often asked me to tell them of the “old days.” They thought I was ancient. I told them how I lived on a farm, and we depended on crops and livestock to give us income. Drought, disease, too much rain, and high winds could seriously damage a good crop of corn and wheat. We also grew the cash crop, tobacco, which is a very delicate plant. A quick hail storm could send you looking for a public job to get the family through the winter. Many of today’s farmers have done this. Agriculture is the one big industry quickly affected by natural disasters of any type.
Those who watch weather patterns predict that more and more hurricanes will come ashore and head farther north. I remember Isabel for it left us without power for four days. It took me back to my childhood when we depended on kerosene lamps and cooked over wood stoves. This could happen again.
We have no other choice but to live in this physical world that God created for us. It may not always behave the way we wish. We cannot live in straw houses set upon a sandy beach.
ALL WHO LISTEN TO MY INSTRUCTIONS AND FOLLOW THEM ARE WISE, LIKE A MAN WHO BUILDS HIS HOUSE ON SOLID ROCK. THOUGH THE RAINS COME IN TORRENTS, AND THE FLOODS RISE AND THE STORM WINDS BEAT AGAINST HIS HOUSE, IT WON’T COLLAPSE, FOR IT IS BUILT ON ROCK. BUT THOSE WHO HEAR MY INSTRUCTIONS AND IGNORE THEM ARE FOOLISH, LIKE A MAN WHO BUILDS HIS HOUSE ON SAND. FOR WHEN THE RAINS AND FLOODS COME, AND STORM WINDS BEAT AGAINST HIS HOUSE, IT WILL FALL WITH A MIGHTY CRASH. (Matthew 7:24-27)
The crowd who heard these words from Jesus was amazed at his wisdom. I wonder how many of that number went and moved their houses. There is always a great lesson to be learned from the Scriptures.
Three million people live within the shadow of the world’s most historically deadly volcano at Vesuvius, Italy. One of its violent eruptions in 79 A.D. described by Pliny the Younger buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Within a period of 19 hours these two towns were buried in ash and the inhabitants were caught in the gas and cinders. Yet, today within the shadow of this violent volcano, smoking and sending out tremors, people carry on their daily lives as if this goes with the territory. Mass evacuations have not taken place. Volcanologists note that there are no signs of unrest at Vesuvius at the present time. An estimated one million people live in the area of past eruptions. This does not seem to hurt the real estate market.
Man has always been tempted to dream of gigantic projects and carry them to a conclusion. The tallest building is never the limit. The biggest canal is never wide enough for our huge tankers. The oceans once beyond our reach are being dived into and harvested for their minerals. In the long term, it is now Mars and the planets beyond. How far is “how far” and what are the limits of infinity; I am sure a scientist has an answer for all the preceding. Indeed, we are trying our best to mimic what our Creator has made with His Hands.
The Cracked Acorn: History
God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm. – William Cowper, 1722.
The date is November 26, 1939, another hard winter. Two brothers had married two sisters and we all lived in a tenant farmhouse, was log and then covered with weatherboarding, it was big enough for an added bedroom up a small stairway back of the only heat – the fireplace. Those were the days, we lived without electricity and telephone and anything else that we expect today.
When I was 4 days old, Russia invaded and tried to cross in deep winter on frozen lakes and surprise Finland; my father often remarked about this short war (the WINTER WAR). The reason; when the Russians were out on the ice, the Finns dynamited it and that was that for a while. Dad often remarked about this thru the years. Farming is daily devoted work and not that exciting, I guess this is why he often remarked about this bit of history and laughed. I never asked where he got this and why he was amazed at past history. Now, I think it was from our battery radio, bought from Sears, Roebuck via the mail.
Farming is different now and machines have taken over, not many laborers are left in the wide-open spaces. I now have outlived most of the ones I knew back when. Most late nights I go into town and get the morning newspaper, often have to wait and I listen to WMAL radio and hear how the Space Station is doing and how vaccines are wonderful to get.
A few days ago, WMAL covered WW2 and noted that Russia only protected their homeland and did well at that. It mentioned the 1939 ”Winter War” between Russia and Finland, I thought of Dad and listened to what the following remarks would be: The Finns had just blown the ice and got the Russians really badly, only 3 survivors and the Finns had them in tow. A Russian asked the Finns, “I guess now you will shoot us?” The reply was, “Oh no!” The 2nd Russian asked, “I know you will shoot us?” again the Finns, “No, we will give you food and medical, you will not be shot.” The 1st Russian then asked, “Will you loan me a gun?’, the Finns handed him a gun which he took and turned, shot the 3rd Russian – who was a political officer. (my eyes glistened, father would have really enjoyed that bit of humor.)
This action between the 2 countries ended in a draw. Russia thought it was not worth the great efforts to win.
When World War 2 came, Hitler’s army made it an additional front to invade Russia and it would all be over by deep winter. Of course, it never happened, Russia waited and let the hard winter of deep snow and ice stop the invaders. Past history must have been a lesson Russia never forgot.
Oh, the depth of the riches and the knowledge of GOD… – Romans 11:33
The Cracked Acorn: Dye Stain
Yes! I remember when I got gravy on the best tie given to me by my piano teacher. It happened another time; it was a ballpoint pen in my shirt, leaked at the wrong time. It was taken to the cleaners and asked them to do their best. My father in the fifties worked as a knitter in a hosiery mill, making seamed ladies nylons. When they came off the machine they were white and had to be sent to the dyer. Here the hose was submerged in a vat for several hours to change the white to rose or beige or the latest colors that the market demanded. I was told that white nylon was the strongest and could be weakened by the dyes. Supposedly this art appeared in the Middle East about 5,000 years ago and our word “dye” is an English word.
In Biblical times, garments of beautiful colors were very expensive, both for the cloth and for the dyes. A garment signified importance or elevation in respect.
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.” (Genesis 37:3,4)
The Egyptians were the masters of color and the Hebrews may have brought this to perfection when the tabernacle was built. The Lord told them to “make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet” (Exodus 26:1),
“And they shall take gold, and blue, and scarlet, and fine linen. And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.” (Exodus 28:5,6) and in the vail “And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fined twined linen of cunning work.” (Exodus 26:31) This vail was torn when Christ was crucified. (Matthew 27:51)
Purple was seen as a royal color and desirable to buy, one of Paul’s converts at Thyatira was Lydia, a seller of purple.
Today, all these wonderful and bright colors are easily found on all our clothing. Some translators have attached meanings to certain colors, such as WHITE-purity and innocence; BLACK-mourning, affliction, and calamity; RED-bloodshed; PURPLE-royalty, luxury; BLUE-deity, sky, and heaven; SCARLET-war, valor; GREEN-life, youth, and abundance. The red, white, and blue are on our flag. The book of Esther is a “colorful” book of the Bible and worth reading and re-reading especially the description of the palace of King Ahasuerus.
Our hymnal has two songs that reflect color. BEAUTIFUL ROBES OF white, and BEHOLD A STRANGER AT THE DOOR! ‘Tis HE, With garments dyed at Calvary.
For gentlemen who still wear ties -remember it was said, “If your children see you get a spot on your tie they’ll send you to a nursing home!” Cure: wear bow ties!
May the good Lord bless an’ keep you, Whether near or far away. May you find that long-awaited, Golden day today. May your troubles all be small ones, And your fortune ten times ten, May the good Lord bless and keep you, ‘Til we meet again . . .
The Cracked Acorn: FRB180916
You may wonder what happened to Capt. Janeway. Here are some of her Star Trek Voyager traits:
- She drinks coffee, not that sissy “Earl Grey” stuff.
- Beams down to the planet like real Captains should.
- Can speak “techno-babble” with the best of them.
- Hasn’t quoted Shakespeare — yet.
- Will give you two days off to handle a life-shattering experience.
- When Janeway lands her ship, it can take off again.
- When Janeway says ‘I don’t like you!’, she means it!
- Janeway has a First Officer with a tattoo.
- She doesn’t let any pesky Federation Admirals get in her way,
- 40 episodes and without surrendering the ship.
- Never worries about meeting a son she never knew she had.
- Doesn’t force her crew to wear awful outfits; her outfit never wrinkles.
- She doesn’t waste time learning a foreign language.
- Doesn’t have a Counselor on board (thank God!).
- Janeway doesn’t have to point which way to go when they set off.
- Has a manly voice and draws her phaser at the first sign of trouble.
- The crew members never try to take over the ship.
- When “Q” asked her to run away with him, she refused.
- This female Captain is willing to admit when they’re lost and pulls over for directions.
(enough of this Star Trek humor, I’m still laughing!)
It seems we never get tired of TV adventures into the heavens. So, we have been to the moon and may go again…there’s lip service that it may happen that a jaunt to Mars could happen.
The year 2007 provided a puzzle for those who make it their profession to study the darkness while we sleep. Kenzie Nimmo, a Ph.D. student noticed that a galaxy was producing an FRB ( ‘fast radio burst’). You think this is a signal from extraterrestrial intelligence. Her team is fast on to studying and solving this one, FRB 180916. Why is this occurring 500 million light-years on a 16-day cycle, like clockwork?
Some think it is 2 stars revolving about each other! (male and female? I knew you were thinking that?)
The puzzle gets extra complex when it is being found that other FRBs are out there. Now it has been found that there is one from inside our own galaxy, the Milky Way, not to worry it’s close by only 30,000 light-years from us. Those who have on their thinking caps say that all this is due to highly dense neutron stars hiding in these galaxies. Whoa! That comment blew me over!
Finally, our Ph.D. student comments that “this is all-important to determine a source to see that not only is there notable FRBs but there could be non-repeating FRBs, and to see if this is invaluable for our understanding to provide a more lucrative way of finding more FRBs.”
Capt. Janeway…Where forth art thou?
Joshua 10:13 – And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed. The sun that came out of his chamber like a bridegroom, and rejoiced as a strong man to run his course, stopped his course at once; and the moon that walks in her brightness proceeded not on, but both stood still, motionless, and continued in this position until the people had avenged themselves on their enemies.
The Cracked Acorn: Bible Truth
“In today’s culture, some people think it is not proper to tell others they are wrong. Many believe all religions are equal and the Bible contains legends as charming as the stories of other great faiths. Children are allowed to believe in all or none of many teachings. Many people believe they can make it to heaven on their own or that all ways lead to God. What is the result of this freedom?” from OPEN WINDOWS-Life Way
The preceding came from a denominational magazine in a local doctor’s office, I thought it noteworthy to quote it:
“Many of the religions are advocating that we all should find a middle ground and come together to bind us all together in one faith and one religious people. This may be a good thought but what does it accomplish in the sight of our God and Savior and the Scriptures.”
My former supervisor loved to tell one of his college experiences. The lecturing professor had been underway for most of the hour, writing formulas on all the blackboards, for some reason my boss said loudly “That is all wrong!” The professor turned and asked, “Who said that?” Bill sheepishly raised his hand and the professor said “You may leave for today and you don’t have to take the next exam.” The professor had been writing mathematical nonsense waiting for someone to stop him.
The religious world is putting us to the test. Lately, we have noticed that if you quote a Scripture to a friend or someone interested in what you believe, the response is “where did you get that?” -well it came from the Word of God, the Bible, the Scriptures, we didn’t make that up!!! or the reply can be “From what version or translation are you using?” There was a time when brethren used only the King James Version, not anymore.
One of the recent obituaries in the metro paper listed the passing of one of the most noted Biblical translators of this age: who had degrees in all the ancient languages that had formed the first written Bible. The last efforts were to clarify the Revised Standard Version for modern mankind. How much clearer can we make God’s Word for everyone out on the street today is either a figurative or literal question? The Church Of Christ has always taken the stance of “speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent when the Bible is silent.” We have to be alert lest we are speared by the sharp point of our intelligence and let the chance go by to say, “That is wrong.”
Do we live so close to the Lord today, Passing to and fro on life’s busy way, That the world in us can a likeness see To the Man of Calvary?
Can the world see Jesus in me? Can the world see Jesus in you? Does your love to Him ring true, And your life and service, too?
Do we love, with love to His own akin, All His creatures lost in the mire of sin? Will we reach a hand, whatsoever it cost, To reclaim a sinner lost?
As an open book they our lives will read, To our words and acts giving daily heed;
Will they be attracted, or turn away From the Man of Calvary?
(an ancient hymn)
The Cracked Acorn: True Love, not turnips!
“For GOD so loved the world, HE gave us HIS only SON…”– John 3:16
It was a hot, sultry, humid, awful southern day! A report had come back from a visit to the garden, the okra was gone and most all of anything left fit to eat was having a hard time of it, one could boil the withered turnips and then add salt and pepper for taste, to fill the stomach, perish the thought, but maybe it might take form before the day ended. The two discussed searching the empty cabins to look for a piece of salted hog shoulder.
The women sat on the once stately front porch, wondering, not talking, was there anything beautiful that they could see worth punishing their dry lips to talk about. One more sweep through the land and there would be nothing left. The sound of repeating thunder was not the work of coming rain, but more devastation. The stately trees on both sides of the long entrance lane could not take any more shelling, “Please Lord, save us the trees, if you do that…we’ll swear a few words and then eat the turnips for supper.”…these outspoken few words brought forth a chuckle!” Scarlet added an acid laugh with, “I hope that no more scarecrows come through, asking for something to eat!”, Millie nodded. (from, ACORN)
“It was then that Scarlett saw a dreaded sight, a bearded man coming slowly up the road under the cedars, clad in a ragged mixture of blue and gray uniform; his head was bowed low, and he dragged his feet, very slowly. “I thought we were done with all this, and he’s probably going to ask for food!”(Scarlett knew who the crippled figure was!!) In an instant, Melanie held up her faded skirts and shot off the steps; She raced with incoherent cries and threw herself into the dirty soldier’s arms. One of the kitchen help tried to hold Scarlett back… Let me go, you fool; it’s Ashley, her husband.” (Margaret Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE WIND)
How can we older folk forget that classic film in glorious color, the 1st of its kind, 1939?
Joseph #2 in Egypt, knew his brothers, forgave them. No wonder that we often think of him as definitive of CHRIST-like virtues. Genesis 45: 15 – Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward, his brothers talked with him.
The prodigal son… Luke 15:20 – But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him, and kissed him.
And I remember… at the Springfield Church of CHRIST… the father in the pew in front of us, begin to hug his little daughter, and squeeze her tightly until she called out, Dad, Stop, I can’t breathe!
May the good LORD squeeze you tightly until we meet again!
The Cracked Acorn: Boomerang
Matthew 19:19 – Honor your father and mother(that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee-Exodus 20:12), and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Nowadays, everything comes either already assembled or in a kit with easy to put together instructions, usually in at least three languages. In the early kits, we used to brag that the final product was easily produced using a 4-year-old child. Yes, you the adult, soon found out that it did indeed take a child to get the final three or four pieces together. I have attempted model airplanes and cars, but my interest was recently pricked when I saw a boomerang kit, of course, easy to assemble.
What is the secret of a boomerang, and what are its mysteries?
I have learned not to be lured by the temptation of an easy product. Most of us have heard the song “My boomerang won’t come back.” You want your boomerang to come back, or do you? We have all thrown sticks, and this was probably done eons ago to bring home the family meal. The oldest such type “boomerang” dates to Poland 18,000 years ago. The people that lived then did not want theirs to come back, only today, the ones that we see are manufactured for people to have fun at picnics and special events. Research shows that the flight of these special sticks employs a complicated branch of mathematics.
If you are having dreams about boomerangs, it could indicate that you are wondering about your reactions to other individuals and whether the results are positive or negative. In our society, the boomerang has become a cliché for a miscalculation that recoils on its maker. Early in WWII, the first torpedoes were equipped with primitive metal detectors, and many times the torpedoes would curve and home in on their own mother ship, the boomerang effect.
Recently I heard a song that said “God’s love is like a boomerang.”
I am sure that God wants His love returned through us His children.
If we were to love others unconditionally (as we should) without any doubt about how it would be returned, the whole world would be a much better place. Imagine if you could, no war or crime, all the hate of today gone!!!
Life is like a boomerang-
for if you crave love, you must give it out
cast away the hate, resentment, and grief
speak the word of Love throughout.
Life is like a boomerang-
if you believe you can, you will
but if your belief is nothing but idle words
you forever will stand still.
Life is like a boomerang-
to succeed, you must believe success
simply wishing will not do it
for the Divine takes nothing less.
Life is like a boomerang-
Love all, forgive and bless
and God will give you what you need
for He wants nothing less.
(poet Ellen M DuBois)
An example of our love -Great Hymns of the Church#406
I LOVE THY KINGDOM, LORD, THE HOUSE OF THINE ABODE; THE CHURCH OUR BLEST REDEEMER SAVED WITH HIS OWN PRECIOUS BLOOD.