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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Bird Brain

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“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?”– Matthew 6:26

I love birds, there’s no other way to say it. I don’t know if I wish I were a bird. There are some things birds can do that we cannot do. Sure, we can fly into the air and etc. but it has its faults. We have to construct airplanes to do this and at a great cost.

For the time though, think of how many birds there are in the world and all kinds of them. It is no wonder that Jesus used them for a teaching example. Their needs are taken care of and they do not worry about tomorrow, like we do.

It all came to me one morning in one of the Warrenton parking lots. I had no sooner pulled up and was about to get out of my car that I noticed a sparrow lit and was soon walking about seeing if If someone had left behind a crust of bread. I wondered where he/she had come from and what hiding place concealed his/her nest. I assumed that he/she ‘shopped’ often at all the local McDonalds.

Have you ever heard someone use the term ‘bird brain’, sure you have. Birds are in comparison to us, very small and do have a tiny brain. The brain that the birds have is just right and according to avian studies puts them on a reasonable scale of intelligence. Birds can see better and learn at a rapid pace to know where to search for food and where the best and safe and comfortable housing can be found.

The hymn ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL – Each little flower that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings.

Birds are mentioned in at least 93 places in the Bible.

It is unfortunate in our modern society that we overlook the appreciation of the one creature made by God. In our daily rush, we do not have the time to study and observe the many kinds and colors of the birds that fly above us and sometimes impede our way in the world. Many wise people have advised us to stop and ‘smell the roses’ and also to watch the birds because we could learn more about life from them.

“As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.” – Mark 1:10

All four Gospel accounts refer to the baptism of Jesus by John at the Jordan river (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). The Luke account says “And the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily shape, like a dove on Him.” Because the Holy Spirit is just that—spirit—He is not visible to us. This occasion, however, was a real visible appearance, and was doubtless seen by the people. The dove is an emblem of purity and harmlessness (Matthew 10:16), and the form of the dove was assumed on this occasion to signify that the Spirit with which Jesus would be endowed would be one of purity and innocence.

Another symbol involving the dove comes from the account of the Flood and Noah’s ark in Genesis 6-8. When the earth had been covered with water for some time, Noah wanted to check to see if there was dry land anywhere, so he sent out a dove which came back with an olive branch in her beak (Genesis 8:11). Since that time, the olive branch has been a symbol of peace.

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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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The Cracked Acorn: Burned Food

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“Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” – Proverbs 15:17

The following is an e-mail from a friend, who forwarded this to me.

“When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing…never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.” Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides–a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!”

As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else, but what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship, and that’s my prayer for you today…that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God, because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship! “Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket–keep it in your own.” So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine. And PLEASE pass this along to someone who has enriched your life–I just did! Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil–it has no point.

added…a fellow Christian overheard that a couple were having their problems; he chuckled and said that it wasn’t burned biscuits but probably about store bought ones!

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The Cracked Acorn: Insurance

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For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.* Romans 10:13

I love insurance. days may go by but eventually we get an advertisement from like: Mutual of Omaha, or it could be others , by the hundreds, in the vast regions of the USA.

Life insurance, this is misnamed it should be called death insurance, but then who would want to buy it. I have never known an agent that would tell me I had enough. All the TV murder mysteries have lived on plots that someone was “bumped off” so that the villain would reap millions from a Life Insurance policy.

I don’t think that now in this modern age that there is not one person ‘born of woman'(Job 14:1) that does not have some kind of insurance. You must be some kind of a nut, if you dare venture out into the public without coverage or additional coverage or supplemental coverage that covers all other coverages just in case all those companies just could go into bankruptcy.

Space here does not allow me to list all the kinds of insurance offerings there are in the real world. Many of us, I sincerely hope, are not going to need it all, but there is a warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing that you would be totally covered in case a rock fell from the sky or someone slipped and fell in your driveway.

What about heavenly insurance?

I have heard this also called ‘pie in the sky.'(Revelation 21:21..And the street of that city was paved with pure gold.)

If you are like myself, I am leery about someone offering me ‘free’ products or services. Oh, just give me your name and address and good things will happen .

Yes! Good things may happen and I pray that there are a lot of good things out there.

“*…saved.”, from what?, could be the answer to this week’s ACORN

It was years ago, that I presented a short sermon “Lessons Learned. too late!”

This covered 3 basic points:

1) Eternity…the vast ocean of unlimited time,

2) The Plan…,

3) Judgement…,

Our society does not like to remind us that one day we will be sent from here to eternity, in the blink of an eye or heartbeat.

The Plan by God is that He has sent His Son, who has told us what we must do to be citizens of a great heavenly Kingdom.

There will be a judgement for all of us that have lived on the earth.

Assignment: Open any BIBLE and it will point to our short life here; it will easily show the Plan, and to the quick point…it will show the results of what our life will mean in the Judgement.

Lawyer to the Judge. “I wish to appeal my client’s case on the basis of newly discovered evidence.”

Judge: “And what is the nature of the new evidence?”

Lawyer: “Judge, I discovered that my client still has $500 left.”

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The Cracked Acorn: Farming

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“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”  – Matthew 13:8-9

“It’s planting time!”
“Whoa! Whoa!, I’ll tell you when it’s planting time!”
“O. K., it’s planting time!”

We all recognize the re-phrasing of the opening of GONE WITH THE WIND. I remember when we had our Sunday lunch and drove into town to line up to see this movie about the Old South.

I was born in what I call the’ Old South’, like GWTW, it does not exist any more. Farming was horses and mules and manual labor was a normal thing. Hay baling required 6 or 7 men to cut and gather and haul the hay to a stationary baling machine, I would have been 5 years old, one of the men gave me a ride around the field, pulled by two horse, gathering the cut hay.

The Bible says everything has a season, and this is still true, This is the first week of June and in Kentucky, corn should be out and wheat, oats and barley are a short time from reaping. Since this was once tobacco country, the plants have all been set out in several acres of rich prime farm land. Cattle, hogs and chicken are doing well. That span of time from 1939 to 1962 is the time I knew only those who farmed the land with a small tractor and implements for plowing and seeding. No farmer today could make a living in that long gone fashioned farming, now it is big time seeding, cultivating and harvesting and hardly a foot touches the ground from seeding to the mills and markets.

The successful farmer has to know all about the seasons and that this is a time for all things to happen. He must put the seed in the ground and wait. If it is all about patience then the farmer must have this one virtue. The good farmer is a person of action and is prepared for the eventualities whether they are good or bad.

Careless soul, oh, heed the warning, For your life will soon be gone; Oh, how sad to face the judgment,
Unprepared to meet thy God. Why so thoughtless are you standing while the fleeting years go by,
And your life is spent in folly?
Oh, prepare to meet thy God.

CLOSING HUMOR: Why did the unwashed chicken cross the road twice?
Because he was a dirty double crosser!
What do you call a sleeping bull?
A bulldozer!
What has four legs and flies?
A pig!
What do you get if you cross a cow with an octopus?
A cow that can milk itself.

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7:00 pm Faith and Science Presentations ... @ Warren County Community Center
Faith and Science Presentations ... @ Warren County Community Center
Sep 16 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Faith and Science Presentations at Community Center @ Warren County Community Center
The first of a 5-part series of video presentations and discussion concerning faith and science will begin Monday, September 16th, 7:00 PM at the Warren County Community Center, 538 Villa Ave. (off W. 6th St.),[...]
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9:00 am First Baptist Church Golf Tourna... @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
First Baptist Church Golf Tourna... @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Sep 17 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
First Baptist Church Golf Tournament @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Tuesday, September 17th 9:00 a.m. registration 10:00 a.m. shotgun start
1:30 pm Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Sep 17 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor Elena Maza will focus on learning basic skills to create watercolor landscape paintings: basic composition and use of color and value to create a sense of depth and distance.[...]
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10:30 am Children’s Art Class “Back to Sc... @ Art in the Valley
Children’s Art Class “Back to Sc... @ Art in the Valley
Sep 18 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Children's Art Class "Back to School" Session @ 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[...]
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Sep 18 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four session course will focus on learning basic drawing skills as applied to botanicals: basic line drawings[...]
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12:30 pm Watercolor Painting Essentials @ Art in the Valley
Watercolor Painting Essentials @ Art in the Valley
Sep 19 @ 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Watercolor Painting Essentials @ Art in the Valley
This class will teach you the necessities to create your own watercolor paintings. Setup of materials and proper studio techniques will be shown. Indispensable ideas about drawing and color mixing as well as paint application[...]
4:00 pm Sketching with Pencils @ Art in the Valley
Sketching with Pencils @ Art in the Valley
Sep 19 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Sketching with Pencils @ Art in the Valley
Pencil sketching is a great way to capture a visual record of your experiences and ideas. This class will give students a strong foundation for making pencil images for a journal or sketchbook. Principles for[...]
5:30 pm WomanGathering @ Middle of Main
WomanGathering @ Middle of Main
Sep 19 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
WomanGathering @ Middle of Main
Guest Speaker: Debbie Copeland, Author FB LIVE @ 6 PM with hostess Eka Kapiotis and videographer Jen Avery THIS IS A FREE EVENT – Please join us and other women looking to be inspired! WomanGatherings[...]
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9:00 am Annual FRUMC Book Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Annual FRUMC Book Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Sep 20 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Annual FRUMC Book Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
At the Front Royal United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall. Sept 20, 9am – 4pm Sept 21, 9am – 1pm Books for everyone available: religion, biographies, history, fiction, food, and children’s books. All proceeds[...]
10:00 am The Fundamentals of Oil Painting @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting @ Art in the Valley
Sep 20 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting @ 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[...]