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, 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 as we do. 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)
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 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 McDonald’s.
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)
On the wings of a snow-white dove. He sends his pure sweet love. A sign from above. On the wings of a dove. When troubles surround us when evils come. The body grows weak, the spirit grows numb. When these things beset us, he doesn’t forget us. He sends down his love on the wings of a dove. (Ferlin Husky, circa 1984)
Q: Where do birds meet for coffee?
A: In a nest – cafe.
The Cracked Acorn: Gone
Psalm 121: 8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
It was that time of the year that Hans Hansfeld decided to stroll to the Leaf barn and prepare for next year’s crop of the Golden Leaf. The market had been good and there was some money left to go to a nice Christmas for all. Kentucky farm life is not what Hans had wanted but it had a few great moments.
Reaching the barn and opening a couple of doors, Hans thought this would be a small job, and he had plans for the rest of the day. With that, he reached up to pull down old blankets and quilts used to cover the Leaf when finished going to the market.
When Hans’ wife was interviewed later, she was attracted to a front window of the house to see what all the yelling was about; she saw Hans racing out of the barn and up the hill of the backfield, followed by swarms of bumblebees that had been disturbed in the blankets and quilts.
Whatever happened to Hans; he was never found although neighbors had made a search, nothing was found. Many thought that he could have fallen in a sinkhole and into an underground cave…again extensive investigation of such turned up nothing. So days and weeks passed and in time it was years had come and went.
It was only that we could blame it on the school children that Hans was still around or at least, in their minds. When they were very late getting off the bus and then walking home is when the mother asked “Where have you all been?” The kids will say, “There was Hans, and he talked and then walked off to somewhere.”
Of course, we all know about Saint Nick, etc, when the Season arrives, well that is maybe like Hans. Stop in Kentucky and ask about the Hans’ legend, you will get a smile and a chuckle and that’s it!
The explanation is that we all have to explain or support why we believe such and such. That is why Hans’ thought is if you grew up in Kentucky you will know that cattle never stray or children never get lost or why cured hams are the best in the States. The list is long on what happened to Hans, maybe living in a cave or finally a deranged patient in a nursing home.
NOTE: I know of 2 married persons: One. Oscie, she left work and arrived home to find her husband had left for good, her comment was, “At least now I can park my car in the garage.” – she never really recovered from her loss and the other was a college NASA worker who halfway through his career returned home to find that his wife had left a letter stating that the kids were grown, and she was off to a new life. (I always thought that must have been a shock!)
A TV interview: a woman who thought her husband has perished in the New York Twin towers disaster, but an investigation found out from credible people that her husband never showed for work that day, he was judged to be just, Gone!
The Cracked Acorn: the good old days!
Our sons occasionally would ask us about the good old days. Well, are the good old days gone? For us, the now older generation…those days are well gone. If you grew up on a farm or in a small town, the scenery is mostly gone. Family farms may still be trying to make it on 100 acres, I doubt it. The small town may now have its Walmart or a strip mall. Holidays are celebrated in a larger fashion than 50 years or so ago.
Some of us would think that the good old days were not really that great. Doctors usually had an office nearby and sometimes acted like Doc on Gunsmoke, you know, “Try this and if you make it through the night and have no more pain, well, then you are cured of whatever you had.” We are definitely living longer than past generations who died of flu and childhood infections that were killers to the older ones.
There was the church or rather the church building, one for the soul and the other for fellowship and picnics, vacation Bible school for the farm kids. At Christmas, there were boxes of food to be put together and delivered. That is still done today, not as much maybe, food stamps and charity agencies have assisted. Since we were less than 10 minutes from the church building, we were there any time the door was open. There were many sermons and a week-long gospel meeting every year. I never remember the members ever strayed far from the straight and narrow way. If they did, it was down front and put back to the work of the Lord. (Matthew 7:13)
The one thing that I miss from the good old days is freshness. There was a large garden that brought in all the best of vegetables and fruits. You name it, it was grown. I don’t think I recall anyone dying from too much homegrown nutrition. I also miss the open invitation for visiting. Remember those days gone were the time of much openness with farmers and town people. If you decided that after supper and you were spruced up a bit, there was the chance for visiting a neighbor or having a neighbor stop by, this was when stories were told about hunting or about the latest failures in crops and the plan to do better next year. Pigs on the loose and a stray cow were items to laugh about.
I turned on my radio, in the middle of the night, and I heard things I need to know. Well, I never knew I had Martians in my garden, and I never knew there were aliens on my roof. I’ve got shadow people, and they’re living in my basement. Got a funny feeling Bigfoot’s going to be here soon. I was so blind before, I was so unaware, but now I swear I’m seeing Sasquatch over there. (from Coast to Coast AM1100, theme)
A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagon load of corn. The farmer who lived nearby heard the noise and yelled over to the boy, “Hey Willis, forget your troubles. Come in and visit with us. I’ll help you get the wagon up later. “That’s mighty nice of you,” Willis answered, “But I don’t think Pa would like me to, “Aw come on boy,” the farmer insisted. “Well okay,” the boy finally agreed, and added, “But Pa won’t like it.” After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked his host. “I feel a lot better now, but I know Pa is going to be real upset. “Don’t be foolish!” the neighbor said with a smile. “By the way, where is he?” Under the wagon.”
The Cracked Acorn: Sleep
It was five years ago when I wrote about my Dad that I had confided to him that while working underneath my car that I would sometimes take a short nap. He told me that he had been doing that for years. It took me by surprise that I was already doing what I thought of an older person’s habit. I now find that naps overtake me at inconvenient times when I am trying to watch an interesting television program.
I have returned to the fascinating arena of sleep. Medical experts on the subject find that we have always needed sleep. It’s the prime ingredient for the healthy recipe of a long life. Americans are finding it harder and harder to squeeze eight hours of “downtime” into their lives. One out of three suffers chronic reasons denying them adequate rest. It can be shown that close to fifty percent of the drivers in the morning and evening commutes have not prepared themselves for this daily stress test and face the possibility of causing or being part of a serious accident. High auto and medical insurance rates are the indicators that show we as a nation are not admitting that we need to heed what the Lord has said in the Scriptures.
Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain, you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for HE grants sleep to those HE loves. Psalm 127:1,2
Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverb 5:23,24
The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. Ecclesiastes 5:12
Note: how the Lord uses the word “sleep” in I Thessalonians 5:1,6
Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. (I understand this to mean metaphorically that we are not to “sleeping” by worldly standards but to stay conscious of the fact the Lord may return for those He has given sweet restful physical sleep.)
How much sleep do we need? Margaret Thatcher was notorious for existing three to four hours a night, and she wasn’t exactly an underachiever. Many would be proud to have her level of achievement.
We cannot live without sleep. “There’s an account of a coast-to-coast airplane crew who put the plane on autopilot and then all fell asleep. The plane, loaded with passengers, overshot the destination and was a hundred miles out to sea before air traffic control was able to wake them over the radio.” from UNDERSTANDING HUMAN LIMITS IN A WORLD THAT NEVER SLEEPS by Martin Moore-Ede.
So if you are building up a sleep debt, here are a few tips. Try them – could save your life and others with you: Avoid energy drinks, caffeine with loads of sugar, try to sleep in a noise-free place, avoid strenuous exercise late in the evening, cut out stress and worries – if possible, have a light snack before bedtime, some say to keep the television and radio out of the bedroom and try to avoid long naps during the day.
The Cracked Acorn: Courage
Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets… Luke 5:1-11
SECRETS OF THE BIBLE could make for interesting reading if it were not for obvious remarks that elude the Scriptures. If the opening article COURAGE AND FAITH was a scriptural airplane, it would never reach the first airport for a safe landing. (I have several snippets for observation)
“This venerable collection of stories (the Bible) is full of puzzling omissions and murky passages, not to mention frequent miraculous happenings that still intrigue those who read about them today. This issue includes the hunt for the lost ark of the covenant and a new explanation of how Jesus spent his early years. The clues to many of these puzzles, until now cloaked in mystery, lie paradoxically in the Scriptures themselves… King David consolidated his power by uniting the two kingdoms of Israel, he established his capital in Jerusalem and built a richly decorated Temple at the summit of a small mountain, a site revered as holy by earlier religions…
With Israel’s rise to power …came the need to provide a literary record of its greatness. Bible stories that have been largely transmitted in oral form were collected and written down. Significantly, many were recorded for the first time long after the historical events they describe. creating a history seen through the prism of hindsight and shaped by ensuing events. Thus, the destruction of Solomon’s Temple is foretold in books of prophecy that were first written long after the catastrophe occurred. In this way, time blurs in the Bible. Past events become the stuff of future prophecy, or, to put another way, prophecy becomes a foretelling of what is already known to have happened.”
COMMENT: We are not shocked to know that churches are having a hard time filling the pews. Young people are pressed on all sides to listen and make their own decisions on everything. We indeed live in a wicked world that exploits our youth to ignore the sound counsel and wisdom of older people. How did the Bible come about is spelled out in 2 Peter 1:20-21: First you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” The scriptures are ours to use for salvation and preparing our souls to live eternally with God.
“For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past and as a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:4 and in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” We must remember that time is a word for mortals and that God lives outside of time and His Word is eternal. God does not use time capriciously.
Why Can’t We See God? (these children know)
“We cannot see God because he needs his privacy,” says Patrick, 10. “God probably doesn’t want anyone coming into his room without knocking first.”
Megan, 8, “God likes to be alone. If everybody saw him, they would always crowd around him.”
William, 12, “We can’t see God because man is a sinner. God is perfect, and a sinner and God don’t mix.”
The Cracked Acorn: Beside the Road
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” (Exodus 13:19)
It sits beside the road, once in its glory could be easily noticed, but now time has gone by and traffic speeds on its way into Culpeper to for bargains at one of the Superstores open 24/7. One must be traveling slowly and look to the right and there it is in a madness of timothy, foxtail, clover, and different types of grass almost covering its once moment of emplacements. Mother nature is doing its best to hide this interloper. We see these appointments of kindness due to sadness and loss alongside other roads and highways. Some are complaining to the Highway Departments that these are distracting and could cause accidents, for a lack of a reason.
How highway monuments got started, when and where, no one knows, they have sprung up. Some are works of art and have tiny white stone encirclements and toys or some items that once belonged to the departed. They are a reminder of human weakness and moments of terrifying strokes of death and injury. Life and death decisions were made at these spots by rescue people and emergency medical technicals. Even though we somewhere at one time or another have been ‘forced’ in the workplace to watch films showing what speed and drugs and alcohol can do at 70 miles per hour on the roads, yet, we go out and the faults of mankind fail to disappear.
Within this random chaotic arrangement of clover, weeds, and display of bucolic sent from above flowers is a subliminal message. The staked unstable monument is a styrofoam cross with its headdress of WalMart vinyl chain of floral flowers. It is the cross and those who sat it in the ground must believe that there is a God and that there is hope and that eventually somewhere beyond this arena of passing joys and moments of sadness is another place, eternal and there we shall all meet again.
I know and you know that this could be an inappreciable place and why would anyone want to do this, sits across to be soon cast into the landfill or crushed by an attempt to mow and clear the byways for passing motorists. I could answer that I would have the answers to more of those questions that all of us face from time to time and have to answer, “I don’t know!” and, hope this is enough to have closure.
“I spent all day staring at a leaf, I know that my time here is brief” – John Hiatt –
The Cracked Acorn: Emma
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept, and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. – Genesis: Chapter 2: 21-22
A part of the day’s routine for me is to drive to the nearby SHEETZ for the morning newspaper – it should be after midnight for this, but for once in a blue moon, I am out at 10 pm – so I intended to get coffee, a snack and return a few hours later for the POST. DITTO – I am in the snack aisle and looking over the goodies, a woman is on her knees looking at the bottom shelf; she was after Mrs. Freshley’s Cinnabon Twirls (make life Sweeter!)- I got down and found them for her, so then she told me all the details about this wonderful eatable, I listened and finally wandered away, but not until she complimented my choice of what I was carrying – Quaker Maple/Brown sugar Instant oatmeal.
At the coffee bar, I didn’t want Decaf and needed something stronger. “Emma” came over and told me of her favorite coffee’s strong choice(Sumatra & Choice) – I followed through. She beat me to the checkout. “Emma” has red hair was maybe in her 50s, well-dressed in a casual expensive style. I would guess she was the outdoor type and could hold her own with the best if that should happen. It came my time to pay and I mentioned my “contact” to the clerk and that I intended to remain inside until I knew she had departed the parking lot; Now I wish I had seen what she was driving. I knew that if we ever developed a relationship; I would never have to speak another word.
“A man must know his own limitations!” – Clint Eastwood!
(Emma is the name of my father-in-law’s girlfriend’s sister. I last remember her in Albany, NY; I dropped her off at her apartment then she followed me back to the car and kept talking, eventually, I told her I had to leave or my family might declare me missing!)
READER’S DIGEST – “The police were following a car with an elderly couple inside. At a stoplight the woman fell out, she was o.k. and the police followed and pulled over her husband. “Sir! Did you know that your wife fell out at the stoplight?” He replied, “Oh, thank you, officer, I thought I had gone deaf!”