Nearly thirteen, I contracted a viral flu-like disease that kept me bedridden for two weeks. I was delirious and kept a high temperature,, causing a loss of my hair. The doctor came to our farm house and administered a new drug on the market, called penicillin. It saved my life; I did not realize how close my life was threatened I went on living due to this miracle drug.
BLUE RIVER is a movie definitely not aimed at amusement. It will leave you disturbed as I was. Ninety minutes about disturbed young “men” are not often on the mark; this one caused me to reflect on my school years because I have seen two examples that this movie could have used. Boys in the wonder years, a time when youth enter the maze or sieve to emerge on the other side transformed into an adult. During this period, you may hear, “Boys will be boys!”, “He’s really a good kid.”, “Mischief is a part of it, he’ll grow out of this.”, “Give him space and you’ll see him amount to something.”, and the “Military will straighten him out!”
Franklin was our comic on the long school bus rides; we laughed when he could imitate others: teachers and our drivers. Adults were often not amused. He could be very serious, taking parts in school plays, like the role as the father of a juvenile delinquent -Deno. After graduation, he was accepted into NROTC. This was brief, the navy decided that they did not need any future officers with lots of humor and no openings for a standup comic. He married and started a family. I saw him at one of the early high school class reunions. He came in late and appeared to be eager to leave. I barely had a passing moment to say “Hello!” A few months after I had returned to Virginia, I heard that he had committed suicide.
Donnie was a nearby farm buddy. His mother was in poor health; Mom took me along for visits. He had a fascination for the big kitchen matches, used daily to start the kitchen stove and fireplaces. I think he liked the sudden explosion and the bright flame. At other times, he could do crazy things on the farm equipment. From this it was a trip to Florida in a ‘borrowed’ milk truck. He began to travel the roads and liked being a part of a crew that was fighting western forest fires. He died in his early twenties of tuberculosis.
The world missed out on having: a comic, great actor, a NASCAR driver, a smoke jumper or a possible expert on explosives. Today, I am sure things would have been different; we will never know!
When they came to many people, a man came up to Jesus and got on his knees. He said, “Lord, have pity on my son. He is very sick and at times loses the use of his mind. Many times he falls into the fire or into the water. I took him to Your followers but they were not able to heal him.” Then Jesus said, “You people of this day have no faith and you are going the wrong way. How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” Matthew 17th chapter, 14-17. (from TODAY’S ENGLISH version)
The Cracked Acorn: the Answer
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelite’s 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)
The highway monument sits beside the road, once its glory could be easily noticed, but now time has gone by and traffic speeds on its way into Culpeper for bargains at one of the Super stores 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 grasses almost covering its moment of emplacement. Mother nature is doing its best to hide this interloper. We see these appointments of kindness due to a 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.
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 head dress 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
Why any person would place a cross 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.
“A little girl was riding on the airplane across the Midwest to spend the summer with her grandparents. She was reading one of her favorite paperback stories,”Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” when a young man took the vacant seat next to her. He attempted to start a conversation, “You know on long flights like this that time can pass more quickly if we have conversation. I would like to tell you, “Why there is no God and no heaven and nothing beyond this earth; you live and then you die and that’s it!”
With that the little girl looked up from her book, “Do you know why a horse eats green grass and leaves behind round clumps, the cow eats the same grass and leaves behind round patties and the goat does the same and leaves little pellets?” The young man laughed, “I don’t know.”
The little girl said, “The dimmest farmer knows and I know we have nothing to talk about,” and with that she went back to reading,”Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.”
A Cross for me to carry, on the road of life you see.
I know that I must tarry on to my eternal destiny.
For Jesus has a Crown of Life waiting just for me…
Dr. Donald E. Battle (written 2002)
The Cracked Acorn: Large Copier
When I was still working in a Federal building, I needed to make a copy of a large document. When I went to the copy machine room, I found a notice that it had moved to the 3rd floor. A reason was not given.
If you will bear with me I will attempt in my own feeble way to guide you to the new location of the same mentioned machine. Are you still with me or maybe you don’t care, it will be quite a journey. You may want to refer to this as a mission,a quest or an adventure.
First a word of advice, don’t talk to anyone on the 3rd floor, that you meet, and ask them,”Do you know where the large copier has moved?”
If you want to meet people and possibly influence them this is a good way, just watch their eyes light up because they also want to know where the large copier is located. Many of them will freely confess that they never knew there was a large copier on the 3rd floor. You can also find others who are willing to read the posted signs with you (about the copier) even though they don’t know a thing about the copier, but this is helpful if you missed much of your schooling and never learned to read. People of the 3rd floor are very friendly and will join you in searching for the large copier, you only have to ask them. The 3rd floor is very large and filled with many corridors and offices (John 14:2). This decision is up to you if you think that you need to form an expedition in your search for the large copier.
With this behind us, we want to leave our present office on the second floor and head up front into the hallway that goes to the main elevators. Take a right into the corridor that will put you up front over the “new” guard’s post. Take the small elevator up to the 3rd floor. When you have arrived, go left or go right, if you go left you will have to go left again into the hallway that takes you to the large copier, if you go right then you must go left (having previously refused or decided to not go left). Now that you are in this hallway, you will see afar off an EXIT sign, this is your point to head towards. Don’t get mesmerized at this sudden turn of events, you only want to go to the third room on the right. The room number is 3C-409 and there are two double glass doors. The doors have a lock and the code is 24. Inside is the large copier and you will have to punch in the code 5590 to start it.
People of the 3rd floor may not know the code and try to get in while you are making copies. You may choose to ignore them and whistle a happy tune while you make all the copies you want. I enjoyed this so much that I made a second trip to the 3rd floor copier on the same day but I was surprised by a lady who had entered a back door then propped open the “locked” door and let all her friends in!
The Cracked Acorn: Dogs
It was during the past week that on one channel was a 2 year old girl singing softly to an old dog, his head was cuddled in her lap, fast asleep.
Did Jesus have a dog?
I know that you dog lovers reading this want to see the answer “YES!”
God has created all things for us and when He finished, He saw that they were good. (Genesis 1:24,25).
As early as I can recall from those very first Sunday school classes, I never saw class materials of Jesus holding a dog or even having one at his feet; it was always the little lamb so helpless and cute.
The Zondervan Expanded Concordance gives 37 scriptures referring to the place of dogs in the Bible.
Dogs were first associated with the Egyptians. Here dogs were used in temple service to the gods of Egypt (Exodus 11:7). Dogs were not allowed in the House of the Lord (Deut. 23:18). There was nothing lower that a dog. This beast was given over to a cleanup of anything thrown over the city wall. They were associated with everything unclean.
Dogs are drawn by the urge to be with a pack and are hunters often after the slow, old and weak. When I was about seven years old, a favorite pet had to be put away. He had strayed and was seen with others killing the neighbor’s goats. I did not understand. I asked why we just didn’t tie the dog to his dog house for a few days. Dad said that was not the cure. (Later in life I learned that dogs have many teeth and strong jaws to rip and tear.)
Paul wrote in Philippians 3:2 – “Watch out for those wicked men,dangerous dogs, I call them,who say you must be circumcised to be saved.”
No one really knows when man domesticated wild dogs to be used as guards for the home or when it happened that someone saw that they could be great companions. We have all seen the movies; Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Old Yeller, and Benji.
“As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs came and licked his open sores. Finally Lazarus died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham in the place of the righteous dead. The rich man died and was buried.” (Luke 16:21,22)
This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes them all. Anyone who is among the living has hope-even a live dog is better off that a dead lion! For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward,and even the memory of them is forgotten. (Ecclesiastes 9:4,5)
You can’t buy loyalty, they say
I bought it though, the other day;
You can’t buy friendship, tried and true,
Well just the same, I bought that too.
I made my bid, and on the spot
Bought love and faith and a whole job lot
Of happiness, so all in all
The purchase price was pretty small.
I bought a single trusting heart,
That gave devotion from the start.
If you think these things are not for sale,
Buy a brown-eyed puppy with a stump for a tail.
(from Poems about Dogs)
The Cracked Acorn: Love
This is a true story. I know personally the party, involved. Love dwindled, unhappiness and dissatisfaction grew, daily fussing and fighting characterized the relationship of husband and wife, ultimately, a divorce wrecked the home, leaving two bewildered, emotionally scarred children in its wake. The father gained custody and the mother went her own way, doing her own thing.
The children loved their mother. Strange thing about love – it’s so often blind to the faults of those we love. Months went by and the mother longed to see her children. She mustered up the courage to visit. Leaving her car at the curb, she walked to the front door only or find no one at home. But posted on the door was a note from the youngest of her two boys, the seven-teat-old. It read, “Mother, I’m at the park. Please come to the park.” She hurriedly made her way to the park, and there, sure enough, was the little fellow. After the preliminary hugs and kisses, the mother, still amazed by the note, said, “Honey, how did you know I was coming to see you today?” He answered.
“Oh, I didn’t, but what made you put the note on the door if you didn’t know I was coming?”
In response the love-starved little one said, “I put a note on the door every day, every time I leave, ’cause I knew you’d be coming to see me.”
“I knew you’d be coming to see me!” I wonder if there are not those OUT THERE, life’s rejects, those hurt by cruel circumstance, those whose life seems to be hopelessly going nowhere, those groping for some spiritual meaning in their lives, who are daily placing a note on their door which reads, “I’m not at home just now, but please – PLEASE – come find me..” by David Ladd, preacher.
Facts and Statistics
Around the world, there are an estimated 153 million orphans who have lost one parent. There are 17,900,000 orphans who have lost both parents and are living in orphanages or on the streets and lack the care and attention required for healthy development. According to the U.S. State Department, U.S. families adopted more than 7,000 children in 2012.
Last year, Americans adopted the highest number of children from China followed by Ethiopia, Ukraine, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. No child under three years of age should be placed in institutional care without a parent or primary caregiver, according to research from 32 European countries, including nine in-depth country studies, which considered the “risk of harm in terms of attachment disorder, developmental delay and neural atrophy in the developing brain.
“Children raised in orphanages have an IQ 20 points lower than their peers in foster care, according to a meta-analysis of 75 studies (more than 3,800 children in 19 countries). In 2012, 23,396 youth aged out of the U.S. foster care system without the emotional and financial support necessary to succeed. —American Surveys Digest—
Student A: I can spell my mom’s name!
Teacher: Oh yeah? How do you spell it?
Student A: M-O-M.
Student B: That’s how you spell MY mom’s name, too!
(From THE WAYNESBORO VISITOR, Church of Christ…March 15, 1998)
Title: THE NOTE ON THE DOOR 1 JOHN 4:19 KJV “We love him, because he first loved us.”
The Cracked Acorn: Sheep and Amazing Facts
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”— John 10:14
Sheep! I don’t have much knowledge about sheep, I just know that my father raised hogs and cattle and avoided the idea of sheep; it could have been that there was no real sheep market at that time in central Kentucky, also that there was not any for soy beans…like today. There was a couple of incidents with two farmers that entered this business; one was shut down by marauding dog packs and the other farmer closed his sheep business when he did a chemical dip on the flock in the middle of a Kentucky winter. These were the days that a person discovered a tall mountain grass and named it Fescue – this became the cash crop.
While waiting in a local restaurant for a carryout, the waitress confided in me that she was from Texas. There was a morning that they ( the family) woke up to strange noises form the back of the house or as we would call it ‘a deck.’ They went to check and there crammed in as close as could be, sheep. Yelling at them to go away or tugging or any kind of hands on just did not work!. Telephone calls were made and one of the ranchers showed up and claimed them, he made some clicking sounds and turned and left followed by all the sheep. I was so reminded by John, the 10th chapter.
In my working travels, I was sent to New Zealand to do satellite tracking at the South Island airport. The countryside is filled with sheep, some say there are 37 to every New Zealander. You may see occasional cows and wonder why the bovines are so thin; the reason is that after the sheep nip the grass off close to the ground there is not much left for the cows. I assumed that daily mutton is sometimes replaced by a hamburger…and a very slim one…low fat!
Humor: A policeman stopped a pickup truck with sheep in the back. The driver was told that the sheep should be taken to the zoo and then asked why the sheep were wearing sunglasses. “Sir, I took the sheep to the zoo yesterday and today I am taking them to the beach.”
• There are over 1 billion sheep in the world.
• China has the largest number of sheep in the world.
• Sheep have a field of vision of around 300 degrees, allowing them to see behind themselves without having to turn their head.
• Sheep are herbivores that eat vegetation such as grass.
• The digestive system of sheep features four chambers which help break down what they eat.
• Sheep like to stay close to others in a herd which makes them easier to move together to new pastures.
• In 1996, a sheep named Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned from a somatic cell.
• Domesticated sheep are raised for a number of agricultural products including fleece and meat.
The Cracked Acorn: Derby Day
The first Saturday of May is the KENTUCKY DERBY. It is a nostalgic event from my childhood when we traveled in our Kaiser to Louisville to my uncle and aunt’s home. From there we drove out to Churchill Downs to make a day of it. I was probably 12 years old at the time. I recall that the crowds were large and I was small lost in the adults out on the infield. The men wore brimmed hats and the ladies had their flowery hats to keep the sun off. When the race was over, there was quite a flow of people using the tunnel under the track to reach the parking lots. It was not a time to get separated from your parents.
The band always strikes up the state song MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME. I have noticed that it appeared that most are not singing, maybe the lyrics are not on the program sheets or many are not from Kentucky. The old tune has bittersweet words – By ‘n by hard times come a-knocking at the door, Weep no more my lady, oh, weep no more ,today. We will sing one song for my old Kentucky home far away. When Stephen Foster wrote it in 1853, there surely were days of hard times for everyone. While some lived lavishly, others barely made it from day to day. Typhoid fever, tubercular disease, cholera, smallpox, malaria, yellow fever, syphilis, and consumption stalked and carried away the rich and poor alike. Life was short, but 153+ years later we only read about such a time shortly before the Civil War. Today there is only good times. The Lord has been good to everyone.
Our parents remembered the Great Depression when jobs were nonexistent and you were fortunate to live on a farm. My dad often told the story of the man who went to see his doctor. He told the doctor he was feeling poorly. The doctor asked him what he was eating. “All we have to eat is peas.” The doctor said. “That’s your problem, your blood has turned to pea soup!”
The song of that day was –THEY USED TO TELL ME I WAS BUILDING A DREAM,AND SO I FOLLOWED THE MOB,WHEN THERE WAS EARTH TO PLOW,OR GUNS TO BEAR,I WAS ALWAYS RIGHT THERE ON THE JOB. THEY USED TO TELL ME I WAS BUILDING A DREAM,WITH PEACE AND GLORY AHEAD,WHY SHOULD I BE STANDING IN LINE,JUST WAITING FOR BREAD? SAY, DON’T YOU REMEMBER,I’M YOUR PAL? BUDDY,CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?
I doubted that there were many in the crowd May 7th at the 131st running that really knew what a “a hard time-come knockin at the door” meant. We truly live in the greatest country on this green earth. It is humbling to remember when times were not so good. God has surely brought many of us out of poverty. See Psalm 65:4
In closing, I saw this wise adage posted in a store, DO NOT RESENT GROWING OLD. MANY ARE DENIED THE PRIVILEGE – (IRISH BLESSING)