Oh my!!! When it happens: The gravy on my best tie or the favorite ballpoint pen in my shirt leaks at the wrong time. Take it to the cleaners and ask them to do their best and not always does a stubborn stain disappear. 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 in 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 veil 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, Beautiful land of light, Beautiful home so bright where there shall come no night; Beautiful crown I’ll wear, Shining and bright o’er there, Yonder is mansion fair, Gather us there. and BEHOLD A STRANGER AT THE DOOR! He gently knocks, has knocked before, Has waited long, is waiting still; you treat no other friends so ill. But will He prove a Friend indeed! He will-the very Friend you need!The man of Nazarene ‘Tis He, With garments dyed at Calvary.
Older gentlemen might still wear ties -remember: “If your children see you get a spot on your tie they’ll send you to a nursing home!”
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: The Ark
… God had us in mind and had something better and greater in view for us… Hebrews 11:40
“The question of whatever happened to the Ark of the Covenant, an ornate box containing the laws handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai, has been a source of intense speculation for over two millenniums. The Ark had a pre-eminent role in the Bible from its creation until the time it was placed in the Temple’s holy of holies during the days of David and Solomon. But sometime between 970 B.C. and 586 B.C., the ark disappeared, and no one knows what became of it. Does it still exist? Or was it destroyed thousands of years ago?” (From Eden to Exile by Eric H. Clines)
If you, like myself, believe that the Bible is the spoken, inspired, literal word of God, you know that without a doubt that the Ark of the Covenant did exist. It was constructed of acacia wood, a little over 4 feet long and 2 ½ feet high, and 2 ½ feet wide, and was covered over with hammered gold, a gold lid, and two cherubim of hammered gold and could have weighed between 400 and 500 pounds.
Exodus 25 and 37 give us details of how it was made. Eventually, it contains two tablets of the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod, and a pot of manna. If it has survived through the ages it is:
Popularly thought to be in a secret chamber deep within the Temple Mount, underneath the present-day Dome of the Rock. This could have been done before the destruction of the Temple in 586 B.C.
In January 1979, Ron Wyatt claimed that his team had found the Ark in a cave system north of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, but something happened that they were never able to retrace their steps to document their discovery.
The Ark was removed during the reign of Manasseh and taken to Egypt. The latest claim is that the Ark has been seen in a church in Aksum, Ethiopia.
In my opinion, since the Ark was never used in a profane manner and did carry with it the fear that one could be struck down when Nebuchadnezzar in 585 B.C. destroyed the Temple, the collapse of the roof, walls, and columns – the Ark of the covenant was crushed and reduced to rubble, lost in the destruction or unearthed to be melted down for its gold. The people had been taken into slavery and so closed a great chapter of the nation in bondage.
The Ark of the Covenant is a great topic to study. In the past, I was not able to cover in-depth the details about how the ark was used and abused and then lost! The ark is to be noted as the Israelites’ most sacred relic and is last mentioned in Revelation 11:19:
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the Ark of his Covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a severe hailstorm.
The Cracked Acorn: Flies
An old story retold-you go into a restaurant for a good meal and to enjoy an outing, but before you can place your order, the “lone fly” shows up!
Immediately you want to move out of range and can’t do that, so you try to swat the rascal. You recall all the school health classes warning you that flies are up to no good. The common household fly has been found in 255 million old fossils.
But the fly is one of God’s marvelous creatures. He has a thousand eyes and sees a thousand swatters coming at him. On the farm, we killed them by the droves till DDT no longer did its job. This pest is very adaptable to all conditions and most pesticides. The lone fly will find a way to winter over, probably in the attic, and meet you in the spring. He can use his six legs that ooze glue to walk up/down/over any and all surfaces.
We in the USA cannot tolerate the flies and know their dangers, not so, in a third world country where you see people on TV, the people are covered with flies. He has a long history and was probably in the garden of Eden but had a different purpose, for, in that place, there was no sickness and death – a perfect place.
When sin entered, everything changed for Adam and Eve and their children, but also, I think, for the fly. Sinful man out of the garden and on his own had to endure the toil of making living fighting weeds and thorns and competing with nature. The fly and his 120,000 different kinds do little to aid mankind but are a serious pest to crops and have the superior ability to transmit diseases. They are part of a “challenged” world where man is a sinful creature.
The fly does not have the chance to change, but man has that God-given opportunity. “THEREFORE IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATURE; OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW…FOR HE HATH MADE HIM TO BE SIN FOR US, WHO KNEW NO SIN; THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.” (II Corinthians 5:17,21)
The insect world numbers over 1,000,000 species, and new ones are discovered every year. Their purposes and activities fill volumes in the libraries of the world. While some may be helpful, the vast majority are at war with man, for it seems that we are all competing for a place and for the limited food crops.
Ecclesiastes 10:1 – Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, so a little folly outweighs an abundance of wisdom. (a swarm of flies soon corrupts and destroys any uncovered dish of food in a few minutes-BARNES NOTES)
Psalm 78:45 (HIS signs in Egypt) HE sent among them swarms of flies that ate them; frogs, too, that devastated them.
Psalm 105:31-HE commands; the flies came in swarms and lice throughout their land.
Joshua 24:12 Another powerful insect –And I (God) sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. (KJV)
Thank you, heavenly Father, for the small reminders that we live in an imperfect world. A place where we have to be on our guard and place our trust and faith in you. And that whatever happens, we have the promise of an eternal home with you. In Jesus’ name, AMEN
The Cracked Acorn: New Day
Ah, a perfect day! I was leaving the town restaurant where I had enjoyed a country breakfast. I felt like Columbus sailing in search of the shores of the promised land. Traffic had not started to move. A couple of birds were jaywalking trying to find the early morning meal for the brood. Nearby off the main street, the church tower was pealing out the morning religious melodies. I kept humming. Finally, I went through the hymn book collection and found this song in a small hymn supplement by the A.C.U. Press, Abilene, Texas.
Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning,
praise for them springing fresh from the Word!
Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven,
like the first dewfall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness on the wet garden,
sprung in completeness where His feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning,
born of the one light Eden saw play.
Praise with elation, praise ev’ry morning,
God’s recreation of the new day!
When Eleanor Farjeon wrote MORNING HAS BROKEN in 1931 the “Star-Spangled Banner” became our national anthem. Television was still a baby yet to be born. The radio was still a big hit with families that gathered around it to hear plays and the news. The Empire State Building was completed. Life was hard and stressful. The husband could be out of work and might throw a fit because there was no bread. Times were tough and lines for anything to be bought were very long. If you had any money you could buy a new Chevrolet which cost from $474 to $650.People of the 30s tried to chase away the blues and hard times by going to the movies. Tickets were very cheap and Saturday matinees were the thing. You could see the Marx Brothers in Animal Crackers, a Day At the Races, Duck Soup, Monkey Business, Night at the Opera, Room Service, Horsefeathers, or Laurel and Hardy in Flying Deuces, Sons of the Desert and of course, W.C. Fields in It’s a Gift.
We should always be thankful for a new day touched by God’s creatures. The day He has given us could have dew, rain, and the sweetness of growing grass. The beauty of a wet garden is there to awaken our senses and remind us that we are in the beauty of our Maker. “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore, will I hope in Him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:22-25)
Are you curious about Eleanor Farjeon (Feb. 13,1881-June 5, 1965)? She started reading at five and was fitted with heavy glasses at eight and came from a family of writers. She never married. She was home-schooled and loved books. She wrote 74 books and plays for children and 11 plays for adults. She was a friend of Robert Frost and a friend of many poets of her day. As a child, she spent many hours in the attic where many family books were stored. She is remembered as the author of MORNING HAS BROKEN.
The Cracked Acorn: Door
Weekends and holidays are the prime times for advertisers to stuff flyers into the daily newspapers, adding to what I call the “pulp padding.” You can’t escape a peek at the ones that are the home suppliers. I like the nice color photos of doors of all types. Some of these beauties can stop a vacation to Disney World. If one is installed for your front door I am sure you will fall down and worship its varnished wood and stained floral glass panels. Fingerprints will never mar its glossy sheen and you will hang a sign on its brilliant brass knob requesting everyone to come to the humble back door. A door of this quality could even go as a Mother’s Day gift, think about it!
The word door may have entered our language through an English family name, Dore, meaning the entrance to a narrow valley. We use the word every day: Close the door when you leave. She forgot to lock her car door. They live two doors up the street from us. His office is the third door down the hall on the left. A day cannot go by without the use of the word DOOR.
The Egyptians put into their tombs a false door. It was to serve as an imaginary passage for the deceased between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Lavish inscriptions were on the false door referring to the countless offerings that the deceased is about to receive. Sometimes a life-sized statue of the deceased was placed before the door as if it had just stepped out of it.
We can’t live without them. They keep the cold drafts of winter outside and the cool air inside during the hot sultry days of summers and keep the swarms of hostile insects outside. Properly fitted, a door can be locked for security purposes. Doors keep us from falling out of our cars. Closed doors can stop the spread of a home fire. Doors give us privacy and absorb outside traffic and neighborhood noises. A door can have many names: trap, stable, barn, French, garden, pet, revolving, and automatic door. Whatever its name, a door serves a very distinct and useful function.
DOOR in God’s Word: (2)BUT HE THAT ENTERETH IN BY THE DOOR IS THE SHEPHERD OF THE SHEEP. (7)VERILY, VERILY,I SAY UNTO YOU, I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP. (9) I AM THE DOOR: BY ME IF ANY MAN ENTER IN, HE SHALL BE SAVED AND SHALL GO OUT, AND FIND PASTURE. (John 10);
(20)BEHOLD I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK: IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE, AND OPEN THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN TO HIM, AND WILL SUP WITH HIM AND HE WITH ME. (Revelation 3);
(12)FOR I WILL PASS THROUGH THE LAND OF EGYPT THIS NIGHT, AND WILL SMITE ALL THE FIRSTBORN ON THE LAND OF EGYPT, BOTH MAN AND BEAST; AND AGAINST ALL THE GODS OF EGYPT I WILL EXECUTE JUDGEMENT: I AM THE LORD. (13)AND THE BLOOD SHALL BE TO YOU FOR A TOKEN UPON THE HOUSES WHERE YE ARE: AND WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD(ON THE TWO SIDE POSTS AND ON THE UPPER DOOR), I WILL PASS OVER YOU,- (Exodus 12)
An old saying in the south “Katie bar the door” meant “something unstoppable is coming!” and “Katie bar the kitchen door” suggested that you had better watch out!
The Cracked Acorn: Diet
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well – Matthew 6:33
Newspapers and television dote on articles about exercise & diet. Low carb has entered our vocabulary and lite and no sugar and low sodium, are items found in most food stores. We want to get the threescore and ten and even more and enjoy good health along the way. We have been educated that harmful substances could be in the food we eat and in the water we drink.
I grew up on a farm where salted pork was a staple and we knew nothing about fatty foods and high blood pressure and cholesterol. We just had our three big meals a day and worked hard. We did not know about pizza, ethnic foods, and fast food, it was before the microwave oven. My diet expanded when I left home for a federal career.
More and more you meet individuals who drastically change or modify their lives to be physically fit. I remember a dental hygienist that ran every morning with her dog. Daily did all the yoga positions that took 90 minutes and thought it was really good for the body and the mind. She shopped at the natural food stores and said that you would never see her in a fast-food franchise. Her favorite health food was: amaranth, quinoa, and kosha grains mixed with cloves of garlic. She said it had to be done just right or it would really stay with you; I wondered if her friends stayed with her.
The Scripture point to the needs of the body and the spirit.
Psalm 78:24, 25 – and He rained down upon them, manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven. Man ate of the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance.
I Timothy 6:7, 8 – for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world, but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
Matthew 4:4 – Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
John 6:35- Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”
John 6:5o, 51 – This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and never die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever, and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.
From the stage play OLIVER
Food, Glorious Food! Hot sausage and mustard! Please! Custard Food, Glorious Food!
Don’t care what it looks like, burned, underdone, Don’t care what the cook looks like! Just think of growing fat and that full-up feelin
Food Glorious Food! What wouldn’t we give for that extra bite more, that’s all we live for! Wonderful, Glorious, Marvelous Food!
Just picture a great big steak, fried, roasted, or stewed, Oh, Food, Glorious Food!
There’s nothing to stop us from closing our eyes and imagining; Food, Food, Glorious Food!
(Oliver the orphan and his fellow mates had nothing but daily gruel and dreamed of tables loaded with Food, Glorious Food!)
The Cracked Acorn: C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis’ the NARNIA movies bumped off a remake of KING KONG and once made it to the top of the moviegoers’ list.
In many magazines and newspapers, it spawned a look into the life of C.S. Lewis. I have attended several Sunday school classes where his name was mentioned. To many scholars, C.S. Lewis is very popular. I have tried to discover the why of the attraction to pull many fine minds to the books and literature that have arisen around the life of an atheist who eventually joined the Anglican church. He came to believe in God but not the Son. In 200 words, we can get a glimpse of some facts and snippets about the writings of C.S. Lewis.
Lewis was born in Belfast on November 29, 1898, and died on the day JFK was assassinated, November 22, 1963. He was in WWI as an officer and wounded. His mother brought him up as a Christian and she died when he was ten years old. In a boys’ school, Lewis drifted into atheism and began to write stories of myth and fantasy. He lived 32 years with the mother of his WWI trench killed friend. He never expressed his fondest for women or for children. His favorite pastimes were smoking and drinking in the pubs with his intellectual men friends. This may have given birth to some of his writings. He had a chair at Oxford University, teaching language and medieval literature. The NARNIA books were written over a 5-year period. In 1951, he married. Joy, his wife, became ill with cancer and died in 1959, leaving her son- adopted by Lewis. C.S. Lewis has been labeled a great thinker of our time and a philosopher that influenced multiple groups of readers today. Some go so far as to note that Lewis was truly the greatest Christian author of all time.
Here are quotes:
“The strongest spell to be found in the evil enchantment of worldliness. Religion is what we do in our solitude. The world is starved for meditation and true friendship. We have failed to practice the behavior we expect to see from other people. Badness is spoiled goodness. Love is sterner than mere kindness. Pain is the flag of truth for the rebel soul. We are born helpless and then we discover loneliness. Joy is the serious business of Heaven. The road to the promised land runs past Sinai. Religious bad men are the worst. History is a story written by the finger of God. Heaven will solve our problems. When we find the good taste, it is lost. The less the Bible is read the more it is translated. We cannot evade the presence of God. Psalms express how God made David dance. It is hard for an Atheist to avoid the dangers that wait for him.”
I believe in the One they called Jesus, I believe He stilled storm Galilee; I believe that He walked on the water, And I believe that He’s the answer for me. Yes, I believe in the One they called Jesus, I believe He died on Mount Calvary, And I believe that the tomb was found empty, And I believe that He’s the answer for me. (Songs of Faith and Praise)