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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Cured

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It happened the first of the month, while I was in Giant Food, there I was with a few items wheeling along with my small cart and passing down the toothpaste aisle: mouth wash and where many other necessary lotions lived and such and such, on one side was the ointments you know, the cure-alls for skin bumps and rashes and etc.

I merged behind a married couple cruising the Neosporin and other tubes of promise to cure all those nasty skin afflictions; I did what has become my habit and I asked them what was the best: the lady suggested a couple that I already had tried – I showed her the raspberry sized Mt. Everest that had appeared along the left-back area of my jaw and made a home there days in and days out threatening to erupt; nothing I tried reduced the burning pain.

I finally discovered that if I put a dab from three tubes I had at home and then a touch of gel that was recommended for getting relief from gum ache, if I did this enough through the day, it helped.

I noticed that I had begun to draw a crowd with my small ailment: and one man in passing came over and pointed to one tube of salve on the top shelf and said, “this is what you need” and walked away. I tried to say “Thank you!” and he was gone to the checkout. The small tube said #1 polysporin for $6.49, next to one that was $14.95… it was worth a try.

When I returned home, I did what the directions said…use three times during the day; I cleaned the area and did as it directed. The day went on and it worked, the pain had gone away. What was in this magic potion….it was mega doses of 2 substances that were alarmingly mixed with several others in my other 3 tubes. I think I am cured but not according to the Internet, it could return for up to a year’s time or more.

I would have liked to really thank the man that pointed to it on the shelf but he is gone, probably never to see the same person in the store again.

Why is it that I am thinking of the 10 lepers and Jesus had healed them and only one returned to thank HIM, It is recorded that HE said, “Where are the others?” can we really blame them for not returning. The one that did had the genuine 100% faith that he believed he was truly healed and never would be cursed with leprosy ever again. Lack of belief on Jesus and other reasons may have caused the 9 to think that the cure might be a passing thing and it was time to enjoy a clean life while they had the chance. – Luke 17:11-18

NOTE: After thousands of years, about 20 cases of leprosy pop up in the USA every year and can be cured with several drugs. (maybe!)

 

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Giving

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In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak we remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Acts 20:35

It seems like yesterday, that I made a remark to my Dad about what I thought of abuses to the church money. He explained that helping persons who need the money and have no way to repay it is what Christ has taught us.

(Every Sunday morning, the Lord’s Supper is served and then it is announced that a collection is not a part of the Supper will be taken. I have never see anyone get up and leave, at that point in the service.)

An elder of the church went to visit a member well known for his stinginess. Being the bold sort, the elder thought facing the miser would be the only right thing to do.

He sat down with the fellow and told him straight out that covetousness was idolatry, and that the elders were worried about his soul. “I know you are not giving as you should.” said the elder, “and I want us to study about it for your soul’s sake.”

Coldly the miser answered, “If you know that I haven’t been giving as I should, you probably know about my brother, too, huh?”

“No,” answered the elder, “I don’t.” “Well, sir, my brother was wounded in Viet Nam and has been confined in a hospital for the past 15 years at exorbitant cost.” “Oh my,” answered the embarrassed elder,

“I didn’t know. I’m sorry!”

“And I guess you know that my mother is in a nursing home. She’s been there for the past five years and that takes lots of money to keep her there. And did you know that my daughter and her husband face ruin unless they can scrape up enough money to pay for flood damage to their little shop?”

Dropping his head, the red-faced elder apologized and said, “Brother you have shown me today that it is wrong to judge someone from afar. I hope you will forgive me for my harsh attitude. I understand completely.”

“I knew you would,” answered the man. “After all, if I’m not going to give to them, I’m surely not going to give to you.” ANON

So far, we know that people seem to be more motivated by how they can help others when they give, rather than what they can get back. But we are not yet sure if we would find this same pattern in larger-scale studies. Our participants did not reflect U.S. demographics in terms of gender, age and race or ethnicity. The number of women who took part outnumbered the men, for example, which might have made donors look more altruistic than they would have with gender parity. (from WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT GIVING and DON’T KNOW!)

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The Cracked Acorn: Back When

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Once, our young sons every now and then would ask me to tell them 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 and 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 made and delivered. That is still done today, not as much maybe, food stamps and charity agencies now exist. Since we were less than 10 minutes from the church building, we were there any time the door was open. There were many sermons, a week-long gospel meeting every year. I never remember the members ever strayed too far from the straight and narrow way. If they did, it was down the 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 that 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 townspeople. 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 gonna 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 Radio AM1100)

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Life

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Life got you down. Bills are piling up! The car should be donated to charity. The children need braces. The home of your dreams has become your all the time fix-it nightmare. The vacation to Aruba is a no no!! Well, help is on the way. In 8 seconds you can have maybe $50 thousand to take home.

To get this paycheck you have to join a small group of dedicated individuals who live for these 8 seconds; they are part of the rodeo circuit. When the moment arrives, they throw their legs over a ton of ground round and hang tight till the judges rule it’s over, then they try to dismount and avoid being gored or stomped. If needs be the clowns rush over and let the daily Brahma bull chase them. Brahma bulls are bred to be just plain mean and the worst tempered ones are where the biggest prize money is. Names can be Air Wolfe, Predator, Freight Train, Chili Pepper, Second Chance, Wicked Charlie, Little Yellow Jacket, Moody Blues, Mr. Cooper, Bad Company, Phantom, Poker-faced, Ring of Fear, Wise Guy and Desperado- to name a few.

Today, for your first ride, you have drawn Baby Luv. He’s in the chute. You have the proper western clothes and climb to the top rail. Don’t let those big brown eyes and long eyelashes fool you. Baby lives to hurt you. You slide over to grab the rope around his girth. you grasp the rope with your one gloved hand. Baby rolls side to side trying to bust one of your legs. You eye the chute boy and nod that it’s time. The gate flies open. Baby Luv ignites and he hops like a frog and begins to buck and kick to the limits of heaven. The longest 8 seconds of your life has turned into a carnival Devil ride. Baby knows how to break the rules and before you can plan the next move; he humps, jumps and wriggles left to left. You thought it would be right to left. The good news is that they don’t have to carry you out of the arena. Wired jaws and riders that can’t walk quite straight are a common sight.

Why do these people choose to live their lives at high risk? Maybe they understand that the most important things in life are not things but choose to be in the life or die lane; quitters never win and winners never quit! The high adrenaline group never considers that there is an ‘if’ in the word life. To overcome the worst ride seems to be the ultimate goal at least for the people that ride the rodeo bulls.

Life can be a difficult and rough (ride) journey. Paul knew this and thought of the ultimate prize. “No mere man has ever seen, heard or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord.” (I Corinthians 2:9)

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The Cracked Acorn: Travels

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“Let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19, NIV

Much of the world beyond our borders do not have the advantages that many of us have grown up with and have been exposed to the ever-changing technological advances that have changed the landscapes of our childhoods. I was fortunate to have work that required travel in other countries other than my own. In passing through many small towns and villages in Brazil, Ethiopia, Iran, and New Zealand, I saw the same picture. Other than New Zealand, I could not speak their language. I did see that others had a daily life and probably had the same desires, hopes, and dreams that we all have. There was the same chicken that ran across the road and the same thin dog that lay in the front yards of all the countries. Children tried to play in the road or had a car tire hung from a tree limb for a swing. I asked our liaison officer in Iran about all the loud music coming from the record stores. “What are they singing about?” He replied that it was all about lost love, pain, and hopes for a better life.”

My travels were a number of years ago, but I will venture to say that time in most of the third world countries is caught in a moratorium. If one were to travel there in 50 years or 100 hundred years, much of the daily life and condition will still exist. The Ethiopian land near the Red Sea in a harsh area and supports only those who can live off herding goats and cope with the searing heat and dry conditions. Brazil is a large country, much bigger when you travel into the interior and everyone will ask you the same question I heard at every truck stop, “Why are you here?” I guess they thought I was a crazy person to leave the USA. to travel to a place where electricity, telephone service, and refrigeration were limited.

The author of the following book, saw the same scene I had seen in other countries and he wrote down the following thoughts:

There was no heavy fighting around Danang ( for the rest of that summer. During the daytime, there did not seem to be any war at all. The rice paddies lay quietly in the sun. They were beautiful at that time of the year, a bright green dappled with the darker green of the palm groves shading the villages. The peasants in the villages in the secure areas went on living lives whose ancient rhythms had hardly been disturbed by the war. In the early mornings, small boys led the water buffalo from their pens to the river wallows and farmers came out to the fields. They plodded for hours behind wooden, ox-drawn plows, tilling the sunbaked hardness out of the earth. In the afternoons, when it became too hot to work, they quit the fields and returned to the cool dimness of their thatch huts. It was like a ritual: when the heat got too intense, they unhitched their plows and filed down the dikes toward the villages, their conical hats yellow against the green of the paddies. A wind usually sprang up in the afternoon, and in it, the long shoots of maturing rice made a luxuriant rippling. It was a pleasant sight, that expanse of jade-colored rice stretching out as far as the foothills and the mountains blue in the distance. At dusk, the buffalo were driven back to the pens. With the same boys walking beside them and whacking their haunches with bamboo sticks, they came down the dusty roads, their horned heads swaying and their flanks caked with the mud of the wallows. (A RUMOR OF WAR, Vietnam by Philip Caputo)

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The Cracked Acorn: A Kiss

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Greet one another with a kiss of love. (I Peter 5:14-)

There isn’t much to do when you are waiting in line at Wal Mart. I never have disciplined myself to have a book or something to read to fill these moments. In a nearby line, a young father was holding the baby, mother found the opportunity to give their child a loving kiss, but afterward found it a little too wet, didn’t matter to the baby who gave a toothless smile to mom, who waited for a clandestine moment to wipe the drool on her sleeve. Love has its limits!!

Gloria made a friend of a schoolteacher when we lived in Herndon; the friend was a member of the Disciples of Christ. She told of a day at school that a little girl who always wanted a kiss from the teacher at the end of the day had a terribly bad cold and should have stayed at home but here she was on the way out the door for home and waiting for her kiss. The teacher moved in to give the kiss and to avoid the germy tiny lips she swiftly turned her head, she was too late – the little girl was a bit faster and planted one on the teacher’s mouth. The teacher got a cold and now out for a couple of days.

History cannot tell us where the kiss came from, its’ origin remains a mystery. A kiss from a friend, spouse or stranger can really render us defenseless. Statisticians note we spent two weeks of our lives kissing, burning 20,160 calories and exposing ourselves and others to billions of bacteria. A kiss can land on the lips, cheek, or a ladies’ hand or a friend’s neck any time, anywhere, even underwater; it’s an uncontrollable human physical expression of released emotion. Beware, for in Indiana it is illegal for a mustached man to habitually kiss others; in Hartford, Connecticut, a husband can’t kiss his wife on Sunday and at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it is a crime to kiss a stranger. (from FACTS ABOUT KISSING)

A kiss is an expression of psychological closeness.

In the Old Testament, it was an honor for your father to ask you for a kiss(Gen. 27:26). It was a custom used for greeting(Gen. 29:13), for good-by (Ruth 1:14). We acquaint it with the return of the prodigal son (Luke 15:20). It was part of the conferral of kingship(I Sam. 10:1) and sadly of betrayal (Luke 22:47). The Bible uses this word 46 times.

A secular song says: You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. The fundamental things apply, they still say “I love you!”, on that you can rely, no matter what the future brings. The world will always welcome this, as time goes by.

A favorite – since I am aging: Gen.48:10 “Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age,and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.”

The Psalmist’s advice is: “Kiss the Son, lest he is angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (2:12)

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The Cracked Acorn: Shooting Star

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We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him… Matthew 2:2b

I was in the pharmacy to pick up a prescription; someone mentioned an election and I commented that  I saw that morning a ‘shooting star’ and knew there would be a sharp turn in the result.    The pharmacist asked me if it was the answer to my prayer, I avoided that slippery slope.

America has grown up on the Disney language that when you wish upon a star your dream will come true.  A neighbor taught her two girls that when you see a ‘shooting star’ to not make a wish but to say a prayer.  If this gives you a warm feeling, why not!  As one visiting preacher said years ago, “Put your car on cruise, and pray and accept the Lord for His kindness.”

If I thought that ‘shooting stars’ were the answers to my prayers, I would remain outside every night to say prayers to the heavens..  The sun rises; it is the result/answer to one of my prayers.  Sure, we have to have faith that prayer or prayers bring results; the congregation made it a point to hold a meeting to just pray for rain, but only one little girl brought her umbrella!  A friend now passed on, said that prayer was a personal thing and not to be discussed.   My maternal grandmother always noted that driving down the long lane to the main road was a time to see if a red bird would fly across in front of the car; if it flew left, bad news; if it flew right, good news! There’s nothing wrong to seek for good or to think that every prayer is answered for one’s need

Driverless cars will soon, in the future, be on our highways.  It is kind of spooky to know no one will be at the wheel; we just place our faith in GPS and the talents of whoever made the car.  When I pray the next time, I should thank the almighty that HE has given me free will over many things and for the remainder HE is in control; I just don’t get up every morning and take a bundle of bananas to the monkey god and thank ‘it’ that all my prayers are always answered in some form or fashion.

 A new comet, which has been named 2I/Borisov (indicating its discoverer and its status as the second known interstellar object), is expected to be within reach of telescopes until fall 2020. At its closest approach, next month, it will be twice as far from Earth as Earth is from the sun. To travel to the nearest star would take 40,000 years.

Though it entered the solar system from the direction of the constellation Cassiopeia, scientists do not know yet where 2I/Borisov came from, or how long it has flown through the desolation of interstellar space. Given its current speed, it has certainly been traveling for millions, if not billions, of years. Is the visit of this comet the answer to a prayer?  The POST, November,2019

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Upcoming Events

Mar
31
Tue
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Mar 31 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, March 17 –  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! This[...]
Apr
1
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 1 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
Apr
2
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 2 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 2 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
Apr
3
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Apr 3 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 3 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
Apr
4
Sat
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 4 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
Apr
7
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10:00 am Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Apr 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Focus on Health Employment & Education Fair @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Two sessions: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Different vendors at each session. Held in the Science and Health Professions Building at LFCC’s Middletown Campus. Contact Taylor Luther for more[...]
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 7 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, March 17 –  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! This[...]
Apr
8
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 8 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]