Many yesterdays ago, I was involved in lots of car repairs. I was much younger and took it in stride that I was going to become the master mechanic. After several automobile restorations I began to think, was it really worth the trouble. My father was still in good health working on the farm. In one of my visits from Virginia to Kentucky, I confided in my dad and told him it was becoming too much. I was beginning to take naps in the garage, while under the car. Dad replied that he had been doing this for years; it could be under a tractor or the combine. (He once told me that when he was old; I would also be old. I just hadn’t realized that it had happened this quickly.)
The Bible tells us that people lived into the 900s before the Flood, Methuselah, at 969. This declined till about 1000 B.C. and then maybe 70 or 80 (Psalm 90:10). Starting in 1900 U.S. life expectancy has risen from 47 to an average age of 83, today. In this added time, we should “number” our days (Psalm 90:12). We should discern the future. (Deut. 32:28-29). We should consider how life will turn out. (Psalm 39:4-5) We will live even longer if we consider our speech/behavior. (Psalm 34:11-14; I Peter 3:10-11) We should love the Lord. (Psalm 91:14-16) Obey the Lord. (Proverbs:3:1-2,4:10) We should fear and grow in the knowledge of the Lord. (Proverbs 9:10-11; 10:27)
Here are some humorous remarks from people of the past:
All would live long, but none would be old. Age is something that doesn’t matter unless you are cheese. The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children. No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement. The older I grow, the more I distrust the family doctrine that age brings wisdom. None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. Age doesn’t protect you from love, but love to some extent protects you from age. Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative. Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns to be amused rather than shocked. You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come into contact with new ideas. (My favorite!) How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young?
Recently there have been several specials on TV about the NEW AGE and evangelistic movements supposedly sweeping our nation. I am not sure if we are looking at this from a close-up or from afar. I do not see within these vast audiences a sea of gray hair. Has the present generation forgotten that ‘An aged person loved is winter with flowers’ (old German proverb). The older generation is the “splendor” of today. (Proverbs 20:39) Psalm 92:13 and 14 says, “These who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.” Older people are the bearers of fundamental human values. When this is lacking, people become rootless. People lose hope in the future and live within the limits of the present. (from the Dignity of Older People)
The Cracked Acorn: True Love, not turnips!
“For GOD so loved the world, HE gave us HIS only SON…”– John 3:16
It was a hot, sultry, humid, awful southern day! A report had come back from a visit to the garden, the okra was gone and most all of anything left fit to eat was having a hard time of it, one could boil the withered turnips and then add salt and pepper for taste, to fill the stomach, perish the thought, but maybe it might take form before the day ended. The two discussed searching the empty cabins to look for a piece of salted hog shoulder.
The women sat on the once stately front porch, wondering, not talking, was there anything beautiful that they could see worth punishing their dry lips to talk about. One more sweep through the land and there would be nothing left. The sound of repeating thunder was not the work of coming rain, but more devastation. The stately trees on both sides of the long entrance lane could not take any more shelling, “Please Lord, save us the trees, if you do that…we’ll swear a few words and then eat the turnips for supper.”…these outspoken few words brought forth a chuckle!” Scarlet added an acid laugh with, “I hope that no more scarecrows come through, asking for something to eat!”, Millie nodded. (from, ACORN)
“It was then that Scarlett saw a dreaded sight, a bearded man coming slowly up the road under the cedars, clad in a ragged mixture of blue and gray uniform; his head was bowed low, and he dragged his feet, very slowly. “I thought we were done with all this, and he’s probably going to ask for food!”(Scarlett knew who the crippled figure was!!) In an instant, Melanie held up her faded skirts and shot off the steps; She raced with incoherent cries and threw herself into the dirty soldier’s arms. One of the kitchen help tried to hold Scarlett back… Let me go, you fool; it’s Ashley, her husband.” (Margaret Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE WIND)
How can we older folk forget that classic film in glorious color, the 1st of its kind, 1939?
Joseph #2 in Egypt, knew his brothers, forgave them. No wonder that we often think of him as definitive of CHRIST-like virtues. Genesis 45: 15 – Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward, his brothers talked with him.
The prodigal son… Luke 15:20 – But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him, and kissed him.
And I remember… at the Springfield Church of CHRIST… the father in the pew in front of us, begin to hug his little daughter, and squeeze her tightly until she called out, Dad, Stop, I can’t breathe!
May the good LORD squeeze you tightly until we meet again!
The Cracked Acorn: Boomerang
Matthew 19:19 – Honor your father and mother(that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee-Exodus 20:12), and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Nowadays, everything comes either already assembled or in a kit with easy to put together instructions, usually in at least three languages. In the early kits, we used to brag that the final product was easily produced using a 4-year-old child. Yes, you the adult, soon found out that it did indeed take a child to get the final three or four pieces together. I have attempted model airplanes and cars, but my interest was recently pricked when I saw a boomerang kit, of course, easy to assemble.
What is the secret of a boomerang, and what are its mysteries?
I have learned not to be lured by the temptation of an easy product. Most of us have heard the song “My boomerang won’t come back.” You want your boomerang to come back, or do you? We have all thrown sticks, and this was probably done eons ago to bring home the family meal. The oldest such type “boomerang” dates to Poland 18,000 years ago. The people that lived then did not want theirs to come back, only today, the ones that we see are manufactured for people to have fun at picnics and special events. Research shows that the flight of these special sticks employs a complicated branch of mathematics.
If you are having dreams about boomerangs, it could indicate that you are wondering about your reactions to other individuals and whether the results are positive or negative. In our society, the boomerang has become a cliché for a miscalculation that recoils on its maker. Early in WWII, the first torpedoes were equipped with primitive metal detectors, and many times the torpedoes would curve and home in on their own mother ship, the boomerang effect.
Recently I heard a song that said “God’s love is like a boomerang.”
I am sure that God wants His love returned through us His children.
If we were to love others unconditionally (as we should) without any doubt about how it would be returned, the whole world would be a much better place. Imagine if you could, no war or crime, all the hate of today gone!!!
Life is like a boomerang-
for if you crave love, you must give it out
cast away the hate, resentment, and grief
speak the word of Love throughout.
Life is like a boomerang-
if you believe you can, you will
but if your belief is nothing but idle words
you forever will stand still.
Life is like a boomerang-
to succeed, you must believe success
simply wishing will not do it
for the Divine takes nothing less.
Life is like a boomerang-
Love all, forgive and bless
and God will give you what you need
for He wants nothing less.
(poet Ellen M DuBois)
An example of our love -Great Hymns of the Church#406
I LOVE THY KINGDOM, LORD, THE HOUSE OF THINE ABODE; THE CHURCH OUR BLEST REDEEMER SAVED WITH HIS OWN PRECIOUS BLOOD.
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 on exercise & diet. Low-carb has entered our vocabulary and lite and no sugar and low sodium, 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 when 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 feeling! Food Glorious Food!
What wouldn’t we give for that extra bit 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 imagine; 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: Tiny Feet
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)
Silently and on tiny feet, soon the cooler evenings will come and paint scarlet on the Gloria Maple in my backyard. Without our interference, the year has reached a mid-point in the heavens, the fall equinox. To the ancient pagans, this meant the start of a season when harvesting was over and the beginning of feasting and Mabon, the pagan thanksgiving. It was a time to remember those who have left this world, and a time to think about winter and the start of the hunting season. Nature slows some; we are not mowing the lawn twice a week. The wooly worms are out in the open; solid black for a hard winter and tan for a mild and short season. So far, I have seen nature giving us mixed signals, not too dark and not too tan. Guess we will have to take the weather as it comes.
Astronomers report that two galaxy clusters in the constellation Hydra are still colliding (it started somewhere around 300 million years ago). This is quite a crash, 3 million light-years across, and could happen to the Milky Way(where we live!) in a few billion years. There’s plenty of time to get a good insurance policy that covers galactic collisions. In our time we have amazingly been drawn closer to the heavens and think of planets, stars, and moons as being on our own acreages. Telescopes are only able to give us a keyhole view, the heaven above is safe from our puny intrusions. The University of Hawaii, notes,”The long-term forecast is for fair galactic weather, about 7 billion years in the future.” Wow, I am glad to know this, have plans for a lot of outdoor projects.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, stormy rainy weather, and now we hear that Mount St. Helens may blow again; remember the heavens are not that peaceful -exploding stars, collisions of millions of star systems, black holes that suck everything into a vast void, and red dwarfs, and it goes on and on ’till we think that God has some kind of chaos worked up that only HE can control. Psalm 148 notes that all His works praise Him, and He commands, and they are created, verse 11,12 – kings of earth, all people all judges, young men, and maidens; old men, and children-let them praise Him for his glory is above the earth and heaven. It is the time to praise God, who is our peace and comfort. The heavens will always be there on HIS special timetable.
Give to those less fortunate than you are, Time to take a class and try something new,
Set aside a certain amount of time to be creative, Give thanks for food and gifts you’ve received,
Reflect on how to balance your needs with your commitments, Reflect on the past months of what you’ve harvested and plowed under, Identify and cut away outworn habits and emotional baggage which are weighing you down”.
The Cracked Acorn: Three Crosses
Matthew 27:54 54 – When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
Four years ago, I wrote about the three crosses south of Culpeper, Virginia. At that visit, I noted that whoever was maintaining them has gone away or passed away. The three were needing a coat of paint and a bit of tender loving care. I was very disappointed to see that someone has chosen the site as a used car lot, the ones parked there needed lots of care, just like the crosses. This past Sunday morning, I was happy to see the grounds mowed, the used cars were gone, and the two outer crosses had a new coat of white paint and the center a coat of yellow paint.
We all probably have had the desire or urge to leave our mark upon the American scene but didn’t have the time, energy, or money. Bernard Coffindaffer, a wealthy Nicholas County, W.VA. coal entrepreneur in 1984 had a “vision” to set up 3 crosses across the U.S.A. near main highways. After 9 years and $3 million dollars, a total of 1,864 clusters of crosses stretched over 29 states. The 25-foot triades of California Douglas fir are painted blue for the two outside ones and Jerusalem gold for the slightly taller center cross. The crosses were to symbolize Christ on the Cross flanked by the two thieves that were crucified with Him, Mark 15:27.
A service was held at each completed site. Mark 8:34 was used – If any man comes after Me, let him deny himself and follow Me. Seeing the crosses from the road is to remind us that Jesus was crucified on a cross at Calvary for our sins and that He is ‘soon’ coming again – I Thessalonians 4:16.
Coffindaffer died on October 6, 1993. Surely, this was intended to be a continual reminder to our society of the sacrifice made for all mankind. I cannot find in my Bible saying that I should follow Coffindaffer’s example.
The scripture about the “light on a hill”, Mark 4:21, may have triggered Coffindaffer’s vision. Paul does tell us to present our bodies as “living sacrifices” so that others should see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.
The scripture: I Peter 2:21 “For Christ suffered for you, leaving you His example so that you should follow in His footsteps.
So on September 28, 1984, Coffindaffer started the Crosses Across America project, saying “Not for saints or sinners. For everybody. They are up for only one sole reason, and that’s this: to remind people that Jesus was crucified on a cross at Calvary for our sins and that He is soon coming again.” (It was a leap year and Ronald Reagan was President.)
In the cross of Christ I glory, Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time; Never shall the Cross forsake me; it glows with peace & love.
The Cracked Acorn: Aussie Humor
Somewhere in my notes, I found these, enjoy:
Remember, if you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.
A clear conscience is usually a sign of a bad memory.
Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side.
The fool doth think himself wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
It’s better to keep one’s mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubts.
Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
Honesty is often the best policy, but insanity is usually a better defense.
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
If you can’t be kind, at least be vague.
Think negative, and you’ve already failed.
Success in life is a long, hard climb.
Life without a mission is a tremendous omission.
Blowing out another’s candle will not make yours shine brighter.
When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.
Opinions that are well rooted should grow and change like a healthy tree.
Why do people long for eternal life when they don’t even know what to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon?
If something was worth doing, wouldn’t it have been done already?
Isn’t the hardest thing in life, knowing which bridges to cross and which to burn?
Is it possible that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others?
If quitters never win and winners never quit, who is the fool that said ‘quit while you are ahead?
Why is it that whenever you let the cat out of the bag, you usually wind up in the dog house?
If practice makes perfect and nobody’s perfect, why practice?
How do you know if honesty is the best policy unless you’ve tried some others?
Why can’t we put all our eggs into one basket? Isn’t this just being more efficient?
If too many cooks spoil the soup, then why are two heads better than one?
If the pen is mightier than the sword, then how can actions speak louder than words?
If two wrongs don’t make a right, why is it that two negatives make a positive?
Have you ever stopped to think and forget to start again?
If you think you are indecisive, how can you be sure? Is a conclusion simply the place where you got tired of thinking?
Why do people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices?
What would happen if you had two half-baked ideas at the same time?
If great minds really think alike, then what makes them so great?
Why is it that the harder you try to think, the more difficult it is?
Before Columbus’ discovery, wasn’t it common sense that led people to believe the world was flat?
And didn’t they believe this, despite the Bible in Isaiah 40:22 stating that the Earth is a sphere?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;