The Cracked Acorn
The Cracked Acorn: Housing
One of the world’s largest optical/infrared telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, has discovered a heavenly body at the far reaches of our solar system. It has an orbit of 10,500 years and is the closest at the present time. Viewers of “Sedna” note that its last trip by us was in the ice age. I wonder what Earth will be like when this planet-like body returns; maybe housing prices will have come down, and affordable real estate will be a reality.
Norway is reporting a building boom, the highest in 22 years. Housing starts are up 31 percent. This is not unlike what is happening in our area. Every house built is immediately sold. I hear that prices are up 25 percent since last year. Building materials are being bought up by developing countries and forcing us to pay more for a piece of lumber and steel girders. Times are good.
A friend is considering selling their home and moving farther out to be near their daughter. I have listened to him go over the advantages and disadvantages. Our homes can become ‘the thorn in the flesh’ if we let it. Many builders offer a variety of models with many upgrades. How much grass do we want to mow on how many acres? How will we handle all this when the aging process says we must slow down? How far can one go before all your income has been sacrificed to meet the needs or wishes or desires of what we see in a home – a house made with hands? (II Corinthians 5:1-4)
Brother J.C. Burr preached into his 90s and died in 1979. He wrote these appropriate comments in 1979.
“The owner of the building I have occupied for 88 years has given me a notice that he will furnish little or no more repairs. I’m advised to get ready to move. At first, this was not a very welcome notice. The surroundings here, in many respects, are very pleasant. Were it not for the evidence of decay, I would consider this old home good enough. But even light wind causes it to tremble and totter, and all the braces are insufficient to secure it. So I am getting ready to move.
It is strange how quickly one’s interest is transferred to the new prospective home. I have been consulting maps of the new country and reading descriptions of its inhabitants. Two or three times, I’ve been down to the river that forms the boundary and have wished myself among the company of those who are singing praises to the King on the other side. Many of my relatives and friends have moved there. Before leaving, they spoke of my coming later. I have seen smiles on their faces as they passed out of sight.
Often I’m asked to make investments here, but I always say, “I can’t. I’m getting ready to move.” I’m not unhappy that my lease is expiring. I’m not the least disturbed that I must move. I’m assured that the move will be much better than what I have here. There is one last question we should ask ourselves: “Am I ready to move?”
“I MADE ME GREAT WORKS; I BUILDED ME HOUSES; I PLANTED ME VINEYARDS. LET US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MA 1 I ER: FEAR GOD, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN!” (Ecc. 2:4;12:13)
The Cracked Acorn
The Cracked Acorn: To be alive
How many times have you heard someone say, “If I had his money, I could do things my way”?
“But little they know, it’s so hard to find 1 rich man in 10 with a satisfied mind.” (Johnny Cash, circa 1978)
Money can’t buy back your youth when you’re old or a friend when you’re lonely, or a love that’s grown cold.
April 15, 2013, Monday, 2:49 pm, this date will probably soon be forgotten by many of us, but for thousands who were there on this day in the Boston Marathon, it will never go away.
Television and radio and maybe movies yet to come will keep alive this terrible event, hoping that this will not occur again. In the “course of human events,” it is impossible to promise that this will ‘never’ happen again.
Of those who survived, some were fortunate enough to be out of range of the explosions, look back, and say that they are glad to be alive. There is no mention of the loss of wealth or the possibility that lawsuits could occur, just the “I am glad to be alive!” and said by some who lost legs, “I am glad to be alive!”
Our country has always tried its best to keep alive the memory of those caught in these events. The list is a long one from World Wars to the Trade Center and to the present time when tragedy seems to become local. We love closure and set up monuments and even wooden crosses along the roadside to make sure that those gone are remembered.
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? … Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. (Psalm 2)
This seems to be our heritage. What is the answer? (I knew you were going to ask!)
“Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].” James 4:14…Amplified Bible
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
After a torpedo attack on the convey, A sailor is anxious…his friend answers, “Why is the Captain slowing? He always does, to pick up survivors!” C.S. Forester’s character is so like JESUS, who will always be there for survivors in our lives. (movie: THE GOOD SHEPHERD, 1955)
Last: Gold from a TV Ad…We cannot bring back TODAY!
The Cracked Acorn
The Cracked Acorn: Angels
A friend, in an act of kindness, gave my wife a small angel statue that can display wings of different colors; it’s very impressive. Of course, we do not know what these spiritual beings created to be messengers and stand in the presence of God really look like. They took a form to visit Abraham (Genesis 18), and one wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32).
Books upon books have been written on the subject of angels. TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL ran for 9 seasons on TV and made all the actors very rich. Many stores sell articles pertaining to angels. If you do get to discuss angels with someone while shopping, be prepared for a fully functioning system that angels are essential to our modern society. The following are a few questions people have posted on the internet:
- Have you ever met a supernatural messenger or envoy?
- When you heard someone speak about meeting angels, did you think they were weird?
- What do you think an angel feels when humans reject its message?
- If you believe that angels exist and act in our world, how should you live your life?
- What image do you think of when you see angels portrayed at Christmas?
Are angels sent forth today as ministering spirits to mankind would be the question to answer. The whole concept is that this would be a miraculous event, but miracles have ended (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; Ephesians 4:8-16). Since the supernatural stage no longer exist so God employs angels to implement his will on behalf of his saints in today’s world. It cannot be proven today angels appear in human form as in ancient times (Acts 10). But in extreme times of danger, this should not stop us from praying that God will intervene on our behalf (Daniel 3:19-25).
What children say :
- “My guardian angel helps me with math, but he’s not much good for science.”
- “Angels don’t eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!”
- “Angels taking us to heaven, talk about what went wrong before you got dead.”
- “Angels live in cloud houses made by God’s son, who is a carpenter.”
- “All angels are girls because they wear dresses.”
- “I can’t understand why an angel would shoot an arrow through someone in love.”
- “My grandma is an angel helping me while here on earth.”
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
The bed be blest that I lie on.
Four angels to my bed.
Four angels round my head,
One to watch, and one to pray,
And two to bear my soul away.”
(from: “A Candle in the Dark” by Thomas Ady 1656, an English physician who wrote books during a time when atrocities were inflicted on witches and the poor souls of the Inquisition.)
Angels usually describe the whole range of spirits whom God has created, including both good and evil angels and special categories such as cherubim, seraphim, and the archangel. Angels are mentioned at least 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament (Chafer, Systematic Theology, II, 3).
The Cracked Acorn
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 10:00 pm – so I intended to get coffee, a snack and return a few hours later for the POST. DITTO – I am in the snack isle and looking over the goodies, a woman is on her knees looking at the bottom shelf; she was after the cinn buns – I got down and found them for her, so then she told me all the details about this snack, I listened and finally wandered away to the coffee bar. I didn’t want decaf and needed something stronger. “Emma” came over and told me of her coffee’s strong choice – I followed through. She beat me to the checkout. “Emma” 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 had a relationship, I would never have to speak another word.
“A man must know his own libations!” – 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, and 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 stop light, 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!”
TRUE or FALSE: What makes a woman different from a man? Men are more logical, analytical, and rational. Women are more intuitive, holistic, creative, and integrative. Men have a much more difficult time relating to their own feelings and may feel very threatened by the expression of feelings in their presence.
What does Psalms say about women?
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” – Read Proverbs 31
The Cracked Acorn
The Cracked Acorn: Need to know
So that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped – 2 Timothy 3:14-17
When I was growing up and attending church, the preacher would remind us that a battle was raging. It was the battle for our souls. The pulpit was pounded, and supporting scriptures were quoted. The battle still goes on and will never stop. The enemy is very clever and does not rest as we do. While we sleep, computers around the world are gathering information. Companies are interested in what we eat, wear, and buy. How we use what we buy is their main concern. They are establishing a predictable profile of our society’s needs. The expanded markets hope to reach all our material and spiritual desires.
You may think that you are a private person. This would be true if you lived up a muddy road on the side of a 12,000-foot mountain and made and grew all you needed. Of course, you could not have a telephone or a cell phone or have any neighbors. Electricity would be a no! no! You would have to limit your connections to the outside world. The postman would put your mail in a post office box if you knew anyone that had the P.O. address. This sounds good, no junk mail.
Information can influence the individual about what to place before the “window of our soul.” I saw this in a religious bookstore one Christmas season. The gospel now appears in many books, CDs, and videos. I was looking for a replacement Bible. It was decided that recovering was more expensive than purchasing a new one. On this very busy mid-morning shopping day in a large store in Manassas, I was amazed by the many translations and versions that populated the one Bible stand. I was even more amazed that out of the many prospective buyers, I was the only one shopping for a Bible. I could have picked one and stretched out on the floor and read it from cover to cover. All eyes were turned to LEFT BEHIND and PASSION OF THE CHRIST and books about the lives of the TV evangelists. Surely, I knew what Jesus felt when he saw what was going on in the temple. No one was interested in a good sturdy covered Bible. Ah, to be sure, the internet, the PC, has done its job well and spread the gospel of the vast available warehouse of sugary religious Twinkies.
There’s a book that surpasses the sages, A volume of wisdom divine; And the glory that gleams from its pages, No splendor of earth can outshine. “Tis the light which will guide is to glory, The Sword of the Spirit of might; And to dwell on its beautiful story Is of heaven the sweetest delight.
‘TIS THE BIBLE! THE BIBLE! OUR GUIDING STAR THAT LEADS FROM EARTH TO HEAV’N, THE BIBLE! THE BIBLE! WE LOVE THE PRECIOUS BOOK OF TRUTH WHICH GOD HAS GIV’N. (#502 Sacred Selections)
The Cracked Acorn
The Cracked Acorn: Burned Biscuits
The following was forwarded to me by a friend, written by Joanne Brown.
“When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit.
He ate every bite of that thing…never made a face nor uttered a word about it! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.” Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides–a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!”
As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship. And that’s my prayer for you today…that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker!
We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship! “Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket–keep it in your own.” So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine. And PLEASE pass this along to someone who has enriched your life–I just did! Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
“Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil–it has no point” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“IN EVERYTHING, GIVE THANKS;”
The Cracked Acorn
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, were 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 of all, you must understand 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 to prepare our souls to live eternally with God.
The author has erred on the point that David built a “richly decorated Temple.” Note: And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house unto the name of the LORD my God: But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.– 1 Chronicle 22:7-9
Last, the mention that “time blurs in the Bible” is not accurate “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 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.”
Wind: 2mph N
UV index: 0