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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Hurry

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I was on my 35 mile drive to volunteer to sort historic maps at the U.S. Geological Survey at Reston, Virginia. A pit stop was necessary to purchase a muffin and a newspaper; I say this because the bumper-to-bumper traffic was doing over 75 mph downhill when I pulled to the outside lane and into the 7-11 parking lot. I jumped out of the car, made the selections then waited to pay. I said to the man in front of me,”I wish this line would hurry up, I’m running third”, this drew a few chuckles.

Meanwhile, the world’s largest optical telescope in the South Africa’s Great Karoo desert is searching out beyond the galaxies to the edge of the big bang. A project, the GIANT EAR, powered by the world’s largest EVEREDDY battery is to come online any moment now. If there is life out there, this will surely do the trick and can be picked up on the FM dial at 93.35 Megahertzs.

Yes!! Yes!! we are receiving a signal from the Crab Nebula! (Our connection to the optical Karoo scope will give us picture and sound.) Let’s Listen in!

KKROCK HAD ORBITED INTO THE LOCAL CRAB WAWA. HE HAS PARKED A PINK 2050 UGO WITH FINNED TWIN TURBOS. (The speed of light has put the UGO factory years ahead of us.) KKROCK RUSHES INSIDE TO GRAB A CHOCOYUM COVERED CARBON BAR AND SNATCHES A LARGE STELLERBUCKS WITH TRIPLE SIPS. “COULD YOU HURRY IT UP A LIGHT YEAR OR SO, I’M RUNNING THIRD. I AM LATE FOR MY JOB AT THE SIRRUS RED DWARF WAL*MART!”

“NOT TO WORRY”, SAYS THE MANAGER, “BUT I NOTICED THAT ONE OF YOUR TURBOS IS ACTING SLUGGISHLY. HAVE YOU TRIED OUR NEW FUEL?”

“NO, FOR MILLENIUMS I HAVE USED ONLY XREG”, REPLIED KKROCK.

“WELL! WELL! DO I HAVE GOOD NEWS FOR ALL YOU XREG USERS. SWITCH TO A FULL CHARGE OF ZOOMLAX FOR A SHOOTING START AT THE BEGINNING OF EVERY ORBIT. SOME OF OUR CUSTOMERS ARE NOW CONVINCED THAT ONLY ZOOMLAX WILL DO THE TRICK TO PUT THEM AHEAD OF THE CRAB NEBULA GRIDLOCKS. OLDER TURBOS MAY REQUIRE ZOOMLEADLAXLITE. MY! MY! WHEN WILL ALL THIS RUSHING END!!” THE MANAGER HAD A SMILE ON ALL OF HIS THREE HEADS BECAUSE HE HAD MADE ANOTHER CUSTOMER HAPPY!

(Stay tuned for what happens when the Karoo Scope & GIANT EAR finds KKROCK filling the wife’s UGO with ……losing contact….must get new EVEREDDY batteeerrryy…)

Why, are we in such a hurry? Even the micro wave oven is too slow!!!
List to the call, the gospel call today,Get in the gloryland way. Wanderers, come home, O hasten to obey, For, I’m in the gloryland way!

I’m in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why
(from the ALABAMA group)

An Jehu answered,”What have you to do with peace? Turn and follow me.” So the watchman reported,saying, “He went up to them and is not coming back; and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously!” (2 Kings 9:19,20) Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”

The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Yoga

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You are experiencing lots of stress in your life. The pluses are not balancing out the minuses. An alternative doctor suggests that a yoga class could help you past this difficult time. Friends are already involved in a yoga program and think this is the “high” that brings happiness and completeness with yourself. I would have thought like this until a few weeks ago. A radio talk show asked a woman why she did not believe in or take yoga. She replied that it was not for the Christian and would never let her children become involved with yoga. (Why would a Christian not want to derive the supposed health benefits from yoga?)

Everyone is probably acquainted with Yoga; it has been around for ages. Yoga is a form of religion and its roots are in Hinduism. It is a means of relaxation and is a form of exercise that promotes physical fitness. It is being taught in schools, nursing homes and city recreation programs. It started in India during the Age of Gold, over 26,000 years ago.

Today, you can find yoga in denominational churches that offer many activities outside worship to the young and the old. Used this way, it is often referred to as “Christian Yoga” which is an oxymoron that cannot be true any more than being a “Christian Buddhist.” There are several eastern mystical influences in our society today; yoga is one! It has gained strength and captured the attention of over 18 million in the USA. According to internet sources, yoga is treated like a sports activity. This means that there is a market for clothes,time and place for these exercises. Who would go without the proper yoga pants,shorts, tops, shoes and jacket. Here again is the present trend to be identified through dress,especially if it tells everyone that you believe in the popular fad of spiritual relaxation exercises

The word Yoga means “union” or “yoke” and has deeply entrenched its teaching into the New Age Movement that emphasizes “self.” If we fill ourselves with “self” what is left? “Do not be yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” II Corinthians 6:14; Matthew 11:29 Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Here it would indicate that there is to be only one yoke and that is the one given to us by Christ. Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” This would go for a Hindu god. The Old Testament still stands for the truth about God and that He is a jealous God. The New Age people are over looking these facts. They are saying that “now is the time to bring relaxation and meditation techniques into the church to help revive a strain of spirituality that has been filtered out of Christianity over the years. This will lead to a healthier congregation.” (from Yoga Stretches Traditional Christian Boundaries)

The bottom line is that we would all agree that there is nothing wrong with exercise and attainting good posture. The method and the activities should be Christian guided and based on the Bible. Be careful that the “it is no longer I that lives but Christ lives in me,” and is perverted through New Age thinking to become “it is no longer Christ that lives but I live in me.”

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The Cracked Acorn

THE CRACKED ACORN: Spring

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Spring is peeking out from woods and the byways. Approiate clothing for those soon-to-be sunny days have already been in the stores for many weeks. Forsynth, crocus, and daffodils are very close to heralding another change of season. Soon snow, sleet, ice and the wintry mix will be just another memory. It is time to check out that new barbecue grill. It will look good out on the freshly painted deck. You can almost taste those tangy hamburgers and hotdogs. Hula hoops and plastic swimming pools are stacked just inside the doors of all the majors retailers. Prices are posted “ON SALE!” and spring has arrived. Snow blowers, salt, sand, and shovels have retreated to the far corners of the store. This is the time for a good bargain but my garage cannot hold any more end of the season urges.

The deer are coming by nightly to check out lawn and garden to see if I have rushed the warmer weather with recently set out shrubs and garden plants. They are looking for desserts. Last year they nibbled everything even the rhubarb. Yes, it is all coming back now. The great out-of-doors, where aching backs and blisters await, where the world has rotated to reveal the beckoning finger to once again take a defensive position on our bit of earthly land. It is the time to begin to think of warring against the unknown and bone up on what alien invaders present a threat to the homeland of clipped grass and tasty fruits and vegetables. We know that we must show true grit with hoe and tiller puffing out its noxious fumes adding to the greenhouse warming effect. We who have had our finest moments in the blazing midday sun, know we will never give up till fall shall come and the frost hits our vicious opponents. So, be on your guard: alder, clover, beggartick, thistle, broomweed, carpetweed, chickweed dogbane, wild garlic, poison oak, pigweed, flebane, sorrel, wild rose, tanweed, tarweed, wooly morning glory, yellow rocket, and all of the other 240 kinds of bad weeds and grasses that will try to smother our outdoors efforts.

When I look out over my 1/2 acre, I feel like Sir Winston Churchill,

“I shall go on to the end, to fight on sea and ocean,and to fight with growing confidence and strength,that I shall defend this tiny kingdom whatever the cost. This struggle will be carried to the edge of the streets,adjoining fields, even to the close by hills. I shall never surrender even if I am subjugated and starving, until in God’s good time, this new lawn and garden with its fresh won glory will step forth to succor me in my pool of blood, toil, tears, blisters and sweat.”

Brother Paul never had a lawn and garden but he did know about the perils of life!
See:(Galatians 5:19-24)

Whatever work we are involved in, remember God is on our side.

SOLDIERS OF CHRIST ARISE AND PUT YOUR ARMOR ON: STRONG IN THE STRENGTH WHICH GOD SUPPLIES THRO’ HIS BELOVED SON. STRONG IN THE LORD ON HOSTS AND IN HIS MIGHTY POW’R,WHO IN THE STRENGTH OF JESUS TRUSTS IS MORE THAN CONQUEROR. LEAVE NO UNGUARDED PLACE NO WEAKNESS OF THE SOUL;TAKE EVERY VIRTUE,EVERY GRACE, AND FORTIFY THE WHOLE. THAT HAVING ALL THINGS DONE,AND ALL YOUR CONFILCTS PAST,YOU MAY O’ER COME THRO’ CHRIST ALONE, AND STAND ENTIRE AT LAST. (SACRED SELECTIONS)

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Models

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It’s about that time when ladies’ spring fashions will be paraded. I wonder what the models eat. Certainly, they are not having a BIG MAC or the all u-can-eat bar. The subliminal message is that slim is closely related to physical beauty.

Many years ago at Tabriz, Iran. We had a satellite tracking site at the university campus. We lived in the METROPOLE HOTEL and an army truck with an Iranian sergeant was our driver.  One morning he asked us to come over and watch him collect his lottery winnings,  he then went to an adjacent kiosk and bought black and white pictures of large fully clothed women staring smiling into the camera. He thought this was the most. He showed them to us and I noticed that there was not one who could have fit into a size 4.

This is the Middle East where Health care is non-existent as it was in Biblical times. Women are required to do lots of manual labor and bear strong and healthy children; this is very dangerous. Simliac and Gerber are unknown. Women must nurse their children or find a “wet” nurse. God intervened in Exodus 2:7 by providing the real mother to continue to nurse Moses at the age of three months.

Genesis 24:16 And the damsel (Rebekah) was very fair to look upon,virgin, never had any man known her:and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17-And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 19) And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they (ten camels) have done drinking. (A thirsty camel can drink 27 gallons in ten minutes.) Here we have a young woman who is willing to draw this water in the heat of the day to be kind to a stranger. This would have been physically demanding even for the strongest man. These qualities impressed the servant sent to find a wife for Isaac.

Genesis 29:16 And Laban had two daughters the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17) Leah was tender eyed:but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. 18a) And Jacob loved Rachel. 31) And the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb:but Rachel was barren. Leah could have been by our standards of fashion a small and very slim woman while Rachel was Jacob’s dream of what a woman should be to bare lots of children and be a very physically fit person to handle the running of a large household. Again this was the day of none of the modern conveniences that we have to keep the home running smoothly and also have our spare time “to find ourselves.” Again, the Lord knows best and blessed Leah and Jacob had to learn the lesson of patience.

My 6-month visit was during the reign of Shah Pahlavi (married three times). His first wife bore no male heirs. Likewise for the second wife but she brought into the capitol city of Tehran the fashions of style and dress from Paris and New York. Many of the Iranian women with affordable means copied the Shah’s wife with her European dress and hair styles but beyond the major cities the women still remained covered from head to their feet.

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.  Proverbs 31:10

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The Cracked Acorn: Lighthouse

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At one of the local stores where I buy my gas and get coffee, I purchased a small framed picture of a lighthouse and a small sailboat in an inlet. It reminded me of my few experiences with boats.

First impression is that a storm is brewing at the end of the day. The lighthouse has not switched on its light. It may be late autumn. Leaves are changing colors on the shore. The shore of the lighthouse is rocky and the other shore looks to be one of safety. The small sailboat is trying to reach land near a small cottage in the woods. The sailboat is very small in comparison to the lighthouse. The threatening rock ledges are partially hidden by the lashing waves.

The coming storm is definitely too powerful for the small craft which has its single sail at the fullest extent. The lighthouse stands as a warning for the boat to stay away and not to come near the rocks. Does the sailboat see that it is in danger and will a warning from the lighthouse soon flash the warning that danger is at hand?

The artist of this painting must have known something of life. The sailboat is too small. The inlet of safety is filled with hidden dangers. Without an experienced pilot, the captain may not know these waters and how to get into the shore to escape the coming storm. The passengers may have been lulled into their nice voyage and have not been aware that soon their lives may be in danger. The light is not on in the lighthouse, does anyone care that a ship is in danger. The waves are viciously hitting the shore churned by a distant force while on the shore things still deceptively appear to be calm. Time may be running out for our sailor at the end of the day.

The oceans cover seventy percent of our planet. From the years 1845 to 1938, it is recorded that 105 ships with passengers and cargo went down off the Southern Cape Coast and more probably not recorded. An internet comment on this was that ship builders could hardly keep ahead of all the sinkings.

Many books have been written to emphasize the dangers of the oceans and how unforgiving the Mighty Deep can be. A war time novel by C.S. Forester, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, reminds you of those who have been committed to the deep because of the folly of man.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was In the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4)

Edward Hopper in 1871 was well aware of the loss of life due to the many shipwrecks and sinkings of his day. He wrote the hymn JESUS, SAVIOR, PILOT ME.

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The Cracked Acorn: Self

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It was in the summer of 1849 that Phineas Gage, a railroad construction foreman was standing on the wrong place at the wrong time. A dynamite blast went off and sent a tamping iron through the air. It passed through Gage’s head, and he survived. Before the accident he was an efficient worker and shrewd businessman. The accident changed him and made him a profane person, with little regard for others. He also could not make plans for the future. His friends remarked that he had become “the other Gage.”

This and other incidents have prompted research into what is our “self.” Scientists are searching to explain the complex cohesive neural process that explains why we are happy or unhappy. Children up to the age of 12 years are in the SELF learning process and tend not to be bothered by changes in routines and life in general. Adults do not react the same way once SELF has been formed. Sources note that once the brain is fully formed that an action has a programmed response.

Like computers our thinking system is not only programmed to think and act but in the background there is also the planned response. We put a lot of time into SELF. If a test is given with an equal number of questions on SELF and questions about others. Later we can recall the SELF questions but not those about others. How people can become less SELFish and learn to live and contribute to the lives of others is one of the wonderful traits of being human, never to ever be learned by a machine with artificial intelligence.

How we react to our daily lives and how flexible we are to responses from our fellowman is the key to the peace and tranquility we all seek. We all know of individuals who are still at a later time in life trying to find “SELF.” They are reaching for everything that can tell them that they are alive. Some need the thrill of skydiving or cliff jumping to say “Yes, this is the SELF, I have been looking for!” Whatever future studies show, the study of our SELF and how it drives our lives will continue to be interesting reading.

Books that have been written on SELF are: A Self Less Ordinary, Is Self Special?, The Lost Self, Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain-and How It Changed the World. These are just a few of the many books written, to understand our SELF. It all started with the following Biblical Verse.

Genesis 2:7 – And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

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The Cracked Acorn: The Wonders

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Years ago, I purchased a 1956 Chrysler Imperial from a friend. When we cleaned out the trunk, I was impressed that he was prepared for all types of road hazards and in all kinds of weather. He had backups to the backups and clothing to change into to put on a spare tire or to do on road maintenance.

My sons often asked me to tell them of the “old days.” They thought I was ancient. I told them how I lived on a farm and we depended on crops and livestock to give us income. Drought, disease, too much rain and high winds, could seriously damage a good crop of corn and wheat. We also grew the cash crop, tobacco which is a very delicate plant. A quick hail storm could send you looking for a public job to get the family through the winter. Many of today’s farmers have done this. Agriculture is the one big industry quickly affected by natural disasters of any type.

Those who watch weather patterns predict that more and more hurricanes will come ashore and head farther north. I remember Isabel for it left us without power for four days. It took me back to my childhood when we depended on kerosene lamps and cooked over wood stoves. This could happen again.

We have no other choice but to live in this physical world that God created for us. It may not always behave the way we wish. We cannot live in straw houses set upon a sandy beach.

ALL WHO LISTEN TO MY INSTRUCTIONS AND FOLLOW THEM ARE WISE, LIKE A MAN WHO BUILDS HIS HOUSE ON SOLID ROCK. THOUGH THE RAINS COMES IN TORRENTS, AND THE FLOODS RISE AND THE STORM WINDS BEAT AGAINST HIS HOUSE, IT WON’T COLLAPSE, FOR IT IS BUILT ON ROCK. BUT THOSE WHO HEAR MY INSTRUCTIONS AND IGNORE THEM ARE FOOLISH, LIKE A MAN WHO BUILDS HIS HOUSE ON SAND. FOR WHEN THE RAINS AND FLOODS COME, AND STORM WINDS BEAT AGAINST HIS HOUSE, IT WILL FALL WITH A MIGHTY CRASH. (Matthew 7:24-27)

The crowd who heard these words from Jesus were amazed at his wisdom. I wonder how many of that number went and moved their houses. There is always a great lesson to be learned from the Scriptures.

Three million people live within the shadow of the world’s most historically deadly volcano at Vesuvius, Italy. One of its violent eruptions in 79 A.D. described by Pliny the Younger buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Within a period 19 hours these two towns were buried in ash and the inhabitants were caught in the gas and cinders. Yet, today within the shadow of this violent volcano, smoking and sending out tremors, people carry on their daily lives as if this goes with the territory. Mass evacuations have not taken place. Volcanologists note that there are no signs of unrest at Vesuvius at the present time. An estimated one million people live in the area of past eruptions. This does not seem to hurt the real estate market.

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Humanity Day @ Main Street Gazebo
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Humanity Day @ Main Street Gazebo
This Saturday, April 20th, will be the 1st Annual Humanity Day sponsored by SONA Bank and the Habitat for Humanity. The event will take place at the Gazebo on Main Street in Front Royal from[...]
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Dawn McCarty – Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
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Dawn McCarty - Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Thanks to the efforts of VGSR volunteers, Mickie was surrendered to the rescue and started a new adventure. Mickie was very special and it was not because of his feet. He was a fabulous companion[...]
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Jeff Ryan – Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
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Jeff Ryan - Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Author, speaker, photographer and avid hiker Jeff Ryan was born and raised in Maine. His love of the outdoors was evident early in life. He was skiing at the age of three and spending at least[...]