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The Cracked Acorn

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: Love

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This is a true story. I know personally the party, involved. Love dwindled, unhappiness and dissatisfaction grew, daily fussing and fighting characterized the relationship of husband and wife, ultimately, a divorce wrecked the home, leaving two bewildered, emotionally scarred children in its wake. The father gained custody and the mother went her own way, doing her own thing.

The children loved their mother. Strange thing about love – it’s so often blind to the faults of those we love. Months went by and the mother longed to see her children. She mustered up the courage to visit. Leaving her car at the curb, she walked to the front door only or find no one at home. But posted on the door was a note from the youngest of her two boys, the seven-teat-old. It read, “Mother, I’m at the park. Please come to the park.” She hurriedly made her way to the park, and there, sure enough, was the little fellow. After the preliminary hugs and kisses, the mother, still amazed by the note, said, “Honey, how did you know I was coming to see you today?” He answered.

“Oh, I didn’t, but what made you put the note on the door if you didn’t know I was coming?”

In response the love-starved little one said, “I put a note on the door every day, every time I leave, ’cause I knew you’d be coming to see me.”

“I knew you’d be coming to see me!” I wonder if there are not those OUT THERE, life’s rejects, those hurt by cruel circumstance, those whose life seems to be hopelessly going nowhere, those groping for some spiritual meaning in their lives, who are daily placing a note on their door which reads, “I’m not at home just now, but please – PLEASE – come find me..” by David Ladd, preacher.

Facts and Statistics
Around the world, there are an estimated 153 million orphans who have lost one parent. There are 17,900,000 orphans who have lost both parents and are living in orphanages or on the streets and lack the care and attention required for healthy development. According to the U.S. State Department, U.S. families adopted more than 7,000 children in 2012.

Last year, Americans adopted the highest number of children from China followed by Ethiopia, Ukraine, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. No child under three years of age should be placed in institutional care without a parent or primary caregiver, according to research from 32 European countries, including nine in-depth country studies, which considered the “risk of harm in terms of attachment disorder, developmental delay and neural atrophy in the developing brain.

“Children raised in orphanages have an IQ 20 points lower than their peers in foster care, according to a meta-analysis of 75 studies (more than 3,800 children in 19 countries). In 2012, 23,396 youth aged out of the U.S. foster care system without the emotional and financial support necessary to succeed. —American Surveys Digest—

Student A: I can spell my mom’s name!
Teacher: Oh yeah? How do you spell it?
Student A: M-O-M.
Student B: That’s how you spell MY mom’s name, too!

(From THE WAYNESBORO VISITOR, Church of Christ…March 15, 1998)
Title: THE NOTE ON THE DOOR 1 JOHN 4:19 KJV “We love him, because he first loved us.”

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The Cracked Acorn: Sheep and Amazing Facts

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“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”— John 10:14

Sheep! I don’t have much knowledge about sheep, I just know that my father raised hogs and cattle and avoided the idea of sheep; it could have been that there was no real sheep market at that time in central Kentucky, also that there was not any for soy beans…like today. There was a couple of incidents with two farmers that entered this business; one was shut down by marauding dog packs and the other farmer closed his sheep business when he did a chemical dip on the flock in the middle of a Kentucky winter. These were the days that a person discovered a tall mountain grass and named it Fescue – this became the cash crop.

While waiting in a local restaurant for a carryout, the waitress confided in me that she was from Texas. There was a morning that they ( the family) woke up to strange noises form the back of the house or as we would call it ‘a deck.’ They went to check and there crammed in as close as could be, sheep. Yelling at them to go away or tugging or any kind of hands on just did not work!. Telephone calls were made and one of the ranchers showed up and claimed them, he made some clicking sounds and turned and left followed by all the sheep. I was so reminded by John, the 10th chapter.

In my working travels, I was sent to New Zealand to do satellite tracking at the South Island airport. The countryside is filled with sheep, some say there are 37 to every New Zealander. You may see occasional cows and wonder why the bovines are so thin; the reason is that after the sheep nip the grass off close to the ground there is not much left for the cows. I assumed that daily mutton is sometimes replaced by a hamburger…and a very slim one…low fat!

Humor: A policeman stopped a pickup truck with sheep in the back. The driver was told that the sheep should be taken to the zoo and then asked why the sheep were wearing sunglasses. “Sir, I took the sheep to the zoo yesterday and today I am taking them to the beach.”

• There are over 1 billion sheep in the world.
• China has the largest number of sheep in the world.
• Sheep have a field of vision of around 300 degrees, allowing them to see behind themselves without having to turn their head.
• Sheep are herbivores that eat vegetation such as grass.
• The digestive system of sheep features four chambers which help break down what they eat.
• Sheep like to stay close to others in a herd which makes them easier to move together to new pastures.
• In 1996, a sheep named Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned from a somatic cell.
• Domesticated sheep are raised for a number of agricultural products including fleece and meat.
• Clothing.

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The Cracked Acorn: Derby Day

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The first Saturday of May is the KENTUCKY DERBY. It is a nostalgic event from my childhood when we traveled in our Kaiser to Louisville to my uncle and aunt’s home. From there we drove out to Churchill Downs to make a day of it. I was probably 12 years old at the time. I recall that the crowds were large and I was small lost in the adults out on the infield. The men wore brimmed hats and the ladies had their flowery hats to keep the sun off. When the race was over, there was quite a flow of people using the tunnel under the track to reach the parking lots. It was not a time to get separated from your parents.

The band always strikes up the state song MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME. I have noticed that it appeared that most are not singing, maybe the lyrics are not on the program sheets or many are not from Kentucky. The old tune has bittersweet words – By ‘n by hard times come a-knocking at the door, Weep no more my lady, oh, weep no more ,today. We will sing one song for my old Kentucky home far away. When Stephen Foster wrote it in 1853, there surely were days of hard times for everyone. While some lived lavishly, others barely made it from day to day. Typhoid fever, tubercular disease, cholera, smallpox, malaria, yellow fever, syphilis, and consumption stalked and carried away the rich and poor alike. Life was short, but 153+ years later we only read about such a time shortly before the Civil War. Today there is only good times. The Lord has been good to everyone.

Our parents remembered the Great Depression when jobs were nonexistent and you were fortunate to live on a farm. My dad often told the story of the man who went to see his doctor. He told the doctor he was feeling poorly. The doctor asked him what he was eating. “All we have to eat is peas.” The doctor said. “That’s your problem, your blood has turned to pea soup!”

The song of that day was –THEY USED TO TELL ME I WAS BUILDING A DREAM,AND SO I FOLLOWED THE MOB,WHEN THERE WAS EARTH TO PLOW,OR GUNS TO BEAR,I WAS ALWAYS RIGHT THERE ON THE JOB. THEY USED TO TELL ME I WAS BUILDING A DREAM,WITH PEACE AND GLORY AHEAD,WHY SHOULD I BE STANDING IN LINE,JUST WAITING FOR BREAD? SAY, DON’T YOU REMEMBER,I’M YOUR PAL? BUDDY,CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?

I doubted that there were many in the crowd May 7th at the 131st running that really knew what a “a hard time-come knockin at the door” meant. We truly live in the greatest country on this green earth. It is humbling to remember when times were not so good. God has surely brought many of us out of poverty. See Psalm 65:4

In closing, I saw this wise adage posted in a store, DO NOT RESENT GROWING OLD. MANY ARE DENIED THE PRIVILEGE – (IRISH BLESSING)

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The Cracked Acorn: Old Age

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Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see… Genesis 48:10.

Lately, I have been observing older people…Here are my conclusions!

1) We take our time–I have seen older gentlemen come out of the grocery store with many plastic bags and take their time placing them into the trunk of a car. It is one bag in and then turn around and then another bag and move the cart, the whole loading sequence can take several minutes-then to return the cart. Young people throw the stuff into the car and away they go at super speed.

2) Try to talk to us in a public parking lot– We first look up as though God had spoken, then a glance around the lot with Pearl Harbor radar to zoom in on the speaker. Then it is the often quoted Hollywood line,”Are you speaking to me? I see no one else around then you must be speaking to me.”

3)Youth–I am definitely not part of the younger generation and cannot be loaded into a school bus. I always make the long walk to the mail box , I could be yanked into a passing car(but I doubt it!) if I am taken, I would just talk and talk–they would let me go after an hour or so. Most of the cars that stop when I am walking are asking for directions to Fredericksburg. “What’s going on in Fredericksburg?” (I should say – Down the road 30 miles and take a left!)Ah! Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.

4) Food labels—everything listed is probably bad for me! I know I could live a little longer or it would just seem that way! I was always thin and now I can drive through the McDonalds and get a large chocolate milkshake. The days of pegged trousers are far behind and I now wear casual clothing that is comfortable but not too baggy or else someone will ask if I am on a diet or now many months do I have left.

5) Bamboo–I see these tiny sprouts in small pots for sale at WalMart. Many do not know the danger of these Middle Eastern plants. Older people do not fear them. With our limited time we can set them in the back yard and watch them take over everything and threaten the lawns and open spaces of our neighbors. This is amusing if you are tired of watching television. These durable plants will even defy ROUNDUP.

Old age is the fruition of a moral life and God’s favor. (Deuteronomy 5:33)
Old age is a general part of God’s purpose for a normal life. (Genesis 25:8)
Old age is one reward of those who honor their parents. (Exodus 20:12)

An elderly woman decided to have her portrait painted. She told the artist “Paint me with diamond earrings, a diamond necklace, emerald bracelets, a ruby broach, and a gold Rolex.”
“But you are not wearing any of those things” replied the artist.
“I know,” she said. “It’s in case I should die before my husband. I’m sure he will remarry right away, and I want his new wife to go crazy looking for the jewelry.”

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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: 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.”

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Upcoming Events

May
19
Sun
all-day Local 5K for Lyme Awareness Month @ Anytime Fitness
Local 5K for Lyme Awareness Month @ Anytime Fitness
May 19 all-day
Local 5K for Lyme Awareness Month @ Anytime Fitness
It’s Lyme Awareness month and one of your local Lyme patients has organized a 5K to support Lyme awareness and research! Lauren Nicole is no stranger to Lyme disease. She has personally dealt with Lyme[...]
May
20
Mon
10:00 am Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
May 20 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Calling all artists!! Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch and save homeless animals. Pick up a chair from the SPCA Thrift Shop, build a chair, up-cycle a chair, paint a chair, or upholster[...]
May
21
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1:30 pm Watercolor Landscapes: In and Ou... @ Art in the Valley
Watercolor Landscapes: In and Ou... @ Art in the Valley
May 21 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Watercolor Landscapes: In and Out of the Studio @ Art in the Valley
This four week course will focus on learning basic skills to create watercolor landscape paintings: basic composition and use of color and value to create a sense of depth and distance. During the first class[...]
May
22
Wed
6:30 pm Rose Wine Class @ Element
Rose Wine Class @ Element
May 22 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Rose Wine Class @ Element
Join us for Rose’ Wine Class & Tasting at Element on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 6:30pm led by our own Caitlin Love! APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY ROSE! Come join us as we celebrate the[...]
May
23
Thu
9:30 am Painting: Composition and Color @ Art in the Valley
Painting: Composition and Color @ Art in the Valley
May 23 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Painting: Composition and Color @ Art in the Valley
Explore your painting potential by creating unique compositions. We’ll find out what motivates you to paint and how to express your point-of-view on canvas. Learn methods of developing a composition and how to best use[...]
1:30 pm Portraits for Beginners: People ... @ Art in the Valley
Portraits for Beginners: People ... @ Art in the Valley
May 23 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Portraits for Beginners: People and Pets @ Art in the Valley
Learn to create realistic portraits of people and pets. Students will practice drawing and painting techniques used in portraiture. Class meets once a week for five weeks. Students are required to bring their own reference[...]
3:00 pm The Employer Expo @ War Memorial Building @ Jim Barnett Park
The Employer Expo @ War Memorial Building @ Jim Barnett Park
May 23 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The Employer Expo @ War Memorial Building @ Jim Barnett Park
Have you been thinking about a career change? Are you nearing graduation and not quite sure what you want to do, or what your next step should be? Are you a parent of a student[...]
6:00 pm Painting the Landscape with Oils... @ Art in the Valley
Painting the Landscape with Oils... @ Art in the Valley
May 23 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Painting the Landscape with Oils: Late Spring @ Art in the Valley
This class provides a hands-on experience for painting with oils. Students will focus on techniques for painting landscapes. Class meets once a week for five weeks. Students are recommended to bring their own reference photos[...]
6:30 pm Confederate Memorial Day ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery's Soldiers Circle
Confederate Memorial Day ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery's Soldiers Circle
May 23 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Confederate Memorial Day ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery's Soldiers Circle
The Warren Rifles Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will again lead the annual Confederate Memorial Day ceremony on the anniversary of the Battle of Front Royal. Where: at Prospect Hill Cemetery’s Soldiers[...]
May
25
Sat
1:00 pm Meet the Author: Stephen Hudak @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Meet the Author: Stephen Hudak @ Royal Oak Bookshop
May 25 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Meet the Author: Stephen Hudak @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Of Dreams and Leadership: Learning to lead and sharing along the way by local author, Stephen Hudak In this collection of essays, Stephen Hudak shares his thoughts on Leadership and Learning.