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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Louise

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In the beginning, God created heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Where I was born and raised in Kentucky, it abounds in sinkholes and small to large caves.

One such cave opened on a nearby county road and went several miles underground to the town of Franklin when pulling people out of the cavern it was voted and decided that it was time to call the local concrete company and close off the entrance to the subterranean area, it was interfering with the progress of mankind!

As for the sinkholes that pop up in farm fields and are a pest to harvesting, they are left to mother nature, and it happened this way:


Louise, a member of the church, confided in me about their sinkhole. On a rainy day, Louise had things to do, and it required to leave the farm for town and to go down a list of to-do items. First, she had to carry off several bags of trash/garbage to somewhere, the usual routine was to use the large sinkhole on a backfield to complete that odorous task.

No problem, so she drove to the field and parked the car, opened the trunk and grabbed the bags and walked across the field, still raining some, having almost reached the sinkhole, she made a big swing and a heave, off went the bags down to the mouth of the sinkhole, but Louise lost her footing and began to slip/slid down toward the sinkhole’s cavernous’ mouth.

Louise told me that it was the most frightful few moments of her life; if she slid into the sinkhole, no one would ever guess where to find and discover her body for years and years, if ever. An all-out search for her would start at her distant car and assume she was kidnapped. That thought helped her to develop strength that she never had, and she started to grab at the tall fescue and attempted to dig her heels into something, like a stone, which would help.

When she made several attempts to stop the sliding and failed attempts to offer hope, she prayed to God, “LORD! don’t let this happen.” At the Amen, her shoe caught the end of a protruding rock; it stopped her downward journey, and she began to think, I am going to get out of this and “I promise never to get near a Kentucky sinkhole the rest of my life.” So, the end left Louise rescued by her own efforts, with muddy knees and soaking wet, she told me that she wanted to tell me how thankful she was.

“Way down in Georgia among the swamps and the everglades
There’s a hole in Tiger Mountain
God help those who get lost in Miller’s Cave
There was a girl in Waycross, but she had unfaithful ways
I couldn’t stand the way she was, and I showed her I was brave
Now I’m the most wanted man in the State
But they’ll never find me, ’cause I’m lost in Miller’s Cave.”
(Jack Clement, circa 1960)

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The Cracked Acorn: Bible Truth

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“In today’s culture, some people think it is not proper to tell others they are wrong. Many believe all religions are equal and the Bible contains legends as charming as the stories of other great faiths. Children are allowed to believe in all or none of many teachings. Many people believe they can make it to heaven on their own or that all ways lead to God. What is the result of this freedom?” from OPEN WINDOWS-Life Way

The preceding came from a denominational magazine in a local doctor’s office, I thought it noteworthy to quote it:

“Many of the religions are advocating that we all should find a middle ground and come together to bind us all together in one faith and one religious people. This may be a good thought but what does it accomplish in the sight of our God and Savior and the Scriptures.”

My former supervisor loved to tell one of his college experiences. The lecturing professor had been underway for most of the hour, writing formulas on all the blackboards, for some reason my boss said loudly “That is all wrong!” The professor turned and asked, “Who said that?” Bill sheepishly raised his hand and the professor said “You may leave for today and you don’t have to take the next exam.” The professor had been writing mathematical nonsense waiting for someone to stop him.


The religious world is putting us to the test. Lately, we have noticed that if you quote a Scripture to a friend or someone interested in what you believe, the response is “where did you get that?” -well it came from the Word of God, the Bible, the Scriptures, we didn’t make that up!!! or the reply can be “From what version or translation are you using?” There was a time when brethren used only the King James Version, not anymore.

One of the recent obituaries in the metro paper listed the passing of one of the most noted Biblical translators of this age: who had degrees in all the ancient languages that had formed the first written Bible. The last efforts were to clarify the Revised Standard Version for modern mankind. How much clearer can we make God’s Word for everyone out on the street today is either a figurative or literal question? The Church Of Christ has always taken the stance of “speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent when the Bible is silent.” We have to be alert lest we are speared by the sharp point of our intelligence and let the chance go by to say, “That is wrong.”

Do we live so close to the Lord today, Passing to and fro on life’s busy way, That the world in us can a likeness see To the Man of Calvary?
Can the world see Jesus in me? Can the world see Jesus in you? Does your love to Him ring true, And your life and service, too?
Do we love, with love to His own akin, All His creatures lost in the mire of sin? Will we reach a hand, whatsoever it cost, To reclaim a sinner lost?
As an open book they our lives will read, To our words and acts giving daily heed;
Will they be attracted, or turn away From the Man of Calvary?
(an ancient hymn)

 

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The Cracked Acorn: True Love, not turnips!

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“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!

 

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The Cracked Acorn: Boomerang

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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.

 

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The Cracked Acorn: Diet

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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!)

 

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The Cracked Acorn: Tiny Feet

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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.


Good advice:
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”.

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The Cracked Acorn: Three Crosses

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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 againI 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.

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10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
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3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
10:00 am National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
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National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. A blight decimated American Chestnut trees in North America in the 1920s. One hundred years later, Sky Meadows State Park has teamed up with the Virginia Chapter of the[...]
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Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
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Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Stop by the Friends of Sky Meadows Farmer’s Market for tasty preserved products, heirloom vegetables, eggs and more. Pick from seasonal vegetables grown in Sky Meadows’ authentic Kitchen Garden, July through September. Grab[...]
12:00 pm Honor Display: Warren County ens... @ Warren County Courthouse
Honor Display: Warren County ens... @ Warren County Courthouse
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Honor Display: Warren County enslaved @ Warren County Courthouse
WHAT: The local chapter of Coming to the Table is hosting a display on the Warren County Courthouse lawn to honor the more than 1,100 men, women, and children enslaved in the county at the onset[...]
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10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 26 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
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Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
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Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Dominion Ridge Academy is proud to host this free community event for parents featuring international speaker, author, and comedian Christopher O’Shaughnessy. Come enjoy an evening of laughter and inspiration as Chris addresses the themes of[...]
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4:00 pm Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
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Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
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Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
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Meets behind Mount Bleak. Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) Ambassadors[...]
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5:00 pm 6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
Oct 14 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
6th Annual Wine Pull @ Front Royal Golf Club
Last year we did not get to hold our annual Wine Pull due to COVID. We are so excited that we are able to have this fun fundraising event this year, so be sure to[...]