If you are a serious reader of a broad realm of literature, you probably know how the sun works with its atomic furnace and how many miles per hour the planet Earth spins on its trip around our closest star. We all have our own solution of the energy crisis and know about digital recorders and what a HDTV is and why it is so much better, all for nice living and enjoyment.
What do you know about love?
Many books are written on this eternal subject. Music shops are catering to our tastes and desires of this wonderful human trait. The dictionary defines “love” as the deep and tender feeling of affection or attachment or devotion to a person or persons. It can be a strong, passionate attraction for a select individual. The blame is sometimes laid at the feet of Cupid with his bow and arrow.
At an early age I realized it was good to be with my parents. In later years, I knew this to be love. I cannot recall those early years when I first noticed that there were other tiny people (like myself) in the world. They were called girls. They seemed to have a mystery all their own and did things boys did not. They liked dolls and were more likely to go crying to their mothers. We boys tried not to do that, probably get a “whooping” before we could explain that the girls did it!
Through my teen years my soirees to satisfy my curiosity about womankind was rewarded by a slap to the face, shrugs indicating I was kin to insect-life. If I caught the eye of a fair damsel and she saw me; I got crossed-eyes and a tongue stuck out at me. I never gave up; I guess I thought this was some form of love. My father was always involved in farming. My mother watched from afar and would say,”It’s all part of growing up!” I was almost out of my teens at the time. On a trip home from shopping for groceries, I saw a roadside tree with mistletoe and thought to try to gather some. I knew of its supposedly powers and I did my best to harvest a few twigs. I never did, the stuff grew at the top of the tallest oak trees.
Sources say that the ancient Druids thought that mistletoe kept away lightning, disease and misfortune of every kind. The wood if carried warded off sickness and cured wounds (DO NOT APPLY TO ANY WOUND). The plant itself if eaten in any form,including the berries is deadly. It doesn’t bother the birds. If laid near your bedroom door it will give you restful sleep. Burn it and evil will be banished. Wear it around your neck to achieve invisibility. In Romania, home of Dracula, it is called the “vampire plant” since it thrives on the food of its host. In Europe it can grow to small shrub size. One of the myths was that if you kissed anyone under the mistletoe, the person fell madly in love with you.
The BIBLE sums it up about true love in John 3:16
The Cracked Acorn: Faith
A past newspaper covered these news items: Stella Oselaw, 78, had to leave New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina and then had to leave her host home because of out-of-town relatives. Louis Farrakhan was quoted, “If you don’t have a desire to help yourself, nobody will help you.” Taylor Behl, 17, was buried. She was trying to find new friends online. Cyndi Lauper is alive still singing – “Girls just want to have fun!” Gloria Estefan stopped singing long enough to write a book for kids about her bulldog, Noelle. Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher are still around at over 80 years of age. Saudi Arabia is in town assuring us that oil will still flow to us from the land of “milk and honey.” D.C. Police warn us about driving after drinking-there’s a zero tolerance if you are stopped with a measurable amount of blood alcohol level.
Have you heard of any of these people?: Ho Chi Minh, Winston Churchill, Mohandas Ganhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Adolf Hitler, Martin Luther King, Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, V.I. Lenin, Pope John Paul II, Ronald Ragan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Sanger, Lech Walesa, Mao Zedong (If you recognized any of these, you are probably near 50 years or older). These people shaped history.
How about these?: Condoleezza Rice, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama. Bill Frist, Donald Rumsfeld, Mark Malloch Brown, Gordon Brown, Ali Husanin Sistani, Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi, Hu Jintao, Kim Jong II, Manmohan Singh, Thabo Mbeki, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Mahmoud Ali, Ariel Sharon, Javier Solana, John Howard, Chen Shui-bian and Hugo Chavez (You may have scored higher on these personalities). They shaped the world that many of us know.
These people by faith were certain of what they hoped for and sure of what they could not see: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Esua, Joseph, Moses, and Joshua. (32) And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, (33) who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised;who shut the mouths of lions, (34) quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength;and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. (39) These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. (40) God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (HEBREWS 11)
These predictions may come true in less than 100 years: human technology will bring about “artificial” life, medical procedures will be performed by computers and scientists will be able to explain the images on the Shroud of Turin, computer viruses will develop “intelligence”, there will be one world currency, most countries will have a 4-day work week, extraterrestrial intelligence will be found and confirmed, and schools in USA and Europe will require classes in defending against, not the students, but robot attacks.
Are you weary, are you heavy-hearted? Tell it to Jesus. Are you grieving over joy departed? Tell it to Jesus. Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow? Tell it to Jesus. Are you anxious what will be tomorrow? Jesus is a friend that’s well known! Yes, tell it to Jesus. (from Faith and Praise Songs)
The Cracked Acorn: Things
Those of us who grew up in the post WWII era know that things were not plentiful and most were in sorry condition. One worn-out car driven by my mother almost took out the farm gates. It was traded for one that had a severe engine noise, then there was the one that stalled on every hot day.
Eventually factories turned to making all kinds of things for the home and automobiles by the thousands. Times definitely improved and if you had a little money most things could be bought on time. I learned early in childhood that things can let you down at the worst moments. It was still the age when you might have a friend that had taken some night courses in how to repair TVs and radios. Remember this was the vacuum tube age. You could pull a tube and test it at the local drugstore and buy its replacement. Sewing machines and household appliances worked the same way.
There was always a simple way of fixing them.
Those days are gone, mainly to the shores of other countries. Things are not repaired anymore. They are replaced. If anything happens to the thing of your dreams, most of the time it is headed to the landfill. These things comes in a variety of sizes and colors with built in obsolesce. Forget the idea of buying your last TV set or possibly your last automobile. Most things do last longer but no repairs and forget about finding another one like the one you are throwing away.
Severe problems are facing our planet. One threatening environmental issue is how to deal with MSW (Municipal Solid Waste). The average U.S. person daily throws out 5 pounds of trash. The yearly accumulation is 600 million tons. It has to go somewhere and this is the problem. The highest points on most counties are nicknamed “Mount Trashmore.” Recycling sounds good but it threatens jobs in the packaging industry. States have not figured out who is going the bear the burden of the cost to reverse the trend to throw every “thing” away – to go into a landfill.
India has a population of a billion people. Urban dwellers number 400 million. Mountains of trash are creating cancer causing fumes. Burning it fouls the air. Over a million people are making their living and supporting their families by collecting trash. A whole new caste of people have sprung up who pick over the heaps of trash to find things to sell or wear or YES! even to eat. They are known as the rag pickers.
There was a photo exhibit at the Reston U.S. Geological Survey showing this group of people at work digging into the piles of trash. These people number more than the Katrina Hurricane victims. Who will support them if trash is ever done away with. If we “waste not, want not” there will be lots of issues to deal with. Trash has become big business all because of “things.”
We shouldn’t allow our things to possess us. Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
The Cracked Acorn: Life
Two senior citizens were sitting on a courthouse bench whittling and discussing the merits of being rich. A friend of theirs had most of what money could buy. As they listed what he had, they comically would say,”And I wouldn’t want to live like that!”
Many have the chance to “live like that” today.
If a family has two good incomes it is possible to have an 8,000 sq. ft.home with 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths and a three car garage and swimming pool. When this happens these families have to have help to keep their lives on an even keel. Pets will require lawn cleanup services. Dogs have to be walked and people to come and groom the animals. If the family is away for a day or more, there is pet sitting.
Executive Cleaning comes twice week to get and return dry-cleaning. A-1 Mowing comes and does the lawn while another company is there to nurture the plants and flowers. A college student can be paid to take the teens to the mall and do errands for shut-in relatives. Groceries are ordered over the internet and delivered to the personal chef. The chef will prepare meals to await the arrival of family members.With more and more Americans eating out, some of the large homes or mini-mansions are opting to have the builder leave out the kitchen. Meals are then bought over the cell phone and eaten in a small dining area. If you can’t organize closets and the like, someone is available to do this while you are at work. Shop4You is a service that will run those gopher errands that you hate and also wait for the repairmen to do plumbing and etc while you are at work.
Last but not least! How about all that paper that seems to be forever attempting to bury you. Magazines are stacked everywhere. Books, paperbacks seem to never get back to the bookcase. You have extracted articles from other sources that you find interesting but have never finished reading them. Catalogs, bulletins, brochures, and paper debris that suggests a purpose-eeks! You can’t find the time to deal with it! Not too worry! While you are away on vacation or at work, a company will send an employee to organize this flotsam and jetsam of paper and put it into its proper place. A printed list with title and location of each offender will be given to you as often as you require it.
I’m satisfied with just a cottage below A little silver and a little gold But in that city where the ransomed will shine I want a gold one that’s silver lined I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop In that bright land where we’ll never grow old And some day yonder we will never more wander But walk on streets that are purest gold Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely I’m not discouraged I’m heaven bound I’m just a pilgrim in search of a city I want a mansion, a harp and a crown I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop In that bright land where we’ll never grow old And some day yonder we will never more wander But walk the streets that are purest gold. (John 14: 1-3)
The Cracked Acorn: Angel
For the last two weeks, ACORN has followed what could be a success story. It could be time for Jake Coles to close shop and head out for a long vacation. Lola will be left in charge. The American dream has always promised this; work hard and give your all and things happen. This could be why people are risking their lives to cross the border into the 48 States.
The season is upon us and if you blinked, you could have missed Christmas trees and toys are already in the stores. I know that other holidays are to be celebrated first but get the juices flowing so when the time comes we will help the merchants report the best spending time ever!
I know I am rushing it, but snow is already falling in the northwest. It takes me back many years as a boy that snow meant home made custard and jam cake and many songs to sing at church about the Christmas time. It might be the baby Jesus and angels in the heavens but it is always a special time of the year.
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. We are now in the holiday season and many stores will be selling 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:
(1) Have you ever met a supernatural messenger or envoy?
(2) When you heard someone speak about meeting angels, did you think they were weird?
(3) What do you think an angel feels when humans reject its message ?
(4) If you believe that angels exist and act in our world,how should you live your life?
(5) 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 the behalf of his saints in today’s world. It cannot be proven today angels appear in the 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).
The friend and my wife have passed away—I try my best to remember both as special people.
(next week, I will try to solve a problem, common to many of us!)
The Cracked Acorn: LOLA
Matthew 25:35 – For I was hungry and you gave Me something …
While Jake was on his METRO way to the office, he put off possible business for today and instead gave his back a pat that he no longer had a car; he sold it years ago and never looked back. He had more time now to think, and not about traffic jams. Oh no! Fred has already sent me an e-mail. Open the tablet and get the full text.
BOSS THAT BAG OF BONES THAT YOU SENT ME IS HAVING HER LUNCH SENT IN…EVERY DAY, SHE IS BUYING NEW OFFICE EQUIPMENT AND UPDATED ALL SOFTWARE. SHE IS TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN HERE IN THE FIELD, UPSIDE DOWN!!!. SHOULD I DO SOMETHING!
reply…SHE HAS A CREDIT CARD I GAVE HER. UNLESS ROCKS ARE FALLING FROM THE SKY! DON’T CONTACT ME. THIS IS NOT A SOCIAL CLUB THIS IS A COMPANY THAT MAKES MONEY AND PLENTY OF IT, IF I HAVE MY WAY. IF YOU HAVE A WISH LIST, SEND IT; I WILL LOOK AT IT AND SEND IT BACK TO LOLA! O.K.
In the office, Jake dealt with the overnight mail and thought about details of a starting a second company, WIRE & CABLE, never too late to deploy and beat the competition. Every building of any size has elevators…time to get a piece of that OTIS action…watching the toy market, how about DYNAMIC PUZZLE; I will hold that thought for another time. Fred never answered my REPLY, he must be ticked or just accepted the status quo.
Yes! My diamond in the ruff. Weeks ago, I was about to reach for the revolving door to the building and a pile of homeless rags at that moment shot out a leg and almost tripped me. WHAT THE and I swore in Swedish! I’M HUNGRY! All I have is brown bag with baloney with mayo on white bread! A hand shot out and took the bag, no thanks? At lunch time I went back but Rags was gone. The next morning, it was a repeat. Third morning, same, fourth. I asked for a name, HAM ON RYE PICKLES WITH MUSTARD, come noon I returned, only this time the HAM ON RYE was tied to a bag with some cash and coveralls and an invite to the office.
Day was waning, I was bent over at the PC screen, there was a smell and a rustle of someone, it was Rags. Oh, my, I think it is a woman…JAKE — she replied, PAT HIGGINS, LOLA’s O.K. Would you like work, a job of any sort. YES! The reply was so enthusiastic that I took a chance. Here is a credit card and more cash get a taxi or walk, out the front door go left, four blocks is ABBY’s MOTEL, check in, clean yourself up, buy clothes and whatever a woman might need, eat, relax, next morning at 8 o’clock a pickup from my field office will give you a lift to your job. Fred will be looking for you. Do you have any education! YES!
The Cracked Acorn: Where birds can’t fly!
Genesis 50:21 – Therefore do not be afraid. I will provide …
It was like any other day: ride public transportation, hope to get there in 24 hours. I see all these people and not the same ones every day. That is amazing!.
We are all heading for the biggest piece of cheese in a large city; mine happens to be 50 stories up, not even the birds fly that high unless on oxygen. What I would give for something to see that was not concrete and steel. But I can’t complain it was to be this way, I guess.
Her words: farming is a hard life, get a good education and I did as mother wished. It surely would be nice to have a small house somewhere and some green grass and a small putt-putt to cut it. I would not complain if there was someone interested in green grass and me! That seems so far away, if I get to the office (actually a small cube) I am going to pray to HIM above to remember me and give me a small wish or two.
At that wishful point in Jake Coles’ life, brakes churned and screed and gave the metro train a sudden stop and doors popped open to the outside world. Time to rush across the plaza ad into the nearest elevator and up and up and up. When the Otis counted off his floor and stopped, the iphone in his pocket vibrated, Jake saw that it was a Fred msg “Call me!”
It was war time, hit the front lines to make some money. It was his cube…oh my! It’s my drab place of existence, not even a picture of a dog or (well don’t go into that!) He hit quick dial for Fred out there somewhere. Almost immediately Fred answered,”Boss, we have a problem, delivery has gotten slower and slower — we need lots of pipe if we’re going to keep within our time limit of this contract. Lola has a suggestion,,,Want to hear it?”
IF YOU HAVE YOUR TABLET …SEND IT TO ME NOW…TELL LOLA TO KEEP SUGGESTING, BYE!
Within few seconds Lola’s suggestion appeared on the computer screen.
IF NUTS&BOLTS IS GOING TO KEEP IN THE GAME; DELIVERIES OF PIPE MUST BE DELIVERED DAILY AND OVERNIGHT…I HAVE SURFED AND FOUND A COMPANY THAT HAS 18-WHEELERS PULLING TRAILORS THAT HAUL MORE, PROMISE THAT. THEN THESE SMALL TOWNS WITH AGING WATER LINES WILL CALL NUTS& BOLTS. REMEMBER ME IN YOUR KINGDOM, YOUR LOYAL SERVANT?
Jake fired back to Fred,,,”Sic Lola on to one of those trucking companies she found and we wait…whatever Lola wants Lola gets! Also, I looked at another of her suggestions about a tool from Sweden that would last longer for cutting new pipe , purchase what we need.. don’t worry about money, if we close on time, money will come to us.” From the Ivory Tower.
That was easy! Now, I can lean back, lace my hands behind my head; this is the moment when I get my best ideas. Maybe, it could be “a leap forward” for NUTS&BOLTS and start a 2nd party of people on other contracts…that could be Lola!
(and then it happened, Jake’s sound asleep…we leave him here, QUIET!, until next week.)