Many yesterdays ago, I was involved in lots of car repair. I was much younger & took it in stride I was going to become the master mechanic.
After several auto restorations I began to think, was it really worth the trouble. My father was still in good health working on the farm. In one of my visits from Virginia to Kentucky, I confided in my dad & told him it was becoming too much. I was beginning to take naps in the garage, while under the car. Dad replied he had been doing this for years; it could be under a tractor or the combine. (He once told me when he was old; I would also be old. I just hadn’t realized it had happened this quickly.)
The Bible tells us people lived into the 900s before the Flood, Methuselah, at 969. This declined till about 1000 B.C. & then maybe 70 or 80 (Psalm 90:10). Starting in 1900 U.S. life expectancy has risen from 47 to an average age of 83,today.
In this added time, we should “number” our days (Psalm 90:12) .
We should discern the future. (Deut. 32:28-29).
We should consider how life will turnout. (Psalm 39:4-5)
We will live longer if we consider our speech/behavior. (Psalm 34:11-14; I Peter 3:10-11)
We should love the Lord. (Psalm 91:14-16) Obey the Lord. (Proverbs:3:1-2,4:10)
We should fear & grow in the knowledge of the Lord. (Proverbs 9:10-11; 10:27)
Note these humorous remarks from people of the past:
All would live long, but none would be old.
Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are cheese.
The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, & the second half by our children.
No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.
The older I grow the more I distrust the family doctrine age brings wisdom.
None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.
Age doesn’t protect you from love, but love to some extent protects you from age.
Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.
Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns to be amused rather than shocked.
You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come into contact with a new ides.
( My favorite!) How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young.
Recently there have been several specials on TV about the NEW AGE & evangelistic movements supposedly sweeping our nation. I am not sure if we are looking at this from close-up or from afar. I do not see within these vast audiences a sea of grey hair.
Has the present generation forgotten ‘An aged person loved is winter with flowers’ (old German proverb). The older generation is the “splendor” of today. (Proverbs 20:39)
Psalm 92:13 & 14 says, “These who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in an old age; they shall be fresh & flourishing.”
They are the bearers of fundamental human values. Where this memory is lacking, people are rootless; they also lack any capacity to project themselves with hope towards a future that transcends the limits of the present (From theDignity of Older People).
Go, in early morning, Into the harvest white, Sing a song of gladness labor with all your might; Let the words of Jesus over this nation ring, With the coming evening, beautiful gleanings bring. For the faint & weary, carry a smile of cheer, With the sad & dreary, weeping an anxious tear. To the heart that’s aching under a load of care, Lend a hand of comfort. In the name of Jesus gather the
sheaves of today, Read the precious promises, wages, He will pay; Go with rejoicing gleaning from the fields of sin, Thrust thy glowing sickle, bring in the harvest. (#10 9 , Beautiful Gleanings –
The Cracked Acorn: Travels
“Let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19, NIV
Much of the world beyond our borders do not have the advantages that many of us have grown up with and have been exposed to the ever-changing technological advances that have changed the landscapes of our childhoods. I was fortunate to have work that required travel in other countries other than my own. In passing through many small towns and villages in Brazil, Ethiopia, Iran, and New Zealand, I saw the same picture. Other than New Zealand, I could not speak their language. I did see that others had a daily life and probably had the same desires, hopes, and dreams that we all have. There was the same chicken that ran across the road and the same thin dog that lay in the front yards of all the countries. Children tried to play in the road or had a car tire hung from a tree limb for a swing. I asked our liaison officer in Iran about all the loud music coming from the record stores. “What are they singing about?” He replied that it was all about lost love, pain, and hopes for a better life.”
My travels were a number of years ago, but I will venture to say that time in most of the third world countries is caught in a moratorium. If one were to travel there in 50 years or 100 hundred years, much of the daily life and condition will still exist. The Ethiopian land near the Red Sea in a harsh area and supports only those who can live off herding goats and cope with the searing heat and dry conditions. Brazil is a large country, much bigger when you travel into the interior and everyone will ask you the same question I heard at every truck stop, “Why are you here?” I guess they thought I was a crazy person to leave the USA. to travel to a place where electricity, telephone service, and refrigeration were limited.
The author of the following book, saw the same scene I had seen in other countries and he wrote down the following thoughts:
There was no heavy fighting around Danang ( for the rest of that summer. During the daytime, there did not seem to be any war at all. The rice paddies lay quietly in the sun. They were beautiful at that time of the year, a bright green dappled with the darker green of the palm groves shading the villages. The peasants in the villages in the secure areas went on living lives whose ancient rhythms had hardly been disturbed by the war. In the early mornings, small boys led the water buffalo from their pens to the river wallows and farmers came out to the fields. They plodded for hours behind wooden, ox-drawn plows, tilling the sunbaked hardness out of the earth. In the afternoons, when it became too hot to work, they quit the fields and returned to the cool dimness of their thatch huts. It was like a ritual: when the heat got too intense, they unhitched their plows and filed down the dikes toward the villages, their conical hats yellow against the green of the paddies. A wind usually sprang up in the afternoon, and in it, the long shoots of maturing rice made a luxuriant rippling. It was a pleasant sight, that expanse of jade-colored rice stretching out as far as the foothills and the mountains blue in the distance. At dusk, the buffalo were driven back to the pens. With the same boys walking beside them and whacking their haunches with bamboo sticks, they came down the dusty roads, their horned heads swaying and their flanks caked with the mud of the wallows. (A RUMOR OF WAR, Vietnam by Philip Caputo)
The Cracked Acorn: A Kiss
Greet one another with a kiss of love. (I Peter 5:14-)
There isn’t much to do when you are waiting in line at Wal Mart. I never have disciplined myself to have a book or something to read to fill these moments. In a nearby line, a young father was holding the baby, mother found the opportunity to give their child a loving kiss, but afterward found it a little too wet, didn’t matter to the baby who gave a toothless smile to mom, who waited for a clandestine moment to wipe the drool on her sleeve. Love has its limits!!
Gloria made a friend of a schoolteacher when we lived in Herndon; the friend was a member of the Disciples of Christ. She told of a day at school that a little girl who always wanted a kiss from the teacher at the end of the day had a terribly bad cold and should have stayed at home but here she was on the way out the door for home and waiting for her kiss. The teacher moved in to give the kiss and to avoid the germy tiny lips she swiftly turned her head, she was too late – the little girl was a bit faster and planted one on the teacher’s mouth. The teacher got a cold and now out for a couple of days.
History cannot tell us where the kiss came from, its’ origin remains a mystery. A kiss from a friend, spouse or stranger can really render us defenseless. Statisticians note we spent two weeks of our lives kissing, burning 20,160 calories and exposing ourselves and others to billions of bacteria. A kiss can land on the lips, cheek, or a ladies’ hand or a friend’s neck any time, anywhere, even underwater; it’s an uncontrollable human physical expression of released emotion. Beware, for in Indiana it is illegal for a mustached man to habitually kiss others; in Hartford, Connecticut, a husband can’t kiss his wife on Sunday and at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it is a crime to kiss a stranger. (from FACTS ABOUT KISSING)
A kiss is an expression of psychological closeness.
In the Old Testament, it was an honor for your father to ask you for a kiss(Gen. 27:26). It was a custom used for greeting(Gen. 29:13), for good-by (Ruth 1:14). We acquaint it with the return of the prodigal son (Luke 15:20). It was part of the conferral of kingship(I Sam. 10:1) and sadly of betrayal (Luke 22:47). The Bible uses this word 46 times.
A secular song says: You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. The fundamental things apply, they still say “I love you!”, on that you can rely, no matter what the future brings. The world will always welcome this, as time goes by.
A favorite – since I am aging: Gen.48:10 “Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age,and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.”
The Psalmist’s advice is: “Kiss the Son, lest he is angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (2:12)
The Cracked Acorn: Shooting Star
We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him… Matthew 2:2b
I was in the pharmacy to pick up a prescription; someone mentioned an election and I commented that I saw that morning a ‘shooting star’ and knew there would be a sharp turn in the result. The pharmacist asked me if it was the answer to my prayer, I avoided that slippery slope.
America has grown up on the Disney language that when you wish upon a star your dream will come true. A neighbor taught her two girls that when you see a ‘shooting star’ to not make a wish but to say a prayer. If this gives you a warm feeling, why not! As one visiting preacher said years ago, “Put your car on cruise, and pray and accept the Lord for His kindness.”
If I thought that ‘shooting stars’ were the answers to my prayers, I would remain outside every night to say prayers to the heavens.. The sun rises; it is the result/answer to one of my prayers. Sure, we have to have faith that prayer or prayers bring results; the congregation made it a point to hold a meeting to just pray for rain, but only one little girl brought her umbrella! A friend now passed on, said that prayer was a personal thing and not to be discussed. My maternal grandmother always noted that driving down the long lane to the main road was a time to see if a red bird would fly across in front of the car; if it flew left, bad news; if it flew right, good news! There’s nothing wrong to seek for good or to think that every prayer is answered for one’s need
Driverless cars will soon, in the future, be on our highways. It is kind of spooky to know no one will be at the wheel; we just place our faith in GPS and the talents of whoever made the car. When I pray the next time, I should thank the almighty that HE has given me free will over many things and for the remainder HE is in control; I just don’t get up every morning and take a bundle of bananas to the monkey god and thank ‘it’ that all my prayers are always answered in some form or fashion.
A new comet, which has been named 2I/Borisov (indicating its discoverer and its status as the second known interstellar object), is expected to be within reach of telescopes until fall 2020. At its closest approach, next month, it will be twice as far from Earth as Earth is from the sun. To travel to the nearest star would take 40,000 years.
Though it entered the solar system from the direction of the constellation Cassiopeia, scientists do not know yet where 2I/Borisov came from, or how long it has flown through the desolation of interstellar space. Given its current speed, it has certainly been traveling for millions, if not billions, of years. Is the visit of this comet the answer to a prayer? The POST, November,2019
The Cracked Acorn: The knowledge of trees
Psalm 1:3 – And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Learning about Life from trees
It’s important to have roots. In today’s complex world, it pays to branch out. If you really believe in something, don’t be afraid to go out on a limb.
Be flexible so you don’t break when a harsh wind blows. Sometimes you have to shed your old bark in order to grow. Grow where you’re planted. It’s perfectly okay to be a late bloomer. Avoid people who would like to cut you down. Get all spruced up when you have a hot date. If the party gets boring, just leaf. You can’t hide your true colors as you approach the autumn of your life. It’s more important to be honest than poplar. (from the Appleton, Wisconsin Church of Christ Bulletin)
We are all familiar with trees, especially if you run off the road and meet up with an oak. Trees can be our friends in the hot summer and provide exercise in the fall…raking leaves. I know several and some of them my friends that have gone on before me to eternity, the results of inexperience with a chain saw or just being outside when a storm came through their area.
As a kid on the farm, we were in easy access of woods that afforded a stroll if you were not sensitive to poison oak or ivy or sumac. I remember I decided I needed a tree house and commenced to build one in a corner of the ’40 acres’ in sight of the family farm house. It didn’t take too long to be discouraged about its construction when I bloomed all over with a rash from brushing against poison oak vines. Even up to a few years ago, if you knew where to look, you could still see the remains of an unfinished vision of what a tree house would have looked like in Kentuckian fashion.
Natural and artificial Christmas trees start an average of 250 home structure fires each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires cause approximately 14 deaths, 26 injuries and $13 8 million in property damage yearly. Again, I grew up with the annual cedar tree selected and brought into the house during the holiday season. Decorations were all home made and saved year after year. I remember that my father took extra care with lights and made sure ample water was given to the thirsty tree. I could not find how many people are injured by trees every year, it all depends on the state you live in.
I said to him, “You see that hole up near that old tree top? I’ve got five dollars there that’s yours if you refrain to chop. No beast but me can climb that tree, ’cause it’s too slippery. I can’t get up myself, unless my wife is after me, so get my wife and I’ll call her a very naughty word, and then you’ll see me give an imitation of a bird. You may not know just where to go, when my wife gets around, but when she comes, remember this, if I’m not on the ground”
Woodman, woodman, spare that tree
It’s the only tree that my wife can’t climb So spare that tree! (anon)
The Cracked Acorn: Bob is Dead!
When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had already been dead and in the tomb for four days. When Martha discovered Jesus was on his way, she went out to meet him. “Lord,” she said, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (from the 11th chapter of John)
Bob, is dead!
Yes! and Bob will be missed. It is Bob Lamb, 65 and a cancer victim, in the Bethel Academy community of Warrenton, Virginia where I presently have lived for the past 33 years. Bob was a late comer and only lived here for about 15 years. He drove a pickup truck and would stop and talk some or when he came down to the mailbox, he would also pause and chat about several things.
I give Bob the credit for catching the ones who were wrecking our mail boxes. I told him once his house was the excellent candidate for a widow walk on the roof; it had an excellent view of the surrounding countryside.
It was after I heard Bob was dead I learned he was a former member of the Marine Corps. He was the neighbor that made sure the lawn was mowed and drove to his house obeying the speed limit after our roads were paved.
When I heard Bob was dead it reminded me of an office story. When I came to work for the U.S. Geological Survey and was in the survey computations section, one of the civil engineers died, Bob Pullis. I only knew him from breaks in the coffee room: He went to sleep one night and never woke up. When he died, many of our group were on vacation or just out on a few days of annual or sick leave. The slip with the announcement of his death was dropped into the IN box of the supervisor’s desk and gradually made its way from desk to desk.
Our boss was a retired officer in the U.S. Army and ‘encouraged’ quietness while we worked. It was in this atmosphere you would hear suddenly, “Oh no! Bob is dead!” This went on for several weeks until the word was completely circulated “Bob was dead!”
So, maybe this is very fitting we do pay some homage to those we may only know a little about and then we hear someone say, “Carson is dead!” Please, not just now! Wife is gone to be with Jesus and I am now blessed with a lady friend, I still have so much yet to live for! (You may want to get a jump start and insert your name here!) Now, may… “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ Numbers 6:24-26 from the International Bible
The Cracked Acorn: The Future
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1:25
I have been asked, “What will it be like in years to come, the news and etc.?”
The best I can do is to put on my Swami hat and look into the next 25 years: inky, dinky, dooley and pollwaee, here ’tis:
1) Tiger Woods will eventually par on 18 holes, claiming it was all due to the latest Shatner Turbo 2010 dual wheeled walker,
2) Hillary will come out and tell all about the complete problem of the e-mails when she was Secretary of State, claiming it was,”The Devil made me do it!”,
3) People have wondered what has happened to the Golden Arches we have grown to love, this is due to drone thievery during late hours,
4) It has been proven that high school teens are encountering too much stress from mandatory tests… which have been stopped… to graduate one must only find Waldo to get that coveted diploma,
5) The Japanese report they have located the last known giant tuna and are now working on a large baited hook to snare the elusive Charlie tuna,
6) At long last, the wait for the Keystone Pipeline (XL) is about to start; this 20 lane highway is certainly not the answer to “Why did the chicken try to cross the road!”,
7) The enormous sized earth tunneler digger, known as Lady Bird, has gotten loose and is rumored to be headed to tunnel under the Capitol and maybe the White House; authorities tell us not to worry, congress and the President of our nation will all be vacationing or campaigning at that moment,
8) Mayor of D.C. continues to try and find and build affordable housing that has forced congress to give up the abandoned Michelle Obama White House lawn garden to be available for housing,
9) The last surviving WWII Japanese soldier has been discovered on one of the forgotten Pacific Islands, where he claims that eating figs from the Banyan trees extended his life, greatly,
10) Trump’s southern wall has been built; it was only after he was allowed to put in casinos on the U.S.A. side,
11) Canada, now says that global warming has arrived in the North and willing to offer U.S. refugees into their homeland,
12) DISNEY is about to launch the Mickey & Minnie super sonic train, connecting Disney land and Disney World; at the near sonic speeds it will let tourists see both in one day and still be able to walk to their cars w/o wheelchair assistance! If only Walt was alive to see this!
13) The number 13 has always been unlucky for us, now the Federal government will offer medical aid to those who fear this number and can get on with the rest of their lives.
From the wise old owl: “Do not allow pain, to stop the joy of living!”