Mention James Arness to anyone, “Alive or Dead?” they will say “dead.” He was the star of the long-running TV show GUNSMOKE; the cast brought the family together for an episode each week. It was early TV, and it went from thirty minutes to an hour; critics predicted audiences would never sit still that long; how wrong they were!!
MATT DILLION, MARSHALL OF DODGE CITY, KANSAS, the early western days of trains and telegraph; Henry Ford was yet to be born.
“Matthew, there’s some hot boiled coffee on the stove; dust off and sit a spell. Miss Kitty is a mite upset that you are aiming to take on the Lomax boys and the Strutters when they bring their herds in, but it’s steel a fur days off!.”
“Festus, is this all the good news you have? Check the telegraph office for WANTED, check if there are any new people in town, and then bring me the bad news.”
Matt dealt with the liars, cheats, and people with hidden motives and agendas, each week ending not too happily ever after. The injured were attended to by Doc, broken arms and legs were painfully set, and he would stay by the bed of the dying all night, waiting for morning when the fever might break. Miss Kitty made sure that all the unfortunates that were to be buried at Boot Hill had someone to say a few words – she thought that even the worst deserved a moment of reflection.
The marshal always made time for a ride into the hills. While the unsaddled big gray had a roll in the buffalo grass and then grazed, Matt dozed under “clouds that ignored the plights of mortal men.” This was a man that was close to 7 feet tall. He believed in a simple answer for difficult justice. On the way back to Dodge, he would stop by the widow Smith with seven kids to check if all was o.k. Keeping the peace and giving equal treatment to everyone was a big job for a big man.
Samson was the big man of the Old Testament. He was given super strength by God. In many ways, he was a disappointment to his Creator, but he kept the Philistines at bay, and for a few years, the children of Israel could breathe easier. As a child, I was impressed that this strong man sought to correct his weaknesses; in the end, blinded, he prayed to God for one last chance to smite his enemies; God, how wonderful, answered his prayer. “Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers(Philistines) and all the people in it, killing many more when he died than while he lived.” (Judges 16:30)
“Well, it’s time to catch the noon stage. The town’s a buzzin that Abe and Sarah had a baby out at the Ole Kristie Ranch. Crazy Joe’s riding up front today. Some say he can Winchester a notch into a coyote’s ear a mile away; that’s good in case of hostiles. A cold north wind is aggravating the sage, could bring trouble, mite be movin. May the road rise up to meet ya and that the good Lord will take a liken to ya’ll. YAH! YAH! YAH! Giddy-up!” (Numbers 6:24-26)
The Cracked Acorn: Love
Ah, the season of love and Valentine’s Day. The newspaper published a short article further to show the power of this amazing human emotion.
Our U.S. ambassador to Mexico had found the love of his life. He is the son of hard-working parents and has worked his way up the political ladder to this high office. His lady love is wealthy, not several million but 1.5 billion worth. She is one of Latin America’s wealthiest and most powerful women. The couple is ignoring this. “Love is not about money. Love is about the values you carry inside.” There will be a prenuptial agreement. Will this marriage work out? Maybe! We will have to keep buying the daily paper. Will Antonio and Maria be able to ignore the King Kong of wealth and enjoy a simple life of love and happiness? This relationship has all the ingredients of a nice long-running soap opera.
Our Modern media uses “love” in all its forms to promote, sell and circulate all types of products and propaganda. I remember a radio preacher of years ago who said everyone is looking for love.
When they find it, it is like a well. They drink and drink till the well is dry. Then they move on to the next well, where it is repeated over and over. Are we that way today? Times have changed.
Morals have changed. We have more freedom to question and seek our own answers to our needs and wishes. Resources are available to aid us in our search for fulfillment.
We have not strayed too far from our ancient roots of seekers and gatherers. We still look up at the evening sky, wonder about its mysteries, and see ourselves as small but vital in an important universe. Yes. We are all looking for eternal love that cannot be severed by time and our puny problems. Will wealth come between our two love birds in the newspaper? The mathematical odds are heavily weighted that it could, but in human attachments, we can never know for sure.
From the Bible:
“I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have the faith. needed to move mountains-but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned-but if I have no love, this does me no good.” 1 Corinthians, 13:1-13.
“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else.” Thessalonians 3:12.
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they wit]. be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 14:1.
“…Love comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith,” 1 Timothy 1:5
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John, Chapter 15, Verse 13
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear.”‘ 1 John. 4: 18
“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.” Song Of Solomon 3:7
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal.” John 3:16
“Love is a many splendored thing
It’s the April rose that only grows in the early Spring
Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living
The golden crown that makes a man a king!” (Williams & Williams)
The Cracked Acorn: That City
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!”
Some 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 four 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 have to come and groom the animals.
There is the pet sitting if the family is away for a day or more. Executive Cleaning comes twice a 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 wait for the repairmen to do plumbing, 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 and paperbacks seem never to 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 to 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.
“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 someday 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 but a pilgrim in search of the 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 on streets that are purest gold”
I’ve Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop
Words & Music By: Ira Stamphill
But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:16 ESV
The Cracked Acorn: The GOD Particle
My foraging for a set of reasonably priced tires found me in the early morning line at the Goodyear Center. Others had the same mission. The line was bogged down by a young lady that was being tutored on the proper tires for her auto. Someone muttered, “What are we building, a starship?” The salesman heard this. “You fellows, be patient; she’s a nice person!” In silence, we waited to see Captain Janeway of the Enterprise. We were not disappointed.
Theoretical physicists are searching for the “God particle.” (July, DISCOVERY magazine). In 1964 British physicist Peter Higgs decided that this one subatomic animal was necessary to unite all those in the zoo of the Standard Model. His idea was to explain the “big bang” and how it was ignited. If all the particles are summed together, they have a zero mass (weight). What gave the matter (particles) mass to create all that we now see and enjoy? Higgs implies that there is a force field (Higgs Field) where all lives the particles. In this molasses-type environment (universe), there is the Higgs Boson (God particle) which is weightless but is the creator of all the weighted particles that make up our cosmos. (Stay with me!)
We simplify this by going back to Goodyear. Our young lady lightly dances into the room. She draws more and more attention (weight) till, eventually, all those around her are also in a weighted state. She may fly around and around the room till she loses all her speed. Unnoticed are interested parties (clusters) near the door. When she has almost spun down, the clusters give life to her, and more electric particles again gain weight. Our damsel is our Higgs Boson (God Particle), the long sought-after culprit that is responsible for combining and giving mass life to electrons and neutrons. What has this to do with anything?
Leon Lederman tries to answer this question in his book – THE GOD PARTICLE: IF THE UNIVERSE IS THE ANSWER, WHAT IS THE QUESTION? With every opened door, more are opened but not leading to the final answer to “What is the Question!” A three billion dollar collider in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2007 could indicate if there is a Higgs Boson or if it exists. Eight hours of data gathering will equal 3 million DVDs of binary data. Vague ideas abound on how this will be processed within our lifetime.
Conclusion: We are looking for something that we think exists but are not entirely convinced of since the physicist community is evenly divided. Some are saying this particle has appeared several times we just do not have the means to detect its presence. This heavy particle may have an atomic weight between lead and uranium. The collider may never be built that can harvest this baby, and our best efforts could bear fruit in several years. Meanwhile, “Isn’t God wonderful!”
IN THE BEGINNING, GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH. AND THE EARTH WAS WITHOUT FORM AND VOID, AND DARKNESS WAS UPON THE FACE OF THE DEEP. AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD MOVED UPON THE FACE OF THE WATERS. (Genesis 1:1,2)
The Cracked Acorn: Someone
Hebrews 12:12 “…Lift up the hands which…hang down...”
“Charlotte Fox, the first American woman to conquer three 26,000-foot or higher mountains and who miraculously survived a blizzard while descending after summiting Everest, has died at 61 after a fall on steep hardwood stairs at her Telluride, Colorado home. Her obituary was published by the New York Times on June 8.”
One may have included Mt. Everest, which is 29,032 feet high. This could be on your “Bucket List,” O. K. let’s go; you’re not getting any younger.
Consider the following:
Several hundred are lined up every year to attempt this $50,000 trip to Nepal. most have already climbed other smaller ones, getting the body chemistry in trim and adjusted, and eager to try Everest.
Maybe, a northern mid-west school teacher who had hidden this desire and saved and saved, preparing for the moment to give it her all out and accomplish what most have “no taste” and content to sit before the television and watch such unfold for the eager ones.
We can fast forward, which puts us in the first camp, and days later into camp second and three (which holds the difficult climb through a canyon of ice and snow, where anything can happen.
It comes the moment when good food, rest, and one has that state of mind that it can be done. The sharpa guide keep repeating to her that once you reach the top, stay no longer than 45 seconds; this was repeated and repeated – 45 seconds and immediately come down.
Glory to God- she did make it, but did not overcome the temptation to stay longer….45 came and went, and came and went, then she stumbled when she tried to return down the trail – oxygen about gone; she fell to her knees, collapsed and rolled other to the trail’s side: it was all over, or was it?
A climber in a passing group glanced over and thought, just another frozen body for Everest (last count 122), but something made him pause and look closer; he quickly shared his oxygen and saw life. Our school teacher was then slid down to the last camp and thawed out, completely recovered; she asked who it was that saved her life. – No one knew only that it was just “someone.”
This is one of the stories of people who stepped out to help a person in trouble on Mt. Everest!
Somebody did a golden deed, proving himself a friend in need; Somebody sang a cheerful song, brightening the sky the whole day long. Was that somebody you? Was that somebody you?
Somebody thought ’tis sweet to live – Willing said “I” glad to live’- Somebadyfought a valiant fight, Bravely he lived to shield the right,
Was that somebody you? – Was that somebody you? (1868-1946_lyrics from John R. Clements
The Cracked Acorn: Dyes
Yes! I remember when I got gravy on the best tie given to me by my piano teacher. It happened again; a ballpoint pen in my shirt leaked at the wrong time. It was taken to the cleaners and asked to do their best.
My father, in the fifties, worked as a knitter in a hosiery mill, making seamed ladies’ nylons. When they came off the machine, they were white and had to be sent to the dyer. Here the hose was submerged in a vat for several hours to change the white to rose or beige or the latest colors that the market demanded. I was told that white nylon was the strongest and could be weakened by the dyes. Supposedly this art appeared in the Middle East about 5,000 years ago, and the word “dye” is an English word.
In Biblical times, garments of beautiful colors were very expensive, both for the cloth and for the dyes. A garment signified importance or elevation in respect. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him and could not speak peaceably unto him.” (Genesis 37:3,4)
The Egyptians were the masters of color, and the Hebrews may have brought this to perfection when the tabernacle was built. The Lord told them to “make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, purple, and scarlet” (Exodus 26:1),
“And they shall take gold, and blue, and scarlet, and fine linen. And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.” (Exodus 28:5,6) and in the vail “And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fined twined linen of cunning work,” (Exodus 26:31) This vail was torn when Christ was crucified. (Matthew 27:51)
Purple was seen as a royal color, and desirable to buy, one of Paul’s converts at Thyatira was Lydia, a seller of purple.
Today, all these wonderful and bright colors are easily found on all our clothing. Some translators have attached meanings to certain colors, such as, WHITE-purity and innocence; BLACK-mourning, affliction, and calamity; RED-bloodshed; PURPLE-royalty, luxury; BLUE-deity, sky, and heaven; SCARLET-war, valor; GREEN-life, youth, and abundance. The red, white, and blue are in our flag.
The book of Esther is a “colorful” book of the Bible and worth reading and re-reading, especially the description of the palace of King Ahasuerus.
Our hymnal has two songs that reflect color. BEAUTIFUL ROBES OF white, and BEHOLD A STRANGER AT THE DOOR! ‘Tis HE, With garments dyed at Calvary.
For gentlemen who still wear ties -remember it was said, “If your children see you get a spot on your tie, they’ll send you to a nursing home!” Cure: wear bow ties!
May the good Lord bless an’ keep you, Whether near or far away. May you find that long-awaited, Golden day today . . . May your troubles all be small ones, And your fortune ten times ten, May the good lord bless and keep you, ‘Til we meet again . . .
The Cracked Acorn: Love Lost
From a church lobby, one of the tracts caught my interest, and I wanted to make comments on the title FINDING GOD’S TREASURE. It hasn’t happened because I was waylaid by a bed of flowers near my breakfast spot. They were ready to bloom you can see the rolled-up heads waiting for the right day. They are reminding me of a change of seasons soon, snow, ice, sleet, and chilly winds will come & then be forgotten.
Treasure comes in many forms: consider this preacher story I heard as a boy in Kentucky.
A Wyoming bachelor was having difficulty paying the bills and holding on to his ranch. He decided it was time to get a job in nearby Casper. It worked out well, very well, for he met the “woman of his dreams.” It wasn’t long before they were engaged, and not too long afterward were married. She was to stay out on the ranch while he continued to work in the city. The objective was to build an emergency fund to meet unexpected ranch problems.
The woman of his dreams had always been a city girl and knew nothing about the ranching business. She had problems with the house and outside with animals, etc., but never met her husband’s standards. He began to constantly nag at her to be better and listen to what he told her to do. She always replied by saying I AM DOING THE BEST I CAN.
The hard winter of Wyoming was coming. The promise of a beautiful day was everywhere. Jason had just returned from lunch and, for some reason, glanced out the window. Winter was showing its dark face. A changed weather front was moving to hurry through, a hunch urged him to leave early for the ranch. By the time he reached the house, the temperature was dropping to bring snow and freezing winds. His wife was not inside. He found this note on the kitchen table.
I tried to remember what you told me.
I have gone out to see about the livestock.
Some have strayed to the back of the property.
Don’t worry, I am doing the best I can.
Jason put on an extra coat, went out, and found his wife.
(No, it did not end this way. We always like to see, “and they lived happily ever after.”) The husband suffered the terrible loss of his wife in the blizzard. The treasure of his life was gone. Gone was the “woman he had always dreamed about.”
So, husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, remember that when you glance into one another’s eyes, you are seeing one of God’s treasures. There will never be another, just like the one you are seeing.
But this precious treasure – this light and power that now shines within us – is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own. – (II Corinthians 4:7)
I love you with the love of the Lord. I see in you the glory of our King. And I love you with the love of the Lord. Please love me with the love of the Lord. Please love me with the love of the Lord.(from Songs Of FAITH and PRAISE)