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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Puzzle

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Summer did arrive with a vengeance. After very hot and humid days and this is not good, I decided that I like winter much better; come winter when I am bundled up in my parka, gloves, and heavy clothing and using the cane around the neighborhood for a chilling walk I might think, “Hey! Summer is much better!”

Escaping from the heat and humidity I have retreated to the “World’s Smallest office” and opened a 500-piece puzzle entitled -White Roses at Portland Head, Maine. It is a little bigger than past ones and has lots of blue sky, the ocean, and moss-covered rocks along the shoreline. It requires some time to get the boundaries started and then hours of searching to match colors and different shapes.

The dictionary word PUZZLE means not only a game but: to baffle or confuse mentally by presenting a difficult problem, maybe a toy that requires ingenuity and assembly of many parts, and to be in a state of bewilderment. Solving a puzzle requires deep thinking and skill for its solution. There are Chinese puzzles, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, number puzzles, and word puzzles. There is the SALAMANDER puzzle where each piece is the same shaped sized lizard-like piece.

A good puzzle can cause us to mull over, ponder, chew over, reflect, ruminate, speculate, contemplate; each puzzle can disguise its self as a mystery, a paradox, enigma, conundrum, a maze, labyrinth, and a teaser and a question; it leaves us to solve, work out, rack our brains, crack, resolve and decipher; all this goes together very nicely to give one delightful and exciting experience.


When problems crowd into our lives, a simple puzzle can offer mental calm. Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

The NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION uses PUZZLE in two Scriptures.

Mark 6:20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.
Acts 5:24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this.

“God’s will is like the picture on the box top of a great jigsaw puzzle. And each person is engaged in the discernment process around a specific topic. Some may have a few of the pieces in her or his hand. Bit by bit, then, we share the pieces of the Divine puzzle, placing on the table around which we have gathered. We take turns handling the pieces, twisting them, gathering them, moving them together or apart, wanting to make sense of them.” -a comment about puzzles from an INTERNET BLOGGER.

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm. Deep in unfathomable mines Of never-failing skill, He treasures up his bright designs And works his sovereign will. William Cowper (1731-1800)

 

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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: Backup {protection against accidental loss or corruption.}

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I remember the early morning at work that I put a floppy disk into the computer for re-formation.

The computer came back with a message, “Do you want to do this?”, I replied, “Yes!” To my horror I realized that I let the computer re-format the hard drive, it provided chuckles from my workmates and the rest of the day to correct what I had done!

What if you were a soldier on the front lines and every time you needed to fire your rifle; it misfired or if you were a parachutist, and every time you jumped from the aircraft, the main parachute failed to bloom above your head; always going to the emergency chute, barely able to reach the ground safely.

This would be pretty discouraging and eventually, we would be a jangle of nerves, living on the edge of certain failure. There’s nothing like that ‘sinking feeling’ when the old faithful family auto fails to start for the thousandth time or when one of those modern home devices fails, leaving us at mercy of the weather and a repairman we know nothing about or when he will arrive.



We don’t like to live like this and avoid it with passion. We spend extra money on transportation and comforts to make sure that they will be there when we push that button, want to travel, or just relax for a few hours.

We can repair or replace those mechanical servants, but what can we do when those intangible cords that bind us to others are cut or endangered. Many in our wonderful society are living like the soldier and the parachutist, safe for the moment but eternally in jeopardy.

One hundred years ago, who would have imagined that people today would be regularly flying from one coast of the country to the other every day. Flying is really a very safe form of transportation, more than the millions of cars on our crowded highways, and the reason is that every aircraft system has several backups that take over in component failure, in short, the pilot and airplane are well-rehearsed for all problems to ensure passenger safety.

Do you have a backup? Many today have no idea to whom they should turn to for comfort and emotional support for all those flaming arrows that come at us, the Christians. Are our lives completely covered by a backup, I hope so! Is God your pilot?

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
‘Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on thy breast,
May I hear thee say to me,
“Fear not, I will pilot thee.” (WORDS: Edward Hopper, circa 1871)

addendum: Bob Nygent(ret. Federal worker) during WW2 worked at a factory, he turned out barrels for machine guns, knowing Bob, he turned out perfect ones that soldiers could depend on! (Hey Bob, “Thank You!)

 

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The Cracked Acorn: Life or Death

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Soap operas live on strife, medical problems, deaths, and accidents. Real living mimics many of these human difficulties.

Beck Weathers, 49, joined an expedition to climb Mt. Everest. A freak storm hit Everest, catching dozens on the south face, eight died. Weathers almost made it back, collapsing in the snow. A Canadian climber found him half-buried in the snow and broke the ice off his face. He Lives!

Kris Thompson was celebrating a wedding anniversary on Grand Bahama Island. Kris was swimming 200 feet out in the ocean when something grabbed his left leg. He yelled and beat on the shark that just had attacked him. Released, he swam to shore and woke up in a Miami hospital, minus his entire left leg. He lives!

Joan Murray, a skydiver, leaped from the plane at 4,500 feet. The parachute never opened. At 80 miles per hour, she hit a fire ant hill. By the time paramedics arrived, she had been stung more than 200 times. Doctors think that the stings kept her heart beating. She is now limping back to work. She lives!


In past farm days, my father used horses and mules to work the fields. He advised me to always be cautious of animals, that for some reason or other, they might try and kill you. Peter Beard, an animal photographer, should have known about these words of wisdom. He saw it as his mission to document the ongoing starvation of thousands of African elephants. His work went well. Elephants usually trumpet a warning to stay back. A matriarch elephant chose to charge while Beard was clicking away. Crushed pelvis and ribs are now a part of his medical history. He lives.

People Magazine has compiled AMAZING STORIES OF SURVIVAL (Tales of Hope, Heroism & Astounding Luck). These individuals survived imaginable unprogrammed accidents, tragedies ever to happen on planet earth. Their lives were interrupted. Many think it was for a larger purpose or, maybe, just the time to stop and “smell the roses”. Others decided it was time for a change in the game of life. A small number picked up where their lives had stopped; they went back to skydiving, boat trips, and mountain climbing. All felt that life was sweeter. They live!

About Noon, darkness fell across the entire land. Lasting until three o’clock that afternoon. Then Jesus called out with a loud voice. “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” Some thought that He was calling for the prophet Elijah. So one man ran and got a sponge and filled it with sour wine and held it up to Him on a stick. “Let’s see if Elijah will come and take Him down!” he said. Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and dismissed His spirit. (Mark 15:33-37)

I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today; I know that He is living, whatever man may say; I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, And just the time I need Him He’s always near. HE LIVES, HE LIVES, CHRIST JESUS LIVES TODAY(from Sacred Hymn Selections)

Yes, HE LIVES!

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The Cracked Acorn: The Great Beyond

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“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
(Genesis 1:1)

Does anyone know when the universe first started?

Hold up your hand, if you know. Oops! Hold up your mouse.

When I was in grade school, I remember that there was one or two that would try and tell us “how the universe got started.”


Leading science magazines, a few, have skipped over the answer to the above question, and would you know, at last, are sure that they (a very learned group of physicists) are close to the answer. It took only a few months with a recently built telescope to state now that the universe is 13.2 billion years old.

Consider the ‘A Baby Picture’ of the universe:

The European Space Agency Planck space telescope group has concluded that the universe is 13.8 billion years old. The study does not state the probability of error and what the plus or minus limits could be, maybe a few million years one way or the other. The study tells them that the universe of ours, consisting of other countless galaxies is unique where we live in the Milky Way.

In present-day articles about the universe, there are lots mentioned about: the universe is filled with dark energy and dark matter, there is an afterglow left over from the Big Bang, it all started with a blink of the eye when the universe blew up to a trillion times its size, there is a random suggestion that there are many other factors to discover about the universe, there is now a discovered ‘cool spot’ in the universe that needs to be studied, and on and on…

Faith is the one word, we should employ to understand how wonderful God is, there may be multiple universes. (Matthew 19:26)Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”Mars could eventually be only a flight away this is o.k. with me. In the time-lapse from when I was born to this moment, science and discovery have gone a long way and will continue. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.—Hebrews 11:6.

On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, (Joshua, 10th chapter)

“Where is God? Who made God? Why can’t I see God? How did God make (elephants)? Can God hear/see me?

These are the philosophers of the human race. They ask the big questions that have puzzled people from the beginning of time. And they ask one question after another, often following our best answers with an innocent, but frustrating “Why?”

To make things even more challenging, they expect simple, clear answers to their short, but deeply profound questions. They think about God in very literal, physical terms, and it frustrates them to receive abstract, “spiritual.” (Typical development of young children) author: Anon.

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The Cracked Acorn: Spore

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Genesis 2:7 – …God breathed into his nostrils, and man became a living soul.

Something is bothering me!

No! It is not global warming!;

No! not the internet;


No! not the world debt problem;

No! not the triple-decker breakfast sandwich with double bacon and added cheese on a large bun.

It may be the following: After years of code writing and testing, gaming has reached a new point.

‘”Spore”, the eagerly-awaited computer game five years in the making allowing people to play God by re-creating the universe, goes on sale this Sunday. (It takes longer for the gamer to create the animals than it did GOD.)

Players start the game in primitive waters, eating algae and trying not to get eaten. When the creatures have grown enough, they can find a mate.

“Then we mate and what we’re going to do now is lay an egg for the next generation of our species,” he says as he demonstrates how the game is played. “So, I’m basically designing the next evolution of my species.”

Players earn points from eating. The points can be used to buy new features for their creatures: a new mouth, a nicer nose, faster fins, and in later stages, faster legs, a bigger brain.

“If you step way back, you know, evolution is about the incremental improvement of a species embedded in a larger ecosystem over large periods of time,” Wright says. “And that was kind of like the general presentation, the toy that we wanted to build of evolution.”‘(Spores, WIKAPEDIA)

The game goes on to allow the creation of tribes and the player acts as their god, deciding the many serious situations of life. Evolution may be only the tip of the iceberg. Versions will come along that allow Satan to enter in, and additional software to be purchased to allow “cheats!”

Games are already on the market that covers almost every aspect of human nature, bad and good. *This latest one may be trying to open a door that many of us would rather see closed.

Years ago, we listened to a minister candidate who said when Christ was not present, we were the Christ. Hands went up, and it finally was laid to rest as a semantic remark. This well-educated Biblical person was not asked to come back. Having never played this game, I assume there may be a gray area or an OUT for Christians who want to enter into another dimension of Biblical exploration via the minds of advanced game writers of the very large gaming community. Software and equipment to run present games can approach $10,000 to be on the cutting edge.

* Broad is the way…and many there be which go in thereat. -Matthew 7:13

A little girl climbed into her grandfather’s lap and studied his white, balding head. She ran her fingers along the deep wrinkles and road mapped his face and neck. “Did God make you?” she asked. “Yes,” he answered. “Did God make me too?” she asked. “Yes,” he replied. “Well,” she shrugged, “Don’t you think He’s doing a better job now than he uses to?”

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The Cracked Acorn: Be prepared

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Years ago, I purchased a 1956 Chrysler Imperial from a friend. When we cleaned out the trunk, I was impressed that he was prepared for all types of road hazards and in all kinds of weather. He had backups to the backups and clothing to change into to put on a spare tire or to do on-road maintenance.

My sons often asked me to tell them of the “old days.” They thought I was ancient. I told them how I lived on a farm, and we depended on crops and livestock to give us income. Drought, disease, too much rain, and high winds could seriously damage a good crop of corn and wheat. We also grew the cash crop, tobacco, which is a very delicate plant. A quick hail storm could send you looking for a public job to get the family through the winter. Many of today’s farmers have done this. Agriculture is the one big industry quickly affected by natural disasters of any type.

Those who watch weather patterns predict that more and more hurricanes will come ashore and head farther north. I remember Isabel for it left us without power for four days. It took me back to my childhood when we depended on kerosene lamps and cooked over wood stoves. This could happen again.

We have no other choice but to live in this physical world that God created for us. It may not always behave the way we wish. We cannot live in straw houses set upon a sandy beach.


ALL WHO LISTEN TO MY INSTRUCTIONS AND FOLLOW THEM ARE WISE, LIKE A MAN WHO BUILDS HIS HOUSE ON SOLID ROCK. THOUGH THE RAINS COME IN TORRENTS, AND THE FLOODS RISE AND THE STORM WINDS BEAT AGAINST HIS HOUSE, IT WON’T COLLAPSE, FOR IT IS BUILT ON ROCK. BUT THOSE WHO HEAR MY INSTRUCTIONS AND IGNORE THEM ARE FOOLISH, LIKE A MAN WHO BUILDS HIS HOUSE ON SAND. FOR WHEN THE RAINS AND FLOODS COME, AND STORM WINDS BEAT AGAINST HIS HOUSE, IT WILL FALL WITH A MIGHTY CRASH. (Matthew 7:24-27)

The crowd who heard these words from Jesus was amazed at his wisdom. I wonder how many of that number went and moved their houses. There is always a great lesson to be learned from the Scriptures.

Three million people live within the shadow of the world’s most historically deadly volcano at Vesuvius, Italy. One of its violent eruptions in 79 A.D. described by Pliny the Younger buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Within a period of 19 hours these two towns were buried in ash and the inhabitants were caught in the gas and cinders. Yet, today within the shadow of this violent volcano, smoking and sending out tremors, people carry on their daily lives as if this goes with the territory. Mass evacuations have not taken place. Volcanologists note that there are no signs of unrest at Vesuvius at the present time. An estimated one million people live in the area of past eruptions. This does not seem to hurt the real estate market.

Man has always been tempted to dream of gigantic projects and carry them to a conclusion. The tallest building is never the limit. The biggest canal is never wide enough for our huge tankers. The oceans once beyond our reach are being dived into and harvested for their minerals. In the long term, it is now Mars and the planets beyond. How far is “how far” and what are the limits of infinity; I am sure a scientist has an answer for all the preceding. Indeed, we are trying our best to mimic what our Creator has made with His Hands.

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Front Royal
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Sunny
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Feels like: 79°F
Wind: 4mph ESE
Humidity: 43%
Pressure: 30.05"Hg
UV index: 0
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86/63°F
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Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
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Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
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Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
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Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
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Potential UNLOCKED: Become a Roblox Developer In this hands-on, fully guided camp experience, ninjas learn the basics of game building and creative development in an exciting, user-generated online gaming platform called Roblox! This camp will[...]
Aug
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9:00 am Waggin’ For Dragons @ Front Royal Golf Club
Waggin’ For Dragons @ Front Royal Golf Club
Aug 7 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Waggin' For Dragons @ Front Royal Golf Club
Our Annual Dragon Boat race is back and better this ever, because we’ve got some special friends joining us! Our race teams, made of local community and business groups, will be racing and raising that[...]
11:00 am Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
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 Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 12:00 pm – Aug 8 @ 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log House to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows volunteer or ranger dons historic clothing and cooks delicious dishes using[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Blacksmith Shop in the Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and[...]
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 7 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area – 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[...]