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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Self




It was in the summer of 1849 that Phineas Gage, a railroad construction foreman was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. A dynamite blast went off and sent a tamping iron through the air. It passed through Gage’s head, and he survived. Before the accident, he was an efficient worker and shrewd businessman. The accident changed him and made him a profane person, with little regard for others. He also could not make plans for the future. His friends remarked that he had become “the other Gage.”

This and other incidents have prompted research into what is our “self.” Scientists are searching to explain the complex cohesive neural process that explains why we are happy or unhappy.

Children up to the age of 12 years are in the SELF-learning process and tend not to be bothered by changes in routines and life in general. Adults do not react the same way once SELF has been formed. Sources note that once the brain is fully formed that an action has a programmed response. Like computers, our thinking system is not only programmed to think and act but in the background, there is also the planned response. We put a lot of time into SELF. If a test is given with an equal number of questions on SELF and questions about others. Later we can recall the SELF questions but not those about others. How people can become less SELFish and learn to live and contribute to the lives of others is one of the wonderful traits of being human, never to ever be learned by a machine with artificial intelligence.

How we react to our daily lives and how flexible we are to responses from our fellow man is the key to the peace and tranquility we all seek. We all know of individuals who are still at a later time in life trying to find “SELF.” They are reaching for everything that can tell them that they are alive. Some need the thrill of skydiving or cliff jumping to say “Yes, this is the SELF, I have been looking for!” Whatever future studies show, the study of our SELF and how it drives our lives will continue to be interesting reading.

Books that have been written on SELF are: A Self Less Ordinary, Is Self Special? The Lost Self, Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain-and How It Changed the World. These are just a few of the many books written, to understand our SELF. It all started with the following Biblical Verse.

Genesis 2:7 – And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.

Today we still remain seekers:
Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. You know the commandments:’Do not commit adultery, “Do not murder, “Do not steal, “Do not bear false witness, “Honor your father and your mother.'” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. (LUKE 18:18-23)


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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Friends



Friends, I can’t do without them. They are there when we need them for advice and comfort and just there for us to blow off steam. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and pop up when we least expect them.

My friends have recently tried to convince me that it is time for me to get cable or satellite television. So far, I have received enough broadcast(free) outside antenna tv to supply my need for news and entertainment, and I find it most conducive for taking naps. I would miss my outside forays to the rooftop for maintenance and seeing the world from a more extensive and different angle. I have noticed that up there, I am invisible; people out walking never look up and wave or wonder who that nut is!

It has been said that tv is a vast wasteland, and it could be more vast via cable or satellite, with 250 or more channels to surf.

ALF is back, alive and well, with his own LIVE TALK SHOW on cable. ALF was never alive (a puppet) and was on many years ago. Alien life form (ALF) does not take the most beautiful form by society’s standards. I don’t think I would like to meet him in a dark alley. He likes cats and not for petting. He has a long segmented snout ending in a large bulbous nose, obviously sharp teeth, cute pointy ears, and large eyes with thick lashes. He arrived crashing through a suburban roof and was “adopted” by the residents. Their mission was never to let anyone see ALF during the day or at night. The writers supplied lots of scripts where ALF would venture into the night in many disguises. In one, he was delivering pizza. He knocks on the door, and a lady opens it and fumbles for change. We soon realize that she is blind. ALF returns and returns and becomes her friend. They eat popcorn, and ALF talks a lot about cats. They enjoy each other’s company, never sharing the secret that only the audience knows.

For 33 years, I bought newspapers and magazines at the U.S. Geological Survey Store, managed by Jim Carroll. He was blind but knew my voice and always remembered my name. I would joke and sometimes assist by identifying stacked bundles of newspapers, whether they were The POST or other newspapers. I could look like ALF, John Wayne, or Cyndi Lauper, but it didn’t matter. Somehow we were drawn together for some unknown reason.

Just As I Am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight, riches, healing, of the mind, Yea, all I need in Thee to find. – Charlotte Elliot – w. 1834, Sacred Selections

From an early age, I have loved the church and the people who love the Lord because I know the reason.


I leave you with this question, “Is God blind?” I know the shocking answer, but do you?

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Ramblings of an old dog




A member of the church has passed, had to have a kidney – never got it, and was diabetic….this all was over several years, and then he’s gone. The last time I saw him, he cheerful talked of man-made organs that were just around the corner, and it will probably happen, but not for Bob.

Our mother could have had a pump installed to aid her enlarged heart, but she was too old.

Dad could have had surgery on his one lung to stop pneumonia; he was too sick.

My wife could have been caught at the time of her stroke attack, but not near a Stroke Center that could have saved her, 22 months later on a feeding tube- gone.

Our parents went from “rags to riches and then died.” Does that sound unfair?

While still farming, Dad went up into the stock barn to toss hay down into the racks for the cattle, and he made a wrong step and fell into one of the racks. Mother wondered why he was not back for breakfast, opened the door, and heard the dog barking; that was odd. She went to the barn and called a friend to get him out of the rack. Many days later, Dad was in a hurry and ran the pickup thru the lot and ran over & killed the dog (Bingo). They never had another dog or mentioned having one more dog. Bingo had been saved from the Louisville Pound. Again it all sounds unfair. GOD be with U, Bingo —You old dog!

But I remember the song, “Come a sunny day, and we’ll meet again!”

This is Women’s History Month

During our Afghan conflict, an Army unit was to clear out a village of the enemy; a woman medic chose to join the men. The battle was heavily joined, and one man was immediately killed. It looked as tho the fight would not be in our hands but of the offenders. The lady medic grabbed the rifle of the fallen one and added it to the returned fire. The tide turned in favor of our
unit, and the enemy did not like that and disappeared into the desert. The unit knew our medic was the savior and deserved a medal for putting her life on the line. The Military Staff said “No!” as she was not assigned to the unit. Unfair?

When at church on Sunday, our singing is greatly enriched by Fanny Crosby’s hymns (1820-1915). Francis Jane Crosby wrote over 9,000 hymns, some of which are among the most popular in every Christian church. She wrote so many that she was forced to use pen names lest the hymnals are filled with her name above all others. And, for most people, the most remarkable thing about her was that she had done so despite her blindness, wrote the first one at the age of eight. Some are Speed away, Speed away;  Lord Here Am I, Safe in the Arms of Jesus; To God Be the Glory’ Meet Me There; Jesus Is Tenderly Calling. Her quote, “I long to see my Savior!”

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Do You Know?





Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” (Exodus 13:19)

How highway monuments got started, when and where, no one knows, they just sprung up. Some are works of art and have tiny white stone encirclements with toys or some items that once belonged to the departed. They are a reminder of human weakness and moments of terrifying strokes of death and injury. Life and death decisions were made at these spots by rescue people and emergency medical people. Even though we, somewhere at one time or another, have been ‘forced’ in the workplace to watch films showing what speed and drugs and alcohol can do at 70 miles per hour on the roads, yet, we go out, and the faults of mankind fail to disappear.

Within this random chaotic arrangement of clover, weeds, and display of bucolic sent from above flowers is a subliminal message. The staked unstable monument is a Styrofoam cross with its headdress of WalMart vinyl chain of floral flowers. It is the cross, and those who sat it in the ground must believe that there is a God and that there is hope and that eventually, somewhere beyond this arena of passing joys and moments of sadness, is another place, eternal, and there we shall all meet again.

I know, and you know, that this could be an inappreciable place, and why would anyone want to do this, sits a cross to be soon cast into the landfill or crushed by an attempt to mow and clear the byways for passing motorists. I could answer that I would have the answers to more of those questions that all of us face from time to time and have to answer, “I don’t know!” and hope this is enough to have closure.

“A little girl was riding on an airplane across the Midwest to spend the summer with her grandparents. She was reading one of her favorite paperback stories, “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” when a young man took the vacant seat next to her. He attempted to start a conversation, “You know, on long flights like this, that time can pass more quickly if we have a conversation. I would like to tell you, “Why there is no God and no heaven and nothing beyond this earth; you live, and then you die, and that’s it!”

With that, the little girl looked up from her book, “Do you know why a horse eats green grass and leaves behind round clumps, the cow eats the same grass and leaves behind round patties, and the goat does the same and leaves little pellets?” The young man laughed, “I don’t know.”

The little girl said, “The dimmest farmer knows, and I know we have nothing to talk about,” With that, she went back to reading “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.”

(There is, beyond the azure blue, a God concealed from human sight, HE tinted skies with heav’nly hue and framed the worlds with HIS great might.) see Psalm 46:10

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Angels




After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. – Genesis 3:24

During my daily travels, I mentioned a close traffic encounter that could have caused problems, and the person to whom I said it replied, “Your guardian angels must have been at your side.”

In the act of kindness, a friend gave my wife a small angel statue that can display wings of different colors; it’s imposing. Of course, we do not know what these spiritual beings created to be messengers and stand in the presence of God 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 nine seasons on TV, making all the actors very rich. When the holiday season comes, many stores will sell articles about angels. If you do 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. How should you live your life if you believe that angels exist and act in our world?

5. What image do you think of when you see angels portrayed at Christmas?

The word ‘angel’ appears at least 273 times in the Bible. Most people believe in angels and the devil, but mention God, and there is sometimes hesitation. I genuinely think in all three.

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 exists, God employs angels to implement his will on behalf of his saints in today’s world. It cannot be proven today angels appear in 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).

What children say and think about angels:

  • “My guardian angel helps me with math, but he’s not much good for science.”
  • “Angels don’t eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!”
  • “Angels taking us to heaven, talk about what went wrong before you got dead.”
  • “Angels live in cloud houses made by God’s son, who is a carpenter.”
  • “All angels are girls because they’re always wearing dresses.”
  • “I can’t understand why an angel would shoot an arrow through someone in love.” “My grandma is an angel helping me while here on earth.”

Will the angels bear me upward
To that home so bright and fair?
There to be with Christ my Savior,
And the ransomed gathered there?

Will the angels bear me upward
To that home so bright and fair?
There to be with Christ my Savior,
And the ransomed gathered there?


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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Birds




Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? (Matthew 6:26)

I love birds, and there’s no other way to say it. I don’t know if I wish I were a bird. There are some things birds can do that we cannot do. Sure, we can fly into the air and etc., but it has its faults.

We have to construct airplanes to do this at a great cost.

For the time, though, think of how many birds there are in the world and all kinds of them. It is no wonder that Jesus used them as a teaching example. Their needs are taken care of, and they do not worry about tomorrow as we do. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? (Philippians 4:6)

One morning, it all came to me in one of the Warrenton parking lots. I had no sooner pulled up and was about to get out of my car that I noticed a sparrow lit and was soon walking about to see if someone had left a crust of bread behind. I wondered where he/she had come from and what hiding place concealed his/her nest. I assumed that he/she ‘shopped’ often at all the local Mcdonalds’.

Have you ever heard someone use the term ‘bird brain’, sure you have. Birds are, in comparison to us, very small and have tiny brains. The birds’ brain is just right and, according to avian studies, put them on a reasonable scale of intelligence. Birds can see better and learn rapidly to know where to search for food and where the best, safe, and most comfortable housing can be found.

The hymn ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL Each little flower that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings.

Birds are mentioned in at least 93 places in the Bible.

It is unfortunate in our modern society that we overlook the appreciation of the one creature made by God. In our daily rush, we do not have the time to study and observe the many kinds and colors of the birds that fly above us and sometimes impede our way in the world. Many wise people have advised us to stop and ‘smell the roses’ and watch the birds because we could learn more about life from them.

As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. (Mark 1:10)

Another symbol involving the dove comes from the account of the Flood and Noah’s ark in Genesis 6-8. When the earth had been covered with water for some time, Noah wanted to check to see if there was dry land anywhere, so he sent out a dove which came back with an olive branch in her beak (Genesis 8:11). Since that time, the olive branch has been a symbol of peace.


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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Fasting




My doctor said I needed blood work when I had a recent medical check. The nurse then asked me if I had fasted, and I answered that I had not. An appointment was made for another early morning for my blood work.

If you have not fasted, you don’t know that breakfast or lunch is light-years away once the sun rises. I cannot imagine that you could go. without food for 40 days and nights like our Christ (Matt.4:2) or Moses (Ex.34:28) and Elijah (I Kin. 19:8). In our society, food is relatively inexpensive and available. We do not have to worry about starvation. I am told there has not been such a death in the USA for years.

A friend of ours thinks that “fasting” is the thing for her. She does this from time to time and just has her black coffee. This could be for physical or spiritual reasons, which I do not know but place in the personal category.

“Many Gnostics taught that one way to control one’s evil physical self was to starve the body, denying it the food or rest required. Similarly, those with eating disorders assume that we can separate our “self” from our “body” and, by controlling the body, gain control of our inner self.

Medical research suggests that many eating disorders are rooted in a feeling that life is out of control and reflect a desperate effort to gain mastery of oneself. The problem is, Paul tells us, such efforts are “of no value against the indulgence of the flesh”(v.23) We can’t control our inner self by punishing our bodies. Instead, we should seek to please Jesus in what we think, feel, and eat. The desire to please Jesus, rather than our desperate efforts to gain control, will ultimately bring us inner and outer peace.” (comments on Colossians 2:16-23 – THE TEEN BIBLE New King James Version)

If you want to fast today, it would be a voluntary matter. It is not binding on Christians; if done, it should be with the correct attitude and out of love for the Lord. In Luke 18:12, the Pharisee bragged that he fasted and gave much of his money to the temple, but the Lord heard the prayer of the humble publican. The Psalmist in 35:13 said, “I humbled my soul with fasting.” The great people of the Old Testament and some in the early church of the New Testament era followed the practice of fasting, especially in times of sorrow and repentance.

Reflect on these points: God may honor fasting when done deeply and sincerely; some fasting may have physical benefit; the arena of the mind may be expanded during fasting; a better grip on self-discipline may be achieved; and last, we may gain an appreciation of our many blessings through Jesus Christ. (edited remarks for space from the CHRISTIAN COURIER).

I believe these same benefits can be gained easily by finding a quiet place (it may be your closet) and letting your mind reflect on the greatest book ever written, the Bible.

This is so important in our rush ‘n’ go society. We must take time to bring it all together, or we will be like the huge dead tree in our neighborhood. When hurricane Isabel came through, this tree was not well rooted, and although it did its best, it is now a hindrance. If you think that fasting is the way, I am behind you and pray that you are strengthened because you have done it for the correct reason and wish to love the Lord even more than you do at this moment.


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