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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Shooting Star

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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

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The Cracked Acorn: Travels

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“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)

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The Cracked Acorn: A Kiss

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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)

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The Cracked Acorn: The knowledge of trees

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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)

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The Cracked Acorn: Bob is Dead!

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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

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The Cracked Acorn: The Future

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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!”

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The Cracked Acorn: Treasure

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He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, (Psalm 147:16-18)

A tract I have caught my interest and I have gone forth with comments inspired from the title FINDING GOD’S TREASURE.

Treasure comes in many forms: consider this preacher story I heard as a boy in Kentucky.

A Wyoming bachelor was having a difficult time keeping the bills paid 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 there he met the “woman of his dreams.”  It wasn’t long before they were engaged and not too long afterwards were married.  She was to stay out on the ranch while he continued to work in the city.  The object was to build up an emergency fund to meet unexpected ranch problems.

The woman of his dreams had always been a city girl and knew nothing about the needs of a ranch. Problems with the house and outside with animals and etc. just 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 drawing to a close.  The promise of spring on a beautiful day was everywhere.  Jason had just returned from lunch and for some reason glanced out the window.  Winter was making one last gasp.  A dark weather front was moving through, a hunch urged him to leave early for the ranch.  By the time he reached the house the temperature had dropped to bring snow and freezing winds.  His wife was not inside.  He found this note on the kitchen table.

Jason,

       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.

luv,

     Judy

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 lost 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)

“Don’t pile up treasures on earth, where moth and rust can spoil them and thieves can break in and steal. But keep your treasure in Heaven where there is neither moth nor rust to spoil it and nobody can break in and steal. For wherever your treasure is, you may be certain that your heart will be there too!” Matthew 6:21

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Upcoming Events

Feb
26
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 26 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 20: Come in for some great stories, songs, and a craft about our feathered friends, Birds!  Siblings welcome. Wednesday, February[...]
11:30 am Innovation in Education @ Open House Middle of Main
Innovation in Education @ Open House Middle of Main
Feb 26 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Innovation in Education @ Open House Middle of Main
Women in Networking Guest Speaker: Dr. Tess Hegendus Topic: Innovation in Education: How to Prepare Students to be Future Ready
Feb
27
Thu
10:00 am Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 27 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
In conjunction with “Love Your Library Month,” Samuels Public Library will hold its first “Day of Giving” on Thursday, February 27, 2020. Thanks to an anonymous donor, all donations made in-person at the Library or[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 27 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 20: Come in for some great stories, songs, and a craft about our feathered friends, Birds!  Siblings welcome. Wednesday, February[...]
Feb
28
Fri
9:00 am Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Feb 28 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Able Forces Foundation will once again be hosting a visit by Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Department of Veteran Services, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Danielle Cullers, Homeless Veteran Advocate-Volunteers of America[...]
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Feb 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
Feb
29
Sat
10:00 am Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Feb 29 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Loom Knit an adorable kitten. In this beginner’s class for teens and adults, you will work on a 24 peg loom to knit a small stuffed toy. *Instruction will be right handed. No prior knitting[...]
11:00 am Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 29 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Nothing is more comforting than warm soup on a chilly day! Learn how to make some yummy soup, and do some taste-testing to choose your favorite. For ages 8 and up. Registration begins January 29.
11:00 am Trauma & Resiliency Training for... @ Samuels Public Library
Trauma & Resiliency Training for... @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Trauma & Resiliency Training for Early Childhood Providers @ Samuels Public Library
Statistics show us that one in four children will experience trauma by the age of four. This trauma could be abuse, hunger, homelessness, witnessing violence, medical trauma, or grief. We know that a child’s greatest[...]
1:00 pm Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge
Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge
Feb 29 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge