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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Stuff

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The following was given to me by a young lady at church. A corner of the article noted it was inscribed by “Alice.” It is so well written about our society that it has done its job and I hope that Alice (bless you and your stuff, are happy!).

“Every fall I start stirring in my stuff. There is closet stuff, drawer stuff, attic stuff, and basement stuff. I separate the good stuff from the bad stuff, then I stuff the bad stuff anywhere the stuff is not too crowded until I decide if I will need the bad stuff.

When the Lord calls me home, my children will want the good stuff, but the bad stuff, stuffed wherever there is room among all the other stuff will be stuffed in bags and taken to the dump where all the other people’s stuff has been taken. Whenever we have company they always bring bags and bags of stuff. When I visit my son, he always moves his stuff, so I will have room for my stuff. Their stuff and my stuff—It would be so much easier to use their stuff and leave my stuff at home with the rest of my stuff. This fall I had an extra closet built, so I would have a place for all stuff too good to throw away and too bad to keep with my good stuff. You may have this problem, but I seem to spend a lot of time with stuff, foodstuff, cleaning stuff, medicine stuff, clothes stuff, and outside stuff. Whatever would life be like if we didn’t have all this stuff?

Now there is all that stuff we used to make us smell better than we do. There is the stuff to make our hair look good. Stuff to make us look younger. Stuff to make us look healthier. Stuff to hold us in, and stuff to fill us out. There is stuff to read, stuff to play with, stuff to entertain us, and stuff to eat, we stuff ourselves with the foodstuff.

Well, our lives are filled with stuff…good stuff, bad stuff, little stuff, big stuff, useful stuff, junky stuff, and everyone’s stuff. Now when we leave all our stuff and go to heaven, whatever happens to our stuff won’t matter. We will still have…good stuff God has prepared for us in heaven.”

NOTE: My garage is cluttered with “I may need that stuff for some reason someday.” There is always a need for stuff that if not used may call for a visit to the nearest hardware store; and their stuff then costs more! Mine is free or so I think! The dictionary gives us the definition of stuff as an unlimited amount of materials needed for the various activities and needs and emergencies that could come our way during one’s lifetime. (Ole English and circa 1840)

Matthew 6:19-“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, …but lay up treasures in heaven,”

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The Cracked Acorn: The Note on the Door

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“We love him, because he first loved us.” – 1 JOHN 4:19 KJV

This is a true story. I know personally, the party involved. Love dwindled, unhappiness and dissatisfaction grew, daily fussing and fighting characterized the relationship of husband and wife, ultimately, a divorce wrecked the home, leaving two bewildered, emotionally scarred children in its wake. The father gained custody and the mother went her own way, doing her own thing.

The children loved their mother. The strange thing about love – it’s so often blind to the faults of those we love. Months went by and the mother longed to see her children. She mustered up the courage to visit. Leaving her car at the curb, she walked to the front door only or find no one at home. But posted on the door was a note from the youngest of her two boys, the seven-year-old. It read, “Mother, I’m at the park. Please come to the park.” She hurriedly made her way to the park, and there, sure enough, was the little fellow. After the preliminary hugs and kisses, the mother, still amazed by the note, said, “Honey, how did you know I was coming to see you today?” He answered.

“Oh, I didn’t,”

“But what made you put the note on the door if you didn’t know I was coming?”

In response, the love-starved little one said, “I put a note on the door every day, every time I leave, ’cause I knew you’d be coming to see me.”

“I knew you’d be coming to see me!” I wonder if there are not those OUT THERE, life’s rejects, those hurt by cruel circumstance, those whose life seems to be hopelessly going nowhere, those groping for some spiritual meaning in their lives, who are daily placing a note on their door which reads, “I’m not at home just now, but please – PLEASE – come find me.” by David Ladd, preacher.

Facts and Statistics
Around the world, there are an estimated 153 million orphans who have lost one parent. There are 17,900,000 orphans who have lost both parents and are living in orphanages or on the streets and lack the care and attention required for healthy development. According to the U.S. State Department, U.S. families adopted more than 7,000 children in 2012. Last year, Americans adopted the highest number of children from China followed by Ethiopia, Ukraine, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

No child under three years of age should be placed in institutional care without a parent or primary caregiver, according to research from 32 European countries, including nine in-depth country studies, which considered the “risk of harm in terms of attachment disorder, developmental delay and neural atrophy in the developing brain.”Children raised in orphanages have an IQ 20 points lower than their peers in foster care, according to a meta-analysis of 75 studies (more than 3,800 children in 19 countries). In 2012, 23,396 youth aged out of the U.S. foster care system without the emotional and financial support necessary to succeed. —American Surveys Digest—

Student A: I can spell my mom’s name! Teacher: Oh yeah? How do you spell it? Student A: M-O-M.
Student B: That’s how you spell MY mom’s name, too!

(From THE WAYNESBORO VISITOR, Church of Christ…March 15, 1998)

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The Cracked Acorn: Wrestle

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Paul Harvey 90 years old, gone but will be best remembered for THE REST OF THE STORY. His different view of the news kept us laughing and brought us smiles when least expected. He advertised various products and sold PAUL HARVEY INSURANCE (I had a policy for a while.) For nearly fifty years he researched and wrote his scripts for his nationwide radio show.

“When television arrived in a small western Kansas town it became the darling of the couple, Burl and Maude Sullivan, On Fridays nights at 8 o’clock it was time to pull the shades and disconnect the telephone and lock the doors and any other thing that might cause a disruption of their favorite show, wrestling. Ask Maude or Burl about live wrestling, and they would tell you all the moves and names of all the wrestlers; never mentioning that there could be the slightest hint of Hollywood involved. When it was over, off went the set, and they would unroll the mats and go at it. Maude won most of the time with her lightening leg locks catching Burl off guard and then it was over until the next Friday night-when two of Kansas’ lovers of the fine art of wrestling would again follow their favorite sport. Maude is 76 and Burl is 83.”

You wore a gown of pink with the matching shoes. “No, it was shorts and a mini top with your old golf shoes.” Oh yes, I remember it well. It was the quick toss and rollover that caught my eye. “No, it was the Russian knee lock and the Bear hug.” Oh, yes I remember that so well. I lost a comb. “NO! you lost your teeth.” Oh, yes I remember that well! We dined alone and heard the birds sing! “NO, we had hot dogs and watched the test pattern.” Oh yes, I do remember it well! How often I think of all those Wednesdays nights when I took an early nap. “No, it was Friday and you dozed off after the Sleeper hold applied with the Spider Twist.” Oh, yes, I remember it all now so well! (fractured the lyrics from GIGI)

How many times have you or heard your friends say that they wrestled with a problem and lost sleep. The dictionary defines “wrestle” to struggle hand to hand with an opponent in an attempt to throw or force the opponent to the ground without striking a blow. We have to apply great strength and grapple with the problem until it is forced into a position where we gain and keep control. Today you can find the names of 150 holds and at least 250 wrestlers that work using stage names.

Wrestling has been around since Greek and Roman times. Note this from the Bible:
24And Jacob was left alone, and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob28And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. 31And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.32Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank. (Genesis 32)

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The Cracked Acorn: Secrets of the Bible

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“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
” Genesis 2:8

The grandchildren wanted to know why grandma was always reading her Bible. They decided that it must be like school; she was studying for her finals.

The SECRETS OF THE BIBLE – will test your knowledge of the Bible. From a child I have always wondered if they would ever find the spot of the Garden of Eden; it was the Sunday morning children’s dream of the docile animals and the fruit that would keep one young forever.

With the refinements of aerial photography, GPS, and global tectonic studies, several theories point to the great possibility that there was such a place. Writing started about 3000 B.C.; two of the four rivers mentioned in the Bible are still here today- the Tigris (Daniel 10:4)and the “Prat” known from ancient texts and translated today as the well known Euphrates.

The idea of an Eden would have been known to the race of Sumerians in that area -the fertile crescent- and passed down to the Babylonians, and the Assyrians and finally to the Israelites and then making its way into the Hebrew Bible. Another conjecture is that if the Garden of Eden was to be any place on earth it would have been near the previously mentioned rivers.

A professor at Southwest Missouri University has suggested that the underwater area where the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers spill into the present Persian Gulf would have been the likely place in ancient times.

A rather unknown idea is that “the Garden of Eden, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, the story of Abraham-all took place in a small area between the Black Sea in the Ararat range in Turkey” and one scientist claims to have identified four of the rivers of Eden from NASA satellite photography and further this same person claims to know the location of the ark of the covenant, the Ten Commandments, Solomon’s Temple, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Tower of Babel.

If all these places are found and certified, will it change the way we think of the Bible; I doubt it! Biblical studies point to the conclusion that “man may never find Eden outside the pages of God’s WORD.”

Meanwhile, Grandma can keep on reading her Bible and believing every word as God gave it.

There’s a garden where Jesus is waiting
There’s a place that is wondrously fair
For it glows with the light of His presence
‘Tis the beautiful garden of prayer
O, the beautiful garden, the garden of prayer!
There my Savior awaits, and He opens the gates
To the beautiful garden of prayer (Eleanor Schroll,1878-1966)

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The Cracked Acorn: Timolo

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For over 30 years the 2 antennas attached to the roof of my rambler served well to provide free TV service. It happened that 6 months ago, that suddenly ended ‘Why?” who knows, but it bugged me as to the cause.

Finally, I overcame the impulse not to climb onto the roof and explore why I no longer had free programming. So, I put up the ladder and tied it to one of the deck railings, and up I went. I discovered, ‘nothing’ for my effort. Something at the far end of the roof caught my eye and I cautiously went there to find out what it was, I almost made it when my foot caught the end of the ridge roof vent; I lost my balance and fell the 40 feet to the ground, all happened before you could say, “Jack Robinson.” I was out cold and it seemed that in a few winks, I recovered and raised up and felt good and decided to walk the 160 paces to the mailbox and check to see if I had a refund check(joke).

So, feeling ok I decided to walk about the neighborhood and enjoy the view. I saw people I knew and waved, they did not wave or notice me. I soldiered on about enjoying this beautiful day. Why was a fire truck, medical ambulance and police cars heading my way? I picked up the pace and was back home. Oh my, there were all these vehicles in my driveway and a number of neighbors were there in the mix, all surrounding and bending over something or a person on the ground at the far end of my house. All this puzzled me and no one saw me just standing there?
Whatever it was, must be awful to have all these souls here.

All this was quite disturbing me, but all the clanging and booming and chatter of noise woke me… Yes! I am in my bed and all the latter was due to eye drops that my doctor suggested…she never told me of the fine print that went with the prescription that Timolol interferes with the thinking of one’s brain. Why the 3 lbs of protoplasm I carry about and rely on should entertain the idea I wanted to plunge off my home’s roof is shelved for another day in the neural theather.

But for a few moments I lived the following:

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21)

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The Cracked Acorn: Name – Obadiah

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For expecting parents who already know it is a boy could consider the name, Obadiah. I did a search on the baby names past, present and no one has considered or predicted that this name will be used. Well, I will not press the point. The kids in school would probably call your son Obey.

About a dozen individuals in the Old Testament in I Kings and the books of Chronicles wore this name. The book of Obadiah is the shortest Old Testament book of one chapter with 21 verses. History does not record any details of the life of this minor prophet. His life remains a mystery except that he was a “servant of the Lord” and was used by God to pronounce the judgment upon the Edomites.

The Edomites had a history of over 1,700 years and were destroyed in 70 AD by the Roman general Titus. Today, there is little material evidence that they ever lived, no language or literature has survived the ages. The Edomites were Israel’s bitter enemy and took every chance to gain advantage through deceit and trickery. They were ‘unneighborly’ neighbors’. When they were not at war, they were hiding in their high fortresses in the hills. Here they had every military advantage. They had the reputation of treaty breakers and were a cruel uncircumcised nation. The book of Obadiah was written during the time when Edom helped the Chaldean Nebuchadnezzar capture Jerusalem and then Edom took the opportunity to take over control of part of Israel’s land (Negev). They already had a firm grip on the trade routes that ran through the area.

How did all this come about and why did the Lord exercise His patience and hold back His anger so long. To understand this we go back to Genesis, chapters 26 and 27. Esau had married Hittite women and caused his parents, Isaac and Rebekah, much grief. Although Esua was the older, Rebekah came up with a scheme to have Isaac give the birthright blessing to Jacob. It was successful but Jacob fled the land in fear of Esau. The brothers after many years did meet and forgive one another but the descendants of Esau never became close with the nation of Israel. Esau had despised his birthright and because of this his issue never became the people that loved the God of Israel. The Edomites (Numbers 20) would not allow the Israelites to pass through their territory (note: the word “land” in never used) on the way from Egyptian bondage to the Promised Land. Later in history, both King David and King Saul were to fight against the Edomites.

Edom wanted to be a mighty prideful nation without God. Edom refused the covenant of circumcision that would have set them apart. The two nations began with Jacob and Esau. There was violence to the brother (Judah) verse 10; indifference to Judah’s troubles (11); rejoiced over Judah’s troubles(12); oppressing Judah’s people(14). Obadiah was the instrument of the news that God would overthrow and destroy the nation of Edom. God was going to punish sin and protect those who love Him as He will also do today. A quick study of Obadiah assures us that God always hates injustice done to those who love Him and keep His commandments. Obadiah reminds us that God is still on the side of those who strive to follow His will. Maybe, in years to come, there will be a tablet excavated in the Biblical land that will give us details of how he came to be called to do God’s will. We know that he did what God asked and that is why his name means the “servant of God”.

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The Cracked Acorn: Diablo

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Cast all anxiety on HIM- HE cares (1 Peter 5:7-)

(The following is fiction or maybe not!)

It was somewhere at the start of fall in Homer, Kentucky. Darkness was closing in; Tim and Joel had given a neighbor a long day’s free help with fallen leaves, clearing the gutters on their friend’s house, and a general cleanup before bad weather came. At the moment they were in severe conversation on where the car had been parked. They agreed that they would have to cross through the local cemetery to the ride home.

Even to this day… many do not agree on the following:

Our pilgrims were quiet as they passed into the hallowed ground and walked among Smiths and Jones, It was strange how soon it was too dark to see clearly. Suddenly, ‘something’ took form and attacked Tim with a sudden vicious force that it also when finished went to Joel, who stepped back and fell hitting his head on a stone, lay unconscious, who later said that he remembered his friend crying out in pain, “Help me! The pain…please someone help me!”

When Joel finally came to, in the hospital that the police were trying to find out l what had happened. Joel asked about Tim and no one seemed to know where Tim was. Was his mind playing tricks? (The following may have been from too much morphine given to Joel.)

“Joel said that he would always remember that somewhere in his injury, that he no longer heard his friend crying for help!

Because (you won’t believe this!!!) The stone angels in the cemetery had taken form and were bending over Tim, wiping the blood from his forehead and saying,”It’s ok we are here, we heard your call and were sent !”

Joel: “It was a marvelous scene: the lit area and the angels doing their work for his friend. Yes! I know no one will ever believe me, but I was there. Tim was now quiet but alive and then the angels took him under their wings, a flapping of many heavenly creatures, and they all rose into the night sky, and were gone! ”

Gone where? The arm of the Law thinks it was all due to grave robbers, but all those very heavy stone angel statues were gone, that must have taken some force and heavy lifting! On close inspection, there were no tracks or any indication that this was the answer.

Now any night in Homer, pass by Joel’s house and you will see every inside light is on, every night! Is this to frighten what some think now is Diablo- the prince of evil that snared and injured our friends. It sounds like what happened, If I am ever in Homer after dark, I will stay clear of the cemetery and the spot where lies the Smiths and Jones.

To this day, no one can tell you where Tim is! (But we know.) – Luke 16:22

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