“In today’s culture, some people think it is not proper to tell others they are wrong. Many believe all religions are equal and the Bible contains legends as charming as the stories of other great faiths. Children are allowed to believe in all or none of many teachings. Many people believe they can make it to heaven on their own or that all ways lead to God. What is the result of this freedom?” from OPEN WINDOWS-Life Way
The preceding came from a denominational magazine in a local doctor’s office, I thought it noteworthy to quote it.
Many of the religions are advocating that we all should find a middle ground and come together to bind us all together in one faith and one religious people. This may be a good thought but what does it accomplish in the sight of our God and Savior and the Scriptures.
A former supervisor loved to tell one of his college experiences. The lecturing professor had been underway for most of the hour, writing formulas on all the blackboards, for some reason my boss said loudly “That is all wrong!” The professor turned and asked, “Who said that?” Bill sheepishly raised his hand and the professor said “You may leave for today and you don’t have to take the next exam.” The professor had been writing mathematical nonsense waiting for someone to stop him. The religious world is putting us to the test. Lately, we have noticed that if you quote a Scripture to a friend or someone interested in what you believe, the response is “where did you get that?” -well it came from the Word of God, the Bible, the Scriptures, we didn’t make that up!!! or the reply can be “From what version or translation are you using?” There was a time when brethren used only the King James Version, not anymore.
One of the recent obituaries in the metro paper listed the passing of one of the most noted Biblical translators of this age. She had degrees in all the ancient languages that had formed the first written Bible. Her last efforts were to clarify the Revised Standard Version for modern mankind. How much clearer can we make God’s Word for everyone out on the street today is either a figurative or literal question? The Church Of Christ has always taken the stance of “speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent when the Bible is silent.” We have to be alert lest we are speared by the sharp point of our intelligence and let the chance go by to say “That is wrong.”
When the Lord could no longer reach His People, he sent punishment, FOR, LO, I RAISE UP THE CHALDEANS, THAT ARE A BITTER AND HASTY NATION, WHICH SHALL MARCH THROUGH THE BREADTH OF THE LAND, TO POSSES THE DWELLINGPLACES THAT ARE NOT THEIR’S. THEY ARE TERRIBLE AND DREADFUL; THEIR JUDGEMENT AND THEIR DIGNITY SHALL PROCEED OF THEMSELVES. THEIR HORSES ALSO ARE SWIFTER THAN THE LEOPARDS AND ARE MORE FIERCE THAN THE EVENING WOLVES, AND THEIR HORSEMEN SHALL SPREAD THEMSELVES, AND THEIR HORSEMEN SHALL COME FROM AFAR, THEY SHALL FLY AS THE EAGLE THAT HASTETH TO EAT. THEY SHALL COME FOR VIOLENCE; THEIR FACES SHALL SUP UP AS THE WIND, AND THEY SHALL GATHER THE CAPTIVITY AS THE SAND. (Habakkuk 1:6-9)
Do we live so close to the Lord today, Passing to and fro on life’s busy way, That the world in us can a likeness see To the Man of Calvary?
Can the world see Jesus in me? Can the world see Jesus in you? Does your love to Him ring true, And your life and service, too?
Do we love, with love to His own akin, All His creatures lost in the mire of sin? Will we reach a hand, whatsoever it cost, To reclaim a sinner lost?
As an open book they our lives will read, To our words and acts giving daily heed;
Will they be attracted, or turn away From the Man of Calvary?
(an ancient hymn)
The Cracked Acorn: Home
(WAIST GUNNER)- Captain, reporting heavy damage. Andersen’s out of it. An ME-109 was lucky.
(CO-PILOT) – I’ve taken over. Cockpit riddled. Captain injured.
The BETTY GRABLE is on her 13th WWII mission. Will this weary scarred B-17 bomber reach the target and return home. In a movie theater, this question is usually answered in about two hours.
(NAVIGATOR) – Within the target area.
(BOMBADIER) – 3-2-1 – bombs away.
(CO-PILOT) – Lost #4 was on fire. One inboard with low oil pressure. Fuel is low.
It does not look good for the BETTY G. We are taunted in our comfy seats. Fingers are crossed that our crew will make the long journey through unfriendly skies to safety. BETTY has made it before and she should do it again, but there are some terrifying moments ahead.
(BETTY G.) – Control Tower, on two engines. Have wounded. Landing gear may be damaged. Fuel gone.
((Control) – Copy, emergency strip cleared. Good luck.
(inspired by the movie TWELVE O’CLOCK HIGH)
“I can identify with the BETTY G. The years are beginning to show wear and tear on my covering (skin). I no longer look youthful, except in spirit. The landing gear (my legs) can’t do their job as well anymore. I try not to run and run like I was a youngster again. This is long past. I try to stay on level ground and avoid too many hills; mountain climbing is out of the picture. The enemy has made several “runs” on me.
At times, I wanted to walk (fly) away and bow to the “I’m just human.” But something always whispers in my ear “be strong, be courageous for I am with you.” So far, I have been a winner. I am nearing the target (fourscore and two). I think of home (heaven) often. Many loved ones and friends are waiting for me with smiles and breathless hugs.
Do we breathe in heaven? I am working to take many with me eventually (co-pilot and crew). I have encouraged others and tried to lend silent comfort in times of joy and sadness. I need your help and assistance and prayers to aid me in reaching the heavenly home. There are many forces that are determining that the journey will be bumpy and not a smooth ride. We must remain alert and not sleep lest the enemy takes advantage, wound us, and cause us to fail. Constant training (Bible study) must be our sword and shield. We have many examples before us that this can be done.”
O THINK OF THE HOME OVER THERE, BY THE SIDE OF THE RIVER OF LIGHT, WHERE THE SAINTS ALL IMMORTAL AND FAIR ARE ROBED IN THEIR GARMENTS OF WHITE. O THINK OF THE SAINTS OVER THERE, WHO BEFORE US THE JOURNEY HAVE TROD, OF THE SONGS THAT THEY BREATHE ON THE AIR, IN THEIR HOME IN THE PALACE OF GOD. I’LL SOON BE AT HOME OVER THERE, THERE THE SAVED AND THE SAINTS ARE AT REST; ALL THE SAINTS AND THE ANGELS UP THERE ARE WATCHING AND WAITING FOR ME. OVER THERE, OVER THERE, O THINK OF THE HOME OVER THERE. ( SACRED SELECTIONS)
“Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)
The Cracked Acorn: Memories
A late friend’s garage only had a car and maybe spider webs, not so with mine. In one of my forays to straighten up, throw away, and organize I discovered a 1962 sci-fi paperback from a summer garage sale- ALL THE TRAPS OF EARTH by Clifford Simak. One of the short stories was about a domestic robot, Richard Daniel, that had outlasted all the members of the Barrington family and was now about to be auctioned off as part of the estate, refurbished, and reprogrammed.
His job had come to an end. Six hundred years of service and memories; the Barringtons thought him special and had given him two names unusual to robots always called by one name. When Richard Daniel discovered that reprogramming would mean the loss of his memories; he was bitter. He told the estate lawyer that his memories were special. “They are all I have after six hundred years, they are my sole possession. Can you imagine, counselor, what it means to spend six centuries with one family? They are a comfort. A sustaining comfort. They make me feel important. They give me perspective and a niche. I must be myself. I’ve found a depth of living, a background against which my living has meaning. I could not face being anybody else!” Richard Daniel stows away on a ship bound for other worlds. The story does have a happy ending. Richard Daniel finds he has talents that help him to fit into another earth-like community. The people are willing to accept him for what he is, even though his helping hands are metallic.
Memory is one of the great gifts that God gave us when we became “living souls.”(Gen.2:7) We need our memories to go about our lives, to do our work. Memories are formed from repetitive tasks and emotional experiences.
Years go by and we may be able to recall a particular family outing but can’t remember the wonderful food served on that day. How memory is formed and recalled is still one of the neural mysteries of all time.
As we age we desperately try to hold on to our fond thoughts that have been with us for many decades. You see this in nursing homes. The residents love to re-tell all the memories they can recall to each and every visitor. Age and disease affect what we can remember.
In the 1980 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan repeatedly told a heartbreaking story of a WWII bomber pilot who ordered his crew to bail out after his plane had been seriously damaged by enemy fire. His young belly gunner was wounded so seriously that he was unable to evacuate the bomber. The pilot told the gunner, “Never mind. We’ll ride it down together.” Reagan was almost in tears. The story was really from a scene in the 1944 film “A Wing and a Prayer.” Reagan had retained the facts but had forgotten the source. This will affect many of us as we age if it hasn’t happened already.
Ecclesiastes 12 – Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 – We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:24 – and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for[a] you. Do this in remembrance of me.
From SACRED SELECTIONS- Precious Memories (J.B.F. Wright,1966)
“Precious memories, unseen angels, Sent from somewhere to my soul; How they linger, ever near me, And the sacred past unfold.
The Cracked Acorn: Belief
My mother amazed me that she could cook up three big meals a day on the farm. She was adept with the kitchen utensils of that day. The old stand-by was the sieve to quickly drain off water from hot spaghetti or boiled vegetables. I was amazed at what the tiny holes could accomplish. I have often used the “sieve” to clear the air on some of today’s highly touted media topics.
“Millions of years ago ape-like animals lived their entire lives in trees, eating the abundant fruits and nuts. The climate began to change; droughts began to turn the environment from trees into vast plains of tall grass. In order for the ape-likes to survive, they began to spend more time on the ground. They had to see above the grass so they began to adapt by walking on two legs instead of four. Since they did not have keen eyesight, they began to develop a brain that could reason and outwit the larger animals. Soon this ape became apeman and after many more thousands of years became the man of today. “This falls through the sieve, leaving “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 soul.”– GENESIS:2:7
This, in a few words, is what our leading minds of today call evolution. There are many missing links in this chain of events that are waiting to be found. In the 1950s and 1960s, in some of the mental institutions, surgeries were performed on patients to relieve seizures and spells of depression. These were called lobotomies. A large percentage were not successful but led to extensive search in the brain for memory. Recent research has found much more about our wonderful organ. If we have a mind that can give us a rich life, where then is our soul found in our brains? The sieve finds that the soul is God-given and “Oh, bless our God, you peoples! Who keeps our soul among the living,”– PSALM 66:8,9.
One of the many surveys shows that there may be more than 30 million Americans that are on the fence about the existence of God. There are 6 million that declare that they are atheists and have an agenda to help people over their ideas that God is a part of our modern society. The New Age Atheists are doing well at the newsstands with “Letter to a Christian Nation” and “The God Delusion.” They are preaching the religion of reason not mentioning that the French Renaissance was based wrongly on reason. “Come let us reason together,” includes the Lord our God and if we are made white as snow and willing and obedient, we will eat the good of the land.”– ISAIAH 1:18-21.
The New Atheist movement is one without hope and faith in nothing. This generation and those to come, need an anchor and mother’s sieve. These are people who when they die, should put on their headstone “All Dressed Up and No Place to Go!” See ROMANS 1:18-32.
The Cracked Acorn: Close and Saved
Wow!! Did you feel that, well, maybe not, but last June 21, 2003, a surprise asteroid the size of a football field nearly hit home? 50 square miles would have been left in a charred crater if this happened. Even at this moment, NASA is tracking and estimating the passages of NEO (near-earth objects). Scientists are closely watching 2002NT7, which had a close flyby in 2019. Its potential was 1.2 million megatons of TNT. Later on, there’s 2000SG3 44 that may orbit closely in 2030. This is a new field of study, but it is also the branch of mathematics to deal with all these distant predictions.
For sure, our planet has had some events in our past that have shaped what we enjoy today. Evolutionists even try to use this as leverage to say that a great asteroid may have wiped out the dinosaurs and enabled mammals (that’s us) to rise to the top of the food chain.
I am not certain where all this should be placed on our list of “things to be concerned about.” We can imagine massive tidal waves, great floods, and forests on fire; Hollywood has made several wonderful films on this subject where the human race emerges victorious. Most of us are probably more focused on the traffic, problems in the schools and in our neighborhoods, paying the bills, and finding a good restaurant.
If either 2002NT7 or 2000SGE 44 comes by close enough for it to be called a “concerned event,” maybe it will remind the human race that we are of and came from the earth.
A giant asteroid is heading straight towards Earth, and its nearest approach is expected during the last week of this month, May! Most of these events occur when we are asleep, so don’t worry too much. The currently known asteroid count is 1,113,527!
People on Earth have nothing to worry about because it will make its pass from such a safe distance of approximately 4 million kilometers, which is more than ten times the distance between both Earth and the Moon. The universe has a schedule, and so does the earth. (IF you disagree, contact me at email@example.com)
Genesis 2:7 – And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living soul.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 – Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
OUR SONG: #728 Songs of FAITH & PRAISE
It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
When sunlight thro’ darkness and shadow is breaking,
That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory,
To receive from the world “His own.”
O Lord Jesus, how long, how long,
Ere we shout the glad song,
Christ returneth! Hallelujah!
The Cracked Acorn: Old West
Mention James Arness to anyone, “Alive or Dead?” they will say “dead.” He was the star of the long-running TV show GUNSMOKE; the cast brought the family together for an episode each week. It was early TV, and it went from thirty minutes to an hour; critics predicted audiences would never sit still that long; how wrong they were!!
MATT DILLION, MARSHALL OF DODGE CITY, KANSAS, the early western days of trains and telegraph; Henry Ford was yet to be born.
“Matthew, there’s some hot boiled coffee on the stove; dust off and sit a spell. Miss Kitty is a mite upset that you are aiming to take on the Lomax boys and the Strutters when they bring their herds in, but it’s steel a fur days off!.”
“Festus, is this all the good news you have? Check the telegraph office for WANTED, check if there are any new people in town, and then bring me the bad news.”
Matt dealt with the liars, cheats, and people with hidden motives and agendas, each week ending not too happily ever after. The injured were attended to by Doc, broken arms and legs were painfully set, and he would stay by the bed of the dying all night, waiting for morning when the fever might break. Miss Kitty made sure that all the unfortunates that were to be buried at Boot Hill had someone to say a few words – she thought that even the worst deserved a moment of reflection.
The marshal always made time for a ride into the hills. While the unsaddled big gray had a roll in the buffalo grass and then grazed, Matt dozed under “clouds that ignored the plights of mortal men.” This was a man that was close to 7 feet tall. He believed in a simple answer for difficult justice. On the way back to Dodge, he would stop by the widow Smith with seven kids to check if all was o.k. Keeping the peace and giving equal treatment to everyone was a big job for a big man.
Samson was the big man of the Old Testament. He was given super strength by God. In many ways, he was a disappointment to his Creator, but he kept the Philistines at bay, and for a few years, the children of Israel could breathe easier. As a child, I was impressed that this strong man sought to correct his weaknesses; in the end, blinded, he prayed to God for one last chance to smite his enemies; God, how wonderful, answered his prayer. “Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers(Philistines) and all the people in it, killing many more when he died than while he lived.” (Judges 16:30)
“Well, it’s time to catch the noon stage. The town’s a buzzin that Abe and Sarah had a baby out at the Ole Kristie Ranch. Crazy Joe’s riding up front today. Some say he can Winchester a notch into a coyote’s ear a mile away; that’s good in case of hostiles. A cold north wind is aggravating the sage, could bring trouble, mite be movin. May the road rise up to meet ya and that the good Lord will take a liken to ya’ll. YAH! YAH! YAH! Giddy-up!” (Numbers 6:24-26)
The Cracked Acorn: The Ark
… God had us in mind and had something better and greater in view for us… Hebrews 11:40
“The question of whatever happened to the Ark of the Covenant, an ornate box containing the laws handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai, has been a source of intense speculation for over two millenniums. The Ark had a pre-eminent role in the Bible from its creation until the time it was placed in the Temple’s holy of holies during the days of David and Solomon. But sometime between 970 B.C. and 586 B.C., the ark disappeared, and no one knows what became of it. Does it still exist? Or was it destroyed thousands of years ago?” (From Eden to Exile by Eric H. Clines)
If you, like myself, believe that the Bible is the spoken, inspired, literal word of God, you know that without a doubt that the Ark of the Covenant did exist. It was constructed of acacia wood, a little over 4 feet long and 2 ½ feet high, and 2 ½ feet wide, and was covered over with hammered gold, a gold lid, and two cherubim of hammered gold and could have weighed between 400 and 500 pounds.
Exodus 25 and 37 give us details of how it was made. Eventually, it contains two tablets of the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod, and a pot of manna. If it has survived through the ages it is:
Popularly thought to be in a secret chamber deep within the Temple Mount, underneath the present-day Dome of the Rock. This could have been done before the destruction of the Temple in 586 B.C.
In January 1979, Ron Wyatt claimed that his team had found the Ark in a cave system north of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, but something happened that they were never able to retrace their steps to document their discovery.
The Ark was removed during the reign of Manasseh and taken to Egypt. The latest claim is that the Ark has been seen in a church in Aksum, Ethiopia.
In my opinion, since the Ark was never used in a profane manner and did carry with it the fear that one could be struck down when Nebuchadnezzar in 585 B.C. destroyed the Temple, the collapse of the roof, walls, and columns – the Ark of the covenant was crushed and reduced to rubble, lost in the destruction or unearthed to be melted down for its gold. The people had been taken into slavery and so closed a great chapter of the nation in bondage.
The Ark of the Covenant is a great topic to study. In the past, I was not able to cover in-depth the details about how the ark was used and abused and then lost! The ark is to be noted as the Israelites’ most sacred relic and is last mentioned in Revelation 11:19:
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the Ark of his Covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a severe hailstorm.