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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: The Foot Step



The day had been busy and very rewarding. Uriel’s talent with wood had finally begun to pay off with work that took several days to complete. The latest was to start repairs on one of the Jerusalem city gates. The advance of money for materials had enabled him to hire an extra man to help to hew the rough wood before placement. Sunup till sundown was about all the body could stand. Uriel was all smiles when he saw his young son and daughter run to meet him. Ezra and Naomi liked to be around the shop but never were allowed inside during the busy hours of the day.

There were always plenty of wood chips and bits of leftover lumber to grace the home fire. Days were very hot but could be chilly after dark. Yes, they were having a fun time hurrying about the shop sweeping and tossing cedar bits at each other. Life was good.

Uriel’s wife Mary had never felt better. She had overcome her illness of several months. One day she was near collapse, and the next day, humming about the house. Busy with the shop’s work, he had never asked and was never told if the doctors had found a cure for her mysterious sickness. Yes, God was good to his family, and Uriel thought he should offer up the proper sacrifices at the temple to express his thanksgiving for all their blessings, but why at the moment – soldiers at the door?

“Uriel, the carpenter?” asked the soldier in charge.

“Yes, I am he. ”

“I have been sent to ask you to prepare three crosses to be used on the morrow to crucify two thieves and a condemned man.” The soldier, his stare, was telling Uriel that it would be done without question.

Uriel did not know why his shop had been singled out for this odious task, a waste of energy and time. “Yes, I will do my best. I think that I have some rough timbers that can be sawed and nailed together within a few hours.” He would have contributed to the cause of ridding the area of criminals.

“Sergeant, may I ask who the third man is?”

“Carpenter Uriel, the man is the Nazarene who preaches that he is the son of the Jew’s God, known as Jesus by his followers.” The soldiers left.

“Ezra, would you help your father and bring back one of the workers. We may have to burn the oil lamps into the night to finish this extra work.” The son was glad to help his father with the important task.

Uriel felt a tug on his arm. It was tiny Naomi, upset and close to tears.

“Father, the man Jesus is the one who helped mother. She got through the crowd at the market and pulled on his robe. Jesus turned and saw her and healed her.”(Matthew 9:20-22)

“Naomi, are you sure ?” Uriel had never known his daughter to bend the truth.

“I am sure I was right behind mother and saw him. The touch of his clothing healed her. Isn’t there anything we can do?”

Uriah was not sure what he could do. “Jacob, do we still have the extra cedar logs we smoothed for my house. Please bring those out and make sure that there is not one splinter or rough edge to be found on them. I don’t wish to add to this man’s pain and make a small wide footrest. (This may have happened.)

“And when they had mocked Him, they took off the purple from Him, and put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. And they compel one Simon, a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear His cross.” (Mark 15:20,21)


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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: That City



Two senior citizens were sitting on a courthouse bench, whittling and discussing the merits of being rich. A friend of theirs had most of what money could buy. As they listed what he had, they comically would say, “And I wouldn’t want to live like that!”

Some have the chance to “live like that” today.

If a family has two good incomes, it is possible to have an 8,000 sq. ft. home with four bedrooms and 4.5 baths and a three-car garage and swimming pool. When this happens, these families have to have help to keep their lives on an even keel. Pets will require lawn cleanup services. Dogs have to be walked, and people have to come and groom the animals.

There is the pet sitting if the family is away for a day or more. Executive Cleaning comes twice a week to get and return dry-cleaning. A-1 Mowing comes and does the lawn while another company is there to nurture the plants and flowers. A college student can be paid to take the teens to the mall and do errands for shut-in relatives. Groceries are ordered over the internet and delivered to the personal chef. The chef will prepare meals to await the arrival of family members.

With more and more Americans eating out, some of the large homes or mini-mansions are opting to have the builder leave out the kitchen. Meals are then bought over the cell phone and eaten in a small dining area.

If you can’t organize closets and the like, someone is available to do this while you are at work. Shop4You is a service that will run those gopher errands that you hate and wait for the repairmen to do plumbing, etc., while you are at work.

Last but not least! How about all that paper that seems to be forever attempting to bury you? Magazines are stacked everywhere. Books and paperbacks seem never to get back to the bookcase.

You have extracted articles from other sources that you find interesting but have never finished reading them. Catalogs, bulletins, brochures, and paper debris that suggests a purpose-eeks! You can’t find the time to deal with it!

Not to worry! While you are away on vacation or at work, a company will send an employee to organize this flotsam and jetsam of paper and put it into its proper place. A printed list with title and location of each offender will be given to you as often as you require it.


“that city where the ransomed will shine
I want a gold one that’s silver lined
I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
And someday yonder we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are purest gold

Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely
I’m not discouraged I’m heaven bound
I’m but a pilgrim in search of the city
I want a mansion, a harp, and a crown
I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
And some day yonder we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are purest gold”

I’ve Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop
Words & Music By: Ira Stamphill

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:16 ESV

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: The GOD Particle




My foraging for a set of reasonably priced tires found me in the early morning line at the Goodyear Center. Others had the same mission. The line was bogged down by a young lady that was being tutored on the proper tires for her auto. Someone muttered, “What are we building, a starship?” The salesman heard this. “You fellows, be patient; she’s a nice person!” In silence, we waited to see Captain Janeway of the Enterprise. We were not disappointed.

Theoretical physicists are searching for the “God particle.” (July, DISCOVERY magazine). In 1964 British physicist Peter Higgs decided that this one subatomic animal was necessary to unite all those in the zoo of the Standard Model. His idea was to explain the “big bang” and how it was ignited. If all the particles are summed together, they have a zero mass (weight). What gave the matter (particles) mass to create all that we now see and enjoy? Higgs implies that there is a force field (Higgs Field) where all lives the particles. In this molasses-type environment (universe), there is the Higgs Boson (God particle) which is weightless but is the creator of all the weighted particles that make up our cosmos. (Stay with me!)

We simplify this by going back to Goodyear. Our young lady lightly dances into the room. She draws more and more attention (weight) till, eventually, all those around her are also in a weighted state. She may fly around and around the room till she loses all her speed. Unnoticed are interested parties (clusters) near the door. When she has almost spun down, the clusters give life to her, and more electric particles again gain weight. Our damsel is our Higgs Boson (God Particle), the long sought-after culprit that is responsible for combining and giving mass life to electrons and neutrons. What has this to do with anything?

Leon Lederman tries to answer this question in his book – THE GOD PARTICLE: IF THE UNIVERSE IS THE ANSWER, WHAT IS THE QUESTION? With every opened door, more are opened but not leading to the final answer to “What is the Question!” A three billion dollar collider in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2007 could indicate if there is a Higgs Boson or if it exists. Eight hours of data gathering will equal 3 million DVDs of binary data. Vague ideas abound on how this will be processed within our lifetime.

Conclusion: We are looking for something that we think exists but are not entirely convinced of since the physicist community is evenly divided. Some are saying this particle has appeared several times we just do not have the means to detect its presence. This heavy particle may have an atomic weight between lead and uranium. The collider may never be built that can harvest this baby, and our best efforts could bear fruit in several years. Meanwhile, “Isn’t God wonderful!”


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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Someone




Hebrews 12:12 “…Lift up the hands which…hang down...”

“Charlotte Fox, the first American woman to conquer three 26,000-foot or higher mountains and who miraculously survived a blizzard while descending after summiting Everest, has died at 61 after a fall on steep hardwood stairs at her Telluride, Colorado home. Her obituary was published by the New York Times on June 8.”

One may have included Mt. Everest, which is 29,032 feet high. This could be on your “Bucket List,” O. K. let’s go; you’re not getting any younger.

Consider the following:

Several hundred are lined up every year to attempt this $50,000 trip to Nepal. most have already climbed other smaller ones, getting the body chemistry in trim and adjusted, and eager to try Everest.

Maybe, a northern mid-west school teacher who had hidden this desire and saved and saved, preparing for the moment to give it her all out and accomplish what most have “no taste” and content to sit before the television and watch such unfold for the eager ones.

We can fast forward, which puts us in the first camp, and days later into camp second and three (which holds the difficult climb through a canyon of ice and snow, where anything can happen.

It comes the moment when good food, rest, and one has that state of mind that it can be done. The sharpa guide keep repeating to her that once you reach the top, stay no longer than 45 seconds; this was repeated and repeated – 45 seconds and immediately come down.

Glory to God- she did make it, but did not overcome the temptation to stay longer….45 came and went, and came and went, then she stumbled when she tried to return down the trail – oxygen about gone; she fell to her knees, collapsed and rolled other to the trail’s side: it was all over, or was it?

A climber in a passing group glanced over and thought, just another frozen body for Everest (last count 122), but something made him pause and look closer; he quickly shared his oxygen and saw life. Our school teacher was then slid down to the last camp and thawed out, completely recovered; she asked who it was that saved her life. – No one knew only that it was just “someone.”

This is one of the stories of people who stepped out to help a person in trouble on Mt. Everest!

Somebody did a golden deed, proving himself a friend in need; Somebody sang a cheerful song, brightening the sky the whole day long. Was that somebody you? Was that somebody you?

Somebody thought ’tis sweet to live – Willing said “I” glad to live’- Somebadyfought a valiant fight, Bravely he lived to shield the right,

Was that somebody you? – Was that somebody you? (1868-1946_lyrics from John R. Clements

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Dyes



Yes! I remember when I got gravy on the best tie given to me by my piano teacher. It happened again; a ballpoint pen in my shirt leaked at the wrong time. It was taken to the cleaners and asked to do their best.

My father, in the fifties, worked as a knitter in a hosiery mill, making seamed ladies’ nylons. When they came off the machine, they were white and had to be sent to the dyer. Here the hose was submerged in a vat for several hours to change the white to rose or beige or the latest colors that the market demanded. I was told that white nylon was the strongest and could be weakened by the dyes. Supposedly this art appeared in the Middle East about 5,000 years ago, and the word “dye” is an English word.

In Biblical times, garments of beautiful colors were very expensive, both for the cloth and for the dyes. A garment signified importance or elevation in respect. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him and could not speak peaceably unto him.” (Genesis 37:3,4)

The Egyptians were the masters of color, and the Hebrews may have brought this to perfection when the tabernacle was built. The Lord told them to “make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, purple, and scarlet” (Exodus 26:1),

“And they shall take gold, and blue, and scarlet, and fine linen. And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.” (Exodus 28:5,6) and in the vail “And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fined twined linen of cunning work,” (Exodus 26:31) This vail was torn when Christ was crucified. (Matthew 27:51)

Purple was seen as a royal color, and desirable to buy, one of Paul’s converts at Thyatira was Lydia, a seller of purple.

Today, all these wonderful and bright colors are easily found on all our clothing. Some translators have attached meanings to certain colors, such as, WHITE-purity and innocence; BLACK-mourning, affliction, and calamity; RED-bloodshed; PURPLE-royalty, luxury; BLUE-deity, sky, and heaven; SCARLET-war, valor; GREEN-life, youth, and abundance. The red, white, and blue are in our flag.

The book of Esther is a “colorful” book of the Bible and worth reading and re-reading, especially the description of the palace of King Ahasuerus.

Our hymnal has two songs that reflect color. BEAUTIFUL ROBES OF white, and BEHOLD A STRANGER AT THE DOOR! ‘Tis HE, With garments dyed at Calvary.

For gentlemen who still wear ties -remember it was said, “If your children see you get a spot on your tie, they’ll send you to a nursing home!” Cure: wear bow ties!

May the good Lord bless an’ keep you, Whether near or far away. May you find that long-awaited, Golden day today . . . May your troubles all be small ones, And your fortune ten times ten, May the good lord bless and keep you, ‘Til we meet again . . .

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Love Lost



From a church lobby, one of the tracts caught my interest, and I wanted to make comments on the title FINDING GOD’S TREASURE. It hasn’t happened because I was waylaid by a bed of flowers near my breakfast spot. They were ready to bloom you can see the rolled-up heads waiting for the right day. They are reminding me of a change of seasons soon, snow, ice, sleet, and chilly winds will come & then be forgotten.

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

A Wyoming bachelor was having difficulty paying the bills 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 he met the “woman of his dreams.” It wasn’t long before they were engaged, and not too long afterward were married. She was to stay out on the ranch while he continued to work in the city. The objective was to build an emergency fund to meet unexpected ranch problems.

The woman of his dreams had always been a city girl and knew nothing about the ranching business. She had problems with the house and outside with animals, etc., but 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 coming. The promise of a beautiful day was everywhere. Jason had just returned from lunch and, for some reason, glanced out the window. Winter was showing its dark face. A changed weather front was moving to hurry through, a hunch urged him to leave early for the ranch. By the time he reached the house, the temperature was dropping to bring snow and freezing winds. His wife was not inside. He found this note on the kitchen table.

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.

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 loss 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)

I love you with the love of the Lord. I see in you the glory of our King. And I love you with the love of the Lord. Please love me with the love of the Lord. Please love me with the love of the Lord.(from Songs Of FAITH and PRAISE)


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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Changes of Time





It was a sad moment when I learned that the Tastee Drive-Thru Clown was gone! The clown on the Bowling Green, KY by-pass was a victim of the velvet hammer of progress. The nearby medical center probably needed the area for additional parking. This was one of the last places that were really fast food. You drove up to the window, placed your order, and your burger, fries, and milkshake were handed to you within a few minutes. You drove a few feet into the parking lot and enjoyed your meal. It served me well during my college days. My family was treated there on several trips to visit my parents. I can imagine that the local people used this as a landmark- We live near the Tastee Clown-you can’t miss it!

The District of Columbia almost lost THE BIG CHAIR, a trademark of the Curtis Brothers furniture warehouse. It stands almost 20 feet high and again was the reference point for directions for over 40 years.

Small restaurants that were mom & pop operations are about gone. Most have given away to high rises and office buildings. Mom is not around anymore to start the day’s turkey or chicken cooking. Forget about that slice of homemade pie you like for lunch with the blue plate special. The pie is now baked in an adjoining state and trucked into the area during the wee hours of the morning.

Those of us who were born about the end of World War II know that times were different. My father was off to the farm, and my mother made sure I was ready to walk to catch the school bus. At one time, I had to walk a half mile across three fields and back again in the afternoon. I looked forward to enjoying my walk home in the woods of tall walnut and hickory trees. The gravel road to the farmhouse wandered aimlessly with several twists crossing two crude cattle bridges. It was not in a hurry to get you anywhere. I always thought I would have a house built someday in one of its curves.

This never happened.

When I graduated from college, I went east to work in Virginia. During vacation times, I returned to visit the homestead. While I was away, a property dispute arose, and it was settled by bulldozing much of the woods. The old road was gone. A straight new road running alongside a new fence greeted my return. The old road would never be there again for me in this life.

Two roads diverged in a woods,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by. (Robert Frost)

As I travel on life’s pathway, Knowing not what the years may hold; As I ponder, hope grows fonder, Precious memories flood my soul; PRECIOUS MEMORIES, HOW THEY LINGER, HOW THEY EVER FLOOD MY SOUL, IN THE STILLNESS OF THE MIDNIGHT, PRECIOUS, SACRED SCENCES UNFOLD. (lyrics-Sacred Selections for the Church) – Psalm 145:7

(Jacob said) “And this stone,which I have set for a pillar,shall be God’s house:and all that thou shalt give me I will surely give a tenth unto thee.” –  (Genesis 28:22)

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Upcoming Events

6:00 am 66th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
66th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
Dec 3 @ 6:00 am – 1:00 pm
66th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
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Christmas Bazaar @ Valley Assembly of God Church
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“Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
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"Can't Feel At Home" @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” an original play by Dr John T Glick. The story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s to allow for the construction of Shenandoah National Park and[...]
4:00 pm Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Dec 3 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Kickoff for tree sales — Boy Scout Troop 52 is ready to help you find that perfect tree. We are located at the Royal Plaza in front of Rural King. We will be selling trees[...]
7:30 pm “Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
Dec 3 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
"Can't Feel At Home" @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” an original play by Dr John T Glick. The story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s to allow for the construction of Shenandoah National Park and[...]
3:00 pm “Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
Dec 4 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
"Can't Feel At Home" @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” an original play by Dr John T Glick. The story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s to allow for the construction of Shenandoah National Park and[...]
4:00 pm Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Dec 4 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Kickoff for tree sales — Boy Scout Troop 52 is ready to help you find that perfect tree. We are located at the Royal Plaza in front of Rural King. We will be selling trees[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 7 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
10:00 am 10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 10 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment during the holidays. Interact with the 10th VA Infantry, also known as the Valley Guards,[...]
4:00 pm Paint Night @ Living Water Christian Church
Paint Night @ Living Water Christian Church
Dec 10 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Paint Night @ Living Water Christian Church
The Living Water Christian Church is hosting a paint night on December 10, 2022, from 4pm-6:30pm. The cost is $40.00 per painting with award winning artist Kelly Walker. This is open to the public but[...]