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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: the good old days!

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Our sons occasionally would ask us about the good old days. Well, are the good old days gone? For us, the now older generation…those days are well gone. If you grew up on a farm or in a small town, the scenery is mostly gone. Family farms may still be trying to make it on 100 acres, I doubt it. The small town may now have its Walmart or a strip mall. Holidays are celebrated in a larger fashion than 50 years or so ago.

Some of us would think that the good old days were not really that great. Doctors usually had an office nearby and sometimes acted like Doc on Gunsmoke, you know, “Try this and if you make it through the night and have no more pain, well, then you are cured of whatever you had.” We are definitely living longer than past generations who died of flu and childhood infections that were killers to the older ones.

There was the church or rather the church building, one for the soul and the other for fellowship and picnics, vacation Bible school for the farm kids. At Christmas, there were boxes of food to be put together and delivered. That is still done today, not as much maybe, food stamps and charity agencies have assisted. Since we were less than 10 minutes from the church building, we were there any time the door was open. There were many sermons and a week-long gospel meeting every year. I never remember the members ever strayed far from the straight and narrow way. If they did, it was down front and put back to the work of the Lord. (Matthew 7:13)

The one thing that I miss from the good old days is freshness. There was a large garden that brought in all the best of vegetables and fruits. You name it, it was grown. I don’t think I recall anyone dying from too much homegrown nutrition. I also miss the open invitation for visiting. Remember those days gone were the time of much openness with farmers and town people. If you decided that after supper and you were spruced up a bit, there was the chance for visiting a neighbor or having a neighbor stop by, this was when stories were told about hunting or about the latest failures in crops and the plan to do better next year. Pigs on the loose and a stray cow were items to laugh about.


I turned on my radio, in the middle of the night, and I heard things I need to know. Well, I never knew I had Martians in my garden, and I never knew there were aliens on my roof. I’ve got shadow people, and they’re living in my basement. Got a funny feeling Bigfoot’s going to be here soon. I was so blind before, I was so unaware, but now I swear I’m seeing Sasquatch over there. (from Coast to Coast AM1100, theme)

A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagon load of corn. The farmer who lived nearby heard the noise and yelled over to the boy, “Hey Willis, forget your troubles. Come in and visit with us. I’ll help you get the wagon up later. “That’s mighty nice of you,” Willis answered, “But I don’t think Pa would like me to, “Aw come on boy,” the farmer insisted. “Well okay,” the boy finally agreed, and added, “But Pa won’t like it.” After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked his host. “I feel a lot better now, but I know Pa is going to be real upset. “Don’t be foolish!” the neighbor said with a smile. “By the way, where is he?” Under the wagon.”

 

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Beside the Road

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… “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” (Exodus 13:19)

It sits beside the road, its glory could be easily noticed, but now the time has gone by and traffic speeds on its way into Culpeper for bargains at one of the Superstores open 24/7. One must be traveling slowly and look to the right and there it is in the madness of timothy, foxtail, clover, and different types of grass almost covering its emplacement. Mother nature is doing its best to hide this interloper. We see these appointments of kindness due to a sense of sadness and loss alongside other roads and highways. Some complain to the Highway Departments that these are distracting and could cause accidents.

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

It is the cross, and those who sat it in the ground must believe that there is a God and that there is hope and that eventually somewhere beyond this arena of passing joys and moments of sadness is another place, eternal and there we shall all meet again.


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

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

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

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

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Eden

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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 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.

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The Cracked Acorn: Good-bye

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It is one word in the English language that I have never come to grips with, “Good-Bye!” Before I can say it, there’s the moistening of the eyes and a slight tightening of the throat, the cords hunt for the sounds that mean separation for a time or longer.  A look out the window helps to pull one’s self together to say that word not often said, “Good-Bye!”

Now that we have all had a touch of frost, the air does seem cleaner and crisp. Early on weekday mornings, I might hear the train whistle at the Haymarket crossing. It’s that lonesome sound that reminds me of my youth when trains stopped in every town to pick up mail and passengers.

When I was maybe 5 years old, I was with my mother when she took my aunt to nearby Auburn, Kentucky to catch the L&N (Louisville and Nashville) to Louisville. We waited in the station room until we heard the whistle and the clanging bell, smoke, and steam as the train pulled to a stop at the station’s back door. We are all familiar with airports, but I don’t think many are with train stations. At the airport, it is a quick hug and then off but with trains, it seems you have an eternity to say “good-bye”. You can wave at boarding and even while the train gathers speed to leave for the big city.

The Hawaiians’ “aloha” may be a better word which means hello and good-by or farewell. Aloha says thank you for sharing your life, energy, and breath with us, and thank you for making us aware that we are all family. Good-bye, so I found in the dictionary, is an alteration of God be with you, suggesting an unknown break of time till we see each other again, and during that period we will need God’s protection and assurance that all will work out for those leaving and for those who remain.


“I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.” When Paul finished, he knelt down with them all and prayed. They were all crying as they hugged Paul and kissed him goodbye. They were especially sad at the words he had said that they would never see him again. And so they went with him to the ship. We said goodbye to them and left. (ACTS 20: 35-21:1) TODAY’S ENGLISH VERSION

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The Cracked Acorn: A Jewel

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If you want fickle weather, try the Alaskan Aleutian Islands. Shemya Island would be a good start. Rain, snow, high winds, and even a bit of sunshine go through the daily blender of some of the world’s noted fits thrown by Mother Nature. I know. For the better part of a year in the 60s, I headed a team that did passive satellite photographic operations (SATTRACK). Since outside work required a clear night sky, we often had lots of time on our hands. I became very acquainted with the airmen that were barracked in the composite building that housed the mess hall and recreational activities.

We had one clear day a month when we could go beach combing on Shemya Island. At the water’s edge, you could find what looked like round gemstones. These were really pieces of Coca-Cola and Clorox bottles left over from the WWII airstrip occupation of the island. This bit of real estate was a treasure of junk and stuff left behind by the hundreds of military troops and their dependents. A daily magnet was run over the island’s roads to pick up nails. Flat tires were very common. You never carried a spare but had the motor pool come out and install a fresh tire.

One of the airmen at our daily coffee table had picked up a Bering Sea polished piece of Clorox bottle. He called it his Australian teardrop; he thought it was washed up on that side of the island. It was very pretty with a tiny trapped bubble inside. He had taken it to the gem shop and mounted it in a necklace. His roomie wound up with it, never told of its ancient history. I remember the morning that we were shown stateside photos of the roomie’s fiancée. She was posed in her best with a fur pieced coat and the teardrop necklace. I wonder today where the teardrop is. It may have become an heirloom or in an antique shop. If a jeweler has looked at it he would know instantly it was just a piece of brown glass and didn’t know that this once worthless stone has gone through 20 years plus, where it was polished by the world’s worst turbulent weather.

Christ saw the multitudes that followed Him like so many teardrops. This is seen in Matthew 5:1-16. He knew their hearts as He knows ours today. Life will polish us and if we are faithful to Him, we shall become that polished stone that has lasting beauty.


“Master, the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high! The sky is o’er shadowed with blackness, No shelter or help is nigh; Carest Thou not that we perish? How canst Thou lie asleep, When each moment so madly is threat’ning A grave in the angry deep?” The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will, Peace be still! They all shall sweetly obey Thy will, Peace, Be still! Peace, peace, be still! (from SACRED SELECTIONS) – Mark 4:39

 

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: The Good Old Days

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We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, & the melons, & the leeks, & the onions, & the garlic. – Numbers 11:5

One of our sons every now and would ask me to tell him about the good old days. Well, are the good old days gone? For us, the now older generation…those days are well gone. If you grew up on a farm or in a small town, the scenery is mostly gone. Family farms may still be trying to make it on 100 acres, I doubt it. The small town may now have its WalMart or a strip mall. Holidays are celebrated in a larger fashion than 50 years or so ago.

Some of us would think that the good old days were not really that great. Doctors usually had an office nearby and sometimes acted like Doc on Gunsmoke… you know, “Try this and if you make it through the night and have no more pain, well, then you are cured of whatever you had.” We are definitely living longer than past generations who died of flu and even childhood infections that were killers to the older ones.

There was the church or rather the church building, one for the soul and the other for fellowship and picnics, vacation Bible school for the farm kids. At Christmas, there were boxes of food to be put together and delivered. That is still done today, not as much maybe, food stamps and charity agencies have assisted. Since we were less than 10 minutes from the church building, we were there any time the door was open. There were many sermons a week-long gospel meeting every year. I never remember the members ever strayed far from the straight and narrow way. If they did, it was down the front and put back to the work of the Lord. (Matthew 7:13)


The one thing that I miss from the good old days is freshness. There was a large garden that brought in all the best of vegetables and fruits. You name it, it was grown. I don’t think I recall anyone dying from too much homegrown nutrition. I, also, miss the open invitation for visiting.

Remember those days gone were the time of much openness with farmers and townspeople. If you decided that after supper and you were spruced up a bit, there was the chance for visiting a neighbor or having a neighbor stop by; this was when stories were told about hunting or about the latest failures in crops and the plan to do better next year. Pigs on the loose and a stray cow were times to laugh about.

I turned on my radio, in the middle of the night, and I heard things I need to know. Well, I never knew I had Martians in my Garden, and I never knew there were Aliens on my roof.

I’ve got Shadow People, and they’re living in my basement, Got a funny feeling, Bigfoot’s gonna be here soon.

I was so blind before, I was so unaware, But now I swear I’m seeing Sasquatch over there. (from Coast to Coast AM1100, theme)

No one ever asks about the growing of tobacco. It is a delicate plant and many hours have to be given to it from the tiny sprouted seed until months later, its cured leaves go to the market floor and sold.

My sister and I agree that it was with our help that the family was able to get through the hardest of times. If a hail storm damaged all the crops, it surely ended the tobacco crop for that year. Tenant farmers raised tobacco on the shares and it was their Christmas money, shopping: toys, clothing, and a bit of holiday entertainment to the movie or a trip to visit distant relatives.

A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagonload of corn. The farmer who lived nearby heard the noise and yelled over to the boy,

“Hey Willis, forget your troubles. Come in and visit with us. I’ll help you get the wagon up later. That’s mighty nice of you,”

Willis answered, “But I don’t think Pa would like me to.”

“Aw come on boy,” the farmer insisted.

“Well okay,” the boy finally agreed, and added, “But Pa won’t like it.”

After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked his host. “I feel a lot better now, but I know Pa is going to be real upset.”

“Don’t be foolish!” the neighbor said with a smile. “By the way, where is he?”

“Under the wagon.”

 

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The Cracked Acorn: Growing Old

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Psalm 90:10, NIV: “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” … Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.”

We all want to live as long as possible. The Scripture promises 3 score and ten, 70 years old but just might be longer. As birth certificates have recorded persons who have lived longer, consider the following:

“Only one person has ever been verified to live to be over 120 years. Jeanette Calment from France died August 4th, 1997, living to be 122 years & 164 days. At the time of her death, she was also the only one in the world who had met Vincent van Gogh in person. That means every single person at the time of her birth in the entire world died before she did. Scary thought, isn’t it?

At age 90, with no heirs, she signed a contingency contract with her 47-year-old apartment lawyer saying he would pay a monthly fee of 2500 francs until she died. He probably didn’t expect Calment would live another 32 years. He ended up paying Calment the equivalent of $211, 148.90  which was double the value of the apartment. When he later died aged 77, his widow continued the payments until Calment’s death.” (Wikipedia)


The life expectancy in the USA is now 79.8 years. If you expect to join the club of centenarians, I would suggest you avoid stress. Research of the above person, notes she led a simple life & without stress. Also, she did not have any chronic health problems & lived in a time not having the serious viruses we are experiencing now.

It does not hurt to not clean your plate as I was told to do when I grew up on the farm, there were 3 big meals about every day. No one went to the doctor unless it was a threatening accident. When someone died, many would say it was cancer, which is still with us.

Some believe in the future all diseases, and such will be conquered. When the baseball legend Ted Williams passed on, his head was sealed in a cryonics chamber, to wait for the day he would be thawed and cured and get a new body.

Meanwhile, those of us left behind are trying to eat healthily & avoid too much sunshine & drive a very large vehicle to avoid dying in a crash with another; we hope with a smaller car. With all this,  don’t forget to have lots of insurance for health checks and for unexpected air transports to the best hospitals (when all else fails!)

Mercedes years ago advertised every engine was run full throttle for 30 minutes, I don’t see that anymore. I am sure the company found out it caused lots of stress on the moving parts. An employee I worked with, was going to drive her teens to school; she went, warmed up the car, blew the horn, and raced the engine to get the children’s attention to come to the car; you guessed it all this blowing the horn and racing the engine broke the timing belt.

So, on a human it works the same way…eventually, something will happen to one’s body, to live a long life, eliminate the stress, it is at the top of the list. AMEN!

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