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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Yesterday

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Consider: Monday, June 20th; it is 6 a.m.(years ago) I had finished my morning coffee and chat session with my friends and was on the way from Warrenton to Manassas. The reason was the result of a Sunday flyer that has discounted a large stereo TV. I can remember when 18″ was enough but now we were marching towards a 32″. Traffic was at a snail’s pace. A snail would have made better time. I finally diverted from 1-66 to take the road past the Stonewall Memory Garden and through the Manassas Battlefield. I received an extended view of the cemetery where many souls reposed blissfully unaware of the chaos civilization hast wrought. I was given time to reflect and even envy them in their “sleep.”(I Thessalonians 4:14) Another mile brought me to the crossroads of the old stone house where the greater part of the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) was fought during a thunderstorm on Saturday July 20, 1861. The stone house is where the surgeon amputated mangled arms and legs in an attempt to save lives. I forgot what discomfort I had at the moment.

Finally, I reached the promised land 45 minutes later, less than 20 miles computed to be a speed of 3 miles per hour. I decided it was time to breakfast at a popular chain. I was seated, handed a menu and left to grow old. I left. It was time for a gallon of deck paint at the world’s largest retailer. I was greeted, assisted and left with a smile and a song in my heart to be abandoned next door in a home supplier. All I wanted was a bit of insulation for the attic.

I began to tell myself that it was time to practice the Christian virtues that our minister, had preached about on a few past Sunday mornings.(Hebrews 12:1-2) I began to feel better, breathing and respiration close to normal, blood pressure came down to an acceptable level. It was time to visit the TV store where I made a purchase and then waited nearly an hour at the wrong door for my pickup. I began to hum the lyrics to “the famous talking horse-MR. ED). I headed home only to be delayed by the train, crossing Route 29 at Gainesville. The cell phone rang. My loved one was worried. “I am not on a world tour and should be home before lunch.” A neighbor had promised to help me avoid my third hernia and help me lift the 100 lb. set into the rec room. He bailed out; he’s a policeman and was late for work. Caught in “what to do?” the neighbor’s son was available and mission completed. The rest of the afternoon was spent in painting the deck, and waiting for the Air conditioning serviceman. Late in the afternoon, I made an effort to take away a week’s trash but was 30 minutes too late.

The Rhode Island Regiments retreated in good order, Many were without shoes and terribly dirty, some had yielded to exhaustion and were borne upon the shoulders of others who could scarcely walk themselves. All day long bodies of strangling troops walked into the city in the pelting rain, Many of their officers were killed, their companys did not know where to go. My neighbor hurt three ribs when thrown from his horse. We have heard of the death of several of our friends but happy to learn that Col Hunter & his aid are safe. (from the Mary Henry Diary of July, 1861)

The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: A Farm Kid in the Marines

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(At San Diego Marine Corp Recruit Training; writing a letter back home)

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because we get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. But I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there’s walla water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you until noon when you get fed again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much.

We go on “route marches,” which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A “route march” is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The country is nice but awful flat. The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don’t bother you none. This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don’t move, and it ain’t shooting back at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes. Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull at home. I’m about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6″ and 130 pounds and he’s 6’8″ and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,
Alice

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Out of the Blue

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It is Friday 4th, January, 2019 and I never thought I would wake up with a VoiceMail on my TracFone. I stared at it as tho it was a virus. In today’s cellphone environment it is mostly ‘text’ and get the instant send/return. I did remember to press “1” and then follow the instructions, well enough. I was thwarted when it asked for a password…had none. At the end of the day, I had not mastered the learning curve to find out the who was leaving a Voice Mail for Moi. I found a TracFone box that had a 800 number. I needed a rest and decided to give the next day its due attention. Late on Saturday I used the 800 and chose “other” from the menu; a person answered and in ten minutes I was ready to open the VoiceMail.

The person in the message was the Piedmont Hospice Grief Consular; Gregg thought it was wonderful that we had chosen the route to medical science. Even donation has to pass inspection and I was shocked that in death…you still have to pass the test.

Sweden, and Japan and many small countries are running out of room for what we have come to know as the traditional burials. In Japan, cremation is the route; families are given a lease on a small plot that serves the need to visit and place flowers and etc. , when the lease is up, the urn is taken home and the plot is leased to the next family.

In older hymn books, is found a song I heard as a youth…ASLEEP IN JESUS,

I had been driven in a friend’s carriage through some of the exquisite green lanes in Devonshire,” wrote the author of this hymn the year before her death. “We paused at Pennycross, attracted by a rural burial-ground, and went in to look at the graves. It was a place of such sweet, entire repose as to leave a lasting impression on the memory. There were no artificial walks or decorations, but the grass was very green, and there were no unsightly signs of neglect. On one of the stones were the words, “Sleeping in Jesus.” It was in such entire keeping with the lovely and peaceful surroundings that it clung to my thoughts. On arriving at home I took a pencil and commenced writing the hymn, little thinking that it was destined to find so much favor, and that part of it would be inscribed on many tombstones.”

Mrs. Margaret Mackay was born in Scotland, and died at Cheltenham, England, in 1887, at the age of eighty-five.

“Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep, From none ever wakes to weep!A calm and undisturbed repose, Unbroken by the last of foes.
Asleep in Jesus! O how sweet To be for such a slumber meet! With holy confidence to sing, That death hath lost its sting.
Asleep in Jesus! peaceful rest, Whose waking is supremely blest! No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour That manifests the Savior’s pow’r.” see Matthew 9:24

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Souls

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All through 2018, we have given our bodies the best: food, water, clothing, but due to human frailty, the soul is often left out in the cold.

God sent HIS only son to save the soul, no one will dispute this well known Biblical fact.

The year 2019 is knocking at the door; it will be let in! we’ll will miss 2018 as it is gone and joins lots of other memories, happy or maybe sad ones. We look forward to the new year with hope and a smile that it will bring lots of blessings and chances to spread goodwill.

If there is a resolution for the next 12 months it would be the words of Arnuly Leuven circa 1200 – O SCARED HEAD- And should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

HAPPY NEW YEAR from…the ACORN!

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Urgent (Daniel 3:22)

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The letter arrived among lots of other pieces of mail. It was marked “URGENT”. This should have caught my attention and would have been ripped open but the URGENT had appeared on other envelopes in the past. URGENT should command immediate and grave action on my part.

Over the years I have been de-sensitized to all these bold stamped messages such as: THIS IS YOUR LAST CATALOG, IMPORTANT, YOU MAY BE A WINNER, YOU ARE A MILLIONAIRE CALL THIS TOLL FREE NUMBER and the list grows. Most of these appeals go into the trash. Some I open to see if I really have missed out on a golden opportunity. This URGENT one let me know that I would shortly be getting a new VISA card. There was a probability that a hacker had broken into the card files and now had all the account numbers. This is not the first time and was not an occasion for me to run into the hills screaming, “This can’t be real!” Eventually someone will be caught and sent away for awhile and then probably hired by VISA to try and keep out other hackers.

I have learned to roll with the punches. Instead of counting to ten before “blowing up” society now demands at least a count to 100.

Quietly, we are facing many problems in our society. Crime among adults is down but rising for our younger population. The search for personal fulfillment is at an all time high. Bahaism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Evolution, Freemasonry, Hinduism, Humanism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, New Age, Scientology,Unitarianism, Universalism are studies in how much our society has shifted and accepted whatever comes down the road. The modern world accepts all thought about any and all subjects. We seem to have strayed away from these questions: are we alone in the universe, where is the first created star, why is there gravity, is time another dimension, what causes our earth’s magnetic field,what causes ice ages, is an ice age due soon, are we causing earthquakes, will cancer ever be cured,why do we sleep, what causes schizophrenia and autism and Alzheimer’s, how do we get addicted,why were some dinosaurs so large, and last- is morality wired into our brains. (www.sciencemag.org/sciext/125th)

Many of us have seen the fall of the Communist Empire and the opening of the Berlin Wall. We have the best devices ever to predict the weather and its patterns. Technology advancements have appeared by leaps and bounds. Our affluence has taken a toll on our ethical and moral values. The church has never had a greater need then today to spread the gospel with the sources in our hands. Even with our problems we live in a kind society that is ready to help others when the need arises.

Encouraging News! The Arkansas ivory-billed woodpecker isn’t extinct after all, just hard to spot. So, wives if your husbands are lounging in the back yard hammocks. They’re not goofing off, just joined an elite group of bird watchers listening for that distinct POP-pop sound of the ivory billed woodpecker.

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Worship

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For 1,500 years and ending in the 8th century, B.C., a civilization existed at the tip of the Arabian peninsula. The surrounding desert was made fertile from dams that held the monsoon rains The evidence of this past culture who wrote script in vertical columns is on view at the Sackler Gallery in D.C.. The photos of 3,000 years old artifacts are very interesting. These people had a religion-worshiped something or someone and left behind a model of a limestone temple. Their civilization was involved with that of a small kingdom. called Saba, or to Bible readers as Sheba.

For what may have been propaganda purposes, the author of the Old Testament book of Kings tells us that the Queen of Sheba, tried to stump him with questions, failed and left wooed by the magnificence of his Court. “When the Queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built,” says the Bible, “she was overwhelmed.”(I Kings 10) Scholars are dubious about the existence of a female ruler from Saba(Sheba) and consider her visit very unlikely (“almost preposterous,” writes Nigel Groom in the exhibition catalogue). But it demonstrates Saba’s reputation in the ancient world- and uses that reputation to glorify the Jewish King. (THE HISTORY OF CARAVANS-Washington POST)

This was a noteworthy bit of ancient history to read till I noted that the. Bible was not given its God’s breathed accuracy about the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. In this day and age the general public is not always faithfully nourished with the indubitable truth. The Queen of Sheba did make a visit to the court of King Solomon. The people of Ethiopia believe they are descended from that “visit”. I would also note that King Solomon was an Israelite King. His father, King David, was from the tribe of Judah. Some scholars think that all descendants from this tribe should at all times be labeled “Jews”. At this point in ancient history this is not correct it was only after Judah returned from Babylonian captivity that this label should have been attached. At the time of the Kings: Saul, David and Solomon, there was a’bona fide nation known as Israel and not yet a Jewish nation. This may seem a small point but educated people of history should know better.

The limestone temple model would have prompted Paul to say (20)”Since the earliest times men have seen the earth and all that God made, and have known of His existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse (when they stand before Him at the Judgement day).(23) And then, instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God they took to wood and stone and made idols for themselves, carving them to look like mere’birds, and animals and snakes and puny men. (25) Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they prayed to the things that God had made, but wouldn’t obey the blessed God who made these things.(ROMANS chapter 2).

DID YOU KNOW –There are 326 million people living in the United States: At any given time, there are 67,870 people airborne over the country. (Sad to note that for many this will be the closest they will ever be to heaven.)

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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Attendance

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A person once said that all through grade school, he sat behind Charlie. When Charlie didn’t come to school, He would go over to his house and sit behind Charlie. This reminded me of my childhood school days. Students were seated alphabetically. This was the seating arrangement for the year. Attendance was called before the start of class every school day. It was the duty of your parents to get you to school in all kinds of weather. A foot of snow could close schools. At the end of the year, attendance awards were given.

After worship service years ago at Great Falls Church of Christ, a lady visitor asked if I would write in her journal that she had attended the church with us that day. I directed her to one of the elders, and whether he signed, I don’t know. I had never heard of a church that demanded proof that you were in worship on a Sunday morning.

Church attendance has become a concern, not only in the U.S.A but beyond our shores. Total commitment programs, care groups and other good ideas to improve attendance do help but eventually peak and level off. Many are placing the blame on the numerous secular activities that overlap or happen at the same time of worship. We could also add cell phones, television,and the Internet that have their tentacles into our prime time. Sports place stress on members to enjoy seeing a good Sunday game in person. Our fast paced society calls for many to have a varied work schedule. and often Sunday is the only day off to rest up for the next work week. Shopping centers and many stores are open most days even 24/7. Newspaper chains are crying the “blues” that people are not reading. we are getting the television news from our recliners.

This is interesting! An issue of U.S. News & World Report stated that Europe may be Islamic by the end of the 21st century. This is linked to the banning of religious symbols and the failure to mention the effect of Christianity on the populace. Humanism has given rise to the worst ideologies of the 20th century. Spiritual boredom has given rise to hyper individualism and lack of confidence in the future,. Many have turned away from the faith of their forefathers and have become involved in mystical ecstatic forms of spiritual experience. Populist Christian movements have claimed hundred of thousands of youngish followers who are seeking to make Christian beliefs real in their lives and work. Christianity has become diluted with many diverse issues.

This is supposedly happening in Europe, should we be thinking it cannot happen on this continent? Time will tell. God knows the future.(Matthew 6:34)”Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”

Satan exists;… eternal salvation is possible only through God’s Son… Jesus lived a sinless life on earth…God is all-knowing, all powerful, the perfect deity who created the universe and still rules today. Psalm 144:15b …Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord!

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