A Merry Christmas Story

    This has been around a few times but its worth reading all year,over and over again.
    The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas,just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.

    Instead of throwing the man out,Old George as he was known by his customers,told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you,but I don’t mean to intrude,”said the stranger.. “I see you’re busy,I’ll just go.”“Not without something hot in your belly.”George said.

    He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much,but it’s hot and tasty,“Stew …Made it myself. When you’re done,there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”

    Just at that moment he heard the “ding”of the driveway bell. “Excuse me,be right back,”George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!”said the driver,with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.”
    George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold,the car was dead. “You ain’t going in this thing,”George said as he turned away.

    “But Mister,please help …”The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck,and went back outside. He walked around the building,opened the garage,started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here,take my truck,”he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at,but she runs real good.”

    George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ’em the truck,their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new .”George thought he was talking to the stranger,but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk,empty,with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well,at least he got something in his belly,”George thought.

    George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly,but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the the block hadn’t cracked,it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well,shoot,I can fix this,”he said to hims elf. So he put a new one on.

    “Those tires ain’t gonna get ’em through the winter either.”He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.

    As he was working,he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder,the officer moaned,“Please help me.”

    George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,”he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey,they say duct tape can fix anythin’,”he said,trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

    “Something for pain,”George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.”He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. “You hang in there,I’m going to get you an ambulance.”

    The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.”He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

    He went back in to find the poli ceman sitting up. “Thanks,”said the officer.. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”

    George sat down beside him,“I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.”George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”

    George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?”he asked. “None for me,”said the officer. “Oh,yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.”The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

    The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!”the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

    “That’s the guy that shot me!”exclaimed the officer.

    “Son,why are you doing this?”asked George,“You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”

    The young man was confused. “Shut up old man,or I’ll shoot you,too. Now give me the cash!”

    The cop was reachin g for his gun. “Put that thing away,”George said to the cop,“we got one too many in here now.”

    He turned his attention to the young man. “Son,it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money,well then,here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pee shooter away.”

    George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man,reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun,fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,”he went on. “I’ve lost my job,my rent is due,my car got repossessed last week .”

    George handed the gun to the cop. Son,we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes,but we make it through the best we can..”

    He got the young man to his feet,and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.”George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”

    The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.”

    “Shut up and drink your coffee .”the cop said.

    George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door,guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?”one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

    “Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”

    “GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?”the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

    Chuck answered him,“I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”

    George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other..

    “That guy work here?,”the wounded cop continued. “Yep,”George said,“just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”

    The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered,“Why?”

    Chuck just said,“Merry Christmas boy …and you too,George,and thanks for everything.”

    “Well,looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.”

    George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go,something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. S he said it would come in handy some day.”

    The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,”said the young man. “It means something to you.”

    “And now it means something to you,”replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”

    George reached into the box again. An airplane,a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”

    The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.

    “And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,”George said,“Now git home to your family.”

    The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work,if that job offer is still good.”

    “Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,”George said. “See ya the day after.”

    George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you left?”

    “I have been here. I have always been here,”said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”

    “Well,after my wife passed away,I just co uldn’t see what all the bother was. Puttin’up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’a little chubby.”

    The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday,George.
    You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry.
    The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor..
    The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists.
    The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”

    George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?”asked the old man.

    “Trust me,George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”

    The stranger moved toward the door. “If you will excuse me,George,I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”

    George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

    “You see,George …it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”

    George fell to his knees and replied,Happy Birthday,Lord

    Merry Christmas!!

    Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance

    Burnt Biscuits

    When I was a  kid,my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every
    now and then.  And,I remember one night in particular when she had
    made breakfast after a long,hard day at work.

    On that evening so long ago,my mom placed a plate of eggs,sausage and
    extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad.  I remember waiting to
    see if anyone noticed!  Yet all my dad
    did was reach for his biscuit,smile at my mom and ask me
    how my day was at school.  I don’t remember what I told
    him that night,but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly
    on that biscuit and eat every bite!

    When I got up from the table that evening,I remember
    hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the
    biscuits.  And I’ll never forget what he said:  “Honey,
    I love burnt biscuits.”

    Later  that night,I went to kiss Daddy good night and I
    asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned.  He wrapped
    me in his arms and said,“Your Momma put in a hard day
    at work today and she’s real tired.  And besides –a little
    burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!”

    You know,life is  full of imperfect things…..and imperfect people.
    I’m not the best at  hardly anything,and I forget birthdays and
    anniversaries just like everyone else.
    What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept
    each others faults –and choosing to celebrate each others differences
    –is one of the most important keys to creating
    a healthy,growing,and lasting relationship.

    And that’s my prayer for you today.  That you will  learn to
    take the good,the bad,and the ugly parts of your life and
    lay them at the feet of God.  Because in the end,He’s the
    only One who will be able to give you a relationship where
    a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker!

    We could extend this to any relationship.  In fact,
    understanding is the base of any relationship,be it a
    husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!

    “Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s
    pocket –keep it in your own.”

    So Please pass me a biscuit,and yes,the burnt one will
    do just fine.!.!.!.!

    ––Author Unknown

    Pray first,aim high,and stay focused

    There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat. He had an old rifle and three bullets. So,he decided that he would go out hunting and kill some wild game for dinner.

    As he went down the road,he saw a rabbit. He shot at the rabbit and missed it.
    The rabbit ran away.

    Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel but missed it. The squirrel disappeared into a hole in a cottonwood tree.

    As he went further,he saw a large wild ‘Tom’turkey in the tree,but he had only one bullet remaining. A voice spoke to him and said,
    ‘Pray first,aim high,and stay focused.’

    However,at the same time,he saw a deer Which was a better kill. He brought the gun down and aimed at the deer.

    But,then he saw a rattlesnake between his legs about to bite him. So he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattlesnake.

    Still,the voice said again to him,‘I said,‘Pray first,Aim high,and Stay focused.’
    So,the man decided to listen to God’s voice.

    He prayed,then aimed the gun high up in the tree,and shot the wild turkey.
    The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer. The handle fell off the gun,hit the snake in the head,and killed it.

    And,when the gun went off,it knocked him into a pond. When he stood up to look around,He had fish in all his pockets,a dead deer,and a turkey for his family to eat.

    The snake (Satan) was dead simply because the man listened to God.

    Moral of the story:

    Pray first before you do anything,
    Aim and shoot high in your goals,
    And stay focused on God.

    Never let others discourage you concerning your past. The past is exactly that,‘the past.’

    Live every day one day at a time,
    And remember that only God knows our future,And that He will not put you through any more than you can bear.

    Do not look to man for your blessings,But look to the doors that only He has prepared in advance for you in your favor. Wait,be still,and patient:keep God first,And everything else will follow.