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Vintage Dilbert February 25,  2014

Vintage Dilbert
February 25, 2014

I showered and shaved, I adjusted my tie.
I got there and sat in a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes,
I saw the shoe of the man next to me touching my own. I sighed.

‘With plenty of room on either side,’
I thought, ‘Why must our soles touch?’
It bothered me, his shoe touching mine.
But it didn’t bother him much.

A prayer began: ‘Our Father.’ I thought,
‘This man with the shoes, has no pride.
‘They’re dusty, worn, and scratched.
‘Even worse, there are holes on the side!’

‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer went on.
The shoe man said a quiet ‘Amen.’
I tried to focus on the prayer but my thoughts were on his shoes again.

Aren’t we supposed to look our best when walking through that door?
‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought, glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended and the songs of praise began.
The shoe man was certainly loud, sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters. His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear the shoe man’s voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering and what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached into his pockets so deep.

I saw what was pulled out, what the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft ‘clink’ as when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me to tears, and that’s no lie.
It was the same for the shoe man, for tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service, as is the custom here,
We must greet new visitors and show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow and wanted to meet the shoe man.
So after the closing prayer I reached over and shook his hand.

He was old and his skin was dark and his hair was truly a mess.
But I thanked him for coming, for being our guest.
He said, ‘My name’s Charlie; I’m glad to meet you, my friend.’
There were tears in his eyes but he had a large, wide grin.

‘Let me explain,’ he said, wiping tears from his eyes.
‘I’ve been coming here for months and you’re the first to say ‘Hi.’
‘I know that my appearance is not like all the rest.
‘But I really do try to always look my best.

‘I always clean and polish my shoes before my very long walk.
‘But by the time I get here they’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.’
My heart filled with pain and I swallowed to hide my tears.
As he continued to apologize for daring to sit so near

He said, ‘When I get here I know I must look a sight.’
‘But I thought if I could touch you then maybe our souls might unite.’
I was silent for a moment, knowing whatever was said
Would pale in comparison. I spoke from my heart, not my head.

‘Oh, you’ve touched me,’ I said, ‘And taught me, in part
‘That the best of any man is what is found in his heart.’
The rest, I thought, this shoe man will never know.
Like just how thankful I really am that his dirty old shoe touched my soul.

I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I have..... Explore the MS&D achieves 
for over 1000 additional stories... Take Care and God Bless :-) Kenny T
Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
December 18, 2010

This is  one of the best Christmas stories!!!  Get your box of Kleenex….  Kenny  T

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities.  But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors.   It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881.  I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas.  We did the  chores early that night for some reason.  I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible.  I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much  of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.  Soon  Pa came back in.  It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the  cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.  We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.  But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told  them to do something, so I got up and put my boots  back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens.  Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house.  Something was up, but I didn’t know what..

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled.  Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job.   I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.  Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand.  I reluctantly climbed up beside him.  The cold was already biting at me.  I wasn’t happy.  When I was on, Pa pulled the sled  around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed.  He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said.  “Here, help me.”  The high sideboards!  It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever  it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks  and splitting. What was he doing?  Finally I said something.  “Pa,” I asked, “what are you doing?”  You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road.  Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight.  Sure, I’d been by, but so what?
Yeah,” I said, “Why?”

“I rode by just today,” Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.”  That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him.  We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.  Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.  When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. “What’s in the little sack?” I asked.  Shoes, they’re out of shoes.  Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning.  I got the children a little candy too.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a  little candy.”

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence.  I tried to think through what Pa was doing.  We didn’t have much by worldly standards.  Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most  of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it.  We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy?  Really,  why was he doing any of this?  Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door.  We knocked.  The door opened a crack and a timid  voice said,  “Who is it?”  “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?”

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in.  She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders.  The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly  gave off any heat at all.  Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour.  I put the meat on the table.  Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it.  She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time.  There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last.  I watched her carefully.  She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks.  She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.

“We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said.  He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile.  Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.”  I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too.  In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before, filled my soul.  I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference.  I could see we were literally  saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared.  The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time.  She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you.  The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.”

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again.  I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true.  I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth.  I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others.  The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left.  I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get.  Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that  the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave.  Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug.  They clung to him and didn’t want us to go.  I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow.  The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals.  We’ll be by to get you about eleven.  It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again.  Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.”  I was the youngest.  My two brothers and two sisters  had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles.  I don’t have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will.”

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold.  When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something.  Your ma and me have  been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square.  Your ma and me were real excited,  thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do.  Son, I spent the money  for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again.  I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it.  Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities.  Pa had given me a lot more.  He  had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much  more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
May 22, 2002

A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering With cold.

A lady approached the young boy and said, ‘My, but you’re in such deep thought staring in that window!’

‘I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,’ was the boy’s reply.

The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.

She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.

By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks.. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes..

She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him.. She patted him on the head and said, ‘No doubt, you will be more comfortable now..’

As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her:

‘Are you God’s wife?’

 

Author Unknown - Please Comment if you know the author
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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 21, 2013

Mrs. Durango has one rather strict rule. Everyone who lives in our house is expected to live by this rule, those that don’t inevitably pay the consequences.

It’s a rather simple rule, all Mrs. Durango asks is that we all take our shoes off when we come in the house and that we put them away.

This has been a standard rule around the Durango household since day one.

Now for one reason or another it seems that my 3 sons have a real problem following this simple rule.

My youngest son usually forgets the entire rule altogether, he is the one most likely to be tracking the mud across the carpeting or the freshly cleaned kitchen floor.

But even when he does remember to remove his shoes he ends up leaving them right in front of the front door, next to his brother’s shoes.

You see that’s where the other 2 boys fall short of following the rule, they never put their shoes away, they leave them right in front of the doorway.

Not only do they drop their shoes there, it seems anything they bring in the house with them gets dropped there as well . . . baseball gloves, footballs, skateboards . . . anything and everything!

Well that was exactly what brought Mrs. Durango to the boiling point last night.

For quite sometime now “Mom” has been threatening to throw anything left in front of the doorway out onto the front lawn.

Last night as we were leaving the house to go to dinner “Mom” tripped over the sneakers left at the front door.

Needless to say, Mrs. Durango blew a gasket over it and holding true to her word, she threw all the shoes, sneakers, baseball gloves and everything else left in the doorway out onto the front lawn.

The boys were already outside waiting to get into the car when they saw all their stuff being tossed out onto the front lawn.

Of course they were all apologetic and said that they all had meant to put the stuff away but they just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

So this morning as I was sitting there sipping my coffee I thought about all that happened last night.

I thought about how those boys knew what the rule was . . . how they all know the consequences of NOT following the rule and how they had been warned about the idea of finding their stuff out on the front lawn.

Then I thought about how the Lord has set down certain rules for us to follow, we know them, they are all found right there in that book of guidelines called the Bible.

I thought about how us not following those rules results in us committing sin . . .

And how we have been told to remove sin from our lives, repent and sin no more.

Then I wondered how many of us are just like those boys of mine . . .

How many of us will be apologizing and saying “I meant to do that but didn’t have the time” when we meet Our Lord and he says to us “I never knew you”!

Just a thought over coffee.

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