On the Fifth Day of Christmas my true friend gave to me...
A Reminder of God's Providence...
A CHRISTMAS THOUGHT FOR THE DAY…..."Faith and Freedom”“To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.” ~Calvin Coolidge
“Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.” ~Ronald Reagan
What a difference nearly sixty years can make in the freedom we have to celebrate Christmas publicly in America. But nothing can stop us from celebrating Christmas in our hearts, in our families, and in our churches! May it always be so. For now, cherish the freedom of faith that we have in this great land.
I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY… "The Shepherd"
Frederick Forsyth wrote a short Christmas story, The Shepherd, about a British aviator pilot trying to get home to the UK on Christmas Eve. After a mission over Holland in 1957, his single seat Vampire headed for England with 80 minutes of fuel when his instruments began to fail. Then his radio went out. He prayed, “God please get me out of this mess.”
He felt sure he was going to die at 20 with so much of life yet to live when he saw a two-prop Mosquito weather plane to his right seemingly beckoning him to follow. The pilot motioned to follow him down through the fog. With only five minutes of fuel left, he followed every move from the shepherd to his right.
With visibility near zero, he could only see the shape of the plane flying without lights but obviously with direction from below. Ringed with haze, he finally saw faint lights to the right and left…and then a painted line. Slowly, the Vampire came to a stop as he released his death grip on the stick as if his only lifeline.
He saw the shepherd go back into the clouds. He waved, but oh how he wanted to say thank you to his savior. His plane has stopped just 20 feet from an open field at the end of the runway. The RF Minton field he had landed at had no beckon or radio aids. The lights were turned on only because the man at the field heard the sound of his engine.
He would have never made his planned destination; he ran out of fuel halfway down the runway. When he eventually contacted the duty officer, he was informed that there was no weather plane, all the Mosquito planes had been decommissioned months ago, and all systems at the neighboring RF St. George field had been shut down earlier that day. There seemed to be no one out there to help his “shepherd” reach this field.
As he was led to a room for the night, he saw pictures of a pilot standing next to a Mosquito. When questioned, his host told him how the pilot had often gone out to guide distressed planes back to safety in World War II. When asked if he could contact him to thank him for guiding him back that night, he was told, “That’s not possible. No, Johnny died in 1943 when he never came back from one of his missions.”
That Christmas Eve, God had sent his “shepherd” in answer to prayer…for a young pilot who had a life yet to live and a witness to God’s grace that lives on.
Compliments of Don Hutson. You may want to hear Forsyth’s story read by Alan Maitland over the CBC in 1957.
YOUR MIRTHFUL MOMENT OF THE DAY...
"We celebrate the birth of one who told us to give everything to the poor by giving each other motorized tie racks." –Bill McKibben
YOUR YOUTUBE CHRISTMAS MOMENT
I hope you enjoy listening to Chris Tomlin sing A Christmas Alleluia also featuring Lauren Daigle and Leslie Jordan. It’s the perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit.
You can find the archived messages from this year's series on my website at http://terrypaulson.com/christmas.shtml/. More tomorrow...as we prepare for His coming!
Your Host for this Year's Journey....