Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Encouragement for the middle of the week!

I was sent this email today and wanted to share it! Enjoy!

The song that silenced the cappuccino machine

Good to be reminded of....

Have you heard the story about...
The song that silenced the cappuccino machine?

It was chilly in Manhattan but warm inside the Starbucks
shop on 51st Street and Broadway, just a skip up from Times Square .
Early November weather in New York City holds only the slightest hint of
the bitter chill of late December and January, but it's enough to send
the masses crowding indoors to vie for available space and warmth.

For a musician, it's the most lucrative Starbucks location
in the world, I'm told, and consequently, the tips can be substantial if
you play your tunes right. Apparently, we were striking all the right
chords that night, because our basket was almost overflowing.

It was a fun, low-pressure gig - I was playing keyboard
and singing backup for my friend who also added rhythm with an arsenal
of percussion instruments. We mostly did pop songs from the '40s to the
'90s with a few original tunes thrown in. During our emotional rendition
of the classic, "If You Don't Know Me by Now," I noticed a lady sitting
in one of the lounge chairs across from me. She was swaying to the beat
and singing along.

After the tune was over, she approached me. "I apologize
for singing along on that song. Did it bother you?" she asked.

"No," I replied. "We love it when the audience joins in.
Would you like to sing up front on the next selection?"

To my delight, she accepted my invitation. "You choose," I
said. "What are you in the mood to sing?"

"Well. ... do you know any hymns?"

Hymns? This woman didn't know who she was dealing with. I
cut my teeth on hymns. Before I was even born, I was going to church. I
gave our guest singer a knowing look. "Name one."

"Oh, I don't know. There are so many good ones. You pick

"Okay," I replied. "How about 'His Eye is on the

My new friend was silent, her eyes averted. Then she fixed
her eyes on mine again and said, "Yeah. Let's do that one."

She slowly nodded her head, put down her purse,
straightened her jacket and faced the center of the shop. With my
two-bar setup, she began to sing.

Why should I be discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?

The audience of coffee drinkers was transfixed. Even the
gurgling noises of the cappuccino machine ceased as the employees
stopped what they were doing to listen. The song rose to its conclusion.

I sing because I'm happy;
I sing because I'm free.
For His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me.

When the last note was sung, the applause crescendoed to a
deafening roar that would have rivaled a sold-out crowd at Carnegie
Hall. Embarrassed, the woman tried to shout over the din, "Oh, y'all go
back to your coffee! I didn't come in here to do a concert! I just came
in here to get somethin' to drink, just like you!" But the ovation
continued. I embraced my new friend. "You, my dear, have made my whole
year! That was beautiful!"

"Well, it's funny that you picked that particular hymn,"
she said.

"Why is that?"

"Well . .." she hesitated again, "that was my daughter's
favorite song."

"Really!" I exclaimed.

"Yes," she said, and then grabbed my hands. By this time,
the applause had subsided and it was business as usual. "She was 16. She
died of a brain tumor last week."

I said the first thing that found its way through my
stunned silence. "Are you going to be okay?"

She smiled through tear-filled eyes and squeezed my hands.
"I'm gonna be okay. I've just got to keep trusting the Lord and singing
his songs, and everything's gonna be just fine." She picked up her bag,
gave me her card, and then she was gone.

Was it just a coincidence that we happened to be singing
in that particular coffee shop on that particular November night?
Coincidence that this wonderful lady just happened to walk into that
particular shop? Coincidence that of all the hymns to choose from, I
just happened to pick the very hymn that was the favorite of her
daughter, who had died just the week before? I refuse to believe it.

God has been arranging encounters in human history since
the beginning of time, and it's no stretch for me to imagine that he
could reach into a coffee shop in midtown Manhattan and turn an ordinary
gig into a revival. It was a great reminder that if we keep trusting him
and singing his songs, everything's gonna be okay.

The next time you feel like GOD can't use YOU, just

a.. Noah was a drunk
b.. Abraham was too old
c.. Isaac was a daydreamer
d.. Jacob was a liar
e.. Leah was ugly
f.. Joseph was abused
g.. Moses had a stuttering problem
h.. Gideon was afraid
i.. Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer
j.. Rahab was a prostitute
k.. Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
l.. David had an affair and was a murderer
m.. Elijah was suicidal
n.. Isaiah preached naked
o.. Jonah ran from God
p.. Naomi was a widow
q.. Job went bankrupt
r.. John the Baptist ate bugs
s.. Peter denied Christ
t.. The Disciples fell asleep while praying
u.. Martha worried about everything
v.. The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
w.. Zaccheus was too small
x.. Paul was too religious
y.. Timothy had an ulcer...AND
z.. Lazarus was dead!

No more excuses now!!
God can use you to your full potential. Besides you aren't
the message, you are just the messenger. God bless


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