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  #1  
Old 22 April 2010, 04:33 PM
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Icon106 The Sparrow at Starbucks

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 one."

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

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 crescendo 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 remember...

Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer
Rehab was a prostitute
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
John the Baptist ate bugs
Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
Martha worried about everything
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Timothy had an ulcer....
AND 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. Pass this on to someone else, if you'd like. There is NO LUCK attached. If you delete this, it's okay: God's Love Is Not Dependent On E-Mail.
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  #2  
Old 22 April 2010, 04:36 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Ugh. Badly written glurge does such a disjustice to beautiful hymns.
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  #3  
Old 22 April 2010, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
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.
God went to even greater lengths to arrange this revival than the writer gives him credit for - he had to kill the woman's daughter first too. Miraculous! The woman in the audience wouldn't have enjoyed the song nearly as much if it hadn't been for that!
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Old 22 April 2010, 10:00 PM
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Fess up people: how many of you were expecting a story about a bird flying around in a Starbucks?

Dawn--don't look up and cover your drink--Storm
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  #5  
Old 23 April 2010, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
Fess up people: how many of you were expecting a story about a bird flying around in a Starbucks?

Dawn--don't look up and cover your drink--Storm
[raises hand sheepishly]
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  #6  
Old 23 April 2010, 02:27 AM
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Me too

At least it ended without the traditional order to pass it around. I am an athiest but I do agree that if there is a supreme being of some kind, it doesn't need our emails for much of anything.
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  #7  
Old 23 April 2010, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
Fess up people: how many of you were expecting a story about a bird flying around in a Starbucks?

Dawn--don't look up and cover your drink--Storm

I was, because I experienced that just a few weeks ago. I figured it'd be some glurgey thing about how we shouldn't have shooed the bird back outside because it was one of God's creatures too.

Now, I know it's no use in analyzing glurge, but...
1. I've never met an NYCer who would describe nine blocks as "just a skip".
2. I've never met an NYCer who said "Y'all." True, it didn't say she was from there, but I doubt she'd be off on vacation immediately after losing her daughter. (I also somewhat doubt a Southerner would choose to go to New York in November, as it can be awfully cold.)
3. I've been to Starbucks in at least eight different countries, and I've never seen any sign that live music was ever played at any of them.
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  #8  
Old 23 April 2010, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Ramblin' Dave View Post
3. I've been to Starbucks in at least eight different countries, and I've never seen any sign that live music was ever played at any of them.
Mine, in Tucson. Every few weeks.

-Tabby
the princess with claws
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  #9  
Old 23 April 2010, 10:01 AM
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If it's a well-known hymn, I don't see what's so amazing about this.
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  #10  
Old 23 April 2010, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
Fess up people: how many of you were expecting a story about a bird flying around in a Starbucks?

Dawn--don't look up and cover your drink--Storm
Me too!

I also totally thought of the Baretta theme song too when "Eye on the Sparrow" was mentioned!

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  #11  
Old 23 April 2010, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
Fess up people: how many of you were expecting a story about a bird flying around in a Starbucks?

Dawn--don't look up and cover your drink--Storm
me- I read the title and thought "Big deal, my local Home Depot has a whole flock of birds hanging out in the rafters"
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  #12  
Old 23 April 2010, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
Fess up people: how many of you were expecting a story about a bird flying around in a Starbucks?
Another show of hands, here.

At least this glurge doesn't have God leaving handprints in the puddle of coffe on the counter or something like that. Puppies are left alone, too.

Don Enrico
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Old 23 April 2010, 02:17 PM
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Even the gurgling noises of the cappuccino machine ceased as the employees stopped what they were doing to listen
I can just imagine some poor sod just walked in "Can I have a coffee please? It's bloody freezing out there, and I'm as cold as an Eskimo's earlobe."

"No such luck pal - you'll have to wait until the song's over."
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  #14  
Old 23 April 2010, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Paul was too religious
I just can't get my head round this. It sounds as though the writer thinks being too religious is a fault given all the other remarks.
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  #15  
Old 23 April 2010, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
Fess up people: how many of you were expecting a story about a bird flying around in a Starbucks?

Dawn--don't look up and cover your drink--Storm
Since I've been watching a sparrow nest in the shop for the last couple of weeks...one more hand.
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  #16  
Old 26 April 2010, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Tabbyclaw View Post
Mine, in Tucson. Every few weeks.
I have to confess, over the weekend I remembered that one I used to frequent in Connecticut also had music sometimes. I withdraw my objection.
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  #17  
Old 26 April 2010, 03:14 AM
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I read the title and wondered how on earth they were going to connect Starbucks with Edith Piaf.
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  #18  
Old 26 April 2010, 04:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramblin' Dave View Post
Now, I know it's no use in analyzing glurge, but...
1. I've never met an NYCer who would describe nine blocks as "just a skip".
2. I've never met an NYCer who said "Y'all." True, it didn't say she was from there, but I doubt she'd be off on vacation immediately after losing her daughter. (I also somewhat doubt a Southerner would choose to go to New York in November, as it can be awfully cold.)
3. I've been to Starbucks in at least eight different countries, and I've never seen any sign that live music was ever played at any of them.
I say "y'all" ironically sometimes because at my last job I spent a huge amount of time w/ Texans and we'd make fun of each others' stereotypical speech patterns and it kind of crept into my vernacular.

But I've definitely never heard "a skip" period, and can't imagine a Starbucks w/ live music. Starbucks is where you go to interview for jobs on the fly and have meetings when you run out of conference rooms in your regular office space.

That's (mostly) in jest but the combination of people using Starbucks to multitask plus the limited real estate in the city makes me skeptical of live music going down well here. The speaker-music is kept at a pretty low level and most chatter is pretty muted. .
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Old 26 April 2010, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by queen of the caramels View Post
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Paul was too religious
I just can't get my head round this. It sounds as though the writer thinks being too religious is a fault given all the other remarks.
No kidding. Like God's gonna say, "Sorry, kid, I thought about using you, but you have a strong faith in me and want to spread the word. No one's gonna believe Divine Intervention unless I use the F*** Ups of society. Like Naomi, the widow."
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  #20  
Old 27 April 2010, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TrishDaDish View Post
No kidding. Like God's gonna say, "Sorry, kid, I thought about using you, but you have a strong faith in me and want to spread the word. No one's gonna believe Divine Intervention unless I use the F*** Ups of society. Like Naomi, the widow."
Yeah, and didn't Paul have a thorn in his flesh or something better that they could use as an example of God using the least of society?

BTW, with Lazarus, am I the only one picturing a rotting corpse walking around preaching, a Zombie!Prophet if you will.
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