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The SPARROW at STARBUCKS

 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 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 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 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

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

Rahab 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. 


Are you concerned about your health?

Taken from www.concernedmoms.com

WARNING:
  You can't trust warning labels!

 

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed 2983 chemicals used in personal care products.  The results were as follows:

 

  • 884 of the chemicals were toxic

  • 314 caused biological mutation

  • 218 caused reproductive complications

  • 778 caused acute toxicity

  • 148 caused tumors

  • 376 caused skin and eye irritations

 

Did You Know?

 

  • There are more than 3 million poisonings every year.

  • Household cleaners are the #1 cause of poisonings in children.

  • Regular shampoos often contain formaldehyde as a preservative

  • Since 1980 asthma has increased by 600%

  • Common household products have been identified as triggers of asthma

  • A 15 year study found that women who worked at home had a 54% highter death rate from cancer than women who had jobs outside the home.

  • Manufacturers ARE NOT required to list the exact ingredients on a label

  • Chemical names are often disguised by using "trade names", so you may not recognize the chemical for what it truly is

  • A women's fertility has also been negatively affected by the increase use of chemicals.  In 1934 only 21 cases of endometriosis existed in the entire world.  Today over 5 million women have this condition, which causes infertility in the US alone.


 

Why Should We Worry About Toxic Chemicals?

 

  • According to the EPA, most homes have airborne concentrations of hazardous chemicals that are two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. 

  • According to the EPA, toxic chemicals found in the home are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor airborne pollutants.

  • The Consumer product Safety Commission connects 150 chemicals commonly found in our homes to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders.

  • The National Cancer Institute has a list of twenty known carcinogens and over 2,200 chemicals that are probable carcinogens.  Many of these chemicals are in the cleaners and personal care products you buy at your local grocery store.
     

 

What can you do?

 

There are many safe products on the market...  all you have to do is change brands of products.  Buy your products at a health food store, or order them from a reliable wellness company*.

 

 

 

Links about these toxins:

http://www.bygpub.com/natural/living.htm

http://www.nbc6.net/dianagonzalez/1822845/detail.html

http://consumerlawpage.com/article/household-chemicals.shtml

http://oprah.com/tows/pastshows/tows_2002/tows_past_20020531_c.jhtml

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/spotlight/2001-11-08-chec.htm

http://www.checnet.org

http://www.childenvironment.org

http://danpatch.ecn.purdue.edu/~epados/waste/house/mainmenu.htm

http://www.rmbarry.com/research/toxics_children.html

http://www.pbs.org/tradesecrets/

http://www.preventingharm.org/index.html


*I shop with an awesome international health and wellness company that has been given the Blue Torch Award by The Better Business Bureau, uses science to back its products - products that are 100% naturally derived and have been proven to work! Visit: http://www.4OurFamilysWellness.com to get more information! I can't wait to connect with you!

I'm searching for other business minded, motivated individuals looking to work from home exclusively or wanting an additional income without interfering with their current positions, all while creating a healthier environment for their families. I'm looking forward to sharing how you can work from home with no risk or large investment!

If you are seriously interested, please request more information through my website at www.MyKidsRTheWhy.com and in the notes, put "livejournal", with the best time to reach you.

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Looking forward to connecting with you!
HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, BABY GIRL! WE LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!