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WITandWISDOM(tm) - June 30, 2003
"The City of Happiness is located in the State of Mind." - Author Unknown
Source: Our Times, Copyright (c) February 1950, Pacific Press, http://www.signstimes.com
Submitted by Dale Galusha
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
It was chilly in Manhattan but warm inside the Starbucks shop on 51st Street and Broadway, just a skip up from Times Square. 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.
I was playing keyboard and singing backup for my friend, who also added rhythm with an arsenal of percussion instruments. During our emotional rendition of "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."
"OK," 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 nodded her head slowly, 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.
"'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. 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!"
"It's funny that you picked that particular hymn," she said.
"Why is that?"
She hesitated again.. "That was my daughter's favorite song." She 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 silence. "Are you going to be OK?"
She smiled through tear-filled eyes and squeezed my hands. "I'm gonna be OK. 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.
By John Thomas Oaks, Elizabethton, Tennessee.
This article was originally published in Christian Reader magazine, http://christianreader.net
Source: Signs of the Times, Copyright (c) April 2003, Pacific Press, http://www.signstimes.com
Submitted by Dale Galusha
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
It was the beginning of term at a primary school in Brooklyn. The teacher asked the children their names one at a time, and for each to spell their name out loud.
When she came to a young Pakistani boy and asked his name.
"Ravashanka Vankatarataam Bannerjee" he replied.
"How do you spell that? asked the teacher.
"My mother helps me" said the little boy.
Source: Absolute Humor, http://absoluterobeo.com
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
Groucho [Marx] despised the empty cliches of business correspondence. A letter from a bank manager ended with the standard phrase, "If I can be of any service to you, do not hesitate to call on me." He immediately took pen to paper. "Dear Sir," he wrote. "The best thing you can do to be of service to me is to steal some money from the account of one of your richest clients and credit it to mine."
From: The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes, http://isbn.nu/0316273058
Submitted by Fred Warner
Israel Size Comparison Maps
People commonly perceive Israel to be much larger than it really is. The maps listed below compare the map of Israel with maps of other areas drawn to the same scale, to put Israel's size into perspective. In these maps, Israel is portrayed including all land currently under its authority.
Submitted by Sherri Rimmer