I'm blogging from Starbucks this Friday evening. Seems to be the place to blog from. Mel's on her way to meet a dear friend in Alabama for supper, Andrew is out with friends, Philip is at FHU and Ren is at work here in town. So a Friday night and I'm alone - just me, my computer, iTunes, a manuscript and God.
About Starbucks. Those who know me know that I've been "anti-coffee" all my life. In fact, coffee has always made me dizzy. Last July my buds Scott and Jeff were with me in New York City. We were there for the 25th anniversary of the Springfield Gardens church. The preacher there is Bill Johnson a one of a kind fellow. He's one of three Bill Johnson's I now know. When I moved to GWP the elders told me about this big lovable guy named Bill Johnson who they supported. I knew Bill Johnson. I met him when he was raising funds for One Nation Under God. Big personality, lovable - as the elders described Bill to me I of course, said, "Yeah, I know Bill, he's great!) Imagine my surprise when I made my first trip to NYC to work in a training program with Bill and he was big, lovable, all the things "my" Bill Johnson was, except this Bill Johnson was a black man. The elders never mentioned that - and I didn't care - but imagine my surprise!
I love Bill. He's huge - a big man with a big personality - but an even bigger heart. If you don't like Bill, you wouldn't like Jesus, I imagine :). I've been up there a few times with Bill, we went up in the World Trade Center together several years ago (one of the members of the church there was a part of the Police force in that building. He'd taken the day off on 9/11). Bill introduced me to Junior's Cheesecake (an introduction that surely has added 10 pounds to my life!).
So Jeff and Scott and I were up there again last July (05). It was great. Jeff and Scott had never been there before. We had a free morning and headed down to see the Empire State Building, Time Square, the Lady and ground zero. It was a somewhat misty chilly day (yes in July) and Jeff said, let's get a coffee. I said, "You go ahead, I'll pass, I don't drink coffee." Jeff said, "Let me get you something, you'll love it." It wasn't bad. Really. Pretty good. Had a weird name, but not bad.
Fast forward - two months. Family vacation - Ohio - we were in a mall, Melanie, Philip, Andrew and I. Just wasting time. Just walking, enjoying ourselves. We passed a Starbucks (I've always loved the smell of coffee) and I thought, hmmm...I think I'll have another. I couldn't remember the name - but it was the longest thing on the menu - so I ordered one - not bad.
Fast forward - three months - Gospel meeting - North Carolina - I'm in a cruddy motel (cruddy meaning-they had no internet connection and the lobby didn't have any chairs so I could meet and watch interesting people) and need an internet connection so I can forward reviewed chapters to my editors. There's a Starbucks near the motel. So I had another Sunday night, Monday morning, Tuesday night, Wednesday morning, Wednesday night!!! After all, I was using their connection and needed an excuse for being in there.
Fast forward to today - I now visit Starbucks a couple of times a week (at least) - (I'm not sure I love Jeff anymore! :)). It's a great place to compute, to hideout, to watch people. Tonight I met a guy from Montana. A truck driver who owns land and claims to be a millionaire, he is antimedia, antigovernment and powers his truck with some non-oil-based fuel. And, he was, well, frankly, spooky. I doubt I'll see him again. We talked about family, his children no longer talk to him. We talked politics, he hates Bush and Kerry but thinks Hilliary will be president someday (I'm not sure he liked her either). He was strange with his old leather prospector hat, worn leather driving gloves, coffee stained teeth and leather vest - but he has a soul. Someday he will stand before God. And I met him tonight. I talked to him about Christ. He didn't know much about Him - only what he's heard on Sirus. So I gave him some material and talked to him about how important Christ was and IS. As he left, he said, "this is the best times I've had in years. Thanks for talking to me." Who knows, maybe I'll meet him in heaven someday. Jeff, thanks, I love Starbucks...The coffee's OK, but the opportunities are wonderful.