The Sacred Echo: Hearing God's Voice in Every Area of Your Life

Overview

“Don’t Listen For the Voice of God. Listen for His Echo.”

When God really wants to get your attention, he doesn’t just say something once.

He echoes.

He speaks through a Sunday sermon, a chance conversation with a friend the next day, even a random email. The same theme, idea, impression, or lesson will repeat itself in surprising and unexpected ways until you realize that maybe, just maybe, God is at work.

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Overview

“Don’t Listen For the Voice of God. Listen for His Echo.”

When God really wants to get your attention, he doesn’t just say something once.

He echoes.

He speaks through a Sunday sermon, a chance conversation with a friend the next day, even a random email. The same theme, idea, impression, or lesson will repeat itself in surprising and unexpected ways until you realize that maybe, just maybe, God is at work.

According to author Margaret Feinberg, the repetitive nature of a sacred echo gives us confidence that God really is prompting, guiding, or leading. The sacred echo reminds us to pay close attention – something important may be going on here. The sacred echo challenges us to prayerfully consider how God is at work in our life as well as in the lives of those around us. The sacred echo is an invitation to spiritual awakening.

Margaret writes, “I want a relationship with God where prayer is as natural as breathing. If God is the one in whom we are to live and move and have our being, then I want my every inhale infused with his presence, my every exhale an extension of his love.”

If that’s your desire too, let Sacred Echo be your guide to a deeper, more rewarding relationship with the God of the universe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In these gentle reflections, popular Christian speaker and writer Feinberg (The Organic God) urges readers to listen carefully for the sacred echoes of God's voice amid their daily lives as an "invitation to spiritual awakening." Not one to shy away from the hard questions, Feinberg keeps asking "why?" as she sees others suffer, acknowledging that "prayers of petition force one to live [with] eyes wide open to see what God may do or leave undone." Guided by stories in the Bible such as that of Elijah, she draws from her own life and those of the people around her to illustrate the ways that God speaks and the ways that we must pay attention to hear; topics include reminders to follow God's call, help others, build relationships and be patient through times of waiting. While some readers may want a more in-depth approach to the complexities of petitionary prayer in a world where many prayers don't seem to be answered, Feinberg brings an authentic voiceto a perennially difficult subject, and her book serves as a devotional reminder to look for the signs of God's presence everywhere. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310274179
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 974,877
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 5.58 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Feinberg is a popular Bible teacher and speaker at churches and leading conferences such as Catalyst, Thrive, and Women of Joy. She was recently named one of 50 women most shaping culture and the church today by Christianity Today. Her books, including The Organic God, The Sacred Echo, and Scouting the Divine sold nearly a million copies. Margaret lives in Morrison, Colorado, with her husband, Leif, and their super pup, Hershey.

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Read an Excerpt

The Sacred Echo
By Margaret Feinberg
Zondervan
Copyright © 2008 Margaret Feinberg
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-27417-9



Chapter One .001 i love you

My mother is a natural lifelong learner, a lover of knowledge, and a hardcore trivia buff. Growing up, I was often annoyed by my mother's in-depth knowledge of everything from rock formations to sea life to plant growth. I considered her information addiction annoying at best, except for one small problem: I turned out just like her.

Now I experience the same mini-high when I learn something new or make a discovery. I want to share my connect-the-dot moments with everyone I meet-whether they want to hear them or not. I am my mother's daughter. Because of my infoneurosis, I actually keep a file of news stories in my desk to satisfy my trivia addiction.

Some of the articles in my file simply confirm what most of us already know. Like, did you know teens average an hour more of sleep each night than their parents? I have the study to prove it. Some of the clippings are reminders that small things can make a big difference. For instance, did you know that the average American tosses out seven and a half pounds of garbage each day? Seems like a good reason to recycle. Some of the clippings just make me feel better about myself. One of my all-time favorites, "Fat-bottomed Girls Are Smarter," includes a study of more than 16,000 women that found curvy girls (and their moms) outscored skinny chicks on standardized tests. Now that's good trivia.

One of thearticles that recently made its way into my collection was on bat sonar. Random, I know, but that goes with the territory of being an info-maniac. Bats fascinate scientists because of their ability to see in the dark using the echoes of their ultrasonic calls. They send out a frequency that illuminates the environment so they can travel safely in the dark. Pretty cool. While most bats emit their ultrasonic calls from their mouths, about 300 species fire it out of their noses. The process is called echolocation.

Like most snappy words, echolocation percolates in my mind because of its precision in describing a scientifically inexplicable process. Additional research reveals that scientists are still grappling to understand a lot about bats. For example, if a bat is feeding in the dark and you throw a pebble in its trajectory, the creature will dodge the rocky bullet. But if a large insect crosses the same bat's trajectory, the bat will fly toward the savory snack. In less than a second, a bat is able to determine whether he's encountering food or foe. Even with modern technology and gizmos, scientists still can't create a device that emulates what a bat does naturally.

Sandwiched safely in my file drawer, the story piques my spiritual imagination. When it comes to prayer, all too often, I feel like a bat with broken sonar. I go through life when something unidentifiable - a decision, an opportunity, a possibility-enters my trajectory. I don't know how to respond. At the last possible moment, I finally remember to cry out, "God, is this a trap or a treat?"

Thwack!

It's like I'm flying in the dark with regards to my relationship with God. Though I have a hunch he's there somewhere, I can't see him. I do what comes naturally. I let out a sound, a solo prayer, and wait to see what, if anything, comes back.

Like echolocation, there's a lot about the process of prayer that's still a mystery.

I wish prayer was simple, clean, and clear instead of complex, messy, and complicated. I wish hearing from God was as easy as clipping articles and slipping them into a drawer. Then, I could simply open a file anytime and find the exact answer, direction, and encouragement I needed in the moment.

Instead, I find myself calling out to God, hoping he's listening, fingers crossed for a reply. Some people call that faith. For me, it's desperation. The very act of prayer demands vulnerability-an acknowledgement that I don't have all (if any) of the answers, I can't do things on my own, and I'm in need. Intimate prayer is disrobing.

Sometimes after I've poured my head and heart out to God, I'll take a breath long enough to ask, "God, what's on your heart?"

On more occasions than I can remember, I have experienced a single word response to this question as an echo in my soul:

You.

Like a feather gently resting on a silky blanket, the word lies soft and tender on my soul. In my heart and mind, it's like God is saying, I love you. In those moments, the concerns and weights I've unleashed in prayer disappear, and I am enveloped in the height, depth, and width of God's love. I find myself caught up in praise, worship, and adoration. I don't want to leave; I don't want to let go of thanking God. Though my desire for God is great, it's sadly not long until I lose that sense of wonder in the midst of daily duties. Like a hotline to God, prayer is available throughout the day, but I find myself forgetting to pick up the phone.

In my mind, I know that God loves me every day, but it's far too rare when I feel it in my heart. When those occasions arrive, I want to savor them like the finest chocolate.

As far as my relationship with God, I sometimes feel like Dory in the animated movie Finding Nemo or Lucy (played by Drew Barrymore) in 50 First Dates. Wide-eyed and playful, I have chronic spiritual short-term memory loss. Almost as if each time God speaks, it's just like the first time-even if he's said something a dozen times before. I sit in wonder of God's voice-in the depth, the resolution, and the awe of the encounter. Then, I stop long enough to think, "Hey, that sounds familiar! I think I've heard something like that before."

I love you. Oh yeah! God really does love me!

In his grace, God reminds me once again that his love is true, his love is real. In those moments, I can't help but wonder, God, why do you have to keep telling me you love me? Shouldn't I already know that by now? Am I just spiritually forgetful or is there something more?

I've been so bothered by this issue that I have turned to friends, fellow followers, and even Bible scholars to try to decipher why. Most respond with some variation of the same answer: God uses repetition, because you don't hear him the first time.

While that answer contains truth, something about the explanation feels thin to me. The idea that God speaks repetitively because we're slow to comprehend essentially paints a portrait of God's children as toddlers. While there may be some truth in that as evidenced by my own Dory-and-Lucy-like tendencies, I'm not satisfied with the answer. I read of too many men and women in the Bible, including Noah, Abraham, and Mary, who responded to God's voice the first time.

A thicker, more substantial answer is that God speaks frequently and repetitively because we're so easily distracted. Like a surprise guest at a party, distraction can make a stealth entrance at an opportune time and steal the show. Maybe one of the primary reasons God echoes is so we keep our focus on the most important, not just the most imminent.

While that response makes more sense in my mind and heart, I have a hunch that the reason behind the sacred echo goes even deeper: God is relationally driven. The sacred echo emanates simply out of who he is and his desire to connect with us. Think about it for a moment: Why does God speak the same core messages throughout Scripture? I love you. I love you. I love you.

Most, if not all, of the sacred echoes of God throughout the Bible orbit around the idea of relationship. God offers countless incentives for engaging in a relationship with him and strategically instructs us to avoid any attitudes or activities that impede that relationship. Indeed, God is relationally driven. He whispers, he speaks, and he echoes, because he wants to be with us in thought, word, and deed.

That's why when I open the Bible I don't just find instructions for life or a history book, but I also discover a series of love letters. From Genesis to Revelation, God's love expresses itself in countless ways, stories, and lives. God and his love are manifested in the person of Jesus and demonstrated through his life, death, resurrection, and promise of imminent return.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg Copyright © 2008by Margaret Feinberg.Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents

Contents foreword....................11
exposed....................15
.001 i love you....................29
.002 sing it again....................43
.003 how long?....................57
.004 read it again....................71
.005 you follow me....................85
.006 if you don't wear your crown....................99
.007 surrender....................111
.008 take care of my people....................127
.009 bring them to me....................145
.010 you are not alone....................167
awakened....................185
hidden bonus tracks reflection....................191
behind the scenes....................205
connection....................213
friends....................215
props....................221
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2009

    Eye opener

    I picked up this book because I kept hearing a certain "echo" in my own life and wanted to get the author's take on it. I am so glad I did. This book really opened my eyes to listening for God's voice in the everyday. Margaret Feinberg is extremely relatable and gives wonderful examples in every chapter. She writes in a clear, friendly voice that makes you feel like you're chatting with a friend instead of being talked down to by someone wiser than you.<BR/><BR/>This is a book I will pick up time and time again, just to remind myself to open my heart and mind to what God wants to say to me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Excellent book

    My husband recommended this book to me. I had read Organic God a couple of years ago and I loved it. I equally enjoyed The Sacred Echo as well.What I loved is how she directed the reader to scripture. We can hear God audibly through His word. And she pointed out that when God repeats something in the bible....it is really worth paying attention to. I had come across some views that stated her book is about praying more in order to get what we want from Him. Or that this is false doctrine from the Emergent church. Margaret Feinberg is not an emergent author but she is often categorized that way because of the age group that tends to read her material.I would have to say that I was really encouraged by this book. She quoted scripture and reminded me to put trust in our Father, even when He doesn't answer prayers the way we would like. In no way does Feinberg make God out to be a genie or that He doesn't hear us regarding certain prayers. She does remind us though that sometimes we need to wait, to not be afraid to bring our concerns to Him and to love His people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2008

    Reader's Beware

    I would first like to say that I am a Born-again Bible believing Christian. Before reading each chapter of this book, I asked the Lord to give me wisdom and discernment, to not be overly critical and to have an understanding heart. As each chapter was reviewed it was weighed against the whole of Scripture as this book is supposed to be personal revelations to principles in the Bible. I believe that Ms. Feinberg has a sincere desire to serve the Lord and encourage others in their personal walk with the Lord. She no doubt is a talented writer. I found a few things to be untrue. Ms. Feinberg speaks of unanswered prayers. God answers EVERY prayer. He may not answer it the way we desire for Him to or in our timing, but He does answer our prayers. All of our prayers are heard if we truly are believers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. She seems to lack an understanding about what prayer is and is constantly talking about how to get the Lord to answer prayers as the petitioner wants them to be done. The emphasis in assertion of that person¿s will over the Lord¿s, and encouraging others to figure out what prayer will get the Lord to do as you wish. Our main focus should be to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by conforming to His will not our own. We need to be equipped in the knowledge of His word. To not only read it but to study to make sure that we are not tossed to and fro with winds of doctrine. With that being said, I am very disappointed that yet another writer and publisher have fallen into the false doctrine of the Emerging Church. Does anyone study their Bible anymore? Or do these 'Christians' just go with the latest trend or whatever makes them feel good? 2 Timothy tells us in Chapter 3, verses 16-17: 'All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work' I would also like to mention the fact that Ms. Feinberg brings up how she and her husband were amazed and disgusted by the mega churches and their Miracle-Gro formulas yet she endorses Rob Bell one of the largest deceivers in the Emergent movement. I wish I had a good review to give, however I am grieved that more people will be deceived by the Emerging Church and that this book was even considered to be published. 2 Timothy 4:1-5

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2008

    Thought Provoking Book

    This is the type of book that causes the reader to think in different ways from the norm and to want to delve deeper into your own relationship with God. Ms. Feinberg shares her thoughts about prayer and other topics.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2008

    Beautifully written devotional about listening to God's voice

    The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg is a lovely devotional about listening for God to speak to you. Feinberg exposes some of her deepest and most painful conversations with God to show the reader how to learn to hear God and understand him. She encourages daily reading and rereading of the Bible to learn to discern God's words from our own. It's a fascinating, insightful read with a powerful but quiet message. God does still speak today, and he longs to speak to our hearts, but we need to learn his language and then listen for the sacred echo. Feinberg uses the story of Elijah who didn't find God in a raging fire, powerful earthquake or fierce wind, but in the quiet voice that spoke to him the words he needed to hear. This is the perfect book to settle in with at the end of a long busy day. It helped to center my mind and soul on the Lord.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2008

    A good read!

    I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy. And I must say it was an interesting read and kept my interest throughout. I like the fact that Margaret Feinberg paints the picture of a woman who is not afraid to question faith. She explores the many way God comes to us in our daily lives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    The Sacred Echo: A Review

    There is the old saying, ¿Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.¿ If you do not see the beauty of this work, then I must posit that you are, in fact, blind. Margaret Feinberg¿s writing is superb, like a fine concerto. Her new work, The Sacred Echo will reverberate through the hollows of your soul and expose the depths that God has indwelled you with. Quite simply put, Feinberg¿s opus on prayer is one of the most beautifully moving manuscripts I have ever had the privilege of reading. It made me laugh, it made me regret, it made me hopeful, it brought me to my knees. Above all, The Sacred Echo reminded me that we serve not only a God who we can openly speak to but a God who speaks to us in return. He is there and he is not silent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    this book was a great easy read. it was a refreshing reminder of how God speaks in the normal daily situations of our lives. It is well written and I would recommend it for any age group.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    I have just finished readin The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg. I have always had a bit of a problem with prayer - that is I always kind of felt as though I somehow wasn't doing it right, that it was bad to ask for anything or that I wasn't saying the right thing. IN this book, the author tells us that prayer is about repetition - that each time we pray - we open our hearts up just a little bit more to ourselves and to god. I like this concept, like slowly but surely we are building a more trusting relationship with god. Interestingly, the author also states that its not necessarily the sound of the prayer that gets through to god, but the echo (which I interpret as the true meaning of what we are are praying for and resonates back and forth between god and I). This book is encouraging - it made me realize that god is infinitely patient and asks us to pay attention to the things around us. See the beauty in everything.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2008

    A reviewer

    The great strength of Margaret Feinberg¿s the Sacred echo lies in its weakness and vulnerability. Not often have I found a book on prayer that is written from a perspective immersed in Scripture where the author is so open and real. It is much more common to find works that are strictly intellectual `theology of prayer¿ or, alternatively, books which are written and flippantly refer to Scripture as a sort of endorsement. But this book, in its profound simplicity, continually invites the reader to share: to befriend the author, to share with others, and to share everything (openly) with God. The `sacred echo¿ is God¿s persisting voice. And in hearing about this echo in the lives of others, the invitation is to listen for it in our own lives. Especially because we live in a world which tells us that there isn¿t anything more to life than the dullness which we see, we need the constant reminder that the ¿teachings of Jesus¿ are real life, both now and to come.¿ Structured around simple yet profound echoes in her own life, Margaret displays something of what it can look like to be gripped by the Father in such a way that we require nothing else. As we pray, Margaret shows that it is not always God who changes, but it is often us who change to become closer to who we truly are.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2008

    Motivating!

    The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg was a great, quick read. It is, to me, written in a witty style that speaks to young adults. However, I feel anyone of any age can read this book and find it enjoyable. I believe the reader could learn many new life lessons, and really connect with the material. I know I have. This book contains religious teachings, but they do not scream out at you from each paragraph you read. The teaching are nicely interwoven into the book, and they flow with an easy style with each turn of the page. ~Sarah

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2008

    A reviewer

    Margaret Feinberg¿s sweet little book, The Sacred Echo is one lady¿s everyday moments with God. Her cheerful stories and anecdotes serve to remind each of us that God is connected to every one of us, present in all things. The rain that inundates the yards then follows the gutters and streams to the creeks and rivers wash away the old leaving room for God¿s gifts to us. The grass fires that rampage and burn all the foliage in sight, renews itself with bright fresh greenery in the coming spring, just as we, through our universal God consciousness renew our lives and the lives of others through our daily thoughts and talks with God.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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