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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
When I read non-fiction Christian books they usually fall into one of two categories. The first, and most popular kind are the books birthed out of a successful sermon series the author has done. I'm NOT knocking this approach, I'm just labeling them as mostly teaching in nature. The teaching can be challenging, but mostly it's educational in design. The other category...
Published on September 17, 2008 by Jonathan Cliff

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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An authentic look at prayer
Margaret Feinberg has been described recently by Leonard Sweet as one of the "authentics" of Christianity today. I have to agree. Her speaking as well as writing style communicates not only her point - but an authentic wrestling with the issues at hand. Henri Nouwen wrote in "the Wounded Healer" that it is in authentically wrestling with one's own life that a person is...
Published on September 8, 2008 by Jay Winters


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, September 17, 2008
By 
Jonathan Cliff "JC" (Athens, Georgia, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sacred Echo (Hardcover)
When I read non-fiction Christian books they usually fall into one of two categories. The first, and most popular kind are the books birthed out of a successful sermon series the author has done. I'm NOT knocking this approach, I'm just labeling them as mostly teaching in nature. The teaching can be challenging, but mostly it's educational in design. The other category would be a book that is challenging to the reader through and through. The kind of book that makes me feel like the author has been impressed by God to write what is on their heart. I would put The Sacred Echo in the latter category.

Reading The Sacred Echo felt like reading a letter from a friend. Sure, it was teaching me things and bringing some insight to my life; but mostly it was speaking to parts of my own soul that only a dear friend would know about. Margaret has a fantastic communication style that disarmed me even when she was talking about some sticky topics. For example, Why doesn't God always seem to answer our prayers? Does God care about my pain? Why doesn't God answer my questions like I want him to? are some of the thoughts she speaks to. She consistently brings her points back to scripture and real-life experiences. It's a rare author willing to expose her own doubts, fears, and mistakes in a book; and at times it made me uncomfortable (in a good way) to read about her own struggles in learning to hear God's voice.

The Sacred Echo is a book that I highly recommend; more specifically it would be a wonderful small group study book or accountability partner study book. This might be my highest honor, but it could potentially show up in some Christmas presents I give this year!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Honest Look at the Topic of Prayer, September 1, 2008
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This review is from: The Sacred Echo (Hardcover)
For the last couple of weeks I've been reading a book called the Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg. Reading isn't really the full verb I should be using here. More than reading I've been identifying, feeling, relating and experiencing the ideas about the voice of God expressed in this book. Margaret gives a very vulnerable look into what it really means to hear God's voice calling out to us and reverberating in our lives. As I picked this book up, I quietly wondered where my thoughts were on the topic. I was once again grimly reminded of the distance I have in my heart to listening for God's voice. I feel like for myself, and most of my surrounding immediate community, the topic of God's voice and how he is speaking to us is dormant in our everyday language. It's just not talked about very much.

As I got into the book, I felt like a lot of good things were said and then I got really excited. I realized she wasn't spouting theories, she was telling stories. I LOVE stories. I love hearing about moments in time where a person becomes aware of something God was trying to speak to them. Nothing is more powerful. I don't care who the speaker or writer is, no three point sermon or seven step book can ever compare to the stories that exist in the world around us of how God is on the move in the hearts of his children. Reading on, I found that not all of the stories were of the EPIC, "how is that possible!?" sort. There were stories of clarity and also stories of confusion. It was definitely a book to identify with. There are times when I feel like the Sacred Echo of God's voice is booming and other times when the cavern of life is frighteningly silent. In the midst of all of that we have an opportunity to learn about and draw near to our Creator. We also learn a lot about ourselves. As Margaret continued to unpack her thoughts about the Sacred Echo coupled with her stories, she reached a great balance of starting a dialogue about God's voice and allowing God's voice to speak through the stories she was writing. I felt some significant moments in this book where I wasn't just reading about God's voice...I was hearing it.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An authentic look at prayer, September 8, 2008
By 
This review is from: The Sacred Echo (Hardcover)
Margaret Feinberg has been described recently by Leonard Sweet as one of the "authentics" of Christianity today. I have to agree. Her speaking as well as writing style communicates not only her point - but an authentic wrestling with the issues at hand. Henri Nouwen wrote in "the Wounded Healer" that it is in authentically wrestling with one's own life that a person is able to help others. In "The Sacred Echo", Margaret let us into her authentic wrestling with something that most Christians find themselves wrestling with from time to time - prayer.

Instead of a treatise or how-to book, Margaret simply shares her story of prayer. She shares her confusion with the way that some people talk about the messages which flow back and forth between God and mankind. She shares her frustration with those who give up on prayer as well as the frustration that has made her almost give up on it. Yet all the while, the refrain of the book is that there is a "Sacred Echo" which draws us closer to the heart of God.

This would be a book that I would hand to either an individual seeking to deepen (or just figure out) their prayer life, or to a small group that was seeking the same thing. Written with plenty of room for reflection and prayer (imagine that), Margaret's book is a quick read that will lead you to a long time of introspection.

Pick this book up if you're seeking help in your prayer life or trying to help people who are seeking that help. The authentic voice in which it is written is hard to deny, the authentic Voice that it speaks about, God, calls you through these pages to return to His book with renewed fervor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars--The Sacred Echo, July 28, 2008
This review is from: The Sacred Echo (Hardcover)
The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg is a simple book, really, about a simple concept--prayer. But it's not a treatise on prayer. It's one woman's encounter with prayer and encounters through prayer.

It's about cultivating a relationship. It's about respite in God.

Filled with personal stories, The Sacred Echo talks about our growing sensitivity to God and how He's working through repetition in prayer--both our repetition and His. It's about the balance of talking and listening in prayer. Feinberg ties the question of waiting for answers to prayer to the bigger picture of prayer. "God is waiting," she says. "Creation is waiting. Humankind is waiting" (p. 59). Then she turns the question around. It's not just about us asking God, "How long?" It's about God asking us, "How long?"

Feinberg also addresses issues such as learning to read and reread Scripture with a sensitivity to how God uses it in our lives and God's calling to follow Him.

I found this book to be refreshing, beautiful, and challenging. I found my unbelief sneaking out at crazy stories--and conviction quickly following. We may not understand, but we go to God, and we bring others to God. Sometimes God does miraculous things. Sometimes we can't see the miraculous. Always, we trust.

The one thing I found wanting in this book was the presence of the Body of Christ--of community--in God's sacred echos. Feinberg brought up the idea of serving others, but in her emphasis of a personal communion with God, she left out a communal communion. Because of this, at times the book felt almost individualistic.

Despite that, this book will become one of the books I will regularly recommend to new believers and ancient believers alike as we seek to know and relate with God.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I needed this book, January 24, 2013
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This review is from: The Sacred Echo (Kindle Edition)
Margaret articulated what I have sensed for some time; that God uses the echoes to get our attention and speak to us. This has cause a huge shift in my faith walk. Many thanks to Margaret for this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real thing, December 30, 2009
This review is from: The Sacred Echo (Kindle Edition)
I found this book to be very insightful. The topic of conversation with God was presented in a real and personal way through the authors own experiences. Yet, this somehow illuminated my own conversations with God and how I view it. This is a deep subject, but was presented in a way that speaks to the heart, instead of the mind. I found this approach to be easy to relate to in my own life. Ms Feinberg's style is to bring the reader along on the journey as a companion instead of a student. This is pretty unique and keeps the reader from being intimidated by the topic. I would highly recommend this book,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pausing to Hear and Converse: the Sacred echo, June 2, 2009
This review is from: The Sacred Echo (Hardcover)
Do you hear your own voice bouncing back to you within the mysterious void called prayer? A transparent and vulnerable dialogue, the Sacred echo (Zondervan, 2008), combats frustrating feelings many of us have when it comes to prayer. Author Margaret Feinberg instills trust by openly sharing her responses from a very personal, custom-loving God. His voice, seemingly refracted in the hidden, continues to reverberate in the every day.

You're invited to spend some time with Margaret and her Heavenly Father. Here, you can share her comfort. "If God wore a polo shirt, then I felt like I was resting in his front pocket, dark but safe" (171). Seriously, why do we treat prayer as "...so mysterious" (20); it is meant to be intimate and deeply personal? Feinberg describes prayer as conversation, sacred echoes weaving us into closer relationship with a God who does not change. For "...writers of Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Job also took their toughest questions, their heaviest weights, to God. They asked the most jarring of questions, probed the darkest issues, and confessed their hearts and betrayals without ready apology" (150). Are we not invited to approach God in the same manner?

Feinberg reminds us that when we seek him, he will surely answer, and readily keep our conversations interesting. The sacred echo is this, "... those moments when God speaks the same message to my heart again and again," by "the same scripturally sound idea or phrase or word" that "reappear(s) until I can no longer avoid its presence" (24). For "when we allow the words of God to come alive in our hearts they unleash an unmistakable transforming power in our attitude and actions" (50).

Thankfully, our transforming God "...answers us right where we are, in a language we'll understand" (68). We serve a God who calls us daughters and sons, friends, and he lovingly approaches each of us "in ways we can understand" (92). To us it may be a song; it may be a Word or theme, even a phrase skipping in the soundtracks of our lives. It may feel like we're called to play an old, familiar tune, one we need to hear again, but this time we need to listen! Feinberg advocates that kind of prayer.

Therefore, "(i)f prayer was a safe place... (for men and women of the Bible)...to get brutishly honest with God, then shouldn't it still be safe for us today?" (150). Faithfully, God personalizes our sacred echoes and "...speaks life and we hope into the darkest of situations and the most discouraged of souls" (175).

As partners, as family, as God's friends, we need to invite Him into the conversations of our lives (177) without "fill(ing) in the blanks" ourselves!!!(178). Feinberg urges us to "cling to these sacred echoes" (163), for God is pursuing us; are we in a posture to listen? So, please, let him lead, guide, and reveal himself, and share your echoes that we may commune with God and each other, growing as His children, in relationship (190).

Nourishing food for readers and especially listeners, isn't it?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sacred Echo... awesome book!!, October 20, 2008
This review is from: The Sacred Echo (Hardcover)
I started this book with the intention of reading a couple chapters at a time but I could not put it down! The author's revelation into a life of hearing from, speaking to, and interacting with God was not only practical but also refreshing. I felt a huge sense of relief because she made it simple and attainable... and it stirred me to pursue hearing God speak in the everyday.

Margaret Feinberg is funny, wise, and a great writer! The real life stories make the book's ideas and principles all the more relatable. I laughed throughout and took a few moments in between chapters to interact with the Lord in prayer... giving Him full permission to fix the truths in my heart.

I will read it again... I also snagged a few copies to give to friends who are in different places in their spiritual journey. And I hear the full Sacred Echo study is coming soon!! SWEET!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, well written ,personal devotion., October 19, 2008
By 
This review is from: The Sacred Echo (Hardcover)
As a lay person, I enjoy when someone writes an easy to read,deeply personal book like The Sacred Echo. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded to listen to what God is saying over and over in our lives. Many writers are afraid to get personal with their readers, because they don't want their theology picked apart. Feinberg goes to the mat with her beliefs and for that I am sure she will get thrown against the ropes!
The personal accounts of this are well presented with some stories begging to be read again and again.
Congratulations to Feinberg for her best book yet.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The (The) Sacred (Sacred) Echo (Echo), September 29, 2008
This review is from: The Sacred Echo (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book by Margaret Feinberg. The basic premise behind this book was that when God really wants to say something to us - it is going to echo in our life. Important things are things that God won't just say once.

All of the chapters are based on echoes that God has spoken to Margaret's life. They are prayers or phrases that He has spoken to her. They are also backed up by Scripture every time, as well as personal stories and quotes. The thing I appreciated the most is that you see Margaret's heart for God and for people in these chapters. She invited you into her life by mentioning people that she has on her prayer list and how she has prayed these echoes for them as well.

The section that shook me out of myself and challenged me to respond a lot was called, "Surrender". In it she told of a time she talked to Steve Saint, whose father was Nate Saint. Nate Saint was killed with Jim Eliot and others in Ecuador by the Waodani tribe. Steve said something that really challenged me, "I don't think God allowed my dad and his friends to be killed. I think He orchestrated it with five men that gave their lives to Him...Most people don't want to give God liberty to use their lives that way, because we call it tragic."

The echo that this book caused in my life, I hope you will find. I recommend this book as one of God's change agents in your life. Let it inspire your prayer life and life with God!

TJ
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The Sacred Echo
The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg (Hardcover - July 15, 2008)
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