Tag Archives: Presence

Sonic Footprint

If anyone questions whether there is a God, He is always fully present.  If anyone asks if He hears our prayers, glance at who He places in your presence.  If anyone wonders if He answers those prayers, look to the present to see how gloriously he responds.  If anyone inquires about His expectations of us, teach them how His love demonstrates His present responsibility.

Faithful living brings a heart full of hope and a life of love and joy.  Each day, we draw the picture of faithful living by the sonic footprint (the pattern and mark our words are leaving on others) we place on those around us.

Below is an excerpt from an earlier post.  At the time, I was trying to keep a positive sonic footprint while I was in the middle of a storm.  You see, I believe that economic independence is obtained through education.  Two years ago, my dream of my offspring having that seemed to be going up in smoke.  The anguish I experienced was soothed only in the comforting arms of prayer and through the encouraging words of others.  God sent a prophet to me to let me know everything would be okay and charted a course my daughter could take to get where she needs to be.  She is now on that course.  She has pulled herself together and will soon enter community college.  Enjoy!

While I was working at guest services today, a man on the security team named Aaron Hope approached me and began talking to me.  His opening words included a comment on the emblem on my shirt. The emblem was my daughter’s high school and mascot.  He told me he graduated from there just a few years ago.  He talked about his positive experiences there as well as his challenges and struggles.  His story included examples of his involvement in many activities, his laziness as a student, the encouragement of his parents, and his eventual and close-call path to graduation.  I explained to him the grip fear has on me as I see my daughter in the exact same place while running out of time to correct her course.  He laughed at the similarities between the two of them.  He gave me some tips on clever ways to encourage her and let me know that his educational path ended with a college degree.

He was honest with me about the three university rejection letters that were the results of his less than perfect grades.  He talked about having to apply to the local community college and finally getting accepted.  It was a challenging experience for him because he knew he was a smart kid who had failed to apply himself.  His decisions led to a less than desirable result.  He was left behind as he watched his friends go away to four-year universities while he stayed at home to attend junior college.  Through the experience, he found motivation to succeed.  He regularly attended community college classes, paid attention, and made good grades.   During his first year at the school, he visited a high school friend who got into a state university just two hours away.  After visiting the campus just once, he committed to doing what it took to get admitted.  The next year, he transferred there.  He suggested that I take my daughter on a campus visit to the university and informed me that it has an undergraduate program and a follow on professional school program in my daughter’s area of interest.  He ended the conversation with reminding me to be prayerful and patient because everything was going to work out.  He then smiled and went on his way.

I believe this experience was God’s plan.  God knew about the emotional meltdown my daughter had the day before when she realized the deep whole she was in because of low grades.  He heard her cry out in my arms that she was slipping into a spiral and did not know how to stop it; that she is one of the smartest people in her group of friends but has the lowest grades because she hasn’t been studying like she should; and that she performed poorly in her sporting event the night before because she was tired as she can’t sleep because she is worried about passing her classes for the quarter.  God’s spirit moved me to stay at home Saturday night to be with her instead of coming to church.  He knew I was feeling fearful about her future, alone, and helpless.  He also knew I needed a constructive example of an encouraging person who would make me feel good, to help me through the moment as well as to assist me with improving my sonic footprint.

Sooooo…to bring me into the fold, I was struck with an issue of importance to me, my daughter.  God worked it out that I would be standing alone in His house the next day.  He sent a handsome and physically fit young man who is half my age because He knew that would catch my attention.  He sent a messenger named Aaron Hope – a brother and keeper from a high place bearing a strong and confident prospect.  (Aaron is Hebrew for teacher, lofty, exalted; also Moses’ older brother and keeper by God’s command.  Hope means to cherish a desire with anticipation.)  Because I was vulnerable, I was able to hear God’s voice and was encouraged while receiving a lesson on how to advance His kingdom.  Through the 10 minute interlude with Aaron, I was left with this:

  1. With Great intentionality, God sent his exalted teacher to remind me to stay optimistic and faithful as events of the future occur by His will and in His time.
  2. 5 “Before I started to put you together in your mother, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart as holy.  I chose you to speak to the nations for Me.” Jeremiah 1:5
  3. As I wait, I must be an Aaron Hope by being positive with my words, leaving others feeling good and God led.

1 Peter 1 (MSG) tells us:

3-5 What a God we have!  And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus!  Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now!  God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.  The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. 

6-7 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime.  Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.  When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. 

8-9 You never saw him, yet you love him.  You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing.  Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation. 

10-12 The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing. The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory.  They clamored to know who and when.  All they were told was that they were serving you, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled.  Do you realize how fortunate you are?  Angels would have given anything to be in on this!

13-16 So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives.  Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing.  You didn’t know any better then; you do now.  As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness.  God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”

17 You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way.  But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.

Storms of Life

“Life is pain and the enjoyment of love is an anesthetic.” (Cesare Pavese)

The past week was a fast-paced, energy intensive, dynamic ride that oscillated between the immediacy of now and the aloofness of the distant past.  It was filled with continuous meetings and phone calls related to the perpetual alignment of allies, positioning of and listening to opponents, identification of friends and enemies, while measuring the strength and direction of the wind gusts to gain perspective on a predictable landing strip of the lukewarm and irresolute.  There were moments in the days that required enough quickness and acuity to shoot down incoming rounds just to create a limited lane of penetration, a place inside the paint where suppression fire could be laid down in intervals not to exceed three seconds.  In this instance, there was an unpredicted shift from visionary strategic governance to tactical survival.  Immediately, the Switchfoot questions of, This is your life.  Are you who you want to be?  This is your life.  Is it everything you’ve dreamed it would be, when the world was younger and you had everything to lose?”  This Is Your Life.

The experience required an extensive examination of me against the back drop of my desired transition from transactions to relationships.  Initially, I became upset with myself because even though I have worked really hard, I did not do as well as I believe I could have.  The experience exposed my root ball and uncovered the core of who I am – a work in progress.  God reminded me that He has something bigger in store for me; something much larger that He is grooming me for.  In a riveted split second, He whispered, “Relax my child!  It didn’t have to be you; it happened to be you that was chosen by Me for this specific and precious mission. I could have selected one of several billion other souls.  But I didn’t.  I chose you.  This is not about the physical realm.  Your body is only temporary anyway.  This is a spiritual battle.  We are talking about eternity here.  I have always delivered on my promises and this time will be no different.  I must equip you with what you need.  Your job right now is to keep your faith.  Remember, it makes things possible, not easy or perfect.  I am merely taking you through a few dry-runs to illuminate your developmental deficiencies and to hone the skills it will take to conquer modern-day Jericho when it is time.  You see, when my children are under stress, they cannot rise to the occasion, but will only revert back to their highest level of training.  Your training begins with spending time with Me every day and is practiced by remaining focused on Me throughout the day.  No matter what is thrown at you or what hits you, I am there with you and for you.  Put a prisoner in a suit and he is still an inmate.  I have released you from the cell block of your thoughts that tell you, ‘If I don’t, no one else will’.  Walk proudly and fearlessly in your freedom.  Your orange jumper is gone.  Jump with quickness into my arms and find rest while you are with me.  Be still and know that I am God.

His specific and personal words to me were electrifying.  They left me seized, dazed, and speechless.  The only option was to bow my head as if nodding to express “yes sir” and to otherwise be still because He is God.  Once I gathered my thoughts and wrapped my mind around what just happened, he said, “here I am!  I am with you.  Go!  Do my work, accomplish this mission, and live out your purpose.  Remember, you play like you practice.”  At that precise moment, I found respite in the divinely arranged encounter with a wonderful, kind-spirited, nurturing gentleman.  Even though exhaustion had set in, He pointed out this lovely soul and asked me to throw half of what I had left as light to his feet.  I dug deep, and the spirit handed me what was left at the bottom of the tank.  He handed me a heart with H.O.N.E.S.T. written across it.  God then gently said, “yep.  Now be yourself and get it done.”  As I began to engage with the brother, the message was revealed to me.  I was supposed to have an H.O.N.E.S.T.  heart attitude.  Be: Humble, Open, Nice, Eager, Strong, and Trusting in this engagement.  This is the toe lamp I was called to be.

The brother shared intriguing tidbits about his journey.  I could easily relate to many of his experiences in and sentiments about life.  Even though he let go of God long ago, we made a connection that created an aura that hope is alive even though life can be a bear.  The encounter reminded me of where I was when I started on my journey and made me smile about where He has called me to be today.  I smiled because I was able to suspend judgment against my brother as well as against me, my blunders, and unconventional lessons.  I was able to accept this as the place He has us now without reasoning about where He may want us next.  Sidewalk Prophets says it so well with, “If there’s a road I should walk, help me find it If I need to be still, give me peace for the moment.  Whatever Your will, whatever Your will, can you help me find it?  Can you help me find it?” – Help Me Find It.  Psalm 121 says, “I look up to the hills, but where will my help really come from?  2My help will come from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth.  3He will not let you fall.  Your Protector will not fall asleep.  4Israel’s protector does not get tired.  He never sleeps.  5The Lord is your Protector.  The Lord stands by your side, shading and protecting you.  6The sun cannot harm you during the day, and the moon cannot harm you at night.  7The Lord will protect you from every danger.  He will protect your soul.  8The Lord will protect you as you come and go, both now and forever!”  (ERV)

I realize now that my disappointment with myself was from fear that I had lost ground with exploiting these always present, but only recently utilized, relational qualities.  Before, life was a tiger that I had caught by the tail with the intention of looking him in the eye before taming and laying him down.  Living on the adrenaline of my own energy, I was that self-made woman turned warrior who vanquished the forward deployed obstacles.  As Survivor says,   Risin’ up, back on the street.  Did my time, took my chances.  Went the distance now I’m back on my feet; Just a man and his will to survive.  So many times it happens too fast.  You trade your passion for glory.  Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past.  You must fight just to keep them alive”Eye of the Tiger.  Now, I am clay in the potter’s hands, being molded as my Maker sees fit.  Johnny Diaz gives the current truth with,There could never be a more beautiful you.  Don’t buy the lies, disguises and hoops, they make you jump through.  You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do.  So there could never be a more beautiful you”More Beautiful You.

My reflection on the week has me here:  I used to be a strong wind that could make a flag stand stiff.  He is training me to be the rising tide that raises all things.  He has given me His spirit, as my everyday companion, to lead and guide me through the uncertain waters to the other shore.  When exhaustion sets in from the battering of the wake of the change, the analgesic of His love and presence sedates my discomfort.  As it pleases Him, He may quiet the storm as I make this transition, or not.  Regardless, in the storms of my life, whatever they may be, He is there with me.  Falling on my knees in worship, giving all I am to seek your face.  Lord all I am is yours.  My whole life I placed in your hands.  God of mercy, humbled I bow down in your presence, at your throne.  I call.  You answer and you came to my rescue and I want to be where you are.  My life be lifted high…”  Hillsong United, Came To My Rescue

Thank you Lord for the storms, growth, redemption, presence and change.  May I always desire to be clay in Your hands.  Mold me as You will.