Recently, I have become more and more aware of the effect of ripples.  What comes to mind is a finger dipping into a pool of water and the ripples that move from that point of origin.  Those far reaching rings start reverberating from the edges back and then when you touch the pond again and again those ripples start to create a wonderful chaotic pool of change.

At the end of April, I got to attend Gateway Church’s Pink Impact which is an annual ladies multiple day seminar.  I heard about it from one of the ladies in my St. Laurence women’s bible study class when she learned that Beth Moore would be speaking at the seminar.  We had done a Beth Moore study last fall and from what I had seen and heard from my sister years ago, I thought it would be great to see Mrs. Moore  in person with all of her passion and personality.

Beth Moore was a terrific as expected as well as seeing all that Gateway did in this celebration of building stronger relationships with our heavenly father and Jesus Christ.  But something I didn’t expect was the one male speaker – Andy Andrews.  As I signed up for the conference after they sold out the over 4,000 seat Southlake auditorium, I was seated at a satellite Gateway in North Richland Hills.  Thankfully for this location, the only thing satellited over the massive video screens was Beth Moore’s presentation and the festivities proceeding her talk.  Everything else in NRH was live and timed so that the speakers could race from NRH to Southlake or vice versa during times of praise and worship.

If I recall correctly, Mr. Andrews spoke Friday night and I’m just so glad I didn’t miss seeing him.  That day, I had been there in the morning (like 9am) and then missed the afternoon session to photograph a bridal session for one of our favorite brides this year. Her actual wedding date falls on Steve and mine anniversary and Becki and her family and fiance are so much fun.  After the bridal session there was a bit of a tug-of-war because I had been invited to a Carter Bloodcare outing to celebrate donors being held at the new Irving Convention Center that I had yet to visit even though we drive by it regularly.

Come that day, after attending the session in the morning, I knew I wanted to return to Gateway but it would have been nice to see what all Carter Bloodcare had up there sleeve for the evening.  Last fall, I received my 3 gallon donor pin which is nothing compared to the level of donors out there – I have seen the pins available and 3 gallons is simply the beginning but even this sends out ripples and I imagine possibly one day in heaven, I might get to meet some of the people who my blood has helped.  I am so glad that I did return to Gateway that night because that was the place for me to be and hear.

So Mr. Andrews is a bit of a hyper-active moving all of over the place kind of guy.  I felt for the camera guys and their abilities to expertly keep their cameras on him in his sudden moves and jumps on and off of the stage.  But Mr. Andrews had us in the palm of his hands very quickly and then he had us amazed.  He was so good, that I invested in the conference dvd so that I could play him back for my friends and family.  What did he have to say?  Well, you’ll have to read some of his books to find out or you can call me and we can setup a video watching party.  Essentially it was about making ripples though – seeing it, recognizing how important it is to simply touch others everywhere you go and in everything you do.

On Saturday, I found Mr. Andrew’s twitter account and tweeted him asking which of his books he would recommend for the boys that I mentor at Gainesville.  Before I got his response, I had committed to purchasing two copies of The Traveler’s Gift at the Half Priced Books store in Bedford and the young lady who helped me wondered why so many people were looking for his books that day so I see I wasn’t the only person.  I had also purchased his newly released hard back book How Do You Kill 11 Million People? which I have yet to read but maybe later this week.  Mr. Andrews did tweet me back to try The Young Traveler’s Gift or The Noticer.  It was announced that Sunday morning Mr. Andrews would be at the early Gateway Southlake service and afterwards he would be signing books so I made sure I was there with my stash of books.  He probably would have signed all of my books but I simply asked to have him sign the two for the two boys I mentor.

Then I read The Traveler’s Gift and when I was at White’s Chapel Church the following Thursday morning for my first Southlake Focus Group meeting focusing on helping people searching for jobs, I stopped in their bookstore for Strength Finders and saw that they had The Noticer so I brought attention to his books to the ladies I was visiting/networking with and I purchased this book as well.  Funny, at the time of purchase I had some twinges because I was spending money I really didn’t have to spend but it seemed so important for me to have these books so that I could pass them on and make more ripples.

I’m currently reading The Noticer when I can find the moments here and there and I took it and one of the copies of The Traveler’s Gifts with me yesterday on my visit to Gainesville State School to see one of the boys I mentor.  I’m not allowed to give the boys anything other that packaged foods that are opened in front of the guards and presented on paper plates so I will be mailing the books to them but I wanted to show them the books, Mr. Andrews signatures and get across how important this was to me before I shipped them off in the mail.

Often it can take awhile from the time I arrive at the Visitor’s Center for the boy I am visiting to arrive there due to security of getting the youth there.  Which is why I brought The Noticer with me for me to fill the time as I waited.  And as I waited this is what I read “every single action a person takes has far-reaching consequences.”  Here’s the whole paragraph because it is very impactful and worth being read in it’s entirety:
“While it is true that most people never see or understand the difference they make, or sometimes only imagine their actions having a tiny effect, every single action a person takes has far-reaching consequences.”

I read this out loud to A-W and we discussed that and the story of my morning and how the Snickers I brought him came to be slightly melted, which I will share with you later.  A-W is a brilliant guy with a sparkly future, we (all) just have to get him through the rest of 2012 so that he can get out in December and start living again and making his own positive ripples to the many people he will touch and receive those added ripples that will come from better recognizing differences of perspectives and the power we each personally have to interpret those ripples that can truly cause waves.

There is so much more to say but right now, I have to go create ripples.  Have a great day!


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