Mid-week Question~January 30~Spirit of Open

On this last Wednesday of the first month of the “new” year, I am wondering about openness. I read an article meant for instructional tech on building open source online courses. The article asked an academic question:

Is there a “Spirit of Open?”

Question: Is there a spirit of open?

Instead of Open Course Software, I wonder instead about another venue of openness. I wonder about non-academic openness. I am wondering about identity openness. And while all my wondering is going on, Julie Daley posts a quote online. This part stuns me:

But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. ~Nisargadatta Maharaj, From “I am that.”

Do I build my identity around my defects, as Rick Warren declares? If so, can I be open? Can I have a “Spirit of Open” to another way?

Might I begin again? Might I remember who I am not? And while Nisargadatta Maharaj of the quote above advocates “Only self – realization can break it. Go for it resolutely,” might there also be another option?

Might I nurture a Spirit of Open and (re)build my identity around who I am in Grace? Who I am in God’s eyes?

map of grace

How might we nurture a Spirit of Open?

Monday Words for the Soul~Remember who you are Not

It is easy to do. It is easy to become what the bully says. Even if the bully is yourself. (Especially then.)

But, please remember, you are not your struggles. You are not your guilt. You are not your pain from the past. You are not your mistakes. You are not your circumstances. You are not the choices that you have made. You are not even the storms you survive.
And, conversely, you are not your pretty house/nice car/stylish clothes/educational degrees/club memberships/full-time job.

You are a trophy of God’s grace. Richard C. Whitcomb

You are defined by God and God alone. He identifies you as his own (2 Corinthians 1:22).

The thing is, if you don’t know who you are, then you are vulnerable to other people telling you who you are. But the concrete, solid, gospel truth is that you are who God says you are and no one else has a vote in the matter.

You are God’s precious child and he created you in a way that pleases him. Because you are identified with Christ, you have the power of the Holy Spirit within you. ~Jon Walker

Sometimes, to remember who we are, we need to remember who we are not. :)


Other Words for the Soul

A Word from The Sponsor~January 27

John 16:13

He will guide you…John 16:13


More Words from The Sponsor

This Weekend~~January 25~Smile!

Picture Source


More Weekend Activities

Midweek Question of the Week~January 23

Are you willing to remember who are you when you forget that you don’t know? ~Jo Anna Rothman

click here to read the rest of JoAnna’s post

James 1:22-25


More Mid-Week Questions

{post #675!}

Martin Luther King, Jr

My favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s murder followed the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, but, for me, his was more scary and sinister because he was a preacher first and a private citizen. True, he had vaulted to the public stage but he always represented pastoral and ministerial work. In an interview last night, his niece stated that he always thought of himself primarily and wanted to be known as a minister of the Lord.

I was a young girl for all three terrible murders, but it was Martin Luther King’s death that cracked the veneer of life-as-I-had-known-it.

Is there one particular King quote that resonates with you?

time is always right

Picture is actually a poster available at Mardells

A Word from The Sponsor~January 20


“I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now. Yet when that one I have spoken to you about comes—the Spirit of truth—he will guide you into everything that is true. For he will not be speaking of his own accord but exactly as he hears, and he will inform you about what is to come. He will bring glory to me for he will draw on my truth and reveal it to you. Whatever the Father possesses is also mine; that is why I tell you that he will draw on my truth and will show it to you. ~John 16:13 (Phillips)

and when He may come — the Spirit of truth — He will guide you to all the truth, for He will not speak from Himself, but as many things as He will hear He will speak, and the coming things He will tell you ~John 16:13 (Young’s)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. ~John 16:13 (ESV)


More Words from The Sponsor

This Weekend~January 18~Sip

January is National Hot Tea Month. My favorite right now is peppermint tea.
Gently brew a cup of your favorite hot tea and sip it slowly, breathing in the warmth.

This little reminder of God’s oceans of power is great to watch while you sip. (it’s short so if you gulp your tea that’s ok too)

Monterey Waves from becauseofgrace on Vimeo.

Other Weekend Activities

Mid-Week Question~January 16

Were you able to get through last week on your own strength?

were you able to get through last week on your own strength?


A Free Download:  A Year of Gratitude from Ann Voskamp


More Questions

Monday Words for the Soul~January 14

After the Storm

after the storm


More Words for the Soul

A Word from The Sponsor~January 13

Ecclesiastes 3:11He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11


More Words from The Sponsor

photo taken at Moss Landing, California

This Weekend~Easy Weekend Acitivity~Lead with Little

Because Of Grace

Lead with Little from becauseofgrace on Vimeo.



“Always keep your eyes open for the little task, because it is the little task that is important to Jesus Christ. The future of the kingdom of Goddoes not depend on the enthusiasm of this or that powerful person; those great ones are necessary too, but it is equally necessary to have a great number of little people who will do a little thing in the service of Christ.”  ~Albert Schweitzer

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Mid-Week Question of the Week~January 10

what's happened instead?

Instead, be filled with the Spirit, ~Ephesians 5:17-19

Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold, ~Proverbs 8:10

To give to those who mourn in Zion
Joy and gladness instead of grief,
A song of praise instead of sorrow. ~Isaiah 61:3

Depending on the version of Bible you read, there are 43-103 instances of the word “instead” recorded.

It is interesting to me that as the translations are more current, there are more instances of the word “instead.”

Think about where you are now, and what
you have learned, and who you have become, and where you are headed due largely
in part to those things NOT happening that you were sure that wanted to

Even if those thoughts are painful, and you are still wishing, be
patient. You are in the middle point of here to there. If things haven’t worked
out they aren’t done working out yet. You will soon see, beautiful friend, Trust this.
~Brave Girls Club

Because of Grace, sometimes God leads us to an “instead moment.”
Or, He waits with us, holding us in His grace, until we find strength.

I wonder, Are our “insteads” really God’s “suddenlies”?

Perhaps that is a question best marinated until another day…


Other Questions to Consider

Monday Words for the Soul~January 7

we are all a little fragile

Picture Source


Other Words for the Soul

A Word from The Sponsor~January 5

also add heb 13 5

Deuteronomy 31:6
Hebrews 13:5


Additional Words from The Sponsor

The Best Resolution

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
 1 Corinthians 2:2

If the Apostle Paul made New Year’s resolutions, my thought is he only had one resolution on his list

New Year Resolve

New Year Resolve

by May Sarton

The time has come
To stop allowing the clutter
To clutter my mind
Like dirty snow,
Shove it off and find
Clear time, clear water.

Time for a change,
Let silence in like a cat
Who has sat at my door
Neither wild nor strange
Hoping for food from my store
And shivering on the mat.

Let silence in.
She will rarely speak or mew,
She will sleep on my bed
And all I have ever been
Either false or true
Will live again in my head.

For it is now or not
As old age silts the stream,
To shove away the clutter,
To untie every knot,
To take the time to dream,
To come back to still water.

“New Year Resolve” by May Sarton, from Collected Poems 1930-1993. © W.W. Norton & Co., 1993.

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