February 9, 2005

Way Opening

After about two weeks of holding the idea of starting a blog and doing some initial discernment with a couple Friends, the Way seemed open to carry out the experiment of a blog one step further. One of the "fruits" I look for when I am discerning whether to pursue a certain course of action is my inward experience: Am I feeling more peaceful as I contemplate moving forward, or more anxious? Do I feel detached from any sort of outcome, or am I secretly hoping for a certain result? Sometimes, if I'm still uncertain, I'll take a mini-step in the direction where I'm leaning and see how that feels, what that brings. It's a sort of spiritual discipline I've come to respect, though dang! it requires a fair amount of patience that only a few years ago, I would not have had.

I'm grateful for the Friends who have held the possibility of this blog in prayer with me. I know, too, they'll help keep me in check, spiritually speaking. The experiences of reading spiritually-oriented blogs, sharing views via the internet, and feeling things shift in my own awareness are unexpected yet welcome. I've been hard-pressed to put language to what seems to be happening among these blogs, especially among Friendly ones. It's a sort of synergy for me: we are more than the sum of our individual posts and web journals. It's as if we're in a net, in a web, in God's cupped hands.

I've been curious about how blogs get their names, and in my case, I was in search of a name that would (1) help me stay faithful to the prompt to start a blog; (2) remind me that there are very few folks who truly intend to do evil or say evil things; there are mostly people who have good intentions; and (3) have a connection to Quakerism. In recent weeks, I have been recalling this phrase from Robert Barclay during worship:

For when I came into the silent assemblies of God's people, I felt a secret power among them, which touched my heart; and as I gave way unto it I found the evil weakening in me and the good raised up; and so I became thus knit and united unto them...

Liz (aka Liz in Minnesota)


Peg said...

Hi Liz
This is a lovely journal to be able to check into. Thanks for being willing to be open and vulnerable. I'll be checking in often to see what's new with you.

Martin Kelley said...

Although considering all the discussion of Eldership, etc. we've had I feel I should remain sober and level-headed. But you know what? My reaction to seeing your first post is "yea!"

There are Friends I've known who might not minister often in worship, but when they do stand, I silently cry out "yea" and listen carefully with open heart, knowing that these Friends pray carefully before speaking and knowing some spark of the Divine will reveal itself as the language begins. I'm glad you're joining this new realm of "public Friends" and sharing your ministry online. Peace and blessings,
Thy Friend,
Martin Kelley

Nils said...

Dear Liz,
What courage you have. My heart swells with joy to read your words and your intention in doing this. I especially resonate with the quote from Barclay and how you use it.
May Love continue to flow through you.

Paul Thompson said...


Congratulations on this new step.
What's the difference b/t a blog and a web site?
Keep opening and I'lll keep reading.

Given the light in your message, any chance of removing the black?

love to you

Paul Thompson

Liz Opp said...

Thanks to each of you for your support and encouragement.

Peg and Nils, I am uplifted by your comments.

Martin, I feel like I have someone "in my corner" as I experiment with this blog. My guess is we'll be able to compare blog-notes from time to time.

Paul, every light does cast a shadow, y'know. I'll be keeping the "blogger window" black for now. smile


RW Spryszak said...

I would say since you approached this with about 110% more careful consideration than I did for mine, you are already miles ahead on style points!

I am looking forward to your sharing, and have already added your site to my list.

Joe G. said...

Congratulations on the new blog, Liz. I've always appreciated your comments at mine. Now I can return the favor! Glad that the way has openned for you!

Amanda said...

Liz, I'm so glad to see thy new blog and have added a link! How we're growing!

The good has certainly been raised up in me through God's use of this crazy internet thingy. May His discernment be with all of us!

Much Love,

Rob said...

Hi Liz -
Recently, I too took the "mini-step" forward and started a Quaker blog. At first, I was very much self-conscious about the idea of putting myself out there. I've only been attending Quaker meetings since August 2004.

I've found the blogging experience rewarding and illuminating beyond the expectations from which I began. I hope you are feeling the same way! Many thanks for your sincere comments on Martin's website and now on The Good Raised Up.

Rachel said...

I just found my way to this blog, and wanted to thank you for opening yourself up in this way. I've really enjoyed blogging; I'm always learning things, always meeting people, and always feeling more connected with people. May your blog bring you blessings!

Liz Opp said...

Hi, RW, Beppe, Amanda, Rob and Rachel-- I thank all of you for your comments and your support. The greatest gift you can give me in my journey with blogs is to share your authentic responses to my blog; to share our inner Divinity with one another; and to be tender with one another's humanness.