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We’ve been busy little bees since our (my) last blog.  We had two more receptions, one in Houston and one in Chicago (where Berly is from) and stopped in to see our friends in Arlington on our way back.  At my request, my work hours have changed, so I am working 3 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays (double shifts).  I also work Wednesday p.m. at Pizza Hut.  Berly is also working at L’Arche again, 30 hours a week.  I like my new schedule.  I was using it to get a lot of work done on the house, but that got me distracted from my new marriage, which started to suffer as a result, so Berly and I have spent most of the last two weeks talking.  I was only half joking when I told her that marriage is a full time job! 

I discovered a house that was demolished and was going to be crated away to the dump the next day, so I borrowed a friend’s truck and spent 6p.m. to midnight pulling loose boards and piling them up to take back to my place, mostly hardwood flooring that I plan to use on my many house projects but also a full cedar closet (one of my projects is making a closet for the master bedroom which has none).

I guess the biggest news is that Kimberly and I decided that we would take a completely new name when we married.  I’ve always gone by my middle name, Kent, which I still have, but I decided to change my first name from Douglas to Janathan (pronounced like Jonathan, except the ‘j’ sounds like ‘y’).  Janathan means “God gives.”  All my life I struggled with the idea that God is a taker–he demands my time, my money, my dreams, my soul.  It is only in recent years that I have discovered God is always and only a giver–whatever he asks from us is completely for our benefit, to increase our ultimate pleasure and joy.

Kimberly and I feel we are setting out individually and as a couple on a very new course, a complete rethinking for the whole basis of our lives, thoughts, relationships, and beliefs.  Some of you know a lot about the huge redirection of my own journey–you could call it receiving the gospel of grace.  We felt this was such a deep, transforming commitment that we wanted to express it in the most clear, bold way and so we have also chosen to take the last name “Grace.”  My full name means “God Gives Grace” (isn’t that wonderful!)   Our choosing not to take McQuilkin as our married name was much harder for my dad to accept than I had anticipated.  He is still trying to come to terms with it, though I have assured him that it in no way implies a rejection of him.

Calling ourselves “Grace” doesn’t mean that we consider ourselves gracious people, but that we want our whole lives to be rooted and grounded and springing out of grace, that our perspective and decisions and self understanding and purpose be focused on discovering more deeply and dwelling more constantly in the infinite grace of God. So we are legally Janathan Kent Grace and Kimberly Joy Grace.  I would like my friends to start calling me Janathan if you would.

Love to all of you, Janathan

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Posted August 20, 2007 by janathangrace in Uncategorized

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  1. I got a read of the above writing today. God is definitely a big giver, and big is greater than you will ever know or understand. Many folks in the Bible had their name changed by God in order to give divine meaning to the responsibility they were to have. A name change is not a wrong move it is a gift of a move to a new name BUT it comes with a responsibility and my prayer would be that your life and testimony would reflect and incredible change in your life as you live for Him that gave you the grace to begin with. With out knowing too much of you Janathan we write to send you our greetings and support. We appreciate you both and pray God’s blessings on you as you continue in your new marriage to a God given partner. A friend and brother in Christ, Peter for Naomi and the Children.

  2. What a great message behind your new name– and may God continue to bless you and Kimberly more each day as you learn to grow closer each day.

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