JOY --- Jesus On the JourneY

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What's in a Name?

What's in a name anyway? How important is what people call you? There are books published for names to call your baby.
Nobody calls their child "Manson" or "Hitler" -- well that one lady did that I heard about the other day when ordered a cake for her son at Wal-Mart with "Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler" on it after another store in town refused to decorate the cake.

I know that when I used all 3 of one of my children's names it meant they needed to stop what they were doing and look to me for cues on what to change in their behavior and do it quickly! Using their nicknames was something special and endearing.

In her book, Work in Progress, Kristin Armstrong quotes from Staci Eldredge's Captivating retreat "God has a special name for each of us". One of my friends is sure that her's would be "chubby". I still haven't gotten an impression of what mine is. (I hope it's not Martha-- but I'm thinking it could be. One of our elderly brothers at church said that's the Bible woman I make him think of - I did take one of those facebook quizzes - "Which woman of the Bible are you -- and I came up Mary Magdalene -- not sure about that one either.)

Seriously though, Just to know that HE knows each of our names and we're not just some celestial serial number is HUGE! I'm not #43786092175907 - But maybe my nickname "Jannie" or "Jan" -- I don't think Janice -- nobody ever calls me that -- that's too stiff. Jesus uses OUR NAMES as He intercedes for us daily! That is beyond my comprehension!

I remember Terry speaking at a retreat at Rockcliff Encampment near Denver several years ago and telling the teens about the name God will give us written on a white stone. Revelation 3 speaks of the new name that God will give to each of us overcomers that only HE and WE will know.

God's name is vital to our understanding of HIM. The study of the names of God and His Son has always been one of my favorites. I love studying and teaching about these names of God and Jesus. Jehovah Shammah means so much more to me after one of my teenagers told about sensing Jehovah Shammah (God is there) in the room as her mother was dying.

What I've learned in these 36+ years of being a pastor's wife is that as I go through difficult seasons, I often come out with a new understanding of one of HIS names. When my father died, the name EVERLASTING FATHER became dearer to me. When one troublesome ministry came to an end I saw HIM as My Deliverer. I have seen him as the Righteous Judge, The Prince of my Peace and My Wonderful Counselor, and My Rock when my life seemed topsy turvy. He's been the Way and my Rearguard when I felt lost and clueless.

God told his people to build a place for THE NAME.
What name do you think that is? JEHOVAH? YAWEH? Elohim? Almighty God? Everlasting Father? Jehovah Jireh?

I'm pretty partial to The Ancient of Days after studying the book of Daniel. I can now envision El Roi after writing a skit of Hagar's encounter with the God "who sees me". He reminds me at times that he is Sovereign and ALL-SUFFICIENT
when I get pretty stubborn and self-sufficient.

Several weeks ago I challenged our Life Park members to begin thinking of what name of God they associate with the most. I then mentioned that in our next ALLTOGETHER activity each flock or group would build a house for God, depicting the name that they believe best represents the name or character of God that they believe people need most today in their lives. You see as we build our new church building it's not just about having a nice place to sit and sing songs -- it's about a building a church HOME where we show HIM to the watching world around us and best represent HIM to the people HE so longs to bring into his forever family.

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