What’s in a name?

Finding comfort in a name, or two



We all have one. We each have a unique name. Some names are passed down from generation to generation. Some names are chosen because they are very out-of-the-box. Some are common names but the spelling has a twist. Whatever your name is, or however it is spelled is a part of who you are.

When we first meet someone their name helps us make certain judgments, assumptions and predictions about who they are as a person. This really isn’t fair. We don’t choose our names or have much choice. Which we do know that our Heavenly Father knew our names even before our parents would. If the person shares a name with someone you already know, things can get weird sometimes. I will admit that I have met people with the same name as someone I already know and I feel like I already know them. Sometimes this is a good thing. Sometimes this is a really bad thing.

When my husband and I were choosing the names for our girls we put a lot of thought into their names. With our first daughter we picked a name that we liked and felt was not very common. Because we weren’t around a lot of young children at the time, we were wrong. Her name isn’t extremely common but let’s just say there are two other sweet young ladies at our church with the same name. She thinks that this is very cool and loves it.

Fast forward four years to our second daughter and we were a little more selective. Since we had attended tons of little kid birthday parties by then we knew much more which names were common. We also had to be careful because my husband is a high school teacher. This made things a little tricky as well. I would find names that I loved but he would have a strong opinion about the name. This was especially true if the name was associated with a student he had in the past. We chose a name for her that is a little different but now suits her personality better than we could have imagined. When people hear her name its usually the first time they have heard the name. I have grown to really like this because they get to know her first and then make the connection to her name. I will leave the story about her middle name for another day. It is an entire story on its own and a testimony in itself.

I had been praying that the Lord would give me a message for this post. Today, after I met someone with a very different name God almost immediately gave me this message:

What’s in a name?

Our Heavenly Father is known by many, many names in the Bible. He has so many names but the amazing thing is He is always the same. Even though these many different names are all translated to mean a variety of descriptions, He is the one and only God.

During different seasons of my life I have found it very comforting to find scriptures that speak to me. In these different scriptures God is usually described with words other than “God”. The Bible has an almost endless supply of names to call our precious God and Savior. Not only do I love finding these different names but I also love finding the original Hebrew names for God as well. One in particular has gotten us through many hard times in our little family. Once again, a story I will share another day.

Whatever season of your life you are in right now I encourage you to choose one or two of these names for God, use it to comfort you. Please use these names when you pray. Use these names you lay your shoulder on and let Him comfort you. That is what He wants us to do. He wants us to come to Him with all of our troubles. He is there to help us and guide us. No matter what name you decide to call Him during different seasons. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Hebrews 13:8 KJV

No matter what your name is. No matter how it is spelled or how common or rare it is. The only thing that matters is that you have chosen for your name to be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life because you have made Him your savior forever.

He is not only my God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. He is my: redeemer, prince of peace, supplier, refresher, friend of sinners, ruler, hope of glory, the Great I am, chosen, Jehovah-Jireh, overcomer, potter, bread of life, physician, unchangeable, unmovable, divine, Jesus, King of Kings, hope, power, foundation, all reigning, Eagle’s wing, messiah, truth teacher, authority, silent shield, sovereign, always there, alpha, only begotten, precious, merciful, son of man, debt payor and He is the name above all names.

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Have a BLESSED day!

Whispers from the Holy Spirit Part II

if you get one, you have the right reaction, now what?

We have all been there. We have all had to do something out of our comfort zone. Take a moment to think of that feeling for just a few seconds. It makes my stomach feel queezy just at the thought. If you don’t feel a little weird, then maybe you haven’t experienced this in a while. Or, maybe you are much, much tougher than I am.

When I think back on my last few years of queezy moments they have mostly been when I have experienced these “whispers from the Holy Spirit”. Yes, of course I have experienced a few of these moments in regards to my career as well. Mostly when having to speak in front of my peers or in a stressful situation. But the ones that really stand out to me were when God told me to do something. In the first part of this segment I mentioned that I haven’t always quickly agreed with our amazing God when He has told me to do something. I would sometimes respond back to Him, to clarify I was understanding Him correctly. These have mostly been things that have pushed me to do something that was completely out of my safe and comfy place in life at the time.

Why is this usually the types of things that the Lord wants us to do?

First, I like to remind myself that it is an amazing honor for the spirit to speak to us. It is also amazing for us to hear Him and Listen. This is almost always where the feeling “queezy” comes in. If He told us to do something that we have done on our own anyways, then why would He need to tell us??? Sometimes, yes, we may be praying for guidance or discernment and need clarity. These whispers may not be so out of the box. That’s another topic for another day.

When the Lord brought this topic to my mind He kept returning my thoughts to one man.

NOAH

So, lets go way back to the book of Genesis for this story recap. This may be one of the most told stories from the Old Testament Bible in my opinion, especially for children. My girls love the story of Noah. This has always kind of surprised me. I remember being scared to death after learning the story of Noah as a young girl. I was afraid that there would be another flood. I dont think that I got the important and key parts of these amazing Biblical story. I dont think that I understood like my girls do, and I do now.

We know what happened. There was a great world flood. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. Noah had built a huge ark that housed animals of all kinds. God had the animals enter the ark supernaturally.

Before all of this Noah was told to build the ark.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Genesis 6:9 KJV

If we are talking about doing things out of someone’s comfort zone, this was probaly literally as big as it can get. We can read the dimensions of the ark and it doesnt really make a lot of sense. We just know it was HUGE. Always before when I would read these verses my mind could not comprehend how large or even what the size would look like if built. All of this changed when our church youth group took a trip to the Ark Encounter a few weeks after it opened. If you have never been I highly recommend seeing it for yourself. This thing is larger than you can imagine. It’s one of those things that if you can see with your own eyes you feel like you are imaging it. When I first saw it from a distance I convinced myself it was a hologram. I’m not telling you this for any other reason than to explain what an undertaking this must have been for Noah and his family.

God gave Noah all of the dimensions and told him all that was going to happen to the earth. I’m sure this was extremely hard for Noah and his family. I’m sure that he had a very hard time proessing what he had been told. We know why Noah was chosen. The last verse at the end of the chapter simply says this:

“Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”

Genesis 6:22 KJV

God just told a man to build a huge ark, that He would send pairs of animals to it, that the world would be flooded and that everyone except his family would die. And he listened. He did what he was commanded. As simple as that. That’s pretty incredible.

My husband and I purchased shirts when we visited the Ark Encounter that have really inspired me over the past couple of years. The front has a simple saying:

FAITH LIKE NOAH.

Even though Noah had no idea how everything would work out. Even though Noah was probably riduculed and laughed at while he was building the ark. Even though he probably doubted himself and his abilities. Even though he felt crazy sometimes. Even though he didn’t know God would put a rainbow in the sky. He did what God commanded. So let’s have faith like Noah when the Lord pushes us out of our comfy spot on the couch- to do something we could have never dreamed on our own.

When we are blessed like Noah for the Lord to speak to us lets remember some simple things as well:

We have found grace in the eyes of the Lord & we are walking with God.

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Whispers from the Holy Spirit

when we get one, how should we react?

Something that comes very natural to me is talking and connecting with others. Even my career is built around speaking to others all day long. And even though this is something that I probably have taken for granted I never once considered it a gift. I had never dreamed that the Lord would “call” me to use this in a different way. But that’s what is so amazing about our God. He knows us so well, of course He does.  He also knows the plans that He has for us long before we know.  It usually takes Him giving us a whisper from the Holy Spirit for us to realize His plans for us. 

Have you ever experienced this? Have you ever experienced a whisper from the alpha and the omega? If you have then you know exactly what I am talking about. It’s pretty cool. Especially when you stop and think about it afterwards. We study the Bible, we pray, we pray and sometimes we pray some more. Then like a small whisper you hear the answer. Its usually an answer that’s so clear, so distinct and nothing we could come up with on our own. It’s unmistakable. It’s God!! 

THE Holy Spirit speaks to us. In this world of over 6 billion people He speaks to us. If you have not had this happen, don’t give up hope or get frustrated. I am sure there has been many times that He has spoken to me that I did not hear Him. Probably more worse than not hearing Him is reacting badly. There have been times I have heard Him and have almost laughed out loud. I have had conversations back to Him and said, “God, I can’t do that right now.”  or “God, are you sure you are talking to the right person?”

When reading a children’s Bible last night to my two precious girls I started to have an epiphany. Ihaven’t been the best when God answers me. 

We started reading the New Testament in preparation for Easter. Our plan is to read this summarized children’s version leading up to Easter to help prepare our hearts. We planned on only reading one little chapter and of course my angels enjoyed it so much they wanted me to read more. ( I’m sure it had nothing to do with putting off bedtime! ) 

We read about Zacharias and Elizabeth. I know that there are a lot of men in the Bible with similar names so I will help refresh your memory. This was John the Baptist’s father. The angel Gabriel came to him and told him his wife  Elizabeth would have a baby.  Their prayers had been answered. Zacharias and Elizabeth were old at this time. Even though, evidently this was something the couple had prayed for a very long time, Zacharias questioned it. From the outside looking in, and from our point in time we know the end result. But, Zacharias was human. Zacharias made the mistake to question the answer to his prayers. 

The angel was not happy with Zacharias’ response. The prayer was still answered but Zacharias was not able to speak for the entirety of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. The girls and I discussed this. He was mute for around nine months. I bet that he wished he reacted differently. He was not able to speak until after the birth of his son, John. As we now know, John, prepared the way for our Savior.  The angel’s words did come true.  

This really made me think. This really made me feel guilty. Why have there been times that I have prayed and when God answered, I questioned it. Did I not get what I wanted? -I wanted  an answer. I wanted God to speak to me and give me guidance. Then, when He gave it to me, I doubted it?? What was I thinking. 

Now, let’s think about Mary. Within six months of Gabriel’s visit to Zacharius the angel visited Mary. Mary was also given news that was hard to swallow. Mary reacted very differently to the message than her cousin’s spouse. Mary did ask “How” it could be possible, but she did not ask “Could” it be possible. She accepted her calling from God and submitted to what God needed her to do. 

Let’s be more like Mary.

Let’s have faith that when we ask God for an answer- we don’t doubt, we don’t question, or we don’t take it for granted. Instead- we praise Him, we thank Him and we appreciate Him. 

Thank you. I hope that the next time you need guidance, discernment or answers that you are able to BE STILL and hear His answer. 

Have a BLESSED DAY

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