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  1. What's in a name?

    Monday, 17 May 2010

    I read in a book once that a rose by any other name
    would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it.
    I don't believe a rose would be as nice
    if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.
    ~Anne Shirley {L.M Montgomery}
    (Anne of Green Gables)

    I haven't always been particular about what names meant. In all honestly "we" named our first three children because we liked the names. We kinda looked at the meaning, but it wasn't the driving force.

    If your wondering why I have the word we in quotations, it's because I don't believe we named our children at all. The bible clearly states that the Lord knew us before we were born and called us.

    I'm taking an educated guess and suggesting it was more than an "Oi! You! Wotchername!"
    Names in the bible were a very important thing. It's why they were always changing their names. They realised that what their name meant, it was who they were, or, at least, who they felt themselves to be.

    Think when Ben Oni became Benjamin and Naomi became Mara for example.

    Rachel gave birth on the road, as she and Jacob and their tribe were moving on to Bethel. Rachel, we know, had a long history of infertility and miscarriage. Her sister, Lea, had borne Jacob six sons and one recognised daughter from her own womb, and two through her maid-servant. Rachel herself had only one son, Joseph. Then, through complications in Benjamin's birth, she died. She must have realised it, however, because with her dying breath, she named this son Ben Oni, which means Son of my Sorrow. How sad she must have been... not only that she had only managed two biological sons (she also had two sons through her maid-servant), but now she wasn't going to be there to watch them grow up. Thankfully, Jacob didn't want his son yolked with such a thing, and renamed him Benjamin, which means Son of My Right Hand. He did, infact, grow up to be a very beloved son.

    Naomi had lost everything. Her husband. Her sons. And with them, her security. So, she took off back to where she and her husband had left because of a famine. When she got there, the people were all like, "Oh my, is that Naomi?" And, seeing as though Naomi means pleasant, she told them to no longer call her that, but instead, to call her Mara, because "the Lord has made my life bitter." I don't think she meant it very seriously though, because she's still reffered to as Naomi throughout.

    The Lord also changed peoples names, as they moved from the old into the new.

    Abram became Abraham. From son to father.

    Jacob became Israel. From supplanter to God's warrior.

    Simon became Peter. From listening to Rock.

    Saul became Paul. From borrowed to humble.

    I strongly believe now, that what the names of your children are, they become. Think about it. Daily, you are saying their name. The bible tells us that out of the mouth comes life, death, blessing and cursing. The name we give our children is the single most spoken word over their life. And as their parents, our words carry a tremendous amount of weight. I remember overhearing a mother call to her daughter... Rebel. I've often wondered what she turned out like.
    I'm so glad that God loves my children more than me. While Adam and I weren't thinking about what we would be speaking over our children for the rest of their lives, He was. And the names he gave them make me wonder what, exactly, He has planned for them.

    My eldest son is Troy Alexander. Which, if you put the definitions of both his names together, his name means foot soldier defending men. I believe that Troy will be on the ground, in the midst of kingdom battle, saving souls and discipling.

    I had twins next, but Drew William is older by a very. vital. seven. minutes, so I always mention him first. The Lord called him man warrior with will, desire and helmet, protection. It's a biggie! I think Drew, when he really comes to Christ, it will be with all his heart. I've still to wrap my head around all the things that the Father sees in him.

    Bethany Alana is my first daughter, and we had such trouble thinking of a name. And when we finally realised that we had no idea what we finally settled on meant, we went looking. There are many things about her first name that were obvious, and we did know... It was in Bethany where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, and it was from Bethany He ascended into heaven. That alone was sufficient, but we wanted to know what we were speaking into her life. When we read that her name meant House of figs, we were baffled. Especially after the soldier and warrior we had. A little extra research showed us that, in the bible, the fig tree was the first tree mentioned by name after the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Figs are mentioned 266 times and are in all but 24 books of the bible, from Genesis, where Adam and Eve used fig leaves to create their first garments to Revelation, where they are used in an end-times prophesy. Figs were used as a sign of peace and prosperity, and were used for medicinal purposes, to cure infection. They were an essential source of food, as they dried and kept well for long periods. We are still trying to piece together what this actually means for Bethany herself. Her middle name is easier... Alana means rock. Is this house of figs built on a firm foundation? Is she a steadfast believer? We shall see.

    A couple of years after the twins were born, Adam and I separated for 5 months. Thanks to the Lord and a whole other story I may get into at a later time, we reconciled and we rededicated ourselves to God. When we fell pregnant, the names of our children became a little more important to us.

    Amy Ruth is the most delightful thing the Lord blessed us with. She really was the icing on the cake of our reconciliation. She has been a constant source of joy. Her name means Beloved Friend. And she is. In actual fact, Troy named Amy. When we told him we were having a baby, he immediately announced "It's a girl, and her name is Amy." We were unable to move him from this. And, to him, she truly is beloved. They have a beautiful relationshp.

    When I only had Troy and the twins, I remember distinctly hearing from God. I was driving down a main road here, and I heard so clearly "You will have a son. His name is Eli Benjamin."

    ooooh kay...

    We weren't planning on having any more. I mentioned it to Adam, and we stashed it away.

    When we fell pregnant with Amy, we were convinced this was the boy the Lord had spoken of. No sonogropher could get a clear picture, either, so the entire pregnancy we had no idea what we were having, but we were pretty sure we knew.

    Obviously, we didn't, but that's neither here nor there.

    Just 6 short months after Amy graced us with her presence, the Lord gave us Eli. Nine months later, when we held him, we looked into the face of this little, tiny baby, and could only imagine how God was going to use this "highest son of my right hand". From our study, we are aware of a little detail... pretty well every child God has "announced", so to speak, before their birth, went on to do some pretty amazing things.

    And lastly, as I mentioned yesterday, there is Cora Isabella. Girl dedicated to God. I cannot tell you how much I love her name. I am so glad I'll be speaking this over her life.

    It's not a magic trick. It's not positive thinking. It's certainly not a "secret".

    It's truth, and I'm taking it seriously.

    The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat it's fruit
    ~Proverbs 18:21~
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    Thanks for chiming in :)

    I really promote conversation here, and I only ask that you be considerate of others feelings, and remember that tone doesn't always translate well over type. An emoticon can work wonders! ;)