Top 3 Secrets to Winning the Name Game

Ever see the Antiques Road Show?  You know where people bring in stuff from their attic?

The chair they bought at a garage sale, or an ugly picture they’ve never liked that’s been handed down in their family and they ask the experts how much the item is really worth.  People are usually surprised when items are worth much more than they think.

I’m going to let you in on a secret.  In church world, we may not have antique art, but there’s a valuable skill that’s worth a fortune in spiritual collateral that few people talk about.

The real way to be a superstar in church world isn’t jewels in your crown from selfless serving, or stars on your Awana scripture memory chart, or how many people you’ve “prayed the prayer” with.

What’s most valuable in church world?

Names.

Unknown

More specifically, name recall.  It’s Olympic gold.  It’s Sampson’s hair.  It’s Kryptonite in the hands of Lex Luther only used for good.

Here’s how it goes…

Continue reading

Canceling Church, part 2

Merry day after Christmas!  I hope you had a lovely day, fully present to Jesus and loved ones around you.  

Friday I posted on different attitudes towards canceling church on Christmas day, including my own whine well reasoned argument against John signing our family up to lead in worship.  Well the troops rallied and it was a delightful day.  Since I’m following the advice of my blog “mentor”, Jon Acuff and taking a little break this week, I thought I’d just post what I shared in church yesterday. 

Twenty-six years ago this past week John and I were waiting for a baby to arrive.  It was Advent so we were waiting to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  But we were also expecting our first baby.

I was 8 months pregnant and like all expectant parents we were discussing names.   We couldn’t agree, but it wasn’t for lack of resources.

We had a baby book with the meanings of names.

And even a Christian version with Bible verses for each name’s meaning.

And then we had, you know… the whole BIBLE, with all those holy names to choose from.  But…we had…issues.

I had been an elementary school teacher which meant we had to nix any names that had belonged to problem kids I had had in class.  I used to love the name Jeremy until I had a third grade “Jeremy” who was worse than Dennis the Menace and Osama bin Laden.  So Jeremy was out.  And so was Alex.  And Michael.

Then we had trouble agreeing on the type of name.  I like unusual names, and would have no problem naming a child Zechariah (my cousin has kids named Cosmo and Zappa so he’d feel right at home).  But John likes the classics (and the name “John” in particular), so there was no way we could agree on a boy’s name that was acceptable.  It’s a good thing we had a girl.

When Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph didn’t have to have the “What shall we name him” conversation fraught with the potential disagreements.  I know there are a lot of downsides, to being the parents of the Messiah, but this is a perk.  They had an ANGEL show up and say, “Here’s the deal.  You’re gonna have a baby and I want you to name Him Jesus.  Got that?  Jesus.   Not Joe.”  

Continue reading