I love names! They fascinate me. I wonder who first made up each name, how it evolved from one language to another—why doesn’t it stay the same no matter the language—and why each mom and dad chose the names they gave their newborns. In the Bible names had meanings. They still do. Books have been published that tell the meaning of every name from A to Z. When I was a kid, I made lists of names that I liked. Most of them have changed over the years. I keep a “Name Bank” on my computer to aid me in my writing.
Maps and telephone books (okay, I’m dating myself!!) are a treasure trove of odd place and people names. Did you know that Norway and Denmark are in Oregon? And California is in Maryland? Oregon boasts town names of both Brothers and Sisters, Kellogg, Post, and Welches; Oatmeal and Cut and Shoot are in Texas, as well as Blessing and Comfort; Brooklyn is in Washington. But do you know where El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de los Angeles de Porciuneula is? You’ll find it in Southern California under its common designation of simply L.A.
Years ago, I knew a minister whose last name was Dull. Can't you just hear some woman encouraging her husband to attend church with her—“Come on, Honey. Pastor Dull is preaching this morning.”
“Pastor Dull, huh? Nah, that’s ok. I’ll just stay home and watch Face the Nation reruns.”
Anyway, it came time for Pastor Dull to be transferred to another pastorate. The Boring church (yes, there really is a town in Oregon named Boring!) needed a pastor, but the conference officials of Pastor Dull’s denomination decided that it was a little much to send Pastor Dull to the Boring church. So, he went someplace else. True story!
This same Pastor Dull was at a small regional campmeeting in southern Oregon. The man doing the opening preliminaries at one meeting was introducing the ministers on the platform. “On one end,” he said, “We have Pastor Dull. On the other end is Pastor Sharp.” He paused for effect, then said, “But I want you to know that there’s Pastor Miles in between them!”
Have you ever wondered if people think of how the first name they choose to pin on that newborn will sound with their last name? Obviously, the parents of Ben Dover didn’t! Neither did Rana Shore’s folks. Some women just have to take what they get when they marry. As did Candy Treat, Candy Christmas, and Joan Bone. I could go on and on, but I’ll leave the rest as fodder for another blog.
There is one Dad, however, who is choosing the perfect name for all His kids. We won’t know it until we get to heaven. Revelation 2:17 says, “And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.” I like to think of it as His pet name for me. I’m anxious to know what it is. Aren’t you?