Sunday, October 2, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - What's In A Name?


Interesting things.

Some people hate theirs – some people love theirs.

I was given the name Sharon when I was born. But when I hit elementary school, I thought Sharon sounded too "formal." So I changed it to Shari. Everyone knew me by Shari, except my family – they still called me Sharon.

Then, when I graduated from college, I kinda swung back the other way. Now I thought Shari sounded too "frivolous" – so I changed it back to Sharon. I've been known by the name Sharon for about 33 years now. But my husband, who knew me in elementary school, still calls me Shari! (Cute, huh?!)

My brother's kids called me Aunt Sharon – and I've always thought it sounded like an old-maid spinster. I'm not sure I like it so much. So when my sister's son was born several years later, I told her to let him come up with his own name. That's how I came to be called "Uncle Sharon" by her kids!

Now, we have our names, and then we have nicknames.

Nicknames are a mixed bag.

Sometimes they're a good thing – sometimes they're a bad thing – sometimes they're both.

For instance, "Honest Abe" is a good nickname if you're Abraham Lincoln, and you're kinda known for your integrity and trustworthiness. "Honest Joe," who lies about everyone and everything – maybe not such a good nickname.

Good nicknames might include calling a guy who's 6' 6" tall, and weighs 270 pounds"Tiny." Or calling a guy with red hair well, yeah, "Red" I was thinking "Rusty."

But nicknames can be cruel, too. They can be used in taunting and damaging ways.

I was called "Lightweight" and "Spoke" when I was growing up because I was so skinny (healthy skinny, by the way – thin just ran in my family). At the time, the name hurt…a lot. Now it might not be so bad.

I was also called "Flower Hitter" because of my singularly unskilled skills in softball.

My worst nickname was "Railroad Mouth" – given when I was a dorky 10th grader with curly hair (a sin in the early 70's) and a mouth full of silver, metal braces. NOT a good memory…

Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words will never hurt me.

Who came up with that???

Words are the things that do the MOST damage, because they wound deep inside where the bruises and bleeding and scars don't show.

What about the names that life has given you?

Do you have some?








Oh yes, life deals out its names like branding irons that sear their way into our very character. We become those names – we are victims of the reputations they bring to us.

We end up damaged and wounded – hurt and hopeless.

Must we stay like this?

Of course not!

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" is a very interesting passage of Scripture:

"To everyone who is victorious…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." (Revelation 2:17)

I'm not sure exactly what this verse means – but it thrills me!

It's unclear what the white stones are, or what the name on each will be. But they are significantfor they will each bear the new name of every person who truly believes in Jesus Christ.

They will be the evidence that a person has been accepted by God and declared worthy to receive eternal life.

Oh, what a wonder!

I picture this moment –

Jesus calls me to approach Him. I come and stand before Him. I kneel. He lifts my chin up so He can look me in the eye. He reaches for my hand, and places a cool, smooth, pure-white stone in it.

I see His scars as He closes my fingers around the stone. He holds my closed hand with both of His and He says,

"This is your new name. It is a name that only you and I will ever know. It is your true character. It is who I created you to be. Open your hands and behold!"

And there, on that stone, will be…well, ME.

Can you picture opening your hand to your new name?

It will be glorious!

But what about now?

You know, Jesus wants to change some of those wrong names in this life, too.

So, will you let the Lord's love reach into your heart today and change the names you've lived with for so long?



Never Forsaken.

Person of Truth.



Deeply Loved.

There are many more good names an endless list to replace the old. Jesus provided them all – just for you. He is the One who can give you a new name and a new heart.

And He's the One who died and rose again – and He waits in Heaven for you. Rumor has it that He's got a bazillion white stones just waiting for His faithful, redeemed ones.

Um, that would be you and me!

What new name do you need Jesus to give you today?

And how do you feel about that "Forever Name" waiting for you in eternity?!

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. I was either going to be a Betty Jean or a Donna Jean; my parents liked both of those names. Of course the majority of my life people wondered if Betty was short for Elizabeth, LOL :)

    I too have wondered about that scripture from Revelation, Sharon, but I like how you described it with Jesus giving it to you.

    A few months ago the pastor talked about how God does give us a new name when we come to him and accept Jesus and a lot of times we grow into the name, citing Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul; both of them grew into their names. And he showed a clip from an Australian church that had people with signs; one side of the sign had their name before Jesus (like meth user, alcoholic, bitter, angry, etc) and the other side had their new name (sober, forgiving, compassionate, etc). It was very touching.

    It is so reassuring that God sees us for what he knows we will become as we trust in him and seek him and follow him, even before we believe it is possible for us to be changed by him :)


  2. Well the kids at school I don't remember calling me names - although my dad had plenty of names that stuck in my heart. I then grew up calling myself and believing those names. I worked long and hard to overcome them - most days I have - but we all slip back once in awhile.

    Now I know GOd loves me for who I am.


  3. I loved this post Sharon. my name Nikki means victorious. I found out after I became a believer...after He freed me from so many things that almost killed me. And the meanings in His name - so many neat things.

  4. Commenting back on the comment from my post...first of all yes you are talented and that should have been verse two.

    That was my school fight the game won was my son's school and we don't know his fight song yet, but it can't be as bad as mine. My school dates back to 1881, from the research I can find the fight song goes as far back as the 40's if not before...and even as resent as 1998 it was still being used...and yes it is printed inside our year book. This is also the high school that Barbara and Jeanna Bush graduated from (yes President George W Bush's twin daughters)

    It really stunned me since I haven't even thought about it since graduating 32 years about insane.

    My heart is for the youth...but it also reminded me that sin has always been around and that God was faithful to me back then when I was singing that song, and He will be faithful today.

    My name means "Grace" and God has been walking me down a path of understanding His grace and how I am to give grace.

  5. Sharon,
    Hi! I "came to" after 4 months of busyness, and one of my first thoughts was, "Sharon! I haven't talked to Sharon long???!"

    How are you?

    It's been crazy, and now I'm wishfully hoping it will slow down a little, and I (she says slightly embarrassed) am trying to reconnect with those I've been so neglectful of. (you)

    This post on names was from the heart, and you know your subject. Yes, we could probably all tell you stories. I rejoice with you over the new name written down in heaven, and the white stone. Heaven will be heavenly. I long to see my Savior most of all. He knows my name and my heart. I know Him and His voice. I hear and recognize when He calls my name. It is precious, and I follow.
    (Let me know how you're doing.)

  6. Blessings Sharon, I was not sure where to start catching up... and decided right in the middle with SOS might work... when I realize that I should be pickin' up over at Bible Pick'ems... so I'm off again... now that I get "what's in a name?" (one of my first posts had this title, but not at all similar) I don't think. I'll be back here for the others after I visit BPEms!!!


  7. What a wonderful pick 'ems!!! My friend Donna and I have lingered over that verse together. She loves Bible study as much as I, and we both wish we understood it more from a "learner" standpoint but kind of love the MYSTERY of it even more because we don't.

    Funny... if I had been a twin (and apparently I was such a big belly maker that the doctor thought the Duchess was having yet another set of them) I was going to be named Donna, as in the other half of Donald.

    Alas, I was just a single so I'm Deborah. Deb-or-ah to my mother unless I'm getting the two syllable scolding, Deb-rah if I am. Deb or Deborah or Pean to the husband, and just plain Debbie to the rest of the world.

    I can't wait to see what name Jesus has for me.

  8. I'm with you Sharon, not sure exactly what that means but I know if it's from God it'll be a good name. Life tries to label us with lots of names.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)