Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, February 7, 2015


     It was a quiet evening and Bil Peterson sat alone in a corner booth at Papa Purple's Pizzeria staring at a glass of water. “Are you just going to stare at that glass of water all night or are you going to order something?” Bill heard someone say to him. “You've been sitting here for over an hour.” Looking up, Bill saw it was Papa Purple himself. “It's quiet in here.” he said.

     “Say,” Papa Purple said, “Aren't you Harold's dad? Boy, can that kid eat pizza. Wait a minute, I thought you were in jail? Did you escape?” “No.” Bill said looking back down at his glass of water. “Does that mean your wife found enough money for your bail?” “Actually,” Bill said, “Martha talked to the judge and the judge said I really didn’t need any bail and let me go.”

     “So, how's Harold and Stella doing?” Papa Purple asked, “I think they were why you ended up in jail to start with, wasn't it? “They're doing fine.” Bill responded staring at his glass. “Doc said they could come home, and they have even been acting themselves again.” “Hmpf.” Papa purple said, “You are out of jail, your kids are finally well, and you don’t seem happy. Is there something wrong?”

      “Do you know anybody who can help us change our name and move to another planet?” Bill asked. “What are you talking about?” Papa Purple exclaimed, “Why would you want to do that?” “Because of Stella’s escape,” Bill said, “Over half the town now has the dreaded Peterson disease. That's right, the Peterson disease. They named it after us. I’ll never be able to face anybody again.”

     “It can't be that bad, can it?” Papa Purple asked. “It's worse than that.” Bill started to explain. “Because of the spread of the disease, the whole town has been quarantined, and with nobody able to work the whole town will be ruined, and it’s all going to be blamed on the Peterson’s, and... and... and... If I don’t change my name soon, they’re going to cover me with tar and feathers. The Peterson name has been ruined.”

     “Are you sure of that?” Papa Purple asked. “Positive.” Bill said. “Well, why don't you wait and see.” Papa purple said trying to encourage Bill. “Maybe something good will come out of all this.” “You really think so?” Bill asked. “Of course.” Papa Purple said, “Remember when Harold got shot and how it stopped the rebellion? You never know what God can do with an awful situation.”

     “I suppose you’re right.” Bill said as he picked up his water glass and finally drank it. “I... I.... I better get back to valley forge and round up the troops.” “What did you say?” Papa Purple asked wondering if he had heard right. “I need to get back to valley forge and round up the troops.” Bill said. “The Revolutionary war is going on right now.” and then he got up and left. “Oh, no.” Papa Purple said, “Now Bill has the disease. I need to warn someone.”

     This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. Genesis 11:27 (NIV)

     I once heard of a man who wanted to be rich and famous so he changed his name to “Rich And Famous” Abram was born and he received his name from someone, likely his father. While Abram is a very important man, we know him better by a different name for his name was also changed, changed by God.

     When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly." Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, "Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God." And God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. … And God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her." Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, "Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" And Abraham said to God, "Oh that Ishmael might live before you!" God said, "No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. ...
Genesis 17:1-27 (ESV)

     Could you imagine being in Abram's place? Can you imagine being 99 years old and having your name changed? Names are important. They were then and they are now or at least they should be.

     In John chapter 3 John mentions two people by name, one with a good name and the other not so good.
  • Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true. - 3 John 1:12 (ESV)
  • I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. - 3 John 1:9 (ESV)
     Here's what Solomon had to say about a good name.
  • Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. (ESV)
  • Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. (ESV)
     Think about the people around you and what kind of name they have. When you here their name do you think “That's a great person.” or “That person's worthless.”? An what do other think of when they hear your name?

     Here's Something To Ponder
  • What kind of name do you have?
  • What are you willing to do to have a good name?

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