Pop Pop Epistle #84 – About Names

Pop Pop Epistles (Main)

Dear Grandkids,

I actually have 4 names that I am called. You know me primarily by one of those names. My other 3 names, besides Pop Pop, are Shay, Dad, and Rabbi. Most people outside of our family call me Shay. This was the name that my parents gave me when I was born.

The backstory to the name is this as I understand it. My Dad’s name was Charles. They named me Charles after him. (It is my legal first name). But they did not want to call me Charles. My Mom loved the French language so she took the first part of Charles and pronounced it in a French way… Chay – which supposedly comes out Shay. But my grandmother looked at Chay and pronounced it in English like it looks (with the CH sound) so they changed the C to an S. Thats my story and I’m sticking to it.

Your parents all called me Dad. In the fullness of time when I needed a granddad name I decided to go with the name that my grandfather (on my Dad’s side) used – which is why you call me Pop Pop.

It is pretty much around our church that I am known as Rabbi. This is because of my Jewish lineage which I am very proud of. I like the moniker because it keeps me connected to my ancestral roots and distinguishes me from the other pastors on our staff.

Did you know that God also has many different names in Scripture? You are probably most familiar with Father, or Lord, or Jesus. But He is called other names depending on specific roles that He played in people’s lives.

Here are 4 that I really like…

He is called El Shaddai by Abraham in Genesis 17. The name means God Almighty or God the Mighty One. It signifies His strength and power which Abraham experienced when he became a father  and Sarah became a mother in their very old age. When I need God to work in a powerful way I often address Him as El Shaddai.

He is called Jehovah Jireh in Genesis 22 when Abraham was preparing to sacrifice his son Isaac and God instead provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice. The name means God our Provider. I will address Him as Jehovah Jireh when I am asking God to provide in some way for my needs or the needs of others.

He is called Jehovah Shalom by Gideon in Judges 6 meaning the The Lord is our Peace. Gideon needed the peace of God when the Lord called him to do something he was crazy scared to do. I will often address the Lord as Jehovah Shalom when I an feeling anxious and am in need of His “peace which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Isaiah 7:14 prophesies that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel“. Matthew 1:22-23 sees the birth of Jesus as fulfillment of this prophesy. Immanuel means God with us. The name Immanuel is a great reminder that no matter what we have to deal with in this world, God will always be with us.

Now that you know a little more about my names and about some of God’s names you might want to ask your folks about your names – and how you happened to get named the name that you did.

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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