Hey, What is Your Name?

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What is your name…again?  I am so sorry…

I am terrible with names. I often ask people I meet what their name is, but I seldom remember their name…maybe their face or some other random fact (like the clothes they are wearing, where I met them), but not usually their name.

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”  –Dale Carnegie in “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

Recently, in preparation for a presentation at a women’s conference, I found an article about the importance of remembering a person’s name. (Wait…I forgot her name…Found it!). Here is the link, if you would like to read it (Why it’s Important to Remember People’s Names ). Below are Tricia’s suggestions for remembering a person’s name.

Five Steps to Remembering a Name

  1. Focus on the other person. Try to learn a little bit about them. Listen, smile, and give them your full attention.
  2. Ask a question. Maybe a question about their name, then follow up with an open ended question to learn more about them. Listen more, make mental notes about what they are saying and repeat their name to yourself.
  3. Create an image or association of the person with the name. To help you remember their name, link it in your mind to something familar to you. Example: Betty like to bake…Amy is artsy…you get the idea.
  4. End the conversation by using the person’s name again. I am glad to have met you, Betty. I hope to see you again soon.”
  5. Keep a name file. As soon as it is practical, write down the name with a line or two about the person

We feel more valued and respected when someone remembers our name. We feel more engaged in a conversation when someone uses our name….When you use someone’s name, it shows you see that person as an individual. When you remember it, it shows your interest in and respect for that individual.   –Tricia Drevets

So I am convicted…ahem...convinced it is important to remember a person’s name and to remember some specific information about the person to show I value and respect them. Now back to my presentation.  Would not the same be true for God?  Should I (we) not also go to the trouble to remember God’s name, develop a mental image (understanding) of Him, and keep a name file to help us remember His name and some important about Him (His nature and character) as a way to show God that we value and respect Him? Think about it…

Those Who Know His Name

Knowing God name, His great mercy and power, will change how I live. I will boast (make mention, remember) in the name of my Lord God.

Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, 

but we boast in the name of the Lord our God

Those nations will fall down and collapse, 

but we will rise up and stand firm.

Psalm 20:7-8 nlt 

Not only that but when I know God by name I will seek refuge in Him because I trust Him… 

The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, 

a refuge in times of trouble. 

10 Those who know your name trust in you, 

for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.  

Psalm 9:9-10 nlt 

and rely on Him for my protection. I would be be confident that He hears my cries and will rescue me from trouble.

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.

I will protect those who trust in my name.

15 When they call on me, I will answer;

I will be with them in trouble.

I will rescue and honor them.

Psalm 91:14-16 nlt 

My name is…

God introduces Himself through His word. In the next few weeks we will look at five names of God, focusing on what He says about Himself, asking Him questions to help us develop a mental image of God. I will include a file listing God’s Names and some verses where He reveals He character (nature) to us through that name. So stay tune…


Ministry of Listening

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.  – Jesus

Closing the door behind them. Whew!woman-opening-door-400x333-1

Hospitality extended to new neighbors. Check.√

The kids and dog did not tear up the house. Check. √√

They enjoyed our favorite meal. Check.√√√

Listen to and learned about our new neighbors… Wait. I don’t remember much about them…their names are Jack and Jill (well probably not, but sounded something like that), but what else had they said? I don’t know, with serving the food, cleaning up the spills, the TV going in the background and the phones buzzing, it did get kind of crazy.

In the busyness of hosting, I can forget it is not just about a clean house and filling their plates. True hospitality is caring for others. Listening is a key way to show we care. Talking comes so natural, we are encourged to talk from birth (Did you hear her first word?!) Listening is not so natural and is much…much more difficult. So the question is, how can we learn to be good listeners? You can always read a book about listening. I have several, in fact. But we really need to learn from the best listener…Jesus.

Listen Like Jesus

The Feast of the Passover was near. Jesus and his disciples were traveling to Jerusalem. We pick up the story below as they are leaving Jericho, with a large crowd of people following.

And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”

The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.”

Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.    Matthew 20:30-34

Five Keys Actions of a Good Listener

Stop.  When Jesus heard the blind men call to him, He stopped. The journey could wait. I am guilty of thinking, “I can multi-task while I listen.” Listen and load the dishwasher, check my Facebook page, or watch TV…yeah not really. To be a good listener we need to be willing to stop, put our agenda on hold.

Focus.  Jesus called out to the men. Even surrounded by what was sure to have been a noisy crowd, Jesus focused on these two men. Giving His full attention, He showed concern for them and affirmed their value to Him.

Ask. Jesus, who knows everything, asked a question. He gave these men the opportunity to be heard. We too need to ask open-ended questions to show our interest in the person and what they have to say (tell me about…).

Wait.  Jesus knew what they needed, but He didn’t just “fix” them or interrupt saying, “I know best”. He waited, to let them express themselves. Waiting is hard. Waiting shows the person that I value what you have to say and will wait until you are ready to share.

Respond.  Jesus was moved with compassion. He responded in a way that brought healing to these men. We cannot physically heal. Yet, listening helps us to connect with a person at their point of need. We can respond with words of encouragement and grace, that can bring healing to their heart.

The ministry of listening has been committed to us by Him who is Himself the great listener. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the  word of God.                                                             Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together

Welcome as Christ has Welcomed Us

In Welcome Starts in the Heart  we looked at what Paul said about how we are to welcome another…with strong, surrendered, servant and scripture-filled hearts. In this post we will look at how Christ has welcomed us.Abstract defocussed cross silhouette in church interior against


Remember the question in the previous post about the OBLIGATION we have to bear the failings of the weak? And how I promised to deal with it later? Now is later…

Good, because I want to know about this OBLIGATION you say I have…

Christ is strong in faith…He healed with the power of the Lord (Luke 5:17), He had authority over unclean spirits (Luke 4:36), and He upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). Compared to His faith, we are weak. How does He bear our failings?

For while we were still weak, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6

Apart from Christ bearing our failings and His welcoming action toward us…we have no hope and are without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12). He is our High Priest and can sympathize with our weaknesses, because He was tempted as we are yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Because Christ bears our failings we have an “obligation” to bear the failings of the weak in our lives, not out of a legalistic requirement but out of gratitude of God’s grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7).

Ok, I get it. Because Christ bears my failings…I “owe” Him a debt to treat others as I have been treated.


For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” Romans 15:3

Christ surrendered Himself. First to God, by taking on the reproaches of those who reproach God and always doing the things that were pleasing to Him (John 8:29). Even though that meant humbling Himself to the point of death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). Also, for our sake He became poor, that by His poverty we might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).

So…not pleasing myself means that I should be kind and encouraging when I want to point out another’s faults. Not pleasing myself is to put up with the inconveniences that come in a relationship with someone weak in the fatih. Whereas, when Christ took actions that were not pleasing, He sumitted to the pain and shame of dying on the cross… Wow!


For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.  Romans 15:8-9

Christ became a servant to both, the Jews and to the Gentiles. He acted for our good, that we would be built up in our faith. Earlier in Romans, we find that out of a servant’s heart Christ brought us justification by His blood, provided a way that we could be saved from the wrath of God, and reconciled to God through His death (Romans 5:8-10) when we receive Him by faith.

 Christ welcoming is so much more than I thought. It isn’t about Him being good or nice but that He serves us, in  life changing ways, as we live out our lives of faith.


A heart full of God’s word gives the power to welcome. We know Christ as the Word,  that was in the  beginning, that was with God, that was God (John 1:1). Yet Christ spoke just as the Father taught Him (John  8:29).


May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6

Only when we welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us can we live in harmony with one another. With united hearts, we come together with one voice glorify God. In fact, Jesus prayed that we would be one as He was one with the Father. Not just one, but perfectly one so that the world may know that God loves us even as He loved Jesus (John 17:20-23).


We do not deserve Christ’s welcome. We are weak…ungodly…sinners…and enemies of God (Romans 5:6, 8-10). He bore our weaknesses on the cross…he acted for our good…to build us up spiritually. Our welcoming as Christ has welcomed us is key to living out our life of faith.

This challenges me. I have always thought that being welcoming and showing hospitality is optional, only for the gifted. Now, I see it is key to obeying the commands to love my neighbor as myself and to love the Lord God with all my heart, mind and soul. If I am not willing to be welcoming, then I am not being loving.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

God’s Blueprint for Relationships: Love

This post is the second in the series on God’s Blueprint for Relationships. If you have not you may wan to read the first post:  Blueprint for a Perfect Relationship.

heart-1-300x225Love is the foundation for many…if not most of our relationships. Is love an emotion that changes as often as the weather? Or is love an intentional decision of the will that leads to action? God commands us to love, but how is this love to be seen in our daily lives?

John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another.

Jesus commanded to His disciples to love one another as He had loved them (John 15:12). So the question is how did Christ love His disciples? He loved them by being an example:  doing the work of God (John 4:36, 6: 26-29, 17:13); serving others (John 13:12-17); obeying God’s commands (John 14:31); laying down His life for them (John 10:15, 15).

In fact, Jesus said there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends (John 15:13). Paul said Christ loved us by giving Himself up for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2) that we might receive forgiveness of our sins (Colossians 1:14). Because God loves us, He gave His only Son, so that when we believe in Him we will not perish (lose our lives for eternity) but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Out of love Christ gave up His life that we may have eternal life through Him.

How are we to love as Christ loved? 

1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

John instructs us not to love in word or tongue but to love in deed and truth. To love only in word or tongue is to love with careless or selfish words and fail to show any evidence of real love. To love in deed is to love with action…sharing and giving of ourselves to meet the need of others, whether it is the need for salvation or a meal.  To love in truth is to love with sincerity, speaking truth in love so that our heart does not condemn us before God (1 John 3:19-20).

Love in deed by sharing what we have…love in truth by acting out of a sincere heart.

Why is loving other so important?

John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Our loving one another gives evidence of our salvation…that we have come to faith and have eternal life. Our refusal to love shows that we remain spiritually dead and are living according to our natural sinful nature.

Our love or lack of it gives evidence of the spirtual condition of our hearts!