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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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WHAT IS IN A NAME

I guess one of the greatest possessions a person has is their name. People like for their name to be spelled right and pronounced right (I know I do). Many years ago Shakespeare would ask the question, "What's in a name?" That seems to be a fair question. As it turns out, there can be a lot in a name when it is matched with a person's occupation. Several years ago the Farmers' Almanac contained a list of some legitimate names which had been collected from phone books, professional associations, and other reliable sources.

Hiram R. Bird is a poultry scientist. James Bugg is an exterminator. Joe Bunt, a baseball coach; Walter Candy, a confectioner, J.A. Posthumus, a funeral director; and Soon B. Park, a cab driver, are some of the entries. In addition, Sam Nickum was a barber and Paul Sinn was a preacher.

Then there are the doctors: Barry Filler, dentist; Akin Frame; chiropractor; and O.O. Oops, surgeon.

Furthermore, the partnerships will give you a chuckle: O'Neill and Pray sell church equipment; Will Crumble and Sons are a plastering firm; and Goforth and Ketchum are police officers.

There is quite a bit of substance in a name, and the same thing is true of spiritual names. The church of the New Testament can be recognized by its name. Jesus called it "my church" (Matt. 16:18); it's referred to as the "church of God" (acts 20:28); "churches of Christ" (Rom. 16:16); and the "church of the firstborn" (Heb. 12:23). No party name or denominational title will do to identify the church of the Bible.

On the other hand, there are people who have taken the name "Christian" and abused it every way possible. They don't want to assemble for worship; they aren't interested in serving others, and their lives remain unchanged. I wonder what Jesus would call us if we were named according to our work?

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward