When preparing for our first born we spent a lot of time thinking about names. If you have named a child, most likely have you’ve wrestled with the same thing.

Family traditions/namesakes.

Cultural and Ethnic significance.

Religious names, folks that have been strong in religious history.

Unique, uncommon names that will stand out.

Popular, trendy names.

Nickname potential (or lack thereof).

Names that match that of siblings.

So many different things to consider when choosing a baby’s name. Ultimately, the reasons for choosing a baby name can be highly personal and can involve a combination of factors that are meaningful and significant to the family.

We wanted our firstborn to have a “strong” name. One that would not be “bullyable” and something he wouldn’t cringe at when he was older.

We debated between Andrew, Philip, and Steven.

We chose Andrew. Then, the middle name. There were some expectations from some in-laws that we carry on some type of “family” name, so we debated the name Steven. It was my spouse’s middle name, a derivative of my mother-in-law’s maiden name, that would appease everyone.

Yet, as we put it on paper, Andrew Steven Smith, we realized his initials would be bullyable.


His initials would spell “ass.”

We kept brainstorming, ultimately naming him Andrew Paul.

Names are important.

Check out the name “Elijah.”

El translated is Elohim – meaning God

I – translated is the same as in English, I/My.

Jah – translated to the name the Israelite people used for God, Yahweh

Except in the translation, there were no vowels, so when said, “YHWH,” it sounded like breath.

So, the name “Elijah” means “God is my breath.”

He carried that name with him, and ultimately, when he was at his lowest, God showed God’s self to Elijah through his very name.

God didn’t show up through the big things – earthquake, the hurricane winds, or the fire . . .

God showed up in a whisper.

What whispers do you hear from God that you miss because you are too busy looking and listening for the “big things.”

I Kings 19:11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand at the mountain before the Lord. The Lord is passing by.” A very strong wind tore through the mountains and broke apart the stones before the Lord. But the Lord wasn’t in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake. But the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake, there was a fire. But the Lord wasn’t in the fire. After the fire, there was a sound. Thin. Quiet. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his coat. He went out and stood at the cave’s entrance. A voice came to him and said, “Why are you here, Elijah?”

That same voice whispering to Elijah, “Why are you here?” is the same voice whispering to us. May we have the presence of mind and heart to hear.

Grace and Peace,


Please note this week as we talk about anxiety, stress, and worry . . .

There are different degrees of anxiety that require different treatments/coping mechanisms.

Some anxieties we can breathe through. With behavior modification, we can learn to manage those anxieties. However, there are degrees of anxiety that are crippling. They are real.

For far too long, we have disregarded anxiety as a real disease (like High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, etc). Anxiety is a true disorder caused by chemical imbalances. Regardless of how much we pray or how close we are to God, we sometimes need professional help.

Whether it is medication from a physician or counseling from a licensed therapist, treatments are necessary to be respected and accepted.