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In the show and movies “Mission: Impossible,” a group of people are given an important task to carry out. Despite all odds, they successfully complete this job, showing that their work was really not impossible. Perhaps a question mark should have been placed at the end of the title. But that would have given away the happy ending.
Recently my church held a “Mission Sunday,” when the pastor preached about our missions as Christians, and a member shared about the different missions of our church. For example, our church sends missionaries to other countries and provides aid for people suffering from disasters. Among other activities, our local church provides a homeless shelter and a program for prisoners. The pastor emphasized that our underlying mission, though, is to spread the love of God and His plan for salvation.
We just need to pick up the paper, go on the internet or watch television news to realize that our world is in big trouble. Our country is more divided than ever, as people take political sides, fighting over issues with our president and his policies. And people are even more likely to pick up guns to try to solve problems.
Fuss, fuss, fuss, complain, complain, complain. What are we to do to about it?
The Bible emphasizes over and over how God loves us and wants the best for us. And how we as Christians show our colors by the love we share. But we don’t even want to listen to the other viewpoints, instead calling each other names and questioning each other’s sanity. Even on Fox News, the battle is raging over the truth.
I admit that I hold strong views about what’s happening in our country and wonder why some people can’t see things my way. But I try to go about with a smile on my face and prayers for our leaders.
A loving world can begin with each one of us as we ask God to keep us patient and civil. This mission is not impossible — and God will win in the end!
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” William Shakespeare wrote. That’s true, but I doubt a rose variety called “skunk” would be very popular.
Have you ever wished you could change your name? Maybe to something more common or even less common? Maybe to something other people wouldn’t laugh about? Parents can do a disservice by the names they give their children. I even heard of a child named “Pop Gunn.” A new dentist changed his name because he thought people wouldn’t want their teeth worked on by an “Adam Herter.”
Names were considered important in Biblical days. In fact, God was known to change what people were called. For example, as told in the book of Genesis, God changed “Abram” to “Abraham” (17:5), Sarai to Sarah (17:15), and Jacob to Israel (32:28), basing their new names on something about them.
Naming people for their characteristics has been popular even more recently. For instance, many English last names come from the jobs that people did — such as “Smith” for someone who did a job such as blacksmith or silversmith. There were lots of different kinds of smiths, hence this last name is one of the most common last names in our country. And how about “Taylor” for “Tailor”— and Baker?
Many people’s last names were changed when they entered the United States at Ellis Island. And some people changed their own last names to make them more Americanized. For example, Donald Trump’s family name used to be the German “Drumpf.” But German immigrants were not popular, and the German connection was intentionally downplayed.
The most important issue about our names is whether they are listed in the Lamb’s book of life, as written about in the book of Revelation. Similarly, what people think of our character is important as well. As Proverbs 22:1-2 says, “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” So, what’s in our name?
Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife. Her devotional column could not be printed last week due to space limitations, so last week’s installment appears here beneath this week’s column.