What’s in a Name?

Over the weekend I was thinking maybe I should start a business that creates original names for new churches. What brought this to mind you might ask – or not. But even though the question may not have entered your mind, here’s the answer. I saw a reference to a new church “plant” last week that was called, “Overflow Church.” This clued me in to the fact that the apparent important consideration in naming a church is that it be different.  Maybe this is good since finding a church named “Harvest,” “Cornerstone,” or “New Life” would involve driving only a few miles from one’s home.

My first choice for the name of a new church plant would be “Church of We Dare You to Discover What We Believe.” But that’s a little long to get on a sign, so I looked to past experience for an idea.

While stressing over what to name my novel, I discovered a random title generator on the internet. There should be a warning on the site that tells people it is addictive. I know from experience that it can become a mesmerizing pastime. This random generator gave me names such as “Secret of Waves” and “The Valley of the Window.” But with all of the time I spent asking for titles, and as different as the titles were, I kept the name for my novel that I dreamed up on my own.

I’m quite sure I can create a better random name generator than did the book title people. I will use my version for naming churches.  This will simply involve entering words from my concordance as well as current catch phrases and words. With my very first effort (random pointing with eyes closed) I came up with “Superior Fortress Church” and “Double-Edged Fellowship.” I might suggest the former for a suburban wanna-be mega church that dares non-suburban types to attempt to become a part of the club. The latter would probably be fitting for the congregation that has yet to craft a statement of beliefs.

Okay, back to the drawing board!  My after-the-fact internet search found a “Mighty Fortress Church” and a "Double-Edged Sword Church.” It really is hard to come up with an original name for a new church! Maybe we should just follow the example of banks and use such names as First Third Baptist or Twelfth Fourth First Methodist. Just a suggestion!

...that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)


The Mood

I often cause problems for myself when I become project oriented. This happens when “the mood” strikes and I decide that something needs to be done “right.” Recently, the mood almost caused me to miss out on going to my favorite morning coffee place with friends.

I was ready for the day when I looked closely at the brush and comb I had just used and determined it might be good to clean them. So, after being sure there were no strands of hair on either, I ran warm water in the bathroom sink, swished a generous amount of shampoo into the water, and threw my comb and brush into the mixture.

It was then that the mood whispered to my brain – obviously not to the left and logical thinking side, “As long as you already have the water in the sink, why not throw in all of your combs and brushes?” “Good idea,” the non-logical (and larger) segment of my cerebrum responded. So I rounded up all of the combs and brushes I call mine: the large metal-lined curling model, the Vidal Sassoon half-round styling model,  the round RPM -12, the oval shaped lifting type, two rattail combs, and I even tossed in my pretty blue hair pick. Then for good measure I went to my purse and took out my four inch wind-defense comb.  It joined its pals in the water.

Totally forgetting about the bathing combs, I accomplished several tasks indoors before going to the yard to water my plants and do battle with the dandelions.  As expected, the wind was blowing, and by the time I finished working in the yard, my hair was standing on end. 

As I climbed the steps to return to the condo, the phone was ringing.  Friends wanted us to go for coffee.  A wonderful idea! I just needed to brush my hair. 

Note to self: Never wash all hair brushes, combs, and picks at the same time.

Drawing by Edward Lear (1818 – 1888)


Haunted by the Past

It was an embarrassing moment!  I was vacationing in Colorado and decided to visit one of the places where our church teen group went to ice skate. As I walked around the lake on that beautiful summer day, I paused before a bench on which hand carved (aka graffiti) names and initials covered both the seat and back. In the middle of the seat, the deepest and largest carving had the full name of a young man in our youth group, a plus sign in the middle, and my full name carved below.

People who have common names can get by with putting their names out there. Years after the fact no one would have any idea which of the thousands of girls named Susie Smith might be referenced. But not only did my uncommon name stand out as one-of-a-kind, the name of the young man was also of the one-of-a-kind variety. I did not know about it when it was carved, but when I saw it that day, I had no doubt that it referenced me.

This past week I returned to that lake with visiting family, including a grandson who is a teen.  There are still benches by the lake. How grateful I am that they have all been refinished or replaced and that visitors to this little mountain community apparently now have some class. No names were carved on the wooden benches!

The Lake at Green Mountain Falls
The gazebo and bridge have been added since we skated there more than fifty years ago. The gazebo is used often for weddings.  The falls at the end of the lake are now blocked by a grate and the water goes under the road and flows to the creek. Still a cool place!

Geese and ducks swim on the lake and fishing is allowed. The limit is four fish per day, so in order to catch enough for dinner the whole family needs to fish – and be successful.
Note: Future blogs will be posted on Mondays.


Lunch Bunch

My lunch group meets once a month at a nice restaurant where we enjoy the food and “chew the fat,” so to speak. We are called WOW.  When I tell people about our group, the response I often hear is, “I’ve heard of your group.” No doubt these individuals are thinking of one of the popular groups identified with the acronym, WOW.

Written “WoW,” the letters represent World of Warcraft. But to know us is to recognize that as somewhat past middle-age, semi-retired to fully-retired ladies, we might not be easily assimilated into the Warcraft world of Aseroth.

Most people guess that we are a part of Women of the Word. Flattering, but wrong! We are the Wild Old Women. Our mission is threefold:  to have fun, to laugh a lot, and to eat dessert when our husbands aren’t around. To check out our name with relationship to appropriateness, we might be found on a Thursday in a restaurant known for its good food. And you just might hear us before you see us.


So Sorry!

My community was counting on me, but I was dragging my feet. Failure to fulfill my duty to my neighbors is related to living in a second story condo that has sliding windows, vintage 1970’s. But, even though my excuse is as good as any excuse can be, I accept total blame for causing concern in our community.

It was with a great deal of dread that I finally faced responsibility and tackled my designated job. All of the windows in my house were removed from the tracks and each endured a cleaning, shining, repositioning process.  The result was spectacular. My windows now sparkled as the sun shone brightly on its way to disappear behind the mountains. 

Morning found me admiring the windows and the views of the mountains. Then, in a matter of minutes, crystal-clear drops started to appear on the outside of the panes and very soon moisture was pouring from the sky in sheets. Thanks to me, our spring rains had finally arrived.  The vegetation greened, the drives look freshly scrubbed, and everyone now knows that their roofs survived the winter without springing any leaks. Of course, rain is now a regular event, and my windows, once again, are covered with spots.  Even so, I must apologize for postponing my duty as the rainmaker for the mountain side of the city and for causing everyone to worry. In the future I’ll try to be more conscientious in fulfilling my responsibility.