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What’s In A Name?

There is a race car driver from Great Britain with the same name as mine!  If I Google my name I find that the first few pages are all about him!  Obviously I do not get priority because I was here first.  In the entertainment world they say to go and make a name for yourself!  He has accomplished that feat even with a used name!  We see that type of thing all of the time.  How often are you trying to find someone by name and have to weed through all of the same names to find the one you are looking for? Lewis Hamilton                                                      Lewis Hamilton (The Famous One)

I have been called three names in my lifetime.  Of course I have been called countless other names but we are talking about forms of my original name.  Lewis, Lew, and Lewie are the names I am referring to.  Each name has a distinct group of people that use it.  For instance as a kid everyone called me Lewie especially in our neighborhood.  It is the more affectionate name it seems.  Through the years playing softball and other activities people have called me Lew, and finally at work people have always called me the more proper name of Lewis.  This distinction of what people call me works well especially when someone calls my name out of the blue.  You know the instances where you are at the mall or in a store and all of the sudden someone is calling your name?  You look at the person and of course you don’t really recognize them.  Perhaps their face does look familiar but their name is not coming to you.  In these cases I use my little name game.  They called me Lewis, it has to be someone from work!  Since there are hundreds of people who work where I do that doesn’t solve my recognition problem, but at least it gives me a start!  The same goes if they called me Lewie or Lew.  Sometimes this little name trick helps keep me out of embarrassing situations of not being able to place someone.

From the moment we arrive on this earth we are given a name.  That little decision by our parents on what to name us stays with us through life in most cases.  Usually whatever name they gave us we learn to live with and actually like it.  If by chance we happen to become famous names are subject to change.  There are so many name changes of famous people that I will just give a few examples.  Did you know that John Wayne was originally Marion Morrison? How about Elton John’s birth name of Reginald Kenneth Dwight?  Listed below are a few more!

David Bowie…………..David Robert Jones

Whoopie Goldberg..   Caryn Elaine Johnson

George Burns…………  Nathan Birnbaum

Cary Grant……………   .Archibald Leach

Mark Twain……………  Samuel Langhorn Clemens

Judy Garland.………… Francis Ethel Gumm

Bob Dylan…………….. . Robert Allen Zimmerman

Carmen Electra……….Tara Patrick

Woodie Allen………….Allen Konigsberg

Rodney Dangerfield..Jacob Rodney Cohen cary-grant-320                Carey Grant and his daughter Jennifer Grant…not Archibald Leach

The list above are just a few examples of the hundreds of names that were changed to more entertainment Hollywood friendly names. Maybe these people were talented enough to make it big with their given names but in our minds the famous line “Judy, Judy, Judy”, which I heard he never said, would not be copied by comedians to imitate Archibald Leach. Would Francis Ethel Gumm have become famous for her song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow?” Maybe Jacob Rodney Cohen would get even less respect than Rodney Dangerfield!

There is a website called which when you put a first name in tells how popular the name is today.  It also states how popular the name was in years past.  It is interesting how names have changed through the years.  Usually names run in cycles with some names just as popular as in years past and some names hardly used today.  Other names that we see so popularized today were hardly used years ago.  It is fascinating to see how names people give their babies have changed through the years and how naming a child can become a copy cat type of thing.  For example the name “Alice” peaked in the 1880’s and has been declining until recently ever since.  The name “Megan” was most popular in the 70’s and 80’s and hit a steep decline in the late 90’s to the present. There is one name that never changes in importance or meaning! The name of Jesus has been exalted over all names!  Philippians chapter 2 verses 8-11 explains why. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place     and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The names of people change like the wind. The challenge for us today is  having our lives represent holiness.   You see it isn’t important what our name is.  We have no control over that.  Our challenge is to live our life Christ like so that people will see a difference.  Only through him can we become that person whose name represents something greater!  When people speak or think of us and see our face and name, what do they think about?  Is it a caring person who loves them?  Is our name synonymous with good, loving, caring, and kind?  Only through God’s grace are we saved and only through his love can our name bring thoughts of God’s loving traits to others!

It is always nice when you reserve a hotel room and upon your arrival they have your name and room ready!  One day the Lambs Book Of Life will be opened.  At that time it won’t matter if you were rich or poor, sickly or healthy, tall or short, handsome or ugly.  It won’t matter if you were in a hall of fame or lived down the hall.  Your name and all of the accolades that is associated with it on earth will not matter.  The only thing that will matter is if you are in that book!  Jesus has prepared a place for us!  All he asks is that we make our reservation so that when the book is opened our name will be there!  I don’t know if God will use our names as we were known here on earth or a name he gives us!  The most important thing is that it is us and that our name is remembered and our room is waiting!


God’s Hall of Fame
by Walt Huntley

Your name may not appear down here
In this world’s Hall of Fame
In fact, you may be so unknown
That no one knows your name;

The oscars and the praise of men
May never come your way,
But don’t forget God has rewards
That He’ll hand out someday,

This Hall of Fame is only good
As long as time shall be;
But keep in mind, God’s Hall of Fame
Is for eternity;

To Have your name inscribed up there
Is greater more by far
Than all the fame and all the praise
Of ev’ry man-made star.

This crowd on earth they soon forget
When you’re not at the top,
They’ll cheer like mad until you fall
And then their praise will stop;
Not God, He never does forget,
And in His Hall of Fame,
By just believing on His son,
Forever- there’s your name.

I tell you, friend, I wouldn’t trade
My name, however small,
That’s written there beyond the stars
In that celestial Hall,
For all the famous names on earth,
Or glory that they share;
I’d rather be an unknown here,
And have my name up there.

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4 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. Sarah on said:

    This was a really interesting story Lewis, thanks :) I really like the poem.

  2. Hi, I want to subscribe for this webpage to obtain most recent updates, thus where can i do it please
    help out.

  3. Pingback: #12 What’s In A Name? | lightenload

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