I'm confounded by something that's been happening to me since my twenties. Though my given name is "Judith" I've always been known to family and friends as "Judy," which has been just right as far as I'm concerned. "Judith" sounds far too grown-up for the person I imagine that I am. But something odd began to happen once I was out of graduate school and working as a psychotherapist. People began to call me "Miss Judy." It started out slowly enough. The occasional bank teller. The seldom-seen convenience store clerk. Then I noticed even some of my friends and family were doing it, too. Where had this odd title come from? And who had given it to me? It sounded strangely antebellum to me. Out of a different age. And I didn't much like it. I never said that I didn't like it, though. Peopled seemed to just naturally want to call me "Miss Judy." Last week I was introduced to the mother of an acquaintance at a luncheon. This woman, who is about my own age, had adopted me as----that name. In a matter of minutes! I don't under-stand it. And it's gotten me thinking about names and titles and things. Why do we call people what we call them? And, of course, all the names of God. Does He like them all? Is there one He prefers above the rest? And what do all His names tell us about Him?
Our God is one God in three distinct Persons--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of these Persons has their own Name. In the Old Testament, by far the most common name of God is "Jehovah" which is used more than 6000 times. Others, like Yahweh, Adonai, Eolohim and El-Shaddai are also used. Jehovah comes from the Hebrew meaning "to be" or "He Who is." It reminds me of the passage in Exodus where God reveals Who He is to Moses by instructing him to tell the Israelites that "I am that I am"(3:14). To me, this is God's profound "unmoved mover" philosophical name. All existence flows from and rests in Him. In God, creation both comes into being and is sustained in being. God wills the universe and every-thing and everyone that is in it. I like knowing that God thinks of me at every moment---and has since the beginning of time. We can all rest in that knowing. Our Lord loves to think on us and from that, we draw our very lives.
The Second Person of the Holy Trinity is the Word of God, Jesus (John, Chapter One). Jesus means "God saves" and is the name the angel Gabriel revealed to Mary (Luke 1:31). Jesus is both Who God is and what God does. He saves. Whom does He save? "...all who call on the name of Jesus (Romans 10:13). The name of Jesus is the name of salvation. St. Paul holds the Holy Name of Jesus to be above all other names as he writes in Philippians (2:10) "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow..." We Catholics have a beautiful prayer called the "Litany of the Holy Name" which meditates on all the beautiful names and titles given to Christ ("the anointed One"). Glorious and tender names like "brightness of eternal light," "meek and humble of heart," "good Shepherd" and "King of Glory" among many more. It's no won-der meditating on the Holy Name of Jesus has been a centuries-old prayer tradition in the Church. In that Name is our life and our hope. Our redemption.
The name of Jesus that is dearest to my own heart is "Emmanuel" which means "God with us." A pro-phetic title first used by Isaiah (7:1-8; 15) it is the name St. Matthew references in his infancy narrative (1:22-23). God with us. Jesus is God with us, in us, living through us. In the Temple, there was a beautiful seamless curtain, which enclosed the Holy of Holies which was, for the Jews, the very presence of God Himself in the Ark of the Covenant. At the moment of Jesus' death on the Cross "the curtain of the temple was torn in two" (Matthew 27:51). Everything that had separated us from God under the law was made ac-cessible to us through grace, through Jesus. He opened the way to heaven for us by opening His arms on the Cross. God with us. Emmanuel. In just a few weeks we'll sing my favorite Advent hymn: O Come O Come Emmanuel. Whenever we sing those words it reminds me that He, my Lord and Savior, is with me. He left heaven to save me and you--to ransom captive Israel, as the hymn says. To love us and to take us home to Himself. This year, before we rush headlong from Halloween to Christmas, let's take some time to think and pray on the meaning of the "holy days" and the Holy Name of our Lord. Emmanuel. Good Shepherd. Brightness of Eternal Light. King of Glory. Jesus, the Christ!
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
------O Come O Come Emmanuel, author unknown, 12th century Latin hymn
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Charlotte McGuffey, Salem Baptist Church
Between sickness and vacations, we missed several people on Sunday. We hope they can be back next week. Tommy and Phyllis Johnson were away for a few days’ vacation and Mike Teague led the music and did a good job. Mike also sang a special on Sunday morning and his daughter; Kimberley sang a spe-cial Sunday night. We enjoyed them.
The choir practiced their Christmas musical on Sunday afternoon. The children began working on their Christmas program. Parents, please be faithful in bringing your children to practice so they can learn their songs.
On our prayer list are James Davidson (brother of Bill Davidson), Mary Eslinger, Holly Stockburger, Georgia Blevins (sister-in-law of Chubb Blevins), Janie Arch (sister of Chubb), Charlie and Pat Bates, Al-vin Kittle, Kay Rhymer, Kathleen Lewis, Archie and Susie McNish, Lisa Rauch, Teresa Tillman, Rev. Wayne Hamrick, Brenda Callahan, and Michael Clowdus’ mother who fell and injured her shoulder.
Continue to remember those recovering from surgery including Bro. Danny Henson, Mike Teague, Janice Watkins and Paul Westbrook (brother in law of Tommy Johnson
We have been praying for the two Heritage High School students who have cancer and their families. One passed away last week. Her name was Ashlynn Veal. Our deepest sympathy to her family and friends. The other student, Jordan Nelson, is receiving radiation treatments for a rare type of brain tu-mor. Pray that the treatments will be successful.
Jack and Barbara Ensley and Charlotte Dudley attended the meeting of the Lookout Council for the blind on Saturday.
Timothy and Connie Taylor and daughters and Libby and Penny Eslinger attended the Georgia State Fair in Perry, Georgia last weekend. Do you remember when the Salem Community Club held a fair each year? That was something everybody looked forward to. As a child, the games were a lot of fun, but I also liked to see the exhibits. I was fascinated by the auction and the auctioneer. I remember attending the fair in Chattanooga at Warner Park and later off of Amnicola Highway before it was eventually moved to Chester Frost Park. There was so much to see and do.
Paul and Johnnie Bramlett enjoyed a trip to “apple country” on Saturday with a group from Catoosa Tabernacle.
Have you noticed the leaves are starting to turn? The fall colors is another thing of beauty God cre-ated for us to enjoy.
Frank and Jean Scoggins and David Scoggins enjoyed camping several days last week in Crossville. With the cooler temperatures, the campfire felt really good. David did lots of hiking and made a lot of pictures.
On Friday, October 26 between 6 and 8 p.m., there will be a “blanket ride” and a “Trunk and Treat” for the children. Details will be available in the Sunday School classes.
Closing thought: Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not. (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
Margie Stringer, North Whitfield Baptist
We’ve had a good weekend. Nancy Westmoreland and I attended the Rhudy reunion on Saturday. Mary Nell Rhudy Calhoun kind of heads this reunion and it was good to see her and she had a good time introducing us to all our kin. All the older generations of Gordy’s and Rhudy’s are gone. The food was ab-solutely wonderful.
We had a good service Sunday morning and we didn’t have preaching. But he really preached Sunday night. Next Sunday will be Pastor’s Appreciation day at Pine Hill for Bro. Lee Williams. Bro. Stringer will be preaching in the morning service. They will have dinner after church in the fellowship hall.
Pine Hill was Bro. Stringer’s first church in 1968 and he was in his 30’s. He will be 77 on Nov. 7th. We hope to see a lot of our old friends there to enjoy and celebrate Bro. Lee’s day.
On next Saturday the 20th, we are having our Senior Citizen banquet. We urge all our seniors to come out and be with us. It will begin at 3 p.m.
On Saturday night we are having a benefit singing for the funeral expense of the late Francis Kraus. Any donations would be appreciated and could be made at the Wilson-Stewart Funeral Home in Ring-gold. Bro. Pete Reed, The Forgiven and the Appointed singers will be there singing at 7 o’clock.
It was good to have Glenda Hasty in both services Sunday. We enjoyed Katrina’s singing Sunday night.
Pray for Jim and Ann Hall. Jim is battling cancer and Ann has had several strokes and is in bad shape.
There is so much sickness. Jerry Clark is still in the Memorial Hospital. I’m sorry to say he had to have his right foot amputated last week. He is on life support at this time. They need your prayers.
I’ve never seen a time like today. The Lord is surely coming soon, just be prepared.
Francis Keown hopes her doctor will release her after her foot surgery about 6 weeks ago. She was to go to the doctor on Tuesday.
Our grandson, Nolan Poteet, will be having ear surgery again on Oct. 29th. He’s had a hard time with this one ear. It could affect his hearing even more.
Stella Mays is at home nursing a broke foot. She broke it in three places.
Donna King’s mother is battling Leukemia and she desires the prayers of each one.
Continue praying for the sick in our community, Edna Allen, Edith Middleton, Hubert Hawkins, Vicki Bryson and Bro. Stringer and I and my neighbors, Pam and David Shahan. Always keep Ken Hollifield in your prayers.
Emma Jo Davis, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
Sorry about the news last week. I was having problems with the computer. Bro. David preached a very good message on Sunday morning from Mark on "Does Jesus Care." He cared enough to leave His place in heaven and come to this earth and die for us. If you have lived very long you must know that when you go through the troubles and sorrows of this life He is there. When death comes to our loved ones He will stand by you and comfort as no one else can. So I can say, Yes He cares!
We were glad to have our visitors with us today. Hope they enjoyed the service and were blessed.
This Tuesday was our nursing home service at Standifer Place. We really enjoy going and having a service with these dear people. Most of them seem to enjoy the songs and the preaching. We miss them when they are unable to be in the service with us.
We still have several out sick. Carolyn Denton had knee surgery. We really miss her and hope she will be able to be with us soon. Bill and Denise Zinkeler are both sick. Hope they are better soon. Alma Bry-son was not able to be in church on Sunday. Pray for all these. Thank the Lord Dianne Hullender had her last Chemo treatment last week, we hope the last one ever.
Others on our prayer list are: Lula Petty, Ellie Pitts, Louise Clark, Gladys Holsomeback, Norma Headrick, Elsie Disheroon, Edna Allen, Jimmy Blassingame, Bernice Orr, Holly Stockburger, Archie and Susie McNish, Doris Pitts, Jan Elliott, our servicemen and women, our country, the election next month and our missionaries.
Happy belated Birthday wishes to Bill Zinkeler, October11. Happy Birthday Wishes to Karen Hol-comb, October 22. Happy Anniversary wishes to Bill and Denise Zinkeler, October 20.
Thought for today: Jesus died for you, are you living for Him?