Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

What’s in a name?


God said, I will surely be with you; and this shall be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain. And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you!—Exodus 3:12-14 (AMP)

I am terrible at naming things. I thought long and hard to come up with the name for this blog, and every time I did I wanted to beat my head with a shoe afterwards. Here are some of the ones that ended up in the trash can:

  • Building Up!
  • Right Words, Right Time
  • Say Ray!
  • YourSpace

Honestly, those are some ridiculous names. The Say-Ray thing was the only one that really clicked with me, but I couldn’t get the domain on WordPress or Blogger. The only ones I could get were on Posterous or Tumblr.

Before I launched my blog last weekend, I was sweating out all the details. Getting ready for church last Sunday, I was kind of praying about it, and the idea of adding the word “Just” popped into my head. I jumped on the computer, got into WordPress, and found out the domain was available. I signed up for it right there, and I had something awesome to praise God for that day in church.

I tweaked the name a little bit on Monday and added the comma. For one thing, it’s grammatically correct. I’m having trouble getting away from Grammar Nazi and the academic side of me when I blog, so I’m hoping that it reminds me that I should have it out of my system by now. The weird thing though is that when you have two first names, more often than not someone will call me “Ray”. That comma calls attention to that second name so people will think that is my real name.

It ordinarily doesn’t bother me too much, but I’ve worked at the same company for almost 5 years now, so I would hope that people would know my name by now. And anyway, “Ray” makes me sound old.

God is referred to by dozens of names throughout the Bible, but my favorite one out of all of them is “I AM”. How much simpler can you get than that? God is everything that is. He is not the creation, but He is in every part of creation. God exists.

What’s your favorite name for God? Here’s a list to get you started. Leave it down in the comments.


2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. If we are naming God by attributes, these commonly come to mind:

    * all powerful
    * all knowing

    And yet I agree that “I AM” indicates a truly divine attribute:

    * without source

    If a created being were to be all powerful and all knowing (e.g., the eschatological church), an infinite abyss would still separate this creature from God… for without “I AM,” even such a creature could not be!

  2. That’s very interesting… “without source” as an implication that God is THE source, that there is nothing external that He needs to rely upon to do His will.

    We’ve been having some friendly debate with some friends of ours on this topic. The questions that seem to come up are things like:

    Does God need our buy-in to accomplish His will or does He simply choose people who are willing to do what is asked? In other words, does God’s will not get accomplished if we are disobedient?

    It also steers into topics about predestination, which I know is a dividing topic in most circles, but the idea that you’ve presented is something to think about. Obviously, I know that God in His limitless power can accomplish anything that He wants, but what is our role?

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