A couple years ago, I had the incredible privilege of starting a journey with people I call friends: Jonathan David and Melissa Helser. Jonathan and Melissa run a school of worship in North Carolina and are anointed, talented, gifted and passionate worshippers. If you have never heard their music, you should look up Jonathan David Helser’s material, it’s literally changed my life.
The Helser family inspires me in another way, however. They understand the idea of prophetic names incredibly well and have proven it through the names they’ve given their children. I literally laughed out loud as I researched their names because of how appropriate and well given they are.
Let’s start with the Helser surname. It took me a while to track this down, but I finally found a reference through some alternate spellings for the name “Helser.” If you read my “Trees” blog, you’ll know I’m particularly intrigued by names that reference nature. Helser means “from the hazel tree.” So of course I did some research into the hazel tree. For you coffee buffs who like “a shot of hazelnut” into your beverage of choice, this is where it comes from. The hazel tree is beautiful and colorful and produces desirable fruit. Mythology has played a big role in the hazeltree/hazelnut’s fame. The hazelnut was believed to bestow incredible wisdom. In Grimm’s fairy tales, the hazel tree’s branches were protection against snakes.
Jonathan means “Jehovah has given.” David means “beloved.”
How can you not see the identity of a man, a worshipper, who has taken a peek behind the curtain and knows himself to be given of “Jehovah” and beloved above all. It’s a life changing epiphany. As with many names we’ve researched, there is a charge that can come with names. I dare you to listen to one of Jonathan and Melissa’s songs and not hear a rhythmic undertone of “you are a gift” and “you are loved.” Jonathan, you are using your voice to promote important things. Consider too the beauty of the names together. Jonathan and David understood relationship in a way rarely seen in scripture. It wasn’t about romance, it was about intimacy. Maybe this is a good time to recommend the Helser song “Intimacy.”
Mel, your name literally made me laugh out loud. It’s so wonderfully appropriate!
Melissa actually means “bee.” I can’t tell you how many prophetic analogies I could give on that alone. Bees propagate life. They create honey by processing the pieces of life they collect and turn it into something useful, sweet and digestible. They live in community and protect those important to themselves. They have a language that requires MOVEMENT and SOUND!
Francine means “free.” Can you believe it?! Out of everything you could have been named, you, the preeminent advocate for freedom (except maybe for Allison Johnston LOL) have a namesake that you’ve cherished and turned into your destiny.
Phillips is your maiden name. It means “lover of horses.” Philip of Macedon was the most famous bearer of the name, he was the father of Alexander the great. Horses are majestic animals. Some are unbreakable, some are tamable for our practical use some are for our enjoyment, and some are precious to our hearts. I see this as the ability to see and enjoy a magnificent gift through a prism of perspectives and layers of depth.
Ok folks, here’s where we get into some good stuff. Johnny and Mel have embraced the idea of prophetic names in an extreme sense. Their firstborn son has some juice on his life for sure. Cadence means “a rhythm, a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound.” In several dictionaries I researched, a cadence is the rhythm that signals the close of a passage of music. Cadence is something drummers set in a marching band, the pace which is set that others follow. Talk about an anointing!
Zion means “a sign” and I loved the poetic etymological breakdown in once place that said: “the world to come.” Zion is used throughout Scripture as the place we all want to be. Zion is the place where God’s spirit rests; it’s the place of promise and the place we hope for. Zion is a symbol of days both now and then when the presence of God moves.
Haven means “a safe refuge.” I love this name. It’s a place of retreat but not of forgetfulness. You don’t escape into a haven, you find it when you need it. In fact, Scripture often refers to havens as provided of the Lord. God Himself is a “safe refuge” for us. I find this name both descriptive and destiny-related. What a beautiful charge to be a haven for others and to help God’s children find in their Father, a haven unfounded on earth.
Jerusalem means “a place of peace” and by other translations: “vision of peace.” Jerusalem is the holy promise. There’s a physical Jerusalem but there’s also a figurative Jerusalem. Knowing the Helser family as I do, this name is not a longing of better days to come, but an invitation of the spirit and kingdom of God into the present. It’s a beautiful name and a prophetic charge to us all.
If you want to learn more about the ministry of the Helsers, you can read more about their ministry and worship at A Place for the Heart.
My next post will feature another important family to my heart and the way they are living out their prophetic names. I know many of you will be interested to hear more about these special people.
If you want me to pray into your name, leave a comment (full legal name, no commentary) and I’ll get back to you. Be sure to “LIKE” the post if you did!