I Want a Nation: Australia and Oceania

Our last installment will be for all those incredible little islands in the South Pacific. Australia is the official continent, but Oceania will include all the people groups in the islands in the Pacific Ocean.

I’ve had the chance to visit Australia and New Zealand and there’s an incredible culture that is a clash of both the familiar and foreign. The Maori people of New Zealand for example are incredible warriors. The haka or tribal war dance is performed by New Zealand’s professional rugby team the All Blacks. Using mere intimidation, the warriors prove their fortitude by stomping, yelling and fierce body language.

The people I’ve met also have a beautiful expression of intimacy. Individuals in close relationship will put their foreheads together as a greeting and exchange breath. Literally inhaling what you’ve exhaled as a way to say “what is inside you I receive inside me.”

Australia was actually used by Britain as a veritable prison on the other side of the world. It was populated by the criminals of society who lived alongside the indigenous Aboriginal people and established a society that was tenuous at best.

The island nations have been populated by many European explorers and there is a wide mixture of cultures in the island nations. However it’s a place of cohabitation.

Australia – unknown southern land Fiji – home of the lookouts

Kiribati – trusted, bright son Marshall Islands – steward or caretaker of the horses

Micronesia – small islands Nauru – “I go to the beach.”

New Zealand – land of the long white cloud; sea land

Palau – indirect replies Papua New Guinea – frizzy hair, burnt or blackened

Samoa – holy center Solomon Islands – peaceable, perfect, one who recompenses

Tonga – southern, friendly islands Tuvalu – eight standing with one another

Vanuatu – our land

DISTANT SHORES AND THE ISLAND WILL SEE YOUR LIGHT AS IT RISES ON US!

May you be peaceful and unified! You are welcome to show us your beauty and use your voice to call the world to discovery and peace!

I Want a Nation: Asia

We’re in the home stretch here. I’ve held off on Asia because of a couple different reasons, the first is that Asia intrigues me more than just about any other continent, and second, because it’s absolutely huge. The variety of dominant cultures contained within the continent of Asia is more dramatic than just about anywhere on earth.

The middle eastern, soviet, Indian, and mosaic of oriental cultures notwithstanding, the variety of dominant religious hubs is among the most pronounced of anywhere else. Three of the world’s most popular religions call Asia their home. Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism all have their roots planted firmly in this area of the world and cultures in Asia have their distinction as much from their preferences and tastes as they do from their religions (or lack thereof when considering the strong atheistic stance some countries take).

Asia

muddy or silty, rising light of the East, resurrection

It’s marvelous to consider how a clash of such dominant cultures exist side by side and share a prophetic name. As with all the continent’s we’ve looked at, there are a variety of opinions about how and why the continent received its name. “Muddy” is a strong picture and could be descriptive on a number of levels.

In considering the Buddhism of eastern Asia for example, differing countries have differing stances on Buddhist doctrine. It plays out in the mixtures of these religions with common folk religions and superstitions. However, I believe a case can be made that the inhabitants of Asia, regardless of their religious affinity, understand the idea of devotion. Nowhere have I found such contrition and sincerity than those who practice Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism. It has been a convicting journey as I consider the sacrifices and disciplines I employ for my own religious stances.

And yet, written in the name is another meaning. Long has Asia been referred to as “the East.” It’s even said in Luke 2 that “kings from the East” followed a star which led them to Bethlehem. The rising light of the sun is the promise of a new day, a “resurrection” even. As we look at the diversity of beliefs, we can stand on one promise: there is a dawning light in Asia.

ASIA! WE CALL TO YOU AS CHRIST DID TO LAZARUS! COME FORTH!

Forsake your ways and commit your sincere, contrite hearts to the one true God. The Creator has a desire for intimacy with you. Live no longer as slaves. CLEAR THE MUDDY WATERS and walk forth clean and unblemished. From the middle east to the frozen north to the far orient BE RESURRECTED and show us all what new life truly means!

Afghanistan – land of the Afghans Armenia – assemble or create

Azerbaijan – land protected by the pagan holy fire Bahrain – the two seas

Bangladesh – land of the sun god Bhutan – highlands, land of the thunder dragon

Brunei – “there!” Burma/Myanmar – fast, tough, strong China – land of silk

Cambodia – weak, the least, unshaken East Timor – east island Georgia – tiller of the land

India – region of the Indus river Indonesia – east Indian islands

Iran – home of the free Iraq – land between the rivers Jordan – descend

Israel – land of the people who struggle with God Japan – land of the rising sun

Kazakhstan – independent-rebellious-wanderer-brave-free

Korea (North/South) – lofty, walled city, center Kuwait – fortress built near water

Kyrgyzstan – land of 40 tribes Laos – land of a million elephants, son of a pagan god

Lebanon – white, milk Malaysia – hill town Maldives – palace islands, garland

Mongolia – eternal fire Nepal – those who domesticate cattle

Oman – settled man Pakistan – (an acronym of the 8 major people groups of the area)

Philippines – land of King Philip (lover of horses) Qatar – port

Russia – land of the rowers Saudi Arabia – empire of the constellations Singapore – lion city

Sri Lanka – holy island Taiwan – terraced bay Tajikistan – leopard or tiger

Thailand – land of the humans Turkmenistan – land of the Turk-like people

Uzbekistan – home of the free Vietnam – south Viet Yemen – right hand

I Want a Nation: Americas

Continents are hard enough when considering the diversity contained within the nations that make up their borders without having two continents with the same basic name. North and South America are newer to the history books, but proud of their own heritage and just as rich and deep in ancestry. Consider the native American tribes of North America; the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures of central and South America; and the Caribbean flare to boot, we’re talking a wide, diverse, beautiful mosaic of stories.

America

ruler of his household, land of the prince, master workman, leader

Most of us were taught in school that America was named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. This is the widely accepted background but a few others would say that “America” comes from the British name “Emeric” which is the British version of what Americans would call “Henry.”

To be honest, in my research it didn’t matter because the etymology of the names all came back to some common trends. Leaders, masters, rulers, you can see this trend of independence and authority woven throughout any version of the name. The question then becomes is what prophetic value these names have.

It would be easy to analyze this from our own United States perspective but it would be unfair and grossly disproportionate to apply a single prophetic word to a small population in one corner of the western hemisphere. So instead of taking what I know from my own culture, I want to just dig into the prophetic nature of these meanings and see what we find.

“Ruler of his household” was a meaning probably given by some of the brave explorers on their quest for liberation. However, what happens to a culture who begins to see themselves as masters of themselves and only themselves? Where does the sense of community go, the sense of family, where does it stop when one’s world begins to shrink but into complete narcissism.

If the Americas are truly “master workman” then what prophetic responsibility does that give but to create, to mold, to produce, or to set an example? There are many great things about the beginnings of the United States for instance but knowing what we know now, would we be as proud and how would we have changed our approach?

As we approach nations like Haiti which are in the process of national restoration or consider the revolutions in Argentina or the tumultuous present of Colombia, Venezuela, or Mexico, what do we wish and what is our prophetic responsibility here?

BROADEN YOUR GAZE AMERICAS! GRASP THE OPPORTUNITIES AND LEAD ON!

Stand tall and create something worth noting! May the history books be filled with successes, with contrition, with compassion, with consideration and with conviction! From Arctic to Antarctic flee the temptation to rule yourself and look to the hope unity can provide! You are MORE than the land of the prince, you are land of the KING of KINGS! Worship Him and Him alone!

Here are some country names in the North and South American regions.

Antigua and Barbuda – ancient and bearded Argentina – silvery land

Bahamas – land of the shallow sea Barbados – the bearded ones

Belize – muddy water, beacon Bolivia – land of Bolivar, windmill in the valley

Brazil – red wood, red ember, isle of the blessed, land of the holy cross

Canada – village, the land where “nothing is here” (referring to gold), where the river narrows

Chile – where the land runs out/ends; cold, snow, depths

Colombia – land of Columbus, Condor’s nest, march

Costa Rica – rich coast Cuba – abundant, fertile land, great place

Dominican Republic – belonging to the Lord, abounding in rocks, navigable waters

Ecuador – republic of the equator El Salvador – the savior Guatemala – the place of many trees

Haiti – mountainous land Honduras – depths

Jamaica – land of wood and water, land of springs Mexico – naval of the moon or “sun”

Nicaragua – water Panama – the place of many fish or the place of many butterflies

Paraguay – crowned river or the river that comes from water

Peru – river Trinidad and Tobago – island of the Holy Trinity, tobacco

Uruguay – shellfish waters Venezuela – little Venice (city of water)

There’s something special about prophesying over your own land. If you come from a place in the Western Hemisphere and want God to move here, then leave a comment and prophesy some life over these lands!

I Want a Nation: Europe

Getting back to our series on the continents and countries of the world brings us north to the epicenter of much of our recent historical and even religious development. This may be one of the most challenging areas of the world to talk about en masse considering everything from English to Soviet to Germanic to Roman to Baltic to even Middle Eastern histories must be considered (and many, many more). Even with such a melting pot of pronounced and established cultures living so closely side by side, I believe there may be an overarching journey that the continent has traversed.

Europe didn’t receive much attention in world history until after the time of Christ (sure you could consider Greek or Viking history, but we’ll consider the discussion continent-wide for now). But in the last two thousand years, we’ve seen a lot of action. From empires to kingdoms to regimes to wars there’s been a lot of movement. The evolution of technology, innovation, intellect, academics, politics, and a host of other developments, Europe has made an undeniable contribution to our world.

There’s a chatter around the continent as of late that Europe has moved into a place of “post-Christianity.” (The United States is not far behind FYI.) Atheism is at an all time high and a predisposed disdain or indifference toward the things of God is palpable. I’m convinced that missions in Europe is one of the most challenging mission fields on the planet. God bless those of you who are seeing fruit through European missions, I have a deep level of respect for your investment and contribution.

Europe

land of the setting sun (the “West”), wide face, broad eye

As with “Africa,” Europe was a hard name to break down. There are a host of different interpretations and etymological breakdowns for the word. The most frequent I came across in my research, however, was “land of the setting sun.” When compared to Asia (known widely as the “East”) it was noted for its contrast. Europe was West; Asia was East. Simple.

And yet, not so simple. The prophetic angle to this takes some time to look into. The setting sun is a picture of closure, it’s the end of the day. Yet, it’s the beginning of night. If I were analyzing this as a personal name, I’d look at it through this lens: descriptive, redemptive and as a charge or responsibility.

The dark of night breeds its own temptations and reputations. Scripture talks often about the differences between light and dark and especially the cautions against the “night.” If “descriptive,” we should look at the current state of things: what darkness do we see. Darkness is much easier to expose and expel if you know where it is. I think about the Red Light districts in Amsterdam or the fact that Moldova is the 2nd highest exporter of human slaves of any country in the world and I see darkness. I’ll revisit this in a second.

Second, if names are redemptive, then they are given as hope. It’s a beacon for us to always know that where there are pitfalls there always remains a best hope in God’s eyes. To whatever depths the darkness has gone, there is always hope of the sunrise to come.

Third, there’s a responsibility tied up in prophetic names. If this is true, than Europe holds a responsibility, which I believe many have seen and taken on, to show the people of the world how to navigate through a night. Not all of Europe lives in darkness, there is a strong remnant and history and proclamation currently underway.

MAY THE LIGHT SHINE!

From your coasts to your mountains to your back alleys, may the light and truth of God shine forth! Show us the way Europe!

I wanted to look into some specific countries and see what their names held as well. Here are some names to consider:

Albania – land of understanding, land of eagles Andorra – to walk the forest

Austria – Eastern march Belarus – white Russia; free; pure

Belgium – to swell with anger; bright; dazzling Bulgaria – the land that is shaken, land of disorder, split off

Bosnia and Herzegovina – land of running water; land of the duke

Croatia – warriors with horn-clad armor, mountaineers Cyprus – copper

Czech Republic – land of the Czechs (a famous legend) Denmark – the boundary, forest

England – people of the narrow waters, people of the meadow Estonia – land to the east of the sea

Finland – land of the wanderers, people of the fen Germany – the People’s Land; neighbor, battle-cry

France – spear, free, land of foreigners Greece – to grow old

Great Britain – the land of many trees Hungary – alliance of the 10 tribes

Iceland – land of ice Ireland – the fertile ground Italy – bull

Kosovo – field of blackbird Latvia – boundary land Liechtenstein – light stone

Lithuania – unite, pour/spill, lake, seashore, a rainy place

Luxembourg – little castle Macedonia – the tall ones

Malta – the land of honey, a haven Moldova – dust, mud Monaco – single dwelling

Montenegro – black mountain, restoring, harvest Netherlands – low lands, hollow, wooded land

Norway – northern passage Poland – open field, man who plows virgin soil

Portugal – port, to heat, beautiful Romania – Roman realm

Russia – land of the rowers Scotland – land of the forest warriors (loose translation)

Spain – land of the rabbits Sweden – land of one’s own kin

Switzerland – land of the Swiss (to burn) Turkey – strong Wales – land of foreigners

Ukraine – marches and borderlands Vatican City – city on Vatican hill, prophesy

Join the group and leave a comment prophesying over the countries of Europe. God’s moving there friends. It can’t hurt for us to speak some life over places and people that have become so near and dear to some of our hearts. Speak it out.

I Want a Nation: Africa

Africa is truly a remarkable place.

It’s always interesting to me to hear people refer to Africa (unlike any other continent) as one big country.  (No one would ever say “Oh, I’m going to North America.”)  For those of you have haven’t had an African exposure, the diversity is incredible.

However, for the purposes of this blog, continents have a collective sense about them.  Africa is no different.  So in considering how Africa got its name and what that means prophetically, we’ll look at the whole before looking at the parts.

Many of these continent names have quite varied opinions on the etymology of what they are now called.

In one article I researched, the writer made a case that Africa was actually named from the Bible, that the “Queen of Sheba” that came “from the South” (widely accepted as Africa) came to King Solomon.  When she heard his wisdom she converted to following the God of Israel, which her homeland refused to acknowledge.  This particular writer claims that this rejection is why Jesus prophesied in the Gospels that the “Queen of the South” will rise and cast judgment on the unbelieving generation. (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31)  The Queen’s name and some of her declarations eventually became the word for “Africa.”

However, most etymological research led me to some more mainstream and consistent beliefs.

Africa

sunny, dusty, the land without cold

I won’t bore you with the names and breakdowns, but these meanings came from Greek and Roman translations.  Walk with me through this:

Here’s what I got when I saw this meaning.  Do you remember The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?  Do you remember what was said of Narnia?  “It was always winter and never Christmas.”

Why did this matter?  Some people in extreme environments live like this all the time and don’t consider it oppressive, yet in the story, it’s supposed to be see that way.

Now in Africa, the reverse is true (yes, I’ve been in South Africa when it snowed, but it’s still rare).  It’s hot.  Hot a lot of the time.  But beyond the temperature, I want to think about the prophetic meaning wrapped up in the phrase “the land without cold.”

What happens when there are no seasons?  Cold matters.  It’s been an unprecedentedly warm winter in Georgia, but seasons have a place, a purpose.  It’s supposed to get cold, it’s supposed to go dormant.  NEW LIFE DOESN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT THE CHANGE OF SEASONS.

If what we learned in studying our own names is true, then names can be descriptive, redemptive, and containing responsibility.  In looking at the continent of Africa and its fifty-something countries, how has the continent done with embracing the change of seasons?

When we prophesy, we speak and release life, so even though a continent is a “land without cold” it’s the responsibility of a generation of African people to stand up in the face of a name that could be descriptive and declare:

IT’S TIME FOR REDEMPTION!

It’s time to come out of dormancy Africa!  It’s time to spawn new life, to bud, to bloom, to release the life-giving pollination!  You are not destined for drought; you are destined for life!

Many countries in Africa are named after landmarks, but here are a few interesting meanings I found:

Algeria – moonlight               Angola – conquering chief/king

Benin – tribe, home of vexation               Botswana – equal and free

Burkina Faso – land of honest men               Cameroon – shrimp

Comoros – islands of the moon               Gabon – cloak

Democratic Republic of Congo/Republic of Congo – land by the river of the hunters

Ethiopia/Sudan/South Sudan – land of the blacks

Ghana – warrior king               Kenya – land of the White Mountain

Liberia – freedom               Malawi – flaming water, tongues of fire

Mali – hippopotamus               Morocco – sanctuary of God

Namibia – the land where there is nothing               Niger/Nigeria – flowing water

Rwanda – land occupied by a swarm or scattering               Sierra Leone – lion mountains

Tanzania – the island where the waters meet               Uganda – brothers and sisters of God

Zimbabwe  – house of stones

I invite you to join me in prophesying over this continent.  If a particular country is close to your heart, or if you agree in this declaration of hope and life, leave a comment and release it!  I’m very interested to see what you all have learned about prophetic names, so look at the list above and pray into that meaning and see what God may be speaking through these meanings.  Share it with us!

Prophetic Names: For Your Consideration

This has been such an amazing series to walk through with you all.  Meanings are one thing, but prophetic destiny is another.  Your name is more than just a description, it’s a responsibility, it’s an identity and it’s you.

For my last post in this series, I wanted to share with you some names that I haven’t come across from any of you but that I’ve found that I really liked.  It’s funny to hear a name that sounds old or maybe even sounds funny, but woven into its meaning is something so rich!

I wanted to share with you 10 names whose meanings I like and ones whose legacies I find deeply prophetic.

Donald – Don, Donny, Donnie

“one who is the leader of nations” or “world leader”

I find this name personally inspiring because of the calling I believe I have on my own life.  I’m inspired by the idea of having a big enough anointing, a significant enough destiny, and a specific enough purpose to touch not just a person or community but the entire world.

Wyatt

“guide”

I like the destiny wrapped up in this name.  It presumes wisdom (for how else will you take people through the journey?).  It presumes successful experiences (you must have completed your own journey to effectively take others through theirs).  It’s a name of noble purpose and responsibility.

Clive

“he who lives near the cliffs”

Maybe it’s because I’m on a “fear” kick right now, but I’m inspired by this name.  When I was in Ireland a few years ago I got to go to the Cliffs of Donagal.  They were magnificent and dangerous and majestic.  There’s something about cliffs that I find powerfully prophetic.  It’s only when we fling ourselves off the cliff that we discover if God really is trustworthy, if He is who He says He is.  This act of courage and trust changes our lives forever.  May we never venture too far away from the cliffs.

Carlton – Carl

“from the free man’s town”

I immediately thought of Fresh Prince of Bel Aire (don’t act like you didn’t too…) but when I came across this name I was struck by the meaning.  I actually tried to find names that had to do with freedom.  Many names had to do with victory, but not actually freedom.  It’s possible my line of work makes me sensitive to those in need of freedom, but if I were to prophesy a namesake over someone, Carlton (a “free man”) would be an admirable choice.

Teresa – Theresa, Terry, Terri, Teri, Reese, Reesa, Resa

“harvester”

I’ve found and even preached some consolation for ministry which is merely “planting seeds.”  What you’re usually saying is that you didn’t see much fruit but your endeavor still had value.  Planting seeds has its purpose, but the harvest is really what we all look forward to most!  I hope a woman with this namesake would find tremendous purpose in being a “harvester.”

Penelope – Penny, Nel, Nels

“weaver of dreams”

I feel like this name gets used as that name when you’re trying to think of a ridiculous name.  It’s got a funny cadence to it, yet when I saw its meaning, I gained a new level of respect.  I haven’t found a name that reflects this idea of weaving dreams.  It’s such a powerful name and admirable charge.  Our generation has forgotten how to dream.  We’re lazy and unmotivated.  We don’t know what to do or where to go or how to do it when we get there.  This name is a charge to begin dreaming again.

Gabriel – Gabe

“able bodied man” or “hero of God”

Not only is this meaning powerful (“hero of God” … really?!) but there’s also the namesake of an angel wrapped up in this name.  Gabriel was a messenger.  He was entrusted with the word of God.  He’s the one who appeared to Mary encouraging her to have faith and believe that the miraculous, the IMPOSSIBLE was about to happen.

Josiah – Joe, Si

“the Lord burns/the fire of the Lord” or “the Lord heals”

Names that have alternate meanings have actually been fairly common in my research.  However, I’ve tried to pray prophetically into how the meanings might be connected.  Here I see “cauterization” or healing by burning.  You cauterize a wound to stem the blood flow and to seal a breach.  The “fire” here I think can also mean what it did for the Biblical eight year old King in Scripture.  Josiah is one of the only kings in Israel or Judah to make a thunderous statement about righteousness.  The failures of past kings were remedied by this young man of conviction and he was blessed because of it.

Gideon

“he that bruises or breaks” or “the destroyer”

So maybe there’s a trend here in these last couple names, but I’ll admit I like the power contained within them!  Gideon was a mighty warrior.  You remember the story, he puts the fleece out to get a word from God (I actually see this as doing an injustice to his faith, he wouldn’t trust God’s word to his heart and he put God to the test) and once he receives his confirmation he systematically whittles down his fighting force to the original 300 (take that Hollywood) and wins this unbelievable battle.  Gideon overcame fear, he learned to trust impossible assignments from the Lord and he went out victorious in the face of certain failure.

Issachar – Char, Issa

“reward, recompense”

The meaning of this name is okay, but taking a prophetic look at this name has had me inspired for over a decade.  In 1 Chronicles 12:32 there is a description of men from the tribe of Issachar.  They are described as “men who knew and understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”  Wow…I love this.  I’ve actually prayed this blessing over my own life.  Just like Solomon whose only request of the Lord was wisdom was an entire group of leaders who were wise, savvy and whose counsel was sound and respected.

Just because I don’t want to leave any out, here were a few other names I liked:

Ronald / Reginald – advisor to the king

Case -bringer of peace

Aiden – fiery

Rhys – fiery

Neal/Neil – champion

Riley – valiant

Next week we’ll start something new.  Stay tuned!

Prophetic Names: Inspired

Out of all the blogs I have written, this series has been by far the most inspiring and received the most overwhelming response to any I’ve previously written.  Names are used in the natural to identify us as unique from other human beings, yet they are bestowed upon us, in my opinion, by the wisdom and graciousness of the Lord.

I’ve written many of you about my belief in the descriptive and redemptive qualities of your names.  But I hold a deep conviction that names carry responsibility.  For example, many of you have names referencing royalty or nobility and that’s not just a beautiful reminder of your identity, there’s a charge wrapped up in your namesake.

I wanted to spotlight three of your names that I’ve found rich in meaning and personally inspiring.  Abby, Kayla and Mac are three anointed individuals who have made incredible contributions to our world.  Woven in their namesake is a unique charge that I believe has prophetically impacted each of their lives.

Abigail Mishael Barnett

Abigail is a beautiful name of identity.  I’ve seen variations on the actual meaning but it always comes out something like this: “the Father’s joy.”  I find the broken homes, the fatherless households, the absent parental roles and even the distorted view of our heavenly Father greatly handicapping the progression of our generation toward our destinies.  There’s no mistake, however, the Father feels joy when He considers each and every one of His children.  “Abigail” is an inspiring reminder of our Father’s perspective and of our true identities.

Mishael is both rich in meaning and rich in heritage.  In the book of Daniel, Mishael was the Hebrew name of Meshach (remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?).  It’s one of my favorite stories in the Bible as these three men stand up to Nebuchadnezzar and say “the LORD will deliver us from the fiery furnace, but even if He doesn’t we still will not bow and worship your gods.”  It’s one of the most brazen statements made by any character in Scripture.  Talk about faith!  Mishael means “one who is asked for or requested.”  There isn’t space here to do justice to this concept, but deep within each of us is a longing to be accepted and wanted.  “Mishael” reminds us that we are.

Barnett refers to “land cleared by burning.”  I find this picture beautifully redemptive.  Land that is cleared by burning is basically a sacrifice made for a greater good.  You’d clear a plot of land so you could plant crops, build a house, or even to tame the overgrowth and pave the way for new growth and rebirth.  It’s a harsh, barbaric process to the environment, but the outcome can produce life a hundred fold that specifically meets the needs of those who tend it after.

Macgregor Dean Mitchell

Macgregor is a derivative of “Gregory” which means “son of the watchman.”  Many European names in particular find their best heritage in medieval times.  The watchman was a military role.  He would stand at the wall of the castle and look off into the distance.  He’s always the first to spot things because he’s looking.  The watchman is a noble role and is the one to inform us of things to come.

Dean means “from the valley.”  Valleys are places you build cities.  They’re lush and have life.  They’re a stark contrast to your first name because you’d never build a city that needed defending in a valley.  It’s home.  It’s the life you protect.

Mitchell comes from “Michael” which is the only name I’ve ever come across that means a question: “who is like God?”  I hope when you hear your name you hear a question: “who is like God, Mac?”  I hope you scream from the inside “ME!  I AM!” because that’s your namesake and your identity.

Kayla Dawnn House

Kayla is a fascinating name to me.  It means “keeper of the keys.”  In everyday terms, this was probably a job title and the name was meant to describe the person whose responsibility it was to lock up each night.  However, Scripture talks about the keys to the kingdom. When I think of this name prophetically, there’s something so special to having the keys to the kingdom of heaven.  There’s a stewardship of the portals and paths, there’s an understanding (a deep one) of each unique environment that connects people with the Spirit of God (so how people connect to the kingdom) and there’s a responsibility to get people ushered toward the doors There’s an incredible ministry calling wrapped up in this name.

Dawnn means “awakening” (which is one of my favorite concepts).  Both in a personal sense, being “awakened” is critical to each of our personal development.  But the responsibility to wake up a generation is a noble, admirable charge!  We scream from the rooftops to shake people out of apathy and into movement!  It’s time to wake up!

House is a family name meaning “owner of the manor.”  With so many surnames referring to roles within the house (Butler or Cook for example) the owner is a special role, and it’s a role of leadership.  Stewardship is woven deeply within the roots of this whole name and it inspires me!

 

I write this post because I want to charge each of you to consider names you may pass on to children you may raise.  Choose well for it might change the course of history to do so!

In my next post, which will be my last for now on this series, I have some recommendations for you.  There are some names I’ve come across that I’ve not received requests for that you all should consider.

Prophetic Families: The Hindes

Four years ago Michael Hindes and I sat across a table from one another and sized each other up.  Four years later, I’m proud to call him one of the most significant voices in my life and one of the most inspiring leaders I’ve ever had the privilege to follow.  When I thought about featuring families, I wanted to dive into the Hindes family and see what I would find.  I was originally only going to do Michael and Kathy but their three sons were too good to pass up.

Hindes

I loved this surname when I looked into it because of the contrast with the family’s first names (especially the men).  Hindes means “one who was a domestic servant.”  With the incredible leadership anointing on this family, their name is a beautiful note of humility.  I’m reminded of Matthew 23:11 that says he who is greatest among you should be the servant of all.  What an incredibly apropos reminder for those called into leadership.  The humility and sobriety wrapped up in this meaning is a challenge to the rest of us.

Michael Roy

Michael is one of my favorite names I’ve researched.  It’s the only name I’ve come across whose meaning is in the form of a question.  Micheal means “who is like God?”  I’m reminded of Isaiah 6 where the Lord asks “whom shall I send?” and Isaiah replies “here am I, send me!”  When hearing the name Michael, you should hear the heartbeat of the question “who is like God?”  and be compelled to answer “ME!  I AM!”  Michael has his own prophetic story of his name.  For years Michael went by the nickname “Mickey.”  To make a long story short, through a process of deliverance and healing, Michael received this word: “‘Mickey’ is a mouse in Orlando, ‘Michael’ is captain of the Lord’s angelic army!”

Roy is interesting and has the basic meaning “red-headed.”  But an alternate definition is “king.”  I think the mantle of leadership is clear here as is the accompanying charge.  What a wonderful balance to have “king” and “servant” wrapped up in the same namesake.

Kathleen Ann Barthel

Kathleen is a variant of the name “Catherine” which means “pure.”  The innocence and holiness that comes with this name is one that Kathy has lived up well.  Those that know Kathy well would agree that there’s a regal quality to her persona and identity.  It’s a reputation all would stand and applaud.

Ann is a fairly common middle name, probably the most popular I’ve researched to date.  The name means “gracious” and “favor.”  It’s not a bad name to be so popular!  If Kathy is anything other than “pure” is that she is “gracious.”  My personal interactions with Kathy are marked by her consistently one-upping herself in her graciousness.  “Favor” isn’t too far from the truth either.

Barthel is Kathy’s maiden name.  It took me a little while but I eventually came across an etymological description.  Barthel means “son of the one who owns many furrows.”  Basically, “one who owns many plots of land.”  There’s a wealth, prosperity and abundance wrapped up in this surname.

Nicholas Barthel

Nicholas is a good name as I have a brother with this name as well.  Nicholas means “victorious” (as do its many variations: Nichole, Nick, Nicolette, etc.).  I believe “victorious” is a wonderfully redemptive meaning.  In Nick’s story, I’ve heard and seen a road traveled of questions, fears, and struggles.  The constant reminder of “victory” and victory that’s already been won is not only a testament to Nick’s character, but to the work of the spirit of God in his life.  Those who have had to fight for victory understand it with a sobriety some of us will never understand.  The charge associated with this name is this: lead others to victory and claim it alongside them.  There’s a clear picture of why Nick has been called to the ministry wrapped up in his name.

Jason Michael

Jason means “healer.”  The work of restoration is a noble endeavor but one that takes time.  Sometimes healing has to be chosen.  Have you ever noticed the relationship between morale and health?  Stress can kill you, joy can save you.  I say this not from a “be happy” standpoint, but for the battle that sometimes wholeness requires.  Jason as a mythological figure is best known for being the leader of the Argonauts.  He was a mighty warrior (and Jason’s middle name “Michael” as reflective of the captain of the angelic army supports this).

Wade Michael

Wade as a word means what you think it means: “to go knee deep through water.”  However, as a first name, Wade means “to cross water.”  Think of the parting of the Red (Reed) Sea or the parting of the Jordan in scripture.  It was a magnificent act of God and books have been written on the process.  Parting the waters, and “crossing” them denotes a journey.  Just like all the names of the Hindes’ sons, there’s a road to walk written within their names.

You can read more about Michael, his ministry and his family at: Michael Hindes’ Blog and The Gathering.

I’m going to begin to land the plane on this series of blogs.  Next week I want to focus on names I’ve found particularly inspiring that you’ve sent me and names I’ve researched that I really like.

This will be the last blog I’ll advertise to accept names into the pool.  I’ve been steadily going through the names you’ve sent me and I’m down to about 40 to go.  Don’t think that I won’t get to it because I’m making good time and it’s no bother to me to add your name to the list!

Leave a comment if you want me to pray into it: full legal name, no commentary.

Prophetic Families: The Helsers

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.

Helser

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 David

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.”

Melissa Francine Phillips

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.

Cadence Zion

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 Jerusalem

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!

Prophetic Names: Legacies

I’m super excited for next week’s Prophetic Names.  I have some special families I will be spotlighting who not only understand prophetic names but who are walking in those names in beautiful, inspiring ways!

This week’s second post, however, I wanted to take a look at the names we receive that we inherited, not ones we were given.  Surnames (last names) have not actually been around that long.  They were brought in functionally (from the European side of things) only a few hundred years ago.  Many names were locational in nature (“the family who lived near the meadow”), occupational (“the family who bakes bread”), or sometimes meant nothing more than family line (“son of John”).

Prophetically, however, there are some incredible family names that I’ve prayed into.  We don’t look as often into our family names, yet these might be the most insightful of all.

Caroline Hall Crawford

Crawford has ended up being one of my favorite surnames to research.  The etymology comes from “craw” and “ford” which comes out to “crow’s pass.”  When a reference to a person, it means “one who comes through the crow’s pass.”  Okay, follow me through this.  I did some research on crows.  First, they are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet.  They can make literally thousands of unique noises even copycatting other bird’s calls (they’re voices are deceptive).  Second, birds in scripture have often been seen as representative of demonic activity.  Third, crows in a host of cultural histories have a strong mythological representation (the “Morrigan” was the goddess of death and war and used the crow as her symbol).  Now look at the name’s meaning: “through the crow’s pass.”  This is literally Psalms 23, “even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”  Caroline, this name is so deep.  The prophetic truth wrapped up in this is somewhat sobering: you are the one walking through the path of the crows, which is dark and intense.  But look at the definition: “one who comes through.”  Your name is a prophetic word: you come through it.

I believe that your first and middle names are a beautiful match to this surname.  Your middle name Hall means “of the manor.”  I think that there’s a before and after meaning here.  You come “from the house” but you’ve also returned to it.  Christ said “I go to prepare a place.”

Caroline is a gift of the Lord as you walk through this journey: “song of happiness.

Braedon Edwin Tabor

Tabor was inspiring to me as well.  It took some digging, but I found this etymology: “a military drummer.”  At first, it seems like another simple meaning, but for those of you who know Braedon (and Andi) this is such a beautifully apropos name.  I went and did a little historical research about military drummers (we really only use them ceremonially nowadays).  Drummers had a few different roles: 1) the drum cadences provided a steady marching pace, 2) the rhythms were used to elevate troop morale, 3) in some armies, drums also assisted in combat by keeping cadence for the timing of firing and loading.  Braedon, you’re a drummer.  You and your family are charged with keeping a cadence for the rest of us.  You are there to lift spirits and to keep us fighting in synchronization.

Braedon means “from the wide valley or broad hillside” which I find inspiringly artistic.  I picture people picnicking, rolling down the hill, laughing … just like a painting.  Edwin means “one who is rich in friendships.”  You are an intentional, caring friend and “rich” is the perfect way to describe the relationships you have with those close to you.

Emily Diane Tuttle

Tuttle means “a look out from a hill to spot the approaching enemy.”  I loved this name when I looked into it because of the very specific nature of the family charge.  This meaning paints the picture of a fortress built on a hill (sound familiar?  Matthew 5 “a city on a hill cannot be hidden”) and the role of the “Tuttles” was to look out.  Unlike some meanings that talk more about a linear journey, this name talks about a 360-degree observation.  The position on a hill gives you an excellent vantage point in the distance.  Prophetically, I see this meaning as the role of one who sees danger coming a long way off from the vantage point of seeing the future and the past (360 degrees).  It’s a calling as much as an anointing.

Emily means “industrious” or “hard worker.”  Diane is a derivative of Diana, which means “divine” (a beautiful name of identity).

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