Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
Manage Your Subscription -- Subscribe/Unsubscribe
Contact Us About Your Subscription

Who God Says You Are
by Tom Goodman
January 14, 2015

When it comes to the names we're given, I'm glad God puts more thought into it than some parents.

John Tierney once ran a contest for bad baby names.  He got more than 1,000 entries of real names.  There was Charman Toilette, Chastity Beltz, Wrigley Fields, Justin Credible, Candy Stohr, and Tiny Bimbo.  I suppose Brook Traut had good reason to name his daughter Rainbow, but the dad who named his daughter Emma Royd should be shot.

The winner of the contest?  Well, how to put this?  Iona is a pretty name, but the mother really didn't think about how it would sound when paired with the family name -- Knipl.  Before taking her husband's name, she said that every time she introduced herself the typical reply was, "I own two."

I'm reminded of a scene from the 70s sitcom, WKRP in Cincinnati (yes, I really am that old).  Les Nessman was a slight, balding, bespectacled newsman for the radio station.  When he met a young, handsome repairman, the exchange went like this:

Nessman:  Steel, is it?

Hawthorne:  Yeah, Steel Hawthorn.

Nessman:  That's a nice name.

Hawthorne:  Thanks.  I like to think that a person's name says a lot about the type of person he is.  What was your name again?

Nessman:  [pauses] Les.

Parents may give their kids a name they have to live down, but God gives us titles to live up to!  This wonderful truth is on my mind as I get ready to begin a study through the life of Gideon this Sunday.  When the curtain rises on the tragicomedy of Gideon's life, we see him threshing wheat in a winepress, hiding from Midianite marauders who had had their way with Israel for years.  And yet when the angel of the Lord appeared before him, the angel said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior."

He cowered in a winepress, yet he was a mighty warrior in God's eyes.  And he eventually rose to the man God knew he could be.

Have you ever thought about the ways God has named you?  For a start, how about . . .

. . . Overcomer (1 John 5:4)

. . . Holy (Colossians 1:22)

. . . Free (John 8:36)

Do we live up to these titles?  Not yet, not always.  But, like Gideon, he calls you up to and in to the character he knows you can become.

Let's think through what it means to live under God's inspiring labels.  Join us this Sunday at 10am as we begin a sermon series through the life of Gideon called Step Up! Finding the Courage You Need.


Know someone who could use the
encouragement from today's email devotional?
Just forward this email to them!

Beacon Articles Available Online:  The staff newsletters that appear each week in the Beacon are also available on our website.  You can find them here.

Check out my weblog here.

Do you know friends who would appreciate Winning Ways?  Just forward this e-mail to them!

Have you subscribed to Winning Ways?  You can subscribe by clicking here and following the instructions.  Your e-mail address will not be sold or given away to anyone, and you can automatically change your subscription or drop it by following the easy steps provided with each e-mail.



MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS TO OUR EMAIL NEWSLETTERS:  Click here.  If you do not have access to the web, please send a note to to tell us of any changes you would like to make.