Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

A Good Name

Proverbs 22:1–  “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

As a child, I remember wishing my name were Debbie, Linda, or Karen.

Now that I’m nearing the publication of my first book, I find myself wishing for a name that would be more memorable. One that would sound “author-ish”.

I’ve thought of changes I could make to my name to make it more visually appealing….for example, not capitalizing it, like the famous poet, e.e.cummings.

brenda poulos

Or, dropping my last name and using my middle name as the last:

Brenda Carol

No? How about changing the spelling of my middle name?

Brenda Carolle

Perhaps using just my initials:

B. C. Poulos

I asked God to help me be content with my name just the way it is:

Brenda C. Poulos

He reminded me today that the name, Jesus—the sweetest, most wonderful name to Christians—was a very ordinary name in those days. Nothing particularly special about it…but it was the name God told Joseph and Mary to give the baby.

Matthew 1:21 says, “You shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” And it is the name praised by millions every day.

Of course, there are many other names that Jesus has in the Bible—names that reflect who He is, His role, His personality: Savior, Messiah, Adonai, The Good Shepherd, The Bright and Morning Star, The Rose of Sharon, The Lord, The Lamb of God, Light of the World, and on and on. Two hundred of them in all.

I told myself that maybe I would be more content with my own name if I knew what it meant. Somewhere, I had a bookmark with its meaning. I searched in a couple of drawers before I came up with it:

“BRENDA: Enthusiastic…fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.”

Maybe it doesn’t sound like a name that will draw people to pick up a book, but maybe it is a good name, after all.

Maybe those reading the gospel message woven into the pages of Runaways: The Long Journey Home will be led to it by Jesus…our God with an ordinary name who would allow someone with a name like mine to be an instrument to point the way



ADONAI Acrostic

In high school, I loved to do acrostics for my friends for their birthdays. It was a personal, yet inexpensive, way to celebrate each of them and their uniqueness.

In case you’re not familiar with them, you print a word, vertically, down the left hand side of the page. Then, you write a one-word adjective beginning with that letter, horizontally on the line next to each letter. An example might be:

“A” -adorable; “B” -brainy’ “C” -cute, and so on.

Instead of using one word, you can write an entire sentence or paragraph, if you like.

You might find it interesting to try doing one for your family members, grandchildren, etc. I promise, it will be the one thing they’ll save long after the Hallmark cards are forgotten!

Today, I would like to do a slight variation on this form of verse for ADONAI (Lord) by using a favorite verse from each book of the Bible beginning with the six letters in His name:
A cts 4:12- “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

D aniel 2:20-22 “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.”

O badiah 1:15- “The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”

N ehemiah 9:6- “You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to

everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.”

A mos 4:13- “He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God
Almighty is his name.”

I saiah 6:3- “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

It takes a while to find just the right verse for each letter, but what a blessing it was to me while I was working on this to read chapter after chapter of His Word! I was overwhelmed to see, when I finished, that in most cases the verses spoke about our Lord’s attributes and/or were praises to Him.



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Will He Call Your Name?

Revelation 21:27- Nothing impure will ever enter it (heaven) , nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The National Football League held their yearly drafting of eligible football players last Thursday night. It is the NFL’s most common source of player recruitment. Each team is given a position in the drafting order and can use it to select a player, trade their position, or in several other options.

Currently consisting of seven rounds, the first player chosen is most likely given the highest paying contract, reflecting the fact that he is the most sought after player and deemed the one with the most potential.

Just imagine what it must have been like for these young men to learn that they were in the draft and for them to sit, waiting on Thursday night, to hear their names called—to be chosen for the coming season by a prestigious NFL team.

Some of you may be able to identify with their emotions because you, too, may have waited—or may be currently waiting—to hear if you have been selected as the chairperson of a committee, if your painting received the blue ribbon, if your book or song will get major recognition, if your recipe is voted as the most delicious, and so on.

I recall a song they used to sing quite often in church when I was a child. It was called “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder (I’ll Be There)” This, of course, refers to the fact that Jesus will open the Book of Life in heaven and present the names written there to God. As Christians, I’m sure that none of us can imagine a list we would rather be on!

So, how does one get their name written in this Book of Life? Pay a fee? Perform an unusual feat? Help society in some way? Follow on the coat tails of ancestors?

What if I told you there is NOTHING you can do? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.


Someone already did it for you. All you need to do is acknowledge the gift and follow the giver. It is so simple; yet, millions will miss it.

You see, prior to Jesus dying on the cross, God had a system of laws in place. Those who broke the law were to use a sacrificial system, requiring the blood of animals to “cover” each individual’s sin. The problem was, they had to keep sacrificing because—you guess it—they kept sinning. Thus began a vicious sin-sacrifice cycle.

When God gave his son, Jesus, as the only perfect sacrifice for man’s sins, He did away with the prior sacrificial system once and for all because sins were not just covered—they were forgiven.

Jesus was able to end the sin-sacrifice cycle because His blood—and only his blood—wasn’t tainted by sin. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23-25 “ “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith by all who believe.

So, that is our part in the story of forgiveness. We must confess our sins and receive our new life in Christ by putting our faith in Him. We read in 1John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

So you see, our sin is a barrier to the relationship God wants to have with us—so much so that He was willing to sacrifice his own Son for us. On the third day, God raised him up in victory over sin and death. Our part is to put our faith in Jesus. When we do, we will not only have our sins forgiven and lead a life on earth that is in relationship with our Heavenly Father, but we will be assured of eternal life in heaven, as well!

When the Book of Life is opened, will He call your name?


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