Sunday, July 31, 2011

What’s In A Name?

Many people have asked me about Nolan’s name, so I thought I would answer with a blog post.  Lot’s of you ask if he is named after this guy:


Don’t recognize him?  That’s okay…I wouldn’t have either!  How about this?


Yes…it’s the same guy – the famous baseball player, Nolan Ryan!  If you have been reading here long, you may remember this post where I said that we might name our first son Nolan after Nolan Ryan.  I was mostly kidding, though we did have “Nolan” our our list of boy’s names.  Nolan means noble or famous.

So…is our son named after the baseball great?  Not exactly.  Ben loves baseball.  Ben admires Nolan Ryan as a baseball player.  But our Nolan is not a namesake.  You see names are important.  And we would only want to purposely name our child after someone if that someone was someone godly – a good example and testimony of living for the Lord.  I don’t know that much about Nolan Ryan to say one way or the other regarding his personal life.  So Nolan is named “after” Nolan Ryan only in that they have the same name.  Ben first heard the name Nolan because of Nolan Ryan, and he really liked the name.  I did too, so we decided to use it. 

(Wow…there were a lot of “Nolan’s” in that paragraph!)

Nolan’s middle name is Obadiah.  This is from the Obadiah of the Old Testament, in case you didn’t know.  The name means “servant of the LORD.”  In the Bible, Obadiah hid the prophets of the LORD from wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel (see 1 Kings 18).  From what we know of his life as recorded in the Bible, we believe he was a person worthy of being named after, and we like the significance of the meaning of the name.

While Ben hopes that it won’t be too long before Nolan is throwing a baseball in the “back yard” (those don’t really exist in Brooklyn), our desire for our little guy is more that he will live up to his middle name and be a servant of the LORD, in whatever capacity the Lord wants to use him.  Or as Mom used to say to my brothers, we want him to grow up to be “a great man for God.”

And that is what is in Nolan’s name.

Nolan's Newborn Portraits(But it’s okay if he wants to play baseball and be a great man for God!)


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