Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All in a Name. . .

Over the years of my life I have seen the names of various people and laughed and cried at nearly the same time. . . to go through life as Ima Skunk. Ha Ha. . .What cruelty. How terrible to play such an indelible trick upon your child.

I take great pride in my name. I am the seventh generation of David Stokely. My son, Colin David Stokely, is the 8th generation. We must be getting close to 200 years of this tradition in our family. I value my name. As now being a Christian, I value my name even more. To have the same name as King David of the Bible. . . David the beloved, for that is the original Hebrew meaning. . .loved or beloved. Yes, I treasure my name.

In the Bible names had great meaning and were oftentimes prophetic of the attributes or destiny of the child given the name.

In my devotions this morning, I was in 2 Kings chapter 10 when I read this verse:

Kings 10:16
And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD

This was spoken by the newly anointed King Jehu of Israel. . . Jehu Stokely was an ancestor of mine. He was one of 3 Stokely brothers who came from England previous to the Revolutionary War. The story goes that my ancestor, young Jehu, on horseback, was attempting to cross a creek in England when his horse refused. Jehu, happening to be on the King’s land, broke a branch off a tree with which to encourage the horse. This was reported and Jehu was found guilty of malicious trespass on the King’s land and sentenced to 7 years in the British Navy. At the end of his term, he left the English Navy at Charlston, South Carolina. This being how our branch of the Stokely family came to the United States.

More of the story of Jehu Stokely can be found at this web page: http://www.stokelystuff.com/otmbh.html#wed_buried

But when I read this verse this morning:

Kings 10:16
And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD

My mind went to the naming of Jehu Stokely. Was he given his name with this verse in mind. Nearly 300 years ago now did a devout young English mother, pray and greatly desire for her son to be zealous for the Lord. . .Does Jehu’s name reflect the dreams and hopes and prayers. . . can I say the fervent faith for the future of her child. Again some nearly 300 years later her choice of name for her son has deeply touched me. It has me thinking of my ancestry and of my legacy. . .

I don’t know much of my family history. I do know that my grandfather, whom I only knew as a scratchy voice over the 1000’s of miles of telephone wire, from a few hurried phone calls in the 1960’s, was a church planter. He and his brother I believe ministered to the Native Americans of Southern California. My grandfather attended or was somehow involved with a church in El Monte, California called: Church in the Barn. At one time I found a reference on the Internet to a diary entry of a lady who had attended this church that my grandpa had attended, but the Internet link no longer works, but in any respect my grandfather Leonard David Stokely had zeal for the Lord and was proud to share it.

Were he alive, what would he think today. . .or is is possible he watches from heaven. . . My first 45 years as an atheist. . . Did my grandpa Leonard pray for me? It comes to me, that as surely as I pray for my children and grandchildren, that my my grandpa whom I never met, would surely have said prayers on my behalf. . .I envision Jehu’s mother praying for him so many long years ago. . .Again Jehu possibly praying for his descendants. . .Grandpa Leonard praying for his sons and daughters. . .and grandchildren. . .I pray for all my kids and grandkids. . .In my minds eye an unbroken river of faith for hundreds of years in our family. . .I weep. . .

Kings 10:16
And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD

See my zeal for the Lord. . .
Hear my zeal for the Lord. . .

I love you my God. . .
I love you my Lord. . .

I thank you for all the prayers sent up on my behalf. . .
Please Lord, let me not grow weary of praying for my family. . .

Again I love you my God. . .

Dave


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