As you may have noted by my signature byline, I have a variety of names. Dallas is what I started with, recently I've been called Bishop, and sometimes I get called Doctor although that would be incorrect. I've had nicknames of "Big D", "Cowboys", "Texas", "Fort Worth" and every other major city in Texas. But the name I've appreciated most has been Dad, or Daddy.
When I was a missionary in Thailand I got asked repeatedly what my name meant. I replied over and over that American names did not have meaning. In their language and culture that is so foreign that they couldn't believe me. I had the impression that they thought I was embarrassed about the meaning of my name. So I felt the need to come up with a meaning. Being a young man and a bit insecure I had decided that my name meant 'handsome strong man'. At first I was a little embarrassed at my brazen distortion of truth (okay flat out lying) but the Thai people had no problem with it and didn't seem to suspect my treachery. The meaning I chose seemed to be just what they suspected. So somehow I managed to be 'Humble handsome strong man'!
I have enjoyed my given name because it is a fairly rare name and identifies me well. Most often I use just my first name when I am talking to folks. At work, from time to time, we have staff meetings with people from the various offices present. When I am called upon to introduce myself I use just my first name. Often someone says something like "What, you only go by one name like Cher or Prince or something?" What can I say. Of course if they were to say that now they might say like "Jimmer or Gunnar". My first name tends to be memorable and serves me well.
However, the name that means the most to me, and one I had looked forward to, and enjoy now is "Dad". Being a Dad has got to be one of the best things ever. That name has an impact on me that makes me want to be better. It is a name and a title and it has meaning all wrapped up in one.
I hope I can wear it well.