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This week’s note from Rev. Bill



I have put off running for a few weeks because my foot was bothering me. I decided to ride my bike instead, twice the distance of the run. So instead of running 5K, I have been biking 8-10K!

It hasn’t been too bad, although the traffic has not been kind. But I’ve kept up with it, to make sure that my cardiovascular system (and my legs!) are ready for the Annual Conference 5K when it comes. 

This morning (Thursday) I felt like my foot was okay to start running again. I took a slower pace, but I managed to finish. And other than the humidity, the run was fine. 

I’m still thinking, however, about changing the run for conference. Instead of 5K, I’m going to run 3.1 miles. And instead of drinking water to quench my thirst afterwards, I will be guzzling Dihydrogen Monoxide. (PAUSE)

What’s wrong with that logic? 


Does calling something by a different name make it different? 

That really all depends – is the intent to encourage a new understanding, or to justify bad behavior?

Name changes are common in the Bible. Abram to Abraham. Sarai to Sarah. Saul to Paul. Jacob to Israel. Naomi to Mara. 

I’ve gone through name changes myself. From Billy to Bill to Rev. Bill to Dr. Rev. Bill – and “Daddy” and “Granddaddy” along the way! (Guess which ones I’m proudest of?)

I changed Kim’s name – from “Kim” to “Sweetheart” to “My wife”. She has a few names for me, too – let’s go ahead to another subject!

I prefer to call the persons who drop by our church “Guests” instead of “Visitors”. A simple change, but important. A “visitor” is someone who is just stopping by. A “guest” is someone that you intend to make feel welcome and loved. 

Of course, the opposite tactic is also true – trying to hide bad behavior by giving it a new name. The Jim Crow laws were ways to keep the slaves enslaved, under the name of “law and order”. Even tipping (at restaurants or in the service industries) has links to racist and classist practices of legally paying minorities and poor people less for services, and claiming that they could earn a fair wage if they just lived up to the upper class’s expectations.

You will have a lot of changes in your life. Sometimes a way of dealing with them is to reframe what is happening. Not “Why is this happening to me?”, but rather “How can God use me to help someone else through this?”

5K, or 3.1 miles? They’re both the same. Whichever helps me to be motivated to get it done will work!


  • Rev. Bill
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