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An Excerpt from Oliver Flower

Introduction : What's in a Name?

  When our eldest granddaughter was about three years old, our son and daughter-in-law decided to get her a dog. While shopping for just the right breed, our son asked her what she thought they should name the new puppy. "Flower," she emphatically replied.

   Thus began the process of our son offering up a multitude of alternative names! Apparently, he couldn't quite see himself yelling out "Flower" every time he needed to call or discipline a dog! Our granddaughter thoughtfully considered each name that was suggested but none surpassed that of Flower…none that is, until our son asked, how about Oliver?

   "You know we could name him Oliver and call him Ollie?"

   She thought for a moment and then, as only a three-year-old can, declared it to be the perfect name!

   "Okay Daddy, we'll name him Oliver Flower!"

   After the Lord put on my heart to write this book, I began to consider what the title should be.  I agonized over a long list of possibilities, ran many of them by close friends and family members, but I kept coming back to one…Oliver Flower.  It made no earthly sense, as it seemingly had nothing to do with any of the devotions the Lord had given me.  And truthfully, I wondered if that name just gave me some connection to my granddaughter!

   So, I asked why?  Why Lord, does this name resonate so strongly in my spirit for the title?  The answer came in the form of a question.  What is the purpose of this book?  And the first word that sprang to my mind was healing.

   It is interesting that the name Oliver literally means olive tree.  And there are countless references to the olive and olive tree in scripture pointing…whether literally, figuratively, or spiritually…to peace, restoration, and healing.  In Zechariah 14:4, there is even a reference to Jesus our Healer, Who will stand upon the Mount of Olives when He returns!

   Equally interesting, is the fact that the Lord used the birth of this granddaughter to bring healing to family members who had experienced the loss of a child.

   However, unless an olive tree flowers it can bear no fruit. After a tree is almost eight years old, flowers finally begin to appear.  The blossoms are white, very small, and grow in clusters, and just prior to bearing fruit the tree will shower these blossoms to the ground as if it were snowing!  What a glorious sight that must be!  You know, it seems God has always chosen imagery to communicate His heart to me. Sort of like a picture's worth a thousand words, if you know what I mean!

   Since I have no credentials to write a book, I am left awestruck by one glorious picture. Jesus, my Healer, has caused me to bloom. And with this showering of devotions, the time has come to bear fruit. It is with a child-like faith that I heartily respond,

   "Okay Daddy, we'll name it Oliver Flower!"