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What is in a name?

Luke 1:13 NASB

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.

Luke 1:30-31 NASB

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.

In the coming weeks, we are going to spend some time in the verses Luke 1-2. The Lord showed me incredible jewels within these verses as I prepared for my final doctoral project, and I cannot wait to pass them along to all of you. 

For the first time, God showed me that He loved Mary so incredibly much that He gave her a forerunner in Elizabeth. This terrified teenager had a mentor of a woman of God who also received a miracle of conception. Though their miracles were different in nature, the angel Gabriel announced them both. Not only were the births announced, but the name was given to each boy.

In my first course for my doctorate in Strategic Leadership, the professor announced that we would be given a new name after our course studies. We would all be called doctors. The professor went on to describe the powerful impact of one’s name, and how repeatedly in Scripture, God gave new names. The new names signified a new time for the individual, and a new level of their commitment to the Lord.

This past week, I received the call that I am officially, Dr. Ashley Graves. WOW. This journey began almost three years ago, and I saw it as a tool to learn more for the leaders I was walking beside. Yet, the Lord took me to a deeper understanding of Him and His nature. He taught me incredible leadership principles that can be found in the Word of God. The ancient book holds leadership truths, and it made me fall even more in love with the Bible.

I am coming out of this journey different than when I began it. I do have some scars from the battles. I also have new truths of God’s faithfulness.

What journeys have you walked through? Maybe you are in one right now. Do you have scars or are they still open wounds? Ministry and leadership are hard callings, but your Father has not forgotten about you. Your title of Executive Director, Director, and Leader carry a lot of weight. Know you do not have to walk it alone. 

Dr. Ashley Graves

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