My Name

Sunday, May 5, 2024
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Am I A Soldier Of The Cross"1 (Lyrics)

Have you ever had questions that you wish you had asked your parents? As an only child, I have no siblings with whom to converse about various subjects. In a day when birth control was not what it is today, my parents had been married eleven years before I was born. They were also of a generation — long past, I fear — when subjects such as birth control were not discussed. There are questions that they would have answered, but I never thought of asking them until after both parents were dead.

One question was about my name. My given name is "Saranne". I never knew whence that name came. The only person who ever called me that was my Aunt Florine. She was my father's sister, and she insisted on calling me "Saranne". Everyone else, including my parents, has called me "Punky". Do I know why I received that name? No, I really do not. One story is that I was jaundiced at birth, and someone made a remark about my pumpkin colour. Another is that by the time I was born, my parents' friends' children were all older, and I was everyone's little "pumpkin", which transformed into "Punky". All eight of our grandchildren except one call me "Punky" or "Punk". One of them said, "No one else has a grandmother with your name, Punk."

To this day, no one calls me "Saranne". I am well over 80, and the name "Punky" remains. But more important than that name is the fact that I am called a child of God because I declared that Jesus Christ is my Saviour.

John 1:12 – But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (ESV)

Isaiah 62:2b-3 – You shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. (ESV)

Abram, Sarai, Jacob, Simon, and Saul were all given new names to reflect the changes that God would be making in their lives. We, too, are given a new name — child of God — when we are adopted into God's family. Will we surrender to His lordship and live up to the transforming power of that new name?

Prayer: Lord, You tell us, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." (Isaiah 43:1 ESV) Help us to believe that and to live in accordance with it. Amen.

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About the author:

Saranne (Punky) Penberthy <>
Clifton, Texas, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Aw, the power of a name. Thanks for sharing.

    Well written. Thank you.

    Faithful words Punkie. Bless you!

    Reading your story really touch me this Sunday morning. Thank you for writing.

    Thanks for this devotional, may you find peace and happiness today. Blessings.

    Another great one, Punky! He knows my name out of all the people who was, is, and is to come. Amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    How fun to learn the origin of your nickname, Punky. Aren’t we blessed to know that Jesus knows us and calls us by name?

    A most wonderful Devotional. Thank you, fellow child of God.
    Blessings to you and your family. Take care.
    (Alberta, Canada)

    I think Saranne is such a lovely name! So glad also that you are a child of God, and I will see you one day in eternity! Thank you for sharing today’s devotional with us.

    Thank you, dear Saranne, for your delightful, inspiring devotional. It has touched my heart!
    Blessings, Joy, Gratitude, Laughter,

    Amen Punky! Well done. You’ve done two devotionals in the last little while. You know what this means right? You have to start submitting on a monthly basis now.
    Be blessed and enjoy your Sunday School class this morning.

    Hi “Punky”! I was often called “pumpkin” as a little girl, and I took it as a term of endearment. I have a large head so perhaps as a little child it looked a bit larger than some others. But it was always said with love, so I didn’t mind. I like that God has my name in His book, and I am His Beloved. Thanks for the good writing our names.

    Thanks for your interesting devotional today Punky. It must be an ongoing mystery for you to not have heard directly from your parents how your name was selected but it is a rather cute name and easy to remember. No matter the varieties of names we hear, being referred to as “God’s child” is truly the real one, as He created each of us very individually and is so deserving of our praise and honour. Blessings for your very special writing.

    Good morning, “Punky”!
    I chuckled while reading your devotional message today. I loved it. You see, when I was born my mother and grandmother called me Patsey. Why? Apparently, my Mom loved pastries. I was also called Pat or Paige while growing up and none of these names are my registered birth names. I like them and I answer to all of them. But like you, I am joyful to be called a child of God.
    Grace and Peace to you!

    Good morning Punky,
    What an interesting story about your name. There are a number of things I should have asked and discussed with my parents. I did have the benefit of a much older sister, and she did tell me a few things about her/our past.
    My mother and dad hardly ever talked about their early years.
    Thank you for your good words this morning.
    Blessings on your Sunday.

    Dear Punky,
    I found your devotional quite interesting. I am a little surprised when you became a teenager you didn’t change your name to Saranne from Punky. I did look up to see what I could find and on this website it gives the popularity of names and it mentions that Saranne was used from 1937 to 1957 and then started again in 2001 to be used. Another place said it was Australian.
    Of course you really are reminding us that we are Children of God and how special that is.
    Thanks for sharing a little of your journey and reminding us of God’s love for us. Do you think God calls you Punky? This just popped into my head. Blessings.

    Thank you, Punky. I have often wondered about your name! But praise God we have a new name in Him.

    Saranne, thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today.
    We have in common the fact that our names are not popular, like Mary! I’m named for my grandmothers, so they are older names, but I cherish them because they remind me of much-loved grandmothers. Blessings.

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