The 3 year anniversary of my brother Larry going to be with the Lord is this week. He was better known as “Laramie” in our family and he loved nicknames! My oldest brother Warren was called Butch & Pooch but Laramie called him Poochbone! My great grandmother addressed my birthday card to “Brain Wolfe” hence, my older brothers Laramie & Pooch nicknamed me “Brain” from that time forward. Then they came home from school one day and started calling my twin brother Bruce “Smith”, just because they had a classmate named Bruce Smith! Yes, we still call him Smith today! Our little brother Frederick’s name was of course shortened to Fred, but they also called him “Freeedrick” which later transformed to “Fled” for some unknown reason! Yep, you guessed it, he’s Fled today! Our youngest brother Steven’s nickname was more conventional as “Stevie” which I don’t think has any story attached to it. Though as an adult “Stevie” has mostly been dropped for Steven instead.
God liked giving people nicknames, or name changes as it were. He changed Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Jeshua to Joshua and in the New Testament Jesus changed Simon Barjona to Peter. Their name changes were’nt for fun though, they were very serious and were tied to His plans for BIG things to take place in their lives and the life of His Church. After Jesus launched His Church in the Book of Acts another categorical name change took place. Those who put their faith and trust in Him began to be called “Christians” first as a derrogatory name by the faithless leaders of their time, but eventually as a powerful name of the true Christ Followers who would turn the world upside down as they took the Gospel message to the ends of the earth!
My brother Laramie calling me Brainiac was an endearing term to me. Not that I’m a real brainiac, but it felt like a demonstration of appreciation and brotherly love which I will treasure for the rest of my life. As an Evangelist who had a strong passion for souls he would often leave an encouraging, or sometimes lighthearted comment on my blogs, especially those in which I gave the Gospel message. Twenty eight days before his departure to heaven he left his last comment on my blog “Trees and Me” (see link below). I truly miss his fellowship, big brother advice, encouragement and of course being called “Brainiac”! I wonder what new nicknames he’s coming up with now!