What’s In a Name?

Because writing about God, Christianity, and the Christian life is the reason I started this blog, I wanted a name that had some reference to faith/grace/God/theology, etc. Because I also love movies and plan on blogging about them regularly, I intended on coming up with a name that also made some reference to film. But the names I came up with were too nondescript or were taken (“Faith and Film”), were nearly impossible to understand for the average reader and thus way too pretentious (“Grace at 24fps”), or sounded like the movie night at a hipster church (“Spirit & Celluloid”). Plus, I’d like to write about more than just movies and wouldn’t want a visitor who doesn’t want to read about something other than the intersection of faith and movies think that I was suckering them into checking out a blog they didn’t want to read.

But then I turned to an idea I’d been mulling over about the relationship of God and our works for Him. On their own merit, our works are nothing special (Isaiah 64:6). God does not need the works we do for Him, and they don’t “serve” Him (as in providing Him something that He is unable or unwilling to do for Himself) (Acts 17:24-25). Yet Scripture repeatedly affirms that God wants us to do works for Him and is pleased when we do so (Colossians 1:10; 1 John 3:22). So why does God value those works that do not “achieve” anything for Him?

Then I think of the artwork my three-year-old daughter makes for me. On an objective artistic level, it is not “good.” She’s just reaching the stage where her general scribbles are becoming more specific scribbles. There’s some form, but you can’t tell what it is unless you ask her. It has no earthly value. I cannot sell it or display it to have people come and marvel at its merit. But it is exceedingly precious to me—not because of its quality, but because of its source. My daughter draws me a picture because she takes great joy in making it and she wants to share that joy with me because she loves me. I cherish it because she is my child, I love her, and that art, as “incompetent” as it may be, is a sign of her love for me. And I prominently display it where all parents display those physical signs of love and pride—on the refrigerator door.

So that’s where “Fridge Door Faith” comes from. In the grand scheme of things, my works are nothing special. The best sermon I’ll ever give will still be spoken way too fast, use words someone won’t understand, and have at least two “logical” jumps that make no sense. My songs of worship will be full of flat singing and occasional wrong notes. My service to others will be tainted with feelings of self-satisfaction or the need for worldly approval. When it comes to the Christian life, my efforts seem overwhelmingly incompetent to me. But God tells me that he cherishes them because I am His child (Romans 8:14-17), He loves me (Romans 8:38; Ephesians 3:17-19), and my service is a sign of my love for Him (John 14:15, 21). So I trust that He is pleased with my works like I am with my daughter’s art for me—not because they are worthwhile in and of themselves, but because I am worthwhile to Him. And I pray that this blog pleases Him as I try, however imperfectly, to show my love for Him through it.


About Rich Starnes

Husband, daddy, lawyer, preacher/worship leader/elder-in-training, Royals fan, film buff, slow reader, and worst sinner I know redeemed by a great Savior.
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