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David Delmar Land

December 12, 2008

(This is a letter to my son, now 18 weeks old and due to arrive in the outside world on May 14) 

Maybe we should start with your middle name, since that’s the one that you’re sure to be embarrassed of at some point in middle school. If we go by technical name meaning, Delmar means “of the pond” which I’m not sure is going to do much to make you appreciate it. But that’s kind of the point of this letter, son, to get you to understand that it’s not the name that makes the man, it’s the man that makes the name. This is a point that’s been proved by the men who’ve brought honor to your name. 

I guess we need to start with your great-great grandparents, Oscar and Lily Land. They were the trailblazers of the family, setting a path of righteousness and obedience to the Lord that would last for generations to come. Oscar and Lily had a son, your great-grandad, and they decided for some reason to name him Delmar Lacelle Land (the Lacelle was changed to Lasalle in later generations, which is your daddy’s middle name). No one, even Grandma Land, really seems to know why they chose to name their son Delmar, they just saw it somewhere and liked it. Delmar grew up in church, was loved by all who knew him and had a passion for worshiping God through music. He married your great-grandma and they too had a son and named him Delmar Lasalle Land Jr. This is your Grandaddy. When your Grandaddy was sixteen, he and his Dad and his sister were hit head on by a drunk driver. Delmar Land Sr. was killed and both your Grandaddy and his sister were horribly injured and spent the better part of a year in the hospital.

This was a real turning point for our family, son, because your Grandaddy had a lot that he could’ve gotten angry about. He lost his father, he wouldn’t get to play sports anymore, which he loved so much. He could have gotten angry and blamed God for everything and become selfish and bitter. Instead, God used this horrible tragedy to bring your Grandaddy closer to Him than ever before. Instead of growing bitter and tarnishing his name, he used his life experience to bring glory to God with everything he had. This is the best way possible to bring honor to your name.

Your Grandaddy married your Grandmommy and they had a son. They decided to name him Adam Delmar Land, so he kept the name Delmar, but it was his middle name, like yours. As you can see, your Uncle Adam had a lot to live up to. But he did his part to bring honor to his name. He was always taking care of his younger brothers and sister and had the responsibility of setting an example for them in obeying their parents and honoring God. He did a great job of that, just like you will if God blesses you with younger siblings. Not only that, but Uncle Adam is still leading a Godly family, following the Lord and he’s going to be a doctor so that he can help people who are hurting.

That’s just the Delmar’s, not to mention all the Land’s you have to live up to. No pressure little buddy, but you have a distinguished name. But your first name is just as important. You may know some other Davids, but just remember, you are the one who will distinguish your name. You were named David after your Papa Dave, Mommy’s Dad. He’s another trail blazer. He didn’t have the best home growing up, but instead of letting that get him down, he brought honor to his name too. He served honorably in the Navy during Vietnam and was part of the crew on the USS Hornet that picked up the members of Apollo 11, the first men to walk on the moon. He even gave blood in case Neil Armstrong needed it since they were the same blood type.

More importantly, Papa Dave raised a Godly and loving family including your Mommy. Anyone that raised someone like her had to have done something right. Now he’s the family patriarch who takes care of people when they need it and makes sure everyone is in church and following Jesus. He’s one of the most genuine and fun people you’ll ever know and I can’t wait for you to meet him. Both of your grandads can’t wait to teach you how to play sports and how to say “go dawgs!” You are truly blessed in the grandparent department.

And don’t forget that your name also comes from the Bible. David in the Bible means “beloved.” I can’t wait to tell you all the stories of how David killed Goliath, won victory for God’s people and worshiped God with all his heart. But ultimately, these things weren’t why David was special. David, like everyone in your family, wasn’t perfect. We don’t expect you to be perfect (although at this point, I don’t see how you could be anything else). What made David special was that God loved him. Because God loved David, David loved God with all his heart and followed him as best as he could. Son, you are special because your Mom and Dad love you so much. You’re special because your whole family loves you more than you’ll ever know. Most of all, you’re special because God made you and loves you. It’s your Mom’s and My prayer that you would love Him and follow Him with all your heart. Nothing would bring us more joy. Nothing would bring more honor to your name.

Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.” You may never have tons of money, but you are one rich little boy!

Love you son, See you soon!


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