About Acronyms

I want to tell you about Ken (Not his real name). Ken is one of many special members I’ve had in my congregations over the years. Ken has Down’s Syndrome. He is a loving and joyful man. He loves his church like no one I’ve seen before. He has a love for Jesus that is remarkable. Though he is an adult, for years he has gone to church camp. He usually attends as a middle school youth. The other kids in his cabin are usually skeptical at the beginning of the week. By the end, the other kids love Ken and Ken loves all those other kids.

There is something else Ken absolutely loves. He loves acronyms. And, he knows a lot of acronyms.

UGLY is Ken’s acronym. It was by far his favorite. It stands for, “Unconditionally God Loves You.” The first time I heard it was on my first Sunday serving Ken’s congregation. Ken walked up to me, looked me up and down then said, “Pastor Keith, you’re ugly.” That was a surprise. It isn’t something pastors usually hear their first Sunday. Second Sunday? Perhaps they hear it, perhaps I had heard it and I didn’t remember. It might even be true but people are usually kinder than that. Ken asks me, “Do you know what it means?” I confessed that I didn’t. Ken continued, “You know, UGLY, Unconditionally God Loves You.”

Most of us can remember at least a few. Some like these.

  • ASAP – As soon as possible (not for Ken)
  • BTW – By the Way
  • BRB – Be Right Back
  • BBS – Be Back Soon
  • BRB – Be Right Back
  • BTW – By the Way
  • TTYL – Talk To You Later

Those who text quite a bit on their phones know more than I ever will. There are too many for my pea sized brain.

I was always amazed at how many of these things Ken knew.

  • FROG – Fully Rely On God
  • PRAY – Pray. Repent, Ask, Yield
  • BIBLE – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
  • PUSH – Push Pray Until Something Happens
  • UGLY – Unconditionally God Loves You
  • ASAP – Always Say a Prayer

There are many more. Sometimes one will show up on my screen that I don’t understand. When I first saw IMHO I started at it for a bit and finally had to ask the friend for a meaning – “In My Humble Opinion.”

Acronyms can be a lot of fun, but I also think we all have to understand.

On my last Sunday as his pastor, Ken was busily working on something throughout the sermon. I found it a little surprising. Ken was usually one to follow the sermon closely and often would ask me a question about it after church. At one point I saw he was carrying around a piece of paper he had written on. After the service ended, he came up to me and said, “Pastor Keith, I did this for you. These are all my acronyms and what they mean.” And, sure enough, both sides were covered with acronyms.

I thanked him and he started to leave. “Ken,” I said. He stopped and made his way back to me. I put my arm on his shoulder and I said, “Ken, You are UGLY.”

He was quick to come back, “Yeah, well you’re B.A.D.”

I checked my quick reference sheet he just given me. There it was: “Blessed and Delivered.” Ken was right, I absolutely am. I know I am blessed by God because God continues to bring people like Ken into my life.

We were interrupted by someone else wanting to talk to me. Ken started laughing. He didn’t stop until he was out the door.

Blessings on you this evening.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission give for the non-commercial use of this material.


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