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Inexpressible Joy

By Ken and Jan Merop

Cleveland, Tennesseeken and Jan Merop


My parents went through the same ritual all parents-to-be go through.  Selecting a name.

At first, they had settled on the name Joy.  I loved knowing that story since viewing life with joy has always been how I want to live.  So, in my heart, I’ve claimed it.

However, just before my birthday, a cousin was born and my aunt and uncle included Joy as her middle name.

So, my parents chose Janet Claire for me instead…a name that suited me as I grew to understand its meaning.

I was Janet all my life until I met Ken.  Then he affectionately called me Jan which has stuck for over forty years.  I guess it begs the question, “What’s in a name?”

So many names have special meanings.  Janet is of Hebrew origin and means God is gracious; beloved one.  And I must say that it is by His grace that my life has had meaning and purpose and I know I am beloved by Him.

Claire means ‘bright, clear.’ And it encourages me to shine for the Lord Jesus…joyfully!

None of this is to give bouquets to me.  After all, I had nothing to do with my name.  However, knowing the meanings gives depth to who I can aspire to be.

My husband Ken’s name is Kenneth Raymond.  Kenneth comes from Old English origin and means ‘trustworthy.’  I’ve also seen it mean ‘handsome.’  And I can attest to them both!  His middle name is from Germanic words meaning ‘counsel’ and ‘protection.’

His quiet, listening ways make his counsel thought-provoking while his protection is ever-present as he walks beside me on our journey together.

All this is to say that God has many names that declare his attributes and character.  But perhaps the best-known name came when Jesus was born.  His name meant Jehovah is salvation; but, also, Immanuel…God with us.

1 Peter 1: 8 NLT describes how we, through faith express our love and devotion to Him.

“You love him even though you have never seen him.  Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”

Joy is from Latin and means ‘great pleasure, happiness.’

To have inexpressible joy is like saying a natural product goes beyond organic.  Yes, that product is grown organically. But then extra care and handling take it further in efficacy.

Inexpressible joy goes beyond expression. It is a refreshing spring of hope and victory.

Claim the name by belonging to the One who is the Source of all joy.  Selah

Bursting Forth

Spring has sprung!

Bursting forth in glorious blooms and

punctuating the landscape with color and texture,

life is awakened.

The springtime of the soul is not unlike it.

Faith and hope no longer sleep, emerging vibrant, joyful…alive!

“Awake my soul!… I will praise you, O Lord…

For great is your love.”

Psalm 57: 8a, 9a, 10a


After six years in the mountains of Avery County, Ken and Jan Merop are now living in the hilly Tennessee countryside of Cleveland, TN…just outside of Chattanooga.  Ken’s photos can be seen at

Read more Christian news from Ken and Jan HERE.