This short post is to explain a bit about how we arrived at the names we use on this site and online. I’m working on a book which will most likely be released under the name Phillip Oak. Here is a short piece that may become Appendix I in the book.
Phillip Oak is a pseudonym as the ideas in this book can be so easily misconstrued. The author longs for the day, if it ever comes, when attitudes toward the body change in a more wholesome way. Repentance and renewal is needed for this to happen, as it has in his own life and that of his wife.
As they branched out together into new territory, the tragic need for a moniker came up right away. He chose a random name, not his own, Phil. A location to meet up with others, and hence share his real name was provided in Oklahoma, so his online handle became Phil Okie along with the email email@example.com (which you are free to write). When moving to a social network that was more friendly toward these ideas, he changed his profile name to Phil Okay. Someone quickly pointed out that he liked the play on words in that name, as if you “feel ok” especially in your own skin. A happy accident, but true nonetheless.
When the blog Aching For Eden was started, the names selected were simply Phil O. and Mrs. Phil. For the book, however, a stronger and more full name felt needed, one with deeper meaning.
Philip the evangelist is a New Testament character to both admire and emulate. He was one of the first seven deacons, chosen to serve because they were “full of faith and the Holy Spirit“ (Acts 6:5). His dependence on the Spirit led to a fruitful ministry in Samaria (Acts 8:5-8). His most notable encounter was with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. He explained the Scriptures in a clearer way in the light of Christ, which resulted in an immediate baptism with this prominent official from a far away land. Like that Philip, this Phillip also wants to depend on the Spirit and help to open up eyes toward the end of a clearer understanding of Scripture in the light of Christ’s finished work on the cross. It is in his power that we should desire to operate and like Philip in Acts, later be carried to our next assignment.
Oak, as a surname, carries a strong symbolism as well. Isaiah 61 is a powerful chapter that Jesus reads in the hometown synagogue in Nazareth in Luke 4:16-30. He starts his ministry by laying out his mission, which includes proclaiming liberty to the captives. As the bondages of lust and body shame have once tormented the author of this book and his wife, through Jesus, their broken hearts have been healed and they’ve both been surprised into freedom. This is very much good news! Now they want to continue Christ’s ministry on earth, opening the eyes of those blinded in the same ways.
Later, Isaiah promises beauty for ashes, oil of gladness instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a faint spirit. These are pleasant realities after overcoming such captivity and choosing liberty instead. Then verse 3 continues saying, “…that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3 ESV) It’s this Christian couple’s great desire to glorify the Lord as an oak of righteousness and to see a forest of the same emerge.
The oak tree also happens to have some of the deepest roots. When other trees bend and break during storms the mighty oak often remains standing tall, for it is deeply rooted. It’s in this rootedness of what the Bible actually says, not what our culture has taken it to mean, that they aim to withstand the storms of the negative bias of cultural religious taboos. Their own thinking had to change, and grow deep roots in the truth of the word of God alone, not the tradition of men.
Something else, something absolutely beautiful also comes to mind when thinking about this passage. The oaks of righteousness stand in stark contrast to the Asherah poles and other markers erected to false gods. What used to be meant as instruments of wickedness, are now used for righteousness (see Romans 6). Once slaves to sin, we can now be servants of righteousness. Unwanted sexual lust and poor body image are two deadly forms of idolatry, that at their very core end up worshipping created things instead of the creator (Romans 1:25). It is to exchange the truth of God for a lie. For Phillip Oak and Mrs. Phil, this will not be so. Not ever again! And for you, dear reader, may you have the same life changing experience. May the words of John 8:32 be true for you, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32 KJV)
(AS A BONUS, HERE’S A SNEAK PEAK OF A POSSIBLE BOOK COVER.)
4 thoughts on “A Word About the Author”
What’s the age-old question, “what’s in a name”? Interesting explanation. Our screen name came about in an interesting way as well. We had noticed years ago that many people at the two nude resorts where we frequented that they often used different names, even the owner and his wife at one of the resorts used different names other than their own. As we got more involved following the writings of other nudists, we wanted at times to comment and at times to share a nude photo. However, the wife thought it would be best if we also did not use our real names so publicly for that. She was always telling me how sassy I was around the house and other places and I would often remind her that she was the same, a very sassy girl. So, we decided to call ourselves “sassycouple”. Later on, people would often reach out to us wanting to know where we were from and we would tell them Oklahoma. Hence, we decided to add “ok” to our screen name and thus we became “sassycoupleok”. Always interesting to think about how we all arrive at where we are.
LikeLiked by 3 people
LikeLiked by 1 person
I’ve always loved the name “Aching for Eden”. Thanks for drawing our attention to the symbolism in “oak”.
My own Web name (pronounced yo-kha-NON) is the original Hebrew form of my given name, John. It means “The LORD is gracious”, and I pray and strive daily to embody God’s grace.
LikeLiked by 1 person
And that you do!
LikeLiked by 1 person