I was hoping no one would not notice that I had not 'fessed up because I knew the answer would be way too long, but now I've been asked and since I refreshed this thread it would be rude not to reply.
I joined upon my second visit to the Café and in many respects had no idea what I was signing up for, but it seemed like an obvious good idea. Choosing my nickname here was a real strange moment. It made me catch up with myself when I hadn't done so in quite awhile. I think when I decided to join I was in a state of sort of automatic pilot and intensely in the here and now, and I must have thought subconsciously that joining would take me through a series of web forms or Windows wizards like many I have filled out. Although I expected to give a password, instead I was asked to name myself. Nothing in the sign-up process prepared me for that. It just had not occurred to me that I would not be here under my own name. (Of course I quickly grasped the concept that the 'cat name affords a level of safety we all seem to enjoy having here to some extent.)
So when my 'puter asked me my Mudcat name, I was struck dumb and frozen for a long while. "Who am I right now? Who have I become? What do I wish others to see when I come here? What do I wish to remind myself about who I am at my best?" Thoughts like that…..
As I began to recollect, a similar thing had occurred when I finally figured out how to ergonomi-cize my autoharp so I could physically play it within my physical limitations. I was so grateful, to be able to let loose all the years' songs stored in my head, that I spent the first year just playing hymns. It was clear to me that there would be a ministry flowing out of this gift of music and the ability to finally make it. From the start, I dedicated my playing to the service of Christ, and have not regretted it or felt musically limited at all-- I play, from every genre, that which lifts us up. I play the songs that focus our attention upwards. I play that which praises Him specifically or by giving a picture of the good I know He created.
I felt that same, soul-deep sense of gratitude and humility at the resources that are the Mudcat Café and its community. I wanted to give every time I took, and to give more than I took. Finally I realized that Praise, one of the genres I play often, would fit. It's what I intend to be doing, although I frequently fall short. It's what I believe many of us need to hear, whether specifically Christian in content or not, because people are where they are and that is important to respect.
So when I call myself Praise I am saying "I praise" and I am also exhorting others to praise-- to praise whatever is praiseworthy.
When I found this old thread I loved it, because I wondered what the naming of each of you had meant to you. I have loved reading all of the contributions. And it is a great way for Newbies to meet habitues, and get a glimpse of what they may have been thinking when Newbies themselves. If the contributions could be matched to the photos at bbc it would be great, but it doesn't matter that they are in the Forum, they can be found and renewed anytime there are a lot of Newbies.
Do you veterans miss the ones who contributed and are not currently active in the site? Do Max's magical methods include a capability of contacting them thru their personal e-mails to invite them back or give an update on what's new at the 'cat? Would it be intrusive of us to do it? Some great ones there, that I don't see here now. (I do know some of why this is.) Is there a way anyone is tracking who visits without posting so we at least know they are looking in and may return when the time is right?
Anyway, that's the 'fession…
If I picked the right name and am doing it any honor, the long answer probably was not really necessary.