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Feeling Like A Nobody
We all feel like a nobody sometimes, and some of us feel like a nobody all the time. Some time ago a new employee at a Wal-Mart had an unusual experience. The young man had just been at work three days and was the low man in the pecking order at the store. He was standing with a broom in his hand near the entrance when an irate customer came into the store. The customer had made a purchase that had not turned out satisfactorily and was coming back with a complaint.
“Young man,” the customer growled, “I want to speak to someone with a little authority around here.”
The new clerk looked around to the left and right and leaning on his broom said, “Well, sir, you might as well talk to me, I guess I got just about as little authority as anybody in this whole place.”
Author unknown. Taken from pastorlife.com
A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all. On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school.
Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with desk work. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest.
He had no trouble with discipline that term.
6. YOU TRUST HIM WITH WHATEVER IS TROUBLING YOU.
Anybody having anything trouble you these days?
It’s probably part of God’s sense of humor that I went on a whale-watching trip this week, the week we start learning about Jonah.
PICTURE OF WHALE TALE
I’ve been on whale-watching tours only twice in my life.
The first time was over 20 year ago, the second was last week. Twenty years ago, Lori and I were living in Colorado. We’d been attending graduate school and were flat broke. But, on a visit to my family in Santa Barbara, we decided to splurge and take the half-day whale boat out of Santa Barbara harbor.
I practically grew up in that harbor. As a little guy, I took sailing lessons there. The swimming pool where I trained as a teen is located in the harbor’s parking lot. The family of Dave Smith, one of my swimming buddies, had a 36-foot Sloop docked in the Marina. We’d take the boat out on weekends and sail it across to Catalina once or twice a year. So, as Lori and I ponied up our fare and climbed on board, I was confident and anticipating showing Lori a really good time. PICTURE OF BOAT IN HARBOR
The crew cast off, we motored out into the harbor. Lori and I were standing on the upper deck as we passed the breakwater. All of a sudden, something began to happen to me. My head started to feel funny, and my stomach started to play tricks on me. We decided to move to the lower deck, even though we wouldn’t be able to see as far from there.
My stomach and head didn’t feel any better there, but the Captain promised that we were going to see whales soon, so I stuck it out for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, 2 hours because I wanted to show Lori a good time. I had never experienced seasickness before. I thought my head was going to implode and my insides were going to explode. Finally, with my head on fire and my bowels on hurricane-watch, I excused myself, left Lori on deck, went below deck and found a table in the galley, curled up on its bench, and went to sleep – which is the only cure for seasickness.
After we docked, Lori had her film developed and I got to see several wonderful pictures of whales up-close to our boat. I never saw them live, like Jonah, I was asleep in the bottom of the boat.
I had never experienced seasickness before that day. But I’ve had it for the last twenty years. Right up until last week. As you know, last weekend I went on a cruise with and courtesy of our LAF group. We boarded the boat on Saturday, and by Saturday night, I was starting to develop that old whale-watching feeling. There’s something every frustrating about being on the water, because you can’t control the water, it controls you. When a swell comes up, the boat tilts, then the swell goes down, and the boat tilts the other direction. For twenty years, I’ve been fighting the boat every time it tilts.
Last Saturday night, I decided not to fight it anymore. I decided that the water could do whatever it wanted to do, and I wouldn’t worry about it, I’d just go with the flow. And that cured my seasickness.
Here’s what made me decide to go with the flow.
ROMANS 8:28 – WE KNOW THT IN ALL THINGS GOD WORKS FO RTHE GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE HIM…
At the end of 2006, Lori and I were hit from behind by another car. Our car got dinged, and Lori got minorly hurt. I had a choice. I could get ticked off at the girl who hit us, or I could believe that God would make good come from it. So we submitted our insurance claims, our own Mike Kastrup treated Lori’s injuries, and several months later, our car was fixed, Mike was paid, and the insurance company even compensated Lori a few hundred dollars for her pain.
On a Saturday night in January of ’07, our garage was broken into. Lori’s purse was stolen from her car, I lost a few tools, and Bryan’s car suffered about $1000 worth of damage. Instead of panicking, we all decided to come to church and fulfill our responsibilities for the day. Between services, Lori called and cancelled our credit cards, which were rapidly accruing charges as our assailant went on a shopping spree. We had a choice, we could choose to get mad, or we could trust God and go with the flow.
We decided to do the later. The break-in cost us some money, but today, our assailant is behind bars, and we have learned what it feels like to be victimized – which we count as a good thing, because we can now relate to so many people who have been violated in one way or another.
In March of ’07, I bumped a car at a stoplight because of my own stupidity. Fortunately, I did no damage to the other vehicle, but initial estimates were that my 14 year old Camry would need $2000 worth of work.
So I took it to get a second opinion. The second opinion suggested I go the junk yard. The guy at the junkyard suggested I go to Tijuana. In Tijuana, I not only got the entire problem fixed, but the rest of my paint-job touched up for $350. And, I had an enjoyable day for cross-cultural experiences.
My year went pretty much like that. And it was one of my best years ever. It even cured my seasickness, because now, instead of fighting my circumstances and fighting what God wants to do through them, I have decided to trust Him. I go with the flow. When circumstance rock left, I rock left. When they rock right, I rock right. No more seasickness.
What about you? What is it that’s troubling you today that you can’t fix, prevent or cure on your own?
A little boy wanted $100 very badly. He prayed for weeks, but nothing happened. So, he decided to write a letter to God requesting $100.
When the postal authorities received the letter to "God, USA", they decided to send it to the President. The President was so amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5 bill. The President thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy.
The little boy was delighted with the $5 bill, and sat down to write a thank-you note to God. The postal authorities forwarded this letter on to the President, to...
You vs. The Boss:
If you take a long time, you’re slow.
BUT if your boss takes a long time, he’s thorough.
If you don’t do it, you’re lazy.
BUT if your boss doesn’t do it, he’s too busy.
If you make a mistake, you’re an idiot.
BUT if your boss makes a mistake, he’s ’only human’.
If you’re on a day off sick, you’re ’always’ sick.
BUT if your boss is a day off sick, he must be very ill.
If you take a stand, you’re being bull-headed.
BUT if your boss does it, he’s being firm.
If you overlooked a rule of etiquette, you’re being rude.
BUT if your boss skips a few rules, he’s being original.
If you please your boss, you’re arse-creeping.
BUT if your boss please his boss, he’s being co-operative.
If you do something without being told, you’re overstepping your
BUT if your boss does the same thing, that’s initiative.
If you’re out of the office, you’re wandering around.
BUT if your boss is out of the office, he’s on business.
If you apply for leave, you must be going for an interview.
BUT if your boss applies for leave, it’s because he’s overworked.
If it was your idea, your a threat.
But if it was your boss’s idea, he’s a genius.
If you go to lunch with your friends, you are sluffing off.
But if your boss goes to lunch with friends, he’s in an off-site meeting.
© 2002 John Boy & Billy Inc.
CHANGE FOR A DOLLAR
An army corporal needed to use a pay-phone but didn’t have change for a dollar. He saw a lower-ranking private mopping the base’s corridor floors, and asked him, "Soldier, do you have change for a dollar?"
The private replied, "Yeah, sure."
The corporal turned red and quickly reprimanded the private, "That’s no way to address a superior officer in the army! It is ’Sir’ and nothing else. Are we clear? Now let’s try it again. Private, do you have change for a dollar?"
The private glanced at the corporal and replied, "No, SIR!"
(From a sermon by Victor Yap, "Jesus is Lord" 1/24/2009)
BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU
The other week, Laura and I were watching the Animal Planet. On the show we were watching was a dog that was rescued from a neglectful family. The poor animal had a big chain collar embedded into its neck. It had been a long time since the large animal had outgrown that chain collar, but its owner never bothered to change that collar. It resulted in the dog’s skin growing around the collar and the metal of the collar sinking deep into the dog’s skin.
The kind and hard working people from the Humane Society took the dog in, gave it some pain killers to put it down while they carefully removed the metal chain. They washed the poor animal, cut his hair, groomed him, and restored him to health.
After they had done all they could to restore its physical health, the dog had to undergo a test to determine if it could be adoptable. A bowl of food was placed in front of the dog, and while it was chomping down on the food, the worker used a plastic hand connected to a long stick to reach down and pet the dog. Quickly and viciously, the dog jumped and attacked the hand that it thought was reaching to take away its food. The test was re-done a few times in order to determine if the dog would consistently attack or if there was something that could be done. Every time, the dog would pounce at the hand and tear it to shreds. Unfortunately, because of his ferocity, the dog could not be adopted, and would have to be put to sleep.
As I watched that show, I wondered if God is like that trainer and I am like that dog. Maybe that dog bound with a collar that held it captive is like me, bound and held captive by my own sin. The kindly Master takes me in. He shows me compassion and mercy. By His grace, He cleans me, heals me, and restores me.
Then came the test. The dog looks and sees what it values, "food." I look in front of myself and see what I value. I call it, "blessings." Put an income in front of me, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a position of authority, or a chance to be popular.
What happens next? When He brings His hand near to my "blessings," and I am not sure if my Master may remove it or not, the question arises. Am I quick and vicious in attacking the hand that has provided for me, or do I submit to it? Am I quick to attack the hand that cared for and nurtured me, or do I still submit to and receive its tender care? If He allows an illness to come, an accident to occur, or a recession to rise; am I so quick to turn away from Him or do I realize that I may be at the beginning of an amazing miracle?
In all honesty, from the outside looking in, I see the dog as quite silly to think that he needed to defend himself against those who so carefully nursed him back to health. I wonder if the angels around look at me and think about how silly I am during those times when I question the same One who cares for me in my time of need, the One who gave His life to die in my place.
Here is the thing. If I don’t let God come near my "blessings," what happened to the dog? He was put to sleep. Am I saying that God will put you to sleep? No. But He may put you on the shelf. God uses those who allow Him, like Moses did, to have access to what is in their hands.
K. Edward "Ed" Skidmore
So I’m going to share with you a list I came up with of Seven steps guaranteed to embitter your Children:
1. Discipline your child only when you lose your temper. Let him get away with everything, then without warning, let ‘em have it! Blow your top! Scream and Yell! Let ‘er Rip! Go Crazy! That’s the way to let your child know “who’s REALLY in control around here.”
2. Give your child everything she wants right away. Don’t make her earn it! Gadgets and Toys and Video Games and Designer Clothes and Cars and good old Cash --- all of these make a GREAT substitute for your love and attention. And don’t worry; it won’t take long for your child to prefer the STUFF you provide over spending time with you.
3. As often as possible, compare your child to someone else --- a brother or sister is usually the best choice. Statements like, “Why can’t you be like Johnny” are sure to spur your child on to success!
4. Don’t let your child suffer the natural consequences of his actions. If your child gets in ANY sort of trouble, jump right in and make lots of excuses for him. Argue with his teachers; blame his friends; leave the church; sue the school --- but don’t let anyone hold your child accountable. … If you don’t come to the rescue every time, your child might develop respect for authority … and where will THAT get him in life?
5. Don’t waste time LISTENING to your child. Jump down her throat as soon as she opens her mouth. After all, you already know everything she’s going to say, right? Besides that, if you’re understanding and reasonable, she might start wanting to talk things over with you … and that would NEVER do!
6. Treat your child with constant suspicion. Expect the worst. Classic comments like “Can’t you do ANYTHING right?” or “You’ll never amount to anything.” can save your child from aiming too high in life.
7. If your child does anything wrong, NEVER let them...
SIX-YEAR-OLD WITH WEIRD NAME REFUSED BIRTH CERTIFICATE
MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow authorities have refused to issue a birth certificate to a six-year-old boy, whose parents named him BOCh RVF 26062002, a records chief told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
Registration officials refused to register the boy’s name, which translates into a Russian acronym for Biological Human Object of the Voronin-Frolov Genus (DoB) June 6, 2002, to "protect the boy’s own interests." The parents have insisted on registering the name.
"This case has been reviewed by several judicial agencies; however, the parents have been denied the right to register the child with that name," Tatyana Ushakova said. "This was done to protect the interests of the boy. His parents need to think about the boy and how he can live with a name like that and not think about their own ambitions."
Ushakova said that there is no legislation in Russia against giving children odd names. She also said that the parents referred their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg; however, the complaint was turned down.
In 2008, a number of other odd names were registered in Russia, including the English equivalent of North, Dolphin, Wind, and Moon. However, in 2005 the names Leaf Salad, Aviation Dispatcher, Russia, Privatization, Cool, Viagra and Simply a Hero were registered.
However, the Russian names are somewhat tame compared to New Zealand, where last year a family court judge made a nine-year-old girl a ward of the court in order to change her name from Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.
The judge Rob Murfitt said at the time, "The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child’s parents have shown in choosing this name. It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily."
Murfitt gave a list of names that registrars had refused to register, including Sex Fruit, Keenan Got Lucy and Fish and Chips. However the names Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence somehow got through."
TO HEAR MY HEAD RATTLE
My grandpa had a saying that always made me laugh. When he felt like we were not listening to him he would say, "I'm not talking to hear my head rattle!"
Can I tell you God doesn't speak to hear His head rattle! When He says something He means it and everything He says is backed up by who He is! He is the ultimate authority. We can feel very confident in the trustworthiness of what God says!