Authority

Popular Names Change Like The Weather

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan recently received the exciting news, that his tribe is increasing. Another grandchild is to be born in August, and already names are being discussed for a boy or a girl. My old neighbor was distressed that the parents are considering some of the most popular baby names from last year. The girls’ names that the parents are considering are Emma, Olivia, and Ava. The boys’ names are Noah, Liam, and Mason.

“Popular names for babies change like the weather, so it is best to call babies after family members. Names like Edward, Wilfred, or Richard for boys; and Ruby, Bertha, or Mabel would reflect our family,” Ed informed me.

When I asked if he had shared those names with the parents, Ed said that he did, but they did not seem eager for the familiar, family, names. Ed warned them that the baby could turn out like Aunt Mabel or cousin Wilfred even if they called the baby Emma or Noah. Ed contends you can come up with new names for babies but family characteristics repeat in every generation.

I cautioned Ed not to get discouraged as many babies have for their second name a grandfather’s or grandmother’s name. I also suggested that Ed will love his grandchild no matter what name he or she has. Ed said that it might depend on how well he or she drives a tractor or a combine.

There is no denying that what is popular carries considerable authority. Popularity means that which is in favor, fashion, vogue, acceptance, esteem, approval, acclaim, and demand. Hockey is popular in Canada, so are; cell phones, movies, french-fries, and skateboarding. Not all things that are popular are good for us or the best for us in the long run. Most of us live under the authority of me, myself and I. We are self-seeking and determined to be self-reliant in our pursuit of personal happiness. Do we understand the world does not revolve around ourselves and our desires? Everything revolves around God even if many deny him.

Many of us believe that the Bible is the authoritative word of God for all time. The people that heard Jesus preach were amazed at his teachings because he taught with authority. He acted in the authority of God when he healed people and forgave their sins. Jesus said that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to him. Jesus’ authority on earth was to call sinners to repentance and salvation through faith in his sacrificial suffering on the cross for our sins.

The ancient gods; Eros, Dionysus, Mammon, Mars, Prometheus are no longer worshiped in temples but still kidnap many people. Eros, the god of sexual pleasure; Dionysus, the god of wine and self-indulgence; Mammon, the god of wealth; Mars, the god of race, land, and nation; Prometheus, the god of power and achievement; are very often at the heart of our self-seeking pursuit of happiness. Fortunately, many realize these gods are abusive and empty, so faith in the true God becomes possible. The true God created our lives, and, also as our Redeemer frees us from sin, and gives the promise of eternal life. Best of all the true God gives fulfillment and peace to our lives.

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Raymond Maher
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