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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Getting Beyond a Traditional View of God Only as Your Better

Updated on November 26, 2017
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

The Child Within Us Must Be Cherished, Not Grown Out Of

OK we both had vests on for fun. Why go to church without the fun of dressing up?
OK we both had vests on for fun. Why go to church without the fun of dressing up? | Source

Hey! This is True! Some People Actually Use Physical Violence on a Child? Now That is Pure Sickness and Evil.

There is a funny thing about most kids fearing their father. In my experience that is wrongful. It is like when it is time to do something, the clock is the boss not the enforcing parent. If there be fault that it is time to go to school – it is the clocks fault and father time. If there are rules to be honored and one breaks the rules it is the fault of the rule’s or the offender not the strong father that enforces them.

This must be pounded into the head of a youngster lest he think that the authority over him is bad or to be feared. It must be understood that the code of honor is not one of fear. The only real failure that can be is the fear of not doing our best. If you cheat, the guilt, the dissatisfaction with winning and the self hate talk in the head are to be feared. The consequence of punishment can even be seen as a relief/release of shame into one’s heart. This is poor thought.

There are enough federal rules and regulations and statutes that if stacked together are taller than the Washington memorial. Would that be 95 thousand or so pages – certainly not 95 million or maybe it is. And what difference would it really make.

I just love three over used concepts “rules are made to be broken” and “But everyone else is doing it” and “think outside the box”. The code of Hammurabi was two burdensome but laid in a great purpose. Knowing the law leaves one free from worry. Abraham Lincoln said to the effect “obedience of the law is the greatest freedom”. The Ten Commandments fit into two stone tablets. If a lawyer relies on the wording of a law without reading the history of why it was written he is but an empty gong in the field of Jurisprudence. And likewise, a preacher who cannot discuss the Law of God but only preach it, he also is a song without music.

And so the authoritarian father or Father is nothing if there is not common respect. There simply must be a feeling deep inside that, that which we worship respects us also. Perhaps we can explain it thusly. I am fearful to publish my writings. So many are “so not worthy” in my eyes. But good, bad or indifferent I am clothed with some ability to write. I stress over hitting the button to publish. And so I must somehow respect my work as worthy. Not wallow in some ego driven morass that I do not respect my work. If I made something and cannot respect it I am nothing.

Please take note here

Mary nods and Christ Child smiles. We sometimes miss those to signs of respect. How can a gift no matter how small not reflect a mutual respect?

An Important Song

Respect for Nature?

Appreciation is one thing - respect for nature is critical.
Appreciation is one thing - respect for nature is critical. | Source

Even Our Homeless Must Be Respected

And so those of us who believe we are made and not just hatched, we must accept that our maker is equally respectful of us. Not ashamed to set forward or to show. God respects God’s work. I respect the talents given me and must not ever put a lampshade over my flame.

How then can some claim that the respect is not mutual via love? Can I move forward in my relationship with my child if I do not fully respect her and her talents? How can I lift her up above me without a mutual admiration? Here is a weird one with my youngest. He is “given” free time to play outside by himself (actually told not given). And he creates a world in which to play. Dragons slayed and kings obeyed. Maybe I am too old, but far more than most 60 year olds, using imagery meditation I can transport my visions. But the boy is far more adept at imagination than I. So who should be respected? He laughs in pure joy more than I, so who should be respected. He, through exercise is in better shape than I for his weight and height, so who should be respected. He makes my wife giggle and laugh more than I. So who should be respected? The child with eyes wide open to marvels of life or the old man jaded?

I was doing some time at the best foodbank in all of the world. I was not there to serve in my preacher man capacity, the endeavor was secular. It was simple as I asked who the boss was. There was someone in charge who was dealing with a less than normal attitude. Homeless and clearly off meds. I loudly asked the person in charge if I could be of assistance as she had much to do and was needed elsewhere. The crazy man and I locked eyes. Surmising who was crazier. A cup of Joe for both of us. I was not allowed there in my preacher man capacity. So talk was cheap and caring a luxury.

Funny thing but we had 3 guys and 2 women with us at the close of the “soup line”. You don’t give out numbers you give out “handles” like “Bad Dog” and “Lilly Cup”. We agreed to bring a friend and meet up next Thursday “right there and then”. (did you know you can buy a good blanket at the DAV for like 2 buckaroos? You pick up five and the price goes down) you toss ‘em down on the bench and suggest you heard they were free from some rich dude. No charity, just a write off. They get it and they are a bit warmer for a night or so.

Just a "Little Bit".

Give Some Respect

If you play in nature you must give respect to all creatures.
If you play in nature you must give respect to all creatures. | Source

Respect Respects Respect

So I think that brings us back to where we started. Do you do anyone any great service by being better than them? In a certain sense the answer is yes. A kind of notion that says “if I can do it so can you”. But only in that very tiny window of example not lauding. My years of coaching taught me quite clearly that ordering the athlete around was lame. It has to be posited as “if we do this then we can accomplish this”.

What of God? I must admit that I have never been ordered to do something by God. Clearly you have in general commandments like to love God and your neighbor and even your enemy and do not lie or kill people. Interesting but I do not have to be ordered to do or not do certain things. I have noticed that somewhere between 7 and 9 years of age, children who consider themselves worthy of helping just do it. Just yesterday my son and I were switching cars. Without a word from me he has his booster seat and bottle of water in hand.

If we are in this with God then we need to partner up. We need to just plain instinctively do the right thing so God does not have to tell us to do it. If we do that then we are on equal footing with God. Did you ever sit down to think that we do stuff for God? For sure. We love for God. And at least in my case God does stuff for me, including loving me. This is quite the same as a father and a child. If we respect the child the child will learn to respect himself and others. How much more is that true with our Father in Heaven? Respect garners respect and love produces love. So we need to step up and try to be like God. Did you ever consider that prayer is an encouragement to God?

Thank you

If you read this, you showed me, perhaps more respect than I am entitled.

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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sorry to have missed this Frank. As my auntie used to say to really good people "you are such a blessing."

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Bill. I am thinking about the notion that at some point our children were quietly taught to respect anything. Like that weird 911 notion that if we respected certain people and their actions it would not have happened.

      When you cheapen respect so, we lose it.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      10 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Another great lesson, Eric. I have to wonder where did things go wrong in regard to respect. For the most part, respect just doesn't seem to exist anymore. Truly sad. You picked a good time to drive your point home. Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Jackie.

      I have been watching lately about respect and schools. Perhaps they are going a bit too far. Almost to a point in some ways to respect abhorrent behavior, while at the same time some normal behavior must be reported.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      10 months ago from The Beautiful South

      I think most of us worth salt were taught to respect everyone, even the poor and homeless no matter what. I think it is not being taught s much today for respect of anyone.

      Good sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Larry I know just what you mean about moving. Just cleaning my office is draining ;-)

      I am just blessed with great children. Right now with my youngest it makes us both laugh when I try to order him. "I think you should...." works just fine. And we always make time for the why questions. Danged time consuming.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      thank you Nikki, you inspire me.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      10 months ago from Raleigh

      I have been kind of silent for the last month, sorry. My wife and I have been moving from one apartment to another. Moving always takes a toll on the mind and the body. I always enjoy reading what you write, Eric. It makes me think back to when I was a kid and when I was a parent and was raising my own. I think that love and respect go hand in hand. I always tried to allow my kids to make their own decisions. Of course there were times when I had to step in and lead them to another direction. I learned respect during those times and I know my kids did as well.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      10 months ago from London

      Very well said,,Respect is most important thing,if you want respect,you should learn to give respect to others as well.One of best lesson of life.

      Another masterpiece Eric.God bless you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      thank you Frank. It makes me glad that you had some time to visit. Your two additions are great. It could be that while we are busy, writing, and meditation and the like are not something to cut out.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      10 months ago from Shelton

      Boy I do have to admit how much I miss these sermons.. bless you my friend

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for your comment and compliment Manatita. Yes indeed being "told to" is no way to grow along spiritual lines.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Ian and welcome. When I have actually paused and done something for God it always works out great.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      10 months ago from london

      A very decent argument for respect and Love. Indeed as the Christ Himself said, children are a great example of where to start. God's Love and the authoritarian stuff, do not go together and your sentiments are well taken.

      A very charming Hub.

    • ian 12am profile image

      Ian Batanda 

      10 months ago

      Very nice piece of work. We must learn to respect the child, so that respecting others should come to them naturally rather than by coercion. I believe we should do everything for God, because God does everything for us, even in situations that seem difficult to comprehend.

      Thanks again.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise. we are so blessed. A philosophical friend of mine commented to me that if we frame all social entanglements in a proper light then they are good. But how much more important is that framing with God. Of course with his fancy degree and wisdom I had to contemplate such lofty matters, after all he is my eldest son.

      You express as always an understanding of human nature mixed with respect for God. I am made better by your thoughts.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, it is sad that all my Godparents are elsewhere after passing. But at 60 I get to choose and much time ago I chose you. Your essence as loving is beyond reproach. It is a blessing to have friends are so easy to respect.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Kari I was a guest at a "symposium" on us cancer patients today. We are so required to view each day with a new childish attitude. And this means in a really clear sense sharing our fears. Perhaps on some days it is leading with our own light. Others it is reaching up to be lifted up. My son lifts me beyond measure as do my adult children.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dear Elijah I read your comment and went outside in our weather and cried. What joy to learn from good good friends.

      I printed up the constitution. And I try to read a part everyday as I teach my son the meaning of the Lord's prayer which he has memorized.

      You and I do not get a pass, no Mulligans. We must express the wonderment of our respect.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda I had a Dr. conference with an old friend/adversary in the area of psychology. A wonderful Doc in his area.

      We danced and tugged at the notion of healthy fear. So easy when you are face to face with notions of death.

      He pounds on cognitive dissonance and I pound on the notion that fear is an enemy of creativity.

      Should we refrain from fear enough to be creative? Not so easy of an answer.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tim you always give me great pleasure when you comment.

      I think that respect is in our DNA. But parent figures fail at it. And as most normal, instead of facing it and discussing it with our young representatives of humanity. We shame.

      My world is made better by sharing my catastrophic errors even with children. And I have reason to think it enriches their life also to be part of a solution.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      10 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I love your logic! It is so....logical! A realization of our own insignificance in the sight of God is a very healthy "fear," so to speak. Our children know that we are bigger than them, and for the most part, they do what we tell them. Our ability to humble ourselves to their level and love them brings out their best as we teach the ins and outs of this vast world that we live in. God does the same for us. We "fear" him in that he is far away, all powerful, all knowing, and all present. It is in feeling of his personal love for each of us individually that we grow in our ability to do for others what he has done for us!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      10 months ago from The Caribbean

      "God respects God’s work." You say so much in this short sentence. The child who understands this will make an exceptional adult. And it is not too late for us who are older to study and understand it. Thanks!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 months ago from Ohio

      Thank you for publishing this! It is very beautiful. I agree we must keep our childish wonder at all things. And like a child doesn't care where their friends come from, so should we. We are made to give and get love and respect. This is one path to happiness. :)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Bill, but it is not supposed to be so simple ;-)

      Most of my friends kind of look at me funny when I say that my heaven will be full of challenges. Being perfect would be so boring.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      10 months ago from Washington DC

      Inspiringly written, bro. Eric, and brought memories of my own life to the forefront of my memory.

      First, a comment concerning "This must be pounded into the head of a youngster lest he think that the authority over him is bad or to be feared" that I find appropriate is the term 'fear' is not the same as "afraid or scared". Fear's definition is "to approach with cautious learning" as "the fear of god is the beginning of wisdom" implies. To approach god with cautious learning allows one to experience both the intended and alternant purposes and reason which is the more fulfilling. To be afraid and scared means to do anything different from "the external source's instructions" will bring to me some form of punishment. Thus, I concur with your conclusion.

      My school teacher mother was an authoritarian "do it my way because I said so or be punished" teacher but about six months old a bodiless voice taught me reasoning by telling the screamingly crying me "no one is coming to get you, you may as well be content" and I obeyed to receive praise from my mother. From then on,when things didn't reason out I questioned them openly until parental punishment caused me to take it inward and the answers would eventually be rewarded outwardly, thus, my childish questioning has remained with me over 72 years now and proving the truth of your words, "...those of us who believe we are made and not just hatched, we must accept that our maker is equally respectful of us."

      My answer concerning "Do you do anyone any great service by being better than them?" is a definite NO! As a matter of fact, every time anyone think themselves better than any other they actually make themselves less than them. That attitude makes one conceded and is self belittling, no matter the age, gender, position in civilization or any other place of authority one might have there is no reason for one to expect another to look at them in any way except as an equal. It is for that reason the U.S. Constitution intended this nation to be united which eliminate every form of disrespect classes of any type brings on.

      So I say again, brother, very inspiringly written.

      Peace.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      10 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, I think all of us have that little something inside of us (conscience) that tells us if we're doing right or wrong. I think that's programmed into all of us. But some of us have gotten really good at putting on blinders (or sticking our fingers in our words saying na na na I can't hear you).

      And like Lori, I agree that to "fear" God (as it is written) is misunderstood. It doesn't mean to be afraid. It's respecting. And that, I'm sure, is why Gabe tries to do right by you. It's not because he's afraid of you, but because he respects and loves you and doesn't want to let you down.

      God knows we can't be perfect but He gave us a way out, and you know what I'm talking about. Thanks for another lovely article.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      10 months ago from Escondido, CA

      A very good article getting the old grey matter thawing. I was wondering how as a child I learned the meaning of the 'new word' respect introduced to me. What age did I learn it. What was my life experience context. Did it evolve with learning. I think it would be interesting to ask at least 100 children at age five what respect means. Thanks for the adventure Eric.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I try to work it out with the Big Guy on a one-on-one basis. He knows I'm flawed so he cuts me some slack. I know I'm not perfect, so I shoot for progress over perfection. It seems to work. :)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lori it is such a pleasure to call you friend.

      I see your point about using the word crazy. It is like a certain ethnic group being able to call others of the ethnicity a derogatory name within their ethnicity. Some of us may be crazy and that gives us license to call others crazy. I do not do well normal. But I flourish crazy.

      I really like what you have to say about fear. I just think fear is "us" based. I fear not living up to my creators level and standard. I simply do not fear God. I fear my sins.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ed, we are at that point where he is using is face to try and get what he wants. I just love this stage. Whenever he makes a face we run to the bathroom mirror and practice it. He is great at the smiles and I am great at the pouting.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      10 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      You and your boy are so cool together. When we hear the words "Fear the Lord," it means to have reverence and aw, respect for His Sovereignty. Not wrathful and punitive, but certainly when healthy discipline is necessary they can trust the love of their father. I think that is how a child should see his earthly father, a reverence and respect, knowing his father loves him and does his best

      A lot of this I agreed with but take issue with two things. First, to show respect for the man off his meds it's not cool to call him a crazy man, although I don't think you had any ill intent. I'm around people with serious mental illnesses, they may act crazy, but they are not crazy, they are sick.

      Secondly, I think God does tell us what to do if we're listening and reading his word. The Bible has probably thousands of specific lessons, words of instruction, guidance, etc. You are right, it boils down to love God and your neighbor, but doing so is not our default position. We are sinners and we need God's specifics sometimes. Sometimes it's really hard to love peopl, especially those who have done great offense to us or someone we love.. In those cases, loving your neighbor is baffling. What does loving them look like when they violate your child, or steal from a poor old woman to support their drug habit?

      I've missed many of your sermons lately due to limited access to email for notifications.

    • profile image

      ahorseback 

      10 months ago

      Eric , That boy is certainly destined for teaching people how to smile !

      But I guess he's only taking after his dad !

      Thank you for this .

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