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Eric’s Sunday Sermon; How to Live the Good Life

Updated on January 6, 2019
Ericdierker profile image

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

Just a Moment In Time

Life is Pacific
Life is Pacific | Source

No Mystery At All

Some folks surely lead a very good life and don’t share it. Before the full on advent of Facebook that seemed wrong. Certainly one should share the good fortunes and habits of their lives. Sharing the overcoming of something bad and prospering after it should be given as examples of perseverance.

Let examine “things” that lead away from a good life. Keep in mind that this preacher man has been afflicted by some extent to all of these.

Weight. This may seem a funny one to start out with but it is a baseline. Now we have all met very jolly and happy huge people. And we see some who are just plain skinny and perfectly good with that.

A quick story on that. I have had conditions that required medications. The first big one was chemotherapy. I am 6ft even and ended up weighing about 135lbs. The second was really just preventing a condition related to age and a wait and watch lymphoma in which really the best cure was an overabundant healthy diet – hence 60lbs over weight.

In both cases I was alive and that is the baseline; Being alive. But we note either extreme keeps us from full activity which is essential.

Anger. Check this out. Anger is really good for you. A really good glass of Red Wine three times a week is really good for you. But too much of either is really really an impediment to a good life. If we look at what “made” us angry and work through it, it reveals what inside us triggered our anger and we can work it through and get rid of control issues and fear. Anger normally is fear turned outward.

The Red Wine is such a gauge for whether we are in somewhat control of ourselves from the inside or is our direction really from what we take in from the outside. (Control is a tricky word)

Hate. This is so akin to anger. Reasonable hate like our wine or anger is fine in the right dose. One should hate atrocious happenings. We all should know the drill “hate the action not the person”. In our home “stupid” and “hate” are foul illegal words. Funny but we hate the words. However in sporting competition they are allowed as long as mom is not around. And we get good chuckles when we say “I hate you” when we get beat.

But for the good life we know that hate is the opposite of love. So we are careful.

We Say a Brutally Good Man

A New Day

Headed out on this hike at 4 am to watch the reflection of a sunrise.
Headed out on this hike at 4 am to watch the reflection of a sunrise. | Source

Poverty and Hunger

Do not laugh. We are writing from Southern California. So much of our self-esteem around here is how you look. Some folks will tell you that the Bible forbids pride. Interesting concept that rightful pride in an offspring or spouse is bad. Another for instance is my 15 year old car that runs perfectly but is getting quite “faded” in appearance. I take pride in my constant vigilance that has kept it running and so as to minimize my footprint on earth.

Somehow too much pride which is properly called vainglory is really bad for the good life. Once again moderation is the key.

(As a side note I often wonder why some women 75 lbs overweight wear “skinny” pants. Not judging, just wondering)

Suffering. Hey I have full license to talk about what we would call misery and yet not suffering. Suffering is a full on choice. I know folks who suffer through a cold. So strange. Maybe they might even suffer over the above about poverty. I like to say we suffer through the cold weather here. I turned on the heater when we were 59 degrees in the house two days ago. We don’t heat to over 63. We like to wear our winter clothes, like sweaters and down booties and warm flannel pajamas. Yet I grew up where subzero weather was not uncommon. My boy and I love to suffer the rain and mud.

I think maybe some folks have a right to suffer. I hate that they are in that predicament in life.

Hunger. Again let me reiterate that I live in Southern California. Hunger is not an issue. I believe we have one of the largest “Food Banks” in the world. When we (I volunteer sometimes) hand out bags of food we have bags left over. And yes the poor of food no the schedules and could get a bag four times a week. That is after our very generous government programs and places like Catholic food programs. I met up with some homeless the other day. I saw one giving some food to another. They were both overweight. So I stuck around the bodega for an hour, most were overweight.

But here is a horrible rub. Crackhead parents don’t give a rat’s rear about feeding their children. Food gets sold for money for the habit. So we set up a program for free breakfast, lunch and snack for children at our school district. If a teacher recommends a child that is all that is needed. The food is so good that we have our son eat it. We pay and understand that our paying for it helps the program – talk about a win, win.

We pray for those children who live in starvation conditions.

Sunset from Coronado

Bye Bye Today.
Bye Bye Today. | Source

Maybe Being Happy?

The Positive

If you follow these sermons you know the baseline of a good life. Of course that is love. Being in a state of “in love” with life and all around us. It really is an inside job. You really cannot get it from being loved. Well of course that is the icing on the cake but the cake is self-made and a choice. A disclaimer here that after years of practice and spiritual stuff I don’t have a choice. I simply cannot not love.

I think that in some way we all have been afflicted from most of the negative stuff above. And it seems to me that we all go through bi-polar episodes. And we are all subject to a depressive state normally caused by loss. But we need not lose love.

If you ever get to being bummed out about your circumstance think of this time honored notion. I had new shoes that breaking them in caused pain. Then I went to the store and saw a barefoot man. When I chose not to give him my new shoes I then saw a man with no feet.

So the bottom line key to a good life is this. When you might be down and out. In the concept of above. Then do as the story with Jesus. Luke 21: beginning, I think. A widow and in those days, that was bad. Gave all she had out of poverty. And it is more than the rich man giving more.

That is us and a good life. If we are in poverty of love then we must give whatever love we have, and give it with compassion. In this our love grows exponentially like a synergism with our inside heart. It is not the outside giving that grows our good life it is the desire to share our love with those who need it. And who doesn’t need it?

“Love, love the magical thing.

The more you give the more you bring”

So I am sorry to have bored you with all this. How to live the good life does not need this whole sermon. It simply needs me to love you enough that you can share that love and pass it on. That is good enough.

I Just Love This Fellow

Beauty and good is in the eye of the beholder.
Beauty and good is in the eye of the beholder. | Source

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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora thank you. Like blinders on a race horse I just don't get to look left and right. Just down the track of life and love.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 days ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, you keep us focusing on what's important. Thanks for gently whipping us into shape week after week. Good thoughts on the good life.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      13 days ago from Washington DC

      Brother Eric,

      Love isn't always doing, there are times when love is when one doesn't do. Maybe I expressed the following to you so forgive me if I have.

      About a months after I arrived in NYC 1981 a girlfriend and her 11 year old daughter followed me there for a couple of months. We spent most of our time in Washington Square Park, NYU's playground, where I played with her daughter extensively. After they return home another girl who had observed it asked me to play with her 3 year old son who was afraid to even walk through pigeons.

      I took him to a playground where at first he would not even play with the other children but finally learned to so long as the were not climbing anything. I usually stayed in the park so one day, after months of observing him I climbed upon a platform slide with 2X4 steps to the platform. He asked to come up where I was and he began and got too scared to come up or go down and asked me to help him. Even his crying didn't persuade me to help and after 3 mothers attempted that I forbid to help he finally climbed up and felt proud of himself. He wanted to go down the slide and refused to help him so he slid down and was again proud off himself. That was near the end of his year's park going before winter.

      The next spring his mother brought him to the park where he was not afraid of anything. Hs state of fear was so removed that he walked over and pet a dog the man said had never allowed a child to touch it. In that case, the advantage of love was to enforce self-confidence into the child by not doing what the mothers would have called loving him but I call papering.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ah Tim, we have so many problems you could not shake a stick at all of them. We so poor we cannot pay attention.

      But we just did a group hug and the boy farted. Oh my goodness the tickling punishment was too hilarious. Albeit I did flee the room shortly thereafter.

      I wonder about people who really settle for "good". I ain't got it in me.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wonderful words Linda. We have been watching "Nailed It" and he laughs when they do no follow directions. Measuring cups and whisks and baking time --- how fun is that!?

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      2 weeks ago from U.S.A.

      I love the sermon, Eric. I never get tired of your sermons and wonderful uplifting words.

      I guess it's o.k. to hate the N.E. Patriots, at least on NFL Sundays. But I love the game, so that passes quick.

      Much respect,

      And if I lived near you, Eric, we both would be doing volunteering down at your food bank or shelter.

      Thanks for a heart and mind filling meal of nourishing love in your sermon.

      Tim

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, I'm pretty much with you. Recipes are suggestions, not commandments (although when you venture into the realm of baking as opposed to cooking, you need to adhere a bit more to the measurements and steps. Baking is more of a science).

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda I cleaned the oven hardcore. The boy wants to bake and the heat is perfect right now. Right on! Bake on! We will be looking for your ideas. Sorry I do not call them recipes. Mom told me they were ideas.

      I figure she did good I was a Sous Chef by 13 and a Ramrod by 15. "Ramrod" for a different time. But we lassoed and cooked the beef.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, how can talking about love be boring? I love these sermons. Bring it on. Never too much love.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill as you are familiar with -- back to school day. Two weeks of bliss with the boy and off he goes leaving me to get her done. Love actually takes some work.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mary it is so good to hear from you. I like your comment. This is a gift I cherish. Thank you for giving it to me.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      This is a good primer for those who haven't learned what you and I have learned, buddy! Let's spread the word and spread the love!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      You are right about giving: the more you give, the widow's mite, the more comes back to you. I do believe in this. The joy we get out of giving is more than any gift we give. You always make me think and get new direction to my week.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John we just did a family group hug. I hear that life stinks. But we must have filters. Love filters all ill. I still pray for your wife and know your love will carry her.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill it is always good to hear from you. I hope your life is blessed. We did the dinner table talk of finance. It is not good. But we are good. The shutdown effects us. But we stay true. And love.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, what a good life this is. Great sermon Eric my friend.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      2 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      " Anger normally is fear turned outward." I never thought of it that way before, but I believe you're right. Thanks for the insight and much more, my friend!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Pamela thank you. Somewhere along the line I stopped calling the negative a waste of time. As I went along I simply did not have time for it. God is great.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      Eric, Your articles are never boring. I always tend to take an inventory of my own behavior after reading your articles. It that is a good thing. You make us think about anger, love, hate, weight, etc. and what would the Lord have us to do?

      I have found age has mellowed me, and I think life it too short for hate and judgments we made against family or even friends that may have done something to hurt our feelings. God Bless you and your family.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Clive and it is a good day.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      2 weeks ago from Jamaica

      Very Good One Today.

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