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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Big Takeaway

Updated on December 28, 2016

These were done by a very special and talented artist.

Sure he happens to be my elder son, the leader of a rock-n-roll band but that don't make him all bad.
Sure he happens to be my elder son, the leader of a rock-n-roll band but that don't make him all bad. | Source
For some reason they called my younger son "The Buddha Baby".
For some reason they called my younger son "The Buddha Baby". | Source

Just some stuff to knock us off our firm beliefs

If it is OK with the reader let us begin in a very special style. It is a promise that if you consider it just a bit and not read it like the back of your cereal box while scarfing breakfast down already late for the office then it will mean something. Otherwise at this point I beg of you to give your excuses and pardon yourself away from this dinner table of life.

Did we partake of the festivities as heathens and heartless souls or did we engulf ourselves, or even gorge ourselves, with that notion of love on Christmas. Let us assure you that many of us went very much further astray than you. Oh the heartless vicissitudes of an all powerful God, laughing at us in our folly. Once again proving that man plans and God laughs. Let us throw back our heads in our chair and reflect on that which went wrong, or not according to our plans and expectations.

Now let us gauge our empirical and materialistic responses. Notice we do not say, “judge” our actions. But rather view them as a hawk high on the wind. Fully out of our contemplation, understanding and judgment as to how well she does. “How well you handled yourself” is not the issue we seek resolution of. Simply the ease of watching the leaf on a stream that we did not create, did not set afloat and are powerless to control. This is the essence of our reflection of how we behaved. Guilt and morose and travesty and justice are blown into the wind like a bit of pollen too small to see.

Were we the peacemakers? Were we the ones that held our tongue? Did we sit quietly with a smile as one of ours opened the present we had brought in the name of love? Did we become the life of the party or someone who made it a party of life?

Was I right to gently hold on to my young son’s hand as we opened a gift together using our other hand together? Was the kiss to my lady soft enough, gentle enough and yet passionate and long enough to express my heart’s deep appreciation – not for a gift but for her being there? If by now you have judged yourself. Set that judgment on a shelf and join us further.

Our hearts are gained by others by their control over us. I do believe that this is a good thing if not taken too far. My love cradles my heart safely in her bosom of desire to love me. Do I take advantage? Did I take advantage and will I take advantage? Perhaps our day of togetherness and family and God will decide. Or just as probable there is nothing to decide.

Did that day we call Christmas nurture me and fuel the fire I have for love of my fellows? Were my genuine desires of peace on earth and good will toward others kindled or snuffed out like so many weak candles?

Our greatest blessings can be our strongest curses if we so allow our heart to be blocked from that energy that lets a woman expand in her love of all that is life. We truly cannot control or design our own blessings, all we can do is contribute to what is the life force that bestows them upon us, and others, even those we cannot and will not know.

I broke an elbow trying to keep up with this fellow tossing back Tequila. He damned near ran off with my wife in about '79

Now there is a perfectly good cabin back where this picture was taken.

But a roof or a sky? Ain't no issue - stars beat ceilings any day.
But a roof or a sky? Ain't no issue - stars beat ceilings any day. | Source

Slow down Joe. I really did have a best friend named Joel that we called Joe

A normal folk takes a deep breath right now and questions the sanity of the writer. I know that I do ;-) But we forge on in a quest to feel and deliver love more boldly. If you read the foregoing and had to read a sentence or two twice – I really do appreciate it. If you left, then you are not reading this.

“I am sorry but my children do not love me or they would show it this way”. “My wife does not even know what I wanted for Christmas,,, oops maybe I did not let her know”. Eric does not know how to act around people, there must be something wrong as he sits smiling and listening to the music in his head.

And yet we know the answer to all of these thoughts whether put into questions or not. Perhaps the tough year behind us has jaded us to the notion of receiving love as it is truly offered. It would seem that the receiver has more issues than the offeror.

Do not take my word for it -- take your own danged word.

Will we ever get it right? I certainly hope not! Then what would be left to learn of any magnitude of importance? Washing the dishes is important, by cleanliness it keeps our family free from harmful germs. But something of a magnitude of importance is sitting with an old person simply stroking the hand taken or smiling or maybe kissing and hugging. Perhaps a day of not looking at the 25year old buff model as something great to look at, but rather holding wrinkles in high esteem. Perhaps a day to look at the landscape painted on others faces rather than trying to appreciate that which is told to us is appealing.

We run close to the ending here. Dang it, do not look upon it as close to ending for you. My mom who was quite the demanding lady about getting everything just right for Christmas, once out of the blue, told me that it is not what you take to Christmas that is important, it is what you take from it. And then told me that, she would tell it to ____ and _____ my older siblings but that they would not get it. I chuckled as that is what she taught them. They were busy counting coup.

Let us even suggest to ourselves that we did not get it right this year. Let us be assured that this author did not get it right for this holiday. He failed again as is the past behind him. But on the 11th of May this year he, if he really tries to mesh with that God of his, might get it right for a moment. Who the hell knows what just might happen on the 11th, it is not a date with human import, but it may be the date that something can be done to help another in love.

If you do not know this guy, join the millions.

Sure I like a picked rose, but I like hanging out in my Rose Garden more.



Do not look over here for answers, we do not do that here for the answers are yours and yours alone. Yes I meant that. God does not give answers, He gives equations for us to solve. Never once has He patted me on the back and said “you got that just right”. If I rely on that I shall be a fool that holds his head underwater to see if he can breathe water.

So I think that if you read this whole piece that you took away what is right. I really have no illusion that you took away what I thought you should. It was my intention here to hopefully give you one line of thought that helped you come up with your own. But perhaps if you thought about this and reflected about what you can take away to be a better you, you just kicked fate and destiny in the butt and will make your own reality.

It is so cool. I do not do New Year’s resolutions. I do post-Christmas revelations. It seems to lead me into a commitment and not a promise.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

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

      John it is great to hear from you, I hope all is well in the millwright's home.

      I hope when you think of something more you will write us and let us know.

      Happy Tet!

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      Well written and imparts Tit Bits of wisdom. Will definitely be reading this piece on a few more occasions. Well Done Eric/

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Lawrence, we did real well for Christmas. Lots of family time just enjoying each other's company.

      But oh boy -- not this next holiday. Tet lasts at least 3 days long. The cleaning before hand is brutal. Then there is this notion that the first person to walk through your door will set your coarse for the year. So far we go with the Preacher-- rather than my rich buddies. Maybe I should rethink that ;-)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      We did get Christmas 'right' this year, and new year too!

      We were so worn down from the year, we just stopped, told the world, "we're here, not doing much, if you want to visit that's great, if not, that's great too!" and guess what, it's exactly what we needed!

      As for 'knowing' what each other wants, maybe not, but 90% of communication isn't verbal, so maybe the presents weren't 'perfect' (the family got mine right, and I think I was close with theirs!) but we still loved them!

      Good thoughts here


    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

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

      I was just a few day's ago sitting on a panel of folk required to give up up and away stuff to other people. I told the audience to go "F" off. If they look to the outside to run the inside then they failed already.

      It was cool in it's cruelty.

      Dianna, if I thought for a moment that you "needed" something, I would tell you outright. But you are special, folk need you.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      23 months ago

      I don't make resolutions each year either. I simply live my life choosing to bring purpose to life, encouraging others to live life with hope. I don't always get things right but I keep aiming to acquire the three virtues of faith, hope, and love as my foundation.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Tim I fell into the "too much thought" this holiday season. Made me evaluate if my heart had ever steered me wrong. No not really. Some problems arrived when I felt it and then machinated on it.

      But in the end I certainly feel loved.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      23 months ago from Escondido, CA

      Again, you have blessed me with much thought and reflection. I pondered meaning of Christmas and meaning of this Christmas. I wondered if I would make commitments for self this New Year or for God. For that matter if I make commitments of self are they for God or for me. I will give that more thought. Sharing is I realized on the drive home this Christmas it was different than the most recent years. It struck me I was listening to family with my heart and not my mind bringing great blessings. If I do make any New Year resolution perhaps that may be it . . . to listen more with my heart than my mind.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Ruby we did the walk on the beach Christmas tradition yesterday. Fantastic! Tonight we do big sister night with Vietnamese soup (Pho'). My elder son is back in SF today. They start a "clean the beach" series of concerts. Those first two pictures are really by him. But you have seen him on those displays at shopping malls. He is a top notch model.

      He reminds me that the giveaway creates the takeaway.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      23 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Eric. I don't make New Years resolutions, usually they were broken within the week. I do make a vow to try to be a better human. Each day I strive to love more and not be judgmental. To me, the Christmas season is a time for reflection, back to the good old days when one present was precious and neighbors cared about each other. I'm not saying that it can't be that way again, something to work on. I loved that you and your son opened a present holding hands, and what's wrong with being in a rock and roll band? It's not what you see on the outside, it's what lives on the inside, yes, I love rock and roll...You did good again preacher man...

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Hi Linda,

      I kind of bite my tongue at being around grave illness and death. It is not when people want to hear what I believe about trials and death of bodies.

      My wife is just flat out bold about it. She is straightforward that problems on earth are really no big deal if you do it with Jesus. It sure works for us.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      23 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric - I love your statement "God does not give answers, He gives equations for us to solve." Being a Christian doesn't mean we get a perfect life, a free ride, with no cares or sorrows. What we DO get is opportunities, the opportunity to walk with Him each day.

      Have you ever wondered why it took the Israelites 40 years to reach the Promised Land? It's not because Moses didn't have a compass. It's because God wanted them to learn to rely on His strength, not their weaknesses.

      Each day is a blessing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us again.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Thank you Bill. As a youth I never really like the consolation prize of "you did your best". But now I think I got it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't do resolutions either, my friend. Each day is a new beginning for me. I try to be a better person. I stumble along the way. I get back up with new resolve. It's the best I can do on any given day, and hopefully, at the end of the journey, it will have been enough.

      Blessings always


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