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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Burden We Deserve

Updated on October 7, 2016

Don't do well with apologies around here.

Maybe something I should work on.
Maybe something I should work on. | Source

Maybe I am not sorry but I want to make it right.

This is a sermon that may just be called a confession. If you have ever been to a regular old Christian Church you will know about a few words said by the leader. Some quiet time with the intent of some kind of confession of sins to God. I reckon when being a preacher man I used to nearly weep. For a few years back in the last century I suppose I wept because I felt so bad to God that I was such a no good for nothing sinner. But something happened in the years of being a lay minister. At some crazy point I guess I finally fell down and recited over and over “forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who have trespassed against me”. But by golly for love’s sake I could not remember or even know all my trespasses. Was I damned?

Back a bit. I have no regrets. Every time I think of my booboos or great indiscretions or just down right wrongs I am forced to see four children that are near perfect and I have been there as their dad. Just think of it – one wrong that I may have not committed may have altered their grace. One illness or serious injury that I may have not suffered could have changed the outcome of beauty and love.

But did a flap of wind that I caused, cause another to lose his hat and be cold. Or did my arrogance and bombastic younger years steal a proper self esteem from a person not deserving of such. Or at an important time when I was on my game did I give a man the importance to do something that actually cause harm. Now remember my friends we are not talking regrets. We may not change the past – or can we? Certainly not go back and undue what the heck we did.

But if we try hard we can review, reflect and repent and then do something better than what the Bocephus we did wrong. We can touch our lover’s or a stranger’s hand and make things better. Well in some way we can do something to make our past wrongs into a better than what they were situation.

Hang on let us listen to some tunes and look at a photo.

I have always been between doing what is so right it is heroic. And my cowardly way.

I remember this day, big sister took the picture at a temple type retreat. That little guy told me how surfers surf and Pelicans fly.

I will never know more than a child.
I will never know more than a child. | Source

Do children get a free pass in the "right" department?

Sorry to tell you we are not talking about amends here. “oh I am sorry here is the 100 buckaroos I owe you from 1980”. How trivial. Oh sure someone might think us a changed man, but far more important to those we may have trespassed against is to make it right somehow – nope not right but better. I think in 1971 I did something wrong to someone that caused her to do something wrong to another. That there is bad jo jo. Ah, for sure having a degree in philosophy I get all the Dharma and Karma. But that is selfish stuff. That is like feeding the hungry so you get an award from the mayor. Not happening in the world of real spirituality and love.

There is this most marvelous concept that I had to look into quite heavily as I prepared to teach youth. Or is that preach to youth? Holy cow I hope it was to learn with youth though I wore a silly robe. I think I really learned it of all places being a ski instructor for children – 3 and up. And then at a really weird place called Dartmouth in a study program for totally crazy children. These children were wacked but had rich parents so they could afford our program as opposed to looney bin lock up for juveniles. Ok, a strange background for my Biblical point. This is in Luke 17 I think: It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Think hard on that one please. I hope you are thinking of children that you affect today as an adult reading this. And I feel so much the same. But then I laugh at myself and question if I had a free pass when I was child. The theological concept is not restricted to adults treating children. It is also one of the only concepts that requires the child to treat the other child RIGHT. This may sound strange so let us take another healthy music break. How about that great song “imagine” – apologies to Catholics.

Imagine if "today" you get make right wrongs. It would be the ultimate "now".

Oh I am not so sure about Religious Baptism - too many rules.

So his big sisters and his mom and brother and I Baptized him in pure Oak Creek Canyon stream. I do not know about your God but my love covered him as did his family.
So his big sisters and his mom and brother and I Baptized him in pure Oak Creek Canyon stream. I do not know about your God but my love covered him as did his family. | Source

Hell hath no fury -- but love has no competition.

So here is the part in the sermon where I ask you to leave your easy chair and not quite fly away with me but put a day dream in your heart and a butterfly in your mind. What wonderful words “What if”. If I could turn back the hands of time and correct my wrongs yet not change the current beauty of my life, would I do it? Yes but it is not possible. The energy of the cow giving birth in Crimea changes the air enough to affect the butterfly at my feeder just above Mexico, or maybe not. Something to think about. So there is this wonderful dichotomy that you are charged with. Should you change the past though it may have negative impact on the future? Morally of course – you should, why? Because you can again change the future before happens.

OK I am messing with you, that is deep enough for a vortex advertisement for a whoo whoo retreat. But the answer to such deep thought is a God. Slow down here I am not talking about a vengeful old man on a throne. I am talking about that link between us that just has no other name than love. This 100% global phenomenon called love. Bubba let me tell you I have been in the largest garbage dump in the world where over three hundred people live in horrible poverty. I have sat on a river where people drink and bath yet corpses float by. I have been where war has left people in “reeducation camps” without food. I have seen the inner cities like Quartier Pigalle where life is not a thing of value. But there was always one thing present – Love. So just assume that perhaps this immeasurable God thing is the only thing omnipresent and omnipotent. Well tie my leg behind my back and challenge me to a butt kicking contest. I will win on this because it is unassailable.

Oh let us squeeze in one more song before I leave you with something to challenge me with and I hope y’all do.

I do declare I got a hankerin. There is a man that is all of our grandfathers. They deserve our respect and I hope your find time today to be good to one. One 9

Oh do figure about the time I was born -- more like Frank Donald and Jim Christianson and James Joyce. I reckon those all best pards. And I do think they were r

Hey buddy it is not to late to be great children.

I had dinner with my 6 year old just the other night. Mom was working hard as a good field horse and as pretty as a queen of Monaco. My son who already has challenged the concept that Christ was not an angel, and can beat me at chess, asked point blank. Dad, I understand man does evil: “but why doesn’t he fix it?”. I squinted my eyes and told him “each man can”.

Let me end with this. It is awkward as I cannot remember her name. Her brother beat me up pretty good, like with a busted nose and a black eye and a busted rib. I somehow remember her as Nina. Irving was for sure her family name and do not even take issue with that. Oh my Lordy she was a queen of the ball. She just kind of sparkled and left me mesmerized by her African beauty. Kind of between temptress and queen of the Nile. She gave me great honor and privilege to a matter of great state importance. She, I do believe was doing something amazing. Perhaps it was something like Miss Arizona. But to me it was Miss Universe and beyond. Oh not the beauty queen concept but the best of the best of the best. I do not think I thanked her enough for the honor. I hope it did not hurt her life in any way.

Somebody fill me in.

Was Ms. Irving the first lady in Arizona to bust the racial barrier to be considered for a state wide competition of composure and grace?

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My daughter is an awesome gal and is overseeing millions and millions regarding hard core attacks possibly emanating - from Russia. She rubs elbows with a lot of National Law Enforcement personnel. They suggest to let Norine continue. That they would like more rope with which to hang her. No doubt she is a "blame it on Christ" cyber terrorist. Just like the middle eastern fanatics. What they do on line is just millisecond away from when they snap and take action. It absolutely is not cyber bullying. It definitely is stalking and it is scary for me for my wife and child.

      What is the scariest is that she thinks this makes her like Christ -- in that case killing me would be justified. This is not spiritual it is insanity and anything is possible.

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 13 months ago

      You KNOW you LOVE me! You KNOW you MISSED me!

      Go ahead! ADMIT IT!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      "as promised; I will not be posting on your HUBS any longer"

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 13 months ago

      GOD SAID!

      What part of that don't you understand?

      *I* may WISH otherwise, but must OBEY!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Didn't God lead you to write and promise?

      "as promised; I will not be posting on your HUBS any longer"

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 13 months ago

      GOD SAID!

      Who would I rather OBEY "man" or GOD?

      *I* WISH *I* could "stop posting to your HUBS!" What person likes rejection?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      "as promised; I will not be posting on your HUBS any longer"

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 13 months ago

      GOD SAID!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      "as promised; I will not be posting on your HUBS any longer"

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Norine a person who lies about one thing should really not be trusted in another thing: "as promised; I will not be posting on your HUBS any longer"

      I leave your comment up so people can see that your are not to be trusted as you do not do what you say.

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 13 months ago

      Hey Eric! I'm so glad to see you back! I've missed you! Praying everything is OK with you and yours!

      Eric, *I* "wish" we were born sin free! *I* "wish" there was no hell! *I* "wish" we could just "do right" and "love" everyone and GOD would accept us! *I* "WISH".... and unfortunately MOST find a Religion that satisfies "their" WISHES and become a member! However JESUS SAID "If you love me keep MY (Not "our" WISHES) commandments" (John 14:15) which are given in HIS WORD!

      "STUDY!" You did for your law degree! Is "eternal life" of LESS IMPORTANCE?

      Norine

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence

      I think for the most part the stuff about original sin or not is a matter of semantics. I often ponder "what came first the chicken of the egg". Did God make all people vulnerable or did Adam -- and is there really any difference?

      I find the Muslim notion of recognizing all prophets a very good thing. And it is my understanding that they believe we are born sin free. Which I think is right thinking.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Muslims teach man's born 'neutral' but Adam's sin left us all with weakened defences against sin, somehow I think they might be 'onto something' there, what do you think?

      By the way I've no idea about 'Miss' Arizona's but good on her!

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, I really like the term "in my presence". It is a double edged sword of time and peace within one's self.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 14 months ago from london

      You make some valid points. Still, I'm forgiven every day. Couldn't survive without it. This ceaseless, deathless and all-sacrificing Love is so beautiful! So crucial!

      So busy in the present, so know little about the past or future.

      Nice song Imagine. Great kid!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much friend. I do look forward to God's continued blessings to write these. Some times I just separate from God, just a little bit and I simply cannot write a single word.

    • faith-hope-love profile image

      John Ward 14 months ago from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

      Eric no need to apologize to Catholics. The morals and wisdom shine in this piece and I commend you. I enjoy all of your sermons. My entreaty is that you keep this wisdom Flowing... John W

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank MsDora, If can repent and be thankful for it, we will never stray to far.

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      Dora Weithers 14 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, you take me where I would not otherwise go, and with profit. "If I could turn back the hands of time and correct my wrongs yet not change the current beauty of my life, would I do it?" Perhaps the lessons we learned after the wrongs, and the humility in our repentance developed the wisdom which make us beautiful. Time for gratitude, not regret! Thanks!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Linda, I fully agree with that Pastor. "little ones" should have a broad interpretation and young in Christ fits.

      What scares me about the millstone passage and that spare the rod passage is some think it means to fall into place in full conformity for children. It should mean to guide the child - not to tell them what to think but to help them answer their questions.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Clive, I must admit sometimes it is difficult being so popular ;-) I also act more childish than a child.

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      Linda Lum 14 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Hi again Eric. Well, just today our Pastor mentioned the passage from Luke 17 in his sermon (the one that you alluded to under the subheading "Do Children Get a Free Pass" -- It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin."

      Pastor said that this doesn't just refer to children. "Little ones" are anyone new in the faith. Just thought you would find that interesting.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 14 months ago from Nibiru

      LOL eric...looks like Norine likes you. Just ignore and delete. Yes, we really never know more than a child.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Norine, why do you even post on my hubs? You know I will delete you as fast as I can. Please this is a rhetorical question for you to cogitate on. Please do not respond.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John, Around my family and home, there is the strangest of blessings. Of course having cancer is not a blessing, but it does two things. It shows an example of how faith can carry you through and it is a constant reminder for others that perhaps their problems are not so big.

      The really cool flip side of that is both those who are suffering can get that really good feeling of helping another.

      (John thank you for getting me to think on this more)

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      John Hansen 14 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I think you have a point, Eric. Although we don't like to see others suffer, it makes our own struggles bearable if we know someone else is going through something similar. It often becomes a case of "well, if they can handle it and stay positive so can I."

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John I thank you from my heart. It seems to me in my life, that I feel all alone in some struggles. And then someone will let me in and they can share with me how they struggle also. And the burden gets lifted. Maybe not the problem but the burden.

      Am I saying misery loves company? Maybe I am. Maybe in a sense it is true.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 14 months ago from Queensland Australia

      The topics of your sermons may make quite a few of us uncomfortable and reflect on our lives or actions, but you never make us feel accused of being bad or doing things we should be ashamed of. In fact you always are able to redirect the conversation back to what you see as your own failings and where you can learn and improve, Eric. That is the sign of a great teacher/preacher whatever...and that is what you are, and a great man to boot.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda my good friend, your ability to see is awesome. And my next one will also be on the morose side. Yet I hope you will note it is also a reflection of how we can do better.

      It is my intention that friends can read these latest sermons and come away with some reflection that they are not really bad at all. I hope that people read that I am so loved by so many, yet if I allow it I will not think me worthy. But if I am worthy how much more are you?

      Truly we must rejoice in that we are covered in love and forgiveness. And you have shown me great love.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 14 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, so much sadness and regret and self-loathing in these past two hubs.

      We can pray that we will learn from our mistakes; each day is a blank slate on which we are given a chance to "try again". But the past is the past--we cannot change things we have done or said. Flogging ourselves is as fruitless as attempting to put toothpaste back into the tube.

      Alwaysexploring is correct--we are loved by God and He has forgiven us. If you cannot forgive yourself then it is as though you are denying the grace (undeserved love) that has been placed on you. When God looks at you he doesn't see your sinfulness--He sees you wrapped in a robe of righteousness.

      There are many things in my life I wish that I could "un-do", but those thoughts, deeds, words, actions all add up to the person I am today. They molded, shaped, and formed me. Yes, I still pray every day for forgiveness (I'm not perfect yet), but I know that God keeps His promises and that I AM (and you ARE) forgiven. (...not shouting, just wish we could underline words in the comments once in a while).

      Thank you for a thought-provoking Hub. I wish you well.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Char, thank you for visiting and your very pleasantly written reminders of some of my favorites in the Bible. This perfect love that comes from God. We just cannot shoulder the burden of our "relatives". But God's love assures us we do not have to handle it on our own. Truly this reminds of Psalm 23.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My good teacher Mr. Holland thank you for helping me "spread my wings and fly". I still have some trouble with the gusts -- but I keep learning.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby, I am just listening to a song called "blowin in the wind" (I think) But it centers on an idea that the answers are simply blowing in the wind. It questions our striving even a dove not getting to rest on the sand. Hey let us make a deal and keeping looking for ----

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 14 months ago from Minnesota

      What 'gets to me' is the fact that Jesus was killed by the very people [our relatives] that were wrong. He was there to point out that it's not okay to be a hypocrite. There were people [our relatives] that were convinced that a prostitute was not as 'good' as they [our relatives] were. Jesus corrected them, and said that their [our relatives] sins were just as bad as hers and that 'unless' they were better than her, [or sinless], they could not judge her, or throw stones to kill her. -- And let's not forget Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego. Three men that were placed in a hot, fiery furnace to be put to death by incineration. When someone [our relatives] looked in the window to see their progress of dying, it was reported that there were four men in the furnace, and they were not hurt by the heat. The fourth man, according to the BIBLE [all caps according to N.] was Jesus. He was in there to protect the three men. End of rant. Probably not anything to do with what the conversation is about, so my apologies in advance. :)

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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I absolutely love the title, so it goes without saying I love the topic....raise awareness...that's what we writers do. Thank you for caring enough to put pen to paper. You're a good man, McDuff!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 14 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I agree Eric. The homeless need our help. It seems like the poorest people in the most ravaged areas are hurt more than anyone. I don't understand this. Do they not suffer enough without floods and hurricanes? But, who am I to question Mother Nature? But, I can't help wondering why.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Ruby, what a great comment, thank you much. Your notion of being forgiven by God as enough is spot on. I am sure you can see here that I am working through these concepts and not well settled on any position.

      So we try to find this balance of a need to right the wrongs of our past and yet "get over it". Certainly I think most agree that guilt should never be "the" factor.

      What we must do is try to make other's lives better. Perhaps better to concern ourselves with the homeless in front of us rather than a person from our past.

      Thanks again.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 14 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Eric, my thinking on the past, it's over. When I asked God for forgiveness, he cleansed me of the sins I committed. I don't think God wants us to bring those sins up again, if we do, then we didn't believe we were forgiven. The thing is to sin no more, or at least try not to. None is perfect except God. He knows our heart's. The song, ' Imagine ' is the most beautiful song ever written and something to strive for. From your words, I felt pain for the misery you've seen all over the world and still you believe. To me, that's faith galore and proof that we have a living God. Norine, I am ashamed of you. You should get on your knees and beg God for forgiveness!! Keep writing Eric. You feed my soul, and God knows I need it. Peace.

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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Norine, I actually leave in some of your short comments like this even though you yell. I will delete any long ones as you know. I find it interesting that one human knows another person's soul. I will think on that. I mean I do say "she has a good soul".

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      Norine Williams 14 months ago

      "Soap" (aka JESUS) is what you need in "your creek" to cleanse your ROTTEN SOUL!

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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Ed, I learned to swim in that creek. I learned to fish in that creek. I learned to kayak in that creek. I learned to dive in that creek. And my mom made me take bathes in that creek.

      (although now we would never let soap get in the creek)

      Ed it is fascinating about the past, present and future. The one thing I know about the concept is that I do not know exactly how they all work together.

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      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      For some reason the idea of a tiny thing setting off a chain reaction to a big thing just fascinates me.

      About them thar Santa Ana's, I laugh as I checked the heat forecast. They claim only 91, they must take that inside the local 7/11. Mel, I must admit that spewing always makes me think of some poor fellow projectile vomiting. And let us be clear, you can make up perfectly healthy rules for spin the bottle.

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      ahorseback 14 months ago

      What matters is today , tomorrow in a lesser sense , and what's In the heart right now ! Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona ? The prettiest little creek beneath the rim ! Can't go wrong there .

      All is good my friend , enjoy that wonderful family !

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      Mel Carriere 14 months ago from San Diego California

      I played spin the bottle with some cute chicks in Oak Creek Canyon when I was in my early teens. I would ask Eric the preacher man for absolution except I'm not exactly burdened with guilt for my part in the affair. Everybody had fun, nobody got hurt.

      I think the butterfly at your feeder flapped its tiny wings and set off Hurricane Matthew by chain reaction. Amazing the power of wisdom spewing forth from the Dierker homestead. I don't like that word spewing. How about issuing, or sallying instead?

      Pleasant Santa Ana evening to you in the Sprung Valley. May you bask in the bounty of the offshore flow. Great words.