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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The How To of How To

Updated on June 28, 2015

This is just a really cool photo that Bill Holland let us use in a writing challenge.

It just speaks to beauty, a beauty within and without. Somehow it lets you know that the photo was taken in love of life.
It just speaks to beauty, a beauty within and without. Somehow it lets you know that the photo was taken in love of life. | Source

In the natural world

Oh my! There are millions of articles and books which we can find to tell us how to do anything at all. Everything from natural childbirth to becoming a millionaire to making bombs to becoming a spiritual guru. There are illustrated guides on how to have sex and long winded books on how to raise the resulting children. Some are very helpful and some not so much. Wow, I saw a booklet on how to write a how to book. Perhaps it is all just how too much.

So we pulled up many of these written gold mines of how to and reviewed them briefly. What we found was that not one of them told us really “How to”. Most assuredly they told us the mechanics for getting things done. They told us the tools to use and the temperatures to use and the most affordable pricing and the most quality products to use. They had illustrations and anecdotes on the way in which the author did the task. It is amazing the things that are available and the folks who are experts.

Recently there was a young boy who was upset and angry at putting together or assembling a new toy gadget. He just was not quite old enough to read and make sense of the instructions. The frustration was palpable. When he finally asked an elder “how do I?” there was a real “how to” response. (And you thought this was going to be easy ;-) There was a problem. You see the boy had his mind set on how to finish his project. The elder had been tasked to “how to” take care of the boy. They did not have a common interest or point of focus. One wanted to get one thing done and the other another. You can quite clearly see that the best interests of the boy was not in getting the project done but rather learning how to do a project. And for that boy all he could think of was a shiny new thingamagadget to play with. Just like us adults.

The only proper remedy here is to unfocus the boy on the toy and refocus him on the task of putting it together. And the only real task at raising a child up is to teach them to enjoy the process of the doing of the thing. If this is done all else falls into place. Interest and activity is peaked and a calmness of purpose is achieved and enjoyment of life is all but guaranteed. Oh but if it were so easy.

Let us look into this more deeply with some emphasis in the adult world of the spiritual. Come on it will be fun.

I like this. It just makes me happy to see some spirituality hit the mainstream, seems like it is too often just side streams.

Something sure knows how to grow beauty

These trees were not planted by man, but a certain family has spent a lifetime learning how to protect them.
These trees were not planted by man, but a certain family has spent a lifetime learning how to protect them. | Source

How to?

Our Father who art is heaven.

For us Bible based spiritually led folks the Father concept is easy and engrained. For others they just have to picture that our creator is like a father figure with all the love and intentions for us that that entails. Keep it simple and keep it a good and loving father in your thoughts. For our purposes today we need not encompass jealousy and vengeance leave that at the doorstep of your mind for today.

Our above example gives us some insight as to what our Father’s job is. He is not all consumed with us getting particular projects done. But He is loving and guiding to help instruct us on how to do projects. Around this happy home we are at a stage of the simplest of concepts of how to put something together. Reading instructions is still a ways down the road. So we are faced with learning how to by example and repetition and generalized conceptual discussions. A jigsaw puzzle is a perfect tool to use in this learning process. It is not just about getting the puzzle to look like the picture on the box but about how we get to that goal. The fact that a jigsaw puzzle is a perfect example of how complex things go together to form the larger picture is just a plus.

The very first task in undertaking our puzzle is our attitude. Put the phone away. Maybe put on some mellow background music. Smile, and if you don’t feel like it, fake it until you make it. Focus and relax. Throw in some levity with purpose; “I am one with the puzzle task”. And away we go organizing the pieces by the patterns in the picture, by edges and by corners. And we communicate and share our ideas of what goes where so we learn from each other. And of course we throw our hands in the air and do a yahoo dance when we solve a hard part.

Not so blooming fast, we forgot a step. We just jumped in to get the project done in a positive productive way – our way! No way! We failed to use the greatest resource at our disposal. We forgot all about our Father who art in heaven. We took off just as cocked fire sure as could be that WE could do this thing. No way dude! We should have and must always stop, give thanks for the opportunity to be trying. Ask His advice. Ask Him to guide us. Ask that His will not ours be done. Ask for open mindedness and a willing heart. Ask to be joy filled and learn like little children. And ask that we treat those who endeavor with us with love and compassion. Now we are ready to start. Now we are into the “How to”.

Nice thoughts in this song.

What cherished new life Spring does bring.

A tree is not owned but we had better own our duty to protect them.
A tree is not owned but we had better own our duty to protect them. | Source

I do not know how to pray, I just do it.

Around this sometimes seemingly crazy home we have a saying; “The big stuff is easy”. And by big stuff we are referring to things like serious financial hardship, job problems, health problems and family problems. Stuff like death and serious injury and severe loss. No we do not make light of these problems and we are not Pollyannas. It just is that when faced with big stuff we immediately turn to our Father and pray and turn the problem over to Him and take the next indicated step. So what problem? Oh you mean His problem, well it ain’t ours anymore. And the joke of the matter is that we take back the reins on the small stuff, the little how to do its of life and we forget how to do it right, and things go wrong.

Just yesterday our small family crawled into our lady’s car to go shopping as a crew. Our wife and mother looked at us boys with chagrin just 100 feet down the road. “What!?” we exclaimed in unison with innocent surprise and shameless attentiveness. “Neither of you prayed for a safe trip and to do His will”, was the stern admonishment slash reminder. “I suppose you just don’t do it when you are out driving around without me?” Oops we had been forgetting. I reckon in a really real sense I had been forgetting “how to” drive.

Well now as I was finishing this up and reading Psalm 23 about God being a shepherd, It was about 7:30 am. A fine time of day on a Sunday. Birds singing the sun warm but not hot and a family just starting to rub the sleep from their eyes. And a neighbor who clearly has not read this sermon began mowing and blowing his yard. I am sure he knows just “how to” do it as it looks marvelous. But maybe if he would have stopped and prayed on the matter, his Father would have told him to give it an hour or so before waking the whole neighborhood.

About the Psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.

Some thoughts for further contemplation. Why do those weirdos in the restaurant do that Grace thing before eating? What is up with those professional ball players praying before, during and after games? Does that cross thingy people do over their chest help anything? Why do so many moms pray for their children? And perhaps you may ask “why does that crazy Eric preacher pray for me and he does not even know me”.

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    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      One of my favorites for song " Go Rest High On That Mountain"

      One of my favorite Godsmen , right here !......Awesome ! Thank you on this fine Sunday !

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I don't question you Eric. You speak your mind and give us all wonderful food for thought. Great article and loved the songs! ^+

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whahoo Ed, I am all done with my got to do's and heading into my want to do's. Your uplifting comment, sends me into it with a happy heart, thanks. I think I will sneak in some "Honey, I got it done"s and get everyone on board the happy train.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Jackie, what a blessing to have you come by. I was hankering for "Rock of Ages" came to put it on and saw your very nice comment. Thanks for sending some of your Southern Beauty into our home.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Preach it, dear Eric! I do so look forward to your Sunday Sermons, as they are full of insight and refreshingly honest.

      Oh, I am sure to pray first thing and throughout the day, especially when en route to the City during my hour commute. Isn't it such a blessing to truly know that He has it covered and we can trust in Him because of His great love for us ...to just turn it all (big and small) over to Him. For me, it is amazing each and every time I do so, which is every day and all day long it seems, I experience such peace. He is sweet like that, you know. Well, you do know : ). It would be such a surprise to most to know who all is praying for them each day.

      I do have some new health issues going on right now, but I know it is nothing the sweet Lord cannot heal. So, all is good. Praise Him!

      (((Hugs)), blessings and much love to you and yours always

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Theresa my dear sister in our Lord, a while back a priest who was mentoring me in the teaching I was doing for catechism showed me a prayer to use for the deeply faithful in times of health issues. It is so simple and takes the, my will. out of asking for your healing. As is my habit I first wrote it out. "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for Theresa." And I mean it with all my heart.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Aw, thank you, dear sweet man. You are such a loving and dear brother in our precious Lord.

      Oh, I forgot to mention that I had voted up ++++ tweeted, pinned, G+ and shared

      Hugs

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Oops, I am a forgetful one today for I absolutely love your two music choices here. They are really two of my favorites.

      Thank you for sharing

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ain't sweet music just the best! We rocked out in church today and I am carrying it in my heart. Singing along with "I look to you" as I write.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This didn't show up in my feed, but luckily I saw it in passing...and mighty glad I did. I remember something my dad said a long, long time ago. "There ain't no atheists in a foxhole."

      Have a peaceful Sunday evening my friend.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Yup, that's me! I do not know how to pray, I just do it anyway.

      Thank you for this Sunday sermon. I like the depth of your approach and the sincerity that comes with it.

      Love from the sky~

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      Both songs are of my favorite list. Eric...no matter how loud or little...we shall be a source of light for our Lord God on high. Not to matter how we are perceived or regarded by the faithful or the non-believers, my friend. Well done. whonu

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill thank you. The sunset in a perfect pink and we here enjoyed our garden and admired our blooms in a gentle cool breeze. All is peaceful and wishing a good night to you and yours.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      CrisSp it is always a pleasure to hear from you. I am afraid that concept applies to a lot in my life. But I am not arguing with happiness. I am not getting notifications on your writing so I will come by and visit.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great thought provoking hub! Your Sunday sermons are always refreshing.

      Even I don't know 'How To Pray correctly' , but I do pray every morning and every moment when I need 'His' guidance.

      Thanks for sharing another wonderful hub!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Whonu. Have a great week and keep that gift lit up like a bonfire.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Chitrangada, thank you for visiting and leaving such a nice comment. We are very fortunate indeed to "know to" even when the "know how" is elusive.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Your messages are so enlightening. Psalm 23 is one of the first verses I learned as a child. It is also one of my favorite and most comforting.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Marlene, thank you. Obviously you were guided well. It became my favorite because it is my wife's favorite. I turn to it often.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Psalm 23 Is my favorite when I need to be reminded that everything I need is in Him. I noticed even if people are not well versed in the scriptures they always know that one. Thank you for continuing to spread the message of faith.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Dana. I fully admit to my faith wavering a bit on Mondays. But a nice comment such as yours brings me back into the fold. Psalm 23 is always a cool drink of water, on a hot So. Cal day, to me.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Eric beautifully expressed No need for me to ramble on...nothing more needs to be said.

      Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Patricia, thank you for coming by and letting me know. Loved your recent piece: https://hubpages.com/health/The-Memories-Live-onA-...

      We just did a How To on macaroni and cheese. How to boil water and mix ingredients was a summertime first for my little 5 year old. We made an extra mess in order to practice our how to clean up skills. Now that is a memory to treasure.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Awesome Sermon, Eric. I love all these sermons from you and read them with much devotion. You have such a great soul reminding us all these beautiful things. Thanks for it.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Venkatachari it is always a pleasure to have you come by. Thank you for your continual support of this series. I note you just wrote a How to on the very important issues regarding our digestive health. It is something everyone should be informed about: https://hubpages.com/health/How-to-deal-with-Const...

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Carrie brought a tear to my eye. Thanks for including the video of my favorite hymn. That lady has some lungs. You are absolutely right that teaching our children to do things is much more important than teaching them to do just one thing. 23 years as a father and this had never occurred to me. Never too late to right the ship, I suppose. I love the 23rd Psalm too, but even though I'm not a hard liner I confess to enjoying the poetry of the King James version. Okay, I found one flaw with your otherwise outstanding hub. Try to stay cool in this Southern California sauna bath.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      "How to make money online... For just $20 I will tell you exactly how to make a regular income online..bla bla" you pay the money and receive an email or pdf telling you to write an article titled "how to make money online...For just $20...bla bla". Great hub Eric, with an important message for all of us.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dang it Mel, we got a little rain yesterday, so I thought I would teach my son how to run, play and dance in the rain. Instead of cooling off the rain was hot and we just got all hot and sticky. I guess I should teach myself when not to play in the rain.

      You are so right on that version of the 23rd. It just does not have that sing song quality. Edit? Me stinking edit? We don't need no stinking edits ;-) I guess no one ever taught me How To right.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 2 years ago from India

      I loved this sermon : 'The How To of How To. ' We 're taught so many howtos throughout our life. Out of all these howtos, 'how to pray' tops the list. When we start really learning how to pray, the other howtos become easier for us to tackle. Eric, this hub evokes so many thoughts. Also, this is a great reminder of how to sail our lifeboat smoothly. Thank you, my friend. I love the way you spread love all around. :-)

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John thank you for your comment. If you give me $20 I will show you how I just made $20. Shucks the guy with the sign begging on the corner can show me for just a quarter. But I suppose a How To on making money is just about the epitome of our society as a whole. I thank my lucky stars that there are guys like you that show us how to write for free.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Harish, it is always such a pleasure to hear from you. That reaching out to the spiritual in order to give the natural more substance is a wonderful life experience. I like the concept of the "life" boat, thank you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, you pulled me in and kept me glued from start to finish. Your illustrations are remarkably fit to hammer home your point and remain in our memories. Thanks for another good sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Dora and happy happies to you. The darkness has just given way to the light of day here with birds unable to contain their songs of joy. We look forward to another great day that He has made, and your kind comment is a wonderful start. Thank you.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Great reminder that people are more important than projects. Thank you.

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lawrence I needed the gentle nudge reminder this morning as we "negotiate" today with insurance over repairs to our home. The project is just a project.

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