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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Resilience of Love

Updated on February 27, 2017

My daughter is awesome. She really likes this guy

Our nation is filled with good people. Differences are so shallow.
Our nation is filled with good people. Differences are so shallow. | Source

Thank you to all of you that show me love though I am far from perfect

nce of Love

This sermon actually came about as I was double checking and making sure I was ready for our 14th wedding anniversary. It just plain came over me how much crap my bride has had to put up with over that past period of time. She really really must love me. And we can suppose that this notion of loving even though times get tough is not unusual. It would just have to seem to one who pays attention to the resilient nature of love that it is nothing short of miraculous.

One million people show up at the border’s edge of war torn hell. Argue all you want to about pros and cons but in fact there is room made for these people and they are seriously helped. Did you know it is in the billions of dollars per week that gets donated to help other creatures great and small? You cannot even count the hours per week that are spent volunteering to help others.

Somehow if you pay any attention to “news” you would think that billions a week and trillions of man hours are spent hurting and harming others. It simply is extremely lopsided on the positive side, not even enough to make scales work. I read someplace and it is no doubt exaggerated, that for every person in prison there is one person doing something to help the prisoners. Even exaggerated it is an impressive concept.

In this country like all countries we have children without a real home environment. Maybe almost 150 thousand get adopted each year. Hard to say for sure because there really is not a central data base for the nation. And many are foreign adoptions. We like to say “there is no greater love than to give one’s life for another”. Well that could not be more true by death as it is for an adoption. This nearly holy intercession in one life based on love and a desire to parent is amazing. I reckon in this area the need is so great that the only time we hear of it is when someone is decrying just how bad our parentless child situation is. Point at problems to get attention and money. In our home we donate to successful groups not ones touting their failure.

I suppose that goes for our life in fact. Victim or victor is generally a choice of our own free will. But the point here is that a vast majority of us help others out of love of their fellow and life.

This is my Nana. How wonderful to be so loved

Perhaps I was not easy to love even back then.
Perhaps I was not easy to love even back then. | Source

We want respect, but shouldn't we rather give it!

I think we should have to do 100 hours of volunteer work for every 300 words of criticism.

There are serious problems out there in our big old world. Do we really just “give at the office” and forget about it? Do we only give out of our abundance? I do not think so. Sure as hell there are millions of Americans that make no attempt at all to help their fellow human. I think it fair to say most notably in that group are those who through generations have come to expect help with an understanding that they do not have enough to help others. Do not think we are targeting welfare type people because this also holds true for those like the inheritance group, graduates with fancy degrees and those who think they got the raw end of some social injustice. “Since I have not received that to which I am entitled I surely cannot help another out of my misery.” Choices I suppose.

In my area we have an interesting issue. Military. Our entry level salaries do not support and family of 3. They just do not. Now that is some seriously messed up stuff. Join the military and not have enough to have one child. And in our area there as some serious private groups that help these families. And here is the cool part that gets me a little teary eyed in pride. The first folks to suit up and show to help others are these very families. Where does that remarkable part of life come from? Is it short of miraculous? I was doing my time at a food bank signing up homeless. Here in San Diego County we have one of the finest food banks in the entire world. I was coming to realize that much of the food went to military families. And yet standing next to me were two Private (E-1) Marines. They earn far less than the poverty line. And in their poverty they gave much. This is the picture that we should see in the dictionary when we look up love of nation and others.

And others who helped were retirees driving ten year old cars. A couple of recovering addicts and a former homeless gal with two kids. This stuff is not made up it is in fact our common life. No heroes or all heroes, what difference does the title make.

My way is the right way, if it is the loving way.

I just do not get how my son can draw so well.

Maybe a bit of art is inherited. Not from our parents but from their love.
Maybe a bit of art is inherited. Not from our parents but from their love. | Source

Good luck my friends

And so here we are “embattled”, “sky is falling”, “he will lead us into the depths of despair”, “there is no hope for humanity and the planet”. The notion that they are opposed to my beliefs so I must act and speak in hate about them, is fantastical. Let us look at it this way; there are millions more Americans helping others that hurting others. Sure one says create jobs and the other says free education and the other says increase social spending and the other says do it this way. If we engage each other and find compromise then all of the above are accomplished to some degree. Progress is made and help finds its way to those who needs it.

I confess my wife and I are polar opposites in one area of giving. We do not address it. We do not argue over it. In our “less than” we can give her way and my way. She gives to the guy on the corner and churches. I give time to programs and one on one. We give together to our favorite, St. Jude’s.

So if we can do so. So also can our greater society and our leaders. We are so free to support what we see as good and righteous that we need spend no time arguing against what “they” see is good.

I did a strange thing. I actually spent a couple of hours going through reports of the last years civil disobedience and rioting. Now I am pretty neutral on these matters, I see the good and I see the bad. I am not predisposed to judging such things.

This was clear. Billions were spent on attacking something. Whatever the perceived injustice, literally billions were spent last year on negative “violent” protests. And more was spent on just plain “we don’t want”. One could argue that negative or against is just for something else but I do not get that vibe. Most of this stuff was just us against them.

If this nations negative pushes were flipsided into positive campaigns without the gross fanfare of our mass media we could have worked miracles.

I support our rights to free speech. But I contend that speech made in fear and hate is not free, it is compulsive. There seems to be no free choice in the horrible displays on social media. These expressions are not of people free to choose to act and speak in love. Somehow they are like the addict unable to choose anymore.

But this is really good for the person trying to grow in love. To see this state of affairs and to repeatedly respond in love that is the exercise of freedom. We are free to love. Using our God we can have the strength to overcome this nasty addiction to speak in ugliness. Did you know the statistic that not one nasty thing said about another ever cured and evil?

Let us wrap this baby up with a great prayer I just think is awesome. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference. Now go change yourself! I promise you that no matter how much you have been afraid and angry love is still there waiting for you – it is resilient.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for your comment. I always get a lift from someone leaving me a note.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 7 months ago from Minnesota

      Thanks for the beautiful sermon and reminder that words hold much power.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence you remind me of, I think Luke 21, where the lady gave all she had even in her poverty. That is a good lesson for me to remember, thank you.

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      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago

      Eric

      They often say that if you want to meet a generous person, they'll most likely be the poorest, they can't help it, even when they have enough, they find those who don't and give from what they don't have!

      Great hub.

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are so right John. I found myself angry at just how we are treating our veterans. It is a problem. So I sat to write an angrygram. I must be getting "weller". because I put that down and called our local VFW to volunteer time to help. It will be a good journey I am sure.

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      John Hansen 8 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Eric, the serenity prayer in the final chapter should be prayed regularly by everyone. Your entire message was spot on and if everyone concentrated their energy on being positive and doing the best they could in life (rather than protest) the world would be a much better place. They should be encouraging their leaders to do the right thing rather than criticising and opposing every move they make (often before they even do it.) Thanks for sharing your wisdom once again.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tim we do not say this enough to the families: "Thank you for your service". We need to improve the lives of our entry level and our exit level folks who serve.

      Well Tim I made the inquiry as to how I can volunteer for the VFW. My son plays gigs for them for food drives. So I know they make a difference. I will let you know how it goes.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 8 months ago from Escondido, CA

      Congratulations on your anniversary. Hooray! Great words sharing experience and wisdom. Once again your sermon gives me some quiet time for pondering through reflection. Being a military brat remembering my family of five siblings I give a respectful nod of my head to military families. They certainly have a network of communal love. I am amazed how my parents were able to give us the blessings we received. I thank them daily.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, I have been doing this here for awhile. And I met a college student last Sunday. He came up to me and starting in talking about forgiveness and the power of love. I took a step back and stared. I simply had preached to him, 7 years ago. Nhan Tran. Perhaps how we touch each other is an accident. But I know I have "Gandhi's Choice" as I call it. Really good folk like you keep heading me back down a good path.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana, I am a heavy breather -- by that I mean I take deep breaths. Ten works well for me. Somewhere in my genetic makeup I did not receive that flight deal. Every day I fight the fight reflex. So big deal I have a thorn like Paul.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, my bride is quick to two things. Criticism and prayer. She figures I need no platitudes from her but rather a sort of reproofing. I used to resent it now I lap it up, because it is always done in love accompanied by prayer for my soul. My mom would be proud I picked so well. Reminds me of the hit "you don't always get what you want...."

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby while I was a haughty trial attorney I just loved that song. I was a brutal bastard and won. Over 25 years later. It means something different. After a brutal full life education it now means to me, my way is the loving way. If I deviate that is all on me. Ruby maybe just one of your uplifting comments kept me writing from the heart. Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Marlene, I found myself in a bad way outside my market today. I had a glimmer of glad as I saw the poor man begging. Kind of weird I was happy to have someone to help. Oh my did this guy stink but we got to the grocer deli and he was eating a full chicken when I left. I reckon god works mysteriously.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 8 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, you have outdone yourself on this article--there is so much packed into your message, and boy did/do we need to listen to it.

      This sentence certainly caught my attention -- "If this nations negative pushes were flipsided into positive campaigns without the gross fanfare of our mass media we could have worked miracles." Wow, is that ever an understatement. I don't know who first coined the phrase 'if it bleeds, it leads' but fear-based headlines seem to be the marketing strategy for the media.

      I listen quite often to a talk-radio station during the day. At noon one of their reporters presents a "good news of the day" piece, and what a breath of fresh air that is.

      I love the Serenity prayer; it's on my bulletin board looking down over me at this moment. But there is another piece of wisdom I want to share with you, these words from Mahatma Gandhi - "Be the change you want to see in the world."

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 8 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      If people were forced to do community service for every harsh word they spoke (criticism) people would choose their words more wisely. Bruises heal but harsh words are never forgotten. Wonderful Sermon. It is, as always exploring said, something we should be mindful to practice.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 8 months ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! Obviously you both love each other very much and your readers benefit because your writing is empowered by the love you share. How else would you have such positive suggestions to offer?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      A sermon we all should practice. I liked these words, " Giving to successful groups that are not touting failure. " My mailbox is full of requests, animals, veterans, children's hospitals and groups like ACLU. I do what I can. My favorite is an orphanage for abused children. People who riot and destroy are not my kind of people. I'm listening to Frank and his words are something to live by. Beautiful!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 8 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I like the way you think when you say, "I think we should have to do 100 hours of volunteer work for every 300 words of criticism." I wish that was an enforceable law. Your sermon is a reminder of how harsh the world has become, but we can all turn that around and make the world a better place if we try.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ah Bill, my articles are like those hammy FB pictures of folks smiling on a beach in Cancun. Real? Yes. But really real - Nope.

      OK, that was negative, sorry.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's official, although I think we all knew it before this moment: you are a better man than I am. At least it gives me something to shoot for. :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very funny, thank you for the smiles.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 8 months ago from london

      Nice! Now I must watch my back. You're a sublime poet. LOL.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Manatita. When I was young we had merry-go-rounds on playgrounds. When it was spinning fast it was fun to run real fast and try to hop on. That was how love was for me for many years. Now love is a slow moving circle withing the circle of life and it welcomes me to ride along.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mary I really can't do the anger bit as much anymore. Maybe a flare up here and there. My wife does it really well - Angry for five minutes and then like it never happened.

      I try to remember that anger is quite natural and not a bad thing in and of itself. I think you are not so angry as you say ;-)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Demas it is great to hear from you. Loved your snowy article. I do hope that I can share some of the love He gives me with others.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much John. I am still working on some answers for the questions raised here. I am sure I will get a lot of help from my friends.

      John you are encouraging to me. I please give me your thoughts, I have so much to learn.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 8 months ago from london

      Excellent Hub. Yes, a birthless and timeless Love. So present to those who see and serve, but yes, sometimes it seems to hide with the stuff we read. Impossible though, like Light not following darkness. Just veiled, sometimes. Nice Hub.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 8 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      There is so much hatred and lying these days that makes our living space so negative. In situations, if we ask ourselves what is the most loving thing to do, then, maybe, there is more decency in our society. I keep working on myself as I, too, am full of anger.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 8 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Keep up the good works. God bless you for your efforts on His behalf.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lori, God Speed to you. My youngest and I are kind of exploring "God's or God Speed". We have another word Ultreya. These are things that people say to each other in encouragement. I just am, along with my with wife and children, begging and praying for our leaders. I do not remember when I cared who was president as far as praying goes. I like to say "you people" so here I say you people of love are great and an inspiration. I hope I am as blessed as you, in bringing love to people. Thank you

    • faith-hope-love profile image

      John Ward 8 months ago from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

      Well said "Lamb servant" I love all of Eric's Sunday sermons. All Good.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 8 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great piece here Eric. Those who find it acceptable to riot (I don't use the word protest if violence is involved) over an issue they oppose would do better by making the world a better place like those two servicemen at the food bank. You don't like the president and his policies, find something positive to do to help someone or to in some way be of benefit to your view by service. If you're busy helping people to eat or get a wheel chair, or give a kid a second chance at something, you won't have time to break windows, loot innocent businesses, stab, beat, or shoot someone, or stop and ambulance from getting a critical patient to a hospital. You can go to sleep at night with a clear conscience, a sweet sense of joy at making someone blessed, and spur you on to do still more. Helping people is productive, is commendable, is virtuous. You have a challenge you've been through in life, like say addiction that you've overcome, help someone else with the same challenge. Invite others to help. Love conquers all.

      I just read this Scripture a few minutes ago:

      Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing (2 Cor. 2:14-15).

      Personally, I would much prefer to be a fragrance than an odor, or worse, a stench. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

      PS Happy Anniversary to you and your patient wife:)

    • faith-hope-love profile image

      John Ward 8 months ago from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

      This sermon is full of enlightenment far too much to take in at one reading. I will be coming back to this from time to time trying to glean as much from it that I can. Enjoyed it thoroughly. John W

      Congratulations on your 16th to both of you.