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Eric's Sunday Sermon; To Learn From Hillary Clinton's Emails and Intent

Updated on July 10, 2016

An isolated beach on the shores of the Colorado River deep in the Grand Canyon.

Your intent will not set you free in the legal sense.

Don’t look at me, all I know about the case is what I can gather from skewed news services with their own agenda. But I understand that the notion of no intent therefore no crime came up. Let us look at the negative and then the positive of intentions.

There was a man so drunk that there was no way he could form the intent to drive drunk and kill another. Yet that man was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

There was a young boy who had a great interest in his father’s tools. The rules were simple. Use it carefully, do not lend it or give it to another, and put it back clean and safely. In three tries the boy just could not follow the rules. So he lost the privilege of being trusted with his dad’s tools.

There was a man who was speeding and pulled over by a cop for speeding. He told the officer that he had not intended to go so fast. So the officer smiled and wished him a good day and sent him on his way – Not!

There was a lady who for the sake of convenience left the child she was watching in the hot car while she shopped. The child did or did not die of the heat. Was she guilty of child endangerment even if no harm came to the child?

There is a clear notion in the law of specific and general intent crimes. Some activities require a specific intent to violate them in order for a person to be guilty of the crime. Others just require the intent to do the act that ultimately causes a violation of the law. The dude intentionally fires a weapon in a crowded bar room. He does not intend to kill anyone but he does. Is the guy not guilty of homicide simply because he did not intend to kill someone?

Have you ever heard of the contemplative saying; The road to hell is paved with good intentions? Have you ever lied with the intent of preventing someone else getting upset? Even if it is avoiding a person getting upset with you, it is still not always wrong.

Then there is that intent for something to happen that your intentions have no effect upon. “I intend to be free of cancer”.

Intention is a concept worth reviewing. Especially our own intentions. So how is this a sermon? Let us turn the discussion of intentions toward the arena of spirituality and love.

I didn't mean to hurt you or make you cry.

A view from a childhood home.

What a wonderful way to start a day.
What a wonderful way to start a day. | Source

What are your intentions?

As humans in a reasonable environment we are taught some morals and what is considered good. The vast majority of people try to or intend to take action with an attempt at living up to those taught priorities. We intend to do what “is right”. Of course we fail and sometimes miserably. Wouldn’t it be swell if we could have such a close connection with our God that we could replace our intentions with God’s intentions? Perhaps it would not always be warm and fuzzy and we would still need to take responsibility for our actions but at least our intentions would be pure.

I have a son who had a tumor around 8 years of age. It required surgery and a lower half body cast for quite a long time. We knew it would have a huge effect on how he viewed and acted on life throughout his life. We needed sincere meditation and prayer as to how to prepare him for this journey. He and I examined the choices we had to make. We had to set our intentions on what we wanted the reality to be. We looked at others who had harsh trials and handicaps in life. They seemed to be either nasty, surly and resentful or they seemed to take hardship and turn it into a positive for other’s they had contact with. A choice was there. After much talk and consideration we both came to believe that the latter would be a much better way to go. My son at such a young age set his intentions on making a good difference in his and other’s life. This intention carried him through the tough times and to this day, decades later his primary intention is to do good and be good. Indeed the hardship did effect/affect him for the rest of his life. He intends to and does make a positive impact on others.

If we speak only of our intention for the small physical actions we take, we may lose sight of the big intention picture. What we intend to accomplish with our lives is a must do contemplation and realization.

What a way to end a day.

Coronado island looking at Pt. Loma. A short jog on the beach before yoga and meditation.
Coronado island looking at Pt. Loma. A short jog on the beach before yoga and meditation. | Source

Is it your intention to see the Lord in everything?

Please at least intend well.

How about that ego? What if I got it in my head that my positions were the right ones to guide a country? And I believed that I was the best of all people to actuate my positions. And I was rich and powerful. Would I set my intentions on the big picture and let my smaller actions be molded by the means justify the ends? Would I treat rules and people as acceptable collateral damage on my way to accomplishing my intentions? I reckon just food for thought.

For some reason I am drawn and choose to emulate those people that I have contact with who clearly have the intention of being a good person and not an intention of accomplishing a given goal. It is my experience that by and large both kinds of folks are just as likely to obtain those goals. Is the ultimate goal in life to “accomplish” some thing or is the goal to accomplish a solid way to live? Should we intend to accomplish a huge impact on many or should we intend to make life better for all those we have contact with? I like to think of the school teacher that inspired one student in 25 years to be a great leader of man. Who in actuality had a greater impact – the inspirer or the leader? Who had the more noble intentions?

Let us take a closer look at our drunk. When he left home he had intentions to meet some friends at a restaurant and have a couple of drinks over several hours eat a meal and then return home. But in short order due to an actual sickness of alcoholism he stays all night and just plain gets drunk. Then he drives his car and kills someone. But stop for a second and don’t condemn the man out of hand. Take his situation and apply it toward yours. We set our intentions on lofty and righteous goals. But the actual problems of the day to day and our own character defects detour us from our objective. Sickness, financial and relationship problems divert us from our contemplated intentions. To stand fast, to persevere, to be long suffering, patient and to stay focused are what allow us to fulfill our intentions even in the face of calamity and tragedy. If you pause and think about it, it is what that great guy Paul talks about when speaking of love. So cool: 1 Cor 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if when we focus and set our intentions on being loving all other good intentions would come to pass – wait a second they do. If I meditate in love and therefor set my mind on love, then loving intentions are what follow. It is up to God whether or not they come true in the manner we envision. So let us set our intentions today on being a loving contributor to this fine earth.

How about you?

Are your intentions generally good?

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    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 9 months ago from United States

      I enjoyed your sermon today Eric my friend. Thank you for sharing.whonu

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good lesson from a stomach-turning page from our news. I'm so tired of politicians believing they live by a different set of rules. Clinton is the first Democrat who has forced me to vote Independent, and it's because of her inability to take responsibility and quit dancing with vocabulary looking for the right word that erases culpability. I'm tired of it, Eric.

      But never tired of these sermons!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 9 months ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      I don't know if I've ever had a purely good intention. Selfish motives are subtle. Thanks for highlighting such a practical topic that can really make a difference in the world.

      BTW, Eric, I just sent you an email.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whonu, thank you. I hope it gave a decent perspective.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, my wife, son and I are trying hard to pray for folk who encounter no repercussions from their negative behavior. It is just really hard for some to form good intentions and to accept responsibility. We think they miss out on the juice in life.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Chris, I had a guru once ask me if I regretted things in my past. Then we examined that they got me where I was and I was happy with people, places and circumstances in my life. I was in fact grateful of my past. Then he told me that it was not the stuff that changes -- but my past finally made me grateful for them.

      Intentions can be just as illusive. We sometimes need to look deep to find our real intentions.

    • emge profile image

      Madan 9 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Wonderful sermon that makes a man think

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I can honestly say that I start my day with good intentions, but sometimes along the way they go awry. We are human. The key is to realize your mistake's and ask for forgiveness and grow. Hillary should have known better. Does that make her a bad person? No, I think not. I heard C Powell say that he did the same thing. Was anything ever said about it? No! C Rice admitted the same. The reason Hillary should have known better is because the GOP has tried to get her for years, and they always come up short. I'm sure she's learned from this and will make a good president. I know this is not a political hub, but you opened it up for discussion. I always feel for the drunk person ( Alcoholic ) who kills someone on the highway. Of course he had no intension of killing anyone, but he took that first drink, knowing he would have another and another. Getting back to Hillary, I know that she had no evil intent. She loves this country and I love her. God bless....

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      yvonne sheldon 9 months ago

      Great sermon today. I reguards to the events in minnisota and dallas. We fail to see that someone was killed but a women and child were endangered by a public sercant as well. There is no winner on either side our world needs more kindness and love for eachother to survive this life we each have been given

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 9 months ago from london

      You write some tough ones. Cam 8510 is not far wrong, although perhaps a little extreme. Selfish motives, he says, can be very subtle. Again, our intentions may be honourable, but our sense of responsibility poor.

      So for example, the alcoholic had no intention to cause harm, but knew that excessive drinking was potentially dangerous and as such a selfish act. Anyway, Paul's way is excellent for us, but we stumble in the dark, and the Path can sometimes seem very long.

      Excellent Hub as usual. I wish America and her ideals to fructify and bring much peace.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Madan, it is encouraging to me to have you come by and comment. Perhaps I think too much, but better than thinking too little.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby what a great addition to this humble hub. Your comments bring me much joy as they always entice me to think further. I always think that anyone who raises to the level of a presidential nominee is probably a whole lot smarter and more qualified than me to make their kind of decisions.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, I love my kids and they have flaws. I love my wife and she does too. I am learning to love myself with my flaws. Most assuredly I love this country and her leaders, though they may also have flaws. Perhaps intending to have good intentions is sometimes the best we can do.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 9 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, you've really given me something to ponder today. When we love someone, don't we want the best for them, strive to please them, make them happy? Even with good intentions sometimes we absolutely blow it. Does intent negate ultimate impact? No--wrong is still wrong.

      Think of it this way--let's say you bought membership in a weight-loss program for your wife. (Yes, I know that is absolutely absurd--she's about 100 pounds wearing combat boots). Maybe you thought that a weight-loss program would keep her as cute-as-a-button as you know she is. But when SHE opened the card, she was instantly offended, wounded, and Eric is sleeping on the sofa.

      By the way, I'm sure glad that this wasn't actually a politically-based hub. I am convinced that Mrs. Clinton does love this country (warts and all) and had no intent to do it/us harm. But there seems (to me) to be a level of arrogance, of the-rules-don't-apply-to-me. Is she the best we could have? Gosh no! But is she the better of the two (presumptive) candidates. Yes, in a heartbeat.

      Thank you for another thought-provoking hub.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      There is much food for thought here, Eric. There is not a lot of consistency in the way people are judged in regard to their guilt vs intentions, is there? It seems to often depend on who you are or your position in life. Not always, but often. I think I can honestly say that I always act with the best of intentions (though I'm not the smartest pup in the litter). The outcome may not always be perfect, but my intentions are..so I'll never be accused or found guilty of any impropriety..right?? :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, I have a quote I wrote years ago on my wall. "If you know what your wife wants, give it to her. And oh by the way you are either a genius or an idiot - no middle ground on that."

      Hey my wife gave me a really cool convection oven for father's day. Is she telling me my broiling is not good? Or did she get it so I can slave in the kitchen more? But I am so tired of looking for problems that I go straight to her real intent -- to make me happy. And that is the best gift she can give.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 9 months ago from San Diego California

      Preacher man, I must kindly admonish you to stop propagating the myth that the same rules apply to everyone, lest our children become traumatized and start rioting in the streets. I have comes to grips with the idea that certain people get to do whatever they want while I don't, and now I sleep a lot better at night - even here in Chula-juana, where my neighbors all belong to the cartel.

      Other than that it was a lovely sermon, as usual. I forgot my wallet though, so I didn't drop anything in the plate, though my intentions were good. Have a great Sunday!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John you just have to listen to this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfwN0X8YnWo

      I think I am getting this intention deal down. As I check myself every night before sleep I think I am getting about 50% right. Wow that is a whole lot better than my single digit rating before.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Now my good sir Mel, I have no worries in that area, because I am just lazy enough to convince my children that rules do not apply to me but do to them. They understand that "Old Guys Rule" so it is no stretch for them to gather that politicians are held to a lower standard. Someday I will tell you about throwing Molotovs in the riots of Paris back in 75'. Some of my best memories are of the rebellions against the man.

      Could you pick me up an Uzi from your neighbors, the gangs up here pay a lot for them.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 9 months ago from SW England

      At this moment I'm really fed up with our politics, be they British or European. We are surrounded by corrupt and insincere, money-grabbing, fame seeking MPs, it seems. I know there must be good among many of them but I wish they'd just tell us straight rather than fudge and try to make it sound as though they can fix it all with our mandate. Their intentions start out as honourable but then they seem to lose focus and the priorities become distorted.

      Thanks for a clear-thinking hub, one to make us examine our own intentions and our own way of living by them. Love, of course, is the answer, always. I would like to see more love in our representatives!

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, I fear we have a globalization of politics. So bent on sound bytes and maintaining power that their very souls get corrupted. At least in my local politics I usually have a choice to vote for good people and not just ones that are adept at selling themselves.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 9 months ago from SW England

      Yes, they haven't got to the big time yet!

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And what I really like are the handshakes and catching up on schools and family and looking each other in the eye. Changing the world by changing our neighborhoods is not a burden but a delight.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton

      Your son's.. situation made me stand up a little prouder.. for what he went through and for the simple gift of life... I know some people who are going through it was thorns as they swallow.. but they live it nonetheless because it is given to us... and life is a gift... Great sermon my friend.. bless you

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Frank. We live and so we have trials. With my young 6 year old we are starting to learn to view obstacles as challenges that can make us stronger or not. We grasp the idea that without fear there is no courage. These truly are gifts.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Yvonne sorry for missing this earlier -- the HP gods only send me notifications when they feel like it. Something that is interesting to me is that there are two sides to most stories. Some hold strong beliefs on either side - which is good and cool. But on both sides there are people that determine that more love is the answer. Those are the people I associate with and listen to.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Yvonne something strange just happened. When I just responded to you through the comments section of my account -- then immediately I got notification of you comment. Some 6 days later.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 9 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for dealing with the topic of intention; it is a very important issue. I take away your question for reflection: "Wouldn’t it be swell if we could have such a close connection with our God that we could replace our intentions with God’s intentions?"

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Great exhortation to actually live in a way that really shows the love of Jesus.

      This reminded me of something a Kurd once told me.

      "We've been Muslim a thousand years and all Islam ever gave us was bloodshed, hatred and pain. But you Christians are nuts! You're our traditional enemies and you love us! Tell us about this Jesus!"

      I know some think all faiths are equally valid, but when we show that love then that far outweighs the others!

      Great stuff

      Lawrence

      I cant change the way the politicians are, but I can change the way I live, and what I expect from them.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lawrence, I have concentrating on some health rather than writing lately, so I am late.

      Funny that when I read your comment I just could not get these old adages out of my mind. "How do you start a long journey? By taking one step at a time". and "How do you eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time."

      How do we change the world? One truly good Christian at a time.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, there is this notion of pleasure and pain. We naturally shy away from what causes us pain. For me, sometimes I feel it is God's intention that I suffer a bit. But I can see that it is God's intention so I embrace it and it always get's better for me. Fight it and it always gets worse.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 8 months ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Eric:

      Thank you for the words you pen as they do make us stop and look at ourselves. I cannot change the politician or the man who's mindset is to kill and destroy all which is good because of his belief system.

      Hopefully I can change the view others have by living as we are called to live in peace and love. I have cone to that place in life where all I can do is love the person and yet hate the sin. I am no better than anyone else. One thing I have learned over the years is the sin I so readily point out in another may be the same sin I have deep inside.

      Like all of us it would be a perfect world if we could all get along... One of the reasons I rarely watch the news anymore.

      Blessings from Canada

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

      Rolly, I am finding an interesting challenge on issues like this one. It would seem that in discussions with self righteous self proclaimed religionists that many think they actually completely live righteous lives. Now of course this comes up because I proclaim my sins and failures -- from what would be ideal. I got over the put downs and the "I am better than you's" quite some time ago.

      What concerns me is that these people go on living this way. They totally miss the good stuff of doing better and even overcoming.

      And of course I am not that dude with a speck in his eye, they don't call me plank for nothing ;-)

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 7 months ago from Peru, South America

      This is an interesting analysis on our intentions and motivations. We may not be able to change others, but we can change ourselves. Thank you!

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

      Hi Vespa, so good to hear from you. Thanks for your comment. It reminds me to pray this day that I do not judge others but learn from their example - good or bad. With that attitude I will surely learn something good to know.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 7 months ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Eric...

      Great words to ponder of how we are treated for our poor judgement. The criminal code here in Canada is similar to yours. Technicalities are often used and the guilty are allowed to walk free. Is it fair, tell it to the parents who have lost a child through murder or a drunk driver.

      No matter who we are right from the inception of our first thoughts we know the difference between right from wrong. We have a case before the courts now where and elderly couple disappeared. All that was left was a burned out shell of a motorhome. The defence is using the fact the bodies have never been found so how can there be a conviction. Yet there is so much evidence this young man has committed the crime. We will learn in a week or so after 4 years of delays what the courts will rule. Just terrible the way every possible avenue has been used which could allow the perp to go free. In the end I have peace he will answer to someone far greater than the criminal code....

      Blessings from Canada

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

      Rolly, I once was involved in a case, and in fact now with another one, where the facts are so clear that are reported. Because the real facts take time to understand, our news here at least, only does sensational sound bytes.

      I tend to go with your notion that the ultimate authority is the one we shoulc be most focused on.

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