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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Where The Good Stuff Is

Updated on March 13, 2016

Light illuminates the good stuff

Somewhere where the sun was shining.
Somewhere where the sun was shining. | Source

Staying the course

The reality of life can sometimes get us down. We can engage in all or nothing speech to ourselves. We say things to ourselves like that my life is lousy and not worth living. We can get engrossed in sensationalized “news” stories and then extrapolate that the whole world is lousy and not worth being a part of. I do not think these thoughts are that abnormal, if they come into our minds for a millisecond and then are quickly done away with with a head shake and a return to the actual rational reality.

In other words if we frame our thoughts to admit that some of life is bad, but other parts are good we can better face actual reality. One day, one circumstance does not mean everything is terrible. Of course let us realize that not everything is wonderful either.

Here is where prayer and meditation are so helpful. If we concentrate on the good things around us then the bad can all but disappear. It is not a Pollyanna proposition it is based on truth. There are in reality beautiful things in this world.

I knew a man who was losing his house in the last recession. He had held a job for twenty years but in the last recession was “laid off” and actually replaced by someone just hired at a minimal pay. I dealt with this man to help lessen and delay the impact of a foreclosure. A wife and two kids. The man stayed upbeat most of the time. When asked how he did that with the walls coming down on him he simply said he chose to concentrate on the generous unemployment checks and the fact that his family was healthy. Both true in reality. Just as the losses were true in reality. He was dealing in reality and not some fantasy or all or nothing concepts. He lost his home but some six years later I understand from another friend that he is employed again and just bought a home and that his family was fine. But the cool thing is, he was fine all along. His focus on the positive got him through tough times without a scar.

A river is constantly flowing with water

Yet every second of all day long the water is new.
Yet every second of all day long the water is new. | Source

Just some soulful music I like to listen to.

The lens of light

Now we have choices. We are wise to keep our options open so that we keep those options. It seems to me that anyone can find the negative to wallow in if they so choose. Perhaps the simple truth is that that is a choice. But we can actually wallow in the positive. Now I did not ask that man what techniques he used in staying positive but by the referral he was an active member of a congregation, so we can assume he prayed.

Life has problems. We must deal with those problems. Some even have a calling to help others with their problems. From volunteering to doctors and lawyers. A school teacher and a nurse come to mind. These people must have a calling to help others. After the day to day sets in we see some with “burn out”. We see doctors and lawyers change to all they are after is the almighty dollar. We see the teacher and the nurse more consumed with the bureaucracy around them than the students and patients. These are the sad cases where somewhere along the line they stopped focusing on the good and started focusing on the bad. Some will even switch professions because they are so unhappy. But alas that will not change a thing if they continue to focus on the negative.

Is it possible that the world is just so made up of bad that it is a false doctrine to focus on the good, because it is really not there? Absolutely not. A flower, a young child, delicious food, the joy of giving from the heart. Sick people really do get well and mothers really do give birth to happy healthy babies. Some couples stay together for 40 years and are still in love. Peace is the rule in society and violence really is the exception – not that you would know that from the news. Many people have deep abiding faith. And still others are happy with no faith. There is much in the world that is good and should be the focus of our attention.

So where is all this good stuff? Right in front of your face if that is what you choose to look for. Whether the world is full of hate and violence or whether it is full of love and peace is up to you to decide. But I tell you this; there are billions of us on earth and there are only a few million caught up in horrible things like war and famine. Oh for sure we should spend some of our time on the tragic and not turn a blind eye to it. But here is the key. If you just focus on the suffering then you are no good to anyone. If you focus on the solution then you can be part of it. Solutions are very good things. So we could both see the same problem only one of us wallows in the misery and the other stands with the solution. Same situation just different approaches. I suggest the solution seeker is a much healthier and happier human being.

Just a place I like to hike

I could guess why the call it cardiac. Steeper than a chimney.
I could guess why the call it cardiac. Steeper than a chimney. | Source

Please listen to the previous. Native American. Then listen to this, ancient Indian. We are more similar than different.

I think that seeing our joined selves is worth being called the good stuff.

So where does all that leave us in our search for the good stuff. I suppose if what you are thinking of when you read “good stuff” is actual things then you may have some issues. The good stuff is found in the moment. That which lasts is found in the deeds of man. Sometimes we are not all bright and shiny and full of desire to do that which is good for its own sake. There is a term that helps us to get through these rough spots, “fake it until you make it”. We just are not designed to be “up” all the time. But if through prayer and meditation and a habit, we can get through the down times and not lose our focus on the good stuff. Easier said than done in many ways. But well worth the effort.

It works a little bit differently in the actual real world. There are people I know that think that if you are smiling you are not serious about what you are doing. They see the smile as you being distracted by something good while you should just be concentrating on the task at hand. Well I got news for those folks. Some of us have a positive outlook on life. We see the good stuff in the task at hand. We can be upbeat and happy no matter what. Does anyone really like grumpy disgruntled people more than happy cheerful people? I suppose there are, misery loves company. Some folks miss the good stuff because they are so focused on the bad. You do not need to live like that. Remember also, we are not machines and don’t get down on yourself if sometimes all you can see is the negative. This too shall pass if you have the engrained notion of looking for the good stuff.

How about a prayer that can be used by anyone.

Oh great creator, create in me a glad heart that sees your good works. Fill me with the wondrous marvels of your creation. Guide me away from the negative. Amen.

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    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 15 months ago from Washington, DC

      Amen. Eric, what a beautiful sermon, read with the background music you've provided. You have put forth a wonderful and timely message here. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it validating as I try very hard to stay in the positive realm of reality. The distractions are sometimes overwhelming. There are so many who need this sermon. I hope it will resonate with and open the minds of many. Thank you for this one. Two thumbs up.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Janis let me tell you something real clear. I am honored to have you read and comment on my little sermon. If you got a blessing from it that makes me "click my heels" happy. We can share in the joy of seeing the better side of life. Thank you.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 15 months ago from southern USA

      Aw, yes, Dear Eric, the good stuff!

      I believe you and I are on the same wavelength with this topic here.

      Your sermons are always spot on with this path we call life.

      When we think on the things God would have us to think on, then peace rules our lives.

      Peace and blessings to your an yours always

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Faith we can occupy the good. I got some stuff going on that is less than good. But I got this stuff going on that is uplifting. Lordy know it is a choice. I choose to affiliate with good folk like you.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 15 months ago from southern USA

      Oh, I'm sorry about the less than good stuff going on, Dear Eric. Your prayer is beautiful and I know He heard. Just remember to think on what God tells us to think on to keep yourself in perfect peace despite the not so good stuff. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 15 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Wonderful sermon, Eric. We should concentrate on the good stuff always and see happiness and beauty in all. Your last line suggesting a prayer that can be used by all is very nice.

      The videos are amazing. But the Indian music is somewhat mis-titled. It is not a flute used in it. It is either clarinet or something like that that has been used. I think the creator of that album mistook it for flute. Anyway, it is also good. But, I liked the first video very much with its transcendental music and images of nature with its wonderful living beings.

      Thanks a lot for sharing it.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 15 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great hub and very uplifting! Let us always see the positive side of everything.

      "--- we frame our thoughts to admit that some of life is bad, but other parts are good we can better face actual reality. One day, one circumstance does not mean everything is terrible. Of course let us realize that not everything is wonderful either----" .

      I think these words from you summed it up .

      Thank you for this wonderful hub!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Faith. We keep filling our hearts up with the good stuff so there is no room for the bad stuff to enter. Sometimes it takes a little work.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for that Venkatachari. I thought there was something different than a flute there it is great you cleared it up. Both of those are very calming for me. We are blessed to be able to share beautiful things with each other.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ChitrangadaSharan it is good of you to come by and leave such an uplifting note. I hope you have a great week ahead.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 15 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great hub! A positive lifestyle leads to a healthy mind.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Absolutely Devika, thank you for that comment.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 15 months ago from Escondido, CA

      Seems said gleaning is gain especially wisdom shared as spoken (huh?) . . . with this article. Interestingly as I began to type reached was 'spoken' and then my browser collapsed before my eyes. Aghast with surprise beginning to fill with ill sentiment your words filtered through "Guide me away from the negative".

      Notice gave attention upon the desktop image new today of a friend, her niece, and best companion a pup named Freddie. I must confess seeking to contribute with comment became lost with moments, though once seemed priority.

      Arrived love's beauty of those three with Sweden's nature of woods and flowing stream. Bequest of anger flowed swiftly with those currents away becoming a smile I share now . . .

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 15 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric - As you know, depression is an ugly demon that never dies. It lingers in the shadows, always just outside our peripheral vision. Thank you for the prayer. Needed always.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Tim for your lovely comment. Sometimes it is not so easy to see the good.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, you are right about depression. Maintaining a happy healthy outlook is not always possible for everyone. Our special prayers go out to those suffering.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 15 months ago from Escondido, CA

      I hope you realized I inserted 'huh?' and was not as comment but observance of the crash of my browser ;-) You and I see a cloudy day today dotted with sprinkles Eric laced a bit cooler too. It is with seeing through your hub now I value lack of determined goals arrives welcomed rest with as suggested music's console.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 15 months ago from United States

      Good advice and well received my friend. whonu

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 15 months ago from The Caribbean

      Amen again to this prayer, Eric. "One circumstance does not mean everything is terrible." When we cannot see the good, the prayer reminds us that God can guide our vision toward it. Good is always there--somewhere.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Real late to the party this time, buddy. Sorry about that. I was out pretending I actually liked working for a living. :) You know how I feel about your sermons. I love that they remind me of the obvious, because I don't always see the obvious until I trip over it and smack my face.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whonu it is very good to hear from you. I hope all is well. I am glad you like this sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, you are so right. It is there somewhere if we look for it. Just this morning I caught myself looking at the negative side of something. A simple prayer and things are back on even keel.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tim I am enjoying our little detour into winter. We always see the good in rain around here.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill one good look at my nose and you can tell I have smacked into things with my face too many times. Well sometimes the best we can do is try. I think it is fairly obvious that I write these sermons because I need the lesson.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 15 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Dear Eric, a very timely and encouraging message. It is easy to rejoice in good times but staying positive during the bad takes real strength. I admire your friends attitude when he chose to focus on the good in his situation. I think he had a deeper understanding that we all try to grasp, which is, worrying and stressing will not change the situation. I'm sure this message was right on time for many.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Dana,

      I surely do try to keep this frame of mind. It kind of goes against what society teaches us. But it is a nicer way to live.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 15 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I love Native American flute music! It is just the right touch of melancholy to allow a person to float away on a dream. Sometimes, I listen to it at night and it helps me to relax and rest. I have been in "burnout" mode before. It is not a pleasant place to be! We have to make some hard decisions when we are there, and decide what is really most important in our lives. We realize that our health and our families are much more important than the praise of the world and surrounding ourselves with expensive things.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise, sometimes they are hard choices. And often we just don't have the energy to care that much. Tough situations to be sure. But one's that you seem to overcome consistently. We must surround ourselves with the good stuff and all else falls into place.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 15 months ago from Nibiru

      thanks for that sermon Eric. Always helpful in life

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Clive it is always a pleasure to have you come by.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 15 months ago

      A beautiful prayer at the end...the flute music was so soothing!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am glad you enjoyed.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      I know how your friend who lost the house felt, that's what happened with us. On top of that was burnout for my wife and redundancy for me!

      I found a job working permanent nights cleaning streets and the good Lord showed me how fortunate we were.

      What has gotten us this far (we still owe money to the Bank) is knowing "whom we have believed and being persuaded he's able to keep what we've committed unto him against that day" and others walking with us!

      Keep 'walking the talk' bro

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence, your story could be a really sad one, but you have come through like a shining light on the mountain's side. For some your tragedy would have taken them under. For you it is a building block to grow stronger. Thanks for being a friend.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      The amazing thing is over the years we've had the chance to help those same friends who helped us. We've had the chance to help others too, sometimes just buying someone a coffee, or dropping a few groceries off and seeing the tears come but they're tears that say THANK YOU

      I tell you it's worth it!

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      People like you make life special Lawrence.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton

      Good morning Eric, I know I've been so busy these past few weeks, but it's always good to come to your sermons.. Ill do a lot of catching up because your sermons do put my mind at ease.. bless you

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is always good to hear from you Frank. It brings me pleasure that you enjoy these sermons.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 12 months ago from Bangalore

      Very uplifting hub.

      Looking at the positive side is always difficult if one is not trained to be calm in happiness and trials.

      When there is a complete break down, one also gets time to relax and dwell upon his /her action and reaction.

      Our ancient scripts bhagavatgita speak about it with so much clarity. It says one is entitled to righteous actions only and results to be left to almighty.

      - hari

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Hari. We are blessed to be able to review.

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