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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Where To Learn How To Learn Your Faith

Updated on August 6, 2017

Little Guy Prepping For Surgery

Believe me there was a lot of parental faith in the surgeon.
Believe me there was a lot of parental faith in the surgeon. | Source

A Starting Point?

Just how do you learn or where do you learn and from whom do you learn in order to understand your beliefs. Yes we know that sounds backwards but it is mostly true. We start out just believing. I know that I did as a prepubescent boy. It was just what we as a child society did. And it was a great way to live. Covered by the love of Jesus. But then you get into Junior High School and questions arise. So the first thing you must figure out is just where to learn.

This may seem kind of rude. But it seems to me that parents stink at this job. They get caught between the rolls of parenting, teaching and doing. Parents do not normally discuss their faults and actual sinning with their children. Insecurity I suppose.

Do we actually look toward priests? Here I refer to the ordained by some kind of religion and or their sub sects. From Catholic to Joel Osteen. From small home churches to revivalist Bible thumpers. And this is a tough one. Those folks kind of tend in a major way to promote their groups agendas.

So it is not the roll that we look for it is the appreciation for how another runs their life including how they speak and handle their money and time. It just would not be good to go finding out how to learn from someone whose life is a mess. Foul language, hot explosive temper, excessive in all things imbibed. So yes a parent or a priest can be great people to learn from, but not because they are a parent or a priest.

There was a great biology professor who would use known science to discuss but on questions regarding “why”, his eyes would get all big and he would shrug. Which clearly suggested that there is where we find God. “Why”. Not how and not because, but why. And perhaps knowing what questions to ask is how we begin our journey of learning.

Sometimes All We Get Is Faith

Faith That Dad Will Be There

Safety is relative.
Safety is relative. | Source

Differences

Now when we begin to understand that we do not know why we have faith we are set to begin learning. If someone believes they know everything about something then why would they continue to learn? All boring people share that one character trait; they are done learning. All very accomplished people share the opposite character trait; they never stop learning. Have you ever met a great cook who was not constantly trying new recipes? Have you ever heard of a professional athlete who did not practice? Licensing for Lawyers and doctors require that they attend so many hours a year of continuing education.

Let us consider that in learning of our faith we must not look for the one who has “gotten there” we must look for the one that is still learning. In my short life I have never taught someone where I did not learn something. In graduate school I had a friend who was a TA (teacher’s assistant) and he revealed that his professor still used a lecture script written 10 years before. Probably reading a fat textbook would do a student better. And just think if the student got a 3rd revised edition on a book ten years old. Who would know more the student or the professor?

Alas at this juncture we can see that books are invaluable while learning about our faith. And that that study combined with a master who continues to search and learn would be good.

Now be sure in this: Continuing to learn and strive must be handled so as not to be disruptive to our inner soul and being. Being comfortable within, having peace and love, joy and harmony is not to be disturbed by learning, it must be our base and spring board to greater understanding. And as an inverse our learning must enhance that inner space or it is not about faith but rather about logic and history and the like. Learning about our faith cannot hurt. For faith does not hurt for if it does, it is something else not faith.

Wouldn’t it be great if we busted out with a Wiki definition of faith right now? With any contemplation one would see that there would have to be billions of definitions. Billions of people have faith in something. One would hope they are like snowflakes, no two identical.

But we can all probably agree to a few things we believe in universally. Or possibly not. Maybe we should consider some beliefs.

Maybe Music is You Way Into Faith

Morning Is Not Promised

Yahoo I awoke another day!
Yahoo I awoke another day! | Source

Maybe Not Really Learning, Just Infusing

Examine some matters where there is not agreement:

  1. That there is a God,
  2. That all humans make mistakes,
  3. That we are created equal,
  4. That God is Love,
  5. Incarnations,
  6. Which religion(s) are truth,
  7. Is there a Sabbath?,
  8. Rituals,
  9. Creation,
  10. And on and on and on….

Now some are inclined to believe that others must believe in such a way in order to be saved from hell. As is so obvious that it is not listed above, not all believe in hell. So in the sense of saving souls we all should care “about” each other. But we must accept in loving kindness that not all we see it our way. I have read about it, but I have neither witnessed nor met anyone who has learned a faith by someone insisting that another believe in a certain way.

We are back to just where we learn our faith. Could it be that this sermon is an elaborate hoax? That you have no choice over what to believe. That it just is and there is nothing you can do about it? Do not be tempted to think that an atheist does not have faith in anything. If they deposit money in a bank for later use they have faith that tomorrow will happen. And science cannot assure the future. It can predict but not assure. As a matter of fact science cannot with certainty assure that tomorrow did not already happen. That quantum whatever and string whatever throws a quark in all things provable.

Seriously though we can learn about the logic and construct of our faith. We are wise to seek counsel on such matters and listen with an open mind, even from idiots? Obtaining knowledge accidentally is still learning. Personally I go with children for the most part. Yes I have Yogi and Priest type friends also.

But the greatest teacher of all things regarding faith is ourselves. Mind, body, soul and emotions. We get in touch with those and we are on the Road To Faith. Now, reading and praying, meditation, nature and exercise will not teach us about our faith but it sure can get our being ready and receptive to the universe and for oh so many God.

And let us be real clear here, learning from God is not a hearing voices thing. Faith does not work through our neural preceptors. Faith fills our heart with love and that is all the faith we need. Learning stuff is not about faith in either traditional sense. Learning is about expanding our understanding. But faith is a creation between us and our Lord. Faith is a two way highway, and you only get to travel it with an open peaceful self and a healthy dose of love.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence I do everything that one can suggest to avoid hell. And my family follows suit. I also have an almost zero footprint. But I have never done anything based on fear. It is anathema to me.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 3 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Sorry my comment seemed to cut off half way through, my device I use is struggling a bit with all the winter weather we're having.

      I'd agree about the strange notion, and metaphor, maybe we don't understand what it's really saying, but that doesn't mean we can reject what it says!

      For me, Hebrews chapter 11 verse1 describes faith the best.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Lawrence,

      Hell is just a strange notion that all have a different idea of. The Bible seems to use metaphors. A funny thing for me would be a heaven without striving without challenges. That would actually be more of a hell for me.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 3 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Enjoyed this, tried to post a couple of times, but some things just don't work out.

      One thing that strikes me though and thats at one point you mention people who 'believe in hell' (I forget the exact term you use).

      Here's a thing, we may believe in such a place, but none of us like the idea (God certainly doesnt

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well said friend. I think these sermons are maybe to easy for me because the concepts are so real. Thank you for your input, intellect and faith.

    • mckinney5252 profile image

      mckinney5252 4 months ago

      When it is real, it is not tough. And you are welcome.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Mckinney for sharing thoughts with us. Or perhaps you are sharing your faith with us. Putting faith into words is a tough one.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      North Wind, thank you for your comment. Asking for faith on a routine constant manner is a very good idea.

      That little guy starts 2nd grade today. He has the jitters ;-)

    • mckinney5252 profile image

      mckinney5252 4 months ago

      Eric, intrinsically we all know when we have done our best. The problem arises when we associate the outcome of an endeavor with the performance yielded to achieve the endeavor. Consequentially, we believe that the results of a thing is in our hands. But that belief is wrong. The results of anything is in the hands of the Lord. He, and He along, knows what are strengths, weaknesses, and challenges are. He, and He along, knows the outcome of every decision we make. Nonetheless, the Lord takes us as we are. All He requires is that we do our best and that we trust Him to do the rest. And even though faith is an abstract concept, its results are concrete. You believe that once you enter your vehicle and head toward your destination you will arrive safely at your destination. You do your best to drive safely. When you arrive your sense of sight informs you that you have reached your desired destiny. Reaching your desired destination is the end result of your faith. Yet, no one but the Lord knew whether you would arrive safely or whether or not some misfortune would prevent you from achieving your intended goal. Yet, had that misfortune prevented you from arriving safely at your destination, that prevention could not have materialized had God not permitted it to transpire. Yet, when you entered your vehicle you believed that you would arrive in the same fashion from which you departed. So, yes I believe in the concrete results of abstract faith. And yes, I believe that all things work for the good for those who lives are dedicated to advancing the Kingdom of God. That would be the good, the bad, the painful, the pleasurable, and the ugly. Have a great one.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 4 months ago from The World (for now)

      Very interesting read. Faith is a hard thing to have but according to the Lord if we have faith as tiny as a mustard seed then we will be able to move mountains. Since He speaks only truth then faith is a mighty weapon. Those who believe in Christ should constantly ask Him for faith. Through Abraham's faith he was credited with righteousness. That is not a small credit at all!

      On a completely unrelated topic - re: your picture, I can't get over those cute cheeks!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are talking a place where an hour's drive puts you perfect. San Jose is the techie and Vietnamese community on steroids. But let me know and I will put you in contact with my eldest son to do coastal. He is songwriter singer extraordinaire and I have caught him sleeping all night in his car to greet the day on the water. Bring your boats!!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 months ago from Missoula, Montana

      Eric, I'll be making another move soon. There is the slightest possibility that I'll be located in San Jose. I haven't done much on the ocean before, but I did break through the breakers in Crescent City once.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Chris. I am thinking of you at this time. We are ramping up our water activities. So now I have to relearn how to Kayak in order that I can teach my son how to do it. And around here you have to do it well enough to get outside the breakers.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 months ago from Missoula, Montana

      This one sentence the kind of insight I have grown to appreciate in you, Eric. "So it is not the roll that we look for it is the appreciation for how another runs their life including how they speak and handle their money and time." Lead on, oh, wise one. Great hub. [roll=role]

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      McKinney, a pleasure to make your acquaintance, it is good to meet you and hear your thoughts as I learn from them. You must understand that I am a selfish bloke and only write these sermons so that I may learn from my readers ;-)

      I like what you have to say, but have trouble with matters stated in the absolute. A concrete faith is always worthy, yet it troubles me as being a final destination.

      I find a reluctance to accept that a life worth living is one in which you did your best. It bothers me, probably because I have not given my all, so often, to loving others. Sure I try but sometimes I just cannot muster my best. Perhaps I misread and that is part of what you mean. I would appreciate hearing more.

      Eric

    • mckinney5252 profile image

      mckinney5252 4 months ago

      Sometimes the best message is one that is concise and direct. When a reader has to reread a passage, the reader loses sight of the true meaning of the passage. Simply put, faith is believing when there is no plausible reason to believe. The funny thing about life is that we learn it by living it. Rarely, do we heed the advice or the warnings of the prudent. As free-will creatures, we are committed to doing our own thing. And when we do our own thing and those things cause us great pain, most of us become living advocates promoting the very thing that we initially opposed. There is no greater testimony than the testament of the individual. A liar can counsel another liar more effectively than a man of integrity. A former drug addict completely understands another addict. The counsels of those who have experienced and overcome certain life challenges is priceless. Yet, regardless of how we arrive at the conclusion of our earthly lives or how we utilize our faith, we must abdicate these fleshy bodies. At that juncture only one thing will matter, and that one thing is, whether you lived the best temporal existence possible? Love the Lord, treat people right, and enjoy the life that God has granted unto you. One doeth well if one is able to do these three things.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, I just loved your article on crock potting in the heat. Really smart stuff.

      I like your comment on the teaching is learning deal. So true, but I especially like it from a great teacher in a creative art such as cooking. I had a pro ski racing coach and he insisted that we coach and teach little ones. He held your position in high esteem.

      Now this thing about priests and preachers, it is tough. I am sure you noticed that around here I tend to guide to questions. It really is my belief that in the spiritual/mental/teaching area a properly posed question allows us to teach ourselves, and I would hope that that is in conjunction with the Holy Spirit.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Elijah, your journey is very fascinating. I must say that your comment reminds me of the saying that I sometimes get in deep meditation and prayer. "There are no words to describe it". I know we use that liberally nowadays. But it relates that oblique area of learning from the heart and osmosis from being close to Jesus. Bible mentally but faith spiritually?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thomas, I think your comment adds to my reflections. Rereading. I definitely have reference books that I go to and reread to remember. (Working on Baruch Spinoza and I can't remember anything;-)

      And then there are readings like the Tantra and the Bible that I get something new from every time. It is interesting that rereading one kind is a memory deal rereading the other kind is a new learning deal.

      Thanks for the idea.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Tim, I hope North inland county is not too hot today. I would like to know just where in my Spring Valley East County they take the temperatures as they say 84 while here it is 92. A segue into the concept of trust and faith. I trust the weather service to be wrong, I have faith that it will be hot in the summer here. And there it is, they are pretty much interchangeable. Maybe we think of trust in worldly things and faith more along spiritual lines. Thank you for bringing it up.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Dana it is good to hear from you. I expect all is fine. A funny thing about wisdom everywhere. My youngest and I use a magnifying glass a whole lot. There are great big ideas to be learned from the smallest of things.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Dora with my four children we have the most fun when they are teaching me. I tell them it is because as you get older you had better become a better student.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lori. My poor mother. she ran in the school of if a parent admits a wrong then it allows the child to question the parent. As number six on the rung I seldom was given direct orders and who was I to question my older siblings. I was meandering in my brain yesterday. Christ was made man, man screws up. So for Christ to really be made man he had to screw up to prove it. I'll bet he fixed it quickly by accepting fault and making amends. It is great to be on a spiritual journey instead of a place.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And Denise isn't it great that it is not static. I am an ebb and flow kind of guy. Moons, tides, rain, snow, heat and cold all effect me to a degree. But what most effects me is failure to pray, read, meditate and be grateful. The growth in the gap is nearly immediate. Thank you for lending us your thoughts.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 4 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      I love the message your presented here today. You know, when I was younger, an older friend of mine said "A wise person looks for wisdom every single day because wisdom flows around us even from the mouth of babes. People who understands this will make a difference between being ordinary or extraordinary.

      Eric, my friend, it took me a long time to understand this wisdom that flowed for years "If you are the smartest person in your circle, you have outgrown that circle. I have been on vacation and look forward to catching up on all my favorite hubber's. Blessings to you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Kristen. It is good to hear from you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Charmaine, Thank you for your enlightening comment. Just for me, I love learning about other faiths and traditions. However my root faith has never been shaken. I enjoy different perspectives and how they can work for the good in my life. Even in my yoga practice most of any chants are adapted to praise my Lord. It is really quite easy.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 4 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, I have found that the best way to learn is to teach. When we perform a task on our own, we rarely stop to analyze what we are doing. But when you are showing someone else how to perform that task, you break the process down into steps and take the time to consider each one. And in doing so, sometimes you arrive at a better, simpler method.

      I was taught that faith (and in this I am speaking of our belief in God) is a gift from the Holy Spirit. I don't rely on pastors or priests to tell me what to believe or how I should feel. It comes from within; it comes from love given to us by the One who made us.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 4 months ago from Washington DC

      I will reply to your subject, "Where To Learn How To Learn Your Faith," from my life's experience as one raised Baptist since 1945.

      From as young as I can remember I asked why about everything and when the answers given didn't eliminate all possible questions I kept asking until forced to stop. Then I would walk out, as a country boy until age 8, and ask those same questions into the air or, after becoming a city boy, into the air from the top of some tree during the day or the night air of some quiet park as I got older.

      In 1973, after the event I call "my new conception", I began to study the Bible as a book I knew nothing of, got a dictionary and concordance to help me define the words to be sure I knew what was being said. I was also encouraged to read it as a book I knew nothing about and note every contradiction I ran across. I found some in Genesis 1 and noted everything after Genesis 2:4 contradicted chapter 1 and through the whole Bible I noticed such things which didn't make sense to me. A major alarm went off after reading Romans 1:20 suggesting "the things made reveals the unseen" and Hebrews 11:1 suggesting I must to find "evidence and substance to reveal the probability of of my beliefs" meaning faith is a form of science.

      My study showed me to follow the life of the Christ for whom there is no record of for 18 years, said he had nowhere for his head, his family are those who seek to "do the will of his [heavenly] father" and for us to forsake the social family after a new birth.

      My new birth happened when I came out of "working for money" August 6, 1976 which sent me on a wondering way of life after the example of the Christ whose instructions were to "teach people what and how I had observed things" for the purpose of making disciples. Doing it Isaiah 28:9 words, "Whom shall he [god] teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts" suggesting I would have to forsake religious teachings and teachers to learn the true faith [way to find substance and evidence as proof of what I believed] suggested god would be my teacher.

      It had just so happen that during my gestating I often had bodiless voices speak to me in response to my prayers who questioned me concerning what I prayed about so now I began to question myself concerning the things of my concern which led to reasoning and, behold, the truth of my faith was revealed. Thus, in answering "Where To Learn How To Learn Your Faith" I reply we learn "HOW to learn our faith by obeying the teachings of the teachings of the Gospels' bringer.

    • thomasczech profile image

      thomasczech 4 months ago from Canada

      Very interesting. I am going to read this again later. I find that this is showing me something new. Thanks for this.

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      Tim Mitchell 4 months ago from Escondido, CA

      Great sermon opening doors. The first image and caption brought much to contemplate. I remembered when I had an emergency thoracotomy for a problem with my lung. I had faith in the medical environment from entering the emergency room and still today years after that the remedy continues to be a solution. After all I am here because of the operation. That leads to the partner of faith is trust. I have pondered does one have trust in faith as much as faith in trust. In other words the relationship of those two with a belief. Thanks for the sermon Eric.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John I am not a socialite. But I need my fix of being around folks as I am very interested to learn about them and their views. It is so cool that there are so many ways to learn. "can't teach an old dog new tricks" Bull!!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, we had a wonderful Sunday just cruising up the coast and eating and eating then some more eating. Thanks for dropping by on your full on farm day.

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      Dora Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Always, I can find something strong to take away. Today it is "we must not look for the one who has “gotten there” we must look for the one that is still learning." Thanks for sharing your insights on life and faith.

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      Lori Colbo 4 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Too many people think they've arrived. You never do this side of heaven. In 12 step program I hear almost every meeting "When I am spiritually fit, then I am doing well." My question is, what does spiritually fit mean?

      We learn faith from God's Word and looking at what God has done for us, and by godly behavior of men and women of God. As parents, we don't want to be transparent before our children. We don't want our kids to know we're sinners and that we've blown it. If you present yourself as perfect to your kids, they will feel like they'll never measure up. Christian parents should let their children know that they have struggles but by example and in word, show them that God and His word are where they get their answers and where they hear from God the most, and to do so consistently.

      God and His Word are truth. Thus if we read it and apply it to our lives we will grow in our life of faith.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I love your final statement, "But faith is a creation between us and our Lord. Faith is a two way highway, and you only get to travel it with an open peaceful self and a healthy dose of love." Sometimes we think of faith as a static thing, that you either have it or you don't. I believe that faith is dynamic, and that it ebbs and flows with the relationship we have with deity. The more we feel God's love for us, the more profound is our faith. The more faith we exhibit, the more we feel God's love.

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      Kristin Shay 4 months ago from Illinois

      Great read

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      Threekeys 4 months ago from Australia

      One of the better aspects of the New Age movement was making me realize that every person you meet is both your teacher and student, irrespective of their profession or lack of profession. Of course we need to value ourselves and live by a standard that is acceptable to ourselves. But one thing driven home to me is the very need to present a comment or person with context in order to derive a more authentic idea of what is, or who is.

      If someone was cornered and silenced for 10 years and only now allowed the hurt shame and humiliation to be expressed to themselves in the privacy of their home, through unflattering choice of words here and there including now and again bursts of voice projections, to make sure they still have a voice, you wouldnt write them off. Context.

      I dont know about you eric but as time passes I just keep realizing how much there is to experience and learn. And here I dont mean clogging up one's mind with facts and figures that are irrelevant except for a TV Quiz Show.

      Faith..its a daggy old fashioned word but neccessary in an uncertain world and to make sure that you will take a risk in life even if its a risk of taking a step outside your front door in bad neighbourhood.

      There is a fine line involved with faith. Is faith taking on the life role of a pollyanna or the Fool in the Tarot Deck? Or can you be a pessimist and realist together with still espousing you have faith?

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 4 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for the sermon, Eric. Great job, especially the last capsule "Maybe Not Really Learning- Just Infusing." We are never too old to keep learning.

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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Amen, brother! Amen!

      Just doing a fly-by today. Critters to feed and chores to finish before the heat arrives. Take care, my friend. I have "faith" that you will.