Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.
Look For The Love
Let us look at the positive of Covid. Just turn on the news or gossip to find the negative. If life is good then death is bad? Covid has caused tragedy upon tragedy. What is the good news? You are alive and that is good news to me. The area we dive into now is taboo. When someone dies it is horrible to celebrate the good things in life. This is one of the most damning notions mankind has ever thrust upon their fellows.
Now make no mistake that it would be a mistake not to mourn a tragic loss in life. The grieving process is a normal healthy fact that must not be dismissed lightly. The whole science regarding Post Traumatic Stress, while in it’s infancy, is more than voodoo medical notions. It is real. Just think of losing your dog of 15 years and not grieving that loss. You are in for a world of hurt if you do not.
In the song Mr. Bojangles he grieves after twenty years and is a straight up alcoholic. Perhaps a message there. And also perhaps fear and anger is part of what we lose in proper grievance. So we must recognize how others feel and be sympathetic and empathetic lest we miss out on all of our callings – to spread the love so freely given us.
If there is a God why does he let bad things happen? Certainly an attack mantra for agnostics and atheists alike. Truly a mystery of which no man’s opinion is the same as another’s’. But we remember that where faith is strong fear is weak. I would suggest that staying in the fear and sadness is selfish. Do not take that out of the context of what is already written.
So let us move on keeping these things in mind but not ruminating and “getting stuck” on them. Roses have not lost their luster and love is always there if we are open to it.
Give Each Other
Off We Go
Rather Simple It Would Seem
Some much wiser than I am hold quite firmly that nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in this world that is not part of a greater design. I hold firmly that man’s timeline is a social construct of a false narrative. Man’s time is just that, man’s time. Also I believe that no one is taken from the world before God’s timeline. We often just impose our time on God’s. Hence we remark that a person was taken “before their time”. Indeed before man’s timeline. How self-righteous of men. How arrogant. To focus on the timing is to impose our will of timing on God and His love. A form of vainglory which cometh before the fall from the grace of our spirit.
If I place flowers on a loved one’s grave in sadness, guilt and remorse then the flowers are a reflection of that. If I so place the same flowers in gratitude and love and beauty then upon the grave such is reflected. Totally our choice. I would ponder that the latter is God’s will.
We have these wonderful occasions now called “Celebration of Life”. This is a good thing. But at that celebration do we also celebrate love? Veneration of what a person did in his life is good but let us not forget to celebrate their passing into a place beyond their bodies. And the good that they provided whether in the form of the negative or the positive which only love may discern which is which. Things are pretty much exactly as they are meant to be, let us not judge the will of God.
Here is a poem from around 1932, a German immigrant to the USA wrote;
"God give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the thing which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that You will make things right, if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen." Probably a reference to war and yet applicable to the battle within us all.
There so many things that happen in this world that are fully out of “our” will’s control. We seemingly need God’s grace to accept his will rather than force our own.
Maybe We Are A Bit
Can't Remember The Canyon
Pick Heaven's Route
Blessed are those who weep now for you shall laugh. Another version of this beatitude is; Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. A fine notion is that heaven and hell are both here on earth, we get to choose. I would suggest that His will is that we find heaven and shall have it forever more, based on our acceptance and perspective. So we should look for and find the good in everything. Why not? Could it be that our personal God, or at least our personal vision of God could will us to see the bad in everything? Maybe yours but not mine.
One of my favorite good things to come about is the 100% undeniable benefit to our environment. Very good news for sure. It will even last on as more folks will no longer commute 5 days a week. Yes it is reported with a strong admonishment that it still is not enough. Sometimes scientists like to focus on the negative. Something to do with atheism and increased funding for their pet project – money maker.
Family time together. I suppose you could focus on the negative there. In my home we focused on the positive and flourished and grew together. Memories to remember of untold value. We even grew in our faith and had the time to work out problems rather than stuff them as resentments.
Neighborhoods. 2 out of 3 homes in our village made noticeable improvements to their homes. So more folks and families outside where we would see the increased numbers of walkers down the street. More waves and more smiles seen in the eyes of our people.
Yes some got fat and had emotional issues. But that brought on more services and awareness. I am quite certain that many had their eyes opened about mental and emotional problems, and their treatment and causes. And that we are all susceptible and that it does not make one a horrible person.
The old test for optimism and pessimism is about the cup half full or half empty. Only the answer full is correct. The part of the glass without water is filled with air. But the point is perspective. Those who thrived during the issues were optimists. One who believed in God as love thrived for there was a release of their will. An in your face, God’s will or mine? Some failed and are not doing well.
Due to the need for electronic human interface, many learned first how to do it, and then it’s pitfalls and some ethics.
Personally I took the time to “retreat” mostly. Both a retreat from my will and a retreat from a world of other people’s will. I know for sure it is another new beginning and we can choose the will we follow. I choose love.
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on September 15, 2021:
I was just thinking about you last week and wondering if I should ask where you were. I'm glad you are back with another sermon. Good points about keeping the positive "glass half full" point of view in the face of tragedy and isolation. I'm happy to hear from you.
Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on September 14, 2021:
Hey old buddy. I was wondering where you were hiding, but was afraid to ask.
As a grouchy old fart, whose misanthropic growl is natural people repellent, quarantine is my natural state. So Covid really had very little effect on my lifestyle, except going to the movies, which I kind of missed. Just like I have missed your sermons, with your uplifting insights and prayers, so different from the downers that dominate my own sour ruminations from the pulpit of the perpetually pissed off.
It's really great to hear your voice. Millions of blessings to you.
Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 13, 2021:
Welcome back, Eric. It is so good to see you here once again. You have been missed. I enjoyed your sermon, and it warmed my heart to hear your voice this morning. Take care my dear friend, and keep writing.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 13, 2021:
It is good to see you writing here, and what a superb article you have written! Concentrating on the positives instead of the negatives regarding Covid is the best way to approach it. I enjoyed your "sermon." Sending blessings your way.
greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 13, 2021:
Love is good, Eric. And it is also good to see you back again.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 13, 2021:
Welcome back, Eric. I like the retreat you made. I will be happy to do the same, maybe try to do it even if I am in the midst of people. I am with you in the positives you saw in the advent of Covid. I celebrate these with you.
Paul K Francis from east coast,USA on September 13, 2021:
It's good to read your words again. God is love, I choose love.
KC McGee from Where I belong on September 13, 2021:
Eric, I can't help but learn something every time you write. I also look forward to each sermon you write although I don't always comment. Like what Ms.Dora said; "Welcome back".
God bless you for blessing us with each sermon.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 13, 2021:
Welcome back, my friend. I choose to love as well. All the rest is just window-dressing in life. Mourning? I'm not into it. I'm into the celebration of life.
Good to hear from you, buddy!
manatita44 from london on September 13, 2021:
Brother, you're back with a bang! Wow! A lot of meticulous care and Love into this piece. I can feel it! I love this line: 'Roses have not lost their luster and love is always there if we are open to it.' Deep! Sublime!
Also, I listened to that video again, Ebony and Ivory. So simple, yet so meaningful!
'We are all susceptible and that it does not make one a horrible person.' -Eric. Beautiful!!
Overall, a very meaningful and well written article and a fitting work on your return. Pax Vorbiscum!
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 13, 2021:
Welcome back! I am so happy to read one of your sermons, Eric. I am not the only one who missed you!
Having a new beginning is good, and I have even started my day over. Spreading love and trying to live according to God's will surely feels better. This is an excellent sermon today, and I sure enjoyed reading it.
Take care, Stay healthy and happy. Blessing for you!
FlourishAnyway from USA on September 13, 2021:
It's good to have you back, Eric. I sense you have suffered a loss during this absence. I am sorry, if so. We welcome you back with open arms, friend.
John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2021:
Welcome back, Eric! I have so missed your Sunday Sermons, so this was a very pleasant surprise. The last two years have been tough for many and required both changes of lifestyle and in the way we think. It has given us the opportunity to appreciate many things we took for granted before, and allowed both nature and the climate to heal the damage that has been done over the years.
Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to talking with you more. I hope the family are doing well.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 13, 2021:
It is so good to see your post after a long-long time. Honestly, I was concerned about you, and it’s a pleasure to see you back. God bless you and your family.
The past year and a half has been so tough for everyone around the World. I can relate to your observations in your article. If we are still there, it is God’s Grace and will.
Good of you to take a break. Keep spreading your words of wisdom, through your articles.
Welcome back, and thanks for sharing. Stay Safe.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 13, 2021:
WELCOME BACK, Eric. I am beside myself with joy to hear from you again. I haven't even read the article yet, so let me do that.
Thanks for continuing your message of love and all things positive. "In my home we focused on the positive and flourished and grew together... We even grew in our faith and had the time to work out problems rather than stuff them as resentments." You show us the right path to take. Love and Blessings on you, Buddy.