Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Love Yourself

After much monkeying around, I believe I have figured out how to get my sermon to the general audience. Because Blogger has weird hosting rules, I had to find a free hosting site. Instead of playing the sermon through this blog, you will have to click the link provided to download the sermon. The file size is only 40 mb. I would like to thank divshare for providing this service.


The sermon was given at First Baptist Church of North East, PA on May 3, 2009.

It's barely noticeable, but the tape ministry did edit the sermon for two reasons. First, the sermon is going to air on the radio, so they had to cut out me saying, "I am going to read from the true bible, the ESV." Secondly, they cut out some of the early banter because I was moving stuff around the stage. One joke they did cut was "You know the sermon is over when you hear my father snoring." In all honesty, I wish the church would have given me the original copy, but I do understand the need for editing it.

The following is my sermon notes. Since I did not get the chance to read some of the passages within the sermon notes, please take the time to read them. They will expound on my thinking a little more.

  • You will know the sermon is finished when you hear my father snoring.

  • Please turn to Leviticus 19:9-18, page 146 in the pew Bible.

  • Pray for wisdom, courage, open ears and hearts.

  • Intro:
    • We live in the technological age of iPhones, iPods, and Myspace. It seems as if we live in a time where individuals are more important than communities – that our individual needs must be met before the community’s. If we have become so egocentric, then why promote self-love? Won’t that perpetuate the cycle? It seems ridiculous to promote self-love in a me society.
    • According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, over 33,000 individuals commit suicide each year. It is the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18-65. On an international level, someone commits suicide every 40 seconds. If we love ourselves so much, why did youth suicides nearly triple between 1950 and 1970? Thankfully, in the last decade the numbers have been dropping, but still, 30,000 is a lot of lost souls.
    • Why do more than 8 million Americans suffer from eating disorder, according to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health? It also has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness? If we love ourselves so much, why are so many men and women suffering from these dreadful diseases?
    • Who do we blame for these suicides or eating disorders or low self-image? The obvious answer is to blame ourselves. We are fallen creatures in constant need of God’s grace. However, I would also blame the church. When I speak of the church, I am referring to the universal church, not necessarily First Baptist. The church should represent the goodness of God’s kingdom. Because we are the body of God’s children, we are called to a higher standard. We should be above this world helping it. It seems that either the church focuses too much on the individual, hence some of the ridiculous claims of the health and wealth gospel, or the church tells it congregants to deny oneself, which, at it extreme, may lead to asceticism.
    • Perhaps it will be good to understand the narcissistic tendencies of our culture. The term narcissism seems to be used anytime someone is selfish. However, the issue is much deeper than mere selfishness. In fact, I think it explains the increase in suicide and eating disorders, as well as many other major “self-image” problems facing the church. The late Christopher Lasch, a sociologist and author of many books, including Culture of Narcissism, states that narcissists “conform to social rules more out of fear of punishment than from a sense of guilt…These patients suffer from pervasive feelings of emptiness and a deep disturbance of self-esteem.” Later in his book, he describes how a narcissist views himself. “In order to polish and perfect the part he has devised for himself, the new Narcissus gazes at his own reflection, not so much in admiration as in unremitting search of flaws, signs of fatigue, decay.” There is an overwhelming sense of imperfection and a fear of failing. Narcissism isn’t selfishness rooted in self-love; it is rooted in self-hatred. Which begs the question, “how can one love his neighbor if he hates himself?” “How can I share the grace of God, if I haven’t accepted His grace in my life?”
  • Leviticus 19:18 states “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”
    • Varying Views
      • One friend suggested that loving your neighbor meant placing your neighbor before yourself. Since we often think of ourselves first, we should place others in that position.
      • One commentator suggested, “Many contemporary expositions emphasize the loving of oneself as the first step toward loving one’s neighbor. However, this may result in a self-love that never gets to the loving of others. To be sure, a low self-image plagues and even cripples many folks today, and our highly competitive society often adds to their burden, but many of them can be helped through psychotherapy, pastoral counseling, and caring small groups. But a low self-image need not be a block to loving others and certainly is never an excuse for failure to do so.”
        • I don’t disagree with everything, but the problem is more than just low self-esteem. It is self-hatred.
        • It should not be a stumbling block. In fact, loving yourself and loving your neighbor should work together.
      • John Stott, in his commentary on Romans, stated, “– “Instead we are to affirm all of ourselves which stems from the creation, while denying all of ourselves which stems from the fall.”
        • Likewise, he does not think loving yourself is prerequisite to loving your neighbor.
      • Author of “It’s a Playboy World,” Paul Banowsky argues “Self-love is a wholesome acceptance that releases the individual from personal preoccupation so he may relate himself to the needs and interests of others…The fundamental motion of self-love is expansion, while that of selfishness is contraction…The person who accepts himself is released to give himself to others; the man who is unsure of his own worth that he must constantly look inward comes to know tragedy of living only for himself.”
        • Self-love and loving your neighbor work together. In some ways, it is like an engine with enough gas and oil. Having only one of those things is not going to get the vehicle very far.

  • Learning to love through vision and action.
    • 1 Corinthians 13
      • Do you fail the love test? Each of these attributes of love can be applied to the individual as well to the community.
      • Some of us fail and some of us are properly loving ourselves. Either way, we can learn from this passage and apply it to every situation, but especially when dealing with someone who struggles with low self-esteem or even self-hatred.
    • Five Understandings to Proper Self-Love
      • We are made in the image of God. Therefore, we should not be using self-deprecating humor, nor should we view ourselves as ugly. Granted, we are sinners. Read Psalm 139:13-16.
      • Yet, we are fallen creatures in need of God’s perfect grace. But we have our new self replacing our old self. Why should we hate ourselves if Christ is in our lives. Read Lev. 19:34, Romans 3:23, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 1:7-8.
      • Be humble: false humility vs. true humility. Self-pity vs. pity for others. We were slaves to sin, citizens of the world, but now we are slaves to Christ, citizens of his kingdom. Having been a part of this world, we (the church) must extend grace to those still trapped. Read Philippians 2:1-11; 3:20-21.
      • As children of God we are called to be holy. We must strive after it. Read Lev. 19:1-2, Matthew 5:48, John 8:11.
      • Love is communal. Love your neighbors. Read Lev. 19:34, Ephesians 4:25, 1 John 4:7-21, Romans 13:9. The law is fulfilled through love. It reflects the ten commandments just as Leviticus 19 reflects the ten commandments.
  • Close with prayer. Give us the strength to love ourselves the way you intended us to.

Thanks for taking the time to listen, and as always, leave some feedback.

With much love and peace,
Christian Eriksson

Monday, May 04, 2009

Letting Go

Yesterday I preached at First Baptist Church of North East, PA on properly loving yourself. However, I do not plan on diving into that topic today, because in a couple of weeks I will have the audio, along with the sermon notes, available on the blog. Today I just want to discuss giving up worldly things.

The last few months the Lord has used my time at home to grow close to an older friend that I hadn't seen in years. At least twice a week we get together and hang out. Most of the time we end up discussing movies and theology, not always simultaneously. Tonight was no different. Both of us have been convicted of letting go of worldly possessions. In essence that means watching less movies, listening to less music, reading less novels, etc. It is not that we believe everything in each of these categories is inherently evil; however, should we as Christians watch films such as "Goodfellas," or "Saving Private Ryan," or any film that does not out right promote the gospel of Christ?

This concept is extremely hard for me to grasp considering the fact that a) I love movies, b) I love music, and c) I enjoy reading almost anything. My conviction tells me that I should stop watching films and devote all of my time developing my spiritual disciplines. Instead of spending hours reading worldly magazines or books, I should spend hours reading scripture. This isn't something we can justify through balance. For example, if I read two hours of Michael Crichton, then I should read two hours of the Bible. I should be using all four hours to read the Bible. In all honesty, I wish I could act on my convictions a little more.

All in all, that is my prayer request for the week. I am hoping to use this summer to trim back on my movie watching Any thoughts?

With much love,
Christian Eriksson

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Higher Standard

Before I begin my original post idea, I just wanted to say that one of my favorite hobbies is watching films. Part of this activity involves tallying how many films I have see on any "Top N Film List" (n = any number the editors decided to establish as the essentials). Four days ago Yahoo published its Top 100 Movies to See Before You Die. Here's what I have seen so far, along with a few comments (in the likeness of Panella). In total, I have seen 73 of 100. A passing grade, nice.

12 Angry Men (1957)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - I am not a big fan of Kubrick, but undoubtedly, this film is amazing.

8 1/2 (1963) - Some people love it, some hate it; personally, I loved it.

Alien (1979)

Annie Hall (1977) - Woody Allen is my second favorite director.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

The Bicycle Thief (1948)

Blade Runner (1982)

Blazing Saddles (1974) - I don't understand the appeal of his immaturity (that is Mel Brooks).

Blue Velvet (1986)

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) - Not as good as I expected.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) - Paul Newman is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors.

Casablanca (1942)

Chinatown (1974)

Citizen Kane (1941)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - Really? Really? Ang Lee is terrible.

Die Hard (1988)

Dr. Strangelove (1964) - Not a fan, didn't find it that funny.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Enter the Dragon (1973) - Hell, yeah!

The Exorcist (1973)

The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Goldfinger (1964) - Another choice I really don't understand.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968) - Sergio Leone was a master. Personally, I liked "Once Upon a Time in the West" better.

Goodfellas (1990)

The Graduate (1967)

Groundhog Day (1993)

In the Mood For Love (2001) - One of the most beautiful films I have seen.

It Happened One Night (1934) - Clark Gable is great.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Jaws (1975)

King Kong (1933) - I can understand the cinematic significance of the film, but I didn't care for it.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - It's long, but totally worth the viewing.

The Lord of the Rings (2001)

M (1931)

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

The Matrix (1999) - Nothing more than a flash in the pan.

Modern Times (1936)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Network (1976)

Nosferatu (1922)

On the Waterfront (1954)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Pulp Fiction (1994) - I honestly didn't think I was going to enjoy this film, but I was surprised.

Raging Bull (1980) - Martin Scorsese, enough said.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raise the Red Lantern (1992) - Well worth the watch. Extremely creepy, too.

Rashomon (1951)

Rear Window (1954)

Rocky (1976)

Roman Holiday (1953) - Gregory Peck is awesome. Audrey Hepburn is fantastic. The setting is perfect. Loved it. And it's a great date movie.

Saving Private Ryan (1998) - Spielberg makes a serious film, so what?

Schindler’s List (1993) - Another serious film by Spielberg, so what?

The Searchers (1956) - Don't get it.

Seven Samurai (1954) - Why, dear God, did they have to make "The Magnificent Seven?"

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - If you enjoyed this film, which I did, you should see Manhunter.

Singin’ in the Rain (1952) - One of the few musicals I like, but why isn't "Fiddler on the Roof" on this list.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

The Sound of Music (1965) - The hills are alive, but they wish they were dead.

Star Wars (1977)

Sunset Blvd. (1950) -

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The Third Man (1949)

This is Spinal Tap (1984)

Titanic (1997)

Toy Story (1995)

The Usual Suspects (1995)

Vertigo (1958)

When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Wild Strawberries (1957) - I loved this movie, but why isn't there anymore Bergman films on this list.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

For those who have not been told, I have been accepted to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In the fall, I will be starting their Masters of Divinity program followed by their Masters of Theology, Lord willing. Throughout high school and early college I rejected the idea of becoming a minister. My desire was to follow the path of fame and glory. However, over the last two years, the Lord has opened my eyes and, more importantly, my heart to his Kingdom. The key to changing the direction of my life was the understanding of my role as his child. Prior to grappling with grace, I saw my salvation as only an escape from damnation; however, through the reading of scripture, it has been made evident that I am a servant to King Jesus. I no longer view my salvation as an escape from something, but rather, a call to something - a call to servanthood. Christ saved me so I could become his servant. In fact, those that he has called, he has called to servanthood. That, I believe, is the reason for many of the conversations and parables surrounding the master and his servants. A servant cannot serve two masters, thus he must remain loyal to the one he serves. This shift in paradigm will undoubtedly change the way in which we act and think. Ultimately, it will allow teachers and congregants to understand God more wholeheartedly and his commandments. I truly believe serving a perfect king entitles his servants to follow a perfect law. It is foolish to think that the law has been abolished. Christ himself states, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:17-20). Christ, as king, fulfilled the law to usher in the perfect law. I am not suggesting that we can follow this law perfectly; rather, we can now, through the grace of Christ, attempt to follow this perfect law. Even Christ seems to suggest damnation for those who preach otherwise (note verse 19). Truth be told, following a perfect law is not easy, and I have not studied the issue extensively enough to know how to follow this law faithfully. These ideas stem from my own thoughts and do not represent any one other. This is truth, as it has been revealed to me through the reading of the gospels.

As I consider and ponder my new direction in life with this invaluable truth, I have asked myself numerous times, "As a potential leader of the Church, am I called to a higher standard?" The answer is a resounding yes. Scripture is filled with passages regarding the rebuking of leaders because of their lack of obedience and their lack of setting an example. Moses wasn't allowed to enter the Promised Land because he disobeyed God and allowed his anger to rule over him. David lost the privilege of building the temple because of his inability to control his lustful desires. These men, chosen by God, neglected to live by higher standards. Paul's writing include specific instructions and qualifications for leadership positions. Even Christ tells his disciples, before ascending into heaven, to go and make disciples, teaching everything he commanded of them. In light of this, I wanted to evaluate my own life before the standards found throughout the Bible. Essentially, how do my actions reflect God's commandments. And for the next several blog entries, I would like to examine and expound on several New Testament passages regarding leadership and commandments. I haven't figured out if I am going to begin with the gospels and work my way through, or start with any epistle and bounce around. To begin, I will start with a self-reflection.

Pastor Bob has been preaching from the book of James for the last several weeks. Although he hasn't preached on this particular verse, I could not help but see the relevancy of James 3:1 in regards to being a pastor. James wrote, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness." Chapter 3 focuses primarily on the usage of the tongue, I believe the first verse is applicable to all areas of teaching and preaching. If my spirit, philosophy, actions, and words are not made "captive to Christ," what business do I have leading his sheep? Am I currently living a life worthy of leadership? To be more specific, am I willing to let go of pleasures such as smoking, drinking, fine dining, swearing, and films for the sake of the Kingdom of God and for the sake of my weak brothers and sisters? I am not condemning these pleasures; rather, I am assessing their value. I enjoy watching movies, I like swearing, and I like drinking responsibly; but if they hinder my relationship to God or my fellow man, then I should cease doing them. I am often reminded of the example I am to set. At work I often hear, after I swear or say something crude, "and you want to be a pastor?" This response clearly demonstrates the higher standards pastors are called to. My call is one to a higher standard. As a servant of Christ, I am called to serve the perfect king and to follow his perfect law, so that others can serve Him. I pray that God will give me the wisdom and discernment to follow his creed.

One closing thought. Heather and I became engaged on March 19th. We are still figuring out a date. May God Bless Us.

With much love,
Christian Eriksson

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Christ the Temple

Here is an article I wrote for the Christian Chronicle, my church's monthly newsletter.

Christ the Temple

One of the most puzzling claims Christ made was "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19). Two verses later, John inserts this editorial statement, "But he was speaking about the temple of his body." At first glance, it appears that Christ is eradicating the Jewish understanding of the temple. When dealing with this passage, we must ask two questions. First, is Christ trying to redefine the temple; and secondly, why does Christ refer to himself as the temple?

In reality, these questions are interlinked and inseparable. Christ never intended to shift the heart of worship from impersonal, law-abiding sacrifice to a personal, individualistic service. Christ isn't redefining anything; he is clarifying worship.

While Moses was atop Mount Sinai receiving the Law, God commanded him to build a tabernacle - a place of worship. Tabernacle/temple worship was not centered on sacrifice and impersonal relationships. God designed a means for His people to have a personal relationship with Him; He allowed His Glory to descend upon His people (Exodus 40:34-38). Even the various elements of worship within tabernacle/temple illustrated God's intent for a personal relationship with his people.

Three extremely important elements for Old Testament worship were gold, incense, and anointing oil. The altars of sacrifice were built out of wood and gilded in gold. Incense was made from frankincense (Exodus 30:34-35), and when burnt, it represented the prayers of the people (Psalm 141:2; Revelation 5:8). The anointing oil consisted of several perfumes blended together, including myrrh (Exodus 30:22-24). The oil consecrated objects and people (Exodus 30:29). Anointing oil was used to bless priests (Exodus 30:30), kings (1 Samuel 10:1), and the sick (Mark 6:13). If you haven't noticed the significance of these things, let me make them clear.

From Christ's birth, it was obvious that He represented the temple. Consider the gifts of the magi. One brought gold, one brought frankincense, and one brought myrrh. They brought before Christ the elements of tabernacle/temple worship. With these gifts they were declaring Christ as the sacrifice, the priest, the king, the healer, and the intercessor of our prayers. In Matthew 1:23 an angel of the Lord calls Christ "Immanuel," God with us. Just as God's Glory descended upon his people through the tabernacle, God descended, once again, among his people through humanity.

Back to the two questions: is Christ trying to redefine the temple or worship; and secondly, why does Christ refer to himself as the temple? As stated before, these questions are really one and the same. Christ is not redefining worship. He is revealing himself as the "object of worship" throughout Jewish tradition. In a sense, He is saying, "You have been worshiping me for thousands of years, here I am." As John states in verse 22, it isn't until Christ's death that the disciples understand this important connection. And for those who really didn't recognize the connection, God tore the curtain separating the Most Holy place from the rest of the temple (Matthew 27:51). With the torn curtain God was ultimately saying, "I am with you." Why is this important? Since the beginning of time, worship begins and ends with Jesus Christ and a personal relationship with God.

With much love,
Christian Eriksson

Friday, January 23, 2009


I have found myself mindlessly wandering the internet. Because of boredom and nostalgia, I have decided to write an update.

Since my last post, I have found a job and an internship. I am currently a "Sales Associate" at Staples in Erie. My shift has been Monday through Friday. I enjoy the work and the people I work with. However, I wish I had more hours, but I will take what I can. As far as the internship is concerned, I talked to Pastor Bob (of First Baptist Church in North East) and asked if I could become an intern. He seemed extremely enthusiastic and hopeful. I am not sure what I will be doing but I am hoping to preach one or two sermons. I may also get an opportunity to lead a ministry.

I have been thinking about a lot of things lately. One thing I can't seem to shake is my weight. Currently I weigh about 225 pounds. It's not the most I have ever weighed, but it has been the steady weight for the last several months (possibly, the last year). Although many diet books and regiments will provide methods and foods for losing weight, I think few consider this question: How did you gain this weight? Asking this question can help the individual understand where they are coming from and where they want to go. Forcing yourself to ask this question forces you to reexamine your habits. Many diets will suggest people to drop this food item or that food item, but they don't really examine the diet as a whole. These diets don't question the reasons for eating certain foods. So, to begin wrestling with my weight, I will ask myself "How did I gain so much weight?" Disclaimer: I do not consider myself to be obese; however, several people have mentioned my portly figure lately. A healthy weight for someone my size is 185-200 pounds.

How did I gain this extra weight?

1. Smoking for two years! Right away someone is saying, "But smoking helps you lose weight. It increases your metabolism." Sure, it does that, but consider what smoking does to your general sense of exercise. Whenever I heavily smoked, I found myself eating more and moving around less. I moved around less because I couldn't breathe well. So, even though smoking raises your metabolism, it becomes counterproductive because you start to exercise less. For example, I used to be able to walk 16 miles in about four hours; but once I started smoking heavily, I could hardly walk up a flight of steps. As of now, I have quit smoking. I hope to remain on that path.

2. Drinking soda! I drink too much soda. Soda is terrible for anyone interested in losing weight. I only drink regular, but if you are a diet soda drinker beware. Diet soda is even worse than regular. Why? You are convinced it is better when it isn't. It does not help anyone lose weight. In fact, it is just empty calories and concentrated sugar. Why do I drink so much then? Well, I am addicted to caffeine; I have convinced myself that I need it to survive. Also, it becomes tough to shed soda from my diet when it is readily available in my house. Other side effects of soda are acid reflux and interference with muscle building.

3. I am eating too much fatty foods. This makes sense, but I need to state it anyway. But not only do I eat fatty foods, I eat too much food in general. I eat for three. My vices are bacon, meats, and eggs. I need to concentrate on eating protein that comes in vegetables. I need more salads and rice.

4. I have relied too much on a vehicle! As I stated before, I used to walk quite a bit, but now, with a license and all, I drive. Instead of walking for forty minutes, I end up driving for five. I arrive earlier but fatter.

I am sure there are other reasons for me gaining weight, but I can't really think of them. As I think about my future (and a future filled with children), I get depressed by my weight. I need to get off my fat ass and work towards joy. I am not saying I hate who I am, but I can see the danger of who I am becoming. I want to enjoy my life with Heather and my family. I need to make a conscientious effort to reduce my bad habits and start creating healthy ones. As a side note, I am thinking about living kosher. I don't have time to expand on reasons why, but if you have any comments, I would love to hear them.

Another question. This one comes from "The Book of Questions," and was merely chosen because today's date was the 23rd.

Question 23 (there is a supplementary question, too): "While on a trip to another city, your spouse (or lover) meets and spends a night with an exciting stranger. Given that they will never meet again, and that you will not otherwise learn of the incident, would you want your partner to tell you about it? If roles were reversed, would you reveal what you had done?"

Yes, I would want my partner to tell me of the incident for several reasons. First, it's cheating. Second, relationships are built on trust. These reasons go hand in hand. I could not be with someone who didn't reveal their life to me, nor could I be with someone I didn't trust. If the roles were reversed, I would tell my partner what happened and I would ask for forgiveness. I wouldn't expect it, but I would be man enough to apologize.

The followup question: "How serious would an affair need to be before you would want and expect to be told about it? What makes hearing such a confession so threatening that most people would rather be deceived? Is this kind of honesty more likely to be destructive or lead to greater intimacy and trust? How much do you trust your lover? How can you be trusted?"

Talk about heavy questions, these ones are brutal. First, as soon as an affair begins, I would like to know about it. If I wanted to really be biblical, I would want to know when my spouse lusted after someone else. The same would be true if the roles were reversed. In fact, to be an example to my partner, I must be willing to share these painful confessions of lust. Second, these confessions are hard to hear because no one wants to know that a part of them was given away to someone else. Marriage creates a unity of oneness between a man and a woman; however, when affair occurs, the bodies and their souls are split into factions again. People would rather be deceived because they don't have to deal with the consequences of being spiritually broken. Thirdly, honesty is always constructive. Though it sometimes appears destructive, it will root out the true problem. Honesty will expose the reasons the marriage is failing. It can help heal the past and pave a stronger road for the future. Finally, I trust Heather with my whole heart. The amount of shit we have been through has only brought us closer to each other. Though we are broken and misguided children of God, we have come to love each others' brokenness. I can only be trusted because I am brutally honest to her and she knows it.

With much love,

Christian Eriksson

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Almost a New Year

Where to begin? Where to end? It's been awhile since I have written anything of substance. I am not entirely sure what I want to say, but since some friends have been asking for an update, I will give a more immediate response. Then again, maybe I will start from the middle of this year.

I graduated from Geneva College in August of this year. I walked away with a degree in History (minors in Philosophy and Biblical Studies), a 3.2 GPA, and no job. Reluctant to move home, I stayed in Beaver Falls looking for a job. From August to November, I worked part-time for a cleaning company. I was averaging only 20 hours a week, but then they cut my hours. They eventually laid me off, but then gave me my own building. However, $9 an hour wasn't paying the bills or providing a stable future. Finally, I decided to quit and move back home (hey the rent's free, for now).

Moving home was one of the most difficult decisions I have made. You probably asking, why didn't you go back to school. Well, when I graduated I wasn't entirely sure of what I wanted to do. So, I decided to take a year off to figure out my passions and possible career choice. A month later I figured it out, but it was too late to enroll in classes. In case you haven't heard, I hope to study at Gordon-Conwell and earn a Masters in Divinity. After that I hope to enroll in a doctorate program studying Jewish Christianity.

Anyway, moving home wasn't easy. All of my closest friends either moved from Geneva or still live at Geneva. Also, my beautiful girlfriend still attends Geneva (she finishes in May). Another reason I was uncomfortable moving home was the lack of reformed churches in my area. In April I became a member of College Hill Reformed Presbyterian Church of Beaver Falls. I love CHRP and I miss the strong, biblical teaching there. The church I grew up in is very different from the church I am used to now. I have no one to talk to about my beliefs. I take that back, I have people who are willing to engage in conversation, but no one to really challenge me. I take that back, the new pastor of my parents' church has been a blessing. Although he and I come from different backgrounds, we do see eye to eye on several major issues. His humility and his compassion is helping me to grow up and confront my own pride. He has become a mentor for me as I work toward a life of pastorship and professorship. I am grateful for him.

I miss my friends, though.

I had a job interview on Monday. I applied for a position at LECOM (it's a medical college). I won't find out about the job until next week. I am nervous, because I don't really have anything to fall on. Then again, I am not too thrilled about the job because they want me to work weekends including Sundays.

I really miss Heather. The last four months have been extremely difficult. It was the first time we really spent a lot of time together. We got on each other's nerves, but that happens in any relationship. But being away from her hasn't been easy. I miss her companionship, I miss her insight, and I miss her smile. I love her. She's the only one who truly gets me.

I hope all is well. I will try to write soon. Sorry for the sporadic updates.

With much love,
Christian Eriksson

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I am pissed at myself. I need a lot of help, but I am too afraid to ask for it. I am a foolish person.

I am absolutely crazy about Heather, but I am afraid I may lose her because of my immaturity. Why can't I grow up faster?

Anyway, I need prayer and lots of it.

Christian Eriksson