A Big Enough Lie

“Tell a big enough lie, and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” A. Hitler.

A chilling reminder from a man who convinced most of a country to participate in easily one of the world’s greatest tragedies.

A lie…is one of the more dangerous and destructive things that can intersect your life. The lie often starts small, almost insignificant, but given enough belief, the lie ends up foundational in our lives.

It begs the question: What lies are we feeding belief? What lies are we allowing real estate in our own minds? Who are speaking these lies to us? Co-workers? People who dislike us? Ourselves? Continue reading “A Big Enough Lie”

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The Rise of the “New Normal,” Christianity Explained

It’s no surprise to us that our parents grew up in a very religious time. There were practices that were followed, traditions that were kept, and certain things you did or didn’t do. For some Christians, your parents weren’t allowed to dance, gamble, or play cards. For some Christians, your parents went to church every Sunday morning growing up. For others, your parents might have had a less strict, but still religious upbringing. Continue reading “The Rise of the “New Normal,” Christianity Explained”

A Letter to Three Mothers

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This year, I have been extra aware of the mother figures in my life. Reason being, my mother is over 8,000 miles away by sea and by land. In addition to my mother, my two beautiful sisters, who really have this whole motherhood thing down, are also in Chicago. (Seriously, I know no cooler moms). Other than Debbie Elliott, who has been my surrogate mother while being in New Zealand, the three coolest women in my life have been the best, most accurate examples of what God’s love for others truly means. Continue reading “A Letter to Three Mothers”

Allow Me to Pop Your Bubble

In case you were under the impression that I am living the good life over here, sipping cocktails, kicking my feet back in the warm, dwindling rays of the New Zealand sunset every week, allow me to pop your bubble. No I’m not donning a hobbit costume, herding sheep through the exquisite mountainside, going on wine tours, vacationing on the weekends, hitting the beach whenever I can, eating at highly rated establishments, or adopting a general “take it easy” mentality.

Let me take you on an eye opening journey through what my life looks like up here and what the reality of the situation looks like.

I wake up. I figure out how I am going to eat, pay for gas, and where I’m gong to live next week. I worry. Yeah, I worry a lot. I pray for continued reliance on God. I pray for peace amidst the chaos. I hope that tomorrow is the day I can stop worrying about finances. I swallow my pride (admission: this is my newest addition to the “things Eric loathes to do”) and asking for help when I can’t do it. I keep myself busy filling out job applications and watching tv shows, reading books, or writing because if I stop for one second, I will think about my family and how much I miss them. I constantly remind myself why I’m here, my calling, and what I sacrificed to get here.

Sound familiar? NZ is no different than any other part of the world when it comes to daily struggles. Pretty mountainsides and golden sunsets don’t buy you food, close a mortgage, resolve a fight with your spouse, keep kids off the street, end injustice, create equality, or stop a kid from putting a gun in his mouth.

imagescamgs1nzYou want to know the sad thing? I haven’t seen anything yet. I’m still VERY green to this country, and I will be shocked. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon. New Zealand is filled with sadness, pain, suffering, damage, grief, and wrongdoing…And if you thought I came here to escape the problems of America to go and live in a paradise…then you are so far outside of reality, that I can’t help you. It doesn’t matter if you live in Fiji, Hawaii, or Jamaica…brokenness will follow you, because there isn’t a place on this Earth that doesn’t have any.

I realize that I have perpetuated this in the past with only showing photos of the good thingsAmnestyInternationalfashion3 TBWA France I’ve been exposed to in this country. I have since stopped doing that on facebook, but the truth is I can’t even properly display in photo, video, or even text…as I am doing now…the true horrors I am exposed to in New Zealand. Nor would you want to hear about them. The truth exposes things and forces you to step out of what is comfortable. We like comfortability. We like it so much that we have fallen in love with “talking” about things that matter, yet rarely do anything of personal sacrifice. Rarely acting towards “otherness”, rarely REALLY believing in what we talk about.

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Still, even someone like myself, who left everything behind to live-out my calling, I found myself asking the important questions, “What am I doing for these people I came here for? How am I living in “otherness?” How am I actually living how Christ called us? Christ became a human being, talked to whores, touched lepers, broke the sabbath and had Sunday lunches with sinners. To live like Christ? This means: Otherness. Pay attention to “others” and love them. Actually DO those things.

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Living in New Zealand is not easy, let me make that very clear, and I hope I have. This was not an easy decision to move here, and life here is not glamorous. Let me also make clear that I do not hate living here. The reason I don’t hate living here is that I truly believe in this country and I believe in making a change here. I have committed to New Zealand, and I’m not giving up on her. And though it’s not comfortable, I will continue to force myself to consider the “other” and to love them in my work. This is seeking the kingdom of God. (Matt 6:33), and if anyone does this, God will take care of the rest.

This I needed you to know.

Father’s Day: The Legacy We Hope For

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Father’s day. It’s a ridiculous day every time I celebrate it…because it reminds me of how I should be living each of my days. It’s the age old critique of any holiday, “Why don’t we act this way all year round?” This especially comes up during Christmas. And yet, whenever Father’s day, or Mother’s Day rolls around, I feel the same way. I ask reflect on myself and say, “Why haven’t I been appreciating him/her every day? Why hasn’t that been a priority?”

I think it’s because we forget easily. I think that it becomes too hard, or too difficult, or perhaps it wouldn’t even be true. Let’s not forget those fathers that beat their kids, talk down to their wives, and are all around last on the “Father of the Year” podium. Those children wont be feeling the same amount of admiration that I have for my father. No. They will not.
 
201178_1940668633596_138621237_oI am blessed. Russ Peterson, married my mother, Sharon, and made me, so that I could grow up in a household that didn’t conform to the ‘Father’ my father saw when he was a child. My father made a choice, to be different. To be compassionate, yet firm. Honest, and maybe a little blunt, ha. To be loving, and to make sure he said it. To make sure, he said, “I love you.” I grew up knowing that. I grew up with a deeply Christ-centered man. A man with more layers than is seen, more emotions than are always expressed, and more “Father” than he was shown. He sacrificed for me and my sisters. So much sacrifice.I love my Father, because he points up and says, “That’s my example.” And I want to someday be able to do the same thing.
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Happy Father’s Day today Dad. I love you so much, and it physically pains me to be away from you. I miss you so much. I hope you know that, and I hope you are surrounded today with everyone who loves you.
 
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