MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

Baby, you're a firework

A little over two years ago I started this blog.  I had started writing a religious column for the local paper and I wanted to share those posts with people outside of Southeast Texas.  Over time I began to add my sermons in audio form and even write more article that were only ever published on this site.  Every once and a while someone would comment or like my post which was nice but it was for my own edification and sharing my understanding of the faith I hold so dear.  I loved hearing from people (even people who disagreed with me); it was a good outlet for me.

In March 2013, evandolive.com got a little busier when my open letter to Victoria’s Secret went viral (to the tune of 4 million+ people).   It was during this time that I had the idea for a book.  I began thinking about how in all of marketing there is an element of fantasy and perfection and somewhere along the line society began to blur the two together. Don’t believe me? Try to find a Middle School aged boy who does not think that Axe Body Spray will attract the opposite sex.  Why?  Because this is the core of their marketing campaign. On top of that, how do people of faith respond when the image of God is being distorted to only encapsulate one body type or the so called “ideal body type”?

After working on a proposal, a detailed outline, numerous sample pages and various edits, I am happy to announce that I have entered into a contract with the Pilgrim Press, the publishing house for the United Church of Christ, to publish my first book!

I am very happy, excited, nervous and scared all at the same time.

As of now, the working title is The Distortion of the Imago Dei.

I have been busy getting my idea down on paper (via Google Drive) trying to synthesize it all.

I want to thank you for all of the support you have shown me over this past year; if my letter had not gone viral I am not sure I would be making this announcement today.

Thank you for all your support as I embark on this new journey!

Stay tuned for more updates!

OK… back to writing… I have a deadline to keep.

 

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

 


Photo Credit: “Baby You’re A Firework: Fireworks at Disneyland, Anaheim, California” by Kevin Dooley via Flickr. Used Under Creative Commons License 2.0
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Easter 2014

Resurrection Sunday

Easter has to be more than the reanimation of a body. Easter is more than a person getting back up from the dead… even Lazarus did this. The message of the Easter more is centered in the notion that God has the power to create life out of something the world thinks is dead, to restore something that seems impossible, to bring forth something from nothing. Easter is more than eggs and candy– it is about the conquering of death and the promise of grace.

HALLELUJAH! HE IS RISEN!

HAPPY EASTER!

In Christ,

Rev. Evan


Photo Credit: “Resurrection Sunday” by Luz Adriana Villa via Flickr. Used under the Creative Common License 2.0

The Table Is Ready

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take and eat. This is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from this, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many so that their sins may be forgiven. (Matthew 26:26-28 CEB)

Published via Pressgram

Maundy Thursday

The Last Supper 29

Today Christians around the world remember the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples.


Photo Credit: Last Supper 29 via Flickr by Waiting For The Word. Used Under the Creative Commons 2.0 License.

Surgery Update Part II

It has been about two weeks since my surgery so I think it is fitting for another update.  Things have been going well and I am on track to receive the processor in about a month.  I was out of work for about a week and I am getting back into my routine.  I get the occasional funny look from people when they notice I have a piece of medal in my head.  Some people ask about it and some just like to stare.  It is an interesting conversation starter.

Below are some pictures of my progress; don’t worry they are too grotesque.

 

Thanks for all of the tweets, emails, Facebook messages and the like; I truly appreciate them.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan


Edit: Spelling of Locutus of Borg. Thanks Tim J.

And You Wonder Why People Aren’t Christians: World Vision Edition

 

World Vision International has been in the news a lot lately.

Recap:

First the Christian charity came out and stated that they were going to hire openly gay employees; this caused a fire storm of both support and regret from people all over Christendom.  Two days later World Vision reversed their decision and even referred to it as a “mistake.”

In those two days after the initial announcement the internet was a buzz with people on one hand applauding the bold decision and on the other calling for a boycott of the organization.

As a matter of full disclosure, I sponsor two World Vision children and I am also a World Vision Child Ambassador.  I have the privilege to help people sponsor children from over 100 countries around the world.

I was saddened to hear that World Vision because of what seemed like a well planned boycott had to reverse its decision to ensure that they could still operate.  Rich Sterns the head of World Vision initially stated that 5000 children or roughly $2.1 million of donations had been dropped due to this so called “scandal.”  And if that wasn’t bad enough…

I saw this tweet today:

10,000 children sponsorship… gone…

10,000 children who had a relationship with individuals, families and even churches, now they don’t.

10,000 children were used as pawns in a game of “who’s holier than thou?”

10,000 children were cast off and forgotten….

10,000 children

To withhold sponsorship from children struggling to have the basics of life goes against the Gospel; plain and simple.

When my family and I write letters back and forth between the children we sponsor not once did they ever write back and ask if we were a homosexual couple… not once.  Not once did World Vision ask if we were a same sex couple or even supported same sex rights.

Rather our sponsored children would send us pictures of homes, chickens, flowers you name it,  adorned with the stickers that we had sent to them.  They tells us about their family life, school, and thank us for supporting them and their projects.

Do I agree with World Vision’s reversal?  No, but it is my belief that Christ called us to serve and love one another in his name no matter what.

Let’s stop debating homosexuality which for some reason the Church is absolutely fascinated with. Let’s get back to the gospel of joy, love, grace, hope, and reconciliation. That’s what matters to God, not the 6 verses (all of them out of context) that people love to point out about homosexuality.

There are more verses in the Bible about the treatment of slaves but you don’t see anyone trying to go back to that way of life.

There are more verses in the Bible about love and care for others that are obviously being over looked.

Let’s focus on the kids and after we solve world hurt and poverty then we can talk particulars.

Arguing about who is in and who is out in the Kingdom of God is why people aren’t lining up to be Christians; if this is the way Christians react to different ways of thinking then no wonder the church is shrinking.  The actions of those who dropped their sponsorship did more harm to Christianity than it did to “help save it” or “restore it back to Biblical principles.”

In the end no one “won” this fight.  It was the 10,000 children who lost.

The world around us is full of hurt and pain and this is what we chose to spend our time on.

 

I will continue to support World Vision because my two sponsored children are counting on me; will you join me?

If you want to sponsor a child perhaps one that was dropped you can click here.  You will be able to select the gender, country of origin, age, etc.  One of the children we sponsor has the same birthday as our four year old daughter; it’s a great way to share the love of Christ and have a personal connection to someone who is made in the very same image of God as you and I.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan


Edit 1: Link to sponsor children fix @ 3:35pm CST

4 Sermons, 1 Post

I realized that I had been falling down on my sermon uploading job so this post is extra special because it has four sermons in one mega post.

“If This Then That” (March 23, 2014- Romans 5:1-11)


“Born From Above” (March 16, 2014- John 3:1-17)


Ash Wednesday 2014 (March 5, 2014-Matthew 6:1-6, 16-20)


“The Unveiling”- Transfiguration Sunday (March 2, 2014)


Surgery Update

I want to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, Facebook messages, tweets and texts.

Everything with the surgery went well.  I am currently at home and resting, in a bit of pain but the meds are helping.  I have been sleeping, eating soup and crackers and watching a lot of Star Wars: Clone Wars on Netflix.

My beautiful and lovely wife has been a trooper; on top of being 4 months pregnant and having to take care of a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old, she has to be a nurse to me as well.  She is taking the “in sickness and health” vow seriously. :-)

Below are some pics from the big day; in the picture you will see my head bandaged that is coming off today.

 

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

What A Difference A Year Makes

One year ago today I pushed “Publish” to a letter to a major underwear company voicing my opinion about unattainable standards of sexuality and beauty thinking no one would ever read it; boy was I wrong.

In weeks and months that followed I have amassed nearly 4 million hits.  I can not tell you how thankful I am for all of the shares, tweets, likes, Facebook messages and emails I have received from people from all over the world.  This one letter set off a fire storm of interviews, phone calls and even landed me a segment on Headline News and CNN.  It was a fast paced and exciting time (all of this happen during Holy Week 2013).

To be honest I never set out to write a viral post; I was just a concerned dad who wanted his voice to be heard.  I wanted people to think about the messages the multi-billion dollar corporations were sending to young people, both girls and boys.

You never know what will “go viral” these days; express your opipions, stand up for those you can’t…. you never know who  might be listening.

Click here to see some of the interviews and videos I did.

Again, thank  you for supporting me and keep reading!

In Christ,

Rev. Evan