Milestone: 3.9 Million

Sometime yesterday I passed a blogging milestone; this site (evandolive.com) broke the 3.9 million hits mark.

I again want to thank you, the readers, for continuing to support this site.  Because of the impending 4 million milestone. I have created a new page with a 4 Million hit thermometer.

As of 12:36pm (CST), the count was at 3,904,341 (95,659 hits to go).  When I will hit the 4 million mark? I really dont know, but if you think you know be sure to leave a common on the Operation: 4 Million Page.

Thanks again and happy reading!

In Christ,

Rev. Evan


EDIT: Spelling and formatting (thanks for the heads up James)
EDIT 2: As of 2:45pm (CST), hit grand total is 3,904,575 (95425 to go)

Sermon: “Jeremiah’s Call Is Our Call Too”

taken from womenoffaith.com All Rights Reserved.

Below is the link to the sermon I preached entitled Jeremiah’s Call Is Our Call Too based on Jeremiah 1:4-10.

[audio http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/e9ic8x6nfa/20130721-110916.mp3|titles=Jeremiah’s Call Is Our Call Too|loop=no|animation=no]
(Recorded by Voice Record Pro by Bej Bej Apps for iOS)

In Christ,

Rev. Evan


Edit 1: Updated .mp3 link at 8:30pm

Guest Post: “Is Our Worship Real? (For Real)?

This week’s guest post is from my sister Caitlin Dolive.   Enjoy! If you want to write a post be sure to click here for more info!


I decided to put my thoughts down on paper and post them on my brother’s blog  in hopes of helping others and in hopes of getting some feedback from clergy, pastoral and ministry friends and followers of evandolive.com. Let me first start with my personal views on worship.

I LOVE PRAISE and WORSHIP. It is my favorite part of most church services. I often get more from (as in hearing from the Lord, encouragement, and hope) just by hearing or singing hymns to give praise to God.  Though I still connect to the word or message provided by the pastor, I often times feel myself connecting more in a moment in worship. I feel worship is intimate and can be powerful all in the same breath.  But as Christians, I think we often check out or miss those moments that God is trying to stir in us a moment of worship. God wants us to Praise him and honor him.  Why should we hold back or wait for the right time?

Growing up  I was  not raised in church that lifted their hands arms, danced  or jumped around to give praise to God, but this is not something I am ashamed of, if anything I am grateful for the foundation that I had growing up in church. I am thankful that God has opened my eyes up to other ways to worship him.  Throughout my worship experience both now and in the past, I have learned worship does not have to be anything more than you thanking God for his many blessings, sitting in the quiet listening for his sweet voice, or even lifting your voice with praise all with a grateful heart.  The key is to worship with a grateful heart and to not got go through the motions.  If you’re praising God with just words what justice does it serve?

Your worship should also be in your actions ( your life as a Christian.)  . Billy Graham says it best “The highest form of worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.”

Psalm 95:6 -7  states “Come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before our maker for he is our God.”(NLT)    When you worship are really bringing yourself in to God’s presence?  If the King of Kings came into your place of worship would he be pleased and honored with your worship or in some cases would he be welcome?  As Christians we shouldn’t wait until Christ’s return or when we leave this world for eternity to Worship God and spend time in his presence.

Also, John 4: 21 – 24 states, “Believe me, dear women the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.  But the time is coming – indeed it’s here now – when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit , so those who worship him must worship him in truth.” ( NLT)

I can’t imagine what  the worship is like or will be like when I get to Heaven. But if I can have glimpse of it here on Earth I want do whatever it takes to manifest his glory and honor until that time. God wants all of our worship, everything in us to praise and worship him. Let’s make a point to worship God by opening the floors of heaven with our worship, honoring the person who deserves all that we can truly give him.

I want my worship to be FOR REAL and I pray that you experience his presence in a way you never experienced it before. The video below is for  the song Fire Fall Down by Hillsong United. I love this song and to me it represents what worship is all about.

I pray it blesses you.

May God Bless you and keep you always.

Caitlin Dolive



EDIT: Formatting— sorry for the inconvenience. (7/22/13- 8:25AM CST)

Sermon: “Humility Under Pressure”

Humbled. Exalted.

Humbled. Exalted. (Photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC)

Below is the link to the sermon I preached entitled Humility Under Pressure” based on Luke 18:9-14.

http://k002.kiwi6.com/hotlink/2b7wcc7952/20130714-110857.mp3%20
(Recorded by Voice Record Pro by Bej Bej Apps for iOS)

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

Guilty Or Innocent: One Fact We Might Be Missing…

There was one constant this week at work while I visited patients– and no, it wasn’t the fact that people mistaken me as a Doctor or a Nurse.  This week over 50% of the rooms I entered had the George Zimmerman trial on the TV.  CNN, MSNBC and other major news outlets have been running what seems like 24 hours coverage of courtroom drama; the lead story for most of the news stations and more than likely on talk radio (on both sides of the aisle) has been a run down of the evidence, the objections and word for word break down for the testimony given.  Social media has been flooded with hashtags, posts, reflections and petitions for both Trayvon and George Zimmerman.

Talking heads and media commentators have weighed the evidence and tried to ascertain what verdict the all female jury will return with.  They have debated the use of “cracker” as a derogatory word and have talked ad nauseum, often in circles, about this case.  At times, it can be too much to handle or absorb.

But through it all, there is one piece of information, in my opinion, that the ratings-hungry news organizations have missed or overlooked; whether the jury comes back with a guilty or innocent verdict, a 17 year old boy, Trayvon Martin, is dead.

Trayvon Martin via Wikipedia

While it is right to seek after justice, is it possible during the process to miss the point?  Has the media and the populace become so enamored with the trial and the ultimate verdict that Trayvon has been pushed to the side?  Is this the effect of the 24 hour news cycle with its constant updates, critiques and up to the minute details?

Trayvon was brought up during the trial.  But in my view it was more indirectly, as if he was a part of some grand motion picture of the legal system of Florida.  He was described as a thug high on marijuana as well as a 17 year old kid just trying to keep out of the rain and get back home.

What happened that February night was a travesty for all parties involved. No parent should ever have to bury their child and George Zimmerman now has to live the rest of his life knowing that he took another human being’s life.

At the center of the Creation story found in the Book of Genesis is the notion that all of creation is made by the hands of God.  But it is humanity that takes a special place in the order of creation.  God created humanity in God’s likeness and image.  Genesis 1:26-27 reads:

“Then God said, ‘Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth. ‘ God created humanity in God’s own image, in the divine image God created them,male and female God created them.” (Common English Bible, 2011)

These two verses serve as a reminder that no human being is an accident and that every human being is a product of a living God. It was God who formed from the dirt Adam and then breathed the very breath of God into his nostrils. These two events are not the by product of a passive God; these events signify that God has an intimate relationship with ALL of humanity, no matter what side of the “train tracks” you are from.

During the next few days (or maybe weeks) we need to remember the story of creation.  As the verdict is returned and the news organizations postulate why the jury went one way or the other, may we remember that all life is precious and all people are children of God.

George Zimmerman, guilty or innocent, is a child of God.

Trayvon Martin, no matter his past or alleged wrong doings, is a child of God.

May we remember where we all come from not just during a high profile case, but forever.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

Sermon: Can You Hear Me Now?

Copyright Verizon Communications, Inc.

 

Below is the sermon I preached at Northwood Christian Church (DOC) in Beaumont, Texas.  The scripture for the sermon in John 10:1-10.

 


(Recorded by Voice Record Pro by Bej Bej Apps for iOS)

 

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

And You Wonder Why People Aren’t Christians: Part XI (Transportation Edition)

batcopter_01It’s been a while since I have written on of these particular posts, not for the lack of material, rather I like to at least try to give Christianity a fresh perspective. However, this particular story needed to be shared.

The Christian Post recently reported that mega church minister, Bishop, I.V. Hilliard, of the New Light Christian Center in Houston Texas, made an interesting proposition to his congregation. According to the article, the church’s “Aviation Department” (yes, you read that correctly… aviation department) declared that the pastor’s helicopter (yes, you read that correctly… pastor’s helicopter) needed new blades. Click here to read the appeal letter.

This event is the same song but different verse of the prosperity gospel; this gospel promotes a tit for tat relationship with God. Since God wants you to be blessed and rich and prosperous, then giving to God will active that Divine power within your life. This issue here is not only is Bishop Hilliard requesting money from the congregation for new helicopter blades, Bishop Hilliard says that you will have divine favor in 52 days or 52 weeks if you donate $52. My initial reaction was “why not $40, that at least is a Biblical number?” Also, that’s quite a lengthy time frame you are giving me aren’t you?– either a little over seven weeks or an entire calendar year… The problem with this mentality is that you will then start to look for it even if it is nowhere to be found.

It’s like having a pain in your leg and thinking that you have a serious medical condition because one article on WebMD or some forum post confirmed your suspicion. When we do that we often disregard the mountain of other articles that state that your leg pain is merely a muscle pull. We want it to be one way so badly we are willing to disregard everything else. After those seven weeks are up and there still is no brand new Cadillac with a sun roof, XM Radio and a V-8, then we are going to use the remaining time of our year to make the puzzle piece fit. This is not what God called the church to do; God does not call the church to try to solve the puzzle of whether or not something is a blessing because the church bought new helicopter blades.

What about that single parent who is faithful to their God and needs a car for work or school as the Bishop is touting but can’t fork over $52? Are they just up a creek? Do they not reap the rewards of God’s blessing under this theological framework?

This type of theological frame work is predicated on the notion that God only does for you when you do for God. Last time I checked, that is nowhere to be found in the Bible. Giving to God does not mean that one will receive back from God. Giving in all of its many forms is about one’s response to God. God has gifted humanity with many different things and how are understanding of God and our relationship God dictates our type of giving. The thought is that people should give 10 percent of income or goods, but study after study show that this is not the case for much of the Christian populace.
Is this the reason so many people have joined the Christian faith over the centuries? Is a relationship with God and with Christ merely about a new car and a financial stability? If this is the case then I believe we have missed the point of the gospel. The gospel compels followers of Christ to be selfless and to give up our possessions that can rust and break down. The gospel is centered on the notion of the other, the lonely, the downtrodden, the outcast; they are the ones we are called to serve. Our faith should not be dictated on giving just because we want something. Our giving should be a expression of our faith in thanksgiving for what God has done for us. God does not care how big or how small it might be.

Bishop Hilliard did release a statement in response to the uproar; he mentions a few scriptures here and there but the one that he discarded was the one where Christ said one cannot serve God and money.
I’m not a minister of a mega church but I would hope that if I were I would not have a helicopter but rather use the money to feed the homeless or dig wells in Africa or something else more useful. This type of theology is appealing to some but some see the plight of the world, the hungry, the struggling, the hurting and believe a helicopter for a minister is a waste of money. If the minister has nicer suits and transportation that most of his/her congregation then is there disconnect between the printed words of Christ and the real world.

If Christianity is about giving to get… then it is doomed to fail.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan


EDIT: Formatting and additional text added (2:00pm)
EDIT 2: Sojouners picked up this piece as well click here

Happy Independence Day!

 

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