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)
[audio http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/s4yaq1x81l/IFTTT.mp3|titles=If This Then That|animation=no]

“Born From Above” (March 16, 2014- John 3:1-17)
[audio http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/ngbp0qioiy/Born_From_Above.mp3|titles=Born From Above|animation=no]

Ash Wednesday 2014 (March 5, 2014-Matthew 6:1-6, 16-20)
[audio http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/kyg8bip3li/Ash_Wednesday_2014.mp3|titles=Ash Wednesday 2014|animation=no]

“The Unveiling”- Transfiguration Sunday (March 2, 2014)
[audio http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/v630t7q1o9/The_Unveiling-_Trans_Sunday.mp3|titles=The Unveiling|animation=no]

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


Number 12

For most of my life I have lived with the use of only one ear.  When I was around 10 or 11 or so, I developed a condition that over time my hearing gradually began to decrease in my right ear.  I didn’t have great hearing in that ear to begin with but it was getting worse.  It got to the point to where I could only hear about 10% on my right side.  I have been in and out of doctor’s offices more times than I can count.   The doctors know that my audio nerve is good but the bones that transmit the sound to the that nerve are not working. I have undergone 11 surgeries to try to repair or re-establish some hearing in my right side.

On March 27, I will have surgery number 12– step one of a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid.  (Pictured above and below)

The process is a simple one; a metal pin will be placed in the bone behind the ear.  Once it is set (about 6-12 weeks after placement) a processor will be attached to it.  The processor will pick up the sound and using the pin and the bone through bone conduction will send the sound to the audio nerve thus allowing me to hear on my right side.  I was able to have a simulated BAHA and it worked well; the world was so much louder 🙂

I am looking forward to the prospect of having hearing in both ears again.  I will post pictures and updates from time to time so be sure to stay tuned!

The Next Step: Board Certification

Application for Board Certification

Nine months ago started a new (sorta) ministry path and accepted a position as a chaplain in Southeast Texas. Having completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) I had the training and skills to begin this new journey.  At first it was a bit of a “culture shock” from church based pastoral ministry but I am enjoying it.

As part of my position at the hospital I have worked for the last few months on completing my application to become a Board Certified Chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains.  Last week after a couple months of writing off and on, I submitted a large stack of papers, reflections and critiques as part of my application.

My goal is to sit before my certification board at the national conference in Anaheim, CA this June.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

Look At The Picture

My latest for Sojourners. A big thanks to my brother in law Ben for his keen editing eye on this piece. Be sure to check out his site emergingdisciple.com


Residents wait in line to receive food aid distributed in the Yarmouk refugee camp on Jan. 31. UNRWA via Getty Images

Last week amid the closing of the Olympics, the national debt, and the latest pop culture ‘news,’ this photo was published that encapsulates the volume of pain and suffering that is happening in Syria. For years, the conflict in Syria has gone through its ebbs and flows; it has been in and out of the media’s attention. Even though thousands of people have been displaced and families have been forced to eat animal feed, this is not worthy for American front-page news. Sadly, travesties around the world, or even in our backyard, are categorized as “out of sight, out of mind.” Too often we are consumed by other things than those outside of our limited purview.

When I saw the photo of the suffering of the Syrians, I was shocked; I was shocked that so many people were in line to get food, shocked that despite their best efforts there is not enough food to go around. I felt sad for the people who, by no fault of their own, live in a country that is being ravaged by war, violence, greed, and power struggles. I felt embarrassed for all of the times I whined and complained about my own “problems.” All of them collectively wouldn’t even begin to compare to what people are facing in Syria at this very moment. I wanted to find a way to do something, to raise my voice for them … anything.

Where is the outcry on their behalf? Where are those standing up for the widows and the orphans? Why are the collective prayers and laments of the church not being raised for those facing distress and peril? Why are too many churches debating who is in and who is out, or who is right or who is wrong, rather than focusing on issues such as this? These questions and many more began to swirl in my head.

This is not how the world is supposed to be. People can be so hateful and power hungry that it leaves innocent people in the dust.

What happened to that “very good” world that is described in Genesis? Will it ever be the idyllic place we all hope and yearn for?

In Matthew 25 we find these prophetic words of Jesus; “Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’” (Common English Bible 2012).

The church has an obligation to the world. The church has an obligation to other people. Although we have enough problems in this country, it does not negate our duty to share the love of Christ to all people. Becoming a Christian expands our horizon, our world, our collective outlook. No longer are we to be self-centered; rather, by the ministry and indwelling of Christ, we have become new creations of selflessness.

I’m not saying that you have to wear sackcloth and throw ashes on your head; or, sell all your possessions and give it to the people of Syria. However, in our moments of selfishness, let’s remember those who struggle for day-to-day basics. Remember those who hunger for the food that we discard every day. Remember that we are not immune to the cries of the hurting and the forgotten in this world.

All people no matter their race, age, hair color, etc., are all created in the same image of God as you and I. Since all people are created in that image, we should not have predetermined boundaries on our love and grace. Looking at the world and all of its many issues and problems can be overwhelming, but we first and foremost must remember the call to be the hands and feet of God in the world.

When we think we don’t have enough, look at the picture.

When our children complain about dinner, show them the picture.

When the church is debating what to cut from the budget, look at the picture.

When more focus is on getting people in the door than helping those outside it, look at the picture.

As we journey into Lent, the season of emptying ourselves out to receive the Holy Spirit and journey with Jesus toward the cross in Jerusalem, may we find ways to help the poor and outcast.

May this picture be a reminder that just because we are not affected by it, people are suffering every day.

Come Holy Spirit come.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

Rev. Ev and Ben Talk About The Creation Debate

As you might recall there was a big “Creation Debate” about a month ago.  My brother in law, Ben from emgeringdisciple.com and I were chatting about it and decided others needed to hear our thoughts too.

 

Enjoy

 

In Christ,

Rev. Evan