Book Cover!

Seeking Imperfection Cover

I am happy to announce that my forthcoming book now has a cover design!  I hope you like it!

In the coming weeks you will be able to pre-order the book with a a tentative release date of August 15, so stay tuned!

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

 

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Book Update 2015

I know that it has been a while since I have given you an update about the book.  Thank you for patience!

Here is where we stand.

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Today, I received the “marked up” copy edited version of my manuscript.  I will be reviewing it and answering some questions about the text this week.  The draft will then be sent back to the publisher for type setting.

After type setting the copy will be sent back to me for one more review and then off to printing.

As of right now the working title has changed to “Seeking Imperfection: Body Image, Marketing and God.”

I am thankful for all of your support and look forward to what the future holds.  It will be a fun next couple of months and I want you to come along for the ride.

Be sure to fill out the form below to have all future blog posts sent to you via email.  Also please please please be sure to follow me on Twitter @RevEvanDolive and on Facebook at FB.com/evandoliveauthor for even more updates!

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In Christ,

Rev. Evan

Blog Update

As you might have noticed, evandolive.com has received a face lift.  When I started this site nearly three years ago I kept the same theme and layout.  It was functional but over time I wanted to “freshen up” the site and streamline some of the pages (i.e.- Social media tabs, speaking requests/sermons together, etc) and links.  I have been going back and forth between various themes offered by WordPress but none of them were what I was looking for.

Thanks to the help of my devoted soon to be graphic designer sister, Haley, evandolive.com has a new look.

So take a look around and let me know what you think!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook to get all of the updates about my forthcoming book in 2015!

And to again say thanks to my sister here is a picture of us at the Stephen F. Austin/Sam Houston State Football game.

UntitledIn Christ,

Rev. Evan

Words I Am Learning To Be True

The Battle of Two Due Dates: 100 Days And Counting

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As the old saying goes, “when it rains it pours.”  I have a lot going on in my life and honestly there isn’t anything that I would change.  I am coming up on one year at the hospital where I serve as chaplain, I am still preaching every Sunday at a small DOC congregation, I have two wonderful kids with one on the way and on top of all of that… I am writing a book, something that I have always wanted to do.

Needless to say things can be a bit hectic… schedules overlap, the daylight runs out and the to-do list is ever growing; there are plans to be made, commitments to keep and life to live.  I have been working feverishly on the book.  Thanks to the internet I can access my manuscript from anywhere.  I have been organizing my thoughts and ideas on the fly thanks to Evernote.

The publisher set the deadline for the final manuscript for September 30; I have pushed that timeline up to September 1 to give myself most of the month of September to edit, refine, tweak and run spell check about 76 times.  Did I mention that my beautiful wife is pregnant and is due at the end of August?  Yep… I’m battling two due dates.

Today marks 100 days until September 1 and things are going well.

It’s starting to become a bit more real; I have been working on table of contents, getting various permissions, setting up interviews taking head shots and the like.

It will be a busy and exciting time.  I will be posting updates here and on Twitter (and maybe Facebook… an author page might be in the works).

 

Thanks for your support and happy reading!

 

In Christ,

 

Rev. Evan

 

 

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I Take Children’s Books Too Seriously

I enjoy a good book.  I’ve liked books from when I was a child reading when I was three.  I didn’t care for the readings that were forced upon me in High School English but after college I learned to enjoy reading again.   I like being caught up in a story, finding a book that you can’t put down and having that sense of accomplishment when I close the book for the final time.  I like to delve into a person’s biography to learn about their development and the reasonings for beginning their life’s calling.  Ever since I attended seminary my list of books on my “to-read” list has been ever growing.  Due to the rise of technology books can go with us with general ease.  I love my Kindle and when I don’t have it I know the Kindle App is right there for me.

But all of that goes out the window when it comes to children’s books.  To be honest, I love children’s books.  It started when I was a kid; my mother is a Kindergarten teacher and I liked to read her latest addition.  I thought they were cute, funny, simplistic and even poignant.

When I became a parent I knew that at some point the daily routine would including reading stories to my child.  I knew the stats about verbal ability and cognition with respect to a child hearing the language.

But that changes when you have to read the same book over and over again before bed with your child.  I, like many parents, have tried the reverse psychology to get out of reading “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” for the 147th time that month, but it never works.  Hiding them never works either; we have to look through the entire bookshelf until the book “magically” reappears.

So whatever the book choice is, I read it, sometimes by memory and sometimes with a smile on my face.  Sometimes as I am reading the book in my head I am adding witty banter and commentary for two reasons: 1) it helps me to stay awake and engaged in the story and 2) the book will be entertaining to me and not a chore.  As hard as I try it can be difficult to be fully present at bedtime readings.

But maybe through it all I am taking children’s books too seriously.  Have I been jaded by my 30 year old eyes in which I see the world?  Do I see children’s books as more fantasy than reality to which we are propping up our children?  Do I need to learn to relax and enjoy some easy reading?  Maybe…

For example, my daughter has this book about going to the doctor.  It’s a cute book but there are some glaring issues that I see in it.  First, the boy is sick and needs to go to the doctor.  His mother takes him but also takes his friend along with him because she had a tummy ache last week and needed to go back for a check up.  I get what the author is trying to do here; the author is trying to show that sometimes we have to go to doctor even if we feel better to ensure everything is ok.  But that is not what I have an issue with.  First, the two children are holding hands throughout the book.  My first thought was “isn’t the boy sick and won’t that transfer the germs to the girl?”  Secondly, is it legal for the mom to take another person’s child to the doctor?  I used to work in a healthcare setting and my HIPAA alarm was going off.  Finally, the examination room was the size of a small house.  The room had a table, an area to play for the child who wasn’t being seen, a desk with a computer for the doctor and a view of a beautiful landscape.  In what fantasy land does this place exist?  In my experience of exam rooms, they are about the size of a janitor’s closet and have maybe two chairs and several copies of Zoo Books from 1987 in them, with diagrams of the human body and Care Bears adorning the walls.

Maybe my beef with children’s books is that I wish that they could be reality.  In children’s books the world is so much simpler.  Animals talk and walk and in some cases run for President, the doctor is not a scary place to go, there is generally a resolution of conflict is a manner of distributive justice and good moral teaching.  As a father that’s what I want for my daughter, but I know that truly is a fantasy.  I know that the world is not as happy and pretty as the books make it, but maybe that is why we read them in the first place.

Maybe I do take them too seriously from my adult perspective, but for a child I believe that they can be a glimpse of what can be and how humanity can act or even should act.  Books offer an escape from the world around us; they allow us to enter into a place for maybe a moment to find respite and to use the power of our imagination.

I have no plans to stop reading to my children or stop taking them seriously, but I do hope for the idyllic worlds found within the pages of children’s books will come to life in their lives.

Here’s to the dreams that children have, may they come true.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

MLK, Jr. Day- Book Recomendation

When I was in seminary one of the most popular elective courses was a course on the life and ministry of Martin Luther King, Jr.  To be honest, I didn’t know a whole lot about his life and especially his ministry   Sure I knew the basics: Civil Rights Movement and “I Have A Dream.”  Little did I know I was missing so much.

I never knew how he got started, how his father was a big influence on his life.  I never knew how he struggled with his position as leader of the Civil Rights Movement.  I never had read “The Letter From Birmingham Jail.”  I never knew how much his faith was impacted because of the movement.  I never knew of his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech the night before his assassination in Memphis, TN.

One of the best books I read regarding the life of King was Let the Trumpet Sound by Stephen Oates.  Oates has a way of telling the story of King in a way that transports you back to the South in the 1950s and 60s.  The book tells of King’s childhood and is rise in the church as a minister and how he help start the bus boycotts and lead rallies and gave speeches until his last day.

King’s dream is something that is still being worked out, but his impact on the United States and the cause of justice is immeasurable.

May we remember the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.–

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

In Christ,

Rev. Evan

Another New Project In The Works

Back in April I told you about a new project that was in the works.  As of today, we had not heard any concrete information about whether or not our propsal will be accepted.  You can re-read the post here.

Well, on June 21, my project load doubled.   A friend of mine (Ray, check out his blog here) and I were at High School camp last year when we began to have a discussion about Christianity and society.  Even though we are only removed from High School by only 10-11 years, the world is completely different- the understanding of what it means to be Christian has changed, worship styles have changed and the way we encounter the Divine has changed.  Sadly, the perception of Christianity has not changed.  This made us ask, “why would anyone want to be a Christian when it seems so lame?”  and thus the idea was born.

So we contacted Chalice Press (our denominational publishing house) with our idea and they asked us to write a proposal for a book on this topic.   We are both in transitions in our lives but I believe we will get this completed soon.

Stay tuned for more updated from both projects!  Below is a very nice tweet from Ray’s wife about our project.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan


New Project In The Works

A few months ago I started working on a project with friend, fellow minister and seminary alum, Laura.

Back in December Laura and I were talking and told her about a book idea that I had.  I wanted to look at church marquee signs and break down the messages that they were conveying.  What could someone learn from these signs about the gospel message or the church?  We see these signs all over the place and some of the signs have the most cliche Christian sayings and quite frankly I can’t stand some of them. (Fellow Disciple Christian Piatt has blogged several times on what he calls “Church Sign Fails” click here)

Basically I wanted to look into how churches were summing up their theology through the marquee sign, in as few words as possible and the messages that they were promoting.

Laura liked the idea and through our conversations we began to talk about how the church was reflecting the culture.  The culture today is fasted paced and we like people to get to the point and get to it now.  We don’t like long emails, phone calls or blog posts (hopefully this one wont be too long 🙂 ).  So Laura suggested that we look at how the rise of social media like Facebook and Twitter is contributing to the discussion of faith.  If we don’t like long emails and we like people to “get to the point faster”, how can we ever have a serious discussion about God, faith and the afterlife (just to name a few)?  I doubt anyone can sum up their theology in 140 characters or less.

We decided this book needed to be written.

So we contacted Chalice Press (our denominational publishing house) with our idea and they asked us to write a proposal for a book on this topic.  Thankfully we were able to meet a couple of time face to face and work on the lengthy proposal and even worked via Google Docs on it.

On April 10, 2012, we officially submitted our proposal to the powers that be at Chalice Press.

All we can do now is wait…

Stay tuned for more updates.

In Christ,

Rev. Evan 🙂


(“Red Hardcover Book With Flipping Pages” available under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0 at http://www.flickr.com/photos/horiavarlan/4268153789/)