David Epps's blog

I am a sacramentalist

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I am a sacramentalist. I view life as a continuing sacrament and I have a sacramental world view. What is a sacrament?

According to the Catholic Church, “Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification” (Catechismus concil. Trident., n. 4, ex St. Augustine, “De Catechizandis rudibus”).

Allow me to simplify that definition. I believe that a sacrament is when “The Divine touches the Common and the result is something holy and/or mysterious.” Read More»

Lost in the piles and files

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I was frantically looking for a document the other day so I could finish my taxes. I began in the master bedroom, moved to the kitchen where papers are sometimes piled up, and then went on to the home office. After cleaning off two desks and the top of a filing cabinet, I began to clean out a box. I didn’t find the document but I did discover three unopened envelopes that contained offering checks to our church—dated July 2011. Oops. Read More»

A church united this coming Friday

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This coming Good Friday, April 6, will mark the 31st Annual Community Good Friday Service in Peachtree City.

It is not unusual for churches to celebrate Good Friday. It is not rare for a few churches, usually of like or similar theology, to combine for a Good Friday observance.

It is very unusual, however, for very diverse churches to meet together year after year for over three decades. A wonderful anomaly will take place once again next Friday. Read More»

Simple leadership essentials

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There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books on leadership. While I make no claim to be an expert on the subject, I have had the opportunity to serve in various positions of leadership over the years.

To those who aspire to be leaders, I submit the following as necessary essentials:

1. Understand and submit to authority. Authority is everywhere. It cannot be avoided. It cannot be ignored. Authority is present in the family, schools, places of employment, the church, the government, the military, society, and in nearly every organization. Read More»

No such thing as a former Marine

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“A Marine is a Marine ... there’s no such thing as a former Marine. You’re a Marine, just in a different uniform and you’re in a different phase of your life. But you’ll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico.” – Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos

Anyone who doubts that statement only need visit the monthly meeting of the Clyde Thomason Detachment #1325 of the Marine Corps League that serves Coweta and Fayette counties. Read More»

Sponge people

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While attending a meeting in Orlando a few days ago, one of the speakers used the term, “sponge people.” I had never heard the term before.

He went on to explain that sponge people are those who get close to you and then suck and drain all the life out of you. Like sponges, they absorb whatever you have in you without giving anything back.

The meeting consisted primarily of pastors and I saw nods of recognition and agreement all over the room. Read More»

A few good men

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I spent several days this past week with a few good men.

No, it wasn’t a Marine Corps reunion, although the men I shared a week with have many of the qualities and characteristics of Marines I have known.

No, this was a gathering of priests who serve as pastors and who came to Orlando for a church growth conference. But these were not just any kind of pastors and this was not just any kind of conference. Read More»

'Has anyone seen the cat?'

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There are certain phrases that incite concern and fear, as in Paul Revere’s call to arms, “The British are coming!” And then there’s, “Honey, there’s a letter for you from the IRS.” But all these pale in comparison to my wife’s question, “Has anyone seen the cat?”

I did not grow up as a cat person. I was a dog person. In my family we nearly always had a dog that spent his/her time outside, lived in a dog house, and brought joy to the Epps kids and caused tears and sorrow when they died. Read More»

The wisdom of Forrest Gump

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Rusty Wilkerson is a columnist for my hometown newspaper, The Kingsport-Times News. While in Kingsport, Tenn., recently, I picked up a copy of the paper and found Wilkerson reporting on two stories of government actions worthy of a nod from Forrest.

Wilkerson reported that, in 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency mandated that an ingredient that did not yet exist be blended into gasoline and diesel fuel by 2011. So far, oil companies have failed to comply. Read More»

Semper Gumby

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It is Wednesday morning and I am in northeastern Tennessee where I did not expect to be. Yesterday, I awoke in Champaign, Ill., to a temperature of 28 degrees and, by 2 p.m., my flight had brought me home to a balmy spring-like 67 degrees.

It was warm enough that I rode my motorcycle in search of a podiatrist who would alleviate the pain of an in-grown toenail.

While there, I received a call from my wife that her mother had been admitted to the hospital and transferred to ICU and was informed that we would be making the trip to Tennessee. Read More»