David Epps's blog

Darkness and light

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I arise at 5 a.m. on Sundays. I don’t have to be at church until about 8 a.m. since the early worship service begins at 8:30 a.m. However, by getting up early, I can shower, dress, make a pot of coffee, and still have at least two hours remaining to go over my sermons notes, tweak them if need be, and prepare for the day ahead. Read More»

Is racism dead?

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In June of 2012, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans elected the Reverend Fred Luter, Jr. as the first African-American president of the 167-year-old denomination.

More remarkably, the Rev. Luter was unopposed for election and his selection was enthusiastically welcomed by the thousands of delegates of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination and the world’s largest Baptist group. Read More»

Cowboy church

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I had told my brother I would go with him to a new church being formed near his home. Which was why I was following him on a Tuesday evening as we navigated about five miles of narrow, winding, country roads in Church Hill, Tenn. He led the way in his pickup truck while I followed on my Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Read More»

The Montford Point Marines

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When one thinks of the training received by United States Marines, one thinks of Parris Island, S.C., San Diego, Calif., or Quantico, Va.

Male recruits, depending on where they reside at the time of enlistment, go to either San Diego or Parris Island. All women recruits are trained at Parris Island. Officer candidates prove their mettle at Quantico. And then there is Montford Point. Read More»

A promise unkept

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Across the land, on flag poles public and private, a black and white banner will frequently be seen flying in the breeze. On jackets, hats, and leather vests, a smaller version of the flag made into a patch will often be stitched.

It is the POW/MIA symbol. POW, of course, stands for Prisoner of War while MIA means “missing in action.” Read More»

That which remains

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When I was a younger man, I had dreams — illusions, really — about the tremendous impact I would have on those around me, my community, and even the world. I suppose that such dreams are positive things and the fact is that some people go on to do just that ... impact the world. For most, however, it will not be so. Read More»

Sweet sixteen

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Just about this time 16 years ago, I was both very nervous and excited. After being in the ministry for 25 years and having turned 45 years old earlier in the year, I and several others were about to embark on a new adventure.

We were about to plant a church.

I had never been part of such a venture and, understandably, experienced a bit of fear and trepidation. It didn’t help when one man, whom I knew and considered a friend, said, “Well, when it doesn’t work out, I hope things go well for you wherever you wind up.” Not the most faith-filled statement I had ever heard. Read More»

Tattoo or not tattoo

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I am currently tattoo free. I realize that it is unusual to be both a biker and a Marine Corps veteran and have no tattoos adorning my body somewhere but that’s the situation.

When I was a child my late grandfather, Charles Daniel Duckett, had several blue and faded tattoos on his forearms. When I would stare at them, usually when he and I were on a fishing trip, he would say, “Son, don’t ever get one of these. You’ll be sorry if you do.” So I never did. Read More»

Hope for addicts

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One can argue that addiction is not a disease but a self-inflicted condition that one willingly entered into.

While there is truth in that statement, it is equally true that no one ever starts out to intentionally become an alcoholic or a drug addict.

For that matter, no one ever intends to become addicted to nicotine, food, gambling, or pornography. But many do. However one became an addict, the question becomes, “What do we do with them now?” Read More»

One nation under God?

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Someone said there were about 1,500 Marines present for the opening of the recent National Convention of the Marine Corps League in Mobile, Ala. Almost none of them were on active duty, however. Yet, as the Commandant of the Marine Corps has stated, and as Marines have known for decades, “once a Marine, always a Marine.” There are no former or ex-Marines. Read More»

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