David Epps's blog

Obama's 'flip-flops'?

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President Barack Obama has come under fire in recent days both from the political Left and from the Right for “flip-flopping” on campaign promises.

Among the so-called flip-flops are the following:

• Candidate Obama promised to close Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) while President Obama has kept it open.

• Candidate Obama said he would repeal the “Bush tax cuts” while President Obama has left them in place.

• Candidate Obama supported the healthcare single-payer mandate while President Obama compromised and dropped it from his healthcare proposal. Read More»

Cut some slack

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Recently, on a flight home from Illinois, I sat next to a man who was an executive in a corporation. The man was pleasant, chatted with passengers who were finding their seats, and seemed genuinely interested in every person boarding the airplane. There were a couple of people who were unresponsive to his smile and greetings but he didn’t seem disturbed by that one bit. Read More»

The Charlie Sheen meltdown

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Late night comedians and a number of news agencies have had a field day with the public self-destruction of actor Charlie Sheen. Millions of people have watched Sheen’s explanations, rantings, and antics on TV and on the Internet with unbridled amusement. The problem is this: It’s not funny.

Several years ago, Sheen’s father, Martin Sheen, endured public anguish and humiliation as he announced that his son had a drug problem. It was obvious that the elder Sheen was in tremendous pain watching his talented son destroy himself and crush those who loved him most. Read More»

Union parasites and government employees

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Not long ago, several people were spotted at a Tea Party rally carrying signs that were anti-union. The signs read, “Time to Stop Union Parasites,” and “Unions Greedy Socialists.” There also seems to be an attitude developing, among some, that government employees are somehow undermining the fabric of American society. Read More»

To be bald or not to be bald

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For years, I have been promising our singers and musicians new vestments. Vestments are the “uniforms” that church folk in our tradition wear during the services to designate their type of service in the church. In some churches, choir robes are worn. Our music ministry members wear a black cassock and a white garment over top of the cassock called a cotta. The current vestments have their problems. Read More»

Warriors and heroes

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On Feb. 13, 1970, I arrived for Recruit Training (now called “Basic Warrior Training”) at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, Platoon 223.

My father warned me that it would be tough. I had no idea just how tough. I had played football in junior high and high school for five years and for one season after high school. I lifted weights and had been taking karate lessons for about four years. I thought I was prepared. I was not. Read More»

Big boy pants

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After six months and 4,000 miles on the 1999 Harley-Davidson Road King, I decided to ratchet things up just a bit. Prior to August of 2010, I had never ridden a motorcycle. I took the Rider’s Edge Motorcycle Academy three-day course and earned my license. Most of my riding had been on local roads with, perhaps, 100 miles total on the interstate highway system. Read More»

Taming the telephone

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I am grateful that we live in the modern technological age. Growing up in East Tennessee, I had first-hand experience with outhouses, homes without air conditioning, telephone party lines, dirt and gravel roads, three channels on the black and white TV, and putting clothes outside on the line to dry. I agree with Carly Simon who once sang, “These are the good old days.” Read More»

Making do

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My father was a believer in “making do.” A child of the Great Depression, he learned early that resources were scarce and sometimes one just had to do the best one could do with what one had at hand.

Throughout his life he was a pack-rat of sorts, collecting odds and ends that might someday be put to use. He rarely took a trip to the hardware store because, somewhere in the basement, he would find what he needed.

Years ago, when I was interviewing for the position of pastor of a small church, I was told that they had an excellent music program. The operative word was “had.” Read More»

Until properly relieved

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In 1983 I became the pastor of a small church that, at the time, was four and a half years old. I made a commitment to God and to myself that I would not leave there until I was certain that it was time. I based that commitment on something I learned in the Marine Corps.

There are 11 General Orders that all Marines everywhere are to memorize and follow when they are on interior guard duty. The 5th General Order is this: “To quit my post only when properly relieved.” Read More»

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