David Epps's blog

Why I didn’t study

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This is a confession, of sorts, one of which I am not proud.

All through elementary school and through most of junior high, I was an A and B (mostly A) student. Beginning in the 9th grade, the grades began to slip — well, “plummet” would be a better word.

My coaches, teachers, and, especially, my parents converged on me from all sides demanding to know what was wrong with me. If drugs had been around at the time, I’m sure they would have suspected that I was doing drugs. They would have been wrong. Read More»

Reflecting upon high school

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Across the country, thousands of schools have experienced the graduation of millions of high school seniors. As I attended a graduation this spring, I thought back to my alma mater, Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Tenn. Sometimes, people will ask, “If you could go back to high school, would you do anything differently?” My answer is, “You betcha!”

So, for the benefit and amusement of those who will be entering or returning to high school this fall, I offer the following musings about what I would do differently: Read More»


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I come from a long line of males. If my memory serves me correctly, my dad was the eldest of six brothers complemented by two sisters. My father and mother had two sons. My wife and I brought three sons into the world. It was, with great anticipation, that my wife and I were awaiting the arrival of our first grandchild — a girl! Finally!

On a cold January day, Victoria Sabrina Epps was born and, shortly after her birth, my son brought her to me and placed her in my arms. As I looked at her, smiling and drooling (her, not me), two thoughts came to mind. Read More»

A long delayed letter

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A few weeks ago, I was going through my desk and found a church directory from Mountain View United Methodist Church. The directory was from 2007 and I was going to toss it but, before I did, I thumbed through it and noticed a name. Read More»

The man of Steele

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I had been on my first summer job after high school graduation for about seven weeks when my dad announced a change. He had arranged, against my will and without my permission, for me to work at a general construction company inside the giant Tennessee Eastman Chemical Products Corporation. I was paid $1.65 an hour to work myself to the point of exhaustion each day.

“Next week,” he said, “you will start as an electrician’s helper for King Electric Company.” I would still be working inside the Eastman plant and I would make $1.85 an hour. A small improvement, I reasoned. Read More»

The smell of concrete

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As I made a visit to a local hospital early the other morning, a vaguely familiar scent filled my nostrils. It was the smell of concrete — fresh concrete, as in “new construction.”

Sure enough, the hospital was constructing an addition which requires lots of concrete. Sniffing the aroma, I was transported back in time. Read More»

What good are sermons?

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So, here’s the question: “What good are sermons?” You may be thinking, “I’ve been wondering that for years!”

In evangelical and charismatic churches, the sermon is the centerpiece, the focal point, the high water mark of the worship service (as least that’s what pastors think). In liturgical/sacramental churches, it may not be the center of the service but it’s still viewed as highly important.

When I was a young minister starting out, just in my early 20s, I was told that “For every minute of sermon, there should be an hour of study and preparation.” Read More»

Should weapons be banned? Part 2

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There are always those who believe, with all sincerity, that weapons of any kind should be outlawed. The reasoning is that, if no one had weapons, society would be a much safer place. Any conflicts would be handled with words and, at most, with fists. There would be injuries, of course, but not destruction on the scale currently experienced.

The same sort of thinking is often applied to the world scene. If there were no nuclear weapons, and no weapons of any kind, the world would be a safer place. Read More»

Should weapons be banned?

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A terrible incident, which could have resulted in multiple murders, occurred a few days ago in Texas.

A 20-year-old man went on a rampage at a Texas community college and attacked and wounded at least 14 people. Several had to be life-flighted to an area hospital as the young man went from building to building seeking targets of opportunity.

What makes this attack stand out from similar attacks elsewhere is that the weapon the man brandished was not a firearm. It was a knife. Read More»

Dr. Sam Brown and house calls

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Dr. Sam Brown was my family’s doctor when I was a boy. I remember him being a kindly man who smiled a lot, especially when dealing with fidgety kids. I don’t recall that I was ever panicked about going to see Dr. Brown as I was when I was going to the dentist.

When I was 7 years old, I was in my parent’s home in Kingsport, Tenn., and, strangely, everything seemed to go distant. My mother, in the kitchen, appeared to be a football field’s length away from me and my hearing became muffled. Apparently, I then passed out. Read More»

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