David Epps's blog

Kremlin tactics in Houston

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Politicians in Houston, Texas, have apparently adopted Kremlin tactics in dealing with dissent. The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

This all began when the City Council passed an ordinance allowing, among other things, men to use women’s rest rooms and vice versa. The action was part of the city’s “non-discrimination ordinance.” Read More»

Going home

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It had been a long time—a very long time—since I had walked through the doors. Some things had been changed, added to, moved, or eliminated...but it was the same: familiar, warm, and comforting. I was back in my hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee and it was a Sunday. It was just before 11:00 a.m. and I found a seat about two of the way back and settled in. After 41 years, I was back in a pew at Mountain View United Methodist Church. Read More»

A jarhead's journey

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A few weeks ago, I retrieved the mail and discovered, among the bills and junk mail, a package. When I opened the package, I found that it contained a book. That’s not unusual as both my wife and I are voracious readers. However, I did not order this book which bore the title, “A Jarhead’s Journey.” The Urban Dictionary defines “jarhead” as, “A member of the United States Marine Corps. When used by civilians it could be considered derogatory, but it is used often among Marines. Read More»

Domestic warriors

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Ever since the first Gulf War way back in 1991, the churches I have served have set aside a special day to honor our military veterans. Most of the time we set a time for a special observance on the 4th of July. A couple of times, the veterans were recognized on Memorial Day.

Last year, we finally settled on the most appropriate day to honor these brave men and women — Veteran’s Day. Yet, there’s another group of heroic men and women who put their lives at risk day after day that we have not recognized every year. Read More»

The lesson of corporal punishment

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According to a report in GOPUSA, “Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says he never intended to hurt his 4-year-old son when he hit him with a tree branch (switch). But experts in childhood development said the intent doesn’t matter — striking a child is never appropriate.” Apparently, my parents never got the memo.

I was, what was called in my neck of the woods, a “precocious” child. One definition of “precocious” is “ahead in development, such as the mental development of a child.” Read More»

Vince Dooley, Devil Dog

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Anyone who has been around Georgia and the University of Georgia football is familiar with the name of Vince Dooley.

Dooley spent his entire 25-year head coaching career at the Southeastern Conference school in Athens, Ga. He was the head football coach from 1964 through 1988 and was athletic director from 1979 to 2004. Coach Dooley compiled a record of 201-77-10, won six Southeastern Conference championships, and won the National championship in 1980. After the 1980 season, he was named “Coach of the Year” by several organizations. Dooley’s Bulldogs played in 20 post-season bowl games Read More»

Celebrating a milestone

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According to author and pastor James Emery White in his article, “Why New Churches Fail,” 40 percent of new church plants will fail before the end of their first year. Within five years, 80 percent will fail. Of the 20 percent that make it past the first five years, 80 percent of those will not survive past 10 years.

Apparently, a church, especially in its early years, is a very fragile thing. I have noticed, in the 31 years that I have lived in Georgia’s Fayette and Coweta counties, there have been many churches that have started only to disappear in a short period of time. Read More»

Showtime!

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There’s something about the opening game of high school football season. There’s a “feel” in the air that announces that all is ready for gridiron combat.

I played a total of eight seasons of football, counting junior high, high school, and military ball.

I saw my first high school football game when, in the seventh grade in 1964, my dad took me to see Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett defeat Jellico High School 89-0 on their way to a 9-0-1 season and the 1964 Tennessee State Football Championship. Read More»

Are youth the future of the church?

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I have heard for decades the statement that, “The youth are the church of the future.” Usually church members and leaders use this phrase when there is a push to establish, sustain, grow, and fund youth ministries in the local church.

I was once a youth minister/youth worker in two churches. The first was a rather large congregation in Bristol, Va., and the other a mid-size church in Johnson City, Tenn. Read More»

The Rainmaker

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I am thinking about entering a new profession. I am considering becoming a professional rain maker. Last year, for my vacation, I took a seven day motorcycle ride. The first day of my trip the weather was beautiful. Sunny skies, blue skies, warm weather, and a gentle breeze. The next five days it rained. It rained long and hard enough to give some competition to Noah’s flood. I spent most of those days in some hotel room. On day seven, the day of my return trip, the weather was beautiful. Sunny skies, blue skies, warm weather, and a gentle breeze. Read More»

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