COFFEE!

I love coffee. My favorite is really strong, French roast. Hot. Black.

Iced coffee. Flavored coffee with cream and sugar. Those are desserts. I’ll drink ’em, but that’s not coffee.

It doesn’t have to be French roast. It doesn’t even have to be good. It just has to be hot.

Is this an obsession? Maybe.

When I was a kid, my dad worked for Nabisco as a salesman. In the summer he would take me to work with him. My day was usually on a Wednesday. I loved the first stop, the Coffee Shop, Lucas B&B, with three or four other salesmen friends. They drank coffee, black, laughed, told stories. I had chocolate milk and a cinnamon roll.

Family gatherings at my grandmother’s, Mimo Epps’ house (we all called her “Mimo” except for Chip (he changed his name, too) who, around the age of 10, decided that “Mimo” sounded babyish and started calling her “Grandmother.” The rest of us stuck with “Mimo”.) there would always be an urn of coffee (40 cup urn) percolating in the kitchen. Strong and dark. No one talked about drinking coffee, they just drank coffee, laughed, and told stories. The kids played. We didn’t drink the coffee.

When I was sixteen, I worked for Safeway in Orchard Hills, in Garland as a bag boy, then as a stock clerk. We had a snack bar. Coffee cost a dime. I began to experiment. A cup of coffee, a teaspoon of ice, a teaspoon of sugar.

I soon dispensed with the ice and sugar. Black and hot.

My future wife worked in this snack bar for a while. Served me coffee and hamburger. She was pretty, a good cook, had a boyfriend. Future wasn’t here yet.

When the future arrived, and we were married and living in Houston, I remember her giving me a coffee percolator with glass side instead of metal where you could see the coffee percolating. Once, she splurged and bought some Yuban coffee, the poor man’s gourmet coffee. It was fantastic! Black and hot.

I wonder if we will have coffee in heaven. I think we will. The smell will waft through the streets. We will drink coffee, laugh, and tell stories.

For me, the coffee will be strong, black, and hot. You can have yours however you like. I can have as much as I want.

It will already be paid for.

Just like my ticket to get in.

(August 13, 2016)

Standard

BEING ALERT


Well, I thought I might make it through the summer without getting stung.

I’m a chimney sweep and window cleaner, and every so often, I disturb a nest of red wasps.

Over the years, I have been stung many, many times.

But, about ten years ago, I got stung while on a ladder, on the back of my neck.

It always made me mad.

I carried multiple cans of Wasp/Hornet spray, so that “vengeance could be mine…”

I did much vengeance.

But, this time, I started to itch, at my feet, then it started to travel up my legs, then my whole body.

I raced to Brookshires to get some Benadryl, took it before I paid for it, and drove home with a foggy twilight zone kind of tunnel vision.

I collapsed on the bed, sweated profusely until the poison left my system.

A doctor friend gave me a prescription for an EpiPen two pack.

I was stung a few other times through the years, but I always was a little bit afraid to use the Pen, and I would just take benadryl.

The fog would come, and I would wait it out, and, after about an hour, I would go back to work.

The first time I used the pen, it had probably just gone out of date, because, this last Wednesday, when I got stung, I used the last one, discovering several hours later that it had expired in June of 2016.

If it worked, it didn’t do much.

I was at an empty house at the end of a road at Holly Lake Ranch, and , when the reaction began, I decided to just wait it out as usual.

I only had three windows left to do, but then I had two more jobs scheduled.

I entered the foggy sweaty twilight zone stage.

The itching was brutal.

The hour passed, and I decided to do the last three windows.

My ladder felt so heavy.

I sat back down.

I looked up, and there right at the driveway entrance was my good friend, David Painter and his helper, Johnny, who both work for Holly Lake Ranch.

David saw me sitting, realized something was not right, and came over and nursed me, called security to check my blood pressure, told Wendy on the phone to make me come home, gave me Gatorade and trail mix, made up an ice pack to cool me down, fanned me….

I lived to fight another day.

I realized in this life I am living now, how important it is for me to always be vigilant and alert, watching for those sneak attacks of the enemy, being ready in season and out to fight the battles.

But when the sneak attacks come, and I am down, God always has a backup plan.

It’s usually those friends that are sharers of this Life, the ones that “just happen” to show up at just the right time.

To God Be The Glory.

His light shines through His children.

Thank you, David and Johnny, for seeing, and helping.

Standard

SPECIAL DAYS

SPECIAL DAYS

We all have those days in our lives that stand out, that we always remember, that sometimes changed everything.

I remember the Kennedy assassination…we came in from recess and our teacher came into the room crying. Walter Cronkite could barely control his emotions as he filled us in on the details of that grim day in Dallas.

I remember watching the broadcast of the first walk on the moon, at my friend, Ken Gregory’s, house, with Rick Brittin, and Ricky McFarland.

The space shuttle explosion, the murder of John Lennon, the tearing down of the Berlin wall…all vivid memories.

But there was a day I’m the summer of 1972 that turned everything around.

August 10, I had just rung the doorbell to the house where Wendy Wright lived.

It was to be our first date, movie and Kips Big Boy.

It wasn’t my first first date.

But, when Wendy came to the door, if I hadn’t been trying so hard to be cool, I probably would have stuttered like an idiot. She was the prettiest first date I ever had.

Turns out, it was the last first date I ever had.

Her last one, too.

We didn’t know when we got into the car, that we would spend the rest of our lives together.

We were married on December 30…the same year.

I’m glad I kept my cool.

Or, did I?

Standard

GOD REMAINS THE SAME: THAT’S HOW I KNOW THE BIBLE IS RIGHT


Things keep coming up in conversations:
“You can’t give me evidence that God exists…Show me the evidence!”

John Branyan says, “Earth started out as dead as a teaspoon of Jello. And then, there were living cells. Poof! That’s evidence.”
(johnbranyan.com)

We try to tell how the simple things that are complex point to the Creator.

But, then we hear how imperfect everything is made…the world and everything in it…problems with the anatomy…the evidence of billions of years, not thousands…”proofs” of evolution “we already know.”

But, you have to realize, it’s really not their fault.

The Bible says that God is spirit and those that worship him must worship him in spirit. And in truth.

It also says that to come to him, one must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those that diligently seek him.

It says that no man seeks God. Not one.

It says that a man, if he is not born again, born by the spirit of God, then he cannot even perceive of the kingdom of God.

Without this new birth, we are as dead as Jello.

Jello can’t see the kingdom of God, either.

So, if we can’t make ourselves be born, that has to happen from outside of us.

I know quite a few people who had this happen to them.

It happened to me.

I didn’t come to him.

God came to me.

But, when he came, I said, “I’m yours.”

My life was changed.

That is evidence.

If you are reading this, then God may be saying to you, “Will you come to me?”

Will you change your mind?

If you don’t, you cannot see the evidence.

If you do, you will never be able to stop seeing the evidence.

http://randyepps.blog

Standard

THE EVOLUTION OF ME

THE EVOLUTION OF ME
When I was growing up, I remember seeing a picture similar to this one in my science books; probably as early as third or fourth grade.

My teacher taught this theory of evolution, the millions of years, the ape to man, and I believed it.

Why would I question my teacher?
She taught me everything.
(Except reading. My mom taught me that.)

Well, this understanding of how we all came to be, stuck with me…for a long time.
I remember one time in the summer after my senior year in high school, a Jehovah Witness guy came to my door in Garland and tried to tell me that this whole evolution thing was wrong…according to the Bible.

I knowingly told him that I believed that God could use evolution just as well, because, well, he just could.

Honestly, I never, ever remember questioning this idea…not one time in my life.

Until…a little while after I had my “born again, new life” experience, I began to read the Bible, listen to men teach the Bible, study the lessons of the Bible.

I started to believe the Bible.

I started to think.

To question.

Why do we think man evolved from more primitive forms?

Why do we believe these millions of years, or billions of years?

What about Noah, the flood, the annihilation of mankind except for his family?

Is any of that possible?

Could the world’s population have reached the current levels if it had only had 4000-6000 years to do it?

So many questions.

I no longer believe the picture.

I no longer believe the “science” that says “billions of years ago” or “millions of years ago”.

Strangely, as I have grown, questioned, studied, I have actually held onto the idea of a young earth, without evolution.

I’m not saying I can prove it…but I am challenging anyone to disprove it.

I’ve listened to a lot of arguments over the years, and I have yet to hear one that is convincing.

All the arguments begin with the premise of a 2 to 4 billion year old earth.

Can anyone even conceive of a billion years?

How does one measure that?

I really would like to know.

I would love to hear your take.

Standard