44th Anniversary


Ok, it’s officially our 44th anniversary now. I have been sitting on this for two days.

Our lives didn’t really intersect at that time. More like concentric circles.

I was a senior. She was a sophomore.

Her locker was next to my girlfriend’s. They were both in the Dixie Darlings.

We said “Hello”.

A few months later, she began to work in the snack bar at Safeway, where I was a stock clerk.

Her hamburgers were the best.

She was really cute in her sea green waitress dress.

(She had hemmed it a bit shorter than allowed per snack bar regulations. Grouchy Jeanie, snack bar manager and her grouchy sister, Wilma gave her a pretty hard time.)

We both had different attachments.

The summer after my second year in college, I was home, unattached, lonesome, looking through my sister’s senior Yearbook. Mostly at the pictures of the senior girls.

I saw her picture. Wow! Long hair, shag cut. Those eyes!

I mentioned to my sister, “Elaine, I’ve been looking through your Yearbook, and there is really only one girl that I would like to date. Wendy Wright.”

She didn’t say anything.

Next Sunday, Elaine and her boyfriend were at the church youth group, and, by some weird freak of coincidental, Godly intervention, Wendy visits with a friend.

Elaine says, “Wendy, hi! Randy was just talking about you.”

“Tell him to call me sometime.”

She told me.

I spent a couple of weeks, driving by her house ( when I finally figured out how to get there), slowly, hoping to catch a glimpse, trying to figure out some cool way (I wasn’t that cool) to talk on her. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years. At that age, a couple of years was a lifetime.

Finally, quivering inwardly, one day I stopped, walked to the door, knocked.

The woman that answered the door wasn’t friendly. Actually looked kinda mad.

“Is, is Wendy here?”

“No, she’s not here.”

“Tell her Randy Epps came by to see her.”

She had that tall beehive hairdo. I figured she was an older sister.

Turned out, it was her mother.

A couple of days later, I caught her at home. We talked in the front yard until I had to go to work. ( My mom had gotten me a summer job on the night shift at Kraft Foods.) At 8:00, when I told Wendy that I had to go to work, she thought I was making up an excuse to leave.

We had a few dates before I went back to school.

A movie.

Bicycle picnic.

Furniture shopping at second hand stores. (Found a chest of drawers for 15.00)

Furniture refinishing. (15.00 chest of drawers)

She was opening all sorts of new life experiences for me.

I was in love.

Four months and three weeks after the first date, we were married.

We rode the ride.

The highs, the lows.

The ups and downs.







What we found, together, was life, Rich, full life, with all the flavors.

And she was always there with me.

They said it wouldn’t last.

So far, we’ve made 44 years.

Wendy Gayle Wright Epps, you are the best friend a man could ask for.

The best woman of them all.

You have unlocked and opened doors to rooms in my life I didn’t even know existed.

My wife, my joy, my sharer of life.





It was hard to see him like this…

My father-in-law, Blair, hooked up to tubes, confused because of the difficulty getting oxygen to his brain, struggling to even turn in the bed.

“Randy, I have NEVER felt this bad before. I am so weak,” he had told me earlier when I stopped by their house to drop off some soup.

Mary Jane was taking care of him, making sure he took his medicine, drank his fluids…

She wasn’t feeling good either.

Neither one had slept the night before.

A little later that day, she called an ambulance to take Blair to the hospital.

When I got there, I saw him in his current state.

My best friend in the world, the one who welcomed me to his family in spite of my hippie looks, taught me how to fix things, build things, pour concrete, love, forgive, and to be content with life.

Anything he had, I was welcome to.

His knowledge and understanding were the best.

With an eighth grade education, he is the wisest man I have ever known.

His stories of an earlier time have always thrilled me.

He wasn’t telling stories tonight.

But when he finally finished struggling, and got comfortable in his hospital bed, I think I caught a glimpse of the old twinkle in his eye, as he said, “Good night. I’ll see y’all in the morning.”

Get better, Blair.




One Year Ago

She was 19. I was 21.

There was no internet, no YouTube back then.

We didn’t know how to throw a good wedding.

No band or disc jockey.

No dance.

No dinner.

We had a church wedding, reception in the fellowship hall.

I don’t remember any decorations.

Wendy got dressed in the choir room, surrounded by choir robes.

Come watch us get married. We’ve got cake.

I didn’t trust my friends.

They had kidnapped me the night before, snatched me, blindfolded me , drove around for awhile, and dropped me off, in the dark, on an empty lot, on a dark street.

It turned out, I was only one street away from my home.

I walked home.

But, my brother David and I hatched a plan to keep them from messing with my car on the wedding day.

We hid it at my grandmother’s house. He would drive Wendy and me over there after the wedding.

It worked. I think my friends felt betrayed.

But, that night, December 30, 1972, Wendy Gayle Wright put the rest of her life into my hands, our friends and families came to watch us get married.

And, afterward, everyone got cake.

We did it the best we could.

Wendy was way more mature at that age than I was.

But, in spite of all the stupid things I have done as I figured out how to grow up, one decision I made early on has made all the difference.

I married the one that I was supposed to marry.

She has taught me what love is.

Happy Anniversary to my true better half!

Wendy Gayle Wright Epps, I LOVE YOU!!!!



(Dec.22, 2016)

Once again, I am blown away by the massive amounts of wisdom I discover in the Bible.

Seriously, I have been reading in this book for almost four decades, and it never grows old, or tiresome.

Familiar passages suddenly reveal wisdom I never before saw, or even considered.

Talking with friends about this incredible book opens new understanding, new appreciation for little intimate details previously undetected.

When you think about it, the guys we read about in the Bible were pretty much like you and I.

Flawed, wondering, questioning, startled, afraid, overconfident, arrogant, proud, humiliated, strong, weak, intelligent, ignorant, seeing the invisible, blind to the obvious….

All being used in some mysterious way by an all powerful God that created them. His goal? That His children would display His perfect love to the rest of His creation, as they find pleasure in the sheer enjoyment of their maker.

This Word, that comes from God, is real food for that new life He planted in me. When I don’t eat, I get weak. Dull. Foggy.

The Life begins to slip into the background, the joy is forgotten, the world around me weighs me down. My eyes are blurred, my ears are plugged.

What is real?

If you don’t have the Life, your reality is different from mine.

If you haven’t tasted the flavor of Jesus, been gripped by His love simply by reading His words, felt his strength coursing through you when you know you are at your weakest, you are living in a world of happenstance.

Some have lived in only one world.

Some have lived in both.

The second one, for me, is the only one.

There is only one way to get to this second world, with its life, its fullness, its power, its joy.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

If you come, he will feed you.



Written 12/10/16

You don’t believe in God because you are afraid.

Afraid that you will no longer have control of what happens.

But you don’t.

You have imagined a God who is small, mean, ineffective, unwise, unloving, mortal.

Your thoughts have imprisoned you, because you cannot imagine the truly awesome. (Look it up.)

The One who will fill you with awe (Look it up.)

You think in terms of what you can see, hear, touch, feel.

You cannot see what you refuse to imagine.

A God who transcends time

Who can see you at the same moment he sees the shepherds seeking their Messiah.

And yours.

A God who always was, and is, and evermore will be.

The Eternal One.

A God of unlimited wisdom

Unlimited knowledge

Unlimited creativity

Unlimited love.

A God who wants to let you experience His life

To replace your limits with His unlimited resources

To fill you with a new Hope

Without fear

Without limits.

But, you have to give up your weak “control”

Give yourself to the One who made you

Who knows you

Who loves you

Who has a reason for you to live

Who will plant in you a seed of Joy

That will grow

And shine

In a world of darkness.

You can be a light.

You only have to be willing to see.

You need to want to find.

Don’t be afraid.

If you look for Him

You will find Him.

And find Life that you never knew before.