Posts by Bob Lepine (Page 2)

Posts by Bob Lepine (Page 2)

December 22, 2021

Dear Friends, Who doesn’t long for peace on earth? The angelic announcement on the night Jesus was born was a declaration that the birth of the Messiah was connected to peace on earth.  Of course, 700 years before Jesus was born, God declared through the prophet Isaiah that child who would be born, the Son who would be given would be the Sar Shalom – the Prince of Peace. So what happened?  Where is the peace that the angels promised?  It’s here.  For all…

December 15, 2021

Dear Friends, The idea that God is our Father and that we are His adopted children not completely absent from the Old Testament.  But it’s rare.  God is only referred to as Father fourteen times in all of the Old Testament —and then rather impersonally.  In those fourteen occurrences, the term was always used with reference to God’s relationship with the nation of Israel, and not in regard to individuals.  God was spoken of as Israel’s Father, but Abraham never called…

December 8, 2021

Dear Friends, King David felt guilty.  As the reigning King of Israel, ruling in a time of peace, David lived in a royal palace.  He describes it as “a house of cedar.”  In 2005, archeologists discovered what they believe are the remains of the royal palace, southeast of the old city of Jerusalem.  But David looked at the luxury in which he lived and lamented the fact that while he lived in a house, the Ark of the Covenant was kept…

December 1, 2021

Dear Friends, We are all familiar with the first four New Testament books.  We call them The Gospels.  They earn that distinction because they reveal to us the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus.  Each of the four provides a different perspective on and insight into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  What He did for us by coming to us, living among us, dying in our place and defeating death and hell so that we could be reconciled…

November 24, 2021

Dear Friends, As you sit down this year for a Thanksgiving meal, hopefully with family and friends around the table, you might take a few minutes to talk together about this insight from G.K. Chesterton.  “When it comes to life,” he wrote, “the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” Maybe after the last year and a half, we are a little less likely to take things for granted.  Like being about to gather with…

NOVEMBER 17, 2021

Dear Friends, On Sunday, we spent time thinking together about Jesus’ instruction about how we counsel our hearts when we are troubled or anxious.  Along with trusting God’s promises and having an eternal perspective on life, Jesus tells us that we should find comfort in His promise that he will come again and receive us to Himself. The second coming of Jesus is a central theme in both the Old and New Testaments.  The ancient prophets talked often about the “day of…

November 10, 2021

Dear Friends, Observant Jews have for centuries prayed the Shema twice a day.  It’s this simple prayer found in Deuteronomy 6:  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:4-5). When the Pharisees asked Jesus to identify the greatest of all the commandments, he went straight to this prayer.  Love for God is the foundation of our faith. Scripture…

November 3, 2021

Dear Friends, The word “condemn” is an interesting word.  The dictionary offers a couple of definitions.  It can mean to “express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure.”  It can also mean “to sentence someone to a particular punishment, especially death.”  Or to “officially declare something or someone as unfit for use.” After her accusers left, Jesus asked the woman caught in adultery in John 8 “woman, where are they?   Has no one condemned you?”  With her accusers gone, she rightly realizes…

OCTOBER 27, 2021

Dear Friends, The Bible tells us that we should “be still.”  But just what does that look like? Taking a personal day, going on a hike, taking your Bible and spending a day in prayer?  Is that what it means to “be still?” Working to eliminate distractions, closing your eyes, meditating on a verse of scripture?  Is that “being still?” Finding some quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts?  Is that it? None of those things are bad things in and of…

October 20, 2021

Dear Friends, How much disagreement and difference can you take in a relationship before you’re out? I thought about that question this week as I read a piece from journalist and columnist Matt Labash.  Matt, in his typical forthright style, recounts how the events of the past year brought an end to a long term friendship. “When one old high-school buddy, a Trumpster to his core, wouldn’t stop sending me a steady stream of the-election-was-rigged conspiracy nonsense… I finally snapped by telling him…

October 13, 2021

Dear Friends, King David posed the question in Psalm 2.  “Why do the nations rage? James, the half brother of Jesus brought the issue closer to home.  “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?” We look at our contentious culture and wonder why we are so divided as a nation.  Why is there conflict in our world?  In Psalm 2, David says that the nations rage because the Kings of the earth set themselves against the Lord.  Why is the conflict in…

October 6, 2021

The word glory is one of those Bible words we use a lot without thinking much about. 

September 29, 2021

Dear Friends, Anyone who has ever tried to coordinate a family reunion knows what the biggest challenge is.  Trying to find a time that works on everyone’s calendar is the kind of logistical puzzle that only an experienced air traffic controller can handle.  In our family, we have five children, their five spouses and now ten grandchildren to account for.  We typically work 24 months in advance trying to lock down a date that works for all of us.  Even then,…

September 22, 2021

There is a difference between being tempted and entering into temptation.  It is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to enter into temptation.

September 15, 2021

Dear Friends, It’s embarrassing, really.  Abram, newly settled in the land God has shown him, and fresh off the experience of hearing God vow to him that he and his family will be blessed, finds himself facing famine in this new land of promise.  The story points out to us that the fact that God has promised to bless His children doesn’t mean we won’t face hardship along the way. So Abram and his wife Sarai sojourn to Egypt to survive.  But…

September 10, 2021

Dear Friends, Anthropologist Margaret Mead once observed that “everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being.” The author of the book Roots, Alex Haley said “nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.” And children’s book authors Charles and Ann Morse said “a child needs a grandparent, anybody’s grandparent, to grow a little more securely into an unfamiliar world.” The Bible is more specific.  A grandparent is to be thinking carefully about how…

September 1, 2021

Dear Friends, You’ve probably heard it said that there are two things we should not discuss in polite company – religion and politics.  If you google “things not to discuss in polite company,” you’ll see that many other topics have been added to that list, but those two remain at the top.  The reason is simple.  Politics and religion are divisive.  And being divisive is rarely a virtue (although it’s worth noting that the same Jesus who prayed for us to be…

August 25, 2021

Dear Friends, There are four commands in scripture relating to the Holy Spirit.  Two are positive. Two are negative.  Two things we are commanded to do, and two things we are never to do. One of the positive commands is for us to be filled with the Spirit.  In Ephesians 5, the Bible says we are not to be drunk with (controlled by or under the influence of) wine, but instead, we are to be filled with (or controlled by or under the…

August 18, 2021

Dear Friends, Those of us who grew up in a time when cartoons were only available for viewing on Saturday mornings or for maybe an hour or two after school also grew up in a time when an elementary school education included a healthy dose of patriotism.  Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance was a daily classroom ritual.  In music class, we learned to sing all the verses of America the Beautiful – including the verses about alabaster cities gleaming and heroes…

August 11, 2021

Dear Friends, Are you sick of reading about COVID?  If so, I apologize in advance.  You can skip to the second half of this portion of the newsletter for the latest church-related COVID info. I was all wrong when it came to predicting what was going to happen with COVID.  Like I missed it by a mile. I remember when I first heard about cases in a nursing home in Washington state.  The news media was sounding the alarm and (I thought) blowing…