Posts by Bob Lepine (Page 2)

Posts by Bob Lepine (Page 2)

May 26, 2021

Dear Friends, With the Memorial Day weekend ahead, I’ve been thinking tonight about where I was on my birthday ten years ago.  I had the opportunity to spend the morning that day with a video crew observing and talking to men who are part of the Old Guard – soldiers who are stationed at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.  I’ve shared the video with you before, but it’s worth watching again.  I was struck as I talked with these men about…

May 19, 2021

Dear Friends, Two things this week. First, masks. As I said on Sunday, our plan is to transition this week to a “mask optional” for our Sunday morning worship service.  Most of you know, the Centers For Disease Control has issued new guidelines, saying that people who have been fully vaccinated can go without masks in most settings.  Those who have not been vaccinated should continue to wear a mask to protect themselves.  Here in Arkansas, State Epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said that she…

May 12, 2012

Dear Friends, One of my all time favorite online videos is this classic from Youth Pastor Mark.  If you’ve never watched it, it’s worth the click. I thought about the fictional “Pastor Mark” and his perpetual enthusiasm when I met Vince Parker.  Vince was my tour guide a few years ago when I had a chance to tour the Hobby Lobby headquarters in Oklahoma City.  Vince was in his early 40’s, and you could tell he loved his job.  He radiated…

May 5, 2021

Dear Friends, I have a confession to make.  It’s going to surprise some of you.  But it’s time to come clean. Ready?  Here goes. I am a liberal. Some of you just shook your head and said “I knew he was hiding something!  I knew he couldn’t be trusted!” Hang with me here. The word liberal has a range of meanings.  The word can mean “generous.”  One of the dictionary definitions of the word is “lacking moral restraint.”  When I say I’m a liberal, I don’t…

April 28, 2021

View Post Dear Friends, In a doctor’s office waiting room this week, I found myself seated in one of the five available, socially distanced chairs available for us when a sixth person arrived.  She was a young woman, in her 30’s perhaps.  She checked in, and since there was no seat available for her, she went and stood by the door. I sat there for a minute doing the moral calculus.  Who gets the chair?  The younger woman or the newly inaugurated…

April 21, 2021

Dear Friends, Have you ever downloaded one of those apps that looks like it can do amazing things, only to find out that the free version of the app has limited functionality, and if you want all the features, you need to make an “in app purchase?”  Usually the free version of the app is little more than a test drive.  It’s good for a spin, but it’s just there to whet the appetite.  For many of us, being a part of…

April 14, 2021

Dear Friends, I did it when I was a kid.  No doubt your kids have done it too.  They watch us.  They imitate us.  Like the boy in this commercial for bottled water.  https://ispot.tv/a/7VOT Click above to see the commercial. The old adage that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” serves as a reminder that all of us, consciously or unconsciously, are observing others and modifying our own behavior based on what we see others we admire doing.  A whole…

April 7, 2021

Dear Friends, You’ve heard me quote Pastor Tim Keller many times over the years.  His book The Prodigal God is one of the Top 10 most influential books in my life.  When I’m studying a passage and preparing my sermons, I always ask “has Tim Keller ever preached on this passage?” (I have transcripts of all the sermons he preached between 1997 and 2011).  Thanks to him, I have a better understanding of the gospel today.  Tim was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer…

March 31, 2021

Dear Friends, The plot to arrest Jesus and have Him executed had been in the works for many months.  John the Apostle says that from the time Jesus healed the lame man on the Sabbath in John 5, “the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him” (John 5:18).  During the Feast of Booths in John 7, John again says “the Jews were seeking to kill Him” (John 7:1).  The only reason they failed to lay a hand on…

March 24, 2021

Dear Friends, The first time I saw this tee shirt, I said to myself “I need one of those.” I didn’t buy it.  And Mary Ann wants me to add that no one should buy it for me.  I have too many tee shirts as it is.  Some are 20 years old, but they’re still fine and they have sentimental value. The reason I like the tee shirt is because sadly, it captures the evangelical zeitgeist.  We talked Sunday about taking up…

March 17, 2021

Dear Friends, For me, it’s been a week.  Have you ever had one of those? A week when discouragement drains the energy out of you.  A week when you find yourself thinking “what’s the use.”  A week where you wonder if your labor is in vain. And then, when you pull back and take a look at what’s happening in our world, it’s hard to find much in this moment that sparks joy.  Or hope.  It’s easy for your shoulders…

March 10, 2021

Dear Friends, Are you ready?  It’s almost time. Thank you Johnny and Chachi! See you an hour earlier than usual this Sunday!  Don’t forget!  Easter has a way of sneaking up on us, doesn’t it. Unlike the Christmas season, don’t have all the cultural reminders that Easter is on the way.  There are no radio stations playing all Easter music, all the time.  There’s no mention of the coming holiday in TV ads.  Most of us haven’t done much to decorate the…

March 3, 2021

Dear Friends, True confession time.   I wrote this newsletter last Wednesday night.  I put it in the mailbox.  But I never pressed send (insert SMH emoji here). So here’s what I was thinking about last week.  I hope you don’t mind week old bread! I have no recollection of being taught anything about the French Revolution when I was in High School.  I don’t remember it ever coming up in my AP American History class my junior year of High…

February 17, 2021

Dear Friends, I was on the phone today with a friend whose mother is in hospice care.  We talked for a few minutes about both her physical and mental health.  In her 90’s, her mind remains sharp, my friend told me, while her body continues to weaken.  I asked about the condition of her soul.   My friend said that while his mom has been in church all her life and clearly professes her faith in Jesus, she has a hard…

February 11, 2021

Dear Friends, One of the people whose face would be on my personal spiritual Mt. Rushmore is Tim Keller.  His book The Prodigal God, which I read in 2008, was exactly the book I needed at that time in my life.  Thanks to the many things I’ve read and listened to from Dr. Keller, I understand, can apply and am liberated because of the deeper understanding of the gospel than I did for the first 25 years of my spiritual journey. As…

February 3, 2021

Dear Friends, Last week, I wrote about the sin of coveting.  About having what is described as “an immodest desire for something that doesn’t belong to you.”  As I said, coveting may not seem like a big deal to us, but that’s because we’re not thinking biblically about it.  Here are some of the reasons why God commands us not to covet. 1.  Coveting causes us to assign too much value to temporary things. Remember the parable in Luke 12 about the man who built…

January 27, 2021

Dear Friends, Does it surprise you that when God gave the Ten Commandments to Charlton Heston (you have to be of a certain age to get that), that along with commandments having no other gods before Him, not bowing to idols, and prohibitions against murder, theft, adultery and lying, He includes a commandment about coveting?  It’s the last commandment on the list.  Thou shalt not covet.  And compared to what’s come before, it may seem like God was running out of really…

January 20, 2021

Dear Friends, I sat this week with a friend whose marriage has hit an icy patch.  It’s skidding.  And he was frustrated. We talked about better communication and learning to resolve conflict more effectively.  But at some point, I said “you know what I think the core issue is, right?  If you want to see real, long term change in your marriage, you’ve got to address your relationship with God.” I thought back on our conversation later that day.  Had I been clear? …

January 13, 2021

Dear Friends, More than a decade ago, I spent a fascinating two hours talking to a World War II veteran named Ed Harrell.   That was the day I learned about the Japanese submarine that attacked and sank the USS Indianapolis in middle of the Pacific Ocean in July of 1945. More than 800 sailors died as a result of that attack.  Ed was one of the 316 men who survived, after spending four days drifting at sea. The conversation was…

January 6, 2021

Dear Friends, I wish I had a better idea of what to say today.  In this moment. Social media doesn’t help.  People who have been lobbing their 280 characters back and forth at each other for years now are tossing verbal hand grenades with renewed vigor.  Maybe it cathartic for them.  But hand grenades don’t bring healing.  Or hope.  That’s not what they’re designed to do. We are all weary.  Depleted.  No reserves left to absorb another body blow.  Between news of spiking virus…