Posts by Bob Lepine (Page 5)

Posts by Bob Lepine (Page 5)

March 7, 2019

Dear Friends, It’s become common in recent years for people to find an alternate way to describe themselves as Christians. It’s because calling yourself a Christian in our day doesn’t fully communicate what it is we’re trying to say. A lot of people who describe themselves as a Christian are saying they grew up going to a Protestant or a Roman Catholic church. What they’re saying when they call themselves a Christian, most often, is that they believe there is…

February 28, 2019

Dear Friends, From as early as I can remember, I loved pop music.  I started taking ukulele lessons at age eight because my hand wasn’t big enough for a guitar.  I spent most of the 1960’s with a transistor radio next to my ear.  Think about teens and smart phones in our day and you have some idea of what my portable radio was to me. Most of the songs we were listening to in the early ‘60’s were songs about girlfriends…

February 21, 2019

Dear Friends, In the winter of 1679, the colonial settlements in New England were facing difficult days.  This was almost six decades after the Pilgrims had landed on what would become the Massachusetts coastline and had established the Plymouth Colony.  The American Revolution was 100 years into the future.  That winter, the settlers were facing outbreaks of disease and significant crop failures.  And they found themselves wondering aloud if the hardships they were experiencing were a result of Divine judgment (This was…

February 14, 2019

Dear Friends, First things first. Please pray tonight for Tom and Nancy Arnold. Tom went to the hospital today with chest pains. The doctors have found significant blockage in his heart and have scheduled him for open heart surgery this week. Please pray for Tom. And for Nancy. And whole family. Right now, they are requesting no visitors and asking that any communication be funneled through Zoe and Grant. You pray. We’ll keep you posted. I reached out to them…

February 7, 2019

Dear Friends, First things first. Please pray tonight for Tom and Nancy Arnold. Tom went to the hospital today with chest pains. The doctors have found significant blockage in his heart and have scheduled him for open heart surgery this week. Please pray for Tom. And for Nancy. And whole family. Right now, they are requesting no visitors and asking that any communication be funneled through Zoe and Grant. You pray. We’ll keep you posted. I reached out to them…

January 31, 2019

Dear Friends, We’re going to make this really easy this week. I have something I want you to practice saying out loud. At least three times. Maybe 10 times. Ready? Here we go. No. Did you say it? Out loud? How many times? Did you flinch when you said it? I received some great counsel last week on saying no. It came from John Majors and a blog post he wrote at the site where he and Julie both write…

January 24, 2019

Dear Friends, Sports teams have mascots.  Three thousand years ago, nations had mascots too.  They called them gods.  And each nation had a partisan loyalty to their particular deity. The Canaanites had Baal and Asherah.  The Philistines had Dagon, the fish god.  The Babylonians had Marduk, while the Ammonites worshipped Molech.  The Israelites had Yahweh.  And when their neighbors would ask “what is your god the god of?” they would respond with the bold declaration that their God is the One who made…

January 17, 2019

Dear Friends, Have you ever stopped to think about the opening line to the best selling book of all time? “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” We’re so familiar with the words that we can easily forget all that is wrapped up in that statement. The first thing we read in the Bible about God is that He created everything that is. Everything from rocks to raccoons. From trees to tarantulas. Hydrangeas, hippos and humans. Everything…

January 10, 2019

Dear Friends, 2019 is more than a week old.  That means you’ve had plenty of opportunity to fail at some of the resolutions you made not that long ago. The impulse we feel for making resolutions is often a good impulse.  It’s a desire for some kind of personal improvement.  There are habits we want to break.  Or character qualities we want to cultivate.  New disciplines.  There are things we know we need to put off.  And things we know we need to…

January 3, 2019

Dear Friends, Tim Keller (or more likely, someone who manages social media for Tim Keller) posted a prayer on Twitter this week that brought to mind a pretty basic truth about the issues and challenges we face in life.  Here’s the prayer: Lord, I worry because I forget your wisdom. I resent because I forget your mercy. I covet because I forget your beauty. I sin because I forget your holiness. I fear because I forget your sovereignty. You always remember me. Help me to remember you. Amen. Let me chew…

December 27, 2018

Dear Friends, It’s the season of making resolutions.  A season of pausing, looking back and giving thanks for any spiritual progress we have made in the past 12 months.  A season for looking forward and asking God to show us how we can most effectively serve Him and advance the work of His kingdom in the next 12 months.  This can be a season of melancholy for some, especially if the past year has been marked by more setbacks than victories.  We’re…

December 19, 2018

Dear Friends, Last Christmas, in the waning days of Advent, as we waited to celebrate the birth of the Holy Child, these two little ones arrived much earlier than expected: As a church, we prayed and hoped and wept together, asking God to protect the lives of these two.  And now, almost a year later, Violet and Beckett’s mom is reflecting on the past 12 months.  She asked if I would pass this note on to everyone. Hello RCC family,I talked Bob…

December 13, 2018

Dear Friends, Last week I had a chance to speak to a group of remarkable young people and their families. I was in San Antonio for the final day of competition between participants in the National Bible Bee. I spent most of the day listening to teens and pre teens reciting large chunks of scripture, word perfect. At the end of the day, I watched as a young woman received an award of $50,000 and an additional $60,000 college scholarship…

December 6, 2018

Dear Friends, I know Christmas isn’t here yet. But I’m already starting to think about 2019. And I’m thinking about 200 short conversations I want each one of us to have in the new year. That’s about four short conversations every week. Four weekly conversations I’ll be prodding you to have with your children or with your spouse or with a good friend. 200 short conversations that I believe can radically impact every aspect of your life in the coming…

November 29, 2018

Dear Friends, None of us deserves God’s favor. The very definition of grace is that it is undeserved and unearned. I hope that’s not a new idea for you. Our understanding of God’s grace is foundational to our understanding of the gospel, the central message of our faith. But let’s be honest. Somewhere, over and over again in the back of our minds, there is a tape playing that tells us “you really do deserve God’s favor more than most.”…

November 22, 2918

Dear Friends, The annual day we have set aside to pause and purposefully give thanks for the many blessings we experience is upon us.  Mary Ann shared with me a video from a church in North Carolina that you may have seen already.  It’s a great reminder of how easily we take our daily blessings for granted.  You can click here to watch.  Sometimes the day of thanksgiving can become, shall we say, “less than festive” when dinner table discussions turn to current events…

November 15, 2018

Dear Friends, Our study of Esther this fall has had us exploring the question of what it looks like to live lives of faithfulness to God in a pagan culture.  I think you’d agree that the subject is relevant in our day. A few weeks ago, I referenced what I think is a key New Testament text on this subject.  It’s from the Apostle Peter, who told believers in his day (and in our day as well) to “abstain from the passions…

November 8, 2018

Dear Friends, “But some doubted.” That phrase jumped out at me this week as I heard someone reading the familiar “Great Commission” verses from the end of Matthew’s gospel. Usually, people will start reading at vs. 19, where Jesus declares to His disciples that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (a comforting reminder on the day after an election). But on this occasion, we backed up and read the verses that set up Jesus’…

November 1, 2018

Dear Friends, Most people today who are visiting a local church come with a consumer mindset or orientation. They make decisions about where to worship based on the amenities and the services offered. Is the nursery well staffed and clean? Check. Do they have a good youth group? Check. How’s the worship team? Check. Is the preacher a good speaker? Check. Do I like the color of the carpet in the sanctuary? Check, check, check. Years ago a former pastor…

October 25, 2018

Dear Friends, Eugene Peterson’s father was a butcher. He had a shop right off of Main Street in Kalispell Montana, just a few blocks from where the family lived. Eugene used to accompany his father to the shop, and as he tells in his book The Pastor, he learned much about ministry by watching how his father cared for his parishioners. They never congregated for corporate worship, but the local butcher shop was a part of the Kalispell community. “I…