Weekly Updates

Weekly Updates

Each week, our teaching pastor Bob Lepine offers his thoughts and perspective on how we live for Jesus in our world. In addition, the blog has updates on upcoming activities at Redeemer. You can receive the weekly blog as an email. Send us your email address to subscribe.

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…

December 30, 2020

Dear Friends, When His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, Jesus responded with a model prayer that I find myself coming back to again and again in my own prayer life.  I memorized Matthew 6:9-13 long before I was converted.  It was part of the faith tradition in which I was raised.  I’m glad it was.  If you’ve never memorized what we call The Lord’s Prayer, make that your first resolution for 2021.  And if your kids…

December 23, 2020

Dear Friends, You can’t see them smiling under their masks, but you should know you made Christmas a little brighter this year for a lot of happy kids at David O’ Dodd Elementary School.  HAPPY KIDS!  Here’s a thank you to all of you from the kids!  Let me add a “thank you” from me as well.  I am so grateful for your generosity and your willingness to bless these neighborhood kids at Christmas! Speaking of Christmas, here’s how we…

December 16, 2020

Dear Friends, Let me show you what you did today.  You made a lot of kids smile and planted a lot of gospel seeds in young hearts. And together, we made a statement to a lot of moms and dads, a lot of teachers and staff at David O’ Dodd Elementary School. It began this week with a shopping adventure.  When you’re making plans to bless 170+ kids, you have to be strategic about when and where and how you shop. Next came the…

December 9, 2020

Dear Friends, We have a fig tree in our back yard.  It’s huge.  It has taken over the northwest corner of our lot, with a variety of twisty branches that offer essentially no canopy except for the very young person.  Meanwhile, the root structure for the tree protrudes from the ground, extending in all directions from the trunk of the tree. Our fig tree was not always as big as it is now.  I’m afraid it’s my fault the tree has grown…

December 2, 2020

Dear Friends, Do you think the Bible identifies any particular sin as the worst of all possible sins? While you ponder that, a quick review here: When we talk about sin, we’re talking about more than bad habits or moral lapses.  Sin, the Westminster Divines said, is “any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.”  In other words, sin is when we don’t do what God requires of us, or when we do what God forbids.  The Anglican Book…

November 25, 2020

Dear Friends, I know what the Bible says about giving thanks in all things.  But doesn’t it feel like we should get a pass on giving thanks in 2020?  Most of us can more easily come up with a lament list this Thanksgiving than we can a gratitude list.    A few reminders about the familiar command to “give thanks in all things” found in 1 Thessalonians 5. First, you know there was asterisk in the original text.  You know the…

November 18, 2020

Dear Friends, Everyone is looking for shalom.  And we’re looking to be markarios.  The problem is, we’re all ptochos.  And it’s only when we recognize that we’re ptochos that we can begin our journey toward shalom and markarios. I know I’m mixing my languages here (and maybe even butchering a word or two), but hang with me.  Shalom is the Hebrew word that we often translate peace.  But its meaning goes deeper than our English word typically does.  It is derived from a…

November 4, 2020

Dear Friends, If you don’t have election fatigue by know, you have more stamina that I do! You may have heard of author Mitch Albom.  His book Tuesdays With Morrie made him a best selling author.  He has gone on to write more than a half dozen other books, with combined sales of 39 million copies.  Mitch lives in Detroit and continues to write a regular column for the local newspaper, the Detroit Free Press. I’ve decided to turn over the newsletter this week to…

October 28, 2020

Dear Friends, It may be a week from now.  Or it may take a little longer.  But we are about to have a nation full of sad, disappointed, angry, frightened people.  No matter who is eventually declared the winner of next week’s presidential election, many of our family members or neighbors or co-workers or – well, maybe even some of us – are going grieve over the results. Have you thought about that?  Have you prepared yourself for a result that you…

October 21, 2020

Dear Friends, I remember being struck by the lyric the first time I heard the song.  It was at event that featured modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty, and they were performing a new song they had co-written with Graham Kendrick.  The song began with the clear declaration that “my worth is not in what I own.”  But it was the final verse that captured my attention immediately: Two wonders here that I confessMy worth and my unworthinessMy value fixed –…

October 14, 2020

Dear Friends, There are two words in the book of Ephesians that people often cite as the most important, most significant two words in that letter.  Maybe even in all of scripture. Ephesians 2 begins with a description of our spiritual condition before we come to know Jesus.  It’s not a flattering picture.  “You were dead,” Paul writes. Dead.  Completely unresponsive to God.  “You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world,…

October 7, 2020

Dear Friends, If you’re a podcast listener, I have a recommendation for you.  Jim Davis, who spoke at our Redeemer men’s retreat a while back has a podcast he’s produced with a fellow pastor in Orlando called As In Heaven.  Season Two is about race and racism.  And the first episode in Season 2 is an interview with someone I respect as a pastor and thinker – Dr. Crawford Loritts.  I found the conversation helpful and clarifying.  You can listen or download…