Sunday, January 14, 2018

THE DIFFERENCE ONE LIFE CAN MAKE

            What difference can one life make? John Howland was one of 100 people who made it to the New World on the Mayflower, arriving in November, 1620. But Howland almost didn’t make it. An indentured servant, he was working topside when a swell pitched the ship and Howland fell overboard. He managed to grab a line dragging in the water and barely made it to safety.
            After surviving the winter that killed half the Mayflower passengers including John Carver to whom he was indentured, John Howland married Carver’s ward, Elizabeth Tilley. They were blessed with 10 children and 77 grandchildren.
            Today their descendants number over one million and include such individuals as poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, painter Amy Otis, actors Anthony Perkins, Maude Adams and Humphrey Bogart, and two presidents, George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush.
            What if John Howland had drowned instead of being rescued? Or if he and his future wife hadn’t survived that first winter? Truly, one life can make a very big difference for the future of a people.
            We can also say the same of Jesus. What if He hadn’t risen again, or what if He hadn’t lived at all? What then would be the state of the entire world? But God in His mercy planned that Jesus would be born as a human being and would be the source of blessing for people of all time.
            When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might be adopted as His children.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

One Person can change the course of the whole human race.


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Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com

Monday, January 8, 2018

THE RIGHT PRESCRIPTION

        Like many others, I spent time in the pharmacy line to make sure I have my pillbox refilled. Certain meds are for taking in the morning and others in the evening. About half are prescriptions with names I can’t pronounce and the others are over-the-counter items. All are expensive, so I’m thankful for insurance. 
        I used to think my wife took too many pills, but now I have surpassed her. Regardless of any inconvenience, I appreciate them because they keep heart and other organs working well. Each medication has its purpose and each has its own effect, and I’m amazed they don’t work against each other more often. 
        A pharmacist told me some meds “fight” each other, so he spent the last ten years of his career developing a company to help people, especially the elderly, make sure their meds cooperate and won’t cause harm or cancel out the effects of others.
        Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just to take one pill that fixed everything? No more forgetting to take several kinds or trying to find the best price or being shocked at the cash register. How nice it would be to have just one prescription.
        But perhaps Christians have it already. God has blessed us so that sinful human beings have but one solution - Jesus our Lord - to fix everything. His sacrifice on the cross covers all our sins, from the least to the worst, and best of all, Jesus paid the full price for our sins. 
        Eternal life with God costs us nothing. “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) That’s God’s promise, and God always keeps His promises. 

We may have many problems, but need just one solution, Jesus.

Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com

Monday, January 1, 2018

LIVING EACH MOMENT

      Happy New Year! Are you grateful for anything special on this New Year’s day? I am grateful to be able to live another day in another new year. May your new year be filled with wonderful blessings as God continues to allow us to live in our amazing world.
The longer we live the more it seems time goes by more quickly, and that is actually true. Albert Einstein discovered time goes by more quickly if we are at a higher altitude above the earth. Other scientists proved his theory true. Using the most accurate atomic clocks known, they showed that clocks run faster if they are raised up by just 12 inches.
Living in a basement, then, would help us live longer, at least in theory. But anyone thinking a lifetime in a basement is the secret to longevity will be disappointed. Living our entire life there would add just a quarter second to an 80 year life span. That’s about the time of a tiny sneeze.
Better, then, that we should live upstairs, enjoying life and all the blessings God brings us in the sunshine. May your new year be filled with sunshine as you live in “the year of the Lord’s favor” (Isaiah 61:2). May you find peace and joy each moment of your day with Jesus, your Lord and Savior.


Thank You, Jesus, for all the blessings You’ve given us.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

CHRISTMAS IN MOZAMBIQUE

Missionary Allen Konrad and his wife served in Africa, and we’ve corresponded for 40 years. Mary Lu sent us a Christmas letter from Missionary Carolos Winterle of Mozambique:

NO CHRISTMAS TREE IN MOZAMBIQUE
Fir trees don’t grow here, so a tree is not traditional.
There are no lights in houses or shops because most villages don’t have electricity.
No sweets or cookies are on the tables. Most families don’t even have tables in their straw huts.
There are no gifts for children because there is no money to buy them.
There’s no big Christmas meal, A plate of rice might there, but probably food made of white corn flower.
No Santa Claus. “Father Christmas? What’s that?”
No last minute gift shopping at the Mall because there are no Malls, and their needs are mostly food.

BUT THERE’S STILL CHRISTMAS THERE!
Christmas songs are sung with joy when Christians gather to celebrate the coming of Jesus, the Savior.
Christmas prayers express thanks because Jesus the Light shines on those who were formerly in darkness.
Christmas is full of hope when the Nativity Gospel is read and promises of God’s love are heard again.
Christmas is full of love when family comes together after worship to share pot of rice and maybe some meat.
Christmas is centered on Christ, not traditions. Those are good, but the Gospel of God’s love is more important.

“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)


Thanks, Jesus, that You came to be Savior to us all.

Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com

Sunday, December 17, 2017

LET US PRAISE GOD FOR JESUS!

(From the author's next Daily Devotional, EVERY DAY WITH JESUS
due to be published sometime in 2018.)
        Perhaps you can remember your children playing T-Ball games when they were small. Maybe you even played a game or two yourself. Whoever dreamed up that game was brilliant. Every kid gets a chance at the fun and joy of playing the game.
        In T-Ball, a baseball is placed on a rubber tee about waist high for five- and six year-olds. When the batter is “up” he or she swings the light bat until the ball is hit, and then takes off running around the bases. 
        In a T-Ball game years ago, a little boy hit the ball surprisingly far to the outfield. Even more surprisingly, every player on the field from every position ran out to get the ball! When one of them reached it, there was no one left to throw the ball to – they were all in the outfield! But they all stood together, cheering and jumping up and down that they’d found the ball and could watch the runner rounding the bases.
        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Christians could have such exuberance together, giving praise to God for Jesus in their worship? Most worship services are quite reserved with those present following whatever comes next in the order of service. At this time of year, however, we are coming to a time of special services when people sing loudly the many verses of their beloved Christmas hymns. 
        How great it would be if we could keep the joy of the season for several months instead of just a week or two. Wouldn’t it be great if the joy of Jesus kept showing itself week after week? During a sermon I preached many years ago, a man said out loud, “Hallelujah! Yes, praise our Lord!” After the service he told me that’s what they say often during worship in his church over in Africa. It was a true expression of his joy! 
        Psalm 100:1 tell us, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord!” I invite all who read this to express your joy in the Christmas and New Year’s season and carry it with you into the weeks and months of the new year. Christ our Savior was born, and now He awaits us to come to Him in heaven!

May we never lose such joy in praise of God for Jesus!


Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com

Monday, December 11, 2017

TELLING THE TRUTH

        I was sitting on a bench in a shopping center waiting for my wife when the divine scent of baking wafted my way. Freshly baked cinnamon pretzels were coming out of the oven not twenty feet from where I sat. I quickly bought a small sackful, despite their caloric content. Fresh cinnamon sugar bread beats healthy food every time.
        The pretzel shop even showed some Biblical knowledge. One of their posters said, “The Sinful Taste of Cinnamon” and by a picture of a pretzel were the words, “The Original Sin.” These guys were good! A line on their paper bag said, “Moderation has a time and place. This isn’t it!” Truth in advertising - how about that!
        In a world that seems to live on shaded truth, it’s a breath of fresh air to see some honesty. Like the sign held by a smiling young man on the street corner that said, “Why Lie? Out of Beer. Donate Here!” I gave the guy a buck just for his honesty.
        Jesus could understand and forgive sin of all kinds, but He soundly condemned the hypocrisy of hiding lies behind selfish deceit. Those who did that best were usually religious “experts” of His day. Matthew 23:13 shows this: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces.”
        Honesty and truthfulness are needed for a culture to remain whole and strong. Lies and deceit are poisonous to everyone, even the perpetrator. Jesus said lying was Satan’s tool, and it seems to me the old Devil sure has a lot of help these days, especially in Washington, DC.
        To be honest, I need to stop driving around shopping centers before Christmas. After enjoying our cinnamon snacks, Carol and I got turned around and ended up on the wrong side of the parking lot. I finally found our car, picked her up and went home, but only after some badly needed exercise walking.

Shopping has a time and place, but this isn’t it!


Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com