Monday, June 18, 2018

CARING FATHERS


(From my newest devotional, Every Day With Jesus, November 19)
        In 1975, Mom and Dad sold the farm they’d owned for 40 years and moved into town. They bought a snug two story house near church and lived there 15 years before moving into the nursing home. Their marriage was a model of caring for each other. 
        The picture of them I carry in my mind is this: When it was time for bed, Mom would start up the stairs and Dad would walk right behind her, his arms spread wide as his hands held both handrails in case she should stumble or lean back too far. He’d had both railings installed to support her as she went up. Coming down, he would often walk slowly in front of her. 
        It reminds me of Solomon’s advice for us: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. If one falls, the other will lift him up. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
        God seeks our good by giving us parents, friends and neighbors who can help. After creation, all was good for people except being alone. Thus He said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper for him.” (Genesis 2:18) 
        Fathers are God’s protective arms and hands for us as we go through life. God reaffirmed this when He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrew 13:5) Jesus was with His disciples in ministry but He was alone suffering for us on the Cross. He promises we will never need to be alone again. 

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for always being with us.

Monday, June 11, 2018

'EVERY DAY WITH JESUS" now in print

Dear Friends,
        I am pleased to announce that Every Day With Jesus, my next - and final - daily devotional, is now in print. As the cover states on the back:
        “This devotional gives you hope and direction for each day. It is the next edition with Rev. Tasler’s other devotionals: Daily Walk With Jesus, Daily Word From Jesus, and Day By Day With Jesus.
        "As a pastor in the Lutheran Church for 47 years, Rev. Tasler combines the skills of practical scripture application with true life stories that will assist the reader in dealing with all kinds of life situations.
        "These devotions will show you how God is faithful to His Word and promises. When you trust His Son Jesus, you will find strength, hope and peace amid life’s struggles. Seeing God’s love and mercy, you will find strength for Every Day With Jesus."

       PRINT EDITION: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544619995/.  $14. KINDLE: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DLJNYRN/.  $4.99, DIRECT FROM THE AUTHOR: http://bobtasler.com/every-day-with-jesus/, 1-4 copies $13 each, 5-9 copies $11, 10 or more copies $10, all postage paid.
        If you order from me, books should come 7-10 days. If you have questions, contact me at pbt45@ecentral.com. All my books are at www.bobtasler.com. Next week I will return with my regular WEEKLY MESSAGE.
God bless you all,
Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, June 4, 2018

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE


How much should we plan for the future? That question must weight heavily on the mind of our nation if one pays attention to the media. Countless articles and ads warn us to have enough money for that future big event most of us will face – retirement. It’s almost as if the only reason we’re living now is to make sure we can live well in the future.
If planning for the future is the main reason for living, are we not missing the point of life? God has put us here to enjoy our time on earth and be good stewards of His gifts. He seeks our welfare by faith in Him. Faith gives us peace now and a bright hope for the future.
A man came to Jesus asking Him to judge a disputed inheritance. Jesus not only refused his request, he warned him not to make his possessions the point of life. He said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist of an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
We are to use what God has given us wisely, including time to plan for our future. But if preparing for the future overwhelms the present, we’re being foolish. Like the farmer who worked his children so hard that they didn’t graduate from school. “I’m doing all this for their future,” he said, assuming their future happiness depended on what they could earn, not what they could learn.

Lord, help us use what you’ve given us wisely.


Monday, May 28, 2018

MAKING CHOICES


To live requires making choices. Every day we must choose what to wear, where to go, what to say, what to do, how to act and whom to trust. The biggest choice we face each day is in our relationship with God. Will we trust Him and follow His ways, or only our own?
During their lives, both Stephen Hawking and Clive Staples Lewis had the same choice we all have: Will I believe in God or deny He exists? Both Hawking and Lewis were born into Christian homes, and both rejected the notion of God in their youth. Hawking maintained his lifelong rejection of God, but Lewis did not.
Reading the Bible, Lewis realized Jesus could have been only one of three things: A Liar, a Lunatic, or the Lord. He said, You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon. Or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.”
Lewis chose to believe Jesus was Lord. A blessing we all have from God is His personal encouragement to trust, given us by the Holy Spirit. Through Word and Sacrament, the Holy Spirit urges us to avoid rejecting Jesus and go His way through life choosing Him.
May we say as Peter boldly did when asked by Jesus what he believed, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)

Lord, I want to believe. Help when I am not sure.

Monday, May 21, 2018

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE (pt. 3 of 3)


        There’s third thing to consider about loving unconditionally. What if you feel you can’t do it? 
        What if you’ve been tested to your limits to show love and feel you’ve failed? What if you just can’t visit that Nursing Home another time? What if you’ve run away from that loved one? What if you’re too angry at God for giving you a love burden so big to bear? 
        Sometimes the straying spouse does the unforgivable. Sometimes the rebellious teen goes too far. Sometimes the addict disappoints you too much. Sometimes you just don’t have it in your heart to give another chance. Sometimes you feel you’re the failure. What then?
        Just remember that you’re not facing this alone. God will help you. Remember this verse? “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to all. God is faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide you the way to escape it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
        Now change some words: “No problem has overtaken you that is not common to all. God is faithful and He will not let that problem go beyond your ability, but with the problem He will also provide you a way to bear it.”
        Lots of people have felt some task is too big to bear. God promises to give us strength to bear it or ways to deal with it. He stands behind His promises! He love us, and He forgives!

Jesus, help us bear our burdens with Your strength.

Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com

Monday, May 14, 2018

“UNCONDITIONAL LOVE” (pt. 2 of 3)


        There is more to say about unconditional love. While actually having this love is very difficult, it is not impossible. 
        Consider the husband whose comatose wife lies unresponsive in her bed. While a stroke has rendered her helpless in mind and body, he has now become her mind and body. Daily he cares for her needs and makes all her decisions. 
        Or the wife whose barely responsive husband is in the nursing home, yet she comes every day to feed him, help clothe him and give him words of love and encouragement. 
         Or the parents whose child is born without a full brain and yet they watch over that child’s every need, medically and personally, as if the child understands, although it cannot. We’ve all known of such people and perhaps have been part of the life of one who will never be able to live independently of us.
        The Bible says, “In this is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us and gave His Son as the means of our forgiveness.” (1 John 4:10) This is the source of any human capacity to show unconditional love. God loved us and gave us the powerful gift to love others. 
        The apostle continued in his letter, “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) Is not His love the source of any unconditional love? God showed us the way, and His Holy Spirit gives us the power. He will not fail us.

Lord, help us love unconditionally, as You love us.

Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com
(Next week - “UNCONDITIONAL LOVE” (pt. 3 of 3)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE (pt. 1 of 3)


        We hear a lot about “unconditional love” these days, but I’m not sure most people realize what that term means. “Unconditional love” means loving or having affection for a person without any limits or conditions. 
          An example might be a parent’s love for a child. No matter if the child’s test score is disappointing, his decision is disagreeable, her argument is irrational, or his strong belief is dangerous, the amount of love from the parent is unchanging and thus unconditional.
        Have you ever tried to love someone this way? Is there someone to whom you are so devoted? Is it not possible that our loved one can still do or say something that breaks the unconditional nature of our love? 
        Of course there is. Trust is not infinite. Human disappointment is not without limits. Only God in His divine and infinite power can have true unconditional love for a sinful human being. Only He can withstand the sadness and disappointment that can arise in a relationship.
        Consider Jesus’ love: “He was wounded for our sins, He was bruised for our evil deeds. He endured the penalties we deserved, and with His punishment we are healed. We all like sheep have gone our own way, but God has placed on Him the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5) 
        People will have their limits on love, but God doesn’t. He cares for us, no matter what.

Lord Jesus, how can You love us sinful people? Thank You!

Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com
(Next week - “UNCONDITIONAL LOVE” (pt. 2 of 3)