Monday, September 18, 2017

IT IS HARD TO WAIT!

        I have always had a hard time waiting. Whether in my youth, my working years or now in my later years, I often struggle if I have to wait for something to happen.
        A recent minor waiting event occurred this summer after I filed an Amended Tax Return that promised a fairly large refund. I was told it would take time for the check to come, so I tried not to think of it. But still, every day when the mail came, I hoped and somewhat expected it would be there.
        Finally, four months after filing, the check came, but even though it’s in the bank, I still think of it when the mail comes. I will get over it, but it showed me that hope can linger even after the waiting is over. Waiting can make a mark upon a person, even if you are sure the hope will be fulfilled.
        But what about unknown fulfillment, when we don’t know if what we hope for will ever happen? How does a hostage deal with waiting when it’s unknown when or if release will come? How does a cancer patient deal with waiting when it’s unclear if remission will come?
        How does the young lover wait when it is unsure if Mr. Right or Miss Perfect will come into one’s life? How do Christians deal with waiting for Christ’s promised return when decades and centuries continue to pass after His promise to return?
        If there is a goal we trust will happen, the wait may be easier. But when there is no end in sight, the wait can drag us down and our hope can get chipped away until it is abandoned and forgotten.
        Then, as always, we must trust God for the result. The Psalms are filled with encouragement to wait with hope in God’s timing: “We wait in hope for the Lord.” (33:20), “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits.” (130:5), “Hope in the Lord and keep His way.”(37:34) “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (31:24), “Put your hope in the Lord.” (130:7).
        Mere hopefulness for a better future gives us little. Waiting in hope for the Lord (Ps. 33:20) gives us confidence, courage, and strength for each day, because we trust our almighty God will give us what He has promised.

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 49:3)

Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com

Monday, September 11, 2017

WHY REBUILD AFTER A DISASTER?

        Greg Hobbs, Denver columnist, asked in a Denver Post article, “Why do people rebuild after natural disasters?” Hurricanes destroy homes, wildfires burn businesses and floods ruin communities. But when you ask disaster survivors what they plan to do, nearly all will say, “We will rebuild again.” 
        Why? Knowing another hurricane will come to tear down, or a wildfire will burn a future home, or a flood will come again, why do people continue to build in such places? Dobbs asked asked a southern storm survivor who’d lost homes in three hurricanes, why he planned rebuild again. Instead of giving him reasons, the man asked, “Where are you from?” “Originally San Francisco,” Dobbs said. “Don’t they have earthquakes there?” “Yes, but I live in Colorado now,” Dobbs said. “Don’t y’all have wild fires in Colorado?” said the man. Yes, Dobbs told him, in 2012 and 2013 Colorado lost over a thousand homes to forest fires, and most of them rebuilt their homes again.
        Communities along the Mississippi are destroyed by floods, but they rebuild again. People from Oklahoma and Kansas see homes and towns torn apart by tornadoes, but they, too, rebuild. Colorado has had enormous hailstorms destroy homes, autos and buildings, but people still rebuild and drive cars there. Dobbs concluded his article, “If one doesn’t get you, another might.” 
        Why do we rebuild in those places again? My Dad once told me a humorous story that ended, “Everyone has to be somewhere.” So simple, yet so true. With seven billion people on our planet, everyone has to be somewhere, and there is no place without some danger. 
        I’ve got some bad news: Humans are responsible for all these disasters. Yup, it’s all our fault, but not for the reasons climate alarmists would have us believe. 
        The original perfection of our world has been messed up by sin. Genesis chapter three tells us God cursed the ground because of mankind’s rebellion. Because of our sin, individually and corporately, we people have pain and suffering, no matter where we live. Thorns and thistles, work and sweat, pain of childbirth and families, all will be the lot of mankind until we return to the dust from which we were taken. That’s the reason for the disasters, not plastic or coal or carbon dioxide.
        But there is good news. God has promised us not only forgiveness, but also a new heaven and a new earth in the future, where God’s dwelling place is among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
        Meanwhile, we live and rebuild and do our best to find joy in the life God has given us. The new heavens and new earth will come because of God’s goodness in Jesus Christ. He will one day give His followers a more perfect existence. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to that day with great hope! 

May God protect and defend all who face disaster, and bring them new life and hope!

Rev. Bob Tasler (www.bobtasler.com)

Monday, September 4, 2017

WHAT WILL BRING US TOGETHER

        While it was sad to see the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey these past days, the cooperation of so many people helping others, locally and from distant places, was truly heart-warming. The enormity of the task of helping those who’d been flooded by the raging storm was almost matched by the enormity of the numbers who stepped up and helped out, doing what needed to be done.
        After hearing of all the division in America, it was wonderful to see people cooperating. Even the noise of the few angry demonstrators was drowned out by the thousands of those transporting, feeding and helping people and their pets. The political rhetoric was more subdued for awhile and it was good to see a few elected officials taking part in rescue efforts.
        Now this week comes another storm called Hurricane Irma which is rapidly approaching our East Coast, coincidentally coming at the same time as Congress returns from its August recess. In a few days, will we be able to tell who is making more noise, nature or Capital Hill? Will our nation’s capital itself be smashed with a huge storm? And since it is where they live and work, will any of our politicians will help out or just take cover until the storm passes?
        What it would be like if all 535 members of Congress would by necessity be gathered together in one huge building to help rescue Irma’s storm victims? Imagine if Congressmen had to rescue each other! Would such help be accepted, or would a flooded Red hand slap away a helping Blue hand? Might the whole affair become an endless photo op for use in fundraising?
        We’ve asked over and over, “What will it take for our country to come together?” Folks, we have the answer. Storm and devastation will do it, if we will just not run from it. Even tragedy can do it. We can only hope and pray, however, that the misguided leaders of North Korea won’t decide to blow some place on earth to smithereens just to prove they can do it. That kind of tragedy would escalate into the unthinkable. “From such a thing, Good Lord, deliver us!”

“Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to Your holy name, and glory in Your praise.” (1 Chronicles 16:35)

Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com

Sunday, August 27, 2017

GETTING BETTER SLEEP

My new devotional - I've just published BLESSINGS FROM THE CRADLE, a short devotional for new parents of babies. See it at http://bobtasler.com/blessings-from-the-cradle/. It's available on Kindle as well.
                                   ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Last week one of my doctors recommended I get another sleep test. I would never have thought sleep would be a problem for me, and yet it is, or lack of it.  Studies show that one in fifteen Americans suffer from some kind sleep apnea. Many struggle with snoring, but most need help getting more oxygen so they will get more sleep and have better brain function.
        I thought my lack of sleep was from taking too many naps during the day or from a bad pillow or mattress. It was more. I have resisted the thought of needing a breathing apparatus on my face at night, so I have tried my best to avoid one. But it’s time to face the music. Some things take longer to sink in for me.
        My doctor states with a breathing appliance I’ll not only sleep better, but feel more rested and stronger in the morning. Exercise and eating better are on the list now, too. The fact is, at age seventy-two there are a number of things I need to do to make my body work better and maybe last longer. 
        It’s important to treat the body God has given us as well as we can. Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise You, O God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” I am so very thankful God has given me the life I’ve had in this body. 
        I’m not here to give you an “organ recital” of what’s wrong. We oldsters can be good at doing that. I just think it’s wonderful that no matter what problems you or I may have, there are doctors, nurses, procedures, medicines and health insurance to help us get better. 
        Most of all, there is our gracious God who hears our prayers and helps all those people and things keep us in better shape than if we didn’t have them.

Praise God for providing all that we enjoy in life!

Rev. Bob Tasler, 
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my website above - www.bobtasler.com/

Sunday, August 20, 2017

AMAZING SUN GAZING

      Weekly Message comes to you a day early because I don’t want to miss our part of the solar eclipse as it comes to the United States tomorrow. In Colorado we’re not in the middle of the path, so local newscasters tell us all roads north will be clogged as the 565,000 population of Wyoming may double for a day or two. It makes sense for most of us in Colorado to watch it on television like most of you will.
      A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes perfectly between the sun and earth so that its shadow blocks all the direct sunlight except its corona. The sun and moon must be in correct alignment, and the moon’s elliptical orbit must bring it to an exact distance from the earth. Without all these and other divinely ordained alignments, there could be no total eclipse.
      What we will look up and see Monday, whether all or in part, will not occur again here for decades. America has had many total eclipses, but not one so broadly stretching across our continent. Total eclipses like this one are really quite rare.
      As I see it in person or on television, I will be thinking of the psalmist who wrote, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens… When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” (Psalm 8:1, 3-4)
      God has made humans the highest of His creation, and if we are fortunate Monday’s event may even momentarily take our minds off national and international intrigue. At least for a day or so, journalists and politicians must relinquish their bully pulpits so the rest of us can look up and see something divinely ordained, three celestial orbs all in agreement. That alone should be proof of God’s divine handiwork.
      We humans work so very hard to master knowledge in our quest to make the amazing ordinary. Yes, mankind has advanced far, but this kind of event, designed by God and freely seen by so many millions, should tell us we still have a long way to go.
      But whatever we may know, God’s entering human history through Jesus is the event that defines everything else. In His Son Jesus, God offers us a look at His power, beauty and mercy. Most incredibly, He offers us place in His family for eternity. Nothing tops that.
      Given our knowledge and faith in Jesus by the Holy Spirit, even the most intelligent of us should stand in awe as we see this eclipse. We live on a delicately balanced world in its time and place in the universe. We are given a place by God where we are able to “live, move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) Because of that, we should join the Psalmist saying,
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!”
Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A KNOCK AT THE DOOR

        Ever hear a knock at your door and wonder who it is? We live in a quiet Cul de sac and one evening heard a loud knock on our door. It was a salesman wanting to know if we would be interested in his services. After his rapid exit, Carol asked if there was a better way to see who’s on the other side of our door. Our door viewer was old and blurry, so I installed a new one with a clearer, wider view of who’s on the other side.
        These days, we need to know more than ever who’s on the other side of our door, with shady characters, politicians, and the noise of nations that can unnerve us. We fervently pray the noises outside will not be the sound of war, and we trust God that the leaders of all nations will be led by wisdom and common sense. 
        When David was attacked by his son Absalom in a revolt, he pleaded in Psalm 3:7-8, Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May Your blessing be on Your people.” Quite a combination of fear and faith from a king!
        In our age of clever technology and ever-expanding knowledge, I find it amazing that we cannot have peace between nations. Use of nuclear arms can bring horrendous destruction to so many, so far away and so fast. We pray God will protect us, especially since we seem to have learned so little. 
        The reason for all this is, of course, mankind’s sinful condition. Sin gives us all a weakness in our souls that keep us selfishly fighting each other. We cannot blame the North Koreans or Islamic terrorists alone for our current situation. Our human condition propels us selfishly to want our own way and take risks trying to get it.
        In the midst of fighting a war against his own son, David showed his faith in God, “Let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.” (Psalm 5:11)
        To keep all humanity from total destruction, God gave us His only Son so that we may take refuge in Him and His sacrifice on the cross for us. Without Jesus, life would be hopeless. But with His mercy, we have strength for each day and hope for the future.

Like King David, may our leaders also be led by Almighty God!


Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com

Monday, August 7, 2017

DEALING WITH LEAKS

        We’ve recently heard much about government “leaks”, secrets being told for the purpose of revealing information we’d otherwise not know or care about. Leaks of this type wield power over others, because knowledge is power, especially if it is something someone doesn’t want known. Government leakers want the world to know what they know, so they wield their power. 
        There is another kind of leak, however, that is also irksome, and perhaps more dangerous. It’s the kind when water leaks out of a pipe and into a wall or room. If that leak is unknown, over time it can be far more damaging than one that is known. I’ve had leaks in the past and am dealing with one now. 
        The first leak came years ago when a water supply tube broke behind a toilet tank and sprayed a gallon or two onto the bathroom floor before I got the valve turned off. Damage was limited to a few ceiling tiles in the basement and a new supply tube. Another time a ceiling pipe sprung a leak and quietly dripped water into the basement over a period of weeks. Damage was extensive with ruined wallboard, carpet and worse of all, mold.
        A third leak I am dealing with now. With our recent hard rains, water has been dripping in over my office window. It had dripped in before, but I had ignored it. Now any hard rain results in water on my desk. Hopefully my fourth caulking yesterday has done the trick and we won’t have a wet desk again.
        Our sins resemble those water leaks. Some foolish things we do are easily seen and heard, but our secret sins are unknown until their damage becomes apparent. No matter what we think, sin will show itself, and we dare not forget that “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). No matter how successful we are in hiding, ignoring  or denying our sin, it will show itself and it will hurt us badly. 
        Thanks be to God that Paul didn’t stop with those six words from Romans! He continued, “But the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”  When we realize our sins and ask Christ for forgiveness, He will remove them. When we trust in Jesus, our sins will not become fatal. 
        I pray all the foolish and selfish government leaks will stop, and I further pray all those little quiet sins in my life will stop, also. I am grateful Jesus has forgiven them and I pray He will help me avoid them in the future.

I also pray my office leak stops, too.


Rev. Bob Tasler, wwwbobtasler.com