Monday, March 19, 2018


        Friends are wonderful gifts from God. What would we do without them? Our word, “friend” probably comes from “freond”, an ancient Indo-European word meaning “to love.” 
        Two weeks ago we visited friends we’d known for a decade who had moved to Tucson, and later that day we had lunch with other friends we’ve known like family for three decades. Last weekend we were visited by a couple I’ve known four decades. It’s truly wonderful to have friends who care for you!
         We all make many casual friends in life, but only a few become a true and close friend, one who will be with you when you need them no matter what comes, in times of joy or sadness. A true friend will talk with you but also listen. True friendship is marked by willingness to go to great lengths to help and support others when they are needed.
        1 Samuel 18-23 contains the story of David and Jonathan who were caring and loyal friends to each other, at times even going against family to help each other. When Jonathan was killed in battle, David wept over his death, for “he loved Jonathan as he loved his own soul.” (1 Samuel 20:17)
        Jesus loved His disciples the same way, and He was willing to give His life for them, even those who reject Him. Jesus loves all of us enough to forgive us and die in our place, so we can truly say, “What a friend we have in Jesus!” 

Help us, Jesus, to love others as You have loved us.

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, March 12, 2018


        It’s good that we pray for each other, no matter what the circumstances. This especially true when it involves teaching our children. 
        Last week Carol and I attended the Wednesday chapel service for Grandparents Day at Christ Lutheran School, Phoenix, where two of our grandchildren attend and our son and his wife are teachers. Chuck was leading the service with over 600 children and adults, something he does most Wednesdays. During the prayers, he included a petition for God’s protection on those in the northeast who were experiencing a second huge snowstorm that week. 
        How wonderful that children in sunny Arizona would pray for people in a Boston snowstorm! I am not sure Bostonians would pray for Arizonans during a drought or deadly dust storm, but I could be wrong. Jesus wants Christians to pray for each other in all things. 
        The apostle Paul tells us, “Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophesies, but test everything. Hold fast what is good, abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-22)
        Prayer is not merely an exercise in faith or “spiritual psychology,” as some call it. Prayer is calling on God’s great power through  petitions, adorations, confessions or thanksgivings, no matter when  they are offered or by whom. It is invoking the blessings of God through Jesus who has given us life now and salvation for eternal life. What power and privilege God has given us prayer!

Lord God, accept our humble prayers to You.

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Sunday, March 4, 2018


(Taken from Rev. Tasler's next Daily Devotional, Every Day With Jesus
due to be published later this year.)

      When Dr. Billy Graham died recently, he was buried in a casket made by three convicts. Inmates Liggett and Bowman were given life sentences for murder, and Krolowitz was serving thirty years for armed robbery.
        The Louisiana State Penitentiary where they were serving their time is nicknamed “Angola” since it was built on a slave plantation to which thousands of people were forcibly taken from Angola in Africa during the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
        Some years ago, newly appointed Warden Burl Cain watched as a casket holding the remains of a deceased prisoner broke apart during burial. He immediately instituted a program in the prison wood shop that good caskets be made for all inmates who died while there.
        When Billy Graham could not make his scheduled visit to Angola in 2005 due to poor health, son Franklin Graham and his sister Ruth came with the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. Hearing the Gospel, dozens of prisoners, and also Warden Cain, received Jesus as their Savior.
        Billy Graham then asked that his own casket be made there. And so it was that a handmade plywood casket made by convicts containing the body of one of the world’s great evangelists, lay in state in the U.S. Capital and later was buried in North Carolina at a service attended by over two thousand people.
        It was a fitting tribute to what the Gospel can do for sinners, because our Lord Jesus died on a cross between two convicts. And before He died, Jesus told one of them the precious news, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

Lord, thank You for forgiving us our sins and allowing us into heaven.

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, February 26, 2018


         Have you ever had a time when God seemed far away, a time when your faith felt so weak that you wondered if you still had any? Have you also had times when you were on a spiritual “high” and felt very close to God?
        Our Christian faith is not a static thing. It changes often, depending on events that come to us in life. Some times we may feel propelled to the heights, and other times feel robbed of the energy to make it through the next hour. 
        At such times remember that our faith does not depend on our feelings. Feelings can be fickle, whether about people, ourselves and even God. It is far better that we look to what is known in God’s Word, that God loves us and cares for us, no matter what happens or what we've done.
        After Moses died and Joshua had been given responsibility of leading the Israelites, God assured Joshua he would be up to the task. The Lord told him, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
        I have kept those words of promise in front of me during most of my pastoral ministry. Right now I see them every day at the top of my computer monitor. What God tells us in the Bible is true, so it doesn’t matter if we are having a good or bad day. God is with us, no matter where we are or what is happening. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Lord, help us trust that You are with us always.

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, February 19, 2018


        Human language is very important. It is the method by which we  communicate to each other the directions, concerns or emotions we have. We use some words often most days as we greet people saying “hello,” or “goodbye” as we leave them. 
        In most languages there are single words that can be used to mean more than one thing, depending on when and where it is used. For example, the Hebrew word “shalom” can be used when greeting as well as leaving someone. The same is true of the Hawaiian “aloha”, the Italian “ciao” or “ya’at’eeh” (yehtaHEY), a word the Navajo people often use both when greeting or leaving someone. 
        Most of us take for granted the words we use each day without realizing their root. “Goodbye”, for example, is a contraction from the Old English phrase, “God be with ye.” That phrase would be nice to hear coming or going, but we use it only when going.
        God has blessed us with languages. This is true because of the words that tell us of His love for us in Jesus. “This is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us and gave His Son as the means by which our sins are forgiven.” (1 John 4:10)  That’s a favorite verse of mine.
        Words may also hurt us, but we are blessed when we use them for good. Think of how you are blessed by words you say and hear today.

Lord, help us use words to build others up today.

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Sunday, February 11, 2018


        Valentine’s Day is a time to show love to special people in our lives. For those who take this task seriously, it can be frustrating if they can’t figure out how to show that love in an appropriate way. What is the best gift? What’s the best way to give it?
        As we all know, an entire industry has been created to move people to get something for that special someone. The ads usually speak of the “perfect” gift, the “best” gift, or even one spoke of the “supreme” gift to give on that day. Really heady stuff for the true romantic!
        This year Valentine’s Day happens to fall on Ash Wednesday, which is a great day to talk of love, that is, God’s love for us in sending Jesus to be our Savior. I told my wife I knew the absolute best gift, and she asked, “Okay, what is it?” I said, “Based on what Jesus said, I’d say it was to lay down my life for you!”
        Remember what Jesus said? “Greater love has no man than this, that someone lay his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) That truly does tell us of the supreme gift, and we can be ever so grateful that He gave us that gift. 
        But I was really glad when Carol said she didn’t want that gift from me, except maybe a day at a time. So, flowers and a little devotional book, DeepLove, by Lee and Leslie Parrott, will be her gift. We will read those devotionals to each other for awhile. A very good gift, indeed!

Thank You, Jesus, for giving us Your supreme gift.

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Sunday, February 4, 2018


    Galway is located in western Ireland on the northern side of a huge natural port that is very important to Ireland’s shipping. 
    St. Nicholas Church, in the center of the city, is the oldest church in Ireland. Its church tower not only shows the church’s presence, it also provides guidance to ships’ captains as they navigate their way safely into and out of Galway Bay. For centuries this church tower shown sailors the way out or the way home again.
    We all need points in our life that help us know if we are on the right course. Whether old or young, we always need God’s guiding hand to help us do the right thing. We also then need our Lord Jesus to forgive us when we fail to follow Him.
    Jesus told His disciples in the Upper Room, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:13)
    It’s an amazing gift from God, isn’t it, to know that in a world of confusion and fear we can always count on Jesus to show us the way? We can be easily blown off course as we listen to the world’s voices. But the Holy Spirit will guide us in the Divine way if we will let Him.
    Jesus gave us His Spirit to help us. We can pray to the Spirit to give us the guidance we need, today or any day. If we set our course by our Savior, the Holy Spirit will keep us on it

Dear Lord, help us follow You in all things.