Monday, October 29, 2007


On the day after the Colorado Rockies lost the World Series, there were a lot of sick hearts around. They had won so many games so amazingly, and we thought they would win it all or at least some. But they did not.

I've been thinking a lot today about expectations, those events or realities in life we long for and believe must come true. Dreams and expectations are powerful agents in our lives. But when expectations go unfulfilled or dreams are dashed, they can come equally damaging and painful.

There is a fine line between WANTING our expectations and NEEDING them to be true. It's the difference between a life of joyful trust or painful disappointment. Everyone has experienced the pain of broken expectations, but not everyone heals well from the sadness they create. If we believe expectations MUST come true, we are setting ourselves up for possible devastation. One of the painful effects of failed expectations is the loss of trust. If an important dream has been dashed, it can be difficult to trust others, ourselves or even trust God.

God calls us to place our trust in His promises, not in human deeds. Only His promises merit our complete and total trust. God gives us reason to trust Him. He promised a Savior who would grant eternal life to all who trust Him, and that Savior came to us in Jesus of Nazareth. He has promised we will never have more trouble than we can endure, and He has promised an eternity free of pain and sorrow to all who place their trust in Jesus. And God keeps His promises!

Proverbs 13:12 tells us, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Today, may each of you who are heartsick over anything, whether it seems great or small, realize God gives us what is needful, what lasts in life. It is all yours in Jesus your Savior.

May a godly and heartfelt dream come true for you very soon.

Monday, October 22, 2007


"Never borrow from the future" is another way of saying not to worry. But we do anyway, so we need to concentrate on what is truly important in life. Last night someone sent me a list of 35 such things; I am sending you the ten best.

1. PRAY EVERY DAY: Somehow, sometime, anywhere, talk to God.

2. KEEP IT SIMPLE: Don't be a baggage handler.

3. SEPARATE WORRY FROM CONCERN: Worry is concern without faith.

4. MAKE FRIENDS WITH GODLY PEOPLE: They will hold you up when you need it.

5. DEVELOP A FORGIVING ATTITUDE: The world has enough cranky people.

6. THANK GOD FOR ONE NEW THING EACH DAY: Thankfulness makes a happy heart.

7. LAUGH AT YOURSELF A LITTLE: But not at others, at least not out loud.

8. TALK LESS, LISTEN MORE: The world has enough meaningless words.

9. GET ENOUGH REST: You are important enough to do this.

10. TAKE LIFE ONE DAY AT A TIME: Tomorrow will come soon enough.

Now concentrate on just one each day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The Rockies have won the National League pennant! It's an exciting time to live in the Denver area, though also being Red Sox fans is making life at the Tasler home a little conflicted.

Few folks may know that the Colorado Rockies baseball team is perhaps the only team in pro sports to have a paid chaplain on staff. To have all the excitement of a baseball World Series contender, and then to note how some of the Rockies players simply thank God for the opportunity they have.... Well, it's a great time to live in Colorado!

Yesterday it was relief pitcher Matt Herges whose words of faith helped us understand why these Rockies seem to have their heads and their hearts in the right places. This is his witness below, from Tuesday's Rocky Mountain News.

"(Manager Clint) Hurdle called on veteran Matt Herges to replace Morales. Herges pitched two shutdown innings to earn the win that made his team champions of the National League for the first time.  (Herges), a journeyman who has pitched for every team in the NL West, is having perhaps his finest season. "Someone is showing mercy on me, let's put it that way," the veteran said after the Rocks won the Division Series (last night).

"There's favor that's thrown on me and I know it's from my Father in heaven. But I don't deserve it, I know that, and like I keep saying, I'm humbled by it. "I'm grateful that Clint gives me the ball. That's all you want as a reliever, especially in my situation, begging for a job this winter, getting a job on a favor because I knew (Rockies vice president of baseball operations) Bill Geivett. I'm humbled beyond belief by it."

For those expecting something here more spiritual, I hope you will pardon this mention of baseball. I have always said God really doesn't care about sports, or how I or anyone else play them. But maybe I'm wrong. For sure it's refreshing to hear that a successful, almost miraculous, team has made room for God. And it's good even to hear the secular newspapers write about it.

Go Rockies!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


"Citius, Fortius, Altius - Faster, Stronger, Higher." This is the motto of the International Olympics which will hold its games in 2008. This week Carol and I have been part of the "altius," as we spent several days at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. The hundreds of spendidly colorful balloons ascending into the morning sunrise have given us memories that will remain with us as long as we live.

There was tragedy this year when a passenger died as a balloon basket caught on power lines. This always makes some question ballooning and whether or not such an event should be held in a densely populated area.

But one thing is sure: regardless of obvious dangers, mankind will ever strive for faster, stronger and higher achievements which show mastery over earth and the human body. It is in our human nature to challenge ourselves, especially to ascend the heavens. Ever since the Tower of Babel, mankind has sought to reach into the heavens, for the thrill of height, perhaps even to touch the face of God, as the poet writes.

We have also enjoyed a week with a hundred or more travellers in the 2007 Region 11 Airstream Rally. We people gather together for all manner of clubs and organizations, for mutual interest, friendship, and most of all, community. It is in our nature to want to join others on our journey through life. It begins with family and extends to those with whom we choose to spend our time, for whatever the reason.

David wrote in Psalm 16:1, "Keep me safe, O God, for in You I take refuge." Since the very beginning, people have sought safety in numbers, for even God said in Genesis 2, "It is not good for man to be alone." The Christian church was given us as a place of such refuge. I pray you have that place and those people with whom you are safe, the place where you have refuge with God, the fellowship of people and the nourishment of His Word and Sacraments.

"Citius, Fortius, Altius." One day those who trust in Christ will experience the strength, the height, and yes, even the speed of heaven and God's presence.

I pray you'll all be there.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


When I woke up this morning, I felt like a winner. Last night our home team, the Colorado Rockies, won a 13 inning tiebreaker game that gave them the Wild Card berth in the National Baseball League playoffs. For the first time in twelve years, the Rockies will be playing postseason baseball, so around here we all feel like winners.

The winning run will probably be debated because it's unsure if the runner touched home plate. But the umpire declared him safe. When asked by a sportscaster if he actually touched the plate, the runner said, "I don't know if I touched the plate or not, but the umpire called me safe and that's all that matters."

What he said also rings true in our relationship with God. Before the game Carol and I had gone to the viewing of a Christian friend who had gone to his eternal rest with the Lord. We were among his many friends who gathered to visit with his family. Rev. David Koch was a good man in every way, kind and gentle, always trying to do what was right. But how good he was really doesn't matter, because he is now in heaven.

The fact that he had spent his life as a pastor was not a factor in his salvation, nor that he was a fine husband and father and Christian friend. What mattered was that God had declared him safe at home because of his Savior. David was a winner because of what Jesus did, not what David did. Though he was a sinner like all of us, and deserved nothing, the Heavenly Father declared him sinless because of faith in Jesus. Thus David is safe in his heavenly home. 

God loves us no matter what. Because of the mercies and love of Jesus Christ, all who trust in Him will be safe in our heavenly home where there are no losers. And there's no cancer there, either. When we wake up in heaven, we are all winners.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for doing what was needed, so that all who trust in You are winners.