Monday, November 26, 2012


Are you getting what you want out of life? Or do you feel that the economy, government, or other outside factors should be doing more? Do you even feel that others are robbing you of value and joy in your life because they are not providing what you feel you need? 

A few years ago, a polling agency asked one thousand people what they most desired in their lives. As part of the poll, the participants were asked to indicate the extent to which the Bible was important to them. Ninety percent of those who identified themselves as Bible-believing Christians said they wanted these things: a closer relationship with God, a clearer purpose in life, a higher degree of integrity or a deeper commitment to their Christian faith.

It's interesting that these heartfelt desires are all things people can do something about, without the requirement of outside human help. There's no need for a governmental program or public assistance to achieve these goals. Difficult economic times need not take them away. These noble spiritual goals are achieved as we allow God's Word to rule in our hearts, and as we pray for and receive the strength of the Holy Spirit to build up our faith.

St. Paul wrote the people of Ephesus in Ephesians in 3:16-17, "I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."

In our ever more complex world, it is tempting to put the quest for what we desire into the hands of others. So many of us, Americans or other peoples of the world, have come to expect some outside human or governmental entity to fulfill our desires instead of we ourselves seeking them with God's assistance. This is both counter productive, as well as wasteful of the talents and resources God has given us. 

It is true that we may sometimes need help, and that we cannot live in isolation of others. However, it is not outside human resources that will provide our true happiness and contentment. That must come from God being within our hearts by our trusting Him, and from Christ being at home in our lives by faith. 

Far better it would be that we would follow the words of Isaiah 55:6-7, "Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon."
Now that's getting help we need from a source that will never fail us!


You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems like only yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet some days that was eons ago, and I wonder where all the time has gone.

I know that I lived those years, and I have memories of how it was back then, as well as some of my hopes and dreams. But, here it is, the winter of my life, and I am caught by surprise. How did I get here so fast? How did those years pass, and where did my youth go?

I remember well seeing older people and thinking they were far away from me, that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or even imagine what it would be like.

Yet, here it is. I move slower and see an older person in the mirror now. Most of my friends are retired and quite grey. Some are in better or worse shape than I, but we see each other's changes. We are no longer the ones we remember who were young and vibrant. Now we are those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Today I often find that just taking a shower or doing other normal things is a real accomplishment. And taking a nap is not a treat anymore, it's mandatory!  If I don't get enough rest on my own, I may fall asleep where I sit! It is strange to find myself in this new season of life, unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!

Yes, I have a few regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done, and some I should have or wish I would have. But indeed, there is so much I'm happy to have done. It's all a part of my lifetime, the one God gave me.

If you are not yet in your wintertime, be reminded that it will be here faster than you think. Whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, you'd best do them quickly. Don't put things off too long. Life goes by so fast, so do what you can today.

You see, you can never be sure when your winter will come. You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life. Live each day as it comes, and say all the things you want your loved ones to remember. Hope and pray they will appreciate and love you for all that you have done for them in all the years past.

Remember, it is faith, hope and love that make up your real wealth, not gold, silver or houses. Your life is God's gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to God and to those who come after. Live it well!

Monday, November 19, 2012


This year Carol and I are especially thankful for the valuable people God has placed in our lives over the years. We'd like to share with you a story of someone who showed his thankfulness in life by living the principles his father gave him. 

In 1924, a boy named Johnny who loved to play basketball completed the eighth grade in a small rural school. His father had little money for a gift, so he gave Johnny a card on which he had written his own seven-point creed. He urged his son to start following them daily. 

Here are the seven points his father gave him: 1) Be true to yourself, 2) Make each day your masterpiece, 3) Help others, 4) Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible, 5) Make friendship a fine art, 6) Build a shelter against a rainy day, and 7) Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

Johnny followed these points during his life. He excelled at basketball, becoming an all-American player at Purdue University, and helping his team win the national championship. Johnny later went on to become an outstanding college coach, with his team winning ten national championships in a twelve year period. Johnny was named national coach of the year six times and is one of only three players named to the Basketball Hall of Fame as both player and coach. 

Johnny was revered by his players, inspiring many of them to excel in life. Like his father had given him, Johnny gave his players short, inspirational messages, including his "Pyramid of Success" which helped them achieve success in basketball and, more importantly, in life. 

When he died at age 99, Johnny, better known as John Wooden, had been a lifelong devout Christian, devoted husband of fifty-three years, loving father and grandfather, and inspiration to countless men and women, both athletes and non-athletes. He wanted his faith to be apparent to others, saying, "If I were ever prosecuted for my faith, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me." 

Our heavenly Father has given us an eternal gift of His Word that comes to us in the form of His Son, Jesus. His Son said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me," (John 14:6) That includes all people who have saving faith in Him, including John Wooden. 

This Thanksgiving let us be grateful that there is a way for sinners to come to God for forgiveness, and it is through faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

By God's grace, may we make each day our masterpiece for Him.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


(by Ben Stein and spoken by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary)
"I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat...

"Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

"In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

"In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said, 'OK.' 

"Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school... The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said, 'OK.' 

"Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said, "An expert should know what he's talking about.' And we said, 'OK.' 

"Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

"Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

"Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

"Are you laughing yet? Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

"Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us. Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not, then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in."

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein

Monday, November 12, 2012


How do you deal with disappointment? What can you do to work through your feelings when things do not turn out the way you expected? The prophet Elijah knew all about being disappointed. We learn of him in last Sunday's Old Testament lesson in the well-known story of how God provided for the widow and her son the oil and flour that never ran out.

In 1 Kings 17, we hear how God called Elijah to speak His Word to King Ahab of Israel. The Promised Land had been divided into northern kingdom of Israel and the southern of Judah. Ever since King David and King Solomon, it seemed like every new king in the land was as bad or worse then the last one. 

Then along came King Ahab whom the Bible said, "He did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before Him." (1 Kings 16:30) He married Jezebel, daughter of the King of Sidon and served her god, Baal, encouraging even the horrible practice of infant sacrifice. 

Ahab's behavior angered God, so He sent Elijah to speak God's Word. Through this great prophet, God showed His great power, raising the widow's son from the dead, withholding rain for three years, and then sending fire from heaven to consume the sacrificial meat, water, wood and even stones of the altar as thousands were witness.

God told Elijah to slaughter all the prophets of Baal as punishment for their idolatry. Then he ran like the wind before Ahab's chariot when the rains returned, all according to God's almighty Word. 

But Elijah was no match for Queen Jezebel. When she threatened to kill him, Elijah ran off and hid in a cave to escape her wrath. In 1 Kings 19:9, God came to Elijah asking, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" A fearful and disappointed prophet answered, "Your people have deserted You, O Lord. I am the only one left, and they seek my life."

But God reminds Elijah He is still in charge. Instead of being disappointed, Elijah should remember what God had already done through him. The dead had been raised, fire rained from heaven and all the people had shouted, "Jehovah is God!"

When you and I are disappointed in people or events, we must not hide our faces in fear, but rather remember that God is still in charge. He has done great things through us and for us. If we will trust Him rather than the leaders of this world, our disappointment will not last long. Trusting God's providence for our earthly life and His forgiveness in Jesus for our eternal life, we, too, can speak with faith and confidence, "Jehovah is God!"

"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes." (Psalm 118:9)

Friday, November 9, 2012


"IF I WERE THE DEVIL" by Paul Harvey
(Paul Harvey first wrote an essay with this title in 1964. He recorded it in a 1965 radio address, and updated it several times. Recently it has been circulating the internet in a version somewhat different from his original. Paul Harvey died in 2009 at age 90. Here is his 1965 revision reprinted from his radio address.) 
            "If I were the devil … If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of it’s real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.’
            “To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’
            “And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
            “If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
            “Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
            “If I were the devil I’d take from those, and who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And what do you bet? I could get whole states to promote gambling as thee way to get rich! I would caution against extremes and hard work, in Patriotism, in moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.
            "In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing on what he’s doing. Paul Harvey, good day.”

Thursday, November 8, 2012


(This week's message is a reprint of an article by a Canadian journalist, Douglas J. Hagmann, of "The Hagmann & Hagmann Report." Here is what he wrote on November 7, 2012)
"It is unlikely that the majority of Americans are familiar with the name Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I had forgotten the account of Mr. Bonhoeffer until a valued listener of our nightly radio program sent me Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, a gripping book written by Eric Metaxas.

"I devoured the 592 page book in three days, reading the final page only yesterday. I find it anything but coincidental that I completed this gripping account on the very day that the 2012 U.S. presidential election was decided in favor of Barack Hussein Obama. While reading the account of Mr. Bonhoeffer, a German pastor, theologian and spy who was involved in the plot to kill Hitler, I became awestruck by the obvious and stunning parallels between 1930’s Germany and present day America, specifically in terms of the Christian church.

"Yesterday, for the second time in four years, the majority of Americans decided in favor of Obama despite the vocal and visible moral objections made by many Christians of all denominations. I have no doubt that many people who profess to be Christians cast their vote to reelect Obama, somehow justifying their vote over any moral or ethical concerns residing in their spirit. How is this possible?

"It is here that I cite the foreword written by Timothy J. Keller, friend of the author and author of the New York Times bestselling book The Reason for God.  Keller writes in his Forward to Bonhoeffer: 

'It is impossible to understand Bonhoeffer’s book without becoming acquainted with the shocking capitulation of the German Church to Hitler in the 1930s. How could the ‘church of Luther,’ the great teacher of the Gospel, have ever come to such a place? The answer is that the true Gospel, summed up by Bonhoeffer as Costly Grace, had been lost. On one hand, the church had become marked by formalism. That meant going to church and hearing that God just loves and forgives everyone, so it doesn’t really matter much how you live. Bonhoeffer called this Cheap Grace. On the other hand, there was Legalism, or salvation by law and good works. Legalism meant that God loves you because you have pulled yourself together and are trying to live a good, disciplined life. Both of these impulses made it possible for Hitler to come to power.” (end of Keller's Forward)

"Does that sound, or ‘feel' familiar? Thanks to the laborious research by author Eric Metaxas that is articulately detailed in his book, which also corrects over a half-century of the hijacked legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by the Progressive Left, Christians in America should now fully understand exactly what is taking place within our country. We have allowed the Word of God to be diluted, perverted and turned into a convoluted platform for social justice by elected leaders whose tyranny has extended into and ripped into our spiritual fabric.

"Many Christians have collectively embraced 'Cheap Grace' and 'Legalism' promoted by leaders across the political spectrum as spiritual equivalents to the true Gospel, thereby reconciling their faith with the perversity that exists in America today. After all, it is both politically correct and socially acceptable to tolerate perversity in all forms, rather than risk being labeled as intolerant, bigoted, Islamophobic, homophobic or the mother of all derisive brandings, racist. It is precisely here, however, that tolerance of evil becomes evil itself.

"This is the exact moment in time for all Christians in America to live in the spirit of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by uniting and practicing 'Costly Grace.' As a Christian, I believe we were born for this exact moment in time, and have been selected to engage in this spiritual battle for not only our salvation, but the salvation of others. Like it or not, we have been selected as being warriors on the front lines of an epic spiritual battle.

"Some might look at the re-election of Obama and other leaders with similar agendas as a death knell for the Judeo-Christian spirit in America. I chose to view it as a real-world test of my Christian faith personally and our Christian faith collectively. It is clear that the spiritual battle lines have been distinctly drawn. We are now called to emulate the spiritual strength of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, so that we may change the course of Christianity in America. Unified in the spirit of Costly Grace, we can do it.

"We must engage the battle and not abandon the fight at this historic moment in time. Traditional marriage between a man and a woman as defined by the Holy Bible must be reinforced, not redefined. The wholesale slaughter of our nation’s unborn under the demonic perversity of women’s rights must not be accepted or further tolerated. We must not submit to a system that requires us to forsake our beliefs under the color of law. Acting in the spirit of Costly Grace, we must summon the spiritual courage of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to change the course of our nation.

"As my friend Steve Quayle has often said, there are no political solutions to our spiritual problems. Never in the course of American history has this proven to be so true. Therefore, it is up to us, the 'Bible holding bitter clingers,' to rise to the level of true Christians and engage the forces of evil that have overtaken our great nation.

"Make no mistake - this is obviously not a call for violence, but a call for leadership to every Christian living in the United States. We have been given a most important task, which is to be leaders among men. Believers of the true Gospel can no longer be silent. Together, we can make a difference. Our souls depend on it." (Copyright © Douglas Hagmann. )

There is much to reflect upon here. I hope you will do so.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Dear friends,

During the past years, I have written several books which are now published in electronic form on KINDLE and NOOK. You can find these books at these locations:

 - NOOK:
In each place, you can preview my books by typing in my name, Robert Tasler.

These are titles of my e-published books:
 - "DAILY WALK WITH JESUS": Devotions for each day of the year on various topics
 - "DAILY WORD FROM JESUS": Devotions for each day based on Jesus' Words in Matthew
 - "COUNTRY PREACHER": Short stories about a young pastor in rural North Dakota
 - "SMALL TOWN PREACHER": Short stories about a young pastor in a North Dakota town
 - "BOBBY WAS A FARMER BOY": A children's e-book about my life on a Minnesota farm
 - "IMMIGRANT SON": Stories about my German immigrant family members and friends.
 - "MURDER AT PALM CREEK": A short "who-dunnit" novel set in a retirement RV park

These works are available only in electronic form. None are in paper print. They are reasonably priced and may also be read if you download a free Nook or Kindle e-reader onto your personal computer.

If you wish to contact me personally, my E-Mail is:

Thank you and may God bless you.


One of the Christians whom I and millions of others have admired for decades is Dr. Billy Graham. It is estimated he has helped lead 3.2 million people to Jesus Christ, and his 400 crusades and many media programs in 185 countries have been witnessed by over two billion people worldwide.
During his career which began in 1947, he has preached the Gospel countless times, advised presidents, and supported many just causes, including racial integration. He invited Dr. Martin Luther King to speak at his revivals, and once bailed Dr. King out of prison when he was arrested during a demonstration. Dr. Graham has appeared on Gallup's list of most admired men and women 55 times since 1955, more than any other individual in the world. 

It is perhaps less known that Dr. Graham is a life-long Democrat, supporting its basic philosophy as well as candidates for office. Perhaps some of you read the full-page ad Dr. Graham recently placed in The Denver Post and several dozen other national newspapers. Here is the simple yet eloquent message that he said in his ad:

“On Nov. 6, the day before my 94th birthday, our nation will hold one of the most critical elections in my lifetime. We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms. The Bible speaks clearly on these crucial issues. Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God.”

This is my wish and hope, that our decisions in the coming days will be guided by our faith in Jesus Christ. I pray that all of us will let the Bible guide our decisions in life, now and always. And also, may we all support and pray for our national and local leaders who will be chosen in the coming elections.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)