Sunday, December 27, 2015


        A pastor once asked his youth to write the Christmas Story as if it had happened today. The following is a compilation of their stories:
                                                                     +   +   +
         "Years ago an angel came to girl named MaryAnn who was living out in the desert over by Yuma. The angel said she would have a child who would be God's Son. The angel also talked to Joey, the guy she was engaged to, so he’d know she wasn't cheating on him. They got married in a little church ceremony. Several months later the State of Arizona sent Joey a notice about unpaid taxes, so he said they’d have to go up to Phoenix to clear things up. They got in their old Chevy pickup and drove north on the rough back roads because Joey's license plates had expired.
         "As they were driving towards Phoenix late at night, MaryAnn went into labor. They were near a boarded-up motel on the edge of the Reservation, so Joey stopped there and broke a door open in one of the rooms. MaryAnn gave birth to a baby boy right there on a dusty old bed. They named him Josh.
         "Some truckers came by and said someone radioed them that a baby had just been born there. They shared their sandwiches and coffee, gave them some blankets and directions to a motel over in Maricopa. Later that night some men in suits on their way to the casino had a flat tire there on their van. When they heard the baby crying, they came to the room. They felt sorry for Joey and MaryAnn and gave them a wad of cash, a bottle of booze and a carton of Camels.
         "A few days later Sheriff Joe Arpaio heard there was a group in Maricopa planning to impeach him, so he sent a SWAT team to the motel. But MaryAnn and Joey had already left to visit relatives in New Mexico. They stayed there long enough for Joey to earn money to rent a better apartment back home. The truckers told people what they’d seen, but MaryAnn remembered everything about the trip."

                                                                     +   +   +
         Maybe that’s how it might have happened, if Jesus had been born today.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


        Mary’s delivery of her first child was anything but idyllic. The sentimentality which centuries of Christian imagination have given us surely covers the reality of the silent night and the day which followed.
It’s usually assumed that Joseph helped her deliver the child, but that would not have been the case. Strict Jewish rules prohibited men from assisting women in childbirth. Galilean woman, even those who were young, prided themselves in self-birth, so the young wife Mary would do the best she could, while Joseph would do only as much as he was allowed to ease her pain that night.
The day following would not have been restful, despite their location. Joseph needed to find food and would have sought a better place for them in the days to come. People other than the visiting shepherds would have come and gone, feeding animals or taking them out and bringing them in as needed.
Mary’s Christmas was certainly a time of wonder. It is for every mother who sees and cares for her firstborn. Many questions would have come, and she may have asked Joseph to bring another woman to the stable for help and advice. She also may have wondered how she was adequately going to mother the new infant the angel had called Immanuel, “God With Us.” Mary must have asked herself many times, “Who is this child and what will His future be?”
Today, two thousand years later, each of us needs to ponder similar questions, “Who is He and what will my future be with Him?” The importance of His birth, His life, His suffering and death, His resurrection, and His promise to return is of greatest importance to us all.
Take time today to ask God to help you know and appreciate what He has done for you in providing you a personal relationship with His only Son. Give thanks Mary and Joseph have given you a glimpse into the face of God.

“Mary pondered all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

Monday, December 14, 2015


        In Wellington, Florida, when someone stole the figurine of the Baby Jesus from a public nativity on the lawn of the community center for the second year in a row, they didn’t follow a star to find him. Instead, they used a GPS tracking device placed inside the life-sized statue. Because the statue was valuable, the city gave permission for police to place a electronic tracking device inside the replacement figurine. When the Baby Jesus figurine disappeared again, Sheriff’s deputies were led by the signal to the thief’s apartment and arrests were made.
        Instead of metal chains and padlocks to protect their valuable holiday display items, organizations were offered the use of GPS and security camera devices to protect mangers and menorahs, and seventy churches and synagogues responded. “They took the family Jesus!” said Gloria Herrera. “How can anybody do that?”
        Has Jesus been stolen from Christmas? Many are certainly trying to do so. I’ve heard soldiers overseas in Muslim nations cannot receive Christian Christmas cards any longer because they offend people there. Schools and colleges regularly bar Jesus from His own birthday celebration. One store had a nativity with a little Santa in the manger. How can we find Him again when everything seems to be hiding Him at Christmas?
        Like a spiritual GPS, the Bible can guide us to God’s presence and love. The Bible tells us "the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness" (Romans 8:27) and that "if God is for us, so who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) The chapter concludes that "nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:38-39)
        Whether we look for Jesus in a manger or in our hearts, we can be filled with joy because He has risen from the dead and lives and reigns with all His faithful people. The Bible is where you can find Jesus now and every Christmas.

Focusing always on Jesus will keep us from losing Him.

Monday, December 7, 2015


Dear friends,
           Another week has come and gone with yet another terrorist act, this time in California. Again we have watched with concern, compassion and not a little weariness the reports of the first responders and the reactions of those who were there and knew the injured or the dead. And again most of us have wondered what it all means for today and when it will happen again, because we know it will.
          One new wrinkle this time came in the criticism by elements of the press of those who said they were praying for the injured and families of the deceased and also for our nation. This provoked a brief debate about the propriety of expressing "thoughts and prayers" about the killings, and it was accompanied by the usual backlash over the state of America's gun laws.
          But this time the debate was ratcheted up a notch. A New York Daily News headline proclaimed, “God Isn’t Fixing This,” and referred to those expressing prayers as cowards who hid behind meaningless platitudes. The point of the News article was that prayer was merely an avoidance tool that keeps us from passing legislation that could “truly end the gun scourge,” which would presumably end terrorist acts as well. In other words, the writers think prayer is hiding us from relying on the true god, Big Government.
          Christians have always urged prayer to God, and critics of religion have always felt people can solve problems better. While it’s true God can and probably will use people in His solutions, prayer is not the coward’s way out. Indeed, prayer is often the most courageous thing to do. When the arguments have been exhausted and the ammunition has run out, prayer still remains. Soldiers in foxholes or captives in offices know what I mean. The last cry of a mortally wounded person is never for more legislation.
          We can talk about God or we can talk to God. Those who believe and trust in Him will talk to Him, argue with Him, and maybe even be angry with Him. But they will not stop talking to Him in prayer. Those who talk about God will tend to criticize Him or those who trust Him.
          And not just some generic form of God. Allah is not just another name for the God of heaven and earth. Actually, Allah is the name of a moon god the Babylonians abandoned a thousand years before Muhammed resurrected and re-shaped him in the Seventh Century AD. Despite Muslim denial of this, Allah is a small-time player pushed into the Big Leagues by a frustrated Arab.
          I urge you to talk to the true God of the Bible instead of merely about Him. He does listen to you, and He will help you, despite what secularists may say. He did send His only Son to die for our sins and promises heaven to those who trust Him. It is not wise to abandon the Creator of the Universe due to threats of evil people who would rather kill than show you kindness. God can and will help us in all our times of need.

“Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will act.” (Psalm 37:5)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, November 30, 2015


Dear friends,
        How is your life turning out? Is it what you expected it would be? Have you been able to fulfill any dreams you’d hope for? Are you still in the midst of fulfilling them, or did you have to change them as your life unfolded?
        Yesterday I asked my wife, “How is your life turning out?” She looked at me questioningly and said, “Good!” When I asked, “Is it what you’d expected it would be?” she said she’d had no real life plan or set of expectations and wanted to take each day as it came rather than fit it into some larger plan. Happily, she added that her life had turned out better than what she’d imagined. It was a nice discussion on November 29, our 29th wedding anniversary.
        Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, a time Christians set aside to prepare for Christ’s first Advent into the world as a human child born of the Holy Spirit. The first Advent was God fulfilling His larger plan of salvation for people. It is a time to remember the first Advent at Christmas and His second Advent in judgment at the end of time.
        This time of year Christians recall two married couples, Joseph and Mary, and Zechariah and Elizabeth. Long ago, there were major changes in their lives as the aged couple was blessed with a squalling baby. Their little boy would grow to become the prophet John the Baptizer who would prepare the way for Mary’s little boy who would one day be known as Yeshua ha Nosari, Jesus of Nazareth.
        Joseph and Mary’s life really changed when she admitted she was expecting a child out of wedlock. Of all the miracles surrounding the birth of Jesus, surely one of the greatest is that Joseph believed the angel. Both couples must have spent time discussing how their lives had changed from what they expected it would be.
        Luke 1:66 says their family and friends were also amazed, asking, “What then will this child be?” Children change a marriage, and the child Jesus changed the whole human race. When we each welcome Him into our hearts by faith, our dreams and hopes enter the realm of God and eternity. With Jesus by our side through this life and into the next, our life will turn out far better than we could have imagined.

How is your life turning out?

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, November 23, 2015


November 22, 2015
Dear friends,
        There comes a time to say “enough.” Yesterday I called the director of the local Messiah Choir and told her I would no longer be coming to rehearsals or singing the music. I told her I could no longer understand what she says nor hear the others in my section. I hung up the phone, put my worn Messiah book on the shelf and felt good about it. After sixty years of singing in choirs, it was time to say “enough.” I will still sing, of course, so long as I have a voice for hymns and fun songs, but no longer in a choir. Doing this was difficult.
        It reminded me of when my Dad stopped driving. He was 90 and ironically only a few months before had taken his one and only Driver’s Test. He had purchased his first Minnesota Driver’s License seventy years before, at a time they didn’t require a driving test, and since he’d never moved out of the state nor had his license revoked, the state just kept renewing his license. At age eighty-nine he got a ticket and was told he must take a written Driver’s Test. We all hoped he wouldn’t pass, but he did, and with the joy of winning a gold medal!
         But then he was hospitalized many weeks. After getting back on his feet, he called my brother and asked if they could go for a drive. Fritz reluctantly sat on the passenger side as Dad slowly drove his trusty Plymouth out of town to the old farm, taking the familiar gravel roads, past neighbors farms now vacant, on a route he could have driven blindfolded. Back in town Dad drove carefully into his garage. Then he handed Fritz the keys and said, “That’s enough.” His old car was still there seven years later when he died.
        There comes a time to say goodbye to earthly things we've enjoyed, activities we can no longer do, a time to say “enough” to some things of life we’ve treasured. Some will consider this a very sad time, but others will find pleasure in knowing they no longer need do them, that there are better things yet to come, finer things God has in store for His people.
        I am a long ways from ending my driving or singing, but it’s time to modify. No more all-day car trips, no more lifting hundred pound sacks, no more singing Messiah. But instead of cursing my weakness, I’m concentrating on what I still enjoy doing. Seventy is young by today’s standards, although I probably won’t make ninety-seven like Dad did. Nor am I sure I want to.
        But I will sing as long as the Good Lord gives me voice and time, and I will drive and work until I know it’s “enough.” Meanwhile, I will look for a little joy every day, especially in trusting God and in seeing my beloved young discover their joys in the world they now experience.

It's time to “Sing to the Lord a new song.” (Psalm 149:1)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, November 9, 2015


November 8, 2015
Dear friends,
        Last week’s message on heaven sparked quite a few responses. I thought you might like hearing of a young woman who claimed to have seen Jesus in a heavenly vision when she was only four years old.
        Akiane Kramarik was born in 1994 in Illinois of a Lithuanian mother and American father. She was home schooled by her atheist parents, but Akiane's "visions" of Jesus at age four, influenced her parents to become Christians. She began drawing at age 4 and turned to painting at age 6. Her best-known work is a painting of Jesus called, “Prince of Peace” which she painted at age 8. You've probably seen it before.
        Akiane’s paintings usually involve a likeness of Jesus with children, animals or planets. Although she often gets inspiration from pictures, Akiane said her main inspiration comes from her personal connection with God. She has witness to her faith in Jesus on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN news, Katie Couric and the Craig Ferguson show. By age 12 she had completed sixty large paintings, some of which hang in the US Embassy in Singapore. She has also completed hundreds of poems and published two best-selling books.
        Why do I mention this? Because it is incredible to me (but not unbelievable) that a child can produce such fine poetry and artwork at such a young age after having been raised in an atheistic home. And most importantly, that her “visions” of Jesus have helped people come to know Him as Savior, including her parents.
        Does this not show God’s hand in a person’s life? And doesn't this also show that our Lord Jesus interjects Himself into our modern world to help people know Him in amazing ways?
        I’ve never met the young woman (she’s 21 now) and never will, at least this side of eternity. But despite what we might believe about her, could she be genuine and her visions authentic? What do you think?
        Look up her name online and see some of her amazing work. It’s time well spent.

...can turn a MESS into a MESSAGE
...can turn a TEST into a TESTIMONY
...can turn a TRIAL into a TRIUMPH
...can turn a VICTIM into a VICTORY

Rev. Bob Tasler

Sunday, November 1, 2015


    Today is All Saints' Day. Since 835 AD, Christian churches have designated November 1 as “All Saints’ Day,” or "All Hallows Day." The day before was called "All Hallows Eve," or Halloween. On All Saints' Day the Church remembers the example of faith set by believers in Christ who have gone before us into God's presence during the past year.
    During the past year I've had my share of loved ones leave this life, an older brother, a younger niece, an older cousin and a number of friends. It's always sobering to consider how long it will be before I join the procession of the saints who've gone before.
    I've been reading John Burke's Imagine Heaven (subtitled, "Near-Death Experiences, God's Promises, and the Exhilarating Future That Awaits You.") It is filled with hundreds of stories about personal experiences, as well as dozens of extensive studies about those whose bodies have briefly died but were brought back to life. It is enlightening. I recommend the book, but also warn readers to get ready for some jaw-dropping reports these "NDE people" give.
    The list interviewed includes not just Christians, but Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and even a few atheists, all of whom give reports of what they recalled. Most surprising is how they nearly all agree on the basics: a Godly Presence, bright light, wondrous love, vivid colors and glorious feelings that they didn't want to leave. And yes, a large number also felt a darkness that they did not ever want face again.
    One is tempted to say they created these experiences in their minds or made them up. But how can persons blind from birth describe vivid colors? Or those deaf from birth describe music? Or how could neurosurgeons explain how they still lived after being declared "brain dead"? Or how can those of non-Christian beliefs (or no belief at all) describe the same loving "God Presence" as the Bible gives us?
    I am not abandoning the Gospel in this nor am I espousing something outside the Bible. Space precludes explaining much more, but reading of this has opened my eyes to the witness of not just a few, but thousands of people whose bodies have died briefly but their spirits have lived on. With all the many studies he quotes, author Burke couldn't have made it all up.
    There is, I believe, a whole lot more to our existence than our mere four score years on earth.
    Reading this has heightened my anticipation of the great reunion Jesus told us about in Matthew 25 and John in Revelation. It has reinforced to me again that people don't just disappear into the dust. We live on, and God has prepared a new place and a new life for all the Saints in eternity with Him.

But it only comes through faith in our one Lord Jesus.   

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, October 26, 2015


      This week I am sending everyone on my WEEKLY MESSAGE list an email ad for my three Daily Devotionals. I am sure you will understand its purpose and accept its intent. I send it out now because ordering from the printer at this time will insure prompt and timely delivery for Christmas as gifts.
      I began publishing my writings five years ago and have adopted three principles:  1) Write about what I know, 2) Write with a specific purpose, and 3) Write to a specific audience. My devotionals and other works generally fulfill those principles.
      There is also a fourth principle. A writer writes for others to read his/her writings. The only way that happens is to "market" one's work, and that can be done at many levels of expense. I have chosen to do my own marketing - by email ads, personal book signing sales, or by word-of-mouth. I am pleased so many friends and family enjoy and recommend my works. Keep it up!
      It all started about twenty years ago with the first "WEEKLY MESSAGE" I sent to the members of the congregation I was serving at the time. Except for some minor omissions, there has been a WEEKLY MESSAGE sent out every week to members, friends, colleagues and family since then. Many of those weekly devotions have been included in my three Daily Devotionals. Some also make it into church newsletters, and I think that's great, Keep it up!
      Sometimes my devotions have drawn criticism, and I have come to expect that. I do hope, however, that people realize an opinionated person like myself will let his opinions show.
      Christians have been doing something like that ever since Jesus told us to speak up for Him and the Gospel. Remember His words: "Let your light so shine, that people may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
      So when you open a second email from me this week (and I hope you will open and not just toss it), I hope you will consider ordering copies of one or more of the daily devotionals as gifts to friends and family. Order now and they'll be here in plenty of time for gift wrapping them.

Not only are the prices right, just think how fast your Christmas shopping will get done!

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, October 19, 2015


                         (This is the October 19 devotion in Day By Day With Jesus)

         While autumn is a favorite season of mine, I can see why some do not like it as much as I do. Its changing lovely colors, crisp blue skies and unique smells are a “rush” on my senses. But they also signal the rapid change from verdant life to the seeming lifelessness of winter.
        Each season has its positives and negatives, and I welcome the changes. Living in a tropical climate where there are only two seasons, wet and dry, or living in a Pacific island where the temperature rarely changes 20 degrees during the year would seem uninteresting.
        The changing seasons of nature challenge our minds and bodies to adapt to our surroundings. Temperature extremes require us to create things that will help us live and thrive. True, extremes of cold or heat can make us invent heaters or coolers. Or we might move to other areas for a time. But those of us who have lived most of our lives in four seasons enjoy and even look forward to the changes the seasons bring us. Variety in life is a blessing from God.
        Variety in worship is also a blessing. Psalm 150 is a song of joy and variety in our worship of God.
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens! Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe! Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
        Note the variety of ways of worship God gives us in Psalm 150. Not all will be included in all church services, but the joy and exuberance noted here show how God appreciates the variety of ways people can praise Him. The means of worship is not as important as faith and attitude of the heart.

What do you prefer in worship? Has your preference changed during your life?

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, October 12, 2015


        Sometimes things just aren’t what we think they are. A recent Reader’s Digest article poked holes in several “facts” I was sure I knew.
        For instance, did you know that an English Muffin is not a muffin and is not from England, but was a biscuit invented in a New York bakery in the 1880’s? Did you know that garlic bread as we know it is not Italian but was first made in Michigan at the request of returning WWII soldiers from Italy? Or that the Fortune Cookie is not from China but was dreamed up a San Francisco tea house in 1914?
        This one just about crushed me: German Chocolate Cake is not a cake recipe from Germany, but was first made in 1852 Boston by Sam German who worked at the Baker Chocolate Company. 100 years later it was labelled “German Chocolate Cake” by a recipe printed in a Dallas newspaper!
        I suppose the next thing they’ll say is that the Apostle’s Creed was not written by the Apostles! Which, of course, it was not. It does contain the Apostle’s teachings about God, but it was written about 200 years after they’d all died.
        But that doesn’t make garlic bread, English Muffins, fortune cookies or German Chocolate Cake any less tasty. Nor does it make the Apostle’s Creed any less an accurate statement of the Triune God.
        There’s even a debate over the name of our Lord. Was He known as “Jesus” (Greek) or was it “Yeshua” (Hebrew)? Was His ministry 3 years or 4? And does it really matter?
        The truth we know and believe is that God sent His only Son to save us from the destruction caused by our sins. So we call Him Lord Jesus, or Savior, or Redeemer, or Lamb of God. And while these names are different, they all speak of the same God-man who walked the ancient land of Israel 2,000 years ago. And whoever believes in Him will be given eternal life with God in heaven.

“And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Written by Isaiah the prophet over 400 years before Jesus was born.)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, October 5, 2015


         (I dedicate today’s devotion to my niece Jayne Arvidsen who was laid to rest after a ten year struggle with cancer. Her 35 year career as teacher and her life as daughter, sister, loving wife, mother and grandmother have encouraged all who knew her)

        “I have learned that there is nothing more satisfying than the love of those who come after us,” said Dr. Leonore Goldschmidt, a brave Jewish teacher who defied Hitler.
In 1935 when the Nazis began their policy of officially persecuting the Jews, most Jewish children were locked out of German schools. Rather than run or despair, Dr. Goldschmidt began a school of her own in Berlin with an estate and funds from a deceased cousin. “The Leonore Goldschmidt Private Jewish School” quickly expanded into four buildings with over 500 students and 40 teachers. In plain sight of Hitler and the Nazis, it became a refuge of safety in the midst of systematic Jewish persecution.
With the aid of Walter Huebner, a German official who risked his career, her school was granted a license by the German State. Knowing persecution would increase, she insisted all students learn English to enable them to emigrate to other countries. She got her school licensed by the University of Cambridge and started a chapter there. When her school was shut down by the Nazis in 1939, she and her family emigrated to England with 80 students and teachers. She taught in London until 1968 and died in 1983, always being dedicated to those who came after her.
All capable people, especially Christians, need to be dedicated to those who come after, not just themselves. Our children and grandchildren are those for whom we work and serve. It is only natural that we should value and love them so they will come to know Jesus and walk in His ways.
Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord.” God loves His children and bids us do the same.

Who has shown you love in your life?

Monday, September 28, 2015


        Whether you agreed with what he said or not, Pope Francis made a huge impression on America during his visit. It was refreshing to "hear the silence" of so many critics who normally try to decry and destroy the message and work of Christianity. But enough of his message was politically correct that the media was rather amazed at what the man in white had to say, no matter what the setting.
        Jesus had that kind of reception for a brief part of his ministry. The people loved Him and the critics at first weren't sure how to deal with Him. Eventually He got under their skin and they found a way to get rid of Him. His "incorrect" message was His undoing, but mankind's eternal blessing.
        We heard the term "gospel" used in a number of ways during the past week. The "gospel of the Golden Rule" and the "gospel of helping the needy" were interesting uses I'd not heard. But "gospel" in the church refers to what Jesus did for us, not what we should be doing for him. "Service" and "ministry" are better terms, more accurate of what we should do for Him. Gospel is what He did for us.
            I wonder what Martin Luther would have thought of this Pope. Gone are the damning indulgences and the political purchasing of power. Gone is the hypocrisy of "nephews and nieces" suddenly appearing in papal family trees. I am sure Luther would still have rejected some of Francis' theology, but perhaps not as vehemently as he did around 1517.
            Two years from now in 2017 will be the 500th anniversary of the posting of Luther's 95 Theses in Wittenberg. In the coming years hundreds of thousands of visitors will visit Old Town Wittenberg and file in and out of the newly refurbished Castle Church and see the doors where the Theses were posted. They will also visit St. Mary's, the City Church where Luther was pastor 22 years. Thousands more will walk the cobblestone streets on "College Street" past the Black Cloister where Luther and Katie raised and taught children of all ages. And all will see the memorials to Luther, Melanchthon and other giants of the Reformation standing as sentinels in front of City Hall. 
            It would be interesting if Pope Francis decided to take a side trip to little Wittenberg. There he'd see a part of history always overlooked by the Church of Rome. Meanwhile, however, there are all kinds of "gospels" to proclaim and homilies to share about how to make earth a better place. But only one true Gospel saves our souls.

But it was a nice break from political news, don't you think?

Monday, September 21, 2015


        I was shopping for a few things the other day and accidentally left without paying. I had asked the woman at the self-checkout line for assistance, then slid my card through the card reader, picked up my items and started walking away. She stopped me and said, "You need to pay." I thought she meant I had forgotten to take my receipt, but it turned out I hadn't paid at all. At that store the machine needed to "read" my credit card chip on the front, not the stripe on the back. After getting that done and waiting long enough to satisfy the fussy machine, I took my things and left.
       It reminded me of a time a few years ago that I paid for the things in my shopping basket but failed to pay for the candy car I held in my hand. I got out to the car and realized my error, so I walked back into the store and told the cashier I needed to pay for my Snickers bar. "Long way to come for 47 cents." she said with a smile. "Wouldn't taste as good if I hadn't," I told her. "I like your ring," she said, glancing at my wedding band with its cross. "It keeps me in line," I said.
         We all need to pay our bills, no matter how small. It isn't as if life would come tumbling around our ears if we missed paying for a candy bar, but paying our bills is part of being a human being, especially a Christian one. No matter how large or small, we owe it to others, ourselves and to God to pay what we owe. The only bill we can't pay, of course, is the one for our sins. That one only Jesus can handle, and He did it perfectly and completely on Calvary.
         Earlier this summer we paid off our home. After thirty years of making large monthly payments, it was rather anticlimactic that we didn't receive something in the mail that said, "PAID IN FULL." In fact we received nothing about it, so I called the mortgage company which said there was no need, since they released their lien on our deed. Without any fanfare, our mortgage was PAID IN FULL and the house was fully ours.
         "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors," Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord's Prayer, and He does. It's all too easy these days to "Buy Now and Pay Later." Worldwide credit card debt is enormous, and don't get me started on our government's debt. People must pay their debts.
         I urge all my readers to find a way to pay off their credit card debt as soon as possible, then pay it in full each month. It is a good feeling not to get that bill any more with its high interest rate. It is a far better feeling to know Christ our Lord has paid off our debt of sin on the cross.

What debt to you need to pay first?

Monday, September 14, 2015


         Many Americans feel there is much to complain about and that our nation is going downhill. Perhaps some things about this are true, but we must never forget that others have it far worse.
         Mary Lu, a retired missionary wife living in Iowa, wrote me of a letter she received telling of the increasing troubles in South Africa where she and her husband spent many years in ministry. Her longtime friend Pushpa wrote, “Durban is getting worse and worse with low incomes, crime, killings, homes and public businesses broken into, robbing and rape. Nowhere does it feel safe.”
            This dedicated Asian-Indian Christian woman, now a widow in her late 70’s, went on to tell how she was held up by knifepoint and had her car stolen with food inside for needy people, food she had prepared and was taking to distribute in a poor neighborhood of Durban. She gave thanks the thieves did not harm her, as so often happens.
         Being a widow always brings drastic changes and difficulties. But being an Asian-Indian Christian widow in South Africa brings its own burden of added cultural and financial problems. Mary Lu says Sister Pushpa counteracts her troubles with singing, and especially the beloved Russell Carter song with the refrain,
Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior,
Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.”

         For decades, Pushpa has continued to stand on God’s promises. Even at her advanced age, she still plants a big garden and shares its produce with people in need.  Every month for years, she has cooked up huge pots of meat stew, white rice and vegetables, to feed the younger generations in that poor Durban neighborhood. She is hoping she can continue to take food to the people there.
         She wrote in her letter to Mary Lu, “Now, I am just waiting to see if I can have insurance book value and if I can afford to buy a used car. I’ll wait on the Lord for Him to act. My trust and faith are always on HIM and HIS work.”
         This message is not a plea for funds, but for prayers. Please remember Pushpa and all the Asian-Indian and other Christians in South Africa. They share the news of Jesus Christ by helping people in need. This is something we can learn from them. They are living out what Jesus said in Matthew 25, “I was hungry and you gave me food.”

Are the troubles in your neighborhood so great? Can you share Jesus there?

Rev. Bob Tasler

Sunday, September 6, 2015


         I enjoy attending Christian weddings. It is a true joy to see a man and woman I know to be believers in Christ speak their marital vows to each other while giving honor to the Lord and blessing those attending with appropriately chosen hymns and scripture texts. It's even more joyful when I have been involved in the training of one or both of the persons being wed when they were younger.
         The two Christians we witnessed married this past Saturday asked their pastor to speak on the familiar Bible text from Ecclesiastes 3 about the cord of three strands not being easily broken. In his message the pastor stated something I did not know. He said the three strands are not stronger because of their number but because of their unity.
         For example, one would think that putting two single strands together into one would make them capable of pulling twice the load of just one strand. However, their unity adds strength, so a cord of two strands can actually pull three times the load of just one strand. Then, if you add a third strand to the two, the cord is now capable of pulling twelve times the load of just one strand.
         The reason is unity in Christ. When the three strands are woven together, strength of their being together adds fourfold to their capability. So now God's Word says, "Two are better than one," (Ecclesiastes 4:9ff) for they now can carry three times the load. And, "A cord of three strands is not easily broken," because that cord now can hold twelve times the burden as can just one.
         This is especially true of two Christians. When we bring Jesus Christ into our life in faith and trust, whether into our marriage, our home, or in any part of our life where we have a burden, we can withstand far more with Him with us than if we are alone. Jesus adds His strength and power to help us in our daily burdens, no matter how heavy our burdens may be.
         At the close of the pastor's message, the couple braided their three strands into one cord, one strand for each of them plus one for Jesus. They now have a reminder of how God will give them strength in unity during their life together.

What burden do you have that Jesus can help carry?

Rev. Bob Tasler

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Dear friends,
         Over a month ago I had corrective surgery again on my shoulder. I am pleased to report this time it is healing the way it ought, because I am treating my shoulder better than the first time. For the past five weeks I've had my arm in a large supportive sling that holds my arm at the correct angle, but it also makes sleeping rather difficult. I slept the first four weeks in a recliner and last week finally got back to my bed. This week I visit the doctor to see if I can stop using the sling now and start my rehab.
         The first week I had to learn how to use one arm to support the other at night while sleeping in my recliner. After several unsuccessful attempts at doing this, I found the best way to support my weak arm was to fold my hands together as if in prayer. That way the fingers on my strong hand intertwined with the fingers of my weak one to hold it in the right place. I was even able sleep part of the night with my hands folded as one hand held the other in place.
         So long as my hands were folded together as if in prayer, the weak arm was supported correctly. Not hard to see the application here, is it?
         It's probable that most of life would work better if we all kept our hands together in prayer more often. Past confirmation students have asked me if folding hands in prayer is needed. One boy said he could pray with his hands in most any position. I challenged him to try praying with one finger up his nose. He, of course, tried it but aslso got my point quickly.
         Prayer helps us strengthen what is weak in our lives. St. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Prayer and thanksgiving go hand in hand. When we realize God's blessings and daily presence in our lives, we will want to give Him thanks. And when we do, one hand holds the other in prayer.

Are your hands often folded in prayer?

Rev. Bob Tasler

Sunday, August 23, 2015


            Returning Saturday from a friend’s birthday gathering, my cell phone stopped working. We were about two hours from home and we suddenly realized how dependent we were on our little “smart phone.” It had been doing some strange things, and now it didn’t work at all, and I had visions of trying to find an Apple store for repairs on a Saturday afternoon. Or going until Monday without it - ouch!
            Since Carol was driving, I used her trusty old flip phone to call a Support Line. Their tech listened calmly to my problem and told me the phone needed to be connected to a computer to be fixed. He said I should reboot it, plug it into my laptop, open iTunes and touch a certain key. When I did this at home, the phone worked better, but it was still not quite right. As per his instructions, I installed a new version of software and then my phone worked like new again.
            Wouldn’t it be nice when big life problems came up that we could call a heavenly support line, get a new version of “life software” and be like new again? Instead, we have to figure things out and often learn to live without what we cannot retrieve. Yet we don’t need to do this all by ourselves. I might have spent hours trying my own repairs and accidentally got it right, but instead I decided to call for help.
            We can always do this when life problems come up, but we need to be connected to Him by faith. God is there to hear our prayers and give us guidance in His Word. He is also there to calm our fears, give us a new start with forgiveness and assure us of His love in Jesus Christ. Life can wear us down and as we age, we will never work like new again. But God promises us in Revelation 21:5,He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’.”
            God’s Words are always trustworthy and true, and when we trust His Son Jesus, we believe that one day in eternity He will make everything new, including our sinful and weak bodies, especially those parts that don’t work here on earth any more.

What do you have in life that needs fixing?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


        English scientist Aubrey de Grey is predicting science will one day be able to help people live a thousand years or more. De Grey claims the molecular biology is nearing the stage of finding a cure for aging, and that it may even happen during our lifetimes.
        But who really wants to live a thousand years? Do we really wish to be around to see what will happen in even a few hundred years? And what would population theorists think of a bunch of young-looking geezers taking up space in our fast growing world?
        What is de Grey’s point in seeking this? Is he trying to work toward the day no one will die, or is he denying the inevitable? Despite what science may do to make us live longer, we all will still die. Would not living forever be more of a curse than a blessing?
        Holy Scripture, the Word of God Himself, tells us over and over again that death is not the end of our existence. Instead of just dying and decaying like an old tree trunk, we are assured that everyone will one day stand before Jesus Christ and receive His judgment, whether eternal life for believers who put their faith in Him, or eternal separation for non-believers who reject Him.
        John 5:28-29 tell us, An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
        That is plain language, not a possibility but a reality. It might be interesting to know a few things that will happen in the future, but I think few of us would believe what we’d be told. Who of us thirty years ago would have believed what computers do for us even today?

What would you like to live to see in the future?

Rev. Bob Tasler,
(From his newest devotional, DAY BY DAY WITH JESUS)

Monday, August 10, 2015


      I am a fairly well educated person, but I am not sure education has made me smart. One of my older brothers often noted this. When I came home from college he’d usually say, “You don’t look any smarter than the last time I saw you.” I didn’t mind the sarcasm, because he was right. Learning may show itself in a person’s life, but it’s usually not evident right away.
      But some things are hard to understand. For example, every time I use the remote to change a TV channel or increase the volume, I marvel how it can work. Somehow a tiny electrical wave is emitted from the small “channel changer” (my usual term) and the TV does what it tells it.
      The same is true when I turn on a light switch. I have done some electrical wiring so I know the principles behind electrical impulses going through copper wiring. I also have learned (the hard way) that one should not cross a positive and negative wire when they are connected to an electrical source. The sparks can be quite spectacular and the correct fuse hard to find in a store. Give thanks that someone invented the “fuse breaker” which eliminated the need for most fuses.
      While I’m on this subject, I also give thanks for the invention of the fuse. In 1957, our farm house caught fire due to lack of a fuse in one electrical line. It didn’t burn completely, just needed a lot of repair. That’s another story.
      But electricity is amazing. Just walk into a room, flick on a switch and you can see in the dark! But do we stop and analyze how it happened? No, we expect it to happen. We’ve become accustomed to it happening.
      Each day we expect miracles such as our eyesight(it’s morning!), memory(time to get up!), mobility(get out of bed!), knowledge(turn on the coffee!) and a million other things. God gave us ability to do all these things that a require miracle of billions of brain cells to help us do these normal things every day. Most of us don't consider such things miracles from God, but they.
      The greatest miracle of all is love. What combination of miracles comes together to cause two people to love each other? What incredible miracles did it take for God to love us and send His Son Jesus to forgive us and give us eternal life? Seeing a young couple committed to each other in marriage is a wonder. God's miracle of love is beyond all understanding.

What miracles from God will you see today?

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Dear Friends,

Few of us wander aimlessly through life. Nearly everyone follows some kind example or a set of ideas, an important person, or the roadmap set forth by a career or goals we hope to achieve.

Last week when our relatives arrived for our son's wedding, Carol and I made several trips to the busy Denver airport. One of the trips required our driving two cars with Carol following me. Due to confusion about where and when to meet our guests, we had to circle around the airport a couple of times until they had their luggage and could meet us at the correct door. I led as Carol followed, and although we always got separated by the mass of other cars, vans or buses traveling those roads with the many turnoffs and side roads, always she always kept track of me. 

Talking about this she later, she said it was because she was always following the cross. Both of our cars have a clergy sticker in the left rear window with a large dark blue cross on it. Most grey cars tend to look alike from the back, so as long as she could follow the cross, she knew she would not get lost.

That is a good lesson for us all in life - always to follow the cross. A busy life means things will try to come between us and Jesus, such as life's problems, diverging interests, changing work or losing our way. When we are unsure of where we are, we merely need to look for the cross of Jesus. He will never lead us astray, but will direct us to finding Him amid the many distractions of life.

"Looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2, RSV)

When you're unsure of where you are going, always follow the cross!

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, July 27, 2015


        Our son was married this past Saturday in a joyful, busy and loving week filled with friends and relatives, food and activities that left us and many others weary but happy. Brian and Kersta were classmates but barely knew each other in high school. They met again at their 20th Class Reunion and met a third time via Facebook to begin the romance that brought them to the altar. There 150 friends and family heard them speak their vows to each other on a lovely summer morning.
        Brian asked that I be his Best Man, something a father rarely is asked to do. Officiating for their ceremony was another cherished honor. The women of Epiphany Lutheran labored for days to give us a fine reception. Brian and Kersta are committed Christians and both know that good spouses can make each other better.
        Brian’s brother and his family were there and took part in the wedding. Kersta’s two children now raises the number of our grandchildren to five. Grandpa and Grandma Tasler are happy people today. We know the meaning of Psalm 127:3: “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.”
        Pastors are often privileged to preside over their children’s baptisms, confirmations and weddings, and if God grants, those of their grandchildren, too. Being surrounded by fellow believers raises these ordinary events into the extraordinary. I wish everyone could know the exceptional blessings of being a Believer. You cannot buy, borrow or earn what Jesus freely offers us by faith in Him. The love of God knits one’s whole life together.

May you all know the peace of God through faith in Jesus.

Rev. Bob Tasler

Sunday, July 19, 2015


        Last week I visited a pastor friend and his wife in Texas. The trip from Denver to Dallas-Ft. Worth was great. After the scheduled layover at DFW, we boarded a small CJR 200 jet ("flying hotdog") to finish the trip as planned. Only it didn't quite go as planned.
        The first plane kept us sweating in the gate an hour and a half before the pilot said air conditioning problems forced a change of planes. A long while later we boarded another CJR 200, and after finding and loading luggage, we departed. Twenty minutes into the flight the pilot announced apologetically that a "malfunctioning auto-pilot" forced us to turn back. The half dozen emergency vehicles, lights a-flashing, that followed us to the gate made me wonder what the real problem was.
        At 10:00 PM and with no other flights to San Angelo, we waited patiently until they brought us a third plane of the same variety. After another wait to locate and load luggage, we backed out of the gate, sat there a half hour, and then pulled back into the gate. The pilot announced more unnamed problems was canceling the flight. By then some of us were on a first name basis with other passengers and had all but exchanged phone numbers.
        The desk scheduled us on a flight the next morning and gave us vouchers to a very nice Fairfield Inn for the night where we checked in at midnight. I slept like a log. The next morning we boarded a fourth CJF 200 and quickly flew to San Angelo. As we landed I noticed at least thirty identical planes in mothballs nearby parked like little red, white and blue toys. I joked loudly maybe those were left from other cancelled flights. No one laughed.
        After a lovely but all-too-short visit, I was pleased to return to DIA the next day at midnight. I was very civil in my email to the airline, but I am unsure how or if I will use the Courtesy Voucher they sent me.
        Lessons learned? 1) Sometimes after years with no problems, they all come at once. 2) Good pilots don't take off when they're unsure if the plane will fly. And finally, 3) God was watching over us, so why gripe? There are other airlines to fly.

“Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away. (Psalm 55:6)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, July 13, 2015


       After several decades of happy marriage, a man realized he had never shown his wife the old farm in another state where he grew up. So they planned a summer road trip that included a drive past the old place.
        During the trip he described to her the old house and barn as well as the garden his mother tended, the orchard and huge trees around the north and west sides of the farmstead. He also told her of the views of the surrounding farms, and the stream that flowed under a bridge through a corner of their land where he had often fished and swam.
        Imagine, then, the man's shock when they rounded a corner by the old home place and found everything was gone! The house, buildings, trees, garden and even the farmyard were nowhere in sight. In fact, over that entire place the new owners had planted a field of corn.
        Disheartened, the man drove to the old lane, now an just approach into the cornfield, and got out to look. Realizing his emotions his wife said, "Look, there's the stream and the bridge." Yes, they were still there, as well as a neighbor's farm and the open view to the north. He also saw a familiar clump of trees in the old pasture, now a field of soy beans. And to the west was the familiar grove of trees of another neighbor. "I still dream about this," he said, "the house, barn and windmill." The farmstead was gone, but the stream was still there, and the view around his home was still stunning.
        "In my dream I see the house and the barn and sometimes even hear my parents talking in the kitchen as she baked fresh bread." His wife listened patiently as the man described his happy youth, his godly parents and his family life there on a road past the old home of his memory.
        Disappointment can almost shatter our lives until we realize there is something greater than the memories of our youth. In Psalm 77, the writer speaks of a difficult time when he felt overwhelmed with memories. But in the midst of his emotions he shifted his focus and said, "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds." (Psalm 77:11-12)
        In dealing with disappointment, we can either focus on our loss or on God Himself. The Lord invites us to look to Him and see His eternal presence in our lives, a presence and love that encompasses all of life, including the days of youth and the joys of present life.

Remembering God's goodness helps keep our hope alive today.

Rev. Bob Tasler

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


      Most of us awake each morning with a plan of what we wish to do. But first we start with a certain ritual that will includes washing, dressing and making our bodies ready for the day. Women will put on make-up and men will shave. We may include time for some exercise, reading the paper and hopefully having coffee with a little breakfast. Then we grab our wallet or purse, start up the car, and out we go to face the day ahead!
        Most of this shows we cannot get along without having some help. We clothe ourselves for modesty and warmth. We eat for bodily nourishment and groom ourselves so we appear suitable to others. Some add things to help us get by for the day: glasses for seeing, aids for our hearing and pills to make sure our body is healthy and strong. We take a wallet or purse for money, ID cards and essentials, including a cell phone to keep connected with loved ones.
        The days are long past when we woke up, left our cave, and went looking for food to kill, but maybe the ritual is similar. We are not self-sufficient; we will always need some things to help us through each day. Even the caveman needed a club to kill his food. Since the beginning of time, people have known they cannot live in isolation. We need companionship and the support of others.
        People also seek help from God. Of the seven billion people in the world, three-fourths of us acknowledge the existence of God. We know in our hearts the world and universe did not happen by chance, so we seek help from the One who is greater than ourselves.
        As Christians, we believe that One to be the God of the Bible, the Creator Father, the Redeemer Son and the Holy Spirit who gives faith. He is the one true God who cares for His creation and wants His creatures to depend on Him. There is nothing weak about trusting God and praying to Him. Folded hands and bowed heads are a far greater sign of strength then self-reliant heads held high.

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name.” (Psalm 8:1)
(From my new daily devotional, DAY BY DAY WITH JESUS)
Rev. Bob Tasler

Saturday, June 27, 2015


            In the words of Dr. Matthew Harrison, the President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, “A one-person majority of the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong – again.” Friday’s 5-4 decision created something that never existed before, a law declaring same-sex marriage to be legal in all fifty states. Five justices of the government body charged with interpreting and clarifying laws decided instead to create law. Thirty states had actual laws on the books declaring marriage only to be between one man and one woman, and those states sought the Court’s clarification. The five justices decided instead they had the right to make a new law which negates them all.
             In 1973 a similar thing happened when the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that abortions should be legal, and proponents thought the matter settled. But the matter was not settled, and the ruling only unleashed forty-two years of ongoing challenges and arguments. Friday’s decision will do the same.
            “It’s the law of the land now,” proponents are saying. The same thing was said in 1857 when the Supreme Court voted 7-2 to declare that African American slaves were legal property. The Dredd Scott decision has been universally condemned as the Supreme Court's worst decision, and it was overturned by the 1866 Civil Rights Act. Chief Justice Taney hoped his 1857 ruling would settle the slavery question, but it immediately spurred vehement dissent from anti-slavery elements in the North and was part of what led to the Civil War.
            Today’s Chief Justice John Roberts, issued the dissenting opinion, condemning the decision and stating that five justices have no right to enact their own version of marriage as constitutional law. Now shall come the time of testing for Christians faithful to the Scriptures and the divine institution of marriage (Matthew 19:3–6) And I pray that there will be vehement dissent from those in favor of traditional marriage people all over our nation.
            The ramifications of this decision are huge. Proponents will it to seek to nullify the Christian understanding of marriage. They will try to pass laws forcing faithful Christian institutions and individuals to violate their consciences and follow this law rather than the Bible. If left unchallenged, pastors will be required to perform same-sex marriages and churches who refuse to obey will be punished in courts.
            The early apostles were once ordered to stop preaching about Jesus, but they refused, replying, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) This is what Christians must also do and say today. As Christians, we should continue to be obedient to just laws. We should also respect the divinely given dignity of all people, no matter their sexual preference, while also recognizing we are still sinners in thought, word and deed, and confessing that the “blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all our sins” (1 John 1:7).
            However, as we struggle with a decision that rejects the historical and biblical practice of marriage, Christians must also learn what it means to be in a state of conscientious objection against the United States government. We must seek to overturn this illegal and unwise decision, and we must resist this Court’s imposition of falsehood upon us as we stand shoulder to shoulder with Christians, churches and all people of like mind on this issue.
May God help us courageously to follow His Word in this matter.

Monday, June 22, 2015


     In the winter I live next to a golf course. Although I am not an avid golfer, I like the “green lawn” in my backyard as well as the evening sunsets. I can see and even hear some golfers as they walk by and once heard the joy of a “hole in one” achieved on the green near our house. That’s a goal I have yet to attain.
      In 1945, professional golfer Byron Nelson had an unforgettable season. Of the 30 tournaments he entered, he won 18 times, including 11 in a row - incredible! If he had chosen to do so, he could have continued his career and may have become the greatest of the game.
      But that was not his goal. He wanted to earn enough money to spend his life doing what he loved to do. At the age of only 34, Byron Nelson retired from the PGA to become a rancher, his real goal in life.
      Our world may find that kind of thinking to be foolish. We assume if a person excels in a field, (s)he must remain in it as long as possible. Yet there have been numerous great athletes who have walked away, often at the top of their game, in order to achieve other, more important goals.
      Winning may be wonderful, but it can’t supply all our needs. The world doesn’t always like that attitude. It believes wealth and fame produce real satisfaction, but most people know that’s not true. Contentment comes from a good relationship with those we love, our family and especially with God.
      The goals of a Christian man or woman may include some winning or similar achievement, but they realize God’s eternal goals are more important. Paul once wrote, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)
      The Christian choice to live according to God’s Word may make us look foolish to the world, but it is the wisest in the long run. When we follow Christ and His Holy Word of life, we bring honor to God and His kingdom, and we have the satisfaction only He can give.

What “foolish” thing can you do for God today?

Sunday, June 14, 2015


            “What would you like for Father’s Day, Dad?” Father’s Day is next Sunday. Dads aren’t very good at answering this question without some time and thought, and though you may think some of these are odd, here’s what I’d like:

+ I’d like you to trust in God a lot and pray every day, and not just to ask Him for things.
+ I’d like you to be good to yourself and other people, and treat them right.
+ I’d like you to be able to defend yourself, emotionally and physically, but be gentle.
+ I’d like you to stand up for what’s right, and do it with respect even if the other guy is a jerk.
+ I’d like you to love and esteem your Mother, especially if I did a poor job of it.
+ I’d like you to honor your Grandparents. They are of a different time and tried their best.
+ I’d like you to be honest but patient with me, because I, too, grew up in a different time.
+ I’d like you to take an interest in our country and honor the people who defend it.
+ I’d like you to help out with good causes that involve others in greater need than yourself.
+ I’d like you to grow to be a responsible adult. If you’re still not sure what that means, ask me.
+ I’m glad if you ask me how I am doing, but be patient if I rehearse a few things.
+ I’d like it if I tell a story over a second or third time that you’ll still smile or even laugh again.
+ If I appear indifferent, it may be because I didn’t understand you even with my hearing aids.

            At the end of my life I hope you will still love me, even if I’ve shown you more of the sinner I am than the saint. Despite what it may have seemed at times, I tried my best. If you can, on Father’s Day I’d like you to take your Mother out to a restaurant. And I wouldn’t mind having lunch with just you sometime.

Love, your Dad

Sunday, June 7, 2015


        People all over the world are constantly looking for something better. Whether it is better fruit at the store or a better place to live, a better car or even a better relationship, we are constantly on the lookout for what we can get that is better. I am not sure what the cure of this can be for others, but I have found out what works for me. With some things, I just stop looking.
        I have always been fascinated with cars and ever since buying my first one in 1966, I have been on the lookout for the next one, hoping it will be better. A few years ago I got a used luxury car, one of those big ones made with lasting quality. I liked it so much that I bought another one and now I have two, one in Arizona and one in Colorado. Neither cost much since they were used and I have decided to keep them in good condition and not get any more. They will be my last cars, God willing.
        The book of Proverbs is filled with comparisons that point us to the right thing in life, right decisions and words, deeds and thoughts. The purpose of the book is to give the reader the knowledge and wisdom based on faith in God. It is not surprising to find many statements that say, “This is better than that.”
        For example, Proverbs 16 tells us It is better to seek wisdom than to seek riches (v. 16). It also says It is better to be poor and humble than rich and proud (v. 19) and, It is better to keep our temper under control than to be a ruler (v. 32). Some people are fortunate to have the ability to be both wise and wealthy, but when faced with a choice Proverbs says wisdom is better of the two.
        When Jesus told some of His parables, He would often begin saying, “What do you think?” (Matthew 18:12) He was teaching them to make good choices, and His stories showed them a better way. When we allow the Word of God to help us make decisions and guide our choices, we will find God’s way is always better.

Show me the best way in what I do today, Lord Jesus!

Monday, June 1, 2015


        A 2008 article in the Sacramento Bee newspaper by journalist Carlos Alacala told about a father and son who lived by the ocean and decided that for one year they would spend at least fifteen minutes every day searching together for treasure. The article said they went out each day in every kind of weather to see what they could find.
         The main result of their year of adventure was a collection of coins, golf balls, bottles and cans and various items that they sold for over $1,000. An even more precious result was their improved relationship from their hours of companionship and fun spent together.
         Joint adventure might be a good thing for many fathers and sons. Regular visits or activities can strengthen a fine relationship as they walk, talk about things and discover not only physical treasures, but also the treasures of love and trust. While it is rare that fathers and sons are best friends, they can be good friends.
         God would like to be good friends with us, and one way this can occur is if we decide to spend some time each day reading His Word. Luther once said prayer was like a conversation with God: God speaks to us as we read His Word, and we speak to God in our prayers and thoughts as we react to His Word.
         We are guaranteed that those times will bring us closer together with God. Wise King Solomon wrote, "If you seek insight like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:4-5)
         Growing closer to God in faith and love will not happen quickly. Gradually, day by day, we will find our self changed as we read what God has recorded for us through His prophets and apostles, and then learn to obey it.
         Think of the enjoyment we can have, knowing we will be drawn closer to God as we search for the treasure of wisdom and insight about God's Word and our own life.

God's Word is a lamp to guide us in life.
Rev. Bob Tasler
All my published writings at:

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Dear friends,
          Good oratory is hard to find these days, but one president was probably the best, Pres. Ronald Reagan. A trained speaker, Reagan became a wordsmith of phrases. This speech was given on Memorial Day, 1982, at Arlington National Cemetery. Regardless of your political affiliation, I am sure you will find his thoughts appropriate for this day.

        “Once each May, amid the quiet hills and rolling lanes and breeze-brushed trees of Arlington National Cemetery, far above the majestic Potomac and the monuments and memorials of our Nation’s Capital just beyond, the graves of America's military dead are decorated with the beautiful flag that in life these brave souls followed and loved. This scene is repeated across our land and around the world, wherever our defenders rest. Let us hold it our sacred duty and our inestimable privilege on this day to decorate these graves ourselves -- with a fervent prayer and a pledge of true allegiance to the cause of liberty, peace, and country for which America’s own have ever served and sacrificed.
        “Our pledge and our prayer this day are those of free men and free women who know that all we hold dear must constantly be built up, fostered, revered and guarded vigilantly from those in every age who seek its destruction. We know, as have our Nation’s defenders down through the years, that there can never be peace without its essential elements of liberty, justice and independence. Those true and only building blocks of peace were the lone and lasting cause and hope and prayer that lighted the way of those whom we honor and remember this Memorial Day. To keep faith with our hallowed dead, let us be sure, and very sure, today and every day of our lives, that we keep their cause, their hope, their prayer, forever our country’s own.”  

        America was founded 239 years ago on Christian principles of law and justice. All who seek to change this fact are denying the basis for the gifts God has given us in this nation and are imperiling the freedoms so long fought for. May we always be led by those who would never deny the God of the Holy Bible.

May we ever be vigilant to protect those Godly principles,

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, May 18, 2015



1) Once upon a time, all the villagers decided to pray for rain, and on the day of prayer all the people gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella. That’s FAITH.
2) When you throw a baby in the air, she laughs because she knows you will catch her. That’s TRUST.
3) Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning, but still we set our alarms  to wake up. That’s HOPE.
4) We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future. That’s CONFIDENCE.
5) We see the world suffering evil, but still we get married. That’s LOVE.                                      
6) An old man’s shirt read, “I am not seventy years old. I am twenty with fifty years’ experience.” That’s ATTITUDE.

Those are six very good lessons to learn. Sadly, so much of our life is spent wondering six (or more) other things:
1) Will I succeed? 2) Will I be loved? 3) Will evil prevail? 4) Will I have enough? 5) Will people ever learn? 6) Does God really exist and love me?
God helps us understand by the little lessons we learn in life. True, the big occasions will teach us some things, but the small ones shape our learning, reason and faith as we meet them each and let the good lessons seep into our soul.
We humans will always see life as a series of small daily acts, but God sees the Big Picture. He knows where we are headed and how we will get there.
He gives us FAITH to see each day as a gift and helps us TRUST that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He gives us HOPE that we may not despair and CONFIDENCE to face each day without fear. He shows us His LOVE in Jesus Christ on the cross and gives us the ATTITUDE of joy in knowing what faith in Christ will bring us.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)