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
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