Monday, December 26, 2016


        An hour before leaving to lead Christmas Eve worship at Christ Lutheran, Coolidge, AZ, I received a call that the church lights were out. A powerful rainstorm had knocked out the power on the north side of town, and there was concern if power could be restored in time for church. 
        My mind immediately recalled a similar night of worship many years ago when the lights went out at my first church in North Dakota when a 1972 October snowstorm resulted in a collision between a local snowmobile and a power pole. I grabbed my badly tuned guitar just in case we needed it for “Silent Night”, three small Harbor Freight flashlights, my briefcase and my wife, and made haste over the fields and past the flocks of sheep grazing along the road. 
        Arriving at church as the sun was setting, I was met by skeptical worshippers whom I tried to set at ease with, “Been there, done this before, so don’t worry.” After decisions were made how to usher in the folks and not to use the guitar, the little church filled up with everyone sharing a personal flashlight. The good Lord even gave us a gorgeous Arizona sunset to remind us He was the real One in charge. 
        And so it was that while we were there, the days were accomplished that we should worship the Savior. In true Lutheran tradition, we all did the best we could amid murmurs and chuckles of what was to come. With God’s very personal blessing, we worshipped His Son as the Savior who was born one dark night in Bethlehem. 
        The service was actually quite lovely. A cappella Christmas carols sung with gusto, lessons read by flashlight, and sermon with even a tear or two, all made it memorable. Near sermon’s end the lights came on, just like they did back in 1972. And as people left, a friend was heard saying, “I liked it better when the lights were off.”

How memorable was your Christmas Eve?

Rev. Bob Tasler (

Saturday, December 24, 2016


        “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might be adopted as God’s children.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
        Ken and Lori faced an unsure Christmas. Ken had lost his job and they had little savings, barely enough for the next month’s house payment. Lori’s time was taken caring for their four young children, and Ken’s efforts at gaining a new job had been fruitless. 
        One evening after the children had been tucked into bed, Ken and Lori sat at the table. “We’re facing a bleak Christmas,” he said. “The bills keep coming and our car needs repair. Nothing is going right.” “Don’t worry, Honey,” Lori added, “Something will come up. God has always helped us.” “But where is God?” Ken asked sadly. “Where is He right now when we need Him?”
        The next morning everything changed. The phone rang and a man said Ken’s Uncle George had died. Ken and his cousins were named in the Will and would share in the estate. Ken’s share would not only give them a wonderful Christmas, it would even help him open his own business. Uncle George’ death gave Ken and Lori an inheritance that would save them from financial ruin.
        You and I might also face a bleak Christmas if it were not for the inheritance we have received from death of our Lord Jesus. The blessing of Christmas is far more than a joyful birthday celebration. It is God’s assurance that we are delivered from a bleak future through the resurrection of the One who was born in the manger. We rejoice that Jesus was born, but especially that He gives us our eternal inheritance.
        Where is God when we need Him? He is with us, for He is our Immanuel, our “God with us”. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” He assures us in Hebrews 13:5

Give thanks this Christmas that He will never forsake us.

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, December 12, 2016


God is willing and able to answer our prayers, but we must do something about it. If we ask Him for something, we should be ready to act and get ready for His answer. Remember, though, it will be His answer and His timetable. He’s a Father Who loves us and will answer our prayers, even when the odds seem against us.
A hundred years ago, a young farmer’s wife died, leaving him with four young children to raise. After a year of trying, he realized he could not do this alone. Being a Christian man, he prayed and prayed, but no answer came. Finally the man realized he had to do something about it. So he got on his horse and rode to a neighbor’s farm nearby, where he asked to see their oldest unmarried daughter. When the young woman came out, he proposed to her on the spot. Of course she refused him.
Undeterred, the man rode to a second farm, and again he asked to see the oldest unmarried daughter. She came out, and he proposed to her. Amazingly, this woman accepted his proposal, and the family says they were married over forty years before one of them died.
What is amazing is that the farmer proposed without even getting off his horse! That man was related to my wife, a distant great uncle through her father. God answered the man’s prayers, in part because the man did something about it.
God works in surprising ways. Old Zechariah and Elizabeth prayed for a child and God answered them through an amazing boy they named John. But they also had to do something about it. Even at their old age, they had to be part of the solution. God sent an angel to tell them to get ready for a new arrival. Their prayers were answered, but only after they did something about it.

The angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” (Luke 1:13)

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, December 5, 2016


        I hope you are observing Advent in some way, getting ready for Jesus’ first coming at Christmas, and also getting ready for His Second Coming. Getting ready is what Advent is all about.
        Living on the farm, my parents often had neighbors over for a visit. Our nearest neighbors were the Arndts just east of us, but my parents’ visited most often with the Olsens to the west of us. Recently I received an E-Mail from their daughter, Mavis. She periodically comments on my “Weekly Message”, and it’s fun to hear from her.
        There was a custom my parents had with the Olsens. For many years during the winter once a month they got together on Wednesday night to play cards. Evidently they had some sort of calendar of whose turn it was to be host.
        I recall one afternoon after chores Mom handing me a broom to sweep the kitchen. I asked if someone was coming and she said, “I think so, the Olsens.” I asked if she knew for sure if they were coming, and she said, “I want to be ready just in case they come.” I asked her, “Why don’t you call them on the phone?” “No need,” she said, cleaning the counter. “We’ll just be ready in case they come.”
        The Olsens did come that night for an hour of two of “Five Hundred” in the kitchen. I stayed in the dining room, reading or watching something on our snowy black and white Philco. I heard their laughter, smelled their coffee and Dad’s pipe, and was invited to the kitchen to eat something Mom baked before they left.
        Mom baked nearly every Wednesday, and Mrs. Olsen probably did too. And she probably cleaned her house on that special Wednesday, too, just in case the Taslers came over. Good neighbors always like to be ready, just in case.
        Advent is a time to be ready for the unexpected. Near the end of His ministry, Jesus several times told His disciples to keep watch, because He was going away and would return at a time they wouldn't expect.
         In Luke 12, He told them at story that ended, “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them.”         Jesus, God’s Son, waiting on us because we were ready for Him - think of it! Being prepared for Christ’s return means having a faith that shows itself in worship and prayer and also in service to those in need.

How ready are you for Jesus’ return?

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, November 28, 2016


        We continue to be bombarded with the drama of the presidential election. Newsbits vary from intense and to trivial, so that most of us can hardly bear listening to them. It is as if we think our leaders can determine the life or death of our nation itself. 
        But how important, in the scheme of things, are our leaders or even our nation? How important is our government? If "wrong" leaders are chosen, will America really fall into ruin? All governments eventually fail and fall. Although ordained by God, none will last forever. 
        In the 1981 historical film "Chariots of Fire” Christian athlete Eric Liddell preaches a sermon to a Paris Christian congregation on the Sunday he was to have raced in the 1924 Paris Olympics. He had refused to compete that day because he believed it wrong to do so on the Christian Sabbath. Historians are unsure of the content of his message, but it is reported to have been based on Isaiah 40, and the movie has Liddell quoting the following verses:
        "Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales… All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are accounted by Him as less than nothing and emptiness… He brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness." (Isaiah 40:15, 17, 23)
        Some would have us believe that the most important thing in our future is who runs our government. While good government and faithful leaders are great blessings, we cannot place our faith in them. Caesars of the past are long gone, and even Cuban leader Fidel Castro is finally dead. All leaders, no matter who or what they’ve done or how long they have lived, will fall and fail. 
But our Lord God will not. He alone remains from one generation to another. We would do well to remember verse 28 of Isaiah 40, "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom.“ 
        This election process will pass, and we hopefully will learn to deal with the outcome. Whatever our wishes may be, let us trust God completely in life, for we can do no better. We may support our party as we wish, but it is He who governs our souls, not our bodies, that really matters.

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." (Isaiah 40:31)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


       My wife and I believe in giving to worthy charities as a way to show our thankfulness to God at Thanksgiving. I'd like to share with you two Lutheran Charities we support and will continue to do so during the year: ORPHAN GRAIN TRAIN OF CASTLE ROCK, and SHEPHERD'S CANYON RETREAT. These are also good places for your Christmas year-end gift-giving.
       ORPHAN GRAIN TRAIN OF CASTLE ROCK is getting ready to ship their 6th shipping container of 2016 filled with used clothing to Latvia where it will be divided among four Christian orphanages. Each container contains 1,642 boxes of used clothing sorted and packed by the members and friends of Epiphany Lutheran Church, Castle Rock, CO. This clothing is shipped around the world with funds raised by Epiphany OGT, and each container costs $7,000 to $14,000 each to ship. "Thrivent Choice" dollars is a good way to donate, or just send your checks to Orphan Grain Train, 6557 Turnstone Ave, Castle Rock, CO 80104. Garry at can answer your questions.
       SHEPHERD'S CANYON RETREAT is an 8-day intense therapeutic experience where full-time church workers (and spouses) can go who need a renewal of strength to keep serving the Lord. Located at "Standing Stones" Retreat Center, SCR has helped hundreds of pastors, DCE's, missionaries, chaplains and other church workers to work through struggles they face in their work for the Lord. Attendees must provide their own funds (av. $3,000 each) and are given direction hopefully to remain in their tasks, rather than leave their ministry. Dave Anderson, chairman of SCR, directs this worthwhile work. Contact him at if you have questions. Mail your gifts to SCR, Box 51510, Phoenix, AZ, 85076.
       Either of these fine ministries will use your gifts to show your thankfulness to God. Some people make charitable gifts directly from their IRA annual distributions. That's what we do.

(Psalm 118:1)

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, November 21, 2016


         What can a person do at Thanksgiving if all the food is ready but the guests can’t come? I recall a Thanksgiving meal my wife and I hosted 40 years ago in North Dakota. We had been at this church about a year, and my brother and his family were planning to drive up from southern Minnesota and join us for the holiday. A heavy snowfall, however, cancelled their plans at the last minute and they could not come.
        So, what can a person do? The turkey was thawed and the side dishes ready to be cooked. Pie was baked and the house was decorated. What did we do? We invited someone else! That day we got up early, put the turkey in the oven and made ready all the potatoes, gravy, stuffing, vegetable dishes, cranberry relish (gotta have that) and freshly baked pumpkin pie. Then we prayed others would join us.
        As the people left after Thanksgiving worship that day, I invited some right out of the line, people with no family there whom I knew would probably be eating alone or at the cafe. Six accepted our invitation and our table was filled. I can even remember some who came - Grace and Merle Akers, Vi Solberg, and three others.
        Instead of having a quiet house with just us four, there were ten happy, sociable, hungry people. What a Happy Thanksgiving it was, filled with food and joy! While I’m sure those guests are all with the Lord now in the heavenly Thanksgiving, our impromptu feast of 1976 is still a fresh memory to me. I’ve thought of trying this again, but thought better of it. Times, places and people are different today.
         This year, Carol and I are hosting Thanksgiving with family in Tucson, and thanks to Boston Market, it will again be a feast. Ten people will be there again, and again we will be filled with food and joy, freshly baked pumpkin pie, and perhaps a bite of cranberry relish.

“Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, November 14, 2016


        My iPhone kept bugging me about its lack of storage space that I finally did something about it. I deleted unneeded emails and texts and especially dozens of photos -duplicates, silly things I can’t remember why I took them, mistaken photos of feet or when the button stuck and gave me ten shots of the same group. I deleted a bucketful junk, leaving only the good stuff and assuming this action would give my phone lots of storage space. 
        But, alas, it registered the storage as full as before. I tried other things that didn’t work, and almost lost some valuable information. Finally I resorted to an anonymous online expert as to what to do. He said the useless stuff was still there and I should empty the archives. He also wondered why I got a phone with so little storage, and I told him I hated junk in closets. He said just empty the archives. So I did and suddenly I had ten times the space I had before. Actually that conversation never took place - I only read what others had written the expert, but knew he was talking to me.
        There are times in life when we may feel like we can’t get rid of sins that jam up our lives. That’s because we really never get rid of them. We don’t ask forgiveness, just look the other way, try to forget they’re there or hope we won’t do them again. But we must get rid of them.
        Paul tells us in Colossians 3:8-9, “You must get rid of all such things these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filth language. Do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self and have put on the new self which is being renewed.” Jesus is more than happy to get rid of them for you. Just ask Him. 
        After last week’s election and its unintended consequences of rioting, irrational anger, finger-pointing and childish giggling or weeping, all of us need to clean out our archives. We need to ask God to remove the trash that blinds us and stops up our ears. It’s time to act like adult Christians who face who we are, sin-filled people who need a Savior. It’s also time to start showing love to those with whom we disagree
        As Paul also said, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father though Him” (3:17)

“May the God of peace sanctify us through and through.” (1 Thess. 5:23)

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, November 7, 2016


        This Friday, November 11, is Veterans Day. Last month when we laid to rest Carol’s step-father, Pat Frank, the local Legion Post held the honors ceremony for their WWII Coast Guard comrade. An aging Vet played “Taps” and brought tears to our eyes.
        Of all the melodies known in America, none is so easily recognized or more apt to render emotion, than “Taps.” The twenty-four note melody is both eloquent and simple and is used at all military funerals.
        “Taps” is unique to the United States military. In 1862, General Daniel A. Butterfield (1831-1901, Brigade Commander, Medal of Honor recipient) was not pleased with “Extinguish Lights,” the bugle call which ended the day in most Union brigades. With the help of bugler Oliver W. Norton, (1839-1920), Gen. Butterfield composed the melody “Taps” to honor his men stationed at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, following the Seven Days Battle of the Civil War. 
        The new bugle call was sounded on a night in July, 1862, and soon spread to other units of the Union Army, and eventually also to the Confederates. “Taps” was made an official bugle call after the war. The origin of the words to “Taps” is not known, but here are the two known verses:

          Day is done. Gone the sun,
          From the lake, From the hill, From the sky;
          All is well, Safely rest - God is nigh.

          Fading light, Dims the sight,
          And a star, Gems the sky, Gleaming bright;
          From afar, Drawing nigh, Falls the night.

 “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you.” (3 John 2)

Thank You, Lord, for all our veterans, past or present, who have given us freedom.

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, October 31, 2016


Dear friends,
        I chuckle now and then at how enjoyable life’s little turns can become. On a dry and sunny fall day earlier this month, I was driving to the store with all my windows down. I had turned up the radio to listen to a peppy classical number which I knew quite well. Its energy and bright, melodic theme are always fun to hear. 
        But as I listened, a certain musical line in it was new to my ear. It was in the correct key, on the beat and tempo. It was fun to hear, almost happy, but new to me. After a minute or so, the musical line happened again, and then a third time. 
        Then it occurred to me. I’d forgotten to buckle my seat belt and was hearing its warning chime in the music! Antonio Vivaldi a la seat belt dings! I arrived at the store, but left the radio running one more time to hear the peppy new arrangement. 
        Now before you chide me for not wearing my seatbelt, consider the blessings God gave that day. The totally unexpected blended in; the mistake became a perfect match; the coincidence provided a memorable song, one neither I nor anyone else will probably ever hear again. God gave a totally original gift!
        Some reading this and say, “Oh, get a life! If that’s all it takes to get you excited, you need to get out more.” Perhaps so, but recalling that fun little accidental piece brings me a smile every time. That’s getting turned on for good reason. And now I always wear my seat belt!

“We will play my music on stringed instruments all the days of our lives, at the house of the Lord.” (Isaiah 38:20)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Sunday, October 23, 2016


         This past weekend the Chicago Cubs won the National League pennant for the first time in 71 years. Cubs fans cheered and partied all night long. If the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians, their fans will be ecstatic, since it will be their team’s first World Series title in 108 years.
      Some might ask, “Does God care who wins?” Our secular winning-is-everything culture may infer that somehow God smiles on winners. A Pew Religion Research article reported that up to 60% of Americans believe athletes of faith are rewarded with better success than others. It’s probably based on the idea that God blesses the righteous with victory and leaves the less righteous wondering what they did wrong.
      Winners and losers of wars and athletic contests may both pray, “Thank You, God, for being on our side.” I find myself happier if my team wins and a bit depressed after a big defeat. Rather silly, isn’t it?
      Truth is, God has a history of allowing his people to lose so they can somehow win in the bigger arena of life. The life of Joseph (Genesis 37–50) comes to mind. The pharisees, too, thought they had won their battle with Jesus. But we know they did not.
      Does God care who wins? It may surprise you, but I think the answer is yes. He does care, but not in the way we think, and surely not in the way implied in some post-game interviews.
      Scriptures tell us God cares about everything that happens in the universe. His divine power is as concerned with the sub-atomic particle as with an entire solar system. He doesn’t have a junk-pile mentality that considers some people as waste material, like “unwanted” babies or non-productive athletes. The earth and its people were not made to be tossed out.
      God’s concern extends far beyond our ideas of victory or defeat, success or failure. He cares who wins because games help us enjoy life. We may attach esteem or identity to scores, but God gives us a win simply because He loves us. God also cares because game outcomes can give us an opportunity to glorify Him.
      He blesses winners and losers with another opportunity to thank Him for life and service to Him with our bodies and skills. He may even use the outcome of a game to allow non-Christian players to realize their need for their Savior Jesus.
      Everything that happens can point us toward Jesus. He cares about our game scores so long as they contribute to His Lordship over us all. “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!” (Psalm 126:3)

In Jesus Christ, we are all winners!

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, October 17, 2016


        My young neighbor friend is having part of his house remodeled. He invited me in this morning to show me the progress, and I was struck at how different his formerly warm home now looks with damaged walls and bare floors. His uncarpeted subfloor is cold, squeaky and shows cracks where the plywood sheets join. The furniture is gone and walls no longer have pictures or other decor as before. The torn-up stairway has no railings, and parts of the ascending walls have been cut out. It was very much usual for a remodel - a dusty mess.
        But in the adjoining room were oak flooring, railings and other items ready to be installed. Wallboard, drapes, paint and other items will be brought in, but only after all the prep work is done and the rebuilding begins. In a few weeks my friend’s house will become a home again, newer, brighter and far more inviting than it is right now.
        People may also find their lives in a state of remodeling. Changing of jobs or relationships can make one’s life look confusing, and the death of a loved one can make days cold and bare. Plans may be made, but until put into practice, life may seem uninviting, torn-up, a mess.
        1 Peter 5:6-7 tells us, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
        Just as a house being remodeled looks humble and messy, so our life may seem humble and in need of cleansing. Thus we must seek the help of Jesus, the Master Builder, who will forgive us our sins, help us get rid of the old and put on the new. When we trust His almighty power, Jesus will help us arrange our lives better than they have ever been, and we will praise Him for giving us a new start in life.

We like our redecorated house and know our neighbors will like theirs, too.

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, October 10, 2016


            In 1948, after numerous defeats and imprisonments, Mahatma Ghandi failed to survive the last of 6 assassination attempts. While never holding an elected position, he is still considered the liberator of India from a century of British rule.
            In 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa after serving 27 years as a political prisoner for his actions against apartheid.
            In 1989, Vaclav Havel was elevated from ten years as political prisoner to becoming the first elected president of present-day Czech Republic, leading that nation just out of communism for 14 years.
            Each of these three leaders was acclaimed as a person who "brought the light to places in deep darkness," as former Secretary of State Madeline Albright said at Havel's funeral.
            What these world leaders did for their nations, Jesus of Nazareth did for the entire world. He brought light into darkness at the dawn of creation. At His birth He brought light into a world darkened by sin and evil. John 1:4-5 tells us, "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
            John the Baptizer came to prepare the way of the Lord and to bear witness to Jesus as the Light of the world. In John 8:12 Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
            Like John, we, too, can bear witness that Jesus in the Savior who brings light into the darkness of peoples' souls and also into the hearts of nations when its people turn from the darkness of sin to following the Light of the world.
            In our world today, where good is often considered bad and bad is seen as good, where good and evil are interchanged and mingled, people are seeking direction and light for the darkness. Perhaps today you can be the one who shines the light of Christ into someone's heart.

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, October 3, 2016


        Americans today are bombarded with the drama of the presidential election. Information about it has become so intense and yet trivial that most of us can't wait for it to be over. We are told our choice may determine the life or death of our nation itself. Yet none of the candidates seem worthy of being elected. 
        We may, however, do well to ask just how important, in the scheme of things, our leaders really are? And how important is our government? If the "wrong" leader is chosen, will America really fall into ruin? All governments eventually fail and fall. Although ordained by God, none will last forever. 
        In the 1981 historical film "Chariots of Fire", Christian athlete Eric Liddell preaches a sermon to a Christian congregation on the Sunday he was to have raced in the 1924 Paris Olympics. He had refused to compete because he believed it was wrong to do so on the Christian Sabbath. Historians are unsure of the content of his message, but it is reported to have been based on Isaiah 40, probably from the following verses:
        "Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales... All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are accounted by Him as less than nothing and emptiness... He brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness." (Isaiah 40:15, 17, 23)
        We are tempted today to believe that the most important thing in our future is who runs our government. However, while good government and faithful leaders are great blessings, we cannot place our faith in them. 
        All leaders, no matter who they are, can and will fall and fail. But our Lord God will not. We would do better to remember verse 28 of Isaiah 40, "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth." 
        Our weariness of this election will pass, and we will learn to deal with the outcome. Whatever our wishes may be, let us trust God completely, for we can do no better. Cast your ballot as you wish, but never forget it is who governs our souls, not our bodies, that really matters.

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." (Isaiah 40:31)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Sunday, September 25, 2016


           Fifty-five years ago, in one of the epic movies of the 1960’s, actor Kirk Douglas (100 years old this year) played Spartacus, the slave who led a revolt of seventy thousand slaves against Rome to win their freedom. The movie was based upon a historical person of that name. In the signature scene, a military envoy announces to the remaining army of captured slaves that their lives are to be spared. They would not be crucified as long as someone would identify the body or the living man named Spartacus.
            Spartacus himself slowly arises so that his fellow slaves might live. But before he can identify himself, a slave next to him jumps up and says, “I’m Spartacus!” Another the slave says the same, “I’m Spartacus!” And so do they all, thus sacrificing their lives for their leader. Historians say the body of Spartacus was never found, but all the surviving slaves were crucified, lining the Appian Way with crosses all the way from Rome to Capua.
            Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus brings that movie to mind, but in reverse. Whereas all the slaves were willing to sacrifice their lives for their leader, our Lord Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself for all His people enslaved to sin. He became like Lazarus - poor, despised and a beggar - the powerful Son of God who stoops down to earth to share our sorrows and bear the eternal punishment of our sins.
            Jesus' crucifixion for the sins of the world is the “great reversal.” God became despised and lowly. Deity became human, that we might be given our freedom.
            Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.” And 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, ”For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
            At the Judgment Day Jesus shall rise and say, “I take the place of those sinners.” The name "Lazarus" means, “The one God helps.” The Divine Helper is crucified for us as if on a string of crosses all the way from earth to the gates of hell. Because Jesus has defeated Satan and has arisen from the dead for us, we are all set free from slavery to live eternally.

By His great sacrifice we are the children of God.

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Sunday, September 18, 2016


        Everyone has doubts, especially about God. To experience times of doubt about God or our relationship to Him is part of being human. Doubt is feeling uncertain about truth, reality or the nature of something. We can’t see God, so we may wonder if He really exists. We see the beauty of creation, yet we wonder if it is the result of random time as scientists tell us. Humans beings seek proof. We’d like to be more certain.
        Is doubt sinful? It can show a stubborn pride if we insist on having proof for everything. Yet we live every day without proof. We turn on electronics and expect they will work because they worked yesterday. We live with our loved ones believing they will act or feel about us today as they did yesterday. True, hearing or seeing something differently today than we did yesterday may cause us to wonder. Wondering can be an element of doubt, but it’s not necessarily sinful.
        Some doubts are like temptations. They come to us through images, thoughts or words and it’s hard to stop them. Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that temptation is common to all people, but God will give us a way to overcome it. I believe we can say the same about doubts.
        Remember how Jesus prayed in the Garden asking His Father if there was another way to accomplish salvation? What He saw coming was painful and He prayed for another way. Was that temptation or doubt? Whatever the case, we know His Father didn’t condemn Him for it.
        Luther once said temptations are like birds. You can’t stop them from flying over your head, but you can and should stop them from making a nest in your hair. Occasional doubts can creep into our thoughts. It’s only when we insist there must be proof for everything that we betray a sinful pride.
        In a sermon I once heard the pastor give three principles for dealing with doubt: 1) Don’t run from your doubts or think having them makes you less Christian. 2) Deal with your doubts through God’s Word. 3) Remember - doubts are overcome by a person, not by a situation.
        Jesus is that Person. He helps us deal with our doubts in a beneficial way. But don’t expect doubts to disappear just because a few things change.
        The greatest of God’s Old and New Testament servants had doubts, and God helped them get through their doubts to a place where they had peace of mind.

“Lord have mercy on those who doubt.” (Jude 1:22)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Despite repeated attempts by lesser groups to force us into their way of life,
we are still free.
Despite endless laws from elected politicians restricting speech and actions,
we are still free.
Despite endless edicts from non-elected regulators to “protect us” with more rules,
we are still free.
Despite threats from elitists that our world will crumble unless we agree with them,
we are still free.
Despite courts legalizing actions humanity has wisely kept illegal for aeons,
we are still free. 
Despite being swamped by useless information,
we are still free.

We are free to worship God as we choose, despite what others may threaten.
We are free to defend ourselves and our loved ones, even with force, for it is a human right.
We are free to think whatever thoughts we may have, for no one can police our mind.
We are free to pursue happiness so long as it does not harm others in their quest.
We are free to cherish our loved ones and keep our Godly commitments until death parts us.
We are free to give thanks to God and mankind for the right to live life without fear.

Some may seek to take away our freedoms, but in Christ, WE ARE STILL FREE.

"If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE." (John 8:31-32)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, September 5, 2016


        Some Christians grow up believing work is bad, that it's a curse brought on by sin and must be endured as punishment. This mistaken belief can cause people to think what they do in their jobs isn't important, or isn't as important as the work of someone else, a doctor, teacher or worker among the poor like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the "saint of the gutters."
        But work, no matter what we may think of it, is good and helpful. It saves us from dullness and boredom. For much of my active ministry I looked forward to a time when I would not be hemmed in by a schedule of required activities. Now that I am retired I see every day the need for things to do, beneficial physical and mental activity to help myself and others. 
        Time hangs heavy on our shoulders when there is no work. True, it's a pleasure to have time off to rest and rejuvenate. Even Jesus Himself took time to rest and urged His disciples to do the same. But in due time we need activities, labor to shape and share our life with others. 
        The one who prefers to remain idle, who lives off the labor of others and expects others to provide for him, becomes more than lazy. He becomes a parasite, taking from others and giving nothing back. That person comes to expect that others "owe him a living" and so he creates any number of reasons to blame others for his state and mask his unwillingness to work. 
        Good work helps, and evil or neglected work destroys persons and eventually societies. Let's approach each day's labor, whether at a job or in some activity to help others, with an awareness of the dignity of working in the world God has given us. "God saw everything that He had made and behold, it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)

Relax awhile today, but then do something helpful to someone else.

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, August 29, 2016


        Last week my wife and I attended our annual retired pastor’s gathering, this year a picnic on a sunny warm day. A dozen and a half longtime friends enjoyed backyard fellowship and fine food.
       At one point each of us was asked to share a little of what we have done this summer. One pastor’s wife with several married children said they’d had a family reunion, and at some point the conversation turned to football. One of the grandchildren grew tired of the topic and in a loud voice declared, “Jesus and Broncos! Jesus and Broncos! That’s all we ever hear about at our house - Jesus and Broncos!”
       While we laughed at the cute comment, the boy had said something I thought was great. The little fellow was listening and what he heard from the grownups was good. His was a Christian family where Jesus truly was present. It reminded me of a plaque I saw on a wall:
             “Christ is the unseen Guest at every meal,
              The silent Listener to every conversation.”

       There is certainly no shortage of bad news today, much of it fueled by the Media who live by slogans like, “If It Bleeds, It Leads” or “Good News Is No News.” The political news is pathetic. Our children hear more than we think, and if they are hearing our anger, fear or constant criticism at home, the little critics will absorb our anger and fear.
       I saw a short video at a church service whose central point to the adults was, “Stop all the arguing - You’re scaring the kids!” Good point!
       But if our children hear us speak of Christ’s love and joy in living, it helps them better handle their normal struggles of growing up and facing life. Anything we can do to foster God’s peace and love in our kids is better than dumping our fears all over them. “Love one another, as I have loved you,” said Jesus in John 15:12.

A little sports fun helps, too. Go Broncos!

Rev. Bob Tasler  

Sunday, August 21, 2016


      In the early 1960’s, Toronto Professor Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” He meant our inventions will shape us. He even wrote of a Global Village and predicted the Worldwide Web decades ahead of time. A devout Roman Catholic, he saw the effects popular culture was having on people, long before PCs, cell phones and satellites. He saw people being shaped by technology, and he said the effects may not be good.
      Today we see these effects all around us. The constant barrage of instant information shapes our thoughts and chips away at our ability to choose what’s important. So long as we have a laptop and Google, we think we have all we need. The young especially are finding it hard to exist without their iPhone, and they are becoming more and more dependent on questionable technology.
      Can we even imagine life without our gadgets? With them we inform, entertain and communicate. We don’t look at things, we “iPhoto them” and perhaps look at them later. People take “selfies” no matter how appropriate the time or place. We can’t even go to the grocery store without our cell phone. And when our batteries go dead, we’re nearly helpless.
      This is not good for us, and the Apostle Paul said so 2,000 years ago. In Romans 12:1-2, he wrote, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good.” (J.B.Phillips)
      We may not be able to stem the tide of excessive technology, but we can keep it from holding us hostage. Every day we can ask God to help us focus on what is really important - His Word and prayer which will help us follow Him and love our neighbor. Every day we should remind ourselves this will soon be replaced something else. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ will remain.

Don’t be shaped by the world. Ask Jesus to shape you His way.

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, August 15, 2016


        The 2016 Rio Olympic games are under way and have produced at least one story worth remembering. It's not about how many gold medals one athlete racks up, but a story of performing against the odds. Such is the story of Derrick Redmonds who tore his hamstring in the 200 meter race at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He crossed the finish line, but only with the help of his father who had come out of the stands to hold him up and walk together.
        Or "Eddie the Eagle" Edwards who represented Great Britain as a ski jumper in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, despite being clumsy, nearsighted, and having jumped barely a year. Or the Jamaican Bobsled team which finished last each of the five years it competed. These all are remembered for their effort rather than for winning.
        On August 14, 2016, 24 year-old Wayde van Niekerk became part of that group, winning the Gold Medal in the 400 meter men's race. Why should he be included in a group of losers? Because he should never have been there, let alone won. Niekirk, a biracial sprinter from South Africa would not have been allowed to participate a few decades ago under Apartheid laws. He had been trained with less money and under conditions considered primitive to elite runners. And Niekirk won his race from the 8th lane. Runners never win Gold Medals in the 8th lane, let alone set a world record!
        But none of this would have been possible without his coach, Ans Botha, a white-haired 74 year-old great grandmother! "Tannie Ans", 50 years his senior, guided young Niekirk to Olympic glory, as he smashed Michael Johnson's 17 year-old World Record.
        Tannie Ans, who began coaching in the 1960's, has no plans to retire, and is still sought out by rising stars. "I have such a big responsibility to get an athlete to develop to his full potential," she says.
        Our Heavenly Father does this and far more. He makes winners out of losers every day. Because of His Son Jesus, He picks us up when we fall and brings us across the Finish Line to eternal glory with the angels. We might look like losers on earth, but when we trust in Jesus, we are all winners. As St. Paul said,

"We are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (Romans 8:37)

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, August 8, 2016


      The words of some people remain with us. Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who, together with her family members, helped many Jews escape the Holocaust during World War Two. She was arrested and endured the horrors of Ravensbruck women’s camp, losing her beloved sister Betsie who told Corrie just before she died, “There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still.”
      After the War, Corrie established a rehabilitation center for refugees. She is most remembered for her book, The Hiding Place, as well as her memorable quotes made during her hundreds of speeches about Jesus given in 60 nations until her death at 91.
      Corrie has given us so many thoughts to help us in our faith walk through life. One such verse speaks a needed message to all:
            “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark,
                    you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off.
                            You sit still and trust the engineer.”

       Despite our world’s amazing advances, we are entering a dark tunnel. Honor for God and respect for each other are disappearing. The shrill sounds of terror, lies and hatred are trying to drown out the Good News of Jesus. People without a compass are running in fear, tossing what is good and babbling nonsense. Now is not the time to run and jump, but to sit still and trust the Engineer.
       “Be still and know that I am God,” He says in Psalm 46, the same Psalm that begins with, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
       When it feels as if the train of our life has run off the tracks, just sit still, hold fast to your ticket and trust in God. Your ticket through the tunnel is faith in Jesus, the loving Engineer who will see that we get through the darkness to His Light on the other side.

“Therefore we will not fear!” (Psalm 46:2)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Sunday, July 31, 2016


Dear friends,
         On Tuesday, July 26, 2016, Father Jacques Hamel, age 84 and priest for 58 years, was murdered with a knife by ISIS agents at St. Etienne Church, Rouen, France. Why would ISIS agents do this? Why target an old man and a small group when larger crowds were nearby?
         Father Hamel was murdered because he was doing his job as a pastor, to preach the Gospel and forgive sin. Many contemporary pastors think their task is to tell people to be a nice to each other, or to sing the praises of victorious living, or to tear down the walls of injustice.
         Christ said in John 20:23, "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” A pastor shows us our sins, and tells us how Jesus has earned our forgiveness on the cross. Whether parishioners call him pastor, father, reverend or Fred, announcing God’s forgiveness is what Christ has called the pastor to do. That’s why Father Hamel was killed by ISIS agents.
         The god of ISIS demands absolute obedience. ISIS sees Hamelas handing out gifts that can only be earned by unquestioning obedience to their god. The True God sent Father Hamel to forgive sins, but ISIS agents sent themselves to kill in their god’s name.
         In early days Christians regularly faced threats of death, but they clung to the Gospel treasure all the more. Church father Tertullian said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church,” and with it the Church grew. The Church eventually was protected from persecution, but Christians forgot what it meant to be persecuted in His name. Most Christians today see persecution as an outdated problem, but Middle Eastern Christians know it is not.
         The world will do to Christians what it did to Christ. Pastors err when they preach only morality, prosperity, or social justice. Neglecting Law and Gospel, they leave their members unequipped to understand why ISIS would target them. Christ sends pastors to show God’s love and mercy, but the devil sends his agents to kill an old priest to spread fear.
         A faithful shepherd will prepare his sheep to stand firm in the face of persecution. When a pastor baptizes, administers Holy Communion or speaks God's forgiveness, he is giving us the treasures of the Gospel that cannot be taken from us, even by death.
         As the terrorists stormed his sanctuary, Father Hamel’s last words to his flock well might have been, “Don’t be afraid. These men have come to take our lives, but they’re too late. Our lives already belong to Christ.”

Rev. Bob Tasler (

Monday, July 25, 2016


     Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament. Hidden away in it is a vital question that should interest us: "How would you respond when your enemy has misfortune?" I recall a youth Bible study many years ago titled, "Would you laugh if a brick fell on your enemy's head?" I recall thinking I probably would. After all, it's human nature to feel glad when someone who has caused you much trouble gets stopped cold. Trouble is, "human nature" is a result of sin.
       The prophet Obadiah spoke the Word of God during a time when Jerusalem was under attack by the armies of Babylon. They were getting beaten badly, and to make matters worse, their closest neighbors, the Edomites, were cheering on the enemy armies as they destroyed and killed the Israelites. 
       The ironic twist of this story is that the Edomites were blood relatives of the Israelites. They were descendants of Esau, twin brother of Jacob, who was the father of the Israelites. When the Edomites cheered for the Babylonians, they were cheering against their relatives. Obadiah condemned them for gloating, saying, "Do not gloat over your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the children of Judah in the day of their ruin." (Obadiah 12) 
       If someone has been hurtful to us, or if they represent what we believe to be wrong, it is easy to be vindictive and find pleasure when they experience misfortune. But the Holy Bible admonishes us, "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, nor let your heart be glad when he stumbles." (Proverbs 24:17) 
       God the Father and His Son Jesus urge us to have an attitude of compassion and forgiveness at all times and for all people, even our enemies. Jesus said in Matthew 5:43, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." As Christians we trust God to bring justice and retribution in His own time and way. 

Jesus prayed forgiveness for His enemies from the cross. We sinners are among them.

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, July 18, 2016


Dear friends,
      On May 19, 1780, The state legislature was meeting in Hartford, Connecticut. Late in the afternoon storm clouds darkened the skies so densely that it became hard to see inside the meeting room. Suddenly one of those present, shouted, “We must adjourn and leave here, for the end is at hand.” But the Speaker of the Connecticut House, rather than call for adjournment, rose and said, "The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Bring in some candles. We’re not done here yet."
      Storm clouds are darkening the skies of our nation right now. In the midst of selecting our highest leadership, people on the streets are being urged to shoot those devoted to protecting us. Anger and hatred are driving people to commit senseless, needless crimes, and people in high places are calling for action in all sorts of ways, some foolish, others fanning the flames.
       The worst thing we can do right now is to give up praying to God. We must ask for His peace and the ability to love, not hate, our neighbor. This is what we must be doing - pray and pray some more. Pray that we can learn to love and to forgive our neighbors, even our enemies - all of them.
       The end is not coming! We have heard these shouts before, and we have survived darker clouds. Rather than cringing at a fearful future, let us be faithful and trusting of God, and forgiving of each other, until Christ returns. Instead of fearing the dark, let us bring in candles, do our godly works and become lights for others.
“Bring in some candles. We’re not done here yet."
Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, July 11, 2016


      Are you adrift in life? Are you anchored so you will not be lost? A man and his wife rented a sailboat in Cape Cod. Both had sailed before and were experienced to handle the small craft. They planned a course for two days on the Atlantic, but to be safe, they stayed on the boat in the harbor overnight with plans to leave early the next morning.
      After taking the short evening trip around the harbor and acquainting himself with the craft, the man dropped anchor for the night, in sight of the other boats in the harbor. Imagine his surprise in the morning when he awoke and there were no boats and no harbor in sight. He pulled up the anchor chain and found it empty. The anchor had come loose from the chain and their boat had been drifting out to sea all night.
       A lot of people in our nation and in the world are adrift in life. Hebrews 2:1 tells Christ’s believers, “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” What have you learned from the Bible? Do you still follow God’s ways and worship Jesus? Have you remained anchored to Christ, or have you drifted away from Him? Does your life have a chain dragging along without an anchor?
       We have good reason to remain connected to God, His Word and His people. The longer we live, the more we should realize our need for being connected to Him. Our life is the boat, the chain is the Word, and Jesus is the Anchor. All three are needed. If we think what we learned as children will keep us anchored all through life, we may be surprised when we find ourselves adrift. The chain may be there, but if it is not anchored to Jesus, who knows where we will go?
       Through using GPS, the man and his wife found their location and quickly returned to the harbor where they got another anchor welded to the chain. God’s holy GPS in the Bible shows us where we are, where we need to go and Who will get us there. Because of Jesus, we need never be lost. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and through faith in Him we can all come to the Father.

Who is your anchor in life?

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, July 4, 2016


Dear friends,
      Today is Independence Day. On July  4, 1776, the Patriots of the First Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, creating a new nation, the "United States of America." Thousands of soldiers in the Continental Army died so that America could become a country where its citizens could live as free people.
      Since those days thousands more have died to allow us to remain free. Here is a poem by Kelly Strong that reminds that the freedom we enjoy has come at a high cost.         
                  "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE"
I watched the flag pass by one day. It fluttered in the breeze.          
A young Marine saluted it, and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform, so young, so tall, so proud.
With hair cut square and eyes alert, he'd stand out in a crowd.
I thought how many men like him had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil, how many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down? How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves? No, freedom isn't free!
I heard the sound of Taps one night, when everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play and felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times that Taps had meant 'Amen.'
When a flag had draped a coffin of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children, of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands with interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard at the bottom of the sea;
Of unmarked graves in Arlington. No, freedom isn't free!

Let us daily give thanks for the freedom we enjoy in our nation. And may God bless our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and all the men and women of all law enforcement agencies who daily put their lives on the line to protect our freedom and safety. Because of their sacrifices we can celebrate this 4th of July in peace and security. Let us strive always to remember that "Freedom Isn't Free!"

Rev. Bob Tasler