Monday, April 25, 2016


        Carol and I recently watched “The Good Lie”, a movie about four young Sudanese who came to America after seeing their families killed in war. The children walked nearly 800 miles to a refugee camp and spent 15 years there. A fifth older boy had allowed himself to be taken by soldiers so the other four could escape. Later when the fifth was found alive in a Kenyan camp, his brother went back and switched identities so the brother who had saved them could come to America. As the younger said to the older, “Yes, this is a lie, but it is a good lie.” The younger man then stayed and worked in the camp hospital while his brother lived a new life.
        The movie showed the courage people are willing to make, as well as enormous difficulties and sacrifices when terrorized by war, packed for years in a refugee camp and finally brought to begin life a new and foreign land.
        It was a very emotional movie for me to watch. From 1978 to 2005, I assisted my churches to help relocate dozens of refugees: Christians from from Laos and Ethiopia, Jews from Russia, atheists from Czech Republic and Muslims from Bosnia. I wanted to do this because I am a child of immigrants.
        I remember many of the first immigrants we helped, and some of the last ones still live in the Denver area. The young have now grown up, attended school, married and have moved away. Some adults have already passed on, as noted from obituaries I found online, and others continue to live their new life.
        An African proverb in the movie struck me: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” God’s Word says in Psalm 68:6, “God puts the lonely into families.” Going through life alone can be risky, but being with others helps. Both of our sons are now married with families, and they will go far because they are going together, together with loved ones and together with the Lord.
        From the beginning God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)  Whether in families, congregations, RV parks or other communities, we go far when we go together. It is God’s blessing of togetherness.

Praise God He helps us come together with Him to eternal life in Jesus.

Rev. Bob Tasler

Sunday, April 17, 2016


        The National Geographic channel is carrying a new series, “The Story of God”, hosted by Morgan Freeman, a popular actor who has played a god role in one of his movies, “Bruce Almighty.” I have watched the series’ shows and found them somewhat interesting, and, of course, very inclusive. Surely we want people to think all religions are basically the same, even if one demands the death of "infidels" who believe otherwise.
        Surprisingly I didn’t mind this inclusivity until this week’s show about monotheism. There Freeman said that the three major monotheistic religions - Islam, Judaism and Christianity - all believe in the same God. What rubbish! They may all believe in the concept of there being only one God, but to say they all worship the same god is both inaccurate and insulting to all three religions.
        Monotheistic religions believe in the concept of there being only one god, but to say they all believe in the same god with merely different names is like saying three husbands are all married to the same wife. All three married men may believe in the concept of marriage, but they are surely not all married to the same woman with different names.
        Freeman is, however, echoing what the secular media believes to be the truth, that differing religions all worship the same god. Such a demeaning idea may well be a major presupposition behind the series. Despite the series’ supposed neutrality, it is heavily loaded towards the idea that all religions are pathetic human attempts to help people deal with rough times.
        Jehovah of the Old Testament said it plainly in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Again He said in Isaiah 45, “I am God, and there is no other.” There is no equating Jehovah with Allah, no matter who says so.
        Praise be to the one, true God that His Son Jesus has shown us the way to God when He said plainly in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, April 11, 2016


Dear friends,
        When something around the house gets old, do you replace it or repair it? This month I decided to replace our scratched and worn Arizona bathroom and kitchen sinks. I did it myself, and without leaks. Amazing! I was also planning to replace our aging mini-blinds that were covered with desert dust, but before calling for an estimate I thought I’d try cleaning one. It was messy, but it turned out well enough that I decided it would be easier to clean rather than replace them all. After that first one I developed a method I thought I’d share with you.
        CLEANING DIRTY MINI-BLINDS: 1) Get a sprayer attachment for your shower head. 2) One at a time, take an extended blind into your bathtub. 3) Spray with spot remover and rinse with hot water, one side at a time. 4) Drain the blind and hang it outside to dry. 5) Clean the next blind, then put the dried blind back on its window. 6) Repeat cleaning and drying each mini-blind until done. (Warning: Husbands who do this may be nominated for sainthood.)
        God also faces decisions whether to repair or replace. The Bible tells us twice in history God saw so much sin and dirt among His people that He wanted to replace them. With all the evil before the Great Flood (Genesis 6-9), He did just that and started over with Noah’s family. The second time (Exodus 32), God was so disgusted with the Israelites’ worshipping the Golden Calf that He said to Moses, “Let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, that I may consume them; but I will make of you a great nation.”
        Moses objected, and God listened to his pleas for mercy and changed His mind. Instead of replacing them, He repaired them by making them drink “golden” water containing ground bits of their idol. The resulting mass stomach aches may have made the people wish He would have consumed them.
        Ever since the Garden of Eden, people have always found ways to dirty and ruin themselves through sin. God knew replacing mankind would have become an endless process, so He chose to repair His people, once and for all, through forgiveness in the death and resurrection of His Son. The Holy Spirit continually works for our repair by giving us saving faith and moving us to do good works.

Praise God that He chose repair of humanity rather than total replacement.
Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, April 4, 2016


        During the first week of April here in Arizona, the RV parks empty out. During the last days of March the mass migration begins as people pack up and return to their other homes in the midwest, northwest, east or west, or straight north to Canada. Our Palm Creek is home to 500-600 “permanent” residents who live here the year-round, but the other 3,000 winter residents stay only for the season. When they leave the park quickly empties out.
        Have you ever felt like you’re emptying out, or running on empty? I once forgot to check my car’s gas gauge and ran out of fuel ten miles from home. I flagged down a ride into town and brought back a can with a few gallons for the tank. The car didn’t start right away (the one and only diesel I’ve ever owned) but with some coaxing it finally ran again. I felt a whole lot better when my car was running than when it was empty.
        But what happens when your heart is running on empty? Or your soul? What will fill you up again? Who will help you get back on the road of life?
        There is so much that empties us out in our modern world. With all our work and fun, we may think we are living a fulfilling life. But then something happens - bad medical report, bad relationship, bad job, bad spending - and we realize we’re actually running on empty. And we usually don’t get started right away, but need a lot of coaxing to get our life going again.
        Jesus can help with this. In Matthew 11:28, He said, “Come to me, all you who are tired and weary, and I will give you rest.” When we’re running on empty, coming to Jesus in prayer, confession and in worship is the first thing we need. But service helps, too. You’d be surprised how helping others fill their tanks will help fill your own.
        We empty ourselves the fastest when we spend our money, time and energy only on ourselves. Giving it away is how God helps us get it back. Keeping it all will guarantee our running dry.

Coming to Jesus helps you get refilled. Try it - it works!