Monday, May 30, 2016


       Last night Carol and I watched the National Memorial Day program held in front of our nation's capital. The grand music, proud citizens in uniform and touching remembrances of the sacrifices given our nation by its men and women of the Armed Forces made it nearly impossible not to shed a tear as we watched.
        The soldiers of today and past centuries can bring tears of pride, but also of sadness. We are proud that so many of our nation's finest have been and still are willing to place their lives on the line in order that we can enjoy our freedom. Yet there is sadness that the need for standing armies never goes away.
       There is honor and duty in serving our nation as soldier, sailor, marine, or airman. So long as we live on this planet, we must always have them to defend us. We must ever honor and thank them for what they have done and still do.
       We must always be ready and vigilant to defend our country. Mankind's weakness requires it. We humans have risen to such heights of achievement, invention and information, yet we continue to encounter those who would rob, kill and otherwise destroy us. Why?
       The answer is human sinfulness and its never-ending effect on our fallen, selfish natures that results in havoc and evil on others, evil inspired by Satan, the author of evil. The amazing thing is that God continues His grace and mercy upon us despite our sin. Jesus bids us love one another, including our enemies, a near-impossible task when evil comes close to home and loved ones.
       Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44) Yes, He wants us to love them and pray for them, even those who would kill us and our loved ones! I don't know all that it means to love them, nor do I have the strength to do so. But I'm sure praying for them is a good start, prayer that God would change their hearts toward us and our attitude towards them.
       Carol and I pray daily together and give God thanks for all those who protect us, especially those armed guards who stand between us and the evils of the world. We also regularly give God thanks for allowing us to live in such a great nation as we still have.

Thank You, God, for blessing America!

Sunday, May 22, 2016


         Queen Elizabeth II is 90 years old this year, and she has been a fine example of humility and service during her reign, the longest in England’s history. She once visited Trinidad and Tobago, islands off the northeast coast of South America. When the Queen entered one small town, many of the missionaries and their families joined with hundreds of others who gathered to greet her.
        Adults and children waved small British flags and cheered as they watched the Queen and her entourage came down the street. There were soldiers, the mounted guard and a limousine from which the Queen waved to the cheering crowd. One young spectator later wrote that as soon as the Queen and her party left town, everything returned to normal. His exact words were, “Royalty came to town and nothing changed.”
        When Jesus of Nazareth came to Jerusalem before His death and resurrection, people put palm branches and cloaks on the road as He rode on His “donkey limousine” amid the shouting and cheering people. If anyone there could have seen what was ahead for Him in the coming days, they might have said, “Royalty came to town and everything changed.”
        Jesus continues to come into the lives and hearts of men, women and children, whenever they come to trust Him as their Savior. We all need a Savior, and Jesus gave His life in order to be ours. He took it back again when He returned to the Father and promises us now He will come again to take us to God in Heaven.

Has anything changed in your life because of Jesus?
Rev. Bob Tasler

Saturday, May 14, 2016


        In my childhood home my parents, especially my mother, discouraged us from hating. It was good advice, since hatred must be rightfully and carefully doled out and always in small amounts. Today, however, some people and even whole cultures seem to revel in hatred and even feed off it. Others have over-used the word until it has little or no meaning left.
        To hate means to have an extreme feeling of dislike towards something or someone. It is an intense feeling of revulsion, usually derived from fear or the possibility of injury. Modern usage, however, has expanded use of the word beyond this accepted definition.
        A “hate crime” is done against someone based on their race, religion or other beliefs. “Hate speech” is expressing hateful attitude toward a person or group with whom a person disagrees. “Hate mail” can come from those who disagree with an organization’s policies. To hate a person’s views, or to hate a vicious act, and even to hate ice cream all seem to carry the same value. Such uses dilute the meaning of hatred and equates all hatred as being equal in contempt.
        Such over-use of a more rightful feeling of hatred towards those who embody evil, such as the wicked tyrant, the violent murderer or the abuser of the innocent, no longer has meaning for which the word was intended.
        The Muslim extremist hates others with whom he disagrees enough to blow up themselves (or others they force to carry bombs) and the people around them, whether in the market, police station or religious ceremony. Those who have felt this violence can well come to hate the extremist.
        Hatred should be reserved for the heinous act, but not the perpetrator. Jesus urges us, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44). By this He meant for us to care for people, but not the evil acts they may do. God hates sin, especially that which is carried out against the weak and vulnerable. Yet He also cares for His people, and He will have mercy on the contrite person who seeks mercy. Such grace may, however, still cost the perpetrator rightful consequences.
        “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” our Lord said from the cross (Luke 23:34). Those words apply as much to the heinous criminal as to the arrogant, the self-righteous, the selfish, or the foolish sinner. We all need His forgiveness. But we also need an intense revulsion towards those acts that destroy humanity and fracture our relationship with God.

Father, forgive us when we hate sinner, rather than just the sin.

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, May 9, 2016


        Is there a graduation gift you’ve purchased for someone this spring? Allen Swift (1908–2010) of Springfield, Massachusetts, received a remarkable gift from his father for his college graduation when he was just twenty years old. It was a brand new car. Many a man at that time wished he would have gotten such a graduation gift, but no one would have considered keeping and driving that car for the rest of his life.
        But that’s just what Allen Swift did. His gift was a new 1928 Rolls Royce Piccadilly-P1 Roadster, and he achieved the remarkable feat of continuing to drive it right up until  his death in 2010 at the age of 102. He was the  oldest living owner of a car that had been purchased new. His 1928 Rolls is a marvel of craftsmanship.
        When it  was donated by his family to a Springfield auto museum after his death, the odometer showed 1,070,000 miles on it. That’s 13,000 miles per year, or 1,100 miles per month. It still ran very well, almost like a Swiss watch, its engine quiet at most speeds and body in near-perfect condition even though it had been built 82 years before. They certainly don’t make them like this anymore, do they?
        How many miles does your odometer show, the odometer on your life? How many years have you held up, and how are you running? God wants us to take care of our bodies, but He doesn’t give us all the same kind. Men and women all have body types that vary. I’ve seen people at 85 who are in better condition than others at 65, and no matter how carefully some people take care to eat and exercise properly, their body deteriorates as fast as someone who doesn’t care for his as much.
        A car body certainly isn’t like a human body. God has given us the miracle of human life for a determined span on this incredible planet. When our time comes to leave, we then will all know what it will be like on the “other side.” Praise God that He promises eternal glory in His presence to all who believe and have faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Give God thanks for the miles on your life’s odometer!

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, May 2, 2016


        Yesterday I replaced my bar of Irish Spring shower soap and put the old one in a box with a half dozen other used bars I can’t seem to toss out. Some people use their expensive soap bar down to a sliver, but mine is so cheap I feel I can get a new one it when it gets that small. But it can still be used, so I save it in a box. It just doesn’t seem right to toss them out if they’re still usable. And they don’t melt together like some brands. Tried that once.
        This partly comes from my upbringing not to waste things. I also turn off the lights when I leave a room, including some I’m told use more electricity starting up than to leave them on all day. And I always make sure the outside doors are tightly closed. But there’s another reason about soap.
        A dozen or more years ago I watched a program about an American who rented a boat rowed by an African man for a trip to a village down river. He talked with the African and discovered the man earned only about $30 a month to feed his family of five. This $10 trip was quite valuable to him.
        Not wanting to embarrass the man by commenting on such a small amount, the American asked, “If you had an extra $10, what would be the first thing you would buy with it.” “Soap for bathing,” the man said without hesitation. “We rarely have enough for soap and it would keep my family more healthy.” That comment often comes to mind when my bar of soap gets small.
        I have a pastor friend who has developed and operated a mission on the El Paso/Mexico border for over four decades. At church conferences Pastor Karl Heimer of Isleta Mission often reminds the people of a box in the back of the room where people can put their partly used bars of soap or extra shampoo which he will take to the people served by his mission. “They will all be used gratefully.” he says. I think that’s where I’ll take my used bars this fall.
        Jesus once said, “If you did it [something good] for the least of these, you did it for me.” (Matthew 25:40) That probably includes even giving away a used soap.
        It’s what is in our heart that counts, not the size of our gift. Of course, we who are richly blessed cannot excuse tiny gifts with that sentiment. Jesus reminds us in Luke 12:48, “From whom much is given, will much be required.”
        I hope you don’t have a guilt trip every time you toss something usable. But even a used soap bar can have value to the right person.

I wonder if that American tipped the man an extra $10 at the end of the trip...

Rev. Bob Tasler
Your gifts gratefully received by: Ysleta Lutheran Mission, 301 S. Schutz Dr., El Paso, TX 79907