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