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,