Monday, January 30, 2017


        “Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap. Let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls and enforced in courts of justice.” (Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838)
        Why has it become so difficult for Americans to obey laws which have been duly passed? Example: Congress passes a law and the President who has sworn to execute that law instead issues an order to ignore it. His fans stand and cheer!
       The next President issues an order to enforce that same law and is condemned, not only by citizens, but often by other elected officials who have also sworn an oath to obey those laws. It’s the Double Standard in action, I suppose, and no one seems to know what to do with the ever-present DS. I only know it truly weakens the society.
        Young lawyer Abraham Lincoln had a great idea in his words of 1838. “Reverence for the laws” means we revere them as important enough to follow. It means we hold them high above public opinion which surely not a good method of determining right or wrong.
        Of course it’s true that not all laws are equal in goodness. But if each of us makes ourself the judge of the rightness or wrongness of a law, we are walking on dangerous ground. A society in which each person becomes his or her own measure of the law is a lawless one, an anarchy. Far better that we should follow those laws or change them than merely to pick and choose, especially if we are in a position of authority.
        The Bible mentions “law” 542 times. The Gospel of Matthew uses the word two dozen times, nearly every time by Jesus Himself. He states in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Christians must take care not to capriciously uphold laws they only agree with. They are also bound by the ones they might not like.
        To teach the young it’s noble to cover their faces and hold up placards of protest, or to scream obscenities, or burn cars and break windows, is not reverence for the law. Old Abe must be rolling in his grave at what our people and elected politicians are doing and teaching others to do with the law these days.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, January 23, 2017


        Living in cactus country is different than the Midwest. I have a small cactus garden here with 24 different kinds of cacti. Except for one I bought, all have grown from cuttings our neighbors gave us. My dense garden has become home to mice, quail, rabbits and small birds. 
        Cacti are highly adaptable and will root down from a cutting planted in a little soil, needing only the desert rain. None of my garden plants require special watering. What little rain the Lord provides is enough.
        One of the few cactus that will not sprout its own roots is the giant saguaro. That one needs seeds to start it which come from berries produced by its large spring flowers on top of the arms. Birds eat the tasty food and spread the seeds around. 
        Of the thousands of cacti varieties, most will grow in any soil. The saguaro, however, grows wild only in a certain type of soil. Driving along the desert flatland or hillside, saguaro cacti often appear suddenly, as if a line had been drawn in the sand. Then they disappear again, huge plants with giant arms weighing a ton or more and living a hundred or more years. They are native only in the Sonora Desert.
        Nearly all cacti have thorns that should be removed quickly. Even the fine, soft ones will go in deeper into skin, causing a rash, pain or infection. Cactus thorns are nothing to be trifled with. They need to be removed.
        Thorns are like sins we get caught up in, our addictions, secret sins or destructive private behaviors. If we let these continue and don't find a way to stop doing them, they will cause us problems and harm. Like cacti, sinful activities will implant themselves wherever they can, and before we know it, become entrenched into our life, going deeper and harder to stop. 
        If we get involved in such sin, we must stop right away, even if it is fun or gives us pleasure. If we let it continue, the hurt will go deeper into and even affect those around us. If we ask Jesus, He will help us and show us a better way, a life without harmful sting of sin. 
        God sent Jesus to help us get rid of destructive elements in life. Jesus said, “I came that they might have life abundantly.” (John 10:10) Abundant life in Jesus offers more contentment and peace than we can imagine. 

Happy gardening!

Rev. Bob Tasler,

Monday, January 16, 2017


        In February, 1504, Christopher Columbus was in a bad way. On his fourth visit to the New World, his badly leaking ships had left him stranded on today’s island of Jamaica. The inhabitants, initially hospitable, had grown hostile to his crews and threatened to cut off their food supply.
        Consulting his astronomical charts, Columbus realized they predicted a lunar eclipse in a couple of days. The day before the eclipse, he told the local leaders if they didn’t change their minds, the moon would disappear. When the eclipse occurred as he’d predicted, the locals relented and gave him food. His men and ships were rescued and returned to Spain, but Columbus never returned to the New World.
        While it was deceitful, Columbus did what was needed to save the lives of his people. While we should always seek to do what is right, some of our choices may involve risk. Desperate parents will do things for their family they might otherwise condemn. 
        Life’s choices are not always clearly between right and wrong. Due to mankind’s fallen state, sometimes we must choose the lesser of two evils. That is why we need Jesus our Savior sent to rescue us from ourselves. That is why we need His forgiveness on the cross.
        The complex situations we face in the world today - immigration, right to defend ourself, limits of free speech, and how to help those in need - all require wise choices with limited resources. Such struggles should move us to seek counsel from God’s Word. To rely only on our human wisdom is foolish. We need God’s Word to show us the way.
        I pray that our new civil leaders will seek the Lord’s guidance as they act, because human wisdom alone will not solve what lies before us. It would be wise for us all to “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

Let us all pray for new leaders put in place in the coming days.

Monday, January 9, 2017


        A man realized he had never shown his wife where he had grown up, so they planned a summer road trip that included a visit to his home. During the trip he described to her the house and barn, the garden his mother tended, orchard his father had planted and the huge trees around the farmyard. He told her of the farms and the stream that flowed under a nearby bridge where he had often fished and swam.
        Imagine, then, the man's shock when they came to the old place and found everything gone! The house, buildings, trees, garden and even the farmyard were nowhere in sight. Over the place where he had been born was a field of corn. 
        He drove into the old driveway, now an approach into a field and got out to look. Seeing his emotions his wife said, "Look, there's the stream and the bridge." Yes, they were still there, and so was a neighbor's farm down the road. “That used to be our pasture.” He said, pointing to a field of grain. 
        "I still dream about this place,” he continued, "the house, barn, windmill. In my dream I can even smell my mother’s fresh bread." His wife listened patiently as he described his home, godly parents and other memories. But the emptiness where there had been life was almost devastating.
       Disappointment and disillusionment might shatter a person’s life unless we realize there is something greater, more important than the memories of youth or where we’ve been. Psalm 77:11-12 speaks of memories and God’s presence. "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old. I will ponder all Your works, and meditate on Your mighty deeds."
        It’s important to remember God has been with us, no matter where we are in life. When we come to a crossroad, we can either focus on our losses or consider the blessings God has given us. God will be with us in all of life and His unending love surrounds us every day, from youth to adulthood to eternity. Remembering God's good presence helps keep our hope alive today.

What dream do you have of the past? Is God in it?

Rev. Bob Tasler.

Monday, January 2, 2017


        Happy New Year to you all! We are in a new year and have just heard from Matthew 1 that God sent His Son to be our Immanuel, “God With Us.” What does this mean and why is His being with us so important? 
        On December 12, 2011, an accident occurred in West Valley City, Utah. Aryann Smith, 24, was crossing a street when a city bus ran over her. She was pinned completely beneath the bus with injuries that included both broken legs. 
        Officer Kevin Peck was the first responder on the scene. Seeing someone was under the bus, Peck crawled under on the icy ground to check for a pulse. The woman was alive and conscious and asked him not to leave her. He gently assured her he would not let go of her hands until help came. 
        An emergency crew was able to jack up the bus, slide a backboard under her and bring her out. “She was afraid she was going to die,” the officer said, “I just prayed she'd make it and told her I would stay with her until we got her out.” The young woman lived, in part because the officer stayed with her through it all.
        There may be times in the coming year when we find ourselves “under the bus” from bad health, a poor relationship, faulty finances or foolish decisions. But Jesus will be there with us to help us through it all. He has promised to be our “God With Us” every day in 2017. 
        Therefore, we need not fear what will happen this year. Jesus will hold our hands if needed and will make sure we get the help we need. His name means Savior, “one who rescues.” Trust in Him and give Him thanks that He is with us when we need Him.

“Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you, says the Lord.” (Hebrew 13:5)

Rev. Bob Tasler,