Monday, February 27, 2017


        Yesterday the Church remembered the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mt. Tabor, ten miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee. In that event Jesus’ appearance was transformed into radiant light and witnessed by Peter, James and John. Christians may wonder why this event is important enough to mention, especially just before Lent. 
        Millennia ago God revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose progeny became the Children of Israel. During the Exodus from enslavement in Egypt, God accompanied them in their desert wanderings through the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night, which guided and assured them that He was with them. 
        Years after conquering of the Promised Land, God told King David his son Solomon would build a temple in Jerusalem. He promised to be with them there in the Temple Holy of Holies where His Light and Glory, known as Shekinah, would remind the people of the twin pillars and that He was still with them.
        God’s Shekinah remained until the Israelites followed pagan gods and were defeated by the Babylonians who destroyed the Temple in 587 BC. Ezekiel the Prophet lamented this, especially when he saw the Shekinah Glory of God leave the Temple (Ezekiel 10-11).
        But God’s Glory and Light returned. Centuries later on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus was transformed, revealed as the Light of the World. Christ’s glorious resurrection showed that God was again with His people. Christians note this event each year because it took place just before Jesus entered Jerusalem to give His life as a sacrifice for the sins of all the world.
        Jesus will always be the Light of the World. When God said, “Let there be light,”He created the power of the universe and all the elements that give life on earth. The glory and power of God are all wrapped up in the humble carpenter, Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth whom we worship because He is the Son of God, Savior of all believers. 

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, February 20, 2017


      I woke up early this morning and couldn’t sleep, so I grabbed my laptop and designed an Order Form for my book display at a Phoenix conference later this week. After Carol and I had a donuts with friends, for some reason I was led to start work on our taxes which took me well into the afternoon.
      I had a few visitors and late lunch of a sandwich with wine just before Carol came home from Chorus practice. After a short nap I booked some flights online for a summer trip, grilled pork chops for supper and sat down to watch the news and a movie. Only as it ended did I realize I hadn’t written my WEEKLY MESSAGE which is always a Monday task.
      So it’s late and I’m back at the laptop grumbling because I still must write. I love writing but dislike feeling forced to do it. I once complained of this to close friend, and he said he liked my stories even if I didn’t like writing them. Almost twenty-five years and I haven’t missed composing my 250+ words of the WEEKLY MESSAGE more than a dozen or so times. But I can’t seem to quit.
      250 words can say a lot. Some of the Bible’s important events (Jesus’ birth, temptation and baptism) are barely that long. The 23rd Psalm is less than half that long (117 words) and look how enduring it still is.
      We don’t need more words in our world; we just need to use them more wisely and carefully.  Scripture tells us God meets the needs of those who seek Him, “Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” (Psalm 34:10)
      A devotional writer named Julie, now at home with the Lord, once wrote, “If today you’re thinking you need just a little bit more of this or that, consider the possibility that God has given you just enough.”

He is rich who is satisfied with what he has.
Rev. Bob Tasler  +

Monday, February 13, 2017


      “The Music Man” was a successful 1957 Broadway musical and 1962 movie, written by Meredith Willson. In the story, Prof. Harold Hill comes to a small Iowa town to get the people to invest in band uniforms in order to keep their children out of trouble, which he identifies with the local Pool Hall. It is actually a money scam which he later regrets, but one of his signature speeches has these words:
      “If so my friends, ya got trouble, right here in River city!
      With a capital "T" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for Pool!!”

      Although the production has little similarity with real life, sometimes life is filled with genuine trouble. Discovery of illness, untimely death, relationship failure, loss of paycheck, all can bring a person a tsunami of sorrow. An associate told me of his hope that the new year would bring less trouble, but so far January alone has brought him more trouble than all of last year.
      In John 16:33 Jesus tells us, “In the world you will have tribulation.” God’s people are not promised a life of ease, prosperity or good health, yet we are never alone in our trouble. In Isaiah 43:2 God tells us, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
      When we have troubles of any kind, God is still with us. He never leaves us. Although we don’t always understand His purposes in the trials we experience, we still trust Him because we know He will always love and care for us. God loves us, no matter what.
      Thus, we need never be separated from the abundant love of God, for He has promised us, “Neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come will ever separate us from the love of God which is ours in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:38-39)

When trouble comes, His presence and love are our best hope.

Rev. Bob Tasler

Monday, February 6, 2017


      Watching the Super Bowl with one quarter left and the score so lopsided, my mind began to drift as to what I could write about this morning. The game seemed over and like most viewers, I’d already given the trophy to Atlanta. They are a fine team, with both offense and defense playing a great game. Young quarterback Matt Ryan, MVP of the 2016 season, was running the show, and aging quarterback Tom Brady of New England didn’t seem to have the stuff to win the Big One one more time.
      Or so we thought. 
      Somehow Brady and the Patriots came back from a 25 point deficit, tied the game, and won it 34-28 in overtime. “Old” Tom Brady won his fifth Super Bowl ring, proving he arguably is the best NFL quarterback of all time. Ironically, Commissioner Roger Goodell handed the Lombardi trophy to the Patriots owner Robert Kraft and then left without facing Brady, the player he’d tried to humiliate for two years.
      After the game ended, Brady went to his knees, face down right in the midst of a wild, pressing crowd. We don’t know if he was giving thanks, or weeping in disbelief or gratitude that his cancer-weakened mother was able to be there. But when he rose up, he did so as a great winning athlete. 
      I didn’t expect to watch the whole game, let alone find a lesson from it. But it became simple: God’s plans aren’t always our plans. Consider the past months: the Chicago Cubs never win the World Series, Donald Trump would never win the presidency, and Tom Brady couldn’t possibly overcome such odds to win his fifth Super Bowl.
      God’s plans aren’t always our plans. A Yiddish proverb said, “Mankind plans, and God laughs.” With each stage of life, we imagine what it will be like until we get there and things aren’t quite be what we expected. Life takes another surprising direction entirely. 
      But God knows the future and His plans for us are best. Jeremiah 29:11-12 tells us: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, plans to give you a hope and a future.” God’s plans are the best for us, and we must have faith that this is true with each day. Jeremiah continues, “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you.” Jesus told us 2,000 years ago, “With God all things are possible.”

So what’s next? Congress cooperating? Hollywood becoming humble? A cure for cancer?

Rev. Bob Tasler,