Monday, May 22, 2017
One of the great things about being a Christian is that no matter what problems today may bring, there is a better future for us tomorrow. No matter what evil may happen today, there is something better to look forward to. The present is not all there is to life. We see the troubles of life, but we know God is with us every step of the way. As God bids us to do Psalm 50:15, “Call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you will glorify me.”
We acknowledge sin in the world and in our personal lives, but we know Christ has overcome it. We look backward with gratitude but look forward with joy. As Mrs. Ruth Graham said from her wheelchair before she died, “So many wonderful memories, and so much to look forward to!” Believers in Christ are able to see past the tragedies of today, and look forward to the wonder and joy of what God has in store for us in our tomorrows.
Corrie Ten Boom, survivor of a WWII death camp, often said, “When the Lord takes your hand, He holds you tight. When He holds you tight, He leads you through life, and when He leads you through life, He brings you safely home.”
1 Peter 3:15 says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." Earlier in life Peter had almost lost all hope because he’d let go of His Savior’s hand. But Jesus had not let go of his hand. In the middle of all Peter’s troubles, Jesus held his hand and brought him safely through the most critical time in his life. That’s what Jesus does for His people, even when we may feel we have lost hope. Jesus holds our hand and doesn’t let go. Praise Him that He doesn’t.
May you hold the Lord’s hand tightly every day of your life.
Rev. Bob Tasler
Monday, May 8, 2017
Yesterday son Brian and I attended our annual Father-Son Birthday Baseball Game and saw the Rockies rock the AZ D-Backs handily. Despite the rock-n-roll weather (game ended with a storm and a big scramble for cover) we enjoyed the afternoon.
A special event for me came as Brian dropped me off at Union Station to board the Denver Light Rail and ride it twenty miles south to where I’d earlier parked my car. It was an adventure! Union Station was a beehive of a thousand people in the Depot and in the dozens of shops and restaurants. I found it a comfortable and safe experience, although it might have been different had it been late that night.
After securing my ticket, I hunted down the boarding intersection to the north, hidden among a half dozen construction sites. For this I was aided by a kindly older lady with a huge umbrella who walked me a block and a half north to make sure this confused old traveler got to the right street.
The train ride was noisy with laughter from young adults who’d also attended the game. The car was muggy and bouncy, interesting and enjoyable. A courteous young man I asked made sure I got off at the right station where I found my car and drove home. Back on the freeway, I gave thanks for the peace and quiet of a smooth ride those last ten miles. We may use Light Rail in the future, so this ride was part adventure and part investigation.
The Apostles had no trains or cars as they took the message of Jesus out into the world. Just their feet and occasionally a boat got them there. What amazes me is how hugely successful they were. Biblical history tells us that within a mere two to three months of His resurrection, perhaps ten thousand people became followers of Jesus. The Holy Spirit inspired the early witnesses who saw Jesus alive again, and their words spread like wildfire, moving masses of Jews and Gentiles to leave their old religious ways and follow Jesus.
All those early believers did so at great risk to their lives. In the coming decades, they were arrested, tortured, fed to the lions and burned in the arena. A person isn’t willing to die for a passing fancy. Something about Jesus changed them and also the history of the world forever. That’s why Christians still gather to worship God, wherever believers hear and rejoice in the Gospel of the resurrected Jesus Christ.
”For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)
Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com
Monday, May 1, 2017
Today, May 1, is May Day. In simpler days, May 1 held a charming tradition. People wrapped flowers in pretty paper, along with a small gift or piece of candy, and hung it on the door of friends and neighbors. While attending Country School in the 1950s, my classmates and I always brought May Baskets to school on this day.
It was also a way for a romantic young fellow to let a girl know he cared. He would hang his May Basket on her doorknob, knock on the door and then run away. If the girl liked him, she would try to chase him down and give him a kiss. If he saw her coming, he would not run very fast.
Some awkward scenarios happened among the young. A 1889 Boston newspaper reported that one unfortunate fellow walked a mile and a half to present his May Basket to his sweetheart, only to find someone else’s basket already hanging on her door. Louisa May Alcott described May Day in her children's book, Jack and Jill:
"Such a twanging of bells and rapping of knockers; such a scampering of feet in the dark; such droll collisions as boys came racing round corners, or girls ran into one another's arms as they crept up and down steps on the sly; such laughing, whistling, flying about of flowers and friendly feelings—it was almost a pity that May Day did not come oftener."
This custom is unfamiliar to youth and most adults today. But just being old-fashioned shouldn’t keep us from making an effort to show people we care for them.
God showed His love for us by the gift of His Son Jesus, and the Son showed us His love for us by giving His life on the cross to earn our forgiveness. Yesterday I ended my service to the people of Christ Lutheran, Coolidge, AZ, and we all partook of the gift of His Body and Blood under bread and wine. This is a blessed custom I hope and pray will never be lost in the hustle and bustle of our modern age.
“Do this is remembrance of Me.”
Rev. Bob Tasler, www.bobtasler.com