Monday, September 21, 2009

Making Room

My books were delivered after spending two days making room in my overflowing storage closet. It took some doing to find a spot for the 30 heavy boxes. Ann and I huffed and puffed, experienced stiff and sore muscles for a couple days, but got the job done. Now I'm spending evening hours autographing books for upcoming events. You can check them out on my website (

Making room reminds me that we all need to make room in our hearts and lives for Christ. Since He's the provider of all good things, including His salvation and acceptance and love, it shouldn't be too hard. But we humans tend to make such things difficult for ourselves. We tend to cling to stuff and things that overflow in the closet of our minds and hearts, when we should be cleaning house!

May you call on the Holy Spirit to help you clean house.

I welcome your comments.

by Sally Bair

Digging Deep

A hummingbird got its beak stuck in my window screen one day. With difficulty it managed to free itself, thankfully. I suppose it was after the red candy in a bowl setting on my table. I’ve heard of some hummers that even mistake red hats and clothing for flowers.

I enjoy watching hummers in my backyard as they flit from blossom to blossom. Sometimes the nectar is stored so deeply, the hummer nearly buries itself in the blossom.

Anything valuable is worth digging deeply for, like precious metals and gems that lie hidden beneath the surface of the earth. Wisdom does not come easily, either. We must dig deeply in the experiences of ourselves and others to gain it.

Unfortunately, sometimes we dig deeply for the wrong thing, thinking it holds value for us. Our “value-ometer” goes haywire and we end up like the poor hummingbird who got itself in a fix because it zoomed in on the counterfeit. Many things could apply to our tendency to settle for a cheap imitation. I think particularly of food (and drink), which has too many of us reaching deeply in the bags and boxes and bottles of goodies that are sweetened with harmful sugars and other substances. This is only one example where we can easily go wrong.

Jesus talked a lot about the riches of His kingdom. He told the parable of the woman who swept her house clean and searched carefully until she found her lost coin. Her joy spread to her neighbors for having found that one piece of money. Another parable tells about a man who lost one sheep out of a hundred, yet he went after the one and joyfully told his friends when he found it.

Treasures of any kind are worth the hunt. Yet the joy we receive in finding a treasure doesn’t compare to the joy God and His angels express when one soul opens up to Him. “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10) There is cause for celebration on the part of God, the treasure hunter, and on the part of those who count Him as their new treasure.
All of us should seek the most valuable treasure of all—Christ who gives us salvation from our sins and eternal life.

Lord, help us keep our eyes on You through Your Word and prayer so we won’t be tempted, like the hummingbird, to mistake the counterfeit for our true treasure. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


My calendar is beginning to fill up faster than my fingers can find the write keys on my computer! Here's what's in store so far in the next few weeks.

TOMORROW 9/17 - my books arrive. Garage is swept, closet is cleaned, all is ready.
9/19 SATURDAY - Craft & Book Fair sponsored by Friends of the Library,Iron River, WI
9/25 FRIDAY - Northwoods Children's Book Conference at Telemark Resort, Cable, WI
9/26-27 SAT-SUN-WRWA (Wis.Regional Writers Asso) Fall Conference, Eau Claire,WI
10/2-3 FRI-SAT- Garage Sale/Book Sale here at home
10/9 FRI - Book Signing/Talk, Great Northern Outdoors (sport shop) Frederic, WI
10/11 SUN - (tentative) Celebration Party,cake & coffee, book signing/reading
at Bayview Town Hall, Washburn, WI
10/15 THURS - Book Signing/Talk, Library, Washburn, WI
10/24 SAT - Book Fair, Cultural Center, Washburn, WI

My book display includes a fishnet, starfish, rope, and fishbowl filled with Swedish fish candies; and a framed article about my son's dramatic sea rescue by the Homer, (Alaska) News.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


My narrow driveway has seen lots of activity lately, what with all sorts of delivery truck drivers dropping off various supplies for my writing office. The largest delivery is due this week--final printed copies of my book, WILLIWAW WINDS. The pace has already picked up, with scheduled book signings, talks, and conference appearances.

Squeezed into the hubbub of promoting books is the usual list of Fall chores. Yes, it was a colder-than-normal summer but the tomatoes are finally ripening, fast and furiously. Pole beans are late but prolific and delicious. We're enjoying other fresh garden veggies too, and as busy as I am in the office, I still enjoy harvesting the bounty and sharing some of it with others.

My website is up and running now, and I'd love to hear from you! Click onto the Comments page and let me know what you think about the content, my book if you've read it, or anything else you'd like to share with other readers.

Have a blessed week.

by Sally Bair

Jars of Clay

A small hive of bees built a nest high in a cedar tree in my front yard, but some critter knocked it down one night. Chunks of the nest lay on the ground the next morning, with only a few displaced survivors hovering around for awhile.

There isn’t much to a bee’s nest—some honey combs inside a lightweight, fragile shell. But to the bee colony, their nest is a treasure because it holds their only source of energy—honey.

We could compare our physical bodies to that of the beehive. We’re held together with a fragile frame with our sweetness hidden inside. Sometimes our sweetness oozes out in the form of smiles and acts of kindness. Other times it’s well-hidden by the negative emotions we carry.

Those of us who are followers of Christ carry even more sweetness inside—the very presence of Christ, Himself. That’s where our real value lies. When we accept Him into our lives, He takes residence in our fragile shell of a body.

But if we are to be of any value in His kingdom, we first must spiritually die to self. “We are the clay, and You our potter; and … we are the work of Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8) We are mere jars of clay, meant to be broken so our sweetness can be spilled out to others like the honey in its comb.

Paul says “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7). He continues by explaining that as Christians, humble and ready to be molded by our Potter, we can expect to be afflicted and persecuted and put to the test for our faith. But we need to focus on Jesus rather than on our circumstances. “We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Christianity is not for wimps, my pastor said recently. Paul proves that point in his epistles. He and millions of other believers were—and are—ready to face death for the sake of their Savior who is the greatest treasure of all. We are merely His jars of clay, hopefully ready to be molded into His image.

Lord, though our physical house is as fragile as a beehive, we thank You for offering us eternal life—the greatest treasure of all—through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Elevator Speech

Part of marketing my book, WILLIWAW WINDS, is calling area libraries, book stores, and other places that might either carry my books, feature me as a speaker, or allow me to do book signings.

One of their first questions is: "What's your book about?"

So I've written a short "Elevator Speech" to present and have it almost memorized. It's called an Elevator Speech because at writers' conferences, etc., if authors meet an agent or editor on the elevator, they have only a few seconds to tell about their book. Hence, the importance of brevity.

This can also serve as a short-short version of a synopsis. Presenting the bare bones of a story (its main character, setting, conflict, and resolution) can give the hearer opportunity for immediate assessment of the book's possible success with his or her company.

Now I offer you something longer than an Elevator Speech: my weekly devotional column. Enjoy the last bit of summer.

by Sally Bair

Receiving Power

In the world of critters, the weak give in to the wants of the strong. The smaller deer submit to the bigger by slinking away. Humans also frequently submit to someone bigger, stronger, or smarter. One term for it is “cowering.”

But cowering means more than slinking into a corner out of fear. Webster says it also means “to curve, bend.” There’s an interesting spiritual application here that says we need to cower before we can receive power. We need to curve—or bend—our will to God’s in humility and submission.

Bending our will before God means to recognize His holiness and to fear Him in awe and reverence. Except for Christ, we would remain unworthy in His sight. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18) God’s power is available to those who bow humbly in faith before Him. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

Further application regards Jesus sending His twelve disciples out to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons. He gave them the power necessary to do the job right, but they had to follow His rules. They had to go empty-handed and count on the hospitality of strangers to house and feed them. That takes humility and bending of self-will.

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He instructed His disciples to “…tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) They would receive God’s power only after they waited for God to appear. They waited many days. Imagine spending all that time in an upstairs room crowded with 120 people. Today would we wait even a day in such crowded conditions, for something unexpected?

But they spent their time in prayer because they believed Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit for them.

Cowering before God means spending our best time with Him in prayer and Bible meditation. It means obeying His Word, as the disciples did, so He can work through us to further His kingdom of grace and love.

God blesses us in many ways when we approach Him in humility and wait on Him. How many of us are willing to wait expectantly and humbly for God’s power, for however long it takes, to serve Him by bringing healing to someone in need?

Lord, we cower before You, humbly bending to Your will, waiting for Your power so we can serve You today. In Jesus’ name, amen.