Sunday, March 30, 2014


Yes, this is the time of year spring winds blow fierce. We can expect fierce winds to buffet us in the spirit, too. Thank God for His peace that comes through the windstorms. All we have to do is ask and He gives. Hallelujah! Sally


Holding On

The wind was so strong during an earlier blizzard—69 mph in Duluth—that some people had a hard time standing in it. Imagine being out in such a wind for a prolonged time: nothing to hold onto, straining forward against the wind or backward with it, concentrating intensely on keeping upright.

I recently read that people are born with a natural fear of falling. Perhaps you’ve seen an infant flailing his or her arms to keep steady. Perhaps you’ve used a cane or other device to keep yourself from falling on the ice, on a mountain, or on uneven terrain. Perhaps, like me, you’ve used walking poles for better balance and safety. For all of us, life can be a challenge to keep from falling.

When we face problems of any kind, we try to hold onto something—sometimes anything or anyone we can find. Some of the things we cling to aren’t good for us. Some pull us down faster than the wind. Others drag us along, keeping us from standing firm.

Our spiritual lives are affected by what or whom we cling to. When we face problems, we want support from something with substance and strength, for we will be using our most intense concentration to keep from falling. Our goal as followers of Christ should be to “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”  (1 Timothy 6:12)  The word fight, in Greek, means to agonize or intensely struggle over.

As Christ helps us fight our everyday problems, sins, and bad habits, He also helps us stand in the face of the enemies in this world, including the evil around us. He is faithful in holding us up. Many non-believers are taught that Christians use their faith in Christ as a crutch. If that is true, what better crutch could we find? 

The writer of Hebrews 10:23 says we should “…hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Let’s hold onto Christ, the Faithful One.

Lord, as we share our faith with others and love our enemies, help us not to back down but to persevere and hold on to the end. Thank You for the promised prize of eternal life and for Your unending provision, peace, and love in this life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Oh, how easy it is to place things above God’s honor. Yes, we are to honor others for their accomplishments, but not to the extent of lifting them higher than our Creator-Savior. He alone is worthy of our praise and honor.


A prophet without honor

When I was a kid, I tended to listen to the advice of other mothers more than to my own.  Years later, as a mother, I found that my children did the same.  They paid little attention to my words when it came to practical information and advice that might help them in their maturity.  They instead took more heed to the words of their teachers, their friends’ parents, even TV broadcasters. They seemed to have more faith in the advice of others than in their own mothers.

Who knows why kids don’t listen to their parents?  Could it be because of familiarity?  Embarrassment?  Jealousy or guilt about their immaturity? 

Sometimes the advice we adults offer is more positively accepted by people outside our family relationships.  For instance, I sometimes receive favorable comments about my Eternal Perspectives columns from people I don’t know.  On the other hand, my own kin are often the most silent or critical, making me believe they have no faith in my ability to write.

When Jesus lived on earth, He was practically ignored by relatives and friends in His hometown.  But it was strangers who flocked to Him for healing and for his God-given messages about the Kingdom of God.  Mark 6:4-6 says: “Jesus said to them, ‘Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house, is a prophet without honor.’  He could not do any miracles there, except lay His hands on a few sick people and heal them.  And He was amazed at their lack of faith.”

Perhaps you, too, have found it hard to talk to close kin and even some friends about the things of God’s Kingdom.  It’s much easier to do so with strangers.  Sometimes God may be nudging us to walk away and let someone else do the talking, urging us rather to merely show Christ’s love by our actions.  Whether we use our voice or our silent expressions of love, we can still pray that somehow they will accept His truth.

Lord, guide us as we share Your love with others. Tell us when to speak and when to let someone else do the speaking. Help us to be like discerning mothers in showing Your love in such a way that our loved ones will see Jesus in us.  Amen.

Monday, March 17, 2014


When Jesus left the earth, He proclaimed a benediction of peace upon His disciples. He wants us to experience His peace, His calmness at all times. When our lives are filled with the storms of worry, discontentment, or insecurity, we can count on Him, on His Word, to change our stress into peace and joy. When we ask, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES                    by Sally Bair

The calm before the storm

On the way home from Kansas City one time, my daughter and family and I drove directly toward a town where tornadoes were forecast. We listened to the car radio intently, and when the announcer told everyone in that town to take cover, we diverted our route and stopped in a town ten miles south. We drove to the school, the designated place of shelter, to wait out the worst of the weather.

From the parking lot we watched the black sky spawn a small tornado which then receded. The air seemed oppressive, as still as a lifeless leaf. Then, without warning, a huge gust of wind nearly blew us to the ground. That same wind later became another tornado that touched down and damaged property. But it never affected us. Like the first, harmless tornado, it began with silent calm before great gusts of wind. Despite the anxiety we felt about the storm, the actual calm before both storms was peaceful.

When we face storms in our personal lives—fears of the unknown, death and devastation, change of any kind that affect how we live—it’s hard to find a calm spot. Some of us go for a walk to help dispel anxiety when problems arise. Others use avoidance mechanisms such as drinking or using drugs, running away, or keeping super-busy. Some practice yoga, transcendental meditation, or other ways to relax and find peace. Still others complain, or become bitter, resentful, or unforgiving.

The best calm in the storm is found in the presence of God Himself. But that calmness before God may seem elusive or unattainable. Being still doesn't come automatically or easily. It takes practice, perseverance, and determination. Psalm 46:10 tells us to "Be still, and know that I am God."  The world we live in today has no end of noisy distractions. We may be surrounded with all manner of problems, distractions, and other kinds of storms, but when we choose to allow God to be our quiet, calming center, His peace will fill our being. Jesus desires that we experience His inner peace, no matter what kind of storm we face.

Lord, we long to be at peace. Forgive us when we look in the wrong places for peace of mind. Teach us to put our trust in You alone so we can thrive in the calm even when the storms of life rage around us. In Jesus' name, amen.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Often we try to light our way with unreliable sources. Jesus, however, is the only faithful, constant, unwavering light that will keep us from all the cloudy, foggy situations we face every day. What light are you following?

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES                    by Sally Bair


The sun shone brightly when I left the house one day. A few miles down the highway, however, I ran into a fog bank. As the ground fog became thicker in places and then thinner, I had to adjust my speed accordingly. At times I dropped to twenty miles an hour.

Cloudy days sometimes cause us to slow down, too, especially in winter when they bring snow or drizzle. Whether cloudy, foggy, or heavy with precipitation, the days take on a gray sameness—the sky, the air, the trees, and the earth itself. 

Not only is it harder to delineate shapes and sizes on a gray or foggy day, but if the air is thick enough, such as in a fog, life can become dangerous. Ships have been lost, cars have crashed, people have ended up in dangerous places because of their inability to see through the haze. 

The differences between the two kinds of days are dramatic. On a cloudless day, everything is brighter, even our shadows. The lines between sunlight and shadow are sharp enough to cut with a new pocketknife, we might say. Give us a sunny day any time!   

During times of prolonged cloudiness and storms outside, even our moods and our outlook on life tend to become colorless. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Bible tells us that "God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1:5-7) 

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12) No matter how gray the weather, we can choose to walk in the light of God’s love. His light will never dim but continue to shine brightly through the worst storms and grayest days we face.

Lord, clear away any fog of doubt, unbelief, or disobedience that might be keeping us from the pure light of Your love. Give us wisdom to recognize what is Your light-giving truth and what is not. In Jesus’ name, amen.