Monday, April 21, 2014


When it comes to impulsive acts, I consider myself the queen of errors. Some have been humorous, others seriously stupid. I thank God for His patience and the refreshing ways He uses to turn something not so great into something wonderful. However, that should not keep any of us from trying to mend our impulsive ways. Happy mending—with the perfect thread and needle of God’s Spirit.

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES               by Sally Bair

Impulsive acts

To my regret, many times I’ve acted impulsively. As a small youngster, I still ate more than my farmer-dad. I’d come home from school starved—yelling to my mom, “Food, food!  I need food!”  I’d down half a loaf of Mom’s homemade bread, still warm from the oven. Trouble is, even when I wasn’t hungry, I often stuffed my mouth with food, without thinking.         

Esau of the Old Testament ate impulsively, too. In fact, he ate his way right out of his inheritance. After hunting one day, he demanded that his brother Jacob give him some homemade stew. “I’m starving!” he said. Jacob thought, “Aha!  Here’s my opportunity,” and offered Esau a meal of stew in exchange for his birthright. Esau allowed his hunger to get the best of his common sense.

Hebrews 12:16-17 tells us to “watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite.”  Esau later regretted his impulsive act but in spite of his copious tears, he could not get his inheritance back.

Other kinds of unsatisfying hunger can get the best of us if we’re not careful. How many families have been destroyed because one spouse maxed out the credit cards on items that bring “happiness” for a short time?  How many marriages have been shattered because of excessive drinking or taking drugs?  How many Christians have lost out on God’s blessing of peace because they allowed worry or fear to cloud their reliance on God? 

Esau saw his physical prowess and hunting ability as his strength and it led to one huge, impulsive act that brought great regret. Like Esau we too have short-lived desires that make us weak and vulnerable.

The acronym, HALT, can help us prevent impulsive acts. We can HALT—stop and think—whenever we’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Those four feelings tend to make us act impulsively. Eventually, because of them, we can lose out on God’s gracious promises—our spiritual inheritance of peace with him and the hope of eternal life.

The HALTing part can include taking a walk, seeking out a supportive friend, praying, or bringing to our memory a Bible verse. God is our strength in times of need. In believing, we will receive. We don’t have to trade away God’s lifelong gifts in order to satisfy our short-term appetites.

Lord, Thank You for Your blessings, especially for Your strength that helps prevent us from acting impulsively. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Praise God for His perfect timing, that Resurrection Day happens in the spring when new life begins to form. As we consider all that Christ suffered on our behalf, we are in awe of such love as His. Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES             By Sally Bair

The Barrier

One of the most dramatic events surrounding the crucifixion of Christ was the tearing of the temple veil. The history of the veil is highly significant to Christians.

During the Israelites’ 40-year wilderness journey, they built a portable tabernacle, wherein God dwelt. A veil separated God’s dwelling place, the Holy of Holies, from the outer room, and it signified a barrier between God and man.

Once a year the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies to sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat (where God’s glory rested) as a symbol of atonement for the sins of the people and himself. His yearly entry meant that the close association between God and His people was restored.

Later, in Solomon’s huge, ornate temple in Jerusalem, the new veil was heavy, woven, seamless, and very high.

Centuries later, at the moment Jesus cried out and breathed His last while hanging on the cross, the temple veil was torn in two pieces from top to bottom. This event has spiritual applications.

The tearing of the veil symbolized Jesus’ body broken and torn for our sins. As a young seamstress, I learned the difference between a rip and a tear. A rip in fabric happened along a seam and could be fixed easily. A tear, however, tore away the actual threads of the fabric—a clear and disturbing picture of Christ’s punishment.

God Himself caused the temple veil to tear at the moment of His Son’s death so that we, by virtue of our belief in Christ as Savior, can enter the holy place of God’s presence. Only through Christ’s blood, shed for us on the cross, can we approach our Father God.

Hebrews 10:19-22 says: “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the  Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

Lord, we thank You for Your mercy that makes it possible for us to approach You freely and without fear. May we always remember the blessed reality that we are Your dwelling place and Your glory rests in us, so others may see You in us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday, April 7, 2014


When life’s barbed wire brings us to tears of frustration, despair, or pain, we need only remember that Jesus took them upon Himself at Calvary. He promises to make our burdens light and trade our barbed-wire tears for tears of joy and peace. He is our Joy and Peace.


Barbed wire and wounds                                        

During my childhood on our farm, a large oak stood along the fence line. As the oak grew, the top strand of barbed wire became imbedded into its trunk until, years later the cut had healed and left only a scar.

Many trees are injured from lightning strikes or by falling trees. Some are injured by man. At first, the trees bleed sap to cover their wounds. Once covered, they develop protective, new growth over the injury.

God, who is always involved with His creation, designed the trees to bleed sap. I call it their tears. They weep first and then begin the process of healing their wounds, layer on layer, until they become stronger, more resistant to further injury.

God loves every part of His creation, to the point that He knows when a sparrow falls, as the Bible tells us. During Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem before His crucifixion, the people shouted long and loud in honor of Christ the King. They shouted so much that the Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke them. In reply, Jesus told them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:40)

Imagine stones crying. Imagine trees crying. And we already know that animals cry. God has given nature in all forms the ability to express emotion. What a gift!

He’s given us that ability, too. Tears come easily when we hurt. Our hurts may be physical, emotional, or spiritual, but they all bring tears to our eyes—or to our hearts—and God sees every one. In fact, David wrote, “You number my wanderings (and) put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8)

God allows our tears to start the healing of our wounds. Each time we cry, we feel less pain. After time, we are left with nothing but a small scar. He can even remove our scars.

God’s gift of tears is meant not only for our healing, but also to draw us closer to Him. He sees every tear we shed and promises to be with us during our recovery. He wants us to talk to Him and listen to Him speak through His Word and Spirit. The closer we remain to Him, the faster we can heal.

Lord, thank You for giving all of us, nature and humanity alike, healing tears. Heal our wounds so we can learn how to help bring healing to others, as Your Son, Jesus healed us by His own wounds. In His name we pray, amen.