Tuesday, February 24, 2015


We can find dozens of them in God’s Word. In fact, with every reading, we’ll find at least one. Try it sometime and be supernaturally blessed.

Eternal Perspectives       by Sally Bair

Guaranteed to Last

One week two of my appliances went kaput. One was several years old; the other, quite new, should not have stopped working. Unfortunately, we can almost expect many of our purchases to fail too soon, even though we buy them in faith of their lasting value. Not all guarantees are guaranteed, either. Some manufacturers today purposely design items to become obsolete and hard to repair. It hardly pays to repair TVs anymore, let alone cell phones, DVD players, and other electronic items. No wonder the landfills are full of discarded items.

What happened to the good old days when purchases lasted for the buyer’s lifetime?  Many items came with lifetime guarantees. Even those without such guarantees still lasted for years, like our family’s old Victrola tube radio and the round-top Westinghouse refrigerator upon which it sat. Many of you probably have fond memories of similar products that played a big part in your growing-up years.

Today’s “planned obsolescence” marketing has made it easy for us to expect little in the way of dependability, quality, and usability. If we want products that last longer, need little service, and perform better, we can expect to pay a much higher price for them. If we can’t afford the higher priced, more reliable items, we must settle for those of poorer quality.

Perhaps some people view God with a similar eye, undependable or uncaring in meeting our needs. Often such a view comes from selfish, unmet expectations. Such a depressing view is sad, indeed. Such a view is also faulty and unwarranted, because God’s rock-solid dependability and faithfulness are keystones to our faith.

According to David the psalmist, “The works of His hands are verity (truthfulness) and justice; all His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” (Psalm 111:7-8) 

What a wonderful promise!  We may not be able to count on the products we buy or even some of the people around us, but we can always count on God and His promises of peace, joy, and sustenance. He is always faithful.

Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness. Help us to remember, when we become fed up with the things of this world that don’t last, that You are eternal and Your promises are guaranteed. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Psalm 91, proclaimed countless times by members of the military and ordinary people like us, has been found to be faithful in miraculous ways. Have you read it lately? Studied it? Memorized it? If not, begin today and expect blessing upon blessing.

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES            by Sally Bair

A quilted sky

As I drove along the highway one morning, I became mesmerized by the cloud-studded sky. From horizon to horizon, endless rows of narrow, blue-gray clouds filled the heavens. I felt I could have touched the low, puffy covering.

The unusual layers of clouds reminded me of my quilting days, a time when I sold quilts and quilting supplies, a time when I taught the craft of making quilts. Each quilt had a top, a backing, and a filler made of soft cotton, wool, or synthetic fabric. I didn’t always quilt the layers together by hand. Rather, I often used my sewing machine, stitching in long rows from top to bottom. Once sewn, the quilts puffed up like the clouds I saw.

The clouds reminded me of the Israelites wandering the wilderness on their way to their promised land. God’s daily cloud of protection stretched from horizon to horizon. His love and care included every one of His people. I imagine His cloud lay so low they felt they could almost touch it. Nothing harmed them while God covered them.

God’s quilt covers us, too. His protection is close enough to touch and we can bask in His warmth, His softness. While covered, we can cope with the cold, harsh realities of life around us. We also can avoid the cold thoughts and attitudes within us. Our feelings of anger or disappointment dissolve when we settle under His covering of peace. Our despair from loss or rejection turn to joy when we wrap ourselves in His love.

Jesus promises us true rest. He bids us to approach Him. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

A cloud-like quilt, covering us when we’re in need, offers us rest. Jesus’ cloud-like quilt of love and forgiveness promises us spiritual rest.

Lord, thank You for Your warm quilt of love and forgiveness. Help us remember to use it whenever we fall short in our walk through life. We invite You to be our protecting quilt. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Monday, February 9, 2015


Imagine! No one is like you. Your uniqueness means you need never have to fit in anyone’s box of sameness. Nor do you ever again need to look at anyone else without seeing their uniqueness. Hooray for variety!



When my identical twin sister and I were young, our grandpa often asked us in jest, “How can you tell which one is really you?” Only our parents and our closest friends could tell us apart. When we were babies, Mom knew us only by the small difference in the shape of my sister’s left ear.

Snowflakes differ slightly, too. After the Civil War, Wilson Bentley set out to prove their differences. Bentley, born in 1865 in the snow-belt of Vermont, where snow falls at the rate of 120 inches a year, loved playing in the snow. Play changed to interest in snowflakes when he received a microscope on his fifteenth birthday. He began studying the flakes under lens, later attaching a camera to his microscope and eventually photographing thousands of stunning snow crystal images. He became so famous for his photos and book, Snow Crystals, he earned the title of “Snowflake” Bentley. Jacqueline Briggs Martin’s award-winning children’s book, Snowflake Bentley, tells his story beautifully.

Never did Wilson Bentley find two snowflakes alike. Never did God make any person like another, including the most identical of identical twins. Every human and animal, every flower and tree, every rock and river varies from others in size, color, shape, personality, and temperament.

God’s exquisite handiwork gives us reason to praise Him, as King David did in the words of Psalm 139. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works … my frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

God is big on variety, which is obvious when we consider nature.  We like variety, too, yet we tend to draw toward people with similar interests, goals, and temperaments. Why is it difficult to accept their lack of sameness? Since God made us all different, we should value their uniqueness. We can learn to rejoice in human (and non-human) nature’s differences, even as Snowflake Bentley took pleasure in viewing the unique differences in snow crystals.

Bentley called snowflakes “masterpieces of design.” We should call every part of God’s creation a masterpiece of design.

Lord, thank You for creating us as unique individuals. Help us appreciate the beauty in our differences. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Pulling our worries back out of God’s hands is an indication of weak faith. James 1:6 says we must ask God without doubting, for when we doubt we not only are like a wind-tossed wave, we are double-minded. Faith requires single-mindedness.


Back in the early 1950s when I attended Frederic High School, we students enjoyed an assembly program I’ll never forget. One of the world’s best yo-yo artists demonstrated his amazing talent for us. He represented the Duncan Yo-Yo Company of Luck, Wis. There was nothing he couldn’t do with a yo-yo. He could flip it, draw it out, and make it dance. Without fail, the yo-yo came back to him—as long as he held onto the string.

We might find a spiritual lesson about the yo-yo that has to do with prayer. Sometimes when we give our worries to God, we take them right back, just like drawing the yo-yo back with its string. The same applies with fear. And anger. If we’re upset with someone and ask God to remove our anger, we’re likely to take it right back. Especially if we’re tired, lonely, or vulnerable in some other way.

Worry, fear, and anger may not be the only yo-yos in our lives. We may hold onto a grudge or vindictive thoughts against someone. We may be proud, or jealous, or …. Whatever we know is wrong yet are unwilling to give up.

Someone said a good way to pray is to hold our hands open with palms up, signifying release of our worries and concerns to God once and for all. Such a gesture shows we’re giving up our yo-yos, humbly trusting that God will accept them. God wants us to live in joy and peace, not in the shackles of our negative, life-robbing feelings.

Faith is a gift from God. In order to walk in that gift, we must be willing to step out and receive it with an open hand. It means not having so much as a finger tied to the string of our yo-yos.  

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Lord, thank You for the gift of faith. Give us the strength to keep from taking back our worries and concerns. We trust in Your perfect way of dealing with them. In Jesus’ name, amen.