Wednesday, December 30, 2015


With the New Year ahead, we can thank God for a new start. In fact, every morning He blesses us with newness. Happy New Year in Jesus!


Redeeming our time

At the end of each year, I take time to ponder how I used my God-given time—where I succeeded in meeting my goals and why I failed in some. Knowing I can never recapture the time I’ve wasted, I consider how I can spend it with better purpose and wisdom in the coming year. Some call it making New Year’s resolutions.

The trouble is, most of our resolutions come to nothing. We begin with a bang, with the highest of hopes to make it through, and then allow our bad habits to overwhelm our new goals. Such is the life of us weak mortals.

 The good news is that we can redeem our failed resolutions. Remember the old S&H Green Stamps? With every purchase at certain stores, we received so many stamps which, when collected, could be redeemed, or traded, for houseware products. Without realizing our cost, we cashed them in for something of value. It seemed like a Christmas gift!

God is in the business of redeeming our failures and sins. We can cash into His forgiveness any time we choose. We don’t have to commiserate over our past mistakes or make new goals, knowing we’re going to fail. He “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people ….” (Titus 2:14)

The Old Testament is filled with stories of how God redeemed His people over and over, ever-patient, ever-merciful, when they turned against Him. Yes, at times He disciplined them harshly but always loved them, wooing them to Himself. He does the same for us, even promising double or more blessings in return.

What a mighty, loving God we have! We can be assured that as we confess our failures and “Return to the Lord your God … He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.” (Joel 2:13)

Lord, thank You for Your redeeming power that sets us free from our past failures and sins. Only You know how much more time we have on earth. As we look to the New Year, give us the grace and wisdom to use Your gift of time wisely—with love for You, for ourselves, and for others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


With the hurry of finishing all our pre-Christmas tasks, it can be hard to find time and room for Jesus. I pray this season He will reign in Your hearts through your busiest hours. Merry Christmas!


Making room

When my family and I moved from a four-bedroom house to a small, two-bedroom, we had some hard choices to make. What should we sell or give away? Would we have room to keep our extras? Would all our furniture fit? Since we had a small shed on our new property, at least we could store some of our things.

We tend to collect things as we live from one season to the next. After the childhood toys, we collect bigger toys. Man-sized toys like boats, four-wheelers and RVs are common sights in many garages or back yards. Household items multiply, too, for the industrious, modern homemaker. She really needs that bread maker, blender and toaster oven if she’s to feed her family properly. And to make the house look nice, that new collection of knickknacks is the perfect touch, so she believes.

No matter where we live, we tend to reach a point where we don’t have enough room.

The same can be true of our spiritual lives. We may clutter our days with endless, sometimes useless activities. Even if we claim to love God, we may relegate Him to the garage or shed of our minds, often closing the door except for an occasional peek when we feel we need Him.

When we think about the innkeepers who had no room for Jesus at His birth, we wonder what they would have done if they’d have known He was the expected Messiah. They surely would have made room for Him.

What does it take for us to make room for Jesus in our heart, soul and mind? Things we hold onto with an iron grip, such as bitterness, worry or our earthly pursuits of pleasure, crowd Him out of our lives. However, when we recognize His love for us, we can welcome Him with open arms. He awaits our welcome. He pursues it. He invites us to accept Him wholeheartedly. When we make room for Him, all other things become less important.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Lord, thank You for your invitation. Unlike the innkeepers in Bethlehem, we choose to make room for You in our heart, soul, body and spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Shadows may be beneficial when it comes to avoiding the hot sunshine on a summer’s day, but metaphoric shadows can cause grief when we use them as hiding places for our soul. God’s pure light brings healing and wholeness to every circumstance, feeling, and difficulty we face.

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES             by Sally Bair

Light and shadow

I recently saw a picture of a lit match and was told it has no shadow. I don’t understand much about light and shadow. I do remember learning that light travels in a straight line and can allow one object to hide another, such as a vehicle parked between our vision and a jogger’s safety lamp, preventing us from seeing the light source. I’ve also learned that light can be reflected.

These truths about light remind me of biblical truths about God. Probably the most familiar is about God’s creation. “Then God said, let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning was the first day.” (Genesis 1:3-5)

No wonder, then, that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, was called “… the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” (John 1:9)  John writes another fact about Jesus. “… God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

In terms of our spirituality, what does all this mean? We can find several comparisons and differences between earthly light and Godly light. Like truth, which always walks a straight line, God’s light is straight as a plumb line. It never deviates. We may try to hide our fear, guilt, anger or any other sin behind an object or in its shadow where we can’t see His light. But our sin is always there. Through faith and Holy Spirit power, we can step outside the shadow and see His light of truth, love and forgiveness.

Besides finding wholeness in the presence of His Light, He will cause us to reflect His very light so others can also enjoy it. And His energy-filled Light will be transferred to us. In body, soul and spirit we can be transformed into a powerful source of light. “You are the light of the world,” Jesus told us as He spoke to multitudes on a high hill by the Sea of Galilee. (See Matthew 5:14) God promised to “make darkness light for [the blind].” (Isaiah 42:16)

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, whose Light shone—even in the shadowy darkness of a stable—bright enough to give us life. Cause us to reflect Your light with Godly energy so others will also be drawn to You during this holy season and ever after. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Friday, December 11, 2015


Little or big, everything we face, every problem we must deal with, are opportunities to trust that our Lord will see us through.

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES                    by Sally Bair


I recently watched a video of a polar bear cub that looked reluctant about jumping off the ice floe and following its mom through the water. Encouraged by the parent, it finally plunged in.

We, too, may hesitate to take on a new experience, believing it’s beyond our expertise or ability, impossible to attain. Some people are skeptical even though they see the proof of success. Others claim to believe but  insist on seeing “one more proof.”

The Bible is filled with accounts of doubting faith, which is a contradiction of terms. In fact, many of us struggle with doubts about God. The Israelites, while witnessing miracle after miracle, doubted He was the only true God. The Pharisees, strong believers in God, doubted the existence of His Son. We too may find it hard to believe God will keep us safe … heal us … restore a relationship … provide for our needs. Yet we profess to believe in God as our Savior, our King, our Helper. Because we can’t see Him, we doubt and look to tangible things to save us, guide us, and help us.

When a royal officer heard that Jesus was in the neighborhood, he went to Him, begging Him to go to his home where Jesus could heal his dying son. “Go your way; your son lives,” Jesus told him. (John 4:50) Believing Jesus, the man started for home. On his way, he met his servants who relayed the good news of his son’s recovery. After asking the exact hour of his son’s healing and told it happened at the hour Jesus spoke, the man believed.

How strong was the man’s belief in Jesus? He likely believed Jesus did heal, after hearing about all His miracles, but believed it had to be done in person. Imagine his surprise when Jesus told him the boy would recover without having been touched by Jesus! How strong was his belief? He wanted proof, as spoken by his servants. Then he believed in full.

We can believe in God’s supremacy without “seeing” Him. His Word is enough to remove doubt and bring us to faith in Him. His Spirit also quickens us to believe, as do His works.

“Have faith in God … whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11:22-23)

Lord, thank You for Your encouraging Word. Let us not doubt, like the polar bear cub, but let us trust You in everything. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Who would have thought that honeybees give an example of God’s faithfulness and loyalty to us, and our need to be faithful and loyal to Him and to each other? God’s nature lessons are given for our benefit and blessing. Next time a honeybee lands on you, smile as you think about the Lord’s faithfulness.

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES                    by Sally Bair

Unity in loyalty

I used to raise honeybees. They not only provided us with gallons of honey, they became a fascinating hobby. I was amazed by their efficiency, their communication system and their loyalty.

An average colony of 60,000 bees contains only one queen, that lays two to three thousand eggs daily and lives between one and five years. A hive has about 100 drones, whose duty is to scout future queen bees. The remaining are worker bees that maintain the hive, babysit the larvae and gather and prepare the nectar.

Problems sometimes arise in beehives. In my colony, a black bear damaged the hives. Angry bees flew everywhere until, with our help, we restored their boxes. Nature allowed them to repair the inner parts of the hives by bringing the bees together as a supportive whole. They expressed their loyalty to each other through their amazingly accurate system of intercommunication. From a distance, I could hear them throbbing, their signal to adapt themselves—even change roles—in an effort to make up their loss.

The Church as a whole is asked to be supportive of one another, too. Loyalty and faithfulness go hand in hand within God’s kingdom. When one falls, or is damaged, we should  stop everything and minister to that one. Prayer support and continued fellowship are important in restoring those who are damaged in any way.

God is loyal and trustworthy to His people and we can count on His faithfulness in all things. For instance, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Second, God would have us be faithful to Him, even as a colony of honeybees is faithful to their queen. “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life,” Jesus told the persecuted Church as recorded in Revelation 2:10.

Third, we are to be loyal to and supportive of one another. The unity of God’s Church is uppermost in His desire. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1) Like the honeybees, when we are united we become whole. And when we are united in Christ, we experience God’s blessings, including wholeness.

Lord, thank You for the lessons You give in nature. Like the honeybees that serve their queen, cause us to be united in our efforts to serve You. Keep us from going off on our own and losing the protection, fellowship and blessing of You and of our church family. In Jesus’ name, amen.