Monday, March 28, 2016


The spring snowstorm we’re “enjoying” as I write is surely a gift from God to clear the air of germs. Happy Easter! May your day be filled with the wonder and joy at knowing He is risen!


Germ warfare

No matter where I encounter a group of people, I hear sneezing and coughing. Is it that time of year? Or do we hear coughs and sneezes behind us and across the room at any season? Sometimes they come from our own bodies.

The germs in the air around us are probably so thick, it’s a wonder we can move through them without becoming sick. But God has given us some defenses against destructive microorganisms. Our diet, as well as our genetic makeup and our lifestyle, contribute to good immunity. Medicines help, too. Regardless of the defenses available, we know we can’t avoid germs.

We’re also exposed to spiritual germs. And we can’t expel them with a simple cough or sneeze. Some of them make us ill not only physically but emotionally. Take the germ of fear, for instance. Whether we fear rejection, failure or God’s wrath, we can become paralyzed by it. You may face other kinds of fear, such as illness, disaster, bankruptcy or even spiders.

God provides us with armor that will help us defeat fear. “Stand, therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God ….” (Ephesians 6:14-17)

Besides the weapon of prayer, all of these—except one—are defensive methods we can use to fight our spiritual germs. The only offensive weapon mentioned is the Word of God. His Word is powerful enough to destroy any problem we face, including fear.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Choosing to have the same mind as Christ’s—of love and obedience to the Father—will guarantee strength, power and soundness to defeat the spiritual germs we encounter.

Lord, thank You for giving us the weapons to use against any germ warfare we face. Cause us to rely on Your truth, Your righteousness, Your salvation and faithfulness, and Your powerful Word to win the war against fear. In Jesus’ name, amen.     

Friday, March 25, 2016


Have you ever met someone you haven’t seen for a long time and not recognized that person? When we haven’t been around Jesus for some time—in His Word, in prayer, in His presence—we may not recognize Him when we at long last we’re confronted by Him. May it not be so with you.

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES          by Sally Bair


I recently spent twenty minutes outside the grocery store visiting with a friend whom I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. When I asked her a question about her past, she looked puzzled but shrugged her shoulders, dismissed my inquiry and resumed our talk. We set a coffee date and went on our way. Imagine my utter embarrassment when I later realized I had been visiting—at length—with someone other than I thought.

After Jesus rose from the grave, He met His disciples on the road to Emmaus, “But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.” (Luke 24:16) He questioned them. Not recognizing Jesus, they told this “stranger” all about “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word ….” (verse 19) They told Him about His crucifixion and how they had hoped He would save Israel from tyrannical rule. They also had hoped to see Him as proof of His resurrection.

Only after long conversation with Him, followed by the sharing of a meal with Him, were their eyes opened and they saw Him as the risen Christ.

At times we also do not recognize Jesus. Like me with my friend or the disciples with a supposed stranger, we may not see Him as the One who conquered death through His resurrection so we might have life with Him now and forever. What blinds our eyes to His presence? Are we so busy we miss the love and mercy He gives us so generously each day, each moment? Do other people take His place in our thoughts and actions? Or do things? Or activities? Are we so busy we don’t have time for Him?

Recognition requires constant fellowship and trust. The disciples’ unmet expectations of Jesus as an earthly savior blinded their eyes to the One who is the eternal Savior. Once He opened their eyes to His supernatural presence, they recognized Him as the risen—and promised—Christ who would never let them down, who would bring them His perfect peace.

Lord, thank You for being the risen Christ Who offers us redemption from our sins and life everlasting. Cause us to recognize You as such through Your Word and Spirit each day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Tradition, religion, someone else’s faith, education … none of these and more offer a firm spiritual foundation. Only Jesus Christ, the One True God, can give us the strength and stability to face any storms we face.


Shifting sand

Between Anchorage and Homer, Alaska, the highway narrows and curves along a stretch of the ocean. Its appropriate name is Turnagain Arm. Its miles-long, sandy beaches are actually mud flats that turn to quicksand when covered with water. Every year tourists are drawn to its deceptive beauty and must be rescued after sinking into the unexpected quicksand. Once the tide comes in, rescue may be too late to help those stuck in the mud, because the water-covered mud around a person hardens like concrete. All of this in spite of many warnings and hearing the horrific stories about those who have died.

Sand becomes unstable when disturbed. A wave will destroy a child’s sand castle. A shallow, country well can collapse because of unstable, underground sand. A house built on sand rather than stone, concrete or other stable material will collapse.

Jesus once used an analogy about sand versus rock. He compared those who heard His sayings and obeyed them with those who did not. He likened people of obedience to a wise man who built his house on a rock sturdy enough to withstand high winds, rain and floods.

By comparison, Jesus said, “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:26-27)

We too may have cracks in our spiritual foundation. Each day we would do well to check for and expose the gaps and pressure points that keep us from following God’s Word. Like quicksand, the simplest cracks, such as gossip or anger, doubt or a sense of guilt, can pull us under. When it does, we lose sight of His will.

Quicksand is well-named. In the blink of an eye it can suck us in until we’re caught in a dangerous tide. But the moment we find ourselves sinking, we can call on God to save us. His Spirit will show us our weaknesses. Better yet, He will be our strength in removing them.

Lord, thank You for being our Rock. Keep us from the shifting sand of disobedience. Cause us to build our spiritual house on Your firm foundation so we can remain faithful to You and so we can draw others to Your love, joy and peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


The world offers many kinds of anchors in the guise of people, places, and things. None begin to provide us with the lasting peace, joy, and love that Jesus offers. He is the only One who can keep you secure. Is He your choice?


Your anchor

Anchors and chains don’t always keep a boat from drifting. Such was the case when my son and four others experienced their fishing vessel sinking during a storm. The North Pacific winds were so great, their anchor chain snapped, casting them adrift. Hours later, the Coast Guard rescued them from their life raft.

Typical boat anchors dig into mud or sand, like a claw, to hold a boat from moving.
Other kinds of anchors keep things secure, too. We anchor our tents with stakes, for instance, and farmers anchor their loose hay stacks with tarps.

The chain connected to a ship’s anchor is also important. It must be strong enough to hold the anchor in place. Yet because of nature’s unpredictable moods, sailors can’t always depend on even the strongest anchor and chain, as in my son’s case.

God is the surest, strongest anchor of our soul. And our spiritual chain to hold us to Him must be strong. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) When we abide in Him—that is, cling to Him as a chain does to its anchor—we can be secure enough to face any strong wind or vagary of nature or life that comes our way.

Our hope in Christ is “an anchor of the soul … sure and steadfast ….” (Hebrews 6:19)

The writer of Hebrews is telling us our hope in Christ is as secure as an anchor, not one set in sand or mud, but set in the very presence of the Almighty. Formerly, God dwelt behind the veil of the tabernacle and the temple. Since Jesus’ life-blood was shed for our sins, that veil was supernaturally torn in two, from top to bottom, to give us access to God.

Who is the anchor of your soul? How secure and strong is the spiritual chain that holds you to that anchor?

Lord, thank You for being the anchor of our soul. Keep us secure through every storm so our faith in You won’t go adrift. In Jesus’ name, amen.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


We could choose from an endless list of leaders to follow. Our spouse, nature, a certain philosophy—the list is endless. But Jesus is the only Leader who provides us with love, peace, safety, healing, sustenance—His list is endless. Who will be your leader today and every day?

Eternal Perspectives               by Sally Bair

Follow the leader

Every time we stopped for a break on our way home from Alaska, my grandson led our new, just-weaned, Malamute pups, out for a run. They followed him every time. He led them away from possible danger, he waited for them when they lingered yet encouraged them to keep up the pace, and he showered them with attention.

The pups trusted my grandson. They followed along in total confidence, usually keeping up. And they relished his special care.

My grandson leading the pups reminds me of Jesus leading us, His sheep, down the trail of life. The 23rd Psalm offers us a perfect picture of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” This tells us of God’s close relationship with us and His willingness to supply all our needs.

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” Rest comes when we feel secure in Him and allow Him to lead us away from the streams of anxiety and fear.

“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” God’s quiet voice and gentle touch give us soul-refreshment. In fact, His loving actions proceed from His nature.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Distress of any kind may make us think about our own mortality. We are blessed, knowing our Lord will protect us and lead us through our difficult valleys. We need not fear death’s power when we are in a right relationship with Him. And the rod and staff, once used to help rescue and guide a shepherd’s sheep, will bring necessary discipline—with comfort—in the form of His Spirit and Word.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” God’s provision is as luxurious as a banquet table! As His honored guests, we are anointed with the oil of His Spirit—not sparingly, but abundantly—for health and healing of spirit, mind, and body.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Daily blessings and security are ours not only today but forever. Hallelujah!

Thank You, Lord, for being our Good Shepherd. Cause us to follow You, as the pups followed my grandson and as the disciples followed Jesus, with total trust and love. In Jesus’ name, amen.