Tuesday, July 25, 2017


When God sends dreams our way, they become unforgettable. Does He send you dreams, too?

Eternal Perspectives   by Sally Bair


For several nights in a row, I had weird dreams but couldn’t remember them. All I knew is that they held a common thread. Soon after, I was in the middle of another weird dream that was interrupted by a loud clap of thunder. The sudden stop caused my brain to remember the dream. Then I knew God had sent that dream for a specific purpose.

In each dream I was running away from something toward a specific goal. I sensed the thing I kept running from was the busyness of my life, such as my writing and marketing and numerous activities—good activities worthy of my time. They were keeping me from seeking God with my whole heart, soul, body and mind. The time I spent attending church, studying His Word and praying had become repetitious.  What was lacking was the quality.

I think back to my time as a young mother. Some days I allowed myself to become too busy with the essentials of keeping house. Back then, a mother who didn’t keep an immaculate house was often criticized—sadly, at the expense of her children’s emotional welfare. I neglected spending quality time with my kids.

We can think of many reasons to neglect becoming emotionally close to our loved ones. The same is true of our relationship with God. Perhaps we’ve thought, “I’ll spend time with the Lord as soon as I finish this task,” only to find the time has flown by. The saying goes, “No time with God, no breakfast.” It may not work for everyone to spend time in God’s Word and prayer before breakfast, but it can work at another designated time of day. When we place the time on our mental calendar—and perhaps our written one—the habit will eventually cause us to look forward to that time. All else will become secondary, as it should.

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6) Knowing He waits for us as a patient parent for a child, we can rejoice in His presence. We can stop trying to run away from the cares and supposedly important things that keep us busy and run straight to Him. It’s in His presence that we will find the peace and joy that will not only please Him but make our tasks all the easier.

Lord, thank You for showing up in our dreams and for always welcoming us into Your presence. Help us remember to place You at the top of our agenda. In Jesus’ name, amen.    

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


We know how good it feels to get up and stretch after sitting for a long time. It’s good for our bodies to stretch. It makes us pliable, and that’s what God wants us to be when it comes to His Word and presence. So let’s remember to stretch to the heights with Him every day.

Eternal Perspectives   by Sally Bair


A few of us meet twice weekly to stretch our muscles using a DVD program to guide us. Some of the exercises are difficult, but we all agree physical exercises are beneficial. We feel more energized, can move our joints and muscles easier and become stronger. We’re no match for the squirrels outside my window, however, who perform exquisite acrobats while successfully trying to reach the bird seed in a squirrel-proof bird feeder. Not that it matters. Like them, we benefit with improved flexibility and balance, less arthritic pain and prevention of injury.

I once missed almost two weeks’ worth of stretching exercises because I went on a trip. When I returned, my body had lost elasticity and I had to start over. I learned the importance of staying with the program.

Stretching is also beneficial for the soul, which includes our mind and will. From infancy, we’re taught to think for ourselves. When we aren’t given the opportunity, we can become parrots of someone else’s beliefs and actions, which deprives us of becoming our unique selves. Or we might grow up to be “pansies,” an old-fashioned term meaning those who are timid or unassertive, without the backbone to make personal decisions. We stretch our souls when we choose to replace our old, unproductive or harmful ideas and lifestyles with new, healthy ones.

God allows our spirits to be stretched, too. Our faith is like a muscle that needs to be stretched in order to grow stronger. Each obstacle we face can become a challenge when we view it as such. Throughout the world, millions of people are being ignored, taunted, ostracized or persecuted for their faith in God. Each test they face with perseverance and determination helps their faith grows stronger. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2)

When we find ourselves without spiritual tests and trials, we can lose spiritual flexibility. Perhaps because of busyness or stress, we take a mental and spiritual vacation for a while, which results in losing ground. Forgoing our daily quiet times with God causes us to get out of shape spiritually. Not a good place to be.

When we maintain a program of physical fitness and the soul-stretching program of mental, emotional and relational growth, we benefit. When we choose to discipline ourselves in growing in and with Christ, we profit spiritually. So do those around us. And so does the Lord, by our faithfulness.

Lord, thank You for stretching our faith. We want others to know You as we know You. Strengthen our faith for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


The Bible tells us honor is due to our parents and others worthy of such, but above all we are to honor our God and Savior Jesus Christ. He truly is our ultimate hero and deserves honor always.

Eternal Perspectives               by Sally Bair


July Fourth celebration is past, but my thoughts remain on a heart-stirring event. My church hosted an Emergency Responders Appreciation Day to say thank you to area responders for their selfless service on our behalf. The service included a color guard ceremony that brought me to tears. We cannot begin to thank the part-time and full-time responders who help make our lives safer while risking their own. They are our heroes: brave, courageous and worthy of honor. And when I think of heroes, my thoughts always turn to the Coast Guard team that rescued my son and four others from the Bering Sea during a wind storm under severe conditions. They will always be my heroes.

We have a greater hero, Jesus Christ. He faced a cruel death, yet always focused on the needs of others. He made Himself available at all times. He sacrificed His own safety, comfort and reputation for our sake. And He did so with joy.

We have the privilege of calling on Him in time of need. He always answers our 911 calls for comfort, strength and salvation. However, He wants us to go beyond our requests for help. He calls us to become His representatives as heroes under His guidance. We can become emergency responders in the spiritual sense, by becoming good Samaritans to the unlovely, the unlovable, those in need. We honor Him through our selfless actions. By placing our own agendas behind His—that is, to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength followed by loving our neighbor as ourselves. In other words, by placing His purposes above our own.

We may not be called to fight fires, rescue the drowning or respond to accident victims. But we are called to “be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)

Jesus told Philip, “Follow me.” (John 1:43) In obedience, he and the other apostles spent three years learning about God, being in close communion with Jesus and eventually dying for Him. They are considered heroes for the sake of promoting God’s Gospel of love and forgiveness. Can we not choose to do likewise?

Lord, thank You for being the ultimate hero. Cause us to follow Your example of selfless love. Show us how to reach out to those in need. As we honor our emergency responders, we honor You, above all, each day. Thank You for being our ultimate hero.In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Rain and snow coverings can help keep our bodies dry, perhaps even protect us from ailments. But nothing compares to God’s covering of forgiveness and love that protects us from being eternally separated from Him—no matter what the weather.


We northerners often need coverings, what with the amounts of rain and snow we receive. When it rains, if we’re smart we use an umbrella, hat or rain gear. When it snows, we get out the parka. Plants need coverings, too. In the fall we cover our flowerbeds and vegetable gardens with mulch or plastic.

We find other ways to protect ourselves and the things that are dear to us. Sometimes, however, we put a blanket on our raw emotions in an effort to avoid or hide them. How many times have we answered someone’s “How are you?” with a smile and a “Fine,” when we didn’t feel fine at all. We may have been crying on the inside because someone criticized us. We may have felt self-pity or loneliness when a friend or spouse neglected us. Perhaps we were sad because a loved one was ill or had died, or felt anxious and fearful about an encounter with someone who had threatened us.

Covering our bad feelings is common to most of us. We don’t like to expose our hurts and failures to others. Not that we should spew out our feelings of self-pity
and anger to everyone. It’s always good to address our feelings, problems or faults with those we love or with people of trustworthy counsel. But the problem with cover-ups is that they leave no chance for the problem to be solved. They also give others the wrong impression about us and, if we continue in the lie, we eventually tend to believe the lie ourselves.

God cannot work in our lives until we’re willing to remove our emotional blankets and expose our true selves to him. Like a shepherd who covers the raw wounds of
his sheep with oil, Jesus the Good Shepherd will bring healing to our body, soul and spirit through His powerful anointing. When we finally remove our coverings and replace them with His, then joy, peace and freedom will be ours forever.

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One…” 1 John 2:20

Lord, forgive us when we’ve covered our bad feelings and our sins, thus hindering You from giving us Your perfect covering. Give us the will and strength to remove
the inadequate coverings we hold onto. We want the healing balm of Your Spirit, which brings joy, peace and freedom. In Jesus’ name, amen.