Sunday, March 25, 2018


Hiding the truth usually brings unpleasant consequences. And even as we should never hide the truth, we should not hide our faith under a bushel basket. The Bible states that clearly. God’s Word is much too valuable to keep hidden.

Eternal Perspectives   by Sally Bair

When youngsters disobey their parents, they may be tempted to hide the truth by bribing a sibling. Perhaps you also have paid off someone to keep a truth hidden. Usually our motive is to hide an indiscretion or an illegal or immoral deed. Such bribery has taken place since the beginning of time, including during Bible times.

After Jesus died and was buried, the chief priests and Pharisees told Pontius Pilate to secure the grave to prevent Jesus’ disciples from stealing His body and telling the people He had risen from the dead. They had heard Jesus say after three days He would rise.

In spite of precautions, the immovable barrier was found to be rolled away and the tomb empty. Certain women met an angel there, who gave them the good news of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The women, of course, ran to share the joyous news with Jesus’ disciples. The story continues about Jesus appearing to them, too, and a host of others before His ascension to heaven.

The news of Jesus’ resurrection became a secret from the public. At least, it was meant to be a secret, if the Pharisees had succeeded. “Behold, some of the guard … reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, ‘Tell them, “His disciples came at night and stole him away while we slept.” And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him …’ So they took the money and did as they were instructed …” (Matthew 28:11-15)

The chief priests told a good story, but it was untruthful and weak in explanation. If a guard slept at his post or a prisoner escaped, the guard would be put to death. Perhaps one soldier could have slept, but it would have been improbable for all to sleep simultaneously. Besides, sleeping people do not make good witnesses.

The hush-money did no good. People throughout history and the world have since accepted the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. The news spread like wildfire through the testimony of the disciples and countless others.

Jesus’ miraculous resurrection from the grave is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, not only for its newsworthiness and historical accuracy, but especially for the hope it offers us about our own eternal life. The Holy Spirit continues to make the truth known everywhere.

Lord, thank You for Your resurrection power that offers us the peace and joy that comes from freedom from our sin and the promise of eternal life with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Recently reading through some of my old journals, I’m amazed how God has given me a different perspective of past events and feelings. A true blessing that you, too, can obtain. Happy journaling!

Eternal Perspectives               by Sally Bair

Journal writing

I enjoy teaching how to write fiction, stories as memoirs and, recently, how to transfer your thoughts through journal writing. I’ve been keeping a journal for 55 years. Some of my entries are written in colorful books with fancy covers, others in simple lined tablets. I find that writing in them helps me remember events and shows me things about myself that need improving or that increase my self-confidence. And what fun they are to read later as I recall past joys and sorrows, dreams and disappointments, challenges and conflicts.

Journaling, or diary writing, has many benefits. This was demonstrated by a past experiment where a group of college students wrote in journals or diaries for 20 minutes each day. Their goal was to concentrate on unresolved problems and painful events they’d faced. This study seemed to show a link between their writing and their improved immune function. For six months they needed far less medical treatments than a similar group who wrote about unimportant matters.

It may be therapeutic to put pen to paper about our anxieties, but it also helps to record the good stuff we’ve experienced. I read of a man who, intrigued about the above-mentioned study, began his own twenty minutes of daily writing. The difference in his writing is that he wrote letters to God. He wrote about his fears and worries, his sins of jealousy and resentments, his feelings of self-pity—things he wouldn’t dare reveal to a counselor, close friend or family member. He claimed he hadn’t become ill since.

I also keep my journal as letters to God, and I include Bible reading. Therefore, many entries may record God’s promises from the Word, simple prayers of praise or repentance or pleas for understanding.

I believe time spent on journal writing is significant. We may decide we don’t have time to sit for 20 minutes and think about what to write. Perhaps the length of time spent is what helps build our immune system because it involves meditation. We can all use a bigger dose of that. And focusing our mind on God and His Word  always brings a more peaceful feeling.

Paul writes: “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble … just … pure … lovely … of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Lord, thank You for the opportunity and time to share our feelings on paper. As we record our hurts, bring healing. As we share our joys, rejoice with us. As we consider Your Word, reveal to us Your will, Your love and Your mercy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Which are you?


First or Last?

One winter when I put corn out for the deer each day, I’d wait to see who came first. Usually it was a huge doe with a small, late spring fawn. They ate leisurely, unless the “three sisters” came to feed. Then Mama would stomp her front feet or kick her back legs or shove the sisters away, fighting for the right of her baby and herself to finish eating. It usually took some time, as the three persisted in trying to jockey into first position before running into the woods to wait until Mama and Baby were finished. Later, after the three took their turn, a lone doe or young buck showed up to eat. Occasionally a large, older buck appeared, causing all others to scatter.

Following the deer came red squirrels, which chased the blue jays away. But the smaller critters even tried to horn in around the hooves of the deer when they could get by with it.

I enjoyed watching this scenario play out, because the antics of wild critters mirror those of us humans sometimes—always trying to be first or best or prettiest, always trying to get the most.

Jesus, aware of this human character flaw, tried to teach His disciples lessons about being the last instead of the first—showing humility and unselfishness. Jesus’ example of washing the disciples’ feet is one of the best illustrations of humility and service. Other examples include Jesus’ commands about going the extra mile for someone in need, loving your enemies, and blessing our persecutors.

One day His disciples had a dispute over which one would be the greatest in God’s Kingdom. Jesus set a little child next to Him and told the disciples, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.” (Luke 9:48)

In God’s kingdom we don’t have to jockey for first position, because anyone related to God is great, even the “least” of His followers. By God’s kingdom standards, someone who is unkempt in appearance, poor in material wealth, or different in behavior is as important to God as anyone else. Now, that’s a sobering thought we should consider
every time we’re tempted to think too highly of ourselves or to judge others.

Lord, may I never jockey for an exalted position in Your Kingdom, in this life or in the next. I ask this in the name of  Jesus, my humble King, amen.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


God wants the best for us and offers us countless opportunities for a better life. With His help, we can look beyond our problems to better solutions and outcomes. When our difficulties taste like sour lemons, He will change them into sweet lemonade.

Eternal Perspectives               by Sally Bair

Problems and opportunities

Years ago my husband and I encountered a partially washed-out bridge that appeared too dangerous to cross. What a problem! But by crossing the bridge, my problem turned out to be an opportunity for me to help alleviate my fear. What looked like a stumbling block became a stepping stone.

We all face problems. But most of them can become opportunities for better things. When we face serious illness, we can change the problem into the challenge of learning more about it or bonding with others with the same disease. Countless friendships occur from such opportunities. When our money runs low, we might see it as a chance to learn how to save through coupons. Or by checking into a new second-hand store. Or learning how to spend wisely.

Instead of asking why some things happen, perhaps we should ask what we can do about them. Opportunities exist everywhere. We can train ourselves to seek them out. And we will find them, with the Lord’s help. After all, He’s in the business of guiding us to the best solutions.

During the Israelites’ trek through the wilderness, Moses sent twelve spies to check out the Promised Land, Canaan. He wanted to see if the inhabitants were strong or weak, numerous or few and if the land itself was rich or poor. They spent 40 days there, during which time the spies cut down a cluster of grapes so large, it took two to carry it back home.

When they returned, Caleb and Joshua, two of the twelve, gave Moses a good report. They should “go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. We were like grasshoppers in our own sight …’” (Numbers 13:30-33) The report of the ten brought fear to the Israelites in spite of Caleb and Joshua’s good report. In fact, they were ready to stone the two who saw a great opportunity to conquer the land. 

God intervened, disciplining the people for their fear and unbelief and causing them to wander for  
another forty years. But He didn’t reject them. He continued to lead them and to show His great power through numerous miracles.

Like Caleb and Joshua, we too can look for opportunity in the midst of our problems. God, as our partner, will help us find them.

Lord, thank You for showing us opportunities that help us overcome our problems. Cause us to look beyond them toward the good things, knowing You will bring us through them. In Jesus’ name, amen.