Tuesday, August 28, 2018


Interruptions can overload our lives. We can ignore them, become anxious about them, or … look at them as opportunities. Which will it be?

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES         by Sally Bair


Recently someone asked me if I’m becoming more impatient as I grow older. I said that, on the contrary, I seem to show more patience than ever before. Rethinking my answer, I must add an exception. I show less patience when interrupted by someone or something, perhaps realizing I must make the most of the time I have left.

Interruptions can distract us. As a young mother, I often told my kids, “Don’t interrupt me now.” Even today, I feel stressed when the phone rings during a crucial part of my editing. Sometimes I cringe, frustrated when someone interrupts me while I’m trying to say something.

Can you relate? Or are you like some who let interruptions wash over them like warm water and keep on smiling? Oh, to be like such super-humans!

“Interruptions never distracted Jesus,” quoted G.H.Morling in Quest for Serenity. “He accepted them as opportunities of a richer service. Interruptions were the occasion of some of His most gracious deeds and revealing words.”

There are many instances from the Gospels that prove Morling’s words. Jesus beckoned little children rather than turn them away as His disciples thought He should. He took time to heal Peter’s mother-in-law while at Peter’s house for dinner. He repeatedly stopped preaching and teaching to heal someone in need or to minister to them in other ways. He delayed His trip to bring a government ruler’s daughter back to life so He could heal a desperate, sick woman. He even took time out of worship in a synogogue to heal a man’s withered hand. And when His disciples wanted to send a multitude of people home, He instead fed them with a mere five loaves of bread and two fish.

How can we use interruptions as Jesus did—opportunities to serve others? Jesus’ actions are the best example we have. He spent much time in prayer and worship with His Father away from the crowds, a time of refreshing for His soul, strengthening of His resolve, and listening to His counsel.

Not much is said about Jesus’ time spent with His Father. But sprinkled throughout the Gospel accounts are words such as these: “He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.” Notice that He went to a quiet place alone. When we spend time alone in a quiet place with the Lord, He refreshes our soul, too. He strengthens our resolve to rightly and lovingly deal with interruptions. And we can more easily hear His voice for direction in our life.

Lord, help us use interruptions as opportunities to serve others in love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Happiness is a temporary feeling. Joy can be permanent.

Eternal Perspectives              by Sally Bair

A friend recently lost a loved one and is also going through a difficult family situation. We often witness, hear about or experience losses and difficulties. After all, we live in an imperfect world. To offset our unhappiness, we search for ways to make us smile and laugh and feel better emotionally. We read jokes and “happy” books and attend humorous or spirit-lifting events—anything to offer us a temporary reprieve from our sorrows.

However, the solutions we choose are not long-lasting. Our problems don’t always disappear and we face new ones every day. We grumble and show our unhappiness even for the little things that go wrong, including the weather, don’t we?

On the other hand, we’re happy when we get a good night’s sleep. When our kids come home with good report cards. During lunch with a friend. At weddings. When the rain holds off until we get home. After a bumper crop of veggies … or apples … or alfalfa.

All these occasions for happiness come from outside circumstances. They depend on what “happens”—perhaps that’s why it’s called “happiness.” And when we put our trust in happiness, we become controlled by our circumstances, which can change from hour to hour.

Happiness meets our surface needs. We can compare happiness to a thermometer which registers conditions. Joy, on the other hand, is more like a thermostat, regulated by conditions. It comes from within and meets our deepest needs. During times of suffering and angst, happiness can act like a bandaid that will eventually disintegrate. Joy, however, often intensifies during such times. I can testify to that truth firsthand. When my husband was killed, it was not an occasion for happiness by any means. But my grief was diminished by my faith in God.

The apostle Paul went through many extreme hardships, yet was joyous throughout—so much so that he advised us also to “rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4) Please note that this verse doesn’t tell us to rejoice in circumstances, which change continually, but in God who never changes.

Lord, thank You for joy. Though we may have tragedy, sorrow, heartache or pain, we take joy in Your salvation, hope and strength. May our joy in You be a magnet to others so they, too, can know You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Like the joey secure in its mother’s pouch, we can be safe in the loving arms of our Father in heaven, knowing He will see to all our needs. Hallelujah!

Eternal Perspectives              by Sally Bair

Safety in Christ

I enjoy watching shows about nature and once saw a documentary about kangaroos. The Australian marsupials give birth to “joeys,” babies that weigh less than an ounce, are an inch long and are born blind. Yet they crawl on their own to their mother’s pouch to live for several months, where they are fed, sheltered and kept warm.

I picture us, like helpless joeys, who once made the journey from our cold world of sin into the warmth of Jesus’ love. No one can make the trip for us. And once we enter the fold of Christ, we begin to feed on His Word, growing each day like the joey.

Kangaroos live in groups called pods so they can protect each other from danger. As Christians, we too are encouraged to remain close to other believers. Through our church or fellowship, we find encouragement, support and companionship. We also are wise to go to fellow Christians when we face problems or persecution, knowing they will pray for and with us.

As we grow in our spirituality with Christ through His Word and our fellowship with other Christians, we can be assured of their love and protection and their help toward our Christian maturity. The saying, “No man is an island,” holds true of Christ-followers. We need each other just as a biological family needs each other. And as joeys grow into adults that can jump and run and leap, we can, with God’s helping hand, learn to move quickly from sin and toward opportunities of service for our Father.

As with most baby animals, joeys are eventually kicked out of their mothers’ pouches. We don’t have to worry about that happening to us believers. We can praise our heavenly Father that He never severs us from His love and care, as He has promised in His Word.

“Therefore remember that … at [one] time you were without Christ … having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:11-13)

Lord, we thank You for Your love and care in helping us grow into mature Christians. As we were once blind to Your goodness, like joeys born blind, You have opened our eyes to Your salvation. Keep us in Your fold with other believers, not only for our safety and maturity but for the opportunity to help others in need. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


Living for ourselves is not what God is asking us. He wants us to follow His Son, Jesus’ example by living for Him. That means putting ourselves last in all our endeavors. Those are hard words to follow, but through His power and love, it will draw us closer to Him.

Eternal Perspectives              by Sally Bair

Dying to self

The word dying is used flippantly among both teens and adults these days. “I’m dying to go out with so-and-so.” “Didn’t you just die of embarrassment when the principal called you out of class?” “We’re dying to see that movie” or “… to get this problem over with.” Yet when we speak about actually dying, we Americans often avoid the word. Even our obituaries side-step the word “died” with the more palatable phrase, “passed away.”

Let’s face it; none of us want to die yet. We spend millions to prolong our lives through medical care, diets and exercise. We even ask the Lord to lengthen our life so we can finish raising our children, pay off the mortgage or make a last will and testament. Only when we face the possibility of our imminent death or that of a loved one do we give it much thought.

Imagine living in the day of Jesus under harsh Roman rule when death lurked around each corner. Imagine knowing, as Jesus did, that He would die a terrible death. Yet He also knew His death would take Him back to the loving arms of His Father in heaven. Such a promise He offered to His followers. They need not fear death of their bodies, knowing their spirits would live forever with their beloved teacher, Jesus.

Jesus promises us that when we are willing to die to our sinful, selfish nature in order to love and obey Him and place others ahead of ourselves, we will ultimately live with Him once our bodies have died. We may not have to face the danger that some missionaries do to serve the Lord. We do, however, need to be willing to give up everything in this life for His sake.

“For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. … For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” (Romans 14:7-9)

A famous evangelist of the early 1900s, John G. Lake, wrote: “If I were pledging men and women to the gospel of the Son of God, as I am endeavoring to do now, it would not be to have a nice church and harmonious surroundings, and a sweet do-nothing time. I would invite them to be ready to die.”

Lord, by Your Spirit make us willing to die to our sinful, selfish desires so we can live for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.