Wednesday, August 19, 2015



Photography by Meridith Glass

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. –Ephesians 2:8-9

Last Sunday afternoon we took a boat ride. It was a nice retreat to leave the cares of the world behind and focus on the clouds, blue sky and sparkling water.  We saw the pelicans perched on islands nearby and the occasional seagull that circled over top of us to see if we are offering food. But the joy of the day was when three dolphins played in the boat’s wake. We were so delighted and amazed at the same time. I have never witnessed this before. The playfulness in and out of the waves is called porpoising. Their shiny gray bodies were so limber. Some leaped high and others surfaced for air just for a split second to return underwater.  Graceful and elegant. These creatures are beautiful and I love their gentleness and spunk.

Our dedication to faith can often resemble porpoising. Going in and out of faith like the dolphins play in and out of the waves. When things are good, we sail high, above the clouds and may forget that it is God’s strength that keeps us afloat. When things go bad, we can’t get on our knees fast enough to pray for help and an immediate solution.  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. -James 1:2-4 What I was reminded about on that boat ride was that there are times to be serious and times to play….but it is always time to be in faith. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Quiet Time

Quiet Time

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! -Psalm 150:6

Make time for it. Schedule it on your calendar if you must. Walk the beach alone. Find a bench in the park. There are a number of things you can do to find quiet time. Why is it so important? It is a time to recharge and it is mentally healthy to clear your mind of all things unimportant. Busy schedules, commutes to work, radio and television blaring gives little time to just sitting still for a while in peaceful solitude. Embracing those quiet moments are a time of reflection and self-evaluation. A bit of peace and tranquility can go a long way in getting our attitudes in alignment with God. It is in those times of quiet that we can talk to God and He can talk to us. Maybe a scripture will come to mind or a solution will reveal itself for a problem that has been consuming us. Often times, my quietness is just praising and being grateful. My grandson loves to hear that he has done a good job. We all like to hear that. And so it is with God too. Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. Psalm 147:1 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015



My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
-Proverbs 2:1-6 NIV

Waves rolling in to the beach don’t come empty handed. Coming ashore, they bring shells, seaweed, driftwood and anything else that may be stirring up in the sea. We have come to count on the incoming tide to sprinkle the shore with little ocean treasures. Stuffing our pockets with shells of all sizes is a fun past time for beach goers of all ages. Every time I go to the beach, I always find something to bring home. These gifts of the sea find their way to my windowsills, jars and shelves, to bring our family a smile, and to  remind us of a most pleasant time at the beach.

Filling jars with varieties of shells is certainly a show of my ‘tangible’ treasures from the sea. But, there are many gifts we receive in life that we can’t hold and feel, yet our existence is incredibly enhanced because of them. One of them is wisdom. Wisdom is defined as ‘good sense, accumulated knowledge of life, knowing right from wrong, having good judgement and having an opinion widely held’. God has placed some wonderful people in my path over the years that have brought me great wisdom. Perhaps you feel the same way, too. I can’t seem to get enough of it. I would be most content to share an afternoon with someone who has wise knowledge and insight into the important things of life. Surprisingly though, wisdom doesn’t always come from the aged and mature, but the very young, too. It’s the clarity of mind, the simplicity and the love of God that can make a person of any age, wise to others. Wisdom and understanding go hand in hand. Nothing compares to it, not riches, wealth or possessions. The Bible is filled with it. It comes from God, but I do believe He speaks to us through people He puts in our life from time to time. I relish the days that I am in the presence of a wise person. Wise counsel and Christian compassion are given freely. Wisdom gives us new understanding and a better way to look at any situation we may face. We will be rewarded if we seek wisdom and apply it to our lives. We all need it but not everyone wants to receive it. The Bible tells us that wisdom is sweet to our soul. Proverbs 18 suggests that a fountain of wisdom is like a bubbling brook within us. A wise person always seeks understanding, instruction and knowledge. That way, they may pass it on. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NIV

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Art Release Coming Soon

Limited edition giclees' from original oil paintings by Reflections by the Sea author, Betsy Glass coming soon. More information to come.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015



Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
-Mark 11:24-25 NIV

A sandbar is a submerged or partly submerged ridge of sand that is formed along the shore by the action of the waves or currents. When storms come off of the ocean, sandbars actually act as a shock absorber for the powerful waves and currents. By consuming some of the power, then there is less damage to the shore. That’s one of the reasons when we have damaging storms, some areas fare well and others do not. The sandbar that we cannot see offshore has soaked up some of the waves’ strength. Some people that are looking at oceanfront property to purchase will consult nautical charts to see if offshore sandbars are present, offering added protection to the beach.

While sandbars are great because they help block the oceans’ strength, when we go to God with our petitions, we don’t want anything to stand between us.  But, unknowingly, that is exactly what can happen. How can we go to Him asking forgiveness of our sins when we won’t forgive someone of theirs? How can we expect mercy to be shown to us if we don’t show it to others?  Like a sandbar, our unforgiveness can act as a ridge that prevents God’s blessings from getting to us. Matthew 7:2 tells us not to judge, or we too will be judged. For in the same way we judge others, we will be judged, and with the measure we use, it will be measured unto us. Many rifts in relationships begin this way in judgement and then before long, unforgiveness takes root and then bitterness follows. Matthew 6:14 plainly tells us that if we forgive men when they sin against us, our heavenly Father will also forgive us. But if we do not forgive men their sins, our Father will not forgive our sins.  But, what if we don’t ‘feel’ like forgiving someone. We are still angry at them and rightfully so. We may have every right to our feelings. God would have us know that it doesn’t matter. He will take care of seeing that justice is served. That is not our job. His message is clear. We have to make the decision to forgive and God will do the rest. Our decision to forgive is what sets everything in motion. And don’t worry, He will supply us with all we need and the fullness of heart to begin to forgive. We should not let our unforgiveness towards anyone cost us our blessings, prosperity or healing. Pray this scripture so that we can see and feel in a new way. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Walking with Jesus

This is what God the Lord says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:  “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
-Isaiah 42:5-7 NIV
Today’s writing is a little different that what has been done in the past. When I pray it helps me to envision actually being with Jesus, if only in my imagination. Perhaps you will allow your imagination to expand and you can take a walk with us too……..

I see myself as a little girl…old enough to always feel safe and but not old enough yet to be conditioned by the world. I am skipping along the beach, the same one that I used to walk with my grandmother whom I called, Nanny. The weather is sunny, the waves are gently rolling in and the top of the sea reminds me of blue-green sparkling glass. Boats are off in the distance and the sound of sea gulls are above.  It is mid-day. I have a white dress on. It is sweet with smocking on the front with embroidered roses and it has little cap sleeves. It is summer time. My dress has a full skirt as though there is a crinoline beneath but the humidity in the air causes the skirt to fall slightly limp. There are two long sashes for tying a bow in the back of my dress but the bow has become loose and it drags the wet sand behind me. My long blonde hair falls just at my waist in natural waves and ringlets, often caught by the breeze. The sun is so bright that I have to squint to keep the glare from hurting my blue eyes.

I am gleeful. Skipping along, laughing, feeling freedom and happiness when I turn around to see Jesus behind me. He holds his arms outstretched to greet me and I run as fast as I can with sun-kissed cheeks surrounding my smile and joy to jump into his arms. His face is kind and I feel secure. He would never let me fall. We don’t talk at first. I look at him and he looks at me and smiles. I touch his hair and pat his chest and straighten the folds of his robe as if to neaten at the same time. He lets me fuss over him and he doesn’t seem to mind.  I adore him. I know who he is. And he knows who I am. His walk is strong in the soft sand. He has a purple scarf draped around his neck and a plain rope around his waist that surrounds his white robe.

He asks me, “What do you want to learn today?” I reply quickly, “Show me everything”. He points out to the water and shows me things in the distance. We look at the birds and he knows the different kinds. I reach towards the sky to show him a cloud going by.  He says, “Do you know that all these things come from my Father in Heaven?” My eyes widen with wonder as I simply stare at his eyes and the truth that lies within them. I am anxious to know more, but I get restless to play and want to run again on the beach. He lets me down and I play hide and seek around him, hiding behind the folds of his robe. He approves of me. I can see it in the twinkling of his eyes when he looks down at me. My heart is bursting with happiness, even more than before.  I pick up seashells and run to him to place in his hand for safekeeping. He holds them for me. I have never felt such warmth and kindness before. He seems to like me just the way I am, too. I see love in his eyes. His love is so big it warms my heart. I get tired of skipping and come back to him and reach for his hand and we walk the beach together holding hands. We are becoming the best of friends. I just know it. I like the way my heart feels when I am with him. I realize it is nice just to be together. He says to feel his presence and to remember it. To tuck it in my heart and then I can have it always. He says to remember that he is always with me.

Today, as an adult, I have a bowl of sand and shells in my home and it reminds me of my imaginative first meeting with Jesus. A collection of straw hats sit nearby to use to still protect my eyes from the sun. My surroundings at home are connected to the beach with walls of photographs and paintings throughout.  To me the beach represents unconditional, lasting, pure love; truth and honesty; forgiveness and healing; safety and honor and above all, presence of the One that will never betray. He will always love me. It’s the relationship that I seek daily.

God sent me a grandmother that loved me fiercely and gave richly of herself within her very limited means. She nurtured in me the goodness and virtues of life and was the first one to tell me about Jesus. My precious grandmother that went to Heaven when I was just 9 years old lives on in my heart and writing. Without my grandmother, there would be no “Reflections by the Sea”…..a seed planted by her love for me and the beach, rooted by the love of Jesus and established and written by the guiding pen and favor of God and the Holy Spirit. Did you have someone that you can look back to that loved you enough to share Jesus with you? Show them honor by passing their gift on, to open the eyes of the blind, to share Him with the next in line.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Celebrate Life

Celebrate Life

The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!
-Lamentations 3:22-24 (NASB)

It is so much fun to sit on the dunes with my long zoom camera lens and watch the birds walking along the water’s edge. Watching the pelicans in the distance as they dive into the sea. Noticing the clouds overhead that take the shape of things as they move slowly by. I love being a spectator from my perch nearby. Seeing everything up close, yet not being an active part of it.

The opposite of spectator is being a participant. It is equally fun to play with kids in the water, build sandcastles, collect shells and enjoy a picnic together. Being in the moment and enjoying life to the fullest with someone is truly the act of participating.

It occurs to me that we have a choice in life. We can choose to be a spectator or a participator of life. We can become fully engaged in our life and the lives of those around us or stand back, in the shadows, living life through other people, watching their celebrations and milestones.  My husband and I made the choice years ago to be a family that celebrates. We make the birthdays, anniversaries and holidays special. Even the dogs get birthday presents! Carrying around a camera for most of my life, I have been able to catch big moments and little ones too, so the memories of our celebrations have not been lost or forgotten.

Occasionally, I hear folks describe their days with the words, “didn’t do much today” or “we’re not planning anything special”. I used to be one of those people long ago. We stood at the front door many times and watched a neighbor family pile in their old car and drive off to enjoy life by going to ballgames, the beach, picnics and camping. Even backyard barbecues were special to them. I learned an important lesson from that family. Seize the moment.  When the day is over, it is lost. The young mother of this family passed in a car accident when her children were small. No time for goodbyes, one more picnic or one last moment. But I can say that family had far more memories to carry forward than some people have in a lifetime. And it wasn’t because they had unlimited resources or an abundance of time. No, they simply made an effort and chose to celebrate their life.  To make something of each day. They learned that ever important balance of working, playing and praying. They made time for it all.

Part of being a participator in life is a way to honor oneself and the family and friends that surround. It honors God showing Him we treasure the life He breathed in us and the gifts He surrounds us with. It is true that health, finances and obstacles can keep us from doing the things we want to do sometimes or it can limit us greatly, but we can choose our attitude about our life and what we do with it. For example, a budget meal of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich can be presented like a feast. Celebrating the first cucumber from the garden can bring a big smile. The dog bringing back the ball in a game of fetch can be cause for praise, kisses and hugs. Everyday things can be a series of small celebrations and before long we begin to realize that joy resides within. It is taking hold on the inside. It starts with having an attitude that promotes joy and happiness combined with the act of “doing” instead of “watching” that keeps many people celebrating daily life to a ripe old age. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015



Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” -Luke 6:47-49

Constructing a new house always requires a sturdy, fail safe foundation. Much thought is put into it however much of the work is not seen. A lot of it is underground, particularly in coastal areas where pilings and concrete pillars are used as supports. The first storm that comes could undermine a house without a solid foundation, but one built well may withstand maybe a 100 years or more.
In the same way homes are constructed using well- made foundations, our country was constructed, founded if you will, on morals and values that our forefathers drafted, all rooted in the biblical teachings of God. That is the foundation of our country. When God and His Laws are discounted or discarded, we lose our way. But we still have time. Even though the times are different now, including the laws that now govern us, we must seek God more than ever. Where is God?  He has always been there, even though our culture suggests we should follow man and not God and the Bible.
My grandson asks me, “What’s happening?” when he sees something out of place or our schedule differs from the norm. He knows when something is out of order and his curiosity takes over wanting understanding. I do the same thing. When I pray, I ask God, “What’s happening?” too. So much change we are asked to accept by the culture of today, neglecting many of the values and morals we thought were rock solid. Asking God to help us turn back to Him is my prayer. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.-Jeremiah 29:11  An old familiar hymn found its way back to my heart this week, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”. The refrain goes like this,  
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.