Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
February 27, 2008

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. -Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV

What is a shell? To simplify it, it is the exterior skeleton of an animal called a mollusk. There are many kinds of mollusks that produce many types of shells. One just has to walk along the beach to see just a sample of the wide variety of shells that are made by these animals. The shells are actually composed from the calcium found in the mollusks diet and the water they live in. A mollusk depends on its shell to provide accommodation and protection. Some shells are designed to make it easy to burrow into the sandy bottom of the ocean. Others are ridged, which helps them to set anchor in special places. Colors, shapes, spines and ridges all contribute to the ability of the shell to camouflage its appearance from predators. The mollusk couldn’t exist without its protective armor.

If we could only take refuge in a shell once in a while! There is good news! God provides protection over us and one way is by putting on the full armor of God each day. But why do we need his armor? Too often we are exposed to spiritual battles where darkness reigns. These battles can manifest themselves in many different ways, like attacking us with temptations, creating emotional turmoil and overwhelming us with negative thoughts. Setbacks, offenses and doubts can overtake us. These are all the flaming arrows of the evil one. He is a predator. He will distort our perspective, upset our lives and relationships, create discontent and place strongholds on us that keeps us from our focus and from living in the shadow of God. So what can we do to resist him? We can put on the whole armor of God. If God is for us, who can be against us? Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feel fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17 NIV But what does this mean to put on the whole armor of God? It means that we believe God’s truth and not Satan’s lies. That we know that God loves us and there is no room for self doubts. He protects our hearts and our emotions. That we should be ready and willing to spread the gospel whenever we can. Every little action or statement towards witnessing adds up and God will work through us to bring light into someone’s darkness. That we have faith to see God’s hand in every thing, and that certainly includes His gift to us of salvation. He gives us a weapon to fight these battles with and it is His Word. Let us enlarge our prayers to include suiting up with the armor of God each day. We never want to be without it. It is ours for the asking

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
February 20, 2008

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. -Psalm 16:11 NIV

A beachcomber, according to the dictionary is defined this way, ”a drifter or loafer usually by the seacoast”. Is that all it says? They left out the part about having fun, getting exercise and clearing the mind. I am not too crazy about being described as a “drifter or loafer”, but if that is what you call strolling along the shoreline in search of washed up treasures, then I’ll take it! Filling my pockets with shells in all shapes, colors and sizes is heaven on earth to me. Maybe there is a little “drifter” in you, too. Slowing the pace and enjoying a walk on the beach is a precious gift we can give ourselves. I am not sure what draws people to the beach. Maybe it is the ever-changing grandness of it. The ocean looks different everyday. The way the sunlight reflects off of the water and waves that curl and roll in to shore is mesmerizing. And maybe yesterday’s footprints have been worn away by a strong ocean breeze so the sand looks untouched and new. To me, the best part of beachcombing is to arise early and be the first one on the beach in the morning to be a part of the day as it unfolds.

God wants to be part of our day. And, He wants to be first in the order of things we have on our schedules. Before the demands of the day can multiply, I can honestly say that making God first is the best way to meet the day head on. Finding that special time and place to rest in His Presence may take some effort. Especially, if the TV is blaring, children and pets have to be fed and the phone starts ringing. It may take a juggling act to find that time with God but it is worth it. Plugging in to God’s Word, His Peace and Protection will start the day right. It is a discipline at first, but once God’s Presence is truly heartfelt in those special moments with Him, you may find yourself waking up a little earlier just to spend more cherished time together with God.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ocean Waves

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
February 14, 2008

(Betsy’s sister, Robin Ore of Kill Devil Hills, NC is writing today’s column and has provided her photography. Betsy will return next week.)

I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. - Psalm 121: 1-2

This time of year, you never know if the ocean waves will be crashing wildly or if the ocean waters will be as smooth as glass. There is always something interesting that the waves have washed up on the beach. Have you ever walked along the seashore and found a piece of beach glass? I find it exciting to discover this battered ocean glass among the seaweed and broken shells. Beach glass is found in an assortment of colors like green, brown, yellow, frosted white and cobalt blue. Recently, I had a piece of glass I found made into a necklace that was delicately wrapped in silver wire. It’s just a piece of glass that has survived months, maybe even years, tossed in rough ocean waters, shaped and molded by each crashing wave. I think this necklace serves as a reminder to me of how God is constantly doing a work to shape and mold us to be the person He created us to be. How does God shape and mold us? One example is by letting us go through experiences where we are helpless in our own strength and must rely on Him. This is where faith is built. God wants to teach us to trust Him, to lean on Him as He showers us with His grace and mercy. He comforts us during times of distress and brings us through, rooted even stronger in faith. Isn’t it comforting to know that we don’t have to do it alone and that our help comes from above?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Walking in Faith

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
February 07, 2008

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. –Romans 10:1 NIV

These warm days of February are atypical and such a gift from above. It is as though I can hear the beach summoning me to talk a walk. This time of year, like me, you may find you are the only one walking the shore. Those times are the most enjoyable, as I found myself talking out loud to God, as though He is walking along side of me. To have the beach to myself on a warm winter afternoon is pure joy. The warmth of the sun chases away the light chill of the ocean breezes. Pocketing a few specially selected shells for the windowsill back home makes the day memorable. Best of all, are the deep breaths from walking vigorously on the sand with lungs full of salt air. I believe all these things combined, make the perfect afternoon.

There are many “walks” in life…some physical, like walking a beach or exercising. But the one we will talk about today is the spiritual walk. Our relationship with God is our most important “walk”. We are given a choice of whether or not we choose to follow Him and His Word. Assuming we choose to walk with Him, He begins to take us down different paths and roads to teach and strengthen us. Some roads are bumpy with turmoil and tribulations and other times, we seem to glide by effortlessly. Those challenges we come up against build us up and invariably we come away having learned a new lesson. I have learned over and over these past few months that we cannot have faith and live in fear at the same time. One cancels out the other. It is very subtle how fear seems to become a stronghold in our life over small things and before you know it, we become afraid or worried and anxious about everything. Fear is an evil spirit that comes upon us when we think “what if” thoughts and fear thoughts. If we allow ourselves to remain anxious or continue to worry, the end result is living a life consumed with fear. It comes on us so quietly that we often don’t know it has happened until our entire mindset becomes based on fear. Each time I have allowed my mind to walk down the road of fear, I realized later that it was for naught. Everything worked out, but the toll of carrying worry and anxiety in my body caused my heart to beat faster, headaches to come upon me and my sleep to be interrupted. Some fears are normal, but most are not. God says that we are to trust Him. He is our Protector and Provider. He is always the Answer. Whatever fears we may be carrying today can be surrendered to God in exchange for faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word. Reading scripture that comforts and guides us into a deeper walk with God automatically diminishes our natural tendency to live in fear to free us for a life of faith.