Sunday, April 27, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
April 17, 2008

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. –Psalm 25:4-5 NIV

There is the little child that resides in each of us. In our pockets we tuck away our special hopes and dreams. Some we may share with others and some we may keep to ourselves. One definition for hope is to look forward with confidence or expectation and desire. To live a life that is full of hope improves our outlook. Having a childlike faith that carries hope in our hearts at any age is life-giving. God knows the desires of our heart as he probes our heart each day.

We are taught to hope for the best in all situations. Easier said than done? Yes! Fear gets into the mix to steal our joy and our hope at times. But with God all things are possible. That can be easily forgotten when we run up against obstacles. Our hope sometimes fades away when we are told all the reasons something won’t happen or it won’t work as we had envisioned. Or we have waited a long time and nothing seems to be happening to make our wishes materialize. But never lose hope. Hope gives us something to live for, to look forward to. Hope gives sweetness to life. Sweet hope is stronger than the bitterness that creeps in. We can dream big and hope for much. The Believer aims to have a heart of hope rooted in faith at all times. Whatever hopes are the desires of your heart, be expectant. Today could be the day that your hopes bear fruit. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. –Psalm 31:24 NIV

Monday, April 21, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
April 21, 2008

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come. buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk, without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. Isaiah 55: 1-3

Their small bodies and large wings don’t just occur overnight. There is quite a journey that the beautiful butterfly must go through before it emerges as the winged creature that we love to adore. This journey is a metamorphosis. The life cycle from lowly caterpillar to delicate butterfly takes time and great effort to reach its final stage. Once mature, the butterfly feeds on nectar from flowers and flutters about in search of a mate. We can thank the butterfly for its contribution towards playing a key role as a pollinator in our gardens.

Our Christian life is a journey, too. We begin to give up our old ways and turn over a new leaf as we learn about values and ways of living that are pleasing to God. It takes time to read the stories in the Bible and it takes more time to memorize scripture. There is no shortcut. No crash course. It requires daily effort from us to keep on the journey. We have to do our part. Just going to church on Sunday is not enough. Hopefully we are taking time each day for praise and thanksgiving, along with our prayers and then some time to listen. Many answers to our prayers are found in the Bible. We can get so much out of it if we just take a few minutes a day to read. The book of Psalms is a great place to begin or if you are seeking wisdom, Proverbs offers great advice. Perhaps you want to start with the four Gospels in the New Testament. It doesn’t matter where you begin, but that you begin. Where are we in our metamorphis as a Christian? A good question to ask ourselves. Drinking from the water of the Bible will fill us to overflowing with all good things from God. Then we can be like the butterfly and go from here to there, sharing what God has taught us.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wildflowers and Flowers

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
April 10, 2008

Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work - this is a gift of God. – Ecclesiastes 5:19 NIV

April marks the beginning of a show of color from various types of natural, coastal wildflowers and flowers. Many are endangered and protected to ensure their annual return for all to enjoy. From April to October, many flowers dot the sides of highways, beach paths and back roads. One of the most common is Gaillardia or also known as Indian Blanket. Flowers that grow on the barrier islands are especially hardy as they must endure severe conditions and salt spray. Wildflowers will spring up anywhere. They aren’t necessarily choosy about their location. Just as long as they have a sandy soil, sunshine and water, they put on a spectacular display of beauty.

Happiness is a choice we make. The wildflowers don’t seem to be affected if they are too close to the road or next to a field of weeds. They flower anyway. We can learn a lesson or two from nature. Many times we allow our circumstances to affect our ability to be happy. It has happened to all of us at one time or another. But just being aware that our circumstances have no control over us unless we allow it is a beginning. Learning to overcome the problems or situations with a glad, happy attitude will improve our quality of life. It is not usually the big things. It’s the little things that can affect us the most. God would rather change us than change our circumstances. He is always trying to grow us spiritually and He helps us to stand upright. The wildflowers find contentment wherever they end up. If we trust God that He has us right where He wants us at this moment, then we don’t have to live in wonder, frustration or anxiety about our circumstances. It doesn’t matter if our life appears to be a field of weeds, or if we are in a drought. It is all according to His Purpose. He can make a difference in our life in every way. But it is up to us to choose to be happy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tending the Garden

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
April 03, 2008

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. –Psalm 118:24 NIV

I love spending time with children because of their joy and gladness. This week my granddaughter is staying with us. Her morning cheerfulness and evening laughter warms our heart. As with most children that visit grandparents, she has come with her best manners, is very polite and aims to please. We are thrilled to have the company and love hearing all about her life, thoughts and dreams. Each day we have something planned, but she has learned this week, that before we set out to do anything, we first have our prayer time with God. Her shyness about praying out loud has given way to making an enthusiastic list of things to talk to God about. She is like a flower that is blossoming before our eyes. She recites with pride the Bible verse we learned in the morning to her grandfather over dinner in the evening. We are witnessing her faith growing stronger each day. Our special time will end when she returns home in a few days, but hopefully with each visit, we are building that spiritual foundation that will support her in her journey through life.

The cheerfulness and gladness that children bring into our adult world are not just reserved for them. We can have it, too! It is about making a choice. We can greet the day with a good attitude, happiness and a heart that is grateful …or not. The opposite of happiness is grumbling, complaining, murmuring, and feeling discontent. (Philippians 2:14) Then before long, negativity and a critical spirit joins in too. This past week, I was given a collection of stories that were good, funny and entertaining. I passed them on to another to share. That person chose to remark on the misspellings and seemed to miss the content all together. The critical spirit that lives within her prevented her from fully enjoying the stories. It is not God that gives us a critical spirit. He doesn’t cause us to become negative. “Well” you say, “That’s just the way I am and I have always been that way”. Criticalness and negativity are like weeds in a beautiful flower garden. There is no place for them. We must tend our own garden and yank out the weeds each day. With God’s help, move out of the negative and into the positive. Spend time with a child and see the joy that bubbles up from them. It’s contagious! Sometimes, I think we believe as adults that we are teaching the children, but often times, the children are teaching us!