Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
May 28, 2008

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. – Hebrews ll:1 NIV

When my husbands’ work moved us from Texas to Florida a few months ago, it was hard to say goodbye to our home and friends. But God knows best and we set off for our new adventure, but not before finding a good home for my treasured plants. My favorite flower of all is the hydrangea. I managed to have two beautiful potted little plants that I had nurtured in my garage over the winter. I wasn’t sure if they would make it to spring, but I was hopeful. Small leaf buds were forming on the leggy branches before we left, so I decided to give them to our neighbors. They cared for them as well and when the first sign of spring came, they told me they planted them in a special place in their backyard and named it “Betsy’s Garden”. How touching. So sweet. They told me that by Mother’s Day recently, the hydrangeas were in full bloom!

Settling in our new surroundings in south Florida, we were told that hydrangeas simply don’t make it in this tropical, humid heat. But I had faith. I purchased a beautiful blooming hydrangea plant at Easter time and brought it home to enjoy indoors. Once the blooms were spent, I thought I would plant it in a roomy pot with the right soil and fertilizer and place it in a shady spot on my back patio to see what would happen. For a few months it just looked the same. No new growth and it seemed the insects has discovered it and were enjoying the leaves. But I still watered it daily and kept it out of the hot sun and smiled every time I walked passed it. I didn’t give up. A few weeks ago new growth appeared, the pale green leaves began to unfold. Then, yesterday, I noticed the crown of buds. Yes, it appears my hydrangea will bloom soon. I didn’t give up hope and belief that something good was coming!

There are many things in my life that I am believing God for. We are not to have weak faith. We are not to be faint of heart. What we pray for may not always make perfect sense, just like believing for a shady plant to thrive in an unfamiliar, hot climate. But all things are possible with God and His Promises are available to us if we have faith and believe. I have had to examine my own faith over time. I realized there were times that I believed God would do something for someone else, but not for me. Have you ever felt that way? I think I didn’t have faith in my faith!! It was when I learned to develop my faith and truly believe by reading His Word and believing it for myself that I began to be free from the fear and unbelief. I could have given up on my hydrangea plant and tossed it out, but I believed and finally, the reward is coming. Sometimes God brings about instantaneous results and other times, we may have to wait for years. But however long it takes, we can’t go wrong by using the time by building up our faith daily by reading His Word and believing He hears our prayers.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taking Steps

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

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. -Proverbs 16:9 NIV

Inside each of us are our dreams, hopes, desires and wishes. I love talking to little children about their dreams. They are so enthusiastic when they share their thoughts. There is a fresh innocence to their words that tumble so freely from their hearts. This time of year, the high school seniors are preparing for graduation as a new path unfolds in front of them. Many decisions await them about how to pursue their dreams and what steps to take. Graduating college students are ready to put their education to use as they seek their place in the world. But dreams aren’t just for the young. Changing careers, lifestyles or even moving from one place to another are all part of the process of redesigning ones’ life. But whatever it is that we feel we are “called” to do or pursue, we must always check with God first.

It is really His Plan for us that we should be following rather than going out on our own. I know this for sure. If we are operating within His Plan, His Umbrella of Protection, then we are on the right path. We may stumble and fall, we may even fail, but it is with the knowledge that sometimes God takes us down certain roads to build up our faith, to humble or to strengthen us before we can go further. He is constantly encouraging and teaching us through the daily experiences we encounter. But, what if nothing is happening? Maybe we don’t know if we are in God’s Plan or not. In fact, we may have put our dreams on hold for so long, we have given up. That is when we take those first steps. Martin Luther King, Jr. is quoted as saying, “Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” It is important to follow up our hopes and dreams with action. We can trust God to open the doors for us if we are obedient and walking a godly path. He will surely close doors for us and redirect us if we get off course. It is as if He is taking us by the hand. We just have to trust Him.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
May 13, 2008

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. -2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV

This is the time of year that we begin to see flowers everywhere. They are in flowerbeds, blooming pots decorating decks and patios, blooms cascading out of window boxes and even flowers that are delivered as gifts in stunning bouquets to our door. There are no two flowers that are alike. They may be similar, but not identical. It is amazing that one flower of such beautiful color and beauty comes from just a tiny seed. One of my treasures is a small packet of seeds that my grandfather tucked away between the pages of a special book that I inherited. The seed packet was carefully folded over many times to keep the seeds from escaping. I have kept them for many years. It represents the lessons I learned from him of sowing and reaping through the example of his gardening. But that life lesson doesn’t only apply to seeds and flowers. It is biblical that what we sow, we reap.

For instance, take our attitudes and use of words. If we sow seeds of joy and encouragement in a person, they respond to that and flourish and bloom before our eyes. If we constantly show impatience, intolerance or annoyance at a person, we slowly crush their spirit. It is like depriving a beautiful flower of water, watching it slowly wilt.

All the flowers of tomorrow are the seeds of today. Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. Today I will look at the seeds I sow and determine if what I sow is pleasing to God. Galatians 5:22 says the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. Those are the seeds we should be planting in our life and the lives of others. The scripture today suggests that we should be generous with our sowing. In doing so, an abundant harvest will come naturally.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
May 04, 2008

My soul finds rest in God alone; My salvation comes from him. -Psalm 62:1

One year we rented a charming antique-filled cottage on the sound and it had two hammocks. That was great except there were four of us! The hammocks were situated on the front corners of the old style house secured by sturdy hooks on the ceiling of the covered porch. We each took turns “nesting” in our favorite hammock, complete with a pillow and even an old quilt to wrap up in at night while stargazing. It was great fun to see if two of us could comfortably fit in one of the hammocks together, but it was even more fun trying to get out of it without being spilled onto the floor!

What is more peaceful than a hammock? The inventor’s of the hammock, the Spaniards, originally wove threads together from the Hammok tree dating as far back as the 1600’s. What originated as a tropical invention has now swept across all boundaries and cultures as a useful, functional piece of furniture, inside and out. The gentle swaying motion of the hammock can be hypnotic. Being cradled in one is the ultimate in rest and relaxation. The troubles and cares of the world instantly disappear and for that moment or two, we are lost in our own deep world of solitude and peace. The hammock is accommodating of any age or any sized person.

It is fitting that on Mother’s Week we talk of solitude and peace. It is something that many mothers don’t get enough of. But whether we are mothers or not, we each know our limits and we instinctively know when to withdraw long enough to recharge our batteries. Luke 5:16 says that “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”. When we long for a lazy day in a hammock, that is our cue to find a quiet place and commune with Him. God can meet us anywhere, even in a hammock. He will restore, renew and revitalize our spirit if we make the time to find rest in Him.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Daily Walk

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
May 01, 2008

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. -James 4:7 NIV

A daily walk is a good thing to do. It exercises our bodies and it promotes good health. A walk can be taken early in the morning, during a lunch break or at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter when the daily walk is taken. What does matter is that it is not forgotten. There is another daily walk that is important too and that is our daily time with God. But, somehow it is often the first thing that is shelved when a day becomes busy and overloaded. Everything else becomes a priority and God is left to wait for us to show up later. A daily dialogue with God is not only the most important time we will spend each day, we should try to make that time first before anything else.

But, what happens if we become lazy and put God off day after day? No longer seeking God’s help and protection, we unknowingly open the door to the enemy. Fear, bitterness, anxiety, resentment and anger are just a few of the spirits that can come upon us and they are all destructive and harmful to our minds, bodies and souls. Our attitude and outlook turns sour and negative. Our vision is clouded. We become oppressed and find it hard to “shake off”.

So, what is the benefit of this daily walk with God? One of the benefits of spending daily time with God is that it keeps us in dialogue with Him. We will begin to discern His Voice inside of us giving us guidance and direction. He is our protection and our shield. In our daily time with God we should repent of our mistakes and failings and be sincere and genuine. It means that we start off each day forgiven with a new heart and a new start. We learn that we can live in a place of blessing. While a daily walk exercises the body, a daily walk with God engages our faith. Why not do both? Each day can be a new beginning, knowing God is on our side in all we do. He brings us the light and chases away the darkness. He is the Light.