Tuesday, June 17, 2008


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

Photography by Elizabeth Brown

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much Luke 16:10a NIV

The time is nearing when many families will begin coming to the beaches for their summer vacations. The beach will appear festive from the vivid colors of the umbrellas that take their place in the sand. Bright colored beach towels and plastic beach balls will also be a part of the landscape at the beach. It reminds me of travelling to the Outer Banks when we were children for our week of vacation each year. There was such anticipation and excitement that surrounded that time. We learned to find enjoyment in every day. It was a good lesson to learn at a young age. We cherished the sunny days and played hard in the surf and sand. On the rainy days, we caught rainwater with our newly purchased pails and shovels and built sandcastles, under our cottage, held high on stilts. When we had too much sun on our tender skin, the family would take a day trip in the car to see the sights. At night there were card games, skating at the roller rink or family tournaments of putt-putt. No time was wasted, yet we returned home from vacation very rested and content.

Taking what we had and making the most of it, is a philosophy that has stayed with me through the years. I have observed some people that have very little, yet they live so rich. They use their talents and skills to create a contented, charming lifestyle and God seems to bless them with more. And then there are those folks that seem to have everything, yet they are disgruntled and greedy for more. I think God would have us enjoy each and every day that He gives us. There are hidden treasures in each day and it is our job to find them. Making the most of what we are given is showing our grateful appreciation to God for the many gifts and opportunities He has given us, and continues to give us daily. The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3 NIV

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Front Porch

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

Photography by Elizabeth Brown

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

The word “porch” comes from the Latin word porticus. It also comes from the Greek word portico. The origins of the first porches date back to prehistoric times and as architecture has evolved, so has the significance of the front porch. As cultures and lifestyles changed, people found they had more free time at the end of the day than ever before. They migrated outdoors to enjoy the cool breezes of summer, to watch children play in the yard and perhaps visit with nearby neighbors. The front porch served as a transition between the indoors and outdoors. Evenings on the front porch provided relaxation over lemonade and pie, singing, story telling and perhaps some advice was dispensed too, if asked for. Wicker chairs, rockers and porch swings were all part of the items found on the front porch. The comfort and sense of community can still be found today while porch sitting, enjoying family and friends.

Even if some of us don’t have a front porch, we can still capture those special times of family where there is sharing, talking and listening. My children seemed to talk most when we were in the car driving. My husband and I always enjoyed a pot of coffee together on Saturday mornings. It is about carving out time in our schedule to connect with each other. It is like that with God, too. Imagine that He is waiting for us on the porch. He has wisdom and love to give us. He just wants to be with us and He wants us to want to be with Him. We wouldn’t ignore our children or spouse day after day and we shouldn’t ignore Him. Having a relationship with God is more than giving Him an hour a week on Sunday. It is about feeling His Presence in all we do. Connecting with God is at the core of building a firm foundation in our spirituality. Our Father has much to give us, if we give Him the time.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hurricane Season

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

Photography by Liz Brown

When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. -Proverbs 16:7 NIV

Hurricane season has officially begun. The weather forecasters all have their opinions about what is to come and have statistical data and projections to support them. But what exactly defines a hurricane? It is a swirling low- pressure system that originates in warm tropical waters. It rotates counterclockwise. To be classified as a hurricane, the wind must exceed 74 miles per hour. Many factors contribute to its strength or weakness, such as atmospheric conditions, ocean and other weather patterns in the vicinity. The speed and path of hurricanes are difficult to predict. It is written that the colonial Spanish and Caribbean Indians word for evil spirits and big winds was hurricane. Folks that are familiar with hurricanes know that the right side of the eye produces the storm surge, strongest winds and tornadoes.

Many of us have weathered storms of one kind or another on the Outer Banks. One day it is bright and sunny, beach umbrellas lining up at the shore everywhere and the next day, warning flags are posted, gale force winds begin blowing and flooding and erosion are imminent.

Storms are just limited to the weather forecast. If we are to be honest, we all have felt inner turmoil before as a storm seems to rage on the inside of us. Sometimes our own frustrations can run so high, that it is as though we have an emotional hurricane on the inside. Feeling frustrated with someone or a situation or being in conflict can many times cause us to act or react ungodly. Increasing unresolved emotions seem to intensify. They won’t go away by themselves. We cannot continue to stuff down these feelings as they may begin to affect us physically. Lifting up our frustrations to God through prayer is the way and He will do the rest. But God gives us wisdom too so that maybe we also could speak to that person honestly to find a way to work out a peaceful resolution. God will give us direction, courage, wisdom and patience to move out of conflict and into peace. He will also show us where we may need to take responsibility for our part of any conflict we find ourselves in. We can leave the storm of dissention behind as we find a Christian approach to a calmer future. It is peace where we will find our victory.