Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pea Island

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
July 30, 2008

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. - Psalm 18:2

The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge could also be called paradise. The refuge was established in 1937. It is one of the few places on the Outer Banks that appears untouched by man. The natural beauty of the changing dunes, grasses and vegetation is the perfect setting for the many ponds, flats and marshes found throughout this 13 mile stretch of land. With over 5,800 land acres, it is located north of Hatteras Island and 10 miles south of Nags Head. This is home to approximately 365 bird species. To be able to enjoy Pea Island today and all its inhabitants, we are grateful to those that had a vision many years ago to preserve this area for years to come

The beautiful beaches and serenity has always made Pea Island a favorite place for our family. A place to soul-search and be still. The beaches are perfect for long walks. It is important for each of us to have a special place to go. It is when we are quiet that we can hear God’s voice on the inside of us. He recharges us and breathes new life into us. When we become stale and stagnant, He gives us a push and guides us. He uses our times of solitude, meditation and worship as an opportunity to reveal things to us. Pea Island is a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to take time to enjoy the beauty He has surrounded us with. With just the sound of a distant bird, the ocean waves lapping the shore and the coolness of a summer breeze, Pea Island can be a refuge for us too!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
June 24, 2008

Photography by Elizabeth Brown

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust. -Psalm 91:1-2

The word “umbrella” comes from the Greek word “umbra” which means shade. The umbrella is over 4,000 years old. Ancient cultures used it for protection against the elements. It is said that the first umbrellas were used to provide shade from the hot sun. Then, the Chinese waterproofed their umbrellas with wax for use in the rain. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes. I couldn’t spend a day at the beach without one and others must surely agree, as the landscape is filled with colorful umbrellas as far as the eye can see on a hot day. Sitting in a shady spot under an umbrella provides a safe haven before venturing back out again in the summer sun. I enjoy seeing families huddled together in the shade talking and laughing… toddlers sitting in grandparents arms trying to wiggle free and responsible parents slathering on suntan lotion to the older kids to keep them from burning as they dart back and forth to the water’s edge. The umbrella is certainly our friend at a day on the beach with all the protection it provides.

Not a day goes by that I don’t ask for God’s protection for myself and my loved ones. I know that there are so many “near misses” in my day that it is God that saves me from cutting my finger at the cutting board, or prevents me from switching lanes while driving because there is a car in my blind spot. I know that He is there with His angels watching over all of us. It occurred to me that if we don’t pray for safekeeping for our family, especially our children, then who is? That is a sobering thought to realize that our family could be operating without His supernatural covering because we failed to pray. It is important to make it a part of our daily prayer life to seek the shade of His protection. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy  Ore Glass
July 23, 2008

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. -Psalm 51:10 NIV

Have you ever noticed that a heavy rain shower brings everything back to life again? That is especially the way it is at the beach. The days’ footprints and sandcastles are washed away by the rain and the beach is left pristine and sparkling. Everything looks clean and pure. The grasses and sea oats appear to be nourished from the drink of water. The rain has rinsed sand from off of the shells and they glisten in their shades of white, ivory, coral and pink. This is the beach in its purest form.

While the beach can only renew itself when it rains, we can renew ourselves each and every day with God’s help. We can wash away yesterday’s debris from our hearts and lives and ask to begin anew. God just needs us to ask and He will provide. To renew our spirit gives us a chance to start over. We can do it over again each day and make it better than before. We can start by being kinder, more generous, sympathetic, caring, more spiritual, compassionate, and more faithful. In our prayer time, we should ask for a pure heart and a renewed spirit to bind us closer to Him.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Surf Casting

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
July 16, 2008

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. -Psalm 20:4 NIV

There is a quote that says, “Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm”. Surf casters along the beach seem to have an abundance of enthusiasm. But to go with it, they have their rod and reel, the right tackle, the perfect line weight and some bait, too. Surf casting has been a long loved sport. Particularly, because it doesn’t require the expense and maintenance of a boat, it can be done anytime of day and anytime of the year. The seasoned angler will advise beginners to cast their lines near dawn or dusk, just before the high tide for best results. Having all the best fishing equipment is good, but being able to cast a line a long distance into the surf is where the experienced angler’s skill gives him or her the advantage.

The word ‘enthusiasm’ comes from the Greek work entheos. It means that God is in us. We all have experienced times when we were so excited about something, we felt like we were floating on air. Nothing else mattered. It was as if we were supernaturally lifted on high with hope, anticipation and excitement. To be enthused about something is infectious. Our happiness and energy spreads over to others. Joy fills the air and we know we are in God’s presence. Does enthusiasm exist in us today? Is our passion evident to others? Do we even have a passion? Get excited about something. If we put our whole hearts into a project, a mission, a goal or a dream, God will gives us the enthusiasm to keep us going in the tough times. If we think like God does, we will think big, dream big and expect to be blessed big.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sea Birds and Shore Birds

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
July 09, 2008

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to this life? Matthew 6:26-27

Sea birds and Shore birds. These birds appear so peaceful and carefree. They make their existence look easy. Pelicans gliding together in graceful formation are a photographer’s treat. The little sandpipers that skirt the water’s edge are frenzied in a dance to keep their feet dry. The noisiness of the gulls as they scavenge down below and herons that high-step through the salty marshes are familiar sights on the coast. So many sea birds and shore birds living in and depending on the environment. It is true what today’s scripture shows us. The birds greet each day with an empty stomach and nothing stored up. The have expectant hope and faith that their needs will be met. Isn’t that an awesome display of faith!

Is it easy to identify with the phrase, “Always worrying about tomorrow, regretting yesterday and too busy to live in the present”? Maybe we can learn a life lesson from our feathered friends about faith and trust.

God says to trust Him. Give Him our needs and concerns. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Worry, anxiety and fear do not line up with the Word of God. They are the chains that tie us down when God wants to lift us up!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Broken Shell

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

Photography by Elizabeth Brown

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. –Luke 6:37 NIV

When taking walks along the shore, the tendency has been to fill my pockets with only the perfect shells. Especially the shiny ones that are perfectly ridged and shaped for display at home. Yes, the perfect shells are beautiful and have that “shell shop” quality to them. But I have come to realize, that the broken shells are the ones that have the story to tell. They have been tumbled, stepped on and knocked around the ocean floor as the tides brought them to shore. They have weathered the storms and currents of the sea. I can relate to the broken shell, can you? Sometimes I don’t feel at the top of my game, in perfect condition or form. Life can take a swipe at us every now and then, and we are stung with painful circumstances or events that begin to chip away at us. A crack or a break in a shell makes it less desirable to the shell-seeker, but in our lives, the more storms we can weather and ride out, the more strength and wisdom we gain, which is another way of growing more spiritually.

There are only perfect shells, not perfect people. God doesn’t want us to try to be perfect because He knows and has taught us that it cannot be. Only He is perfect. He accepts us as we are. He loves us with our flaws, the mistakes we make and will continue to make. He loves the person He hopes we will become if we stay fixed on Him. Although we celebrate everyone’s uniqueness, there can be occasions where we can have a tendency to judge those that are different from us. To have a ministry of criticalness or to judge is not wise. Instead of our judgment, perhaps it is our help that is needed. Let our first instinct be to reach out, rather than to look down or look away. God calls us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, especially those that seem most unlovable, like a broken shell.