Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Making Memories

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

A cheerful heart is good medicine -Proverbs 17:22a NIV

Labor Day is upon us and it marks the unofficial end to summer. Another school year begins, the weather begins to cool and vacationers begin their exodus back home. But hopefully, memories were made by all.

Recently, we had occasion to get together with our family for a fun weekend in Florida. Like many families, our time is limited when we can all come together at once and we are grateful for the chance to do so. We visited interesting places, walked the beach, strolled on a pier, ate good food and enjoyed the company of each other. My granddaughter put on some skits and sang to us by the pool and we applauded in unison. She used the water hose and the spray nozzle as her makeshift microphone. (Yes, we did record this for use at her wedding one day!!) We ate hamburgers fresh off the grill while we chatted about everything, catching up on everyone's life. Even the family pets jumped into our laps to get their share of attention! I looked around and saw that my daughter was content to read a book in the comfort of family nearby. My daughter in law and I frolicked in the pool as if we were kids. My husband, son and son-in-law found a project in the garage that required their expert attention. Like a proud mother taking stock of her brood, I was noticing that my family is growing and changing. It was a beautiful weekend. We made memories to tide us over until we can come together again.

In Proverbs, it says that a merry heart makes good medicine. Joy and laughter are essential to our good health. In the end, we can't take our possessions with us. What we do have that no one can take are our memories. Yes, there are things that have happened that we would prefer not to remember, and we can give those memories to God to take from us. I am talking about the happy times, the joyful times that have marked our life in lasting ways. I remember times with my grandmother when I was little. She went to heaven when I was just 9 but the memories of her love have lasted through my adult life. I have tried to give that to the little people in my family. Parents have to be disciplinarians and keep those rules, but I love being a grandmother because we can simply enjoy the children God has brought as blessings into our life. Our 11 year old granddaughter was so excited to have a picnic at the beach while we watched the sunset and picked shells. It doesn't have to take lots of money to make memories, just a little creativity and some time and most especially a prayer to invite God to be in our midst.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Walking the Beach

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
August 15, 2008

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy Psalms 33:3 NIV

Is there any better therapy or medicine than taking a long walk on the beach? Whether it is a brisk walk or a slow stroll, either way, it seems like a “cure-all” for me. During a walk, the sights and sounds overtake me and in no time, the cares of the world have faded. My mind is a blank canvas on which to paint future hopes and dreams on. I use this time of walking the beach to probe my heart and mind.

The feeling I experience of solitude and refreshment to my spirit from being at the beach isn’t anything that I can find anywhere else. Walking the beach is a passion of mine and it has been the setting for many conversations with God.

Do you have a passion in your life? Is there something that you can do or some place that you can go that energizes you and fills your spirit to overflowing? I observe that folks who have hobbies or interests that they are passionate about seem to live in joy and health. The happiest people I know are those that use their free time wisely and are active participants in life by exploring, experiencing and doing. God made us as individuals with feelings, emotions, talents and skills that are unique to us. He supplies us with time and energy. We should consider the gifts that He gives us as we seek a passion-filled life that glorifies Him.

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
August 15, 2008

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. -Psalm 33:20 NIV

A sturdy stairway is built using a combination of strength and balance. An experienced craftsman knows how to measure and cut the stringers, risers and treads to produce a beautifully functioning set of stairs. Custom made posts, balusters and rails compliment the structure and shows off the architectural creativity and experience of the craftsman. On the Outer Banks, there are many stairways that cross over the dunes to the beach. We are often so busy and intent on getting to the beach that we forget to notice the beautiful view from the stairways we must cross. And if we miss the view, we certainly miss the peace that comes with taking a moment to rest.

Many of us are not good at waiting for things to take their course. We live in an “instant” world, and we expect results too quickly at times. Trying to take over control by manipulating circumstances ourselves, or speeding up the process, really only prolongs the final outcome. We often can get in God’s way by interfering in His Plan for us. God is in charge. We can’t hurry Him. When we feel like He isn’t answering our prayers or giving us the guidance we seek, it doesn’t mean He has abandoned us. In fact, it is often quite the opposite. When we don’t see any evidence of our dreams and hopes materializing, we shouldn’t give up hope or lose faith. He hears our pleas and our prayers. He is actually orchestrating people and events around us so that when the time is right, He will begin to make things happen for us. It is all His timing, not ours. He knows our dreams. He knows our heart. So if our faith and trust are in Him, we can lay down our fears and worry and we can be confidant in our future. Like the engineering that goes into building a stairway using both strength and balance, we learn those components are vital in our life, too. There is a time for action and time for rest. The balance that He provides stabilizes us, teaches us lessons in patience and trust, while giving us the chance to be strengthened by Him.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
August 06, 2008

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.-Matthew 21:21 NIV

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. I once heard it said that it is faith that is the light that guides us through the darkness. A boat captain understands the importance of light to guide his vessel back to safety at night. Equally, a small child tucked in to his bed at night depends on the glow of a nightlight to comfort him if he wakes. Then sometimes we just feel the light fading in our life and our faith slipping away at the same time. It has happened to many of us. We want so hard to believe in God’s power and provision but our natural eyes can’t see anything supernatural in front of us, so our faith wanes and our unbelief builds. Thoughts and words come in like waves in a storm like “God will never heal me”; “my circumstances will never improve; “my child is never going to amount to anything” and so on. We can chase away our thoughts, but when we give our own voice to these thoughts by speaking them out loud or telling others, we are feeding the unbelief in our hearts and spirit so that it can take root on the inside of us.

So many times I have prayed to God to give me more faith, when actually I should have asked Him to bind the unbelief. The unbelief is not from Him. By not agreeing with those thoughts that come in our heads that rob of us our hope, we can be overcomers. There is always hope. This week a friend called to say they were going to close their business after a long struggle. It was taking its toll. They didn’t believe that it could work anymore. God has the answer but my advice was for them to seek God’s light. That He would shine light on the path they should take, to either stay the course or move on. How do we know it is God and not just us exercising our own will? God confirms it by the words spoken by a friend, the way circumstances are shaping up, or most of all, He uses His Word to speak to us. While we are waiting for God’s confirmation we can do what Robert Schuller says, “As you practice counting your blessings, you will find your faith is being suddenly revitalized.” This is the first step in being positive towards getting out of unbelief and back into faith living.