Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
October 29, 2008

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. -Colossians 3:15-17 NIV

There is a chill in the air this week. It is to be expected for this time of year. Hard to believe that it is already November and the holidays are bearing down on us. I have always called this season, “sweater weather” and yes, I do have mine on! Right now, there is a pot of soup simmering on the back of the stove. I'll make some hot cornbread later to go with it for tonight's supper. That should warm us up! There is no mistake that winter is around the corner. Before the first frost comes, we are in a transition of color...summer flowers are putting out their last blooms of pinks, yellows and reds in harmony with the fall blooms of orange, burgundy and gold Recently, I went to a farmer's market and saw all of the fall vegetables, freshly picked and ready for sale. Rows of pumpkins sat next to pots of colorful mums. Warm Apple cider was offered in small cups. I was so grateful for the chance to go and to see the fall harvest of so many people at one time. It seems the harvest this year was bountiful and abundant for many of the vendors there. In turn, they were grateful for our purchases. It was a wonderful day to celebrate God's goodness.

In just a few weeks, it will be Thanksgiving. For several years now, we have a tradition at our Thanksgiving table. We anonymously write down three things we are grateful for and during dessert we each take one out of the basket and read it aloud. Then the fun begins when we try to decide who wrote it. There may be some that will be very serious and heartfelt in their list and others may be lighthearted and funny. We all especially love to hear what the children have to say. They often lead the example for us in the area of gratitude. They have grateful hearts for so many things. There is so much to learn from a child's simple and pure heart. It is said that to speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant. To enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. I am going to make an extra effort in these weeks of November to be more grateful than ever before. A heart full of gratitude cannot complain. Instead, if I am tempted to complain, I will try to find something good to give God thanks for.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coastal Erosion 

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

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. -Romans 12:9-11 NIV

This past weeks surprise nor'easter really gave us a visual of the meaning of coastal erosion.The dictionary says that erosion is the group of natural processes, including weathering, dissolution, abrasion, corrosion, and transportation, by which material is worn away from the earth's surface. There are many different things that can cause coastal erosion, such as water, wind, currents, waves and storms. Erosion is a real concern to those that have invested in coastal property. The sea seems to claim more of the sand and beachfront than it gives back. There is not much that can be done when the ocean currents and strong waves align to undermine the beaches. The damage is done. We dislike erosion and how it affects our ability to enjoy the shrinking coastline. However, our love of the shore goes deeper than any erosion and we are appreciative of our beaches, big or small.

Erosion is not limited to the shoreline. It can occur in relationships too. Hopefully the spirit of love resides in us. There should be time set aside on a regular basis for showing love to our loved ones. So many things can erode a good relationship. God can bring loving people together, but the outside world can do great damage to spoil and undermine a union. Habits that develop over time that foster an indifferent attitude towards one another can slowly erode what was once good. This applies to marriages, relationship between parents and children, siblings and friendships. It takes a joint effort to have a successful relationship. Important things like going the extra mile, giving thoughtful consideration and having a lot of patience can all make a positive difference towards living in harmony. A relationship that has its roots in God’s laws is what we should strive for. I believe God would have us use the loving spirit He placed inside of us and love others through Him. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:7-9NIV

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
October 09, 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


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

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. -Psalm 55:21-23NIV

As Autumn comes to the Outer Banks, so do the throngs of people armed with their fishing gear for the various fishing tournaments being held on shore and off. There is an art to fishing and the joy that surrounds this sport includes the bragging rights at winning one of the many tournaments commencing now. They say it is all in the wrist. And that is the ability to cast the rod at a great distance into the water. I've seen little boys and girls on piers cast their line way out...sometimes ever further than the adults nearby. Any child will tell us that they don't need all the fancy trappings of expensive rods and reels to get the job done.......a simple fishing hook, twine and bamboo pole will do. That and a lot of patience. It isn't the strength, but the technique and skill along with lots of practice that allows one to perfectly cast their line. I admit, I have practiced this. Practically throwing my shoulder out thinking I had to match my husbands' strength. Everyone has their own technique that works for them. The idea is to have something at the end of that line to reel in! Most of all, there is an abundance of peace that can be found in this sport of fishing. No TV's blaring, electronic games and email...just the breezes, soaking in the sunshine and plenty of time to listen to what God wants to say to our heart.

One definition for the word “cast” is to throw, hurl or fling something. Also, to throw away. If we take this definition and apply it to todays scripture, it means to basically throw all out cares away to God. How wonderful that we can do that without any guilt. We can give Him our worries about the children, job, finances, relationships. Everything that takes room in our hearts and minds that we have cared about but are powerless to control......He can handle it all. And it says, “He will sustain us”. So we can give Him all our troubles, cares and worries AND He will take care of us as well!! My cup runs over sometimes with concerns and thoughts of despair over situations. But we are to give them to Him. We are to empty our minds and hearts of the everyday troubles and only have a heart and mind for Him. Wise people remark that we are to focus on Him and not on our problems. Today I am going to mentally see myself on a pier or at the water's edge. I will cast my cares into the sea of God's Love and Security. I will remind myself that He already knows what is in my heart and mind, but that it is important for me to act in faith by releasing these things to Him. Casting it all to Him. Smiling at the Heavens knowing that regardless of anything, He promises to sustain me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


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

Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches. -Matthew 13:32 NIV

One definition for the word “autumn” is reaching maturity. Autumn is the time of year when the harvest comes in. The seeds planted in spring are ready to be harvested now. If summer droughts and disease didn't affect the plants and they made it through, then the harvest is to be celebrated. From just a tiny seed, so much is provided. This is a fun time of year to go to the various produce stands to see the pumpkin patch's, fruits, nuts and Indian corn. We have enjoyed decorating our home with a wreath of colorful fall leaves, nuts and acorns and miniature pumpkins. Each year when my children were little, we went to the country fields to walk the rows of pumpkins so they could each find their special one. We still laugh at the time I brought home a 75 pound pumpkin and had to strap it in the front seat with the seatbelt! Our front porch was always decorated with pumpkins, pots of mums and that handmade wreath. We even hung a cluster of Indian corn with a ribbon to the mailbox.

In our spiritual life, we can also enjoy the benefits of a harvest. But we do have to plant seeds first. So how do you do that? First it is the prayer of salvation that invites God into our heart. Making Jesus our Lord and Savior. Then it is reading the Bible to learn how to apply the principles to our life. Did you know the Bible will talk to us about how to have relationships, how to raise our children, how to be a light in the darkness? Probably the greatest thing any of us can do to strengthen our bond with God is to meet Him each day in prayer. Hopefully we should have a hunger and thirst for Him. Making time to do this is also an act of obedience and it is good discipline. It is as though we are showing up each day for our assignment from God. We can ask Him to mold and shape our day so that it glorifies Him.

Praying is like planting seeds. We know if we have done the work, the harvest will come. We know that in our prayer life, the harvest is when our prayers are answered with a solution or wisdom for being able to cope. Sometimes before we can plant seeds, we have to plow up the soil and amend it. The soil may not be good and if so, nothing will grow. That applies to us spiritually as well. Forgiveness and bitterness have to be pulled out by the roots. They are weeds in our garden. Letting go of anger and disappointment too. Again, more weeds. Only when the weeds are gone, and the soil is right can we plant our seeds with confidence. A harvest awaits us if we are willing to do the work. That is how we can begin to walk in spiritual maturity.