Thursday, March 26, 2009


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
March 26, 2009

A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. -Galatians 6:7-9

We are fortunate to have the Elizabethan Gardens to visit and enjoy These gardens provide a beautiful setting with azaleas, bulbs, crape myrtle, roses and more. The sunken gardens have been the spot for many weddings and it is no surprise why! It’s also a great place to sit on the steps and reflect for a moment or two, while enjoying all the beauty that nature and caring groundskeepers and volunteers have provided. A simple backyard garden can also give us the serenity we seek. Birdsong is a welcome addition to any garden and statuary and birdbaths provide a great perch for feathered friends passing by. Whether you are growing a vegetable, herb or flower garden, the feeling of accomplishment at harvest time is a great reward. Garden books are plentiful in telling us how, what and when to plant. But, I think the most special gardens are those where the birds have helped to sow some seed, along with last year’s annual flowers that spring up for an unexpected showing. The surprises in the garden are what make the time spent tending to it so much fun.

What goes around, comes around. There’s a phrase that is used often. Largely, I think it is true. You get out of it what you put in to it. We’ve heard that expression too. It’s a well-known fact that what we do today will affect our tomorrows, whether it is financial planning, raising children, relationships or climbing the career ladder. If we thought of our life as a garden, we’d want to have nutrient rich soil, a solid foundation. That is God. Rooting all hopes and dreams in Him will make the reward richer. Planting those hopes and dreams in a row, one after the other in succession with a plan and goal is next. Then after pulling the weeds, watering regularly, adding doses of daily sunlight, then the harvest comes. And if we did everything we were supposed to do and kept on course, we should not be surprised at the wonderful harvest in store for us. We should expect it. Of course there are obstacles….storms, wind and critters that may pass through. But God is faithful and he has promised a harvest if we sow seed. It’s only when we don’t sow seed or when we rely on others to do it for us that we don’t get the harvest we had hoped for.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
March 18, 2009

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. -Hebrews 11:6 NIV

The foggy mornings are turning in to beautiful summer afternoons. With the shadow of winter slowly fading, I am longing for spring to emerge in its fullness. The break in the weather also is an invitation to spend more time outdoors. It seems natural to dust off the walking shoes after a winter’s nap and take it all in, one step at a time. Armed with my new pedometer, I have heard that we must strive to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. After the first day, I realize I am way short, but I will keep trying!

I think that our faith can be compared to a walk. If we have the goal to live a peaceful life, live in harmony and obedience in all of God’s commands, to posses a pure heart, to be used by Him, it takes more than a few steps. It takes commitment of time and effort. So how can we build faith? It is by reading God’s Word. Really reading it and listening for the words that are spoken to our hearts. Applying what we learn and remaining faithful in our relationship with God. Even when we feel like it is a one-way relationship where we are doing all of the talking, we are to remain faithful in our spiritual walk. But what happens when we are faithful and things are not working out? When life gets tough and we mistakenly feel that maybe God has even abandoned us, we are to keep believing. Have you ever prayed and your prayer was not answered. In fact, the opposite happened. Where was God? Isn’t He always there? Then the doubting begins. That is when faith is even more important. We can’t see God. We can’t touch Him. Yet, we must believe in Him. That is faith. Hebrews 11:1 explains that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Our daily walk and our spiritual walk are both measured the same, in steps. Believing in God will cause our faith to grow as we step into a deeper relationship with Him.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
March 10, 2009

As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. –Proverbs 27:19 NIV

Everywhere on the Outer Banks one can find reflections. Like sand fences casting shadows in the sand, or seagulls looking down at their mirror image in the water. Boats docked at marina’s that reflect their bright colors and tall masts or even a window that holds the image of a lighthouse.

I find myself looking back to last year and reflecting on all the changes that have taken place in my own life. Followed then, by looking forward to a new season with hope and expectancy of good things. Perhaps you find yourself doing that, too. Charles Dickens once said that we should reflect on our present blessings of which every one has many, and not on our past misfortunes, of which everyone has some. That’s good advice and wise to focus on the present while being grateful for our blessings. If we put the past behind us and not be so anxious to live in the future, how can we reflect on where we are today, this very moment? Probably the most important thing that shapes our day is our daily interactions with people we live with, work with and come into contact with. It has been said that how we treat others is a reflection on us. Actually, to be more specific, it is a reflection on how we FEEL about ourselves. That is very revealing.

Do we dare to find out what others would say about how we treat them? Would we be brave enough to ask? Would we be surprised? Would we try to justify our behavior and make excuses? It takes an exceptionally wise person to discern that when they are treated poorly, it is not a reflection on them, but on the other person. In other words, what is on the inside of each of us is what spills out to others, like a bucket full of water being tossed back and forth. Our words, actions and attitudes reflect our heart. Psalm 51:10 talks about creating a pure heart. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 tells us to live in peace with one another. Do these scriptures reflect what is going in at the core of us? Hopefully our words, actions and attitudes are pleasing God and that we are a reflection of His Love to others and in all that we do.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Journey

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
March 04, 2009

For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. –Deuteronomy 30:16 NIV

There are so many paths, walkways and little bridges on the Outer Banks leading to the sea. Each one seems unique and constructed to accommodate the lay of the land. Some are straight and some are crooked. Some have stairs and some do not. Occasionally, benches are built as part of the walkways for those moments to sit a spell. Thankfully, some walkways are made for the handicapped to access so they too can enjoy the sea breeze and smell of salt air with a view from the top of the dunes. One day recently I set out to journey on as many walkways as I could. I had my camera and was looking for that perfect view to snap my photograph. I came to realize that every place I went was spectacular. Even though each walkway, path and bridge was different, they were similar in the fact that they all led to the ocean.

The dictionary says that journey is a process or course, a passage. It is the distance traveled or an act of traveling from one place to another. The journey that our own lives takes often resembles some of the walkways we see on the Outer Banks. Some times our lives will run along straight and all of a sudden, something happens and our lives take a turn in a different direction. There are twists and turns along the way which makes the journey a challenge sometimes and a joyful experience at other times. We have all experienced this. Sometimes the journey takes us high and sometimes it takes us down low. What lies before us can often seem overwhelming. But God wants to remind us that He leads us and He walks beside us. He is always there. With one step at a time, we will get to where we are going on our journey, while taking comfort that the course we are on leads to God.