Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
May 27, 2009

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. –Romans 15:13 NIV

There is something special about crossing the bridges to the Outer Banks and rolling down the car windows. The sounds of the Outer Banks are varied and part of what makes the area so unique. Even though development has increased at record speed, it is still a place where quiet reigns. And only then, can we hear the rustling of the grasses on the dunes, the sounds of a flock of birds flying overhead or sand pelting the windows in a strong wind. I can always tell the temperament of the ocean before I see it by the sound of the waves coming ashore. There’s excitement in hearing a boat engine warm up in anticipation of a day on the water. Families laughing and enjoying one another during a winter walk or on a hot beach day is the sweetest sound. But amazingly, it is the stillness, the solitude and the serenity that draws me in. It’s on the Outer Banks that the voice within can especially be heard.

The voice I am talking about, the sound deep inside of each of us is the Holy Spirit. In our busy lives and the busy world we live in, the voice often goes unheard. But we should train ourselves to listen. The Holy Spirit is a part of us and lives within us. Warnings and words of protection are given to us, too. The Holy Spirit will nudge us to stop something we are doing, or give us a green light to “go ahead” with our plans. Have you ever had the strong urge that seemed to come out of nowhere to get up and go check on something? It’s not a big voice. Most times it is a whisper. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will communicate to us through our emotions. Feeling jittery or unusually nervous or apprehensive about something could be a sign we need to change our path or adjust the timing of what we are doing. On the other hand, feeling sure, confidant and at peace lets us know we can forge ahead. When I need to choose my words carefully, I will pray that the Holy Spirit will give me just the right ones. And he does. The comfort that comes with knowing that God is abiding in us through the Holy Spirit is the greatest joy and a wonderful gift. The Holy Spirit is our rudder. He steers us if we let him. Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. -Acts 2:38 NIV

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memorial Day

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
May 21, 2009

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. -Psalm 5:11 NIV

It was not always known as “Memorial Day”. The day where we remember and honor those who have lost their lives while serving our country. It was originally called “Decoration Day”. This commemoration dates back as far as 1868 when flowers were placed on graves at Arlington National Cemetery of soldiers who died in service. Soon after, it caught on, state by state. Since the 1950’s, American flags have been placed on more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day each year. Just a few years ago, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts began placing a single candle on over 15,000 gravesites in northern Virginia on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day. The tributes continue annually to show honor and respect.

But the traditions of the past are more forgotten than remembered. Memorial Day has often signified outdoor parties, picnics, three- day weekends, the unofficial start to summer, and maybe the first dip in the swimming pool. But as we grow older, the significance of the sacrifice made by the fallen soldiers presses on our hearts. They are heroes. Many of the people serving the armed forces today are very young. Some may not even have a personal relationship with Our Father. Imagine being away from the comfort of family and familiar surroundings, living with war and not knowing God. As Christians, I believe that God is calling us to pray for the protection of these brave servicemen and women, both at home and abroad. In all of the celebrations and fun that a Memorial Day weekend suggests, perhaps we can take time to go to God in prayer to ask His blessings on families that have lost loved ones and to cover His Holy Armor on those brave people that are currently serving us. If we all prayed a prayer for peace, and each prayer was a light, together we could illuminate the heavens with our petitions!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Garden of Faith

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
May 12, 2009

I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. – Psalm 81:10

I talked to my son this past weekend and he was telling me all about his garden. It is his first. He is starting out small with a few tomatoes, okra, squash, lettuce and herbs. He is very excited. I muse at all of this because this is the child that disliked yard work, flower or vegetable gardening and most of all mowing the lawn. When the Bible says “anything is possible”, I sure believe it! He has done everything right. The proper soil has been added, fertilizer and nutrients tilled in, planted in the right amount of sun and shade. I will get a chance to see his garden in person in a few weeks. Because he has done everything he knows to do, he is living in faith that his work will be rewarded with a good crop of vegetables to enjoy and share. He is living in expectancy of good things to come.

When I wake up in the morning, my mind starts to catalog all the things I have to get done. I make mental note of how I physically feel. And then almost immediately I go right into to talking to God. Thanking him for a good night’s sleep or thanking him for taking the tiredness away and refreshing me. I thank him for the day and for a family and pets to tend to, asking for blessings on each of us as we meet the day. Thinking about friends and circumstances and asking God to meet them right where they are. My prayer time basically starts the minute I wake up. Throughout the day I say, “Thank you, Lord, praise you, Father or please help me, God”. I learned it is important that I have a good attitude about the day all the while knowing and believing that God will protect and watch over me no matter what. That He will bring favor over me and my family and we will all rest in good health. It is the “what ifs” that will destroy faith and create a life lived in fear. Sure, we have had trials and circumstances to overcome, but we try to live a life in expectancy of good things. Some might say to live in hope and expectancy is living in a dream world or a world of denial. But it is the faith that carries us through the hard times. Psalm 71:14 says “But for me, I will always have hope”.

Like planting a garden, we amend the soil and provide the proper nutrients to have the best vegetables or flowers we can have. Nothing will grow well in poor soil. That’s how our faith is…if we face all of our difficulties and problems with fear then our faith can’t grow. God is activated in our life when we live in faith not fear. And when we live a life of expecting good things, it is amazing how good things come to us. Our outlook and attitude is a reflection of what is growing in our “Garden of Faith”.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First Mother's Day

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
May 06, 2009

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12 NIV

I have been reminiscing this week about Mother’s Day and the memories have come flooding back. I told my daughter this story and she said I should share it as we laughed together. The very first recollection of Mother’s Day was when I was five years old. It was memorable for several occasions: not only was it Mother’s Day, but my mother was in the hospital, and had just given me a new baby sister. While my grandmother was taking care of us in my mothers’ absence, I asked her if I could pick a few buttercups for my mother and the new baby to arrange in the nicest jelly glass we had. She smiled and said it was a splendid idea. It took no time at all to fill up that jelly glass. Yet, it seemed such a shame to let our entire front yard that was overflowing with buttercups go to waste. So, after setting the jelly glass aside and getting a big brown grocery bag instead, I began to work feverishly in the hot May sun to fill it up. Handful after handful. My grandmother kept an eye on me and offered me popsicles under the gumball tree. At first, I tried to lay all the buttercups in the same direction, but halfway through I gave up and decided quantity would override beauty and began to fill the bag to the top. Realizing that I could fill up another bag with all the remaining buttercups, my grandmother said with reassurance that one bag would do nicely. I taped up that special grocery bag and decorated the outside with crayon drawings and stickers. I presented it to my dad who said he would hand deliver it to the hospital to my mother and our new baby! I was so excited when she called to say it was the most beautiful bag of buttercups she had ever received and it made her so happy. Buttercups still makes me smile!

Many years later, when I became a mother, my most treasured gifts were those that were from the heart or homemade. I still have a soft place in my heart today for a brassy gold circle pin (circa 1960’s) that was missing a pearl the day I received it, about 25 years ago. Most of my Mother’s Day gifts from my young son came from the rounds he made on his bicycle to various yard sales in our neighborhood, using his allowance. My daughter preferred to give coupons for her services, like setting the table for dinner, dusting and watering plants. Time goes by so quickly, yet thankfully some memories never fade.

I equate Mother’s Day with love. Both giving and receiving it. Being doubly blessed to have wonderful relationships with both my adult children, Elizabeth and Marty and being richly blessed to have my mother, Helen to talk to each day, to laugh and pray together. Everyone is just a phone call away.

No doubt that we all want to excel in this role of motherhood. As a mother, many times we are sought out for our wisdom, yet where do we go when we need wisdom or someone to listen to us! I know when I need to talk, God is always listening. There is much written about how to be a good Mother. The best words I know to share are these: follow the examples of the godly mothers in the Bible, which are always based on purity of heart, peace and much love.

I heard it said once that when a mother reaches Heaven, she must face God with her record of accomplishments. If she's done a good job of caring for her children, she'll get the most sought-after position in heaven, that of rocking baby angels on soft white clouds and wiping their celestial tears with the corner of her apron. Let today not end without reaching out to all mothers, to honor their role in our lives, either by phone, card, email or in person. And if she has crossed that doorway into heaven, lift up a word of praise and thanksgiving in her memory. To honor our parents is godly and God promises to notice.