Thursday, October 29, 2009

Keeping God’s Light Within

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
October 22, 2009

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. -Matthew 6:22 NIV

Where are the nice people? So many occasions where people could be nice and pleasant, but they have chosen not to be. Just going through everyday life, it seems to be rare if someone holds open the door. Or in the grocery store parking lot, people are just leaving the carts for someone else to deal with. A friend and I were talking about this recently and it seems that courtesy and kindness are dwindling away. It appears to be contagious. Being thoughtless is giving way to insensitivity. And it adds up. Before long, a mindset develops to care only about self and ones’ personal agenda, wants and needs. Looking out for one another or bringing a moment of kindness without anything in return is becoming rare. Let’s concentrate this week on what we can do to make this better. It starts with little things like giving a smile and a kind word to someone. Letting another person go ahead of us in line. Taking the cart back to the grocery store. I know we can make a difference. The economy, our age, our circumstances, the lack of time or money doesn’t give us the freedom to behave in any way less than what God intended….and that is to show brotherly love to one another. He will use us as an instrument to help others but first we have to have a heart to do so. I am guilty of this. Being in a hurry or being busy is no excuse for being discourteous. I may have missed some opportunities to be a witness to God in my own busyness. How could anyone see God’s Light within us if the light is not on?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn Flowers

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
October 22, 2009

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. –Isaiah 40:8 NIV

This past week I went to a flower farm where zinnias and sunflowers were still blooming. The vibrant colors of fall were evident in the fields of flowers just waiting to be picked. I brought two handfuls of flowers home for the dining table and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Buds of sunflowers slowly opened during the week as the zinnias wilted one by one. Flowers, I think are one of God’s gifts to us. When I look at a flower and examine the petals and the intricate structure, it is a reminder of God’s perfection at work. The arrangement of the seeds in the center of a sunflower is a geometric wonder to me.

If God worked so hard to perfect the flowers, then is there any doubt that he would have done less when he formed us? Stop along the beach and pick up a shell. Look at it. The ridges, the colors, the perfect shape. Another achievement that nature gets to take credit for under the umbrella of God’s artistry.

We are so much greater than a flower or a shell. We are a masterpiece made and created by God. We would not be here if God had not breathed life into us. Each person has a purpose in this life. It is important to fulfill that purpose but to do it God’s Way and not our own way. What does that mean? We just don’t want to get ahead of God and take the plan for our life and make things happen in our own time. Instead, we are to know God through His Word and grow from His Instruction. We are to lean on Him while He takes time to develop, refine and prepare us for the plans He has in store. Like a flower unfolds, one petal at a time, we are the same. One day at a time. One step at a time. Trading impatience for patience. Trusting God every moment to lead us to the purpose and plan for our life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
October 14, 2009

If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! -Ecclesiastes 4:10 NIV

The definition of a dock is a place where vessels are moored. We certainly have plenty of docks on the Outer Banks. Marinas, neighborhood and residential docks dot the landscape and provide a safe place to tie up for those travelling on water. Mostly made of wooden planks and pilings that go deep below, some docks even sport benches where one can rest or watch the water traffic pass by. The main purpose of the dock however, is to have a place to bring a boat in for more supplies, rest or parking until the next time out.

If a dock is a place to stop, rest or park for boaters, I wonder if we have a place like that for ourselves. My first thought after God is finding refuge in friendship. There is nothing like a good friend to talk with. Friends often uplift and encourage us. They replenish our souls so we can get back to our lives with restored strength and enthusiasm. Sometimes we can become spiritually dry, and it takes a special Christian friend to offer us prayer and a good ear, if we need it. Maybe all that is required to get back on track is to have someone listen, pray and build us up. When we lose our compass and run aground, it is good if we have a friendship in place where we can go and set anchor for a bit. To have a good Christian friend is a blessing. To be a good Christian friend takes wisdom, time and God’s leading. You will know if you are one, if you do not pass judgement, listen well, invite God into your conversations, and offer prayer. A true friend is like an angel on earth, a gift from God.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
October 08, 2009

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. -Psalm 62:5 NIV

This is the time of year when you can have the beach all to yourself. I love these days of solitude as I do a panoramic scan of the area and it is just me and the sea. The natural beauty of the beach is prevalent. The summer umbrellas and beach chairs have been put away for the season and the natural landscape stands still, at rest for a while, before the hustle and bustle of spring comes about again.

That’s how it is with us at times. We are often on a treadmill of fast- paced activity as we scurry from one project or one place to another. When we get caught up in demands and schedules that are hard to maintain, it takes its toll on us and we no longer think clearly, our bodies grow tired and our good naturedness gives way to grumpiness. Our mind, body and spirit were meant for a period of rest. Being still and at rest is one of the ways that we can begin to listen for God’s voice on the inside of us. It is when we can abide in Him and He can abide in us that we know we are connected.

We function best when we follow a busy time with a rest and period of solitude. If we observe each season from a spiritual standpoint, there is something to learn from each of them. Spring is for planting and sowing seeds of faith. Summer is a growing season when we can put our faith to the test as we walk on the path of our Christian journey. Fall is when we begin to see the fruits of our labor and we see a harvest of prayers that are answered. Winter is when we prepare for the quiet time and the rest where God rejuvenates us and puts in us ideas, hopes and dreams that we nurture and incubate while waiting for spring. Now, we are approaching the time of solitude. The birds, trees and vegetation are beginning to show signs of this as the days are shorter and the temperatures begin to drop. In our Christian life, there are times for listening and times for doing. Learning to be in solitude so we can hear His Voice in our hearts will make us more usable to Him. He gives us direction and leading and if we are willing, God will put us in situations where we can serve Him by helping others.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
October 01, 2009

he Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. –Psalm 28:7 NIV

October is a wonderful time to be at the beach in my opinion. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler. Goldenrod is in full bloom with its mustard colored flowers growing wild here and there. Sea oats look rich in a golden amber hue as they wave back and forth on the dunes in the ocean breezes. Salt spray covers everything. Where tourists once sunbathed on the summer beaches, large flocks of pelicans and gulls have reclaimed those places as their own again. It is sweatshirt weather on most mornings. Pots of seafood chowders and stews are put on simmer all day for early autumn suppers to stave off the evening chill. October spells pure joy to me as it is the one month that everything seems to be just perfect on the Outer Banks.

For a while, I have collected everything I could find with the word “joy” written on it. Tree ornaments, plaques, magnets and more. I use these little messages throughout my home as a daily reminder to stay in joy and not complain or find fault with myself or others. I have learned that it doesn’t take much to get hooked into the emotion of complaining and grumpiness and that is a trap the enemy uses to steal our joy. We have to be on guard against this happening. My favorite definition of joy is “the expression or display of glad feelings”. Being filled with joy can cause us to want to do and share good things for those around us. It is like having a new song on the inside of us. When we can, I think we are supposed to spread our joy outward and see how God uses it to make positive changes in our lives and the lives of others.