Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Walking in Favor

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
January 27, 2010

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; -Psalm 90:17a NIV

Some of the most wonderful, memorable moments on the Outer Banks have been because of the relationships I have enjoyed. Some people have been friends for many years and others a short time as they were passing through on their journey. I say that it is the salt air that makes everyone so friendly and cordial! There is nothing that equals the feeling of being cherished, approved and accepted. The dictionary says that kindness, approval and friendly regard is called “favor.”

I can look over my life and see that God’s Favor is abundant. Like the times I should have been at the back of the line but was moved to the front. The occasion when an appointment was hard to get, yet a way was made immediately. Even something as simple as the best parking spot becoming available at the store on a rainy day. Favor is a gift from God as our reward and blessing for our obedience. Have you seen someone climb up the corporate ladder who wasn’t as qualified as the next person but they got the job anyway? That’s His Favor. The big break that was thought to be nearly impossible, yet it came through? Some people would refer to this as luck. But we know better. We don’t put our faith in luck. We put our faith in God and no matter what our circumstances look like, we believe that we walk in Faith surrounded by His Favor.

Some of us are parents. I know that as a parent I would do anything to help my children. Then if you picture your role as a parent with a heart of unconditional love just waiting to pour over them, how much more could we expect from our Heavenly Father?

We can expect to walk in God’s Favor if we walk in His Ways. And what happens when hardships come upon us? Have we fallen out of God’s Favor? No. God may allow our circumstances to be a little tough for the moment but it can make us stronger. When we walk through “the valley” it often illustrates to us what we are made of. Are we still strong in our faith? Do we balk at the first sign of difficulty and throw in the towel and declare that God has abandoned us? Do we sink into fear that we can’t rise out of our problems? So much we can learn about ourselves and what we are really made of. Whether we walk the mountaintop or the lowest valley, God wants us to walk with Him and He wants to pour out His Favor on us.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
January 20, 2010

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Psalm1:1-3 NIV

The Outer Banks seems simple for me to get around in my car. With easy access from the north and west and Hwy 12 running north and south there is little chance to get lost. Lots of shops, cottages and hotels dot the landscape and then the occasional glimpse of the ocean makes it an interesting place. I think that the milepost markers that were put in place many, many years ago are still the best directional tool.

Over the years, I can’t count the times my husband and have been lost in our travels and in need of simple directions. He likes to study a map in advance, but fails to take the map with us in the car, relying on his memory instead. I thought the invention of the GPS/navigation system was a handy tool and wasted no time in getting one. That was my contribution to ensure a more efficient road trip. But as with the map, he leaves that at home too! Actually, it is comical at times. I have learned to ride patiently as we circle around, do u-turns and backtrack in hopes of finding our destination. It is not surprising that we have travelled roads we wouldn’t have normally taken because we didn’t have directions.

The Bible talks of one road we are to travel: the path of blameless living. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘this is the way, walk in it. Isaiah 30: 21 NIV.

Psalm 15 talks about the guidelines for living a blameless life. What is a blameless life anyway? Here are just a few things the scripture mentions: we are told to be righteous; to speak the truth from the heart; to not slander or slur anyone and not to do our neighbor wrong. The footnotes for Psalm 15 say we should live by the standards of the Bible and not those of our society. Our actions and the words that we use are a reflection of our relationship with God.

Isn’t January a good time to begin something new? Many people are searching for the right road to take. It’s true that living a blameless life won’t make us immune from bad things that come to try to overtake us, but how much better we will be able to deal with adversity to have God on our side and to walk in His Blameless Ways.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Choosing Life

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
January 13, 2010

For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. – Proverbs 8:35 NIV

A year has come and gone so quickly. It’s January again and the holidays are over. Cold weather has settled upon just about everyone and every place. Even though we may feel like we are hibernating under the blanket of cold weather, I sense this New Year is warmly abundant with many good things, opportunities, new beginnings for an extraordinary life for us all. There’s much to do and consider, like seeking more knowledge, starting new endeavors, helping others. Living a life that is dedicated and committed to simply being our best and living in excellence is important and a good place to strive.

While looking forward, my heart feels a little heavy, too It was last year this time my Dad went to be with the Lord. I could always share my hopes and dreams and talk of my plans with him. He is missed. I still share what’s in my heart with him and I know he hears me. I feel his encouragement and his presence because he left behind an abundance of love

When I was putting away Christmas decorations this year I decided to do a little organizing. In a dusty box were Christmas cards from the last 10 years. I’d had the forethought to save them over the years and put them in little bags, marking the year on the front. To my delight, I found cards from my Mom and Dad. It wasn’t always this way, but some time years ago, Daddy started writing little notes in our cards. It didn’t matter if it was Christmas, Valentines, birthday or whatever; we could always be assured of a 2 or 3 sentence note followed by his signature. Daddy never thought of himself as an eloquent speaker, but he was a true wordsmith when it came to pen and paper. How special to find these cards. His notes to me were like blessings a father would give to a child. He would say how he wished for good things to come our way, for good health and prosperity. He made mention of seeing us and how good it would be to see us again. Such treasures I held in my hands. The glittery cards tucked safely in their envelopes with loving messages from the past, yet they felt very present. All of this coinciding with the date on the calendar that would be etched in my mind and heart for all time. January 13th. An ordinary day for most and a difficult one for me.

I asked for guidance in prayer. Almost immediately I felt the strongest feeling that came through wisdom which was that I should not go down the road of re-living the past, the last few moments of my Dad's life or the sadness surrounding that time. But instead, I should rejoice at the life well-lived, the love of a family that came together including aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and acquaintances that filled our home with comfort. The love that came in many forms that were showered down on us is still cherished. The unity of a family working together in peace and harmony and doing difficult tasks with teamwork.

It is said that it matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. My Dad lived a life where he loved deeply and cared for his parents and siblings, his wife and children, the grandchildren and showed love to his neighbors and friends and his beloved pets. Saint Augustine who was a theologian said, “Love is the beauty of the soul”. If love is in one’s heart, it must escape and be shared. If a heart is void of love, then everyone will know and feel it. We still have time on this earth to determine what our legacy will be. Emerson said, “It is not length of life, but depth of life.” It’s a new year. We can start now to search our heart to see what we find inside.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
January 06, 2010

He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding. - Proverbs 15:32 NIV

Dropping temperatures have produced a winter chill this past week that seems will stay around for a while. For some it might be the excuse to sit inside and do nothing, but for others, the weather means very little when it comes to implementing our resolutions and getting started with new ideas and new goals for the New Year.

January marks the beginning of the year, but for many of us, it means so much more. Like being able to close the door to the events of the past year and look forward in the New Year with hope and expectation. January represents a fresh start, new beginnings, and a new way to look at old things. New Year’s resolutions are declared, diets are started and exercise classes are filled to capacity with those that want to be healthier. January is also a time when we can look at our own spiritual healthiness. Taking stock of our own spiritual growth is important. God wants to promote us and to shower His blessings on us. But we have to be in a relationship with Him where we can receive what He wants to give us. That takes knowing Him on a daily basis. We can’t just go to Him occasionally when we are sick or we are praying for a family member and expect to live in His fullness. He wants us to come to Him in the good times, too. He has wisdom to impart and guidance to give. Being a disciple of God takes daily discipline. He teaches us through His Word and then He uses us as a witness so that we can teach others. It is a good time of year to begin to set a schedule where we make time for God… everyday. To start off the New Year with a desire to grow in Him, and then take action to make our desire a reality, is the most important resolution on our list. And He will honor our desire by being there when we reach out to Him.