Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Life

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
March 30, 2010

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies. -John 11:25 NIV

Easter is a time for renewal. A new beginning. A fresh start. The story of the Resurrection gives us hope and the promise of everlasting life. (Matt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24) One definition for resurrection is revival. We have heard the phrase, “spring cleaning” and perhaps we can apply it to our lives as well. Cast out the sins and ways of the world that don’t serve us well and adopt new approaches and ways to live a godly life. Make life changing decisions that opens the door to a daily relationship with God. Have a new heart for service by doing for others. Develop new habits that keep our bodies healthy and our minds clear. But first, we must believe with our whole hearts that Jesus came so that we would have abundant life. (John 10:10) We just have to make Him first. Being a “Believer” is so much more than going to church on Sunday. It is being open to fellowshipping with God daily. To go to Him for everything. To believe that what we have asked for in prayer, we have received. Living in hope, with expectant faith is the way. He gave us His Precious Son, Jesus so that we could have eternal life (John 3:16). Be revived, renewed and refreshed! It is the season for new life!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
March 24, 2010

Photograph by Elizabeth Brown

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2-3

When I am by the sea, the clouds cannot be ignored. Perhaps my favorite is the cumulus cloud. They look like cotton balls, fluffy and white, stretching up to the heavens. As a child I would lie in the sand and look to the sky to see what images they made. Now, years later, to look up and see the sky full of these clouds is a daylong delight to enjoy. Whether the sun is peeking behind the clouds or they are all standing in line as though they are on a journey together, their shapes and sizes fascinate the child in me. One thing is certain though, the clouds come and go. They are constantly moving, never standing still. Some days the skies are laden with them or on other days there is just a wisp of faded curls circling the skies.

That’s the way it is with trials that we face. They come and go, mostly. Nothing ever stays the same. Some days may feel heavier than others with life’s concerns, and then there is a break before the next one arises. God equips us with all the tools we need to weather the trials in life. He is steadfast in his love and protection. It’s important to remember that we are building faith as we face the valleys in our path. Our existence is dependent on Him and He will see us through all our days, cloudy or not

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Divine Appointment

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
March 17, 2010

Now listen, you who say, today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that. As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:13-17 (NIV)

It has been such joy to take pictures of the Outer Banks and other coastal communities over the years. Recently, I sat down and looked at all the photos in my collection and realized the desire to use the photographs for inspiration to try my hand at oil painting. The best approach it seemed would be to seek a pro who could teach me technique, mixing and color theory. So, I enrolled in a course that sounded perfect. When the day came to go to class, I took my bare canvas, brushes and high hopes and set out on my new adventure. God took over from the start. Unknowingly, I went to another store with the same name, where another oil painting class was in session, by a teacher whose name did not match the course I had signed up for. After some awkwardness and trying to sort through what had happened, I realized I was at the wrong place at the wrong time…or was I? The teacher said she would be tough, but she would teach me to paint the right way. It wouldn’t be easy and I’d have to listen and pay close attention and she only taught those that were serious. I was shaking at the knees but I sensed this is where I belonged. I had been guided to the right class after all. The teacher welcomed me and everyone in the class was gracious and friendly. I saw amazing work being done by the students and it was clear the teacher took her craft and skills seriously and required nothing short of that from her students as well. It was apparent that this was a divine appointment. God had a better idea of where He wanted me be that morning and He guided me as He has done so many times before. He often changes my direction and puts me on a different path than I had intended.

The phrase, “divine appointment” refers to a meeting which is God inspired. To say it another way, God can lead us without our knowledge to a place, at the right time, to do His Work and Purpose. We have to be willing to be led by the Holy Spirit and then we will be used by God as instruments to bless others or to receive a blessing ourselves. Has this happened to you? The opportunities for a divine appointment are endless. In the Bible there were many, many divine appointments. And the great thing is that God is in control always and He can orchestrate our life to put us where He wants us, doing what He wants us to do, at any given time. When God intervenes with a divine appointment, He uses the faithful to connect with someone else. This week it was an oil painting class. Next week He could put me in the right place at the right time that saves my life! God always has the last word. Be open to God moving in your life as well. Trusting God and being willing to be moved by the direction of the Holy Spirit is when blessings start to flow like water in a fountain.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Broken Shell

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
March 10, 2010

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. –Luke 6:37 NIV

When taking walks along the shore, the tendency has been to fill my pockets with only the perfect shells. Especially the shiny ones that are perfectly ridged and shaped for display at home. Yes, the perfect shells are beautiful and have that “shell shop” quality to them. But I have come to realize, that the broken shells are the ones that have the story to tell. They have been tumbled, stepped on and knocked around the ocean floor as the tides brought them to shore. They have weathered the storms and currents of the sea. I can relate to the broken shell, can you? Sometimes I don’t feel at the top of my game, in perfect condition or form. Life can take a swipe at us every now and then, and we are stung with painful circumstances or events that begin to chip away at us. A crack or a break in a shell makes it less desirable to the shell-seeker, but in our lives, the more storms we can weather and ride out, the more strength and wisdom we gain, which is another way of growing more spiritually.

There are only perfect shells, not perfect people. God doesn’t want us to try to be perfect because He knows and has taught us that it cannot be. Only He is perfect. He accepts us as we are. He loves us with our flaws, the mistakes we make and will continue to make. He loves the person He hopes we will become if we stay fixed on Him. Although we celebrate everyone’s uniqueness, there can be occasions where we can have a tendency to judge those that are different from us. To have a ministry of criticalness or to judge is not wise. Instead of our judgment, perhaps it is our help that is needed. Let our first instinct be to reach out, rather than to look down or look away. God calls us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, especially those that seem most unlovable, like a broken shell.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
March 03, 2010

Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." Luke 18:27 NIV

What I love so much about being at the beach is the unobstructed view of the sky. For miles it can be seen. When frontal systems and storms approach the area, they change the look of the overhead landscape. It’s probably my imagination, but sunrises and sunsets seem to linger longer in the expansive sky. An atmosphere full of clouds is worth taking notice of. And so is a sky without a cloud in it. Both are breathtaking. I once rode in a hot air balloon. What I expected to hear were rushing winds as we navigated through the currents. But, to my surprise and serene delight, there was no sound at all, except for my breathing. We soared above the birds. There was no wind in our face as we lazily drifted along for over an hour. We could see for miles all around us. It was truly a bird’s eye view. Noise from the city below couldn’t be heard either. I couldn’t imagine that we had enlarged our vision and found such unexpected peace at the same time.

We get stuck in routines and the same old mindsets sometimes. It is good to take a close look at our life and see if we have become everything we had hoped for and more. Sometimes our dreams are not big enough. We like to limit God in what He can offer us based on what we know. But, God is all knowing and all seeing. He has plans for us and if we allow Him to work in our life, we can do more, have more and experience more because of Him. We can live a life of joy and happiness and enjoy the rewards in life. But first, we should be willing to expand our thinking and be willing to put our life in His hands. Today is a good time to open our minds and hearts to all kinds of possibilities that await us. Forget that voice that tells us all the reasons why something won’t work. It is God’s promises and vision that we seek for an “enlarged” life.