Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Reflections by the Sea by Betsy Ore Glass
April 28,2010

He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.
- Psalm 22:8

A boat ride can be fun, and in order to really enjoy the experience I think that having trust in the captain is all important. I want the captain to know the boat, know the water, understand the weather and be familiar with the navigation charts. It makes for an easier ride if there are no worries and the captain is fully experienced and capable. I would hesitate to take a boat ride with a captain that showed inexperience. The depth finder and radar are so helpful, but ultimately it is his skills that come with experience that will help the captain guide the boat because of his knowledge and ability to handle the vessel.

At the start of each day lies before us are all the choices and decisions we must make. We may not have the great skill and knowledge of a professional boat captain to apply to our life. We may be navigating uncharted waters as we deal with choices before us. Some days can seem a bit overwhelming at times with so much facing us and many people depending on us. We wonder what is the right thing to do. Often we will poll our family and friends for their advice, only to come away more confused than ever, even though they love us and mean well. Those decisions that simmer day after day on the back burner eventually have to be handled. They can’t be put off another day. But what if you don’t know what to do? God says we are to trust Him. God has a way of directing our paths and we are not aware of it. If we go down the wrong path we will surely know it because nothing about it will work out. We will come across too many obstacles which sometimes is God’s way of telling us we have veered into the wrong direction. Just as soon as we make the correction, we get a “knowing” on the inside of us that we are where we need to be. When we are in God’s Will everything seems to fall into place. It is by His design because He has been working behind the scenes to line up the right people, right circumstances for our situation. Basically, He has made a way. And what if you want something so bad and have prayed so hard for it and it isn’t happening? Don’t despair. Perhaps God’s Timing and our timing are not in sync. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, it will only happen when God anoints it to happen.

Decisions face each of us. Big ones and little ones. Life-changing decisions and the simple ones that are easily forgotten by the end of the day. To keep from wasting steps and time, consult God before each decision. His wisdom is ever abundant and He always has our best interest at heart. And if you feel like you haven’t heard from God about what to do, start moving in the best direction and make the best decision you can. God likes to see us use the wisdom He has given us. And if it is to be, God makes a way. And if it isn’t, God will stop us with delays, cancellations, and a whole string of situations will stand in front of us that will prevent us from moving forward. He has the plan. He knows what is best. We don’t have to explore uncharted waters alone. God is at the helm and He says we can trust Him.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Celebrate Life

Reflections by the Sea by Betsy Ore Glass
April 21, 2010

The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!
 -Lamentations 3:22-24 (NASB)

It is so much fun to sit on the dunes with my long zoom camera lens and watch the birds walking along the water’s edge. Watching the pelicans in the distance as they dive into the sea. Noticing the clouds overhead that take the shape of things as they move slowly by. I love being a spectator from my perch nearby. Seeing everything up close, yet not being an active part of it.

The opposite of spectator is being a participant. It is equally fun to play with kids in the water, build sandcastles, collect shells and enjoy a picnic together. Being in the moment and enjoying life to the fullest with someone is truly the act of participating.

It occurs to me that we have a choice in life. We can choose to be a spectator or a participator of life. We can become fully engaged in our life and the lives of those around us or stand back, in the shadows, living life through other people, watching their celebrations and milestones. My husband and I made the choice years ago to be a family that celebrates. We make the birthdays, anniversaries and holidays special. Even the dogs get birthday presents! Carrying around a camera for most of my life, I have been able to catch big moments and little ones too, so the memories of our celebrations have not been lost or forgotten.

Today is our 37th wedding anniversary. We feel so blessed to have weathered the ups and downs of our journey and come out on top together. As we have done for 36 years before, we will talk of gratitude for what we have been given in this life. We will talk of going forward and will pick a new goal for the upcoming year. It will be something we can do or dream about together. It keeps us connected. It is one of the threads that bind us.

Occasionally, I hear folks describe their days with the words, “didn’t do much today” or “we’re not planning anything special”. I used to be one of those people long ago. We stood at the front door many times and watched a neighbor family pile in their old car and drive off to enjoy life by going to ballgames, the beach, picnics and camping. Even backyard barbecues were special to them. I learned an important lesson from that family. Seize the moment. When the day is over, it is lost. The young mother of this family passed in a car accident when her children were small. No time for goodbyes, one more picnic or one last moment. But I can say that family had far more memories to carry forward than some people have in a lifetime. And it wasn’t because they had unlimited resources or an abundance of time. No, they simply made an effort and chose to celebrate their life. To make something of each day. They learned that ever important balance of working, playing and praying. They made time for it all.

Part of being a participator in life is a way to honor oneself and the family and friends that surround. It honors God showing Him we treasure the life He breathed in us and the gifts He surrounds us with. It is true that health, finances and obstacles can keep us from doing the things we want to do sometimes or it can limit us greatly, but we can choose our attitude about our life and what we do with it. For example, a budget meal of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich can be presented like a feast. Celebrating the first cucumber from the garden can bring a big smile. The dog bringing back the ball in a game of fetch can be cause for praise, kisses and hugs. Everyday things can be a series of small celebrations and before long we begin to realize that joy resides within. It is taking hold on the inside. It starts with having an attitude that promotes joy and happiness combined with the act of “doing” instead of “watching” that keeps many people celebrating daily life to a ripe old age.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Letting Go

Reflections by the Sea ©
Betsy Ore Glass
April 14, 2010

Photo by Grahame Brown

Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. -Isaiah 55:7 NIV

Last week my granddaughter went fishing with her Dad on their new fishing boat. Equipped with her pink rod and reel for girls she was ready for the excitement the day would bring. Surprised, she caught the first fish of the day! It was too big for her dainty rod and reel as the rod bent over and almost broke. But when the fish was reeled in, it was too small to keep so they released it. This was repeated though out the day until she gave her little rod and reel such as workout that the handle eventually broke. No doubt this little fishing pro is ready for a “big girl” rod and reel! If you fish at all, you are aware of the”catch and release” program. If a fish is too small, it gently gets unhooked and is tossed back into the water which is the right thing to do.

A definition of releasing something is a form of surrender by giving something up, throwing it back, walking away or choosing not to be affected by it anymore. There are those times when we have all felt offended and carried offenses too long, Gods way is for us to let these offenders off the hook with merciful forgiveness. This is called to pardon someone or something. If we are doing the pardoning, we are called to be merciful and loving while forgiving. Isn’t that the way our Lord has treated us. We offend Him daily with our words, thoughts and actions but we know that He will show mercy and He pardons our sins when we come to Him in humble surrender.

St, Francis of Assisi, a patron saint in the Catholic Church from many years ago speaks of pardoning and living this way: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred ... let me sow love. Where there is injury ... pardon. Where there is doubt ... faith. Where there is despair ... hope. Where there is darkness ... light. Where there is sadness ... joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled ... as to console, to be understood ... as to understand; to be loved ... as to love, for It is in giving ... that we receive. It is in pardoning ... that we are pardoned, it is in dying ... that we are born to eternal life.”

These are good words to live by. In prayer, ask if there is someone you can “let off the hook” today with forgiveness and if there is someone that needs to let you off the hook. Then we can truly say that we are instruments of peace.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Break

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
April 07, 2010

Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. -Matthew 19:13 NIV

Recently I enjoyed spending nine glorious days with my granddaughter during Spring Break. What a neat young lady she is and she is very good company. I saw this world from her eyes and perspective.

Today’s children have so much to stimulate them. It is certainly very different from when I was a kid or when I was raising my own children. But despite the iPod, TV and movies, we settled comfortably into playing Scrabble games, putting together a photo album, taking a few trips to Starbucks, teaching her to cook bacon and eggs so she could surprise her parents with breakfast and more. During our time together, she said her most favorite thing we did was have an early evening picnic at the beach where we nearly froze!! But we did manage to get in a few tic tac toe games in the sand before heading back to the car to warm up. It was a fun time and a great week.

I came away with the thought that no matter what generation we are from, there is still no substitute for spending quality time together. It enriches the relationship and builds up a child’s spirit to take the time to really listen to them and invest time in them. It doesn’t have to be all the trappings of a day at an amusement park or expensive gifts that we heap on kids that makes for a great relationship. We had some wonderful talks and she opened up about her thoughts, dreams and even fears. She even performed a private flute concert for me! It was a blessing to have this time with her and it was good for her too. You can learn so much if you listen more than you talk.

God loves the little children for their purity and innocence. We are to make Him available to our children so that they may know Him and be wrapped in His Love. Just like a grandparent or parent freely gives of their time to a child, God does the same with us. Always available. Always happy to hear from us and loving us through the ups and downs of our on journey. God offers all of us an abundance of both time and love.