Wednesday, June 30, 2010



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

Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near -Mark 13:28 NIV

The scenes of summer are everywhere. Lots of traffic converging to the Outer Banks as vacationers arrive with great anticipation. Vegetable stands, one after the other, line the journey to the shore with some of the first harvests of the season, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes. Rows of colorful umbrellas dot the beach for as far as the eye can see. Brand-new beach towels hang over the rails of rental cottages along the Beach Road. Where the full time residents live, the landscaping is manicured with splashes of color from beds of daisies, day-lilies and the occasional hydrangea, my favorite. Some driveways are bordered with shells collected from the winter, along with piles of gray conchs casually placed at the base of brightly painted “beachy” mailbox posts. Backyard grills come alive with the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers that linger in the early evening air. Neighbors, families and friends gather for annual crab feasts and corn on the cob, while catching up with each other. Summer is the time of year when everything seems to come together.

Surely, I am not the only one that feels so carefree and happy at the beach. The salt air seems to wash away my problems and concerns. The sand between my toes doesn’t annoy me…instead it lets me know I am “home”. The smell of suntan lotion evokes many childhood memories. Perhaps my favorite summer memory is recalling my grandmother’s fig preserves with lemon. Only she could make it her own special way, from her small tree in the backyard, surrounded by a single row of bricks. I love July. The sky is still blue with wispy clouds circling overhead before the hazy gray days of August rolls in. I cannot bear to be indoors this time of year. I don’t want to miss any of God’s beauty and creativity. I will praise Him for these beautiful and bountiful blessings, the sights and sounds of summer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
June 23, 2010

Photography by Liz Brown

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

The summer season is here! This week, the calendar changed from spring to summer but it feels like summer has been here much longer!! The hot, lazy days of summer brings all kinds of memories to mind like the excitement surrounding the last day of school, summer babysitting jobs to make money, watermelon eating contests, and family picnics at church softball games. And things like Sunday ice cream socials using the old homemade ice cream machine and tree-picked peaches, the smell of fresh-cut grass, the sweet fragrance of a summer rain, homemade lemonade and packaged Kool-aid. Best of all were those great memories of swinging on a porch swing and going barefooted til September. A great season for great times! I have come to realize that whatever season I am in I seem to love it the most!

We go through seasons in life and it seems once we get used to something, the season changes and we must adapt and reshape our thinking, and perhaps our life to accommodate the adjustments. Summer is the season when many families pack up and move to another town for a better opportunity. Kids are packing for college; kids are coming home from college. Summer weddings in June are plentiful. So many life changing moments and events seems to happen during this time of year.

How do we handle the changes in the seasons in our lives? How do we teach our children how to adapt? Do they see us frantic and resistant to change as we try to maneuver our way through life? Hopefully, we know from our Christian walk that God has already supplied us with the graces to deal with anything that comes to us or happens to us. His mercy and grace gives us the enthusiasm to accept things we cannot change, the peace to move forward, the joy for a new adventure and overall contentment for where we are. So much of our joy is tied to our contentment. God does not make mistakes. He has placed us in every season of our life. We can look back, not with regret, but with gratefulness. We can look forward, not with fear, but with confidence that we have all we need. There is no reason why we couldn’t prosper in whatever season we find ourselves. 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. – Psalm 1:3 NIV

As empty nesters, my husband and I had an adjustment to make and it coincided with a move to another state over 2000 miles away. I did have regrets and sadness, but now know it was wasted time. If we can accept willingly where we are and do our best to be obedient to God, we can expect to see good things revealed in our future. So much energy can be lost through deferred contentment such as thinking, “I will be happy when I can move back home”, or “I will be happy when this happens or that happens”. We can have joy and contentment now. Saint Francis of Assisi once said, “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”

I met a 99 year old woman the other day that was upright, walking on her own and we shared a bench together for a brief visit. I asked her what did she attribute her long life to and she said long ago she chose to be happy. That was what I needed to hear that day. Was that just a coincidence? No. Was it another divine appointment? Yes, I believe it was. Another reminder that how we approach life can have a profound effect on us regardless of the season we are in. Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Father's Day

Father's Day

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
June 16, 2010

If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.- Psalm 37:23-24 NIV

Father’s Day came about in the early 1900’s when a young girl listening to a Mother’s Day sermon wanted to also honor her father. In 1924, it became a national idea and President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea. It was President Lyndon Johnson that established the 3rd Sunday in June as Father’s Day in 1966 and President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. We all have a father and we count ourselves grateful if we had a godly father that brought us up to know our Heavenly Father. Especially this time of year we each may reflect and reminisce a bit on how our father helped to shape the life that we enjoy today. We also want to honor and remember the many wonderful men that have been mentors to us and shown fatherly wisdom and guidance when we needed it. And never to be forgotten are the mothers that have stood in for the father for whatever reason to keep the family going.

On this Father’s Day, many fathers are serving in the military away from home. We pray for their family, their heavy hearts and for their safe return. General Douglas Macarthur described how he wanted to be remembered. Not as a soldier, but as a father. He said, “But I am prouder - infinitely prouder - to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentiality of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle field but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, 'Our Father who art in Heaven'.

We offer thanks today for the fathers that we celebrate in person, in our hearts or in our memories. Most of all, if there is anyone of us that is lacking a fathers’ love, our Heavenly Father can shower us with His Love in rich abundance and fill all the empty spaces to overflowing. There is no greater gift that a father can give, but of himself. Inheritance, riches and possessions don’t measure up in the end. Remembered are those precious times, when father and child sat side by side, and talked of everyday things, the future and of God.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010



Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
June 09, 2010

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"— which is the first commandment with a promise— "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." Ephesians 6:1-3 NIV

I like the book of Ephesians in the Bible. Six short chapters but filled with guidelines and the “do’s and don’ts of Christian living. For me, it is the book of the Bible that puts in all in order. We are guided as to our relationship and obedience to God, our relationship to the church, our spouses and children. Chapter 6 begins by telling the children to obey their parents for it is right. In my youth I tried to do what I was told but didn’t always like it. I thought that my parents enjoyed controlling my actions and my thinking. And I was quick to dream of what it would be like when I could do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. Well, that is overrated. ‘Know that now - ‘didn’t know that then!! Actually this command to obey our parents is part of God’s law. Children need wisdom, guidance, structure, discipline and most of all a good, godly example to follow. Anyone that attempts to undermine this most important relationship between parent and child is going against God. Grandparents sometimes do this and it teaches the child to be disobedient or to not trust their parents. It plants seeds of doubt in the mind of the child. God set up the order of things and we are to follow if we are to be obedient. We are blessed to have grandparents that honor parents and love the children. That is how it should be.

Growing up, it was my relationship with my grandparents that sustained me at times. Our time together was short but the memories everlasting. I always knew that when I could be a grandparent, I would model myself after my dear grandmother that I called, Nanny. She taught me about God, we drew pictures of Jesus from old church bulletins, she walked with me along the beach and we picked up sticks of driftwood for the evening fire. It is no wonder I love the beach so much. It represents unconditional love.

Now that I am a grandparent myself I must choose my words and actions carefully. To not cross boundaries, undermine the parents’ authority, to respect them and their parenting and to be silent when things may not be my business. I raised my children and am proud of what my husband and I did. It is now my children’s turn to raise their families. I must always remember my place and that is one of support to both parents and grandchildren. My grandchildren are loved, adored, disciplined and encouraged to be the best they can be. I am excited to know that one of my granddaughters will be flying out for a nice visit this summer. We will cook, bake, swim and talk. We have morning devotions; we enjoy Starbucks and adore ice cream. My granddaughter and I love to play in the pool until we are waterlogged! “Sunday morning donuts before church” is the #1 item on her “to do” list when she visits. We will attend church and I will swell with pride when I see her sing her heart out.

Grandparents are the most trusted and cherished group of people ever!! It is with good reason. Grandparents love without condition. They overlook the latest trend, trying to see the person inside that is searching so hard to find an identity. They give freely and expect nothing. They offer serenity and a peace that only comes with experience and wisdom for the years that they have lived. Grandparents can be the towering lighthouse in the family with the light of love and God that protects everyone. I believe our only job as a grandparent is to be sure our grandchildren see God’s Light shining through us in the way we love them and honor their parents, treat them, and care for them and nurture their family. Is there any grandparent that has never prayed with their grandchild? Do it. It is the sweetest voice in the world to hear a child talk to God.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
June 02, 2010

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much Luke 16:10a NIV

The time is nearing when many families will begin coming to the beaches for their summer vacations. The beach will appear festive from the vivid colors of the umbrellas that take their place in the sand. Bright colored beach towels and plastic beach balls will also be a part of the landscape at the beach. It reminds me of travelling to the Outer Banks when we were children for our week of vacation each year. There was such anticipation and excitement that surrounded that time. We learned to find enjoyment in every day. It was a good lesson to learn at a young age. We cherished the sunny days and played hard in the surf and sand. On the rainy days, we caught rainwater with our newly purchased pails and shovels and built sandcastles, under our cottage, held high on stilts. When we had too much sun on our tender skin, the family would take a day trip in the car to see the sights. At night there were card games, skating at the roller rink or family tournaments of putt-putt. No time was wasted, yet we returned home from vacation very rested and content.

Taking what we had and making the most of it, is a philosophy that has stayed with me through the years. I have observed some people that have very little, yet they live so rich. They use their talents and skills to create a contented, charming lifestyle and God seems to bless them with more. And then there are those folks that seem to have everything, yet they are disgruntled and greedy for more. I think God would have us enjoy each and every day that He gives us. There are hidden treasures in each day and it is our job to find them. Making the most of what we are given is showing our grateful appreciation to God for the many gifts and opportunities He has given us, and continues to give us daily. The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3 NIV