Sunday, December 23, 2012

 
Merry Christmas 2012
 
Our family wishes you and yours a blessed Merry Christmas.
Let us not forget the birth of our Savior which is the reason for the season.
 I am looking forward to telling my little 6 month old grandson about Jesus.
With great affection and Love through Him do I say thank you for following
"Reflections by the Sea".
 -Betsy Ore Glass

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"I Believe"


“I Believe”


Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."-Matthew 19:26 NIV

 

This past week I went to a Christmas Street Fair. The weather cooperated with bone chilling temperatures, so gloves, hats and coats were the dress for the day. Jingle bells were ringing and people were of good cheer as they went from store to store to see what special holiday gifts were waiting to be taken home.

 

In one spot, I noticed a lot of children had gathered around so my curiosity piqued. Young ladies were dressed in green and red outfits wearing festive sock elf hats.  They were helping the young children of all ages to write letters to Santa. Parents stood back with cameras and coached their youngsters to smile, but they were too intent and serious about writing this very important letter to look up. Once finished, the elves placed Christmas stamps on the letters and walked the children inside to the post office to a special letter box marked only for North Pole letters. The excitement and joy was so sweet to observe. Then I got an idea.  I walked over to one of the sweet elves and asked if anybody could write a letter to Santa or if it was just for the little ones. My question took her back a second and then she said, “Absolutely yes, anybody can participate”. On my unlined crisp white paper and pen attached to a clipboard, I squeezed myself into a child’s wooden school desk outside the post office and went to work on my letter. Realizing I was taking up a valuable seat and the line was growing, I decided to be quick and brief. I simply wrote, “I Believe”. I was giddy. With an envelope and stamp handed to me by the elves I wrote the address carefully, “Santa Claus, The North Pole”. I walked into the post office and put my letter in the special box. There. It was done. I reaffirmed my faith in goodness, kindness, hope and above all, belief that all things are possible. For a brief moment my mind and heart returned to the magic of being 7 years old and it felt good!!

 

I do believe. I believe in the kindness of spirit that Santa Claus represents which is the good in each of us. I believe in the desire to love, make others happy and make things happen to help others when it is in our power and ability to do so. In this tainted world of greed and selfishness with morals and values slipping away, we have to believe that there is still goodness to give and receive. 

 

If it weren’t for my Father in Heaven that believes in me, then I would not be able to believe in anything at all. It is from His Strength and Promises that I can believe in miracles, hope, restoration, reconciliation, provision and more. Even when our circumstances say “don’t believe”, that is all the more reason to believe for more! When all hope seems lost and finances or health dwindle or family or friends seem like they are lost spiritually, we can still believe. I have personally been in situations when it looked hopeless and all of a sudden out of the ashes came life. New Beginnings. Second Chances. Renewal. Healing, Restoration and Miracles. Don’t give up on yourself or anyone else this Christmas. Just Believe.

 

 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Christmas Tree
Reflections by the Sea ©
 
Betsy Ore Glass
December 13, 2012


That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. - Psalm 1:3 NIVThe artificial tree we have used for a few years was just too large in our scaled-down space this year. So we thought maybe we should go back to the days of having a live tree. Always my first choice! They are beautiful, one of a kind and have a woodsy fragrance. But once we saw the withered trees baled up in netting with fallen needles strewn everywhere, we decided against it. So I declared that it was now or never to consider that pristine white artificial tree I had admired in the glossy magazines, but it was just too contemporary once we saw it up close. So, predictably, we went back to the artificial green tree, buying a smaller version of what we have always had. Our new smaller decorated tree looks great and I couldn’t imagine that the artificial contents inside the box from the store could come to life, but it did. It seemed to come alive with each ornament and ribbon we placed on it. And then the lights were turned on and we were in awe. Even our little pup, Barney seems thrilled by the tree and considers the tree skirt to be his as he pulls it to the middle of the floor to make a new bed for himself surrounded by his toys! Whether it is a Christmas tree or another kind of tree that lives near a spring or a creek, it will tap its roots into the water source and survive. Water is life. That is how it is in our life too. Yes, we are largely made up of water and yes, we must drink our weight in it to be healthy or so it seems! But in our spiritual life, if our Bible lies closed on the coffee table or nightstand, we are not drinking in the Word and becoming stagnant. Scripture is life to us and the Living Water is what sustains us. It is how God talks to us. Where we get our wisdom. Our answers. Our hope. And it is where our faith builds when we feed from the Word. This season of Christmas is a good time to renew and refresh our commitment and our spirit to God. When we are spiritually fed, we are more apt to see what God’s plan is for our life, to prosper from His direction and wisdom. A. B. Simpson, a minister from the 1800’s said this, “Christ is not a reservoir but a spring. His life is continual, active and ever passing on with an outflow as necessary as its inflow. If we do not perpetually draw the fresh supply from the living Fountain, we shall either grow stagnant or empty, It is, therefore, not so much a perpetual fullness as a perpetual filling."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Gifts


Christmas Gifts
 
Reflections by the Sea
Betsy Ore Glass
December 6, 2012
 
 
 
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. -Matthew 2:11 NIV

The definition of the word “gift” means something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned. The first gifts of Christmas were the ones that the Three Wise Men gave to Jesus. They were gold, frankincense and myrrh. Now, over 2,000 years later, the tradition of gift-giving continues. Our western culture heavily promotes Christmas as a time for gifts, while the true celebration of Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus, often gets misplaced in our current world. God sent us His Son, Jesus and that is the greatest gift of all, the gift of love. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. Psalm 117:2 NIV

This Christmas, for our family, will be like so many in the past. We find ourselves scaling back more and more on the gift giving. We realize it is truly a gift if most of us can come together for a few days of love and fellowship. I am looking forward to my grandson’s first Christmas. And at Christmas Eve services, I cherish looking down the row at my family and seeing those I love in church together. We adore the ride through the neighborhood to see the houses decorated in lights in our convertible with a handful of homemade cookies (the children refer to our car as the sleigh). And so that is what we give each other, our time and love.  That, and a few homemade items made from the heart. We share our gifts and talents in that way. Stained glass tree ornaments, framed photography, paintings, crafty- type things. Many prayers and blessings have been said while doing this handwork. Unknowingly, each person will be wrapping themselves in gifts that include prayers of protection, abundance, promotion, good health and happiness. That they would feel peace and God's Love surrounding them...and oh yes, a Mother's Love, too. A quote by Augusta  E. Rundel says, “Christmas--that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but  always it will be a day of remembrance--a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.”

The spirit of Christmas is not measured in the amount of gifts given and received, but in the love that surrounds us and most importantly, the love that passes through us to others. His Love.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Light

Light
Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Glass
November 29, 2012


Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God. –Isaiah 50:10 NIV Undeniably this is my favorite season of the year. The shopping catalogs are filling my mailbox for peanuts, classic fruitcake and beautiful baskets of fruit among other things. Grocery stores already have Frasier fir trees lined up by the door and the scent of Christmas is in the air. I will set aside a day to bake cookies with my granddaughter using the candied fruits you only see this time of year. The striking and tropical poinsettia is the universal flowering plant for the holidays and I will soon buy one to enjoy and a few extra to give to friends. And the final touches for Christmas will come when we hang white lights on the Christmas tree, set up the nativity and place simple candles throughout as we decorate our home. Light. The dictionary says that light is something that makes things visible. While it certainly makes tree ornaments and other decorations brilliant and festive with its shimmer of sparkles, there is a light that is even greater. God’s Light. We can hear about something but as long as we are in the dark so to speak, we cannot see. But when things are illuminated and finally, we can see, we understand. Spiritually of course I am talking about living a life of light that versus darkness. People may hear about the Christian life but unless they have ever seen it or watched a family that lives by God’s laws, they can’t see it. Many times, we are the light that illuminates the light of God for others. They see something in us that clicks and they want what we have. Maybe it is the way we react, or how we treat someone. Or how we use our gifts and resources for God’s good. Maybe it is the peace within us that comes with trusting God so completely in all our circumstances that people are drawn to us. We are always being observed. Our actions matter and they count. That is why God lights our hearts so that we can light the hearts of others. What is visible is tangible. And what is tangible can be shared and multiplied. Let our walk be our witness and may the light within shine as bright as the Bethlehem star!




Friday, November 23, 2012

Gratitude

-Gratitude-
Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Glass
November 21, 2012


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. –Colossians 3:16 NIV The definition of gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation. With Thanksgiving Day barely behind us, there is a desire in many of us for the joy and gratitude of this time to linger on past just a few days or so. While Thanksgiving Day is often spent with family and friends or just quietly alone in observance, it gives us a reason to stop and ponder the blessings of the past year. God’s blessings don’t always arrive on our doorstop with great fanfare though. Sometimes it is the simplest of things that we can see God’s hand in. I believe that if we look carefully, we can see God in the big and little things in our day. It is so easy to take responsibility and credit ourselves for all the good that happens. Yes, our efforts do not go unnoticed, but all good things come from God. So you might ask, when things get tough, is that God, too? The answer is that He allows things at times to build us up. Make us stronger. Build spiritual muscle. But it doesn’t matter what is happening at the moment. The real key to having a heart of gratitude is to be grateful no matter how good or bad things are. Genuine gratitude doesn’t succumb to disappointment or that feeling of lack. Maybe things aren’t going well at all, but there is always at least one thing that we can be grateful for like having a Heavenly Father that loves us so much. Gratitude also promotes joy. Some of the richest, joy-filled people I know don’t appear to have any luxuries in life, yet they are grateful for each day and the opportunity to serve God in peace. To develop a heart of gratitude, we might think of something to be grateful for during this time of Thanksgiving and offer our thanks to God for all He has done and continues to do.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 
(Photograph by Elizabeth Brown)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. –Colossians 3:16 NIV

This is the best time of year to be at the beach! I like when I can have it all to myself. The quiet walks, the dampness of the salt air enveloping me, the warmth of the sun despite the wind makes up a typical November day. There is nothing better to me than hot coffee and a big breakfast before stepping outside. It seems that only the real “tried and true” beach lovers remain in the final weeks of autumn before the winter chill chases us all indoors.

Thanksgiving dinners, buffets and desserts are just days away. November is the perfect month to count our blessings. Oh yes, some people have more than others. But that is not the point to want what we don’t have or to envy those that do have. If financial problems or relationship issues plague us or even health concerns pop up, it can be hard to focus on what is right, instead of what is wrong. But the challenge is to be grateful for the place that we are in and to find the blessing in it. With feeling blessed comes the gift of peace. There is nothing greater than to live in God’s Peace. We are taught to trust Him and give Him our concerns. To live in expectant hope for the future, to know we are forgiven of the past and to live in the present, with His Word close to our heart. While the calendar says that Thanksgiving is just one day, the spirit of it can live much longer in our hearts, our spirits and our actions. Not only am I grateful to receive God’s blessings, I will ask today that God use me to be a blessing to someone He puts in my path. God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hope


Hope

Reflections by the Sea
Betsy Ore Glass
 

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. –Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

 

There is the little child that resides in each of us. In our pockets we tuck away our special hopes and dreams. Some we may share with others and some we may keep to ourselves. One definition for hope is to look forward with confidence or expectation and desire. To live a life that is full of hope improves our outlook. Having a childlike faith that carries hope in our hearts at any age is life-giving. God knows the desires of our heart as he probes our heart each day.   

We are taught to hope for the best in all situations. Easier said than done? Yes! Fear gets into the mix to steal our joy and our hope at times. Or even disappointment can eat away at our hope. But with God all things are possible. That can be easily forgotten when we run up against obstacles. Our hope sometimes fades away when we are told all the reasons something won’t happen or it won’t work as we had envisioned. Or we have waited a long time and nothing seems to be happening to make our wishes materialize. But never lose hope. Hope gives us something to live for, to look forward to. Hope gives sweetness to life. Sweet hope is stronger than the bitterness that creeps in. We can dream big and hope for much.  The Believer aims to have a heart of hope rooted in faith at all times. Whatever hopes are the desires of your heart, be expectant. Rise above disappointments and discouragement. Today could be the day that your hopes bear fruit. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. –Psalm 31:24 NIV  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Storms

Storms

Reflections by the Sea ©
 
Betsy Ore Glass
November 01, 2012


--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Romans 4:17b NIV   Last weekend, the entire East Coast stood still in anticipation of a super storm that will be remembered as life changing for some. Yet, even in devastation and loss, there were many blessings. That begins the conversation today. Do we focus on what is right or what is wrong? If we are sick, do we talk about it and let everyone know our ailments or do we pray for healing and to be released from it. Our attitude about our circumstances gives us two roads to walk…..to be a victim or to stand on the side of victory. We can’t prevent problems from coming but we can decide how we react to them. Even though this most recent storm is considered epic, there will be more that come. Storms are a part of living. But are we talking weather or our lives? In our lives, we are often caught off guard by unsuspecting trials and problems. I suspect that almost everyone has had to weather some difficult times and may even be experiencing some now. Discouragement often goes hand in hand with the sudden onset of problems that come to us. But discouragement is not a solution. In fact, wallowing in it just prolongs the situation sometimes. Trying to find an “end to the means” is our own attempt at taking things into our own hands. It is only when we trust God and speak positively about the situation we are in, will we be able to expect help and find hope. If there are storms that are hovering over any of us today, let us take refuge in God and “call into being” the opposite of what is happening in our lives….if we are sick, thank God for making us well. If we are hurting, thank God for releasing us from the pain. If we are experiencing financial woes, thank God for bringing us prosperity. If we are weak, thank God for bringing us strength. Let our faith push the storm clouds out to sea and let us praise God for his mercy and provision.



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Changing Landscape



Changing Landscape

 
I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.  The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. -Psalm 118:13-14 NIV
 
Every time I take a look at the beach, the shoreline is different. The currents, weather conditions, strong winds and waves all combine to cause the landscape to change its appearance often. Mighty storms come ashore and take large portions of sand out to sea. The protective dunes often get swallowed up, leaving big cliffs in the wake of the storms. Other times, the beach will seem to be replenished. Sand is constantly being pushed  around by nature. For me though, that is the magic of being near the beach...to see the daily changes. It amazes me that a perfectly sunny day can disguise the havoc going on in the ocean. Offshore storms that we cannot see have the ability to push water into strong waves onto the shore from many miles away. Have you ever been to the beach when the wind was so strong, you were literally sand blasted? Winds blowing with such velocity do have the ability to move sand in such a way that walkways and vegetation get covered over. Yesterday's footprints are covered over leaving today with a clean, blank canvas to leave our mark.

While I wish I could take credit for this statement, instead, I heard it said at church last week from our Pastor. “Don't let your thoughts push you around. Instead, push them around.” When I heard those words, I knew exactly how important it was to follow that instruction. There is a reason that when we put on God's armor, we include the helmet of salvation. It is to protect our minds. We are told that we become what we think. So it all unfolds. If we let sickness, fear and worry fill our minds, we soon will be caught up in it and have plenty of sickness, and plenty to fear and much to worry over. It is like we become a magnet for what we think. That is reason enough to control our thoughts

Taking a road trip this week, I went in and out of little towns and my radio station had to be changed frequently as I searched for a new signal. That is how it is with us. When we get flooded with thoughts that we know are not good like all those “what if” thoughts,  we just simply have to change the channel. We should search for a new signal. By pushing negative thoughts out of our minds, we can consciously allow only the good ones in. Romans 4:17 says we can call those things that don't exist into being. The times in my life when I was sick, I would see myself well. When I was tired, I would think myself being refreshed. When there was lack, I would think prosperity and abundance.  By starting off our day  on the “right channel” we are embarking on a new beginning to live positively in hope. Our new thoughts will be an encouragement to us and to those around us.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October Harvest

October Harvest
Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
October 11, 2012


To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: - Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV) October days bring cooler weather. The humidity is low, and the salt air seems to cling a little less. At the beach, it appears vacant sometimes with the tourists that have returned home. The sun is a little lower in the sky and everything has a warm October glow to it. Photographers and artists will love the clear blue skies of October because the grey haze of summer has left. Sunsets are vivid and rich and possess all the colors that we associate with this time of year like hues of orange, gold and red. Sweatshirts replace swimsuits. Warm soups are favored over cold salads. Squirrels outside my window are scurrying around storing acorns for winter. While the cold months of winter are ahead, there is special warmth that greets this time of year. It’s transitional. Fall door decorations appear, scattered pumpkins can be see in the fields, and rows of freshly stacked firewood are carefully placed by the back door. It is all part of the season. When we pray, we are planting seeds of faith, dreams, hopes, wishes, desires, pleas for ourselves and for others. Our faith and belief are the water and fertilizer that brings us through our daily prayers until the day of harvest when our prayers are answered. When God answers a prayer it is the greatest comfort of all. It builds our faith and strengthens our confidence that we are being heard. We want to tell everyone what wonderful thing God has done for us. It reminds us that God is in control and that He is with us, always overseeing our needs. We are never forgotten. We are not alone. Think about the times in your life when God harvested your prayers and they manifested right in front of you. When He brought help, or healing or guidance. When that one thing that you had prayed so hard for happened. When we think of all that God has already done for us, it reminds us of the blessings we have received. Take time to be grateful in the midst of this abundant time of year.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Watching and Waiting

 
Watching and Waiting
Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
October 04, 2012


I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 17:6 NIV Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to sit on the dune line with Jesus and talk about ordinary and special things as we look together across the ocean. I know I would have so many questions. But hopefully I would have the wisdom to be quiet and listen to what He would say. For some people their relationship with Jesus is silent. For others, His Voice can be heard in hearts and in minds. But in order to hear His Voice, we must be still. There is nothing as special as spending prayer time and feeling His Presence around us. For me, it begins with music. Singing the words of praise and clearing my busy mind prepares me for our time together. For years, I supposed I learned to pray and when I stopped talking, it was over. Now, much wiser I have learned to wait on God. He may drop a thought in my mind. A scripture will come to mind. Perhaps in my sleep He will give me a dream that gives me the solution to a problem. Our prayer time will come alive when we realize they are being heard. It isn’t just a one way conversation. No, sometimes He doesn’t answer right away. To our disappointment our answers may come years down the road but we should expect to hear from Him. God talks through His Word. The scriptures are there to guide us, provide knowledge, and be a roadmap and so much more. God talks through people that we trust. Leaning on their wisdom can be helpful. God can use anything He wants to get a message to us. He is limitless. Everyone seems to be watching and waiting for something. A friend was interviewing for a job and it looked like it was his. But at the last moment a former employee surfaced that was highly regarded and was given the opportunity instead. Disappointed? Maybe a first, but then the recognition came that God’s Timing is better than ours. So now we are waiting for God to bring something even bigger and better in the way of a career opportunity. I was recently on a trip and met two lovely ladies to spend time with. Our paths were different, yet for some reason God put us together. I will be watching and waiting to see if He brings us together again. My daughter in law posts pictures and videos for us to see of our new grandson often. I am in great anticipation each morning when I turn on the computer…hoping for another glimpse of him to start my day. A friend wants to develop a women’s ministry. She is in prayer and waiting on God for confirmation and guidance. Another friend is taking her ministry to a higher level and is excited and overwhelmed, while trusting in God’s Plan with total faithfulness. Give Him your hope and dreams through prayer. He is listening. And expect the guidance and direction you seek. God never fails. Perhaps you will be an answer to someone who has been watching and waiting. God works in all of us if we are willing to be obedient to Him.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Influence

Influence
Reflections by the Sea ©
Betsy Ore Glass
September 24, 2012


O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling. –Psalm 43:3

The beach has been such a part of my life since I was a child. It made sense that I would share my love of the beach with my own children. They were influenced by me and both of our children love everything to do with the beach today. I enjoy seeing parents taking their children to the beach for the first time or out on the pier with their first rod and reel. Little children want to emulate their parents. We don’t have to tell them what to do as much as we must show them by our actions and live a life that would make them want to follow. When our actions and words surround them, that is called “influence”. We each have the power to influence anyone. It is a mighty thing to know that something we can say or do could shape another person’s life, choices and decisions. Using our influence in a subtle way is far better than actually telling someone what to do. To be told what to do can often be received as unsolicited advice, unappreciated wisdom, and just plain interference. To have success in this area, we must realize that our actions carry more weight than our words. How are we using our influence in our everyday life? Who do we look up to? Who looks up to us? Everything that we say and do reflects our character which reflects our relationship with God. If we are using the gift of influence to guide others, we must pray that it is God’s Light and His Truth leading us to lead others.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Today


 

Today


This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

–Psalm 118:24 NIV

 

More than once, I have found myself leaning against a sand fence and thoughtfully staring at the ocean into the distance. I wonder if there was someone on the other side staring back at me with a heart full of hopes and dreams, too! It is a great past time to wonder what lies beyond what our natural eye can see.  At times I wish I could see supernaturally for what is coming next week, next month or next year. But, God knows best when He limits our vision to the “here and now”. When I was a child, my friends and I wished our life away, as though we were in an anxious race to mark time quickly, so we can become adults. Only to become adults, and long for the carefree days of our youth again! How foolish we were!

 

The Bible teaches us to not worry or have fear about His Provision. We aren’t to worry about tomorrow, just live in today. Worry can’t accomplish anything. In fact, worry is actually a sin. It cancels out our prayers.   We are to trust God for His blessings and favor.  It is a blessing to just being able to live and enjoy each day in contentment without fear or anxiety. He provides for us in all ways, each day. God brought this message to me another way this week. As I was going about the house, I was humming a hymn. Finally I paid attention to the song He put in my heart. It was “Great Is Thy Faitfulness”. The refrain says it all:

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beachcombing

BeachcombingReflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
September 13, 2012

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. -Psalm 16:11 NIV
A beachcomber, according to the dictionary is defined this way, ”a drifter or loafer usually by the seacoast”. Is that all it says? They left out the part about having fun, getting exercise and clearing the mind. I am not too crazy about being described as a “drifter or loafer”, but if that is what you call strolling along the shoreline in search of washed up treasures, then I’ll take it! Filling my pockets with shells in all shapes, colors and sizes is heaven on earth to me. Maybe there is a little “drifter” in you, too. Slowing the pace and enjoying a walk on the beach is a precious gift we can give ourselves. I am not sure what draws people to the beach. Maybe it is the ever-changing grandness of it. The ocean looks different everyday. The way the sunlight reflects off of the water and waves that curl and roll in to shore is mesmerizing. And maybe yesterday’s footprints have been worn away by a strong ocean breeze so the sand looks untouched and new. To me, the best part of beachcombing is to arise early and be the first one on the beach in the morning to be a part of the day as it unfolds. God wants to be part of our day. And, He wants to be first in the order of things we have on our schedules. Before the demands of the day can multiply, I can honestly say that making God first is the best way to meet the day head on. Finding that special time and place to rest in His Presence may take some effort. Especially, if the TV is blaring, children and pets have to be fed and the phone starts ringing. It may take a juggling act to find that time with God but it is worth it. Plugging in to God’s Word, His Peace and Protection will start the day right. It is a discipline at first, but once God’s Presence is truly heartfelt in those special moments with Him, you may find yourself waking up a little earlier just to spend more cherished time together with God.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Being Guided
Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass

September 05, 2012

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—Proverbs 1:5 NIV

The Outer Banks offers so much to do and many times, tourists aren’t sure which way to turn. Fortunately the “locals” are a wealth of information and are always willing to share to make the vacationers visit special. When we travel we always ask where the “locals” dine and for directions to those special places that are off the beaten path. We will take any advice that we can get from anyone “in the know”. Being guided by people who know more than we do is a blessing. We would never set out in a boat without charts, or hike without a compass or travel somewhere without a map to guide us. That’s why it is important to seek information, wisdom and knowledge which give us the tools to stay the course on our journey.

 Spiritual guidance is a blessing, too. When we allow ourselves to be guided by God, it is amazing the places He will take us. Sometimes we think we know all we need to know and on our own will we set out to do things, move, change jobs, make things happen. Many times it will work out and sometimes it won’t. But I can tell you from experience, when we surrender our will to God and allow Him free rein in our life, mighty things happen. Part of surrendering is to let go of worry and fret too. It is counterproductive to “give it all to God” and then take it back again with anxious thoughts. 

I know too that with each new day we have to make the decision about what will guide our lives or will we allow ourselves to be guided. Make no mistake, there will be days, weeks, maybe months when absolutely nothing happens. I know because that has happened to me and I think God is off on assignment tending to other people and just hasn’t gotten to me and my life just yet. But that isn’t true even though it feels like it at times. Keeping faith strong in these quiet times when we aren’t hearing anything is vital. In our “I want it now” world, it is easy to get impatient with God’s Timing. But this I know. When we think nothing is happening, God is actually lining up things behind the scenes for us. And then one day, the blessings pour down on us and we are flooded with opportunity, blessings and more. The phone will ring and the news is what we have been waiting for. We may have a divine appointment to meet that “right” person of influence that will help us to make our dreams a reality. He guides us in many ways. But what is important is to stay with God during the drought. He has not forgotten us or forsaken us. We haven’t done anything wrong. The drought builds our faith and when God is ready, He guides us higher. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. – Psalm 27:14 NIV

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Higher Ground
Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Glass
August 29, 2012


Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. -Proverbs 2:11 NLT Walking the beach not so long ago I was with my family and we set out to search for sandollars. They are my favorite. Everyone was at the waters edge looking for the one that was riding the tide of seafoam before settling onto the wet sand. There would be one, two and three. Then, more. As more sandollars were found, we began to attract a crowd. I decided to leave the shallows for higher ground. To my surprise, I collected just as many as everyone else, but mine were dry and white as they sat on top of the hard sand. They had been there for days and had gone unnoticed to my delight!  This week I was been given many choices to either take the higher ground in my actions or wade ankle deep in the muck. It is a choice to not enter into discussions that you know are going to end in disagreement. It is a choice to walk away from a person that is argumentative or negative. It is a choice to guard our thoughts when it would be so much easier to gossip or mock someone. Yes, I think God puts us to the test sometimes to remind us that He is always watching us and He knows our heart. We either pass or fail this test. And if we fail, it means we must do better and that if we are truly living in God and He in us, we can make only one choice…to always take the high road…to walk the higher ground with Him. A friend told me this week that our mouth acts as a rudder. The rudder is what steers the direction of a boat. It is very small but very powerful. I thought that was such an accurate statement. There is a saying, “The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live”. So it is up to us which road we take. Temptations will chase us down to pull us back in to the old strongholds like the speed of a rushing tide. But it is the choice that we make in that split moment about how to conduct ourselves and what path we choose to walk that steers our path. God will always meet us on the higher ground.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Great Egret

Great Egret

Reflections by the Sea ©
 
Betsy Glass
August 19, 2012


Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. -1 Peter 2:17 NIV The Great Egret is the largest of the white, wading birds found in this area in the wetlands. Moving about on their long black legs gives them the appearance of doing everything in slow motion. Their pointed bills are yellow and that is what they use to spear small fish, which is a main part of their diet. The Great Egret can either nest in trees or in low shrubs where they live in colonies of up to 100 birds. The word egret is French and it means “ornamental tufts of plumes”. When the Great Egret is in breeding season they will grow a plume. It was the plume that hunters sought after that nearly put the Great Egret into extinction in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Fortunately, they are now protected and can be seen enjoying the Outer Banks in large numbers. When I see a Great Egret, there are certain words that come to mind like graceful, elegant, polite and poised. They behave as though they have impeccable manners to go with their majestic appearance! The Great Egret is in complete contrast to the noisy gull that shows his greed without remorse. I prefer the elegance of the Great Egret! Is our behavior more like the Great Egret or the noisy Gull? How would the people we live and work with describe us? Should we be afraid of the answer! The formality that our grandparents once lived by that promoted respect, kindness, manners and courtesy seems to be fading away in favor of an unrestricted casualness. Gone are the Sunday hats and gloves our grandmothers wore to church. And that may be a welcomed change for some. But more importantly, also gone are some of the basic values we once lived by of being polite, putting others first and showing respect. Is the way we behave and the way we treat others something that would please God? The lady at the grocery checkout counter would appreciate a kind word. So would all of the many people that we come in contact with each day, but don’t think to speak kindly to….if we speak at all! Sometimes there is a tendency to be less than courteous to someone we know we may never see again. God says that everyone deserves our respect, whether it is earned or not. Our actions say a lot about our character. Our children and grandchildren are learning from our example and they will follow our lead. One smile, one random act of kindness, a show of respect can make someone’s day. It can make our day, too.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Sky's the Limit

The Sky's the Limit
Reflections by the Sea ©
 
Betsy Ore Glass
August 16, 2012


Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. -2 Cor. 13: 11 NIV “The sky’s the limit”…..that’s a saying that has been around a long time; probably since before WWI. It was a phrase that was a symbol of optimism and progress. It is used to describe abundance; no limits as to what one can achieve or strive for and no upper boundaries. Haven’t we encouraged one another from time to time and said these very words, “The sky’s the limit”? I know I have.  The other evening at dusk when these beautiful clouds in today’s photo were forming, we had to pull our car over to the side of the road so we wouldn’t miss the moment. It was a spectacular sky. The colors were rich and they reflected over the water and cast a beautiful orange glow in the atmosphere. But in all the beauty, a storm was taking shape. The lightning was sharp and it burst from the center of the clouds in a way that it surprised us. We didn’t expect it. Sometimes the beauty of something is lost because of something bad that comes along and that is exactly what happened to us. We forgot for a moment all the glory in the sky and instead waited for the next bolt of lightening. It is just our nature sometimes to veer off into the negative when all we need is a nudge, an encouragement, a reminder to stay positive. I have come to realize that everyone needs a lift at times. So often, the rigors of coping with each day are overwhelming. Students are starting another school year with anticipation mixed with fear of new beginnings. New parents are trying to cope with so many “firsts” on precious little sleep. Families are trying to balance work schedules to maximize communication with each other. And seniors seek a life that keeps purpose and usefulness in the forefront. We are all simply doing the best we can. And how wonderful it is when someone comes along side of us and notices our efforts, or notices that the struggle is getting the best of us? All we need some days is a hug, a kind word, a telephone call, acknowledgement in a card or letter, or a bit of time for someone to listen over a cup of coffee. Often times that is all it takes to feel “normal” again. Encouragement means something different to each of us. Most often we try to encourage others the same way we wish to be encouraged and that doesn’t always work. When we rely on the Holy Spirit to direct us, we will be given the right words at the right time to help when the need reveals itself divinely. Remind yourself that “the sky’s the limit” for your own hopes and dreams. If you are thinking them, it is a good chance that God has given them to you to hold on to until they manifest. And be an encourager to others. It is a gift and an honor if someone considers you an “encourager”. When given the chance, do it to give someone a much needed bit of hope for their day. We can ask God to give us eyes like His so we can see when someone needs a lift. The “sky’s the limit” to what we can do in His Name.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pressing Through

Pressing Through

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass

August 09, 2012

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? -Roman 8:31 NIV When I was a little girl playing at the ocean’s edge during our many vacations to the Outer Banks, the big waves would knock me down and I would get back up in time for the next wave to tumble me once more. I wasn’t out far, maybe just up to my knees but the swiftness and force of the water knocked my legs out from under me each time. Many times I’d repeat this over and over until exhaustion set in and I would come ashore and rest before going back out again. Life is like that at times, one wave after another can come against us. We can hardly stand up straight before we get knocked down again with trials, problems, conflicts and demands that won’t go away. If this has happened in your life, you know that the only way to get past these times is to press through. Giving up, “washing our hands of it” or running away won’t give us the victory we seek. Pressing through means to stay with it and never give up. Find another way around the situation. Patience, persistence and determination are all we need to press through to our destiny. God is for us and He is greater than any obstacle or problem we face. Possess a “never give up” attitude. We can reach up to take hold of God’s hand and strength during these times. Having an “overcomer” mentality will keep us on the road to our destiny instead of getting sidetracked by the difficulties we stumble upon on our journey. When the waves of life rise up against us, we must rise up even higher.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sailing

Sailing
Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Glass
August 02, 2012


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. –Proverbs 1:7 NIV Sailing… maybe I have gone once or twice in my life. But I do appreciate the sleekness of the vessel and the fact that the wind is the power that pushes the sails. What I liked most about sailing was the sound of the wind and the flapping of the sails. Yes, it is hard work and I do admit that others were doing that. I was a spectator because I had no knowledge of what to do. So I appreciated the wisdom of those surrounding me that did the work and was appreciative and confidant in their understanding. That allowed me to enjoy the beauty of the moment. The wise sailors on board mapped the navigation which helped us to chart our course. They observed the weather and changing winds while staying clear of any obstacles that could harm us. It was amazing to witness the magnificent power of the wind over the water.

Isn’t that how life is? If we choose to live a Christian life, we have our Bible as our guide. It is our navigation system and scriptures keep us from hitting the obstacles that life throws at us occasionally. The Holy Spirit is the breath that powers us through the fog, storms and high waves. Oh but if everyone chose to live this way…

We were at a little marina last evening. It is specifically for sailboats and a few small ski boats are moored there. Some folks bring their boats in on trailers and drop them in the water. We marveled at the inexperience of one group of people trying to get their boat out of water onto their trailer. They tried and tried and tried. Other people came by to help guide and steer them, but they were not listening. They would do it their way. They blocked traffic and finally someone had to jump in to help and tow the boat, trailer and vehicle off the ramp. A lack of knowledge was their biggest obstacle. Some people get experience the hard way while others listen, look and learn before getting into deep water. The mistakes are often costly.

If the tools are readily available to us, why not use them. If wise people seek friendship with us and want to mentor us on our journey, say yes! Seek the better way. We can weather anything if we know we are anchored in God’s love, protection and wisdom.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Days' End

Days’ End

 

Reflections by the Sea

Betsy Ore Glass

July 26, 2012



Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. - Psalm 27:14 NIV

I was fortunate enough to witness a brilliant, fiery sunset a few days ago. The bright orange, yellow, pink and purples dominated the sky through the last remains of a rain storm. It was worth waiting for….the reward of a stunning sunset after the storm at days’ end. 

Doesn’t life mimic nature at times? The path of life may seem wobbly at times, the worries we carry weigh us down like storm clouds, sorrows may outnumber joys, but more often than not, we get the reward at the end, like a beautiful sunset after a stormy day. Things work out, our worries were for naught, joy finds us again. But not every season is easy. Not every day is challenge free. And because we decide to carry these worries and burdens ourselves instead of surrendering them to God, it is amazing that any of us can walk the journey at all!

Spiritually, we may often tend to ebb and flow like the tide depending on what is going on in our life at the time. Whether it is a tough decision that has to be made, or a troublesome situation that we can’t escape and must walk through, God knows our needs and we are never alone. Oh yes, we often times feel alone, actually isolated in our indecisiveness as we seek godly wisdom for guidance….and it feels like we are in a storm with rain clouds surrounding us. But if that is all we can see, then we have lost sight of God’s Light. When the storms of everyday life are insurmountable, we have to shift our focus back to God. We walk through hard times to learn about our strength and weaknesses. We are given opportunities to either do it “our way” or to seek “Gods way”. It is always wise to seek “His way”. But what if you can’t see the light for the clouds?  Today’s scripture says to “Be strong”.  Read the Bible, seek wise counsel, talk to someone who has walked before you and can shed wisdom and information. But most of all seek the Lord and wait on Him. He will reveal the answers we need in His Perfect Timing. When the clouds drift off and we are left in the brilliant light of God at the end of our day, we realize that He always had the plan and following Him is the only way!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Special Delivery

 
A Special Delivery
Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
July 17, 2012


A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22

A month ago our family reached the highest level of joy we have ever experienced which was a very special delivery with the birth of our first grandson. There is a saying that suggests, A grandchild can fill a space in your heart that you never knew was empty. I think that says it all! We were eagerly anticipating his arrival and had planned for it, but the day he was born, to touch him and see his face, and to know that he was ‘wonderfully and fearfully made’ by our Father in Heaven, was overwhelming.

This child is wanted completely, and loved fully. God has allowed this little wonder to be a part of our family and what a huge responsibility it is. As I looked into his eyes when I held him close for many days, I spoke to him about God and Jesus. I sang the children’s song, “Jesus Loves Me” and personalized it with his name. His parents have named him after his two grandfathers, but they have chosen to call him by a nickname, Jack and so we will too. “Jesus Loves Jack” was our theme song. Jack likes the piano and music and his countenance is especially sweet when he is serenaded or sung to.

This responsibility of being a grandparent is not taken lightly. The Bible doesn’t mention our role as grandparents specifically but it does talk a great deal about parenting. Billy Graham has said that as grandparents we should, “Thank God for the privilege of being grandparents, and ask Him to help us be the best grandparents we can be. May our grandchildren remember not only the good times we’ll give them, but especially our example of faith and love in Christ.” I look back and I first learned of Jesus from my dear grandmother. We put together a scrapbook about Jesus from old church bulletins stuck in the back of her Bible. I still have that scrapbook and it is a treasure. Would there be “Reflections by the Sea” if she has not sown seeds of faith in me as a child? She was my teacher and my friend. It is said that A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher and a little bit best friend”. How true. I can be that!

I know our little Jack was brought to us on the wings of angels and by the love of his precious parents. But I choose to hope that before his arrival from Heaven, the angels stopped off to see my father who gave him a few pointers about baseball that he can use on his journey. So this little boy that has stolen my heart will know about God and Jesus and baseball. Others will have to fill in the blanks about other things. But I’ve got those three things covered (with my husband’s help on the baseball!!).

The miracle of life gets me choked up every time I think about it: the little nose, the pursed lips, the tiny fingers and toes; the tender eyes that give and receive love. To be blessed with a new child to love puts all of life’s priorities in right order and puts everything in proper perspective. The little things don’t matter. We get these moments where as grandparents we are being looked to for wisdom and guidance from the parents and then we are looked up to by the little grandchildren for how to behave, what to say and do. That is the inheritance that we can give…being wise and godly in our leadership over our family. It is a blessing to be chosen for this role and one to cherish and use well.

And if I have spoken too much about grandmothers, let me not close until I have paid tribute to the wonderful grandfathers, of whom it is said, “May have silver in their hair, but have gold in their hearts”. I know that to be true!!

If you are a grandparent, you understand what all the fuss is about. No matter who we are, or what age we are, there is a good chance that whether past or present, we were prayed for, loved, thought of and cherished in only the way our grandparents could do it. Whether it was a biological grandparent or someone special that was placed in our life and acted like a grandparent, I believe we are to be grateful for that and pass it on. The lesson is to love. What we give will be returned to us in abundance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Living in Freedom

Living in Freedom

Reflections by the Sea ©
 
Betsy Ore Glass
July 10, 2012


You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. – Galations 5:13 NIV

Meandering through the downtown streets of Manteo recently made me smile. The streets were lined with so many beautiful and different picket fences. Blue hydrangeas and orange day- lilies bursting through the white pickets. Climbing roses, too. These fences surrounded Victorians homes, cottages, bungalows and more. Everything appeared to have a fresh coat of paint. Front porches were decorated with wicker chairs and steps were lined with pots of flowers. Loving touches here and there like birdbaths, baskets of flowers, window boxes and garden art showed individuality and expression. One house had a starfish in each window. It was a charming afternoon to observe neighbors visiting over the fence, children riding on bikes to the water, vacationers supporting the local economy, restaurants bustling with patrons. But one thing stood out. So many American flags…everywhere! Homes, businesses and the waterfront. Such pride was apparent in the community and for our country!

Independence Day has passed, but the spirit lives on. We are fortunate to have the chance to celebrate our country and the freedom we enjoy. We should always be grateful and never take our freedom for granted. It is a blessing and a gift. We live in a free country where we can express ourselves without fear. There are so many opportunities for learning and doing for those that wish to pursue them. We have freedom to live, work, play and worship wherever we want to. Many people in other countries would give anything to have the choices we have. Our leaders need our prayers more today than at any time in my history. We can’t lose sight of the importance of God in our country. Our leaders need our prayers for godly wisdom as they make decisions that affect each of us and the places we live. Thank you God for the tireless efforts of those that work so hard to help maintain the freedom that we continue to enjoy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Day At The Beach

A Day At The Beach
Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Glass
July 05, 2012


Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. –1 Peter 3:8 NIV


Recently, I dedicated one entire day just to sit by the sea and observe my surroundings. Amazing! The sky was clear blue with lots of cottony clouds. Sea gulls were riding the air currents and many Pelicans traveled south in V- formations. The ocean was deep blue in the distance. The wind blew waves onshore with a pounding crash every few seconds. The sea oats that have turned a rich golden-color, swayed back and forth in the breeze. Some sea oats hung down to the ground, evidence of prior storms that had beaten them low. Children squealed with excitement and surprise when the cold ocean water touched their tender feet. Grownups clustered under umbrellas and tents to keep the hot summer sun at bay. Surf casters kept a curious eye on the angler’s at the nearby pier. The smell of salt air was heavy, as I sat in the shade in my chair, watching the day unfold around me. I lost track of time, as I watched this scene play over and over, all day long.
 
Spending time at the beach, you can’t help but observe the harmonious way that nature exists together. While it is true that storms come and turn the peaceful shore and its habitants upside down for a short time, nature has a resilient way of getting back on its feet. It is reflective of a wonderful, natural balance. It’s God’s Greatness in action.

Harmony is defined as ‘compatibility in opinion and action’. It’s the result of a happy agreement. Things are tranquil and calm. Sometimes living in harmony outside of nature doesn’t seem to come as easy for some of us, as it does for the birds and other critters that live by the sea. Families and friends that live in harmony listen to one another. There is no un- godly talk that exists. They don’t assume the worst in each other. Where there is harmony, there is no room for accusing spirits. Wisdom and knowledge are shared with affection and received with appreciation. We can look around us at the beach and see His Greatness everywhere. Let us invite His Greatness into our hearts and homes and specifically ask for the godly gift of harmony

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Heat Wave

Heat Wave
Reflections by the Sea ©

Betsy Ore Glass
June 27, 2012


The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; -Psalm 121:5 (NIV)
 
The recent heat wave charted record heat as the thermometers have soared. Extremely hot weather can be dangerous, it is definitely unwelcomed and most definitely uncomfortable at the least! On those sweltering days, there doesn’t seem to be a respite from the heat. Swimming pools feel like bath water, umbrellas offer little shade, and trying to stay hydrated seems to be a full time job. Early morning walks on the beach can be the most pleasant time of the day, and a slight evening breeze can be cause for celebration. And yes, to pray that the air conditioning continues to work is something we can do!
We have a thermostat within us. Our temperature is regulated and most everyone’s is 98.6 degrees. If something is out of kilter, if we are sick, it may register higher. That is one of the first things that a medical professional will do to evaluate a patient is to take their temperature. When everything is “normal”, we feel fine. If not, our body reacts with a change in the temperature.
Did you ever stop to think that we have an emotional thermostat as well? If all is well, we are light-hearted, laugh easily, and we are good company for someone. Our mood is steady and neutral and we are at peace with everyone and everything. If we are having our own “heat wave”, if we are angry and worked up, it shows in our emotions and actions. We don’t mean to, but we can allow our bad mood, our frustration, our anger to spill over to spoil the mood for everyone else. A crowd of people can be affected by the actions of just one person. For instance, the boss comes in the office in a bad mood and everyone scatters. But a warm, friendly receptionist can be the first smile of the day and it sets the tone in the office. Not only can this principle apply at the office, it works for home, school and church.
It is within our power to become a godly thermostat wherever we go. We can choose to shake off anything unpleasant and walk into a room with a cheery hello, a compliment, offer a kindness, or give a smile. There are numerous things we can do. One person can make a difference. Sometimes all it takes is for one person to reflect the heart of God and the tide of the day will change.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fog

Fog
Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Glass
June 20, 2012


We live by faith, not by sight. -2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV

A simplified explanation of fog is that it is a cloud at ground level that is caused by moisture in the sky. It doesn’t matter if it is warm or cold outdoors, fog can still be formed. When the fog rolls in at the shore it envelops everything in a blinding mist. Sometimes standing near the ocean’s edge I can hear the sea churning but I can’t see it. I hear the gull’s overhead and the boat engines in the distance, but cannot see them. The weathered cottages behind me all in a row are invisible in the thick soupy fog. It is an eerie feeling to stand in the fog’s shadow that blends into the gray scenery along with everything else. Most times all I can see are my feet and hands in front of me as I take one step at a time. Why is it like this I wonder? Why is our vision clouded so much? As much as we blink our eyes and take a huge swipe with our hands to try to move the fog from us, it seems fruitless. We just have to be patient for the sunlight to shine through to burn off the mist. And it always does.
 
In our spiritual life, the fog can roll in just as intensely as it does at the shore. When we fail to stop seeking God’s Will for us, it opens the door for the enemy to overtake us. We lose our focus. It’s like we are in a fog. Our vision seems clouded with fear and worry and other things that rob us of His joy. God loves us and wants and desires fellowship with us. Trusting Him in faith will surely burn off the cloudy mist that dims our spirit. A foggy day reminds me that our faith is similar. We know things are there, like the sea, boats, and the dunes and even though we can’t see them through the fog, we trust in our knowledge and depend on it. Faith is the same. We can’t see God but we know He is there. We surrender to Him knowing that His way is better than ours. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 NIV

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day



Father’s Day

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 13, 2012

Vacation Harmony

Reflections by the Sea ©
Betsy Ore Glass
June 13, 2012


“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. “- Colossians 3:12-14.


Most schools are out and many families will begin converging to the beach for a week or two of vacation. It is a happy time. A time that has been looked forward to by parents and children alike. There’s much to do. Everyone hoping for sunshine, good beach days, and family fun. Monuments, lighthouses, ice cream and fishing are always on everyone’s to- do list! But with all good intentions there can be a lot of time spent together which can be a blessing or a challenge. That is when everyone will need to be respectful, polite and helpful to ensure unity and harmony, keeping in mind the goal of having a great vacation together.

The definition of unity is harmony between people or groups. It appears to be an easily explained definition but it can be quite hard to live by those simple words. Many times we have to come together in unity to do good work, or to support a cause or to peacefully live in harmony in our own homes or yes, go on vacation together! To live under the umbrella of peace, harmony and unity takes a lot of godly patience. It is said that, “Harmony makes small things grow, and the lack of it makes great things decay”.

When a family or group is living in harmony, there is no strife. Instead there is love, patience, tolerance, understanding and offenses cannot exist. But when unity falls apart and each person feels they are more important than the other, harmony escapes and leaves turmoil in its wake. Within a family, strife can march in the front door and turn a happy family against each other very quickly. Then somebody has to eventually seek peace and with prayer and forgiveness, things can be repaired if everyone is willing. So how do you live in peace and harmony? The Bible gives explicit instructions on what to do. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32