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