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.