Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Turn It Around

Turn It Around


Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

-Isaiah 30:18 NIV


It has always been fun for our family to wrap up the day by making a trip to the docks to see what the deep sea fishing boats have brought in. With every boat that leaves the marina and heads out to sea, it must at some point turn around and come back at the end of the journey. It's exciting to stand at the edge of the water watching the activity of the boats coming back into the marina, each taking their turn as only one can enter the opening at a time. Occasionally they will wave and we will wave back. The fishermen are dressed warmly and look tired and tanned, but content. People gather around to hear the days stories of the sea.  A chill in the air is felt as the warm sun begins to fade on the day. The helpers scurry around with hoses to wash the salt spray n off the boats and to clean the decks in preparation for tomorrow.


I went deep sea fishing once. Yes, I say once. I was hoping that the captain would turn it around and take me back to land ,which I was sure would cure my seasickness. Yes, I am one of those people!! But at least I have been able to capture some of the excitement of the sport from the docks at days' end since then.


This week there has been a song in my heart. It is about asking God to turn things around. To open the doors of heaven and pour our blessings. Yes, that has been my prayer this week, as well.   The upcoming change of season has always been a call, a reminder if you will, to clean things up and sweep out the door anything that is not of God. In essence, its an act of faith to come closer to God.  Old sin habits, old ways of thinking and in general, an attitude that is fruitless is of no benefit to anyone and is useless to God. We have to be willing to take the first step to “turn it around” . When we humble ourselves before Him with our repentant heart, He willingly receives us.  We are coming into the season of harvest. God has so much to give us, so much to offer us. God is a God who restores. He heals. He forgives. He performs miracles. He pulls us up and over.  He is gracious.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Another New Day

Another New Day

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

–Psalm 118:24 NKJV

Each day is full of possibilities. We may not know where we are headed but we can trust God to get us there!  When we were little kids piled into my parents’ station wagon en route to another beach vacation, part of the great anticipation was in the planning. How would we spend our time? We would probably mix some beach time with a bit of history and visit a landmark or two;  go out to a restaurant on our last night and definitely see if we could build the biggest sandcastle ever! Our excitement was equaled with our unending energy and joy.

Wouldn’t it be great if every day were like this? Waking up with enthusiasm and joy for what may come! It is all in the attitude. The scripture today says we should rejoice. Each day is a gift.  Sure, some days are harder than others but our outlook amazingly controls the outcome. It is said that "Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day." We are told not to complain.  Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation”. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. Philippians 2:14-15 NIV

Did you know that you can convey an attitude without saying a word? Body language can often say more than words. A sigh, rolling of the eyes, walking away when someone is talking, smirks, it all adds up.  Our disposition, whether spoken or not, is actually a mirror reflection of what lives inside our heart. It is not just another day.  The day can be a blessing if we allow it. A final thoughtattitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?


Saturday, April 20, 2013

 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.
 -James 3:3-5a NIV
The power of the tongue is awesome. Sometimes it is used for good and sometimes not.  Think about it. If a small rudder can move a big ship, I suppose if we had a rudder, it would be our tongue. A prepared and experienced pilot will have his charts out and studied before he sets sail. Before he engages his rudder, he knows the places to avoid and charts a safe course for his ship. We aren’t always so prepared when it comes to what we say. Sometimes our mouth starts speaking and before long, we find ourselves in a heap of trouble after having offended someone, being curt, making assumptions and more. One thing for sure though, we have to go where our tongue takes us. How often do we have to clean up the messes we have made with our mouth! It has happened to all of us. So many tidbits of wisdom come to mind. “Think before you speak and if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  In our everyday life we are given a choice of how to react or speak in almost every situation. Just take a moment and think about what to say first. Some of our choices may have long lasting effects, so it is important to think things through and not speak or react in haste. Offenses are often carried around for years like old luggage and some even carry grudges to their death and it was all because of a few spoken words. So often a little prayer helps. Just saying, “Please God, give me the right words” is all that is needed to change a possible negative outcome into a positive one. Today, we have to try to use our mouths for good. To uplift, build, encourage, fortify and boost ourselves and one another. It is a good time to check our rudder to be sure we are heading in the right direction. God tries to nudge us when we get off course and it is up to us to remember Him in all we say and do.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013




Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

-Matthew 19:26 NIV



When our children were small we definitely had to set limits for them. At the beach, they wanted to wander off and take walks. We either had to go with them or when they got older we would say, “You can walk to the pier and then turn around and come back.” We would set limits based on what we knew and what we could see. Later, they understood limits were used to define what they could and could not do. As parents, there is no limit to our love for our children and because of that, we want to steer them in a good direction and down right path that will help them and not hurt them.

Limits and boundaries are great tools in raising children, establishing order in our lives and in the world, but not in our spiritual life.  Have you ever set limits on what God can do in your prayers only to find out that He blesses you more abundantly that you could imagine?  Faith is allowing God to do it His Way without the limits and obstacles we place in front of Him. It is simple really. We want to always be the one behind the wheel, steering by ourselves when we should defer to Him. Sometimes I think we actually hinder ourselves with our limited thoughts when we should surrender to Him, the one who knows no limits. Each time I have done that, I have realized that God delights in surprising me and giving me so much more than I ever expected. God’s love for us is limitless and so is His grace and mercy. He wants to bless us beyond and above all our expectations

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Taking Steps

Taking StepsReflections by the Sea © Betsy Glass
April 02, 2013
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. -Proverbs 16:9 NIVInside each of us are our dreams, hopes, desires and wishes. I love talking to little children about their dreams. They are so enthusiastic when they share their thoughts. There is a fresh innocence to their words that tumble so freely from their hearts. My little grandson is standing up on his own and taking a step here and there. So cute to watch his new rise of independence! Before long, the high school seniors will be preparing for graduation as a new path unfolds in front of them. Many decisions await them about how will be ready to put their education to use as they seek their place in the world. But dreams aren’t just for the young. Changing careers, lifestyles or even moving from one place to another are all part of the process of redesigning ones’ life. But whatever it is that we feel we are “called” to do or pursue, we must always check with God first. It is really His Plan for us that we should be following rather than going out on our own. I know this for sure. If we are operating within His Plan, His Umbrella of Protection, then we are on the right path. We may stumble and fall, we may even fail, but it is with the knowledge that sometimes God takes us down certain roads to build up our faith, to humble or to strengthen us before we can go further. He is constantly encouraging and teaching us through the daily experiences we encounter. But, what if nothing is happening? Maybe we don’t know if we are in God’s Plan or not. In fact, we may have put our dreams on hold for so long, we have given up. That is when we take those first steps. Martin Luther King, Jr. is quoted as saying, “Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” It is important to follow up our hopes and dreams with action. We can trust God to open the doors for us if we are obedient and walking a godly path. He will surely close doors for us and redirect us if we get off course. It is as if He is taking us by the hand. We just have to trust Him.