Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Ocean

The Ocean

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. - Psalm 145:3 NIV.


The ocean has a hold on me. It is so powerful.  I have a large amount of respect for what it can do when unleashed. The waves that pound the shore in rhythmic fashion remind me of a strong heartbeat…some days beating faster than others.  Going to sit by the edge of the ocean makes everything better. It is as if the waves wash over me and cleanses my soul in quietude and refreshes my mind at the same time. The ocean breathes its salt air on me and I feel wrapped in a blanket of calm. I can think better and there is clarity.  For years I have wondered what was the real secret of the ocean….is it the salt air, the breezes, the serenity, the sound of the waves? I suppose it adds up to all those things. Water has a calming effect on so many of us. To each their own. Some people need to fish, while others surf the waves.  We are all unique but unified in the fact that many of us hunger for the ocean in some way or another. And we all agree on one thing, the ocean is a force that deserves our honor and respect.


God is most worthy of our praise, honor and respect as well. Yet, I don’t think He gets His due. The busyness of our schedules and our fast and furious lives leaves little time for Him. Our mind is where our heart is…or is it the other way around? I think both ways apply. God seems to get the leftovers at times. “Oh I’ll get to God after everything else is done and I can relax and really focus”….haven’t we all said that?  We can pray or talk to God anywhere….driving in the car, vacuuming the floor, pulling weeds, walking the beach. We are told to pray continually (I Thess. 5: 17). Some times my talking to God turns into prayer and then back to talking again…..I don’t really know the difference. He deserves to be exalted in our lives. And to be appreciated and for us to allow Him to guide us in His Way and His Will. God’s power and mightiness are so much greater than anything we can imagine. While our footprints along the ocean’s edge may get washed away with the tide, our memories of our time with God will be forever written in Heaven and our heart.





Sunday, September 15, 2013

Walking through Life

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose  -Romans 8:28 ESV


My morning routine includes a walk on most days. The pace is just right and sometimes I realize the walk is over before I know it. Being deep in thought, I suppose the walk has become habit without a lot of concentration on my part.  But that one time I stub my toe or trip over something reminds me to pay attention and not take things for granted.  Likewise, just when we feel like we have the world by a string, something comes out of nowhere to dash our hopes and we are left with disappointment. It is disheartening to feel that our dreams are slipping away. That our hopes have aborted us and we sit alone in disillusion. Whether it is a sore toe or one of life’s lessons, both hurt!


What is the definition for disappointment? It is the failure to fulfill our expectations. Better said, disappointment is the gap that exists between expectation and reality. It has happened to all of us. This past week I had to sit down and cope with several disappointments. They can come so suddenly that it sucks the breath out of you. No, nothing devastating, just setbacks that will turn around for good as they always have. But don’t we set our minds to the way we think things should play out and when they don’t we find ourselves stunned!


Sometimes I have really questioned my heart, my thoughts, my beliefs, and my faith. Just because I write an inspirational column doesn’t set me apart or give me immunity from low valleys in life. In fact, I am convinced sometimes that God purposely allows difficulties so I will have something to write about!! God has his sense of humor and I try to keep mine too! Seriously, when in the depths of the valley, it does feel like we are all alone. Then God sends us help through a scripture, a friend or someone in passing that lets us know that He has us covered. As I said this week, God will make it work out. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but we can trust Him. And that we must do!


What is the opposite of disappointment? Perhaps we could include words like success, blessing, happiness, encouragement, help, comfort and more. So how do we climb out of disappointment into blessing? The simplest way is not focus on defeat or disappointment but look over it, beyond it. By focusing on our lack, we won’t see the abundance on the other side. I know this is hard. Frustration mounts as time goes by, but God does have the last word. Surrendering our situation to Him instead of circling our problems and reliving them over and over will bring us up and over into God’s grace and favor a lot quicker!!



Wednesday, September 11, 2013



Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
September 11, 2013

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. -Matthew 6:33 ESV

I look out my window as I write today and see flowers blowing in the breeze. I love it and am so pleased that good watering and fertilizing have produced amazing flowers and foliage to enjoy. As with anything, it takes a mixture of things, a balance of ingredients to make something good. The sun, the rains, good soil, plant food and proper pruning all play a part in a beautiful end result. What is balance? It is described as a state of equilibrium; an equal distribution. When things run aground, it is usually because something is out of balance. I have heard it said that we should live daily with these equal parts: prayer, family, work and play. The opposite of that is to be imbalanced. If you spend too much time on one, the others will become neglected and suffer. Think of a garden bench. If one leg was shorter or longer than the others the bench would be lopsided. It would then have little value. Translate that to everyday life. If the student that watches TV after school instead of doing homework doesn’t change, he will lose his footing in class. When the workaholic leaves home early and comes back late, he misses out on family time that cannot be reclaimed and so on. We should work hard and play hard, and not confuse the two!! There is a true, deep pleasure and residing happiness that comes when things are in harmony. When our hearts are filled with the goodness of the Lord and we stand sheltered by Him, balance is easier to obtain. That is how it was meant to be. God gave many of us the ability to laugh, to have fun, to sing and clap. He gave us a mind so we could apply ourselves in the workplace or at home for the good of our family. He taught us to pray and He has an open door policy! And many of us have loved ones we cherish that bring richness to our life. The key to keeping our balance is knowing when we have lost it, but He can help us find it, if we seek Him and are willing.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Changing Landscape

Changing Landscape

But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
-Isaiah 43:18-19

The next season is upon us. The sea oats will be no more than golden stalks in a few weeks. Grasses will turn brown as the days grow shorter. The summer haze of humidity will be chased away by blue sky and fall breezes. It is one of my favorite times of the year.

Nothing stays the same. Haven’t you heard that said? And oh, how true it is. When things are good, don’t we silently wish for time to stand still so we can savor those great times? And when things get rough, the getting gets tough and abundance is as fleeting as a cloud. Those are the moments we want to get through in a hurry. There is something to learn in good times and bad.

What I thought was a totally devastating change was when we moved to another city far from anything familiar. I simply couldn’t accept it and struggled to get over it. And then a few years later, when a sickness required specialists and treatment, I realized God had moved us to the right city, for the right care, at the right time. After that, I learned to not second guess God and just follow Him.  God moved us again and when my husband took ill, God made sure just the right doctor was on call that day in the ER to do a delicate procedure that he was an expert at. Again, God came through. This accounting of God’s Presence in our lives has played out again and again. We are not special. We are not “head of the class”. We are simply His Children. Now there are more changes ahead.  Our son, our daughter in law and precious grandson are relocating in a few weeks to be near us from another state. I know this is God ordained. The time is right. Their house is sold, the job is secured and their new house is waiting for them. This is a sweet season we are entering and we feel blessed.  While nothing stays the same, there is always change to contend with. We have to take it all, both the good and the bad, while never hesitating to root our faith in Him just like those sea oats are rooted in the sand. We sway back and forth and endure everything without ever breaking. Doubts and fear can cloud our vision and cause us to bend far, but faith sustains us in the changing landscape ahead, if we allow it. God is faithful especially when we are.