Betsy Ore Glass: Blog https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog en-us (C) Betsy Ore Glass betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Sun, 21 Nov 2021 17:15:00 GMT Sun, 21 Nov 2021 17:15:00 GMT https://www.betsyoreglass.com/img/s/v-12/u699283023-o157293155-50.jpg Betsy Ore Glass: Blog https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog 98 120 Thanksgiving https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/11/thanksgiving  

O Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. 

-Psalm 107:1 

Thanksgiving is the time of year that makes me think of simpler times. I think of the first Thanksgiving where the history books say the menu included wild turkey, pumpkin and grains from Indian corn.  The first Thanksgiving was intended not only as a celebration of the harvest, but as a day of prayer as well to thank God for the crops.  It is written that we should hem our blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. When the women of that time made their long hand-sown dresses, I wonder if they thought of their blessings with every stitch they sewed. 

Their world was probably as complex to them as ours seems to us today. While the times have changed from a primitive world to a more modern one, the meaning of Thanksgiving has never changed.  Thanksgiving is nationally honored in our country and is an official holiday. The origin of the word “holiday” comes from the phrase “holy day”. That is a good reminder to celebrate our holidays with reverence. But how do you do that, starting with Thanksgiving? Maybe you have never said a blessing over a meal before, or maybe you will be in a large crowd and are uncomfortable praying out loud. That is okay. Perhaps you can read scripture from the Bible or find a God-inspired Thanksgiving poem from the bookshelf to read. Try sharing a collaborative prayer where everyone takes a turn at the table saying one thing they are thankful to God for. Perhaps you could enjoy taking a walk on the beach to see God's beauty while giving thanks to Him in private. Whatever the action, I believe God would want to be a part of our Thanksgiving holiday to make it more of a holy day. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/11/thanksgiving Sun, 21 Nov 2021 17:15:01 GMT
The Light https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/11/the-light  

The LightThe Light

 

I Am the Light of the World. Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 

 

I recently took this photo of an east coast sunrise and I knew In the quick moments of early morning light that God must be showing off his beauty. My short walk to the beach was timed perfectly and there with many other folks there too. We snapped photo after photo of the brilliance displayed over the horizon. And within a few moments, it was gone, faded into the early morning misty fog and cloudy haze. 

We are given moments in conversation that are brief when we can share the Light of Jesus with others, thereby turning their darkness into light. But we are hesitant, thinking we can’t hold our own in a conversation so important More often than not, we let those moments go by without sharing Jesus. We feel the tug, the urgency, the anointing, but still we wrestle about how to talk about Jesus and before long, like the brilliant sunrise, the moment has passed.

Be assured, we don’t have to  exhibit scholarly vocabulary. We don’t have to have all the answers. Maybe we just share our story of how Jesus met us that day and how He has impacted our life. It is that simple. A few weeks ago I drove over to a quiet beach. Just to look out the window and see what’s going on. The police had gathered amongst a crowd of people. I got out and asked what was happening. A dog was chasing a seagull and went into the water and he went far. Too far. No one could see him anymore. The worst was feared. The owner of the dog was crying. “God, what would you have me do?”, I asked. Behind me on the bench was the crying woman. I went to her and asked if I could pray with her. She sobbed and said yes. Other people gathered around us holding hands and some kneeled. We prayed that God would give this pup supernatural strength to return to us and to be above water long enough to be rescued. She was grateful for the prayers. It was clear that God put me in the right place at the right time. I don’t know what happened to the dog but I know that God knows. With my faith, I followed the urge to turn towards that beach road that day when I had so many other things to do. And once there, God used me to pray. It was a divine appointment. Bring light where you can.  Help share the gospel when you can.  If we are willing to be used by Him, He will call upon us. It is our calling. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/11/the-light Thu, 18 Nov 2021 05:15:00 GMT
Quiet Time https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/11/quiet-time  

ShadeShade

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! -Psalm 150:6

Make time for it. Schedule it on your calendar if you must. Walk the beach alone. Find a bench in the park. There are a number of things you can do to find quiet time. Why is it so important? It is a time to recharge and it is mentally healthy to clear your mind of all things unimportant. Busy schedules, commutes to work, radio and television blaring gives little time to just sitting still for a while in peaceful solitude. Embracing those quiet moments are a time of reflection and self-evaluation. A bit of peace and tranquility can go a long way in getting our attitudes in alignment with God. It is in those times of quiet that we can talk to God and He can talk to us. Maybe a scripture will come to mind or a solution will reveal itself for a problem that has been consuming us. Often times, my quietness is just praising and being grateful. My grandson loves to hear that he has done a good job. We all like to hear that. And so it is with God too. Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. Psalm 147:1 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/11/quiet-time Fri, 12 Nov 2021 03:12:10 GMT
November https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/11/november  

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 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 weeks 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 a few weeks away, 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, Iwill ask today that God use me to be a blessing to someone He puts in my path. Maybe that can be your prayer too. 

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/11/november Thu, 04 Nov 2021 19:47:41 GMT
Surf Casting https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/10/Sur Surf CastingSurf Casting

 

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

-Psalm 20:4 NIV

There is a quote that says, “Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm”. Surf casters along the beach seem to have an abundance of enthusiasm. But to go with it, they have their rod and reel, the right tackle, the perfect line weight and some bait, too. Surf casting has been a long loved sport. Particularly, because it doesn’t require the expense and maintenance of a boat, it can be done anytime of day and anytime of the year. The seasoned angler will advise beginners to cast their lines near dawn or dusk, just before the high tide for best results. Having all the best fishing equipment is good, but being able to cast a line a long distance into the surf is where the experienced angler’s skill gives him or her the advantage.  

The word ‘enthusiasm’ comes from the Greek work entheos. It means that God is in us. We all have experienced times when we were so excited about something, we felt like we were floating on air. Nothing else mattered. It was as if we were supernaturally lifted on high with hope, anticipation and excitement. To be enthused about something is infectious. Our happiness and energy spreads over to others. Joy fills the air and we know we are in God’s presence. Does enthusiasm exist in us today? Is our passion evident to others? Do we even have a passion? Get excited about something. If we put our whole hearts into a project, a mission, a goal or a dream, God will give  us the enthusiasm to keep us going in the tough times. If we think like God does, we will think big, dream big and expect to be blessed big.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/10/Sur Wed, 20 Oct 2021 20:00:45 GMT
Pressing Through https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/10/pressing-through  

 

 

Pressing ThroughPressing Through

 

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.  

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/10/pressing-through Wed, 20 Oct 2021 19:56:10 GMT
Listening https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/10/listening  

 

 

FiltersFilters


Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. 

-Proverbs 23:19 NIV

I love the sounds of the beach! The crashing waves, the gulls sqwaking overhead. The jingle of shells in my pocket and the squeals of children playing by the shore. Even the sound of a squeeky back door that slams in the wind is music to my ears. A drippy outdoor shower is even calming to me. This time of year especially, there is the sound of the sea oats as they rustle together in the fall breezes.  Many times a week, I put my hand into a bowl of  assorted shells and let them fall from my fingers back into the bowl.  Sometimes I think the wind has the sweetest sound as it blows between the old cottages and flaps a loose window shutter. It all feels like home to me.

I try to remain alert to the things around me and to listen to the Holy Spirit within me. For the last few weeks, the name of a old friend that I had lost touch with kept coming back to me, particularly in my morning prayer time. Over and over again. Day after day. I have learned that when God brings about a person like this, He wants me to pray for them as an intercessor. I prayed daily for God to meet my friend's needs and to surround her with angels for whatever she was going through. This week, the feeling was too overwhelming to ignore. Not only did I pray for her, I decided to try to find her. With the help of the internet, I did find my friend and called her. After 12 years, it was a wonderful reunion. It seemed like old times. She did in fact have things occuring in her life that needed prayer including two recent surgeries and more. The lesson is to be alert and listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. God talks to us through the Holy Spirit. Then just this past week, the names of an older couple in our family came to me in my prayer time. I asked God to protect them as that was the feeling I was receiving. I just learned that they were in a fender-bender but they were okay.  Perhaps it would have been worse if prayers had not surrounded them. Listen for the voice of God. Don't think it is a coincidence when the name of someone comes to mind more than once. Instead, get on your knees and lift up a prayer on their behalf. Stand in the gap for them. It may be your prayers that make a difference in their life.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/10/listening Wed, 13 Oct 2021 21:49:03 GMT
Harvest https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/10/harvest  

November

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. -1 Corinthians 3:6-7 NIV

 

A Saturday ride out to a pumpkin patch seems to kick off the season for me. The cooler temperatures are allowing summer flowers to surge in color once more before the first frost arrives. Nor’easters blow in and out and there is the thought about whether it is time or not to light the fireplace yet. Gardeners have canned and frozen the summer vegetables in time to make a hearty soup to ward off the fall chill. The gardeners’ planning and planting in spring, along with the watering and fertilizing of summer has most likely provided a wonderful harvest to carry them through the winter.

 

I read something so profound this week. It was about seeking God’s Will. There are many of us that sit idle with good intentions of waiting for God to exercise His Will over our lives. I have done that often and maybe you have too. The author said, “That is where we can get into trouble”. He used the garden as an example. You can imagine that if a gardener tilled the soil and left it bare without planting seeds, weeds were sprout and take over. There would be no rows of vegetables, just pesky weeds and definitely no harvest of good things to eat. But when the gardener plants his seeds in the ground and takes care to water and fertilize, there is a wonderful chance he will have a bountiful harvest. The point is that God gives us the ability to plant seeds and we should. We often wait for Him to do something and He is waiting for us!  It is up to us to plan, prepare the soil and plant in anticipation of a harvest. God will do the rest. We have to do our part. When we sit alone and wonder why things haven’t happened that we have prayed for, we may ask ourselves if we have sown any seeds.  To have good health, one must take care of our bodies. To have prosperity, one must be willing to work and save.  It is not enough to give it all to God to fix or make better for us if we aren’t willing to start the process first by sowing seeds in faith. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/10/harvest Thu, 07 Oct 2021 23:49:30 GMT
October https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/9/october  

 

GoldenrodGoldenrod

 

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

–Psalm 28:7 NIV

 

October is a wonderful time to be at the beach in my opinion. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler. Goldenrod is in full bloom with its mustard colored flowers growing wild here and there. Sea oats look rich in a golden amber hue as they wave back and forth on the dunes in the ocean breezes.  Salt spray covers everything. Where tourists once sunbathed on the summer beaches, large flocks of pelicans and gulls have reclaimed those places as their own again. It is sweatshirt weather on most mornings. Pots of seafood chowders and stews are put on simmer all day for early autumn suppers to stave off the evening chill. October spells pure joy to me as it is the one month that everything seems to be just perfect at the beach. 

 

For a while, I have collected everything I could find with the word “joy” written on it. Tree ornaments, plaques, magnets and more. I use these little messages throughout my home as a daily reminder to stay in joy and not complain or find fault with myself or others. I have learned that it doesn’t take much to get hooked into the emotion of complaining and grumpiness and that is a trap the enemy uses to steal our joy. We have to be on guard against this happening. My favorite definition of joy is “the expression or display of glad feelings”. Being filled with joy can cause us to want to do and share good things for those around us. It is like having a new song on the inside of us. When we can, I think we are supposed to spread our joy outward and see how God uses it to make positive changes in our lives and the lives of others.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/9/october Thu, 30 Sep 2021 19:01:05 GMT
The Window https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/9/the-window  

But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. -Matthew 13:16 ESV

Looking through a window I see opportunity, a variety of shapes and colors. It stirs the adventure up in me to see beyond my four walls. What’s going on out there? Is the day bright and sunny or it is a cloud streaked sky with vibrant colors reflecting off the sun? My glance through the window is anticipatory whether I am looking in or out. 

That same setting can conjure up different reactions depending on who is doing the looking. Maybe someone only sees the smudges on a dirty glass and can’t see beyond. Maybe the view is not pleasing to the looker and the experience is over before it began!  Perhaps the view is the same but their perspective is different. They are coming from a different place in life where their thoughts and experiences give them another vision. 

That is how it is today.  It seems that many of us are looking at the same things and we see them differently. There are so many topics of discussion and division today. I heard someone say that it is the lens we use to look that forms our opinion. Yes, yes, that is true. If our lens is through God’s vision and His perspective we will have one view and if we have a man’s view of things, we don’t have that expanded holy vision from God and our sight can be limited. If our beliefs are centered around this world and the things of it we need a bigger vision.Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! -Isaiah 5:21 ESV God only wants what is best for us and when we surrender to Him, He protects us. He gives us holy wisdom about some of the decisions facing us today.  Someone asked me recently who do I trust? I said I trust Jesus. He has never led me astray yet. My prayer is that He will give me the eyes to see and the ears to hear so I can seek His Will.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/9/the-window Mon, 20 Sep 2021 16:02:16 GMT
The Dinner Table https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/9/the-dinner-table  

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.  -Matthew 18:20 ESV

The dinner table is the heart of the family. Not only meals are served there but important conversations are had. It is where manners and life lessons are learned. The family bonds and shares together. Everyone learns to listen. The shy learn to speak. There is time for storytelling and laughter. Homework can happen at the table along with craft projects. Tea time and coffee are had at the table and visitors pull up a chair to talk and stay a while. It is a safe place. 

If phones are not silenced, the TV turned off or devices not shut down, the family time can suffer. That important conversation of catching up with each other is often missed. I loved growing up and eating at our little table. Mother would cook, I’d set the table. Daddy got the extra big iced tea glass with painted flowers and swirls around it. We’d talk. It was the beginning of our share time. I would chatter on and Mother listened, giving me an occasional nod of approval if I said something she liked. When Daddy came home we were happy to hear about his day. He had to commute over an hour to work each day. He always had something to say. He was out in the “big world” and we loved hearing about it. We didn’t have devices back then to beep and chime at us to distract our time together and I am glad for it. 

The kitchen table is also a place, most importantly, to introduce the family to devotions and prayer. It doesn’t have to be a big ritualistic production. It is nothing to fear. It is simply a chance to make God a part of the family where talking or praying out loud to Him makes Him approachable, and it teaches the young children that a relationship with God is imperative. Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6 ESV

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/9/the-dinner-table Thu, 16 Sep 2021 15:09:42 GMT
Reflecting https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/9/reflecting
 

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NIV)

One day I decided to get creative with my new camera. The afternoon sun was fading fast and there was little light left. Everyone was taking straight on photos of the lighthouse and it was crowded. I couldn’t get a good shot. Then I turned around to leave and there it was…the reflection of the lighthouse in the beveled glass of the old light keepers house. It was perfect and unusual. The chance to take this photo was passing quickly, but I captured it satisfactorily and it has turned out to be one of my favorites. Sometimes the reflection can be more interesting than the subject as I found out that afternoon. We reflect to others what is on the inside of us. But sometimes it takes another person to see us for who we are for us to make some positive changes.

There were several birthdays this month that we remembered in our family. Birthdays can be a time for looking ahead and also of looking back. My family has come to expect my special two-part birthday question that I ask which is…..”What is it that you are most proud of accomplishing in this past year and what are you looking forward to in the coming year”? They used to panic and give me a quick answer but now, I see that some of them actually prepare an answer and are proud to share their achievements and goals. The occasion to be blessed with another year of life can be a time of remembering and reflecting. For me, I try to learn something new each year and then try to pass on what I have learned. I like to sometimes be the student and sometimes be the teacher.  We are never too old to stop learning and growing. That applies also to our spirituality too. While we work hard for certifications, degrees and diplomas to show we are accomplished, there is the side to us that should also be growing spiritually. It would be wishful thinking if we could possibly inherit a deep spirituality from our Christian parents or relatives. We can’t get it by osmosis! It takes sitting down with God in the quiet and repenting as we reflect over our life and maybe where we have come up short. It is about asking God for forgiveness while we simultaneously forgive others.  Sometimes we need to forgive ourselves.  God is a God of love and compassion. He wants us to grow into a deeper relationship with Him. Like the scripture says, He is the vine and we are the branches. A relationship with God is more than church on Sunday, it is communicating every day. I shyly admit it was later in life that I learned that daily prayer was so important. To pray about everything and everyone and every situation I found myself in. Reflecting back on one’s life can be so eye-opening. In the rear-view mirror we will either find we have come a very long way or we will learn we have a long road ahead of us. Either way, we should consider ourselves blessed to be on the right road, following God, looking ahead with hope and expectation.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/9/reflecting Tue, 07 Sep 2021 20:09:55 GMT
Hope https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/9/hope Little OnesLittle Ones

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. –Psalm 25:4-5 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. 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. 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   

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/9/hope Thu, 02 Sep 2021 17:03:50 GMT
School https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/8/school  

AutumnAutumn For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways –Psalm 91:11 NIV

It is that time again. Summer is coming to a close and it is time to buckle down for a new school year. I remember fondly the days of trying to understand my kids’ bus schedule, shopping for their back to school clothes, getting them fresh haircuts and packing their new backpacks with all the essentials. In my memory forever is the day we drove away from college, leaving our freshman daughter behind. I was more traumatized than she was!  My neighbor put her oldest child in first grade this week. I understood her tears. These rites of passage tug at the heart. 

It won’t be long and fall pumpkins will appear on doorsteps, the weather will chill and first report cards will be issued. Soon, refrigerators will be plastered with artwork from the little ones; and older students will start science projects with boiling lava that will dominate the dining room table for weeks. Chorus concerts and school plays will be added to the calendar, too. It goes by fast. W. B. Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”. How true! We want our children to be on fire to learn. To press forward with enthusiasm at their new discoveries and to spark an interest that develops into a lifelong passion. We as parents must instill in our children the knowledge that school is a place of opportunity and adventure. A place to learn, discover and try new things on for size. Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. –Proverbs 23:12 NIV

But it is sometimes hard to let our children leave the nest for the big world. I wish I knew then what I know now. We can pray for God’s Protection over our children all day and all night. Now not a day goes by that I don’t ask God to watch over my children and their families.  Psalm 91 is a Psalm of Protection and sometimes that is what I will read as my prayer for them. It is just as important as a good breakfast, getting to school on time and doing homework….in fact, it is vital that God hears our prayers for them asking that no weapon formed against our children will prosper. There will be bumps on the knees, visits to the clinic, hurt feelings and the occasional brush with the class bully, but it is our children’s hearts and minds that we are praying for, as well as their physical protection. And we might add to our prayers a blessing for the teachers. They are truly special people with a heart for our children and education. They deserve our appreciation, gratitude and support for all they do as teachers and important role-models.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/8/school Thu, 26 Aug 2021 15:28:04 GMT
The Unexpected https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/8/the-unexpected

 

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

 Many of us are planners and live by our calendars. We know where we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to be doing on any given day. With all of our organization and planning many of us consider ourselves to be flexible and adaptable when we have unexpected things happen. Maybe a guest stays for dinner or we have to cancel our plans to watch a sick grandchild so their parents can go to work are just a few examples. Lunch with a friend has to be rescheduled for another time or weather has spoiled our day at the beach. In the scope of life, these things are very minor and can be figured out without any problem.

But some things happen that are truly unexpected and seem to come out of nowhere.  Major things. Life changing events. An accident, getting fired from a job you desperately need, the death of a loved one, a betrayal. We are left stunned and searching for answers. It is at these times that we are most likely to question our faith. “How could you God?  “Why this?” “Where are you God?” “Why did you let this happen?”  I know that there have been occasions in my life I have asked these questions. And then I am reminded in Isaiah 55 the Bible says “my ways are not His ways”. And I know that God does not owe me an explanation of anything He does but my mind tricks me to think if I could make sense of it, maybe I could accept it better. But many times, we have no answers and can’t go anywhere to get the answers. Things just happen. Life and death happens.  In those alone times of searching for understanding we must know we are not abandoned. In Isaiah the Bible says this in chapter 41 verse 10: Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. And then in Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet and light for my path. The Bible and prayer are where we can find the will of God for our lives in all the unexpected circumstances and chaos that takes us by surprise. God also makes a promise in Psalm 12:8: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will guide you with my eye. He is our rock and foundation no matter what!! Tuck these scriptures in your heart in case you need to them one day. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/8/the-unexpected Thu, 19 Aug 2021 20:03:21 GMT
Pelican https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/8/pelican  

 

WatchingWatching
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
 for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.

Proverbs 3: 25-26
 

The Pelican is most graceful in flight but can be a little awkward on land. They are magnificent birds to watch as they circle around in large numbers in search of food.  Flying high above the water, plunge diving in the sea from heights of up to 60 to 70 feet, the impact is cushioned by the air sacs just beneath their skin. With their pouch located under the bill, they are capable of holding large amounts of fish and water for quite some time. It is known that the Pelican requires up to 4 pounds of fish a day. The Pelican was once thought to be a threat to commercial fisherman because of their fish consumption but that is no longer the case today. Their diet consists of mullet, minnows and menhaden and other unimportant fish to the commercial fishing industry.  The Brown Pelican is the species that mostly inhabits the Atlantic Coast. They normally nest on the ground or in the tops of trees. At one time they were on the endangered species list but fortunately there is an abundance of Pelicans now. 

 

Watching Pelicans go about their daily activities leaves me with the impression that they are very confident. They know what they should do, they do it and they expect a positive result. Is confidence learned or taught? Maybe it is a combination of both. So many things are tied to confidence, like self-esteem, leadership and success. When we try something new, our confidence level may not be as high, but as we do it over and over again, we gain that feeling of accomplishment that translates into satisfaction. It’s important that we get this right because developing confidence and being aware of it, or the lack of it, can be at the core of so many decisions and outcomes in our life. Offering encouragement to chase a dream or realize a goal is something we can all do in our relationships. It is something we can do for ourselves. Positive self -talk will carry us far. Taking the first step to building confidence is to give our fears to God and to ask for His strength to flow through us. Knowing that God is by our side, what is it that we can do today that we were afraid to do yesterday?

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/8/pelican Thu, 12 Aug 2021 15:33:39 GMT
Summer Heat https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/8/summer-heat  

Autumn FlowersAutumn Flowers Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. – 2 Cor. 1:3-4 ESV

It’s draining. Even stifling at times. The summer heat can be oppressive with no relief in sight. It is however the natural order of things. When winter comes we will be complaining probably of the cold and wishing to trade it all for a hot summers’ day!!  My backyard critters need a break so they get a little water and some peanuts from me so they don’t have to work so hard for their food. It appears a whole community of squirrels has now gotten the news and are waiting for me each morning for their handout. The birds aren’t singing as much in this heat but they are appreciative of the variety of seed we offer and the summer heat has done nothing to dull the color of their brilliant feathers. And everyone is getting along in harmony. We must consider ourselves very blessed. The sun provides life and light to us no matter how high our thermometers register. Gardens are flourishing with harvest now, as are cutting flowers in full bloom. Sprinklers are going early in the day to give lawns a nourishing drink. 

We are rich in God’s blessings if we choose to see them. Is everything beautiful and perfect? No. But we have been given the eyes to see beauty if our heart allows us to.  God delivers, He hears us, He wants to guide and comfort us. Whatever the situation is, whatever problem or challenge we are facing, He is the answer. He can change our mindset from complaining to rejoicing and being grateful. When it is hot, we should be glad most of us has a cool place we can go. If we are thirsty, many of us can access a cool drink. It’s the little things. It starts with us. Finding joy in all things Always be full of joy. Never stop praying.  Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ERV

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/8/summer-heat Thu, 05 Aug 2021 14:28:51 GMT
Watching https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/7/watching  

T WaitingWaiting herefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

–Colossians 3:12 NIV

All across the beach and on docks, there are birds just sitting and watching. On the bridges, they will line up on the rails, facing the same direction. Maybe they are sunning themselves or standing against the wind. Whatever they are doing, they are doing it together and in harmony.

When our lives are so busy that we don’t have the time to observe around us, it is time to slow down the pace. We can be used by God to do service for Him but first we have to see where there is a need. Are the elderly neighbors okay? Maybe the mother at the grocery store fumbling with change to buy milk needs a few dollars pressed in her hand. The homeless woman sitting on the bench looks hungry. At the office, perhaps there is a co-worker who is in emotional pain and needs someone to speak hope and kindness over them. I believe we should always be watching for opportunities to help and serve. God charges us to love and acts of kindness shows His Love. To give and not be boastful about what we have done is all the better. To serve and do it quietly, without recognition or praise is the Christian way. 

In my daily prayer each morning, I ask God to use me. I do my part by seeing and watching where I can be useful. Many times, an act of kindness leads to a conversation and it is there that we can talk of God’s Goodness and Promises to share with others.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/7/watching Wed, 28 Jul 2021 21:01:33 GMT
Sea Oats https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/7/sea-oats  


FiltersFilters Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

–Hebrews 11:1 NIV

Now it seems the sea oats are at their most beautiful and majestic in my opinion. The stalks have grown tall and the oats are perfectly formed to create a mass of gold. They protect the dunes from erosion because their roots run deep into the sand. The dictionary says that the root of any plant is the part that develops and grows downward into the soil. It anchors the plant and absorbs nutrients and moisture, all necessary elements for life. While we enjoy the display of gold waving back and forth in the rustling shore breezes, we are thankful that the root system is strong enough to produce the beauty we enjoy this time of year.  We may not be able to see what is going on deep in the sand as roots reach out and anchor themselves to gain strength and stability, but we know the work is being done because of what we can see with our eyes above ground.

Faith is something we simply can’t live without. It is our root system. The discipline of reading the Bible, going to church and saying our prayers is not in vain. We are being fed spiritually when we seek God and His Ways, which in turn builds our faith. You might go days, weeks, months or even years and feel like you are sailing along just fine and then suddenly your faith is tested. And that moment is when you know if you can weather the storm or not based on the strength of your faith. Do we understand why some things happen just because we have faith? No, sometimes things aren’t clear. Again, we need faith to accept the things we cannot change, the things we don’t understand. And more importantly, we need to live by faith so not to remain in that place of fear, crisis or concern. We need faith to rise up in order to move up and over the problem. Can anyone ever have enough faith? Just think of the root system of that swaying sea oat. It never stops working at staying alive. When that root system strives to stay healthy and alive, it thrives.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/7/sea-oats Thu, 22 Jul 2021 14:21:32 GMT
Seaside Shelter https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/7/seaside-shelter ShelterShelter

 

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

-Psalm 27:5 NIV

 

Seaside shelters are being built by homeowners up and down the beaches on the dune line. They are square, round or octagonal gazebo type structures that are connected to the house by a walkway with steps leading to the beach. These shelters provide a shady spot to gaze at the ocean or watch the clouds go by, all while enjoying an ocean breeze, too. It’s a place to sit on the built- in bench to read a book, have a long conversation and enjoy morning coffee or afternoon tea. The shelters are a haven from the hot sun and sudden rain showers that come up this time of year. 

 

The dictionary tells us that the word “shelter” means to find refuge in, to take cover. It also is defined as something that provides protection. In our daily prayer time, it is so important to ask God for His Daily Protection. Not just over us but our loved ones, too. Imagine with all the harmful things out there in the natural world, we need God’s supernatural protection more than ever. God’s protection equips us with His armor. It’s the best way I know of to prepare for the day. Asking God to stand between us and harm and to be our shield is something we can pray about. As parents, we can specifically offer a prayer of protection over our children. He is our shelter. Our refuge. Psalm 91 speaks of protection. We can take cover under God’s shadow knowing that we are sheltered and protected by Him. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/7/seaside-shelter Wed, 14 Jul 2021 23:27:26 GMT
Storms https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/7/storms  

Easter

--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.
Romans 4:17b NIV

Storms can come with an unexpected ferocity. Blinding downpours, flooding and strong winds can cause everyone to stand still for a moment while waiting for the storm clouds to pass. The transition from season to season brings storms too. Tropical storms and hurricanes are never welcome visitors but nonetheless their find their way sometimes. 

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 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 provisions.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/7/storms Wed, 07 Jul 2021 15:22:58 GMT
Living in Freedom https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/7/living-in-freedom JulyJuly 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

 

I enjoy driving in and of little towns. Many streets are 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 surround Victorian homes, cottages, bungalows and more.  Front porches decorated with wicker chairs and steps lined with pots of flowers are dotted here and there.  Loving touches like birdbaths, baskets of flowers, window boxes and garden art, show individuality and expression. I may even observe neighbors visiting over the fence or children riding on bikes  But one thing always stands out. So many American flags…everywhere!. Such pride is apparent in many communities and for our country!

We are proud Americans in our home. My husband has donated numerous flags and poles to many of our neighbors so that our little street stands out in patriotism.  He installs them to the joy of many who display their flag with patriotic pride. It blesses him too. 

Independence Day is just ahead of us, and it is just one day, yet it is important to remember to celebrate our country and the freedom we enjoy each day, everyday. We should always be grateful and never take our freedom for granted. It is a blessing and a gift. The men and women who died for our country are to be praised and remembered.  A tremendous sacrifice never to be forgotten. 

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.  With 4th of July celebrations with cookouts, parades, fireworks and ice cream, let’s also take time to offer prayer for our local, state and national leaders. These  people are  in a place of leadership that they might serve Him and the People to the best of their ability.  They 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.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/7/living-in-freedom Fri, 02 Jul 2021 01:25:03 GMT
Summer https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/6/summer
Changing LandscapeChanging Landscape There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

The summer season is here! This week, the calendar changed from spring to summer but it feels like summer has been here much longer!! The hot, lazy days of summer brings all kinds of memories to mind like the excitement surrounding the last day of school, summer babysitting jobs to make money, watermelon eating contests, and family picnics at church softball games. And things like Sunday ice cream socials using the old homemade ice cream machine and tree-picked peaches, the smell of fresh-cut grass, the sweet fragrance of a summer rain, homemade lemonade and packaged Kool-aid. Best of all were those great memories of swinging on a porch swing and going barefooted til September. A great season for great times! I have come to realize that whatever season I am in I seem to love it the most!


We go through seasons in life and it seems once we get used to something, the season changes and we must adapt and reshape our thinking, and perhaps our life to accommodate the adjustments. Summer is the season when many families pack up and move to another town for a better opportunity. Kids are packing for college; kids are coming home from college. Summer weddings in June are plentiful. So many life changing moments and events seems to happen during this time of year. 

 

How do we handle the changes in the seasons in our lives? How do we teach our children how to adapt? Do they see us frantic and resistant to change as we try to maneuver our way through life?  Hopefully, we know from our Christian walk that God has already supplied us with the graces to deal with anything that comes to us or happens to us. His mercy and grace gives us the enthusiasm to accept things we cannot change, the peace to move forward, the joy for a new adventure and overall contentment for where we are.  So much of our joy is tied to our contentment. God does not make mistakes. He has placed us in every season of our life. We can look back, not with regret, but with gratefulness. We can look forward, not with fear, but with confidence that we have all we need. There is no reason why we couldn’t prosper in whatever season we find ourselves. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. –Psalm 1:3 NIV

 

As empty nesters, my husband and I had an adjustment to make and it coincided with a move to another state over 2000 miles away. I did have regrets and sadness, but now know it was wasted time. If we can accept willingly where we are and do our best to be obedient to God, we can expect to see good things revealed in our future. So much energy can be lost through deferred contentment such as thinking, “I will be happy when I can move back home”, or “I will be happy when this happens or that happens”. We can have joy and contentment now. Saint Francis of Assisi once said, “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”

I met a 99 year old woman the other day that was upright, walking on her own and we shared a bench together for a brief visit. I asked her what did she attribute her long life to and she said long ago she chose to be happy. That was what I needed to hear that day. Was that just a coincidence? No. Was it another divine appointment? Yes, I believe it was. Another reminder that how we approach life can have a profound effect on us regardless of the season we are in. Happy Summer!

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/6/summer Thu, 24 Jun 2021 23:57:44 GMT
Father's Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/6/fathers-day  

 

Finding TimeFinding Time

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12

I can conjure up so many memories when I think of my dad and Father’s Day. The cookouts, the plaid shorts and his easy laugh. Daddy has been gone now for more than a decade but I always loved the way he said “Hello” when he answered the phone. I loved how he encouraged me in anything I tried to do. He was a hard worker and always put our family first. He was a Deacon at our church, coached the church men’s softball league, he kept the cars running and our home beautiful and manicured. He was a man to admire. His love of helping people, his kindness, his neighborly way made him so likable. He took in stray animals and made sure no one went without a meal. I know I was blessed to have him as my dad. 

Not everyone is so fortunate to have a godly example to follow. This occasion to mark Father’s Day may not be a good day for you. Perhaps you didn’t know your father, he was not a godly man and wasn’t possessing moral behavior to follow. God knows all this. I believe God can bring in wonderful people to act in the father role and my hat is off to them. Stepfathers, uncles, big brothers, teachers and pastors plus more often rise to the occasion unnoticed and help to shape a child’s life. You don’t have to be the biological father to bring up a child in the way he should go. These men that God calls to the task are blessings.  And the mothers that are doing the job of two. You are a blessing beyond description. You are pulling a double load of responsibility. If no one says thank you today, know you are appreciated and deeply valued.

Our Father in Heaven is the ultimate example of leadership, love and guidance, compassion and more.  His Word is our moral compass. 
Talk to Him this week. Make time for Him. He is the one who never leaves us and is always there. If we surrender to Him He will take our life and turn it into His glory. He will mold and shape us to have a life pleasing to Him. But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:6 

Whatever this day means to you, know there are many that are happy and blessed and an equal amount that are hurting and grieving.  If you are a father, thank you. If you are in a father role, thank you. If you are a child, be grateful for the people that God puts in your life. If I see a man in plaid shorts this week at the hardware store or cutting his grass in the neighborhood I will smile in my heart and whisper thank you.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/6/fathers-day Sat, 19 Jun 2021 00:29:42 GMT
Memorial Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/5/memorial-day  

 

 

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 

-Psalm 5:11 NIV

It was not always known as “Memorial Day”. The day where we remember and honor those who have lost their lives while serving our country.  It was originally called “Decoration Day”. This commemoration dates back as far as 1868 when flowers were placed on graves at Arlington National Cemetery of soldiers who died in service. Soon after, it caught on, state by state. Since the 1950’s, American flags have been placed on more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day each year.  Just a few years ago, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts began placing a single candle on over 15,000 gravesites in northern Virginia on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day. The tributes continue annually to show honor and respect.

 

But the traditions of the past are more forgotten than remembered. Memorial Day has often signified outdoor parties, picnics, three-day weekends, the unofficial start to summer, and maybe the first dip in the swimming pool. But as we grow older, the significance of the sacrifice made by the fallen soldiers presses on our hearts. They are heroes. Many of the people serving the armed forces today are very young. Some may not even have a personal relationship with Our Father. Imagine being away from the comfort of family and familiar surroundings, living with war and not knowing God. As Christians, I believe that God is calling us to pray for the protection of these brave servicemen and women, both at home and abroad. In all of the celebrations and fun that a Memorial Day weekend suggests, perhaps we can take time to go to God in prayer to ask His blessings on families that have lost loved ones and to cover His Holy Armor on those brave people that are currently serving us.  If we all prayed a prayer for peace, and each prayer was a light, together we could illuminate the heavens with our petitions!

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/5/memorial-day Thu, 27 May 2021 15:01:55 GMT
Balance https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/5/balance  

 

 

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.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/5/balance Thu, 20 May 2021 18:25:22 GMT
Words https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/5/words  

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Words are so powerful. Once spoken they can never be taken back. Sadly we don’t put enough thought into what we say at times. We might lash out in anger or frustration. It’s a temporary emotional lapse of bad judgement but the words last a lifetime.  

How many times have you been the recipient of words hurled at you whether it was in person, a text or a letter? What about road rage and realizing your impressionable child is sitting in the back seat taking it all in. “Oh, but that’s just the way I am. I speak my mind. Don’t be so sensitive. Get over it”  Yes, I have heard this excuse for an apology and maybe you have too. Our world today is suggesting that we give our opinion, say what we feel at the expense of anyone in our way.  “Toughen up, this is life”. Ive heard that too. But no, this is not how life should be according the the scripture. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6. 

Recently I was called a slew of names. I chose not to respond but am praying for the heart of that person instead. Proverbs 21:23 says whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.  In Matthew we are told we will have to give account for every word we speak on Judgement day. Let our words be gentle so that we encourage life and joy. Our words can lift up a heart so much that it promotes health. When I was suffering with health a few years ago, a kind encouraging word could breathe life into me. I’d have energy. My attitude would improve and I could meet the challenges of the day. My Daddy always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”. It is an age old saying. He also would say, “Let it be”.  When you are faced with piercing words that feel like a sword,  pray for the offender and let it be. God will do the rest. 

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/5/words Thu, 13 May 2021 16:53:00 GMT
Changing Traditions https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/5/changing-traditions  

 

You are LovedYou are Loved Let all that you do be done in love. I Corinthians 16:14 ESV

Rudyard Kipling said, “God could not be everywhere so he made Mothers”.  Well we know that God is everywhere but I understand his sentiment in placing importance on Mothers.  

Oh, the memories of yesteryear. When I grew up and then when I was raising my own family we always celebrated the holidays together with our family, which was composed of multiple generations.  I miss the Mother's Day cookouts, the strawberry shortcake for dessert, Mother  looking  pretty as a daisy in a new summer dress for the occasion. Followed by Father’s Day and another barbecue with family united.  Fourth of July crab picking and watermelon. We celebrated everything. Playing badminton in the back yard after lunch, sitting in lawn chairs outdoors looking at the perfectly tended beds of azaleas and talking with the family. We celebrated with family at Easter Buffets after church. Family gathered on birthdays. There was always a cake. Receiving loving messages on anniversaries. The joy of weddings, which expanded our family, grandchildren arriving and losses and sad goodbyes of the elders. It is all a part of the weave that knits a family together. I miss my Mother on this upcoming Mother's Day. Her address is Heaven now. 

So as this Mother's Day approaches, and especially for those of us with a missing place in our hearts or at our table due to distance, it is my hope that we remember the good times and reminisce a bit. I’ll pray for new memories to come and try to find my way in a changing world where these sweet traditions of family gathering are fading. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 ESV

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/5/changing-traditions Thu, 06 May 2021 20:07:49 GMT
Release https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/4/release Release

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

 

To release something suggests that we “let it go”.  Catching a fish, only to let it go back to the water. Setting the lines free so the boat can leave the dock. Releasing the anchor so one can reset it in another spot. The word, “release” applies to so many other things too.  

 

Spiritually speaking, we are told that offering forgiveness gives us freedom from the hurt and pain. Letting things go is healthy to our mind, body and spirit. God keeps score so we don’t have to.  Severing toxic relationships sets us free. I was thinking about what things I have had to let go of.  Letting adult children find their place in the world without my interference has been hard for me but freeing for them. Finding my place in things and not feeling as though I have to weigh in on everyone’s choices. Teaching myself to remain quiet and release the tendency to thrust my opinion until it is asked for. (Still working on that one!!) A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. –Proverbs 29:11  Think about what you want or need to release. It might be letting go of a perfectionist attitude, or judging another with a critical spirit. There may be a burden weighing heavy that needs to be dealt with and forgiven. We should try to release the hardness of life that consumes many of us. It robs us of our joy and childlike wonder that pleases God so much.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/4/release Thu, 29 Apr 2021 23:19:31 GMT
Blooms https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/4/blooms Blooms

 

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

 -Psalm 51:10 NIV

All over it seems spring s beginning to burst into bloom with flowering trees, flowers and bulbs announcing the arrival of spring. I have always associated the spring season with a time for new beginnings. The outdoors looks fresh and rejuvenated with new growth and buds. The colors of the emerging blooms are vibrant, especially the yellow forsythia and daffodils. We have learned to have faith that a flowering tree will bloom again as it has in year’s past, even though it was just a mass of bare limbs weeks ago. Remembering also that beneath the barren ground there is a cluster of bulbs that will soon give way to a colorful display of beauty that can’t be ignored.  Spring is a showcase for nature in its purest form. It is the season of eternal hope.

 

I have seen the phrase, “Bloom Where You Are Planted” on many greeting cards. In spiritual terms it could also mean to take what God has given you and make the most of it. There are things that happen to all of us. Painful experiences, deep wounds, emotional disappointments, hardships. No one escapes them as they are part of life on this earth. However, we don’t have to make them the focus of our life either. Talking about our problems to friends over and over and living in self-pity keeps it fresh, day after day. What we can do is to leave negative experiences behind in our thoughts and minds. Dwelling on those times of sorrow or loss after an appropriate time has passed has an amazing impact on us. Reliving events in our minds and hearts can be as though they have happened to us again! We have to change our focus from disappointment and sadness to God and get back to where we belong. We can get stuck in a lifeless cycle where nothing good happens because we don’t expect it to. Letting go and releasing painful experiences and attitudes to God will free us up for a new beginning. We can pray for a clean heart to accompany a new positive steadfast spirit towards our future. Let the old pass away to make room for the new!

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/4/blooms Wed, 21 Apr 2021 17:14:03 GMT
Instruction https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/4/instruction

Instruction

 

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.Proverbs 19:20 ESV

 

I am taking two art classes now and learning so much. It is a lovely joy to create and share. One day I hope to be a teacher to guide others but I have a long way to go. This week I proudly  took to class a recent piece I created at home and wanted to share with my teacher. I was so hoping to receive her admiration.  Not to be!! Instead, she instructed me in how to make it better. Changes were necessary (did I say many changes!), shifts in color and the darks needed to be darker and the hard edges needed softening. Just when I thought I had learned it all, I was humbled. With an open mind and heart I received her corrections for which I was very grateful for.

 

In our spiritual life, we often get over confidant and feel like there isn’t anything else we can learn. Or even if being spiritual is of no interest, but you live a good life, help others and are a model citizen, you may think you don’t need any teaching or instruction. But there is a better way.  God is infinite. Pray for a yearning to be teachable and to learn more. In the Bible we can learn about marriage, being parents, taking care of others, being a friend. He outlines for us the rules to live by and so much more.  Like me, just when you think you know it all, you realize you know nothing at all!!!  By seeking God and his teachings through the Bible He will honor your desire to learn and come closer.  He will bring the right people into your life like He did me when I needed it most. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8 ESV

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2021/4/instruction Thu, 15 Apr 2021 16:08:28 GMT
Christmas Tree https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/12/christmas-tree  

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.-John 3:16

 

I’ve seen many Christmas trees over the years. And I love them all.  Ours has morphed into a collection of memories: ornaments crafted by kids and grandkids, gifts from friends and those that we picked up on trips.  And each year I add a few too.

 

The first Christmas tree I ever remember was at my grandmother’s house. I was probably 4 or 5 years old. Her blustery cold cottage at the beach, with its wraparound porch, was the setting for my first memory of Christmas. She lived next to the woods where there was an abundance of scrub oaks, cedar trees, holly and honeysuckle vines. After a walk through the woods, the chosen tree was cut down and brought into the little living room. There was such excitement when it came time to decorate and I was included! The tree was tall and almost touched the ceiling and was nailed into a wooden stand. Grandmother lit the fireplace (it didn’t draft well and the room seemed to be somewhat smoky) and it took the chill out of the air. The fireplace has its own story. Because the soot got on the bricks above the poorly drafted fireplace opening, my grandmother took out her brush and paint can and painted over the bricks in bright red, leaving the white mortar lines. She was known for dressing up vases with a rim of gold paint, or a figurine with more gold. I remember thinking even then that the fireplace didn’t look good!! But the bricks were red and she was happy! The old string of lights that had large colored bulbs was woven in and out of the branches of our precious cedar tree.  Old cherished glass ornaments were hung up high so little ones like me couldn’t get to them.  My job was to put candy canes on the tree and if I was good, I could keep one for myself.  I learned then from watching my grandmother and my parents that perfection was not the thing to strive for at Christmas. Yes, always do a good job. In fact, do you best. But to aim for perfection would have robbed us of fun, pleasant memories and a happy time of laughter.  I look back and I am glad that the old beach cottage, now long gone, represented comfort, love, spontaneity, laughter and family. And yes, Christmas. Many Christmases since then and now, but those sweet early memories will reside in my heart forever.

 

I admit to liking the joy of hospitality and preparations leading to Christmas. But then I’ll catch myself as I realize I am striving for perfection at times, But when Christmas Day arrives and paper and ribbon is scattered all around, family is nibbling on sweets too close to dinner and I realize we are together and happy and that God has blessed us.

 

This year may be very different for many people. Keeping distance, longing for loved ones that have passed. Praying hard that things will come through with a job, or that business will pick up again. But the blessings are still there, perhaps in different ways. We may have to look harder for them this year. The spirit of Christmas is about love shared, love received and being grateful to God for the gift of His Son.  Maybe we can ask God to show us ways we can promote love and joy among us this Christmas to give Him honor and glory.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/12/christmas-tree Wed, 16 Dec 2020 22:49:08 GMT
The Fruitcake https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/12/the-fruitcake  

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. -Hebrews 13:1-2

It all started on Christmas Eve many, many years ago that a tradition was born. I wish to share  the story of “The Fruitcake”. Our home was holiday clean, the gifts wrapped under the tree and candle lights were aglow in all the windows. Daddy was working late making deliveries as he had a fuel oil business. Every one waited til the last minute to fill their tanks with fuel oil to heat their homes and Christmas Eve was no exception. While waiting for Daddy to return, Mother decided to invite the neighbors on each side of us to come for coffee and fruitcake. The neighbors were elderly and had no family and they eagerly accepted our last minute invitation. The new transistor radio, sporting a red bow on the antennae, was playing Perry Como and Burl Ives atop the piano. A fire was crackling in the living room fireplace and the coffee and fruitcake served at the little round table in the dining room seemed to bring out joy and laughter in everyone present. As a child, I remembered having to take the neighbors hats and coats and lay them on my bed. The ladies came with sequined sweaters that had been packed in mothballs from the previous year. They wore brooches, one with a rhinestone reindeer and another with a crocheted wreath. The aroma of moth balls, “Midnight in Paris” perfume and our fresh balsam Christmas tree filled the air.  Six people and the night was magic. The lights twinkled as our home came alive. I loved it then and I love it now. Each year afterwards the tradition of fruitcake and coffee continued….more people were invited, more food was added. Then as my parents retired and moved closer to the beach, my husband and I bought this special home to raise our family. And yes, the Christmas Eve tradition continued. More neighbors, friends and church family came. The last Christmas we spent in that precious home of memories was when we had over 100 guests to our Open House. Traffic had to be directed by the police department. 

I stand amazed that a little fruitcake and a desire to reach out to others could mushroom and expand into something so grand. Our home was a beacon of joy for many who didn’t have families or were widowed or had no place to go. We didn’t know how important our tradition was to so many. One teenager took me aside one year and said our home at Christmas was the only Christmas he had. His family didn’t celebrate or mark the occasion. It brought tears to my eyes. The next year he asked if he could bring his brothers and sisters. He wanted them to know the joy that he had felt. Again, more tears. We have always had the open door policy not just at Christmas but anytime. I credit my dear Mother for having a heart so full and allowing God to use her in what seemed to be a simple way at first. We couldn’t possibly know that God would use us and our gifts of hospitality through the years to glorify Him. The memories flicker in my mind like twinkle lights from days gone by. The children from church sang hymns and Christmas songs, the old folks took the comfortable chairs and talked of old times. The widows gathered together to share their stories of challenge and hope. Children running around excited for what Christmas morning would bring. I can remember those times with great love. And yes, we continue to serve fruitcake at Christmas and yes, I have learned to love it!! Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. -Hebrews 13:16 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/12/the-fruitcake Thu, 10 Dec 2020 13:48:58 GMT
December https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/12/december  

 

For it by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. - Ephesians 2:8

I notice that children are extra good in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Its the belief, helped by us parents, that Santa will look kindly on them if they behave, get good grades, make their beds and more. When my kids were small, this belief worked very well for us!! Their bedrooms were never more clean, lots of yes ma’am and sirs and not a thought of backtalk or sass!!  Santa would have been good to them anyway, I am sure, but it was nice to have him checking his list to see if they were “naughty or nice”.

While we believe that our relationship with Santa is conditional, our relationship with God, our Father is not. It is the purest, unconditional love that exists. We can do nothing that would cause Him to walk away from us. While we may disappoint him, make Him sad or bring Him great joy, His love for us is because He is merciful and grants us grace. We can’t earn God’s love by good deeds. He loves us anyway. Yes, He loves when we are kind and reflecting His Love towards others but not because of what we do but whose we are….His!!

We’ve got the month of December to make a difference. It’s a start. Let the close of the year 2020 mean something great. To make this Christmas about Jesus. To right our hearts by being more godly and less like the world. Be a Santa to someone. Take a meal, drop off cookies, offer some money, give a hug, listen, share, but do all things in His love. God knows our true heart. If it is not in right order, now is the time to make it so.   

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/12/december Wed, 02 Dec 2020 20:57:44 GMT
Thanksgiving https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/11/thanksgiving ThanksgivinigThanksgivinig

O Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. -Psalm 107:1

Thanksgiving is the time of year that makes me think of simpler times. I think of the first Thanksgiving where the history books say the menu included wild turkey, pumpkin and grains from Indian corn.  The first Thanksgiving was intended not only as a celebration of the harvest, but as a day of prayer as well to thank God for the crops.  It is written that we should hem our blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. When the women of that time made their long hand-sown dresses, I wonder if they thought of their blessings with every stitch they sewed.

Their world was probably as complex to them as ours seems to us today. While the times have changed from a primitive world to a more modern one, the meaning of Thanksgiving has never changed.  Thanksgiving is nationally honored in our country and is an official holiday. The origin of the word “holiday” comes from the phrase “holy day”. That is a good reminder to celebrate our holidays with reverence. But how do you do that, starting with Thanksgiving? Maybe you have never said a blessing over a meal before, or maybe you will be with a few people and are uncomfortable praying out loud. That is okay. Perhaps you can read scripture from the Bible or find a God-inspired Thanksgiving poem from the bookshelf or internet to read. Try sharing a collaborative prayer where everyone takes a turn at the table saying one thing they are thankful to God for. Perhaps you could enjoy taking a walk on the beach to see God's beauty while giving thanks to Him in private. Many of us cannot be with family and friends this year due to the pandemic. However we choose to remember the day, I believe God would want to be a part of it.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/11/thanksgiving Wed, 18 Nov 2020 21:45:59 GMT
Prayer https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/11/prayer  

 


HopeHope If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” –Matthew 21:22 NIV

 

Oil painting is a deep passion of mine and the subject I enjoy painting most are seascapes. To paint requires having many tools such as paint thinner, brushes, paints, palette, canvas, easels, etc. Each item is very important to the success of the painting. Before I sit down to spend a day at my easel, I have to be sure I have everything I need. If I am out of brush cleaner, my brushes will harden with paint and be useless. Having the right tools are very important.  This week my husband was doing some repairs around the house and brought out his tools. Drills, hammer, screwdriver and nails and so much more. He has learned that before he starts a project, he needs to have the necessary tools at hand first. His knowledge and expertise are great, but without the right tools, he would not be able complete his task.

 

Spiritually, our greatest tool is prayer. There are times in our lives when we have to endure unpleasantness. Perhaps we have been treated poorly. Or things don’t turn out the way we had hoped. Maybe we have been falsely judged or accused. Perhaps we are taken advantage of. Maybe we are simply not liked. All those things we cannot change because unless the person doing these things has the Holy Spirit residing in them, change is not likely. But God does equip us with prayer for times such as these.  We can pray for those that act as our enemy. In fact, the Bible says “bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:28 NIV A daily simple prayer, asking for peace for oneself, peace for the situation and for the accuser to accept God’s Salvation is the best thing we can do. Prayer has mighty power and those that are faithful know that. But those that live without peace and have hardened hearts need the faithful to pray for them. Who do we know today that needs prayer? While we can let things go and allow distance to form between us and the situation, we still have the obligation to pray for those that know no better or choose not to live in God’s peace. A hardened paint brush has to be tossed out as it will never be the same. But a hardened heart can be prayed for and through God, anything is possible.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/11/prayer Tue, 10 Nov 2020 18:50:54 GMT
Wisdom https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/11/wisdom  

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. –James 1:5

 

The definition of wisdom is the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action.  I saw a quote this past week saying, “Knowledge was the ability to know what to do and wisdom was knowing how and when to do it.”  Well I have failed at that one! In such an effort to help others and lessen their sufferings in life, I tend to help without being asked. Oh how I long for wisdom! Not having it has gotten me into trouble at times!!

As wise souls, we believe we have so much to offer. But things can get out of balance in our relationships when we give our words of wisdom too freely, without being asked. I had a friend tell me that he begs to tell his adult children about things in life, but he realizes he has to be asked by them first. And they don’t ask! He laughs and says, “But I know things and I can help”! It is hard for people like us to sit silent, but we must.

The book of Proverbs is laden with wisdom. Had I only known that years ago!! A pastor once told me that because there are 31 chapters in Proverbs it is a part of his daily Bible reading to read a chapter a day each month and start over again the next month. He has done this for years. If you are searching for wisdom, you will find it in Proverbs. Then, we pray that God will help us to learn when and how to use it for His GloryI instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.-Proverbs 4:11

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/11/wisdom Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:02:41 GMT
The Best Path https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/10/the-best-path  

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you”. 1 Peter 5:6-10 ESV

 

When I take walks on the beach, I can absorb the serenity and peace of my surroundings. It is the place where I can clear my mind and where I have my best talks with God. I talk and He listens. The anxieties and worries of the day that overshadow my thoughts I want to get rid of and resist. By having a conversation with God, I receive clarity and my mind is restored and I know by the Holy Spirit, God is comforting me and directing me in my thoughts. Many of you know exactly what I am talking about. Maybe it isn’t the beach for you, but a comfortable chair in your home, at a desk, on a park bench. God can meet us anywhere!

Years ago, there was a mindset that we should charge forward and “make things happen” for ourselves. It was an age of abundance and we were told we should have our share! The world was teaching that we could rely on ourselves for a great life: desire it, go for it, and make it happen. That thinking had no room for God. Not to say that ambition is bad because it isn’t. God wants us to follow Him and He makes the path straight. Remember that in Jeremiah 29:11 God says that “He” has the plan for us. To get there, we have to surrender “our ways” for “His ways”.  When we want something so much that we become obsessed with it and we ask God to bless our latest obsession, that isn’t godly at all. But how many times have we done that? Trying to control God in a tug of war for our wants and desires won’t get us far.  Nothing happens in a power struggle.  It is only when we “let go and let God” do we see His hand.

Does God always answer every prayer? No. Does He promise to always be there and stand beside us? Yes! Sometimes we have to experience things that are unpleasant or uncomfortable, but in the end, the trial or turmoil or strife we were held captive to is for our benefit and God’s glory. He is always teaching us. Showing us the right path. Walking us through it. Whatever He takes us, we are assured we are not alone. Just like those walks on the beach that I love so much, He is holding my hand every step of the way and He is holding yours too. “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful”. Hebrews 10:22-23 ESV

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/10/the-best-path Wed, 28 Oct 2020 21:49:36 GMT
Morning Sunshine https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/10/morning-sunshine    

 

 

 

 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. –Isaiah 40:31 NIV

 

Isn’t it wonderful to wake up to sun streaming in through the windows? There is nothing like a sunny morning to get the day started off right.  Even when the weather seems too cold to venture out or the winds too brisk, if there is morning sunshine available, I try to enjoy it. This past week I headed out to the beach to watch the waves and see the seagulls up close.  The seagulls basked in the morning sun, the wind rippling their feathers. When a cool breeze would come, they would burrow their heads in their chest or huddle together for warmth. The gulls depend on the heat from the sun to keep them warm and I realize that we do to. The cheery brightness of day often seems to add hope and encouragement to an ordinary day.

I came across a little poem this week when I was going through my Dad’s desk.  It was in his handwriting. Since my Dad was not a poet that I know of, he perhaps got this poem from a greeting card or an inspirational calendar. It left an impression on him, though. He liked it well enough to write it down on paper to save for perhaps someone like me to find. When I first read it, I thought that is was a great way to greet each day.  Maybe you will agree. It reads:

 

Come, O Lord, like morning sunshine

Making all life new and fresh

For the daily tasks and challenges

May we rise renewed in Thee

 

Each day is a new beginning. Like morning sunshine that turns darkness into light, God can pour out his blessings, refreshment and strength over us in a daily renewal of our mind, body and spirit. And we can renew our relationship with Him by inviting Him to be a part of each new day He blesses us with.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/10/morning-sunshine Thu, 22 Oct 2020 00:16:13 GMT
Sea Spray https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/10/sea-spray  

 

The Lord is my strength and my shield;

My heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

-Psalm 28:7 NIV

 

The first time I ever remember vacationing at the beach, our family rented a modest cottage just a few steps from the shore. Most cottages had names and this one was called “Sea Spray” by the hand painted sign that hung by the door. I was a youngster and had never heard the term “sea spray” before and wondered what it meant. It wasn’t long before I found out. It’s the fine spray that the wind blows from the ocean to the shore, bringing with it salt residue from the sea. The windows to our little place had to be washed daily if we were to enjoy any view. The windshield of our car was filmy with the haze of sea spray. Some people call it salt spray. It becomes a fact of life to contend with if you are at the ocean for any length of time. The old-timers just shrug it off, just like they do about the sand in their shoes…when they wear them!

 

God’s protection and covering over us is his shield, just like the sea spray covers everything at the beach. God provides his armor to equip us. Ephesians 6:15 says,” To be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God. “ One part of the full armor of God is the shield of faith. It protects us from the flaming arrows of the evil one. As believers we are not immune to temptation and doubt. This is not God’s work and that is why we have his armor to defend ourselves in spiritual battle. Each day we should ask for God’s full armor to be upon us to protect us throughout the day. We’ll feel ready to meet the struggles that may lie ahead. We are blessed that God gives us these tools to stand firm in the Spirit.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/10/sea-spray Fri, 16 Oct 2020 02:08:53 GMT
The Unexpected https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/10/the-unexpected  

 

The UnexpectedThe Unexpected And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are then called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

 

 Many of us are planners and live by our calendars. We know where we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to be doing on any given day. With all of our organization and planning many of us consider ourselves to be flexible and adaptable when we have unexpected things happen. Maybe a guest stays for dinner or we have to cancel our plans to watch a sick grandchild so their parents can go to work are just a few examples. Lunch with a friend has to be rescheduled for another time or weather has spoiled our day at the beach. In the scope of life, these things are very minor and can be figured out without any problem.

 

But some things happen that are truly unexpected and seem to come out of nowhere.  Major things. Life changing events. An accident, getting fired from a job you desperately need, the death of a loved one, a betrayal. We are left stunned and searching for answers. It is at these times that we are most likely to question our faith. “How could you God?  “Why this?” “Where are you God?” “Why did you let this happen?”  I know that there have been occasions in my life I have asked these questions. And then I am reminded in Isaiah 55 the Bible says “my ways are not His ways”. And I know that God does not owe me an explanation of anything He does but my mind tricks me to think if I could make sense of it, maybe I could accept it better. But many times, we have no answers and can’t go anywhere to get the answers. Things just happen. Life and death happens.  In those alone times of searching for understanding we must know we are not abandoned. In Isaiah the Bible says this in chapter 41 verse 10: Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. And then in Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet and light for my path. The Bible and prayer are where we can find the will of God for our lives in all the unexpected circumstances and chaos that takes us by surprise. God also makes a promise in Psalm 12:8: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will guide you with my eye. He is our rock and foundation no matter what!! Tuck these scriptures in your heart in case you need them one day. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/10/the-unexpected Wed, 07 Oct 2020 23:35:58 GMT
A New Season https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/10/a-new-season  

I Family GatheringFamily Gathering n all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:6

It’s a new month. A new season. The signs of Fall surround us. Fields of pumpkins, Maple trees are showing off their yellow, orange and red leaves. Having a sweater handy for cool mornings is a good idea.  And most common, colorful mums in the landscape and entries of our homes are abundant. The aroma of fresh baked apple pie and a roaring fire warms our hearts.The long hot summer is over and I, for one, am grateful.

Before long we will be wrapping up this year and what a year it has been. We have had the chance to reevaluate and decide what our priorities are. Many have had to adjust schedules and parents have had to work together to get the kids educated. We have had to learn to be content staying at home.

The busyness of this modern world often pushes God to the back burner. We are busy building careers, raising children, taking care of the elders in our family. It’s a lot. It’s not that we don’t believe in God, it is that we can’t seem to make time for Him. Has that happened to you? I think we all get busy and I know I am guilty of this. We assure ourselves we will get to Him soon. We’ll take the kids to church, we will join that Bible study, but we will do all that later when we have more time. But then things changed earlier this year for all of us. A virus came, followed by a quarantine. Terms like “social distancing” and wearing masks have changed our lives. But with those changes, we were also given time to think about what is important to us. To re-chart our life. Make new plans. Adjust.

Hopefully we have grown closer to God in all that has challenged us these last months. His guidance and wisdom each day is the most important part of our day. The world we live in now has changed. But know there is hope for the future and with the leadership and protection of God, we can walk the path together. Having a divine appointment with God each day will be like a fresh start each morning, To walk in His Will and to be the person He wants us to be is the greatest act of obedience. And God rewards our faithfulness and obedience. Finish out this season with God at the top.For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/10/a-new-season Thu, 01 Oct 2020 15:07:07 GMT
Our Reflection https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/9/our-reflection  

Our ReflectionOur Reflection Be careful what you think. Your life is shaped by your thoughts. Proverbs 4:23

Give me my camera phone and an afternoon at the beach and I am totally content. Capturing the roll of the thunderous waves, the sparkle of the sun on the water, the diving pelicans and sunning seagulls. I can easily snap over 100 photos just to get one that I love for composition, color and action. What does my photograph say on its own? Does it tell a story? Is it worth being admired?

Our life is something that has great value and we should ask, do we have a story to tell. Or better yet, can someone learn from our actions and the way we choose to live. Are we outspoken, full of opinion and overshadowing others with our desire to change everyone but ourselves? Do we work behind the scenes to help others without seeking earthly reward? Are we always keen observers to notice the needs of others and deliver if we can? What will be said of us when we have gone from this earth? We were kind. We were mean. Hard to work for. A great teacher. A compassionate person to the core. What will our reflection say about our life?

What is the footprint that we leave for other to see? We are leading with our example. Just last week we were at a family dinner and my 8 year old grandson was coloring and seeming to be in his own world. But as I watched him closely, he was listening to our conversation, word for word. We talked about a range of subjects. Even when we don’t realize it, we are setting an example. When we take pictures  we get an instant reflection, we will store it up forever. That’s how it is when people look up to us and try to follow our lead. Things we do and say have a lasting impression. We must always be careful and lead a life that is worthy.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/9/our-reflection Thu, 24 Sep 2020 14:24:09 GMT
Being Childlike https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/9/being-childlike  

 

Being ChildlikeBeing Childlike How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours!
The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.

–Psalm 116:5-7 NLT

We talk about building faith and many people are coming to a relationship with God for the very first time. We are told to approach God with a childlike way and spirit. We can speak simply to Him, not using fancy words in our prayers. Our vocabulary isn’t nearly as important as our heart. A child’s heart is pure and innocent and that is what pleases God. A childlike faith is tender and young and while those just starting out don’t know a lot about the Bible, they know enough of what is important, because they have chosen to seek and follow God.

Being childlike is sweet and genuine. Children listen to what is being told to them and they believe it. They view the world with eyes of love and kindness and a heart of wonder.  Joy comes easy to them. Their demeanor is so precious.  Some confuse childlike behavior and childishness. There is a big difference in the two. Some childish traits are acting spoiled, rebelling, pouting, and brooding. While we know better, we can’t resist giving in to our emotions and feelings and acting out these traits like a small child sometimes.  Temper tantrums don’t glorify God! Thank heavens that God continuously perfects us and I am grateful He hasn’t given up on me! How merciful He is!! We are all a work in progress.

We have choices. Be childlike or behave childishly when we act and react to things. What’s really important is how we choose to handle disappointments and difficult situations. Give it all to God. Release it. Let it go. And be sure to choose not to savor it in our mind and heart like cherished treasures because that keeps the feelings and emotion alive inside of us!! God is so good to us. He will save us from ourselves if we allow Him! We have to let Him do a work in us. We will begin to see our childlike faith develop into a foundation of strong spiritual maturity and the tendency to behave childishly will begin to disappear.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Behavior Child faith God like Mercy Trust https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/9/being-childlike Thu, 17 Sep 2020 14:23:17 GMT
Friends https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/9/friends  

FriendsFriends This is my commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. John 15:12-13 Amp

The definition of a friend is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. It is nice to have a friend. Some friendships last a lifetime while others last for a little while. They each have their purpose. We can have friendships with almost anyone. The criteria for friendship is to be able to trust and respect each other as the mutual affection grows. Some of my little friends are school age while others are seniors who have lived their life and aren’t afraid to share their wisdom, thank heavens! The friends my own age keep me posted on current events and my younger friends, well I do my best to keep up with them! I think of my pets as friends, too.  Friends touching lives and mine has surely been touched!

The deep friendships are the ones that mean you can call in the middle of the night and it is okay. You can tell your deepest secrets to that person and you know you won’t be judged. You can share your fears with them and they listen while you sort through it out loud. To have a friendship like this is one of the many joys in life. Some folks mistake acquaintances for friends, but if you have ever had or been a friend, you know the difference. Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Words so true!

I am reminded of the old hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.  Some of the lyrics are, ”What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!” He is our truest friend. When friendships end or people pull away from us for unspoken reasons, it is a comfort to know that God is there for us. We are commanded by God to love at all times. Today, I will tell my friends that I love them and ask God’s Blessings over them.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/9/friends Thu, 10 Sep 2020 14:54:52 GMT
Surf Casting https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/8/surf-casting  

 

Surf CastingSurf Casting May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

-Psalm 20:4 NIV

 

There is a quote that says, “Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm”. Surf casters along the beach seem to have an abundance of enthusiasm. But to go with it, they have their rod and reel, the right tackle, the perfect line weight and some bait, too. Surf casting has been a long loved sport. Particularly, because it doesn’t require the expense and maintenance of a boat, it can be done anytime of day and anytime of the year. The seasoned angler will advise beginners to cast their lines near dawn or dusk, just before the high tide for best results. Having all the best fishing equipment is good, but being able to cast a line a long distance into the surf is where the experienced angler’s skill gives him or her the advantage.

 

The word ‘enthusiasm’ comes from the Greek work entheos. It means that God is in us. We all have experienced times when we were so excited about something, we felt like we were floating on air. Nothing else mattered. It was as if we were supernaturally lifted on high with hope, anticipation and excitement. To be enthused about something is infectious. Our happiness and energy spreads over to others. Joy fills the air and we know we are in God’s presence. Does enthusiasm exist in us today? Is our passion evident to others? Do we even have a passion? Get excited about something. If we put our whole hearts into a project, a mission, a goal or a dream, God will gives us the enthusiasm to keep us going in the tough times. If we think like God does, we will think big, dream big and expect to be blessed big.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/8/surf-casting Fri, 28 Aug 2020 00:04:51 GMT
Trust https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/8/trust Choose Faith Not FearChoose Faith Not Fear

 


He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.

- Psalm 22:8

 

A boat ride can be fun, and in order to really enjoy the experience I think that having trust in the captain is all important.  I want the captain to know the boat, know the water, understand the weather and be familiar with the navigation charts. It makes for an easier ride if there are no worries and the captain is fully experienced and capable. I would hesitate to take a boat ride with a captain that showed inexperience. The depth finder and radar are so helpful, but ultimately it is his skills that come with experience that will help the captain guide the boat because of his knowledge and ability to handle the vessel.

 

At the start of each day lies before us are all the choices and decisions we must make. We may not have the great skill and knowledge of a professional boat captain to apply to our life. We may be navigating uncharted waters as we deal with choices before us. Some days can seem a bit overwhelming at times with so much facing us and many people depending on us. We wonder what is the right thing to do. Often we will poll our family and friends for their advice, only to come away more confused than ever, even though they love us and mean well. Those decisions that simmer day after day on the back burner eventually have to be handled. They can’t be put off another day. But what if you don’t know what to do? God says we are to trust Him. God has a way of directing our paths and we are not aware of it. If we go down the wrong path we will surely know it because nothing about it will work out. We will come across too many obstacles which sometimes is God’s way of telling us we have veered into the wrong direction. Just as soon as we make the correction, we get a “knowing” on the inside of us that we are where we need to be. When we are in God’s Will everything seems to fall into place. It is by His design because He has been working behind the scenes to line up the right people, right circumstances for our situation. Basically, He has made a way. And what if you want something so bad and have prayed so hard for it and it isn’t happening? Don’t despair. Perhaps God’s Timing and our timing are not in sync. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, it will only happen when God anoints it to happen.

 

Decisions face each of us. Big ones and little ones. Life-changing decisions and the simple ones that are easily forgotten by the end of the day. To keep from wasting steps and time, consult God before each decision. His wisdom is ever abundant and He always has our best interest at heart. And if you feel like you haven’t heard from God about what to do, start moving in the best direction and make the best decision you can. God likes to see us use the wisdom He has given us. And if it is to be, God makes a way. And if it isn’t, God will stop us with delays, cancellations, and a whole string of situations will stand in front of us that will prevent us from moving forward.  He has the plan. He knows what is best. We don’t have to explore uncharted waters alone. God is at the helm and He says we can trust Him.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/8/trust Thu, 20 Aug 2020 15:20:35 GMT
Charting a Course https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/8/charting-a-course  

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 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: 1-3

We all have times where we know what we want and we think we know how to get there. Disappointments and setbacks pave the road, Charting a CourseCharting a Course
a few long stretches of smooth sailing and then more struggles litter our path. When we are our own captain, we only can rely on things in the natural. Things like what we know, what we have heard others say, relying on our own wisdom. Sure, some people struggle more than others but some take the long way around when the straight road would have been so much easier.

What prevents us from tapping into God’s Word for strength and guidance? Is it our own pride, or our independence? Do we really think our way is better? Yes, often times we do and we get ahead of ourselves, things go wrong and we are back to God, asking Him to fix our messes!  Seems everywhere I searched this week for God’s Wisdom, all roads led to this scripture:  Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. -Joshua 1:8   Does it mean if I read the Bible, my life will be perfect? No. It does mean that our obedience and our relationship with God will prosper as He prospers us.  Will we be successful in the world’s eyes? Maybe.  Maybe not. But we will be a success in the eyes of the One that matters.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/8/charting-a-course Wed, 12 Aug 2020 23:45:09 GMT
Sandbar https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/8/sandbar  

SandbarSandbar Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
-Mark 11:24-25 NIV

A sandbar is a submerged or partly submerged ridge of sand that is formed along the shore by the action of the waves or currents. When storms come off of the ocean, sandbars actually act as a shock absorber for the powerful waves and currents. By consuming some of the power, then there is less damage to the shore. That’s one of the reasons when we have damaging storms, some areas fare well and others do not. The sandbar that we cannot see offshore has soaked up some of the waves’ strength. Some people that are looking at oceanfront property to purchase will consult nautical charts to see if offshore sandbars are present, offering added protection to the beach.

While sandbars are great because they help block the oceans’ strength, when we go to God with our petitions, we don’t want anything to stand between us. But, unknowingly, that is exactly what can happen. How can we go to Him asking forgiveness of our sins when we won’t forgive someone of theirs? How can we expect mercy to be shown to us if we don’t show it to others? Like a sandbar, our unforgiveness can act as a ridge that prevents God’s blessings from getting to us. Matthew 7:2 tells us not to judge, or we too will be judged. For in the same way we judge others, we will be judged, and with the measure we use, it will be measured unto us. Many rifts in relationships begin this way in judgement and then before long, unforgiveness takes root and then bitterness follows. Matthew 6:14 plainly tells us that if we forgive men when they sin against us, our heavenly Father will also forgive us. But if we do not forgive men their sins, our Father will not forgive our sins. But, what if we don’t ‘feel’ like forgiving someone. We are still angry at them and rightfully so. We may have every right to our feelings. God would have us know that it doesn’t matter. He will take care of seeing that justice is served. That is not our job. His message is clear. We have to make the decision to forgive and God will do the rest. Our decision to forgive is what sets everything in motion. And don’t worry, He will supply us with all we need and the fullness of heart to begin to forgive. We should not let our unforgiveness towards anyone cost us our blessings, prosperity or healing. Pray this scripture so that we can see and feel in a new way. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/8/sandbar Fri, 07 Aug 2020 00:00:02 GMT
Watching https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/7/watching WatchingWatching


Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

–Colossians 3:12 NIV

All across the beach and on docks, there are birds just sitting and watching. On the bridges, they will line up on the rails, facing the same direction. Maybe they are sunning themselves or standing against the wind. Whatever they are doing, they are doing it together and in harmony.

When our lives are so busy that we don’t have the time to observe around us, it is time to slow down the pace. We can be used by God to do service for Him but first we have to see where there is a need. Are the elderly neighbors okay? Maybe the mother at the grocery store fumbling with change to buy milk needs a few dollars pressed in her hand. The homeless woman sitting on the bench looks hungry. At the office, perhaps there is a co-worker who is in emotional pain and needs someone to speak hope and kindness over them. I believe we should always be watching for opportunities to help and serve. God charges us to love and acts of kindness shows His Love. To give and not be boastful about what we have done is all the better. To serve and do it quietly, without recognition or praise is the Christian way.

In my daily prayer each morning, I ask God to use me. I do my part by seeing and watching where I can be useful. Many times, an act of kindness leads to a conversation and it is there that we can talk of God’s Goodness and Promises to share with others

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/7/watching Thu, 23 Jul 2020 15:41:08 GMT
Summer Heat https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/7/sumer-heat  

TransitionTransition Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. – 2 Cor. 1:3-4 ESV

 

It’s draining. Even stifling at times. The summer heat can be oppressive with no relief in sight. It is however the natural order of things. When winter comes we will be complaining probably of the cold and wishing to trade it all for a hot summers’ day!!  My backyard critters need a break so they get a little water and some peanuts from me so they don’t have to work so hard for their food. It appears a whole community of squirrels has now gotten the news and are waiting for me each morning for their handout. The birds aren’t singing as much in this heat but they are appreciative of the variety of seed we offer and the summer heat has done nothing to dull the color of their brilliant feathers. And everyone is getting along in harmony. We must consider ourselves very blessed. The sun provides life and light to us no matter how high our thermometers register. Gardens are flourishing with harvest now, as are cutting flowers in full bloom. Sprinklers are going early in the day to give lawns a nourishing drink.

We are rich in God’s blessings if we choose to see them. Is everything beautiful and perfect? No. But we have been given the eyes to see beauty if our heart allows us to. God delivers, He hears us, He wants to guide and comfort us. Whatever the situation is, whatever problem or challenge we are facing, He is the answer. He can change our mindset from complaining to rejoicing and being grateful. When it is hot, we should be glad most of us has a cool place we can go. If we are thirsty, many of us can access a cool drink. It’s the little things. It starts with us. Finding joy in all things Always be full of joy. Never stop praying.  Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/7/sumer-heat Thu, 16 Jul 2020 23:21:56 GMT
Our Country https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/7/our-country  

 

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15

This week our country is having a birthday! In years past, we would celebrate with friends and families Memorial Day
enjoying cookouts and fireworks together and maybe even a baseball game. We would offer a prayer of thanksgiving for our freedoms and be grateful for the opportunities this country provides. This year however is different. There will still be get-togethers but now we must socially distance. Wearing masks on a hot July day will be the new normal, while worries of work, income, and virus linger in our thoughts.

We know the real truth of the supernatural God we serve. He is our safe place. All of what is going on in our country and in our world is no surprise to Him. In the book of James it says, “We can expect trials”. Maybe this is one of those times. 

Our country has weathered many storms. Our forefathers wrote up the guidelines and rules for us to have a successful nation. We are to pursue happiness. Lady Liberty will survive this new storm  too. As long as God governs our nation, we can enjoy a safe haven. It is when people turn from God that evil prevails. Our historical statues are demolished on live TV as we watch. Looters and rioters out in masses in the middle of a pandemic, no less. We have free speech in this country and that is good. But when it erupts into hate and destruction and more, we must take note. Our country needs our prayers now more than ever. Our law enforcers, healthcare workers, our local, state and national leaders and our first responders need us. 

I have had many friends say, “ What can I do with my time? I can’t go out in this pandemic,  I have no resources as I lost my job and so on.” We have prayer. We have work to do if we take heed of today’s scripture. There are those that are lost. They don’t believe in anything. If we are willing, God will put us in situations where we can share His Word and hopefully bring another person to Christ. Bringing this world back to God one person at a time. Try making phone calls, write an email, or pen a  handwritten note to initiate a conversation. That’s where the need is. That’s what we can do. That’s how we can help.  Prayer. Our country is depending on us and our prayers. Happy Birthday America! God Bless America!

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/7/our-country Fri, 03 Jul 2020 22:09:39 GMT
Sunrise https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/6/sunrise  

   

That you may love the Lord your God,

listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.

-Deuteronomy 30:20

To experience a sunrise at the ocean is very peaceful and spiritual. A sunrise signals another new beginning. It is the time of day that compares to nothing else. It is a wonderful moment to be quiet with God, to hear His voice and worship Him with our praise and thankfulness. His voice is everywhere. It’s in the beautiful sunrise that slowly emerges from the darkness to tell us He has given us a new day. We can hear His voice in the motion of the ocean waves, full of breath and life. In the sky that offers a canopy of light, His voice is the soft breeze that blows over us. We see the beauty of His creation all around us as another new day unfolds.

The sunrise calls for the early morning riser, the early bird, so to speak, to seek solitude with Him. Everyday He gives us light, beauty and hope. It’s evidence of God’s goodness and presence.  There’s hope that today will be a little bit better than yesterday. That it could be today that we make a difference in someone’s life.  It is today that our desires could be met. Hope sustains us. It is today that the healing we prayed for could take place. It is today that a loved one may surrender to God and become born anew, like the sun at dawn. He gives us so much hope. Psalm 62:5 says, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.”

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/6/sunrise Wed, 24 Jun 2020 15:19:47 GMT
Father's Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/6/fathers-day  

 

Father's DayFather's Day Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6

Daddy was at the heart of everything. He was a great provider. He drove the station wagon on long Sunday drives after church. He set up the travel trailer in state parks on our vacations. He grilled for all the outdoor barbecues we had. He fixed things. He could do anything….anything at all, except cook!! That’s when mother came in and saved the day with her one pot meals, creoles, fried seafood to perfection and the best stews ever! Daddy called mother “His Bride”. They are both gone now, but the loving, funny, nostalgic memories linger on and lift me up and I imagine they always will.

My Dad encouraged me. He taught me how to drive and did it without causing me to lose my confidence. I went to work with him on Saturdays and I would play secretary in the office next to his. He was always there for me. Growing up and leaving home made us both sad. But it was time. He loved my husband and my children unconditionally and couldn’t get enough of their company. When miles separated us, we talked often by phone. He listened and he gave good advice. I know I was blessed to have a good Christian father who took us to church in my youth and always instructed me to do the right thing. Some of my greatest memories of just the two of us were when he was sick, I would pray for him and read scripture. Years ago, he taught me memory versus and there, roles reversed, I was reading them back to him. Daddy had prepared me well.

Now, with the absence of my earthly father, I rely on my Heavenly Father more than ever. I miss my calls with my dad.  I talk to God like I used to talk to my father. My Provider, my Father, My Friend, My Comforter and Guide. Having a relationship with God, the Father, is something I am grateful for. His words and teachings keeps me on the straight and narrow.

Whatever your Father’s Day experience is, whether you can call your dad or not, whether there is joy or brokenness, just remember that love conquers all. Forgiveness is a great gift. Whatever your circumstances are on this Father’s Day, stand tall if you are a father, reach out to your dad if you can or be a blessing to someone that could use one.  And like my own father said to me, “Do the right thing”. Thank you, Daddy.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) dad day father father's god https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/6/fathers-day Wed, 17 Jun 2020 20:06:47 GMT
Turn It Around https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/6/turn-it-around  

Turn It AroundTurn 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.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/6/turn-it-around Wed, 10 Jun 2020 22:33:25 GMT
Walking in Faith https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/6/walking-in-faith  

 

 


Walking in FaithWalking in Faith Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

–Romans 10:1 NIV

 

Early morning walks whether they are on the beach on in a neighborhood can be very special. But of course, walking the beach when possible is my favorite of all. Often I found myself talking out loud to God, as though He is walking along side of me. The warmth of the sun chases away the light chill of the morning. Pocketing a few specially selected shells for the windowsill back home makes the day memorable. Best of all, are the deep breaths from walking vigorously on the sand with lungs full of salt air. I believe all these things combined, make the start of a perfect day.

 

There are many “walks” in life…some physical, like walking a beach or exercising. But the one we will talk about today is the spiritual walk. Our relationship with God is our most important “walk”. We are given a choice of whether or not we choose to follow Him and His Word. Assuming we choose to walk with Him, He begins to take us down different paths and roads to teach and strengthen us. Some roads are bumpy with turmoil and tribulations and other times, we seem to glide by effortlessly. Those challenges we come up against build us up and invariably we come away having learned a new lesson. I have learned over and over these past few months that we cannot have faith and live in fear at the same time. One cancels out the other. It is very subtle how fear seems to become a stronghold in our life over small things and before you know it, we become afraid or worried and anxious about everything. Fear is a dark spirit that comes upon us when we think “what if” thoughts and fear thoughts. If we allow ourselves to remain anxious or continue to worry, the end result is living a life consumed with fear. It comes on us so quietly that we often don’t know it has happened until our entire mindset becomes based on fear. Each time I have allowed my mind to walk down the road of fear, I realized later that it was for naught. Everything worked out, but the toll of carrying worry and anxiety in my body caused my heart to beat faster, headaches to come upon me and my sleep to be interrupted. Some fears are normal, but most are not. God says that we are to trust Him. He is our Protector and Provider. He is always the Answer. Whatever fears we may be carrying today can be surrendered to God in exchange for faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word. Reading scripture that comforts and guides us into a deeper walk with God automatically diminishes our natural tendency to live in fear to free us for a life of faith.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/6/walking-in-faith Wed, 03 Jun 2020 14:32:53 GMT
Produce Stands https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/5/produce-stands  

Produce StandsProduce Stands Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

-Matthew 7:20 NIV

I love traveling to the Outer Banks from Virginia where so many fruit stands can be found. Some fruit and vegetable stands are often simple in structure with dirt floors and plywood shutters than lock into place in the off- season.  Others are quite elaborate with many signs posted miles ahead as enticement to select their location. Over the years we have tried many of the different stands and all are good. Each one is unique with too many good things to be able to pick a favorite. Some farm stand owners have added baked goods, nuts and jams, too and like my Daddy used to say, “We don’t want to slight anyone,” so it would be typical for us to stop at two or three produce stands during our summer trips to the beach many years ago. There is just something special about buying farm fresh vegetables and tree-ripened fruit! The flavors of the food are so intense and the fruits are extra juicy. We loved July, especially for the peaches, and if we were lucky, we could talk someone into making some homemade peachy vanilla ice cream for us. It was declared a special treat if it was dipped in cones that would end up dripping down our elbow in the summer heat.

The Bible talks of fruit on more than one occasion. The reference that I like the best is being able to tell what a person is all about by the fruit they produce. To simplify it, a good tree produces good fruit most of the time and a bad and diseased tree produces bad fruit. Both trees may look the same, but it is what is happening on the inside that we cannot see. The same applies to people. It is soul-filling to spend time with a person that is full of encouragement, love and support with every word they dispense. We are drawn to those people that have a way of bringing out the best in us. In contrast, have you ever seen someone all dressed up in the finest clothing, shiniest shoes and coiffed hair and your impression was very good? And then they spoke and their words reflected the opposite of their pristine appearance. The true essence of what is within is not always visible, but it will be eventually illuminated. In Galatians 5:22 we are told what good fruit is. In everything we do, think and become, we should be rooted in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. Then everyone will want to share in our fruit and that is how we teach and pass it on. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) fruit Galatians God of produce spirit stands the vegetables https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/5/produce-stands Thu, 28 May 2020 22:37:17 GMT
Memorial Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/5/memorial-day  

Memorial DayMemorial Day But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

-Psalm 5:11 NIV

It was not always known as “Memorial Day”. The day where we remember and honor those who have lost their lives while serving our country.  It was originally called “Decoration Day”. This commemoration dates back as far as 1868 when flowers were placed on graves at Arlington National Cemetery of soldiers who died in service. Soon after, it caught on, state by state. Since the 1950’s, American flags have been placed on more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day each year.  Just a few years ago, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts began placing a single candle on over 15,000 gravesites in northern Virginia on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day. The tributes continue annually to show honor and respect.

 

But the traditions of the past are more forgotten than remembered. Memorial Day has often signified outdoor parties, picnics, three-day weekends, the unofficial start to summer, and maybe the first dip in the swimming pool. But as we grow older, the significance of the sacrifice made by the fallen soldiers presses on our hearts. They are heroes. Many of the people serving the armed forces today are very young. Some may not even have a personal relationship with Our Father. Imagine being away from the comfort of family and familiar surroundings, living with war and not knowing God. As Christians, I believe that God is calling us to pray for the protection of these brave servicemen and women, both at home and abroad. In all of the celebrations and fun that a Memorial Day weekend suggests, perhaps we can take time to go to God in prayer to ask His blessings on families that have lost loved ones and to cover His Holy Armor on those brave people that are currently serving us.  If we all prayed a prayer for peace, and each prayer was a light, together we could illuminate the heavens with our petitions!

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/5/memorial-day Thu, 21 May 2020 13:53:37 GMT
Waiting https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/5/waiting Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. WaitingWaiting

-Psalm 27:14 NIV
 

We are all waiting for something and that includes even the sea gulls that sit on pilings waiting for their next meal!   Waiting has different degrees of intensity such as something as simple as waiting for a phone call or letter to arrive, to receive that long needed check. Or, as critical as waiting for the healing to take place that we have prayed for. This time we are in now really teaches us patience. We are all hoping to get back to a semblance of “normal” in the very near future in the midst of the pandemic. I must admit that I am not good at waiting. Is anybody? Like most people, I would prefer to have what I want when I want it! It’s the culture we find ourselves living in today that promotes immediate gratification. We’ve all seen children that couldn’t wait to grow up and teenagers that couldn’t wait to leave home for college. Families that can’t wait for their vacation week to begin and families that can’t wait to get back home again. Our impatience even makes it difficult for us to wait in the checkout lines at the grocery store sometimes! But in our impatience to hurry our life along, we are missing out on God’s instruction. He can use waiting as a way to renew us, to refresh us and teach us. There is a reason that He makes us wait. If we sped through our life without time for pause and reflection, we would not grow and learn as we go. God thought of everything. There are lessons to learn along the way. He is our teacher and we are His students and He needs time to work with us. We can’t hurry God’s process. The hardest thing is to wait on God. When we pray, we want our answer now and He doesn’t always give it to us. The answer always comes, but it is when He is ready, not because we want it. If we begin to realize that we are complete in the Lord and He will take care of everything, it makes the waiting much easier. He is always in control. Our impatience and rushing around doesn’t line up with the scripture which tells us to be strong take heart and wait for Him. These times of isolation can be embraced if we try to make the best of the time we are given and ask for God’s leading and wisdom. Praying for peace and patience during any wait we find ourselves in will serve us and God better.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God isolation patience wait waiting https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/5/waiting Wed, 13 May 2020 23:52:42 GMT
Remembering Mother's Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/5/remembering-mothers-day  

 

Remembering Mother's DayRemembering Mother's Day
I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.

–Proverbs 4:11 NIV

 

I learned of a tradition associated with Mother’s Day when I was just a little girl. If you wore a white flower on your dress, in your hair or on your lapel on Mother’s Day, it meant that your Mother had passed on; and if you wore a red flower that meant that your Mother was living.  As little kids we mostly wore the red roses we tore off the rose bushes that were on the church grounds on our way to Sunday school. Lots of the grownups did the same thing, but many of them gathered around the white rose bush. That memory is so vivid, yet so long ago. I remember being glad then that I could wear a red rose, and now it is a white rose that I cling to in remembrance.

God gave each of us a Mother. Our relationship with our Mother changes and evolves over time. The first smile we saw was our Mother’s. Then spending years of nurturing us through childhood, she equally dispensed Kool-aid and band-aids. Teaching us and learning from us all at the same time. Molding and shaping our teenage thoughts with a healthy dose of discipline and love to smooth over the hurts we encountered along the way. Cheering us on with each milestone and letting us go when it was time to start our own life. Then, being available anytime, just in case, and offering advice tenderly when she sees us making a wrong turn. A Mother knows to choose her words carefully because they are being stored up on the inside of her children. Whether your Mother is here today or in heaven, know that God blesses us with the sound of her voice in our ears and hearts to continually guide us along our path.  That is a gift from God to have our Mother’s wisdom to hold on to forever.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Day God love Mother's relationship rose https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/5/remembering-mothers-day Wed, 06 May 2020 14:30:54 GMT
The Dock https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/4/the-dock  

 

The DockThe Dock The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. -Proverbs 18:10 ESV

I love taking my camera to photograph marinas and docks. The variety of boats that are moored are so interesting. Charter boats, fishing boats, pleasure boats and more. And not to forget the sailboats, too. It is a place at sunrise or sunset to capture the light on these vessels in a particular way that casts a glow, if just for a few minutes. Some vessels are docked permanently and others come for a night or two before moving on. The dock provides safety and shelter for as long as needed. And then the vessel returns to the waters where there are swells and storms and wind that balances out the smooth sailing and sunny days that every mariner enjoys.

 

As a community, most of us have sheltered in place and “docked” at home for a good period of time now We have had some rest, exercise, time with family when possible, a chance to finish the book, attempt some gardening and more. We’ve had time to deeply pray and time to reflect and sort out our thoughts.  As days and weeks go by we are closer to resuming a bit of normalcy in our life and that is worth looking forward to. I can’t wait to give my family big hugs in person! But like a good mariner, you never leave the dock without a plan, a map, a compass. We should be mindful of how God wants us to spend our days going forward. Things may be different and challenging. But all we do should be to his glory.  Like the mariner, we have tools too. The Good Book, God’s Promises, His Wisdom and Guidance. He’ll take us forward on a good path if we follow Him. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. -Psalm 91:1-2 ESV

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) bible boat compass dock god map promises safety sailboat scripture. shelter tools vessel https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/4/the-dock Wed, 29 Apr 2020 15:48:59 GMT
Finding Contentment https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/4/finding-contentment I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:11-13 NIV Finding ContentmentFinding Contentment

 

No matter where we are or what we are doing, it sometimes looks more appealing to hop our own fence and live in another world. Of course, it is perfectly okay to hope and dream and make plans for positive change and growth, but somewhere in there needs to be a period of contentment about where we are at this moment. Always wanting more and never being happy with where we are is not the road God wants us to travel.  Sometimes God allows us to set our own pace. In the flurry of so much to do, if we sit with God each day and seek contentment in our life and circumstances, it will come. And it applies to the time we are in now too. The words “global pandemic” dominate our headlines these days. We are all united now in an effort to find some contentment in our “new normal”.

We sometimes have been thrust into situations that we have no control over, but yet must deal with. God asks us to “step up”. Setting our current global situation aside, there are so many people that are taking care of an ill spouse or aging parent that needs constant daily attention. There are broken families where a single parent is doing it all. Disappointments come that steal hope. Performing demanding physical tasks and responsibilities often depletes the energy that allows one to keep going. If that is you, know that you are not alone. God sees the situation you are in and sees your efforts. You are doing God’s work and you will be blessed for allowing God to use your hands and heart to tend to those that can’t tend to themselves. If you are a caregiver, ask God for what you need and trust Him to provide it.

It is said that it is not our circumstances that create our discontent or contentment. It is us. Perhaps if we change our reaction to situations when they arise, contentment is within our reach. All things are possible through Him. Find contentment by being a blessing to someone else.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) blessing caregiving contentment God hope Jesus trial virus https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/4/finding-contentment Thu, 23 Apr 2020 14:01:20 GMT
Change https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/4/change  

 

ChangeChange Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.
-Psalm 30:10 NIV

Change seems to be everywhere and there is even more coming up ahead. Change is one of those words that brings with it a lot of feelings and emotions when it surrounds us. Probably the simplest way to describe change is ‘to pass from one state to another.’ Seasonal changes we tend to welcome and look forward to with anticipation. We know what to expect year after year. The spring flowers of this season are about to emerge, the grass grows again, the trees bud out and the weather warms.  Gardens are being planned and planted with anticipated hope. The transition from season to season is somewhat predictable.

But what about change that comes like a lion in the night. An unwelcome change. Like the moment we are all in together now. The unexpected, unpredictable turns that come upon us at times that can shift our lives in another direction. How do we cope? That’s when our faith is of utmost importance. We can face anything that comes to us.  God won’t leave us alone to get through these times of difficulty by ourselves. We can count on Him. He made us strong. We can rely on His strength and promises.  How we choose to react to change determines how we will be able to manage it. Something to think about. God’s plan is at work in our lives and in our surroundings. We must never forget that. Yes, God is part of everything and every situation. We don’t always know the reason why things happen. He will allow things at times to occur to bring us back closer to Him and to strengthen us.

As we are certain to meet change almost daily, we should remember that God does not change. He is always there with His promises to lift us up out of the mire on to high ground again. We can take refuge in Him. I think of that old hymn that says, “Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my savior.” It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Psalm 18:21 NIV

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) change god hope promises https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/4/change Wed, 15 Apr 2020 15:31:50 GMT
Easter https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/4/easter  

 

EasterEaster If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. -Romans 10:9-10.

What does Easter mean to you? Some will focus on the Easter bunny, feasts and chocolate, while there may be others who attend church, more as an obligation than a choice. And then there will be those that know the meaning and reason for Easter and will rejoice all day!!

The truth of Easter is that Jesus died for us so that we may live. It is the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.  Our sins are covered, we are forgiven, and eternal life awaits us when we are called home. But we must first believe and confess our belief with our words. For years I felt saddened when Easter approached. It seems I couldn’t get past the brutal crucifixion. But then I saw the joy in the resurrection. A second chance. A new beginning. A new life in Him. Finally, seeing and realizing the glory I had missed before. It is His gift to us…it doesn’t have to be earned, it is by His grace that we are saved. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works so that no one can boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9. However your day is spent, take time for Him and if you haven’t proclaimed Jesus as your Lord and Savior, there is no better time. Blessings!!

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Cross Easter Friday God good Hope Jesus Resurrection https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/4/easter Wed, 08 Apr 2020 16:45:22 GMT
The Journey https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/4/the-journey  

 

 

The JourneyThe Journey So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”  John 12:13

This weekend marks Palm Sunday. It begins the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem. Many churches celebrate this by blessing and giving palm branches or reeds made into crosses to each family. It is a significant reminder that palm branches were scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. It is the beginning of what we call Holy Week leading up to our celebration of Easter, marking Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. It wasn’t an easy journey for Jesus but He had the supernatural strength of His Father.

And so it is with us too. We have God’s strength and comfort to overcome the fears of the times we are in right now. The isolation and restrictions have been extended due to the seriousness of the pandemic. But Jesus was an overcomer and so are we. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39. It is the time to lean into our faith, to pray without ceasing and to heed the warnings and instructions of our leaders. On social media I heard that a family printed out a copy of Psalm 91 and posted it on their front door. It was symbolic as if to say, “no weapon formed against us can prosper here in our house”. Embrace this time to hear the voice of God. To come closer to Him. Make this time at home count. Our prayers today and everyday might include the many people making a difference to help us on so many levels. God bless everyone.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) endure faith God hope Jesus. Palm pandemic Sunday https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/4/the-journey Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:45:25 GMT
Nesting https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/3/nesting Quiet Time Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  Matthew 6: 25-27

A wren couple has been diligently building a nest out of pine straw and our new mulch this week. They decided the hanging basket by my covered front porch would be the perfect place to raise their future family.  Luckily I can peer out the window to check on their progress.  They have done beautiful work and I believe the nest is almost complete now.

A bird nest is a symbol which represents love and commitment. Watching them work hard with such a purpose was an important lesson for me. And that is, that life goes on. Regardless of what happens around us, we are to carry on too. We are to be anxious for nothing. God’s provision will get us through.

Much like the wrens, we too are nesting in place at home with the current virus outbreak. While we may feel like everything is on hold, our faith is not. Take this time and use it as you feel God would have you do. Call someone, write a letter, Pray, intercede, be a blessing.There are many people that need some comfort and a simple phone call could help. Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25

Even as we are limited in where we can go, we are not limited in what we can do. Stay connected in love, stay in prayer and most of all stay connected to God who continues to take care of us. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) anxiety God nest nesting peace reflections virus https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/3/nesting Thu, 26 Mar 2020 15:02:31 GMT
At This Time https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/3/at-this-time  

 

  At This TimeAt This Time Those who live in the shelter of the Most High

    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

 This I declare about the Lord:

He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;

    he is my God, and I trust him.

 For he will rescue you from every trap

    and protect you from deadly disease. Psalm 91 1-3

 

Like many of you I stand in amazement about how the world and our lives have changed so dramatically in a matter of days.  Nothing prepared us for the suddenness of the events unfolding around us. How often we feel untouchable and invincible. And how humbling and eye opening for us to see that we are not! We are living at this time with uncertainty. Having said that, for the most part, we are adaptable and obedient and living in faith regardless of our circumstances.  Fortunately most everyone is heeding to the new boundaries set for us with regards to cancellations, closings and social distancing. We must hear the facts and act accordingly, but then we have a choice beyond that. Will we live in faith or in fear?

Be the person that people look to for faith and inspiration. That is the better way. Using gratitude as our guide to praise and be thankful for the people that are on the front line trying to protect us. Tempering our comments and news reports around our children so they don’t harbor fear that they cannot process at an early age.  Some hard lessons are being learned right now. Loss of wages makes financial hardships difficult to be grateful for. But God is the provider and He makes a way where there doesn’t seem to be a way. Replacing fear with faith, believing that we are under God’s care and umbrella of protection will get us through. My grandmother often said, “And this too shall pass”. And it always did!  And it will this time too. Let’s do what we are told to do, let’s make the best of it and let’s be the calm light of faith in all we say and do. Read Psalm 91, the Psalm of Protection. It will be an encouragement and faith builder.  God bless you.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) 91 faith fear God protection Psalm virus https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/3/at-this-time Wed, 18 Mar 2020 17:12:09 GMT
Boundaries https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/3/boundaries  

BoundariesBoundaries Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:26-27

 

What are they? Why do we need them? How do we apply them?   The dictionary describes a boundary as a limit or a border. Utilizing boundaries helps to eliminate chaos and sets the course for our relationships, our marriages, the workplace and more.

Imagine taking out a boat and not observing the channel markers.  It wouldn’t take long to hit a sandbar and run aground. What if signs were posted for rip tides, yet a swimmer ignored them. There a huge chance underwater currents could overwhelm the swimmer. Confinements are for our good.

Boundaries begin with us. We must decide if we choose to observe and honor them or not. The Bible says we are to be responsible for ourselves under Him. Basically a boundary is where we end and someone else begins. These “lines in the sand” Indicate what we should be responsible for and what is not our responsibility. We must not rely on others to do what we can and should do for ourselves. To foster a sense of entitlement is out of God’s order.  A good relationship with healthy borders practices respect and honor. Healthy limitations promotes growth. “For each will have to bear his own load.” Galations 4:5 ESV And you may be asking, how do I begin living a life with godly barriers? Maybe by limiting saying yes all the time when we sometimes want to say no is the first step. It is just the tip of the iceberg. Soul search today. Are we helping others when we say yes or would we help a person more to say no so they could grow and learn to rely to themselves? Seek what God says about boundaries.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach boundaries Galatians God Proverbs https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/3/boundaries Thu, 12 Mar 2020 16:38:17 GMT
Daffodils https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/3/daffodils

 

  DaffodilsDaffodils I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13

This week I opened my computer to see the news of the day and there it was…a beautiful photograph of daffodils! My first sign of spring had arrived! Standing tall in their bright yellow ruffles and their long trumpet shaped center, it reminded me that the season of winter is slowly passing and making way for the rebirth of spring. The passage of time from one season to another brings symbolism too. Several cultures attribute the daffodil with bringing hope. It reminds us of its faithfulness to return to its full glory every year. And they multiply too. Planting just a few this year will yield even more next year and the year after that. Drive by an old abandoned house in the country and you will find the daffodils standing proud. They are faithful. 

Can we do that too! God is infinite. We can tap into His hope and by His grace we can multiply His goodness to others and watch it grow.  Each day we have the chance to make it better than the one before. Little kindnesses and encouragement are seeds we plant and soon there is a harvest of hope where none existed before. God can use us and He can multiply our efforts so that one little cluster of hope can become a field of faith. 

Admire the spring daffodils with new appreciation. Harsh winters, warm winters, poor soil, no rain….but the daffodil is faithful to show up as it is expected to do.  Let’s be inspired to keep God’s goodness, faith and hope alive in this new season unfolding before us. Let us show up and overflow with a new purpose in Him.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) daffodil faithfulness god hope rebirth renewal spring https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/3/daffodils Thu, 05 Mar 2020 18:46:07 GMT
Snow- https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/2/snow  

 

SnowSnow Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NLT

How exciting to wake up to find that overnight the snow fell and blanketed everything in white. Every leaf on every shrub acts as a small cup to hold the flakes. The tree branches look so intricate with a coating of snow as though an artist brushed fine strokes of white paint along the limbs. The view first thing in the morning is breathtaking. I love especially to take photographs of the snow before the dogs and children start to play and before footprints and shovels change the scenery and serenity.  For just a little while, everyone seems to stop what they are doing to look out the window at the pristine gift from nature. The birds and squirrels seem to take pause, too to witness the peacefulness of the moment. Extra coffee, hot cocoa, building a fire and a pot of warm soup are soon to follow such a beautiful morning.  Someone once said that when snow falls, nature listens. I believe it is nature’s way to show us what peace is all about.

When we see snow, it is pleasing not to see any footprints in the virgin snow. But in our faith, we definitely want to see evidence of God’s footprint in our lives. We are encouraged when we have divine appointments. When things happen that only God could have orchestrated.  The poem about footprints in the sand speaks of a person that only sees one set of footprints in the sand and assumes they are his The poem goes on to say those footprints were God’s not his. That God was carrying him during times of difficulty because he couldn’t walk himself.  We are simply never alone. There is evidence of God’s footprint everyday in our lives.  For example, finding the verse in the Bible that seems to leap out and was written just for us for the trial we are facing. And how do we know that God is present? It is in the feeling, knowledge and awareness of His Peace that envelopes everything inside and outside of us. We breathe better. We don’t carry a hardened heart and we have emptied out bitterness. Think of that snowy day. How a smile comes so easy. Problems seem so insignificant if for only a moment and joy rises from deep within. That overwhelming feeling and joy that fills us to overflowing is peace. Seek His Peace in every choice, every decision, and every moment. Staying in peace is the best barometer for a good life.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/2/snow Fri, 21 Feb 2020 16:08:13 GMT
Keeping Track https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/2/keeping-track  

Keeping TrackKeeping Track God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.-Hebrews 6:10

We track the shipping of our packages, the steps we walk per day and our email inboxes. We track the dollars we spend in order to stay within our budget and so much more. Lists and forms plus handy apps have transformed our world into easy accountability, if we choose it. Kitchen timers keep us from burning dinner and we can even track the number of minutes we spend talking on the phone. At any given time we can reflect and review on how our time and money is spent. All these things can be helpful, but also very illuminating about where our time goes.

It is said that it is more important to build treasures up in Heaven than it is to build treasures on this earth. Have we given God His due? Are we making time and giving of ourselves and riches to help grow His Kingdom? Are we using our time and resources to bring the Light of God’s Salvation to others, so they can have a life of eternity too? How do we do that you may ask? This is what I’ve been taught. Start by prayerfully asking God to bring one person to mind. Someone that doesn’t know God. Or perhaps they felt betrayed by God when their prayer wasn’t answered their way and they have fallen. Surprisingly, it could be someone in our own family. Pray for them daily, without ceasing. Ask God to open their hearts and minds to desire to know God personally. Invite them to church or to a Bible study, even though they may decline the invitation at first. Remembering all along that we are representing God with our actions, words and demeanor. As we pray and build our relationship stronger with this person, they may begin to show trust, and when we speak, they often listen. From experience, it might take many tries and a lot of prayer, but God will help behind the scenes. That we can count on. He is tracking our efforts and watching us expand His Kingdom. That is where the real treasure lies.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) believe church earth God heaven salvation track tracking treasure trust https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/2/keeping-track Thu, 13 Feb 2020 00:48:03 GMT
You Are Loved https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/2/you-are-loved You Are LovdYou Are Lovd Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Cor. 13:4-7 NIV

“You are loved”. Aren’t they the words we all long to hear? “I love you. I care about you. I cherish you. You mean so much to me”. These little words have big impact. Whether these endearments come from the mouths of little tots or the wrinkled faces of the elderly, the effect is the same, lasting pure joy fills our heart. Love is described as “an intense feeling that shows deep affection”. So how can we put this definition into action and apply it using our faith? Love is accepting someone, faults and all. Love is sitting with a friend through their trial. Love is helping or giving without being credited or acknowledged. Love is standing by that person even when you don’t feel like it anymore. Love is being supportive and encouraging. Love is being tolerant and patient when we feel otherwise. 

God has set the example by loving us no matter what we do and will do. If we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are forgiven. That is the greatest love of all. The greatest sacrifice. The greatest gift. Take the scripture today to heart. Study it. Know it. Do it. Do we follow the example provided for us? Do we show love, expressing love generously? Who is hurting today and what can we do about it? Showing love with a kind word, a hug, a card, a phone call. It all matters. Every little act of love can fill you when you are filling another’s heart. Use the upcoming Valentines’ Day to reach out to someone and leet them know you are there. Henry David Thoreau said, “There is no remedy for love but to love more.” Be a blessing. Be blessed. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God love https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/2/you-are-loved Sat, 08 Feb 2020 17:13:10 GMT
Solitude https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/1/soitude SolitudeSolitude

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. -Psalm 62:5 NIV

This is the time of year when you can have the beach all to yourself. I love these days of solitude as I do a panoramic scan of the area and it is just me and the sea. The natural beauty of the beach is prevalent.  The summer umbrellas and beach chairs have been put away for the season and the natural landscape stands still, at rest for a while, before the hustle and bustle of spring comes about again. 

That’s how it is with us at times. We are often on a treadmill of fast- paced activity as we scurry from one project or one place to another. When we get caught up in demands and schedules that are hard to maintain, it takes its toll on us and we no longer think clearly, our bodies grow tired and our good naturedness gives way to grumpiness. Our mind, body and spirit were meant for a period of rest. Being still and at rest is one of the ways that we can begin to listen for God’s voice on the inside of us. It is when we can abide in Him and He can abide in us that we know we are connected. 

We function best when we follow a busy time with a rest and period of solitude. If we observe each season from a spiritual standpoint, there is something to learn from each of them. Spring is for planting and sowing seeds of faith. Summer is a growing season when we can put our faith to the test as we walk on the path of our Christian journey. Fall is when we begin to see the fruits of our labor and we see a harvest of prayers that are answered. Winter is when we prepare for the quiet time and the rest where God rejuvenates us and puts in us ideas, hopes and dreams that we nurture and incubate while waiting for spring. Now, we are approaching the time of solitude. The birds, trees and vegetation are beginning to show signs of this as the days are shorter and the temperatures have cooled. In our Christian life, there are times for listening and times for doing. Learning to be in solitude so we can hear His Voice in our hearts will make us more usable to Him. He gives us direction and leading and if we are willing, God will put us in situations where we can serve Him by helping others. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God peace season solitude winter https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/1/soitude Thu, 30 Jan 2020 15:46:32 GMT
Wintry Blast https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/1/wintry-blast

 

 

Wintry BlastWintry Blast For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. -Hebrews 3:14 NLT

 

A cold front came and brought with it a wintry blast of cold air.  Plunging temperatures and strong winds lingered for days. For some people it was an unwanted change in the weather, but I do admit I loved every minute of it. Yes, I must be a winter girl. My husband reminds me that he was always the one shoveling snow and cleaning cars and I was just an observer from the warmth on the inside! He’s right. Sometimes the dogs and I played in the snow while he worked. On social media I thoroughly enjoy seeing photos of backyards covered in the white stuff. Children playing, dogs and horses romping around in excitement. We can grumble at this wintry interruption of snow and frigid temperatures that chill us to the bone, or we can enjoy and appreciate the wonder of it. Cold weather refreshes me and lifts my spirit, particularly if snow is involved. Maybe for a few minutes it takes us back to the days of youth when we dried off our mittens and hats by the roaring fire. And maybe if you were like me, you got to wear your Dad’s boots with extra socks to make those first footprints in the snow. How safe I felt wearing his boots. Yes, I suppose I equate sweet innocence with cold weather and snow. Doesn’t everybody!!

 

There is a sweet innocence in trusting God, even when we can’t see or understand what is happening around us. I think that is joy everlasting. I am filled with gratitude that we have Him to place our hope in. To trust in. To love, especially knowing He loves us back, no matter what. Life can get complicated. Sadness and grief strike without warning. An avalanche of emotions takes over and we begin the struggle of coping. An emotional wintry blast can come leaving us numb, stunned and cold. But God always has the answer. Yes, in times of despair in my life, I have cried, sat in the dark in the middle of the night in confusion, but God brings us out and up and over. Every time. He allows us to bask in His Light ad warmth. He provides a path to walk on. He carries us when we can’t walk. He provides boundaries, guidance and love for our journey. He refreshes us. With Him, we can face anything.  Put your faith in Him.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) faith God interruption love snow winter https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/1/wintry-blast Thu, 23 Jan 2020 17:46:07 GMT
Guidance https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/1/guidance

GuidanceGuidance A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

What is guidance: Webster’s suggests it is advice or information aimed at resolving a problem or difficulty. And if we are honest, each of us probably needs guidance in abundance. No, we don’t know everything but don’t tell my 7 year old grandson that!!   Caring guidance and direction are necessary for our spiritual growth.

We are faced with so many decisions and choices each day. But where do we go to find this guidance that we need? But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. James 1:5. There it is. Guidance is freely given to those that seek.

We aren’t to conform to what everyone else is doing. We need to renew our minds and be fresh and alert to the voice of God and His Ways so that we can discern God’s will. (Romans 12:2)  True that God does give us free will but He walks along side of us to nudge us along the way. This keeps us on the straight and narrow path.

On many occasions we can discern as to what God would have us do through prayer. However, He may bring us a wise friend to counsel us or we may see a verse in the Bible that we feel was handpicked for our situation. That’s God confirming His guidance when it comes back around to us in more than one way. That is our green light to move forward.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) direction discernment god guidance help https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/1/guidance Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:06:42 GMT
Getting Started https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/1/getting-started

 

 

Getting StartedGetting Started I look up to the mountains, does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! Psalm 121:1-2

January is always a good time to start something new. A project, a new habit, a job, a new health regimen. The options available to us are unlimited. Maybe it is reading the Bible more. Attending a Bible study. Walking with a neighbor, starting that new book, taking a class. This is the time of year where we get excited over all we can accomplish and before you know it, the day, the week, the month and the year is over and we have nothing to show for our enthusiasm but talk and no action. Oh how I speak from experience in this area!  And so this is the year I have decided once and for all to eat right. Oh weary me! I may turn green from eating lots of collards, kale and broccoli!!  But I’m doing it. The hard part was to commit and get started and I know I will be better for it. What are the new things you are pondering? Are you ready to get started?

Or perhaps, instead of starting something, there is behavior that needs to stop. Maybe an addiction, bad behavior or abuse in any form. Has your heart been heavy with this struggle? This is very real. Is this your year too? Are you ready to prayerfully take it to God and follow with action?

Whether it is a new habit or lifestyle or a serious addiction, oftentimes, we need a partner. Someone to keep us accountable. Someone that we care about and that we wouldn’t let down. And we don’t want to be a burden to friends or perhaps we are too ashamed to share our struggles. Whether it is a goal, a dream or a ungodly situation, give it to God. Partner with Him. He will see us through. We must do the work, but He walks along side of us to shore us up when we fall short. We are not quitters if God is in our corner. He provides help and peace and fortitude to get us into victory. Our help comes from Him.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) goals God help new plans start stop year https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/1/getting-started Thu, 09 Jan 2020 19:15:13 GMT
Serving in the New Year https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/1/serving-in-the-new-year

 

 

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.-Mark 10:45

What a year! What a decade! The calendar is closed on the past and we move forward in hopes of good things in our future.

Everywhere I have turned this week the message has been “to serve’. The book of Mark shows us the many ways that Jesus served people. What a wonderful example of how He put others first and himself last. Christmas is barely behind us. Did you notice how gratifying it was to give rather than to receive? To bless someone, expecting nothing in return? The lighthouse in today's photograph protects and provides guided light for those on land and sea. We expect it to be there. We rely on its beacon. 

We also rely on God to guide and direct us in a much greater way. But He uses many methods in doing His work. For instance, a divine appointment puts us in places we wouldn’t normally be. It is for a purpose. Perhaps we are to serve God through giving a kind word, a helping hand, pressing a few dollars into the hand of another. It is limitless what God can do through us and where He will place us. Be alert and wise to the the disappointments and discouragements that invariably will come. They may be disguised as a divine appointment.

I have another surgery and several weeks of radiation to come in a few weeks. I am actually looking forward to what God has waiting for me. The new people that will be in the same situation as me that I will sit alongside of in a waiting room. My experience having gone through this in the past says there will be acquaintances made, conversations had, and encouragement shared. And faith will be shared.

Wherever God places us in this new year, lets be grateful as God knows what is best for us at the end of the day. Let our works, our life, our attitude glorify God. Happy New Year!

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) appointment Beacon blessing divine faith God Lighthouse servicing https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2020/1/serving-in-the-new-year Thu, 02 Jan 2020 16:34:26 GMT
Christmas Eve https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/12/christmas-eve As the sun goes down on a last minute, hectic sort of day in preparation and anticipation of Christmas, the stillness of Christmas Eve can be mesmerizing. Lighted decorations flicker on through the neighborhood at dusk. The grand music from Handel’s “Messiah” replaces “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” on the radio. The reverence of this night begins to envelope us and the peace that follows comforts us. As the night sky unfolds, one by one, the stars above begin to twinkle overhead with an extra brilliance. I find myself looking to the east for that special star and wondering what it was like the night Jesus was born. Christmas EveChristmas Eve

 

The real meaning of Christmas can be found, not in the decorations, the expectation of Santa’s arrival or the presents under the tree. God’s gift to us was His Son, Jesus, who came to this world so that we may live, that through His sacrifice on the cross, we should have everlasting life. There is so much about Jesus to learn.  So much He wants to teach us. For years we read the poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas “ to our children on Christmas Eve. How I look back now and wish that we had focused more on the Birth of Jesus than we did the arrival of Santa Claus. Perhaps it is not too late to start a new tradition by adding the story of the Birth of Jesus to our Christmas Eve ritual.

 

Just to remind us again how it all began, here is the story of the birth of Jesus, as told by Luke.

 

 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 "Glory to God in the highest,
      and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. –Luke 2:1-20 NIV

Merry Christmas to each of you and God’s Blessings to all.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Bible God Jesus joy scripture https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/12/christmas-eve Thu, 19 Dec 2019 16:27:29 GMT
The New Year https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/12/the-new-year but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. –Isaiah 40:31 NIV
The New YearThe New Year

 

Expectant hope is the term that I want to keep close to me in this coming year. Just like the calendar year transition from one year to the next, we often go through cycles of transition ourselves. One thing for sure, we are never standing still. We are either going forward or backward. Sometimes the choice is up to us.

 

While the sun begins to set on the last days of this year, we are hopeful about what 2020 will bring to each of us. There may be good times and bad times. Happy times and sad times. In-between times. Busy times and quiet times. Like the tide that comes and goes, our life ebbs and flows, too. But this much we do know. We can face anything that comes our way as long as we have a strong, steady relationship with God. A daily relationship. It doesn’t have to be a long-drawn out session….just start off by talking with Him a few minutes each day. Tell Him your concerns and surrender them over to Him. Then Trust Him. Wait on Him. Lean to listen for Him to speak wisdom into your heart. But most of all, while you grow in the Lord, hold on to expectant hope. Believe that God has wonderful things He wants to bless you with. I believe that 2020 has something wonderful for each of us if we choose to live in expectant hope while trusting Him.

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) 2020 Expectant God Hope New Year https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/12/the-new-year Thu, 19 Dec 2019 16:23:55 GMT
Christmas Joy https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/12/christmas-joy

 

Christmas JoyChristmas Joy Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. -Psalm 90:14 NIV

Tis the season to be jolly. And I admit to feeling that way this year. But I am also aware that not everyone is feeling as joyous this Christmas for one reason or another. Tightened finances may keep families apart due to the expense of traveling this season. Others have gotten bad news from the doctor. Some may be looking for work and can't find it. And then there are the folks that have lost a loved one this past year and are feeling especially lonely. How can the Christmas spirit be captured when facing these things?

Today I was in the checkout line at the department store. I struck up a conversation with the elderly gentleman behind me. He was holding a new fishing rod and reel and was looking at it admiringly. I thought he was buying it for a grandchild because it really looked like a “starter set”. The gentleman said with pride that he was buying it for himself. As he began to chat away, in about 5 minutes, he told me a great deal about his life. He had moved here just two weeks ago from the Midwest to be closer to family. His wife was an invalid in the nursing home, he still drives everywhere he goes and had traveled to South America years ago and it was his favorite place on this earth. Yes, all this in just a few minutes, and I never even got his name!  But what struck me about this man as his story unfolded, was that he had every reason to be sad about moving from his home of many years to a new place so far away, or distraught because his precious wife couldn't talk and he didn't know if she recognized him anymore. He could have been anxious about learning a new town and fearful about driving on unfamiliar streets. But no. He was smiling from ear to ear. He laughed, his eyes twinkled and he was simply bubbling over with joy. This man was happy to be alive.  I wished him a Merry Christmas and smiled back at him as I said goodbye. This stranger was clearly in his mid-80's and seemed to have more energy and enthusiasm for life than I did. Before I drove out of the parking lot, I just sat for a few minutes and thought, “what was the lesson”?  I believe what made that gentleman special in my eyes was that his circumstances weren't the focus but instead, he was determined to have joy despite his circumstances. He wasn't cranky or bitter, but was genuinely happy. This man made a great impact on me and I believe it was one of God’s divine appointments at work. Maybe he was one of those “old school” kinds of people where you lived simply, gave thanks and worked at living life until the last breath. I know people that have far less problems to deal with and behave much worse.

So whatever we face, whatever our circumstances, I believe God wants us to be cheerful about where we are. We are to remember that He has the Plan and we are taught to believe that He orders our steps. If it is a hard time we are going through, He will sees us through. God is our source for everything. He is the Healer and the Provider. With God on one side and us on the other side with the talents and skills He has given us, we can rise up. We might not have expected to be in the middle of a difficult situation but God says to cast our cares upon Him. If we find that we are blessed this season, then perhaps we can reach out to help someone that is struggling and bless them. Wherever we are and whatever is going on, there is always joy that we can claim. Perhaps the answer is right before us...developing a Godly attitude, no matter what we come against. We cannot control our circumstances but we do have the ability to control our attitude. Like that happy gentleman in the checkout line, we can find a little joy.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach Christmas fishing God joy https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/12/christmas-joy Thu, 12 Dec 2019 16:00:00 GMT
Christmas Ornaments https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/12/christmas-ornaments

 


Christmas OrnamentChristmas Ornament Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall

–Psalm 55:22 NIV

 

I thought about getting an early start on my decorating. We put up the tree and then it sat there for a few days, maybe even a week with just the lights. In years past I would have had the help of our children to trim the tree. There would be hot chocolate, half- eaten candy canes strewn about, my husband mumbling about the tangled lights and Andy Williams Christmas songs playing on the stereo as the dogs and cat fought for a place to lay under the tree. If it sounds chaotic, it was. But, I admit I miss all the commotion of this treasured family pastime.

One by one, we opened the boxes and the memories came flooding back to us. The special ornaments like the plastic Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus that my daughter “borrowed” years ago from my parents tree and placed on our tree when she was four years old. Then there was the stuffed Easter bunny that has been on our tree ever since my son realized the connection between Christmas and Easter and decided that we should celebrate both holidays at once, or at least on our tree. The glittered gum balls from grade school along with the hand painted ornaments we made one year when we were feeling crafty were placed carefully on the tree. The tree was filling up with over 40 plus years of memories. I couldn’t help but think long and hard of where we had been and where we were going. Our life was spread out on that tree. There was the little white church that I bought for the tree the year I went through a serious illness. There were the ornaments that my husband and I gave to each other when times were lean and they were our only gift to each other. The handmade cloth stuffed ornaments that have lasted over two decades still looked good as new. But I couldn’t say the same for the featherless bird (thanks to the cat) that has had a place of honor on the tree for years.

Standing in the distance, gazing at the tree in all its years of memories and beauty, I was left with a wonderful thought of gratefulness that we have been blessed through good times and bad, through ups and downs. The memories of Christmases long ago continues to live on in the beauty of each ornament. The spirit of Christmas was there all along. It’s in the love of God and family. Love is at the heart of Christmas and God’s love remains the same even when there is change all around us.  He is the One we count on, the One we look to and the One we have faith in. The One who sustains us. God is there always, standing beside us in all times.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) christmas git god memories ornament https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/12/christmas-ornaments Thu, 05 Dec 2019 16:00:00 GMT
Making Promises https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/11/making-promises

 

 

 

Making PromisesMaking Promises Be very careful when you go to worship God. It is better to listen to God than to give sacrifices like fools. Fools often do bad things, and they don’t even know it. -Ecclesiastes 5:1

  If you were blessed enough to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast like I did, our waistlines may be a bit snug!  We count ourselves blessed, including the extra pounds!! Priorities and circumstances make the days far too rare when families can all be together in celebration.  Maybe your family was spread out this year and couldn’t be together, but hopefully phone calls and all the modern technology helped you to connect. Holidays are not always joyous for some people for many reasons, and we should take note of how we can be a blessing, if possible. But regardless of where we are and what we do, we could reflect and remember to cherish the memories we have, both past and present.

A recent cherished memory is one with my grandson when we were spending some special time together.  I asked him what was the best part of Christmas, in his opinion. He thought a moment and said, “You might think I would say presents but that isn’t true…it is about celebrating Jesus’ birthday”.  Well my heart sang and I beamed with joy, knowing my talks with him appeared to be taking root.  But then again, I considered maybe he could be buttering up his gullible Gigi, to say what I wanted to hear. I hope not!!! Children can add such flavor and personality to a situation when they have a goal they are trying to achieve!! It may be wise for us to remember in the next 30 days kids may tell us what we want to hear in hopes it could increase the Christmas morning bounty!!

When we want something really badly, we can be children ourselves, and go to the throne and promise God anything and everything, if he will just fix our problem. Heal us. Restore us. Save us. Prosper us. Please God Please, is our cry. We are telling Him what we think He wants to hear.  It is easy to promise that we will never miss a Sunday in church, that we will be nice to that annoying neighbor, we will start tithing and so on. We must humor God at times I think. In the end, God knows our heart at all times.  He loves us. Never doubt that. I see God’s Hand in my own life day after day. Especially at a time when I feel out of control regarding some of my own issues. He is in control. He is Good. He is God. He is worthy of our trust to decide what is best for us. Whatever may be on your heart, walk it to the throne and lay it before Him. Surrender it and then trust Him.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) children christmas God holidays promises surrender thanksgiving trust https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/11/making-promises Sat, 30 Nov 2019 12:00:00 GMT
Thanksgiving https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/11/thanksgiving

ThanksgivingThanksgiving O Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever.

-Psalm 107:1

 

Thanksgiving is the time of year that makes me think of simpler times. I think of the first Thanksgiving where the history books say the menu included wild turkey, pumpkin and grains from Indian corn.  The first Thanksgiving was intended not only as a celebration of the harvest, but as a day of prayer as well to thank God for the crops.  It is written that we should hem our blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. When the women of that time made their long hand-sown dresses, I wonder if they thought of their blessings with every stitch they sewed.

Their world was probably as complex to them as ours seems to us today. While the times have changed from a primitive world to a more modern one, the meaning of Thanksgiving has never changed.  Thanksgiving is nationally honored in our country and is an official holiday. The origin of the word “holiday” comes from the phrase “holy day”. That is a good reminder to celebrate our holidays with reverence. But how do you do that, starting with Thanksgiving? Maybe you have never said a blessing over a meal before, or maybe you will be in a large crowd and are uncomfortable praying out loud. That is okay. Perhaps you can read scripture from the Bible or find a God-inspired Thanksgiving poem from the bookshelf to read. Try sharing a collaborative prayer where everyone takes a turn at the table saying one thing they are thankful to God for. Perhaps you could enjoy taking a walk on the beach to see God's beauty while giving thanks to Him in private. Whatever the action, I believe God would want to be a part of our Thanksgiving holiday to make it more of a holy day. We should show our thankfulness through our example. President John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach god grateful holy park prayer thankful thanksgiving https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/11/thanksgiving Fri, 22 Nov 2019 01:19:00 GMT
Be A Blessing https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/11/be-a-blessing

Be A BlessingBe A Blessing

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25

My girlfriend fought me ‘tooth and nail’ but I really wanted to bless her by buying her dinner. A friend wanted to buy a small art sketch I made but instead I gave it as a gift. This opportunity to bless two more friends happened in the course of two weeks.  So many more things happened where I was in a place to bless others and I did. I recognized God’s blessing on me and I wanted to do the same to pay it forward. We don’t do these kindnesses in order to get anything back or to earn points with God. We do it because we know the importance of kindness and sharing God’s love. If we can do one thing to brighten another person’s day we should do it.  It doesn’t have to involve money. It can be sharing a recipe or offering a sandwich at work or delivering a bouquet of flowers from your garden. And most certainly the greatest gift we can give is our time and to offer a prayer.

It is hard to express the overwhelming feeling of joy when we heed the call to bless another. Yes, it is important when people wish to bless us too.  We understand the significance of allowing another person to fulfill their need to bless us.  Anytime we shift the focus from ourselves and to another, it lifts our spirit too. If we have problems weighing us down and we feel like wallowing or hyper focusing on our needs and wants, it doesn’t serve us well.  That’s a red flag to us to change course and get busy doing God’s work. We have a choice to either swaddle ourselves in worry and pity or rise up and start using our gifts and heart for the good of others, if we are physically able.  Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4  Being His Hands and His Heart on this Earth blesses everyone!

I too, am in a situation where I could wallow in my circumstances if I wanted to. But I choose not to, instead I want to be a blessing.  Why do I mention this now? Because if the knowledge of what I am facing will help only one person, it will be worth it to share.  Last week, I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. I am blessed. No pity for me. It could be so much worse. Was it a surprise? Yes indeed. I had no idea! Tomorrow I will see the surgeon to see what we will do. Over 19 years ago, I faced breast cancer, treated successfully and have remained healthy since then. It was at that time that ‘Reflections by the Sea’ was born. Good came from something bad. 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  God has kept me in total peace and I have total trust and confidence in Him and the doctor He has sent to help me. I am approaching everything with a grateful heart on this new path. In the Book of James, we are encouraged to pray for one another and so I humbly ask for your prayers for God’s leading and guidance. I thank you and God bless you.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) bless Blessing God help path prayer https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/11/be-a-blessing Thu, 14 Nov 2019 22:16:21 GMT
The Journey https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/11/the-journey

 


JourneyJourney For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

–Deuteronomy 30:16 NIV

There are so many paths, walkways and little bridges near my house leading to the water. Each one seems unique and constructed to accommodate the lay of the land. Some are straight and some are crooked. Some have stairs and some do not. Occasionally, benches are built as part of the walkways for those moments to sit a spell. Thankfully, some walkways are made for the handicapped to access so they too can enjoy the sea breeze and smell of salt air with a view. One day recently I set out to journey on as many walkways as I could. I had my camera and was looking for that perfect view to snap my photograph. I came to realize that every place I went was spectacular. Even though each walkway, path and bridge was different, they were similar in the fact that they all led to the water.

The dictionary says that journey is a process or course, a passage. It is the distance traveled or an act of traveling from one place to another. The journey that our own lives takes often resembles some of the walkways we see in our daily life. Some times our lives will run along straight and all of a sudden, something happens and our lives take a turn in a different direction. There are twists and turns along the way which makes the journey a challenge sometimes and a joyful experience at other times. Has a diagnosis thrown you a curve? Did the promotion go to someone else? Did that new client back out at the last minute when you badly needed the funds? We have all experienced sudden twists in the road of life. Sometimes the journey takes us high and sometimes it takes us down low. What lies before us can often seem overwhelming. But God wants to remind us that He leads us and He walks beside us. He is always there. I’ve personally learned the importance of surrendering to Him these last few weeks. How else can we face tough times without fully trusting Him. With one step at a time, we will get to where we are going on our journey, while taking comfort that the course we are on leads to God.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach bridge difficulty faith God journey path surrender trust walkway https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/11/the-journey Fri, 08 Nov 2019 03:33:36 GMT
The Unexpected https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/10/the-unexpected

 

 

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

 

 Many of us are planners and live by our calendars. We know where we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to be doing on any given day. I have just posted a new calendar just for t-ball practice and games for our grandson’s team. With all of our organization and planning many of us consider ourselves to be flexible and adaptable when we have unexpected things happen. Maybe a guest stays for dinner or we have to cancel our plans to watch a sick grandchild so their parents can go to work are just a few examples. Lunch with a friend has to be rescheduled for another time or weather has spoiled our day at the beach. In the scope of life, these things are very minor and can be figured out without any problem.

 

But some things happen that are truly unexpected and seem to come out of nowhere.  Major things. Life changing events. An accident, getting fired from a job you desperately need, the death of a loved one, a betrayal. We are left stunned and searching for answers. It is at these times that we are most likely to question our faith. “How could you God?  “Why this?” “Where are you God?” “Why did you let this happen?”  I know that there have been occasions in my life I have asked these questions. And then I am reminded in Isaiah 55 the Bible says “my ways are not His ways”. And I know that God does not owe me an explanation of anything He does but my mind tricks me to think if I could make sense of it, maybe I could accept it better. But many times, we have no answers and can’t go anywhere to get the answers. Things just happen. Life and death happens.  In those alone times of searching for understanding we must know we are not abandoned. In Isaiah the Bible says this in chapter 41 verse 10: Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. And then in Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet and light for my path. The Bible and prayer are where we can find the will of God for our lives in all the unexpected circumstances and chaos that takes us by surprise. God also makes a promise in Psalm 12:8: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will guide you with my eye. He is our rock and foundation no matter what!! Tuck these scriptures in your heart in case you need to them one day. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/10/the-unexpected Fri, 01 Nov 2019 03:05:09 GMT
Walking in Favor https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/10/walking-in-favor

 

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; -Psalm 90:17a NIV

Some of the most wonderful, memorable moments have been because of the relationships I have enjoyed. Some people have been friends for many years and others a short time as they were passing through on their journey. There is nothing that equals the feeling of being cherished, approved and accepted. The dictionary says that kindness, approval and friendly regard is called “favor.”

I can look over my life and see that God’s Favor is abundant. Like the times I should have been at the back of the line but was moved to the front. The occasion when an appointment was hard to get, yet a way was made immediately. Even something as simple as the best parking spot becoming available at the store on a rainy day. Favor is a gift from God as our reward and blessing for our obedience. Have you seen someone climb up the corporate ladder who wasn’t as qualified as the next person but they got the job anyway? That’s His Favor. The big break that was thought to be nearly impossible, yet it came through? Some people would refer to this as luck. But we know better. We don’t put our faith in luck. We put our faith in God and no matter what our circumstances look like, we believe that we walk in Faith surrounded by His Favor.

Some of us are parents. I know that as a parent I would do anything to help my children. Then if you picture your role as a parent with a heart of unconditional love just waiting to pour over them, how much more could we expect from our Heavenly Father?

We can expect to walk in God’s Favor if we walk in His Ways. And what happens when hardships come upon us? Have we fallen out of God’s Favor? No. God may allow our circumstances to be a little tough for the moment but it can make us stronger. When we walk through “the valley” it often illustrates to us what we are made of. Are we still strong in our faith? Do we balk at the first sign of difficulty and throw in the towel and declare that God has abandoned us? Do we sink into fear that we can’t rise out of our problems? So much we can learn about ourselves and what we are really made of. Whether we walk the mountaintop or the lowest valley, God wants us to walk with Him and He wants to pour out His Favor on us.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Acceptance Beach Faith Favor Friendship God walk https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/10/walking-in-favor Fri, 25 Oct 2019 12:21:58 GMT
Walking through Life https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/10/walking-through-life

Walking Through LifeWalking 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  -Roman 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 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!!

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) disappointment God hope trials walk https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/10/walking-through-life Mon, 14 Oct 2019 18:17:39 GMT
Help for the Hurting https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/10/help-for-the-hurting

Help for the HurtingHelp for the Hurting The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken! Psalm 34:17-20 NLT

This week I have heard of so many people that are facing trials. Health issues, family concerns, needing guidance in all kinds of situations. Many of these folks know God. (God bless the parents and grandparents that took the time to introduce God to a child who lives with Him in their life from an early age.) When I was a young child, my grandmother told me about Jesus and we made a scrapbook about Him using old church bulletins. I am forever grateful to her. Her faith led me in a straight path to Him and He has been my Protector and Provider ever since. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 2 Timothy 1:5

What about the person facing problems and they don’t know God? They have always relied on themselves and their own efforts to deal with difficulties and have prided themselves in doing pretty well. But they reach a situation that is more than they can handle. They face something insurmountable. Maybe they even feel hopeless. As a Believer, we know there is always hope. We have to reach out to these Dear Ones, and with God’s wisdom, show them a better way. It is our chance to shed light on their darkness. They don’t have to live in doubt about what God can do. At a time of crisis it is human nature to reach out. Choose to be the person to help them find God.  I remember that childhood song that says, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine”? One little light can make a difference.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach God hope hurt light lighthouse shine https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/10/help-for-the-hurting Thu, 10 Oct 2019 21:10:29 GMT
Affection https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/10/affection

 

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. Proverbs 3:27 NLT

AffectionAffection There is an affection that many of us have with the seashore that is deeply rooted within us. The lifestyle is casual and the pace is slow. But it is how we “feel” while near the water that fuels our affection. We flock to the beach in an effort to find answers and wisdom, hoping that we can find the clarity we need to cope with life. We subconsciously adjust our breathing to follow the rhythm of the waves. Our minds begin to clear like a cloudless blue sky day.  I believe the seashore is a gift from God.  Having walked the beach many times in search of guidance. I feel carefree, yet never outside the umbrella of God’s covering.

The dictionary describes affection as the emotional realm of love. I bet you can look back and think of all the times you received affection. Someone was happy to see you; an unexpected hug; a gift was given to you “just because”; and on and on. It is so wonderful to be on the receiving end of affection. It is also wonderful to be on the giving side too. I think I will make a list of things I can do to brighten someone’s day and then do it.  The late Maya Angelou said, “Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/10/affection Thu, 03 Oct 2019 14:35:35 GMT
Calm Waters https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/9/calm-waters Calm WatersCalm Waters Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.I Peter 3:8 NIV

One day the water is calm and then with a strong wind and tides, the water becomes choppy and strong. I’ve seen a quiet morning turn into a stormy afternoon with waves taking over the beach accompanied by enormous sea foam. Amazing to me that change can come so quickly. And then, the raging storm of waves subsides and the sea is calm again. It is exciting and thrilling to me to see what the water looks like each day.

Like a calm sea that gives way to a storm of waves, it seems to me our world today is full of differences. There’s fighting with words. Actions taken. Assumptions made and the differences grow wider than a strengthening hurricane in the Atlantic. “Listen more and talk less”, is what my mother always said. I believe she was right. But lets face it, some people are just plain disagreeable! They will take the opposing side of anything to feed their desire for debate.

What side should we choose? The calm waters or the choppy storm waters. If harsh words stirs the water, we could avoid them. To provoke someone into a debate is fools’ folly. But to listen, learn about the reasons for a person’s emotions and convictions is important. We don’t have to agree, but to be respectful will promote an environment with healthy exchange. Something that has been on my mind lately….do my words and actions glorify God. That is my measuring stick. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach choppy differences God ocean respect water waves https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/9/calm-waters Thu, 26 Sep 2019 15:36:22 GMT
Autumn https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/9/autumn

AutumnAutumn


Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.

-Matthew 13:32 NIV

One definition for the word “autumn” is reaching maturity.  Autumn is the time of year when the harvest comes in. The seeds planted in spring are ready to be harvested now. If summer droughts and disease didn't affect the plants and they made it through, then the harvest is to be celebrated. From just a tiny seed, so much is provided. This is a fun time of year to go to the various produce stands to see the pumpkin patch's, fruits, nuts and Indian corn. We have enjoyed decorating our home with a wreath of colorful fall leaves, nuts and acorns and miniature pumpkins. Each year when my children were little, we went to the country fields to walk the rows of pumpkins so they could each find their special one. We still laugh at the time I brought home a 75 pound pumpkin and had to strap it in the front seat with the seatbelt! Our front porch was always decorated with  pumpkins, pots of mums and that handmade wreath.  We even hung a cluster of Indian corn with a ribbon to the mailbox.

In our spiritual life, we can also enjoy the benefits of a harvest. But we do have to plant seeds first. So how do you do that? First it is the prayer of salvation that invites God into our heart. Making Jesus our Lord and Savior. Then it is reading the Bible to learn how to apply the principles to our life. Did you know the Bible will talk to us about how to have relationships, how to raise our children, how to be a light in the darkness? Probably the greatest thing any of us can do to strengthen our bond with God is to meet Him each day in prayer. Hopefully we should have a hunger and thirst for Him. Making time to do this is also an act of obedience and it is good discipline. It is as though we are showing up each day for our assignment from God. We can ask Him to mold and shape our day so that it glorifies Him.

Praying is like planting seeds. We know if we have done the work, the harvest will come. We know that in our prayer life, the harvest is when our prayers are answered with a solution or wisdom for being able to cope.  Sometimes before we can plant seeds, we have to plow up the soil and amend it. The soil may not be good and if so, nothing will grow. That applies to us spiritually as well. Forgiveness and bitterness have to be pulled out by the roots. They are weeds in our garden. Letting go of anger and disappointment too. Again, more weeds. Only when the weeds are gone, and the soil is right can we plant our seeds with confidence. A harvest awaits us if we are willing to do the work. That is how we can begin to walk in spiritual maturity.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) autumn fall God harvest maturity october september spiritual https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/9/autumn Thu, 19 Sep 2019 14:55:33 GMT
Being Childlike https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/9/being-childlike

 

 

BeingChildlikeBeingChildlike How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours!
The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.

–Psalm 116:5-7 NLT

We talk about building faith and many people are coming to a relationship with God for the very first time. We are told to approach God with a childlike way and spirit. We can speak simply to Him, not using fancy words in our prayers. Our vocabulary isn’t nearly as important as our heart. A child’s heart is pure and innocent and that is what pleases God. A childlike faith is tender and young and while those just starting out don’t know a lot about the Bible, they know enough of what is important, because they have chosen to seek and follow God.

Being childlike is sweet and genuine. Children listen to what is being told to them and they believe it. They view the world with eyes of love and kindness and a heart of wonder.  Joy comes easy to them. Their demeanor is so precious.  Some confuse childlike behavior and childishness. There is a big difference in the two. Some childish traits are acting spoiled, rebelling, pouting, and brooding. While we know better, we can’t resist giving in to our emotions and feelings and acting out these traits like a small child sometimes.  Temper tantrums don’t glorify God! Thank heavens that God continuously perfects us and I am grateful He hasn’t given up on me! How merciful He is!! We are all a work in progress.

We have choices. Be childlike or behave childishly when we act and react to things. What’s really important is how we choose to handle disappointments and difficult situations. Give it all to God. Release it. Let it go. And be sure to choose not to savor it in our mind and heart like cherished treasures because that keeps the feelings and emotion alive inside of us!! God is so good to us. He will save us from ourselves if we allow Him! We have to let Him do a work in us. We will begin to see our childlike faith develop into a foundation of strong spiritual maturity and the tendency to behave childishly will begin to disappear.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach childlike Children Faith God trust https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/9/being-childlike Thu, 12 Sep 2019 15:42:37 GMT
School https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/9/school

 

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways –Psalm 91:11 NIV

It is that time again. Summer is coming to a close and it is time to buckle down for a new school year. The children will cross another bridge into a new adventure of learning and growing. I remember fondly the days of trying to understand my kids’ bus schedule, shopping for their back to school clothes, getting them fresh haircuts and packing their new backpacks with all the essentials.

t won’t be long and fall pumpkins will appear on doorsteps, the weather will chill and first report cards will be issued. Soon, refrigerators will be plastered with artwork from the little ones; and older students will start science projects with boiling lava that will dominate the dining room table for weeks. Chorus concerts and school plays will be added to the calendar, too. It goes by fast. W. B. Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”. How true! We want our children to be on fire to learn. To press forward with enthusiasm at their new discoveries and to spark an interest that develops into a lifelong passion. We as parents must instill in our children the knowledge that school is a place of opportunity and adventure. A place to learn, discover and try new things on for size. Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. –Proverbs 23:12 NIV

But it is sometimes hard to let our children leave the nest for the big world. I wish I knew then what I know now. We can pray for God’s Protection over our children all day and all night. Now not a day goes by that I don’t ask God to watch over my children and their families.  Psalm 91 is a Psalm of Protection and sometimes that is what I will read as my prayer for them. It is just as important as a good breakfast, getting to school on time and doing homework….in fact, it is vital that God hears our prayers for them asking that no weapon formed against our children will prosper. There will be bumps on the knees, visits to the clinic, hurt feelings and the occasional brush with the class bully, but it is our children’s hearts and minds that we are praying for, as well as their physical protection. And we might add to our prayers a blessing for the teachers. They are truly special people with a heart for our children and education. They deserve our appreciation, gratitude and support for all they do as teachers and important role-models.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach child children god prayer protection pumpkin school https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/9/school Thu, 05 Sep 2019 15:23:28 GMT
Reflections https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/8/reflections

 

 

ReflectionsReflections As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Proverbs 27:18

I recently saw the window in our photo today. It wasn’t remarkable in any way. It needed painting and was worn and weathered. But what did catch my eye was the exact reflection of the surrounding area. It was beautiful and interesting.

If we were to imagine just for a moment that we were all windows, what would we be reflecting to others? What have we surrounded ourselves with? What is in our hearts that flows outwardly? Would there be joy and light in our reflection? Would we be reflecting God’s love to those looking in? Reflections don’t lie.

We may want to project a different reflection/image to others by altering our behavior, but ultimately, what is inside of us, what we think about, what we do, always comes out. Sadly, image has become so important in this day and time. The perfect marriage, the perfect job, the wonderful doting family, but godly wisdom says that no one person or one thing is perfect. Yet, many try to project perfection in hopes of being admired, albeit for the wrong reasons. And how often do we find the truth that behind the reflection is anything but perfection?

What lives in us and how we spend our time is what is seen. Children, grandchildren and friends are always observing us. Does our life and how we live each day inspire them to know Jesus? Are we a beacon of hope, faith and light to those searching for more? Are we advancing the kingdom with our actions? I think this week I am going to spend time thinking about what I am reflecting and does it glorify God.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) glorify God heart image inward Jesus life outward perfect perfection reflection Reflections window https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/8/reflections Thu, 29 Aug 2019 16:29:33 GMT
Sailing https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/8/sailing

 

SailingSailing The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. -John 3:8 NIV

For the first time I recently went sailing. It was a charter so I didn’t have to do any work but to enjoy myself and take lots of photographs. Being more used to a traditional boat where it can be a rougher ride, I was amazed how we sliced through the water effortlessly and quietly. The wind was strong and the deck hands worked to adjust the sails accordingly. A perfect day. I noticed a lot of lines on the vessel we were on. Lines for the sails, to tie up, to have just in case!! The teak was abundant and beautifully weathered but in great condition for the seats and floor. Just for a brief time, I felt so privileged to have this experience. The mainsail and jib (yes I am learning some sailing terms) worked beautifully together. Not a tear, no frayed seams and crisp white like the clouds above.

Sometimes our life is smooth sailing. Oh we love those times don’t we? Not a care in the world, everyone enjoys good health, prosperity, laughter and joy. Living in abundance.  A sailboat that criss-crosses the water with a great wind is paradise. But conversely, there are days when the wind isn’t stirring. It feels hot, humid and stagnant. Our life can mirror this at times. It could last a day, a month or years. Where is God? Doesn’t He see our struggles? Is He going to help us to get through this period? Like a motorboat that rides the waves up and down like a rollercoaster, the ride isn’t smooth and we feel we are getting tossed around needlessly.

Be assured. God sees and knows all. Some hardships are from our own doing. Unwise decisions because we are following our feelings, not His Word.  But most times there is a reason for the ebb and flow of life and we can learn lessons in our trials and difficulty. We benefit from these times more than we expect. We gain wisdom from experiences and God is there by our side. God is like the wind that we cannot see but know is there. Always trust and depend on Him in the highs and lows we encounter. It is the right course, the only course. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:2-6

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) abundance faith god peace sailing storms trust wind https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/8/sailing Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:08:54 GMT
Rain https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/8/rain

 

RainRain Rain

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

-Psalm 51:10  NIV

Have you ever noticed that a heavy rain shower brings everything back to life again? That is especially the way it is at the beach. The days’ footprints and sandcastles are washed away by the rain and the beach is left pristine and sparkling. Everything looks clean and pure. The grasses and sea oats appear to be nourished from the drink of water. The rain has rinsed sand from off of the shells and they glisten in their shades of white, ivory, coral and pink. This is the beach in its purest form.

While the beach can only renew itself when it rains, we can renew ourselves each and every day with God’s help. We can wash away yesterday’s debris from our hearts and lives and ask to begin anew. God just needs us to ask and He will provide. To renew our spirit gives us a chance to start over. We can do it over again each day and make it better than before. We can start by being kinder, more generous, sympathetic, caring, more spiritual, compassionate, and more faithful. In our prayer time, we should ask for a pure heart and a renewed spirit to bind us closer to Him.

 

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach boat clouds god rain refresh renew renewal sea https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/8/rain Thu, 15 Aug 2019 03:42:20 GMT
Filters https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/8/filters

 

FilterFilter For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them] -.Philippians 4:8 AMP

My camera has been a friend to me for many years. I don’t know of a better way to capture a moment, a sunrise or sunset or that perfect wave than with a snapshot. When the moment is gone, it is gone forever, only to live on in our minds. But if we capture it with a camera, the moment can live on for years.

My picture taking wouldn’t be complete with the use of filters on my camera lens. There are books on the subject of filters because there are so many to choose from. The definition of a filter is this: “Camera filters are optical elements that alter the properties of light entering the lens for the purpose of improving the image being recorded.” My favorite is the polarizing filter. Many types of filters absorb light, but what I like so much about the polarizing filter is that it absorbs unwanted reflections, which reduces the glare. It is a “must-have” filter when photographing the water.

The camera lens is not the only place a filter could be applied. With the world today and the choices we are exposed and have access to, it is almost necessary to put a filter on what gets into our heart, mind and spirit. A filter can reduce and eliminate negative and unwanted things. As I get closer to God, I find myself being more careful about what I read, view or listen to, especially in my own home where it is the most important. If we don’t exercise caution about this, there is the chance we can become deceived about what is good or not. That is what becoming “desensitized” means.  I will behave myself wisely and give heed to the blameless way--O when will you come to me? I will walk within my house in integrity and with a blameless heart. I will set no base or wicked thing before my eyes. I hate the work of them who turn aside [from the right path]; it shall not grasp hold of me. Psalm 101:2-3 Amplified Bible. We start by resisting anything we are not sure of.  Our scripture today in Philippians shows us what things to think on.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) filters God temptation wise https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/8/filters Tue, 06 Aug 2019 21:35:29 GMT
GPS https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/8/gps

 

 

GPSGPS For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. Philippians 2:13

I think most everyone knows what a GPS is. Many cars and boats have them and are useful in navigating us from one point to another. GPS is the abbreviation for a global positioning system: a system that can show the exact position of a person or thing by using signals from satellites. And oh how many of us rely on them to tell us where to turn when we are in unfamiliar territory!

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could plug into the Bible with a simple cord and immediately get directions on what to do and where to go. Which turns to make on our journey. Best of all to avoid the jams and trouble up ahead with an alternate route!! Unfortunately that little cord and special technology will never exist.

Part of our journey of faith and trust in God is to learn to wait on Him. How many times do we feel lost or forgotten and feel abandoned by the God that professes His love for us!! It happens. We often slip into those valleys and begin a downward spiral of self pity. But the truth is He has not forgotten us. His silence may be a signal that he is working behind the scenes for us. Perhaps he is using silence to bring us closer to Him. You know, when you can’t hear something you tend to lean in! We must always know and rely that God is for us and not against us. Our trust and faith means so much to Him. My dear grandmother had a saying that I remember to this day……”and this too shall pass”. Focus on God and not the valley. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

 

www.betsyoreglass.com

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) abandoned boats cars device god gps patience tracking trust https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/8/gps Thu, 01 Aug 2019 16:18:36 GMT
The Blue Crab https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/7/the-blue-crab

 

 

The Blue CrabThe Blue Crab Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  -Psalm 25:4-5 NIV

The blue crab is a bottom-dweller whose Latin name, Callinectes, in Greek actually means “beautiful swimmer”. The color of the crab is olive green and white, but it is the blue claw that gives it its name.  This 10- legged crustacean is related to the shrimp, crayfish and lobster family. The life cycle of the crab requires that it go through many stages before reaching maturity after about 12 to18 months. And that’s when it is time to drop a bait line of chicken into the shallow water on the sound and net some crabs for dinner!

At a recent neighborhood crab feast, there was much anticipation about how good this years crabs would be, how large and how tasty. We had all day to think about it and look forward to our gathering. When the time came, the steamer was packed full and the scent of Old Bay seasoning permeated the air. Then, one by one, the steamed crabs were piled high on the table for all to enjoy. A real bountiful treat awaited us and we weren’t disappointed. We had expectant hope that our hosts would net lots of crabs and they did. We had expectant hope that they would be good sized and delicious and they were.

Living in expectant hope carries over into all we do. Expecting good things to happen is what the Bible teaches when it says “to call things into being”. Some of us are waiting in hope for things to happen in our lives like getting that special job, to find a mate, to get that raise or promotion, to sell or buy a house and so on. More importantly, some people are in expectant hope that their sickness will be healed while others pray that their finances will improve. We all live with hope in different degrees. Expectant hope and God’s perfect timing go hand in hand. Even though it may appear that things have become stagnant and nothing is happening, that is when it is more important than ever to trust God. He knows all things. Always, at the appropriate time, God will begin to shift things, move them around, and put us in places to meet people that will be instrumental in helping to fulfill our dreams. God is not slow to respond to our prayers. God is never late. He is always “on time”. So, to fret over anything is a waste of our time. Instead, with all things, He teaches us to live in expectant hope and to rely on Him. Expect good things. Expect God’s best. He is an abundant God.  By letting God do it His Way, will ensure that we remain in His Timing with His Blessing over us and in all we set our to do.  In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. -Psalm 5:3 NIV

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach crabs expectant feast God hope timing https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/7/the-blue-crab Thu, 25 Jul 2019 16:48:00 GMT
Looking Up https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/7/looking-up Looking UpLooking Up

 

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. -Psalm   105:4

The sun, the moon and the stars! There is so much to take in and see. So much we don’t understand but we can depend on these mighty planets to be there day after day, night after night. The galaxies, the constellations are all amazing. I can recall when we had a beach cottage on the Outer Banks of NC, at night we would take the lounge cushions and lay them flat on the deck and camp out so we could see a shooting star. It never failed!! I was always looking the other way and never saw one. A great time was had when I learned to find the big and little dipper. I don’t know if children look up from their devices anymore to see the beauty of the skies. I sure hope so. 

When problems or circumstances come our way, oh how easy it is to wallow in it, talk about it to death, try to figure it out on our own. The list is endless. But what we should be doing is not looking at the annoying spouse, the unruly children, the in-laws that find fault or the boss that gives us a hard time. We should be looking up to God. He can fix anything by using others to come to our aid, or giving us more knowledge or wisdom to overcome our situation. He can change our heart and our circumstances. 

No matter what is happening, we must remind ourselves to not look at our issues, but instead look to our God. He knows our problems, He knows our needs. This week there were some things that were annoying me. I stopped thinking about it and prayed about it instead. Not only did I feel better but I placed my trust in God to change my heart and thoughts. Keep looking up!! 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach circumstances God moon pray problems shooting star stars sun trust https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/7/looking-up Thu, 18 Jul 2019 19:28:27 GMT
Little Ones https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/7/little-ones

Little OnesLittle Ones Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

I love seeing the little children play at the beach. Building sandcastles, splashing in the water and throwing beach balls. There is no greater sound to me than a child laughing and giggling. These little people are teachable and full of adventure and are pure joy to be with and I learn so much from them!

One of the phrases in the song, “Jesus Loves Me” is, “Little ones to Him belong”. We must not forget this. Our children and grandchildren are on loan to us from God. We have the privilege to train them up, teach them, to provide, and at the right time, let them fly from the nest in search of their God-given purpose. Part of our work to prepare these little ones for a life of their own later is to be sure to equip them with God’s Words and Instruction.  But first, we must be sure to introduce God to them from the beginning. Bedtime prayers and blessings at meals are good but there is so much more. Bible stories, Sunday school and Vacation Bible school are designed to teach on the level the kids are on and to help them grow in their faith. It’s important to have friends that are learning about God too. And as parents and grandparents we should be monitoring what they see and hear from computers, TV and movies. I guess I am letting my passion show for these little ones. They are so pure, innocent and open to trust what is given them at a young age. As they get older, the world’s cultures will come at them and clash with their Christian upbringing. So it is important to lay that foundation of faith at a young age. Our prayers for the hearts of these dear ones must never cease. Charles Swindoll said, “Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” There is no greater or more important job in this world than to raise a child.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach bible blessings children god jesus loves me play prayers raise sandcastles song train vbs https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/7/little-ones Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:26:31 GMT
Lifeline https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/7/lifeline LifelinieLifelinie

 

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20 (NIV)

My puppy loves to go on walks whether it is our neighborhood, the park or the marina. But he must always be on a leash. I call it his “lifeline”. Without the leash, his explorations and wandering curiosity would surely put him in harms way like chasing squirrels into traffic or losing his way and not being able to find his way back home.  Or worse yet, falling in the water. While he seems quiet and restful lying at the foot of a park bench, it would only take a second for him to wander off and we couldn’t risk losing him. When my dog and I go to the marina for walks, we notice all the boats are tied up with lines and the boats have life jackets on board. Anchors are used to keep from drifting when out on the open water and some of the larger boats even have life rafts. Lifelines are essential.

I just finished a wonderful Bible study on the book of James. There are so many nuggets of wisdom in that book. Too many to mention actually but worth the time to delve into it. Today’s’ verse is the one that really spoke to me and it is a “call to action”.  Many of us, me included, will sometimes shy away from speaking to a loved one or a good friend when we see them taking the wrong road. We rationalize that they are old enough to know what they are doing and we look the other way and hope for the best. That is not what we are being called to do. If after praying for wisdom, seeking God’s Will and we show ourselves willing to help, God may equip us with the courage and strength to bring a person back from sin. We have to be careful here because we can become righteous for the wrong reasons, but when God asks us to help to offer a lifeline to one of His people, we should step up. What comes to mind are teenagers that are overwhelmed with choices and temptations and often times succumb to the wrong influences in their life…and there is no one to notice or say anything. That is just one example. Good people that get out of balance with too much of a bad thing needs a loving friend to tap them on the shoulder and pull them back. We can love someone back in a loving way with dignity rather than preaching, taking a superior tone or threats. We can be the lifeline that brings someone back to God which saves them and their soul. Biblically, we are responsible to help if we can.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach boat god jacket life lifeline raft https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/7/lifeline Thu, 04 Jul 2019 15:12:55 GMT
The Example https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/6/the-example

 

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. I  Peter 2:21 The ExampleThe Example

I am so grateful to be alive today for the medical and technology advances. Maybe you feel the same.  Over the years, I have witnessed so many changes with each generation that has come behind me. Times are different now then they were when I was a child. Some days I long for the times when we didn’t have to lock our home or our cars. We were safe. Kids could play freely outside without being tethered to cell phones. The only curfew we knew was to be home when the street light came on. Dinner every night with the family was a must not just once in a while. Sunday church was never negotiated. A simpler time for sure. Things have changed and are continuing to change. And for sure, everyone has an opinion about what has happened to change our world to what it is today.

How did we get off track? Morals and kindness seems a bit lost in todays’ world. Impatience has replaced patience. Giving into feelings has replaced living by values. But as much as it depends on us, we can change these things in favor of a better life. A godly life. The one place we can go for the direction of how to live is the Bible.  It’s all there, wisdom, commandments, instruction.

I remember my grandmother and I swinging on her front porch sharing our lives when I went to see her every Saturday. I’d express a problem I had at home or in school and we would talk it out. Her words always led me to God. She was kind herself and she led by example of how she tended her home and her family. I learned as much watching her as I did listening to her wisdom. It all starts at home.

This week I heard it said, “the world is changed by our example, not our opinions.” How true and good to keep in mind before we offer up our thoughts. Are we living our lives in a way that we make a difference? Are we impacting another life? Are we sharing Jesus with others? If we want to see positive changes in our home, our community, our world, then we want to line up our actions and thoughts with God’s Word. Our example often speaks louder than our words. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) children commandments devotional Example generations God grandmother past porch youth https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/6/the-example Tue, 25 Jun 2019 19:42:29 GMT
Summer https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/6/summer

 

 

SummerSummer As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”Genesis 8:22

The days are long, the sun is hot and the ocean is refreshing! What is not to like about this glorious season we are in right now. The once quiet beach is now lined up with colorful umbrellas, beach towels and sand chairs. Rafts and floats in bright colors are the prize if you are lucky to have one. Pails and shovels are the tools used to build fantastic sandcastles. I especially enjoy the laughter of the families’ at play. And seeing multi generations crowded under a group of umbrellas having reunions or get togethers is joy to me too. It is a season of being “on the go”. Exciting time of year to be on vacation or to plan fun outdoors. There is so much of God’s beauty to take in

I was talking with a group of friends recently and we lamented there isn’t enough free time in our lives to be able to rest for more than a second and just absorb our devotionals or time with God. As we attempt to spend our time and listen for His Voice to guide us, the phone rings, grandkids are on their way over, schools is out and kids are in and out the door, the dogs need a walk. It isn’t major things, just lots of little things. Some of my friends are retired and even suggested they are busier now then when they were working! It surprised them because they have waited a lifetime for extra time.

Just as the quiet beach in winter is transformed into a parade of colors, people, activity and more, in the summer,  our own lives mirror these seasons. I think it is about pacing and priorities. We can learn to say no to things. We can get up an hour earlier, but whatever method we choose, that quiet time, regardless of the season, is vital to our relationship with God. In my Bible study this week I was reminded that He loves us and He is always there. If we lack hearing from Him, it is usually us that has stepped away from earshot.  Whatever season we are in, it is always the right time to be with, serve and listen to God.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Banks beach family God Outer prayer quiet spiritual Summer time umbrellas vacation https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/6/summer Thu, 20 Jun 2019 19:33:32 GMT
Father's Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/6/fathers-day

Father's DayFather'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.

 

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.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/6/fathers-day Tue, 11 Jun 2019 19:51:35 GMT
Like - Follow - Share https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/6/like---follow---share Like - Follow - ShareLike - Follow - Share

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” -John 8:12 

Almost everyone has a device or access to one. No, I am not talking of pacemakers or new knees but devices of the electronic kind!! Phones, tablets and computers. All ages seem to enjoy the convenience of these handy tools that makes staying connected and sharing lives so easy. We are all familiar with the term “like”. In social media, we are given the option to “like” something if we agree with it or find it pleasing, like a photograph. If we like a particular thing a lot, we may want to “follow” it so we can enjoy more of it. Perhaps a page or column or a blog that resonates with our mind and heart. If we go so far as to “share” what we like, then it is the ultimate compliment. We are trying to make someones’ day, share a laugh, or pass along some good wisdom we can all use. Maybe even share breaking news that affects many. It is the world we live in today. There are many benefits to this new technology if we are mindful of using it for positive benefit.

As we learn the ways and words of the Lord in the Bible, we may read something that speaks to us and we may highlight our Bible. Maybe write a note in the margin or even underline the passage to make sure we can refer to it often. When we feel like God is speaking to us, we often wish to follow His Word on the subject to grow more, learn more, build faith and wisdom. And when we have concluded we have learned much and it has spiritually impacted our life, we wish to share it with our loved ones, friends or teach others because we want others to benefit too. That is when our mission of discipleship begins.

Our faith and discipleship encourages us to like, follow and share and then as Christians It is our duty to lead. Just as the light from a lighthouse leads the the way for a boater to travel, we have the same guidance in following the Lord. And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.-Jeremiah 3:15  We are charged with sharing our faith with others, offering to pray, giving Christian encouragement to those in need. Like, Follow and Share Jesus today! Then Lead. God will direct our steps if we ask Him in prayer to do so.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/6/like---follow---share Tue, 04 Jun 2019 19:43:17 GMT
Shade https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/shade

How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of men take refuge and put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 36:7 ShadeShade

The heat is here and there is no mistaking that summer is weeks away. Hats, umbrellas and sunscreen are a definite must for taking to the beach. And shady porches are in high demand! Escaping the bright sun for the shade, there is always something new each day to discover.

Shade. What is it and why do we long for it? Shade is the cover from direct light.  There is a quote that says, “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree long ago”. A vivid memory that I can laugh at today but I would get in trouble as a child if I mowed down the little pine saplings my grandfather planted in our yard. He even had to surround them with bricks so it would stop me from mowing too close! Years later, those trees are still growing and provide a canopy of shade over our old family home.  His plan worked!

God allows us to take refuge in Him. When the heat of a problem or a situation comes at us at full speed, we can find comfort under His covering. Bad health reports, job losses, financial woes, emergencies can come at any time and throw us off balance. The deep rooted faith that we planted long ago in our hearts and minds can give us the necessary protection to get through the problems of today. I know that when trouble hits, we can become scattered, confused and left in a daze. Thankfully, those scriptures we memorized, the training, our study of God’s Word comes back to us and we can lean on it and Him. Plant faith today for the day that it is needed the most.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/shade Wed, 29 May 2019 16:31:04 GMT
Shelter https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/shelter

ShelterShelter Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. Psalm 91:1-3 NLT

Recently we had occasion to visit the beachfront for a few days. The hot, bright sun was too much for an extended period of time so we were happy to find a covered shelter to spend our time under. No need for hats and sunscreen. We were protected completely and even enjoyed a breeze. In the mornings the little shorebirds would feed, then the gulls, then the pelicans. Before long the dolphins were swimming playfully as they went by. Each day, in that order, we watched the shorebirds stir in the early morning as the day unfolded. Just watching the tide ebb and flow and the enjoyment of nature gave such a peace to our soul.

God says in Psalm 91 that He will protect us. But do we believe the Bible? How many times have we taken a situation into our own hands, refusing to wait on Him because we need a quick answer to our problem? I’ve done it many times and regrettably will probably do it again. I think my faith is strong until something major comes along and then I am humbled by my lack in so many areas. I am so glad that God is patient with me and continues to do a work in me as I grow deeper in Him.

As teens graduate and go off to college or college graduates go out into the world, we as parents and loved ones, ask for their protection. The newlyweds that will start off their life together are certainly worthy of our prayers as they merge their lives together. Vacationers packing up to travel to see new places appreciate us praying for them, too. But it doesn’t have to be a big event to shelter under His wings. It is mostly the little things, everyday things, when we fail to ask for His covering over us. In this day we live in, we want to seek protection for our hearts and minds especially. Trust in Him for all things.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/shelter Tue, 21 May 2019 13:24:21 GMT
Passion https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/passion

PassionPassion I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV


Some people have it. Some people don’t. You only need to spend a few minutes with someone to determine if they are ignited or not. If there is a fire burning in someone and they are alive with sparks of ideas, creativity and enthusiasm, they have passion.The dictionary describes passion as a strong and barely controllable emotion. I love being around a passionate person. They seem to embrace life in general and live in abundant joy.  Passion as an emotion puts a smile on our face. Passion is infectious to others as they want to have it themselves too. What ignites you? What makes you feel young, alive, significant and vital? Are you still searching? It is never too late. In Proverbs 19:20 it tells us to “Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.” 

The Bible is our source, our blueprint, for building a life of purpose and passion. He gives us gifts and through our learning and studying the Word, we can find the necessary wisdom to use our gifts and talents to make wise decisions that makes us happy and brings glory to Him. It is said that people with great passion can make the impossible happen, but our strength comes from God.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/passion Tue, 14 May 2019 15:29:36 GMT
Mother's Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/mothers-day Mother's DayMother's Day

 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.' – Proverbs 31:28-31

 

I have seen the beautiful cards at the stores, the boxes of candy, the new garden gloves, the potted hydrangeas. And I smile as I reach for them, thinking of you Mother. Then I realize it is the first Mother’s Day without you.  It is bittersweet. I know you are with God and enjoying a glory none of us knows yet, but hopes for. But you are missed beyond any words I can express. And I know that I am not alone. 

 

As mother’s we know sacrifice and soothing wounds with ice, bandaids and popsicles, Bur in our adulthood, we need more than a bandaid to mend a hurting heart that’s experiencing loss. Praise God for His loving mercies and peace that He gives us at our most needed times.  I know I will see you eternally again, dear Mother. I have no regrets and for that I am grateful. The greatest gift you gave me was taking me to church and then years later, sharing our salvation with each other.  Your joy was that I had found God for myself. Every Sunday, as little ones, we sat in that baptist church. In the balcony, coloring on our bulletin, watching the old folks nod off and snore and occasionally seeing the bulletin made into a paper airplane sail by.  But those teachings, the sermons, the lessons must have taken root into my heart because today God is my compass and my guide. It worked Mother. You led by example. I followed you. You loved Jesus and so do I. With great love and admiration, Happy Mother’s Day. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/mothers-day Tue, 07 May 2019 15:06:33 GMT
Umbrella https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/umbrella UmbrellaUmbrella He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

My God, in whom I trust.

-Psalm 91:1-2

 

The word “umbrella” comes from the Greek word “umbra” which means shade. The umbrella is over 4,000 years old. Ancient cultures used it for protection against the elements. It is said that the first umbrellas were used to provide shade from the hot sun. Then, the Chinese waterproofed their umbrellas with wax for use in the rain. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes. I couldn’t spend a day at the beach without one and others must surely agree, as the landscape is filled with colorful umbrellas as far as the eye can see on a hot day. Sitting in a shady spot under an umbrella provides a safe haven before venturing back out again in the summer sun. I enjoy seeing families huddled together in  the shade talking and laughing…toddlers sitting in grandparents arms trying to wiggle free and responsible parents slathering on suntan lotion to the older kids to keep them from burning as they dart back and forth to the water’s edge. The umbrella is certainly our friend at a day on the beach with all the protection it provides.

 

Not a day goes by that I don’t ask for God’s protection for myself and my loved ones. I know that there are so many “near misses” in my day that it is God that saves me from cutting my finger at the cutting board, or prevents me from switching lanes while driving because there is a car in my blind spot. I know that He is there with His angels watching over all of us. It occurred to me that if we don’t pray for safekeeping for our family, especially our children, then who is? That is a sobering thought to realize that our family could be operating without His supernatural covering because we failed to pray. It is important to make it a part of our daily prayer life to seek the shade of His protection. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/umbrella Tue, 07 May 2019 14:00:08 GMT
Finding Time https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/finding-time  

Finding TimeFinding Time You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. –Jeremiah 29:13 

I was on a trip recently and saw this beautiful row of chairs. It was a peaceful place, very inviting. But I wondered where was everyone? The view from the chairs was stunning and the chairs themselves were very comfortable. I sat a while and waited for more people to come but they didn’t. Folks were walking past this lovely area with papers in their hands, phones, texting, talking and such. Many never looked up from their phones long enough to enjoy the pretty spot.  

Do you think it might be that way with God too? He prepares a lovely place for us to come and meet with Him. It is perfect in every way. He has a banquet of wisdom, love and knowledge to impart to us, but we are too busy to go. Sometimes we may not even notice He is there waiting for us.  Whatever is holding our attention is not as important as time with God.

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/finding-time Tue, 07 May 2019 13:54:56 GMT
Easter https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/easter EasterEaster If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. -Romans 10:9-10.

 

What does Easter mean to you? Some will focus on the Easter bunny, feasts and chocolate, while there may be others who attend church, more as an obligation than a choice. And then there will be those that know the meaning and reason for Easter and will rejoice all day!!

 

The truth of Easter is that Jesus died for us so that we may live. It is the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.  Our sins are covered, we are forgiven, and eternal life awaits us when we are called home. But we must first believe and confess our belief with our words. For years I felt saddened when Easter approached. It seems I couldn’t get past the brutal crucifixion. But then I saw the joy in the resurrection. A second chance. A new beginning. A new life in Him. Finally, seeing and realizing the glory I had missed before. It is His gift to us…it doesn’t have to be earned, it is by His grace that we are saved. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works so that no one can boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9. However your day is spent, take time for Him and if you haven’t proclaimed Jesus as your Lord and Savior, there is no better time. Blessings!!

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/easter Tue, 07 May 2019 13:49:27 GMT
Palm Sunday https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/palm-sunday Palm SundayPalm Sunday

Then Jesus entered Jerusalem, and went into the temple. 
—Mark 11: 1

This Sunday, Christians across the world will observe Palm Sunday. Some know this day as “Passion Sunday”. It is the day that begins Holy Week and ends with Easter. Palm Sunday marks the day that Jesus humbly entered the holy city of Jerusalem on a donkey. People waved palm branches in celebration and others laid them down on the ground creating a path, showing respect. Ancient belief is that the palm branch represented goodness. The crowd shouted, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” While crowds shouted words of victory on Palm Sunday, it would only be days later than they would demand Jesus be crucified. 

Holy Week tells of the biblical account of Jesus’ last day on the earth. The events of Holy Week can be read in Mark, chapters 11-16. We can experience the journey with Jesus. There is much to reflect on during this week that includes the Last Supper and Jesus’ walk to the cross. Sadness and darkness seems to prevail on the journey with only glimmers of hope, but on Easter Sunday, hope lives in the resurrection of Jesus. It is a reminder that we can do nothing apart from Him. He makes everything “new” again. He brings life from death. Take this walk with Jesus through the Bible this week so we can fully understand His sacrifice and love for us.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/palm-sunday Tue, 07 May 2019 13:42:38 GMT
Starfish https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/starfish  

StarfishStarfish

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.

-Luke 10:27 NIV

Recently walking on the beach, I discovered a Starfish that had washed up to shore on the rising tide. Lucky for the Starfish that I came by when I did, as it seemed to still be alive. Gently we scooped it up and tossed it back into the ocean, no doubt making its day! The Starfish, who lives on the ocean floor can be as small as one half inch wide or as large as 26 inches in width! The ones I seem to find are about the size of my hand. With five arms, it uses hundreds of tiny feet as it moves across the ocean floor seeking food. Sometimes if an arm has been damaged or removed altogether, it is possible that it can grow back completely in some of the 6,000 species. 

 

When our granddaughter recently visited with us, one of the Bible stories we read was about the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37) It is a good story of how one man made a difference in another man’s life. We talked about how we could make a difference that day and asked God to bring us opportunities. Later, we went to a department store and saw clothes lying on the floor and carts left abandoned in the aisles. Together, we made a difference as we picked up the clothes and hung them up. She took great joy in pushing the carts back to where they belonged. It was a chance for both of us to feel that we had been helpful. We can all make a difference in life. Tossing back a Starfish into the ocean may seem minor to us but it was a big deal for that little Starfish. Picking up clothes didn’t require a lot of effort on our part, but it surely made a difference to the clerk that would have had to stay late to do the job. God calls us to perform acts of kindness. Being Good Samaritans doesn’t have to be about a Bible story from long ago; rather we can adopt the principles of that story to apply to our everyday life. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/5/starfish Tue, 07 May 2019 13:35:42 GMT
Vision https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/vision

VisionVision For we walk by faith, not by sight .  2 Cor. 4:7 ESV

I am one of those people that has always had to enhance my vision by wearing eyeglasses. When I was crawling into walls as a baby, they realized glasses would help and they did. And they have all of my life. I don’t take good vision for granted. What is vision? The dictionary says it is, “the faculty or state of being able to see.” Well that is a simple explanation of a very complex thing….our eyes.

 

I am surprised sometimes of the vision and perception others have. We can be looking at the same thing but another person’s vision is different from mine. We see through our heart at times. Our life experiences shape how we interpret the things we see.

 

We trust our faith and wisdom to put us on a straight path. Much like a boat captain charts his course, he knows to veer too far to the left or right would put him in danger if he leaves the channel. It is the same for us. With the tools we are given to navigate life according to God’s Word, we know to take the narrow path. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:6 ESV

 

While we can’t see the physical face of God, we can see His Heart. But there are those that say He doesn’t exist because they have not seen Him with their own eyes. Jesus said in John 20:29, “Because you have seen me, you have believed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/vision Fri, 29 Mar 2019 20:25:41 GMT
Spring https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/spring  

 

SpringSpring And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.

Genesis 1:14 NIV

Although the official start of spring is March 20th, it feels like it has already arrived. The spring season will last about three months and is a welcome change after a barren winter. It is the tilt of the Earth that causes the rising change in temperature and also the longer days of daylight. This time of year represents a renewal in many ways. Lawns appear to come back to life, flowers and bulbs bloom in a kaleidoscope of color and the foliage of trees and branches spring forth in greenery. God has given us beauty beyond words on this Earth. It is the natural scenery that surrounds us that is so captivating. The bold yellow of daffodils, the majestic purple of hyacinths and wiry forsythia branches all contribute to the colors of Spring.  For some blooms, it means “a coming back to life, a “rebirth,” and for others, it is a “new beginning, a brand new start.” 

 

The blanket of winter is now lifting and we can come to life too. It’s the season for sprucing things up like painting the house, bringing out the lawn furniture, or getting our hands in the flowerbeds, to work the soil. But these are all material things. So what about our lives? What lies deep inside of us waiting to be born? That is a question to take to prayer. Real change takes place in the depths of ones soul. For a person to seek a new beginning, it may take getting rid of old mindsets and adapting to different ideas or thoughts.  To some, it may mean seizing the opportunity to learn something fresh and exciting through a book or class,  that stirs a passion. Or it could be that it is time to give back, by volunteering time and God-given talents, to help others in need.  Making positive changes in daily living has its rewards that are reflected in our mind, body and soul.  But in making adjustments, it is important also to stay in balance to be sure there is ample time for prayer, work, rest and play. Spring is a good time to launch into action and accomplish a goal or a dream. But we should not forget that God has given us life and we are His. Prayerfully taking our lives to God, and asking for His lead on what to do in the next season of our life, is a starting point. He will bring us direction if we earnestly seek it. The hibernation of winter is past and it is time to awaken our lives in a way that is pleasing to God. Search Him for guidance to a “fresh start” this spring and delight in the joy that awaits us.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/spring Wed, 20 Mar 2019 17:06:25 GMT
You Are Loved https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/you-are-loved You Are LovedYou Are Loved Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Cor. 13:4-7 NIV

“You are loved”. Aren’t they the words we all long to hear? “I love you. I care about you. I cherish you. You mean so much to me”. These little words have big impact. Whether these endearments come from the mouths of little tots or the wrinkled faces of the elderly, the effect is the same, lasting pure joy fills our heart. Love is described as “an intense feeling that shows deep affection”. So how can we put this definition into action and apply it using our faith? Love is accepting someone, faults and all. Love is sitting with a friend through their trial. Love is helping or giving without being credited or acknowledged. Love is standing by that person even when you don’t feel like it anymore. Love is being supportive and encouraging. Love is being tolerant and patient when we feel otherwise.

God has set the example by loving us no matter what we do and will do. If we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are forgiven. That is the greatest love of all. The greatest sacrifice. The greatest gift. Take the scripture today to heart. Study it. Know it. Do it. Do we follow the example provided for us? Do we show love, expressing love generously? Who is hurting today and what can we do about it? Showing love with a kind word, a hug, a card, a phone call. It all matters. Every little act of love can fill you when you are filling another’s heart. Henry David Thoreau said, “There is no remedy for love but to love more.” Be a blessing. Be blessed.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/you-are-loved Thu, 14 Mar 2019 14:21:21 GMT
Respect https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/respect

 

L FingerprintsFingerprints et love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.-Romans 12:9-11 ESV

Being from the south, respect, sweet tea, manners and cornbread were staples at every house. When company dropped by on Sunday afternoon, each child had to get up and greet the visitors and offer them our seat. We used “please and thank you” and “yes ma’am and yes sir” in abundance. In fact, there was punishment if we misplaced our manners.  As kids, we cut the grass on Saturday and swept off the walkways. We had to sit still in church each Sunday and try to pay attention. During the week we played outdoors on our bikes until dark after our daily chores were done. Backtalk was never allowed and we tried hard to be nice and tried never to make fun of our friends or anyone else.  It was a simpler time and the rules of getting along with others were plain to follow.

 

Sweet tea and cornbread remains but where has respect and manners gone? I witness children yelling at their parents in all sort of temper tantrums. I see the elderly struggling with their wheelchairs or walkers with no one holding the door for them. Handwritten “thank you” notes are so rare now to receive.  One definition for respect is to have due regard for feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions. The Urban dictionary says that respect is a quality seriously lacking in today's society. We are missing something.  But we can get it back!! Respect begins at home. The Bible teaches that we are to demonstrate our love of God by loving others. But also part of respect is valuing those in authority over us. When we lead our families using respect and integrity, our children will have seen it in action and can use these important laws throughout life. It has been said that respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/respect Thu, 07 Mar 2019 13:52:11 GMT
Quiet Time https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/quiet-time Quiet TimeQuiet Time Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! -Psalm 150:6

Make time for it. Schedule it on your calendar if you must. Walk the beach alone. Find a bench in the park. There are a number of things you can do to find quiet time. Why is it so important? It is a time to recharge and it is mentally healthy to clear your mind of all things unimportant. Busy schedules, commutes to work, radio and television blaring gives little time to just sitting still for a while in peaceful solitude. Embracing those quiet moments are a time of reflection and self-evaluation. A bit of peace and tranquility can go a long way in getting our attitudes in alignment with God. It is in those times of quiet that we can talk to God and He can talk to us. Maybe a scripture will come to mind or a solution will reveal itself for a problem that has been consuming us. Often times, my quietness is just praising and being grateful. My grandson loves to hear that he has done a good job. We all like to hear that. And so it is with God too. Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. Psalm 147:1 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/quiet-time Sat, 02 Mar 2019 17:15:40 GMT
Rain https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/rain RainRain Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

-Psalm 51:10  NIV

 

Have you ever noticed that a heavy rain shower brings everything back to life again? That is especially the way it is at the beach. The days’ footprints and sandcastles are washed away by the rain and the beach is left pristine and sparkling. Everything looks clean and pure. The grasses and sea oats appear to be nourished from the drink of water. The rain has rinsed sand from off of the shells and they glisten in their shades of white, ivory, coral and pink. This is the beach in its purest form. 

 

While the beach can only renew itself when it rains, we can renew ourselves each and every day with God’s help. We can wash away yesterday’s debris from our hearts and lives and ask to begin anew. God just needs us to ask and He will provide. To renew our spirit gives us a chance to start over. We can do it over again each day and make it better than before. We can start by being kinder, more generous, sympathetic, caring, more spiritual, compassionate, and more faithful. In our prayer time, we should ask for a pure heart and a renewed spirit to bind us closer to Him.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/rain Sat, 02 Mar 2019 17:12:01 GMT
Pressing Through https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/pressing-through Pressing ThroughPressing Through 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.  

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/pressing-through Sat, 02 Mar 2019 17:06:01 GMT
Love https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/love LoveLove Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
         His faithful love endures forever. –Psalm 136:1 NLT

There are so many things that I love about the beach. This season of winter is actually a beautiful time of year. There is a quiet solitude that envelopes the beach and its surroundings. Great peace and a time of reflection can be captured by a pier, a bench by the sound or from a seaside beach access. If there is a need to warm the soul, to be close to God, to feel His Peace and see the beauty He created, this is the place and the time of year to do it. The sky is so blue and often cloudless. The stars and moon at night sparkle with such clarity.  Where else can one go and see dolphins feeding in the distance, seagulls flying overhead, waves rushing through a pier’s pilings and feel peace at the same time! God’s Love is present everywhere here. What a gift it is!

 

The Bible has much to say about love, but the two most important instructions are these from March 12:28-31 NIV which is “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  

 

Perhaps today is the time to put the past aside and begin anew with Jesus’ instructions as our guide, to make each day one where love is given and love is received. I heard it said once that the beauty of life is while we cannot undo the past, we can learn from it and change. So that every new moment is spent not in regret or guilt, but in wisdom, understanding and love. The lyrics from an old hymn dated back to 1912 have been drifting in and out of my thoughts today. “Love lifted me…Love lifted me…When nothing else could help…Love lifted me.” God’s Love for us will lift us up and over our own problems and circumstances so that in turn we can be a blessing to others. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/love Sat, 02 Mar 2019 17:00:31 GMT
February https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/february FebruaryFebruary Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

-Hebrews 12:14 NIV

 

There’s always a chill in the air in February. But the weather patterns now seems to bring storms and colder than normal temperatures every few days. I find it fascinating to observe the weather. Living on the coast makes weather watching especially important and interesting too.

 

February is also the time that we recognize those we love in observance of Valentines Day. It is a centuries old tradition that was originally called Saint Valentines Day but was shortened to simply Valentines Day as we know it and it continues today.  It was intended to honor and recognize romantic love but is now extended to include all those that we cherish.

 

In a perfect world, we would live in peace with everyone. But sometimes that doesn’t seem possible. The people that hold on to grudges with a death grip are also the ones that easily perceive offenses when none is intended. In short, they are easily offended and quick to judge. It springs forth unexpectedly and contaminates everything. This gives new meaning to the phrase, “there’s a chill in the air”. We have to navigate around people like this as though we are on an obstacle course trying to dodge the debris. This is the result of behavior when a person chooses not to walk in peace. The best we can do when these situations arise is to pray, pray and pray some more. And then let it go. Surrender it to God. Trying to be peaceful with someone that doesn’t want to be peaceful bears no fruit and is toxic. The tearing down, the judgment and condemnation serves no good but to feed grudges and offenses with more fuel. He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends Proverbs 17:9 NIV

 

God created us to live a life of excellence, to live our days in joy, peace and love. He has mighty work for us to do if we can step up and over the pettiness we encounter in life. God loves us and that is unwavering. His love is unconditional. What more do we need to move forward? Charles Dickens said“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” As much as it depends on us, we are to live in love and peace. Valentines Day is a reminder to show love and to renew our commitment to God to walk in His Ways. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/february Sat, 02 Mar 2019 16:55:14 GMT
January https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/january JanuaryJanuary He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.

- Proverbs 15:32 NIV

 

Dropping temperatures have produced a winter chill this past week that seems will stay around for a while. For some it might be the excuse to sit inside and do nothing, but for others, the weather means very little when it comes to implementing our resolutions and getting started with new ideas and new goals for the New Year.

 

January marks the beginning of the year, but for many of us, it means so much more. Like being able to close the door to the events of the past year and look forward in the New Year with hope and expectation. January represents a fresh start, new beginnings, and a new way to look at old things. New Year’s resolutions are declared, diets are started and exercise classes are filled to capacity with those that want to be healthier. January is also a time when we can look at our own spiritual healthiness. Taking stock of our own spiritual growth is important. God wants to promote us and to shower His blessings on us. But we have to be in a relationship with Him where we can receive what He wants to give us. That takes knowing Him on a daily basis. We can’t just go to Him occasionally when we are sick or we are praying for a family member and expect to live in His fullness. He wants us to come to Him in the good times, too. He has wisdom to impart and guidance to give. Being a disciple of God takes daily discipline. He teaches us through His Word and then He uses us as a witness so that we can teach others. It is a good time of year to begin to set a schedule where we make time for God…everyday. To start off the New Year with a desire to grow in Him, and then take action to make our desire a reality, is the most important resolution on our list.  And He will honor our desire by being there when we reach out to Him.

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/january Sat, 02 Mar 2019 16:43:02 GMT
The New Year https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/the-new-year but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. –Isaiah 40:31 NIV

 

Expectant hope is the term that I want to keep close to me in this coming year. Just like the calendar year transition from one year to the next, we often go through cycles of transition ourselves. One thing for sure, we are never standing still. We are either going forward or backward. Sometimes the choice is up to us.

 

While the sun begins to set on the last days of this year, we are hopeful about what 2019 will bring to each of us. There may be good times and bad times. Happy times and sad times. In-between times. Busy times and quiet times. Like the tide that comes and goes, our life ebbs and flows, too. But this much we do know. We can face anything that comes our way as long as we have a strong, steady relationship with God. A daily relationship. It doesn’t have to be a long-drawn out session….just start off by talking with Him a few minutes each day. Tell Him your concerns and surrender them over to Him. Then Trust Him. Wait on Him. Lean to listen for Him to speak wisdom into your heart. But most of all, while you grow in the Lord, hold on to expectant hope. Believe that God has wonderful things He wants to bless you with. I believe that 2019 has something wonderful for each of us if we choose to live in expectant hope while trusting Him.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/3/the-new-year Sat, 02 Mar 2019 16:24:42 GMT
Morning Walk https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/1/morning-walk But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

–John 14-25 NIV

Many of us are trying to keep our New Year resolution about fitness. To take a morning walk on the beach or through the neighborhood is a great start and it can bring some real joy. I think what I like best about walking in the morning is that my mind has not had time yet to be overloaded with chores on my ‘to do’ list.  When we allow ourselves to have an empty mind,  that is when creativity flows in. If there are no distractions other than the sound of our own steps and the rhythm of our heartbeat, we are free to just enjoy the moment. So often, we are thinking of what to do next, where we must be later in the day and so on. In our homes, the television and radio and chatter of people around us, keeps us in a busy mode. The reflective time that we all need to experience quiet moments and to recharge ourselves can be done during a simple morning walk. 

 

The Holy Spirit surrounds us and is in us. The Holy Spirit can give us the nudge to move forward or to patiently wait for better timing about something in our life. The Holy Spirit is there with answers and wisdom and guidance, too. God sent the Holy Spirit to be our Counselor when Jesus left the earth. But how can we know about this? I have found that it is when I am quiet, after meditating on the Word, the Holy Spirit often gives me a “knowing” about what to do. It is a “leading”. I have learned to trust the “leading” of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit may cause me to feel strongly enough to stop what I am doing and pray for someone. Or, maybe I’ll feel the nudge to telephone someone at that very moment for reasons unknown to me. Some call it intuition but I know it is the Holy Spirit that guides me through the paths of life. God will use us in many ways to serve Him, but we need to learn to listen for Him. In the busy world we live in, a morning walk can be our regular daily time with God and a place where we can also be quiet and listen. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/1/morning-walk Sat, 19 Jan 2019 16:48:00 GMT
New Steps https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/1/new-steps
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

-Proverbs 16:9 NIV

 

I have heard it said that both the months of September and January represents the most transitional times of the year. It is thought that returning to school in September, after a summer break, can be stressful on children and parents, as they adjust to a more structured schedule. And in January, the New Year, equipped with a new attitude, goals and resolutions, it is often our tendency to want a fresh new beginning…to shake off the old and prepare for the new.  I think this is largely true. Those moments of pondering our life and seeking His Will are important, so we can know which direction to take during times of transition.

 

Walking along the beach and watching the waves roll in, one after the other in its rhythmic pattern, is probably the best place I know to ponder life. There is peace and serenity that comes with being near the water.  The salt air and sound of the waves seems to clear the mind giving one a fresh slate on which to dream the dreams.  Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 

 

 Holding on to faith with one hand and our dreams with the other, we should take advantage of all the possibilities God brings before us. Moving forward into the future, trying new things, learning, and achieving is not any different than walking the beach….it takes one step at a time to accomplish both.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2019/1/new-steps Fri, 04 Jan 2019 16:34:00 GMT
Christmas Gifts https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/12/christmas-gifts Christmas GiftsChristmas Gifts

 

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 the joy of Christmas Eve services, the carols, the Christmas Story told from the chapter of Luke. We adore the ride through the neighborhood to see the houses decorated in lights with a handful of homemade cookies. 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.  Merry Christmas and God bless you.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/12/christmas-gifts Thu, 20 Dec 2018 02:11:45 GMT
I Believe https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/12/i-believe  


I BelieveI 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!!

 

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.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/12/i-believe Thu, 13 Dec 2018 02:37:22 GMT
Thanksgiving https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/11/thanksgiving

ThanksgivingThanksgiving O Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever.

-Psalm 107:1

Thanksgiving is the time of year that makes me think of simpler times. I think of the first Thanksgiving where the history books say the menu included wild turkey, pumpkin and grains from Indian corn.  The first Thanksgiving was intended not only as a celebration of the harvest, but as a day of prayer as well to thank God for the crops.  It is written that we should hem our blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. When the women of that time made their long hand-sown dresses, I wonder if they thought of their blessings with every stitch they sewed.

Their world was probably as complex to them as ours seems to us today. While the times have changed from a primitive world to a more modern one, the meaning of Thanksgiving has never changed.  Thanksgiving is nationally honored in our country and is an official holiday. The origin of the word “holiday” comes from the phrase “holy day”. That is a good reminder to celebrate our holidays with reverence. But how do you do that, starting with Thanksgiving? Maybe you have never said a blessing over a meal before, or maybe you will be in a large crowd and are uncomfortable praying out loud. That is okay. Perhaps you can read scripture from the Bible or find a God-inspired Thanksgiving poem from the bookshelf to read. Try sharing a collaborative prayer where everyone takes a turn at the table saying one thing they are thankful to God for. Perhaps you could enjoy taking a walk on the beach to see God's beauty while giving thanks to Him in private. Whatever the action, I believe God would want to be a part of our Thanksgiving holiday to make it more of a holy day. We should show our thankfulness through our example. President John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/11/thanksgiving Thu, 15 Nov 2018 15:56:07 GMT
November https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/11/november

ListeningListening 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 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 weeks 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 a few weeks away, 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. Maybe that can be your prayer too.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/11/november Wed, 07 Nov 2018 14:40:53 GMT
Cloudy Days https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/10/cloudy-days More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us Romans 5:3-5 ESV Cloudy DaysCloudy Days

Have you ever noticed that dark clouds seem to sit overhead and refuse to move on!! How many times have we all gone to the beach only to be chased away by looming heavy clouds moving in? They can come out of nowhere it seems but are slow to float away. And right behind one dark cloud is another and another!

Is it like that in your life sometimes? It sure is in mine. A setback or difficulty is followed by another crisis of some sort. A health problem, a new ache or pain, car trouble, a sick child. Yes, sometimes I think the storm clouds are lining up directly over my house! And that is especially the time to take all things to God in prayer and trust Him for the outcome. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 ESV

Trusting God when we go through these dark cloudy periods in life is hard. It is easy to lose focus on Him and get into self pity or wallow in all the things going wrong. But it is helpful to remember the scripture that reminds us 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 Be strong and take heart until the sun shines again.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/10/cloudy-days Wed, 31 Oct 2018 00:46:13 GMT
Seaweed https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/10/seaweed SeaweedSeaweed Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:12 

You never know what the tide will bring and this week, where I live, we have lots and lots of seaweed that has washed up on the shore. It seems to be everywhere and with it comes little shells, debris and pieces of driftwood. A thin covering of the seaweed has hidden the pristine sandy beach and its beauty. With some luck, a strong high tide will take it all back out to the water soon.

Not all “coverings” are bad. While we may not like the nuisance of the seaweeds’ presence from time to time, a “prayer covering” over our life and our family is so important. So often, many mom’s pack a lunch and ever place a cute note in the lunch bag for the school child, but the kids leave without a prayer. We hurry to work and in all the busyness of the morning, we sit down at our desk, out of breath and again, no prayer. Before we set out for that road trip. we remember to do everything and bring everything, but did we ask God to go before us and be our rear guard in our travels? We are good people. All of us. God sees our heart. But we are busy people and we push Him aside. Before we take that test, before we see the doctor for the results, before we walk onto that airplane, before we have that difficult conversation, it would be better to invite God into our daily lives, no matter what’s going on. Do you pray for your business?  I know some folks think and have said, “God is too busy with big things to help me with my little project or my little problem”. But that isn’t true. We should go to Him for everything, big or small. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/10/seaweed Mon, 22 Oct 2018 15:54:33 GMT
Partnership https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/10/partnership PartnershipPartnership

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 ESV

Today I was walking along the beach and saw a fisherman on a jetty enjoying the breeze and the experience of nature. His bait bucket and fishing gear were further up on the shore to protect it from the rising tide. And there he was. A beautiful shorebird that decided to join in partnership with the fisherman! He was protecting the bait!! Well we all know better, because if the bird could, he would have enjoyed a free breakfast, but at first glance, it seemed the shorebird was doing a great job being a partner. 

 

We are all in partnerships of some kind or another. What is a partnership? The dictionary says it is a relationship between two or more usually involving close cooperation between parties with accountability and expectations. That could describe a marriage; a boss and employee relationship, and many other things. It also most definitely includes our spiritual relationship with God. 

 

How often do we come to God with our long list of wants. Asking Him to fix “this and that” so that we can be happier. Have we asked God to melt off those excess pounds, but we didn’t do our part and exercise and maintain a healthy diet? Did we ask Him to protect us in our car if we don't service it and change the tires when necessary? Have we asked Him to create in us a pure heart, but we watched that ungodly movie anyway? Can we ask God to make our marriages rich and happy, but we abuse and disrespect our mate? So partnering with God is key. We must do our part. If we are to be partners with God we must live to glorify Him and come under the throne. And then we can come to Him in prayer, asking for help and guidance in every area of our life. Seeking Him. Abiding in Him. Living for Him. Sharing His Word. Let all we do be for and through Him.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/10/partnership Wed, 17 Oct 2018 15:54:39 GMT
Prayer https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/10/prayer PrayerPrayer

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16  ESV

Sometimes we go through seasons in life when we need to ask for the support of prayer warriors to walk along side of us. While they are praying for us, I envision their prayers are acting as a shield around us, making it hard for the enemy to do harm. While we are fervently praying for a problem, doing a hard job for God or seeking Him in the deepest of ways, we can take comfort that those that love the Lord come beside us and have our best interest at heart. These are people that are trustworthy, faithful and live under God’s umbrella. This is called intercessory prayer. I heard it said this week that if you have no test, you have no testimony. How true. A great play on words. We all have tests we go through. And we know it is hard to walk through these times alone. God bless the ones that freely offer love, support and prayer to get us up and over the valley when we have struggles.

Taking a walk on the beach this week I came across several seagulls standing at attention, watching the sun. They were quiet and motionless. Only the breeze ruffled their feathers. I passed by and was amused at them. On my walk back, I saw them again. They hadn’t moved a bit as far as I could tell. While other birds were flying around in search of breakfast, these seagulls were together in their morning ritual.  I stopped to study them. I took a photograph. They couldn’t be distracted.  Their gaze was fixed on what was important to them…to be bathed in the light of the sun.

When we are in darkness or know someone who is, the light of His Son will help guide us through. If we know of a person who is in a battle or suffering in some way dealing with loss or health problems or anything else that overwhelms them, we should walk along side of them in prayer. We should join in by standing in unison, like the seagulls, to shore up the person in need. In the blink of an eye or a phone call, it could be us that needs the covering of prayer next and the wall of protection that intercessory prayer brings. This is one of the many ways we can serve God and show love to our fellow man.

 

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/10/prayer Thu, 11 Oct 2018 01:45:27 GMT
October https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/10/october

 

 

GoldenrodGoldenrod The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

–Psalm 28:7 NIV

 

October is a wonderful time to be at the beach in my opinion. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler. Goldenrod is in full bloom with its mustard colored flowers growing wild here and there. Sea oats look rich in a golden amber hue as they wave back and forth on the dunes in the ocean breezes.  Salt spray covers everything. Where tourists once sunbathed on the summer beaches, large flocks of pelicans and gulls have reclaimed those places as their own again. It is sweatshirt weather on most mornings. Pots of seafood chowders and stews are put on simmer all day for early autumn suppers to stave off the evening chill. October spells pure joy to me as it is the one month that everything seems to be just perfect on the Outer Banks.

 

For a while, I have collected everything I could find with the word “joy” written on it. Tree ornaments, plaques, magnets and more. I use these little messages throughout my home as a daily reminder to stay in joy and not complain or find fault with myself or others. I have learned that it doesn’t take much to get hooked into the emotion of complaining and grumpiness and that is a trap the enemy uses to steal our joy. We have to be on guard against this happening. My favorite definition of joy is “the expression or display of glad feelings”. Being filled with joy can cause us to want to do and share good things for those around us. It is like having a new song on the inside of us. When we can, I think we are supposed to spread our joy outward and see how God uses it to make positive changes in our lives and the lives of others.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/10/october Thu, 04 Oct 2018 14:01:03 GMT
Going Deeper https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/going-deeper Going DeeperGoing Deeper

 

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:5

It was a big deal when we were kids running in and out of the ocean surf. As we got older and stronger, we would be allowed to go a little further into the sea. My mother had to approve first, of course. The tide had to be low and the waves gentle before she would let us go in. Rip tides were always concerns and none of us were really good swimmers. She was right to be cautious. The pebbly bottom at the shoreline would give way to a little drop off of smooth sand and it was there we would ride the waves in our waffled canvas rafts as though we were riding ponies. If we could stand on the ocean floor while clutching our rafts we were deep enough….but if we ventured further and couldn’t touch the sandy bottom we knew we were too far and mother would get out of her chair and call out to us. That was the signal to come back in.

When it applies to our spiritual life, delving deeper is good, very good. It is always good to seek more of the Bible for richer understanding. The depth of study only helps us to grow in our knowledge and faith. We may think that if our Bibles are scribbled in the margins, our favorite versus highlighted, our pages torn and thin from use, that we must have a good grasp on His Word. After all, our Bible is used, worn out and raggedy. Right? Wrong!! The truth is, a well-read Bible isn’t an indication of great faith at all. We can know the Bible but not really know it!! The stories are familiar and we can quote scripture but to know how to live by it and how to apply it is key.

I recently fell short with a recent experience when I had believed a scripture and claimed it for something personal I was going through. Turns out I had taken the scripture out of context in error and felt disappointed, wondering why God didn’t answer my plea.  Have you done that?  Certainly we don’t do that on purpose but that experience reminded me to find the truth, His truth, not mine. Seeking a deeper understanding of His Word will make Him rejoice. Trust in Him and the absolute truth of His Word.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/going-deeper Wed, 26 Sep 2018 18:52:01 GMT
Autumn https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/autumn

 


AutumnAutumn

Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.

-Matthew 13:32 NIV

One definition for the word “autumn” is reaching maturity.  Autumn is the time of year when the harvest comes in. The seeds planted in spring are ready to be harvested now. If summer droughts and disease didn't affect the plants and they made it through, then the harvest is to be celebrated. From just a tiny seed, so much is provided. This is a fun time of year to go to the various produce stands to see the pumpkin patch's, fruits, nuts and Indian corn. We have enjoyed decorating our home with a wreath of colorful fall leaves, nuts and acorns and miniature pumpkins. Each year when my children were little, we went to the country fields to walk the rows of pumpkins so they could each find their special one. We still laugh at the time I brought home a 75 pound pumpkin and had to strap it in the front seat with the seatbelt! Our front porch was always decorated with  pumpkins, pots of mums and that handmade wreath.  We even hung a cluster of Indian corn with a ribbon to the mailbox.

In our spiritual life, we can also enjoy the benefits of a harvest. But we do have to plant seeds first. So how do you do that? First it is the prayer of salvation that invites God into our heart. Making Jesus our Lord and Savior. Then it is reading the Bible to learn how to apply the principles to our life. Did you know the Bible will talk to us about how to have relationships, how to raise our children, how to be a light in the darkness? Probably the greatest thing any of us can do to strengthen our bond with God is to meet Him each day in prayer. Hopefully we should have a hunger and thirst for Him. Making time to do this is also an act of obedience and it is good discipline. It is as though we are showing up each day for our assignment from God. We can ask Him to mold and shape our day so that it glorifies Him.

Praying is like planting seeds. We know if we have done the work, the harvest will come. We know that in our prayer life, the harvest is when our prayers are answered with a solution or wisdom for being able to cope.  Sometimes before we can plant seeds, we have to plow up the soil and amend it. The soil may not be good and if so, nothing will grow. That applies to us spiritually as well. Forgiveness and bitterness have to be pulled out by the roots. They are weeds in our garden. Letting go of anger and disappointment too. Again, more weeds. Only when the weeds are gone, and the soil is right can we plant our seeds with confidence. A harvest awaits us if we are willing to do the work. That is how we can begin to walk in spiritual maturity.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/autumn Thu, 20 Sep 2018 14:59:00 GMT
Rest https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/rest
RestRest Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. –Psalm 62:5 NIV

A sweet neighbor and I visited this morning on the sidewalk. I have a little flower bed that has been neglected. It is on the top of my “to do” list to bring it back to life this fall. I shared my landscape ideas with my neighbor and she kindly offered to share some of her plants to get me started. The kind lady said that some of the plants would rest over the winter and may go completely dormant. But not to worry, while they are resting, they are developing good roots. 

The word, “rest” has popped up several times this week. People talking about needing it or not getting enough of it. The definition of rest is the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep, spiritual calm, tranquility, refreshing ease, relief or freedom from anything that troubles or disturbs.  Many of us have had challenges we had to rise up to recently. Probably like many of you, I’ve taken time to re-group. To take stock of where I have been, where I am and to pray for direction for what God wants to do with me next. Seems recently there has been a season of change that has swirled around me like autumn leaves falling to the ground on a September day.  And sometimes with change comes chaos, too many decisions, turmoil and the like. Followed by rest. Yes, sweet rest. At some point, things start to settle down. The pieces of the puzzle come together to form a beautiful picture. Rest is a good word. It represents that the battle is over, the difficulty has subsided and peace awaits us. But rest is not always physical relief. We can have mental rest and give up a situation that our minds have been obsessing about for too long. We can also find spiritual rest by surrendering everything to God. Resting in Him means to totally trust Him. Whatever the situation is, it isn’t too big for God. His rest will restore us and nurture us so we can pick ourselves back up and head back out on our journey. (I find it interesting that within the word “restore” is “rest”). Like my neighbor’s plants, I like to think our faith is growing deep spiritual roots when we rest in God.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/rest Wed, 12 Sep 2018 01:25:38 GMT
You Are Loved https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/you-are-loved You Are LovedYou Are Loved  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Cor. 13:4-7 NIV

“You are loved”. Aren’t they the words we all long to hear? “I love you. I care about you. I cherish you. You mean so much to me”. These little words have big impact. Whether these endearments come from the mouths of little tots or the wrinkled faces of the elderly, the effect is the same, lasting pure joy fills our heart. Love is described as “an intense feeling that shows deep affection”. So how can we put this definition into action and apply it using our faith? Love is accepting someone, faults and all. Love is sitting with a friend through their trial. Love is helping or giving without being credited or acknowledged. Love is standing by that person even when you don’t feel like it anymore. Love is being supportive and encouraging. Love is being tolerant and patient when we feel otherwise. 

God has set the example by loving us no matter what we do and will do. If we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are forgiven. That is the greatest love of all. The greatest sacrifice. The greatest gift. Take the scripture today to heart. Study it. Know it. Do it. Do we follow the example provided for us? Do we show love, expressing love generously? Who is hurting today and what can we do about it? Showing love with a kind word, a hug, a card, a phone call. It all matters. Every little act of love can fill you when you are filling another’s heart. Henry David Thoreau said, “There is no remedy for love but to love more.” Be a blessing. Be blessed. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/you-are-loved Wed, 12 Sep 2018 01:17:06 GMT
Paradise https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/paradise ParadiseParadise

It is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—.  1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV 

Paradise. A small oval ceramic sign that was hand-painted with the words “Paradise” on it was a gift to my Mother long ago.  It was one of her greatest treasures. That little sign was fixed onto my parents front door the moment they moved to the Outer Banks many years ago to retire. It was symbolic of the second chapter of a life well-lived and one that certainly was entitled to live in paradise. Mother loved opening the door to her family and friends and saying in her southern gentility, “Welcome to Paradise”. And to her it was. After a life of raising three energetic children, working as a compassionate and caring nurse, being the beloved bride to our dad for many decades, the promise of paradise became a reality in their cottage on Durham. She earned her reward for a life dedicated to serving others. It was her turn to dabble in watercolors, go the the Baum Center, volunteer at the Outer Banks Hospital and enjoy the wonderful friendships she made, all rooted in love. She loved church, fishing, riding down the Beach Road, dining at her favorite places but most of all her time with family. Her orange lilies were showstoppers and her pink hydrangea caused walkers and bicyclists to stop for a moment to enjoy the beauty of her well manicured garden. 

What is the definition of paradise? I like this one the best, which says that “paradise is heaven, as the ultimate abode of the just”. The just! My mother certainly was just! Doing her best in all things, caring for others, giving of herself in so many ways. But while those are good things, more importantly she knew Jesus. She talked to Him often. Romans 10:9 says, Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. And saved she was. While my mother enjoyed paradise on this earth to every extent, she gently walked the path to her heavenly paradise last week. What a blessed woman she is and how blessed we are to have had her in our life. We never know when our name will be called home and it is important that, like my mother, we are right with God, our loved ones, and that we are spiritually ready for that moment when Jesus says "come, just as you are". Luke 23:43 says, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise”. And so it shall be.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/paradise Wed, 12 Sep 2018 01:10:39 GMT
The Journey https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/the-journey
The JourneyThe Journey For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 

–Deuteronomy 30:16 NIV

 

There are so many paths, walkways and little bridges on the Outer Banks leading to the sea. Each one seems unique and constructed to accommodate the lay of the land. Some are straight and some are crooked. Some have stairs and some do not. Occasionally, benches are built as part of the walkways for those moments to sit a spell. Thankfully, some walkways are made for the handicapped to access so they too can enjoy the sea breeze and smell of salt air with a view from the top of the dunes. One day recently I set out to journey on as many walkways as I could. I had my camera and was looking for that perfect view to snap my photograph. I came to realize that every place I went was spectacular. Even though each walkway, path and bridge was different, they were similar in the fact that they all led to the ocean.

The dictionary says that journey is a process or course, a passage. It is the distance traveled or an act of traveling from one place to another. The journey that our own lives takes often resembles some of the walkways we see on the Outer Banks. Some times our lives will run along straight and all of a sudden, something happens and our lives take a turn in a different direction. There are twists and turns along the way which makes the journey a challenge sometimes and a joyful experience at other times. We have all experienced this. Sometimes the journey takes us high and sometimes it takes us down low. What lies before us can often seem overwhelming. But God wants to remind us that He leads us and He walks beside us. He is always there. With one step at a time, we will get to where we are going on our journey, while taking comfort that the course we are on leads to God.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/the-journey Wed, 12 Sep 2018 01:05:12 GMT
Weather https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/weather  

 


WeatherWeatherUser comments

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. –Proverbs 15:13 NIV

 

Weather is defined as the state of the atmosphere with respect to wind, temperature, cloudiness, moisture and pressure. We love our sunny days but too many of them cause the ground to be in drought conditions desperately needing water. Rainy days are welcomed and vital but again, several in a row and there are problems with flooding, causing degrees of destruction. Tropical storms and hurricanes certainly can roar through a delicate coastal area like the Outer Banks and turn things upside down by dumping large amounts of water. To study the weather is to understand that balance is key. When the atmosphere is balanced with the right amounts of sun, rain, wind, warm and cold temperatures, there is harmony. It is when the atmosphere becomes erratic and unpredictable that storms begin to form, take shape and run its course over anything in its path.

 

We could easily compare a storm to the enemy when he comes into our lives to get things stirred up.  It is sometimes living a life that lacks real balance in the first place that we unintentionally open the door to the enemy and welcome him in. Then we wonder what happened! Family is where the enemy likes to hurt us most. Honoring our family with our time, love and encouragement is the greatest gift we can give, especially our children.  They love to see a smile on our faces that reflects our joy in being with them. It is not the toys or gifts we buy them, the places we take them or the number of times we look the other way when we should discipline, but instead, it is our time and undivided attention that they want.  To do otherwise promotes heartache, especially in the little ones that don’t know how to process the appearance of indifference.  When we no longer find the time or place a priority on honoring the family unit, we can expect trouble to swirl in like a tornado.  God allows each of us 24 hours a day and it is largely up to us how we choose to spend it. God knows our heart and we will be accountable for what we do or don’t do one day when we stand at His Door. Equal times of work, play and prayer are how to stay in balance. Taking time for self, too.  A husband and wife need time together to encourage, uplift and share dreams for the future together. To also speak kind words to one another. That is how mutual respect begins to take root. Together they do the same for their children. “The family that prays together stays together,” is the old saying. I think it is true. I treasure the moments when my husband and I sit down to pray over our children. Circumstances come and go and things temporarily take our attention, but we always try to get back to the core of what is important, which is putting God first in our life and plans, all while seeking balance. Yes, the storms of life will brew up leaving debris in its wake, but God gives us the strength to step through it and get back on track to living a balanced Christian life under His Protection.  Lord, help us to close the doors to the enemy and open the doors to Kingdom living with a happy heart.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/9/weather Wed, 12 Sep 2018 00:57:09 GMT
Erosion https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/erosion

 

ErosionErosion Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  - Ephesians 6:1-4 

Just watching the news, seeing the change in culture, noting what people are accepting that they never accepted before. There is an erosion of values. Somewhere in this shuffle of change, the values that I grew up with are considered outdated. Not to sound antiquated, but we ate dinner as a family, there was no phoning of friends till dishes and homework were done. Chores were on Saturday and church on Sunday, with a visit to grandparents. I will always recall fondly my grandmother’s swing on her porch where we chatted about everything and shared our hopes and dreams over her chocolate cake. No shopping occurred on Sunday because nothing was open but the gas station. These times brought comfort. The consistency of life as it evolved each week was as dependable as mashed potatoes and gravy on Sunday. We used to dress up for dates on Saturday night and church on Sunday.  We were family but also, we were a team. We worked together and did chores together. I remember the days of pushing Daddy’s red Yazoo lawnmower whose handles were taller than me!! The time I grew up is considered old fashioned now but I know there are others that long for that time again too. There was something quaint, sweet and respectful about that era. Like we replenish beaches that have eroded, maybe we can try to restore family values again in our homes. Maybe the next generation will have a return to what was once valued.  We can hope. Perhaps we need to set the example and they will follow. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) erosion family fashioned god old values https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/erosion Thu, 26 Jul 2018 13:23:46 GMT
Quiet Time https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/quiet-time ChangeChange Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! -Psalm 150:6

Make time for it. Schedule it on your calendar if you must. Walk the beach alone. Find a bench in the park. There are a number of things you can do to find quiet time. Why is it so important? It is a time to recharge and it is mentally healthy to clear your mind of all things unimportant. Busy schedules, commutes to work, radio and television blaring gives little time to just sitting still for a while in peaceful solitude. Embracing those quiet moments are a time of reflection and self-evaluation. A bit of peace and tranquility can go a long way in getting our attitudes in alignment with God. It is in those times of quiet that we can talk to God and He can talk to us. Maybe a scripture will come to mind or a solution will reveal itself for a problem that has been consuming us. Often times, my quietness is just praising and being grateful. My grandson loves to hear that he has done a good job. We all like to hear that. And so it is with God too. Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. Psalm 147:1 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach busy peace prayer quiet rest time too https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/quiet-time Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:14:51 GMT
The Ocean https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/the-ocean
Pressing ThroughPressing Through 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. Photographers need to capture the perfect sunrise while people like my Mother and I are content to drive to the pier and feed the hungry gulls some pieces of bread. 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 heart is where our mind 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. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach God Ocean power Praise respect https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/the-ocean Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:12:58 GMT
July https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/july
American FlogAmerican Flog Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near

-Mark 13:28 NIV

 

The scenes of summer are everywhere. Lots of traffic converging to the Outer Banks as vacationers arrive with great anticipation. Vegetable stands, one after the other, line the journey to the shore with some of the first harvests of the season, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes. Rows of colorful umbrellas dot the beach for as far as the eye can see. Brand-new beach towels hang over the rails of rental cottages along the Beach Road. Where the full time residents live, the landscaping is manicured with splashes of color from beds of daisies, day-lilies and the occasional hydrangea, my favorite. Some driveways are bordered with shells collected from the winter, along with piles of gray conchs casually placed at the base of brightly painted “beachy” mailbox posts.  Backyard grills come alive with the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers that linger in the early evening air. Neighbors, families and friends gather for annual crab feasts and corn on the cob, while catching up with each other. Summer is the time of year when everything seems to come together. 

 

Surely, I am not the only one that feels so carefree and happy at the beach. The salt air seems to wash away my problems and concerns. The sand between my toes doesn’t annoy me…instead it lets me know I am “home”. The smell of suntan lotion evokes many childhood memories. Perhaps my favorite summer memory is recalling my grandmother’s fig preserves with lemon. Only she could make it her own special way, from her small tree in the backyard, surrounded by a single row of bricks. I love July. The sky is still blue with wispy clouds circling overhead before the hazy gray days of August rolls in.  I cannot bear to be indoors this time of year. I don’t want to miss any of God’s beauty and creativity. I will praise Him for these beautiful and bountiful blessings, the sights and sounds of summer.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Beach flag God july patriotism https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/july Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:11:57 GMT
Limits https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/limits LoveLove 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

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) children god Limit pier https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/limits Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:10:37 GMT
A New Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/a-new-day  

 

T he steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV sunrise brings with it hope for the new day. Photographers like to rise early to catch a glimpse of that first morning light. They will say that no two days are the same and they are right. Each day unfolds uniquely. 

One thing is for certain though and that is that each day is a blessing. But surprisingly not everyone feels this way. Many have allowed their days to become mundane, boring and without joy. This has probably happened to all of us and certainly me. But when we change our heart then we look around with gratitude and realize what a gift we have been given. A God-given gift to renew ourselves, to live for Him and to be His hands on his earth. But we are not perfect. Like others, I have said, “ Oh no, another Monday…another day of work.” Yet that gravely ill person is hanging on to hope and is overjoyed to be given another day. Chores and cooking and mowing the lawn seems so routine. But to those people that cannot do those things, it would be their life’s dream to do for themselves and others and not be dependent. It is all in our perspective. To the caregiver, babysitter or helper it is important to know that things change. You won’t be in that role forever. Things don’t stay the same. Find a treasured moment to hold on to that adds joy to your day. Do you see that our own outlook has so much to do with how our day goes? And don’t take any unpleasantness from the day personally. God is teaching me that lesson now. When we give so much or care so greatly and our efforts are misread or unappreciated, we have to keep trying to walk in the light of love. Ephesians 4:2-5  With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He sees our approach to the day He has given us. Much of the joy and happiness we receive in each day has to do with how much we are willing to find it an

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) approach blessings day God New https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/a-new-day Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:09:18 GMT
Broken Shell https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/broken-shell Celebrate LifeCelebrate Life Do not judge, and you will not be judged.

 Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. 

Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

–Luke 6:37 NIV

 

When taking walks along the shore, the tendency has been to fill my pockets with only the perfect shells. Especially the shiny ones that are perfectly ridged and shaped for display at home. Yes, the perfect shells are beautiful and have that “shell shop” quality to them. But I have come to realize, that the broken shells are the ones that have the story to tell. They have been tumbled, stepped on and knocked around the ocean floor as the tides brought them to shore. They have weathered the storms and currents of the sea. I can relate to the broken shell, can you? Sometimes I don’t feel at the top of my game, in perfect condition or form. Life can take a swipe at us every now and then, and we are stung with painful circumstances or events that begin to chip away at us. A crack or a break in a shell makes it less desirable to the shell-seeker, but in our lives, the more storms we can weather and ride out, the more strength and wisdom we gain, which is another way of growing more spiritually. 

 

There are only perfect shells, not perfect people. God doesn’t want us to try to be perfect because He knows and has taught us that it cannot be. Only He is perfect. He accepts us as we are. He loves us with our flaws, the mistakes we make and will continue to make. He loves the person He hopes we will become if we stay fixed on Him. Although we celebrate everyone’s uniqueness, there can be occasions where we can have a tendency to judge those that are different from us. To have a ministry of criticalness or to judge is not wise. Instead of our judgment, perhaps it is our help that is needed. Let our first instinct be to reach out, rather than to look down or look away. God calls us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, especially those that seem most unlovable, like a broken shell. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach broken God shell https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/broken-shell Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:07:28 GMT
June https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/june  

 

 

Going DeeperGoing Deeper The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest”.

 –Exodus 33:14 NIV

 

The month of June has come quickly this year. It’s been a favorite month of many for a lot of reasons. The children love it because it signals the end of school and the beginning of summer. Families pack up for vacations that they have saved all year for. Neighbors gather together for fireworks and a backyard hot dog. Picnics, grilling out and paper plates become the norm. Watermelons are sliced and shared outdoors. A good time has been had by the younger set evidenced by kool-aid stains on t-shirts in colors of cherry, orange and lime. Band-aids cover the scraped knees from bicycle mishaps. Fathers labor over their lawns in a battle against the weeds and Moms brace for whatever the summer brings knowing she must be adaptable. Summer becomes a chance to enjoy family, slack up a little and enjoy the tastes and joys of it all.

 

But in all of our busyness, I think God would have us not forget Him. A small child was asked what did he pray for that day and he replied, “nothing, I didn’t need anything”. We seem to have a tendency to only go to God with our requests when we are in crisis or have a real need. When things are going great for us, He can be easily pushed aside. As summer begins, we should invite God to be present in all we do, plan and enjoy. God is more important than ever as we pray protection over our loved ones that are on the go this summer season. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach busy God June Summer Too https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/7/june Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:05:36 GMT
Memorial Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/5/memorial-day  

 

 

 

Memorial DayMemorial Day But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

-Psalm 5:11 NIV
 

It was not always known as “Memorial Day”. The day where we remember and honor those who have lost their lives while serving our country.  It was originally called “Decoration Day”. This commemoration dates back as far as 1868 when flowers were placed on graves at Arlington National Cemetery of soldiers who died in service. Soon after, it caught on, state by state. Since the 1950’s, American flags have been placed on more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day each year.  Just a few years ago, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts began placing a single candle on over 15,000 gravesites in northern Virginia on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day. The tributes continue annually to show honor and respect.

 

But the traditions of the past are more forgotten than remembered. Memorial Day has often signified outdoor parties, picnics, three-day weekends, the unofficial start to summer, and maybe the first dip in the swimming pool. But as we grow older, the significance of the sacrifice made by the fallen soldiers presses on our hearts. They are heroes. Many of the people serving the armed forces today are very young. Some may not even have a personal relationship with Our Father. Imagine being away from the comfort of family and familiar surroundings, living with war and not knowing God. As Christians, I believe that God is calling us to pray for the protection of these brave servicemen and women, both at home and abroad. In all of the celebrations and fun that a Memorial Day weekend suggests, perhaps we can take time to go to God in prayer to ask His blessings on families that have lost loved ones and to cover His Holy Armor on those brave people that are currently serving us.  If we all prayed a prayer for peace, and each prayer was a light, together we could illuminate the heavens with our petitions

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/5/memorial-day Wed, 23 May 2018 23:29:54 GMT
Finding Strength https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/5/finding-strength  

  I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength. –Philippians  4:13

 

How many times have we all walked to the beach toting chairs, umbrellas, coolers, kids and towels just praying to God for “more strength”!! I know I have!! “Let’s try to make it all in one trip” is my husband’s motto, much to my dismay. Traipsing about in the hot sand, which feels like burning coals, we try to find the perfect spot.  Alas, we have set up for the day already extremely exhausted and weary!

 

For He gives power to the weak. And to those that have no might. He increases strength. Isaiah 40:29 I just have to look around my small little circle to see many are struggling with strength. Many friends are trying to cope with losses; business owners needing more business; some friends are coping with ongoing medical issues and more.  We are all in need of strength. Some more than others. As Believers, we must allow those that are in weak in spirit or physically weak to lean on us until they can stand alone with God. Yes, there are limits and no one wants to be taken advantage of. That is a topic for another day. But those that are hurting need to talk sometimes. Believe it or not, just our presence and our caring effort offers up support and strength. But we hesitate sometimes thinking to ourselves, “what do we have to offer”? A phone call, an email, or a text is sometimes all that is needed. In this world of electronics, it is easy to reach out. And a handwritten note of support that is received often becomes a tangible treasure. Whether we have strength to give or we are the ones needing it, God is at the center of it all…providing what we need from Him or through Him from others. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/5/finding-strength Thu, 17 May 2018 18:36:03 GMT
Remembering Mother's Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/5/remembering-mothers-day  

 

Remembering Mother's DayRemembering Mother's Day

 

I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.

 –Proverbs 4:11 NIV

 

I learned of a tradition associated with Mother’s Day when I was just a little girl. If you wore a white flower on your dress, in your hair or on your lapel on Mother’s Day, it meant that your Mother had passed on; and if you wore a red flower that meant that your Mother was living.  As little kids we mostly wore the red roses we tore off the rose bushes that were on the church grounds on our way to Sunday school. Lots of the grownups did the same thing, but many of them gathered around the white rose bush. That memory is so vivid, yet so long ago. I remember being glad then that I could wear a red rose, and I am still glad of it today.

 

God gave each of us a Mother. Our relationship with our Mother changes and evolves over time. The first smile we saw was our Mother’s. Then spending years of nurturing us through childhood, she equally dispensed kool-aid and band-aids. Teaching us and learning from us all at the same time. Molding and shaping our teenage thoughts with a healthy dose of discipline and love to smooth over the hurts we encountered along the way. Cheering us on with each milestone and letting us go when it was time to start our own life. Then, being available anytime, just in case, and offering advice tenderly when she sees us making a wrong turn. A Mother knows to choose her words carefully because they are being stored up on the inside of her children. Whether your Mother is here today or in heaven, know that God blesses us with the sound of her voice in our ears and hearts to continually guide us along our path.  That is a gift from God to have our Mother’s wisdom to hold on to forever.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/5/remembering-mothers-day Wed, 09 May 2018 23:41:08 GMT
Lifeline https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/5/lifeline  

LifelineLifeline My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20 (NIV)

My puppy loves to go on walks whether it is our neighborhood, the park or the marina. But he must always be on a leash. I call it his “lifeline”. Without the leash, his explorations and wandering curiosity would surely put him in harms way like chasing squirrels into traffic or losing his way and not being able to find his way back home.  Or worse yet, falling in the water. While he seems quiet and restful lying at the foot of a park bench, it would only take a second for him to wander off and we couldn’t risk losing him. When my dog and I go to the marina for walks, we notice all the boats are tied up with lines and the boats have life jackets on board. Anchors are used to keep from drifting when out on the open water and some of the larger boats even have life rafts. Lifelines are essential.

I just finished a wonderful Bible study on the book of James. There are so many nuggets of wisdom in that book. Too many to mention actually but worth the time to delve into it. Today’s’ verse is the one that really spoke to me and it is a “call to action”.  Many of us, me included, will sometimes shy away from speaking to a loved one or a good friend when we see them taking the wrong road. We rationalize that they are old enough to know what they are doing and we look the other way and hope for the best. That is not what we are being called to do. If after praying for wisdom, seeking God’s Will and we show ourselves willing to help, God may equip us with the courage and strength to bring a person back from sin. We have to be careful here because we can become righteous for the wrong reasons, but when God asks us to help to offer a lifeline to one of His people, we should step up. What comes to mind are teenagers that are overwhelmed with choices and temptations and often times succumb to the wrong influences in their life…and there is no one to notice or say anything. That is just one example. Good people that get out of balance with too much of a bad thing needs a loving friend to tap them on the shoulder and pull them back. We can love someone back in a loving way with dignity rather than preaching, taking a superior tone or threats. We can be the lifeline that brings someone back to God which saves them and their soul. Biblically, we are responsible to help if we can.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/5/lifeline Thu, 03 May 2018 01:51:29 GMT
Change https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/4/change ChangeChange

 

Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.
-Psalm 30:10 NIV

 

Change seems to be everywhere. Change is one of those words that bring with it a lot of feelings and emotions when it surrounds us. Probably the simplest way to describe change is ‘to pass from one state to another.’ Seasonal changes we tend to welcome and look forward to with anticipation. We know what to expect year after year. Gardens are being planted, lawnmowers tuned up, beach chairs and umbrellas brought out of storage.  The transition from season to season is somewhat predictable.

 

It’s the unexpected, unpredictable turns that come upon us at times that can shift our lives in another direction. How do we cope? That’s when our faith is of utmost importance. Some changes in our life can be devastating such as an illness, divorce, and the death of a loved one. Other changes may not be as impactful, but nevertheless they do affect us. God made us adaptable and flexible. We can face anything that comes to us.  God won’t leave us alone to get through these times of difficulty by ourselves. We can count on Him. He made us strong. We can rely on His strength to help us. How we choose to react to change determines how we will be able to manage it. Something to think about. God’s plan is at work in our lives and in our surroundings. We must never forget that. Yes, God is part of everything and every situation. We don’t always know the reason why things happen. He will allow things at times to occur to bring us back closer to Him and to strengthen us. As we are certain to meet change almost daily, we should remember that God does not change. He is always there with His promises to lift us up out of the mire on to high ground again. We can take refuge in Him and He will take our pain and give us strength in its place. It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Psalm 18:21 NIV

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/4/change Thu, 26 Apr 2018 01:06:00 GMT
Watching https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/4/watching  


WatchingWatching Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

–Colossians 3:12 NIV

 

All across the beach and on docks, there are birds just sitting and watching. On the bridges, they will line up on the rails, facing the same direction. Maybe they are sunning themselves or standing against the wind. Whatever they are doing, they are doing it together and in harmony.

 

When our lives are so busy that we don’t have the time to observe around us, it is time to slow down the pace. We can be used by God to do service for Him but first we have to see where there is a need. Are the elderly neighbors okay? Maybe the mother at the grocery store fumbling with change to buy milk needs a few dollars pressed in her hand. The homeless woman sitting on the bench looks hungry. At the office, perhaps there is a co-worker who is in emotional pain and needs someone to speak hope and kindness over them. I believe we should always be watching for opportunities to help and serve. God charges us to love and acts of kindness shows His Love. To give and not be boastful about what we have done is all the better. To serve and do it quietly, without recognition or praise is the Christian way.

 

In my daily prayer each morning, I ask God to use me. I do my part by seeing and watching where I can be useful. Many times, an act of kindness leads to a conversation and it is there that we can talk of God’s Goodness and Promises to share with others.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/4/watching Thu, 19 Apr 2018 01:38:55 GMT
Limits https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/4/limits  

 

 

LimitsLimits 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.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/4/limits Thu, 12 Apr 2018 01:07:46 GMT
Sunset https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/4/sunset SunsetSunset But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:10-11

 

Viewing a sunset will cause me to stop, and pause long enough to reflect on all the really important things going on around me. To witness a sunset is to enjoy momentary peace and solitude. Each sunset is different and unique. It amazes me how weather can play such a large part to make a sunset appear different from day to day. When the sun’s fiery orange ball melts into a puddle over the water is the moment when I feel awed. I visualize today’s worries and problems melting away just like the sun. It is easy to have a childlike imagination that the sun is going down for an evening’s rest before the start of another day tomorrow.

God understands rest and wants us to take time to enjoy it and to rest in Him. He made the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day he rested. Imagine that! All that work followed by just one day of rest. There is something to be said for slowing down, and pausing to replenish our bodies and our souls. God knows what we need, both physically and spiritually. Matthew 6:33 says, But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  To make God first is to trust that He will help us to get everything completed on our “to-do list “ plus enjoy His rest.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach gazebo god rest sun sunset https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/4/sunset Thu, 05 Apr 2018 14:26:58 GMT
Easter Lily https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/3/easter-lily  


Easter LilyEaster Lily Praise be to the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

-1 Peter 1:3 NIV

 

Easter is the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus, but what is the significance of the Easter Lily? Many traditions are centered around Easter with church services, family gatherings and feasts, the usual egg hunts, baskets and chocolate bunnies. But one flower has marked Easter and that is the white Easter Lily. It represents purity, hope and life. But where did that originate from? Lilies have been said to have grown where drops of Jesus’ sweat fell to the ground in the final hours of his life as he was about to be crucified. They were also found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after the crucifixion and were referred to as the “ white-robed apostles of hope”. I will now look at the beautiful, fragrant Easter Lily in a new way.

Purity, Hope and Life. We couldn’t ask for more, could we? To be pure is a good thing to strive for. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”Psalm 51:10 NIV.  Hope is something that we all need to hang on to. No matter what our situation is, we can all use a double-dose of hope. In Jeremiah 29:11, we learn that “there are plans to give us hope and a future”. How comforting!  And in John 3:16, we are told that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” Easter is a time that we can reaffirm our faith, living a pure, hopeful life that the promises of the Easter message brings us, symbolized by the beautiful flower of the Easter Lily.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/3/easter-lily Thu, 29 Mar 2018 13:18:39 GMT
Spring https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/3/spring SpringSpring

 

And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.

Genesis 1:14 NIV
 

The official start of spring was just a few days ago. The spring season will last about three months and is a season that most people look forward to.  It is the tilt of the Earth that causes the rising change in temperature and also the longer days of daylight. This time of year represents a renewal in many ways. Lawns appear to come back to life, flowers and bulbs bloom in a kaleidoscope of color and the foliage of trees and branches spring forth in greenery. God has given us beauty beyond words on this Earth. It is the natural scenery that surrounds us that is so captivating. The bold yellow of daffodils, the majestic purple hyacinths and wiry forsythia branches all contribute to the colors of Spring.  For some blooms, it means “a coming back to life, a “rebirth,” and for others, it is a “new beginning, a brand new start.”

 

With winter almost behind us we can spring to life too. It’s the season for sprucing things up like painting the house, bringing out the lawn furniture, or getting our hands in the flowerbeds to work the soil. But these are all material things. So what about our lives? What lies deep inside of us just waiting to be born? That is a question to take to prayer. Real change takes place in the depths of ones soul. For a person to seek a new beginning, it may take getting rid of old mindsets and adapting to different ideas or thoughts.  To some, it may mean seizing the opportunity to learn something fresh and exciting through a book or taking a class that stirs a passion. Or it could be that it is time to give back, by volunteering time and God-given talents, to help others in need.  Making positive changes in daily living has its rewards that are reflected in our mind, body and soul.  But in making adjustments, it is important also to stay in balance to be sure there is ample time for prayer, work, rest and play. Spring is a good time to launch into action and accomplish a goal or a dream. But we should not forget that God has given us life and we are His. Prayerfully taking our lives to God, and asking for His lead on what to do in the next season of our life is a starting point. He will bring us direction if we earnestly seek it. The hibernation of winter is nearly past and it is time to awaken our lives in a way that is pleasing to God. Search Him for guidance to a “fresh start” this Spring and delight in the joy that awaits. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/3/spring Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:40:25 GMT
Filters https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/3/filters  

FiltersFilters For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them] -.Philippians 4:8 AMP

My camera has been a friend to me for many years. I don’t know of a better way to capture a moment, a sunrise or sunset or that perfect wave than with a snapshot. When the moment is gone, it is gone forever, only to live on in our minds. But if we capture it with a camera, the moment can live on for years.

My picture taking wouldn’t be complete with the use of filters on my camera lens. There are books on the subject of filters because there are so many to choose from. The definition of a filter is this: “Camera filters are optical elements that alter the properties of light entering the lens for the purpose of improving the image being recorded.” My favorite is the polarizing filter. Many types of filters absorb light, but what I like so much about the polarizing filter is that it absorbs unwanted reflections, which reduces the glare. It is a “must-have” filter when photographing the water.

The camera lens is not the only place a filter could be applied. With the world today and the choices we are exposed and have access to, it is almost necessary to put a filter on what gets into our heart, mind and spirit. A filter can reduce and eliminate negative and unwanted things. As I get closer to God, I find myself being more careful about what I read, view or listen to, especially in my own home where it is the most important. If we don’t exercise caution about this, there is the chance we can become deceived about what is good or not. That is what becoming “desensitized” means.  I will behave myself wisely and give heed to the blameless way--O when will you come to me? I will walk within my house in integrity and with a blameless heart. I will set no base or wicked thing before my eyes. I hate the work of them who turn aside [from the right path]; it shall not grasp hold of me. Psalm 101:2-3 Amplified Bible. We start by resisting anything we are not sure of.  Our scripture today in Philippians shows us what things to think on.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach camera clean filter god heart oats pureity se https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/3/filters Wed, 07 Mar 2018 22:46:46 GMT
Pressing Through https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/3/pressing-through  

Pressing ThroughPressing Through 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.  

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/3/pressing-through Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:53:44 GMT
Planting Seeds https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/2/plantinig-seeds  

 

Planting SeedsPlanting Seeds Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches. Matthew 13:32 NIV

I have been waking up in the morning to beautiful melodies outside my window. The birds and their chirping is really music to my ears. A bright red cardinal perched on my back porch table just this week. He was looking at me and I was looking at him. It seemed like forever that we held that gaze but then he flew up to a nearby tree branch. Recently I spent an afternoon strolling the aisles of a beautiful greenhouse and garden center.  It was a true experience in whetting my appetite for spring. Everything was so green, colorful, with blooms everywhere, rows of houseplants, herbs and vegetable seedlings. Even tables of orchids in hues of lavender, yellow and green in great abundance. And then, one area was completely devoted to the birds. I found seeds of all kinds that were packaged in little cartons and large fifty pound bags to attract all types of backyard feathered friends. Gorgeous feeders in all sizes, shapes and colors in materials like metal, plastic and wood hung from the trellised ceiling. Birdhouses were lined up on shelves, too. Big ones and little ones, hanging ones and the types you nail to a post or eaves.

The great thing about a winter day is planning for spring! The vegetable and flower seed catalogs have been arriving since the first week in January. I love looking at them and planning for a new season. What more could a backyard have but vegetables, flowers, birds and butterflies! But first, I think I will start with the birds. A little seed should go a long way in establishing a sanctuary and a building a good relationship with the songbirds to last more than a season.

It all starts with a seed. God plants seeds within us, too. Those seeds become the foundation for ideas that can lead to life changing decisions or ideas to make our everyday life a bit better. He is always refining us. Filling us with ideas and thoughts to make us rise up. We can plant seeds too…but not only in the ground. We can plant seeds in the lives, minds and hearts of people that cross our path. An insecure person will thrive on a compliment. A sick person will grab on to hope. A troubled person could use a prayer of encouragement. In our daily journey through life, at the post office, convenience store, at work or the line at the grocery store we can plant seeds. Simply holding the door open for someone will remind them that there is kindness still in this world. Planting a seed is not just a spring endeavor.  We can plant encouraging and uplifting seeds all the time and everywhere we go with our simple actions and words. We never know what a single seed of love, kindness, encouragement or hope can produce but God knows. All it takes is the planting of a single seed, a single act, to set the process in motion.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/2/plantinig-seeds Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:59:11 GMT
The Fishermen https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/2/the-fishermen  

The FishermenThe Fishermen

The Fishermen 

Oil Painting 24 x 36

$595 inc. free shipping in US

 

This oil painting of "The Fishermen" is from a photograph I saw on Facebook featuring Daniel Pullen's photography. With their generous permission, they allowed me to paint this spectacular and familiar scene from the Outer Banks. This painting is 24 x 36, on gallery wrapped canvas. The sides are painted blue/gray.  It will come with hardware for hanging. No framing needed. 

To view more of Daniel Pullen 's work, please visit the site at www.danielpullenphotography.com 

For more information or to purchase, contact me at betsyglass1@gmail.com 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/2/the-fishermen Fri, 16 Feb 2018 23:38:49 GMT
Celebrate Life https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/2/celebrate-life The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!

-Lamentations 3:22-24 (NASB)

It is so much fun to sit on the dunes with my long zoom camera lens and watch the birds walking along the water’s edge. Watching the pelicans in the distance as they dive into the sea. Noticing the clouds overhead that take the shape of things as they move slowly by. I love being a spectator from my perch nearby. Seeing everything up close, yet not being an active part of it.

The opposite of spectator is being a participant. It is equally fun to play with kids in the water, build sandcastles, collect shells and enjoy a picnic together. Being in the moment and enjoying life to the fullest with someone is truly the act of participating.

It occurs to me that we have a choice in life. We can choose to be a spectator or a participator of life. We can become fully engaged in our life and the lives of those around us or stand back, in the shadows, living life through other people, watching their celebrations and milestones.  My husband and I made the choice years ago to be a family that celebrates. We make the birthdays, anniversaries and holidays special. Even the dogs get birthday presents! Carrying around a camera for most of my life, I have been able to catch big moments and little ones too, so the memories of our celebrations have not been lost or forgotten.

Occasionally, I hear folks describe their days with the words, “didn’t do much today” or “we’re not planning anything special”. I used to be one of those people long ago. We stood at the front door many times and watched a neighbor family pile in their old car and drive off to enjoy life by going to ballgames, the beach, picnics and camping. Even backyard barbecues were special to them. I learned an important lesson from that family. Seize the moment.  When the day is over, it is lost. The young mother of this family passed in a car accident when her children were small. No time for goodbyes, one more picnic or one last moment. But I can say that family had far more memories to carry forward than some people have in a lifetime. And it wasn’t because they had unlimited resources or an abundance of time. No, they simply made an effort and chose to celebrate their life.  To make something of each day. They learned that ever important balance of working, playing and praying. They made time for it all.

Part of being a participator in life is a way to honor oneself and the family and friends that surround. It honors God showing Him we treasure the life He breathed in us and the gifts He surrounds us with. It is true that health, finances and obstacles can keep us from doing the things we want to do sometimes or it can limit us greatly, but we can choose our attitude about our life and what we do with it. For example, a budget meal of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich can be presented like a feast. Celebrating the first cucumber from the garden can bring a big smile. The dog bringing back the ball in a game of fetch can be cause for praise, kisses and hugs. Everyday things can be a series of small celebrations and before long we begin to realize that joy resides within. It is taking hold on the inside. It starts with having an attitude that promotes joy and happiness combined with the act of “doing” instead of “watching” that keeps many people celebrating daily life to a ripe old age.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/2/celebrate-life Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:29:17 GMT
Love https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/2/love
 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
         His faithful love endures forever. –Psalm 136:1 NLT

There are so many things that I love about the beach. This season of winter is actually a beautiful time of year. There is a quiet solitude that envelopes the beach and its surroundings. Great peace and a time of reflection can be captured by a pier, a bench by the sound or from a seaside beach access. If there is a need to warm the soul, to be close to God, to feel His Peace and see the beauty He created, this is the place and the time of year to do it. The sky is so blue and often cloudless. The stars and moon at night sparkle with such clarity.  Where else can one go and see dolphins feeding in the distance, seagulls flying overhead, waves rushing through a pier’s pilings and feel peace at the same time! God’s Love is present everywhere here. What a gift it is!

 

The Bible has much to say about love, but the two most important instructions are these from March 12:28-31 NIV which is “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  

 

Perhaps today is the time to put the past aside and begin anew with Jesus’ instructions as our guide, to make each day one where love is given and love is received. I heard it said once that the beauty of life is while we cannot undo the past, we can learn from it and change. So that every new moment is spent not in regret or guilt, but in wisdom, understanding and love. The lyrics from an old hymn dated back to 1912 have been drifting in and out of my thoughts today. “Love lifted me…Love lifted me…When nothing else could help…Love lifted me.” God’s Love for us will lift us up and over our own problems and circumstances so that in turn we can be a blessing to others.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach day god love pier valentines https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/2/love Wed, 14 Feb 2018 16:01:25 GMT
Charting A Course https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/charting-a-course  

Charting A CourseCharting A Course Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
 or sit in the company of mockers,
 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 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: 1-3

We all have times where we know what we want and we think we know how to get there. Disappointments and setbacks pave the road, a few long stretches of smooth sailing and then more struggles litter our path. When we are our own captain, we only can rely on things in the natural. Things like what we know, what we have heard others say, relying on our own wisdom. Sure, some people struggle more than others but some take the long way around when the straight road would have been so much easier.

What prevents us from tapping into God’s Word for strength and guidance? Is it our own pride, or our independence? Do we really think our way is better? Yes, often times we do and we get ahead of ourselves, things go wrong and we are back to God, asking Him to fix our messes!  Seems everywhere I searched this week for God’s Wisdom, all roads led to this scripture:  Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. -Joshua 1:8   Does it mean if I read the Bible, my life will be perfect? No. It does mean that our obedience and our relationship with God will prosper as He prospers us.  Will we be successful in the world’s eyes? Maybe.  Maybe not. But we will be a success in the eyes of the One that matters. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/charting-a-course Thu, 01 Feb 2018 01:34:20 GMT
Winter https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/winter  

 

 

 

WinterWinter …for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. –Hebrews 4:10 NIV

 

Winter is definitely here.  Cold fronts come through with strong winds that ruffle the water, bend the sea oats and cause the gulls to tuck their heads down into their chest.  Summer clothes get pushed to the far side of the closet and long sleeves shirts and bulky sweaters replace them. There are some people that even leave the beach during winter for warmer climates in the south. Seems everything takes a break. Grasses and flowers go dormant, birds hunker down in their nests, and blowing sand covers steps and walkways to the beach. At first glance, it can be considered a dreary time, but I don’t see it that way at all. Especially when the basil seeds sprouted this week in my makeshift greenhouse in the kitchen window. It is great to see new life spring forth.

 

Winter is a time to replenish, renew and rest. It is a time to appreciate the beach, too. While nature takes a nap, we can still walk the beach or walk to the end of a pier and feel the wind at sunrise. A hot cup of coffee or cocoa warms the spirit anytime. Reading a book by the fire wrapped in a warm throw can keep the mind active. Seafood chowder and buttery cornbread tastes like a feast for dinner on a cold evening.  There is something to do each day.

 

Winter can be a solitary time and that is good for our spirit to be by ourselves with little distraction. God is always there and in the quiet moments of life, we tend to hear Him more clearly. He drops in ideas and thoughts to our minds and hearts. We have all winter for them to take root on the inside of us.  Winter is the time to plan the garden of our life, for spring will be here soon enough and we must cultivate our hopes and dreams so they can grow into full harvest. These cold days are times to actively seek God’s Presence and His Voice for our life. He is our Counselor in all things. Entering into God’s Rest prepares us to receive what He has for us next.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/winter Thu, 25 Jan 2018 01:18:16 GMT
Fingerprints https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/fingerprints  

FingerprintsFingerprints You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 ESV

Today my grandson came for a visit. We had a great time reading and playing. But after he left, I had to take out the glass cleaner and paper towels to clean up his sweet fingerprints!! Oh yes, I left a few in my studio to keep me company until he returns again.  And oh how he seemed to leave his fingerprints everywhere!! How sweet and how treasured he is and anything that he leaves behind at Gigi’s.

On a bigger scale I wonder what we will leave behind. Spiritually, of course. Yes, there is talk of what will our legacy will be…our words, our wisdom, our works. But what is more important is what we leave behind spiritually. Our spiritual fingerprint. Have we shown a good Christian example to our friends and family? Have we helped those in need and have we prayed fervently? Did we offer spiritual mentorship when we could? I believe God wants us to be His hands and to touch as many hearts and minds as we can with the gospel either by word or by example of our Christian life. Billy Graham said, “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach children fingerprint god grandchildren grandson legacy https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/fingerprints Thu, 18 Jan 2018 01:14:14 GMT
January https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/january  

 

JanuaryJanuary He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.

- Proverbs 15:32 NIV

 

Dropping temperatures have produced a winter chill this past week that seems will stay around for a while. For some it might be the excuse to sit inside and do nothing, but for others, the weather means very little when it comes to getting started with new ideas and new goals for the New Year.

 

January marks the beginning of the year, but for many of us, it means so much more. Like being able to close the door to the events of the past year and look forward in the New Year with hope and expectation. January represents a fresh start, new beginnings, and a new way to look at old things. New Year’s hopes and dreams are declared, diets are started and exercise classes are filled to capacity with those that want to be healthier. January is also a time when we can look at our own spiritual healthiness. Taking stock of our own spiritual growth is important. God wants to promote us and to shower His blessings on us. But we have to be in a relationship with Him where we can receive what He wants to give us. That takes knowing Him on a daily basis. We can’t just go to Him occasionally when we are sick or we are praying for a family member and expect to live in His fullness. He wants us to come to Him in the good times, too. He has wisdom to impart and guidance to give. Being a disciple of God takes daily discipline. He teaches us through His Word and then He uses us as a witness so that we can teach others. It is a good time of year to begin to set a schedule where we make time for God…everyday. To start off the New Year with a desire to grow in Him, and then take action to make our desire a reality, is the most important resolution on our list.  And He will honor our desire by being there when we reach out to Him.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach goals god growth january renew renewal spiritual winter https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/january Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:45:53 GMT
Snow https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/snow  

SnowSnow Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NLT

 

How exciting to wake up to find that overnight the snow fell and blanketed everything in white. Every leaf on every shrub acts as a small cup to hold the flakes. The tree braches look so intricate with a coating of snow as though an artist brushed fine strokes of white paint along the limbs. The view first thing in the morning is breathtaking. I love especially to take photographs of the snow before the dogs and children start to play and before footprints and shovels change the scenery and serenity.  For just a little while, everyone seems to stop what they are doing to look out the window at the pristine gift from nature. The birds and squirrels seem to take pause, too to witness the peacefulness of the moment. Extra coffee, hot cocoa, building a fire and a pot of warm soup are soon to follow such a beautiful morning.  Someone once said that when snow falls, nature listens. I believe it is nature’s way to show us what peace is all about.

When we see snow, it is pleasing not to see any footprints in the virgin snow. But in our faith, we definitely want to see evidence of God’s footprint in our lives. We are encouraged when we have divine appointments. When things happen that only God could have orchestrated.  The poem about footprints in the sand speaks of a person that only sees one set of footprints in the sand and assumes they are his The poem goes on to say those footprints were God’s not his. That God was carrying him during times of difficulty because he couldn’t walk himself.  We are simply never alone. There is evidence of God’s footprint everyday in our lives.  For example, finding the verse in the Bible that seems to leap out and was written just for us for the trial we are facing. And how do we know that God is present? It is in the feeling, knowledge and awareness of His Peace that envelopes everything inside and outside of us. We breathe better. We don’t carry a hardened heart and we have emptied out bitterness. Think of that snowy day. How a smile comes so easy. Problems seem so insignificant if for only a moment and joy rises from deep within. That overwhelming feeling and joy that fills us to overflowing is peace. Seek His Peace in every choice, every decision, and every moment. Staying in peace is the best barometer for a good life. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach god snow https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/snow Thu, 04 Jan 2018 00:07:37 GMT
The New Year https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/the-new-year  

The New YearThe New Year …but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. –Isaiah 40:31 NIV

Expectant hope is the term that I want to keep close to me in this coming year. Just like the calendar year transition from one year to the next, we often go through cycles of transition ourselves. One thing for sure, we are never standing still. We are either going forward or backward. Sometimes the choice is up to us.

While the sun has set on the last days of this year, we are hopeful about what 2018 will bring to each of us. There may be good times and bad times. Happy times and sad times. In-between times. Busy times and quiet times. Like the tide that comes and goes, our life ebbs and flows, too. But this much we do know. We can face anything that comes our way as long as we have a strong, steady relationship with God. A daily relationship. It doesn’t have to be a long-drawn out session….just start off by talking with Him a few minutes each day. Tell Him your concerns and surrender them over to Him. Then Trust Him. Wait on Him. Lean to listen for Him to speak wisdom into your heart. But most of all, while you grow in the Lord, hold on to expectant hope. Believe that God has wonderful things He wants to bless you with. I believe that 2018 has something wonderful for each of us if we choose to live in expectant hope while trusting Him.

 

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) 2018 god hope new resolutions year https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2018/1/the-new-year Tue, 02 Jan 2018 00:35:23 GMT
Christmas Eve https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-eve  

 

 

Christmas EveChristmas Eve

As the sun goes down on a last minute, hectic sort of day in preparation and anticipation of Christmas, the stillness of Christmas Eve can be mesmerizing. Lighted decorations flicker on through the neighborhood at dusk. The grand music from Handel’s “Messiah” replaces “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” on the radio. The reverence of this night begins to envelope us and the peace that follows comforts us. As the night sky unfolds, one by one, the stars above begin to twinkle overhead with an extra brilliance. I find myself looking to the east for that special star and wondering what it was like the night Jesus was born.

 

The real meaning of Christmas can be found, not in the decorations, the expectation of Santa’s arrival or the presents under the tree. God’s gift to us was His Son, Jesus, who came to this world so that we may live, that through His sacrifice on the cross, we should have everlasting life. There is so much about Jesus to learn.  So much He wants to teach us. For years we read the poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas “ to our children on Christmas Eve. How I look back now and wish that we had focused more on the Birth of Jesus than we did the arrival of Santa Claus. Perhaps it is not too late to start a new tradition by adding the story of the Birth of Jesus to our Christmas Eve ritual.

 

Just to remind us again how it all began, here is the story of the birth of Jesus, as told by Luke.

 

 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 "Glory to God in the highest,
      and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. –Luke 2:1-20 NIV

Merry Christmas to each of you and God’s Blessings to all

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) christmas eve god jesus https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-eve Wed, 20 Dec 2017 00:01:50 GMT
The Season of Love https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/12/the-season-of-love  

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

It is the Season of Love. Celebrating the birth of Jesus, God’s gift to us. My favorite time of year and perhaps yours as well. But it is important to note that not everyone is celebrating the holiday season right now. Instead, some are coping with illnesses, loss of loved ones and more. Just in my little circle of love, loss and illness are dominating the lives of several families I know.

While rejoicing in the birth of our Savior, our thoughts at this time of year are often festive and in preparation of family gatherings, church services, bountiful meals, even Santa visits for the little ones. In all of our cheer and celebrating, the decorations, and lights we must not lose sight of those that need our prayers and or help.  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

Remembering my childhood, lavish with dolls, books, bikes and games, I realize there are children that will be forgotten unless we step up as a community to help. Then those that are sick cling onto hope and in a season of miracles, it is what is wished for most, a healthy body. A phone call of encouragement, an invitation to a meal, a box of wrapped toys or homemade cookies left at the front door. Big or small, we can make a difference and shine God’s Light in the darkness.

I recall many years ago a dear friend was in his last days. I dropped off a CD of Christmas music wrapped in gold at the front door. His wife said when she saw it she cried because she knew someone was thinking of them at a time when they felt forgotten. Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit would lead and move us to do for someone which illuminates Christ’s love.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach birth children christmas death god holiday illness jesus loss love of terminal https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/12/the-season-of-love Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:22:46 GMT
Christmas Wreath https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-wreath  

 

Christmas WreathChristmas Wreath Gives thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

-Psalm 118:29 NIV

 

It is said that in ancient times, the Christmas Wreath, made of evergreens, symbolized the strength of life overcoming the forces of nature. The Romans hung wreaths as a sign of celebration and victory. But the Christians believed that the circular wreath represented immortality, making the Christmas Wreath very symbolic and meaningful. The colors of Christmas are green and red. Green represents the continuance of life through winter and the belief of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Red is representative of Jesus’ blood at crucifixion. Today, evergreen wreaths with red ribbons are found on doors and windows, both inside and out at the holidays. The Advent Wreath has its own importance that originates back to the 16th century in Germany. Four candles nestled in an evergreen wreath are lit, one at a time each week leading up to Christmas. A fifth candle in the center of the wreath represents Jesus’ birth and is lit on Christmas Eve. It is a symbol of hope and light. The custom of lighting the Advent Wreath is still practiced today in many homes and churches.

 

The season is here. The wreaths are hung and the tree is adorned. It is a busy time. There are menus to plan and family to prepare for. Jingle Bells are ringing and Christmas Carols are hummed out of tune while scurrying from errand to errand.  In the frenzy of getting ready for Christmas, I am reminded that we shouldn’t lose sight of the deeper meaning of it. Festivities, parties, presents and Santa are a part of the Yule time and it may be easy to get absorbed in little things and miss the whole point of Christmas.

 

Like the holiday wreath, the circle of unbroken love that God surrounds us with each day is something that we can rely on anytime. He won’t let us go too far out before he pulls us back in where we belong. He is there for us in any situation or circumstance. He carries us when we are weak and he walks along side of us when we are strong. He leads often and asks us to follow. Asking God in prayer how He wants us to honor Him in our homes and hearts this holiday and the New Year ahead is the beginning of shining the light back on Him and His Son this Christmas. Setting up a tabletop nativity scene, blessing the holiday meal, reading about the birth of Jesus to young and old are all things we can start with. Making it a more meaningful, spiritual Christmas will cause us to come closer to Him and He will come closer to us.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) banks beach christmas coast god lighthouse ocracoke outer wreath https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-wreath Thu, 07 Dec 2017 02:33:15 GMT
Early Christmas https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/11/early-christmas  

 

Early ChristmasEarly Christmas For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

.-John 3:16 NIV

 

My fondest childhood memories of Christmas were when I would visit my grandmother’s cozy cottage by the water’s edge. The smoky air from a fireplace that didn’t draft well was the gathering place. When someone would open the back door, the ocean breeze would fill the room with a chill. The Christmas tree was cut from the woods next to her cottage. It was always a cedar tree. Some years it would be short and squatty and other years, lean and upright. The large colored old- fashioned Christmas lights were strung on the tree beside carefully placed silver tinsel. If we could find a candy cane on the tree, it was ours to keep. Hot chocolate and marshmallows warmed our spirits as we enjoyed my grandmother’s baking. Reflecting on such a long time ago, these memories are indelibly etched in my mind. Now, I am a grandmother and I look forward to seeing granbchildren at Christmas.  Old traditions continue, new ones are introduced and some are updated for the modern times we live in, but the love of family and togetherness remains strong and present. I thank Him for the gift of grandmothers, for their example and role they have played in our lives.

 

The gift of Christmas is love. God’s gift to us was His Son. There is no greater gift that exists. Eternal life and forgiveness of our sins are ours not just at Christmas but every day. There is no wrapped gift under the tree that could come close. If God loved us that much that He would save us through His Son, what can we do to keep his love alive today? Christmas can be more than just a season of love.  It can also last the whole year long. Showing love doesn’t have to be about money or extravagance either. Cherished memories and time spent together is what is really remembered in the end. Young children love to have a grownup play a game with them. To be pushed on a swing, to make cookies or take a walk together. The elderly are so appreciative of someone spending time with them. Their eyes twinkle and they feel youthful again as they recall the same stories from long ago. And they are grateful that everyone acts as though they are hearing those stories for the first time. Making memories of love and togetherness that brings the generations closer are the ones that will be long remembered and treasured in the years to come…like a squatty tree, hot chocolate and especially the memory of a grandmother’s hug.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/11/early-christmas Thu, 30 Nov 2017 01:17:09 GMT
A Thanksgiving Prayer https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/11/a-thanksgiving-prayer  

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. A Thanksgiving  PrayerA Thanksgiving Prayer

-Colossians 3:15 NIV

 

As we begin the week of Thanksgiving, we have gratitude and joy in each of us as we say thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed on us this past year.

 

Our hearts are warmed with the beauty that surrounds us: the ocean, blue sky, golden sea oats and the white clouds above. The salt air breezes that refresh us and the sunrises and sunsets that captivate us. We are grateful for the chance to see all of God’s natural gifts in such abundance.

 

The beauty that envelopes us eases any pain, sorrow or disappointment that we may have. God’s love and warmth flows through us. His hand is on us at all times. We are secure that we have family and friends that care for us. Even if it is not possible to be together this Thanksgiving, our hearts are united. We close our eyes and feel their touch and know distance can’t keep us apart.

 

We offer praise and thanksgiving to God for all good things. Prayerfully we ask that our troops that are serving and protecting us are blessed and that their every need be met. We pray for peace and ask for God to give our leaders wisdom towards peace.

 

We are thankful for so much as we reach for one another in friendship, fellowship and faith. We thank God for our merry hearts and laughter. We thank God for strengthening us where we are weak and being our beacon of hope and light each day. We are thankful for the gift of life and the ability to give and receive love.

 -author unknown

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/11/a-thanksgiving-prayer Fri, 17 Nov 2017 01:45:00 GMT
Family Gatherings https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/11/family-gatherings Family GatheringFamily Gathering

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone – Romans 12:18 NIV

The holidays are fast approaching. How is it that they are coming so fast now! Thanksgiving is at the end of this month and I believe I heard that it is the biggest time of year for family gatherings, even over Christmas. If that is true, then in a few weeks families will come to the Thanksgiving table in one of three ways: they will come in love with peace; or discord, carrying old emotional baggage; or worse yet, come simply in indifference for the day, believing anything more would seem unachievable and too hard to approach. 

When family members reunite at the holidays, or weddings and funerals for that matter, it can be comforting to be together unless the work has not been done to keep the relationships within the family healthy. In that case, old hurts and offenses that have been swept under the carpet and never resolved, can make it barely possible to come together just to “make nice” for a day.

There is a difference between the words “reunite” and “reconcile”.  Reunite means just coming together. But reconcile means to bring into agreement or harmony; to make compatible. Those words and actions often get mistakened for meaning the same thing. A reuniting of family that comes together and exchanges pleasantries are often lulled into believing everything has been restored again and the family is back on track. How nice but it is only fleeting! It doesn’t take any time at all for things to fall back into the ditch once everyone has returned back home again because the work to reconcile was not done. Differences were not ironed out and lovingly dealt with. God was not sought for wisdom and peace; instead rejection roots deeper and hurts grow stronger year after year.

Each person can make a case for their side of things and past disagreements or offenses and all too often, these hard-hearted emotions are sadly taken to the grave. These emotions lead to possessing an “un-loving” spirit and the possibility that over time a person can become cold and turn away from God.

Family discord isn’t part of God’s plan for us. He honors the family and we should too. Like the photo today of the pumpkins, they are part of the same family but they are each individual and different, one of a kind, yet they can sit side by side to one another in harmony. That is simplifying it but that is the idea. But you may be thinking by now, our family is a mess and no one is talking to each other and even if I tried, I don’t think it could work to have love and peace. The good news is God gives us prayer. It is the only tool for situations like these. God can change hearts. He can cause divine appointments. He can simply, most magnificently do anything He wants. Our job is to do a temperature check on our hearts. Meaning, are we pure in thought. Do we forgive from the heart? Have we repented for our part of any discord? Sometimes, a relationship may never be restored to what we hope it could be and maybe it simply can’t be restored at all because the person on the other side is not willing. But that is out of our control. All we can do is make sure we have a receptive and pure heart. That we wish no malice. And any justice is God’s business, not ours. If wrongs need to be righted, He is the avenger. Our prayers can make a difference.

And if your family is emotionally healthy, praise Him. Be a light to other families because you are blessed and have done the work to maintain compatibility. Are there perfect families out there? Certainly not. We are all human. There are problems and misunderstandings that come from time to time but if dealt with early and not allowed to fester, there is no potential for problems to be magnified into huge rifts. The families that I have observed that are beacons of God’s Light are the ones that give Him honor and first place.

Now back to Thanksgiving. For anyone for whatever reason that has to be alone for the holidays, lean on God.  He says He will never depart from us. I have been in your shoes and it isn’t easy but it gives you the whole day to spend with God. And if it is standing room only at your table, don’t take it for granted. God has placed you all together to love each other and to count your blessings together. For those that are showing up to dinner just because of obligation, there is time to ask God to soften the situation all the way around so it can be the best family holiday you have ever enjoyed. God’s blessings on each one of you.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/11/family-gatherings Sun, 12 Nov 2017 19:52:27 GMT
November https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/11/november  

 


NovemberNovember 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 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 weeks 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 a few weeks away, 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, Iwill ask today that God use me to be a blessing to someone He puts in my path. Maybe that can be your prayer too. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) god gratitude november peace thanksgiving https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/11/november Wed, 01 Nov 2017 16:10:41 GMT
Vision https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/10/vision  

VisionVision For we walk by faith, not by sight.2 Cor. 4:7 ESV

I am one of those people that has always had to enhance my vision by wearing eyeglasses. When I was crawling into walls as a baby, they realized glasses would help and they did. And they have all of my life. I don’t take good vision for granted. What is vision? The dictionary says it is, “the faculty or state of being able to see.” Well that is a simple explanation of a very complex thing….our eyes.

 

I am surprised sometimes of the vision and perception others have. We can be looking at the same thing but another person’s vision is different from mine. We see through our heart at times. Our life experiences shape how we interpret the things we see.

 

We trust our faith and wisdom to put us on a straight path. Much like a boat captain charts his course, he knows to veer too far to the left or right would put him in danger if he leaves the channel. It is the same for us. With the tools we are given to navigate life according to God’s Word, we know to take the narrow path. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:6 ESV

 

While we can’t see the physical face of God, we can see His Heart. But there are those that say He doesn’t exist because they have not seen Him with their own eyes. Jesus said in John 20:29, “Because you have seen me, you have believed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach boat channel eyeglasses god sight trust vision https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/10/vision Wed, 25 Oct 2017 15:57:59 GMT
Decisions https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/10/decisions  

DecisionsDecisions I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. Jeremiah 10:23–24 NLT

We are faced with many decisions to make each day. Some are easy and some are hard.  What is a decision? It is described as “a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration”.Recently I heard someone say they make decisions based on “what feels right”. There are those that trust themselves only and base choices on emotion. There is a better way. God does give us wisdom and understanding but we are to seek him with each decision. More often than not, God will confirm it too. Well what does that mean? Perhaps in prayer you have a ‘knowing” of what to do and if you ask God to confirm it to make sure it is Him and not you, He will. Wise advice from a godly person, or an article you read, a scripture. God can use anything to get a message to you.  Making choices on “what feels right” is often the path of least resistance. The choice that brings pleasure more than challenge. Satisfying the flesh instead of seeking God’s Will. Set aside emotion because it can cloud your judgement when you need to be clear minded. Is emotion bad? Certainly not, but there is a time and place for it. 

Many times I feel I have yanked the steering wheel right out of God’s hands in favor of doing things my way. And you might ask, “And how did that work for you”? Very poorly indeed!! Why is it we think we know what is best for us and we skip over the part of consulting God? Is it arrogance or innocence? Could be some of both!! So how to make good wise decisions? Deep prayer is where we start. Giving God the situation and waiting for His reply. Is this decision going to glorify God? Is it legal? Is it honorable? If married, is our spouse in agreement? Can we afford it or have the money to move forward? So many factors to consider.  These are just a few key questions to consider. It is said that decisions we may are a choice of values that reflect our life in every way. Something to think about. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach decisions emotion god prayer https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/10/decisions Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:09:30 GMT
Community https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/10/community  

CommunityCommunity There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
     a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

- Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 

All we have to do is look around, be observant and we will notice a sense of community is ever present. People helping people.  Community is defined as finding fellowship with another. To find oneself in need is hard. It can feel devastating if it is happening to you. But when God sends people to come along side of us to lend a helping hand, to bolster us up, it means the world! It gives hope when things seem hopeless. We can be God’s hands here on earth. To share what we have with others. To shelter those with no shelter. To be encouragers and helpers even when we have needs of our own.

 

This past week I helped out a friend at her florist shop. While we were working on a wedding together and thinking of the new beginnings for the blissful couple and the celebration to follow, two separate families came in to plan funerals for their loved ones. Later two sweet ladies came in for flowers for their sick friend to hopefully bring her some joy.  Followed by a young person full of anticipation who came to pick up a corsage for the homecoming dance.  Life is happening all around us. Everyone is in a different season. Some experiencing wonderful joy or excitement and others going through life’s most difficult times. To be compassionate to each person’s need is Christ-like. Wherever we find ourselves, God calls us to be a part of His Community to serve those He has brought in our path. We can share joy or offer tender comfort. God gives us the wisdom to know what to do to meet the need.  Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” 
 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach coast community compassion faith god helping others https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/10/community Wed, 11 Oct 2017 01:17:01 GMT
Refuge https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/10/refuge  

RefugeRefuge Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” –Psalm 91 NIV

This is a time of reflection. Many things out of our control are front and center in the headlines. Whether it is Mother Nature unleashing her fury in the form of hurricanes, raging fires or man-made tragedies befalling hundreds. There is much suffering right now in our world, our country, maybe even our own homes. How easy it would be to find a refuge away from all suffering and simply hide from reality.  But a refuge like this doesn’t exist. There is no place we can go. While we don’t have that physical place to hide, we do have that spiritual refuge when we need to feel safe: the altar of God where He hears our petitions, eases our sorrow, receives our tears and loves us unconditionally. Psalm 91 has been hailed as a “Psalm of Protection” and I agree.

Taking Jesus by the hand and walking along the beach is what I think of in my minds’ eye when I need that great comfort. What would Jesus say to me? What should I do? How has God prepared me for a time such as this? If we have studied God’s Word, memorized the scripture, filled our heart and minds with His teachings, we can call on them for when things happen. When a crisis hits, you can hardly remember your own name, but if those passages have taken root in your soul, they will rise up to comfort and guide you when needed. As in my case years ago, I was faced with a health crisis and realized I didn’t have the spiritual roots of faith to sustain me. I was lost. Maybe you are too. It is always the right time, the best time, the perfect time to open the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.  Psalms and Proverbs are wonderful. Ephesians has so much to give us. The Four Gospels. Prayers don’t have to be elaborate or perfectly penned. Just simple words from the heart is what is needed to open the communication with God.   Keep learning. Keep growing. Remain faithful.  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge: his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4 NIV

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) god help hurricanes reguge storms suffering tragedy https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/10/refuge Thu, 05 Oct 2017 13:03:36 GMT
You Are Loved https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/9/you-are-loved
  You are LovedYou are Loved Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Cor. 13:4-7 NIV


“You are loved”. Aren’t they the words we all long to hear? “I love you. I care about you. I cherish you. You mean so much to me”. These little words have big impact. Whether these endearments come from the mouths of little tots or the wrinkled faces of the elderly, the effect is the same, lasting pure joy fills our heart. Love is described as “an intense feeling that shows deep affection”. So how can we put this definition into action and apply it using our faith? Love is accepting someone, faults and all. Love is sitting with a friend through their trial. Love is helping or giving without being credited or acknowledged. Love is standing by that person even when you don’t feel like it anymore. Love is being supportive and encouraging. Love is being tolerant and patient when we feel otherwise. 

God has set the example by loving us no matter what we do and will do. If we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are forgiven. That is the greatest love of all. The greatest sacrifice. The greatest gift. Take the scripture today to heart. Study it. Know it. Do it. Do we follow the example provided for us? Do we show love, expressing love generously? Who is hurting today and what can we do about it? Showing love with a kind word, a hug, a card, a phone call. It all matters. Every little act of love can fill you when you are filling another’s heart. Henry David Thoreau said, “There is no remedy for love but to love more.” Be a blessing. Be blessed. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) god love https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/9/you-are-loved Wed, 27 Sep 2017 16:35:35 GMT
Reaction https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/9/reaction
ReactionReaction Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 ESV


I had the occasion to witness Hurricane Irma firsthand. There was concern from everyone in its path so the preparations began early and lasted for days and rightfully so. We had seen what a storm could do when Harvey took over Texas so there were decisions to be made. First and foremost on everyone’s mind was “shall we stay or leave”? The media kept us up on path changes and wind speeds that were advancing. When Irma reached a category 5 many fled that were able to do so. Panic and great anxiety set in. Grocery stores and lumber stores were depleted of supplies. Once Irma passed, we reflected on what lessons there were to be learned. Did we do the right thing? Should we have done more? Should we have left? We tried to be rational with more faith than fear and it was hard. We decided to stay and fared well only losing limbs and a night of sleep, praise God!! 

Reacting and Overreacting. What is the difference? I believe the definition is personal and one person’s reaction is another’s overreaction. Basically I think reacting based on reliable facts and making choices for safety and well-being are good and necessary. Overreacting is based on emotion and fear. Not having all the facts yet going forward can often put us in situations that offer no benefit and create chaos in the end. Back to the storm. Hotels and gasoline were in short supply for the evacuees and this added to the frustration and fear of the folks trying to do what they thought was right.  God knows our fear, our concerns, our weaknesses and the desires of our heart. Knowing this, He guides us individually through this journey called life. I have learned that things aren’t always as they appear to be. There is always more to the picture.  Getting the information, the facts, basically doing due diligence for whatever the situation is, allows for a well thought decision.  Like a storm, debris can be strewn far and wide with just one misplaced comment or action founded in impulse. Take the time to step back, listen more and talk less. The solution is always there. God never wants us to do anything without Him. What is right for me may not be right for you. That is why we rely on God’s Divine Guidance. He will tell us what to do if we seek His wisdom. It starts by the simple question, “God, what would you have me do”?

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) decisions god harvey hurricane irma overreaction reaction storm https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/9/reaction Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:56:10 GMT
Storms https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/9/storms  

- StormsStorms -the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. 
Romans 4:17b NIV


Storms can come with an unexpected ferocity. Blinding downpours, flooding and strong winds can cause everyone to stand still for a moment while waiting for the storm clouds to pass. The transition from season to season brings storms too. Tropical storms and hurricanes are never welcome visitors but nonetheless their find their way sometimes. 

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 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 provisions.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) faith god harvey hurricane irma storms https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/9/storms Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:06:46 GMT
Footprints https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/8/footprints FootprintsFootprints

 

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you; to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.

-Joshua 22:5

 

Walking in soft sand at the beach can be so strenuous. Sometimes the sand is deep and it can really be a struggle. But the job gets easier if you can find the footprints of one that went before you and then follow their path. As little children, we would try to walk in the footprints left by a grownup, only to stumble to our knees because we couldn’t make the long stride. Some footprints are narrow, others wide, some long, some short. Some people go barefooted on the beach, while others wear shoes with ridged soles. To find another footprint is to know that someone walked ahead of us. Their footprint made the path just a little easier for us. Their weight caused the sand to compress, giving us a place for firmer footing.

 

Following God is His desire for us. But, the path is not always so easy to walk. Sometimes He leads us into the deeper sand and it is difficult. Other times we can cover a lot of distance in the firmer sand because the walk is smooth and easy. In both cases, He is building our spiritual muscle for our journey in Him. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5. There may be times of hard work and effort, and then He surely rewards us with rest and restoration. Knowing in advance that tough times are ultimately for our own growth and development, it somehow makes it easier to understand. There is a benefit to every step we take if we let Our Father lead the way on the path before us.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach comfort dunes footprints god sand together walk https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/8/footprints Wed, 30 Aug 2017 23:46:27 GMT
Summer Heat https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/8/summer-heat
Summer HeatSummer Heat Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. – 2 Cor. 1:3-4 ESV

It’s draining. Even stifling at times. The summer heat can be oppressive with no relief in sight. It is however the natural order of things. When winter comes we will be complaining probably of the cold and wishing to trade it all for a hot summers’ day!!  My backyard critters need a break so they get a little water and some peanuts from me so they don’t have to work so hard for their food. It appears a whole community of squirrels has now gotten the news and are waiting for me each morning for their handout. The birds aren’t singing as much in this heat but they are appreciative of the variety of seed we offer and the summer heat has done nothing to dull the color of their brilliant feathers. And everyone is getting along in harmony. We must consider ourselves very blessed. The sun provides life and light to us no matter how high our thermometers register. Gardens are flourishing with harvest now, as are cutting flowers in full bloom. Sprinklers are going early in the day to give lawns a nourishing drink.

 
We are rich in God’s blessings if we choose to see them. Is everything beautiful and perfect? No. But we have been given the eyes to see beauty if our heart allows us to. With the recent solar eclipse the past week and all the warning not to look at the sun, we can and should adjust our focus and look to His Son.  God delivers, He hears us, He wants to guide and comfort us. Whatever the situation is, whatever problem or challenge we are facing, He is the answer. He can change our mindset from complaining to rejoicing and being grateful. When it is hot, we should be glad most of us has a cool place we can go. If we are thirsty, many of us can access a cool drink. It’s the little things. It starts with us. Finding joy in all things.   Always be full of joy. Never stop praying.  Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ERV

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/8/summer-heat Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:27 GMT
Trust https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/8/trust  

 


TrustTrust He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.

- Psalm 22:8

 

A boat ride can be fun, and in order to really enjoy the experience I think that having trust in the captain is all important.  I want the captain to know the boat, know the water, understand the weather and be familiar with the navigation charts. It makes for an easier ride if there are no worries and the captain is fully experienced and capable. I would hesitate to take a boat ride with a captain that showed inexperience. The depth finder and radar are so helpful, but ultimately it is his skills that come with experience that will help the captain guide the boat because of his knowledge and ability to handle the vessel.

 

At the start of each day lies before us are all the choices and decisions we must make. We may not have the great skill and knowledge of a professional boat captain to apply to our life. We may be navigating uncharted waters as we deal with choices before us. Some days can seem a bit overwhelming at times with so much facing us and many people depending on us. We wonder what is the right thing to do. Often we will poll our family and friends for their advice, only to come away more confused than ever, even though they love us and mean well. Those decisions that simmer day after day on the back burner eventually have to be handled. They can’t be put off another day. But what if you don’t know what to do? God says we are to trust Him. God has a way of directing our paths and we are not aware of it. If we go down the wrong path we will surely know it because nothing about it will work out. We will come across too many obstacles which sometimes is God’s way of telling us we have veered into the wrong direction. Just as soon as we make the correction, we get a “knowing” on the inside of us that we are where we need to be. When we are in God’s Will everything seems to fall into place. It is by His design because He has been working behind the scenes to line up the right people, right circumstances for our situation. Basically, He has made a way. And what if you want something so bad and have prayed so hard for it and it isn’t happening? Don’t despair. Perhaps God’s Timing and our timing are not in sync. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, it will only happen when God anoints it to happen.

 

Decisions face each of us. Big ones and little ones. Life-changing decisions and the simple ones that are easily forgotten by the end of the day. To keep from wasting steps and time, consult God before each decision. His wisdom is ever abundant and He always has our best interest at heart. And if you feel like you haven’t heard from God about what to do, start moving in the best direction and make the best decision you can. God likes to see us use the wisdom He has given us. And if it is to be, God makes a way. And if it isn’t, God will stop us with delays, cancellations, and a whole string of situations will stand in front of us that will prevent us from moving forward.  He has the plan. He knows what is best. We don’t have to explore uncharted waters alone. God is at the helm and He says we can trust Him.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/8/trust Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:10:22 GMT
Surf Casting https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/8/surf-casting  

 

Surf CastingSurf Casting May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

-Psalm 20:4 NIV

 

There is a quote that says, “Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm”. Surf casters along the beach seem to have an abundance of enthusiasm. But to go with it, they have their rod and reel, the right tackle, the perfect line weight and some bait, too. Surf casting has been a long loved sport. Particularly, because it doesn’t require the expense and maintenance of a boat, it can be done anytime of day and anytime of the year. The seasoned angler will advise beginners to cast their lines near dawn or dusk, just before the high tide for best results. Having all the best fishing equipment is good, but being able to cast a line a long distance into the surf is where the experienced angler’s skill gives him or her the advantage. 

 

The word ‘enthusiasm’ comes from the Greek work entheos. It means that God is in us. We all have experienced times when we were so excited about something, we felt like we were floating on air. Nothing else mattered. It was as if we were supernaturally lifted on high with hope, anticipation and excitement. To be enthused about something is infectious. Our happiness and energy spreads over to others. Joy fills the air and we know we are in God’s presence. Does enthusiasm exist in us today? Is our passion evident to others? Do we even have a passion? Get excited about something. If we put our whole hearts into a project, a mission, a goal or a dream, God will gives us the enthusiasm to keep us going in the tough times. If we think like God does, we will think big, dream big and expect to be blessed big.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach casting fishing god surf https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/8/surf-casting Thu, 10 Aug 2017 14:17:04 GMT
Today https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/8/today


TodayToday 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!

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/8/today Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:08:33 GMT
Beachcombing https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/7/beachcombing BeachcombingBeachcombing 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.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/7/beachcombing Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:55:29 GMT
Sandbar https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/7/sandbar  

 

SandbarSandbar Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. -Mark 11:24-25 NIV

 

A sandbar is a submerged or partly submerged ridge of sand that is formed along the shore by the action of the waves or currents. When storms come off of the ocean, sandbars actually act as a shock absorber for the powerful waves and currents. By consuming some of the power, then there is less damage to the shore. That’s one of the reasons when we have damaging storms, some areas fare well and others do not. The sandbar that we cannot see offshore has soaked up some of the waves’ strength. Some people that are looking at oceanfront property to purchase will consult nautical charts to see if offshore sandbars are present, offering added protection to the beach.

 

While sandbars are great because they help block the oceans’ strength, when we go to God with our petitions, we don’t want anything to stand between us.  But, unknowingly, that is exactly what can happen. How can we go to Him asking forgiveness of our sins when we won’t forgive someone of theirs? How can we expect mercy to be shown to us if we don’t show it to others?  Like a sandbar, our unforgiveness can act as a ridge that prevents God’s blessings from getting to us. Matthew 7:2 tells us not to judge, or we too will be judged. For in the same way we judge others, we will be judged, and with the measure we use, it will be measured unto us. Many rifts in relationships begin this way in judgement and then before long, unforgiveness takes root and then bitterness follows. Matthew 6:14 plainly tells us that if we forgive men when they sin against us, our heavenly Father will also forgive us. But if we do not forgive men their sins, our Father will not forgive our sins.  But, what if we don’t ‘feel’ like forgiving someone. We are still angry at them and rightfully so. We may have every right to our feelings. God would have us know that it doesn’t matter. He will take care of seeing that justice is served. That is not our job. His message is clear. We have to make the decision to forgive and God will do the rest. Our decision to forgive is what sets everything in motion. And don’t worry, He will supply us with all we need and the fullness of heart to begin to forgive. We should not let our unforgiveness towards anyone cost us our blessings, prosperity or healing. Pray this scripture so that we can see and feel in a new way. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) beach god safety sandbar https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/7/sandbar Wed, 12 Jul 2017 21:32:13 GMT
July https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/7/july  


JulyJuly Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near

-Mark 13:28 NIV

 

The scenes of summer are everywhere. Lots of traffic converging to the Outer Banks as vacationers arrive with great anticipation. Vegetable stands, one after the other, line the journey to the shore with some of the first harvests of the season, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes. Rows of colorful umbrellas dot the beach for as far as the eye can see. Brand-new beach towels hang over the rails of rental cottages along the Beach Road. Where the full time residents live, the landscaping is manicured with splashes of color from beds of daisies, day-lilies and the occasional hydrangea, my favorite. Some driveways are bordered with shells collected from the winter, along with piles of gray conchs casually placed at the base of brightly painted “beachy” mailbox posts.  Backyard grills come alive with the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers that linger in the early evening air. Neighbors, families and friends gather for annual crab feasts and corn on the cob, while catching up with each other. Summer is the time of year when everything seems to come together.

Surely, I am not the only one that feels so carefree and happy at the beach. The salt air seems to wash away my problems and concerns. The sand between my toes doesn’t annoy me…instead it lets me know I am “home”. The smell of suntan lotion evokes many childhood memories. Perhaps my favorite summer memory is recalling my grandmother’s fig preserves with lemon. Only she could make it her own special way, from her small tree in the backyard, surrounded by a single row of bricks. I love July. The sky is still blue with wispy clouds circling overhead before the hazy gray days of August rolls in.  I cannot bear to be indoors this time of year. I don’t want to miss any of God’s beauty and creativity. I will praise Him for these beautiful and bountiful blessings, the sights and sounds of summer.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/7/july Wed, 05 Jul 2017 13:18:23 GMT
American Flag https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/6/american-flag  

American FlogAmerican Flog And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 
-1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV

This Fourth of July, I will hang my American flag on the front of my home as I do each year. But this year, it seems to symbolize more to me that it ever has before. Love. Love of country and love of our servicemen for their sacrifice. What is love? One dictionary describes love as “to hold someone dear, to cherish them, to feel affection.” My favorite definition is “the unselfish concern that freely accepts another in loyalty and seeks his good.” There are many different kinds of love. There is fatherly love, motherly love, sisterly love, brotherly love, puppy love, romantic love, and so much more. But this is not a lesson in defining love, but instead, a reminder to strive for love, to show love, to give love, receive love and enjoy love. Everyone needs love to live. It is life to the body and the spirit, both physically and emotionally. 


If we think that we should give more love to those around us, yet don’t know where to start, we could begin with God. He loves us always. We can have faith that He will fill us with love overflowing! Our hope is in Him, because when we feel alone and there is no one else for us, His love for us never waivers. It is hard to give something to someone if we don’t have it to give. But, if we enter into a new or a renewed relationship with God, we can feel and absorb His love so that you we can pass it on. If we have a hardened heart from the past, we can ask for forgiveness and He will oblige. 1 John 4:16 tells us, “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. To love, is to obey God and his commands. “Let those love now who never loved before; Let those who always loved, now love the more”-Thomas Parnell

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/6/american-flag Wed, 28 Jun 2017 15:44:12 GMT
Decisions https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/6/decisions  

I DecisionsDecisions n his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
-Proverbs 16:9


What to do with today? That is the question before us each morning. Decisions must be made each day. Big ones and little ones. Important ones and those that must be made just to get through the day. If you are on vacation, you have a multitude of things to do from going to the beach to sightseeing, fishing, climbing dunes and more. If you are going about your daily life, you are probably a creature of routine and like me, can get bored occasionally with the same things. God gives His Children free will. There is no reason to keep doing the mundane when we all, no matter what our age, our financial status or our health, can make decisions for ourselves. School kids on summer break, who are used to being taught and disciplined by teachers, often find difficulty getting self motivated. Being told what to do by teachers and parents, they forget how to think for themselves and miss out on a lot of summer creativity and fun. The same applies to older folks. They have done the same thing at the same time each day for so many years, they don’t think to rearrange their time and do something different to give their spirit a lift. Whatever decisions we make, it is important not to offend God with our choices. He allows us the free will to please ourselves and we can tailor many things we do to our personal likes and dislikes while staying obedient to Him. 

Everyone has a plan. Every day matters and so does our life. God lets us live here because He has something for us to do. Everyone, at any age has been given gifts, abilities and 24 hours each day. It is up to us how we use what God gives us and how we can glorify Him at the end of the day.  We strive to reach our goals but then we can get sidetracked because our circumstances or our surroundings have changed and we must change our plan. Being adaptable is good because sometimes when changes seem to “mess up our plan” it actually turns out for the best. Part of a plan is to have our list made, the priorities reviewed and our agenda mapped out. That is our part. Then the most important part is to lift it all up to God for His Review. If God agrees with us, He makes a way. He sets the path and He walks with us along our journey. We are never alone or left to our own. God stands besides us all the time.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/6/decisions Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:19:07 GMT
Pelican https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/6/pelican  


PelicanPelican<strong>He may not be pretty</strong> but he has a great personality! (Klaus Ritter | Sentinel) Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, 
 for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Proverbs 3: 25-26 


The Pelican is most graceful in flight but can be a little awkward on land. They are magnificent birds to watch as they circle around in large numbers in search of food.  Flying high above the water, plunge diving in the sea from heights of up to 60 to 70 feet, the impact is cushioned by the air sacs just beneath their skin. With their pouch located under the bill, they are capable of holding large amounts of fish and water for quite some time. It is known that the Pelican requires up to 4 pounds of fish a day. The Pelican was once thought to be a threat to commercial fisherman because of their fish consumption but that is no longer the case today. Their diet consists of mullet, minnows and menhaden and other unimportant fish to the commercial fishing industry.  The Brown Pelican is the species that mostly inhabits the Atlantic Coast. They normally nest on the ground or in the tops of trees. At one time they were on the endangered species list but fortunately there is an abundance of Pelicans now. Wouldn’t you agree that their presence, beauty and uniqueness adds to the Outer Banks landscape?

Watching Pelicans go about their daily activities leaves me with the impression that they are very confident. They know what they should do, they do it and they expect a positive result. Is confidence learned or taught? Maybe it is a combination of both. So many things are tied to confidence, like self-esteem, leadership and success. When we try something new, our confidence level may not be as high, but as we do it over and over again, we gain that feeling of accomplishment that translates into satisfaction. It’s important that we get this right because developing confidence and being aware of it, or the lack of it, can be at the core of so many decisions and outcomes in our life. Offering encouragement to chase a dream or realize a goal is something we can all do in our relationships. It is something we can do for ourselves. Positive self -talk will carry us far. Taking the first step to building confidence is to give our fears to God and to ask for His strength to flow through us. Knowing that God is by our side, what is it that we can do today that we were afraid to do yesterday?

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/6/pelican Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:45:23 GMT
Being Prepared https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/6/being-prepared  

Being PreparedBeing Prepared A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. -Ephesians 6:10-11 NLT

Each morning before I take our puppy for a walk, I check the weather and the temperature. I need to know whether to put a coat on both of us, carry an umbrella to shield us from any rain or grab the sunglasses and a hat on a sunny day. Even though I check the weather reports and predictions, I don’t know what to really expect until I actually walk out the door. I think I am fully equipped but many times the rain gives way to sun and vice versa and I realize I am not prepared at all!
 
We are told to put on the full armor of God each day. What is the full armor? The belt of God’s truth. The breastplate of righteousness which protects our hearts and emotions. The shoes of peace. The shield of faith which helps us to see past our troubles and remain focused on God. The helmet of salvation to keep from doubting God and the sword of the spirit which is God’s Word, our offensive weapon when we are in battle against darkness.
 
When we cloak ourselves in the full armor of God, we can be assured we have all we need to meet the day.  Each day I specifically ask in prayer that God equips me with His full armor. But why is this so important? As in the weather, sudden storms come up, hurricanes can cut a swath through our geography and lives, snow surprises us wit a covering over the sand and so much more. You get the idea. In our life, how many times have we “planned” our day but things seemed to come out of nowhere. We were thrown off course, off balance.  When we are outfitted with the whole armor of God we know we can rise up over our problems while keeping God at the center of our life. We know we won’t lose control of our emotions, that we will be able to see things as they really are because God’s truth resides in us. We have an abundant faith inside of us to make it through. We will not doubt God or His existence in our life or the situation we seek wisdom to deal with and we have God’s Word to back down the enemy when he tries to come against us.
 
On the coldest day of winter you would automatically put on your heavy coat and when the rain comes, you’d seek an umbrella and maybe boots. You have trained yourself to do those things instinctively. So it goes with the full armor of God. We should make putting it on as an essential part of our morning until it becomes second nature to us. How could we even think of going through the day without Him

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Being God armor prepared https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/6/being-prepared Wed, 07 Jun 2017 13:15:00 GMT
Respect https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/5/respect
L RespectRespect et love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.-Romans 12:9-11 ESV


Being from the south, respect, sweet tea, manners and cornbread were staples at every house. When company dropped by on Sunday afternoon, each child had to get up and greet the visitors and offer them our seat. We used “please and thank you” and “yes ma’am and yes sir” in abundance. In fact, there was punishment if we misplaced our manners.  As kids, we cut the grass on Saturday and swept off the walkways. We had to sit still in church each Sunday and try to pay attention. During the week we played outdoors on our bikes until dark after our daily chores were done. Backtalk was never allowed and we tried hard to be nice and tried never to make fun of our friends or anyone else.  It was a simpler time and the rules of getting along with others were plain to follow. 

Sweet tea and cornbread remains but where has respect and manners gone? I witness children yelling at their parents in all sort of temper tantrums. I see the elderly struggling with their wheelchairs or walkers with no one holding the door for them. Handwritten “thank you” notes are so rare now to receive.  One definition for respect is to have due regard for feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions. The Urban dictionary says that respect is a quality seriously lacking in today's society. We are missing something. This wonderful virtue has all but sailed out of sight!! But we can get it back!! Respect begins at home. The Bible teaches that we are to demonstrate our love of God by loving others. But also part of respect is valuing those in authority over us. When we lead our families using respect and integrity, our children will have seen it in action and can use these important laws throughout life. It has been said that respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God families love respect sailboat virtue https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/5/respect Tue, 30 May 2017 15:13:28 GMT
Planting Seeds https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/5/planting-seeds  

 

Planting SeedsPlanting Seeds Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches. Matthew 13:32 NIV

I have been waking up in the morning to beautiful melodies outside my window. The birds and their chirping is really music to my ears. A bright red cardinal perched on my back porch table just this week. He was looking at me and I was looking at him. It seemed like forever that we held that gaze but then he flew up to a nearby tree branch. Recently I spent an afternoon strolling the aisles of a beautiful greenhouse and garden center.  It was a true experience in whetting my appetite for spring. Everything was so green, colorful, with blooms everywhere, rows of houseplants, herbs and vegetable seedlings. Even tables of orchids in hues of lavender, yellow and green in great abundance. And then, one area was completely devoted to the birds. I found seeds of all kinds that were packaged in little cartons and large fifty pound bags to attract all types of backyard feathered friends. Gorgeous feeders in all sizes, shapes and colors in materials like metal, plastic and wood hung from the trellised ceiling. Birdhouses were lined up on shelves, too. Big ones and little ones, hanging ones and the types you nail to a post or eaves.

 

The great thing about a spring day is planning for the harvest. The vegetable and flower seed catalogs have been arriving for months.  I love looking at them and planning for a new season. What more could a backyard have but vegetables, flowers, birds and butterflies! But first, I think I will start with the birds. A little seed should go a long way in establishing a sanctuary and a building a good relationship with the songbirds to last more than a season.

 

It all starts with a seed. God plants seeds within us, too. Those seeds become the foundation for ideas that can lead to life changing decisions or ideas to make our everyday life a bit better. He is always refining us. Filling us with ideas and thoughts to make us rise up. We can plant seeds too…but not only in the ground. We can plant seeds in the lives, minds and hearts of people that cross our path. An insecure person will thrive on a compliment. A sick person will grab on to hope. A troubled person could use a prayer of encouragement. In our daily journey through life, at the post office, convenience store, at work or the line at the grocery store we can plant seeds. Simply holding the door open for someone will remind them that there is kindness still in this world. Planting a seed is not just a spring endeavor.  We can plant encouraging and uplifting seeds all the time and everywhere we go with our simple actions and words. We never know what a single seed of love, kindness, encouragement or hope can produce but God knows. All it takes is the planting of a single seed, a single act, to set the process in motion.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/5/planting-seeds Thu, 25 May 2017 02:58:05 GMT
Promises https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/5/promises  

PromisesPromises God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19 ESV
 
I can count on two hands the number of times promises or commitments were broken in the last few weeks. Something in the air? What is it all about? I think it is just a season that God is allowing me to experience. We all have our faults and shortcomings. No one is perfect, least of all me, and I believe He is showing me that I need to have more forgiveness and tolerance in this heart of mine.

I have noticed that there is not much thought towards displaying courtesy and graciousness anymore and they have been replaced with selfishness and self-centeredness. I have made commitments many times and when the event comes, I would rather stay home, and do what I want. But I have given my word. Our word is all we have to give and once it is broken, it isn’t valued anymore. Putting too much faith into the wrong place will always spring forth like a fountain of disappointment. 

When disappointments come about from broken promises, we feel hurt.  Social media, Facebook in particular, makes us believe we can find justice for our hurt feelings by “unfriending” a friend and it’s over. And, many people do that. It’s been done to me. But whoa, not so easy. Friendships and relationships cannot come and go with the push of a button. We fool ourselves if we think that is an effective solution to the problem. Trying to show some forgiveness is the better way because we may be in need of it ourselves one day.

But the one that doesn’t break his word is our Father. The Bible is filled with promises for us to lean on, to believe in and count on.  You see, that is the beauty of God and His promises. He says we are His priority. Nothing can come between us, He doesn’t change His mind at the last moment leaving us in disappointment. His words and promises are everlasting.  Our Father is the role model for living an honorable life. It is said that we should keep every promise we make and only make promises we can keep.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God OBX disappointment facebook faith forgiveness fountain gardens justice promises https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/5/promises Tue, 16 May 2017 14:06:58 GMT
Mother https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/5/mother  

MotherMother Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. –Proverbs 31:25-30 ESV

Mother. What can be said that hasn’t already been said? She is the glue of the family. The heartbeat. The tireless wonder that gets it all done and no one knows how she does it. She changes diapers, wipes tears, sits up all night to nurse a sick child. She instils morals and models character and preaches proper conduct and behavior. She scolds when she must and against all we do, she still loves us anyway. She plants a garden and teaches us how to tend it.  She understands more than we do about our own feelings and emotions and guides us through each phase. Once we reach adulthood, she is still there. Standing on the sidelines while we take over many of the traditions that were once hers. She watches with pride and a bit of sadness too that her world is speeding by. She wants to remain useful and helpful and a source of wisdom. A mother’s love is often the only light that brings us back from the shadows. That is God’s light that shines in her. These words ring true by Washington Irving…..A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”  Happy Mother’s Day

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Currituck Day God Light Lighthouse Mother Mother's beach garden love sentinel unconditional https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/5/mother Wed, 10 May 2017 19:21:41 GMT
The Sunny Side https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/5/the-sunny-side

 

The Sunny SideThe Sunny Side The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. –Daniel 4:11 ESV

Have you ever seen the sun shining on one side of the street and on the other side it is raining? I don’t know what it is called but I have witnessed it many times. All it takes to leave the rain and step into the sun is one step. Just one step.

I believe when we leave this life and crossover, it is one step we take from life to eternal life. When my father passed several years back he had a dream the night before he died. He awoke and told me about it. He said he could see himself sitting on the “sunny side”. It gave him peace. It was as though he knew he would be okay.  Since that time, I have always thought of Heaven to be the “sunny side”.

Today I learned that a friend of mine has taken that one step into eternity. Pat McCleney has left us, but her mark remains on many hearts, including mine. When I came up with the idea to write “Reflections by the Sea”, she was the person at the Coastland Times newspaper that supported my writing and took it up the ranks. Within a few hours, she called to say they would take my writing on a “trial basis”. That was over 10 years ago. Since that time I have seen Pat’s faith in action. Such a humble and kind person that put God first in everything. Trusting her with my dream that day, we became friends and shared many things. I went to Duke to pray for her sister and Pat was at my daddy’s funeral. Our last conversation was recently when she said she may come to visit me and surprise me. Her hearty laugh, the smile in her voice and the way she said my name will never be forgotten.  I know she is singing hymns in Heaven like she did so on this earth.  As humble as Pat was, she would not want me to write this tribute about her, but her day has come. Like the scripture says, the tree reached heaven and so have you, Pat. So sit on the “sunny side” my friend, and know your seat is well- deserved.  Thank you!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/5/the-sunny-side Wed, 03 May 2017 00:09:28 GMT
Climbing to the Top https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/4/climbing-to-the-top Climbing to the TopClimbing to the Top Climbing to the Top

 

Do what the Lord your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses. Then you will be a success, no matter what you do or where you go”. -1 Kings 2:3 CEV

 

It was last year about this time that we took a trip with friends to the beach. We called our adventure the “Lighthouse Tour” because we would see four lighthouses during our visit. Our friends decided to charge to the top of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse and seemed to do it in record time!! We decided to stay on ground so we could take their picture!!

 

So many of us are climbing towards something. Maybe it is the corporate ladder. Maybe there is that inclination to try to keep up with the Joneses’. Sometimes we even compete with ourselves….trying to outdo our last achievement. That elusive search for success has caused authors to get rich on books that tell us “the secret” to their version of success.  

 

I think Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best in his poem, Success.

What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded.

 

The Bible tells us to follow the commandments of God. Along the way we can have troubles but we are to seek God and not get mired in our problems. And God also blesses us. But we must not get caught up in the trappings of success and money, but focus instead on the Giver of All Good Gifts, instead of the gifts themselves. Can we combine the Bible’s good wisdom and teachings while pondering what Emerson is trying to impart to us on our journey? What does success mean to you?

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Banks Bible Emerson God OBX Outer Ralph Waldo beach friends lighthouse success trip https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/4/climbing-to-the-top Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:35:27 GMT
Always https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/4/always  

 

 

AlwaysAlways This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. -John 3:16-18

 

My parents’ song was “Always”. The lyrics began with “I’ll be loving you always, with a love that’s true, always, always:” What sweet and tender words. In their day divorce was not common. They worked things out, tried to fix what was broken and chose their battles wisely.  My parents understood and appreciated the gifts and talents they were given and shared of themselves and their things generously with others. Great role models.

This week my husband and I will celebrate 44 years of marriage. The time has flown by. It was just yesterday we were fresh-faced, young and naïve standing at that altar. Over the years, we have weathered many storms, all of which God guided us safely through to higher ground each and every time. God blessed us with two loving children that have now become accomplished, responsible adults with families of their own. We are so proud and grateful for our journey together and as a family. We know we are blessed for having endured the ups and downs of a relationship, particularly in this “throw away” world we live in now. So it seems that my parents’ song has now become our song too!

The God we serve and worship always loves us with a love that is undeniable. Always standing by, waiting for us to seek him, to learn from him, to hear his guidance. His love for us is the best example of unconditional, caring love.  I hear people talking of loneliness or trying to find their purpose and living blindly. Then there are those that can’t be happy no matter how blessed they seem to be. It all begins with God. Happiness that lasts, love that lasts and the peace that follows only comes from God and a relationship rooted in faith. I am the vine; and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. -John 15:5. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/4/always Wed, 19 Apr 2017 17:38:16 GMT
Easter https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/4/easter  

Easter If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. -Romans 10:9-10.

What does Easter mean to you? Some will focus on the Easter bunny, feasts and chocolate, while there may be others who attend church, more as an obligation than a choice. And then there will be those that know the meaning and reason for Easter and will rejoice all day!!

The truth of Easter is that Jesus died for us so that we may live. It is the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.  Our sins are covered, we are forgiven, and eternal life awaits us when we are called home. But we must first believe and confess our belief with our words. For years I felt saddened when Easter approached. It seems I couldn’t get past the brutal crucifixion. But then I saw the joy in the resurrection. A second chance. A new beginning. A new life in Him. Finally, seeing and realizing the glory I had missed before. It is His gift to us…it doesn’t have to be earned, it is by His grace that we are saved. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works so that no one can boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9. However your day is spent, take time for Him and if you haven’t proclaimed Jesus as your Lord and Savior, there is no better time. Blessings!!

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Easter https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/4/easter Wed, 12 Apr 2017 12:09:22 GMT
The Wind https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/4/the-wind
The WindThe Wind Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-12


I was thrown off balance this week while talking to my grandson. He’s 4 years old. He spent the night with us and I said let’s go to church in the morning. With great frustration he said, “No thanks. I have been to church and I haven’t seen God yet…not once”!!  I paused, secretly praying to God for some words of wisdom that would be profound to a 4 year old ears and heart. I stammered in the way a grandmother shouldn’t….we should have all the answers right!!! Thinking about it days later, and sharing my story with my daughter, we decided to use the wind and air as our inspiration to say we know it exists, even if we can’t see it and that is how it is with God too.  I tried that theory on him and he seemed to understand better. We can’t see the wind but we can feel it and we can see it when the flag waves. This boy is smart and can’t be convinced easily. I will have to figure out how to make God into a superhero (which He is!!) and see if we can’t have a breakthrough. 

How many people feel the same way as my grandson does? Does God really exist? I can’t see Him. How can I believe in something if I can’t see it? Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”. John 20:29. Doubt comes fleeting in at times when we feel despair with no answer on the horizon. When we feel helpless or alone.  Or when we ask for guidance and instead we receive silence. But be assured God is real and He does exist. These are the times to deepen the faith when doubt overrides. “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 
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God beach doubt faith flag inspiration https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/4/the-wind Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:49:52 GMT
Friends https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/3/friends  

FriendsFriends This is my commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. John 15:12-13 Amp

The definition of a friend is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. It is nice to have a friend. Some friendships last a lifetime while others last for a little while. They each have their purpose. We can have friendships with almost anyone. The criteria for friendship is to be able to trust and respect each other as the mutual affection grows. Some of my little friends are school age while others are seniors who have lived their life and aren’t afraid to share their wisdom, thank heavens! The friends my own age keep me posted on current events and my younger friends, well I do my best to keep up with them! I think of my pets as friends, too.  Friends touching lives and mine has surely been touched!

The deep friendships are the ones that mean you can call in the middle of the night and it is okay. You can tell your deepest secrets to that person and you know you won’t be judged. You can share your fears with them and they listen while you sort through it out loud. To have a friendship like this is one of the many joys in life. Some folks mistake acquaintances for friends, but if you have ever had or been a friend, you know the difference. Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Words so true!

I am reminded of the old hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.  Some of the lyrics are, ”What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!” He is our truest friend. When friendships end or people pull away from us for unspoken reasons, it is a comfort to know that God is there for us. We are commanded by God to love at all times. Today, I will tell my friends that I love them and ask God’s Blessings over them.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/3/friends Thu, 30 Mar 2017 21:06:48 GMT
Love Is All https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/3/love-is-all-  

Love Is AllLove Is All Let all that you do be done in love.-1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV

 

A dear family friend recently passed and left a huge void in many lives, especially mine. She knew me from birth and I considered her a second mother. We shared many laughs, tears and joys along the way. She was safe, wise and encouraging. In her cards or letters, she always closed by signing, “Love is All”.

 

What does that mean, “Love is All”? I believe it suggests that love is the blanket that covers all things. Showing, expressing, living in love can heal hard hearts, brokenness and offenses.  And from my experience I believe it does exactly that. Today, we find ourselves in a divided, negative world. No filters on opinions that are all too freely given without respect or thought to the damage that may be done with words and actions.  Sadly, negativity and name calling often penetrates the sanctity of our own inner circle.  In seeking the definition of love, the one that spoke most to me was, “the brotherly concern for others”. What can we do to make a difference? A wise friend once told me to “love unloving people where they are at”. To also “attempt to see others the way you believe God sees them”. In doing this, love comes easier and discord is hopefully flushed out. It may take time. Does this mean that you are a doormat and weak if you choose not to fight back or defend yourself when attacked? Every situation is different, however, we are told that God is the avenger, He knows all and the truth will rise up each time. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35 ESV If we practice love regardless of what is going on to us or around us, and we trust God to make things right, we are on the right path. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 ESV I believe my friend left behind good words of wisdom. Love is all.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God Love path https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2017/3/love-is-all- Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:34:59 GMT
Gifts https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/12/gifts

 

GiftsGifts Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

-Luke 6:38 NIV

 

 

When I come over the dune to the ocean, I see gifts everywhere...like whole shells, pieces of driftwood, a sandcastle left from the day before. I've even come across hearts drawn in the sand by those couples sharing a tender moment. It is not uncommon to witness a wedding on the beach. I respectfully keep a good distance but it warms my soul to see two people giving their hearts to each other. The beach is full of surprises each day.

 

Christmas is in a week.  The message shifts from Thanksgiving gratitude to making out our “want list” and checking it twice!  But Christmas is so much more than receiving gifts but for some, that it all that it means. Mistakenly many of us equate gifts with happiness. No question that gifts do bring a smile to our face but there is much more we could experience. When we are making our Christmas lists, do we want what money can buy or do we want greater gifts like happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment? In this season of Christmas, we have the chance to focus on giving a lot more and on receiving a lot less. God gave us the greatest gift and that was Eternal Life and His Love. Through Him, we can pass love on. There are so many things we can do that give of ourselves which in turn satisfies others and fulfills us. Things like doing a deed, helping someone with a chore, being a good listener to let someone unburden themselves. We can lend a hand, put something in the mail that is uplifting, cook a meal, drop off a bag of fruit to say “we thought of you”. We know that scripturally it says that God gives to a giver. That is the principle of sowing and reaping. But let that not be the reason for our giving. As God fills us up to overflowing, we can do that for others. Amazingly, we will be given plenty of resources like time and stamina to continue if our heart is to serve others through Him.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Christmas beach gifts https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/12/gifts Sun, 18 Dec 2016 23:48:40 GMT
Finding Our Christmas Joy https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/12/finding-our-christmas-joy  

 

Finding Our Christmas JoyFinding Our Christmas Joy You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. -Psalm 30:11 NIV 

Tis the season to be jolly. And I admit to feeling that way this year. But I am also aware that maybe not everyone is feeling as joyous this Christmas for one reason or another. Tightened finances may keep families apart due to the expense of traveling this season. Others have gotten bad news from the doctor. Some may be looking for work and can't find it. And then there are the folks that have lost a loved one this past year and are feeling especially lonely. How can the joy of Christmas be captured when facing these things? 

Today I was in the checkout line at the department store. I struck up a conversation with the elderly gentleman behind me. He was holding a new fishing rod and reel and was looking at it admiringly. I thought he was buying it for a grandchild because it was exactly like the one we gave our son many years ago when he learned to fish. The old man said with pride and a twinkle in his eye that he was buying it for himself. As he began to chat away, in about 5 minutes, he told me a great deal about his life. He had moved here just two weeks ago from the mid-west to be closer to family. His wife was an invalid in the nursing home, his son died as a child, he still drives everywhere he goes and had traveled to South America years ago and it was his favorite place on this earth to fish. Yes, all this in just a few minutes, and I never even got his name!  But what struck me about this man as his story unfolded, was that he had every reason to be sad about moving from his home of many years to a new place so far away, or distraught because he precious wife couldn't talk and he didn't know if she recognized him anymore. He could have felt great grief that his son was taken so young in life.  Or could have been anxious about exploring a new town and fearful about driving on unfamiliar streets. But no. He was smiling from ear to ear. He laughed, his eyes sparkled. He was simply bubbling over with joy. This man was happy to be alive.  I wished him a Merry Christmas and smiled back at him as I said goodbye. This stranger was clearly in his mid-80's  and seemed to have more energy and enthusiasm for life than I did. Before I drove out of the parking lot, I just sat for a few minutes and thought, “ what was the lesson”?  I believe what made that gentleman special in my eyes was that he was determined to have joy despite his circumstances. He wasn't cranky or bitter, but was genuinely happy. This man made a great impact on me. Maybe he was one of those “old school” kind of people. Where you lived simply, gave thanks and worked at living life until the last breath. 

Whatever we face, whatever our circumstances, I believe God wants us to be cheerful about where we are on our journey. We are to remember that He has the Plan and we are taught to believe that He orders our steps. If it is a hard time we are going through, He will sees us through. God is our source for everything. He is the Healer and the Provider. With God on one side and us on the other side with the talents and skills He has given us, we can be overcomer's. We might not have expected to be in the middle of a difficult situation but God says to cast our cares upon Him. If we find that we are blessed this season, then perhaps we can reach out to help someone that is struggling. Sharing God's Grace with others. Wherever we are and whatever is going on, there is always joy that we can claim. Perhaps the answer is right before us...developing a Godly Attitude, no matter what we come against. We cannot control our circumstances but we do have the ability to control our attitude. Like that old man in the checkout line, maybe we can find a little joy this Christmas, too.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Christmas Gifts God Joy https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/12/finding-our-christmas-joy Wed, 07 Dec 2016 01:19:21 GMT
Christmas Wreath https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/12/christmas-wreath Christmas WreathChristmas Wreath Photo courtesy of Liz Brown

 

Gives thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

-Psalm 118:29 NIV

 

It is said that in ancient times, the Christmas Wreath, made of evergreens, symbolized the strength of life overcoming the forces of nature. The Romans hung wreaths as a sign of celebration and victory. But the Christians believed that the circular wreath represented immortality, making the Christmas Wreath very symbolic and meaningful. The colors of Christmas are green and red. Green represents the continuance of life through winter and the belief of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Red is representative of Jesus’ blood at crucifixion. Today, evergreen wreaths with red ribbons are found on doors and windows, both inside and out at the holidays. The Advent Wreath has its own importance that originates back to the 16th century in Germany. Four candles nestled in an evergreen wreath are lit, one at a time each week leading up to Christmas. A fifth candle in the center of the wreath represents Jesus’ birth and is lit on Christmas Eve. It is a symbol of hope and light. The custom of lighting the Advent Wreath is still practiced today in many homes and churches.

The season is here. The wreaths are hung and the tree is adorned. It is a busy time. There are menus to plan and family to prepare for. Jingle Bells are ringing and Christmas Carols are hummed out of tune while scurrying from errand to errand.  In the frenzy of getting ready for Christmas, I am reminded that we shouldn’t lose sight of the deeper meaning of it. Festivities, parties, presents and Santa are a part of the Yule time and it may be easy to get absorbed in little things and miss the whole point of Christmas.

Like the holiday wreath, the circle of unbroken love that God surrounds us with each day is something that we can rely on anytime. He won’t let us go too far out before he pulls us back in where we belong. He is there for us in any situation or circumstance. He carries us when we are weak and he walks along side of us when we are strong. He leads often and asks us to follow. Asking God in prayer how He wants us to honor Him in our homes and hearts this holiday and the New Year ahead is the beginning of shining the light back on Him and His Son this Christmas. Setting up a tabletop nativity scene, blessing the holiday meal, reading about the birth of Jesus to young and old are all things we can start with. Making it a more meaningful, spiritual Christmas will cause us to come closer to Him and He will come closer to us.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Christmas God wreath https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/12/christmas-wreath Sat, 03 Dec 2016 22:27:30 GMT
Gather https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/11/gather  

GatherGather For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20

Even though the holidays are already upon us, we cannot forget those that are seeking help, understanding and healing. This week a sweet group of ladies came together to pray and fellowship with each other. I was fortunate to be included. We each have our trials, our stories, our praises and heartaches, but together our common denominator is God. God brings people together in His Name for a reason.  Being together makes us not feel alone, especially knowing powerful prayer warriors are praying for us on our journey. Without a friend in God to walk along side of us, we can slip into darkness, feel hopeless and fall into disbelief at times. Friendships and fellowship are not by chance. God orchestrates our steps and these times are considered divine appointments. 

As believers, we are to lift one another up and be an encouragement. Friends can lean on us until they can stand on their own as their faith builds. Seek to be an encourager and share what God has given us. He will then put us in settings where we can make a difference through Him. And if you are feeling lost and searching for help, ask God to direct your steps directly to a person, a group or a church to find support and encouragement. He will lead you.  I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42.16

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God christmas holidays thanksgiving https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/11/gather Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:32:39 GMT
November https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/11/november  

 


NovemberNovember 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 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 a few days away, 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. Maybe that can be your prayer too. 

God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God beach thanksgiving https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/11/november Wed, 23 Nov 2016 20:53:05 GMT
Charting a Course https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/11/charting-a-course

Charting a CourseCharting a Course Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way
 that sinners take
 or sit in the company of mockers,
 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 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: 1-3

We all have times where we know what we want and we think we know how to get there. Disappointments and setbacks pave the road, a few long stretches of smooth sailing and then more struggles litter our path. When we are our own captain, we only can rely on things in the natural. Things like what we know, what we have heard others say, relying on our own wisdom. Sure, some people struggle more than others but some take the long way around when the straight road would have been so much easier.

What prevents us from tapping into God’s Word for strength and guidance? Is it our own pride, or our independence? Do we really think our way is better? Yes, often times we do and we get ahead of ourselves, things go wrong and we are back to God, asking Him to fix our messes!  Seems everywhere I searched this week for God’s Wisdom, all roads led to this scripture: Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. -Joshua 1:8   Does it mean if I read the Bible, my life will be perfect? No. It does mean that our obedience and our relationship with God will prosper as He prospers us.  Will we be successful in the world’s eyes? Maybe.  Maybe not. But we will be a success in the eyes of the One that matters. 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/11/charting-a-course Sun, 13 Nov 2016 23:39:18 GMT
Dusk https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/11/dusk  


DuskDusk Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. –Psalm 17:3 NIV

The definition of dusk is the time of day immediately following sunset. That time is also called twilight. When I am at the beach, the ability to see such a large expanse of sky enables me to see the most glorious sunsets as if it were a panoramic view. But the time I like best is dusk. Those few moments when the sun has vanished from the horizon, yet the clouds still reflect the fading light is beautiful. Sometimes the sky is ablaze with fiery reds and oranges. Other times, pinks and shades of purple dominate the sky. One can’t help but think about the largeness of the universe and that we are just a speck of life in the scope of things. Looking at the sky at dusk is the final salute to the day as I hope with all my heart that the day was used as God would have me use it.
 
To see the sky at dusk means that I must look up and not down. My eyes have to rise up to the clouds, to look over the landscape. That is what it means to live above our circumstances. What we should try to do with each day is to not focus on the problems, our shortcomings or anyone else’s or the lack that surrounds us, but instead try to see the good and God in everything. Sickness may come, or recovery from illness may seem too slow. The children need so much attention and the mundane tasks of everyday life are leaving us with an empty cup.  God would have us look up above over these things. Look beyond. Look up to Him. When adversity knocks on the door, how we handle it tells it all. Our actions, attitudes and the words that tumble out of our mouths when we are knee-deep in problems or pain can be a blessing to us and those around us or not. It is our choice. I believe that as we sleep each night, God renews us and purifies our heart. When we wake up we have a new, fresh start. It is up to us to try to end each day the way we started, which is receiving God’s Love and Peace, and no matter what the day brings, doing our best to stay in His Love and Peace, so that we can give it to others.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God beach dusk https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/11/dusk Mon, 07 Nov 2016 12:31:05 GMT
Autumn Flowers https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/10/autumn-flowers
 
Autumn FlowersAutumn Flowers The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.
–Isaiah 40:8 NIV

 
This past week I went to a flower farm where zinnias and sunflowers were still blooming. The vibrant colors of fall were evident in the fields of flowers just waiting to be picked. I brought two handfuls of flowers home for the dining table and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Buds of sunflowers slowly opened during the week as the zinnias wilted one by one. Flowers, I think are one of God’s gifts to us. When I look at a flower and examine the petals and the intricate structure, it is a reminder of God’s perfection at work. The arrangement of the seeds in the center of a sunflower is a geometric wonder to me.  
 
If God worked so hard to perfect the flowers, then is there any doubt that he would have done less when he formed us? Stop along the beach and pick up a shell. Look at it. The ridges, the colors, the perfect shape. Another achievement that nature gets to take credit for under the umbrella of God’s artistry. 
 
We are so much greater than a flower or a shell. We are a masterpiece made and created by God. We would not be here if God had not breathed life into us. Each person has a purpose in this life. It is important to fulfill that purpose but to do it God’s Way and not our own way. What does that mean? We just don’t want to get ahead of God and take the plan for our life and make things happen in our own time. Instead, we are to know God through His Word and grow from His Instruction. We are to lean on Him while He takes time to develop, refine and prepare us for the plans He has in store. Like a flower unfolds, one petal at a time, we are the same. One day at a time. One step at a time. Trading impatience for patience.  Trusting God every moment to lead us to the purpose and plan for our life.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God autumn beach faith fall flowers https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/10/autumn-flowers Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:47:24 GMT
Today https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/10/today  

TodayToday 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!

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Beach God Today https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/10/today Sun, 23 Oct 2016 15:08:26 GMT
Recovery https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/10/recovery Summer HeatSummer Heat Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16 NIV

 

The news report show that the recovery from storm Matthew has begun all up and down the east coast. The cleanup is in full swing as residents and workers work quickly to regain some order. Webster’s dictionary says that to “recover” means to get back what was lost, regain, to bring back to normal position or conditionIt sounds simple enough but it isn’t always easy to do on our own. Recovering from surgery, addiction to drugs or alcohol, or eating disorders can be difficult. Losing a marriage or even a job can be traumatic. Recovering from the loss of a loved one is often too hard to even talk about at times. Overcoming the recent devastation of property in a natural disaster can be devastating. And now, many will know something firsthand about recovery, as everyone attempts to return to some normalcy after the storm.  

 

Some residents will handle the rebuilding process with ease and for others, it may be very difficult. Each person’s situation is different and it is not for us to judge his or her circumstances, but to offer help instead. But the one thing we all have in common is that many people are trying to recover from something, and we can look to God for the support, stamina and patience we need to be overcomers. Whether it’s recovering from Matthew as a community or something more personal, the approach to handling it is key to the success of recovery. Losses added up could cause bitterness in a person with roots reaching to the depths of the soul. Bitterness can open the door to the enemy. Sometimes there are no answers as to why things have happened and time spent saying “why me” is time wasted. God probes our heart and knows our thoughts and feelings. He knows our needs too. Keeping a positive outlook and good attitude will help the recovery go quicker. Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-7, 9

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/10/recovery Wed, 19 Oct 2016 03:16:33 GMT
October https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/9/october  

OctoberOctober The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
–Psalm 28:7 NIV

October is a wonderful time to be at the beach in my opinion, any beach. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler. Goldenrod is in full bloom with its mustard colored flowers growing wild here and there. Sea oats look rich in a golden amber hue as they wave back and forth on the dunes in the ocean breezes.  Salt spray covers everything. Where tourists once sunbathed on the summer beaches, large flocks of pelicans and gulls have reclaimed those places as their own again. It is sweatshirt weather on most mornings. Pots of seafood chowders and stews are put on simmer all day for early autumn suppers to stave off the evening chill. October spells pure joy to me as it is the one month that everything seems to be just perfect.  

For a while, I have collected everything I could find with the word “joy” written on it. Tree ornaments, plaques, magnets and more. I use these little messages throughout my home as a daily reminder to stay in joy and not complain or find fault with myself or others. I have learned that it doesn’t take much to get hooked into the emotion of complaining and grumpiness and that is a trap the enemy uses to steal our joy. We have to be on guard against this happening. My favorite definition of joy is “the expression or display of glad feelings”. Being filled with joy can cause us to want to do and share good things for those around us. It is like having a new song on the inside of us. When we can, I think we are supposed to spread our joy outward and see how God uses it to make positive changes in our lives and the lives of others.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Beach Chowder God October Soup https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/9/october Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:07:48 GMT
Finding Strength https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/9/finding-strength
  Finding StrengthFinding Strength I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength. –Philippians  4:13
 

How many times have we all walked to the beach toting chairs, umbrellas, coolers, kids and towels just praying to God for “more strength”!! I know I have!! “Let’s try to make it all in one trip” is my husband’s motto, much to my dismay. Traipsing about in the hot sand, which feels like burning coals, we try to find the perfect spot.  Alas, we have set up for the day already extremely exhausted and weary!
 
For He gives power to the weak. And to those that have no might. He increases strength. Isaiah 40:29 I just have to look around my small little circle to see many are struggling with strength. Many friends are trying to cope with losses; business owners needing more business; some are coping with ongoing medical issues and more.  We are all in need of strength. Some more than others. As Believers, we must allow those that are in weak in spirit or physically weak to lean on us until they can stand alone with God. Yes, there are limits and no one wants to be taken advantage of. That is a topic for another day. But those that are hurting need to talk sometimes. Believe it or not, just our presence and our caring effort offers up support and strength. But we hesitate sometimes thinking to ourselves, “what do we have to offer”? A phone call, an email, or a text is sometimes all that is needed. In this world of electronics, it is easy to reach out. And a handwritten note of support that is received often becomes a tangible treasure. Whether we have strength to give or we are the ones needing it, God is at the center of it all…providing what we need from Him or through Him from others. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God at beach family strength umbrella https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/9/finding-strength Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:55:31 GMT
The Unexpected https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/9/the-unexpected
 
The UnexpectedThe Unexpected And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
 
 Many of us are planners and live by our calendars. We know where we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to be doing on any given day. I have just posted a new calendar just for t-ball practice and games for our grandson’s team. With all of our organization and planning many of us consider ourselves to be flexible and adaptable when we have unexpected things happen. Maybe a guest stays for dinner or we have to cancel our plans to watch a sick grandchild so their parents can go to work are just a few examples. Lunch with a friend has to be rescheduled for another time or weather has spoiled our day at the beach. In the scope of life, these things are very minor and can be figured out without any problem.
 
But some things happen that are truly unexpected and seem to come out of nowhere.  Major things. Life changing events. An accident, getting fired from a job you desperately need, the death of a loved one, a betrayal. We are left stunned and searching for answers. It is at these times that we are most likely to question our faith. “How could you God?  “Why this?” “Where are you God?” “Why did you let this happen?”  I know that there have been occasions in my life I have asked these questions. And then I am reminded in Isaiah 55 the Bible says “my ways are not His ways”. And I know that God does not owe me an explanation of anything He does but my mind tricks me to think if I could make sense of it, maybe I could accept it better. But many times, we have no answers and can’t go anywhere to get the answers. Things just happen. Life and death happens.  In those alone times of searching for understanding we must know we are not abandoned. In Isaiah the Bible says this in chapter 41 verse 10: Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. And then in Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet and light for my path. The Bible and prayer are where we can find the will of God for our lives in all the unexpected circumstances and chaos that takes us by surprise. God also makes a promise in Psalm 12:8: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will guide you with my eye. He is our rock and foundation no matter what!! Tuck these scriptures in your heart in case you need to them one day. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God beach chaos crisis death of questions will https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/9/the-unexpected Thu, 15 Sep 2016 12:43:49 GMT
Higher Ground https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/9/higher-ground  

Higher GroundHigher Ground 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

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Beach God Ground High faith https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/9/higher-ground Thu, 15 Sep 2016 12:33:42 GMT
Change https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/change  

ChangeChange Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help. 
-Psalm 30:10 NIV

Change seems to be everywhere. Change is one of those words that bring with it a lot of feelings and emotions when it surrounds us. Probably the simplest way to describe change is ‘to pass from one state to another.’ Seasonal changes we tend to welcome and look forward to with anticipation. We know what to expect year after year. The fall colors will be emerging soon as the leaves turn from green to golden yellow, deep red and burnt orange. Pumpkins will be plucked from fields and displayed on front porches, replacing pots of tired geraniums. Gardens will be harvested soon for the last of the summer vegetables, while firewood gets stacked near the back door before the onset of cool evenings. The transition from season to season is somewhat predictable.

It’s the unexpected, unpredictable turns that come upon us at times that can shift our lives in another direction. How do we cope? That’s when our faith is of utmost importance. Some changes in our life can be devastating such as an illness, divorce, and the death of a loved one. Other changes may not be as impactful, but nevertheless they do affect us. God made us adaptable and flexible. We can face anything that comes to us.  God won’t leave us alone to get through these times of difficulty by ourselves. We can count on Him. He made us strong. We can rely on His strength to help us. How we choose to react to change determines how we will be able to manage it. Something to think about. God’s plan is at work in our lives and in our surroundings. We must never forget that. Yes, God is part of everything and every situation. We don’t always know the reason why things happen. He will allow things at times to occur to bring us back closer to Him and to strengthen us. 
As we are certain to meet change almost daily, we should remember that God does not change. He is always there with His promises to lift us up out of the mire on to high ground again. We can take refuge in Him and He will take our pain and give us strength in its place. It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Psalm 18:21 NIV

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Beach Change God Sunset https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/change Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:23:57 GMT
Being Childlike https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/being-childlike  

Being ChildlikeBeing Childlike How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! 
The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me. 
Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me. 
–Psalm 116:5-7 NLT

We talk about building faith and many people are coming to a relationship with God for the very first time. We are told to approach God with a childlike way and spirit. We can speak simply to Him, not using fancy words in our prayers. Our vocabulary isn’t nearly as important as our heart. A child’s heart is pure and innocent and that is what pleases God. A childlike faith is tender and young and while those just starting out don’t know a lot about the Bible, they know enough of what is important, because they have chosen to seek and follow God.

Being childlike is sweet and genuine. Children listen to what is being told to them and they believe it. They view the world with eyes of love and kindness and a heart of wonder.  Joy comes easy to them. Their demeanor is so precious.  Some confuse childlike behavior and childishness. There is a big difference in the two. Some childish traits are acting spoiled, rebelling, pouting, and brooding. While we know better, we can’t resist giving in to our emotions and feelings and acting out these traits like a small child sometimes.  Temper tantrums don’t glorify God! Thank heavens that God continuously perfects us and I am grateful He hasn’t given up on me! How merciful He is!! We are all a work in progress.

We have choices. Be childlike or behave childishly when we act and react to things. What’s really important is how we choose to handle disappointments and difficult situations. Give it all to God. Release it. Let it go. And be sure to choose not to savor it in our mind and heart like cherished treasures because that keeps the feelings and emotion alive inside of us!! God is so good to us. He will save us from ourselves if we allow Him! We have to let Him do a work in us. We will begin to see our childlike faith develop into a foundation of strong spiritual maturity and the tendency to behave childishly will begin to disappear.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God attitude children https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/being-childlike Thu, 18 Aug 2016 01:03:47 GMT
School https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/school
SchoolSchool For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways –Psalm 91:11 NIV


It is that time again. Summer is coming to a close and it is time to buckle down for a new school year. The children will cross another bridge into a new adventure of learning and growing. I remember fondly the days of trying to understand my kids’ bus schedule, shopping for their back to school clothes, getting them fresh haircuts and packing their new backpacks with all the essentials. 

It won’t be long and fall pumpkins will appear on doorsteps, the weather will chill and first report cards will be issued. Soon, refrigerators will be plastered with artwork from the little ones; and older students will start science projects with boiling lava that will dominate the dining room table for weeks. Chorus concerts and school plays will be added to the calendar, too. It goes by fast. W. B. Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”. How true! We want our children to be on fire to learn. To press forward with enthusiasm at their new discoveries and to spark an interest that develops into a lifelong passion. We as parents must instill in our children the knowledge that school is a place of opportunity and adventure. A place to learn, discover and try new things on for size. Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. –Proverbs 23:12 NIV


It is sometimes hard to let our children leave the nest for the big world. I wish I knew then what I know now. We can pray for God’s Protection over our children all day and all night. Now not a day goes by that I don’t ask God to watch over my children and their families.  Psalm 91 is a Psalm of Protection and sometimes that is what I will read as my prayer for them. It is just as important as a good breakfast, getting to school on time and doing homework….in fact, it is vital that God hears our prayers for them asking that no weapon formed against our children will prosper. There will be bumps on the knees, visits to the clinic, hurt feelings and the occasional brush with the class bully, but it is our children’s hearts and minds that we are praying for, as well as their physical protection. And we might add to our prayers a blessing for the teachers. They are truly special people with a heart for our children and education. They deserve our appreciation, gratitude and support for all they do as teachers and important role-models.

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God bridge protections school study teacher https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/school Thu, 11 Aug 2016 00:20:04 GMT
Thunderstorms https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/thunderstorms
 

ThunderstormsThunderstorms For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
–Matthew 6:4 NIV

 
When the weather is hot and the air humid, thunderstorms are likely to occur.  They are caused when the warm air rises and then cools. That is what produces the thunderclouds. Within these clouds there is rapid air movement which causes water and ice to bump against each other. A static electrical charge is released and that energy results in the form of lightening and thunder. I think an afternoon thunderstorm is actually a nice welcome at times. It cools a hot day, the rain washes away the days’ footprints in the sand and often times, when the storm is over, and the summer haze is blown away with the wind to reveal a cloudless blue sky.
 
Storms are not always welcome. Some people feel fear and anxiety with an approaching storm. But fear and anxiety do nothing to help us…we can’t chase the storm away with our fear and worry. No, we just have to sit it out. We know to protect ourselves and get out of its’ path. To take shelter and to”batten down the hatches” as they say.
 
In our lives, we must also weather storms. Not the ones that come in the summer afternoon on a hot and humid day, but the emotional storms that can wreak havoc on our relationships. Sometimes we don’t see these types of storms brewing. But over time, circumstances can cause misunderstandings, disagreements and offenses to add up, which can be stronger and more electrically charged than any thunderstorm Mother Nature can hurl at us. The things that we can control and make right, we should do. When we are at the receiving end of someone’s unloving behavior towards us, we can do nothing more than weather the storm till it blows over…and pray, of course. The Bible says that love covers over all offenses. So when it depends on us, we should always choose love, not hate and pray for the wind to change direction. “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” by Louisa May Alcott.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God beach boat sailing ship thunderstorms https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/thunderstorms Thu, 04 Aug 2016 22:39:35 GMT
Waiting https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/waiting WaitingWaiting Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

-Psalm 27:14 NIV


We are all waiting for something and that includes even the sea gulls that sit on pilings waiting for their next meal!   Waiting has different degrees of intensity such as something as simple as waiting for a phone call or a letter to arrive, or as critical as waiting for the miracle to take place that we have prayed for. I must admit that I am not good at waiting. Is anybody? Like most people, I would prefer to have what I want when I want it! It’s the culture we find ourselves living in today that promotes immediate gratification. Our impatience sometimes makes it difficult for us to wait in the checkout lines at the grocery stores! But in our impatience to hurry our life along, we are missing out on God’s instruction. He uses waiting as a way to renew us, to refresh us and teach us. There is a reason that He makes us wait. If we sped through our life without time for pause and reflection, we would not grow and learn as we go. God thought of everything. There are lessons to learn along the way. He is our teacher and we are His students and He needs time to work with us. We can’t hurry God’s process. The hardest thing is to wait on God. When we pray, we want our answer now and He doesn’t always give it to us in that moment. The answer always comes, but it is when He is ready, not because we want it. If we begin to realize that we are complete in the Lord and He will take care of everything, it makes the waiting much easier. He is always in control. Our impatience and rushing around doesn’t line up with the scripture which tells us to be strong, take heart and wait for Him. Praying for peace and patience during any wait we find ourselves in will serve us and God better

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God Waiting beach https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/waiting Thu, 04 Aug 2016 22:33:47 GMT
Ship's Wheel https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/ships-wheel  

 

Ship's WheelShip's Wheel The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.

-.Acts 27:15 NIV

 

The wheel of a ship actually turns the rudder, which then changes the direction of the vessel.  Over the years, the steering mechanism has changed somewhat, but the concept remains the same: a ship simply needs a wheel to direct it on its proper course. A ship’s wheel is quite a nautical find in an antique store. To see a ship’s wheel that has been restored and transformed into a table is a real conversational piece   Recently, I was walking along some docks and could peer into the boats that were tied up. I was surprised and delighted to see the ships’ wheel in today’s photograph was still functional and relied upon.

 

If our life is thought of as a ship, then who is steering us in our journey across the sea? I find myself taking the wheel out of God’s hands and I often try to steer my life alone. It isn’t anything conscious that I do…it just seems to be an old habit. When I lose my direction and seem to go in circles, God who has patiently stood by, steps in and gets me back on course. It is silly really that we often think we can go our own way. The tendency is to go to God only when there is a crisis. We are all probably guilty of that at some time in our life. We should really go to God for everything; our health, our relationships, our families, the finances, work, school and more. I know that some might think that they shouldn’t bother God with the little things. That He has enough to do already. But God can handle it and He delights to be in daily, constant fellowship with us over the big things and the little things. If we are on the move with our life, learning, growing and doing, then we need direction. We are not as wise as we think we are sometimes. Best to leave the steering up to Him. That way we know our steps are anointed and we are never alone when we turn the wheel over to Him. 


    

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God Rudder guidance ship https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/ships-wheel Thu, 04 Aug 2016 01:39:30 GMT
Porch Swing https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/porch-swing  

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Porch SwingPorch Swing
–John 10:27 NIV

 
One definition for the word vacation is freedom or release from duty. That sounds about right, I think. It is good to take a break from everyday routines and seek refuge in a book, holding a fishing rod, soaking in the sun or swinging on a porch swing, Lucky is the family that rents a vacation cottage this week that comes with a porch swing. I think that is the greatest thing of all. Of course, a breezy porch in the shade makes it all the better. When I visited my grandmother as a small child, we would swing on her porch and she would sit with her apron on, barefooted. Surrounded by the scent of gardenias, we would talk of far away places. We dreamed aloud together on that old porch swing. My sister gave me some gardenia soap this week. She too used to sit on that porch. It brought back memories for both of us.
 
My grandmother taught me a life lesson those years by her side. Everyone needs someone to listen to them. Not judging them. Not trying to change their mind. Not trying to influence them, but just simply listening. She listened to me and then I listened to her. We didn’t watch the clock unless her yellow cake was in the oven. Instead, we let our minds and heart know no limits. I wanted to be a concert pianist when I grew up and she wanted to fly on an airplane anywhere. She dreamed of expensive perfume but would settle for the dime store brand until she could do better. I first got motion sickness on that swing with my grandmother. She could swing us back and forth and side to side with just one foot.  We went in circles! I could hardly keep up. She had real spirit on her swing. I told my husband this week that the only thing my front porch was missing was a porch swing. I will enjoy shopping for it and will get one big enough for me and my grandchildren, so that I can dream aloud with the next generation.
 
God is a great listener. We can give anything to Him and it is safe…our heart…our secrets…our dreams. But we should be listening too. Listening for His Voice, His Guidance. It comes to us in many ways. Through His Word, the voice of a friend, a sermon, lyrics to Christian songs, articles. The Holy Spirit will drop ideas and thoughts into our minds when we are awake and asleep. There is an art to listening. We just have to seek Him and we will find Him.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God faith https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/8/porch-swing Tue, 02 Aug 2016 12:51:05 GMT
Pressing Through https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/7/pressing-through Pressing ThroughPressing Through 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.  

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Banks God Outer beach coast coping faith waves https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/7/pressing-through Sun, 03 Jul 2016 14:02:53 GMT
Summer Solstice https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/6/summer-solstice  

Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.
-Genesis 8:22 NIV

 
Earlier this week marked the first day of summer. It is the Summer Solstice, which represents the longest day of the year. This is the complete opposite of the Winter Solstice, which marks the shortest day of the year. I think I like summer better! In the summer, most of us feel more alive, energetic and active. There is so much to do and enjoy in the milder weather and longer days of sunlight. The earth seems to come alive too, producing flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables. Nature joins in as well. The air is filled with the chirps of baby birds singing to each other from tree to tree. These are the happy times of year for many people. 

The seasons are a perfect example of balance. When God made the Earth, He seemed to think of everything. His Creation has shown us the differences in seasons with hot and cold temperatures and wet and dry climates. He gave us the land and the sea, mountains and flat lands. It is all in perfect balance. There is a lesson here for us. We need to have balance in our life, too.  Making time to work, play and pray is what balance is all about. It’s important to find the perfect balance in our schedules, because if we don’t, we feel depleted at the end of the day. When we get out of balance in our life and start to obsess on something, it throws everything off. Our perspective is not clear. We lose sight of important priorities. Taking care of the many demands on us are important but also taking time to rest and restore our body, mind and spirit is important, too.  Leaning too much one way or the other will get us out of sync. We should pray that God reveals to us any areas where we might be out of balance so that our lives can line up in His Perfect Order.  

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God balance beach coast solstice summer sunrise time https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/6/summer-solstice Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:46:33 GMT
Family https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/6/family T FamilyFamilyUser comments he Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love.
- Psalm 103:8 NIV

 
There are many definitions for family but hopefully the common thread that runs through each family unit is love. It is also a blessed family that reflects God’s love by showing compassion to each other.  And that in all ways, we should try to be slow to anger and have large doses of patience, as needed.

The dynamics of the family often changes with the incoming tide. Events, changing circumstances and emotions keep the family either in or out of balance. The families that are able to be flexible and resilient seem to be the ones that function best, acknowledge change well and embrace it. Many generations can make up a family and the distinct differences of those generations can add to the flavor of the gatherings. It is a rich person that has a family to fall back on, to support their hopes and dreams. And a family that acts as a cheerleader to encourage personal growth and change, even if it means putting miles, but not distance, between them.

We can give one another gifts and do kind things for each other, but the greatest gift we can give is respect and by doing so, God’s light shines through us to them. I once heard it said that we don’t choose family. They are God’s gifts to us and we are to them. But what about the person that doesn’t have a family to call their own? Though many of us have experienced losses in this area of family, we can reach out to Him and He is there waiting for us. Take His comfort and rejoice in the love He offers. An unknown author said, “God knows the feelings in every human heart. He can soften sorrow and lead when there seems to be no light. Prayer can give guidance and confidence. It reminds us that no one need be alone in this world. If all else fails, remember, God and one other person can be a family.”  On this Father's Day weekend, take a moment to reflect and show honor to those who have been a blessing in that role of Father.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Banks God Outer beach coast day family father's https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/6/family Fri, 17 Jun 2016 12:12:37 GMT
Sentinel https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/6/sentinel FaithFaith Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
- Proverbs 4:23

There are many sentinels protecting the Outer Banks. I am speaking of the beautiful, historic lighthouses that have stood guard over the barrier islands for many years. The dictionary defines a sentinel as “a person or thing that stands and watches”. And the lighthouses certainly do just that. They watch the land and the sea. Each lighthouse is individual and unique yet they are similar in shape. I have enjoyed visiting them all and taking photographs from different angels. They are truly historic treasures and have become tourist attractions over the years. The sight of light from a lighthouse in the night sky still thrills me today like it did was I was a young child. A sentinel is thought of as a guiding light but that doesn’t just apply to a lighthouse. 

God watches over us like a sentinel, too.  He guides us all the time and He is there through trials and hardships, too. His light shines on us to light the way, both night and day. A sentinel guards and guides. We can look to God to be that for us.  But we too have a responsibility to guard our lives. As we follow Him, we are to guard ourselves with our thoughts and actions, keeping them of pure motive and godly at all times. What lies deep within us is what springs forth and becomes how we are defined. If we are full of stress, it will show. If we give in to anger or strife, it will flow out of us to another. It is so amazing to realize our physical hearts are so sensitive to emotions. Doctors have long said it is not the situation we find ourselves in, but how we handle it that matters. 

What will matter this week? Guarding our thoughts, binding stress, filtering what we let in to our hearts and keeping His guiding light before us with each step we take. A good way to shine the light is to let Him be our sentinel, our guide, our light in everything. 

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Banks Bodie God Island Outer guiding light lighthouse https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/6/sentinel Thu, 09 Jun 2016 12:36:56 GMT
June https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/6/june
 
JuneJune The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest”.
 –Exodus 33:14 NIV

 
The month of June has come quickly this year. It’s been a favorite month of many for a lot of reasons. The children love it because it signals the end of school and the beginning of summer. Families pack up for vacations that they have saved all year for. Neighbors gather together for fireworks and a backyard hot dog. Picnics, grilling out and paper plates become the norm. Watermelons are sliced and shared outdoors. A good time has been had by the younger set evidenced by kool-aid stains on t-shirts in colors of cherry, orange and lime. Band-aids cover the scraped knees from bicycle mishaps. Fathers labor over their lawns in a battle against the weeds and Moms brace for whatever the summer brings knowing she must be adaptable. Summer becomes a chance to enjoy family, slack up a little and enjoy the tastes and joys of it all.
 
But in all of our busyness, I think God would have us not forget Him. A small child was asked what did he pray for that day and he replied, “nothing, I didn’t need anything”. We seem to have a tendency to only go to God with our requests when we are in crisis or have a real need. When things are going great for us, He can be easily pushed aside. As summer begins, we should invite God to be present in all we do, plan and enjoy. God is more important than ever as we pray protection over our loved ones that are on the go this summer season.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God June beach summer umbrella vacation https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/6/june Sun, 05 Jun 2016 13:55:00 GMT
Memorial Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/5/memorial-day  

Memorial DayMemorial Day But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 
-Psalm 5:11 NIV

It was not always known as “Memorial Day”. The day where we remember and honor those who have lost their lives while serving our country.  It was originally called “Decoration Day”. This commemoration dates back as far as 1868 when flowers were placed on graves at Arlington National Cemetery of soldiers who died in service. Soon after, it caught on, state by state. Since the 1950’s, American flags have been placed on more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day each year.  Just a few years ago, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts began placing a single candle on over 15,000 gravesites in northern Virginia on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day. The tributes continue annually to show honor and respect.

But the traditions of the past are more forgotten than remembered. Memorial Day has often signified outdoor parties, picnics, three-day weekends, the unofficial start to summer, and maybe the first dip in the swimming pool. But as we grow older, the significance of the sacrifice made by the fallen soldiers presses on our hearts. They are heroes. Many of the people serving the armed forces today are very young. Some may not even have a personal relationship with Our Father. Imagine being away from the comfort of family and familiar surroundings, living with war and not knowing God. As Christians, I believe that God is calling us to pray for the protection of these brave servicemen and women, both at home and abroad. In all of the celebrations and fun that a Memorial Day weekend suggests, perhaps we can take time to go to God in prayer to ask His blessings on families that have lost loved ones and to cover His Holy Armor on those brave people that are currently serving us.  If we all prayed a prayer for peace, and each prayer was a light, together we could illuminate the heavens with our petitions!

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Beach Day Flag God Memorial https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/5/memorial-day Wed, 25 May 2016 14:01:20 GMT
Choose to Follow https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/5/choose-to-follow
Choose to  FollowChoose to Follow Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”. John 8:12 ESV


Just a few days ago I saw several Canada geese and their goslings taking a stroll.  These beautiful parents were very protective of their young and they “honked” at us when they thought we were getting too close. The trusting little goslings were many and they dutifully followed their parents to the water’s edge, parading in single file, as they walked back and forth across the grass. I suspect that was their training exercise for the day and they mastered it perfectly.


Like a parent teaches their children in the ways of life, so does God take us under his wing to offer protection and guidance. But we must be willing to follow before He can lead. Under God’s guidance, His Word and teachings prepares us for handling the ups and downs that we will surely encounter in our journey.  I couldn’t imagine a crisis or problem arising and dealing with it on my own power and skill. Because the truth is we are limited. But operating in faith and putting God’s Word and Promises to work, He gives us hope. We are never alone. But we might think, “all is well now, I’ll get to all that later”. Not a good idea. Learning and storing up God’s Word now means it will be waiting for us when we need it when things aren’t so good. His Word will be in our hearts and mind in our faith storehouse. Like a little gosling follows its parents, it is so much easier in life if we choose to follow God, as opposed to being lost without Him. 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Banks Canada God Goose Outer following gosling https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/5/choose-to-follow Mon, 16 May 2016 22:37:06 GMT
A Plan https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/5/a-plan A PlanA Plan The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. –Proverbs 21:5  ESV

What is a plan? It is a method or scheme to arrange beforehand for any project or enterprise.  The absence of a plan means to wing it, and hope for the best. We are going on vacation soon and while the plans are in place, there is plenty of room for spontaneity, flexibility and enjoyment. This is the time of year when graduates are planning for their future. And Mothers are lining up summer schedules to keep the young kids busy when school lets out. Folks are planning their gardens, vacations, and more. Spring brings new ideas and hope now that the idleness of winter has passed. As long as we are doing it God’s way, we will find success. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.-Proverbs 16:3 ESV While we shouldn’t be rigid in our planning, God does charge us with being productive. A bit of structure is good for us all. It is famously said that, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God plan https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/5/a-plan Fri, 13 May 2016 14:30:00 GMT
First Mother's Day https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/5/first-mothers-day  

First Mother's DayFirst Mother's Day Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12 NIV

I have been reminiscing this week about Mother’s Day and the memories have come flooding back.  I told my daughter this story and she said I should share it as we laughed together. The very first recollection of Mother’s Day was when I was five years old. It was memorable for several occasions: not only was it Mother’s Day, but my mother was in the hospital, and had just given me a new baby sister. While my grandmother was taking care of us in my mothers’ absence, I asked her if I could pick a few buttercups for my mother and the new baby to arrange in the nicest jelly glass we had. She smiled and said it was a splendid idea. It took no time at all to fill up that jelly glass. Yet, it seemed such a shame to let our entire front yard that was overflowing with buttercups go to waste. So, after setting the jelly glass aside and getting a big brown grocery bag instead, I began to work feverishly in the hot May sun to fill it up. Handful after handful. My grandmother kept an eye on me and offered me popsicles under the gumball tree. At first, I tried to lay all the buttercups in the same direction, but halfway through I gave up and decided quantity would override beauty and began to fill the bag to the top. Realizing that I could fill up another bag with all the remaining buttercups, my grandmother said with reassurance that one bag would do nicely. I taped up that special grocery bag and decorated the outside with crayon drawings and stickers. I presented it to my dad who said he would hand deliver it to the hospital to my mother and our new baby! I was so excited when she called to say it was the most beautiful bag of buttercups she had ever received and it made her so happy.  Buttercups still makes me smile! 

Many years later, when I became a mother, my most treasured gifts were those that were from the heart or homemade.  I still have a soft place in my heart today for a brassy gold circle pin (circa 1960’s) that was missing a pearl the day I received it, about 25 years ago. Most of my Mother’s Day gifts from my young son came from the rounds he made on his bicycle to various yard sales in our neighborhood, using his allowance. My daughter preferred to give coupons for her services, like setting the table for dinner, dusting and watering plants. Time goes by so quickly, yet thankfully some memories never fade.

I equate Mother’s Day with love. Both giving and receiving it. Being doubly blessed to have wonderful relationships with both my adult children, Elizabeth and Marty and being richly blessed to have my mother, Helen. 
No doubt that we all want to excel in this role of motherhood. As a mother, many times we are sought out for our wisdom, yet where do we go when we need wisdom or someone to listen to us!  I know when I need to talk, God is always listening. There is much written about how to be a good Mother. The best words I know to share are these:  follow the examples of the godly mothers in the Bible, which are always based on purity of heart, peace and much love. 

I heard it said once that when a mother reaches Heaven, she must face God with her record of accomplishments. If she's done a good job of caring for her children, she'll get the most sought-after position in heaven, that of rocking baby angels on soft white clouds and wiping their celestial tears with the corner of her apron. Let today not end without reaching out to all mothers, to honor their role in our lives, either by phone, card, email or in person. And if she has crossed that doorway into heaven, lift up a word of praise and thanksgiving in her memory. To honor our parents is godly and God promises to notice. 

 

 

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Day God Mother's birth buttercup children mother https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/5/first-mothers-day Wed, 04 May 2016 14:21:07 GMT
Run Aground https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/4/run-aground Run AgroundRun Aground Photo credit Liz Brown

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God  -Romans 8:28 NKJ

Boaters trade stories about running aground. It is just one of those things you can’t laugh at when it happens but it can turn into a humorous tale later.  Simply speaking, to run aground means to get stuck!! How many times are we stuck in life? What to do with the new season we find ourselves in? Re-evaluating our goals and hopes most likely. It helps to prayerfully ask what God desires for us. Better to do things God’s way than to just dream on our own without Him where the wind will surely shift and we stall off course.  And as human nature would have it, when we do it our way and we fail, we usually expect Him to fix it!! 

Things today seem frantic. No time for thinking or searching, reading or meditation.  I notice more and more that many people act off of emotion rather than the facts.  Important decisions are being made because “it feels right”. Feelings come and go and change often, but God’s word is constant. He provides wisdom. Ask and it will be given to you.-Luke 11:9 NIV He provides guidelines to follow for a godly life that pleases Him but also gives us satisfaction and pleasure.  Let’s follow the godly markers He sets for us so we don’t run aground

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) Boats God Outer Sandbar aground beach coast path right run stall https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/4/run-aground Thu, 28 Apr 2016 01:10:04 GMT
Planting https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/4/planting  

PlantingPlanting And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

I love this time of year because I dream of what my little courtyard will look like since I began planting a variety of flowers this week. This year I have recycled somewhat. The poinsettia from Christmas, the pink hydrangea from Valentine’s Day and the two lilies from Easter that have enjoyed my porch have now been planted. Adding to that the white vinca, soft pink mandevilla, fern, green potato vine and yellow lantana. It is already colorful before the layer of mulch was put down. Like a kid in a candy store who feels on top of the world, I feel that way about shopping at a garden center. Oh and not to forget the herbs are in the ground too. Such expectation on my part for the lush flowers that are sure to delight all summer. Plant now and harvest later. Part of the joy of spring for me is to plant some little flowers and watch them flourish into mounds of color by the end of the season.

Whether you have a big or little space to work with, growing flowers keeps hope alive.  Don’t diminish the importance of the little things that God gives us to do. It is a reminder that little efforts can grow into something big. It is a great lesson for a child….a sunflower seed can grow twice a tall as a youngster with a face to match. Whether we are planting flowers or dreams, our hope is in God because our roots of faith run deep. That’s when we can count on the harvest to manifest.

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betsyoreglass@gmail.com (Betsy Ore Glass) God Planting child faith harvest reaping sowing sunflower https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/4/planting Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:23:09 GMT
Replenish https://www.betsyoreglass.com/blog/2016/4/replenish