TODAY THE WORDS are PLAYING DEFENSE. For those of you that know me, you know that Greg and I are huge Georgia Bulldogs’ fans and when it is football season, we re-arrange our weekend schedules to make sure we can watch all of the televised games and even work out watching the others through my computer. One of the things we always are watching during the games is how our defense plays. We understand that we can have a great offensive team; without a great defense we cannot stop the other team from scoring. We need both offensive and defensive strategies to be successful. We yell Defense! Defense! when the other team starts moving down the field and getting in scoring range. We love a good sack of the other team’s quarterback or if our defense stops a potential pass and we jump to our feet with an interception. Yes, we love our Defense as much as we love our Offense and that brings me to my thought on playing defense in life. As our soldiers in the field defend our country and most of us understand the danger, the risks of life, and the total sacrifice they sometimes make for us; a soldier is usually honored for their offensive moves of destroying the enemy; saving another life, etc. Should they not be honored for “defending our country?” When a child is being bullied and a friend steps up to defend the child that is being bullied, is that not a time for honoring the child who steps up in “defense of the other”? When a person down on their luck is laughed at and a good samaritan stops and helps them out in “defense of their plight in life, is that not a great gesture? When we defend our rights to freedom of religion, constitutional rights, freedom of speech, and our family structure, is that not a reason to stand up and defend what we believe to be right and just. When we defend our founding fathers and what they thought to be worthy of defending or protecting, is that not a good defense strategy? When we defend our belief in God and His existence and our desire to pray for God defending us and keeping us safe, is that not worthy of a good tackle and interception from those who do not believe? A strong defense is very important and there is no place on the field of life to shy away from tackling the opponents that would keep us from scoring an eternal touchdown. I love the Dawgs but I love God the best! Go God!
2 Timothy 4:7

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;”

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.



TODAY THE WORD is CHOPSTICKS. I am referring to wooden chopsticks and not the piano piece named casually chopsticks. I don’t know how many readers have used chopsticks but the very first time I attempted them was definitely an adventure. This was years ago, and on a business trip, a nice Chinese restaurant was the place of choice by everyone. Being from a small town whose big attraction was The I Like It Restaurant, I showed my adventurous spirit by going along with the crowd. When others asked for chopsticks, well of course I had to have my pair. I have seen the ones that are “trainers” later in my life; no trainers were given and the adventure began. I learned a long time ago, if you are not sure of the proper way to do anything, slow down, hesitate, and watch and learn from others. For all of you that have used chopsticks and have mastered the art of using them instead of the fork; I applaud you and I say too, “I can use chopsticks and eat a meal with ease.” I don’t say it with bragging rights. I say it because it was a challenge and I overcame the uncomfortableness of holding it correctly. I have taught many people how to use the chopsticks and even those who use the trainers first usually master it to a certain degree. I think back and I vividly remember traveling and stopped at a nice looking Chinese restaurant. I ordered lunch and I proudly used my chopsticks. While I was eating, I looked over to a table where this elderly Chinese lady was sitting and I watched her eating rice impressively with her chopsticks and she was not doing the “shoveling technique” and I was intrigued with her method and realized I was no master at all. She looked up and smiled a little smile at me and for some reason and for a brief second she seemed to approve of my attempts to use chopsticks and to blend into her culture. I still ask for chopsticks when we go to eat Chinese cuisine and that little lady seems to send me a smile across the universe. Now for the deeper thought…….In this life, we can choose an easy, familiar life and stay in a close environment. There are plenty of people who have never traveled outside their comfort zone. I also think some people (and I know that I was formerly guilty of this) live for adventure, excitement, and to go past the limits of the city. That being said, to become comfortable in our faith, it is helpful if we combine these two scenarios. First, we need to choose a familiar faith, one we can live in it, thrive within the changes we have to make. Secondly, we have to be willing to “try the chopsticks” to give our testimony to others, step up to be charitable and giving by volunteering, speaking, writing, and sharing the greatest love there ever was by the sacrifices of Our Lord. Familiar is good; going for the unfamiliar modes of living our faith is a little disconcerting and we have to be willing to pick up the vessels of our faith like picking up the chopsticks and using them. Try the chopsticks of life next time and see if there is a little lady sitting at a table and smiling at your efforts to live a great life of faith.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.





Since today would have been my Daddy’s 89th birthday and because animals were a big part of Daddy, I thought I would share a humorous story about one of Daddy’s dogs, Hoss. The name was a version of Horse since this dog was as big as a large pony. I never was sure of Hoss’s origin or breed. Someone probably gave Daddy the dog as that is how we acquired dogs back in the day. Not too many dogs were bought at that time; people shared puppies. One day when I went out to visit Daddy, Hoss was lying in the yard. Daddy had told me to let him know when I was coming so he could tell Hoss it was all right. I saw what he meant when I drove up. Hoss stood up in the yard and I could easily tell that I wasn’t going to be allowed in until I had permission. Once Daddy spoke to Hoss, he immediately changed his guard dog attitude and became a gentle giant. He laid down and in a few minutes, Daddy looked at his watch and said, “In about five minutes, Hoss will do his patrol.” Sure enough, almost to the second, Hoss jumped up and went down the fence line and around to the pigeon and chicken coups and back around. When he returned, he laid down again. Daddy said, “You can set your watch by Hoss; every hour he patrols and if all is okay, he lays down. He would bark or take care of whatever would be wrong. He is a good dog.” Every hour that is exactly what Hoss did. But this is not the story that you might find funny. Georgia Power had its power lines behind Daddy’s land and you had to cross his road to get to the power lines. One day, while Daddy was home, one of the men that was going to work on the lines the next day came up and asked Daddy if he could park his truck at Daddy’s and walk to the lines. Daddy said yes and the man left. The next day, Daddy left for work early as he always did and started working. Almost lunchtime Daddy remembered the man was supposed to be there and “Then There was Hoss”. Daddy drove immediately home and there was the man on the top of his truck (not the hood but the top) and then there was Hoss standing up on his hind legs! The man said “Thank God” and Daddy called off Hoss who willingly went to get some water. Daddy apologized and said I forgot to tell Hoss it was okay. The man said, as long as I was up here, he was fine, but I even tried to get back into the cab of the truck and he let me know quickly, “Not until it is okay”. Daddy said, “You can come back any day and he won’t bother you.” I never knew if the guy ever came back. Now for the deeper thought……God watches us when we believe and trust in Him like Hoss watched over the yard. He is always there on patrol and also if we don’t believe, He can be called off like Hoss and He will allow the uninvited into our lives. Be diligent and let God know we need his protection so we can keep the “bad ones” on the top of the truck. Happy Birthday Daddy and I hope Hoss is roaming the land with you! Love and hugs!
Colossians 4:2-6
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORDS are TOOLS OF THE TRADE. When I was a young girl, I loved to be outside and if my Daddy was busy with his head under the hood of the truck, I was right there with my head under the hood too. Of course, I didn’t understand what he was doing, but I watched and I learned. He asked me to hand him the correct tool he needed and sometimes, I would hand him the wrong one an he would show me the tools and their names. It didn’t take me long to know the names and what job he was using them. Each tool had a distinct use and it didn’t matter how great the other tool was; it had to be the right one for the job. In those days, my Daddy could tune an engine to a point where it purred. Only ones of our ages are going to understand what I mean by purring, but when he set the idling of the engine, it ran so quiet, I had to listen very intensely to hear it running at all. I learned all of kinds of things with my head under the hood that helped me later with my own vehicles; mostly I had fun learning about how to pick out the right tools for the different tasks. Those are precious memories along with hunting and fishing, but that was further training about the right tools for the job. In life, no matter what we do, it requires using the right tools in completing a task. Maybe the tools are not the same ones I gave to Daddy as technology has progressed immeasurably since that time. The fact still remains; the right tool for the right accomplishment from your efforts. Now for the deeper thought…..We need the right tools for our minds, heart, and souls. In this busy life and materialistic world, it is not hard to find “tools” but are those tools the right tools for our eternal life. I speak from the heart on this matter; it is too easy to pick up the wrong tools as bad habits, friends, places of sin, temper, and a bad attitude. It takes a dedicated heart to show love instead of hate; a committed heart for charitable giving; a forgiving heart to forgive and forget; and a loyal heart to God, family, friends, and employers and/or employees. These are the right tools to insure that our souls “purr” in eternity and as my Daddy always said when he was making the idling adjustment, “If you can hear it running, you need to idle it down.” In our lives, we need to idle down our reactions and let our engines “purr” with love and understanding. (a side note: Tomorrow will be our Daddy’s birthday that he is celebrating in Heaven and I hope they let him idle a truck or car once in a while as he was happy when his head was under the hood. Love you Daddy and miss you!)
Exodus 20:12          
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


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TODAY THE WORDS are MAGICIAN’S SET. I never had a magician’s set but I saw them on television and I am going to admit, as a child, using a stick and doing the impression of being a magician. I would take a scarf and place something under the scarf and say “Abracadabra” and hoping that when I looked underneath the scarf, the item would have disappeared. Maybe, it was the absence of a real magic wand or it was the inexperience of the “magician” or maybe, it was reality that it is impossible to actually make something disappear. It certainly wasn’t due to lack of effort. If I could tell you how many times, I would reposition the coin or bottle cap or whatever I used as my prop, put the scarf over it once again, and then I must have said Abracadabra a million times (or at least it seemed that many). Nope, it still was there. Maybe it was that I didn’t have a top hat, but somehow I think not. From everything I have seen, as an adult, magic tricks are exactly that…tricks or slip of the hand. You have heard the hand is quicker than the eye and I have turned in my make shift magic attire a long time ago. Now for the deeper thought…….some of us still believe in magic and we think we can tap our magic wand and our problems and situations will disappear and life has taught this “amateur magician” it doesn’t work that way. I have learned through life, there is only one Universal Magician and that is God. He can make “magic” or as we like to say “miracles” and he can help us with wisdom, guidance, support and comfort in moving us in and out of situations. He doesn’t depend on the magic wand but he has The Creator’s touch; he doesn’t need to cover us but He embraces us; and He doesn’t need to use words like “Abracadabra” but He tells us He is the Alpha and Omega. There is a mystique about magicians and magic tricks and we always try to figure out how they “got one over on us” but with God, there is no mystery as He does what He promises us He will do and that is all of the “magic of life” we need. If we trust in Him, do as He has commanded us, and live our lives in a manner pleasing to Him, all of our worries and troubles disappear with prayer, dedication, loyalty, and no “Abracadabra” necessary. All that is needed is prayers of thanks to the Master of Ceremonies in Heaven.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORDS are THE LIFE OF A DAY LILY. For all of you that know me, I know you are already thinking, she is going to dedicate this to her Mother. You are right! Momma loved her day lilies and the photo is one of her favorites. My thoughts went to the life of a day lily when our beautiful day lily plants, mostly were given to us by Momma, are starting their way through the ground and their bright green leaves are making their entrance into the world. Greg has already fed them the bone meal, having been given good instructions from Momma on the times you feed them and when you don’t. The day lily stays for a while with petals intact and protected while it grows strong and firm. The blooms shoot up toward the skies in a pod of blooms similar to the family of brothers and sisters with the plant being the parent and the blooms their offspring. We watch; we get excited and we anticipate the day when the bloom finally opens and we have to see each one; stand in awe over its unique beauty; and we take pictures as if we will never see it again. Day lilies, however beautiful, are so fragile and if it rains the day they bloom, they are destroyed. If the sun shines brightly, it is an array of incredible beauty for that day. When Momma started her collection, I was not familiar with “day lilies” and was astonished that they only last one day; hence the name “day” lily. It seemed like a lot of work to see them only bloom for one day but we quickly got on the day lily train. It was wonderful seeing the excitement on Momma’s face when one of her favorites, and yes, she had favorites, bloomed. Momma knew their names and was so proud of them. Now for the deeper thoughts….Momma, through the day lily process, was exercising the “parent” role. She tended them, pulled weeds, gave them nourishment, watched over them, split the plants at the appropriate time, and most importantly loved them. Throughout my life, she had shown us even more love and supervision. My thoughts, while thinking about the day lily, is that Momma lost two of her children too soon in life and experienced that incredible loss. She missed her two sons and even though she showered my sister and I with an abundance of love, we knew she was never quite the same. She had suffered as the day lily parent does when after the short day, the beautiful, magnificent bloom dies. What God did for our Mother is give her day lilies and people to shower that extra love and kindness. Make the most of your day lily short day as life is short; blossom into the best bloom in life!
Song of Solomon 6:2-3
  My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


A steaming cup of coffee on coffee beans

TODAY THE WORDS are A LITTLE SIP AT A TIME. When Greg brought me my cup of coffee as he does every morning with a little sip to insure that it takes just right, a thought came to my mind about taking a little sip at a time. In this life, we sometimes get so thirsty, we forget to take small sips and try to gulp down as much as we possibly can trying to stop our thirst. When we take big gulps, sometimes it is hard to swallow and we can choke on the liquid. Also, if it is a hot drink, it can burn our mouth, tongue or even our throat going down. Sipping small amounts slowly helps the process and helps insure a satisfactory taste and pleasure. Greg also asks me, “small cup or big cup” and sometimes my answer varies with the day of the week. During the week, I am writing the blog, sending a report for work, and getting ready for work; therefore the need for a smaller cup. On Saturday morning, especially, I have my “Arline” time and a big cup is needed for me to sip while I am catching up on news, family, friends, and much of “nothing important” things. I take small sips, savor life, and recap the week’s progress. Now for the deeper thought……I also use this time for a recap of what God has done for me and also what have I done for HIM. I think my life is summed up in “a little sip at a time”. If I really stopped and thought of the condition of this world and all of the prophesied future events, I might choke on the big gulp of reality of this world as it stands and eventually will fall. If I believe, which I most certainly do, I know that if I sip each blessing as it comes, each trial as it comes, each little sip of life, and I savor the great taste of love; my cup of life is so delicious and satisfying. Some people don’t drink coffee, but think of the glass of water, lemonade (oh, I could use the lemons as a great reference) or whatever is sipped as your guide. A little sip at a time is a good idea and we should take the time to thank Our Maker for the opportunity as God gives us a cup of life every day, takes a taste to make sure it is good, and warns us if it is too hot to drink. When we heed the warnings, take little sips, and as I do with Greg and thank God for each cup bestowed on us……LIFE can be so wonderful!
Isaiah 44:3          
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.