TODAY THE WORDS ARE FAMILY ALBUMS

 
TODAY THE WORDS are FAMILY ALBUMS. If your family is like ours, this holiday season, you had a look see in the old family album. With digital photos, online albums, and CDs, the ole family album will soon becoming rare and I think that maybe this is a true loss of the technological age. The old well worn pages, with the protective covers, the corner tabs, the white pen writings, and somehow newspaper clippings appear with their unique appeal. I ask you to sit down with me in your mind and let’s go on a visit to your family album and find the warmth and love hidden in those pages. If your family is like mine; we didn’t organize the photos; they were placed as they came into our lives. This might resemble some sort of chronological order but this was not a factor in the arrangement. While going through the album, we have to pause as one or more of the pictures mysteriously has escaped its position and is floating under the protective sheets. We lift the page and reposition the picture while discussing the events, the wedding, the graduation, etc. which made this photo possible. The family album also reflects the strong family ties as we witness those funny, now depicted as “oh no” school pictures proudly displayed on each child’s page. If that is not proof our parents loved us no matter how funny we looked, nothing is! I looked and saw my sixth grade picture and it was hilarious that I wore bangs that year too; somehow straighter and it caused me to stop; pause; and maybe consider changing my current look. Then, there was the year my sister decided to give me a short hair cut and she did a number on me. The longest thing about it was my side bangs. As we leave that page, we go to the others and we stop to pay tribute and funny stories on those loved ones who have died. It is amazing how people have endeared as time goes on. Love somehow strengthens with time and we cannot stop sharing every happy event we shared with them. Now for the deeper thought….Each day we capture pictures of the “happening events” on our phones and cameras. We share those pictures on social medias and the ohs and ahs happen when people see and comment on them but do we share love as much as we share pictures? While we have our loved ones with us, do we tell them how much they mean to us and how we cherish each and every minute we are allowed to share with them. Do we listen when they tell us of their adventures, troubles, emotions, relationships, worries and/or concerns? Or do we want to display our families for others to see? If our priority is to bond with them more than to build a family album, we have a living family album and later in life, we have it scrolling in our hearts and minds each and every day. Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by filling your heart and minds with pictures of how you showed everyone love!

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:         

1 Peter 4:8     

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

(c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

 
Advertisements

TODAY THE WORDS ARE FRENCH TIES NOT FRENCH FRIES

 
TODAY THE WORDS are FRENCH TIES NOT FRENCH FRIES.  The country, who has from the beginning of my writing of the blog, Sipping Cups of Inspiration, been the foreign leader of page views is France. While my first husband was stationed in Zwiebrucken, Germany, we were only 20 kilometers from the French border. We did ride through the country side of France and went to a few wine festivals, but most of our French exposure was from the women and men French civilians who worked on the base. For every occasion, they gave us a piece of crystal or a set of glasses and it is exquisite. As average Americans living on military pay, this was extraordinary gestures. I carefully placed each piece as it was given into the glass front cabinet and was so proud of it. They were such prideful people and were hard working. The relationships grew and we felt blessed to be among people who reached out to foreigners. I still have the set of crystal which have been given to us to this day and it still sparkles with the radiance of their generosity. For those who have not known me, this was over 40 years ago. I decided to check on some other things France is famous for and I found an article from Hamilton’s Removals to France 2012, Ten Things France is Famous. I want to share this list with all of my readers: 1) Wine; did you know that French wines appear in the top 50 wines list? 2) Cheeses such as Brie and there are as many cheese tasters as wine tasters in France with over 350 different cheese varieties coming from different regions. 3) Delicacies such as some 45 per cent of black truffles are produced in France and just a few shavings of this delicacy – nicknamed black diamonds – come with a hefty price tag.  Other French delicacies which are more affordable include foie gras, escargots, moules marinere, crepes, not forgetting frog’s legs. Each region has its own specialties. 4) Monuments; The Eiffel Tower is the symbol of France built in 1889 and who hasn’t seen it in movies or even seen it in person. 5) Arts and Arts Museums; The impressionist movement originated from Paris in the 19th century and this helped change the way art was viewed, inspiring generations of artists. 6) Perfumes; L’Oreal and Clarens as well as the House of Chanel are famously located there. 7) Fashion; Need I say anything about Paris Fashion Shows and Trends as it has a voice of its own and nothing speaks fashion like France. 8) Literature; both Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas have given us great literature works. 9) Cars; Renault has been a power house in Formula 1 and rallying racing. 10) Tour de France; most publicized and demanding biking race known to most of us.
As we see, Americans are not only familiar with French products, places, events and history and as I personally witnessed over 40 years ago, wonderful, warm, and kind people. I thank the people of France for allowing me the honor of recognizing your country for all of its great assets and for the kindness they showed some Americans in the 70’s. Please keep reading and feel free to comment as your input is valuable to me.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Leviticus 19:33-34          
When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
(c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
 

TODAY THE WORD IS TUMBLEWEEDS

TODAY THE WORD is TUMBLEWEEDS.  If you don’t live in the western part of our country, you don’t have much or any access to tumbleweeds. This may seem a little strange topic but maybe you will see why I am writing on this subject.
tum·ble·weed  [tuhm-buhl-weed]  noun. any of various plants, as Amaranthus albus, A. graecizans,  or the Russian thistle, Salsola kali,  whose branching upper parts become detached from the roots and are driven about by the wind. Origin: 1885–90,  Americanism; tumble + weed1 
I had a thought about how some people resemble tumbleweeds. They have families, sometimes the most solid families of all but they detach themselves from the family roots and seem to tumble through life and somehow lose their security or position of the family life. Do you know someone like this? My reason for this topic is not personal but more of a thought pondering subject for us. My curiosity is founded by the wandering or tumbling of one of the family. Hardly ever does all of the family members uproot themselves and it is not something which is hereditary as it is usually one out of many family members who become a “human tumbleweed”. Have you been at a family reunion and or start asking about one of your cousins, only to find out even their immediate family haven’t heard from John or Bob, Sally or Jane (exemplification only). They aren’t in prison or at least no one knows where they are and no one seems to know why they left. So therein my curiosity, why or what made them leave “home” and go wandering off alone? Is it something unique within their personality or does an outside source cause this emotional amputation? A tumbleweed if there is a strong wind can roll and tumble for miles and miles and so can the human tumbleweed. They can show up in places on the other side of the country. They can be found in surroundings seemingly uncomfortable to their natural surroundings as in a country boy or girl is living in a metro area; a city boy or girl finding some peace in the countryside. Now that I have your curiosity raised and I am sure you probably have some thoughts and even are thinking of someone you have known or know who would qualify by definition as a human tumbleweed. Here are my thoughts on unraveling this thought…..We all have a part of ourselves which could instigate the fantasy of being a tumbleweed. We could see ourselves as not having to accept responsibility, ties, seemingly endless adventures by staying on the move. At some point and time, each of us with a few exceptions have had the “tumbleweed prompt” go through our minds. However, most of us take a few minutes, evaluate how much we would miss our “roots” and family; how we like having a home, a job, a church, a life and even though once in a while, tumbling loose might have its appeal; that is only for a few seconds. Tumbleweeds, after severing their roots, begin the dying process so the tumbleweed would be wise to stay rooted and strong.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
(c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
 

TODAY THE WORDS ARE LITTLE NUDGES

photo courtesy of Darrell Gheen
 
TODAY THE WORDS are LITTLE NUDGES. All of us have experienced the little nudges, the little tugs at either the arms from a little one or the heart with sentiments hitting their mark. What are little nudges? Let us look at the physical nudges first. Most of us have either small children or in my case, grandchildren and when they want our attention, they nudge us. It can be a small tap, a touch, or sometimes a series of taps continuing until they get our focus. Sometimes, it is accompanied by a voice of Nana, Nana, Nana, Nana. What they say along with the physical tug or nudge can be the nudge on the heart. Little words produce big reactions such as when a little one expresses their love or they ask a question which warms the heart. There are however, little nudges of a different kind and those are actually the “little nudges” I want to write on this morning. Whether the little nudges of life are transferences from a previous experience or from divine intervention, we can choose to listen or feel them. It is usually referred as instinct, premonitions, jerk reaction, or other reference words but the nudge is a real consideration and we would benefit from listening to those little nudges. How many times have you started to leave your home and decide to check to see if you turned off appliances only to find on was left on? Have you checked your doors at night only to find one unlocked? Or even checking again to make sure you have locked your car doors and find you hadn’t locked them? How many times have little nudges possibly saved your life? We have a unique “security alarm” built into us….a natural radar we might say. Why then, do we not use this radar or nudge alert at times? As much as we listen for little nudges, it is sometimes the important nudges we miss. When you meet someone new and a little nudge alerting you they may not have their heart in the right place, maybe not quite honest about things, moral standards are not up to par, or not honest; listen to those nudges. I am not saying to be judgmental; I am saying be careful and determine if this is a person which can be a good addition or not to your life. We are in control who we let into our lives and who we don’t. Little nudges can become loud alarms if you don’t pay attention to those little voices, little taps, or other signs. Now for the deeper thought…Little nudges can be little messages from God to be careful in our choices.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSES:

Mark 4:24     
And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.


(c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

 

 

TODAY THE WORDS ARE LEARNING FROM THE MALAYS


TODAY THE WORDS are LEARNING FROM THE MALAYSOne of the most amazing parts of writing the blog is the countries who read it on a regular basis. I have found Malaysia to be one of the main sources of foreign readership so I decided to learn more about the country.

With  over a Population: 24,821,286 (July 2007 est.), the country has an Ethnic Make-up: Malay 50.4%, Chinese 23.7%, indigenous 11%, Indian 7.1%, others 7.8%, Location: Southeastern Asia. Shares borders with Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei. When I read the following, I was interested in the importance Malays put on the family and “face”. I was impressed with how families stick together through difficult times and how they help each other. Please read their concept of face and how it is seen as a commodity. We can learn from their concept as it might help us to be better as fellow Americans by saving “face”. A special thanks to the readers in Malaysia and I am encouraged by their readership. The reference for my research for Malaysia is: Malaysia – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette; Kwintessential UK.
Group OrientationThe family is considered the centre of the social structure. As a result there is a great emphasis on unity, loyalty and respect for the elderly. The family is the place where the individual can be guaranteed both emotional and financial support. When one member of the family suffers a financial setback, the rest of the family will contribute what they can to help out. Families tend to be extended, although in the larger cities this will naturally differ.
The Concept of Face
Malays, Chinese and Indians all strive to maintain face and avoid shame both in public and private. Face is a personal concept that embraces qualities such as a good name, good character, and being held in esteem by one’s peers. Face is considered a commodity that can be given, lost, taken away, or earned. On top of this face also extends to the family, school, company, and even the nation itself.
The desire to maintain face makes Malaysians strive for harmonious relationships.
Face can be lost by openly criticizing, insulting, or putting someone on the spot; doing something that brings shame to the group; challenging someone in authority, especially if this is done in public; showing anger at another person; refusing a request; not keeping a promise; or disagreeing with someone publicly. Conversely, face can be saved by remaining calm and courteous; discussing errors or transgressions in private; speaking about problems without blaming anyone; using non-verbal communication to say “no”; and allowing the other person to get out of the situation with their pride intact
 
The deeper thought from learning about other countries…..we never can forget how we were established and family should be at the center of any country and any place on this earth. We are given the opportunity to be blessed to have family and it is an honor to do for our families and others. Striving for harmonious relationships is a beautiful goal and thanks for allowing me the honor to research your country Malaysia.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:          

1 John 4:7-21     

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

(c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

 

TODAY THE WORD IS DEVOTION



TODAY THE WORD is DEVOTION. Wednesday, Christians will celebrate the birth of Jesus and for us this is a very emotionally charged holiday as Christ’s birth was seen as a miracle conception and the beginning of the biggest sacrifice for the salvation of men and women. Truly, most of us have  read or had the Christmas birth story read over and over and I will leave the sermons on His birth to the pastors or ministers. Where my thoughts are going is more from a receiving position. What does this birth mean to us? First, think of how many thousands of years this story has been re-told to people all over the world…..this has to give this rendition more power. How many of us know this story is real? I ask this question in response if The Savior was willing to be born of a human being so we may live…….Do you know it is REAL? Once we accept Christ in our hearts and lives, WE know. It lives in us and we feel the rejection, the humbleness of the manger, the wonder, the awe, the signs and the vision. Christ is love and He wasn’t a person seeking fame….He didn’t need fame. He wasn’t searching for wealth…He was rich beyond rich. He didn’t need power….He is the most powerful force in the universe. He didn’t have to have compassion….He is the most compassionate God. What does His birth mean to us? His birth is Our Beginning! Christmas, when we wake up to a day of celebration and already, people are sharing love and gifts; let us bow our heads and pray a prayer of thanks to Our Christ for all things. May we give Him homage and celebration for our lives and the blessings that are bestowed to us. Now for the deeper thought……can we give Christ a Christmas gift, His birthday gift of Devotion? May we show the devotion in all phases of our lives? May we love our parents, our children, our family, our friends, and our church families as Christ loves us with the strongest devotion. I pray that we devote our time to sharing the Christmas story, not only in the scriptures, but also in our hearts. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Luke 2:9-14

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.”

This is a repeat post from last year, but a good one for us to remember to keep Christmas in our hearts.
 

A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE

When I feel the Christmas spirit, I am uplifted as I know this day set the true spirit of love into motion.  As a Christian, I understand the immeasurable love of God. In realizing this love, I also have to remain humble as God has commanded us to be. We cannot get on pedestals for ourselves but we need to embrace the true spectrum of God’s love. It is not meant for me and you only. God sent His Only Begotten Son to save the world from our own sins. God tells us for whosoever shall believe in Him will be saved. God doesn’t consider color of the skin, exterior beauty, ethnic background, religions, nationality; as matter of fact, God said “Whosoever” and isn’t that a great thing  as whosoever  encompasses anyone. I don’t have to consider any other factors and I cannot put judgment on anyone on their qualifications as God has determined “anyone” or “everyone” can qualify for eternal life. I don’t know if I know how all of this works, but I trust God to give everyone an opportunity to embrace His love and even for those who say they don’t believe; God loves them as He loves us all. May we stop trying to define God’s love and how it fits into society……God is all; God is Universal; God loves everyone, it is the sin He hates; God is there when we try to deny His existence and God is merciful. How many of us would send one of our children to a world to die for others. God doesn’t have to prove anything to me; HE ALREADY DID BY SENDING CHRIST TO EARTH FOR ME AND YOU!
 
May everyone of every faith enjoy your holidays with your loved ones. I respect everyone having a choice of how and what they believe and I thank all of you for allowing me my choice of faith. I send love and best wishes to all of you and especially to the children of the world!