TODAY THE WORDS ARE PATHS WE CHOOSE

 
TODAY THE WORDS are PATHS WE CHOOSE. Occasionally, the blog message comes quietly to my mind and sometimes; it is like a roar. I can think this is a subject which might step on toes. Maybe I should go in a different direction or as the subject implies, “Choose another path.” For some reason, it becomes obvious I need to stay on the first path as it being sent for a purpose. When our lives are in turmoil, and when others want to add either good advice, or their intentions may be as “tour guides”, and they willingly add their opinions to an unfamiliar subject; we have a built in defense mechanism and we may react sensitively. It is very hard for us to step outside ourselves and listen. The key is to listen and decide if it is good advice. I have heard this statement many times, “Walk a mile in my shoes”. When I hear it; first my Christian soul wants to endear whoever is feeling the pain and agree. We shouldn’t judge; we should be compassionate; we should be understanding; and we should do all of this to a point. People who are struggling with whatever issues, do not have to heed another person’s “travel directions” but one thing to remember; It is up to the individual if they have been walking miles and miles in their shoes and getting no where except to find themselves going in circles, to change their own paths. Usually, and I say this from my experience, To get healthy I had to change what I ate and not feel sorry for the fact some people can seem to eat anything they want to and not gain; this may be their blessing or they may exercise more than I do; but I can do some things others cannot do. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn how to eat healthy. I have never been addicted to a substance and my heart wants everyone who is an addict to be healed; but again, until they want the help; no advice or direction to change their path will be received in a good way. I heard from someone who is a recovered alcoholic make the wisest statement, “It is not the first time they have gone done that path; they have walked that path over and over. Until they change the path; they keep going in the same direction; nowhere.” Now for the deeper thought….As much as it hurts, and even if the advice is being given for the wrong reason; it can teach; we can learn; and we can change the path we have chosen or even if it was not our intention to go this route and we find ourselves lost; we can sort out the correct directions. The best travel guide is God. God’s advice is intended for the good of our souls and loves us unconditionally; but even His Plan requires us to move in His Direction and to travel on His Path. When a bee stings; it hurts for a reason.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Ephesians 4:29 ESV    

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.

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

 
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TODAY THE WORDS ARE BEWARE OF BEWARE

TODAY THE WORDS are BEWARE OF  BEWARE. This blog has been inspired by one of my friends who inspired me to write the blog, Peggy Mercer, author of several children’s books, speaker and who has a gospel song, “The Oar”, beginning to make its position on charts and being played on radio stations. The other day, she commented on how the internet is such a great invention and means to communicate with the world, but with that luxury, there is a need to beware of the possibilities of the exposure it presents and suggested it would be a great blog message, so this one is for you, Peggy. I am stepping away from the internet and using a simpler example for beware of the beware.  I used to go to people’s homes for a review of their insurance coverage and to discuss if they had enough, needed more, or other possible ways to best insure what they cared about. Sometimes, they would tell me to beware of their dog, watch out for the steps as one was loose, or other hazardous traps. I will not forget an episode. I had an elderly lady who wanted me to pick up her premium instead of her mailing it in; the company I worked for didn’t do the courtesy collection. I agreed due to her age. When I drove up to her house, and started to go in the yard, I stopped as I saw the sign, Beware of Dog. I looked in the yard; No Dog. I went back to the car and blew my horn and still No Dog. The lady, who apparently heard the horn and had to take her time to get to the door, opened the door and said, “Honey, come on in.” I said, “Where’s your dog?” She laughed and said, “That is the best security system I have installed.” She smiled; I went in; she had baked a cake; and I enjoyed my visit I went every six months to collect her premium. My story, now told, brings me to my point of the message. All is not what it seems. We live in a Photoshop world; an altered state of reality and we should beware of the beware. Use common sense, but research before you step or buy. We can use the wise advice to “be aware” instead of beware. Knowledge is a good way to counter scams or people trying to use us for the wrong reasons. God has told us about wolves in sheep’s clothing and I saw a good post on Facebook. Just because someone smiles at you does not mean they like you. God loves you and in this we can trust!

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Matthew 7:15
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS ARE BROKEN ARROW

PHOTO OF “BROKEN ARROW” with Jimmy Stewart Still #7
 
TODAY THE WORDS are BROKEN ARROW. While many Americans think of the term “broken arrow” as meaning an act of peace by Native Americans a few hundred years ago, the Creeks who got that name did so because they broke branches of trees to make their arrows, rather than cutting them. (source, BROKEN ARROW, OK website). Let’s concentrate on an act of peace, but I thought it was interesting a true meaning was transferred to a different concept. I think we do this frequently with other phrases as well. In today’s world, we should revert to the use of broken arrows to show others we mean peace. We leave many feelings to the other’s imagination when we have had a disagreement and an otherwise simple discontent becomes a high wall of resistance for all parties. In some families or friends, people do not speak or visit with each other for an argument which happened and neither party can remember what started it. How devastating, silly and non-productive life event this creates. We would still be in wars, negotiations, and take-overs if someone had not “broken an arrow” and ceased the counter action of controversy. Are we ever going to agree on all matters and issues, no; but we can stop ourselves and weigh the consequences of our actions. A return to majority rules might be encouraging in a world where it may be impossible to get to a point where everyone has the same feelings, ideas, or resistance. Choosing your battles is a good way; you are going to lose some battles, but winning the war is what the end goal should be. Give and take; where did that philosophy disappear? When life cannot fulfill your expectations; review your expectations and adapt to what life throws at you. However, remember your neighbor, your friend, your co-worker, and even your spouse haven’t caused a “dip in the road” and the desire to strike back has to be squelched. Find an arrow from God and allow God to break it for peace in your life. Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by peace, love, charity, and forgiveness to be your arrows in life which direct you to Heaven’s door.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
 

Psalm 127:3-5 ESV          

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate
(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS ARE SOUTHERNERS APPROACH TO SNOW

 
TODAY THE WORDS are SOUTHERNERS’ APPROACH TO SNOW. We heard it on the weathermen from all of the different stations so here it comes to the South. The reason I am only including the South in this message as other parts of the country, especially the Northern states are so used to this “event” they take it in stride and live somewhat normal lives during the winter. If you give Southerners a glimpse of wintry weather and especially snow; we seem to warp into children even if we are of retirement age. Grocery stores love this occasional “extra holiday” as sales go through the roof. If Southerners would check in their cabinets, they could have a stockpile of years gone by purchases when bad weather was forecasted and stores were emptied. Most Southerners do not have a clue as how to drive in ice and/or snow and the commentators try to give us a “crash” (love this comparison) course in driving in those conditions. What about the icy unpaved roads in the South? Defensive driving is a process which is learned better on courses and not a “try until you get it right” trial run. On the whole, however, I am going to have confidence we Southerners are true survivors and we will be fine. We will reach deep in our country hearts and draw courage enough to play in the snow; take enough pictures even the biggest sports event cannot compare; eat foods we never eat but we have to rough it out; we will build fires like we never have built; we will check temperatures constantly and windows will be filled with our faces checking to see how big the snowflakes are. We Southerners do not have a treasure chest of snow memories and a lot of children will be seeing their “first” snow. We approach this in the same way most Northerners face a record breaking heat temperature ad they go out in summer attire which Southerners usually wear all year long. Now for the deeper thought….As we look at the unfamiliar snow and we catch snowflakes, let us remember the miracle power of God who creates the weather and each and every snowflake with different patterns. In our hurried lives, we find it hard to stop and taste the snowflakes, a raindrop, a sip of mountain lake water, and even the kiss of a small child who shares love with his or her parents or grandparents. Slow down, the snow is coming, we will survive, and we can look forward to Paradise with God after this life and as beautiful as the snow can be; it will pale in comparison.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Psalm 148:8 ESV     
Fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word!

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORD IS HOSPITALITY

TODAY THE WORD is HOSPITALITY. This weekend we were the true recipients of good ole fashion hospitality while visiting Greg’s brother and his wife. We were there to celebrate Berta’s birthday, their sister and she feels like mine too. We were treated to great food (I will have to repent on this issue) but the way we were greeted and the way we were treated; it would be hard for a 5 star resort to compete with the wonderful feeling we felt during and which we left with for our journey home. This created a thought in my mind and of course, you know how I like to research and seek out origins of words.
The word hospitality derives from the Latin hospes, meaning “host”, “guest”, or “stranger”. Hospes is formed from hostis, which means “stranger” or “enemy” (the latter being where terms like “hostile” derive).Source Wikipedia.
Hospitality is the relationship between the guest and the host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. This includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
Well, that is the formal meaning and now I will give you my thoughts on how hospitality really works in our neck of the woods. When a guest comes into your home, they may or may not be family, but that is how they are treated. All lengths of effort to accomplish the “guest” to feel as if they belong; as if they are at their own home; as if everything you have is accessible to them; and to show love to them so they feel comfortable is the true example of southern hospitality as we experienced this weekend. This is how a lot of us in the South were brought up by our families and we carry on this tradition. I am sure this is similar in a lot of other regions of this country but being a Georgia gal, I can speak from experience.
Now, for the deeper thought…..As I have explained my thoughts on hospitality, I traveled in my thoughts a little farther. If we practice hospitality to our family and friends and other acquaintances; how much hospitality do we share to our brothers and sisters in Our Father’s home, this earth? We are hosts of our testimony, our experiences in life and how God has been with us giving us Holy Hospitality. He feeds us; He clothes us; He blesses us with everyday gifts and miracles; and He promises us a place, A Heavenly Home if we keep His commandments. What a Host! What a show of genuine hospitality! God welcomes us in such a loving manner and His Home can be Our Heavenly Home. May we live life; may we love life; and may we live life to the fullest by being great hosts, not only to our family and friends but to others who need to share the love of God.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Hebrews 13:2 ESV          
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS ARE SLOW DANCING

 
TODAY THE WORDS are SLOW DANCING. For those of you who know my age are probably wondering, what is the woman thinking about slow dancing? I happen to be married to one of the best slow dancers I have ever danced with in my life, so I have those memories of our dating days. I think you will see a message through this memory so let’s go slow dancing. Now, I am not talking about the slow dancing I see some people just groping each other; I am talking about the moves and steps which coincide with the music and the glides across the floor and how about a dip or two? There is a talent to glide across the floor, know exactly when to pause, turn, dip and smoothly guide the partner with the shoulders, arms, and hands. There are those who can achieve this beautifully orchestrated dance and some who definitely cannot and a memory of dancing with those came through my mind and were quickly exited by me. If you have watched ball room dancing, this is so graceful, but I am talking about the kind of dancing, they wrote the song, “Slow Dancing, Swayin’ to the music” by Johnny Rivers with its romantically, slow moving melody. It brings such a closeness and form of intimacy. Now to the deeper thought…..and you might ask how much deeper can you go after describing slow dancing. It is not always on a dance floor or even in a bedroom for intimacy in love to shine through. Have you ever watched a parent with a newborn child? The love is so brilliantly displayed on their faces. Have you seen an elderly couple when one of them touches the other’s hand? The sparks still fly. What I want to bring to our attention is how intimate is our relationship to God? Do we move with each step in Heaven’s direction? Do we sometimes pause as in slow dancing and cherish each blessing we have been given? Do we dip as in lowering our pride and bowing to our God in reverence? With everything, even slow dancing, we can be aware of how God is in every step, every move and every minute of our lives. Take a move toward God and you will find “Slow dancing with Heaven in mind” will be your new theme song and for us older folks, we will smile as we sway closer each day.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV          
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

 

TODAY THE WORDS ARE WHO LOWERED THE BAR

 
TODAY THE WORDS are WHO LOWERED THE BAR? When I have written over 400 blog messages, it is hard for me to remember if I have used a certain analogy or not. I remembered how we used to dance the limbo. However, I don’t remember it as much as a dance as I remember it as an acrobatic routine. How many of you have limbo’d or are you still doing the limbo? We would play some music and start with a limbo stick, which if we were improvising we used a broomstick or any available stick or pole. In the beginning, all we had to do was lower our shoulders and hold our heads back to make us go under. With each round, the ones holding the stick, lowered it and lowered it some more. Oh, we would do a fancy dance step once in a while or wiggle our shoulders as we passed under; the biggest objective was to be able to continue going under the lowered pole without touching it. It was amazing how low we could go! This memory being flashed through my mind caused a reflection on what I see happening in the world, or at least in our country. In politics, religions, and moral values, the older objective was to hold the bar high and see who could reach the high integral standards. We felt high esteem, and this had nothing to do with which religion, which political party you belonged to, or which neighborhood you lived in. We had values and we expected others to have values too. When did a politician taking drugs become popular, or when did a politician who had been in so many scandals be considered to run for president, or when did a celebrity acting worse than a street walker be newsworthy? There are so many more subjects I could refer to, but you are getting the picture. It is hard to hold values high when the bar has been lowered so low. When did this mindset become acceptable? Part of being a positive person doesn’t keep us from seeing what is going on in the world so if you call me old fashioned; I consider this a compliment as that time was when Americans wore their country’s pride on our shoulders and the song, “I’m proud to be an American” had true meaning and those patriotic songs ran chills over us when we heard them. When we danced the limbo, and after the bar had been lowered as far as it would go; we raised the bar and started over. Here is the deep thought……Maybe the bar has gone as low as it can go and we need, as a country to raise our personal standards back up to an acceptable level for most people to measure up and keep it high. Our country needs healing and it is not because some are Democrat, some Republican, and some Independent. We have lowered the bar and our voices as what we want to see our country return to higher standards. Live life; love life, and live life to the fullest by raising our internal bar as to what is right and what is wrong and definitely what is right in the sight of God.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV     
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.