TODAY WE GIVE THANKS


TODAY WE GIVE THANKS. I would like to extend a wish for a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. We have so much to be thankful and this is a day to shut out worries and concerns and give thanks for every blessing we receive. Each breath we take is a true blessing of life and should not be taken for granted. Each little kiss from our spouses, or from a little child is to be cherished. Each close call we have and to be able to survive it and talk about it is a miracle given to us and thanks are needed along with praise to Our Maker for protecting us.
Today, as most of us will share a festive meal with family and friends, please take time to properly give thanks as well as gracing the food. Each one who is present is a blessing for us to share our time. Each one who is missing is still a blessing for the time we were allowed to share our lives with and even though they are gone; their memory and their love lives on in our hearts. For those who are missing because of distance or obligations make us aware of how precious the time when we do get to see them really is and not to be taken for granted.
Today, the biggest blessing is the presence of God in our lives as all of the other blessings are because we are the children of a loving God who gives us the blessings we are thankful. Let us give thanks on a daily basis for our Eternal Benefactor.
Happy Thanksgiving and a big thank you to all of you who have supported the blog’s efforts. I give thanks for this opportunity to get to know so many who read the blog and share their thoughts and feelings with me. If I have touched one heart or given someone hope; it is a blessing to me and I thank you. I thank God everyday for me being able to write and bear testimony on how much God has blessed me during my lifetime and I pray God is blessing you as I write.

Psalm 100:1-5 ESV / 84 helpful votes

A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. 
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TODAY IF A MIND IS BLINDED BY LOVE




If a mind is blinded by love or hate; it may not think clearly. This doesn’t mean either mindset is not feeling pain. Praying through a situation clears the mind and allows the heart to flow true love and compassion to the mind. Without prayer, the ability to allow the heart to do its job is inhibited. Let the love flow with beautiful times of prayer and meditation in God’s word. ALM

Happy Thanksgiving to All



Sipping Cups of Inspiration will start posting weekly as the holiday season gets in full swing. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and onto Christmas. I want to take the time to thank all of you for supporting the blog and for your friendship, old friendships and newly formed friendships through the blog. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from Arline Lott Miller, author of Sippingcupsofinspiration   

TODAY THE WORDS are I AM YOUNGER THAN I USED TO BE


This painting by Austrian artist Eduard Veith shows a scene at the mythical Fountain of Youth. Throughout history, people have sought magical ways to restore their youth.
                             Photograph by Fine Art Photographic Library/CORBIS

TODAY THE WORDS are “I AM YOUNGER THAN I USED TO BE”.
  Before you jump up to call for me some mental assistance since you are thinking, “Has she lost her mind?”, I want to explain how this is the topic for today. No, I am not the inventor of some wonder cream or some magic potion for anti aging. I have not found the fountain of youth proclaimed to be discovered by Ponce de Leon in Florida. 

An excerpt from National Geographic says,

 “But the tale of the search for a fountain of youth is so appealing that it survives anyway, says Ryan K. Smith, a professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

“People are more intrigued by the story of looking and not finding than they are by the idea that the fountain might be out there somewhere,” Smith says.

No original documents survive from Ponce de Leon’s Florida expedition. Spanish historians writing long after he died in 1521 may have created the story that he was seeking the fountain to make fun of him because he was an old man who wanted to restore his sexual vigor, Smith says.”

If you watch TV or look at ads, you will see the latest and greatest return to youth potions, creams,


                                           
lotions, vitamins, etc. and in America alone, we spend billions of dollars. Arlene Weintraub, who spent four years researching Selling the Fountain of Youth, says the anti-ageing industry has grown from virtually nothing to a staggering $88bn in 10 years, with few products and procedures regulated in the same way as normal pharmaceuticals and medical cures. Much of it is based on replacing the body’s hormones as people grow older. But it also includes extensive use of products such as Botox, vitamin supplements and dietary fads. All have become hugely popular, but there is little proof that they work – or are 100% safe.


My summarization of all of the youth seeking crowd, is a memory of one of my great aunts who she and her husband were deaf impaired and could not speak except utter some words and she was childless. Her skin was like porcelain, her hair was snow white, and the biggest makeup she had on her face was a soft pink lipstick outlining the most beautiful smile topped by some incredible blue eyes. It was amazing she seemed to not have any wrinkles (but in reality she did) and the secret was when she smiled, her wrinkles just disappeared. 


Now for the deeper thought….God gave us smiles to soften our faces while pulling our skin up in the most flattering way. Smile and take years off our faces is an instant year reducer and guess what? It costs nothing but a heart dedicated to living a happy life.


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
John 4:14                    
But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 

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

TODAY THE WORDS are HEART EYES


TODAY THE WORDS are HEART EYES. Last week, I made a promise to not allow myself to discuss politics or engage in debates on Facebook and I have been able to avoid the temptation and it has felt good to be without the stress. I still have opinions but I want to avoid the added stress. What I found out during this week is my mind is clearing and several positive thoughts have replaced the argumentative stands. I find myself thinking about family, friends, struggles others are having to go through, and some struggles I personally have. What seems to be different is I seem to be viewing life through “heart eyes” and not through my eyes and mind alone.
We have heard “Eyes are the windows to the soul” but I have thought about this and may have some different thoughts about this. In our world, if we look with our eyes only; we see only what our eyes allow us to see without the reasoning and purpose behind the action. As Paul Harvey always said, “Now, for the rest of the story” and we would then receive the entire story, sometimes even shocking; but the whole story. Taking this thought into consideration, I thought maybe instead of two sides to every story; there are possibly three sides to every story. 
I would like to give you an example of how the three sided story may work: A young family who has been struggling to make ends meet, finally get enough money together to have a place of their own. They work every day to make the house look as pretty as their slight budget will allow. The yard has been mowed and even though they could only afford some flower seeds, they are blooming and the young couple seem so proud of their accomplishments. Across the street, a couple who has worked all of their lives very hard and they have saved and are now able to afford a nice life. Their yards are well kept and they have landscaping shaped and trimmed on a regular basis. The young couple has a mental choice when they look across the street. 1) They can be envious and bitter about how much the older couple has and resent their neighbors for what they don’t have or 2) The young couple may envision themselves as the older couple one day and set this as a goal and smile at their flowers as the first accomplishment in a long line of future accomplishments.
The older couple has two choices also: 1) They can look over at the meager attempts from the young couple as an eyesore among their well manicured landscape and wonder why the young couple couldn’t do better or 2) They can look over and reminisce about their younger years and how they had struggled. The couples attempt at providing beauty to their meager existence should make them smile and a gift of a plant as a show of appreciation of the young couple taking the steps to make their life better can be planned and they find a new set of neighbors.
Now for the deeper thought….as I said, there are really three sides to every story. As the two couples are giving their situation some thought…..a homeless person who not only doesn’t have a home passes by both houses; he or she is hungry and cold. This is the rest of the story…..No matter at what state of life we are in; whether we are the older couple; the younger couple; or the homeless person…..Life wants us to see with our “heart eyes” or in other words; see a person with feeling and not assume what brought them to their current position. Be thankful and if you can possible help with your heart and allow your eyes to see the appreciation for your love and caring. 

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


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


TODAY THE WORDS are HOT POTATO WHY NOT SWEET POTATO


TODAY THE WORDS are HOT POTATO, WHY NOT SWEET POTATO? Yesterday, I shared a great idea on Facebook about cooking sweet potatoes in a crock pot/slow cooker and I received so many favorable remarks. It, of course, started my mind about the bright rusty sweet potato and I thought I would spend today looking at this great alternative to the potato we have grown up, the spud. Let’s see why we should consider the sweet potato as a good food choice. There is a deeper thought at the end of this article too.

I found a great article giving powerful info from World’s Healthiest Foods.org on the Sweet Potato and I have included excerpts from this article and you can go to the full article by clicking on this link:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64

What’s New and Beneficial about Sweet Potatoes

  • Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes may be one of nature’s unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene. Several recent studies have shown the superior ability of sweet potatoes to raise our blood levels of vitamin A. This benefit may be particularly true for children. In several studies from Africa, sweet potatoes were found to contain between 100-1,600 micrograms (RAE) of vitamin A in every 3.5 ounces—enough, on average, to meet 35% of all vitamin A needs, and in many cases enough to meet over 90% of vitamin A needs (from this single food alone).
  • Sweet potatoes are not always orange-fleshed on the inside but can also be a spectacular purple color. Sometimes it’s impossible to tell from the skin of sweet potato just how rich in purple tones its inside will be. That’s because scientists have now identified the exact genes in sweet potatoes (IbMYB1 and IbMYB2) that get activated to produce the purple anthocyanin pigments responsible for the rich purple tones of the flesh. The purple-fleshed sweet potato anthocyanins—primarily peonidins and cyanidins—have important antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. Particularly when passing through our digestive tract, they may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals. For more details on purple-fleshed and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, please see our Description section below.
  • It can be helpful to include some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits of this root vegetable. Recent research has shown that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes. Of course, this minimal amount of fat can be very easy to include. In our Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe, for example, we include 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and with just this one tablespoon, each of our 4 servings for this delicious recipe provides 3.5 grams of fat.
  • Some nutritional benefits from sweet potatoes simply may be easier to achieve if you use steaming or boiling as your cooking method. Recent studies show excellent preservation of sweet potato anthocyanins with steaming, and several studies comparing boiling to roasting have shown better blood sugar effects (including the achievement of a lower glycemic index, or GI value) with boiling. The impact of steaming is particularly interesting, since only two minutes of steaming have been show to deactivate peroxidase enzymes that might otherwise be able to break down anthocyanins found in the sweet potato. In fact, with these peroxidase enzymes deactivated, natural anthocyanin extracts from sweet potato used for food coloring may be even more stable than synthetic food colorings. This benefit isn’t limited to the food’s appearance since the anthocyanins have great health benefits as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
  • Most dry beans and tubers have their own unique storage proteins. Soybeans have glycinins, potatoes have patatins, yams have dioscorins, and corn has zeins. While researchers have long been aware of sporamins—storage proteins in sweet potato—only recently has research shown some of their unique antioxidant properties. The potential health benefits of the sweet potato sporamins in helping prevent oxidative damage to our cells should not be surprising since sweet potatoes produce sporamins whenever subjected to physical damage to help promote healing.

WHFoods Recommendations\ Sweet potatoes don’t have to take a long time to prepare. Cutting them into 1/2-inch slices and Healthy Steaming them for just 7 minutes not only brings out their great flavor but helps to maximize their nutritional value. And you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or cloves for extra flavor and nutrition.  

Antioxidant Nutrients in Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes contain a wealth of orange-hued carotenoid pigments. In countries throughout Africa, in India and in the Caribbean, sweet potatoes have been shown to be a highly effective way of providing school age children with sizable amounts of their daily vitamin A. In some studies, sweet potatoes have been shown to be a better source of bioavailable beta-carotene than green leafy vegetables. Because sweet potatoes are available in many countries on a virtual year-round basis, their ability to provide us with a key antioxidant like beta-carotene makes them a standout antioxidant food.
Yet beta-carotene only begins to tell the story of sweet potato antioxidants. Particularly in purple-fleshed sweet potato, antioxidant anthocyanin pigments are abundant. Cyanidins and peonidins are concentrated in the starchy core of part of purple-fleshed sweet potatoes, and these antioxidant nutrients may be even more concentrated in the flesh than in the skin. That’s sweet potatoes have genes (IbMYB1 and IbMYB2) that are specialized for the production of anthocyanin pigments in the fleshy part of the tuber. Ordinary, we have to rely on the skins of foods for this same level of anthocyanin antioxidants. But not in the case of sweet potatoes! Extracts from the highly pigmented and colorful purple-fleshed and purple-skinned sweet potatoes have been shown in research studies to increased the activity of two key antioxidant enzymes—copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD) and catalase (CAT).
Recent research has shown that particularly when passing through our digestive tract, sweet potato cyanidins and peonidins and other color-related phytonutrients may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals. That risk reduction might be important not only for individuals at risk of digestive tract problems but for all persons wanting to reduce the potential risk posed by the presence of heavy metal residues (like small amounts of mercury or cadmium or arsenic) in their diet.
Storage proteins in sweet potato also have important antioxidant properties. These storage proteins—called sporamins—get produced by sweet potato plants whenever the plants are subjected to physical damage. Their ability to help the plants heal from this damage is significantly related to their role as antioxidants. Especially when sweet potato is being digested inside of our gastrointestinal tract, we may get some of these same antioxidant benefits.

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients in Sweet Potato

Anthocyanin and other color-related pigments in sweet potato are equally valuable for their anti-inflammatory health benefits. In the case of inflammation, scientists understand even more about the amazing properties of this tuber. In animal studies, activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB); activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2); and formation of malondialdehyde (MDA) have all be shown to get reduced following consumption of either sweet potato or its color-containing extracts. Since each of these events can play a key role in the development of unwanted inflammation, their reduction by sweet potato phytonutrients marks a clear role for this food in inflammation-related health problems. In animal studies, reduced inflammation following sweet potato consumption has been shown in brain tissue and nerve tissue throughout the body.
What’s equally fascinating about color-related sweet potato phytonutrients is their impact on fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is one of the key glycoproteins in the body that is required for successful blood clotting. With the help of a coagulation factor called thrombin, fibronogen gets converted into fibrin during the blood clotting process. Balanced amounts of fibrinogen, thrombin and fibrin are a key part of the body’s health and its ability to close off wounds and stop loss of blood. However, excess amounts of these clotting-related molecules may sometimes pose a health risk. For example, excess presence of fibrinogen and fibrin can trigger unwanted secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules (including cytokines and chemokines). In animal studies, too much fibrin in the central nervous system has been associated with breakdown of the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves and allows them to conduct electrical signals properly. If fibrin excess can trigger unwanted inflammation in nerve tissue and increase breakdown of the myelin wrapping the nerve cells (a process that is usually referred to as demyelination), health problems like multiple sclerosis (in which there is breakdown of the myelin nerve sheath) may be lessened through reduction of excess fibrinogen and/or fibrin. In preliminary animal studies, intake of sweet potato color extracts have been shown to accomplish exactly those results: reduction of inflammation, and simultaneous reduction of fibronogen levels. We look forward to exciting new research in this area of sweet potato’s anti-inflammatory benefits.

Potential Improvement of Blood Sugar Regulation

Many people think about starchy root vegetables as a food group that could not possibly be helpful for controlling their blood sugar. That’s because many people realize that food starches can be converted by our digestive tract into simple sugars. If foods are especially concentrated in starch, there can often be a risk of too much simple sugar release in our digestive tract and too much pressure upon our bloodstream to uptake more sugar. (The result in this situation would be an overly quick elevation of our blood sugar level.) What’s fascinating about sweet potatoes is their ability to potentially improve blood sugar regulation—even in persons with type 2 diabetes— in spite of their glycemic index (GI) rating of medium. (Sweet potatoes are one of four WHFoods vegetables that have a GI ranking of medium. The other three vegetables are beets, corn, and leeks.) The 6.6 grams of dietary fiber in a medium sweet potato are definitely a plus in terms of blood sugar regulation, since they help steady the pace of digestion. But recent research has also shown that extracts from sweet potatoes can significantly increase blood levels of adiponectin in persons with type 2 diabetes. Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced by our fat cells, and it serves as an important modifier of insulin metabolism. Persons with poorly-regulated insulin metabolism and insulin insensitivity tend to have lower levels of adiponectin, and persons with healthier insulin metabolism tend to have higher levels. While more research on much larger groups of individuals to further evaluate and confirm these blood sugar regulating benefits, this area of health research is an especially exciting one for anyone who loves sweet potatoes but is nevertheless concerned about healthy blood sugar regulation.

Other Potential Health Benefits

One of the more intriguing nutrient groups provided by sweet potatoes—yet one of the least studied from a health standpoint—are the resin glycosides. These nutrients are sugar-related and starch-related molecules that are unusual in their arrangement of carbohydrate-related components, and also in their inclusion of some non-carbohydrate molecules. In sweet potatoes, researchers have long been aware of one group of resin glycosides called batatins (including batatin I and batatin II). But only recently have researchers discovered a related group of glycosides in sweet potato called batatosides (including batatodide III, batatoside IV, and batatoside V). In lab studies, most of these sweet potato glycosides have been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. To what extent these carbohydrate-related molecules in sweet potatoes can provide us with health benefits in these same antibacterial and antifungal areas is not yet clear. But we expect to see increasing interest in sweet potato’s batatins and batatosides and their potential to support our health. 
Now for the deeper thought……Sometimes we have to step outside the old to try the new but sometimes what appears to be new is actually the old. In an excerpt from this article we find the history…”Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man. They have been consumed since prehistoric times as evidenced by sweet potato relics dating back 10,000 years that have been discovered in Peruvian caves.” This goes to show us what is new isn’t always new and sometimes we can enjoy something which is really old but if we take the time to try it; we may like it.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Romans 12:2 ESV 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

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

TODAY THE WORDS are STAND YOUR LOVE


TODAY THE WORDS are STAND YOUR LOVE, and may we move ourselves away from people who want to anger us, want to make waves for their own agenda, and cause separation of all of God’s children. May we grow closer to understanding because someone says they are standing up for someone; they sometimes are standing against others. 

God has given us wisdom to recognize people with good intentions and wisdom not to follow those who would use tragedies to build their name. America needs a reminder we need to continue forward in our country by recognizing the good things we have accomplished and not allow hatred, anger, any division to tear all of the hard work that true builders of America have fought for, sacrificed for, and believed in for the good of all mankind, not one race, not one culture and not one religion.  I see many good leaders trying to speak against forming opinions because some people who are not interested in peaceful talks or for the betterment of relations between all races, cultures, and religions; they are only interested in being in the spotlight. If we listen with our minds and not what others think; what makes sense? I don’t think anyone wants to see any young person die; I grieve as you do for all young people who die young and we have many of our youth being taken out by senseless acts and some of those acts are by their own hand or by other young people who have been deceived by Satan and Satan’s helpers. To me, every drug dealer has committed murder by enabling a young person to get drugs and to get into a state of mind, they want more and more and sometimes overdose. Is that not tragedy too? 

When our young people are exposed to so much violence, so much immoral acts, and so much disrespect, it enables young people to go against the good teachings of Mothers, Fathers, and Grandparents. 

Now for the deeper thought…I think back in my life and many people of many races and cultures have been good friends, good supporters, and good influences for me. I have learned and listened and cared and I know they cared for me too. What is wrong with this kind of thinking? Nothing, and when we treat people right; most of the time they respond in a good way. When we find people who are serving themselves for their own gain or profit; walk away if they cannot listen to reason. Today, Stand your Love instead of Stand your Ground and allow God to work in their lives; but do not hate the person; hate the sin. May God bless this country and give strength to all who believe in the rights of all.


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:  

1 John 4:19-21                

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 

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