TODAY THE WORDS are A LIGHT IN THE FOG


TODAY THE WORDS are A LIGHT IN THE FOG. This morning, bright and early I had a thought come into my mind and it seems like a good topic to write. Some mornings are quick to lighten and it can be enlightening to drive in the morning light. The land radiates with morning dew, and trees and plants are illuminated in contrast to the land. Everything feels fresh on these types of mornings; but these are not the mornings which bring some thoughts this particular morning.
Have you had a trip, maybe to work or to an appointment, which was scheduled early and was several miles away? In order to get to your appointment on time, you found yourself leaving your home early. A fog was laying as a sheet over the land, hanging on the trees, and blocking out any light. For some reason, even though it could be a little mystical. Driving is slightly hazardous and total focus has to be on the road as a vehicle could be only a few yards away prior to actually seeing it through the haze. An animal can be on the road and the fog can make it impossible to see it. Nerves can be unsettled and frayed. Many accidents occur from the                                                                          fog preventing a clear vantage of the road.
Life contains many foggy days, both literally and figuratively. We have days which the sun shines brightly and we zoom through those days. We can drive smoothly and we make it to our destinations without any distractions or accidents. Then come the days the deep fog sets in and we have to slow down from our normal routine. Figuratively, we have the heavy feeling of our lives being blanketed in a shroud of heaviness and troubles. Either it is emotional, sickness, financial, careers, or even a sense of being lost. 
The fog sets in on our lives at those times if we are not focused on the “road”. We can veer off the road and actually wreck. The title of the message is “A light in the fog” and I relate it to my personal life. At one time, when everything which could go wrong went wrong. I felt shrouded in the midst of the fog, and it seemed dark and hard to even stay on the road of life……and then I saw a light. It started as a cry from me for help and it first appeared as a small flicker and kept glowing a little brighter as I started looking in that direction. It started to put off warmth as well as getting brighter until I felt its glow of life and love. I started to see the edges of the road of life and I could see the pot holes better and hazards to avoid. 
Now for the deeper thought…..The light in the fog was the light of Our Almighty God who didn’t make me feel bad but God’s light made me feel loved. This light erased the hurt I had felt and seemed to shine the light on the right pathway. Today, if you are riding through life in a fog, look past all of the gloom and put your sight on the light which is there to clear your road and guide your soul through the fog and deliver you at God’s door when the road of life has ended. “Straight is the way and narrow is the path” is a play off of the scripture below but is significant for us to remember while journeying through life.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Mathew 7: 13-14 The Narrow Gate

13“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

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

Advertisements

TODAY THE WORDS are WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE EXPECT EXPECTED HURT?


TODAY THE WORDS are WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE EXPECT EXPECTED HURT? I realize this is a seemingly absurd play on words, but please be patient as there is a good message to learn from this topic. I see so many young and even older people being hurt from relationships, and this is not saying I have been exempt from relationships gone wrong in the past. Maybe it is because I am older and hopefully a little wiser. The jury may be still out on that one; but I am hopeful on the verdict anyway. I thought I would share a thought on how we may set ourselves up and by expecting to be hurt again; we place ourselves in the very situation to be hurt again.
Let us look at this concept of expecting expected hurt in an abstract way as it will seem more impersonal and it may open some thought process otherwise blocked by emotions. I was diagnosed about a year and half ago with diabetes. Thankfully, due to a lot of life changes, it is managed. Each morning, I have to prick my finger to monitor my glucose. Even though it is a small prick from the end of my finger or the side of my thumb where nerves are abundant; it hurts more than I think a small prick should. Each morning, I know this prick will hurt and I expect it to hurt so for some reason, I have become accepting of this pain as I realize it is necessary for the purpose it serves. In a nutshell, since I expect pain; it seems more comfortable than a new kind of pain.
I used this example for the definition of an “expected hurt” and now we can look at expected hurt in relationships. I am sharing a fictitious story, but it could be a real one, about a young lady in her early 40’s and from this story, I feel you can understand the “emotional set up” we can throw ourselves into if we aren’t careful. During this gorgeous lady’s marriage, her husband cheated on her. This devastated her and followed her after the divorce. The next event is the tie to this topic. Left vulnerable, she found attention by a man who showered affection and they became

involved. She didn’t ask the right questions until she developed feelings for this man and the truth came out….He was married. The next year was filled with highs and lows; unfulfilled promises; statements of love; bouts of breaking up because he and his wife were talking and maybe working it out; and then he returns to start this vicious cycle again. I ask you now; are you feeling compassion for this lady; are you feeling anger for her seeing a married man; are you seeing yourself in her situation; or are you wanting to hit the guy over his head for cheating on his wife?

Now for the deeper thought……This is a very important and painful vision of how we, as humans, sometimes find it more comfortable, even as painful and hurtful as a situation like this can become. We accept it because for whatever reason; if we expect expected hurt; we find ourselves cushioned for the hurt. Believe me; it is coming when we set ourselves up. Why wouldn’t it be simpler to expect expected love and hold ourselves accountable for our own actions. Improve life by improving what we expect out of life. If you expect hurt; you will get hurt. If you expect love; you may get hurt as life has no guarantees but if you love yourself; you can love again.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Proverbs 28:26 ESV 

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. 


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

TODAY THE WORDS are MY GIFT OF TODAY


TODAY THE WORDS are MY GIFT OF TODAY. When I opened my eyes this morning, I had a beautiful thought. I shared it on Facebook. When I read it I felt a compelling feeling to share this thought with all of you who read the blog. “God gave us another day. What a gift! God wrapped this day with a great sunrise and provided the promise of a day to wrap a loved one and share a hug. God gave us smiles to share with others, even strangers. With our mouths, He breathed His Love to speak of His blessings He has given us. Our eyes were given to see the beauty of God’s world and to look for others who are in need. What a gift this day brings. Unwrap the day and remember to give thanks to God for your present. Enjoy your day!

I gave this thought a little more thought and it expanded into what we do with the gift of “TODAY”.
If we are blessed with a new day, it is a gift from above. We wake, sometimes begrudgingly. We find ourselves reaching for coffee before we reach for God’s word to fill us in a more incredible way than any caffeine ever produced. I feel so many of you reach for God’s word and enter into meditation and prayer before you start the coffee pot. For those of you who do this, I don’t have to tell you how blessed and wonderful one feels when we drink of the Holy Word. For those of you who haven’t experienced “the blast of the Spirit” first thing in the morning are seriously overrating coffee. I am not saying when to spend time with God as I have talks with Him at different times of the day. I do know my cup of coffee so lovingly made by my husband is my second gift; the first being the praise and thanking God for allowing me to be here to enjoy my cup of coffee and time with the world.
Let’s take a minute and review the average person waking up:
1) Do we stretch? The ability to stretch requires the limbs to move. (gift of motion)
2) Do we speak? I realize some people cannot. With this thought every time we do is a blessing (gift)
3) Do we go to the potty? If we do, what a gift after working with patients who can’t and have to depend on catheters. (gift)
4) Do we hear the birds, cars, planes, frogs, dogs barking or cats meowing, roosters crowing? (the gift of hearing is a true blessing)
5) Do we get hugs from our loved ones and especially from little children or the big kids? (gift of affection and so much better than a cold loveless world)
6) Do we eat and drink? (gift of nourishment and if you have ever been truly hunger, you realize what a gift to be able to fill that need but to be able to eat without assistance or feeding pump is a Godsend)
7) Do you pray? (gift to be cherished as it expresses freedom to worship according to your beliefs)
8) Do you work? (gift even if you have retired because to work requires your body to move; your mind to work; and an overall sense of using so many other gifts)

Now for the deeper thought……The gift of waking up is the beginning of many gifts we receive during the day and are not to be taken for granted. We can use these gifts wisely as one day, the gifts will stop coming in this life. We will be the ones wrapped for our eternal journey. I want us to be considered a gift for God when this life is over and God unwraps us in Heaven.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Romans 6:23 ESV 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

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

TODAY THE WORDS are HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL


TODAY THE WORDS are HOW BIG or HOW SMALL. In life, I am convinced lessons come from all walks of life and certain events which project us into deep thought. I had such a lesson and projection while attending a memorial service for a fairly young niece of my husband. In respect, I chose not to write on this until a little time passed. It was a very strong feeling and I haven’t been able to shake the thought of the message and lesson. 
Her death was quite sudden but not shockingly unexpected. Denise had a lot of serious health issues and had been dealing with them for several years. She was acutely diabetic, had heart problems, asthma, and was seriously overweight since she wasn’t even 5′ tall. She was on many medications but as many people do; she wasn’t in control of her diseases. Even knowing all of this and the risks and dangers of the diseases; we were still shocked with the news of her death. Even 51 is still a short life and it was sad to say the least.
It was not until the memorial service, it began to seem real to all of us. I felt we were in shock at the news of her death. Greg and I sat down in one of the family’s pews before the service started and even though I knew she had expressed she wanted to be cremated, I looked at the urn and it was such a strong message which churned my heart and mind. When a lot of people pass, the funeral or service is a demonstration of how “large in life” this person was with the display of a large ornate casket surrounded by many floral arrangements or plants. It can give the viewers a large persona of respect.I am not advocating cremation over traditional burial so please understand it is only the message I want to share.
Denise had struggled with her weight as well as illnesses and there in a small urn; it was clear in the final dimension; she appeared so tiny. When I felt the message coming; it didn’t relate to Denise at all but to the world at large. The message came to me “In Life, we may have physical bodies which during life’s course become bigger. Sometimes it is our pride or ego which swells and our self worth blows up out of proportion and we feel bigger than life itself. Our material possessions give us a huge feeling of worth and we forget or never know how small we actually are in the universe. In the end, no matter how ‘big’ we feel in life; we are tiny specks in reality.”

Now for the deeper thought….At the time I felt the realization of how small we are when the shrouds of life are absent; I felt the true meaning of the message entering my mind and heart. It is not our body or stature which is big; it is our soul which has no boundaries and is the part of us which is limitless from Our Maker’s creation. If we live in a manner to allow our souls to soar freely with God’s love; we will reach an eternity which we soar and fly without any constraints this life possesses. No matter how big or how small; God loves us all.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

John 5:24 English Standard Version 

24 Truly, truly, I say to you, <sup abp="1141" class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-26223A" data-link="(A)”>whoever hears my word and <sup abp="1142" class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-26223B" data-link="(B)”>believes him who sent me has eternal life. He <sup abp="1143" class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-26223C" data-link="(C)”>does not come into judgment, but <sup abp="1144" class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-26223D" data-link="(D)”>has passed from death to life.

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

TODAY THE WORDS are IF I COULD BE AN ANT

Behold the mighty ant!


TODAY THE WORDS are IF I COULD BE AN ANT. In an attempt to continue on my path of healthy living and eating; I was researching some recipes and stumbled over some information on ants. It stirred up the “Arline” mind and it is intriguing to consider all of the obstacles, walls, risks, and natural disasters which impact the ants’ lives; we are so blessed but somewhat ungrateful in many instances. I thought I would list out some of the ant’s abilities and let’s compare. I will give you my deeper thoughts at the end of this amazing Ant facts as found on antArk :


Amazing Ant Facts

Ant fact 1. The total weight of all the ants in the world is the same as, if not larger than that of all humans.

Ant fact 2. Some ants can support up to 100x their own weight upside down on glass.

Ant fact 3. The largest ant colony ever found was over 6000 Km or 3750 miles wide.

Ant fact 4. Ants are the longest living of all insects, living for up to 30 years.

Ant fact 5. One ant species owns the record for the fastest movement within the animal kingdom.

Ant fact 6. There are over 12,000, known different species of ants.

Ant fact 7. The ant is one of  the worlds’ strongest creature in relation to its size.

Ant fact 8. One ant species is the most venemous insect in the world.

Ant fact 9. Dozens of colonies of the worlds smallest ant could live in the brain case of the worlds largest ant.

Ant fact 10. Ants move an estimated 50 tons of soil per year in one square mile.

Ant fact 11. Fire ants cause an estimated $5 billion worth of damage in North America per year.

Ant fact 12. All worker, soldier and queen ants are female.

Ant fact 13. Some ant species are asexual, they clone themselves and do not require any males.

Ant fact 14. Ants and humans are the only creatures that farm other creatures.

Ant fact 15. Ants have two stomachs, one to hold food for themselves, and one for others.

Ant fact 16. Some ant species make slaves out of another ant species.

Ant fact 17. Ants can be found on every continent accept antARCtica.

Ant fact 18. Some ants can swim.

Ant fact 19. Most ants can survive around 24 hours underwater.

Ant fact 20. Some ants have no eyes.

Ant fact 21. Some wingless ants can perform a controlled glide when free falling.

Ant fact 22. Ants sleep frequently and are often quite lazy.

Ant fact 23. In many parts of the world, ants are eaten by humans as a delicacy.

Ant fact 24. Ants worst enemies are not us, but other ants.


Now for deeper thought…..I see so many interesting facts here and find some of them totally fascinating but I will leave all of you to form your opinion about whether or not you would want to be an ant. It seems it would be amazing to hold 100X your own weight upside down, right. It seems they are unstoppable but they are vulnerable as we humans are. What is important, whether you are an ant or human; we can try our best no matter what the odds, risks, and obstacles confront us in life. I also read where some ants sleep frequently and are often quite lazy. Those might be the ones who end up eaten by others and isn’t that similar in humans? Not literally, but they are eaten by life and diminished by their laziness. I think I am glad I am human but I admire the little ants’ spirits. Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by remembering my quote: “One individual step might seem insignificant; but if it is headed in the right direction it can be monumental.”

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV 

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. 

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


TODAY THE WORD is SILENCE


TODAY THE WORD is SILENCE. For someone, such as me, it is hard to fathom silence, but silence is “golden” as some wise person said. In my lifetime, I have learned the most when I listened to others and then soaked it into my mind. Those times have produced maturity and wisdom, more than my many trials and errors. The amusing thing is when I was young, I didn’t seem to think I had a lot to say and was a quieter person. Have you found yourself speaking up more in our middle years? Are you more expressive or did you learn that silence is golden? 
What I find amusing in this life is when we chatter boxes try the silence period, people want to find out what is wrong. Monks go through periods of years after taking a vow of silence. Do you think they do more thinking during that period or more praying? Both of these processes are vital to our spiritual growth. In our lives, instead of confronting a situation before we have had time to be silent, and think and pray for the right words to express our feelings without a lot of emotion may be “golden”. This way, we may avoid the trap of useless words in haste. A word of silence may be a thunderous roar in Heaven and may be viewed sincere as it is a sign of respect. The old saying of “Bite your tongue” may really mean use a moment of silence to regain your composure. I think back when I was young and I would see an old man who whittled away at a chunk of wood. He wasn’t a friendly sort of man, but not unpleasant either. He spent a lot of time in silence and I wondered what he was thinking while he was whittling. 
We, as a nation, spend a lot of time discussing “important” matters but spend so little time praying over them. As individuals, we pray; as a nation, we don’t. I think if we would spend more silent time in reverence since God hears us when we speak from our hearts as well as from our mouth. As a writer, this may sound counterproductive as I express my thoughts through my words, but I have a lot of silent moments. 
Now for the deeper thought….Maybe, today I will put aside all of the chatter and go inside where I know God dwells and listen to my heart beat, count my blessings that God has allowed me another day to listen and learn from Him. He will present my lessons for today and if I listen closely, He will offer solutions. Listen to the inner voice and see what happens!

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

(c) copyright 2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS are FORGETTING YOU ARE MARRIED

My boyfriend and his girlfriend. We happen to be husband and wife too.
Greg and Arline Miller

TODAY THE WORDS are FORGETTING YOU ARE MARRIED. “What are you talking about?” you may ask about my topic for today. This is the topic which came to my mind and it may surprise some of you I would write about this subject; but read on and you will see why.
Marriage holds responsibilities from both the husband and the wife. Hopefully, as in my marriage there is a lot of love. My husband and I both had children from a previous marriage and this in itself can sometimes bring pressures. Not everyone handles the blending of two families and for some unexplained reason, the word “step” may bring bad or unwanted feelings. I have heard the horror stories and I am sure you have heard some of them too, of “marriage gone wrong” when the two different sets of children and parents fail to blend. My husband and I decided when we married to never argue about each one’s children; because if we did, there would be no winner but we would both be losers. What came from this valuable decision is we each have invested in “all” of our children and we consider them “all” as our children. I, for one, cannot tell you how easier life has been because of this decision and the only use of “step” is the ongoing cute way Missy, who is my daughter refers to Greg as SDG (Step Dad Greg) and I can assure you she uses this endearment with love. We have three children and we share them with each other.
My Sister and My Husband
at a family Reunion
With marriage comes the extended family and there can be the situation of in laws becoming “out laws.” With my Mother’s side of the family, this is a running joke and it brings a smile to my face as I love my aunts and uncles who are not my blood relatives as much as I love the “real kin folks” This time around, I was privy to knowing Greg’s Dad for a few years and grew to love that wonderful man. My Mother “adopted” Greg as her own son and I felt she would have scolded me if she thought I mistreated him. My sister’s husband, Troy is “my brother” and has been in my life for almost 3/4 of it. My husband’s family have become a very important part of our life and I wouldn’t trade this closeness. I understand some in laws don’t get it; by marriage, this is your family now and would you treat your family this way? It is not a competition; it can be a new life bond. I saw a friend refer to her husband’s family member as a brother in love. How sweet is that?
Do you think they are
still in love? I think
so!
Now for the deeper thought…….We get caught up in territorial thoughts sometimes and we need to be reminded; we don’t own our spouses. They are not property; they are to be thought as our true loves. This is the reason for the topic “Forgetting you are married” and this sentence is to be finished as “Forgetting you are married and remembering you are in love.” Taking time to look at the person in front of you and say, “Whoa, I am in love with you” and not, “I love you”. Remembering to stop getting all involved in drama of ordinary life; shutting off computers; getting off phones; giving up some time spent on hobbies; and then…….Forget you are married and find that special time you would take if you were dating this person. I am not saying there will not problems but these times make the problems disappear or at least workable toward solutions. 


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Genesis 2:18 ESV

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 

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