TODAY THE WORD is HAYRIDES


TODAY THE WORD is HAYRIDES. At this time of year with Halloween, Fall Festivals, etc. coming up or maybe it is my hay fever taking me back to my experience of hayrides. I am not sure if  hayrides are popular anymore, but in my childhood, I was privy to several and I think every child needs to experience at least one hayride. I thought I would take us on a ride down memory lane and hope that all children can hop on and ride with us.

Usually the hayride coincided with Halloween or fall festivals and were mostly sponsored by local churches. The farmers helped by furnishing the trailer complete with bales of hay, sometimes loose hay for all of us to sit on or fall in which happened quite frequently. The time was set normally to start this ride through the country side at dusk. The objective was to get all of us children excited with a little fear thrown in for good measure. The slow ride accompanied by the sound of the tractor was supplemented by a lot of yelling, a few screams, and the attempted campsite song of broken choruses when the trailer would hit a hole or bump in the road. Oh, it was funny and scary at the same time. Once in a while, someone would fall in the hay, not serious enough to injure, but silly enough to cause laughter and giggling. 

The trail would sometimes stop at a cemetery, where church members (adults who were the biggest kids in the world) were hiding behind tall tombstones to scare the daylights out of us. The running started then with the “big kids” laughing their heads off. Everyone was loaded again, and off we would go, laughing and some girls crying since they didn’t see the humor in the scary events in the graveyard. 

Now for the deeper thought…..I feel some indoctrination into the “scary” parts of life are healthy for children. Parents teach children to trust in them by being there for the support and for the safety from the “boogie man”. God is our Father and we are exposed to some scary times in our lives and we need to remember the lesson of the hay ride. We are going to be scared in life; we have to trust in God to make it all go away and allow us to load back on the life trailer and keep riding. Life can be fun and at the same time a little frightening so if we make sure God is on every hay ride; we are going to have a good time and make it over the holes and the bumps in the road.


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
1 Corinthians 3:12, 13
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

(c) copyright 2012-2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

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TODAY THE WORDS are THE SMALLEST FOOTPRINT

“Little Footprints” Photo Courtesy of Mark Lott
Someday 
Someday I’ll jump through puddles, 
Take a stroll or run a race. 
Someday I’ll walk across the street, 
Or maybe walk in space, 
Someday I’ll scale a mountain, 
Or I’ll join a ballet corps. 
Someday I’ll walk a tightrope, 
Or explore the ocean floor. 
Someday these feet will do some things, 
That only heaven knows, 
But for today they’re happy 
Just to wiggle all their toes. 
By: Bobbie Norman

TODAY THE WORDS are THE SMALLEST FOOTPRINT. For a moment I would like for you to gaze into this photo that Mark Lott posted with a great message and it provoked a wonderful message to share with all of you. First, let’s see Mark’s message:

“While walking on the beach with my coffee this morning. I was amazed at the sunrise, shales, birds and the rolling waves. The most striking of all was the little foot prints in the sand. These little prints took me back many years. Memories of Blake and Cody and their smiles and high pitched voices flooded my mind. Thanks to both of you for the memories. Thank you Sheila for all you do. Thank you God for all things, Especially little foot prints.” 

Mark was referring to the time when his sons would have been the ones making the small footprints in the sand. It brought special memories of the times when he and his family spent laughing and making memories which are permeated in all of their minds. Looking at the photo and looking at the little foot prints, a special message came to mind.

Our lives start as infants and we have little feet. We kick with them and push against things with our little feet. As we grow, we use them as movement tools and we find we can use them to stand. Once we either crawl and then walk on those little unsteady feet. We feel small but curious. It is a big world with big people in it but we are willing to enter the unknown. Finding our way through halls and rooms, we explore; we fall; we get up; we fall again; but we keep exploring and we learn. Our parents and siblings lend a hand and they pick us up again and again until we don’t need them to even run. Then we run and run and run! We run until we can lay down and fall asleep from exhaustion of attempting to cover all of our world as we know it. We rest our little feet who are starting to grow.

The message is the smallest thing can have the biggest effect. As the smallest footprint leaves its mark in the sand; it can retrieve the largest and memorable memory. So goes life. As the smallest event can be the most meaningful occurrence. What the smallest footprint said to me and what I want to share with you is “Each little tiny step we take in this life is as important as a giant leap. Each one is taking us into the path of life we will experience. Make each tiny step count and each decision, no matter how small it seems, with as much wisdom invoked.”

Now for the deeper thought……. For all of my regular readers, you probably know I am going to take this message here. If each step of each tiny foot is relevant for our entire life; so is each tiny word spoken. One word can encourage or discourage; build up or tear down; inspire or despair; add or subtract from the value of life. Take the time to think before you speak. As we can readily see, no matter how small or how large a moment seems; it can be the determining moment in your life or someone else’s.  I want to thank Mark for this photo and for being a great person to know; a great husband; a great father; and a great son and sibling. Life is made better when good people share their faith and love.

Footprints Recall 
Two little feet, ten little toes, 
Leave their impressions today. 
Soon they will wear two little shoes, 
And be running and jumping at play. 
Two little feet, too little time, 
Before they are walking to school, 
Kicking a rock, or skipping a rope, 
Wading a puddle or jumping a pool. 
Two little feet, One little child, 
Will soon go their own way, 
But footprints in my mind recall, 
They stood here yesterday.
By: Bobbie Norman

(C) Copyright 2012-2015 Property of Arline L. Miller with all rights reserved. Properties of Bobbie Norman and Mark Lott reserved in their names.

TODAY THE WORDS are BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE


TODAY THE WORDS are BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE. Today’s message came from me seeing so many posts and many new reports showing how we “categorize” people. It seems popular to want to demonize police officers as killers. Teachers get a bad rap for trying their best to teach. Preachers and Pastors have been placed in a difficult position. If they preach on the truth; they are not being compassionate and supportive. This mentality will take society in any country down quickly. This made me think we should look to a single heart without taking into consideration any other factor as you see the Wednesday Morning Thought I place on my Facebook page. Take a few seconds to read it. 
Wednesday Morning Thought: One thing to remember, we are each unique by personality, character, and upbringing and it is not wise to categorize by occupation, race, religion, or life status. We are not to be disrespected because we have the job of teaching, policing, or even if we are unemployed. Let us be known by our works and deeds. In many cases, we see homeless people more generous than the town’s richest citizen. We have seen people of all races do great things and the most horrific crimes. Do not throw people in lots, but look to the heart of each and every person. It is not a political, ethnic, social, or religious status who designates who we are; what we can be; or what we need to change to make the world a better place. Be the best you can be! ALM

Let us ponder this thought and maybe we can come to a mutual understanding. Have all Nobel Peace Prize Winners come from one country or have they come from all walks of life and many countries? Have all philanthropists been of a certain race and/or religion? Have people rose from humble beginnings to become rich and famous against all odds? This is how I think. It is a deep desire to be the best a person can be which is the determining factor of the unimaginable becoming imaginable; imaginable to probable; and probable becomes reality. Most of us dream; most of us can make our dreams come true by believing it is possible.

Why then, you might ask, all dreams do not come true for all people. Let’s go back to my message for Wednesday. We plop people together; we disrespect; we want our dreams to develop without the work which is required for it to come to rendition. If a person doesn’t see the worth in others; how do we expect to gain respect from others. When we listen to a speaker, what is it we remember years later when recounting the time when we were privy to listen to “so and so”. We listened with respect for them. This opens our “airways” and allows us to hear what this person has to say. It gives an open mind when we aren’t distracted by other unnecessary factors.

Now for the deeper thought….. Here is a thought to ponder…..If today, you heard on the radio or news, a cure for cancer had been found which would stop all of the young and tragic deaths of so many, would your first thought be what race of the discoverer was; what religion; what occupation; how much or how little money he or she had; or anything else other than WOW, this is wonderful? If you would stop and think needlessly any of those questions; it is time to let yourself free from all of those blinders which will prevent you from “BEING THE BEST YOU CAN BE!”

DAILY FEATURED QUOTE:

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

(C) COPYRIGHT  2012-2015 Original property of Arline Miller are protected with rights reserved. Quoted material are protected by source copyrights.


TODAY THE WORDS are FIND A WAY TO SLIP AWAY


“Carrabelle” photo courtesy of Marilyn/Donnie Tanner


TODAY THE WORDS are FIND A WAY TO SLIP AWAY. “What would I give for just a few moments? What would I give to have you near?” This morning, friends, Marilyn and Donnie Tanner, posted this photo of a morning in Carrabelle and this song lyrics from “Slip Away” by Clarence Carter came flowing through my head. For some reason, this photo caused me to slip away from the normal stress of life into a thought contrary to the theme of Clarence when he wrote this soul song talking about two people slipping away to be with each other in a clandestine affair, but I see it more of a slipping away into a meditative state of peace and tranquility. Take another look at their photo and envision a site like this with the absence of waves, non trampled sand, dock seemingly disappearing into the water, and the boats unobtrusively blending into the scape of demure breaking of dawn.
This brought to mind even though the song, “Slip Away” was intended for the wrong kind of love, I interpret it differently as I believe we can interpret life in a different light if we gaze into what it can really mean. At times in all of our lives, it would be a great thing if we learned to “slip away” to a place in our souls meant for tranquility and not for the usual flow of strife. God has granted each one of us a special place in our souls and/or minds to escape and to ponder, investigate our lives and actions. Days seem to go by filled with anxieties, challenges, strife, sickness, financial strains, relationship difficulties, etc. We are putting out one fire only to spot another. We put too much pressure on ourselves and those we love the most. We expect too much from others while setting our sights too low. We forget the mistakes we have made and expect others to be perfect while we are far from it ourselves. 
When I saw this photo, and the song was playing over and over in my head, “What would I give for just a few moments? What would I give to have you near?” my mind did not go to an illicit affair, I can assure you. My mind went to “I should take a few moments with You God and you are near.” I kept looking at this photo and realized God was speaking to me in the rays of His Light showing me He would make the day bright and give me time to slip away and have a good, relaxing talk with Him. 
Now for the deeper thought…. As beautiful as this scene in the photo is, and it most certainly shows the wonder of each day God creates for us; we don’t have to be in any certain place other than where we are to see God’s beauty and “Slip Away” to ask God to continue to bless us and others and Thank Him for each and every blessing. We can ask God to have our problems “Slip Away”. Think now of that soul song one more time in a different light and it becomes meaningful. What would I give for just a few moments? What would I give to have You Near? Come on today and let’s Slip Away and have a few moments to enrich our souls and lives!

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Luke 5:16 (NASB)
But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
(C) Copyright 2012-2015 Property of Arline L Miller with all rights reserved. Photo used with permission of Marilyn/Donnie Tanner with their rights reserved.

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 2012-2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS are MORE BISCUIT PUDDING


TODAY THE WORDS are BISCUIT PUDDING. A little note: I published this post in 2012 as one of the first blog messages. This morning, I could taste Momma’s biscuit pudding and thought it must be a sign from her and I decided to re-post this message.   So many of you have probably not experienced the taste of biscuit pudding, but our Mother used to make the best biscuit pudding in the world. For me to relate the lesson, not the recipe, of this pudding, I have to walk you down memory lane to a time when we were kids. Some of you who have been following my blog and/or have known me are aware our family was not wealthy by any means. Both of our parents were hard workers and did the best they could to provide for our family. It was not because of lack of effort, as I never knew of a lazy bone in either of them. We had food to eat, a decent home and was never cold or hungry and that brings me to the biscuit pudding lesson. Momma taught us to save the “last” biscuit which she would stash in a cupboard wrapped up. We would have never touched that last biscuit for we had our goal of 5 biscuits and then Momma would make us the biscuit pudding. I know it sounds strange, but the biscuits had to “age” to make the proper pudding texture. We would keep count of how many were saved and then we got to taste the sweetness of the pudding. 


What is amazing is Momma was teaching her children several lessons that have been the base of our values. She taught us patience in the wait. She taught us that anything that was worth having was worth working for it. She taught us goals since I can relate the anticipation, the planning, and the excitement when our “goal” of five biscuits was achieved. She taught us how to appreciate well-earned rewards for all of the above lessons. She taught us love in her desire to give us something special. For the world that has not worked for biscuit pudding, you have missed something wonderful in both taste and learning great lessons in a great loving way. My Sister, even grown, when asked what she wanted for her birthday would gladly tell our Momma she wanted her to bake her a biscuit pudding. I finally learned to make one close to Momma’s  pudding, but there will never be one as perfect as her pudding was. 

Now, for the deeper thought…..we learn from Our Maker’s kitchen…..the perfect recipe for our lives is in His Cookbook. If we follow His directions carefully and measure out each ingredient in our life, we will achieve the rewards of a perfect “dessert” rich with love, compassion, forgiveness, and charity. Let’s bake up some wonderful memories of life with our loved ones today and everyday!


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

John 6:35  English Standard Version 


Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”


(c) copyright 2012-2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS are WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?




TODAY THE WORDS are WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO? I looked at Facebook and Twitter this morning and this topic popped in my head. With my personality, I walk with a slightly awkward sense of humor or in other words, I find humor when some people don’t find the same thing or event funny. One of the funny things I see is the continual posting of selfies. What I find ironic and to me funny is I thought the last one posted was twice as good as the current one. It set my mind into overdrive and I wondered “Why do we do what we do?

Let’s ponder this thought a little and have some fun along the way. Remember if we can laugh at ourselves; we can understand why some of our actions are funny to others…..Mine included so don’t go all hating on me. As a matter of fact, I enjoy the times I make myself laugh at my own antics. It might be therapeutic for all of us to lighten up a little.
So everyone can have a light moment, I will go over some of my “funnies” as I call my moments. They may or may not be funny to any of you but they crack me up sometimes.
1) How many times have I found myself checking social media over and over. When I see the same post again, I stop and re-read it. Why? It hasn’t changed since I read it the first time but I do.
2) How many times have I counted birthday wishes on FB? Really, this brings me back to my Mother who was not on FB who could tell me at any given time on her birthday how many calls, how many cards, and gifts she had gotten. What cracks me up about why I count my birthday wishes is I used to think she was cute but obsessive when she counted her calls, etc. Oh yeah, I have to laugh at Mini Bea I have become!
3) How many times have I reminded someone they have told me that story many times and trying to not hurt their feelings? Now, I see my daughter telling me, “Mom, you told me about that” or “Oh yeah, I remember you telling me.” Can you see the pattern developing in my focus?
4) How many times do we start to do something and remember a funny story about how we either wore one shoe of one pair and one of another pair? Or we put a top on inside out? Or we added the wrong ingredient to a recipe or coffee? When we remember, we usually laugh at ourselves and this to me is healthy.
Now for the deeper thought…..Laughter is the best medicine so we need a daily dose! We do what we do because life is usually so serious; we need the comic relief to handle the serious issues. If you don’t laugh at yourself; you are taking life too seriously! Lighten up; you know you want to just kick back and have a great laugh even if it is at your own expense. People ask me why I seem to be positive about life and believe me; I laugh to keep from crying sometimes but I find I feel better if I don’t take myself stiffly and allow my ability to do those silly things to keep me happy. Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest by throwing your head back and enjoy a great laugh once in a while.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Proverbs 17:22 
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2015 Arline L Miller Property and All Rights Reserved.