TODAY THE WORDS are LOST IN THE WOODS



TODAY THE WORDS are LOST IN THE WOODS. I have a story about a young man lost in the woods I want to share.
Jeremy was 15 years old and his greatest times was when he would wander into the woods not far from his house and explore. He had a rifle, but was not allowed to take it if an adult was not present for safety reasons. This didn’t stop Jeremy as he had his trusty knife with him and he felt fearless.
The creek flowed in the woods and provided many stops where the young boy could sit and make up stories of what happened when Indians walked these woods hunting and fishing in the creek’s deepest part. Jeremy knew the creek fed into a river which he had seen when his father and him had gone fishing there when he was younger. 
While Jeremy was sitting on a creek bed rock and thinking about the river and how it flowed and was a lot more interesting than the quiet creek; he was inclined to visit the river even though his father had said he should not go unless he was with him. Jeremy quickly excused his father’s words as he was only 13 when his father gave him that warning but he was 15 and a big boy now. Upon rising up to a full stand and grabbing his knife on his belt to make sure it was there; he started the walk following the creek toward the river. His chest bowed out as he walked with pounding footsteps to make more of a manly walk. He looked at the trees with birds flying in and out of the branches and their silhouette dancing in the broken rays of the sun. He felt powerful as if this were his woods and he was master of the universe.
Jeremy made it to the river without any delays and sat down and wished he had a fishing pole and bait. He became content watching the river churn and twist with it magical movements and he became sleepy and laid down on a big river rock and fell asleep. He slept for hours and when he woke, it was dark all around him and it didn’t even look the same. He knew he needed to get home and he got up quickly and walked in the direction he felt was the way he came. Nothing looked the same and he questioned if he was headed in the direction of home. He was walking by the creek but it seemed different and scary. He walked and walked and wondered why he had not seen the rock he had sat down on prior to his walk to the river. 
As hours went by and nothing seemed the same; nothing familiar and he heard noises he was not wanting to hear; he became frightened  as each minute went by. The clouds had darkened the sky and he could barely see where he was walking. He had not planned on being out in the woods at night so he had no flashlight to guide him. He was not walking with the pounding footsteps and he checked his knife only out of fear he might have to use it on some predator. His face felt moisture and he realized as a big boy, he wasn’t too big to cry and he started yelling for help. 
Help came in a little while since his parents had missed him and figured out he had gone into the woods. His father remembered their talks about the river and he headed that direction with a lantern. Jeremy was relieved to see his father and be reunited  with his mother at the wood’s edge. He was happy to be treated like a little boy in the comfort of his father’s strong arms and his mother’s hugs telling him it would be alright. He went to bed and said a prayer of thanks he was safe in his bed.
Now for the deeper thought….. Even as adults, we don’t think as adults and we sometimes don’t see dangers right in front of our eyes. We wander into unknown territories and we feel invincible. We feel it will not become scary or unfamiliar and we may not consider we can lose our way. As Jeremy only felt safe when his father found him, showed him the way back, and he found comfort in his family. Isn’t that the way we have felt, lost and in unfamiliar places? Our Heavenly Father has brought many lost souls home and in the comfort of His Love. If you feel lost, remember Jeremy’s story and know Your Heavenly Father is looking for you and will gladly find you and bring you home to a life of peace and contentment.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

(C) Copyright 2012-2015 Arline Miller with all rights and permissions reserved.
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TODAY THE WORDS are ONE MINUTE MORE



TODAY THE WORDS are ONE MINUTE MORE. While watching the news lately and seeing so many tragedies and loss of lives, a thought came to me and I thought I would share this thought on my blog. I have witnessed people saying if my loved one had lived a few minutes more, I could have said goodbye and told them I loved them one more time. Rescue workers have felt if they could have gotten there a minute earlier, they could have saved him or her. Pastors have felt if I had preached one minute longer, a soul might have come to the altar and been saved. I have heard people say, “Oh, I am so thankful because if I had been one minute earlier, I would have been the one in the wreck.”
Let’s take “ONE MINUTE MORE” and consider what can be done in a minute:
Here are some excerpts from the dictionary for the meaning of minute (noun)
1. the sixtieth part (1/60) of an hour; sixty seconds.
2. an indefinitely short space of time:
   Wait a minute!
3. an exact point in time; instant; moment:

                                    Come here this minute!


Take a minute and feel the amount of actual time a full minute is by timing it. It is surprising if we ask someone to sit still and not move for an entire minute. We find ourselves wanting to squirm and it seems forever. This example is building up to the focus of ONE MINUTE MORE.  

                                  
I have displayed this chart to emphasize how many minutes we have available for doing something great and we spend it on leisure and sports (I love my GA Dawgs, so guilty here). I see where on an average day, we spend at least 2.5 hours which is 150 full minutes available. This is to give us a little insight on the possibility of doing a good deed which might take 30 minutes or less. Sit with an elderly person; read to a child which could still be considered leisure; clean out a closet to give old clothes to charity; volunteer for an hour; etc.
Now for the deeper thought….. I am speaking to myself as well as everyone reading this as a reminder; we are all guilty of saying we do not have enough hours in the day to do what we would like to do for others. Should we consider how we spend our “minutes”? If you asked anyone who was dying if they could have One Minute More; what do you think they would say they would do with that minute? Think about how you are going to spend your minutes today because there is no guarantee of any of us having “ONE MINUTE MORE“. Let’s spend our minutes and lives wisely.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Proverbs 5:1-2  

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge.

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




TODAY THE WORDS are BAKING A LIFE CAKE.


TODAY THE WORDS are BAKING A LIFE CAKE. I have been seeing a lot of luscious cakes baked for a silent auction and it gave me some inspiration on how life can mimic baking a cake. I posted the following message on FB last night and felt I should share it as a blog message. 

My night’s thought: Life is like baking a cake. First you have to gather a lot of ingredients (childhood, school, work, marriage, children,etc.) some of which are sweet and others which are sour by themselves.  It takes a lot of mixing everything and even cracking some shells with sifting to make things smoother. Some separation has to be done (college, military, volunteer work, training) by putting the layers into individual pans. Then life gets hot and trials and opening doors and shutting them while turning the heat up. Once the heat is off and a cooling down period is completed (arguments, compromise, sorting out problems, overcoming life’s difficult moments) it is time to put the cake together by layering them (remembering good times and bad times in memories and pictures of great events and sad losses) and then comes the icing, the sweetest part by seeing your children and grandchildren  who want to sit next to you and say I love you and you look at the finished cake of life with your spouse and you both smile that special smile of love and you think we baked a pretty doggone good cake this life. Sweet dreams of life my friends…Sending a dab of frosting to give you sweet thoughts. 

Life can give you a layering of mixed up layers.
This may not be a visual for all of you but to me, it gives me a good picture of how we layer our lives and how our lives are mixed together and sometimes certain separations occur. Some of life’s ingredients are pretty sour if tasted individually but blended together, life becomes sweeter and more meaningful. We are bakers of our own destiny but we find ourselves using the trial and error method. How many of you have looked at a recipe and thought I am not sure if I want to use a certain ingredient and you choose to substitute something else in its place. Unfortunately, the substitute can cause the recipe to fail and you have to start all over but you usually learn from your mistakes. What about the times when you see a recipe contains an ingredient you love and your thinking evolves into “what if I add a little more, well maybe a little more, etc.” and you end up with a mess? Haven’t we all been guilty of overindulging? They make diets because we tend to add more and more when we should be satisfied to keep the original amount intact.

Now for the deeper thought……We have our recipe, God’s word, and the recipe uses only pure ingredients but it has helpful hints on how to fix our mistakes or proper substitutes if we find ourselves lacking a certain ingredient. When our recipes fail because of our human weakness; God offers us a second chance and hopes we learn from our mistakes or bad ingredients. We can layer our lives with love, integrity, charity, forgiveness, compassion, and loyalty. Then we have the icing of happiness to top off our cake of life. Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest by baking the best cake of life using God’s directions. Life will be yummy!


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what shall happen to the child.”

(C) Copyright 2012-2015 Arline Miller Property with all rights and permissions reserved.

TODAY THE WORDS are WHEN THE BIRDS STOP SINGING


TODAY THE WORDS are WHEN THE BIRDS STOP SINGING. In these perilous times of murders, natural tragedies, and conflict on every corner; it seems necessary to stop and listen for the birds singing and chirping to escape from all of the frightening events. We are given warnings in life. One of the natural warnings is silence and if we cannot hear the birds singing, it means they have hidden themselves from dangers lurking. Please read the excerpt from this article about the Calm before the storm and then we will discuss how it applies to our current world environment.
Is there really a “calm before the storm”? by Jessika Toothman (excerpt from her article)
Have you ever spent an afternoon in the backyard, maybe grilling or enjoying a game of croquet, when suddenly you notice that everything goes quiet? The air seems still and calm — even the birds stop singing and quickly return to their nests.
After a few minutes, you feel a change in the air, and suddenly a line of clouds ominously appears on the horizon — clouds with a look that tells you they aren’t fooling around. You quickly dash in the house and narrowly miss the first fat raindrops that fall right before the downpour. At this moment, you might stop and ask yourself, “Why was it so calm and peaceful right before the storm hit?”



Let’s see how birds sing:
 I found an article from Cornell.ab 
(Topic: Songs + Calls)
 Date: August 12, 2014
 Authors: Mya Thompson and Annalyse Moskeland
 Illustrations: Andrew Leach
 Recommended citation: Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2014. Bird Song. All About Bird Biology . Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. .

Songbirds learn their songs and perform them using a specialized voice box called a syrinx
syrinx:
SEE-rinks
the bird voice box, located at the branch point between the trachea and bronchi and containing vibrating tissues called labia, in songbirds capable of making two sounds at once via independent muscle control
. Vocally, they’re in a league of their own. These adaptations have been remarkably successful—songbirds
songbird:
a species from the oscine (ah-SEEN) group of passerine (PASS-er-een) birds, songbirds (including sparrows, thrushes, and warblers) have a specialized voice box called a syrinx that can produce complex sounds, songbirds must learn their songs rather than developing them instinctively
make up almost half of the world’s 10,000 bird species including warblers, thrushes, and sparrows. The vast majority of non-songbird species make simpler sounds that are instinctual rather than learned.






Now, that we know how they sing; what causes them to stop singing:

For a bird, singing can be draining. It is both energetically expensive and alerts predators. So then why do birds sing? Evidence suggests that in part, it is to proclaim and defend their territories
territories:
in birds, the areas defended by males, pairs, or families as dedicated nesting sites and/or foraging areas
. Studies have also shown that songs play a crucial role in attracting and impressing potential mates and may signal the overall health of the singer. As in humans, singing in birds is often a chance to show off.

A deeper thought……..All of us want to be happy enough to sing or hum along. Happiness is a gift and must be cherished, but as the bird sings not only for enticing other birds, it will sing to protect and defend. Let us use our voices in the same way, wisely and with the correct notes and not just to be a loud noise. Let us be wise with our thoughts and words. Too many people are “chirping” just to be the loudest bird in the room. Live life; Love life; Live Life to the fullest by singing a song of love and peace throughout the land.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Psalm 104:12 ESV

Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. 
(C) Copyright 2012-2015 Blog property of Arline Miller with all rights reserved. Referenced material used with source reference.


TODAY THE WORDS are WHY PRAY?


TODAY THE WORDS are WHY PRAY?  With the tragedy in Paris, I am praying along with millions other people who believe in prayer for all French people who have experienced their world being terrorized. I have thought about prayers and I located this post I made in 2013 and I thought I would share it as it seems appropriate at this time. Here is the post:

A few days ago, I wrote a few lines on Facebook and I received some great feedback concerning prayer and why no one ever asks what religion does a person possess who is willing to pray for others. This caused me to give prayer some further thought and this morning, while praying, it seems right to write on why we pray. I also saw a prayer given by one of the good inspirational sites which one of my friends said was her prayer for today. In this prayer, the one praying was asking to know what is right or wrong; to be given an open heart and mind; to help in improving finances, for forgiveness, and to open doors or close the wrong doors. These are all such valid and integral needs and these are things I pray for everyday, and I have another thought about why we pray……we don’t want to be alone! When we are faced with difficulty, and even with the support of family and friends, we still want the security of knowing there is an Entity higher than any of us on earth to be there, hear our pleas, cure our illnesses, or give us the strength to accept things which cannot be changed. Our lives, however great, would not be as meaningful if we did not have an eternal goal. Basically, most people who do not have a personal relationship with God, believe in God’s existence. As one of my FB friends who responded to the prayer message, said she had been asked by atheists for prayer. At first glance, this felt awkward and contradictory but the more I thought about it, it wasn’t so odd. For those who believe, we can remember when things in our life were different; we still welcomed prayer. 

Prayer can be “healthy” for us and I am not talking about just spiritual, but physically. When we stop from our busy schedule, slow down, stop talking and start praying, we enter into a realm of meditation which slows our heart down while in a quiet state. So God is helping us by slowing our life down; giving us a break from the turmoil; and while, at that same time, He gives us the heavenly breath of life. If you are in need of help; if you feel lost; if you are wondering if God really exists; if you need to feel love or be comforted; I advise you to pray. You don’t have to be able to give an eloquent prayer; God already knows your needs and is capable of hearing your heart. Prayer is better for us than any diet; prayer is better than any of us speaking to you; prayer is our God given right to have audience with the Highest Power in existence. Where else can we be heard in this universe? Live life, love life, and live life to the fullest with prayer!



Special Prayer Request: Please join in prayer for France and its people during this difficult time. Let us ask God to protect the innocent people of this world and not allow this event to destroy our faith and trust in God. Turn to him and not away from His Glory. 

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

James 5:16                 
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.


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

TODAY THE WORDS are DO THESE PANTS MAKE ME LOOK FAT?


TODAY THE WORDS are DO THESE PANTS MAKE ME LOOK FAT?  My husband and I were laughing over a picture about a joke posted on Facebook and it hit me; this is a great way to cover a great subject for the blog. I have never been one to ask my husband, “Does this make me look fat?” Maybe it is because I already know the answer or I don’t need confirmation from others on a subject I know a lot about.
Let’s think about the question DO THESE PANTS MAKE ME LOOK FAT? I get amused as to why anyone would ask that question to another person knowing it is a lose-lose question without a good answer, right? If the person answers “No“; the one who asked will inadvertently say something like, “You are just saying that to make me feel better” or “You don’t want to tell me the truth“. How many times do you remember anyone saying after hearing either yes or no accepting it graciously? This brings up my point in this discussion blog……It is a trap!
In getting real, I am going to say this, “If your behind is fat; it is fat!” It is not the pants, skirt, dress, or anything else but your rear end. No piece of clothing is the cause of the result…you are fat. Maybe that is why I don’t ask such a silly question because I do know the answer. Of course some clothes do not make the situation worse but no clothes can totally make the fat disappear but simply covering the rear end. This being said, there are some clothes which do accentuate the body’s shape and if you have ever seen the people at Walmart, you know exactly what I mean.
So goes this fantasy world we want to live in. If you don’t have the body of a model and not many do; don’t dress in the clothes meant for skinny people. What we should be asking if we are curious if we look good or not is to ask, “Do these pants cover my behind?” or “Do I look decent in these pants?
I have seen many women who are average or plus size who look more attractive because they choose clothes which are flattering to their body shape. Allow me to give you this example: If you walk into a bakery and see a well iced cake with its smooth lines and shape, it has more appeal than if you could see between the layers which might be as dry as the layers in the perfectly iced cake. You see the flaws and the dryness in the exposed layer cake but there may actually be no difference in the cake itself. IT IS ALL IN PRESENTATION. I learned this in marketing and in decorating, it is the visual acceptance which seals the deal.
Now for the deeper thought….. God sees us without any icing, good or bad. He sees our souls as we see our behinds, fat or not. He tells us the truth and yes, sometimes we don’t want to listen or accept the truth…the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So, maybe a better question might be, “Does my life make me look like a child of God?”


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:


Ecclesiastes 1:14
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

(C) Copyright of Arline Miller 2012-2015. All property and rights are reserved.

TODAY THE WORDS is CHANGE

  

TODAY THE WORD is CHANGE. This morning as I woke up and realized the time had changed and we didn’t set our clock back; I had a thought for the blog which I thought I would share with you.
CHANGE….what it means in different ways to all of us at some time in our lives.
VERB:

make or become different.

“a proposal to change the law”

make or use another instead of.
“she decided to change her name


NOUN:

the act or instance of making or becoming different.
“the change from a nomadic to an agricultural society”

coins as opposed to paper currency.
“a handful of loose change”

These definitions are important but what does CHANGE mean to us as individuals, groups, society, and international?

As I looked at all the cute Halloween pictures (whether you celebrate or don’t participate) you find yourselves looking at all the costumes, the children’s expressions, the parents and family oohing and awing at the cuteness overload. What I noticed along with the cuteness is how fast the little toddlers of the past are now moving into children; the children of years gone by are now young adults; and the young adults are now taking their toddlers out and about showing them off. That is CHANGE

I see Facebook is now sharing Memories from 2-3 years and don’t you see many changes? I see pets we have lost which we so proudly posted their every move; I see our Grandchildren growing and all of their events displayed with congratulations as if they won the Nobel Peace Prize when they actually received a perfect attendance award or sports award.  This is CHANGE.

I look over at my wonderful husband and I think we have CHANGED over the years and even with the CHANGES life so playfully doles out to us; we have CHANGED from experiencing new love into the love you trust; you grow together and not apart; the love that your two families become one; and the hugs and kisses become absolutely precious and not just from love but adoring your spouse. This is LIFE CHANGE.

Now for the deeper thought……CHANGE is a necessary element in life. Change can be good or it can be devastating. If we don’t change; we can defeat the great journey we are destined to travel. As the leaves change; so must we change. We can change to be kinder; wiser; thoughtful; giving; and loving. We can choose to change to be bitter; unkind; foolish; selfish; and cruel. This is the key. We have to CHOOSE the CHANGES we need to make to be all we can be. God changed the universe when He Created all of us and I thank God He Made this CHANGE so we can have those things which creates a need to change anything to make it better.
Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the Fullest by Changing for the Better!


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

1 Corinthians 15:51 ESV 

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

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