TODAY THE WORDS are WHAT’S IN A NAME? On the blog today, I am going to get real. I can see my regular readers and those of you who know me well are smiling as I am known to be “real” and direct, but today is really direct. To show this point, let’s go back to my childhood. My last name was Lott and I have absolutely no reason to shy from this name. I was more concerned that I didn’t have a middle name like some of my friends had and there is no cute nickname to go from Arline so it was a good thing that I was close to my Dad who I was named after (His  name being Arlie). Apparently, the “Lotts” who were more affluent were younger, so I didn’t have many of my distant relatives in school with me. Ha, most every family were affluent than ours, but I am not complaining; we made it fine on little. 

As my history teacher told me, I came from an important family in Coffee County and he showed me that two Lott brothers settled Coffee County. Wow, now I was getting somewhere; I was offspring from some big folks! When I grew up and got married and went from Lott to Smith (okay, you can see I was destined to have short names), and would tell someone my maiden name was Lott, they were confused as apparently one Lott brother had money and for obvious reasons, it wasn’t our direct ancestor. People assumed…..first mistake…..that I came from the “rich folks”. As I see it, the name made no difference as I am what I am; no more no less no matter which “Lott” I came from. 

Now, here is that deeper thought…….Our last name should really be God as we all come from Our Creator and we all are from one family. We have been created in His Likeness and our Human Heritage gives us the difference in race, color, cultures, and sometimes faith. When our earthly last names are stripped; we are all God’s children. When I married and became a Smith, then Cunningham, and now Miller (okay, it took me some time to settle into a happy married life) I am still the same child of God. As humans, we put entirely too much emphasis on names. Don’t get me wrong; I am proud of my maiden name and heritage the same as if my last name had been Rockefeller, Kennedy, etc. Think of the hard time if my name had been Hitler…see where I am going. We need to accept each one of us as one of God’s children. Some children act up and we don’t have to agree with their bad behavior; we need to still practice God’s love. What’s in a name; it is nothing but a game. What’s in love; God’s reach from above.

Proverbs 22:1-2                 

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all.

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




Luna agrees with Bill Cosby. Photo courtesy of Missy Haas.

“A word to the wise ain’t necessary – it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.”

 TODAY THE WORD is QUOTING.  All of us have quoted someone, copied and pasted some great quote, laughed at the funny quotes, or used motivational and/or spiritual quotes at some time or other. I use bible verses that are usually fitting for the topics of the day. What does it mean when we quote someone else? It is flattering to the author, I am sure if they knew how many times someone used a quote from them. When I am researching a phrase, I find it interesting on the origin of many day to day phrases we use. So many people, with the use of YouTube, are becoming popular and we find ourselves using their phrases such as Honey Brown saying, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. How many times have you repeated this after seeing her video. The phrase, “Just Do It” became an advertising logo for one of the biggest companies and I don’t even have to tell you which one as you thought of the company when you read this (or at least some of you did). Quotes are important for inspiring, motivating, or reaching people. We find ourselves having an AH HA moment when we read something that touches, reaches into our souls or we find it amusing enough to laugh with ourselves. It is similar to the game show who played the first few notes of a song and the goal was for the contestant to guess the title of the song by listening. Words or music have such an impact on our emotions. How many of you have listened to a song (which is based on a lot of repetition of words or phrases) and cried? How many times have you laughed? Now for the deeper thought……When so many of the people whose phrases became quotes were saying them, do you think they realized their words would become famous? I doubt it! And that brings me to this thought….WE are speaking into the microphone of life each time we open our mouths. You never know when something you say will be heard and repeated. You never know when something you say will touch someone’s heart and change their life. Here is a little tidbit for us to remember too….You never know when something you say will destroy another’s life by hurtful words. Words are so powerful; they heal or kill. Be careful how you say what you mean when speaking to others. I found out a little time ago, when I write, my mind works pretty fast and I know what I am trying to say, but I get messages from some who take my message in a different route than intended. This taught me “people cannot read my mind”. Listen well, speak slower, and interpret with your heart.

Proverbs 15:1                
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

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


TODAY THE WORD is LOLLYGAGGING. I am not sure of how many of you are going to recognize this word, but it is a fun sounding word with almost the same meaning with a slight twist.
To lollygag is to fool around, idle, and to spend time aimlessly and that is somewhat similar to having fun. However, there are a slight variance between the two representations. A person can be actually be accomplishing something while having fun doing it. Sports comes to mind with a goal in mind; to win or achieve certain accomplishments while attempting a certain feat. Hobbies can be viewed as fun with hopefully an outcome to the efforts put forth. Lollygagging comes with an entirely different goal by having no goal set. What I wonder how many of you will know that in the 1860’s, it was a term used for public affection, such as flirting, or kissing. I know I didn’t know that tidbit of info.
We use the word for total nonsense, something of no worth and therefore it lost it’s affectionate meaning and has progressed or, in this case, regressed to a more negative meaning. How can lollygagging have an effect on people? When others look upon someone with a lot of talents or abilities tossing them to the wind and giving into the foolish things in life; the effect is tremendous as the person sometimes will looked upon as a failure. Lollygagging can be destructive for some people and for some others can be a way to relax, shut out the world, and/or meditate by drifting into a day dream for a while. Am I saying, all lollygagging is destructive; hardly! I thought about some lollygagging this morning, while I was sitting in the doctor’s office and waiting for them to re-check my blood pressure. I was sitting on the patient’s table, legs, swinging, and trying to take my mind to a happy place. I think this might be looked at as lollygagging if it had been viewed by any onlookers. However, I had a goal with my lollygagging, and it was to relax. That brings me to my deeper thought….I am guilty of this as well as so many of my family and friends, not de-stressing and not actually doing some innocent lollygagging for relaxation. I feel we get caught up in family matters, work, relationships and not to forget the worries of the world (things we have so little control over) and we stress and stress. We make plans to straighten all of the problems and in doing so, we can make our mind and health a beaten down tool. God has given us permission to have fun, while keeping his commandments. He gave us laughter to ward off the bad things as well as a sense of humor to laugh even at ourselves or events. Today, God gave us lollygag as a word to smile when we say it; make plans to do a little lollygagging without fear of losing our responsibilities. If we live right, play right and say right; we can smile right!

Ecclesiastes 5:18                
Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot

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



TODAY THE WORDS are WHO CAME UP WITH THAT?  My husband is a History buff and he had the show on the history of the corn chip and then the potato chip and this topic seem to inspire my thoughts on “who came up with that?”. I am not in the same category as Greg is with his curiosity of the history of so many creations, products, ideas, and events. Somehow, this show slowed me down to watch it. Both Greg and I were astonished at how many companies Frito Lay owns and how many of the snack products came from the original corn chip idea to expand the company. How many of you know that Frito Lay was started with a borrowed $100 from Charles Elmer Doolin’s mother? He bought the recipe, a hand held ricer and a few retail accounts and began his company. I am not going to focus on this business, but when you have time, it is interesting to follow his and Herman Lay’s association. What I do want to focus is the idea behind “coming up with a great idea”. So many times, I have picked up something and wondered who came up with that? My uncle, Cecil Holt, inventor of Holt’s Nut Wizard and other inventions, has shared with others that his inventions come in the form of dreams. I remember him sharing the prototype for the Nut Wizard years ago, in the bakery he and his wife owned. It was crudely put together with baling wire but it worked! Of course, it developed into the finished product that is shipped all over the world. Now for the deeper thought and why this non historian blogger is writing on who came up with that…….I know the answer to this question and not to take away from all inventors…..The Master Inventor and Creator. When my uncle stated that he had dreamed his invention, my mind goes back to Daniel, Jacob, other’s dreams and Joseph’s interpretation of many dreams of future events were vividly seen and recounted for certain purposes for the good of God’s people. God sets the stage and when a need is revealed, God relays the plan for providing and filling this need. So, when you dream and if you get an idea, think about it, and give thanks to God for all things.
Give to life, life will give to you. Give thanks to God and God will bless you.
Jeremiah 23:25-32 – I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

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



TODAY THE WORD is KARMA. This week, especially, I heard the word Karma used several times and I thought this word worthy of a blog post. I thought it interesting that Karma means:
“The sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in… or Destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.” When the word was used in a negative direction, it seems as if people have reflected on this word as only a negative description or “omen”. I think this is what I call, “what is wrong with the world today”. When you read the definition, do you see a negative meaning? I don’t! Karma can go either way and how it is interpreted is the key. When we fill a bucket with sand, we expect sand. When we fill a bucket with sand and expect it to be water and we dump it on plants to water them, well that may be a negative Karma, definitely. Or is it just plain not thinking and preparing with needed check before we act? If we had looked in the bucket, wouldn’t we have seen sand instead of water? Are you starting to follow my thoughts on Karma? Karma is the effect from “cause”. This tells me that we have something to say in Karma or destiny by our previous and present state of existence.  We are what we think; we are what we do; and we are what we say honestly. Let’s go back to the bucket theory. We accidentally put sand instead of water in the bucket. We look into the bucket and realize we should have put water because we are going to use the contents of the bucket to water the plants. We see our mistake and we pour the sand out and replace it with water. Ah, ha! We have changed the effect and now we can proceed with the task of watering the plant. Remember Karma is only to be considered if we do not take proper action while undertaking a project, a relationship, work, hobbies and most importantly faith. Now for the deeper thought…..If Karma is Destiny of fate, following as effect from cause, could we not think of salvation in the same respect with destiny of an eternal home following an effect from living a life of goodness, repentance, charity, and grace from the cause of finding and working out your plan of salvation.

Galatians 6:8-9                
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

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



TODAY THE WORDS are CIRCUS TENT. how many of you have been to the circus as a child? I understand a lot of you have been as an adult and even though it was fun, I am wanting to go back to the first time you experienced the live circus. The first sight is usually the big top tent which houses the excitement and the “circus people and animals”. With animal protection, you don’t see circuses as we did when we were small. I am not in favor of any cruelty to animals and I am sure we didn’t think any cruelty was being experienced. We looked at the animals as “stars” and were mesmerized by the tricks and shows. The clowns were a big hit and we laughed at their silly antics and makeup. It was their facial expressions which kept us captivated. We watched, we screamed, we were scared, we were amused, and we stayed still with our focus on the big ring! The lions, the tigers, the elephants, the horses, and the dogs were so “smart” or so well trained and they did their acts with perfection. Oh, the days of the circus! I understand, with knowledge of how some animals were treated without care, why the circus days have almost disappeared. Now for the deeper thought…..Life in itself seems to be a circus with all of us appearing in the big ring under the big top and we are in the spotlight. I think, as in the old days of the circus, a lot of people are mistreated and are not given proper care. I am referring to the children and some adults who are expected to “perform” but not given the attention and love they truly need to be a “top act” in life. They go through the mechanics of what is expected but the thrill is not there and there is no excitement due to lack of the positive encouragement. When they don’t perform as expected, they are ridiculed or “beaten” and I don’t necessarily mean a physical beating. When a life performer is constantly critiqued they begin to believe they cannot do better and so we are not given a brilliant performance. Think about how we cheered on the performers in the circus. We applauded, we cheered, and we laughed with them and not at them! If we show our family and friends the same courtesy and encouragement, we can see explosive improvement in the same people. When the dog performers and you can relate to your own pets are given treats (or in people kind, positive words) they are excited about doing it again. Think positive, applaud good deeds, encourage the one attempting to do good, support the down trodden, and love all people. I heard a Preacher yesterday giving God’s command to Love Each Other and to To Love without Color; in other words, we are to love all of The Universal Ringmaster, Our God!.

Ephesians 4:29                
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

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



TODAY THE WORDS are SIDE STREETS. It seems as if I am going to go on some roads less traveled this morning since the topic is side streets. I am usually a gal that plots where she is going and either GPS or Google directions and try for a straight shot to my destination. However, on a few of our date nights, my husband who usually drives on such occasions has said, “Let’s go a different way” or “Let me show you something”. He takes different routes and enjoys seeing homes and places I would have missed taking the straight shot home. He loves the adventure of seeing something new and the last time he did this, I paid attention. Side streets and roads can be interesting and when they are taken, our eyes are taking in the new scenery and it is not boring at all. I finally got what Greg was telling me during the other trips; look at life as it is going by and not try to live it so fast and hard.  I would call myself a high achiever at most things I go after. If, not for Greg pointing out there are things to see on the side streets, I would keep my short route and probably miss some minor thing that could mean a lot. Many people choose to live on side streets and not main thoroughfares to avoid the main stream traffic and noise. Try to think of the difference of the noise from a major city’s freeway and a main street in a small town. Think of how you can see in the windows of the stores on the street in a small town, but you cannot remember the names of the big stores in the major city streets unless you have gone past them for years. Now for the deeper thought…..a tree can be worth a thousand words; a old couple walking together in their yards can spark a smile;  a couple of dogs playing and tumbling together outside can cause a giggle; and an old house sitting idle after so many years can refresh your memory of the “good ole days”. We, as a nation, are trying to get faster and faster in our technology taking all of the manual labor out of things we do. As a result, we have adjusted our lives to pick up the pace. The technology was designed to allow us more time to take some side streets and travel the road less traveled. More people might pick up photography; others might paint a scene from one of those trips; others might write about it; and others might just stop on the side of one of those side streets and open the door and get some fresh air for a change. God wants us to live life; love life and live life to the fullest! Have a great trip through life!
Isaiah 65:17     

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.

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