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TODAY THE WORD is OVERPROMISING



TODAY THE WORD is OVERPROMISING. When I have watched politicians lately, I have seen a lot of overpromising and under delivery. We live in a society that is different from what a lot of us lived as children. I remember the days when “you could take it to the bank” upon someone’s word. A man’s word was all you needed to make a deal, form a partnership, buy property, etc and a handshake was like putting your hand on the bible. There was only promises and not over promises (unless you ran into a rare con artist). A neighbor was the same as family and we shared hard times, sickness, food and even clothes. We might not have had the luxuries that some people have today but we were taught the value of honesty and integrity. I am sure that there were some exceptions, but honest people certainly outnumbered the crooks and we knew who the crooks were. Their reputation preceded them so they were easy to spot. In today’s world, it is a lot harder to spot a crook or con person as we hear so many people speaking falsely and nothing is said or done to them. They smile and promise the moon, while at the same time, fully knowing they don’t intend to keep the promises they make. Leaders in this country, leaders in our communities, fathers, mothers, children, workers, and neighbors are joining in this “politically correct deception”. Now for the deeper thought….God is aware of the overpromises anyone makes; He is never fooled by the attempts to try to fool him either. Here are my thoughts on this subject: Why overpromise and under deliver to an all knowing God? He knows us so well and wants to encourage us to do the right thing and it gives us such a loving feeling to be honest with Him, ourselves, and others. Today, whatever we say, let us give honest answers, promises we can keep, and let people feel “they can take our word to the bank”.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
2 Peter 1:4
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

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

TODAY THE WORDS are RAINY DAYS


TODAY THE WORDS are RAINY DAYS. Since it has been raining for a couple of days, much needed and grateful for the rain, it brought what rainy days mean to us in our lives. As children, we used to think, “Drats,it’s raining!” and we somehow felt cheated out of a sunny, fun filled day. We occupied ourselves, probably getting on our parents’ nerves with them wishing the sun would come out. Everyone was thankful when the clouds parted and the sun came out and importantly, we went outside. It wasn’t  important to us, as children, if the rain was needed to stop a drought or to settle a lot of dust. It always seemed the rain would come on weekends, too. How did it schedule itself to ruin a perfectly good Saturday? That is how I remember rainy days but I found out as I grew older, there is a more significant meaning for “rainy days”. Rainy days mean that crops grow, reservoirs fill, rivers flow, animals have nourishment, and the environment thrives from a normal balance. Now for the deeper thought…….If all days were sunny days, we would not appreciate them as much. Rainy days save us from taking the sunny days for granted. I also think we have the rainy days in our souls; some days are ones we cannot see the sun for the clouds. When the sun finally breaks through the clouds (when God answers our prayers or clears the way), we can bask in the glow, run outside and play. Life has to have some rainy days and I realize that during difficult times, it seems like a downpour! The next time a cloud forms, and it starts to sprinkle, take a minute and say a prayer of thanks for the opportunity to go inside of our hearts and pray for the nourishment, the healing power of the rain of God, and trust Our Maker during the downpour as He is in charge of making the flowers grow and us to smile at the rainbows after the storms of life. Enjoy the rainy day!
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Isaiah 45:8
Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.
(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission

TODAY THE WORDS are IN AN ANGEL’S NET


TODAY THE WORDS are IN AN ANGEL’S NET.  During the last couple of weeks I have heard about several young people who have passed away. When we hear of young people dying, it is traumatic for us to hear this sad news. Early this morning, after reading of another death, I had a comforting thought of seeing an angel catching souls with a large gossamer net before the souls fell. I wish I could paint this image as it was so beautiful to imagine. As this happened, it became clearer the message behind this beautiful, enlightening image. I believe Angels exist as I believe in God and with this belief, I understand how Angels surround us while we live and are there when we die. I remember hearing such a warming song with a young girl singing it, “Angels in the Room” and thinking how great that has to be for Angels (can be loved ones) that have come to escort us home. Now for the deeper thought…..if you believe in Angels…..Angels are God’s messengers and to be loved and cherished for their peace and comforting love that without a word, their presence can transend time and space. Artists have painted their interpretation of Angels, singers have sung songs of Angels, and some of us have experienced the presence of Angels. Some people will have doubts about Angels, God and Heaven but once that doubt has been erased, the Heavenly existence becomes real and our souls anticipate and rejoice at our destination if we have been redeemed. It seems as is this message is directed to those families who have lost young people and are grieving and I seem directed to share for you to not be in despair as their souls were caught in the Angels’ nets and lifted up to Heaven. We sometimes feel the young person was cheated of a long life here, but they reaped an earlier reward by getting to live in Heaven longer. Be happy for them, rejoice in the knowledge that you can join them in everlasting happiness and rejoicing in the Lord.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Luke 16:22 – And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried

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

 

TODAY THE WORDS are HIDE AND SEEK


 

TODAY THE WORDS are HIDE AND SEEK.  One of our grandsons, Abram is visiting with us this weekend and yesterday, he played hide and seek with me and it took me back to my childhood when we used to play it regularly. You have heard me mention that we didn’t have a lot of toys as many of you didn’t have a lot either and reading this blog, so we were creative in our games. However, I think most children have played hide and seek because of the game’s ability for creativity on everyone’s part and that is the focus of the message. First, in the game, one is chosen to hide and the other one is the seeker. We learned to count as the seeker since we hid our eyes up against a wall or tree and while the other child hid,  the seeker counted. A certain number was counted off, and if the one that was hid didn’t giggle out, the search was on! Now, for the hider; a good hiding place had to be chosen, and the harder it was to find the “child” the better. If others were playing and they would give hints by telling the seeker they were getting hotter or colder and the seeker would move according to their directions, usually blending in a few giggles themselves. When the seeker found the other one, a lot of laughter and cheering went on but the longer it took; the seeker would get more determined or frustrated. A lot of anticipation built during the hunt and the search was intent. One more observation, not made as a child but as an adult was some children always hid in the usual places, while others found new and better hiding places. This brings me to the deeper thought of Hide and Seek…….I think all of us continue to play hide and seek during most of our lives and here is why I think this way. In our adult life, we find hiding places with our emotions and while others are trying to “find” them; our emotions stay hidden. Some people are better seekers and they figure us out; some are not as intuitive and they keep looking in the same, usual hiding places. Life throws a lot at us and we choose where we stand or if we hide (seekers or hiders) and we need to be both players. We benefit from asking others how they feel or if they need to be found, but we also need to learn how to count before we seek (giving the other one the right to stay hidden or make the decision to be found). The everyday “hide and seek” can become exciting or frustating, so we need to exercise patience while we are trying to “find” or communicate with others. The other one hiding can benefit from being found but sometimes needs to stay hidden until they are sure they want their thoughts exposed or “found”. Now, here is the deepest thought….Isn’t that how God allows us to find him? He is there hidden until we are ready to seek Him. He can be anywhere and usually we find Him in the same places: church, homes, work, or a quiet park, woods, or other places that are familiar. Today is a great day if you haven’t already won the game of Hide and Seek and found Our Maker; look in your heart as God is there!
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

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

TODAY THE WORDS are LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS



TODAY THE WORDS are LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS.  For most of you who know me, you already know how I love pearls. I have worn pearls and they have always given me such a warm feeling when I have them on. I will notice in photos of anyone that has a pearl necklace, earrings or brooch (for any youngsters that is a pin). What I would like to share is the thought behind pearls. A dear friend of mine has told me many times, “there’s your pearl” when something good happened. He would also say when he was giving me great advice, “here is a little pearl”. One day, when I was about to put one of my strands, I took a long look at it, realizing the importance of message it was portraying. Let me share this with you. Pearls are grown in a hard shell (and really few of us look at an oyster shell as pretty like we look at other shells). It may take up to 20 or more years to bring a pearl to full size so a lot of time goes into the process. Pearls in their natural state aren’t the finished pearl we see in the strands as they are polished and by this process, it brings out their true luster. If you take the time and look closely, pearls are still unique and usually no two are exactly the same. As beautiful as pearls are, they can be beautiful with others or beautiful on their own. Pearls are usually a gift given by someone who loves them dearly. Now for the deeper thought……have you thought about the clasp? As beautiful as the strand of pearls are, without the clasp to hold it all together, the pearls would fall to the ground It is the most important part of the necklace and here is how I see pearls. Pearls are our different stages of our life. When we are young, we are the pearls being nurtured in our shell surrounded by a hard protective cover (our parents). After a while, we are plucked into our adult lives. We can be successful on our own or part of a collection (company). We have strength and luster; but are fragile if not connected by a strong clasp (God). We can add other pearls (spouses, children, friends, and grandchildren) to our strand and people like to enjoy our pearls. God will hold our lives together and the clasp needs to be checked to make sure it closed securely (our faith). Next time you see a strand of pearls, take a deep look at it. God gives us the freedom to build a beautiful strand of pearls of life with all of its beauty and luster but He wants us to keep our pearls safe, protected and loved.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Matthew 13:45 – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls

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

TODAY THE WORD is TOOT THE HORN



TODAY THE WORD is TOOT THE HORN. No, this is not meant, “toot your own horn” which the two phrases have very different meanings. I think in my past, being very honest with myself, I tooted my own horn some (bragged a little). When my life was changed, I try very hard to stay humble and amazingly, life has cooperated with me on that part and kept me humble as a lot of people are going through difficult times both financially and emotionally and I want to count every blessing that we receive and that brings me to the focus of today’s message, “toot the horn”. When animals see or hear a threat to others, they sound the alarm. Different sounds mean different threats. I don’t see mankind making weird noises as the animals do, but we like to toot the horn at others when we see or feel a threat. No one likes to hear a horn blown at them and it usually irritates them greatly…..but they generally move at that sound. Now for the deeper thought…..when things in our lives are not on a smooth road or there are a lot of bumps in relationships whether they are between a husband or a wife, parent and child(ren), friend to friend,  co-worker to co-worker, we need to toot the horn. Relationships of all kinds are special and need to be cherished and maintained together. Sometimes, a driver has looked down at something and is not aware that the light changed and even though we usually say, “I am going!” it gets our attention. When we toot our horns in life’s relationships, we need to have a good intention behind it and not anger or spite. Life moves us down the highway at a fast pace, so only toot the horn when it is totally necessary. A few seconds restraint before tooting the horn in life relieves the need for it to be blown at all and we can go on our merry way. Think before you toot your horn, make sure that it is in the best interest of all drivers and have a very happy, safe journey with people you care about! Life’s highway can be a very dangerous route and sometimes, the last time you toot that horn will be the last time that other person drives in this world. Cherish each trip, each laugh, each other!
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
1 Thessalonians 5:6
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober

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

 

TODAY THE WORDS are ANGELS WALK AMONG US



TODAY THE WORDS are ANGELS WALK AMONG US. A lot of people have a belief that angels walk among us and for some of us, we have met them, felt the love radiate from them, and became better people because we have been blessed to share time with them. One such lady lived in my hometown and I felt like she was related to me, and many others felt this same way. It never mattered to her how much or how little a person had, they were welcomed and loved. She never had an easy life, but you wouldn’t have known a minute of any difficulty as she was busy spreading the love of God to anyone that would come into closeness to her. She was called by many names, Sister Ruby, Granny Holton and especially Mother by seven of her children. I never remembered anyone speaking an unkind word relating to her, but I heard hundreds of people speak of her gentleness, her love, but especially of her faith. No one was going to be in her midst that she didn’t share her testimony and remind you of how good her Savior was to her and to all that believed in Him. I was reminded today of one of many sayings that she shared with others, “God will smooth out the rough places and will light the dark places”. She lived by this faith and encouraged all to share in this love.

I heard that she would break out in song in church when the spirit moved her. She didn’t hold back like many of us would. That is one of the reasons that she was a walking, loving, caring angel. I don’t know if she could have held back as she was overflowing with a heavenly spirit. Many lives have been changed by her love and even when she left this earth leaving behind a family who sang for her in her final hours; she was happy to go to Heaven. Granny Holton, left her mark in this world and is singing her songs in Heaven. Her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and on to great-great children miss her, but they, like me and so many blessed people, can say “If I ever met a real angel on this earth, I think it was Granny Holton.” May her life live on through the ones she loved so much and gave so much and may we remember her long life of keeping the faith for 90 years. Now, for the deeper thought….. May we live up to our belief and trust in our Saviour and let Him smooth out the rough places and light up the dark places for us and may we try with all of our might to be as angelic as we can in our lifetime.

DAILY FEATURED VERSE:

Hebrews 13:2. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

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

TODAY THE WORDS are LOOKING OUT THE REAR VIEW WINDOW.

 

TODAY THE WORDS are LOOKING OUT THE REAR VIEW WINDOW.  When we were children, we loved to sit on our knees and look out the rear window of the car (probably wasn’t not safe, since children are now buckled into car seats) but we loved looking backwards at things going by. We saw it in reverse from looking out the front windshield, which would have been difficult with all of us in the car. Trees got smaller, houses that started out huge diminished to small matchboxes through the rear window and fields became patchwork quilts. As a child, I failed to see a lesson in life through the rear window. As an adult, it is quite clear what the rear view window represents, our past. When we “leave things behind” they are only seen through the rear view window of our life and become smaller and less significant the farther down our new road we travel. They can absolutely disappear into obscurity by distancing ourselves from the things we no longer need in our lives. Are you beginning to see how relevant this can be as we grow older and maybe a little wiser. What was present and in our immediate vicinity in our youth, may not be as important and necessary with the new things on the horizon as seen in our future destination from the windshield of life. We are all going to travel in our lives, some are going to take the short route and leave us, some are going on many trips and they will see lots of different routes, some are steadfast and never leave the home place so their trips are limited and most of the time their lives are “main thoroughfares”.  Now, for the deeper thought……when we travel, do not be discouraged by the rear view window (or past thoughts, actions or deeds or better stated….regrets). In time, God will move your vehicle or soul down the road and those regrets will diminish or sometimes disappear. God gives us a clear road ahead for making the most out of redemption. I experienced regrets for many years, until I understood the total forgiveness of God. I want to keep my eyes on the road ahead; I may feel a bump in the road occasionally, but the thrill of the new routes that I will travel keep me smiling. May you have a safe journey and arrive at your destination of eternal peace when God puts on the brakes!
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Joshua 1:9           
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

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

 

TODAY THE WORD IS PRESENCE



TODAY THE WORD is PRESENCE.  The opposite of presence is absence and today I think a lot of people have become absent in the world’s behavior. Being present and accountable is vital to our existence and being aware of our surroundings is crucial . All of us remember the one kid in school, maybe more than one, who came everyday, sat in the classes, sometimes was the class clown, never made good grades, and back in my time, received a spanking nearly everyday for some antic. The odd part was he received the Perfect Attendance award….imagine that! He was present, not for learning, but for a need for attention. He felt a compulsion to attend, be present, and definitely made his presence known by everyone else. This is not the presence I am referring in this message; I am referring to a conscious presence in all phases of our lives. I have employed people who had all of the talent and ability to do a job well done, but sometimes they failed to show up mentally present. They were not focused and it reflected in their positions and production. Everyone has an off day and their body shows up without the mind and this is a temporary situation. Outside problems, health issues, family situations, and financial matters can affect one’s “presence” and as long as we can resolve them, put them aside temporarily, and now for the deeper thought…..Pray for resolution or solution. Our “Attention Seeker” is always present with His Almighty presence to help us on those days, situations, problems, or difficulties. If God is absent in our lives, so will His Presence be hidden. He will always be there waiting on us to trust Him, call on Him, show our Love for Him and our need for Him. He is ever present and secure. He can call us to “attention” when our focus is not on Him and can allow us the focus and presence we need to have in our faith, our families, our work and all other needs. Be present in your life by allowing God to be the most important presence. Today, allow God to show up and call roll!

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Psalm 86:7
In the day of trouble I will call you, for you will answer me.

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

 

TODAY THE WORD is SLOW COOKED GRITS


TODAY THE WORD is SLOW COOKED GRITS.  Here comes my southern roots with “grits” topic this morning. I lived with my family in Chicago for a few years when I was very young and I still remember my Mother trying to find grits in the supermarket. No where to be found and they had plenty of hominy. That definitely wasn’t grits and we learned to buy grits when we came to Georgia for a vacation and take them back to Chicago when we returned. It is strange to me that not all southerners know how to make grits perfectly and therefore the lumps and sometimes not enough seasoning, but the biggest problem is some people cooking them too fast. Grits were made to be cooked slow and easy. Otherwise, and a lot of cooks will relate to this problem; they sputter and spit at you. Anyone who has been hit by flying grits volcano eruptions knows what I am talking about, hot and fast lava coming straight toward you. My daughter and I visited a fine resort close to St. Augustine FL. and were privy to a fantastic breakfast and they had grits on the menu (this was funny since it is a 5 star resort). We were astonished at the taste of their grits, amazingly smooth and rich with plenty of great taste. Me, being the inquisitive soul I am, asked the waitress if she could tell us how they cooked their grits. She went to the kitchen and came back with instructions to cook them really slow, really slow, with cream and butter added after the initial cooking time. Wow, did this change the way that we cook grits and believe me, it makes an incredible difference and that brings me to the deeper thought………We need to slow down and take the time to “cook” our lives. When we refer to “the good ole days”, we are referring to a slower paced life. It was a time to slowly stir our pans of family, church, friends, and work. More families seasoned their lives with trips to the country, zoos, parks, ponds, trails, or sitting around a fire and topped the “meal” with lots of laughter and chatter. We had plenty of stress but we didn’t seem worried and worked through the ordeals. Good southern grits as well as life should be stirred and simmered to enjoy the best of the best. God has given us one life to live and we need to remember it deserves to be given the proper preparation for eternity. As you hear me say, “Live to love, love to live, and live life to the fullest”.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Proverbs 15:17 ESV     
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

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

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