LUNA ROSE IN HER DIRECTOR’S CHAIR photo courtesy of Missy Haas
TODAY THE WORD is SPECULATION. With so much turmoil and talk of military action in Syria and other hot spots in the world, the stock market is “speculating” and reacting by the Dow Jones average dropping significantly. This is one of the meanings of speculation (2) as seen below.
the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence.
“there has been widespread speculation that he plans to quit”
investment in stocks, property, or other ventures in the hope of gain but with the risk of loss.
“the company’s move into property speculation”
This topic is focused on the 1st meaning of speculation which affects us common folks the most. Speculation or the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence happens a lot in our environment, at either work or home. It is easy to form theory (or as I like to call it an opinion) without all of the facts and react to others due to this speculation. When I think back, especially when I was younger, it was easy to make assumptions, and speculate as to how someone else felt. The phrase “quick to judge” was an attitude which was present and I am not saying this as something to be proud of; as a matter of fact I will speculate it was destructive in several areas of my life. As I grew older, and as I had experienced more life experiences; I grew slower to judge things. As I grew closer in my faith; I became more understanding; not more accepting of many things; but more understanding in how someone was a certain way or they had not found their way. I would like others to ponder this thought, if we are not to judge others and we are not to do that; how do we teach our young people what is wrong? How do we not speculate on others actions? How do we love without judgment and scorn? How do we teach and not preach so much? Life is a puzzle and some pieces are harder to place than others. I don’t have the answers to life but I know where to look and what to do when I need answers and how quiet I need to be while looking for the answers. What is not speculation but a firm knowledge of how life became easier when I accepted a great source of “the book of knowledge” and found God’s word. When I slow my human thoughts down and seek with earnest, pray with determination, and expect with strong faith, God can be heard. Without speculation and with a lot of faith, I can accept some things I found hard to accept and allow God to work those issues out. I do not want to speculate a forever destination; I read the “roadmap of Heaven” on a daily basis.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
King James Bible1 Timothy 1:4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
(c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
TODAY THE WORDS are RING THAT LIBERTY BELL!As an American, I should have my constitutional rights but nowhere does it say, my rights outweigh another’s rights. Rights are rights, but when someone does something illegal; wrongs are wrongs! Freedom is freedom and not a liberty to do harm to another. Today, in this crazy world, it seems we have interest groups, politicians, race groups, liberals, extremists who have lost the American concept of freedom. If we are involved in movements, it seems biased and self serving. In earlier times, when someone put up a fence on their land; neighbors understood what that fence meant…..Respect for boundaries. In today’s craziness, special interest groups would take up a ridiculous cause as to why forty million people could not cross this fence even if they had no reason to do so. Causes, causes, causes, and where did good common sense go? What has happened to the prestige service call our politicians seemed to possess when they were elected? Now, it seems it is whoever has the biggest scandal as to who gets the media’s attention? If a politician, and I don’t care if it is a Democrat or Republic, Tea Party or Independent politician tries to stand for a solid policy; everybody gets squirrely. For all of us who have seen the history of true Americanism, this is enough to make us cringe. Liberals want it all, but don’t want to pay the price for liberty. Conservatives look like bullies and can’t seem to know how to motivate their own constituents to pass or even suggest good plans; but it is mostly conservatives who wind up paying for the liberals wild laws. What happened to our American pride? It is time to ring that ole Liberty Bell and let freedom ring! It is time to revive our heritage, our pride, our responsibilities, and our link to the foundation of this beautiful, wonderful country! I like to think I speak for a large majority of Americans; Give me back My America! Now for the deeper thought….God wants us to pray for His Help and Strength, but I think God wants us to take a stand on what we believe! So many want to say Amen and leave it at that; so many want to keep quiet and our voice is needed; and so many of us fail to pray enough for strength for us to do something to make a difference. If you are straddling the fence; you are still on the fence; you are not standing on one side or the other. The saying is God helps those who help themselves! DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Retreat at Jekyll Island (photo courtesy of Brenda Stodghill)
TODAY THE WORD is RETREAT. In today’s world, the word retreat can reflect two different meanings. 1 v the act of withdrawing or going backward (especially to escape something hazardous or unpleasant) 2 n a place of privacy; a place affording peace and quiet
Why don’t we take a look at how both meanings can play an important part in our daily lives? The first meaning can be a good move or a bad one depending on the individual situation. In a hostile environment or one which could lead to a controversy, we can choose to “retreat” and regroup or in other words choose to diffuse the situation. This can avoid arguments or the chance of offending someone. Sometimes, however, withdrawing or “retreating” can be construed as cowardly or a sign of weakness. In our present world society, I see people “retreating” and not standing up for their rights, beliefs, and faith (these are not listed in any order). There are times when it is necessary to not choose retreating unless you cannot handle the stress of a “stand in the light and stand for the right things”. The second meaning is important to our well being too. With all of the hustle and bustle of this world, we find ourselves being surrounded by tasks, jobs, children, spouses, family and friends, housework, personal tasks, finances, etc. It can be overwhelming at the least. We have the unexpected show up at our doors and I am not talking about company (that can be overwhelming too at times) but repairs and sickness. The last few months in our family has been apple cart turnover with my health needing some attention. While I am getting used to a totally different eating program and having to take medications (oh, this is so hard for me); our air conditioning had to be repaired; my car had to have repairs and new tires; Greg’s CD player in his truck went out; etc. and etc. I am not complaining as I hear people with so many more troubles than we have had in our entire lives; I am praising it hasn’t been more! I only say this to bring it to the focal point of this message……We have to retreat to a retreat! We have to find ourselves retreating from the stresses of life and go to our “retreat” and relax. We need to recharge, regroup, rest, and refocus on what is truly important in our life. If we stay caught up in the drama of life and lose our focus on why we are really here; we have retreated in a bad way. Live life; love life; live life to the fullest and love God in the highest! DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Matthew 6:5-6 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
TODAY THE WORD is REJECTED. When I was in the finance division in car dealerships, either a bank would approve or reject an automobile loan. These were the semi technical days without email and scanning so paper files were necessary. It was a common practice to keep the rejected files in one place and the deal packets in an active file. I would stamp “REJECTED” on the top of the stapled file and then file it away as I had no further use for it. In today’s world, there are so many times I would love to be able to stamp REJECTED on some of the people, celebrities and politicians as well as some common folks who will never be in the public spotlight, but in their family spotlight, they seem to try to be a reject. I am not sure if they do it for attention or if they do it for meanness. I see some teenagers without purpose, living for the moment, cheering on those celebrities whose claim to fame is how bad can I be attitude. A group of us were discussing this situation when the latest immoral act has been blasted across main street media (who I would love to stamp REJECTED on them as well). What I felt was interesting, even young people were aware of how parents have changed and how their “absence” in the children’s lives have had more effect than those crazy folks we have to change channels to avoid obnoxious performances and life events. I know I seem to go back to my childhood, but I can assure you our parents would have never allowed us to do what young people are doing. I can remember one of my brothers (and he was an adult) having tried out some beers and was a little tipsy and Momma was trying to get him to settle down and behave. He was tossing some artificial fruit back and forth on the table (a lot of you may not remember the plastic fruit used as a centerpiece but yes we had a bowl of it on our table). Momma had warned him a couple of times and he kept doing it. On the third time, when one of the pieces of fruit went off the table, she responded with a slap on the side of his head. I understand this new generation thinking how bad her behavior was. What happened was my tipsy brother stood up and picked the fallen piece of fruit off that floor and sat down and settled down. She had done what I knew to be an attitude adjustment. While this situation might be handled differently; it taught my brother (and all of us knew the same thing) to respect her in her house and that it didn’t pay to not listen. I see children telling their parents what to do and the talk I hear coming out of their mouths to their parents and I think it wouldn’t have been tolerated…..that action would have been REJECTED! That is the deeper thought for today! DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: King James BibleProverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
(c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
TODAY THE WORDS are WHAT PRICE WOULD YOU PAY TO BE HAPPY? This topic was brought to me from a great lifelong friend who wanted to know what my thoughts would be to this question and I thought, “What a great blog theme!” So here we go! Let us take this question thought by thought. The first question I would have to ask first, is what is my definition of happiness? What would it take to answer a question with “yes, I am truly 100% happy”? Do we see happiness the same or do we individually interpret happiness differently? I chose to get some feedback on this subject from a blend of people, both male and female and different ages. One young lady answered it with a good response of “Can anyone really say they are 100% happy and mean it?” Another male said it was defined in being in a great loving relationship and being financially stable. One male who has been in a couple of relationships brought up a good question as to how relationships change after marriage from what it was while dating. So, I said in response then would you say happiness is like being on a Ferris wheel; sometimes you climb to the very top and you can see forever and then it seems as if it changes when you start the decline and then back up. Interpretation of this thought is “are we capable of true happiness which stays and lasts our lifetime?” In order to figure out what price happiness is worth, we have to put a value on happiness. Are we happy for integral moments with highs and lows and if so, what price would we put on those moments? My response to the male who stated a great loving relationship and financial stability are the keystrokes of happiness; what would happen if the spouse died and/or the money was lost. Let me take you to a memory of mine. When I had my own business and it was successful, I was physically fit, was driving a new sports car, not having to check prices before I bought things and lived in a 3 story 4500 square foot home on 5 acres. This sounds like pretty good odds at being happy, right? One day, I was driving along feeling unhappy in my marriage (previous), I pulled up beside a rusted out old model plain tan pick up with bald tires, no muffler. We both stopped at a red light and I looked over and the woman sitting almost under the driver had to weigh at least 500 pounds and her honey was probably about 5′ 6″ tall and if he weighed 120 pounds that was on a heavy day. He reached with his small arm and put it around her (or at least as far as he could) and he squeezed her. When he smiled; he was toothless. She nudged her face up against her and the light changed so off they went. That has been over 30 years ago and I still think “Now that is happiness at its finest.” So my answer to this question, is it is not how much you are willing to pay for happiness as happiness cannot be bought; it is a state of mind. No matter what a person has; no matter the way they look; no matter how charming or grouchy; love pays the price for happiness. One last deep thought…..Jesus paid the price with his life for us to have eternal happiness and peace. The price for our happiness has already been paid and all we have to do is love Him back! The rest of happiness on this earth is more probable for all of us to take freely. Thanks my friend! DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
photo courtesy of Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo
TODAY THE WORDS are ‘THE FIRST STEP IS THE HARDEST.” As most of us who are parents have had the experience of our children’s first step. Sometimes, even in one of life’s greatest pride moments, their first step can be quite humorous with wobbling, wide eyes, and arms flailing to the sides or in front of them. We ooh and awe but it must be very scary and exciting at the same time for the child. I have never heard anyone say they remember their first step and this may be a good thing for them to forget. Think back now, without the personal involvement and you will probably smile at the thought. We go through many first steps in our lifetime. In dance, we learn many steps and usually the first dance steps are somewhat awkward and even though most of us learn “the moves” some people don’t ever seem to get their groove on (flashback to our sixties and seventies, dear classmates and friends of mine). We take a different kind of “first” step when we apply for our first job and it is difficult to step with confidence without experience. It is a charitable action for a lot of employers who give us our first positions in life. When we marry, what a huge first step of marriage and speaking from multiple marriages; it doesn’t get easier to take that step. For some, the marriage track runs smoother than others. Others stumble and fall and have to start over. It would be great if we could learn how to step correctly in a marriage or even life itself without falling or stumbling. When we have children, we take a huge step, as we now have the responsibility of teaching and encouraging a little precious being how to step in this difficult world. Huge, huge, steps for them and us to have to take. Life is a long walk with hills and valleys, straight roads and roads with dangerous curves, bumps and dangers and we all have to walk it. Now for the deeper thought….It would seem nice to say, Life is so easy; no problems; no fears; no mistakes; no sickness and no worries. There is another step, another huge first step and this first step will make all of the ones I have written go smoother, happier, and less stressful. No, I didn’t say worry free or you would not have losses or hurts. What I am talking about is the first step in realizing “You never have to walk alone”. Once we know God already is walking beside us and we acknowledge His presence. When we know He will hold our hands when the path makes our steps difficult and He will applaud our efforts when we make it up the hill by giving our best effort and giving Him the praise for helping us; wow can we not only walk; we can run with God. One of my dear friends, Michael Park, writes a blog and it is entitled, “Why walk when you can Fly with God” and that is the best step we can take. DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: Deuteronomy 5:33 You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess (c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
TODAY THE WORD is KEEPERS. We hear this term a lot in reference to great husbands, wives, and for the single crowd, boyfriends and girlfriends who exemplify “keepers” for the future. That however is not where my train of thought is going with “keepers”. The other day it occurred to me to find some time to go through the attic in our house and see what we have decided were apparently keepers. Keepers are those items we acquire throughout our lives; as children; as adults; and sometimes keepers come from our parents when they depart. Life has a way of providing us with a lot of “keepers” or more accurately, keepsakes. When I was thinking about taking the time, it hit me how long we have been in this home, numerous years, and I have not needed any of those keepsakes since I haven’t been up in the attic since we have moved here. At Christmas, I have assisted Greg with our Christmas tree and ornaments, taking them down and either Cory or Chris usually help him put them up. So the thought came to my mind; why do we keep keepers? What makes us become keeper hoarders in a symbolic way? Why do we put so much value on trinkets? Childhood stuffed animals, school awards, trophies, scrapbooks, etc. are taking up space in attics, closets, drawers and how often do we pull them out and look at them only to put them back. I began to have a theory of why we do this. There are only a few of us who can depart with our past life (lives) and who can dispose of those links to our former or childhood life. We hang on to those “keepers” because we fear the unknown or the unforeseen future. We want to cling to unnecessary or outdated reminders of habits, lifestyles, or jobs. With this acknowledgment of why, I began to think of this same theory in our human lifestyle. I had an attic of bad habits, over indulging and over spending in purchases, living for the moment, and not knowing what the future would hold. My storehouse was overfilling with materialistic things or “keepers”. Some of those things were not important or needed in my life, but I hung on to them. Now for the deeper thought…..When it was time to “clean my spiritual house” I had to go through my storehouse of undesirable “keepers” and do away with the things in my life which needed to be “thrown out”. Once this soul housekeeping was completed and a little side note, it didn’t happen over night. I had the services of the most immaculate soul cleaner who kept working with me with grace and forgiveness when I would want to keep an undesirable thing or person in my life. Everyday, I still do a morning check up on my soul. I will get to the attic and go through it soon; but the best cleaning was when I gave in and allowed God to help me clean my life. A clean house is a good thing; a clean soul is a great and godly thing! DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Luke 11:25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. (c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
Cover image from the November 21, 1969, issue of LIFE JOHNNY CASH WROTE A FAMOUS SONG ABOUT A BOY NAMED SUE
TODAY THE WORD is WORTHY. I thought I would share a story about a man named Worthy. No one really knew how his name came about but it was known his Mother had been the one who had named him. He had some ribbing from his school mates when he was small and his name was a sore subject. She could have named him Sam, John, Bill or Bob but why Worthy. He was a good student but he wasn’t much of an athlete. He was never picked for a team or at least he was the last one picked if the coach made the teams pick until no one was left. Worthy tried to think of a shorter name to use as Worthy was getting on his last nerve. Every time his Mom would hear him complain about his name, she would smile and wouldn’t say a word. Somehow, Worthy made it through school and graduated. He found a pretty little girlfriend and she even said his name differently. He knew he loved her immediately. She didn’t make fun of his name and seemed to be attracted to him and he certainly was attracted to her. They dated through the college years and married right after their graduation. When Worthy’s Mother was sitting during the commencement ceremony and they called Worthy’s name out, she smiled a little wider as if she knew something no one else did. At the wedding ceremony, when they asked Worthy the usual question, “Do you Worthy Story take…?”, his Mother glowed with pride and Worthy saw the sweetest expression come over his Mother’s face. Years would pass, and Worthy and his lovely bride prospered and had 3 sons, Sam, John and Bill. All of the sons were adorably cute and Worthy would smile at their names knowing they would never go through the same ordeal he had suffered as a young boy. He would never put his sons through the same ordeal his Mother had put him through. As years went on, Worthy’s Mother became ill, and it was soon evident, she would not last very long. Worthy, as it came closer to her departure, felt he had to ask his Mother why she had named him Worthy Story when she could have named him a simpler name. As his Mother was laboring with her breathing, she said Worthy, don’t you know? Your Dad was a soldier who had to go to war right after I found out I was pregnant with you. When you were born, I had to notify your Dad by letter of your birth. I had planned on naming you Sam, or Bob, but when your Dad’s reply came and it said, “this letter makes every bullet passing my head worthy! I now know what I have to come home to when this war is over. Now that is a Worthy Story if she had ever heard one and that is why your name is Worthy because your Dad was killed before he could come home. There is something to be said about a name and definitely when you hear a story worth reading. DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
TODAY THE WORD is TOOTHPICK. With this topic, all of my readers should know I never have a clue before my fingers start typing as to the topic, with the exception of a few which people have suggested. I can assure you no one suggested toothpick so let’s see where it goes. Toothpicks have been around for a long time. The toothpick is known to predate the arrival of early modern humans. The skulls of Neanderthals, as well as Homo sapiens, have shown clear signs of having teeth that were picked with a tool. It is the oldest instrument for dental cleaning. Toothpicks are well known in all cultures. Before the toothbrush was invented, teeth were cleaned with hard and soft dental woods. Toothpicks made of bronze have been found as burial objects in prehistoric graves in Northern Italy and in the East Alps. It was also well known in Mesopotamia. (source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia). Well, the ole toothpick may be more significant than first thought. So the humble toothpick was even looked at as jewelry in Italy in the 1700’s. Now, it is moving up the ladder. So what is all to do about the toothpick? Have you ever had some food in between your tooth and you start hunting a toothpick with vigor? Have you felt the relief when that little stick removed that piece of stuck debris? Didn’t you feel a sense of cleansing from that action? I have seen some of the country folk walking around with their toothpick in their mouth just in case they needed it. That might be some smart thinkin’ on their part…having it handy just in case! Now for the deeper thought…..God represents a similar meaning as a toothpick does (not making light of God’s power, just symbolic). As a toothpick removes debris and relieves that awful unclean feeling of something which needs to be removed; God reaches into our souls and plucks it out if we will use His powers and allow God to cleanse our mouth of life. We may have to search for Him as sometimes we don’t have Him handy as we should be like the ole country folks and keep God handy and always in our lives, ready to pray for the relief and trust in the cleansing. If we will seek God as we seek a toothpick, we will find our souls cleaner and free from the debris of sin! Remember to floss with God’s Word! DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GRAND CANYON LIGHTNING
TODAY THE WORDS are RAINY DAYS. This seemed like an appropriate subject with the weather making a “splash” lately. It seems like it has rained almost every day for about 3 weeks and it can be as devastating as a drought. I see posts where prayers for the farmers to be able to get their crops harvested. When the farmers are affected, all of us are affected by prices or scarcity of goods in our stores. What we do know, unless NASA is playing with our weather, is we average humans are defenseless against Mother Nature. We are either blessed with a good combination of rain, sunshine, cool and warm weather. When storms come, the meteorologists can forecast the severity, but even they get them wrong sometimes and a hurricane or tornado will chart a different route and do severe damage. Weather, is like life; it is unpredictable. What do we do to prepare for rainy days? Do we stock up emergency supplies and food? Do we save money for those rainy days? Or do we do like most of the population and take our chances? Then do we moan and groan when we find ourselves short? I see it in posts, in conversations, on the news, and in our churches. Some people like to see themselves as victims and spout out “Life isn’t fair” and “Why me, O Lord?” Life happens to all of us and on any given “rainy day” we are faced with downpours of troubles. I heard the phrase, “He or she was born with a silver spoon in their mouth” So what? I see wealthy people who have lost their shirts. Do you think every homeless person was a homeless person all of their life? Somehow, someway, something happened and changed the course or the track of their personal storm. When we are faced with a storm in our life, do we look around for shelter, protect our families and friends or do we say, Oh well, there is nothing I can do and start the blame game? Now, for the deeper thought…..We are facing the storms of life every day and either we can seek shelter in God’s protection or are we going to start the blame game and try to excuse why we didn’t heed the “storm” warning. I can assure you the most accurate meteorologist is God as He has every “storm of life” tracked. God knows what we will face and how we will react. God helps those who help themselves and God loves hearing prayers of thanks for the fair weather blessings He bestows and the storms He prevents or turns the eye of the storm away from us. Today, if we look at our storehouses, let us prepare, let us pray, let us worship, and let us stop blaming others for our “normal life problems”. A little rain or even a downpour will happen in our lives; it is how we react to it that makes us a Godly person or a “self made victim”. Our choice!! DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: Psalm 107:29 He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
(c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.