TODAY THE WORDS are THE DIFFERENCE IS MORE THAN MARS AND VENUS. Yesterday, it was brought to my attention by a quote I wrote “I look at life and smile; a new adventure everyday” and posted on FB and a good friend of mine Judy remarked and her remark set off a flurry about how women and men even do laundry so differently. It was so funny but so true I thought I would share some of our differences and hopefully we will share some lighthearted feelings. Judy remarked when her husband loads 10 beach towels and therefore produces the “unbalanced” noise which men seem to never hear. I think either Judy or someone else remarked how a man could do one load which normally takes 6 loads if a woman is doing laundry. Women seem to multi-task to a higher degree as we can talk, read a book, change channels, get something to drink and never miss a beat of a television show we watch and see the reaction if a woman tries to say even a few words to her husband while he is watching a show and forbid the lady if it is a football game, race, or other sporting events. Now, let’s put the shoe on the other foot. We women, with a few exceptions are not programmed to program a DVD, Xbox, or other technological equipment. I work on a computer almost all day long, and I have worked on special computer projects, but try to get me to work Netflix with using three remotes at once. Oh, I do it; but it is not natural. Now, for the cooking differences. A large majority of women are at home in the kitchen and we cook or bake several dishes at the same time and for the most part, do this very successfully. However, I am one of those who doesn’t do grilling, smoking, or fooling with the gas tanks but my husband gets into his caveman character and marvelously creates scrumptious, mouth watering steaks, chops, or chicken. Put him into the kitchen and he would be lost with all of the combination cooking. Are you starting to get the drift or “smell” of this message? Men and women are different, both in methods and motives and we have to be aware of this to get to the deeper thought…..God made us this way in order for us to support each other; to complement each others strengths and weaknesses (yes both sexes have weaknesses); and to be there for each other in moments of needs. It is a good thing we are different because I don’t know how I do without my husband’s talents and abilities and he needs me for mine. May you find common ground; may you find laughter in the differences; may you find compassion when those differences get in the way; and may you always find love in all you do together.

Ephesians 5:25-28 ESV          
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup (made by Arline Miller)
TODAY THE WORD is HEARTY. It is still blizzard type weather in most regions in the country and we will be starting to see a little relief later this week. When I think about this kind of temperatures, warm, hearty food start to come to mind. My husband made some “hearty” chili and I saw on social media, one of my dear friends Evelyn made up her supply of vegetable soup. I make a delicious, “hearty” soup too and I plan on making it this weekend. The recipe makes quite a lot of the soup and usually I freeze several meals or I share with others, usually both. When I say “hearty”, does a stew, soup, chili, or goulash come to mind? If it does, you are right but I am going to take hearty in another direction this morning. So many times in life, we are faced with situations which challenge our hearts and even our souls. We see people we love making a lot of mistakes, and before we go judging, we should remember the times in our own lives how many times or mistakes have we made. As a close friend of mine said to me the other day, “We are sinners, even when we have been saved. We have to ask for forgiveness all of our lives.” This may sound, like what? I asked God to forgive my sins (remember these are past sins) and God forgave me. With our human nature, our short tempers, our tendency to judge which has to be fought, our uncharitable thoughts, and other human weaknesses we possess, we need to continue on our journey by asking for forgiveness each day. This is what I refer to as a “hearty salvation”. It is full of meaty, warm, comforting, and satisfying feelings and an ability to recognize no human is perfect and we do make mistakes. It is a “hearty” feeling to admit our weaknesses and ask for strength from God. Hearty means from the heart and I mean our internal link to our soul, our spirit instead of our beating heart. When God gives us the strength or courage to help, to witness, or to be an example for those we love, making mistakes or who haven’t found their way; God is giving us a “hearty” dish of His Love and Strength. It can be a “spoonful” of hearty amount of witnessing as to what God did for us may be the very thing to help another person change their diet of life. Give Heartiness to Others and it will taste good to your soul. Serve up a dish of God’s love and share with those in need of God’s redeeming love.
Ezekiel 36:26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.



TODAY THE WORD is QUILTS. On a frigid, freezing temperature day as today, it is an easy reach for an appropriate topic for the blog. For a lot of my readers, you are not familiar with the word, quilt. When I was growing up, we slept under quilts and on days like today, there would have been several quilts which provided a lot of warmth. They also added a lot of weight as quilts were heavy and thick and served well for all of us living in colder houses than we have today. Most of us had heaters and central heating was not an option. Fireplaces and stove heaters were popular and some gas heaters had come into some homes. The memories of  the days of backing up to the fire or the heater and feeling toasty on the backside still make me feel comfy. However, you had your turn and by the time you got back up to the warmth, you had already gotten cold again. Sitting with a quilt around you was not an uncommon sight; we did this often during the winter months. Did any of you attend a quilting bee? I only went to one and it was more of a party than a lot of work, but quilts did get made along with many laughs, jokes, refreshments and sharing stories. When we look at a homemade quilt today, we have no idea of how much work and joy went into it. We notice the irregular stitching but we give little thought to the hours applied to those stitches. What happens now is when an elderly parent passes; the quilts are handed down to the next generation. I have some of my Mom’s quilts and so does my husband have some of his Mom’s quilts. They become family heirlooms even though most of them have little monetary value. Now for the deeper thought….quilts were usually made from scrap material. They would be accumulated until they had enough to make a pattern. Sometimes, even scraps were shared and appeared on even more quilts. That is how I see us in life as scrap material who by ourselves don’t serve a great purpose. Combined with other pieces of material (or other people) we can be stitched together to form a useful, warming, and comfortable quilt. We can comfort and furnish warm, loving actions to the one who needs something to wrap themselves in and protect them from the cold storms of life. God stitches us into the quilt and gives us the prettiest pattern if we agree to be placed into the quilt. God wants to provide a batting for us while we are used and sometimes it seems we are placed in a closet and we wonder what plans God has for us. Then, the cold, stormy, frigid times allow us to be all we need to be and we serve a great purpose, united in God’s stitches to provide loving warmth to someone else.

King James Bible  James 2:16
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORD is SKEDADDLE. I hope all of you enjoy the posts with the funny words as much as I do. There are times when I am in a hurry and I use this word as in, “I need to skedaddle”.
This may be a Southern word as we in the South are famous for the usage of funny words and we will even add an invisible extra syllable in it as SKEE- DAA-AAD- DLE by our twang. Even if it is not a southern originated word, we will make it ours. Have you ever used this word to express a need to hurry? In other words, have you ever had to skedaddle? We live such busy lives; trying to do too many things at one time; taking on too much in too little timeframe; or just running around like a chicken with his head cut off? Even that phrase depicts pandemonium as not too many chickens can still run around once the head has been cut off, so where did we come up with that phrase. Sometimes, we make up phrases or words such as skedaddle to have some humor in our lives and I feel it is a good outlet. We need humor, especially if we are skedaddling (is that a word?) here and there. Life can be too serious if we allow it to be. We need to slow down from skedaddling and cherish some good times. We are finding it harder to take time for ourselves, our families, our friends, and hobbies. I can see some of my hustle bustle workaholics saying, “Hobbies?, what are those?” I saw a wall décor with a fishing pole with photos of the person’s big catches in frames hanging in a unique display with some sinkers at the end and it brought a thought to me. The pole might as well be on the wall as hardly anyone I know takes the time to go fishing. I applaud those of you who still go fishing. The times in my life I went fishing was the most relaxing times I remember. The time we went to the mountains and the weather was so bad, we stayed in the cabin and I had some much needed rest. Maybe the thought for today is we are so busy skedaddling around, we miss the finer moments we are supposed to enjoy. When we are rested; we perform better. When we are relaxed; we are less likely to stress about little things. When we allow ourselves some personal time; we are more likely to understand why others need their personal time. We become more understanding, more patient, more relaxed, calmer, and tolerant. Other countries’ companies require their employees to take more vacations than Americans and they may be on to a good idea. Take time to live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by not skedaddling everyday.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV     
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORDS are THE CHAIR. Looking at the pictures, you can see a beautiful chair which has been restored, but you cannot see the story behind it. To me, every time I see it, the story becomes alive in my mind and is a sweet story. I have loved animals since I was a small child and we always had dogs and a few cats (usually one at a time). Our pets became members of the family and were loved tremendously. How does a chair relate to my love of animals? When my husband was in college and I worked to help pay our way, we lived in a mobile home in a nice park. It was small, but we had it nicely decorated. Since I worked full time, I didn’t socialize with the neighbors a lot and I had seen the lady who lived behind us a couple of times and had seen her with her little dachshund Fritz. Even at that time, I didn’t know her name or Fritz’s name; I had only spoken a Hello or Hi to her upon passing. One Friday afternoon, I came home from work and found Fritz at my door steps. I picked him up and walked over to my neighbor’s home and no one answered. I looked and her car was missing. I took Fritz to my place and gave him some water and he looked hungry so off we went to the store to buy some dog food. At this time, we didn’t have a dog. I kept looking out for our neighbor and she didn’t come home all weekend. I would check when I would take Fritz out for his business. Fritz seemed to know he was supposed to stay with me and he didn’t bark; he stayed close to me. Monday came and the office to the park opened and I inquired about my neighbor and only got her name. I had to leave Fritz in the mobile home while I went to work but my husband came home after his college classes and we made it through.  I left a note on her door in case she came home and Wednesday afternoon, she came to our door. Her Mother had died and when she got the news with trying to pack quickly, Fritz had gone outside. For some reason, and in the midst of the tragedy, she failed to think about Fritz. She was beside herself and was so guilt ridden but at the funeral, she said a peace came over her and she thought it was odd but she saw my face in her mind. Fritz was fine and her owner and I became friends even with a lot of age difference. Her mobile home was decorated in all antiques but this particular chair was in a shed and she had not had it restored. One day we were walking to her home and I spotted the chair in the shed and all I said was, “That chair is pretty, why don’t you have it restored?” and her reply was, “Would you like to have it?” She said, “I could never repay you for your kindness but maybe you will think of Fritz and me when you look at it. This was in the late 60’s and I tried my hand at restoring it several times and finally took it to Mr. Sears in Douglas and he properly disassembled it and now it is a treasured piece in one of the bedrooms. Even though it is sturdy, I don’t encourage any sitting in it. It is my reminder that kindness is met with kindness.
Galatians 6:10 ESV     
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORDS are INSTANT COFFEE. As a person who is not an avid coffee drinker this seems to be an odd topic, but hang in there; there is a message hidden in the title. When I was growing up, I was not exposed to coffee and actually had not the opportunity to drink any coffee, perked or instant so I definitely did not have an opinion about coffee one way or the other. As a hyper child, I am sure even if my parents had been serious coffee drinkers, they would have kept if from me. As I grew up and married, my husband was not a coffee drinker either so I was still sheltered from the coffee adventure. When I went to the first few insurance seminars and training schools, I found out most insurance agents lived on coffee. At the refreshment tables, the coffee pot was there with very few substitutes. After a while, I tried it; wasn’t too keen on the taste, but drank it anyway. Over the years, I tolerated the taste and I have to admit in the finer restaurants, I had some delightful cups of java. But on to the theme of the message, being instant coffee. Visiting with my Momma, she would get up and have a cup of instant coffee. When I would get up, she would offer me a cup and out of politeness, I would drink a cup. I will have to say I may be biased since I am not a coffee hound, but that is somehow the closest to being awful as I have encountered. Who came up with instant coffee? There may be some of you saying, “what is she talking about, I love it.” and  I say to each his own but somehow when they crystallize the coffee, it becomes something different. Now for the deeper thought…..the richer, deeper aroma of brewed coffee reminds me of how our lives should be lived. We should take the time to develop or “brew” our family life and not take the instant process. Admit it; very few of us in this day and time, take the quality of life very seriously and we settle for the “quickly acquired” taste of Instant Living. We “instantize” our time with our spouses,  children, our work, our church life, our community, and the highest disregard for the proper brewing is the relationship with Our God. We want to call on God when we are in dire straits and we expect to receive instant results from our instant prayers. I say this to encourage not criticize as the majority of us have been a victim in wanting instant gratification and God’s plan doesn’t work that way. Yes, God can change people in a twinkle of an eye, a miracle in an instant, etc. but God requires we honor him and worship Him on a regular basis, taking time to brew our souls into a rich, tasteful being for all who surround us enjoy “our Godly flavor”.

John 4:23-24 ESV          
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORD IS NOR’EASTER. I have seen a lot of social media posts of different friends having gone to the mountains for a vacation begging for snow and then I have seen pictures of some sign of small flaking and they are ecstatic about those flakes. It brought me to thinking about my childhood memories of some “true snow storms” in Chicago. We moved there in early 50’s when I was a small child. Trust me, we southerners have not seen snow, blizzards, ice storms in our area. We get excited on what northerners mock as a good winter day. We lived several blocks and I am not talking about two or three; I am talking about a mega trek to school. No, we didn’t walk 5 or 10 miles; it was treacherous in the least. I am sure some of you have traveled to the north and if you have ever been privy to a Nor’Easter, you already know what I am talking about. The wind feels as if it can cut you in two. At the time when we went to school, they didn’t close the schools but for a few times and we walked in the snow. I will share how we learned to walk in the snow and make headway. If they had cleared the sidewalks it really helped but if the sidewalks were still snow capped, the first “adventurers” paved the way by lifting their foot and smashing the snow down and moving forward one step at a time. We followed by making sure we stepped in their tracks and down the streets we went. The more we stepped into the same tracks the bigger the tracks got and we could move faster. We covered as much of our faces as we could with scarves, hats, and ear muffs. Mittens or gloves were a must. We knew it was cold; we shivered but we kept moving. I remember being happy when we made it to the school and found the old radiator heaters along the walls and standing as close as we could without touching them. Oh the toasty heat and finally the drying process worked. I am not making light of our Southern friends who are excited about the “snow” they are seeing. If someone is not used to it, a thrill goes through the body. For all of us who had to literally walk to school in the snow and in the rain; a chill runs through our bodies. Now for the deeper thought……we get “snowed” in life and it is hard to move. We are cold and scared. We don’t know if we can keep moving with all we are having to deal with. Remember it is easier to step in someone else’s tracks so listen when others who have already been through the same “tracks” of life and have managed with the help of God to overcome and move forward. We can learn from experience and if we listen to how survivors of life managed; the Nor’Easters of life become easier to take one step at a time.
Bundle up, prepare for the hard difficult treks, and walk in God’s steps as He has paved the way.

Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV     
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORDS are LUNCH WITH AUNT BEA.  On this date, three years ago, our dear Mother left this earth for her eternal journey and I am sad on this day but joyous in her memory. I am not sure if I have posted this story about our Mother so bear with me if you have heard it before; but it is worth repeating if that is the case. Mom had worked at her brother’s bakery and it now houses a great Southern cooking restaurant. Once Mom was injured and couldn’t work, she would still go and visit with friends and family members for lunch. She corresponded her days to coincide with her hair appointment so she could drive to both places before going home. Since I lived out of town, on the days I would be in town, it was already decided we would meet at Holt’s for lunch. The funny part is it was always mixed emotions as I hardly got to talk with Mom as people were joining us and they were busy talking to her. Of course, they were not rude; they loved seeing her and it didn’t hit them I might want to talk to her too. She loved her little popularity and was known by people who some were related but others who were not related called her Aunt Bea. Mom would tell me about her getting a chance to talk to young people who needed someone to listen to their problems and Mom took on that role. She would listen and then, as she said, “Sometimes, I would come down hard on them.” She didn’t cut it anyway but down the center and she was specific in how they needed God in their lives and all of these problems would go away or be solved. She would share her testimony on how Jesus loved her and how she had to change her ways. She would tell them without hesitation, she loved them too, but they needed to start living right. What amazed me in this politically correct world where it seems everyone walks on egg shells to avoid telling young people how life really works; Mom never minded “shooting it straight” and what was even more amazing, these young people loved her for it. They would hold the door, help her with her tray, bring her “goodies” and they returned her love. Now for the deeper thought…..young people respond to the Aunt Beas of the world. They want direction with love added in the mix. They want to hear as Aunt Bea would say when they made changes in their life, “I am so proud of you!”  A note to our Mom in Heaven, “Mom, you showed me how to love others as Christ has shown the world. You gave me direction and you gave me love. You took care of me and you then appreciated everything I did to take care of you. You can’t be replaced; you can be remembered and loved. I speak this message from my heart and I know I speak for my Sister who loves you as I do; You made a deep impression by not trying to impress anyone. You gave love even if others may not have given it back. Thank you “Aunt Bea” alias Our Mother who we miss and love”. In loving memory of  Beatrice (Bea) Holt Lott Hutchinson Sept. 6, 1924 – Jan. 2, 2011.

Proverbs 31:26-27 ESV     
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.



With all of the holiday eating going on in the world, my mind went to the tradition of potluck. pot·luck  (ptlk)
1. Whatever food happens to be available for a meal, especially when offered to a guest: Having arrived unannounced for supper, we had to take potluck.
2. A meal at which each guest brings food that is then shared by all. Also called potluck supper.
3. Whatever is available at a particular time: The scheduled flight was canceled and passengers had to take potluck on the other airlines.
With this thought in mind, my mind went past the usual potluck meal with us looking into the refrigerator and gathering leftover food and coming up with our own concoction. Sometimes, it is a great hit and sometimes not so much. My mind gathered itself into how life is really potluck. As we move through life, it is sometimes a great hit and sometimes not so much. I looked at everyone’s New Year messages and I saw how it was mixed with thankfulness for the good, thankfulness for overcoming the bad, and a general mix of all different situations. We grab on to the best tasting moments of our lives and we try to throw away the bad moments. We flavor with love; we season with laughter, and we savor with compassion. In reality, life has its way of combining the unlikely ingredients. We throw in a few herbs of superstition as we even plan meals to encompass the old wives tales of greens for money, rice for our good fortune to multiply, and event the pork for the version of “living high on the hog”. The black eyed peas may stand for counting a lot of money, but everyone seems to have a different version. It is a potluck life and we are used to throwing it all in a pot and stirring until done. My deep thoughts on my potluck theory….God furnishes us the pot and expects us to figure out what will taste good together. God will add the seasoning such as laughter, and we have to decide how much salt and sugar to get the perfect blend. God also decides the length of time needed to get the ingredients (us) to the right consistency and blend. But when life’s meal is finished, it is God who turns off the heat, allows us to rest in peace and then on to eternity. I want to wish everyone a healthy potluck life and A Very Happy New Year!
Romans 14:1-23     

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

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