TODAY THE WORD IS HAPPINESS

TODAY THE WORD is HAPPINESS.  Normally, we think of trips, gifts, surprises, or some kind of materialistic gain when the word happiness is mentioned. We relate this feeling with some event, birth, purchase, promotion or move. Do we consider what true happiness is supposed to mean? I feel there are two kinds of true happiness; one is inner happiness and the other is spiritual happiness. These forms of happiness can blend together and become a total picture of happiness. I want you to think back to a time in your life when you had decided that you were happy with yourself with all of the normal limitations, flaws, character traits and other factors. No more worrying about all of the things that make you unique and an inner happiness occurs. The same metamorphosis occurs when the spirit comes to its full manifestation. We find ourselves being accessible for others, shelving our needs to prioritize our families, and we instinctively move God to the center stage and personal challenges are placed in its proper destination. Now for the deeper thought…..Do you have this memory when your life changed and God became your priority? The reason for this question is from my personal experience. I went through a large portion of my life being a decent person from my parents’ upbringing and later in life, my exposure to a lot of long talks with my Mother who had found her walk with the Lord. I felt the urge to change, but was living a non-committed life, loving God but not delivering any deeds with Him at the helm. Then it happened, and I am telling you, once this change occurs, you will always remember where, when and how it occurred. Life, love and compassion as I had known was expanded into a beautiful relationship between me and my Lord. I now knew what my heart had always known that I had never been alone; God was waiting for me to acknowledge His existence in MY life. I had acknowledged Him before in existence but the difference is I can now acknowledge God walks beside me, listens to my prayers, and loves me as I love Him. True happiness is this personal acknowledgement in my life and I know the difference between worldly happiness and total personal and spiritual happiness. Today, I thank God for giving me this big smile on my face.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS ARE HAVE A LITTLE TALK

 
TODAY THE WORDS are HAVE A LITTLE TALK. Early this morning, as it happens several times, a thought entered my head which has become the topic for today. My mind went to  my early morning “God and me time” where I pray and study. This morning, an old gospel song kept coming through my mind, “Just a little talk with Jesus” written by Cleavant Derricks. Most of my friends are going to start hearing this song in their mind and some may start singing the lyrics. The thought went past the beautiful lyrics of:
I once was lost in sin, but Jesus took me in,
And then a little light from heaven filled my soul;
It bathed my heart in love and wrote my name above,
And just a little talk with Jesus makes me whole
.

Read more: Jimmy Dean – Just A Little Talk With Jesus Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

My mind went to the thought of what would happen if you were not having this talk with Jesus in your heart only? If you had an opportunity to stand before Him and what would you say, or would you say nothing and stand in awe of His Glory? Another great song came to me, “I can only imagine” and while imagining, does your mind go to a need to apologize for things left unsaid or undone? Would you think of missed opportunities or failures? Or would you think of praises to Him for all of the wonderful blessings you have received? Would you want to question things which happened to you or a loved one which you never understood the reason behind it? I closed my eyes this morning and imagined standing before Him and what I would do, and in that moment with all of the magnificent light and beauty, I found it to be overwhelming and all I wanted to do was cry tears of joy. The realization, which I have felt in my heart for several years, came to a vivid reality in my mind…..and here it is and the reason for this message…..We all will stand in His Holy Presence and we will have a “Little but Big” talk with Him one day. It is not just lyrics, or a sermon, or a lot of morning or evening times spent with His Word and prayers. At this talk, no words will have to be spoken as we all “live” our little talks with Jesus each and every day and it is important how we “talk” with our lives. The only words we are going to listen for is “Well done, my good and faithful servant” and the invitation to enter into Heaven. May all of us hear the lyrics of God.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Revelation 3:20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
 


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

 

TODAY THE WORD IS TRAPS

TODAY THE WORD is TRAPS.  This morning, I had the thought of how trappers set traps to catch the animals. These traps are usually cruel entrapment and a lot of suffering occurs before death. I am not speaking this morning for animal rights (protective advocates are actively seeking protection for this practice). I want to talk about a different kind of trap…..the human trap we set for ourselves. Bear with me, as you know I am a positive person and my thoughts will lead us there in a few minutes. So many young girls set a trap for themselves by allowing peers to put the bait on the trap and encourage the others to follow. Indeed too much pressure to look a certain way, weigh a certain amount, dress a certain way and act a certain way. Once the trap is sprung, the girls have to be molded and therefore a life style is set. Let me say this for the young girls being tempted to go this route and this has been an observation over many years; the girls in high school that usually are the most prettiest, most popular, and the most petite find out that once in the real adult world, they will need more than just looks. Sometimes, the girls who don’t blossom as early, seem to take on a radiance later in life. Once in a while, you will see some that spring the trap and release themselves from a life of being a diva and that is inspiring. The trick is not to get “trapped” in life and to realize how special each one of us is to Our Maker, our families and our friends. Anyone who critiques another may be a little jealous as it is not always just looks people measure others by. A great sense of humor; great talents; great athletic ability; ability to communicate easily; and other abilities that shine may be a threat to those who depend solely on looks. The life trap with its bait of popularity is intriguing  to most young people; it is deadly if other traits and abilities are not added to a person’s life. External beauty usually fades and the methods some use to try to stay young sometimes come back to haunt the person. Internal beauty radiates stronger as the source of the glow ages. Now for the deeper thought……It is deep……Life is to embrace our uniqueness as that is from what we grow and illuminate the world. Here is my example of what I am embracing: All of us have seen pictures of Mother Theresa, a plain looking women, who came from abundant and affluent heritage and who gave up all to serve. Is she not beautiful to view? Look at her picture and see how her internal beauty radiates and allows you to see past the wrinkles and the plain attire. She sprung her trap and with that freedom, has found her place among a semblance of saint. Today, release yourself from the trap and feel the freedom to be yourself. (Reprint of original post in 2013 Sipping Cups of Inspiration)
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
(c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS ARE ANOTHER SUNRISE

TODAY THE WORDS are ANOTHER SUNRISE. In the aftermath of the recent tragedies of the missing flight 370, the landslide in WA and horrendous other events, my heart is hurting for all of the people who were killed, injured, and/or traumatized. We have watched and prayed for those lost. So many hurting, some will never see a sunrise again. Sunrises are such a special gift from God and a visual sign a new day is beginning with radiance, beauty, and wonder and that is important for all of us blessed to see another sunrise. I made the statement recently, when we cannot attend, without shuddering with fear, everyday events or an event meant for good success from hard efforts; sanity has left the world. We all live on this planet, filled with beauty and wonder and it is beyond my comprehension why there is evil taking over. With a sunrise, hope should come for people to love, share, unite instead of divide, and join together to enjoy the brilliance of another day. Now for my deeper thought…..with so much reverence for the people who experienced this tragedy, and those of us who received the horrible news, those of us checking on people we knew who had loved ones involved and see if they were okay….if we are reading this blog; we are survivors to see another sunrise and to have another opportunity to do something blessed with our lives. So many that rose early, saw yesterday’s sunrise, will not see another sunrise on this earth. Many other people saw their last sunrise yesterday who will not see another sunrise due to health,some from car accidents, homicides, suicides, and other fatal events. The point is not meant negative, however to get to the point o f this message, has to reflect what we, as ones who were afforded another sunrise, to rise with the sun and go forth to do good. Prayers, charity, compassion, fellowship with others, sensitivity to the tragedy, and most of all love for others. Evil cannot override love and none of us know if this morning’s sunrise is the last we will see. All we can do is all we can do; but all we can do is enough! was a statement from AL Williams who turned the insurance world upside down, but this statement stuck with me as it is so true. Today, all we can do is hug each other tight, be thankful for the blessing of another sunrise, and do everything we can to be good people, charitable people, giving people, and make this day count! Our days on earth are numbered, we don’t know how many days we each have.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Lamentations 3:22-23  King James Version (KJV)

22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

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

TODAY THE WORDS ARE FALLING STARS

 
TODAY THE WORDS are FALLING STARS. As some of you know, I am on a little break from writing on the blog daily and getting some spring cleaning completed, but this thought came through so strong this morning, I figured I had better get it out while the getting is good if you know what I mean. I saw a group entitled “Elvis, boy from Tupelo” and all of Elvis’s fans, don’t go hating on me as I am a huge fan myself. I also see most of us following several stars and celebrities. We count down hours on popular shows and even remark on FB almost every event on each one of these shows. Yes, this is entertainment and I believe I am guilty of becoming “hooked” on some shows myself. Here is the thought meant for me, I feel for sure, but I felt it necessary to share with others as I am not alone in this message. We spend so much time on shows, celebrities (and most of their moves are not in the best light and some people applaud their “stupidity” and why I never have figured that one out), sporting events, races, reality shows (and what is real in those staged shows, I ask?). We do everything we can to attend concerts, but hardly find time to go to church or charitable events; we discuss every politician or elected official, but cannot find time to vote. We take to the social media like we are glued to our computers (trying my best to cut this down tremendously) but we can barely remember our loved ones’ phone numbers, much less pick up the phone to keep in touch. We can go to restaurants to eat out with acquaintances and friends, but our best friends, our families; we don’t even cook for them or visit with them unless it is a special occasion. We regret and mourn when a classmate dies; but we cannot find time to go to our own class reunions. I realize I am stepping on toes with this message, but I am right here with you so don’t shoot the messenger. Now for the deepest thought…..We can make time to pray when we are sick, destitute, or in emotional stress. We can move Heaven and Earth to pray during those times; what about the times when we are happy and no problems are on the horizon? What about after we have been delivered, saved, and spared? Just food for me and as I like to share; I hope you see why this message is worth sharing to others. Can we make some time to give thanks by removing some of the things we “always” seem to find time to do?
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

1 Chronicles 16:34

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever

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


TODAY THE WORDS ARE CHECK THE TIRES

TODAY THE WORDS are CHECK THE TIRES. I think that my Dad left a lingering mechanic’s thinking. He always said, “If a person keeps water in the radiator, keeps the oil and filters changed, and always check the tires, a vehicle will run forever.” I enjoy our car a lot and it has been such a good car that I haven’t done the “Arline has to have a new car” battle and I have kept this car a lot longer. As I was taught, and as my husband Greg thinks too; we change the oil, keep all fluids in it, rotate the tires and keep them balanced (in other words, check the tires). When I was in the car business, I saw the good and bad of car and truck maintenance. People would buy the top of the line vehicle only to neglect the maintenance and low and behold, they would come in fussing about how sorry the car was. Dad’s words rang clearly in my mind when this would happen and even though we, at the dealership, would go over the normal maintenance and what is recommended by the factory, they would disregard the mileage warnings, the lights, etc. and drive it as if it would go on and on without proper care. Junk yards are full of those vehicles but I was almost amused at the “deer in the headlight look” when the technician would explain the problem and what caused it. Now let me put my “dip stick” in a little deeper…….Our lives are like this……we start out healthy (normally) and we throw caution to the wind. Our bodies or our “vehicles of life” run great and we rev our motors up and run wide open. We eat what we want; we go past the normal wear and tear; we forget to change the oil and we don’t check our tires. Our ride through life starts to be rough and not nearly as smooth as it was earlier in our life. We start complaining about how it handles differently than it used to do. We start going to our vehicle “mechanic” or doctor and finally, we start changing diets, exercise more, or worse, we have to start adding medications to get it running better. Our souls or as I like to think, our engines are even more neglected if we are not careful. This is what I feel is the reference to “Check the tires”. Good tires, balanced and properly inflated, are like our faith if regularly checked insure us of a smooth ride through life. They take the road of life more smoothly, take the roughness out of bumps that we encounter. As a saintly woman said, “God smooths out the rough spots”. Today, before we start our journey, let’s be sure to check the oil, check all fluids, and don’t forget to Check the Tires!
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
2 Corinthians 13:5 King James Version
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS ARE HITTING THE MARK

TODAY THE WORDS are HITTING THE MARK. No, my fellow gun lovers, this post is not about gun control but is dedicated to marksmanship in life. In other words, how sharp are our skills in our daily living? When I was old enough to learn to shoot, my father took me, as well as my other siblings,  practice shooting the safe way, the correct way, and the accurate way. He knew what he was saying since he was a policeman and had gone through the department training. I learned how to steady the gun, make sure I had the target in sight, and fire at the target. I shot many cans, jugs, and other home made targets (didn’t have printed targets). This memory takes me to my deeper thought……..Hitting the mark in life takes the same effort. We take on a lot of responsibility in life (well the responsible person takes on responsibilities and the others freeload). We work, we have relationships and then families, we have financial goals, and we have plans for retirement; or do we? Do we stand straight with shoulders erect; do we get our target in sight; do we plant our feet firmly to steady the course; and do we consistently practice doing what will make us better at hitting the mark? It is the same in parenting as children respond to consistent parent responses and  their consistent reactions if this is practiced. Once a child sees that Mommy or Daddy does not stand straight, consistent, firm but not angry, and no means no and yes means yes; they want to wiggle and move out of your sight. Relationships, without the steady input of expressions of love, caring, support become hard to aim at being the most loving and stable. Work without the commitment to excel and that takes plenty of practice to be creative, punctual, and focused. Financial goals fit in this continuous practice and strong determination to “hit the mark”  and is necessary for all of us who want to see the stockpile of successful marks on our target. Life is a shooting range for us and we need practice, determination, focus and a steady stance to hit our mark. May we aim straight, may we stand firm and may we understand the importance of practicing until we get it right. Aim for the bulls eye in our spiritual side as “missed” will not count in eternity. We have an opportunity to stand firm; plant our feet on God’s soil; and hit our mark in our hearts and souls. (This is a reprint of an earlier message)
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Matthew 7:21-23 (King James Version)
7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS ARE SPREADING IT EVEN

 
TODAY THE WORDS are SPREADING IT EVEN. It may be I had a stomach virus yesterday and felt lousy as those kind of things can make a person feel, but this morning I realized how much I had tried to avoid being around others, even my husband, hoping not to spread it. When I woke up this morning, feeling a little weak, this thought came to me and I thought I would “spread” it to others.
Almost all of us, and somehow, I think more like all of us, have “spread” either butter, peanut butter, jam or jelly, mayo, or other concoctions on a piece of bread to make a sandwich or toast. We either start with a helpful utensil such as a spoon or knife and it is part of the ritual as to the tool we use. Some always use a spoon to dip and then spread and I may be wrong but I have witnessed first hand; these are the ones who enjoy more of what they are spreading and “we” put more on our bread. Others use a knife and they take more time to use less and spread more evenly. Would you say you agree with this observation? I thought about this for a little while as those of you who know me personally realize I do on most things. This is a symbol of our individual personalities. I am going to break these “spreaders” into two categories 1) Spooners and 2) Knifers and we will have some fun in their descriptions and you can decide which category you possibly fit. Spooners want to live life to the fullest by spreading themselves freely and fully. They are not as concerned on the neatness of the sandwich. They are more flexible and obliging but can get so involved in the process; they forget it may get a little messy if they spread it too freely and some can spill out of the normal and a little cleanup is necessary; but they lick the edges and keep enjoying what they are doing. Knifers are more precise. They take the time to take out the exact amount they want and specific strokes are made to move it precisely to the edge, not adding too much so they don’t have to worry about any drips. They are not forgiving if some accidentally falls over the sides and get aggravated if any excess does hang over the edge. They make great organizers but are not tolerant if others make mistakes. Problems are harder for them to deal with; but they are steadfast in what they do themselves. Now for the deeper thought…..Are you a Spooner or Knifer? The best part is either is acceptable as God wants us to be ourselves and do what comes naturally but when the jam goes over the edges don’t panic. As a Spooner, lick the excess off and if you are a Knifer, live a little and if it bothers you, take the tool and clean off the excess. Life works both for Spooners and Knifers if you rely on the strength of the Bread of Life to spread it even….God.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
John 6:32-35 ESV     
Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORDS ARE A SIMPLE THANK YOU

 
TODAY THE WORDS are A SIMPLE THANK YOU. Let me offer a “thank you” to all of you who are reading this message. Without readers, I am writing to hear myself thinking out loud and you are greatly appreciated. How long does a thank you take to voice or write a thank you? Not long at all, but it seems as people think it is such a sacrifice of their time to say the simple words of thank you. It barely takes a second or two….and why would we ever hesitate? I walked out of a nice soup and salad restaurant the other day and saw an elderly man walking toward the door. Of course, I stopped and held the door for him. He looked straight at me and continued walking in without a simple thank you. I didn’t do it for the thank you but it hit me how often adults speak about teenagers and young adults not being polite, having nice manners, and it may be being passed down. Of course, me being me, and it was a sweet “You’re Welcome” came out before I could check myself. What I should have said was “Thank You for giving me a blessing of helping you.” We remind our grandsons when they sometimes forget and they are little, to say Thank You and Please and Yes Mam and Yes Sir. I understand, and I occasionally get this from younger parents, that is outdated. How are manners outdated? When we can stop talking on phones during breakfast, lunch and dinner; when we stop ignoring the older people struggling to go out of a restaurant; when we use the courtesy phrases but truly mean “Thank You” and “You are welcome” and “Please”, our society would return to a society and not a jungle. Even animals gesture thank you to each other and they express compassion when we as humans can’t understand animals showing better humanity than we express. Now for a deeper thought…..We find ourselves so willing to pray when we are in crisis mode; I am certainly not in opposition to this; I encourage it! However, what about in times of thanks? In other words, when a simple day goes by without sickness; goes without drama; goes by with the ability to pay our bills; our children are safe; our home is secure; our food is prepared and eaten; we are able to sustain our health even if it takes some medication to do so; what do we do? Do we hit our knees and give Our Creator thanks for the protection and the blessings of omission. By this, omission is from harm. In all things, Give Thanks! God is waiting for our Simple Thank You!
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
King James Bible 1 Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

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

 

TODAY THE WORDS ARE WHY FOUR LEAF CLOVERS

Saint Patrick used the three leaves of the shamrock (clover commonly found in Ireland) to teach the Irish people about the Trinity (God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit).
Kristin Duvall / Photographer’s Choice / Getty Images
TODAY THE WORDS are FOUR LEAF CLOVERS.  Today, being St. Patrick’s Day, the topic was very easily innovating. So many people are celebrating for so many reasons, and I am not judging, but how many of the ones drinking the green beer, wearing green, accessorizing with four leaf clovers and all of the traditional Irish garb and not knowing why.
Patrick had miraculous success bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland. Before Patrick began his mission to share the Gospel message with the Irish people, many of them were practicing pagan religious rituals and struggled to understand how God could be one living spirit in three persons (the Holy Trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit). So Patrick used shamrock plants (clover that commonly grows in Ireland) as a visual aid. He explained that just as the shamrock has one stem but three leaves (four-leaf clovers are the exception), God was one spirit who expressed himself in three ways.
Patrick recorded baptizing many thousands of people after they came to understand God’s love for them through the Gospel message and chose to become Christians. His efforts to share his faith with people also led to many men becoming priests and women becoming nuns.
Now, for the thought associated with four leaf clover searches……They are supposed to bring good luck and fortune……From reading about the miracles of St. Patrick and the use of the 3 leaf clover depicting the Holy Trinity, that is all of the luck we will ever need. When, as a child, I searched for the four leaf clover, I overlooked millions of 3 leaf clover while looking for the magical Four leaf clovers. May we stop looking for the illusive things in life and be as St. Patrick and be aware of God’s presence, Our Lord’s presence and the Holy Spirit in our fields of life! Happy St. Patrick’s day!
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
 
John 2:11This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.