TODAY THE WORDS are INSPIRATIONAL or SPIRITUAL? This topic came to my heart and I wanted to share my thoughts on this question. There are a lot of inspirational writers, speakers, and ordinary people who are extra-ordinarily full of inspiration. This does not mean they are without a spiritual side. When I think of a spiritual person, I think and feel the aura of a Higher Power at play.
Does a spiritual person always have to be a minister, pastor, evangelist, holy man, priest, Rabbi, monk, etc? They are definitely in the spiritual ranking, but others may be spiritual too. Have you ever had a conversation with an elderly person who speaks of their life experiences for the purpose of encouraging others, especially younger folks? They are filled with inspiration using their “mistakes” of life and how that taught them how to be a better person. Not every one of them share their spiritual experiences; some of them do. We, then have the spiritual forerunners, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Joel OSteen and Joyce Myers and others, who are inspirational in all of their messages and sermons. Several ones in today’s world come to my mind immediately and they accomplish both missions at one time.
When I started this blog, it leaned toward the inspirational format but God had His way of providing His Spiritual message and plopped it right in the message. I have never claimed to be anything but me, but now for the deeper thought…….God can take a positive person and through His wisdom, use that same person for His mission and not theirs. Sometimes, the inspirational message can be used as a spiritual tool. My thought….we can be both by living the word of God. We can inspire people to be the best they can be and while they are making the changes I felt led to make in my life, they are becoming more spiritual. There can be a big difference between inspirational and spiritual; there can sometimes be no difference. Whatever we are; we are that by the grace of God. Allow Him to use us for his Good. Without Him, we struggle and are not the extra-ordinary people He knows we can be.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.
(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
TODAY THE WORDS are WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO? Ithought I might throw some random thoughts out for us to ponder or perhaps produce a laugh or two. To start off, how about Sheila and Mark Lott (Mark in the lead photo) having some fun and making us aware of how much Mark, one of the busiest businessman I know, who stays on the phone and with his Bluetooth; it is hard to tell he is not talking to you. I have started talking to him not knowing he is heavy into a conversation with someone else. Anybody else out there guilty of this who could use Sheila’s solution?
How about when one spouse tells the other one they need to communicate more and the very minute the quiet one decides to have a conversation, it is at the very crucial point of a show the other one has been watching for an hour and a half?
What about when we share our thoughts on social media and somehow think no one can have a different view?
Books have been written on this next one, but here goes….What about when one spouse asks the questions about how they look, are they gaining wait, is my hair thinning, do I talk too much, am I bossy….and then they appear shocked when the other one tells the truth? This happens with friends too..
What about the times you said something which was the truth but once it left your mouth; you wish you could shove it back in? I guarantee each of us has been guilty or not really guilty as the truth is what we are told to speak. I wonder though if discretion might have been wiser.
What about one spouse not saying a word before the other one goes out to plant a flower bed and after hours of sweating; the other spouse walks out and says, Oh no I thought you were going to plant them here and points to the other side of yard…Why did my husband come up with this one?
What about when one spouse (ladies this is not just us, the men do it too) asks the other one, “When did you get that shirt, blouse, pants, etc?” and the answer is “This old thing; I have had it forever.” Right……..and we will buy that swamp land too.
Now for the deeper thought……Dig deep and think about why we do what we do. Life presents us with many challenges and I don’t have the answers for why we do what we do, but I think it is what makes life an adventure and we are travelers. We may take different routes and some of us may camp; some of us may have to stay in hotels; some of us may love to walk to places; some of us may want to drive everywhere. We make life what it is for us; life makes us what we need to be for our individual likes and dislikes.Live life; love life; live life to the fullest by enjoying the things we do!
TODAY THE WORDS are ONE PINCH AWAY. With several friends posting great meals, and I do the same when I have cooked or baked a wonderful tasty dish. We drool over the fantastic looking food which is mouth watering such as my friend, Linda Christian, who not only is a great cook; she is a wonderful gardener. I have been the recipients of her famous pickles, yummy hot pepper jelly and even a basic tomato sauce which can be the base of many wonderful dishes. She outshines us all with the freshness of her garden picked goodies and the most wonderful part is she loves to share. When I look at her delicious meals in the photos, I have encouraged her to write a blog. When thinking about how her guests find her food delicious, this thought of one pinch away came into my mind.
A lot of fine cooks cook by adding pinches of salt, pepper, and spices. For some, they may find a need to measure every ingredient but a lot of cooks I know and I am one of those cooks who “pinch” season with those ingredients. I add a minimum amount of pinches of this when I start the dish and I will add as I go due to knowing the power of the seasonings will grow as the dish cooks. If added in the beginning, the flavor becomes stronger as the ingredients release their specific taste. How many times, if you have added some salt thinking the food needed more; only to find out it increased and now it is too salty? We can be one pinch away from either too much or too little and it can make a huge difference in how the dish turns out. Most of the experienced cooks have figured out ways to correct this occurrence. I know I have my “saving” methods of saving the day.
Now for the deeper thought…….We can be only one pinch away from total happiness in our lives. It may be we are adding a little too much control over our partners or them over us. It may be we need a little pinch more of faith to get us through the tough times. We may be adding a pinch too much of distractions (oh and as much as I use them…social media may keep us from having a good conversation with our spouse or children). Our hobbies may need to be pinched back for time spend in meditation and prayer. It may not be a big amount of adjustment and maybe a pinch or two, more or less, can give us that perfect taste of life. Before we add another pinch or another distraction; how about us tasting what we have already prepared and see if it is just right! Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest one pinch at a time!
TODAY THE WORDS are WHEN A GUEST BECOMES A PEST. Oh, come on now, we have all had this happen and no, I am not going to name anyone’s name. Especially in the south, we are famous for that good ole southern hospitality and we go the extra miles to make everyone comfortable. I want to say one additional statement about hospitality; I have experienced great hospitality in the north, out in Colorado, and California. As a matter of fact those Texans brought out the wonderful welcome wagon too. No matter what part of the country you are from; I imagine we have experienced at one time or another the guest who became a pest.
A guest by definition is:
a person who is invited to visit the home of or take part in a function organized by another.
If you have experienced the pest guest, you are going to smile or laugh; or even clinch your teeth as I recall some of the possible infringements by guests while in your home:
* They forget to pack everything they will need for their personal care such as toothpaste, shampoo, feminine needs, etc. Where did they think they were going to a hotel for the freebies?
* They do not eat anything your family does. The specialty eaters like I call them and instead of bringing their ‘must have foods” you have to make special trips to the grocery/drug store and change your menu.
* For some reason, they think hospitality means “I become your servant” for their visit. They park their behinds on the sofa and let you do all of the work.
* They complain because your bed is not as good as their bed in their home. Why did they leave their bed?
* They only want to watch the shows they like and the ones they watch at home. Whose home are they at anyway?
* There are many more violations to the good guest rules but now that I have had some fun listing out those mentioned, you probably have thought of thousands more but you get the drift of the message.
Now for the deeper thought…….You know I am right and we have had the guests who have done some of these violations but let me ask you a question and you will see why Miss Positive has written something negative……If any of these people have died or passed on and you had an opportunity to have them come for one more time, knowing you would have to do all of the same things; would you invite them? Of course you would and so would I and that brings me to the purpose of this message. If we dwell on those things which might seem ridiculous and we only see the negative expectations; we will miss the love and the great family time we need. Before we know it, even the worst guest will not come and you will regret ever thinking anything negative. One more thing: All of us have some negative habits or aggravating traits to others. If we try to be great hosts and great guests ourselves, life may seem a little more hospitable in itself.
TODAY THE WORDS are IF I WERE A SONGWRITER. In this age of social media and so much technology, I find myself fascinated by so many ways to connect with people I would have probably never met in the normal life I lead (that is if you can call my life normal). I have met so many people which encouraged me to expand my connections to Twitter, Google +, and I was already on Facebook. I am amazed at all of the talented folks I have met and have e-met through these outlets. One of these people is a country songwriter, Michael Rey and a lot of his dedicated team of great people who are helping him promote his songwriting. I have listened to several of his songs and he has talent. I love writing and another friend, Peggy Mercer is talented and has written several songs which touched my heart. I know a young man who writes songs and sings gospel songs, Todd Price and he not only writes them, he is a talented singer too. These people got this ole gal to thinking about “If I were a songwriter”.
What does it take to write a song? I think a songwriter has to have a big heart and a lot of soul. I feel they have to feel strongly about life, family, and friends. I feel they have to have lived through pain and have survived many situations to know how it can hurt and how good it feels when it stops hurting. I also think they have either joy or sorrow in their soul; maybe a combination to be able to express a lot of emotion. Why do I think this is true? Stop a second and remember a song which can raise the hairs on your neck or arms. Think of the songs which make you smile and you can’t wipe it off while the song is playing. Remember a song you cannot keep your body still; if you no longer dance; you move in your heart and feel the rhythm. I thought about it and I feel all of those things but I am not a songwriter. I am a writer of words and that is what God blessed me to do……that is what a good songwriter has that I wasn’t given….rhythm of life. God gives us the particular gifts for His Purpose. Life has a rhythm; a musical rhyme and some can express it in songs. This is a blessing for them as others can build buildings, bake, market, instruct or teach others, minister, sell ice to an Eskimo, farm to feed us, write and many other talented gifts.
Now for the deeper thought…….. I am not saying that all songwriters are saints just like all writers are not best selling authors. Not by any means, but I feel God gives us the talents and it is what we do with our gifts which make the difference between an average songwriter and one which can write the music which can stir the soul. If I were a songwriter, I would want my song to make the angels want to join in rejoicing. If we take our lives as a song; may we sing in unison, in peace and love and lift our voices to God.
TODAY THE WORDS are IS CHANGE THE BEST THING? In this time of turmoil, I hear “Change” from both sides of the fence and it started me thinking. What does change really mean? Our country has been through so much change already and we keep talking about more change.
Children are raised differently with parents seemingly lost as to what they need to do….discipline or allow?….and all it seems to accomplish is confusion at its best. Marriage has changed in society, and why did it need changing? With a husband and wife’s marriage, when did it become acceptable with extra marital affairs, divorce on a whim, or non respect of each other? Schools have become a center of confusion with teachers afraid of disciplining the students or not afraid to overstep their position and have relationships with students. What’s up with that? Religion should be a “foundation built on a rock” but today it seems that everyone is trying to hide their faith in the religion of their choice and finding it popular to be without any religion. Here are my thoughts about all of the changes and the proposals of more changes to come…….why not have a “change back” and let us go back to simpler times? Why not treasure a lot of traditional things that this great country of ours was founded upon? Why don’t we practice the golden rule any more? Why don’t we help a neighor out without expecting “media blitz” about a good deed? Why not practice, ” a good day’s work for a good day’s pay”? Why not value our traditional relationships? Why not respect our elders (including parents)? I hope you see where my thoughts are going. I think when we had fun in our lives without trying to change everything which produced almost all of our precious memories; life was good. Think about a change which could be necessary; we need to stop making so many changes to the best country in the world and go back when a man or woman stood for principles and morals.
Now for the deeper thought…..As some of us ladies want to try a new hairstyle and we get excited about our new look and somehow we envision ourselves as the hair model does in the photo we proudly take to our stylist. Our stylist is thinking (and I know all of my readers who are stylists will agree) it will not look like this on her since there may be 50 or more pounds different and the shape of the face is different or the model’s hair is so much thicker. Maybe it is a good idea to wait a while and see if the impulse to change passes or we listen to the professionals who have experience in a possible great change to fit us specifically. Just thinking.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: King James BibleEcclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. (c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
TODAY THE WORDS are WHAT’S IN A NAME? Let us take a little time today and pull off our false armors of who we are and truly reflect the inner soul and not our exterior superficial shells for a great lesson in life. To illustrate this point, let’s go back to my childhood. My last name was Lott and I have absolutely no reason to shy from this name. I was more concerned that I didn’t have a middle name like some of my friends had and there is no cute nickname to go from Arline so it was a good thing that I was close to my Dad who I was named after (His name being Arlie). Apparently, the “Lotts” who were more affluent were younger, so I didn’t have many of my distant relatives in school with me. Ha, most every family were affluent than ours, but I am not complaining; we made it fine on little. As my history teacher told me, I came from an important family in Coffee County and he showed me that two Lott brothers settled Coffee County. Wow, now I was getting somewhere; I was offspring from some big folks! When I grew up and got married and went from Lott to Smith (okay, you can see I was destined to have short names), and would tell someone my maiden name was Lott, they were confused as apparently one Lott brother had money and for obvious reasons, it wasn’t our direct ancestor. People assumed…..first mistake…..that I came from the “rich folks”. As I see it, the name made no difference as I am what I am; no more no less no matter which “Lott” I came from.
Here is that deeper thought…….Our last name should really be God as we all come from Our Creator and we all are from one family. We have been created in His Likeness and our Human Heritage gives us the difference in race, color, cultures, and sometimes faith. When our earthly last names are stripped; we are all God’s children. When I married and became a Smith, then Cunningham, and now Miller (okay, it took me some time to settle into a happy married life) I am still the same child of God. As humans, we put entirely too much emphasis on names. Don’t get me wrong; I am proud of my maiden name and heritage the same as if my last name had been Rockefeller, Kennedy, etc. Think of the hard time if my name had been Hitler…see where I am going. We need to accept each one of us as one of God’s children. Some children act up and we don’t have to agree with their bad behavior; we need to still practice God’s love. What’s in a name; it is nothing but a game. What’s in love; God’s reach from above.
TODAY THE WORDS are HOME SWEET HOME. For some reason, my mind has traveled back in time, not to the home where I was raised, but my Grandfather and Grandmother’s house (on my father’s side). The thought brought to mind two houses as my father and his siblings lived first in a huge house with the long center hall going down the entire length of the house. I remember the well off the back porch that water could be drawn from the porch. I remember the fireplace and the kitchen. It was typical of many floor plans in those days. Apparently, when my father was old enough, he and Granddaddy built the house that I remember visiting while they lived there. The “old” big house was visited when it was empty by all of us, but it has intrigued me all of my life. It had a mystique that brought all kinds of spooky stories to my mind. The smaller house had more “modern” features and we had many great meals cooked by Grannie Lott and all of the cousins would play and play. We swam in the pond and laughed. We shared many adventures in the surrounding woods and barns.
Neither of these houses were fancy and the biggest difference was one was big and one was small. The biggest similarity was they both were Home Sweet Home. When people say Home is where the heart is, that is simply the truth. Whether it is a mansion on a hill, or a tiny two bedroom wood house built with love, home is all about the love in it and not the materials from which it is made.
Now for the deeper thought……We have homes on earth……we can have mansions in heaven. We are to love our families, take good care of them, cherish our relationships, but not to give too much emphasis on material things. Our thoughts and prayers should be preparing to be granted a place for eternity that will surpass all earthly possessions. I go back to the two houses…as long as love is present….does it really matter whether a friend has a bigger, finer, more elegant home? We are to flourish in our lives, but riches are not mandatory; rich faith and devotion is! We appreciate our home that we live in and it is comfortable; we look forward to our Heavenly Home more!
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
TODAY THE WORDS are BUSTER HIT THE POOL! Since every message has seemed to be on a serious note and I felt enough seriousness and maybe everyone might enjoy one of Buster’s adventures.
For some of you who may not know, we rescued a little Papillon, who our groomer told us was supposed to be a Yorkinese (in all fairness, she had not seen him) and he looked exactly like a Yorkinese when he was only about 2.5 lbs. When he started growing, it was obvious when the legs started growing longer and longer; he was not a Yorkinese and my daughter kept saying, “But his paws are small!” We watched this rambunctious puppy who went through many adventures of chewing our shoes, several pieces of small stools, and demolished every toy, even the gorilla toys. He has now calmed down but still hast such a curiosity as any dog I have ever seen. He watches every move everyone and everything makes. We have created a butterfly/hummingbird garden and he is busy inspecting every butterfly, bee, bug and hummingbird and runs and makes a snapping bite toward them. He is entertaining but we are waiting until he actually gets hold of one of those bees and if he is as smart as he seems, that activity will come to a halt. He is a sock thief and will snatch Bandit, our Yorkie’s treats in a heartbeat if Bandit turns away from it. They romp and stomp all of the time and once in a while it gets heated; I think it is when Bandit has had enough and that is his way off saying “Back off Buster.”
Well, let me recount his adventure in the pool we bought for the grand kids to cool off when they come. Greg likes to get in it for a quick cool down when he has mowed the grass or other yard work. He has a float and usually is in for a few minutes and then he is out. Buster is Mister Curious about what his owner is doing in this big blue thing which is higher than he can jump or he would have made it in himself, as it seems something or somewhere he should check it out. Have I mentioned Buster doesn’t mind water and he will bite at the sprinklers and if it is raining and he needs to go outside; he goes willingly. This would lead us to believe he might like the pool water, right?
Yesterday after Buster had completed his entertainment show he had put on for Greg; Greg decided he would introduce Buster to the pool. Oh, no this was not Buster’s thing and he splashed around and could not get out of the pool fast enough. He escaped and came into the house soaking wet with me wondering what he had gotten into. This was one time Buster didn’t have the upper hand and I have a feeling he will not be venturing to that big blue thing any time soon. Bandit seemed to be smiling for some reason while Buster was fighting the towel.
Now for the deeper thought…..As funny as it was to see Buster have one pulled over him, we also didn’t want him to gain a fear of the water. In life, we experience many things we are uncomfortable. We get a soaking from life and we are sometimes embarrassed too. This is part of life we cannot change and it isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault…..It is life! And we can benefit from Buster’s ability to shake it off and in a couple of minutes; we can be off and running as he did to seek out a new adventure. Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by shaking the waters of life off and go for some more life!
TODAY THE WORDS are LOSING TOUCH. Life can be a funny thing. We start out as children, play with our friends and family, cousins included and make them our friends too. We start school and the school mate friendships start and build with some friends staying in our lives and others leaving when we either change schools or they do. Sometimes, in life with families moving, we lose touch with friends. We think about them from time to time and wonder how they are doing. Fate steps in with unexpected encounters of seeing them and there is joy in our hearts when we still see the child or the young teen we played, laughed, had fusses (for those not in the south, those are little arguments), shared food, enjoyed a good game of touch football, swam, etc. We try to catch up with stories and updates on current status, where we live, where they live, where we work, children, grandchildren, who we married, and so forth. We bridge gaps of times past, and it seems as if we return to a wonderful time in our lives, so why do we “lose touch”.Life creates changes in places we live; jobs we have, and circumstance which change who we spend time. Divorces and even deaths change our everyday relationships and we lose the common ground. When we change our careers, we lose contact with people we have worked side by side for years. Couples who have spent many hours find themselves going in different directions if one of the couples divorce or if one of the spouses die. Sometimes, health issues prevent us from seiing people we care about and it makes it lonely. Every now and then, I think I should stop the Facebook process and every time when I think this, I see so many of my friends that I had lost touch, and I cannot lose touch again. It amazes me how I can be in one state, a great friend in Tennessee, California, Florida, Virginia, etc. and then so many of my dear friends still living in the same hometown as I did. I also find it wonderful that my husband who lived in a neighboring town has friends who are friends with me too. By social media or getting ourselves out there and touching base with friends, we stay in touch and that is a wonderful thing.
Now for the deeper thought.….Do we lose touch with our souls? Do we do a check on the status of how we are doing in the spiritual realm of life? Or do we experience the “losing touch” with the dearest friend we have in this life and beyond? When was the last time, we checked in God’s Facebook and made sure we are listed as God’s closest friends? I think of “Reach out and touch someone!” phrase and today is as good a day as any to reconnect or stay connected! We see God’s status in everything we do; God sees our status without logging into Facebook.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
1 Corinthians 15:33Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals
(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.