TODAY THE WORDS are A LIGHT IN THE FOG. This morning, bright and early I had a thought come into my mind and it seems like a good topic to write. Some mornings are quick to lighten and it can be enlightening to drive in the morning light. The land radiates with morning dew, and trees and plants are illuminated in contrast to the land. Everything feels fresh on these types of mornings; but these are not the mornings which bring some thoughts this particular morning.
Have you had a trip, maybe to work or to an appointment, which was scheduled early and was several miles away? In order to get to your appointment on time, you found yourself leaving your home early. A fog was laying as a sheet over the land, hanging on the trees, and blocking out any light. For some reason, even though it could be a little mystical. Driving is slightly hazardous and total focus has to be on the road as a vehicle could be only a few yards away prior to actually seeing it through the haze. An animal can be on the road and the fog can make it impossible to see it. Nerves can be unsettled and frayed. Many accidents occur from the fog preventing a clear vantage of the road.
Life contains many foggy days, both literally and figuratively. We have days which the sun shines brightly and we zoom through those days. We can drive smoothly and we make it to our destinations without any distractions or accidents. Then come the days the deep fog sets in and we have to slow down from our normal routine. Figuratively, we have the heavy feeling of our lives being blanketed in a shroud of heaviness and troubles. Either it is emotional, sickness, financial, careers, or even a sense of being lost.
The fog sets in on our lives at those times if we are not focused on the “road”. We can veer off the road and actually wreck. The title of the message is “A light in the fog” and I relate it to my personal life. At one time, when everything which could go wrong went wrong. I felt shrouded in the midst of the fog, and it seemed dark and hard to even stay on the road of life……and then I saw a light. It started as a cry from me for help and it first appeared as a small flicker and kept glowing a little brighter as I started looking in that direction. It started to put off warmth as well as getting brighter until I felt its glow of life and love. I started to see the edges of the road of life and I could see the pot holes better and hazards to avoid.
Now for the deeper thought…..The light in the fog was the light of Our Almighty God who didn’t make me feel bad but God’s light made me feel loved. This light erased the hurt I had felt and seemed to shine the light on the right pathway. Today, if you are riding through life in a fog, look past all of the gloom and put your sight on the light which is there to clear your road and guide your soul through the fog and deliver you at God’s door when the road of life has ended. “Straight is the way and narrow is the path” is a play off of the scripture below but is significant for us to remember while journeying through life.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: Mathew 7: 13-14 The Narrow Gate 13“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
TODAY THE WORDS are WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE EXPECT EXPECTED HURT? I realize this is a seemingly absurd play on words, but please be patient as there is a good message to learn from this topic. I see so many young and even older people being hurt from relationships, and this is not saying I have been exempt from relationships gone wrong in the past. Maybe it is because I am older and hopefully a little wiser. The jury may be still out on that one; but I am hopeful on the verdict anyway. I thought I would share a thought on how we may set ourselves up and by expecting to be hurt again; we place ourselves in the very situation to be hurt again.
Let us look at this concept of expecting expected hurt in an abstract way as it will seem more impersonal and it may open some thought process otherwise blocked by emotions. I was diagnosed about a year and half ago with diabetes. Thankfully, due to a lot of life changes, it is managed. Each morning, I have to prick my finger to monitor my glucose. Even though it is a small prick from the end of my finger or the side of my thumb where nerves are abundant; it hurts more than I think a small prick should. Each morning, I know this prick will hurt and I expect it to hurt so for some reason, I have become accepting of this pain as I realize it is necessary for the purpose it serves. In a nutshell, since I expect pain; it seems more comfortable than a new kind of pain.
I used this example for the definition of an “expected hurt” and now we can look at expected hurt in relationships. I am sharing a fictitious story, but it could be a real one, about a young lady in her early 40’s and from this story, I feel you can understand the “emotional set up” we can throw ourselves into if we aren’t careful. During this gorgeous lady’s marriage, her husband cheated on her. This devastated her and followed her after the divorce. The next event is the tie to this topic. Left vulnerable, she found attention by a man who showered affection and they became
involved. She didn’t ask the right questions until she developed feelings for this man and the truth came out….He was married. The next year was filled with highs and lows; unfulfilled promises; statements of love; bouts of breaking up because he and his wife were talking and maybe working it out; and then he returns to start this vicious cycle again. I ask you now; are you feeling compassion for this lady; are you feeling anger for her seeing a married man; are you seeing yourself in her situation; or are you wanting to hit the guy over his head for cheating on his wife?
Now for the deeper thought……This is a very important and painful vision of how we, as humans, sometimes find it more comfortable, even as painful and hurtful as a situation like this can become. We accept it because for whatever reason; if we expect expected hurt; we find ourselves cushioned for the hurt. Believe me; it is coming when we set ourselves up. Why wouldn’t it be simpler to expect expected love and hold ourselves accountable for our own actions. Improve life by improving what we expect out of life. If you expect hurt; you will get hurt. If you expect love; you may get hurt as life has no guarantees but if you love yourself; you can love again.
TODAY THE WORDS are MY GIFT OF TODAY. When I opened my eyes this morning, I had a beautiful thought. I shared it on Facebook. When I read it I felt a compelling feeling to share this thought with all of you who read the blog. “God gave us another day. What a gift! God wrapped this day with a great sunrise and provided the promise of a day to wrap a loved one and share a hug. God gave us smiles to share with others, even strangers. With our mouths, He breathed His Love to speak of His blessings He has given us. Our eyes were given to see the beauty of God’s world and to look for others who are in need. What a gift this day brings. Unwrap the day and remember to give thanks to God for your present. Enjoy your day! “
I gave this thought a little more thought and it expanded into what we do with the gift of “TODAY”.
If we are blessed with a new day, it is a gift from above. We wake, sometimes begrudgingly. We find ourselves reaching for coffee before we reach for God’s word to fill us in a more incredible way than any caffeine ever produced. I feel so many of you reach for God’s word and enter into meditation and prayer before you start the coffee pot. For those of you who do this, I don’t have to tell you how blessed and wonderful one feels when we drink of the Holy Word. For those of you who haven’t experienced “the blast of the Spirit” first thing in the morning are seriously overrating coffee. I am not saying when to spend time with God as I have talks with Him at different times of the day. I do know my cup of coffee so lovingly made by my husband is my second gift; the first being the praise and thanking God for allowing me to be here to enjoy my cup of coffee and time with the world.
Let’s take a minute and review the average person waking up:
1) Do we stretch? The ability to stretch requires the limbs to move. (gift of motion)
2) Do we speak? I realize some people cannot. With this thought every time we do is a blessing (gift)
3) Do we go to the potty? If we do, what a gift after working with patients who can’t and have to depend on catheters. (gift)
4) Do we hear the birds, cars, planes, frogs, dogs barking or cats meowing, roosters crowing? (the gift of hearing is a true blessing)
5) Do we get hugs from our loved ones and especially from little children or the big kids? (gift of affection and so much better than a cold loveless world)
6) Do we eat and drink? (gift of nourishment and if you have ever been truly hunger, you realize what a gift to be able to fill that need but to be able to eat without assistance or feeding pump is a Godsend)
7) Do you pray? (gift to be cherished as it expresses freedom to worship according to your beliefs)
8) Do you work? (gift even if you have retired because to work requires your body to move; your mind to work; and an overall sense of using so many other gifts)
Now for the deeper thought……The gift of waking up is the beginning of many gifts we receive during the day and are not to be taken for granted. We can use these gifts wisely as one day, the gifts will stop coming in this life. We will be the ones wrapped for our eternal journey. I want us to be considered a gift for God when this life is over and God unwraps us in Heaven.
TODAY THE WORDS are HOW BIG or HOW SMALL. In life, I am convinced lessons come from all walks of life and certain events which project us into deep thought. I had such a lesson and projection while attending a memorial service for a fairly young niece of my husband. In respect, I chose not to write on this until a little time passed. It was a very strong feeling and I haven’t been able to shake the thought of the message and lesson.
Her death was quite sudden but not shockingly unexpected. Denise had a lot of serious health issues and had been dealing with them for several years. She was acutely diabetic, had heart problems, asthma, and was seriously overweight since she wasn’t even 5′ tall. She was on many medications but as many people do; she wasn’t in control of her diseases. Even knowing all of this and the risks and dangers of the diseases; we were still shocked with the news of her death. Even 51 is still a short life and it was sad to say the least.
It was not until the memorial service, it began to seem real to all of us. I felt we were in shock at the news of her death. Greg and I sat down in one of the family’s pews before the service started and even though I knew she had expressed she wanted to be cremated, I looked at the urn and it was such a strong message which churned my heart and mind. When a lot of people pass, the funeral or service is a demonstration of how “large in life” this person was with the display of a large ornate casket surrounded by many floral arrangements or plants. It can give the viewers a large persona of respect.I am not advocating cremation over traditional burial so please understand it is only the message I want to share.
Denise had struggled with her weight as well as illnesses and there in a small urn; it was clear in the final dimension; she appeared so tiny. When I felt the message coming; it didn’t relate to Denise at all but to the world at large. The message came to me “In Life, we may have physical bodies which during life’s course become bigger. Sometimes it is our pride or ego which swells and our self worth blows up out of proportion and we feel bigger than life itself. Our material possessions give us a huge feeling of worth and we forget or never know how small we actually are in the universe. In the end, no matter how ‘big’ we feel in life; we are tiny specks in reality.”
Now for the deeper thought….At the time I felt the realization of how small we are when the shrouds of life are absent; I felt the true meaning of the message entering my mind and heart. It is not our body or stature which is big; it is our soul which has no boundaries and is the part of us which is limitless from Our Maker’s creation. If we live in a manner to allow our souls to soar freely with God’s love; we will reach an eternity which we soar and fly without any constraints this life possesses. No matter how big or how small; God loves us all.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
John 5:24 English Standard Version
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, <sup abp="1141" class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-26223A" data-link="(A)”>whoever hears my word and <sup abp="1142" class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-26223B" data-link="(B)”>believes him who sent me has eternal life. He <sup abp="1143" class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-26223C" data-link="(C)”>does not come into judgment, but <sup abp="1144" class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-26223D" data-link="(D)”>has passed from death to life.
(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
TODAY THE WORDS are IF I COULD BE AN ANT. In an attempt to continue on my path of healthy living and eating; I was researching some recipes and stumbled over some information on ants. It stirred up the “Arline” mind and it is intriguing to consider all of the obstacles, walls, risks, and natural disasters which impact the ants’ lives; we are so blessed but somewhat ungrateful in many instances. I thought I would list out some of the ant’s abilities and let’s compare. I will give you my deeper thoughts at the end of this amazing Ant facts as found on antArk :
Now for deeper thought…..I see so many interesting facts here and find some of them totally fascinating but I will leave all of you to form your opinion about whether or not you would want to be an ant. It seems it would be amazing to hold 100X your own weight upside down, right. It seems they are unstoppable but they are vulnerable as we humans are. What is important, whether you are an ant or human; we can try our best no matter what the odds, risks, and obstacles confront us in life. I also read where some ants sleep frequently and are often quite lazy. Those might be the ones who end up eaten by others and isn’t that similar in humans? Not literally, but they are eaten by life and diminished by their laziness. I think I am glad I am human but I admire the little ants’ spirits. Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by remembering my quote: “One individual step might seem insignificant; but if it is headed in the right direction it can be monumental.”
TODAY THE WORD is SILENCE. For someone, such as me, it is hard to fathom silence, but silence is “golden” as some wise person said. In my lifetime, I have learned the most when I listened to others and then soaked it into my mind. Those times have produced maturity and wisdom, more than my many trials and errors. The amusing thing is when I was young, I didn’t seem to think I had a lot to say and was a quieter person. Have you found yourself speaking up more in our middle years? Are you more expressive or did you learn that silence is golden?
What I find amusing in this life is when we chatter boxes try the silence period, people want to find out what is wrong. Monks go through periods of years after taking a vow of silence. Do you think they do more thinking during that period or more praying? Both of these processes are vital to our spiritual growth. In our lives, instead of confronting a situation before we have had time to be silent, and think and pray for the right words to express our feelings without a lot of emotion may be “golden”. This way, we may avoid the trap of useless words in haste. A word of silence may be a thunderous roar in Heaven and may be viewed sincere as it is a sign of respect. The old saying of “Bite your tongue” may really mean use a moment of silence to regain your composure. I think back when I was young and I would see an old man who whittled away at a chunk of wood. He wasn’t a friendly sort of man, but not unpleasant either. He spent a lot of time in silence and I wondered what he was thinking while he was whittling.
We, as a nation, spend a lot of time discussing “important” matters but spend so little time praying over them. As individuals, we pray; as a nation, we don’t. I think if we would spend more silent time in reverence since God hears us when we speak from our hearts as well as from our mouth. As a writer, this may sound counterproductive as I express my thoughts through my words, but I have a lot of silent moments.
Now for the deeper thought….Maybe, today I will put aside all of the chatter and go inside where I know God dwells and listen to my heart beat, count my blessings that God has allowed me another day to listen and learn from Him. He will present my lessons for today and if I listen closely, He will offer solutions. Listen to the inner voice and see what happens!
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.“
(c) copyright 2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
My boyfriend and his girlfriend. We happen to be husband and wife too. Greg and Arline Miller
TODAY THE WORDS are FORGETTING YOU ARE MARRIED. “What are you talking about?” you may ask about my topic for today. This is the topic which came to my mind and it may surprise some of you I would write about this subject; but read on and you will see why.
Marriage holds responsibilities from both the husband and the wife. Hopefully, as in my marriage there is a lot of love. My husband and I both had children from a previous marriage and this in itself can sometimes bring pressures. Not everyone handles the blending of two families and for some unexplained reason, the word “step” may bring bad or unwanted feelings. I have heard the horror stories and I am sure you have heard some of them too, of “marriage gone wrong” when the two different sets of children and parents fail to blend. My husband and I decided when we married to never argue about each one’s children; because if we did, there would be no winner but we would both be losers. What came from this valuable decision is we each have invested in “all” of our children and we consider them “all” as our children. I, for one, cannot tell you how easier life has been because of this decision and the only use of “step” is the ongoing cute way Missy, who is my daughter refers to Greg as SDG (Step Dad Greg) and I can assure you she uses this endearment with love. We have three children and we share them with each other.
My Sister and My Husband at a family Reunion
With marriage comes the extended family and there can be the situation of in laws becoming “out laws.” With my Mother’s side of the family, this is a running joke and it brings a smile to my face as I love my aunts and uncles who are not my blood relatives as much as I love the “real kin folks” This time around, I was privy to knowing Greg’s Dad for a few years and grew to love that wonderful man. My Mother “adopted” Greg as her own son and I felt she would have scolded me if she thought I mistreated him. My sister’s husband, Troy is “my brother” and has been in my life for almost 3/4 of it. My husband’s family have become a very important part of our life and I wouldn’t trade this closeness. I understand some in laws don’t get it; by marriage, this is your family now and would you treat your family this way? It is not a competition; it can be a new life bond. I saw a friend refer to her husband’s family member as a brother in love. How sweet is that?
Do you think they are still in love? I think so!
Now for the deeper thought…….We get caught up in territorial thoughts sometimes and we need to be reminded; we don’t own our spouses. They are not property; they are to be thought as our true loves. This is the reason for the topic “Forgetting you are married” and this sentence is to be finished as “Forgetting you are married and remembering you are in love.” Taking time to look at the person in front of you and say, “Whoa, I am in love with you” and not, “I love you”. Remembering to stop getting all involved in drama of ordinary life; shutting off computers; getting off phones; giving up some time spent on hobbies; and then…….Forget you are married and find that special time you would take if you were dating this person. I am not saying there will not problems but these times make the problems disappear or at least workable toward solutions.
TODAY THE WORDS are LIFE WOKE ME UP. I posted this on Facebook this morning, “When I woke this morning, a beautiful sight was before me…LIFE was there waiting for me to get up!” This became my focus for the blog. What is the first thing we see when we wake? Of course we see our surroundings, our spouses, and our pets if we have either of those. Let’s look at what we should be seeing beyond those symbols of love.
: the ability to grow, change, etc., that separates plants and animals from things like water or rocks
: the period of time when a person is alive
: the experience of being alive
As we look at the definition of life; some great aspects of life become evident. I see the words “ability to grow, change, etc” and this is a very big impact on the meaning of life. Life affords us the opportunity to move and grow; in other words be productive. It also emphasizes “change” and this is huge. If a person finds his or her life stalemating; he or she can move and change. I am already feeling the life energy coming from this message. When I see the next option for life’s definition, “the experience of being alive” and wow, does this make me want to experience life and the feeling of “being alive“. So many people seem to misunderstand the difference between “existing” and “being alive”. They may seem similar but there is a huge difference and if I may give you an example: A building exists. It stands tall but cannot move on its own. It only has one view for its entire existence. Oh, it may look magnificent and even grand. People may stop and stare at its beauty or classic features but it still cannot change its look, its condition, and has no choice in who its neighbors are. Life passes it by; it cannot grow unless an outside source decides to change or add to its existence. I hope you are seeing a big difference in sheer existence and being alive.
Now for the deeper thought……We can experience being alive and from the definition; Life is composed to grow, change, and move for a period of time to experience life to the fullest by living it and not only exist. Think about the last time you woke up, maybe going on an exciting vacation or you have an opportunity to do something amazing in your life. It may be going fishing, hunting, painting, writing, crafting, walking or running. Life is to be lived so drop the “morning drabs” and LIVE! Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by actually living and loving! I have to go; Life is waiting and I don’t want it to start without me!
TODAY THE WORDS are “IS THAT YOU GOD?” Reprint from 2013 A few days ago, one of my friends Donna C. was pondering how do we tell if it is God talking to us or is it our thoughts? I think her question was worth pondering and had been discussed by someone I have listened to and read many of her thoughts, Joyce Meyer. I replied to my friend’s request for some feedback as: The only way I can tell is usually my first thoughts are my own and only after I have prayed or studied, do I hear God’s words clarifying or challenging my thoughts.
My experience is God is the deeper thought and not the impulsive human thought or reaction. Just saying and I am interested like you to hear others thoughts on this. Another good friend of ours replied with: When it’s from God; it just feels right…..no doubts. There is a saying, “Let your conscience be your guide” and like Arline said those are our first thoughts. Sometimes good and sometimes we make mistakes by acting to quickly. I believe God wants us to go to HIM with all our problems and things we don’t understand. We need to have that quiet time with him in his word and through prayer. We need to just listen for him to speak. Let the Holy Spirit guide you! (courtesy of Sandy M.) I would like to add, and I am sure everyone who knows for sure they have experienced the voice of God, when He speaks to us, it comes from a place deep inside your body, lower and more powerful than anything we have experienced in our thoughts alone. Even if it starts as a whisper, it imprints its mark in our soul and somehow, as Sandy said, “It just feels right.” It would be very hard to resist God’s voice.
Now for the deeper thought….In this time in life, there are so many skeptics and everyone has the right to believe or not to believe; but God loves us all and God will choose the time to speak on each person’s heart giving them a choice of whether to accept Him . If you think as a parent, you try to teach your children in the way to go so they can be the best they can be; sometimes they listen to you the first time you speak; but more times than not; you have to tell them more than one time. God will keep showing and speaking to his child until God sees this child is not going to listen and God will not always tarry with man. A heart is meant to love and our heart knows when God is speaking. Seek His Voice and you will Hear!
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE: King James Bible Revelation 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.
Here are the best examples of Furry Love…Buster and Bandit
TODAY THE WORDS are FURRY LOVE. Love songs are written about human love; the beauty of it; the loss of it; the love that lives forever; and the unrequited love. We sing along; we reminisce; we long for the ones who have left us. Yesterday, upon returning home, my husband and I saw the kind of love I have seen some poems written in reference to “Furry Love”. I wanted to share this experience with you, especially all of the dog lovers out there, as I know you feel the same way about your fur babies.
We drove into the garage and Greg made it to the door before I did. I could hear Buster’s yelping and running with the excitement of a child. He couldn’t decide if he should jump on the bed, jump on Greg, and then he decided he better check and see if “Daddy” brought “Mommy” with him and out in the garage he ran and jumped on the back of my legs as I was getting some of my things out of the car. He then returned and it was back and forth between us. He couldn’t help himself; he was so happy to see us and to know we had come back to them.
We didn’t see Bandit who has a habit of hiding under the bed until after Buster has completed his show of affection. Of course, we called for him to make sure he was okay. He is a totally different personality than “Boisterous Buster” and is more the patient and passive personality. However, he had been listening to our reactions to Buster welcoming us home and I think he wanted some of that attention. When he came up on the bed, he started mimicking Buster’s actions with some barking and circling and seemed to enjoy when I made a fuss over him. He loved it and so did I.
It got me to thinking how each of God’s creatures loves to be loved. No matter what personality we have; whether we are rowdy like Buster or quiet like Bandit; we want to have someone to show us they care. With this in mind, I came to a conclusion……no matter how “lovable or unlovable” a person seems; we should reach out to them and show them love. It may not seem they are welcoming our love; but I think they may be like Bandit and receiving it in a more subdued way.
Now for the deeper thought…….It came to me how God must find Himself in awe of His Creations which are all humans and all creatures, big and small. Each of us are unique with separate qualities; good and bad. We react to things differently; even though they are the same things. We love in different ways and some of us are more cautious than others. We have times when our feelings are hurt and we repel from the very people who love us. Do we do this with God? When we do not get our way or our prayers aren’t answered when we think the time is right; do we repel against the very Divine Power who loves us in spite of who we are? I feel God gave Dogs furry love to help teach the rest of us how we can learn from them. We could use a good dose of furry love and get so excited when we see each other and even if we are more of the quieter type (definitely not speaking for myself) allow love to be something to get excited about…..Show some love!
With eye upraised his master’s look to scan, The joy, the solace, and the aid of man: The rich man’s guardian and the poor man’s friend, The only creature faithful to the end.
(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.