TODAY THE WORD is CHIRPING. I awoke this morning by the grace of God to have a lot of heaviness around my heart due to our recent loss of my blogging partner, Bandit, our little Yorkie. Then I heard God’s alarm clock go off when the birds outside started chirping. They were loud this morning and it gave my heart a jolt and I want to share my thoughts on why I think the birds chirp so much in the morning time. 
I am sure that Scientists and Ornithologists would probably have a scientific reason why birds chirp so loudly in the morning, but my thoughts go to the heart and not science. As this morning, my heart felt heavy due to personal reasons. I knew this is going to be a day that I need to lean on God’s strength and be steadfast in my faith and beliefs. I think there are times in everyone’s life this heaviness occurs and it is human to be a little down trodden. I don’t feel this as a weakness, just acknowledgement of how much we get our strength from Our Maker and our strength doesn’t come from us being super heroes. God recognizes those moments in us and if we ask Him for strength at these times, God comes through and lifts our spirits up through His Grace. He comforts and makes whatever pain we are feeling lesson in its strength. 
Blue Bird in Spring by Jenny Arey (photo)
Now, for the deeper thought of the birds chirping…...God is sending us a signal to awake, become aware of how much we need to go to prayer and talk with Our God. The birds are like the angels trumpeting their trumpets in the sky, it is a call for action. We can choose to lie there, mulling in sadness or we can arise, give thanks that we can get up, and find scripture to meet our needs, and pray for strength, grace, forgiveness, comfort, or whatever our needs are on this particular day. Do you find it amazing that a verse or verses in the scripture will appear and be so pertinent and right on with what is needed to sustain us? Just like the birds chirping, the scriptures chirp out a message to call us to action. Birds come in all sizes and colors. Their chirps are sometimes melodic and sometimes a loud blast of sound. This is also a sign for all of us to heed as God sometimes whispers in our ears and sometimes, it sounds like a blast. I have had the whispers and I can remember with all of my heart and mind the time I received a blast. There is no denying when the “blast from God” comes in our lives and I “moved”. When the birds chirp, remember God is calling you to action. If they get louder, go ahead and “get up”. God is wanting to talk to you and we should listen!

Psalm 104:12     

Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.

(c) copyright 2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORDS are WHEN YOU ARE ON YOUR LAST LEG. Some of my readers are not familiar with me to know I still work even though I proclaimed over a year ago, I was semi retiring. I have mixed emotions but overall, I feel it is healthy to keep working. There are days, however, I feel I might be on my last leg and it is hard to accept I am getting older. What does it mean to be on “your last leg”? Let’s see what Yahoo.answers:

To be “on your last leg” is to be near the end; near collapse. You have scarce resources left to complete something. “Our old family dog is on her last leg (meaning tired, near death). The “leg” here can be interpreted in two ways. First, comparing a leg to the tired or injured legs of a person or an animal after extended effort; there is not much left to stand on. A “leg” is also a counting word for a segment of a long journey. “I would be glad to sell you my car, but I must tell you that it is on its last leg.” on your last legs | on its last legs informal 

Meaning: If you say you’re on your last legs, it can mean you’re close to exhaustion, or it can mean you’re close to death. If a thing is on its last legs, it’s close to breaking or wearing out.

I thought I would take the phrase and dissect it a little more. I think most of you have experienced this scenario. Have you been standing in line for a long time and you feel the line is never going to move for you to get to the front of the line to conduct your business or the reason you got in the line in the first place? I have; I have stood until I had to shift my weight on the “other leg” to have some relief from the weight and pressure. This action gives me temporary relief but it is not long before I have to shift my weight again and again until the line starts moving. So whether it is my other leg or my last leg; it is aggravating and works on my small patience.
I began to think about life and how it works similarly. We start in life with our legs not strong enough to hold our weight and we figure out to move we have to crawl on both of our legs until we realize those big people who are using a different method seem to go farther. We struggle until we pull ourselves up to a table and then comes the wobbling period of taking a step or two and down we go. We get up again and we fall down. We try again and what happens is we manage to take more and more steps and off we go. Now, we explore as we are intrigued by what the big folks were moving around so much. We run hard and long; we live and experience what using both our legs can do for us. At some point, we find our legs ache a little but we push past this hurt and go on. We have injuries and have to have some support like a brace, crutches if we injure ourselves seriously. We get better and we move again; it may be a little slower and life continues until we feel we are on our last leg. At this time, more than any other time; we can either decide to sit down and stop standing on our last leg or we can pace ourselves and keep moving. I remember our Mother as she moved in her 80’s saying “I still go; I just go slower and take my time.”
Now for the deeper thought…..If you feel you are on your last leg; shift your weight to Our Higher Power or as the song goes “Lean on Me” when times get rough. Life has its moments, good and bad and at times we all need to take the weight of life off and prayers, faith, family, friends and a shift in our thinking can remove the added pressures. I am humming “Take a load off, Sally“.


Matthew 11:28-30 ESV  

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

(c) copyright 2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

MY WORDS are MAY YOU…by Arline Miller

May your love be like honey…sweet and sticks to whatever it touches. 
May your anger be like instant dissolving jello…easily dissolves into a sweeter substance.
May your honesty be like a clean window….transparent and easy to see the beauty beyond.
May your beauty be like a Rose …..striking while young and fresh and something to be remembered  when it is old and dried. 
May your life be like the best novel you ever read …or better yet the one you wrote.

(Written by Arline Miller)



TODAY THE WORDS are WHEN IS IT SAFE TO TRUST? This morning while I was meditating over what would the blog be focused, I wrote “Life throws more curves than any major league pitcher.” My mind went to how life and people take us in directions we may not have intended our lives to go. I remembered times in my life when I trusted people, both in business and personal, and it proved to be very costly both financially and emotionally. It caused me to think how do we know when we can safely trust people? I am not sure I have the answers but I do have some thoughts which I will share.
1) Trust is a gift and not to be taken lightly. When you gain someone’s trust and they have your trust; it is a treasure beyond any price. In other words, trust in its truest form is priceless. It comes without expectation of any reward for either party. It should be freely given and accepted; it should however be protected with every means possible.
2) Trust should not be taken lightly and should not be used in any measure to sway, threaten, use for one’s own purpose. It is a true sense of love; even unconditional love if respected and protected. Love is when one thinks of the other person instead of oneself and the same applies to trust.
3) Trust is never a tool but a priceless porcelain statue of the purest and most beautiful material. As such, it also is fragile and can be broken easily if one is not careful. Once broken, any attempt to “glue” it back together may allow it to have the appearance of it mended; the cracks will show and it will never have the perfect appearance it once had.
4) Trust is never to be used to gain another person’s affection by divulging things about someone who has placed their trust in you. Trust has to stay intact and never a party to gossip, deceit, or revenge.
Now for the deeper thought…. Have you given someone your trust only to be deceived? How did you feel when you found out they were not the friend you thought they were? Did you feel violated? I ask these questions because that would be how someone who trusted you would feel if you misused their trust. Are you guaranteed no one will ever displace your trust? No, but even if they do; it is a wise thing not to try “an eye for an eye”. Move past them, and be careful with your trust. A good friend will go to their graves without being true to the trust you placed in them. Be that kind of friend to them! Live life; love life; Live life to the fullest by choosing carefully who you trust.

Psalm 56:3-4 ESV

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

(c) copyright 2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


Are they the same or not?

 One of these cars is a 1986 Plymouth Fury and the other is a 1986 Dodge Diplomat. Can you tell which is which?

TODAY THE WORDS are THE SAME OR NOT? A lot of my stories go back to my childhood, but this one is from my time in the car business. Some of my friends have, at least for a while, been in the car business and may have had a similar experience. In all of my years in this business, this was the only time I had the experience I am sharing with you this morning. It will date my age as these models are no longer available. so allow “the ole gal” to tell you about one of my customers.
Even though most of my career in the car business was in the Finance and Insurance division as well as some General Manager stints; I started out the first three months in sales. I had not sold cars before, but since I enjoyed sales and especially meeting people; I felt I could handle it and not meant to brag; I led the team in sales those three months. It was truly beginner’s luck! 
One day I saw a car pull up at the Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Eagle dealership. A young lady helped an elderly lady out and I immediately introduced myself to both of them and asked if I could help them.
The lady told me quickly her husband had worked at a Dodge plant and he had passed away. He wanted her to have a new Dodge Diplomat and she liked what she thought was a Dodge Diplomat on the front line of our lot. I looked at the front row and all I saw was a Plymouth Fury which for those of you who are in the know, recognize the way cars are manufactured. The chassis is the same for both cars. Unless you know the difference in the grille and the insignia for the different brands; you are looking at the “same” car.
The elderly lady begrudgingly bought the Fury and paid with cash with her niece smiling and agreeing with me, her aunt would love it. The lady kept saying “He wanted me to have a Dodge.” Away they went and you may not believe what happened next.
The car carrier rolled up later that day and what would be on the top of the carrier but a Dodge Diplomat “exactly” as the Plymouth Fury she had bought. The service department and the detail department had it on the front row before we left that afternoon. I had no idea of what was going down the next morning. I had gotten in and exchanged morning greetings with the other sales staff and from the corner of my eye; I caught the Plymouth Fury I had sold pulling up to the front and I thought to myself. “Uh oh, this is not good.” Being me and not afraid of a good challenge; I walked out with a smile.
The elderly lady allowed me to help her out of the car, but she wasn’t smiling. She looked at me and said, “Why didn’t you sell me that Dodge out there?” Well, I went through the explanation of how it came in after they left. She said to me with a serious look on her face, “I want that Dodge like my dear husband wanted me to have it and you can get it now.”
My mind raced as I knew my dealer would have a fit and since she had paid cash, the title processing may have already been completed. I didn’t know how I was going to handle this situation but I somehow felt a twinge in my heart for her wanting to honor her husband’s wishes. I felt torn but I knew the cars were technically the same with only exterior changes. She wasn’t having any of the “same” explanation and I began to think I was going to have to battle it out with the dealer to exchange the vehicles. I straightened up my shoulders and was prepared to go in and get my ears rung when this little lady looked at me with a sense of compassion. What she said next remains in my mind today.
“Honey, don’t be upset. I am not here to bring this car back. I want to buy the Dodge. I want you to draw up a contract for me so my niece can pay me back for the Plymouth and we will work that out between us. Even though the Plymouth is not a Dodge; I think my husband would like me helping our niece out and I can have my Dodge like my sweet husband wanted. Will you give me the same deal on that pretty Dodge?
Now for the deeper thought……I think she understood the cars were the same and she like the Fury but she felt stronger to honor her husband’s memory and request. It really wasn’t about the cars as it was the importance of their love and trust for each other. It doesn’t matter that I sold two cars to the same lady; it was the look on her face as she drove that Dodge Diplomat off that lot! Respect, love and trust had seen that husband and wife through many years and the last thing she said to me was,”Thank you for being patient with me and helping me get the car my Henry wanted me to have. He said they were safe cars and he wanted to take care of me.”


Proverbs 31:11 ESV 

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.

(c) copyright 2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORDS are DRINKING FROM THE OLD WELL. I know that some of my regular readers are smiling and thinking, “well here she goes again, back to the good ole days”. I am taking the journey down the path to my childhood and that is becoming year after year a longer journey as I am getting older. 
One of the best memories was when we, as children, had played our hearts out in the country and had gotten hot. Instead of going in the house for air conditioning, oh wait, there was no air conditioning; we went to the old well out back. For some reason, and maybe it is only because we were so hot, the water that came out of the well and was dipped into a metal dipper was absolutely the most refreshing

water in the world. We passed the dipper around and shared water and laughs with each other. Sometimes, we had to have the dipper passed around again for another taste of that water. I get a little tickled when I see bottled water thinking about the well water from long ago.

At my desk the other day, I picked up the bottle of water and looked to see where it came from and believe it or not, it was my hometown, Douglas, GA and I smiled and thought, “had they tapped into the old spring?” I had gotten out of the habit of drinking water when city water never seemed to taste as good as the well water. Since I drink bottled water now and it has a good taste, but honestly, it doesn’t compare with the water from the well. 
Now, for the deeper thought……I had never had my thirst for life quenched until I drank from the living well! For all of you that have received this wonderful, refreshing, life changing God given water of life, you already know how it quenches your thirst and your life becomes a “well” for sharing this water with others. The water from the old well pales in comparison to one little drop of the drink from God’s well, so drink up, enjoy the refreshing change in your life and thirst no more. Live life, love life, and live life to the fullest by quenching your thirst in life with love, charity, and a humble spirit. 


But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


Sister Ruby Holton with her grandson’s family, Blake, Sheila, Mark (grandson), and Cody Lott

TODAY THE WORDS are SQUASH PIE. This was a post from 2012 but I had a thought about this message this morning and it is worthy to read it again. I must confess, this is a recipe that I myself have never made. I have baked a pumpkin, egg custard, sweet potato and coconut cream but never a squash pie. 
When I wrote a tribute to a beautiful saintly lady from my home town, there was a reference to her making a squash pie. I had heard before that I needed to get her recipe for her specialty pie but somehow, this morning the idea of a squash pie brought some thoughts to mind that I wanted to share on the blog. Sister Ruby, I thank you for your life and the lesson of the squash pie. I love squash, stewed, baked, stuffed and even grilled on my George Foreman grill, but never did I think to use 

squash in a sweet pie. It always reminded me of a vegetable dish and adding onions and salty seasonings seemed a natural match. I don’t have a reference to how the squash pie came to be, and I guess if I really get to thinking pumpkin or sweet potato (contrary to its name), they are not naturally sweet but can be used to make a great pie by adding sugar. Before you think, ugh, how do these ingredients ever make a sweet delicious pie. A brother of this sweet lady would say when Sister Ruby would break out in song in church when the spirit moved her, due to his possible embarrassment, “and she makes a good squash pie too”.

Now for the deeper thought…..as God has given some of us the ability to use things that are not naturally a good ingredient for something so sweet and good; He uses the unlikely person to deliver messages, give hope to the down trodden, send people to do His bidding, arrange the matching of opposites to enable His work through that person, and make sweet saint pies out of the unexpected people. Squash pie…who would have thought that it would taste so good or who would have thought that any of us who are ordinary people and if you don’t mind the reference as I don’t mind are a little salty turning into sweet desserts of life for God. Once we have blended our recipe for a better life pie and asked for forgiveness; God adds the sugar of redemption and changes the entire taste of our pie. We become a better recipe for all of our families and friend to enjoy. We are no longer a bitter ingredient in our circle of crust. Everyone wants and needs this recipe given only by Our Maker for the sweetest pie! The next time you eat a squash pie, a pumpkin pie or a sweet potato pie, think about God’s lesson of the squash pie!


The Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:9-13
Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

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


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!

John 2:11 – This 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.


TODAY THE WORDS are LESSONS BORN WHEN LOVED ONES DIE. This blog is the first one since our little Yorkie Bandit left us to wait at the Rainbow Bridge with our other fur baby Whiskers. I experienced a lot of grief with Whiskers but his death was somehow expected since he had seizures. Bandit’s death was more unexpected with a recent diagnosis of diabetes and with a reaction to the insulin, ketone poisoning, he left us Saturday night. The grief I have been feeling has almost been overwhelming and everyone of you who have lost a pet who was family understands that grief. This topic is not centered in my grief and later, when all calms down in my heart; I will write a tribute to our little Bandi-Man. When I woke this morning and experienced the void as many of you may not know, but Bandit was my blogging companion and lay beside me while I have written over 700 posts. I began to wonder if I should stop writing it, and then the lesson (in the form of a message but not from social media or a PM or not even a tweet) was received in my heart and mind so I thought I would share it especially for all of us who have lost loved ones in human and animal form.
Here is the message for me and others: As we feel the loss of a loved one, we become consumed in the void of the absence of the one hopefully we have shown as much love as we received. We question why we are experiencing this loss at this time; why didn’t we have more time; did we do everything to prevent their death; did we do everything while they were living; and did we tell them enough we loved them. All of these questions are normal questions and some will disagree it is normal and we shouldn’t question life and death. It seems okay to ask why to come to terms. I don’t think we receive the answers we seek and the unnatural part is not accepting death as much as birth is natural so is death.
When I woke up both yesterday and this morning, I concentrated on my grief and as I was going to be down and depressed which by the way seems natural too because we love deeply and hurt when we know our last conversation, visit, meal, gift, and I love you will be the last earthly communication with them; I felt that inner voice which I have come to know is how God talks to me and you if we listen. I want to share that message as it birthed a lesson from my grief.
“If I have given and blessed you with anything whether it be family, friends, pets, work, home, faith, talents, or a mission; you are to be thankful and appreciate it while you have it. Nothing is yours; it is mine and I gladly share it with you. You can love it and enjoy it but remember it is a loan as you are to others. I loan it to you for a while and when it has to leave as you will have to leave others one day; you are not to be angry or sad because it is not a punishment or cause to upset you. It is just time for them or you to return to me. It is a time for thankfulness of the period of your life you are given to share, to love, to be kind, to enjoy, to laugh, to teach and to learn. With every new gift such as a birth; you are to thank me; with every loss consider it a gift you have shared and remember each good time and pleasure you shared with my gift.”
Now for the deeper thought (as if it gets deeper than that)…..I stopped and it became clear; I was looking at Bandit’s death and so many other departures of loved ones in the wrong light. I can start looking at our time together because that will bring smiles and take away those questions as I know the answers. Yes, I loved them as much as possible; and I told them as much as I could I loved them; and yes, I was blessed and hopefully they felt blessed to have me in their lives. God giveth and He will taketh but oh, how blessed we are in that period between. Have a great day everyone and share God’s blessings by telling all of your loved ones “I Love YOU” and I LOVE GOD”.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” – Job 1:21

(c) copyright 2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORDS are WHEN IS IT THE RIGHT TIME? A lot of “times” we say it isn’t the right time, the right day, the right person, the right opportunity, etc. When I gave this some thought, I remembered saying or thinking the same thing several times in my life. Can we be sure if ever is the right time or other rights in our lifetime? This leads me to the topic for today and I think it is the right time to discuss how important making decisions at the right time is to our lives.
Sometimes, it helps me to look back over my past and evaluate if I made the right decision and if it was the right time to make the change, move, or action. I remember a time in my life which was such a significant phase and it was important to be right at the right time. I owned an interior decorating business and it had grown into a successful venture but it was demanding and commanded long hours. My husband and I divorced and it was necessary for her Dad to keep our daughter while I traveled. I had been offered a huge account by a large manufacturer and it was tempting for sure. I would have to travel a lot more than I already was traveling and it would have had a large effect on my daughter. I wasn’t worried about her being taken care of by her Dad as he has been “Dad of the year” since she was born. It was me, considering my time as a Mother with her child which would have suffered and that meant it was the “right” time to make a very difficult decision. The time it took to drive to my office and tell my employees I had made a decision to either sell the business or sell off the business assets. In this talk, I promised them I would allow them to find other jobs, even going on interviews on my time, and then I said it is bonus day and turned it into a fun day of them picking out their Christmas gifts in October.
Here is the irony of this decision if you look at it 
from a business standpoint and you will see it didn’t have any facets of a good decision or it certainly did not have the resemblance of being the “right” time. 1) I had a national account being handed to me and it wasn’t an unearned gift as we, my staff and me, had worked tirelessly to become recognized; 2) my staff who I loved were mostly made up of single mothers and their livelihood were based on their jobs; 3) I loved what I was doing and it was a very lucrative business and me being divorced; it could be a jeopardizing situation; and 4) I owned a lot of inventory which, if I chose not to sell the business intact, I could risk losing a lot of hard earned profit.
Now for the deeper thought….. This decision was made in 1984 and not for one second and even during the difficult parts of dissolving a business have I ever regretted making the “right” decision. Every day of my life, my daughter and I have a unbreakable bond and she makes me so proud of her and so pleased to have the relationship we share. She knows at the right time, which may have looked like the “wrong” time; I chose to make the “right” decision. Have I always made the “right” decision at the right time….Not hardly. If we listen to our heart and make decisions which might be difficult, God will reward us for listening to the “right” voice of love.
Ecclesiastes 3:1
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

(c) copyright 2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

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