Thursday, April 26, 2012

He Died Climbing

He Died Climbing

Robert Schuller told a story once that has some implications for us today.

When he was visiting Switzerland, not far from the Matterhorn, he visited a cemetery where many of the great mountain climbers have been buried.  On one tombstone he read these words.

“He Died Climbing.”

Dr. Schuller continues
“He didn’t die luxuriating.
  He didn’t die hibernating.
  He didn’t die procrastinating.

  He died dedicating.

  He died climbing.”

What a concept!  It is alive with possibilities.

-No matter our age or state in life, we still have something that can be done. 
-There are contributions to be made.
-There are institutions that can use our volunteering spirit.

We still have value to add.

We can’t stop at the top

               We have to keep going. 

-Give the crank one more turn.
-Pound out one more word on the keyboard. 
-Write one more song. 
-Send one more note of encouragement. 
-Make one more phone call.
-Pray one more prayer.
-Make one more sales call.
-Enroll in a class.

We keep growing.

What can we do?
What can we become?
What can we learn?

The mountain climber in our opening story died doing what he loved.  His life was all about climbing.  He was always looking for the next vista, the next peak, the next spectacular view from on top.

He lived his life as a climber.  And he died climbing!

I have two friends, both in their eighties now.

Wilbur was active up until just this past year.  Now he is retired.  But not fully.  He finds ways to be active and useful.  I know for a fact that just about every week he takes a long-time friend to his doctor’s appointments and drug store stops.  And every week he finds ways to send someone a note of encouragement, including me.

Wilbur is still climbing.

My friend Jim and I chatted this week.  He is eighty-two and still speaks and travels around the world as his schedule and health allows.  He just finished another book and it is selling well.

Jim is still climbing. 

Climbers can be anyone who dares to pursue their goals and dreams, passions and missions in life.  

The tragedy …

The tragedy is the person who has had a few bumps and bruises and now has stopped climbing. 

Don’t stop at the top.

Keep climbing.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Don’t you hate rejection?
Rejection comes at us on many levels, and at odd moments in our day. 

And the worst kind of rejection is the flinch.  You know the flinch.
-People look at a nasty wound and flinch.
-People hear a nasty story about your relationship breakup and they flinch.
-People hear about your financial woes and they flinch.

I hate the flinch. 

Know what?  God doesn’t flinch.
He knows us, knows we are weak, and knows we sometimes make stupid choices, but he doesn’t flinch.  Never. 

Remember King David?  He was the apple of God’s eye, yet he had a man killed, committed adultery, and he committed a few other sins, yet God never flinched.

Remember the woman caught in adultery.  Christ simply said “Go and sin no more”.  But he didn’t flinch.

Remember Zacchaeus?  He was despised by his peers, an outcast in social gatherings, a thief, and he had a somewhat shady reputation, yet Christ didn’t flinch.  He walked right up to that tree where Zacchaeus was perched, looked him in the eye, and invited him to come down so they could have supper together. 

I don’t know what you’ve done, but regardless of what it may be, God will not flinch.

He looks on with kindness, love, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy.

He is grace. 

God never flinches.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hope in the Middle of Messy

I hate messy.  Somebody always has to clean it up.

I hate messy.  It’s ugly, disorganized, sometimes smelly, irritating, uncomfortable, impossible to understand, and messy.

I’ve lived small chunks of my life in messy.  I’ve dealt with it to one degree or another and it’s not fun.  I imagine you have too.  Perhaps you still are.

Have your kids ever disappointed you?
That’s messy.

Have you ever had a relationship that just had more bumps than bounce?
That’s messy.

Has your boss been less than appreciative of your efforts?
That’s messy.

Have you lost a loved one due to premature death?
That’s messy.

Have you ever had a medical diagnosis that was the worst?
That’s messy.

Is your retirement plan as healthy as it once was?
That can be messy.

Where is hope in the middle of messy?

-I’ve seen hope come sauntering along dressed as a doctor.
-It’s been disguised as a principle in a book.
-Sometimes hope comes in the form of a new job.
-And I’ve experienced hope through my faith in God.

Hope is the balm that sooths the heart when all is bleak.
Hope is encouragement from unexpected sources.

When it is dark, hope shines brightest.
When discouraged, hope motivates one to action.
When the song in your heart is flat, hope sings you a symphony.
When all others are silent, hope listens for answers.
When all is lost, hope brings victory.
When no one is sharing, hope keeps on giving.
When no one cheers for you, hope whispers encouragement.
When everyone cries, hope’s smile is just around the corner.
When no one cares, hope endures anyway.

Yes, my friend.  There can be hope in the middle of messy. 

Let these great words of hope be your source of encouragement today.

“Surely I know the plans I have for you, says God.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  I want to give you a future with hope.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Wow!  That encourages me today.

A future with hope.

Believe it.
Accept it.

Hold onto HOPE!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nouns or Verbs?

Are you a noun person or a verb person?

Noun people accumulate “nouns” to define their lives.  You know – houses, sports equipment, wonderful places visited, collections of whatever, clothes, and a thousand other “nouns”.

Please understand this:  I love nouns.  I’ve accumulated a few in my life and they are fun, and sometimes necessary to own and have around.  Life would be tough without “nouns”.

But I want my life to be defined by verbs that I demonstrate more than the nouns I own.

What if this was said of you?

-He’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever known.

   -What a model of integrity she is.

      -He is a statesmen looking out for the next 

         -She’s the best employee 
           we’ve ever had around here.

      -What a kid.  He was a role model 
        for all of the others in the classroom.

   -She is a generous and kind hearted lady with class.

-She is my most trusted neighbor.

Trophies are good.  A life full of verbs is better.

Rob Bell said this in his book Love Wins“That’s why wealth is so dangerous.  If you’re not careful you can easily end up with a garage full of nouns.” 

I don’t want a garage full of nouns.  You can’t take them with you.  You get tired of them sooner or later and you want different nouns.

But let me feed on the verbs people have attributed to me and I’m a happy man. 

That’s why I have a file full of comments from blog readers called “Keepers”.  I often re-read these encouraging comments I’ve received.

Nouns or Verbs?

I like nouns.

I love verbs. 

Verbs are full of action.  Verbs tell our stories best.

Verbs are full of your good qualities.  They are full of your grace-filled living.  They represent you at your best. 

Be a verb person.  Live out loud. 

Doing. Being. Living. Loving. 

Live your life full of verbs.