Monday, July 30, 2012

A Promise in the Making

A Promise in the Making

You are a promise in the making.  You are a could-be.  Milton Berle, American comic, once said this:  “I’d rather be a ‘could-be’ if I can’t be an ‘are’.”

A “could- be” always has a hope for something yet to come.  Hope is one of the themes I love to write about.  Hope speaks of what is yet to be.  It speaks of the future.  It speaks of dreams that are still alive and vivid in one’s heart and mind. 

We may not be an “are” yet, but there still beats within us the possibilities that it can still happen.

Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote this lyric a few years.
   I am a promise
   I am a possibility
   I am a promise
   With a capital “C”
   I am a great big bundle of

Sometimes we need to remember this:  before we become an “are” we are a “could be.  We are a promise in the making.  

With every skill developed there is always a learning curve.  With every accomplishment there is always the dreaming and the planning before it becomes an “are”.  Every great skyscraper, institution, Fortune 500 company and successfully elected politician first began as a promise in the making. 

I write a lot about human potential.  I think it is a significant concept, and one that individuals must grab onto with conviction if they are to live in their dominant strength.

Your passion is a good indicator of your potential. 
Your private thoughts are good indicators of the promising areas in your life.

You are a worthwhile individual, no matter your age, your economic status, where you live, what you look like, or what language you speak. 

You are a promise in the making.  You are a HUGE possibility.

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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

You Are My Sunshine

You Are My Sunshine

Let me tell you a story – a true story.

“Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her three-year-old son, Michael, prepare for his new sister.

“Night after night, Michael sang to his sister in mommy's tummy.  He was building a bond of love with his little sister even then, while the pregnancy progressed normally.

“In time, the labor pains came.  Serious complications arose during delivery and Karen found herself in labor for hours.  Finally, after a long struggle, Michael's little sister was born.  But she was in a very critical life-and-death struggle. 

“With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital, in Knoxville, Tennessee.  The days inched by.  The little girl’s condition worsened.  The pediatrician had to tell the parents “there is very little hope.  Be prepared for the worst.”  Karen and her husband called a local cemetery about a burial plot.

“Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister. “I want to sing to her,” he kept saying.  Unfortunately children were not allowed in the Intensive Care unit.

Finally, Karen decided to take Michael to see his sister whether they liked it or not.  If he didn't see his sister soon, he may never see her alive.  So she dressed him in an over-sized scrub suit and marched him into ICU.  

“The head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, "Get that kid out of here, now!  No children are allowed."

“The mother instinct rose up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glared right into the face of the head nurse, her lips a firm line.

"He is not leaving until he sings to his sister!"   Then Karen towed Michael to his sister's bedside.

“Michael, staring wide-eyed, gazed at his infant sister, fighting for her life.  After a moment, he began to sing, in the pure-hearted voice of a three-year-old.

   "You are my sunshine,
   My only sunshine,
   You make me happy
   When skies are gray."

“His baby sister began responding.  Her pulse rate began to calm down and stabilize.

“Keep singing, Michael," encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes.

   "You never know, dear,
   How much I love you,
   Please don't take my sunshine away."

“As Michael sang to his sister, her strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten's purr. 

"Keep on singing, sweetheart."

   "The other night, dear,
   As I lay sleeping,
   I dreamed I held you in my arms".

“Michael's little sister began to relax as healing rest seemed to sweep over her.

"Keep on singing, Michael."

“Tears had now conquered the face of the head nurse.  Karen glowed.

   "You are my sunshine,
   My only sunshine.
   Please don't take my sunshine away..."

“The next day ... the very next day ... Michael’s sister was well enough to go home. Woman's Day Magazine called it “The Miracle of a Brother's Song”. The medical staff just called it a miracle.”

Karen called it a miracle of God's love.

I call it Connection:  One human being connecting with another in love.  I think this story points out the importance of the human factor in healing. 

If you would like to read more on this subject, click on this link - 

(You Are My Sunshine was originally written by Oliver Hood.  Latter Jimmie Davis, former governor of Louisiana and country singing legend, bought the lyric and attached his own name to it.)

P.S.  If you know of someone who might be encouraged by this story, please forward it to them.  Thank you.

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

She Noticed Me

She Noticed Me

When I was in the sixth grade I had an English teacher by the name of Sarah Jones.  She made an impression on me for several reasons.  She was a great teacher, she was fair in her discipline and she recognized me one day in class. 

One February morning in English class she assigned us the project of writing an essay.  The subject was titled “Looking out My Bedroom Window.”  We were to write about anything that we saw as we gazed outside our window. 

That night, before my Mom called us to supper, I had a flash of insight and began writing as I looked and watched, watched and observed, observed and gazed outside my bedroom window.

I turned in my paper, and on Friday of that week Mrs. Jones announced that she was going to read excerpts from some of our papers.  The third one she read from was my paper.  My goodness. 

As she read from my paper, she simply said, “Michael wrote the following,” and then she read my words.  “My neighbor’s dog is coming around the corner of the house.  She is walking slowly, wagging her tail.  She is white and brown and a mixed breed, and she is the most gentle of dogs, with large, long ears.” 

Now, that’s not exactly Pulitzer Prize material, but to my sixth grade ears that was as good as it gets.  I was recognized for having done something acceptable.  I was being singled out to receive a medal for being acceptable.

Mrs. Jones made my day, and I’ve never forgotten. 

And now I seek opportunities to make someone else’s day.  My goal, my aim in life is to offer offer hope, encouragement and inspiration one word at a time.

I want to catch someone doing something right and shout to the world, “You are a hero for a day!” 

I want people to feel validated and feel that they make a significant contribution to our world.

Mrs. Jones made my day that morning.  Her words of praise have stayed with me all these years.  Perhaps I still hear her reading my words in class.  All that I truly know is that it made a difference in this Tennessee boy at that moment in time. 

So, how can we notice someone today?  Find someone and say in effect, “You, the skinny kid with the dirty tennis shoes and ragtag jeans.  Yes, you!  You are special and I recognize you.”

Make someone’s day.

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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Worry (or Not)?

Worry (or Not)

“Did I lock the door or not?”  That question haunts us 15 miles down the road on the first day of vacation.

How many ways can you say “worry”?

If you are going to worry about something, consider these:
-Did I tell my son how proud I am of him?
-Did I say “I love you” to my spouse five times a day?
-Did I prepare my daughter for young-adulthood?
-Did I lead from an integrity-based life?
-Did I treat every man fairly?
-Did I consider other’s feelings, backgrounds, and perspective?
-Did I show my daughter how a woman should be cared for by demonstrating it to her mother?

Some worries deserve such a small amount of attention that they hardly register on the scale of importance.

Things like:
-Did I mow the lawn every Saturday?
-Did I pray properly in church last Sunday?
-Did I wear the latest fashion?
-Did John get ahead of me at work?
-Did that guy just cut me off on the freeway?
-Am I popular?
-Will these pimples ever go away?

If you want to handle concerns in your life, then trouble-shoot them and talk them over with a solution-conscious mindset.  But worry for worry’s sake? 


In the Bible, Matthew chapter six, we learn this:  “Can worry add a single moment to your life?  Consider the lilies of the field and the sparrows.  The lilies are clothed beautifully, and a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without God noticing it.  Are you not worth more than a lily or a sparrow?”  

Yes indeed.  We are in God’s sight.

We are his highest form. 

Now, hold on to that, and let your worries wash away.

Be at peace my friend. 

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

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm Okay So Far

I’m OK So Far

I recently listened to an audio recording by Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Medicine and Miracles.  He told the following story.

“A man was working on the top floor of a fifty-story building in New York City.  One day he stumbled and started falling.  At every floor, as he was continuing to fall, people would ask him “How are you?”  His response was always the same.  ‘I’m okay so far.

As he fell from floor to floor you could hear him say ‘I’m okay so far. 

Now that’s an illustration, not a true story, and it has some applications for us today I think.

What has caused you to stumble in your life?  Have you lost your footing and fallen down a few floors?

Some have faced divorce, yet they can say, “I’m okay so far”.

Others have experienced the death of a parent, a child or sibling.  Again we say, “I’m okay so far.”

I know a man who had several thousand dollars embezzled from his retail store.  Today, he says I’m okay so far.”

When I lived in Waco, I became friends with a very well-known doctor who had been diagnosed with cancer.  Every time I asked about his health, his response always was, “Another day above ground is a good day.”

Thanks another way of saying “I’m okay so far.” 

I love the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. (1849-1903)
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

He’s saying “I’m okay so far.”

Have you ever lost a loved one because of death?  Sing with me. 
          “I’m okay so far.”
Have you lost a job?  Sing it again. 
          “I’m okay so far.”

You’re not saying “I’m great.  I’m on top of the world.”  You’re simply letting the world know that your head may be blooded and bruised, yet you are keeping your head up.  You’re still plugging away. 

So when discouragement, disappoint and despair come knocking on your door, close the door and say, Go away.  “I’m okay so far.”

And if we are fortunate, we have some people to come along side us occasionally and whisper “You’re okay so far.  You’re going to make it.”

And sometimes we hear the bigger words, “I believe in you.” And “I love you.”

You’re okay so far!

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

Thursday, July 12, 2012

When the Cheese Falls off the Cracker

When the Cheese Falls off the Cracker

Picture this:  A thick slice of Flagship Cheese on a crisp Ritz cracker.  Yum.  Give me a glass of milk and I’m a happy camper … until the cheese falls off the cracker.

When that happens, it’s all over – almost.  Or so some would think.

How many ways can we say “cheese falls off the cracker?”

-A man in his 80’s who can’t move and think as he did 20 years ago

-A singer who can no longer hit the high C’s

-A 19-year-old who showed tremendous early abilities and now her peers have caught up

-A 54-year-old woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer

-A 59-year-old man recently fired because “they need fresh ideas”

-A 30-something woman facing a divorce that wasn’t supposed to happen

-A 55-year old woman whose husband died of a heart attack

These are dismal pictures.  Sad states in which no one wants to find themselves.

Yet it happens.

Sometimes the cheese just falls off the cracker.

If you ever face hardships, disappointment, struggles, shattered dreams, have heroes let you down, or sometimes get discouraged, keep reading. 

When the cheese falls off your cracker, remember three things:

~God still loves~
~God still knows where you are – He has your address memorized~
~You are welcome at any time to knock on His door.  He will leave the light on for you~

Sometimes, we pick up the cheese and put it back on the cracker.
   Other times we go to the kitchen and get another slice.
      And sometimes we choose something else to eat.

Using metaphors, you get the idea here.

You get to decide which action to take. 

Either way, God is still God. 

He saw the cheese fall.  He sees what you need now. 

...And He is still God.

I find great comfort in that thought.

(If this post encouraged you, perhaps you know of someone else to send it to.  Would you kindly do so?  Thank you so much.) 

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

Monday, July 9, 2012

Keep Showing Up

Keep Showing Up
July 9, 2012

Persistence is THE number one ingredient necessary for accomplishing any worthwhile goal.  Books are written, songs are sung, and speeches are given – all with the intent of motivating the listener to keep going forward. 

With this spirit in mind, here are 16 thoughts to encourage you to keep trying and keep working toward your dream.

-Get back up on the horse.

-Try, try again.

-Never, never, never give up. (Winston Churchill)

-You’ve failed.  So what?  Now you know one more thing that doesn’t work.

-Do it again.

-Go back up to bat.

-Swing and a miss.  Swing again.

-Take that test again.

-Every “no” just brings you that much closer to “yes”.

-I can do better next time.

-Next time we’ll get it right.

-Success simply comes from going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  (Page 103-Three Feet from Gold)

-You need two types of courage –
First, the courage to get started
Second, the courage to not quit.  (Page 110 Three Feet from Gold)

-Act in spite of fear. 

-Never let mistakes define who you are.

-Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle happens.  (Page 199 Three Feet from Gold)

The bottom line – Keep Showing Up.

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

Thursday, July 5, 2012

More Thoughts on Courage

More Thoughts on Courage

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”  Thus spoke Thomas Paine at the beginning of the American Revolution. 

With all that is going on in our world, don’t we all sometimes wonder what it’s all about and where it will end?  When you are challenged, when you are down and defeated – sometimes all we have left is courage.  That is when you find it within yourself to rise up, take possession of your situation, and charge ahead. 

Courage is often a one-man show.  An army may follow, but only after one lone soldier has risen up, looked over the ridge and said, “We must, we shall, overcome.” 

And over the barricade he charges. 

-The bullets may fly all around,
  but onward he goes. 

-Hardships are at every turn,
but onward he goes.

-Discouragement abounds,
but onward he goes. 

Onward he goes, because he has courage and he is going to do his part to earn success at all costs. 

I love this idea: 
Courageous people are often
very afraid, but they
do it anyway.

We all love a comfortable bed.  But we cannot conquer mountains unless we get out of bed.  My friend Desiree sent this thought to me:  “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

I’ve cut the ties to my comfort zone a few times.  I’ve stepped out, tossing caution to the wind, set my sails and away I went.  I had to cut the ropes that kept me tied to the dock. 


That’s the stuff of champions. 
That’s the stuff of victory.
That’s the stuff of ‘doing what it takes.’


How does one gain courage?

Sometimes we have our back to the wall.  And then we find the courage to step out. 

At other times, we find our courage through our faith in the God of our understanding.  I do this quite often.  Carolyn and I attended a Taize’ service recently at a large downtown cathedral.  One of the songs we sang had this uplifting lyric:

“Nothing can trouble,
Nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble,
Nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.”

That is finding courage in a God who is big enough!

Hoping for you many courageous moments on your journey!

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

P.S.  If you found this helpful, would you kindly pass it along to someone who may need a dose of courage about now?  Thank you so much.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012



(A note to my readers:  Beginning today I’ll be posting twice per week in UP-Words Morning Notes.  I’ll continue my Thursday night post and am now adding a Monday post.  Thank you for following, for reading, for sharing, and for sending me your notes of encouragement from time to time.  You bless me when you do.)

Tonight for dinner I had enough.  I had my fill, and it was good.

I have seven dress shirts in my closet and they are enough. 
I have more than enough pairs of shoes. 
I have over twenty neck ties, and that is enough.

Do you have enough?
Are you enough?

Are you loved enough?
Do you have food enough?

Do you have enough?

Sometimes people go through life believing they are not enough. 
They are not pretty enough.
They are not skinny enough. 
They don’t belong to the right social group.

Have no fear.  You are enough.  Your existence on this planet does not pass without notice.  You were in the mind of God from the beginning.  Your life has a purpose and a plan.  And you have enough stuff inside of you to fulfill your destiny. 

You have a future with hope.  And the God of enough says you are enough.

You are enough. 

Don’t block your own blessings. 
Discover your goodness.
You are valid.  You are worthwhile.

Have no fear.

You are created in God’s image.  You have a speck of God inside of you.  That is an immense thought.  God cared enough to put inside each of us a particle of his nature, his likeness.  The Bible says “we are created in the image of God.” (Genesis 1:27)

You think you are not enough?

My friend.  You are enough.  You are more than enough.

Whatever your challenges, whatever your dreams, whatever you want to pursue, step out, and take the first step. 

You have enough. 
You are enough. 

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