Friday, November 29, 2013

The Forever Kingdom

(Today we begin our series of fresh Christmas thoughts.  I'll be posting a fresh one here every Monday and Friday.  Surely hope you will check back often and share these thoughts with your friends and families.  Thanks so much. )

Sometimes, in our low moments of life, we wonder what it’s all about, and more importantly, how will it all end. 

Prices go up, unemployment rises, changes come, health insurance rises, governments go on strike and shut-down, monarchs come into power and go out of power; politicians get elected and do their thing for a while.

What a rat race.

Want some good news in the middle of all of this?

Check this out.  Luke 1:33b says this:

“His kingdom will never end.”

In the proclaiming and predicting of the birth of Christ, we find this little gem smack dab in the middle of it all. 

It is hope. 
More than that, it is hope wrapped around a promise.

No matter what happens
No matter who is in power
No matter the laws that are passed
No matter the restraints we face

“His kingdom will never end.”

That is amazing indeed.  And it’s been going on for over two-thousand years now. 

Carry on. 

Our side wins in the end.

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

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

(The next post for Morning Notes will be Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.  Happy Thanksgiving!)

In searching for some fresh thoughts on Thanksgiving, here is how my mind works this year.  I've searched numerous web quote sites and though they are full of good stuff, this year they leave me a bit less satisfied. 

So here goes …

What would life be without Thanksgiving?  What if it was outlawed?  Would we meet in clandestine places and spaces and celebrate quietly?

What if eating turkey was outlawed and our only choice was bologna?  Would Thanksgiving still hold its meaning? 

What if everybody had to wear a sticker on their forehead that said “Go ahead, Punk.  Ask me what I’m thankful for and make my day.”  Would you ask very many people?

What have I never mentioned before in a Thanksgiving prayer, yet it makes my life complete?

Here are some items on my list.
~The soft, highly comfortable loafers I’m wearing right now.

~The green sweater with two buttons.  I love that sweater and Carolyn threatens to throw it out every time I wear it.

~I am thankful for every text message from Carolyn after she reads my blogs.  Those are treasures and make me feel pretty special – every single one of them.

~I am thankful for giggles and laughter from my grand-kids.

~I am thankful for my Ford Taurus with 140,000 miles on it.  It still runs and gets me where I need to go.

~I am thankful for crock pots.  Enough said

~I am thankful for whoever you are who reads my blogs.  How did most of you find me?  Amazing!

~And finally, to God be all thanks, praise and honor for this life I live.

~And I am thankful for the one with whom I share life (Carolyn), and for siblings, step-kids, grand-kids and extended family, and an incredible list of friends near and far.  Do you realize how you mark my life?  I rarely tell you, but the marks are there, and they are good marks.  I remember funny things, quirky things, silly things, lovely things, serious things, and beautiful things. 

And mostly – memories.  I’m thankful for memories. 

Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

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

Monday, November 18, 2013

7 Liberating Words

What an intriguing title – 7 liberating words.  Want to know more?

Here you are.  This is good!

Notice you and I are involved in the process.  “We” means you and me. 

And notice the “decide” word.  That means we have some choices along the way.  Do we follow the way of least resistance, the easy way, or do we make the good choices? 

This idea begs some questions.

What do you want to be? 
Where are you today and where do you desire to be tomorrow or in a month or a year?  These answers are critical.

I love the power of choice.  It is one of the great gifts of life.  Everyone has it.  It is such a potent power.  And we have to use it wisely.  

Our liberating words say – 

We have choices.
We choose to decide to become. 

Be a becomer!

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

Friday, November 15, 2013

God's Weaknesses

From where I sit, it appears that God has some weaknesses that need to be pointed out. 

For instance, did you know He is lousy at math?  Why, He apparently can’t keep a balance sheet to save the day.  And don’t get me started on Him keeping score. 

I counted six or eight instances the other day when I had been a model citizen, even a good Christian, and did I get my just reward?  Nooooo!

I heard He favored an old man in a nursing home and brought him back from the brink.  Where is the justice in that?  That man was a mean and crotchety kind of fellow, and God actually gave him a break.  I can’t believe that.

And there was this woman facing cancer surgery.  She lived down the street from us.  She yelled at kids crossing her lawn and leaving muddy footprints in her freshly sown grass, and she cheated some on her income tax, or so I’m told.  And do you know what He did?  He brought her through that surgery and instead of dying in two or three months, she might live another year or more with the way the medical world has advanced. 

I scored way higher on the good deeds scale than she ever thought about, and God did that for her.  What is this world coming to? 

There was one time I really messed up, and I knew God was mad at me.  Well, I confessed alright, and then after that I stewed and worried that I hadn't done it right and all that.  And then someone pointed out the story in the Bible of the woman caught in adultery and all she got was a “don’t do that anymore and go about your way.”

I confessed, and even shed a tear or two.  I cried – real tears!

There just isn't any justice in this whole thing.  God is weak at best. 

Or is He?

Maybe He just offers to all of us the most amazing display of grace and peace and forgiveness.  All we have to do is reach out and accept it. 

Accept it. 

No strings attached.
No bowing and scraping.
No going without food for three days.

Just accept and believe. 

His words call to me.  They call to all of us. 

“Come to me all who are tired, weary, and have huge burdens.  I’ll give you rest.  Learn of me – Learn my ways, for I am the way to rest and peace.”

If that is weakness, I’ll take two helpings please.

The grace of God
                    The offer of peace

What a God. 

Don’t correct his math paper.  He has his own way of ciphering and I like the way He keeps books after all.

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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Life's Rule #3

In baseball we don’t stand a chance of getting on base unless we step into the batter’s box. 

Life’s Rule #3 is simple:

If you do not step forward,
you will always be
in the same place.

I talked of being a writer for over thirty years.  None of my writings produced themselves.  No one came to me and asked me to write for them.  It was the act of stepping forward that led to my first published magazine article, video script and ultimately my first book. 

And along the way, by sticking out our necks, look how we improve.  We go through the testing chambers to see if we have the stuff of consistency and longevity, and as we improve something within us begins to take over.  It is a confidence that speaks to our inner spirit.

And that quiet voice whispers:

“This is your moment.” 
“This is your destiny.” 
“Show the world your stuff.”

The act of stepping forward has tremendous power and energy in it.  It is also a great test of tremendous courage.  It takes great courage to step forward, speak out, show your stuff, write and publish your book, or record your songs. 

How do you know what you can do unless you do step forward?

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

Friday, November 8, 2013

Statue with No Hands

It’s story-time. 

“After World War II, a group of German students volunteered to help rebuild a cathedral in England, one of the many casualties of the Luftwaffe bombings.  As the work progressed, a debate broke out on how to best restore a large statue of Jesus with his arms outstretched and bearing the familiar inscription, “Come unto me.” 

Careful patching could repair all damage to the statue except for Christ’s hands, which had been destroyed by bomb fragments.  Should they attempt the delicate task of reshaping those hands?

Finally the workers reached a decision that still stands today.  The statue of Jesus has no hands, and the inscription now reads,

And so it is today.

We could go a hundred different directions with this idea today. 
Yes, there are hungry to feed.
Yes, there are cold and lonely souls in need of warm clothing.
People are in need of shelters to keep the wind off them.

And the list goes on.

In the middle of this mix of want and need, allow my voice to cry out for common decency for every man, every woman.

We show more of Christ with our kind and gentle spirit than we ever do with handing someone a few bills out our car window on a windy street corner.

We show the hands of Christ every time we speak to our kids, grand-kids, siblings and spouses. 

Every time!

We show the hands of Christ to retail clerks, grocery store stockers, window washers, co-workers and nosy neighbors. 

Living out the Christian lifestyle is more than going to church, singing a few songs, reading a few scriptures and avoiding curse words on Sunday.

It is expressed in the mundane of life.  It is shown at 6 A.M.   when the alarm rings and it is shown when the pot boils over and dinner is ruined. 

It is shown when your sports team wins and when it loses.

It is shown when you see a beautiful person walking down the street and when you pass the beggar in the alley.

We show the hand of Christ in every word, every thought, every action and every reaction.

May the world see the love of God in our hands, hear it in our voices, and sense it in our essence as we pass by.

The old poker rule is “don’t show your hand”.

The God-way is this:

Show the soft side of your hand, for in showing it you show HIM!

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

Monday, November 4, 2013

Life's Rule #2

Here’s the thing – we have to do the “ask” thing.  My wife and step-son are in nonprofit fundraising.  They often speak of the “Ask” as an integral part of their work in showing organizations how to effectively solicit funds.

Rule #2 simply stated is this:

If you do not ask, the answer will always be “NO”.

Most married people, sooner or later, had to ask the “will you marry me” question.

Most sales people have to ask for the sale, the deal, the money or whatever the commitment is.

We ask. 

Even the Holy scriptures have an encouraging word on this subject.
 James 4:2
You don’t have because you don’t ask.

On February 16, 2012, I posted a blog entitled Ask for Help.  Please follow this link.  Ask for Help Blog

It is amazing just how much help is available when we dare ask.

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

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ants in Your Pants

I just created a whole passel of visual imagery in your mind with this title.  Ants in your pants – they ‘ain’t no fun’ as we used to say in Tennessee.

I found this great quote:

“Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith.  They keep it awake and moving.”
~Frederick Beuchner

How many talks, sermons and books have you heard or read on the subject of “faith”?  And they all boil down to this one fact – we either have faith in God or we don’t.  There is no middle ground. 

And when doubt raises its ugly head, the creepy crawlies come in.  We begin to get restless.  We stem and stew, we worry and fret, and we moan and groan. 

Faith and ants in the pants don’t mix. 
Faith and moaning, worrying, stewing do not mix.

What has God said to us in the past?
How has God led us in the past?
Where has our strength come from in the past?

He has not changed.  He is the same today as yesterday. 

Jesus reaches out his hand to us just as in this scripture and asks the same question – “Why do you doubt?”

Faith is the surety of what we hope for. 

Faith is one of the most difficult of graces to practice.  We live in such a fact-based society that it goes contrary to everything with which we are bombarded.

Yet the admonition stands.  Have faith. 

In my book The Letters, you’ll find this word of encouragement in a letter from God.


Dear Child:
You are concerned about my credentials.  Allow me to present a recent resume.

I created the world.
I formed you in my own image.
I put within you gifts and skills for your good.
I have given you the power to choose.

I am close to the brokenhearted.
I speak words of comfort to the comfortless.
I revive crushed spirits.
I redeem the wasted life.

I heal.
I restore.
I forgive.
I redeem.

No prostitute is too far gone.
No drunk is beyond my forgiveness.
No stubborn minded individual is beyond reach.

I love the brilliant.
I adore the simpleton.
I understand the agnostic.
I yearn for the atheist.

I can see beyond what you can see.
I can lead in the dark.
I can keep you safe in the middle of a storm.

I can stop your enemy.
I can restore nations.
I can encourage the downhearted.

I am God. 

I love you and I really like you.


When we come to our end, our testimony is found in this great faith statement.

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