Monday, March 31, 2014

Why Are You

It is human nature to sometimes ponder the “why” of our existence.  Perhaps we want to know if our existence on this earth matters. 

Let’s take a walk back through history.

Winston Churchill was certainly instrumental during WWII and he is largely responsible for effectively bringing England through some terrible times during that war.  Was that his why?  Could others have done that job as well?  Of course we will never know, however, we are certainly thankful he was born in the right century and at the right time in history.

Would the computer have its place of prominence that it has today without the influence of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates?  I for one am certainly pleased they were around and exerted their influence on our world for their moment in the spotlight on earth.

I am a writer, author and speaker.  The “why” of my story is because I desire to offer hope, encouragement and inspiration one word at a time.  If I did not feel I was making a difference in a few lives I suppose I might stop writing and speaking.  However, it is important enough to my own sense of belonging that I continue doing my craft.

We do the daily living and creating that we do because we have found a place in which to plug into society.  We do the job at hand because we have hopes that somewhere along the line we might make a difference in some small way. 

It even comes down to raising children and influencing students in a classroom.  How many teachers entered into the lives of any great man or woman we could name?  Whoever they are and whatever may be their names, they, each one, became a part of the “why” story that we see today in the lives of great individuals of influence and power. 

People of influence did not arrive on their own merits.  They were taught, cajoled, pushed, instructed, encouraged, cared for, bathed, listened to, and guided down certain paths that led to other paths that led to their positions of power and influence.

These individuals who influenced others are the ones who deserve the credit as much as the one in the limelight. 

They had the “why” and fulfilled it to the best of their abilities, and now we see the results of their influence.  The success of successful people is a result of the “why” of those who influenced them in earlier years.

I want to close with a paraphrase on a quote by Andy Stanley.

“Your greatest contribution
to this world may not be
something you do
but someone you influence.”

That could be the greatest “why” you ever considered. 

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

Monday, March 24, 2014

Surprise Yourself

When is the last time you surprised yourself?  Have you turned your creativity loose in a moment of inspiration and just created something outrageous, wild, funny, or tasty?

I love to cook.  Once, when Carolyn was away I got an inspired idea and tried my hand at a chocolate something-or-other dessert.  I mixed, whipped, molded, stirred, added, and … it was a flop.  It was a delicious and fun flop.  I only ate one helping of this delectable dish and threw the rest away, but it was fun, I learned what not to do next time, and made a memory. 

What would you like to do? 

I’m trying my hand at poetry ala Shel Silverstein.  He has always amused and delighted me with the way his mind worked, and recently I've tried my hand at writing some poetry that has absolutely no redeeming value.  It is just fun. 

And do you know what?  Some of it is pretty good.  I test market these on Carolyn, and most of the time she laughs out loud and applauds my efforts.  I’ve even dared to post two on Facebook and have received favorable comments.

Will everyone in the world like my stuff?  No.  Seth Godin has helped me immensely with this part of life. 

Seth says in part:  “You will not reach everyone in the world with your widget, gadget, poem, novel or whatever you do.  All you really care about are those who DO like what you do.  Go after that segment of the population and forget the rest of the world.”

So, Seth.  I have surprised myself lately.  I can write a few poems that a few people like.  Will I win a Nobel Peace Prize for Poetry?  Not hardly.  But I am delighting myself in a new and creative vein, and some of my readers are smiling as well.

You never know what you can do until you try.  The sale you almost made pays the same as the painting you thought about but never put on canvas.

Critical concept – DO SOMETHING!  If it works, great.  If it doesn't, you had fun and surprised yourself.

And maybe ‘delight’ visited your house.

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

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lovely Eyes

Behold the eyes!  Some wise unknown person is attributed with the concept of “the eyes are the window to the soul.”

And so it is.

Have you ever wondered what God sees when he looks into your eyes?  Perhaps it is a running commentary much like this.

My Child:
When I look into your eyes I see all of the possibilities I had in mind when I first formed you.  You are unlike any other creature on earth, and you are vastly different even from your siblings, your parents and your best friend. 

You are a unique creation of mine and I am so very proud of you.  It grieves my heart when I hear you belittle yourself.  You are a most valued and valuable child.  I have plans for you and a future full of hope with you in mind.  Embrace your uniqueness.  I am with you. 

I love the way your mind works.  Some may say you are a bit unorthodox at times and that is okay.  That makes you uniquely you.  I love how you see things.  You do not have to conform to the norms of the world in your thinking.  Be you – uniquely you.

I love how you see life.  Hold onto to that.  That is just one small part of the varieties I had in mind when I made you, for you will represent me to a segment of the earth’s population that no one else can reach. 

Have you ever heard of Billy Graham?  He is one example of how to serve me.

So are Mother Theresa, Bill Gates, Sandi Patti, and thousands of other greats you might possibly name.  They each have their place in this world, and so do you.

You may, perhaps, moan and groan that you are not Mr.
Graham, or maybe you can’t even spell Graham, yet I ask you why you don’t become YOU?

YOU are the one I want most of all.  I want all of you exactly as I made you.  You will do very well in the task that has been assigned you.  Go forth, produce, become, believe and live your life.

I love how your eyes look,


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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Master Violinist

It’s story-time!
There once was a master violinist who had to sell his finely crafted violin. After selling it to the pawnshop he vowed to one day buy it back. 

Time passed. 

He saved his money and went to the pawn shop to purchase his violin only to find that it had been sold to a collector, who was to place his violin in a shadowbox to be hung on a wall. 

The violinist paid a visit to the collector and begged him to sell this once prized instrument.  The collector refused.  In desperation, the virtuoso asked, “Can I at least play my violin one last time?”

The collector agreed.  The virtuoso took his violin into his hands and tuned the strings.  As he played, the sweet, expressive sounds filled the room.  The collector’s heart was softened and he agreed to sell the violin back to the master musician. 

He said, “How can I deprive the world of the beautiful music that this fine instrument offers.  This violin cannot sit in silence.”

Moral:  Are you sitting in silence?  You are as valuable today as that old violin, and you still have your music inside of you.  What might it sound like?  What might it look like? 

And we’re not just talking about music.

I know some very fine ministers whose voices once filled auditoriums, and now they are relegated to the “retired” lot in life.  And they still have a voice.

I know some individuals who once managed large enterprises, and now they are looked at as if they have two left feet.  Their minds still work, and yes they have “old school” ways, and sometimes “old school” ways still work.  Bottom line – they are still valid individuals seeking a chance to make a contribution. 

Perhaps your mission in life now is to offer a word of hope or encouragement to someone and you can use a pen and paper, a telephone, an email, or a personal visit.  Maybe you can use your automobile to take someone for a cup of coffee and great conversation. 

The point - The POINT is to find ways of letting your music be heard.  Age is nothing but a number.  Beauty is found in one human connecting with another for the mutual benefit of both parties.

Yes, your voice has changed, or your fingers aren't as dexterous as before, yet the desire to BE still beats inside your heart. 

Find your voice once again.  Exercise your skill, and perhaps, perhaps you’ll resonant once again with another human being and this world will be better for your contribution.


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

Friday, March 14, 2014

Reassuring Words

We love to read and hear reassuring words.
I love to write reassuring words.

And so today, that is my aim.  Need assurance?  Do you feel you are in time out?  Do you feel abandoned?  Do you feel left behind?

Have no fear.  Hope is ahead.

Story time:
In Matthew chapter 14, around verse 22 we see the beginnings of trouble on the horizon.  Christ has been with the disciples and a large crowd of people and now He wants to be left alone.  He sent His men on their way to the other side of the lake so He could meditate for a while.

So off they go - twelve men in a boat.  All is well until – until the blasted storm shows up, and then they have a boat full of trouble.  This was not your ordinary storm.  It was severe, with strong winds, high waves that were crashing in on them.  These fisher men were on the verge of being swallowed - boat, men, nets, oars and everything else on board.  It was a worrisome night my friend.  Trouble was on every side.

About four o’clock in the morning our troubled twelve were at their wits end.  They had tried every trick in the book they knew, and believe me; they knew them all, for they were a band of fishermen first and foremost. 

One of them, Phillip perhaps, looked up and could not believe his eyes.  He nudged Nathaniel next to him, and pretty soon the whole boat-load of men looked at what Phillip was pointing at.

It was a ghost.  At least that is what they thought it was, and they were scared, let me tell you.

And then the ghost spoke.  He said, “It is me.  Don’t be afraid.”  It was the voice of the Master. 

Don’t be afraid.  Those are reassuring words when spoken by the right person at the right time.

What is meant in those three words in our English translation? 

Don’t be afraid.
   I am here.  I am with you now
   I have things under control.
   Trust me for I know what I’m doing
   I can see what you can’t see. 
   Be at peace. 
   All is well.
   I've got your back.

I've had storms in my life when I have heard those words.  And they are true.  The God of the wind and waves has come along and stilled the storm, calmed things down, restored my peace and sanity and put me in a safe place once again. 

And he offers that same calming presence to you also. 

          No matter the time

God himself comes along and gives peace.  He gives assurance.

He calms our storm, our mind, and our fears.  He offers amazing and reassuring words in the middle of our storms.

Listen for them the next time the waves slap against your boat.

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Great Résumé

A resume makes the world go round. It gets attention, it opens doors, and it is a badge of honor we sometimes wear. Our resume speaks of our life, our skill set and future contributions.

Those close to us are the ones who perhaps know our true resume. They see us with all the trappings stripped away. And what do they see?

Here is what I want them to see in the resume of my life.
A friend to many
A man of integrity
A man of faith

When it comes down to it, who cares about the brilliant writer we may be, the amazing singer we once were, or the corporations we've built, the growth of the stock or the impressive status in the eyes of Wall Street our companies may be.

What I want on my résumé is a picture of a credible man who sleeps well at night, whose word can be counted as true gold, and one in whom others place great trust because it is earned through steady and reliable living. 

That to me is a great resume! 

P Michael Biggs
Up-Words Web Site
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Friday, March 7, 2014

Use Your Good Voice

I've spent a considerable part of my professional life as a musician.  To be specific, I've been a choir and orchestra director.  Good choral sounds always come back down to good voices. 

Now days my voice is heard through writing.  My voice sounds like encouragement.  It is important that my voice be as consistent as possible, therefore, I keep my focus on my main objective – to offer hope, encouragement and inspiration one word at a time.

What is your voice?  What can you do that is unlike any other voice we hear and is needed in our world? 

My friend Jim has a voice.  His passion is talking and speaking on revival in our land.  He does this with consistency and passion.

My friend Diane has a voice.  She sings out musical suggestions to her minister of music clients and helps them have a more effective ministry because she can point them in the right direction for the right song or musical.  What a voice!

I’m going to name drop here for a moment – please forgive me.  Two of my friends are using their voices as singers.  Sandi and Babbie are two of the most gifted singers I have ever been around.  They both have the unique ability to not only sing with great style and ease.  They each can wrap an audience around their little finger and hold you there for a full evening of superb musical excellence and warm your heart all the while.

My friend Alene uses her voice to bake pies.  My goodness, she is a baker’s baker.  She has promised me a coconut cream pie the next time I’m in Centralia.

Dr. Larry uses his voice to heal broken bones and reattach a detached rotator cuff to a shoulder muscle, or any other orthopedic skill that is needed.

Carolyn is in Mesa, Arizona this weekend to tend to her aging parents.  She is using her voice to do the difficult work of helping them transition to a different way of living and adjusting to their age and debilitating abilities in life.

Can you use your voice this weekend to do some good somewhere in this world? 

I may not speak a foreign language, but I do try and speak so that others can understand me.  I speak kindness, acceptance, cordiality, and love – huge gobs of love. 

Do you speak love?  Perhaps that one language is what makes us so valuable in this world.  We speak a universal language. 

We speak to the heart of an individual.  We speak a language that supersedes all others.  Our love is understood when all other tongues fail.

I am reminded of a simple quote that nicely sums up this idea.

People can tell 
whether you care or not.

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

Monday, March 3, 2014

What's In Your Bag

You’ll cross a few paths today and this week.  What’s in your bag that you can take out and help someone? 

Do you have a simple smile in there?
How about a kind word?

You may see someone on a street corner asking for a handout.  If you are inclined to help them, what will you take out of your bag?

I hope you leave the sermons at home today.  I doubt many people need to hear about their faults.

But they do need a whole heapin’ helpin’ of love in the form of kindness, gentleness, friendship, and esteeming words.

Go ahead.  Dip into your bag.  Bring out the good stuff.

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