Monday, April 28, 2014

Go Push Someone

A Funny Story-

A man and his wife were awakened at 3AM by a loud pounding on the door.  The man got up to see what was up and he saw a drunken stranger standing in the pouring rain, asking for a push.

“Not a chance,” said the husband.  It’s 3 o’clock in the morning.”  With that he slammed the door and returned to bed.

His wife asked, “Who was that?”

“Just some drunken guy asking for a push,” he answered.

“Well did you help him?”

“No I did not.  It is 3 in the morning and it is pouring rain out there.”

“Well, you have a short memory,” she said.  “Can’t you remember about three months ago when we broke down and those two guys helped us?  I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself.  God loves drunken people too.”

The husband recognized the wisdom in his wife’s words, got up, got dressed and went out into the pounding rain.

He called out in the dark, “Hello.  Are you still here?”

“Yes” came the answer.

“Do you still need a push?”

“Yes, please!” came the reply from the darkness.

“Where are you?”

“Over here on the swing set,” replied the drunk.

I laugh at a great story like this – mostly because of the unique twist at the end, and it causes us a moment to pause and reflect.

How many times have I been pushed in my life?  Some have been gentle and others with a more determined effort. 

Teachers certainly have pushed us along the way and we are better for that.

I was pushed into writing in a big way one day after talking about it for thirty years.  That was the best push of my life.

Some are pushed into careers, marriages, and all sorts of other scenarios and often they can be life-transforming. 

So you see, a push is not a bad thing.  It can be a very good thing after all. 

Sometimes a push is nothing more than a gentle word of encouragement. 

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Do We Pray Wrong

A million prayers are said every day.  Probably more.  And what if most of those prayers are said wrong? 

At least that is what a lot of people fear.  They fear that they are doing this prayer thing all wrong. 

You wanna know what I think?  Keep reading.

This guy starts us off on a good step. 

“Prayer requires faith to believe that God listens.”
~Philip Yancey

It is a simple matter of faith that God is up there somewhere and He is actually paying attention to our mundane and muddied life.

Anne Lamont says this:  “A great prayer – ‘help.  Enter this mess.’”

And He does. 

God is much more interested in us than we allow ourselves to believe. 

Anne also says:  “God can handle honesty, and prayer begins as honest conversation.” 

Believe it or not, God can even handle a prayer like this:  “I hate you.”
Or “Why would you allow something like this to happen?”

He is not put off with our human emotions boiling over or rising to the surface.  He will guide us to answers and reasons, and sometimes He just listens and holds our hand in the middle of the crisis. 

God does not mark you down for wrong praying.  He does not grade you for getting it wrong.  Actually, there is no such thing as a bad prayer.

So call out, scream if you must, cry, moan, groan, rock back and forth, kneel, stand, sit, lie down or any other posture your body likes to assume and let it flow out. 


He hears every word.
He captures every intent of our thoughts.

“Prayer requires faith to believe that God listens.”
~Philip Yancey

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's Friday ... Where Is Sunday

© P Michael Biggs 2014

It’s Friday. 
Today I have more problems than possibilities.
Today fear rides on both shoulders.
Today I have more pains than gains.
Where is Sunday?

It’s Friday.
World conditions look dark and foreboding.
World leaders seem unconcerned.
Where are the answers to cure our ills?
Where is Sunday?

It’s Friday.
Sin abounds, wrongs prevail.
Hearts are faint.
Knees are weak.
Where is Sunday?

It’s Friday.
Will we survive tomorrow?
Will I see my future with hope?
Will the right man conquer after all?
Where, oh where is Sunday?

And from the empty tomb,
We hear Sunday answer in response.

I am the Alpha and Omega
The beginning and the end
I was with Adam and Eve in the garden
I am with you

I guided my people through the desert
I provided manna
I gave them quail to eat

I stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac
I provided a lamb in his place

I parted the Red Sea
I led with a cloud by day
And a fire by night

I have always had my eye on you
I have the outcome firmly in hand
I will not abandon this world

I am the one who redeems
I am hope for the hopeless
I am strength for the weary
I am comfort for the comfortless
I am a safe place for all who call on me

I am your peace
I am your joy
I am your supplier

I am in every moment of your future
Just as I have been in every moment of your past

I am throwing open the door, rolling the stone away, removing every obstacle between you and my grace.

I am Sunday, full of hope, full of grace, full of love, full of forgiveness.

I am your Sunday, every day of the week.


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

Monday, April 14, 2014

You Get What Everybody Gets

I was just awakened by Neil Gaiman.  He is a writer and speaker that I am coming to admire more and more.  Here is what disturbed my mind.

“You get what anybody gets 
– you get a lifetime.”
~Neil Gaiman

It boils down to the concept of “living between the dashes”.  The dashes are referred to when someone says this:  “He was born on May 1, 1980 and died September 15, 2012.  The period between birth and death are the dashes.

How we occupy this space on earth matters.  And the playing field is level in that we all get one chance at life to do the significant thing. 

My significant thing is to sit at a computer and look at a blinking icon until an idea strikes.  Once it does I begin filling the screen with words, phrases, sentences, thoughts, ideas.  Sometimes I hit a homerun, and my words seem to resonate with others.  Other times, they get ignored.  And I write some more.

What matters is that I discover what I am good at for this time on earth.  I have had several divergent career tracts.  Psychologist and sociologists tell us that today it will be normal for the average person to have multiple careers.  I’m just ahead of that curve for that trend.

What is your significant thing?
Where do your daydreams take you?

Sooner or later, I really hope you find and pursue your “thing”.  I really hope you find your niche, your peg and your “passion” and do that one thing.

I have no rules to offer, no list of ten things to do to find your “one thing”, or a best-seller on where to buy a kit to jump-start your “one thing”. 

All I know for sure … it is inside of you somewhere.

Dig it out.
Brush it off.
Ignore the Negative Nancy’s.

Do that “thing”.

“You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.”

Thought I was through, but this just came to me.

Don’t die with your music still inside of you.

Okay, I’m through.

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

What Does Grace Say

Carolyn and I have read a few books during the past three years whose recurring theme is “grace” as in grace of God.  We often catch ourselves making reference to circumstances as a moment for grace or un-grace.

A couple of weeks ago we were in Newport, Oregon for a 3-day get-a-way.  From the balcony of the condo we watched a boy of nine attempt to chase a goose.  On several occasions I've seen geese attack humans. 

I feared this might be the case on this Tuesday.  Thankfully the goose walked away and returned to the water.  We teased that this would make a great blog idea – "The Goose Showed Grace".  Well, so far, it just makes an interesting aside for this blog.

How many different ways can you say “Grace” in your own life?  How many ways has grace been applied in your lifetime?

We have some hope-filled examples from the scriptures. 

~God has a soft spot for rebels.  Consider Jonah’s weekend stay in the belly of a whale.

~God recruited an adulterer and murderer named David.

~He used more than one whiner, for example Jeremiah.

~He picked a traitor named Peter.

All of these are shining examples of the grace of God at work.  He looked beyond the immediate and saw the future possibilities in each case.  In a word, God said, “I’ll take you as you are but I won’t leave you as you are.”

In the words of Philip Yancey, we read this: 

“God’s grace makes prodigals the heroes
of his stories and trophies of his ministry.”

Because of God’s grace, we don’t get what we deserve.  We get better than we deserve.  We get redemption, and hope, and forgiveness, and a do-over.

And sometimes it is a do-over over and over and over again and again and again.

That, my friend, is grace!

   It is unfounded.
      It is a mystery.
         It is undeserved.
            It is a blessing.
               It is a gift of God.

What does grace say?

“God so loved the world that he gave His son…”

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

Monday, April 7, 2014

Playing Safe

If I never write a blog or publish a book I never have to put up with negative press or bad reviews. 

If I never sing, I don’t have to listen to others criticize my voice or tell me how awful I am.

If I never start my company, I don’t have to deal with undependable employees, the roller coaster ride of the economy or too much inventory.


And if I don’t do any of those things I never have the privilege of improving myself, finding out just how far I might be able to take an idea or a talent.

Boats are safer in the harbor than out in the ocean, but boats aren’t meant for the harbor. 

See the analogy? 

We are made to create and expand our talent.  We are created to become more, bigger, stronger, and smarter.  We are gifted and then expected to expand those gifts. 

The law of the body says this:  If we don’t use a limb or a muscle, it will atrophy and wither away.  The same is true with the brain, the eyes and any other body part.

And so it is in life

Success and growth come with use.
We grow, we explore, we learn. 

Yes, sometimes we stub our toe, and thankfully toes heal.

So do bruised egos.
Businesses recover from too much inventory and a few unscrupulous employees.

And we build anyway.

You can play it safe if you choose.

I am choosing to continue creating.  My tools are my words, my brain and my computer.  Just last week I launched my sixth blog-site which is dedicated to poetry in the style of Shel Silverstein.  They are my own creations, they have no redeeming value, and they are fun to write.  Some have read them and laughed out loud.  For me, that is my payment.

What are you doing?

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

Friday, April 4, 2014

One Chance at Life

We each have one chance, just one chance at life.  The big question is this – what are we going to do with that one chance?

We each are given a thimble full of possibilities at birth.  I’m reminded of the story in the Bible of the gift of talents that Christ tells.

5 talents doubled it to ten
2 talents doubled it to four
1 talent hidden and taken away

Frederick Beuchner gives us fodder for today’s thought:

“One life on this earth is all that we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.”
~From The Hungering Dark
Frederick Beuchner

Amy Purdy is a current contestant on Dancing with the Stars.  She is a double amputee champion snowboarder.  I watched her dance this past Monday, March 31, 2014, and was moved, inspired and amazed.  She showed grace, beauty, determination, and humility in her stunning performance.  She says this:  “The only true disability is in our minds.”

I'm very glad no one is around me at the moment.  I just watched this video and I am a man undone.  This moves me like none other.  A worthy 9-minutes well spent. 

Have you ever heard of Nick Vujicic?  He is a man born without arms and legs, yet his ability to navigate life will impress you.  His tag line is this: 

“No arms - no legs - no worries”

Watch this video clip.  He is making an amazing life without limbs.  And we thought we had a handicap.  He is living his life by sharing his message of possibilities in spite of the odds. 

What was that quote from earlier?  “We are fools if we do not live [life] as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.”

I purpose to be a living monument to the grace of God at work in my life.  Never let it be said that I wallowed in self-pity because of some lack. 

Are you finding ways to live your life bravely, and fully and beautifully? 

Let it be so!

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