Friday, May 30, 2014

What Defines You

I stumbled across this sentence tonight and it arrested my attention.  Here it is:

We do not have to be
defined by the dark
moments of life.

There is no record of who said this.  I just know it is powerful. 

You and I have had our dark moments, our dark trails that we have had to travel.  If we allow those experiences to define our lives we would be in a terrible state of discouragement and discontent.  There would be no hope, no anticipation of the future, no gleam in our eyes of all the possibilities that lie before us. 

Some of those trails were made by our own hands.  There is something I want to remind all of us – you and me. 

We are not our failures!

Sure, we’ve failed at something, but we are not our mistakes.  Sometimes ice skaters fall down, but they manage to get back up and keep skating. 

That is a critical concept. 

And then there are those things beyond our control that have come along and darkened our trail.  What then? 

Why, we tunnel through.  We persevere.  We keep planting one foot in front of the other and we find the resources and the inspiration from wherever it is we search for them. 

I am a man of faith so naturally I turn to my faith beliefs first in times of darkness. 

However, faith alone isn’t enough.  I have to put actions to my faith.  I have to still grab the shovel and dig, for the mountain will not get out of the way of its own accord.

So what defines you? 

I hope your answer revolves around words like these:


When your dark moments come what defines you?

That is perhaps one of the most important questions you will ever answer.

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Got a Nail

Our springboard idea today comes from an anonymous poem that according to Wiki has been around for centuries.  Perhaps you have heard of it.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost
For want of a shoe the horse was lost
For want of a horse the rider was lost
For want of a rider the message was lost
For want of a message the battle was lost
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail

I know of a man who decided to make one last rattle of his storefront before he left for the night.  Surely enough, the door was ajar.  For lack of that last rattle he would have faced serious consequences the next morning.

Once there were two brothers.  One had been estranged from the family for twenty-five years.  Repeated attempts had been made for reconciliation and failed.   The other brother decided to try for one more chance.  Amazing he found an open door and restoration eventually came to this family.  For lack of one more try this separation could have gone on another twenty-five years.

It is the old adage of “little things mean a lot”. 

It speaks of attitude, it speaks of awareness, and it speaks of doing one’s best in all circumstances.

I had a steering wheel come off the steering column once.  Someone forgot to use enough proper force to make it stay in place.

Some actions have small consequences, some larger than life.

A law, an action put in place fifty years ago can echo down through the ages and prove itself as prudent or useless. 

Attention and choices seem to be the themes here.

Where is your attention?
What are your choices?

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

Friday, May 23, 2014

Called By Name

There are ten kids in my family.  I am number 9.

Numerous times during my growing up years I can remember my Mom needing to call me in for dinner time or any other occasion.  She would stick her head out the back door of our house and call to me “Donny, Randall, Mike, come to dinner” or “get off that swing set.”  Now keep in mind that I was the only child in the back yard at the time.  In her need to get my attention, and with having nine other kids to keep track of, Mom would kind of warm up on our names until she came to the correct child in question. 

We laugh at that, for it is funny.  Sometimes I do the same with our eight grandkids.

The point is this – I have a name and I am known by name in God’s sight.  And so are you. 

Isaiah 43:1 reminds us of this:  “I have called you by name, and you are mine.”  God knows my name. 

When watching the Olympics a few months ago, it struck me that for every athlete that was coming into the stadium during the opening ceremonies, God knew each one individually.  They were known to him. 


You are not a nobody.  You are a somebody because God has His eye on you and He watches over you.  He never sleeps, takes a nap, or goes on vacation.

And He never mistakes you for say Bill Gates or someone from Detroit if you live in Seattle.  He has you all sorted out in His mind and He pings you perfectly every time.

When you cry out in prayer He doesn’t say, “John, is that you?” when your name is Mark.  He doesn’t say, “Uh, we’ve got a bad connection.  Can you call back next Tuesday when I’m not so busy?”

No, never.

You are known.
Even down to the number of hairs on your head and the crook of your big toe.  He knows about your bad knee, bad breath, bad back and broken piggy bank.

He knows your golf score, your credit score, and your blood pressure.  He knows you like pecan pie, hate broccoli, love baked sweet potatoes and meat loaf.

He knows you by name.

I like a God like that.
P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wounds into Wisdom

Every obstacle, every difficulty we encounter in life is also an opportunity to teach us a lesson.  With every failure we are given a golden opportunity to turn that experience into wisdom. 

Oprah Winfrey said it …

Turn Your Wounds into Wisdom

I am a wounded warrior.  So are you.  We have defeats that are a part of our past.  We have mis-steps and mistakes that sometimes haunt us.  Welcome to the human race.  The next great step after a failure is this … what do we learn from this experience and how will we do it better next time. 

It is that simple and that hard.

With the abundance of information available to us today through books, videos, You-Tube, the internet and other sources, we do not lack for knowledge.  Perhaps we lack for laziness for not taking advantage of this abundance of information when we fail, however.

This one think I know – we can’t change a past mistake, but we can surely turn this mistake into wisdom and do better next time.

I love this quote.

Another wise man once said …

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

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Scandalous One

I know of a man that some might call a scandal monger.  He seemed to revel in living on the edge, consorting with all sorts of compromised individuals. 

It has been said that he consorted with thieves and roustabouts, people who were considered the low life of his day.

Once he turned dirty water into better wine.

He hung out with corrupt government officials and thieving IRS agents.

He even allowed prostitutes to touch him.

Once, or so I’m told, he actually got down and dirty and washed people’s feet.  Can you believe that one?

He apparently lived what some consider the epitome of a scandalous lifestyle.  Some even went so far as to say he was dangerous and he was to be avoided.  

And so it is true.  This one scandalous man did indeed live among the wrong- side-of-the-tracks people.  He talked with them, taught them, loved them, and served them.  He met them on their territory and in the middle of their need.

His name is Jesus, the Christ.  He came to seek and save those who would respond to his message of love.

Have you responded yet?

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

Monday, May 12, 2014

Do You Believe in Magic

I believe in magic.  I believe in time machines, I believe good usually wins over evil, I believe that they lived happily ever after and I believe in heroes and that they come in all shapes and sizes.

I believe in books.

Carolyn and I are having wonderful adventures right now by reading the Harry Potter series together.  We are on book four and have met some amazing individuals through these books.  Ms Rowling amazes me with her creativity and imagination.  Note this great quote by her.

Because of books I've traveled back in time to the days of the old west thanks to Louis L’Amour.  I've felt the grit in my mouth after a long and dusty trail ride, I've shivered from the cold of a mountain snowfall, and my heart has raced just moments before my hero faced a foe in a gunfight.

I've traveled to the center of the earth with Jules Verne.  I've discovered old London and gone on investigations with the likes of Sherlock Holmes, and I've been to Paris, London, Madrid, Moscow and points beyond through the pages of Robert Ludlum’s books.

I believe in magic for I believe in books.  I love getting lost in a book. 

It is a cheap and fun way to travel.

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

Friday, May 9, 2014

Choices VS Abilities

That idea that we have the privilege of making choices in our lives is intriguing to me.  And when you match up the concept of choices verses abilities, well, we open a whole passel of possibilities.

Let’s take “ability” first.  Mankind is wickedly smart.  We have learned and continually learn how to manipulate, fix, override, negotiate, argue forcefully persuade, market, bend and twist any idea or concept to gain appeal. 

We can send men and women into space and allow them to live there for months on end.  We have electronic devices that boggle the imagination.  We have medical solutions that were unheard of ten years ago.  And in sports, we are achieving feats that astound and amaze even in our advanced age.  We keep pushing the limits of our abilities and understanding. 

Man is becoming a super-human species in our own lifetime.  The question is this – Is there no limit to what we will accomplish next?

And yet we come to the other side of our topic – What about choice?

What indeed!

It is the power of choice that was given to mankind in the garden when Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  That one bite opened up the cauldron of choices, and we have been saddled with that dilemma ever since. 

I found this great quote from a Harry Potter book.

“It is our choices, Harry,
that show what we truly are,
far more than our abilities.”
~Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling

Oh, the power of choice.  Some say this is our greatest power.  I tend to agree. 

I can eat anything I choose.  But is it beneficial for me?  I have a serious sweet tooth.  Wisdom says avoid sweets and sugary delights.

I have lots of strength.  I could walk down any street, smash any window, overturn any container in my way, and toss a brick in any direction at anyone I choose.  I could do all of that and more.  But I choose to act otherwise.

I frequent book stores often and I could choose to pick up any assortment of books and magazines arrayed in front of me.  I have that ability, yet my sense of choice kicks in and I gravitate to the sections of my choosing.

I could drive ninety-two mph down the freeways of Seattle, however, I choose rather to be sensible and drive near the speed limit.

Quaint illustrations, I know, but the point is this - what we are capable of doing and what we choose to do sometimes come into conflict.  Where do we find the answers?

Some wise person has said – We are the sum total of the five people with whom we spend the most time.  That speaks of nothing but the power of influence and how we allow influence to affect our ability to make good choices.

See what I’m driving at here?

Just because I have the ability
doesn't mean I should choose
to do the thing.

We are talking about RESPONSIBILITY!   That is the word – Responsibility.

This has as much to do with religion as it does with properly relating to one another on this earth. 

I find this great quote from JFK to be particularly pertinent.

“Our most basic common link
is that we all inhabit this planet.
We all breathe the same air.
We all cherish our children’s future.
And we are all mortal.”
~John F. Kennedy

We all want a future with hope.

And we come back to the power of choice.

That is our responsibility, mine and yours, whether we live in
 Des Moines
      Saudi Arabia
       Salt Lake City
         New York

Or any other fine city, town, community or village on this beautiful earth.

Remember this:

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

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Believe in Hope

In a world when all seems hopeless, I believe in hope. 

One might ask the question – “but why?” 

I once worked in an office and frequently saw a sign posted around that said – “Hope is not a strategy.”

It may not be a strategy, but it is important, for when a person loses all hope, they see themselves as out of options, which leads to a desperate state of mind, and in a desperate state of mind, I fear where our minds might take any of us on any given day.

Hope is a candle flame that burns softly, yet gives warmth and light, and just might show the next step along the way.

Hope is a kind word of encouragement, given at low ebb, which allows one to hold on for one more moment, one more hour, or perhaps one more day.

Hope is an optimistic feeling that there is always one more move, one more play that can be tried.

Hope keeps us up late, seeking the yet to be discovered answer that has thus far eluded us.

Hope keeps saying “I love you” even though we feel love is dying.

Hope leads to faith, and faith believes that all is not lost, and there are forces at work even now, to bring about resolution.

I believe in hope, because I believe in my future.

I believe in my future because I believe in a great and merciful God.

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

Friday, May 2, 2014

When We Say "Trust"

Another visit with this amazing word – TRUST.

I have to begin with this meaty comment from Brennan Manning. 

“It may mean more to Jesus when we say,
“I trust you” than when we say “I love you.”
~Brennan Manning

Love gets easily tossed about these days.  We love everything from pizza to pit bulls.  I love pecan pie, pasta, pineapple, and the Puyallup Fair.

Ah, but when I say ‘trust’ – that is a matter of a different stripe.  Trust adds the element of experience.  What has happened in our past that says we can trust a thing or a person?  Or what stories have we heard about the trustworthiness of someone? 

Do you trust …?
Your bank
Your investment counselor
Your doctor
Your church
Your government
Your neighbor

The commodity of trust is in high demand today and becoming more important.  Exactly who do we trust?

So you see, when Brennan poses the quote above, it takes on a whole new dynamic. 

“God cares more when we say ‘I trust you’”

What has God done to earn your trust lately? 

Once we answer that one, we increase our trust factor.  We see the reliability of God in ever-expanding visions.

I want to end with these thoughts.

“… Ruthless trust is the courageous confidence
that despite suffering and evil, terrorism and
domestic conflict, God’s plan in Jesus Christ cannot fail.”

And this one:

“How glorious the splendor
of a human heart that
trusts that it is loved.”
~Brennan Manning

Oh for grace to trust HIM more!

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