Thursday, November 27, 2014

Christmas Meditations

Merry Christmas!  The march is on to December 25.  Make it a good trip.  Go fast enough to get in all that delights and inspires you.  Go slowly enough to savor the important and distinguished moments.  

Drink deeply from the cup of fellowship, friendship and love - especially love.

Click on any underlined links below that are of interest to you. 

Christmas Greetings

A Christmas Memory

A Candlelight of Love

Christmas Hope

When Love Was Enough at Christmas

The Story of Silent Night

What the Bells Say

Hope Is Coming

Christmas Wins Again

What Child Indeed

God Is a User

The Inn Keeper

The Man and the Birds

The Baby In His Arms

The Birth of Jesus

What's So Special about December 25th?

The Trip to Bethlehem

Why Santa Claus

The Angels

What about Those Shepherds

Just Another Sleepy Night

His Love ... Reaching

Merry Christmas!

Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, November 24, 2014

Books Take Us Places

A more apt title for this post might be “We Take Books Places.”  Allow me to explain.

For some time now Carolyn has been reading to me as we drive.  This is one of the great joys of our marriage.  It is a shared event and provides us with wonderful conversation moments as we dissect the characters and thoughts provided. 

We catch reading moments every chance we get.
~On the way to the gym – 15 minutes each way
~On the way to church 30 minutes each way
~Driving to our Friday night date-night location
~When taking a drive around the beautiful countryside of the northwest
And just about any other time we are in the car

At the beginning of November we were searching for our next read and decided to start Christmas a bit early.  Just last night we finished The Christmas Train by David Baldacci.  I must say, this is by far one of the best, most entertaining and memorable books we've read together.  I would highly recommend this to you.

Look at some of the books we've read in recent months and years.
The Christmas Train – David Baldacci
The Harry Potter Series – J K Rowling
The Chronicles of Narnia – C S Lewis
Jobs – Biography of Steve Jobs
Jefferson – by Brodie
A book of Christmas stories
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Adventures of the Three Musketeers
Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
The da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
Partners for Life – Dave LeShana
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
A Severe Mercy – C S Lewis
Help Thanks Wow – Anne Lamont
Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
Ragamuffin Gospel – Brennan Manning
The Furious Longing of God – Brennan Manning
Ruthless Trust – Brennan Manning
What’s So Amazing about Grace – Philip Yancey

And many more.

It’s sort of like reading to your kids at bedtime.  You create memories and you tell great stories

Never underestimate the power of a great book, especially when shared.

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Pursuit of Better

Are you in pursuit? 
Those of us who pursue continually strive, even when weary. 
If we stumble, we pick ourselves up. 
If we are tired, we rest, and then pick up the mantle of pursuit once revived. 

If discouraging words are tossed our way, we use the shards of those words to make a staircase to the next rung on the proverbial ladder, and we keep climbing.  We keep pursuing. 

~This is the way of the champion. 
~This is the way of the one who changes the world.
~This is the way of the one who builds empires. 

~This is the way of the one who writes books, songs, symphonies, poems and rhapsodies which inspires the world.

~This is the way of the retail merchant who wants to be the best.
~This is the way of the manufacturer of shoes who wants the world to wear his shoes.
~This is the way of the speaker who wants to move men’s hearts.

We constantly pursue better. 

We pursue better, even in the face of discouragement.  We pursue it on rainy days, and cold days.  We pursue it when we are broke and hungry.

We pursue. 

We chase the dream, because it is all we have thought of for a very long time.

If we come in 5th this year, we dream of first place next year.  If we miss by an inch, we train and strengthen our core so that we exceed by two inches next time.

If we trip on our own shoelaces, we tighten them tighter next time, and strap them down, tuck them in and do it all over again.

We pursue better.


Because we can see that we are better.  We can run a little faster, lift a little more, write a bit more keenly, make the melody soar a bit more and make the poem rhyme with a more resounding ring.

We see that we are better, and we run toward better.

Nothing less will do.


What will your “better” look like tomorrow?

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

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pauses in the Battle

The battle rages.  We are compelled to do more, to make more money, to do better, to have more, to understand life, to climb higher and faster, and to win.  Whew.  I’m worn out just from contemplating this list.

The intensity of life grows and expands with every new day.  You’ve heard the expression “It’s a jungle out there.”  And the jungle needs continual trimming down to size. 

Help!  Stop the merry-go-round and let me off.  At least stop the spinning for a moment.

Stop it indeed.

Where is the answer?  Consider this:  Look for it in the pauses in the battle.  Sometimes we create the pauses. 

Steven Covey’s now famous quote comes to mind.  “Take time to sharpen the saw.”  He wrote that in 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.  

Burn-out is still a popular topic in the workplace.  The cause of burnout is because we have forgotten to look for the pauses in the battle.  I love my work, and especially my days off.  Those are the pauses in the battle that recharge and restore me. 

The aware individual learns to listen for the pauses and make the most of them.  The effective individual learns about the ebb and flow of the battlefield, and in the pauses, he/she takes stock of his life, of her heart and of his mindset. 

~Is my sword still sharp?
~Is my attitude and mindset tuned in to the right frequency?
~Are my muscles toned with proper tension and relief?

~Are my necessary tools readily at hand?
~Is my life in balance?
~Does faith and optimism still burn in my soul?

Paulo Coelho says this in his great book “Warrior of the Light”. 

Sometimes equipment and people need maintenance.  Sometimes ‘stuff’ breaks and has to be replaced.  Sometimes our best employee moves on and has to be replaced.  And sometimes we need to seek out the pauses in the battle in order to recharge and recover.

And so we maintain. 
We fix
  We replace
    We repair
      We clean
        We sharpen

We do the work that is required so that we can face another day on the battlefield and gain some new ground.

If we are tired, we rest.  We recreate – we vacation – we take our scheduled days off.

The battle will always be there.  For today – find a pause and do something with that.

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