Thursday, September 24, 2015

Befriending Your True Self

A confession:  I sometimes think that I spent a good portion of my early years moving in and out of a love-hate relationship with myself.  I had moments when I felt I had some pretty remarkable qualities and good points.  And then there were the dark and depressing days when I compared myself to those around me and almost always came up lacking in some way.

I had a difficult time befriending my true self.  Can you relate?

This is a painful thing for me to admit.  And then we consider God.  Where was God during those days?  I was a person in search of himself.  I was trying to live like a good Christian young man on a roller coaster ride. God stood nearby watching my life unfold, watching me try my hand at a multitude of careers and interests, and all the while I don’t know if I ever fully received myself.

What a dynamic thought that is … a person who never fully received self.

Can you relate?

Psychologist would tell us that this is perhaps a more common occurrence today that we might want to admit.  Many people suffer with a lack of self-acceptance. 

And along with this self-acceptance comes a whole passel of loneliness and deep need.

I recently read Henry  J. Nouwen’s book The Inner Voice of Love, which was written during a dark period in his life.  He wrote this book mostly as a private diary, which ultimately got published.

Here is what Henry adds to this thought:  “God does not want your loneliness; God wants to touch you in a way that permanently fulfills your deepest need.”

He continued:  “Jesus dwells in your fearful, never fully received self.  When you befriend your true self and discover that it is good and beautiful, you will see Jesus there.  Where you
are most human, most yourself, weakest, there Jesus lives.  Bringing your fearful self home is bringing Jesus home.”

My goodness.  This is great stuff.  It is needed stuff.  I encounter a lot of people who live in fear of their true self.  They have not made many attempts to being their true self home for a reconciling relationship with their creator.

Those of us who suffer from this malady will often measure ourselves by the standards and successes we see others achieve.  We may identify with their choice of clothes and try to emulate that, or even use certain phrases and ideologies we pick up from others, just because it sounds right.

Perhaps, God through Christ stands nearby and simply wants to come alongside each of us simply to receive us as we are.  He made you and me with our proclivities, our talent pool, our potentiality and our body type and He loves everything He has put within us.

He knows my hairy back and loves every hair.  He knows my propensity for left-handedness.  He knows I love the drums, and Diana Krall, Beethoven’s Fifth and The Ventures (they were a 50’s & 60’s rock band).

Christ simply wants to embrace everything there is about me and accept me with the whole bundle of my life as I am.  I come bringing it all to Him.

And you can too. 

God does not ask us to dress up, clean up, or shape up before coming to Him for help.  He welcomes the bedraggled, the burnt out, the low self-esteem thinkers, the butt-draggers, the foggy minded and the sincere weakling.  God wants to befriend you and me in whatever state we find ourselves. 

He wants to do the work of redemption on us and put us in a right frame of mind.

Are we willing to be changed?

The invitation is a simple one: 

“Come unto me all you who are weary and burdened down with all kinds of issues.  I will give you rest.  Take my ways upon you; learn about me, for I am gentle and easy to be with, and you will find rest for your weary soul.”
~Matthew 11-28-30

Come on home.  Bring your fearful self home to God.

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

Friday, September 18, 2015

Words Have Great Power

My company is called Up-Words.  My motto is:  “Offering Hope, Encouragement, and Inspiration One Word at a Time.”

This quote hit me between the eyes tonight. 

My step-daughter, Paula, gave me a framed picture.  Here it is.

I believe that, you know.  I’ve had words said to me that have been transformative.  In most cases, the speaker of those words was oblivious to my mental/spiritual/emotional state at that particular moment in time; nevertheless, his/her words reached me on a deep level and changed me.

That is what I intend to spend the rest of my life doing – using words to heal, restore, encourage and inspire.

Because my reading audience is diverse, I am going to split this post into two sections.

Section One will offer words of inspiration, hope and insight for common man/common woman.

Section Two will be for my readers who also appreciate words from the great book – the Bible.  Be encouraged today, my friend.

Actually I woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to feel like this anymore, or ever again, so I changed.  Just like that.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

After a while you learn to ignore the names people call you and just trust who you are.

Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent.

Be brave.  Remember that bravery is not the lack of fear but the ability to move forward in spite of fear.

Big shots are only little shots who kept shooting.
~Christopher Morley

By perseverance the snail reached the ark.
~Charles H Spurgeon

Do or do not.  There is no try.
~Yoda from Star Wars

And now, a few hope-filled words based on words from the Bible.

Be not afraid nor dismayed, for I your God will be with you wherever you may go.
~Joshua 1:9

Surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord your God.  I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you.  For I will give you a future with hope.
~Jeremiah 29:11

Even in the darkest valley I will hear no evil.
~Psalm 23:4

God is the one who leads, even in the dark.

I have called you by name.  You are mine.
~Isaiah 43:1

I promise to never leave you nor forsake you.
~Hebrews 13:5

To Jesus we are more important than any label.
~Philip Yancey – What’s So Amazing about Grace

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

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Do You Believe

There are some buzz words floating around today that are more than just good words.  They are, perhaps, direction-finding words.

The one I want to focus on is “belief”.

I just finished listening to The Wright Brothers audio written by David McCullough.  The boys faced obstacles, failures, and even ridicule and injury along the way.  However … HOWEVER, they believed in their ideas and designs and they pursued their dream and went down in history as the founders of man in flight.

What worthy pursuit do you believe in?

When I started actively writing my blogs and books, I had no idea if people would pause and read my words.  I did believe that I had something to say and in time my readership has grown.  And so have my creations.  At the moment I write six blogs per week and have published four books.  Why and how?  Because I believed I could.

They don’t hand out a belief pill at the local pharmacy.  There is not any one book that will suddenly turn you on to your idea and make you believe in your worthy pursuit. 

Belief is an inside job.  And it grows with use.

Seth Godin is a writer that I follow.  Here is his contribution to this topic. 

Do you believe in what you do? Every day?
It turns out that belief happens to be 
a brilliant strategy. 
~Seth Godin

And now we bring it home.  You get to decide.  You get to believe or not.

What is your dream and passion?
What are you doing every day 
to make it come true?

Do you believe in you and your dream?

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

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Past Is Past

(For my readers who have a definite leaning toward the spiritual, I on purpose slanted this post to life in general and the blunders we all make, and the regrets we may have over those blunders.  Perhaps I'll do another run at this thought on my Internet Church blogsite with a definite word of hope and redemption from the Christian perspective.  For today, this is a psychological principle that is important for all of mankind.)

You and I have a past, a present and a future. 

We had to go through our past to get to today (our present), which leads us to our tomorrows.  FACT!

And now, for a bit of advice;
Don’t stumble over 
something behind you.
~Seneca – Roman Stoic Philosopher

Let’s go around the room and everybody reading this share your biggest stumble in life.  Okay, you start.  (I don’t think so.)

I try to make a habit of forgetting my past blunders, mistakes and sins.  I cherish what I have learned from some of those episodes in my life, but they don’t rule my life today, and neither should they rule your life.

Remembering past failures is a heavy sack of rocks for one to carry.  My friend, lay them down.  LAY THEM DOWN NOW!

Even in scriptures we are reminded of this.

 “As far as the east is from the west,
that far has God removed our
transgressions from us.”

During my life as a music leader in churches I could fill a book with some less-than sterling actions and words.  Fortunately my friends from those days remember more of my good moments and we laugh at the laughable awful moments. 

But we don’t dwell on those times.  We don’t continually beat ourselves up over those past actions.

What past memories plague you?
-A missed stock market moment?
-A divorce?
-A lost job?
-A lousy performance moment?

And I can imagine some of you are saying “but you haven’t mentioned my great life blunder.”

It is time to walk away.  It is time to leave our blunders in the past.  We need to cut the shackles that bind us to those moments of lesser grandeur.  There is a whole new world of experiences that we should be embracing.  I say to all of us – embrace the next chapter of your life.


I can’t go back and fix any of my past mistakes, sins, regrets.  I can learn from them and do better next time.  And so can you.

May we all find the strength and grace to move ahead with the possibilities that lie before us, for there are an abundance of amazing possibilities.

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