Saturday, December 26, 2015

Morning Notes Top Five Blogs

What a marvelous time of the year.  I can’t remember a more enjoyable Christmas season.

This week I’m kicking back and recharging my brain.  That gives you the chance to review some of my best and most popular posts. 


See you on the other side of the new year.

P Michael Biggs

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Dawn of Redeeming Grace

I love the word “grace”.  This word has taken mine and Carolyn’s hearts for the last couple of years as we’ve read and studied and prayed and lived out our lives.

In the Christmas carol Silent Night, we find this simple phrase tucked near the end.

“With the dawn of redeeming grace”

The dawn of redeeming grace – just rest your eyes on that thought for a moment.

The birth of this infant in a manger in Bethlehem long ago brought forth this thing called grace.  Grace, simply defined, is unmerited favor.  To extend that further, we can add the words kindness, favor, mercy, mercifulness, clemency, and leniency.

We saw the beginnings of mercifulness and leniency with the birth of Jesus in that manger so long ago.

Have you ever needed a dose of lenience, or mercy, or grace?  I have, and I’ll spare you the litany of those moments in my life.

Now, add the word “redeeming” in front of the word “grace” and we are really onto something. 

Redeeming Grace.

Not just clemency, or benevolence or mercy, but redemption.  I like redemption.  I like being liberated, or released, or emancipated or saved.

You see, Jesus the Christ came into our world to liberate us from the traps and lures of the world.

God knows all about the human race, and that includes, Americans, Australians, and people from Poland, Russia, Spain, Iraq and Indonesia.

He knows we are prone to selfishness and that we like to follow our own whims, even when those whims will do us great damage.

And along comes redeeming grace – found in a manger in Bethlehem.

This baby, this infant about whom we sing and celebrate, grew up to become our savior – our redeemer.  He is offering each of us grace and redemption for now and for eternity.

And His grace reaches out to you and to me through the slats in the manger, through the mud and muck of our lives, through the selfishness and stubbornness that we often like to cling to, and through the closed-mindedness of our thoughts and ideas.  He reaches to us, longing to become our safe place, our grace place.  He offers us redemption.  He offers us a helping hand and a forgiving heart.

And He offers us hope – hope for our world, hope for our future, and hope for our eternity.

Jesus the Christ, once the Baby in the Manger, IS our Dawn of Redeeming Grace.

Merry Christmas!

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

Thursday, December 10, 2015

See the Man

See the man lying there on the small pallet of straw?  He is tired.  Perhaps tired is not a good description.  He is worn out. 


It has been a long week.  First the trip was exhausting, seeing as he walked most of the way.  And then he had no bed on which to rest except for this old and scratchy straw.

Before that, he proved skillful in helping deliver a baby – His baby, sort of. 

And now the good wife is asleep, for the child is asleep, and that means for a few minutes, perhaps a few hours, he too can sleep.

And so he sleeps, for he has been faithful to his calling this night.

His calling?

Yes, you might call it his “calling”.  You see, the baby really isn’t his.  He was pledged to marry the mother, but the baby was a surprise.  Boy what a surprise that one was.  Yet he was asked to keep his vow of marriage, and to accept this child as his earthly charge, raise Him up to become a man, teach him his craft, and school Him in the ways of growing up.

And so he will. 

And the baby sleeps on.  And the Father looks on and smiles and whispers …

“Joseph, you have done well.  You will raise our Son well, for I will be with you and Mary wherever you go.”

You will teach Him his first words.
You will bath Him, dress Him and feed Him.
You will teach Him your skill of carpentry.
You will teach Him the ways of the world and the ways of His God.
You will model for Him what a man is all about.

I watched you from the beginning, and you are as chosen of me as was Mary, and Bethlehem, and His name.

Sleep well Joseph. 

Sleep very well indeed.


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

Thursday, December 3, 2015

God Dances among the Common

God invites the common to a dance.  Consider it this way.

Common Shepherds
He could have danced among the elite.  He could have invited those in the ivory palaces and palatial homes to witness the birth of his son.  Yet he chose common men of the field.  They wore coarse clothing; sometimes it was ragged and torn.  Sometimes, more often than not, they smelled of the fields, and of the sheep, and for lack of proper bathing opportunities.  Yet God wanted to dance with them, and it was so.

Common Sheep and Cows, Donkeys and Goats – oh my!
These were the witnesses to the birth of God’s son.  God gave them a ring-side seat.  What a dance that must have been.

Common Peasant Woman
The princess of the ball was a common peasant woman named Mary.  She was perhaps fourteen.  She wasn’t royalty.  She wasn’t rich.  She wasn’t experienced in the ways of the world.

She was available.
She was willing.

And that is all God wanted and needed for this dance.

Common Carpenter
What?  A carpenter to be the earthly role model for the Son of God?  That is surely how we would think.  What was God thinking?

He was thinking – I need a man who can follow orders, one who is stable, reliable, responsible, tender, wise, and will love the mother of my Son and will love and nurture my Son and raise him in proper ways.  And so God danced with Joseph.

Common Bethlehem
Bethlehem wasn’t much as a city.  It was okay for its day, but it was no New York City.  We are speaking of “O little town of Bethlehem” you know.  Small Bethlehem.  A middle of the road village that just happened to be significant because of its lineage dating back to King David. 

And Bethlehem is the town in which God wanted His most important dance to take place.

You see, God used common people and common places and animals to welcome His most important presentation.

It is an uncommon story of love.
It is an uncommon story of redemption.
He was an uncommon Savior, come to save the world.  

And He invites us to this dance, a dance that will last for eternity. 

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