Saturday, June 28, 2014

Trash into Trophies

What happens when you are able to take a trip to the trash heap and find something that is actually usable and useful?  Well, that becomes a red-letter day.  That is something to shout about, not to mention the stories one can now tell of the miraculous transformation.

Trash into Trophies – that has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

There are and have been some stories of mankind that fit this descriptor. 

I immediately think of King David.  He was the apple of God’s eye.  He was a striking young man and he stood head and shoulders above all other young men of his day.

One fine day, he stumbled into the trash heap and had an affair with a married women.  Not only that, in an effort to cover his tracks he put her husband on the front line in battle the next day and then told the other squad members to pull back so that he was left alone to be killed by the enemy. 

And yet again, David found his way back into the good grace of God.  He was redeemed, restored, and reigned once again as God’s chosen man.  He was a trophy of God’s grace.

And remember Peter?  He was a man’s man.  He was strong of body and strong of will.  He was an expert fisherman, and showed some natural born leadership characteristics.  Yet he had a moment in time as a traitor. 

A TRAITOR! 

Who wants a traitor on their side?  I surely don’t. 

In a courtyard one cold night, Peter got recognized as one of the followers of the Christ.  He was even fingerprinted, so to speak.  Yet he vehemently denied the charge.  He said it loud and long and even repeated it three times. 

He said, “I do not know that man.”

He lied.  He turned to the dark side in that one moment and disassociated himself with Christ.  And thankfully that is not the end of the story. 
He repented. 
  He confessed. 
    He wept.
      And He came back to grace.

He left the trash heap of the traitor and became a marvelous trophy of the grace of God.

In these two examples we see enough of the dark side to know something of the depth of despair each man had sank.  And yet, the long arm of grace reached down and lifted them up, dusted them off, and set them on the road to living a redeemed life once again.

And God in His grace continues to do that today.

Are you living near the trash heap?  Are you visiting the dung heap more than the dining hall?

Is your life sinking deeper and deeper into the toilet? 

Come to the one who can redeem you and clean your clothes, clear your mind and revive your spirit.  Come to the redeeming hands of God.  He loves you too much to let you continue sinking into the misery you have been wallowing in.


Please watch this

Sinner Saved by Grace




God:
Can you reach one such as me?  Can you work your magic on the likes of me and where I've been and what I've done?

Then if you can, would you come down and give me a double dose of your grace?

Thank you God.

Amen.



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


Saturday, June 21, 2014

God Revealed

Sometimes God seems to play hide-and-seek and sometimes He shows up in bold ways.  Do you ever wonder how to spot God at work in your life?

Let me start with this paraphrase of a famous poem – Footprints in the Sand.  (Follow this link to read the entire poem - Footprints in the Sand (Poem) 

The story goes like this – a man is looking back over his life and sees his earthly path as a set of footprints in the sand.  Often there are two sets of footprints, and the deduction is that God is walking with him during those moments. 

When he comes to a section of the trail where there is only one set of footprints he questions God.  Did you abandon me?  Did you leave me alone to fend for myself?

And God answers – “No, my child.  Those were the hard places in life and those were the times when I carried you to a safer place.”

I think that is a sample of God being revealed in our lives. 

We are reminded in Deuteronomy 31:8:  “The Lord goes before you; He will be with you, he will not fail you nor forsake you.”

Sometimes God reveals himself in the form of a word of hope and encouragement from some obscure source.

Sometimes He uses TV, radio, newsprint, or an internet connection to spread His work of encouragement. 

On other occasions He uses circumstances and life situations to reveal Himself and to draw our attention away from self and onto Him and His grace and guidance 

A personal story:  My brother Tom passed away this morning.  We are saddened, we are distraught and we have questions, however, I see God revealed in the middle of this misery.  Prayers are being prayed for all of us, we are able to continue to place the next foot in front of the last step and keep living, and we have family and friends who surround us with love, emotional support and the healing touch from one human to another. 

God is being revealed in all of these ways.  That is what He does. 

God comes down and abides with us and yes, even carries us when the path is hard, or steep, or crooked, even through the valley of the death of a loved one.

Do I believe God exists?  Yes I do, for I sense His abiding presence in the middle of my loss. 

God is with us, very present, very real, giving us a steady step.

That is all we need for now.


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


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Does God Want Me

I had an epiphany tonight as I was thinking about this blog.  My use of this term is this:  “A moment when you suddenly realize or understand something important.”

So here it is.

When searching through my blog ideas I shot up a prayer something like this:  “God, what do you want to say through me tonight?”

I stopped in my tracks and had an internal conversation much like this.

“Who do you think you are, Mr. Biggs, that God would dare want to use you?  Look at you.  Look at what meager accomplishments you have to show for yourselves. 

“Look at where your thoughts have traveled this week.  Remember that vindictive conversation you had with yourself over John? 

“And God knows this and that.  He knows your worst sins, and your weakest moments.  He knows what you are lousy at.  He knows how you fumble the ball often in some certain areas.  He knows your dumbest blunders and worst behaviors. 

“How dare you think God would want to use the likes of you?”

Does this sound like conversations you've had with yourself lately?  You wonder how God could ever love you, like you even, and especially, especially have any useful place in His kingdom for you to fulfill. 

We all do I suppose.  So is there any hope for the likes of us?  I think so. 

Start with these thoughts.

“I will never leave you or forsake you.”  Note that there are no qualifiers here.  He doesn't say ‘after you right all wrongs, after you clean up, wash your mouth out with lye soap, put on clean clothes, and a few thousand other actions.  No, He doesn't say any of that.  He just says “I’ll never leave you.” 

I think that means He is with us even in the middle of the bad times, bad attitudes, bad language, bad actions and worse reactions.

And in another place He says, “Come unto me, everyone who is weary, heavy hearted, and worn out.  I will give you rest.”  That is my paraphrase but the nugget of truth is there.  Again, there are no restrictions on who should not approach.  He says “all, everyone, every nationality, every color, every sexual label, and every degree of health or sickness.” 

“Come one and all” is the intent.

So, when we go back to my opening thought, I posed the idea of “why would
God want to use the likes of me and you?

Why?

Because He sees that spark of divinity inside each of us the He placed there at our conception.  He sees what we are capable of – all the good, the right, the acceptable, and the possibilities that He had in mind when we were conceived.  And He loves us as much now, in whatever state of upswing or downward trend we may be on, as He loved us on the day of our meager beginning.

Does God want to use you and me?

You bet He does.  He wants us so badly that He opened both arms in love and let some nails be driven through His hands and feet, and He died on a Roman cross just for us.  

Just for you and just for me.

God wants to use us to reach others of His children. 

It is the “being willing to be willing” part He is seeking. 

Are you willing?

Please watch this video 
of Crystal Lewis - 
Come just as You Are.


A Prayer for All of Us

God:
If you can use me I am willing to be willing.

So here I come, warts and all, the false parts, the foul parts, the hard places, and the distrust and lack of faith parts.  I bring it all to you.

Just as I am, just like the song says.

It’s just me God.  Just little ole’ me.

A scared child seeking a big miracle from an even bigger God.  I can’t even imagine how you might ever use me, but if you can use the likes of me, then take me as I am.

Amen.



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

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Walking Toward Restoration

Where does one start when seeking restoration? 

The logical answer is we start where we are.  In whatever state of aspiring or despairing we find ourselves, that is a good place to start.

That means if my clothes are dirty and torn, so be it.  I start my journey with dirty and torn clothes.

If my heart is broken, I start there and lay all of the pieces at the feet of God.

If I am confused, I bring my confusion to the One who can unconfused me.

If I am lonely, I bring my loneliest self to the God of comfort and grace.

If I need a bath, then I bring my dirty self to the one who can clean me both inside and out.

My understanding of God is this … He looks for us coming down the road, as in the story of the prodigal son, and when we come into view He runs to greet us.  He stretches out His arms in a welcoming embrace and before we can even get very far into our repentant speech He, the God of Heaven, is commanding the calf to be prepared, the good dishes set out, and the robe to be brought.  And not just any robe will do.  He asks for the best robe, and a new pair of shoes for our feet. 

He treats us like … like a treasured child. 

That is what we are.  We are treasured by the Father.

When we come to God seeking restoration we have to remember a couple of things.  We come with nothing to offer.  We come with no authority, no agenda except restoration, and we are not in charge of anything except the will to seek restoration.

We strip ourselves of pride, arrogance, manipulation, scheming, and posturing.  We find that raw self, and present him or her to the God who can do the amazing work of restoration and forgiveness.

The words we utter don’t matter.

Anne Lamont says:  “Help is a pretty great prayer.”  It’s simple and to the point.

And now, you have a significant compass to help guide you on the road toward restoration.

God the Father is waiting for you. 


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