Saturday, December 26, 2015

Internet Church - Top 5

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. 

Enjoy.

See you on the other side of the new year.


P Michael Biggs







Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Birth of Jesus - the Son of God

Based on The Gospel of Luke

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, in Galilee, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 

The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, favored one.  God is with you.”

Mary was troubled at his words and wondered. 

The angel said, “Do not be afraid Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son.  You are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come and overshadow you.  The holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.  For with God nothing is impossible.”

Mary answered, “Let it be done to me as you have said. For I am the Lord’s servant,”

Meanwhile, the local ruler, Caesar Augustus, issued a decree that a census be taken of the entire Roman world.  Everyone had to go to their own home town to register.
Joseph went from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the town of David.  He belonged to the line of David. He took Mary also, who was pledged to be married to him, and she was expecting a child.  While there, she gave birth to her firstborn son.  She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Now shepherds were nearby watching a flock of sheep on this night.  Suddenly the angel of God appeared to them, and the God’s glory shone around them.  They were terrified. 

The angel assured them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy for all the people.  Today in Bethlehem a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.  Look for this sign:  find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of angels appeared praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels left, the shepherds said, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

After seeing all of this the shepherds spread the word about what they had seen and heard.  All who heard it were amazed. 

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.


Merry Christmas from Up-Words
Michael and Carolyn Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement and Inspiration
One Word at a Time



Saturday, December 12, 2015

But I'm Just A ...

Mary’s words in response to the angel haunt me today.  They are simple and humble words.  They were meant to deflect the great honor that was being bestowed on her.

Her words:  “How can this be, since I am just a virgin?”

The phrase “I am just a …” stops me. 

Some of you might say,
“But I’m just a salesman.”
“I’m only a housewife.”
“Me, I work at a health club.”
“Don’t look at me.  I work at a big box store.”
“Who me?  I’m just a writer?”

The fact is this … God uses the available, the open-hearted.  He especially uses these kinds of people.

The Christmas story is one of hope – hope that God might see me and offer his light on my bleak and shadowy life.

We don’t think it can happen.  Mary wondered why this should happen to her. 

It happens because we dare to open our hearts and minds to the great God of the universe and say in effect, “Come in.  Come and do with my life whatever it is you want to do.  I am willing to be obedient.”

That is how Mary responded.

Here is what I think … with God we are all possibilities in the making.  He wants to take the raw material of our lives and do some molding and shaping, stretching and enlarging.  He wants to use us in unheard of ways.

Are we willing?

May we all respond with this kind of humble obedience.

Merry Christmas.

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


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Let There Be Light

In the beginning there was darkness.  And the darkness covered all the earth.  And God, the great creator was not happy, for He was about to create His ultimate masterpiece – mankind. 

How will they see?  How can they make their way in this world that I am creating for them?

And He spoke the word.

Let there be light. 

And it was so.  And the light did shine.

The light became his son. 

One of the leaders of the day, Herod, didn’t like the way this new light brought light to the world, so he tried to snuff it out.  He was threatened by the light.

Yet the light beamed more brightly than ever.

It grew, and blazed and illuminated the whole world.

This light became Jesus the Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of the world.

He became grace for all mankind, offered freely, and offered willingly.

Many still reject His light.  Yet it still shines. 

And still today, His light reaches for every man, every woman.

Will you come into the light?

He offers illumination for every path, and warmth for every cold and impersonal situation we may face.

Merry Christmas.

Internet Church
Offering Hope for Mankind

Saturday, November 28, 2015

They Missed It

Somewhere a dog barked three times and then was silent.
Somewhere a merchant was just finishing with his last customer.
Somewhere a very tired inn keeper was shuttering his windows and doors, for his last available space had been rented for the night.

And somewhere a tired fourteen year old girl and an even more weary twenty-something man finally found a space among some cattle and sheep in a drafty cave. 

And the birth happened.

And the villagers missed it. 

For their lives were demanding.
Their jobs were endless.
Their focus was on the next buck to be made, not on the baby being born who would usher in a whole new system.

But they missed it.

They missed the greatest event of the season.
They missed the spectacle in their own backyard.

Sometimes I’ve been distracted by gifts to see THE gift.
Sometimes I’ve been focused on activities instead of the Advent.

This Christmas, let’s make sure we don’t miss all that Christ might say to us as we revisit the manger, the joy, the lights and the sights of Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

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





Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What Is Thanksgiving

~Holding a thought of gratitude for the life we’ve been given

~Holding closely thoughts of God’s goodness, for they are new every day

~Being grateful in the small things and in the large and looming circumstances

~Seeing a butterfly in flight and giving thanks

~Hearing the laughter of your grandchild

~Anticipating the embrace of that one who is making a last minute effort to come home to her family’s embrace for Thanksgiving

~Remembering the ones who work on this day to provide us the blanket of safety and security we depend upon


Let us pause and give God thanks.

Loving God:
From the depths of our soul we offer a simple ‘thank you’.
Your mercies are abundant and undeserved.
Your bounty is more than we should expect.
Your protection is ever with us.
Your love exceeds anything we can comprehend.
We give you thanks, God almighty.

We give you praise and adoration, for we are mere mortals in the sight of an omnipotent God, yet you dared to create us and love us with something called ‘unconditional love’. 

Our hearts are full of gratitude.  Our words seem so inadequate before your might and power.

And so we simply say – “Thank You God!  We give heartfelt thanks.


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


Saturday, November 21, 2015

God Takes the Lead

I’ve been reading in the Old Testament tonight in search of an idea and a thought for this post.  I began in Genesis and I’m still there.  Around Chapter 45 it hit me how God has taken the lead thus far in establishing mankind on planet Earth. 

At the moment I’m reading the story of Joseph and his 11 brothers. The story goes like this:

Joseph was favored by his mother Rachel and father Jacob.  His mother made him that famous coat of many colors.  His brothers became jealous of Joseph and eventually sold him to a traveling caravan and reported him abducted by wolves to their father

Meanwhile Joseph ended up in Egypt as 2nd in rank only to the Pharaoh himself.  

Now about this time a great famine was predicted in a dream that was going to sweep the land.  Joseph properly interpreted this dream for Pharaoh and was thus put in as 2nd in command. 

The drought came, crops dried up, there was little or no rain and things were tough all over.  However, in Egypt, where Joseph ruled, they had the foresight to stockpile great storehouses of grain for the people.

His brothers came seeking grain.  Finally he revealed himself to them as their long lost brother.  His words struck me tonight –

“Do not grieve yourselves over what you have done, for God sent me before you to preserve life.”

You see, God took the lead well in advance of the draught, the dry season and the burned up crops.  He put His man in place as a savior/redeemer for those people in that place and time.

And today, we wonder if God is still in the lead, don’t we?  We question if God knows what is going on in our world.  Did He see what happened in Paris last weekend with 130 dead and countless more wounded?  And don’t forget the attack in Mali just a few days ago.

What in the world is going on and where is God in the middle of all of this?

Good question.  Where is God indeed!

He is in the middle of all of it just as He always has been.  He has boots on the ground all around those places.  Even in the middle of tragedy there is hope. 

I heard of a lady who died in the Paris attack who used her body to shield a five-year-old boy who survived that chaos.  And there are stories yet to be told of how God is working in the middle of all of this madness. 

We are not promised to be free from pain and sorrow.  We ARE promised that He will be with us in the middle of it all.  And He goes ahead of us.  He takes the lead.

~Joshua 1:9 reminds us that God will be with us wherever we go, just as he was with Joshua at the death of Moses when he was about to lead the Israelites out of the wilderness into the promised land.

Just take a look at this handful of scriptures that speak of God being with us in the middle of fear and anxiety.

~Isaiah 41:10:  Don’t fear. I am with you. I will strengthen you.

~Psalm 56:3:  When afraid, I put my trust in God.

~Philippians 4:6-7:  Don’t be anxious or worried.  Trust God, and the His peace will guard your hearts and minds.

~Psalm 94:19:  When anxiety mounts, God’s comfort and peace bring on the joy.

~Isaiah 43:1:  Don’t fear. I have redeemed you; I call you by name.

And the list goes on.

When facing times of testing, God is in the lead.  He goes before us.  He prepares the land, the table, the situation.  He works behind the scenes. 

What an amazing concept of hope and grace for us today.

Be encouraged.

And in this season of Thanksgiving – give thanks to God for all things.


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


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sticky Grace

(Today I am opening up this space to my long-time friend Dr. Larry Lacher.  Larry was in my youth group in Albuquerque and is now senior pastor of First Church of the Nazarene in Roswell, New Mexico.  

I've watched as Larry has taken his calling to the ministry from this first days of experiencing the call to the full-blown blossom of having an active and effective ministry as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is my great pleasure to have Larry speak to us today.)


When I was about five years old, my big brother took me out one afternoon to teach me how to ride a bicycle.  I remember that he taught me all about balance and how the work the pedals.  He even taught me how to steer.  I think, however, that I was not listening when he taught me how to use the brake.

He asked me if I was ready, and I said that I was, so I mounted the bicycle and he took his position behind and gave me a great push.  I traveled free for several hundred feet before I began to veer toward an empty lot.  I remember seeing the lot and noticing that it was full of cactus bushes.  That’s when I realized that I did not know how to stop the bike.  The next moment, I slammed right into the middle of a cactus bush—bike going one direction and body going another.

In an instant, my brother was there to extract me from the sticky mess I had gotten into.  He shepherded me and the bent bicycle back home where he spent the next several minutes removing cactus spines from the body of a whimpering five year old with a pair of pliers.

While I cried and moaned and begged that he would stop because he was hurting me, he held me tightly in his arms and patiently removed the spines one by one until all the ones he could see were removed.  Then, when I thought I could escape the pain, he ran his hands over my skin, lifted my shirt and inspected my chest and my back, and carefully examined every inch of my body to make sure that the tiniest sticker was removed, knowing that it would become infected if he did not get everything.  Finally finished, he dried my tears and declared that we would try again tomorrow. 

Now that I am an adult myself, I find that I still get myself into sticky situations because I am not listening closely to God or because I head off in reckless abandon at full speed without really knowing how to slow down.

When I crash, God treats me like my brother did.  Rather than scolding me for my inattention, He plucks me out of the thorny situation I find myself in and begins the process of healing.  Sometimes, I do not like the way that He inspects me and picks at me.  I would rather He just leave me alone in my misery.  So, I squirm and complain and cry out.  Still, God holds me close in His arms and gently plucks out the things in my life that are causing me pain and sorrow one by one. 

When I think He has it all, He presses His gaze even closer, plucking out the tiny fragments of sorrow and disappointment until everything that might fester and infect is removed.  Then, he bathes me with His love and anoints me with His Spirit and completely heals me from the mess I got myself into.  He smiles in love, dries my tears, and says, “Let’s try again tomorrow,” and promises to be with me until I get it right.  Then, we will ride together and experience places that I have not yet imagined existed.


 Dr. Larry Lacher
Roswell First Church of the Nazarene

Saturday, November 7, 2015

What Does God Have to Offer

Now that is an intriguing question, isn’t it?  Have you ever wondered what God could possibly have to offer to you?  I mean, your life is going well, isn’t it?  No worries, no hassles, no major upsets, all your bills are paid, all your relationships are in order, you have a sense of direction for your life and plans.

And for those of us who live in the real world, we can’t check off many if any items on the above list, can we?

So, the question still remains – what does God have to offer?

(Because of copyright laws, I can only give you the link to each verse.  Please click on the red links and you will be taken to an on-line Bible.  Choose the topics that more closely meet your needs and concerns.)

Do you have stuff on your mind?  Are you plagued with worry, concern for your future or some major issue you face?  Check this out.

Do you feel lost, without hope?  Do you feel God has abandoned you? Read this. Luke 19:10

Are you in need of salvation?  Do you feel you need to be cleansed of your past life?  Read this.

Do you need a word of hope that God really does love the likes of you and me?  Read this. 

And often we wonder if God has any kind of plan for our lives, or are we left to figure things out on our own.  Read this:  Jeremiah 29:11

And so we can see, God has a lot to offer.  The important thing is that we reach, ask for help, and trust that He offers the help as found in these verses.

I will pray for you.


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


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Do You Have It Together?

Is your life perfect?  Do you have it all together?  Well, let me tell you about my perfect life, perfect marriage, and what a model citizen I am. 

NOT!

I’m not perfect.  I don’t have it all together.  And you probably don’t either.

And God knows this about us.

We want to get it all together with God.  We even think that everybody in church has it together. 

When we pray, isn’t prayer for those who have it together?  I mean, don’t they thank God for how wonderful their life is, and for all the stuff they own, and the places they live, and the perfectness of their kids?  Don’t people pray that way, and don’t our lives suck when we can’t measure up to that ridiculous standard? 

For those who struggle with all of this imperfection stuff and lack of togetherness syndrome, we have something in common. And if you hang with me for a bit we will discover some words of hope on which to hang our collective hats and hearts and destinies. 

Anne Lamont wrote a book a few years ago and I want to borrow from her. 

“Prayer is taking a chance that against all odds and past history, we are loved and chosen, and do not have to get it together before we show up.  The opposite may be true.  We may not be able to get it together until after we show up in such miserable shape.”

WoW!  Double WoW!

“We may not be able to get it together until after we show up in such miserable shape.”

Have you been there – done that?  Can I have a show of hands?

Okay, I’ll put my hand down now. 

I can hear some of you saying, “But I can’t show up looking like this?  I’m dirty, I’m grimy, and I’ve been wallowing in places I wish I would have avoided.  Let me go clean up first.”

That is just the point, isn’t it? 


We show up anyway.  We pray anyway.

God accepts us anyway. 

I’m reminded of a story found in the Biblical book of James 2:1-26

A translation: “My friends, don’t show partiality when those different from you show up.  If a man comes in wearing a ring and gorgeous clothes followed by a beggar from the street wearing rags and smelling of the garbage pit, don’t invite the rich man to the right side of the table and shuffle the poor man off to a corner or a separate room.  Hasn’t God chosen those who are poor in this world to be rich in the faith and heirs of the kingdom?” 
~Based on James 2:1-26

In another spot we find this:
“The Spirit and Bride say, ‘Come.’  Listen for the invitation.  Any who are thirsty may come; let those who desire to take a drink of the water of life without price, they can come too.”
~Revelations 22:17

And in Luke 19:10 we find:  “God sent Christ to earth to seek and save those who are lost.”

It appears to me that God is inviting the likes of you and me to first come, quench your thirst, and then allow Him to do whatever transformation He chooses to do in our lives. 

We come first; then He helps us get it together.  I like that.

So, even though you and I may not have it all together, we can still show up at God’s door, knock and be received. 

Go ahead, ask to be let in. 

You’ll find the doors will swing open and you will receive a welcome beyond belief.

Thanks Be to God!



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


Saturday, October 24, 2015

God Is For Us

This is a strong word of hope and grace for all of us.  We live in an age when we seem battled on every hand.  We face obstacles, lack, discouragement and defeat. 

We are prone to wonder …
  Does God like me?
  Does God know my name?
  Has God lost my address?

The ultimate question that goes unanswered is this:

Is God for me?  Is He on my side?

Allow me to use the scriptures to help define this ponderable question.


This is one of the great verses of hope found in the New Testament.  I find tremendous encouragement simply from resting my eyes on this idea.  I want to want to believe this verse, and I am coming to believe it, for I have great faith and trust in the God I serve.

Now, it is important to note this.  This is a faith statement.  That means we don’t have a written document stating exactly how God will be for us, how He will walk with us in the middle of every adversity or circumstance.  We just have this amazing promise.

I ran across this insightful quote recently and it has been turning my spiritual understanding upside down.  It is from Richard Rohr, a Roman Catholic priest and prolific author/speaker.

“My scientist friends have come up with things like principles of uncertainty and dark holes.  They are willing to live inside imagined hypotheses and theories.  But many religious folks insist on answers that are always true.  We love closure, resolution, clarity, while thinking that we are people of faith.  How very strange that the word “faith” has come to mean it’s exact opposite.”

Hold onto that thought for a moment while we revisit our key verse.  “If God be for us who can be against us?”

In the final resolution of things we know and hopefully accept the idea that God is on our side and He is with us through all of life’s steps. 

He has never promised nor demonstrated that He will keep us from hardships.  He simply promises to be with us in the middle of our hardships.  FAITH!

We want ready answers, signs in the heavens, a phone call right at the eleventh hour that spells deliverance for our dilemma.  What God wants most from us is TRUST! 

He wants a trusting heart that says “Even in the middle of my misery, God I know you stand with me.  I know you will never leave me nor forsake me.” 

That is giant-size faith.  We don’t know the “HOW” or the “WHEN”.  All we know is God is on our side and in the end, we will conquer. 

Meanwhile, God is with us. 

I take great comfort in that verse tonight.

Thanks be to God.


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


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Grace Like We've Never Seen

Don’t you love abundance?  I like it when I get a bonus.
I got an extra helping of potatoes recently at our favorite restaurant
Carolyn is giving me an abundant back rub right now.

I love abundance. 

Does God ever shower us with abundance?

He does indeed.

The scriptures remind us of this:  
Where sin abounds, grace abounds more.
~Romans 5:20

For comparison purposes, let’s say that you and I commit a series of sins.  On the Richter scale of sins, this amounts to 100 sins. 

That’s a whole lot of sins, would you agree? 

100 sins – and they fill the house and overflow the windows.

And along comes God.  

So God sees our 100 sins.  Does he give us a measure of grace equal to 101 sins?  Not according to our key verse.

Let’s be generous.  Let’s say he gives a measure equal to 150 sins.  Surely one and a half times more grace than sins is a good thing, right?

And to add to our dilemma, tomorrow and for the next four days we commit these sins five days in a row. 

Wow.  That means our sins now amount to 500 sins.  Surely God will run out of grace on that one.

Hold on, worried child of God.

His word promises, PROMISES I say, that where sin abounds, grace abounds more.

Not grace in a measure of 150 per day, or the 750 for five days. 

Think more in terms of the “thousand” power, even the “ten thousand” power.

God loves us so much that he gives and gives and gives in abundance, overflowing, pouring forth.  He gives more grace than our sins can handle.

He floods our sins with abundant grace, grace like we’ve never seen before.

The question is this – can we accept that kind of grace?
Can we accept that kind of love?
Can we believe in the abundant, lavish love of God?

We hear the scriptures that proclaim …

God so loved the world that He gave his only Son …John 3:16
I have loved you with an everlasting love.  Jeremiah 31:3

But to receive grace in such magnitude?
Is God really that rich in grace?  You bet He is. 

As Philip Yancey says, “God is looking more for ways to bring you home to heaven than He is in seeking ways to keep you out.”

My favorite author, Brennan Manning, says this:  “Only God knows how to pardon.”

And He does it very well indeed.


Where sin abounds grace abounds more.

Thanks be to God.


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


Saturday, October 10, 2015

What Does God Look Like

Once upon a time there was a kindergarten teacher who wanted her class to have a moment of art.  She told them to draw anything they wanted, and while they worked quietly she walked around the room looking at each child’s artwork.

She stopped at one little girl’s desk and asked innocently, “What are you drawing?”

The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”

The teacher paused, smiled and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.”

The little girl replied, “They will in a minute.”

And so we wonder, what does God look like. 

I’ve seen God a few times.

I saw him once toting a bag of groceries up the sidewalk of an elderly lady who couldn’t get out and fetch them for herself.

I saw him looking on as a husband and wife walked hand in hand down Sunset Street in the town where I live.

And I saw Him the other day when a lady stopped on the corner of Ravenna and 63rd and handed out a brown bag and a bottle of water to a homeless man begging for money.

God shows up in a thousand ways every day.  If we look for Him we just might catch a glimpse of Him walking our streets, patrolling our neighborhoods and taking a disguised hand in our world.

We can even seen glimpses of him in some significant places in the scriptures.  He appeared in the form of a cloud by day and a blazing fire at night when He led the Israelites through the wilderness for forty years

He appeared in the form of a bread-like substance called manna to feed that same group on their wandering march.

Moses was allowed to look at God’s back-side once.

He was with Jonah in the belly of a whale.
He appeared to young Samuel in the middle of the night.
And He showed His hand to a mother and her son by continuing to refill her oil supply and grain supply until the seasonal rains came and allowed the local crops to grow to full harvest.

I’ve seen God in an envelope filled with cash that was given at a critical moment of need.

I’ve seen Him when He delivered me from a serious auto accident one Valentine’s day in Texas.

And I’ve seen Him in a hundred sunsets, bounty on my table, and in daily food for daily need.

I am keenly aware of God in all the various forms He chooses to assume

I’ve seen Him as …
 My provider
  My healer
   My comforter
    My Redeemer
     An act of Grace
      The one who supplies all my needs

What does God look like?

He often looks like ordinary humanity performing sometimes extraordinary acts of kindness, grace and hope.

Above all … God looks like a man on a cross, with arms outstretched, offering you and me redemption, hope and love.

And God looks like this –
  





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


Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Beautiful and the Terrible

Do you want to hear the beautiful or the terrible?
Do you like the good news first or the bad news?

I have some awfully encouraging news to offer you today.  When I use the word ‘awfully’ just now that is on purpose. 

~Wouldn’t life be wonderful if all pain and suffering were eliminated?  
~Wouldn’t it be paradise if we had no struggles, no off-putting circumstances?  And if everybody in the whole world got along, now wouldn’t that be just about heaven?

Of course, the answer is “YES” – a thousand times yes.

However, we all know life is at best a hodge-podge of ups and downs, good days, less than stellar days, and sometimes it hardly seems worthwhile for us to get out of bed.

So where is the good news in the middle of all this mixed bag of good and bad?

We find a nugget of hope in this quote from Frederick Buechner. 


“Here is the world. 
Beautiful and terrible 
things will happen. 
Don't be afraid.” 



It almost seems like a slap in the face when he inserts that last comment, doesn’t it?  “Don’t be afraid” he says.

What?  Are you out of your mind?  Have you read a newspaper lately or watched the evening news?

That is our response, for sure. 

Okay – take a deep breath and tighten your shoe laces.  Things are about to get hopeful again.

There is a somewhat obscure passage in the Bible that speaks to our concerns today.  Here it is in my own paraphrase.

“I have told you some of these things because I want you to have peace.  You will have troubles in this world, but hang on.  I have overcome the world.”
~John 16:33

Christ himself is speaking these words, and they are perhaps some of the most encouraging words we could find in the scriptures, especially for such a time as this one in which we find ourselves.

“I have overcome the world.” 
     Powerful words
          Hope-filled words
               Encouraging words

And in one of my favorite passages, we find this – “Be not afraid nor dismayed.  I your God will be with you wherever you go.”

That comes from Joshua 1:9.  These words were spoken to Joshua after his leader, Moses, has died. 

  Joshua feels inadequate. 
    He feels overwhelmed. 
      He feels that he is not quiet up to the job at 
      hand. 

You see, he is an untried leader, especially after walking in the shadow of Moses for all these years. 

God speaks these words to Joshua and they filter down to us today. 

“Be not afraid.”
“I will be with you no matter where you go."


In other words, beautiful and terrible things will come your way.  Don’t be afraid.

Can we rest on that anchor?
I do believe we can.

Is God capable of sustaining us even in the midst of the most severe difficulties?  I do believe He can.

We must acknowledge this – we were never promised smooth sailing.  We WERE promised that he would sail with us into whatever seas our path takes us and into whatever strong gales we may face.

What is left to be said?

Thanks be to God.


Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time


Saturday, September 19, 2015

When God Looks at You

If God were to sit across from you, what would He see?  As He gazed deeply into your eyes, what revelations would come to Him?

Do these questions make you feel uncomfortable?  Does fear strike at your heart at the very thought of sitting down with God in an intimately close conversation such as this?  It probably does for most of us.  Yes indeed, it would be unnerving.

Perhaps there is another way to view this kind of intimate close-up with God.  Keep reading please.

If God were to sit across from you and me, I think the He might say some affirming and esteeming words such as these ...

“You are my beloved child.  I love you with such a depth of love.  I doubt you will ever understand just how much I love you.  The greatest poets and song writers try to un-wrap this love relationship I have with you, but they pale in comparison to the real deal.”

God is still talking.  “Here are some thoughts I think toward you.

“I love you right now, this very minute, just as you are and not as you should be.  I love your torn jeans, your sweaty tee-shirt, your dirty tennis shoes and your bad breath.

“I love your efforts to do right, and I even love you when you are so far from me. 

“I love you as you run away from me and try and drown your fears and angst in a bottle of cheap bourbon or at the end of a needle stuck in your arm.

“I love you when you piously attend church dressed in your Sunday best, though your mind is on the football game, or you are thinking about the last deal you made or the next one coming up.

“I love you even as you pull up to your secret rendezvous to meet your lover.

“I love you when you do your taxes, and when you take a shower. 

“I love you when you are 95 and can hardly move out of bed and need help with simple bodily functions.

“I love you when you discipline your kids, hard as that may be, and I love you in the middle of the madness of an argument with your spouse.

“I love you on Monday mornings on your way to work, and I love you on Friday afternoons at 6PM when you head into your weekend.

“I think of you all the time.  I watch over you.   I hear your angst, your frustrations in conversations, and your laughter in the fun moments and the tender moments you express to that one person above all others who holds your heart’s affections.

“I have used the word love 15 times already, and yet that doesn’t measure the immense amount of compassion and deep feelings I have for you.

“I know your disappointments.
“I know ever fear.
“I know every wish that is yet unfilled in your heart.
“I know what you are best at and what task you dread doing.

“Do you see?  I like you and I love you.

“So, when I say ‘I want to be nearby, just remember I won’t intrude.  I’ll slip only into the places and spaces you offer up to me. 

“However, I will never stop loving you.

“Never!

Your God!



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