Saturday, May 30, 2015

I Choose

It is quiet in this room where I write.  My thoughts are my own, guided by God’s spirit as I asked that He would.

Tomorrow I arise to a new day, new opportunities, and new choices.

What will I choose tomorrow?

Tomorrow I will choose love.  I will see a mixing bowl of humanity here in Seattle where I live.  Some dress differently from me.  Others speak with a strange accent and even stranger words.

I choose love for my fellow man.  We breathe the same air.  We cherish our hopes and dreams.  We seek a positive future.  I choose love because each person I meet tomorrow will face their own trials and joys.  I choose to somehow demonstrate love to each person I meet, even if it is nothing more than a smile, a gentle “hello” or a handshake of friendship.  Tomorrow I will choose love.


Tomorrow I will choose joy.  Each situation that is presented to me has to be handled.  Will I joyfully embrace each opportunity, or will I regret and resent the intrusion in my ‘ordered’ world?  Tomorrow I will choose joy.


Tomorrow I will choose peace.  I will find the calm of my soul as I enter a new day and I will allow the peace of Christ to rule in my heart.  My prayer is that others will sense the peace within me and it will spread.  Tomorrow I will choose peace.


Tomorrow I will choose patience.  If someone cuts me off on the freeway, I will slow down; give them a bit more room.  I will avoid some subtle sign language that some in our species often resort to in a moment of frustration.  I will demonstrate patience to others.  If I am asked the same question more than once, I will answer with patience each time.  Tomorrow I will choose patience.


Tomorrow I will choose kindness.  If someone irritates me, I will respond with kindness, rather than dish out an irritating response in return.  I will be kind to the elderly, who have their own set of difficulties.  I will speak kindness to a child, for perhaps, I can model kindness for them.  Tomorrow I will choose kindness.


Tomorrow I will choose goodness.  I could bring out my ugly side if I chose.  I could be harsh, I could have an edge in my voice, and I could be curt to some retail clerk.  Tomorrow I will choose goodness.


Tomorrow I will choose faithfulness.  I could miss a few appointments tomorrow.  I could skip some critical meeting to which I have given my word to attend.  I could do some horrible deed and betray all the trust my wife has in me in one moment of lapse.  Instead, tomorrow, I choose faithfulness.


Tomorrow I will choose gentleness.  I will show my soft side in all my dealings.  I will be easy to be around; I will overflow with a gentle nature and a kind spirit.  Tomorrow I will choose gentleness.


Tomorrow I will choose self-control.  I have desires, cravings, habits to which I have given myself in the past.  Some are good, wholesome and worthwhile.  Others are detrimental to my existence.  Tomorrow, I will choose to be a person in control of desires, passions, and excesses.  I will live in moderation, and prove to me and those I love that I am a person of self-control.  Tomorrow I will choose self-control.


Love
  Joy
    Peace
      Patience
        Kindness
          Goodness
            Faithfulness
              Gentleness
                Self-control

Tomorrow, I will choose these traits.  If I succeed, then thanks be to God.  If I fail, I will seek God’s grace and forgiveness, and face the rest of my day in pursuit of the very attribute that just caused my stumble.

These traits represent the “fruit of the spirit” as talked about in Galatians 5:22-23

I choose!

And so do you.


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


Saturday, May 23, 2015

God Is in the Mundane

A clever radio commercial is playing in the Seattle market at the moment.  It is for a cancer research institute, and it is nicely done.  I want to borrow their idea for a moment.

The premise is this …
Perhaps a half-dozen people talk about their day and it goes something like this:

Announcer:  “What did you do today?”

Man:  “I weeded my tulips, and then took the trash to the curb, and oh, I refilled the bird feeder.”

Woman:  “I organized my combs and brushes by length of the handles, and I color coded my spice rack.”

Man:  “I had a nice cup of coffee – yep, that was about it.”

This post is not about cancer research and it is not about living a boring life.  It is, however, about God being with us in the middle of the mundane moments of our lives.


He doesn’t just show up for the big and important times.  He shows up on Monday mornings, and Thursday nights, and He is there for those crises moment.  He is with us every moment, in every circumstance. 

He sees how many times we go the bathroom in the middle of the night.  He sees us eat the ice cream bar we probably shouldn’t eat.  He is by our side as we watch the paint dry, and that, my friend, is about as boring as a life can get.

God is as much in the middle of our mundane living as he is in the majestic moments of our lives.

That is incredibly great news, don’t you think? 

Hebrews 13:5b reminds us of this:  “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

You mean He’s there while I’m waiting on the new tires to be put on my car?

Yes!

Carolyn’s nephew and his wife just had their third child.  God was with them all during their ordeal.  He was also with his brother and sister-n-law as they shopped for a gift for their new nephew.

Deuteronomy 31:6 speaks of this:  “Be strong.  Be courageous.  Don’t be afraid.  I, your God will go before you.  I will never leave you nor forsake you.”


Since January I’ve written two other posts for this site on the faithfulness of God. 

Click HERE for "Faithful" (May 16, 2015)


Click HERE for "The Faithful One"  (January 17, 2015)


This is a topic I can’t leave alone for now.  I listen to the desperation I sense and hear in people around me.  They wonder about our world.  They wonder if we will live to see tomorrow.  They wonder about taxes and invading armies, gang violence and basic rights being stripped away.

We search for integrity in our leadership and sometimes draw the short straw.  Where is reliability?  Where is trust?  Where is truth?  And where is God?

God is present.  He is here, now.  He never left the room.  He still keeps his vigil.

In the boring moments He is present.
     In the painful moments He is present.
          In the exciting moments He is present.
     In the slow moments He is present.

God is present and in the middle of every moment of our lives.  That is good news.

Find comfort and rest in His promises today. 

The ever-present God is present with you right now.

Say “Hi”.



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


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Faithful

Did you hear me singing tonight?  Surely those of you around Atlanta and on the East coast heard me.

I know my friends and family in Tennessee probably heard me, for I was singing real loud.

We went to an organ concert tonight and a hymn-sing broke out.  We sang my favorite hymn – Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

I sounded real good – and as loud as I could, I sang with my whole heart.  You see, I have been, and continue to be, a recipient of the faithfulness of God’s goodness.  I imagine you have received His faithfulness also.  Maybe you have forgotten some of those moments because you've been caught up in the hard places in your life.

Let me help you recapture some of those moments when God has shown His faithfulness to you.

One of the phrases says:  “There is no shadow of turning with thee.”  God gives us a promise – “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

And the next line reminds us of this:  “Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not.  As thou has been, thou forever will be”  That one is found in Hebrews 13:8 and it says:  “Jesus Christ is the same – yesterday, today and forever.”
  
In verse 3 we are reminded of this:
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth.  Look at Micah 7:18 for that one:  “Who is a God like you, who forgives and pardons our sins and transgressions.”

And the second part of that lyric: Check out Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which exceeds anything our feeble minds can understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Christ.   

The lyric continues:
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten-thousand beside

And when we sang the refrain, I tried really hard to be heard up in New York and Boston.

Refrain
Great is thy faithfulness
Great is thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me


I kind of like this song just a wee little bit.  You see, I've needed the faithfulness of God in my life.  I've stumbled some, and lost my way more than once.  I've made some dumb decisions, I've let the cheese fall off my cracker a time or two and had to have God’s help to reach down and put it back in place.

I've been one who has been in great need of God’s faithfulness. 

And you know what?  He comes through. 

HE COMES THROUGH!

And if he comes through for me, I know He will come through for you too. 

If you need to experience the faithfulness of the Faithful One, call to him, right now.  He has left his light on and there is food on the table and a warm embrace awaiting you.


Now, treat yourself to this inspiring rendition of this song




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


Saturday, May 9, 2015

You Are Valid

The human condition craves this above all other necessitates – Validation!

We want to know that we matter to someone.  We want to know a connection has been made. 
We wonder …
Do you see me?
Do you hear me?
Does what I say and think matter?

We seek Validation
                Acceptance
                Connection

We want to know …
Am I okay? 
Did I do okay? 
Do I look okay? 
Do I sound okay? 
Was my performance okay?

Validate me – that is the cry.

Is that your cry?  Does your heart yearn for that kind of response from someone – anyone?

Probably!

Yes, it probably does, for this is the cry of the masses.

Allow me to spread some healing salve on that wound of yours and mine.  Let me add a dose of balm that might start the healing process.

Psalm 37:5-6
“Open up before God.  Don’t keep anything back.  He will do what needs to be done; He will validate your life in the clear light of day and will stamp you with His approval at noontime.”

Romans 8:31
“If God is for us, who can stand against us?”

I believe that, you know.  God is on my side, and He is on your side.  Take courage in those words today.

My favorite passage is this:
“For I know with certainty the plans I have for you says God; plans to bless you and protect you, not to harm you.  And I have in mind a future with hope just for you.”
~Jeremiah 29:11

Just to be clear, those are my interpretations of these scriptures, and feel free to read the original texts in your favorite version of the Bible.

However, the essence of the meaning is there. 

God thinks so highly of us that He watches over us, He protects us, and He has grand plans for our lives. 

Be encouraged today.  God validates us with His great love for each of us.  John 3:16 says this:  “God so loved the whole world that he gave his one and only Son, Jesus Christ.”

He loves you as you are, not as you should be.

With God, I am valid, and so are you.



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


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Certainty in Uncertain Times

Our world today:
  Rising prices
   Wars and rumors of wars
    Beheadings
     Persecution of believers
      Rights being revoked
       Civil strife
        Inflation
         No cure for cancer
          No cure for aids
           Job instability

To say the least, we face uncertain times.  And we fret and worry, we fuss and fume, we pace the floor and we wring our hands.

Life is unstable.
Life is uncertain.

Can anything be counted on a true and genuine today?

And the answer is:

Yes. 




These verses come to mind.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all sinfulness.
I John 1:9


I know in whom I believe; I am convinced that He is able to keep what I have entrusted to Him for eternity.
2 Timothy 1:12


Even if I walk through the valley that hints of death, I shall not fear.  You, God, are with me.  Your shepherd’s rod and staff comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

The faithful one, the righteous one – God himself – is with us.  He watches over us.  He walks beside us into every unknown we may face.  He never takes a break, nor takes His eyes off us.

If we face famine, the sword of hate, sickness, disease, starvation, great loss, or any other catastrophe, God is with us in the middle of whatever misery we may face.  We have assurance of the love of God through Christ.

Thanks be to God.


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