Monday, December 5, 2016

The Manger Baby was Human

 The baby in the manger that we celebrate at Christmas time – He was a human baby, with all the working parts just like any other baby.

He lungs worked well, for he cried, just like any other baby you’ve ever been around.

He pooped, he burped, he gurgled and laughed, he cooed, he spit up and tossed and turned just like every other baby we know.

And he didn’t bypass puberty.  He charged right on through that as well, for he was fully human – and fully divine.

And he had a career.  He became a carpenter.  He hit his hand a time or two, he stubbed his toe, his beard itched, he had body odor and he had to wash his cloths. 

He lived his life in those days just like you and I do.  It was a mundane life, mostly.  He had to learn his craft just as He had to learn to speak and read and write.  His parents taught Him to play nice with the other kids, and to share.

Perhaps he had a crush on that cute Jewish girl next door, or she had a crush on him.  Perhaps he didn’t really care for his math teacher, yet he learned, just like we learn.

He became a man, and lived among us.  He was one of us, you see.

This man, Jesus, was fully human and fully divine. 

John 1:14 says this: “The Word became flesh and made his home with us. 

I can’t relate to some rich oil baron in Dubai.  We have so little in common.  Our worlds never touch.

But I had a friend named Bruce once.  It was said, at his funeral that “Bruce was Jesus with skin on his face.”  My, oh my, what a concept.  Now I could relate to Bruce.  He sang in a choir I directed a few times.  I heard him sing solos and duets, and we appeared together in an Easter production once.  I could relate to Bruce for he was like me in so many ways.

That is what the babe-in-the-manger thing is really all about.  He came to experience life like us so that He could show us the way.

He wasn’t a theory.  He wasn’t a drawing on a sheet of paper of some future species.

He was flesh and blood and real.

I can relate to Him!

As we consider Christmas this year, I think we should make the candy, cook the hams and turkeys, wrap the presents, sing the songs and see the plays and pageants. 

And we especially should reflect on and read about this small child that was born of a virgin, and He grew up, just like us, and lived His life on earth, and died an earthly death – and He did it for you and me.

To show how much love He had – in the end, He stretched out His arms in one final gesture of love – and died.

I believe in the Manger Baby.

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Monday, November 28, 2016

Not Always in a Box

I love this quote:

Some of us spend a lot of time choosing and wrapping our Christmas gifts for others.  Some do, I do not, but that’s not important here.

Three years ago Carolyn and I were headed to our special dinner together on Christmas Eve.  We passed a man who appeared down on his luck so to speak.  I gave him five bucks.  It was no big deal to me, but who knows what it did for him.  He uttered a halting “Merry Christmas”, we went to dinner and that was that.  It was not a fancy boxed gift we gave.  It was five bucks. 

But perhaps we brought a small measure of Christmas to that nameless man. 

I love watching my step-children parent their kids.  They correct as needed, but they give so much more.  They give esteeming words and principles, they give the gift of listening to their kid’s worries, their hurts and the things that matter to them at whatever ages they happen to be.  Those listening ears and wise hearts didn’t come in a box.

Carolyn gives me the gift of plenty of writing time.  She often laments that I’m going to be interrupted by our schedule on the weekends.  I cannot tell you the warm feelings and validation I feel when my wife honors this writing part of my life.  It is a gift not found in a box, but a great gift nevertheless.

When we give gifts of love and esteem, validation and recognition, gifts of hope and words of encouragement, we give something far more valuable than any wrapped present imaginable.  And these gifts that are out of the box have a shelf-life that far exceeds any other. 

Maya Angelou says it this way:  
"I’ll never forget how you made me feel.”

Now that is a gift we can all give, every day. 

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

One Simple Line

I continue to marvel at the power of words and how the right word spoken at the right time can have such a positive influence on one’s life.

My transforming line was – I Approve of Myself.  Having grown up in a home where rebuke and putdowns was the norm, I grew up feeling I had little to contribute to anybody’s life, much less my own.  That one phrase has had a huge impact on my own life personally.

There are thousands of other phrases that speak as powerfully to others as this one did to me.  You see, I strongly believe in the power of words and phrases and know for a fact that words can change a person’s life.

For the next few weeks I’ll be doing a series of articles on the importance of words.

Phrase #1:  I’m wrong – I apologize.

This is perhaps the most difficult of all the phrases we will cover.  “I’m wrong” indicates the need for a reverse gear.  It says ‘I’m man enough to know when I am off course and have the guts to admit it and get back on track.”

As an aside, when is the last time you heard a person holding a high office admit they were wrong?  It is a tough call, a humbling call.  And don’t we appreciate it when someone admits a fault?

“I’m wrong” could be the beginning for some kind of healing in our world.

Say the words. 

One simple line that could make all the difference.

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