Monday, December 31, 2012

Possibilities



Experts say that every snowflake is individualistic and unique.
Our voice print is unique to each of us.
Our eye print is unique to each of us.
Our finger prints are unique to each of us.

Love this thought:
“Nature never repeats herself,
and the possibilities of one
human soul will never
be found in another.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Bottom line – you are unique.  You are YOU.  Be the best “You” that has ever been.  Discover your possibilities and present them to the world.

Have an idea?
So what if it’s been done before.  That didn’t stop Ford, or Chevrolet, or Benz, or any of the other auto makers in the world?

Have a book idea?  Look how many books get published every year?  That didn’t stop JK Rowling, Seth Godin, James Patterson and thousands of other successful writers.

Only you are in control of your possibilities.  Make them happen.  You will never be repeated, and your contributions will be missed when you are gone.


The Beginning!


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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Magic of Action



32 Seconds

Until we make some physical or mental move toward our goals and dreams nothing much happens.  That is why goal setting and action plans are talked about so much by success-minded gurus. 

So, what do you think you can do?
What do you believe you can do?

Julia Cameron, author of The Right to Write says this to all of us:

“Whatever you think you can do
or believe you can do,
begin it – for action has magic,
grace and power in it.”


Action precedes success 100% of the time.


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

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top Five Blogs All about People (Revised)

Welcome to the revised top five blogs list for It's All About People.  

1.  Integrity

2.  In the Arena

3.  Genshai

4.  Empathy

5.  Can You See

Enjoy the read.


P Michael Biggs
Up-Words.net
Offering Hope
Encouragement
Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Listen for Love



Christmas is full of sounds – the carols, the bells, the greetings, the horns honking, the cash registers rattling out a receipt.

But the greatest sound of Christmas happens as your family gathers and shares the meal, opens gifts, makes Ginger Bread Houses, or anything else you plan. 

When you pause and listen to all that is happening around you, I hope you hear love.  It may be disguised as …
-A remembrance from a past season
-Joy over an opened gift
-The first bite of turkey you roasted
-The satisfied sounds as everyone samples your special pecan pie 

Love is there – in all of this and more. 

Love shines in the eyes, it appears in the smiles, and it sings through your expressed words of joy, in greetings and in “I love you”.

A seven-year-old named Bobby is said to have made this observation:

Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas
if you stop opening presents and listen.

Wishing you much love this Christmas season,

Merry Christmas


P Michael Biggs
Up-Words.net
Offering Hope
At Christmas

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Grown-Up Christmas List



 As if I were a small boy again and could write my Christmas wish list, it would look something like this:

I Wish For …
-‘Responsibility’ as a required subject in every school every year
-Every person willing and able to make wise choices
-Honesty from the top down – White House to out-house

I Wish For …
-A large dose of human understanding for all mankind
-Good always triumphing over evil
-Right always outshining wrong

I Wish For …
-Grace in place of judgment
-Peace in place of despair
-Hope shining in every corner of our world

I Wish For …
-Presents under the tree for every person
-Forgiveness and reconciliation in every relationship
-Governments who consider the world’s best interest


And finally …
Love like there’s no more tomorrow


Merry Christmas


P Michael Biggs
Up-Words.net
Offering Words of Hope
At Christmas

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Changes



Christmas memories are a grand thing.  I love to remember Christmas past.

Oh, how I have changed with time.  As a small boy I was ready to burst come eleven o’clock on Christmas Eve.  I thought I could hardly stand another seven hours before we would tear into those tantalizing gifts under the tree.  And to anticipate that new red bicycle, or that BB gun, or whatever else I might have asked for – well it was a bit too much to think about. 

I’ve changed. 

Now, I love the whole month of December.  I revel in the lights and lyrics of Christmas and the friendlier greetings, the smell of delicious food, and all that goes with it. 

I especially love the week leading up to Christmas.  Being around my grandkids is a huge treat.  I can relive my own experiences through their eyes and excited gasps and laughs.

In days gone by Christmas was all about the gifts under the tree that bore my name.  Now, it is enough to light the tree, stoke the fire, sip a good cup of hot coco, hold Carolyn’s hand and listen to our favorite artists on the CD. 

One Christmas, a few years ago, we were so financially strapped that we could not afford to buy each other a simple token of Christmas love.  That was a hard morning.  We gave a few gifts to others, but truly there was no money left for each other.

So on that Christmas morning, we put on a pot of coffee, lit a fire and sat side-by-side on the sofa, reading Christmas stories.  We shed some tears, but we made it through that morning.  Our love somehow deepened, for we went through that hand in hand - heart in heart. 

Christmas changes us.  We change our priorities from what’s there for me to what can I give to you that is more significant and more meaningful than a toy or gift that will break in a day, wear out in a month or go out of style next season. 

That year, we gave perhaps the greatest gift possible – we gave love that asks for nothing more than togetherness; be with me, hold my hand and my heart, and love me through all the seasons of life.

What a Christmas that was.

Merry Christmas


P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
At Christmas

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Impossible Is Possible




Mary faced a perplexing dilemma.  She was young - probably only fourteen summers old, had never been married, yet was engaged to Joseph.  And to top it all off she was pregnant.  That is a whole passel of circumstances for the average fourteen-year-old. 

She was fearful.
   She was overwhelmed.
      She was perplexed.
         She was only fourteen. 

Yet she kept reflecting back to something her visitor had said a short time ago.  His words still rang in her heart, for they were words of hope – perhaps the greatest words anyone could ever want to hear.

He said this:  “For with God nothing is impossible.”  The actual account is found in Luke 1:37. 

It is interesting to note that she only asked one question.  “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

And with the response given, she simply said, in today’s vernacular … “God said it, and that’s enough for me.”  That’s another way of saying “let it be done as you have said.”

That is simple faith. 

God said it.  I believe it. 

Somewhere along the line, Mary had developed a giant-size God-concept.  She had learned enough to know that God was capable of doing some amazing things.  Perhaps she had heard stories of the forty-year wanderings of her ancestors.  Maybe she had sat in on a few sermons and lectures on the birth of the Messiah and by now had figured out that if God said it, God could do it.

Regardless, she stepped up to the plate and simply put her faith on the line - “For with God nothing is impossible.”

Are you facing the impossible right now?  Take heart my friend. 

With God 
nothing is impossible.

I believe that.

Be encouraged. 


P Michael Biggs
Up-Words.net
Offering Hope
At Christmas

Monday, December 10, 2012

Consider Joseph

(Click Here to listen to a podcast of this blog.)

Joseph was the first to hold the Christ-child. He was the only one there to assist Mary with the birth and delivery of her baby.  

The first human touch Christ received was the gentle stroking and washing and swaddling performed by Joseph.  He had strong hands – especially after wielding those heavy hammers day after day.  But his gentle side was present as he held Jesus.  

He probably soothed him with gentle words.  He was careful to not let his head drop, and he fussed over the strips of cloth to make sure as much of Jesus was covered as possible.  Perhaps, he stripped off his own outer cloak and pressed it around the baby for added warmth.  

He gently suggested that Mary get some rest while he cared for the little one.  
He cared for God.  
God in the flesh – and Joseph wiped his face, he rubbed his feet, he allowed God to curl his tiny fingers around his big strong little finger.  He rustled around in the drafty barn for the cloth strips, and he found a bucket and stool and milked one of the cows – just to feed his son – yet he was feeding God.  

God as a baby – God coming to man. 
Joseph was the first one to touch the face of God.
Did you know?

Did he really understand?
Somehow, I think he did. 

Did he have visions of this baby mimicking him in the workshop – hitting his thumb and doing that little dance jig Joseph did every time that happened?
Perhaps he did.

He was Father to the Father’s son.  What might have been his thoughts as the Christ-child lay sleeping?  
Was the lantern turned up too brightly?  
Was it disturbing his sleep?  
Was he warm enough?  
Had he had enough milk?  
Were the baby’s cries disturbing Mary’s sleep?  She was so tired – exhausted after the long journey and then the delivery.  

Yet all the while, baby Jesus slept.  It was a peaceful sleep, for his Father was on duty,
both of them.


P Michael Biggs
A Word of Hope
At Christmas

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Christmas "Do" List



As if you needed one more thing to cram into this Christmas season, allow me to offer some Christmas ideas.

-Don’t give a fruitcake as a gift.
-Make egg nog French toast.
-Share a cup of hot egg nog with your spouse as a nightcap.

-Read Christmas stories out loud as you -travel.
-Don’t give a kid underwear.
-Don’t give your spouse scales at Christmas.

-Buy a special Christmas sweater.
-Wear your happy pants at night as you relax.
-Sing some Christmas carols.

-Listen to Christmas music as much as you want.
-Watch “It’s a Wonder Life.”
-Watch “White Christmas.”

-Read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
-On Christmas Eve read “Twas the Night before Christmas.
-Share a bright fire and read together by firelight.

-Smile at retail sales clerks.
-Read the Christmas story from Luke in the Bible.
-Buy one special Christmas tree ornament every year.

-Wear a Santa hat at least once during the holidays.
-Buy a bunch of candy canes and give them out on a street corner.
-Help an elderly person decorate their tree.

-Tell your kids and grand kids Christmas stories from your childhood.
-Donate to a charitable organization.

-Make some new Christmas traditions to go along with your cherished traditions.


P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
At Christmas

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Conspiracy of Love


1:20

Who doesn’t love a good whodunit?  There is mystery, intrigue, twists and turns in the plot and great delight when we come to the end and find the resolve. 


Sort of like the conspiracy of love that happens at Christmas. 

Before our very eyes we see changes – good and wholesome changes.

Scrooges become kinder
Beggars often find their want satisfied
Merchants hear the gentle ringing of their cash registers
Food seems to flow for the entire world
Relationships are often restored
Love is expressed in bundles and basketfuls

It is a conspiracy of love. 

It started with a love gift from heaven that was predicted centuries before. 

And the grand news is – love came down to mankind bundled as a baby and laid in a manger.

The world has been different because of that baby. 

We see kindness where harshness once was.
We see smiles replacing frowns.
We see joy creeping across a worried brow.
We see plenty.
We hear laughter.
We hear singing.
We see unity in unusual places.

All because of a conspiracy of love. 


“Blessed is the season 
which engages the whole world
in a Conspiracy of love.”
-Hamilton Write Mabie

Blessed indeed!


P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
At Christmas

Remember, for the month of December I will be posting on Monday and Friday.  Be sure and check out all three blog sites for Christmas themed postings.  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Talent Vs. Persistence



Talented people impress me.  When I see evidence of raw talent I want to stand up and cheer.  I think of all of the potential that individual has at his/her fingertips and wonder what he/she might become.

But alas, talent fades away and others can pass you by if all you do is rely on your simple raw talent. 

How sad. 

John C. Maxwell once said … “I realized early on in life that I could coast along and do some pretty amazing things because of some innate giftedness.” 

Thankfully our story does not end there.  John went on to say that he realized the folly of that mindset and then set about becoming an on-purpose and intentional young man, and the world is better for that awareness.

You see, raw talent doesn’t keep its sharp edge without practice and persistence. 

Note this:

“If I miss one day of practice, I notice it.  If I miss two days, the critics notice it.  If I miss three days, the audience notices it.” 
Ignacy Paderewski

Even the greats practice and that is what keeps them great.  If you start resting on your past successes, the world will soon catch up with you and pass you by. 

The persistence of practice and honing your craft is everything. 

Love this Steve Martin comment from Born Standing Up:  A Comic’s Life.

“Thankfully, persistence is a great 

substitute for talent.” 



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

P.S. Beginning Monday, Dec. 3 I'll start posting Christmas blogs.  I have a lot of new ones for this year and am anxious to share them.  A different one will post on each of my blog sites.  I'll post every Monday and Friday.  

Thank you for  being a loyal reader.  Almost every week I pick up a new country of readers - this week it has been Malta and Hong Kong.  


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Your Imagination



There is a lot of talk these days about movies of the mind.  Olympic athletes are some of the best at practicing this, for it is proven to work time and again.

Denis Waitley, super star in the motivational and inspirational speaking world once served on the Sports Medicine Council for the Olympics, and he has written about this important concept.

Denis says …
In your imagination you never miss.

When we pre-play and re-play our event in our minds eye we do it perfectly.  And as we perform in our mind, our synapses fire as if we were actually doing the task at hand. 

This works for all kinds of performances:

Skiers
Baseball players
Soccer goalies
Speech givers
Attorneys in court
Employees asking for a raise
Ping pong champions
Musicians

Everyone can benefit from this principle.

I worked with a minister in a church once and he could often be heard early on Sunday mornings rehearsing his sermon in a small room near the sanctuary. 

Mental rehearsal works. 

Simply put – it boils down to this:

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect


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


P.S. Christmas themed blogs begin on Monday, Dec. 3.  I'll be posting on Monday and Friday and each one for each of my blog sites will be different.  Thanks for tuning in - read as many as you wish - share them - be  blessed this Christmas season.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Sound of Your Voice


Having grown up in a large musical family I began my singing career at age three.  And it grew from there.

For many years I always felt insecure about my voice, however.  Early on, in my adult life, I had intonation issues – I would sing flat. 

And I loved to compare myself to others and always seemed to come up on the short end in those comparisons. 

Only in later life did I realize my voice was acceptable - actually more than acceptable and people truly did enjoy hearing me sing.
  
Liking the sound of your voice is not just about music.  Can you voice your thoughts, feelings, opinions and values?  You have a voice.  Use it.  Vote in elections.  Your thoughts matter just as much as others.  You have as much of a right to express yourself as anyone else.


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

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hang the Picture



Pictures are made to be hung on walls, not kept in closets or under the bed. 

Have you painted a picture?  Hang it.

Do you have an idea that is valid and useful?  Launch it?

Do you have a book idea burning inside of you?  Write it.

Do you have a retail store idea?  Open it.

Pictures, ideas, books and all other successful enterprises demand, yea deserve to be hung, launched, opened and presented to the world.

Otherwise, how will you ever know if someone will appreciate it, buy it, visit it, read it, or have a life-changing experience because of something you dared present to the world? 

Sometimes we just have to hang the picture.


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

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thoughts on Thanksgiving Day




As you gather with family and friends, may the spirit of kindness and good memories flood your mind.

As you look at each other, reflect on a great memory of when and how that person has made you happy in days gone by.

As you gaze upon your kids and grandkids, picture their future and the positive qualities you desire for each one, and say a prayer for their growth toward maturity.

As you travel toward your destination, thank God for the privilege of knowing, loving and being loved by each person you will see.

At the end of the day, pause and thank God for the life you’ve been given, the people you are blessed to know, those who love you, and the memories of a lifetime that are a gift that keeps on giving.

Happy Thanksgiving


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

P.S.  I will resume posting on Friday, November 23.  Enjoy your special time with your friends, family and whatever Thanksgiving traditions you cherish.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Seeing Yourself


Seeing Yourself
October 22, 2012

Self-image is such a critical concept and I like writing about it.  Earl Nightingale’s famous quote “You become what you think about” is the essence of this thought.  So many other thought leaders have expressed the same idea using their own words, and it is still valid.

Holding onto ourselves and owning our own image of ourselves is a critical concept. 

This cartoon is more than cute – it is masterfully profound. 

What goes on in my mind’s eye matters more than what anyone else may think or say about me.

Be your own best friend – hold a worthy idea of you, your principles and your ability to do good work, think good thoughts, and make whatever changes might become necessary each day that you live.
  

And if ... as depicted in this cartoon, you are past your ability to physically 'do', then hold tenaciously to the memory of 'when' and 'what' your dream was once upon a time.

Keeping the dream alive sometimes keeps us alive.


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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Tyranny of Later



The word “later” is a dream killer. 
I’ll diet later
I’ll get a job later
I’ll write that book later
I’ll call later
I’ll fix that lock later

I Will Act Now is the title of the Scroll Marked IX in Og Mandino’s classic book The Greatest Salesman in the World.

Here is a brief excerpt.

“Success will not wait.  If I delay she will become betrothed to another and lost to me forever.  This is the time.  This is the place.  I am the man. 

“I will act now.”

Keep the tyranny of “later” at bay.  Become a person of action.


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

Monday, November 12, 2012

Selling Love




Repeat customers are becoming a rarity these days.  Name almost any product or service and you can find dozens, even hundreds of persons and companies offering the same deal.

But do they sell love?  Do they show “care” and “concern” and do they offer the genuine human touch in the deal?

My wife has a waiting list for piano students.  In an area as large as Seattle there must be several thousand competent piano teachers.  Want to know why she is so popular?  She loves her students and their parents, and they know they are loved. 

She asks questions about their day, about their family vacation, about the sick brother, about the husband’s job and a thousand other subjects.  She has become an ally and a trusted confidant.  She loves.

Selling this kind of love is legal all around the world.


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

Friday, November 9, 2012

Belong



Have you ever belonged? 
Everyone wants to belong – to something or someone.  We want to fit in, to be liked, to be trusted, and to be special.

We want to belong

We want to know that we matter more than any policy, any gimmick, any philosophy, and any ideology.

We want to know that we can trust others, and when we do trust, that becomes the moment when we allow your “stuff” into our lives. 

How can you help us belong?
Be truthful
Be genuine
Be full of integrity
Be attentive

Be real – true blue.
Become a safe place, a safe person, or a safe company.
Be authentic.


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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vacation Time 2012


My Dear Reader:

Carolyn and I will be on vacation beginning Wednesday, October 31 - Thursday Nov 8.  We are going to Washington, DC.
I will resume posting on Friday Nov. 9.

If you wish to keep up with what we are seeing and doing, I'll post a daily DC Update blog on Up-Words Morning Notes so you can track with us.  This will begin Wednesday night, October 31.

Here is the link.
http://up-words.blogspot.com/2012/10/fall-vacation-2012.html


Be at peace.
Be encouraged.
Be gentle in all of your relationships.
Express the "I Love You" words often.

P Michael Biggs

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Ordinary



There are many things I would never attempt.
Designing a bridge across a river
Operating on my wife
Driving a speeding train

One might say I am a man of ordinary talent.  I can do a few things well.  Other skills are best left to the experts.

But …

But I do believe this. 

“… that with ordinary talent
and extraordinary perseverance,
all things are attainable.
Sir T. F. Buxton

Of course you noticed the key phrase “extraordinary perseverance”.  That is the secret sauce. 

Chad Hymas comes to mind when I think of perseverance. 
-On April 2, 2001 he was a robust American farmer who capably provided for his family. 
-On April 3, 2001 a one-ton bale of hay crushed him, paralyzing him from the chest down.  

Chad rose up from the dust and stubble of that hay bale and rode a three-wheeled bicycle 513 miles.  He did this with his hands and arms, since his legs were and still are useless because of the accident.

Chad had what we might call perseverance.  He was an ordinary guy with an extraordinary amount of perseverance.  You should see and hear him speak. 

Be encouraged to take your ordinary life and find some extraordinary perseverance to conquer your mountains.




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

Friday, October 26, 2012

Honor Is the Way



Want to be a great leader?  Consider this idea, taken from Harvey McKay’s weekly blog. 

He quotes Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:  "Fail to honor people, they fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will all say, 'We did this ourselves.'"

He made that observation over 2000 years ago. Some things never change.”


And that’s the way it is. 
Honor
Respect
Consideration


Still in fashion 
   Still needed
      Still valid
         Still appropriate


P Michael Biggs
Offering Insight
One Word at a Time

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Obscure Guideposts




Guideposts can sometimes come disguised a thousand different ways. 
A good friend
A mentor
A book

A word or phrase properly timed
A sermon or prayer
A mistake

Are you kidding me?  A mistake?

Consider this –
Mistakes aren’t really mistakes.
They are the guide posts you use to get better.

I don’t know who said that, but its great food for thought. 

So is this one:
The greatest mistake you can make in life
is to be continually afraid you won’t make one.
Elbert Hubbard 1856-1915


Another way to look at this issue is this – You’re not down until you stay down.

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones,
there is always another chance for you. 
What we call failure is not the
falling down but the staying down.
Mary Pickford 1893-1979

I hope you notice the guideposts along the way.  They are there to assist you.  Use them to find your way. 


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