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Aug 31, 2009

Blog Hop - Baby Pics - 8/31/2009

This weeks MckLinky Blog is "Baby Pics". This week's Blog Hop theme is "BABY PICS". Post your favorite baby pic(s) of yourself, your kids or any baby pic you think the blog hoppers would love to see. Should be a wonderful blog hop.


This a pic and a drawing I did from it of our oldest daughter Jordan. She was as "rascally" as she was cute.


Me and my twin brother Bruce... it was a black and white originally and I just played around with it in Photoshop.


MckLinky Blog Hop

Update on Dad and Abby



I would appreciate your prayers for my dad and Abby . My dad was diagnosed with cancer on Friday. He is weighing treatment options and making decisions. I would appreciate your prayers for wisdom for him and his doctor, for strength and healing. His cancer is supposed have a high cure rate, but I have learned with Abby, there is no such thing as a "good" cancer. Even if 7 out of 10 people are cured, there will be 3 who die. Three families who are hurting.

Abby's doctor thinks she has a secondary genetic problem that is making it hard for her bone marrow to handle the chemo. Her doctor is concerned that she could relapse, because of the lower than normal doses of chemo they are giving her and her VERY frequent breaks from chemo so that her bone marrow can recover.

The genetic test they ran last week came back negative. This is disappointing, because we are still searching for answers. Another possibility, cyclical neutropenia, is being researched.

I would love to hear from anyone who has suggestions as to why Abby is getting neutropenic (low white blood cells) so frequently. As I have mentioned before, anything that boosts Abby's immune system will feed her cancer, since her cancer mimics white blood cells. Also, anything that rids your body of toxins, can flush out the very toxic chemo, before it has a chance to destroy her cancer.

It is a strange world we have been thrust into. One where we have to give our four year old daughter poison (chemo) daily. I am not even supposed to touch the pill that I make her swallow.

Would you pray that:

  • My father would be cured from cancer.
  • Abby's cancer would be killed and that she would not have any secondary cancers.
  • Abby would be healthy enough to go to school and dance lessons.
  • That Abby's appointment with a cardiologist would go well and that her heart would be healthy (two of Abby's chemos can cause heart damage).

Aug 29, 2009

Smith Soup and Prayer Request

First, I (Michelle) really appreciate your prayers for my Dad's cancer tests and Abby's genetic testing. Nether answer was what we had hoped for. I will write an update later. Somethings are very hard to write. I would appreciate your prayers for both my father and Abby.

Have you ever read Linda Smith's family blog? It is one of my favorites. Her family has faithfully prayed for Abby and two of her girls even donated their hair to locks of love. Abby, Landis and I had the privilege of meeting them for lunch a few weeks ago.

Abby was very excited to finally meet the girls who donated their hair, so that she could have a wig. Linda and her girls were incredibly sweet and fun to be around. I hope our families will be life long friends.






Landis, Abby, Rachel, and Naomi.

If you look close you can see Abby's ponytail wig. Even though her hair is growing, she wears the wigs every chance she gets. She still has people call her a "cute boy", so her princess hair is still a blessing.
Being four, she had to show her friends her new hair too.

Rachel and Naomi are waiting for their newest brother to come home. He has
hydrocephalus and needs surgery soon.
Please pray that Daniel's hydrocephaly
not deteriorate any further as he lays waiting for us to come for him.

Aug 26, 2009

Do You Love Until It Hurts?

Pray for Me... Pray for Others

Brent: Facebook - Twitter . . . . . . . . . . . Michelle: Facebook - Twitter

Landis prays so sweetly for everyone in our entire family.

Our Requests:

Abby's doctor is concerned because she is not tolerating chemo like they need her to. Even when Abby is getting the smallest doses (much less than what is normal for her weight), her bone marrow is being suppressed to the point where it is dangerous. She ordered genetic testing in an attempt to learn why Abby is having so much trouble handling the chemo she desperately needs to fight her cancer.

Abby got IV chemo on Friday and started a round of high dose steroids (works like chemo). The steroids make her a tired, VERY hungry and a little more emotional. Abby has also been in a lot of pain since Friday. After going three weeks without needing any pain medicine, she is back to needing morphine. She is complaining of headaches again (not good with her history of increased intracranial pressure).

Abby is not a complainer, but when hugs hurt, you know she is having a pretty bad week.

Please pray that:

Her doctors find a way to give her all of the chemo she needs to destroy the cancer cells that they believe are still present in her body.

For pain relief.

For Landis (three years old) to learn how hug and kiss Abby gently so that it doesn't hurt. Abby and Landis are normally inseparable, constantly playing together, hugging each other and laughing nonstop. Being all boy, Landis plays more physically than Abby can handle when she is hurting.

Pray for these folks:

My Dad is being tested for cancer. As a nurse I know that the blood tests don't look good. He should find out on Friday. I would really appreciate your prayers.

Also, I have received many messages from people who know kids who needed immediate prayers. I would love to add their caringbridge sites to my blog roll and tell others about them, if you could send me a link to their sites.


SpideyLandis LOVES Abby... hurts so good!
Abby needs an extra dose of morphine after a hug from Landis.

Pray for Me... Pray for Others is where we all get to pray for each other. It is obvious, and we don't pretend otherwise, that we cannot give full attention to every request and comment we receive. This feature on Wednesdays is a time we ask YOU for help praying for others, as they pray for you. Check back a couple of times today for new requests.

Pray for Me... Pray for Others - Instructions:

  1. Use the form below to enter your prayer requests. You must enter an "identity", and put something in at least one of the "pray for me" or "pray for others" in order to be included (links to blogs are not required).
  2. If you link to YOUR blog, please include the following HTML in a post on your blog so that we can create a linked network of prayers (your link will allow others to find us, and be able to participate; make sure you are in HTML mode when pasting this code).

  3. Put out an email or post on your blog and encourage everyone you know to come and join us in prayer.
  4. Look over the list and pray as God leads. Come back and visit the list two or three times today as it will grow all day long.

Remember... if you don't take the time to pray for others, then on what basis can you really expect God to lead others to pray for you? I created this with "community" in mind - pray for you, pray for me, pray for others - so that we are both giving and receiving as a community which is far more spiritually productive than simply wanting everyone to pray on our behalf.

Truth is, many people do not have a community they can ask for prayer. We hope to become that community for them.










Let me know if you have suggestions or questions about Pray for Me... Pray for Others. If this is a blessing to you, please leave a comment and let us all know.

Aug 24, 2009

Blog Hop - Time to Laugh - 8/24/09

This week's Blog Hop theme is "TIME TO LAUGH". Post your favorite joke, cartoon, funny picture or video. We all need a good laugh sometimes, what a great way to start the week. Here's mine:

Man's Best Friend

The age old question is "who is man's best friend? His dog or his wife?" Here's how to find out:

Put both of them in the trunk of your car for three days. When you finally open the trunk, who's glad to see you?

Did You Hear The One About

The agnostic dyslexic insomniac that lays up all night wondering if there is a dog?

Funny Photo

How shall I love thee? Let me count the ways...


MckLinky Blog Hop

Aug 22, 2009

Sunday Morning Ministry: August 23, 2009

Blessed Lord's Day morning to you!

For those of you who may be at home with sick children or some other reason you are unable to meet with other local Believers, I've prepared a message for your encouragement and edification.

It's not professional quality, but I hope it will suffice.
  • There is a blog badge below for the "Riggs Family Sunday Morning Ministry" if you want to post it on your blog so others can find out about it.
Or click here to listen using the Yahoo media player...

The Eyes of the Lord

The Lord is looking at you this very moment. What is your immediate reaction to this? Do you see eyes of severity, condemnation or chastisement? Or do you envision gentle eyes of love and patience, pleased with what they see? Your initial reaction should be very revealing about the condition of your spiritual life. Stop for a moment and take a few seconds to meditate on this.

The reality that the Lord is everywhere, watching every thing, has two sides from our perspective (yet even the “negative” side is positive in reality):

  1. Positive: The Lord sees all the good work, sacrifice and love we offer in His Name no matter if anyone else notices or not.

  2. Negative: The Lord sees all wickedness: spoken or not, secret or not, public or private… all of it.

The eyes of the Lord are in EVERY place.
They see EVERY thing.

Psalm 139.7-8 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your Presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. (NKJV, emphasis mine)

No matter what type of life we lead, no matter how holy, no matter how sinful, the Lord sees it all. We cannot deceive Him, divert Him or in any way distort the absolute truth of our life. We may even convince ourselves that we are something we are not (Jer 17.9), but God stills sees us exactly as we are. There is no place, no time, no action, no thought or motive that is veiled from His gaze.

There are four versions of you:

  1. who you think you are
  2. who other people think you are
  3. who you think other people think you are
  4. and who God knows you REALLY are because nothing is hidden from Him: no motive, no attitude, no intention.

Even if we are successful in deceiving our self, the Lord sees absolutely all. What effect does that have on your daily life?

  • Encouragement and motivation

    • Be encouraged and draw strength from the fact that the Lord’s eyes see every good work and every act of love. No matter how unnoticed, how un-thanked or how ungrateful others may be, take heart that God sees it all and will not forgot even one act of selfless service no matter how trivial.

      Gal 6.9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

    • God saw those hours you spent last week helping the widow that lives across the street.
    • The Lord was watching when you gave up your golf last Saturday to spend time with a fatherless boy.
    • He was watching when you lost that promotion at work because you refused to bend the rules a little.
    • He sees you every week when you clean the bathrooms at the church so the money that used to be spent on a janitor is now being sent to a missionary.
    • Jesus knows about you buying bargain clothes for yourself so you could help that church in Pakistan where most of them struggle to have any clothes at all.
    • God is observing you endure the criticism at work for taking a stand against the wickedness that is going on.
    • The Lord sees the time you spend every week praying and preparing for your kids in your Sunday school class even while you patiently endure griping from one of the kid's parents.

  • Accountability and deterrence

    • The Lord’s eyes are everywhere… this should strike fear in our hearts when it comes to our sinfulness. In the same way that no good thing escapes His eye, neither does a single sin. This fact should very effectively help us to say “no” to sin, to avoid tempting situations and to be convicted very quickly when we do fail.
    • The Lord sees your true motives behind that “news” you just shared with someone “so they could pray” for the situation
    • God sees in technicolor the lust in your heart towards that co-worker or person that just walked by.
    • You know that thing you keep doing over and over, you know… yeah, that thing. The Lord’s eyes sadly sees that too, every time you do it.
    • God sees those numbers you are writing down on that tax return.
    • Jesus is watching you “privately” complain again about your boss, your church, your life.

The Lord’s eyes are in every place watching both good and evil. Tell yourself that many times a day. Cultivate a lifestyle and a spiritual alertness that contemplates the reality and the effect of knowing that God’s eyes are always watching. It is both a fearsome and terrible thing to the wicked… and yet a source of great strength and comfort for the holy.

Let the Lord’s constant gaze help keep you from sin. Let it encourage and strengthen you when you do good that goes unnoticed.


    Aug 20, 2009

    Proofing, Editing Work....

    Wow... I had an overwhelming response to my call for some editing/proofing help.

    On the one hand, that's GREAT!!! THANK YOU!!!

    On the other, it means a LOT of people are going to be disappointed. I'm going to keep all the names on file, and as things continue to grow contact more and more of you. However, given the number of people who responded, please don't feel ignored, overlooked or unappreciated if you don't hear from me about this immediate need. Dozens of people responded, and just about everyone of them would be my first choice if I could have 60-70 first choices!!!

    It saddens me to know a lot of blog friends will be let down by not getting this particular work, but I'm so grateful to have all your names on file for the future as my need for editors grows with the magazines and writing projects.

    ~ Brent

    Aug 17, 2009

    Blog Hop Aug 17th Favorite Recipes

    Welcome Blog Hoppers!

    Reminder: SEND ME YOUR RECIPES using this easy form, so that I can create a MckLinky Recipe Book, FREE for all the blog hoppers! Submit your recipe here: http://www.mcklinky.com/recipes.asp

    This week's theme is favorite recipes, so here's mine:

    Spinache & Apple Salad

    Ingredients:
    For raspberry vinaigrette, combine:
    1/3 cup extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil
    1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/3 cup raspberry Polaner All-Fruit

    For salad, layer on each salad plate:
    1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, washed, patted dry and torn into small pieces
    1/4 cup diced Pink Lady apple
    1 T. feta cheese (optional)
    1 T. chopped walnuts
    dash freshly ground black pepper

    Directions:
    Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

    Submitted in Riggs Adoption Cookbook by Barbara, mother of Maria Elena, Guatemala


    MckLinky Blog Hop

    Aug 16, 2009

    Sunday Morning Ministry - Aug

    Blessed Lord's Day morning to you!

    For those of you who may be at home with sick children or some other reason you are unable to meet with other local Believers, I've prepared a message for your encouragement and edification.

    For those who would like to listen, here is an audio version, and the written version is below. It's not professional quality, but I hope it will suffice.

    • Be sure to sign the GUEST BOOK so we evaluate how useful this ministry tool is over time.

    • There is a blog badge below for the "Riggs Family Sunday Morning Ministry" if you want to post it on your blog so others can find out about it.




    Or click here to listen using the Yahoo media player...

    Christian Liberty: Independence Day


      Sunday Morning Ministry - Aug 16th 2009

      Blessed Lord's Day morning to you!

      For those of you who may be at home with sick children or some other reason you are unable to meet with other local Believers, I've prepared a message for your encouragement and edification.

      For those who would like to listen, here is an audio version, and the written version is below. It's not professional quality, but I hope it will suffice.

      • Be sure to sign the GUEST BOOK so we evaluate how useful this ministry tool is over time.

      • There is a blog badge below for the "Riggs Family Sunday Morning Ministry" if you want to post it on your blog so others can find out about it.




      Or click here to listen using the Yahoo media player...

      True Peace

      True peace is only found on God's terms, not man's. What are those terms?

        Aug 14, 2009

        In the OKC area - are you an attorney, or do you know one you would recommend?

        Dear blogging family,

        I need to speak to an attorney experienced in employment and labor, possible wrongful termination.

        That's as specific as I can be publicly.

        If you are an attorney, could you respond if this is your area of expertise, or if you wouldn't mind pointing me in the right direction.

        If you know a good attorney, would you mind asking them to contact me? I would rather get a word of mouth referral than have to resort to the phone book.

        Brent
        brent@brentriggs.com

        PS. Blog friends, this is not about me and Michelle, so don't be concerned. We are helping a fellow Christian.

        Aug 13, 2009

        For Everyone Who Prayed For Abby... This is For You

        Your prayers helped Abby survive this last year when she faced death four times, countless episodes of pain, and 25 hospital stays.

        This is for all of you...

        Abby put on her backpack and couldn't wait to get out the door
        to go to school. What is remarkable about this? Because of your
        prayers, Abby is 1)going to school, 2)walking, 3) strong enough
        to carry a backpack and 4) has a hairdo on her first day. Of course
        it's "because of God" but your fervent and faithful prayers no
        doubt touched the Lord's heart and brought Him joy.


        Nervously waiting to go into her first class...


        We are blessed to have wonderful Christian teachers
        in our small town school. The Principle is an unashamed Believer.
        They don't indoctrinate, but they don't hide their faith either,
        nor should they have to.


        One day started.... 12 years to go.

        Aug 12, 2009

        Instead of Dead, Pre-K

        It's amazing how meaningful otherwise routine events become when death almost steals them from you.

        Abby almost died four times in the last year. Instead of dying, yesterday she danced into her preschool classroom in our little one-stop-sign town overjoyed that she was going to get to go to school.

        It was an amazing moment for Michelle and I given that we've spent much of the last year praying she wouldn't die and watching her rock back and forth in a hospital bed numbed by morphine and weakened by round after round of poison until her hands and knees trembled.

        Poetically, she went to school "open house" last night with a I.V. stuck in her chest, and at midnight Michelle gave her that last of her antibiotics that saved her from "death by sepsis" a couple of weeks ago. After the last dose, Michelle removed the I.V. and for the time being, the only signs of Abby's perilous journey is the bump on her ribs (internal port), her short hair and the multitude of scars on her back, stomach and limbs.

        Abby is always one germ and one cancer cell from being back in the hospital fighting for her life, but for now, we are joyful that tomorrow the only thing she'll be fighting for is a turn on the swings at recess and one of the red crayons.

        ~ Brent


        Abby says hello to Kassie and Kinsley. Remember our next door
        neighbors, Dorothy and Johnny? These are their great grandkids.
        Kinsley loves Abby and every time she's over at "Doh-Doh's" (Dorothy)
        the first thing she wants to do is come over and see Abby.


        Abby was GIDDY about getting to see her new school.


        Abby was already making friends while we were filling out some paperwork.


        SpideyLandis came along for the ride got to play "school" too.


        Abby was all smiles. She is so thrilled to go to school.
        Life would be so much more enjoyable if we had this
        kind of joy about life every day.

        Pray for Me, Pray for Others

        Pray for Me... Pray for Others

        Brent: Facebook - Twitter . . . . . . . . . . . Michelle: Facebook - Twitter

        Landis prays so sweetly for everyone in our entire family.

        Our Requests:


        Abby starts school on Thursday. Abby continues to be very excited about going to school like her big brothers. As of yesterday, her immune system is too low to restart chemo, BUT it is high enough that that she will be allowed to go to school this week. It is a fine line we are walking.

        Please pray that:

        1. Abby's bone marrow will recover and Abby will be able to restart chemo next week.

        2. Abby will be well enough to go to school and that she will enjoy learning and making new friends.

        3. Abby will be safe from the from the germs she will encounter at school.

        I, Michelle, am excited Abby is going to school, but a little sad too.

        Pray for these folks:

        One of my best friends is worried about her son. Yesterday, his doctor labeled a growth, "suspicious for melanoma" and sent him to a specialist. Unless you have had a doctor tell you your child may have cancer, it is hard to imagine the emotions that you feel they speak those words. Before Abby, I thought I could imagine what that would feel like, but I was very, very wrong. They will see the specialist today. Would you pray for them today? I will post more details, as soon as I can.

        Many of you have been praying for a 9 year old girl named Anika. Anika passed away and her funneral in on Monday. Would you stop by their blog and let her family know you are thinking about them.
        http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/anikawilke

        Pray for Me... Pray for Others is where we all get to pray for each other. It is obvious, and we don't pretend otherwise, that we cannot give full attention to every request and comment we receive. This feature on Wednesdays is a time we ask YOU for help praying for others, as they pray for you. Check back a couple of times today for new requests.

        Pray for Me... Pray for Others - Instructions:

        1. Use the form below to enter your prayer requests. You must enter an "identity", and put something in at least one of the "pray for me" or "pray for others" in order to be included (links to blogs are not required).
        2. If you link to YOUR blog, please include the following HTML in a post on your blog so that we can create a linked network of prayers (your link will allow others to find us, and be able to participate; make sure you are in HTML mode when pasting this code).

        3. Put out an email or post on your blog and encourage everyone you know to come and join us in prayer.
        4. Look over the list and pray as God leads. Come back and visit the list two or three times today as it will grow all day long.

        Remember... if you don't take the time to pray for others, then on what basis can you really expect God to lead others to pray for you? I created this with "community" in mind - pray for you, pray for me, pray for others - so that we are both giving and receiving as a community which is far more spiritually productive than simply wanting everyone to pray on our behalf.

        Truth is, many people do not have a community they can ask for prayer. We hope to become that community for them.










        Let me know if you have suggestions or questions about Pray for Me... Pray for Others. If this is a blessing to you, please leave a comment and let us all know.

        Aug 11, 2009

        MckLinky Blog Hop - Favorite Photo(s)

        Today's Blog Hop Theme is Favorite Photos! If you don't know how to participate in the Blog Hop, go here: http://www.mcklinky.com/blog_hop.asp


        This was a time when Abby was literally at death's door,
        and she was still happy, and between waves of morphine,
        just a normal kid who loved Fritos.


        Okay, not technically a photo, but this drawing I (Brent) did of my
        grandfather is one of my most favorite images. I don't have many pictures of him.


        SpideyLandis LOVES his Abby. They are virtually in separable.


        One of my favorite all time photos... my beautiful wife
        and Abby before she got cancer.



        MckLinky Blog Hop

        Aug 10, 2009

        Junk Mail and Fly Hell And the Forbidden Subject

        Fly Hell

        Abby asked me the other day, "Dad, do the flies take our food down to hell?"

        I suppose you want me to explain that.

        It's summer in Oklahoma and that means one thing: flies. Especially when we've had a lot of rain, and we have.

        One night, when I was going crazy trying to kill a hundred flies that were tormenting us, I declared to the kids at the dinner table "All flies go to fly hell when they die!"

        A few days later, Abby is watching the flies try to munch on our dinner and wondered if they would be taking our food to fly hell. Gotta love kids.

        Junk Mail


        We make good use of junk mail. I mean, you're going to get it in the mailbox anyway, so you might as well do something fun with it.

        What? We make it the mail that comes for the kids (Sami, Abby, Landis). We give Sami anything that might be fun or interesting to look at. Abby and Landis? It doesn't matter... just the fact they get mail is EXCITING!!!

        When we get the mail, we hand out the real stuff, and then go "oh, look... some mail for Abby... and a piece for Landis... you got MAIL!!!!" And they just think they are so grownup and important.

        They will carry that mail around all day long reminding you frequently that "they got mail". It's a LOT of fun, and at least the junk mail serves some purpose rather than going straight to trash.

        The Forbidden Subject

        I don't write about politics on this blog but I thought you might enjoy the blog post I just put up that takes a look at a Bible event remarkably similar to what we see in America today. Go to www.brentriggs.com

        ~ Brent

        How can someone so sick still be
        so full of themselves? :)

        Aug 9, 2009

        Sunday Morning Ministry: August 9, 2009

        Blessed Lord's Day morning to you!

        For those of you who may be at home with sick children or some other reason you are unable to meet with other local Believers, I've prepared a message for your encouragement and edification.

        For those who would like to listen, here is an audio version, and the written version is below. It's not professional quality, but I hope it will suffice.

        • Be sure to sign the GUEST BOOK so we evaluate how useful this ministry tool is over time.

        • There is a blog badge below for the "Riggs Family Sunday Morning Ministry" if you want to post it on your blog so others can find out about it.




        Or click here to listen using the Yahoo media player...

        Lessons on Life - Vertical Thinking

        A lesson about applying vertical thinking to work and money... in other words, having a Godly perspective on labor and wealth.


          Aug 7, 2009

          Roller Coaster Week & Pics


          From Michelle

          Lows:

          Most of you know that Abby was hospitalized around 25 times last year. Many of her doctors/medical providers are still talking about how we almost lost her. Being in the hospital last week, brought back a lot of scary, sad memories. Yes, Sami, Abby and I (Michelle) also remembered some fun times and were excited to see some old friends and renew acquaintances.

          Abby is home and doing better today, but she is still on IV antibiotics. Her white blood cells are low again (ANC in the 400s), so we are holding her chemo for a week and sticking close to home and trying to keep her safe. I joke that it would be safer for her stand in line to see Santa, on the day after Thanksgiving, than to be at home right now. In the last week three of us have had fevers that would have bought Abby another admission to the hospital. Thankfully Abby doesn't appear to have caught our cold yet. Hard to tell for sure because she won't complain until she is in a crisis. I just keep following our poor kids around with hand sanitizer and thermometers.

          Highs:

          EVERYTIME Abby was really sick, she would ask if she was going to GET to grow up and go to school like Garrett. There were many times that I wondered the same thing. Yesterday we decided to enroll her in Pre K at our local school. While I love homeschooling, this school is taught by mostly Christians and is a great school. After everything Abby has endured over the past year, she deserves a shot at doing what she has longed to do.

          The school knows that Abby will have to stay home anytime there is illness going around or when Abby is neutropenic (low white blood cells) and they are willing to work with us to help Abby be safe.

          As a mom, I am a little teary that Abby is growing up, but I am also thrilled that she is alive and strong enough to go to school.

          A year ago, I bought a bunch of clothes at a sale that were too big for Abby, knowing that she would grow into them in a year or so. Right after I bought them, Abby was diagnosed with cancer. When Abby was the sickest, I remember wondering if she ever get to wear the pretty dresses, shoes and clothes I bought her. This week Abby grew so much that her clothes looked comical and her shoes hurt her feet. With happy tears filling my eyes, I was able to take out all of her now small clothes and let her wear some fun new things.

          Open Season Friday

          Every Friday, I do "Open Season" where I take all your questions. Here are the blogs, and which types of answers will go on that blog:
          • Riggs Family Blog (www.riggsfamilyblog.com) - our family, personal stuff

          • Brent Riggs Blog (www.brentriggs.com/blog/) - professional topics (graphics, web development, writing), family, marriage, mentoring, ethics, teens, parenting, etc.

          • SeriousFaith.com (www.seriousfaith.com) - Christian and Bible related

          • MckLinky Blog (www.mcklinkyblog.com) - blogging, search engines, online business, blog improvement, blog graphic, blog photography, blog traffic, etc.
          I'm using the same entry form and list on all the blogs, so it doesn't matter from which blog you enter the question. We try to answer as many as we can. If we didn't get to a previous question, feel free to post it up again.

          I will spread out the answers on the appropriate blog throughout the week, so make sure you are subscribed to any blog you want to see answers from.

          Ask your question using the form below. Ask us anything you want. Here's some suggested topics:

          • our family, our life, adoption, cancer, parenting, marriage, marriage, family
          • blogging, building traffic, growing your blog... anything about making your blog better
          • photography, technology, graphic design
          • writing, communication, brainstorming topics, how to improve your writing
          • marketing, personal finance
          • the Bible
          • business, marketing, online business
          • ask for advice, counsel or wisdom for a personal or professional situation
          • WHATEVER.... hey, it's OPEN SEASON!!

          Friday Blog Hop - GiveAways... Win a MckLinky T-shirt and a Hard Copy of Your Choice

          Friday's are the MckLinky Giveaways, Contests and Prizes Blog Hop. To find out more about the Giveaways Blog Hop, go here.

          Our giveaway prize today is a MckLinky T-shirt, and a real live printed copy of any one of Brent's books, your choice.

          To win, simply leave a comment, state which book you would like to win, and why. We'll choose a winner tomorrow.


          For a description of the books, go here...


          Be all you can blog T-shirt.


          MckLinky Blog Hop

          Aug 5, 2009

          Do You Live in the Tulsa Area?

          If you live in the Tulsa area, I'm asking a favor for my oldest daughter, Jordan.

          She got laid off from her job a couple of weeks ago. She already has a new job lined up, but it doesn't start until Sept 1.

          She's looking for anything in the meantime, starting immediately. This could be real employment, formal or informal, personal or business, or just casual help.

          She is a GREAT sales person, especially on the phone and has a lot of experience with phone sales and customer service. She can do office work, cleaning, organizing, errands, data input, etc. She has a lot of experience in collections and could work your collection effort until Sept 1.

          Office or help at your home... babysitting, cleaning, nanny, home projects. She's open to any type of work between now and Sept 1st. (and of course if you offered her a good job between now and then, she might just be tempted to stay on)

          But basically, she needs to make some money to pay bills this month before her new job starts.

          Anybody out there need her help? It can be completely informal, or real employment. Nothing on commission though, she needs some steady income, and needs it to start immediately.

          Email me if know of anything... thanks! brent@brentriggs.com

          Aug 3, 2009

          Blog Hop - Encouragement 8/3/2009 - Begins 9pm Central

          This week's blog hop is all about being an ENCOURAGEMENT to everyone who visits your blog.

          Get your blog code here for the Encouragement Blog Hop....

          My Encouragement For You

          Life is hard, no doubt about that. Sometimes it's REALLY hard. If it hasn't been yet, don't worry, you won't get left out.

          So to encourage you, I wrote a list of 22 reasons, keys, to living a joyful life even when times are tough.

          The keys are directly related to Christian faith. Maybe that doesn't appeal to you, but I would encourage you to read the list any way. You might find the principles and truths resonate in your heart even if you are not particularly interested in God or Christianity. I hope you'll print this list out and keep it handy. (you'll find the entire series on "joy in troubled times" over on my other blog - www.seriousfaith.com)

          Twenty Two Keys To Having Joy Even When Times Are Tough
          1. A key to having joy in troubled times is a focus on Jesus and not our circumstances.
          2. A key to having joy in troubled times is to focus on grace.
          3. A key to having joy in troubled times is to choose to focus on others, praying and blessing them rather than focusing on your own circumstances.
          4. A key to having joy in troubled times is when we look for how God is using our circumstances to further the gospel and glorify Christ.
          5. A key to having joy in troubled times is when we remember "to live is Christ".
          6. A key to having joy in troubled times is to remember that we are not alone.
          7. A key to having joy in troubled times is to remember that we have already won the battle.
          8. A key to having joy in troubled times is to remember is a privilege to suffer for the sake of Christ.
          9. A key to having joy in troubled times is unity through humility.
          10. A key to having joy in troubled times is humbling yourself like Christ for the sake of others.
          11. A key to having joy in troubled times is pouring yourself out for others so that you may be a light in a dark world.
          12. A key to having joy in troubled times is to consider the example of other godly persons.
          13. A key to having joy in troubled times is having a spiritual mind and not an earthly mind.
          14. A key to having joy in troubled times is faith in Christ not faith in our religious works.
          15. A key to having joy in troubled times is putting the past behind and pressing on toward the ultimate prize.
          16. A key to having joy in troubled times is reminding ourselves of our future destination.
          17. A key to having joy in troubled times is thinking about our future glorified existence in heaven.
          18. A key to having joy in troubled times is acknowledging Christ's presence and being secure in it.
          19. A key to having joy in troubled times is choosing to think about the right things which replace worry.
          20. A key to having joy in troubled times is knowing that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
          21. I can have joy in the midst of troubled times because Christ strengthens me.
          22. I will have joy in troubling times because Christ gives me strength.


          MckLinky Blog Hop

          New Issue of SeriousLife Magazine & Pics of the Girls

          Don't forget to join us for this week's Blog Hop. It's going to be a really inspiring version... it goes LIVE tonight at 9pm Central Time... check it out here...


          SeriousLife Magazine - Issue 10 Online now!


          A new issue of SeriousLife Magazine is out. You'll love the story of Snow White visiting Abby in the hospital as well as a lot of other great photos and content.

          Check it out here: www.seriouslifemagazine.com

          I also did a couple of product reviews. If you have any products or services you want me to review, or you want to give away in the Blog Hops (nice way to let people see what you offer), then be sure to shoot an email over to me (brent@brentriggs.com)

          Here's Hannah wearing one of the products I reviewed, the Growing Cooks hat and apron:

          Sami wearing her Growing Cooks apron, chef's hat and holding a rolling pin.


          And this is Abby with a gift, a quacking duck she just LOVES,
          from the children of the fine folks who make the
          other product I reviewed called "Hold It Baby"
          (not pictured here; check it out in the magazine).

          Not only were we proud to get to show you these great product ideas, but were also blessed to get to have a sample of them for our kids, who are really enjoying them.

          Aug 2, 2009

          Abby on the Local News Today, Brent Speaks to 350 About Giving Blood

          Even though Abby is fresh out of the hospital, her doctor's gave the thumbs up for her to attend a blood donor appreciation luncheon. About 350 people attended, and I (Brent) was invited to speak to wrap up the event.

          Abby, Sami and Michelle accompanied me onstage as I spoke for a few minutes about how much blood donors have meant to us... and in a wonderful gift to us, we got to invite up about a dozen people to join us onstage... people whose blood Abby had actually received. It was incredible to get to meet the very people who took time to give the blood that has helped save Abby's life.

          Here is the video of the news story; the first part is a quick segment they did on the 5:30pm news, and the 2nd part aired at 10pm:


          Here is a link to the local news story:
          http://www.news9.com/Global/story.asp?S=10834274

          And a slideshow from "Brent and Michelle BRIGGS" :)...
          http://kotv.com/utils/slideshow/?id=e3b5a1a7-bc87-4121-8e30-4fb72c0385b6

          And below are some pics. If we get the video of the actual event, we'll post it too.


          It was my pleasure to speak to a crowd of about 350, telling them
          a bit about Abby's story, and how blood donations have made
          such a profound difference in her life. I was going to bust
          out in a sermon and pass a collection plate, but there wasn't time. :)


          Mom, Dad and the girls on stage with the blood donors who actually
          provided blood for Abby...


          A group picture of Abby with her angel blood donors...
          they were so thrilled to get to meet Abby and see the actual
          child who received their blood and know that they played a part in saving her life.
          The lady in the purple dress, Jaclyn, was especially joyful to get to meet
          Abby. She drove a couple of hours to come to the event and
          just cried and hugged Abby. Bill (white shirt, in the back) has a
          four year old child too, and he said it really meant a lot to get to meet Abby.


          Dr. Armitage, the President of Oklahoma Blood Institute
          with Abby. He was very kind and gracious to us when we talked
          with him after the event was over.

          Sunday Morning Ministry: August 2, 2009

          Blessed Lord's Day morning to you!

          For those of you who may be at home with sick children or some other reason you are unable to meet with other local Believers, I've prepared a message for your encouragement and edification.

          For those who would like to listen, here is an audio version, and the written version is below. It's not professional quality, but I hope it will suffice.

          • Be sure to sign the GUEST BOOK so we evaluate how useful this ministry tool is over time.

          • There is a blog badge below for the "Riggs Family Sunday Morning Ministry" if you want to post it on your blog so others can find out about it.




          Or click here to listen using the Yahoo media player...

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