How to move a mountain

September 17th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

shovel-280
I love the story of the man who prayed for God to miraculously remove the huge pile of dirt from behind his new home. He claimed Matthew 17:20’s promise: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

All night, he fervently prayed, but when he awoke, there—still—was the huge pile of dirt. But in front of it, something new . . .

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hope and humor, encouragement, James Watkins
Hi, I’m Jim. I’m not exactly a cheerleader, but I do offer more hope and humor than you can shake a pom pom at. You’ll find . . .

Articles on everything from sects to sex. (Scroll down for latest.)

Book excerpts including my latest The Psalms of Asaph: Struggling with Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, and Unpunished Evil

Cartoons

Comedy/drama scripts

Jim Talks: Like “Ted Talks” only funnier

Writers’ resources

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encouragement, entertainment, James Watkins

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My thoughts and prayers are with all of those in the path of Florence, a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour swirling off the Atlantic coastline.

Insurance companies describe these disasters as “acts of God,” but how much responsibility for hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, blizzards, typhoons and tornadoes can be laid at the foot of his throne?

Here’s what I know:

Natural disasters were never a part of God’s original plan of Creation

The Fall, as well as the Flood, caused destructive consequences to creation. Before the Fall, there were apparently no weeds, no carnivores, pain in childbirth, decay or even death (Genesis 3). [Continue reading]

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Remembering 9/11

September 11th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)


Two small numbers—9/11—have become shorthand for an infinite number of emotions: the shock and disbelief of watching the terrorist attack on live TV, the horror of watching the twin towers collapse upon themselves, the national grief as the number of confirmed casualties grew to over 2,800, the growing realization that we are no longer beyond the reach of terrorist attacks, and perhaps most of all, the fact that those who remember where they were on that date, will never, ever be the same.

Here are some of my thoughts posted within hours of the original attack and throughout the subsequent years. I trust they’re helpful in dealing with the shock, anger and grief of that day and continuing attacks.

Reacting
Dealing with death and grief
“bin Laden, kiss my pass!” (September 10, 2003)
Talking to your children about terrorism

Reasoning
Hope amid horror (September 11, 2006)
What motivates terrorists?
Taking the terror out of terrorism

Responding
Can war on terrorism be won? (September 11, 2005)
How can we overcome evil with good?
We are strong! We will survive! (September 17, 2001)
What we haven’t learned from 9/11 (September 9, 2002)
Candle-lighting ceremony following terrorist attacks (September 11, 2001)

Copyright © James N. Watkins

What are your thoughts on the anniversary of 9/11? Please leave a comment below.

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God is such a ‘drama king’

September 10th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


In an action/adventure film, the hero never defuses the bomb with one hour to spare. Not even one minute. It’s always less than one second! (And, of course, the agonizing decision as to whether to cut the red or blue wire.)

That’s just good script writing. Ratchet up the conflict to the breaking point, then resolve the imminent, inevitable disaster with just a split second remaining. Or, in the case of Speed, resolve the conflict (hero, heroine and passengers are safely off the bomb-laden bus) and then throw in an entirely new conflict (heroine is now strapped into a bomb-laden vest)!

Does that sound like your life? That’s because God, the “author and finisher of our faith,” is the ultimate scriptwriter! [Continue reading]

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Do you have the worst job?

September 2nd, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


Happy Labor Day! Here in the States, we’re celebrating labor by taking the day off!

However, not everyone loves his or her job, so I have in my right hand, direct from CareerCast.com, today’s category: Ten top worst jobs in America. The company took a look at 200 jobs and ranked them based on a variety of criteria, including “income, outlook, environmental factors, stress and physical demands.” (Of course, my first question was “Am I on the list?” And second, “Where does “survey-taker” rank on the list?”)

[Continue reading]

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Happy 8/28!

August 26th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

8-28
I love the date of August 28, since 8/28 reminds me of Romans 8:28! (It’s just how my little mind works!)

      And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Unfortunately, we leave off the verse that tells us our “purpose.”

      For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son. . .

So, on this special day, here are some of my favorite posts on one of my favorite verses:

Christ’s career path: obscurity, popularity, animosity
Coincidences or “God-incidences”?
Did duct-taped recliner save our lives?!
God has a plan for new year
Has your brook dried up?
The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today’s Language
Squeezing Good Out of Bad: My book on Romans 8:28
Top ten things I’ve learned from cancer
Why? Some thoughts on life’s tough questions

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Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

As you know, it was Goliath who became buzzard meat.

We have a choice whose promises we will believe: our enemy or our God.
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Listen to podcast (2 min)
Listen to keynote address (45 min)

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‘F— hope’ or Find hope

August 10th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


Controversial filmmaker, Michael Moore, went on an obscene rant on The Huffington Post recently:

      F— hope. Seriously, f— hope. F— despair, too. But f— hope.

      Hope is passive. Hope gives you permission to let someone else do the work.

      Hope, and the passivity that comes with it, is what helped get us here to begin with. It’s the lazy way out.

      We don’t need hope. We need action.

As a writer and speaker, whose tagline is “hope and humor,” I wish to disagree. [Continue reading]

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Back to school supplies

August 6th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Hope and Homework
As you begin stocking your backpack and laying out your clothes for the first day of the new school year, here are some sites for back to class:

Classes
Advice for seniors
Are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes?
Creative writing resources
Does DNA disprove evolution?
Encouragement for when a) your locker won’t open, b) you can’t find your first hour classroom, c) he ignores you, d) she rejects you, e) your laptop crashes . . .
Sex Ed. class
What I didn’t learn in kindergarten

Class discussion
Is prayer in public school really a good idea?
Running new pledge up flag pole

Classmates
Falling in love . . . and getting back up (And Breaking up without breaking down)
Hangups with hook-ups
School shootings: you’re more likely to be struck by lightning

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