Laughing matters

October 22nd, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


“Some day we’re going to laugh at this!” That’s the unofficial Watkins Family motto. We refer to it often!

For instance, my son and daughter decided to create a new Olympic event—the human shot put. The winners: Faith, 11 at the time, our doctor and, his stockbroker. The losers: Paul, 7, with a broken collarbone, our insurance company, and of course us paying the $100 deductible.

Moments before the, the word processing software went to where all good software goes when an electrical storm knocks out the power.

That was followed on Monday by a visit to the dental hygienist who obviously attended the Marquis de Sade School of Dentistry. Tuesday, we sent our tearful daughter off to her first day of school in this new town. And then Thursday, the bank called to say our checking account was overdrawn.

It’s hard to laugh when you feel like a deflated whoopie cushion. The writer of Ecclesiastes claims there’s a “time to weep and a time to laugh.” But sometimes, it’s awfully hard for us to tell the difference. [Continue reading]

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Search Google for “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?” and you’ll get about one thousand sites covering everything from “it’s completely harmless” to “it’s completely hellish.” Here’s site number 1,001 that’s somewhere in the middle: [Continue reading]

But wait, there’s more! Hope and Humor’s annual take on twisted topics:
Are demons, exorcisms real?
Are there really ghosts?
Harry Potter: the good, the bad, the muggly
Ouija: It’s not just a game
Psychic secrets revealed
Talking to the dead
Top ten reasons Halloween is a strange holiday
The Why Files: My book on the supernatural
Vampires, werewolves real!
Which witch is which?

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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

If you enjoy your visit, please sign up for my monthly email. And share on your social networks. Thanks!
encouragement, entertainment, James Watkins

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Ten years cancer-free!

October 8th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, I will celebrate ten years cancer-free!

I am so grateful to have had ten years to write eight books, speak at over 50 conferences, celebrate ten Christmas and Easter holidays, enjoy ten wedding anniversaries (including the big 4-0), and best of all to hang out with one wife, two adult kids and eight grandchildren. (I hope to have a few more decades in me.)

I thank God, medical technology (a high-tech, computer-driven precision radiation treatment), the wonderful staff at Progressive Cancer Care and your faithful prayers.

I feel like I’ve been given a gift and an opportunity to keep sharing hope and humor—and I don’t want to squander it!

So, here are the Top ten things I learned from cancer.

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October 2018

A new study by Michigan State University notes: Far From United: Political Divide In America The Worst It’s Ever Been. Researcher and author, Zachary Neal, writes:

      What I’ve found is that polarization has been steadily getting worse since the early 1970s. Today, we’ve hit the ceiling on polarization. At these levels, it will be difficult to make any progress on social or economic policies.

This polarization is on display with the brutal Brett Kavanaugh hearings for his nomination to the Supreme Court, the bitter midterm election campaigns as well as racial, ethnic and moral conflicts.

Here’s what I wrote for an online magazine in January 2017 following the bitter 2016 election. Continue reading]

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While this month is designated Pastor Appreciation Month, every month should be filled with appreciation for the selfless and sacrificial service ministers provide every day of the year. (Having a day off from being a pastor is like having a day off from a pregnancy!)

So, from someone who has spent forty years in ministry, here are Top ten ways to appreciate your pastor this month—and every month: [Continue reading]


I’m also designating this month as “Unplugged October.” After a long, hard summer physically and emotionally, I’m taking 31 days off from writing and social media.

However, never fear! I have posts automatically scheduled to appear each Monday dealing with Halloween, my tenth anniversary of being cancer-free, “fake news” and some thoughts on the Reformation and restoration.

Plus, there are over 300 posts right here. That’s ten a day, so you can have your fill of hope and humor!

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Mini miracles

September 24th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


You would expect the Son of God to begin with a more spectacular miracle: raising a corpse from the dead, healing a leper, multiplying loaves and fishes, casting out an evil spirit, calming a raging storm or at least walking on the sea. After all, this is the same God who brought us Mount Sinai, the Red Sea, and the walls of Jericho.

But Jesus chooses to launch his ministry of miracles by saving a party! More guests have shown up at the wedding reception than sent in their RSVP cards, and now the punch bowl is dry. So Jesus turns water into wine! [Continue reading]

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How to move a mountain

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

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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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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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