Closed for Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

closed

We’re closed today so you and I can enjoy a grateful thanksgiving with family and friends. (The whole Watkins kin is getting together at my mom’s for lots of food, games, laughter, hugs and so much thankfulness!)

Hope&Humor will reopen at midnight with my seventeenth annual The Twelve Sites of Christmas.

Have a grateful Thanksgiving day!
jimlogo2

Share

Hope and humor for Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Wishing you a wonderful time of Thanksgiving with family and friends. Here are my favorite cartoons and columns for this wonderful time of the year:

jimshortspilgrims

jimshortspardon

Turkey trivia
Raise the intellectual level of conversation at Thanksgiving dinner above that of the cranberry sauce with this serving of fascinating facts.

jimshortsgivingthanks

2-thanksgiving

Fifty praises between bed and bathroom
I vowed not to ask for anything, but to simply praise God during the day. I found fifty things for which to praise Him within just ten feet.

jimshortsthanks

Thanks for nothing
Some thoughts on the above cartoon. . .

Top ten reasons to give thanks . . .
. . . when you think you don’t have any. You really do have much for which to give thanks.

jimshortsthanksgiving

jimshortsblackfriday

Feel free to right click and save any of these cartoons to use on your site or newsletters or wherever. And you’re welcome to repost any of my columns. Just be sure to include: © Copyright James N. Watkins. All rights reserved. www.jameswatkins.com Thanks!

Share

LooneyCover

It’s a real pleasure to introduce today’s guest poster: Louise Looney. We collaborated on this warm, witty and wise book for those over 40. Louise is warm, witty and wise. I’m simply witty—I hope—with my one-liners on aging sprinkled throughout the book. It would make a great Christmas gift for the AARP members on your list. Order at amazon.com. Here’s an excerpt:


It was easier keeping my chin up when I had just one!
jnw

Lasting beauty

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside . . . the things we can’t see now will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG

In Ecclesiastes chapter twelve, Solomon lists a number of things that begin to go wrong as a person gets older. As I struggled with Solomon’s unwelcomed input, I felt a tap on my shoulder and a gentle whisper caused me to snap to attention. Solomon’s observations are real possibilities, but he addressed issues that apply to the physical body. If you’re willing to go deeper, you’ll find that as the outer shell begins to wear out, I’m creating an incredible inner man that will never grow old. I knew the Lord was reminding me that this new body was a marvel He designed to last throughout all eternity.

My heart beat faster. A tingle went up my spine as I contemplated the depth and breadth of this miraculous plan God has to transform us—from the inside out.

This thought reassured me: The Lord is creating a vibrant new life inside—where real beauty counts and is being nurtured within the spirit of man. Even now, it’s sprouting wings that will fly forever throughout the heavens.

Prayer: Lord, transform us from the inside out. Start with our hearts. Let them beat in sync with Your heart of love.

Question: How can you begin to search for new meaning for this period of life?

Copyright © 2014 Louise L. Looney and James N. Watkins

Share


One Sunday I made the mistake of teaching on John 16:33:

      “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (emphasis mine).

Immediately after the closing prayer, one family went out into the sub-zero weather to find that they had left the van’s lights on and their battery was dead. Another family discovered their four-year-old had gotten into their van, turned it on and backed over a parking bumper. The worship leader went home to find her husband gone with a note telling her he wanted a divorce. That night the church’s hot-water heating pipes froze up and the parsonage’s furnace broke down. A parishioner offered to thaw out the church’s pipes with a blow torch and caught the building’s sub-flooring on fire. Then things got worse!

The next Sunday, I promised to never, ever to speak on that passage again.

“Trouble” seems to be life’s default setting: flat tires, kidney stones, IRS audits . . . the list goes on and on. So, I’m assuming you and I will be facing some trouble this week. But Christ offers us “peace” and “overcoming” victory this week as well. That’s why Paul can write:

      But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).

So, I hope you’re having a “but not” week! We will have trouble, but not defeat!

Copyright © 2009 James N. Watkins

From Squeezing Good Out of Bad. Read free excerpts.

Photo from MorgueFile

Share

Hope . . . 70 years later!

November 11th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Jeremiah2

Many of my friends claim the following verse as one of their favorite biblical promises:

      “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

What many don’t realize is that this promise was pronounced before Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians and its residents taken away into exile for 70 years!

God is promising Jeremiah, in the preceding verse, “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again.”

In our instant “New York minute” microwave world, waiting 70 years for God to answer prayer seems like an eternity. But God promises in verses 12-13: “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”

During those 70 years, God promises to be with His people. And that is the real promise here. Whether we are facing “good” or seeming “disaster,” we have “a future and a hope.” We have His presence!

Copyright © 2000 James N. Watkins

Related posts
God is never late—but He sure is slow
Waiting is hard work

Painting: Rembrandt’s Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem

Share

willwriteforfood2014

It’s a joy to be teaching and meeting authors at the Heart of America Christian Writers’ Conference in Overland, Kansas. Here are the notes from my seminars:

Communicate to Change Lives
From my books on biblical and behavioral principles for changing lives in person and in print

Confessions of an Author and Speaker
A shocking expose’ of the writing life

Taking Word to World Wide Web
Planning, producing and promoting your web site or blog

Twenty-five Rejection-Proof Markets
Change lives with your writing without those annoying rejection slips

Keeping Your Dreams Alive (Closing keynote)
Hope and humor for writers in the pit, prison or palace

And here’s a link to a ream full of writers’ resources:

Hope and humor for writers

Share

Happy b’day, Billy Graham!

November 7th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

BillyGraham2014

The Reverend—and revered—William Franklin Graham turns 96 today. Here’s my tribute to a “good and faithful servant.”

Share
WordPress Backup