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I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category: Top ten posts from May 2016

10. Encouraging quips and quotations

9. Cure for common cold: sex

8. Does DNA disprove evolution?

7. Voting for the lesser of two evils? There’s another option for Americans!

6. God is never late, but he sure is slow

5. Faith of our mothers

4. Children who marry their parents: the psychology of courtship

3. What was Paul thinking when he wrote 1 Timothy 2:12?

2. Were U.S. founding fathers Christian?

And, the number one post for May 2016 . . .

1. It Is Well with My Soul: the rest of the stories

(See right column for the latest posts.)

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May 29, 2016

Hi, I’m Jim, and welcome to more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a memory stick at!

Lois and I are in Fairbanks, Alaska, celebrating our nephew’s wedding! The happy couple are both in their late 30s and never been married, so it was a truly joyful time. Then this coming Saturday, we’ll celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lois’ sister and brother-in-love. So, here’s my Wedding issue:

You can also access more than 300 posts on death, faith, health, heavy topics, holidays, hope, humor, life hacks, love, parents, sex, spiritual issues and writing resources.

Enjoy some hope and humor,
jimlogo2


Wedding

Children who marry their parents: the psychology of courtship

In Getting the Love You Want Dr. Harville Hendrix, believes our “old brain” which records emotional responses, creates an exact resume’ of our future spouse. We marry the emotional image of our care-givers—both positive and negative. For instance, I realize that I only dated brunettes—despite the advertising campaign at the time that “blondes have more fun.” My mother and grandmother had dark hair! How weird!

Dr. John Money agrees that each of us begins to form ideas of the “perfect” partner the moment we are born. We begin to make a mental list of the qualities we most value in those closest and dearest to us. Dr. Money believers that, by the time we are eight years old, we have an unconscious but very precise idea of what our future dates and mate should look like. [Continue reading]


WeddingCake

Top ten secrets to staying married 42 years

10. Be sure you have a pre-nuptial arrangement concerning paint or wallpaper, flannel or percale, and over the front top or under the back bottom for the way toilet paper comes off the holder. (These are the things that break up marriages!)

9. Lower your standards. Better to go with a real imperfect spouse than a Hollywood illusion. Anyone can appear funny and flawless with a team of script writers and plastic surgeons. And, according to a UCLA study recently reported right here, David Frederick, the study’s co-author, told Health Day News, “While women seek out muscular men for fun flings and view them as more attractive . . . they definitely don’t want to marry them. Why? They’re seen as being less faithful, less likely to treat them well, and less emotionally sensitive.” Whew! I weighed 115 on our wedding day. [Continue reading]


But wait, there’s more!

Love
Falling in love—and getting back up
Looking for love in all the right places
Men and women are different!
No hablo, estrogen! Becoming bilingual in relationships
Breaking up without breaking down

Marriage
Top ten reasons I’m not divorcing my wife


jimshortsprenup2

Cartoon of the week

Get your daily dose on Facebook and on the archives. And follow my race for the White House at Watkins for President 2016.


Quips and quotations on love and marriage

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. Friedrich Nietzsche

So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.
Nicholas Sparks in The Notebook

Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed. Albert Einstein

By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher Socrates

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. St. Paul (1 Corinthians 13)

Read more quotations of hope and humor at Why? Over 1,000 Quotations on Life’s Most Difficult Questions.


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May 22, 2016

Hi, I’m Jim, and welcome to more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a memory stick at! After a long, six-month hiatus, I’m back on the conference circuit today at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers’ Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. I can’t wait to teach a continuing session, “From Reflectig to Retailing,” and presenting a brand new keynote talk Tuesday morning on “The Creative Ten Commandments.” (I’ll post the audio ASAP.) So, this is my writers’ issue!

You can also access more than 300 posts on death, faith, health, heavy topics, holidays, hope, humor, life hacks, love, parents, sex, spiritual issues and writing resources.

Enjoy some hope and humor,
jimlogo2


BannerWritingSpeaking2015

So, you want to write a book?

The writer of Ecclesiastes notes, “of the making of books there is no end.” And so, I regularly receive “I’d like to write a book” emails. I don’t mean to be impersonal, but here are some bits of advice after 30 years in this crazy business. I hope it will be helpful. [Continue reading]


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Hope and humor for writers

Here’s a whole ream of writers’ resources on:


jimshortsrapname3

Cartoon of the week

Click for more cartoons on writing. And follow my race for the White House at Watkins for President 2016.


Quips and quotations on writing

To be an author, you need tough hide and a tender heart. And never get them switched. JNW

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. Robert A. Heinlein

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. Elmore Leonard

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. Benjamin Franklin

There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either. Robert Graves

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor. Edgar Rice Burroughs

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words. Mark Twain

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. James Michener

When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen. Samuel Lover

Easy reading is damn hard writing. Nathaniel Hawthorne

What’s the difference between a pub and a pub board? Drunken Englishmen make better decisions. JNW

Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head. From the movie Finding Forrester

Click for more quotations on writing.
And read more quotations at Why? Over 1,000 Quotations on Life’s Most Difficult Questions.


If you enjoyed this week’s issue, please share on your social networks. Thanks!

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May 15, 2016

Hi, I’m Jim, and welcome to more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a memory stick at! The theme for this week of Pentecost Sunday: “Church” is not four-letter world.

You can also access more than 300 posts on death, faith, health, heavy topics, holidays, hope, humor, life hacks, love, parents, sex, spiritual issues and writing resources.

Enjoy some hope and humor,
jimlogo2


churchbrokenwindow

‘The church is a whore’

That got your attention, didn’t it? Augustine is credited with lamenting that “The church is a whore, but she is still my mother.” So, as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, it’s a good time to remember, the church may not be perfect, but it is worthy of our support. As St. Cyprian, a third-century bishop, wrote, “No one can have God as Father who does not have the church as Mother.” [Continue reading]


scroll

Do you really want a ‘biblical’ church?

Frank Viola begins his book, Pagan Christianity, by arguing, “the church in its contemporary, institutional form has neither a biblical nor a historical right to function as it does.” He has left “the institutional church to begin gathering with Christians in New Testament fashion.” That pretty much sums up the message in this manifesto against the contemporary church. Everything from having a “professional pastor” to meeting in a church building are “extra-biblical practices” adopted from “pagan culture.”

Hmmm? My little mind got thinking about what a truly “biblical” and “New Testament” church would actually look like. [Continue reading]


‘Church’ not a four-letter word

The church is not perfect, but it is the instrument Jesus has instituted to make his disciples. Here are some links to more about the imperfect but essential Body of Christ:

Can we have a “personal relationship” with Christ?
Instead of talking about a personal relationship with Christ, the New Testament teaches that as followers of Jesus, we are a family (Galatians 6:10), a body (1 Corinthians 12:27), a chosen people (Colossians 3:12), a household (Ephesians 2:19), a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9) and as the church (Colossians 1:18).

The Watkins New World Church Dictionary
The church tends to have it’s own vocabulary, so here are some more additions for congregational conversations.

Dealing with church conflict
When two or three are gathered, there conflict will be. Here are some strategies for keeping it to a minimum.

Top ten signs your church may be prejudiced
We are all guilty of some form of prejudice—whether blatant or subtle. I have to admit I am extremely prejudiced against those who are prejudiced.


The 2,000-year-old ‘social network’

The Church is thousands of years older than Web 2.0 and a thousand times more effective. [Read more]


jimshortssheepangelicals

Cartoon of the week

Get your daily dose on Facebook and on the archives. And follow my race for the White House at Watkins for President 2016.


Quips and quotations on the church

Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man. Dwight L. Moody

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. Billy Sunday

The day we find the perfect church, it becomes imperfect the moment we join it. Charles H. Spurgeon

The perfect church service, would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God. C.S. Lewis

Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults. John Calvin

The church is the only institution supernaturally endowed by God. It is the one institution of which Jesus promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Chuck Colson

The Church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members. William Temple

Read more quotations of hope and humor at Why? Over 1,000 Quotations on Life’s Most Difficult Questions.


If you enjoyed this week’s issue, please share on your social networks. Thanks!

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May 2016

If the 2016 presidential election was held today, “None of the Above” would get a lot of votes!

An exit poll in West Virginia’s primary found that 21 percent say they’ll support neither “presumptive” candidate Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. In Kentucky’s primary, Trump—as the only candidate still in the Republican race—only garnered 36 percent of the vote. Nearly two-thirds voters chose one of the 16 GOP candidates who had dropped out!

The former first lady and secretary of state along with reality TV star and billionaire real estate developer have historically low favorability and trustworthiness. According to a recent CBS/New York Times poll, Clinton and Trump are viewed less favorably than any presidential front-runner since CBS first surveyed candidates’ favorability ratings in 1984. Clinton scored only 31 percent favorability while Trump received just 24 percent. The candidates’ scores are even lower when viewed as “trustworthy.” A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey this month finds that 56 percent don’t trust Clinton and even more—76 percent—don’t trust Trump. (During Richard’s Nixon impeachment, the disgraced president’s favorability was 5 percentage points higher than Trump’s current number!) How’s a person to vote?

No!

A major article in Christianity Today, quoted the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Al Mohler, as saying:

      Christians in the United States are now going to face a very excruciating set of decisions Many of us are going to be facing the reality that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, we will not be able to vote in good conscience for either.

The South Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president, Russell Moore agreed:

      When Christians face two clearly immoral options, we cannot rationalize a vote for immorality or injustice just because we deem the alternative to be worse. The Bible tells us we will be held accountable not only for the evil deeds we do but also when we “give approval to those who practice them” (Rom. 1:32).

      This side of the New Jerusalem, we will never have a perfect candidate. But we cannot vote for evil, even if it’s our only option.

Mohler and Moore are not alone in their opinions. More than half of the 81 “evangelical insiders” surveyed by World magazine in March said that if faced with a Clinton-Trump ballot in November, they would vote for a third-party candidate even if that candidate had no chance to win. More than a quarter more said they’d vote for a viable third-party candidate (29%).

Meanwhile, several memes have quoted Charles Spurgeon: “Of two evils choose none.”

Yes!

However, the son of evangelist, Billy Graham, disagrees. Franklin Graham told Fox News’ Todd Starnes:

      You don’t just stay home and not vote—you vote. Vote for the candidates that best support Biblical truth and Biblical values. In some races, it may not always be clear. You may have to hold your nose and choose [one] of the two.

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., son of the late televangelist, has strongly endorsed Trump along with mega-church leader Robert Jeffress. The pastor of First Baptist in Dallas has been introducing Trump on the stump while trying to maintain its tax-exempt status by not “officially endorsing” the billionaire. Instead, he proclaims, “I want you to know I would not be here this morning if I were not absolutely convinced that Donald Trump would make a great president of the United States.” I’m no IRS auditor, but that sounds like an endorsement.

No and yes!

Jeb Bush, whose primary candidacy never lived up to his exclamation point logo, wrote on Facebook:

      In November, I will not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but I will support principled conservatives at the state and federal levels, just as I have done my entire life. For Republicans, there is no greater priority than ensuring we keep control of both chambers of Congress. I look forward to working hard for great conservatives in the Senate and House in the coming months.

He has been joined by his father, President George H. W. Bush, and brother, President George W. Bush, along with former Massachusetts governor and 2012 presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. Lindsey Graham, Republican U.S. Senator from South Carolina and one of the “lower tier” primary candidates, also has vowed not to vote Trump.

I think I agree with Jeb! on this conundrum. I cannot in good conscience vote for either Trump or Clinton, but I will go to the polls to vote for strong legislators who will oppose both candidates’ dangerous agendas. And pray that the Founding Father’s brilliant concept of “checks and balances” will prevail no matter who wins!

Copyright © 2016 James N. Watkins

Photo mashup by Boston Globe

Related posts
Candidates need to follow “Yellow Brick Road”
Liar! Liar! Pantsuit on fire!
Top ten verses Donald Trump must have missed
The Tupperware Party: Putting a lid on government (My presidential campaign)
WWJE? Who would Jesus elect?
Will God’s purpose be accomplished election day?

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May 15, 2016

Hi, I’m Jim, and welcome to more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a memory stick at! The theme for this week is, of course, Mothers!

You can also access more than 300 posts on death, faith, health, heavy topics, holidays, hope, humor, life hacks, love, parents, sex, spiritual issues and writing resources.

Enjoy some hope and humor,
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MotherAndBabyhealthyblackwoman

‘Faith of Our Mothers’ updated

If your church is tired of replacing “Father” with “Mother” for “Faith of Our Mothers” on Mom’s special day, here are some new lyrics for the old, old song:

      Faith of our mothers, living yet,
      after church meetings, house-breaking pets,
      Car-pooling Little League, lessons at 2,
      None would get done if it weren’t for you.
      Faith of our mothers! Holy faith!
      We will be true to you always.

      Faith of our mothers, living still,
      in spite of doc’tring others while ill,
      Working long hours and dinner at 5,
      Only by God’s grace are they alive!
      Faith of our mothers! Holy faith!
      We will be true to you always.

      Faith of our mothers passed on to each
      child and grandchild, nephew and niece,
      Sharing their faith, their hope, and their love,
      Grant them your strength and peace from above.
      Faith of our mothers! Holy faith!
      We will be true to you always.

Copyright © 1993 James N. Watkins


Happy Mother’s Day columns and cartoons

The papoose-driven life
Lessons learned from a four-month-old grandaughter

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Son of a saint!
When godly parents have not-so-godly children

“Spray paint” parenting
The secret is thin coats of moral and ethical lessons

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Talking to your kids about S-E-X
Children will learn about sex—from us or the bus!

Talking to children about war, terrorism, school violence . . .
It’s a frightening time to be a child—and a parent

mom

Top ten things my mom taught me
(Yep, that’s my mom above.)

You may be a parent if . . .
. . . you’ve ever uttered one or more of these classic lines

jimshortschildren

Get your daily dose of cartoons on Facebook and on the archives. And follow my race for the White House at Watkins for President 2016.


Quips and quotations on motherhood

A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. Peter De Vries

The one thing children wear out faster than shoes is parents. John J. Plomp

Insanity is hereditary. You can get it from your children. Sam Levenson

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs . . . since the payment is pure love. Mildred B. Vermont

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. Abraham Lincoln

We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves. Henry Ward Beecher

Read more quotations of hope and humor at Why? Over 1,000 Quotations on Life’s Most Difficult Questions.


Top photo from healthyblackwoman.com

If you enjoyed this week’s issue, please share on your social networks. Thanks!

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May 1, 2016

Hi, I’m Jim, and welcome to more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a memory stick at! The theme for this week is graduation.

You can also access more than 300 posts on death, faith, health, heavy topics, holidays, hope, humor, life hacks, love, parents, sex, spiritual issues and writing resources.

Enjoy some hope and humor,
jimlogo2


graduationiwu

Top ten things you won’t hear at commencement

Ever since Pebbles and Bam Bam graduated from Bedrock High, commencement speakers have been telling the field of funny hats to work for world peace, follow its dreams, and always wear clean underwear in case of an accident.

So cue “Pomp and Happenstance,” here are the top ten things I’ve learned since I wore a black bathrobe. [Continue reading]


graduation

I wish you faith

For my daughter, Faith’s, high school graduation, I wrote these lyrics for the junior show choir to sing to the seniors. This is my wish for you if you’re graduating.

I wish you truth for your decisions,
I wish you doubts to make you sure,
I wish you fear to give you caution,
I wish you courage to keep you pure,
But beyond these hopes and wishes,
one prayer soars high above,
I wish for you my graduate
faith and hope and love.

I wish defeats to make you humble,
I wish success to let you soar,
I wish you tears to make you tender,
I wish you joy and so much more.
For beyond these hopes and wishes,
one prayer soars high above,
I wish for you my graduate
faith and hope and love.

So as you stand and face tomorrow,
When life gets rough and tough,
There’s someone who believes in you
with faith and hope and love.

So I wish for you my graduate
faith and hope and love.

Copyright © 1996 James N. Watkins


jimshortsgrades

Cartoon of the week

Here’s one of my favorite cartoons. Remember, no potential employer ever looks at your transcript!

Get your daily dose on Facebook and on the archives. And follow my race for the White House at Watkins for President 2016.


Quips and quotations on your future

Be yourself, because everyone else is already taken. Oscar Wilde

It seems to us that the most important work in the world is the work which is visible, which we can see: building a house, plowing the land, feeding cattle, gathering fruits; and that the work which is invisible, the work done by our soul, is not important. But our invisible work at the improvement of our soul is the most important work in the world, and all other visible kinds of work are useful only when we do this major work. Leo Tolstoy

Jesus came to announce to us that an identity based on success, popularity, and power is a false identity—an illusion! Loudly and clearly he says: “You are not what the world makes you; but you are children of God.” Henri Nouwen

The impact that God has planned for us does not occur when we are pursuing impact. It occurs when we are pursuing God. Phil Vischer

Let all our employment be to know God. Brother Lawrence

Are you trying to make a living, make a difference, or leave a legacy? Seth Godin

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.Betty Reese

Read more quotations of hope and humor at Why? Over 1,000 Quotations on Life’s Most Difficult Questions.


Pics from Indiana Wesleyan University and MorgueFile.

If you enjoyed this week’s issue, please share on your social networks. Thanks!

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batmanvssuperman

I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category: Top ten posts from April 2016

10. Who is the supreme super hero?

9. Encouraging quips and quotations

8. Cartoons

7. Does DNA disprove evolution?

6. Cure for common cold: sex

5. God is never late, but he sure is slow

4. Children who marry their parents: the psychology of courtship

3. What was Paul thinking when he wrote 1 Timothy 2:12?

2. Were U.S. founding fathers Christian?

And, the number one post in April 2016 . . .

1. It Is Well with My Soul: the rest of the stories

(See right column for the latest posts.)

Share
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