Evil Jim at the Oscars is brought to you by: I Have a Meme: 200 of my best—and a few of the worst—cartoons. Doesn’t he look stylish in his rented tux?!

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Nearly one-third adolescent boys and many teen girls go through a time of questioning their sexual identity. With today’s discussions of “gender fluidity,” it has become an even larger issue.

If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, I want you to know I care about you.

If you’re straight, I want you to know that gender identity is a complicated issue. And when an issue is so complicated, compassion should be the first response.

So, I’ve attempted to write these excerpts from my books on sexuality as well as these recent posts with truth and grace, so thank you for your consideration and comments. (This may prove to be my most controversial issue of Hope and Humor, but it is well worth the risk to address these issues.) Here we go . . .



My sexual identity crisis

LGBTQ issues have sparked contentious debate. So, it’s time for me to “come out” and admit my struggle with my own sexual self-identity as a teenager. [Continue reading]



Is sexual identity nature or nurture?

Brain research seems to suggest that a disruption in one’s embryonic development, could produce a male with a “female” brain. This may give credence to transgenders’ argument that they are women in men’s bodies. [Continue reading]

However, two John Hopkin researchers claim there is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that sexuality and gender orientation are innate traits. The complete report was published in The New Atlantis.



God and the Gay Christian conversation

The fight for acceptance of sex-same unions has moved from the gay community to the media to the states to the courts to “mainline” churches—and now to evangelical churches with Matthew Vines’ controversial book. [Continue reading]

God and the Gay Christian concepts

If you read just one post this issue, I’d encourage you to read, what I believe, are four biblical concepts. I’ve labeled it a “rough draft,” so I’d welcome your input. [Continue reading]



Why are some people so bent out of shape about homosexuality?

The late Fred Phelps and his followers became infamous for their picketing with signs declaring, “God Hates Fags.” Phelps message and methods have been condemned by both religious and non-religious. (See God hates godhatesfags.com). But, why does God—and many of those who profess to follow Him—seem so bent out of shape about homosexual behavior? Here’s my theory for your consideration. [Continue reading]



A ‘civil’ debate on same-sex marriage

Is it possible for opposing sides of the issue to get what they both want? Here’s my win/win proposal. [Continue reading]



New book releases fall 2017

I’m thrilled to announce that Bold Vision Books will be releasing Three Questions: Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, Unpunished Evil in time for the Christmas book-buying season. And thanks for your prayers as I write with a June 31 deadline. Click for a rough draft of the Preface and Introduction. (Okay, it’s really rough draft, that I’m completely rewriting, but it will at least give you an idea of what I’m writing.)



Previous issues, legal stuff . . .

Love, marriage, sex issue (2.1.17)
Inaugural issue (1.15.17)
Lives matter issue (1.8.17)
New Year, new you issue (1.1.17)
Mental health issue (12.28.16)
Music issue: 2 (09.18.16)
Conspiracy issue (09.12.16)
More

Plus, you can also access over 300 posts—more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a memory stick at—on death, faith, health, heavy topics, holidays, hope, humor, life hacks, love, parents, sex, spiritual issues and writing resources. But wait, there’s more: free stuff. Enjoy!

All writing copyright © James N. Watkins and is protected by United States and international law. For permission to print or repost, please visit my press page.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your social networks. Thanks!

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Welcome to my annual salute to love, marriage and sex. If you’re single, dating, engaged, married, divorced, widowed or “it’s complicated,” there’s something for you! Enjoy.

Many of the posts below are from my books on love and sexuality, including The Why Files: When Can I Start Dating?. And check out my cartoons on love.



Love

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



Marriage

Children who marry their parents: the psychology of courtship
Top ten reasons I’m not divorcing my wife
Top ten secrets to staying married



Sex

A case for polygamy?!
Can I become a virgin again?
“Coming Out” My sexual identity crisis
Cure for common cold: sex
Fifty Shades of Beige “Reel” sex is never as good as real sex
Guy’s guide to cars . . . and sex
The hidden habit: masturbation
Three secrets to XXX-ceptional sex
Top ten turn-ons for women
Why are guys such boobs about breasts?



New How to become a million-selling author

This month, I reached 12 million readers. Yep! Twelve with six zeros. You can too! [Continue reading]



Previous issues, legal stuff . . .

Inauguration issue (1.15.17)
Lives matter issue (1.8.17)
New Year, new you issue (1.1.17)
Mental health issue (12.28.16)
Music issue: 2 (09.18.16)
Conspiracy issue (09.12.16)
Remembering 9/11 (09.11.16)

Plus, you can also access over 300 posts—more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a memory stick at—on death, faith, health, heavy topics, holidays, hope, humor, life hacks, love, parents, sex, spiritual issues and writing resources. But wait, there’s more: free stuff. Enjoy!

All writing copyright © James N. Watkins and is protected by United States and international law. For permission to print or repost, please visit my press page.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your social networks. Thanks!

Share

The Psalms of Asaph
You’re not alone if you’re struggling! The psalmist, Asaph, (Psalms 50, 73-83) watched the glorious rise Israel and the building of the magnificent Temple as well as the moral collapse and complete destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. His writing is filled with raw, honest anguish as he struggled with unanswered prayer, unfulfilled promises, and unpunished evil.

Here’s what others are saying about The Psalms of Asaph:

James Watkins tackles the big questions that most people ignore—or deny. I felt his heart in this book and thought, I know those feelings. I especially appreciate his writing about this and hope many will read this book.
Cec Murphey, best-selling author of 90 Minutes in Heaven

This book is for everyone who’s ever questioned God’s goodness, love, or faithfulness.
With his trademark wit and wisdom, James Watkins addresses the hard questions, validates our pain, and offers a shoulder to cry on. This book shines a light on the blackest spaces of our lives and finds the hope that hides in the dark.
Renae Brumbaugh Green, author of Morning Coffee with James.

The Psalms of Asaph is an amazing book that takes a fresh and intimate approach to the great “un’s” of life. Through testimonies and biblical references, Watkins shows how to live in the light of God’s love—despite tragedies, our lack of understanding, and resulting anger. They don’t have to destroy our relationship with him.
DiAnn Mills, best-selling suspense novelist

Read excerpts
• Scroll down for Table of Contents, Summary

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Free downloadable group study guide
Click here

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Contents

Introduction

I. Unanswered Prayer
1. Is Unanswered Prayer God’s Fault?
2. Is Unanswered Prayer Someone Else’s Fault?
3. Is Unanswered Prayer My Fault?

II. Unfulfilled Promises
4. Are God’s “Promises” Really Promises?
5. Are the Promises Conditional?
6. Are the Promises To Be Fulfilled in the Future?

III. Unpunished Evil
7. Is God Responsible for Evil?
8. Why Doesn’t God Seem to Prevent Evil?
9. Why Is God Slow in Bringing Judgment?

Conclusions
10. Life is hard
11. God is good
12. There is a purpose


Summary

Here’s the post from 2002 that started it all:

A three-year-old’s favorite word is why.

“Johnny, hold my hand while we cross the street.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t want you to run out in front of a car.”

“Why?”

“Because if a car hits you, you’ll be hurt or killed.”

“Why?”

“Because if it’s a contest between a thirty-five-pound boy and an SUV, the three-ton vehicle is going to win every time.”

“Why?”

“Because the laws of physics state that mass plus momentum equals—Just take my hand, Johnnie!”

And on it goes—right into adulthood!

Why didn’t God heal my friend?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Why do I still have acne at 60?

But like the popular game show, Jeopardy, the answers are often in the form of a question.

What can I know?

I can know the truth of Romans 8:28:

      And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (NIV).

For instance, our group health insurance had very few maternity benefits, but had great “major medical” coverage. At the birth of our first child, my wife had complications and spent five days in Intensive Care. But, because the birth was now “major medical,” every penny of our daughter’s birth was covered. Sitting in ICU for five days waiting to know if my wife was going live or die was not good, but it did work for good.

However, it took me nearly thirty years to realize that Romans 8:28’s “purpose” is revealed in the following—and usually ignored—verse:

      . . . to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. . . .

I may never know the answer to why, but I can know what is the purpose to which God is working all for our good. To be like Jesus! If you look for it, you’ll find throughout the New Testament. For instance:

      And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18b, author’s emphasis).

How can I grow?

Jesus promises . . .

      “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

      “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

      “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit” (John 15:1, 4-5 NLT).

Our spiritual lives depend on this intimate connection with Christ. His life flows into and through us causing us to become organically one with his character. That connection is strengthened through prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers. And suffering!

      We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NLT, author’s emphasis).

When I think back to my “successful” years—award-winning author and editor, world-traveling conference speaker, denominational executive, and co-pastor of a growing church—I certainly didn’t resemble the Christ I was trying to follow. It has only been during my “failure” years—years between book contracts, estranged relationships, being voted out of a church, and having to borrow money to make a living writing and speaking—that I have come to derive my self-identity and self-worth from simply being a loved child of God.

Who can I show?

Finally, 2 Corinthians 1:3-6 has become one of my favorite passages in encouraging me while I’m going through terrible times:

      Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer (NLT).

I now believe that God is more than willing to answer those questions and how they relate to living a life conformed to the image of His Son. Even why I still suffer from acne!

Copyright © 2002, 2018 James N. Watkins

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