Happy 8/28!

August 28th, 2017 | 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!

      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.

Click here for my columns, book excerpts, quotable quotations and more.

Have a great 8/28!

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Thomas Jefferson statue
It appears the removal of Confederate statues and other “symbols of hate” is just the beginning of the purge of politically-incorrect historical figures. ChristianPost.com reports:

      New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said a more than 100-year-old statue of Italian-born explorer Christopher Columbus could be removed from the middle of Columbus Circle in Manhattan in a review of “symbols of hate.”

Following this misguided movement to heal racial division by tearing down “symbols of racism,” a logical target would be a massive memorial in Washington D.C. honoring a man who:

• Owned 600 slaves whom he coerced into working his massive mansion and plantation by regular beatings

• Forced children to work in his nail factory and physically punished those who didn’t make quota

• Fathered six children by a black slave who served as his “concubine” after the death of his wife

He also hypocritically wrote that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Yep, that man was none other than Thomas Jefferson!

It’s complicated. I get that. I want to be sensitive to people’s feelings. I am completely opposed to hate groups of any political, religious and ideological stripe. But I also firmly believe:

There are no perfect leaders. Moses was a murderer. King David was murderer and adulterer. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a plagiarizer and philanderer. And yet they made invaluable contributions to their time and beyond.

Destroying symbols of our unsavory past will not solve the reality of our unsettled future.

Constructively working at solving concrete conflicts rather than emotionally reacting to symbolic images is what is needed.

Copyright © James N. Watkins

Related posts

Is it 1984 in America?
The Un-tied States of America
Were Founding Fathers Christian?

Photo from National Park Service. Lifting into place statue of Thomas Jefferson at his memorial.

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. . . and one even better!

I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category: Top ten things almost as good as sex. (Don’t worry, it’s rated PG.)

10. Apple dumplings

9. Hot tubs

8. Being “liked” on Facebook (It actually stimulates the same area of the brain receptive to sexual activity. That’s creepy!)

[Continue reading]

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America has always been more “un-united” than “United” during my lifetime: campus unrest over the Vietnam War; the divisive Civil Rights struggle, deadly race riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and, while no one died, the 2016 election revealed just how un-united our States had become. And now a new word has been added to our cultural lexicon: Charlottesville..

Deep divisions are nothing new. Here’s one of my newspaper columns from the very contentious election of 2004.

Pundits are claiming that our country is “polarized” to Civil War proportions over moral, fiscal and political issues. Part of the problem maybe that many of the issues that polarize us as a country are religion-based. And whenever the “God card” is played, the stakes are suddenly raised to the Third Heaven! [Continue reading]

Related post
Ignorance protected by First Amendment
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commandments for cultural change
Speaking with truth and grace

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“Hi, I’m Jim. I’m a chocoholic.”

And that’s a good thing. Dark chocolate is actually good for you! Numerous medical studies have revealed significant health benefits, but these apply to only dark chocolate. (White “chocolate” is a complete misnomer!)

As early as the mid-1800s, Baron Justus von Liebig, a German chemist, declared, “Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power. It is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.”

So, here are excerpts from the newspaper columns I’ve written about the medical benefits of a diet rich in dark chocolate. [Continue reading]

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August 2017

My heart is broken by the tragic and hateful events in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend as white supremacists and protesters clashed leaving one dead and dozens seriously injured.

I was in high school during the civil rights demonstrations and race riots across the United States. It seems we’ve made little progress—maybe because we’re not dealing with the root issues. NFL running back Benjamin Watson—who is black—believes, “It’s not a skin problem; it a sin problem.”

Here are some previous posts on racial issues:
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commandments for cultural change
Overcoming evil with good
Race relations by the numbers What Americans and church members feel about racial issues
Top ten signs your church maybe prejudiced

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Okay, one more post on the North Korea-United States stare down:

Vocal Donald Trump supporter and mega pastor, Robert Jeffress, has publicly announced. “When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil. In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un.”

Here’s what Romans 13:1 actually says:

      Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.

Keep in mind, when the apostle Paul wrote this, the “governing authorities” were the idolatrous and immoral Roman Empire’s leaders! He argues that it has “been placed there by God.”

Am I missing something here?! Is North Korea any worse than a country with multiple gods, that worships Caesar, considers human bloodshed “entertainment,” and forcefully occupies your land?!

I would rather stress Jesus’ words:

      “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

Related posts
When is war “just”?
Will MAD rein in madman? “Mutual Assured Destruction” kept US and USSR from obliterating the planet
You want me to pray for whom? When Paul urged his readers to pray for their leaders, he had Nero in mind!

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Back to school supplies

August 8th, 2017 | 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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World ends next month!

August 3rd, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

FalseAlarm
Robert Binnion and Donna Larson host separate “end of time prophecy” websites, but both agree that 2017 is the year of the End.

According to The Sun, Larson “points to the Bible’s claims that man will rule the earth for 6,000 years before facing God’s wrath. By her reckoning, Adam was created in 3,983 BC—helpfully marking the six thousandth anniversary [in 2017]. The date also chimes with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s birth and 50 years after the unification of Jerusalem.”

I have no obscure verse from Daniel or the Revelation to prove this, but I suspect that the enemy has used these false prophets since A.D. 365, to make a mockery of the very real return of Christ on a date “no one knows . . . not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows” (Matthew 24:36).

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. These false prophecies have been predicting specific dates and not one has come to pass. Nothing to worry about, people!”

Yep, pretentious “prophets” have predicted the end of the world on specific dates for nearly 2,000 years—and they’ve all been wrong! [Read more]

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Today’s culture demands “safe spaces” from which to escape real-life’s conflicts in values, beliefs, relationships, politics, morality . . . the list goes on and on. Jesus preached the exact opposite. He warns, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33 NIV). Accept conflict and—unbelivably—rejoice in it.

      “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way (Matthew 5:11-12).

[Continue reading]

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