Chocolate diamond
Have you seen all those commercials trumpeting Le Vian’s “unique chocolate diamonds”?

The only problem is that brown diamonds are the most common and least valued for jewelry. (The most valuable are white and blue.) So, for centuries, brown diamonds were used only for industrial purposes. Then the Le Vian family decided on a creative marketing strategy. Instead of calling them ubiquitous and virtually useless brown chunks of compressed coal, they hyped them as “Chocolate Diamonds.” Everyone loves chocolate! And Le Vian family has been making a whole mine of money selling them!

Here’s how to turn your “shaft” into a mine. [Continue reading]

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Hi, I’m Jim. Think of me as your online cheerleader. Or maybe not, but I do offer more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a pom pom at. Rah! Rah! I’m also an . . .

Author

I’m an author of twenty books and over 2,000 articles (Everything from sects to sex). You can read free articles and humor columns—a bargain at twice the price—on death, faith, health, heavy topics, holidays, hope, humor, life hacks, love, parenting, sex, spiritual issues and writing resources. Plus, snarky cartoons and free comedy/drama sketches. What a deal! Scroll down for my latest posts.

Speaker

I’m passionate about bringing hope and humor to my audiences—as well as teaching others to do so—through conferences and seminars across the U.S. and overseas. I’ve taught and keynoted at more than 100 conferences, I’ve lectured at Liberty, Regent and many other universities, as well as spoken in hundreds of churches from a variety of denominations. I’d love to speak at your event or convenience store grand opening.

Listen to full hope and humor-filled keynote talks and seminars, as well as find a list of my topics and schedule.)

Lover

Most of all, I love God, my family (one wife, two adult children, one daughter-in-love and five adorable grandchildren), writing/speaking, and Chinese food—in that order. I’d love to share how to know God’s love. And if you share my love for writing, please visit Hope and humor for writers.

So, thanks for stopping by. If you enjoy your visit, please share on your social networks. Thanks!

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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 minister 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: (Feel free to add more in the comment section.)

10. Make sure the church pays him/her well. It’s hard to carry the cares of the church when one is wondering how to pay bills.

9. Instead of providing a parsonage, provide a housing allowance so he/she can build up equity. (Too many pastors retire “homeless.”)

8. Instead of saying, “Good sermon, pastor,” point out a specific point that was helpful. Pastors get numb to that repeated phrase.

7. Say “Amen,” raise a hand, or simply nod your head when you agree with a sermon point. It’s hard to preach to an oil painting!

6. Send him/her an email of encouragement Monday. That’s the day most pastors consider resigning and putting on a Walmart vest.

5. Offer to babysit the pastor’s kiddos so the couple can have a date night. And provide the couple with a gift certificate to a restaurant—specifically, one without a drive-through.

4. If someone gripes to you about the pastor, stop them cold with, “Have you talked to him/her about this? I don’t want to hear gossip.”

3. Respect your pastor’s calling, education and experience. Too many laypeople believe they know more about running a church than the pastor.

2. Invite them out to lunch—without “something important to talk about.” Just listen to him/her. Be an encourager!

1. Pray. No one but a fellow pastor knows the pressure and temptation facing a pastor and his/her family.

Copyright © 2017 James N. Watkins

And if you’re a pastor, here’s some hope and humor:
A case for women in ministry
Considering a post-clergy career?
Does God make “prank” calls?
It is a wonderful life
Membership standards for the modern church
The Watkins New World Church Dictionary
Top ten list: When you’re voted out
Wounded shepherd: When is it time to leave the flock?
The Whoopie Cushion Code

Graphic: concordiatheology.org

And if you appreciated this post, please share on my social networks. Thanks!

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Has your brook dried up?

October 9th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Dried Up Brook
Have you ever been praising God for his miraculous provisions, when suddenly you lose your job, huge medical expenses wipe out your savings, or some other disaster wipes out your livelihood?

I’m encouraged by the story of the prophet Elijah and the brook of Kerith (or Cherith if you prefer). God had brought a drought upon the land in response to the people’s disobedience, but God had miraculously provided for the prophet:

      “Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”

      So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land (1 Kings 17:4-7).

This weekend our brook dried up! So, two thoughts: [Continue reading]

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How to move a mountain

October 5th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

shovel-280
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: a shovel and a wheelbarrow! [Continue reading Listen to podcast]

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I’m praying for family and friends of the more than 50 killed and over 500 injured in last night’s Las Vegas shooting:

Father, wrap your love and comfort around every single person affected by this latest mass shooting: victims, family, friends, the Vegas community and our country. May your people reach out and show your love in tangible ways. (And shut the mouths of those who will attempt to exploit this tragedy to claim you are judging “Sin City.” You are not willing that any should perish.) May this godless act cause people to turn to you and to realize just how uncertain life is. Amen.

Here are some previous posts that may be helpful:
Dealing with death and grief
The good news about bad news
An Rx for gun control
Taking the terror out of terrorism
Talking to your children about the shooting

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

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Do you hate to wait?

October 1st, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


I hate to wait! I’m one of those people who impatiently taps his foot during the sixty seconds the microwave heats a cup of soup. I drum the steering wheel with my thumbs, waiting for a red light to turn green. And I even made the foolish mistake our first month of marriage of honking the horn while waiting in the car for the Mrs. (Do not try this at home!)

I’ve spent the past three weeks waiting on news of a huge business decision. And I have spent the last week waiting for test results and definitive decisions for my mom who is now on day seven in the hospital.

I suspect you hate to wait as well, so here are several helpful posts on waiting. And thanks for your prayers.

Update October 2: Mom has inflammation of the colon causing a blockage. Hopefully, it can be alleviating with antibiotics.

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