Author Archives: jameswatkins

About jameswatkins

Author and speaker

Life as a human tetherball

September 20th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I’m sure my friends in Mexico and the Caribbean are feeling like human tetherballs as two earthquakes and two Category 5 hurricanes have struck them this way and that. And my friends in Texas and Florida are still battered from dual hurricanes and those in the west are still recovering from destructive wildfires.

For those unfamiliar with this violent game (“head injuries on a stick”), a volleyball is hung from a tall metal pole with a rope (tether). The players on opposite sides of the pole try to hit the ball—one clockwise, one counterclockwise—until one player winds the ball all the way around the pole so that it is stopped by the rope. A steel pole. A heavy ball flying directly at the contestants’ faces. What possibly could go wrong?!

Maybe you, too, have felt like life is punching you in the face as you reel in the opposite direction, then you’re struck again and propelled the other way. You’re in constant motion, being struck this way and then that with health crises, financial hardships, relationship problems, etc. etc. There is hope. [Continue reading]


Hope! Humor! Hoorah! from James Watkins

September 20th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Hope and humor author James Watkins
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 . . .


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.


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.)


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!


Grieving fires and floods

September 12th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Being Jesus in Irma
The United States has experienced massive wind and flood damage of Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma as well as widespread destruction of western wildfires. And the death toll of the combined natural disasters is expected to rise. Grief is not only a reaction to loss of life, but a loss of property, security, routine, creature comforts, and more prompting deep feelings of grief.

Here are some posts that may be helpful in the aftermath of these recent natural disasters:
Dealing with death and grief
Are natural disasters “acts of God?

Photo from The Salvation Army

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


9/11: Hope from the horror

September 11th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Two small numbers—9/11—have become shorthand for an infinite number of emotions: the shock and disbelief of watching the terrorist attack on live TV, the horror of watching the twin towers collapse upon themselves, the national grief as the number of confirmed casualties grew to over 2,800, the growing realization that we are no longer beyond the reach of terrorist attacks, and perhaps most of all, the fact that those who remember where they were on that date, will never, ever be the same. Here are some hopeful and helpful posts about that day of horror 16 years ago.

If you found this hopeful and helpful, please share on your social networks. Thanks!


World Suicide Prevention Day offers hope

September 10th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Today, Sunday, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Each year, more than 800,000 people die by suicide and 25 times that number attempt to take their own lives. I have had thoughts of suicide as I struggle with clinical depression. Here are some posts I trust are helpful if you or a loved one are dealing with suicidal thoughts.

Hope and help for suicidal thoughts
If you’re thinking about suicide
Do those who commit suicide go to heaven?

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


Reasons for fear, reasons for hope

September 7th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

September 2017

Reasons for fear

• The rogue nation of North Korea just detonated a possible hydrogen bomb and is threatening that it can now strike the United State mainland with nuclear devastation.

• Irma, a “catastrophic” Category 5 hurricane with possible sustained winds of 225 mph, has Florida in its sights.

• Children of illegal immigrants, who are currently protected from deportation under the so-called “Dreamers” executive order by President Obama, may see that order rescinded by President Trump.

Reasons for hope

Are you listening to Goliath or God?

“Don’t be afraid”

Fear not Guest post by my daughter

I’m giving up fear for Lent

In this world you will have trouble

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


Do you have the worst job?

September 2nd, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Happy Labor Day! Here in the States, we’re celebrating labor by taking the day off!

However, not everyone loves his or her job, so I have in my right hand, direct from, today’s category: Ten top worst jobs in America. The company took a look at 200 jobs and ranked them based on a variety of criteria, including “income, outlook, environmental factors, stress and physical demands.” (Of course, my first question was “Am I on the list?” And second, “Where does “survey-taker” rank on the list?”)

[Continue reading]


Questions swirl in Hurricane Harvey’s wake

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

Questions of why always swirl in the wake of natural disasters. But like the popular game show, “Jeopardy,” the answers are in the form of a question.

What can I know?

Every situation is a life lesson.

I’ve worked up way too much spiritual perspiration trying to answer why my second-grade teacher committed suicide, why I was laid off from the perfect job in publishing—twice—or why bad things happen to such good people as you and me.

I have learned that while why is often a futile question, God is more than willing to answer other questions. I can also find the answer to . . .

How can I grow?

Remember the “purpose” in Romans 8:28, “all things work together for good,” is found in verse 29: To “be conformed to the image of his son.”

How can this situation make me grow more like Jesus?

Who can I show?

Second 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).

Who can I comfort with the comfort I have received?

Let’s all comfort the people of Texas and Lousiana in our best way possible whether personally assisting, giving to the Salvation Army and other reputable relief organizations, or simply praying. Everyone can help!

Adapted from The Psalms of Asaph: Struggling with Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, Unpunished Evil, which should be out the end of this month.

Related post:
Are natural disasters “acts of God”?

Photo from Houston Chronicle

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Happy 8/28!

August 28th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

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!


Tearing down statues won’t build up States

August 28th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

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. 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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