Author Archives: jameswatkins

About jameswatkins

Author and speaker

Are you listening to Goliath or God?

August 21st, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

As you know, it was Goliath who became buzzard meat.

We have a choice whose promises we will believe: our enemy or our God.
Continue reading
Listen to podcast (2 min)
Listen to keynote address (45 min)


‘F— hope’ or Find hope

August 10th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Controversial filmmaker, Michael Moore, went on an obscene rant on The Huffington Post recently:

      F— hope. Seriously, f— hope. F— despair, too. But f— hope.

      Hope is passive. Hope gives you permission to let someone else do the work.

      Hope, and the passivity that comes with it, is what helped get us here to begin with. It’s the lazy way out.

      We don’t need hope. We need action.

As a writer and speaker, whose tagline is “hope and humor,” I wish to disagree. [Continue reading]


Back to school supplies

August 6th, 2018 | 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:

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

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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Hope and humor for writers

August 2nd, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

I’m looking forward to the Taylor Professional Writers Conference this weekend. There’s still room for you. If you can’t be there, here’s what I’m sharing:

Crossing Over with the cross How to take the Word to the world

Seven questions to ask a prospective agent

Writing with Banana Peels The benefits of using humor in writing

Writing online How to hook today’s online users

But wait, there’s more:

• Last year’s keynote: The Ten Creative Commandments (Video)

Hope and humor for writers A whole ream of resources

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The Book of Joe: Hope for ministers on Monday

July 23rd, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

For my friends in ministry, are you ready to resign? (Of course you are! It’s Monday.)

Here’s some hope and humor from my friend, Chris Maxwell. He uses the writings of Frederick Buechner, Oswald Chambers, Annie Dillard, Richard Foster, C. S. Lewis, Brennan Manning, Calvin Miller, Henri Nouwen, Eugene Peterson and more to encourage those serving others. I’m part of the “more” in his book, Pause for Pastors: Finding Still Waters in the Storm of Ministry.

So here’s my excerpt to provide some hope and humor for those “in the storm of ministry” . . .

The Book of Joe

There was a pastor whose name was Joe. He was blameless, upright, feared God, and never lifted his messages from without giving proper attribution.

He had two sons and two daughters who never misbehaved in his growing church of two thousand, and he had just been honored as “Pastor of the Year” by his district.

And behold there came a day when Satan appeared before God, and the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant, Pastor Joe? For there is no pastor like him in all the land for he is blameless, upright, fearing Me, and never turning in his district reports late.”

And Satan answered God, “Does Pastor Joe fear God for nothing? Have You not blessed his average attendance figures? But cause his offerings to dip and his secretary to run off with the treasurer—and $100,000—and surely he will curse You to Your face.” [Continue reading]


‘The beginning and the end’ . . . and middle

July 16th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Have you seen the Facebook posts that reads:



If we start out well, and have the right end in mind, the middle will work out. [Continue reading]


Having the last laugh

July 9th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

[Jesus] went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him (Mark 39-40).

It was over. Finished. She had given up the ghost. Crossed over Jordan. The fat lady—or in this case, the professional mourners—had sung. Roll the credits!

We have all been there.

It might not have been the death of a loved one. Perhaps it was a marriage, a job, a friendship, a pastorate, or a dream. It was over, finished, the end. And to think otherwise was simply laughable.

In those relationships and situations that seem beyond hope, God enjoys having the last laugh. [Continue reading]


Were U.S. Founding Fathers Christian?

July 2nd, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

True or False: The Founding Fathers of the United States were Christians who formed a government based on godly principles.

Well, the answer is a bit more complex than simply true or false. The “revisionist left” would like to make them secular and the “religious right” would like to make them saintly. Let’s take a look at some of the more prominent Founding Fathers’ beliefs . . . in their own words. [Continue reading]

And have a great and safe Independence Day!


Hope for balance in life

June 25th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

If I hear another pastor, teacher or speaker proclaim, as if from Mount Sinai, “Put God first, your family second, your ministry third and your self last,” my “self” is going to put them very last on my priority list! Here’s why:

Let me be clear: putting God at the center of our lives is essential. But this ranking system is rigid, unrealistic and unworkable. Those who attempt to implement it end up conflicted and stressed—and probably alienated from their family. So, here’s an alternative. [Continue reading]


Welcome summer!

June 18th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

It’s a beautiful day in Corn Borer, Indiana, so a great time to just laze in the hammock and recycle some old columns on:

Vacations are not a vacation if . . .
Traveling the world on one tank of gas
Top ten clues a man should wear a shirt in summer

And, of course . . .
Laziness is a virtue.

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