hope and humor, encouragement, James Watkins
Hi, I’m Jim. I’m not exactly a cheerleader, but I do offer more hope and humor than you can shake a pom pom at. You’ll find . . .

Articles on everything from sects to sex. (Scroll down for latest.)

Book excerpts including my latest The Psalms of Asaph: Struggling with Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, and Unpunished Evil


Comedy/drama scripts

Jim Talks: Like “Ted Talks” only funnier

Writers’ resources

If you enjoy your visit, please sign up for my monthly email. And share on your social networks. Thanks!
encouragement, entertainment, James Watkins


My friend, Cec Murphey, calls it “When God turns off the lights.” Corrie ten Boom described it as a long, black railway tunnel. And over 500 years ago, St. John of the Cross called it “The Dark Night of the Soul.” But King David perhaps expressed it best: “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me!”

Have you experienced those times in your spiritual life when everything goes dark and God seems silent?

Since I finished The Psalms of Asaph: Struggling with Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, and Unpunished Evil, I’ve been experiencing a dark night of the soul. All I seem to hear from God is “be still.” Now, for a Type A workaholic with ADD, that is not easy. But I see it everywhere: in reading Scripture, in Facebook and Instagram posts, in wall plaques, bookmarks, and in music such as Hillary Scott’s Still. My friend, Twila Belk even sent me a book with “Be Still” in the subtitle!

After five months of writing virtually nothing and just one small speaking engagement, I thought Maybe God wants me to write on being still. I was sure I could hear God chuckling, “Jim, Jim, Jim.”

So, for eight months I’ve not been writing much, speaking much (or selling many books). I’ve just spent time reading the Bible and classic devotional books, praying, journaling and trying to be still. This past Good Friday, I visualized nailing WRITING and SPEAKING to the horizontal beam of the cross. I wrote in my journal: “I’m done fighting a battle I can’t win. If God wants to resurrect my so-called career that would be great, but if not, I’ll try to be okay with it—and just be still.”

Then this morning (April 11, 2018), I just happened upon these words of F. B. Meyer. (Okay, okay, I know there’s no such thing as “just happened” in God’s economy!)

      “What I tell you in the darkness, speak ye in the light” (Matt. 10:27).

      Our Lord is constantly taking us into the dark, that He may tell us things. Into the dark of the shadowed home, where bereavement has drawn the blinds; into the dark of the lonely, desolate life, where some infirmity closes us in from the light and stir of life; into the dark of some crushing sorrow and disappointment.

      Then He tells us His secrets, great and wonderful, eternal and infinite; He causes the eye which has become dazzled by the glare of earth to behold the heavenly constellations; and the ear to detect the undertones of His voice, which is often drowned amid the tumult of earth’s strident cries.

      But such revelations always imply a corresponding responsibility—”that speak ye in the light—that proclaim upon the housetops.”

      We are not meant to always linger in the dark, or stay in the closet; presently we shall be summoned to take our place in the rush and storm of life; and when that moment comes, we are to speak and proclaim what we have learned.

      This gives a new meaning to suffering, the saddest element in which is often its apparent aimlessness. “How useless I am!” “What am I doing for the betterment of men?”

      Such are the desperate laments of the sufferer. But God has a purpose in it all. He has withdrawn His child to the higher altitudes of fellowship, that he may hear God speaking face to face, and bear the message to his fellows at the mountain foot.

      Were the forty days wasted that Moses spent on the Mount, or the period spent at Horeb by Elijah, or the years spent in Arabia by Paul?

      There is no shortcut to the life of faith, which is the all-vital condition of a holy and victorious life. We must have periods of lonely meditation and fellowship with God. That our souls should have their mountains of fellowship, their valley of quiet rest beneath the shadow of a great rock, their nights beneath the stars, when darkness has veiled the material and silenced the stir of human life, and has opened the view of the infinite and eternal, is as indispensable as that our bodies should have food.

      Thus alone can the sense of God’s presence become the fixed possession of the soul, enabling it to say repeatedly, with the Psalmist, “Thou art near, O God.”

Suddenly, the sun came out—literally! (The first time in days here in gray, dark, lifeless Indiana.) The lights are still off, I’m still in the black railway tunnel, feeling my way along by faith through the dark night of the soul. But there is hope. Refreshing, revitalizing, resurrecting hope! I honestly don’t know how long this command to “be still” will last, but today I’m content to stay still until God has provided me with my next message to proclaim on the rooftop. (Maybe this is it!)

Copyright © 2018 James N. Watkins

Related posts
From bad to worse . . . to astonishing
Hope in a hand basket
“In this world you will have trouble”
It’s only temporary
Squeezing good out of bad
Turn your “shaft” into a mine

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


I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category:

10. The three secrets to succeeding in publishing are: Networking. Networking. And, networking. For just four days pretend you’re an extrovert and meet with editors, agents, professional writers and fellow writers. You’ll receive all kinds of help moving to the next level. (Pick a conference with well-known editors and agents!)

9. You can pitch your book proposal directly to an editor. With so many publishers going to “agented only” submissions, here’s your end run around that policy. Sign up for appointments, meet with them face to face at meals. (I can trace virtually all of my 20-plus books and over 2,000 articles back to a meeting at a writers’ conference.) Caveat: Do not pitch in the restroom!

8. In the seminars I’m teaching, I’ll share practical advice from my 40 years in this crazy business (I started in college).

7. Great food! (Okay, I’m a shallow person and rank conferences by their food.)

6. Writing is the only profession where you can work at 3 am in your underwear—well, at least legally. It’s the perfect “work from home” job! And it offers great tax advantages.

5. You’ll receive the inspiration you need to continue writing through networking (see 10) and hearing inspiring stories from the platform, dining room tables and dorm rooms! I’ll be sharing one of my favorite keynote talks.

4. You’ll learn a lot, but laugh even more! Writers have a wonderful sense of humor!

3. You will be surprised with what God has planned for you at the conference. (And, it’s not going to be anything you expected! Ephesians 3:20)

2. Freebies! Lots and lots of free magazines, writers’ guidelines, and books!

1. Not only is a Christian conference fun and educational, it’s going to be one of the spiritual highlights of your year.

I can’t stress enough that attending a conference is the key to getting published. You can’t spend all your time in front of your computer. At least once a year, get a shower, get dressed, get out and get connected to what’s new in publishing. (And this business is changing at gigabyte speed!)

Click for where I’ll be speaking this year. (I only speak at conferences I can highly recommend.)

Related posts
Hope and humor for writers (A whole ream of writers’ resources)


“Christian numerologist” and conspiracy theorist David Meade is back in the news telling Britain’s Daily Express that the world will end April 23! Apparently the sun, moon and Jupiter—which supposedly represents the Messiah—will be in the constellation Virgo.

Keep in mind, this is the same fake prophet with the fake name who predicted the planet Nibiru—four times larger than Earth—would collide with our planet on September 23, 2017. Nothing!

Undeterred, he then promised a “magnificent sign in the skies” on September 23, 2017, signaling seven years of the biblical “Tribulation” with nuclear war and natural disasters bringing about “the end of the world as we know it.” Nothing!

With the “world as we know it” still intact, Meade revised his prediction insisting the apocalypse would actually begin March 2018. Nothing!

Now, it’s April 23 when the “death planet” Nibiru will appear in the sky, “triggering the onset of World War III, the rise of the Antichrist, and seven years of Tribulation.”

What amazes me is that news outlets such as the BBC, Forbes, Fortune, Fox, Newsweek, New Zealand Herald, The Sun, Time, USAToday, and Yahoo News have given this phony prophet one pixel of publicity! “Fake news” news!

I believe it’s part of a larger conspiracy theory—conceived by the enemy himself—to discredit and ridicule the biblical teaching that Christ will indeed one day return following “strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars [when] the powers in the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26).

It’s fake news of a fake prophet’s fake prediction!

Copyright © 2018 James N. Watkins

Related posts
“End of world” predictions wrong since 365 AD!
Should Christians Get Caught Up in “Rapture”?

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


top ten things worse than doing your taxes
It’s tax time, so from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, top ten things worse than doing your taxes:

10. Doing time

9. Watching “The Bachelor”

8. Passing a kidney stone

7. Driving in L.A.

6. Being mauled by a grizzly bear

5. Having a root canal

4. Shopping on “Black Friday”

3. Having a flight canceled at Chicago’s O’Hell airport

2. Being abducted by aliens

1. Living in any other country than the United States.

The United States has its problems, but that “Welcome to the United States” sign always looks so good returning from overseas. Remember, filling out your 1040 form and writing a check to the United States Treasury allows you to live in a free democracy with all the modern amenities.

Related post
My plan to eliminate the IRS

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


April 4, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Five years earlier, the civil rights leader spelled out a radical strategy to change the culture of his time in his book, Why We Can’t Wait. Each participant in the Birmingham protests was required to abide by Dr. King’s “Ten Commandments.”

      1. Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.

      2. Remember always that the nonviolent movement in Birmingham seeks justice and reconciliation—not victory.

      3. Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

      4. Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.

      5. Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.

      [Continue reading]


In defense of Martha

April 2nd, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Martha receives undeserved criticism from preachers expounding on the account of Jesus’ visit to the home she shared with her sister, Mary, and brother, Lazarus! Here’s how it’s recorded in The New Living Amplified Paraphrased King James Watkins Version

      “Mary! Mary! I need some help in the kitchen!” Martha glared at her sister who was sitting in the living room with their guest.

      “In a minute,” Mary said, without moving.

      Martha glanced at her “To Do” list which was artistically penned on home-made paper with ink made from crushed cultivated grapes.

          ☐ Trim myrtle shrubs into the shape of the twelve disciples.

          ☐ Make 100 percent organic Jell-O from cow hooves.

          ☐ Carve wooden bowl in shape of the sea of Galilee. Float matzah balls shaped like fishing boats in the soup.

[Continue reading]


Happy Easter!

April 1st, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Happy Easter as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Click for a whole Easter basket of cartoons and columns.


Hope, humor, Holy week

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

Jesus: His Life and Lessons
It’s Easter week, so here’s the Easter story in chronological order: divided into seven sections so you can read a portion each day of the week:

Good Friday
Easter Sunday
[From Jesus: His Life and Lessons]

And here are my favorite Easter posts:

Easter cartoons
Easter eggs-pose’
Easter quips and quotations
Chocolate bunnies are good for you!

Palm Sunday
When praises turn to ash

Maundy Thursday
Knowing who we are One of Christ’s last acts revealed who he was

Good Friday
“It is finished!” was announced before Christ’s resurrection
They just don’t make crosses like they used to

Resurrection Sunday
Action-figure Jesus
When “It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Comin'” just isn’t enough

Have a very meaningful week!


I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category:

WordPress Backup