We wish you a merry funeral

December 3rd, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)


No, I did not add too much rum to my fruitcake. And, no, I’ve not been drinking adult-strength eggnog.

When my dad died just after Thanksgiving of 2008, I thought, How tragic that a loved one would die during the Christmas season.

However, the Christmas season is a meaningful time for a funeral. There is something very profound about death during the season of light and life. So, I recently shared this holiday truth at a service for a family friend. [Continue reading]

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Not feeling thankful?

November 19th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


Have you had one of those years where you’re dreading Thanksgiving? Do you feel you have nothing for which to give thanks? Does the holiday just emphasize your losses? I’ve been there!

So, here is a table overflowing with hope and humor to fill you up with 60 reasons to give hope. Plus, get stuffed with Turkey Trivia and Thanksgiving cartoons. [Continue to the Thanksgiving issue]

Wishing you a grateful Thanksgiving!

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My life as a human tether ball

November 12th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

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Gone are school playgrounds covered in knee-scraping asphalt, bludgeoning swing seats and “head injuries on a stick,” better known as tether ball.

For those unfamiliar with this violent game, 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]

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Pray, vote, trust

November 5th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


I’m not sure what I hate most: the commercials for hemorrhoids, feminine itching and ED cures or the divisive political commercials. If you believe all the negative ads, you’ll believe no one on the ballot is worthy of election. (I’d prefer that annoying Phillips lady to most candidates.)

A new study by Michigan State University notes: Far From United: Political Divide In America The Worst It’s Ever Been. Researcher and author, Zachary Neal, writes:

      What I’ve found is that polarization has been steadily getting worse since the early 1970s. Today, we’ve hit the ceiling on polarization. At these levels, it will be difficult to make any progress on social or economic policies.

So, here are a few of my favorite non-partisan, a-political posts and newspaper columns that address this new un-civil war:

God is on our side! And theirs?

WWJE? Who would Jesus elect?

Will God’s purpose be accomplished on election day?

The Un-Tied States of America

Your vote is important, so get out and vote! I’m Jim Watkins, and I approve this message.

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October 31 is better known as Halloween, but it marks the date over 500 years ago when Martin Luther, a Catholic priest, presented his “Ninety-Five Theses.” It delineated his differences with the church, particularly on salvation by faith only and authority of Scripture alone, as well as cataloging the corrupt practices of the Roman Catholic Church at the time. This “Reformation” created the Protestant movement. (Reformation leaders also included John Calvin, John Huss, John Knox, William Tyndale and John Wycliffe.)

As a Protestant, however, I have much more in common with my Catholic friends in our love for Christ and his Church than I have differences . [Continue reading]

And there’s still time to check out our Halloween issue–if you dare! 

 

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Laughing matters

October 22nd, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


“Some day we’re going to laugh at this!” That’s the unofficial Watkins Family motto. We refer to it often!

For instance, my son and daughter decided to create a new Olympic event—the human shot put. The winners: Faith, 11 at the time, our doctor and, his stockbroker. The losers: Paul, 7, with a broken collarbone, our insurance company, and of course us paying the $100 deductible.

Moments before the, the word processing software went to where all good software goes when an electrical storm knocks out the power.

That was followed on Monday by a visit to the dental hygienist who obviously attended the Marquis de Sade School of Dentistry. Tuesday, we sent our tearful daughter off to her first day of school in this new town. And then Thursday, the bank called to say our checking account was overdrawn.

It’s hard to laugh when you feel like a deflated whoopie cushion. The writer of Ecclesiastes claims there’s a “time to weep and a time to laugh.” But sometimes, it’s awfully hard for us to tell the difference. [Continue reading]

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Search Google for “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?” and you’ll get about one thousand sites covering everything from “it’s completely harmless” to “it’s completely hellish.” Here’s site number 1,001 that’s somewhere in the middle: [Continue reading]

But wait, there’s more! Hope and Humor’s annual take on twisted topics:
Are demons, exorcisms real?
Are there really ghosts?
Harry Potter: the good, the bad, the muggly
Ouija: It’s not just a game
Psychic secrets revealed
Talking to the dead
Top ten reasons Halloween is a strange holiday
The Why Files: My book on the supernatural
Vampires, werewolves real!
Which witch is which?

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Ten years cancer-free!

October 8th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, I will celebrate ten years cancer-free!

I am so grateful to have had ten years to write eight books, speak at over 50 conferences, celebrate ten Christmas and Easter holidays, enjoy ten wedding anniversaries (including the big 4-0), and best of all to hang out with one wife, two adult kids and eight grandchildren. (I hope to have a few more decades in me.)

I thank God, medical technology (a high-tech, computer-driven precision radiation treatment), the wonderful staff at Progressive Cancer Care and your faithful prayers.

I feel like I’ve been given a gift and an opportunity to keep sharing hope and humor—and I don’t want to squander it!

So, here are the Top ten things I learned from cancer.

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October 2018

A new study by Michigan State University notes: Far From United: Political Divide In America The Worst It’s Ever Been. Researcher and author, Zachary Neal, writes:

What I’ve found is that polarization has been steadily getting worse since the early 1970s. Today, we’ve hit the ceiling on polarization. At these levels, it will be difficult to make any progress on social or economic policies.

This polarization is on display with the brutal Brett Kavanaugh hearings for his nomination to the Supreme Court, the bitter midterm election campaigns as well as racial, ethnic and moral conflicts.

Here’s what I wrote for an online magazine in January 2017 following the bitter 2016 election. [Continue reading]

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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 ministers 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: [Continue reading]


I’m also designating this month as “Unplugged October.” After a long, hard summer physically and emotionally, I’m taking 31 days off from writing and social media.

However, never fear! I have posts automatically scheduled to appear each Monday dealing with Halloween, my tenth anniversary of being cancer-free, political division, living a life of laughter and some thoughts on the Reformation and restoration.

Plus, there are over 300 posts right here. That’s ten a day, so you can have your fill of hope and humor!

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