I love the story of Gideon: not the guy who keeps leaving his Bible in hotel rooms, but the Jewish judge who describes himself as “the least in my entire family.” God has called Gideon to liberate the Israelis from the cruel oppression of the Midianites. But to defeat the enemy of over 100,000 troops, God provides him with just 300 men. (Nope, I didn’t leave out any zeroes. That’s 100,000 v. 300!) And they’re probably the guys who get picked last in pick up games at Jerusalem Junior High.

God seems to delight when we feel totally inadequate. [Continue reading]

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Nearly 2,000 years ago, St. Paul wrote, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). So, on this MLK Day, here are some of my favorite columns that explore equality:

Am I a “feminist”? Yes and no! Gender equality is complicated!

James Watkins: ex-slave, author, soul brother I’m proud to call this social reformer family!

Martin Luther King Jr’s ten commandments for cultural change

Race relations by the numbers A cover story I wrote after a summer of racial unrest and violence

Top ten signs your church may be prejudiced

What was St. Paul thinking when he wrote “Women must be silent”?!

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In advance of the National March for Life on January 24, here are some of my favorite newspaper columns on pro-life issues:

Text from “Planned Bank Robbery” video

Capital punishment: serious questions

Ethuanasia and “dying with dignity”

Is it a life or a choice?

Pro-life graphics for posting

Pro-life from womb to tomb

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Text of video, plus, other resources for overcoming giants:

• Listen to my keynote from Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, I’m a Giant Killer!

David and the Giant Publishers: Encouragement for writers

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My resolution for 2020 is to move from text to video in the New Year. Yep, 80 percent of website traffic will be video by the end of the year. But don’t worry, you’ll still find text versions and lots of related links as well. And now, some of my favorite New Year posts.

Text version of Do You Have 20/20 Vision?

The 365 Days of Christmas Here’s how to stretch out the holiday well beyond “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

My annual predictions for the New Year My annual predictions for the New Year have been 99 percent accurate for the past 20 years. I know, it’s kind of scary!

God has a plan for the new year Yep! He has a plan for your relationships, schedule, location and more for the new year as evidenced in the Christmas story. He’s more organized and in control than the best party planner!

Keeping those resolutions From the award-winning The Why Files series, here’s hope and help for “Breaking Habits Before They Break You.” You can develop new habits in the new year.

More than lighted balls drop on New Year’s Eve Time Square’s lighted ball gets all the press, but other cities across America drop all kinds of things at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Some very strange things!

Have a God-directed New Year!

Top ten posts for 2019

December 30th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category: Top ten posts from 2018. (Number in parentheses, 2018 ranking.)

10. My bio sheet (10)

9. The Easter story in chronological order (22)

8. Top ten verses Donald Trump may want to read (62)

7. “Coming Out” My sexual identity crisis (15)

6. From bad to worse to . . . astonishing (4)

5. Children who marry their parents: the psychology of courtship (6)

4. God is never late—but he sure is slow (3)

3. The Christmas Story in chronological order (5)

2. It Is Well with My Soul: the rest of the stories (2)

And, the number one post for the year . . .

1. What was Paul thinking when he wrote 1 Timothy 2:12? (1)

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“Peace on earth” seems only a hollow Christmas card cliche today what with civil wars, terrorist attacks and rioting in the streets throughout the world.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow didn’t feel in much of a holiday mood either when he heard the bells on Christmas Eve during the Civil War. His wife had been burned to death when her clothing caught fire in 1861, and his son had been critically wounded in the War in December 1863. The famous poet is believed to have penned “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” in 1864—at the height of the war! [Continue reading]

For more hope and ho! ho! ho! visit The Twelve Sites of Christmas

A visit from Jeff Bezos

December 20th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

‘Tis the week before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature is stirring, except for my mouse.
The wishes are posted on Amazon’s list,
in hopes that Jeff Bezos had stocked all the gifts.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
but a delivery drone a-hovering near!
Away to the front porch I flew like a flash,
To beat the porch pirates after my stash!
It dropped all the packages in a snow drift,
Then blinked and hummed and started to lift.
And I heard in announce as it started to climb,
“Thank you for shopping with Amazon Prime!”

Copyright © 2019 James N. Watkins

For more hope and ho! ho! ho! visit The 12 Sites of Christmas

Putting the X back in Xmas

December 16th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

At the risk of sounding like “The Grinch,” Ebeneezer Scrooge, and Henry Potter all gift-wrapped into one big “Humbug,” I’d like to propose that we put the X back in Christmas.

I tend to agree with Peanut’s Lucy that “Christmas is a big racket. It’s run by a big Eastern syndicate you know.” What originally was called “Christ’s Mass” to commemorate Jesus’ birth has now been commercialized into the secular time of gift-giving. Don’t get me wrong. I like getting and giving gifts as much as anybody. In fact, I love getting gifts!

However, a bit of history. Early Christians didn’t celebrate the rituals of Yule (a Wicca celebration of the winter solstice) or Saturnalia (a Roman holiday celebrating the births of various gods called “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” on December 17, which often lasted nearly a week.) The original disciples celebrated Easter as their main religious holiday. [Continue reading]

For more hope and ho! ho! ho! visit The 12 Sites of Christmas

I hope you enjoy this rendering of the story of Christ’s birth in chronological order from Jesus: His Life and Lessons.

Jesus is God from eternity

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn’t overcome it.
The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-5, 14). [Continue reading]

Or if you prefer a more modern version: A Very Twitter Christmas. What if the Christmas story had been tweeted?

For more hope and ho! ho! ho! visit The 12 Sites of Christmas