Ever since Pebbles and Bam Bam graduated from Bedrock High, commencement speakers have been telling the crowd of cap and gowns to work for world peace, follow its dreams, and always wear clean underwear in case of an accident.

So cue Pomp and Happenstance, here are the top ten things I’ve learned since I wore a black bathrobe and silly hat.

1. World peace is not gonna to happen. Sorry commencement speakers, presidential candidates, and Miss America contestants. Two thousand years ago Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars, and he hasn’t been wrong yet. Better to work at being at peace with yourself. Now if just six billion people would all do that . . . [Continue reading]

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Don’t be a dodo bird

May 20th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

writing resources
Glacial changes are occuring on the writing landscape. In my short life—well, at least in geological ages—I’ve seen earth-shaking changes from literal “cutting and pasting” to word processing, from print to pixels, and from reaching perhaps several thousand with an individual’s “bulk mailing” to being available to over 2 billion Internet users. “The times, they are a changin’!”

So, today’s writer must adapt to the changes or become as extinct as the dodo bird. I’m speaking at the growing Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (The longest name in writers’ conferences!) I’m anxious to learn new trends and ways of communicating more effectively in the constantly-changing industry! Here are some of my favorite posts on keeping up with the changes:

Don’t become a digital dinosaur

Hard times for “hard news”

How to hook today’s Internet users

Don’t sabotage your writing career

Three essentials for today’s writer

Writing effective book proposals

And check out my whole ream of writers’ resources.

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planeintree2016
A show of hands, please? How many of you have ever claimed this “promise” verse?

      Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
      and your plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3)

It’s a promise that if we’re “totally committed” to God, our plans will succeed, right?! Well, not if you look at the Hebrew word translated by the New International Version as “succeed.” Kuwn can be translated “to be firm, be stable, be established; be enduring; to be directed aright, be fixed aright, be steadfast (moral sense); to prepare, be ready.”

Success—particularly in the worldly sense of fame and fortune—is not implied. You can be firm, stable, morally steadfast and still not “succeed.” Last year was disastrous for me as far as worldly success: three books going out of print, cancer, losing a big contract because of “radiation retardation,” huge medical bills and all five lottery tickets I received as a Christmas gag gift being losers. Sigh.

But I think my “purpose” (to communicate the gospel of Christ in as effective and creative manner as possible with as many as possible) remained “firm, stable and morally steadfast.”

So, if you’re not having a “successful” week, you’re in good company. Stay firm, stable, established and most of all—endure!

Copyright © 2009 James N. Watkins

Related post
When dreams die . . .

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Happy Mothers’ Day!

May 7th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


Here are my favorite columns and cartoons for these amazing people called “Mom.” Have a great day!

Faith of Our Mothers A modern twist on an old tune

My daughter is one tough mother
She had to be with me as her dad. Happy Mother’s Day, Faith!

Top ten things my mom taught me
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

And for parents in general

Cartoons on parenthood

The papoose-driven life
Lessons learned from a four-month-old grandaughter

Son of a saint!
When godly parents have not-so-godly children

“Spray paint” parenting
The secret is thin coats of moral and ethical lessons

Talking to your kids about s-e-x
Children will learn about sex—from us or the bus!

Talking to children about war, terrorism, school violence . . .
It’s a frightening time to be a child—and a parent

You may be a parent if . . .
. . . you’ve ever uttered one or more of these classic lines

Happy Mother’s Day, Lois, Faith and Amy! Thanks for the wonderful kids and grandkiddos!

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Happy May Day!

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


“Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:4b, 6b,18b NIV).

Happy May Day! No, not the military parades in Red Square. When I was a child May Day meant sneaking around the neighborhood leaving bouquets of dandelions on porches, ringing the doorbell and then running for cover—sort of trick-or-treating in reverse. The most important element was secrecy. No one was supposed to know who did the good deed! Apparently, this tradition has gone the way of milk delivered to your door, poodle skirts and black and white TV.

The Pharisees’ tradition, however, seems alive and well. From pre-school to the nursing home good deeds are rewarded with gold stars, public recognition, corporate incentives and awards banquets. It probably won’t get done if there’s no “Certificate of Appreciation” offered.

And yet Christ repeatedly warns the Pharisees—and each of us—that deeds designed to be seen by others will not receive eternal rewards. “I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

Perhaps sneaking around to do good deeds is a tradition that needs reviving. Not only on May Day, but throughout the year.

Copyright © James N. Watkins Originally appeared in Light from the Word.

Pic: Our adorable oldest granddaughter who is now 13.

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Guest post by Katie Robles

Katie is the author of Sex, Soup, and Two-Fisted Eating, so I knew this was going to be an interesting interview! The site is yours, Katie! (Just be sure to clean up before you leave.)

Jim, what’s one thing you learned (or re-learned) about writing from Psalms of Asaph?

God is good and I’m not. Next question, please. Well, maybe I should elaborate just a bit. Let me quote a bit of my book as the answer. [Continue reading]

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When I worked as editorial director at a publishing house, we executives could be gone for weeks at a time, but if one editorial assistant called in sick, the office fell apart! So here are three of my columns for all the administrative professionals who keep businesses in business.

APs are office Olympians
Forget gymnasts, swimmers, track stars, and weightlifters (along with all those retired athletes pitching E.D. products)! Administrative professionals are the unsung heroes overcoming Olympic challenges.

Top ten differences between ‘secretaries’ and ‘administrative professionals’
10. Secretaries make coffee; administrative professionals procure international resources to motivate and empower staff.

I’m my own administrative professional
For those of us who are privileged to work from home, there are a few drawbacks, such as being CEO, COO, CFO and AP! (I have to take myself out to lunch today!) But there are some real benefits.

Have a great day!

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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? [Continue reading]

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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)

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FalseAlarm
“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”?

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