Too depressed to post?

September 16th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

11 am

I pride myself in having a new post every Monday morning. (It posts at 12 am for my friends to the east.)

This week I’ve been battling severe depression. It may be that a mega-church pastor committed suicide. I didn’t see grandkids last week. (We made up for it with a swim party yesterday!) I got a royalty check for $13.75. I was working on my small group, Intimacy with Christ: Beyond Information and Involvement, which launches tomorrow. (The enemy is not at all happy with it!) Saturday was particularly bad, but then at 6 pm I remembered I had taken my two meds for it.

That’s probably too much information, but I wanted to explain the delay and let you know if you’re having a rough Monday, you’re not alone. So, here are some of my favorite links in dealing with downtimes:

Are you listening to Goliath or God?
Feeling inadequate, ill-equipped, in the dark?
Fifty praises between bed and bathroom
Finding still waters in the storm: The Book of Joe
From bad to worse to . . . astonishing
“I’m a mess. You’re a mess.”
My life as a human tether ball
You may be depressed if . . .

Remembering 9/11

September 11th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

Two small numbers—9/11—have become shorthand for an infinite number of emotions: the shock and disbelief of watching the terrorist attack on live TV, the horror of watching the twin towers collapse upon themselves, the national grief as the number of confirmed casualties grew to over 2,800, the growing realization that we are no longer beyond the reach of terrorist attacks, and perhaps most of all, the fact that those who remember where they were on that date, will never, ever be the same.

Here are some of my thoughts posted within hours of the original attack and throughout the subsequent years. I trust they’re helpful in dealing with the shock, anger and grief of that day and continuing attacks.

Dealing with death and grief
“bin Laden, kiss my pass!” (September 10, 2003)
Talking to your children about terrorism

Hope amid horror (September 11, 2006)
What motivates terrorists?
Taking the terror out of terrorism

Can war on terrorism be won? (September 11, 2005)
How can we overcome evil with good?
We are strong! We will survive! (September 17, 2001)
What we haven’t learned from 9/11 (September 9, 2002)
Candle-lighting ceremony following terrorist attacks (September 11, 2001)

Copyright © James N. Watkins

What are your thoughts on the anniversary of 9/11? Please leave a comment below.

Poop from Kathy Troyer

September 9th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Guest post from one of my favorite people, Kathy Troyer

Have you noticed the poop emoji is everywhere?

One of my friends said the popular image is one of her top requested “embellishments” at her gymnastic events. You can buy pool floats (I might have bought one for a friend), pillows, sheets, backpacks, notebooks, clothing, Christmas decorations, cookies, dog toys, trophies, Squishies, squirt guns, puzzles, magnets, lollipops, stickers, candies, pens, jewelry, etc.

Seriously, isn’t there enough “poop” in our world already? Call me Debbie Downer but I don’t want any more poop in my world than what is produced naturally—and thank God we live in a country where it is easily flushed away.

So, why am I writing about poop today? Because sometimes life is poopie. [Continue reading]

As a young believer, one of my favorite verses was Philippians 4:13:

      For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

I believed that through Christ, I would become a best-selling author, speak to stadium-sized crowds and overcome every obstacle in my way. Maybe you have used that verse to assure yourself that you would have a successful marriage, a winning athletic career, become a billionaire philanthropist, pastor a megachurch, overcome every temptation or [fill in the blank].

And maybe like me, you’ve found you are not doing “everything” you desired. Was Paul lying? And a more disturbing question: Is Christ powerless to do “everything”? [Continue reading]

I deal with the questions of unfulfilled promises in God, I Don’t Understand.

Happy 8/28 Day!

August 28th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I love the date of August 28, since 8/28 reminds me of Romans 8:28!

      And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Unfortunately, we leave off the verse that tells us exactly that “purpose.”

      For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son. . .

So, on this special day, here are some of my favorite posts on one of my favorite verses:

Christ’s career path: obscurity, popularity, animosity
Coincidences or “God-incidences”?
Did duct-taped recliner save our lives?!
God has a plan for new year
Squeezing Good out of Bad (Free excerpt)
Top ten things I’ve learned from cancer
Why? Some thoughts on life’s tough questions
Will God’s purpose be accomplished on election day?

Last Candidate Standing

August 26th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Are you already sick and tired of the 2020 election? I am!

Let’s have America’s national elections staged as a reality TV show! How ’bout America’s Got Candidates, The Amazing Political Race, Keeping Up with the Kandidates, Dancing with the Issues or Survivor: Electoral College? Or better, yet To Tell the Truth.

And the best part? It would run only from September through November during “sweeps” every four years! Here’s how it would work: [Continue reading]

I’m Jim Watkins, and I approve this message.

Last week, two New York City police officers committed suicide: one 56 years old and another only 35. In fact, more officers take their own lives than die in the line of duty.

While these two tragedies made national news, the World Health Organization estimates that one million people in the general population worldwide die each year of suicide. That’s one death every 20 seconds. Twenty-five times that number attempt suicide every year. I’ve had my own thoughts while driving past a cemetery of “Lucky stiffs!” as I deal with clinical depression.

So, here are some posts I trust are helpful if you or a loved one are dealing with suicidal thoughts.

Hope and help for suicidal thoughts
If you’re thinking about suicide
Do those who commit suicide go to heaven?
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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

In July, Joshua Harris, the author of the best-selling—and controversial—book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, as well as former pastor, publicly announced he no longer considers himself a Christian and now is a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ movement.

In August, Hillsong United worship leader Marty Sampson publicly admitted he is “genuinely losing his faith” after struggling with questions about God’s goodness.

Serious questions about faith are nothing new. But publicly proclaiming them to a worldwide audience is new! These influential voices feel it’s their obligation to struggle online. Here’s why I think that’s spiritually dangerous,

Open doors
One of my favorite talks and posts is God’s will is not lost—for those trying to find it. The premise is based on Proverbs 3:5-6:

      Trust in the Lord with all your heart
      And do not lean on your own understanding.
      In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He will make your paths straight (NASB).

My point is that “God’s will” is not some mystery we must try to solve nor even a specific path we must follow. It is simply 1) trusting God with all our hearts, 2) not leaning on our own understanding, and then 3) acknowledging (yada, to know intimately) him.

Unfortunately, I had gotten sucked into mission statements and five-year plans. Maybe you’ve bought into the “responsible” way to approach life as well. [Continue reading]

August 4, 2019 7:30 am EST

Twenty-nine people are dead and 42 injured in two mass shootings just 13 hours apart. Saturday at 10:39 am local time, 20 people were killed in El Paso, Texas. Then at 1 am Sunday morning, nine people were killed in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Lone gunmen are responsible for both killing sprees. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victims.

In 2017, 12,839 people died from homicide from firearms prompting many to call for stricter gun control.

However, in that same year, more than three times that number were killed by another deadly cause, and yet there are no demands for stricter control of it. Why the discrepancy in concern? Because those 37,133 deaths were caused by vehicles with 10,874 of those caused by drunk driving. (There was an attempt to control alcohol during the days of Prohibition, but that did not prove an effective solution.)

In the case of mass shootings, guns are to blame. In auto deaths, the drivers are held responsible. The truth is that in both cases it is the person who is responsible. Banning vehicles would be much more effective in decreasing auto deaths than banning guns. Illinois has some of the toughest gun control laws in the United States, yet it has one of the highest rates of gun-related deaths.

Rather than calling for stricter gun control—which has proven time and time again ineffective—we need to be addressing the moral, social and mental health causes that are contributing to this alarming effect. But it’s much easier to blame an amoral, inanimate object than to address the real human issues.

Related posts
Rx for gun control
Talking to your children about terrorism, school violence

Note: Gun control advocates use the total number of deaths from firearms per year—36,383—but don’t distinguish that 22,274 of that number are suicides, 496 are police shootings and 295 are accidental.

Photo: New York Times

Copyright © 2019 James N. Watkins