iGuatemala o busto!

October 14th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Guatemala or bust! I’m getting packed to travel to God Bless the Children home in Guatemala City where I’ll serve as “Grandpa in Resident” for 20+ children. Looking forward to coloring, crafts and sharing some magic tricks. What fun! (I’ll be updating on Facebook and Instagram.)

And best of all, I’m going with a team that includes my daughter, Faith, and her 14- and 11-year-old daughters! We travel to Chicago Thursday the 17th, then fly out early Friday from “O’Hell International” to Dallas and then to Guatemala City. We fly back on Friday the 25th.

As you know, lack of structure and routine as well as being anxious in new situations with new people, plus OCD are issues for this extreme extrovert with clinical depression. I want to be an encouragement to the staff and show the kiddos that they are loved and valued. And to demonstrate that God’s power is revealed in our weakness to all and especially to my granddaughters.

¡Muchas gracias por tus oraciones! (Thanks so much for your prayers!)

Update October 26: Wow! Your prayers were answered! God’s power is revealed in our weakness. A great experience.

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 being pregnant!)

So, from someone who has spent forty-five years in ministry, here are Top ten ways to appreciate your pastor this month—and every month.

And if you’re a pastor, here’s whole a collection plate of hope and humor for you.

God, I don’t understand . . .

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

God I don't understand
. . . unanswered prayer.
. . . unfulfilled promises.
. . . unpunished evil.

You’re not alone if you’re struggling! The psalmist, Asaph, (Psalms 50, 73-83) rejoiced at the glorious rise of Israel and the building of the magnificent Temple. But he also grieved as during the spiritual collapse and complete destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. His writing is filled with raw, honest anguish as he struggled with unanswered prayer, unfulfilled promises, and unpunished evil.

Here’s what others are saying about God, I Don’t Understand (Previously titled The Psalms of Asaph)

      This book is for everyone who’s ever questioned God’s goodness, love, or faithfulness.
      With his trademark wit and wisdom, James Watkins addresses the hard questions, validates our pain, and offers a shoulder to cry on. This book shines a light on the blackest spaces of our lives and finds the hope that hides in the dark.
      Renae Brumbaugh Green, author of Morning Coffee with James.

      God, I Don’t Understand is an amazing book that takes a fresh and intimate approach to the great “un’s” of life. Through testimonies and biblical references, Watkins shows how to live in the light of God’s love—despite tragedies, our lack of understanding, and resulting anger. They don’t have to destroy our relationship with him.
      DiAnn Mills, best-selling suspense novelist

Excerpt: Why? Why? Why?
Table of Contents

• Amazon Paperback eBook [coming soon]

Free individual or group study guide

A river cuts through rock . . .

September 24th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Wow! Now Michael Hyatt—marketing master—is quoting me! It’s all over the Web and has been licensed on coffee mugs for a large gift distributor. One woman even had it tattooed on her forearm. (You know you’ve made an impression on a reader when it’s in “ink.” )

Note: However, my original has an “its” between “of” and “power” for parallelism. Oh well, the thought is communicated.

It’s you found this meme helpful, please share in on your social networks. Thanks!

With the popularity of The Living Bible, The Message, and other paraphrases of the Bible, perhaps it’s time for this version featuring:

The New Living Amplified Paraphrased King James Watkins Version Copyright © James N. Watkins. All rights reserved.

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

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
Photo: AOL.com

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?