World ends next month!

August 3rd, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

FalseAlarm
Robert Binnion and Donna Larson host separate “end of time prophecy” websites, but both agree that 2017 is the year of the End.

According to The Sun, Larson “points to the Bible’s claims that man will rule the earth for 6,000 years before facing God’s wrath. By her reckoning, Adam was created in 3,983 BC—helpfully marking the six thousandth anniversary [in 2017]. The date also chimes with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s birth and 50 years after the unification of Jerusalem.”

I have no obscure verse from Daniel or the Revelation to prove this, but I suspect that the enemy has used these false prophets since A.D. 365, to make a mockery of the very real return of Christ on a date “no one knows . . . not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows” (Matthew 24:36).

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. These false prophecies have been predicting specific dates and not one has come to pass. Nothing to worry about, people!”

Yep, pretentious “prophets” have predicted the end of the world on specific dates for nearly 2,000 years—and they’ve all been wrong! [Read more]

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Today’s culture demands “safe spaces” from which to escape real-life’s conflicts in values, beliefs, relationships, politics, morality . . . the list goes on and on. Jesus preached the exact opposite. He warns, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33 NIV). Accept conflict and—unbelivably—rejoice in it.

      “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way (Matthew 5:11-12).

[Continue reading]

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Will MAD rein in madman?

July 29th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


July 2017

(CNN) North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile Friday that appears to have the range to hit major US cities, experts say, and prompted a fresh round of condemnation from the United States, China, Japan and South Korea.

Having lived through the Cold War with the Soviet Union, I’m not too worried about that crazy kid in North Korea. What kept the United States and the Soviet Union from nuking each other was a philosophy called Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD, appropriately, for short). Between the Americans and Russians were enough nuclear weapons to obliterate a planet eight times the size of earth. Both sides knew that an attack on the other would turn the entire world into a smoldering cinder. So . . .

1. Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship has a handful of weapons all—as far as we know—non-nuclear. The United States has a nuclear arsenal 6,800 missiles. (However, North Korean sympathizers Russia has 7,000 and China 270, which complicates the math.) If Un ever attempts to fire on the United States, he hopefully knows that North Korea will be nothing but smoldering ash in less than half an hour.

2. Even a madman can understand MAD. His hubris and brutality toward his people and own family certainly indicate some serious paranoid sociopathic tendencies, but I pray he also has, deep in his hypothalamus, a strong animal instinct for survival. Un could be truly “un” in a matter of minutes!

So, having lived through the hair-trigger tension of the Cold War with the Cuban missile crisis, nuclear-attack drills in school and Civil Defense films at church carry-in dinners, I’m pretty confident that MAD will rein in a madman.

© Copyright 2017 James N. Watkins

Photo from North Korean news media

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The Whoopie Cushion Code

July 27th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


“The Bible is filled with hidden humor.” That’s the contention of Dr. Harrison “Harry” Tikk, a para-archeologist who claims to have discovered The Whoopie Cushion Code. Written on a tanned sheep bladder—thought to be the world’s first novelty item—the ancient writing fills in gaps of biblical history with “holy humor.”

For instance, the document reveals that it was Abraham, speaking to the Pharaoh, who first uttered the classic comedy line, “Take my wife . . . please.”

Tikk’s discoveries are somewhat controversial, however, in replacing the ten plagues of Egypt with his list of “Top Ten Practical Jokes of All Time” including fake blood, rubber snakes, and wind up frogs. And, of course, the Hebrews were the inventors of the dribble flask, clay doodoo, and manna that turned your mouth blue.

[Continue reading]

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A case for polygamy?!

July 25th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


July 2017 (AP) “Two former leaders of an isolated polygamous community in Canada were convicted Monday of practicing polygamy after a decades-long legal fight, setting up another potential court battle over the constitutionality of Canada’s polygamy laws. Winston Blackmore, 60, and James Oler, 53, were found guilty by British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Sheri Ann Donegan, who said the evidence was clear that Blackmore was married to 25 women at the same time and that Oler was married to five women in the tiny community of Bountiful.”

Actually, the cases bring up several questions, including our culture’s “tolerance” for sexual behavior.

If the two had been simply living and procreating with a total of 30 women, that would be completely legal (provided members of the harems were all over 16 years of age). In the United States, the laws vary from state to state, but in general, if you don’t ask for a marriage license from the state for your first marriage, then you can legally cohabit with as many people as you like and it is not illegal. Bigamy is only a crime for a married person, not for people who are simply living together.

So, utilizing our culture’s current thinking, a case could be made for legalizing polygamy. [Read more]

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Why we do what we do

July 20th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


Some days, we just have to sit down and remember the reason why we’re in ministry whether it’s the traditional “minister” or writer, speaker, teacher, health care worker, social worker or [fill in the blank].

Here are some reminders to provide inspiration and motivation. [Continue reading]

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The author of The Message paraphrase of the Bible is taking heat on his recent flip-flopping on same-sex marriage. Here’s a round up of my columns on LGBTQ issues.

I want to be biblical as well as compassionate for those struggling with sexual identity issues. The bottom line—at least for me—is that God is more concerned about obedience than orientation. “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). [Read more]

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Resourcing writers . . .

July 12th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

writing resources
I’m looking forward to speaking at three conferences where writers can get educated, be encouraged and engage with professional agents, editors and writers.

Carol Kent’s Speak Up Conference July 13-15, 2017, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Taylor University’s Professional Writing Conference, August 4-5, 2017, Upland, Indiana

Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference, September 28-30, 2017, Muskegon, Michigan

And if you can’t attend a physical conference, enjoy my virtual writers’ conference:

Hope and humor for writers A whole ream of resources

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I’m babysitting hamsters, “Fluffy” and “Snuggly,” while my granddaughters are on vacation. Fluffy will get on her wheel, run as fast as her tiny legs will propel her, then suddenly stop, stand up on her back legs and look around confused, as if to say, “After all that running, why am I still where I started?!” Repeat . . . repeatedly!

Unfortunately, humans sometimes have that look after running hard after a goal.

Make sure your efforts are accomplishing something. Yes, set goals, but at the end of the day (week, month or year), determine if your current efforts are moving you in that direction. If not, stop running. Evaluate your efforts. Determine a different course. Be the human. Not the hamster.

Related sites:
Finding life’s direction issue (Five posts)

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Most days, I’m successful in navigating the emotional mines floating in my life with prayer, persistence and Prozac. I can’t deny the feelings, but I can also refuse to deify them. They are not my God, but bio-chemicals, sub-conscious reactions or, perhaps, the pizza I ate before bed. So, I find myself paraphrasing Civil War Admiral Farragut’s order as his 18-ship fleet sailed into the heavily-mined port of New Orleans: “Damn the emotions! Full speed ahead!” [Continue reading]

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