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Thanks for nothing

November 22nd, 2020 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Little is known of the prophet Habakkuk. except that he lived in the time when Israel was oppressed and many had been taken captive by the Babylonians. There was little reason to give thanks. Maybe you’re also facing this Thanksgiving Day with little for which to give thanks due to COVID: not seeing family, financial struggles, the challenge of eLearning, etc. etc. Like the prophet, we can give thanks for nothing! [Continue reading]

Thanksgiving 2020 is going to look very different this year. No huge family gatherings. No large crowd at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade crowd—only TV cameras. No spectators at the football games in the afternoon. And we’re told no one should be without a mask inside there own home. Yep, all this sucks like a turkey baster!

But this doesn’t mean we can’t still be thankful! Here are some reasons to give genuine thanks this week:

Fifty praises between bed and bathroom
Today, I vowed not to ask for anything, but to simply praise God. I found fifty things for which to praise him just between the bed- and bathroom:

Top ten reasons to give thanks . . . when you think you don’t have any
10. You have a newspaper (or a mobile device”) in your hand. Thanks to Guttenberg’s press and the World Wide Web you have access to more information today than all previous generations combined.

Thanks for nothing
Little is known of the prophet Habakkuk. except that he lived in the time when Israel was oppressed and many had been taken captive by the Babylonians. There was little reason to give thanks. But, in spite of living in captivity and facing what appears to be a famine, Habakkuk writes, “Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord!”

Thanksgiving turkey trivia
Do you enjoy playing “Jeopardy” from your Laz-Z-Boy (“I’ll take ‘Fowl Friends’ for $1,000.”)? Would you like to raise the intellectual level of conversation at Thanksgiving dinner above that of the cranberry sauce? Enjoy my highly educational special report on melgris gallopavos.

Thanksgiving cartoons
And get your daily dose of my cartoons on Facebook, Instagram and at the archives.

Have a grateful Thanksgiving Day—no matter how it looks this year. And if your enjoyed these posts, please share on your social networks. Thanks!

The strain of polarization

November 9th, 2020 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

America has a serious case of bi-polar disorder.

Saturday’s projection that Democrat Joe Biden has won the presidential election and Republican Donald Trump’s claim of voter fraud and refusal to concede has underscored that the so-called United States is divided right down the middle. So, this post—written two weeks ago—is especially appropriate. Here’s a theory of why America is so polarized:

A 6.0 earthquake is creating a gaping gorge between Americans. The two sides are being violently forced apart by politics, race, morality, and even a pandemic. Any middle ground has been swallowed up by passionate partisanship and polarized perspectives.

In developmental psychology, the ability to see a wide range of good and bad in a person or pros and cons of an issue is called “cognitive complexity.” Or as my grad school professor described it, “How many holes do you have in your pasta strainer?”

It seems in America, we have only two holes in our pasta strainer: black and white. Light gray is forced through the white hole and darker grays are squeezed through the black hole, because there’s simply no opening for gray. Unfortunately, the problems facing America are not as simple as black and white. [Continue reading]

‘Twas the night before voting, when all through the land,
Every voter was fretting and wringing their hands.
Their clothing set out for the very next day
But how would they vote? Not a person could say!

So as they did toss, and they turned in their beds,
Visions of voter fraud danced in their heads.
And Mama with her Xanax, and I with Prozac,
Had just settled down for a bedtime snack.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window, I flew like The Flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear . . .
[Continue reading]

Communion of Democrats, Republicans, Independents
Pastor Keith Mannes recently left his Christian Reformed Church in Michigan saying the congregation had become too politicized. He told his local newspaper that partisanship in the pews “has been really disturbing. That’s been troubling enough that I need to lay it all down.”

Mannes’ concern was affirmed by a layperson who told The Washington Post she “cringed” when she saw cars with bumper stickers from the party she opposes. “How could they claim they are good religious people?”

And a woman, who served as leader of her denomination, grieved that politics was dividing local congregations across the Church.

So, what would Jesus do? Well, first . . . [Continue reading]

Turn doo-doo into diamonds

October 19th, 2020 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Have you seen all those ads for Le Vian’s “unique chocolate diamonds”?

The only problem is that brown diamonds are a) the most common and cheapest diamonds, plus b) they look like shiny poo! But those clever Le Vians decided instead of calling them ubiquitous and virtually useless brown chunks of compressed dinosaur doo-doo, they would hype them as magical chocolate diamonds—and everyone loves chocolate! And so, the Le Vian family has been making a whole butt load of money from shiny poo ever since!

Let’s face it, if 2020 was a gem, it would be a chocolate diamond, but here’s how to turn your doo-doo into diamonds! [Continue reading]

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.

Is depression a gift?

October 6th, 2020 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

University studies have shown the people with clinical depression tend to be more creative, more empathetic and deeper thinkers than “normal” people.

What I had always viewed at a curse has become a gift. Here’s what St. Paul writes:

      All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

And so, clinical depression has made me a more creative, empathetic, and compassionate person to encourage people through my writing and speaking. And God can turn your weakness into a strength as I describe in this brand new video.

If you find this video helpful, please share it on your social networks. Thanks!

Hope and humor and Halloween

October 5th, 2020 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Hi, I’m Jim Watkins: author, speaker, and—for my grandkiddos—”Corn Stalker.” (It’s what we do in Corn Borer, Indiana!)

Welcome to my annual look at really creepy stuff. Don’t read alone!
Are demons, exorcisms real?
Are there really ghosts?
Harry Potter: the good, the bad, the muggly
Ouija: It’s not just a game
Psychic secrets revealed
Should Christians celebrate Halloween?
Talking to the dead
Top ten reasons Halloween is a strange holiday
The Why Files: My book on the supernatural
Vampires, werewolves real!
Which witch is which?

Anti maskers
I keep hearing—often from Christians—that wearing masks and socially distancing during this global pandemic are infringements on freedom. “My civil rights are being trampled.”

May I gently suggest Christians have no freedom, except from sin:

The problem with American Christianity is that when the cross gets wrapped up in the flag, it becomes more American than Christian. For instance, America is all about freedom; Christianity is all about servitude. [Continue reading]