Hope and humor ‘zine: Defeating despair

April 17th, 2016 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized

April 17, 2016

Hi, I’m Jim, and welcome to more encouragement and entertainment than you can shake a memory stick at! This week’s theme is defeating despair.

You can also access more than 300 posts on death, faith, health, heavy topics, holidays, hope, humor, life hacks, love, parents, sex, spiritual issues and writing resources.

Enjoy some hope and humor,


Riding the tides of life

The desert and the parched land will be glad . . . they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God (Isaiah 35:1a, 2e).

Surrounded by lush ferns, towering cedar pines, and majestic mountains, the tidal basin of Washington’s Puget Sound lies flat and lifeless. Only dead branches, rotting logs, and old tires emerge from this salt-dried waste land of brownish gray.

But hours later, the silver-plated sea spreads out across the barren land covering it with the sunset’s burgundy, mauve, and dark pink colors.

Two times each day, 365 days a year, a “dry and thirsty land where there is no water” is transformed into sea of glorious colors.

Perhaps we, as God’s creations, also experience the ebb and flow of emotional and spiritual tides. We climb lush mountain sides and descend into valleys gray with death. We taste the freshness of living water and the dry, salty taste of dust.

Maybe it is the harsh ebb and flow of life and death that hone our sensitivity to our world and our God—life and death, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, and the glory of God and the despair of this world.

Through it all, the unchanging rhythm of the tide gives us hope that refreshment always follows dryness. And, above it all, shines the glory of God.

Copyright © James N. Watkins All rights reserved.


A not-so-glamorous day in life of an author/speaker

Today I don’t have any articles or books to write. No international—or even local Optimist Club—speaking engagements.

I forced myself to at least get out of bed at 6:15 am after listening to heart-breaking news on the clock radio. So, I’m up, I’m dressed (if you consider gyms shorts and T-shirt “dressed”), but no reason to take a shower as a noon meeting was cancelled.

I’m dutifully sitting at my computer in my office answering email, but mostly mindlessly surfing the ‘net for something to stimulate a Hope & Humor post. (I think I’m simply overwhelmed at all the ways it seems culture is coming apart at the seams, so don’t feel very hopeful or humorous right now.)

I’m trying to convince myself that this is all part of the mental illness of being a writer. For every day of exhilarating writing, there’s a day of immobilizing boredom. For every exciting speaking engagement, a day where I just mutter to myself. [Continue reading]


Cartoon of the week

Here’s one of my favorite cartoons on overcoming depression.

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Quips and quotations

The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, “O God, forgive me,” or “Help me.” Billy Graham

[God] inhabits our despair as well as our praises. Henri Nouwen

God in His eternal music, plays upon the black keys as lovingly as He plays upon the white. Elton Trueblood

My child, do not trust in your present feeling, for it will soon give way to another. As long as you live you will be subject to changeableness in spite of yourself. You will become merry at one time and sad at another, now peaceful but again disturbed, at one moment devout and the next in devout, sometimes diligent while at other times lazy, now grave and again flippant.

But the man who is wise and whose spirit is well instructed stands superior to these changes. He pays no attention to what he feels in himself or from what quarter the wind of fickleness blows, so long as the whole intention of his mind is conducive to his proper and desired end. For thus he can stand undivided, unchanged, and unshaken, with the singleness of his intention directed unwaveringly toward Me, even in the midst of so many changing events. And the purer this singleness of intention is, with so much the more constancy does he pass through many storms. Thomas à Kempis

Read more quotations of hope and humor at Why? Over 1,000 Quotations on Life’s Most Difficult Questions.

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