Author Archives: jameswatkins

About jameswatkins

Author and speaker

Top ten posts at H&H:

June 1st, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category: Top ten posts from May 2014

10. God and the Gay Christian conversation

9. Hope and humor cartoons

8. God is never late, but he sure is slow

7. Help for suicidal thoughts

6. Does DNA disprove evolution?

5. The cure for the common cold: sex!

4. Faith of Our Mothers

3. Children who marry their parents: the psychology of courtship

2. Were U.S. founding fathers Christian?

And, the number one post for May 2014:

1. “It Is Well with My Soul” The rest of the stories

Memorial Day hope and humor

May 26th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

For most Americans, “Memorial Day” means a three-day weekend with the “Indy 500,” picnics and the opening day of summer. But for many, the memories of lost loved ones dampen spirits like rain on a parade. So, something for everyone on this holiday weekend:

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I hate it when stores whore holidays!

Hope in dealing with death and grief
Grief and love are two very similar emotions—if you’re capable of love, you are capable of grief. Only a person who never loves never grieves.

Humor on the first day of summer
It’s a beautiful day in Corn Borer, Indiana, so a great day to just laze in the hammock and recycle some old columns on:
Vacations are not a vacation if . . .
Traveling the world on one tank of gas
Top ten clues a man should wear a shirt in summer
And, of course . . .
Laziness is a virtue.

Pain and praise

May 19th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Sunday, May 18, 11 pm EDT

“Thank you, Father, I’m home!” This despite . . .

1. Waking up this morning feeling as badly as I felt since 42 radiation treatments for cancer in 2008: The week’s body aches, sore throat, cough, were complemented today with nausea.

2. Getting lost on way to Denver airport (despite two people with smart phones and me with printed directions). Ended up driving through the road wiped out in the spring floods—with long construction delays.

2. Denver flight getting in late to Chicago’s “O’Hell” airport.

3. Huffing and puffing my way between Concourse C and F and arriving to hear “last call” for the Fort Wayne flight. However, once boarded, we waited at the gate, because United Express couldn’t find anyone to load luggage. (As badly as I felt, I would have gladly volunteered to help.)

4. At Denver, the gate agent had pleaded for people to check carry-ons free at the gate. “Free” is not always a good thing. When I got to FWA, there was no carry-on! They’re always good at bringing them to your home, but . . .

5. I lost my car keys. I’m guessing they’re in the outside pocket of my lost carry-on where I stash all my metal objects before going through security. I always keep them in my computer case that never leaves my side. Not this week! I finally got a hold of Lois to bring me the duplicate set.

6. On the way to the restroom, the daylong stage-1 nausea spiked to a 4, and I lost my breakfast, lunch and dinner in a nearby trash can. (I pity the housekeeper who empties that can!) I dragged myself to the restroom and promptly lost my breakfast, lunch and dinner from yesterday!

7. My thoughtful wife brought me, along with the keys, a handful of Dove dark chocolates—but even they didn’t look good. (I must be seriously ill!)

Proving once again, what I shared in my closing keynote: Nothing terrible happens to authors, just terrific anecdotes! These last five days will show up in an article, book . . . or post!


Monday, May 19, 11 am EDT

I slept in until 9:30 am and am feeling 100 percent better.

Pam Halter commented on how much worse my day would have been without your prayers. She is so right! (I crashed, the plane didn’t. I’m home, not stranded at “O’Hell” airport. I’m saved, only my luggage is lost.)

So, despite the pain, I have so much to give praise. Thanks everyone!

Copyright © 2014 James N. Watkins

Related post
Excerpt from Squeezing Good Out of Bad on pain

Soaring with hope and humor

May 14th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

This morning, I’m flying off to share some hope and humor in Estes Park, Colorado. Here’s what I’ll be sharing—and I trust it’s encouraging and entertaining for you, as well:

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Soaring with eagles, walking with eagles
It’s hard to soar with eagles when you’re working with turkeys! Click to hear or read my keynote talk. (While it specifically addresses the up and downs of a writing career, the principles are applicable to any vocation.)

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Communicate to change lives
I’ll also be sharing a continuing seminar on Communicate to Change Lives, which applies to anyone desiring to make a difference through their writing, speaking or simply living.

And thanks for your prayers
I don’t merely believe in the power of power, I depend upon it!

• For safe, on-time flights. (As I mentioned Monday, I love flying, but I hate everything before wheels up and after wheels down.)

• For emotional and physical strength. I am way off the chart on Myers/Briggs “introvert” scale, which means that I derive my energy from being alone. Being with hundreds of people in the low-oxygen atmosphere at 7,522 feet drains me emotionally and physically.

• For productive networking at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. Please pray that I meet people, whom I can lift to the next level of publishing, and people, who can help me reach the next level.

Don’t become a digital dinosaur
Hopefully, I’ll have some time to blog what I’m learning as well.

I’ve been in this crazy business since my sophomore year of college, and publishing is a constantly changing environment. In 1972, I was “typing” on a state-of-the-art IBM Selectric, and cutting and pasting page layouts with actual scissors and paste! I’m working hard to avoid becoming a digital dinosaur.

Top ten great things about being a writer

May 12th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (3 Comments)

ColoradoChristianWriters 2

I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category: Ten great things about being an author.

10. No heavy lifting. Since no physical skill or strength is required to be a word jock, your career isn’t over by age 30 like most major league athletes.

9. It’s cheaper than collecting antique cars or Longaberger baskets. For the price of a ream of paper ($3.95 at Office Depot) you can write an epic novel or two nonfiction books. (Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was written on the back of an old envelope.)

8. It’s one of the few occupations you can perform in your underwear without the vice squad breaking down your door.

7. You can get your picture in the paper without the vice squad breaking down your door.

6. A chance to speak your mind long after you’re dead. All those authors from American and English Literature class had met their final deadlines long before you read them (or scanned the Cliff Notes).

5. It’s a great soapbox. Instead of annoying just your family and friends with your rants and raves, you can annoy thousands of people with your rants and raves.

4. On election day, you can vote more than once—legally. An editorial, a letter to the editor, even an email note, can sway readers’ votes, so get out and vote—repeatedly.

3. You can receive notes like this email from last week: “I am a 38 year old mother of four: two teenagers and two under the age of nine. I am writing to let you know how much your writing has lifted my spirits.”

2. It’s the closest thing to God’s creation ex nihilo—creating something out of nothing; using words to bring order out of chaos.

1. And conference directors actually pay you to fly off to exotic locations! I am so looking forward to the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park!

So, I’m . . .

• looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones who share a passion for communicating with the printed and pixelated word.

dreading flying, particularly through Chicago’s “O’Hell” International. (I love flying, but I hate everything before wheels up and after wheels down: airport security, delayed and cancelled flights, and talkative seatmates.)

• once again, feeling totally inadequate (I know, I know, it’s my clinical depression and a touch of Asperger’s talking, but until I actually open my mouth for the first session—and get the first laugh—I’m a mess!)

asking for your prayers. Please!

Wednesday, I’ll share links to my keynote talk and seminars while there, so you can enjoy a bit of the conference. (All you’ll be missing out on will be the view of 14,000-feet mountains, great food and fellowship with crazy, creative people, and an occasional elk looking in the cabin window. Other than that, it will be like you’re right there!)

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 9th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

jimshortsmothersday3
Here are some of my favorite columns for this special weekend:

Faith of Our Mothers
Some new lyrics for an old, old song

The papoose-driven life
Lessons learned from a four-month-old grandaughter

jimshortsparents

Son of a saint!
When godly parents have not-so-godly children

“Spray paint” parenting
The secret is thins coats of moral and ethical lessons

jimshortsmothersday2

Talking to your kids about S-E-X
Children will learn about sex—from us or the bus!

Talking to children about war, terrorism, school violence . . .
It’s a frightening time to be a child—and a parent

mom

Top ten things my mom taught me
(Yep, that’s my Mom above.)

You may be a parent if . . .
. . . you’ve ever uttered one or more of these classic lines

Praying that have a great Mother’s Day weekend, whether a mom or child!
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Are you listening to Goliath or God?

May 7th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (3 Comments)


Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

As you know, it was Goliath who became buzzard meat.

We have a choice whose promises we will believe: our enemy or our God:

“You’re a loser, a worthless failure” or “You’re a child of God.”

“You can’t do it” or “I will give you strength.”

“You’re out of work and you’re going to starve” or “I will provide for you.”

“You have six months to live” or “In Me, you have eternal life.”

“Your prodigal children are lost” or “I will guide them home.”

“No one loves you” or “I love you unconditionally.”

“You’re alone” or “I am with you.”

We have a choice whose promises we will believe: the loser or the winner.

Copyright © 2009 James N. Watkins

Happy ‘Star Wars’ Day!

May 4th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)


Today, May 4, is “Star Wars Day.” (“May the 4th be with you.” Get it? Okay, it’s a geek thing!)

Anyway, last week Disney announced the cast for its Star Wars: Episode VII. Now that Disney owns the franchise, we can expect some astronomical changes in the galaxy far, far away. So, I have in my right hand, direct from the swamp on Dagobah, today’s category: Top ten surprises in Disney’s Star Wars.

10. After having a crush on what turns out to be his own sister, Luke Skywalker swears off women and joins a monastery on Tatooine.

9. Due to budget cuts, the Empire returns with a smaller, more fuel efficient “Death Meteor.”

8. Disney World opens a theme park on the moon of Endor featuring the musical review, “It’s a Small Galaxy After All.”

7. Yoda goes on the motivational speaking circuit. “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”

6. The Max Rebo Band performs at aforementioned theme park playing Disney show tunes.

5. Jar Jar Binks loses a recall election to a swamp rat.

4. A new villain emerges, Scar Vader.

3. Chewbacca stars as “The Beast” in “Disney on Ice.”

2. The Empire and the Rebel Alliance battle for control of Star Wars merchandizing rights.

1. Han Solo and Princess Leia get married and have a precocious son who turns to the dark side, and we’re right back to Episode I.

Copyright © 2012 James N. Watkins

Related sites
Confusing the Force it is (Comparing the Jedi Force with God’s Force)
Episode III: Modern morality play
Episode I: Why? Why? Why?
Episodes I, II, III (Cartoon)
Jar Jar Binks (Cartoon)
Top ten signs Han Solo has turned 70

Note on Episode VIII: This is the very type of thing I predicted in 2014 . . .

Top ten posts for April 2014

May 1st, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category: Top ten posts from April 2014

10. God is never late, but he sure is slow

9. Ancient prophet warns of conspiracies

8. The cure for the common cold: sex!

7. Does DNA disprove evolution?

6. Help for suicidal thoughts

5. Children who marry their parents: the psychology of courtship

4. Were U.S. founding fathers Christian?

3. God and the Gay Christian conversation

2. “It Is Well with My Soul” The rest of the stories

And, the number one post for April 2014:

1. The Easter story in chronological order

Welcome to Agers Anonymous

April 30th, 2014 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)


Hi, I’m Jim. Welcome to Agers Anonymous.

This is my brand-new support group, and I am so glad you’ve joined us. With ten thousand of us turning sixty-five each day, there’s definitely a need for this group and these ten steps. (Yes, I know, most “anonymous” groups have twelve steps, but I can barely remember the three words the doctor has me remember during my annual checkup.)

So, I’ll be sharing ten characteristics that I believe are essential for being a satisfied, significant, and saintly senior.

I
Acceptance
We admitted we were powerless over aches and pains, weaknesses, memory issues, and all the other consequences of aging that had become unmanageable.

II
Anticipation
Made a decision to no longer live in the past, but to live fully in the present as we anticipate a brighter future.

III
Courage
Humbly turned our aging minds, bodies, and souls over to the care of God and now can fearlessly face each new day.

IV
Curiosity
Continued to explore this amazing, miraculous world that God has created, knowing that our minds can stay young by learning new things.

V
Faith, hope, and love
Sought through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with others to improve our conscious contact with God.

VI
Forgiveness
Made a list of all persons we had harmed and those we have held grudges against, and became willing to make amends with anyone we called “an old fart.”

VII
Gratitude
Were entirely ready to have God remove all our wrong attitudes toward aging and replace them with thanksgiving for his loving care over us.

VIII
Joy
Humbly asked God to remove our complaining and to replace with things for which we can experience His joy.

IX
Optimism
Made a willful, deliberate decision to turn negative thinking about aging into positive thoughts based on God’s love and promise for his “good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

X
Significance
Having had a spiritual awakening and experienced God’s power, we tried to live out these characteristics each day of our lives.

Copyright ء 2020 James N. Watkins

The points above are the sections of a brand-new humorous devotional book I’m writing on purposeful, fulfilling aging. If You’re Not Dead, You’re Not Done (tentative title) will be published by Tyndale House Fall 2021. (Just in time for Christmas giving!)

I’ll be launching agersanonymous.com and a Facebook page as we get closer to the publication date. But for now, thanks for your prayers that the writing will provide hope and humor for those of us of a certain age.