The coronavirus crisis has caused the greatest social, economic, political and religious upheaval across the entire world I have seen in my lifetime. Not even the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the assassination of President Kennedy, the civil rights conflict, the Cold War, or even the 9/11 terrorist attacks have had the impact of COVID-19!

None of those previous events closed schools and colleges, shuttered businesses, sports arenas and entertainment venues for weeks/months. Even church buildings sit empty—even on Easter morning! People have never been told to quarantine and social distance previously in my lifetime. And while partisan division has continued to polarize and intensify throughout my life, I don’t recall armed protesters occupying state capitols demanding their freedom.

Crises bring out the best and worst of us and this crisis is no different. Heroic first-responders, healthcare workers and citizens sewing masks reveal our best. Meanwhile, others are burning 5G towers believing they cause the virus to spread and other claiming this is all a manufactured crisis designed to create a military state taking away freedom.

No one knows which way this pivotal point in history will turn. No one. And it’s gone either way throughout history! Harmony or anarchy. Creativity or despondency. Revival or revolution.

Historically, we have been at this crossroads hundreds of times before, but God’s answer has always remained the same:

      “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Without the distractions of sports, concerts, school events . . . even jobs . . . let’s pray this can be a time of revival and renewal!

Copyright © 2020 James N. Watkins

Related posts
For kids: calming coronavirus concerns (Video and text)
Top ten ways God maybe working coronavirus for good (Video and text)
What would Jesus say about coronavirus?

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Major writers’ conferences are being cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus quarantine. However, Taylor University’s Professional Writers’ Conference is going virtual with live streaming seminars and one-on-one Zoom meeting with agents, editors and professional writers.

I can highly recommend two valuable online resources:

For online college-credit classes with personal mentoring, you can’t beat Taylor University’s Professional Writing Program! (Disclaimer: I taught in the program for 15 years, so please don’t judge it by me.)

The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild offers classes with the same high caliber of classes and instructors as well as a vibrant online community. (And, no, I don’t get a commission for referrals.)

I was honored to be interviewed for his “Masters Class” video series. Here’s the transcript.

And for a whole ream of free writers’ resources, visit Hope and humor for writers.

Yep, I’m intolerant!

April 20th, 2020 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I’m coming out of the politically-correct closet and announcing to the world, “Yep! I’m intolerant!”

For instance, do you really want to go to an “open-minded” doctor with signs in the waiting room that read: “I Brake for Bacteria.” “Save the Salmonella.” “Take a Stand for Polio!” I want a doctor who is narrow-minded and completely intolerant to disease and physical afflictions when I’m told, “Turn your head and cough.”

Watch the video or click to continue reading.

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Remember Tony Campolo’s inspiring Easter message? “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Comin’!” Unfortunately, it’s Sunday and the worldwide death toll from coronavirus is expected to top 100,000 Easter Sunday with over 1,600,000 confirmed cases in 209 countries. Oxfam, a group of nine relief organizations, warned the financial implications “could push up to a half a billion more people into poverty around the world” and “set back the poverty fight by up to 30 years.”

There’s no minimizing the fact that COVID-19 has brought unprecedented physical, emotional and financial suffering to the entire world. This Easter Sunday, people will celebrate Christ’s resurrection “sheltered in place” observing “social distancing.” And like the women at the tomb, many will feel “very frightened but also filled with great joy” (Matthew 28:8).

But there is more to celebrate than “Sunday’s comin’!” Jesus is coming! Although the usual suspects are proclaiming this is the end of the world and his coming is imminent, we do have the sure hope that it’s one-day sooner than yesterday. Here’s a video I pray will give you hope this very different Easter. It’s Sunday, but Jesus is coming!

Here’s a text version of the message written in 1995. (Obviously, the statistics shared in the video and post have been eclipsed by this global pandemic.)

If you found this helpful, please share on your social networks. Thanks! And have a very meaningful—even if very different—Easter!

We never thought for Lent we would be giving up going to church, learning in classrooms, working outside our homes, eating out, going to movies and, in some cases, giving up toilet paper! All our original Lenten sacrifices pale in the challenges of living with a global pandemic! (Click for posts and videos with hope and help for COVID-19 crisis.)

And so as we approach Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday, here are several online resources for celebrating Easter during the coronavirus quarantine with videos, Scripture readings, cartoons and humor columns.

Intimacy with Christ is a free eight-day study of Scripture and readings from The Imitation of Christ that looks at seven ways we can grow deeper in our relationship with Christ. (If you start on Palm Sunday, it will conclude on Easter Sunday.)

• There’s also the Easter story in chronological order divided into seven days of reading to use during Holy Week.

A whole Easter basket of hope and humor

This is a once-in-lifetime—we all hope—opportunity to celebrate a stripped down commemoration of Holy Week without the distractions of Easter shopping, egg hunts, family dinners, and large church gatherings.

“Father, Son, Spirit, grant us a meaningful time of remembering all that was accomplished during that week that changed life forever. The coronavirus will eventually fade into history, but your work continues on through eternity. Amen.”

What would Jesus say about coronavirus?

During the time of Jesus, leprosy, cholera, tuberculosis, smallpox and dysentery suppressed life expectancy to the age of 35. That figure was the result of a 25-33 percent infant mortality rate with half of all children dying before age 10.

As we experience a global pandemic with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its estimated death rate of 1-3.4 percent, what would Jesus—who lived in a far more perilous time—have to say? [Continue reading]

COVID-19 conspiracy theories spreading faster than virus itself

For kids: Calming coronavirus concerns (Text and video)

Top ten ways God may be working coronavirus for good (Text and video)

Related sites
Becoming holy through hardships
A Coronavirus Great Awakening? (From The Wall Street Journal)
From bad to worse . . . to astonishing
I’m giving up fear for Lent
“In this world you will have trouble” (More hope from Jesus)
Overcoming Fear and Worry (Read a free excerpt from my latest book)

If you found this hopeful and helpful, please share with your social networks. Thanks!

Well, I should have been flying off to the Blue Lake Christian Writers’ Retreat this week, but the coronavirus has closed down the retreat center, so here are some CVID-19-free videos and audio from my favorite keynotes, so you can enjoy a safe mini-conference without the fear of quarantine. (The retreat is being rescheduled for October 28-31.)

“I’m a Giant Killer!” Humorous and practical ways of battling the giants that confront would-be authors. Click to hear it.

“Keeping Your Dreams Alive” An inspirational talk using the story of Joseph as an example of a dream received, the dreamer refined, the dream redefined, and finally, the dream realized in relationship to writing. Click to read and/or hear it.

Soaring with Eagles, Walking with Emus Encouragement for those who are “soaring” as well as those who are “walking” (or just standing) in their writing and speaking. Click to read and/or hear it.

Your Write Role Based on 1 Corinthians 12 , fom the New Living Amplified Paraphrased King James Watkins Version, it encourages authors that their “part” in writing is essential, no matter the size. Click to read and/or hear it.

But wait, there’s more:

Hope and humor for writers A whole ream of resources on agents, publishers, self-publishing scams an more!

If you found this helpful, please share on your social networks. Thanks!

Intimacy with Christ
Most churches are great at sharing information about Christ and many are fairly good at providing opportunities for involvement for Christ. But according to Willow Creek Association network of thousands of churches, “63 percent of the most active and committed church members are so discouraged with church and its ability to support their faith that they are considering leaving the church.” I believe what’s missing is intimacy with Christ.

This guide for personal or group study explores seven ways to become one with Jesus Christ utilizing Scripture readings and excerpts from The Imitation of Christ devotional book.

Feel free to print off a copy for personal use.

If you’d like copies for group studies, please order the study booklet.

Saint Patrick was actually a Brit, never drove snakes out of Ireland and was a real saint!

On the classic sit-com How I Met Your Mother, Barry Stinson urges his friends, “Come on! Let’s drink green beer. Let’s do green Jello shots. Where is your Saint Patrick’s Day spirit?”

However, Saint Patrick himself, who was not Irish but British, writes, “My name is Patrick. I am a sinner. I most certainly believe that it is the gift of God that I am what I am. He is the fount of holiness.”

Not exactly what comes to mind when we think of St. Patrick’s Day. [Watch or continue reading]

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My mother is a woman. My wife is a woman. My daughter is a woman. (See pic.) And I have three adorable granddaughters. So, a hearty happy International Women’s Day! Here are some of my favorite posts about women:

Am I a “feminist”?

A case for women in ministry

Daughter is one tough mother

Men and women are different from the neck up

No hablo, estrogen! Becoming bilingual in relationships

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