Presenting—without camera tricks or video effects—the amazing magic of The Great Watkinso!

We all need a break from heavy hope, to some light humor! Enjoy!

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Welcome summer!

June 1st, 2020 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

It’s a beautiful day in Corn Borer, Indiana, so a great time 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.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your social networks. Thanks! And be sure to use sunscreen!

I am furious—and brokenhearted—after receiving this comment on my website:

      White. Christians. Not. Only. Support. Trump. They. Support. White. Police. Murdering. Unarmed. Black. Men. Christanity. Is. White. Supremacy.

I’m not furious at the comment. I’m furious that this is the perception some so-called “Christians” encourage. And I’m brokenhearted for this brother who has obviously been hurt and offended by attitudes and actions against him. So, here’s my response:

      Thanks for your comment, George. Your perception of “Christians” is unfortunately true in more and more cases. I share your hurt and anger! How dare people claim the name of Christ and then be filled with hate, judgment, and racism. That is so anti-Christ.

      This breaks my heart and I’m so very sorry. I’m praying that today you meet a “white Christian” who truly loves Jesus and fully respects you as a fellow Creation of a loving God. Know that Christ thoroughly loves you and so do those who fully follow him. Jim

Here’s what I would like all people claiming the name of Christ to humbly consider. (The comment certainly caused me to do some serious soul-searching.)

Jesus himself warned there would be people claiming to be his followers to whom he will say, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws” (Matthew 7:23).

And what is God’s law?

      Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:38-39).

Jesus also taught:

      “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35).

Followers of Jesus are members of a “Kingdom” that supersedes political parties and nationalities.

St. Paul and St. John also strongly pronounce:

      There is no longer Jew or Gentile [race], slave or free [social status], male and female [gender]. For you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

      Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:7-8).

None of us are perfect! But love that comes from God overcomes racial or political bias. It motivates peace-makers. And it brings opposing “sides” together.

St. Paul who lived in a world divided by politics, race, religion and sexism, so he concluded his letter to the Romans this way:

      Watch out for people who cause divisions. . . . Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people (Romans 16:17-18).

Christians. Live. Love. Like. Jesus.

Copyright © 2020 James N. Watkins

Related sites
Action Figure Jesus Separating Jesus from sterotypes
The divisive issues issue Posts addressing political divisions—and solutions
Race relations by the numbers My award-winning article on race relations
Top ten signs your church may be prejuiced

Next Sunday is Pentecost, so it’s a good time to remember, the church may not be perfect, but it is worthy of our support. Jesus called it his bride and body!

So, here are some biblical reasons to “not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25).

But wait! There’s more:
Can we have a “personal relationship” with Christ? Or is it a relationship with his Church?
Dealing with church conflict When two or three are gathered, there conflict will be.
Do you really want a ‘biblical’ church? I don’t think so!
The Watkins New World Church Dictionary
Top ten signs your church may be prejudiced

Where are You God?

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

Just in time for a global pandemic!

Where are You God? Learning to Trust When Times Are Tough is a 365-day devotional and journal to which I contributed 30 devos. I submitted mine last fall having no idea how relevant this book would be to those suffering physically, emotionally and economically. God’s timing is perfect. Below is a sample.

God Is Never at a Loss

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!” (Number 11:23).

Moses was facing a growing revolt among the people whom God had delivered from brutal slavery in Egypt. They were complaining about having to eat manna for breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime snacks. “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” (Numbers 11:5-6). Apparently, they had forgotten the slim rations of slave laborers.

So, God promises the whining Hebrews meat for an entire month. Moses objects saying it would be impossible even if they slaughtered all their flocks and emptied the sea of fish.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!’”

And, so, for two days swarms of quail invaded the camp until each person had collected fifty bushels of meat!

Are you facing what seems like an impossible situation? Trust Him to meet your need—abundantly!

Father, thank you that in this time of loss, you are not at a loss to keep your word.

Copyright © 2020 Ellie Claire Books (Worthy)

Order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble

You may also find helpful:

God, I Don’t Understand: Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, Unpunished Evil

Overcoming Fear and Worry

Ever since Pebbles and Bam Bam graduated from Bedrock High, commencement speakers have been telling the crowd of cap and gowns to work for world peace, follow its dreams, and always wear clean underwear in case of an accident.

So cue “Pomp and Happenstance,” here are the top ten things I’ve learned since I wore a black bathrobe and silly hat.

1. World peace isn’t going to happen. Sorry commencement speakers, presidential candidates, and Miss America contestants. Two thousand years ago Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars, and he hasn’t been wrong yet. Better to work at being at peace with yourself. Now if just six billion people would all do that . . .

2. Don’t follow every dream. Some of your dreams would turn into real nightmares if they were fulfilled, so try to be content with what you become. After years of wanting to become a famous author, I’ve learned that there are some real benefits to being un-famous. I can go anywhere I want to without people hounding me for autographs, I don’t have to worry about being stalked by Sixty Minutes or a psycho fan (remember Misery?), and I’ve never once appeared on the cover of The National Enquirer.

3. However, good things do come to those who wait such as sex, job promotions, and senior discounts. Keep in mind, though, it takes ten years to become an overnight success.

4. It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some fairly famous authors, musicians, and corporate big wigs. The one’s who’ve made it to 36 percent tax bracket are some of the nicest, down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet. It’s the wannabes who are the arrogant, egocentric little twits.

5. If you love your job, you’ll never have to work a day of your life. Can you believe I actually receive good money and a free newspaper subscription to write this stuff? Please don’t tell any of my editors or publishers, but I’d gladly write for free! And what other job can you do in your underwear at 3 a.m.? (Okay, but those jobs are illegal in 49 states!)

6. It’s not what you know, but who you know. Networking is the key to meeting Mr. or Miss Right, job promotions, and great deals on used cars. Next week I’ll be on a nation-wide talk show pitching my latest books, but that’s only because I taught a class with a guy who plays racquetball with a guy who’s a producer with The 700 Club. I wouldn’t have gotten past the switchboard if I had tried to get on the show myself. (But be careful to remember the next point!)

7. Love people, use things. And, what ever you do, don’t get that turned around.

8. The simple, obvious answer is usually wrong. And, just because it’s in print, doesn’t mean it’s true (unless of course, it’s this column.) Enjoy the naive bliss of having all the answers right now, because the more laps you take around the sun, the more complicated life becomes.

9. Life is not fair. You won’t get what you deserve. Actually, I’m glad for that. I have a wonderful wife, two great kids, and a job I love. Give me grace rather than fairness any day!

10. Not everyone is going to like you. For every card, email, or letter bomb I receive from people who loathe my column, I get four or five from readers who love it. I’ve learned to be satisfied with an 80 percent approval rating which is at least 20 points higher than Ronald Reagan received as one of America’s most popular presidents. Besides, if I had an .800 record in major league baseball, I’d be making millions endorsing athlete’s foot remedies. So, enjoy the small group of family and friends who truly love you. Besides, by the time you attend your twentieth high school reunion, you probably won’t remember half the people who wrote “Love always” in your yearbook.

Of course, there are many more things I could advise (just say no to drugs, pay off your credit card balance every month, don’t pee on an electric fence, etc.) but ten seems to be the universal limit for this sort of thing. But one more bit of wisdom. If you look up and a semi truck is ready to crash through your windshield, you’re not going to have clean underwear.

Congrats, grads!

Copyright © 2001 James N. Watkins

Related posts
Freelancing offers freedom “real job” can’t
Keeping your dreams alive
Soaring with eagles, walking with emus My address at Liberty University

Happy Mothers’ Day!

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

Here are my favorite columns and cartoons for these amazing people called “Mom.” Have a great day!

Faith of Our Mothers A modern twist on an old tune

Top ten things my mom taught me
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

And for parents in general

Cartoons on parenthood

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Mother’s Day, Lois, Faith and Amy! Thanks for the wonderful kids and grandkiddos!

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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