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My life as a human tetherball

Apparently, tetherball is not an Olympic sport . . . and maybe for good reason. For those unfamiliar with this violent game, a volleyball is hung from a tall metal pole with a rope (tether). The players on opposite sides of the pole try to hit the ball—one clockwise, one counterclockwise—until one player winds the ball all the way around the pole so that it is stopped by the rope. A steel pole. A heavy ball flying directly at the contestants’ faces. What possibly could go wrong?!

Have you ever felt like a human tetherball? Life punches you in the face as you reel in the opposite direction, then you’re struck again and propelled the other way. You’re in constant motion, being struck this way and then that. The only thing that keeps you from totally flying out of control—and into traffic—is the rope that anchors you to the center. Better to be a tetherball than a volleyball flattened by a passing truck.

So are you a volleyball or a tetherball? Neither is an appealing option. But as a tetherball, you’re safe from rolling into the street and flying into the school cafeteria dumpster. I’ve had my share of “hits” in life: cancer, unemployment, a kidney stone (one is quite enough, thank you), family crises, etc. But I have always had my faith as a center of my life. God is my pole. Faith is my rope. And my life is the battered ball.

The apostle Paul writes about the safety of being tethered to God’s great love:

"If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?

"Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?

"[No] I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31-32, 35, 38-39).

Life is not easy as a human tetherball! But it is safe and secure in the love of God.

Copyright 2015 © James N. Watkins

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Personal stuff . . .. .

I am so looking forward to Taylor University's Professional Writing Conference! The August 5-6 event on the campus in Upland, Indiana, provides a weekend of training to be published in the Christian and general commercial markets. It features Taylor faculty plus agents and publishers from Tyndale House, Wesleyan Publishing House, Zondervan and more. There's still room for YOU.

Thanks for praying for book sales and for favor for book proposals at publishing houses.

And, after Saturday, I'm out of paying work for the near future. Thanks for praying for book contracts, editing work or whatever. Thanks!

The Imitation of Christ changes lives

Thomas à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ has been changing lives  for over 500 years! It changed my life 20+ years ago. Now it’s completely updated in today’s language and organized into 90 devotional readings.

Excerpts and bonus features:

About the book
• About Thomas à Kempis
• Read an excerpt
• My exclusive interview with Thomas à Kempis
• Daily quotations: FacebookInstagramTwitter
• What others are saying
• The story behind this book
• How you can help

Now available in stores and online: Order today!
• Amazon
• Barnes & Noble
• Christianbook hardcover eBook

And if you have a copy, please review it on Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

. . . and the rest

More content than you can shake a memory stick at . . .

Visit my Hope&Humor Magazine for posts on deathfaithhealth,heavy topicsholidayshopehumorlife hacksloveparentssexspiritual issues and writing resources.

Browse free excerpts from my books

The audio book of Squeezing Good Out of Bad is now available. The Imitation of Christ releases January 12, but can be pre-ordered.


The Imitation of Christ Devotional
A 90-day devotional with a thoroughly modern and organized version of Thomas a' Kempis' classic work. (Now in stores and online!)

Why? Why Questions, Wise Answers
Encouraging quips and quotes from over 200 authors and leaders

Over the Hill--Onto the Mountain Top
Devotions with hope and humor for the AARP demographic (Author Louise L. Looney was kind enough to include my one-liners on aging.)

Jesus: His Life and Lessons
This user-friendly book arranges his life in chronological order and his teachings by topics

Squeezing Good out of Bad
Top ten ways to squeeze the good out of those life-puckering situations


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"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well" (3 John 2).

James Watkins
Author-Speaker-Threat to Society

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