Writing @ Seedbed

One of my goals for 2014 is to write more. I’ve always loved to write, and yet I’ve drifted away from doing it on a regular basis. Thanks to Seedbed, I’ve been able to share a couple posts over the past month to get me back on track. If you’d like to read those, you … Continue reading

A Pastor’s Responsibility

Every so often, I need to be reminded of who I’m called to be. Eugene Peterson never fails to do that in ways that challenge and inspire me.  “The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all … Continue reading

Heaven: Everything Sad Will Come Untrue

Have you ever taken a moment to ask the question, “is this all there is?” This is one of the central questions behind everything in the book of Revelation. There are images of throne rooms filled with bizarre creatures, watery chaos, and battles between abstract monsters representing the conflict all around us. And yet in … Continue reading

What Really Happens When We Pray?

  This is a picture of my dad, Billy Ray Judkins (1937-2005), around 1953. He loved to joke with the family that he played “End, Guard, and Tackle,” and he would go on to say, “I sat on the end of the bench, guarded the water jug, and tackled anyone who tried to steal it!”  … Continue reading

I Love the Church

In a lot of the conversations about church renewal and hope for turning around mainline denominations, I sense a longing for a church that people haven’t experienced. There is a vague dream of a better Church somewhere “out there,” and the subtle suggestion is that if we are just smart enough or creative enough, we … Continue reading

Preaching and Teaching Doctrine in the Local Church

As the #andcanitbe conversation has developed over the past few weeks, I have sensed two underlying questions. The first question is, “Is doctrinal clarity an essential part of the renewal of the United Methodist Church?” Kevin Watson helpfully dealt with the details of this question from an academic perspective in his post, What We Are … Continue reading

Five Hopes for #andcanitbe

In recent weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to be a United Methodist, inspired by my good friend and colleague Kevin Watson. Kevin’s last three posts on his blog have dealt with some of the concerns and ideas I’ve been wrestling with for some time.  What We Are FOR … Continue reading

Miroslav Volf on Generosity

Miroslav Volf in “Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace.  “Faith tells us that we do not exist simply to live our three score and ten years without pain, with ease and enjoyment, to accumulate possessions, power or knowledge, to receive accolades and enlarge our egos. How empty such a life … Continue reading

Ministry and Character: Tim Keller

the ministry will make you a far better or a far worse Christian than you would have been otherwise. But it will not leave you where you were! And it will put enormous pressure on your integrity and character. The key problem will be preaching the gospel while not believing the gospel. As ministers, we … Continue reading

Why to Be a Methodist

My Master of Divinity, the advanced degree most often required for clergy these days, is from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. Since I graduated, the seminary has experienced several changes including hiring a new President, Dr. Timothy C. Tennent. I have been very impressed with Dr. Tennent’s tenure so far and have been following … Continue reading