A Preacher with Nothing New to Say

I was recently visiting with a pastor friend who told me one of his core commitments in ministry is to “have absolutely nothing new to say.”  You might be thinking, “well, that sounds pretty boring, never having anything new to say!” But the truth is far deeper. While we certainly don’t try to bore anyone, … Continue reading

Without God, This World is All They Have.

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to do a Q&A with The Loft, the student ministry of our congregation. I really enjoyed hearing their questions and offering them my best understanding of how to answer those questions using scripture. While several questions stand out in my mind, one reminded me of a question I’ve often … Continue reading

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