John David Kudrick

putting words to work for you

Category: Blog (page 2 of 5)

Can You Spot the Difference?

Dueling Perspectives on Faith?

The time when young people are most likely to abandon their Christian upbringing is in their teens. And the reason most often given is unanswered doubts and questions. It’s time for parents, pastors, teachers, and youth leaders to step to the plate and provide answers to those questions.

Author Nancy Pearcey
from her endorsement of
So the Next Generation Will Know
by Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace

Aligning faith in God and certainty about what we believe and needing to be right in order to maintain a healthy faith—these do not make for a healthy faith in God. In a nutshell, that is the problem. And that is what I mean by the “sin of certainty.” … Doubt can certainly leave us empty and frightened, but that is precisely the benefit of doubt: it exposes the folly that strong faith means you need to “know what you believe,” that the more faith you “have,” the more certain you are. … But doubt is not the enemy of faith, a solely destructive force that rips us away from God, a dark cloud that blocks the bright warm sun of faith. Doubt is only the enemy of faith when we equate faith with certainty in our thinking.

Author Peter Enns
from his book
The Sin of Certainty

That’ll Quote: Coming Back to God

Great love and great suffering bring us back to God, and I believe this is how Jesus himself walked humanity back to God. It is not just a path of resurrection rewards but a path that now includes death and woundedness. 

Fr. Richard Rohr
from “Saved by the Cross”

“Evangelical Jesus on the Cross”

A Good Friday Short Story

Black clouds billow across the bleak sky. Distant thunder rumbles beyond Jerusalem. The sun dies overhead. Spiked through, Jesus hangs, bleeding, chest heaving, gasping forgiveness to the murdering ilk gathered round beneath him.

Bitter laughter erupts to the left of Jesus. A thief’s hoarse voice says, “Save yourself and us, Messiah!” The last word oozes sarcasm even as another rivulet of blood drips down the nose of Jesus.

“Enough, Uzzi—you blaspheming fool!” This strained voice comes from Jesus’s right—the other thief. “Death deserved is ours, not his.” A deep breath, then, “Jesus, my name … is Asa. Please …” Another breath. “Please remember me!”

Messiah’s eyes creep right, find Asa there—a thief, yes, but penitent, grasping forgiveness. A surge of life swells within Jesus, and he parts blood-wet, ragged lips. Words come, haggard, whispered at first, unheard by either thief, but then Messiah’s voice strengthens and smooth-spoken syllables follow:

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Hmm … “Great Works” = Setting an NFL Passing Record

It’s probably what I tell them every night before they go to bed, which is you can accomplish anything in life if you’re willing to work for it. Nothing’s given. Everything’s earned. God has equipped us for great works. I tell them that every night.

Drew Brees

New Orleans Saints quarterback

in reply to a question about what he told his children after

he had set the all-time NFL passing yardage mark Oct. 8, 2018,

as reported on ChristianHeadlines.com and other sites

That’ll Quote: War and Jesus

The waging of war is incompatible with following Jesus.

Brian Zahnd

From “Brian Zahnd: Postcards from Babylon”

Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast — Jan. 14, 2019

Worth a Read (and a Second Read) …

Extracts from a Thomas Merton essay,

“We Have to Make Ourselves Heard,”

first published in the June 1962 issue

of The Catholic Worker

 

It would be legitimate and even obligatory for all sane and conscientious people everywhere in the world to lay down their weapons and their tools and starve and be shot rather than cooperate in the war effort. If such a mass movement should spontaneously arise in parts of the world, in Russia and America, in China and in France, in Africa and in Germany, the human race could be saved from extinction….
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That’ll Quote: Finding God via Personal Experience

The Bible is not the pathway to God; the Spirit of God is the pathway.

Pete Enns

From “Pete Enns and Chris Green: The Revenant”

Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast — Aug. 8, 2016

 

And for more by Pete Enns, check out “The Bible’s True Purpose Is to Make You Feel Good About Yourself (JK)”

In Honor of MLK Day and a Daughter’s 16th Birthday

Resentment unites anger, fear, and sadness in a kind of closed-circle, scissors-paper-rock game. In the absence of resentment, anger, fear, and sadness tend to heal each other. Anger can act like scissors, cutting through fear–the fear that like an enveloping shroud wraps itself around and threatens to smother the rock that is sadness. But that very sadness, which rises from the realization of our own transience and the ultimate futility of our human efforts to control, is the only tool we have to blunt anger–to forestall the resentment that anger becomes if it is nourished even after our fears have been quelled.
Anger and sadness butt against each other, steel against stone. But just as scissors “take” paper and rock “takes” scissors, sadness will finally take anger–if we let the sadness through. For sadness, shared, can heal. Anger storms in the hard passage between fear and sadness; cultivated, it turns into a jagged resentment that tears rather than trims and that resists healing. Denying fear and scorning the sadness that is shared, resentment refuses the possibility of going through and beyond the anger into forgiveness.
The danger of anger … lies not in anger itself, but in resentment, the clinging to and prolonged attachment to anger. Resentment is the refusal, out of fear, to cross the bridge of sadness and let ourselves back into the impermanent world of relationship. Anger as resentment refuses relationship, slashing at everything and everyone that comes close. But our pain can be healed only by some kind of closeness, some kind of connection with others. Sadness opens us to the need for unity and community.

From The Spirituality of Imperfection

By Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham

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That’ll Quote: Who Is God?

Entertain this proposition: That God is the map whereby we locate the setting of our life. That God is the water in which we launch our life raft. That God is the real thing from which and toward which we receive our being and identify ourselves. It follows that the kind of God at work in your life will determine the shape and quality and risk at the center of your existence. It matters who God is.

Walter Brueggemann

From “A God Who Gives Wildly … and Then Insists”

Sermon Given Oct. 14, 1990

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