“The Dogs Acted Up”

I overheard a conversation in the food court where one person was telling about her recent Alaska vacation.

She tried her hand at driving a dog-sled, but the dogs were acting up. They wouldn’t go left or right when she turned them, only going where they wanted to.

“So, naturally, we got stuck!”

When life seems stuck, I begin to wonder if maybe I’m trying too hard to go where I want, rather than turning left or right as God intends.

Isaiah 53:6, “We are all like sheep, we’ve all gone astray.”

Isaiah 53:6

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“A Special Unity”

Harding University’s central park has almost a hundred huge oak, elm, poplar and hickory trees. A nature preserve of beautiful monuments to God’s natural creation.

But when I look closer — hidden among the gnarled roots — electric sockets for students to power their computers while sitting under the trees.

What an image of our lives: His creation, tended by the ones created in His own image — us.

God, in Jesus, has empowered me (and you) to participate in His awesome work. His awesome life. His awesome dream.

Me with God. You with God. Us together. What an awesome thought!

Psalm 46:10

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“Starter Fluid”

My son and I were trying to get my eight year old push-mower going (self-propelled, so I suppose “push” isn’t exactly right).

I had done a bit of work to it, so we took turns pulling the starter. It wore us both out. Then we remembered the starter fluid in the garage. One small squirt — it starts immediately!

It ran rough for a few minutes, then smoothed out comfortably.

My son suggested that starter fluid might be a good way to think of Jesus.

Philippians 4:13

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“Spooky Books”

I like reading spooky books.

One author wrote: “Scary stories sell because everyone fears a lot of things that won’t happen. Even things that have no chance of happening.”

I suppose, for myself, my life is so blessed that I enjoy moments of anxiety with the characters of the movie. But if I were mired in anguish and fear for real, I’d not be interested in a scary book.

The spiritual difference is that I have hope. A deep hope because, in Christ, “all things work together for good.” I pray I can maintain this faith.

Romans 8.28

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“Spiritual Training”

Michael Jordan was a great basketball player. Then he decided to play professional baseball. However he never got past the mid-level minor leagues.

How’s it possible? He’s one of the most talented athletes on earth!

Simple: training and discipline. Arguably, one of the hardest tasks in sports is to hit a baseball thrown by a professional pitcher. Those who can, succeed only because in addition to their talent they’ve trained since they were adolescents.

How can I expect to “reach a good standing and great boldness” without practicing spiritual disciplines of prayer, reading, submission, etc.?

1 Timothy 3:13

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“Slow. Steady. Constant.”

I planted a row of bushes to become a hedge, but I have to water them. It takes over an hour to soak the roots.

So, rather than standing there with a hose, I thought I’d get a soaker hose to slowly drip water hour after hour, which is what the garden center recommended.

It’s like Paul said to Timothy: pay attention to reading…to doctrine…meditate on these things, give yourself entirely to these things.

Slow. Steady. Constant. The living water will reach my spiritual roots. It’ll change my life.

1 Timothy 4:13-16

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“Sleep, a Spiritual Experience”

I enjoy a nice nap every now and then. In fact, I enjoy sleeping late too.

And, I never really thought of sleeping as a spiritual experience, until it occurred to me one night, while I couldn’t get to sleep:

I’ve known some children who were afraid to go to sleep. They were afraid that something bad would happen when they weren’t watching.

When I give in to sleep, I’m giving up control. I’m trusting God. What could be more spiritual? I suppose that’s why Jesus was able to sleep in a boat in the storm!

Matthew 8:23-25

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“Pollen on My Car”

I was wishing for Spring, since the Winter was oh-so-gray. But then I began complaining about the pollen on my car.

It seems as though I’m wishing for Spring without many things that Spring really is. Pollen. Lawn mowing. And so on.


But Jesus reminds me that no gift is without responsibility: “…to whom much is given, much is expected.”
I wonder if I can find a way to enjoy washing my windshield—because I sure do enjoy spring!

Romans 18:8

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“Shingles, Not on a Roof”

A friend tells me his wife now has shingles. The discomfort—unbelievable! And this on top of her chronic muscle pain.

He wasn’t complaining for her. Quite the opposite—he was impressed with her!

She’s always kind, even to cashiers and waiters, usually ending with “…and God bless you.”

I find it easy to focus on my own pain and aggravation. But like her, maybe I can focus less on my issues.

After all: “The sufferings of this present time aren’t even worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed…” (Romans 8.18)

Romans 18:8

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“Shared Hope”

I suppose that most of us have had moments, when hope was as scarce as eggs in a hardware store.

But God’s hope somehow manages to creep into my heart!

And, I’ve noticed something— when I keep hope to myself it seems to fade like a whisper of a dream.

My hope is more powerful when I share it with someone. And David too felt the power of shared hope:

Therefore my heart is glad
and my tongue rejoices
my body also will live in hope! (Psalm 16:9)

Hope, yes! But hopefully, a hope shared!

Psalm 16:9

Dave “Tud” Nance
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