“One Up-Manship”

I was listening to mockingbirds yesterday. One would sing. The next would sing louder. Then the first would sing again even louder, but the second wouldn’t even wait for him to finish!

Like the game of One-Upsmanship: “If you think that’s good, let me tell you….!” Or, “That’s not a real problem! Let me tell you about….!”

So many times, I stop listening before you even finish your sentence.

Swift to hear—slow to speak. At least I can wait until you finish before I play one-up against you!

James 1:19

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“A Back Porch”

My daughter walked onto the back porch one afternoon. It was one of those afternoons when the weather’s warm, the breeze is on and off, but the bugs are truly bothersome.

She commented out loud that “it’s so nice to be able to be in a screened porch where we can experience the weather but we’re protected from the bugs and the hot sun.Then she turned and commented further: “It’s like that in Christ too!”
“For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is greatly to be exalted.”

Psalm 47:9

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“My Crutches”

I was on crutches for six weeks due to a baseball injury.

My 4th grade classmates laughed, especially since the bathroom was a problem. So, the teacher allowed me to go during class to avoid their teasing, but I had to choose one kid to go with me.

I chose the one who hadn’t picked on my weakness. He was an outcast, being the only black kid in our upstate New York school.

We became close friends. All because of my crutches.

This is what redemption is about—bringing a greater good out of something bad.

Genesis 50:20

Dave “Tud” Nance
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“My Connection”

My wife went to sit with an elderly Alzheimer’s patient, thinking to make some phone calls while he cat-napped. But she forgot her charger, so naturally it died.

And likewise, I find it too easy to forget my connection with Jesus sometimes.

I forget to pray, or forget to read and meditate about the word. I ignore chances to make someone’s life a little better, getting caught up in petty personal issues.

He said: “I’m the vine. You’re the branches…without me you can’t do anything.” I’ll do well to remember that.

John 15: 5

Dave “Tud” Nance
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My Wife’s Little Dog

When our dog (Callie) goes out, she takes her own sweet time. She wanders, leisurely sniffing for other creatures that’ve trespassed.

Our young grandson tried to get Callie back into the house, running and yelling, waving his arms. But his noise and excitement weren’t very effective.

So my wife taught him about attraction—call softly, whistle a little and offer a doggie treat. Much better!

My relationship with Jesus is similar: He doesn’t drive me. He attracts me. He offers hope and salvation. I love Him because He first loved me.

1 John 4:19
Dave “Tud” Nance
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“I Don’t Have to Worry About It”

My father-in-law was thinking about buying a new lawnmower.

He said, “Mine is barely enough; I’m always having problems. I need one that’s more than strong enough; then I don’t have to worry about it.” 

His old one had 12 horsepower, but from the beginning he had trouble with belts, gears, bearings, etc. So he spent more to get more.

Similarly, I like to think that my strength is enough. Yet the truth is this: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves…our sufficiency is from God”

2 Corinthians 3:5
Dave “Tud” Nance
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“Moldy Potato Chips”

Moldy potato chips!?! No kidding. I should’ve eaten them before they bloomed in ugly green spots.
Then my mind turned to thinking of how my love might have that “moldy flavor” too.
When my “love” for Jesus is just love for what He does for me.
When my “love” for my neighbor is actually loving the good feeling in my heart.
When my “love” for truth is, if the truth be told, love for correcting the ignorant. 
But, Jesus calls me to genuine love. Love for Him, for you, and for the truth.

Luke 10:27
Dave “Tud” Nance
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“Love in the Trenches”

On occasions, I’ve become deeply angry when someone lets me down. Sometimes it’s so bad that I call it abandonment or even betrayal.
And sadly, I sometimes find myself wishing for something to “make us even.”

And then I remember Luke 22:31. Jesus prayed for Peter, knowing that Peter would let Him down, publicly denying Him. He prayed that Peter’s faith wouldn’t fail, in spite of the public betrayal.

How much like Christ would I be if, like Jesus, I were more concerned for the good of my betrayer than for my own suffering?

Luke 22:31
Dave “Tud” Nance

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“Beautiful Cover-up”

In India, women like to stain their feet and hands with a light, reddish-brown color. They call it Mehendi. It’s beautiful.

But there’s a reason for this fashion—the daily grime of living in poverty.

It’s a beautiful cover-up.

Spiritually, I beautifully cover-up my selfishness and pride under the color of the good that I do or the evil I avoid. 

But Jesus prefers that I see myself as He sees me: In the words of the old hymn: “Just as I Am”.

And then, He doesn’t merely cover my sins. He forgives them.

1 John 1:7-10
Dave “Tud” Nance

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“Even Better Than Before”

I had just bought a small birdhouse basket.  At home, I noticed a small natural gap in the wood.

So, I decided to use some carpenter’s glue and a small nail.

After the repair, I realized that the basket was stronger than it was originally.

And isn’t that how it is, in Christ? We’re filled with weaknesses, fears, and sinful habits in our thoughts as well as actions. But the Lamb of God redeems us, guides us in self improvement and repentance. 

He’s making us stronger than we were. Praise Him!

2 Peter 1:5-9
Dave “Tud” Nance

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