“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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“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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“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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