By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    It wasn't my plan to do much for Christmas this year in the way of decorating;
    With a new move under our belt and all the upheaval that accompanies it, I questioned whether I had the energy to tackle Christmas.
    But ... the "Nativity" seemed a must.
    Locating the box that held the Nativity was a job in and of itself and by the time I found it, I'd already unpacked most of Christmas.
    Hmmm ...
    No small delight was mine when I finally found the box with the little writing marked "Nativity."
    But what I expected to find and what I actually did find were two very different things.
    Can we believe that in our whole move not one thing got busted and broken up but ... my beautiful Nativity set.
    The nice one with the beautifully painted, picturesque porcelain figures.
    Blast and bugger ... what a sore disappointment.
    -Baby Jesus had a chip in his cradle.
    -One wiseman had disappeared.
    -One wiseman had lost an arm.
    -A sheep's leg had gotten sheered off
    And notably and worst of all ...
    -Joseph's head was broken clean off.
    I held the decapitated Joseph in my hand and, due to the supreme shattering he underwent, knew that his state was irreversible.
    Gratefully Mary survived unscathed ... but the whole manger scene was one of sad disrepair.
    And right in that moment ...
    God chose to seize the moment and this is what I heard Him say,
    The scene you're holding and looking at, Darrelyn, is a "broken real scene" composed of broken real lives. The scene that you're in possession of is the reason I sent my Son to earth and it is a far better depiction of man than the one which man works to display.
    All men are broken, Darrelyn,
    Even the one's in the Nativity scene.
    Man's brokenness is the "reason for the season,"
    And My presence is what situates a "Living Hope" into the season.
    Breathe the message in and share it:
    In all of your brokenness,
    I was born for you.

    In all of your brokenness,
    I gave My life for you,
    In all of your brokenness ...
    I love you.

    And I felt the presence of God in the "Broken Nativity."
    Hmmm ...
    Perhaps when we come to terms with our brokenness we begin to understand the true meaning of Christmas.
    And perhaps I've never owned ... a more valuable Nativity set.
    So much to think about.
    Merry Christmas.


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    I'm running "early" today and on the way to my client's home.
    Decide to stop by a gas station and grab an extra bold, dark, strong cup of coffee.
    Mmmm ... it's sounding good.
    I pull in to the side of the building where the non-gas people park and just as I'm about to make an exit, I find myself drawn to the vehicle beside me.
    A dusty gray Chevy pick-up and the profile of an attractive but weary-worn gentleman meets me;
    Retirement age and perhaps in a seed-selling or Ag related business if his hat is an assertion of anything.
    Oblivious to my presence and engrossed in what appears to be an unpleasant phone conversation, I find myself strangely drawn to him, and a sadness washes over me.
    It's apparent that the conversation is hard and hurtful ... and it ends with a fist on the steering wheel and an intense surge of private emotion displayed.
    I know that I'm intruding ... but I can't stop watching.
    He stares straight ahead, places his head on the steering wheel ... and then reaches for a pack of Marlboro lights squeezed into the front window dash, and we're close enough that I see his hands tremble between cigarette and lighter.
    I look down at the cellophane plate of goodies accompanied by a devotional, with the name of my client on a Christmas card neatly written on top, sitting beside me, and I remove the card.
    I pop out of my car and knock lightly on the gentleman's vehicle and I startle him;
    He remains in a world a million miles away.
    He rolls down his window, flashes me an easy smile and, I think, assumes I'm going to ask him for help.
    But I don't need help ... not today.
    I extend my mittened hand to him, hold out the delightful plate of goodies and devotional, wish him a Merry Christmas, and tell him it's a little gift and reminder of "hope."
    It takes only seconds and I hop back into my warm car and we look at one another one more time ... and he mouths the words "Thank you" to me.
    And I leave him like that,
    And he leaves me like that.
    Strangers affected by one another,
     Interacting with one another ...
    For just a moment.
    As good as a quick cup of coffee sounded,
    It'll have to wait for another day.
    It's the spontaneous intersection with the gentleman holding a Marlboro that garners my attention for the rest of the day,
    And I pray for him throughout.
    That his life is touched by the love of God and that the first words he opens up to in that little book remind him that there's hope when life is hard ...
    And a stranger who cares.
    "Be kind to others,
    Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about."


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Though language be spoken,
    And message be clear;
    No word utters speech,
    Like the drop …
    Of a tear.


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Intrigued by a passage in a present book, I've decided to put forth lines found to be captivating and provoking, with the desire to inspire you as well.
    We begin ...
    "The heels of her pumps clicked on the pavement and her bracelets jingled.
    Suddenly two large men leapt out from a doorway and loomed in front of her. They were very rough.
    Without thought Celine said,
    'Oh! You must be freezing!"
    Addressing the larger of the two, she said, 'You'll catch your death of cold. Your shirt is all ripped. Let me see if I have a safety pin.' With that she opened up her purse and began rifling through it.
    The men stared.
    They were dumbfounded.
    'Here, found one!' she said and pulled it out and reached up and deftly folded back the edge of the rip, smoothing it carefully so that it made a neat edge the pin could catch, and she did the same on the other side of the tear, and with wonderful concentration pushed the pin through both sides and secured it.
    She patted it neatly down, 'There,' she said, 'You'll be much warmer now.'
    The men stared. When they could speak they told her that this, ah, neighborhood was really really dangerous and what was she doing out here all alone?
    Then they insisted on walking her to the corner and waiting with her for a cab.
    Of course no cab would stop, the men were too formidable. So she finally turned to them and said, 'You two were on your way to doing something, why don't you go do it. I'll be fine. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help.'
    And as soon as they left she hailed a taxi.
    She had not been in command of a frigate that night, and her motive was not a vanquishing of any kind, but the instinct to go straight ahead where others wouldn't dream to go ..."
    This was all about her.
    Book excerpt retrieved from "Celine"
    By: Peter Heller
    A dozen times over I have read these lines ... captivated by the beauty of a vulnerable woman's bold and daring appeal suggesting better behavior than such men are deemed capable of acting out.
    By "sleight of hand" and through the tender appeal of a gentle act, the hardness of men softens into a glorious kind of "putty" by which all thought of ill-behavior is forgotten and the best of good behavior is called out.
    To call forth respectable behavior from reproachable reprobates is a powerful thing in my book ...
     And overpowering in it's suggestion to bring a beautiful kind of bold into a very dark place when we are afforded the opportunity.
    It is our tender duty to help engender noble acts which many men have forgotten they are capable of performing
    And somewhere I recall an old line ...
    We must be careful what we think and say of others for men have a way of living up to our expectations of them.
    Hmmm ...
    A tender touch and a gracious act in a moment charged with evil and ill-conceived desire has the power to motivate, many times, a gentle kind of goodness from the darkest of men.
    To see the best in others,
    Believe the best in others,
    And bring out the best in others,
    And bring light into darkness ...
    This is beautiful.
    A gentle act of a timely grace has the power to soften a very hard heart.
    Go easy and prayerfully into a "next" such encounter.
    Be a beautiful kind of bold ...
    In someone's life.
    "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
    Matthew 5:16


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Until the soul arrives at a healthy state of disillusionment with man,

    Until it has soundly felt the paralyzing effects of trusting an untrustworthy frame;
    Until it comes to grips with the unsteady gait,
    -The changeable behavior,
    -The fickle demeanor,
    -And the absense of absolute certainties ...
    One's walk with God remains shallow, immature, and incomplete.
    The recognition of all that man is and all that he is not  ...
    And the acceptance of the realities which follow are the exact agents which usher the soul into a profound experience with God.
    The "realities of man" become the living catalyst which serves to catapult the soul into an intense, intimate, and indescribable place with the Almighty.
    This journey on earth with fickle man was intended to lead us into a deeper and fuller life with a faithful God.
    Disillusionment with man affords new discoveries about God and induces a desirability for more of Him.
    This is a discovery we each must make ...
    On the journey home.
    "But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man."
    John 2:24-25


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Grace abounds in fragile moments,
    Take a look around and see;
    Tender acts of love and mercy,
    Do abound to you and me.

    Daily do we need His kindness,
    Daily do we need to bow;
    Thanking God for all He gives us,
    For the here … and for the now.

    Comfort is the strength of heaven,
    Manifest to human eye;
    Balm upon the lowly spirit,
    Calm upon the desperate cry.

    God of mercy and compassion,
    God of wonder, God of might;
    Give us grace to see Your goodness,
    Give us truth to see Your light.

    Grace is ours in fragile moments,
    Take a look around and see;
    Tender acts of love and mercy;
    Do abound to you and me.
    "Being confident of this very thing; that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
    Philippians 1:6


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Sharp, Cold, Invigorating.
    The cold air greets me and meets me with her bite.
    The last several days have presented challenges to my daily walk:
    -Monday was the first of "blizzard-like" conditions with heavy winds and intermittant sleet and snow to deal with.
    -Tuesday was icy with the carry-over of Monday's remains, plenty of cold and wind to deal with, plus unshoveled sidewalks.
    -Wednesday was pleasant, in comparison, with just the cold and a few slippery patches to deal with.
    Each of the days put out a little whisper telling me I shouldn't go for my walk;
     That I should "hole-up",
     Keep out of the cold,
     Enjoy the warmth of the indoors,
    Settle in with a good book, curl up under a blanket, enjoy the lights on the tree, and listen to Harry Connick Junior's Christmas music in the background.
    And it was all very tempting to listen to the easy voice,
    But that's not the voice I knew I would listen to in the end ...
    Because I know myself.
    Compelled by the latter, I submitted to the challenged-driven side of me, bundled myself up accordingly, and set myself in the frigid air with an enthusiastic stride and in an energetic tone.
    I listened to the stronger voice, the more difficult voice, while hearing the echo of my client's voice,
    "Trying to hold you back and slow you down is like telling the wind not to blow. It's something beautiful in you, Child."
    And I think she's on to something ...
    Because walks must be taken no matter the weather.
    And the stronger the voice, the greater the fulfillment in having listened to it.
    Mmmm ...
    Our walk with Christ, similarly, is a walk that must be taken regardless of "weather" condition. When difficulties, trials, and heartaches come into our lives, the easy voice threatens to undermine the stronger voice ... and we are detoured from a walk charged with possibility.
    You were made for Christ ... and so was I.
    Together we were made for more.
    Let's take our walk and see if God doesn't intoxify our senses with a breath of His presence ... and an invitation to more.
    In our walk with Christ let's strive for the powerful echo,
    "Trying to hold you back and slow you down is like telling the wind not to blow. It's something beautiful in you, Child."
    Take your walk.
    "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him ..."
    2 Chronicles 16:9


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    "Hazel and Blue" are the names you'll see written on the top of most of our score sheets.
    "Hazel and Blue" are the playful terms of endearment I use when I'm playing games with my client.
    Hazel is the color of my client's eyes and blue is the color of mine.
    Every day we play games together in an attempt to keep the mind sharp, alert, and focused and everyday the same competitive edge comes out of both of us:
    -We both like to play and we both like to win.
    -We both like to talk and we both like to laugh.
    -We both like to tease and we both like to jest.
    But neither one of likes to shuffle the cards ...
    So that's my job.
    And neither one of likes to lose ...
    So I do that once in awhile too.
    Some of our best conversations have taken place in the midst of our card games.
    Some of our greatest transparencies have been revealed in the midst of a game.
    When God chose to put a "Hazel and Blue" together He did a very special and healing  thing in both of our lives.
    To Him be praised ... I love Him so.
     I write this on Tuesday evening and I'm thinking about my dear "Hazel" because I had an unexpected day off.
    My hours were cancelled due to icy country roads and unsafe conditions,
    and while a break from routine is appreciated, my day feels far less complete without the presence of my client in it.
    And I miss "Hazel."
    Shortly I will crawl into bed and picture her in the midst of her evening routine and I will smile to myself, tuck her into my prayers, and nod off to sleep.
    To Hazel from Blue,
    There's no one like you.
    I love you and I'll see you ...
    In the morning.
    "Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart."
    Psalm 73:1


    By: Darrelyn  L. Tutt

    I don't fear things like I used to,
    For I know things I didn't used to.
    The cruel shards of glass with the sharp ridges and blood stained edges,
    The piercings of the soul ...
    God only knows.
    But see them glow,
    These slivers of glass,
     Inside the soul.
    When the soul is angled just right,
    And tilted just so,
    It glitters with the incandescent glow,
    Of the purest wisdom.
    Wisdom ...
     The scarlet interpretation of pain,
    Embedded in the "ordained" trial and strain,
      Through shards of glass.
    Threaded strands of slivered gold ...
    Inside my soul.
    "He hath made everything beautiful in His time ..."
    Ecclesiastes 3:11



    "These six things doth the Lord hate: 
    yea, seven things are an abomination unto Him:
    A proud look, 
    a lying tongue, 
    and hands that shed innocent blood. 
    A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, 
    feet that be swift in running to mischief,
    A false witness that speaketh lies,
    And he that soweth discord among brethren."
    Proverbs 6:16-19
    God's word,
    God's truth.
    It shall never fail ...
     It shall always prevail,
    Over the minds, thoughts, and intents of men.
    Praise be to the Lord.

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