A DIFFERENT JOURNEYBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
READING TOMMY WRONGBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Like all country music singers, Kenny Rogers had a style all his own but his selection of song generally had the power to provoke strong imagery and convey a powerful message through the telling of a story.His first big hit, The Gambler, in 1978 speaks to this ability.But it's another song I keep hearing, keep listening to, that speaks even louder:The Coward of the County.It's sad and profound all in one but it strikes a chord in me so I've decided to share it.Read the words and select the lines you find most meaningful and consider "why" you chose them.Your selection will tell you a story about "you."------The Coward of the CountyBy: Roger Bowling and Billy Ed WheelerRecorded by Kenny Rogers
Everyone considered him the coward of the countyHe never stood one single time to prove the county wrongHis mama named him Tommy but folks just called him yellowSomething always told me they were reading Tommy wrong
He was only ten years old when his daddy died in prisonI looked after Tommy cuz he was my brother's sonI still recall the final words my brother said to TommySon my life is over but yours is just begun
Chorus:Promise me son not to do the things I've doneWalk away from trouble if you canNow it don't mean your weak if you turn the other cheekI hope you're old enough to understandSon you don't have to fight to be a manThere's someone for everyone and Tommy's love was BeckyIn her arms he didn't have to prove he was a manOne day while he was working the Gatlin boys came callingThey took turns at Becky ... there was three of them
Tommy opened up his door and saw his Becky cryingThe torn dress the shattered look was more than he could standHe reached above the fireplace and took down his daddy's pictureAs his tears fell on his daddy's face he heard these words again(Repeat chorus)
The Gatlin boys just laughed at him when he walked into the barroomOne of them got up and met him half way cross the floorTommy turned around they said hey look ole Yellow's leavingYou could've heard a pin drop ... Tommy stopped and locked the door
Twenty years of crawling was bottled up inside himHe wasn't holding nothing back he let 'em have it allWhen Tommy left the barroom not a Gatlin boy was standingHe said this one's for Becky as he watched the last one fallAnd I heard him sayI promised you Dad not to do the things you've doneI'll walk away from trouble if I canNow please don't think I'm weak I couldn't turn the other cheekPapa I sure hope you understandSometimes you gotta fight when you're a manEveryone considered him ... the coward of the county.------
I've picked my lines and I know why they matter to me.10 of them ... all for distinct and different reasons.First "trigger line" and the only one I'll share:Something always told me they were reading Tommy wrongHmmm ...Our propensity to form opinions without knowledge is extremely great,but it must be acknowledged that rarely do we read people rightly and, generally and continually, we simply have it all "wrongly."It's not until we really "get inside someone" that we really know someone.And once we really know someone we act a little more human, a little more graceful, a little more forgiving ... a little more loving.The "20 years bottled up" generally amounts to something specific in each of us.If you have a few, even one or two in your life, who truly know "you," count yourself blessed.But if you feel bottled up, afraid, and alone, I just want to remind you that God knows the "whole" of you. He knows your hurts, heartaches, tears, and deepest fears ... and He loves you and whispers,You're not alone.Listen to the lines of the One who knows you and take time to read and reflect on Psalm 139:"O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue but lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before and laid Thine hand upon me ..."Psalm 139:1-5Amen.----*Our DECEMBER DISCOVERIES "31 STUDY" begins today.Join me and invite someone along ...
EVEN NOWBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
We must trust the providence of God in all earthly matters.Where we have been disobedient, we must make honest confession, renounce our sinful ways, and return with reassurance to our walk with God … and the resuming of all that is in keeping with His desires for our lives.To shudder and shake over past sins, grievances, and old hurts is a precious waste of time and energy that will get you nowhere but frustration and a growing lack of faith. Don’t do it.Satan will whisper vile and repeated lies to try and undermine the sovereign truths and realities that Christ has promised you … but God will remain adamantly and ardently faithful to you.Invoke and employ the ear of God on all that gnaws on your heart and mind this moment, my friend, and immerse yourself in the strength and stability of God’s precious and most holy word and prayer.In doing so you will realize new realities of grace, truth, and compassion that were not formerly known or understood by you, and in doing so, you will touch other lives with a deeper level of compassion not formerly experienced.Who knows but that your “fall” will result in the salvation of many others ... in the end.God has all resources for faith-building at His command for you.Be assured, that even now, He is employing them to make you what He determines you to be.Walk confidently … His hand is on you.He will lead you, guide you, and use you.Amen.----“Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me under the shadow of Thy wings."Psalm 17:8
THANKFULBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
For things I would have wanted not,Yet things I would not change;For much that’s come into my life,And much that’s rearranged.
For lessons learned and trials sent,For heartache and for pain;For mountains hard to navigate,For new and straight terrain.
For holy hands that hold my own,And One who knows my way;For transformation taking place,And mercy every day.
For pure and undefiled love,And nothing left to chance;For sifting every detail of my life,Through holy hands.
For things I would have wanted not,Yet things I would not change;I’m thankful, simply thankful,For the much … that’s rearranged.------“Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!”Psalm 107:1
JUST THE BEGINNINGBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
We never really know what Christ has up His holy sleeve;He’s full of sovereign surprise and extravagant grace.He works in contrast and to the contrary;He works in spite of and out of the ordinary …All the time.----When we think we have it most together,Perhaps we have it least together,And not a lot happens.When we think we have it least together,Perhaps we have it most together,And so very much happens.Because it’s God in us and never really about us ... at all.The whole thing is a marvelous mystery;This uncontrollable, Uncontainable, Unstoppable God.----Maybe when we get to the end of ourselves,We begin to discover the beginning of God.And the end is just the beginning …And the beautiful mystery called grace begins to unfold.-----“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:9
Anyplace is someplace beautiful ... with Owen Gene.
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