DEEP SHADESBy: Darrelyn L. TuttThe skies above are a bruised blue;A deep shade of dark melancholy.Unapologetically, descending upon me,Seeping into me,This canopy of blue.-----The skies;They tell and foretell:Some days so gentle,And others so cruel.Vividly etched,Variations of blue, Strewn on a canvas unending.Uncertain one moment,Then certain the next.Settled one moment,And stormy the next.The message in blues,Ever changing.Swollen and bruised,Slowly fading ...-----The deepest loneliest blue;I've felt it and so have you.And in this way the canopy arches and spreads over us,Whispering a wind-swept remembrance between us.The sounds can be heard in the blue, The silence gathering,The calm overshadowing ...A comfort,The knowledge of you.One never forgets the blueness of season,"There's always a reason,"You said.Deep shades of blue ...Overhead.
BEGIN NOWBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Sometimes we arrive in a place we don’t belong.Instead of wondering how we got there … we need to invest our time and energy in forging ahead to where we need to be.Here are three key strategies for progress:1) Implement a Bible reading plan. If you’ve never had one or don’t know where to begin, go to www.BibleGateway.com and choose an option that will carry you through the upcoming year. If you miss a day, let it go, and begin anew on “that” day’s reading. Many people fail at attempts to read through God’s word because they miss a day, week, or month, and then start all over again with a “stop” at the same old place because the reading was found to be disagreeable or difficult to digest. Your success begins when you pick up on “today’s” reading regardless of the time lapse and chapters lost in between. Believe me … it’s an effective and wise strategy!To those of you who are already implementing a Bible reading plan; get out of your comfort zone and try a new one that challenges you deeper and fosters healthy growth.God’s word is the most life-changing, mind-changing, heart-arranging plan for growth that exists. Steep in it and saturate your mind and soul in it daily and things will begin to change in your life.It’ll happen because God says so.----2) Pray. If you’re not used to accessing your knees I urge you to try it. There’s something about a bent posture that conditions the soul to recognizing God’s grace in a different way.Begin prayer with an extolling of who He is and assert the basic realities of who you are. Take care of the sin that’s impairing your soul and get on track in your communion with Christ.Bend your knees and pray;It will change you.----3) Rub shoulders with individuals (utilize books,) and participate in activities that foster growth in your walk with Christ. Be intentional about who you spend time with and where your time is going. Evaluate and assess where you will end up if you keep up your present pursuits.Make appropriate changes and do what you have to do to get in sync with the Lord.Change leads to growth.----Shut off Facebook and text messaging for just one hour, replace it with God’s word, and see if you don’t note a decided difference in how you think, feel, and live.Move toward the place you were meant to be.Begin now.
REDISCOVERBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt-A black and white beautiful badger.-A fluffy fox pup curled up by the side of the road.-A bright and brilliant red cardinal in my backyard.-A trio of delicate deer within five feet.-A woodchuck seated on the sidewalk.------These five "sightings" in five days were mine.Unusual?I should absolutely say so.Each one appeared in broad daylight, in the middle of the day, where they did not belong.Each one spoke to me of the glory of God.The "sightings" were God ordained and delightful to His child,And of Him I shall only record my praise.The originality and resourceful ability by which God has chosen to reveal Himself to me heightens, encourages, and implores me to press into prayer to an intensely higher degree. -----You must see with me and know with me, dear reader, that each of these "sightings" was a direct manifestation, visible token, and "answer" to a prayer I had prayed.While the prayer remains private,The precise ordaining and timing of these moments with these creatures was absolutely wondrous.What a beautiful holy wonder,My creative Father.-----My husband made the interesting observation that he believes I witness "more" of God because I ask more from God and I look for more from God continually.Hmmm ...Whether this is true or not I cannot say, for I believe that each of us has a unique and distinct communion with God that bears originality and a decided "differentness."I only implore that you pray to God in a playful manner that asserts and suggests more than wants, whims, and mundane "typical" requests heard from typical pew sitters and church-goers on a Sunday morning.Make it your goal to not sound like the voice beside you and around you.Pour forth praise to God from a soul decidedly different than all the rest and expose yourself to a God who wants to "undo" you with fresh discoveries.Don't settle for a weak version or a dim visibility of God.Go after Him,Fall in love with Him,Rediscover Him.-----
THE DEAD DUCKA story retold:A little boy was visiting his grandparents on their farm and was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced for a long while but couldn’t hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma’s pet duck. Impulsively, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked, grieved, and scared.In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching. Sally had witnessed the whole thing but she said nothing. After lunch the next day Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny kindly told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.”Then she whispered to him,Remember the duck?So Johnny did the dishes.Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, “I’m sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.” “Well that’s alright, Grandma, because Johnny told me he wanted to help you,” spoke smug little Sally. Then she whispered to him, Remember the duck?So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed behind to help.After several long days of doing both his chores and Sally’s … Johnny had finally had enough and he couldn’t stand it any longer. He came to Grandma in tears and confessed to his killing of the duck. Grandma knelt down and held Johnny tight a long while and whispered,“Sweetheart, I know, I saw the whole thing happen from the window. I was just wondering how long you’d let Sally make a slave of you. You’re forgiven and I love you.”----Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done, that the devil keeps throwing up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, anger, bad habits, etc.,) you need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing.He has seen your whole life and He wants you to know that He loves you and you’re forgiven.Don’t let the devil make a slave of you;Don’t let him use the duck.Come clean, confess, and experience the compassion God longs to give you.-----“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous, and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”1 John 2:1-2
COVEREDBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
I’m covered and sealed,By the blood of the Lamb;I’m coming to Him,Just the way that I am.
No mask, no pretending,Just blemished, unclean;I come to the Lamb,For in Him I’m redeemed.
I’m pardoned, forgiven,With nothing concealed;Whatever I give Him,Is what will be healed.
O perfect Redeemer,So holy and pure;Surrender to You,Is what makes me secure.
Teach me to trust,And to lean on the Lamb;Believing there’s rest,When I come ….. as I am.------“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.”Ephesians 1:5
By: Darrelyn L. TuttTwo revered men were having a hearty discourse on revival.The older gentleman suggested that citizens in the town be gone to, one by one with doors knocked upon, and questioned whether they thought themselves to be the worst sinner in town.The elder respected man suggested that the man who submitted to such an inquiry would hasten the early season of revival.-----The knocking began and, not surprisingly, so did the negative shaking of heads.One by one, it appeared that each citizen thought himself better than the man down the row, who had either been convicted of a blaring violation or some transgression which seemed greater than his own.And one by one, it was learned that even the worst of convicts knew another to be a "worser" convict.(I'm taking license with the word, don't get hung up on it.)------After a long, weary day of knocking,A lovely little cottage was approached with an elderly gentleman appearing at the door, inviting in, the weary knockers.The question was posed,"Do you think yourself to be, Sir, the worst of sinners in this town?""No I do not," the elderly gentleman replied, "I know myself to be."So natural and unpretentious was this gentleman's response that it nearly knocked the weary "knockers" off their chairs."How can this be, such a kindly man as you, has no difficulty in asserting such a negative opinion of himself?" the younger man asked.The older gentleman replied,"I have lived long and communed long with the Christ I love. I have learned over time, not how good I am but how utterly wretched I am, unless the blood of Christ covered me hourly. I have no question at all but to my frailty and sinfulness. Mark me out and do whatever you will with me."Upon this moment and upon this man, a heavenly and divine light was cast upon him.His presence fairly glowed and light gloriously emanated from him.------The two revered men walked quietly away from the "sinful" man's door in earnest thought and in deep contemplation.The elder gentleman was heard whispering the simple words:Lord, help me to "know" myself the worst man in this city,That revival might fall so sufficiently upon "me."-----
By: Darrelyn L. TuttThe Spirit moves as the Spirit's led,And the man who will obey;What the Spirit "wills" is a man of God,And a man who knows his way.The course of God is a course unseen,And the word of God his guide;Where the Spirit speaks is the open Book,To the man who looks inside.To the traveled man of a certain chart,And a mapped out path before;May the way of God be the way you walk,And the old way be no more.It's not for man to direct his steps,And a man won't move ahead;'Til the Spirit moves and the Spirit leads,And the man be Spirit led.------"O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."Jeremiah 10:23
By: Darrelyn L. TuttBeautiful child with earnest two year old expressions,And at times ... a twinge of green in the eyes.The wagon handle is placed in my hands, Two year old grandson Owen confirms, in doing so, that a new adventure is to be ours.An "explore" awaits us.The little red wagon is supplied with fruit snacks and a bottle of water and we head out on our pilgrimage west.A delightful park emblazened with cheerful, bright, inviting colors welcomes us.We are alone ... for awhile.------Some adults like to sit on benches and enjoy moments of respite; I don't fault them but I'm not one of them.Fully absorbed in child's play, my energies are exerted forcibly beside my grandson.I'm fully employed in hanging off the monkey bars, sliding down the slide in competitive fashion, and scaling up "hiker holes" to reach miniature mountain peaks.Owen and I laugh and race like two children at play absorbed and fully alive in the moment.------At just such a moment there's a "bobble" in our adventure and a little "hiccup" on the slide by the name of Salina.Salina is a little black haired, brown-eyed girl filled with life, energy, and loneliness.She requests a slide ride with me.Since the slides (created in trio) are wondrously created for hand-holding most of the way down; it's delightfully fun to swoosh down speedily together.Down we went, Salina and I.But while we were enjoying a slide ride, a little tempest was brewing in another.Owen's beautiful brown eyes temporarily turned green and his concern over "felt" matters of betrayal surfaced. In terms unintelligible, he gave Salina the "what for."In response, Salina, articulated a "whatever" and grabbed my hand for another slide ride.The matter was dealt with tenderly and yet it lingers in me.-----God is jealous over His sons and daughters, perhaps in a fashion like Owen was jealous over me.He doesn't want to be traded for quick fixes, conveniences, temptations, or human desires.He wants our hearts fixed on Him and He knows that, until our hearts are fixed on Him, the soul will get lost in an eternity apart from Him.He takes our actions seriously;So seriously that consequences erupt when we violate our communion with Him and seek other terms of engagement and fulfillment.-----Hmmm ...I love the God well who keeps leading, correcting me, guiding me.Who keeps taking my hand and reminding me,That the wagon handle is safe in His hands alone.God be praised for lessons learned ...And little green eyes.
THE CASTLEBy: Darrelyn L. TuttHe takes my hand,Leads me to the red wagon,And sits inside expectantly.Smiling and waiting in a convincing two year old way, my grandson Owen asserts his desires in a beautiful and forthright way, and I will not deny him.I grab the wagon handle yet again, we laugh together, and set out;Pioneers on a pilgrimage to ...Somewhere special.------We head east and he's allowed his first glimpse of the majestic Sanford Children's hospital in Sioux Falls, a towering virtual castle with colorful flags waving from the peak; a building magnificently employed with every form of a child's imagination at work.Owen is captivated.He studies it and is magnetized by it.The closer we get the more entranced his gaze.He's absolutley taken with it.------A commemorative massive statue of Denny Sanford with a family unit sits not far from the entrance and waters bubbling from knee high fountains lie half-mooned around it.It's an impressive and provoking sight to even an adult.Naturally, Owen wants out of the wagon, and is lifted out and let go.Overwhelmed by the stimuli, he chooses the water founts as his "first" explore, and with his bright green crocks, works to step on and stifle the water source.We explore things together, my shoes come off, and we enjoy the water.-----It's at just such a moment that something "broken" happens:A young couple in their mid-twenties ventures near us;They bear the look of exhausted parents passing through some hellish, tormenting, unending nightmare.I can't take my eyes off of them;They can't take their eyes off of Owen.He's laughing,Squealing,And exclaiming at the waters "unstoppable" charge over him.Just like that,The internal emotional dam of a mother breaks,And the young mom weeps,And the dad does too.The bubbling waters that Owen is working on stifling, are streaming down the faces of broken parents, and there's not enough tears in all the world to hold what they are feeling and what they are going through.They walk away and keep looking back simultaneously;Beautiful healthy Owen.-----The day is beautiful,The wagon ride provoking.Owen's little hand fits into mine and I touch gentle the place on my cheek where his lips softly kissed me.This beautiful life,This beautiful child,This "castle of glory" composed of a child,This child named Owen.------