By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
    Matthew 6:14-15
    “And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
    Mark 11:25-26
    Hmmm …
    Forgiveness is conditional:
    We must forgive in order to be forgiven.

    This is the Scripture and the Scripture tells the truth.
    Forgiveness is a key element to sanctification, the walking out of a redeemed and renewed life.
    It rarely is a one-time and completed act but rather an ongoing repetitive process by which humility is developed, character is formed, and the spirit within becomes conformed to the image above.
    To question whether we have or have not entirely forgiven another is a waste of time;
    Such attempts will heighten anxiety and arrest an unnecessary energy that might be employed and put to greater use by simply engaging in confession the moment our minds return to an unresolved matter.
    Any matter which returns in a repeated fashion is considered unresolved and must be worked through each time it arises:
    It is the signature of the Holy Spirit at work arresting the heart and realigning it with His.
    It is not a reason for concern but rather a testament to experiencing more growth in godly character and establishing deeper intimacy with Christ.
    The work of forgiveness is of great practicality to growing in Christ likeness because it involves the supernatural work of the Spirit to complete it;
    See it as such and thank God for the work of transformation occurring within.
    Create a list today of all Christ has forgiven "you" of:
    Rehearse it,
    Return to it,
    Remember it,
    Rekindle it … and keep the flame alive.
    Relationship with Christ is the key to forgiveness,
    The key to life,
    The key to moving on.
    Keep pressing in.
    Forgiveness is not an emotion.
    Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function, regardless of the temperature of the heart.
    -Corrie Ten Boom



    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Seven years have passed and I still haven't forgotten the knock.
    The vehicle outside our home is unfamiliar but the individual is not;
    I'm not expecting her.
    We're in the midst of a departure and an upcoming move has me scrambling about in sweats and a pink-ringed ponytail. I'm scribbling furiously on boxes with a massive black permanent marker recording contents contained within.
    I'm weary with exhaustion but intrigued by the visitor.
    Carly in seven words:
    Capable, Controlling, Competant, Guarded, Practical, Efficient, Responsible.
    Traits of sufficiency and efficiency created an internal rigid posture in her that interfered with relational arenas but seemed to elevate and enhance vocational and other leadership arenas.
    Kept at arm's length my overtures toward a friendship, not surprisingly, were slighted and repeatedly denied. Resignation to a formal relationship based on mutual respect was ours.
    Nothing more.
    That's how it was through the years.
    Carly and husband Steve (married 20 years) found their niche as small group leaders of a marriage builder study and worked to fortify and strengthen the "union" of others.
    Successfully leading countless couples through a six week highly regarded marriage study, they were touted as exemplary role models and outstanding leaders. What Carly lacked for in personalness she made up for in promptness and reliability, and it all sort of balanced out somehow. Steve and Carly maneuvered through life achieving and acquiring the praise of family, friends, and the outside world.
    They were an exceptional little family.
    And then one day everything changed ... and Carly disappeared.
    The 20 year marriage ended and the dissolving of a family unit transpired in front of watching eyes and wondering, wandering minds.
    No more marriage studies.
    -Mouths that had previously moved mercifully and on mission now moved mischievouly and maliciously.
    -Rumors circulated and gossip prevailed.
    -New realities presented themselves escalating and entertaining endless possibilities.
    But nobody knew Carly's realities,
    And that was the truth.
    And Carly slipped away ...
    And the world received her into its enticing lair and gave her the freedom to breathe again.
    The church substantially validated its existance insisting on a righteous stance of negating "her" existance.
    And Carly did what she did because she knew what she knew.
    Carly is knocking at my door.
    She is hesitant, uncertain, and trembling.
    She asks if she can hug me ... and we embrace.
    And she whispers,
    "I'm sorry."
    She exposes her heart and an honest exchange takes place.
    The ticking of a clock packed somewhere in a box seems fitting ...
    And I can't forget that moment.
    It is the most holy moment I've ever encountered with an individual in the church.
    The remembrance of it gives me hope.
    God was working in Carly's heart to bring her to repentance;
    No one else could have done that,
     And I was standing on holy ground and I didn't know it.
    Relegated to our own painful experiences, we become more human, empathetic, and understanding with time.
    We change in inconceivable ways through inconceivable life events;
    And we come to become ... a little more like Christ.
    He changes us,
    Conforms us,
    Conditions us,
     And completes us,
    Through an extraordinary and supernatural process known only by Him.
    Redemption is a slow process to understand but it is being realized more fully in my life ... and I come to realize that this is what "true life" is all about.
    Why am I so slow to understand?
    One day I will knock on Carly's door and whisper,
    "I'm sorry."
    I will mean it with all of my heart for a thousand different reasons,
     And I think she will believe it with all of hers,
    And we will embrace.
    And He said, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."
    Exodus 3:5
    *Carly is a fictitious name but a very real woman.



    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    We just got done eating dinner.

    I'm rinsing the dishes while feeding the dishwasher and feeling the penetrating gaze of my elderly friend upon me.
    Daily habits, patterns, and routines have fostered a relationship composed of easy and well read predictabilities and, sure as the sun rises, a little rebuff is coming my way.
    Midway through scrubbing a "buggerish" frying pan, a gentle mild reprimand escapes through the form of a question involving a deceased third party:
    "How would you answer my husband," she wonders aloud, "if he told you that you might be using too much water and money was going down the drain?"
    I shut the water off, look into the eyes of my beloved friend, and with a twinkle in my own I assert,
    Hmmm .... I think I might say, 
    "Fortunately, I know you're the kind of man who will conserve in the shower tonight and make up for my careless deficit."
    The response to my lighthearted "comeback" is rehearsed throughout the day and a simple pleasure is afforded in the retelling.
    "My husband would've liked you very much," she says at day's end.
    And I've just received a compliment bigger than the little "understood" reprimand and I cannot do anything but smile, be amused ...
    And love her deeper yet.
    Don't waste precious time, my friend, in rehearsing what has already gone down the drain:
    -Christ's blood is greater than your deficit.
    -Christ's sufficiency is greater than your deficiency,
    -God's grace is given
    And unreservedly.
    Review it, replay it, rehearse it, and believe it;
    It is "your" reality once you have surrendered to Christ.
      He remains approachable, accessible, and available in any given moment on every given day whatever your need.
    In the lesser matters and in the weighty matters ...
    God's word is all that matters.
    Get Him into you,
    And you will love Him deeper yet.
    "And He said unto me, 
    "My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'
    Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
    2 Corinthians 12:9



    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    But there are men for whom the unattainable has a special attraction. Usually they are not experts: their ambitions and fantasies are strong enough to brush aside the doubts which cautious men might have. Determination and faith are their strongest weapons. At best such men are regarded as eccentric ...
    Everest has attracted its share of men like these. Their mountaineering experience varied from none at all to very slight, certainly none of them had the kind of experience which would make an ascent of Everest a reasonable goal. Three things they all had in common: faith in themselves, great determination, and endurance.
    Walt Unsworth

    I grew up with an ambition and determination without which I would have been perhaps a good deal happier. I thought a lot and developed the far-away look of a dreamer, for it was always the distant heights which fascinated me and drew me to them in spirit. I was not sure what could be accomplished by means of tenacity and little else, but the target was set high and each rebuff only saw me more determined to see at least one major dream through to its fulfillment.
    Earl Denman
    Alone to Everest
    A walk with God is a journey on Everest:
    A call within the soul so intense and deep that desire of it only intensifies with time.
    But we are all so different and we go about it so differently.
    Some of us are comfortable viewing and admiring it from a distance without risk factors involved. Some of us settle for other men's experiences and find themselves pacified by short glimpses of an awe-inspiring God.
    "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightenings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, 'Speak thou with us and we will hear; but let not God speak with us lest we die.'
    Exodus 20:18-19

     And others of us are compelled to climb our own "Everest" with God in order to experience Him more fully.
     The unrelenting yearning and burning of the bush aflame in the soul cannot be quenched but by God's presence alone.
    More of Him,
    The aching soul cries out ...
    More of Him.
    It's a small wonder to me that I am called an Enigma by many.
     An enigma is defined:
    A person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.
    Yes indeed.
    Engineered by a hand that masterfully made me, I am internally and eternally composed with a mindset based on a letter (God's word) laid before me compelling me and urging me to greater heights, sights, and intimacy, and I want this desperately and with a fervency difficult to articulate.
    The settling of other men's dreams and the settling "for" other men's dreams holds little appeal to me by day's end.
    There is a different voice I am after.
    Fellow sojourners make discovery of one another and intersect one another at beginning points like "base camps" at 19,500 feet and, together, talk about the journey yet ahead with a different kind of blood running through their veins ...
    And an isolated passion of the soul that is individual and yet known and internally understood is shared.
    It is the ultimate "Tie that Binds."
    Together, we speak about the 29,029 foot majesty of the Everest and decidedly take another step forward.
    More of Christ.
    The voice whispers and we move on hearing the echo of Him in the far-reaches of the soul:
    Don't settle for less if you sense Christ calling you to more.
    Put on your crampons (a metal plate with spikes fixed to boots for walking on ice or rock climbing,) open up God's word, and follow Him.
    Begin your "Everest."
      God the Father;
    The great Enigma,
    The beautiful Mystery.
    And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
    Exodus 20:21


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    There's a bite in the air and the exceptionally warm blast of my client's home greeting me feels good today.
    I slip off my boots and winter coat, check my cell for important messages one last time, and allow my senses to gather sense:
    The house is quiet, the television is off, and the low hum of an oxygen concentrator permeates the peaceful home.
    And ...
    There's a jar of peanut butter on the table.
    Most would identify the peanut butter jar as nothing more than a favorite spread on the morning toast, or a permanent "counter condiment" to be enjoyed throughout the day.
    But an object has the power to convey a very loud unspoken language, and the peanut butter jar on the table conveys a great deal to me about the welfare of my beloved client.
    The peanut butter jar tells me that the night was long,
    -That much went wrong,
    -That fatigue will be strong,
    -And my presence, like a song, has the power to fill her day.
    I follow the long strand of oxygen tubing leading to my weary friend and throw my arms around her in our morning ritual (and yes, that's exactly how I do it.)
    Even though she's exhausted I can feel her come to life.
    We hold hands and share meaningful necessary morning conversation ...
    And she tells me pretty much everything I already knew about her night.
    In an animated playful tone I assert,
    "The night is over ... and my passions will be employed on you in every conceivable way. It shall be a very good day for us both and I only hope I don't tire you out too much."
    Her countenance changes, a light comes on in her eyes, and she chuckles.
    "Yes," she says, "I like you here by me, Darrelyn."
    I kiss her on the forehead, my work is cut out for me, and I'm wholeheartedly at it.
    And I think to myself ...
    How wonderfully, beautifully, powerfully, and "oftenly" we are given the opportunity to love "tenderly" those individuals who have placed a peanut butter jar on the table.
    Read the signs and the "message in the bottle,"
    And then go to work.
    And thank you, Lord, for the peanut butter people.
    Help us to love.
    "Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people."
    Colossians 3:23




    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    There's a little man in my life whom I decidedly adore:
    Little Owen Gene.
    Owen is our first grandchild and a beautiful
    1 1/2 year old healthy active boy.
    We have danced together a thousand times to "our" song, engaged in wagon rides which are the equivalent of convertible rides (the effects of my speed-walking,) read books together, participated in walks, trots, gallops, and "airplane" trips together, and shared chocolate, secrets, and prayers.
    Mmmm ....
    This little boy doesn't come with words that adequately describe all that he means and all that he is to me.
    But one trait which singularly sets Owen apart which my soul absolutely loves is ...
     His little left arm.
    When Owen's mind is employed emphatically on a matter and he desires to be somewhere in a decided way, he will throw his left arm into his gait like nobody's business.
    It's so altogether precious because, in that trait, I can feel our spirits collide,
     I can feel myself in step with him,
    and I can see a little piece of "myself" in him.
    Like a little soldier going off to battle with a singular mindset and an ardent stride, the fervent motion of Owen's little left arm displays earnestness, sincerity, and singularity of soul ...
    and this is a beautiful, substantial, captivating trait in my book.
    The little march and mind of Owen Gene.
    Mmmm ...
    When our souls bear an emphatic stride bent on desire for "more" of Christ ... and we display the movement and motion of the little left arm emphatically employed like Owen's, life is given extraordinary defining and meaning.
    -When the focus of Christ becomes our chief gaze,
    -When desire for Christ becomes more than a phase,
    -When we know that clinging to Him is the defining of our days,
    Then we arrive somewhere beautiful.
    Zealously guard and earnestly move in pursuit of Christ; put your left arm into it.
    Emphatically, decidedly, earnestly make your life to be a march about Him and He'll take you places you could've never imagined.
    God's blessing on your journey.
    "My soul followeth hard after Thee; Thy right hand upholdeth me."
    Psalm 63:8
    *A photo of our likeness (smile) can be viewed by scrolling to the very bottom of the "Word's" page.


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Two voices spoke from single face:
    One named truth, the other grace.
    Truth was stern, direct, and strong,
    Truth declared the right from wrong.

    Truth proclaimed the pure and right,
    Truth distinguished dark from light;
    Everything he spoke was true,
    Truth had perfect point of view.

    Overwhelmed by all he said,
    I sat, I wept, and bowed my head;
    And then in depths of great despair,
    Another spoke to me with care.

    The name behind the voice was grace,
    He wiped the tears upon my face;
    And gently did he speak my name,
    And comfort weary broken frame.

    “I’ve come prepared to comfort you,
    Truth has come … but I have too.
    Linked and joined as one we go,
    Our goal to aid and make to grow.

    Wherever truth should be declared,
    Grace shall also be prepared;
    Both are needed, both are good,
    And when combined be as they should.

    Wise in heart and wise in way,
    Will heed and hear what both will say.”
    And Christ, Himself, the single face,
    Behind the voice of truth and grace.

    "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." 
    John 1:14


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Reconstruction is messy.
    If you're afraid to get your hands dirty,
    You should keep your mouth out of it too.
    Just a thought.
    Our beautiful home now has my signature all over it.
    A soft "silver-fox gray" hue moves the eye softly from one room to the next.
    The walls have been painted, the rooms decorated, and our home adorned by hands displaying my femininity, personality, and passions.
    Books line the shelves and extend a personal glimpse into my hungry soul;
    And my voracious reading appetite beckons guests to make a few discoveries of their own.
    Mmmm ...
    A home is such a good thing.
    But now hold my hand while I take you downstairs and show you an entirely different scene where we view destruction ... and reconstruction:
    A sizeable portion of our cement floor has been jackhammered up and the debris of dirt and cement has formed a small Everest.
    Existing cast-iron piping is exposed in order to add additional black plastic piping to it, in order for the addition of a bathroom to be added to our basement.
    The process fascinates me and occupies my curious mind wonderfully.
    I am learning so much;
    I am also sufficiently supplied with labor.
    My job is to carry out 5 gallon pails of weighty debris and employ my energy in the  reconstructive process in order to arrive at a favorable end.
    My goal isn't to elaborate on the untidy mess, walk in circles around my husband and formulate comments on his dirty environment,
    or to suggest that his efforts are worthless and his time a waste.
    No ... that would be sickening.
    Together, my husband and I labor on our home along with the help of others who have "constructive" advice, and a desire to help in contributing towards its end.
    This is reconstuction,
    This is how we build ...
    And it is messy hard work.
    I think this analogy speaks to the spiritual reconstructive process called sanctification.
    Sanctification, as I understand it more and more, is an ongoing reconstructive process inviting honesty and involving mess. 
    Where individuals are laboring and inviting the reconstructive process to occur, God is in the midst, and there is plenty of work to be done and "shoulder" needed.
    He is the One ultimately reconfiguring, restructuring, and remodeling the soul ... in order to make it more like His.
    Conformity is the goal and it takes the work of a body to get there.
    That's the Gospel truth and His blood is the signature verifying this reality.
    Where individuals are not laboring and inviting the reconstructive process to occur, a like-minded company will also be discovered there. God will be removed from that presence and the folks in lip-sync with one another will wield the results of their personally employed labors ... minus the power of God.
    It might look temporarily satisfactory but in the end it won't amount to much.
    I'm a "blue collar Christian" and I'm learning that redemption is a blue-collar word.
    It involves things like 5 gallon pails,
    Mountains of debris,
    And a steady supply of the empowering blood of Christ.
    Hold my hand and work with 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

    Imagine a Surgeon performing a multiple bypass on a patient.
    Halfway through the process a team of nurses enter the room, walk over to the patient, and begin to pull cords out of walls, remove the oxygen, and rip the IV drip from the patient.
    Contempt for the patient flows freely and is realized through the activities performed without a word being said.
    The goal of cutting off help and hope is an obvious observation and the "hoped for" desirable outcome is death.
    Leave him alone and let him die.
    Deformed, disabled, and "unfit" patients should not receive the same care, the nurses decide, as normal healthy able bodies.
    "How about we be about saving 'real' lives," Mr. Surgeon.
    Hmmm ...
    It is a dangerous thing when men act as nurses in regard to the redemptive process.
    It is concerning when men attempt to restrict the flow of blood to the confessing, needy, and broken.
     It is a strangely mysterious and something quite serious matter when men try to fill the shoes of God.
    God's feet are a few sizes bigger,
    His arms are mightier,
    His blood is stronger,
    His love is greater.
    The great Surgeon labors on and loves on because He's God ...
    And because His Son's blood is on the table.
    The more secure you are in the love God has for you,
     the less fearful you become of what man thinks of you and what he does to you.
    The Surgeon's got you,
    The blood covers you.
    God is able.
    Zechariah 3


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Give me you ... and I will love you:
    Not for what you pretend to be,
    Not for what you think you should be,
    Not for what you want to be,
    Not for what you hope to be,
    But just the way you are.
    I will love you like this ...
    And even more.
    My friend cries and pours out her soul to me.
    Expressing what she believes to be the depths of despair she asserts words intermittently through her broken sobs,
    "Nobody must ever find out.
    I would be hated, rejected, refused, and put out.
    Nobody would love me."
    Hmmm ....
    These words, with only mild alterations, have been spoken to me so often that the voices could fill a stadium.
    It's quiet on the other end as I introduce a thought that continues to permeate and be realized in my own life:
    "Your most difficult truths, dear friend, will allow you to distinguish who it is that really loves you. If your "truths" disqualify you from being loved, do you believe yourself to have truly been loved at all?
    And if your "pretense and projection" are your preferred methods of displaying yourself for a "false love,"
    Is that what you really want?"
    In the end, we must each decide how courageous we really dare to be with one another ... and allow the distinctions and divisions to be a part of God's greater plan for our lives.
    There is something deeply liberating about "knowing" who it is that really loves you ... and there is something wondrously powerful and positive about "knowing" the God who really loves you.
    It is in the "daring to be real" that sacred kinships and fellowships are formed,
    And faith erupts into more ....
    And we begin to "become" what God made us for:
    Redeemed ambassadors bringing redemptive love to others and courageously identifying with others.
    My new friend on the phone is vulnerable, exposed, and aching.
    She has revealed her "hidden birthmark" to me and I have accepted her and participated in her healing by exposing my own.
    Our stories may differ but we each have our "hidden marks."
    Identification enables healing ... and healing brings feeling back into the soul.
    I want my life to resound with this theme;
    It is the theme of redemption.
    And one's birthmark becomes one's "beauty mark" in the end.
    And we are known.
    "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
    Psalm 85:10
    Beautiful blessed truth.


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