• STROKE FOR STROKE

    STROKE FOR STROKE
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Two families.
    Two daughters.
    Best friends,
    Juniors in high school.
    Physically fit, inseparable.
    Early morning swim.
    Three mile trek;
    Shore and back.
    ~~~
    Beautiful day;
    Stroke for stroke,
    Friends evenly matched;
    Unspoken competition.
    Annie advances.
    Strangely quiet.
    Annie slows, turns ….
    Horrific scene unfolding:
    Friend Adrianna,
    Faltering,
    Flailing,
    Frantically reaching ….
    ~~~
    No options.
    No preserver.
    No life-line.
    No hope.
    Adrianna screams,
    Sinks,
    Submerges.
    Serene image fades
    With sinking friend.
    ~~~
    Annie ….
    Mechanical movements.
    Friend on shore.
    Friend in grave.
    Forever changed.
    ~~~
    Life is filled with
    Sinking moments:
    -Financial security submerged in poor business decision.
    -Health security clouded by cancer diagnosis.
    -Relational security stripped by divorce proceedings.
    -Job security overshadowed with lay-offs.
    -Emotional security abandoned with rebellious child.

    Security is an earthly illusion.
    Insecurity is an earthly reality.
    Floundering,
    Flailing,
    Failing…
    Faltering in the fragile.
    Frantically reaching….
    For stability.
    We sink,
    Submerged by unforeseen.
    Forever changed.
    ~~~
    Above the faltering, fickle, fragile...
    Sits the Faithful.
    He is God.
    Eternally settled.
    Securely positioned.
    Christ anchored at the right hand.
    Holy Spirit hovering over all.
    ~~~
    No pacing,
    Pausing,
    Preserving tactics employed.
    Stationary,
    Still,
    Secure,
    Stable.
    Strong.
    God Almighty enthroned,
    Waiting…
    For objects of creation
    To reach,
    Respond,
    Receive;
    The restoration,
    Salvation....
     Only He can provide.
    ~~~
    Giver of Grace.
    Divine Reconciler,
    Receiver,
    Responder..
    Savior.
    ~~~
    Stroke for stroke.
    Our weakness,
    His strength.

    Sinking moment
    Secures…
    Salvation moment.
    Security rests in the sacred.
    ~~~
    “Save me, O God!
    For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire where there is no standing
    I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
    Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good;
    Turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.”
    Psalms 69: 1-2,16

  • A FIRST FAINT GLEAM

    A FIRST FAINT GLEAM

    “To have faith in Christ means,
    of course,
    trying to do all that He says.
    There would be no sense
    in saying you trusted a person
    if you would not take his advice.
    Thus,
    if you have really handed yourself over to Him,
    it must follow
    that you are trying to obey Him.
    But trying in a new way,
    a less worried way.
    Not doing these things
    in order to be saved,
    but because …
    He has begun to save you already.
    Not hoping to get to heaven as a reward
    for your actions,
    but inevitably
     wanting to act 
    in a certain way
    because ...
     a first faint gleam of Heaven
    is already inside you.”

    C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
    ~~~
    Not by works of righteousness which we have done,
    but according to His mercy He saved us,
    through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
    whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.
    Titus 3:5-6


  • IRON'S HOLD

    IRON’S HOLD
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    I felt the weight of heavy chain,
    So heavy on my soul;
    I wondered, how I wondered,
    What could come through iron’s hold.

    I fought, I struggled long and hard,
    And finally in a heap;
    My battered soul .... it did collapse,
    And I began to weep.

    “O God, my God, no strength have I,
    To fight unyielding chain;
    My soul is bruised and battered;
    And my spirit lies in pain.”


    Then did a great and quiet calm,
    Encapsulate and free;
    The very place the iron chain,
    Had overpowered me.

    And certain hope did enter in,
    And something changed within;
    The peace of God accompanied,
    The chain that bound me in.

    The struggling stopped, the striving ceased,
    The iron turned to gold;
    And wisdom entered in the day….
    All strength had left my soul.

    ~~~

    I will love You, O Lord, my strength. 
    The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
    My God, my strength, and the horn of my salvation,
    my stronghold."
    Psalms 18:1-2

     

  • ONE PERSON

    ONE PERSON
    “If there is a problem somewhere this is what happens. Three people will try to do something concrete to settle the issue. Ten people will give a lecture analyzing what the three are doing. One hundred people will comment or condemn the ten for their lecture. One thousand people will argue about the problem. And one person – only one – will involve himself so deeply in the true solution that he is too busy to listen to any of it.
    Which person are you?”
    -Father Longere
    ~~~
    Excerpt taken from Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour.

     


  • A HEALING FOUNT

    A HEALING FOUNT
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    The heart of man is a barren place,
    And the soul of man is dry;
    Tis the recognition of this truth,
    That precedes God’s vast supply.

    Not a thing on earth, not a wealth beside,
    Can assist nor aid estate;
    But the depth and height and the … grace of God,
    Who perceives man’s needy state.

    From a place on high, from a realm unseen,
    Lies an access to the throne;
    From the Holy Mount flows a healing fount,
    That He freely gives His own.

    Coursing down to flow on the soul below,
    Ebbs a sweet and sure supply;
    From the Fount so pure running crystal clear,
    Through the soul…that once was dry.

    The heart of man is a barren place,
    And the soul of man is dry;
    Tis the recognition of this truth,
    That precedes God’s vast supply.
    ~~~
    “And He showed me a pure river of water of life,
    clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
    Revelation 22:1


  • THREE WORDS

    THREE WORDS
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Ville Du Havre,
    French ocean-liner:
    Majestic,
    Magnificent,
    Masterpiece.
    Queen of the sea.
    ~~
    Rich, aristocratic young family:
    Horatio and Anna Spafford,
    Four little blessings:
    Anne, Maggie, Bessie, Tenetta.
    Seven years old and under.
    European excursion.
    1873.
    Days away,
    Family get-away.
    ~~~
    Collision of business and vacation;
    Horatio held back.
    Anna and daughters board ship.
    Horatio will follow;
    Complete business transaction.
    ~~~
    December 1, 1873.
    Horatio handling business.
    Emergency telegram.
    Three words:
    “Saved Alone.
    Anna.”

    ~~~
    Shock,
    Disbelief,
    Disjointed thoughts,
    Mechanical motions:
    Numb,
    Paralyzed,
    Dazed.
    ~~~
    Voyage to Anna.
    Ship stops;
    Where wreckage hides;
    Waves ride,
    Lives reside...
    Ocean’s grave.
    Down below,
    Little souls,

    Precious lives.
    Gone.

    Gut-wrenching,
    Soul wrenching,
    No quenching
    Pain.
    ~~~~
    Numb soul,
    Seeking sanity.
    Reaching for relief.
    Fumbling fingers,
    Pencil in pocket,
    Grieving soul 
    Pens words:

    When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    “It is well, it is well with my soul.”

    Tho’ Satan should buffet, tho’ trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

    My sin – Oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin—not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more;
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh, my soul!

    And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend--
    “Even so—it is well with my soul.”

    ~~~
    Sorrow’s song,
    Timeless hymn:
    “It Is Well With My Soul”
    Horatio Spafford.
    ~~~
    We don’t see the greater plan,
    The Holy hand,
    That writes
    The whole.
    We see in part,
    Just a start ….
    Of something more.
    And sometimes …
    Not at all.

    ~~~
    God the Author,
    Loving Father;
    Holy hand
    That writes...
    The whole.
    In sorrow
    There is solace ...
    For the soul.
    ~~~
    “From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
    When my heart is overwhelmed;
    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
    Psalm 61:2

  • SOLITUDE

    SOLITUDE
    By: Darrelyn Tutt

    I have a very quiet friend,
    Her name is solitude;
    She fills the busy world of talk,
    With silent interlude.

    She speaks a tranquil language true,
    Yet never fills the air,
    With simple talk or idle chat
    And yet, I know she’s there.

    For solitude communicates,
    A message of her own;
    Her presence simply speaking,
    “Come away and come alone.”

    In conduct so becoming,
    And an invitation free;
    She offers timely friendship,
    And she wisely counsels me.

    I have a very quiet friend,
    Her name is solitude;
    No other friend so faithful been,
    As silent interlude.
    ~~~
    For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel;
    “In returning and rest you shall be saved,
    In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
    Isaiah 30:15a

     

  • WEARY ONE

    WEARY ONE
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Joseph Crater.
    Forty-five years old.
    New York Supreme Court judge.
    August 1930.
    Enjoys evening meal with friends.
    Leaves restaurant.
    Flags taxi.
    Drives off.
    Disappears.
    No leads.
    Never found.
    ~~~
    Note to wife.
    Attached to check.
    “I am very weary.
    Love, Joe.”

    ~~~
    Desperation,
    Dryness,
    Despair.

    Infecting,
    Intersecting…
    The successful,
    and sorrowful,
    The received
    and rejected.
    The beautiful,
    and broken.
    The aged,
    and youth.
    Impartial, unrelenting weariness....
    Despair.
    No respecter of persons,
    Position,
    Status.
    ~~~
    Simple words,
    Simply said,
    "I am weary."
    ~~~
    Joseph Crater might be you.
    Jesus Christ died for you.
    Receive,
    Remember,
    Rehearse His promises:
    He sees you,
    Knows you,
    Cares for you,
    Loves you,
    Calls to you:

    “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
    for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
    And you will find rest for your souls.
    For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
    Matthew 11:28-30

  • THE UNTOUCHABLES

    THE UNTOUCHABLES
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Lord, You’re not blinded by what others see,
    You are so mindful of our frailty;
    We see the “outer” and where someone’s been,
    You’re always seeking and looking within.

    You are not drawn to the noble and wise,
    You in Your mercy see those … we despise;
    You are the God of unspeakable grace,
    You look beyond every label and face:

    He was a leper and he was unclean,
    He was a person who seldom was seen;
    We see a man with inflicted disease;
    But You see a heart that is eager to please.

    She was a harlot that lived on the street,
    She was a someone few wanted to meet;
    We see a woman in brazen attire,
    But You see a heart with a hurt and desire.

    He was a hater, a killer of men,
    Hunted down Christians, again and again;
    We see a man of incurable hate,
    But You see a man with a ministry great.

    He was a shepherd, who tended the sheep;
    He was the tender of his father’s keep;
    We see a boy pretty good with a sling,
    But You see the mind and the heart of a king.

    She was the woman who stood at the well,
    She with the husbands to many to tell;
    We see a woman accused and accursed,
    But You see a heart of unsatisfied thirst.

    She was the widow who threw in the mite,
    Poverty stricken and poverty plight;
    We see a woman with nothing at all,
    But You see a heart that is richer than all.

    He was the prodigal brother and son,
    He was seeker, a lover of fun;
    We see a life that is foolishly spent,
    But You see a heart with a need to repent.
    ~~~
    Who are the people “you” often despise?
    Who are the needy you see with your eyes?
    Who wears the label that’s matched with the face?
    That person needs mercy, forgiveness, and grace.

    Oh the untouchable people we see,
    They are no different than you … or than me;
    Just broken people who each need to claim;
    The mercy that changes the heart … not the name.
    ~~~~
    *If we were as good at loving people as we are at labeling people;
    Think of the testimony that might spring from our lives.

    “For you see your calling brethren how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not to bring to nought things that are. That no flesh should glory in His presence.
    But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
    That according as it is written …. He that glories … let him glory in the Lord.”
    1 Cor.1:26-31

  • ANOTHER'S LIGHT

    ANOTHER'S LIGHT
    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Push rewind button.
    Road trip to my father’s home;
    Roseau, Minnesota,
    400 miles.
    Travel by night.
    Pitch black.
    Desolate terrain.
    Deer and moose
    Graze like cattle.
    2:00 AM in the morning;
    Exhaustion peaks.
    60 endless miles left,
    Some journeys never end.
    ~~~
    Plight:
    Car lights dim,
    Dimming.
    Nothing.
    Barren blackness.
    No moonlit sky to guide.
    No traffic.
    No light in sight.
    Prayer offered up in darkness.
    Barely moving.
    Deer crossing.
    Rearview grace …
    Called light.

    Car emerging out of darkness.
    Slows behind.
    Stranger;
    Assessing plight;
    Passing.
    Slowing.
    Becoming light.

    59 miles.
    Nameless angel,
    Stranger bringing light.
    ~~~
    Approaching destination.
    Final mile.
    Right on gravel.
    Amazing wonder:
    Stranger’s blinker
    Left on gravel.
    Paths divide.
    Turn aside.
    Home.
    Prayer to praise;
    Light provider.
    God …
    The “Guider”
    Leads us home.
    ~~~
    Stranger’s light;
    Engaging night.
    Beacon,
    Guide,
    Emitting light.
    ~~~
    Look to be,
    Another’s light:

    Pass slowly.
    Assess plight.
    Become light.
    Engage!
    ~~~
    God is light.
    In Him;
    No darkness.
    What invades you,
    Will escape you.
    Shine,
    Guide,
    Lead.
    Be light.

    Lead another home.
    ~~~
    “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
    Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
    Matthew 5:14-16

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