It often seems that the more I try to disentangle myself from the darkness, the darker it becomes. I need light, but that light has to conquer my darkness, and that I cannot bring about myself. I cannot forgive myself. I cannot make myself feel loved. I cannot bring myself home nor can I create communion on my own. I can desire it, hope for it, wait for it, yes, pray for it. But my true freedom I cannot fabricate for myself. That must be given to me. I am lost. I must be found and brought home by the shepherd who goes out to me.
    He begs me to stop clinging to the powers of death and to let myself be embraced by arms that will carry me to the place where I will find the life I most desire.
    -Henri J.M. Nouwen
    The Return of the Prodigal Son

    "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing."
    Luke 15:4-5


    Before Lindberg’s flight, there were thousands who set up the cry, “Flying Fool.”
    There always have been, and there always will be, people who prophecy failure. Our admiration goes out to the person who, in spite of scoffers, sets about his task and sticks to it until he has seen it through.


    By: Edward Guest (Poet – 1900’s)

    Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
    But he with a chuckle replied,
    That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one,
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
    So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin,
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
    He started to sing, as he tackled the thing,
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

    Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
    At least no one ever has done it.”
    But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
    And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
    With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing,
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

    There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
    There are thousands to prophecy failure;
    There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
    The dangers that wait to assail you.
    But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
    Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing,
    That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.



    If you have a healthy shoulder and I tap it, you will smile. If you have a broken shoulder and I tap it, you will scream. Same is true with our emotional responses. Over-reactions are usually symptoms of woundedness.
    -Mark O. Wilson


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    God works in the heart in a myriad of ways to tenderize, teach, and conform it.
    He contributes difficulties, trials, and testings to mature us for greater works of service and mold us into who we become.
    He utilizes the arenas of our everyday lives to intersect us:
    All of these, without exclusion, are designated by a hand and heart much greater than our own and each of these is subject to the supreme authority of God.
    It is God, and not us, who possesses and holds in His hand the authority to add or subtract what is deemed best for our growth and our good in each of these arenas.
    His goal is singular and simple: To make us more like Him and to be glorified through our lives.
    Sometimes we bulk at the difficulties imposed in our lives … quite unaware of their future yield and goal for eternity;
    quite unaware of how much we are being changed through them.
    We see with a shortsighted and narrow vision a much larger plan of God.
    We kick at the confines,
    Question the character,
    Wonder at the wisdom of this higher authority wielding such extraordinary and everlasting power.
    We rebel, resist, and refuse the hand we perceive has dealt us the difficulty;
    We contemplate whether the heart behind the hand truly loves us.
    And what we don’t understand we often misinterpret.
    God knows all this, in advance, about our human nature and He continues to contend with each of us in a loving, faithful, and fatherly manner anyway.
    He doesn’t let go of our frail nature or ignore our attempts to break free of Him.
    He holds, clings, and adamantly clutches to the weakness of our frame with a sovereign and holy abandonment … and He loves unceasingly and unchangingly.
    God’s love for you is not dependent upon you … and it never will be.
    It rests on the unchanging qualifiers of His righteousness, holiness, and perfect love.
    He has all you need and He will provide all you need for your life.
    In spite of you ... He holds tight to you.
    Cling to the One who wields control.
    He's changing you.

    “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue."
    2 Peter 1:2-3


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Battles are fought and won by the Lord.
    Where we know ourselves to be weak … God reveals Himself as our strength.
    When we know ourselves to be vulnerable … God displays His power and might.
    When we see ourselves as subject to God’s authority and power we witness a most magnificent display of His authority and power.
    He is mighty to save, mighty to deliver … and true to His character and word.
    God will supply and aid you with whatever is needed to fight the battle that is engaged against you. You will be sufficiently equipped at the right moment with the right weaponry.
    The giant will fall, the sword will be still, and God will prevail in the end.
    Gather the stones and pull back the sling … and stand in the strength of the Lord.
    The battle belongs to the Lord.

    Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.
    … So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. Then David put his hand in his bag and took a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone
    sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.
    So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.
    1 Samuel 17: 40,48-50


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    "Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants. So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days."
    Daniel 1:12-14

    Daniel was a highly favored Jewish captive taken into King Nebuchadnezzar’s court for the training and prosperity of the Babylonian empire. He was given a specific three year period of preparatory provision in all arenas of life as an education into Babylonian culture. The first arena intersecting his conviction involved dietary regulation:
    Eating the King’s food and drinking the King’s wine.
    Daniel was appointed the best … and Daniel refused. Down inside the heart of Daniel gnawed the steady conviction that the King’s food went against the dietary regulations imposed by the “greater” King’s law. God, Himself, had imposed dietary regulations on His people that ran contrary to the Babylonian diet.
    Daniel was forced immediately to make a choice based on his conviction … and he did.
    He allowed God’s word to rule his heart and he wisely requested a ten day testing period to abide by that conviction. He left the outcome up to God and he simply chose to be faithful to the imposition of God’s word in his heart.
    Melzar (the prince eunuch over Daniel) was favorably disposed toward Daniel and he allowed Daniel’s request to be fulfilled. The ten days concluded with a powerful and visual acknowledgment that Daniel’s choice had been a wise one and God honored his conviction in a powerful way:
    "And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables."
    Daniel 1:15-16

    Could it be … that an individual reading this is making a critical life choice and experiencing the gnawing of the Holy Spirit in contrast with what is being offered?
    If so, I would like to challenge you to take a ten day test where you subscribe to God’s Word and prayer as your chief means of “dietary regulation” and where you distance and withdraw yourself from the “food” being offered you.
    Just as Daniel enlisted the aid of his three friends (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) so enlist the counsel and prayer of three wise and godly individuals and let them pray the matter through with you and offer counsel.
    At the end of ten days let God be the determinant of your conviction.
    You will bring honor to Him and He will bring honor to you.
    God will be faithful.
    "Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Shadrach, Meschah, and Abednego; therefore they served the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in his realm."
    Daniel 1:19-20

    Ten days … and ten times better.
    Be inspired.



    Then He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.”
    Luke 15:11-13

    I am the prodigal son every time I search for unconditional love where it cannot be found. Why do I keep ignoring the place of true love and persist in looking for it elsewhere? Why do I keep leaving home where I am called a child of God, the Beloved of my Father?
    God has never pulled back His arms, never withheld His blessing, never stopped considering his son the Beloved One. But the Father couldn’t compel his son to stay home. He couldn’t force his love on the Beloved. He had to let him go in freedom, even though he knew the pain it would cause both his son and himself. It was love itself that prevented him from keeping his son home at all cost. It was love itself that allowed him to let his son find his own life, even with the risk of losing it.
    Here the mystery of life is unveiled. I am loved so much that I am left free to leave home. The blessing is there from the beginning. I have left it and keep on leaving it. But the Father is always looking for me with outstretched arms to receive me back and welcome me home.
    -Henri J.M. Nouwen
    The Return of the Prodigal Son


    This old hymn has intersected my life in a timely manner and brought me solace and consolation.
     I share it with you, dear reader, trusting it will have a similar impact.
    If you find yourself in deep trouble … steep yourself in deep truth.
    Keep the way clear ... and let nothing between.

    By: Charles A. Tindley

    Nothing between my soul and my Savior,
    Naught of this world’s delusive dream;
    I have renounced all sinful pleasure;
    Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between.

    Nothing between, like worldly pleasure;
    Habits of life, though harmless they seem,
    Must not my heart from Him e’er sever;
    He is my all, there’s nothing between.

    Nothing between, like pride or station;
    Self-life or friends shall not intervene;
    Though it may cost me much tribulation,
    I am resolved; there’s nothing between.

    Nothing between, e’en many hard trials,
    Though the whole world against me convene;
    Watching with prayer and much self-denial,
    I’ll triumph at last, with nothing between.

    Nothing between my soul and the Savior,
    So that His blessed face may be seen;
    Nothing preventing the least of His favor,
    Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.

    Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
    Proverbs 4:23


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    It’s wrong and impossible to expect mortal man to relieve the needs of an immortal soul.
    When we place Messianic expectations on the shoulders of others we grow disheartened, disappointed, and disillusioned.
    When we place our needs in Christ we witness power, strength, and might and develop faith and a growing trust.
    Needs must be imposed on the shoulders of the One who has the strength to bear them.
    God is able …
     He is strong and sufficiently able.
    Look to Him.
    Lean on Him.
    He'll sustain you.

    "Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord; look to the Rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug."
    Isaian 51:1


    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

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