By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
    At some point in our physical education class, the gymnastic equipment would appear and …. so would my anxiety.
    Back then it wasn’t an aspect of exercise that I appreciated rightly or relished.
    Initial efforts looked pretty dismal and the goal, for me, was simply about getting through.
    Secretly, I hoped that a few serious looking falls might disqualify me from having to progress and endure the other obstacles awaiting me.
    That never happened.
    Our PE coach was one of those unrelenting, doggedly-determined “types.”
    Every fall was interpreted by him as a teachable moment and so my teachable moments amassed into trainable hours.
    He was unswerving in his dedication in teaching me the fundamentals of gymnastics and he remained dedicated to the task to the end, always offering his hand while I worked through the difficult phases.
    I felt like I could do anything as long as his presence accompanied me.
    Because his instructive measures inspired me and motivated me, I have tried to incorporate them in my Christian life believing that lessons learned in one arena generally transfer into others.
    Here are a few lessons I try to live by and leave you with:

    1) Falls and fumbles are part of the walk, not the end of it.
    My instructor would get up on the beam and repeat “my” fall with perfect mimicry. He would do this in a kind and not a humiliating way so I could see what I was doing wrong.
    He would then demonstrate the “correct way” by example and have me mimic him.
    His example accompanied by a steady dose of encouragement worked wonders and I did learn to master the “basics” on the balance beam.
    *The Christian life, similarly, is filled with countless falls and fumbles no matter our age, stage, or position in Christ. 
    Nobody has arrived this side of heaven; nobody is going to.
    When you see someone struggling; stick with the individual God has placed you beside and resist the temptation to move on to someone who is walking well. A steady, stable hand mixed with a little truth and grace does wonders to restore mobility in an individual’s life.
    “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. 
    For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up.”
    Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

    2) My instructor taught me that my “gaze” was more problematic than my feet.
    He asserted regularly that the beam wasn’t going anywhere and my feet could trust the stability beneath them. Over and over again, I was instructed to fix my gaze on an immovable object at eye level and move toward it and my feet would follow.
    He was right; worked like a charm every time.
    *When an individual is struggling in their walk with Christ; it’s their gaze and focal point that generally needs to be addressed and adjusted.
    Open up the word and pray with someone who is susceptible to falling or has slipped.
    The word of God is a steady beam that the believer can rely upon and Christ’s position is eternally settled allowing us to keep focused on the immovable while we keep moving in our walk with Him.
    “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
    Proverbs 3:5-6

    3) One unforgettable impression my instructor left me with was the one time “he” fell.
    He sheepishly looked up at me and said,
    “Today, Darrelyn, your walk was better than mine; never forget that teachers fall too.”
    I haven't.
    *If you happen to be reading this and you are in a place of position and difficulty you’re not alone; though you may feel you are.
    Stay the course, walk on the reliable beam called truth, and fix your gaze on the precious grace that is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    The Lord has His able hand on you and He will not let you go.
    “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with Mine eye.”
    Psalm 32:8

    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    I feel great drops of mercy,
    Gently falling like a rain;
    I hear the calm assurance,
    Of the One who speaks my name.

    I feel His breath upon me,
    Moving strong and deep within;
    The stirring of the Spirit,
    Orchestrating needed wind.

    How great is my Redeemer,
    And the One who cares for me;
    Who showers me with blessing,
    And who loves so tenderly.

    Refreshing and renewing,
    Gently calling me by name;
    And filling me, instilling me,
    With heaven’s mercy rain.
    You, O God, sent a plentiful rain;
    whereby you confirmed Your inheritance,
    when it was weary.
    Psalm 68:9

    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Then He said, “Go out and stand before the mountain of the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rock in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire;
    and after the fire, a still small voice.
    1 Kings 19:11-12
    Elijah was a prominent prophet used mightily by God during a very bleak and sinful period in Israel’s history. He was a prayer warrior, a miracle worker, and an advocate of God’s word.
    We learn he was also …. just a man.
    Elijah, though a great prophet, was susceptible to the same unbecoming traits of frailty as we are. He struggled with fears, doubts, and internal frustration and did not appear to always live up to the saintly station God had ordained for him.
    This was Elijah.
    When we study our passage in its context we see that Elijah had just issued a challenge to the prophets of Baal with a desire to prove the strength and power of God Almighty.
    He suggests that they each lay a sacrifice on their altar and call on their gods for a response. 
    The God who answers by fire would be declared the one true God.
    In an amazing and open display of God’s unleashed power we witness a miraculous manifestation of God’s presence:
    “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it they fell on their faces and they said, ‘The Lord, He is the God; the Lord, He is the God.’”
    1 Kings 18:38
    The prophets of Baal are killed and wicked Queen Jezebel now threatens to strike Elijah dead.
    Tail tucked between his legs, this great man of God who has just witnessed a great miracle of God does the deplorable; he runs away. He heads to the wilderness where he is mercifully met with special provision by an angel; and then he makes his way to Mount Horeb where he is sustained another 40 days.
    It is at this precise point that God meets him and initiates a very interesting conversation with him; an unforgettable conversation (read 1 Kings 19:11-12 again aloud for impact.)
    God delves into conversation with the resources He has on hand and begins to introduce the forces of nature as His background:
    He ushers in strong hurricane force winds, an earthquake, and finally a great fire.
    But God wasn’t in these great things.
    And then came …. a still small voice.
    And God was in it.
    Perhaps the greatest message of all is that God speaks to man at all.
    Holding back the weight of His supreme glory He does not consume Elijah and He does not consume us; though we deserve it and though He could.
    He speaks to us in a still small voice and solicits an invitation of intimacy through it.
    Listen to Him.
    He loves you.
    Call unto Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.
    Jeremiah 33:3
    Bible Gateway

    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
    The grace of God enfolds me,
    And the love of God upholds me,
    And none can thwart the purpose of His hand;
    His arm is strong and able,
    He is might to enable
    Me to follow and accomplish what He’s planned.

    The Word of God’s unfailing,
    His truth always prevailing,
    Demolishing the strongholds in our lives;
    A sword that cuts in two,
    My mighty shield that I run to,
    He is my God, His word sustains and satisfies.

    The hope of God’s unending,
    Comes in glory yet defending;
    My Redeemer … gave and sacrificed His Son.
    His precious blood erasing,
    All my sin and then embracing,
    Who I am in spite of all that I have done.

    The peace of God’s transcending,
    Flowing out and never ending,
    Like a river coursing power through my soul;
    It’s flow is so refining,
    For its aim is redefining,
    My pursuits to seek a higher worthy goal.

    The name of God’s enduring,
    He gives strength and reassuring,
    Lifting up the lowly, bowed before His throne;
    A Savior to the seeker,
    He’s inclined to aid the weaker,
    He empowers those He calls to be His own.

    The praise of God it stirs me,
    For I know that I’m unworthy,
    I will lift my voice and praise my mighty King.
    There is so much that I owe Him,
    I’m so thankful that I know Him;
    He’s my shelter, I’m the shadow 'neath His wing.

    “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
    Written in the inside cover of my Bible are a few notable and inspirational quotes and Scriptures. Here is one of them:
    “I am not what I ought to be,
    I am not what I want to be,
    I am not what I hope to be;
    But still, I am not what I used to be.
    By the grace of God I am what I am.”
    -John Newton

    This powerful quote was penned by a former slave trader who participated in more atrocious acts as a slave captain aboard notorious slave ships than could be recorded. John Newton lived a life of a thousand regrets and yet lived to write the most beloved hymn ever written:
    "Amazing Grace."
    One of the interesting realities of John Newton’s life, that few people recognize, is that his conversion did not mark the turning-point in his slavery mentality; rather it was a near-death experience related to physical issues that prompted the timing and change of his heart, long after his conversion.
    This reality is significant to me.
    It’s easy to assume and suppose that when an individual comes to a knowledge of Jesus Christ there is an instant and dramatic conversion in every area of one’s life.
    Sometimes this happens.
    But sometimes it doesn’t.
    Sometimes God works in very mysterious, slow ways in an individual’s heart and the process looks unbecoming and even questionable at times.
    No matter.
    God keeps applying the compress of grace on the swollen results of sin and in the sin stained lives of those who have need of it and He loves us through the ugly and unbecoming stages and somewhere in it all …
    the caterpillar becomes a butterfly 
    and we are markedly changed in that remarkable conversion process called grace.

    Amazing grace how sweet the sound,
    That saved a wretch like me;
    I once was lost but now am found,
    Twas blind but now I see.
    -John Newton
    "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven;
    whose sin is covered."
    Psalm 32:1

    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. Tutt

    The 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 is 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.

    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
    One week ago we sat through the graduation ceremony of two special individuals from Lake Area Tech; our daughter Jessica and her special guy Clate.
    It was a lengthy ceremony honoring 630 graduates.
    Names were read, graduates received their diplomas, and time slowly elapsed.
    One graduate stood out from the rest; I can still see him.
    “Steve” had earned a welding degree with no additional honors;
    pretty ordinary unless you saw him.
    Steve didn’t glide across the stage like all the others did,
    he labored across the stage.
    With his walker guiding him, he took one difficult step at a time;
    each step appeared to take a concerted effort, fortitude, and courage.
    I admired him as did everybody else.
    I’m guessing that the diploma meant more to Steve than to all the 650 individuals combined. 
    Steve had achieved the notable despite apparent obstacles.
    While I have not had to endure the same obstacles that Steve has endured; I am able to see a piece of Steve in me. 
    I think that sometimes I walk just like Steve but …. in different areas of my life.
    I think we all do.
    We are slow, awkward, and handicapped in hidden places.
    Obstacles aren’t something we run about looking for; 
    they are placed before us, imposed upon us,
    and regarded as necessary faith-building agents in our lives.
    We don’t have to like them but we do have to learn to walk with them.
    They are designed to make us needy; they are designed to draw us into dependence upon God.
    I’m not crazy about the plan but I think it’s highly effective.
    I’m not always sure about the plan but I know it's right and worth praising Him for.
    God knows what He’s doing.
    He never gives an obstacle without a walker.
    The "walker" He provides you and me with is called the word of God and as long as we keep it in front of ourselves we can continue to take one step at a time.
    Keep walking. Keep rehearsing. 
    He'll meet you on the other side.
    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

    “When programs, methods, and money produce impressive results, there is an inclination to confuse human success with divine blessing.”
    - John MacArthur

    Nothing replaces intimacy with Christ.
    A program can never match the power of a sturdy prayer life.
    A method cannot overtake a meaningful relationship or replace time with Christ.
    Money doesn’t have the power to obtain righteousness, holiness, or intimacy with Christ.
    Programs, methods, and money are facets that may be utilized in our walk with Christ but they are secondary and must never be mistaken for achieving a walk with Christ.
    It is Christ within us and our time with Him that results in divine blessing, favor, and lasting fruit.
    Assess your life at present and consider your “reliance” factors:
    How much time are you giving to prayer?
    How much intimacy is being built through your time in the word?
    How much are you giving to advance the Gospel?
    Resist the urge to rely on the temporal and rely on Christ alone; He's the only life-changing way.
    “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.
    I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.”
    John 15:4-5


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    I flounder around,
    In the shadow of sin;
    I run and I hide,
    But it finds me again.

    For I cannot escape,
    The enticement and snare,
    That promises something,
    Though nothing is there.

    I know it, I blow it,
    I falter, I fall;
    I stumble and fumble,
    And doubt through it all.

    And yet there’s a longing,
    And yearning within,
    To reach for the grace,
    That will cover the sin.

    To cover, discover,
    The ugly in me;
    To face it, replace it,
    With God’s remedy.

    The cross of redemption,
    The blood that can free;
    Yes, this is the promise,
    There’s pardon for me!

    As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.
    Psalm 103:12

    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
    At the end of all regrets is a sea of grace ready to swallow us up with a hope we cannot understand.
    God’s mysterious ways; submerging us simultaneously in truth and grace:
    Sealing the soul with the Supernatural.
    We are not made new through our own efforts;
    But through empty souls extended.
    This is the place we receive.

    “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
    Titus 3:5
RSS Feed