EVERY DETAILBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
For things I would have wanted not,Yet things I would not change;For much that’s come into my life,And much that’s rearranged.
For lessons learned and trials sent,For heartache and for pain;For mountains hard to navigate,For new and straight terrain.
For holy hands that hold my own,And One who knows my way;For transformation taking place,And mercy every day.
For pure and undefiled love,And nothing left to chance;For sifting every detail of my life,Through holy hands.
For things I would have wanted not,Yet things I would not change;I’m thankful, simply thankful,For the much … that’s rearranged.------
WE GET TO CHOOSEBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Countless things are uncontrollable in our lives, but our attitude isn’t one of them. From the time we rise until the time our heads hit the pillow, we get to choose our attitude.We may be immersed in a worst case scenario,difficult circumstance,adverse trial,or painful encounter of some sort.Still ... we get to choose our attitude:Grumpy, grouchy, grateful, gracious.Negative, positive, critical, cheerful.Thoughtless, thoughtful, hopeless, hopeful.We each get to decide what kind of attitude we "wear".Our attitude permeates …people,places,trials,spaces,and every place we go, we bring it with us.Above all, our attitude is a reflection and revelation of what God is or isn’t doing in our livesTake responsibility for your attitude,And move with gratitude,Into this new day.-------"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude."-Zig Ziglar
DALE AND MARYBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
In our living room sits a framed photo of a beautiful couple on open display:The handsome gentleman is wearing a crisp, blue and white checked button-up, a soft familiar smile, and gazing with hazel eyes through wire-rimmed glasses at the photographer. His hairline is receding and a shock of white hair follows wonderfully.The attractive woman beside him looks "full of life" beautiful. She's wearing a dark scooped blouse, a lovely diamond necklace, and classy hooped earings. Her eyes are a dancing, hazel-blue, and enhanced further through her framed lenses. She dons a head of lovely coiffed white hair and she is a classic aging beauty. Meet our beautiful friends: Dale and Mary.-------Our intersection with Dale and Mary is a miracle in itself, but that's a whole 'nother story for a whole 'nother day.Dale and Mary opened up their beautiful home in Harrisburg to us, welcomed us with loving hearts and arms, and graciously received us like we were family, some two years ago and for almost one year.Under their roof we were treated to every accommodating act of kindness and goodness.Under their roof we forged a special, sacred relationship composed of honesty, empathy, and activated grace.Under their roof, we were appointed a needful time to get our bearings, experience grace, and begin our lives again.Like a tender balm on a cruel wound:Dale and Mary.Seasoned "veterans" of the church, faith, and marriage.What a difference they've made in our lives.Hmmm ...-------Everybody needs a Dale and Mary.Everybody needs to "become" a Dale and Mary.God knows our trials, pains, and hardships in advance, my friend, and "before" they ever arrive a pathway strewn with grace is mercifully prepared for us.This path is composed of a mysterious, curious concoction of peoples, places, and faces we cannot quite imagine at the time.But when we find ourselves there ...God's grace has the power to take our breath away.Inextricably and unmistakably we become threaded with new experiences and peoples for the praise and glory of God ... and we are changed.The mercy, kindness, and grace of the Father is indescribably, undeniably good.For our growth and for His glory He heals us;He makes everything beautiful in "His" time."Dale and Mary."-------"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly."Psalm 84:11
By: Darrelyn L. TuttCan you identify your strengths?The majority of individuals who are asked this question identify their "gifts" as their strengths. While gifts are notable, they are not the same thing.------Gifts speak to specific "arenas" of excellence. They are grace endowments from God that platform us privately or publicly in a specific setting or task:-Sally is a gifted artist.-Brian is a gifted architect.-Kim is a gifted speaker.-Tom is a gifted mechanic.-Kelly is a gifted singer.These are gifts possessed by individuals.------- Strengths speak to our internal DNA.Strengths are what we "apply" to every day scenarios, experiences, trials, and even gifts.Strengths are the set of "life skills" instilled in us for growth, learning, and development; and of inestimable value to the kind of lives we lead:-Mary is organized, systematic, and practical. -Joe is perceptive, insightful, and thoughtful.-Callie is quick, sharp, and witty.-Shawn is slow, methodical, and visual.-Hally is resilient, resourceful, and energetic.Strengths are internal "properties" which attach themselves to life experiences and can be applied anywhere and everywhere.Each of these individual's "strengths" will be observed, applied, and adjusted to a scenario or problem presented.Can you see the difference and the value in distinguishing them?-------It was pointed out to me, without ever being realized by me, that our "strengths" are generally overlooked and undervalued because they are utilized in everything we do. They are so readily enmeshed in our "thinking and doing" we miss out on their appropriated value. But see here with me, my friend, what was revealed and pointed out to me in a counseling room about my "strengths" and those things deemed "strengths."1) A willingness to assume personal responsibility catapults me to unusual growth and development and characterizes true leadership.Hmmm ... 2) A resilience forged in me through early years of trauma and unnatural experiences naturally situates and accommodates itself to crisis and sizeable calamity.Hmmm ...3) Relational arenas, beginning with my walk with Christ, secures me with an unshakable status in position and identifies my personhood and development in a unique and defining way. My love for people and depth of relationship hinges and flows from my first love for Jesus.Hmmm ...4) A resourcefulness outfits me which is unusually expansive. My networking sphere extends and joins me with a host of resources far beyond what the average person possesses. I utilize what's around me for growth's sake and continually contribute new resources to my life as a result.Hmmm ...5) A high level of curiosity serves of notable value in securing me with a constant change and flux in viewpoint, thought pattern, and articulating skills. It also leads and propels me to new environments, experiences, and "curious" people exchanges.Hmmm ...6) Enthusiasm ... I have a lot of it and it's contagious.Hmmm ...--------Rethink your "strengths" and identify them.Appreciate the components and qualities that make you, "you."Use them for the glory of God,the good of others,and the growth of your soul.
By: Darrelyn L. TuttA large bowl of rocks sat before me;filled with rocks of all colors, sizes, shapes, and textures.My counselor encouraged me to take my time and select the one which best identified "me."It wasn't a lengthy procedure,and it took but a second, for I knew with certain immediacy what I felt. I can still recall the emotions retained in this unforgettable little activity:I tipped the bowl upside down,touched my finger to my tongue,and withdrew a speck of almost "nothing" on the end of it."Here I am," I said.And then I cried for a very long time.The room was quiet.My counselor was safe.The little "speck" was put before God, held, and prayed over ... and I began my new pilgrimage of restoration and healing, some two years ago, in utter "nothingness" and brokenness. "A broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.""I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."Psalm 51:17 and Isaiah 57:15These are not mild and shallow words, my friend, and I cannot tell you what they now "experientially" mean to me.Read them over again and slowly with me.Read them aloud.These words are the "forsaken one's" words from the Father.They are life-giving promises which hold a vat of blessing, hope, and life-everlasting.They are promises and provisions which keep me healing and feeling on my journey.They are promises I afford freely to those in broken state ... and there are many of us.The dare to be "real" means the risk of being broken because that's what we each and all are.It's great big scary and liberating all in one.Vulnerability and confession are courageous acts synced with blessings untold.This is the Gospel.-------And I think to myself ... How very little I understood, only years ago, of the grace, truth, and tenderness of God;How little I valued back then the things that God values most, even though I would've "said" otherwise.Like an expert Surgeon who has graduated from the books without the performance of a surgery, I spoke to things I knew not:Redemption. Confession. Reconciliation. Justification. Sanctification. Salvation.For me, my friend, these words have only just been defined; and in my brokenness and through confession, I have truly found Jesus.I want you to find Him too ...and experience healing on your journey.Lifeline: 605.450.8587Your life matters to me.-------
THE MAN SAID NOTHINGBy: Darrelyn L. TuttAn inspiring excerpt from Alexander Solzhenitsyn recorded by author Luke Veronis, "The Sign of the Cross."----"Along with other prisoners, he worked in the fields day after day, in rain and sun, during summer and winter. His life appeared to be nothing more than backbreaking labor and slow starvation. The intense suffering reduced him to a state of despair.On one particular day, the hopelessness of his situation became too much for him. He saw no reason to continue his struggle, no reason to keep on living. His life made no difference in the world. So he gave up.Leaving his shovel on the ground, he slowly walked to a crude bench and sat down. He knew that at any moment a guard would order him to stand up, and when he failed to respond, the guard would beat him to death, probably with his own shovel. He had seen it happen to other prisoners.As he waited, head down, he felt a presence. Slowly he looked up and saw a skinny old prisoner squat down beside him. The man said nothing.Instead, he used a stick to trace in the dirt the sign of the Cross. The man then got back up and returned to his work.As Solzhenitsyn stared at the Cross drawn in the dirt his entire perspective changed. He knew he was only one man against the all-powerful Soviet empire. Yet he knew there was something greater than the evil he saw in the prison camp, something greater than the Soviet Union. He knew that hope for all people was represented by that simple Cross. Through the power of the Cross, anything was possible.Solzhenitsyn slowly rose to his feet, picked up his shovel, and went back to work. Outwardly, nothing had changed.Inside, he had received hope."----------Provoking. Inspiring. Insightful.A very small act wields the power to spark a very great hope.See the man on the bench, get next to him and bend down,and trace the sign of the Cross in "his" dirt.Be an individual who "draws" hope.------
PERMANENT REDBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
A massive sheet of unrolled white paper was taped against the wall: White. Clean. Untouched.With my back against the wall, as one would stand for a height measurement, the entire outline of my body was traced. When this was complete, the woman and I stepped back and looked at it together.And then ....We began the beautiful, glorious work of reapplying redemptive rights to me.Written within the broken, battered, bruised outline of my soul's frame, the truthful, forceful, life-giving promises of God were tangibly recorded and written into me in order that healing could begin in me.One by one, in permanent marker, the "red blood" truths of Jesus began to run through me.Written within my frame the name of JESUS was written all over me and into me;what a beautiful and healing therapy this wise counselor appointed to me.This, I was instructed, was the confessor's promised gift from Christ being applied to "Darrelyn."I shall never forget this act as long as I live;and now I long to spread the permanent red to others and "draw" the blood line.Praise be ... to my "Red" Redeemer.------This, my friend, is the picture of confession, reconciliation, and redemption simultaneously at work.This is Christ's bride participating in redemption ...and there's so much restorative power in it.We are sinners outlined in red and saved by Jesus..--------Encourage confession and participate in redemption.This is the work of the cross,and the story of JESUS.It's all about Him ...Outlined in Red.-------"And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliaiton. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."2 Corinthians 5:18-20
A HEALING FOUNTBy: 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.--------"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth: shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."Isaiah 43:19