By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    We choose to demonstrate to others through our lives and lips, a testimony of both ourselves and Christ to the world around us.
    We tell a truth and live out the truth or we tell a lie and live out a lie.
    It's one or the other and never both.
    When godly individuals own up to “ungodly” truths,
    God has an opportunity to display His redemptive power and might.

    He will work there, reside there, dwell there, and abide there.
    God is always on the side of truth.
    Sin is a serious business;
    Dealing with it is a redemptive business.
    Those who tell the truth about their sin will be applied the blood of Christ and introduced into a greater depth and intimacy with Christ.
    Those who try to conceal truth,
    Remove truth,
    Hinder truth,
    Reject the truth,
    Hide the truth,
    And cast out truth,
    Will contend with the Truth and live out a final consequence in relation to it.
    Always remember that Truth is a person.
    Truth is, ultimately, Jesus Christ,
    And telling it is paramount to His testimony at work in you ... and the intimacy He longs to have with you.

    When Christ becomes the “single” factor in the defining of our lives:
    The garbage gets removed,
    The sin gets exposed,
    The truth gets told,
    And Christ reveals Himself …
    Mysteriously …
    And grace happens.
    Take God up on His word and act on it.
    "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."
    Proverbs 28:13


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Steven and Robert were political opponents running for a significant office in a large city.
    Steven's character and reputation was on the line and being viciously attacked by Robert, who had the means and the money to do significant damage.
    The media worked desperately and feverishly to secure a rebuttal through interview with Steven and finally he relented, to the delight of a chosen and highly favored conservative reporter.
    The night of the highly anticipated interview arrived and the anticipated question came early:
    "Steven, what do you have to say to Robert's repeated accusations lobbed against you these last months and the incriminating charges assigned to you?" reporter Richard asked.
    You could have heard a pin drop as Steven quietly and thoughtfully pondered the question and then looked determinedly into the eyes of the reporter,
    "Every night I take an evening walk with my Golden Retriever at my side," Steven answered, "and when the moon is out, old 'Goldy' goes absolutely crazy and he won't stop barking."
    Steven stopped and grew quiet as though the question had been thoroughly answered.
    Reporter Richard looked something akin to "a deer caught in the headlights" as he impatiently and nervously wiped his brow and cleared his throat,
    "I'm sorry Steven, but I'm a little confused and I'm not sure I'm following you.
    What does a barking dog on a walk have to do with the accusations being lobbed against you?"
    Steven spoke with a quiet air of wisdom and confidence,
    "Well Richard ... the dog keeps barking and the moon keeps shining.
     That's what I plan on doing."
    Hmmm ...
    Some excellent food for thought.


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    I'm shouldered with a woman of brilliance, boldness, and originality.
    Her name is Eleanor Roosevelt.
    Her biography is outstanding and her strength "syncs" wonderfully with a strong, bold cup of dark coffee.
    "Redefining the role of the first lady, she advocated for human and women's rights, held press conferences and penned her own column. After leaving the White House in 1945, Eleanor became chair of the U.N.'s Human Rights Commission. The groundbreaking first lady died in 1962 in New York City."
    Delving into Eleanor's past was a bit of a shock to me.
    Her brilliance, boldness, and courage were the byproducts of an unusually difficult and painful past:
    1) Eleanor Roosevelt (Anna Eleanor) was born to Anna and Elliot Roosevelt in 1884. Her mother Anna was acclaimed a raving beauty and New York's most glamorous woman. Indeed, the poet Robert Browning begged permission to simply gaze upon her countenance.
     Eleanor's father Elliot was a literal "gold mine" and son of a prestigious and multimillion-dollar investment firm-holder.
    The couple was idolized, characterized, and prized as so supremely elite that there was nowhere to go but down.
    Eleanor's birth began the steady "descent" in 1884 in the mind of her mother.
    Eleanor's looks and gender received grave marks with immediacy upon her entrance into the world, and her early personality was found disagreeable and deplorable to Anna. Critical, cruel, and painfully difficult, Anna never ceased verbalizing a heartless sordid commentary to and of her firstborn child. The verbal and mental negativity sustained by Eleanor in the early years of her life had an enormous impact on her.
    The vulnerable words of young Eleanor:
    "I always had the feeling from a very young age that I was ugly."
    "The feeling that I was useful was perhaps the greatest joy I experienced."
    Her father Elliot was a reaffirming, delightful presence in her life but unfortunately, he was also wayward, inconsistent, and notoriously indulgent in others.
    He left his home, wife, and family and indulged in vile behavior which brother Teddy (Theodore) worked to remedy. He was sent to Abingdon, Virginia, where he was provided work, yet remained of an unruly temperament and disposition until his death.
    2) Eleanor's mom contracted diptheria when she was eight years. She died, leaving behind Eleanor, Elliot Jr., and Hall. Eleanor's hope and fantasy of a rekindled relationship with her father was snuffed out forcibly. The children were placed in the unfavorable care of Grandmother Mary Hall, who was still raising teenage "hellions" of her own.
    Eleanor's environment was seized and overwhelmed by rampant sexual behavior, alcohol, and other unfavorable conditions.
    The highly contagious disease, Scarlet Fever, passed through the house also and Elliot Jr. (3 years old) passed away on May 29, 1893.
    Not long after, Eleanor received a most pathetic letter from her father who coined her "Nell" from early childhood.
    "Darling little Nell,
    What must you think of your father who has not written for so long? I have been all very busy, quite ill from the effects of alcohol, and at intervals not able to move from my bed for days. How is your pony and the dogs too?
    With tender affection, ever devotedly,
    Your father."

    Hours later a drunk and raging Elliott jumped through his bedroom window to his death in a horrific suicide.
    Eleanor's beloved father passed in August of 1894.
    3) After enduring seven difficult years under a supremely disfunctional roof, and with uncles declared dangerous and unpredictable, Eleanor was sent to school in England. She arrived at Allenswood (an exclusive girls finishing school) where the second period of her life began.
    "Eleanor's teachers filled her report cards with glowing comments such as 'very advanced,' 'very industrious,' 'excellent.'
    "Eleanor has had the most admirable influence on the school and gained the affection of many, the respect of all."
    Eleanor's disposition grew confidently, ardently, and provokingly in this needful period of her life.
    4) Eleanor married her 5th cousin Franklin Roosevelt in 1905.
    President Theodore Roosevelt (Uncle Teddy) walked her down the aisle.
    The dashing Franklin saw in Eleanor the "makings" of his political future and he credited her with brilliance, originality, and an invincible internal posture.
    Indeed, what Franklin lacked in personal integrity he garnered through sound mental clarity.
    The day of his marriage to Eleanor marked his early and fruitful political career.
    Eleanor's life, composed of pain and difficulty, would prove a remarkable asset to our nation's health and history. Her demeanor, countenance, wisdom, and tenacity would be constructive agents in the fostering of our country's future and its longevity.
    Originality. Intelligence. Purpose.
    In shouldering up to an "Eleanor," the heart and mind are adamantly and positively affected.
    Courage, bravery, and resilience are the lessons of today, along with a quote to inspire:
    "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
    -Eleanor Roosevelt



    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    We sat outside, him and I, my beautiful boy.
    In the early morning hours some weeks ago, precious grandson Owen came for a visit.
    I grabbed an early morning cup of coffee and we headed outdoors to watch the early morning traffic.
    We enjoyed the morning immensely together.
    Better than pressing one's nose against a cold pane of window glass is a realized breath and feel of refreshing morning air.
    Colorful cars streamlined past us and merged into early morning traffic;
    Owen loved the sights and sounds of the "morning magic."
    I took a sip of coffee and situated myself comfortably in the "dewy" morning grass.
    Drawing my knees up to my chest, I curled my arms around them, rested my chin on them, and continued my gaze.
    My movement temporarily caught Owen's eye and he did something beautifully unforgettable in that moment:
    He looked me over real good like he liked the way that I was sitting.
     Then ... he drew his knees up to his chest exactly like mine,
    Curled his arms around them,
    Rested his chin on them,
    And he looked at me.
    Our eyes met and for just a second, dear reader, the gaze of beautiful Owen turned shy, timid, and vulnerable and then, just as quickly, he turned away and we resumed our "car watching" together again, but in the same posture.
    And I loved the little boy so deep there weren't any words.
    Mmmm ...
    What Owen did with me I catch myself doing with Jesus.
    I watch Him, listen to Him, study HIm, and long to be like Him.
    Somehow, in the most childlike way, I find myself trying to mimic and emulate Him.
    He is the best, dearest Father in the world, and His eye on me and His word to me matters most to me.
    Maybe I'm just a child inside but I can feel the Father looking back at me.
     He loves me and He's very pleased with me.
    And who knows,
    Maybe in such moments,
     He can't find the words for how deeply He feels for me ... and how much He loves me.
    I feel Him unforgettably loving me.
     Morning magic...


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Rewind to a piece of the past ...
    Our kids are young and we're living on a beautiful farm in southwest Minnesota.
    We purchase a large trampoline and station it in our backyard.
    Our kids spend hours on it, discovering "air acrobatics" and limb coordination.
    Indeed, I make myself a joint jumper, and spend hours on it and it proves a quick, worthy, and enjoyable investment.
    A special little friend of my daughter's comes to enjoy a weeked with us and is invited to the backyard while mom "Cathy" is barely out of the car.
    We chuckle and visit a bit as moms and then head toward the bobbing "trampoline heads" at which time the fun comes to an abrupt halt.
    The "look" on Cathy's face tells me all is not well.
    Indeed, little "Jenny" is called with immediacy off the trampoline and I am given a sound reprimand that makes "this mom" feel the size of a pea,
    "What are you thinking to allow the kids to play on a trampoline without the protection of a net?" she asks me.
    No more monkeys jumping on the tramp "chant" comes to mind, but the moment is too serious to employ it and I determine that nothing shall separate my daughter from a weekend with a friend that she's been greatly anticipating. I reassure Cathy with all the tact and diplomacy I can muster that "trampoline jumping" will not be a part of the girls' weekend and Cathy reluctantly leaves little Jenny.
    The weekend is greatly enjoyed by the girls but an awkward rift now stands between me and mom Cathy.
    Hmmm ...
    Several weeks later we learn that little "Jenny" is gifted with a trampoline of her own, full net included.
    You'll never guess what happens, dear reader:
    Little Jenny somehow gets her arm caught in the net while she's jumping and manages to break it!
    I've never heard of such a thing, but I will tell you that Cathy grew strangely quiet and sheepish around me at a "playdate" some weeks later when our daughters were, again, brought together. LIttle Jenny played with carefulnness and caution, with arm in cast and sling, and our little Hannah accommodated her beautifully at every turn.
    No words were ever said about "the break" between Cathy and myself and it was just as well.
    There was nothing to say and she felt foolish.
    Hmmm ...
    God has ways of humbling each of us in needful seasons and arenas of our lives.
    With too many "net breaks" of my own to count, I find myself of more gentle assistance to those who are experiencing breaks, falls, and failures of their own.
    I become more and more convinced that God changes us more in the "net breaks" than the free jumping and in the tumbling, fumbling, humbling process, we are bettered, beautified, and changed.
    God is good and God is faithful ... in the sling.
    For lessons learned, and humility invoked in "net breaks,"
    God be praised.
    "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time."
    1 Peter 5:6

    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Lake Calhoun is the largest lake in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a participant to a chain of lakes surrounding. It dwells in the midst of heavy housing allowances and luxurious living accommodations.
    All the way around it's intoxicating and beautiful.
    The last three days, my husband and I spent an extended and replenishing weekend  surrounded by family and friends there.
    It was simply delicious and deeply invigorating on every level.
    Saturday, a beautiful snow fell and lay soft on the golden leaves still hanging on to strands of Fall, not wanting to quite let go.
    How well I identified and how deeply I felt this picturesque "visual."
    Sunday was filled and brimming with the most excellent and meaningful blend of conversation and companion over drinks and delicious dining experiences.
     Monday I woke and allowed myself the luxury of walking the three mile perimeter of Lake Calhoun and giving myself time to processs some of the conversations and interactions I'd had the privilege of enjoying with intelligent and provoking loved ones the previous days.
    It was so refreshingly excellent.
    The immersion of beauty and breathtaking foliage that accompanied my thoughts submitted the most perfect refrain and it was hard for me to leave that place.
    Sometimes the soul is very ready to return home ... and other times it stomps its foot inside and begs for one more day.
    I think the latter speaks to a deep refreshing realized with a yearning for more and it speaks to life, vitality, and goodness.
    That's what I was feeling in my yesterday.
    I felt the "Fall" and the leaves not willing to let go.
    Mmmm ...
    This morning the enjoyment of collective thoughts, companions, and memories all collide and refresh me beautifully one more time while I allow myself to indulge in them.
    Life is beautiful, good, and rich where we can be our truest selves with others.
    Moments, hours, and days of replenishing are beautiful, beautifying, and necessary for the soul and needful in procuring a revitalized state.
    Where there is truth, beauty, and love ... true souls collide and abide in depth of communion and intimacy.
    For beautiful, breathable, and breath-takingly good moments and memories, my soul is grateful.
    My soul has been replenished, refurbished, and restored with God's most tender of graces.
    My soul has been reminded of its need for beautiful rest.



    O Thou before whose eyes all human hearts lie bare and open, forbid that I should seek to hide from Thee anything that I have this day done or thought or imagined. What must forever be hidden from the knowledge of others, that let me now openly acknowledge in Thy presence. What no proper shame kept me from committing, that let no false shame keep me from now confessing.
    O Thou whose tender mercies are over all Thy works, humbly and sorrowfully I crave Thy forgiveness for all my sins this day:
    For every weakening and defiling thought to which my mind has given harbor.
    For every word spoken in hastiness or passion.
    For every failure of self-control.
    For every stumbling block which by deed or example I have set in another’s way.
    For every opportunity lost.
    For every blessing thanklessly received.
    For loitering feet and a procrastinating will.
    And grant that, as the days go by, Thy Spirit may more and more rule in my heart, giving me victory over these and all other sinful ways.
    -John Baillie
    A Diary of Private Prayer


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

     We make choices in each moment birthed of flesh or birthed of Spirit. 
    Both contribute to where we end up at the end of our day,
    and at the end of our lives.
    An obedient step, even if it is done in a halting, hesitant manner, is an obedient step all the same, and one which God honors with peace and enablement for the next. 
    Obedience to Christ and communion with Christ is a simultaneous occurrence constructive and beautifying to the soul.
    A sinful step steeped in the flesh severs our communion with Christ and resonates with anxiety, unrest and heartache dulling the senses and dimming the eyes, robbing it of peace with the Lord and robbing it of blessing unrealized.
    We are not satisfied fully until we surrender ourselves to something bigger than ourselves.
    Lasting satisfaction comes only through the Eternal One, and steps that lead to Him lead us home.
    Stop and evaluate your next step, dear reader.
    If it brings you closer to Christ, then take it.
    If it leads you one step away, refuse it.
    Look to Him,
    Walk to Him,
     Experience peace with Him.

    “Let thine eyes look right on and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left; remove thy foot from evil.”
    Proverbs 4:25-27



    "In a society that seems to be filled with urgencies and emergencies, prayer appears to be an unnatural form of behavior. Without fully realizing it, we have accepted the idea that 'doing things' is more important than prayer and have come to think of prayer as doing something for times when there is nothing urgent to do ...
    Concentrated human effort is necessary because prayer is not our most natural response to the world. Left to our own impulses, we will always want to do something else before we pray. Often, what we want to do seems so unquestionably good -- setting up a religious education program, helping with a soup kitchen, listening to people's problems, visiting the sick, planning the liturgy, working with prisoners or mental patients -- that it is hard to realize that even these things can be done with impatience and so become signs of our own needs rather than of God's compassion.
    Therefore, prayer is in many ways the criterion of Christian life. Prayer requires that we stand in God's presence with open hands, naked and vulnerable, proclaiming to ourselves and to others that without God we can do nothing. This is difficult in a climate where the predominant counsel is, 'Do your best and God will do the rest.' When life is divided into "our best" and "God's rest," we have turned prayer into a last resort to be used when all our own resources are depleted. Then even the Lord has become the victim of our impatience. Discipleship does not mean to use God when we can no longer function ourselves. On the contrary, it means to recognize that we can do nothing at all, but that God can do everything through us. As disciples, we find not some but all of our strength, hope, courage, and confidence in God. Therefore, prayer must be our first concern."
    -Henri J.M. Nouwen
    The Only Necessary Thing


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Merciful Father,

    To receive Your word, my heart needs to be cleansed of fleshly thorn and weed.
    Bring to mind this moment, Father, sin and wrongdoing in my life.
    Bring to mind this moment, conduct unbecoming, and relationships unyielding in fruitfulness that may be hindering me.
    Expose hidden pockets of darkness and let Your light shine brightly in those places.
    As I confess my sins openly before You,
    I ask You to be merciful to me and rain Your cleansing grace upon me.
    Break up the fallow ground of my heart and let it be a healthy seedbed for Your word.
    Plant the tender seeds of truth deeply into my soul, let them take root, and bear fruit.
    Allow me to enjoy the blessing that comes from fearing Your name and walking in Your ways.
    Let me sow in righteousness and reap in mercy.
    Let me be a vine of fruitfulness for Your glory.
    "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you."
    Hosea 10:12

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