By: Darrelyn L. TuttLast night, the delight of caroling to shut-ins was mine.Three women "holed up in their homes" made quick entry into my heart and this morning these women are fresh on my mind.The evening was beautiful and the earlier forecast of bad weather subdued by a soft blanket of white snow and a perfect star-studded sky.In my enthusiasm and declaration to God for His goodness and beauty, I spontaneously launched a most perfect "snow angel" onto the front lawn of a certain shut-in named "Roda," but with good reason.------Roda is a woman possessed of a beautiful spirit but with legs which do not work rightly.She walked with a very obvious pain but with the joy of Jesus beautifully displayed on her olive-toned face. She gave a loud exclamation in "Sudanese" ( Sudan is her native home) upon our arrival which was the most distinguished version of "tongues" I've ever heard.I wish I could immitate it but I think it would prove an unprofitable waste of time and it could never sound like dear Roda's.I shall remember it all my life.Roda very much blessed me, dear reader, and that's why I left a snow angel on her front lawn.I'm pretty sure that she loves the angel as much as I loved her exclamation, and now I feel we're matched for life in enthusiastic expression, and fresh bread must now be brought over on my "wings." Secretly, dear reader, I'm desirous of hearing the "Sudanese tongue" again and I wonder if I shall.Hmmm ...-------And one thing leads to another and the Father works eternal.One snow angel at a time He beautifies us,cleans us up,and we become "white" and right in Him.We live to bring joy and blessing to others ...and we live out the love of the Father.For new friends and old friends,for new tongues and old tongues ...for snow angels and Jesus,we give God praise.Beautiful Roda and the snow angel.------
TRUE NORTHBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Compass – A device for determining direction by means of a magnetic needle or group of needles turning freely on a pivot and pointing to the magnetic north.-------The word of God is a compass pointing us true North to Jesus Christ.The Holy Spirit is the needle on the compass,the rudder on the ship,and the wind behind the sail.He grants discernment to a seeking heart,wisdom to the wondering,and grace to the hurting.He comforts, corrects, and He never neglects,the child of God.-------He’s the great Discerner,the true needle residing within you,abiding in you,directing you to heaven’s doorway.-------He appropriates the word within you;steadies you on the course marked out for you.He seals,solidifies,sets-apart and sanctifies,the child of God.He’s the needle on the compass that leads you home.He’ll be with you … and you’ll never walk alone.True North.------“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
CAST OF CHARACTERSBy: Darrelyn L. TuttThe characters surrounding Christmas fill me with as much wonder, at times, as the beautiful virgin birth.Why does God Almighty choose to herald the great Messiah's birth through such curious men and means, dear reader?Why does God allow frail humanity to be His "voice" and the "sound off" to His coming?Why do contrary, contradictory, and sinful individuals get to be characters and play a part in the greatest story ever told?What do we think of the cast of characters God has selected for His story?Hmmm ...-------The answer to these questions is beautifully and wonderfully provoking:The story of redemption unravels magnificently through sinful individuals because that's all God has to work with.Even the best of men need saving.Even the best of men need a Deliverer.Even the best of men are sinful.Stir the pot of humanity all together in its mix of minds, motives, and men, and we, all together, show ourselves a dark stew of unsavory, unprofitable meal.We have the power to fuel none, feed none, and nurture none.We, the people, are a "dark stew of humanity" requiring the stir and salvation of a Savior.We, the people, require sustenance from on high, and a Savior to dwell in our midst and clean the pot."They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."Romans 3:12------ This month I hope to encourage those of you who are struggling with your identity, value, and worth in Christ and remind you that your value lies in your redemptive identity in Christ.Christ came to "stir the pot" and be a Savior in our midst. All who receive Him will be flavored and tempered by Him. We may feel and experience some heat but the "meat" will last and be good.The more we eat of Him, the more enriched and empowered we will become through Him."Remember in December" ... the reason He came.------ "And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see Him but not now; I shall behold Him but not nigh;there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. "Numbers 24:15-17-------Balaam, the man who was selected for the pronouncing of this magnificent "Star" prophecy was a pagan seer and evil Medium early in Israel's history.He was called in by the Moabite King to pronounce cursing on God's advancing and prosperous people and stop the prevailing force of power (Israel) threatening to undo them.God stopped Balaam in his verbal tracks and chose to use "him."God outdid, overshadowed, and overwhelmed the evil curse ready to spring from Balaam's lips and transposed and translated it into a blessing and promise instead, because God has the power to do that.End of story and picture of glory.Don't miss it.------God revealed His glory and showed Himself to Balaam, to the Moabites, and to His people Israel. He revealed His glory through a man of evil intent and delivered the preliminary news of His Son's coming through a man who was a "Seer" and to a people opposed to Him.While it's unfortunate that Balaam's heart never repents nor sees its need for God, along with the Moabite people, and his voice even moves sadly into the trajectory of God's people with pivotal implications in the future (Revelation 2:14; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11), it seems wondrous to consider the implications and love of the Father giving birth and taking root through the lips of an "unclean" man to an unclean nation, and to an unclean people He coined "His Israel" with humble "beginnings" here and even earlier.Read the story of Balaam with consideration to a seer name Balaam, a king named Balak, a nation named Moab, and a people named Israel.And then remember this December .... the name of Jesus and insert "your" name into it.All men and their stories erupt from His name, and by this name all men are saved."Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved."Acts 4:12Be blessed and find your rest in the name of Jesus.How He loves you.-------Today's Study:1) Read and reflect on Numbers 22-25.2) Record insights and passages that are brought to mind through the reading.3) Worship God for the beauty of holiness and the goodness of His mercy in your midst.For a soul-stirring Savior named Jesus ...For the name of Jesus,Praise the Lord.Remember in December and give thanks.-------
SOLO FLIGHT Shared Inspiration: Darrelyn L. Tutt
Before Lindbergh’s flight, there were thousands who set up the cry, “Flying Fool.” There have always been, and there will always 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.-------IT COULDN’T BE DONEBy: Edward Guest
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 the 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 prophesy 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.------*Edward Guest … you are beautiful."Edgar Albert Guest was a prolific English-born American poet who was popular in the first half of the 20th century and became known as the People's Poet. His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life."Born: August 20, 1881Died: August 5, 1959-------
By: Darrelyn L. TuttThe experience of joy is not one that can be "fleshed" out.Indeed, until the Holy Spirit flushes out the flesh there can be no experience of it at all.But when it happens, dear reader, the soul knows it.The joyful experience of overflowing grace within the soul is a mysterious wonder.The soul is saturated, satisfied, and provided for in such an abundant and overflowing measure that it seeks a source to spill over into.Mmmm ...This is my case, dear reader, as you read this, and the desire to reciprocate the beautiful grace of God is fully mine.I shall enjoy it, and you with me!"Rejoice with them that rejoice; and weep with them that weep."Romans 12:15This is a command, not an option;Lift your head up and rejoice with me. My soul is experiencing the sufficiency of God and then some;It is worth some little exclamation!The floodgates of heaven have opened; the dew lies heavy on the ground,and the bud appears tender and healthy.The flower appears ...For this I shall give thanks unto my God.For grace that overflows,And fills with joy.--------"Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him, talk ye of all His wondrous works. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually. Remember His marvelous works that He hath done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth. O ye seed of Israel His servant, ye children of Jacob, His chosen ones.He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of His covenant; the word which He commanded to a thousand generations."1 Chronicles 16:8-15-------
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt"Give me liberty or give me death."The individual who uttered this familiar line can be readily answered by most of us, but the "context" of this line is of a magnitude worthy of reflection.I place key facts before you deemed pertinent to the single line issued by a courageous man.-------March 20, 1775St. John's Church, Richmond, VirginiaThe Second Virginia Convention met privately at this church instead of the Capital in Williamsburg in order to avoid interference from the Royal Marines and acting Lieutenant-Governor Dunmore.Patrick Henry was staunchly opposed to the idle station of men seeking reconciliation with the Crown which, he felt, would ultimately lead to an ongoing enslavement to it. He suggested a strongly contested resolution to forming a militia in Virginia which would both defend and protect the budding rights of a new country of free men.Within this great upheaval of our nation's early formation in mind, the words of Patrick Henry erupt several days later.-----March 23, 1775 St. John's Church, Richmond, VirginiaOn this date Patrick Henry presented the proposal to enlist militia men to every Virginia county. He respectfully submitted an extraordinary oration of which "part" will be shared to supplement his famous words.His actual words were not transcribed but recollected and put together by the men who attendeded this gathering.His address begins with Mr. President, which was a reference to Peyton Randolph, the Convention's president at Williamsburg.-------"MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not thought to be disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings. Mr. President, it is natural to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.... It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace, but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know of not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"-------Does not this stir up within our souls, dear reader, the rights and subjects regarding both patriotism and spiritual pilgrimage? Do not we read here and invite the pressing subject matter of our redemptive rights in it as well?Surely the blood is worth standing for, fighting for, and believing in.Surely the spilt blood of our Savior calls us to recognize Christ as presiding and residing in all truth and we must take our stand on it ... come what may.It is not those who speak of redemption but those who "live out" redemption who are truly saved and help to procure the rights of others.We must understand and live out the terms of our redemptive rights without fear of reprisal from man ... and then we shall find ourselves truly liberated from man.And this then, may be the boast of our conduct heavenward:We feared God before man and made our choices accordingly."Forbid it, Almighty God! I know of not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"Hallelujah and Amen.-------"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."Galatians 5:1
IN FAVORBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt
"Then came the daughters of Zelophehad ... and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation saying, 'Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but died in his own sins and had no sons. Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.' And Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord spoke unto Moses saying, 'The daughters of Zelophehad speak right; thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter."Exodus 27:1-8-----Rare was the individual who received a direct audience with Moses or Eleazar. These "high profile" men were simply too in demand of too great a congregation (the estimate is millions) to be afforded "one on one" contact.It's fair to say, then, that Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah were "five in a million."Employing an "entitlement" strategy, these five courageous women make their way to the top and seek out the man who wields the authority to determine both their livelihood and living arrangement. Exerting confidence and thoughtful suggestion they assert themselves as being rightly entitled to their deceased father's land share.Moses listens, takes the matter seriously, and approaches God with it.God is well in favor of Zelophehad's daughters and rules in favor of their request.Zelophehad's share of land will fall to his daughters and also set a precedent in future, similar scenarios.Industrious and courageous women, Zelophehad's daughters have now become the first women "landowners" mentioned in the Bible.Mmmm ...Five courageous women compel us to approach our heavenly Father in the same manner, but unlike them and to our benefit, we are given full and sufficient access into the "Holy of Holies," 24/7.With open and forthright dependance we are to make request as "dependant, heir, and child" to our Father King, with the expectation that He will hear us and help us with our desires or with our distress, in time of joy or time of duress.Assurance of His love for us and concern over our well-being allots us a special place and appointment with Him that all the men in the world haven't the power to overrule. This reality ought to sustain us, settle us, quiet us, comfort us, console us.We are covered, complete, and consecrated in the Father's love, and He knows us each by name.God the Father favors the child who employs an "entitlement strategy" based on His promises. He honors the one that desires to approach Him in a straightforward, honest way.Enjoy your access,Appreciate His approachability,Praise Him for His goodness,Engage in intimacy.The Father's heart is good.The Christ's love is unconditional.The Spirit's power is made available.Make request."Give me therefore, a possession, among the brethren of my Father."Amen.-----
REPEAT AND REPEATBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt"And he removed from thence and dug another well; and for that they strove not; and he called the name of it Rehoboth and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. And he went up thence to Beersheba. And the Lord appeared unto him the same night and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father; Fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake. And he built an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there; and there Isaac's servants dug a well."Genesis 26:22-25------Extraordinary. Exceptional. Remarkable.The similarities posed between father Abraham and son Isaac is so remarkably amazing that it makes the head swivel.Reading Isaac's story is like listening to a repeat of Abraham's story and the strange parallels from the famine, to the wells, to the wives, to the blessings, and to the special promises and provisions emphatically declared by God in this place is simply supernatural and ought not to be overlooked.I beg you, implore you, and insist to you that you must read the accounts together and highlight for yourself the wondrous realities of God's faithfulness passed down from one generation to another in the land of Beersheba.------For Isaac "this" place would have conveyed memories teeming with significance:-This was the place where God Almighty had talked to his dad.-This was the place where his dad had struggled, labored, and faced personal fears.-This was the place where God multiplied and intensified provisions too many to tell and where both father and son were envied by the people while enjoying the favor of God.-This was the place called Beersheba; the place of the "seven ewes" and the means of payment which earlier procured Abraham with the "special well" now made Isaac's.-This was the place where Abraham and Isaac called out to God."And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days."Genesis 21:33-34------Hmmm ...In this exceptional and extraordinary account, God doubles His story and receives double the glory through the lives of Abraham and Isaac. Successive generations walking into the realities and perfect provisions of God.God makes good on His promises from "Dan to Beersheba" which simply asserts that from "one end to the other," with Dan at the top and Beersheba at the bottom, God is the beginning and the end.And there is no other.The dry, desolate region of Beersheba seems lifeless in and of itself and yet teems with an unimaginable unspeakable glory in its declaration of God's story, His strength, and His might.Dip your soul into it and soak your mind in it;Steep yourself in the storyline of God.Your deficiency, dear reader, will pave the way to Christ's sufficiency.Dig your well,He's making room for you ...REHOBOTH.------