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phil-tuttlePhil Tuttle: Welcome to my blog! For those of you new to the site, I am the President of Walk Thru the Bible, an organization based in Atlanta, GA, dedicated to igniting a passion for God's Word—here in the U.S. and throughout the world. In this blog you'll find a crazy blend of random thoughts, bizarre humor, and even an occasional deep insight.

Please jump into the discussion because, as we all know, a conversation is way more fun than a monologue.


 

An Update From Manila - Day 2

manilla1-smToday's post from Manila comes from Pauline Estell, Walk Thru the Bible's International Coordinator.

Walk Thru Philippines launched Crucible today and it was more than anyone could have hoped for. Fetan, the Regional Director, and his staff, did an amazing job planning and implementing this live event. Yes! Crucible is actually a "Live Event" now! It was just a year ago that Phil introduced Crucible at the Global Consultation in Johannesburg.

It's hard to know what to share and where to start, but I'll try to give you an idea of what the day was like.

Approximately 500 people were expected early on, but God did abundantly more than was expected. When Phil got up to teach, people were still coming in and they had to open the overflow section to accommodate everyone.

Final count? Over 1,000 people, including a large number of young people. There were some in attendance that came long distances to be there. I talked with one man who flew in from another part of the Philippines. There were people who arrived as early as 5:00 AM to register.

There was something that caught my attention that I had not seen before. It was on the large banner hanging across the front of the Sanctuary advertising the event and Phil as the speaker that said: Rev. Phil Tuttle, Author and President. I felt so proud, but I'm sure not as proud as Ellen since she'd been manilla2-smencouraging him for years to write. People were lined up at each break to have Phil autograph their book and take pictures. I wish I had a picture to send of Fetan and one of the board members massaging Phil's hands at the end of the day.

I've heard Phil teach Crucible three times and it always amazes me how God continues to give him different life stories to share and today was no exception. Everyone warmed up to him right away.There was lots of audience participation...verbal and physical. Phil did a great illustration of David before he went out to fight Goliath of how difficult it was when he tried to walk around in Saul's coat of armor. He had a man much smaller man than himself put his coat and shoes on and walk around. Just like David, he had a difficult time as well.

We leave for the Global Consultation site tomorrow. Phil will be teaching on the life of Joseph. I will report more if we have Internet access at the retreat site.

Learn More About Crucible: The Choices That Change Your Life Forever

An Update From Manila - Day 1

Phil Tuttle and our team are in Manila, Philippines for the 2013 Global Consultation. Read all about Phil's experience:

After a long flight delay and an unplanned overnight in Tokyo we finally made it to the Philippines. We just got settled into our very comfortable hotel room here in Manila. The team here has done a phenomenal job preparing even the smallest detail.

Dinner with their board tonight. Bounce back day tomorrow with Crucible training tomorrow night for 40 of their master teachers and trainers. Then huge Crucible event on Saturday. They were hoping for 500 but looks closer to 1,000!

manila-plane-smMany of their master teachers already have Crucible events scheduled all over the country. Fetan* estimates about 3,500 will go through this new course in the two weeks following the training. Fetan is personally booked solid for the next six months. Amazing! (NOTE: Fetan is the National Director for the Philippines)

I'll update you as this adventure unfolds. Please pray that there will be lasting fruit from this strategic week of ministry.

P.S. Here is a picture I took from the plane as we flew into Manila.

Powerful, But Personal

Today was a very special day for our team as we took a break from our normal work for a corporate outing. As guests of Bubba Cathy and our good friends at Chick-fil-A, we had the privilege of touring the Passages Exhibit. This wonderful collection chronicles the history of the Bible from the time of Moses until it first became available in English.

PassagesWe saw ancient manuscripts and fragments in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, German, and English. We each received an interactive iPod with headphones into which we could enter specific codes to hear the informative explanation of each display. In addition, life-size animated mannequins of Luther, Tyndale, Anne Boleyn, and others told their life stories in first person. One of the highlights was standing right next to a man as he printed a page of the Bible on a replica of Gutenberg's press from about 1440. So cool! The page he handed me will definitely end up on display in my office.

It was all so moving, and I encourage you to experience it for yourself between now and June 30 if you live near Atlanta. I'm pretty sure the exhibit will then travel to other major cities in the U.S. so watch for it in your area or check out www.explorepassages.com.

Read more: Powerful, But Personal

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED PART 2

Here's Part 2 from our guest blogger, my daughter Emily! (it's a continuation of Expect the Unexpected, posted last week. Be sure to read it before you read this one.)


 From India, my parents and I flew to Johannesburg, South Africa to attend an annual meeting of all the global directors for Walk Thru the Bible from around the world. The directors from Argentina, Kenya, Ukraine, South Africa, United Kingdom, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other nations all came to a retreat center outside of Johannesburg to spend a week together learning a new course and strategizing about ministry goals for the upcoming year. Going into the week I was planning to follow Chris Tiegreen, Walk Thru's Communications Director, and learn as much about photography and videography from him as I could. I had gotten to do a little bit of that in India, but God had other plans for most of my time there. It turned out the same was true for South Africa. I came in thinking I knew how I would be spending my time, but before the first day of meetings was finished I realized I would have a new challenge to take on.

Read more: Expect the Unexpected - Part 2

Expect the Unexpected

We have a guest!

Many of you have heard me talk about my daughter, Emily. In fact, it was in my last blog that I talked about waiting at the airport to welcome her back from a year-long mission trip with The World Race. Well, she's back and she's putting her skills to good use for Walk Thru the Bible! Read about her latest adventure with Walk Thru the Bible at the South Asia Regional Training Conference. Pretty incredible...


 If the World Race prepared me for one thing, it's to expect the unexpected. I'm planning to write a blog dedicated entirely to this in the future, but for now suffice it to say that we got asked to do some pretty ridiculous things that we were completely unqualified to do at the drop of a hat this past year. My team and I got pretty good and just saying yes and figuring things out as we went. So you would think that I would stop being surprised every time someone throws me a new curveball, but you would be wrong.

My parents and I traveled to India in mid January to attend the South Asia Regional Training Conference for Walk Thru the Bible. My dad came out with a new series on the life of David called Crucible this past year, and this conference was being held for the purpose of training the most influential leaders that Walk Thru has in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. They all came together in Khandala, India, a couple hours outside of Mumbai. In the past it was only the men who came because they were the ones actually being trained, but this year was special. When asked last year what one thing they most wished for the next year, the men unanimously requested that their wives be invited to attend the conference so that they could really understand the work their husbands are doing and be able to support them more fully by becoming part of their mission. So the staff from Walk Thru in the States donated money to pay for the wives to come to this year's conference. My father taught Crucible to everyone, and then during the sessions specifically dedicated to training them how to teach it, my mother took the women downstairs and taught them about how to help their husbands with their ministry. They were all so appreciative of being able to be there together. One recently married couple even thanked Walk Thru the Bible for providing the honeymoon that they had never been able to afford. (Note: This particular couple is from the Himalayas and had to travel five days by train each way to attend this conference which was by no means a honeymoon. That's right...they traveled for twice as long as the conference actually lasted.) All in all it was a beautiful time for these couples to come together and grow in their vision and ministry together.

Read more: Expect the Unexpected

Only Arrivals. Never Departures.

One of my favorite parts of flying home to Atlanta is getting off the train and riding the escalator up to the main terminal. The landing area is always crowded with people waiting to meet business associates and loved ones. I love to watch the reunions.

Sometimes there are several generations waiting for great-grandma to visit America for the first time. Sometimes young lovers wait impatiently for their fiancées after being apart three whole days!

But the best reunions are when servicemen and servicewomen return home safe and sound from deployment in harm's way. USO volunteers clank cowbells and wave flags, uninvolved strangers pause long enough to join the celebration, and tear-filled spouses watch young children jump into mommy or daddy's arms for the first time in months.

As I write this, I'm on a Delta flight to Raleigh, NC where I'll spend the next couple of days speaking at an ACSI convention for Christian school teachers and administrators. I'm trying my best to focus on what I'll be sharing, but my mind is filled with images of the reunion Ellen and I will have with our daughter, Emily, in less than a month (actually 24 days—but who's counting?). This time we'll be the ones waiting at the top of the escalator scanning the crowds for the first glimpse of our daughter since she left on an around-the-world mission trip called The World Race. (If you haven't already seen her amazing blog, check it out at: emilytuttle.theworldrace.org). Except for an occasional Skype chat, we haven't seen her face since we sobbed our goodbyes at the same airport ten months ago on January 6. And trust me, cyber hugs are a lousy substitute for the real thing!

Read more: Only Arrivals. Never Departures.

The Little Things

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite churches in the whole world, Second Baptist in Houston, Texas. A couple other Walk Thru instructors, Rich Leland and Steve Keyes, and I were privileged to introduce over 800 teachers and Bible study leaders to our two excellent teacher training courses, The Seven Laws of the Learner and Teaching with Style. The response was off the charts and it was obvious that the men and women who participated have a sincere passion to become better communicators of God's Word and see more lives transformed by its truths.

This was probably about my tenth visit during the past fifteen years, but my association with Second Baptist goes all the way back to the late 80's when Ellen and I were serving our first church in Central Illinois. We lived in a town that was pretty isolated by American standards. There was no local ministerial association and I was the only pastor on staff trying to keep up with the demands of a growing congregation. We would often come home on Sunday night after a very full day and exhaustedly plop down on our couch. We didn't have cable TV for the first few years so we only got one channel. That's when we were introduced to Dr. Ed Young through his broadcast, The Fellowship of Excitement, a ministry of Second Baptist. Dr.Young became my pastor, and his weekly encouragement helped keep me from quitting the ministry and finding a career that offered more measurable results. So, every time I minister at Second Baptist in Houston I feel like I'm going home. I also feel like in some small way I'm repaying a debt to the church that unselfishly shared their pastor with me all the way up in the cornfields of Illinois.

Read more: The Little Things

Redwoods

I lost my mind in the woods today. OK, that's not 100% accurate. What I meant to say was, "I got lost in my thoughts in the woods today."

Ellen and I were in northern California near Santa Cruz where I spoke at Mount Hermon Conference Center. I think this was our fifth visit and each time I am more impressed by the mission, staff, and setting of Mount Hermon. Check out their website at www.mounthermon.org to learn more about all they have to offer individuals, families, and churches.

RedwoodsAside from the perfect 75 degree and 0% humidity climate, my favorite part of this area is the awe-inspiring redwoods that tower over every manmade structure. Ellen and I went hiking through a local state park, just letting ourselves be overwhelmed by God's creative genius. The largest living redwood in the park is 285 feet tall and about 16 feet wide and has been faithfully directing people's attention heavenward for somewhere between 1400 and 1800 years.

I was already pretty deep in thought when we walked up to a cutaway section of a tree that fell in 1934. The sign explained that each ring represented a year's growth and someone had painstakingly counted more than 2,000 rings. Pins with labels marked certain major events in American and world history. The founding of our country in 1776 was barely inside the bark. Columbus' exploration of the new world was a few inches more toward the center but still appeared relatively recent.

Read more: Redwoods

Just Another Confirmation

What a weekend! We just hosted 31 instructor trainees who were learning to teach either our Walk Thru the Old Testament or Walk Thru the New Testament live events. That's the biggest group we've had in years, and just another confirmation that God has huge plans for these life changing resources.

What a thrill to see men and women so passionate about connecting adults, students, and kids with the Bible and its Author! They all came in with a specific plan of where they would use this tool in their own ministries, but God totally stretched their vision as they realized how flexible and adaptable these events can be.

I was especially excited to see the response of the new instructors in their 20's and 30's. We were beta testing our brand new workbook and visuals, and the response was off the charts. It was kind of like when my wife fixes lasagna using my mom's timeless recipe but serves it up on gorgeous new dishes to our 20-year-old son and his ravenous friends. We're talking feeding frenzy!

Please pray for these new instructors as they prepare to teach their first live events. One is a church planter who plans to reach out to seekers who are curious as to what the Bible is all about. Another is a career soldier with huge opportunities to impact the lives of thousands who serve in our military. Several others are Christian school teachers who actually believe Bible should be, and now can be, the most fun and exciting course of the day.

Such a diverse group in age, denomination, ethnicity, and ministry niche. But they all share a common heart to connect people to God through His Word. If you ask me, I'd say our life changing resources have never been in better hands.

I know I'm not the only one excited about how our live events are changing lives. What about you? How did our events impact you? Leave your comments below...

What do you think?

Things look a little different around here, don't they?

What's changed? Well, a lot and not much all at the same time. We're still the same ministry that has been dedicated to helping people everywhere live God's Word. We're still intensely passionate, even after 35 years, about igniting a passion for God's Word in people all over the world. We know there is nothing more effective in creating life change than God's Word—and we know you know it too. We believe that discipleship is more than simply making converts; it's helping people cultivate a growing relationship with God.

A passion for God's Word matters at any stage of life—regardless of your age, economic level, nationality, or where you are in your faith walk, we all need our passion for God and His Word to be stirred in our hearts.

Now that I've told you what hasn't changed, here's what has: how we communicate with you and the people around you. Our look is updated, our message is a little clearer and we're moving into the 21st century (some of us kicking and screaming) by embracing social media and updated technology. But, don't worry—we promise not to leave anyone behind.

Take a look around our site and let us know what you think—check out the Global Impact section to read about the difference God's Word is making around the world; look at the resources we offer for small groups; and find a Walk Thru the Old Testament live event near you so you can finally put all the pieces of the Bible together.

Watch this video to find out more about our mission and our work around the world—it explains it much better than I can!

So . . . what do you think?

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