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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.


 

What Am I Really MIssing?

Most of you know that I love sports. My three favorite events are

  1. any game my son or daughter is playing in
  2. March Madness college basketball
  3. The Masters golf tournament.

Since Emily's high school and college softball career ended a few years ago and Philip only has 19 more college games before he hangs up his baseball cleats, March Madness and The Masters are about to slide into the top spots.

On Saturday I was thinking about how cool it is that Atlanta is hosting the Final Four this weekend and then next week the world's greatest golf tournament is a couple hours to the east at Augusta National. Add to that some perfect 70 degree temperatures and a few thousand azaleas in full bloom, and it's easy to love life in Atlanta.

But this year, my only experience with the Final Four was hoping to avoid the massive traffic jam it created on the Downtown Connector. And when I got to the exit for Interstate 20 East I opted to stay on 85 South instead.

You see, I was headed to the airport to fly to Amsterdam and then Kiev. What terrible calendar management to be leaving the country when two of my three favorite sporting events are going on down the road from my house!

Read more: What Am I Really MIssing?

It's Risky

translator-1It makes me nervous. I don't like it but I don't have a choice. If I'm going to communicate with a roomful of people overseas, I have to entrust my thoughts and words to an interpreter.

It's risky. So much could go wrong.

What if his language skills are limited and he can't grasp the subtle shades of meaning in my carefully chosen words?

What if she has no sense of humor or speaks in a monotone and everyone thinks I'm the one who is boring?

What if he's working so hard to translate my words literally that he's too busy to listen to my heart?

What if she has her own agenda and uses my platform to advance her personal ideas?

Who needs jet lag? These questions are enough to keep me up all night!

As I write this, I'm sitting in an aisle seat on KLM 9462. We're somewhere between Kiev and Amsterdam, and I'm thinking unusually deep thoughts.

Read more: It's Risky

Huge Crowd but a Small World

prayer-breakfastAs Ellen and I were winding our way through thousands of people at this morning's National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, I heard someone call my name.

I was confused because the man's accent was clearly Russian, but his name tag said he was from Illinois. As I was searching in all the wrong mental files, he graciously introduced himself as Viktor Kuzmenko and said he recognized me from our DVD series Raise Up a Child that had been voiced over into Russian.

He went on to share that he had helped build our ministry in Ukraine years ago and now serves with Peter Deyneka's Russian Ministries headquartered in Wheaton, IL. He is good friends with our Regional Director, Yuri Shelestun, who lives in Kiev.

I was even more surprised when he told me he was praying for my visit to Ukraine two months from now for the Russian language launch of Crucible, our new live event and DVD series on the life of David.

After exchanging hugs and business cards, Ellen and I walked away shaking our heads at the divine appointment we had just experienced. What a reminder that even in the midst of a huge crowd, we really do live in a very small world.

An Update From Manila - Day 4

Today's post from Manila comes from Pauline Estell, Walk Thru the Bible's International Coordinator, via an email she sent to the Walk Thru the Bible team.

(NOTE: Here's a little background before the update begins. Phil and the team spent the past few days meeting with our Global Leaders. He taught all six sessions of our upcoming resource which is based on the life of Joseph. Each year Phil will teach the next planned project in order to get feedback from the global leaders.)

I did not have an opportunity to send an update yesterday, but Phil felt your prayers and was able to finish Joseph today! As with Crucible last year, the leaders love it and are anxious to teach it. The input they gave will be very helpful in completing the course. The teaching on the life of Joseph is very relevant and they are anxious to launch it.

  • As you know, Walk Thru the Bible Philippines launched Crucible last week. They have plans to teach it in four cities outside of Manila in the next few months. Their goal for attendance is 700-1,000 people per city. The wife of one of their board members teaches a Bible study at several of the banks and has asked her boss if he would purchase 150 Crucible workbooks. There are 65 people at this bank, but she requested more because knows that the people at the three other branches will be jealous. After she shared this last night, with much excitement, she prayed that her boss would agree. She learned today that they will purchase the 150 workbooks!

  • Since the launch on Saturday, Promise Keepers has scheduled four events in the Philippines this year.

  • The National Director of Campus Crusade for Christ was at the launch and has requested that Crucible be taught at two staff retreats this year.

  • Yuri Shelestun, Regional Director for CIS will launch Cruciblein April:
    • April 9-12 - Pastors' conference outside of Kiev. They are expecting 450 pastors.
    • April 13 - Live Event in Kiev. They are expecting approximately 300 people.

  • Beni Lup, Regional Director for Eastern Europe, will launch Crucible on April 14.

  • Robert Kusnadi, Director for Walk Thru the Bible Indonesia, is planning to televise Crucible on a cable network that reaches about 1 million subscribers. It will reach 10 major cities.

I'm sure we will never know the full impact of Crucible and how many lives it will impact and change for this and the next generation.

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

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.

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