That’s Amazing Grace

Length: 1 minute 42 seconds

“Grace is not just a word. Grace is not just a noun. Grace is God’s supernatural, enabling power, and His favor that gives you the strength to be an over-comer of your circumstances. The Lord gives grace to the humble. He will give you more grace. Just ask Him.” (Thirty Days with Jesus in the Secret Place by Yvonne and Sarah Jane Svitlik)

In 2019, my wife and I attended a Global Awakening conference. At the end of the first day, we were asked to pray for the person next to us.  The person I prayed for was considered legally blind, and his vision was severely impaired with very limited eyesight. Although I didn’t pray for healing for him at that moment as we ran out of time and were asked to clear the conference center auditorium, I sensed in my spirit that we should reconnect the next day. He agreed.

That night I awoke from my sleep at 4:20 a.m. sobbing into my pillow for someone I had just met and whom I will refer to as John. Embarrassed, I turned away from my wife so that she might not see or hear me. Then I distinctly heard in my spirit from God that He wanted me to play “Amazing Grace” for him. In 2019 I also received a prophetic word that I was to take my flute with me everywhere, and so,  in obedience, I took my flute to the conference.  

It all made sense. God would remind me of the words to the song. “I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see.”  God wanted me to pray restoration of this man’s physical eyes.

The auditorium and hallways were packed with people, yet the two of us somehow found each other. “Can we go downstairs where it is quiet?” I asked.  We found a place away from the crowd of people where we could talk and pray. As we conversed for nearly 2-hours, I learned that his blindness was not at birth but, he believed, attributed to a macumba curse like Voodoo that had been placed on him several years earlier while on a mission trip to Brazil. Macumba is a religion of Afro-Brazilian origin and is especially considered by those practicing the strongest black magic. 

“If you want to see the sick get healed, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” – Randy Clark

I was somewhat apprehensive at first because there was a risk of being disappointed should little ol’ me pray for him, and he not be healed. Disappointment is inevitable when stepping out in faith and praying for what seems to be the impossible. It is also the biggest stumbling block for those who want to see this miracle lifestyle. Yet, without risk, without taking a chance and stepping out in faith, I might not see the miraculous healing power of God. So, in obedience, I made room for God to simply do what came naturally to Him, heal, and restore. 

As I yielded to God’s direction to pray for John and was obedient to play “Amazing Grace” on my flute for him, God’s grace increased my ability to minister. I was feeling more confident, and with the authority I had in Christ, I began praying and commanding healing in the Name of Jesus.   

But I would first need to get a benchmark of what John could or could not see.  So, I held up two fingers in my right hand. Then I held up 5 fingers in my left hand.  In both tests, he could not tell me how many fingers I held up. However, after praying for him I re-tested his sight.  I held up two fingers in my right hand.  “What do you see?” I asked.  He miraculously saw two fingers.  I then held up 5 fingers in my left hand, and so on, and each time he accurately told me how many fingers I held up whereas before he couldn’t.  Then he exclaimed, “I am beginning to make out your facial features!”  Before it was only a blur. Although he did not receive complete healing of his sight at once, he said he believed that God had begun the healing process and that he was confident that he would regain complete restoration of his sight again.

And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22).

I often wonder what would have happened if we had continued praying.

Although he was not healed 100 percent, it was a beginning.  Even though I wished to have seen complete healing, we both needed to continue to believe God was still in control, otherwise, when you think and act out of the flesh, the “healing process” rarely makes sense. This is because God’s faith goes beyond our own. God’s faith works supernaturally, beyond the limitations of our natural faith. That’s amazing grace to have such faith.

Copyright 2023 by Bill Hutzel

Into the Storm

Let me pose a question. Do you believe in divine intervention, or attribute significantly related events to coincidence? Let me phrase that differently. When the simultaneous occurrence of events appears significantly related, do you believe that they have no causal connection, or do you believe they have a divine purpose? Many of us who tend to doubt and deny aspects of experience that aren’t measurable and verifiable, might say, “Oh, that’s just coincidence.”  But what if that coincidence occurs multiple times for the same event?

It was at the end of October 2012 that Storm Sandy caused much damage to the Northeast. It was the second most catastrophic and costliest natural disaster in US history, just behind Hurricane Katrina. The storm was not just an atmospheric storm but a personal storm for me. It was a time that I could have relinquished to despair and blamed God for my misfortune, but something miraculous happened. It would be life-changing.

The day before Storm Sandy came ashore and wreaked havoc with much devastation, I fell in my driveway and fractured my wrist in two places and crushed it.  I was at the time, preparing for the coming storm. I would need to secure all items that could potentially fly and cause damage by Hurricane Sandy’s wind speeds and torrential rains.

Although the driveway was dry, it was that time of year when it became treacherous, as a fine layer of pine needles blanketed it. Every breeze and rain that caused these pine needles to fall from the five white pines that lined my driveway, accumulated causing the surface to become as slippery as a cold wintry snow and ice mix. I had learned to walk across patches of snow and ice, but apparently, I had not learned to traverse pine needles without falling. That’s when catastrophe struck. 

“Lexi! Go fetch, girl,” I yelled to my dog, and threw a ball at her. Normally, she would always fetch the ball, but this time she didn’t. Was it because she could sense bad weather coming? Dogs who perceive low-pressure systems coming, it is believed, can cause them to become agitated and or less active. As the ball began to roll down the long, inclined driveway, I got this brilliant idea to run after it myself. And as I did so, my feet went out from under me and up into the air I went. As I began my descent, I instinctively braced for the impact by stopping the fall with my right hand. Crash! I lay there for a short while, the wind knocked out of me, and in excruciating pain. When I got up, my hand appeared to be bent to the right, and out of alignment with the rest of my arm.  I desperately wanted to believe that it was just a bad sprain.

I perceived my condition as a view from the valley floor between two mountains instead of from God’s perspective at the top. But then how could I think otherwise from the place where God saw my affliction when fear and doubt prevented me from seeing any possibility that good could come of my suffering? My mind was a relentless barrage of negative thoughts and what-if scenarios. What if my wrist is broken?  What if it doesn’t heal properly? What if there is permanent damage?  Will it affect my ability to perform again? This last question weighed the most heavily on me as I am a professional flutist. It just didn’t look good. I couldn’t squeeze my hand or move it and my wrist appeared severely swollen. Yet, God would hear my heart cry despite myself, and he would answer it.

No one was around to help me, so I got myself up off the ground and then one-armed drove myself to the hospital.  After checking in to the emergency unit, I was led to a curtained waiting room where I would be examined, and X-rays ordered. I would not get the results for another lonely couple of hours which seemed like an eternity of waiting.  When the surgeon finally arrived, he pulled back the curtain and entered holding his clipboard and the results of my X-rays. “Mr. Hutzel?” he asked as if to confirm that I was he.  “Yes,” I answered apprehensively.  “From the results of your x-rays, Mr. Hutzel,” and he paused momentarily. My heart also stopped momentarily, figuratively speaking.  “I am sorry, but I have bad news for you. My worst fears were realized. Your wrist is fractured badly and will require a plate and 3 pins. We will have to operate tonight. I will have someone come and get you prepped. I will see you in the operating room in just a little while.” My heart sank. But, for some reason, and without careful thought, I declined the surgery and asked the surgeon to set my broken wrist the old-fashioned way.

On whose authority was I speaking?  Who the heck was I to tell the doctor how to proceed?  The surgeon wasn’t amused in the slightest and strongly objected, giving me all the reasons why I should have the surgery. “No, Mr. Hutzel, I don’t think you understand. Due to the severity of the break, we must operate tonight.” Still, I insisted. If I was wrong, what would the worst-case scenario be anyway, that I would have to return a couple of days later for the surgery?  Decided then!  I would not have the surgery.  He set my broken wrist and wrapped it in a temporary splint supported by a sling over the shoulder, expecting to see me a couple of days later after Storm Sandy passed. “See you Monday,” he said, although I would not see him until a week later because a state of emergency was declared in New Jersey. For days, no one would be allowed to travel except for emergency vehicles due to power outages, trees down, and roads impassable.

Miracles Still Happen Today

The next morning, I asked my friend John to drive me to the first of two services that I usually attended on Sunday mornings. I was scheduled to play flute with the worship team, but of course, that would be impossible. Have you ever seen a one-handed flutist?  Well, except perhaps for Jethro Tull.  So, I sat out the service. Afterward, I asked John if he would drive me to the 11:00 a.m. service at Zarephath Christian Church of which I was also a member. I invited John to just drop me off as I didn’t want to inconvenience him, but he stayed.

We found seats at the front of the auditorium in the 3rd row on the right and sat down until we were invited to stand for worship. As the singers, guitars, and drums played, I could feel God’s presence. It was during this time that I called out to the Lord in my anguish and pain and prayed. “Lord, in my place of weakness and need, won’t you turn your heart toward me and hurry to help me? For you are my Savior, and I’m always in your thoughts. So don’t delay to deliver me now, for you are my God.” (Psalm 70:5, TPT). 

With my one good arm outstretched to God in worship, I then heard what I thought was an audible voice. In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham; He spoke directly to Moses; He spoke directly to Job.  But, of over 8 billion people in the world today, why would God speak to little ol’ me? Try to make logical sense of that. You just can’t!

Then I heard it. “You are healed!”  It was so clear, that I turned around to see who said it in the row behind me. No one made eye contact with me or spoke, so I thought I was hearing things. I returned to singing praise and worship, and then I heard it again. “Bill, you are healed!” 

Was I delusional? Had I really heard God or was I certifiably crazy? Most people who read the Bible understand that these biblical accounts of hearing God’s voice really did happen but no longer today. I believe that is a lie. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and if he lives in me and I live in him, then miracles and healing are very much alive today.

Instead of becoming overly analytical and doubtful, as was my nature, I spontaneously got a check in my spirit that this was a Word of Truth. Forgive the cliché, but I took that check and ran to the bank and cashed it.

“Your faith has made you well, now go in peace, and be healed” (Mark 5:24).

Immediately following the service, I approached the pastor and asked him to pray for me. From his pocket, he pulled a bottle of prayer oil and anointed me with it.  He, then, gently placed his hand on my right arm.  “In the name of Jesus, be healed,” he commanded. As he did this, I felt heat travel through my entire arm. Warmth or heat felt from someone’s touch is often a confirmation that one’s prayer has been answered in the heavens and all one must do is wait for the manifestation in the physical.  I have witnessed physical manifestations in others who have been prayed for.  Answering prayers in this physical manner is one of the ways that God shares with us that He heard our prayers.

Afterward, my friend drove me home. I then waited for the destructive winds of Superstorm Sandy to come. For many, Hurricane Storm Sandy caused widespread electricity outages for days and weeks in some places. It was the most destructive, and strongest hurricane of the 2012 season, inflicting $70 billion in damages. Now all I could do was wait the storm out and stand strong in my faith and hope.  God would remind me, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

“You are responsible to be faithful. God is responsible for outcomes.” –
Quote by Jenni Catron 

God’s Voice is Guaranteed

God speaks in various ways; all we need to do is listen because His voice is guaranteed. It can be an audible voice, a small still voice, dreams and visions, natural manifestations, circumstances, or in my case, God spoke specifically to me through the Bible, by randomly bringing a particular passage to my attention because His Word is living and active. “For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy, like a two-mouthed sword. It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where soul and spirit, bone and marrow meet! It interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts” (Heb. 4:12). It was how God chose to reaffirm that I had been miraculously healed.

After Storm Sandy passed, I went outside to look at the devastation to my property and found five “trees uprooted,” one of which was my favorite, a weeping willow tree.  I wept for it as it lay on its side. No longer would birds perch in it nor would it grace my property with its long slender branches that reached towards the ground. Depression overcame me like a ton of bricks hit me.

Returning indoors, I sat down and randomly opened my Bible directly to a passage in Job, chapter 19 verse 10, that said “He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone, and he UPROOTED MY HOPE LIKE A TREE”. WOW!, that got my attention in a big way! I don’t believe that this was coincidental. A day later, again I randomly opened my Bible directly to a passage in Isaiah 58:11 that said … “and the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and GIVE STRENGTH TO YOUR BONES”. This was the second attention grabber. Several days later, again, God showed me Proverbs 3:5-6 which said “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.” If you continue reading on in Proverbs 3 verses 7 and 8, it says “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your BONES.” Although the word bones got my attention again in this verse, I don’t believe God was only speaking to me here of physical healing. Verse 8 speaks of healing the body. The Hebrew translation for the body is the navel.  Adam Clarke’s commentary speaks of the umbilical cord (of which the navel is part) as the only source of life and growth for the unborn child. So also, is the wisdom that comes from God, the only umbilical source of life and growth for His children.

Some weeks later I returned to the passage in Isaiah 58:11.  It was not a coincidence that God wanted me to read it again. I recalled it was that which my pastor prayed for me. It not only spoke of physical healing but of spiritual awakening and healing.  “And you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of waters whose waters do not fail.”  A watered garden denotes continued prosperity and blessedness. Fruit is only desirable if it is sufficiently watered, otherwise, it withers and dies, and the fruit cannot be eaten. It is therefore God’s desire for me (us) to be “like a spring of water whose waters do not fail”.  It is not only a promise of eternal life, but of something living in me now (and forever), and that is God’s living water.  As a spring gushes up from the ground, so shall my life be a fountain of inspiration, encouragement, and blessing to others; an unending spring of “living water” that is refreshment and satisfying.

What’s the Verdict, Doc?

When I finally returned to see the doctor more than a week after Storm Sandy, he took a set of X-rays. “So, what’s the verdict, Doc?”  “It is remarkable!” he exclaimed. But I could tell he had reservations and was completely ignoring God’s healing miracle. “Let’s wait and see.”  He was understandably cautious. Apparently, he didn’t trust that the wrist was healed and wanted to see me again just to make sure, or, had he released me too soon he could have been liable for malpractice if he was wrong. After all, what would you have done if you were the doctor?  Would you walk away scratching your head, or would you trust your years of experience as a surgeon?  Never had he seen anything like this before. Yet, out of caution, he still wanted to see me again and then once more before placing me in a hard cast. As he explained, even after reduction (which is the repositioning of bones after a fracture) and immobilization with a cast or splint, your bones can shift and will not heal properly. He wanted to continue monitoring my progress with X-rays.

Before leaving his office, he gave me final instructions for the care of my wrist, “and don’t drive,” he said.  “But Doc, I am conducting a flute exhibit in Ohio that I must attend.”  “No, driving! he emphatically stated. “Do you hear me?” “Uh-huh,” I replied.

There was no way I was going to back out of my commitment. So, I arranged for another flutist to accompany me to the event with the understanding that she would be the featured artist on the program. So with one arm in a sling and the other on the steering wheel, I drove one-armed for 9 hours to the event in Ohio.  I would be chided by the doctor for disobeying his instructions when I returned for my next visit.   

After I returned from my trip, the doctor put me in a cast. “What color do you want?” he asked. “Blue,” I said sounding disappointed.  “This is standard procedure,” he said.  “You can expect to wear it for approximately 6 to 8 weeks with a recovery period of up to 3 months for a person your age.”  “Although everything looks fine from the X-rays, it still may be fragile. I want to ensure that your wrist is completely healed.”  I was disappointed I didn’t get a thumbs up from him and that I would still need to see him again. Yet I knew that I knew that God had miraculously healed me. 

Next visit, the doctor seemed genuinely perplexed. My wrist looked good as new. There was no denying it this time and no indication that I had ever broken it. “It is remarkable; SIMPLY AMAZING!” “How would you like to take this thing off?”  “SURE!”, I replied, equally surprised, as initially, he said I would be in it for 6 to 8 weeks. “Do you believe in miracles, Doc?”  He answered back with a big “AMEN!” 

And remarkably, it was one week later that I played a concert with members of the NJ Flute Society.  Another miracle attesting to God’s divine intervention.

Coincidence, stranger than fiction, or divinely orchestrated? What do you think?

Copyright 2014 by Bill Hutzel
Last Updated: January 2023

The Presence

It was April 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, a time when not even family members were allowed to visit assisted living homes. But by the grace of God, Peggy and I were granted permission as my mother had not much longer to live.

When we arrived at the front desk, we signed in, they took our temperatures and handed us masks to wear. “91.7,” the person behind the desk said. “You’re okay to go.” 

Peggy and I saw no other visitors as we got on the elevator and pressed Mon’s floor. When we got to her floor, we heard the elevator bell ding and announce… “third floor.”

We exited, then buzzed ourselves through the automatic doors to the Alzheimer’s wing. There was not a soul to be seen. The hallways were empty as all residents were confined to their rooms. It was eerily still.

Mom’s room was just around the corner.

On the door of her room, hung a photo of a much younger woman. How beautiful she was, I thought. But what matters most “is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.”1 Mom was still beautiful, despite her age. She was ninety-five.

The door was slightly ajar, so Peggy and I pushed it open and quietly entered. The room seemed dark and lifeless as Mom gently slept. Only her soft breathing could we detect. It was the same room we had always visited in the past, only it seemed different this time. She did not greet us. There was no, “Hello Dear. How wonderful to see you!”  Instead, Mom lay with the covers pulled up to her neck; a stuffed toy animal nestled against her cheek. Her face appeared drawn and sallow, her body thin and frail. It was difficult seeing someone you love die, although thankfully, it did not seem that she was suffering.

As I looked around the room at the many family pictures hanging on the walls and her dresser, one picture stood out to me. It was of the house I grew up in. It was a tutor-style home, originally stained a dark “chocolate” brown, now beige. However, what was missing from the photo was the tall oak tree Dad planted when the family first moved to 223 Mountain Way. I remember watching that tree grow from a sapling to maturity before a storm uprooted it. The backyard now looked empty without it. How profound, I thought. Just as the tree was a memory, Mom would be too, and so would our life be empty without her as well. Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 says, “There is a season for everything, and a time for every event under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted.”

As I stood by Mom’s bedside and Peggy sat, we took turns gently rubbing Mom’s arm and squeezing her hand. Mom squeezed back. She was glad we were there.

It had been at least several weeks since Peggy and I saw Mom last due to COVID-19 regulations. Although we were confined to her room, we had fond memories of when we took Mom for strolls outdoors or down a long-windowed corridor where we would sit, talk, reminisce, and I would play my flute for her.

Mom enjoyed listening as did patients and visitors passing by. They often stopped to make song requests, to which I obliged. It was a mini concert! Mom just loved, loved, loved it! Sometimes I would bring the flute she bought me in high school. It was a 1968 golden-era professional Haynes flute. Surprisingly, Mom remembered it, even though dementia had erased much of her memory. “Mom, what would you like me to play for you?”  I would often help her by making suggestions. And she would respond, “Oh, yes dear, that would be wonderful.”

As always, I played her one of her favorite songs, “Over the Rainbow.” I never thought much about the lyrics before, but they seemed to have greater meaning now. 

The Bible describes such a place as an eternal place of splendor, a paradise. Can you imagine a place such as this where “troubles melt like lemon drops,” where over the rainbow bluebirds fly? Imagine every tear will be wiped from your eyes. “Death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.” How wonderful, yet sad to see Mom leave us.

As I played for her, I tried to hold it together, knowing that Mom’s dream of somewhere over the rainbow would soon be a reality. My lips started to quiver, and my eyes started to tear. I knew I would never have another opportunity to serenade her.

The notes seemed to waft in the air as if on doves’ wings, bringing with them an angelic atmosphere to the room. She lay peaceful and calm, her breathing shallow. Yet, a small smile appeared in the corners of her lips as I played for her.


Suddenly, Mom began pointing. Her hand slowly moved upward in the direction of the corner of the room, then to the left, then to the right. She wanted us to see what she was seeing. As her gaze roved back and forth, her hand followed. A chill went up and down my spine. “Mom, what are you seeing?”  Even though her lips did not move, I could imagine her asking, her eyes wide, “Don’t you see them?” What she was looking at, I instinctively knew, was incredibly beautiful. It is common for angels to visit people who are preparing to crossover into the other side of eternity.

But then moments later her demeanor changed from one of elation to one of terror. She pulled her blanket up tight around her neck. There on the left, she pointed towards the ceiling. We followed her gaze but saw nothing. Oddly, this reminded me of a vision my dad had one week before he died.


It was not until months later after Dad died that my mother was able to share a vision he had in the night. It was 1962, a couple of weeks before Christmas, that Mom was startled out of her sleep when my father suddenly awakened in a cold sweat, frozen in terror. He was pointing at an ominous, black-cloaked hooded featureless figure standing in the corner of their bedroom at the end of their bed. As I was young and impressionable, hearing this scared the bejeebers out of me! Had I not already been afraid of going into our basement at night or walking up the stairs to the attic where a life-size doll named “Peter Doll” greeted me and whose eyelids blinked, compounded what I was already predisposed to, fearing the unknown and what could be lurking in the dark. Was the visitation foreboding of something bad to happen? Mom would say so. She said Dad believed for quite a while that he was going to die prematurely. Dad died at the early age of 37 a week later.

DECEMBER 19, 1962

It was Christmastime in our neighborhood, a quiet tree-lined street of Sycamores in a small suburb of New Jersey just outside of New York City where from my bedroom window I could see the Empire State Building, the tallest building in the world.  Houses across the street were decorated with brightly colored lights. Occasionally you could hear carolers out singing. As in past years, Christmas was all about making memories, love, laughter, and happiness. It was to be a joyous time with family and friends. Glistening balls and lights on the Christmas tree, opening gifts, and homemade cookies and milk by the fireplace.  This year should have been no different, but tragedy struck 6-days before Christmas. 

On this cold and wintry night in December, our quiet neighborhood was startled out of the warmth and comfort of their homes to a night chill, sirens, flashing lights, and emergency vehicles while I sat in the seclusion of my basement watching a Dragnet police drama on our small RCA wood grain veneer black and white console television set with rabbit ears for an antenna. I was so engrossed in the police drama that I didn’t even notice the loud and high-pitched sirens of police and ambulance vehicles outside as they were drowned out by the “Waaaaaahhhhhhh” of police sirens on the TV inside.     

Earlier in the day, Dad visited our family doctor with my brother Bob, both with flu-like symptoms. However, instead of Dad going home to bed afterward, and because of his unwavering devotion to his students, he returned to conduct the high school Christmas band concert that evening. By the end of the concert, he was feeling very sick and left immediately without speaking to anyone.  I did not hear Dad come home that evening.

When I came up from the basement, I at once felt the outside cold air. The front door was wide open and to my horror, police, and ambulance people were scrambling in and out. A gurney was being brought up our front steps through our front door, and although the sirens had all but stopped, a single red beacon light that sat on the top of each emergency vehicle continued to flash. The red domed light, sometimes referred to as a gumball light because it resembles the dome top of a gumball machine, flashed ominously.              

People in the neighborhood were starting to gather outside. “Mom, Dad!” I cried out. But there was no answer from either of them. Our next-door neighbor came running through the front door half-dressed with just a towel around his waist having just gotten out of the shower.

I was 11 years old and scared beyond words. I froze momentarily, but not from the cold air. Terror permeated every part of my being as I looked up in disbelief at my mom standing at the top of our hallway stairs outside their bedroom. “What’s happening?” I cried out, fearing something awful. Our eyes met, and then instinctively I knew something terrible had happened. She didn’t have to say a thing; I knew my Dad was gone. 

My Aunt Sis had just arrived. She ran to me and placing an arm around my shoulder she took me aside out of the way of emergency people. My brothers were in their bedroom. Aunt Sis got my coat. “Let’s go for a walk,” she said. My Dad’s sister wasn’t crying, although inside I thought she was. As we walked around the block, kindly and gently she explained that my dad had gone to a better place. Tears welled up in my eyes and tears rolled down my face.  My pain was unbearable. I was devastated. I was heartbroken. Again, I asked. “Where’s Daddy, Aunt Sis?”  “In heaven,” she replied softly. I looked up at the sky full of stars on this cold winter night and wondered if my father was looking down on me now.

Aunt Sis and I must have walked a long while as the ambulance and police cars had already gone. There were no more carolers, and neighbors had returned inside to the warmth of their homes. I reminisced of walks with my father when I used to ask him questions like who is God, and where is God, and my father would reply – “He’s everywhere, son. He’s in everything, even in that tree over there that he created.”  Again, I looked up at the star-filled night sky and thought of heaven being there.  “Is that where Daddy is Aunt Sis?”  She nodded affirmatively.  I already missed him deeply. I cried out to him, but there was only silence. I began to shiver now.  My Aunt Sis pulled her arm tighter around my shoulders. “Let’s go home, Billy,” she said.

For the next two weeks, I was in the care of our family sitter’s mother and father during the day as my mother was admitted for counseling due to her despair and hopelessness. 

It was sometime later that I learned that Dad had suffered an anaphylactic reaction to the penicillin his doctor gave him. And because his doctor did not arrive in time, a lifesaving tracheotomy could not be performed by the EMTs without a doctor’s presence. When this happened, his vocal cords suddenly seized up when taking in a breath, blocking the flow of air into his lungs and he suffocated.


Most people believe that the Angel of Death, not to be confused with the Black Angel of Death or Angel of Darkness, comes to a person right before they die, a benevolent angel, a messenger, and servant of God, to perform God’s will to warn of imminent death, to bring about an urgency that my father should get his affairs in order? This is whom I believe my father encountered. Satan was defeated at the Cross and had no power over my father to cause him to lose his salvation. Colossians 2:14 shows God to be a merciful God wishing for no one to perish. “He (Jesus) canceled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us. He erased it all—our sins, our stained soul—he deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved! Everything we once were in Adam has been placed onto his cross and nailed permanently there as a public display of cancellation. Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. He was not their prisoner; they were his!” Christ was victorious over death.”


Several years ago, I found my father’s small pocket testament with his written confession of faith dated December 19, 1937. It comforted me to know he had been born again in the Spirit. It was also exactly 25 years later to the day that my father died on December 19, 1962. Both dates fell on the same day of the year. Dad was born in ’25 (1925) and died at the age of 37. In ’37 (1937) he was reborn into the kingdom of Christ, and in 1962 he died and passed into the heavenly embrace of the Father’s love. I do not believe these dates were by chance, nor do I have an explanation for his premature death. Yet, when a person dies is not a matter of accident or coincidence; the Bible clearly tells us that our lives are in God’s hands. He knows the time of our death and has even appointed it. The Bible says, “Man’s days are determined; God has decreed the number of his months and has set limits he cannot exceed.”2


When Peggy and I sensed Mom’s terror, we instinctively knew what it was. There was a dark presence in the room, an angelic evil like my father had seen. “In the Name of Jesus” we called out and prayed the Father’s Love into her. Mom lay still now, peaceful again, her breath shallow; you could hardly hear her breathing.

As it was getting late, we squeezed Mom’s hand for one last time. Then kissing her gently on the cheek, we said our goodbyes. As we left, we shut Mom’s door behind us instinctively knowing that this was symbolic not of the end of a story as the world has defined the end of life, but of the continuation of life into the embrace of the Father’s love, a new chapter.

Peggy and I rounded the corner in the hallway and made our way toward the elevator. Still, no one was seen nor heard except for the sound of TVs coming from each of the resident’s rooms. I was sad knowing that this would probably be the last time we would visit. Later that night we got word that mom passed into the love of the Father’s arms.

Copyright 2022 by Bill Hutzel

1. 1 Peter 3:3-4
2. Job 14:5, NIV


Hope Dealer

Love this! What amazing talent, and what an amazing song and video. Song written and performed by Jess Hutzel Gillott and her husband Pete Gillott

HOPE DEALER · Pete & Jess Gillott HOPE DEALER ℗ 1868536 Records DK Released on: 2021-03-09






Angels All Around Us

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.  (Revelation 5:11)

In October 2017, I attended Awaken the Dawn on the National Mall in Washington DC. This was a grassroots movement of 24/7 day and night praise and worship, and intercessory prayer to bring a new awakening of the presence of God to the nations.  Was this the next big Jesus Movement?  Tens of thousands of people and 1,700 worship teams from all fifty states would be in attendance for the weekend-long event as well as over 4 million people live streaming from around the globe. The Awaken the Dawn movement was referred to as a Jesus Woodstock for a New Generation. 

Although it was cloudy and cool in the 60s, the weather held out despite the forecast of rain. It was the last evening of Awaken the Dawn. It was the closing ceremony. The night was filled with the sounds of praise and worship, singing and dancing. There was excitement in the air as the crowd cried out for the glory of God.

Although angels are not normally seen with our physical eyes, they do have the ability to manipulate the surroundings all around us.  At first, I did not know that what I was seeing was real but thought it was my imagination (Acts 12:9).  But I could just feel them!  It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. The atmosphere felt electrically charged, and although I did not physically see them, I was keenly aware of their presence through my thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.  They seemed to come out of nowhere.

Peggy and I were facing the Capitol Building when, suddenly, I felt a strong presence in front and behind, and to my left and right.  Tens of thousands, too numerous to count, filled the sky. Hovering over the capitol building they stood like sentinels at their guard posts keeping watch over the event. There were those also who sat in the trees to my right, worshiping and singing their praises to God. And through the eye lenses of my heart, I envisioned their appearances to be in the form of man, many had wings, and some were larger than life. Just as in Psalm 91:11, God had sent angels with special orders to protect, defend, and guard us against all harm.

I suddenly began to weep. A soft, steady stream of tears began to flow from the corners of my eyes. I was so embarrassed that I looked down to stop crying. Did anyone see me?  Although I did not physically see physical beings with my eyes, my spiritual eyes told me there were tens of thousands of angels all around.  Each time I looked up I would begin to cry. The tears flooded my eyes every time I looked up at the Angelic Host. Angels were all around us.   

Copyright 2022 by Bill Hutzel


Search Me O God (Remix)

I had just become unemployed following the attack of 9/11 and was understandably anxious, desperately wanting to make sense of both the war on our country and wanting to find gainful employment again. And so, I became very introspective when things turned topsy-turvy on me. I randomly opened my Bible to Psalm 139 and the following verse jumped off the page at me. “Search me O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts”. It became my meditation. As I continued to meditate on this psalm, my prayer turned to asking God to guide me and extend His hand to me. My prayer turned into singing, and “the praise on my lips and the song in my heart” became a song that ran through my head to the words of the psalm. I jotted down the melody so as not to forget it. I later recorded it in October 2013.

This is a newly published REMIX of the song. 


Song by Bill Hutzel

Bill Hutzel, vocals and flute
John D’Elia, 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, bass guitar, mandolin, tambourine

Recorded and produced by John D’Elia
Such Clay Productions
September 18, 2013

Video Produced by Bill Hutzel


Pick Me Up and Turn Me Around

YOUTUBE “Pick Me Up” by Bill Hutzel and John D’Elia

So often we fancy ourselves as secure and think we can go it all alone, but when God hides His face from us because we choose to go it on our own, our soul cries out to Him. “Lord, help me! Rescue me!” PICK ME UP AND TURN ME AROUND  (Psalm 107).

In Psalm 30 we see that David had a propensity for going it on his own for he said: “When all was well with me, I said, I will never be moved”.  And then in verses 7-11, it says that David asked for God’s mercy as he was shaken because God turned his face from him.  

Isaiah 53:6 says that each of us (and I will repeat for emphasis “each of us”) like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to go his own way. Each of us has left God’s paths to follow our own. King David cried aloud to God for His mercy.  Is this your prayer to set the captive free and shatter the steel doors of your heart that have kept you captive and have held you back from receiving God’s safety and abundance.

And He did!” it says of David in Psalm 107:13-14. God’s constant love picks us up and turns us around! He picks us up so that we are no longer bound in affliction, nor a prisoner to our own pain or chained to our regrets. God humbles us through our circumstances, watching as we stumble, with no one there to pick us back up.  And so, I cried out to God and repented of my rebellion against His Word; for seeking the counsel of man over His wisdom; for wandering about with no true direction, filled with despair; bringing myself sorrow and suffering because of my sins. And He turned my mourning into dancing and established my feet with joy on His firm foundation again. He shined his light through my darkness and set my captive free.

Remember with thankfulness all the times God brought you deliverance. Here’s why.
“He’s better than anyone could ever imagine.
Yes, He’s always so loving and kind, and it never ends!
So, go ahead— let everyone know it!
Tell the world how He broke through 
And delivered you from the power of darkness and
Has gathered us together from all over the world.
He has set us free to be His very own!”
(Psalm 107:1-3 TPT)

God’s mercy endures forever. For those who cry out to the Lord in their trouble, He answers them. He saves them out of their distresses and sets them free. When we cry out to God, He mercifully answers us because He loves us so. “This is comfort to the greatest sinners; if they can but find a praying heart, God will find a pitying heart, and rebels shall be received with all sweetness, if at length they return, though brought in by the cross.” (Trapp)

So go ahead and lift your hands and give thanks to God for his marvelous kindness
and for his miracles of mercy for those he loves!
” (Psalm 107:15)

Prayer: For your glorious righteousness reaches up to the high heavens; No no one could ever be compared to you! Who is your equal, O God of marvels and wonders? And though you have allowed me to experience much trouble and distress, revive me once again! Oh, I’ve been going it on my own, now it’s time for me to come home. Help me get my feet back on the ground. Bring me up once again from the depths of the earth! May you give me even more greatness than before and turn and comfort me again. Pick me up and turn me around. (Psalm 71:19-21, paraphrase).

Copyright 2022 by Bill Hutzel


My Heart Cries Only for You


Just found; lost to archives!  “My Heart Cries” is the last song that John D’Elia and I composed and recorded in 2019 before Covid shutdown the nation.  It’s an upbeat and fun sounding song inspired by Psalm 27.  Length 3:55. Wait for it! John’s rocking guitar solo at 1:51.

We are the Throwbacks, namely because the music throws one back to the music and sound of the 1970s and 80s. I began composing the song as Hear O Lord back in the 1980s, originally written for vocals and piano, but just for fun, I scored it for elementary school concert band when I was a high school through elementary school band director. They loved it! In 2019, John and I teamed together to add to and complete the song by adding additional lyrics, guitars and drums.

Arranged, produced and recorded by John D’Elia
Such Clay Productions
Performed by the Throwbacks

Bill Hutzel, vocals and keyboard
John D’Elia, electric guitars and everything else

Copyright 2019 D’Elia and Hutzel

Restrooms, confessions, and forgiveness

Have you ever made a mistake or committed an offense that you confessed to?  What was the result of your admission?  Did you receive justice and mercy, or did you get what you deserved?  Or perhaps you didn’t confess to it and lay in hiding, never to come clean.

We’ve all taken wrong turns, perhaps many of the heart, or maybe it was just a simple traffic ticket or something unintentional such as a practical joke that offended someone, but we have all committed them. And although God is not indifferent towards them, He never ceases being merciful to the repentant one because of His lovingkindness.

Some wrong turns are innocent and perhaps done in fun.  Mine was.  But in the corporate world, my company did not look kindly on a particular one, a prank I and a colleague intended for a laugh. When an inquest ensued to discover the culprits behind the prank, I was guilty in the court of my own conscience.

It was a wrong turn. It was a joke “gone bad” that now haunted me every day.  For some reason, I got this sophomoric idea to post in several of the restrooms, a fictitious, but somewhat believable inter-office memorandum from Employee Relations called Restroom Trip Policy.  It was pure stupidity. It was immature of me, although in my own defense, I was still a kid at heart and 20 something.

Here is what I posted. 



“In the past, employees were permitted to make trips to the restroom under informal guidelines.  Effective April 1987, a RESTROOM TRIP POLICY (RTP) will be established to provide a consistent method of accounting for each employee’s restroom time and ensuring equal treatment for all employees.

Under this policy, a “RESTROOM TRIP BLANK” will be established for each employee.  The first day of each month, employees will be given a Restroom Trip Credit of 30.  Restroom Trip Credits can be accumulated from month to month.

Currently, the entrances of all restrooms are being equipped with personnel identification stations and computer-linked voiceprint recognition.  During the next two weeks, each employee must provide two copies of voiceprints (one normal, one under stress) to the office of the president.  The voiceprint recognition stations will be operational, but not restrictive, for the month of April; employees should acquaint themselves with the stations during that period.  If an employee’s Restroom Trip Blank balance reaches zero, the doors of all restrooms will remain locked for that employee’s voice until the first of the following month.

In addition, all restroom stalls are being equipped with timed paper roll retractors.  If the stall is occupied for more than three minutes, an alarm will sound.  The roll of paper in the stall will retract, the toilet will flush and the door will open.

If you have any questions or concerns about the new policy, please ask your supervisor.  We expect your cooperation with the RTP program.  Thank you.

Well, if it were not for some gullible employee who believed the policy to be true, everyone would have just had a good laugh. Unfortunately, the president of the company got wind of it and didn’t think it so funny. All notices were immediately removed from the restrooms, and to my horror, a witch hunt began. It was incredulous to think that anyone would even take this seriously.

Oh, how I wished Jesus would come to my rescue, and that management would somehow forget the whole thing. The Bible passage –  “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-30), kept going through my head.  But so also did, “And ye shall confess your sins and come clean with it.”  

My heart began to race as I thought about the “what ifs” of confessing my accidental crime. But, I also deeply wanted to have the courage to bring my prank out of the dark and into the light.

So, after 7-days of inquisitions, I finally went to my manager and made a full confession of it.  Much to my surprise, he laughed, yet I was still sternly reprimanded. He would pardon me this one time. Wow! my worst fears were not realized.  Jesus had worked in my manager’s heart and mine.  Case closed! Forgiven!

In retrospect, I was fortunate to have been dealt mercy, for in a world today where justice and mercy are usually administered by a judge and jury who determine the innocence or guilt of a person being tried, there is no sure guarantee that judgment will be fair, or that one will be forgiven.

The Bible says that all have sinned and that subsequently we will all be judged for our sins. Will God show mercy to you?

Small thought here

With God, He is always fair; His mercy is unfathomable. “God’s justice gives us what we deserve, God’s grace gives us what we do not deserve, and God’s mercy withholds what we deserve.”

The Last Laugh

When I left the company after 4 ½ years to pursue another opportunity, some of my colleagues in the office played a practical joke on me. It was all in good fun.

I worked in computers for the Defense Systems department of my company which designed guidance systems and assembled missiles for the US Navy. Upon entering and exiting the building, I had to go through a security checkpoint. On my last day of employment, all company files and items belonging to the company were to be turned over before leaving, which I did.  As I walked through the security gate, as usual, I was asked to open my briefcase.  Unawares to me, security found an office telephone stuffed in my briefcase, which so happened to have been planted by my colleagues as a joke. Who had the last laugh now?  

Copyright 2016 by Bill Hutzel