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 floor three. When we got to Mom’s 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 also 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 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.

DON’T YOU SEE THEM?

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.

NIGHT TERROR

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 a 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 other brothers were taken to their rooms. 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.

ANGEL OF DARKNESS

Was the presence the Angel of Death that my father had met, a Dark Angel expelled from heaven to bring tidings of death and suffering, to war for his soul, or was it some demonic presence to cause fear to well up inside him? Perhaps the answer to both questions is yes, depending on your cultural and religious beliefs. Or was it 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?

Most people believe that the black angel of death or angel of darkness comes to a person right before they die to take their soul. However, there is not a specific passage in the Bible that reinforces this belief. 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.”

SOME THINGS JUST CAN’T BE EXPLAINED

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

WE SAID OUR GOODBYES

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

FOOTNOTE
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

FACEBOOK VIDEO

https://www.facebook.com/100001258335458/videos/9863746710343842/

YOUTUBE SONG

PHOTOS

OTHER SONGS BY PETE & JESS GILLOTT

GOD WE PRAY

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

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

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. 

CREDITS

Song by Bill Hutzel

Musicians:
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

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

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

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE

My Heart Cries Only for You

Youtube: https://youtu.be/Z1v_8AMWWCs

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. 

RESTROOM TRIP POLICY

TO: ALL EMPLOYEES
FROM: EMPLOYEE RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
SUBJECT: RESTROOM TRIP POLICY (RTP)

“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

Rooted and Grounded in the Word of the Lord

International House of Prayer Eastern Gate

Lyrics (spontaneous improvised praise and worship)

Rooted and grounded in You,
Your Word in our heart, God
Deep down on the inside
Let Your seed go deep, deep, deeper still.
Rooted and grounded in the Word of the Lord
Rooted and grounded in the Word of the Lord
Rooted and grounded in the Word of the Lord
We are the song, we are the light makers.

That’s ridiculous!

photo from Steve Backlund’s post “Worrying with God

Don’t we all worry and think negative thoughts at times? “Negative worry is imagining your future with God not showing up “(from Worrying with God by Steve and Wendy Backlund).  Isn’t that ridiculous to think? Perhaps because worry is based on past experiences in life, right? But what if we imagined only positive thoughts instead of going to the negative? 

Peggy and I had just listed our house for sale and have already placed an offer on another house. The offer was accepted and is contingent upon us having a contract on our house at 309 Kelly Drive in the next 14-days (as of 2 days ago).  Instead of seeing and hearing God regarding His/our desire, I have contemplated worrisome, negative “what ifs” instead of thinking positive thoughts.

What if we don’t get close to or receive the asking price for our home?
What if too few people see our house for sale?
What if we don’t get an offer/contract on our house in the next 12 days?
What if I regret moving elsewhere?

I will try to answer these “what ifs” with positive thoughts in mind.

If we don’t get our asking price or a price that would allow us to afford the new home, then God has something better in store for us.  That’s positive thinking. Perhaps interest rates will continue to fall. Wouldn’t that be a blessing in the event we don’t move immediately. God’s got our best interest at heart.

If too few people see our house for sale, I am reminded that it only takes one to like it.

What if we don’t have a contract in the next 12-days and the offer on the new house falls through?  Worse case is we continue living in our current home which I like anyway.  Perhaps God is trying to protect us. God has something better in store for us.

Will I have regrets about moving?  God knew that I was anxious about moving from the house I have lived in for 30-years.  I am comfortable here. But I also knew it was time to move.  As I asked God regarding my concerns, I randomly opened my Bible and looked down at Hebrews 6:14. The following jumped off the page at me – “Have no doubt, I promise to bless you over and over.” 

On another occasion when I was praying to God about moving, God already knew my mind and had anticipated my concerns. It was a reminder that He always tenderly cares for me, and that I am to quit struggling so hard to make it happen, and trust Him at the right time and place as He sees fit. Again, I randomly opened my Bible to 1 Peter 5:6-7 which says in the Passion Translation “…  leave the timing in his hands.Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.” 

I continued reading on in 1 Peter 5:8-9 where it says. “Take a decisive stand against the devil and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith. This is especially important because God, in so many words, was telling me to resist the temptation to think negative thoughts that would steal my peace and joy.

Now go ahead and read Steve Backlund’s “Worrying with God.”

Copyright 2020 by Bill Hutzel

JOIN INSPIRATION AND HOPE ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING HERE