Norman Hutchins: Seeing God in Difficult Times

Norman Hutchins: Seeing God in Difficult TimesWhen recording artist Norman Hutchins sensed God calling him to pray every day at 5 a.m. in early 2006, he didn't know why. But when complications from a delicate eye surgery left him completely blind that same year, he soon discovered the answer.

"The Lord said, ‘Norman, no matter how gifted and talented and anointed you may be, you are no good to Me if you don't take care of you.'"

Hutchins, 46, is referring to his battle with diabetes, a disease he was diagnosed with years ago. The singer said for six months he depended on his wife, Karen, and others to escort him to his pulpit where he preached every Sunday during the ordeal. He says loosing his sight forced him to repent for not taking care of the body God gave him.

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"I don't want to revisit that again," Hutchins said of his blindness. "But if that was part of the preparation to make me ... and develop me into who I am today, I really thank God for that season in my life because it has totally changed the person I am now."

Today, with a new outlook on life, Hutchins is passionate about the work the Lord has called him to. He pastors Frontline Ministries in Dover, Delaware, is an itinerant preacher and singer.

Nowadays Hutchins is focused on the release of his new CD, which released March 3. God Is Faithful is a detour from the black gospel that contributed to the success of Hutchins' long-standing career. With an apparent contemporary flair, the CD transcends both racial and denominational lines to reach people with the universal message of God's love.

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"I grew up in a black Pentecostal church, doing what we call black traditional gospel. But one of the differences I've always noticed between the black traditional music that I've written for years versus the contemporary Christian style I'm writing now is, we grew up singing about problems, singing about pain ... and about overcoming trials of the past.

"It seems that contemporary Christian music has more to do with celebrating life and victory, and rejoicing over a God who is more than enough," Hutchins said.

The pastor's love for music dates back to his childhood when his mother, who worked hard to provide for her family, instilled in him a love for God that runs deeper than adversity and hardship. It is that foundation from which his music flows.

"As I grew older, I began to realize that a lot of the songs I was writing at that age were the inspiration of God singing back to me, to keep me encouraged so that when I became of age to understand, I wouldn't blame God for all the things I experienced as a child," he said.

A respected worship leader and songwriter, Hutchins' accomplishments read like a Who's Who in Christian music. Spontaneous Praise, released in 2008, was ranked No. 9 on Billboard's list of top gospel albums. And Where I Long to Be was No. 8 in 2006. Projects such as Battlefield and Nobody But You both topped the charts. And listeners will not be disappointed with Hutchins' newest release.

The soft lyrics to I Love You Forever ushers worshipers into the presence of God: "I stand in awe of You for all the things You've done / I love You forever with all my heart."

And the upbeat, guitarish sound of the CD's signature cut, "God Is Faithful," testifies to the faithfulness of the Father and seeks to draw listeners closer to Him: "God is bigger than my mountain / Bigger than my problem / Bigger than my pain / Our God / God is faithful."

Singer, songwriter, pastor and more, Hutchins continues to use all his gifts and talents to create music that not only offers hope and joy; it encourages listeners to trust God no matter the pain, hardships or difficulties life has to offer.

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