¶ That“Storm that Brewed on the Other Side of Me” was gone as was the spirit of addiction. Yes, the Black Swan had flown. My high-dollar concubines; whiskey, cocaine, and China white must have left town sometime during the night. They were gone. I was as free, if not even more so, as I was back in the days of my early boyhood. I was weightless, strong, and of a sound and godly mind. I had been visited from on high at 38 years of age and was now well into my 39th year. A Door had appeared in the realm of the Spirit and I had simply stepped out of that cryptic land of tailspins and torments into the sterling Light of an Uncloudy Day, Born Again. I had been Born Again! Born anew of the Spirit of God!  I had stepped out of the Realm of the Damned into a Freedom I had no idea even existed all because I cried out to a God I knew was there but had never met. I’m here to tell you, this is far beyond religion! If only I could convince my old compadres.

¶ “What in God’s Name took place in the life of William Woodard Callery (aka Billy C.) that would cause him to walk away from all the success he had acquired in a business that has so many camped out at its door?” “My goodness, his song HANDS ON THE WHEEL has, by music industry critics, been deemed the Spiritual Center Piece of Willie Nelson’s masterpiece album, The Red Headed Stranger, the album that shot Willie into the galaxy of superstardom and has to date sold over 50 million copies.” “Not only that, this guy walked away from what could have been a lifetime recording contract with Columbia Records.” “His ‘single’ The First Showboat, off his first album on Columbia Records attained ‘Pick Hit of the Week’ in Billboard Magazine in ’76 and scored him a full-page write-up in Rolling Stone Magazine along with top billing in Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic of ’76.” “What in God’s Name caused this guy to walk away from all of that?” And there’s more! “Before all this, Jerry Jeff Walker put this guy on the map in the early ’70s with his own great rendition of Billy C.’s song The First Showboat. Jerry Jeff then went on to record The Pot Can’t Call the Kettle Black, Leroy, Pass It On, and two or three different versions of Hands On The Wheel.” “What got into this guy that he would walk away from all of that?” “In 1982 this guy, Billy C., was playing Jerry Jeff Walker’s Birthday Bash concert in Zilker Park in Austin Texas with Charlie Daniels, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Stoner, Milton Carroll, Barbara Fairchild, and a slew of others, when he just walked off stage, got in his truck, went back to Kentucky, bought some chainsaws and went to fellin’ timber for 5 bucks an hour. Then he moved to the Great Northwest and lumberjacked for over twenty years.” “What in the great Name of God Almighty would cause a fella to do a thing like that?”

¶ This is all in my new book release The Adventures of an Outlaw in the Kingdom of God. This book is an honest account of Divine Intervention and is as much a needed book in the Christian as it is in the secular arena. It will minister and encourage those who seem to have fallen between the cracks, who have given up hope, and either shy away from Salvation or have walked away from the Faith because they have been abused and fleeced by wolves in sheep’s clothing, duped by deep pocket snake oil peddlers, led off into the darkness by blind Pharisees and lied to by false prophets; victimized and hoodwinked by the masters of bamboozle! This book brings into the Light the Truth that our connection with God the Father comes through Jesus Christ alone. He is our Kinsman Redeemer and He is not ashamed to call you His brother or His sister if you will just open up your heart to Him. There is no other that can take you out of here into Eternal Life.

No longer do I travel to those haunts that so enticed me.

No longer am I drawn to devil’s dens.

No longer is my heart captured by the harlot.

No longer am I Ashes In The Wind.


Jesus, I’m overtaken, that You are my Companion,

The Lover and the Champion of my soul.

Now I am a brother, a son unto Your Father,

All because Your Love has made me so.


Holy Spirit, for the askin’, You have baptized me in Your Fire.

I see things I’ve never seen before.

Now I am a Keeper, signed, sealed, and delivered,

Now I am a Keeper of Your door

{excerpt from ASHES IN THE WIND ©Will Callery ©William & Cynthia Publishing Co.}

¶ All in the breadth of one year it seemed as though a hundred lifetimes had flown by. One year after stepping off stages with Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kris Kristofferson, Charlie Daniels, Billy Stoner, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, T. Gozney Thornton, Skeet Anglin, Paul Simon, the Pointer Sisters, The Band, Bob Dylan, and many others I found myself high on a hill overlooking 80 acres in Hancock County, Kentucky a free man of a sound and Godly mind, felling timber in Kentucky’s old-growth forests.

¶ County Road 1389 wound its way through the backcountry of eastern Daviess County and into western Hancock County, from Owensboro to Hawesville.  Owensboro and Hawesville were both early-day riverports that sprang up on that mile-wide river, the Mighty Ohio, back in the 1700s. Just across the Daviess County/Hancock County line, on the Hancock County side, on the highest hill around, sat the Old Homestead.  A two-story log cabin built long before the Civil War had burned to the ground and in its place stood a two-story house built in 1936 out of oak timber cut from the surrounding Blackford Bottoms and milled right there at the foot of that hill.  That 1936 House on the Old Homestead was not unlike my Grandmother’s and my Grandfather’s house in which I was raised as a boy on the corner of 10th & Buckeye, up there on the High Terrain, up in Terre Haute.  It had a spacious brick front porch that looked out upon the sunsets of the day.  The floor was laid with twelve-inch wide, one-half-inch thick, milled, and smoothly planed oak boards.  It was an open, spacious house with twelve-foot ceilings, original roped and weighted windows, a full, roughly finished upstairs which ran the length of the house and had side-by-side windows on both ends. Out the back door of the kitchen was not out but in, out of the kitchen, and into a completely closed-in porch with more than ample windows and screens on three sides.  Out the back door and down the steps of the porch was an old well and three of four mature hard maples which, in the summer, threw plenty of shade upon the old homestead not to mention housing enough songbirds to call it a sanctuary. Back the old dirt road that ran between the side of the house and its sizable pond, which was regularly visited by the Blue Heron, the Pileated Woodpecker, or anything else that might need a drink, loomed a large tobacco barn, and stretched out behind the tobacco barn lay a narrow but lengthy tobacco patch.  Dropping off on both sides and at the end of the narrow but lengthy tobacco patch were steep sparsely wooded hills that fell off into hundreds, if not thousands of acres of bottomland forest.  In front of the house and past the pond ran another dirt road through an outcropping of unusual, seemingly sculptured, large limestone rocks that resembled tables, past an old sharecropper’s cabin on the hillside, then on down across a vast bottomland pasture surrounded on three sides by the forest to Blackford Creek, which meandered through the land for thirty miles or so.  Blackford Creek was a good thirty feet wide and well over your head.  Out the front door of the house, beneath the ninety-year-old pecan tree in the front yard, across the road, and through a gate wound another old dirt road.  This one ran past a large barn around a small stand of trees and into a ridge-top meadow where stood a log cabin made of hand-hewn American Chestnut timber. Each squared-off, hand-hewed log measured between twenty-four to thirty-two inches in height and sixteen to eighteen inches in breadth. Each log had been hand-hewed with a broad axe and secured on its corner with a notch known as the half-dovetail. The mantle over the fireplace was still intact as was what seemed to be the original board floor which was either oak or chestnut.  The front door was very inviting, for it was a bit unhinged.  What a magnificent country. I was home.

¶ Coming from Owensboro, through the hills of eastern Daviess County, County Road 1389 dropped off into the Blackford Bottoms just as it crossed the County Line.  It was a splendid country!  Just across that county line, if you took a right, you would cross an old wooden bridge, traverse a half-mile or so of hard-packed gravel road that would take you through a long, straight stretch of cornfields over another bridge, past a large one-hundred-year-old barn made of hand hewed timbers which had been overtaken by vines long ago. Up a quarter of a mile of a very steep lane to the top of the hill stood the Old Homestead.  The crown of a pecan tree planted sometime around 1894 was the bumbershoot which canopied the whole front of the place with plenty of cool summer shade, but, as I was told, never in its life did it bear a pecan.  That pecan tree must have measured forty-eight inches in diameter.  The old homestead sat a good mile or more off the county road, on eighty acres of its own. I leased the place on a lease/purchase plan.  Rufus was free to run and run he did.  What a loyal and faithful friend, through the thick and through the thin. Rufus was a comforting, faithful companion. I don’t know if all dogs go to heaven but I would love to see Rufus in the Resurrection of the righteous.  If we could all be as faithful to the Lord as Rufus was to me this would be a different world.  He was as glad to be out of that old lifestyle as I was. Here he was on eighty acres of his own, and I do believe he knew it.  His master was straight and sober, a buddy worth hangin’ out with.  We were free indeed, and how we did enjoy each other’s company.

¶ I began freelancing for several logging outfits in the area for two cents a log foot, which means I went from working for five dollars an hour for cheapskates to making a hundred and fifty to two hundred a day, cuttin’ by the foot, the log foot.  I worked hard and began to obtain a good reputation as an independent, contract timber feller.  The work began to pour in.  I began honing my skills and seemed to have a natural feel for the trade.  I did love it!  I had no intention of ever going back into the music business, going into any type of ministry, or becoming a pillar in the community. I had seen enough!  One great desire I did have, was to purchase this old homestead, live a solitary life, and work in the timber. I was past the point of no return, and for several seasons, I was free and clear of this present evil world, or so I thought.

In the days of the Great Awakening,

Walking on the wings of the wind.

You came and dwelt with me,

In this heart, a new-found Friend.

O’er hill and dale ‘n ’roundabout

As lengthy rivers wind,

Tween sunny knobs and Falls of Rough

This new-found Friend a mine

Stuck close than a brother,

Faithful, Kind, and True,

What kind of Friend could melt this ice,

So hard ‘n cold ‘n blue

My timbre shook, my walls came down,

 He stood there in my stead,

With beams of Light and drops of Blood

He raised me from the dead.

{excerpt from THE GREAT AWAKENING by ©Will Callery / ©William & Cynthia Pub.Co. © 2018}

¶ Rufus and I scouted out every inch of that eighty acres plus hundreds of acres of the surrounding forestlands, some of which I had worked the previous year felling timber for Hairy, Burley & Mo Logging.  While working in the Blackford Bottoms during the spring and summer of ’83 I crossed paths with an old-timer by the name of Bob Butcher.  Bob was an overly stout fellow, what I’d call working-man-stout, with many years under his belt but still, he was as strong as a man in his prime. Workingman Stout!  Not only did he farm his own farm several miles down the road with a couple of teams of prized Belgians but he also farmed some thirty acres of the Old Homestead I was now living  on  As a matter of fact, Bob was the one who turned me on to the old place. The payments on the place went through Bob’s hands to the owners.  It was always a pleasure to see Bob plowing that lower thirty with his prized team of Belgians.  Emma, Bob’s wife, had invited me over to their place for dinners and cookouts several times, always asking me to bring my guitar and sing a few, which I delighted in doing.  We became good friends.

¶ I worked for a couple of different outfits through that bitter, cold winter of ’83 and on into the spring of ’84, beefing up my bank account and fellowshipping at Good Shepherd Church. in Owensboro, ’bout thirty miles away.  It was a solitary winter.  A time of peace I had not known the likes of since my first seven years with my grandparents in that fine old house on the corner of 10th & Buckeye.  The House on the Old Homestead and that fine old house on the corner of 10th & Buckeye were uncannily similar.  I had a few books written by Andrew Murray, one or two authored by Oswald Chambers, one penned by Watchman Nee (The Spiritual Man), Matthew Henry’s Commentary, an Unger’s Bible Handbook, and my Bible.  I had no telephone, no TV, not even a radio.  When not honing my skills in the log woods and beefing up my bank account, Rufus and I would trek the countryside.  We did a little hunting and some fishing, other than that I was fastened to the Word of God.  I was engrossed, absorbed, and astounded by it.  It was alive and so was I.  I would rise at 2:00 and 3:00 in the mornings and worship Him, pray, talk to Him, and wait for His presence to overwhelm me.  I was having an encounter with the Presence of the Lord.  I began to ask Him to show me things I did not know. {Isaiah 45:11, John 16:23}  One Saturday morning in the spring of ’84, just before sunrise the Lord told me He was going to take me up to a High Place and show me some things.  While lying in bed on my back I was flooded by the Spirit.  I began to rise up toward the ceiling, whether in my body or out of my body, I don’t know. What I do know is that I was wide awake. I knew He was going to take me out of there and up.  It scared me.  As I got near to the ceiling I said,  “Lord please put me down.”Very gently He lowered me down onto the bed.  I sat up on the edge of the bed, my head in my hands completely overwhelmed by what had just transpired.  As the day began to dawn across the land and beams of morning light streamed into my room I lay down on my back and said, “Lord, can we do that again?”  Nothing!  But the sweet presence of God flooded that house for hours.  I often wondered what I would have seen.

¶ After having such an encounter with the Lord I was about to learn that a person always needs to prepare themselves for a counterattack from the dark side.  Yes, I studied the Word, memorized Scripture, walked by Faith expecting results, and had been experiencing God’s Power in real-time.  I was about to witness another significant display of Divine Intervention on my behalf proving to me how Powerful the Word of God is and how we do not war against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the powers and the rulers of the darkness of this present evil world, against spiritual forces of wickedness from out of the heavenlies, from the outer darkness. {Eph 6:12 wcv}. I was actually seeing that the Word of God was quick, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword; piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. Mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. {Heb.4:12 / 2 Cor. 10:4}.  I was learning that if combat with evil was won first in the realm of the Spirit through prayer, then the siegeworks of Satan against myself and others were greatly diminished or completely brought to naught.  I was about to find out that “He does, indeed, prowl the earth as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” (1Peter 5:8).  I was about to find out that “He does, indeed, about the earth…” (Job 2:2) …setting up scenarios like the one I was about to go through.  The evil one does not like you, will not work with you, and I promise you He ain’t your buddy, but he cannot take down a praying man who walks in the Spirit by Faith.

¶ Bob Butcher, over one of Emma’s over-the-top, down-home dinners, relayed this story to me:  “A few years back,” Bob Said,  “a rough bunch lived up on that hill.  They were so violent, the owners, who were very wealthy, had the law run ’em off.”  So the tale went as told to me by Bob Butcher himself and confirmed by his wife Emma.  Bob said, “Those boys were a violent breed and had the smell of death about ’em.”  Bob went on to say, “At times, as many as five, ten, or even more would swarm that hill for days.”  The tale goes that they had buried a very large amount of contraband and money up on that hill not far from the house and were a short time later busted by the feds.  Bob said that they were presently doing time in Eddyville, a maximum-security Western Kentucky Penitentiary.  He went on to say, that as far as he knew they were still in the pen.  He didn’t think there was any problem but he thought I should know.

¶ I enjoyed living alone.  I was a loner at heart and greatly enjoying this solitary season of my life.  I know Rufus was enjoying it just as much.  Not only were Rufus and I the best of friends, Rufus was the best protection a fellow could have, having canine’s the size of a two-hundred-pound wolf and with twelve hundred pounds of pressure per square inch in his bite, at one hundred and thirty pounds he was nothin’ to trifle with and with the malamute and wolf so prevalent in him he did not bark, ever!  Adding to that, I knew how to protect myself and I was well-armed.  Nonetheless, I did become much more vigilant, considering the source of the story, just not quite vigilant enuff!

¶ Rufus knew when something was amiss.  He was an incredibly savvy animal, at the same time, he would not react violently toward someone who meant no harm, even if the person was a stranger.  If there was a reason for caution and I was not in imminent danger he would wait for a command.

¶ It was not a week or two after Bob had informed me of this tale of biker outlaws that Rufus and I were returning one Saturday afternoon from a bluegill and bass fishing expedition.  I had crossed the second bridge which was about midway between the county road and the house.  I had taken a right into the woods toward the old abandoned barn to pick up a couple of very old hand-chiseled sandstones, foundation stones, to take up to the house.  Rufus had jumped out of the truck and was somewhere down along the creek bed which ran alongside the barn.  I parked the truck back by the barn.  As I began to load the old foundation stones I could hear the faint sound of voices up by the house.  I left the truck and walked about thirty yards to the road that led up to the house.  I saw two fellows walking around the house.  They got in their truck and headed down towards me.  I stopped ’em in the road.  They were big, they were bikers and they were trouble of the worst kind.  They said Bob Butcher said it’d be alright to come up and look around.  It was them.  We had words.  My sawed-off 12 gauge and my Ruger Redhawk .44 mag were in the truck.  I had been caught in a bad place.  The big boy riding shotgun got out and started around the front of the truck.  The driver put it in park, left the engine runnin’, opened the door, and had one foot on the road.  These boys were big and I was in a bad place.  Rufus had obviously just eaten a frog and was frothing at the mouth.  He came up out of that creek bed in a state of urgency and laid right beside me in a pouncing position.  The big boy in front of the truck did an immediate about-face as though he had just received a command from God Himself.  The other big boy was in such a hurry to get back into the truck he slammed the door on his leg. They lit outta there like the hounds of hell were after ’em.  That was the last time Rufus and I ever saw those boys.  If that was not the protection of God in real time then I have never seen it, and I’d seen quite a bit in my day.  As a Born Again, Spirit-Filled believer, that was my first brush with death, a scenario set up by the evil one simply because I had had a touchstone encounter with the Lord.  Yet not a shot was fired.  No one got hurt and who knows if those boys didn’t turn their lives over to the Lord somewhere on down the road?  They were probably calling on Him as they crossed that second bridge outta there.  God never, never ceases to amaze me.  I am Past the Point of No Return, in real-time.  My life on The Old Homestead was secured that day by the Hand of the Lord and a dog named Rufus.

¶ All these things that I have described to you were nothing less than the Might and the Power of the Holy Spirit working things out in my life. Divine Intervention! Carefully considering these things I must say, hyper-religiosity will get you nowhere, neither will believing that you are God’s gift to mankind. Simply seeking the Lord with all your heart, studying to show yourself approved, and being honest with yourself and others will move the Hand of God in a most beautiful way.  Spend time with the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. There is nothing, nothing, nothing like it. The Lord knows what we are – still, He loves us beyond measure. He, the Spirit of God, will bring us along, line upon line, here a little and there a little, and sometimes even by leaps and bounds into, believe it or not, His very own likeness. Now sometimes that’s a wee bit hard to get a handle on, but, according to the Scriptures, that’s what He’s doing.

THE ROAD TO FORGIVENESS by ©Will Callery & ©Joe Forlini.

Will – Guitar & Lead Vocal

Joe Forlini – Slide Guitar

Bobby Boyd – Harmony Vocal

Layton DePenning – Bass

Sound Engineer – Layton DePenning – Elmo’s Lab, Austin Texas

THE ROAD TO FORGIVENESS was written by ©Joe Forlini, the last verse was written by ©Will Callery – ©William & Cynthia Pub. BMI / ®Forlini Music Pub. BMI ©2013


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If Letters From Over Yonder touch your heart – please check out Will’s book on Divine Intervention, “The Adventures of an Outlaw in the Kingdom of God” by clicking on this link:  Home

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©Letters From Over Yonder & ©The Deep Fetch are Published by William & Cynthia Pub. Co. ©2023, “All Rights Reserved”

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