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On the Road Again in 2019

Articles are sorted with the most recently posted at the top.

A Special Trunk or Treating in Florida
Posted November 14, 2019

by Kay Lea Scott

The Scotts love God and children. So, when an opportunity to do some trunk or treating with our Florida church family arrived, how could we not participate?

Santa brought us a 2015 red convertible VW Beetle (Lady B) for Christmas last year. Oma (Kay Lea) told the grandkids that if we were ever in Florida at Halloween time Lady B would dress as a lady bug. Some of you may remember that Bailey (the grey Texas VW Beetle) was Jonah's whale for a WB Chapel Trunk or Treat a few years ago.

Scotty started searching for Lady B's dots and eye lashes while Kay Lea registered for the Indian Rocks Baptist Church's event. That's when we got the first inkling that this trunk or treat would be a little different than we'd experienced before. IRBC asked each trunker to bring at least 2000 pieces of candy! The Florida event includes bounce houses, food trucks and music. We decided to bring 2000 pennies as well.

The next step was shopping for our costumes and candy. Scotty did not warm to the idea of dressing as a lady bug, until he saw Kay Lea and Lady B in their costumes. A red t-shirt with stick-um felt dots and he looked like a lady bug too. He did refuse to wear an antennae head band. After all, he has macho principles to uphold.

Acquiring 2000 pennies brought us the next ah-ha moment. The bank workers knew all about IRBC's Trunk or Treat and never miss it. As they told us about it, we learned first-hand how successful the event is at introducing and involving surrounding neighborhoods in the church.

The great day came. We joined the 100+ cars in the church parking lot. Scotty handed out the candy while Kay Lea gave each child a penny, "One cent to remind us of the One Sent to save us".

Scotty gave a penny to a little girl who listened intently, held the penny close and said, "I'm going to keep this cent forever."

God's Way of Preparing Us for Special Times
Posted October 31, 2019

by Bill Burris

Matthew 6:26-29

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

During each calendar year there are special times and events that God wants us to acknowledge.  His way of reminding us of an upcoming time, as always, is something like the gentle breeze or a feeling that you sense must come only from God.

Having lived in New England for a few years, I saw how He uses the fall changes in the foliage to remind us of Advent and the coming celebration of Christ's lowly birth in Bethlehem.

His reminders that we are entering the Lenten season are particularly evident in Texas with the early signs of spring. God brings us the beautiful wild flowers and the migrating birds as Lent counts off the days to Easter and the lesson of Christ on the Cross.  Then, as time advances, we see a change in the type of wildflowers as he primes us for Pentecost.

In case we don't take His hints at the coming of a new season, He backs it up with the variety and timing of the migrating birds as they, too, count down the days by heading north for Easter and south for Christmas.

I'm sure that many of you, like me, try to clear our minds so we can hear God's quiet voice.  When we're more aware of our surroundings, we have a better chance of hearing that voice because of what we see.

Lately I've Been Wondering:
What Would Be God's Favorite Verse?
Posted August 8, 2019

by Bill Burris

Whether while doing my daily devotionals, attending worship services or having thoughts about God throughout the day, I sometimes wonder if God has a favorite verse from the Bible. It would be easy to just say it was the entire Bible and that would be a probable truth. But I still think that somewhere in His written word there's a verse that causes Him to smile just a bit more.

For consideration, there are verses that demonstrate someone following His commands: David finally confessing his sins and asking for God's forgiveness; Daniel when he refused to bow down to anyone but God; perhaps the Gospel writers when they related the truth of an event; or maybe Paul's faith in God while enduring numerous times of punishment. I would also include Mary's accepting becoming the virgin mother of the Messiah.

As God looked over the end result of His creation, I can imagine him smiling and saying to himself, "Well done." But what I believe might mean more to God would be someone standing up to His challenge, such as watching Abraham actually going through with God's request to sacrifice Isaac. That could also have been a dry run for a future event when God did not interrupt Christ's crucifixion.*

There are chapters in the Bible that many people turn to in times of pain and sorrow, as well as in times of joy. In both cases, we look to Psalm 51 and 139. But when it comes right down to it, there is a single Biblical passage that I am certain would give God a huge grin should everyone in this world choose to follow it. That passage appears in Joshua 24, the last sentence of verse 15: "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

God sees us through different eyes and with His heart. I find the following comment worth sharing:

"We can sometimes view ourselves only as we have been--with all of our failures and shortcomings. But God sees us as new creations, not who we were but who we are in Jesus and who we're becoming through the power of the Holy Spirit. O God, teach us to view ourselves and others in this way."
-Peter Chin, writer for Our Daily Bread

* That 'dry run' might be something like God foretelling the world He is going to sacrifice his own Son for the sins of the world and proving that Abraham was a righteous man. Watching Abraham's torment gave God insight into what He would feel when He chose not to spare Christ at the cross.

A Burst of Sunshine
Posted May 16, 2019

by David Briggs

The pain from a bone spur on one's heel can be pretty annoying. I finally got annoyed enough (actually, it was my wife's annoyance at my whining and limping around the house) that I decided to visit the doctor's office. After waiting about 15 minutes, and reading a fascinating article about the economic impact of some beetle on Texas agriculture, the nurse called me in. She recorded my weight (I always love that part), took my blood pressure, reviewed my current medications, and asked me to describe my ailment.

That done, I waited another few minutes for the doctor to come in. The door opened, and a very young female physician's assistant entered the room. She was very bright and congenial. After some discussion, she informed me that she had graduated from Whitney in 2011 and was the recipient of a White Bluff Chapel scholarship. She went on to tell me how grateful she was to the Chapel for helping her get started on her career education. She was able to get more scholarships along the way, and graduated from medical school without having any college loan debt. Her maiden name was Blaine Tull. She is now Blaine Eubank, PA-C, working at Whitney Family Medicine.

Encounters like this happen to me occasionally. And, I must say that each time, it gives me great joy to know that God's work through our Educational Aid Program is having such a positive impact on local students' lives. It especially pleases me to see them return to Whitney as young professionals who will enrich the lives of others in our community. This experience was another of those "bursts of sunshine" that have enriched my life.

Oh, by the way, my foot still hurts, but Blaine prescribed an ex-ray, and referred me to a podiatrist.

On the Road to Heavenly Music:
As Good as They Are, They Still Need to Practice
Posted April 4, 2019

by Bill Burris

On Sundays the WBC congregation has the pleasure of having our choir’s beautiful music enrich our Worship Service experience.  While on most occasions the choir joins together to present an anthem as the “special” immediately preceding the sermon, there are some times that individual members of the choir present the special music number as a solo, duet, trio or quartet. It’s amazing the amount of talent that exists among the choir members.

Presenting this great music requires a lot of practice and dedication. It also requires a dedicated music director, in the person of Tom Reedy, to pull it all together.  Practice is held each Sunday morning before service and then again on Sunday evenings.  The Chapel is also blessed to have remarkably talented musicians both to accompany the choir and to provide musical interludes at appointed times.  Paula Carpenter is the current regular pianist and Dottie Spotts is organist. Betty Newman (former Chapel pianist) and Kathleen Knightstep serve as backup accompanists.

When an occasion arises for you, consider thanking a choir member for their contribution to a major part of each Sunday service.

A Life Time Journey Searching for God
Posted February 28, 2019

by Bill Burris

I'm sure many of you have heard or read that I was raised in a Christian home with loving parents. Through the age of 19 I spent Sundays with our family in church learning about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It was at that time my folks and three younger brothers moved from Illinois to Michigan. I stayed behind and continued working the job I had. Prior to their move I spent my first year out of high school at a nearby college, Western Illinois University. While I excelled in high school I found college life wasn't for me at that time in my life. There have been times since that I wish I had pushed on for a degree, but I have remained comfortable with my decision. Once my folks moved I drifted away from the church and, to this day, I don't understand why.

At the age of 20 I entered the Air Force and found it to be very suitable and planned to make it a career. Near the time for reenlistment came about I was part of a temporary duty crew supporting the new C-141 cargo plane in Edwards Air Force base in California. At the end of the three-month duty and our return back to Charleston AFB in South Carolina, an incident happened that changed my desire to make the Air Force a career. Our base commander put the lives of the team and flight crew in jeopardy on our return home. We were put on a plane that the crew had flown from Saigon to Hawaii to San Francisco to Edwards and then Charleston. We flew that night utilizing radio stations across the country as our only navigation with an exhausted crew. I think that was a period of time in my life when I first sensed God was watching over me.

That was in the summer of 1965 and I only stepped back into a church for service after we arrived here in White Bluff. I've been a regular attendee since October 2001. There are two incidents in my life here in White Bluff that have had a great influence in my search for God: the death of my late wife Connie in late 2003 and my marriage to Marcie in 2004. The first was a wakeup call and the second was a doorway to my learning more about God and establishing a daily routine of communication with Him through daily devotionals and prayer.

I have written before how I am more aware of God's presence by the beauty and grandeur of His creation. I have seen it in our daily lives when traveling where his presence with us saved us from harm. Both Marcie and I have been fortunate to have found excellent medical teams that have cured or corrected problems we've had. In the past year I've gone through multiple tests that have indicated my body contains no cancer but, still there has been no firm answer to the cause of my condition. I'm now involved with cardio rehab as part of a plan to correct what appears to be a heart problem to regain my strength and endurance. My renewed faith since 2001 has given me a sense of peace while dealing with this trial. I am so much more aware of his presence with me daily and that is a major blessing.

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