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On the Road Again

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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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