Summary: A brief funeral service at the graveside of a committed Christian and veteran.

Bill Strickland - Committal Service – Burial - Georgia National Cemetery, Canton, GA

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – 2:00p.m.

As one who faithfully served his country in the Air Force, today’s service is most fitting. I, along with all of you are most grateful for Bill Strickland’s service to our country. He and Barb were united in many aspects of their life, but they also shared a love for our country and both served faithfully in the Air Force, where they first met.

Some of the most comforting words of Scripture I know are:

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Bill Strickland believed all of these words of the psalmist, David. He felt loved by the Lord, led by the Lord and restored by the Lord. Indeed goodness and mercy followed him all the days of his life. Today we celebrate the truth, that, as a disciple and servant of Jesus Christ, he is indeed in the house of the Lord forever!

Bill was a most confident believer in heaven. He knew he had been given a new lease on life on many occasions. I know, because we talked about that often. He felt very strongly that God had given him a purpose in extending his life beyond the numerous threatening health concerns that he experienced.

So, he decided to tell everyone he could about Jesus. Every dialysis visit was an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus. Every waiting room and doctor visit and hospital stay was an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus. There was nothing shy about Bill. His love for the Lord just poured out of him.

Only heaven knows the lives that Bill impacted for the sake of Christ. And now he has experienced his reward.

I know that Bill will hear those glorious words of our Savior:

“Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things; Come and share your master’s happiness.”

Bill has been a faithful and dear servant to his family, his friends, and his Lord. Although Bill was a joyous soul in his life’s journey, he is now experiencing a happiness like he has never seen before!

I love to share my favorite Bible verse at every funeral. The prophet Isaiah wrote and it was echoed by Paul (1 Cor. 2:9) "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him."

Bill liked to figure out how things worked, but heaven was a mystery to him. No longer! What he could not conceive here, he is gloriously experiencing now. As the apostle John said in Revelation: “No more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain, no more death.” These things are all passed away. He is now at peace.

As I conclude today, I must share one lasting legacy that Bill left on my life. There are just a few men who ever say to me, “I love you,” …and Bill was one of them. No conversation on the phone or in person ever ended without Bill saying: “Dave, I love you.” I can’t thank Bill enough for that tender gift that meant to me that our friendship was genuine and his encouragement was real.

To you, Barbara, that he loved so dearly and to his children and family that he adored, continue his legacy of faith and love until your dying breath and until you meet him in glory. He’ll be waiting, and until you see him again, just know he’ll be cheering you on from heaven anxious to talk with you and laugh with you again.

May the Lord offer his tender compassion to all of you family and dear friends and may He comfort you today and always. May we pray:

PRAYER – D. Simpson

Almighty God, you are a refuge and strength in our times of trouble. As we offer Bill to your eternal care, be a strength and a steadfast presence for this family.

May your comforting Spirit surround them daily with your love and peace.

Lift them up with your strong arms and reassure them of your promises of grace, mercy, and eternal life. Give them hope for tomorrow and the days to come.

Today we thank you for blessing us with the life of Bill Strickland. Bless now this family until we see you face to face. In the name of Christ we pray, AMEN.

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