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July 5, 2018

Sinnemahoning Creek, Cameron County PA
Sinnemahoning Creek along scenic Route 120 in Cameron County PA

"A Tribute To Sally"

Message summary: Each of us knows people like Sally regardless of where we live.

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"Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did" (Acts 9:36).

Last  weekend we traveled back to Northwest PA where we had served a church over 25 years ago. We went  primarily to visit Sally. She and her children joined our church within a few years of our church plant in 1977. She was a blessing in so many ways as she faithfully taught children the word of God and volunteered wherever there was a need. But what especially touched our lives and many others was her overcoming attitude as she experienced many major disappointments in life.

Sally didn't face those situations with a "Why me?" mindset but rather she trusted Jesus for every trial she went through. During testimony service she would stand to her feet and, with a smile big enough for the whole congregation to see, she would say, "I just want to say that I love Jesus" and then went on to give praise for how God was working in her life and how He was giving her opportunities to witness to clients she saw weekly when she went in to clean their homes.

We've kept up with Sally through the years since we left that area in 1993 and she visited us here in Mount Joy. In 2007 we traveled to Virginia where I conducted the wedding service for her youngest daughter, Becky, and it was a joyful occasion.

As mentioned before Sally has had many overcomings in her lifetime, more than her fair share, we might say. And yet she is now currently dealing with a major medical trial. She was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease earlier this year, though she likely had it months earlier. Many of you have known or know someone who is battling this ruthless disease so you can imagine what she is going through, her family as well.

DorcasThe early church had people like Sally who dealt with the variables of life and yet extended themselves to others in need. One such person is Tabitha more commonly known by her Greek name, Dorcas. An active part of the faith community in Joppa, she was characterized as a "woman who was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did". In verse 39 we read that she was a seamstress and blessed others by the garments she sewed for them.

You and I can think of those whose lives are characterized by their kind words and charitable acts in our own lives.

Each of us knows people like Sally regardless of where we live. There are many in the church like her. Little known and in many cases receiving little acclamation or appreciation, but God sees every deed of kindness and hears every encouraging word and prayer offered on behalf of others. People like Dorcas in the Bible and Sally in our modern day illustration are really the backbone of the church!

Let them know of their great value to you personally and to the body of Christ as they give of themselves heartily unto the Lord.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, keep our hearts open to those who are in need of a compassionate touch, a charitable act, or a kind word. Let it come naturally from our hearts that are in tune with the heart of Jesus. May we view others through the eyes of Christ, walking in His compassion and His benevolent ways. We thank you for the scores of people like Dorcas and Sally who have served You and those within local churches and their communities all throughout the church age.  We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sally reading to Brooksyne 7/1/18
Sally's disease has progressed to the point she is no longer able to speak or move voluntarily. She communicates by using a laser pointer taped to the outer edge of her glass frames.  Moving her head slightly the laser points to large letters or numbers on a sheet of paper spelling out what she wants to say. Stephen asked her who he was and she clearly spelled out P-A-S-T-O-R which warmed our hearts. Her oldest son, Bill, who lives in that area visits her faithfully and devised this helpful communication system.

Sally with Stephen 7/1/18
Sally still has her delightful smile. We've connected with several of Sally's children and pray that this tribute will be of blessing to them.

Mason Farm, Cameron County, PA 7/1/18 (Click to enlarge)
Sally was raised on this farm in rural Cameron County, PA, one of the few farms in this very wooded, mountainous part of the state.
(Click to enlarge)

Pro-life Monument, Emporium, PA
This thought-provoking Memorial Stone sits on a church lawn in Emporium, PA.

Another view of the Sinnemahoning Creek with mountains in the background. Sinnemahoning means "stony lick" in the Lenape language.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Through It All"  Video  Selah   Dedicated to Sally

Brooksyne's follow-up regarding canning Cherry Almond Preserves: Yesterday I mistakenly referred to my canning steamer as a Victoria Steamer and confused people who were interested in learning more. It is actually a Victorio Steam Canner which I have used for five years now and like it much more than the water bath canner. If interested, you can learn more about it here.

Finally today:
Sally, Becky and Ester
A photo of Sally from 2007 at her daughter Becky's wedding, along with a much younger Ester.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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