Memories of Melissa

Today’s Passage – Numbers 11 – 13

(Second Milers also read – Acts 10 – 12; Proverbs 19; Psalms 91 – 95)

Scripture Memory for February – Psalm 100

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 119:105

Read last year’s post from this passage – “What Are You Lusting After” by Pastor Ted Stahl

“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” – (John 17:4)

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” – (2 Timothy 4:7)

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” – (Revelation 14:13)

For the past several weeks, we have been including devotional articles written by Melissa Dilley on the back of our church bulletins. Unfortunately, Melissa went home to be with the Lord, before she could finish her last article. I have decided to instead include here some of my memories of Melissa, which I hope will be a blessing to you, as much as Melissa has been a blessing to this church and to this preacher.

My first memory of Melissa was when both of our families were attending Ocean County Baptist Church in Toms River, NJ over 22 years ago. She was at the time a young teenager, and was sitting on a bench with her mom out in front of the building. I remember that she was crying. I was curious then, and later discovered that Melissa battled with arthritis even as a child. She was in tears that day, as she would be for countless future days, because of the pain that accompanied her every day of her life.

As time went by, my family became very close with Melissa and her parents. In fact, I believe that the Stahl’s and Melissa have been members of all of the same churches that we have through the years. We worked with them at the Christian Bible Baptist Church in the youth ministry. At that time, Melissa was one of the teenagers. We later attended Longview Baptist Temple and Texas Baptist College together. Melissa was a fellow student then, along with her dad and me. While at college, our friendship continued to grow as we studied, served, and won souls together. By this time we were no longer just friends; we were family.

For the last ten years, Melissa and the Stahl’s have been co-laboring together with Cindy and me here at Jersey Shore Baptist Church. Melissa has served faithfully through the years in just about every capacity. Of course, she has often been limited by her health. Even before the cancer attacked her body, she had been through countless replacement surgeries due to her arthritis.  Through it all, Melissa maintained a positive outlook on life. She lived live to the fullest, and did not let her failing health keep her from doing the things that she wanted to do. She accomplished more for the Lord in her short life than most Christians could accomplish in ten lives.

I am grieving today because a good friend, and faithful servant of the Lord has left; but I am rejoicing also, knowing that the pain that she has felt almost every waking moment of her life is gone. I am thrilled to know that she is with the Lord, and with all of the saints that have gone on before her, including her grandparents, and Bruce Thompson, and many others. I am filled with joy in the knowledge that every little thing that she did for the Lord will be remembered and rewarded for all of eternity.  I will miss her greatly, but I will see her again, hopefully soon.

Posted in Devotions by with 8 comments.


  • Camille Stahl says:

    Thank you Preacher

  • Ted Stahl says:

    Thank you and your family for being our friends for so long, and breakfast at Denny’s at 4:00 in the morning.:-)

  • Cindy says:

    Good Times and Many Memories…….

  • sal says:

    i will always think of her and remember the good times we had and the memories of her life on earth.

  • Rosina Hare says:

    Just read you post on memories of Melissa Dilley. I was deeply moved and brought to tears. I love her and miss her so much. She was a wonderful person and I am so glad that God put her in my life.

  • Sarah says:

    I’m constantly reminded of Melissa’s optimistic spirit and love for God. I’m so glad the Lord placed such a godly example in my life. I’ll never forget all the good times I had with her.
    I miss her very much! I can’t wait to see her again! “Heaven’s sounding sweeter all the time. Seems like lately it’s always on my mind…”

  • Diane Wolf says:

    She came into my life late, but I felt a connection immediately. Her dad and I were delighted when she wanted to come for a visit. She was loved by many and she forever lives in our hearts. Happy birthday Melissa, until we see you again.

  • Susan Barnes says:

    I remember when I met Melissa. It was at youth group at the Frett s house. She was the brave one that introduced herself first. She was brave in more ways than one. She didn’t let her illness and pain determine her attitude toward life and others. I was never bummed if Melissa was around. She brought her own sunshine everywhere she went.

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