Pastor's Blog
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May 24, 2016, 12:00 AM

A Tribute to Silas...

My family and I moved to Franklin in June of 2007. One of the great joys of living and being in ministry here is that we get to share the journey with people like Sam and Kim Wagner. Not to long after we moved in, Sam and Kim invited us to dinner at their place in Tionesta. We ascended the driveway to their farm, parked the car, and the minute we opened the door we were greeted by a black lab with tail wagging and tongue hanging out the side of the mouth panting. You've probably seen a pooch like that before - one that simply is in love with life. That was our introduction to Silas. As the night wore on, Silas was always around, looking for food or joining the conversation or just plopping down on your feet for a little attention. On  subsequent trips to "the farm" Silas was either right there in the middle of things, or he made an appearance sometime during the visit having been busy running the hillsides visiting with other "friends" at other farms. Seeing Silas became something I looked forward to when we were invited to partake of Wagner hospitality. 

This past Sunday, almost nine years later, at the ripe old age of 14 and a half, Silas crossed the Rainbow Bridge. The farm won't quite be the same without him there - for those of us who visit once in a while - more profoundly for Sam and Kim who's lives were filled with joy everyday just because he was around. In a Facebook tribute to Silas this week, Kim described him this way: "for Silas, every day was the best day ever." What a marvelous thought - what a powerful lesson from a four legged member of their family. It's so easy sometimes to get caught up in the negativity of life. Circumstances can turn us sour, stories of violence and hatred in the world can drag us down, the media's hype can make us think the world will end by sun down. We all need a Silas, seems to me, to remind us to simply recognize the wonder and joy of being alive in this extraordinary place called God's world. We can all be a "Silas" to others by living in ways that help them see the joy of living in relationship with Jesus - the One who came, died, was raised and lives now in the power of the Holy Spirit to give us life in abundance. 

A big black spaniel mix lives with me. Her name is Emma Rose. No matter how challenging the day has been, no matter what I feel like physically, no matter how negative the diatribe on the TV seems to be, when I look at her, a smile comes to my face and "my heart is strangely warmed." I think there's a little Silas in Emma Rose. 

Oh yeah....... remember, DOG is GOD spelled backwards...... just sayin'....

Keep Lookin' Up!

Pastor D.


05-25-2016 at 9:19 AM
Jane Hoover
Beautiful tribute to a beloved pet.....

05-25-2016 at 6:51 AM
Marie Cozad
What a blessing that Silas walked along side of Kim and Sam for all these years tending the farm and watching over Bethany and Matt.
05-25-2016 at 4:46 AM
Ron and Christine Groeger
Amen! Ours is named Tinker Bell (because as Ron said when we brought our girl home from a shelter after being rescued from a puppy mill, she is "here one moment and gone the next"!) We have often wanted to bring her into church and where she could sit with Ron in the pew, instead of waiting in the car.
05-24-2016 at 11:01 PM
Karen McGowan
This is so beautiful. I've only had the pleasure of being at Sam and Kim's beautiful house a few times , but am so glad to have had the pleasure of their company and hospitality and being greeted by Silas. He was such a great wonderful part of their family. Remember all the good times with him and may God bless you during this sad time ! 💜 R.I.P. In doggie heaven Silas !
05-24-2016 at 10:42 PM
Diane Hayes
I, too, saw such powerful spiritual insight living from Kim's descriptive reference to their 'boys' daily reflection of his contentment/satisfaction with each day's experiences. To now read your beautiful addition and connection is so fulfilling for me as I can sense your deep relationship not only w/ Sam & Kim, but with our Lord & Savior and all His gifts of love - even our family pets. Silly me, I have had thoughts over the past 14 years of our Speckel - "wish she could sit in the pew w/ us instead of waiting in the car!" God Bless you all. Hope to see you in August.
05-24-2016 at 8:32 PM
Lea Guiney
Amen! Mine is named Shadow!
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