Treasured Memories

September 5, 2018
by Lori Ciccanti

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (NIV)

Habakkuk 2:20 – But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. (NIV)

Sadly, on May 16th of this year, I lost one of my closest and dearest friends, Parise Arakelian. Often, when I tell others how we met through this PresbyCan ministry, they are surprised to hear that we never actually met in person, but rather via Skype. Nevertheless, despite the two thousand plus miles between us, we experienced a unique bond of friendship. We helped each other through many difficult, life-changing situations — like the time when Parise had to give up her car, or when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. We also celebrated the good times — most recently, the co-authorship of our book, The Martyr's Son, based on the extraordinary life of Parise's father, Armen John Arakelian.

I was blessed to have known Parise and to have learned so much from her years of experience. But she also learned a few things from me. We often laughed at how my interest in turtles and other wildlife had rubbed off on her, too. She became fascinated about how God designed these creatures to go underground during the winter, and then pop up again in early spring. She mentioned how this phenomenon reminded her of the resurrection.

But above all, our faith in Christ is what made our relationship truly special. In recent months, today's Scriptures had become particularly meaningful to Parise. She understood that no matter what happens in life, the Lord is in control, and that He is always worthy of our praise. Even during her illness, she reminded me, "The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent."

I will forever treasure these and many other memories of the special way in which Parise touched my life. Her devotionals (saved in the PresbyCan archives), are a testimony to her faith. I hope that you will take the time to read some of them and be encouraged by her writing.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, as Your Word declares, You are not the God of the dead but of the living. We thank You for the precious life of Parise, who is now made whole, alive in the fullness of Your presence. We are grateful for the treasured memories of those we hold dear, and for the hope that is ours in Christ. We look forward to the day when all our tears shall be wiped away, and together, in the company of Your holy angels, we will rejoice, singing Your praises forevermore. In Jesus' mighty name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <dlalsina@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A beautiful tribute, Lori.


    Wonderful devotional today Lori. Thank you so much!


    How very touching. What prolific, insightful writer with such Grace. Thank you.


    Oh, I am so sorry to hear this…Vena Poole and then Parise…but heaven is the richer for it.


    Thank you, Lori, for this wonderful testimony to Parise.
    Blessings.


    A beautiful story of friendship and spiritual growth, thanks for sharing.
    Many blessings!


    Lori what can I say but “beautiful”. Thanks for thoughts in this devotional.
    Keep writing.


    Thank you, Lori, for sharing this testimonial to Parise. Indeed, her devotionals spoke to the heart. Blessings.


    Thank you, Lori. It is good to remember all the faithful writers who have so enriched our understanding. Thank you too for the reminder that we can still access their writings here on the Daily


    Dear Lori, thank you for this moving devotional. I send you my sympathy in the loss of your dear friend while she was here on earth. I know you miss her. May God bless you and your ministry for Him.


    Thank you for this touching tribute to your friend, Parise. Over the years we have enjoyed the Devotionals that both you and Parise have contributed.
    (Ontario)


    Thank you, Lori, for the message and lovely tribute. I, too, was inspired by her knowledge and moved by her Devotional’s. She is home in the arms of her Saviour but will be missed here on earth.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for informing me about Parise’a passing. I did not know and enjoyed her many devotionals. I thank you for this up-lifting message since I very recently experienced the passing of a person who was our friend for 40 years. She taught me to sing and shall miss her.


    Hi Lori
    Wonderful devotional about the loss of your friend. But the memories you have are yours, they won’t depreciate in value and no one can take them away from you.
    Blessings.


    Dear Lori:
    What a beautiful testimony of friendship. True friends are hard to find and they a few and far between. I am so glad you had as a friend Parise. I have kept many of her devotionals in a special file I have.


    What a beautiful remembrance of a true disciple of our Lord and Savior from her sister in Christ. I wish I could paint a beautiful word picture like Parise and so many of you who write these devotions. I hope you all realize how God uses you in answer to so many of our prayers. Thank you and may God continue to guide you as you serve him in this ministry.
    (Texas)


    Yes, Lori Ciccanti, I remember you and Parise fondly.
    I’m sad that dear Parise has passed away.
    Especially sad too that my beloved better half of over 50 years of married bliss gone to Glory to be with our Lord and Savior.
    Amen.


    Lori,
    Thank you for your sweet words about Parise. I once lived in the Pasadena area and that gave me a stronger pull to her writings!!!
    This looks like a beautifully and thoughtful book!!! I hope to order it soon!
    May you be richly blessed in the coming days!
    (NV)


    Greetings Lori,
    Thanks for submitting this devotional. Condolences to you in the passing of your friend. Sounds like you shared a special type of friendship, especially the bond of you both sharing your love of the Lord adds a special connection. Memories of sharing life happenings are truly precious.
    Blessings,
    (B.C.)


    Thank you for a lovely tribute to Parise, and what a blessing your friendship was. It is a blessing to us to know the story.
    This brings to mind Iris Ford who used to write regularly. She was moving into a retirement home. It is sad when writers whom we come to know well disappear without farewell. I wish there was a way of making contact just to say hi, so Iris will know she’s remembered.
    Thank you.


    Dear Lori: I too have made a very special friendship through the Daily pages. The young woman I met is from Sri Lanka. We made continuous contact through these pages and I prayed and prayed for her. God answered my prayers in a wonderful way after she turned her life over to him.
    God answered so many prayers for her. What an awesome God. How I treasure her friendship just as you and Parise have done. I am sorry that you have experienced the loss of Parise, but that is only here on earth, your friendship is enduring through your faith.


    What a beautiful tribute to Parise and the wonderful friendship you shared. Real sisters in Christ.


    Dear Lori,
    This is a very fine IN MEMORIAM for us all regarding Parise Arakelian and her work, especially her writing.
    Thank you. God bless you.

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