Elmira Funeral

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Reading of Obituary: Shannon
Elmira (Sissy) Cooper passed from this world October 25, 2022. She was 41 years old. She was born on July 31, 1981.
She was loved by her family, known for her giving nature, she was a friend to all who knew her, her laugh was contagious, and she had a big heart for those she loved.
Sissy is survived by:
her Mother Mary Watterson,
her brother John Ray Bialek,
her Husband, Joshua Wayne Cooper,
her three children:
Sieara Danielle Nimmo
Rayven Austina Nimmo
Zackory Kole Truitt
and her four grandchildren:
Augustina RayLynn Williams
George Juston Singleterry III
Valerie Constance Truitt
Sebastian Wayne Nimmo
Today we honor her memory and thank God for her life.
Please bow for prayer.
Prayer: Shannon
Our Father in heaven, we open this service acknowledging your presence is here. Nothing is hidden from you, O Lord.
You know each and every person who has gathered at this church today to honor the life of our dear friend, daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother - Elmira.
Lord, I commit every person in this room to you. Let Your Spirit move today and bring peace. Direct our thoughts to you.
We acknowledge all feelings of sorrow, pain, longing, and even doubt. We recognize that we need your help today.
We commit our life to your hand, and we commit our loved one to you today.
We give her to your care as we also entrust every soul in this room into your capable hands.
Song: How do I live (LeAnn Rimes)
Scripture: Psalm 23
Psalm 23 NKJV
A Psalm of David. 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Family Remarks: Read by Shannon or In-Person
Song: Sissy’s Song (Allen Jackson)
Message: Shannon
I can’t believe that Sissy is gone. It’s hard to make sense of when a life is taken at such a young age. Today is a difficult day because we come here to remember her, grieve her passing, and to look to God for answers as to why she was taken.
There’s a verse that’s been in my mind over the last few days and I want to base my message to you today on this one verse. I hope it will help you as it has helped me as we deal with the loss of Sis.
Revelation 22:5 CSB
5 Night will be no more; people will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will give them light, and they will reign forever and ever.
This verse gives us a glimpse into heaven.
It is impossible for us to conceive an exact idea of what Heaven will be like.
It is one of God’s designs that we will not know on earth what He has “prepared for them that love Him.” (See 1 Cor. 2:9.)
Heaven is a gift we can look forward to after this life. It can provide us hope that there is something to look forward too. When we die, we don’t just disappear, we stand in the presence of God Himself in a real place.
We can’t fully understand or know what Heaven is like.
To me, God is like a father who won’t allow his child to see a birthday or Christmas gift until the day arrives.
We have no idea how great this gift is, but we trust that the Lord has prepared heaven for those who have placed their trust in Him.
Heaven can bring comfort to us today when we think of Sissy.
We can know that even though she was taken from us, she was taken to God.
In the verse I read, God allows us see a glimpse into Heaven.
There are three things that God tells us what to expect.
It tells us:
There is no night in Heaven: No one will need a lamp or the light from the sun.
Why? Well, the answer is the second thing we find out about heaven:
God is the light of Heaven
The third thing we find out about heaven from this verse is that the people who live there will live forever.
Why does the Bible say there’s no night in Heaven?
It’s a reminder that darkness is going to pass away.
In Sissy’s life, like all of us in this room, she experienced the darkness. Hardships that come just from being alive. Things like pain, sorrow, loss, hurt, physical sickness, emotional scars, things that happen that no one else knows about.
These are things that happen in the dark places of life.
Today we have comfort knowing that Sissy is in a place where there are none of those things. She is in the presence purity, wholeness, and perfection.
In the previous chapter we are told something that will happen in this place of no more darkness:
Revelation 21:4 CEV
4 He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.
The world we live in is not perfect. We all will experience difficult times.
I’ve been asked so many times: Why does God allow bad things happen to good people? In fact, you may have come into this church today asking why God would take her away from you.
I will tell you the absolute truth.
God doesn’t want bad things to happen.
But because people have free will we have evil in the world.
God’s plan was to create people who could make their own choices. He didn’t want robots. He wanted people to live real lives.
The truth is that people make wrong choices all the time. Sometimes those choices affect us. Sometimes our own choices bring difficult times in our lives.
But these verses reveal the love of God because we can know there is a day coming where God wipes all our tears.
There is a day coming where there is no more darkness.
Each of us have an appointment with God. None of us will live forever on this earth.
Sissy’s appointment came on October 25th. She now knows what it’s like to leave the darkness of the world and experience the goodness of God.
We are here still in pain because we are in darkness, but I can tell you Sissy is no longer in pain because she is in the light.
The second part of the verse I want to point out to you is that it says the Lord God will be the light of Heaven.
How can we understand that part of the scripture? Well, Jesus said something while He was on earth that might make it more clear:
John 8:12 CEV
12 Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won’t be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.”
Jesus said that He was the light for the world. He tells us that the only way to leave dark places is to follow Him.
I knew Sis most of my childhood. She was my cousin but she was more like a sister. We grew up together. It seemed like she was at our house more than her own.
We went to church together as kids. I was talking with my sister Sarah yesterday about when all three of us were baptised. We were upset because Sissy was baptised before us!
Jesus was the light of her life. She was baptised as an outward sign of a inward commitment to trust Him for her salvation.
As adults, we lost touch. We really didn’t ever see each other. But I remember one Sunday morning she came to this church. At the end of the service I asked if anyone wanted to recommit their life to Christ.
Sissy was the only one who raised her hand that day. She came to the front of this church and we prayed together.
I know for a fact that she understood that she needed the Lord in her life.
Here’s the thing about following Jesus that people don’t understand. He knows we can’t be perfect. He knows we are going to make mistakes. He knows that as humans we struggle. He knows that we live in darkness.
That’s why Jesus came to this earth. The Son of God came to live a perfect life. A life of light. He was murdered by evil people who wanted to blow out His light.
But you know what? It didn’t work. He came back to life. over 500 people testified that Jesus rose from the grave. Most of those 500 people ended up losing their life because they wouldn’t deny seeing Jesus again.
Today, I want you to know something that I think Sissy would want you to know. Jesus is alive. Jesus wants you to follow Him and stop living in the darkness.
He can bring you hope, peace, joy, and help you through this time of loss. Trust in Him today and know that when you do that one day you’ll be reunited with Sissy in this place called heaven where there is no darkness because God is the light!
How do you do that?
Well, it’s the same way that Sissy did.
You pray.
Romans 10:9–10 NLT
9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
It’s by calling on the Name of Jesus and turning from the darkness.
1 John 1:9 CEV
9 But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.
Our look into heaven tells us that there will be no more darkness, God will be the light - He will wipe away our tears, and here’s the last part:
We will live forever.
This is our hope. This is why we can take comfort today. Sissy is not gone forever. We are only parted from her for a short time. We hear her voice again. We will see her face again. But when we do, it will be because the light of God is shining on us.
This is a promise we can hold onto today in our sadness.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 CEV
13 My friends, we want you to understand how it will be for those followers who have already died. Then you won’t grieve over them and be like people who don’t have any hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died. 15 Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won’t go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died. 16 With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. 17 Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. 18 Encourage each other with these words.
Friends and family today: We will see Sissy again one day. I don’t know when, but we can take hope that it will happen.
But it will only happen if you are a follower of Christ. Those who don’t believe that Jesus is the only way to this place called heaven will never be allowed in. The only requirement is our surrender to Christ as the Lord of our life.
It’s important to hear the word of Jesus today He is speaking to us even now:
John 12:47–50 CEV
47 I am not the one who will judge those who refuse to obey my teachings. I came to save the people of this world, not to be their judge. 48 But everyone who rejects me and my teachings will be judged on the last day by what I have said. 49 I don’t speak on my own. I say only what the Father who sent me has told me to say. 50 I know that his commands will bring eternal life. That is why I tell you exactly what the Father has told me.
I want to bring you comfort this day, but I also want to bring you warning.
Jesus says that if you reject Him then you will not enter into heaven.
He doesn’t say you have to live a perfect life, He says you have to accept Him.
John 1:12 NLT
12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
You must believe. Your life is changed when you believe. You want to live in the light instead of darkness.
Today we can have hope because I know that Sissy knew Jesus. She accepted Him as a young girl and renewed her commitment to Him as an adult. I was with her both times.
She is in a place with no darkness, no pain, no sorrow. It’s a place of peace. She is in the presence of a loving God and she will live forever.
My question to my family today is this: Have you made that same commitment?
Song: Changed (Rascall Flats)
Closing prayer: me
Song: Dancing in the Sky (Dani and Lizzy)
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