What, Me Wait?



Our younger son took eleven college and grad students on a mission trip to Texas recently.  One day while half the group went on assignment, the other half waited.  ‘While they were waiting they talked about how they felt like they needed to do something, not just wait around.  The discussion moved along to where the significance of waiting began to be revealed.  At trip’s end when our son asked about mission moments that meant something, it surprised him how many commented about the afternoon they waited  and what they learned about waiting…about how God could be found in the waiting.


My husband and I read a devotional (STREAMS IN THE DESERT April 18) shortly after being with our son and hearing about his mission trip ‘waiting’ experience.  In the devotional the author said that after people prayed they thought it was their responsibility to ‘do’ something to “bring about an answer”.  The author found out, however, that “self-effort always hinders His (God’s) work….When I prayed and had confident trust in Him for something, He simply wanted me to wait in an attitude of praise and do only what He told me…for our interference hinders His work.”  (“He will do this.”  Psalm 37:5)


John Waller sings about waiting in the song “While I’m Waiting”.  He says how hopeful and yet painful waiting can be.  He insists upon his own obedience and patience while he is waiting and he says that while he is waiting he will serve, worship, not faint and continue to run the faith race.


I am ‘waiting’ for our move to a house we bought.  I am waiting for our retirement to begin.  I am in-between two worlds of my life right now.  But I know that it is definitely an important issue as to how I am waiting.


Phyllis, you “rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him to act…” (Psalm 37:7a) and Phyllis “don’t be impatient.  Wait for the Lord, and He will come and save me!  Be brave, stouthearted and courageous.  Yes, wait and He will help you.”  (Psalm 27:14)


It has been a wonderful nine and a half year run of writing devotionals for our church’s website.  Now, I wait.  Serve.  Worship.


God bless you all.

His Servant Girl,

Phyllis Dickinson

Limping for the Lord…

limping for the lord


So many volunteers working at the mission rummage sale Saturday and one of them came to me and said, “I know that there are many here who are limping for the Lord, but I just have to quit because of my back.”  I so understood what he meant and what he was going through…and he is young enough to be my son!!!  I was having my own issues with hip bursitis and others were aching in their knees, hips, shoulders and backs.  We had worked hours and hours all week long in preparation for this final sale day.  The spirits and work-joy was high even though the bodies were wearing down with tiredness and achiness.


There are many people who are more strong, able, capable, influential and the list goes on… but I have often found that God uses whoever is willing and making themselves available for His use.  He uses these precious ones mightily who come forth to volunteer.  We have no idea of the capabilities for victory and eternal worth of those who are willing to be servants in the Kingdom of God.  And the joy and blessing He gives back is waaaaay more than overbalanced compared to what we donate in the way of service efforts.


“So we do not give up.  Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day.  We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles.  We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see.  What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever.”  (II Corinthians 4:16-18)


The sale netted the most profit ever.  But our largest profit will not be revealed until we stand before Our Father in Heaven.  If you feel that you are just ‘limping for the Lord’ be encouraged.  You have no idea of the eternal glory that will be yours!!!!!!!!!!


Phyllis Dickinson

“Will You Marry Me?”



You expect that those in love would come to this very question.  Once.  Love is sung and touted as a ‘once in a lifetime’ kind of thing.  However, there are a lot of broken promises and broken marriages out there.  I think deep down we yearn for a love that is promise-secure and know that the best kind of love is for keeps.


The guy in a couple who attend our church asks his wife, so she told me, every week, “Will you marry me?”  And I said, “Oh, my, how romantic is that?!”  She loves hearing it.  They are happy in love after many, many years-despite many on-going challenges.


I played love songs on the piano as background music today for a couple who chose to renew their marriage vows after a decade.  They initially wed in a hospital room of the groom’s dying father.  It was so crucial to their lives that they include his dad for their wedding ceremony that within two hours on a Sunday afternoon they pulled everything together ten years ago so that it could happen.  My husband resting at home after a long Sunday, was the surprised officiant!


Today.  Ten years and two children later they radiate love and joy and respect for each other.  They work at the marriage.  They work at the mundane as a team as well as the spectacular.  They intend to stay in love even though they confess that the marriage ‘dream’ and reality have not matched.  But because of their loving determination and commitment to the Lover of their souls, they are more deeply in love … a love they say they could not have predicted…after going through all the highs and lows that a ten-year-old marriage offers.


God is love.  He is the source of true, lasting love.  “Our love for Him comes as a result of His loving us first.”  John 4:19  So Jesus, as the bridegroom, asks “Will you marry me?  Forever?”


What do you answer to His romantic heart?


Phyllis Dickinson

A Robber…

thief hoodie


tried to break in today where I was.  You cannot really see this thief but he is very real and very there…if I allow him to be.  Satan is a steal er.  He only wants to destroy.  “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy…” – Jesus (John 10:10a)


My right hip was having issues from working too many hours and walking too many stairs and moving too many heavy objects.  The news broke about the terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium where our son and his wife and their son lived for five years.  My friend who is moving to Texas is spending one of his last night’s here in O’Fallon with Ron and I tonight.  Another friend is having big issues with her spouse’s too-early Alzheimer’s heartache.  Another friend found out today and called – she has breast cancer.


Today I was cleaning and purging and packing yet another day.  I received all this news as in the background I was playing a Fernando Ortega CD.  I heard one song that touched my heart.  I sat down with cleaning rag in hand and bowed my head for another listen to “Jesus, King of Angels”.  I needed Jesus in that very moment so my intruder-robber-enemy would not get what he had come for.  My peace.

“Jesus King of angels heaven’s light

shine Your face upon this house tonight

Let no evil come into my dreams

Light of heaven keep me in Your peace

Remind me how You made dark spirits flee

And spoke Your power to the raging sea

And spoke Your mercy to a sinful man

Remind me Jesus this is what I am


The universe is vast beyond the stars

But You are mindful when the sparrow falls

And mindful of the anxious thoughts

That find me, surround me and bind me


Jesus King of angels heaven’s light

Hold my hand and keep me through this night”


“…My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” – Jesus  (John 10:10b)


Phyllis Dickinson



No Good Thing?!?!


“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael.  “Can anything good come from there?”

(John 1:46)


Our expectations.  Reality.  Sometimes they just don’t match up.  We have all been disappointed before and perhaps that is what makes us think and say regrettable things.  Our view?  Finite.  God’s view?  Infinite.


The ‘original’ disciples were no different than us.  Nathaneal knew the small town. Perhaps nothing spectacular ever happened there before.  Why should it be any different now?


Except for one thing, that might all have been true.  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world came from Nazareth and was walking in the same vicinity as Nathanael.  Peter, Andrew and Philip declared that they had found “The Messiah”.  And they were very charged about it.


Here’s what they told Nathanael after he asked his famous Nazareth-question:  “Just come and see for yourself.”


Just because nothing good has come from your town, or family line, or your circumstances before, here is the Truth of God’s Word:  “Fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him lack nothing.  The lions may grow weak and hungry but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Psalm 34:9 & 10


It seems to me that anything good, everything good; everything we have ever longed for; all and any aspirations of our hearts; anything you can think of; – it’s all wrapped up in the ONE from Nazareth!  GO SEE FOR YOURSELF!


Phyllis Dickinson

Timeless Timer…


George Vineyard pulled me aside at church this past Sunday.  He said, “Remember when we talked about your group praying for my house to sell?”  I had previously told him that among all our prayers these many years, we have prayed for lots of houses to sell -and they all sold.  We would be praying for his house to sell.  He and his family moved to the Metro East Area from Carbondale, Il.  They wanted their house in southern Illinois to sell.  That initial conversation was over two years ago.


He continued talking, “Well, ours (the prayer for sale of house) was one of the failures.  It took two and a half years!”  “Tell me about it,” I said.  He proceeded to tell me how much they had loved their last home and prayed that it might be purchased by someone who loved it as much as they had.  He also said that they wanted the sale to be such that the new owner would be helped somehow by the house purchase.


The short of the story is this:  they are now selling their home to a person who LOVES their former home.  And…since this new owner is now divorced he gets part time custody of the children who were used to having a pool.  The Vineyards house has a pool in the backyard.  As we spoke, it dawned on George, “Hey, I guess God did answer my two prayers.  It took two and a half years for everything to line up.  The new owner loves the house and is encouraged that there is a pool for his children.”


I ended the conversation by saying “Your house selling?  It is totally a success story!!!


“This is My doing.”  -God in I Kings 12:24


We all need to review the sovereignty of God and His Timing.


Phyllis Dickinson




Well, where is home exactly?  Right now I am living in the land ‘in-between’ houses.  We currently live in a parsonage that we have fixed up and enjoyed for a decade.  Every nook and cranny has had a touch of our style.  We enjoy home for it is a shelter from the outside frenzy of the world.  We feel comfortable and safe inside the walls of our home.


Now that we have decided to retire, we bought a house in another town.  We have met with numerous work-related people who are helping us to make our own imprint on this house which we will move into in a few months.  We ourselves have spent hours and hours painting and purging, packing and purchasing – all the jobs that come with a move.  The empty spaces echo and the mess from work people makes it feel uneasy.  Unhomey.  But the more I subtract from our current house, the less it ‘feels’ like ‘home’.  And conversely, the more I bring to our next house, the more it is beginning to feel like ‘home’.


In the long run, it is not about the house or the ‘stuff’ in the house.  It is about the sense of security, safety, comfort, and shelter.  And these are not found in any building.  “In Him, we live and move and have our being.”   Acts 17:28


I would do well to remember my security is in God.   In this world.  And in my future HOME in heaven.


Phyllis Dickinson