Finishing Strong 1

Tonight I am writing a salute to a lady I met recently though my work. Phyllis (not her real name) is in her eighties and  confused at times.  However, as is often the case, she is not confused about the Scriptures.  I have seen this time and again. Whether people with dementia, or the mentally disabled, or the head injured, they all carry a soul within that is able to spiritually discern what some minds cannot –or cannot anymore– comprehend.  It is really a beautiful thing.

Phyllis was reading her Bible as I approached and she was eager to tell me what she had just read.    She said, “I’ve just been reading the most wonderful story! I’m reading in Acts 9 about how Peter raised Tabitha from the dead.”  She went on to recall the entire story to me, and to tell me what it meant to her.  Phyllis also shared with me the story of how she became a Christian and how she had faithfully served teaching rowdy boys in Sunday school for several decades.

I absolutely love meeting saints like Phyllis. Bible in hand, she was cherishing what she read as if it were new–it’s like that for all of us because the Scriptures are living and they penetrate the heart (Hebrews 4:12). I loved seeing how precious those words have been to her throughout her lifetime.  Check the front cover:

IMG_9134  Have you ever heard that A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to a person who isn’t?

Phyllis has God’s Word within her heart, and even in her old age it is a comfort and a guide to her.  She is peaceful and confident of her future.  I hope to age like Phyllis, with the words of my Savior nearby so that I can both continue to learn and continue to share until my very last day.

Well done Phyllis!  You have kept the faith. You have finished strong.


My son, keep my words

and store up my commands within you.

Keep my commands and you will live;

guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.

Bind them on your fingers;

write them on the tablet of your heart.

Proverbs 7:1-3

About Vicki Gatchell

I am a wife, a mother of four, a small-town girl, a lover of people, and most recently, I have been overwhelmingly called to share the message of Jesus Christ in Grace and Truth. I grew up on a farm near Hicksville, Ohio where I raised sheep and was nurtured in a love for nature. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Physical Therapy from The Ohio State University and have been practicing Physical Therapy for over 25 years. I received my Master's Degree in Ministry Studies and Women's Leadership Studies from Grace College and Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. I am a life-long student of theology, a longtime ministry volunteer, and I feel called to step forward and lead.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “Finishing Strong

  • Diane S

    Vicki, I think you will like this story. One of the members of our church lives in a retirement community. He and another man took on the mission of visiting members of their community who were in rehab, nursing care or the Alzheimer’s unit. The people in the A unit were or course quite confused and difficult to hold a conversation with. One day (in desperation) Dick read Psalm 23 and thereafter for 10 minutes the gentleman had a rational conversation with them. They began trying this and in a large percentage of cases the reading of the Word (Psalm 23 known by most of his generation) resulted in a positive and coherent contact.