More from Elmer Dickson

by Upper Room Editorial on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

As my meditation indicates, I have given up some activities at the age of 86. Nevertheless, I still lead an active life at the retirement home where I live in Bradenton, Florida. Once a week I go to play at a nine-hole putting green. I host the monthly birthday dinner the home provides for residents' birthday celebrations each month. The Resident Council has given me the responsibility to create cards for hospitalized residents—an anniversary card on the date of each couple's wedding, a birthday card for each residents during their birth month, and special cards for all residents on events such as Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, etc. We have a small writers group that I attend and other activities for which I volunteer.

I have considerable involvement beyond the campus of the retirement home. In June I visited California, where I toured three National Parks. In August I will fly to Europe to participate in a one-week course at Oxford University, then go on to Wittenberg, Germany, where throughout this year they are celebrating the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's efforts to reform the Church. A brief visit to Lisbon, Portugal will be my last stop before returning to the United States.

If you would like to communicate with me and share what God has done in your life and how you work at being a person of Christian faith and service, you can email and The Upper Room will put you in touch with me. God's grace and peace be yours! 

- Rev. Elmer A. Dickson

Pictured above: Elmer at sign for Sequoia National Park in California (top), Elmer and his son Paul riding Segways in San Francisco (below)


Comment by Mary of S. Chesterfield, VA

Elmer, I praise GOD that although you may be in your mid-eighties, He is still using you to lead a full, productive life. Continue to walk in the abundant blessings of GOD!

Posted July 11, 2017 at 02:16AM CDT
Comment by Georgine

Dear Elmer, I hope I am as active as you if I live till I am 86 years despite living in a retirement community you go out and see the World and take part in interesting events. I sometimes can't in earthly terms I am getting older. I hope God's grants me the health and strength to be a person of Christian faith and service until I go to be with him.
Georgine, Arqua Petrarca, Italy

Posted July 11, 2017 at 02:17AM CDT
Comment by Patty of Toms river, NJ

Elmer, you are continuing to lead a blessed life in your retirement. You are a blessing to others as well. You are an inspiration!

Posted July 11, 2017 at 04:25AM CDT
Comment by Susan of Plymouth, MN

Dear Elmer, your story is good to hear. My parents also just moved to a retirement community in Bradenton.
From San Fran to Lisbon to Bradenton - what a small world we live in!

Posted July 11, 2017 at 05:02AM CDT
Comment by patricia of laurelton, NY

Dear Pastor Elmer, thanks for sharing your pictures and your travel schedule. You sure are very busy in your "slowing down" stage. Wishing you God's travelling mercies. 😇😇😇😊

Posted July 11, 2017 at 05:19AM CDT
Comment by Edd of Ocala, FL

Elmer, it looks like you are staying active, may God bless you. God is Love for All!!!

Posted July 11, 2017 at 05:47AM CDT
Comment by Allison of RICHMOND, VA

Your retired life is more active than most people in their prime! A few summers ago I was fortunate to spend a week at Oxford studying. It was fabulous. What course are you taking? I know you will love it.

Posted July 11, 2017 at 06:08AM CDT
Comment by Kathy

Glory be to God you are still active and able to spread God's word in different ways than you did when you were the pastor at your church. We turn pages at different times of our lives and enter new chapters. Bless you, Rev. Dickson, for taking this new path and revealing God's word to those along the way, whether it be in Florida, California, England or Germany. His word is universal. ~ Kathy in Canada, Hamilton, Ontario.

Posted July 11, 2017 at 06:16AM CDT
Comment by Jesus

Thank you Elmer for the meditation of today. I feel as if we're like old friends for some reasons: I'm 86 too, and I'm an old reader of the brazilian edition of THE UPPER ROOM ("No Cenáculo" in portuguese) and as I use to keep some names of the writers, I see that you are one "old writer"of this magazine. I remember to read your name in former editions. I'm glad to know your going to Germany for the 500th anivesary of the Lutheran Reformation - good for you my brother. Enjoy this trip. I'll be praying for you. I live in Americana, SP, Brazil.

Posted July 11, 2017 at 06:34AM CDT
Comment by Ozzie of Point Pleasant, WV

Elmer, God has truly Blessed you with an active life style into your mid eighties. How fortunate for you that you are very active and spreading the Word of God no matter where you go. God Bless you and have a safe and glorious visit to Oxford in August we pray....

Posted July 11, 2017 at 06:37AM CDT
Comment by Jay of Clearwater, FL

Thanks for your message. I too am a "Cross Clinger." My earliest Christian memories are the gospel hymns sung
at a small Christian church near Lake Erie. Those hymns
are imbeded in my soul. I make Christian String Crosses as my retirement mission. Thank you for sharing your devotional. I'm glad, grateful, and graceful to you for inspiring me today. May we leave His Cross to others as we are finally called home.
Shalom Elmer and everyone,
O'Jay......across the Bay in Clearwater

Posted July 11, 2017 at 06:53AM CDT
Comment by Carolyn of Austin, TX

Powerful, inspiring message. Thank you!

Posted July 11, 2017 at 07:32AM CDT
Comment by Sharon of Guntersville, AL

Rev. Dickson, You remind me of my father, Graham, who just past on to Glory a few months ago at 91. He lived in a retirement village in Kissimmee, Fl. He loved life & loved the Lord! He continued to serve as he could well into his 80's. His giving spirit taught us all that no matter how old we get, we can still serve. He also loved to travel & at 82 once took a 4200 mile road trip, by himself, to see old friends & family. His greatest joy was children & he volunteered at both the local schools & Give Kids the World, a fun place for terminally ill children & their families. I say all this to say to you ~ thank you for serving & being such an example to all of us of how God can use us, no matter what stage of life or physical condition we may be in. May God continue to bless you & your service! Safe travels!

Posted July 11, 2017 at 07:33AM CDT
Comment by Almeda of Gary, IN

What a beautiful, inspiring, encouraging testimony. I am determined to run on for the Lord and stay as active as possible. May God continue to richly bless you Pastor Dickson.

Posted July 11, 2017 at 08:24AM CDT
Comment by Bill of Titusville, FL

Hi there! GREAT TO HEAR FROM YOU ELMER! It was my great pleasure and privilege to share ministry & mission with you at St. John's @ Sarasota! It was always great knowing I could have you preach when I was away! It was incredible to hear God use you to speak into so many lives today through THE UPPER ROOM! I'll be sharing this devotion during our Prayer Time this weekend at the exciting Indian River City @ Titusville! Hope things are extra great with you! Talk to you later! Bill

Posted July 11, 2017 at 08:51AM CDT
Comment by Daisy of Oak Harbor, WA

Pastor Elmer ~ A fascinating life you have! You remain active even now. You're greatest trophy I would say is your health which allows you to do so many things even though limited but the blessings of it all is that you continue to live to serve others joyfully and to serve our Lord wholeheartedly. Volunteer-at-heart, I myself gets much reward whenever I see joy from the people I serve. Thank you for sharing your stories. God bless you.

Posted July 11, 2017 at 10:34AM CDT
Comment by Bruce M. of West Des Moines, IA

Shepherd, I appreciate your meditation as I will soon join the ranks of retired pastors. I will reflect on the good memories while staying as active as I can. God grant us the peace in laying down what God has done in and through us.

Grace and peace, Pastor Bruce, Iowa

Posted July 11, 2017 at 10:44AM CDT
Comment by Andreas

Hi Elmer, you do still preaching! Your words are inspired by the Holy Spirit and saved my day.
Thanks a lot! God bless you!

Posted July 11, 2017 at 10:47AM CDT
Comment by Mary of Albuquerque, NM

Elmer, come to New Mexico where retired pastors don't get much rest, regardless of their ages. We'll schedule you to preach at the 8:30 a.m. service.

Posted July 11, 2017 at 11:28AM CDT
Comment by J of Washington, DC

Pastor Elmer you have graduated from the stationary pulpit to the global pulpit, still begin God’s mediator worker. (If you missed the pulpit ask around, churches are looking for someone to spread the gospel at their church, e.g., their children’s visting, relief pastor that not required to operate the church, etc.)
Revered Elmer, so many people make plans on what they will do when they retired. My philosophy is: You do not know if you will live to see retirement age or what physical or mental health will be like when you do retire. Keep on doing what you are physical and mental able to do---enjoying and discovering new activities and hobbies.
My father had to retired on disability and in the sixties my mother was ahead of her time, she toured her 50-year-old husband in obtaining his mortician license---his hobby was now is second job; before the eighties/nineties, majority of retirees, disabilities, senior requirements were sitting in a rocker chair waiting to die. They and finally the medical professionals agreed activities kept you young--show the world what you can do, e.g., touring, mentoring, working/hobby working, learning, trying new skills and/or hobbies, schedules, .meet and greet, etc. and passing ADA law. (Wheelchairs, walking aids, ADA aids are not ADA accessible and/or ADA user-friendly and/or medical accessibilities.)
If I can be a senior moving under my own power and mental alert, like Elmer and other seniors I see, I do not mind getting elderly....from the day we are born to the day we die your body will experience mental and physical changes; I have ask God to take me home if I become a vegetable or mental incapable.
 Take negative out of your vocabulary and be open to legal new experiences: regardless your age all of us have limitations and phobias, etc. on what we can or can't do including doing do things on your own---the key, knowledge is power
"One day at a time"', John 9:4, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Philippians 4:12- 3, John 6:8,.
At my church, 20 to 90+ everyone want to be liked me to be do solo and asking fro assisted when need.
P.S. I do not let my church know I am retired, if they know they will find things for me to and waiting for the electrician or doing outreach is not in my calling arena.....pre and post retirement I still preferred God's guidance where He needs me in my spiritual and personal life..

Posted July 11, 2017 at 02:24PM CDT
Comment by Martyn of Placentia, CA

Pastor Elmer: I echo the many positive thoughts written already...God Bless YOU for your service and ministry to so many. As I read your story, the thought came to me very strongly to encourage you to join up with a Kairos Prison Ministry group near you...I have been unbelievably blessed by my activity in the local group here in Southern California and retired pastors are HIGHLY VALUED! Please, please, please consider is an amazing "system" of prison ministry. Highly effective, profoundly needed, exceedingly rewarding.

Posted July 11, 2017 at 05:36PM CDT