Devotion in Motion: The work we’re here to do

3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.        

 ~ Romans 5:3-5  (NKJV)        

By Bro. John L. Cash

For years I’ve had retired people tell me, “I need to go back to work so that I can get some rest!”  I understand that adage now. I’m enjoying semi-retirement immensely, but I’m staying plenty busy.

I’ve come to realize lately that it is a rare thing for life to slow down for anybody–and that is the way that God wants it.  As long as we’re here, the Lord makes sure that we have work to do. Our daily labor fills our lives with purpose. Besides, the Lord uses the work that we do on the Earth to carry out the will that He has in Heaven.

The Bible never says that God takes away all our problems, either. Trials build our faith in God and teach us to trust in Him. Striving to do our best in difficult situations makes us stronger and builds strength of character.

Instead, what God has promised us is that He will bless us in our labors and help us in our troubles. In life, He won’t take away our striving. But in the end, He will take us to Glory.

Brother Grandpa John1Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (Until recently he had a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the children are presenting a musical at evening worship tonight.)  Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com .

Devotion in Motion: An Easter Prayer

easter banner-1307575_640 (2)6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.

7 “But go, tell His disciples–and Peter–that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” Mark 16:6,7 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

My favorite preacher of all time is Dr. Martin Luther. If you were paying attention in school, you’ll remember that he started the Reformation back in Germany over 500 years ago.

martin luther bookAt first glance, that such an ancient author is my favorite constant companion sounds incredible boring. But the writings of Brother Martin fill my heart with spiritual light and unspeakable joy, because his writings are so very real; He is humble and yet profound, deep and yet earthy and humorous. Though he lived so long ago, he understands the blessings and struggles of the Christian life—which are the same now as back then. (Believe it or not, Susan and Spencer have begun to share my love of this pastor after stumbling upon my books—after thinking me to be somewhat of a crackpot for so many years. I’m expecting Seth to jump on the bandwagon next.)

Throughout my adult life, the volumes of Luther have always been on my nightstand, and are my nightly devotional reading before I turn out the light. Susan always says, “You love Martin Luther more than you could every possibly love me.” I always give her the same answer: “Not more, honey. Just different.” You see, in my estimation, no one understands and expresses the beauty of our faith better than Martin Luther.

Every Easter I find myself at a loss for words—I just don’t have words good enough to express what I feel about what God did for us on that happy resurrection morning. Since I can’t find the words that I need, I’m borrowing them from Martin Luther’s prayer on Easter Sunday, 1533. I hope that his words make you as happy as they make me. (The formatting and emphasis is mine.)

Almighty God,

Who through the death of Thy Son hast destroyed sin and death,

And through His resurrection hast restored innocence and eternal life

That we, being delivered from the power of the devil,

May live in Thy kingdom,

Grant that we may believe this with our whole heart

And steadfast in this faith, ever praise and thank Thee,

Through Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Grant, dear Lord God,

That the blessed Day of Thy holy advent may come soon,

So that we may be redeemed

From this bad, wicked world

(The devil’s dominion)

And freed from the terrible plague that we must suffer

From without and within

(From wicked people and our own conscience.)

Do Thou dispatch this old maggot sack

That we may finally get a different body,

Which is not full of sin,

Inclined to unchasteness and to everything evil

(As this present one is)

But one that is redeemed from all bodily and spiritual misery

And made like unto Thy glorious body, dear Lord Jesus Christ,

That we may at last come to our glorious redemption.

Amen.

From our house to your house, have a wonderful Easter. Take time to feel the joy. Jesus Christ is risen, indeed! Allelujah!

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Brother Grandpa John1Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (Until recently he had a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where it’s been a windy week.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), his wife Leanne (age 21) and a new grandson, Landon Madison Cash. You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com.

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Devotion in Motion: Hands and Feet on Good Friday

16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;

     Your walls are continually before Me.  Isaiah 49:16 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

I’m looking forward to Easter this year. In some ways, Easter is even better than Christmas. At Easter, we experience all the joy without any of the hustle and stress. I love it even more with each passing year.

jesus good friday 200But in our haste to get to Easter Sunday, we need to be careful not to “skip over” Good Friday. There would be no joy of Jesus’ resurrection without first having the horror of His crucifixion. The empty tomb was preceded by the crown of thorns — and the nails.

I love babies — particularly when they are my babies. Many years ago, the Lord gave me two fine sons.

Landon Madison CashLast week he gave me a fine grandson. Whenever I hold a baby, I love to look at his hands and feet. There’s really nothing more precious and beautiful in the world than the hands and feet of a child — particularly my child.

And in this simple fact, the love of God the Father is made manifest in a way we can understand. God loved the hands and feet of His Son, but He loved us more. He allowed wicked men to pierce the hands and feet of His Child.

And in another simple fact, the love of Jesus the Son is made manifest. He stretched out His hands and feet to those who swung the hammer because of His great love for us. His hands and feet were pierced for everyone — even those who didn’t even want a Saviour.

This week, let’s make the preparations for the holiest and happiest Easter ever. But don’t forget to take time to give thanks — especially for all the hands and feet.

Photo credit: Elizabeth Michelle Photography

Brother Grandpa John1Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (Until recently he had a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where it’s been a windy week.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com.

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Devotion in Motion: “His indescribable gift”

15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15

By Bro. John L. Cash

The Lord has richly blessed our family. This week He sent Susan and me our first grandchild. His name is Landon Madison Cash. He weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces, and he was 20 inches long. He was born to my younger son, Seth, and his wife Leanne. We are pleased to report that mother, child, (and father) are all doing fine.

Landon collageUsually I have a hard time writing a weekly column because I can’t think of anything to write about. But this morning it’s exactly the opposite. I would like to tell you exactly how wonderful it feels to hold my first grandchild. I’m trying, but it’s just impossible. I just don’t have enough words.

Later on, I’m sure I’ll be able to tell you stories about the “little things.” Until then, I’ll leave you with some pictures and a Bible verse: Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. ~  Psalm 66:5  (NKJV)

Brother Grandpa John1Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (Until recently he had a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where Landon has a lot of people looking forward to meeting him.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com.

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Devotion in Motion: Stories that inspire

7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.   ~  Hebrews 13:7 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

Before VCRs and DVD players were invented, it was a big treat to get to watch a movie at school. School clubs would sometimes rent a movie (on those big reels of 16mm film) for a cost of about $100. They’d raise funds for their activities by charging students fifty cents to watch it. We didn’t care too much what the movie was about. We were just happy to get out of class.

to sir with loveIn 1973, when I was in the 7th grade, the high school Beta Club brought the movie “To Sir, With Love.” If you’ve never watched it before, you should take the time to see it. It’s the story of a structural engineer, played by Sidney Portier, who reluctantly becomes a high school teacher in the slums of London when there’s no other job available. School conditions are bad, his students are juvenile delinquents, and his co-workers are cynical and strive to discourage him.

At first, his pupils treat him with scorn and disrespect. But when a crisis causes him to begin to treat his students as young adults, they blossom and thrive under his instruction. He becomes a successful teacher, and his students becomes successful young adults.

The movie had a huge impact on my life. At age 12, it made me want to become a schoolteacher. I’ve recently retired from teaching after 28 years, and I’m writing this column from a public school classroom where this morning I’m working as a sub. It’s amazing how much seeing one movie shaped my life.

I watched the film again not too long ago, and I realize now that it’s not totally realistic. Most days at school are pretty ordinary. Difficult students don’t change overnight, and teachers aren’t usually held up as big heroes. But, the truth is, some of the days during my teaching career were exactly like “To Sir, With Love.” Sometimes a teacher does make a difference. In the grocery store, I get hugs from former students who are now in their forties. I’ve had a beautiful life.

It’s fashionable now to make fun of how unrealistic programs were in the 1950s and 1960s. After all, in real life nobody ever vacuumed wearing heels and pearls like June Cleaver. But, the folks on “Leave it to Beaver” were well-mannered, clean, respectful, and attended church every Sunday. They gave people a goal to aspire to.

On the other hand, the sit-com “Roseanne” was probably more realistic. But it didn’t set much of a goal for us to strive for. And, in my way of thinking, it didn’t make the world any better.pancakes-951029_640 (2)

Positive stories with happy endings are like entrees at Waffle House. They’re usually syrupy, and they might be cheesy. Nevertheless, they make the world better. This week, take time to tell your children stories that inspire.

rp_john-l-cash-212x3001.jpgDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (Until recently he had a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher drank coffee with his teacher friends on Friday.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com.

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