Devotion in Motion: Putting the pieces together


 1 ¶ Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:

 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” ~ Ephesians 6:1-3 (NKJV)

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

I’ve been doing a little reading about the origins of Mother’s Day this week in preparation for this week’s sermon at the country church. I discovered that the first Mother’s Day proclamation was made by Julia Ward Howe after the Civil War. (She’s the lady that wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”) Mrs. Howe’s idea was to have a “Mother’s Day of Peace” on which mothers would gather together to pray for their children, to pray for the end of wars, and to ask that God would bless the land with peace.

Now  we have to admit  that Mrs. Howe’s goals were pretty far-reaching and lofty. But in my way of thinking, the prayers of a mother have more peace-bringing-power than anything ever thought up by the United Nations. This oft-told sermon illustration pretty much sums up my point of view:

One night a father was trying to read his newspaper. His little daughter was bored and kept bothering her father with her whining and complaining. Finally the man had had enough. He tore a map of the world from the back of his newspaper, and used a pair of scissors to quickly cut the map into all the various countries of the world. He gave the homemade jigsaw puzzle to his daughter, hoping that assembling it would entertain her long enough for him to finish reading the news.

Imagine his surprise when a few minutes later the little girl interrupted her father’s reading to show him that she’d correctly reassembled the world map! He had but one question for his daughter: “How were you able to to put together the map so quickly?”

Quietly, she gave her reply. “I didn’t know where all the countries went because the map of the world was too hard. But I turned the pieces over, and on the back side of the map was a picture of a family. I figured that if I put the family together right, the world would be right, too.”

Happy Mother’s Day. Keep up the good work. If you do your job well, with the strength that Christ gives, the whole world is going to get better and better.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 26 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 21) and Seth (age 17) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the kindergarten kids sang “Let There Peace On Earth And Let it Begin With Me” at their K-5 graduation.)  He would love to hear from you in an email sent to