Devotion in Motion: Refreshing the Hearts of Saints

7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.

Philemon 1:7 (NKJV)

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

Well, I never cease to be amazed.  Most mothers don’t like homework (see last week’s column) but I got emails this week from those of you seeking to complete their assignment.

This week, no homework, but I’ve got a project for you, or maybe for your Sunday School class. I’ve been thinking this week about people who minister overseas, away from their families—our soldiers. They’re laboring hard and providing valuable service, and often become weary and disheartened in the process. The Scriptures teach us that it is the job of the folks at home to take care of them. St. Paul talks about this quite often and usually refers to it as “refreshing the hearts of the saints.” It always makes me think of giving a worker “something cold”.

All the people that I’ve talked to who labor overseas love to get packages. But they love some packages more than others. One professor of mine spent some time as a missionary to Thailand. He said that stateside folks often mailed him jars of “Planter’s Dry-Roasted Peanuts”. He appreciated them–but peanuts are very cheap in Thailand, and the people there eat them almost every meal! He would have preferred a pound of Oreos. It’s great to send something but best of all to send something that folks really want.

I got a message via email from a chaplain stationed in Iraq last week, and he told me something that the soldiers there love to receive—Kool Pops. They have deep freezes to freeze them in, and then they pack them in coolers and carry them out on night patrols.  The chaplain said that they go through 200-300 per night. It makes perfect sense that these chilly treats would be just the thing a person would want when fighting a war in the desert, but I would have never thought of it. It always pays to ask.

It won’t be an expensive item to purchase. I saw some ice pops just yesterday in the local everything-costs-one-buck store. (Note to Miss Wanda, Gwen Rockwood’s mom, who was mentioned in a Rockwood Files column: If you have any Jolly Pops left in your deep freeze, you can send them to the Army, too. They can drop them on the enemy.)

Postage isn’t a problem either. The Post Office has a box called a “Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box” that they will give you for free. It doesn’t matter how much your package weighs, just that whatever you’re sending will fit in the box. You can send such a box for less than 12 dollars. What a deal!

Dear mamas, your little ones are going to love this project. Let them help you in the purchasing, packing, and posting. Just be sure to buy one package of Kool Pops for them to eat!

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” * He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his 25th year of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi.  He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 15) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (from which they will send you the address of a soldier, if you don’t happen to know one). You should write him at


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