Devotion in Motion: 6 lessons learned from parakeets

Mt 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Matthew 6:26 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

Well, it’s been an eventful summer for the Cash family, so there are lots of new stories to tell. I’ve missed you all—and it’s good to be back writing my weekly column after summer break.

Not too long ago, I had a lengthy wait when I was visiting someone at a nursing home. Fortunately, there was a cage with a pair of parakeets in the lobby. I love to watch birds, and I quickly came to realize this simple truth: Everything I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned from Parakeets in a Bird Cage.

  1. Start every day by looking in the mirror. Call yourself a “pretty bird.” And then kiss your reflection. Jesus said to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That all starts with loving the good qualities the Lord has placed within you.
  2. If the universe gives you a silver bell, be sure to ring it. Ring it for every reason you can think of. Better than that, ring it for no reason at all. Life is beautiful, and it’s a shame not to celebrate it.
  3. Eat lots of roughage. Drink plenty of water. Get plenty of sunlight. And for Heaven’s sake, sing a song!
  4. Poop on the newspaper…and disregard the rest of media, too. They never have anything positive to say, anyway.
  5. Learn to “live and let live.” If you’re too bossy with your cage-mates, they WILL take offence. Remember, if you insist on starting trouble, somebody else will finish it.
  6. Never forget that you have a Heavenly Father who takes care of the birds. And you are worth many. Be comforted — and be glad!

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 32 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He recently retired after 28 years as a Mississippi public schoolteacher, and is now a stay-at-home-grandpa with his new grandson, Landon Cash.  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where all the children are starting back to school.) Their kids include Spencer (age 26), his wife Madeline (age 26), and Seth (age 23), and his wife Leanne (age 22). You can send him a note at