Devotion in Motion: Happy Memories

11 ¶ And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Romans 13:11  (NKJV)

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

I was looking through some photographs today that stirred up a lot of happy memories. When our oldest son Spencer was midway through high school, he spent his summers traveling with a Christian musical group sponsored by one of our Bible colleges. One year he sang in the choir, and the next year he played bass guitar. There were two busloads of kids, and they spent about three weeks together. As you can imagine, they had a wonderful time together.

In the process of practicing, traveling, and performing, Spencer made so many good friends. His main side-kick was Josiah, the drummer for the ensemble.  And, as you might imagine, Spencer had a large number of “friend girls.” I once asked him which of the many young ladies in the group was the prettiest.  He thought about it several moments and then said, “I don’t know, Dad. Every time I looked up there was another beautiful face looking at me.”

spencer-and-katie2.JPGAt one church that they were visiting, Spencer put his arm around an auburn-haired girl he was traveling with and told the pastor the girl was his twin sister. An elderly lady looked at the pair and said, “Well, you can tell it. You look just alike!”  This prank succeeded until the pastor figured out that the “siblings” resided in different parts of the country.

{After his last concert (in Dallas), Spencer introduced me to three young ladies whose last names were “Rice,”  “Lamb,” and “Supan.”  I told Spencer that “Rice, Lamb, and Soup-pan” didn’t sound like prom dates, but rather like the beginnings of a casserole. He just shook his head, the way 15-year-old boys do when their dads say things like that.}

When your kids get old enough to travel with a Christian group, you should let them. They’ll get to see different parts of the country and experience new things. Spencer got to tour Colorado and got altitude sickness from running up “Pike’s Peak.” (Altitude sickness is not something we deal with very much in Mississippi.) And when we went to pick Spencer up after his last concert, we toured Dealey Plaza in where-mr-zapruder-stood-with-his-movie-camera2.jpgDallas—the site where President Kennedy was killed. Spencer and I climbed atop the pedestal from which Abraham Zapruder filmed his famous 8mm movie. Someone snapped our picture (shown right) —and it always makes me smile when I look at it.

It’s always good for your kids to travel to meet different kinds of people. We can learn something from everyone we meet—even if we only learn that we don’t want to be exactly like that person. In the course of his travels, Spencer stayed in overnight in the home of a man who was fascinated with the game “Free Cell”—a solitaire card game that comes free on all Microsoft computers. The object of this game is to “solve” hands of solitaire. This man loved “Free Cell” so much that he started with game #1 and played all of the hands in order until he finished game # 99,999.

Spencer said that after the man finished game #100,000 of  Free Cell on his computer, he replaced his old ailing computer with a new one. His new computer has a newer version of Free Cell on it—and this version has one million different hands of solitaire to solve. The man has started solving each of the games in numerical order, but he doesn’t think he’ll live long enough to finish them all.

Dear mamas, I’m heading somewhere with this story, so stay with me. I’ve played my share of solitaire and other computer games in my lifetime. And I don’t really remember any of them. But there are so many memories of times I’ve had with my sons that I’ll never forget. I think it’s fine to use things like computer games and Facebook as a diversion from our daily labor. But we have to be careful not to use them as an escape from things we need to be doing. Games are temporary. But our children’s souls are eternal.

In today’s Scripture lesson (at the top) St. Paul says it’s time to “wake up” and make the best use of our time. We have a limited number of hours and days to spend with our babies—and then they’re gone to make their way in the “big world.” What better way can we spend our days and hours than in doing things that show our love for God and our families—making happy memories in the process.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 25 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 19) and Seth (age 16) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the kids are more entertaining than computer games.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to