Devotion in Motion: What’s in a name?

4 For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands. ~ Psalm 92:4  (NKJV)

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

Well, we have a new housecat in the parsonage. If you’re a frequent reader, you’ll remember that we’ve had a pair of church-cats, Marvin and Sister, as part of our household for the past four years. They’ve been our constant source of free entertainment.

But, alas, all good things must come to an end. Marvin (who topped the scales at 15 pounds) developed some kind of weird middle-aged-tomcat-bladder-difficulty that made him unable to find his litter box. (This is not a good trait in a housecat.) Eventually he wound up with some friends of ours who made him a home in their barn. He is now a patron of the great outdoors.

The Cash family is of the opinion that if you’re going to own a cat, it’s best to have two. That way, they can keep each other company and entertained when no humans are home. So, with Marvin’s housing-reassignment, we suddenly needed another cat to keep Sister, our other cat, company. We went to a very nice animal shelter and got a lovely little yellow striped cat. And I named her “Miss Louvenia,” after our son Spencer’s girlfriend’s grandmother.

Miss Louvenia Logan (Madeline’s grandmother) is one of the neatest people I know — and that says a lot because I know a lot of people. She is in her eighties, but she’s not one bit old. She is full of happiness and life. She exemplifies what I hope to be as I grow older.

I first met Miss Louvenia (the person, not the cat) at my church after I conducted a very sad funeral. I invited her to have lunch with us with the family and friends in the fellowship hall, and she was delighted to do so. (In my book, this is a very good trait in a person. If someone invites you to stay for a meal, don’t say, “Oh no, I couldn’t do that. I’d feel funny.” Instead, stay and eat with them if you can. Don’t be all hung up and weird. The person giving you the invitation wants you to stay. They wouldn’t have invited you otherwise.)

Then I was highly favored that she came and sat by me. She was smiling from ear to ear and had a stack of 3-by-5 note cards in her hand. She told me that I had a lovely wife and that she had already collected several recipes from Susan. She was going to cook Susan’s recipes the next time she went to a potluck. (This is another good trait in a person. Even if you’re at a sad occasion, make the best of it. There’s enough sadness in the world, and it can’t be avoided.  But we can always strive to manufacture some happiness to add to the universe.)

I’ve talked to Miss Louvenia’s grandchildren, and they all tell me the same thing. If you give her a present, she loves it. It doesn’t matter what it is — the one that you got her is the nicest one she has ever seen. She is thrilled to get it because she can use it to replace the one that was worn out that she just threw away that morning. Or she’ll say that, just last night, she was wishing for the very thing you just gave her. Her grandkids told me they are going to get her a rap CD next Christmas just to see what she’ll say.

I was a little hesitant to tell Madeline’s grandmother that I was planning to name a cat after her. After all, this may not be an honor that everyone wants.  Therefore, I was thrilled with her response when I told her I was naming our new kitten “Miss Louvenia”:

“Oh, how wonderful! She will be the best cat you’ve ever had!”

You know, I was expecting her to say something like that because I think she is the “real deal”. She realizes God has given her life, and she is going to rejoice in that fact as long as He gives her breath. That’s the best attitude to have. It’s the attitude the Lord wants all of us to have. That’s why I named my new kitten “Miss Louvenia.”

Oh, by the way, Madeline’s grandmother’s cat just had a litter of little ones. She named one of the kittens after me. She now has a little tomcat named “John.”

He will be the best cat she’s ever had.


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 20) and Seth (age 17) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the parsonage-cats, Sister and Miss Louvenia, are spending the month of June taking sunbaths in the warm rays the come in through the glass patio door.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to