Devotion in Motion: A minister’s favorite devotion book

105 ¶ Thy word is a lamp unto my feet

          And a light unto my path.      Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

So very often, people ask me which daily devotional book I like best. For the past three decades, my answer has always been the same: Daily Strength for Daily Needs by Mary Tileston.

It’s one of those books you’ll run across when you’re cleaning out your grandmother’s (or great-grandmother’s) things. It exists in a variety of editions and bindings. Because it has been in the Public Domain for over a century, it has been widely reprinted. The earliest edition I’ve seen is from 1884— but I’ve seen new copies printed in 2006. It’s truly a Christian classic.

I haven’t been able to find out much about the author, or when (and how) the book came to be written. But from the looks of the text, Mary Tileston was a spiritual person who read widely from the religious classics. She chose the finest excerpts thereof and coupled them with Scripture. There’s a reading for every day of the year.  I never go away from my daily passage without being blessed and strengthened.

This devotional treasure is easy to get. You can read it free here    Also, I’m pretty sure it’s available for Kindle. But my suggestion is that you purchase a vintage copy of it. The older ones are just so nice. And it may sound silly, but there’s something wonderful about holding a copy that has strengthened somebody else 100 years ago. You can usually find a copy on Amazon or Ebay for less than five dollars.

(And even though I’m a tech-savvy guy who spends a great deal reading from a screen, sometimes there’s just no substitute for a real copy of a real book. You know, a tiny hardbound book you can carry in your backpack, read in the bathtub, and get jam on at breakfast time. And this is just that kind of book.)

This week at school I was leafing through my copy between classes. I ran across an item I had underlined in July of 2018. (I was actually on an airplane on my way to Washington, DC, when I marked it.) Reading it anew brought back all the wonderful feelings I felt when I first saw it:

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.  (John 4:34)

          I am glad to think

I am not bound to make the world go right;

But only to discover and to do,

With cheerful heart,

the work that God appoints.

          I will trust in Him

That He can hold His own;

And I take His will

Above the work He sendeth me

To be my chiefest.

                                        –J. Ingelow 

I hope you’ll order a copy today. After all, we all need Daily Strength for Daily Needs.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 34 ½ years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s currently on a sabbatical from the preaching ministry, and is an English teacher at the Choctaw Tribal School. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where the residents are wondering this week if they need to start building an ark.) You can send him a note at