Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Over the last few months I have been challenged by this one word.

Enough: as much or as many as required; adequate.

I have realized with a bit of sheepish shock, that I rarely declare this into my own world and heart.

I rarely practice saying to myself, “Today, you were enough. You did enough. Well done!”

Instead, I hear so easily the word pairing of ‘not enough.’

During the last months of practicing a new way, kneading new words into my subconscious, I have found many fields of exercise availing themselves to my training.

Take Christmas pictures for example.

Family photos. Dear me.

I love having them, but my goodness gracious, the ordeal of it all is remarkable.

And astounding.

And overwhelming.

And sometimes ridiculous.

But maybe that is just in our house.

Way back in the days of yore…back when I obsessed over Christmas cards and address lists and a long letter detailing our year…


What is that?

You never got yearly letters from us with cute pictures?

You only ever received them haphazardly and with no consistency?


I said, “back when I obsessed” not  “back when I actually succeeded in getting things finished.”

So. Back when, we took a picture every single holiday season. Every single one.

And for our first decade on the field, I wrote a newsy update for every single holiday season. Every single one.

We mailed about half.

The other half most likely still sit in a box in my schoolroom. Half addressed envelopes. Poorly copied letters.

And stacks of photos that never went out.

Stacks of pages and guilty regret paying homage to my lack and my deficiency and also my lack.

(Yes, I realize I am repeating myself.)

In fact, since I’m opening this pandora’s box of guilty splendor, let me just go ahead and admit that every single day of my tenure on the field there has existed somewhere in my kitchen or on my bookshelf or tucked away on a corner of my schoolroom desk, a stack.

A brooding, diabolical, relentless weight of expectancy that I never, never found the end of.

A mocking heap of defeat.

Treasured letters that await beautiful responses.

And never found them.


I absolutely love letters. (and Christmas cards!)

They are a lost art, truly.

Very dear souls have written (with pen and ink!) letters to us through the years and those messages mean SO much to me. I always weave and spin and create the most loving and eloquent responses---in my head.

And in my heart.

With every intention of putting those profuse thanks onto a page.

But, by and large, other necessities protrude into my intentions robbing all of us of the blessing of actual follow through.

But for some reason, I could never get rid of the stack.

I could never admit that I wasn’t going to be able to complete that task.

I could never ‘delete’ and move on, accepting that for that time and season I had already done and been enough.

(I couldn’t take the ‘B’)

So the stack would remain.

And shift from counter space, to desktop, to storage bin accompanied by pangs and remorse and ever valiant resilience that would lie to my silly self and say, “Someday you will get around to that!”

This week, it looked like this:

Christmas card stock (a stack of it!) that I bought on clearance in the USofA on furlough over a decade ago. And envelopes with poinsetta leaves decorating the border awaiting the beautifully printed card that I have designed in my head.

That I designed in my head 15 years ago.

That I have NEVER printed.

But the Christmas card stock remains.



And ominously reminding me that I haven’t.

With the nagging of ‘I won’t ever’.

And the guilty beckoning of, ‘keep it just a few years more.’

In a simple, momentary glance at my paper supply cabinet in my schoolroom, the loud, resonating message of ‘look at all you are failing to get done’ echoes around me following me into my work and my service of the present day.


I need a new song in my heart.

As I’ve poured through our old Christmas photos this year I’ve noted again how the imperfect ones are the ones that bring such delight now.

The ones we laugh about and re-enact are the broken ones. The lumpy ones.

The real ones.

Those are the ones that flood our souls with profound and hilarious.

Those are the ones that were in every way, enough.

Today, in celebration of all the glory of broken and imperfect, I offer you a glimpse into the annual agony of the Cashling Christmas picture (with a few remakes we attempted just this week.)

I’m learning a new tune, slowly but surely, and it says that what I am and have already is sufficient. Ample.


(you are SO welcome to 'sing' along...)

Joy to the World!

Say cheese!

Tone it down a tad, Si!

So close until I suggested they hug each other…


And this week…

We did a retake that year and added Baxter to bring some cheer…

It didn’t exactly work out.

 Pet the dog?


During this next attempt I was holding four bags of M&M’s, offered as a bribe for a quick and easy ‘smile and we’re done’ success.

They were all in…

A second try…

Look at the camera!

And this week…

Finally we would get that perfect shot of sweetness…

To be printed.

And stacked.

And stored needlessly.

(and blogged about a decade later!)


Merry Christmas!

Celebrate this year remembering the arrival of a grace so monstrous it could conquer even the most gargantuan of holiday (any day) guilt.

Swaddled atop hay. Surrounded by smelly animals. Attended by raucous shepherds.


More than.

Him. And You.


Amidst all our stacked up deficiency.

God WITH us.


“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth PEACE to all on whom His favor rests!”
Luke 2:14

Saturday, November 22, 2014

For Such a Time…

College took us to different places but we saw each other sporadically.

She said it every time we talked.

Christmas, a brief visit in the summer, maybe Thanksgiving…

As we rushed through our highlights and heard the report of a year and all it’s happenings, my life-long friend Shelli would mention, seemingly offhand, “Now, do you know Kelly Jeffrey?”

Every single time I would shake my head, “No. I’ve never met Kelly. But you always ask…”

We would laugh and Shelli would say, “Somehow, I just feel like you should know her. How can we make that happen?”

We’d scatter on to other topics and part ways eventually to carry on with our lives.

On one of our last visits, just before I left for Uganda again and when I first heard her talk about a guy named Erik, Shelli spoke the familiar pondering one last time.

“Kelly Jeffrey Vaughn. She’s married to Randy Vaughn. They are joining a mission team to Benin. They have one baby daughter. Seriously, you have to know her. You are supposed to.”

I still didn’t know Kelly then and wondered why this name, this particular name continued to repeat sporadically into my life.

My beautiful, sanguine friend Shelli with a bazillion gorgeous people in her world felt nudged to mention this one. Over and over. 

Precise and deliberate and mysterious.

The glorious Hand of God.

Years passed. Many of them.

Shelli became Mrs. Erik. Shelli, Kelly and I all became ‘Mom’ several times over.

Uganda became my home. And all the way across this giant continent the country of Benin became Kelly’s home.

Sometime in 2005, I ventured into another foreign and unknown world—the growing social sphere called blogging, a venue of communication that had me puzzled and unsure and delighted all within the measure of a few weeks.

All of a sudden from our isolated Western Ugandan world I had access to other moms, other homeschoolers, other Jesus followers, far-away friends.

It was scrumptious and fed my soul in good, good ways.

From my blogging world new relationships emerged, including a connection with Kelly Vaughn, a name I recognized because of Shelli, but a person I still had never met. Through comments and the faithful following of each other’s blogged journals we established a fun base of communication.

Our blog comments birthed some emails and over the course of time Kelly Vaughn became a gift from the internet to me. A dear friend walking familiar daily steps as she served in Benin and I served in Uganda.

If we had only known.

After some years of internet visits, we had the opportunity to meet in person. She and I would both be attending a conference in Kenya and we were ecstatic to learn that we would finally meet face to face.

A sister from the first hug.

It felt like we had known each other always.

The conference was large so we interacted with many, leaving scattered conversations together over the course of the three days.

I heard a random assortment of her stories and she heard a random assortment of mine.

Bits and pieces really.

We remained connected via email after that first face to face, providing prayer support for each other’s transitions and ministries and all of our people.

More time passed. 

Kelly and I hadn’t communicated in a while when one specific day dawned difficult in the Cash home as a darkness we did not see coming rolled over our family in a painful and debilitating way.

Relationships we valued were being revealed in a new awareness and it stung and it ached and it broke us.

Jeff and I were wounded by the situations stirring around and I could not get up off the floor.

Praying, beseeching and mourning, we spent most of the day seeking the One we knew we could depend on and in that moment needed very much.

Eventually Jeff went to contact our nearest and dearest, to alert them to our need for prayer.

And I wondered how long I would feel collapsed on that cold tile.

In the silence of our bedroom, I heard my email notification beep on my laptop.

I almost didn’t even check it because of the pain drawn already from that venue.

But I glanced at the name and was surprised to see ‘Kelly Vaughn’ in the highlighted line.

On my knees, I opened the email to her simple and direct message,

“What is happening?!?! You are burning on my heart and I am thinking of you constantly. How can I pray for you? Are you okay?!?!”

She had no way of knowing. Not of her own awareness anyway.

But her words and her listening heart alerted me to the liberating truth that God never leaves us abandoned.


That random smattering of testimony that I heard from Kelly’s heart some years before?

Now, linking and associating and joining us in a broken and precious fellowship we could have never anticipated.

But God knew all along.

Because of what she shared with me, I knew she would understand all that was transpiring in my world. I typed my story in choppy sentences and sent the words over that elusive and invisible wave called internet while I ached on that bleak, silent floor. 

And her reply bounced back with amazing speed.

“With you. WITH YOU!!! You are not alone. I am on my knees until you can stand from your own.”

Weeping, comforted and helped I met my sister at a Throne. Her words speaking on my behalf. Jesus heart speaking for us both.

Sometime that evening, I got up off the floor.

I stood.

Not alone.

Not abandoned.

Drenched in the grace and the mercy of our all-knowing God.

Over the years that followed I stood and broke and healed and stood again, valiantly supported by several who loved me well during a difficult season. A season I would simply not have survived as profoundly without Kelly’s understanding and empathetic battle on behalf of my own heart.

By His Spirit, in miraculous ways, she has labored in prayer in some darkest days and in some darkest times.

In a way only she could do.

In a connection only God could ordain.

I am forever grateful.

This last week, Kelly and her Tori, graciously flew across an ocean to sit with us on our veranda and drink tea from our tea cups and stare at our mountains and pray together over people and places we love and they embrace.

They came to visit a ministry dear to us.

A ministry they are such a part of too.

We do not serve here alone. Not ever.

God provides.

Most of the time, long before we even know we what we are going to need.

This last week I was blessed by Kelly and Shelli who each in their own way have always been a part of my story.

The three of us most lovingly known and weaved together.

As only He could do.

Their witness in my life reminds me actively that God sees. He acts. He purposes.

He never quits.


Wherever you are today. Isolated. Or lonely. Or feeling very ‘other’ in whatever way you may…

Hang on.

What He has already done, He is also currently doing. As we move about, He is providing for us ahead of our need working restoration and redemption well into our souls.

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and will bring you back from captivity…”
Jeremiah 29:11

With your whole heart.


He already knows The Plan.

Hope. A future.

He will be found.

And that will be all Grace and Glory to His name alone.

Jehovah Jireh.

Praise the Lord!

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Stand Amazed

Big and small; loud and quiet; subtle and obvious.

Amazing all.

A list:

1.  A very nice restaurant with a Gluten Free menu in Kampala. It is called the Bistro, it is in Kisementi, the owner is named J.J. and I might just move into the place and eat their fabulous Gluten Free
       bhajias everyday for the rest of my life.

2.  I played two games of pool with my Cash men and I won BOTH games. The last game was sealed with a bank shot to sink the 8 ball. Boom!

3. For years now, any sojourn to Kenya must include a stop at our beloved Java House. This wonderful coffee shop/cafe boasts such grandeur as real (with ice cream!) milkshakes, delicious food, awesome coffee and the memories of many moments of sweet fellowship with friends. Well.... Java House (the original one!) has come to Uganda (to Kampala). Their GF menu is a bit lacking, but sitting on their premises with my unsweetened coffee reminds me of many amazing moments with friends in Kenya. I heart Java House! 

3.  Two orthodontists who provide loving and attentive care to my family. We have mostly saved our dental work for furlough in our tenure overseas, but this term need has pushed us to try orthodontics in this country. Our experience has been so positive and we are amazed and grateful for this!  (PS Alex is SO much taller than me now! Also amazing :))

4.  My husband. So many reasons why I am amazed by him, but his perseverance and endurance leave me blissfully astounded on a daily basis.

5.  The Cashlings. Washing their clothes by hand, taking basin baths, dealing with all the broken things…life in Uganda affords them many opportunities to endure and adjust. They face these challenges (and more) all the while becoming four of the most fascinating and hilarious people in my world. The days with them in our home are racing (RACING!) by and I treasure every one. I am so deeply thankful for the beauty and strength of their lives.

6.  The love and support born from the plane accident. Gobsmacked. Shocked. Overwhelmed. The show of community inclusion has washed over us like a cleansing flood. For the most part, we have no words. Just a resounding deep soul utterance of “…thank you, so much, Faithful God.”

7.  Clarity. We have faced abrupt (and sometimes, not so abrupt) setbacks many times in this missionary life. It is the nature of battle (spiritual and otherwise) to be pushed back or have our legs knocked out from underneath us. We have had much practice at finding our feet and standing again following difficulty or struggle. Over the last few weeks, I have been completely blown away at the pristine clarity that speaks:  

 We belong here.
Our God has done this. And it is our deepest hearts desire to steward this story well. To honor His Mighty Hand and the grace of His provision not just in a
       moment of an obvious miracle and saving, but also in any dark, obscure and   
       painful moment too. He is Good. All the time. He is Good.

“Those who walk the fields to sow, casting their seed in tears,
will one day tread those same long rows, amazed by what’s appeared.”
Psalm 126:5 The Voice

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'm Not Exactly Sure How to Put This...

I’ve missed you. Of late my world has been encompassed by three things: family, writing and life without bread.


We have discovered a (not so) magical cocktail of restrictions that has improved my health tremendously. I am currently gluten/soy/sugar/dairy free.

Yes, that is a very sad list and I struggle against using the word ‘free’ in it at all.

In fact, I’m struggling for many words these days in relation to my health.

The restricted diet requires much explanation and dialogue in the middle of moments that are meant to be liberating and restful. Date night with my husband. Coffee dates with my Cashlings. Spontaneous meals to free me from cooking.

All of that (and so very much more) has changed. Perhaps for a very long time.

I am still searching for a comfortable script to navigate all the changes and more accurately express my needs. I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it.

At first, I was mostly ecstatic to have finally discovered a method to feel better again. That euphoria carried me through the early weeks of diet change.

And then.

It was the ice cream. And the sugar in my coffee. And the physical illness I experienced when I simply made my family a pie.

My favorite brand of curry powder.

My much beloved cast iron skillet and my very favorite plastic spatula.

My entire collection of Tupperware and Rubbermaid.

The wooden rolling pin I bought in my first days in Fort Portal.


The giving up of these and more has left me grieving and resolute. A whole new process to adjust to and master.

I am learning so very much. Gluten, which has become (always was?) disastrous for me, is in everything or so it seems.

And it isn’t terribly popular to speak of, even in America where this struggle/sickness is more well-known.

There is much (good-natured) teasing concerning the elimination of a component of food no one knew about not so long ago. Like a life without gluten is somewhat suspiciously crazy.

And complicated. And sometimes sad.

Good times.

Regardless, one cannot argue with results and this diet has yielded much positive in my daily life.

I have one again.

Caring for my family, homeschooling, writing, teaching, church, walking, getting out of bed, clear vision, a head full of hair…

Well, those are all very good things. And I had lost them for far too many days.

So, we press on. Proving, yet again, that you are never too old to learn something new.

Over the last months, I’ve leaned hard on my beautiful family. And they have been so faithful. I treasure them and their willing hearts. So many of the kitchen tasks that have been mine are now parceled out daily. Precious Kinley. Her cooking repertoire has multiplied exponentially! The boys and Jeff are helpful too, grieving with me the loss of food and filling in every gap my restricted lifestyle creates.

So deeply grateful.

My Stateside family has been so concerned and supportive as well. For instance, my Mom has been on a package mailing mission sending me supplies and GF treats and new makeup and better fitting clothes. She has been a champion.

My amazing Cherise has chased down resources for me and my incredible Trisha gathered and sent cookbooks and precious supplies for GF baking and meal prep. I am so grateful for these sisters!

From this season of struggle has been born some hope.

Right in the middle of the illness, God poured out some words. Over 50,000 words as of today. I still have a ways to go with it, but it is the story of my heart. A memoir of the road to ministry and Africa and my family.

I humbly whisper that endeavor into this venue, with growing confidence from all the remembering it has required of me. I have been reminded of how faithfully God carries His work to completion. Every single time.

Pray for me, friends, that God will provide that same fortitude for my current writing project and health management.  To completion.

Thank you for every prayer. I am so grateful to be remembered by you. Our hope is in the Lord.

Steady on.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Prayer of Blessing

“When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, he sent them a prophet, who said, 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”
Judges 6: 7-10

Dear Father,

When we cry out to you on behalf of the oppressed and physically afflicted; on behalf of the burdened and abused we can hear your Word repeated throughout Scripture that reminds us:

You are the God of Israel who—

Brought up



Drove out

And gave.

You are the LORD and you are Ours.

Fill us with courage to reject the gods of those in whose land we live—
Grant us wisdom to remember every thing you have done.

Give us ears to hear 
Hearts to accept
and mouths to proclaim

The One True and Living God.

A Lord who acts on behalf of His people.

From my perch on this side of a parted Red Sea;
Hugging a raised Lazarus with my own arms;
Let me proclaim into any wilderness before me—
Our God Saves!
He has done it.
And He will do it again.

Come, Lord Jesus, 
Into every hurting place
Bring your hope
And come.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Take Heart!

"...In this world you will have trouble...." John 16:33

Indeed we will. Deadly illness. Toppling governments. Wars and persecutions. Executions that people take pictures of. Anger. Riots. Questions yet to be answered. A yearning for justice.

Divorce. Grief.

Devastating diagnosis.



“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God…”
Psalm 42:5

Season your news feed well with this, friends.

Saturate your hours with This News.

“A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the LORD
with the LORD for his hope.
He is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream; when the heat comes it feels no alarm, its foliage stays green; it has no worries in a year of drought, and never ceases to bear fruit…”
Jeremiah 17:5-8

No worries. Never ceasing. No alarm.

“You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,”
 Psalm 65:5

“For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.”
 Psalm 52:9

Awesome and righteous, He answers. We can see what He has already done! Don’t forget that His Name is Good.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” Hebrews 6:19

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
  Hebrews 10:23

Hang on! Cling! We have this!

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
 Romans 12:12

Don’t stop praying. Choose joy as you expect and anticipate good things.

“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”
Psalm 71:14

Always. More and more. As for me? 

“My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning
more than watchmen wait for the morning
O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”
 Psalm 130:6-7

Unfailing and Full.

Love and redemption.

Wait for it.

“Yes, my soul finds rest in God; my hope comes from Him.”
Psalm 62:5

He is the source of hope. He provides what may wan in me.

Rest is Yes in His provision!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

 Joy? Peace? Trust?

To absolutely overflowing.

Right in the middle of all this overwhelming tide.

By His power.

Let it be so.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


"Listen... to your father’s instruction… " Proverbs1:8

Ephesians 6:10-20;24

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then…”

“…with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place…”

Glenn Cash follows Christ with dedication and fervor. He has a heart that ardently pursues truth. He trusts in the words of Scripture and, from a heart of love for God, adheres to the principles and wisdom He reads and studies. His persistent resolve to obey God, trains a righteousness that guards our hearts. Glenn taught Jeff the truth of Jesus’ salvation. Jeff embraced that truth with his whole being effecting generations and other nations for Christ. Glenn’s pursuit of understanding echoes and deeply influences Jeff’s personal choice to explore the depths of the mysteries of God. In study and in teaching, Jeff serves as he watched his dad serve:  diligently discovering and proclaiming truth, shielding hearts with a righteousness that frees and renews. We are deeply thankful for Glenn's faithfulness and we honor  his commitment to love and serve to the glory of the Lord. His influence and consistent prayer for our family has guarded our hearts as we seek to continue in truth. 

 “…and with the your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”

My Dad means the world to me. Always has. He easily engages the people in his world with love, grace and humor. When people in his community are hurting, my Dad gets the call. He cares genuinely and is ready to go. Dad is always ready to go. Out the door-- to the hospital, to the funeral home and to death beds. He brings peace. The peace of Christ which transformed his own life dramatically, decades ago. My Dad carries Christ with him to every place, especially the dark and shadowy ones where Jesus’ light can soothe and comfort. Dad offers this peaceful support with such deep abiding joy. I’ve always wanted to be just like him. It is no surprise that I found my feet ‘fitted’ with the same readiness that I witnessed in his. I guess I was ready to go too. His sacrificial support of my calling sustains in places no one else can touch. He is my hero and my dearest friend. 

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

I spent many days and hours in the company of my Granddaddy. He was an extremely reserved man, so most of those hours were quiet but his constant love was very, very loud. The complete assurance of his adoration and care for me affected me deeply. During a very trying time in my life  I was asked by a spiritual mentor to design a shield that would protect me from some of the arrows (figurative) being flung in my direction.  After I completed the task, I described the shield to my wise friend. When I was finished, she nodded and said, “If this shield was the strongest, most impenetrable shield available, who would you have build it?”
Without hesitation or even conscious thought I replied, “Granddaddy. Granddaddy would build it.”
Love conquers all. Granddaddy’s love for me was fueled by a faith he rarely spoke about but instead lived out daily one faithful, generous step at a time. Even though he is physically gone from my life, his steadfast devotion continues to protect me in the battles that I face. I miss him so very much.

"Take the helmet of salvation…”

This picture sits on Jeff’s desk. It is a photo of a very young Jeff with his Granddad, AJ Small. Jeff tells the story of his Granddad delighting in watching him baptize his cousins and sister in the irrigation ditches that ran alongside Grandad’s house. They were little children acting out the blessing of obedience and salvation. A salvation AJ received and proclaimed with his life. AJ was a finish carpenter, an amazing one. He worked hard, loved his family, endured heavy physical illness and delighted in God’s word. Jeff recalls his love for scripture, his determination that Jeff could handle responsibility and his constant encouragement for Jeff to exercise independence (AJ let 8 yr old Jeff walk to the ranching store alone much to the chagrin of AJ’s wife and daughter at the time!). Granddad Small realized his salvation fully before I joined his family. I’m sure he would delight to know that his grandson would continue baptizing and proclaiming salvation. We will all be together again someday. I can’t wait to meet him around that Throne.

“...and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Granddad Cash was the captain of the police force in the town where he raised his family. He was a protector and a guard for the just and the good. He carried a gun every day, but only fired it once in his lifelong career. He said that there were better ways to solve a problem than with a gun. Weapons had their place, he taught, but should be respectfully wielded in conflict.
Granddad Cash loved Christ and His church and served as an elder for many years. He acted as defender in that capacity too, utilizing the most valued weapon in his arsenal, the word of God. He trusted the tenets of scripture with his life and taught his children and grandchildren faithfully to follow Christ with their whole hearts. His influence penetrated deeply as he spoke truth about following God.
Jeff often tells a story of hiking with his Granddad. During the hike, Jeff recalls his Granddad encouraging him to lift his eyes every once and awhile. Granddad said, “When we are walking we are often watching the path just in front of us. Too often we miss the incredible views around. We need to lift up our eyes and see the great expanse God designed around us. Not just watch the path at our feet.”
It was a moment that would echo in Jeff’s mind and spirit for decades. Jeff has nurtured a powerful, visionary heart that confidently lifts eyes to see the expanse of God’s design. Granddad Cash encouraged this vision by carefully carving inspiration with a weapon he very much respected. The words of God. We miss Granddad Cash very much, but walk out his wisdom still.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

My Grandpa Money was a strong man; a very hard worker. He and my Granny raised seven children on an oil field worker’s salary in dry West Texas towns. He was diligent and dedicated. He adhered to strict roles as he led his home. He was the provider and my Granny took care of the household responsibilities. As far as I know, they were both content in their circumstance. My Granny suffered through many strokes in the years I remember her most. I watched my Grandpa step out of his well-practiced role of working outside the home and walk confidently into the kitchen. He cooked and cleaned and took care of my Granny who became increasingly debilitated in the last years of her life. Grandpa stepped up, in exorbitant love. I witnessed him keeping his promises and serving his wife and his God, beautifully. He was a good, good man.
Of all the memories I have of my Grandpa (dominoes, silly songs and the way he closed his eyes when he was remembering the details of a story he was telling) it is his prayers that emerge prominent. I remember how he held Granny’s hand and leaned in close over her bed when he prayed for her meals. I remember where he sat at the table in the kitchen and how his hand felt when he held mine. I remember his voice and how he ended every prayer the exact same way, “…we beg in Jesus name, Amen.” You could count on Grandpa's prayers. They were just like him. Solid, dependable, consistent and full of faith. 

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

I see in Jeff attributes of each of these strong men of faith. Jeff embodies a true soldier spirit, armed and ready, protected and sure. I so greatly esteem and depend on Jeff’s fearless heart as he proclaims the mysteries of the gospel to those in our community, in our churches and to the treasures in our home. Our children are following in Jeff’s courageous steps as he has followed in the steps of those before him. How grateful I am that these footfalls rest on a trail blazed by a Faithful, Merciful King. A King we have watched, in the generations before us, redeem, heal, sustain and welcome home.

I honor each of these men today for their dedication to their families and for loving as Christ does. Because of their choices and their faithfulness my world and the world of my children was set on a solid foundation. I am forever grateful.

“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”

Praise the Lord!