Casey and the Son-shine Band!

casey-priestHe left his mother the gift of God’s Son-shine. She found it the third morning after he passed. My friend, Casey Flanagan Priest, “crossed over to be with Jesus, August 17, 2016.”

Brother Casey was only 33. He had a health condition that took him suddenly and quietly in the middle of the night.

Casey was an active member of the Merced Cowboy Church. He listened carefully whenever his pastor, Sharene May, taught the Word of God.

On that third morning after Casey had crossed over his devoted mother, Peggy, was feeling very distraught. She eventually ended up in Casey’s room just to be near him in spirit. It was then that she noticed some folded papers that she had not seen before.

The papers were carefully and neatly written in Casey’s own hand. The first paper seemed to be a note about Jesus from what Casey heard at Cowboy Church. It reads: “As he is in heaven so I am in this world.” (1 John 4:17)

Wanting to know more, I called Pastor Sharene to discover why Casey would have written this verse. She explained that she would often say to Casey, and his brother, Kelly, “As He is in heaven…” and that they would finish the verse responding, “…so am I on earth.”  Then Sharene would joyfully declare to the young men and all the congregation, “Jesus is not deficient in any area and neither are we in this world!”

Isn’t that great? Declaring, “As he is in heaven so I am in this world,” teaches our spirit to believe, accept, receive and grow up into all Jesus has planned for us. It reinforces his bold promise, “You will do greater things than me.” (John 14:12)

It is thrilling for me to know that my friend, Casey, embraced this truth to the point that he wrote it down on a note at home. Let’s embrace it for ourselves for the “greater things” Jesus wants to do though us! That’s what he did through Casey’s note.

On Casey’s note pages Peggy also read, ”I know that my redeemer lives, and he will stand on the earth at last.” (Job 19:25) Second he wrote, “The Lord took pity on his people who were troubled, burdened and suffering.”  Amazing Son-shine from her son!

During our phone call, Pastor Sharene made three keen observations about God’s love and care in Peggy’s note discovery.  First, the notes were found on the third morning which speaks of resurrection and new life!  Second, God works through and  beyond the realm of time—weaving the past into the present and the future. And, third, Casey is ministering to his mother and the rest of us from the other side, from when he was still on this side!

Casey: the mighty servant that God can use from both sides of the grave to help his kingdom come and his will be done on earth as is in heaven. That’s Casey’s Son-shine!

Casey penned a final comment on his notes. He wrote, “Accept: means to approve of or to receive willingly.” I hope each of us will “approve of” and “receive willingly” for ourselves what Casey declared: “As he (Jesus) is in heaven…so I am in this world.”

Go “Casey and the Son-shine Band!” Now ministering live, in heaven, and on earth!

“Giv’m heaven!”—John Parker

John Parker serves with Connections Simple Church of Chowchilla meeting 10 AM Sundays at Carty Center, 609 W. Robertson Blvd. Learn more at: or contact John at (209) 564-7201

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