Siri: Where Am I?

pigeon-statue-11If you were a statue, you would think of a pigeon about like the kennel boy does a dog.  Not me—I raised pigeons when I was just a kid, and the unique ability of these birds to find their way home has always amazed me.

Evidently Cornell and the University of Pittsburgh share my appreciation for this innate ability of pigeons.  The research from both universities has concluded that pigeons use multiple facilities to help them determine the correct sense of direction.  While the sun is their primary orientation, they also use the earth’s magnetic field as a guide to get them safely home.

After an all-to-common and failed attempt to get directions from Siri (iPhone), I’ve decided I might have better luck finding my way home if I could somehow tether my truck to a pigeon.  Even though I speak clearly, Siri only understands about 10% of what I say when I ask for directions.

As I thought about the proficiency of the pigeons and the sad service of Siri, I was reminded of the words of Jesus:  My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.

Whenever we are lost or feel alone, we can listen for the Shepherd’s voice and have the comfort of knowing we are never lost when we are with Him.

The Maze of Monday Madness

mazeOnce the clock ticked past midnight last night, Sunday ended and Monday began. You had no say in the matter. Try as you might, there is no way that you can change the 24 hours of Sunday into 36 hours; and, you can’t skip Monday and jump ahead 24 hours into Tuesday.

You can, however, choose what kind of a Monday this will be. Will it be a Monday of madness or gladness?

To start the day off on the right foot, take a look at Psalms 18:24: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Rejoice and be glad because God has blessed you with the gift of life and another day full opportunities.

To make the most of today, reflect on the words Paul shared with Timothy:

• Give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who gives you strength
• Praise Him because when you acted in ignorance and unbelief, He still blessed you with His mercy
• Think of the abundant resources of God: “the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus”
• Remember why Jesus came into this world: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”
• Every time you stand up today, focus your thoughts on Paul’s benediction: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.”

If you’ve been lost in the Maze of Monday Madness, the formula above is the compass that will get you headed in the right direction.

Is Your Best Foot Forward?

One of my favorite books in the Bible is Psalms. The 19th Psalm is the longest division in this book, and it begins with a wonderful promise: “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!”

There are two words that are seen two times in the two verses above. The first word is “blessed,” and the second is “way.” One of the themes of this Psalm, and some others, is the link between receiving “blessings,” and doing things God’s “way.”

• The pathway we are to walk is the principles of God, and when we do this we are blessed.
• Seeking God wholeheartedly is evidence of walking in His way
• The key to keeping your way (life) pure is by integrating God’s Word into your life (9-11).
• When you develop a relationship with God you will “delight” in the way of His testimonies (14).
• Applying the principles of God to your life is not an accident, but it is a conscious decision that needs to be made: “I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me (30).”
• On your journey through the wilderness of life, it will be necessary to check your compass and correct your course from time to time: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24)”

The principles above come to life in the story of the prodigal son. In him, we see a young man who followed the way of the world and experienced a life of tragedy and failure. The choices he made reminds me of Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

Even though his son had failed, the father was ready to forgive him and welcome him home. When he saw his son walking down the dusty road that led to the house, he said: “My son was lost and now is found (Luke 15:24).”

Which path are you walking, and what principles are guiding your life? Are you wholeheartedly seeking God and walking in His ways?