How is your GPS working?

By Dr. John Ed Mathisonjohn ed
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

When Jesus wanted to teach us about trust, faith and security, and give us a formula for not worrying and being anxious, He used birds as an example.  He said that the birds don’t worry about what to eat.  They don’t need to plant or reap or store up food.  They know that their Heavenly Father is going to take care of them. Jesus then reminds us that we are far more valuable to God than little birds.  (Read Matthew 6:26, 27.)

A very popular sport today is bird watching.  If we really watch the birds, we can learn a lot of good lessons of life.  One especially important lesson is how God guides the birds and us in our lives. 

Through our television ministry at Frazer I was introduced to a lot of interesting people.  A wonderful lady named Nancy Floyd from Charlottesville, Virginia worshiped each week by television.  She volunteered from Virginia for things at Frazer.  She was known as “the quill lady.”  She made quill pens from Czechoslovakian goose feathers.  Nancy sent me some of those quill pens.  She always signed her notes, “On the shadow of God’s wings.”

She told me that each feather has a barrel, a shaft, and a body. Each bird’s feathers have a distinctive body shape.  Inside the barrel of each feather is a filament.  This is God’s computer chip. This enables the birds to have uncanny directional skills like a GPS.

God has placed a tremendous directional device into many of His creatures!  I remember reading about some amazing birds at Midway Island.  These birds built their nests too close to the American air strip.  The military didn’t want to injure or kill the birds, so they caught them and moved them to the Philippines.

It was certainly a safe distance from Midway Island.  It was over 4,000 miles, which is greater than the width of the United States. Surprisingly, in less than 30 days the flock of albatrosses had flown back to Midway Island.  They flew over open sea and unfamiliar territory.  How did they do that?  How could they navigate night and day in good weather and bad weather to come back home? That special GPS God gave these birds can do a fantastic thing!

I have been out to Stuttgart, Arkansas to speak several times and met some of the finest Christian leaders anywhere.  Stuttgart only has about 10,000 people, but is considered the rice capital of the world, and also the duck-hunting capital of the world.  Those two go together.

Every year, the ducks come back to Stuttgart.  The duck hunting business is worth over $60 Million to Stuttgart during its 60-day season.  How do those ducks keep coming back there?  I wonder if somewhere high in the sky there must be some road signs or directional lights.  Did the ducks get a GPS before us?   

Faithful little birds named Swallows always come back to the mission at San Juan Capistrano, California on March 19th.  About dawn, the little birds arrive and begin building mud nests amidst the ruins of the great stone church.  The church becomes the house for those little birds that St. Francis of Assisi loved so much.  In the middle of summer, they leave, but everybody knows they are coming back the next March 19.   How do they know to do that? How do they always find their way back to that church?  It’s their home.

Buzzards have been caricatured as dumb birds, but they are pretty smart!  Something guides them back to Hinckley, Ohio on March 15 every year.  This tradition actually goes back to 1818 when a judge named Hinckley and a dozen of his friends had a roundup and killed a lot of predators on their property.  They took what food they wanted and left the carcasses.  Guess which birds came in to “clean up?”  That was almost 200 years ago.  The buzzards still come back to Hinckley on the same date.  You can count on it. They are coming home. 

God has a great destination for you – a great plan for your life.  Be sure that He is your GPS!  He will lead you safely Home! (Read 2 Peter 3:13.)

John Ed’s blog posts appear in For His Glory each week.1
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149

1Listen to John Ed Mathison's one-minute daily devotional on Facebook. and click “PLAY" on the audio YouTube in order to listen.  Or you can go to his ministry page at</c 

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About Steven Sawyer

God blessed me with the gift of writing. Mom told me I wrote paragraphs in second grade when others were learning to write sentences. I spent more than three decades in professional writing gigs. For the past eight years I've combined my passion for writing with my love for the Lord. He and I write a Christ-centered, family-friendly blog to glorify God Monday-thru Friday at My wife and I have four grown children and two precious granddaughters we co-parent with their mom. I'm a Galatians 2:20 disciple of Christ seeking to allow Christ to live His life in me, through me, and as me.

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