Ministry, outdoors

The soul never thinks without a picture

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Have you ever been asked the question “What does God look like”?

I have been asked that question, and I have asked the question myself many times.  I love the story of a first grade teacher who was observing her students while they were drawing pictures. She occasionally walked around the classroom to see each child’s artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working very diligently, she asked what the drawing was.  The little girl replied, “I’m drawing a picture of God.”  The teacher paused for a second and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.”  Without missing a beat or even looking up from her drawing, the little girl replied, “THEY WILL IN A MINUTE.”

When you hear about Jesus’ promise of an abundant life, do you ever think, “I’m a Christian, but I don’t see God moving so abundantly in my life!” Have you ever wondered whether you have misconceptions about faith that could be blocking your view of God?

Could it be that we are our own worst enemy when it comes to realizing God’s abundant life? Maybe it’s time to change your spiritual perspective and experience God’s presence in your life like never before. Maybe God is calling you to get out of your routine and come outside to get a fresh view of just how amazingly creative God is and how amazingly hungry you are for him.

The soul never thinks without a picture


When I look around at many people of faith today, I see people who are satisfied with just wearing a T-shirt for an adventure they’ve missed out on.

For much of our lives we’re missing the journey. We’re stuck in the same dull routine. We’re missing out on the joy, fear, laughter, doubt, mystery and confusion of following the adventurous life with God that would take us out of our synthetic virtual worlds.

Author of Wild Goose Chase, Pastor and Adventurer Mark Batterson reminds us of this very thing when he points us to Genesis 15 where we see an amazing illustration of God’s desire to get us “out there”.

God took Abraham outdoors to look up into the nighttime sky. He told him that his offspring would outnumber the stars in the sky. What God did may be just as significant as what He said. He led Abraham outside for an object lesson that he would never forget. He would never see the stars in the sky the same way again. Every time he looked into the nighttime sky, he “remembered the promises of God.”

Why did God take him outside? Because held up inside the tent, Abraham’s vision of God and God’s amazing future for him was limited. He could not see the potential of God’s promises. God wanted him to get a glimpse of just how big a God He was. Taking him outside was God’s way of telling Abraham not to put limits and ceilings on what He wanted to do through him and for him.

We are so much like Abraham. We assume what God can do and what He can’t. These assumptions become our tent of blindness which seriously blocks our ability to see and fulfill our God-given potential. When we take a moment to get out there, we are actually taking time to hear the future God has for us if we will just listen, look, and learn.

Getting outside gives you a new view of the inside, and Abraham, the father of faith, walked into an amazing new future.

Aristotle said, “The soul never thinks without a picture.”  Wow.  What are you looking at the gives your soul bigger, grander thoughts?

He determined the exact place where you should live

I believe where you live determines how you live. Yes, geography does effect your destiny, and what you see everyday defines your outlook and outcome.

I have always enjoyed the outdoors, the woods and streams.  To this day it seems whenever we are on a trip or going from one place to another and we pass over a river or go through a forest, I have an urge to stop everything and take the time to explore the place.

Any place I have had opportunity to travel, whether it was South America, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, or my own backyard I have been curious about the habitat.

Here is a picture of a place I would spend hours at a time as a boy growing up in eastern Iowa.


I knew it as “the swamp” next to my first job at the Scott County Sportsman Club. Now it is known as Nahant Marsh.

What a great place to grow up as a child. Little did I realize at the time, but that place of adventure and exploring was a set up by God.

I found an amazing passage this morning out of Acts 17:26-27 that explains why we live where we do and why we live when we do.

According to Acts 17, God places us in certain geographical locations at certain times in history for a real specific reason. “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him.”

Pretty cool stuff!  From this perspective, I conclude that where we live has a lot to do with how we live.

Here’s a little post script: About a mile away from Nahant Marsh is a church that was very instrumental in my pursuit and search for a real relationship with the Creator.


When I come to the understanding that God places me in an exact geographical location so that I might seek him and get to know him, I really get in a hurry to get off this computer and get out there and invest some energy and time with an amazing artist and creator God with every hike, bike trio, or view of a glimmering river.

Steve Lummer
Prescott, Arizona

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