A Time to Cleanse the Soul

shutterstock_406010773When I was a small boy, my military minded father insisted on scrubbing me with Lava soap. Lava was a perfect name, because the soap had rocks embedded in it.

Lava could remove grease and grime and even skin and bones if you kept scrubbing. It was like sandpaper for humans.

HOWEVER! When the scrubbing was over and I rinsed off I felt like a new person. Refreshed. “Spic and span.” Uber-clean. Occasionally my soul needs a cleaning like that.

For some people the ocean does the trick. For me the ocean means sunburn, crowded beaches and quick-stepping over hot sand.

For other people travel cleanses the soul. I find nothing cleansing about security pat-downs, delayed flights and airplane seats smaller than my grand-baby’s car safety seat.

The mountains are my Lava soap. Rough, demanding and majestically beautiful. There is no place where I am more aware of the presence of God. There is no place where I am as far removed from ringtones, bad news, schedules and the demands of modern life. The unforgiving, physically demanding, and sometimes dangerous wilderness is where I most clearly hear the voice of God.

When I return, I have usually shed about 15 pounds of fat, and 30 pounds of grime that has accumulated on my soul.


If you wonder over the next few weeks why there is no communication with me, it is because I am taking a soul bath in the mountain wilderness. God willing, I will come back with bruises, aching muscles, a recharged battery and a clean soul. Also with pictures of the adventure.

At that time I would love to read your comments about where you go to cleanse your soul!

Thank you for your understanding.

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  1. Praying for you to experience the regeneration that comes from “bathing” in God’s presence, whatever the setting!
    Ever since my first foray at Quaker Ridge with YFC decades ago, the mountains have been a reminder of the Lord’s majestic power and limitless creativity. Yet I would say I also find my soul’s respite whenever I ponder the ocean (a sadly rare privilege), as its vastness humbles my heart like nothing else quite does. And whenever, wherever, or however the Lord humbles our hearts–that’s when we’re ready for His cleansing; ready to not only get the dust and dreariness of the world washed away, but to have grit washed from our eyes so we can seeHim more clearly.
    Oh, that we can learn to experience that daily–and find our mountains (or ocean) right at our own front door.

  2. Enjoy your time with nature and God’s splendor. I am envious of you since we love to go camping and get back to a simple lifestyle. We go camping as often as we can, but don’t get to go again until Labor Day weekend. Camping is how we recharge and get back to God. It’s amazing how the beauty of God’s world looks with a cup of coffee and the only sound is nature.

  3. I am with you, Ken. I just love the mountains. The clean water, the fresh air, the peace and quiet, all of it. I feel so much at peace and closer to God when I am hiking through the Colorado Rockies.
    Sometimes I wonder about God’s sense of humor. I am drawn to the mountains, even though I am allergic to just about every plant there. My brother, who has no allergies at all, is drawn to the beach.
    In my opinion, life’s not a beach, it’s a mountain. Have a great time Ken!

  4. After the news coverage and the stuff happening in our country, I feel that need for a good scrubbing too. I was just reading Jeremiah, and thought it mirrored pretty clearly what’s happening here. May God’s grace and mercy surround us all. We are all going to need to flee to the mountains—or wherever we can find restoration for our souls.
    May God bless you.

  5. Thank you for giving me much needed laughter every week!…My soul cleansing place is the beach…and your story about your experience at the beach made me laugh too! 🙂 Praying for your trip to be great!

  6. Enjoy your much-needed time away as our Lord Jesus toughens you up in the wilderness (Jesus knows about the tough wilderness…), scrubs your spirit, and renders you sparkly new, through and through!

  7. I love the mountains too, but I don’t live where they are. I spent one week in Colorado way back in 1990, and the Rockies have been in my blood ever since. But I live in Michigan, so here it the forest. With sunshine streaming through the trees. Especially in the fall when God paints his favorite colors on the leaves. I hope to get back to the Rockies someday. In the meantime, I’ll travel vicariously with you. God bless!!

  8. Enjoy your time with the Lord. Sometimes a nice long bike ride in the country does it for me. I can sing hymns, songs of praise, and pray while traveling through a portion of creation.

  9. Have a good rest and come back refreshed so you can continue God’s message to your followers. Thank you for the many years that I have followed your dvds, emails, etc. God bless you and your family.

  10. We will be praying for you?
    For my SOUL CLEANSING let me get on my 2015 CanAm Motorcycle and go to rolling hills & Tennessee mountains. Since there is a helmet law I’m unable to feel the wind blowing through my hair … if I had some. I’ve had very close intimate times with God on my bike. Insightful answers to situations. Sermons to preach. Convictions for a wrong attitude, etc, etc. Add to it God’s gorgeous, magnificent creative beauty … says it all.
    Thanks for the opportunity to share. We’ll be looking for your return.

  11. I love to go on long drives where I can sing as loud and off key as I do and talk to God and listen to Him

  12. Safe travels, Ken. And, please pray for God to send His Spirit to scrub the soul of our very troubled though still wonderful nation. Please, America, bless God and pray for peace, love, unity, and faith!

  13. Ken, I love the mountains! That is where I feel the most at peace. When my husband and I got married, I told him please never move me to the city or the desert…..well one out of 2 aint bad! We live in the high plains dessert of Oregon…it is sooooooo ugly. I miss our Southern Oregon area where we were born, lots of mountains, and forests! That is our kind of place. When I want to write, I love to be either in the mountains or sitting next to a river. There is a special kind of awareness of Jesus presence when you are in the mountains….I love it. I miss it terribly.. I know we are supposed to bloom where we are planted…..but let me tell you it is hard to plant a lot of beauty in SAND! God bless you for your ministry. Thankyou for your daily cheer, happy recharging in the mountains….I am green with envy, I wish I was in the mountains…I am sure my hubby would like to be there too!

  14. I have 3 kids under 4, so time is an absoluty luxury. 1st priority is spending time with the kids, but if I can squeese an halfhour out somewhere, I’ll dissapear into the garage to go work with wood. No matter how tired I am, after 10 minutes of woodworking I’ll feel like a new creation.

  15. This family who is in charge of a camp loves to get away and go camping when we have no campers on the property. We took our family to Mt. Rushmore this year. Our favorite part was just pulling over on a side road and climbing. We all sleep very well in our little pop up camper with out the world knocking at our door. Enjoy!

  16. The beach is my awww! So big and vast and the beautiful rythym of the waves! Blue is my favorite color!!!! Enjoy your time with God! Come to me all that are weary and I will give you rest!

  17. Dear Ken, I’m at a nursing home. Previously I was in a room with 2 other people. My quiet time was not in my room. The majority of the time I would escape down the hallway to a tiny chapel that was very quiet. I would read my Bible, maybe get a diet soda and head down to therapy. Finally, a door was opened up for me to be in a semi-private room and the roommate that is here with me is only here with me at the end of the night. It’s perfect! I can read my Bible and prayer and then read other books with no disruptions. I love it. It makes not being at home a little more tolerable.

  18. Sounds awesome ken. A good getaway from city life. Every one needs that. Quite time in the mountain with the Lord.

  19. Thanks Ken.
    You just reminded me that its been a while since I had a soul cleansing myself.
    Usually, traveling to a different region in my country(Ghana) and enjoying the sight and sound of nature does the trick for me.

    Eagerly waiting for the pictures of your exploits upon your return.

    live life fully ALIVE!

  20. I go to God’s Word. I go to prayer. I listen for His voice. I experience a “Lava” cleansing given by the harsh and abrasive world after which I cry out to the Lord, hurting, and He holds me and reminds me He has everything under control. He loves me and is giving me His best. I must trust Him and obey.

  21. I like you live in Nashville, TN and my cleansing of soul comes from going to another state, one which I have not been to yet, and covering all the spots I find interesting. Last week I went to Wisconsin and Michigan. Because I had some very hard months, being assaulted, a complete breakdown, and youngest son passing away and cancer w/surgery, I was so looking forward to a retrieve. So I called a friend, went to stay with her by plane with no mishaps (I think God felt I had endured enough) we drove to Mackinac Island and spent time in another era. No cars, phones nor electronic equipment of any sort. Just quiet, lazy, reflective and physically rebuilding of the soul.

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