There are No Coincidences in Our Father’s World

For the past several months I have followed a blog called “Hike It Forward” written by Dr. Dave Rough who is the Academic Dean at the Dayton Christian School System. Dr. D., as he calls himself, begins his 2,186 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) next Saturday from Springer Mountain, GA. His hike will raise scholarship funds for students who might not otherwise be able to attend Dayton Christian School.

In his preparatory hikes Dr. D. has logged many miles on the trails of the local and state parks in southwest Ohio, parks that my wife Leah and I often hike as a couple and with our family from North Cincinnati Community Church. In fact, there have been a few occasions where we have been on the same trail on the same day, but have never actually crossed paths.

Yesterday, as we were waiting for our amazing group (22 adults and 23 children) from NCCC to arrive at the Flat Fork Ridge Recreation Area in Caesar Creek State Park, I noticed a gentleman with a fully loaded backpack crossing the parking lot to his car. It struck me that this very well could be Dr. D., and as God’s providence would have it, it was!

We had only a brief conversation, however I felt an immediate bond, both as a Christian brother and as a fellow hiker. Most assuredly I will be praying daily for his safety and success!

To learn more about Dr. D. and his hike visit his blog at:

Hiking group from North Cincinnati Community Church at the Flat Fork Ridge Recreation Area, Caesar Creek State Park, Waynesville, Ohio.

Hiking group from North Cincinnati Community Church at the Flat Fork Ridge Recreation Area, Caesar Creek State Park, Waynesville, Ohio.

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.


With Thanksgiving!

Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

2013-11-28 - With Thanksgiving (IMG_1207)Rays from the setting sun bursting through scattered clouds. Parking lot of North Cincinnati Community Church, Mason, Ohio.

This photograph was taken on an ordinary day (June 4th, 2010) in an ordinary place (a church parking lot) in an ordinary town (Mason) in southwestern Ohio.  While this was not taken in some amazing wilderness location, and it may not be the most perfectly composed or exposed photograph I have ever taken, it has always been one that strikes my heart.  I think the reason it does so is because it serves to remind me that every day is precious and that God is present with me always, even in the most ordinary times and places of my life.

On this day in America we celebrate Thanksgiving, a day often filled with family, feasting, and football; it is a time to celebrate. But, amidst all the hustle and bustle, it is really a day set aside for us to pause and reflect on all the blessings God has bestowed on us over the past year. In addition to the obvious things for which we give thanks, though, we should also remember to give thanks to our God who is the ever present, sovereign God, the one who is there with us even in the ordinary times and places of our lives.

Take time today, and every day, to look for God’s presence in all of his creation. God is there…he is calling out to you through his creation!  Listen to him, seek him, and give him thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

Yours in Christ,
Todd the Hiker

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.