Mountains on horseback
Posted on June 7th, 2012

I'm always excited when one of our students sees it, when they actually see God at work around them for the first time.  This is typically the part of the week where the times alone with God and the self reflection start to break down the walls and open a path for God to meet with us.  Last night we had a kid stand up with a huge smile that he couldn't wipe away and say that the he was finally honest with God and that for the first time ever felt God's presence.  It's a moment that he will never forget and that will change him forever.  How can we not be changed by an encounter with God.  I'm excited to see how God moves in the rest of the students lives the rest of the week. 

Today we got to see God's handywork on horseback.  For several in our group it was their first time on a horse, so we may have ruined future rides for them.  I can't imagine riding in a more beautiful place.  They all did amazing and conquered another fear.  I'm proud of our groups willingness to try new things and be stretched beyond what is comfortable for them. 
On Wednesday we continued with our trek of Jesus' encounters with people in John.  Below is Wednesday's devotion.

"Earthly love...is temporal and slight so it has to be given again and again in order for us to feel a sense of security; but God’s love, God’s voice and presence, would instill our souls with such affirmation we would need nothing more and would cause us to love other people so much we would be willing to die for them.  Perhaps this is what the apostles stumbled upon."
- Donald Miller,  Searching For God Knows What

Before you start this morning, take a couple of minutes to sit quietly and just look around and then pray that God will teach you something about Him and yourself today.  As you read, underline anything that jumps out to you and put a question mark by anything that doesn’t make sense. 

I believe that we are changed by our experiences, the good ones and bad ones alike.  We’re changed through our relationships with friends and family and, when we let ourselves, we are changed every time we encounter God.  I think it’s in those moments when we catch a glimpse of God and what he has for us that we are changed the most.  Really, how can we not be?  There are some experiences in life that we can never shake, no matter how hard we try, even if we don’t completely understand them.  15 years ago I met God at Mt. Princeton.  I wish I could map out that morning and recreate that experience for you.  I just know that for the first time in years, when God spoke I was ready to listen.  I’ve never been the same.  In our reading today we get to peek in on someone’s encounter with Jesus.  Read John 4:4-30, 39-42

What initially jumps out to you in this story?
In what ways can you identify with the woman in this story? 
What does this story reveal about God’s attitude towards you? 
How does it feel to know that, just as Jesus sought out an encounter with this woman, that he wants to spend time with you this week?
How/When has God demonstrated His love for you?  This week?

“When we least expect Him in our lives, Jesus shows up.  Sometimes when we are actively trying to avoid anything that would remind us that our lives are not as they should be, we find Jesus waiting in the very place we have run to hide.  Jesus never forces himself on us, but he does have an uncanny way of interrupting our thoughts and actions with truthful questions and challenging ideas.  Think about the times Jesus has showed up in your life, as a way of starting a life-changing episode with you.”* - Max Lucando, The Gospel of John


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