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Mountain Top Encounters | Learning Guide

October 22nd 2023


The wind whipped with a constant urgency and aggression. It wasn’t playing around and I got the message. We had started early that morning at Paradise and climbed almost 5000 feet to reach Camp Muir, the 10,188 camp used to regroup and prep before making a summit attempt on Mt. Rainier. It had taken us all day, the weather had been great, but now, the sun was setting and the wind gusting so hard that you had to lean into it or be knocked over. The temps were dropping faster than a rock to the bottom of a well and we had a short window to prep for a night of near zero wind chill. And this was June. Mountains, real mountains, are serious places and you’d better be serious if you want to survive. But what if I could have cried out and stopped the wind? What if I could have bargained and pleaded and warmed the air? Sounds crazy right? But bargaining with God on Mountain tops seems to be a thing in the Bible.

Well, Mt. Nebo isn’t Mt. Rainier, not even Sinai where Moses received the ten commandments. It is, however, a place for us to encounter God and consider what that means.

I hope you’ll make the trek, if not for the whole weekend, at least Sunday morning. It’s worth the effort, I promise.

Grace and peace y’all,

John Ray and the Teaching Team

Big Idea:

God listens to and is willing to respond to our prayers, but are we ready for what it might cost us?

Take Away:

Grasping, and practicing, prayer is drought with risk, but we ignore it at our own risk. God invites us to pray, negotiate, wrestle even. This will cost us.


Exodus 32:11-14 (NET)

How does this fit with Belong, Become, Believe?

Our practice of radical hospitality at Grace is rooted in the idea of a God who is for everyone and means it. This practice helps us become more and more who we are supposed to be as a Church and both informs and is formed by what we confess to believe.


  • A Long Obedience

What's Next?

Back at the Chapel of CUMC and more wrestling with God in Exodus.

Contact Grace Church NWA here

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