A Friend We’ll Never Forget

Posted by Sharon


The girls of Camp Crestridge lost a special friend yesterday, as Arko our beloved camp dog passed away.  Arko has been the faithful companion of our Summer Director, Marva Rawlings for over 13 years. Our thoughts and prayers reach out to her today.  It’s hard to think about our favorite dog not being there to oversee the 4-square courts, or to allow us some good cuddle time when we need it.  We’ll miss you very much Arko.

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The First Shall Be Last…What?

Posted by Melissa

“AMERICAN IDOL.” “America’s Next Top Model.” Paris Hilton’s “My New BFF.” Whether it’s a singer, model, or best friend, the contestants are all trying to be first, the greatest, the one on top. Unfortunately, many Christians have that same idea. We want to be the one who is recognized, honored, and seen as the best. Many would rather sing on the worship team than scrub toilets at the church or go on a “big” mission trip instead of mowing the lawn of the elderly lady next door. When was the last time you did an act of service that few people knew about?

Read Mark 9:33-37 and ponder verse 35.
What did Jesus ask His disciples?
What were they arguing about?
Why do you think they didn’t want to tell Jesus?
What does verse 35 mean?
What do you think is the hardest part about being a servant?
What is one concrete way you can serve another person this week?

Jesus knew what the disciples were arguing about. He knew it was a heart issue; that’s why He nailed them on it. Jesus turned their thinking upside down and their hearts inside out when He told them that in order to be great, they had to be servants to all.

But the kind of service Jesus is talking about isn’t just a summer mission trip, a work day at church, or a service project at camp. It is a lifestyle. It is putting others’ needs before your own. It is quietly serving your parents, classmates, cabin mates, and that crabby neighbor. This week, instead of looking for ways to get noticed, quietly serve someone and let God notice. It’s the way Jesus lived His life on earth—and He is your example.

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Congratulations to Kaitlin Harlow-December Winner for Free Store

Posted by Sharon

Congratulations Kaitlin!  We are so happy to announce that because of her wonderful comments on our blog Kaitlyn has won the December Drawing for Free Store.  Kaitlin is already signed up to return for another summer at Crestridge, and will be climbing the many stairs on her way to joining the mighty Cheyenne Village.  Kaitlin will be enjoying her Sprite and Nestle Crunch bar as the anticipation of another summer in the mountains approaches.  All Kaitlin had to do was to comment on the blog and she was entered into the drawing.  The more you comment, the more your name gets entered.

The Steps Peeking in the Store

Don’t forget, you too can win a Free Store!  All you have to do is comment on any of our blogs and your name will be entered into our monthly drawing.  You can comment as much as you want for more chances to win.  We choose a winner each month, so be sure to comment each month.  If chosen, we’ll get your order and send it over to you!

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What’s The Most Important Thing?

Posted by Melissa

IT’S SUNDAY, AND YOUR COACH schedules a morning practice. You have Bible study on Wednesday night, and your friends call and invite you to go out for hot wings. The prettiest girl or hottest guy in the school isn’t interested in God but is very interested in you. Your friend has a cell phone at camp and you don’t know whether you should tell your counselor. The scenarios are endless of everyday situations that call for tough choices—choices that boil down to what Jesus wants or what you want. Think about a “Jesus or you” choice that you recently had to make. What made the choice difficult? If you could do it over, would you choose differently?

Read Luke 14:25-35. Stop and think about verse 26.
What relationships did Jesus say could never be more important than Him?
Why do these verses make you feel uncomfortable?
What did Jesus say was the cost of putting others before Him?
What relationships are you tempted to put before Jesus?
What steps do you need to take today to make sure that you are choosing Jesus first in all things?

Jesus isn’t calling you to actually “hate” everyone in your life except Him. You know God’s character and that He would never ask you to do that! What Jesus is saying is that no friend, family member, coach, boss, or boyfriend/girlfriend—absolutely NO ONE (that includes yourself)—is to be more important to you than Him. It’s one thing to say you are a Christian, but if your choices don’t scream “I’m a follower of Jesus!,” then your relationship may only be lip service.

Jesus’ whole point is that following Him costs us. Clearly, He wants us to follow hard after Him with a single-minded focus. When you are willing to pay the price, then you can call yourself a true disciple. Does your life announce to the world that you are His disciple?

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Crestridge Staff Reunion

Posted by Sharon

Every year on December 27-29, we host our Staff Reunion.  A few weeks ago, 27 staffers came and reunited at Crestridge!  We were able to catch up, eat good food, laugh, share our favorite memories, play at Fun Depot and just relax. A group of people were even brave enough to do a sunrise hike up to Rattlesnake and took in a beautiful sunrise.  We still had a lot of snow around, so those who were from Florida really enjoyed seeing it.  Here’s a look at the fun we had!

Staff on the Pavilion Village Directors

Staff at Fun Depot Most of Staff who Attended Reunion

Those who are coming back to work this summer are so excited for another opportunity to spend a summer with all you wonderful campers!

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Our Intern Has Arrived

Posted by Sharon

Back in September, I wrote a blog introducing our 2010 Crestridge Intern-Kathleen Hobbs.  Kathleen started work last Monday and is working hard.  Here’s a word from her:

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Motives Matter

Posted by Melissa

IN TODAY’S VERSE, Jesus makes a big shift on His audience. They were used to the Law, but Jesus started talking about motives. The Pharisees were trying to do all the right things, but their motives were selfish and self-seeking. It’s not just our external behavior that matters, but what’s going on in our heart.

Read Mark 7:10-16 and check out what Jesus said in verse 16.
Have you ever done the right thing for the wrong reason?
Does that honor God? Why or why not?
What does today’s passage teach you about that?
How do we break God’s laws to follow tradition?
Does society pressure you to accept behavior that is wrong?
What should you do in that situation?

The Pharisees valued being right and making sure everyone obeyed. Jesus finished His teaching with a simple statement—if you have ears, you should listen. Everyone has ears, but not everyone listens. We can focus so much on what we think we should be doing that we never stop to listen to what Jesus says to do. Jesus desires a relationship with us. And out of that relationship flows obedience to His commands. When we spend time in His Word and prayer, we will be more like Him. Legalism comes out of pride and selfishness. When we read the Bible and apply it to everyone else, we have missed the point. When we apply it to our lives, we’ll find the great things God has in store.

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Construction and Ice

Posted by Sharon

Within the past few weeks, the construction crews have finished putting the new metal roofs on all the cabins and are now putting the siding on.  They have finished the Chippewa and Chickasaw cabins and are now working on Cherokee Hill.  They will eventually paint the cabins the same color as the new cabins added last year.  Most the electrical and plumbing has been completed.  They have slowed down a little because of the cold weather and all the snow.  But they are still moving forward!

Chickasaw 9 Cherokee 25

We’ve decided to keep a section open in each cabin so you can see old signatures from the past.  Here’s what it will look like.

Chickasaw 9 Signatures

I know all you Floridians have been experiencing some cold weather recently.  We are excited about next week because the weather channel is saying the temperature may actually reach 40 degrees!  There is still quite a bit of snow left from the storm 3 weeks ago and the lakes are freezing over.  It is unusual to see the Crestridge lake frozen because there usually isn’t any water in there.  So savor these next few pictures!

Crestridge Chapel in the snow Frozen Crestridge Lake-1 Frozen Crestridge Lake-2

Check back soon for more updates!  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Keep Your Eyes on Christ

Posted by Melissa

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A GOOD IDEA that turned bad? I know I have, and many other people have, too. That’s why we have the old saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
In today’s passage, the Pharisees had a good plan. They set up laws and traditions so that they wouldn’t violate God’s laws. The problem came when their laws became more important that God’s, and they began to judge others. We call that legalism. Jesus called it the “tradition of men.” Either way, it’s bad.

Read Mark 7:1-9 and think carefully about verses 8 and 9.
What was Jesus’ problem with the Pharisees? Why is that a big deal?
What does it mean to honor God with our lips while our hearts are far from Him?
 Do you talk about how others are acting?
 Do you find yourself judging others by their behavior?
 Do you find yourself fighting with others about their behavior?
 Does any of that bring glory to God?

Obedience to God’s laws is a great thing, and you should always follow Christ. You should always look for ways to apply God’s laws to your life. It’s also OK to keep people accountable, talk to them about their struggles, and pray for one another. The problem comes when we begin to judge others.

When we judge others, when we cause fights and conflicts, it causes separation between us and God. When we are focused on others, we are not focused on God. We begin to focus on what we think, what the other people are doing, and how they are behaving. It’s hard to keep your eyes on Jesus when you are watching everyone else.

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