Let God lead. He knows what He’s doing.

Posted by Phil

Do you ever feel like God could never use you? What characteristics do you think God looks for in those who serve Him? Do you know of any examples in the Bible or history of unlikely men and women whom God used greatly? Name a few.

Read 2 Samuel 7:8-11a, focusing on verse 9.

What about David’s past made him an unlikely hero? (Hint: notice his former job!)

What do these verses tell us about David’s accomplishments and success?

Why should this have kept David humble?

How have you seen God’s hand in your own life?

Do you acknowledge that everything good in your life is due to God’s power and mercy? Why or why not?

David needed to be reminded that he was not ultimately the one doing great things for God. God is the One who had done great things for him, like raising him up from being a poor, unknown shepherd to the greatest king in Israel’s history. Today’s passage should encourage all believers to be grateful. Like David, we cannot take credit for any good that we have done. Our victories and achievements are gifts from the Lord. Whatever we accomplish is due to God’s power working through us. God is very active in our lives. God wants to direct your life and display His glory through it. Let God’s Word remind you daily that your success is the Lord’s work. It’s not about your plans or what you can do. It’s about what He can do. Let Him have control!

“I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. I will make a name for you like that of the greatest in the land.” —2 Samuel 7:9

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Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by Sharon

What a great time of year we are getting into!  Great food, extra time spent with friends and family, fun music, time away from school and work, and most importantly, the reminder of what God has done for us.  As we were thinking of how we could best say “Happy Thanksgiving” to you, we kept coming back to our video from last year.  It was just too hard to top!  So here’s another look…

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Good Plans vs. God’s Plans

Posted by Phil

Think about that time you planned to do something extraordinary, only to have it backfire on you. What happened? What did you learn?

Do you ever find that you are motivated to do something good for the wrong reason? Is this ever true in your relationship with God?

Read 2 Samuel 7:1-7, stopping to think about verse 7.

What was good about David’s plan to build God a house (temple)?

How did God respond to David’s plan?

What does God’s response say about David’s plans?

What was God’s problem with David’s plans?

David wanted to do something wonderful for God, but his plans didn’t correspond to God’s plans. When have you seen that scenario play out in your life? What happened?

We shouldn’t read this passage and think that God doesn’t want us to do great things. He does, but He wants us to do great things according to His plan and through His power and strength. Even our greatest efforts and talents are gifts from Him.

David wanted to do something good for God. He wanted to honor God by building a temple, but it was never God’s plan that David would be the king who would build the temple. David’s motives were pure, and he wanted to do a wonderful thing, but his plan didn’t match up with God’s.

The point you need to understand? You may want to do great things for God, but if He hasn’t called you to do those things, you shouldn’t be doing them. Make plans to serve the Lord, but seek His leadership, then go where He leads and do what He asks.

In all My journeys with all the Israelites, have I ever asked anyone among the tribes of Israel, whom
I commanded to shepherd My people Israel: “Why haven’t you built Me a house of cedar?” —2 Samuel 7:7

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This Month’s Honorable Mentions

Posted by Sharon

The Honor Band assignment was a definite hit, and many of you submitted awesome photos wearing your honor bands. Here are some pictures of you ladies looking good!

Catherine Green sports her honor band at the center of  the state of Alabama on her campus of the University of Montevallo. It’s just a coincidence she is wearing green and white.

Grace Valentine eats at Cafe do  Monde in her home of New Orleans while wearing her honor band.

Ragan Story and Kierston Haddock represent Crestridge and show off their honor bands while away at school.

Thank you to all who participated! We love to see your submissions. December’s assignment coming soon!

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November Assignment Winner!

Posted by Sharon

This month, Ron wanted you to get creative and snap a picture wearing your honor band. A bunch of you submitted fabulous pictures of yourselves looking stylish with your honor bands on. However, we did choose a winner. This month’s assignment winner is Mary Massey. Mary snapped a picture of her other Crestridge gal pals wearing their honor band’s while riding on a carousel.

Allie Buchalski, Molly Speese, Cari Phillips, Kayla Gula and Ashley Gryska all sporting their honor bands at North Point Mall in Alpharetta, GA.

Winner will receive a free store item of her choice sent to her door! Enjoy, and everyone stay tune for next month’s assignment.

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Let Him Lead

Posted by Phil

Read Proverbs 16:1-4.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Things aren’t always as they seem?” Sometimes, the things we think are certain may only be a wish—or even worse, a scam. If only we could pull the curtain back and see things as they really are, we could avoid so much sin, confusion, and heartache.

Often, the problem may be our own pride or selfish motives. All too often, we fail to consider God’s will when we make our plans. We may think we have everything planned out, but only God knows the outcome.

Proverbs 16:1-4 is a reminder that we don’t ultimately determine our futures. Our plans don’t necessarily succeed; God’s plans, on the other hand, are sure to succeed. Even terrible circumstances cannot ultimately disrupt God’s purposes for His people, since He gives believers the strength to endure all situations.

It’s easy to come up with our own plans, then take them to God and ask for His blessing. But that isn’t what He’s asked us to do. Instead, as today’s passage says, He invites us to surrender our plans to Him and line them up with His purposes. When we give our plans to God and pursue His purposes, those plans will be achieved because He’s the One who is doing the leading.

Surrendering your plans to God isn’t easy. It doesn’t always feel good. But regardless of what you think or feel, will you trust God with your present and your future? Your Heavenly Father is worthy of trust, and His promises are sure. Don’t foolishly and arrogantly ignore God and live as if you are in control of your life. Depend on God—He’s the path to true freedom and joy.

Commit your activities to the Lord, and your plans will be achieved. —Proverbs 16:3

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The 2011 Crestridge Intern…Kayla Dulhagen

Posted by Sharon

That’s right…Kayla is here, ready to work hard and prepare for the summer!  Kayla started working November 1st and has already been a huge help.  She will help recruit and hire staff, brainstorm some new activities, write devotionals and blogs, and more.  We are excited that she is here!  Check out the video to get to know her better.

Don’t forget, submissions for the November Assignment are due this Monday, November 15th!

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Posted by Phil

What do you spend most of your time thinking about? As you sit in class at school, where do your thoughts go? Is it the game that’s coming up? Are you dreaming of next summer at Camp? The boy/girl you’re trying to get to notice you? The car you want? Whatever consumes your thoughts also consumes your heart.

Read Psalm 95:1-8. Chew on verse 6.

What reasons to praise the Lord does the psalmist give us in verses 3-5?

The psalmist speaks about the “depths of the earth . . . the mountain peaks . . . the sea . . . the dry land.” What does this signify?

What does bowing down to worship the Lord symbolize?

Have you ever hardened your heart to the things of God? Why? When? What happened?

What things of God is your heart hardened toward right now? Why?

This passage describes worshiping God in a variety of ways for many reasons. What are some reasons you can praise God today?

What steps will you take to praise and worship Him right now?

Today’s passage of Scripture is a call to worship. The psalmist reminds his readers that God is the Creator of all things, from the deepest valleys and seas to the highest mountains. The psalmist calls us to recognize God for who He is, the great God above all others who deserves all of our praise.

But God also wants our hearts to be obedient to Him. He wants us to have submissive attitudes and hearts completely surrendered to His will for our lives. Praise Him today. Ask Him to help you completely surrender your heart and your mind as you give Him all that you are out of your love and devotion for your King.

Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. —Psalm 95:6

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Some Give All

Posted by Phil

He ran. Day after day, he ran. Before school. After school. On weekends. Everywhere he went people would say to him: “Is that all you do? Run?” He was used to the teasing. He was used to being asked why he ran all the time. But in his heart, he didn’t care. He remembered bitterly the pain of last year’s defeat. He’d lost the gold medal in the state cross country meet by just a few seconds, which kept him from his dream of standing on the highest place on the podium. So he ran. He would give it all he had.

Read 2 Samuel 6:12-15 and check out what David was doing in verse 14.

Why did God bless the house of Obed-Edom?

What did this signify to David?

When David went down and brought up the ark of God from Obed-Edom’s house, how did he and his men remove it this time?

After six steps, what did David do?

Verse 14 says David danced with all his might before the Lord. Why did David dance?

What have you given all your might to in the past?

Have you ever worshiped God with everything in you? If not, what is holding you back?

David knew God’s grace and forgiveness. He also knew His holiness. A right relationship with God helps us to recognize who God is, and only when we know that truth can we truly worship Him. He is the Maker of all things. He is the Lover of our souls. He is forgiveness, mercy, and love. He is holy. He deserves our worship and praise. With everything in us, we should worship God.

David was dancing with all his might before the Lord wearing a linen ephod. —2 Samuel 6:14

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Surprise Contest Winners!

Posted by Karah

We were blown away by how many of you submitted pictures during our week long pumpkin carving contest! It was tough to find just one winner for each camp, but after much deliberation we have selected two winners.  We want to thank everyone who participated, and we will be posting as many of the submissions as we can in the next few days. So, without any further ado, the winners are:

Mabry Craddock is the winner for Crestridge

The Krugman Brothers show off their council ring pumpkin

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