See The Proof

Posted by Melissa

Read Psalm 19:1-6.

Think about the most breathtaking natural wonder you’ve ever seen. The Grand Canyon. Niagara Falls. Mountain ranges, vast river valleys, caves. Think about the intricacies of your body’s cells and the tiny details you can’t even see with the naked eye on the wing of a butterfly. Consider that no one has the same fingerprints and every dog has a unique nose print. Ponder the seasons, the tides, the moon, and the stars.

Creation itself testifies that there is a Creator. The world around us calls us into a God-consciousness. Because of the intricacies of life, life processes, and all creation, we begin to recognize that there is a God who created all and is in control of it all. Just as a watch points to the existence of a watchmaker, creation over and over declares the glory of the Creator.

That’s what David was describing in today’s Scripture passage. Just as a watch has a watchmaker and a house has a builder, we can look at the intricacies of creation and know that God made it. You live in a world in which many proclaim there is no God, yet creation itself tells a different story. As David pointed out, creation sings a silent song of praise to the Creator, and the message has gone out to all of the world. The writer even points to the sun itself, calling attention to its daily route from horizon to horizon and describing its brightness as the joy of a bridegroom or an eager athlete. The sun itself testifies to the existence of a Creator who set our planet into motion around it. The point is this: God reveals Himself to the world, and one of the ways He does so is through His creation. Many in this world may question the existence of a Creator, but creation doesn’t. If anything, it testifies to His glory. Look out your window. Go outside. See the proof.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. —Psalm 19:1

Reprinted from ec magazine. © 2010 LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Used by permission.

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New Crestridge Flag

Posted by Karah

Flags represent a community of people, where they come from, and what they stand for.  This summer, Crestridge has received its own  special addition to fly proudly at camp. Given to us and made by hand by one of our own lovely camp nurses, Monica Kidder, the flag sports camp’s symbol and colors. We are happy to have a place like Crestridge where we can grow in the Lord, and make lasting friendships that build up the body of Christ.  Whenever you think about Camp Crestridge or see the waving flag this summer, give thanks to the Lord for blessings such as camp, friendships, and creation. We are getting so excited for the summer to start, and we are just about ready to have all of you here! See you all very soon!

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Just Talk

Posted by Melissa

I’m not afraid to share my faith. I’m really not. I love sharing the life-giving truth about Jesus. However, don’t start asking me questions about my Christian T-shirt when I’m in the middle of my favorite TV show, and don’t text me with questions about a confusing Bible verse when I’m headed to the football game. Admittedly, it’s hardest for me to share my faith when it’s inconvenient. When is it toughest for you?

Zone in on verse 2 as you read 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

With what have we been charged?

Which of these instructions are easiest for you to carry out? Which one is toughest? Explain.

What is a recent situation that has required great patience from you? How did you do?

When has it been difficult for you to persist in telling others about Jesus? When has it been inconvenient?

What are some examples of verse 3 in your school, community, or even church?

What does it mean to keep a clear head?

How can young believers keep clear heads in our culture?

What are you doing to keep a clear head?

Paul spoke some pretty challenging words to Timothy. People aren’t going to like your words, he admitted. Paul’s advice? Tell them anyway and don’t quit. When are you most tempted to quit? When does it seem like a waste of time to even open your mouth?

Stop right now and ask God for courage to speak His truth, even when it’s unpopular. Even when it’s inconvenient. Even when it hurts. No matter what, speak His truth.

Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. —2 Timothy 4:2

Reprinted from ec magazine. © 2010 LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Used by permission.

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Meet the 2011 Cherokee Village Director!

Posted by Karah

Say “hello” to the lovely Ashley Sutherland! Ashley is from Greenville, South Carolina, and she just graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Marketing. This will be Ashley’s third summer at Crestridge. Serving as a counselor her first two summers,  she is back this summer to lead and serve the sweet Cherokees as the Cherokee Village Director. Ashley is very excited to get to know all of her campers, meet the new girls, and see the growth of her returning girls. Keep Ashley in your prayers as she kicks off her life as a college grad and prepares  to come serve all the young ladies and staff at Crestridge.

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Tell Your Story

Posted by Melissa

At the local coffee shop, a man sits alone, gesturing and having a conversation with . . . uh, no one? No, he isn’t deranged. He has a headset on his ear. Sure, he looks like he’s talking to himself, but he actually is having a real conversation. That must have been how Paul looked to his companions while he had his very first conversation with Jesus, except there was no earpiece. Just a very real God.

Read Acts 22:6-10. Don’t miss verses 6 and 7.

How do you think Paul felt when the blinding light suddenly flashed around him?

What was it like when you first experienced the light of God’s truth? Explain.

How would you describe that experience to someone who has never met Jesus?

If Paul didn’t know who was speaking to him, why did he call Him “Lord”? Explain.

If you have never had a personal experience with God, why do you think that is?

Why do you think Jesus didn’t give Paul the complete instructions right away?

How do you feel when God gives you incomplete instructions and you have to wait?

God got Paul’s attention by pointing out that his religious crusades against Christians were actually persecuting the very God he thought he was serving. Think back to the day you met Jesus. How did God get your attention? How can you explain that moment to others in a way that makes sense to them? Don’t let the unbelievers in your life stare at the light without comprehending it. Help them hear God’s words.

As I was traveling and near Damascus, about noon an intense light from heaven suddenly flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” —Acts 22:6-7

Reprinted from ec magazine. © 2010 LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Used by permission.

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Say “Hi there” to the 2011 Choctaw Village Director

Posted by Karah

Say “hello” to Katie Correll! Katie is from good ol’ Memphis, Tennessee and is currently studying Earth Sciences at the University of Memphis. This will be Katie’s third summer at Crestridge.  Her first two summers, she was a counselor in the Choctaw Village. This summer, Katie will be serving the lovely Choctaw’s as the Choctaw Village Director! Katie loves geocaching at camp, and loves being in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  She is really excited for planning activities, and is looking forward to serving her campers along side of her staff! Be praying for Katie as she is finishing up her classes, and as she prepares to come lead the lovely Choctaw Village this summer!

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New Addition to the Crestridge Lake

Posted by Sharon

That’s right campers, get ready for a new addition to the Crestridge Lake this summer!  You might be wandering…what else could we possibly add?  Well, we have replaced the ancient cement docks with bigger, floating docks!  You now have the option to walk out to a new swim platform without getting wet, or you can swim to the new platform.  Take your pick!  We are excited to see campers swimming in the lake again, it’s too empty right now.  Check out the pictures below:

4.5 weeks till the first session begins!!!!  We’ll see you soon!

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You Have a Past

Posted by Melissa

Whether you’re proud of your hometown, can’t wait to leave, or already miss it terribly, it’s a big part of who you are. It’s where you’re from. For the rest of your life, when people ask, “Where are you from?,” you’ll remember your hometown. You’ve got a spiritual hometown as well. It’s the place you began, the place from which God has brought you. So, where are you from? Where did your story of redemption begin?

Read Acts 22:3-5. Concentrate on verse 4.

What did Paul tell his listeners about his background?

What do you think he might have left out?

How do you think he chose what to tell about his past and what to leave out?

What would you tell someone about your background if you were sharing your story of meeting Jesus?

What’s the difference between admitting your past sinfulness and glorifying it?

How can you make sure you have the right focus when you tell people about your past?

Even if you don’t have a very exciting pre-Christ past, what can you tell people about your past?

Why do you think the story of where we come from is such a powerful way to share our faith?

We all have a place from which Christ has brought us. Everything we did, whether it was trying to please our parents or rebelling from them, was done as a futile effort to get away from that same lost place. Paul told his story to those listening: he had been raised in religion and was so devoutly zealous in his Jewish faith that he persecuted Christians. To share his testimony, Paul had to admit that his past wasn’t pristine. Paul had to admit he was a sinner, something we all must recognize and admit to become Christians.

So, when you share your story, you get to tell others about the spiritual place from which God has rescued you. Unlike your physical hometown, you never have to go back.

I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women in jail. —Acts 22:4

Reprinted from ec magazine. © 2010 LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Used by permission.

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Meet the 2011 Cheyenne Village Director!

Posted by Karah

Say “hi” to Ragan Story! Ragan is from Waverly, Tennessee and is studying Intercultural Studies at Liberty University.  Next year, she will get to do mission work overseas for five months…possibly in Romania! This will be Ragan’s third summer at camp, serving as a Cheyenne counselor her first two years . This summer, she will be leading the Cheyenne ladies as their Village Director! Ragan is looking forward to spending time with old friends, making new friends, and getting to hang out with her campers.  Ragan is super pumped about this summer, and she is counting down the days until she can be back at Crestridge! Be praying for Ragan as she finishes up her semester at Liberty, prepares to come serve the Cheyenne Village, and gets ready to dominate in some four square! The summer is just around the corner.

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Words Matter

Posted by Melissa

Do you know what it means to hit on all sixes? To beat one’s gums? Would you know a piker or a palooka if you saw one? If you had lived in the 1920s, you’d know all of those words, but to most of us, they mean nothing. Likewise, many of the words we use at church and with our Christian friends mean nothing to the unbelievers around us. It’s going to be pretty hard to share your faith with them if they can’t understand you!

Read Acts 21:40–22:2. Pay attention to verse 2.

What are some barriers between you and the unbelievers around you?

What do you have in common with them? How can you use these commonalities to talk about what you believe?

What happened when Paul chose to speak to the angry people in their own language?

Think of an unbeliever you know. What “language” will he or she best understand?

Are you prepared to speak to him or her in this “language”? If not, what will it take to be able to do that?

What are some words you might want to avoid using?

What did Paul get before he started to speak to the people? (See v. 40.)

What difference does it make to get someone’s permission before talking about your faith?

Keep a journal of words you hear Christians use that wouldn’t make much sense to non-believers. Think of some alternative words that would make more sense to unbelievers, and try using these words next time you talk to someone about your faith.

When they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language, they became even quieter.
—Acts 22:2

Reprinted from ec magazine. © 2010 LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Used by permission.

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