MONTHLY ARCHIVES: March 2015

Walk with God

Posted on March 31, 2015 by Karah

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Reflect on what you’ve learned the past few weeks about the destruction of sin and redemption of God. Thank God for making a way for you to have a relationship with Him.

Read Genesis 5:1-32 in your Bible, then focus on verses 21-24.

“Enoch was 65 years old when he fathered Methuselah. And after the birth of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and fathered other sons and daughters. So Enoch’s life lasted 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not there because God took him.” —Genesis 5:21-24

Dig a little deeper by answering these questions:

Look over the list of names in this passage. How is the description of Enoch different from everyone else’s description? Explain.

In Scripture, the phrase “walked with God” denotes a close fellowship with God. The term literally means to walk about or live with God. Enoch’s life was characterized by his devotion to God. Every part of his life was focused on and submitted to God.

Does that describe your relationship with God? Why or why not?

How would you describe your own relationship with God? Is it like a casual acquaintance? Best friends who talk about everything? Extended family who only gets together on holidays? Neighbors who see each other but don’t talk much? Explain your answer.

What keeps you from walking more closely with God? Be specific.

The Point

God offers redemption so we can have a deep, personal, ongoing relationship with Him. Our lives should show the world what redemption really looks like.

Respond

As Christians, we are called to walk with God daily, living out His story of redemption in a world that is held captive by sin.

Look at your list of things that you are allowing to keep you from walking more closely with God. Honestly admit them to God and turn from them. Ask God to focus your heart and mind on pleasing Him in every part of your life.

Focusing your mind, heart, and life on God isn’t something that just happens. It takes discipline. You have to be intentional about pursuing Him, talking to Him, studying His Word, and applying it to your life. Make an appointment to meet with God on your calendar each day this week and keep your appointments!

To learn more about Enoch, read and study Hebrews 11:5.

Behind the Story

A prominent phrase in Genesis 5 is “then he died.” Enoch’s description is the exception. Hebrews 11:5 declares that Enoch did not experience death, but that God took him away because Enoch pleased Him. Enoch is one of two people in Scripture who did not experience physical death. Elijah is the other (2 Kings 2:11).


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Greater Love

Posted on March 24, 2015 by Karah

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Listen to a hymn or worship song to begin your quiet time. Ask God to open your eyes to those He places in your path today.

Think about a time when someone reached out to you in kindness or a time when someone failed to do so. What difference does it make when someone cares for another? Journal your response.

“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s guardian?’” —Genesis 4:9

Return to Genesis 4:1-10 and skim over the passage. Then, focus on verse 9. Think through these questions:

Read Cain’s response to God in verse 9 aloud. What words would you use to describe his attitude toward God as reflected in that answer?

Cain and Abel were brothers. God had placed them in a relationship that involved mutual respect, love, and care. Cain had a responsibility to honor and protect Abel, and he chose the opposite. In what way has your attitude toward others been like Cain’s?

We live in a world full of people who truly care about others. But as believers, how does the redemption we’ve received from Christ make our compassion toward others different?

The Point

Because of Christ’s redemption, we have the ability to love and care for others with a depth that people don’t have apart from Him.

Respond

As Christians, our lives are not solely about ourselves and our needs. We have a responsibility to love, care for, and share the good news with the world around us.

Ask God to help you notice people who need compassion and kindness. Go out of your way this week to care for them, even when it’s inconvenient or unpleasant.

The early Christians showed God’s love during plagues that swept through the Roman Empire. Look up the selfless ways Christians cared for the sick during the plagues, then consider ways you can show others love because of Christ’s redemptive work in you. Record three ideas you’ll put into practice in your journal.

Behind the Story

God’s question to Cain in verse 9 wasn’t a request for information. God knew what Cain had done and asked the question to give Cain an opportunity to repent. It echoes the question God asked Adam in the garden (Gen. 3:9), tying both acts of disobedience together. Scholars say this is to show us that Cain’s murderous act had its antecedents in Adam’s sin.


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Retro Friday

Posted on March 20, 2015 by katieknowles

Almost all of us have been in the Drama Den or OAP room at some point or another. These rooms are special because the walls contain generations of names and memories from camp. Have you campers ever noticed some parts on the wall that boast the term “Camper Day” and the year? Have you ever wondered what Camper Day is?

Retro fridayYears ago Crestridge used to have one day per session where certain campers were elected by other campers to take over the staff roles. Each cabin chose a camper from their cabin to be their counselor and JET for the day. Cherokee campers were chosen to take over central staff positions – Summer Director, Assistant Director, Village Directors, and so on. For that day, those campers got to see what it was like to be a counselor or central staffer!

Can you imagine? What position do you think YOU would enjoy doing?


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A New Legacy

Posted on March 17, 2015 by Karah

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Romans 2:4 tells us that God’s kindness leads us to repentance. How has God’s kindness affected you? Meditate on His kindness as you begin your time with Him.

Skim over Genesis 4:17-24, then read Genesis 4:25-26 very carefully. Compare Cain and Seth’s legacies. We know that Cain’s sin was multiplied by his descendents. It appears that Seth’s faithfulness was also multiplied by his. If you were designing a symbol to reflect each legacy, what would you use? Write or sketch your thoughts below.

“A son was born to Seth also, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of Yahweh.”

—Genesis 4:26

Enosh: Like the name Adam, Enosh means humanity or humankind. The term is often used in the Old Testament to refer to the frailty or insignificance of humanity. How does Enosh’s birth mark a new and brighter future for humanity?

Call on: From a Hebrew word that can mean cry out for, preach, or proclaim. The phrase is used to denote worship of God. Even in a world riddled with sin, God was still calling people to Himself, seeking out believers who would put their faith and trust in Him.

Yahweh: God’s personal name, as revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:15. How does the use of God’s personal name reflect His desire for a relationship with humanity? How does it point to His redemptive nature? Explain.

The Point

Even though our world is immersed in sin, God is still calling people to Himself.

Behind the Story

The world described in Genesis 4 contrasts sharply with the perfection found in Genesis 1. Instead of the peace and security of the garden, the Genesis 4 world is characterized by violence, murder, and conflict. In this chapter, two groups begin to emerge: those who are indifferent to sin and those who worship the Lord. How is this a fitting description of our world today?

Respond

Prayerfully consider what kind of legacy you’re leaving. If you aren’t a Christian, you’re leaving a legacy of sin and hopelessness, like Cain. Today, will you accept God’s invitation to know Him intimately and leave a legacy of hope and faith to those around you?

If you are a Christian, think about how Seth’s dependence on God became a legacy for the generations that followed. Meditate on this question: If your faith and actions were multiplied to those around you, what kind of faith would you be passing on?

As a believer, you are a glimmer of hope in a dark world, just as Seth’s line was. What choices will you make today to proclaim the name of the Lord in your actions, words, and thoughts? Jot down three.

 


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Construction Update

Posted on March 16, 2015 by katieknowles

Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out the blog this week!

This week the Choctaw cabins are getting really close to being completed! Choctaws, I can’t wait for you to see the view from your cabins. It’s incredible.

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We’re also really excited about the progress at the pool. We had some sunny, warm weather this past weekend so we’re getting really excited about the thought of swimming in the pool this summer!

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Finally, the Dining Hall is still going up so fast. The structure of the roof is being put in place. We can’t wait for singing songs, screaming our village cheers, and sharing laughter at meals in here this summer!

IMG_4017Thanks for checking in, and please continue to pray for good weather so our progress can move forward as efficiently as possible!

 


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A New Hope

Posted on March 10, 2015 by Karah

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Think about a situation that seemed hopeless (and maybe still does). Praise God that all hope rests in Him. Rest in that hope as you begin today’s devotion.

Remember when it seemed like Frodo wouldn’t get the ring to Mordor? Remember when the White Witch killed Aslan and it seemed all hope was lost for Narnia?

Today, we come to a point in God’s story where it feels like all hope is lost. God’s perfect creation was shattered. Adam and Eve had been banished from the garden. Abel was dead, and Cain and his lineage of sin had spiraled out of control, wanderers with no respect for God. God had promised redemption would come from the woman’s offspring, and that seemed impossible. Or was it?

Read Genesis 4:25-26 in your Bible. Ponder these questions:

How did Seth’s birth bring renewed hope to Eve? Explain.

Now, read Luke 3:23-38. Pay close attention to verse 38.

In light of this lineage, how did Seth’s birth bring renewed hope to the entire world? Explain.

When have you or someone you know experienced something that you thought not even God could redeem? How has God shown you otherwise?

Why is it good news that God’s plan of redemption cannot be thwarted?

The Point

God’s redemptive plan isn’t limited by the sinful failures of humanity.

Respond

Think about those situations in your life that feel hopeless or impossible. Place your hope in God and His plan to make all things new. Journal your prayer.

Maybe you’re not a Christian and think your life is too messed up for God to redeem. You aren’t hopeless. Place your faith in Jesus for salvation today. See “The Gospel” on page 2 for more information.

Spend some time in prayer, asking God for the faith to trust His plan, even when it doesn’t make sense.

Behind the Story

The name Seth sounds like the Hebrew word for granted and the two are probably related. In Genesis 4:25, Eve attributed Seth’s birth to God’s mercy. God had granted her another son in place of the righteous Abel. Through Seth, God would fulfill His promise that Eve would be “the mother of all the living” (Gen. 3:20).


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Retro Friday

Posted on March 6, 2015 by katieknowles

Several Retro Friday posts ago, we learned that there used to be a skill at Crestridge called “Lessons in Loveliness”. Can anyone guess what other skills used to take place at camp? Any guesses?

Did anyone guess that in the early 70s we had Go-Karts for a skill? Well it’s true! For a few years, we didn’t have a horseback program so it was replaced by Go-Karting. It took place in the horseback ring too. Eventually, the Go-Kart days ended and we brought back the horses. Although, Go-Karts might have been fun, it would be hard to imagine Crestridge without the beloved horses!

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Faith

Posted on March 3, 2015 by Karah

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What is faith? Take a moment to consider the importance of faith as you prepare to spend time with God today.

Reread Genesis 4:1-12, focusing on verses 1-4. Pay close attention to the words used to describe Cain and Abel’s offerings. Ask yourself:

How were the two offerings different?

Why is it important that Cain only gave “some” of his crops, but Abel gave the firstborn of his flocks? What does that say about Cain’s attitude toward God?

Now, read Hebrews 11:4 in your Bible.

“By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By this he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith.” —Hebrews 11:4

Think through these questions:

According to this verse, why was Abel’s sacrifice accepted? What does that mean?

Abel’s sacrifice was accepted because of his faith, but Cain’s was rejected. What does that reveal about Cain’s attitude toward God?

What does this teach you about the importance of faith? Explain.

The Point

Faith was—and is—the key to pleasing God.

Respond

God’s acceptance of Abel’s gift centered on the attitude of the giver. Abel approached God with faith, holding nothing back from God, willing to sacrifice in order to honor and obey God.

Evaluate your attitude toward God. Are you holding something back from God? Have you submitted every part of your life to Him in order to honor and obey Him? Do so today.

Spend some time in prayer, asking God to help you to live in faith, like Abel did.

Behind the Story

The Bible doesn’t specifically state why God rejected Cain’s offering and accepted Abel’s, but it certainly gives us clues, like those found in Hebrews 11:4. Some theologians believe God accepted Abel’s offering because it was a blood sacrifice and Cain’s wasn’t. Other scholars believe Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t accepted because he didn’t give God his best, while Abel did. Hebrews 11, however, seems to suggest that it was neither the nature of the sacrifice or the quality of it that mattered—it was the faith in which it was given. Furthermore, 1 John 3:12 tells us that Cain’s works were evil, while his brother’s were righteous.


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