GPS’s and Road Signs

Posted by Karah

4 hours and 7 minutes away from home, driving to a friend’s wedding reception from the ceremony I had just attended I had no phone service to access GPS, and absolutely no clue where to go. So I followed a car out of the church that I thought would be headed to the reception I needed to go to. Five minutes down the road the car I was following pulled into what I’m assuming was their driveway. This was definitely not the reception venue.

I was lost. I’m pretty good directionally, so continuing on, I found the main road using my inner sense of direction.
Where would I go from there? I didn’t know. If I tried to go back to the church everyone might already be gone.
I got to what I thought was the main road and a little white SUV passed with people in it dressed nice. Why would that mean anything? Well, when you’re in the boonies in the middle of nowhere, most people aren’t going to be dressed nice (unless it’s Sunday… It was Saturday). So off I go, following a car I think may be from the wedding I just attended where I only knew the bride and one bridesmaid, therefore leaving me with no one to call nearby for help.

Five more minutes down the road I started praying that I would get service on my phone so my GPS would work. It wasn’t looking good considering I was getting farther and farther away from the “city”. And by “city” I mean the CVS, gas station, Sonic, and Ingles. A few minutes later after I seriously consider just turning around and heading I don’t even know where, I see a sign for the city where I was supposed to be headed for the wedding reception. To be completely honest, I did not even see this as an answer to prayer at this point. I had been praying for my service to come back anyways, not road signs.
Still following the little white, very fast, SUV (which I almost lost several times in the pouring rain and darkness), I was led several turns off the main stretch of road I was on. I REALLY start praying for that phone service now. Around 20 minutes from the time I left the church, that little white SUV pulls into the exact location I was searching for.
I had prayed the entire time, not for the Lord to get me where I needed to go however he wanted to, but for my phone service to come back. God didn’t answer my prayer… Or did he? That is the plot twist.
I always heard growing up that when we ask God for something he answers in 3 ways. No, yes, or wait. At first it was easy for me to think that God didn’t answer my prayer at all. But then I remembered Isaiah 55:8 where it says, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.”

I didn’t get my phone service back. God DID answer my prayer though, in a way that I did not ask, but in the way that showed how much more he knows than I do.

I needed to get to the reception. Not necessarily by GPS, but I didn’t know that. But you know who did? My own personal Navigator. I didn’t expect to learn anything from losing phone service. But I did.
God’s answers to us can be in unexpected ways. And you know what, God can even answer prayers before we even ask them! Isaiah 65:24 says it best: “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” It really wasn’t until several hours later when I was talking to my dad on the phone that I even realized the lesson I was learning. To be completely honest I called him to tell him about my “traumatic” experience of being lost in the middle of nowhere.

So, this week as you go about your regular routine, take notice of the ways that the Lord has, is, and will answer your prayers. They may come in the most unexpected ways.

Mountain view

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He is Faithful

Posted by Karah


Thank God for His trustworthiness. Focus your heart on Him. Praise Him for this and other aspects of His character.

Read Luke 1:39-45 in your Bible. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary were related. Soon after Gabriel had informed Mary that she would be the Messiah’s mother, Mary went to visit Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John.

Reread Elizabeth’s response when Mary arrived. How did she respond to Mary and the good news of the child Mary was carrying?

Note the number of times Elizabeth used the word blessed. Elizabeth was affirming the great thing God was doing through Mary. Mary’s blessedness depended entirely upon the identity and greatness of her child, Jesus. Elizabeth was pointing praise to God, the One who was acting in time and space to make salvation possible. Read Mary’s response in Luke 1:46-56.

“And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, because He has looked with favor on the humble condition of His slave. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and His name is holy.”

—Luke 1:46-49

Ask yourself:

What aspects of God’s character did Mary praise in these verses? Explain.

Look at verses 54-55. Mary declared that God had been faithful to keep His promise of the Savior, the promise He had given to Abraham. How have you seen God’s faithfulness in your life? Be specific.

How does knowing that God is faithful help you to trust Him more?


Think about how God has been faithful to you in Jesus. How does God’s faithfulness inspire your praise? Using Luke 1:46-56 as a model, record your own prayer or song of praise to God in your journal.

Mary pointed to a time when “all generations” would give praise to God because of the blessing He had given to them in Jesus. Think about your generation—your peers, classmates, and teens around the world. How will you share the blessing God has given us in Jesus with your generation? Pray about this and record any action steps the Holy Spirit reveals.

For further study, find the connection between trust and praise in Psalm 28:7; 40:3; and 56:4.

Behind the Story

Luke 1:46-56 is often called the Magnificat, a Latin phrase derived from Mary’s opening words. It is similar in tone and style to Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Like Hannah, Mary praised God for what He was about to do and thanked Him for the part she was privileged to play.

The Point

Knowing God is faithful, we must praise Him.

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Hey from your 2015 Village Directors!

Posted by Karah

Campers!!! You know when Christmas is over and you’re just missin camp a bit and wishing and hopin for a little note from someone you love from camp?! Well, your Village Directors have been missin you too and wanted to say hey!


Hey Chips! I miss you all SO much and hope you are all having a fantastic year at school. Make a new friend and convince her to come to camp with you this summer! Stay warm in this chilly weather and try to convince your parents to let you roast s’more over a fire (: Then, start counting down the days until you can go on the zipline and blob again; it’ll be here before you know it. I love each of you very much and am praying for ya!

Joyfully, Lexi Kuck


Hey sweet Chickasaws, I hope y’all are doing so well & have had a school year full of Gods joy & perseverance to do your best! My pray for you all as school is half way done and you can see summer SOON approaching, is you continue to wait on the Lord, find your courage in Him and He will give you strength! Big hugs to all you sweet Chicks!!

In Him, Sara Hunt


Hey my little creeks!!!!!!!! I miss you all so much and can’t wait to see each and every one of you back at camp this next summer hopefully!!!! Y’all made my summer so wonderful and I am so grateful for all of you!!! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with endless pancakes and happiness like at Crestridge!! Yay!!!!!! See you soon!! Creeky creeky- SPLISH SPLASH

Love, Sarah Story


Hey Cheyennes! Your counselors and I miss you so much and hope you are staying warm in these winter months! I hope you have the chance to think back over our time at camp, but don’t forget that you can seek out the ways of Christ at home too!

Love, Caroline and your counselors


Hey all you Catawbas!!! (aka catawBAES)
Man oh man do I miss you guys- and I know your counselors do too! I had the best summer getting to know each of your hearts and growing along side you as we learned about The Lord together. You each hold such a special place in my heart and I think about how stellar this past summer was ALL the time (especially when I’m trying to do homework haha). Praying that you are all having an awesome year at school and applying all you learned at camp, at home. I can’t wait to give each of you the biggest hug this coming summer when I see you getting off that bus!

With all my heart, Haylee


Hey Choctaws!! Thanks for letting me spend the summer with you. You were all so much fun to hang with, and I miss village activities and catching you take 20 apples from the dining hall and seeing you blob your friends and cheer louder than the other villages. Remember that one time that… well, that’s only for Choctaw eyes, and you never know who will see these things. But think about the good times we had and all the things we learned about God, life, and love. Keep those things wrapped up tightly in your heart, but don’t be afraid to share them as well. I love you and miss you with a “Choctaw sleepover” kind of crazy love, but that love doesn’t match God’s love for you, so I’ll let Him love you and hang with you. Hope to see you summer 2k16! From the East to the West, you’re still the best.

Love, Rachel


Hey sweet Cherokees! I don’t know about y’all but it is pretty cold right about now. I’m daydreaming of those times on the ridge by the fire when we would be singing songs and sharing in God’s word and it’s keeping me pretty warm! Don’t forget to seek God’s truth each day and be a light to those around you. Miss you all dearly!

Love, Meredith #Geredith 😉



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God’s Plan

Posted by Karah


Ponder this quote from Charles Swindoll to begin your time with God: “We must cease striving and trust God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available.”

God’s preparation for salvation through Jesus didn’t begin there. It began before the foundations of the earth. Read Galatians 4:4-7 in your Bible. Pay attention to words or phrases that denote the eternal nature of God’s plan to redeem His children.

“When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. . . . So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”

—Galatians 4:4-5,7

“When the time came to completion” is sometimes translated as the fullness of time. From the beginning, God knew the exact moment Jesus would need to come to live among us.

What does this teach you about God’s intentionality and His desire to redeem us? About the importance of Jesus’ incarnation?

Ponder verse 5 and underline the two things Jesus came to do. What did Jesus do to redeem us? Explain in your own words.

Why is it important to recognize that we can only become God’s children through His gift of Jesus, not our own merit or effort?

What is the difference in a slave and a son? Explain.


From eternity, God’s plan was redemption through Jesus—His birth, life, death, and resurrection. Eternal salvation is available, but we must respond to His invitation.

In Jesus, God has acted to buy us back from our sin and made a way for us to become His children. It isn’t about how good we are or what we’ve done; it’s about what Jesus has already done.

God’s timing is perfect. He knew the exact moment Jesus needed to come into the world, and He can be trusted with your life. Pray right now over circumstances in your life where you feel like God is silent, too slow, or too fast. Ask Him to help you trust Him and His purposes.

For further study of God’s wisdom and trustworthiness, read Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 9:10; 62:8; 118:8; and Proverbs 9:10.

Behind the Story

The phrase “born of woman” in Galatians 4:4 implies the virgin birth, but also points to Jesus’ full participation in the human condition. He was born of a woman, just like all other people. His birth was normal, and He experienced a normal childhood. He was like us. He also faced the same expectations as everyone else, as “born under the law” attests. But there is one big difference between Jesus and the rest of humanity. Whereas humanity continually falls short of the law, which exposes our sinfulness, Jesus fulfilled the law entirely without sin.

The Point

God’s timely plan in Jesus was always clear: to redeem us from sin and call us into His family.

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Our Favorite Memories with Marva

Posted by Sharon

As you may know, the infamous Marvelous Marva will not be returning to camp this summer. We are all going to miss her SO much but we know that God will continue to do incredible things at camp and use Marva in different ways for His glory. Here in the office, we’ve been reminiscing on the good ole times and our favorite memories with Marva. What are your favorite memories with/of Marva?

“The first time I felt like I really got to know Marva was when I got to help her write the skit for the Chronicles of Narnia themed Sockwar. There were several of us in her office and we stayed up late into the night laughing, goofing off and finishing the story. I will never forget that moment!” – Sharon

“Every time Marva and Hobo were sitting on the porch curing homesickness one camper at a time.” – Katie

“Marva means so much to me, especially last summer as I transitioned into a completely new position as her assistant. Marva is absolutely hilarious and I think we maybe laughed more with each other than we talked. I remember on one of our Chippewa adventures together when we went into downtown Black Mountain with around 30 Chippewas to play in the water fountain and it started pouring rain. Marva did not let that “rain on her parade”. We played in the fountain with those Chippewas like it was sunny and 100 degrees outside.” – Maddie

“Since her birthday is during the summer, one time about 8 of us took cardboard boxes and turned them into birthday presents. Before she came down to the Bear Trap on her birthday, we hid in her office so we could surprise her. I’m not sure what she thought but those were probably the biggest presents she ever received!” – Sharon

“The times when Marva would come to staff meeting with her clip board and encourage the staff with all of the great things we were doing and challenge us in the things we could do better. ” – Katie

“I think Marva had a thing with water…specifically in making me get soaking wet. Another time in Chippewa adventure all the girls got on teams and made forts that they had to protect from water balloons, Marva made me make my own fort, and then proceeded to encourage all the Chippewas to attack only my fort. Needless to say, I went into lunch a little soggy that day.” – Maddie

“The many mornings you picked up trash outside of the Dining Hall and cleaned up around the benches. You took time to serve camp and were so humble about it.” – Sharon

“The time when Marva came on stage to do the Trekker/Belle Ceremony and her face was covered in war paint because she had just fearlessly lead the Chippewas on a wonderful adventure!” – Katie

“Marva and I had this fake spider that we used to hide in each others stuff. I hid it in Marva’s desk and she found it, so the ball was in her court. I didn’t see it for a while so I forgot about it. I found it in my water bottle. It had been in there for 3 days without me noticing.” – Maddie

“We were at her house for a planning weekend one Spring and we took the dogs on a walk in the woods around her house. I can’t remember every detail we talked about but just hiking with our dogs is a great memory!” – Sharon

“Every morning when she would introduce another sweet camper and lead prayer and a verse at breakfast.” – Katie

“The time when Marva refused to call her fanny pack a fanny pack, but rather a “Marva pack”.” – Maddie
“I still have (and will always keep) the letter you wrote me after my last summer in 2006 suggesting that I apply for the full-time position at camp. I couldn’t believe that you took the time to write me a letter outside of the summer and all the encouraging things you said!” – Sharon

“The times (all of them) during Night of Chaos when Marva had me jump in the mud, dive into a freezing cold pool of water, and the hardest of all…not laugh when campers are being silly 2 inches from my face.” – Katie

“The time when Marva used to pick out all my outfits for me for camp wide activities.” – Maddie

Marva-Soaking Wet Marva-Scout Marva-Nancy Marva-KatieMarva-Hunts Marva-JanieMarva-CampfireMarva-Belle CeremonyMarva-CampersMarva-Blob Marva-Birthday Presents  Marva-2009 Sharon Marva-AllieMarva-CP

Marva-JohnnieMarva-Katie 2Marva-Chip Adv.

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Do Not Be Afraid

Posted by Karah


Kneel in prayer as you prepare to meet with God. Thank Him for His faithfulness and trustworthiness.

What are your plans for today? For this week? For the future?

Read Matthew 1:18-25 in your Bible. As you read, look for Joseph’s plan for how he would respond to Mary’s pregnancy. Underline it when you read it.

“So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.” —Matthew 1:19

Dig deeper with these questions:

What were the main points of Joseph’s plan? What does Joseph’s plan reveal about his character? Explain.
Joseph had a sensible plan to deal with Mary’s pregnancy, but God changed all of that. How did His plan differ from Joseph’s?
When have you seen God completely change someone’s plans? What did you learn from that experience?
Do you have trouble being obedient to God when His plan doesn’t seem to make sense to you? Why or why not?


Even though Joseph didn’t understand what God was doing, he trusted God and actively obeyed Him.

What is God calling you to do that doesn’t make sense? What circumstances in your life seem confusing or senseless? Ask God to help you trust Him and obey Him in those situations, even when His plan is unclear.

Think about the plans you are already making—for today, this week, for the rest of your life. Lay these plans down before God, asking Him to guide and direct your steps as you seek His wisdom. Record your commitment in your journal using the following format: Lord, my life is yours. Guide me in your wisdom and help me to honor you in all I do.

For further study of God’s ways, read Isaiah 55:8. For an example of someone who obeyed even though he didn’t understand, read Exodus 3.

Behind the Story

The angel instructed Joseph to name the baby even though he wasn’t the biological father. In naming Jesus, Joseph was accepting the legal responsibility for the child.

The Point

Like Joseph, we must be willing to trust God’s plan, whether it makes sense to us or not.

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We’re going to Disney World

Posted by Sharon

Camp at Disney World

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Jan. 23rd…we’re going to Disney World! Katie, Karah, Maddie and Sharon will be waiting inside the gate at Magic Kingdom from 9AM-9:15AM for those of you who would like join us in the park. At 9:15AM, we’ll start our journey in the 2nd happiest place on earth (Crestridge being the 1st, of course!). If you have questions or need to get in touch with us on the day we are in the park, please email
Very Important, PLEASE READ:
We want to be clear in what our plans are for the day. We will not be supervising campers. We would love to see campers, spend time with them and go on rides with them, but we cannot be responsible for them and keeping track of them throughout the day.  If a camper is dropped off at the park, we cannot be held responsible for any injured or missing campers.  This is not an officially sponsored Camp Crestridge event. Those who come will be responsible for transportation to and from home, covering the cost of their own ticket along with meals while they are in the park. We are so excited to enjoy the park and we hope to see you there!


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Without Fear

Posted by Karah


What do you think of when you hear the word rescue? What images or words come to mind? List a few of them below.

Now, read Luke 1:67-80 in your Bible. These verses are Zechariah’s prophecy after the birth his son, John the Baptist. Focus on verses 73-75.

“He has given us the privilege, since we have been rescued from our enemies’ clutches, to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness in His presence all our days.”

—Luke 1:73b-75

Underline the word rescued in the verses above. What did Jesus rescue us from? Draw a circle around your answer.

The Jews pictured salvation as rescue from political enemies, but God’s salvation is about being free to serve Him without hindrance or fear.

How does sin create hindrances and fear in serving God? Explain.

When sin reigns in our lives, we cannot pursue any kind of holiness or righteousness. How do you know this to be true?

Mull over verses 76-77. Why is it important to understand that God’s salvation is centered on the forgiveness of sin? Explain.


Without Jesus, you are a slave to sin. But in Jesus, He has given you the power to not sin! You won’t be perfect, but sin doesn’t have power over you.

Evaluate your life. Against what sins do you feel powerless? Have you asked Christ to help? Do so right now.

Thank Jesus for what He has done to free you from sin and allow you to serve God without hindrance. Record your prayer in your journal.

When we are mired in sin, we sometimes become afraid of how God will react if we’re honest with Him about that sin. He already knows. Be honest, confess your sin, and seek His forgiveness.

For further study about the life of righteousness, read Romans 6:15-23.

Behind the Story

Luke 1:67-79 is Zechariah’s prophecy regarding his son, John the Baptist, and the coming Messiah. It is traditionally called the “Benedictus,” which is taken from the first word of the passage in Latin. Verses 71-75 clearly state that the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus fulfill God’s covenant with David (Luke 1:69; 2 Sam. 7:12-16) as well as the oath God swore to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3).

The Point

Jesus rescues us from slavery of sin so we can serve Him without fear or hindrance.

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