Conversation Starters: Created with Great Value

Posted on November 15, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God can use people even if they make mistakes.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Our culture often determines a person’s value by how that person can contribute to society or not be a burden to others. Unfortunately, a lot of people—including the unborn, the elderly, or those with special needs—must depend on others. Some people question the value of a person who cannot “stand on their own two feet,” but God never does. Every person has value and purpose.

Concept: Created with Great Value


Judges 6:11-23

LIFE POINT: The Midianites had attacked the people of Israel. The Israelites called to God to help them. God chose a new leader to defeat the Midianites. God chose Gideon. An angel came to Gideon and said, “God has chosen you to help, Gideon. God is sending you. You will free your people.” Gideon said he was not strong or powerful, but the angel told Gideon that God would be with him. Gideon cooked a meal for his visitor. He brought meat and broth and bread to the angel. “Put the meat and bread on this stone,” the angel said. “Pour the broth on it.” The angel touched the food with his staff. Fire burned up the meat and bread. Then the angel disappeared. Gideon knew that God had sent the angel to talk to him. He knew that God would help him to help the Israelites.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child to name ways God helps him. Be ready to supply a few answers. Help your
child learn the verse “God helps me. I will not be afraid.” Lead him to say the verse like a cheer.


Judges 13-16

LIFE POINT: “You will have a son,” the angel told the husband and wife.“ Be sure he never cuts his hair. Promise him to God.” Samson grew to be very strong. Samson killed a lion using just his hands. Once Samson was tied up and given to the enemy. When they attacked him, he broke the ropes and killed them with a bone. Delilah kept asking Samson where his strength came from until he answered her. Finally, Samson told Delilah the truth. While he slept, she cut his hair. His strength left him, and he was
taken prisoner. The enemy made Samson blind. They put chains on him. But, Samson’s hair began to grow again. One day in the temple of Dagon, people made fun of Samson. Samson prayed for strength and God gave it to him. Samson pushed against the stone columns. The whole temple fell down!

LIVE IT OUT: As you review the Bible story about Samuel, help your child think of other people that God
used who made mistakes and were disobedient to God. Help your child understand that God loves him and is ready to forgive sin.


Jeremiah 1:4-10

THE POINT: Before you were born, God designed you with great value. What’s the most valuable thing you’ve ever seen? How does the truth that God knows you personally change how we relate to Him? What are some things all Christians are called to do? How does God equip His followers to fulfill their purpose? Discuss the following quote:

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”1—Saint Augustine

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out.
Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Encourage your student to memorize Proverbs 3:5-6 this week while actively listening for God’s calling.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student to understand that each of us has a calling that is as unique as we are. Spend time in prayer with your student seeking God’s calling in his or her life.
• CULTURE: The world defines value differently from how God defines value. Help your student understand the value that God has placed on our lives.


1. “Saint Augustine Quotes,” BrainyQuotes [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet:

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Ask Your Kids Questions.... Different Questions

Posted on November 9, 2017 by Phil

Camp Ridgecrest

I find myself asking my kids the same questions each day. I don’t want to be predictable. I don’t want my kids to know what I’m going to ask, before I ask it…that’s when they stop paying attention and thinking they know everything that I know.

We take this philosophy at Ridgecrest Summer Camps too by the way, trying not to be predictable. We like surprise because it keeps campers on their toes, and to be honest, its just more fun for everyone. This is also true when talking to kids about Jesus. If you look at Jesus, you will quickly see that He was anything but predictable.  His actions and questions consistently took people by surprise.  I want kids to know that.  I want them to keep listening to people when they talk about Jesus. I want them to know that there is still so much more to be learned about this Jesus… I think Camp Ridgecrest and Camp Crestridge do a great job at this.

Back to my kids. Do I do a great job at this back home? Yikes. I want to. I came across this article and while skimming it, I jumped straight to the list of questions. I want to ask better questions. I don’t want to be predictable or boring. I can’t afford to be as a dad.

What if you tried to ask your kids questions like these, rather than simply asking, “How was your day?”

  1. What made you smile today?
  2. Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
  3. Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
  4. Does everyone have a friend at recess?
  5. What was the book about that your teacher read?
  6. What’s the word of the week?
  7. Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
  8. Did anyone cry?
  9. What did you do that was creative?
  10. What is the most popular game at recess?
  11. What was the best thing that happened today?
  12. Did you help anyone today?
  13. Did you tell anyone “thank you?”
  14. Who did you sit with at lunch?
  15. What made you laugh?
  16. Did you learn something you didn’t understand?
  17. Who inspired you today?
  18. What was the peak and the pit?
  19. What was your least favorite part of the day?
  20. Was anyone in your class gone today?
  21. Did you ever feel unsafe?
  22. What is something you heard that surprised you?
  23. What is something you saw that made you think?
  24. Who did you play with today?
  25. Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
  26. What is something that challenged you?
  27. How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?
  28. Did you like your lunch?
  29. Rate your day on a scale from 1-10.
  30. Did anyone get in trouble today?
  31. How were you brave today?
  32. What questions did you ask at school today?
  33. Tell us your top two things from the day (before you can be excused from the dinner table!).
  34. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
  35. What are you reading?
  36. What was the hardest rule to follow today?
  37. Teach me something I don’t know.
  38. If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
  39. (For older kids):  Do you feel prepared for your history test?” or, “Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to talk about?” (In my opinion, the key is not only the way a question is phrased, but responding in a supportive way.)
  40. Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?
  41. What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?
  42. What kind of person were you today?
  43. What made you feel happy?
  44. What made you feel proud?
  45. What made you feel loved?
  46. Did you learn any new words today?
  47. What do you hope to do before school is out for the year?
  48. If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?
  49. What is your least favorite part of the school building? And favorite?
  50. If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?

Thanks for being great parents. Thanks for challenging your kids to grow into young men and young women who love Jesus and love others well. And thanks of course, for letting Ridgecrest Summer Camps partner with you as you do the most important job in the world…raising your kids.

Phil Berry
Director, Camp Ridgecrest for Boys
Ridgecrest Summer Camps

Credits to Her View From Home for a great read…

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Conversation Starters: Unstoppable Impact

Posted on November 1, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: All people should have the opportunity to hear about Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: America is a very diverse country: cultures, ethnicities, worldviews, and preferences. It is our human nature to gravitate toward people who are more like ourselves, but the beauty of the gospel is that it is not only for people “just like me.” The gospel speaks to any culture, any time, and any place. In Acts 17, Paul gave us an example of communicating the gospel in a diverse culture.

Concept: Unstoppable Impact


Exodus 13:17- 15:21

LIFE POINT: God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into a new land. God gave them a cloud to guide them during the day. At night, He led them with fire to give light. The people of Egypt now were sorry they had let the Israelites go, so they came after them. The Israelites were afraid when they
saw all the horses and men coming toward them. God told Moses to stretch his hand over the Red Sea. Moses did what God said. The water separated. There was dry land before them with water on both sides. The Israelites walked on dry land to the other side of the Red Sea. Once everyone was across, God told Moses to stretch his hand over the waters again. This time the sea flowed back. Moses and the people sang a song to God. They were amazed at what God had done for them!

LIVE IT OUT: If possible, go for a nature walk with your child. Talk about the changing of the seasons and remind your child that God said the seasons would change. Possibly walk near a lake, river, ocean, or pond. Tell the Bible story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.


Exodus 13:17- 15:21

LIFE POINT: God led the Israelites to camp at the Red Sea. He led them with a tall cloud during the day and with a column of fire at night. Then Pharaoh decided to chase them with his army and chariots. God told Moses to lift up his staff and to reach out over the water. When Moses raised his staff, God caused the waters to part and make a wall of water on each side with a dry path in the middle. All the Israelites walked across the sea on dry land! The Egyptians followed the Israelites into the sea, but Moses lowered his staff and the waters came together. The Egyptians did not survive. When the people saw the great power of God, they trusted Him and believed in Him. Moses led the people to sing a song of praise to God. He praised God for His power and for His care. He praised God for the miracle He had performed.

LIVE IT OUT: Read Proverbs 3:5 together. Talk about what trust means. Ask your child what it means in this verse. Help your child understand that God is present in every situation and we can trust Him to help us.


Acts 17:16-18, 22-23, 30-31

THE POINT: The gospel of Jesus Christ can impact any culture. What are some things that we worship like idols today? How can we use the things we have in common with others as an opportunity to share Jesus? Why are so many Christians comfortable with not sharing the gospel? Discuss the following quote:

“Every saved person this side of heaven owes the gospel to every lost person this side of hell. We owe Christ to the world—to the least person and to the greatest person, to the richest person and to the poorest person, to the best person and to the worst person. We are in debt to the nations.”1 —David Platt

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Discuss with your student the needs that we all have in common. Pray that you will each become better at finding those connection points with others in order to share the gospel.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student create a list of people to reach out to this week and build connection points with. This can then lead to opportunities to share the gospel.
• CULTURE: Paul shared the story of Jesus by connecting with his audience. Help your student find places in the gospel that can create connection points with the people in his or her life.

1. David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream (Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 2010), 74.

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Conversation Starters: Unstoppable Courage

Posted on October 25, 2017 by Karah

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We love stories about courage because deep within us, we know that we were meant to be courageous people. We know that the world is broken and we play a part in fixing it. Knowing Christ gives purpose to our desire to be courageous. It takes the good we desire and focuses our efforts on the greatest thing we could possibly do: Proclaim the way, truth, and light of Christ to a dying world in need. We can experience unstoppable courage.

Concept: Unstoppable Courage


Exodus 1:8-2:10

LIFE POINT: Miriam’s family had a new baby boy. Miriam helped her mother take care of the baby. The king did not want baby boys to live. So Miriam and her family kept the baby a secret. Miriam’s mother got a basket. She covered the basket with sticky tar. Miriam’s mother laid the baby in the basket. She placed the basket in tall grass near the edge of the river. Miriam stayed nearby to watch.  The king’s daughter walked beside the river, she saw the baby in the basket. The baby was crying, and she felt sorry for him. Miriam went to the king’s daughter and asked, “Do you want me to get someone to take care of the baby for you?” She said yes. Miriam ran and got her mother. Miriam’s mother was glad to care for her own baby. When the baby was older, the king’s daughter named the boy Moses.

LIVE IT OUT: Print the Bible verse God loves me. Psalm 86:3 on a sheet of paper. Read the verse to your child and prompt her to repeat it. Let her decorate the verse with dot painters or markers. Pray with your child, thanking God for His love.


Genesis 42-46

LIFE POINT: Joseph had become an important man in Egypt. Because of his work, the people of Egypt had plenty of grain. Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy grain. They did not recognize Joseph! Joseph gave orders for their grain sacks to be filled, but he told his servants to put the money the brothers paid back into their sacks, too. Soon they returned to Egypt. Joseph was glad to see his brothers, but the brothers still did not recognize him. Joseph gave the men more grain. But Joseph decided to test them. Joseph knew his brothers had changed. He told them who he was. The brothers thought Joseph would punish them for what they had done. Joseph said, “God brought me to Egypt so I could provide food for my family. Go home. Get my father and your families. Come back quickly to live here!”

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child use a concordance to find verses about forgiveness. Write these down on
paper and discuss each verse. Help your child remember that we should forgive others because God first
forgave us.


Acts 4:1-3, 8-12, 19-20

THE POINT: God will give us courage to speak boldly for Christ. What are the risks we face when we proclaim the gospel? What is the difference between being intolerant of others and lovingly sharing the truth of the gospel with unbelievers? How can you demonstrate a greater level of courage and love
toward others in your life? Discuss the following quote:

“When we find a man [or woman] meditating on the words of God, my friends, that man is full of boldness and is successful.”1—Dwight L. Moody

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Encourage your student to be a God-pleaser, not a people-pleaser. Spend time in prayer together seeking God first.
• COMMUNITY: Encourage your student throughout the week to courageously share the gospel. Pray together for the courage to share without fear.
• CULTURE: We communicate in many ways. Look at the ways your student communicates and help him or her to develop a plan to communicate the gospel.

1. D. L. Moody, The Gospel Awakening (Chicago: F.H. Revell, 1883), 589.

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Conversation Starters: Unstoppable Opportunities

Posted on October 4, 2017 by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God’s plan is for us to tell others about Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Whenever you drive any distance at all, you pass intersection after intersection. Many times we just pass through those intersections without noticing what’s around. These intersections are like our lives. Every day we intersect with people, but we should take the time to notice them without simply passing by. God put us on this pathway to impact and influence lives along our journey. Intersections become opportunities.

Concept: Unstoppable Opportunities


Genesis 37:1-4, 12-17

LIFE POINT: Joseph was 17 years old and had 10 older brothers. His father was Jacob. Joseph took care of the sheep with his brothers. His father loved Joseph very much, so Jacob made Joseph a coat with many colors. Joseph knew his father loved him. While his brothers were out taking care of the sheep, Joseph was home with his father. Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are taking care of the sheep at a place called Shechem. I want you to go to them and see how they are doing and how the sheep are
doing. Then come back and tell me the news.” Joseph went to look for his brothers. A man saw him and asked who he was looking for. Joseph told him he was looking for his brothers. The man said his brothers and the sheep had moved to a place called Dothan. So Joseph went to Dothan and found his
brothers and the sheep there.

LIVE IT OUT: Play a clapping game with your child. Clap a rhythm, such as clap, clap, snap, clap. After clapping a few times, add a letter after the fourth clap to spell the word obey. After spelling the word talk about obeying parents and why obeying is important.


Genesis 37; 39

LIFE POINT: Joseph’s father, Jacob, loved Joseph more than his other 11 sons! Jacob gave Joseph a beautiful robe. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. Jacob sent Joseph out to check on his brothers. When the brothers saw Joseph coming, they wanted to hurt him. Instead, the brothers sold Joseph as a slave to the men going to Egypt. The brothers decided to put blood on Joseph’s beautiful robe so their father would think Joseph was killed by an animal. Joseph had been sold to an important man. God was with him. He made Joseph successful in everything he did. The master’s wife told a lie and Joseph was put in prison. But God was still with Joseph. The prison guard liked Joseph. He put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners. God made Joseph successful in all he did.

LIVE IT OUT: Read Romans 8:28 with your child. Help her understand that God acts in all situations, and He already knows what will happen. Discuss how knowing that God already knows what will happen makes a difference in how we experience trials.


Acts 3:1-10

THE POINT: We encounter people every day who need Christ. When have you been surprised by something you weren’t expecting? What’s your response when something unexpected interrupts your
day? How can we become better at noticing opportunities to serve and love others? When has someone else’s obedience to Christ affected you? Discuss the following quote:

“You are someone else’s miracle! God is setting up divine appointments and it is our job to keep them.”1—Mark Batterson

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Pray with your student this week and help him or her to place Jesus as the motivation for obedience in his or her life.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss opportunities with your student to serve the communities where you live and help fulfill existing needs. Set a date to begin this service and stick to it. Consider serving alongside
your student.
• CULTURE: Remind your student to pray with an open mind and spend time quietly sitting in God’s presence listening for opportunities to serve and not be lost in the noise of the crowd.

1. “Mark Batterson,” AZ Quotes, [cited 26 January 2016]. Available from the Internet: quote/1218364 .

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