May 2, “The Least of All”
Lesson 40: All Things Are Possible with God
Marsha has a great idea but thinks she could never do it since she’s just a kid. With some encouragement from Paw Paw Chuck and the Bible story of Gideon, Marsha learns that nothing is impossible with God.
Don’t follow your dreams
David Carl writes, “Perhaps while in pursuit of some grand goal, God reveals a new path He has for us. God does this all the time! We think it is all about striving for the goal when it is really about becoming more Christlike.” In this week’s Director’s Notes, David explains that as Christians we don’t live to follow our dreams, a popular aphorism these days. Rather we seek to follow Christ and the plans God has for us, and usually they involve much more than we could possibly dream.
May 9, “The Plans I Have”
Lesson 44: God Is Our Rock in Times of Change
Staci’s life seems to be going really well. She enjoys her church, her family and she even likes going to school. But all of that is about to change. Now Staci must learn how to trust God’s plans when everything around her seems out of control.
The winds of change are blowing
Sometimes change comes upon us like a tornado. With little or no warning, our lives can be turned inside out. Like trying to change the weather, we have little control over the external things that affect us, but we have power over how we react and respond to them. Holding fast to the things we know are true helps us steel ourselves against the winds of change. As David Carl explains, fixing the compass of our lives on an immovable point will always help us know which way is up when lives get turned upside down.
May 16, “The Story of Esther, Part 1”
Lesson 45: God Causes All Things to Work Together for Good
C.J. and Staci discover one of Mr. Collins’ cylinders that tells the amazing Bible story of Esther, a beautiful, young Jewish girl who God used to accomplish extraordinary things. In part one of the story, Esther is kidnapped and forced to compete in a contest to become the next queen. Realizing she might have to spend the rest of her life in the palace separated from her family and friends, Esther wonders in despair if God has forgotten about her.
David Carl writes, “God’s first priority is not our comfort—it’s our character. Our response to trials also indicates how well we understand God’s character. If our view of God tells us that His only job is to do good things for us, then we will be utterly unhinged when disaster strikes. We will believe He did not live up to His part of the bargain, and we will be angry and confused.” Read how God shapes and molds our character to be like Christ in this week’s Director’s Notes.
May 23, “The Story of Esther, Part 2”
Lesson 46: God Has a Plan for Our Lives
Esther’s friends beg her to consider competing to become queen. If she doesn’t, they say, the wicked Mahnoosh may win the crown and all of the girls in the harem will suffer. Esther realizes that God may have placed her in the palace for this very reason. But God’s plan for Esther extends far beyond reigning beside the king. When Esther learns that the evil prince Haman is plotting to kill Mordecai and all of the Jews, she must decide if she will risk her own life to save her people.
Real scared heroes
David Carl writes, “When I was a child, well-meaning adults occasionally told me Bible stories. They described Elijah, David, Esther, and other biblical figures as though they were always confident, calm, and emotionless when facing danger or death. What a disservice! It would be much better if I had heard the truth—these great people wavered and sometimes ran away. That’s an example I could relate to!” Read how God uses real people to do extraordinary things in this week’s Director’s Notes.
May 30, “The Story of Esther, Part 3”
Lesson 47: God Will Never Leave Those Who Trust Him
Haman’s plan to kill all of the Jews is made into law, and no one—not even the king—can stop him. As Haman’s pride swells, Esther is certain that God’s plan for her life is “for such a time as this.” God uses Esther in a mighty way and shows His sovereignty in a thrilling conclusion that is celebrated by Jews even today.
A Twilight Zone moment
David Carl writes, “I grew up watching The Twilight Zone with my older brother. One of the stories followed a rather unsuccessful comic whose only wish was to make people laugh. Mysteriously, he suddenly received his wish. The irony of the situation came when he could no longer talk to anyone without making them laugh hysterically. His wish became his own personal source of unending torture.” Read how Haman experiences his own “Twilight Zone moment” in this week’s Director’s Notes.