October 1, “A Pirate’s Life”
Lesson 22: Obeying the Rules
C.J. wants to run away from his problems . . . to any place where they don’t have rules. But he quickly discovers that running away from his problems just makes more problems . . . for himself and for others! Will C.J. be able to escape his new life in time to save his father?
Head over heels for rules
David Carl writes, “As a kid, I desperately wanted to be a gymnast. I longed to do handsprings and back flips. One day I was walking across my elementary school yard, and I was overcome with the desire to do a handspring. I ran forward and with total abandon I threw out my hands, aimed them at the ground in front of me, and . . . landed flat on my back gasping for air. I didn’t have the faintest notion of how to do a handspring. The rule of gravity would not be put on hold for a well-meaning but ignorant kid.” Read about the rules that limit and liberate us in this week’s Director’s Notes.
October 8, “Plans In the Breaking”
Lesson 23: God Causes All Things to Work Together for Good
All they want to do is spend a day fishing at Blossom Lake, but Paw Paw Chuck and Staci are distracted at every turn. If God causes all things to work together for good, why is there no good in sight? Staci learns a valuable lesson about how God orders our every step to accomplish His will.
Out of control?
The baby spits up on your outfit, the car blows a tire, your friend gets sick and has to cancel meeting you for lunch. Everyone has bad days; you take it all in stride as just a trivial part of life. But what happens when things get serious? A loved one gets cancer, the bills start to pile up, or your child starts hanging out with the wrong crowd. Does it challenge what you know about God? In this week’s Director’s Notes, David Carl dispels the notion that life is random and reminds us that God is in control even when things seem out of it.
October 15, “The Scarlet Stain”
Lesson 24: Repentance
A defiant Ned trespasses into an abandoned mine looking for gold. But what he finds there is more than he planned on! Now the results of Ned’s sin are growing out of control and begin to affect his friends. Will Ned, C.J., Staci, and Gooz do the right thing before the Scarlet Stain spreads?
Death and taxes
Benjamin Franklin is credited for the saying, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Of course there are some who try to cheat both. As Christians, we fight a cognitive battle to stay honest even though we know there are times we could fudge the truth a little without anyone knowing. And when it comes to our money, we are highly motivated to hold on to what little we’ve got. This week, David Carl explains how when it comes to taxes and death, cheating on one leads to the other.
October 22, “If the Tooth Be Known”
Lesson 25: God Frees Us from Our Fears
Opening night of Miss Harbor’s new play is just days away, but the star is sick! Or is he? Staci and Marsha do their best to cure him, but C.J.’s real problem is fear. Will he find the real remedy in time to save the play?
Fear or faith
“There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid.” Frederick W. Cropp’s quotation helps remind us of the tremendous comfort that a relationship with Christ provides. So why do we still allow fears and anxiety to stop us cold? In this week’s Director’s Notes, David Carl explains that it isn’t usually the big things that keep us immobilized by fear. All too often, we allow the small things to keep us from growing in Christlikeness.
October 29, “The Grecian Urn”
Lesson 26: The Value of Honesty
Ned and C.J. break something in the Collins Mansion. Instead of confessing and asking for forgiveness, they deceitfully try to hide the evidence. Now, what should have been a small matter becomes a volcano in the hands of Mrs. Collins’ sister, Eunice McGruff!
The Butterfly Effect
In 1960, American mathematician Edward Lorenz published a paper in which he suggested that minute variations in initial weather variables could result in grossly divergent weather patterns over time. In other words, a butterfly flapping its wings in Japan could cause a tornado in California. The idea became the foundation of “Chaos Theory,” and his example was coined as The Butterfly Effect. It might seem particularly absurd that something of little consequence like a butterfly’s flapping wings could have such a great effect. But David Carl explains that when it comes to the spiritual realm, a tiny sin can easily ripple into a tidal wave.