The Captain of My Destiny Questions for Cubs NOTE TO PARENTS/TEACHERS: The goal of this questions-and-answers section is to initiate interaction between you and your kids. Please do not just read the questions and answers to your kids. These answers are given for you at an adult level to think about and to process. Once that is accomplished, you can then translate them into appropriate answers for your kids. Lesson We Need to Let God Direct Our Plans Key Verse “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) Ear Check (Story Comprehension) Q: What assignment does Miss Harbor give the class? A: The class must bring in everything they will need to complete a treasure hunt, and they must be able to carry it all on their backs. Q: To whom does Staci take cookies? A: Eunice McGruff, Mrs. Collins’s sister Q: How did Ned make himself sick? A: Eating blueberries Q: What does Eunice McGruff say is holding Staci back from her goals of being successful and happy? A: Her friends Q: Who does Mrs. Collins say Staci should trust to know her needs? A: God Heart Check (Spiritual Application) Q: If God really loves us, why doesn’t He want us all to be rich and powerful? A: The very assumption that money and power are the best things in life is dead wrong. The Bible never tells us that! If you believe that these are terribly important things that God wants us to have—you just made it up. If you have ever read a newspaper, read a book, or watched many movies, you should have been able to conclude that the rich and powerful are usually less happy, less content, and less hopeful than the rest of us. Therefore, to make these things your life’s goal is to set out in a direction that is most certainly going to leave you frustrated and ultimately lost.

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The Captain of My Destiny Questions for Cubs Page 2 Q: As far as I can tell, the Bible does not tell us how to be happy. How are we supposed to follow God when He mostly tells us what we are not supposed to do? A: The assumption that happiness is a good life goal is also dead wrong. In fact, the people who seek their own happiness are often the most miserable. God does not hold back good things from us—please think about this— many people assume this to be true and are confused and frustrated their whole lives. God wants us to have more than happiness; He wants us to have Himself. He is the very best; He is the only One we can rely on; He is not the way to get what we want, He is what our souls were made to want. And only when we have a relationship with Him can we understand what it means to be truly happy. “I” Check (Personal Application) 1. Miss Harbor’s treasure hunting project helps the class to learn a valuable lesson. How would you restate the lesson? How do you think that lesson applies to your life? 2. You have heard phrases like, “You can be anything you want to if you’ll just work hard enough” and “You have the power to make your dreams reality.” While there is nothing wrong with working toward a goal or having an idea and trying to carry it out, what are some of the dangers of believing that all of the power to accomplish your goals is in your own hands? Read John 15:4–5 and Philippians 4:13 for clues to the answer. 3. What does it mean to be the “captain of my destiny”? Reread the key verse above, and explain what you think it means in your own words.

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The Captain of My Destiny Director's Notes There is a treasure out there for you. There's one for me too. So let's go get it. Gather up what you need, and we’ll go get it. Why haven't you left yet? Your treasure’s waiting. If you have any common sense, you're waiting for more information. You want to know certain things, such as what exactly is the treasure? Where is the treasure hidden? What will I need to take with me? What obstacles will I have to overcome? For some reason this kind of good, careful thought is rarely applied to spiritual things. When it comes to the spiritual realm we all have a tendency, a very dangerous tendency, to want to make things up as we go. Sometimes people decide, without any guidance from Scripture, that God is always angry and frustrated with us. They then make huge decisions based on that premise. They simply make it up. Some of us randomly decide that God only wants us to pray when our need is really, really important. Why is it that we think it is acceptable to wander around by ourselves making up stuff in the spiritual realm, but we would never dream of doing anything so insane in the physical realm? Another example that hits way too close to me is that many of us Christians operate as though our comfort and well-being is the goal and the reward of following Christ. I slip into this belief all of the time, but it’s not true! We’ve made it up. Our kids learn to think this way by watching us, and unless we teach them otherwise, we allow them to begin their spiritual journey headed in the wrong direction, looking for the wrong treasure. What treasure are we to pursue as Christians? Don’t just make it up. We are told in Matthew 13:44 that “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” The treasure that is more valuable than anything you or I could ever have is the kingdom of heaven—not comfort and well-being, certainly not wealth, nothing else can measure up. I would not have come up with that answer on my own, and I’ll bet you wouldn’t have either. You see, anything we would have come up with other than what Scripture says would have been wrong. We could so easily spend the rest of our lives lost and groping about, pursuing the wrong thing. If the kingdom of heaven is our treasure, what direction should we go to get there? Again the answer must be real—not something we make up. Scripture gives us direction in Matthew 22:37, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” No matter what else you do, if you do not follow this command, you will not find your real treasure. Church attendance will not get you there, neither will rule-following or philanthropy. I think so many Christians are sad and burned out because they are wasting all of their energy running hard in the wrong direction after the wrong treasure. Don’t let this be true of you. And don’t let your kids be confused about their treasure either. Christ has more for us than we can even imagine, and in His Word, He has given us the directions to find it. Now, we must have the courage to go.

David B. Carl Creative Director Paws & Tales

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TFP #54 The Captain of My Destiny - Insight for Living

many people assume this to be true and are confused and frustrated their whole lives. God wants us to have more than happiness; He wants us to have Himself.

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