Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bible Bee's Local Contest Day - A Day of Worship

Photo:  Microsoft Images
 We nearly missed the Bible Bee's end-of-summer celebration.   Honestly, I hesitated to attend because I didn't want my son to feel discouraged.  He had not completed the Bible Bee Sword Study or committed all the verses to memory.  But we went--just hoping that the emphasis would be on what he did know rather than what he didn't know.

The official name for this wonderful event is Local Contest Day, but in my heart it felt like Worship Day.   Indeed, it is a day of worship, prayer, and praise.  It is a day of bringing glory to God.  Yes, someone unobtrusively records points for oral and written test rounds.  But the focus is not on the competition.  Each child is encouraged to proclaim God's word with joy--whether they know only one verse or all of their verses.  The number and the points are not emphasized.  The entire day is about God's Word being lifted up to His ears and bringing Him pleasure.

The oral test round can be a source of anxiety, especially if you aren't sure what to expect.  Let me share our experience of the oral test round.  Our family was led to a private room with a judge and one other Bible Bee volunteer.  They warmly welcomed us and explained the procedures.  Before starting, they prayed a special individualized blessing over my son who was competing.  (Is there anything more heart-warming than someone praying a special blessing over your child?  I was deeply touched.)  Then, it was time to get down to business.  They prompted my son to recite the memory verses that had been provided to us.  The only reaction from the Bible Bee volunteers was praise and encouragement.  They didn't frown or otherwise indicate disapproval when there was a verse he had not memorized.  If he missed any points on the verses he had memorized, we never knew it.  It was a very uplifting experience--very much a celebration of what he had learned.

Local Contest Day was a day of fun, fellowship, and joy.  If you participate in the Bible Bee's summer program, I hope you are able to attend this wonderful event.  It is inspiring to be surrounded by Christian families from different communities, different demographics, different denominations who are all gathered for a common purpose--to bring glory to God and bring up their children to do the same.  God's presence was evident throughout the event.

More Bible Bee posts:
The Bible Bee:  A Family Adventure
Bible Bee:  Transforming Hearts

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bible Bee: Transforming Hearts

The best part of the Bible Bee for us was seeing how God used it to influence the hearts of every member of our family.  The person most impacted was my son who was registered as a contestant.

Let me share some of the heart transformation we experienced as a result of participating in the Bible Bee.  On Day 1 after receiving our box of Bible Bee goodies, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and not sure where to start. I introduced the first memory verse to my son and which was received with . . . (what shall I say?) . . . . resistance.

By the end of that first day, he had gained a vision of the program.  The realization that thousands of children all over the country (and beyond) were participating in the same process gave him a zeal that went deeper than my greatest expectations.  Before the day was finished, he was enthusiastically reciting his memory verse over and over without prompting--quite a contrast from the grudging attitude of that morning!  He proudly announced that he had read the entire book of 2 Timothy (the focus of the 2012 summer Sword Study) on his own and that he couldn't wait to do it again tomorrow.  For weeks, he faithfully dug into his Sword Study first thing upon waking.

At my son's suggestion, we started a new practice that has become a permanent fixture in our home.  He requested that an entire wall of his room be made into a scripture wall, displaying all his memory verses.  We did this by printing them out of nice decorative paper, displaying them, and will create a beautiful binder of his memory verses for him to review any time he wants.  Our family has always valued scripture, but through participating in the Bible Bee, I saw my son reach a new level of treasuring God' Word.

Photo:  Microsoft Images

My youngest child is still too young to officially participate in the Bible Bee, but we did start a scripture memory project with him as a direct result of the Bible Bee's influence on our family.  During the Bible Bee last summer, he began asking when he can learn verses also.  Of course, I can't let a request like this go without acting on it. :)  We hung free Bible verse visuals from Bible Story Printables on his wall, had him recite a verse daily, and then saved them in a keepsake binder.  A true love for scripture was instilled in the hearts of both my children. 

Enthusiasm did ebb and flow throughout the summer.  The local events provided by the Bible Bee probably would have helped with this, but unfortunately our family was unable to attend last year.  At the end of the summer, my son told me that he wants to participate in the Bible Bee every year until he's 18.  He said that he will learn a lot about the Bible through doing the Sword Studies, and he reminded me that "time spent learning scripture is not empty.  It has eternal value, even after this life is finished" (Isaiah 55:11).

More posts about the Bible Bee:
Bible Bee:  A Family Adventure 
Bible Bee's Local Contest Day - A Day of Worship