Hey there, wonderful children of God!
How are ya doing? God is so good, and He loves you so much!
Sorry this post is a day late, we were driving home from our regionals all day yesterday, so I didn't get a chance to finish it :P
And on that note, congratulations to everyone on how they did at the tournament! There was some awesome competition, and I'm super excited about how our teams are going to do at nationals next month!
But if that was your last tournament for the season, I would encourage you to really enjoy your summer break, and to build up that kindling for next season's fire of motivation!
Today I'm going to touch on the subject of the daily use of our swords - it's gonna be awesome! It's important to realize and remember that even though we may sharpen our swords regularly (through Bible quizzing!), we still need to practice using them.
Luckily, we have the best Teacher we could ever hope for! :P And as a bonus, He's always available for one-on-one lessons.
If you want to become an expert swordsman, three things are necessary:
But how do you "practice" the things you're learning, you may ask? It's simple; recognize and fight against the enemy.
"The enemy" can come in three forms: himself (thoughts that are completely contradictory to God's Word), persecution/trouble from other people (people who have listened to the thoughts from the devil), and ourselves (our flesh, the part of us that was tainted when Adam and Eve sinned).
So we're going to look at these three enemies one at a time, point out their goals, weapons, weaknesses, and how we defeat them, what weapons we use, and what scriptures to defeat them with.
Lets look at the most obvious one first: the devil.
The convenient thing about the devil, in situations like this, is that he's really predictable - he doesn't take days off when he knows he can do harm and damage, so the trick is just to watch for his lies and attacks, confront, and then defeat him. Simple three-step move :P
The devil's goal is to get you to believe lies about yourself, and about God - and unless we know the Word, and what the truth is, we'll fall for it every time.
We have to know that we're forgiven and redeemed, that we're children of God, perfectly made, filled with love and power. We have to know that God loves us, so very much, that He forgives us easily when we make mistakes, that He's a good Daddy, and that He would never do anything to hurt us.
The devil's main weapon, is God's children not knowing the Word, the Truth. Because once you know the one truth, all other lies can be deflected.
The devil's main weakness is his lack of understanding in the spiritual. The devil is completely natural/carnal now; he is time-conscious, sin-conscious, and self-centered. He can't understand what we do, because it works through faith and prayer.
We defeat the devil through knowing the Word, remembering it when he tries to sell his lies to us, and then rebuking him with it (putting him in his place). It's good to be mean to the devil!
The weapons we use are pieces of scripture, and words that the Lord has specifically spoken to us.
For example, when he says that you're not smart enough, rebuke him with a few truths. Say, "Psalm 139:14 says that I am perfectly, wonderfully made. Genesis 1:27 says that I am made in the very image of God (your defeater, by the way, in case you had forgotten ;))."
And then it's always fun to follow up by telling him a little bit about himself. Say, "According to 1 John 3:8, Jesus came and destroyed any and all power you ever held over me, and 1 John 5:4 says that I was born with the power to overcome anything you try to throw at me today. You're wasting your time, buddy."
See? The devil's not scary. He's been crawling around on his belly since Adam and Eve ate the fruit - that's not a stance of power or dignity ;) You'll find it's really fun to laugh in his face with Jesus.
Let's move on to the next one: Persecution/trouble from other people.
This is kind of a hard one, because in the end, these people are God's children too. Our main purpose, is to know God and make Him known. We can't be mean to this "enemy", we can't laugh in their faces and rebuke them with distain. We have to love them.
It's important to note that the devil tries to work through people to get to you. Remember when Moses and Jesus were born? Satan worked through Pharaoh and Herod to kill all of the children (thinking they could kill the two Satan hated the most), and both times failed to achieve his goal.
We have to remember, especially in situations where we face this kind of hardship, that the base of our fights isn't against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities in the "unseen world, mighty powers in this dark world, and evil spirits in the heavenly places." (According to the NLT).
Persecution of Christians is obviously not always directly from the devil, but it is never God. The very idea that some people believe that it is just doesn't make sense. No, when it's not directly from the devil, it's just people living in their flesh, in ignorance, and in the hardness of their hearts (which never would have happened without the devil's influences).
Jesus said that everyone would hate us because of Him (Luke 21:17). But, like Paul said, since he knows Jesus and His unexplainable, incredible, unsurpassable love, all of these tribulations are but light afflictions in view of eternity with our Lord - and Paul went through and endured A LOT of persecution, as those of us who quizzed over Acts know very well.
Their (people's) goal is to hurt, and maybe kill us, because of our faith, and we have to be okay with that. Even in the circumstance of persecution from His children, to His children, I believe God wants us to be loving, as He was when He was being crucified.
Their weapons are limited entirely to the natural: our physical bodies. Their "weakness" would have to be their humanity, and the fact that they are created by God and therefore born with the knowledge (according to Romans 1) that God exits - and all we have to do to exploit that is show them His love.
And the last one: ourselves.
As mentioned previously, what I mean by this is our flesh; the bit of us that was tainted when Adam and Eve first sinned.
This is the part of us that died (our "old man" as Paul refers to it) when we got saved, but it's a continual process to keep walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5 & Romans 8) and to keep being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12).
We have to die to our flesh daily (instead of just Sunday :P) in order to live for Christ (Galatians 1:20). The goal of our flesh, is just for us to fulfill it's lusts (evil desires). It's weapon is temptation and "harmless" thoughts, which can and do turn into big sins unless we chop them down at their roots the minute we notice them.
But it's weakness is the fact that it's already been defeated by Christ through salvation. The way we continually defeat it, though, and fight against it, is simply to follow what God said about our thoughts.
Proverbs 23:7 says that as a person thinks, so is he. Basically, thoughts turn into words, words into actions, and actions into a continual habit that works its way into your character/personality - and that becomes your life.
To defeat them, all we have to do is use the weapon of our ability to control and steer our thoughts. Our flesh doesn't really have any power once we get born again, but we have to take the reigns and cause our thoughts, words, actions, and life, to reflect the Word of God and who He says that we really are.
In times of peace, at the beginning of the day for example, I would encourage you to take the time to build up some defenses around your heart for the day.
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us "to not be careful for anything, but in every situation by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, to present our requests to God. And the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Prayer is powerful. If you're concerned about something, give it to God, let go, and enjoy His peace in the middle of the situation.
Like I've said before, speaking God's truths over yourself is a great way to remind yourself of who you are, who God is, and the promises that fill your future with good things. Remind yourself of the glorious victories that the Lord has already won for you today.
Thanks for reading, guys! I want you to know that working on my "swordsmanship" isn't something that I do anywhere near perfectly - I mess up a lot, and have to keep trying, but that's okay.
We're all in this journey together, and I have a great hope that through our quizzing years, we're going to raise up an entirely new generation of the church, and this earth is going to be better off for it.
Can't wait to see you all again! So until next time...
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
How's studying going? It can begin to get really hard to find motivation this time of the year, but it's also a great time to look back at your resolutions and goals!
What did you want to achieve? How can you better work towards those now, with new and inspired zeal and experience from this season?
I know that one of my goals at the beginning of the season was to memorize all of the material. And even though I haven't done it perfectly (and procrastinated for most of the season... :P) I still managed to learn a good amount of it, and I'm proud of that.
Be proud of what you've accomplished, no matter how insignificant you may think it is, because you made an effort to learn the Word of God and to get better at a sport - never be ashamed of work and time that you committed to quizzing! God is proud of you!
As you can see from the title, today we're beginning a series on how to deal with "high-stress" competition.
This post is going to cover why we get stressed out, and ways to deal with it before and during the competition. The next part of this series will discuss the base of the stress, how to kill it at it's root, and finally all the wonderful benefits that come from that (which are not only quizzing-related)!
So here we go!
Why we get stressed out about quizzing
Basically, most people are (either consciously or subconsciously) concerned about what their family, team mates, friends, and opponents will think of their performance. And often times those standards and expectations can just be our own, and not anyone else's.
When we think too much about what other people think, that insecurity is based on what we think of and expect from ourselves, because chances are that in reality most of us have great, supportive adults in our lives.
But if someone actually does expect something from you, that you constantly feel pressured to live up to, it would be a good idea to take a good hard look at that person and the expectation, and consider if it is actually valid.
How to deal with performance-related stress before the tournament
A good way to kick stress out right off the bat is to do your best to prepare for the competition. This does not mean that you have to study until three o'clock in the morning every night - that would be an example of how to wear yourself out and end up not doing as well as you could ;).
It just means that you should make quizzing a top priority - that you should go out of your way to spend more time studying; in the car, the shower, getting ready in the morning, listening to the material while doing chores or cooking, and those little fifteen-minute windows of possibility throughout our days that we look over.
Also, rest and recuperation are imperative to both your preparation effectiveness, and your stress level. Allow yourself to rest if you need it, even if you feel like to need to study every moment possible, because pushing yourself too hard is not healthy at all.
How to deal with performance-related stress during the tournament
If you're stressed out during the tournament, it can cause you to make mistakes and get upset when you could be having fun - its not cool :P
In order to deal with this "in action" tension, there are several different methods; using calming essential oils, breathing techniques, and even doing jumping-jacks and push ups between rounds and during time outs are common, and some people even like to fill up on caffeine to get the job done (you just have to keep an eye on the crash :P).
But in the end, reminding yourself of the reason you're quizzing is the strongest way to get rid of stress during the tournament. It really doesn't matter how well you do at the end of the day, because it's just for fun, and your worth does not come from your performance.
So that's all I have for you guys today! Don't forget; in the next part of this series we'll be discussing the base of all performance-related stress in quizzing, and then the benefits of kicking it out of your life!
Stress and worry are literally the most useless emotions known to the human race :P And, there's no reason to have them as companions in our every day life (or at all). Go forth then, in the power Jesus has equipped you with, to overcome and destroy these parasites!
Good luck to everyone in their final days of preparation for regionals, and during your time of preparation for nationals! I look forward to seeing you all again soon!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
How's it going?
We've got some time of awesome preparation on our hands! Whether you're in prep for nationals, or cramming for regionals in a couple weeks, God is with you and He is enabling you to do your very best - no matter what. :)
Today I'm gonna touch specifically on the subject of doing multiples! Giving multiple question/answer combinations is a basic necessity once you start pre-jumping earlier, and it gives you way better chances at getting it right.
The guidelines for doing multiples are on page 12 of the official rule book, and those are great to read over, in order to get a feel for how they're supposed to go.
Here are the main points:
But obviously, there are a lot of differences in how you can do multiples because of the different question types, and there are specific rules for them as well. Lets go over those real quick...
Generals & Situation: All of the questions have to come from the same passage
I have a few posts about generals, but I think the one that mainly discusses pre-jumping and multiple-ing is my 7 Secrets to Rocking Generals - Part 1, and Part 2. Also, the categories on "Questions" and "Technical Quizzing" will have some great related posts as well!
According To's: All of the questions have to come from the same verse
I haven't done according to's for very long, and I haven't really ever made it my specialty, but I've learned a little about them anyway. The main thing in my opinion, is to try to get all the main areas of the verse, and to not bother saying the inverses of the questions you already asked - it'll just take up time.
Book & Chapters: All of the questions have to come from the same chapter
These questions (and Contexts) pair nicely with general question quizzers, I think, because both types give only a few words for the quizzer to go off, and the quizzer has to pin-point where the phrase originates, and then complete it. These usually start at the beginning of a verse, but sometimes at the beginning of a statement which could be in the middle of one - just try to become familiar with the passages inside and out :P
Contexts: Question multiples may come from anywhere - different verses, chapters, and books
You really have to be a good reflex jumper in order to specialize in these, because they're kind of unpredictable, but they're also a lot of fun, and easy to multiple on!
Memory Verses: CANNOT be answered with multiples
Doing multiples on according to's is probably the most common at higher-level tournaments. The quizzer typically jumps on the reference and then gives all of the possibilities they can from that verse, and that takes a lot of work to be able to do! I whole-heartedly commend anyone who has made according to's their question specialty! :P
For all the other types (except memory of course) multiple-ing is slightly less frequent, but nonetheless necessary.
The pre-jump information narrows down the search most of the time, but that is often only enough to figure out which passage the question is coming from, and not enough to figure out what exact question it is, so it's a good idea to ask a few different variations, once you think you know where it's heading.
So there we go!
If you'd like more information on the guidelines for multiples, there's a button on the right hand side of my page that says "Official Rules" and that will take you directly to the online booklet.
Also, I believe that the app for Teen Bible Quizzing includes the rule book as well, so that's an awesome and convenient way to get familiar with it too. :)
Man, isn't this an awesome ministry we get to be part of? It's giving us the tools and motivation to dig into God's Word, and opportunity to play games with it along side other youths who are seeking the Lord as well.
I'm SO excited about next season, with 1-2 Corinthians, and I've got some plans and ideas for the blog that I'm really looking forward to - I'll try to give y'all a sneak peak here in a few weeks! :P
Anyways, God loves you sooooooo much! He calls you beautiful, perfect, holy, anointed, gifted, and blessed to be a blessing!
We are all made on purpose with a purpose - don't let the devil deceive you into thinking that you don't have anything significant to give, because he's just terrified about what will happen when you begin to flow in the gifting and calling that God has placed specifically inside of you!
Have a wonderful day and week my friends! And as always...
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
I'm super excited to be writing this, it's really something close to my heart and has totally changed my walk with the Lord.
Today we're gonna talk a little about knowing our true identity, but first I'm going to quickly share part of my testimony about that.
On my phone right now, I have two wallpapers; on on my lock screen, and the other on my home screen, behind my apps. The lock screen is a roaring lion, and the home screen is the Hulk.
The Hulk is what I am when I get on my knees and pray - commanding things in the spiritual realm, and using the authority God's given me, rebuking the devil and using the Word to fight off any and all of his lies and attacks, and last but not least, building myself up in my most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit according to Jude 1:20 (tongues).
The Hulk does damage to the enemy, and I believe with all my heart that He is and will continue to work through me to do damage to the devil and his plans.
The Lion holds a slightly more personal meaning, since we are all the Hulk ;)
I was hanging out with a very close, college-age friend of mine one day, and the discussion quickly turned towards the Lord. She told me that she had recently started asking Him for pictures about her friends. The ones she had already received represented things anywhere from their emotional state, to who they were in the spiritual, etc. So I asked her if she could ask for one for me. She agreed, and went quiet for a few moments and then looked back up, with a quizzical look in her eyes.
"It was a lion," She said. "It actually kind of startled me."
She didn't have the interpretation for my picture, and that happened sometimes - but I kept going back to it during the several months that followed, and God's been showing me a lot of awesome things about how He sees me (who I really am).
One of those things is from off of Proverbs 28:1 which says "...the righteous are as bold as a lion" which, particularly, has kept being confirmed by different people, who had no idea that she gave me the picture.
But why am I telling you all this? I want you to know that there may be a big difference between how you see yourself and how our Father sees you (and how He sees you is always good!).
To be super real with y'all for a second, I never thought of myself as being someone/something powerful, strong, worthy, or important (to individuals, the world, or the Kingdom of God). I mean, lets be honest; I'm five-foot-nothing, not incredibly strong physically, obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and to wrap it all up I don't have great social skills.
But guys, all of that was what I was seeing in the natural. None of it had anything to do with who I was in the spiritual.
In James, it says that the Bible is our spiritual mirror. Wanna know who you are, what you look like? Just look in your mirror! Something I've started doing in the mornings recently (when I remember :P) is going over a list of Biblical truths about who I am, and just speaking the Word over myself before I do anything else.
And it goes on.
He loves us so much.
I don't think I'm the only one who feels the awful hurt in my heart when someone I love says something degrading about themselves. When they're not joking, and I can tell that they really believe that whatever the thing was, diminishes their worth.
How much more does God hurt, who loves us so much more than anyone else could, and who even wrote our DNA and designed every piece of who we are, when we think and say less than positive things about ourselves? When we express our dislike?
It makes Him sad, because He just wants us to be happy and for us to realize how wonderful and beautiful we are in Him!
He wants us to know who we are, how much He loves who we are, and finally, for us to love who He made us to be as well.
So go take a peek in your mirror this week, ask the Lord how He thinks of you, and open up your heart to believing it - you won't be disappointed.
And that's all I've got for you guys this week! I pray that it is phenomenal!
Until next time my friends...
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
I want you to know that you are beautiful, and anointed by God today! God has an awesome, exciting plan for your life, and He loves you SO much!
For this week, I wanted talk a little about making sure the time we commit to working on things, proves to be effective in every area of our lives.
And, of course, it's important to remember that being a good quizzer does not immediately equal having a thriving relationship with the Father. It can certainly benefit it, but quizzing can never support a relationship as important as this one. :)
We've got a lot of different things that can sidetrack us while we're trying to focus on something important - whether that's homework, quizzing, family/friends, or (most importantly) spending specific time enjoying the presence of, and seeking the Lord.
To start off, I don't think I'm alone when I say that I get discouraged from time to time, from giving life my best effort.
I know that sometimes when I'm trying to get things rolling in the morning, it can be difficult. Being home schooled, I really have to learn how to be self-motivated and push myself to do my best, because no one else is gonna do it for me - to get up on time, to dress and eat well, to really learn what's in my school that day, and make time for doing what I enjoy.
When I focus on, and let myself feel the pressure of time, it can be a huge temptation to skip my morning coffee with Jesus, and just get right down to business - and that never ends well. I get distracted by the glorification of busy, when I should be putting God first, no matter what's happening around me in the natural.
Putting away electronic devices is the main thing people usually talk about while on this subject - and that's important, don't get me wrong - but I think there are a lot of other things we can be distracted by outside of our smartphones. Things like pressing deadlines, outside responsibilities, and life problems in general take our focus away from growing into who we could be.
When we're stressing out about things like this, things that we can't control, it becomes super easy to stop working as hard, and with as much passion as we normally could.
But, you say, since we can't control these things. what do you suggest we do? Here's the answer...
Once we are focusing on and valuing God above other people and even our own selves, we are valuing Him above every human distraction. And the benefits that come from that newly electrified God-experience (an involuntary and lasting abundance of peace, joy, knowledge of His love, etc.) enable us to do well in every area of our lives, and obliterate either the distractions themselves, or the negative effects they have on us.
Understanding the importance of magnifying the right things on a daily basis has saved me a lot of trouble, and it's part of controlling our thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, which means (according to Philippians 4:8) to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, anything that's of virtue, and anything worthy of praise.
Proverbs 23:7 says that however a person thinks, that's the way they're going to be.
I know it's strange, but I keep thinking back to that Matrix movie, when they're visiting the place and the little girl is talking to the main character. She's teaching him how to bend a silver spoon, and says that "You must first realize, that there is no spoon". So, you must first realize, that there is actually no problem that you can't overcome, no matter how big it's been magnified.
But overcoming is a whole other subject in itself :P And even though it's under completely different circumstances, the spiritual (God, His power, love, and ability to work through you) must become more real to us than the natural (what we perceive with our physical senses).
So, in conclusion, we should watch our thoughts and make sure we're valuing the right things. Next, we need to try to keep God's truths always before us, because they are life (Romans 8:6)! :D
I hope that this blessed you today! Keep fighting the good fight of faith, beautiful and strong children of God!
I know that its getting tough to find motivation, my friends, but thank Jesus that He renews our strength every morning! We have everything we need, because God gives us the desire and power to do what pleases Him, and quizzing is definitely included in that! :P
Love you guys, have an awesome week!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
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Mallory is a sixth-year Teen Bible Quizzer originally from the Southern region, and now in the Northwest, quizzing over the book of John with her three younger siblings. <3
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