I'm SO SORRY that this post is a couple days late. It's been a really weird week :P. I have been dealing with a few things, and because of that, I knew that if I wrote a post in the middle of it, it wouldn't even sound like me.
BUT I'm feeling a lot better now, so I'm ready to write out a freaking fantastic post. ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE??
Lol sorry, I know I'm weird :P.
So today, I'm going to be giving you the FIVE STEPS to how you can quiz like an expert this season. Or rather, it's like 4 1/2 steps to becoming an expert in quizzing - you feel me? :P So without any further ado, lets just do that thaaaaaang!
Step 1: Vision, vision, vision (It's more important than you think...)
(Note from Editing Mallory: This is the step that I spent the most time on, so don't get overwhelmed by the length of it - the other steps are much shorter ;) This is my favorite point, so don't skip over it!)
Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish...". But why? God has created us with His ability to imagine things - to see things that aren't real, or that aren't physically present. I mean think about it; the Word says that He saw me - He saw you - before the creation of the world. Even though we weren't physically present with Him at that point in time, He saw us. He imagined how amazing we would be. He could see so clearly, all the things that He loves about us.
That's pretty darn cool, I gotta say(!).
He has also said in His word that our imagination (our meditation, our thoughts) are REALLY important, because, as Proverbs 23:7 says, "as a person thinks, so will they be [or become]".
When I was in gymnastics a few years back, I got to experience how important "envisioning" things, really was. Until I could literally, clearly see, what I would see as I was doing any kind of flip or skill, I was unable to do it. But as soon as I got it in my head - what I would see, and what I would feel as I did the skill - I could do it just like that *snap*. It was (usually, anyway) a piece of cake once I saw it.
Because I envisioned it, I was able to achieve it.
I would later on find, through reading some business and success books, that envisioning things and thinking in a certain way, is actually what a lot of successful people do - because they understand, recognize, and acknowledge, the difference that having a vision makes.
Vision is one of the reasons people make goals in the first place. It just comes down to knowing what you're working towards.
But vision also includes seeing what it will look like, and feel like, once you have achieved it. It helps you to "keep your eye on the why". You have to know why you're working, it you want to continually, and consistently, give it your all.
Effort is something to be appreciated. Appreciate the effort that you put into things. God does! Also appreciate the effort that other people put into things - whether or not those things are for you.
I think that's one of the most important, and one of my favorite revelations I've gotten from God. I actually got it several years ago - probably when I was about 13-14 years old. I recognized, just in a split second, that what someone was doing for me, was taking brain power on their part - they were consciously choosing, to freely give me their time, energy, thoughts, and most importantly, their effort. You can't put a price on that.
So you see, in order to convince yourself - day after day - to keep working towards what you want in quizzing or anything else, all you need to do, is keep the why in front of you. Heck, make a whole list of "why's"! Then, when you feel unmotivated, go back and read over that list and SEE all of those why's becoming reality.
The last thing I'm gonna say about vision, is that in order to be honest with yourself - and thereby making the why's even stronger - you need to count the cost. Figure out what it's going to take, in order to achieve it.
"Nothing ever worth while ever comes easy, and nothing that comes easy, is ever worth while."
You're going to have to put in a lot of effort, if you're as ambitious as most quizzers I've had the pleasure to meet, and get to know. But you know, that effort is going to pay off big time.
I worked by tail off, in order to get ready for regionals (especially), and for nationals last year. Seriously, I spent probably 2-3 hours a day studying (except for the days when I missed it, of course :P). And I thought about stopping. But I kept the three things that I wanted at the forefront of my studying mind: 1) "I want to make a regional team because I want to compete against my friends at nationals", 2) "I want to be a fierce competitor, and be able to give awesome challenges, rebuttals, and appeals to help myself, my team, and other quizzers", and, 3) "I want to do my VERY BEST at nationals, and make myself proud".
Since I kept these things on the forefront of my mind while I was studying, I was better able to give it my all. Because of that, I was - to some extent, anyway - able to achieve these three "why's". Believe me, it was VERY rewarding.
So don't be worried about how much work/effort you're going to have to commit, in order to get to where you want to go.
Just figure out the vision, what it'll take, and why you want it.
And that leads me to step numero two...
Step 2: Chop it up into small pieces (and find out how to progress in each one)
I wish I could think of a better saying or quote to put in here, because the one I'm going to be using is funny, but kinda gross (:P #WhereIsTheCryingLaughingEmojiWhenYouNeedIt). So here it goes...
"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." (Ew)
But, unfortunately, it's true. When you have something big, and overwhelming that you need/want to get done, the easiest way to overcome that initial dread and doubt, is to tear off a small piece of it, and tackle that first.
You may be feeling overwhelmed right now, with the very idea of "becoming an expert quizzer this season". But lets split that up into a few different pieces.
See, now that we've split it up into a few categories in which we can work on improving ourselves, it's easier to see HOW we can go about improving ourselves.
"But how can we figure out how we can practically make progress? Everyone is in a different spot, so there can't be just one answer." That's right - it'll be different for everybody. But here's how you can figure out what's right for you...
As you go through this process, you'll find yourself making some pretty cool progress ;).
Step 3: Commit your vision and desires to God & Remember your priorities
You may be thinking that me saying to "remember your priorities" is a huge let down from all of this motivating talk I've been giving you. Think again! I'm going to share with you how MOTIVATING, and FREEING remembering your priorities can be.
I actually just had another sit down with God yesterday, to rewrite all of my priorities in order of importance. I wrote them out just as I thought of them, so that I could put them in order in the next column. When I had put them in the order that I knew they should be (I.e. relationship with God first, mental/physical health second, family third, school fourth, etc..), that list was totally different from what the first list had been.
What I thought of first - what were most prominent in my mind - were the things that should have been anywhere from number 7-10 on my list, instead of 1-4. I realized that I have been (wrongly) putting other things above even my own well-being and relationships with the people around me.
Operating (subconsciously) under these mixed up priorities was SUPER unhealthy for me. I get more frustrated, time-conscious, stressed out, and overall unhappy when I'm not spending my energy on my top priorities, instead of the less important things in my life.
Spending the "firstfruits", if you will, of your time and energy on your top three priorities, will better enable you to spend your "secondary" time and energy on the less-important.
I gotta be real honest with y'all for a second.
I think, for someone my age, I do a lot of ministry-oriented things.
I have this blog, that I try to post on every week, I have the Vlog extension every-other week, the email Newsletter every-other week, I just started leading a weekly Bible Study for 10-14 year-old girls (it's called "Ignited", btw - pretty cool name, right? :P), and I'm involved in serving in my church.
Given all of this, I know how important it is that I'm hearing from God about what to say, how to say it, and that I'm continually growing and maturing to be more like my Savior and Father.
I want to bless people, but it's SO EASY for me to forget that "blessing people" is much farther down my priority list than #1. I believe that God has put the unique desire and ability inside of me to be a good minister of His amazing love, but I have to remember that I am not created to minister His love - I'm created to be loved by Him, and to love Him back.
That's so important. So simple. And yet so hard to keep at the front of my mind when the day starts.
But when I am operating hand-in-hand with correctly ordered priorities, the things farther down the list get done with more excellence, more competence, and more passion and energy.
Matthew 6:33 - "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."
Everything in life - and true, abundant life itself - comes effortlessly, by pursuing a relationship with God first and foremost.
Step 4: Take action with unmovable determination
Once you've got a vision, you've chopped it up into doable pieces, you've committed it to God, and you have gotten your priorities straight with God and yourself (and you are able to act accordingly, to the best of your ability), GO FOR IT!
Charge forward and don't let any barrier stand in your way! Crush through them, as if you barely notice them!
Dude, you have so got this.
Remember to remember (lol) the why, as you're charging forward, though.
Step 5: BE AWESOME
I think the title speaks for itself pretty well on it's own ;).
And that's all I got for you today! Again, I'm sorry about this post being two days late, but I hope that you got something out of it anyway, and that through it, you may just be able to kick through some of the things that are holding you back from making some real progress in your quizzing journey.
If you start to implement these things, I believe that you'll really start to see some awesome results, and that you'll be quizzing like the expert you really are, in no time.
With that, Quiz-Journeyers, I hope that you have an absolutely fantastic week - I pray and speak blessings over you days, you coming and going, your rest, you work, and I pray that you would see and experience the amazing, wonderful love of our Father God.
Keep on chugging along, quizzing and living victoriously, because you were BORN a victor in Christ, my friend. Love you guys, and God loves you so much too!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
This is probably my favorite vlog so far, and I'm so excited for you to see it! Enjoy!
Love you guys so much. I'm really looking forward to seeing you again on Monday(!), but until then, keep on quizzing and living victoriously, mah peeps.
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
As of this last Friday, The Bible Quizzing Journey is officially THREE YEARS OLD!!!
I'm always super excited to hit these big milestones in my blog-writing, and content creating, because it reminds me to take a step back for a moment, and appreciate where I've come from - and where I still have to go.
Three years ago, on November 17th 2014, I had just finished the qualifying quiz to go to the St. Louis Top Ten Invitational. I had prepared really hard for this qualifying quiz, and I was over the moon about making the top ten! So what did I do? I decided to start to write a blog about this thing called quizzing, that I was so ecstatic about.... and the rest is history! :P
Throughout the past three years of writing this blog, I've learned things about writing, encouraging, mentoring, formatting, computers, and content creating in general. But I've especially been able to encourage myself, to keep trying to give Bible Quizzing my best effort, and to keep learning how to improve.
The first two years of writing this blog were good, don't get me wrong, but I'm especially thankful for this past year. A lot of change has taken place, not just in moving to Colorado, or in finding a totally new place in my quiz district and quiz team - but in myself, and in my relationship with God. I believe that all of this positive change has been a huge factor in me growing TBQJ.
I've gone from posting every once in a while - sometimes not for a month or two at a time - to planning a post every week, filming and releasing a vlog every other week, and sending out a newsletter on the opposite weeks, and making a resource library. I owe all of this creativity to God, because He is the author of inspiration!
I don't want to spend a lot more time on this section ('cause I know you're super bored by now :P), but I do want to make sure that you all know that I appreciate, so much, all of the awesome support and love you have responded with! Kind comments, either online or in person, really mean so much to me, and I love hearing that a piece of my writing has helped or inspired you.
Thank you, my wonderful, wonderful friends!
And with no further ado, let's get into the intro for today's post!!
Today's post, even though it is partly a celebration for the third-year anniversary, is also the first post in a new series! It's a lot like the series I had last season, "Favorite Parts of Luke"...
Today we are starting... Highlights of Corinthians!
In this series, I'm going to be periodically sharing with you, three verses or passages that stood out the most to me (overall, or in the time since the last Highlights post). I won't be going through - like last season - just chapter by chapter, or taking a part of the material in each post. Rather, I'm going to simply take all of the material into thought, and choose three highlights I haven't mentioned before.
So lets do it!
Number One: 1 Corinthians 8:1-3
In these verses, Paul says, "We all possess knowledge, but knowledge puffs up while love builds up", and "whoever loves God is known by God". And I'm going to tell you what I really love about that first phrase, first.
"Knowledge puffs up while love builds up". That sounds an awful lot like the saying, "they don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care" - and it's so true!
The world today doesn't need a bunch (more) of condemnatory preachers, or self-righteous, even well-meaning, Christians yelling at them for them to repent of their sins. The world needs to know the love of God, and that there is redemption for them, and that there is forgiveness just waiting to be accepted by them, from their loving Heavenly Father.
Knowledge about God and about His word won't profit the world anything, if we don't have love, because it's love that catches people's attention. If we start with accusations right off the bat, pressuring them to accept Christ as soon as possible - because He could come any second - then they'll get on the defensive immediately, and their hearts will be further hardened towards the truth.
Instead, this verse and many others, tell us that we should just be Jesus to people.
We aren't called to make converts, or to "win souls for Christ".
We're called to love the unlovely. Amen?
Number Two: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
I LOVE THIS PASSAGE SO MUCH!!
To be real, I love pretty much every passage of scripture that paints such an awesome picture of how our God has called us to live. "Run in such a way as to win the prize". Oh that just gives me chills!
God is not a God who calls people to follow Him, and then abandons them without another glance or word, or instruction - He's a God who tells us exactly how we can get the most out of this life; How we can live it to the absolute fullest!
Our calling, while we're on this earth, is partly to become as much like Christ outwardly, as we are inwardly. Our Spirits, according to Ephesians 1, are completely sealed - that means that that 1/3 of you is 100% Holy Ghost. One third of you is one hundred percent the Spirit of God.
Because of that, and because God loves us so much as His beloved children, He has called us to not give in to what is easy, but to work towards what is hard, so that we may manifest the truest beauty of our best selves.
That means letting God teach us about self-discipline (as it is the title of this passage :P). We go into "strict training", just like those competing in the games, so that we will be able to run in such a way as to win the prize.
We train as soldiers of the Powerful, Loving, Living and Almighty God, because we don't want to walk through our lives aimlessly! Each and every one of us has been entrusted with an imperative role to play in this world, because there is a fight, right now, waged between good and evil. You are an important instrument of God, to bring evil to it's knees once and for all, and obliterate it from the universe and beyond.
So you see, we have a responsibility to all of the people whose lives we are each going to transform through the love and power of our Father, to learn this self-discipline, and train - as hard as we can - to run our race, and win first place.
I don't want to waste my life.
I don't want to reach the end of my days here on earth, and not be able to say that I ran as hard as I could for my God who loves me so much, and who has given me life.
Rather, as Paul says, I would like this to be our war cry: "I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air."
I believe in you, God believes in you - what can stand in your way?
Number Three: 1 Corinthians 13 (all of it, pretty much :P)
This chapter, strategically placed between chapters 12 and 14, is absolutely incredible. Yeah yeah, people talk about this chapter a lot, and it's easy to just skim over it because of that, right?
Throw all of that nonsense out.
I would like you to, if you haven't already, look at this passage with a fresh pair of eyes. Don't look at it through the lens of it being a popular, "over-used" part of God's Word.
Rather, try to look at it as if you had never heard of it, or heart it, before. Let God speak His own message, His own view point to you.
I'm not saying that all of the "generic" things people say about this chapter is wrong, but it's been chewed up so much that we can't really seem to get a lot of nutrients out of it for ourselves when we're only eating from other people's revelations. God has a revelation specifically, and exclusively for you, because you're the only person who can understand it, and hear Him, like you do.
So, looking at this passage with a fresh, original pair of eyes, what do you see?
I saw God's name replace the word "love", everywhere in the chapter, because my sister off-handedly mentioned it when she saw me studying it. We can do this because in 1 John, it literally says that God IS love.
It's really cool when you read it through, replacing the word "love", with "God"!
"God is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, He does not boats, He is not proud. He does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking..." etc, etc...
I've spent a fraction of the time that I would like to, just meditating and thinking over each of these statements. If you ever hear or experience something that claims to be God, but fails to meet ANY ONE of these requirements, you have the right to rebuke it and push it out of the way and out of your mind, because I promise you it's not God.
God's Word is perfect, and if it says that God is love, then love is God, and nothing can ever change that, amen?
(Don't forget to ask God what special, personal, specific revelation and understanding He would like to give you, His wonderfully made and loved child, from this chapter!)
That's all for today, wonderful people!
If you'd like to find out a little bit more about me and this blog, you can head over to our (newly revamped) about me page, "Start Here", for more information and some fun pics!
Also, I would like to remind you of our Newsletter, that goes out every other Sunday afternoon - for more info on that, you can head over to our Newsletter page :).
Man, I love you guys so much, and God is absolutely enthralled with you - I hope you know just how much He loves you this week. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving week and weekend, and I'll see you on Saturday for the TBQJ Vlog, Episode 8, and back here again on Monday, for another post ;).
Never forget... We, the Quiz-Journeyers, quiz and live victoriously!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
I'm super sorry this post is a day late, I had a crazy day yesterday :P. But anyways, I've got some pretty cool content planned for you, so let's hop right in to the introduction!
In this post, as you can see by the title, I'll be talking a little about having a "knack for bouncing back". And what I mean by that, is building and perfecting (through quizzing, mostly) the skill of bouncing back from set backs.
Now, you may be thinking that I'm just going to repeat everything I said in my "Pulling Off a Killer Comeback" post back in September. Wrong! The difference between that post and this post, is that I was mostly talking about the benefits to "coming back", while in this post, I'll be sharing with you the Biblical view on it, and I hope it blesses you!
(By the way, I also have a detailed, interactive, and entertaining workbook to walk you through the entire process; You can check that out right here, or through the link in the post I just mentioned!)
So first off, why is bouncing back important? Why is it an imperative skill to learn?
Bouncing back is a necessary thing to be able to do (and do well), because it's what separates mistakes from failure. You only really fail when you don't get back up. I've failed (and still fail) a lot - pretty much every other hour - so you can see why I've had to start learning this lesson for myself.
I guess I've always had a problem with failure, just like most people...
But the key to not letting failure discourage you, is remembering that it doesn't define who you are, who you will be, or what you will be able to accomplish in the future.
It's separating your identity from your ability.
You may think that what we do is the only way to know who someone is, but that's not how our Heavenly Father sees it at all. He doesn't change how He sees us, or how He acts towards us based on anything we do, or based on His obligation - He only acts out of love for His kids. Out of His love for us.
Bouncing back is a very Biblical skill. Take Philippians 3:13-14 for example. Paul says to "forget what is behind," (what we've done in the past) "and strain towards what is ahead", so that we can keep focused on getting better and better every single day, and not waste any more time looking backwards.
You can't move forward very well if you're all turned around like that. I've never met anyone who can run better backwards than forwards - if you try to do that, you'll trip and fall down a lot more.
God knows this, so He tells us, "It's okay, My grace is sufficient for you! Don't worry about anything that you've done badly, or haven't done. Focus - set your thoughts and energy and passion - towards what I've set before you, right now, to accomplish. I haven't given you a spirit of fear, so don't fear failure. Rather, look to your marvelous future with an expectation, and imagination, of the good success that I have already promised you, and given you the ability to achieve."
Thank you God, thank you Daddy, for blessing us with this!
How is bouncing back a skill? And how can I learn it?
Obviously (I hope :P), bouncing back is definitely a skill that has to be learned; we don't have this ability programed into us right when, or before, we're born.
Bouncing back has a lot to do with diligence and persistence, because it takes guts - courage - to get back up right after you've fallen down to try again; to risk falling down again. Persistence is a highly valued trait by God, because it's only when we're persistent that we will achieve real (and sweet) success: "nothing worth while ever comes easy, and nothing that comes easy is ever worth while" (that's just a quote, not a verse :P).
Let me ask you this: how did you learn how to read? Someone probably taught you, for starters. You began with easy things, right? And then as you got better at it, you advanced on to harder things. You went from reading little board books to novels.
But you see, it never got easier - you just got better.
And this is true with everything in the Kingdom. You get better at believing for things, at casting down thoughts that don't align with the guidelines in Philippians 4, at talking with the Lord, at speaking out what you're believing, and the list goes on, and on, and on. But the difficulty of the things themselves never changed; you did.
It's the same with bouncing back from set backs.
When you make a mistake, you have to learn how to catch yourself right there, not let yourself get discouraged, and choose to strain towards what is ahead - with an expectation of good success.
It takes a little while to change your habits. Apparently, from what I've read, it takes 30 days to make a habit, and 90 days to make a lifestyle. 30-90 days to change your behavior for the rest of your life. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
However, those 30-90 days are the hardest you'll ever have to work! Changing something about yourself isn't usually an easy thing to do.
BUT, it's a lot easier when you have God right there by your side, holding your hand, helping you along, and giving you pep talks and incredible love EVERY STEP of the way.
He wants you to live life to the absolute fullest. That means that He is going to mentor you, help you along, answer your questions, be insanely gracious and patient, and give you the strength you need (and even more)!
Whenever I'm feeling discouraged, or feeling like I don't know how to "do life", God always reminds me of this verse: Psalms 16:11, "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore."
Do you want to learn how to make bouncing back from set backs a habit, and learn how to not get discouraged from any mistakes you may make? God is on board to help you with it, and He will not ever put a time limit on you, or run out of patience, or pressure you in any way.
Because He's got you, you've got this.
Don't forget: I have a totally free, fun, interactive, and entertaining (with stories of my personal experience in quizzing) workbook that will take you step by step through the process of bouncing back (or pulling off a killer comeback).
So go ahead and do yourself a favor and download yourself a copy ;D. Haha I'm just kidding. But seriously, I think it'll really help you out if you're struggling with anything like this.
BUT ANYWAY guys, I hope that you enjoyed this post, and that you will join me again on Sunday for our biweekly newsletter, and again next Monday, as we continue our wonderful quizzing journey together.
Remember, Quiz-Journeyers, WE quiz, and we live, VICTORIOUSLY! Have an incredible week! I love you guys!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
Brand new vlog: "Singleness VS. Marriage", over 1 Corinthians chapter 7... enjoy! Again, sorry about the lighting in this video. I promise it's better than it looks :P.
Remember, you're blessed and highly favored. You're the head and not the tail. You're above and not beneath. The Lord has lifted up His countenance upon you, He dances and sings over you, and He has given you unexplainable peace!
Have an incredible weekend, Quiz-Journeyers, and I'll see you on Monday!
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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