2013 National Bible Bee!

Well, it's extremely hard to believe that the National Bible Bee was already over two months ago, and it's even harder to believe that I'm just now getting around to putting up pictures of our time there. 

It was once again an amazing time to volunteer at the Bible Bee as a family, fellowship with other believers, meet many new friends, and see God answer many prayers for our freinds who were competing. God was truly glorified once again, and I'm amazed at how every year seems to add a new aspect to God's blessing on the Bible Bee. It was (as always) especially fun for me to meet, and reunite with many friends, and get to talk with them. It was funny to have people coming up to me that I had never met in person, asking me if my name was Elanee, and saying they had been looking forward to meeting me. It was my first time to have made numerous friends over the year by studying for the Bible Bee online together. It was a very special time for all of us, and I really appreciated getting to talk with so many people....Although it could have lasted for weeks and still not have been enough time to talk with all of them:) 

Anyhow, I hope you didn't miss my pictures too much.... But of course you probably didn't miss my pictures since you didn't know they existed:) anyhow, here's a sample of our trip to the Bible Bee...I hope you enjoy the photos. 

Since we were already back east visiting realtives, we drove from Virginia to Sevireville,Tennessee for the Bible Bee. 

We enjoyed the drive and especially appreciated the scenery.

It has long been a goal of ours to stop at Chick-Fil-A when we have been back east, so we were very excited to finally stop, and found the environment, and food to quite surpass our expectations. We even tried to stop again on the way back from the Bible Bee, only to remember it was Sunday and they were closed.....hurray for a restaurant that honors God....I wish we had them on the West Coast, only they might have to change their menu a bit:) 

We arrived at the Bible Bee late on Tuesday night, and were excited to immediately meet up with other Oregon families. This year we also enjoyed being able to go to the water park at the hotel. Being my first time at a waterpark, I didn't know quite what to expect, and found myself screaming at the top of my lungs on the way down the slides....o,k, it was only for the first couple times:) 

The next morning after we arrived, we headed over to the conference center for instructions and to begin our volunteer assignments. It was SO refreshing to once again be in the presence of committed believers, and to spend time in prayer before beginning the long day of registration. 

Evan and I enjoyed being tour guides this year, while Mom & Dad did registration. Evan was the best tour guide in my opinion, and not only did he do an amazing job, as a firstime tourguide, he also managed to somehow get almost all of our Oregon Bible Bee families on his tours. ( which I'm still a bit amazed at:) 

Thursday was preliminary rounds for all the contestants. Mom was in the Prayer room & at the information booth, Dad was judging all day long, Evan was in the family fun area, and I was busy in the little siblings area. It was my first time to be taking care of 0-5 year olds, and trying to act like I knew what I was doing when I positively did not. I managed to make it through the day, and found myself almost completely overwhemled trying to occupy the attenttion of almost 20 energetic kids when the other volunteers were too tired to help out. Once I overcame my amazement of how out of control little kids can be without their parents..... I realized I needed to be creative to keep them all occupied when the toys became uninteresting....and at the end of the day....I found I really enjoyed my time with the little kids. I didn't realize Duck, Duck Goose, could be so much fun...especially when you're the goose. After this experience, I concluded that I'm younger sibling deprived:) 

Opening Ceremony is always a special and scary time; Special to see all the contestants be rewarded for their hard work, and scary when the semi- finalists are announced, and you're gripping the edge of your seat waiting for your friend's names to be called. This year I was helping out with the processional, so I didn't get to see all the contestants being awarded....and as a result the ceremony seemed really short. 

The Semi- Finalists were then called, and it was so amazing to see 3 of our Oregon Bible Bee contestants make it to Semis, as well as numerous other friends that I've met over the years. It's always special to see each contestant be surprised and grateful to make it on stage. God is certainly amazing to do abundantly beyond all that we could ask or think. 

It was such a blessing to be part of the Bible Bee choir and orchestra this year. It was amazing to hear how much can be accomplished in just three practices. I loved singing with the choir, and can't wait to repeat the experience next year. 

One of the biggest highlights of the Bible Bee this year, was being able to cheer on our dear friend Jordan Strang who did an excellent job in senior semi- finals, and quoted the Word of God with passion and excellence. He accurately recited eight passages with great oratory skills, and won the attention of the entire audience, with a spontaneous applause on his first recitation.  It was such a blessing to be able to see him be rewarded for his diligence, and determination to study God's Word throughout the entire year.

It was also exciting for me to see Ryan Sinni win first place in the Senior division. It has been a desire of mine since 2010 to see a "representative of the male species" win first place....so it was very exciting for me to watch the finals.

Speaking of finals, it was so special to see our dear sweet friend Olivia Davis once again make it to finals and take fourth place in the Jounior division. Braving the new iPad challenge, and final challenge round format, she quoted her verses with excellence, and did a wonderful job bringing glory to God, and encouraging her fellow contestants. 

After the competitions were over, we all enjoyed the celebration ceremony, and I especially enjoyed being able to sing with the choir, and hear my mom do some of the narration for the performance. God was truly glorified, and it was so uplifting to be a part of such a wonderful group of people who are so committed to bringing the Word of God to life. I felt as though I was in the gateway of heaven, hearing the angels sing "Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lord God almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." He truly is worthy of all our praise. 

After the celebration ceremony, all the Oregon Bible Bee families gathered for a group photo. It was so fun to see how many of us there were, and to spend the weekend with them. Whenever someone from
Oregon was on stage, we all ( well most of us) took seats up front to cheer them on. It was like our own Oregon fan club.....we even had buttons to wear so we could let everyone know we were from Oregon. 

I think one of the biggest highlights of my Bible Bee experience (which seems to be the same every year;) was the talking, talking, talking, and reuniting with freinds, from all over the country. It was a blessing to be able to spend time encouraging and being encouraged by fellow students of the Word. It's like a big family reunion....something I look forward to each year. 

It was so special to finally meet, and spend time with the M. ( I can't spell their name:) family. I felt like we had known each other for a long time, and I don't know how we've managed to be at Bible Bee 3 years in a row without meeting until now. 

It was also a blessing to meet Kristin R. And her family. Over the Bible Bee studying season, I was blessed by Kristin's testimony of determination to put God first, and her testimony of persevering during some difficult health problems. Her sweet spirit, and grateful heart were very inspiring to me. 

It was also good to finally meet Kaitlin R. and her family for the first time. Kaitlin & I share the same spiritual birthdays, and almost the same physical ones as well. It was a blessing to meet her and see how I can be praying for her.

It was also a blessing to see Brittany S. and her family again, as well as to spend time with Hannah Cooksey and her family from Oregon. (Our pastor's family:)

Meanwhile:) Evan enjoyed spending time with the Cooksey boys, and meeting new friends.
This was the Cookseys first time at Nationals and so it was extra special to be able to share the Bible Bee experience with them. 

Evan with Joshua, & Kerestel. (I guess it was getting late...because the room seems to be empty.)

Signature time is always my favorite time of the celebration ceremony. This is where everyone gets "everyone else" whether they know them or not, to sign their Bible Bee program. It's kind- of like saying goodbye with a purpose. And by design, it can take several hours;) 

It was fun to spend time off and on throughout the weekend with the D. & Davis families from our local Oregon group. It's been fun to watch them grow over the years we've done Bible Bee together. 


Group photo time..... It was great to finally meet Daniel F. who I had heard so much about. He also made it to semi- finals in Seniors, and did an excellent job reciting the Word. And even when he made a mistake and knew he was eliminated from the competition, he finished quoting his verse with excellence, and passion. It was very moving. 
And round about midnight....things started to get a little interesting. This was a normal group photo of all the late night Bible Bee people, until an "anonymous" suggestion was taken and the photo became simply hilarious. 

And....This is what happens when the first place winner tries to play hide and go seek at the Bible Bee:) j/k

I think we got to bed at 3am (which is almost normal for us:) and then got up at 8 to check out of our hotel room, and attend the Bible Bee church service, which was such a blessing and an encouragement. And then the "fellowship competition" began.  Which is for the committed few who like to stay around and talk until everyone else is gone, (because their stomachs and watches get the better of them;) and they would've stayed even longer had not they walked outside, and been met by the extreme cold, and waiting parents, who forced them to say goodbye;) 

And so concludes my promised post of the 2013 Bible Bee. It was a great weekend to focus on Christ, celebrate with friends, experience the family of God, and share great conversations with fellow believers. I am so grateful that God allowed our family to volunteer and attend the Bible Bee again, and I simply can't wait to do it all over in Orlando, Florida in 289 days:) 

"If ye abide in me and My Words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you, herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples." John 15: 7-8 






4 comments:

  1. (My comment was submitted accidentally! Sorry!)
    Being there in 2012 was so much fun...I agree it could last for weeks! :)
    Thank you also for encouraging me in my studying this past summer - you inspired me to keep pressing on :) I can't wait for June of this year!! :)
    Blessings to you, Elanee!

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    1. To God be the glory for any inspiration I gave you. I'm really glad you were able to participate in the Bible Bee. I will keep you in my prayers for this year, and I hope you can make it to Nationals again.
      I really enjoy your blog, and the heart you have for Christ,
      Love to you,
      Elanee

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  2. Well it's about time you posted Bible Bee pictures!!! ;) I'm glad you guys had a good time. :) Fellowshipping has always been my favorite parts of events like this. Once I start talking, it's hard to get me to stop. Maybe next time I'll invite myself along... ;)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed looking at the pictures. I agree with you about the fellowshipping:) it's simply wonderful. I hope you can come to Nationals sometime. You know you're not too old to compete:):):) (hint) (hint)

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