PRAY: Top Ten Reasons to Bee-lieve in the Bee (National Bible Bee)
Next week, my two youngest daughters and I set off on what we know will be an amazing adventure. We’ll join more than 300 finalists, their families, speakers, and sponsors for the National Bible Bee to be held at the Nashville Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The girls and I will volunteer in various ways including, for my part, serving as a judge for the preliminaries and collecting Bible Bee stories to share later.
Our journey to the Bee began, as have so many of my others, in prayer. More than six years ago, when B.J. Higgins lay fighting for his life in a hospital bed, I kept close watch on his family’s blog, www.prayforbj.com, where I posted prayers and words of encouragement. More and more, I noticed the posted prayers of another warrior, Tammy McMahan. Could she read my mind? Or did our words flow from similar hearts?
As the weeks progressed, it became obvious that we shared a heart for prayer, for our Father, and for connecting lives with His truth. Tammy and I became off-blog friends, prayer partners, and e-mail sisters. We continued our relationship as I moved into the considerable task of helping BJ’s parents share their son’s story in the book I Would Die for You (Revell, 2008). Not long after that, God moved the McMahans to my parents’ Ohio hometown where, after more months and more prayer, Tammy’s husband Mark accepted the position of CEO of the Shelby Kennedy Foundation/National Bible Bee.
I hope to do a bit of blogging from the Bee itself, but for now, I’ll settle for a quick
10. Prizes: The Shelby Kennedy Foundation gives away $260,000 in cash prizes at the National Bible Bee competition each year. Top prize in the senior division is $100,000.
9. Speakers: The 2011 National Bible Bee competition features presentations by Dr. Voddie Baucham, Kirk Cameron, John Stonestreet, Doug Philips, and others passionate for the cause of Christ-centered family discipleship, including my friend and writing partner, Dr. Walker Moore of Awe Star Ministries.
8. Family-friendly Environment: The opposite of the typical adults-only conference, the National Bible Bee offers wholesome activities and experiences for all ages and interests. The Bee’s unique curriculum also allows elementary-age students through adults to study the same passages at the same time.
7. Exposure and Experience: The National Bible Bee competition gives young people the opportunity to share their knowledge of Scripture with others in a safe, non-threatening environment.
6. Planning and Preparation: The National Bible Bee is well-planned, well-thought-out, and well-administered at every level.
5. True Fellowship: The National Bible Bee offers families the experience of building real relationships that focus on the Word of God.
4. Integrity: The National Bible Bee operates at the highest level of integrity. Financial, organizational, and competition-related decisions are all made under the authority of God’s Word and a Board of respected Christian leaders.
3. Prayer: From its founding in 2009, the National Bible Bee has been bathed in prayer. During the Bee, a dedicated prayer room will remain open for participants’ use.
2. Discipleship: The National Bible Bee’s tagline is “Family discipleship—one verse at a time.” The Shelby Kennedy Foundation and Bible Bee staff see the completion as a vehicle to pour God’s Word into the lives of participating families.
1. The Word of God: It never returns void. No prize, award, or affirmation has more eternal value.
Next week, watch for more on the National Bible Bee experience. And in the meantime, check out the Bee’s Facebook page and website. If you’ve heard of and/or participated in the Bee at local or national levels, I’d love to hear from you. Have you participated in other Bible memory programs (AWANA, Bible Drill, etc.)? I’d love to have you share your comments!