A Prayer from the Official Question Writer

Official Writer for the 2013 National Finals posted the following on Facebook. It’s a rare opportunity to hear from an official writer like this before Nationals, so we hope you enjoy his thoughts and prayers.

Lord, I pray for BQ Nationals 2013.

I pray for traveling mercies on all those coming to Chicago, whether by auto, bus, train, airplane, bicycle, tricycle, or by the least reliable form of transportation – the church van that was used last weekend by the Royal Rangers and not cleaned afterwards. Keep all the drivers sane, and may they all be able to find a suitable Country Music station.

I pray for Pastor Bernie and his wonderful wife Jeannie – may you give them a safe escape from the ‘burgh, and may Pastor Bernie remember it’s a BQ event and not a Youth Camp and thus not pack only shorts. Also allow him to stop at ten churches along the way to establish new BQ teams for next season. Seriously – they are such a blessing to our progr… uh, ministry. We truly love them.

I pray for the hotel staff, that they be understanding of our 30+ kids card games in the lobby, and that we be strong witnesses to them. Also please keep their elevators working - or if that’s too big of a miracle to perform - at least give us all rooms on Floors 2, 3, 4 & all the NE teams on 5.

I pray for each coach – that you give them patience, peace, patience, endurance, patience, a gentle spirit, and then more patience. May you give them a strong heart for their quizzers, and when they hear Green Three answer “Jesus”, may you calm them and give them insight into the fact that Green Three simply didn’t hear the introductory remark “Give a Complete Answer from Three Consecutive Verses” but instead is just seeking divine guidance. May you also give them wisdom in each of their 200+ contests not to mention the mental capacity of the officials.

I pray for the Officials – that they hear every word spoken and can follow along on their sheets. I pray they be in unity as they deny all contests. I also pray especially for the Quizmasters, that they don’t bleed (too much), and especially for the one quizmaster who shall remain nameless (although initials are Dr. JB) that he doesn’t skid. And I pray for Steve Fowler, that due to his Texas accent there is not a need for “interpretation” (It’s a Gospel year, not an Epistle year, so we haven’t studied that this year)

I pray for Abby and Jack of nym – that they have the patience to deal with everyone asking the same questions over and over and over. May their petty cash be balanced, their extension cords returned, and no one asking for Banquet tickets Thursday afternoon.

I pray for Robert Carter and his wonderful mother as they keep up with the stats each day. As the Lord taught us how to pray – please give Ginny her daily cookies, so she can in turn bless all of us.

I pray for the Mullin’s clan, that as they bless us with their great pictures and products, you bless them with at least 3 hours of sleep each night. That seems to be all they need – well, and lots of caffeine.

I pray for each quizzer, that you help them turn their anxiety and nervousness into a sharp, keen focus… or at least help them not to throw up. During confers may they remember to love their fellow quizzers and only speak kind, encouraging words even though they’re raging in their spirit wondering if hitting after the words “what happened” within a Scripture Text question was really the wisest interruption point. May they hear every question they studied for, and none that they didn’t prep for (yeah, like that’s going to happen… . Please do bring back to remembrance everything they have studied, especially all 28 chapters of Matthew, along with 122 pages of concordance, 940+ unique words, 8,000 individuals, and every question that was exclaimed by sneezing Pharisees. Bless them, Lord, and don’t let any 30s be asked after question #18.

Bless the quizzers in the Individual Tournament. Also bless (check one – [ ] Abby [ ] Daniel ) as they win the Quoting Bee this year.

Lord, I pray especially for the Official Question Writer, whoever they may be. I thank you that you led them by your Spirit through each and every question that was prepared – that it all came from your Holy Word and therefore should not be contested even though a few were written very, very late at night and might have slipped past the editor. May truly every who be a who, every whom a whom, and every what a what. May the guy be able to actually count correctly this year on all Chapter Analysis answers. And may your guardian angels protect him at all times, including any unforeseen Wednesday fellowship event that Jason may have planned.

And Lord, finally, bless those girl volleyball players - wherever they are – as long as they’re not again at the same hotel with us – Please Lord!

Nationals Thoughts

Well, it appears that with Karl and James unable to make it, I am the main link to the world outside the Hyatt Regency this year. I, myself, am getting there at the last minute, flying out early Sunday morning the day after my brother’s wedding.

This will be my 20th nationals in a row to attend: One as a spectator, one as a scorekeeper, five as a quizzer, four as a judge and nine as a quizmaster. It remains one of my favorite times of year. Getting to see friends, both old and new, makes the trip worthwhile. And there’s nothing more satisfying to me than hearing a quizzer get a hard concordance question (especially when that quizzer was me!). This is the culmination of a mind-blowing amount of work and all of the quizzers should be proud at what they’ve been able to achieve since nationals last year.

The Gospel of Matthew will always have a special place in my heart because it was the best finish our team ever had back in 1997. (You can read a full recollection here. Beyond the really cool plaque our team walked away with, the lasting value of that year continues to amaze me. The book itself is chock full of interesting stories showing the big fight that took place between Jesus and the religious establishment, that can sometimes parallel what we see in the church today. Famous passages like the Genealogy, the Sermon on the Mount, or the commissioning of Peter remain with me to this day.

Enough reminiscing. On to nationals this year! To start, it’s already been mentioned that there will be no official streaming. These hotels charge a fortune for internet in the convention center area, so I think this is probably justified financially. We will try our best to get streaming of the major events using some other means. This all depends on how good the 4G is in the hotel. If we cannot do that for whatever reason, we will still put a chat room on the front page of the website that we can keep people updated as the championship games progress.

As for predictions,

Congratulations to the Podcast

Tim McDaniel has accomplished a remarkable feat. Yesterday he recorded his 200th edition of the Bible Quiz Podcast. Keeping a free resource like that regularly available is no easy task, so he deserves a lot of respect. I’d encourage everyone to check out the podcast, listen to the 200th show, and take some time to check out the archives.

Individual Tournament Quizzing

I don’t recall ever posting about this subject, primarily because it doesn’t really matter very much. It’s much like the Master Memorization Award, in that it appears impressive, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into effective team quizzing. However, it is a part of quizzing, and there are a few ways coaches can help their quizzers do well.

A Foundation for Christmas

Earlier this week, I was at the dentist and noticed the Newsweek magazine pictured to the right. As I started reading the cover story, carefully and cleverly written by a famous agnostic, I was completely unshaken by the doubt and uncertainty he was injecting into the Christmas story. I was unshaken because I knew the real story.

Nationals 2012 - The Champs Had It

In my last blog post, I explained how I was looking for three qualities in the eventual national champion. Now that a week has passed since Owasso, OK was crowned the National champion, I reflect on how they possessed all three of these critical qualities.

Post Nationals Stats

Nationals is over, and championships have been won. I wanted to mention a few special statistics that I compiled (with the help of Seth Sundell and Larry Mullins). Now that we use Larry’s program to do the stats, he can easily provide question-by-question breakdowns, so I know how many rooms each question was answered correctly in. Due to some problems with the program on the first day, challenger stats are not included here.

Wednesday Evening Notes

The team competition for the 2012 National Finals is over, with the Individual Tournament and Quoting Bee remaining tomorrow, along with the fabled “Match of Death.” Here are a few observations from a coach’s perspective now that things are all wrapped up.

The Thrill of Victory, and . . . The Thrill of Victory

Who would have though that a 9th grade young lady would win her way to tie with Kent Piacenti for the most 1st place finishes (3) in the Individual High Score category? But win and tie she did.

Newsletter: May & June 1998