Saturday, February 28, 2009


Tonight, Saturday, we went to the all –church Family Quiz Challenge –a fund-raiser for the HFM (my church) Bible Quiz Team (9 or 10 teens.) They need help to go to New York State for nationals which will be held on the Roberts Weslyan U. campus. Any team qualifies for nationals after a year of monthly quizzes in their region.

My daughter Stephanie's family was one team with Jacob, 8, and husband Bruce. Jon and I were a team and we sat my Mom, 89, between us as a team member though she didn't know ahead of time to study --and she does have dementia, so I'm not sure she could have kept up. But she enjoyed the event immensely. (One of my S.S. students was supposed to be 3rd member of my team instead of Mom, but his divorced father came to town to take out his children.)

Bruce’s sister and daughter, 8, were a team. There were 3 youth teams, mostly grades 6-9 (the official quizzers of our church) and another team of young mothers and another family team—so 8 teams altogether. Rob was a quiz master and he also made soup for the event as did Steph and a few others. Soup, salad, rolls and dessert were the menu after the quiz.

I quizzed out in one round and almost the 2nd (answering 5 questions correctly means you have to quit) –There are 15 questions per round. Jon answered a couple. I got 4 in the 2nd quiz and maybe 3? in the 3rd quiz against my grandson and his folks. I studied some by note-taking and reviewing through the 2 chapters. There were 3 rounds before the all-star quiz between the top 2 teams which were our daughter's family and our official team of 7th graders. To answer a question, you stand from your chair that has a little electric plate to sit on--when you stand up you light up a panel and answer in the order of the lights --whoever is up first answers first. Of course the young people have the art of getting off the chair in lightning speed! If you pre-jump, you have to finish the question verbatim. If you answer the pre-jump wrongly, the question goes to the other team.

(I was very glad to do so well, as I've wondered if Alzheimers was coming my way --when I can't think of words or names--when I substitute wrong words with silly effect (I meant to say "the lady with the orange apron" pointing out someone to my mother, and started to say, "the lady with the orange drapery") --and also when I'm going down the road and suddenly wonder where I am, so lost in thought I am, and my familiar road doesn't look familiar. Just a few little things like that.)

My daughter's team won –with young Jacob answering questions word for word from the scripture –as did Stephanie. Bruce used to coach quizzing –and Steph and he first knew each other as quizzers from competing churches. Bruce coached our team to state championship when he was in college. His sister followed up after him and took our church team to a national championship. The trophies tonight were laughably 2 Barbie dolls painted gold mounted on little platforms--supposed to resemble Emmies, said the quiz coach Andrew Winckles, grad student constrained by low budget.

The study chapters were Luke 21 and 22 –appropriate pre-Easter chapters –up through The Last Supper and Judas' betrayal.

When studying for quizzing you notice details you did not notice before. E.G., Luke says an angel appeared to Jesus to strengthen Him on the Mt. of Olives before his famous prayer to have this cup pass from him. I didn't remember that. It seemed new to me to read that Jesus told the disciples to sell their cloaks to buy swords --and then when they decide they have 2, he says that's enough and something about fulfilling the prophecy that he would be numbered among transgressors (sword bearers?) Of course, he was numbered among them by being crucified as a criminal. It is one of these swords which is used by a disciple (Luke does not say Peter) to cut off the ear of the chief priest's servant. The RIGHT ear, mind you.

When I quizzed as a teen in the United Brethren Church quizzes, I first REALLY read scripture for total comprehension and detail and it came alive to me as Truth, as history coming to LIFE, like never before. I can't over-recommend the experience for young people. Some think competing over Bible memory is improper --but it's actually very wholesome challenge to your own mind, quick thinking, quick comprehension of the questions coming at you, strategy, thinking on your feet --good for the experience of speaking and concentrating under pressure. Of course, the greatest benefit is the exposure to the Word of God in such a way that we "hide God's Word in [our] hearts, that [we] might not sin against thee."

IF YOU'D LIKE A CHURCH THAT HAS SUCH WHOLESOME ACTIVITY FOR TEENS, WE ARE IT: 6605 Angola Road, Holland, OH, north of Spring Meadows Mall (which is on Airport Hwy.) We also have mid-week CLC for children, K-6 and separate meetings for jr. high and high school, the latter with Timberlake Church youth at our church under the local YFC/Campus Life director for Springfield H.S. 7 PM.

We counted at least 60 people in attendance. Teams paid $20 for entry and spectators paid donations for the meal.

All you businessmen out there can get your name on the quizzers' T-shirts if you want to sponsor their trip to Nationals! Any reasonable donation will make you a sponsor!

Next month, quiz teams of teens from several Michigan churches will convene at our church for competition on the 2nd Saturday, about 10 AM to 3 PM. Hopefully, the back of our church will be finished by then. We're almost there! It's looking beautiful. Our pastor is like Jesus, being a carpenter, and he made a beautiful welcome center for the rear entrance of the church, off our main parking lot. We just need a millionaire benefactor to give us new windows on the eastern side of the old part of the church, the last remaining eyesore!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


Jeanette said...

Barb, this sounds like it was a lot of fun. I remember doing Sword Drills when I was a child. Of course, the Bible was our sword and we held it up and closed until we were told what verse to find.

It's a great way to get people to find the books of the Bible in addition to reading the Word.

I wish I could have attended.

Buddha said...

The way I remember church was rather boring and scary.
The old stone buildings with depictions of heaven and hell.
The nauseating incenses smoke and interminable sermons.
I guess church could be fun if you can make people actively involved in spiritual maters rather than being the submissive, obedient flock.
It is encouraging to think that church can still be a progressive force in the society.

Barb said...

The Protestant church figured out around the same time that Dewey fathered "learner-centered education" that the perspective of children and youth would be different than that of adults -and that we should neither scare nor bore them to death.

You can see the 2 extremes in Catholic tv. Catholics have the old traditional, minor, dreary services and their repetitious hail marys and the bad singing --and then they also have some fine contemporary programs for youth and children --following the lead of the protestant denominations--especially the evangelicals --who figured if you were going to evangelize children and teens, you need to TRY to engage their interest.

Evangelicals have always led in music for children and youth and holidays.

Barb said...

I would guess that Youth for Christ started Bible quizzing and the denominations who do it, followed.

These youth would practically memorize word for word all the study material --a book of the New Testament. They always pre-jumped and finished the questions.

It is fun --to watch and to do . Just the way we enjoy a quiz show on tv. Everyone learns from the right answers.

Vronvron said...


Sword Drills are not a smart idea. Swords kill.


Incense is always singular never plural. Note: church could NOT be fun EVER! it is ALWAYS a regressive and aggressive force in society'


re: Not being Catholic, I believe in the role of the Holy Spirit in the life and free will of the believer and consider a decision like this one between victim and God.

Barb re: Catholics have the old traditional, minor, dreary services
Do not criticize the Catholics. The pernicious Catholic Church is the church all other Christian churches descended from. Do you know anything?


re: "Not being Catholic, I believe in the role of the Holy Spirit in the life and free will of the believer and consider a decision like this one between victim and God."

Stop preaching on Pharyngula. You bore everyone.

God is a delusion: "There is . . . no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Barb said...

Vronvron --without looking it up, I believe the Bible refers to the sword of the Lord as the Word of God --sharper than any two-edged sword.

Sword drills are fun for kids --to see who can find the verse the fastest --gives fun incentive to learn where things are in the Bible.

sorry to disappoint you --that church CAN be enjoyable --uplifting, encouraging, etc. A place of friendship and even, "fun" for children.

Yes, we all know the Catholic church is the 2nd stage of church development--after the Early Church of the New Testament. Today's protestants try to have church that more closely resembles the early church--people gathering to praise God and sing songs, confess and testify, and hear preaching, etc. with some solemnity and traditional ritual --but not extra-biblical doctrines and practices.

The Catholic church became highly ritualized, too similar to pagan religions with statuary, prayers to Mary, vain repititions --all "extra-biblical" activities -- and has always had corruptive elements (the pedophile priests and the paying for indulgences, etc.) --there are true believers in the church and godly priests and nuns and laity --but the church has earned the criticism you and I both have given.

And no church is completely sinless --being made up of sinners as it is. However, churches are the best when they stay true to the Word --IMHO.

As for Pharyngula and my boring you there --then why follow me over here to be more bored? Me thinks your criticism is disingenuous.

Jeanette said...


I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on some of your comments about the Catholic Church.

Yes, they use repetitive prayers and pray to their saints and I don't believe in either, but having attended several funeral masses I can tell you their music is beautiful and sung by beautiful voices. They always seem to have a wonderful soprano who sings in these services. I can't help but appreciate the beauty of their voices and they even sing songs such as "Amazing Grace".

I follow a Catholic blogger and find she quotes Scripture accurately. Yes, they have two extra books of their Bible but I have never seen her quote them.

She writes about how these Scripture verses pertain to our lives today and she's not far off from what I believe. In fact, unless she's talking of praying to Mary or John Paul II etc. I have no disagreement with her.

I used to think the Catholic Church would be the one to rise up the false prophet, but now I think it will be Islam that does it. Maybe the Catholic Church will have a part, but I don't know.

Christianity of any denomination is falling away. Just the other day I read a post by someone that says a survey shows a lot of Americans do not believe in God. You can see that in a microscopic view right here on your blog with the non-believers constantly telling us there is no God.

This has to happen to be in God's plan for the end times.

God has no denomination, but He is Christian, so we should welcome our Christian brothers and sisters regardless of their way of worshipping. Tell them where we disagree but still be happy they are saved by the blood of Jesus.

Barb said...

Jeanette, I doubt we do disagree on Catholicism --at least not much. I bet you would agree that they've had a centuries'-old problem with their non-celibate clergy claiming celibacy and their dark ages history of corruption.

I see most church splits as refinements --a back to the Bible movement --though sometimes the church being split is more Biblical and Christ-like than the faction splitting off. In Martin Luther's case, he had made valid criticisms of the mother church.

My negative evaluation of the music is from Catholic TV --services that seem so dreary, music poorly sung, only minor keyed music, fearsome homely statues of Christ and Mary rather than the kindly visage we protestants would prefer when we think of them. I can see why children would not feel good about this church--and grow away from it.

And yes, we have persons and characteristics of some protestant churches that are equally disillusioning or disenchanting. And children reject protestant churches, also --but I still maintain that the best music and children's and youth ministries originated with evangelicals. Catholics do now use much of our music --much more than we use theirs --though much great music was written under the patronage of the Catholic Church --like Shubert's Mass in G which my daughter taught to her h.s. choir --in Latin.

I have already, many times, acknowledged that I think Catholics can be genuine Christians, genuinely saved --even given the doctrines they hold with which protestants do not agree.

We are glad to see any Christian church--and even some of the variants like JW's and Mormons --come together on family values/morals/abortion/marriage definition. We are glad to see people of FAITH who really believe in God and Christ and eternal salvation --even if we don't agree on all the details. Those details are important to each church, usually, and we see some churches holding doctrinal errors, extra-biblical beliefs which we think are significant depending on our various views of the Bible as God's inspired, authoritative and true Word--but nevertheless, I think 4 A's: apathy, apostasy, agnosticism and atheism are the enemies of God and Christ --more than most of the details that differentiate Chistian churches from each other.

Jeanette said...

Just to clarify: I consider JWs and Mormons to not be Christian. They each have their own interpretations of the Bible which are wrong and do not teach Jesus was risen from the dead or even that He is the Son of God. At least the JWs. Mormons have a church that is loosely based on a fraternal society, the masons. They have secret services and their own book that "enhances" the Bible and both groups are more of a cult than a Christian faith. In fact, a JW I once knew said she was not a part of Christendom.

They rely on a hope that God will remember them and they will have a life after death, but only 144,000 JWs will go to heaven. The rest??? I don't know.

I imagine you know all this but just wanted to point out you and I are not saying these are Christian denominations.

Barb said...

Agreed, Jeanette, we have real problems as Christians with the JW and Mormon doctrines. Though I understood that the JW's gave up their belief that only 144,000 JW's would go to Heaven because their church rolls exceeded that number. Perhaps they are again saying only 144,000 in Heaven --and the others will reign on the earth. They did tell me recently that the meek will inherit the earth.

Bible Quizzing said...

Yes Barb, Bible Quizzing began at Youth for Christ in Kansas City in the late 1940's.

Al Metsker and Jack Hamilton started it as a fun way of helping kids study and learn God's word.

The denominations that now have Bible quizzing picked up the idea from the early YFC groups that quizzed.

I've even found audio of Nationals championship quizzes from the 50's and posted them online. They are amazing to listen to.

Barb said...

It was always amazing how the YFC champmion quizzers at Winona Lake's annual youth convention could pre-jump the questions, finish the question,and then answer the questions correctly, word for word perfect. They memorized every word of the studied portion I believe -and the challenge was to anticipate the questions amd spout them correctly before they answered!

Barb said...

I'll visit your site, BTW. would love to hear those nationals --and let our kids hear them.