My Bible Bowl experience


Scripture contest reveals a new depth for one participant.

By Sam Oliver

Words on a piece of paper—in the beginning that’s all I saw.

The concept of Bible Bowl is simple: you’re assigned chapters from a book of the Bible, you study the questions, you practice with your team, and then you compete with others who have done the same.

What I did not realize until later was the real purpose of it: to glorify God.

I had lived in Tucson, Ariz., all my life. That was where I went to school, made my closest friends, and felt truly at home. This year, when my parents, my brother and I moved to the College for Officer Training at Crestmont, I had no idea how my life would play out.

Our Bible Bowl team didn’t start up until January, but just being around the other teens made my new environment feel less foreign. I looked forward to the practices not only because of the wonderful people, but also because I enjoyed learning the book of Matthew and memorizing Scripture.

I recall one day before practice started when it all began to make sense.

That day, I went into my study room to get some 40-point questions in my head. Instead of just pulling out my supplies and getting right into studying, I decided to try praying this time. I’m not exactly sure what led me to do this, but I promise when I prayed these words I truly meant them.

This was my prayer: “God, I don’t want to see empty words on plain pieces of paper anymore. I see that when I do geometry homework and other schoolwork. What I want is for you to help me understand what you mean. Reveal to me your Word and let it live in my heart. Show me your truth. Amen.”

Bible Bowl has been a huge blessing in my life. It helped me to adjust from Arizona to California, and to apply the book of Matthew to everyday situations. I loved every aspect of Bible Bowl this year and I owe so much to everyone who made it possible. Because of it, I’ve traveled further in my journey with God.

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