For five years now I have participated in the National Bible Bee. By God's grace I have qualified for the National competition 3 times.
This past summer I have studied the Gospel of John 1-6 with the Bible Bee, and it has also been my final journey with Bible Bee.
And a journey it has been.
The last five years have changed my life in so many ways as I have competed. But it's not just a competition to me. It's about learning and growing closer to God with each day I study and each verse I memorize.
After this year I will have aged out of the Bible Bee and it's a bittersweet thought for me. I will miss the experience I have had, but will be able to take with me the many wonderful Bible study tips that I have learned.
As I have studied John 1-6 this past summer I have learned so much. One of the biggest things God taught me was to rely on His strength and His power. I have been so busy this year (I finally became an author!!) and studying has been a bit more of a struggle for me than in previous years. I won't lie; I've stressed out just a little bit. ;) But then God leads me to a verse and gently reminds me that it's not in my strength that I'm doing this anyway...
"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
~2 Corinthians 12:9
"For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'"
It is only through God that I can do this!
I wanted to write a little bit to my Bible Bee friends who are like a second "family" to me, to give to them some of my tips for testing next week. :)
Give it all to God. Do your best and trust Him with all of it. Pray really hard and when you've done everything else, pray again. ;) Enjoy it! Locals only happens once a year, and it's one of the most exciting times of the year! :) I know nerves can get in the way sometimes, but try to just have fun with it!! Relax and don't try to know everything possible. ;) God will help you on that test! During this last week of studying, study hard and pray, but also take breaks so that you don't overload your brain! :) One of my biggest tips is to know your memory verses well and be very familiar with John 1-6, but I'm sure most of you already are. ;) And never give up. Keep pressing on to the finish line. You are almost there!! I'm praying for you every step of the way!
God has helped me every step of the way on my Bible Bee journey. I have never done it without Him. I owe all the glory and praise to Him. Without Him I am nothing. Next week I'll be taking my final Local Bible Bee test and I can't wait to see what God does. No matter the outcome and no matter what happens, I have not done this in vain. It is all for God's glory and for His praise. He is my Reward!! And He is worth it all--every hour, every day, every week, that I have spent studying His Word. He's worth it.
Oh, Jesus, may I bring You glory on this final journey I am on with the Bible Bee. May Your Name be forever praised. You are my Reward forever and ever!!
Soli Deo Gloria! To God be the glory!
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Today I will be interviewing my twin sister, debut author MacKenzie Morganthal. Her new book, Not Abandoned, was released on May 30, 2015. I am going to be interviewing her with some fun questions in the beginning and then I’ll get to the more serious questions. ;) Ready?
Bella: Thanks for joining us for an author interview, Kenzie!
Kenzie: Thanks for having me, Bella!
Bella: First, what is the last song you played on your iPod?
Kenzie: We As Human “I Stand”
Bella: Apples or grapes?
Kenzie: Ooh, two of my favorites! I’ll say apples
Bella: Name an animal that’s name starts with each letter of your name. (example, K-kangaroo, etc.)
Kenzie: K- koala, E- elephant, N- numbat, Z- zebra, I- impala, E- elk
Bella: What is the last book that you read?
Kenzie: “I Dare You” by an extraordinary author that I know ;)
Bella: Skydiving or scuba diving?
Kenzie: Skydiving, because what’s life without a little daring adventure? ;)
Bella: And now to the more serious questions! What is the first book that you ever wrote about?
Kenzie: I started with writing many short stories, but my first “book” that I attempted to write was a story about three different girls who met at a stable where they all took riding lessons. It was a lot about horses and how the girls found their way to God. At the time, I was pretty obsessed with horses, so it was only natural that I included them in my stories. ;)
Bella: How did you come up with the idea for your debut novel, Not Abandoned?
Kenzie: Funny thing is, I normally prefer to formulate a plot and story idea completely in my head before I even start to write it out on paper. But God challenged me to write “Not Abandoned” and formulate the story more so as I went along, instead of all right at the beginning. So the idea for this story came to me as I just started writing.
Bella: Who is your favorite character in Not Abandoned?
Kenzie: Haley Hampton, the college student/police officer in training. She usually acts more on emotion than logic, which is how I tend to be. She’s also very stubborn and determined. She has a kind heart, and when she sets her mind to something, not much can stand in her way.
Bella: If you could choose one word to describe Not Abandoned, what would it be?
Kenzie: That’s tough. I would probably have to choose “Redemption”. While the story deals with the horror and tragedy that human trafficking is, it also highlights God’s saving redemption. And His mighty power to break every chain.
Bella: Tell us about how you first found out about human trafficking and why it matters so much to you.
Kenzie: I first found out about human trafficking from my sister (wonder who that could be?). While it was heartbreaking to hear of this atrocity, God did not personally place the burning desire in my heart to do something about it, until I heard an interview with a trafficking survivor. Hearing that young girl tell her story hit me right between the eyes and made me cry. That’s when I knew I had to get involved in the fight to end modern-day slavery.
Bella: Are you already planning a sequel to Not Abandoned? J
Kenzie: I am, yes. :) I was working on it rather steadily for awhile, but it’s come to a stand still for the time being. All in God’s timing, though! Right now my progress is 72 pages and almost 18,000 words. :)
Bella: Where can you purchase Not Abandoned?
Kenzie: If you head on over to my website there will be a link there that will take you directly to my CreateSpace e-store, which is a division of Amazon. My website is, www.kenziebooks.weebly.com. “Not Abandoned” is also now available in eBook form! If you prefer reading eBooks instead of print copies, the Kindle edition is available at the Amazon Kindle store. :)
Bella: Thank you, Kenzie! ♥
As Kenzie said, Not Abandoned is now available on CreateSpace, an Amazon company. You can also learn more about Kenzie and her book by visiting her website: www.kenziebooks.weebly.com
Thank you for reading! Go check out Not Abandoned! It’s a must-read novel!
Isabella Morganthal (20) is a homeschool high school graduate who loves Jesus with all of her heart. She is a drummer, writer, creative arts director, and modern-day abolitionist.