Last month, the Bible Bee Magazine decided to start Contestant Interviews. (Email email@example.com if you’d like to participate in one!) The first interview we have is with Titus Alexander, who first began participating in the Bible Bee as a Beginner in 2011.
The interview is split up into two parts. Part I contains Bible Bee questions and study tips, while Part II contains fun facts (guess who hates hot dogs?) and other interesting information (one of the interview questions was “If you could travel through time, which Bible period would you want to land into? Why?”). Part II will be published soon, so keep an eye out for it!
P.S. If you’d like, you can read some of Titus’ contributions to the magazine on this blog.
Favorite BB Moment
Making Semis in 2019, which was completely unexpected since I knew that I had made mistakes in Orals and was sure that I was out. My friends and I were beyond excited; God was so good to me!
BB Inside Joke
I eat Ancient Grains for breakfast – enough said.
What do you love the most about the Bible Bee?
I would have to say that the fellowship I enjoy at Bible Bee is what I love most about the competition. I can’t get anything like it anywhere else. Spending so much time with fellow believers and lovers of God’s Word is such a huge blessing, and I’ve made so many life-long friends because of coming to Nationals over the years.
How would you be different if the Bible Bee had not entered your life?
First of all, I would know a whole lot less about the Bible. Bible Bee has really encouraged me to dig deep into the Word, and it’s given me valuable methods for studying and memorizing it, and I know the Bible as a whole so much better than I would otherwise. Also, virtually all of my close friends are Bible Bee-ers whom I would not have met if I had not done Bible Bee. I had no idea when I first started how many godly people I would meet and befriend over the years.
What has God taught you through the Bible Bee?
God has shown me so many things about Himself and His Word over the years in Bible Bee. There are a couple big ones in particular I’ll share. First, He taught me to trust Him with my life in any situation. In 2017, I competed in the Summer Study and made Nationals in Juniors in 17th place. My sister Rosie made it as well in Seniors, but through a series of miscommunications, my parents failed to sign us up by the deadline. They searched for a way to get us back in and discovered there was a spot left for Rosie in Seniors but no spot was open in Juniors. Amazingly, God helped me so much through that time, giving me the grace to maintain a good attitude about my situation and trust that He would always do what was best for me. I still did the Bible Bee study and memorized most of the verses, and I also got to attend Nationals. I have since come to realize that He put me through that situation to test my faith in Him, and I came out stronger because of it.
2018 was the year that I grew the most as a young believer. The theme for Bible Bee that year was Thrive, which was fitting for what God was doing in my life at the time. God taught me through that year’s competition to entrust my studying and the results of my efforts into His hands. It was my job to do the best that I could, and He would take care of the rest. I also learned many practical ways to apply what I was learning through Bible Bee to my life with the help of the Discovery Journal. On Day 4 of each week, they had two sections to help you summarize what you had learned and discover how you could take it and implement it into day-to-day life. That year was very formative for me, and Bible Bee played and continues to play a key role in helping me grow in my walk with Christ.
Favorite Study / Memorization Tip
Work, work, and more work. Though memorization and study come easier for some than for others, anyone can memorize much more than they originally think when they practice daily. Memory is a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. When I first started Bible Bee, I didn’t even memorize half of my passages. That was mostly due to the fact that I didn’t work very hard. Once I realized that I needed to fully commit myself to memorization in order to do well, God blessed my efforts and helped me do well. Though doing well in the competition depends on God’s blessing, we won’t get far at all if we don’t work hard. Diligence always pays off, and whether that means advancing in Bible Bee or not, God blesses hard work.
What is your “before-Prelims” (or “before-Semis”, if you’re a previous semifinalist) routine?
Before the test, I usually will read over or recite the study passage and skim over a notebook full of my study material. Immediately before the test, I spend some time in prayer, asking God to give me good recall and, ultimately, for His will to be done. The morning of Orals, I recite through all of my 1 and 2-card passages and make sure they’re perfect. Orals is usually more stressful for me than the test, so I definitely make sure to spend plenty of time in prayer for that as well.
The day of Semis, I review all of my passages except for the ones that will be in Finals. Overall, Semis is less scary than it is fun and encouraging thanks to all the other contestants backstage. Mostly I try to relax once I’m backstage, which helps calm my nerves.
What do you usually do for off-season?
I usually study a book of the Bible and/or an actual book with a few friends of mine and memorize and study a book of the Bible on my own. This off-season, I’m memorizing John and studying The Screwtape Letters with a few friends.
I almost never practice reciting my verses standing still. I’m almost always pacing around my room or the basement, and when the time comes when I have to stand still in Orals/Semis, it just happens.
We hope you enjoyed reading through this Contestant Interview! Think about leaving a nice comment below. 🙂
Be on the lookout for Part II. 😀 If you have any questions or suggestions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We always love hearing from you all!