Saturday, March 12, 2011

State Convention Sheltering

How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I'm committed to?  ~Anthony Robbins

This has been a crazy fun week for the Kuhns.  Emily's regional competition was Tuesday--Friday so if you noticed there weren't new posts, you now know why!  We are fortunate to have the convention on the BSU campus -- right at home.  

Not only is regional convention busy for Emily, but also for RB and I, as we make it even busier by being so involved ourselves.  RB was in charge of rally music, judged piano and played for our school's fourteen music entries.  

I am the head drama judge which means long hours sitting in one spot.  And then after the judging we still have all the scores to re-tally and placements to record.  I had the best team to work with this year.  Laughter kept us sane until evening hours, then I think we were so tired the laughter started crossing over into insanity.  I absolutely love judging.  The young people are so precious.  Praying with them, giving them pointers for International Convention and passing out verbal pats on the back give me joy.

I know people have varying thoughts about competing -- especially platform events.  What I have found in our family is that while the girls are adamant about their singing and speaking being a ministry, the success in competing gave them confidence.  For that reason, I hesitate to share Emily's achievements.  But for those of you who asked, here's the list.

Photo by Emily
Essay: 1st place
Short Story: 2nd place
Computer PowerPoint: 1st place
Cross Stitch: 1st place
Solo: 5th place
Female Duet: 4th place
Mixed Trio: 2nd place
Ensemble: 4th place
1-Act Play: 3rd place
Volleyball: 1st place

There is a Communication and Performance Leadership award which consists of points given for each entry and placement.  Emily got 56 points out of 60 which earned her first place.  All of her placements will go to International Student Convention at the end of May. 

Paul didn't hesitate telling us that when we have succeeded living for Christ on earth, an award is waiting in heaven -- a crown of righteousness.  "And now the prize awaits me--the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing" (2 Timothy 2:3-4). 

Photo by Emily
In Paul's day, athletes were given a crown of laurel leaves.  It was the most coveted prize since it meant they won the victory.   The tradition was carried on for the early olympic games in the the sixth century.  The Olympic medals today are engraved with a laurel sprig, paying homage to those early games.  If you remember the 2004 games in Athens, the winners were crowned with laurel wreaths.

This word "righteousness" comes from the Greek word "dikaiosune" which indicates integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting.  Correctness of thinking, feeling and acting -- that covers it all, doesn't it?  Looking at the list makes me realize how often I fail.  I have found that desiring and maintaining an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit makes me aware of the tiniest whisper, alerting me to the temptation of incorrectness of thought or actions.

That beautiful quiet of my soul, when the devil is defeated, leaves room for joy and peace.  We are not condemned for Satan's temptations. Sin does not enter a heart by temptation alone.  It is when we carelessly yield to gossip, unkindness, selfishness or worry that sin enters.  It is then we need to seek forgiveness from God through Jesus. 

Life is a race, and we must keep our eyes on the goal.  Just as Emily's medals are secondary to the joy of using her talents for ministry, it's really not the crown for which we are racing.  It is eternal life with the beautiful Trinity -- God our Father, Jesus our Savior, and the Holy Spirit, our Comforter. 

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Convention Shelter Sightings

Our teens had a wonderful support system for convention.  Not only did they have Mr. Scott and Mrs. Turner for their sponsors, there were many parents to cheer them on.  And they did!  Hugs, encouraging words, cough drops, safety pins, etc. 

Our pastors, Rev. and Mrs. Clemens, take care of dress check -- certainly not the easiest job there.  They also make sure the judges have lunch and supper available for the three days.

Emily's words, "Mom, Billy came to watch us play volleyball," shows just how important non-verbal encouragement is, too. (Bill's three children graduated several years ago, but he showed up to support the 2011 gang!) 

Trail Mix Thankfulness

Harrold, the coordinator of the Music Judging Team, brought a thankfulness gift for his team -- a huge bag of trail mix tied with a silver twisty tie and a note:

 Many thanks for your service as a music judge in the 2011 Heartland RSC!

Since meals are whenever you can fit them in, this was a welcomed treat.  It included: 5 varieties of nuts, sugar coated nuts, and M & Ms -- Wow!  In our house when we make trail mix (so good for book reading!) we raid the cupboard: nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, white or butterscotch chips or sunflower seeds.

Laurel Wreath Congratulations

RB and I wanted a small symbolic gift to congratulate Emily and her friend, Kayla.  Our favorite florist willingly created and delivered these wreaths to our favorite girls.