This Year’s Speech Competition

V and I knew early on that our dear son was great at memorizing things–facts, books, driving directions–from a very early age.  Since he began grade school, part of his weekly curriculum has been recalling and reciting verses from the Bible.  He has always been able to recite his verse early in the week for extra points, with little help or prompting from us at home.  At the end of each school year, there is a regional fine arts competition, and L was asked in first grade to participate in the category of “serious interpretation”:  a famous speech or part of a book.  He chose, and took first place, for his recitation of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”.  Last year, in second grade, he was invited to try in the category of “poetry”.  He selected G.K. Chesterton’s “The Hunting of the Dragon”, and received second prize.

This year, his principal and teacher have asked him to compete in the category of “interpretation of Scripture”.  His selection must take between 2 and 5 minutes to recite, and it must be from the King James version of the Bible (for those of you not as familiar with different translations of the Bible, think lots of “thee’s” and “thou’s”.  It’s a a little tricky for anyone, let alone an 8-year old.) The judges score the students’ accuracy, timing, enunciation, delivery, tone, and body language.

By the end of February, L must turn in his choice of passages.  I advised him to pick a portion of Scripture that really excites him, that he would love to tell someone else about, and maybe one that has lots of dialogue so he can use emotions and gestures to engage those who are listening.  I even spent some time last week reading some of my favorite passages out loud and timing them to get an idea of what we should consider.

Tonight, he said he thinks he has made his choice: Acts 9, the dramatic story of Saul, who was a vehement persecutor of those in the early Church.  On his way to Damascus, he was stopped by a “light from heaven” flashing around him.  The Bible tells us, “He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’  ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked.  ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.'”

The rest of the chapter chronicles what happened to Saul as he was transformed from the inside out by God into the man we know as Paul, great early missionary and author of many of the letters to churches in the New Testament.  If you’ve never read it, try to find it and check it out.  I can think of few parts of the Bible that show more of God’s grace and His way of choosing the most unlikely people to carry out His work!  Paul went on to experience shipwreck, imprisonment, and beatings, all on account of his sharing the good news about Jesus Christ!

I am excited for L to memorize this amazing story and to share it with those present at the competition.  What about you?  If you had 2-5 minutes to share from memory part of the Bible, what would you pick?

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16 comments

  1. That’s an amazingly powerful portion of Scripture that your son chose! I would chose the story of the two thieves on their own crosses on either side of Jesus and how one was redeemed.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. That is a great part of the Gospels, indeed. I am excited to watch L learn the passage he chose–and pray it will bless many along the way!

  2. Your son is such a favored child of God! He is blessed with a remarkable mind and already has the heart of a missionary to share the testimony of the conversion of Saul! I would probably pick a short psalm or parable. Memorizing does not come easy for me! God bless him and your family!
    ~Liz

    1. Thank you! I definitely do not have the sane gift of memorization as my son–I pray that he uses his gifts to bring glory to God!

  3. Congrats L on all your Recitations winnings, and May GOD continues to Bless you with more, and on your upcoming competition. My picks are 1, The Book of JOB which I think most people can relate to, 2, The Book of Psalms how David showed his love by praising, and worshiping GOD not caring of his looks. Thank you for sharing this post of Inspiration. Be Blessed, http://projectsbyMtetar.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words!

      1. You’re always most welcome, Mtetar

  4. Wow! What an amazing experience for him and I am so impressed that he is able to do these things at such a young age! So great!!

    1. Thanks! We are proud and excited! Icing on the cake: both kids love little road trips and staying in hotels…and using elevators. The little things make the experience more special. I hope this year my husband can hear L recite in person, instead of having to record it for him!

  5. That is excellent! i hope I can tell a similar story about my toddler one day! 🙂

    1. Thank you! And thank you for visiting my blog! I hope to check out your posts soon, too. Blessings to you.

    2. I just read your story about how God brought you away from hypochondria and restored your strength! Praise Him! The battle *is* His, yet how many times do we strain and strive in vain? I am so glad I read this today, and hope that we can as bloggers encourage one another!

      1. Thanks very much! I agree with you on the straining and striving, something we all need to learn to let go of! Thanks for stopping by, have a blessed day 🙂

      2. Thanks so much 🙂

  6. Alison, it is great that L has such a gift and these days I will have to leave him to it. My memory is shot and it takes me a strong coffee to function in the mornings. I htink I’ll sharre that Saul passage with the kids and get them to dramatise it. It’s a hard passage to go passed. I like Proverbs personally.
    Hmm. You can see I like procrastinating too. I should be going to the shops before doing my swim. I think I’m hoping the weather will change.

    1. We are enjoying going through Acts 9 as a family, though L certainly has a superior memory to mine! He had mentioned part of Proverbs as a possibility too.

      I’m a lifelong procrastinator…it is a frustrating struggle, yes!

      Thank you as always for visiting and leaving encouraging, delightful comments. I enjoy our blogging friendship. –Alison

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