I've been thinking about justice lately (read: past five or so hours), so I looked up "justice" in the concordance of my ESV Study Bible, which led me to Deuteronomy 16:19, which referred me to Deuteronomy 1:16-17, from ESVBible.org (from now on, all verses are courtesy of ESVBible.org unless otherwise noted):
"And I charged your judges at that time, ‘Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him. You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’"
The ESV Study Bible has this to say on the subject:
"Deut. 1:16–17 alien.
Aliens were non-Israelites who resided in the land and accepted
Israelite rule and law but did not own land and were hence vulnerable to
oppression. Deuteronomy consistently upholds the equal rights of aliens
and Israelites (e.g., 10:19; 14:29; 16:11, 14; 24:14, 17, 19–21; 26:11–13; 27:19). You shall not be partial in judgment. Impartiality is a prerequisite for good judgment as well as a characteristic of God himself (10:17)."
And now, the main event of this weekend; Regionals. That is to say, the Pacific Northwest Regional Bible Quizzing Competition 2012-2013. Suffice it to say, I did a lot. On Friday, we, that is, I, the rest of the team, and the coaches, arrived by car at an undisclosed camp where we were holding the competition. After a few hours of recreation, which began at noon and ended at 4:00, we waited around until dinner. This recreation included archery and a form of laser tag, the latter which I was not very good at, so to speak. During the time before and after dinner, I played a rousing introductory game of Star Wars Miniatures, which I narrowly lost to my good friend Abel due in part to a handful of tactical errors on my part (it was introductory for him). I've got to learn some decent strategy. Anyhow, of the five round robin quizzes we held on Friday evening, my team won four. Our sole loss was against one of the then split-into-two Alderwood teams. Those guys are arguably the best in the country. Faith Bible Church, which my aforementioned good friend Abel is a part of, stepped up considerably this year, the person who I believe is their youngest team member getting the sixth highest Senior All-Star. But more on that later. After quizzing, we had a snack, which I brought Cheez-Its for, and a few people, who will remain nondescript, took some paper cups and scooped a bunch of them right out! I doubt I had less that ten. Oh well, I guess I can always get more. After the devotional, which focused this week on sharing the gospel boldly, and how to do that well, we slept in these cabins. They were warm enough, except that the mattresses were kind of lumpy and my sleeping bag was made of an uncomfortable polyester, plus it has my sister's name on the carrying case. Yeah, I know, right?
On the second day, even more things happened than on the first day. After breakfast, which was served at 7:30, resulting in me having to awake by 6:15 about, I went with the rest of the group, which consisted of a total of about 40 people from I think six churches (HCC, ACC, SCC, FBC, Lone Rock, and FCBC), to Snohomish Community Church where we viewed the demonstrated Ministry Training Areas (MTAs). The MTAs are basically a talent competition, each talent having to have to do with the gospel somehow. In this case, it would include everything from Christian themed musical instruments to inspirational writing to preaching, the last of these which I did. Those MTAs demonstrated at SCC did not include mine, which was held back at the camp in the auditorium. These did include Highlands quizzer Kellyn's Celtic tin whistle, on which she played a hymn of some sort. I'm ashamed to say I don't remember exactly what song it was, but I think that she did a phenomenal job. After the various MTAs were done, we headed back to the camp where we had our first tournament quiz. I'm sad to say that we narrowly lost to Alderwood, which has proved to be a recurring theme over this year, except for when they decisively defeat us. After the first tournament quiz, we all gathered in the auditorium to listen to my sermon. From what I gathered, it was very well received by the audience, though after reading the adjudication forms, I intend to made some amendments to it come Nationals. That is to say, it wasn't without its flaws. But fortunately, I am surrounded by people who will give me no end of good advice. After the sermon, I waited for the next tournament quiz, during which I reviewed. Mind you, I had to wear a suit during the sermon, and then had to change into my quiz uniform after that. We won the the next two tournie quizzes against FBC and SCC, respectively, but we met our match in the Senior championship, during which ACC wiped the floor with us, making them the undefeated champions, and I froze. But I'm still grateful to have aided in my team achieving second place, after several years of not even reaching the championship quiz. I also hope to learn from the mistakes I made. I'll say this though; those Alderwooders are worthy opponents. After the battle- err, game, I had a nice time teaching some new friends of mine (Luke from Snohomish and Chilion from FCBC, both novices) how to play Star Wars Miniatures. Wouldn't you know it, those scurvy knaves ganged up on me, with Chilion finally coming out as the overall winner. I knew I should have stuck with the more basic Imperial Base rather than the Jabba's Palace map I chose instead. Their more powerful forces squashed mine in between them. I'll be sure to teach them a lesson next time. Muwhahahaha. After the devotional, we went to bed, where I slept fitfully, but also had an impromptu brainstorming session, so that made up for it a little.
On the third day, the final day, this day, we got up instead at around 8:00, where, after the morning routine, we had breakfast, and then had music and quizzing awards. Then there was the cobbled together, but, heh heh, serviceable worship service, an excellent sermon by Mr. Dee Jay Z. (real name and initial), and then it was time to go home. I took plenty of pictures, which I will post on Facebook. After that, we rode home, stopping for lunch on the way, at McDonalds, I am ashamed to say. I had Mexi-mac for dinner. The others seemed to have missed me, I think. At any rate, I'm glad that I'm home. I'd also like to extend my congratulations to all quizzers and coaches, for I'm sure they all did their very best. I'd also like to thank all of the well wishers who complemented me on my sermon. Thank you very much, y'all.