Monday, 3 January 2011

BIBLE ~ U B David + I'll Be Jonathan Lessons

When I was about Alisdair's age, I was involved with an organization offering free Bible correspondence classes called "The Mailbox Club."  Fast forward several decades and we were pleased to learn this group still exists, only now they call themselves "U B David + I'll B Jonathan." Alisdair is doing paper lessons via Canada Post, however they also offer online lessons, if that makes participation easier.

The website (see link above) explains their new name as follows:

"U.B. David" refers to anyone who uses these lessons for personal spiritual development. The model is, of course, the David of the Old Testament. The Bible notes seven wonderful character traits which were true of David and which ought to be true of God's people today.

First, David was a person "after [God's] own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14). Here was someone who loved the things God loved, hated the things God hated (sin), chose to do the things God would choose, and desired to do the things God desired.

Second, David was "skillful in playing" (1 Samuel 16:18). This especially referred to his musical ability with the harp. But David was a talented young man in many areas who honed his skills throughout life to be a person of excellence. The question is: who are you going to use your skills for?

Third, David was "a mighty valiant person" (1 Samuel 16:18). He was brave, courageous, gallant, dauntless, lionhearted, drawing strength from the Lord as he faced some giant challenges.

Fourth, David was a "person of war" (1 Samuel 16:18). This may not sound very positive to us but it is a very important quality. David stood for what was right and learned to deal with the enemies of righteousness. He knew how to wage war against the forces that would destroy him and his people. It is a quality we too must have as we war against "the world, the flesh and the devil" (1 John 2).

Fifth, David was "prudent in matters" (1 Samuel 16:18). That is, he had good solid judgment, discretion, carefulness, tact and foresight. Prudence involves the ability to make wise decisions, not simply for short-term benefits but with an eye on future results. David had this quality and it opened the door of expanding opportunities as he matured.

Sixth, David was "a comely person" (1 Samuel 16:18). He was an attractive person, both outwardly and inwardly. This attractiveness was rooted in godly character and internal victory which David enjoyed as he walked with God.

A seventh quality is expressed in the climax description about David: "the LORD is with him" (1 Samuel 16:18). With this assurance of God's presence and blessing it is not surprising that David became such a great man of God.

The desire of our organization is that multiplied thousands of young people would become "Davids" with these seven character qualities.

"I'll B. Jonathan" refers to anyone who helps make this discipling program available and effective for all the "Davids". Again, the model is David's closest friend in Old Testament times, Jonathan, who had an intense commitment to help David become all that God wanted him to become (1 Samuel 18).

UB David & I'll B Jonathan involves a host of volunteers and some staff personnel who mark lesson responses, answer questions, pray, provide counsel, make award plaques, process the mailings and give financially. These praying, giving and living-example "Jonathans" are committed to doing what they can so that thousands of young "Davids" may be encouraged to become the people God intends them to be. Our satisfaction will come when "David" knows the Word of our God (2 Timothy 3:16) and we see Jesus Christ on the throne of his life (Luke 1:32).

For every lesson completed, students receive 100 points and for each book read (and a report turned in), 200 points are given.  At various point levels, different prizes are awarded.  Alisdair now has accumulated 7,600 points (which means he has completed 74 lessons and one comic book).  He has received discount cards totalling $20 off his registration fees for summer camp, as well as other prizes like a music CD, discounts on youth retreats, (which he unfortunately is not yet old enough to attend), and "Certificates of Achievement" when he completes a particular series of lessons.

During the summer, when he went to Regina with his grandparents, Alisdair was able to tour the "U B David + I'll B Jonathan" headquarters on Marquis Crescent.  He was thrilled to discover what happened to his lessons after we mailed them and before they were returned to him with new lessons to complete.

In that last few months, we have been busy doing other things and Alisdair hadn't sent in any lessons for quite a while.  Between Christmas and New Years Alisdair received a letter from the organization, containing a special Christmas lesson.  We completed that today and, even though there was no mail service because of the New Year's holiday, we sent it off this afternoon.
Read the text and complete the question sheet
It's a terrific program for children (of all ages - Isobel has some "See and Do" lessons, too!) and even for adults.  If you know of anyone who would benefit from these Bible lessons, let us know and we will make sure to pass the information on to the administrators in Regina.  Or simply click through the link and get involved directly.

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