Monday, June 5, 2017

Unfiltered Challenge

7 Days Unfiltered Challenge

Our youth group at Union Springs has been doing a study about being in a selfie-centered world--basically it's about Christ followers being inwardly focused instead of outward-facing.
How much of our lives have been retooled and reshaped to present to the world a false or modified version of the truth? How much are we shaping our image rather than being real? The challenge is to post seven truthful images that reveal the real you to the world rather than the created version most people are putting out there. The idea is simple—be authentic all of the time in a world that is trying to get likes instead of trying to please God.

Live unfiltered. Use the hashtag. Post one photo that shares the real, unfiltered you. No fear! It takes an incredibly brave person to share your true self!
Me and my friend, Allison

Day 1: post a picture that is odd or from a strange angle that isn't traditionally "beautiful" but illustrates your personality. (This couldn't sum it up any more accurately.) 

Day 2: Post a picture that is from your real living space. It can be just a portion or a section of your room/vehicle/book bag—something that isn’t necessarily flattering about how you actually live. (Don’t gross us out—just show something that is the REAL you.) 

Wonder Twins--both posted a photo of their desks. Ahem 
Day 3: Appreciate the ordinary. Post a picture of an ordinary object in your life that isn’t necessarily beautiful or valuable but is important to you. You can choose to explain in the caption what the object is and why it’s important or not. 

Day 4: Post a picture of a person who has made a difference in your life. Don’t choose a posed shot. Try to find or take a real-life circumstance photo. You can choose to explain why the person in the photo is important or not. (My husband is the king of the photo bomb.) 

Day 5: Post a photo of what you actually ate today. One meal or snack. Not filtered—show the whole counter or the whole area where you are eating—not just the attractive parts. The whole thing.

Play practice

Day 6: Post a photo of an activity that is important to you. If it’s a sport, you might not be in the most flattering position or flattering lighting. It’s more important that the photo expresses how you feel about the activity. 
#usbcyouth #unfilteredusbc #alwaysauthentic  

My son is wearing the mop on his head. 

Day 7: Post a photo that makes you happy. It can be recent or old. Just something joyful to your soul that maybe isn't obvoious. #usbcyouth #unfilteredusbc #alwaysauthentic

We might be the actual wild life

Things overheard at the zoo today.
Lillian: Those camels everyone pays to ride look like they are smiling, but really they are mourning the loss of their dignity.

Lillian: We have caged these animals for our amusement. Why? Isn't television enough?
Lillian: That's it. I'm becoming an animal activist. This place is sucking my soul dry. Look at that animal. It's depressed. 
The Husband: What about ground beef and chicken?
Lillian: We can eat them but not cage them. One is hamburger as In "fulfilling one's life destiny". The other is cruel and unusual punishment as in "there's a three year old making faces and grunting at me through glass how did I end up here?" (She even made the air quotes)

Lillian: Are we alone In The universe?
The Husband (pointing at me): No. There's your mommy.

Lillian to The Husband: Put the hat back on. Hide your shame. Seriously. No one wants to see that.

Lillian upon seeing lounging rhino: Oh look. It's the American human in its natural habitat.

Hunter: I'm not fat. I'm just easy to see.

Kid: (at the picnic pavilion) what kind of jelly is on these sandwiches? 
Me: the kind you are going to eat if you are having pb&j

Lillian: Look it's comic sans on that sign. the best font ever. The name means "without comedy". How funny is that?

Lillian (At the water splash pad watching a chunky 8 yr old kid collect water in his mouth and then spew it all over his sister's face not once, not twice, but multiple times): and that kid right there is why I'm sitting over here on my iPod and not wallowing in that giant bacteria pool.

Lilly: (in response to Elise) yeah, sure I'll get a twitter. Here's my only tweet. "I hate everything. Period."

If she ever starts talking you want to be sure to plant yourself right by Lillian Johnson. Social commentator. Life coach. Source of wisdom. Comedian.

God Directs Your Path

June 5, 2017
I don't really believe in coincidence. I believe in circumstance--you are led to a point in time for a purpose not randomly. God directs my steps and my path. So, here are some brief circumstances that have brought us to this Ukraine trip... The team was looking for experienced VBS leaders, specifically women and youth workers to focus on Bible study and devotions (my skill set), VBS (Becky's skill set), working with children (all of us), and sports activities (our kids).
The sports they want us to lead? Volleyball and Basketball (with maybe some baseball for fun). Not kidding. (Kaitlyn, Abby, Elise--all varsity volleyball team players who have more than 15 years of Volleyball between them and Carter Johnson who lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes basketball.) Abby, Kaitlyn, Elise and Hannah are also going to work up some cheer stuff for good measure.;-)
They speak predominantly Russian in Ukraine. So, two years ago when Elise downloaded the "speak Russian" app on her phone and we all made fun of her relentlessly, because, why not learn Spanish, Elise? Won't that be much more useful, Elise? And when are you going to ever speak Russian, Elise? And she kept right on walking around speaking Russian to herself and identifying common household items in Russian. And now guess who knows like oh, 100+ useful phrases in Russian? That's right, Elise. Like she can order food, find the bathroom, get and give directions, say formal and casual greetings. Not kidding. (Who's the joke on now? God's funny like that.) (Oh, and side note--Elise herself can't tell you WHY two years ago she decided to learn Russian. It just "came to her" and she did it. Ahem.)
We're taking our kids who have actually led portions of VBS BY THEMSELVES, specializing in recreation and music. Becky's kids have been just as involved in leading at church VBS as mine have. It's like God put together the perfect circumstances for us to go and do this particular ministry. And none of it is coincidence.
There have been several attacks in recent months in Europe. Someone asked me yesterday if I am afraid to travel there. Not even for a second. Because I know the God of all circumstances and He holds me in His Hand. Nothing can separate me from the Love of God, and I trust that whatever happens, it happens for His glory. So, in less than 30 days I am rolling with a powerful group of Christ followers to see what happens when the path goes this way. :-)