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Joy, Junk, and Jesus

by Kristin Slavik  
9/20/2006 / Family


Joy, Junk and Jesus

Have you ever wanted to get a good discussion into your family dinner conversation with your kids? Not sure how to do it without being preachy?

Do you have a group of teens or adults that you lead at church? Do you want a great conversation starter?

Try Joy, Junk and Jesus.

Joy, Junk and Jesus is an ingenious way to encourage sharing. It also reminds us to look for Jesus in our everyday lives. The premise is simple. You ask each member of your family or small group to share:

1. The Joy of their day (or week). This helps us to remember to look for the good and also lets everyone relate their good news. At our house we often hear about a good test or a fun activity from our kids. My husband often fills us in about nice people he came across that day.

2. The Junk of their day (or week). Life is far from perfect and sharing the bad stuff helps almost as much as sharing the good. It also is such a blessing to hear from our children what the bad stuff is in their lives. Sometimes if we just ask how was your day, we miss finding out what is really important in their day.

3. Where they saw Jesus that day (or week). This one has the most surprising answers. I have found that pointing out where we saw Jesus helps to keep us all connected and keeps us all looking to find him. The more you try this the more you will see how often he is truly in our presence through others. Our high school youth leader is the one who first told me about this refreshing concept. She said that sometimes the youth were reluctant to share much about their lives. Once she started using this, they began to share more about themselves and the things they were dealing with. Our church even got to witness a group of youth returning from a mission trip that shared their Joy, Junk and Jesus with the entire congregation!

I have been using this method with my children for a while now. My kids are younger and they dont always relate to seeing Jesus yet. They tend to want to see a picture or something literal. But, just in case I thought it wasnt working, my six-year-old son recently showed me just how much he gets from this. I was tucking him in bed one night and quickly going through our Joy, Junk and Jesus for the day. When I asked if he had seen Jesus that day, he replied that he had. When I asked where he said on my paper. I was curious, but in a hurry so I went to turn out the light. Dont you want to know where I saw Jesus? he asked. I replied that, of course I wanted to know. He told me that he had drawn Jesus on the cross and put hearts around it. He then gave it to his teacher and told her that Jesus loved her too. My heart melted to hear that. My son goes to a public school and I dont know if his teacher is a Christian. But I do know that my son was listening to God that day. Maybe that was just what his teacher needed to hear.

The more people that I have shared this idea with, the more I realize that all of us need this. We need to stay connected in a disconnected world. We need to spend time remembering the good and bad things from our day. Most of all we need to see that we are not alone, Jesus is really out there. He touches our lives every day. Maybe Joy, Junk and Jesus is just what you need to hear too.

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