How to Keep From Getting Burned this Summer

Growing up in Florida had its advantages. I spent a lot of time outdoors playing and going to the beach. Naturally, I had my share of skinned knees and bruises, but the greatest threat that I faced at that time wasn’t even considered a threat. It was sunburn.

One of my earliest childhood memories was of going to the lake with my parents and returning with my back red and blistered. It was miserable. My mother sprayed my back with Solarcain, and it cooled the burn–for about 15 seconds. Younger readers will have to ask their parents about that.

Unlike today, suntan lotion didn’t contain sunscreen. So, playing outdoors inevitably led to getting burned and being miserable, even when my mom applied sun tan lotion. Was “SPF” even a term in those days?

Like so many teenagers of my time and into my college years, I was determined to stay tanned. After all, being tanned gave me some hope with the girls. By then, I had come to expect to get sunburned before I tanned.

Little did I know overexposure to the sun was taking a toll on me. Outside I had a “healthy” tan, but inside, unseen and unbeknownst to me, the sun was doing damage below the surface. Years later I met my first dermatologist. Too much exposure to the sun had caused not only wrinkles but also skin cancer. I’ve had two minor surgeries and many office procedures to remove skin cancers.

How ironic. While I played, surfed, swam, and enjoyed the outdoors, I was oblivious to the damage being done. I was happy to look healthy but ignorant of how too much sun can make us unhealthy. While the sun is good for us, it helps our skin to make vitamin D, and it positively affects our mood, when used unwisely the sun can cause irreversible harm and, in some cases, death.

Like the sun, a lot of good things that when misused can cause serious harm and even death. We can easily allow good things to be used unwisely. We may get accustomed to an occasional “burn” and ignore it because we’re enjoying ourselves. We may be becoming “unhealthy” and not even know it until the damage is done.

Eventually, we must return to reality. Sooner or later, we reap what we sow.

This summer we can be thankful for any time or resources that allow us to rest, relax, travel, and enjoy our families. As summer ends, we can approach fall refreshed with great memories. Or, we can misuse the precious time and resources God has given us and approach fall stressed with no fond memories of a summer well spent.

When the kids are going back to school, we could be closer to God and our family. Or, we can make idols out of our blessings and allow our relationship with God to grow cold. We may suddenly realize that we were “burnt” this summer and didn’t even know it was happening.

Do you want to keep from getting “burnt” this summer? Do you want to be closer to God and your family when school starts? Do you want to use money wisely and avoid debt? And, do you want your church to experience health and growth this summer?

If you recognize the danger of wasting precious time and money, if you understand the real possibility of getting “burnt” when you put good times and things ahead of God, then I have some simple advice:

Stay in the Son!

Mark Bordeaux
About Mark Bordeaux 13 Articles
Mark's journey began in Jacksonville, Florida when, as a student at Trinity Christian Academy, he heard the Good News that God truly loves people, but we are separated from Him because of our sin. Each of us have not only inherited a propensity to disobey, but have chosen to go our own way, rather than God's way and experience a personal relationship with Him. In his own words... "Although I had been a church member since my childhood, I realized that I knew "about" God, but did not "know" God in a real and personal way. The realization that God loved us and paid the ultimate price for our sin by sending His Son to be our sacrifice on the cross and rise from the dead to rescue us became clear. I also realized that if I did not surrender to God and by faith accept His Son's sacrifice for my sin, I would continue to be alienated from God. Even though I did not know much about the Bible and certainly did not know the evidences for it's accuracy, I knew enough to respond to God. One afternoon after school, I was alone in my home and knelt and prayed to God. I simply asked Him to forgive me of my sin and take me to Heaven when I died. I was truly sorry for being a sinner and sincerely asked Him to save me. When I finished praying and had trusted God to save me it was as though the separation between God and me, that I sensed earlier, was removed. In child-like terms I knew I was not 'in trouble' anymore and that God had forgiven me. In my mind, it was almost as though Jesus had His arms wide-open saying, 'It's alright now!'" As a college student, Mark grew in his commitment to Jesus as he attended Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville. Regularly hearing the Bible taught and preached as well as being around other young people who loved Jesus helped his commitment deepen. Mark continued to mature in his relationship with God as a member of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. Not only did he grow in his commitment to Christ while at First Baptist following Christ he met the love of his life, Debbie, who has been his partner in life and ministry ever since. His first experience of introducing someone to a relationship with Jesus by sharing the Good News was at First Baptist. Later, he was invited to preach at the city rescue mission and was amazed when five men professed to receive Christ. The joy of having a part in what God was doing sharpened his focus even more. After graduating with a degree in Broadcast Management in 1980, he chose to serve God in Christian broadcasting. His first job following college was as the program director of a Christian radio station. He began receiving invitations to speak at area churches. Again, people responded to God's invitation of salvation. His call to full-time ministry continued to be confirmed. When he heard that a local church was searching for a youth minister he applied. The church called him to serve and he left broadcasting and began the adventure of full-time ministry. Since beginning as a youth minister he has served as an associate pastor, pastor, and senior pastor. He has been humbled to serve in eight churches in five states over a period of more than 30 years. He earned a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies from Luther Rice Bible College, a master's degree in divinity (with languages) from The Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, and is currently in the Doctor of Ministry program at the Billy Graham School of Church Growth and Evangelism at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Additionally, he has made annual trips to the former Soviet Union since 1995 to train Russian and Ukrainian pastors and church planters as well as assist International Mission Board personnel in evangelism and church planting projects. He continues to study Russian and often brings groups to experience international missions first hand. Mark also serves as a Coach-Consultant for the South Carolina Baptist Convention. He says, "Encouraging Biblical church health and growth is deeply rewarding. I cannot think of anything that has a greater impact on the world than a united body of believers following the Master and fulfilling His mission." Mark desires to glorify God and further His Kingdom by helping people discover life worth living in Jesus Christ.

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