Why Sunburns Are Actually Pretty Cool

IMG_5429With the July 4th weekend approaching the summer beach and pool season is in full swing. Which means for some of us the summer sunburn season is in full effect.

No matter how much I guard myself, no matter how high the SPF on my sunscreen is, no matter how many times I reapply, I can’t escape the summer without at least one nasty sunburn.

All you fair-skinned folks out there can relate. We don’t tan. We burn.

And any of us who’ve ever had to make an emergency run to the drug store to buy aloe can attest to how quickly a sunburn can ruin a summer trip.

But as this video explains, the cool thing about sunburns is that they allow you to see your immune system in action:

A sunburn occurs when the intense light and heat from the sun kills skin cells. Our immune system then detects the dead cells and sends a rush of blood to the infected area, bringing in white blood cells to clean up the debris.

The redness and heat in the skin is the result of the increased blood flow to the affected area. The old dead skin then begins to peel away and after a few days things are back to normal.

Though it’s a painful process a sunburn is necessary to remove the dead and worthless pieces of our skin we have damaged.

Now, of course, I’m not advocating for anyone to go out and get a sunburn. I do however think the sunburn process is a pretty neat metaphor for the way God removes the dead and worthless pieces of our life.

In Colossians 3 Paul writes about the process of becoming dead to sin and alive in Christ. He speaks of killing off everything connected with that old way of living – lust, impurity, irritability, profanity, meanness, etc.

These aren’t easy things to rid our lives of. In fact it’s quite painful to exorcise these demons from our everyday lifestyle.

To do so we have to let Jesus come in and do some painful work. We must allow the Son to enter into our heart, burn away all that is dead and worthless, and replace it with a new skin.

Yes, I’m saying to truly become dead to sin and alive in Christ we must experience a “Son burn”.


Now, before you offer me the Pulitzer Prize for my witty analogy, let me take it one step further.

I think the “Son burn” analogy works pretty well for people like me who suffer the sun’s damage every year.

But while my fair-skinned brothers and sisters out there are setting timers to reapply their sunblock every 15 minutes, some people out there rarely worry about UV rays. Whatever sun hits their skin instantly turns to bronze.

What about these people in life who always get tan?

Scientifically some people are just born this way. They have an increased level of melanin in their skin passed on from generations before them.

These lucky souls simply process sunlight in a more favorable way than others.

You might say the same thing about people in a spiritual sense.

Some people in life continually experience the “Son burn”, riding spiritual highs where the Lord rids them of sin and momentarily they are renewed.

Yet after a few days these people lose sight of God and find themselves exposed to sin yet again, forgetting to protect themselves in God’s word. Then they must go through the painful process once again of removing the dead and worthless skin of sin from their lives.

It doesn’t have to be this way though. Instead, there are some people out there who let God “tan” their lives.

These are the people who expose themselves to the Son each and every day. Because of their constant exposure to the “Son’s rays”, their skin becomes accustomed to the light He offers and their lives experience a deep transformation from it.

Keeping this “spiritual tan” is a daily process just like any other tan. It goes away if you don’t continually expose yourself to the Son. And sometimes no matter how tan your spiritual skin is is you can still get burnt, fall into sin and have to go through the painful process of removing the dead skin from your life.

But if you let God kill the dead cells inside of you, and expose yourself to His light more and more each day you will find your spiritual skin growing stronger.

Though some of us in life will never experience the beauty of bronzed skin, the good news no matter what skin tone you have in life anyone can achieve a “spiritual tan.”

You have to embrace the pain of the “Son burn” at first. Just remember the burning is actually a healing a process. Then your “Son burn” will actually feel pretty cool.

On this long weekend, take a moment to look at your spiritual skin. Are you someone who is always getting burnt, experiencing spiritual highs but continually falling into the same traps of sin? Or is your spiritual skin tanning? Are you going deeper in your relationship with God and getting stronger in your faith?

What Would Jesus Watch – 3: Christian Mingle – The Movie

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Welcome to “What Would Jesus Watch?”, our summer exploration into the overlooked and underexplored genre of Christian Cinema.

Have you wanted to watch a 90 minute infomercial for a Christian Dating website? Then have we got the movie for you!

On this week’s episode Alex and Kate break down “Christian Mingle – The Movie” and the “click, marry, die, done” dating culture it revolves around. We talk about the film’s bizarre view of Christianity, say a prayer for poor Lacey Chabert, discuss the movie’s hilarious prayer habits and dream about visiting the greatest fictional restaurant of all time.

Plus we share our theories about the purpose of the movie and if the leading man is actually an 8-year-old. And to truly understand the movie Kate goes undercover to create her own Christian Mingle account! All that and more on this episode of Christianity for Dummies…er we mean What Would Jesus Watch!

If you haven’t seen “Christian Mingle – The Movie” before you’ll definitely still be able to enjoy the podcast. But if you’d like to prepare before watching you can check out the trailer below and find the movie on iTunes:

Follow along on Twitter and on Facebook to see what movie we’ll be watching next

Search for What Would Jesus Watch on the iPhone Podcast app or in iTunes and Subscribe or listen on Stitcher

Share and leave a comment and let us know what you think. Tell us what movies you’d like to see us discuss on future episodes of What Would Jesus Watch!


How To Conquer Indominus Rex

jurassicworldThere’s a cliche out there where people call extremely intense movies “nail-biters”. Well when I watched “Jurassic World” for the first time it was no cliche – I found myself literally biting my nails in anticipation as the dinosaurs wreaked havoc.

Though I’ve written before about how disappointing sequels and remakes can be, “Jurassic World” exceeded my wildest expectations.

I rarely get scared during movies. I don’t even bother seeing a lot of horror movies; not because they’re too scary for me, but because they’re not scary enough.

But I was literally on the edge of my seat as Chris Pratt fought valiantly alongside a T-rex. My nails cut into my wife’s hand as I watched the raptors’ claws attack the guests at the park. “Jurassic World” was so well done that it actually gave me goosebumps and had me jumping around out of fear.

Now it’s obvious the Indominus Rex, the terrifying dinosaur which causes so much chaos in “Jurassic World”, isn’t really alive.

In fact it’s not even a real dinosaur. And of course the threat of a dinosaur attack probably isn’t coming around in this lifetime (fingers crossed).

So why did something fake give me such a fright? If I was being honest I’d tell you fake thing things scare me all the time.

I’m not a “nervous Nellie” walking around on eggshells terrified of black cats and broken glass. But I do feel real, undeniable fear everyday.

I feel the fear of screwing something up at my job. The fear of hurting my wife. The fear of missing out on opportunities and wasting my life. The fear of disappointing God.

When I really think about it though those fears pose about as much of a real threat in my life as an Indominus Rex.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

Though my fears are often crippling, when I remember this verse my fears don’t seem as real anymore.

Perfect love drives out fear. Five of the most powerful words in The Bible. We all get scared of things everyday. But God tell us these fears have no power over us.

Fear has to do with punishment. We fear because we think we will receive the punishment we deserve for our imperfect actions. But because we are covered in God’s perfect love there is nothing to be afraid of. With His perfect love and forgiveness God has driven out any need to fear.

The one who fears is not made perfect in love. Yet even when we commit this verse to heart the fear still seeps into our lives. How could it not when we live in a world where we don’t just fear the dinosaurs in the movie but also the man who runs into the theater with a gun? How can our faith remain fearless when the churches where we exhibit that faith are attacked by senseless violence?

The fact is our world is not safe, never has been safe and never will be safe.

God does not promise us safety. He promises us security in His power and grace and love. He promises that nothing will happen in this world outside of His control. He tells us that when we are covered in his love that we can make it through whatever evil comes against us. And if the moment comes where our worst fears come to pass, we trust that life was not taken in vain or by mistake. We trust that we have victory in defeat for we are going home to be with Him. There is no fear in love.

Unlike the murderous Indominus Rex of “Jurassic World”, the things we are afraid of in this world are still very real. Yet in the shadow of of God’s perfect love we realize there is nothing to truly be afraid of. The fear itself is fake

For no power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, not even a dinosaur – will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What’s the Indominus Rex in your life – the thing you fear most in this world? How can you let God’s perfect love drive out that fear today?

The 3 Practices Pixar Can Teach The Church

insideoutNo movie company has ever had a run of success like Pixar.

Starting with “Toy Story” in 1995 all the way up to their latest production “Inside Out” (which is on track to be possibly their biggest film ever), their success rate has been unprecedented. Even their worst movies (like oh, I don’t know, “Cars” maybe) are still pretty great.

As someone who’s been on the Pixar bandwagon since seeing “Toy Story” in theaters 20 years ago, I’ve seen 3 clear reasons why this movie company has been so incredibly successful connecting with kids from age 5 to 105.

I think if churches put these 3 Pixar practices into place we could be more successful in connecting with our audience as well: Continue reading

What Would Jesus Watch – 2: Noah

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Ah, Noah. The classic Biblical tale of a man called by The Creator to rescue the animals of the Earth from a great flood on an ark he builds with giant rock monsters.

Wait, what?

On this week’s episode of “What Would Jesus Watch?”, Alex and Kate tackle to the 2014 epic “Noah” starring Russell Crowe and Emma Watson. It’s a Biblical movie that never mentions the word “God” and feels more like a Marvel movie than a faith-based one. But that might not be such a bad thing as our hosts discover. Find out how they felt about all the liberties the film takes with the classic story, the hidden agendas at play, the role of women in the film and why they’d pay to see a Methuselah spin-off. Plus hear why they think a movie like “Noah” can bring more people to the Bible than a typical traditional telling of the story. Continue reading

What Would Jesus Watch – 1: The Encounter

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Christian cinema doesn’t have the greatest reputation.

Even though faith-based movies have exploded in popularity ever since the success of 2004’s “The Passion Of The Christ”, the genre has rarely received much critical acclaim.

Still there seems to be a booming marketplace for films which touch on faith-based issues. Many of them even attract A-list actors like Christian Bale, Sigourney Weaver, Russell Crowe, Emma Watson and Nicolas Cage.

All of this got us to thinking:

What Would Jesus Watch?

Are these movies any good? Are they just looked down upon because of a Hollywood bias against Christianity? Or are they worthy of the bashing most critics give them?

Join hosts Alex and Kate Doriot on this new podcast as they explore the high, the low and the “Huh?” of Christian cinema one movie at a time, giving a fair chance to faith-based films big and small.

Though Alex and Kate come to the podcast with a sense of humor, the goal of What Would Jesus Watch? is not to make fun of bad movies.

Instead, the purpose of the podcast is to encourage those willing incorporate faith-based themes into their art and inspire them to strive for excellency when doing so.

Each week we’ll celebrate what worked in bad movies, what didn’t work in good movies and explore the impact this rapidly growing genre of films can have on our faith. It all begins today with our debut episode!

Ever wonder what it would be like to hang out at a diner with Jesus? Pretty exhausting, apparently!

That’s the lesson learned in our premiere episode as we watch the 2010 film “The Encounter”.

It stars legendary wrestling superstar Sting and tells the story of 5 weary travelers convening at a mysterious diner run by Jesus himself. What will they discover about themselves over the course of dinner? Is Jesus a good burrito chef? How long will it take for Jesus to multiply a loaf of bread? And why isn’t Jesus more attractive? Find out all of this and more on What Would Jesus Watch! Continue reading

Autocorrecting God

IMG_5330Ever notice something when you type out “god” on your iPhone? Go ahead and try typing it in a sentence if you haven’t recently.

While an iPhone will automatically capitalize most proper names and nouns, it won’t always autocorrect “god” to “God”.

Hey Apple – can we get a fix for this at the next WWDC?

Maybe your phone doesn’t do this. I’m sure some of you will tell me there’s something I can do in my settings so that I don’t have to go back and capitalize God every time I type it out (I may be under 30 but that doesn’t mean I know how to do 95% of the stuff on my phone).

Unfortunately just fixing my autocorrect settings won’t fix the real problem. The reality is that the failure of my phone to recognize God’s name is symbolic of a bigger issue in our culture.

As Christians we must stop assuming that the world sees God the same way that we do. Continue reading