Sunscreen for God

Don’t you hate sunscreen? It’s so slippery and greasy! It burns your eyes and gets in your hair! It smells horrible! It’s just bad! Joshua Apitz hated it too, but he did something about it. At 15, he created a new, natural, non-slip sunscreen called Seagull Milk, and people are loving it. He’s even won a Seven News Young Achievers Award for his innovation.

Josh’s father and grandfather had both suffered from skin cancer, and he knew that Queensland is the skin cancer capital of the world. Growing up on the Gold Coast, he constantly saw people sunbaking, and occasionally did it himself. ‘I started thinking, why would I do that, and why don’t I wear sunscreen? Because what are the odds that they’re not wearing sunscreen either?’

Being a surfer, he also had another big issue with sunscreen. He’d wax his board to create grip so he didn’t slip off, but his sunscreen would immediately make it slippery again, wasting all his work, and risking his safety.

Joshua knew he wanted to start a business before he left school, but he wasn’t doing it for himself. He was hoping to support his family, raise funds for Christian organisations, and create a platform for his own Ministry.

‘It would be so sick to be able to influence and inspire so many young kids to go out there and chase their dreams, and live for who they want to be. God’s got a plan for each and every one of us. And this might be mine, so let’s chase it.’

He had his big idea. The next challenge was making it happen. He took advice from his mum and business coaches, but in the end, he just googled some manufacturers. He got in touch, and organised some samples, and started testing the product on himself and his friends.

The Quicksilver Pro surfing competition was coming up, and he thought it was important to have a professional try his sunscreen. Out surfing one morning, he spotted John John Florence, the world number one surfer at that stage. ‘I’ve got this opportunity in front of me,’ he thought. ‘I don’t want to waste it.’

But he knew starting a conversation out here would be pretty awkward. There were hundreds of people around, and they would all be pretty confused when some kid offered John John Florence some Seagull Milk. He had to leave for school, but as he caught a wave back, he prayed: ‘God, if it’s your will, I just pray for an opportunity to speak to John on the beach, or somewhere, before I leave.’

‘Literally the next wave after, he came in to switch boards right behind me. I was like ok. This is real. I’ve got to go and do it.’

God’s got a plan for each and every one of us. And this might be mine, so let’s chase it

So he boldly approached his hero, and offered him some sunscreen. John realised this wasn’t just another kid wanting a signature, and got interested. ‘He’s introduced me to so many other people, and given me a real big silent plug in the surf industry, and given his sample to other people, and given me great feedback himself.’

Since then, Seagull Milk has been taking off. Joshua says its memorable name has been helping. ‘We’ve done a few markets, and little kids have come up to us and been like how do you milk a seagull?’ They’ve also been approached by some angry and confused vegans. ‘That’s animal cruelty!’ they protested. ‘And you say it’s a vegan product!’

Joshua reassures us that no seagulls were harmed in the making of his sunscreen, but he sometimes likes to make up funny stories about how they do it. ‘We use laxatives, and chips, and a tarp for them to poop. And then we collect it, put in the tube and sell it.’

It’s pretty incredible that a teenager has started up a successful small business. But Joshua wants to encourage other kids to follow in his footsteps. ‘It’s just all mind-set, and being like ok. I’ve seen people out here do it. What’s stopping me from doing it too? And just chasing that dream.’

You might think that if he had time and space to get his venture going, he must have had a pretty easy childhood. In fact, his parents split up when he was three, and his cousins moved in with him six years ago, after his aunt died of cancer. ‘One of the things I stand by,’ he said, ‘is that no matter where you start in life, you can choose where you end up.’

The key to Joshua’s success is that he’s doing it for the right reasons. He wants his story to encourage other young people to live for all God’s got for them. ‘I think this is like a platform for me to be able to share that, which is really really cool for me, and I’m really honoured to have the opportunity I do.’

Find out more about Joshua and his sunscreen at
seagullmilk.com.au

Living for Others

‘Honour one another above yourselves.’ Romans 12:10 NIV

John Andrew Holmes said, ‘It’s well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.’

Think about it and you’ll realise that it’s not so much what you do that matters, but what you do for others. Overall, the most miserable people on earth are those who hate, hinder and hurt others, while the happiest are those who spend their lives helping others. Helpfulness produces happiness—it’s that simple.

So, what are you doing for others? How good are you at letting someone else take rightful credit for what gets accomplished? Paul writes, ‘Honour one another above yourselves.’ Next time somebody shares their accomplishments, pay attention to your need to jump in and tell them something as good or better about yourself. When you do that, you minimise their joy, create distance between you, and everybody loses. Instead, hold your tongue and say, ‘That’s wonderful; tell me more.’ And mean it!

When you treat people this way two things happen:

(1) The other person enjoys your company because they sense you’re really ‘there’ for them, and not just sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to jump in and take your turn to top their story.

(2) They feel that instead of competing with them, you care about their success. Consequently your relationships grow stronger because you no longer need to grab all the attention and glory.

It’s called ‘living for others’.

SoulFood: 1 Cor 9–11, Matt 4:12–17, Ps 90:13–17, Pro 1:8–9

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020

Today’s Readings

1 Corinthians 9–11 ()

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9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?

Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

10:1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience—29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else's conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another—34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.

Matthew 4:12–17 ()

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12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

15   “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
    the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16   the people dwelling in darkness
    have seen a great light,
  and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
    on them a light has dawned.”

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Psalm 90:13–17 ()

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13   Return, O LORD! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
14   Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15   Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16   Let your work be shown to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
17   Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!

Proverbs 1:8–9 ()

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  Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
    and forsake not your mother's teaching,
  for they are a graceful garland for your head
    and pendants for your neck.

Sat 04 January, 2020


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