Tag Archives: relationships

Do You Suffer from SMP?

A couple of days ago I read in the LA Times that according to Dr. Larry D. Rosen too much Facebook time may be unhealthy for kids, and teens & young adults who log onto Facebook constantly are more narcissistic. For years we have shared our positive opinions about social media sites like; Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and many others. But now we have to admit that there are also some negative consequences in the use of these sites.

Recently I noticed a disturbing behavior among frequent users of some of these social networks, a behavior I call Social Media Paranoia. The possibility is that you have noticed it too among some of your friends, or maybe you display some the symptoms of SMP yourself.

  1. You are preoccupied with unsupported doubts about friends, followers or subscribers of your page
  2. You have unfounded suspicions toward fellow users, and you believe that they are plotting against you
  3. You perceive comments made as attacks on your reputation that are not clear to others, and you quickly counterattack with comments yourself
  4. You read negative meanings into innocuous comments posted on the pages of other people
  5. You are reluctant to confide in others due to a fear that information may be posted within the next 24-hours on the world wide web

If you recognize any of these 5 points in your behavior or in others… It might be Social Media Paranoia. But what to do?

First you need to ask yourself if you spend to many hours on these sites, and if you do it would be wise to apply some self-discipline in this area. Start spending more time before His face, reading His Book, and spend quality time with real people.

Secondly if there is the possibility that any of your assumptions might be true, make quickly use of the delete option for your page, or the friend(s).

The Bible talks about a man, who did not use the social media, but King Saul definitely suffered of paranoia. His disobedience toward God caused him to be rejected as king, and Saul became delusional. Maybe the symptoms started with stomach aches, which kept him awake with all the worries that were bothering him. In the beginning David would play the harp for Saul, and it would give him a temporary peace, but even that did not do the job after a while. Having David around –a man after Gods heart– did not make it any easier for him, actually he felt threatened by his loyal servant. Saul saw a conspiracy in every situation and he started to display an antisocial personality disorder, causing even his own family to fear for their lives. Needless to say it did not end well with Saul.

Don’t let a tool that can be a useful, become a curse to the relationships God has blessed us with.

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Filed under Discipleship 101

Lessons learned…

A few months ago I wrote a blog (Journey 2 Berlin) in which I shared about my trip to Berlin with Evangelist Mando Gonzales, Sr. Lately I’ve been thinking about our trip, and some of the things I’ve learned from him. Reflecting on the conversations we had I have to agree with the words of the Roman historian Tacitus; “Experience teaches”. I am fully aware that we can learn from our personal experiences, but how much more from the experiences of others, if we pay attention?

Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will. -Vernon Howard

Little did I know that our trip to Europe was not a coincidence, but a preparation for what is to come. I could not foresee that This Journey to Europe’ would cause me to think differently. Differently because in the Urban Training Center we visited churches for 1-4 weeks partnering with-, and helping them in various ways through; drama’s, worship, evangelism, children’s ministry, and follow-up are just a few to name. However after a certain time we would return to our campus continuing our program. Not to take anything away from the effectiveness of the Urban Training Center, but we did not have to think like the pastor of a church, we were more like a van-load full of evangelists; ‘blow-in, blow-up, and blow-out’.

I am convinced that during these months in Europe God put a new desire in my spirit, mind, and heart; “to pastor a church someday”. I believe when this will happen, these Lessons learned will be helpful in pastoring a church, along with the countless lessons I still have to learn through experience, and from others;

1. Building relationships, with influential people and organizations in the community. This so-called networking can become useful at certain times, providing the needed resources in order to accomplish a particular goal, but our ultimate ambition should be to change our community.

2. Evangelism; the presence of witnessing Christians in the neighborhoods will influence the community, and it is also crucial for a church to continue to preach the gospel to the unchurched. When the church stops evangelizing, the church stopped caring, and therefore it will stop growing. Never neglect the responsibility to be ‘a fisher of men’ (Matthew 4:19)

“He who rules the streets, rules the city” -Pastor Ed Morales

3. Change; God did not save us to stay the same, but He wants us to change. It sounds too easy to be true, but as we change our community will change.

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.  I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.  When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.  I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.  Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.  My family and I could have made an impact on our town.  Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world. -Author Unknown

4. Stewardship; when Christians are taught that the community they live in belongs to God, they begin to understand the responsebility of stewardship. Like the story in Matthew 25:14-25; the servants that became successful invested; energy, time, and money. God will give us the City and more, if we as the Church invest likewise into our community instead of keeping what we have hidden in the ground.

5. Servanthood; as the Church we are not only called to serve each other, but also our community. This is an act of love, and it will surely impact the city, and done consistently it will eventually change the city. For example the following blog  ‘I (HEART) SAN DIEGO’ by Al Valdez, senior pastor of Victory Outreach San Diego is a perfect example of a Church serving the community.


Filed under The Journey to Europe, Urban Ministry