Four paragraphs below is an original story from Feb. 26, 2010, that to date remains my largest single blog with over 10,000 readers. These first three paragraphs here are a footnote and update to that story. When I wrote this my blog was but a week or so old and I was relatively new on Facebook. I have learned a lot since then. I have learned that FB friends are the same as those in real life, in some respects. There are haters, some encourage, supporters, some that reject, those who want to argue for argument’s sake, and then those who want to be an instrument of God to uplift, encourage and strengthen the body of Christ. I have FB friends that are Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Atheists, etc. on and on. I absolutely LOVE interacting with all of them. There have been many of my Christian brethren that have uncharitable and downright rude when dealing with those of other faiths as we interact on the pages. There have been others that have beamed with the love of Christ, His love flooding their words. As for myself, I have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. He is my Lord and Savior. I preach Christ and Him crucified. I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Just so you know the foundation of my belief, if you believe different from me, that’s OK with me too, lets talk about it. I still want to be your friend, I grow and learn so much by listening to you. Part of my ministry is reaching out to those of different faiths, my life is enriched. Many of my blogs have been devoted to that. I have found a few FB friends are like some of those in life, projecting their personal thoughts and agendas that seem to supersede those of the message of the Cross.
Since this blog began, I can tell you in all honesty tell you that I am personally aware of many individuals that have come to Christ or rededicated their lives to Christ by reading the blogs, in many instances it is because of you, my FB friends as your interactions with readers that have left comments. You have touched their hearts in some special way, bringing comfort, conviction, and conversion. Now that’s exciting. Those that interact and share with readers of the blog have become the reapers of the seeds I have sown, interacting, sharing and helping bring others to the foot of the Cross. You are powerful, my FB friends, you are needed, and God is using many of you, keep it up. Some of the messages I receive from you are amazing. Do you have a story that FB readers need to hear, a story that can be use to bring others to the Cross, a story of the awesomeness of God, a story of pain, in need of healing whatever? Please send it to me to my inbox.
I have written some stories about a few of my FB friends. There are some with shattered hearts that are my FB friends, there are some that are conquerors, some are courageous, all are special in one way or another. I have written about some my FB friends in; Kenny wants to Dance, http://wp.me/pOzVc-4B, a heart-warming story about a young man with MD, we heard about a Christian woman converted from being a Hindu and her friend converted from Islam that have been treated badly by Christians now in need of healing from that treatment in; Where is the Love? http://wp.me/pOzVc-4T. There are judgmental FB friends that are not so nice discussed in; What did you just call me? http://wp.me/pOzVc-4m. Friends I have met in real life that now are FB friends in; I met a Muslim today http://wp.me/pOzVc-42. A FB friend in that was once in prison for life, a former Kingpin Drug-lord, now serving the real King outside prison with his life, a servant of the Lord with a remarkable story and powerful testimony in; A True Story, From Rikers to Righteousness http://wp.me/pOzVc-1U.
I appreciate all my FB friends. The article written below is to uplift that friendship, please do not attack me, bombard me with apps, and sent me hate mail as many did the first time this story was published. Please receive it as it is given, in love.
There is one thing that I want to say right off the bat, which is that this article is not purposely written to offend anyone. I am going to discuss our friendships here on Facebook, and our use of applications, notices, gifts, messages and such between us. I am going be direct and say how I feel. I am not intentionally trying to be rude or judgmental, so I ask your forgiveness ahead of time if you are offended by any of my words. Please read the whole article in its entirety.
I want your friendship here on Facebook, I actually cherish it….And as a friend I want to give you love and receive love from you…I want to connect…I want to agree…and in love, have the right to disagree…I want to discuss faith, family, religion, God, whatever, anything, and everything with you. I want as a person to take the time to post a response to a comment and/or send a personal message. I want my friends here to stimulate my thinking, as I try to do the same for them. I want my friends here ask for prayer, so I can pray for them…give a word…send a blessing….let me know they like something…..or don’t like something, as I will try to do the same for them. I want to know you and who you are.
I don’t want you to just send me a Heart, just for the sake of sending out a bunch of hearts….I want you to tell me your heart, teach me your heart, share your heart with me…..Don’t just send me a smiley symbol just for the sake of sending something out…Please….Talk to me from your heart, make me smile and give me an opportunity to do the same for you…..There are pictures that are tremendous, that stir my soul, I want to see them, send me those….There are videos that make my heart cry out to God and give me knowledge and joy, I want to see those too. I need to be actually loved and to be sharing love, it’s part of my being, my nature, my core. I love it when someone on here takes the time here on Facebook to pick out a special card, or heart for me, and sends it to me. But when I get it 10 times in a row, over and over, the gift loses all its value as I realize it wasn’t for me but just something for someone to send out.
I don’t want a farm gift, I don’t have a farm, and I want a friend. I am not in the Mafia; I am in the body of Christ. I am not in Farmville or part of the Mafia apps, if I were and we were both sharing that here on Facebook then that would be great. When I get those, I do not even know what they are or what they mean. I am a believer, and I am your friend. Last week I got hit with a snowball from a Facebook friend that invited me to a snowball fight, which in itself is fine. The problem is, it was sent out randomly to a list of friends and as a result I got it posted on my page 14 times in a row. I went to the sender’s page to point it out to them and they already had many complaints from a lot of other users. Nothing in that really connects much with me. It makes my point exactly. My article here in not to be negative or rude: but uplifting and empowering. I sometime get hit 10-15 times with the same pillow from the same person as a result of some mass send out asking me to hit them back. Since I am receiving it 5-15 times in a row, they do not even realize they are sending it to me. That means it is not personal to them as they are sending it out multiple times, so why should it be personal to me? My primary goal in this article is with our responsibilities in loving each other as members of Facebook and together in the Body of Christ.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (New Living Translation)
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
How about 1 million or 10 maybe 50 million standing side by side, that is impossible to break. Facebook gives us that opportunity.
Do Everything in Love, 1 Cor. 16:14
I know we have Farms, E-Cards, Smiley Faces, Bows, Ribbons and Hearts, Bears and Hugs, and they are all ok, but our responsibility toward each other as fellow recipients of God’s mercy and love, however, goes much deeper than that. There is a good reason why. While we may find ourselves necessarily involved with unbelievers in life (outside FB) as the result of various human relationships (mother/son, brother/sister, employer/employee, etc.), we have no spiritual union with unbelievers beyond those human ties.
But when it comes to our relationship with fellow believers, and that includes those here especially on Facebook, there is a different defining issue. No matter what happens in our previous human relationships, here in Christ we have been joined by his Spirit into one body in an organic union like the relationship of arm to hand or leg to foot. This new spiritual union brings with it new responsibilities. We can use these on Facebook tremendously, as a unique and POWERFUL arm of the body of Christ. We have the ability to connect together, all Christians of all denominations, with no church walls in a force and power that has never been available in the history of the world. For the first time since the advent of the cross we have the opportunity for millions, tens of millions, and eventually hundreds of millions of believers, to connect with one another almost instantly, at anytime, at anywhere in the world. We can be unified in love, will and purpose.
These new responsibilities are the subject of a great deal of New Testament teaching. The abilities for the body of Christ to reach out, has greatly evolved in the last 2000 years, and many of our essential needs have become lost in the unfortunate secularization of our practices. For some of us, our relationships between are no longer defined as organic unity, but by our organizational structures. As a result, our “love one another” responsibilities toward each other, as spelled out in the Word have been ignored, compromised, or forgotten.
God says in Colossians 3:17, 23-24, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. . . And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
A Pastor friend of mine here on Facebook in Europe recently wrote to me. He said, “As much as I appreciate FB connections, I dislike FIGUREHEAD friendship. I am deleting many on my list. I am not here for mere display of numbers. Iron sharpens iron. If I have fewer connections on here, that’s ok. I am not running for political post. I just want to get in touch. PLEASE!!!
In the 1950s, sociologists coined the term “homophily” (love of the same), to explain our tendency to link up with one another in ways that confirms and affirms our core beliefs. Facebook that has given us new ways to connect in love and speak truth to one another, showing and converting that love into spiritual power, becoming a “spiritual homophily”. Facebook offers the Body an efficient and far-reaching way to bond, which erodes natural barriers.
”Homophily” refers to a tendency to associate with others who think in similar ways, regardless of differences in status, age, gender, class, race, and so forth. This is often expressed in the adage “birds of a feather flock together”. We believers are the birds and we are flocking together on Facebook, united by God, with love for one another. That is why these friendships and the way we can connect with each other so important to the Kingdom.
The benefits of my “friends” to me are enormous. You as my friend are part of my future. Friends affect our future and our present. Friendship is a means of fellowship. Honestly, it is good to send that pillow to some that you have connected with in that way, but not to everyone. There are friends here that connect with the farms, they enjoy it, and I think that’s great for them, but not everyone. I am not here for pillow, farm or flower either. I connect differently with friends and my friends are different than just that to me. Friendship is the nucleus of the body of Christ, as we love one another and connect with one another, the enemy is defeated.
We can to use this website not only as an opportunity to make friends and connect and fellowship but as a weapon against the enemy. And as we love one another, we can seize this tremendous opportunity to use Facebook as a salve to heal wounds, as a life-preserver to one who is drowning and as loving arms to someone who is lost or hurting. I will try, because that person might end up being me, or that person might end up being you. We need to personally connect, know and love one another, so that if, or when something should happen to one of us…..We can honestly say….”I am here really here for you, my Facebook friend”.
Job 16:20 My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God.