Feeling Alone In A World Inhabited By 6.7 Billion People

Posted December 11, 2008 by tonyatorres
Categories: Christianity, Communication, Community, Faith, God, Love

A friend of mine said to me last night “People are antisocial, they’re losing the ability to communicate and hiding behind technology”. As thought provoking as this may be it isn’t something I haven’t considered. In this discussion last night, I found myself associating this social “faux pas” to our relationship with God.

As a society we’re hurting our relationships with one another by replacing face to face interaction with technological communication. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been misunderstood because of the lack of expression in text messaging. I also can’t tell you how frustrating it is to give my number to someone I’m interested in (or could be interested in), only to have our first experience of private communication entirely robbed of it’s personal effect.

So what do our human interactions have to do with God? Everything! As creations of a superior being, who has pre-planned how He wants us to interact, we’re sabotaging one of the best things we’ve been given-the gift of community. If our creator wanted us to be alone, he would’ve created us in our own boxes, it would be like a grid of pet humans. God didn’t want pet humans, He wanted us to be His beloved children. He wanted to give us the gift of love, for Him, and for each other. So why has everything gone awry?

Humans biggest mistake, from the beginning of time, until the present day, is this seemingly simple problem… Disobeying and turning away from God. As a society we’re slowly but surely separating ourselves more and more from the creator. We don’t like how following His will is “too hard” and “no fun”, yet we find ourselves feeling so very alone in a world inhabited by 6.7 billion people. Everyone else in the world has no doubt felt the same loneliness whether they’re in community with God or not. As mankind push God further and further from their thoughts (and they’re hearts), we eliminate any real shot at true love, and true relationships. Our communication suffers as a result of our loss of community with the inventor of community.

Is there any solution to this problem? Unfortunately, I fear there is no solution to the over all problem. The only solution is for us to separate ourselves from the ways of the world, rather than further separating ourselves from God and each other. As much as we’d love to change the world by changing people, it’s not going to happen. As we approach the end of time (the rapture), no matter how near or far it may be (it’s growing closer by the minute), we can’t anticipate the world becoming a better place. (Even if the world were to suddenly become peaceful, it would only be a trick of the enemy, to cause us to believe “there’s no need to seek God, because look how wonderful everything is.” But this is only to fool us, and the rapture would immediately follow).

So, here are the 2 simple ways to dig yourself out of this communication corruption of community.

1.)  Numbers 16:9

“Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the LORD’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them?”

How can we be an example to the community God has blessed us with, unless we devote ourselves to community with God himself? If we feel lonely and separated from people we shouldn’t sulk and hang our heads in self pity, we should seek after the only one who will always be there for us. We must find contentment in our companionship with Him, before we seek “fulfillment” in the companionship of anyone else. Even more important than that, once we’re content with our relationship with God, (and we know that we’ve pursued Him in a non self-seeking manor,) we can be satisfied that He is pleased by our obedience. We must not forget our first priority of community with Him, we should not say “Okay I’m all set now, time for me to go work on all my other important relationships”, we should remember that His hand is over those relationships as well. Don’t lose sight of the most sacred of all relationships, don’t get distracted by the others and try to fill voids only God can fill.

2.) Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

If your sensitive to the Holy Spirit, He’ll show you when you should pick up the phone and call your friends, rather than just sending them a text. You never know how far a friendly voice can go, give your friends words of encouragement.  Don’t just chit-chat, remember to make God the core of your relationship, keep them accountable by asking how God’s been speaking to them lately, or what they’ve been studying in scripture. Those thing will give you an opportunity to share how God’s been working in your life too. If your friend is an unbeliever God should still be at the core, I’m not saying, “preach” to them or quote scripture to them, (that type of thing can push them away,) but remember to love them the way Christ loved. Seeing each other face to face isn’t the purpose of church either, how much can we really learn about one another if the only time we ever see each other is on Sunday? Set aside time for your brothers and sisters, true community goes a long way, it keeps us accountable and helps us remember that we’re not the only ones Going through hardships. Righteousness is a team effort. You can’t please God by perusing him alone your entire life, or there wouldn’t be the call to “Go, and make disciples”.

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Why We Question OUR FAITH?

Posted May 30, 2008 by tonyatorres
Categories: Christianity, Faith, God

   It’s not discipline by our own will, but by Gods. Anyone who says to God, “I give my life to you” and then decides to live their life for themselves, is foolish.  We fall into this trap, when we believe the lies of the enemy, he likes to make us believe we’re not Good enough for Jesus. He wants us to fail so he tries to convince us that it’s hard to follow Christ. It may at times seem to be easier to take the broad path but the longer we remain on that path, the more distant the narrow way becomes, and the journey back requires pain, conviction and brokenness. When we surrender to the Lord it’s easy to follow through because the desire is given to us as a gift through the Holy Spirit. So it makes sense to say that, it may in fact require much more effort to live life for ourselves, (in disobedience to the Father,) than to just surrender to him and lay our lives before Him as putty in his hands.

  Clearly if the path of least resistance happens to lead to a snare that entraps us it truly isn’t the easy one, otherwise we wouldn’t return to our Creator for relief and salvation. Always rebuke the lies of the devil, any time something causes you to question your faith in Jesus, no matter what the thought may be it’s a lie. Here’s where Satan gets tricky, he’ll cause negativity to radiate all around you, just to see you turn from God even momentarily so that it will discredit your living testimony. We have to know how to defeat him, we have authority over Him as believers, we can crush his lies with prayer, rebuke, and a knowledge of God’s Holy powerful word. The most important thing to remember is that we are children of the one true God, Creator of the heavens and earth,  author and perfecter of humanity, sustain-er of all things and every proven theory of physics shown to “sustain”.

Peace and love to you all, let my outlook encourage you. God is amazing and always makes a way for His children.  God uses the oddest occurrences to inspire and uplift us for His Glory, it’s amazing. A friend who is more of an acquaintance sent me an e-mail after running into me at a Cleveland Indians game on Memorial day. This is what he sent.

…………um i dunno, i just wanted to kinda commend you on your faith, its been hard for me lately to find faith, and you just sick with it… from what ive seen cause im not always around…
um i dont know whatelse to say cause i have so much i could, say, ask, write or type… but this is more then enough for now….

….it’s me again, so after reading this message from my friend, who happens to be a much better friend of my best friend, i preceded to write him the message i posted above, by opening with “Thanks for the compliment, I’m glad I can set an example and even be an encouragement.” In some way I feel that even though I didn’t know what kind of thing he may have wanted to “say, ask, write or type”, God delivered encouragement through me for whatever challenges he may be facing recently. I find it funny that He’d use me of all people, when only a month ago I was in the midst of the very same lies I warn against. I guess we gain wisdom through experience, “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”  Romans 8:28.

 

Why Do We Have Free Will If God Has Planned Everything?

Posted September 26, 2007 by tonyatorres
Categories: Blessings, Christianity, Faith, God

Our God is sovereign. Meaning, he will allow good things and evil things for the fulfillment of his plan. No one can know the mind of God, He will never be understood, and no matter how much we understand, there will always be mystery.

When we were blessed with free will, we were given the opportunity to choose to serve God, or to choose to serve ourselves. If man is created in the image of God, do you think it’s just with physical appearance? Not at all, the God who created us is a selfish God, loving and gracious but still selfish. He has every right to be, when you look at the complexities of His creations, He put so much care into the nature and science of everything. So knowing that we were created to worship Him, but we’re also created with freewill, leaves a lot to the imagination. Through faith I have come to realize, that selfishness is human nature, so the desire to worship and serve God comes from a lack of satisfaction in our own efforts. So when we serve Him, he rewards us with blessings and joy.

PRAY.

Posted September 18, 2007 by tonyatorres
Categories: Christianity, Faith, Family, God, Love

 MY GOD HAS GIVEN ME A CHALLENGE THAT I MUST NOT AVOID AND MUST OVERCOME. MY HEART IS EMPTY AND MUST BE FILLED AGAIN. BY CHRIST MY ONLY GOD AND MY HOLY SAVIOR. ALTHOUGH MY HEART MOURNS FOR THE DEATH OF MY UNCLE, IT MOURNS MORE DEEPLY FOR MY EXISTING RELATIVES. I HOPE THAT I CAN BE RESTORED TO A GOOD STANDING IN MY FATHERS PLAN, SO THAT I MAY BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR SHARING THE GOSPEL WITH THEM. I’M PRAYING FOR REVIVAL WITHIN MYSELF, I’M SO FAR GONE THAT I DON’T KNOW HOW OR WHEN I’LL RETURN TO A RIGHTEOUS PATH. MY GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO WILL SHOW MY PATH. SO I’LL CONTINUE TO TRUST IN HIM AS I EARNESTLY SEEK HIS POWER, AND GRACE. I KNOW HIS LOVE IS ABUNDANT, SO I WILL CONTINUE TO WORSHIP HIM AND TRY MY BEST TO GIVE GLORY TO HIM IN ALL I DO. BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO MAY READ THIS, PLEASE PRAY THAT MY WALK WITH CHRIST BECOMES MORE NARROW AND DEFINITE. PLEASE PRAY FOR MY OBEDIENCE,

I LOVE YOU ALL.

I LOVE MY CHURCH.

I ADORE MY GOD.

PRAY.

PRAY.

PRAY.

Forgiveness. Forgiveness.

Posted August 31, 2007 by tonyatorres
Categories: Uncategorized

 My heart aches with great disappointment. My trust is betrayed and I’ve been lied to. By the same friend who encourages me to live in peace, and love. He pushes me to offer forgiveness and reconciliation for my brothers and sisters who have hurt me. He didn’t intend to hurt me directly but he did, so indirectly I have forgiven him in my heart. Had he been honest about his opinions in the beginning my disappointment and sadness could have very easily been avoided. I hope he realizes that it isn’t fair to say one thing and turn around and say something else. I hope if he reads this it may be a lesson in return for the ones he’s offered me, on forgiveness and reconciliation.

 You know who you are if you think you’re ready to reconcile this situation I’m waiting for your call. I love you brother.

Condiments and Cheese

Posted August 3, 2007 by tonyatorres
Categories: Food

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  Oh, I can remember a time, when I had home cooked meals at my grandmother’s house. Authentic Puerto Rican food, made with love, and perfected by years of experience. It was so delightful.   I have memories, of breakfast in my mom’s kitchen, on the weekends. West Virginia traditions. She’d peel and cut potatoes, slice them thin, and cook them in a skillet with butter. She’d melt cheese over top and add in some scrambled eggs. We’d also have the option of having over easy eggs, made in the oil that came from the wonderfully tasty crisp bacon. Mmm… she would bake biscuits and make sausage gravy. And we’d have a great big glass of orange juice to wash it down.

  I once had a very cultured boyfriend, he’d enjoy my company at a nice restaurant. Lamb tenderized and seasoned perfectly, from my favorite favorite place to dine, Players. Delicious chocolate desert fondue at Melting Pot. The special occasion sushi, at Sushi Rock. Even Thai take out, I never went hungry, and always ate well.

  From time to time, I open up my refrigerator. I usually avoid doing this though, because 75% of the time it’s empty. So as I opened it up to grab some iced tea, I grabbed a piece of cheese. When you’re broke, young, and on your own, every once in awhile you see that cheese and ignore it, until you’re hungry. Then your pride melts away as you find that single slice of cheese satisfying. Although it wasn’t enough to completely eliminate my hunger, it hit the spot. So as I open my fridge to take one more look, I think to myself “I wish those left overs from the Olive Garden weren’t so old”. All that remains are the things that always do, cheese and condiments. So I drink another glass of tea to confuse my tummy, and I remember that I get a free employee meal every day at work, and I’ll be consuming actual food in 12 hours. Then I feel better.

  Knowing where my next meal is coming from is really great. There are plenty of people, and helpless children who don’t know the next time something nourishing will touch their lips. I don’t have it that bad so I’m glad with what I have. As much as I’d like to “feed the hungry”, I want to be able to feed myself. In a couple weeks I’ll be able to stock my fridge, and I won’t be able to complain for another 2 or 3 weeks, but I’ll enjoy my meals, and do my best not to be wasteful. I’ve got to remind myself to donate more during every food drive, because one day I may need a bag of ‘food bank’ food. I have before, so I should return the favor.

She Almost Killed Herself!

Posted August 3, 2007 by tonyatorres
Categories: Pets

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 This Was Almost An Obituary.

My beautiful princess Roxy, and I were driving through the Metro-parks, after playing. We were following my best friend Samantha, who’s dog had also been at the park with us.

All of a sudden, Roxy jumps oft the window of my moving vehicle.

I don’t know what possessed her to do it. She has never jumped out while I’m driving. Perhaps she saw a small mammal. Or maybe my driving was scaring her. Whatever the case, she’s injured. She’s got a big gash over her left eye. It’s evident she hit her head, I hope she’ll be alright.

But just as with anything else, all I can do is pray.

And keep the windows rolled half way up from now on.