Monday, October 28, 2013

Come Back to Jesus - And Don't Bring Your Blackberry by Tanya Logan

***I received this product for free in exchange for a fair review as part of the CWA review crew.***

I got a smartphone last year after YEARS of longing for one.  Why did I want one so bad?  Well, I think some of it is just greed.....I like the newest things and fancy things....and who doesn't want to be able to call up the latest weather or news story?  I think another part of me wanted one because I could feel like I belonged.  I don't always do so well in social situations and am frequently uncomfortable.  On facebook (from phone or computer) I could feel like I belonged without ever really interacting with REAL people.  With a smartphone, that ability is so quick and easy.  I had gotten to where I didn't want to miss anything and I would get frustrated if others weren't posting status updates or commenting/liking mine.  Pathetic, huh?

A friend has been bemoaning the evils of modern communication technology for years.  I don't know how many times I've shaken my head as he rattled on again and again about how we were losing touch with reality and real people, how relationships didn't matter anymore (but they do to God!) and how we were wasting time (I'm visiting with friends, checking on loved ones, how dare he???) on our little electronic devices.  Just wait, I'm coming around to his way of thinking.

I've really been convicted lately of how little time I've been spending with God.  The littles and I started going to a new church in September with a wonderful Sunday School program and I got an adult lesson book and found daily Bible readings in the back.  So I began daily doing those readings, then added in an additional chapter of Scripture (in depth) and if I had time, a Bible study.  About an hour, with interruptions, each morning. 

Shortly after that, I was given the opportunity to review Come Back to Jesus - And Don't Bring Your Blackberry  by Tanya Logan.  I was drawn to this choice.  I know God was leading me because I needed it badly. 

There is a lesson a day for 6 weeks with a leaders guide included in case this is wanted for a small group study.  I definitely think that some accountability would be useful, as I am doing this alone, but I've asked God to be my accountability partner this time :)  Each lesson is short and to the point.  Although I quickly figured out where she was heading with the study, she did it nicely and nonjudgementally. 

In the end it comes down to a good-better-best thing.  Is what I am doing (social media, reading, hobbies) the BEST use of my time?  Let's face it, I'm only getting one today.  Once it is gone, it is gone.

I quickly caught myself doing the following:
-open facebook on my phone for "just a minute" and come up for air 45 minutes later
-find myself angry about things that were posted (and that had no bearing on me, my family, or anything really - so why was I mad?)
-found myself checking facebook at the kids sporting events
-found myself checking facebook at the supper table (even though we have a "no phones" rule at the table - my oldest son took it away from me - good for him!)

My facebook problem wasn't the only thing getting in the way of my relationship with God.  I read an enormous amount of fiction books.  They aren't bad, but I do need to curb my reading time to make time for other more important things.  My hobbies, although much lower on my distraction list, also need to be kept in the proper perspective.

How am I working to change my perspective?  I've allotted 1 hour a day (30 minutes morning and evening) to facebook checking.  I've also allotted 30 minutes a day to blogging (going to be using that save feature) and 30 minutes to email.  I've already scheduled time for "me" activities into my day - reading, hobbies, etc so I am going to be trying to make the BEST uses of those times.  Good-better-best, remember? 

This Bible study has opened my eyes to so many things that had become idols in my life.  Do you need to step back and take a look at what is REALLY important in your life?  I think it would do many of us a lot of good, I know it did me!

Come Back to Jesus - And Don't Bring Your Blackberry is available for $9.99 on the kindle or $15.99 as a paperback. 

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