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Adulting, Book Recommendations, Life, Pilgrimage, Reading Journey

Book Review: 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke

As this year is ending, I have been striving to complete my reading challenge for this year. Every year I set a goal for myself of how many books I would like to read; this year’s goal was 16. As of today, I am 13 books in and have 3 to go. I am super excited, it has been a few years since I fully completed my goal. 

The reason I am writing this post is because I want to share one of my current reads with you. This book is titled 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke. I had mentioned it in a previous post for which books I intended to read over the summer. I must admit, I only made it half-way through that list but that is better than nothing.

Anyway, this book caught my attention a few years back when it was released. I always see how we are all, and I am including myself, sucked into our phones whenever we get the chance. We walk, we sit, we wait, we linger about all while holding our phones in our hands and scrolling through an infinite feed of new posts. I agree with the author that phones are not evil in and of themselves, but rather the way that we use our phone is what could be a problem here.

I noticed in myself, that whenever I was waiting around or in an awkward situation, I immediately reach for my phone. I know I am not the only one. I see it all the time. Mr. Reinke goes on to explain some of the reasoning as to why we behave this way.

I will talk about a few of the points he makes in the book but not too many as I would rather you check it out for yourself. Here are a few ways he mentions our phone is changing us:

1. We Are Addicted To Distraction

Remember how I just mentioned reaching for my phone while waiting, yup, I can honestly say I prefer to be distracted from the waiting so much that I reach for my phone the moment I notice there is something I need to wait for. What this does is help me lose track of time until the thing I am waiting for happens, be it waiting for the train, or waiting in line to order some food.

Sometimes to stop myself from reaching for my phone I remember a scene from one of my favorite books The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. In this book the main character finds himself in a town where the inhabitants are seen rushing back and forth through an invisible building, the explanation for this being, they were so busy looking and down and walking fast that no one stopped to admire the building and so they disappeared.

Of course, this is fiction and many loopholes can be found, but I tell myself that I must stop and look at my surroundings before they disappear. Now, of course, they will not turn invisible but with all the construction going on, it could be a familiar location that can be quickly replaced because I even take a moment to look up and see what is going on because I will rather be distracted by my phone. 

2. We Become Like What We Like

This I can also personally attest to. I love books and follow many bookstagrams. I just love to see piles of books, shelves of books, all neatly organized and picture-perfect, it is one of my little pleasures. But this can also take another turn, what if we begin to follow celebrities, we like their post, laugh at their jokes and next thing you know we find ourselves relating to them more than before.

I wrote a prior post briefly touching on this. The issue with this is we can become influenced by what we are seeing and liking that we will neglect our own views and where we stand.

As Christians, we are called to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Are we doing this often? How does who we follow affect this? Mr. Reinke also went into a similar topic in this book. 

3. We Neglect Our Flesh and Blood

I love the way Tony Reinke began this chapter, he does a good job of illustrating just how detached we can be from other humans when we have arguments on the internet. It’s like that other person is less than human because we do not see their actual flesh and blood through a screen.

Isn’t it almost crazy that a took we claim to use to draw closer to family members actually does the total opposite? We tend to have a conversation online but when it comes to being in person we are distant and awkward.

The fact that we put on a persona for our friends and then find ourselves unmasked in person we feel defenseless, it is so much easier to hide when we are not in the same room. Imagine how this can affect social interactions. We would much rather hold conversations online rather that meet up in person, this is definitely a way our phone if changing us.  

Overall, I highly recommend this book, I will not give more details about it because I would really like you to read it on your own and come to your own conclusions. This book helped me see some of the unhealthy ways I was using my phone, it is a real eye-opener. We should keep in mind who our Savior is and how we can live our lives to honor Him. If our phone usage does not draw glory to Christ, we may need to reconsider how we use this technology He has given us.

I hope you enjoyed this brief review and really encourage you to check out this book, you can find a link in this post to purchase the book on Amazon. *I am an Amazon affiliate so I may get a small fee for any purchase you may make but this will be of no effect to the price you pay.* Thank you so much for checking out this post, see you next time.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

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Adulting, Life, Pilgrimage

Celebrities and Politics: Why They Shouldn’t Always Mix

I recently came across a photograph of a rather well-known celebrity. Although relatively new to fame, she has a tremendous influence on many young people. In this photo, she was endorsing a certain candidate for the upcoming 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. 

My initial thought was, who would take this seriously? However, I soon came to the realization that, in all honesty, many would. Many would gladly, perhaps even blindly, support someone as significant as a presidential candidate simply because one of their favorite celebrities (sometimes “celebs”) suggested that they should.

Why is this? Well, for one, and a relatively recent factor in terms of our modern election cycles, is the reality and influence of social media. Prior to the advent of social media platforms, we did not have very direct and personal access to our favorite stars. We instead, relied on television, tabloids, and radio to find out what they were up to. But not anymore. Today, because of social media, we can see what our favorite celebrities had for dinner, where they got their hair done and what kind of exercise they do at the gym.

It seems almost as if they are our friends. We feel a sort of closeness to them, even to the point where we esteem their opinions as highly, if not higher, than our very own.

Now, I am not resolved to conclude that it is inherently wrong to follow celebs on social media. In fact, if I were to say that, I would be no more than a hypocrite, as I too follow a few of my favorite actors and singers on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Rather, what I would like to persuade you to do, is to engage in a close examination the following points, particularly with regard to politics, voting, and celebrities.

1. We Are Not The Same

Celebrities, although they may seem to share much in common with us, at the end of the day, are not like us. Why? For one, they are wealthier than us. That fact inevitably plays a role in all of this. In my case, the income differences between the celebs I follow and myself are on completely different levels, in fact, hardly the same spectrum. But why is this important? Well, when it comes down to celebs and who they may choose to help, rich people often tend to look out for themselves and their own interests. Sure, they may say that they are looking out for minorities and the disadvantaged, but do you really think a commercial artist, who brags about making my year’s salary in a week, genuinely cares about me? I would say no. Many celebs would stop at little to preserve, maintain and perpetuate their social status. In today’s especially polarized political climate, this often translates to endorsing politicians who suit their needs. These politicians are even regarded as a means to their ends and visa-versa. I’m not going to presume that all celebs engage in this or that their motives are completely devoid of sincerity. However, in cases where celebrities advocate for a specific politician, we should take care do our own research and thus intelligently determine whether or not our values and beliefs line up with theirs. We should do this before being wooed by the shout-outs and photo-ops or merely because of the fact that our favorite artist likes them. Some celebrities have impressive business sense and are very credible but we may never know whether or not they have a hidden agenda.

2. Celebrities Can Be Bought

Coming from a Dominican background, and understanding how corrupt a country’s politics can be, I am no less convinced that here in America we are equally as susceptible. And this will tie in with my last point concerning our ability to discern a celebrity’s motives, or any public figure for that matter. We need to seek out the truth and be wary of the possibility of being swayed in any given direction. Odds are, the person advocating for that cause is being paid to get you to conform to their ideology and hop on to their political bandwagon. Don’t give in to the hype based on what you see at first glance. Do yourself a favor and some conduct some research so as not to be deceived. 

“Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.”

Proverbs 26:24-26 ESV

3. We Need To Follow Our Own Convictions and Follow Christ

This ties in with doing our research. When thinking about making a decision as momentous as who to vote for, we ought to ask ourselves whether or not this person, party or idea should receive my vote and, essentially, my allegiance in the first place. Do they agree with what I stand for? Will they have my interest(s) in mind? Will they make a positive impact in areas of great challenge? Are they honest? Do I think they will stand firm for what they are advocating, even amidst fierce opposition, or simply bend under pressure? Does their record and conduct support any of this? These are all things we need to keep in mind when considering our future leaders. It can be so easy to support a candidate plainly because many people we like and admire are speaking well of them. But at the end of the day, we need to find out if they will truly be a good candidate given our standards. Not only that, if we are Christians, saved by grace and set apart to live for Christ, promoting His righteousness here on earth, we will line up with anything that the scriptures inform us to stand for.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Micah‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭ESV

‬‬ 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” ‬‬

Philippians‬ ‭4:8-9‬ ‭ESV

For the Christian, let us always remember that God is Sovereign. Despite these days seeming more daunting than any before us, and the forces of evil prevailing day-in and day-out, God is sovereign. By the look of it, any Christian challenging the culture,  speaking out against homosexuality and abortion is immediately marginalized as a bigot, a radical and ignorant individual. It may very well be that one day Christians in this land will be silenced by the law. As time progresses we may no longer be able to speak freely of our Lord and Savior, but take heart brethren, for He has overcome the world! This place is not our home and God is sovereign even in the darkest of times -just as history has clearly showcased time and time again. His justice will prevail over all the earth and if we find ourselves worried, let us cast our burdens on Him. 

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” ‭

Psalms‬ ‭55:22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 ESV

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”

Proverbs 21:1

As long as we are here, let us stand for Christ even if it means going against popular beliefs. Let us not fear sharing the gospel, it is good news. It may not be the most popular message out there today but it is certainly the most important and the most beautiful. Let us remember what we have been saved from and share this great news whenever we get a chance and never let yourself be governed by the fear of man or by the sensationalism of celebrities. 

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Romans 1:16

And at the end of the day, may everything we do be done to the glory of God.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Adulting, Blogging Journey, Blogging Life, Life, Pilgrimage, Reading Journey

It’s my Blogiversary!

Today my blog is a full year old! Yes, it has been a year already. It’s almost hard to believe. Just a year ago I decided to start this journey. It was definitely not an overnight thing. I gave it a lot of thought before actually going for it.

I spoke to my husband a couple of times and spent months (I kid you not) months picking out a name. I kept trying to sort out what my purpose would be and honestly, I am still figuring that out.

I started this blog mainly to share what I have learned and am still learning with you guys so we can all grow together. I also wanted to glorify God in my writing. To Him be the glory always! I am so grateful for everything He has done for me and want to honor Him at all times.

I am so happy that you have stuck around with me and I will continue to post more content I think you’ll enjoy.

Here is a little fun fact, my blog was almost named Life by Ang. That was my husband’s initial suggestion. I liked it but I wanted it to be something more. I didn’t desire merely to ramble on about the day-to-day minutiae of my life in particular but, rather, to share my thoughts and worldview as they relate to a variety of different subjects. I also wanted I wanted to create a space where you can all kinda grow with me too. So I switched the words Life By to Journey With.

The word journey, brings a pilgrimage to mind. As a Christian that is exactly what our life is. This world is not our home, we are just passing by.

I hope I am able to make you guys feel welcome here at Journey With Ang. If there is anything you’d like to hear my opinion about, feel free to message me. Although I do not give my two cents on everything, (ie; I cannot speak on motherhood, as I am not a mother) but I will do my best to answer any questions I receive.

I want to thank you again for sticking around and I look forward to continuing this journey with you.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Pilgrimage

3 Reasons Everyone Should Keep a Prayer Journal

Over the years I began keeping a prayer journal. It actually started shortly before a period of time where I was sick. My intent was to write down petitions both mine and for close friends. Why? Two reasons: as a form of prayer and a way to look back and see when prayers were answered.

I will admit, I am not super consistent with my prayer entries but I always enjoy looking back at all the answered prayers. I find my prayer journal pretty encouraging and wanted to give you guys three reasons as to why you should keep one too.

1. More Prayer Time

I used to set aside a few minutes before I went to sleep to write in my prayer journal. Sometimes I would write for five minutes and sometimes more. Regardless of the amount of time o spent writing, I considered it all tome I spent talking to God and honestly, is there such thing as talking to God too much? I think not! The closer we get to God the more we grow spiritually.

2. Seeing Answered Prayers

I am always encouraged and overjoyed when I look back on past journal entries and am able to see that God has answered a prayer. It motivates me to keep it up. It’s almost like keeping a log of answered prayers.

3. History

In addition to keeping track of answered prayers. I hope that one day, Lord willing, my husband and I are able to have children, my children will read it (after I have gone home, preferably) and see their mother was a woman of faith and that God was with her. It sounds a bit sappy but this is definitely one of the bigger reasons as to why I keep my prayer journal

Bonus Reason

It can help release stress. I find that pouring out my feelings into paper helps me feel better and by the time I am done writing my entry, I have been reminded of an Attribute of God, be if his sovereignty or his unconditional love, I alway feel better in the end.

Do you keep a prayer journal? If so, what are your motives? Do you enjoy it? How has it helped your spiritual growth? Let me know in the comments.

If you don’t keep a prayer journal, I hope this post in some small way may have motivated you to do so.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Pilgrimage

Another Free Learning Resource for Christians: The Attributes of God

Have you been wanting to learn more about the Attributes of God? Well, you’re in luck. I just found out Ligonier Ministries is giving away a video series by Steven Lawson on The Attributes of God.
It is absolutely free, just fill out the form in the link here.

Pilgrimage

A Spirit-Filled Wife

If there is a misconception that makes me roll my eyes every time I hear it, it’s the one where people believe that when the Bible says a wife shall submit to her husband it means she must give up all will and obey her husband, as if he were some kind of tyrant and dictator. They believe she must completely disregard herself and her own opinions. I have heard so many people say they won’t marry because they will not obey any man, or be beneath any man. However, as Christians, the Bible calls wives to submit to their husband as the church submits to Christ.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

‭‭Ephesians ‭5:22-24‬ ‭ESV

Sure, there have been very screwed up teachings in the past about this, but those teachings are not what is taught in the Bible. If someone is teaching that you must stay with your husband even is he is abusing you, that is not right.


Today I want to share a sermon my pastor preached this Sunday. It explains exactly what God meant in Ephesians 5:22-24. While I sat in church listening to this sermon I thought, I just had to share it. If you have never been taught what the Bible says about marriage and the wife’s role, I urge you to listen to the Sermon here or watch the sermon here on YouTube.

And even if you have been taught before, I still suggest you check this out just to refresh your memory and see God’s perfect plan for us explained.
I know you will be truly blessed and edified by it and you will learn what God truly meant when He asked the wife to submit to her husband.


SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Pilgrimage

Free Learning Resource For Christians

I love learning. I always have and maybe it’s because I was placed in Pre-K at a young age and was basically in school for over two-thirds of my life but I just love to learn new things.

So in this post, I want to share a new resource I found out about recently, and by recently, I mean today. It’s provided by Reformed Baptist Seminary. I have learned that they have tons of FREE courses. These courses are prepared by various teachers and are absolutely FREE. If you were looking for a new way to learn more about God and His word, I urge you to check them out.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Pilgrimage

Book Deal: Women of the Word

This is a quick post, I came across this deal for a free eBook titled Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin. I read this book in the past and it is an excellent resource with guidelines on how to study your bible. You can click here, to fill out the survey for this awesome book.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria“

Pilgrimage

You Will Never Be Perfect (And That’s Ok!)

I remember a couple of years ago, while I sat in the waiting room of a doctors office, there was a morning show on where the host interviewed a woman who had undergone over 50 plastic surgeries.

It was one of the most bizarre stories I had ever heard. I was a teenager at the time. After reviewing a list of the multiple surgeries she had already undergone the host asked the woman what she planned to do next. Her reply was to correct a part of one of her toes.

That was definitely not the response I was expecting. I find it almost insane that she would go through these lengths just to try and achieve a level of beauty that was a construct of her own opinions and society. Prior to this, I had never heard of someone who wanted to fix or correct their toe merely because it didn’t look right. A toe! Let that sink in, she wanted to correct the way her toe looked to suit her ideal beauty standard.

If there was some sort of deformation or abnormality, I would understand but that wasn’t the case. It was just bizarre and, frankly, unbelievable to me.

That is probably the most dramatic example I can use to show how, as humans, we seek to be perfect but guess what, in this life we will never be perfect.

I can go on and on about how society pushes its ideals onto us as women to look like Barbies and Kardashians and even on men to be drop-dead gorgeous and possess a six-pack, but that isn’t exactly the crux of this post.

I understand a great majority of us won’t go through these lengths in order to change our bodies, perhaps because many have neither the time nor the resources, but what about our personalities?

Do we tend to act a certain way in public solely in order to be viewed as nice or reputable? While there is nothing wrong with genuinely possessing those characteristics, we have to ask ourselves, what are the motives behind our actions?

It can pose quite a challenge to uncover precisely why we do the things we do at the exact moment that we do them. It’s often only later on that we can look back and figure it out. Still, a great way to keep tabs on our motives is to ask ourselves: “does this action primarily draw attention to me or to God?” and “does this glorify me or God?” or “How can this best action glorify God?”

At this point in my life I have accepted that I will never be absolutely perfect, neither physically nor spiritually. It’s simply impossible. Sure, I can train towards an appealing physique, layer my face in mascara and maybe even surgically “reshape” my own toes, but if I look to personify this societal ideal of what perfection

I will always fall short -and if not before people, certainly before God. The same applies spiritually. If I live my life toiling to obtain salvation in my own right I will always fall short. There is nothing I can do, in and of myself that will make me look better to God in any way.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. -Isaiah 64:6

You see, we may be able to deceive others, perhaps even God’s people, into thinking that we are better than we actually are, but we cannot fool God Himself. We simply can’t because He does not look at us according to the flesh (physically), but rather, according to the state of our souls (spiritually). That is what make the gospel (literally “good news”) so good. God knows that we aren’t perfect, and yet He still called us.

Why did He call us? He called us because He loved us? How can He love us, in spite of our sin and utter disregard for His daily goodness and grace? He can love us because He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into this world, 100% God and 100% man, to satisfy a debt on our behalf that could never have been satisfied by anyone else.

Roughly 2000 years ago, on the cross where He hung died, and the tomb from which he rose again to life, the sins of all who would believe upon Him and the Father who sent Him were paid for and the christian’s eternal security was sealed.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

1 Peter 2:9

It can be easy to fall into the trap of the world, telling ourselves that we need to be a certain way and look a certain way, but at the end of the day, all that matters is that we seek God and glorify Him. At the end of the day, He is all that matters, because while  this life is fleeting, it’s author is eternal.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”

Gal 3:13-14

Most everything we know and cherish will pass, just as it has from the dawn of time, but the Lord is forever. His love endures forever and He will be with us until He returns to bring us home. This He has promised.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Pilgrimage, Reading Journey

Book Review: Don’t Waste Your Life – John Piper

This week I decided to do a quick book review/recommendation for John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life. This is a book I read a few years ago, my pastor had given it to me as a gift. I was very happy to be receiving a book and let alone one I knew was good because… my pastor gave it to me! At this point in time, I was newly saved and still trying to figure things out. I was still unsure of who’s books I should read or which preachers were solid, so this gift was very much appreciated.

Although the book was a Christmas gift, I didn’t begin to read it until the summer time. Once I began to read it, I couldn’t put it down. In this book, Piper shows us the way Americans seek the American Dream, the comfortable life. Living a comfortable life might seem pretty nice, I must admit, but as Christians called by Christ, this is not our mission. We no longer live to satisfy our own needs or wants, we live to glorify God and make His name known.

There are many ways in which a Christian can make God’s name known; sharing the gospel in the streets, talking to friends and family about the wonderful gift God has given us, and possibly even through the other media such as blogging (see what I did there?).

*Quick disclosure: The photos for the items below are each linked to Amazon.com. Should you choose to purchase from them, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.*

In this book, Piper goes through different topics such as The Beauty of Christ, Magnifying Christ, Making Much of Christ and Sharing Christ. Notice a pattern? The goal of this book is to help us make much of Christ in our everyday life. He ends the book with a plea to missions and this was very well done. He really explains the need to go to different parts of the world to share the Gospel and the importance of doing the Lord’s work and the beauty of it.

After finishing the book, I wanted to go on a missions trip as soon as possible. Unfortunately, even though my church was going on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic that summer, I was too late to be a part of it. I have yet to be able to go on a missions trip due to providential hindrances, but still, hope to go on one someday, Lord willing.

Below you’ll find a few quotes I picked from the book, just so that you can get an idea of what’s in it.

“Desire that your life count for something great! Long for your life to have eternal significance. Want this! Don’t coast through life without a passion.”

“He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

“But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.”

“My joy grows with every soul that seeks the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Remember, you have one life. That’s all. You were made for God. Don’t waste it.”

“You don’t have to know a lot of things for your life to make a lasting difference in the world. But you do have to know the few great things that matter, perhaps just one, and then be willing to live for them and die for them. The people that make a durable difference in the world are not the people who have mastered many things, but who have been mastered by one great thing.”

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

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