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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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Book Recommendations, Fitness Journey, Life, Reading Journey

Book Review: Fit For Life

Today I bring you a post that fits into two of my categories: health and books. This will be a review of a health book I recently read and also the results of trying out some of the suggestions in it. 

My husband recommended this book to me after seeing how much I was struggling to lose weight. At the time, I had a few factors stacked against me. I sprained my ankle about a year before, the pain had gone away when the sprain healed but returned after I began doing HIIT workouts. Shortly after the pain came back, I began physical therapy and was unable to exercise the way I was used to. 

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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.

Book Recommendations, Reading Journey

My 5 Summer Reads

Over the years I have to realize I have a rather interesting reading habit; it’s either I read a book for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and finish it in less than a week or I snack on a book here and there and finish it after a few months. Never anything in between. Ever! I have no explanation for this.

However, this year I set a reading goal of 16 books (I know, seems small and achievable, but last year I didn’t complete it). So far I am seven books in and it is June. I think that is a decent place to be for the point in the year we are in. I think I can manage to catch up and actually complete my goal this year.

So, in order to combat my usual inconsistent reading pattern, I have lined up the books I plan on reading ahead of time in order to give myself a time frame to complete them, thus, staying on track. I am in it to win it this year!

Without further adieu, here’s my upcoming reading list:

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

*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.*

Right now, I started a book my coworkers lent me. I just happened to walk by her desk and see this book, the cover caught my attention immediately. It was a beautiful blue (my favorite color) and has the image of a young girl with her back turned in a red blouse. It’s written by Erika L. Sanchez. I am only a few pages in and it seems promising.

It follows the story of a young Mexican girl who lost her older sister and how this shapes her life and relationship with her family. That is all I can say about it for now, and I would say anything else, even if I knew because I don’t like spoiling things.

Note: I have come across some explicit language, over the years and much ready I can gloss over the words as if they aren’t there. But, if strong language offends you, I’d say skip this one.

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You

Written by Tony Reinke, this is a book I have been wanting to read for a long time, pretty much since it came out. Knowing I live in the day and age where we are all addicted to our phones, I must admit, I too can be a bit addicted to my phone and am fighting to stay off of it for as long as I can. I know that in the long run, the time spent on my phone is not necessarily fruitful.

I think this book can help give me the biblical perspective to help me overcome the need to constantly check my phone because deep down I know I can be using my time better and I can use my energy on many other things, fruitful things.

Competing Spectacles

This book is actually written by the same author as the previous book and it has a similar topic. You see, I really am trying to fight this constant need to be on my phone. Here he looks at how we are affected by social media. Social media is something I definitely see myself struggling with.

I see social media this alternative world where everyone feels the need to share everything and anything they agree with and this is great but I find myself being angry at people posting their arguments and completely disregarding what opinions others may have. I gave up arguing on the internet a long time ago (it most definitely it not fruitful).

Sometimes social media triggers my argumentative side and I want to stay away from that ugly side of me. Not only this but the image we portray on social media is nothing short of a facade. We only show what we want people to see and hide our true selves.

Why spend all this time on social media, if all we do is present an image of ourselves that isn’t even us? These are the thoughts I fight with when it comes to social media and I am curious to see what this book has to say.  

A Wedding in Haiti

Julia Alvarez is a Dominican-American author who I admire very much. She has written many works taking place in the Dominican Republic and reflecting what it was like to live in the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo era. If you do not know, Trujillo was a dictator in the Dominican Republic who ruled from the ’30s to the ’60s. He was eventually murdered and his reign of terror was officially over.

However, not every Dominican saw his time as a president as cruel and I think as a Dominican it is important to know our history and Julia does a great job of showing us a glimpse of what this time in the Dominican Republic was like.

In this book, she writes a story of her relationship with a friend of hers, a Haitian. Dominicans and Haitians are known for not getting along, so I look forward to reading about her relationship with a dear friend of hers, Piti.

Dreyer’s English

Because I can always use better grammar. I mean, come on, I run a blog! I need to have good grammar! I read my good reviews of this book and am looking forward to reading it. It is written by Benjamin Dreyer who is Random House’s copy chief, so he knows English grammar well. We can all improve our writing. And, I especially can if I plan on taking my writing to new levels.

I don’t think I mentioned it before in my blog, but I enjoy writing short stories and hope to one day be able to write a book of them, and if I intend to do this, I need to brush up on my grammar and work on my writing style. I think this book will be a great tool.

I hope you enjoyed this post and make some reading plans of your own. I definitely intend to make better use of my time, and planning out which books to read and putting my plan into action, I believe is one way to do it. Do you have any reading goals, any book recommendations? I would love the hear them, so feel free to comment below, and until next time…

SDG -“Soli Deo Gloria”

Thoughtfulness

How I Finished College and Kept my Sanity

Looking back on my life and all that I have accomplished, I must admit, the single achievement I am most proud of is graduating college. Why? Well because it was in college that I learned the most in my life.

I started college at the age of 18 and for the first year, I floated through it not really lending much attention to my studies. A year later, I began my first official job and immediately my entire perspective on education shifted. I quickly learned that in order to handle both work and school well, I had to change the way operated in some areas. It was great because the skills I had developed not only helped me with my academics but completely changed the way I did everything else.

I learned to prioritize and multitask effectively which have helped me greatly in my professional career. If I could, I would go back in time and implement what I learned sooner. I wish I had known how to plan ahead and take charge of what was important when I first began college but, instead of dwelling on the past, I will instead pass on what i’ve learned in the hopes that it might help others.

Here are a few things I learned that helped me excel during my time in college.

Make time, Plan Ahead and Prioritize

There were times where I had a major paper or assignment due by the end of the week but, with work after class from the afternoons through the evenings, I was left with very little time to actually sit down and focus on my work. I had to do some schedule rearranging and eliminate anything unnecessary and time-consuming. While in college, my younger brother called me “boring Angie,” because he knew that once school started I was in full-on focus mode. I rain-checked on a lot of fun stuff in order to make sure my work got done and would squeeze time in, both, before and after work for my studies. It was a sacrifice, but a temporary one that saw me through each semester.

Be Committed

Think on the end result. As Troy Bolton from High School Musical would say “You gotta get your head in the game and don’t forget it.” I don’t think I can count the number of times I had to remind myself of why I was doing this. It was most definitely not easy, but oh so worth it. I kept thinking about my graduation day and how satisfying it would feel to know that I earned that degree, not to mention all of the opportunities and privileges that would inevitably come with it. That was all the motivation I needed, but I needed to remind myself of it frequently.

*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.*

Always Make Sure to Spend Some Time Doing What You Love

Every time a new semester was about to begin my younger brother would start with the whole “here comes boring Angie” jazz. When I asked him why he’d always say that, he would tell me that it was because, when I was in school I was grumpy, serious and never down to do anything fun. And he was right. When school came around, I was full steam ahead on my studies. So upon realizing this, I would occasionally try and make time for something fun. This was not only because I didn’t want to be regarding as boring Angie by my family and friends, but also because I needed to keep my own sanity. I’m sure you have heard the saying “all work and no play….” Well, it’s true.

So whatever you do, make sure you take some time out for recreation, relaxation and most importantly family and friends. It’s all about balance. Mostly work and some play, and once the semester is over, just play (with work, of course).

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, Reading Journey

Book Recommendations: Part 3 Practical Books for Christian Men

Previously, I recommended books for Christian women and spoke about a few of my favorite fiction series but this week, I decided to have my friend and brother in Christ, Glenroy, recommend some books for Christian men. I figured it would be fitting to have a male perspective on the books since this post is geared toward men.

A little bit about my friend Glen, we have been friends for many years now. He has a such a serving heart, and I cannot count the times he has gone out of his way to pick me up and take me to church for our regular Sunday service and Bible study. That is only one small example of Glen’s help. He also helped a ton when my husband and I were planning our wedding. In fact, he was a groomsman, even though he did not want to be one. He stated he wanted to sit at our main table but didn’t want the groomsmen title. We made him one anyway and cannot picture our wedding without him.

If you read the prior post on how Mike and I started dating, you have my perspective of how things happened but Mike tells me that before he even asked me to date him, he had gone to Glen for advice and to ask about me. At this point, Glen had known me for a few years and gave Mike the thumbs-up. So, Glen has been there from the beginning of my courtship which led to my marriage and even before that. I trust his judgment when it comes to books and any biblical questions I may have. Both Mike and I are very fond of him and thank the Lord for placing him in our lives.

He is currently involved in a podcast titled “Stop and Think about it” that is run by one of the elders of my church along with other members. I will discuss the podcast further in the future but in the meantime, I advise you to check it out here. Glen plans to soon have a website of his own where he will provide resources for Christians.

Well, now that you have an idea of who my dear friend Glen is, here are his book recommendations. Enjoy!

The Ninety-Five Theses and Other Writings


*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.*

Martin Luther.  (by Penguin Group (USA) LLC) When Angie asked me to choose some must-read books for men, I was at a lost as to which to choose. This book quickly came to mind. It is not limited to just men, but I believe there are a lot of truths about biblical manhood in this small classic.  This book includes an eclectic collection of Martin Luther’s writings and sermons starting with the Ninety-Five theses which launched him to historical notoriety. It is one of the best books of its kind because it allows Luther, through his own words, to express what he believed without modern distortions. The best section for me was the chapter on “8 sermon’s in lent” where Martin counsels against the violence of some of is “so called” followers. The main thrust of his argument is a belief in the sovereignty of God and utter reliance on God. Luther came out of hiding, at peril of his life, to courageously counsel for peace. This is just one of many invaluable sections that demonstrate true biblical manhood and sincere theology that is much needed today.

Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture

Reset. I recently received this book from one of my pastors. It is a small book, but it touched me in a deep way because of its practicality and the depth of its subject. David Murray wrote this book to teach men “how to learn to live grace-paced lives in a burnout culture”. If you or someone you know seems to be burned out in ministry and life, this book could be just what is needed. Murray lays out a clear biblical case for how men can “reset their lives and enjoy the healthy balance of grace motivation and grace moderation.” This not a dry theological book, heavy on data and light on solutions. This book is hands on. Murray lays out a step-by-step method for men to assess where they are in all areas of their lives, what needs to change, and how to create proper routines and biblical mindsets to avoid the burnout that so many of us face today. One of the nicest things about this book is Murray’s use of bible references, personal anecdotes and well-timed quotes from public figures we all know.  

This is a quick read and highly recommended.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Book Recommendations, Pilgrimage, Reading Journey

Book Recommendations Part 2: Must-Read Books for Christian Women

Last week, I went through some of my favorite fiction series. This week, I wanted to focus on books that can help us ladies in regards to spiritual growth. I have come across a ton of books in my lifetime and at first, when I switched churches, I was very wary about the books I would read. So when I would consider buying a new book, I took to the interwebs and researched the author’s bio to see what they are about, and what they believe. The books I decided to share today, I have Continue Reading

Book Recommendations, Reading Journey

Book Recommendations (Part 1: My Top 5 Favorite Fiction Series)

Hey fellow journeyers. I was out for a week, but alas, I have returned and am pleased to announce that I have completed my first book of the year! I have just finished book 10 in the Series of Unfortunate Events; The Slippery Slope. And although it is technically considered a children’s series, I am still proud of the achievement. Continue Reading

Gift Giving, Thoughtfulness

Christmas Gifts for the Book Nerd in your Life

Christmas is upon us and I am ready!

I’m ready to make my way to a particular store with a specific gift in mind. Once at the store, I will make my way to the aisle where it is located, find it and pick it up. Then, I will walk over to the line for the cashiers, pay and happily return home knowing how delighted the gift recipient will be when they open it. Continue Reading

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