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The Smartphone: A Necessary Tool or Distraction?

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It is often said that what one doesn’t know the purpose of they are likely to abuse it. This can be said for pretty much everything in life, from food, to relationships and even our mobile devices. Yes, we know that smartphones are here in the world to assist us with everyday tasks, but they have also become such a part of us that we would never dream to part from.

Many of us carry our smartphones with us daily and use them constantly throughout the day (nearly 150 times!) I’m looking at mine now as I write this, because, God forbid I didn’t know where it was, I’d go into a hysteric panic.

Let’s face it—many of us have a tendency to use these our devices beyond their use as a tool for communication. According to one study, adults (18 years and up) use their mobile devices for 2 hours and 51 minutes per day in 2016, with young adults (18-24) spent as much as 4 hours and 5 minutes per day.

That’s a looooot of YouTube, Facebook and texting.

What we tend to use our mobile devices for varies from person to person, but social media takes the cake. Iit can be a tool or a hindrance to our growth—if we let it. Psycom shared a study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine that states the more time young adults spent on social media, the more likely they were to have problems sleeping and report symptoms of depression.

This a celly/That’s a tool, rapped Childish Gambino is his viral “This Is America” music video. High Snob Society broke down those lyrics and more in a video on how our mobile devices can be harmful, from being mistaken as a weapon or a distraction that leads to apathy towards the suffering of others. Donald  not the only artist to shed light on what our devices could be. Kanye West used his platform to share how our phones can be tools:

Our mobile devices can affect our mood and entire day should they not work at the level our Wi-Fi or 4G+ connection allows. This is where we spiral downwards into idol territory, which is a bad place for any believer. In a nutshell, anything that we willingly give more attention to than God is an idol. It can be the simplest things that can steal your attention and eat up your day. This can also have a harmful effect on your spiritual walk, if you are not spending that time you do have with God in His Word.

Smartphones are tools, but how can we appropriately distinguish our use of them from distraction and necessity? Here are some practical ways to change up how you use your phone and social media as tools and not crutches:

1. Do an app purge

Get rid of the apps that don’t serve as a help and serve more as a distraction from your productivity.

2. Engage more in person

Use your device to set up a time to go out with friends or loved ones and disconnect from it once you’re together. That one-on-one communication is needed for individual growth and fosters esteem in all participating parties. Basically: get out more and use your devices less! Save the selfies for later, k?

3. Put yourself on a time limit

There are apps to serve as your accountability partners in lowering your time online or on the device in general. You can also consider fasting from social media. I have before and it brought so much peace to me after I put my phone away.

4. Break your worst habit with the device

Is going to your phone or social media profile the first thing you do in the morning? Or maybe it’s looking at your phone while in conversation with others in person. Whatever your worst habit may be, take the steps to break it for good.

Hey ArtSoul fam! What other ways have you used your mobile device or social media as a tool for good? How has it been a distraction for you at times? Share below!

Tatianah is the founder of the blog BLISSforSingles.com {Black Love & Inspiration for Saved Singles} where she encourages singles in faith and love. She recently published her first book entitled Journey to 30: A Single Woman's Guide to Living Unapologetically Without Deadlines. Tatianah works, plays and lives unapologetically for Christ in Chicago.

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Faith

Major Keys To Marriage: With Michael & Natalie Todd

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Michael Todd and his wife Natalie discuss the major keys to marriage. In this conversation, they share parts of their story that many don’t know along with the lessons they have learned. From dating to communication, infidelity and the importance of growing your individual walks with God along with your pursuit together. Watch to learn more about these topics/lessons and more!

While we suggest watching the full video, we have highlighted a few marking points for key points in this talk below:

5:50 Marriage was never supposed to be between just two people

16:55 Know the difference between what your spouse needs and what they want.

17:55 Three things no one person can fill

18:41 Women need three things

25:09 Three things your husband needs of you

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T.D. Jakes Speaks w/ “Charlamagne Tha God” About Mental Health & His Book “Shook One”

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TD Jakes had the joy of uniting with Charlamagne Tha God for a terrific discussion of his book, #ShookOne. This conversation could empower you to conquer the inner forces that thwart your growth. Someone you know needs this. Is it you?

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TD Jakes had the joy of uniting with Charlamagne Tha God for a terrific discussion of his book, #ShookOne. This conversation could empower you to conquer the inner forces that thwart your growth. Someone you know needs this. Is it you? Charlamagne Tha God is co-host of The Breakfast Club, a popular nationally-syndicated radio show where Bishop previously appeared as a guest. He also hosts the podcast Brilliant Idiots and, like TD Jakes, is a New York Times bestselling author. Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It was his first book followed by Shook One.

TD Jakes calls Shook One “powerful”, “provocative,” and “transparent.” Its subject matter concentrates on dealing with anxiety, the effects of PTSD and how mental health issues are often overlooked in today’s culture. Charlamagne speaks about his childhood, the environment and experiences that contributed to his anxiety and panic attacks, and interestingly, he talks about how finally finding success added to his mental health issues rather than easing them. He discusses how fear was a strong motivator, driving him to succeed, yet as soon as he “arrived”, his anxiety became more “overwhelming.”

TD Jakes and Charlamagne discuss how Christians often feel that church should be enough to address mental health issues like anxiety and depression, but there is often not a “sole spiritual antidote” for mental illness. In many cases, professional therapy is necessary to address these issues. Charlamagne’s book Shook One is relevant, timely and honest. Watch the full discussion and be sure to subscribe to the TD Jakes channel for more enlightening conversations.

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO:

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Faith

Christian Music Community Celebrates Tony Evans Becoming First African American to Author a Study Bible, Commentary

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This past week included a celebration for Tony Evans who just became the first African American to create a Bible Study and Commentary! Some of the top artists in Christian music joined in on this celebration. Artists included Kirk Franklin, Lecrae, Tori Kelly, Anthony Evans, Actress – Sherie Shepherd and many more.

The “Tony Evans Study Bible” features study notes and other tools designed for digging deeper into God’s word. These notes and resource have been collected from the sermons, teachings, and writings of Dr. Tony Evans. They are strategically place alongside the biblical text to explain God’s word in a fresh way; applying the truths of God’s word empowers readers to live according to the values of God’s kingdom.

This isn’t Pastor Evan’s first time breaking records, as he was also the first African American to earn a doctorate in theology at the renown Christian institute Dallas Theological Seminary.

It’s surprising that in 2019, we are still listing “The 1st African American” to reach certain heights within the Christian community. But, that fight is something that Pastor Tony Evans knows too well and has been accustomed to fighting for years. In a recent interview with Christianity Today, Pastor Evans spoke about his recent counsel to Kirk Franklin regarding his decision to boycott the Dove Awards and why it was important to him to of highlight the presence of Black people in the Bible:

“One of the things I point out in the Bible is the black presence in the Bible. And one of the issues I have dealt with: There were years where I was not allowed to be on radio because of my race, and I was told that directly. So there has been in the Christian community and the evangelical community, a consistent disparity in how minorities are treated and how we are allowed to sit at the table equally.

And so when they cut out the part of his speech that was critical to his and our experience, that demonstrated cultural, racial insensitivity, especially since it was nothing offensive. It was a fact of what had happened. So I felt that would have been appropriate since that’s what his conscience told him to do. But I also told him, you must honor your conscience in a righteous way. And so that’s why he put in there he’s willing to help rectify it, not just complain about it because a lot of times you have complaints without solutions. Let’s help heal. Let’s not just keep divided, but also let’s be clear on what’s right and what’s wrong.” 

Speaking on why it was important to him to highlight the presence of Black people in the Bible, Pastor Evans spoke plainly:

“What I want to say to African Americans is if you see what’s really in the Bible, you can find yourself there. You don’t have to lose yourself to believe in Jesus. In fact, much of who we are is in Jesus.”

           Read that full interview here.

 

We salute Pastor Tony Evans for breaking records once again in the Christian community.

Be sure to click this link to purchase your copy of the Tony Evans Study Bible. Sound off in the comment section and tell us what you think of this new Bible commentary!

 

 

 

 

 

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