I was just talking with a friend about how the Iphone was a game-changer for me (and most likely everyone else who has one too). I was notorious all throughout high school and college for losing my cell phone. My parents would leave messages in college about their long lost daughter, asking me to locate her whenever I could, telling me how ardently they missed me. I never knew where it was, and I really didn’t ever care. I took care of relationships that were directly in front of me, and most of the time, I was out of touch with any social media reality. I know I probably frustrated a lot of people, including my then-boyfriend-now-husband, because I was virtually impossible to locate. But I felt free.
Last Christmas, on what I thought would be a lean holiday in keeping with our budget, my husband surprised me with an iphone 5c. After living off of flip phones and droids that made the world of apps frustrating and difficult, I felt like I’d been thrown into the madness that is the 21st century. Suddenly, a new world is at my fingertips. And I hate myself for how much I enjoy it. I still try and avoid my phone when I have people around, and especially when my kids are awake. It’s a terrible thing to be trapped in an addiction to such a tiny device. I feel creative genius dying every time I waste a lot of time on it. Don’t you? Don’t you wish we worked outside all day and knew how to decipher between the bird songs we heard every morning, instead of knowing every single nuance of the settings on our phones? Even my mom, who is three decades older than me, has an emoji addiction. She cannot send me a single text that doesn’t consist of at least five different looking hearts. iphones are a slippery slope, that’s my final conclusion.
Amidst all the negative, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least say that my iphone has brought a lot of good into my life too. I guess that’s the truth with most things, they offer good and bad and I make the choice which side of the coin I’ll rest on. For me, the iphone has allowed me access to a million new sermons and churches and worship music, helping me appreciate the Body of Christ globally and locally. It also has provided me with an awesome way to keep in touch with my family who lives half a country away through Facetime. I’ve been able to read more books, and conversely, figured out how to have books read to me via different apps. And, naturally, I’ve found a few fitness apps that I cannot live without. They have helped me on the days when the gym is like a distant beacon, blinking at me in disappointment as I wade my way through the mess that is my house.
I thought I’d share with you a few apps that encourage your spirit…
3 Apps that Encourage your Spirit
1. Spotify: This app is free, but if you want it commercial free and if you want it to play music when you don’t have internet and only have wireless, it’ll cost less than 10 bucks a month. Think Pandora on steroids. You can search for any song, by any artist. You can look at recommendations for you, follow church playlists, follow friend’s playlists, browse song lists by mood, occupation, time of day, etc. You can see what your favorite artist is listening to, and on a recent trip to Florida, I discovered a plethora of classic books on audio, and even a series of Bible stories for kids that my daughter loved. Pandora wants to be Spotify. Spotify hosts thousands of songs, and daily has new lists, like: The Happy Hipster, or MoodBooster. You can change songs as many times as you want (hallelujah). You can listen to an entire album for free. You can basically have the world of music at your finger tips for less than an one single album on Itunes. My husband and I love it. We share one account on two phones, which is hilarious when I’m listening to Pride and Prejudice on audiobook and he tunes in, or I’m having a quiet time listening to worship and he starts a Christian rap song. It helps us keep tabs on what each of us are listening to, and it’s a wonderful tool in advancing my own time of worship- because it offers NEW songs. Let’s sing to the Lord a new song- and delete the Pandora app. (Favorites in worship for me are: Elevation Worship, All Sons and Daughters, Antioch Live, Bethel Live)
2. Podcasts: This app I just recently learned about. Maybe you already have it and love it, but if not, download it! During the day, while I’m doing laundry or cleaning and my kids are either asleep or occupied elsewhere, I love to listen to something. We cut cable a few months ago, so my addiction to Food Network has been cut off. I’ve been feeding myself on audio books and sermons instead, and this app actually carries most classic books on audio. Additionally, I have a few churches around the country I consistently listen to, and with this app, I can discover new churches too. If one of my favorite speakers preached at another church, I can search their name and find those sermons too. The churches I love are Bethel in Redding, California, All Peoples Church in San Diego, and Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas. On our long road trip, my husband and I searched for a host of names of fiery Believers, and found great material: two of our favorites are Todd White and Heidi Baker. This app is just a good way to keep your fingers in a bunch of different bowls around the country, and for me personally, its expanded my perspective of the Body. I’m of the opinion that no one has every point of theology perfect, but every Believer has something to offer, some understanding of God’s character that I may not have, and I need to learn and test what I hear. This app is a perfect way to do just that.
3. BlueletterBible: I took one semester of Greek in college and had a love/hate relationship with it. This app makes me wish I had taken it all four years! This is like a concordance, a lexicon and a commentary all rolled into one. I cannot tell you how amazing this app is, and just how much it has revolutionized my time with the Lord in regards to studying the Bible. I heard my college pastor talk about it once, and I immediately started using it online. But I just discovered they had an app and I love it! Especially for days when I want to have a quiet time not in front of a computer, having my phone close by is so nice! My parents used to lug down huge Vine’s commentaries and interlinear word study books whenever they needed them, but this app has wonderful resources without the pain of huge books with big price tags! They offer various translations of the Bible, and then you can click on the verse and choose the Interlinear tab to see what the original Greek or Hebrew word is, and then by clicking on the word, you can discover its meaning, where its used elsewhere in the Bible, and its root words if there are any. It helps me when verses are really confusing, and its just great for getting your fingers deep into the Word.
So, go! Download! Enjoy! Encounter God in a new way through your phone!
What are some apps that encourage your spirit?
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