There are a great many critics of our digitally-dominated world today and I share their concerns. We must all overcome the threatened rule of our digital devices and we must all re-acquire the gifts of silence, of stillness, and of being fully present with God and others.

One of the ways I contain the rule of the digital is to make my devices feed my soul. That’s where the battlefield is-the soul. The digital can deaden and destroy, or it can deliver and delight. I choose the latter.

I do this largely by using apps that ennoble and elevate on a daily basis. Let me explain.

I start each day with scripture reading. Since I know my tendency to be lazy and distracted, I read the Bible according to a plan. You know the kind of thing-through the Bible in a year, or the gospels in 60 days, or Psalms and Proverbs in a month. I use the YouVersion Bible app, by LifeChurch.tv, which helps keep me on track. In fact, it will even send a chastising email to me if I fall behind. Friends can read along with me, keep me on pace, and offer insights into what we are all digesting together.

I also read at least one poem a day. I do this with the Poetry Magazine app, by 29th Street Publishing. Each day I can read an old favorite, search for poems according to themes like Youth, Pessimism, or Celebration, and-if I’m feeling adventurous-I can hit a “Spin” button to bring up poems at random.

My mother-who dragged me to most of the great art galleries of Europe in my youth-would be glad to hear that each day I view a sample of the world’s great art. I do this using DailyArt PRO by Moiseum, which delivers an HD painting and a description to my iPad. Not all the art is to my liking but all of it broadens my understanding of the world and challenges both my mind and my heart.

Though I’ve yet to find an app that delivers classical music to my devices daily, I do use a variety of apps that allow me to play a few minutes of classical music. Currently, I’m using Masterpieces of Classical Music by Evolution Games LLP. My goal is simply to revel for a few moments each day in the glories of Bach, Handel, or Vivaldi, and hundreds of others like them. I can’t fully describe what this does for the soul, or what it has done for my love of all music.

These four apps and these four daily insistences do far more than refresh me. They remake me and fortify me against the sometimes cancerous effects of our overly digitized world.

I’ve chosen to make the digital serve my well-being rather than become another of its victims. I hope you’ll join me in your own unique way. Our digital devices are just tools. They’re not tyrants. Make them work for you-and for the good of your inner being.

By the way, thank you to all of you who prayed for my recent travels. I’ll be providing reports of what I experienced in my podcasts.

Have a great weekend.

Stephen