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Former Times-News columnist pens Bible study

staff report • Feb 28, 2013 at 1:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Tanya Logan, M.A., is the author of a new six-week Bible study, “Come Back to Jesus — and Don’t Bring your Blackberry.”

Suitable for individual or group study, the book includes a leader guide in the back. Its premise is that we’ve let inanimate objects come between ourselves and God — cell phones, Kindles, computers, iPads, clothing, jewelry and cars.

“We allow so many things, so much ‘stuff’ to stand in our way that there’s no room for a God we can worship,” Logan said. “Even if we want to spend time with Him, there’s no place in all our busyness for a life of quietude and prayer.”

Logan suggests a simple experiment: Ask the people around you to turn off their phones and computers for 24 hours. “It doesn’t work — they’re horrified,” she said. “We’re too plugged in to our belongings, so we can’t plug in to God.”

That’s the reason for writing her new book, she says. “People who need God are everywhere. They don’t know how to get to Him. I found they don’t like the word ‘idol,’ don’t want to admit they might have one, so I introduce it gradually, using words like ‘time-stealer’ or ‘obsession.’ In the middle of the book, I ask the reader to do without his or her most important possession for one week.”

So far, the exercise has been eye-opening for those who’ve tried it. They have learned to re-prioritize, re-commit, and yes, unplug.

Logan, formerly a Kingsport Times-News columnist, has written other books as Tanya Davis and has been published in Prep and Byline. This latest book, though, is by far the most exciting project. “Helping people change their lives for the better, helping them to bow before the Lord — that’s what life is really about,” she says.

She led two local groups through the unpublished manuscript before having it published. The feedback from those helped bring understanding and insight to the final format.

“Over the year it took me to write the book, I had to give up many things myself. I stopped one of my hobbies for months, unsubscribed from magazines, gave up favorite TV shows. I also practiced different kinds of prayer, including spending 48 hours in silence with only a Bible and a notebook.”

“God created us for companionship, to worship and serve Him. We can’t do that if we’re spending too much time on gadgets, self and other time stealers.”

“Come Back to Jesus — and Don’t Bring your Blackberry” is available at Amazon.com and wherever books are sold.

For more information, visit http://www.TanyaLogan.com

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