Psalmist, I Am by Ray Abner

Those of you who have followed my writing for any length of time know that I am in love with the book of Psalms.  Within that precious book, I find comfort, peace and instruction.  I see myself on nearly every page of the Psalms, and something about that brings me great joy because it helps me to see and understand that tendencies and personalities of mankind change very little over time, but more importantly, it reminds me that the God of the Old Testament is the same God that rules and reigns today.

When I saw the title of this book, Psalmist, I Am, I was immediately intrigued, but when I read the subtitle, "Live through the many emotions of a follower, it's OK," I knew I needed to delve into its pages.  Many emotions?  Why, that's my middle name!

Let me begin by saying, however, that this book is not exactly what I expected.  After reading the description on the back of the book, I was under the impression that the book was a devotional study on some of the different psalms.  An inside look into how the psalms relate to our lives.  I was ready to, once again, meet myself in the psalms and uncover little nuggets that I had missed in previous studies.  But my expectation was off.  This book is not a devotional book in the traditional sense, but rather a book of Scripture divided into categories, similar to my own book, There's a Verse for That.  Please understand, I'm not saying that's bad.  It just wasn't what I was expecting.

What Ray Abner has done is taken verses from various psalms and categorized them by themes such as, "A Psalmist in Distress," "A Psalmist Reveals God's Promises" and "A Psalmist Praises Him," just to name a few.  This method provides an easy go-to source if you're longing for a Scripture passage to read during a time of distress or if you want to lift up praises to the Lord.  The table of contents helps the reader easily locate their desired portion of reading, but of course, the book is also laid out in such a fashion that the reader could read straight through if he/she so chooses.

Another nice feature of the book are the journal pages included at the end of each section.  After reading about God's promises, for example, you can take the opportunity to journal a few thoughts about the verses you've read and what they mean to you.  With the journal as part of the book, you never have to worry about finding and/or losing a piece of paper.  Additionally, the layout of the book is quite unique and eye-catching.

The one thing I don't like about the book is that the author uses so many different versions of the Bible.  Personally, I'm a King James girl, but that's not the issue.  The problem I have with all the different versions is that it makes it nearly impossible to memorize Scripture.  The Bible tells us that we should hide God's Word in our hearts, and I think it's pretty obvious that that can only be done by memorization.  I learn best by repetition.  By reading the same verse over and over again, it becomes a part of me, and I can easily recall it.  If, however, that verse reads differently every time I come across it, there's no possible way for me to memorize it.  That's just my personal opinion on the matter.  Take it or leave it.

That being said, I feel Psalmist, I Am, would make a wondrous addition to any library, but specifically to the Psalm-lover.