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Book Reviews

Journaling Through the Psalms – Studying the Word of God

By Steph Nickel

Journaling through the Psalms can be an effective way of studying the Word of God.  Here Steph Nickel reviews “Journaling Through the Psalms by Susie Larson.

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Journaling Through the Psalms

Do you set a time aside regularly to read God’s Word and pray?

Some people call it “doing devotions.” Others call it their “quiet time.”

Regardless of what you call it, it is a vital part of our journey toward Christian maturity, one that should last a lifetime.

Steph Beth Nickel


My Quiet Time

My quiet time likely looks very different from yours. In fact, my own devotional time includes a wide variety of elements in any given week or month.

Currently, I am working my way through selected readings from Romans by focusing on one truth each day and using items such as washi tape, stickers, and markers to illustrate that truth.

I also listen to the “One Verse Devotional” podcast by Matthew McCarrick. (And, of course, there is the wide selection of options here on HopeStreamRadio.)

I’m also meeting with a friend 3-4 times per month to go through Journaling Through the Psalms by Susie Larson.

There is space on every other page for journaling one’s thoughts on the psalm(s) they read that day.

Focused on God

The writing prompts are reflective, and while focused on God, that focus is primarily on how the Lord is working in our lives. I believe there is a time for self-reflection. Our faith is more than an academic study—although there is a place for that as well.

The prompts include the following:

Psalm 1 – Consider the streams that flow in and through your life right now. Are they nourishing? Toxic? Let Jesus speak to you today.

Psalm 8 – Whatever you are facing, remember this: God is stronger still. Seek His face and His strength.

Psalm 25 – We are prone to wander in our thoughts, perspective, and even our deeds. How is God calling you back to the path of life? How will you respond?

Psalm 41 – We sometimes fail others. They fail us. We need God’s grace and mercy. Entrust your relationships and your identity to Him.

Psalm 129 – We get knocked down, but we are not defeated. Jesus bore the pain and the shame for us. His victory is now our victory. Write a faith statement today.

While the book is aimed at a female audience, both men and women could benefit from using the readings and the writing prompts to direct their thoughts and their decisions.

PsalmsJournaling Through the Psalms

The subtitle of Journaling Through the Psalms is A Creative, Intimate Way to Grow Closer to God. And this is definitely a good reason to make our quiet time a priority.

As I mentioned, I use a variety of materials for my quiet time—which isn’t as frequent as I would like it to be, by the way.

It’s important to learn to recognize how God is at work in our lives, where He is challenging us to grow in our faith, and how much He truly loves us.

But it is also important to recognize that He is at work in others’ lives and just may want to use you as part of that work.

That’s one of the benefits of meeting with my friend regularly. I hear how she responded to the same psalms, the same writing prompts. I am not there as a teacher, but a co-learner, a sister in Christ.

Academic Study of God’s Word

And regarding academic study …

I’m so thankful for diligent students of God’s Word.

I’m thinking of our teaching pastor, who is currently on the other side of the world on a three-week trip teaching pastors and Bible College students. He goes regularly and sets an incredible example for the church family.

I am also thinking of our discipleship pastor, a young man of 27, who is devoted to the study of God’s Word. He is also devoted to our congregation and is doing a wonderful job of making connections with the seniors, the youth, newcomers, charter members …

His series of sermons about our church’s newly revised mission statement reveals his devotion to rightly present the truths of Scripture as well as his commitment to the church family.

PsalmsStudying the Word of God

If it wasn’t for these men’s diligence in studying the Word of God, more from an academic viewpoint, they wouldn’t be the shepherds they are.

So, as we consider how to spend our devotional time, let’s think about the importance of learning to recognize how God is at work in our lives—and in the lives around us.

You may want to pick up your own copy of Journaling Through the Psalms by Susie Larson. God bless you on your journey!

And may we all seek to honour and glorify the Lord in this—and in all areas of our lives.

Happy reading!

Steph Beth NickelSteph Nickel

Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio.  Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.

Stephanie’s show, “Family Life Lessons,” airs from Monday to Friday on HopeStreamRadio.

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Bible  – Free-Photos

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Journeying Through The Psalms – Susie Larson

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