6 Bibles, Books and Study Guides for Understanding the Old Testament

In my last post, I offered seven free tools to help you understand the Old Testament. Here I’ll review Bibles, books, and study guides that help with that, too. Some are for those who are new to reading the Bible, and some are for seasoned Bible readers. I end each review with an excerpt that […]

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7 Free Tools for Understanding the Old Testament

My church’s women’s Bible study just completed Angie Smith’s Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story. It was perfect for small groups that have a mix of new believers and mature Christians (more on that next week). Several women told me they’d love to understand the Old Testament even better, especially where the prophetic […]

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How to Embroider Scripture Symbolically

I like to embroider Scripture. It’s fun and doesn’t take a lot of talent. By the time I finish a piece, I’ve got the Scripture memorized and I’ve meditated a lot on its meaning. Then I can frame and hang it so that it becomes not just a daily reminder of the passage, but a […]

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6 Simple and Fun Ways to Meditate on God’s Words

Psalm 1 tells us the blessed person will meditate on God’s instructions, not simply hear or read them: “Blessed is the man … who meditates on his law day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). “Meditate” means to think deeply and carefully about something. But sometimes we don’t know how to do that. Here are six simple […]

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5 Reasons to Write a Wisdom Psalm (and How to Do It)

One day while I was meditating on the message of Psalm 1 that those who follow God’s instructions will be blessed in ways that those who don’t miss out on, I started thinking about my own life and the lives of those I knew. I’d seen couples who made forgiving an essential part of marriage […]

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6 Best Books on Psalms for Prayer and Understanding

One of the delights of deciding to write a book on the Psalms is the excuse to read many books on them. Here are the six best books on Psalms I’ve found, ordered from broadest appeal to narrowest. They’ll enhance your prayer life and deepen your understanding of these prayer songs. By the way, the […]

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God’s Hidden Blessings

Our twenty-one-year-old Green Machine (aka Honda Accord) won’t pass the next California smog test, so we’re car shopping. (We save oodles of money by driving a car till it or Sacramento calls it quits. Since I don’t commute, that can take years.) As we drove into the big parking lots with rows of shiny cars, […]

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What’s So Good about Royal Psalms?

What is a royal psalm anyway? And why should we care? Just as today we hear many types of songs—love songs, anthems, lullabies, ballads, odes, rap and more—so the ancient Hebrews heard many types of psalms—royal psalms, wisdom songs, laments, thanksgiving songs, hymns, confidence songs, and more. Knowing a psalm’s type helps us know how to […]

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Psalm 2: Hope in the Midst of Injustice

Terrorists murder and maim. Con artists bilk the elderly. The rich exploit the poor. Abusers scar children. The promiscuous mock the chaste. Liars lock the innocent behind bars. Those who’ve sworn to uphold justice overturn it. What is our hope in the midst of injustice? Psalm 2 tells us. It’s a psalm originally composed for […]

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Art as Worship

Whether you consider yourself to be artistic or not, you can worship God through art. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, for God sees the heart: “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:12). Worship is an […]

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How to Understand Psalms

I used to dislike the Book of Psalms because the psalms kept repeating themselves instead of proceeding point-by-point to a nice conclusion in the first line of the last stanza. After all, essays put the main point in the first sentence of the last paragraph. That’s why we call it a “conclusion.” The psalms didn’t […]

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Seven Tips & Tricks to Memorize Psalms

By Jean E. Jones @JeanEstherJones Did my last post, Why Memorize Psalms? 10 Good Reasons, leave you wondering just how anyone would go about memorizing psalms? Now, I know people who can read a long passage a few times and it’s memorized. I’m not like that. So when I decided to memorize some psalms, I […]

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