Back in “my day” (I suddenly feel 90), we called them “devotional songs.” I suppose today they’d be considered “praise and worship” songs. While they weren’t sung often—at youth groups and rallies, sometimes one here or there on a Sunday night–they inspired me. Many were mini creeds, which is kind of funny coming from a group of believers who adamantly asserted that we “have no creed but Christ.” However, really, a creed is only a statement of belief, and how is this song anything other than that?
Jesus is Lord,
How He loves me.
How I love Him.
He is risen.
He is coming.
Lord, come quickly.
Others were more scripture put to music.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God…
Four-part harmony sometimes, men and women singing different parts other times. Those songs filled an empty spot in my “spiritual service.” Confession here: for a time, I was convinced we needed to sing more of them and fewer hymns. Not because I didn’t like hymns. Not because I thought hymns were too old fashioned. I just really liked the emotional connection to some of them.
That’s when I discovered two things.
- What I really loved most was seeing Scripture in the words and
- I’d sung the hymns by rote for so long and from such a young age that I really hadn’t paid much attention to them.
However, really paying attention to the hymns was all it took for me to rekindle my love for them. Hey, I even wrote a character who sings them at appropriate moments.
But it never took away my love for singing Scripture.
Then, while I was at my friend’s house this fall, I opened a book that was different from most musical offerings. A woman had taken the Psalms and written them with the right meter to fit familiar hymns. We could sing the psalms to tunes we already know.
Note: links are likely affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. Additionally, I requested and was provided a free review copy. Opinions, I also offer freely and without expectation.
Can You Sing Favorite Hymns & Psalms at the Same Time?
You can now. L.L. Larkin has reworked the psalms to fit modern rhyme and meter and to tunes that hymn-loving Christians will be familiar with. Imagine singing “It Is Well with My Soul” but the words are closely based on Scripture!
I did not take the time to go through every single song in the book, but the two or three that I picked out at random didn’t have any alarming discrepancies. As far as I can tell, the author took no liberties in that regard.
The paperback was neatly arranged and easy to follow, but when I tried to look at the Kindle version using Kindle Unlimited, the book wasn’t available due to quality issues. I hope it will be back, soon.
A perfect gift for your favorite song leader, Bible study teacher, or anyone who loves the good old hymns. Recommended with the small caveat that I haven’t checked accuracy in each one, but I don’t see evidence of needing to be concerned. So glad I requested and received this free review copy. I’ll be purchasing a full set for my own library.
Psalm Hymns, Volume 5 is on tour with Celebrate Lit
Author: L.L. Larkins
Release Date: July 10, 2019
You’ve landed on the final book of Biblical Psalms in the Psalm Hymns series, Volume Five, Psalms 107-150 contains singable, recitable psalms in full form, adapted from the Biblical Psalms.
In this last volume of the Psalm Hymns series, you are offered a method for singing book V of the Biblical Psalms. Maybe your favorite psalm is included.
There are some sticky psalms, like Psalm 119- King David’s love poem to God’s law. You can ask yourself while singing it, why the law is important to a King.
Psalm 137 is full of bile and bitterness, written by the remnant captives after the desolation of Jerusalem. But there are also the most lyrical and beautiful of praises for the eternal rule of God found in the Psalms of Ascent and in Psalm 107 and Psalm 136.
Psalm 139 is the lyrical ode and articulate description of God knitting our bodies together in secret, and how He watches over and cares for us no matter where we go.
The Celebration Psalms finish out the entire book of Psalms and Psalm Hymns series as a grand finale.
About the Author
L. L. Larkins graduated with a double major in Bible and Music from Colorado Christian University. Larkins is not a public speaker and in fact, enjoys being slightly incognito. This keeps the focus on the experience of singing the Psalms in each one’s own fashion or group. It also keeps any hero-worship or dart-throwing contests about the author at bay.
The Psalms provide a different experience of praise and worship than what is currently experienced in western Christian music. Both are valuable.
Larkins wrote each of the Psalm Hymns books (a series) in the given biblical context of chapter and verse. They are meant for teaching and experiential learning in Bible studies, as introductions to pastoral messages in the Psalms, for devotions during tours of the Holy Land, and for religious education for homeschoolers. Additionally, they are also meant for anyone who loves the Psalms and enjoys a good puzzle. Some Psalms are so long that singing them can feel like chanting unless there is a creative musician in the group who knows about key changes, soloists, style changes, and other musical effects.
Larkins has wrestled with the puzzles of the psalms and has been thrilled with the spiritual enlightenment that adapting the Psalms to music has provided.
More from L. L. Larkins
It’s my feeling that no other kind of Bible study can be quite as fun as a singing Bible study! You look at each other and can get a little anxious, but then someone starts singing the tune with the words of the Psalm and then everyone joins in or takes a turn. Nervous people start singing harmonies, then they get stronger.
People start laughing at themselves or at the wonder of the words they’ve never really heard before. Afterward, people start commenting and asking questions. It’s just a blast!
The Psalms were written as prayers and soulful examinations about life, and as secret cover letters in times of war, and as testimonies about God’s miracles. But the Psalms were always meant to be sung rather than recited. Did you know? Singing excites the imagination and connects a variety of brain synapsis so that they create spiritual buzzes, new understanding, and alarms ring with new opportunities for faith and belief.
Our church uses the Psalm Hymns books as hymnals. We sing a psalm before each message.
If you are going on a tour of the Holy Land or are an educator or lay leader or pastor, I hope that you contact my publisher, Capture Books, about getting some copies of the Psalm Hymns in bulk for groups. I think there is special group pricing available. Thanks so much for this opportunity to show off Biblical Literature adapted for today’s church experience.
Through the Lens of Scripture, January 29
My Devotional Thoughts, January 30
Just the Write Escape, January 31
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 1
Texas Book-aholic, February 2
For the Love of Literature, February 3
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 4
janicesbookreviews, February 5
Inklings and notions, February 6
Artistic Nobody, February 7 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, February 7
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 8
For Him and My Family, February 9
Mamma Loves Books, February 10
Simple Harvest Reads, February 11
Giveaway for Psalm Hymns Volume 5
To celebrate her tour, L.L. is giving away the grand prize package of signed copies of the Psalm Hymns books (1-5)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.