Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Review: Psalm 119 Experience

The Psalm 119 Experience: A Devotional Journey You Will Not Forget. John Kramp. 2014. B&H Publishing. 256 pages. [Source: Review copy]

110 devotions on Psalm 119!!! Over two-hundred pages sharing zealously why YOU should read the Bible. The Psalm 119 Experience IS a devotional book focusing on Psalm 119.

Since Psalm 119 is in itself a psalm solely focused on God's Word, this devotional book could very well be described as a book celebrating and exalting the Word of God.

I love, love, love the concept of this one. I think it would make a great devotional. One could read it for 22 weeks, having 5 devotional times per week. One could read it for 22 days, reading 5 days' worth of devotionals per day. I wouldn't recommend reading it faster than that, however. (I rushed through this one in a week for review purposes. I still appreciated the message, the heart of the message, but I wasn't able to SAVOR the devotionals as much as I would like to have. I think if I liked devotionals more in general, I would have liked these devotionals more.)

John Kramp opens the book with his own experience. He challenged himself to write 22 songs--one for each section of Psalm 119--to help him memorize Psalm 119. The book is NOT about him wanting readers to memorize Psalm 119 for themselves. He's not challenging readers to memorize it, or, to write their own worship songs inspired by the psalm. The book is about wanting readers to read the psalm and take it seriously. Or perhaps I should say, taking the Bible seriously, or more seriously. The Bible is RICH, so very, very rich. It should be read and loved and treasured and proclaimed and praised.

If you'd like to listen to the worship songs, there is an album available. I've only listened to the samples.  There are also podcasts which complement the album and the devotional book. (As of November 15, there are 14 podcasts.)

As much as I liked the devotionals, I loved his concluding chapters. He includes tips on reading the Bible. I felt like I'd found a kindred spirit.
Rather than reading less of the Bible more slowly, consider reading more of the Bible rapidly. (224)
I need more spiritual support than most people so I want to expose my mind and heart to as much of God's Word as possible on an ongoing basis. (225) 
He recommends reading the Bible through every three months.

He also recommends praying alphabetically.
If you're frustrated with your prayer life, especially if you recycle the words in your prayers like sitcoms on cable, then give alphabet praying a try. Hopefully, you'll discover new joy in prayer as I have by stretching your vocabulary of prayer and matching your prayer with your accelerated exposure to God's Word. (228)
How much easier life would be if we desired all that God desires for us. Oh, to delight in Him and in His Word. Oh, to be done with exhausting shame each time we fail…We feel shame because we have behaved shamefully. Striving to measure up would have never been enough; we needed a sacrifice. We were sinking in sin; God gave us a Savior. Our ways end at the cross. The cross ends our shame. (14)
All of God's Word serves all of God's purposes. (115)
The requirements of God's commands are without limit. As a result, none of us could measure up. In a jumping contest over the Grand Canyon, some may jump further, but all fall short. So it is with God's standard. Jesus came as our substitute perfection. He met God's ultimate standard. Because He was perfect, we can be counted perfect before God in Jesus. (120)
Saying, "God is near" is simple. Grasping the implications of that statement exceeds our intellectual capabilities. (188)
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I think I need a copy of this book. We have been reading Psalm 119 this semester in the mornings, adding a section each week. We are up to about section 12, whatever Hebrew alphabet letter that is. Anyway, I could use some devotional thoughts on the text to keep me going.