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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Songs From the Heart by Dr. Tim Riordan is a delightful devotional study on the book of Psalms. The author notes that the book of Psalms has been called the “humanity hymnbook.” Holding true to that idea, Dr. Riordan takes you on a journey through the Psalms. However, this study is more than devotional, much more. As you read, you begin to understand that this is a resource for hard times, yet you also realize that the Psalms is a book about discovery. As you read, you discover yourself hidden within the words on its pages. However, even more importantly, you discover things about God, His goodness, loving-kindness, His mercy and grace. You discern His desire for justice and righteousness, his disdain for sin and His longing for the destruction of evil. You discover His passion and compassion for creation. And lastly, you experience the power of exaltation through praise and worship by demonstrating adoration to the Lord Most High.
Dr. Tim Riordan sets his study apart from all others I have read by opening up with a fictional story explaining the history behind the Psalms. In the introduction to Songs From the Heart, we are enlightened to the fact that the Jewish people were singing people - music was vital to their culture. Going beyond the historical references and facts, Dr. Riordan engages his readers with personal stories and analogies, making the Psalms relevant to our contemporary times. Furthermore, he breaks down the language and explains the vocabulary of the Psalms by utilizing Hebrew and Greek definitions to enhance the understanding. His love for music and devotion to worshiping God is revealed as well, as he deciphers and decodes the hidden treasures buried within the archaic poetry. By adding “Further Thought Questions” to the end of each chapter, he encourages the reader into a deeper personal study. Dr. Riordan closes his book with an invitation to become a Christian, a member of God’s family. He sincerely and effortlessly describes the plan of salvation. What a perfect conclusion to a great book.