What is PSALMS to God?

PSALMS to God stands for Praising, Seeking, Appreciating, Loving, Magnifying and Surrendering to God. These actions represent the 6 pillars that make up this blog. Although every single post may not mention God specifically, each post is affected by my belief, as I believe God should be the center of all things in my life.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.Colossians 3:17 KJV

Poetry (Praising)

In Biblical times, people wrote psalms, which are songs and poems, to praise God. I love poetry and I love God. You'll find that some of the poems on the site are about God and faith specifically, but other poems are about nature and feelings. God created all things, and He intended for us to enjoy His creations. When I write about nature or happiness, the poem might not be praising God, but I am because I appreciate that He gave us these things to enjoy. Even when I write about sorrow, fear, or anger, I appreciate that God gives us free will and that I write these as prayers to help me overcome some of the not so pleasant moments in life.
Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.Psalms 75:1 KJV

Bible Study (Seeking)

Some people keep a prayer journal, I keep a Bible journal—it's full of notes and quotes from the Bible, thoughts I have while reading, questions, and historical or scientific agreements (or disagreements). You can learn about this journaling process on the YouTube channel. Nonetheless, in March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey so that others can comment and/or benefit from the efforts as well. Many of the posts have summaries and point out interesting facts or misconceptions about the chapters I've read (I'll update as I go), while some concern the history and origins of things related to Christianity.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.Hosea 4:6 KJV

Food & Health (Appreciating)

Taking care of yourself is important for so many reasons! God took time and created these bodies just for us, we are told that they are temples, meant to glorify Him. That means we should put our best effort in taking care of them! I used to be one of those people who never thought twice about what I ate or drink, so I know how it is to be on both sides of this fence! That's why I think it's important to talk about. Some of the posts on the blog are about eating according to God's Word, others are about my journey to being vegetarian (and flirtation with veganism), and I'll try to throw in some recipes and tips about healthy eating.
19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV

Culture (Loving)

God is love. We honor His love not only by loving Him, but by loving those around us. Despite being of one body in Christ, we are quite diverse. Unfortunately, the world often uses our differences to pit us against each other. I have a passion for talking about cultural issues, because I think the more we education ourselves about other perspectives, we come closer to realizing that we're all human, and eliminate biases the world has indoctrinated in us. Jesus said that he who does not love is neighbor, does not love God (1 John 4:20). Love is an action, not just a feeling! Taking the time to understand the history, culture, and perspective of a person is a big step in actively loving the person.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.Galatians 3:26-29 KJV

Podcast (Magnifying)

In December of 2018, I launched the PSALMS to God podcast. I know some people would rather listen than read, and I also feel like it's easier to connect when you can hear someone. The podcast streams on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud, and since season 3, YouTube. The first season has word for word transcripts here on the blog, but that was a nightmare to keep up with so more recent episodes only have bulleted notes; if you need a full transcript of an episode use the contact form to let me know.
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.1 John 1:3-4 KJV

Christian Walk (Surrendering)

When I was in college, I asked my pastor how I could have people know that I was a Christian without being obnoxious. Certain things should never have to be said, your actions should speak for themselves. My grandfather used to say "let the deeds I've done speak for me." As I kicked off my Bible study and started to become closer to God, I started picking up the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). While I'm not to the point that I display them perfectly, and I often still have a ton of questions, I hope that people see Him in me whether it's labeled or not. Ultimately, our goal as believers should be to surrender to the will of God. This requires faith, but sometimes, I think, it also requires education. A portion of the blog focuses on the history of Christianity (covering denominations, doctrinal differences, traditions, etc.), along with life applications of the Word, and testimonies.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23 KJV


In 2013, I started a blog called Circus of Words under the pen name Eillya-Marí Kocumba. The blog was basically a tool to help me rekindle my love for writing, specifically poetry. I kicked off a poetry challenge to write (and post) 1 poem a day, for better or worse. Needless to say the blog is mostly poetry. However, I also posted short stories, fragments of longer stories I was working on, plus posts on black history, current events, and Christianity. After two years, I felt that it was too much of a hodgepodge. Most blogs focus on one topic and all the "how to" guides about blogging recommend finding and blogging about your niche.

The three types of posts I loved the most were my poems, the ones on Christianity/Theology, and the ones on black culture/history. So, I decided to streamline my blog by splitting it into 3 separate blogs. This gave birth to In God I Trust and CulturedExpressions. The plan was to post my blogs about the Bible and Christianity on In God I Trust, my blogs about culture on CulturedExpressions, and maintain Circus of Words as a poetry blog, primarily. After two more years, I started to feel like that was a disaster. Not only was it hard to keep up with all three blogs, a lot of the time the posts intersected multiple blogs and I couldn't figure out where to put it!

When I started getting the urge to do a podcast in early 2017, I knew it was time for rebranding. When in doubt be yourself, right? I have a lot of interests, and while sometimes they seem very disconnected, they're a lot more related than meets the eye. They can't survive independently.

The first part of 2017 was dedicated to finishing up graduate school, so I couldn't spend much time formulating a plan for the blogs let alone implement it. However, once I graduated, I was all about finding a way to make all of this coexist. The first item on my to do list was to start the rebranding with a new name. I needed something I could use for the podcast that would encompass both the theme of the podcast, as well as, the themes of the three blogs. I also needed it to be easy to remember and available as a domain name.

After choosing a name, it was all about setting up the actual blog. I didn't republish every post from the old blogs, but I did keep the ones that fit vision of PSALMS to God. Anything dated before 2017 was posted on one of those original blogs.

With those two things completed, PSALMS to God has become a reality!

About the Author

Most of my family and everyone who's known me since I was a kid call me Ree, so you can too.

I grew up on a farm in South Carolina and am still a farm girl at heart (probably why I feel at home in Texas, where I live now). As such, I have a love of both gardening and animals. I've managed to keep my number of pets down to two cats: a 12 year old tortie named Bubbles and a 6 month old calico named Allie (as of 2022). If you like cats you can check them out on Instagram @Bubbles_and_Allie.

By day I'm a software engineer, but all of my hobbies lean more toward the arts. When I'm not creating content for PSALMS to God, I'm probably doing one of the followings:

  • perfecting my bookbing techniques
  • journaling
  • playing the Oboe
  • listening to songs I wish I could play on the Oboe
  • cooking
  • trying to figure out how my new telescope works
  • gardening
  • playing MarioKart

  • The full story of how I became a believer is covered in a podcast episode called How I Found God, but the short version is that I grew up in a family that has always been involved in the church. One of my grandfathers is a United Methodist pastor; the other was a deacon in the Baptist church. I also have three other family members that have completed seminary and/or are pastors. From an early age I became enamored with studying the Word—mainly to answer my questions on why there were so many denominations and what was different about them. Eventually the analytical side of me took over and how I approached reading the Bible started to look a lot like how I approached research in graduate school. I can get a little carried away in the details 😅, but I believe the most important thing is building a firm relationship with the Most High and living it out. This blog (and the podcast and YouTube channel) is the place I created to share what I've learned, opine on the things that bother me, and hopefully inspire others.


    We live in a world where many people use the same words to mean very different things! As such I wanted to include a section that gives more clarity on what I believe. Below are some commonly disagreed upon beliefs within the Body of Christ and where I stand. That being said, please remember that:
    1. Faith is a journey, we should always be growing and learning new things. Therefore as I grow in understandng and surrender to the Holy Spirit's convictions, some things might change.
    2. This blog was created in 2012, many things have already changed. At the time of writing this, there are ~1400 posts on the blog; even if I wanted to, I cannot remember every post I've ever written, let alone update older posts with new understanding. I do, however, tend to publish new posts on old topics as I learn more. Personally, I think being able to witness the growth (and see the time lapse from beinning a study to the point of action or fruit) is a valuable thing. So, if you find yourself reading a post from say 2013, you might want to look for a more recent post.

    The Sabbath Day

    The Sabbath day was created by God in Genesis 2 and is the 7th day of the week (corresponding to the time between sunset Friday and sunset Saturday). I believe the fourth commandment, which instructs us to "keep the Sabbath holy" is still in effect in the New Covenant and still applies to the day God hallowed in the beginning. I do NOT believe the holiness of this day was transferred to another day. I have several posts on the blog going in to more detail on this topic; you may find them here.

    Feast Days

    During the Exodus from Egypt, God commanded the Israelites to keep 7 holy days, also known as feast days. The most well known of these days is the Passover. Most Christians don't celebrate these feast (I didn't know about any other than Passover until I was in college!) Others believe we are meant to keep these days just as we are to keep the Sabbath. I believe that the passage in Colossians 2:16 is speaking of these holy days, for three main reasons:
    1. These days are referred to as Sabbaths in the Old Testament (Leviticus 23)
    2. The Spring feasts were fulfilled by Messiah—there is no reason to sacrifice a lamb for Passover as Messiah is our perfect lamb—and many cannot be correctly celebrated as described now that the physical Temple in Jerusalem is destroyed and the priesthood given to Christ.
    3. In Acts 18:19-21 Paul tells the church in Ephesus that he must return to Jerusalem for one of the feasts but does not suggest they keep the feast
    I think it would be great to celebrate them in remebrance and acknowledgement of what has happened and will happen, but I do not think it is required of us.

    Religious Holidays

    I do not celebrate Christmas or Easter nor do I recognize them as Christian holidays. Posts that elaborate on this subject can be found here

    On Denomination

    As a child, I bounced between African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.), United Methodist, and Missionary Baptist churches—my mom's family is United Methodist, but due to old traditions in the South it was not "normal" for black people to attend the United Methodist church prompting our family to attend the A.M.E. church; and my dad's family is Baptist. During those years I primarily attended the Baptist church, not out of favoritsm for Baptist doctrine but because it was accross the street from my house and all my cousins went there. In college I attended a non-denominational church and took a few theology classes to try to understand the Bible better. After starting my "deep dive" into the Word and my relationship with God, I ended up attending a Seventh-Day Adventist Church, primarily due to the fact their services are on Sabbath as opposed to Sunday; and it was a Seventh-Day Adventist pastor who performed my baptism. However, my official position is I do NOT adhere to nor believe in denominations. Denominations are man-made creations that follow man-made traditions; so far I have not found a denomination that I can say I agree 100% with everything it teaches. Like the disciples, Paul, and the early church, I simply let the Holy Spirit interpret the Word and follow.

    Jesus vs. Yeshua

    Many people are preoccupied with whether a person calls our Messiah by his Hebrew name, Yeshua (though some will claim it's Yahawahsi or Yahoshua or something along those lines)—I am not one of those people. You will see Jesus, Yeshua, Messiah, and Christ all throughout the blog, maybe even in the same post. I believe it is more important to know who He is and what He taught than to worry about Hebrew vs. Greek vs. Latin vs. English renditions of His name. Just as the Father has many names, so does the Son. Just as your mother answers you when you say "mom," and answers to others when they call her by her first name, so the Messiah understand that we all speak different languages and were raised calling Him different names. As laid out in Romans 14:13, 1 Corinthians 8:9, and 1 John 2:10, when around those who are bothered by the English "Jesus"—which, I can fully understand, as this is the name people associate with the corrupted version of Christianity most often taught, making it easy to assign the false practices of apostate Christianity to Jesus, who then becomes an anti-Christ, thus necessitating a different name for the true, Biblical Messiah—I use Messiah or Yeshua exclusively. The reason I do not carry this over into the blog, podcast, and YouTube channel is because people from various places in their journey are interacting with the content. It is not a given that readers and listeners are familiar with His Hebrew name (I used to be dumbfounded when lifelong Christians were unfamiliar with YHWH and Elohim). A post on the history of His name (and the contraversy surrounding it) is on my todo list.

    The Name(s) of God

    Like "king," "god," is a generic term. This leaves much room for confusion when we speak of God. What god? Whose god? As such, many refrain from calling our Creator God. I have seen preference given to "The Most High" or "The Most High God," "Creator," "YHWH", "Yahweh", "Elohim" (which actually is just the Hebrew word for God—in the plural, but that's a more lengthy discussion), "Father", and many more. You are likely to see me refer to the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham by many names as He is given many names in scripture. I do NOT hold to the belief that it is inappropriate to call Him God, as that is His title, the same way Creator and Father are also His titles. So at times you will also see reference to Him as simply "God;" note that if you see God with a capital G, I am speaking of YHWH. I think it is important to be precise with our language so in settings where there is little or no context for someone to know Who I am speaking of when I say God, I believe it is both necessary and approriate to use specic language to identify Him.

    KJV Only?

    Believe it or not, there is a spectrum in the KJV only debate. There are those who only read the King James translation of the Bible, and within this group you have a dichotomy of people who believe it is more accurate than other translations versus those who believe it is a perfect translation. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those who believe that is absurd and may even hold that the KJV is less accurate. However, there are people in between. These are the people who acknowledge that translation does matter and not all translations are created equally. Within this group you will have those who favor the KJV but are not strictly KJV only, and those who favor other translations placing the KJV further and further down othe list in terms of accuracy. I am one of those people who exist in the middle of the spectrum. The Baptist church I attended as a child was a KJV only church so I tend to favor the KJV even if only out of habit. There are definitely superior and inferior, as well as horrible translations of the text but I do not believe the KJV is the only translation worth reading. Language changes over time, thus even if you translate word for word perfectly, context is always needed to truly understand what is being communicated. For instance, depending on inflection when spoken and the surrounding context, the sentence, "Man, she bad!" could have two very different meanings. It could mean the person in question is poorly behaved or extremely attractive. If said 1,000 years ago, I'd wager a 99% chance it means the former. Time, culture, dialect, etc. all have an effect past the literal definitions of words. Even if we assumed the KJV was perfectly translated, much has changed about our language, culture, and world today such that we would still need translate the context. This is why the Holy Spirit is needed to truly understand the Word of God.

    On Diet

    An entire section of this blog (though admittedly neglected) is dedicated to health and food. Our Creator took the time in His Word to define the optimal diet for us and I believe it is in our best interest to follow it. You Are What You Eat is a series I did on the blog that breaks down the verses most commonly used to justify eating unclean meat. I believe that unclean meat is still unclean. Throughout the blog you will also see posts discussing my journey to becoming vegetarian and the benefits I have experienced from doing so. Vegetarianism is a personal choice. While I do believe that in God's original design mankind was completely vegan, I do NOT believe it is wrong to eat clean meat. God granted us to eat clean meat after the flood (in Genesis 9) due to the trauma the Earth suffered during the flood. To this day, some people may not have access to the proper variety of fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes to maintain their health on a vegetarian or vegan diet, and that is why God has allowed flesh into our diet. When you see posts discussing vegetarianism or plant-based diets on the blog, please do not take them as moral law.

    Once Saved, Always Saved?

    This doctrine is mainly held by Baptists, as I believe it is a doctrine officially embraced by Baptist theology whereas in other denominations it is rejected by the governing body though may be embraced by individual adherents. I think this doctrine is interesting because it hinges on what it means to be saved. While most believers will point to John 3:16 as the definition of being saved, in practice a large number of Christians think being saved is simply believing in Christ. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum you have legalistic Christians who believe you have to confess your sins to a priest, or do pennance for your transgressions. If your definition of being saved is at either end of this spectrum, I would say I disagree with the idea that you can't lose your salvation. However, the true definition of salvation is in the combination of believing and surrending (or accepting). Once we believe that Christ has died on the cross for our sins (John 3:16), we surrender to Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to define our thoughts and actions (Luke 9:23; Galatians 2:20; Romans 6), which allows us to change constantly as we become more like our Messiah (Romans 12:1-2). When you have truly met the Father, know the love of the Son, and have surrendered to the correction of the Spirit, I'm not sure you would ever do an about face and walk away. Most people I have met who were believers but are no longer, didn't have a healthy relationship with Him in the first place. So, while it may sound judgmental to say, not everyone who claims to be saved is actually saved. Take Judas and Peter, for example, both messed up. However, Peter came back but Judas didn't. If you have the relationship Peter had with Christ, I am inclined to believe that while you may have peaks and valleys, in the end you will remain at the top of the hill. If your relationship with Christ is closer to that of Judas, I am inclined to believe that you can "believe" and attend Church service everyday for 40 years and then wake up an atheist who is most definitely not saved.

    Saved By Faith or Works

    This is always a fun topic. The Bible confirms that we are justified by faith alone, however, it also explains that faith without works is dead. Essentially, you cannot earn your way to Heaven; we are inherently sinful and we cannot keep the law or be good of our own accord. We are given grace through our faith. That being said, when we accept Christ's sacrifice, part of that acceptance is submission which causes us to to emmulate Christ. I am not saved because I don't kill people however, because I am saved, I don't kill people. I am not saved because I obey the Father, but because I am saved, I obey the Father. It's a critcal nuance in understanding cause and effect. We are not saved because of anything we do, however when we become saved, our desire is to please the Father and that influences what we do.


    There are a couple of divisive beliefs in the church when it comes to baptism. Three in particular come to mind: is baptism necessary for Salvation, who can be baptized, and baptism by emersion vs. sprinkling.
    Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
    The thief on the cross told Christ he believed and died moments later without being baptized; Christ confirmed that this person was saved and will be in the Kingdom. I believe physical baptism (emersion in water) is symbolic of spiritual baptism (acceptance/belief in the Messiah and surrender to the Holy Spirit). The latter is crucial for salvation while the former is something that is encouraged (Messiah, our example, was baptized) but not the definitive indication of salvation.
    Who Can Be Baptized?
    Some churches practice infant baptism, though it may be called a "christening" instead. In the Catholic church this infant form of baptism is "confirmed" at a later age (I believe around 12 or so). While I do believe in baby dedications (re: Hannah dedicated Samuel, Samson's mother dedicated him, Elizabeth dedicated John the Baptist, etc.), I do not believe you baptize a baby. Baptism is the decision to follow Christ. It is symbolic of you dying to the flesh and being reborn in the Spirit. You cannot do this until you understand what you are claiming to believe. Many people thought it was odd that I didn't get Baptized until I was 30 years old, but Messiah was also 30 years old when He was baptized. I have heard many people tell me their parents forced them to get baptized or they got baptized because all the other kids got baptized—this is not a Biblcal baptism. True baptism requires choice and understanding. I talk about this in more depth in the post: Why They "Baptize" Babies.
    Emersion vs. Sprinkling
    In a Methodist Church they sprinkle water over your head, in a Baptist Church they push you under water. Which is correct? Well, technically speaking the only form of baptism shown in the Bible is that of emersion. Since it symbolizes death and rebirth, it also makes sense that a person is fully submerged during the baptism. However, one thing that is not discussed in the Bible is what happens when there is no water? Everyone in the Bible was baptized in a naturally occuring body of water, usually the Jordan River. Arguably the only way we can live in places where there are no natural bodies of water is that we create bodies of water (presumably these are still valid for Baptism), but is there ever a case for simply sprinkling water on a person? What if a person converted on their deathbed? Are you supposed to carry them to a pool (or a river, etc.) and fully submerge them? Can you dunk them in a bath tub? What was the protocol before bathtubs were normal? When I got baptized I chose to be baptized in the ocean (there wasn't a river nearby, that would have been calmer water for certain!), and generally I believe we should be following the example set by Christ to the best of our abilities. Ultimately though, only the Father can judge was is or isn't a valid baptism, and I imagine He is more concerned with the heart than how much water is taken on.

    Free Will vs. Predestination

    In the beginning God placed the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden, knowing that Adam and Eve would eat from it. He could have never created it and we would still be in the garden. Was it predestination or free will that led us here? I believe it's both. Hear me out. If we didn't truly have a choice, God would be a dictator and the statement that He is not willing anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9) would be a lie—but if He is a liar the entire Bible falls apart (Numbers 23:19). However, He is omniscient, so He does know exactly what will happen for each of us. There must be some level of predestination otherwise prophecy would not come true. Let me give you a Biblical example. God asked Jonah to go to Ninevah. Jonah disobeyed God, only to end up in a tempest and subsequently swallowed by some sea creature. Eventually he ended up in Ninevah. Now, one could argue he didn't have a choice because God "made" him go to Ninevah but I disagree. I believe we are given multiple chances to obey the Father, and each time we fail the test there are consequences (hopefully not as extreme as being swallowed!). Most of us, like Jonah, see the correction for what it is and then choose to do what God has asked us to do. However I do believe that Jonah still had the choice to go a different way. I believe if Jonah still had not complied, God would have called another person to preach to Ninevah because it was His Will that Ninevah be warned. Our world, our society at large is moving in a particular direction, that is out of our control; it is predestined. However how we handle it is our choice. You get to decide if you want to follow the Most High and be saved or not (free will) and God already knows what you will ultimately choose.

    No comments

    Post a Comment




    Book Review,Food,Testimony
    © 2022 all rights reserved
    made with by templateszoo