Francine Rivers interview on new book “Earth Psalms”! Francine Rivers has inspired and transformed millions of readers with her bestselling novels such as Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind. In Francine Rivers’ Latest ‘Earth Psalms’, her new devotional, she shares observations she’s gathered over a lifetime from her travels to her own backyard. Francine reflects on what the Creator teaches us through the details of his magnificent creation, and she marvels that God can teach us valuable lessons from worms and beetles!
Francine’s 52 weekly reflections are accompanied by prayers, applications, and Scripture. Stunning photography will also inspire you as each devotional is designed to encourage, challenge, and comfort you. You will be left in with undeniable proof that we serve an omnipotent God whose attention to detail is precise, and His love for you is unfailing. As Francine explores the wonders of God’s creation, you will clearly see how nature can change your outlook or the way you handle adversity.
Sonoma contributor Ginny Dent Brant was thrilled to interview Francine about her latest endeavor in writing, which is a departure from her past of fiction writing.
SCH – What motivated you to venture into your first nonfiction title?
FR – I love reading nonfiction but had never tackled it. When I shared with someone in South Africa about doing “earth psalms” about the way God speaks to me through His creation, someone mentioned turning those essays into a devotional. I love devotionals and read a new one every year, so the prospect of writing one was exciting. Tyndale partnered me with Karin Stock Buursma and we worked together as a team. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the project.
SCH – Was it hard to share personal stories about how God has worked in your life without the safety net of fictionalization?
FR – Sharing personal stories about how God works in my life is a pleasure, and I love hearing how God has worked in other people’s lives, too. It’s the life experiences and hope we share with one another that brings God even closer. It shows how personally involved the Lord is in His children’s lives.
SCH – Explain the title. How did you come up with the idea of Earth Psalms?
FR – A psalm is a song, and the earth and everything on it, in it, above it, and beyond it is God’s creation. Everything God created sings praise to Him, and I believe also teaches us many lessons about our Creator as well. It’s exciting to look at things we might have taken for granted and see what they teach us about the Lord. We are never to worship any created thing or even creation itself. We are to worship the Creator, Jesus Christ, the Word that created it all.
SCH – What will readers find inside the pages of Earth Psalms?
FR – Readers will find an earth psalm (essay) about something God has created and a lesson God has taught me through it. There are questions for readers to ponder or use for journaling: Reflect, Apply, Connect with God. There are also some additional facts, Scripture, and hymns, as well as beautiful pictures. The earth psalm essay was my part. The enriching questions and details are Karin’s, and the beautiful artwork was put together by Jennifer Ghionzoli at Tyndale.
SCH – What is your hope for this book?
FR – I hope readers will look at ordinary things (and some not so ordinary) in a new way and search for ways God speaks to us through His creation. Just as an artist reveals himself through his art, God has given us evidence of Himself in everything He’s created. We are to be good stewards of what God has given us. Nature is to be enjoyed and appreciated. It all points to Him. There are so many mysteries that can’t be explained by evolution, but can easily be explained by God. We have the inside story of how the earth was made, and our place in it.
SCH – Why do you think Christians need to hear this message?
FR – We live in a busy world, and even Christians can get in such a rush they forget to “stop and smell the roses.” Imagine that wonderful scent reminding you that the prayers of believers are like the scent of incense to God. I hope readers will slow down, look around, discover the beauty, and then praise God for all the many blessings He has given us. And then, start looking for ways God speaks to each individual through His creation. The essays I’ve written are lessons I’ve learned, but God has things to point out to each individual that speak to their personal lives.
SCH – What first sparked your love of the natural world and when did you begin to connect its role to your faith walk?
FR – Both of my parents loved nature. My dad loved to fish. So whenever we traveled, we camped by a stream, lake, or the ocean. While Dad and my brother fished, Mom and I wandered the shore, looking at rocks and flowers, keeping an eye out for animals. We also lived a couple miles outside a small town, and our entertainment was hiking and exploring. My parents were Christians, active in the church, so I grew up knowing God created the world and everything in, on, and above it. My views temporarily shifted in high school and college, where evolution was (and still is) being promoted as “the answer” to how things came to be. But the closer you look at that theory, the more illogical it becomes, the more holes you find in the thinking. Looking for evidence of God in creation became important because I wanted to pass along that mind-set to my children and grandchildren.
SCH – How can exploring nature and God’s creation help to expand our love for Him and result in a closer relationship with our Creator?
FR – I start with the thought: God created this thing, and there is a purpose in it and for it. What does this unique creation say about God? What lesson might He be trying to teach me through this plant or animal? The world is full of evidence and clues, and they all point to Him. It’s a treasure hunt! You have to spend more time with the Lord to find answers. As we ask our questions and seek answers from Him, He gives us the ability to find what He wants us to know. We are blessed that God wants us to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him and has made that possible through His Son, Jesus.
SCH – What does nature reveal about our creative and generous God? How might these lessons and observations shape our faith?
FR – Searching for earth psalms has encouraged my faith in the Lord. God has been generous in His creation. He’s given us vast variety and diversity. He’s given us color and shape and texture. We haven’t even begun to fully explore the wonder of His creation. It’s only been in recent history that we’ve “discovered” black holes and nebulae and dwarf stars. We haven’t even seen all the things on the ocean floor. Everything was made by God, an endless wonderland of things to study and explore, all to the glory of God, who made it all.
SCH – What have your observations about nature taught you about God?
FR – My observations about nature have taught me how much God loves me and every person on the planet. He could have created a simple, functional, plain planet for us to live on. Instead, He created one filled with beautiful, interesting things from the bottom of the oceans to the mountaintops and beyond. It makes my heart ache sometimes that my love is so limited by my human nature. He’s given us so much, gifts beyond counting. Enjoying nature makes me love and praise Him all the more.
Click here to read Ginny Dent Brant’s previous interview with Francine Rivers.
Find out more about the book at Francine’s official website.
You can buy the book at Amazon, and other fine retailers.
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