Earth Psalms

EARTH: Seeking Security by Francine Rivers

August 14, 2018

From: Earth Psalms You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. (Proverbs 3:24-26) A squirrel comes by every now and then. One morning he turned up his nose at the dried corncobs I put out just for him and risked his life checking out the bird feeder, only to find thistle seed. So he jumped back to the deck and began searching for acorns. Unfortunately for him, we had fewer that year. We didn’t want any acorns to sprout in the yard or attract the woodpecker who wanted to drill holes and store them in our walls. So I hired one of our grandsons to [...]

EARTH: An Opportunity For Joy by Francine Rivers

August 7, 2018

From: Earth Psalms Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing  nothing. (James 1:2-4) We have a lilac bush in our backyard. I planted it ten years ago, and every year I hope to see it filled with clusters of sweet-scented blossoms. Every year I am lucky to find two small clusters on the very top. My grandparents lived in Colorado and had a lilac hedge that filled with purple blossoms.  Rick’s relatives in Sweden had gorgeous lilac bushes with a profusion of clusters.  Why is my lilac [...]

EARTH: Call To Confession by Francine Rivers

July 31, 2018

From: Earth Psalms Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31) A friend called from Hawaii and told me about an injured seagull she saw on the beach. The poor bird couldn’t walk at all but flutter-hopped in its quest for food. On closer examination, my friend saw that fishing line entangled the bird’s legs, hobbling it. She approached slowly, extending her hand in the hope she could remove the line and do something about the bird’s wounds. Frightened, the gull flew off, legs still hobbled and infected. Sometimes we are like that poor seagull.  We become entangled in bad habits or addictions, in destructive [...]

EARTH: A Light For Our Path by Francine Rivers

July 24, 2018

From: Earth Psalms Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105) My hometown, Pleasanton, California, used to have a lot of fog. Not a light-misting fog that stretches over the valley like a cloud lake, but a pea soup-thick fog that spreads over roads and makes driving dangerous. The seven-mile stretch home from the movie theater in the neighboring town could feel like a hundred miles. Bright lights only made the fog blind us, and low beams didn’t shine past the front of the car. So we crept along, car door open, following the white lines down the middle of the road. We didn’t want to end up driving over the cliff into the Kaiser gravel pits. Angels must have been watching over us. Angels watched over [...]

EARTH: Water In The Desert by Francine Rivers

July 17, 2018

From: Earth Psalms Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. (John 7:37-39) One creature of southwestern Africa is the Stenocara beetle – a little black bug with a grooved, bumpy back. It lives in the Manib Desert, one of the hottest places on Earth, where sand temperatures can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Each day, this small creature climbs a sand dune before dawn and waits for the fog to announce the approaching sunrise. As it waits, tiny droplets of water form on its water-repellent casing. Once the [...]

EARTH: Community Matters by Francine Rivers

July 10, 2018

From: Earth Psalms Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.  But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) Our family lives in the “Redwood Empire” of northern California, within half an hour of Armstrong Woods and two hours from the Avenue of the Giants. I’ve always marveled when standing inside a grove of redwood trees. Though the trees tower hundreds of feet overhead, and some of these trees are so big you can link hands with ten people and still not encircle the base, these giants have a shallow root structure. A good wind would blow one over if it were standing alone like an oak tree on a hillside. But because the [...]

EARTH: Hard Work by Francine Rivers

July 3, 2018

From: Earth Psalms Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. (Proverbs 6:6-8) We consider ants pests, especially in late summer when they are sending out scouts and then armies to gather food for the winter. We do our best to get rid of them with traps and poisons. Even so, they keep coming back, year after year. They are industrious, determined, and strong in the face of tremendous intolerance and persecution. God honors them in Proverbs 30, counting them among a few animals that are “small but unusually wise,” (v. 24).  Why?  Because ants offer good life lessons: They [...]

EARTH: Spreading The Good News by Francine Rivers

June 26, 2018

From: Earth Psalms Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. (Matthew 28:19-20) When I was a child, I loved to pick fuzzy, fluffy dandelions. I’d blow the seeds and watch them drift away on the breeze. Then I’d run to pick another flower. We lived in the country, and it didn’t matter if a gazillion dandelion seeds were scattered hither and yon. But in a neighborhood with pristine lawns, blowing dandelion seeds might get you in trouble with the friends next door who spent hours digging up weeds. The truth is, dandelions are designed to spread. A windy day can scatter plenty of seeds even [...]

EARTH: Protective Father by Francine Rivers

June 19, 2018

From: Earth Psalms The Lord your God is going ahead of you.  We will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.  And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child.  Now he has brought you to this place. (Deuteronomy 1:30-31) Some years ago, while working at our warehouse. Rick called me on the intercom and said a mother quail was out back with her chicks. I came running, and we watched from the delivery doorway as the quail pecked for seeds and bugs among the grass behind our building. The chicks scurried around their mother like little puffs of tan cotton, unaware of us – or of danger lurking close by. We spotted a cat crouched and [...]

EARTH: Variety In Creation by Francine Rivers

June 12, 2018

From: Earth Psalms Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation – every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit.  These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.”  And that is what happened.  The land produced vegetation – all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit.  Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind.  And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:11-12) I love walking through the produce section of our local grocery store and looking at all the apples – Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, Braeburn, Fuji – all different colors and all beautiful. Did you know there are 7,500 kinds of apples in the [...]

EARTH: Prayer Leads To Peace by Francine Rivers

June 5, 2018

From: Earth Psalms Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never.” That must be the rallying call of the woodpeckers in our neighborhood, some of whom have decided the vent holes beneath our eaves are the perfect location for a new house. We’ve had one pesky fellow trying to widen the access to our attic. He managed to get through the wire mesh and pull out some insulation. We wouldn’t have [...]

EARTH: Faithfulness Day & Night by Francine Rivers

May 30, 2018

From: Earth Psalms The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) Rick and I get up early, and we’re often treated to a sunrise casting its glow along the horizon.  Early evening brings the sunset.  Each winter, winds strip our oak of its broad leaves, so we can see the full blaze of glory from our deck. Colors, so many colors.  Sunrise often brings pinks, lavenders, and pale yellows that give way to pale blue above a sea of white cotton clouds.  By five o’clock, the sun is going down.  One night, the sky was molten hot red with streaks of fiery orange and gold.  Another night, the clouds turned lavender and pink, then [...]

EARTH: Earth Psalms—Introduction by Francine Rivers

May 22, 2018

From: Earth Psalms Scriptures say, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the Earth and sky.  Through everything God made, we can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature.  So we have no excuse for not knowing God,” (Romans 1:20).  Everything God has created is a wonder to behold.  If we look closely, we find lessons in our observations. Writers of the Bible taught lessons through all aspects of the natural world, including plants and animals, reptiles and insects.  King David used metaphors of sheep and pastures.  Solomon wrote proverbs about sparrows and dogs, pigs and vipers, ants, hyraxes, locusts, and lizards.  The prophets warned of how God could stop the rain and bring [...]