Book Title: The River of God’s Presence by Jeannine Rodriguez-Everard
Category: Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 316 pages
Genre: Christian Spiritual Life
Publisher: Images of Light Publishing, LLC
Release date: October 2022
One night, Jesus caught up Jeannine in the most vivid dream of her life. In this dream, Jesus flew her around the world and revealed how His presence is like the river of God. By contemplating the rivers in Scripture with Him, Jeannine began to understand what happens when we encounter His presence. From Genesis through Revelation, Jesus revealed to her how the rivers in Scripture can metaphorically depict what happens in God’s presence and how Jesus invites us to commune with Him.
As you read this book, you will become more aware of the river of God’s presence in your life, and you will learn to live from the place of His presence. As this occurs, the beauty of His presence will flow out from your relationship with Him in such a way that it affects every aspect of your life.
Most people have heard the phrase, “God ways are mysterious.” For those committed to developing or deepening their friendship with God, this book is an excellent read. The author explains how a mystical experience of God showing her the rivers of the world led to her resisting, procrastinating, and finally opening her gifts of writing, understanding, and faith to serve Him as He was asking. The result? A seductive read that draws you into the currents of God’s love and pursuit of you, His child.
When I started this book, I noticed a certain reservation in my mind. Who was this author? On what authority was she speaking? Find the answer to the first question below (see Meet the Author and my interview). The answer to her authority is the same as mine when I wrote my memoir and faced the same internal question: she’s a daughter of God who listened when God spoke to her, and obeyed. I respect that and the difficulty in doing so.
Despite my reservation and desire to skim a few chapters, I found Jeannine’s voice gentle on my soul, as soothing as a lullaby, and as reflective of the light of God as is the moon. The structure of each of her thirty-three Invitations (the word she uses for chapters) bears a comforting solidity like the banks of a river. She ends each invitation with a meditation to draw the reader into an opportunity to encounter God.
I sank into her pages and quiet questions in each meditation section, not at first, but gradually, the way one gets used to water when you first wade into it. God gets absurdly close, so close we can see the face of God in all creation, or feel him, in the living waters she invites us to enter. She achieved her goal of pointing a way to discover God’s presence to this reader.
My book mark remains on a page I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God wants me to journal about and ask Him the question she proposed. Jeannine drew me closer to the God who loves me and all of His creation through her personal stories and Scripture reflections. The fact she surrendered from writing for God to writing with him reveals itself as subtly as a flower opens to the light and encourages me to do the same.
First Line (Introduction): The place God originally intended us to live was in His presence.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed are solely mine.
Meet the Author:
Jeannine Rodriguez-Everard is an author, teacher, and international speaker. She is gifted in understanding the supernatural and how God speaks to His children. Jeannine seeks to help people know God and how He uniquely created them to reflect His Light and love to the world. Through her understanding of the ways of God and the importance of communion with Him, Jeannine helps people encounter God personally, while understanding their ability to bring Heaven to Earth through friendship with Jesus. Jeannine and her husband, Ian, live in Idaho with their two beloved dogs, Jimmy & Johnny.
WHAT MADE YOU WRITE THIS BOOK GOD’S PRESENCE?
In 2007, I had a dream while sleeping. In my dream, Jesus came to me and flew me around what felt like all the rivers on the earth. I knew we were in different parts of the world because I could hear different languages in the distance and see different swatches of clothing. However, my focus the entire time was the rivers Jesus showed me. At the end of our flight, Jesus spoke to me and said, “Jeannine, there is a reason I liken my presence to the river of God. If you study the rivers in Scripture, I will show you what happens in My presence.”
So, I went from Genesis to Revelation and studied everything that happens in, through, by, and over rivers. In 2009, I felt God nudging me to write a book about what I had studied. It took me a long time to answer the call to write. I’m so grateful I finally obeyed as I’ve been hearing from readers that it is drawing them into deep places with God.
WHY DID IT TAKE YOU SO LONG TO WRITE THE BOOK? (asks the author who took ten years to write hers)
At first, honestly, it was complete lack of confidence. I didn’t see myself as a writer. Then, it was the busyness of life and allowing other things to take a higher priority. After that, when I finally did start to write, it felt like I was striving to make it good.
It wasn’t until two things happened that I finally hit a stride:
God answered my prayer when an opening pop up with a writing coach I dearly wanted to work with. Though she didn’t know I wanted to work with her, one evening in December 2021, we were at a mutual friend’s home for dinner. She asked me how things were going with my book as I had taking a workshop from her. I answered, “Not good,” to which she responded by hitting both hands on the table and exclaiming, “This is the time. I’m going to help you. I’m going to be your coach, and this next year it will be published.”
WHAT WAS THE WRITING PROCESS LIKE? WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE YOU WROTE A CHAPTER? DID YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL RITUALS, PRAYERS, OR SCRIPTURE YOU USED?
Once I started working with my writing coach / editor, the process began by setting aside three days a week to write. Having that commitment on my calendar provided a framework for the discipline of writing. When I sat down to write each time, I would first pray, then worship to a song or two, and then turn to the Scriptures that were inspiring my writing for the day for contemplation. I also found some inspiring worship leaders on YouTube whose music I listened to every time I wrote. They were such a huge part of the writing process, I wrote about them in the Acknowledgements section of the book.
IN YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, YOU MENTION WRITING IN THE KOZAK’S HOME. HOW DID YOU ENTER GOD’S PRESENCE THERE?
Jim and Kathy Kozak are dear friends of mine. It wasn’t hard entering the presence of God in their home because they themselves have such beautiful hearts of worship that you can feel God’s presence in their home. Each time I went to write, I began my time with worship and prayer and would then just close my eyes, breathe, and ask God to help me sense His presence.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST SENSE YOUR HEART’S LONGING FOR GOD’S PRESENCE?
I am beyond grateful to say that my parents taught me about Jesus from the womb. Some of my earliest memories are of the prayers my mom and dad would lead me in at bedtime. I remember feeling great comfort from them and loved praying prayers of my own. At age 15, I started longing to really know Jesus personally and my heart’s longing for Him grew even more. I am grateful for the love and mentorship of my church youth choir directors who helped me grow in my relationship
I LOVE YOUR PRAYER SUGGESTION EARLY IN THE BOOK: “YOU ARE ALWAYS WITH ME. MAKE ME AWARE OF YOUR PRESENCE.” YOU TEACH US THAT BEING IN GOD’S PRESENCE IS BECOMING AWARE THAT HE’S ALWAYS PRESENT. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO READERS WHO LONG TO HEAR HIS VOICE AND SAY THEY DON’T? WHO SAY THEY SEEK HIM BUT CANNOT FIND HIM? (BESIDES READING SCRIPTURE?)
This is a difficult question and one about which I’ve had hours-long conversations many times with people of
all different backgrounds. The answer isn’t simple, but I’ll do my best to answer succinctly:
- Firstly, it’s important to receive by faith Jesus’ words in John 10: 14 & 27, “I am the good
shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own … My sheep hear My voice, and I
know them, and they follow Me.” The Greek word for “known” in verse 14 means “to know,
especially through personal experience”—so, we are designed to experience God personally.
(The Bible study, Experiencing God, comes to my mind. It is an excellent Bible study for
helping people come to know God intimately and how to recognize His voice.)
- Secondly, it’s beneficial to study the different ways God speaks to people in the Bible. I list some
excellent resources in the Recommended Reading section of the book. I have often found that
once people learn the different ways God speaks, they come to understand how He’s already
been speaking to them, and they just didn’t know it.
- Thirdly, in my experience, sometimes when people have experienced hurt and / or trauma from
people in positions of authority in their lives, they can transfer the judgments and expectations
that were sown in their hearts from those experiences onto God. Once that pain processes
and heals, they often experience breakthroughs in being able to hear God and experience His
WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS FOR DISCERNING GOD’S WORD OR MESSAGES TO YOU? DO YOU EVER NEED / DESIRE MORE THAN ONE CONFIRMATION?
Firstly, and foremost, whatever I sense God speaking to me must line up with Scripture for it to be a true message from Him. The Bible is the plumb line. I also acknowledge that some things I hear Him say don’t require confirmation. For example, if I sense Him saying how much He loves me, I already know that to be true based on the Word of God. Same goes for all His promises in the Word.
I also discern God’s messages by the ways He communicates to me. That’s why it’s important to learn how He speaks. For example, one way God communicates is through dreams and visions (Job 33: 14-17). He communicates with us according to His ways—and we learn these ways from the Bible. An excellent, encouraging, and easy-to-read book on this subject is Spirit Talk by Larry Randolph.
Another important thing to consider is how important it is to recognize that sometimes we can hear the voice of our own souls thinking that it’s God’s. This happens when our soul (our mind, will, and emotions) gets attached to a particular thing, idea, outcome, etc. I find it important and helpful to include wiser and more mature believers in the process of seeking God for answers to such things for confirmation. I also find it important in such situations to pray and submit my will to the will of God as seek Him.
Finally, when I am making weighty decisions (taking a new job, moving, taking on a new responsibility, etc.), it’s important for me to receive more confirmation because such decisions directly impact resources God wants me to steward well and whose sphere of influence I will be in (people who will influence me and people who I will influence).
YOU TELL YOUR READERS YOU PROCRASTINATED SEVEN YEARS ABOUT WRITING THIS BOOK. HOW DO YOU ADDRESS GUILT, REGRET, OR SHAME THAT MAY ARISE FROM DELAYING OR RESISTING A PURPOSE / MISSION YOU KNOW GOD REQUESTED?
In the early years of delay, I would go through cycles of experiencing guilt, regret, and shame and then repentance for not having written the book. That is when I would once again pick up the writing again. As I matured in God and understood more of His amazing love for me and my identity in Him, I did not experience shame anymore, but still had waves of guilt and regret. In these times, I would talk to God about it and ask Him to help me respond to His call. I would then go to write, but for many years experienced blockages.
This last year, when I began working with my writing coach / editor, it was an incredibly healing experience. Even though I had delayed for so many years, I experienced God’s grace and love in powerful ways as I wrote. I came to understand that I could write the book with Him instead of just for Him. I came to understand that I could write it in His presence. Pretty funny when you think about it, that it took me so long to figure that out considering the title of the book! Words can’t express my
gratitude to Him for helping me fulfill His call to write the book.
NOTE: If you are interested in learning more about biblical dream interpretation, Jeannine has a free teaching podcast available on www.imagesoflight.org. It is called, “Dreams: God’s Night Parables and can be found in the resources section of the book. The podcast is in two parts and nearly 4 hours in length.