Plant, Ponder, and Prosper

Good Morning,

And what a Tuesday morning it has become. It began with overcast skies, and I went outside to take some pictures of our side yard, where we had worked in the ground yesterday to plant four new blueberry bushes and two new blackberry vines. I got the pictures just in time, before the predicted rain began to fall. For, here in Griffin where we live, the predicted storm has now arrived. We are also under a tornado watch and this storm is going to hang around into the night season. We are thankful that we were able to plant those six fruit trees yesterday, and also thankful for the rain to water them today. Thank You LORD God!

We spent a good portion of yesterday digging and planting. I had to use my pickaxe to dig out some left over tree roots, and it took us a few hours of working together before we had finished for the day. However, it was a good feeling when we were done, tired though we were. Yes, even exhausted! We prayed and asked God to bless the work of our hands, even as Joseph (Genesis 39) was blessed because the LORD had prospered the work of his hands. Oh, and we found a new tree (a red oak) that had recently sprouted up a little too close to our neighbor’s wall, where it could cause some damage if left to grow there. So, we transplanted it to a more prosperous location where it will provide some shade and beauty as it matures.

I pray that as you read this midweek pastoral letter you will remember how the Lord wants to bless His people through their loyalty to Him and faithfulness to their daily chores. As you can read in Psalm 1:1-3: 

“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.

“He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”

Psalm 1:1-3

To “meditate” as it is used here in scripture actually means to “ponder by talking to oneself.” That is by memorizing and repeating God’s word back to yourself, and thinking deeply about it. Gardening surely creates an opportunity within your own mind to do that. And something unexplainable, except through experience, happens because this kind of physical labor, working in the garden has an uplifting effect on your outlook and on your mood. And the promises of God’s word become more enmeshed in the very fabric of your soul, and you feel truly blessed.

Moses wrote the “Book of the Law” to which the Psalmist is most certainly pointing as worthy of such meditation. In Genesis, the first book of the Book of the Law, we see the story of Joseph. Joseph was earnest and faithful to work even while serving as a slave in Potiphar’s fields and God prospered the work of His hands. Psalm 1 repeats the promise to those who like Joseph will endeavor to be faithful to God notwithstanding adverse circumstances. So that they may be planted and prosper, even as a goodly tree planted by the rivers of water is prospered by the Creator to “bring forth its fruit in its season.”

Even so it was for Joshua, as the LORD God instructed him in the day He called him to lead His people:

“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Joshua 1:7-8

Would you like to be strong and courageous like Joshua was called to be, and to “have good success”? Like Joseph was even when he was surrounded by severe trials and temptations? Remember Potiphar’s wife, what she did to assault Joseph and falsely accuse him? Remember when Joseph was thrown into prison due to those false accusations? Then those of you who would like to be strong and courageous and to have good success, notice how strength and courage and success are intimately intertwined with the call to meditate upon “The Book of the Law.” That it should “not depart from your mouth” reinforces the idea that to meditate is “to ponder by talking to oneself,” by memorizing portions of God’s word and learning from His Law.

I have titled this blog, “Plant, Ponder, and Prosper.” To plant is to work in a garden, or to work with your hands or your mind at your daily tasks. Your job? Yes! And even in your home, in your community and also within God’s church. To ponder is to meditate on God’s word, thus to grow in character through believing in Jesus and knowing Him and thus to be freed from the slavery of sin. And to prosper… that is the Lord’s reward to you when He blesses your work for your loyalty to Him. Even as He blessed Joseph and Joshua.

As you ponder the meaning of the Psalm 1, I pray that your mental faculties will be quickened by the Spirit of God, and that you will be found among His people who are endeavoring to “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12), being united together through the work of the Holy Spirit, in order that we will be blessed to prosper in our combined work to share His Everlasting Gospel to those who dwell in the earth (Revelation 14:6).

“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Dean

Published by Dean C. Read

I am a follower of Jesus Christ who seeks to make Him known to those who do not yet know Him, and to make Him better known to those who do. Thus, God has led me throughout my life of now over 6 decades. I have been married to and in love with the same woman for over 38 years and we have children and grandchildren whom I also love. That does not mean my family has not been through trials. We human beings certainly know how to test and even hurt those we love. But, God Himself also knows the challenges, the trials and even the fickleness of human love. Yet, Jesus has demonstrated that God's love is sure and secure, faithful to the very end. So, yes, I love because God is love. And, I seek to make the love of God known as it should be. I am a pastor, a preacher and a teacher of God's word, the Bible. Before I became a preacher, I was a public school teacher, and before that I worked at various jobs including, painting, construction, ambulance EMT, parts assembler, and even a paperboy back in the day. In school I played trumpet in the band, was a track and cross country runner, enjoyed most subjects including History, English and Science, and yet, after graduating from high school, I struggled to find my path. Perhaps you can identify? I did not graduate with my Bachelor's degree until I was 26 years old. And yet, from an early age I knew that God was a God of love, and that He had a plan for me, if I would just be open to His leading. God has brought me through many trials, and has always been there to pick me up when I had fallen or been discouraged. And now, I hope to write in such a way to attract others to this God of love. By the way, I also enjoy camping, reading and outdoor activities, especially strolls on the beach, or hiking a mountain trail. My favorite places on earth are Sequoia National Park because of the Giant Sequoia trees, Yosemite National Park, and the jewel of Georgia known as Jekyll Island. I could tell you more; but hopefully, as you read my posts you will learn more about the God whom I love.

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