Allow me to introduce you to the menu bar for Cultivating. It is a little different than other websites and online magazines. Our menu bar reflects seven basic tools we can use to explore, expand, and experience practices of goodness, truth and beauty in our everyday lives, specifically available to us through this site. These tools help us to cultivate the conditions in which we can thrive as believers growing in spiritual maturity, creative excellence, and rooted community.
Our senses are glorious, every day miracles – sensory tools that we barely notice most of our waking moments, and yet through the mystery of our senses in mind, body, and spirit, we the whole range of our existence. If I was teaching this in a classroom, I would include the senses of touch and smell that cannot be realistically included here. For all the media-rich experiences made possible through the internet, touch and smell cannot be conveyed through this medium. (Touch screens do not count!) Yet, by using each of the seven tools listed, touch and smell are ever-present in the experience. We touch our keyboards, touch our books (and sometimes smell beautiful old pages), touch and smell the food we make. When we Practice, and by practice, I mean “model after another”, we touch spirits. When we Pray, we may hold hands – our own or others, or hold a prayer book or Bible for guidance, or touch the floor if we are kneeling. When we Go – attend events, conferences, workshops, or engage in missions-outreaches, we also touch and encounter a whole range of smell. This is a holistic approach to learning and integrating our senses as holy and maturing people.
Written posts – blog, essay, short-story, poetry, and Scripture.
Examples of visual art – the galleries we produce for Cultivating each season, galleries of Featured Artists to visit online, and movies and videos we commend to you.
Exploring music, speeches, sermons, and the Cultivated podcast.
Food and recipes, but also about tastes we experience in our living and traveling and literature.
Modeling after the lives of others who are successfully living whole lives as practicing Christians engaged in the arts. This is based on Philippians 4.9. These posts are in-depth interviews with individuals who are not only inspiring, but worthy of emulating.
“Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace … will be with you.”
Prayer guides and approaches to prayer to help us grow in our skills of listening to the Lord and speaking with Him authentically.
Heading out of our houses or coffee shops, or wherever we may be reading Cultivating, and getting ourselves to conferences, workshops, events, or missions opportunities. Going also reflects the Great Commission in Matthew 28.19-20. Going out is an expression of maturing as believers, as artists, and as human beings.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”