Cultivate

Cultivate: (v) to promote or improve growth by labor and attention.

It is unfortunate that most religious individuals are so busy toeing the line—seeking God, criticizing sin and thinking of heaven—that they miss out on much of the beautiful poetry and insight contained in the Bible.

The Bible is like every other book I’ve read: there are parts I like, characters I enjoy, story lines I follow and truths I garner.

Within the Good Book, there is the parable of the farmer who plants seed in the ground. Then he sleeps—but he rises night and day to discover that the seeds have grown, but he does not really know how.

In the midst of that parable, this line appears:

“The Earth produces by itself.”

It’s so true.

We, as humans, actually rebel against the obvious, which steers us toward being kind and generous.

We have to be bratty to not see that the Earth itself teaches us to recognize one another in fairness and justice.

And we have to be total ignoramuses to resist the inclination to love rather than kill and destroy.

Our job is to plant seed.

After this, the Earth itself will show us how these efforts need to be cultivated:

  • What needs to be done to become an entrepreneur
  • What is required to be an excellent parent.
  • And the next steps needed to cultivate any venture and take it to a new level of growth.

Sometimes in America we forget to cultivate the way the Earth tells us. Then the weeds start showing up, and we begin believing that the weeds are in control.

Too bad. It’s a simple little system.

Plant your seeds.

Rise up and be astounded over the growth.

Then let the Earth itself tell you what to do next.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Brag

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brag: (n) a boastful statement

“If you don’t toot your own horn, it won’t get tooted.”

This statement is often said in public, and even though most of us are uncomfortable with the “brassiness” of it, we usually let it go by without contradiction.Dictionary B

Actually, I toot my horn so others will tell me how good it is. I require that confirmation.

Does this make me needy? It certainly makes me aware that my own sense of appreciation of my ability has limited quality to my soul.

It’s risky.

Since everybody is tooting their own horn, will they have time to stop and enjoy my melody?

Will I be left in obscurity?

Will I be ignored in favor of other horns which blare louder?

Perhaps. But the problem with bragging is that eventually circumstances arise which demand that we back up what we have claimed. Our reputation is whether or not we can confirm our bragging. If we can’t fulfill what we claimed, we will be deemed liars.

Jesus told a wonderful parable about arriving at a banquet and making a decision not to sit at the head table.

Yes–even if you think you’re worthy of it–even if you were invited to sit there–don’t. Seat yourself with the other guests until your host notices you perched below, and in front of all the attendees, calls you up to a place of honor.

Yes, I like that.

I can avoid bragging by doing amazing work and being discovered by those who are looking for such excellence, who call me up…and blow my horn for me.

 

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Antiperspirant

dictionary with letter A

Antiperspirant: (n) a substance applied to the skin, especially under the arms, to reduce or prevent perspiration.

“Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.”

Of course, if I were editing that statement, I would probably change it to, “Vanity, vanity–gosh-darn, so much is vanity.”

That’s because I’ve been raised, live and function in a very safe era, in which the selection of our thoughts and deeds is so scrutinized that no one really says or accomplishes much.

My exact sentiments on antiperspirant.

Just like the next guy–or most of them–I don’t like to stink. There are levels of odor which come from the human body which are acceptable, but they must fall in the range between putrid and floral. Finding that balance has created great concern and consternation among the masses, and also profit margin for those who amass a fortune playing off of the insecurity.

And even though we’ve been warned from our youth not to “sweat the small stuff,” when we remove all sweat from the human experience, we overheat and possibly explode.

Yes, sweat is how we cool off.

A dog does it by panting. (I am personally grateful that our Creator passed on that for us. If you don’t mind, I will save my panting for the top of that second flight of stairs.)

Instead, we expel water and salt, which mingles with bacteria on our skin to form a concoction which can smell anywhere from “wet towel” to “skunk.”

But if you remove that process from our biology, we suffer. It is the only method the human has for cooling down the old engine before we blow the radiator cap.

So it is possible to let my armpits sweat just enough that my fleshly unit doesn’t dribble the moisture down my legs, while also requesting that this mini-geyser of fluid remain semi-fragrant, without ending up completely against perspiration.

Yes, I think the antiperspirant is a parable of our times.

We want to perspire.

We just refuse to sweat.

 

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