Spring is approaching with its rituals of cleaning, which triggers a domino effect of organizing and reorganizing the entire house. My wife tackles the inside while I get the garage, and prepare the yard for spring. Admittedly, she has the harder task. Nature is awakened during spring and everyday new growth springs up. Our yard is the largest plant around our house; we balance it with of live bacterium, to obtain a soft, lush green blanket that is inviting to bare feet.
My wife and I share in the next level of preparation, which is our box garden for some vegetables, bird feeders, various plants and trimming trees; also included is their annual dose of fish liquid, bone meal and rose glow fertilizers.
Afterward, from the fruit of our labor, we enjoy the entertainment of hummingbirds, finches, sparrows, buntings, red cardinals and other species. Some time later, the plants bloom with a painter’s platter of an array of colors. The Knock Out red roses, Purple Crepe Myrtles, Indian Yellows, White Lilies, Bluish Jude, Yellow Cannas, bright yellow Esperanza with several glitzy mini flowers clothe the apron of the house. An added addition from nature, are the melodic dancing colorful Butterflies, Bumble Bees, Dragon Flies, Wasps, and the occasional appearance of Praying Mantises, Pond Frogs, and Gecko Lizards all jumping and crawling through the greenery; we enjoy this beautiful ecosystem of plant scenery and creatures.
Fixing the vegetable box garden bears the most labor of all. Tilling the land to soften it for vegetable seeds is an art. To produce a dynamic culture of plants includes an arrangement of accommodating live biological bacterium. Here is a small list of the live organisms for proper soil: After the dirt is softened, if possible, send out a soil sample to your agriculture department for analysis. The report from the Ag office will let you know what nutrients to add if any. After applying the recommendation additives to your soil from the Ag office, then use nematodes, earthworms, protozoa, fungi, arthropods, organic mulch, and organic compost to create a fertile soil. Good soil produces a maximum yield of vegetables and fruit.
Creating a community of supportive micro creatures for their house (the ground) to work together, which builds robust relationships. These micro beings ward off harmful creatures that do harm to their home. For a garden to produce a yield that is desirable, these good micro bacteria are a must. Everything in life that harvests starts with seeds. Ingredients for growth for every ecosystem to have a life cycle are: Sun light, water, minerals and the right micro creatures.
Lessons from symphonic nature can be realized for proper relationships between God and our fellow persons. In essence, the description above is creating a culture for suitable habitation. The box garden can be called a culture of vegetables. What type of fruit are you producing? Matthew 12: 33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
Culture defined: The prefix “Cult” means tilling the ground for habitation. The suffix “ure” means with force or pressure making the soil ready for seed planting. Designing culture requires tilling the ground with force to make it a habitation for seeds. What kind of seeds are you planting in your heart? Your soil (heart) will grow tares or grain. The quality of a person or society that arises from a concern for what is excellent in arts, letters, and manners. Culture is the seeds of behaviors, beliefs and characteristics of the mind, and spirit. Jesus culture is the seeds that produce a garden of right living.
Planting seeds in ideologies, philosophies, and theologies of life produces cultures for living as well. These cultures can be good or bad. Jean-Jacques Rousseau writings of a new order of revealed self in the 1700’s still are with us today. Rousseau is the modern Promethean, who stole the celestial fire and brought it to earth. He created the cult of humanism. He is a saint amongst the elite intellectuals. Rousseau’s dictums have influenced many clergymen as well, unfortunately, the moral traditions taught by Christ have slowly been eroding in many places of worship.
In nature as with principles for living, if seeds are of the same speciation or like kind seeds can produce healthy nutrients. A mixture of seeds of unlike kind create a hybrid of no benefit. Texas A&M agriculture department crossed two unlike seeds and created a hybrid corn. This hybrid corn looks like corn, smells like corn, but has no nutrient value. Oil and water don’t mix and light and darkness are incompatible. Deuteronomy 22:9 “You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled.
As Christians when we allow a mixture of unlike seeds sown in our hearts, a new hybrid Christian is created with little fruit. A disciple of Christ mirrors his Lord. There are swaths of worldly values in the church today where the focus is on self and not the lost.
Rousseau’s book “Emilé” exalts secular education as the key to making man fit for society. His vision for a denaturing man to fit into society starts from early childhood by secular education. The theory of his book is how natural man can live within society. His panegyric of self as the master of his own ship without the need for a savior; no need for revealed transcendence. How did he live his life?
Rousseau fathered four children with several mistresses. He never looked upon any of them, never named them except one and instructed his lovers to carry them to the orphanage. I might add; his unwanted children went to Christian homes, although he had little interest in the chartable works of the church. What was his excuse for having no natural affections for his offspring? He felt his writings were too important to be concerned with fatherhood. His craft was more important. Today the liberal secularists would say he is a complex man.
He was the first to exploit the guilt of the privileged while he lived most of his life off of wealthy women’s gifts. In fact, one woman rescued him four times from destitution, but when he was rich and she became indigent, her pleas for help went unanswered. He was a user of people. He was the prototype of the modern angry young man of class hatred. He was the first to dress quirky to present his new thoughts to the masses – ‘look at me, I’m different, I’m this and all of that.’ The elite loved him dearly, upon his death they spread his ashes in the pantheon. The modern elitists’ hope that their ashes will be spread over Rousseau’s in the pantheon as well. The cult of Rousseau amongst the elite is with us today. His seeds have created a culture of progressive thought without limits; modern secular man was born. The church has his seeds in them as well, by producing navel-gazing culture while the great commission is an inconvenience.
In the sixties, a sex culture swept the nation of our young folks. I was part of that culture and lived a life of decadence like many others. Later, came the drug culture that likewise carried a tsunami across our universities and in its wake left many young disillusioned. A culture of selfishness and hedonism always spirals downward in a crash. Can destructive cultural seeds be beneficial in producing a healthy society? The slogan of this generation is absolute freedom demanding our rights at the expense of others. Real freedom has boundaries. Freedom without wholesome constraints leads to bondage. Unwholesome seeds produce cultural poison robbing many of peace. “Doing wrong is always evil, always dishonorable.” ≈ Wilmore Kendall
In Afghanistan, there is an evil cultural practice called bacha bazi" or "boy play." It is evil incarnate. The sexual abuse these wicked men do to young boys is horrific. Some of our military soldiers came upon the torture of these young boys at the hands of their masters and stopped it, and now these American soldiers are facing court-martials for interfering.
Nations that pass laws that are against first principles look at good men as bad and bad men as good. When Natural Law is viewed as spurious among lawmakers, evil has been unchained on its people. Luke 17:26-27 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”
Modernity can invent all kinds fiddly sticks of logic they want, but the fact remains judgment is coming to judge the actions of mankind. How can anyone escape this day of reckoning? Jesus Christ is the savior of the world that will free the guilty. The medium of exchange for this culture to have peace is exchanging your life for His. God is love. Every culture has a medium of exchange, His Kingdom is love.
Any engine, to operate properly and to get the maximum out of life, needs a lubricant to separate parts and reduce friction. The Christian’s lube is love which lessens the amount of friction in life. Christ atoning death reduced the amount of suffering in the world. Before I became a believer, I was selfish to the core and hurt a lot of people. After receiving Christ as my Lord and King, I stopped hurting people, and some occasions that I did I immediately repented. After my conversion to Christ, I made restitution to all that I hurt by repenting to them and in some cases even paying monetary sums to my victims. Millions of Christians make restitutions every day on planet earth. Christians allied with Christ reduce more suffering in the world than anything else.
Most problems in life are seeds created by selfish opinions. Some opinions are benign, and others are damaging to society. Women’s right to abort their child is at the expense of the rights of the unborn child. Isn’t adoption the best loving alternative? Is killing babies good for society? There is forgiveness at the cross, for all of us have sinned. Christ is the antidote for evil when we repent of our sins. Jesus is the cure for wickedness.
What is the answer for society to reduce friction amongst each other for real freedom? The usual answer is love. Sounds correct, but the customary meaning applied to love varies. The Golden Rule, “Love your neighbor as yourself” is a good moral starting point. ≈ Jesus Christ
First principles are the foundation of every truth. Civil discourse is amenable between individuals when respected. “But as every truth which is not the first principle is manifested by the truth of some first principle, it is necessary for every investigation to know the first principle to which we may return, in analysis, for the proof of all propositions which are subsequently assumed.” ≈ Dante Alighieri
Any law passed that is not rooted in first principles is an unlit law. There is no first principle found making abortion right; it is an unjust law. Rulings violating first principles bring, chaos and division to a nation. A mixture of different seeds.
“How nearly divine in the words this function revealed, “Thou Hast made him a lower than the angels.” Whence it is manifested that universal peace is the best of those things ordained for our beatitude. And hence the shepherds sounded from on high a message not of riches, nor pleasures, nor honors, nor lengthen of life, nor health, nor beauty; but the message of peace. For the heavenly host said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.” ≈ Dante Alighieri
Even the fowl culture demonstrates God’s handiwork. Nature can teach us many beautiful principles about life. The Canadian Geese is one such fowl many lessons can be learned. Canada geese fly in a distinctive V-shaped flight formation, at an altitude of 1 km (3,000 feet) for migration flight. The maximum flight ceiling of Canada geese is unknown, but they have been reported at 9 km (29,000 feet). Flying in the V formation has been the subject of study by researchers. The front position is rotated since flying in front consumes the most energy. Leadership changes hands during the difficult flight. While flying, they honk to encourage one another for the long trip. Also, they have a buddy system so, if one should get injured by gunfire below, the companion stays with his wounded friend, in hopes it can rejoin the flight formation.
Lessons can be acquired from these winged beauties in building a winning team. I first heard about the teachings of Canadian Geese habits depicting the characteristics of the Championship Cowboys from offensive guard John Niland, two times Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl Champion and six times pro-bowler.
In society, there are iconic symbols that describe a culture. For instance, most sports fans would recognize this symbol.
Most sports fans around the world know it is Tom Landry. He built a culture of Champions. He implemented sound principles that developed character in his players to believe they were champions. What you believe is what you will receive. The Cowboys won several Super Bowl rings under Coach Landry. Coach would start every practice with scripture to build character. He was involved with every player to pull out his best potential. Those principles that he taught were encouraging one another, having several leaders to rotate, when one was down another leader would step up, they created a buddy system to watch over one another during injuries or to correct sloppy performances. No individual show-offs. Coach Landry’s teaching developed a roster of champions. They finally believed they were champions and became champions.
Coach Landry was digging up the fallow ground in his players’ hearts for the habitation of Victory seeds to build a culture of Super Bowl winners. The cultural refinement that Coach Landry represented became known as “America’s Team.” That distinction is still known today, but with less shine. What about the Jesus culture?
Principles are rules for life to maximize the best for you. The Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and teachings of Christ are seeds producing His culture in us. The teachings of Christ are to develop a team concept of winners who serve Him and others. Christ in us compels us to snatch folks off the road of destruction to walk on the path of Christ. Jesus is the gardener digging up our hearts for His habitation. Christians flourish with fruit as we cultivate our hearts for the seeds of His teachings.
Here is another iconic symbol that is recognizable: The cross of Jesus Christ. Does Jesus care about culture? He did give us principles to create a righteous culture of light on a hill.
The parables of Jesus, when adhered to, builds a godly culture. A good garden will thrive and reproduce itself. The soil of a disciple should be eager to receive the seeds of giving, forgiving, compassion, mercy and the righteous traits of Christ to thrive and reproduce.
Luke 8:5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” It must’ve been important for the Savior to cry to get their attention. Continuing He said later to His disciples, Luke 8: 11-15 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in the time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”
What does our culture look like as Christians? Below are sample verses that describe Christian culture.
Ephesians 5:17-19 “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
Galatians 6:2-9 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
As Christians, we give permission to the Holy Spirit to work on us for the rest of our lives. The Holy Spirit is tilling the soil of our hearts for the habitation of His presence. The culture of Christians reflects our Lord’s character. Two traits of Jesus are He gave and forgave. A Christian, who does not give for the cause of Christ or does not forgive others is repugnant to Heaven.
Team Jesus has players who encourage one another, they give to His cause, they pick up the slack when needed, carry one another’s burdens, and they have a buddy system of prayer. The Holy Bible has life instructions, and when applied to our hearts we start the process of turning into His likeness. Jesus is the greatest champion who ever lived.
As we imitate Christ, we become Champions. Finally, Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
The analogy above about culture can be applied to the Jesus culture as well: For Christians to grow we need good soil (repentant hearts) light (Jesus words), water (the Bible), minerals (Proverbs) and micro creatures (faith). Let our hearts reproduce for the King!