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ISSUE No. 22 | JUNE 2O22


ISSUE No. 22 | June 2022


If you’re new to CULTIVARE we welcome you!  CULTIVARE is a monthly field guide for life and faith, brought to you by TEND.  Each month we explore a specific “field” – a topic or theme through which we seek to cultivate contemplation, engagement, and deeper understanding. Our guiding questions are:

What are you cultivating in your life?

What fruit do you want your life to bear?

Each issue of CULTIVARE is structured into three parts:

Cultivate:  Examines a specific “Field” or facet of life and offers questions to unearth and challenge our held perspective; along with concise kernels of truth which we call “Seeds.”


Irrigate:  Explores the ways we nurture our understanding, which varies from individual to individual. We offer six means of irrigation:  Art, Poetry, Profile, Film, Essay, and Books.


Germinate: Encourages practical ways to engage in becoming more fruitful and free in our lives.  

Our name, CULTIVARE, in Spanish means “I will cultivate.” We hope each issue of our field guide will encourage you to do just that – cultivate new thoughts, actions, faith, hope, and fruitful living.  We invite you to dig in and DIG DEEP!



For we are partners working together for God, and you are God's field.

(I Corinthians 3:9)


Our theme this month is ADVENTURE.  For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere,

June marks the beginning of summer.  For many, summer ushers in time for vacations and a break from school.  No better time to heed the call to adventure!


Cambridge Dictionary defines “adventure” as:  an unusual, exciting, and possibly dangerous activity, such as a trip or experience, or the excitement produced by such an activity. As you reflect on your life, what adventures come to mind?  How have adventures helped shape your spiritual life and faith journey?

In this issue we provide resources reflective of the power, predicament, and promise of adventure.  Three things stand out to us about adventure:

1. Adventures are REVEALING.  Nobel Prize winning author Andre Gide once observed:  Some people only start knowing themselves, finding themselves, when they start going on an adventure.

​2. Adventures are REORIENTING.  Author Stephen Covey once noted: Live your life by a compass, not a clock.

3. Adventures lead to REIMAGINING.  Helen Keller is noted as saying: Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.


Adventures can be experienced externally and internally.  The call to explore the great outdoors often awakens new insights about ourselves and our lives.  In this issue we feature painters from the Plein Art tradition who meet their artistic muse in the wilds and wonders of Creation. We feature poetry by John O’Donohue and a profile on marine zoologist turned poet David Whyte. Our short film highlights the challenging work of Sherpas who guide adventurers as they ascend the heights of the Himalayas.  And we feature two original essays: Fearsome Adventures by Emily Kim and Not What We Planned by Jason Miller.  


Our hope is that this issue will arouse and awaken a desire to venture out, explore, and discover.  John 10:10 tells us that Christ came that we may have life and life abundant.  God invites us all to adventure!  In the words of author Dr. Seuss: 


“You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting,

So get on your way!




You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. 

(Acts 1:8 NASB)



Then the LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and will bless you; I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, those who curse you I will curse; all the families of the earth will be blessed because of you. 

(Genesis 12:1-3 CEB)


And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah, and David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms,    administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned into strength, and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released, so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning: they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated – the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. 

(Hebrews 11:32-40 NIV)



A handful of quotes to contemplate and cultivate into your life


Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure. (Mark Batterson) 



One of the worst misfortunes of modern life is the lack of mishaps, the absence of

adventures (Theophile Gauthier)



If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal. (Paulo Coelho)



It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you

don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. (J. R.R. Tolkien)



An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered. (G.K. Chesterton)



To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement. (St. Augustine of Hippo) 



Life never gives us what we want at the moment that we consider appropriate. Adventures do occur, but not punctually. (E.M. Forster)



As a society of unbelief, Western culture is devoid of a sense of journey, of adventure, 

because it lacks belief in much more than the cultivation of an ever-shrinking horizon of 

self-preservation and self-expression. (Stanley Hauerwas)



Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It's not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He's made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, "Let's go do that together.” (Bob Goff)


Artist Wes Newton from Oklahoma City takes part in the Quick Draw event at the first (2012) 'Plein Air for the Park' event in Grand Teton National Park.   Photo by: Jackie Skaggs


Artists of the Month


This month’s artist profile highlights painters from the Plein Air tradition. Plein Air, which in French literally means open air or outdoor, is a painting technique by which the artist paints landscapes and attempts to capture the lighting while being outdoors. We honor these artists who go out to their muse, and in so doing are often transformed by their surroundings. As artist Mark Brennan articulates, “We flogged through thigh-deep mud and were poked and punctured by ancient spruce that were no more than two meters tall. We were to seek cover from the insects and were always on the lookout for bears and angry moose. For landscape painters it is very important to experience the places we choose to paint firsthand.” Yet the adventure is not only in the outdoor movement, but also in the act of painting.  As artist Harley Brown describes: “Creating on the spot has an adventure that my modest words will never explain.”


Learn more about the Plein Air tradition and artists by exploring this 2018 article from



Artist Susiehyer, of Evergreen, Colorado, paints during the “Chasing Light” plein air event at Cedar Breaks National Monument.  Photo by Brian Passey / The Spectrum & Daily News 




by John O’Donohue


Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.
When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.




By Billy Brummel

As we continue our journey down this road called adventure, we now look to the life and work of Irish poet David Whyte. Whyte originally set out toward a career that would utilize his Marine Zoology major and became a naturalist guide in South America; he had watched Jacques Cousteau as a young man and decided that life on the Calypso would be agreeable to him. However, it was in South America that he began to doubt that his future would include adventures in Marine Biology and arrived at his decision--to pursue the elusive “career in poetry.” He had long been in love with poetry, but until a near-drowning off the Galapagos Islands he had been unable to clear the mental hurdle that poetry was not a way to make a living. 


Even though he left outdoor adventure behind, his poetry career has seen him turn toward the inner worlds that shape our behavior as we muddle through our everyday existence. The initial focus he had when he began to pursue a vocation in poetry was the “conversational nature of reality” that he had observed in the natural world during his tenure in South America. As Whyte describes it: “...this elemental conversation actually puts you into a frontier conversation with the unknown, where to begin with, you’re actually not meant to understand what you’re working with. It’s a bit like when you’re at the beginning of a romantic relationship and you’re so shy and you don’t know what to say or how to say it or what to wear. So it’s the same at the beginning of a passionate relationship with the world.” 


Over time his mission became to explore our relationship with our work and how it shapes our identities. He even ended up doing consulting work about the role of creativity in the workplace for several Fortune 500 companies. 


While his life story is definitely interesting, rather than spending time telling you about his journey I think it’s far more valuable to present the treasure that he has found on his interior. So we offer below some of those treasures. May they spur you on external and internal adventures.


What you can plan is too small for you to live.

What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough

for the vitality hidden in your sleep


You must learn one thing.

The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds

Except the one in which you belong.


Your great mistake is to act the drama

as if you were alone. As if life

were a progressive and cunning crime

with no witness to the tiny hidden

transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny

the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,

even you, at times, have felt the grand array,

the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding

out your solo voice. You must note

the way the soap dish enables you,

or the window latch grants you freedom.

Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.

The stairs are your mentor of things

to come, the doors have always been there

to frighten you and invite you,

and the tiny speaker in the phone

is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the

conversation. The kettle is singing

even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots

have left their arrogant aloofness and

seen the good in you at last. All the birds

and creatures of the world are unutterably

themselves. Everything is waiting for you.



Each month we recommend films focused on our theme

Feature Film




Honestly, we would be surprised if you have not already seen UP. It is Pixar’s beautiful story of adventure in its many forms. There is the story of two explorers who find each other and journey in the mundaneness of living life together. There is the story of the husband learning to live and risk again without his soul mate. There is the story of a child truly adventuring beyond his urban upbringing. UP, at its core, is a story about people, the adventure of learning about self and others. We highly encourage time with this film, and we suggest you have some Kleenex handy. Available on various streaming services. 


National Parks Adventure 


In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world. (John Muir)


One part of adventure is untouched beauty. For those of us who live in the United States we have such beauty in our backyards. Starting in 1872 with Yellowstone, the designation of a ‘National Park’ became a way to protect the natural beauty of an area from the natural consumerism of our capitalistic impulses. A National Park is land set aside for “the preservation, from injury or spoilation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within said park, and their retention in their natural condition” – all for the benefit of public enjoyment. There are 63 national parks comprising 84 million acres of protected land that have been deemed worthy of such protection. We invite you to enjoy the beauty of this documentary. The film is narrated by Robert Redford. May it spark a desire to see God’s natural wonders, many of which are a simple day's drive from your home.  Available on various streaming services. 

Short Film


(14 Minutes)

Not all adventure is joyful or chosen.  Often adventure is tenuous and risky. In the high-altitude world of the Himalayas, Sherpas risk their lives in service of others’ adventures.  This short film offers insight into Sherpas’ lives and desires for the future.  

View Now


TED Talk

The Science of Adventure

John Levy

(10 Minutes)

Everybody talks about experiencing life but nobody’s willing to go to battle with that conversation in their head in order to actually do that. (John Levy)


Often at Cultivare we identify what we feel to be a meaningful TedTalk. This offering is not an official TedTalk but is similar in its presentation. John Levy is a behavioral scientist who studies influence, customer engagement, and adventure. In this reflection on his own life experiences, Levy questions humanity’s sense of risk aversion. He asserts: “The scope of our life is in direct proportion to how uncomfortable you are willing to be.” He suggests that meaningful living involves engaging in the unknown and the unexpected and at the conclusion wishes all of us “an incredibly uncomfortable life and all the gifts that come with it.”

View Now



For our “Essay” this month, we feature two original reflections by individuals connected to Team Cultivare.  The first is by the 20-year-old daughter of a team member, and the second is by TEND’s Associate Director.

Fearsome Adventures

By Emily Kim 

Fear.  The distinct and honest feeling I associate with Adventure.  I was six years old when we left the comfortable security of my childhood home to follow God’s calling to serve as tent-makers in China.  I was afraid.  


My father has always chosen the road less taken and is often paving his own way where there is none.  Half-confident, I follow.  We have wandered the empty back trails of a mist-shrouded 黄山 (Huáng shān), China’s holiest mountain.  The circuitous journey took so long, the sun having long retired, that we tumbled down the mountain in pitch darkness, our legs buckling under us.  I was afraid we would not make it, at least not in one piece.  A few years later, it was past sunset when we miraculously made it back to camp after being chased by a band of wild monkeys, comforting a wounded abandoned baby tapir, and fording leech-infested rivers as we wandered the oldest tropical jungle (Taman Negara) in the world. 


I have slept in the ruins of the Great Wall of China, nursed a baby elephant back to life, kayaked distant rivers and lakes, practiced Kungfu with Shaolin monks, rappelled down cliffs, caught my first wave in Bali, explored the ruins of Tomb-Raider, eaten bees and grasshoppers, learned woodcarving from local artisans, and gotten lost in desserts, jungles, oceans, and mountains.   


To some, my short life reads like National Geographic, Indiana Jones, Anthony Bourdain, or Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go. My adventures with my dad have tested my faith, cultivated my trust, and tempered my resilience in a million different ways. Despite the vast diversity of destinations we have visited, one factor is always consistent: we always try something new, and we often get lost. My dad has lead me down the untrodden path, the secret shortcut, the alluring backstreet and we will find ourselves unequivocally and inexplicably lost. At the end of the day, we always find ourselves back home.


In the unknowable future, as I take the mantle of adulthood and make my own choices, I am sure to lose my way time and time again. But one thing I have learned from the many fearsome adventures with my dad is that God has been faithful, and He will be faithful today and tomorrow still. Reflecting on my dad’s boldness, composure, determination, purpose and faith, I have also recognized that “not all who wander are lost” (Tolkien).

Not What We Planned

By Jason Miller


“It's not what we planned… but it’s brilliant.” These words were first spoken on a day of disappointment. No one watching the scene could have guessed there was room for disappointment, as the words were first spoken while sitting on the back of a boat sipping hot drinks and watching a whale breach after having swum with dolphins off the coast of New Zealand. How could that be a day of disappointment? It’s only possible when the day’s planned adventure had been one of glacier climbing. And, when a heart was aching on this New Zealand adventure because what they’d really wanted, planned and hoped for during this season was to be stuck at home with an infant. Instead, infertility gave them no excuse not to travel. These words, “not planned, but brilliant,” unlocked something deep and came to memorialize so many of our adventures –- even, maybe especially, the ones that began with confusion or disappointment. They have been spoken during a simple mountain climb that became a survivalist exercise in an ice storm, a five-hour Philippine water taxi ride that turned desperate and took eleven hours to reach shore, a 15-minute delayed flight that turned into a 24-hour layover in Manhattan. They have also been spoken over every-day scenarios like moving to our current city for six months - that was thirteen years ago, staying local to be near ailing family members, and the birth of our daughter after twelve years of unexplained infertility. Life is adventure. Often not what we planned, but brilliant.  



Each month we recommend a book focused on our theme


Love Does (2012)

Bob Goff

We need to stop plotting the course and instead just land the plane on our plans 

to make a difference by getting to the "do" part of faith. (Bob Goff)


One of the salient points of adventure is that it is active. Another is that it is not limited to travel away from home. In Love Does Bob Goff explores what it looks like to be an active participant in God’s daily Kingdom work. As Goff sees it, “Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us.” This New York Times best seller invites you to consider the adventure God is offering you- what, who, and where He might be calling you to engage.

  • Amazon


Practical suggestions to help you go deeper into our theme


Devote some time and thought to these reflective questions on our theme:

  1.  What has been a meaningful adventure that you have experienced in your life?

  2.  What was it about that adventure that made in so meaningful?

  3.  When was the last time you had a true adventure?

  4.  Do you long for adventure?  Why or why not?

  5.  Do you consider yourself adventurous?  Why or why not?

  6.  As you imagine a future adventure, what do you picture?

  7.  What steps can you take to make that imagined adventure a reality?



If you find yourself in one of these five situations – and we think most of you will – it’s time to think about making space for something other than your current routine.

View Now


Have you ever thought of being involved in a church as an adventure?  In this thoughtful 2018 article by Erin O. White for On Being, she shares of her experience in a rural Massachusetts church. 

View Now


This article from The Atlantic explores the prism that those who successfully navigate the adventures of this world seem to have. While adventure involves discomfort, it also entails passion and fulfillment.


View Now


Lord, Your plans are far better than anything I could possibly map out! You know Your way around this planet, because You created this planet. So be my GPS, Father! Lead me every step of this adventure. Guide me along the way with Your loving hand and show me which way to turn. Help me to follow You, keeping an open heart and a listening ear to Your directives, rerouting me whenever necessary to get me back on the path that will yield the most fruit in my life and for Your Kingdom. 

In Jesus Name, 




dig deeper


But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.

(Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV)


CULTIVARE is a ministry of TEND and is offered free to our subscribers.  We are grateful to our donors who help underwrite our costs.  If you would like to support the ongoing work of CULTIVARE, please consider us in your giving. All financial contributions to TEND

(a 501c3 ministry) for CULTIVARE are tax-deductible.  

Subscribe to CULTIVARE for free! 



Images used in order of appearance:

1.   FIELD:   Jason Miller, Adventure Ahead, Kauai, Hawaii 



2.  SEEDS:  Jason Miller, Life Outside the Bubble, Edinburgh, Scotland



3.  ART:   Photo #1:

Photo #2 :


4.  POETRY:  Ruth Hunter, Following Yonder Star, Doha, Qatar



5.   PROFILE:   Duane Grobman, The Dawn of Man, Santa Fe, New Mexico



6.   FILM:  Duane Grobman, Symphony Swings, Anaheim, California



7.   ESSAY: Duane Grobman, Ukulele Euphoria, China 



8.   BOOKS:  Ruther Hunter, Prom Pictures from the Taj Mahal, Agra, India



9.   DIG DEEPER:  Duane Grobman, Doorway to Adventure, Filoli, Woodside, California



10.   ROOTED:  Benjamin Hunter, Bestride the Narrow World, Yorkshire Dale, England

TEAM CULTIVARE:  Duane Grobman (Editor), Lori Andrews, Elizabeth Bolsinger, Billy Brummel, Ben Hunter, Eugene Kim, Andrew Massey, Rita McIntosh, Jason Miller, Jason Pearson (Design:



We welcome hearing your thoughts on this issue

and suggestions for future issues.

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