Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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Welcome to Cultivating Autumn 2022

October 10, 2022

Lancia E. Smith


The rhythms of the year are a beautiful phenomenon to behold. They reassure us with their known and reliable patterns. They point to realities greater than themselves, and they reflect back to us truths about ourselves. These rhythms ~ day and night, the seasons, and the cycling of the years give us a framework for living on this good earth. They are part of what make the conditions of earth hospitable for life. We do not make them; we cannot control them.  They answer to a Higher Authority and serve only at His bidding.

At this time of year here in the northern hemisphere we enter into the rhythms of Autumn. Deciduous trees begin first to show their leaves in deeper colour and then cast them off for the season. The weather cools, days shorten, nights lengthen. Gardens are harvested and bedded for the coming winter. Some of us pull out cool weather clothes, boots at door sides make their appearance. Many of us settle again into patterns attending to school and learning. Stacks of bedside books may start calling a little louder to us for attention.

Autumn is the crescendo of the song the years sing. In our hearts and in our lives, we sing it, too.

With this new season now full upon us, allow me to welcome you to Cultivating Autumn 2022! In this new issue we will be exploring not only the beauty of this season, but also two strong words – Authority and Telos. Authority is a word that many of us know, yet few of us understand well.  Telos on the other hand is a word many of us are much less familiar with. Even Microsoft Word does not offer a synonym in its thesaurus for us.

Why are we devoting an entire season to exploring these two words? The simplest answer is that authority and telos are two realities that do not fluctuate with the times or seasons. As Christ followers we need ever to deepen our roots into what is unchanging and true. While our understanding of them may grow as we mature, these two words do not change their core meaning with the rhythms of time. Like Tolkien’s stars glimmering high above the shadowed world of Middle Earth, authority and telos, shine steady above the fret and fray of our daily lives. They are unchanging realities. We need the unchanging and unseen to fix our focus on as the world spins. 

In these next few months from Autumn through Christmas, The Cultivating Project will look deeply into what authority and telos mean, and how those two words and what they represent shape us as Christ-followers and makers. We will welcome these good words into our thinking as thought they are guests standing at our door whom we invite in for fellowship. We hope as we give attention to them, we become friends with them, and in that welcoming perhaps Authority and Telos, as words and realities, become long-term dwellers at the inn of our souls. 

I want to encourage you as a fellow cultivator to not only read along with us, but to enter into this for yourself, too.

Follow along with us in Instagram where we will have prompts, Scripture, quotes, and updates as we study these good words and what they mean for us.   

  • Give yourself a space in a journal or a folder to record your own search for the word meanings and look at about how those apply to you.
  • Look for places where you see the words used well, and where they are not.
  • See if you can find places in literature, music, or visual art, that represent them.
  • Listen to what the Holy Spirit is teaching you about them.
  • Write about these two questions:  What is holy authority and how do you stand in it?  What is telos and how is it expressed in you? 

The words we give shelter to form us. Let us welcome and cultivate to those that give life. 

But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, 

He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God,

that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name.”
John 1:12 AMPC

The featured image is titled, “Rose Hips in Dawn Light”, is courtesy and (c) of Lancia E. Smith and used with her glad permission for Cultivating. 


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  1. Emily says:

    This image of sheltering life-giving words is such a beautiful way to enter into this season. Grateful for this space that offers exactly that.

  2. Thank you, Emily! You are such a blessing. I am grateful for your presence here with us and am praying for you and yours. I hope this unfolding issue of Cultivating serves you well and foster a whole new way of understanding your value and calling!

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