20 September 2018

Sing You Home ~ Dried Up Wells


Greetings Dear Reader,

My Grandfather’s neighbor had a well.  It was the classic kind that you think about with the stone circle, a wooden roof, and the bucket on a pulley.  It even had a lid.  One day his neighbor was out trimming bushes and I asked if I could draw a bucket of water up from the well.  The man regarded me for a moment and then explained that there was no water in the well anymore.  Something had changed and he had not been able to draw a bucket of water for some years.

He went on to explain that he always meant to dig the well deeper of fill it in but he kept hoping that one day it would just have water again.  We walked over to the well.  He removed the lid and let down the bucket.  All of the well was clearly in good repair.  He showed me how to draw up the bucket using the crank.  As he had said the bucket came up empty.

Ten years later I first heard the song Dried Up Well by Mustard Seed Faith.  The image of Mr. Park’s well and the dry bucket on the end of the dry rope came rushing back to my mind.  It seemed so futile to me that he maintained the well and all its parts when he knew that it would produce no water for him.

It is not lost on me how obviously we translate this action to our lives.  We try to constantly drink from dry wells in almost every area of life.  We maintain the edifice without any hope of things doing what they are meant to do for us.  A well is meant to produce water.  No matter how pretty and maintained it is if there is no water then the bucket comes up empty.

When we try to draw from any well but Christ the bucket eventually comes up empty.  When we fail to follow Christ our own well becomes empty, or worse polluted.  When I told my Grandfather about the well incident his reply was something that also stayed with me, “What is down in the well comes up in the bucket.”  We cannot hope to give living water from our wandering broken hearts.

As I try to help sing you home Dear Reader I hope that this song makes sense to you.  I am in the place of refilling my well.  It has been a long time since I tended to its source properly and most of my energy is focused on that.  In concentrating on faith and following I seek to find a clean heart and right spirit so that perhaps I will still have something to offer others. 

It is not me that you should follow.  I am not a good man.  I am a fallen man trying to follow the one who gives us living water.  If you keep trying to drink from my well then eventually the bucket comes up empty or worse.  My brother and I were talking yesterday and he mentioned that when we see good in others we need to remember that it is Christ showing himself through them. 

I sing for you Dear Reader, though you cannot hear me.  We will get there if we simply follow the song and look for the one it promises.  His well does not always look pretty but the water is always the very best.  We should draw up a bucket and refresh ourselves before we keep walking.

Dried Up Well – Mustard Seed Faith

All through this life
You wander her and there
Looking for something anything some place where people care
You search for meaning in a dark and dying world
You get no smiles except from those you know so well
And it's so hard
To even tell
You're trying to drink
From a dried up well!!

And through the years
The many roads you take
The many dreams you had the life you tried to make
The precious moments the suffering and the pain
The many times your happiness became tears that fell like rain
And the emptiness you feel inside
Is like a bird
That that hasn't learn to fly!

And now a door
Opens wide for you
The door is Jesus
Won't you come and walk on through?
His living waters will fill your dried up well
And overflow it with a love that you can tell is the answer your looking for
All you dream of
And so much more!

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Facebook      Google +   
Twitter            Medium    
Novels on Amazon             

19 September 2018

Sing You Home ~ Be Still


Greetings Dear Reader,

So often when we run from God or reject faith entirely it is because of a person or people.  We pass judgment on an infallible Father based on the actions of his fallible children.  We run from the Father who loves us toward things that have proven over and over to harm and not heal.

I have done this when I did not want to give up my interests for what is right and good.  I have seen people I love dearly do the same.  We run when we should be still.  We think we are alone because we run but we never are. There is no place we can run where the Father is not there.  

It is when we stop running and become still that we can hear and know that he is there with us.  People will fail us.  I have been fallen and foolish at times.  It is when we look past the humans to the Divine that we find the help we need. 

The beauty in it is that no matter how long and how far we run, the moment we stop and become still, the Father is there.  He is there to heal and forgive.  It may take time to recover and it may take time to right things.  That does not mean that we are alone. 

There is always a way home Dear Reader.  It almost always starts with moments of stillness.  It always takes a little courage and hope.  It takes an act of will.  The beauty of it is that God is even at work in us to give us the will to stop and become still.  Whatever we run to or run from it is in that moment of stillness that we can realize that the Father is there with us to point us to the Son so we can follow him home.

I have had to take this time to be still.  I have had to remember the one that I follow is always there, in every moment to be with me.  No matter how dark or deadly the moment seems, it is in this stillness that I find the way.  I sing to you, though you cannot hear me to help you know where to stand and be still so that you can find the way home.  We talk about wanting to KNOW that God is there.  He says, “be still and know that I am God.”

Be Still – The Fray

Be still and know that I'm with you
Be still and know that I am here
Be still and know that I'm with you
Be still, be still, and know

When darkness comes upon you
And colors you with fear and shame
Be still and know that I'm with you
And I will say your name

If terror falls upon your bed
And sleep no longer comes
Remember all the words I said
Be still, be still, and know

And when you go through the valley
And the shadow comes down from the hill
If morning never comes to be
Be still, be still, be still

If you forget the way to go
And lose where you came from
If no one is standing beside you
Be still and know I am

Be still and know that I'm with you
Be still and know I am

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Facebook      Google +   
Twitter            Medium    
Novels on Amazon             

18 September 2018

Sing You Home ~ Opening Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

I have written more than once about the way music plays in my head constantly.  Often lines from songs or snippets of verse will pop into my brain when I am pondering a situation or processing something emotional.  There are also songs I associate with certain people. 

There is another way in which music camps out in my brain.  When others are struggling I often identify a piece of music with their current distress.  I see their need in light of the promises and hope of certain songs.  When I pray for them I often end with the song I have associated with their need.

Also, in this part of my thinking there are songs that express my heart so much better than I can.  There are songs that resonate eternally with my journey.  There are some that help me to have perspective and some that simply quiet my soul as I try to keep moving. 

I want to think through a few of these as I try to find a way to keep on the path home.  There are songs I sing for you Dear Reader.  I often do so when I am driving alone for a long while.  As I wind through the long roads of the world your needs and struggles wind through my mind and I try to sing you a little closer to home.

I hope you can keep my company whilst I share a bit of that with you.  Your thoughts and questions are always welcome.  We can start with something that has been stuck in my head for almost a month now.  It is a Christmas song but the phrases turn in my head to mean so much more.  Walk with me as I sing you home Deer Reader. 


I'm driving home for Christmas,
Oh, I can't wait to see those faces.
I'm driving home for Christmas, yeah,
Well I'm moving down that line.

And it's been so long, but I will be there;
I sing this song to pass the time away
Driving in my car
Driving home for Christmas

Its gonna take some time
But I’ll get there

Top to toe in tailbacks.
Oh, I got red lights all around,
But soon there’ll be a freeway, yeah,
Get my feet on holy ground.

So I sing for you,
Though you can’t hear me
When I get through
And feel you near me.
Driving in my car
I’m driving home for Christmas

Driving home for Christmas
With a thousand memories.
I take a look at the driver next to me;
He's just the same.
Just the same…

Top to toe in tailbacks.
Oh, I got red lights all around,
I’m driving home for Christmas, yeah,
Get my feet on holy ground.

So I sing for you,
Though you can hear me
When I get through
And feel you near me.
Driving in my car
I’m driving home for Christmas

Driving home for Christmas
With a thousand memories.
I take a look at the driver next to me;
He's just the same.
He’s driving home, driving home
Driving home for Christmas

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Facebook      Google +   
Twitter            Medium    
Novels on Amazon             

17 September 2018

Journey Me ~ Closing Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

It seems odd to close out writing about something so close to what I am intended to always be doing.  I do need to ponder additional things to keep moving.  Moving is what I must keep at to journey home.

I cannot make this journey on my own.  None of us can.  We need to follow someone there.  We do not know the way.  The one we follow “holds out a cross and a crown.”  I think that we do not consider that we have to accept both equally. 

We must take up our cross to follow Christ.  My Grandfather used to say something about this.  “When you saw someone carrying a cross you knew one thing.  There goes a dead man.”  When you take up the cross you resign yourself to death.  For us it is rarely physical death.  It is, however, death to self, to wants, and sometimes to our dreams.  Since this journey is not our destination giving up those things costs less than we think it does. 

There is also that promise of a crown.  It is not what we should seek but there is reward inherent in following Christ.  The idea is to follow for the sake of following; for the sake of our love for Christ.  I see that I have been too long enamored of things that are not part of the journey.  There is too much to attend to for me to be distracted by things that will not last. 

I know that I need fellow travelers but I need to depend on Christ and accept companionship as it occurs along the way.  I do not love any less those who said they would always share the journey with me and have left that promise behind.  I do, however, see that dependence on their words is another form of hanging onto the temporary.  “In Christ alone, my hope is found.”

I do not value your company any less Dear Reader.  I just realize that I cannot burden you with standing in the place of Christ.  You may reflect him and he may use you to provide companionship at times.  I will love you with all my heart.  I must, however, focus on Christ to journey me home.  It is where I long to be and where we are all headed.

In Christ Alone – Stuart Townend

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! - who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand:
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.
  
Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Facebook      Google +   
Twitter            Medium    
Novels on Amazon             

16 September 2018

Journey Me ~ Constant Conversation


Greetings Dear Reader,

It occurs to me that we do not get the idea of constant conversation with God.  I am the first to admit that I have not perfected it.  As with all things involved in following Christ this effort starts in the mind and heart.

When we journey, we desire companions.  We want the company of fellow travelers.  We forget that the one we follow wants our company as well.  I thought about this recently in light of the omnipresence and omniscience of Jesus.  I often use these two attributes to explain that there is not a moment in time where he is not already standing waiting for you to meet him there.

What I had not considered is this. Since that is true for every human everywhere, how must it feel to have some many of us ignore him in so many moments?  There is a unique pain to be being ignored.  The feeling of being treated as unworthy of consideration wounds deeply.

As I ask the Father to journey me along home, I consider all the times before when Christ has been there waiting for me to follow, to speak with him, to allow him to journey me and I have instead chosen something else.  I desire to find Christ in every moment.  I want to get to the place of constant conversation with him.  I have so far to go but I can only manage each moment as it comes.  I can only meet him where I am and hope to make the most of that encounter. 

I feel overwhelmed at the thought of succeeding to follow for the rest of my life.  It is daunting to give everything to Christ.  I can manage the next moment.  I can give that much and move on to giving the next one.  I can give up moments and count on the cumulative power of this to compound it into something significant.

Psalm 23
Jehovah is my ruler, teacher, shepherd, herdsman, and friend.  I will not lack anything or diminish.  He causes me to lie down in pastures of new grass.  He journeys me beside peaceful restful waters.  He returns my soul to himself.  He guides me in the furrow of righteousness for the sake of his own name.  Also--when I walk in a valley of death-shade, I fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff comfort me.  You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.  Certainly, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will abide in the LORD'S house for days without end.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Facebook      Google +   
Twitter            Medium    
Novels on Amazon             

15 September 2018

Journey Me ~ Purpose over Practice


Greetings Dear Reader,

I often wonder why we do some of the things we do in our lives.  As I began this part of the journey I mentioned that I visited three very different churches last weekend.  In every situation I found that I was pondering the “why” of things that were done.

I know some of the answers.  Some traditional practices make sense to me.  Some of them seem ridiculous.  Even the things that seem ridiculous are not mine to ridicule.  I am, however, searching for something specific.  I have only seen it in two churches in my life and neither of those were perfect churches.

My Grandfather used to say, “If you think you have found a perfect church, do not join it. You will ruin it because you are not perfect.”  We are not perfect and yet we demand perfection of others.  We expect a church to meet our wants and needs. We do not often enough seek the purpose of a thing before we criticize or we seek the purpose by being critical.

Since every church is composed of flawed failed humans trying to get home, we need to realize that they are not going to do everything the way we would.  We need to accept that at some point there was a purpose to the adopted practices and learn about them.  The understanding can lead to less judgement and more love.

As a Christ follower I must always understand the purpose behind my adopted practices.  There are very few right ways to do things but I am prone to think of my way as the right way.  As I journey I must abandon the dead weight of this belief.  I must purpose to have love for the Father and my fellow travelers as my primary purpose.  If I build on that then things will be vastly different.  If I can do that perhaps I will fail less often.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Facebook      Google +   
Twitter            Medium    
Novels on Amazon             

14 September 2018

Second Thoughts ~ Pumpkin Spice Pepto


Greetings Dear Reader,

The air has not yet begun to turn cold.  It was ninety-five degrees here today.  I had breakfast with my younger Son at Cracker Barrel.  We agreed that they are always consistent in any part of the country.

As we entered, the hostess pointed out that they were featuring a pumpkin spiced latte.  There were also pumpkin pancakes to be had.  My Son and I discussed the prevalence of pumpkin everything during the early Autumn.  I am sure we have all seen the memes regarding things such as pumpkin spice toothpaste or toilet paper. 

I have heard others complain about the pumpkin spice craze.  Whilst I do not join in the clamor for all things gingered and nutmegged, I do enjoy at least one of the hot beverages during the season.  More importantly, I celebrate those who find the time to be something they enjoy.  I revel in their relishing it.

It is a simple thing and it does herald the time of fire and frost.  It leads us toward winter and the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is the first inkling of something special in the air after summer fades.  That is a good reason to celebrate it. 

We must see ourselves reflected in the seasons and understand the changes as they come.  I can hear the excitement over a Pumpkin Spice Latte in the voices of those who love them and feel the joy that is coming as the season turns toward more serious celebrations.  In the journey we should embrace every reminder of those celebrations whether we like the beverage or not. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Facebook      Google +   
Twitter            Medium    
Novels on Amazon             

Journey Me ~ Is There Any Other God?


Greetings Dear Reader,

I was reminded of day some twenty-five years past.  It was a day I had forgotten but now recall with love and hope.  Here it is in brief.

Our family had journeyed to a church in Athens to see the model that this church used in worship.  It was a house church and corporate worship included the children.  Mine were six and four.  They sat on either side of me as we sang the hymns and listened to the reading of day.

Then there was a bit of responsive reading.  It began with this simple question: “Is there any God besides our God?”  The proper response to the reading is “There is no other God besides our God.”  Instead, from my left side, above all other noise in the room and before anyone else responded game the answer from my eldest Son: “NO!”

Almost every head in the room turned to look at him.  There was laughter and something more.  A few of us knew that he knew.  Throughout the next several years I saw that same confidence strong and bold.  I saw that belief work in the lives of others.

As I journey back to that same God, I find that it is never my faith that waivers but the application of that faith.  Whenever I do not live out my faith it is because I have stopped looking at Christ to follow him but rather have looked at other humans for my portion and support. 

When I look at anything other than Christ to guide me, I am not following Christ.  Instead I am following things of my own choosing that will not lead me home.  I must only follow Christ.  There is no other guide, example, or hope that is given me.  I dare not ask him to guide me if I refuse to follow him.  I cannot follow two paths at once.  I choose to follow this one.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Facebook      Google +   
Twitter            Medium    
Novels on Amazon             

13 September 2018

Journey Me ~ The Quality of Mercy


Greetings Dear Reader,

We often speak of the love and grace involved in the journey home.  Too often we neglect that other side of grace which is mercy.  We define grace as the Father committing righteousness to us at the expense of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.  We gain something we do not deserve by the actions of another.

Mercy is the other side of that coin.  When we are shown mercy, we do not get what we deserve.  We are given the chance to learn the lesson without the payment for our error.  We do not understand just how much mercy we are shown or how deeply that mercy goes.  I know that I do not often enough ask for mercy.

When my Sons were young and they would transgress I would sometimes try to teach them about mercy.  We would talk about the wrong done and agree that they deserved to be punished.  I would tell them that I wanted them to understand mercy and that on this occasion there would be no punishment.  It would be so that they could understand the quality of mercy. 

One afternoon my younger Son came into my office whilst I was writing.  “Dad, he began, “I think I need another lesson in mercy.”  I could not help but laugh at his attempt to arrange things in his favor.  He knew he had done wrong.  He knew what the consequences were.  He wished for mercy.

I have begun to pay more attention to the need for mercy in the journey.  I seek mercy for my failures and the consequences that echo through my life and the lives of others.  I beg the Father each day for mercy for my children that they will remember the faith they once embraced and come back to following Christ.  I ask mercy on our nation and our world. 

We have turned into a world that does not remember how deeply and desperately we need the Father’s mercy. The humility required to seek it seems lost to us.  The world grows further from this understanding daily. 

I know that I need mercy and grace in great measure.  I also need to find better ways to seek it and show it to others.  What about you Dear Reader?  From whom do you need mercy?  Upon whom do you need to bestow it?

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Facebook      Google +   
Twitter            Medium    
Novels on Amazon             

12 September 2018

Journey Me ~ Humble Men Seeking


Greetings Dear Reader,

There was a time some time ago.  It was too brief and beautiful to last.  There was a summer when my oldest Son lived with me where we would go together to an early morning prayer time once a week.

At first, we both found it perfunctory as it focused on a list and guided prayer.  Then the leader went away for the summer.  The person facilitating suggested that we have no agenda.  He suggested that we simply pray as our hearts directed.

Over the next twelve weeks that is what we did.  Men who were there to commune with the Father, prayed.   I heard my Son ask the Father about things that mattered.  I heard men become open with God and each other about their struggles and faith.  As I said it was brief and beautiful.

I think that there is too little time devoted by the people of God to simply praying together.  We are supposed to be praying people.  It is one of the ways in which we are directed to seek the Father.  It helps us to have greater faith and humility.  Both of which I am in dire need of acquiring.

As I seek that the Father journey me along home, I seek more time in prayer alone and with others.  The attempt is to shed the time of anything but honest adoration, confession, gratitude, and supplication.  I try to look deep within myself to unlock everything that hinders my prayer. 

This path reveals so much.  It shows me what errors I must redress and where my heart truly sits on many matters.  The time reminds me just how much I long for real conversation with Christ about all the things that burden me.  Please pray for me Dear Reader.  There was time when real men really prayed and it was beautiful.  It can always be so if we wish it.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Contacts for Aramis Thorn:
Facebook      Google +   
Twitter            Medium    
Novels on Amazon