18 August 2018

Negating Needs ~ Possessions


Greetings Dear Reader,

I had not intended to address possessions as I have previously done that at length.  As I work through my heart and mind relative to needs, however, something odd occurred.  I was suddenly enveloped in the desire to be rid of almost everything. 

It descended on me in an almost suffocating manner.  I felt suddenly walled in by all the things that I have that I do not need.  If this is imposing itself on me after I have already purged so much then I think I must go further.  I think that if I am feeling this at the same time I am redefining what I need versus what I want then I must consider another wave of reduction. 

I know that I have more than I need.  I have been purging books all summer which is difficult for me.  I think that I must turn my attention so some other things as well.  My possessions feel more like an anchor than anything else today.  Some things are necessary to my work and craft. 

As for the rest, my attachments are memorial, sentimental, or small obsessions.  I like to collect things.   I have sold off my most valuable collections over the last year to supplement my lack of income. I will address the small collections in the coming week.  I think then I will start at one end of my abode and progressively removed everything that I have not used recently.  It will be taxing but it may also be freeing. 

The Things We Leave Behind – Michael Card

There sits Simon, so foolishly wise
Proudly he's tending his nets
Then Jesus calls and the boats drift away
And all that he owns he forgets

But more than the nets, he abandoned that day
He found that his pride was soon drifting away
And it's hard to imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind

Matthew was mindful of taking the tax
And pressing the people to pay
Hearing the call, he responded in faith
And followed the light and the way

And leaving the people so puzzled he found
The greed in his heart was no longer around and
And it's hard to imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind

Every heart needs to be set free
From possessions that hold it so tight
'Cause freedom's not found in the things that we own
It's the power to do what is right

With Jesus, our only possession
And giving becomes our delight
And we can't imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind

We show a love for the world in our lives
By worshiping goods we possess
Jesus has laid all our treasures aside
And love God above all the rest

'Cause when we say no, to the things of the world
We open our hearts to the love of the Lord and
It's hard to imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind

And when we say no, to the things of the world
We open our hearts to the love of the Lord and
It's hard to imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind
Oh, and it's hard to imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind

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 ͡°)

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17 August 2018

Negating Needs ~ Companions


Greetings Dear Reader,

I know that I have stated many times how much I abhor living alone.   There are many reasons for this and most of them are deeply personal.  It is not something I will redress here.  What I do need to consider is what my genuine needs are as regards companions.

We are designed to be social people.  We do better when we care for each other and share good things with each other.  When I am out and the world my focus is to be that of showing kindness, grace, and love to everyone.  When I am back at my abode, however, there is something about isolation that is difficult for me.

Even though I hate this, it does not mean that there is a genuine need there.  I am not saying that I do not have a genuine need for companionship and family.  I am saying that I must define clearly where need ends and want begins.  Even in the deep feelings of isolation and the torment I feel over it, it is very clear that I define wants his needs.

If I am going to be all that I should be, then I must squelch the wants that are not needs.  This is much easier to say than to put into place.  Perhaps the question I can put up against those feelings is one that I use against filtering other activities.  The question is, “Who does it serve?”

Everything about my life should be focused on lovingly serving Christ and the needs of others.  Beyond that, I’m supposed to count on Christ to meet my needs.  Even if my wants have good and honest motivation, if they are not needs, I must strip them away because it is not me that determines things.

I think that we all across the barrier between want and need when it comes to good things.  Just because I want peace of mind about something does not mean that I need it.  Instead, I must use my faith to realize that I and exercising a want and not trying to meet a need.  I think that many of the things we do to damage close relationships are involved in forgetting where this line is.

I can only become my best self and every moment if I constantly am aware of the difference between wanting to know and needing to have faith.  It really is the essence of following Christ that this difference matters.  If I am to acknowledge Christ in a all my ways, it must go is deep as the very core of my wanting to know that things are OK.  It must reach all the way to my worry, doubts, and fears.

I do need friends and companions.  I do need fellow travelers.  This does not mean that I get to define them the way I want to.  It does not mean that I can place demands on anyone and then say I am doing it out of care for them.  The answer of the question of who it serves becomes me.  That is not following in faith.  So, as frightening as it may be I must strip away everything that is an interpersonal one and not a genuine need.  I must not exercise my wants because then they become stronger and represent themselves as needs.

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 ͡°)

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16 August 2018

Negating Needs ~ Respect


Greetings Dear Reader,

This is one of those issues with which I have wrestled almost my entire life.  Growing up in the South I do not recall a time when I was not expected to “respect my elders”.  Perhaps I should define respect first:

noun: respect
a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements, the state of being admired or respected.
synonyms:   esteem, regard, high opinion, admiration, reverence, deference, honor, due regard, politeness, courtesy, civility
antonyms:    contempt, disrespect

I see the need to respect people.   That is something that our society must perfect if it is to find peace.  My Grandfather telling me to respect my Grandmother when I was rude made good sense.  Since 1950 the use of this word has declined in use every year. 

I think that we can all agree that giving respect to others is important.  It is vital to peaceful relationships that we give respect.  I am more concerned about the other side of the coin.  I am concerned that we are identifying a false need when we think we deserve or are due respect. 

It may be true that we do deserve respect due to our office, position, or person.  Children should always respect their parents.  That does not mean that as a parent I should focus on deserving respect.  It does not mean that I can carry that as a weapon in my arsenal.  If I do think I am due respect, I am creating a need that can only be fed by pride. 

Even if I am due it, it is not my place to demand or insist on it.  I can only see that coming form my pride.  When I think I am due respect and I am disrespected it does not produce love and compassion.  It makes me angry.  If remember that I really do not want the things I deserve as a fallen human then perhaps I can deal with disrespect with more humility.

If I am to wage a war on negating my designees needs, I must realize that respect is something that may be important but I do not need it to be my best self.  It may be that laying aside the thought that I am due it will free me to see better ways to move others to be respectful.  I am sure that laying aside my feelings of insistence can make room for me to be more humble.  That is vital for me.

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 ͡°)

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15 August 2018

A Celebratory Interlude


Greetings Dear Reader,

Today is the day of celebration.  I cannot begin to describe my love for my daughter Christmas.  That the Creator chose to bless the earth with her during our time is impossible to quantify.  The world is a much better place for her place in it.  Her compassion, care for others, and ability to relate to the needs of others acre standout.

I have seen her ease the discomfort of total strangers with just a few kind words are a silent unseen gesture.  I have watched for that frighten children at ease.  She has a great capacity to walk through formality to build bridges to other people.  Those who suffer from hurt and loss always benefit from her presence and your comfort.

As the world spins round to her birthday we cannot celebrate to the length and depth that we wish.  That does not, however, limit the joy and beauty that we find in Christmas.  It is my greatest wish that everyone who knows her will take a moment today and reach out to wish her many happy returns of the day.

I would love to see heard a flooded with well wishes, remembrances of her amazing personality, and reminders of the amazing human being that she is.  This is much more precious than any material gift that could be given.  Her life touches so many others in so many good ways.  If you please Dear Reader who do take a moment to comment here and wish my Daughter and happy birthday.

Happy birthday Christmas.  You are loved far beyond your understanding and far beyond any human ability to make and understood.  You

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 ͡°)

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14 August 2018

Monthly Marketing Minute - August


Greetings Dear Reader,

At the end of August submissions from my BLOG for writings to be included in the devotional will be closed.  I still have about 120 items to fill.  Feel free to select any article from 2013 – 2018 that you would like to see included in the book.   You can simply copy the URL from the page you want included and send it to aramisthorn@aramisthorn.com. 

I want to thank those who have already submitted responses for this effort.  Your input is valuable.  I am trying to honor every request.  If you have submitted a request and I have not responded please send it again.  If you want to help in other ways, here are some suggestions:

  • Comment on and Share my BLOG:  http://aramisthorn.blogspot.com/ .  Going to the actual blog page is the best but Facebook, Google +, Twitter, and Medium are helpful as well.  Every time you share or comment on my blog it raises my visibility.  Whilst you are there you can also follow me on these sites. 
  • I also have a kids BLOG: https://aramisthornkids.blogspot.com/ .  Always friendly and kid safe.  The youngsters in your life can interact with a real author.  
  • Read my novels.  You can get them HERE.
  • Post reviews after you read my novels.  I would love to know when you have done this. Please send me a link.
  • If you want me to come talk to your book club, social circle, writer’s group, or any other group you think would be interested you can reach me at aramisthorn@aramisthorn.com.  I would be happy to share my journey and experience in hopes of encouraging others along the way.


Thank you for your support and kindness as we walk the journey together.

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 ͡°)

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Negating Needs ~ Practical Possession


Greetings Dear Reader,

During the ten years I taught information technology classes I would counsel my students about the dangers of the ever-expanding hardware offerings.  One of the practical things I offered was to refrain from looking at computer prices for six months after purchasing a new computer.  You will always find something better and less expensive if you do look.

Too often we would be discussing an advance in hard drives or video cards and a student would proclaim, “I need that $500 video card.”  This would always trigger a discussion of want versus need.  There are times when one needs to legitimately update one’s video card.  Wanting better colour and resolution does not constitute a need.

This is just one example of the ways in which we turn wants into needs in our own minds.  Having spent a year unemployed and needing to watch every penny, I have been reminded how simple my needs truly are.  A major step in negating needs is to realize that most things we think are needs are merely wants.  I convince myself that I need something because I want it so badly.

This has resulted in me possessing too many things.  If I am going to learn what I truly need to continue the journey well I need to diminish the material things in my life.  I need to clearly define the line between want and need when it comes to things. 

There is a time for us to indulge our wants.  Even under the law there is a command to use some of what we earn to purchase “whatever our heart desires.”  The important thing is to understand where that line is.   If I am honest then I will know it.  If there are things I want I can save toward them.  More important is that I learn to mitigate my wants and attend to my genuine needs.  That will lighten the load so that I can follow Christ more closely.

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 ͡°)

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13 August 2018

Negating Needs ~ Opening Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

Recently a in a conversation with someone I care for deeply the subject of my needs came into the discussion.  I have been thinking about my needs in the quiet dark for some weeks since that conversation.  I feel that an inventory of needs must start with differentiating between what I want and what I need.

We have genuine needs.  I believe also that we turn unmet wants into needs.  We also create needs through choices we make that are unhealthy.  In defining what my genuine needs are I can further find ways to stay away from indulging wants as needs.

There is another aspect of this into which I will venture later in the journey.  This part of the journey is daunting.  I will face things that I see as needs and will have to discard as well.  There are things that I have viewed as needs that are more honestly deeply felt wants.  Some of them spring from genuine needs but they may not be the best path to getting those needs met.

Your company and prayers would be welcome as I spend part of the dog days in this crucible of refinement.  If I can excise the false needs and pursue the genuine ones in a healthy way it will make me a better man. 

I suppose like shedding actual weight it may also make the journey home an easier exercise in the time remaining.  I realize more each day how much I long for home.  I currently do not have a home but I journey toward one that will meet all my needs and more.  Walk with me Dear Reader.  Your company is a genuine need.

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 ͡°)

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12 August 2018

Second Thoughts ~ Eevee Evolutions


Greetings Dear Reader,

This weekend was the Community Event for Pokémon Go.  It was a six-hour event spread over two three-hour times.  The challenge was to catch as many Eevee as possible and especially the special “shiny” ones.

I had the good company of my friend Kelly on the first day.  We had a successful hunt yesterday.  Today, however, the folks who were going to join me had to do other things and I went it alone.  The venue I chose for my hunt was one that affords both comfort and opportunity.  I was alone but in a vast crowd of my tribe. 

There happened to be a comic book convention in the same building where I set up my Pokémon blind.  The comic convention was designed as a family event to introduce children to comics.  This resulted in a stream of costumed children filing by as I was catching Eevee.  Many of them stopped to see what I was up to.  I was please to have conversations with small versions of Wonder Woman, Batman, Spider Man, Batgirl, the odd wizard,and a few Pokémon characters.

The prize moment for me was when a wee lass dressed as an Eevee ran up to me very excited.  She whispered loudly, “I will let you catch me as long as you don’t crush me to candy or evolve me to a Jolteon.  They are just too spikey.”

I pretended to toss a ball and she pretended to be caught.  Her parents watched bemused.  Small children free of inhibition touch my heart in a unique way.  I promised to not evolve her or crush her to candy.  She went on her way not knowing how much she salved the deep loneliness with which I struggle today. 

A silly game and the introduction of children to comics is not much taken by itself.  If, however, we consider the way in which both events can build community from strangers there may be something more there of value.  If I keep thinking beyond the obvious I see how aid came unknown when I needed it.  That is a lesson in faith that is no small thing. 

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 ͡°)

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Fun with Flags ~ Closing Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

We rally around so many flags, banners, and protest signs.  We wave our flag and disrespect the flags we oppose.  I wonder if we realize that we betray our anger and hatred towards people through our free expression of hatred toward flags?

There are flags I see that trigger that in me.  They bring to mind evil acts done by nations or groups where people were harmed and human rights violated.  The fight is to remain one who loves my enemies.  It is easy to join in the spewing of hatred and demonizing “the enemy” to justify it. 

My obligation is to find a way to voice my concerns about injustice and wrong without hating the people involved.  Within our own nation we seem to have forgotten how to disagree without hating each other.  We have forgotten that our freedom to descent is begotten under the same flag. 

We can disagree.  If I hate you for disagreeing with me or disrespect your banner I am in the wrong even if my position is right.  If I win my cause by harming or destroying you, that is also wrong.  Further, if I disrespect the flag of the nation that provides me the freedom to fight for my cause, then I am ungrateful and hypocritical. 

I cannot follow Christ and fail to obey the rules.  They are simple to recite and hard to live.  That does not mitigate my obligation.  My heart must be for the people involved in every issue.  I must love an unpopular president even if his policies are opposite to my views.  I must love those who hate my country and burn my flag.  I must also look at my own values and assure that they do not violate that same obligation to love others.

It does not matter what my cause is, if I go into the fray with hatred in my heart I lose.  Even if I win I fail.  One can throw all of the situational arguments at it that one wishes.  None of them justifies unkindness and hatred.  It is a truth we may not like but it is truth.

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 ͡°)

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11 August 2018

Fun with Flags ~ Stars and Stripes part 2

Greetings Dear Reader,

You have a constitutional right to burn the flag.  The Supreme Court has made it clear that this expression is protected under the first amendment.  As I mentioned yesterday legal and wise can be two very different things.  We do need to consider the hypocrisy of burning the flag if we are American citizens.

I have friends that I love dearly who have begun to see that only the freedoms they value are worth protecting.  They rant against our system of government and spew obscenities about our leadership.  They exercise the freedom provided under out flag to hate the nation that provides it.

We have some very serious problems as a nation.   I do not, however, see people clamoring to get out.  I do see thousands of people choose a hard existence here over remaining in their home country.  We need more social justice.  We need to assure that all things are done with equity.  

The hypocrisy is that most others systems of government will not allow you to protest in this way.  They wish to impose their laws over your freedom to descent.   If you want to overthrow democracy you wish to overthrow the freedoms that allow you to wish to overthrow it.  It does not work.

I am not blind to the injustices that still exist.  I think there is a greater one.  It is the injustice of destroying the symbol instead of working for the cause.  I mean really working.  Protesting draws attention in almost all its forms but it does not create the change.  It is the everyday work that is required by everyone in every moment.  Working for genuine change is what makes a difference. 

As a man of faith, I am required to obey the laws of my government.  Unless that law violates human rights, I must peacefully work for change or accept the law.  Further, I am required to respect and pray for my political leaders no matter how I feel about their lives, politics, or social media.  No matter my opinion of the person in the oval office, the governor’s mansion, or the senate seat, I am required to love him or her.  I cannot follow Christ if I equivocate this in any way.

You are free to burn the flag.  I wonder, however, if one can do so with a heart filled by love and grace?  I know that I cannot hate anyone with a clear conscience.  There are people I want to hate.  I must discipline my own mind and heart to be free from that.  I must be respectful and work for peace and justice through peace and justice.  To me, burning the flag is not a peaceful act. 

Freedom Never Cries – Five for Fighting

I took a flag to a pawn shop
For a broken guitar
I took a flag to a pawn shop
How much is that guitar
I took a flag to a pawn shop
I got me that guitar
What's a flag in a pawn shop to me?

I saw a man on the TV
In a mask with a gun
A man on the TV
He had a ten year old son
I saw a man on the TV
His son had a gun
And he says that he's coming for me
.
I never loved the soldier until there was a war
Or thought about tomorrow
'Til my baby hit the floor
I only talk to God when somebody's about to die
I never cherished freedom
Freedom never cries

I wrote a song for a dead man
To settle my soul
A song for a dead man
And now I'll never grow old
I wrote a song for a dead man
Now I'm out in the cold
What's a song to a dead man to me?

I never loved the soldier until there was a war
Or thought about tomorrow
'Til my baby hit the floor
I only talk to God when somebody's about to die
I never cherished freedom
Freedom never cries

You can cry for her
Die for her
Lay down your life for her
Kiss and wave goodbye to her
Anything at all
You can cry for her
Die for her
Make up your mind to her
Anything at all, oh

There's a baby on the doorstep
Wailing away
There's a baby on the doorstep
Longing for the day
There's a baby on the doorstep
Who'd give his life to take
A flag to a pawn shop
A flag to a pawn shop
May he forget why he is crying some day

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 ͡°)

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