22 October 2017

The Three Endurances ~ The Final Endurance: Love

Greetings Dear Reader,

The reality is that love is the most powerful force in all that there is.  We do not really see it because we do not really live it.  My eldest Son calls it a barrier crushing force.  We do not think often enough about the destructive forces of love.  I think they bear addressing.

Love destroys.  It mutilates hatred.  It devours greed.  It shatters and mends the hard heart.  Like all real life it forces its way in to places where it is unwanted.  It corrodes and dissolves the iron resistance of will steeled against it.

Love consumes.  It ravenously devours selfishness and self-centeredness.  It fills every void into which it enters and leaves room only for those things which feed it or for which it is a fuel.  It will take all that you are and own it eventually. 

Love steals.  It breaks in. It destroys locks.  It tumbles every safe.  There are no secure vaults or guarded places where it cannot enter unwanted and steal away resistance and rejection.  It ferrets out every mote of the soul and demands all of it. 

Love kills.  It causes men and women to face death on foreign fields for the sake of heath and home.  It murders the selfless to protect others and even the selfish.  It consumes lives in its servitude.  It devours galley slaves to row it to its destinations.  It causes the Living God to take on flesh so that he can be hated, beaten, and nailed to wood. 

I must give everything I am to love.  If I do not it will eventually take it anyway.  I would rather be its willing slave than a conquered shell.

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.”

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21 October 2017

The Three Endurances ~ Hope on the Long Road

Greetings Dear Reader,

In contrast to the necessity of faith being exercised in the moment; in the sprints of the journey if you will, hope must be the marathon of the run.  Again I have written about hope before but not as the fuel for endurance that we need. 

My friend, who thinks that hope is a four-letter word learned of my faith and no longer speaks to me.  My hope to bridge the space between her anger and my faith was shattered but I put back the pieces in prayer for her.  I do not demand that others believe as I do.  I do not push it on them or judge their unbelief. 

I do try to live my hope and share the faith that gives it when I am allowed.  Sometimes others take a hammer to hope that I have that is not in Christ alone.  When this happens, it wounds me deeply.  My inner voice wishes for me to reject everyone and become a hermit.  My spirit, however, demands that I regain that grasp on my hope in Christ.  It demands that my heart gather the pieces and use hope to go forth to every moment that is afforded me. 

Hope is fuel.  It is the balm that helps us rise when we fall.  It is the oil that softens a hard heart.  It is what leads me on.  It is what keeps me looking for Christ in the moment and on the horizon.  Faith is what helps me look but it is hope that drives me forward.  It is in Christ alone my hope is found and may endure. 

Pilgrims to the City of God – Michael Card

Pilgrims of passion we follow the One
Who holds out a cross and a crown
We travel a dark road that has but one Light
For we have here no lasting town

Sometimes we run by the power of His might
On our own at the best we can plod
What we hopefully look for is just beyond sight
We are pilgrims to the city of God

In a fallen world that's not our home
But we are not homeless prodigals here
Because we have someplace to go

Sometimes we run by the power of His might
On our own at the best we can plod
What we hopefully look for is just beyond sight
We are pilgrims to the city of God

Behold you have come to Mount Zion
The the City of Great King
To thousands and thousands of angels who've come
Assembled to joyfully sing, they sing

Sometimes we run by the power of His might
On our own at the best we can plod
What we hopefully look for is just beyond sight
We are pilgrims to the city of God

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.”

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20 October 2017

The Three Endurances ~ Faith in the Moment

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have written often about faith and the endurance it can provide.  I need not dive back into that but rather wish to talk about the limited quality of faith.  There are ways in which faith expires.

There is a certain man who is in a struggle financially.  He related this to me.  He had a moment where he became anxious about meeting his obligations.  He felt the worry and fear.  He understood the situation.  He knew that he was being frugal with his savings and using his money wisely.  Further he knew that he was not going to violate his faith in God’s promise to provide.  Just after this thought he went to his mailbox and there was a gift from a friend to help tide him over. 

You see there was an expiration date on that moment of faith.  Had he chosen to violate his faith in that moment he would have lost the opportunity to see it realized.  This is no small thing.  As I spoke with my friend this week to get permission to write about him he related how this had happened again.  This time, however, he dismissed the moment of fear easily because of the Father’s provision.  He still has to have faith but it is bolstered by experience in having faith. 

Faith for the moment always has an expiration date.  It is that moment.  We are given opportunities daily to exercise our faith.  They are fleeting and vital opportunities.  This thought sheds a new light for me on something Jesus said.  He said, “He that is faithful in small things will be faithful in great things.”   The context is not this particular vein but the application is vital.

Being faithful in those fleeting moments of opportunity strengthens our faith.  It prepares us inch by inch for the times when our faith may be all that we have to sustain us.  I must constantly be aware that faith is supposed to be a part of the fuel for all I do.  Ultimately faith will become site and be unnecessary on the grand scale.  I must be faithful in the fleeting moments that offer me opportunity to have faith.  It is the small drops of the moment that lead to faith as broad as the ocean.

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 ͡°)

19 October 2017

Second Thoughts – Facebook Famous

Greetings Dear Reader,

Sometimes I will end the day with thoughts that are important to get out.  Usually I just write them and put them in my journal folder.  I have chosen that on occasion I will share them with you Dear Reader.

I saw a picture on my Facebook feed this week.  It was an adorable elderly lady holding a sign that read “I am 102 years old today.  Can I get Facebook Famous?”  I applaud her reaching my goal.   In fact, my goal is 102 years, six months, and twenty days.  That, however, is another story.

What troubles me here is the whole idea of being “Facebook Famous”.  Fame is one of those things that I see as attached to accomplishment.   I do not desire fame.  This is why I use a pen name.  Even if I become a bestselling author my desire is not to be known but to be lost in crowds. 

The idea of being Facebook Famous seems so fleeting.  It seems so unimportant.  What matters is what we do and not who sees it.  What is vital is that we accomplish things and not that we are famous for them.  We make celebrities out of those who are not deserving of celebration. 

Do not get me wrong.  I am impressed by the guy who can eat 72 hotdogs.  In the grand scheme of what matters, however, this does not matter.  I think it is great that the champion pumpkin pie eater can eat 46 pieces of pie.  This will not matter when we account for the good we did in the world. 

So tell me Dear Reader, what matters when it comes to fame.   I feel that like so many other things fame has lost its value as it is propagated throughout the world without merit.  I do not begrudge anyone recognition.  I just do not want recognition and acknowledgment to replace true earned fame and honor.

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.”

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The Three Endurances ~ The Corinthian Promise

Greetings Dear Reader,

I realize that some of you could not care less about what Paul has to say to the Corinthians in his letters to them.  Whilst I respect you Dear Reader if you have no use for the New Testament I would posit that there is value there for everyone.  There are universal truths in the text that can benefit everyone.

The primary context of the thirteenth chapter of Paul’s letter is the prime mover of love.  Jesus instructed us that the greatest and second commandments are to love God and to love each other.  The promise that Paul offers is that if we do wonderful amazing things and do them without love they are worthless.

He goes on to show the qualities of love so that we know what we are to do.  He also shows us just how easily we fail at loving others.  First Corinthians 13 has a greater context.  It is written to some of the worst behaved “Christians” of that era.  Paul is policing his own not handing out judgment to those outside of the faith. 

We live in an era where those who claim to follow Christ are easy targets.  The whole is painted with the vivid scarlet letter deserved by some.  We do not police our own as we should.  We do not see to our own house first. 

Worse, we ignore the Corinthian promise.  We act for our programs and causes without love for everyone involved.  We speak against issues which involve human suffering without addressing the suffering in a practical way.  I do not care about your political stance when there are starving children.  I do not care about your social issues if you are fighting for social justice. 

I love you Dear Reader.  I also love everyone else.   I must always be aware that if I do anything without love I am nothing but a loud irritating gong driving away those who may need me the most. 

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.”

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18 October 2017

The Three Endurances ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

“I may speak in the languages of humans and of angels. But if I don't have love, I am a loud gong or a clashing cymbal.”

Even if every work I say is true and exact there are other things that matter.  I know people who value being direct.  Their speech often lacks love and kindness.  They may say what is true but it does not mean that they are doing good. 

Words spoken endure.  They last and dance around in the mind to either comfort or harm.  Words can be salves or weapons.  It is the way in which we use them that matters.  Actions are the same.  They are easier to identify in their character but are either ill or good.  I have often shown that there are no secular issues or rusty swords in the battle over good and evil.

This may seem a tangent but in life we seek longevity.  We seek things that will endure after we are gone.  We want to be remembered.  Some become addicted to fame.  Some are willing to sacrifice everything and anyone for it.  We seek to endure in all the wrong ways. 

What does endure is what matters.  What lasts is that which lasts beyond this life, age, eon, or world.  I am pondering this because I want to invest my life in what matters.  I want to do what matters.  Please join me Dear Reader in pondering that which endures.

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 ͡°)



17 October 2017

42~Truths ~ Closing

Greetings Dear Reader,

There are those who do not believe in absolute truth.  I absolutely do believe in absolute truth.  My first thought is that saying one does not believe in absolute truth is oxymoronic at best. 

The difficulty is that there are undeniable truths.  When we deny them, we weaken the foundation of all else that we believe.  We also forget that most of what we do is based on belief.  My Grandfather, when correcting me used to say,” You do what you believe. Everything else is just talk.” 

We evade truth to hold on to things that we do not wish to be truth.  Many of the people who abandon faith have either built faith upon false truths or refused to accept irrevocable ones.  The other reason that many do not accept fundamental truth is that it will require them abandon things that do not align with that truth.  When we cling to what we wish to believe against foundational truth we become unstable when our constructs are challenged. 

The truth is that we must follow our faith in truth.  We must be honest and demand honesty of others.  We must cling to truth and realize that God does not need us to fabricate anything for his benefit.  We do not need to deny natural truths for God to retain his place. 

The truth about 42~Truths is that they are true whether we accept them or not.  If I pull away the trappings and embrace this then the hard questions begin to take care of themselves.  Some of them do not even matter.  Some truths require faith.  That may also seem oxymoronic but it is true.  It may not be logical but it is true.  “The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”  

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 ͡°)

16 October 2017

42~Truths ~ Control

Greetings Dear Reader,

I often ponder if we understand the nature of control.  It is not simply the idea of one who directs others.  Even in the negative you cannot have control over someone who is willing to fight you.  One may manipulate and attempt to control others but even that is subject to outside forces.

We fight for control.  We manipulate to control outcomes.  Some will even kill for control.  We grasp for money and power all in an attempt to control our lives and the lives of others.  Lies, theft, and even war often circle the drain of control over resources and lives.  

Religions, including those in my own faith have lied and deceived for control of people.  Threats have been used to control the masses so that false dichotomies may be supported.  Recently my friend Shane was bemoaning the fact that there are still people who believe that the earth is flat.  We should not be surprised when dishonest beliefs refuse to support honest science. 

I do not wish to stray too far nor ponder overlong before making my point.  We control so very little in the world.  No matter how well I do at whatever I do things are not in my control.  Even when I fail at doing what is right in an attempt to control events I have no real control.

The difficulty and beauty in life is that we all have free will.  We can all choose to do what we wish.  No one can force me to do anything if my will includes a willingness to die rather than compromise.  My faith informs me that the only being control over me is the Father.  He is also the one who gives me free will.  He is one who could force me to see him yet instead asks me to do so and gives me a choice. 

We do have control for now over our choice of the reality of God and his love for us.  Some day we will not have control over even that.  I must build my faith whilst it is something that matters.  We have so little over which we have control but this vital thing is mine to choose.  Perhaps at a base level we know this and that is why we cling go tightly to the TV remote.

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 ͡°)

15 October 2017

42~Truths ~ Energy

Greetings Dear Reader,

“The first law of thermodynamics, also known as Law of Conservation of Energy, states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.” 

We expend energy constantly.  Even at our most restful the heart pumps, the organs function, and we burn energy.  We often get to choose how we expend our energy.  What we choose determines how our lives unfold.

We are gifted with time, resources, and energy in our lives.  They vary in quantity and we often have to give them to things that are “required” of us.  Our lives pass through the pinch of the present and we acquire and expend energy.  The difficulty is the way in which we choose to expend our energy.

Ponder with me for a moment the amount of energy that goes into hatred and malice.  That same energy put into the problems we see in the world could go so very far.  I see people I truly love expending energy hating “the other side”.  Whether it is social media ranting or arguing over dinner with loved ones we give too much energy to things in a negative way.

We must have values and standards.  We must stand for what we believe.  We must not spend our energy on things that to not contribute to the solution.  Our rants and jibes do not help.  Our witty attacks on character do not feed the hungry or provide healthcare for anyone.  These expenditures get us no closer to peace with each other. 

The 42~Truth is that we must reserve our energy for what is good, kind, and loving.  Hating someone because you disagree with their political or social views will never fit this.  I must assure the my energy is expended properly. 

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 ͡°)

14 October 2017

42~Truths ~ Private Truths

Greetings Dear Reader,

For centuries people believed that tomatoes were poisonous.  They match the warnings about foods that are dangerous.  The bright red colour, ugly nature of the plant, and acidic qualities all would lead one to think they are dangerous.  One can be allergic to them and thy can cause skin rash, eczema, hives, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.  At one time it was even called Lycopersicon associating it with both werewolves and poison.  There is a good read on all of this if one wishes at Planet Natural where I sourced some of this history. 

Deadly Nightshade
In the early days of North American colonization like so many other plants the “deadly” tomato was grown as a decorative plant.  Puritans settling New England saw beauty in it even though it greatly resembles Deadly Nightshade.  It also had names in Europe that mean Golden Apple and Love Apple.  This would be something that Puritans would avoid.  

It was believed that eating a tomato would turn the blood to acid.  It was believed that the plant would kill.  Part of the problem is that except for the Tomato fruit (yes, it is a fruit), all parts of the plant are poisonous.  It was not until the eighteenth century that the tomato began to rise in favor and in the nineteenth century Joseph Campbell started tinning Tomato Soup.  Now only those allergic to the tomato need fear its poisons.

The 42~Truth is that just because an entire nation or continent believes something to be so does not make it so.  When we have sacred truths, we must assure that we, from time-to-time verify them.  We must have valid reasons why we believe what we believe.  I must not rely on pat answers or common thought.  I must know the reasons why I believe what I believe. 

I must also hold that in balance with what is proven and known.  After all, I do not have to check on the safety of eating tomatoes before I make my BLT. 

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 ͡°)