26 July 2017

By Faith ~ Authorial Intent

Greetings Dear Reader,

As a writer I often face the          question of what I intend by what I write.  This is one of those areas where unthinking people foster ideas that serve individual purposes and not the greater good.  It is a basic foundation of communication that something means what the author intends it to mean.

This is one of the ways that we do what I was pondering yesterday.  We put too much baggage into what Jesus told us by ignoring the intent of the authors of the Gospels.  An example would be the way we ignore the intent that redemption is through faith alone.

The Father never intended for us to earn his favor.  The system of sacrifices in the Old Testament could never redeem us.  The intent was for them to serve as a place holder until Christ completed the work of redemption for us. 

It is not faith plus anything you can think of to add.  It is faith alone.  It is faith that is required.  The intent is that faith start our small and grow.  It is not to be made complex.  It is not intended to be hard. 

I must not defy the intent of the author of my faith.  I must not add anything to faith as a requirement for my reclamation.  I must live out my faith so that others can see it.  I must evidence the intent of the author in all that I do.

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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25 July 2017

By Faith ~ Baggage

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things that we do as Christ followers is add baggage to faith.  We insist that there need to be things we do to prove we have faith.  I need to be clear that faith is evidenced by what we do.  It is also necessary for us to do things that show we have faith.

This does not mean that we do what others say we “have” to do to prove to them we have faith.  We do not need to subscribe to what a denomination or church says we must be to prove our faith.  Jesus requires that we love and act in loving ways.

We are required to be holy, righteous, and set apart for God.  That does not mean that I get to deiced how that is lived out for you.  It means that I am responsible to live it out for the sake of showing the Father that I love him.  Obedience is evidence of love. 

What I must not do is add baggage to faith.  I must not tell others they must do this or that.  I must constantly direct them to do what is loving and kind.  I must echo specific things that Jesus tells us not to do but I must do so without judgement or condemnation. 

I must have faith that the Father will make all things right.  I must have faith that the Son will draw ALL people to him as he promised.  I must not add any baggage to faith even for the purpose of helping others follow.  The purpose of redemption is freedom.  The way of redemption is faith.  I must follow in faith.  I must not carry anything that is not connected to this.

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 ͡°)

24 July 2017

By Faith ~ One Requirement

Greetings Dear Reader,

I visited a different church than my church yesterday.  I was on a mission of mercy and was invited to stay for the service.  I chose to do so. 

What was pleasant was to be reminded of what it takes follow Christ.  In simple uncomplicated terms I was reminded of the part that faith plays in redemption. It is is the lead. 

Redemption is not something we earn.  It is a gift.  We acquire it through faith.  It through the Father’s grace we are rescued and redeemed by faith.  It is belief.  It is not an act of obedience or keeping a list of rules.  It is not following a ritual or making a promise.  It is not by anything we undertake.

How then are we assured that we have faith?   We continue in it.  We use it to follow.  The good we do is not to merit the approval of the Father.  It is to be an example to others of that approval.  It is to obey his desire to love; to love him and all humans.

There are things that tempt us to think we have earned the Father’s favor.  This is a lie.  He may approve or disapprove of our actions but we are always loved and accepted.  We are always his. 

Faith alone is the path to following.  Faith alone will guide me.  Faith alone will sustain me.  Faith is what puts me in the relationship.  It is required, singular, and sufficient.  You do what you believe. The rest is just talk. 

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 ͡°)

23 July 2017

By Faith ~ Creation and Evolution

Greetings Dear Reader,

Before I dive into this I want to be clear.  I believe in intelligent design.  I also assert that this can live in harmony with honesty concerning science.  My intent is not to give an apology for that here.  It is, rather, to put my thought in perspective to the relationship between faith and the argument about creation and other origins theories.

Those of us who follow Christ need to understand what we believe and why.  We need to realize that we cannot prove intelligent design.  We must be content with the fact that it is logical.  We must be a peace with the idea that we have to have faith in what we believe.

What we must not do is create false “evidence” for what we believe.  What me must never do is argue and hate in the name of those beliefs.  We must listen to honest science and find the common ground.  We must realize that if our beliefs require falsehoods to stand then they are not worth believing.  If we have to be unkind to assert them then we have the wrong perspective.

I do not to reconcile that my faith teaches me creation and there also seems to be an older world that one would think.  What I must do is avoid the arrogant failure of thinking I understand everything. 

Recall that this examination of faith sprang from my study of the letter to the Hebrews.
It begins by asserting the Jesus created all things.  No matter how far back one must go or how that process unfolded I have faith that this is the truth.  Perhaps if I honestly hear all thoughts on the matter I will find a path to the truth. 

What I must not do is forget that I am commanded to live by faith.  I must protect honesty and integrity in my thinking.  Perhaps others will see reason in the logic of intelligent design.  Even if none of this occurs then I will have done what I am required to do: live by faith.

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 ͡°)

22 July 2017

By Faith ~ Yes You Do

Greetings Dear Reader,

You have faith.  I am not accusing my atheist friends of believing in God.  That would be improper.  What I am saying is that you have faith in something. 

We try to eliminate our need for faith by saying that we can prove that there is or is not a God.  I believe my faith is reasonable but it would be arrogant to say that I can prove the existence of God.  The tentpole reasoning for me is that if we are not designed by someone then there is a mathematical problem.

In order for the universe to be a great cosmic accident then there must be an infinite stream of regressive probability.  There had to be millions of instances of just the right combinations of materials and events stretching back through billions of years so that we accidentally arrive at sapience and sentience.  I find this illogical.

It also begs the question of where did the first materials come from. What caused them to exist.  Nothing comes from nothing.  It takes faith to say that energy or matter just always was.  It takes faith to believe in this infinite regression.  I am not mocking anyone.

I am saying that no matter what you believe it takes faith.  You reach the point where you have no answers.  I must be honest but so must those who disagree with me.  I must admit that I reach the point where my belief is based on a leap of faith.  It is also true that the leap must be based on calculation and reasoning. 

My faith is based on the reason, logic, and substance.  I must not forget that faith is still necessary.  I must not forget that the fact is that God requires faith.  I must remember that even those who witnessed the supernatural doubted Jesus.  Faith is necessary.  We just choose the object of our faith. 

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 ͡°)

21 July 2017

By Faith ~ Walking, Driving, Flying

Greetings Dear Reader,

When I lived on the southern edge of the Misty Mountains there were often mornings where the fog was so heavy one could hardly see the road.  The journey from the road near my home to the highway could take three times as long as when the sun ruled the day.

Those drives were both beautiful and dreadful.  I did not have to make them often but when the fog forced me to slow down it was a lovely thing.  I like fog.  I find it beautiful and enchanting.  It also can hinder so much.

The choice in fog is to stop or keep going.  The choice is to walk by faith.  I have to keep moving.  I have to continue the journey.  No matter the speed or conditions I must walk, drive, or fly by faith. 

I cannot claim to live a life of faith and not use it when I cannot see what is next.  I cannot walk by faith only when the sun is bright and the path clear.  Faith or sight are the choice.  I am commanded to live by faith for now.  That is all there is.  Without it I cannot please the Father.

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 ͡°)

20 July 2017

By Faith ~ Show it to Me

Greetings Dear Reader,

Take a moment to take out your faith and look at it.  You say that you cannot.  I agree.  Faith is not tangible.   It is the thing that is evidenced by our actions.  It is the fuel that powers them. 

What is faith then?  It is the foundation of the things for which I hope.  It is how I prove my confidence in the things I have not witnessed.  This is not just in relationship to Christ.  It is in all things in which we invest ourselves.  It is why our faithfulness to our word is so vital.

The proof of what we believe in all things is reflected in how we act.  My faith cannot be taken out and shown to you.  I can evidence it through what I do and how I live.  If I do not show you love Dear Reader, then how can I tell you Christ loves you?  How can I claim to have faith in that love?  This does not mean that I must put myself in harm’s way or endure toxic treatment.  It does mean that I walk the tightrope between safety and failure to love very carefully.

I dare not ask someone to believe if I am not willing to live my faith.  I dare not say that I have faith if I am not willing to put hands and feet on it.  When crisis is upon me if my faith does not work in that moment, then what good is 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 ͡°)

19 July 2017

By Faith ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday I had a long conversation with someone I love dearly.  This beautiful soul struggles with faith.  Faith comes easily for me.  When I see this struggle, it reminds me of how hard it was for me to come to faith.  I will ask the indulgence of those who do not share my faith.  I feel I need a little deeper dive into what it means to live by faith. 

There are areas where I need more faith.  Places in my heart and mind need to have faith first.  I get in the way.  I imagine or plan instead of listening and following.  For the last week I have done a deep dive into the New Testament letter to the Hebrews.  It is a clear defense of the need for faith.

I have friends who refuse to have faith.  Faith is what they oppose.  The problem is that we all have faith in something.  We all believe in our own certainties.  We have faith that there is no God or faith that there is.  We have faith that there is only the natural world or that the universe fell from the fingertips of a Creator. 

We are designed to live by faith.  I have chosen Christ as the object of my faith.  It is a reasonable choice.  It is a logical one.  It is also foolish and daring.   There is also the vital truth that faith in Christ requires that we live in the crux of a paradox.  That too, however, is an act of faith. 

An honest examination of the day shows that we exhibit faith often.  We often place it in things that we should not.  It is still faith.  Since I know I live by faith I want to assure that I put it in the proper place.  Walk with me if you can Dear Reader.  Faith is all I have and your company makes it richer. 

By Faith – Michael Card

By faith one was commended
For the sacrifice he made
Another out of holy fear
Built an ark the world to save
Another left his homeland
and as a stranger he'd reside
But none received the promise then
And so, in faith, they died.

Others conquered kingdoms
Quenched the fury of the flames
Some made strong in battle
Some were raised to life again
But many more were martyred
Midst the crowds loud clamoring
By faith they would not bow the knee
Nor kiss the emperor's ring

Faith understands and offers
It assures and calms our fears
It can shut the mouths of lions
And make sense of scars and tears
We persevere in hope
And with conscience clean and clear
We walk this fallen wilderness
With Salvation's Pioneer

Being sure of what we hope for
Seeing what is yet unseen
A universe from nothingness
New life where none had been
The known made from unknowable
And hope for the comfortless
Who hear and hold on firmly to
The faith that they possess

So fix your eyes upon the Champion
As you seek to run the race
Understanding that He cheers you on
As you long for His embrace
So hold on and do not grow weary
Of the faith that you profess
Remembering that you are ringed around
By this cloud of witnesses
  
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 July 2017

Project Life Cycle ~ Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

This is one of those topics about which I could ruminate for weeks.  I have penned two books on the topic that will likely not see the light of day.  The project life cycle is an odd and insufficient image of real life.

From inception to completion we are a project.  We are also a sub-project of the great project.  I realize that some of you, Dear Reader see this all as a natural accident.  I will not argue with you about it.  I cannot see the logic and I have honestly tried.

That said I must always remember that the project who is Aramis Thorn is a small project under the care of the great project of getting things back to good.  The difference is that the Project Manager has every detail of every sub-project under his eye, in his heart, and within his scope.  Nothing is left to chance.  Every issues has a solution.  There is mitigation for every risk.

As I wander in the doldrums of uncertainty over these weeks I have had to deal with the surprise turn of events in my project.  That does not mean that the Father was surprised.  Unbidden I received encouragement from a dear friend.  Meg reminded me that the Father is the planner of great adventures.  He is the one who plans my project.  I am excited by this.

“The wind blows where it will.  You hear the sound of it but cannot tell from where it comes or where it is going.  So is everyone who is driven by the Spirit of God.”  That my be the best  project plan ever devised.

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 July 2017

Project Life Cycle ~ Stakeholders (who is my customer?)

Greetings Dear Reader,

When you think of a customer what comes to mind?  When it comes to project management that question has several correct answers.  That is the crux of it.  When we ponder who we serve we have several things we must satisfy. 

Stakeholders are out customers.  They have vested interest in the outcome of the project.  They include both internal and external entities. Those for whom I work are stakeholders.  The company with whom my company contracts the project has stakeholders.  We do not speak of it enough but both are customers.

Then there is the oft forgotten end user.  Whatever our project is producing there are those who will be impacted by it who are not present in the process.  The end user must be considered a customer and should be thought of as a stakeholder even though they have little if any involvement in the project process. 

When it comes to my personal philosophy of project management I simplify it greatly.  Anyone who touches or is touched by my work is my customer.  They are not always right but they always matter.  They are always worth the effort to hear and support. 

If I approach business this way then I must also approach life this way.  Everyone; family, friends, neighbors, strangers, and enemies are my customer.  Everyone who touches or is touched by my life is a customer. 

When I fail to put Christ first I endanger that customer relationship.  I fail to show my “product” in the proper light.  It is in assuring that I do what is right by them that I assure that I am following Christ properly.  So much is at stake in this life that I dare not do less.

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 ͡°)