31 January 2012

Anatomy of the Journey – Waysides and Rest Stops


Greetings Dear Reader,

The journey is arduous at times.  Some days end with me feeling weary and spent.  Whether the tax on my resources is mental, physical, or emotional (some days it is all three) I know that I have respite at times.  Those respites are places where I can rest and recharge for the next leg of the journey.  Some of them are simple disconnects from the world.  Others are long rests that recreate much of my person and demeanor. 
Highway 45 Wayside

Of late I have felt very tired.  It is more spirit and emotion than it is physical but I feel it beginning to take a physical toll.  So much of what I wish to do is dependent upon doing the things that I must. If this sounds like rambling I apologize.  It is all connected.  Everything that stresses connects.

What gets me through is the small respites provided along the way.   Moments of worship and fellowship at church restore my strength.  Just sitting in a room with my children and sharing the events of the week helps me travel onward.  The smiles of others when I have genuinely done them good energizes me to do so for others.  The road is long.  The waysides allow some respite, relief, and rejuvenation.  As long as I do not tarry too long this is a good thing.  We must rest when necessary. 

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."

29 January 2012

Anatomy of the Journey – Beauties


Greetings Dear Reader,

I have seen sunsets that take my breath away.  I have experienced undersea life that still captivates my heart and mind.  I am still always awed by fresh snowfall.  There is so much in creation that is so very beautiful.  I have known women so beautiful that I lack the words to speak of it.  All of this pales in comparison to the expression of pure unconditional love.  I have felt this and on occasions when I get out of my own way been able to express it.

Daffodils in Atlanta Spring 1999
God had given us so many things along the way that are beautiful.  He wishes us to enjoy them.  The journey is difficult enough without missing out on all the beauty.  What I have to assure that I do is that the beauty does not become a distraction to the journey.  The beautiful things of the world are intended to move us along the path.  They are there to lighten the load and give us hope.

I know that I have at times fixated on the things and forgotten to keep moving.  That is when beauty becomes a problem.  There is nothing in the journey that I can possess.  I cannot keep investing myself in the things because that causes me to lose traction.  The beauty intended to help me can become a distraction.

If my love of the beauty of a thing or person causes me to pause in the journey then I have misused that which is provided.  Mountains, oceans, food and drink are all parts of the beauty provided for us.  Friends and lovers are all part of the joy of the journey.  It is when I let the pursuit of any of this over the journey become my goal that I lose my way.  If I drink to excess, I am losing my way.  If overeat it slows my progress in the journey.  If I use a beautiful woman just to sate my apatite then I am wandering from the path of following.

I must enjoy the beauty along the way but I must not make any of the beautiful things my passion.  The journey, the following, and the destination must be the ultimate beauty to me.  The rest must remain what they are; temporary gifts to move me along home.

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."

28 January 2012

Anatomy of the Journey – Beasts


Greetings Dear Reader,

I have met people who offend, bother, irritate, and horrify me.  I know that there are times when seem odious to others.  The problem is that the only way I can view others in this negative way is if I place my own self above them.  I am the crooked stick. I am the one who I must see as fallen and broken. 

Theseus and Minotaur,
Hyde Park, Sydney, Aus.
If I see others as the beast then I am judging them.  I am supposed to judge my own character and see that I am the beast.  I am the one who is selfish, self-centered, and self-serving.  I am the one who rejects others and fails to love them as Christ loves them.  I cannot grow in my love for Christ if I do not see that no matter what I see in others they are deserving of Christ’s love.

I must work to see everyone as better than me while avoiding false self-abasement.  I must not excuse evil or wrong doing but I must separate my feelings about the action from the enactor.  No matter what anyone has done I am commanded to love them.  I cannot journey well if I do not.  Setting aside the natural reactions of judgment and condemnation is necessary for me to journey today Christ. 

On the journey the only beast I need to worry about is the one I carry with me.  By God’s grace I must keep him at bay and not allow him to harm others.  A sure way to do this is to be careful not to judge others or view them in any light but that of Christ.

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."

27 January 2012

Anatomy of the Journey – Strangers along the Path


Greetings Dear Reader,

My Grandfather used to tell me that in his opinion strangers were only friend we had not met yet.  Plenty of other adults told me at that age not to talk to strangers.  I have lived by my Grandfather’s thinking most of the time.

I love people.  Along the journey I encounter people who I do not know.  I get to choose how I treat them.  If my destination is truly the Father and I wish to journey well, I must be kind to them.  I also know I can do better than that.  I can give them, every one of them, my best.  I can show them love, compassion, generosity, and respect.  I can invest in them even if it is a single serving friendship.

It has become easy in our culture to be unkind to others.  We use the anonymity of social media to say things to others that are hurtful and unkind.  We do not know the impact we can have if we are good to people.  We have no idea what difference we can make.

Those strangers may need us.  Just a smile and kind word can take people a long way.  Sometimes we may even entertain angels.  I know that I have.

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."

26 January 2012

Anatomy of the Journey – Traveling Companions


Greetings Dear Reader,

So much of what we do involves other people.  Christ’s second command was that we love each other.   He wishes us to do so to the degree that he loves us.  As I journey I have some many traveling companions.  There are people along the way who show me love and reach into my spirit to show me Christ’s love.  I have the unconditional love of my Children and I get to show them the same.

I get to travel with people who show me all the amazing facets of the infinite diversity that God has created in man.  That infinite diversity in its infinite combinations is of the things that drives my belief and the journey.  Even though I am fallen and flawed I can benefit those on the journey with me.  I can be kind and loving to them.  I can forgive them when they wrong me.  I can help them get up when they stumble.  Most importantly I can help them keep focus.

There are some with whom I travel who have lost that focus.  They have forgotten that Christ is whom they should follow and the he is the only guide to the destination.  I must only love them.  I must not judge, condemn, or reject them.  I must always try to walk with them in such a way that without saying a word I point them toward Christ.  It breaks my heart to see them not following.  In private I cry and pray for them to remember the path, the journey, and the destination.

We will have fellow travelers for the entire journey.  I intend to find ways to see their beauty and enjoy them.  I intend, by God’s grace to love them for all they are.  And I hope that for some of them I can be a source of encouragement, solace, and joy.

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."

25 January 2012

Anatomy of the Journey – Walking


Greetings Dear Reader,

In order to go anywhere one must journey.  Journeying implies movement.  One must travel.  It is part of the plan that leaves us with no choice.  The destination is chosen for us.  The path is different for everyone.  The walking is something we control.  The walking is something we choose.  The path will move us along but we choose the pace and how we walk.

I have taken leisurely journeys and I have had hurried travel.  This journey requires a measure of alacrity but leaves room to enjoy things along the way.  The must is the walking.  As I walk I have to build some things into the journey.  As I walk there are things I must be vigilant concerning.

I must keep my focus on the destination.  Even though there is time for leisure and rest along the way I have someplace to be and that place is where I will find true rest.  How I get there matters.  How I walk matters too.  I cannot see the end of the path.  I cannot see the clearing that opens up to me as I take that last step.  I cannot even see too far up the path. 

Ichetucknee Springs
When I drove from my home in Georgia to a vacation in Florida the first time, I did not doubt that Florida or my destination was there.  I did not ask along the way if Ichetucknee Springs really existed.  I did not have the internet to give a map.  I just had the word of a guide and friend who had been there before.  I had fellow travelers who believed we were going there.  I made the journey by faith. 

In truth we make every journey by faith.  We trust that this path leads to this place.  God requires that we walk by faith in our journey to him.  I am not sure why he does this but I cannot change it so I do it.  When we try to reason our way to God the path and the journey become more difficult.  If I do not walk the path by faith, believing that I am headed somewhere and that the somewhere, who is a someone matters the journey becomes very difficult.

People reason all kinds of ways to avoid the destination.  They refuse to walk unless they are given certain guarantees.  Often the very guarantees they demand violate the requirement to walk by faith.  If I demand to know what is over the next hill or proof that the destination exists I cannot walk in faith.  Since faith is a requirement of the journey; of the walking, then I cannot demand things of God that make faith unnecessary.

No matter how difficult the path seems at the moment I do not walk alone.  I have a guide in Christ through that same faith.  I have wonders to view along the way.  There are waysides to give me respite as I journey.  There are fellow travelers who will aide our journey.  The only thing we really control is the actual walk.  One must walk to journey.

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."

24 January 2012

Anatomy of the Journey – The Path


Greetings Dear Reader,

I am on a path whether I like it or not.  I did not choose to be on a path and at times I have wished to be on no path at all.  No matter my opinion or thoughts about the path I am on it.  What I do on that path is my choice.

The journey requires a path.  One cannot get from point A to point B without transecting the points in between.  I choose how I walk the path.  I choose my attitude about the ease or difficulty of the path.  The path is the path.  I must walk it and I have someplace to get to.  How I journey the path mostly depends on my attitude about it.

If I am vigilant I can avoid the potholes and bumps most of the time.  If I am mindful I can keep my focus and navigate the narrowness of the path with grace and honor.  The path is narrow.  It seems arrogant to me to say so but it is the way it is.  The most important thing for me is that I must keep moving.  Delaying only causes trouble.

The path is not the journey.  The path is the way to the destination.  The obstacles are opportunities for me to learn.  The beautiful things along the way are encouragements for me to keep going.  I must walk the path.  I cannot change it but with care I can navigate it well.  The path is not the journey.  Who I am on the path is a great part of the journey.

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."

23 January 2012

Anatomy of the Journey – My Pack


Greetings Dear Reader,

My Old Hillary Backpack
When I was much younger, mostly impractical, and very inexperienced my Dad and I attempted a camping/hiking trip in north Georgia.  I was a city kid who had been camping only during summers and only with large groups of other city kids.  I had a backpack and sleeping bag there were both very summer camp and not trail camping at all.  I had some World War II era cooking pots there were completely unsuited for hiking.

I was not prepared for the heat and vigor required by the journey.  Most of the food I packed was canned and heavy.  It was also not suitable for the energy required to endure such an endeavor.  In short the event was a miserable failure.  An hour into it I was exhausted and overheated.  Part of the problem was the weight I carried with me.

The journey to God is the same. I often carry things with me that I should not.  I worry about things I cannot control.  I try to control things I cannot hope to manage.  I put things into my pack that I do not truly need and that will only make the journeying more difficult.  Most of the unnecessary baggage is emotional or spiritual.  These things I pack also result in unnecessary physical baggage. 

Because I do not trust in Christ alone for my sufficiency I pack things into the journey that neither sustain nor satisfy.  I dine on unhealthy food.  I acquire distractions that do not heal or strengthen.  I carry pain and guilt that I should not.  I make poor choices about almost everything when I take my focus off of the purpose of the journey.  This results in lost time, poor side trails, and injury to my fellow travelers. 

I must choose only to carry the emotional, spiritual, and physical things that enhance my ability to walk the journey.  The path is long and perilous.  A way to properly find joy in the journey is to be very careful what I carry with 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."

22 January 2012

Anatomy of the Journey – The Destination



Greetings Dear Reader,

One must begin with the end in mind.  The journey will end and how I journeyed will matter.   None of that, however, is more important than the destination.  We are all on a journey to God.  What I believe about that does not change the truth of it.  At the end of the journey I will meet God.  I have no idea how that will unfold or what it will look like.  I am anxious to be there but not in a hurry to arrive.

The journey must be made with the destination in mind.  If I do not ponder the destination I will not know how to sculpt the parts of the journey that I can.  I will not know what to expect if I do not temper my travel with meager imaginings of what I am moving toward.

I would not like to arrive at my destination and it be totally strange to me.  I realize I cannot know all the I wish to know, elsewise faith is unnecessary.  Since God has made it a vital component of the journey I must hold onto it and use it as a guide.  I sometimes get so caught up in my own thinking that I forget where I am going. 

Like a ship at sea or someone traveling in the wilderness I must always keep my focus on the destination.  God is my true north.  He is the compass point to which I head.  All else must be set to this one thing.  The journey is useless without the destination.  I can only imagine how hard it must be to undertake such travels without knowing the direction in which I head.

I do not argue with those who do not believe in God.  I feel sad for them and hope to show his love so deeply to them that they understand where I am going and hopefully choose to walk with me for a bit.  I used to plead my case and state my arguments so well.  Instead I realize that the journey is of one’s own choosing and that I can only help others along by focusing on the object of my travel and reveling in his love for me. 

Like Pilgrim in Bunyan’s tale I will face struggles and get distracted.  What I must do is to travel well with only the destination as my loadstone.  In focus on the destination is the essence of joy in the journey.

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."

21 January 2012

Anatomy of the Journey – Introduction


Greetings Dear Reader,

Recently a friend asked me about the closing in my writing.  Instead of a simple answer (as I am want to avoid those as often as possible) I have chosen to spend a week on the complexity of this small phrase.  This is much more than a simple witty closing to me.  It is the essence of how I view my life. 

The phrase arises from a song that is very dear to me.  By way of introduction I will share this with you first.  The song is Joy in the Journey by Michael Card.  If you have not found his music a vast and lovely treasure awaits you.  His music seems to address every aspect of the journey toward God. If you can, take a moment to follow the link before reading the rest of my post.  If not, read on.


Joy in the Journey  – Michael Card

There is a joy in the journey
There's a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey

And all those who seek it shall find it
A pardon for all who believe
Hope for the hopeless and sight for the blind

To all who've been born in the Spirit
And who share incarnation with Him
Who belong to eternity stranded in time
And weary of struggling with sin

Forget not the hope that's before you
And never stop counting the cost
Remember the hopelessness when you were lost

There is a joy in the journey
There's a light we can love on the way
There is a wonder and wildness to life
And freedom for those who obey
And freedom for those who obey


The thing is that joy is so much more important than happiness.  Happiness is fleeting and based on the current circumstance.  Joy is based on our perspective in the circumstance.  It is joy that can sustain us even when the journey takes us through dark places.  There are times when I am unhappy.  There is way to maintain joy during even the times of unhappiness.  It is because I am on the journey that joy is a potential.  It is only possible to realize that joy if I journey in the right way.  Please walk with me a bit and we can discuss it.  Meanwhile as always, 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."

20 January 2012

Managing Obligations



Greetings Dear Reader,

As a follow up on my thoughts on managing my own expectations I have been thinking about the opposite side of that coin in the face of obligations.  While it is true that I must deal in grace and love when it comes to my expectations I also consider the line where obligations exist.

I am supposed to let my yes be yes and my no be no.  I am supposed to keep my word.  What I wonder is if this is not true of others as well.  I have to manage my life in such a way that I do what I say I am going to do.  I have seen the pain it causes others when I have not done this.  I have felt the pain when obligations toward me are not kept. 

It seems that obligations to others are becoming more vaporous in our world.  I have students lie to me all the time about why they are not in class.  I think they do not even consider that the lies hurt me.  Even when the intent is not to lie but people do not keep to commitments it causes me great pain.

It makes the road very rocky for me at times.  Recently someone came to me and assured me that they understood a situation better.  This individual expressed the realization that inconsistency in keeping their commitments was hurtful to me and that this would change.  It has not.

What then is my obligation?  It does not change.  I can only continue to honestly express how the actions impact me and deal with the individual in love and grace.  I ponder how I can abide the difficulty of the pain.  I used to pressure others to do as they had promised.  All this does is drive others away.  Instead I must run to Christ and allow his grace and love toward me to salve the disappointment. 

I must use the resolve to engender me to be one who keeps his obligations.  I must treat others as I would be treated.  I must assess things in the light of how I keep my obligations to Christ and allow him to deal with the hearts of others.  In this there is peace to be found.  In this even when the road is rough and difficult the journey can become easier.

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."

19 January 2012

The Compassion of Others


Greetings Dear Reader,

It always amazes me how compassionate others can be.  I had a bit of a spill at work on Tuesday.  In an attempt to reassert my proper eating patterns I had drastically reduced my carbohydrate intake.  It worked too well. 

We were finishing up a team meeting at work.  As I stood up I went down.  According to one colleague I was out for about twenty seconds.  It was a low blood sugar incident and I am fine. 

I am also encouraged by how quickly my coworkers came together to care for me.  One of them said if not for my uncomfortable facilitation it would have been a perfect team building exercise.  What astounds me is the level of genuine care that was provided.  Everyone in the room did something to show that they cared about me. 

Even after the paramedics had declared me free to go home on my own they stayed with me.  Several offered to drive me home.  Even after walking back to my desk some stayed with me. Eventually one of my coworkers followed me home to assure that I reached it safely.

The compassion is what prevailed.  It touched and encouraged me.  It motivated me to be even more compassionate.  It makes me see a glimpse of how others feel about me.  It makes me wish to be more compassionate to others.  I return to work today with a grateful and purposed heart.

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."

17 January 2012

Managing Expectations


Greetings Dear Reader,

Recently a friend agreed to be at a certain place at a certain time.  I needed to have an important conversation with this individual and we carefully scheduled at time.  The person cancelled after it was too late for me to usefully reapportion the time.  I had passed up on a dinner invitation from another friend to wait for this individual.  The communication made it clear that the situation was unusual.

I arranged to have a shorter conversation with this friend and the friend assured me that the meeting would take place.  Again I waited and the friend was a no show but this time with no communication.  It is situations like this that cause me to walk an emotional tightrope.  Walking this requires that I battle past pain and embrace current leaning about faith.

I expect people to do what they say they are going to do.  This is a reasonable expectation as long as it is managed.  The line exists where I manage my expectations of others and fulfill my duty and desire to show grace and love.  Due to past pain I get very hurt when someone does not keep his or her commitments.  I used to be quite ogrish about this but have learned that this does more damage than good.  I am determined to fall on the side of kindness and understanding but sometimes I feel inadequate to deal with the feelings of hurt and rejection.

The focus that I have adopted to deal with this is to learn more about Christ in the processing.  If I in an attempt to follow Christ more closely, I view things from his perspective it helps.  Before I become angry at someone who has not kept a commitment to me I must remember just how often I fail in my commitments to Christ.  If I feel this level of pain in this situation how much then must it cause sorrow in God when I treat him this way.  How much more must it be when he deals with a world that does the same?

It is right for me to expect others to do as they say they will do.  It is only right to the point where I transect my obligation to show the love and grace that I am shown.  I still feel what I feel but putting that feeling in perspective of my other obligations makes it much easier to manage my expectations of others.  This individual is in need of the later much more than I need to indulge my feelings. 

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."

15 January 2012

If God Made You


Greetings Dear Reader,

I was listening through my Five for Fighting collection over the last couple of weeks.  John Ondrasik writes lyrics that truly reach my spirit.  As I have been listening one song resonates with how I feel about some people in my life.  I will not dare to presume that I know what story John is telling in this song.  I do know that I find the song resonating with my soul right now very deeply.  I thank you John.  I see God’s love for me in your music.  I think that this is an area where I need to more closely focus on showing others how much I value them.

Even in the midst of inner difficulties and weighty choices God shows his love to me through some of the people in my life.  Small things like unexpected encounters with my children do so much to lift my spirit.  Over the last day here are the ways God has spoken his love to me through those around me.

Early in the morning people in Australia at the end of their day took time to share a bit of their lives with me and wish me well.  My Daughter got up early just to see me off to work.  The clerk where I bought my petrol thanked me for being nice.  One of the admin people at work expressed how much she enjoyed working with me.  My beloved Daughter in law called me for information on how to make “my” pancakes for her family (she has no idea how much this meant to me). I was able to positively influence the choices of several students during the day.  I had very pleasant and uplifting conversations with two of my coworkers. Noticing from my writing that I was struggling, a friend in Pennsylvania reached out to me. I got to have a brief chat with my eldest Son.   Even though I could not accept a new friend invited me out to eat.  All of that prepared me at the end of the day to be kind and understanding when two people very dear to me needed it.

To every one of these individuals I can honestly say that I see God’s love for me through you.  I am so very grateful for this.  It is in these daily interactions where I see God constantly whispering my name and reminding me that he is there and caring for my needs.  I say to each of you in John Ondrasik’s words, “If God made you he’s in love with me.”

Here is the entire song for your benefit

If God Made You – Five for Fighting, John Ondrasik

Hey Kid... Your time has come to change
Though I need you more than I've needed anyone in any way tonight
Hey Kid... I know it won't be long
The Captain's calling...come to see you back where we belong

Something inside me is breaking
Something inside says there's somewhere better than this...

Sunset sailing on April skies
Bloodshot fire clouds in her eyes
I can't say what I might believe
But If God Made You he's in love with me

Hey Kid...Do wishes count at all
Can you give me a sign...give me anything I won't tell a soul you told
Hey Kid...Will you hold me when I sleep
And will you find me when the tide decides that I got to leave

Something inside me is breaking
Something inside says there's somewhere better than this...

Sunset sailing on April skies
Bloodshot fire clouds in her eyes
I can't say what I might believe
But if God made you he's in love with me

Sunset sailing on April skies
Bloodshot fire clouds in your eyes
I can't say what I might believe
But if God made you he's in love with me

Something inside me is breaking
Something inside says there's somewhere better than this my love

Sunset sailing on April skies
Bloodshot fire clouds in her eyes
I can't say what I might believe
But if God made you he's in love with me

Sunset sailing on April skies
Bloodshot fire clouds in your eyes
I can't say what I might believe
But if God made you... he's in love with 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."

14 January 2012

As So It Goes



Greetings Dear Reader,

So I would choose to be with you
As if the choice were mine to make;
And you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break. – Billy Joel

I often wonder why I keep my heart so open.  I know that it is going to get me hurt.  I know that I have made serious mistakes and caused my own pain at times.  I also know that anyone who keeps an open heart can only do so by putting themselves as risk of being hurt.  And so it goes.

The other side of that coin is that if I choose not to have an open heart then I can avoid being hurt.  Unfortunately the inscription on that side of the coin includes loneliness.  I cannot guard my heart from pain without shutting out a connection to others.  It is in that connection to others that the risk is involved.  And so it goes.

Even though the intent of the lines is between two people it is between my heart and that of Christ that the most significant tether exists.  Christ risked all to come after us; me.  Christ allows his heart to be broken over and over again for us.  How can I then not put my heart in his hands?  How can I not then leave it open no matter how much I do not understand the world?  And so it goes.

People abandon faith and following because of hurts and lack of understanding.  God does not act as we think he should in all situations.  Just because I am not in the place I wish to be does not mean that God is not doing what is best for me.  Just because things do not unfold as I think they should does not me they are not unfolding properly. 

One of the seminal elements of faith is brokenness.  I must put myself at risk to find the love and peace that is in Christ. I must give him my heart to break so that my own falleness can get out and more importantly he can get in.  I think that only in this transaction can I find peace in the pain.  And so it goes.

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."

13 January 2012

A Question if You Please


Greetings Dear Reader,

Today I wish to ask you a question.  If you could have me write about any topic what would it be?  I value you so highly and wonder what you wonder.


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."




12 January 2012

The Sin Behind the Gin


Greetings Dear Reader,

I do not drink often and when I do I seldom drink much.  A few evenings ago, however, I had a little too much.  I was home, not going anywhere, and not alone.  What I discovered about myself bears a little examination. 

Even inebriated I could tell I had choices.  I knew right from wrong I just did not care as much.  My emotions were much more powerful than my reason but I knew that I had a choice about everything I said or did.  It has me thinking about all the times I hear that people could not control their words or actions due to outside influences.

I have a friend who talks about “locus of control” often.  She is very good at pointing out to others that they can control what they say or do if they choose to do so.  How often to I use some external influence to allow a less than honest attempt to follow Christ?  I have much more control over what I do, think, and say than I ponder.  I know that I am designed to do and be certain things.  Perhaps the sin that permeates without notice is when I allow other influences to hold me back from being my best.

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."

11 January 2012

The Blank Page


Greetings Dear Reader,

Every morning I awaken and face the emptiness of a blank white rectangle.  Sometimes I already know what I will write about.  Sometimes I spend time just staring and wondering what will spin out of my head.  Either way it is up to me what gets typed.  I am responsible what I put on the page and whether I pass it on to others. 

So many things influence my writing.  It is the impact of those influences that often translates to my books and blog.  I even write poetry but rarely put that into any public arena.  Much of what I write never sees anything but the depths of my hard drive.

What I am pondering today and have been since Sunday is the things that influence what goes on the page.  My Grandfather used to say “What’s comes up in the bucket is what’s down in the well.”  What I am inside and how I deal with external influences puts an imprint my words.

There is another blank page I have a small part in influencing.  I more intrigued by the influences that are most important to the things that are being written.  I got to spend the entire day Sunday with my Grandson.  In the last year and a bit his parents have written some beautiful things on his page.  His extended family is evident in the story he is becoming as well. 

What enthralls me is the level of social and emotional stability that has already imprinted on him.  He squeals with joy when either of his parents enters the room.  He has a similar reaction to his uncle.  It is obvious that in his home he feels loved and secure.  He is intelligent and learning rapidly.  He shows great delight in people.

There is so much to be written on this beautiful page and his story will unfold influenced by those around him.  I am driven to make choices that will write only good on this beautiful page that is my Grandson.  I examine all attitudes and actions that might influence him to be less than the beautiful person he has to potential to become.  I wish only to nurture him in positive ways and to bring no sorrow to his lovely face.

It causes me to ponder how I influence others as well.  What I write on their pages matter and ultimately influences how I am internally.  For the love of Christ and my Grandson I am working hard to purify my well.

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."



   

10 January 2012

Scrummy Conundrums


Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things unavoidable in life is choices.  Sometimes we have difficult ones and sometimes pleasant ones.  The difficult ones take their toll.  The pleasant ones can as well.  I have been thinking about the choices I make daily and how to assure that I make them efficiently without forgetting to focus on Christ.

I think that this is part of the reason I am to be constantly in prayer.  Even the pleasant choices require that I focus on Christ in them.  If I am choosing between two good things my heart must be set on what I think will draw me closer to Christ.  I do not think that I have to make the absolute “right” choice.  I do not think that God strains of minutia. 

I do, however, think that Christ wants our hearts to be focused on what draws us closer to him.  Even what kind of pie I have matters in that I want my choices to be what is pleasing to God.  Again, it is not in the choosing but in the attitude.  If I trifle about these choices then it is habit when there are difficulty ones.  If my habit is to consider what draws me closer to Christ in following him then the less than delectable choices are drawn into that pattern of thinking.

Anything I can preload to push me toward obedience to God in following Christ is a benefit.  Any time I can be sure that I have considered if my choice is loving God with all my heart I am ahead of where I could be.  So no matter how scrumptious the conundrum, it must be resolved in light of my love for God and his Son.

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."

09 January 2012

Peanuts Parents


Greetings Dear Reader,

As I begin my second full week of 2012 I was putting away the Christmas DVD collection.  I had not watched A Charlie Brown Christmas and put it in to enjoy.  One of the elements used in the Charlie Brown shows is the “wa wa wa” sound used represent the speaking of adults.

I usually laugh at this.  This time, however, I had a different reaction. I found myself truly wondering what the adults were saying.  It then caused me to ponder just how I listen to God.  Do I treat God’s words as things I have heard before and need not heed a uniquely directed at me?  Do I give things the interpretation that suits me?  How do I listen to God?

The only way I can answer this is to choose to listen clearly and intently as if my Creator is speaking to me for the first time. The life of following Christ is a life of listening.  It is a life of knowing that my own thoughts get in the way of that listening if I am not vigilant.  My Grandfather used to point out that we had two ears and one mouth for a reason.  We should listen twice as much as we speak.  Since I cannot see Christ it is that much more important that I must listen if I am to follow.

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."

08 January 2012

Dead Men’s Clothes


Greetings Dear Reader,

Some years ago some friends and I did a study in an intentional approach to reducing possessions and paying closer attention to consumption.  The result of that time has had some very lasting results.  I made a couple of dear friends and value them highly.  I also learned how to meter my consumption and consider the source of my acquisitions more carefully.

In contrasting this learning with my current needs I made a choice to get some more shirts for work at a thrift store instead of buying new ones.  As I was perusing my choices as the thrift store a worker actually asked if I needed assistance.  I mentioned that I was looking for some shirts and gave her my size.  Immediately she took me to the section where there were some very fine shirts.

I thanked her and she offered the following.  “These should be great.  They are all new.  Some guy died and his family brought in all the new clothes he got for Christmas.”  It set me back for a moment.  Then it occurred to me that much of what comes from a thrift store has to potential of this same source. 

I would want my things to go on being used if I were gone.  Stewardship is the use of things wisely.  It would be unwise to forgo reusing things just because they had come from a dead man.  We inherit so much from the past.  I wonder how I can better where that which is handed down to 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."

07 January 2012

Why Do You…


Greetings Dear Reader,

Last night our friend Present joined us for dinner (That is not a typo.  Her name means Gift or Present from God.)  We had some rare time just to sit and talk.  She had questions.  They were great questions.  They were the kind of questions that cause one to examine motives and patters.

After Present departed I spent a couple of hours pondering some of the whys and some of her insights.  Pondering her questions led to a broader questioning of my reasons for other things.  I do not intend to go into specifics here but it reminded me just how much we must live an examined life.  The “why” of our habits, choices, and actions is so very important. 

If I live an unexamined life or even an unexamined day I cannot be assured that I have given all of my efforts to Christ.  Asking why I do things that I do and why I do them the way I do is so vital to following Christ.  If my motives are not centered on loving God with all my heart, soul, and mind then I must question what I do.  If what I do does not show love to others then I must question my motives.  On this rests all that needs doing.

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."

05 January 2012

A Homemade Pie


Greetings Dear Reader,

I am a lover of pie.  I don’t really care for cake or cookies that much (with one exception that I will mention later).  I wish that there was birthday pie instead of birthday cake.  I wish that we took breaks for milk and pie.  Does “that takes the pie” really sound so awkward?

The kind of pie matters.  Key lime is my favorite.  Mincemeat, Pumpkin, and Pecan pies are a close second.  Of the many fruit pies one could have I prefer cherry, peach, and blueberry.  Since I moved to the Midwest I have discovered strawberry rhubarb to be delightful.  Of the custard or crème pies I prefer coconut to any other but my sister’s banana cream pie is without equal.

As I mentioned yesterday I returned to work on Tuesday after some time off for good behaviour.  That first day back was filled with joy at seeing my students and colleagues but was a very long sixteen hour day.  When I arrived home at 11:03 that night my daughter Christmas had baked a cherry pie for me.  I am still in awe of it.

One of the things that I treasure is when someone makes a pie or oatmeal raisin cookies for me (there is the aforementioned cookie reveal).  It touches a deeply hidden part of my spirit that rarely comes out to play.  Every time I think about that cherry pie I smile.  It has helped merge back into my no writing work with ease.

There is something so powerful about looking into someone else and seeing something that makes them feel special.  I know how to do this and try to do it often.  I am going to try and do it more.  It is not the pie.  It is the knowing and doing.  We can do so much to make others burdens lighter.  If making a pie or some cookies can impact me so deeply I need to focus on how to create that feeling in others.

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."
     

04 January 2012

926 Emails


Greetings Dear Reader,

I returned to my teaching job after a wonderful seventeen day vacation.  I was blessed to spend a great deal of time with my children and perusing the things I love to do.  My routine is very simple when I arrive at work.

First I check voice messages so the angry red light on my phone will go away.  I had one.  Then I log into my PC and check email.  I had 926.  Usually I have fifty or sixty in the morning if I have departed before evening classes are over.  I receive about seven emails daily from a technology site to which I subscribe.  Internal emails from the Dean and Director are there. Students know this is the best way to get their needs met.  Email is my primary form of absent communication at work.

Image by OCAL
When I was on vacation I did not check my email even once.  As I saw this ocean of emails I thought it would take my entire day to work through them and I had two classes to teach.  Having prepped for class and there still being an hour before class time I wadded into the flood.  After about a half hour I had the total number of emails that I had to attend to down to 185.  I was able to delete 741 of them as either beyond the time of their importance, advertising, or technology news that I also received at home and already read.

It caused me to ponder for the remainder of the day the vast amount of things that pass through my inbox that quickly become irrelevant.  I know that we use email as if it costs nothing.  That is not true.  Every email has a price tag.  When you include the hardware and software involved and when you consider the price of an Internet Service Provider it can be staggering.  When sending an email each one costs about twenty cents.  That means I deleted $148.20 worth of email without even reading it.

I work hard not to waste things.  I am intentional about reducing the amount of things I use and own.  I wonder collectively how much email is trashed daily just at my work.  In my efforts to be a good steward of all that I am given I need to even think about the email I use.  I will return to this topic later in the year but for now I want be more careful about what I consume and measure how I do.  Stewardship of what I am given applies even to technology.

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."

03 January 2012

Opening the Year


Greetings Dear Reader,

I return to work today after a two week vacation.  It was a much needed time and I am reenergized.  I wish to thank my children for the time they gave me.  It was memorable and will be cherished always.

I have some great things on the horizon this year.  My second Grandson will arrive in the Spring.  A move is likely to a new home.  I begin the final phase of my weight loss journey.  There are other changes in the wind but we can discuss them later as they develop.

What I wish to dwell for the moment is the part of the journey I am in right now.  So many make resolutions for things they plan or hope to do.  What I do is different.  I at what I must do to become a better follower of Christ and order my life accordingly.  I remove things that hinder my following.  I include things that will make it better. 

I know this year will hold vast changes.  I hope to journey through them with Christ and to follow him as closely as possible.

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."