27 April 2012

Cardinals Gone Mad


Greetings Dear Reader,

We have a family of cardinals that live in the evergreen just outside of our living room window.  According to my friends who know such things it is a different cardinal couple every year.  Whatever the case the enjoyment is great because we can watch the beautiful birds raise their babies unobserved.

This year, however, our cardinal male has gone mad.  He constantly is attacking my car.  Now I must admit that they are similar.  My car is red with black trim.  This beautiful bird is constantly attacking it.  He seems to think that he is going to drive it off (of course I realize he cannot operate a manual transmission). 

He has significantly scratched a car that I just had repainted last autumn.  I will not harm him or drive him off but was discussing how to prove that the car is no threat to him.  I have had suggestions from covering the car to playing Cole Porter on my car stereo.

For now I will leave him to his delusion that my red VW is somehow a threat to his family.  Having him around is beautiful and his song fills my window in the mornings.  What are a few scratches on an old car when I get to enjoy such beauty.

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 April 2012

Maxim


Greetings Dear Reader,

Today is my eldest Son’s birthday.  I have so many rich memories of him.  In a little while I will journey to his home to spend a bit of the morning with him before I go to work.  In the last year and a bit I have seen him take on the new role of father. 

I see the vast sea of love that flows from him to his Sons, my Grandsons.  I see his love for his wife Raven.  I see these things and am filled with hope that some of the cancers that have plagued our family for generations may be waning.

I listen to his mind work out things and am honored that he uses his intelligence to be good to others.  I see hi gentle nature and it motivates me to be gentler.  Even in his vocation his life is given to being an advocate and care giver to others.  I love Maxim so deeply that I cannot express it at times.  At times I have failed him deeply as a father but we have worked through most of it. 

It is an honor to be his father.  It is a joy to know him.  As I age I see just how much he means to my life.  His capacity to see the needs of others is beautiful and a true gift from God.  If you know him, it would be wise to know him better.  Happy birthday 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."

25 April 2012

ANZAC Day


Greetings Dear Reader,

As the dawn breaks over my Midwestern home it is already dark where most of my Australian friends live.  Most of them have spent the day in true celebration and remembrance of those who have served in their armed forces.  Today is ANZAC day (Australia New Zeeland Army Corps). 

I think that very few Americans realize that this continent nation so far away from us has supported us in every major war effort over the last century.  Australian soldiers have bled and died next Americans in both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East.  They had an invasion similar to Pearl Harbor.  They lost thousands at Gallipoli attempting to shorten World War I.

The motto for this day for remembrance and celebration is “Lest We Forget.”  The entire nation pauses to honor their veterans.  Dawn services, gunfire breakfasts, and wreath laying ceremonies are just some of the forms the commemoration takes. 

I have nothing profound to say here.  I merely wish to use my moment of audience today to thank those people I never knew for sacrificing so much for the greater good.  Today I will share a gunfire breakfast with my adopted Australian daughter.  I will pray for the Australian troops in harm’s way in the Middle East.  I will acknowledge the day to my Australian friends. 

As Americans we owe a debt of thanks to our Australian allies.  They too sacrifice to combat evil in the world.  They too lose loved ones to road side bombs.  They too have a memorial day to honor their fallen.  I hate war in all forms but in that hatred I also love and honor those who stand so that I can sit safely in my home spin my little tales.

If you know someone in Australia take a moment to acknowledge their day of remembrance.  They are our friends and allies in a dangerous world.  We should honor them, Lest we forget…

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 April 2012

No Compromise – Faith


Greetings Dear Reader,

As I complete my thoughts on compromise it seems that it always comes back to this.  The choice not to compromise requires faith.  Everything about following requires faith.  The motivation of the journey comes from faith. 

Faith cannot be dormant.  Faith cannot survive if it goes unused.  It is what sutures the tears in our heart so that we can keep following.  It is what God requires to find truth.  I rarely hammer on what the Bible says but in this it seems that it is has been said better there than I can say it.  “Apart from faith we are powerless to be pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 11:16, ATT)

When we begin to doubt the truths about who God is and what he desires from us it is faith we must embrace.  If that faith is not active it is easy to let honest questioning turn into a cancer that erodes our strength to follow.  Life crisis become excuses to blame God or denounce him.  My greatest failures are attached directly to my points of lowest faith in God and his ability to care for me.

I must also act on that faith.  I must realize that without action my faith is dead and seems foolish to others.  It is an exercise in futility to think that I can move through life without faith.  Faith atrophies so quickly when I do not exercise it.  When I begin to compromise my faith for any reason I am choose to weaken that which protects me on the journey.  Faith is a shield.  How can I hope to be protected from the pains and disappointments of life without 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."

23 April 2012

No Compromise – Redemption



Greetings Dear Reader,

I need redemption.  I have and do sin.  I started out fallen and realized a long time ago that I could not get out of the mess without help.  This is the common condition of man.  I am not alone in this but that does not lessen my weight of guilt.

If I do not accept this then I cannot hope for truth in anything else in my reasoning.  As with so many things, until I realize my need it cannot truly be met.  Someone I love dearly has mentioned that he has so much difficulty forgiving himself for things.  I do not think that we can accomplish this until we recognize how deeply and daily we need God’s forgiveness.

It is easy to avoid this need and live a life that does not recognize the process necessary for a fulfillment.  It is so easy to forget the basics of faith and following.  Once I forget that redemption is a process and the necessary journey for my life I can be arrogant and unloving.  I can indulge my own selfish interests and neglect the needs of others.  These things are always hollow pursuits and eventually I remember that I need to get back to the journey toward redemption in following Christ.

Whenever I compromise my faith for my own desires I hinder this process for me and for others.  When I do not follow I harm the following of others.  I hinder the ability of others to see Christ working out redemption in me and this may hinder their realization of how deeply they need the same.

To compromise the truth that I need redemption from my sin is to reject that I must follow.  To fail in following hurts me. It hurts those I love.  It even hurts those I do not know.  To forget for a moment that this is my responsibility is to risk that I will damage the ability of others to see it.  This will truly compromise the potential for joy and success in my journey.

My Children and my Grandchildren are motivation enough for me to work at this moment by moment if necessary.  I have lost so much and so have they because of times when I lost sight of this.  I despair that I can redeem this but I know Christ can. 

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 April 2012

No Compromise – The Bible


Greetings Dear Reader,

I realize that this book has woven in and out of popularity over the centuries.  I realize that there are individuals on both sides of the argument over its validity who are educated and intelligent.  The world and individuals weigh in and give opinions.  The problem with the whole argument is its premise.

I will never say anything against sound reason and good thought.  The premise that concerns me is that we think we give the Bible authority.  That is arrogant and misinformed.  The Bible has authority because God gave it authority.  This is true in the same light that God exists whether I believe in him or not. 

I acknowledge that many have used the Bible to their own ends and this has hurt many people.  This is wrong but does not invalidate the Bible.  So many condemn it that have not even read it all the way through.  This too is wrong.  The Bible has power and authority because it is reasonable. 

It is reasonable and I do not get to assign its authority.  I cannot compromise on this.  This does not mean that I do not approach it with humility and honesty.  It is not for me to thump at people or batter them.  It is for me to see who I am in my following of Christ.  It is for me to measure my actions in light of God’s commands concerning love, grace, and mercy.  It is a weapon for me to fight my selfish fallen nature.  In that arena it can cut asunder my attempts to justify things I should not.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

21 April 2012

No Compromise – No Secular Issues


Greetings Dear Reader,

Recently a student tried to explain to me how his drug use had nothing to do with his relationship to God.  He explained that he did it in private and that he never hurt anyone.  This young man really wants to follow Christ and cares about his faith.  I asked him about the person from whom he buys his drugs.  His response was, “That is just a business transaction.  God is not involved in that.”

That simple line of rationalization is one that we all draw somewhere.  We compartmentalize our lives to think that because we view God differently we can do something that is wrong “outside” of faith and following.  The error in this is that it is not up to us to determine what is secular.  There is nothing we do that does not involve God.

Many years ago I used to regularly do things that were wrong and I convinced myself that God would not mind.  I rationalized that I was not hurting anyone and that it was outside of my faith and following.  I was so wrong.  I see my Children doing some of these same things and it makes me weep.  I can see from this distance down the path how deeply deeming something that is wrong “harmless” erodes the ability to follow Christ. 

There are no issues that are outside of my faith.  Everything I do must be done in light of how it impacts my relationship with God.  I cannot compromise on my minor responsibilities and think that I am truly following Christ.  I cannot imagine for a moment that I am honoring my commitment to Christ if I am unfaithful in small things.  Once I gave my life to Christ I entered into a journey where there is not a single secular issue.

I grew up having to compartmentalize things to survive.  It has taken most of my adult life to get to the place where I no longer need that to feel safe.  Tearing down those walls helps me see just how much I compromised to “feel safe.”   Now I must embrace the vast openness in faith that Christ will lead others as he leads me into seeing that one cannot section off any part of his being from following. 

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 April 2012

No Compromise – The Hokey Pokey


Greetings Dear Reader,

For years my Sons and I have enjoyed a collectable card game together.  I have not played in some time but still have some cards.  One of them is “Knight of the Hokey Pokey” from a set of cards that lampooned the game.  I came across this card the other day and then I also saw a bumper sticker that said “What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it’s all about?”

Because of the way my mind works I pondered this question for some time.  The words to the song spun through my head and I remembered various weddings where I have participated in the dance associated with the song.  It is one of the few songs that tells you exactly what to do in terms of dancing to the song.

Here are the words courtesy of the Scout Songs web site:

You put your right hand in,
You put your right hand out,
You put your right hand in,
And you shake it all about,

You do the hokey pokey
and you turn yourself around
That’s what it's all about.

2) left hand
3) right foot
4) left foot
5) head
6) backside
7) whole self

Admittedly this is a silly song.  It does, however, reveal something about not compromising.  You see this silly song that I have known since I was a toddler requires at the end for one to put his whole self in.  Christ requires that from the beginning.  When we commit to following Christ it is an all or nothing commitment.  It is not our privilege to partially follow. 

I know that I can be very good at compartmentalizing.  I can cordon of an area of my life and take it out of following Christ.  The problem with that is that if I am to follow all of me must move along home.  I cannot indulge private sins or compromise things that I know are wrong through rationalization.

It is too easy to rationalize my way to practices that I know are wrong.  Eventually this leads to a life that is all compromise and no following.  This is the path to taking my whole self out.  Following Christ is an all or nothing venture.   I am either following or I am not.   

Compromising this is the path to abandoning faith.  Whether I do this through adopting actions and practices that compromise my faith or I reason and rationalize my way off of the path I am taking myself out of following.  If I am not following with my whole self then I am not following.  Apparently that is what it’s all about.

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 April 2012

No Compromise – A Beginning

Greetings Dear Reader,

A friend reminded me of a song this morning.  I am taking a break from y write through My Prayer List for My Children to work through a few things that are dancing through my head.  This is the first and I hope it is of benefit.

I know that having just written about tolerance this topic might seem contradictory.  There are, however, things that a Christ follower cannot compromise and continue to claim to follow Christ.  This is not me pointing fingers.  It is me taking inventory.  No matter how I feel about it there are things that are true.

I cannot worry about what others think or the popularity of my position.  The tightrope that I must walk is to follow Christ without compromise but do so in humility and love.  I fall so often it is good that Christ is also my net.  There are things I cannot compromise.  I desire so deeply to follow and be an example of how that is intended without judging or condemning anyone else.

The next few days will be my reflection on some of these things so that I may set some marker points for my journey.  It saddens me so deeply when I see others who know Christ compromise in following.  I used to be so harsh about this but I realize that all I can do is love them more deeply and try to be an example of the following.  That said, the pain of it sometimes overwhelms me in the wee hours.

I cannot focus on anyone but me in this.  I cannot push others along the path.  I must not visit my opinion on them but instead be what Christ calls me to be without compromise.  That is a tough enough task.


Make my life a prayer to You
I wanna do what you want me to
No empty words and no white lies
No token prayers no compromise

I wanna shine the light You gave
Thru Your Son You sent to save us
From ourselves and our despair
It comforts me to know You're really there

Well I wanna thank you now
For being patient with me
Oh it's so hard to see
When my eyes are on me
I guess I'll have to trust
And just believe what You say
Oh you're coming again
Coming to take me away

I wanna die and let You give
Your life to me so I might live
And share the hope You gave me
The love that set me free

I wanna tell the world out there
You're not some fable or fairy tale
That I've made up inside my head
You're God the Son and You've risen from the dead

Well I wanna thank you now
For being patient with me
Oh it's so hard to see
When my eyes are on me
I guess I'll have to trust
And just believe what You say
Oh you're coming again
Coming to take me away

I wanna die and let You give
Your life to me so I might live
And share the hope You gave me
The love that set me free – Keith Green


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."

18 April 2012

My Prayer List for My Children – Tolerance


Greetings Dear Reader,

For me this is a word that has shifted greatly in meaning over the years.  Tolerance is often touted in society as being accepting of anything regardless of my personal values and beliefs.  That is something I cannot abide.  Tolerance also means that I am willing to respect the practices of others.  That I work to do more as I realize how important it is to following Christ.

I want to be accepting and loving of others.  I will not abandon the standards that I must have if I am to be other things that Christ wishes me to be.  Society increasingly says that I must accept certain things in order to be considered tolerant.  The tolerances of following have limitations. 

I must love everyone and I wish to do that.  Not accepting things as right that are clearly wrong does not make me intolerant.  I must accept every person.  I am not required to accept every attitude, belief, or action.  The great lie is that it is assumed that if I do not do the latter then I cannot do the former. 

Tolerance is something that speaks to my own pride and selfishness not the standards set down by God.  I must esteem others to the point that I will lay aside my wants and self-interest for the benefit of others.  It means that I need to prefer others in a spirit of love that is engendered by Christ and his love for them.  I must tolerate the differences that I dislike not by just putting up with them.  That would still be selfish and self-centered.  Tolerance must flow from my love for others.  It must be me laying aside self for the sake of loving others.

I pray that I am tolerant of others in the way that Christ wishes me to be tolerant.  I pray that my children always know and live this brand of tolerance.

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 April 2012

My Prayer List for My Children – Sound Doctrine


Greetings Dear Reader,

So much of what we learn about God comes from the understanding of others.  I must never be satisfied to simply follow what others say about God.  I must seek him with my heart.  I must desire to know God as deeply and purely as possible.  I have read thousands of pages about what it means to know God and pursue him. 

What it really comes down to is the choice to progressively abandon my “self” and take on Christ.  The more I obey the commands to love God and my neighbor the more it seems that reams of “doctrine” are unnecessary.  What I do believe matters but very little of it is worth causing strife or division.

The winds of odd doctrine blow constantly across the face of Christ’s followers.  What matters is that we follow Christ in humility and honesty.  If that is the focus then the other differences are minor.  Majoring on those minors has pushed people away from following altogether.  I must assure that anything I make prominent in my communication about Christ is sound truth.  That is a very narrow path.

Since God chooses for us to follow him by faith there are few things that I can point to as absolute in terms of doctrine.  Trying to systemize my theology seems like an exercise in setting aside faith.  I am not saying that faith should be blind.  I do think there is a balance between walking in faith demanding proof.  I want to be sound in my theology.  More I want to be sound in my following.

I pray that my children see that without the following it does not matter how much theology we have or how little we embrace.  I pray that I never put doctrine over following.

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”

16 April 2012

My Prayer List for My Children – Joy


Greetings Dear Reader,

Joy is something that is available to anyone.  I feel it when my eldest Grandson dashes across the room to greet me.  I feel it when I hug my Sons.  I feel it deeply when I get to be kind to someone else.

Joy is not the same thing as happiness.  It is something we can have in any situation because it is so closely tied to our attitude.  The connection for joy in our lives is not to be tied to our circumstance.  It is to be tied to our understanding of who we are in Christ.  It is tied to our thinking regarding following him. 

There will be suffering.  There will be pain.  It is the person who is guaranteed not the circumstance.  So often I have allowed the circumstance and not Christ to determine my joy.  I will still feel sorrow.  I will still experience pain and loss.  It is in Christ that my joy I found even as I journey through dark places.

So I pray that everyone find joy in their journey of following.  I do, however, caution that without following there is little chance of 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”

15 April 2012


My Prayer List for My Children – Yieldedness

Greetings Dear Reader,

I can be very stubborn.  I see this same trait in my children.  This has served me for both good and ill.  In the times when I have been stubborn for the wrong things it is a result not being yielded to Christ. 

Absolute yieldedness means that when I know what is right I submit to it no matter how I feel.  It means that I do not put my wants over God’s will.  It means that there is nothing that precedes the command to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind and to love my neighbors. 

When I gave my life to Christ I yielded my will and wants to him.  I have no right to them any longer.  Too often I allow what I want to cloud this truth.  Christ leads and I must follow.  He will guide if I will yield.  Everything else is window dressing and footnotes. 

I pray that I and my children will remember this.  I pray that we yield to Christ; not the doctrine or machinations of men, but to Christ alone.  In this can be found true following.  If we yield then all else will unfold in the journey of following.

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 April 2012

My Prayer List for My Children – Holiness


Greetings Dear Reader,

I believe that we have forgotten what it means to be holy.  The word literally means to be set apart.  We are to be set apart to God.  We belong to him and we are to live in everything as if that is the case.  Since God chooses to give us free will there is still a component of choice in the matter.

At times I and all of my children have committed to setting our lives apart for God.  Essentially we have given back to God what is already his.  I do not have the right to revoke this.  Once I gave my life to God for whatever purpose he chose I have no right to take it back.

I will change the way I think about things relative to following Christ.  This is the natural progress of faith as it grows and develops.  This is the outgrowth of learning to be less of myself and more like Christ.  In all of this I must never forget that no matter how I feel about faith and following I belong to God.  I have given myself freely to him and may not revoke that.

I can run that gamut of excuses for not be set apart to Christ but they are all just that, excuses.  Whether I intentionally disobey or water down what I believe, none of that diminishes that I gave my life to following Christ and must violate my honor to not do so.  I have failed in this and seen some of the consequences.  Everything about being holy is about being set apart to Christ in my thoughts, feelings, and actions.  If I do not follow with my whole being then I am compromising my commitment.  I pray that I will be holy as Christ commands me to be.  I pray that my family remembers the words of commitment they have spoken and that they honor them.

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 April 2012

My Prayer List for My Children – Love of Christ


Greetings Dear Reader,

All love must be cultivated if it is to live.  A love of Christ is no different.  It is not an easy thing to follow him.  It is not hard because of Christ.  It is hard because of me.  If I constantly focused on my love for Christ then I would treat others well.  I would always be generous, kind, forgiving, and merciful.

I am to love Christ with all aspects of my being
Nothing about this aspect of the journey is unpleasant.  If what I do is motivated by my love for Christ then everything else becomes easier.  Things become harder when I do not do this.  It is not in my nature to be kind or selfless.  It is not a product of my upbringing to be loving and generous.  When I forget to focus on my love for Christ I am not a good man.

The center of my following Christ must be my love for him.  Fear, manipulation, guilt, and obligation are all things that others use to motivate people into following.  None of these things last.  Following out of love for Christ is not just a pure motive but it sustains the follower.  Every other reason can tax and be unfulfilling. 

Love is the core of God’s calling us.  It is what will keep us if we guard hearts from forgetting that this is the focus of our relationship with him.  When I remember how much God loves me it is an easy thing to show that same love to others.  I pray that I constantly remember how much God loves me so that I will feel free to focus on honing my love for him.

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 April 2012

My Prayer List for My Children – Honesty


Greetings Dear Reader,

This is one of those areas that everyone struggles with at some level.  Whether it is a pattern of dishonesty in our lives for personal gain or it is the simplicity of lying to keep from inconveniencing others, honesty is something we must always embrace.  Lying outwardly is merely a symptom though.

What I must do every day; what all of us must do daily is to be honest within ourselves.  All outward lies begin with inward lies.  When we practice self-deceit it damages our faith and our following.  We tell ourselves that we can compromise our standards or our beliefs without deleterious effect to faith.  This is a great lie. 

Every time I violate what is right or waiver in following Christ I risk damaging my faith.  Every sin is an act of unbelief for those who have chosen to follow Christ.  Abandoning faith is not a great act but a game of inches.  I allow small compromises in my thinking and action and tell myself it will not impact my faith.

So many of the failures in my life have begun with an internal lie.  Every time I turn the thought from truth to lie I allow for the potential of great failure.  The small compromises of truth lead to lies that damage my following and my family.  Every compromise of truth internally can lead to outward ripples of life compromise.

These small compromises of what is right are me deciding that I know better than God.  These small lies are the great lie.  This is why honesty to self is so vital to my ability to follow Christ whole-heartedly.  I pray that I and my children are honest within so that we can deal honestly with God and the world.

This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man. – William Shakespeare

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 April 2012

My Prayer List for My Children – Faithfulness


Greetings Dear Reader,

There is a difference between faith and faithfulness that is so very important.  I can believe and not act.  I can know and not do.  It is not enough to believe.  I must attach that belief to my thoughts and actions.

So many things will try to draw me away from following Christ.  I have given my life to him and the journey of following.  Anything I do that is unfaithful to that commitment is wrong.  I have watched others compromise their commitment because God did not do things the way they wished.  I have compromised at times because I failed to believe that God would meet my needs.

No amount of faith can work without faithfulness on my part.  The impact of being unfaithful does not only harm me but others.  The times that I have failed in this area still echo throughout my family.  One cannot contain the damage.  When I am unfaithful I can damage the faith of others.

I know that I am forgiven for past unfaithfulness but I also know that I carry the pain of having faltered in my following.  I gave my life to the journey and although I follow now with all that I can, the effects of my faltering are still evident around me.  So I pray that I am faithful as an example to my children.  I pray for them to remember the commitments they have made to Christ and keep them.  I pray for faithfulness in all so that we can be an example to 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”

10 April 2012

My Prayer List for My Children – Faith


Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday I wrote about something that is difficult for me.  Today is a polar opposite.  Faith comes very easy to me.  My choice to follow Christ so many years ago came out of a deep hatred of God and all that he is.  I was angry, harsh, and malevolent at a very young age.  What was so odd was that in that inner rage I had everyone convinced I was a good kid.  I was headed quickly in the same direction that had destroyed the lives of others in my family.  I believed that God existed and that for some reason he had chosen me as his favorite piƱata. 

I realize how very wrong and prideful that thinking was.  In the very darkest moments since then I have never doubted that God knew what happening far better than I did.  The night I put my faith in Christ was the same night I had decided to end my life.  A man reached out to me and challenged me to speak to God honestly about how I felt.  He further challenged me to see just how much God loved me.

I did this and have not looked back.  There have been too many times when I have not lived that faith but the faith has been there just the same.  This is one of the things I pray about daily.  When sit down in the wee hours of the morning to face the blank page and the day’s writing I pray first. 

I pray for my children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, and friends to have genuine faith.  I am not judging the current state of their faith but rather wishing for them to have faith that functions as easily as mine does.  I am also praying that they follow that faith and let it be the compass of their lives.

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 April 2012

My Prayer List for My Children – Quietness


Greetings Dear Reader,

After a good and enlightening Holy Week I return to the journey through my prayer list for my children.  Please remember that I do not write these things as a message to anyone else but rather as a reflection tool for my own spirit.  I cannot expect someone else to be something I am not willing to be.

When I ponder quietness I ponder something that is very difficult for me.  Silence is a howling mine to me.  It draws so much from me and returns so little.  I have tried to become someone who can embrace quiet but my mind races and distracts.  Sometimes I feel it is a little bit of madness on my part. 

I do, however, pray for my students to embrace things that are difficult for me.  I know that my eldest Son can enjoy quiet.  I think that my younger Son struggles with this as well.  My Daughter loves it.

I see the value of it and do not disavow it in any way.  It is just difficult for me.  That said I do find that stillness and simple background music in my headphones allows me to focus quietly on reading or meditation.  Evan as I write this I am enjoy the new Jethro Tull album. 

Quietness is not a thing that I do well, but for those who do I know it is a beautiful and amazing 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”

08 April 2012

Holy Week: Resurrection Sunday - My King


Greetings Dear Reader,

The weary soldiers are enjoying an imposed sleep.  They will be paid well later to lie.  No one else is there to see him in the moment.  Many will see him later but I wonder if it would have encouraged him had just one of his followers been there to greet him. My sin killed my King.  The saw that as fit payment for my sin and used it to pardon me. I can never quite find the words to express my feelings but every Resurrection Sunday I listen to the following words from the beloved S. M. Lockridge.  They come as close as anything I have ever heard.

The Bible says my King is a seven-way king....He's the King of the Jews; that's a racial king....He's the King of Israel; that's a national King....He's the King of Righteousness....He's the King of the Ages.....He's the King of Heaven....He's the King of Glory....He's the King of kings, and He's the Lord of lords. That's my King. Well....I wonder, do you know Him?.... David said, "The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork. My King is a sovereign King. No means of measure can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply. No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings. He's enduringly strong....He's entirely sincere....He's eternally steadfast....He's immortally graceful....He's imperially powerful....He's impartially merciful....... Do you know Him?

He's the greatest phenomenon that ever crossed the horizon of this world. He's God's Son....He's a sinner's Saviour....He's the centerpiece of civilization....He stands in the solitude of Himself....He's august....He's unique....He's unparalleled....He's unprecedented....He's the loftiest idea in literature....He's the highest personality in philosophy....He's the supreme problem in higher criticism....He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology....He's the cardinal necessity for spiritual religion....He's the miracle of the age.... He's the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him....He's the only one qualified to be an all sufficient Saviour...... I wonder if you know Him today?

He supplies strength for the weak....He's available for the tempted and the tried....He sympathizes and He saves....He strengthens and sustains....He guards and He guides....He heals the sick....He cleanses lepers....He forgives sinners....He discharges debtors....He delivers captives....He defends the feeble....He blesses the young....He serves the unfortunate....He regards the aged....He rewards the diligent....and He beautifies the meek....... I wonder if you know Him?
Well, my King....is the King....He's the key to knowledge....He's the wellspring to wisdom....He's the doorway of deliverance....He's the pathway of peace....He's the roadway of righteousness ....He's the highway of holiness....He's the gateway of glory....... Do you know Him?
Well....His office is manifold....His promise is sure....His light is matchless....His goodness is limitless....His mercy is everlasting....His love never changes....His word is enough....His grace is sufficient....His reign is righteous....and His yoke is easy, and his burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you, but He's indescribable....He's incomprehensible....He's invincible....He's irresistible.
Well, you can't get Him out of your mind....You can't get Him off of your hand....You can't out live Him, and you can't live without Him....The Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him....Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him....The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree....Herod couldn't kill Him....Death couldn't handle Him, and the grave couldn't hold Him. Yea!
That's my King, that's my King.

Father..."Thine is the Kingdom....and the Power....and the Glory....Forever"....and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever. How long is that? And ever...and ever...and when you get through with all the forevers, then.... AMEN!....AMEN!

Why do you look for the living among the dead?

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a home owner. He brings new and old things out of his treasure store."



07 April 2012

Holy Week 2012 – Saturday: Silent as the Grave


Greetings Dear Reader,

Silence is one of those things that I have trouble with.  Too much time alone when I was at an age where I should not be alone bread in me a difficulty with silence.  I have learned to tolerate the silence over the years and come to realize that sometimes it is just what I need.

This silence; the silence of the grave is different.  In the times that death has visited me the silence is howling, painful, and turbulent.  I have tried often but cannot imagine what his friends and family are going through on this day so many centuries ago.  They are in hiding and in fear.  They are in pain because their faith has failed.  The one who spoke courage and comfort to them lies silent in the grave.

I can imagine what the priests who did not believe are feeling.  They are not silent.  They comfort themselves with having killed an upstart carpenter.  They convince themselves that they have served God and their faith.  They have killed a man and freed a murderer.  They have bribed a man and then refused to let him seek atonement.  They have coerced a Roman governor into killing Jesus.  They are also just worried enough to post a guard outside the tomb that is sealed, silent, and full.

At the moment the sting of death is in full venom.  The grave seems victorious.  The tomb holds the Son of God in its cold unyielding womb.  Gestating in that soundless womb is the only hope of salvation for all men everywhere forever.  That mute womb is not voiceless.  It speaks to hopes and fears equally dependent upon the quality of faith in the listener. 

The sun will set and the stony womb will grow colder.  The dankness will descend and either faith or despair will rise.  The night will feel long and oppressive either way.  Outside the silent womb will be the noise of soldiers complaining about the cold dark duty they have drawn.  Their forced vigil is ironically the only one held outside this place of hope and waiting.  Should not there have been thousands of Christ followers gathered waiting for the first light of dawn and the birth of new life?    

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."


Holy Week 2012 – Sunday:  Resurrection and Life

06 April 2012

Holy Week 2012 – Friday: Against and For the World


Greetings Dear Reader,

I ponder today what it must be like to have everyone arrayed against you.  Then I ponder what it must be like to be in that position when you are certain that you are innocent of any crime.  In addition, you know that you only need speak the word and legions of unstoppable warriors will come to your defense.  You can destroy them but you love them and will let them kill you.

You take the rejection, the insults, and the abuse.  You walk the streets that you walked just days ago as a welcome king.  Now you walk through a crowd that spits on you.  You could snuff them out with a thought.  Carrying the cross on your bloodied back you climb the hill.  Silent you take the nails.  The jeering and abuse continue as you are lifted up to survey the city over which you so recently wept.
From this painful perch you can see the city and because you are God you can also see through all of time.  You can see every moment of sin and suffering.  You can see those who accept then reject you.  You can see all of those who claim to know you and ignore your heart.  You can see those who do evil in your name.  You can hear those who curse you because of the foolishness of some of your followers.

You can see me and my Children.  You know our hearts and how and when they turn toward and away from you.  You can see me in this moment wishing I could purge all my sin and only be yours to command.  You plead for our forgiveness.  Then time is full.  The moment that it is all geared toward is at hand.  Only you can grasp the pain you feel as the Father turns to allow the final moment.  Then, it is fininshed. 

Why did it have to be a friend who chose to betray the Lord?
Why did he use a kiss to show them that's not what a kiss is for?
Only a friend can betray a friend a stranger has nothing to gain,
And only a friend comes close enough to ever cause so much pain,
And why did there have to be thorny crown pressed upon His head?
It should have been the royal one made of jewels and gold instead.
It had to be a crown of thorns because in this life that we live,
For all who seek to love a thorn is all the world has to give.
And why did it have to be a heavy cross He was made to bare?
And why did they nail His feet and hands his love would have held Him there?
It was a cross for on a cross a thief was supposed to pay,
And Jesus had come into the world to steal every heart away.
Yes, Jesus had come into the world to steal every heart away. – Michael Card

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 April 2012

Holy Week 2012 – Thursday: From Light to Darkness


Greetings Dear Reader,

The shadows of night are where the suffering begins for Christ.  He presides over the Passover meal where his friends falsely profess their loyalty.  He goes to the garden to pray.  He finds there great grief and pain before the lash, the first, or the cross touch him.  His friends fall asleep, he bleeds from his pours, and a friend hands him over to the soldiers.

God sends angels to comfort him but it must have reminded Christ of the deep darkness to come.  How many slept whilst God was betrayed and beaten.  We talk about Judas’ betrayal.  Do we consider that everyone fled from his side that night?  Even as he was arrested he showed mercy to his captors.

Just a few days ago Jesus rode into town in full daylight.   Lauded as Hosanna the King of Kings he came to Jerusalem.  Now the night has come and evil men seek his life. Because he is willing they shall have it.  The darkness gathers and descends on an ancient world.  In that darkness is promise.  In that darkness is communion.  In that deep dark death is our chance to live.

There is no story, movie, or song more compelling.  On the wings of that darkness on that night flies the hope of all mankind.  The Light of the World will be extinguished for a moment so that he may rekindle in us.  My darkness causes this.  My nightmares draw the chariot that compels him to death.  My kiss betrays him.  My fists tear out his beard and punch his face.  My hands twist the crown of thorns and force it on his head.  My hand wields the lash, the hammer, and the spear.  

It is me in the crowd jeering at him.  It is me standing far off denying that I know him.  It is my voice that threatens Pilate if he does not crucify this man.  It is my hands that are washed of the matter.  It is my sin that puts him on the cross.  I am the one who makes it necessary for the Lord of Light to journey into darkness because he does so to rescue me.

How dare I ever question his love for me. I dare I ever abandon following with all my heart for even a moment.  Sunday cannot come too quickly.

And we plead and we pray
For a glimmer of day
As the night folds its wings and descends – Dan Fogelberg.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn