31 March 2013


We Paid for the Party with our Dearest Blood – To the Mystery

Greetings Dear Reader,

Christ is risen; He is risen indeed.

This is what must propel me.  This is the thing that must drive me to the cross and beyond.  Not having all the answers but the belief that my risen Lord will be faithful to his promises.  If I die then I will live.  If I move through death to life then I will be able to follow him more closely.

The tomb is empty.  The path is clear.  I must rise and follow. I wish you Dear Reader a blessed Resurrection Sunday.


Long ago, He blessed the earth, born older than the years
And in the stall the cross He saw through the first of many tears
A life of homeless wandering cast out in sorrow's way
The Shepherd seeking for the lost his life, the price He paid

Love crucified arose the risen One in splendor
Jehovah's sole defender has won the victory
Love crucified arose and the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke is beating once again

Throughout Your life You've felt the weight of what You'd come to give
To drink for us that crimson cup so we might really live
At last the time to love and die the dark appointed day
That one forsaken moment when Your Father turned His face away

Love crucified arose the One who lived and died for me
Was Satan's nail pierced casualty now He's breathing once again
Love crucified arose and the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke is beating once again
Love crucified arose the risen One in splendor
Jehovah's sole defender has won the victory
Love crucified arose and the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke is beating once again

Love crucified arose the One who lived and died for me
Was Satan's nail pierced casualty now He's breathing once again

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."

30 March 2013

We Paid for the Party with our Dearest Blood – As Silent as the Grave

Greetings Dear Reader,

So much of our faith rests upon the truth of and belief in the Resurrection.   Yet today is the day of waiting.  Today is the day when the silent grave speaks volumes.  If Christ is not risen our faith is in vain.

Yet I feel so often that I live as if this were the truth and not the truth of tomorrow.   It is real.  I believe it all.  Yet the silence and distance of time act upon me subtly to keep me from always acting.  The time and silence make things seem less real and urgent unless I focus my faith and fervor. 

We are not a people with a dead god.  We are a people with a Christ is conquered death and killed it on our behalf.  My faith sometimes feels so very old and worn.  But then Christ promised to renew that with the Spirit he sent for us.  Even in the darkness of Saturday the disciples knew what Christ had said.  Like me they chose to live as if Sunday would never come.

The women were headed to the grave to tend to a body.  They were planning to care for a dead god in a
silent tomb.  The grief, pain, and loss were all real to them even though the miracle worker, food creator, death conqueror had promised he would rise again.  They faced the silence of the grave after a long painful Saturday. 

I have to use faith that has been tested and pummeled for years to believe that tomorrow matters.  If those who walked with Jesus and saw all he did were unable to believe before seeing him how am I expected to conquer the silence?  The answer is that I choose to do so.   I believe.  I have faith.  Even though it is weary and thin at times it is my faith.  Even though I doubt and disobey at times I still believe.  Even on those dark Saturdays when all seems lost and death seems to be winning I have hope.  The grave is silent and dark on Saturdays.  The night seems long and filled with death, violence, and hopelessness.  Everything seems lost.  We have paid for the party with our dearest blood and it seems our faith is in vain right up until sunrise.


My eyes are dry
My faith is old
My heart is hard
My prayers are cold
And I know how I ought to be
Alive to You and dead to me

But what can be done
For an old heart like mine
Soften it up
With oil and wine
The oil is You, Your Spirit of love
Please wash me anew
With the wine of Your Blood

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 March 2013

We Paid for the Party with our Dearest Blood – The Death of Death

Greetings Dear Reader,

When pondering the sacrifice of Christ I often wonder why I falter in fully abandoning all so that I may follow him.  I want to do this.  I wish to be so committed to Christ that NOTHING else matters.  If I truly believe then why do I hesitate to die to self?  Why do I cling to things that do not matter?

I indulge time and resources in things that will not matter at all ten years from now.  I miss opportunities to serve others and to share Christ because I have died to my own wants and desires.  I have time as a gift from God and do not always redeem it well.  I have resources that I could use to help others that I do not always use well.  I have faith that I do not always share well.

As Christ faces death for me and in doing so kills death for me must I not then take up my cross, follow him, and die?  Christ did not hide at all that this was the cost of following him.  He bids us come and dine and bids us come and die.

So as I ponder my Saviour and his death I must also recognize that I must die as well.  In that dying to self is
where life begins each day.  I can love and live fully if I do so in his grace and mercy.  In the giving up all that I am and all that I can be to Christ’s lead is where I find the power and will to live more selflessly.  The journey to the cross becomes the journey to the tomb and then the journey to life.  If I would have life I must lose it.  If I wish to be free then I cannot avoid the cross.  If I want to be free then I must let his death lead to the death of self and life in him.

In that death to self is the request to be made whole. It is the desire to be alive.  It is the escape from boredom.  It is in death to self that we are freed.


In the gas station bathroom by the condom machine
I heard the word of the Lord
He said “Take off your shoes,
this is holy ground too
you know I came for the sick and the bored.”
Beneath the selling of beers
And the welling up of tears
Out beyond the beam of the remote control
There's a whispering voice
That the humble ear ears
that says “I am still waiting
for you to ask just to be made whole.”

And the bush it was burning on the mountain top
and though the leaves never blackened, the fire didn't stop
That's the way that it works in this old life of sin
You gotta let the fire burn you just to get clean within

I am so often deterred from my actual intent
by distractions in a cellophane wrap
And the cruel voice that taunts me when I open them up
to find just one more box full of crap
It's where you're mocked while you abstain
and then cursed when you give in
It's all a game that's impossible to beat
But there's a peaceful refrain God'll sing in your brain
when you put the nails to your hands and your feet

And the smell of our sacrifices
still fills up my head
There's just a few left at the altar, Lord
all the rest of them fled
And we've cried and we've tried
We've sweat and we've bled
But we don't just need atonement
We need to be raised from the dead

When they took down the cross from that dark hillside
The blood on their hands was the blood from his side
That's the way that it works, that’s the way it must be.
You gotta let His blood stain you of you want to get free
If you want to get free
Don't you want to get free?
I think you want to be free.

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 March 2013

We Paid for the Party with our Dearest Blood – Wine and Bread

Greetings Dear Reader,

When the smell of baking bread fills my home it changes me.  I hunger for it even if I am not hungry.  The right wine fills me with joy even on the first glass.  We remember today that Jesus sits at supper with his closest friends.  He prays for them.  He explains what is to happen.

His friends are about to abandon him.  One will hand him over to those who will kill him.  Peter will deny
knowing him.  The import of what he does with the bread and wine is often the focus of our remembering our sin and its forgiveness.  What I see is that once again my Redeemer is making a sacrifice for me.

In the midst of assuring his friends that they will survive his death he goes a step further.  He sets aside the bread and wine as things he will give up until he can again dine with his friends in the redeemed world.  Whilst facing the abandonment, the beatings, and the cross he still is giving up things for us.  He is still focused on the day when he shares these things with me.

He will weep over the world whilst his followers sleep.  He will go to prayer and be arrested.  He will go willingly and his tormentors will think they power over him.  He will give up his life and they will think they have killed him.  He will rise.  In this moment, however, he is looking past all of that to a day when we all gather to celebrate that final atonement for our sin; for my sin.

Bread and wine mean so much in life.  I think we miss out when we focus on only the washing of the feet and the drama of the last supper.  I need to see that Christ was about to deny what he enjoyed so that he could take up his cross.  Christ has denied himself these things until he shares them with me.  What do I indulge in that can wait until things are redeemed?  What do I need to die to in order to be more like 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."

Second Thoughts - Shadow Smiles



Greetings Dear Reader,

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

Today is Rachael Catharine’s birthday.  I miss her in ways that I can never put into words.  I spent most of the day wondering what she would be like now.   I wonder how all of our lives would have unfolded had she lived.  I see the pain my Sons carry over this and wish I could take it away.

The loss of a child is so devastating no matter the circumstances.  So much of the pain in my last twenty years tethers back to that moment.  So many of my wrong choices are connected to her loss.  One of the things I have done is renewed my determination to live in a way that she could be proud of were she here.

Tonight I raise a glass to my Daughter and wish her joy and peace.  She is always remembered and always in my 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."

27 March 2013

We Paid for the Party with our Dearest Blood – Judging Others

Greetings Dear Reader,

In church tradition one of the names for Holy Wednesday is Spy Wednesday.  It refers to the handing over of Jesus to the Pharisees.  I have written before about my thoughts concerning Judas and his motives.  What I wish to ponder today is how we view Judas.  We judge him so harshly when the command is to love him.

I must not judge anyone if I am to die to self and follow Christ.  Taking up my cross means seeing my sin and guilt and counting on the atonement of Christ to cover that.  I cannot engage in judging others when my sin is so deep.  Jesus promised that the judgment we use will be the standard by which we are judged. 

In my journey toward the cross, its death, and eventual life I must not engage in judging others.  I must look inward to my own failings and allow the grace of God to heal 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."

26 March 2013

We Paid for the Party with our Dearest Blood – Brides and Prostitutes

Greetings Dear Reader,

Late in the evening in Eastern Orthodox churches perform a very long and slow cant of The Hymn of Kassia.  The day has been filled with a celebration of the story of the Ten Virgins.  The story reminds us that we must always be prepared for the arrival of Christ.  Christ as the Bridegroom of the church requires us to be always ready and always preparing.

The Hymn of Kassia is sung to close the day and bring us to Holy Wednesday.  This is the only time in the liturgical year that the hymn is performed.  In many churches prostitutes attend this service to hear the hymn.  I often wonder why we exercise the habit of seeing some sin as more deplorable than others.  Prostitution can only exist in a world where we are willing to use and abuse others. 

The woman who came to wash Jesus’ feet came because of her love for Christ.  Those who were supposed to be holy judged the woman and Christ for their interaction.  Christ’s response was to honor her.


Sensing Thy divinity, O Lord, a woman of many sins

takes it upon herself to become a myrrh-bearer,
And in deep mourning brings before Thee fragrant oil
in anticipation of Thy burial; crying:
"Woe to me! For night is unto me, oestrus of lechery,
a dark and moonless eros of sin.
Receive the wellsprings of my tears,
O Thou who gatherest the waters of the oceans into clouds.
Bend to me, to the sorrows of my heart,
O Thou who bendedst down the heavens in Thy ineffable self-emptying.
I will kiss Thine immaculate feet
and dry them with the locks of my hair;
Those very feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise
and hid herself in fear.
Who shall reckon the multitude of my sins,
or the abysses of Thy judgment, O Saviour of my soul?
Do not ignore me, Thy handmaiden,
O Thou whose mercy is endless.

If I am to truly die to my fallen self then I must see that my sin is as despicable as anyone else’s.  I must realize just how much risk that prostitute took in appearing in front of the Pharisees.  I must risk all that I am to honor Christ and purify myself for him.


The alabaster case of oil is open
And washing the feet of Jesus
The sweet perfume is poured
I am like the cask I must be broken
So from my life can pour
A life unto my Lord

Father break me
Take me through the fire
Father hold me, mold me
Just as you desire
I am just a cup to overflow your will
But first I must be empty to be filled

I saw myself as only drifting
Lost upon the waters
Sinking like a stone
Then your tide washed around me
I was lifted
If I follow the morning star
I’ll be sailing 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."

25 March 2013

We Paid for the Party with our Dearest Blood – Cursing Fig Trees and Cleansing Temples

Greetings Dear Reader,

As I ponder the events of that last week before the crucifixion I look at the things upon which Christ commented and did.  The first thing that comes to mind it the cursed fig tree.  It represented itself and a fig tree that was healthy and well ready to provide it fruit.  Instead it was barren of fruit.  If I am to properly prepare to take up my cross and die to self then I must assure that I am on the outside what I claim to be as a follower of Christ.  I must not put on Christ for my own purposes.  I not must claim Christ as mine and then not truly follow him. 

In the same light Christ made it clear that we must respect the places of worship by not stealing from his faithful followers.  The bazaar-like atmosphere of the temple must have been so odious to the Son of God.  People were much more concerned about commerce than they were about prayer.  They were seeking gain not God.  I have heard people complain about church because they did not like the free coffee.  People have abandoned the following of Christ due to a church not acting properly.  I must assure that the temple that I am is a house of prayer.  I must assure that I do not give cause for others to see following Christ as a business.

The events have a common thread for me.  As I approach the cross I must shed anything that is false and misguided.  I must make Christ and his rule my business.  I must assure that whatever I claim to be, I am.  I cannot take up the burden of the cross without shedding the burdens of pretense and selfishness.

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 March 2013

We Paid for the Party with our Dearest Blood – Palm Sunday

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday we celebrated my Grandson Bastion’s first birthday.  Except for being covered in frosting he was oblivious to what was happening.  It was, however, joyful for us to celebrate.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends gathered for a wonderful dinner of Skyline Chili and birthday cake. 

The cost was minimal and the joy was rich.  Today we commemorate another celebration.  Today we celebrate Palm Sunday when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  This event is of note mostly because of the tragedy that follows.  The clamor was enough that the Pharisees objected.  The import was obvious enough that they feared the loss of their power.  The gospels are clear that thousands were following Christ.

As much as I laud the celebration it always brings home to me what is about to happen.  It always causes me to ponder what the cost of this party will be for Christ.  God has called the tune. God has danced for us for three years.  God is the piper and is about to pay with his life.

I celebrate this all because I benefit from it.  The question for me is if I am willing as well to ride to my death with Christ.  I am willing to follow him to the cross and dye to my own fallen desires?  Am I ready to accept that the temporary praise will fade into jeers of condemnation?  If I cling to this moment then I will not be ready to face the decision required on Friday.

He rides for one purpose.  He rides to die.  He would have rather gathered those lauding him to his embrace.  Instead he will spread his arms to atone for their sin; my sin.  He asks in return that I die as well.  He asks that I abandon all that my fallen nature’s wants and that I follow him to the cross.  So today I celebrate but I know that we will pay for the party with our dearest blood.


Seems the sorrow untold, as you look down the road
At the clamoring crowd drawing near
Feel the heat of the day, as you look down the way
Hear the shouts of Hosanna the King

Oh, daughter of Zion your time's drawing near
Don't forsake Him, oh don't pass it by
On the foal of a donkey as the prophets had said
Passing by you, He rides on to die

Come now little foal, though you’re not very old
Come and bear your first burden bravely
Walk so softly upon all the coats and the palms
Bare the One on your back oh so gently

Midst the shouting so loud and the joy of the crowd
There is One who is riding in silence
For He knows the ones here will be fleeing in fear
When their shepherd is taken away

Oh, daughter of Zion your time's drawing near
Don't forsake Him, oh don't pass it by
On the foal of a donkey as the prophets had said
Passing by you, He rides on to die

Soon the thorn cursed ground will bring forth a crown
And this Jesus will seem to be beaten
But He'll conquer alone both the shroud and the stone
And the prophesies will be completed

Oh, daughter of Zion your time's drawing near
Don't forsake Him, oh don't pass it by
On the foal of a donkey as the prophets had said
Passing by you, He rides on to die

On the foal of a donkey as the prophets had said
Passing by you He rides on to die

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 March 2013

In the Wilderness – Evening – Part 4

Greetings Dear Reader,

Tomorrow begins Holy Week.  As I emerge from this internal wilderness I count gains and losses.  I look for some things that are meant to be there and they are not.  There are also things that I carry that I should not.  When Jesus emerged from the wilderness he had only his mission. 

I think that the idea of Holy Week for me this year is to continue my journey out of the wilderness.  The journey is both triumphant and terrible.  It pauses for a moment at the cross.  The cross is the weigh station where I must see the true cost of my sin and take up the robe of righteousness.  I emerge from the wilderness seeking not the comfort of a hot shower and cold beer.  I rather seek the cross.  I will figuratively get there on Friday.  For now I will keep journeying and keep a vigil for what is to come. 

Tonight the transition from wilderness to Jerusalem will be stark.  Instead of a solitary wasteland I will move among the throngs of those flocking to worship on Palm Sunday.  Some are always there.  Some come to appease family, God, or guilt.  Some are emerging from another wilderness; the one God has journeyed them through to this moment.

I will sing the worship songs.  I will pray and listen.  Mostly I will begin Holy Week by pondering what it takes to renew the battle for redemption.  I will keep vigil over the things I have learned.  I will fasten my heart to Palms I spread and walk with Christ to Golgotha this week.  Tonight I keep vigil.  Tonight I ask for the courage to die to self so that I may live for Christ.

The Vigil – Kemper Crabb

Waiting for flame in the eye of night
I am the fuel for your fire
Light calls ever unto light
Make me a fleshen pyre

Touch my lips with altering coal
Leave your shining upon my soul
Zion shall ever be my goal
Zion the telling of light

Scanning the silence with inward ears
Life is a listening
Enfolded in echoes of timeless years
The Word comes whistling

Build my being from your throat
Meld my meaning with every note
Wrap me round in an oral cloak
That I may truly hear

Drawing toward destiny’s darkling kite
Riven by reality
Riding the Passion to terrible height
Life upon death’s tree

Cause me to drink from the chalice of fire
Forge me anew in the heat of desire
Let me inhabit your holy empire
And make war on the armies of night

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."

In the Wilderness – Morning – Part 3

Greetings Dear Reader,

I too often forget that all that I have; my home, my work, and my diversions are only temporary.  I keep looking for a place to root when I am truly a nomad.  I am in the midst of a journey.  I am in a race.  I am on a pilgrimage. 

There are times where I rest and tarry for a space.  There are times where I can enjoy the view but I must remember that I have no lasting home here.  I must remember that I am headed somewhere and the task is to get there well.


Pilgrims to the City of God – Michael Card

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

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

The stigma of strangers lost in a strange land
In a fallen world that's not our home
But we are not homeless prodigals here
Because we have someplace to go

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

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

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

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

22 March 2013

In the Wilderness – Evening - Part 2

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the great clarities that I emerge from my wilderness time with is I have no desire that I do not wish to supersede with this desire.  I want to be God’s man.  I want my every action and attitude to reflect him and his love for others.  I see the possibility for greatness in people that are not yielded to Christ.  I see what they could become in showing his love to others.

In the latest movie version of The Count of Monte Cristo, Jacopo says to Dant├Ęs, “I am your man forever.”  If I do not yield all that I am to this end; reflecting Christ to others then I need do nothing else for it will not matter.  If I do not become in heart a man who is God’s alone then I cannot hope to be free of the burdens I carry. 

As I emerge from the wilderness I am reminded that this vigilance is only viable if I am armed and engine to this task.  I must be God’s and God’s alone. 


You are my God and I am your man
I will worship you
With the works of my hands
And the thoughts of my mind
And the love in my heart

If the world could know, if they could understand
The hour of the exquisite touch of the Creator's hand
Brings a blur to my eye but makes my vision clear

Ring, rainbow ring encircles the throne
Fiery ring of love around your own
A golden ring to show just where I stand
A ring that binds my heart into your hand

And looking back across the years
I can see that you were constantly there
Constant creation; that’s what I am
As you are making me into you man

Here is my ear drive through the nail
The world will know by the ring that I wear
That I am not for sale
For you are my God and I am your man

Ring, rainbow ring encircles the throne
Fiery ring of love around your throne
A golden ring to show just where I stand
A ring that binds my heart into your hand

For you are my God and I am your man

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."

In the Wilderness – Morning - Part 1

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have been a wilderness of sorts for about a year.  I have not wandered any real deserts or been on a real walkabout.  I have, however, been spending a great deal of time feeling the depth and pain of who and where I am in life.  I have been trying to assess everything about my life so that I can find a way to complete the journey well. 

The only constant I have seen in this time of wandering is Christ.  There have been moments of despair and moments of elation.  There is pain and joy in the journey.  As I prepare to celebrate Holy Week I ponder the wilderness from which I emerge.  I have encountered others there who do not even realize they are wandering.

There has been pain and there has been healing.  Some of the pain will last for a lifetime; specifically mine.  Emerging from the wilderness is also painful.  I have found some comfort in the solitude.  This is something I talked about a little over a year ago.  Part of my journey was intentional and part was God forcing me to see him more clearly.

Solitude is something I have always avoided.  There is a deep loneliness in me that I have never quite been able to assess or assail.  I know that it is only quiet during those times when I the most connected to Christ.  One would think that this alone would drive me to be close to Christ at all times.  Alas that is not the case.   

This time has provided me with a clearer understanding of just how much of my “self” needs to be discarded so that I have more to give to Christ and those around me.  The wilderness is where Jesus went to prepare himself for his time of public ministry.  I am not sure what God is preparing me for and do not need to know to move forward.  Perhaps a deeper faith from the journey is its own reward. 


In the wilderness
In the wilderness
He calls His sons and daughters
To the wilderness

But He gives grace sufficient
To survive any test
And that's the painful purpose
Of the wilderness

In the wilderness we wander
In the wilderness we weep
In the wasteland of our wanting
Where the darkness seems so deep

We search for the beginning
For an exodus to hold
We find that those who follow Him
Must often walk alone

In the wilderness
In the wilderness
He calls His sons and daughters
To the wilderness

But He gives grace sufficient
To survive any test
And that's the painful purpose
Of the wilderness

In the wilderness we're wondering
For a way to understand
In the wilderness there's not a way
For the ways become a man

And the man's become the exodus
The way to holy ground
Wandering in the wilderness
Is the best way to be found

In the wilderness
In the wilderness
He calls His sons and daughters
To the wilderness

But He gives grace sufficient
To survive any test
And that's the painful purpose
Of the wilderness

Groaning and growing
Amidst the desert days
The windy winter wilderness
Can blow the self away

In the wilderness
In the wilderness
He calls His sons and daughters
To the wilderness

But He gives grace sufficient
To survive any test
And that's the painful purpose
Of the wilderness

And that's the painful promise
Of the wilderness

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 March 2013

Thirty Day Challenge – Concluding Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

I think I could write about this topic every day for the rest of my life without becoming repetitive.  This part of the journey has been painful but necessary.  It shows me so clearly that as much as I love God I am still a very crooked stick.  There are too many times still I choose my own wants and desires over my love for God.

I understand why Paul called himself the chief of sinners.  I feel like my sin is so deep that I will never conquer it.  But then again that is what drives me to the cross.  I need the love, grace, and mercy of Christ.  I need to see the depth of my own sin so that have compassion for others and judge them less.

I need to carry in my heart the truth that everyone needs redemption.  I need to be driven by my own failures to love them beyond theirs.  I need to see past sin to the soul that needs Christ and his love for them.  I need to never forget where I came from and where I am going because of God’s love.

This challenge was my journey out of a vast wilderness.  We will ponder that from tomorrow until Holy Week begins.  Thank you for journeying with me Dear Reader.

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 March 2013

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Thirty – Fighting the Wrong Battles


Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

I know a great deal about many things and that is a terrible problem.  One of the failures that I see is that instead of using my knowledge for good I have used it for ill thinking I was using it for good.  A keen example of this is arguing Theology when I should have been looking into the spirit of the person I confronted and seeing the need of his heart.  I would fight to conquer the mind when I should have been connecting with the soul.

It does no good to angrily or lovingly demand that someone see a point of view when what they need is to be loved and accepted for who they are.  No battle won in the mind can win the war that rages in the spirit.  If someone does not see God’s love for him and the immense beauty found in following Christ then they will not care about the proper way to worship or pray.

Jesus spends a great deal of time pointing this out to the religious leaders of his day.  When he heals the man at the pool of Bethesda the Pharisees are much more concerned that a lame man is carrying his cot than that he is walking.  When I dwell on Theology over connecting I forget that the last eight commandments are based on the first two. 

When I dwell on loving God and my fellow man I care much more for the hurt that brings doubt than I do about which creation scenario is the right one.  When I fail to connect with the heart of a person because I want to win an argument over minutia I am being a Pharisee.  I must not put my pride in arguing or knowledge over my love for the soul of another.  I must not expect those who do not believe to understand the depth of who Christ is and behave in that manner.  I must use the only weapon that really works in the war for the soul.  I must love them as God loves them in any way that I 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."

19 March 2013

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Twenty Nine – Buried Gifts

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

Once in a while one of my Sons will comment, “Dad you used to …Why don’t you do that anymore?”  The truth is neglect.  I have gifts and talents that I do not use as often as I should.  I tell myself that there is not time but that is just not true. 

There are things I can do that benefit others or enrich my life that I just do not do.  God wants me to us my gifts to serve him and when I “bury” them that is not possible.  I must remember to embrace the good things in my being and develop them.

This seems small but it is big.  It is huge.  I have neglected some things out of fear.  I have neglected some out of pride.  This is just not an acceptable use of who I am and who I am created to be in 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."

18 March 2013

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Twenty Eight - Excess

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

The problem is always too much of a good thing.  When Paul tells us in Ephesians to not be drunk it is because that is excess.  When I come upon pantry items for my home that are on sale I want to buy them all.  I have eaten an entire pie in one sitting.  It is not wrong to drink, shop, or have pie.  It is so very wrong for me to do anything to excess.

So much of my battle with my weight over the years was due to excess.  I am better at it but I still have moments where I must see that I desire excess deeply.  Just last night I was eating somewhere that gives away free ice-cream with your meal.  I had enough to end my meal; a taste that was delicious, enjoyable, and healthy.  As I sat there talking with my dinner companion I kept wanting more.

It is my responsibility to insure that I do not sin by taking or consuming too much of anything.  This is one of those things with which I constantly struggle.

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 March 2013

Second Thoughts - Saint Patrick’s Day

Greetings Dear Reader,

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

Today is my Dad’s birthday.  It is also a day when we all claim to be a little bit Irish.  It is a day for green beer, green rivers, and wearing green.  By the time this is posted some of you Dear Reader will be too imbibed to read it.  Perhaps you will catch up later.

What really is on my mind is the actual Saint Patrick.  At age sixteen he was enslaved as a shepherd in Ireland.  His hard life was endured by prayer and seeking to grow closer to Christ.  He escaped to home and became a bishop. 

Some years later he returned to Ireland with one purpose. He was determined to show Christ to the people who had enslaved him.  He spent the remainder of his life serving the people who had enslaved him out of love for them. 

Imagine the impact if we as Christ followers did the same to our enemies, to those who wrong us, and to those who harm us.  We can if we will.  It is after all a choice. 


In a green, green land riding on the sea
Live a people who speak like a song
But their fertile field lies so fallow and bare
And has borne bitter fruit for so long

Pray for the greening of Belfast
That what is now barren
Might bloom and be fair
God loves the city of Belfast
For so many children who love Him live there
So many children who love Him live there

The verdant hills like strong arms embrace
A heartbreaking, heartbroken town
With the air so full of angels there
It's not hard to imagine the sound
Of their cries and tears
Of their pleas and prayers
For their city to know peace once more
Let the fighting cease
Let the saints be released
To join in true spiritual war

Pray for the greening of Belfast
That what is now barren
Might bloom and be fair
God loves the city of Belfast
For so many children who love Him live there

So many children who love Him live there
So pray for the greening of Belfast

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."

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Twenty Seven – Lack of Trust

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

My Grandson, Orion likes to climb up on his parent’s coffee table and he will then jump to anyone who is sitting around it.  He trusts completely that someone will catch him.  He squeals sometimes with delight that he will be caught.  He trusts the adults in his life to respond and catch him.


From time to time I find that things in my life are not the way I want them to be regarding what I must or must not do.  Circumstances demand that I do a thing and instead of trusting God with those circumstances I try to change them or avoid what I must do.  If I think that I have to do something or know it is the right thing to do I must exercise faith that God is aware of what is happening and has my best interest in mind.

Either God loves me and is in control or he is not.  Since I believe and counsel others that both are true I need to live like it when the circumstances around me are not to my liking.  I find that I am in that very place and that I am mentally disregarding this truth.  My sin is a failure to trust God with everything.  If I can master this I am sure there will be much more peace 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."

16 March 2013

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Twenty Six - Ingratitude

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

Too often I forget just how good I have it.  Compared to most of the world I am wealthy and have an easy life.  Still I complain about things and get consternated over small matters.  This is shameful and wrong.

I need to show my gratitude for all that I have.  I need to give my heart to living out that gratitude.  Even as I write this I am warm, have a full pantry and freezer, and a fresh pot of coffee.  I have a good job and children I love.  I have little need in my life.

I should dwell more on how thankful I am for all that I have.  I do not give enough of my prayer time to thankfulness.  This must change.

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 March 2013

Second Thoughts - Commencement

Greetings Dear Reader,

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

Today I end the day feeling quite happy and quite sad all at once.  There are those who will understand these contradictory elements in my persona.  Most of them are teachers who have been doing the long labor of teaching for some years.  Today was commencement for the end of our winter term.  We hold commencement ceremonies four times each year. 
 
I would never detract from the joy and celebration that my students have earned from the completion of this process.  They have struggled and sacrificed to achieve their places of honor in the procession.  Still as each of them proceeds across the stage and is handed a diploma I feel joy and loss.

Most of them will leave to never return.  One of the costs that we pay for a more modern mode of education is that the halls are no so hallowed.  The alma mater is not so cherished.  There is not the social tie that exists at the places where I earned my baccalaureate degree.  Most of my students are on to jobs that will keep them busy and they deserve it.

Tonight I said goodbye to eleven cherished souls who have worked hard to become more than they were two years ago when they arrived in my classroom.  Monday I will start the cycle again with a fresh crop of eager souls hoping to find the path to a better future.  Still as the years slip through the pinch I grow sad for the one who have departed and I see no more.  I love them all.  I celebrate them all.  I miss them all.  Such is the lot of those who launch the newly trained.  So I say to my graduates "Farewell wherever you fare, till your eyries receive you at the journey's end!

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."

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Twenty Five – Avoiding Consequences

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

Some years ago I was talking with a friend about something he had done and the results.  I pointed out that what was happening was a consequence of what he had done.  He looked me in the eye and said, “I don’t want there to be consequences.”  That friend has since walked away from his faith and I know this is part of the reason.

I often do foolish things and then ask God for there to be no consequences.  I do not want a problem with my blood sugar after I eat pie at nine at night.  But the bad blood sugar is a consequence of not eating right for twenty years.  I do not want there to be results from my causes.  There are and I need to accept it.

I find that things go much easier if I accept the consequences and move on to the lesson I am to learn.  This, however, is not my nature.  It is how I should be but I would much rather do the enjoyable wrong and avoid the guilt and recompense.  We have all kinds of names for this.  We talk about paying the piper, chickens coming home to roost, and getting one’s comeuppance.  These are all things I beg God to avoid.

Once when Bezel was small he had done wrong.  I sat him down and explained what he had done and why it was wrong.  He knew it was a punishable offense in our home and began to cry.  I held him close and told him that I wanted to teach him about mercy and that would be no punishment.  He smiled and hugged me close.  A few days later he committed the same offense.  When I started to explain what his punishment would be he smiled his winsome smile and said, “I was hoping I could learn some more about mercy.”

I know that this is exactly what I do with God and must learn the lessons and avoid the desire to learn mercy over the consequences for my sin.  I am sure God is merciful to me in ways I do not even realize. 

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 March 2013

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Twenty Four – Too Many Possessions

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

I own so many things I do not use.  I can easily count things that sit in my basement or shop that I have not touched in a great while.  Some of them I will never use again and I should make the time to pass them on to others.

The real problem is that I always want more.  I always am looking to add to collections or increase an array of items.  Some of the things are things I “collect” but in the heart of that is that desire to have the most or best of something.  That is nothing but pride again.

I should be focused on giving things away to those in need.  I need to ponder where this greed stems from and figure out how to kill it.  Possessions only anchor me to a world that is not my 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."

13 March 2013

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Twenty Three – Dwelling on Things

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

Sometimes, especially when I am alone, I think too much about things I cannot change.  I rehearse past problems pondering prideful thinking of how I would do it differently.  I hold arguments in my head with people I have not forgiven and always win.  I spin my wheels on things I will never accomplish. 

All of this is the result of misusing my God given creativity and my fallen failure to let things go.  The two are a terrible combination.  When I do this I have to refocus quickly or I get led down the path to serious discontent and anger.  It amazes me just how much of my sin originates in my mind.  I think a wrong thought and chase it like a butterfly building its power until it is Mothra (For those of you who do not know how Mothra is click on the name at it will tell you).

I suppose this is why we are told to bring into captivity every thought to obedience to Christ.  Thinking is good but chasing bitter, sinful, or foolish thoughts lead to things that are very unhealthy.   It is too easy to reason our way away from God and embrace lies that appear to be true.  Any thinking that draws me away from loving God with all that I am is wrong thinking.  I am to throw it from my mind.

I must nip this thinking in the bud.  I must focus on thinking the things that lead me to deep humility, love, and devotion.  Focus of thought and following are the only way out of this mental trap.  "To think well is to serve God in the interior court." - Thomas Traherne 

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 March 2013

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Twenty Two – Resistance to Change



Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

I do not like change in things that I have become accustomed to being a certain way.  I find too much security in consistency.  In truth change is what I should always be working toward.  I want routine and commonness in places I should be hoping for constant change.  My security in the normal is false and limits my clinging to the security that is in Christ.

I realize that this is my desire to know what to expect and to control my circumstances.  Control is an illusion created by my fallen self for the purpose protection.  In truth when I let go of the need for things to be the same I do much better.  If I am to follow Christ I must accept that things must always change as I move from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness.

If I truly believe I am on a journey then I should expect constant change.  I should embrace that as the miles slip by the scenery will become different.  What I should be working toward is accepting that the change in things draws me closer to home.  It makes me more able to see Christ is the constant in the change and the closer I draw to him the more secure I will become in him.

This simple truth strikes one of the deepest chords of fear in me.  The echoes of my past demand that I control the consistency and routine of my life.  I must ignore them and accept that constant change is the nature of the universe. Following Christ demands that I accept that it is a journey and things will always be changing.   

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 March 2013

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Twenty One – Seeking Assurances

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

I worry too much about what others think about what I think, feel, and do.  Instead my focus should be on what God thinks of me.  I hesitate in things I know to be right for fear of what others think.  I also too often look for reassurance or approval from human relationships when I should be looking for Divine approval. 

Too many things I have done to impress or gain favor from others have been just vain and foolish.  These pursuits are all my pride and lack of faith working themselves out in sinful ways.  It is rather that if I embrace humility and focus on pleasing God that I can find the reassurances I need.

I have needed approval for as long as I can remember.  I need to get to the place where I realize the level at which I already have it. If I keep my focus on following Christ and obeying his commands to love God and others I cannot help but see how much he loves and accepts 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."

10 March 2013

Thirty Day Challenge – Day Twenty – Discontent with Others

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Father, please show me my sin.”

I often, less more than in the past, do not know when to stop.  I have many times said just the right thing to help someone see God’s love for them more clearly then ruined it by expecting them to behave as I think they should behave.  I am good at seeing what someone needs and connecting with that.  Then I try to push them into application which is not my job.  I usurp the role of the Holy Spirit when I do this.  He can do this far better than I can and when I do it I usually exasperate the person I am trying to help.

It is my sin I need to change not anyone else’s.  If I focus on following Christ and loving others and then work at killing my own sin I will have little time left to try and force others to follow in the way I think they should be following.  It is my job to set the example, show the love, and let God do the talking.  I am so often deterred from my actual intent by wanting to make things better.  In my trying to do so I often drown out the truth I have spoken that truly connects to another.


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon:
where there is doubt, faith ;
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
where there is sadness, joy
O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

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 March 2013

Second Thoughts – Frustrated Intentions


Greetings Dear Reader,

Sometimes I will end the day with thoughts that are important to get out.  Usually I just write them and put them in my journal folder.  I have chosen that on occasion I will share them with you Dear Reader.
Today I had a great plan.  My intention was to have a relaxing breakfast with my younger Son, Bezel.  We were meeting at a place that we both like.  It offers free Wi-Fi, an endless breakfast buffet, and a large refillable Coca-Cola fountain.  Even though it was sleeting when I got to the car I drove carefully into town for the intended breakfast with a Son whose companionship I love.

I arrived early to get a little writing done and enjoy a Coke Zero to kick start my mind.  The Coke machine was not working.  Neither was the Wi-Fi.  The buffet was not up to its usual quality.  Then my Son called and we agreed it was better for him to get some more sleep than to drive tired on the icy roads. 

I helped the manager repair the Wi-Fi.  I had some coffee instead of Coke.  I was kind to the people making the buffet and it filled me with joy to let my Son know that his rest mattered more than his being at breakfast.  Perhaps this exercise I am undergoing in seeing a rejecting the sin in my nature is helping me be kinder. 

I love the people at the places I go to for breakfast.  It was good to help them serve the rest of their customers.  It was joyful to reassure the manager that he had not inconvenienced me in any way.  It was beautiful to hear my Son hear that I really understood.  None of these feelings come from pride.  Instead they come from the sincere recognition that I was able to set aside my selfishness and reach out to others.  My frustrated intentions became opportunities to be kind and understanding. This is the joy in the painful journey of owning my sin and trying to die to it.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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