31 August 2013

Dare You to Move – Welcome to Resistanc

Greetings Dear Reader,

Electrical Cord Burned by Resistance
In electrical terms resistance is the impedance of flow of current through a conductor.  You do not need to understand all the science behind this to get that it can be a bad thing.  For example if you use a long extension cord with a power saw that is not thick enough the resultant heating can burn through the cord.  The electrical impedance causes heating as the current is forced through the medium.  Energy is lost through resistance in the form of heat and that heat causes damage. 

So why the science lesson?  We resist God.  He resists our pride.  This causes damage.  Every time I resist what God calls me to do I create damage for myself or others.  Ohms law is a great spiritual lesson.  My resistance to God and what he calls me to become is a problem for everyone.  The energy lost through my resistance causes damage to that which is around me.  Eventually there is combustion of some kind.

When I refuse to follow Christ I am resisting the natural flow for which I was created.  When I fail to do what is right I create resistance and a hazard.  The power of God is intended to flow through me into the lives of others.  When I do not allow this to happen without resisting it the energy dissipation creates a dangerous problem. 

I dare you to move.  Resistance yields tension.

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 August 2013

Dare You to Move – Welcome to the Fallout

Greetings Dear Reader,

There is always fallout when we fall.  When I fail to faithfully follow Christ there is always collateral damage.  There is harm done to others just through my disobedience and faithlessness.  The big problem is that when I do not follow faithfully my selfishness keeps me from seeing the damage that I inflict.

I think that we do not really count the cost to others when we fail in our obligation to Christ.  When I sin it hurts those around me.  My failures as a husband caused harm to my children.  I was too blinded by the “need” to quell my own pain to see the fallout I was and would cause.  When we fail at faith and following or when we walk away from it altogether we do not see the great damage we do to others.

Everything about refusal to move toward Christ and remain faithful to him causes damage to others.  When I abandon my obligations to Christ for a moment or for good I harm others.  Since the abandonment is intentional so is the collateral damage no matter how much I might not intend it.

God is not to blame for any of my failures but others will blame him when my failures harm them.  This alone is reason to be more vigilant concerning my following Christ.  I cannot undo the damage I have already done with my failures.  I can, however, work to mitigate the fallout.  I can seek forgiveness and offer restitution.  I can live my life in such a way that shows I have learned from my failures.  I can move toward Christ in humility and love and dare others to do so as well.  I dare you to move. 

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 August 2013

Dare You to Move – Get Up

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of my favorite lines from any of the Batman movies is when Thomas Wayne asks the young Bruce, “And why do we fall, Bruce?”  There is a heartbeat of silence and then, “So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”  We will fall.  We will face plant.  We will be broken, damaged, and hurting. 

I have had days where getting out of bed hurt so much emotionally that I would have preferred to just stay there.  The world is a spiny, thorny place.  Some days I feel like I am swimming naked in a sea of shards of glass.  The thing is and this will not change: the only way out is through.

No matter how much it hurts or damages me I must move forward.  I must pursue Christ with all that I am.  I will fall, fail, and fracture.  I have to get up.  I have to keep going.  When I refuse to get up then I am refusing to follow. 

Jesus told me that in order to follow I had to take up the cross.  I have to feel the weight of the beam on my shoulder.  I must get up when I fall beneath the weight of it.  He did it for me and asks that I do it for him.  In order to move I risk falling and all the pain associated with it.  In order to keep moving I must get up when I fall.  It really is that simple.  “You do what you believe.  Everything else is just talk.”

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn

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

28 August 2013

Dare You to Move – Move to Where

Greetings Dear Reader,

The simple answer is to move. “To where should I move?” becomes the next question.  I think that I must always move forward and backward.  I must only move backward if there are things that I have not addressed that need addressing.  This moving backward is a way of moving forward.

I must always move forward.  I must not be stagnant.  I must always be moving in the direction of Christ.  There is no other direction that will work.  Moving toward Christ is moving toward the completion of my redemption.  My movement must be in faith and following.  My faith must be what moves me and following must be my compass. 

If am to follow then I must seek the things of a follower.  I must seek forgiveness for things even if I have to go back to the point where I fell to find it.  All of this is part of redemption.  All of this is part of the journey to and with Christ.  A portion of my part in the redemption story is always seeking the path up ahead that leads to Christ. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn

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

27 August 2013

Dare You to Move – Stories to Tell

Greetings Dear Reader,

Tree of Life - Mary Philpot
Redemption does have stories to tell.  Some are beautiful and some are tragic.  I think that with our society’s loss of understanding the sovereignty of God we have lost some perspective.  It is not our story.  It is God’s story.  We are parts of that story and each of us is a beloved part. 

There are no minor characters in God’s story.  Each individual has his own part in the story and that part is so vital that God made the journey to us to keep it going.  Jesus is not just the expression of God to us for redemption.  He is the pivot of history. He is the pinch in the hourglass. 

Every one of our stories is intended to tether to that pinch and then back to the fall of the world.  God is in the process of reclaiming all of it and each story is intended to make that happen.  As a master storyteller God weaves every thread into a tapestry that tells the tale in brilliant words, songs, and pictures.  He manages all of this whilst also letting the characters choose their own destiny. 
 
The story will never end but it will get better.  The story is like an infinite library of told, telling, and untold tales.  Each volume is a life and each life is precious.  In him; in his story is where we live and move and have our being. What we all must do to live this out is simple.  We must choose to move.  So again, I dare you to move.


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 August 2013

Dare You to Move – Redemption

Greetings Dear Reader,

When I teach my students about project management one of the things that I stress is process.  Everything has a process.  If you think about most people do daily tasks the same way every day.  We have a process for how we brush out teeth.  We have a process for how we dress or prepare a meal.  In most cases learning how to do something is learning the process.

I think that sometimes I forget that redemption is a process.  I do not know the entire process because I am not the one doing the redeeming.  I know that I am fallen.  I know that I have to have faith.  I know that I have to follow.  The problem is that I do not always see my own sin.  I am still prideful.  I still want my own will in many ways.  The redemption process takes a lifetime.  I want it to be done.

In the redemption process God is the one doing the redeeming.  The difficulty is that the subject of redemption is not always willing to cooperate.  Imagine trying to brush your teeth if the toothpaste were running off the toothbrush.  We constantly argue with God about how to make the process work or worse we refuse to participate.

In order for the process to work I have to move.  I have to change.  I have to be processed.  I realize that sounds cold but it is not.  The process is loving and healing.  If I am honest I know that even when the process of redemption is painful I am thankful when I move closer to being what is right and good. 

I participate in the process.  I am part of a great plan.  I am a single task in the eternal process.  There are stories to tell and I must be my part in the redemption story.

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 August 2013

Dare You to Move – First Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

I can remember times in my life where I have frozen in fear.  It has been a long time buy I still feel the moments and the eternity it took to pass through them.  I could recount a couple of those stories for your benefit but will instead move on to my point. 

Fear can bind us.  It can keep us from action when it is vital that we move.  In facing one of my own fears during the month I wish to ponder the things surrounding facing fear.  As a back drop or spring board for this I will tether to the song Dare You To Move by Switchfoot.  I have liked the song since it first debuted. 

Recently whilst driving it had its turn on the MP3 player and I found that I put it on repeat for the entire two hour drive.  I do this when a song impacts me until I reason out what it is trying to tell me.  Since this particular impact merits some thought, introspection, and reflection I am going to camp here for the coming week.  Although I am camping they will not be zero days on the journey.

I have much to learn about dealing with fear and am sure the lessons will make the time to pull up stakes and travel on all the sweeter.  Camp with me for a bit if you wish.  The fire is warm and the music is good.


Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next
What happens next

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before

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 August 2013

Feeding the Tortoises

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things I get to do whilst Christmas is away is care for her three tortoises.  This is a very easy task as they require very little.  Fresh water, some salad and fruit, and the occasional sand scooping are all that needs doing.  One would think that the task could not get complicated.

Yesterday, however, God in his infinite sense of humor chose to complicate matters.  I went into the art room where the three tortoises live in their little tortoise mansion that I call tortoiseville.  I had fresh spring greens and some overripe strawberries for their repast.  My plan was simple: refill their water, put the food in the dish, and scoot downstairs for a shower before heading out to teach my class.

The problem occurred because as I did my head count one of the three was missing.  Torrey, the largest was there.  Squirt the youngest was sitting on the warming pad.  Baxter, the first to arrive at our home was nowhere to be found.  There is no escape from tortoiseville.   The critters would have to engineer something beyond their intelligence to accomplish this.  So I began to move things around (using up valuable shower time) in search of Baxter.

He was in the far left corner of tortoiseville burrowed under the large water dish.  I have no idea how he got there but when I extracted him and set him down by the fresh food he darted (if you can call any tortoise movement darting) right back to the corner and began to hide again.  I let him be.

When I came home last night all the food was consumed and Baxter was still under the water dish.  He had obviously moved as he was facing the opposite direction from when I left.  There were also telltale bits of strawberry in his jaw evidencing that he had eaten.  So again I let him be.

I wonder how often God provides something good for me and I instead run and hide under the sand until I am ready to accept 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."


23 August 2013

When the Willow Bends

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have mentioned that I have a beautiful willow tree in my yard.  It forms a curtain over my driveway that visitors often find entertaining.  Earlier this week during a storm I noticed that the wind was whipping the great tree about more than usual.

The shaggy green giant almost seemed to be bending to the ground against the assault of the wind.  A couple of smaller branches came off and skittered across the yard.  Watching from the shelter of my porch I noticed that the tree would not straighten up instantly when the wind gave pause.  Instead it would rise slowly back to its towering place over the driveway and front yard.

The result was that it did not need to bend as far when the wind renewed its howling.  Instead it bent again but only half the distance.  It made me wonder how often I try to recover form things too quickly when I should instead ride the storm out a bit longer.  That old willow is beautiful and strong.  Partly I think this is due to its patience with storms that it knows will pass.  I have more to learn from this I am sure.

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 August 2013

The Possibility Factor – The Positive

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday I spoke of creating negative possibilities in others through our actions.  What about our potential to see the good possibilities?  I think one of the key things in following Christ is the eternal positive potential.  No matter how dark it is, no matter how painful it is, and no matter how bleak the moment is there exits the eternal potential those things will get better.  There is always hope.

I have the possibility every day to create good things in others.  I can be kind.  I can look for the good in someone and try to enhance it.  Currently I work with someone who is in a very negative state of mind.  This means that daily I have the opportunity to inject positive things into his life.  The possibility exists for me to change a moment in his life by being kind.

Every moment has that possibility.  I can assure that people become accustomed to me being kind and loving.  I can live the possibility of being good to people.  I can choose that the possibility exits and can be realized that every day I can create the anticipation that when you talk to me I will be good to you.

The journey of following Christ is as much about how I treat others as it is about the quest for holiness.  If I cannot be good to you then I cannot follow Christ.  It really is that simple.  It is not that I must demand that others be good to me but that I must assure that I am good to others.  I must live the possibility of the redeemed world I seek.  I must create hope in others by that 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."

21 August 2013

The Possibility Factor

Greetings Dear Reader,

We must always consider possibilities as we journey.  I must also realize that I create possibilities for others.  When I wrong someone else either by intent or error I create the possibility for that individual that I will do it again.

It is easy for us to see this in the extreme.  A woman who has been abused by men all her life must live with the possibility that every man is a potential abuser.  No matter how far it is from the truth with an individual man the possibility always lurks in the mind of the abused.

I must consider this on other matters as well.  If I treat someone unkindly is that not also creating the possibility that I will be unkind again?  If I reject someone do I not set up a lifelong potential in that person that I will reject them again?

This is why I must assure that I ride herd on all my actions.  I am bound by faith and following to treat every interaction with this damaging potential.  I must be humble, loving, and kind to everyone.  Once I am not (and I have done this too often) I create in that person the possibility that I will be prideful, unloving, and unkind to them again.  At some point the repetition of this failure can become too much for the other person to risk.  He may forgive me but that does not mean he will risk trusting me in this area again.

It is vital that we make peace with others when they wrong us.  It is also vital that I assure that I do not create barriers to that peace in others by my behavior and attitudes.  Once I lie, reject, or disapprove of someone I create the possibility that I will do it again.  I even for observers on the sidelines create that possibility that I will do it to them.  This is not what I am supposed to put into the world.   

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 August 2013

Pecan Pie for Breakfast

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday morning I had some pecan pie for breakfast.  I have not done this in many years.  I used to do it all the time with my Grandfather when I was very young.   Every time I see pecan pie I think of him.

I am amazed at how much this draws me toward Christ.  I want to honor my Grandfather.  He was a man of deep faith.  When I eat pecan pie in the morning I can remember when we would go fishing or hunting and we would enjoy this ritual.  I rarely eat this joyous treat any more since it seriously impacts my blood sugar.

Yesterday, however, I needed the moment.  I needed to remember courage, service, and faith.  The taste and smell of that pecan pie reminded me of the lessons I was taught in these areas.  Encouraged by memories and faith I faced the day and its challenges.  I did OK. 

It is in following Christ that I find my true strength.  I do not always see how I am going to get through things so I must trust and follow.  It does make things much easier.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn

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

19 August 2013

The Long Solitude

Greetings Dear Reader,

Ever since I was a small child I have a problem with being alone.  I have only lived alone twice in my life for any length of time and I loathed it.  Once it was for a year and once for three months.  Both times have been very difficult for me.

Today I begin a six week journey of solitude.  Christmas is off on a part of her journey that is necessary and so I will be alone for a bit.  This weighs on my mind from time to time.  I have planned on ways to use my time to better myself and our home. 

Even though I hate being alone I must use the time wisely.  In following Christ I must use what is given me and not squander it wishing for what I do not have.   For those of you who pray, please do so for Christmas.  Her part of the journey is much more difficult than mine.

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 August 2013

Every-stuff

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday I enjoyed a house filled with people celebrating Natalie’s birthday.  Among the people here were my Grandsons.  Orion, the eldest is almost three.  He is intelligent and very verbal.  One of the things he likes about my house my workshop.

I imagine that it is a place filled with wonders to his young eyes.  Yesterday I found him standing in the pantry which is adjacent to the workshop.  I asked him what he was doing.  He pointed toward the shop door and said, “The lights are not on in there and they need to be Grandpa.”

I asked him if he would like to go in there.  He said yes.  I asked him what was in there that he wished to see.  He looked up at me with wonder in his eyes and simple said, “Everystuff.”

I smiled the deep smile that evokes so easily.  These moments make me see so clearly how God sees us.  We focus on things that intrigue us and feel that those things are so paramount.  Orion knew what he wished to see and made it very clear as he showed me all the things he liked in my shop.

Included in all the wonderful moments yesterday this is one of my favorite.  It pushed me to consider the wonder of discovery that is mine as I follow Christ.  His simple word, “Every-stuff” reminded me of the many wonders and discoveries that lie ahead for me.  He made me feel young and alive.  For that I am so thankful.


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 August 2013

An Long Expected Party

Greetings Dear Reader,

Today we will have a grand party to celebrate Christmas.  I have been prepping all week and enjoying cooking to prepare.  My mind needs occupation during the chopping and mixing.  Often I think of the same thing during party preparation.

I do not pretend to understand what God has in store for us.  I do know that at some point there will be what is called “The Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”  My Grandfather always called it “the big dinner.”  I know that there will be something and that it will be amazing.

As I prepare food today I will do what I have done all week.  I will ponder a time when there is peace, love, and an end to all that is harsh.  I will anticipate the beauty and grace of a world without sin and death.  I will put my love for that time into the sweet tea, salsa, and sausage rolls I make.

Sometimes I long for this time to be here now.  I long to be reunited with my Grandfather and see the Daughter and Sister I never really knew.  I long to bask in the presence of God and be free from the struggle with sin.  I see the party today as an oasis to remember what lies ahead. 

This oasis in the journey will energize me spiritually even as it wears me out physically.  The joy in the journey today is that Christmas is alive and growing.  She has left behind a live of pain and danger and grows in the faith she has found.  The joy in the journey today is that friends and family will come to my home and I get to be kind to them.  If you are here today Dear Reader I feel joy in seeing you.  If you are reading this and unable to join us know that you too are an oasis in my journey home.

I am off to cook.  I wish blessings upon you until we meet at the big dinner. 

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 August 2013

The Grumpy Man

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have a favorite diner.  At that diner I have a favorite waitress.  When I take my weekly breakfast out at this diner I usually sit in the same seat.  Some think I am a creature of habit.

Last summer I wrote about a man who treated my favorite waitress rudely because he was in a hurry.  He excuse for his behavior was that he had to go help his church and he was running late.  Again this year he did the same.  I could see how hurt my friend the waitress was by his words and actions.

After he rushed off she confided in me that she has learned that one of her children has just be diagnosed with a chronic illness.  The grumpy man has no idea how much hurt his actions caused.

I was able to both comfort and aid my friend.  This did, however, cause me to consider when I am impatient with others.  How often does my self-centeredness cause others stress when they are already under a great burden?

The only way I can see clearly to follow Christ is to assure that I get my eyes off of my own interests and invest in the needs of others.  It is my duty to do so.  It is a joy to accomplish 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."

15 August 2013

Christmas in August

Greetings Dear Reader,

Today my Daughter Christmas turns 25.  I have been pondering the lessons Christ has taught me with her in my life.  It amazes me how my intent was to help her but that Jesus had in mind for me to learn so much. 

The primary lesson I have learned is the depth to which God will go to show me that he is there.  I have
watched him heal and nurture this person in ways I have not imagined possible.  His provision for her needs is astounding.  In turn I see in her someone who will stop on the side of a highway to comfort the child of a family who has been in an accident. She has a giving spirit that wishes for everyone to be touched by her joy in Christ.

Her ability to accept people where they are teaches me much.  I have learned greatly how to love others without placing expectations on them.  I have also learned to put my own problems in perspective.  Give the path she has had to walk or sometimes crawl to get where she is my biggest problem is quite small.

It amazes me that someone who has endured so much can still be so positive and loving.  She still has much to learn and struggles at times with the process.  She does remind me daily just how much of a celebration life can be for those who know Christ and his power to work in our lives.  Having her in my life is like having a little bit of Christmas every day.   

Today I wish to simply celebrate her.  I hope you will join me Dear Reader in wishing her a happy birthday and much joy in her journey yet to come.

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 August 2013

Throwing Stones – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

It is so easy to hurt others.  People may act unscathed or untouched.  They may laugh off things we say that hurt them.  The responsibility to not throw stones resides completely with me. 

I must be the one who assures that others are safe from random barbs from my mouth.  I must always be seeking to deal in grace.  I must look for opportunities to show love by being good when others are in need.

It saddens me that people are surprised by this when I do it.   I am not someone special.  I am doing what we should all do.  I do not refrain from throwing stones as well as I should.  Even at the college level I see students throw stones at each other as if it were junior high. 

We must accept everyone where they are and for who they are.  From there we can show kindness and grace.  It is not only that we must be this way but that this must be our strength.  The power of grace and love is so much more than that of a stone.

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 August 2013

Throwing Stones – When Someone Fails

Greetings Dear Reader,

I must admit that I enjoy the humor of some of the internet memes regarding “epic fails.”   That said I must be aware of the degree to which I indulge in this.  It is an easy thing to move from seeing the humor in an ironically misspelled tattoo to jeering at the person who will carry the mistake until they can afford to correct it.

Worse still is this type of stone throwing that occurs when someone fails in life.  I have experienced the pain of someone deeming that my failure is an opportunity for them to attack me.  I am sure some of you have heard the expression that “Christians shoot their wounded.”  I have been the target and seen it done to others.

When one of us fails or falls it may be the most important time for the rest of us to hand out grace.  I need to be the one who steps forward with grace, mercy, and kindness even if no one else will.  Instead we often throw epithets and pejorative comments at those whose sin we see as worse than our own.  When I attack someone else who has need of grace and mercy I limit my own grace and mercy.

It is too easy to shoot the wounded.  Through love, grace, and mercy we can help them heal.  If I wish to faithfully follow Christ then I will not hesitate to reach out to those who have fallen or failed.  I will move quickly to offer a hand up and an opportunity to restoration if I wish to see grace the way Christ sees it.  Anything less is throwing stones or watching whilst others do 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."

12 August 2013

Second Thoughts - Who I still Am

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.

In October of 2010 I shared a post Who Am I?  It recounted how a three year old little girl thought I was God.  She is the youngest daughter in a family of six daughters.  I love this family dearly and cherish the opportunities I have to help them.  Part of the way they make a living is running concessions at state fairs. 

We visited them at the Wisconsin State fair this past Saturday.  It was great to catch up with them and we had an enjoyable day at the fair.  As we were preparing to leave we were saying goodbye to the mother of the family and thanking her for the day.  She looked obviously stressed and I inquired as to why.

She informed me that she had not seen her youngest now five in a bit.  She brushed away the worry saying that the little was most likely with her older sister.  Then her older sister turned up as we were speaking without the little one.  We all began to search the area for this little child and my Daughter Christmas found her quickly.  She was hiding between two of the food trailers behind some boxes.

Christmas and the child’s mum spent some time calming the little one and then her mum asked if I would be willing to drive the child to spend the rest of the day with her grandmother at the family caravan.  I was happy to do so.

As I carried the child out of the state fair to my car we talked about her family and I kept reassuring myself that she was past the trauma and feeling better.  She asked questions about my beard and long hair.  She said I was the only boy she knew with long hair.  Just before I put her down to get into the car she grabbed me around the neck and pushed her mouth up against my ear.  In a child’s stage whisper she said, “Thank you God.”  She then quickly let go and climbed into the car.

Once again I am astounded that this innocent child sees anything of God in me.  It does make me wish to be better at being Godly in all that I do.  I will find a way to explain to her that I am not God.  My hope is that she merely sees my kindness as a reflection of God and sees him in me.  Either way, her belief that he is there is what gives me pause.  There is not hesitation.  There is no doubt.  “A child shall lead 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."

Throwing Stones – When You Are Wrong

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have a friend who once told me that when he realizes that he is wrong during an argument that he chooses another area where he is right to argue about or he brings up another area where his spouse is wrong.  He has since gotten some good counseling and does not do this anymore.  He realized that when he felt he was losing that he needed to do damage to salve his pride.

Why do we feel the need to damage those we love just to escape from being wrong?  We say hurtful things. We act in harmful ways.  We trade the opportunity to be humble and honest for the brief respite of prideful damage.  If we play back the tape in our mind of what we say it is obvious that we have thrown stones when we should be handing out grace.

When I am wrong I need to be humble and contrite.  I need to submit my pride to the mercy and grace of others.  Even my anger at my own failures is not what I should pursue.  I must see the damage I have done when I am wrong and show love to the other person.  What needs have I created in them that I can meet?  What should I do to mend the damage I have done by my original wrong?

If I do not see that grace is the path to take when I am wrong then I will not create peace with others.  A series of failures in this area can lead to permanent rifts between people.  This is not how we are supposed to treat each other.

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 August 2013

Throwing Stones – When You Are Right

Greetings Dear Reader,

When someone else discovers that I am right about something there is a moment of power.  There is a moment when I have a choice to make.  How am I going to respond to being right.  I know that at times I use that moment to whittle down the person who disagreed with me.  This is always wrong.

When I am right I have the opportunity to hand out grace and kindness instead of throwing stones.  I can be humble and respectful.  This is the best thing to do when I am in the position of being right.

Too often our culture uses being right to belittle and dominate those in the wrong.  It damages relationships to do this.  As a Christ follower I am to be humble.  I am to act in a way that shows respect and love.  I am not to quarrel. 

When I am right I have no reason to throw stones and every reason to pass out as much grace as possible.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn

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

10 August 2013

Throwing Stones – When you are Serving

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have a friend who will be the first to volunteer for things when someone asks for assistance.  He then will complain about what he is doing the entire time he is doing it.  He does the work but hurls insults and epithets throughout the entire time.

We all have to serve others in some way.  Whether it is family, work, government, or friends we serve in some way.  Since I believe that God is sovereign I believe that we all serve his purpose whether we acknowledge it or not.

It is so easy to hurl stones at those we serve behind their backs.  We can complain, malign, and be abusive about those we serve and they never hear it.  This does not make it any less wrong.  We seem to have lost the ability to show respect even when we disagree.

The truth is we are going to serve someone.  If we do it with a graceful heart it is much easier to do so.  I must remind myself of this at times.  When I know that I know best and “management” seems to disagree, then I must adopt a graceful attitude and serve with all my heart. 

When I choose to serve someone else I must assure that the focus of my heart is dealing out grace.  When I must serve because of the law or my position the truth is no different.  It is in this type of service that great beauty is found.  I must not only serve in grace but must give my best.


You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You might be a rock ’n’ roll addict prancing on the stage
You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage
You may be a businessman or some high-degree thief
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a state trooper, you might be a young Turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be workin’ in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything but no matter what you say

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

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 August 2013

Throwing Stones – When you are in Power

Greetings Dear Reader,

I was reminded yesterday of a time when the upper management of a company for which I worked spent a good hour scolding us for a problem that was completely out of our control.  We were a team giving our very best and the problem turned out to be systemic and unstoppable.  I still feel the wounds from be shamed by someone who should have been supportive and helpful.

I took away from this a keen awareness of how important it is that we hand out as much grace and understanding as possible when in a position of power.  The stones we wield are more powerful and can do more damage.  Since there are people that work for me I must always be aware that my words must be gracious and kind.  I must encourage others into success. 

I know times that I have thrown stones instead of dealing in grace.  Those times have done damage.  I know how much damage has been done to my heart through those who throw stones instead of dealing in grace.  I must again find myself in the place of treating others as I wish to be treated.  I must love others as I wish to be loved.

When God entrusts me with authority over someone else in any situation he is counting on me to give grace to those individuals.  I am in such dire need of grace that I must not fail to give that which I desire to be given.

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 August 2013

Throwing Stones – When I am Winning

Greetings Dear Reader,

I can still remember the first conversation my Grandfather had with me about humility.  It was a very simple one.  We were at a Braves game and I was excited that the Braves were winning.  A nearby fan began yelling insults at the Mets’ pitcher.

My Grandfather saw that I was listening and very quietly explained that we never insult our opposition.  He told me that we are always to treat our opponents with respect.  It saddens me that sports have become about dominating instead of about healthy competition and honorable play. 

When I am winning it is a great opportunity to be humble and hand out grace.  It is a time for me to be thankful for the gifts that allow me to win.  There are times when I lose these lessons and doing so impacts others in harmful ways.  Winning is useless if in doing so I fail to be who Christ wishes me to be as his follower.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn

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

07 August 2013

Throwing Stones – First Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

I recently had the opportunity to throw some stones.  I am not saying this in a figurative way but in the literal “pick up a rock and throw it” kind of way.  Since the injury to my shoulder five years ago this is a tentative practice.  I managed to get some distance with a few baseball sized stones and the resound plop and ripples in my target lake were satisfying.

Since the effort produced no pain I took a moment to thank God for the grace of being able to throw again.  This led to thoughts about the juxtaposition of throwing stones and handing out grace.  Most figurative opportunities to throw stones are also opportunities to hand out grace.

When I find that I am in a position to throw stones I must consider if I am allowed to do so.  Opportunity does not equal permission.  Opportunity does not equal the right to do something.  In light of Christ’s words concerning throwing stones I have to consider much more than whether I can do a thing.  I must always consider if I should do a thing.

When I hold the stone in my hand I am in a position of power.  What I do next is of great import in each situation.  I can do great damage if I do not choose wisely.  In each situation I must consider whether it is right in my journey with Christ to throw the stone or hand out grace. 

Do I win the argument or do I show grace and love?  That seems easy when discussing it but difficult in the moment.  I need to walk more deeply through this area.  Come with me if you wish.  As always Dear Reader, I value your input.

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."

06 August 2013

Boys in the Basement

Greetings Dear Reader,

Often I awake in the wee hours with an idea for a story, book, or blog post.  It may be a snippet of a line that leads to questions about the line.  It may be a full blown story.  Sometimes it is something that someone said that has incubated in the pools and eddies of my subconscious to emerge as an idea.

Stephen King refers to the process as “The Boys in the Basement” doing their work.  I have adopted this in honor of his creativity and the process.  The creative process for me is an interesting one.  It is a microcosm of my faith and following.

I believe that nothing about me is not an aspect of either my spiritual or fallen nature.  Every idea will either yield something that is honoring to God or something that is not.  If I see my writing as something that is a gift from God then I will seek to write only things that respect him.

Every story has values whether I wish it or not.  I am accountable to magnify those values that are good.  I must avoid glorifying the things that are not.  I must not judge others in my writing but instead must extend grace and love.  I must bring into captivity every thought so that my focus in on Christ and the gospel.

This does not mean that every story or vignette must be about Jesus.  It does mean that I must consider the values that every person in every tale has in the light of Christ.  I cannot fall into the traps of creating cut out Christians or the abyss of idolizing any kind of evil.  I must not hesitate to show my holy characters as flawed and my villains as human.  Honest writing demands that I see people as they are and not as caricatures.

If I am to pursue writing then I must do it in honesty and in faith that I am following Christ with that writing.  I am accountable for every word.  My passion is to tell stories that move others in the direction of knowing Christ.  The boys in the basement are there to help work on this when I am working at other things.  I am very thankful for 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."

04 August 2013

A Prayer for the World

Greetings Dear Reader,

I remember when I was young praying for the world in a generic way.  It went something like “and God bless the whole world”.   I ask now what do I wish for the world?  I think he already blesses the world with little acknowledgment for that blessing.

My prayer would be that people would see God for who he is and not for the image that man has made him into.  I do not thing even those who believe begin to see the depth to which God loves us. 

Humans make war over how we are to serve God when what he asks is that we love each other.  My prayer would be that we try his way first.  How much would it hurt for us to be loving to everyone?  I try and when I succeed it feels pretty good.  When kindness flows from me to others it changes things.

My prayer would be that we see how much God really gives us and that we would try to give something back.  We blame God instead of thanking him.  Some of us only call on him when in need.  Others word to prove he is not there.

I think that we have become so caught up in our own sense of superiority that we have dulled the need that lives within us to connect to that which is greater than us.  So often I see that others need to be loved for who they are and accepted with all of their flaws.  No matter what men have said about God this is what he offers us.  My prayer is that the world could see God and all that he truly offers 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."

03 August 2013

Second Thoughts - Last Game of the Season

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.

Last night Christmas and I attended our last baseball game for the season.  This is a local team in a summer college league.  It is great baseball in a lovely family atmosphere.  The tickets are inexpensive and the food is good.  The staff is friendly.

Even though the home team lost the game was exciting and the night perfect.  A warm evening and overcast sky yielded a beautiful orange sunset.  I ate my fill of brats and chips. Christmas had bacon wrapped corn on the cob.

Seated in front of us were two young boys with their mum and dad.  It was so much fun to watch these boys develop a love a baseball under the tutelage of their parents.  It was also fun to watch the dad turn into a little boy for a moment when the “beer batter” struck out making beer two for one for the rest of the inning.

All that I love about baseball was present in last night’s game.  As summer catches a glimpse of autumn on the horizon my Braves are in solid command of first place in their division.  I will likely not see another game in person until spring.  I will follow the Braves closely win or lose.   

The investment I made in live baseball this summer has been wonderful.  I was able to see games with all my children.  Both my Grandsons attended as well.  I think that next year I will attend even more games.  It does something to my spirit to be there that translates into me being better in other areas.  That alone is worth the investment.

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."


A Prayer for My Friends

Greetings Dear Reader,

So if I am aware that I am to love my enemies then how do I pray for my friends?  I realize that this may not be a logical leap for everyone but it is at the core of my being.  It follows like this.  I am to love my enemies.  If I love someone they are not truly my enemy.  I love my friends; therefore, everyone is my friend.  So how do I pray for my friends?

What do I want for my friends?  What are their needs?  I know what I want for them but I do not always know their needs.  What I want for my friends is what I want for everyone.  I want them to know Christ deeply and richly.  I want them to follow him so closely that they step on his sandal from time to time.  I want them to enjoy lives that are filled with feeling the love that God has for them so deeply that it naturally overflows to others.

What do they need?  I only find this out by being in their lives.  I know of certain needs that everyone has but I need to be aware of the needs of my friends.  I need to pray for them and those needs.  I need to help where I can.  Too often I look to my own wants and needs instead of the needs of others.

I need to focus on the needs of others and allow Christ to meet my needs as he sees fit.  I must see this as the natural way to live.  I must also pray that my friends learn to live this way.  In this is the key to success at praying for my friends.

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."

02 August 2013

A Prayer for my Enemies

Greetings Dear Reader,

First let me say that I do not choose to have any enemies.  I have them but only because they have chosen to be so.  I am commanded to love them.  I think that there are some very wicked people in the world.  I think that evil carries its own pain and punishment.  I also wish none of that on anyone.

We see rants all too often against those with whom we disagree.  We make enemies over political, social, and religious issues without considering that this hinders our capacity to love others.  As a Christ follower I am required to love everyone.  The fewer enemies I make the easier it is to love others.

So how do I practically live out loving those who have chosen to be my enemy?  Those I encounter in my daily life I treat with love, respect, and kindness.  There are very few of these.  For those who hate me just because of my beliefs or lifestyle:  I pray for them. 

The ways in which I do this are simple.  I pray that they will have their needs met.  I ask God to reveal himself to them in a way that lets them see the distance and how to cross it.  I pray that those who they encounter who are Christ followers will leave an indelible positive mark on them. 

I try not to collect enemies.  For those who consider me an enemy know that I love you and care about what happens to you. 

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."

01 August 2013

Second Thoughts - Moon Pie

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.

My Grandson Orion loves Moon Pies.  His favorite seems to be banana but he likes chocolate too.  I bring them to him often and he wants to eat them immediately.  Whenever I think of Moon Pies I think of a song by that name as well.  It was created and performed by some musicians I knew over a decade ago.  They are very talented and I often would hum the few lines of the song I knew. 

Tonight one of those musicians gifted me with an MP 3 of the song.  I am listening to it as I write.  This song reminds me of potential and possibility.  I will have to wait until Orion is a little over for him to hear it.  The song, however, reminds me of things that fill me with joy.

It is interesting how the timing of this is so very perfect for my current needs.  I am stuck at a crossroads and not sure where to go.  This music, a gift from my old friend and from God reminds me that I get what I need when I need it.  As the sun sets on my day my heart is filled with joy and wonder and just how much God loves 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."

The Morning Mist

Greetings Dear Reader,

The last couple of mornings there has been a deep mist over the fields outside my window.  It shrouds the grass and corn so that in some areas it seems as if a cloud has descended in the night to nap upon the ground.  I love how the mist swirls and flows with the movement of air and vacillation of temperature.

When driving at this time of morning I truly enjoy watching the sun play on the mist in fields and valleys.  It is a time when I am reminded that the world hides beautiful things with other beautiful things at times.  Things shrouded in the mist can be forgotten but the beauty of the mist is never lost on me.

The mist in its loveliness is temporal and fleeting.  It is magical and mysterious.  If I do not take the time to enjoy it the sun will quickly burn it away and the opportunity will be lost.  I am thankful for the mist of a cool morning and the way in which it reminds me that God is a constant artist in the world.  It also reminds me that he is a constant artist in my life.  For this I am also very thankful. 


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."