30 April 2015

Rock Salt and Lava Lamps - Flavor

Greetings Dear Reader,

The thing that most people think of when salt is in the conversation is food.  We use it to enhance flavor or in some cases to mask it.  One of my passions is cooking.  In the right proportions salt can bring out the richness and sparkle of other flavours.  It can balance out sweetness or acidic tones. 

Too much salt can ruin food.  The flavor becomes overbearing.  Once too much salt is in the food it cannot be taken out.  It is the proper insertion of salt, with care and control that makes the dish.  The salt is not the star, the food it seasons is.

Again the parallel is obvious.  If I am to be salt in the lives of others it is not I that should be the star of the show.  I must add flavor and balance out the sweet and the bitter.  I must only be present in enough quantity to add to the experience of Christ and not to overshadow it.

When I assure that I am an additive and wear the humble role the salt wears I can make a difference.  This is assuredly a challenge for me.  I have been told that I “fill up a room.”  I have also been called arrogant and self-absorbed.  It would be dishonest to say that these things are never true. 

I must assure that my role is to add flavor to life that makes Christ desirable.  The only way I succeed at that is through love and kindness.  My generosity must not be in presenting myself but in letting others savor who Christ is without overshadowing the gospel.  He must increase and I must decrease. 


Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

29 April 2015

Rock Salt and Lava Lamps - Preservative

Greetings Dear Reader,

Few people in the culture in which I live eat salted meats.  I have had salt cured ham and must stay it is not my favorite.  The time has passed in our culture where salt cured meats are necessary.

Still the salting of meat and fish in dry salt or brine is an acceptable way to inhibit the growth of microorganisms.  For millennia we have used salt to cure food for times and circumstances where other forms of food are not available.

As a Christ follower I am to be one that preserves things.  I am to sustain.  I am to assure that future needs can be met.  I am to preserve faith, love, and hope for others.  I am to assure that when times are hard that there is substance of the spiritual nature available to others.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

28 April 2015

Rock Salt and Lava Lamps – Sustaining Life

Greetings Dear Reader,

In the first season of Star Trek an episode, The Man Trap featured a salt vampire.  The creature literally sucked the salt from its victims killing them.  I was quite impressionable then at age six.  I quit using salt on my food and still rarely do to this day.

M-113 Creature
It was also when I learned that salt sustains life.  The debate continues about how much salt we need.  We can debate the levels but it is still true that human need salt to live.  Our blood, nervous system, and kidneys are just a few of the places in us where salt plays a vital role.

During my youth when I would participate in sports or other activities that cause high perspiration I learned that I did not retain salt and had to take salt tablets.  Without the right levels of salt my body would try to shut down in order to stop me from sweating out all the salt.  Again, the evidence was obvious that salt is necessary to sustain life and functionality.

When Jesus says we are to be the salt of the earth it makes me wonder just how far our duty to sustain life extends.  We live in a death based ecosystem.  This means that some levels of death are necessary to life.  It is necessary for seeds to go into the ground and die for plants to grow.  We take animal life to obtain meat. 

As a Christ follower all human life must be precious to me.  I must also respect all animal life.  This does not mean that I may not eat meat.  Christ made it clear that consuming meat was allowable.  That does not limit my responsibility to assure that what I consume is obtained in honorable ways.

I am also responsible to work to sustain life in others.  Every life must matter to me.  Whether it is the life of an enemy or an unborn baby I am to treat all life as precious.  I am not always sure how to work this our practically but I must see all life as worthy of sustenance and respect.

If I am to follow Christ then I need to embrace his view of the sacredness of life.  “Take up your cross and follow me” is part of being “the salt of the earth.”  My life must be about helping to create life from death in a world so marked and marred by death.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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



27 April 2015

Rock Salt and Lava Lamps - Healing

Greetings Dear Reader,

Used properly salt can be an effective cleansing agent.   Modern medicine still uses sterile saline solution to cleanse wounds.  For centuries salt was used in wounds to sterilize and begin the healing process.  Internally saline solution is used as a remedy for some gastro intestinal issues. It can also shrink the sinuses and promote easier breathing.

In the time when Jesus was on earth salt was prized for its healing properties.   In that context it was a vital tool to prevent infection and promote healing.   Salt, so valuable and expensive in that era could save lives.  The application hurt and could cause agony if not properly used. 

As a follower of Christ I am to promote cleansing and healing from wounds.  I am to be a source of stopping infection in the lives of others.  Sometimes this will cause discomfort but I must be as gentle as possible.  I will never be the perfect solution for healing.  That is Christ.  If, however, I work to promote healing perhaps I can help others breathe a little 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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

26 April 2015

Second Thoughts – Maxim the Man

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.

This second thought is in no way an afterthought.  My oldest Son, Maxim turns thirty today.  I love this man with an intensity I can rarely adequately express.  I was privileged to spend the entire day with him yesterday and most of the day with him on Friday.  He is noble and honest.  He loves his family without reservation.

His thirtieth year has been painful beyond words.  For the most part he has weathered it well but it has taken its toll.  I have been privileged to help and support him.  When his troubles started he took me aside and told me how glad he was that we have worked out our differences.  I am too.

What I want to do in this space is honor him.  He has a spirit that can love deeply.  He has a heart that demands justice and kindness to those in need.  His compassion is unparalleled.  He is a dear friend and competent counselor.  He is a beloved Son.

Today we will spend time together resting and being friends.  I may love other men equally like I do his brother.  I will never love anyone more.  I cannot heal his hurts.  I cannot fix the problems he must weather.  I can stand with him.  I can be patient and understanding.  I can support and uphold.  I can carry him if necessary.  From the moment I first held him to my last breath I will love him.  Through all of eternity he will hold the place only one other being can hold.  He will always be my beloved Son.

Happy Birthday Maxim Dawntreader.

Sunrise of Your Smile – Michael Card

Reject the worldly lie that says
That life lies always up ahead
Let power go before control becomes
A crust around your soul

Escape the hunger to possess
And soul-diminishing success
This world is full of narrow lives
I pray by grace your smile survives

For I would wander weary miles
Would welcome ridicule, my child
To simply see the sunrise of your smile
To see the light behind your eyes
The happy thought that makes you fly
Yes, I would wander weary miles
To simply see the sunrise of your smile

Now close your eyes so you can see
Your own unfinished memories
Now open them for time is brief
And you'll be blest beyond belief

Now glance above you at the sky
There's beauty there to blind the eye
I ask all this then wait awhile
To see the dawning of your smile

For I would wander weary miles
Would welcome ridicule, my child
To simply see the sunrise of your smile
To see the light behind your eyes
The happy thought that makes you fly
Yes, I would wander weary miles
To simply see the sunrise of your smile

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

Rock Salt and Lava Lamps – First Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

I buy rock salt by the fifty pound bag.  I use it for my water softener and for my front stoop to melt snow and ice.  I go through about fifteen bags a year.  That is 750 pounds of salt per year.  Even though salt is vital to life we take it for granted.  It is cheap and easy to acquire in our current system of commerce.

I have heard for years that Roman soldiers were paid in salt.  The first reference I can find for this is that of Pliny the Elder writing in the first century AD.  The etymology of both salary and salad are traceable to salt.  The mineral I throw on my driveway has been the essence of life, payment, and even wars in the past.

The historical context is important to understanding my role as a Christ follower.  In the same way that role is defined by something else the modern world takes for granted.  I summon light with the flick of a switch or an application on my phone.   Just last night I was at an excellent restaurant where the light was too dim for me to read the menu.  I simply touched a virtual button on the screen of my phone and the flash on the camera in the phone illuminated the menu for me.

With matches, candles, LED lights, and common lamps I can summon light into the darkness at will.  In context of the plentiful presence of salt and light what does it mean to be salt and light in the world?  Jesus refers to savorless salt and hidden light.  I must consider this as well. 

My journey is impossible without salt and light.  Life is impossible without it.  This is the metaphor for what I am supposed to be as a Christ follower.  How then am I to be it?  By looking at the value of salt and light in context of Christ’s comments it may further illuminate my understanding and give me a better taste of what I am to be. 

Sit by the fire with me for a moment as I ponder this part of the journey.  It could make for some savory conversation.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

25 April 2015

The Trojan Corpse

Greetings Dear Reader,

I enjoy the show Vikings and this is an official SPOILER ALERT.   This week’s episode included Hrothgar, the Viking king feigning his own death and requesting a Christian burial.  He did this to get inside the city of Paris and conquer it. 

We all know the story of the Trojan horse.  We also know that the death of an enemy disarms us.  Once we think we have won we relax.  This deception by Hrothgar is brilliant.  Only his son knew what he was doing,  Even his closest friends and his family thought he was deceased. 

Yes there is a connection here for me to the crucifixion.  I realize that we are a few weeks past Resurrection Sunday.  Still I wonder if we consider the impact that Christ’s death had on his enemies.  The priests would have been relieved.  The Roman’s seemed indifferent.  The real enemy, Satan must have believed he had won.

The difference is that Jesus had died.   He was really absent from the body.  After all he had a thief to attend to (“today you will be with me in paradise.”).   He had souls to lead home.  He had a busy three days to work through. 

We tend to skip over the dead body part of the resurrection. On Friday we are in such a hurry to get to Sunday that we forget the importance of that corpse.  Joseph respected it.  The priests fear that it will be stolen.  Guards are placed around the sealed tomb.  The threat of death is used to guard the dead. 

The dead body was necessary.  It is necessary as a focus point for the resurrection.  It is the evidence that God has accepted the payment for my sin and that the way to redemption is open.  It is the hinge on which that door swings.  They tore God apart and put him in a grave. 

He really died but it was misdirection on God’s part.  He wanted the attention on death whilst he made a way to live. Jesus is doing what he always does: turning death into a fighting chance to live.  The Trojan Corpse became the Way of Life.  On this hope I expect to sing out into eternity 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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

24 April 2015

The Clauses in our thoughts – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Thomas Traherne said that “to think well is to serve God in the interior court.”  My mind is constantly the source of my worst criticism, my deepest sins, and my greatest successes.  Controlling my thoughts increases my ability to do well.

It is the moment that I must capture.  I think well long term.  I have had an excellent education thanks to the sacrifices of my parents.  I have read thousands of books.  I have written several.  I have ten years of post-secondary education.  I had worked as a college professor for twenty.  I know how to think.

The thinking I must master daily is the thought of the moment.  It is the thoughts born of emotion that are the dangerous ones.  When I feel fear or anger the next thought is the one I must control.  I must burst the thought bubbles that are negative, hateful, unkind, and selfish. 

It is the clauses in my thoughts, when not controlled by faith and following that get me into trouble.  It is my responsibility to assure that every idle thought is brought into captivity in faith. 

So as I toss out the thoughts and questions that dance through my mind I must assure that I kill the ones that are harmful, selfish, and unloving.  I must also assure that I nature and give full life to those thoughts that are wholesome and good. 

“Finally, Dear Reader, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable.”  ATT – If I focus on this type of thinking the environment will not be suitable for thoughts that are inappropriate.


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 by a 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
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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

23 April 2015

The Clauses in our thoughts – Criticism

Greetings Dear Reader,

As the caffeine kick starts my brain this morning and I approach this aspect of the topic I am haunted by times when I have been too critical of others.  That haunting pushes me to be less critical and deflect it when others are indulging in unkind criticism.

This is one of those things that begins in the mind and is so devastating to the thinker.  We do not realize how a critical nature erodes our ability to find joy and sweetness in life.  I have a dear friend who no matter what is said can spot the negative and call it out for all to see.   How did this person get there?  How did the positive become poison to her thinking?

It starts in the mind.  It begins when we let the negative take root in the mind.  Whether it is damage caused to us by others or selfish acts of want and jealousy, allowing negative criticism to have purchase in the mind is dangerous.  It is one of those things that grows within us and kills the good thoughts as quickly as possible.

A critical nature quickly poisons the thinking.  It also poisons others.  Friendships and relationships suffer.  Opportunities are lost.  A critical nature quickly becomes a lonely place.  It is just too dangerous a path to walk.

I must think on good things.  I must see the positive things in others.  If I feel critical I must ask why and control my thinking.  I must not dismiss cruel or unkind behaviour as “just being honest”.  I cannot justify negative criticism and claim that I am obeying the command to love others.  It just does not scan.  

It is not enough to not participate.  I must do more.  I must see and expose the positive in others.  I must recognize and call out the intrinsic value of every soul.  I must love them.  If I focus my thinking on this then there is not room for negative thought bubbles.

Prayer of Saint Francis – Sarah Maclachlan

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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

22 April 2015

The Clauses in our thoughts – Lust

Greetings Dear Reader,

Realizing that for much of our culture this word “lust” no longer is negative it may seem odd that I address it.  First I would qualify the area in which I address this.  In most instances we associate this word with sex.  We need to associate it with a much broader range of thoughts.

We use words like craving, hunger, and hankering to soften the point.  It is the nature of our human condition to minimize things that are wrong.  Lust is a sin completely housed in our minds.  It leads to other failings but it is a cancerous thought bubble that wishes to permeate our entire lives.

I do not want to ignore the sexual aspect of lust.  An honest man must say that it is a daily battle to burst the thought bubbles implanted by our culture’s treatment of the female form.  We use lust to sell nearly everything.  I do not want to leave women out of the conversation.  Society is giving them equal time in this arena but as a male I must look to my own failings and struggles before I dare address those of others.

It is one of those places where a disciplined mind is necessary just to get through the day.  Bringing our thoughts into captivity is the only path to freedom from this form of lust. I do not wish to neglect the others areas where I must defend against lust.  The lust for food leads to gluttony.  A lust for control leads to manipulation.  The lust for control also yields lies, unfaithfulness, and betrayal.  We can even lust for a form of freedom that is not ours to pursue.  This lust leads to the breaking of commitments and vows.

These particular clauses in our thoughts betray us as quickly as possible.  Their purpose is to distract us from our intent.  We can instantly go from our actual intent to improper cravings as a single thought bubble bursts over our mind.  It is only by moment by moment determining to think well that we can defend against this.  If I fill my mind with the things that Christ values then the thought bubbles of distraction are easier to reject.

The results are what matter.  If I control my thinking about women then I see them as humans with genuine talents, gifts and needs.  I see their intrinsic value instead of a place to get my desires met.  If I control my lust for food I am healthier.  I see the needs of others in want of food more clearly.  I am more thankful for what I have.  My lust to control is alone controlled by realizing that control over anything but my own thinking is a lie. 
That is the crux of it.  The thought bubbles of lust for anything are offering a lie in place of the truth.  They are offering to satisfy with a counterfeit of reality.  Nothing but truth will satisfy the mind.  I must avoid the counterfeit thought bubbles and think well.  In this is the path to truly following Christ. 


Waking up to a very different world
We got mud on our flag before it’s even been unfurled
Our heroes have fallen and a leader is heard to find
The clock is running out and we’re casting our pearls before swine

There’s a whole lot more than preaching to the choir
Kneeling at the alter and paying our tithe
We've been treating God like he’s happiness for hire
We’ve been playing marbles with diamonds

Isn’t it a sin how his name how his name gets thrown around
We pat God on the back like a buddy from out of town
We thank “the man upstairs” for the things people praise us for
We give God the glory but we’re happy to take the award

There’s a whole lot more than raising lots of money
Building our churches and spreading our faith
If faith is just the dice you roll to get lucky
We've been playing marbles with diamonds

There are precious things of God
And we must guard them with our lives
Like an unborn baby’s dreams
Like a husband love his wife

May the hope of his returning
May it glorify our faith
As we hold onto his holy word
May the chaff be blown away

Can we ever live up to the things we say we believe
Because the world is watching looking for some honesty
Are we riding down a freeway instead of narrow road
We turned the passion for the lost into the business of saving souls

There’s a whole lot more than preaching to the choir
Kneeling at the alter and paying our tithe
We’ve been treating God like he’s happiness for hire
We’ve been playing marbles with diamonds

There’s a whole lot more than raising lots of money
Building our churches and spread
If faith is just the dice you roll to get lucky
We've been playing marbles with diamonds.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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



21 April 2015

The Clauses in our thoughts – Promises

Greetings Dear Reader,

In the movie Radio Flyer, which I highly recommend, the story begins with Tom Hanks explaining the importance of promises.  Tom Hanks’ character, Mike says, “Well, you can't just say, ‘I promise,’ then forget about it. ’I promise’ are the most important words you'll ever say... well almost the most important words you'll ever say.”

When we make a commitment we transfer something from our possession to the possession of another.   We make or give promises.  Part of that is there must be not thought bubbles involved.  When se make the promise we must not be creating a back door as we do. 

I once heard one person in a marriage say to the other, “I only thought it would last ten years or so when we got married.”  This person stood in front of a church full of people and promised a life of faithfulness whilst holding a thought bubble that was a time bomb on that promise. 

We do not see that sacred nature of a promise.  We inject thought bubbles into that sacred space and infect it.  We say that we will help someone whilst thinking of way out.  We agree to lunch knowing we will postpone it later.  The core of our spirit gets worn away by this practice. 

I truly believe that being honest in my thinking is the only way to be honest with others.  These thought bubbles burst with a poison that infect s our confidence, strength, and integrity.  How I think when I interact with others consistently determines who I am.  The thoughts become actions, habits, and eventually a life.  I do not want them to be poisonous to me or to others.

Promises Made - Dan Fogelberg

Promises made
Promises broken
Measures of our demise
Secrets of souls that
Rarely get spoken
Pleasure's a thin disguise.

Dozens of ways
Dozens of reasons
Shielding our hearts from pain
Riddles of romance
That distance may yet explain.

Certain of nothing
So fearful of love
Nobody seems to show you enough
Over and over
The scenes are replayed
And once again
Those promises made.

Feeling forsaken
Broken in two
How did this ever happen to you?
Taken for granted
Bruised and betrayed
Lonely survivors
These promises made.

Dozens of ways
Dozens of reasons
Shielding our hearts from pain
Riddles of romance
That distance may yet explain.

Certain of nothing
You're so damn fearful of love
Nobody seems to show you enough
Over and over
The scenes are replayed
And once again
Those promises made.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

20 April 2015

The Clauses in our Thoughts – First Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

How often in television and movies do we experience someone having a “thought bubble” that lets us in on what he or she is really thinking in a situation.  As the audience we are let in on the real emotion or intent behind what the listener is told.

We put clauses in our thinking.  We edit what we say out loud to temper our intent.  There is no light way to do this.  If we indulge in this practice we live in dishonest pretense.  We can communicate honestly if we choose to do so.  We can temper that honestly with love and compassion.

Jesus tells us that we will give account of every idle word.  Imagine if our “thought bubbles” were visible to others.  Would we be willing to do the damage?  We are required to love others.  There is not category of human that we are not required to love.  This means that our thoughts must be loving.

One of the ways I attempt to live this is by “bringing into captivity every thought.”  If I have a negative thought I look for the truth behind it.  If there is none I must dismiss it.  It I find I want to temper what I am saying with inward clauses then I must stop saying it until I am sure I can be honest.

This type of thinking permeates our lives without us truly pondering it.  As I travel I must assure that I am honest about how my actions evolve.  I must assure that the mind is disciplined to follow Christ so that the heart and actions fall in line. 

I am going to travel this part of the path for a few days to make sure that I capture my thoughts.  I hope you benefit from the time Dear Reader.  As always I value your thoughts.

Recapture Me – Michael Card

Fleeing what I do not know
Recapture me, recapture me
I flee to where I cannot go
Recapture me

The bridge between my heart and mind
Recapture me, recapture me
You come across myself to find
Recapture me

You come and knock on imaginations door
You come to show to
To know You is what eyes and ears are for

With ears that hear but not receive
Recapture me, recapture me
With eyes that see but can't perceive
Recapture me

Your paradox and poetry
Recapture me, recapture me
You speak one sacred certainty
Recapture me

You come and knock on imaginations door
You come to show to, to know You is
What eyes and ears are for
(what eyes and ears are for)
(What eyes and ears are for)
To know You is what eyes and ears are for
(What eyes and ears are for
What eyes and ears are for)

Through prophets madness make me wise
Recapture me, recapture me
Through foolish faith open my eyes
Recapture me

With sacred words, with silent words
Recapture me, recapture me
You're the living Word that must be heard
Recapture me
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/michael-card/recapture-me-lyrics/#VxdSfmew7PqB4fab.99

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

19 April 2015

Allergies

Greetings Dear Reader,

I am allergic to the planet.  Once winter has played out its last and the world begins to spring back to life I am assailed.  It starts with a little bit of congestion on the left side of my head.  It is always the left side. 

Then begins the dance of saline spray, hot tea, Guaifenesin, and cool breezes.  I was tested many years ago and basically anything with pollen attacks and attempts to kill my respiratory system.  The worst is pine pollen.  I register almost off the charts at the high end of allergens.  Cats, raccoons, and possums also diminish my capacity to breath.

For a time I had to stay indoors much of the spring.  That is no longer true but I must stay ahead of the attacks.  I win most of the time.  It is a discipline of avoiding what assaults me or being prepared ahead of time.  It is a vigilance of mastering the subtle signs and stopping things before they start.

I cannot stop the allergies.  I am allergic to one of things that is the essence of life in a fallen world.  Others have it much worse that I do and this is not a rant or complaint.  In truth those allergies teach me a great deal.   They remind me that I am not designed to be broken and fallen and inhabiting a fallen broken world.

I am designed to be a good man in a good world.  My being was mapped by God to belong to a world that is his, under his guidance, free of allergens and sin.  I am designed to be good but I fail.  We are not designed to live in a fallen world as walling beings.

That is how it is.  The journey I am on is the journey back to good.  It is the journey from this broken world back to a good one.  It is the journey away from the world for which I was not designed to the world for which I am intended.  I have fallen to earth as a contagion and allergic to it.  Following Christ is the treatment for the condition and the path to healing.

What I have to do is keep ahead of the symptoms.  I have to recognize the onset of failure to follow or selfishness.  I have to see when I am putting my interests above those of Christ.  I must follow without hesitation.  I must keep walking and avoid the things that trigger my allergies.  In this context stopping to smell the roses is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Aliens and Strangers – DeGarmo and Key

Sunday morning, and the pews are filled with friends of mine, yeah, friends of mine,
And, for the first time, I look around,
I realize, I realize...

My closest friends are aliens and strangers,
Travelers here, living with danger,
My closest friends are aliens and strangers,
Travelers here, living with danger.

I used to wonder why they act so strange,
Now I know, yeah, now I know,
I heard the preachers say this world we're in is not our home, it's not our home.

My closest friends are aliens and strangers,
Travelers here, living with danger,
My closest friends are aliens and strangers,
Travelers here, living with danger.

They're all pilgrims just passing through, heroes away from their homeland,
And, since I've discovered the truth, I look at my friends and I can't help but think that....

All of my friends, they're aliens,
Just passing through, yeah, they're aliens,
My closest friends, yeah, they're aliens,
My closest friends, oh, they're aliens,
Just passing through, just passing through,
Just passing through, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

18 April 2015

Talismans – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

I suppose if one were to see my writing office that does not know they would see me surrounded with and odd collection of mundane things.  I could talk about many more of them.  There are two empty cigarette packs, a snow globe with a wizard inside, a ship in a bottle, a tiny set of star ships, and many other things.

Perhaps I can revisit this topic at a later time if the journey allows.  It is time, however, to move on to other thoughts and questions that demand my attention.  As the topic changes from my talismans to other things I must conclude this thing.  Although the objects possess no power of their own they are indeed very powerful.  Anything that causes me to both feel and think is powerful and important.

Reminding myself that I have created this space for a reason makes me better at living out that reason.  This is my fortress of solitude where I spin out my tales and thoughts in hopes of seeing Christ honestly and reflecting Christ more clearly.  This is my lair where I rest from the world and enjoy the small hoard of treasure that I have.  The talismans remind me of who I am to be, what I am to be about, and that this room is not my world.  This lair is rather my campsite for resting until I continue the journey for another day.  The talismans remind me for whom I fight and what the fight is really about. 

I am sure you may wish to know why I have a black rubber duck, a silver teddy bear with a broken clock in his tummy, and chainmail coin purse.  I assure you that they are not just clutter.  I assure you Dear Reader they remind me of things that I am supposed to be and of moments when I was that man.  The red rubber Yoshi has a purpose.  Hagrid on his motorcycle carries a memory.  By the faded crimson ribbon hangs a tale.     

Some of these tales will spin out in this forum.  Some are in a book on its way to the shelves of bookstores both actual and virtual.  All of them teach me every morning in some way.  They all point to the most powerful talisman of all.  It was abounded in the first house I bought in this city.  It is a gold crucifix about a foot tall. 

Jesus hangs there in his former state.  He minds me that I have a path to journey, an example to follow, and world to love.  Hanging there he points me toward the memory of his suffering, the joy of his resurrection, and world he is bringing back to “good.”  My task in this space is to use whatever is necessary to work toward that end. 

The joy in the journey is in remembering that on the shelves behind the talismans stands my vast theological library.  The true power of those talismans is to remind me that none of that knowledge has any power without the love that put Christ on the cross.  It is the people and their stories that remind me of God’s love.  The theology only helps me understand the mechanics.  The talismans remind as I move them to retrieve a book that after all is complete only the love will remain.  “For God so LOVED the world that he gave us his only begotten Son…”    

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

17 April 2015

Talismans – A Ghost

Greetings Dear Reader,

When it comes to talismans there are nine around me that call to mind this particular thing.  The most important is not the ghost.  The ghost, however, is the one that is the most linear.  It always points forward in time.  It always draws me forward toward the event horizon.

Each morning from December to December I look at this ghost and ponder for a moment if I am living the promise it demands.  In bleak winger, bursting spring, and verdant summer am I living a life that says Christmas is coming?  Do I live every day as if the Advent of Christ is immanent?  I am supposed to live this way.

My Grandson asked a couple of weeks ago why I loved Christmas so much.  I explained that it was Jesus’ birthday and that I wanted to think of his birthday every day.  That was enough explanation for him.  In that simple answer is an all-encompassing truth.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is a talisman of my vow to live the promise, hope, love, and joy of Christmas every day.  There is something to remind me of Jesus and his journey to us in almost every room of my house.  I ponder what Christ did for my redemption daily. 

The joy I feel at Christmas should be the resurrected life that I share in the full bloom of spring.  It should be the cool comfort I offer in the dog days.  From the cradle to the cross nothing is more important than the advent, life, death, and resurrection of Christ.  None of it happens without the cradle.

I need to remember that there is another day in the future.  A day yet to come where there will be a new advent.  Christmas means “celebration of Christ.”  There is a celebration yet to come. There is an advent we anticipate.  There is a “Christ Mass” yet to come that will be the realization of all that we hope for as his followers. 

This talisman points toward a boney finger toward the onrushing future.   It reminds me to live today as if it were my last chance to impart the joy of Christmas to those around me.  It also points directly at the small nativity on my desk.  It reminds me of the past that secures my future.

Promises to Keep – Tran-Siberian Orchestra

Christmas time
On a cold December morning
All is calm
And the world is still asleep
Christmas lights
That have been caught without warning
Gently glitter on
Stars to wish upon
All the world is at peace

Christmas time and the year will soon be leaving
Cloaked in time till it's just a memory
Christmas stays if we don't forget its meaning
Days go quickly by
Years they multiply
And we go searching for thee

And the dream is still alive
From that first December morning
And it always will survive
As long as we can see
That the dreams we find in life
Are the dreams we tend to seek
And Christmas has its promises to keep

Christmas time
And the moments just beginning
From last night
When we'd wished upon a star

If our kindness
This day is just pretending
If we pretend long enough
Never giving up
It just might be who we are

AND SO IT'S GOOD THAT WE REMEMBER
JUST AS SOON AS WE'VE DISCOVERED
THAT THE THINGS WE DO IN LIFE
WILL ALWAYS END UP TOUCHING OTHERS

SO FROM A FADING NEON STAR
SOMEWHERE SHINING IN THE NIGHT
WE FIND A FATHER FAR AWAY
NOW REFLECTING IN ITS LIGHT

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

16 April 2015

Talismans – Two Boxes

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have two boxes where I keep my most sacred talismans.  One is made of teak and comes from Hawaii.  The other is made of cedar and is a model of the Ark of the Covenant created by one of my students and gifted to me.  These boxes are precious to me on their own.

Their contents are priceless.  The ark holds some small pieces of granite that were the first gift my eldest Son ever gave me.  It also holds a note from when he asked me to pray for him to find a friend at school.  The note reads, “Thanks for praying dad.  I found a friend today.”

The teak box holds a few precious memories from my childhood.  There are the awards I won at summer camp.  Also are the archery medals I earned in competitive shooting.  My Sons were witness to the culmination of that skill at the Renaissance Festival in Atlanta. It is a reminder to me that hours of practice at something can yield unexpected and legendary results.  We will revisit that further down the path.

 If anyone else were to look into these two boxes they would not comprehend the value.  On two occasions I have shared their contents with someone I love and trust.  Neither of them got it.  So much of what is there seems mundane to others.  It is the power these things have to evoke sacred memories that makes them such powerful talismans.

When the moments drift through the pinch of the glass we either seize them or let them go.  Rarely some of them hold great portent.  It is not enough to seize the day.  If we do not live in every moment we may miss the most precious ones.    We might discard the ticket stub from the first time we took our Son to see Jethro Tull.  We might not have the tie tack where your Sons first proclaimed you a great dad. 

Living in the moment for me is being always aware that none of them are mundane to God.  If I am a man of faith then I must agree with this and live it.  Soon enough and much too soon the sand in the bottom of the glass is greater than that in the top.  We long to have some of them back but gravity and time laugh at us.

So I ponder these most precious talismans. I long to create more moments and memories for my Children, Grandchildren, and friends before I am out of sand.  In the rush of this passion play I have been given by God, I must carpe’ momenta omnem.  I must seize every moment.

A Week Moments – Ian Anderson

A week of moments a clutch of days
Ten thousand minutes of a Passion Play.
Medley of quavers informs the tune.
It’s all too much: over all too soon.

Sweet condensation on chilling wine
Travelers palm, flamboyant tree
Fast photos ripped and lost consign
A week of moments to faint memory.

A week of moments plucked from the page
Found far horizons, a sunset stage.
Suitcases bulge, in silence packed
A chapter closed: no looking back.

The lightest touch upon my arm
No fierce restraint, no call to stay.
Hushed room maids glide like pawns to king
With pool attendants in chess piece array.

A week of moments a clutch of days
Ten thousand minutes of a Passion Play.
Medley of quavers informs the tune.
It’s all too much: over all too soon.

Sweet condensation on chilling wine
Travelers palm, flamboyant tree
Fast photos ripped and lost consign
A week of moments to faint memory.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

15 April 2015

Talismans – Two Swords


Greetings Dear Reader,

My name, in case you did not know is a nom-de-plume.  It comes from a character I created when I was eight.   He was the first hero in the first story I ever wrote.  When I began to play role playing games in the mid-seventies he was my first avatar.  That character was a Paladin, a holy knight.

Artemis
Several years ago I was gifted with two swords that matched so closely to the fictional description of the swords that paladin carried in his adventures.  These were gifts give to me out of love for who I am and I cherish them greatly.  The swords were named Artemis and Angelique.   I know how to use a sword.  They are power and fascinating weapons. These two swords are both beautiful and fully functional.  They are my talismans of the Word of God. 



Angelique
The author of the letter to the Hebrews writes, “God's word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God's word judges a person's thoughts and intentions.”

I read the Bible every day.  I memorize the parts that speak to me.  I think about it when I ponder choices.  It is the filter through which I try to run every choice.  Paul writes that we are to have the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of Truth as part of our preparation to fight for Christ.  Notice that our only offensive weapon is the Bible, which teaches us to fight with love. 

It is in this book that I find the power to take the offensive.  It is not complicated although there is complexity in living it out.  My offensive weapon is to be used to cut away barriers to faith.  It is light to pierce the darkness.  It divides the emotions from the need to see that we have a need for redemption.  It does not surprise me that people work so hard to destroy this weapon.  Fortunately for me it was forged by God.

So Many Books – Michael Card

There is a hunger, a longing for bread
And so comes the call for the poor to be fed
More hungry by far are a billion and more
Who wait for the Bread of the Word of the Lord

So many books, so little time, so many hunger, so many blind
Starving for words, they must wait in the night
To open a Bible and move towards the Light

There'll come a time, the prophets would say
When the joy of mankind will be withered away
A want not for water, but a hunger for more
A famine for hearing the Word of the Lord

So many books, so little time, so many hunger, so many blind
Starving for words, they must wait in the night
To open a Bible and move towards the Light)
...To open a Bible and move towards the Light,
Open a Bible and move towards the Light

The Word won't go out, except it return
Full, over flowing and so we must learn

So many books, so little time, so many hunger, so many blind
Starving for words, they must wait in the night
To open a Bible and move towards the Light
To open a Bible and move towards the Light
Open a Bible and move towards the Light
Open a Bible and move towards the Light

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

14 April 2015

Second Thoughts – Instant Coffee

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.

There are few more vivid memories from my teenage years.  It is early morning and I enter the kitchen to prepare my breakfast.  My senses are assailed by the smell of Folgers Instant Coffee.  My dad drank it every morning.  Some of the best talks we ever had were during those wee morning hours over a cup of Folgers. 

Occasionally I do not have time to brew a fresh pot in the morning so I have a Keurig.  It was a gift from my Daughter Christmas.  I have the cups that go in the brewer as well as the empty cups that allow you to put your own coffee in them.  In short I have no end of ways to make coffee quickly in the morning.

After realizing that Christmas prefers instant coffee I purchased a jar of Folgers.  This morning I made a cup for my breakfast.   I was instantly transported back to that kitchen and those mornings with my dad.  It was a moment I will cherish.

I prefer a much more complex cup of coffee.  Today I was reminded once again that there is great treasure in simplicity.  There is vast value in the memories invoked by the smell and then taste of my teenage mornings.  I love you dad.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Talismans – Oil Lamp

Greetings Dear Reader,

This tiny oil lamp is my source of light when I need some illumination but prefer the room to be dark.  When this happens it is usually sign that I want to withdraw from the world.  It means something in life has become too burdensome and I am seeking to shut out the rest of life.

The small oil lamp is there to remind me that I cannot isolate myself totally.  I cannot escape the presence of God and I cannot shed the burden of bearing the light.  During those times when I am hurting or despair I will usually awaken earlier than I desire.  I sit in the darkness, light the lamp, and listen to my favorite piece of music in the universe.  It is “The Inner Light” by Jerry Goldsmith. 

When I am besieged by feelings that try to overwhelm my focus and faith this talisman helps.  I am always surprised at how much that tine flame lights up the room.  I am reminded of what I am supposed to be in Christ.  I am supposed to be light.

I am not supposed to be the harsher glaring light of an LED.  I am supposed to be a candle or oil lamp.  I am supposed to have a warm light that is inviting and safe.  Carrying such a light is a burden because it is not self-contained.  It can spill or blow out.  I must carry myself carefully. 

It is not wrong to feel hurt, despair, or loneliness.  It is wrong to indulge them an fail to seek the Light that is our example.  We need to seek the Light that is our example.  He promises to make the burden lighter. 

Bearers of the Light – Michael Card

The Light we must bear
Is the Light we must share
Is the Light that illumines the darkness
The promises kept
Give us strength to accept
This burden of bearing the Light

He will walk beside us
A strong friend, Barnabas
He will be that sure shoulder to lean on
The promise we share
Is our burdens to bear
And our Light tells the darkness to be gone

He will come after me
A young Timothy
Looking for someone to guide him
I will kindle his Light
Make him strong for the fight
I will promise to be there beside him

And so we must claim
By His powerful Name
The Promise the Bible has spoken
We must understand
That a cord of three strands
Cannot be easily broken

The great need of a all
A true mentor, a Paul
Who has traveled the road that's before us
He has made good the pledge
To tale the Light on ahead
We can follow his footsteps before us

The Light we must bear
Is the Light we must share
Is the Light that illumines the darkness
The promises kept give us strength to accept
This burden of bearing the Light

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)