29 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – Closing My Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

We all have a story.  Hearing and telling stories is one of my favorite things.  I love to hear a person’s story when I meet him or her.  It is joyful to me hear of a journey and begin to see how I can be of service to a new friend.

I love stories.  If I tell you mine it would be of tragedy and comedy.  It would be of a hurting child and depressed teen who was ransomed and redeemed by a loving God.  It would be of a man who fails sometimes.  It would be of fight to follow Christ. 

My story is one of standing between the living and the dead.  It is standing by the door for those who are searching.  It is fighting for good and righteousness both internally and externally. 

Jesus is the reason I have a story.  He is the reason I am here to tell it.  Today is a day to continue the story.  It is a day to add victory to it.  Even though it is a Monday and you may have to drag yourself out of bed, it is a new day.  It is a day with opportunity.  It is a leap day.  So Dear Reader we should agree to add something to our story.  We should commit to making it the best day we can.  I dare you to move.


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.”

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28 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – Jesus

Greetings Dear Reader,

If I told you my story it would be about Jesus.  To tell my story is to tell of him.  The ongoing influence of my Grandfather in my life is because of his love for Jesus.  The reason I did not take my own life is because a man took  the time to show me the kindness of Jesus. 

The story of the universe is his story.  I am a part of that story.  I am important enough to that story that he seeks me in it.  He wants me as his own.  He loves me.  I think that we need to regularly look at who Jesus is.  We need to ignore the things people pile on to following Christ and look at the man who asks us to follow him.

He accepts us by faith.  He holds us unconditionally.  He wants us to follow him in treating others well.  We add all the judgement, condemnation, and rules that make him seem unapproachable.  The Gospel is simple.  My story is one of Jesus coming to seek and save me.

Blessed Assurance – Third Day

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of his Spirit, washed in his blood

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission, perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blessed
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with his goodness, lost in his love

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.”

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27 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – Assurances

Greetings Dear Reader,

We engage in so many things to assure that things will be the way we wish.  We make promises, sign contracts, and take vows.  We give our word.  We enter into quid pro quo agreements.

We enter into “if/then” arrangements promising to do our part if someone else does his or her part.  We even falsely treat marriage as a fifty/fifty arrangement.  In marriage we take one way vows. We give assurances that we will stay faithful to the bond no matter what.  We make an unconditional vow.

If I told you my story it would be of the Father’s unconditional vow.  He has redeemed me from the penalty of my sin because of what his Son, Jesus did for me.  Jesus assures us that all that the Father gives him he will neither lose nor throw away.  By all he means us.   Just like the Father did with Abraham in the Old Testament Jesus makes a one way vow to us. 

The story of redemption is one of a Creator coming to redeem that which he has lost.  He even uses the metaphor of the bridegroom coming to find his bride.  He uses this to show his singular commitment to our reclamation.  He would rather die than live without us.

My story is one of failure and restoration.   I failed and the Father provided a way for me to find redemption.  I, like every other human, is the reason that the Father sent the Son.  All he asks is that I accept his gift.  He assures me that all will unfold as it should and he would like me to be a part of it. 

This is a story that spans all of human history.  The Father assures us that he will bring us home.  Jesus comes to lead us there and asks that we follow in faith.  He loves us and wants us to have all that he has for us.  He wants us to love each other on the journey. 

I spoke with a dear friend yesterday who reminded me just how much baggage we try to pack into that journey.  We add tasks, obstacles, and burdens to the journey that have nothing to do with the Father’s plan for redemption.  We require tasks that “assure” us that we have God’s favor when he offers it freely.  We demand that others observe certain rituals when the Father only wants us to love him. 

My story is one of unconditional positive regard from a Creator who loves me.  How about your Dear Reader?  Have you really pondered how much the Father assures you of his love no matter where you are?  I would love to hear that 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.”

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26 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – A Never Ending Story

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday my Son was trying to explain being related by blood to my Grandsons without getting too deep into the reproduction story.  He and I stumbled around it for a bit.  I do not know if we explained it to him well but it caused me to think about the ancestry about which I know.

My natural father was adopted by my paternal grandparents.  I do not really know my paternal family past my progenitor.  I know a great deal about my maternal family.  I know much about the history of my adoptive father’s family.  The stories involved around all three are interesting to me.

I think that what we lose is that every story is connected.  We are all related no matter how you think we got here.  We all have stories and they are connected.  From the beginning of man the story stretches through time until it reaches us.

When I ponder Jesus’ command to love our neighbors this comes into the conversation.  Even if I consider that it is only through our place in as humans we are all related in some way.  Jesus’ place in that story stretches to both ends of human history.

The never ending story that is redemption of man has at its center the love of Jesus.  If I tell my story I cannot tell it without either accepting or rejecting this.  I choose to accept it.  I desire to live it. 

It is a story about how our Creator went to the extreme to redeem us.  He made us and then he bought us.  We cannot tell our story without considering that we are all connected through our humanity.  The never ending aspect of that story is that we are also all connected through Christ.  If I believe this then I must treat everyone with love and respect.  It is what Christ wishes me to do.   

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.”

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25 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – There would be Kindness

Greetings Dear Reader,

Kindness is very important to me.  This part of my story is not about my being kind.  That is vital.  I want to focus for a moment on the kindness of Jesus.  I wonder if we truly ponder how kind Jesus is.

We see plenty of pejorative mocking in social media.  The poor examples of those who claim to follow Jesus are easy to find.  Heinous things done in his name bring shame to the history of the Church.  At times we are very poor examples of the kindness of Jesus.

It is the kindness that draws me to Christ.  His history is that of caring and compassion.  We see him feeding the poor, healing the sick, an d demanding that we do the same.  Everything about Jesus is a journey of kindness aimed at redemption. 

It is the kindness of Jesus that draws us to see his love and sacrifice for us.  It is the kindness that earns him the right to be heard.  He shows us his love by extending that love to us even when we reject him. 

If I tell you my story you would hear of the kindness of Jesus that draws me to him.  How about you Dear Reader?  Have you really seen the kindness that Christ presents?  Tell me a 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.”

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24 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – Mercy Wins

Greetings Dear Reader,

Justice must be served but the Father still wished for mercy to win.  Without mercy from the Father justice served leaves us all condemned.  I remember someone important to me once telling me that she did not wish for there to be consequences when she did wrong (no it was not my Daughter). 

There is always a consequence to what we do.  When I give lease to my anger, selfishness, or greed I do damage to others.  The results, whether small or great, are harmful.  The same is true with the Father.  Our failure demanded that we be separated from the Father. 

We do not really understand the nature of mercy in our culture.  If I tell you my story justice is served but mercy still wins.  It is the death of Christ that brings us the opportunity for mercy without violating the justice of the Father.  He sends the Son to die and rise so that we have the chance for mercy. 

Mercy is the necessary component to redemption that our pride resists.  It is the admission of our need for mercy that leads us to accepting it in faith through grace.  My story is filled with examples of mercy undeserved.  It is in that moment of realizing my need for mercy that I see so clearly the cost of my sin. 

My story requires mercy for there to be hope.    How about you Dear Reader?  Do you see your need for mercy?  Do you have a story to share with me?

Mercy – Matt Redman

I will kneel in the dust
at the foot of the cross,
where mercy paid for me.
Where the wrath I deserve,
it is gone, it has passed.
Your blood has hidden me.

Mercy, mercy,
as endless as the sea.
I'll sing Your hallelujah
for all eternity.

We will lift up the cup
and the bread we will break,
remembering Your love.
We were fallen from grace,
but You took on our shame
and nailed it to a cross.

Mercy, mercy,
as endless as the sea.
I'll sing Your hallelujah
for all eternity.

May I never lose the wonder,
oh, the wonder of Your mercy.
May I sing Your hallelujah.
Hallelujah, Amen.

May I never lose the wonder,
oh, the wonder of Your mercy.
May I sing Your hallelujah.
Hallelujah, Amen.
[repeat]

I will kneel in the dust
at the foot of the cross,
where mercy paid for 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.”

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23 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – Justice is Served

Greetings Dear Reader,

We live in a nation where justice is a cornerstone of our society.   Kipling refers to God as having abstract justice.  I find his justice to be very specific.  The Law of Moses meets out very specific penalties.  It is clear that there is a price for sin.  Overall that price is death.

We all owe a death.  It is the price for our own sin and separation from the Father.  One of the hindrances of our society is that we feel we do not owe this debt.  We think that we are autonomous from accountability to God.  I am not a “hell and damnation” kind of guy.  I am an accountability kind of guy. 

Freedom is not free.  It demands that there be a structure of law to support justice under that freedom.   Freedom without law leads to anarchy.   Law without justice leads to no freedom.  Freedom in Christ, redemption, and reclamation require that God’s justice be satisfied. 

Since the standard of justice is the righteousness of God my sin can only be paid for by one who is perfect.  This is what necessitates the incarnation and the crucifixion.   The death of the Soon is what satisfies the justice of the Father.   If I told you my story you see justice satisfied for me by Jesus.

In the story justice must be served.  We get that.  My story is one where I do not deserve the love and compassion of God.  Christ makes the way to that love, compassion, and forgiveness possible by his death and resurrection.  The Lenten season is a time for me to review the process.  Sin yields death.  That is the penalty demand by justice.  Jesus pays that penalty on our behalf.  His resurrection assures us that the Father has accepted that payment.  Our faith is the acceptance of that payment on our behalf. 

It really is that simple.  If I told you my store you would see justice that is satisfied.  How about you 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.”

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22 February 2016

Second Thoughts – A Story About Freedom

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.

We have so much freedom that we take for granted.   There is one particular freedom that requires our attention daily.  February 25, 2016 is the day this year where we call attention to the plague that is human trafficking.   The End It Movement wishes to call attention to the 27 Million humans that are in economic or sexual slavery in the world.

Whether it is using sex to sell the latest car, shampoo, or snack there is a problem.   Every time we use sex to sell a product we are shadow supporting human trafficking.  I realize that it is unpleasant to think of it this way but we use titillation to draw people in.

My adopted Daughter was a victim of human trafficking.  Every time someone supports pornography they are contributing to this awful industry.   When we accept any objectification of women we passively approve of the sale of humans.  There is very little that is gray about this. 

When we demand cheap offshore pricing of goods we are also adding to the support human slave labor.   I am not talking about the economic difference between our nation and third world countries.  I am talking about assuring that those who produce our offshore sourced goods are not slaves to a corporation or a nation. 

I realize that I sound very direct here.  It is one of the conditions in our world that angers me to my core.  I must realize and accept that I must love those who cause such strife.  I am still allowed to hate fervently what is done to other humans in the name of profit and lust.  Please find a way to help end this.  Please consider Dear Reader that passive acceptance of this is part of the problem. 

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.”
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If I Told You My Story – You Would Hear Freedom

Greetings Dear Reader,

We are tethered to things.   One of those is our fallen nature.  We sin.  If you think that you do not ask your family.   Jesus’ best friend John writes that if we “say we do not sin we lie and the truth is not in us.” 

One of the things we tend to forget is that we are not free.  We may be socially free because we live in a certain country.   We may live a lifestyle that makes us believe we are free from social mores or traditions.  We may even convince ourselves that we are free from accountability to the Father.

We are not free.  We belong to God.  He gives us freedom under certain conditions.  Please keep in mind that I believe we are created beings.  Freedom exits under constraints.  Total freedom is an illusion.   Christ has given us freedom form the penalty of our fallenness.  We are only free within Christ.

My story has freedom from drugs I used to abuse.  It has freedom from anger.  My desire to control used to control me but Jesus frees me from this (sometimes daily).  It is in Christ that we find freedom with obedience.  It is in Christ that we are free to be all that we are created to become. 

There are unspeakable things that I would become without freedom from it in Christ.  It is in following Jesus that our obedience leads to freedom.  I am free in Christ and a slave to sin outside of him.  If I told you my story you would hear freedom won for me by Christ’s submission to an undeserved death.   How about you Dear Reader?  Do you have a story of freedom?  I would love to hear it.

Joy in the Journey – Michael Card

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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21 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – There would be Victory

Greetings Dear Reader,

All good stories involve the pursuit of victory over something.   It is unfortunate that this word has been mostly co-opted by politicians and athletes.  We have enemies.   Some of them are quite subtle. 

Paul reminds us that we do not war against flesh and blood.  We are in a way pitched against both earthly and not earthly powers that seem bent on keeping us from doing two things.  They want us to refrain from loving God and from loving each other in the way that we should.

My story includes so many moments where I had to choose right from wrong.  I did not always choose right.  I still carry some of the scars form those poor choices.   It is in the big battel that we have the real victory.   It is in the war against evil that we are guaranteed the final win.

If I told you my story there would be many times where victory over evil seemed impossible but was achieved.   There are also times where I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.  I get in the way of winning so many times.   I think that I can arrange an outcome that is beyond me. 

The best way for my story to reflect the victory we have in Christ is that I follow faithfully.  I must live what I believe in this way.  I must obey knowing that Christ has the victory in hand.  He is constantly working out the end.  I must not interfere.  If I really believe this then I need fear nothing. 

Whom Shall I Fear – Chris Tomlin

ou hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory

Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I'm holding on to Your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I'm holding on to Your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

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.”
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20 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – Grace that is Greater

Greetings Dear Reader,

My story requires heaps of grace.  I flounder and fail.  I doubt and deny.  Not a day goes by where there are not a least moments where I fail to follow as I should.  I want to be perfect.   I want to never fail to love the Father and my fellow humans as I should.

The failures in my story require copious grace that is greater than all my sin.  Fortunately for me that grace exists.  If I speak of grace then I speak of a God who knows how much I need it and is willing to provide it.  He is willing to be hated, to be beaten, and to die to produce it.  

The journey through the Lenten season is not just about something to do whilst waiting for Holy Week.  It is the time to make space for God.  It is the time to embrace the grace that is given to us so that we can have love, life, and peace. 

I have a challenge for you Dear Reader.  I have just done the same.  Over three centuries ago John Newton realized that his life had been visited by God’s grace over and over because he was merely alive.  He had been a slave of slaves in Africa.  He is life had been one of Jonah quality running from the Father’s grace.  He came to the place where he could no longer deny its presence.

The challenge is to really listen to the words to John Newton’s immortal song, Amazing Grace.   I listened to seven different versions to find the one posted below.  It is not the best but contains all of the verses.  It is grace that gets us home from this long journey.  I value your thoughts Dear Reader.

Amazing Grace – John Newton – Performed by Chelsea Robinson

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

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.”

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19 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – If I Should Speak

Greetings Dear Reader,

I am a storyteller by nature, heart, and passion.  I love to tell stories.  I find great joy in bringing a listener to the moment of humor, tragedy, or joy in a a story.  I love watching a face discover where I am heading. 

If I told you my story there are many such moments.   Sheetrock on the Road has some of them for you.  If, however, you want to know what I really speak of it this.  Jesus is real and he loves us.  You will find no hatred in my writing.  I do not hat anyone.  I try to love everyone.  If I should speak it should be loving and kind.

Even as I sit here forming these words, my pipe stump clenched firmly but gently in my teeth, the names of those who need to be loved more clearly pop into my mind.   I think of a coworker who angry and hurting in a way that makes him more prickly pear than person.  He is still a person.  If I should speak to him it needs to be kind and gentle.  It needs to be strong and firm to wade through his wall of reticence.

If I should speak it must be with love in my heart for anyone to whom I speak.  My story continues because a man named Ray did that for me.  It does not matter how witty my words are or how well I craft a clever line.  It is worthless blather if I do not love those to whom speak.  My words must be encouraging and kind.  My stories must all be love stories in some way. 

If I should speak Dear Reader, it must be of all the things that lead back to the love of Christ. It must be of love that is in my heart for you.  It is the greatest thing that last.

One Thing Remains – Jesus Culture

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me
Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me
Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death and in life I'm confident and covered by the power of your great love
My debt is paid there's nothing that can separate my heart from your great love

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me
Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me
Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me

Feel free to hold every Christ follower to this standard Dear Reader…

First Corinthians 13:1-13   
I may speak in the languages of humans and of angels. But if I don't have love, I am a loud gong or a clashing cymbal. I may have the gift to speak what God has revealed, and I may understand all mysteries and have all knowledge. I may even have enough faith to move mountains. But if I don't have love, I am nothing.  I may even give away all that I have and give up my body to be burned. But if I don't have love, none of these things will help me.   Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn't jealous. It doesn't sing its own praises. It isn't arrogant.  It isn't rude. It doesn't think about itself. It isn't irritable. It doesn't keep track of wrongs.  It isn't happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth.  Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.   Love never comes to an end. There is the gift of speaking what God has revealed, but it will no longer be used. There is the gift of speaking in other languages, but it will stop by itself. There is the gift of knowledge, but it will no longer be used. Our knowledge is incomplete and our ability to speak what God has revealed is incomplete But when what is complete comes, then what is incomplete will no longer be used.  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways.  Now we see a blurred image in a mirror. Then we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete. Then I will have complete knowledge as God has complete knowledge of me.  So these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the best one of these is love.

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.”

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18 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – You would hear Life

Greetings Dear Reader,

Death is there to keep us honest.  It seems odd that the day on which I chose to write about this part of this topic I am awakened from a nightmare in which I died over and over again.  It was upon awaking and calming down that I realized that I was still alive.  Life will have its way. 

In Jurassic Part when Ian Malcom is explaining the nature of life he says, “If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh... well, there it is”

The Father needed life to win out.  Not just human life but eternal life.   I think we often forget that we are eternal beings.  We will die physically but our spirits are eternal.   The chose that life should overcome the grave.  

We have discussed that there came a point where life won out over death for me.  I have seen death in many ways over the years and I see clearly how intrusive it is.  Death, however, does not win.  My novel Chronicle of Thanatos sees Death as a personification walking through history.  My story is one of working daily to turn even death into a fighting chance to live.

Christ offers life and he offers it abundantly.   As we journey through the season of Lent we are reminded that we are on a path toward death that will overcome the grave.  We will remember that Jesus died and rose again.  My hope is built on this event.  My life is invested in it.

If I told you my story it would be that death is there to remind us of the life we have and can have.   It there to remind us that we are both free and not free.  We cannot keep Death from his certain visit to our soul.   We also can meet him with the certainty that he will not ultimately win.  My story is one that life has overcome the grave.  How about you Dear Reader?  Where in your story does life win?

Ghosts – Dan Fogelberg

Sometimes in the night I feel it
Near as my next breath and yet untouchable
Silently the past comes stealing
Like the taste of some forbidden sweet

Along the walls in shadowed rafters
Moving like a thought through haunted atmospheres
Muted cries and echoed laughter
Banished dreams that never sank in sleep

Lost in love and found in reason
Questions that the mind can find no answers for
Ghostly eyes conspire treason
As they gather just outside the door

And every ghost that calls upon us
Brings another measure in the mystery
Death is there to keep us honest
And constantly remind us we arn’t free

Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of days that we've left behind
Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of dreams that we left behind

Sometimes in the night I feel it
Near as my next breath and yet untouchable
Silently the past comes stealing
Like the taste of some forbidden sweet 

And every ghost that calls upon us
Brings another measure in the mystery
Death is there to keep us honest
And constantly remind us we are free

Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of days that we've left behind
Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of dreams that we left behind

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.”

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17 February 2016

Second Thoughts – Half Price Chocolate

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.

We all see the jokes on line about half price chocolate the day after Valentine’s Day.  My Daughter Christmas talked about it all week leading up to the event.  She has been ill so I elected to procure some discounted quality chocolate for her on Monday last.

As I stood in line at the merchant with an oversized, formerly overpriced heart-shaped box I was given several pithy comments.  One shopper observed to another that I must have “really screwed up” with my girl.  Another spoke directly to me offering that “a big box does not make up for being a day late.”

The pretty twenty-something cahier was less judgmental.  She inquired as to whether I just liked cheap expensive chocolate.   I thought her oxymoronic question charming.  I explained that my Daughter did and that she was too ill to venture out.  Her response was that she wished her dad loved her that much.  There was deep sadness in her eyes when she said it.

We endure some hard things to show love for others.  More often, however, we just go through odd things.  The negative assumptions of those who saw me with the giant heart box could not see my heart.   I got to share it with someone I encounter often.  I know I showed love to my Daughter.  I hope to get the same opportunity with this cashier.  She needs to see the Father’s love for her.  Perhaps I can help.

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.”
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If I Told You My Story – You Would Hear Love

Greetings Dear Reader,

Being just a few days past Valentine’s Day the word love has been beaten back and forth more than a badminton birdie.  Love has been pledged and accepted.  It has been professed and proven.  In too many cases that flame will fizzle.

We love a good love story.  We also love a good tragedy.   As humans we fail at love.  We give up.  We “fall out of love” as if it is something beyond our control.   Love is a choice.  When we commit our hearts we must control our minds. 

The story that we all yearn for is the one of love that never gives up on us.  I have given up on love when I should have fought for it.  I have had those who love me give up on me. But if I told you my story it would be about love that never gives up.

We all long for love that does not give up on us.  The hardest of us cannot truly resist unconditional love for overlong.  It is love that can overcome any barrier.  It is love that pursues us no matter where we run.  It crushes barriers and removes obstacles.

This love that never gives up is not always obvious.  In my story it came to me in form of a man who was not far from his own failure to love.  He still showed me unconditional love for my life and value when no one else cared to show it.  He reached out to me in a crowded room and did all that he could to show me that the love I needed was from the Father not any human. 

My story continued from the night I intended to end it because I was shown love that never gives up.  This is how I wish to love others but my brokenness and flaws sometimes get in the way.  The key is not in loving others perfectly.  It is in never giving up on loving them. 

We try each other.  We fail and test love.  The point is not being perfect it is never giving up on each other.  It is setting love as the hard deck and never going below it.  It is not trying to undo the past but rather determining that in every future moment that we are going to love with a purity that is insatiable. 

If I told you my story there would be moments where I fail and fall.  There would also be moments where I get back up determined to live the love that has be given to me by Christ.  He has never given up on me so I will never give up trying to love as he does.  It is why I love you so deeply 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.”

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16 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – You would hear Hope

Greetings Dear Reader,

Things in the mirror are closer than they appear.   They always are.  When Paul is trying to teach us about love he ends with this:  Three things abide; faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.

We usually skip right to the love which is his point.   We do need to realize that hope abides until it is realized (redundancy intended).  My story contains hope but there was a time when I refused to see it.  I have written about how I had carefully planned to end my life. 

Then hope was closer than I thought.  It was close enough to pick me up by the scruff of my neck and remind me that love abides and I need to have faith.  It kicked all my self-pity and doubt to the curb.  Hope transitioned from the meek feeling of my Christmas wish list to a raging Hulk smashing my puny despair. 

The hope that allowed my story to continue is not one that is passive or meek.  It pursues like a hound of heaven demanding that we stay on the path; nipping at our heels to continue the story.  It drives us to continue the journey without forgetting that it is always there.

Some day hope will be realized.  I will no longer have to have hope that Christ has all things in hand.  Some moment will become the moment when hope is actualized.  It may be my passing or Christ’s return.  No matter what my story contains hope.  It is built on nothing less than ”Jesus love and righteousness.“   His return is always closer than it appears.  How about you Dear Reader, how does hope figure in your 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.”

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15 February 2016

If I Told You My Story – Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

We all have a story.  Every story has common threads.  We are all conceived and born.  Even that has variants in how it occurs.  Everyone has his or her own unique story.  There is a tale to tell that is interesting.  I have shared some of mine in my new book Sheetrock on the Road

We meet most people in the middle of the journey.  We can learn of the miles that have come before and share part of the future if we are privileged to do so.  We learn of the comic and the tragic; the love and loss.   We see needs and dreams in others.   We wonder at or are dismissive of others.  We love, hate, envy, and admire.

What are the common threads?  If I told you my story what would resonate with you?  I have successes and failures.  I have moments of selfishness and selflessness.   There is great good and great sin.   What is it in my story that matters?

I am not talking about the anecdotes, sketches, and narratives that make up my history.  Rather I am looking into the things that matter.  If I told you my story and only touched on the things that matter eternally there is still much to tell.  Most of it is none of my doing but rather what was done for me.

The things that are important are also common.  They lead to a common truth.  They lead to need and satisfaction.   Let us make a fire and chat for a bit about my story whilst I seek to assure that I honor the parts of it that matter.  As always I wish to hear your story as well Dear Reader.

My Story – Big Daddy Weave

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn't mine

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
And if I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life overcome the grave

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins

Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long

For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell
For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long

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.”

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14 February 2016

This is the Stuff…

Greetings Dear Reader,

…that drives me crazy.

I could so easily list all the things over which I obsess.  I could also ponder the things that irritate me without cause.  There is no point in so doing as it is only going to cause me to obsess or be irritated.

There are, however, things that cause me to struggle against being irritated by or being irritating to others.  The problem is that this leads to it being difficult to be loving to others.  I have realized afresh that the little irritations can be fodder for becoming a better man.

I can turn chances for irritation into opportunities to love others.  I can use them to deal in grace and mercy.  I can avail myself of further grace to be understanding and kind.  It is in these moments I can make the choice to be a better version of myself.

All this stuff is geared to give us these opportunities.  The minor irritations in life are chances to hone our skills at love and kindness. They are meant to make us more gracious and understanding.  If I can master this in the small irritations I am better prepared for doing the same in the larger life challenges.

Practicing kindness and grace develops the spiritual muscle memory.  It needs to reflexive to be understanding and kind.  It must be habitual to promote patience over irritation.   The stuff that drives me crazy must drive me toward Christ.  It is what he uses.


This Is the Stuff – Francesca Battistelli

I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please 'cause I can't find my phone

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this the stuff You use

45 in a 35 sirens and fines
While I'm running behind
Whoa ho ho

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess,
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this the stuff You use

So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I've got a new appreciation
It's not the end of the world
Whoa ho ho ho

Oooooh this is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff
Someone save me
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this the stuff You use

Whoa whoa ho ho
This is the stuff You use.

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.”

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13 February 2016

Singleness Awareness Day

Greetings Dear Reader,

Be assured this is not a rant against this celebration day (it is not a holy day so not a holiday).   Neither is it a diatribe against love, dating, or chocolate.  I happen to be very fond of all three.

I am having difficult time this year with the being alone part of Valentine’s Day.  I know all the standard reassurances and I believe that the Father knows what he is doing in caring for me in this area of my life. 

It is the feelings with which I am struggling.  Sharing those feelings is difficult because everyone thinks they know what I need to hear.   Everyone has an answer that is directed toward trusting God or reassuring me that I am a good guy and there is someone for me. 

None of this is new to me.  It is rather that there seems no one with whom I can address my feelings and get genuine understanding.  I refuse to use women to get my carnal and social needs met.  There is still, however, the long dark each night.  There are still the moments when I need a gentle touch or to share my heart with someone who gets me.

Living alone is still not something I do well half a year into it.  So this year as the day we celebrate romance approaches this romantic finds it difficult to endure.  Still in the midst of that I find the opportunity to increase my faith and renew my trust in the Father.  I know that he knows my needs.  I also know that he cares.   

My questions are not asked in doubt or anger.  They are born in faith that there are answers whether I like them or not.  I value that it gives me deeper understanding and empathy for those in a similar circumstance.  It does make me aware that there are those who need my compassion when they feel similar things.

There is no brilliant point or great direction here Dear Reader.  There is only the need to express my thoughts and questions in a way strengthens my faith and following as well as being genuine with 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.”

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12 February 2016

Loving My Enemies – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

So who hates us Dear Reader?  Who wants to see us dead?  Are there people who wish to harm you physically or socially?  Since we are not allowed to declare others as our enemy we can only consider those who self-identify as such to be our enemies.

We are left to choose how we will treat those who treat us with contempt or hatred.  We are commanded to love our enemies.  Putting hands and feet on this requires both faith and will.  It demands that we go beyond passive forgiveness and grace. 

We must not resist an enemy but again that is not enough.  We must seek their well-being in prayer and action.  We must seek peace and if necessary make provision for their needs.  We must go beyond the human response and whenever we can embrace the divine one.

I must be ever kinder.  I must be more loving.  I must assure that all my actions move toward grace and peace.  There is no argument worth harming another.  There is no cause for which killing is the right answer.  I know that others will present circumstances where the human response seems logical or right.

I posit this:  what if as one Christ followers obeyed the command to pray for our enemies.  What are the possibilities?  Do we really believe that the Father will intervene?  As with all things it seems that loving our enemies becomes a matter of faith.  I welcome your thoughts 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.”

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11 February 2016

Loving My Enemies – Be Perfect

Greetings Dear Reader,

Jesus ends the discussion with a reminder that we are to be perfect.   It seems that loving our enemies the way the Father wishes us to is to find completeness.  We are the most like him when we love our enemies. 

We cannot be perfect.  We are flawed and fallen.   We can constantly perfect our responses and actions to reflect love for anyone in our path.  The path or the journey back to the Father is always best defined by how we love others. 

It is not that we can be perfect like the Father.  Jesus wants us to see all things we do in light of the Father’s perfection.  The standard is the Father.  The truth is that as we all move back toward the Father we gain cohesion in the journey by loving others.   

That which perfects us is acting out of love.  That which makes us great is not power or possessions.  It is our love for each other.   It is our sacrifice and endurance in the name of love. What we need to collect is not enemies but perfected love.

I must refine my love of others.  I must refine my ability to show love to others no matter what the cost.  It is in this that I can show my faith and following.  How about your Dear Reader?  Will you take up the challenge?  Will you crush barriers with unconditional love of others?  Together we can accomplish much.

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.”

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