31 May 2016

Breathing Salt Air – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

The journey back from the sea was long.  I had many hours to ponder on the drive back.  It was a good time but I think that all of were touched by the siren call of the sea.  Having lived by the sea I know that call too well.

Here in my single dwelling there are not constant waves or shore bird calls.  Summer is short here and I am sure that in January I will again long for warm sands.  The memory of how much I love the sea had faded but with my first sight of it that love returned.

I was reminded of the vastness of the world and how small I am in it.  I was able to see people learn to love the sea.  I was able to see a part of the world that motivates me to free to write and be wherever I wish.

I have no complaints about a day job today.  It is a good job where I get to make a difference.  As with the sea there is constant change there.  The constant for me is the one I follow.  The fulcrum in the void is that Christ is always there. 

At the sea or in the frozen north in mid-winter I have the same journey.  I must follow.  It could be that my path will lead back to the sea on some permanent level.  Wherever I am drawn I will only go if I am sure I am following Christ.

For now I will return to the work I do energized and restored.  It is in the work that I find motivation to be more and to follow more closely.  It is in the journey that I find joy and peace.  This is true no matter where I am.

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 May 2016

Breathing Salt Air - Traveling

Greetings Dear Reader,

We are driving sixteen hours today.  I will catch up with you tomorrow (Sunday)

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 May 2016

Breathing Salt Air - Fleeting Fear

Greetings Dear Reader,

I am a fish.  No I have not lost my mind or become delusional.  I swim.  I have since I was three.  My Children all swim well.  I am teaching my Grandsons this week. 

One of them expressed serious fear of the water.  He would not go where he could not stand unless someone was holding him.  Then he moved past where he could stand when no adults were right next to him.  He was calling for help, freaking out, and swimming.

It is that way with fear.  We are afraid and we conquer it or it becomes part of our lives.  I am determined that my Grandsons will not fear the water.  I will assure that they respect it, but not fear it. 

There are fears I must conquer if I am to make the last act successful.  Facing them and killing them is the only way through.  The only way out is through.  It is fear that tries to hinder us from being what we can be.  It is fear that aims to destroy us. 

There will be many things on the journey that try to scare me off the path.  It is giving in to them that is dangerous.  It is listening that puts us in danger.  I must follow without fear wherever Christ leads.  If my eyes are fixed on the Christ the rest will be as it should be.

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 May 2016

Breathing Salt Air – Ghost Crab Rehab

Greetings Dear Reader,

For those of you who do not know what a Ghost Crab is, they are small crabs that burrow in the sand.  They are very quick and quite nocturnal.  Chasing them om the beach at night is a practice that I have enjoyed since I was a wee lad.

Yesterday we needed to return a Ghost Crab to the beach.  It was quite important to my younger Grandson that he witness the rescue of this crab.  He is very concerned for all the sea life we encounter.  There was a bit of tension when I cooked the Blue Claw Crab we caught.

I suppose that if not a sparrow falls without the Father noticing this care applies to Ghost Crabs as well.  We released the crab and he skittered away in the sand.  The moment did remind me just how much the Father does to reclaim us.  He went to great lengths to arrange our redemption.  He cares deeply for us.

We are in need of rescue even though we may not admit it.  I know that my Grandson’s care for all living things has been a welcome reminder of it.  It is what allows us to make the journey home.  It is what makes the journey possess any potential for joy.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

25 May 2016

Breathing Salt Air – Drops of Jupiter

Greetings Dear Reader,

Most of this time has been beautiful.  It fills me with joy to watch my Grandsons enjoy the water.  Seeing them interact with others is amazing.  They are kind and generous to everyone around them.

A bit of dimness in the bright Florida sun has been the constant reminder that I no longer have a fellow traveler.  I am not blaming anyone but I do not know how to solve the problem.  I refuse to indulge in vices that dull the pain.  There is too much chronic substance abuse in my past to even put a toe on that path.

Still the things that a traveler needs are not there.  I also refuse to use women to satisfy my needs so I cannot “hook up” for the physical aspects of my loneliness.  I have gained a clear understanding of the things in me that drive others away.  I may have learned it too late to find someone willing to risk walking with me.

It is not that I will not travel alone if need be.  It is that I would prefer not to do so.  It is that the journey is so much more difficult when you walk with the knowledge that who you are is patently unrewarding to those who promised to love you and stay by your side no matter what. 

The sea always reminds me of this.  Perhaps that is why I do not return too often.  The last time I was hear my fellow traveler was already planning to leave me and I did not know it.  As the sea rolls in its constant symphony of waves it reminds me that it too is a love that I cannot hold. 

I look up a Jupiter and also spot Venus and Mars.  A song pops into my head and the tears come.  Even in this moment where I feel so surrounded and alone all at once I must travel on.  I must follow even if this place in me is never touched again. 


Now that she's back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there's a time to change, hey, hey, hey
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey,

hey, hey

But tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way
To see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?

Tell me, did you fall from a shooting star?
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me
While you were looking for yourself out there?

Now that she's back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation, hey
She checks out Mozart while she does Tae-Bo
Reminds me that there's room to grow, hey

Now that she's back in the atmosphere
I'm afraid that she might think of me as
Plain ol' Jane told a story about a man
Who was too afraid to fly so he never did land

But tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance
To dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way?

And tell me, did Venus blow your mind?
Was it everything you wanted to find?
And did you miss me
While you were looking for yourself out there?

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you
Even when I know you're wrong?

Can you imagine no first dance, freeze-dried romance
Five-hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had, and me?

But tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance
To dance along the light of day
And head back toward the Milky Way?
But tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way
To see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?

And tell me, did you fall from a shooting star?
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me
While you were looking for yourself?

na na na na na na na na na na na na na

And did you finally get the chance
To dance along the light of day?
na na na na na na na na na na
And did you fall from a shooting star?
Fall from a shooting star?
na na na na na na na na na
And were you lonely looking for yourself out there?

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 May 2016

Second Thoughts – Breathing Salt Air – Proving I was Here

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.

Yesterday my Daughter,, Christmas asked me to take some photos of her at the beach.  She is the family photographer so this is an important thing to do for her.  She wanted to assure that there was proof that she was here.

We all know she was here but since she takes the pictures she is rarely in them..   I clicked away on my phone.  My approach to photography is spray and pras.  I take dozens of the same shot and pray for one or two good ones.  In this effort I was successful.  We have solid evidence that she was with us. 

As I pondered the sky tonight I wondered what would mark that I was here.  What have I done that will tell those behind me on the journey that I passed this way?  My hope is that it is kindness and love that leave the mark.  I hope some of my writing survives me.  Will my great great Grandsons know who I am,?  I am unsure.

All I can do is follow and be in the picture when I am invited.  I can love and give.  I cannot control anything else.  After all it is the Father who will determine the level to which I need to be remembered.  Hopefully it is in his image that I am seen.

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 ͡°)



Breathing Salt Air – Drops in the Ocean

Greetings Dear Reader,

An aspect of sea for me is the vastness of it.  Planet Ocean seams more appropriate than Planet Earth.  They kicked out Pluto from the planet club then perhaps we can get a thing going to rename our big blue marble.   I was explaining this to my Grandson he puzzled on it for quite some time.  Later in the day he explained that when he grows up and is a scientist he will figure how many drops are in the ocean. 

It occurred to me that the love and grace of the Father are like this.  The amount that I comprehend is merely a drop in the ocean of love and grace.  There is enough love and grace in the Father for each of us and beyond.  The Father imparts our ability to show love and grace in the measure that we need and above.  It is supposed to be our stock and trade.

When we put limitations on the love of the Father we follow a path that ends in sorrow and loss.  Whether it is through discipline, provision, or guidance the Father dispenses love to us at every moment.  I need to be part of creating an ocean of love and grace that sweeps us all up in its tidal change.

Drops In Ocean – Hawk Nelson

I want you as you are, not as you ought to be
Won't you lay down your guard and come to me
The shame that grips you now is crippling
It breaks my heart to see you suffering

Cause I am for you
I'm not against you

If you wanna know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If you wanna see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I'd say you are forgiven
It's more than the drops in the ocean

Don't think you need to settle for a substitute
When I'm the only love that changes you

And I am for you
I'm not against you
I am for you
I'm not against you

If you wanna know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If you wanna see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I'd say you are forgiven
It's more than the drops in the ocean

Open your heart
It's time that we start again
Open your heart
It's time that we start again

If you wanna know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If you wanna see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I'd say you are forgiven
It's more than the drops in the ocean
The drops in the ocean

I am for you
I'm not against you
I am for you
I'm not against 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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

23 May 2016

Breathing Salt Air – Moon Glow

Greetings Dear Reader,

It was a wonderful reminder of the sea that our first full day was also a full moon tide.  Low and high tide were magnificent.  The water has had a light chop but no real big waves.  This morning it is grey and flat.  The air smells like salty rain.

It is interesting to be reminded how other relax.  I prefer to be in the water.  My older Grandson likes to stand on the edge of the surf and the younger is determined to excavate the entire beach.  He and my daughter built a race track in the sand.  It was still standing when I went out to view Mars and the full moon last night.

This is all just an reminder of the infinite diversity that is in Christ.  Too often his followers focus on the differences instead of the commonality.  Here everyone is seeking to disconnect and relax.  In Christ we should know each other by our love. 

My younger Grandson observed, “Everybody is here to be at the beach.  That’s all.”  It is in this simplicity that I am reminded that we are all on the same journey.  We are all headed back to the Father.  Under the full moon last night and the grey skies this morning the journey remains the same.  I will follow.

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 May 2016

Breathing Salt Air – Reunions and Reminders

Greetings Dear Reader,

We arrived in the evening and I was both road-weary and excited.  Our other family who are staying with us arrived from Atlanta.  We dined at the café’ across the street.  It was quite good. 

The best part of the evening had to be the seamless reunion of loved ones. This morning, however, as I am the only one astir it is the sea that calls me.  Warm air and a light breeze were my companions as I walked and prayed.  I was reminded of the vast power that the ocean holds and of the power that created it. 

Gulls, pelicans, and sandpipers remind me that the diversity of creation is just a sample of that power.  It is the Creator that I must worship and not all the beauty of creation.  As the day unfolds it is in this time that I will find my compass direction for the next step.  It is in this place that I will make choices about where the Father calls me next. 

More important it is where I am reminded that the one I follow is the one who created all of this beauty.  He is the place I must always be.  In him in every moment is the rest and peace we all crave.  I have an ocean of opportunity but it will only be realized in following Christ will all my heart.

Cool Change – Little River Band

If there's one thing
In my life that's missing
It's the time that I spend alone
Sailing on the cool
And bright clear water

Lots of those friendly people
They're showing me ways to go
And I never want to
Lose their inspiration

Time for a cool change
I know that it's time for a cool change
Now that my life is so prearranged
I know that it's time for a cool change

Well, I was born in the sign of water
And it's there that I feel my best
The albatross and the whales
They are my brothers

It's kind of a special feeling
When you're out on the sea alone
Staring at the full moon like a lover

Time for a cool change
I know that it's time for a cool change
Now that my life is so prearranged
I know that it's time for a cool change

I've never been romantic
And sometimes, I don't care
I know it may sound selfish
But let me breathe the air

Yeah, yeah
Let me breathe the air

If there's one thing
In my life that's missing
It's the time that I spend alone
Sailing on the cool
And bright clear water

It's kind of a special feeling
Out on the sea alone
Staring at the full moon
Like a lover

Time for a cool change
I know that it's time for a cool change
Now that my life is so prearranged
I know that it's time for a cool change

It's time, it's time
It's time, it's time
For a cool, cool change
(Time for a cool change)
I know it's time for a cool change
(Time for a cool change)
Now that my life is so prearranged
Well, I know, I know
I know, I know
(Time for a cool change)
It's time for a cool change
Yes, it is, yes, it is yes, it is
You know it's time for a cool change

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

21 May 2016

Breathing Salt Air – Road Trip Reminder

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things I love is driving.  I like road trips and was sorely in need of one.  I am impressed with how well my Grandson’s (4 and 5 years old respectively) travel.  They are energetic and wiggly but there were not many complaints.  So far there has only been one “are we there yet?”.

My Daughter, Christmas has been asleep most of the trip thus far but we will see what the day brings.  The most precious piece of this thus far has been watching my Son, Maxim interact with his Sons.  He talks with them.  He listens to them.  Even when he has to be firm with them it is thundering velvet.

We will hit the road again soon.  The sea beacons and the waves already whisper in my brain.  I am already relaxed and enjoying the journey.  I received a clear reminder of just how intently and lovingly my Father in heaven listens to me.

I always speak to him when I drive.   I speak to him about the family sleeping in the car around me.  I will be thanking him today for time with them.  I will be thanking him for using me Son to remind me how much he loves me.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

20 May 2016

Breathing Salt Air – Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Later today I will leave for a much needed vacation.  My family is gathering at the seaside for some time of respite.  I have not been to the ocean in some time and it always quiets me. 

I am going to be a little more free verse than planned thinking in this series of entries.  One of the processes that I value highly whilst at the ocean is morning prayer by the power of waves.  “They that go down to the sea in ships, and do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.”

As I travel with my family I do so with a heart full of love.  I am excited that we will be introducing my Grandsons to the majesty of the sea.  I am also thankful for the provision of the Father that we can take this journey.

Please travel with me Dear Reader.  You are part of the joy in all my journeys.


They that go down to the sea in ships,
And do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord,
These see the works of the Lord,
And His wonders in the deep.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
And do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord,
These see the works of the Lord,
And His wonders in the deep.

And He is with us, with us always.
Jesus is with us, with us always.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
And do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord,
These see the works of the Lord,
And His wonders in the deep.

And He is with us, with us always.
Jesus be with us, be with us always.
Jesus be with us, be with us always.
Jesus be with us, be with us always.

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 May 2016

Meat and Bones – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

It is far too easy to load the Gospel with things that Christ never intended.  We like the Pharisees do too much to burden the journey with Christ.  The journey is meant to be light.  It is vital that we only keep the meat of the Gospel.

Any instance that adds to grace, mercy, and love is not part of follow Christ.  We cannot earn favor with God.  We cannot add to the commandments of the Father.  We cannot ignore the vital nature of the Gospel of redemption by neglecting the basics.

As I keep moving in the journey I must not add to the things Christ expects of us.  I must not put my preferences ahead of the necessary.  I must do all that Christ commands and not burden anyone with things that are outside of those commands.

It is in faith and following that life is found.  It is in obedience and submission to Christ that freedom exists.  The joy in the journey is not carrying anything other than that which Christ bids me carry.  I will not, however, forget that one of those things is a cross. 

East to West – Casting Crowns

Here I am, Lord, and I'm drowning in your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don't want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight
I know You've cast my sin as far as the east is from the west
And I stand before You now as though I've never sinned
But today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
'cause I can't bear to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

I start the day, the war begins, endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again Your truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in
Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

I know You've washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I'm not holding on to You, but You're holding on to me
You're holding on to me

Jesus, You know just how far the east is from the west
I don't have to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
One scarred hand to the other
From one scarred hand to the other.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

18 May 2016

Meat and Bones – Church

Greetings Dear Reader,

One cannot discuss the church without considering that its history is full of failures and atrocities.  I would submit that we do not have the capacity to fail to fail.  We are fallen and flawed. 

The reason that the church does these things is that it puts human things above the divine.  When we begin to focus on things that are not part of the Gospel we find ourselves using and abusing others to accomplish our purposes.

The church is supposed to be known for its service and love.  It is to be seen as an imprint of Christ.  Everything about what we do is supposed to be for the purpose of helping others and showing love.  Anything else is either gravy or bones.

Too often we put the social and political aspects of the church ahead of the Gospel.  The church is vital and has a necessary place in the lives of Christ followers.  When it steps out of the intended role there will always be problems.

I must assure that I never give up on the church.  I must also assure that I do not embrace things that are outside of the Gospel just because a church says to do so.  If Christ is not the center then the path is skewed and the journey in peril.

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 May 2016

Meat and Bones – Giving

Greetings Dear Reader,

First I would be clear that giving time, talent, effort, and funds to the Gospel is a good thing.  These things are opportunities to share the generosity that is part of the Gospel.  It is truly better to give than to receive.

That said, there are aspects of giving that have nothing to do with following Christ.  Instead these aspects are contrary to what Christ calls us to be as his followers.  The bones of giving do much more damage than good.

The first of these is coerced giving.  Whenever we give out of guilt or manipulation we are not doing so out of the fullness of our hearts.  The organizations that use these methods to promote giving are not representing an honest view of following Christ.

We must also not push people to give to merit God’s favor.  We already covered that.  We cannot earn God’s favor in any way.  We cannot give all we have and earn a moment of favor.  Giving does not buy us anything from God.

Giving must be done out of love.  We must give because we want to show love to others.  We must give because we do not wish other to go without.  We give out of gratitude for the blessings provided to us by the Father.

It will be said that all the church cares about is money.  At times that allegation is true.  When you look deeper you will find Christ followers who give from the heart.  That is what I must be.  I must give our of love for 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 ͡°)

16 May 2016

Meat and Bones – Favor

Greetings Dear Reader,

I remember how much I wished to earn the favor of adults when I was a child.  I had no idea how elusive that would prove to be in my family.  I also had no idea how taxing my creativity and lack of inhibition would prove for the adults charged with caring for me.

It seems that my younger self would do almost anything to earn positive regard from adults.  It also seems that earning favor seems to be futile cycle.  One gets the positive regard based on what one does but then the security of that moment wears away.

Earned favor does not last.  This is why earning favor from God is not an option.  This is why the Father gives us unmerited favor.  He loves us unconditionally.  He provides grace and mercy and Christ’s expense so that we have free access to him via our aforementioned faith. 

Throughout the centuries the church has tried to impose mechanisms to earn God’s favor.  Most of those have been in order to control what others do relative to faith.  Using the Father as a tool to manipulate others may be the highest form of taking God’s name in vain.  He never asked us to earn his favor.  He paid the highest price to prove that we already have it.

The meat of the matter is that the Father wants only the best for us.  He does not demand that we earn his favor.  He asks only that we follow his Son in faith in the light of the favor he has already granted.  If we walk in the light as he is in the light we have real fellowship.  It is in this that we find the acceptance we crave freely given and filled with 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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

15 May 2016

Meat and Bones – Foundations

Greetings Dear Reader,

There is an essential element to following Christ.  One of the things we do is fail to get the basics right.  Those foundations, if properly built will assure that what is put on them is enduring.

The essential foundations for following Christ are faith follow by obedience to Christ’s commands.  They are so simple.  We are the ones who muck it up with extra baggage.  We are the ones who add to the very basics of the Gospel.

Jesus asks us to accept him by faith.  We demand proof.  He asks us to follow in faith.  He asks us believe.  He did many things to show his original followers his power and authority.  He also points out it is more beneficial for us if we have faith.

It is in that faith that we are to obey his commands.  They are very simple.  We are to love God and love each other.  Everything that follows is to be built on these foundations.   The implications of that are vast.

If I embrace faith and only do, out of that faith, things that are acts of love toward God and others then it changes much.   Those motivations can strip away selfishness and greed.  They diminish the need for power and control.  This can be the meat that sustains us on the journey.

If we honestly look at all the trappings that we have built around “Christianity”  it can become clear that we much more bone than meat.  It can be easy to see that we do not embrace this simple foundation enough.

I must build only on this foundation.  Anything else will not stand.  I must follow in faith by loving the Father and all those he has created.  On all of this rests the law and the prophets.

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 May 2016

Meat and Bones – Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Several people in my family enjoy a big bucket of fried chicken.  We all acknowledge that it is not a very healthy meal but it is always finger licking good.  An aspect of this that amazes me is the vast volume of bones at the end of the meal.

Some of my family leave bones that seem to have never been associated with meat.  Others will it the easy meaty bits and then be criticized by the bone cleaners.  In either case I do not see any one eating the bones.  They are discarded no matter how clean they are.

It is so easy to see that we do not need to eat chicken bones.  We do not so easily throw out the bones when it comes to faith and practice.  In matters of faith and following Christ there are things that are essential and vital.  There are also many more things optional, not required, or absolutely wrong.

I want to think through a few of these things measuring my journey against them so that I assure I do not confuse obedience and preference.  I do not wish to infuse truth with opinion.  Neither do I intend to presume to tell anyone else what they must believe or do. 

I would value you thoughts and questions as we walk this part of the path.  I have no new or profound truth to offer.  I do, however, enjoy your company 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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13 May 2016

I AM – Closing Thought - And They All Fell Down

Greetings Dear Reader,

Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to him. So he went to meet them and asked, "Who are you looking for?" They answered him, "Jesus from Nazareth." Jesus told them, "I AM." Judas, who handed him over, was standing with the crowd.  When Jesus told them, "I AM," the crowd backed away and fell to the ground.

Try to imagine this moment with me Dear Reader.  Soldiers and Priests come with Judas to the garden.  They are there to arrest Jesus.  Instead of just Jesus they find the other apostles, the women who were with them, and Jesus.  Judas points out which one is Jesus with a kiss. 

Jesus asks who they seek, already knowing what it next.  The soldiers and priests need their skulduggery to have a semblance of propriety.  They announce that they seek Jesus of Nazareth.  Jesus does the honest thing.   He announces who he is.

In that moment of self-revelation something happens.  In that moment he leaves no doubt as to who he is.  In the time it takes to speak two words (only one in Hebrew) and in fact only two syllables he gives them a glimpse.   Jesus speaks, “I AM”.   He speaks the name that was given Moses on the mountain.  He speaks the very essence of the Creator.

For a single moment they are confronted with the very presence of God in the form of a rustic carpenter.  The Avatar lifts the veil and the humans fall down.  He could have wiped them out then and there with a thought.  He could have demanded that they see him for who he is. 

Instead he heals an enemy that is wounded by a friend.  He continues to love the man who handed him over.  He gives a brief opportunity for them to see him and believe. Then he walks away with them to die.  The eternal present heads into the future to fulfill all the things he claims to be and to redeem us to eternity out of time.

This is the I AM that I follow.  You should get to know him Dear Reader.

God’s Own Fool – Michael Card

Seems I've imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God's Holy wisdom is foolish to men
He must have seemed out of His mind

For even His family said He was mad
And the priests said a demon's to blame
But God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane

When we in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
When we in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong
And so we follow God's own fool
For only the foolish can tell-
Believe the unbelievable
And come be a fool as well

So come lose your life for a carpenter's son
For a madman who died for a dream
And you'll have the faith His first followers had
And you'll feel the weight of the beam

So surrender the hunger to say you must know
Have the courage to say I believe
For the power of paradox opens your eyes
And blinds those who say they can see
When we in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
When we in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong
And so we follow God's own fool
For only the foolish can tell-
Believe the unbelievable
And come be a fool as well

So we follow God's own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable,
And come be a fool as well

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 May 2016

I AM – The Vine

Greetings Dear Reader,

"I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can't produce anything without me.”

The great truth here is that we are an extension of Christ in the world.  It is mutual.  We are in Christ and he is in us growing our effectiveness.  As we follow and draw closer we become more a reflection of what he offers the world. 

It is the connected nature of the life in Christ that matters.  It is about unity and growth and infinite diversity all living in harmony.  It is harmonization of effort to bring the world back to good. 

An aspect of this that drives me is that the branch cannot survive disconnected from the vine.  From the vine it draws its sustenance to produce fruit.  From the vine it finds the strength to grow, flower, and produce.  It is our duty to grow and reproduce.  It is my obligation to be an extension of Christ making life.

We are bound to Christ and that is where we should be.  It is in him that we find life and the power to extend it through him.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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11 May 2016

I AM - The Way, the Truth, and the Life - Life

Greetings Dear Reader,

Just a few days ago we pondered life relative to the Resurrection.  What I also consider here is the value of all life.  I often feel that life is valued less in the world.  We devalue life I so many ways. 

We have turned life into a disposable thing.  We dispose of it in the name of rights and choice.  We take for the sake of economy and oil.  We turn a blind eye to massacres in unimportant parts of the world.  We allow people to starve when our larders are full.

So much of what we do involves life and whether or not it has quality.  It is humans that matter.  We must care for the rest of life in the world but we must not lose the value of every human life that draws breath.  It is in this that we gain the opportunity to show the truth and the way.

Jesus came to give life.  We are the ones who deal so readily in death.  Even if we are passive we contribute to the loss of respect for life.  We must be constantly at war with death.  We must fight for life in every aspect.  We must make a way for others to live.  It is what we are called to do as followers.

Life is the first gift that the Father gives.  When we do not value it we do not value the Father.  The way and the truth are to follow Christ in seeking to support, protect, and enhance life.  If I hope to follow well I must be sure to do this.

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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10 May 2016

I AM - The Way, the Truth, and the Life - Truth

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things that a passing view of Jesus neglects is that he clearly claims to be God.  In this particular instance he claims to be “…the truth.”   This word is such an elusive thing in a broken world. 

Jesus is telling us he is objective truth.  He is what is true in any matter under consideration.  He is in truth and according to truth what is true.  He is reality, fact, and certainty.  He is the fulcrum of truth in things pertaining to God, the duty of man, and matters of faith. 

The God/man, in the greatest latitude offers us true notions of God.  He demonstrates who he is both through supernatural works and practical living of the Father’s commands.  When we deny him we deny truth. 

Pilate asked him the profound question, “What is truth?”  Unfortunately he did not wait to hear the answer.  He did not really listen to the words that prompted the question.  Jesus made it clear that those who seek the truth hear his voice. 

Our culture sees truth as a malleable thing.  I cannot avoid Christ and find the truth.  It is in following Christ that I follow truth.  It is in him that the answers are found.  He is the truth and does not need our agreement for it to be so.  It is thus with all truth.  If we seek the truth with integrity we will find it in him.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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09 May 2016

I AM – The Way, the Truth, and the Life - Way

Greetings Dear Reader,

“Jesus answered him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me.’”

Thomas has just expressed his anxiety that he does not know the way to the Father’s kingdom.  Were the kingdom something that could be earned or merited Jesus has prime opportunity to say so.  Instead he makes it clear that he is the way.

Once again I realize it is not popular to say this but Jesus says that no one comes to the Father except through him.  A friend once flippantly expressed this question, “What if I do not want to get to the Father?””  I will never be a “hell-fire and brimstone” person.  Instead I see that Jesus does not force people to accept him. 

It seems that if one does not follow Christ then he will not demand that one to be with him.  He gives us what we desire.  He does not promise satisfaction in this but makes it clear that through him is the way to the Father.  It is the way to all that the Father offers.

It is popular to say that all faiths are the same.  It is dishonest to say that Jesus does not say he is the only way.  We cannot water this down and be honest.  We must also say it with humility.  It is not a weapon.  It is a humble offer to provide a way out of the fallenness of the world. 

John will write later that if we say we are not fallen that we lie and that we do not know the truth.  That is what we will ponder tomorrow.  Today I must assure that my following is only focused on Jesus. 

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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08 May 2016

I AM - The Resurrection and the Life - Life

Greetings Dear Reader,

I did not plan for this writing to occur on Mother’s Day but here it is.  All human life flows from the Father through mothers.  As with all things human there is joy and sorrow in having children.  But as is designed all of our lives begin with a mother.

It is life that matters.  It is to have life that is abundant that we seek.  Jesus claims to be that life.  In that life is freedom.  In that life is the answer to everything.  I realize that sounds puerile but simplicity does not mean it is not true.

Paul writes that “in him (Jesus) we live and move and have our being.”  All life proceeds from God whether we acknowledge it or not.  Jesus offers to give this life to anyone who will accept it.  Troubles do not disappear nor do all the answers appear when we embrace Christ. 

It is in this life in Christ that we find hope and sustenance.  It is in the following that I find my way.  I have seen life without Christ and feel so much sorrow for those who choose it.  This is not judgment or condemnation.  It is compassion.

The God/man from whom all life proceeds calls all life back to himself.  It is in that call that we find the life of following.  It is in Christ alone that life has breath and breadth.  This narrow way gives life infinite possibilities. 

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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07 May 2016

I AM – The Resurrection and the Life - Resurrection

Greetings Dear Reader,

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

One of the ongoing arguments about Jesus is the resurrection.  Richard Swinburne has an excellent work The Resurrection of God Incarnate that addresses the subject much better than I could.  You can also hear his recitation on the Probability of the Resurrection well worth the hour to listen to it.

Beyond his own resurrection Jesus explains that he is the conduit for our own resurrection.  My daily hope is that Christ will return in the moment.  I believe and hope but I also plan in case he does not.  If I shuffle off this mortal coil before he returns Jesus is my conduit to resurrection.  He is the promise and first evidence that I will stand before the Father.

Job, the oldest record we have of human interaction with God, says that he knows he will see God in the flesh even if his body is no more.  There will be a resurrection.  Some do not believe this and I feel sad for them.

Even if my journey in following ends before I catch up with Jesus, I will be like the people of Israel leaving Egypt.  All their illnesses were cured.  They were renewed for the journey.  When I head to that Undiscovered Country it will be with a new body free from the scars and infirmities of the journey home.

It is through Jesus that we are assured and obtain this.  It is in following Christ, even in death if necessary, that we find our path to the resurrection and a new and good creation. Some days the journey is dark and lonely.  But I know what Job knew.   Thinking on it thrills my soul.

Home Where I Belong – Pat Terry

They say that heaven's pretty
And living here is too
But if they said that I
would have to choose between the two
I'd go home, going home, where I belong


And sometimes when I'm dreaming
It comes as no surprise
That if you look and see
The homesick feeling in my eyes
I'm going home, going home, where I belong

While I'm here I'll serve him gladly
And sing him all my songs
I'm here, but not for long

And when I'm feeling lonely
And when I'm feeling blue
It's such a joy to know that
I am only passing through

I'm headed home, going home, where I belong

And one day I'll be sleeping,
When death knocks on my door
And I'll awake and find that
I'm not homesick anymore
I'll be home, going home, where I belong

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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06 May 2016

I AM – The Good Shepherd

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday we saw how Jesus claimed to be the sheep gate by which we enter.  We saw how the shepherd became that gate at night for the sheep.  Jesus goes on to say,

“I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

It is David who first makes us understand that the Lord is our shepherd.  I could not say it much better than the twenty-third Psalm.  Still the understanding is necessary to the application.  What is it that the Good Shepherd provides for us?

  • He lays down his life for us.  He is not some hired hand who abandons us in times of danger. 
  • We are known far better than we know ourselves.
  • We know the Shepherd’s voice.
  • The Good Shepherd promises to bring all flocks home safely.
  • The Good Shepherd promises to unite the flocks so they are one.
  • The Good Shepherd knows he will die and rise again.
  • He unites us with the Father.


The Shepherd I follow is all these things for me and for all who follow him.  He is one through whom I gain access to the Father and the one who protects me from danger.  He died for me and lives for me.  He loves me the same way the Father loves him.  It is the in this security that I follow. 

Even in those times when I feel like a lost wanderer and alone in the journey I have the promise of a Shepherd who leads me.   He restores me.  He sustains me.  Even in the darkest moments he comforts me.  At the end of the day, the year, and the life I still dwell with him and cannot be stolen from him.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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05 May 2016

Second Thoughts – Laundry Challenges

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 past weekend I was to spend a day with my Daughter Christmas.  I also had a burgeoning need to do laundry.  She did as well.  We agreed that we would visit the city wide yard sales in a neighboring village and enjoy dinner at a restaurant next to a laundromat of which we knew. 

We both love the restaurant and it seemed an excellent way spend the time together, do the chore, and enjoy our day.  Thereby as they say hangs a tale.  I do not like to carry change.  When I have change I deposit it in a large glass pig or in the case of quarters into a small seal-able bowl on my credenza. 

The small bowl held about fifty dollars in quarters.  I brought these along to feed the metal beasts that would launder our clothing whilst we dined on General Tso’s Chicken and fried rice.  The first indication that there would be challenges was that the laundromat was crowded.  It seemed that every washer and dryer was occupied. 

We discovered that the large capacity ones in the back had enough available units for our loads of washing.  We put the clothes in to wash and went next door to obtain dinner; so far so good.  I should know to worry when things are going according to plan.

Whilst we were getting our takeout the remainder of the village turned out to do laundry.  We returned and set a timer that matched the reaming washing time.  We ate at conversed until the timer told us it was time to check our wash.  The machines were just spinning down when we arrived at them.

Unfortunately there were no empty dryers.  The one posting the soonest completion time offered to be ready twenty minutes into the future.  I suggested that we instead head to my place and use the dryer there.  Then we could dry in leisure whilst enjoying the evening.  Christmas agreed. 

Not only did I leave the tub of quarters but I injured my shoulder foolishly trying to carry both totes of wet laundry.  I wanted to become angry.  I desired to rant over my lost quarters.  Then I added the cost of the event.

Cost to wash the clothes - $10.75
Cost to dry the clothes - $6.00
Cost of lost quarters - $40.50
Showing my Daughter that she matters more than inconveniences - Priceless

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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