31 July 2016

Second Thoughts – Why Don’t We Wave and Say "Hi"?

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.

One of the fondest memories of my Grandfather was his relationship to police officers.  No matter where we went if we encountered a police officer he would wave, say hello, or even buy the officer a cup of coffee.  He always thanked them for their hard work.

Since the less thinking members of our society have chosen to treat our guardians with violence and disrespect I am doing the only thing I know to do about it.  I am going to start waving, saying hello and thank you, and being obvious about it.

As I started this a couple of cool moments have occurred.  One was on the way home from work.  A couple of officers were running traffic monitoring on a side street where people often drive to fast.  I happened to be parallel to them as I waited for the cars in front of me at a stop sign. 

I rolled down my window, made sure my hands were visible on the steering wheel, and just called out “thank you”.   The officer in the driver’s seat smiled and said, “That means more to us than you know.”  His partner smiled and waved.

Last night, after a late night out at the baseball game I was again parallel to a police car.  I rolled down my window and said, “Thank you for working at night so I can sleep safely.” 

The officer replied, “Wow, I am really tired tonight.  That makes it worth it.”  As I drove to my place I prayed for his safety and for some energy.  I wish I could have bought him a cup of joe and helped him out.

There is not industry without bad employees.  This includes law enforcement.  We must not judge them on the bad ones any more than you want to be judged on the bad people in your profession Dear Reader.   

If we want to improve the relationship of the police with the community perhaps just simple gratitude is a great place to start.

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 ͡°)

IF – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

We have choices to make.  The presidential election is coming and both of the primary choices bother me greatly.  It is, however, and if we must face.  Those who follow Christ are facing a world where their faith will be tested.

The big IF is this: IF I believe that Christ is the answer to the world’s ills then I must follow with all my heart.  I must be an example of grace and kindness in all things.   I know I will fail but I must work to become better at following with every if.

I am in many ways an idealist.  Imagine with me for a moment the biggest IF.   IF Christ followers set aside their differences and “self” what could we accomplish?  IF we lived the commands to love God and each other what could we do?  The world needs selfless love and compassion more than ever. 

IF we abandon our political and social differences and work only to show the love of Christ we can make a difference in the world.  IF we abandon sects for unity we can become a force that gently lovingly changes the world.  IF we give eternal value to every life then we can change things.

I cannot make the world do this.  I can strive every day to become this.  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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

30 July 2016

IF – If We Valued All Life

Greetings Dear Reader,

I will ask forgiveness in advance if this post treads on your political or social toes in any way Dear Reader.  Please remember that I consider things in here for my own growth and reasoning.   If you gain anything from my musings then you are welcome to it.

The big IF here is simple.  Do we have a hard line that every human life matters?  I do not think we do.  There are too many issues that involve the sanctity of human life over which we argue.  If any human life matters then all human life matters.  This is where many will delve into situational ethics. 

In light of that proposition I need to think honestly about several issues.

Healthcare:  
IF I believe that all human lives matter then I will not be satisfied with anyone being denied comprehensive healthcare no matter their income or station.  Discussions over pre-existing conditions, level of income, and systems of access are all conversations that lead to saying that some lives matter more than others.  IF I claim to follow Christ then I must want the best possible care for everyone without footnote.

Black Lives Matter:
We still have racial issues in the nation.  To deny this is to be willingly ignorant.   Every side of the discussion had a bias toward a race or races.  Instead of debating the merits or demerits of which race deserves better treatment we should be pondering what we can do from making anyone feel this way.  IF we truly care about all humans then someone of any colour needs to feel that his colour will not impact his treatment.

Abortion:
Understand that I believe that legal safe abortions are a form of genocide.  One can give all the situational arguments one wishes.  IF we are going to say that any life matters then the most defenseless must not be murdered in the name of choice.  I believe there is a price to pay for this genocide.  We have wiped out, conservatively, 3.1 BILLION years of life through “legal” abortion.  If there is even a slight possibility that life begins at conception then we are drowning in the blood of the innocent.    

There are so many others ways in which we treat human life as disposable.  IF we were to truly value all lives then we would love each other and do all that we can to sustain life.  It is my absolute obligation as a Christ follower to value every life in every situation.  In order for this to work we have to let go of so much selfishness and hate.  To do less than value every life is to contradict the basics of my faith and following.

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 July 2016

IF – If we Use Clear Language

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things that occurs over time is that language loses the power to communicate.  We laugh at the TV ads from the 1960’s because of the way in which they portray our culture.  Those ads, however, are an excellent example of what communicated at the time.

It is also possible for language to be overused or misused and lose its power.  Using the word “sin” as a hammer of condemnation and shame has caused it to lose its power to show us our condition and need.  Words have inherent natural power that if abused will become dull to the hearing of the victims of the abuse.

The words we use matter far more than we realize.  The words we choose must be words we intend.  Christ followers are accountable for even their idle words.  They are responsible to communicate the love and grace of the Father.  The words we choose are to represent truth and light.

Any words that communicate hatred or judgement from us are not the worlds of Christ.  When we misrepresent Christ we are using God for our own purposes.  We use language to misrepresent who God is and then are surprised when people do not acknowledge God.

We are guilty of failure to love through our words.  I cannot represent the Living Word, Jesus if my words do not show clearly the love of Christ in all things.  I fail at times to do this.  When I do I must communicate clearly that I am wrong and seek the forgiveness of those my words harm.  It is my obligation not to diminish the words of the Gospel through my own words.

The Final Word – Michael Card

You and me we use so very many clumsy words.
The noise of what we often say is not worth being heard.
When the Father's wisdom wanted to communicate His love,
He spoke it in one final perfect Word.

He spoke the incarnation, and then so was born a Son.
His final word was Jesus, He needed no other one.
He spoke flesh and blood so He could bleed and make a way Divine.
And so was born a baby who would die to make it mine.

And so the Father's fondest thought became flesh and bone.
He spoke the living luminous word, at once His will was done.
And so the transformation that in man had been unheard,
Took place in God the Father as he spoke that final Word.

He spoke the incarnation, and then so was born a Son.
His final word was Jesus, He needed no other one.
He spoke flesh and blood so He could bleed and make a way Divine.
And so was born a baby who would die to make it mine.

And so the Light became alive and manna became Man.
Eternity stepped into time so we could understand.

He spoke the incarnation, and then so was born a Son.
His final word was Jesus, He needed no other one.
He spoke flesh and blood so He could bleed and make a way Divine.
And so was born a baby who would die to make it mine.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

28 July 2016

IF – If we Unite in Christ

Greetings Dear Reader,

As I pondered the basics of following Christ it occurred to not for the first time that aside from failing to love we have another great failing.  We are divided against ourselves over so many things that do not matter.  We are so divided that we lose opportunity to work together for the greater good.

We divide over things such as form of worship and how to dress.  We dispute minor aspects of theology to the point that we do not speak to each other.  We argue over matters to which there is no conclusive answer.    We are not united in Christ except for pretense and this limits our ability to show Christ to others.

When I first chose to follow Christ those who led me to the journey immediately began to instruct me as to what other followers were unacceptable.  I was taught to see the differences as acceptable reasons to revile and reject them.  This is so far from the expectation of Christ.  Jesus wants us to be evidenced by love and unity in his service.  He does not wish us to divide and argue over things that do not natter.

Again we come to the big IF.  What could we do in the world if we put away our prideful presumptive petulance and instead saw our duty to love and charity?   If we are to truly impact the world then it does not matter how we baptize or the type bread we use for communion.

IF I am to follow Christ then I must be careful to limit my disagreements with my fellow travelers to those matters that actually matter.   If I allow division over minor things then I diminish the impact of the Gospel and that is a grave matter indeed.  I do not find my hope in how one worships but in the act of worship.   I must find my bonds of community and unity in Christ and his commands. 

This is the big IF.  What could we do IF we only served the Gospel?  We are free in Christ and may follow with our full hearts.  IF we set aside the trivial things that divide us then used those hearts to share all that Christ we could make a true difference.

That is my duty to Christ.  Even if no one else takes it up it is my obligation.  It would be prideful to think that no one does but it is my duty in any event.  It is my obligation to live the dream of unity in Christ even if no one else does.

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 July 2016

IF – If we Follow the Great Commands

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things that I return to when there is trouble is the place Christ followers as supposed to land on every issue.  The commands are simple:
  • Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind
  • Love your neighbor
  • Love your enemy


These simple commands are to be our guide in all we do in following Christ.  It is in these that we find the filter through which we interpret all other things.  Here is the problem.  We do not apply this vital truth to all that we undertake.

The simple two-sided coin is whether we respond to every situation in love or not.  Any insult, affront, or slight can be met with love.  Any situation can be responded to with love.  We choose.

Now the great “IF” here is the change that could be wrought if Christ followers responded as one with love to EVERY situation.  No matter what I think personally about any social issue I must respond to the needs surrounding it with love.  No matter where I land on any moral debate I must respond to the situation in love.  No matter what my politics I must treat the opposition with love.

Let that settle in for a moment.  As a Christ follower everyone may ask me the same question in every action:  “Where is the love?”   If I cannot show it then it may not be there.  Jesus made it clear, “Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other.”

The big IF I posit is what the world would look like if every individual who claims to follow Christ put this forward is his or her benchmark.  Imagine the impact IF we approached every social and political conversation with love.  In every situation, anyone who claims Christ should not have to answer the question.  It should be obvious where the love is.  On this should rest every other discussion.

Where is the Love – Black Eyed Peas

What's wrong with the world, mama
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma

Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin'
In the USA, the big CIA
The Bloods and the Crips and the KKK

But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah

Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach?
Or would you turn the other cheek?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love) [2x]
Where is the love, the love, the love

It just ain't the same, old ways have changed
New days are strange, is the world insane?
If love and peace are so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong?

Nations droppin' bombs
Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones
With ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the lovin' really gone

So I could ask myself really what is goin' wrong
In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin' in
Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin' on but the reason's undercover

The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love
Where's the love, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the truth, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the love, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach?
Or would you turn the other cheek?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)? [6x]
Where is the love, the love, the love?

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' the wrong direction

Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema

Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity

That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive 'til love is found
Now ask yourself

Where is the love? [4x]

Father, Father, Father, help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love?

Sing with me y'all:
One world, one world (We only got)
One world, one world (That's all we got)
One world, one world
And something's wrong with it (Yeah)
Something's wrong with it (Yeah)
Something's wrong with the wo-wo-world, yeah
We only got
(One world, one world)
That's all we got
(One world, one world)

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

26 July 2016

IF – The “IF then” Falsehood

Greetings Dear Reader,

I hear this too often for it to be complacent about it.  I have had to learn that it is a smoke screen and not to be blinded to love and compassion by it.  It is false test that will never yield the requested but not truly required results.

The test comes in form of statements concerning what God would or would not do:
  • If God exists then he would ….
  • If God loves us then he would not allow…
  • If there is a God then why does he not…


These series of ifs arise from a complete misunderstanding of how we approach God.  He never attempts to prove that he exits or that he is God.  He never subjects himself to our demands.  He insists that we approach him in faith.  He insists that we seek him with an honest and open heart. 

I find that the aforementioned ifs are often asked in a spirit of unbelief or dissatisfaction with how the world unfolds.  We are not in a position to make demands of God.  We are in need of him.  We are dependent upon him whether we wish it or not.

When I struggled with faith I often asked for proof of God’s existence.  I often demanded that he bend the world to my will.  I often accused him of failing to handle things as I should like them.

We fail to see who God is when we proffer these ifs.  We fail see that his very nature precludes them.  We need to approach him with a different set of ifs:

  • If God exists then what does he wish from me?
  • If God loves me then how should I respond to that love?
  • If I seek him with all my heart what will I find?


The “:if then” of these questions I have pursued for four decades.  I have found that they yield answers that guide and often satisfy.  When I fail at them I find my mind reverting to demanding and faithless questions.  I must always return to the best of the ifs.  God promises, “IF you seek me with all your heart THEN you will find 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 ͡°)

25 July 2016

IF – If I am Wrong

Greetings Dear Reader,

Pascal’s Wager is a philosophical argument that humans all bet their lives on the existence or non-existence of God.  Pascal suggests that that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas they stand to receive infinite gains and avoid infinite losses. (Wikipedia)

I have chosen to bet that God exists.  I have chosen to accept all that this belief requires of me.  I do not always succeed in following Christ as I should be I seek to do so daily.  I long to succeed in following every moment.  The binary choice of if I will or will not follow is one I made 42 years ago.  The binary choice in each moment is to do the same.

I choose in the moment if I will be loving or unloving, kind or unkind, forgiving or unforgiving.   I choose in the moment if I will up my wager that God is there and that Christ is all he claims to be for his followers and for the world.  So, Dear Reader, this begs the question, “what if I am wrong?”

If the binary outcome is that there is no God and this is all there is then what have I gained.  I have gained a life of loving others.  I have gained a life of kindness and support of others.  I have gained the satisfaction of being good to all that I can. 

That is enough for me.  I do not believe that I am wrong but if I am then  I have lost nothing. 

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 July 2016

Second Thoughts – Stranger Things NO SPOILERS

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.

Those who know me well know that I find the writing of Steven King to be some of the most creative there is.  I recently encountered a new Netflix original series that echoes his mastery of the monsters and innocence tale.  It also captures the excellence of his ability to involve intrigue and conspiracy.  I was quite surprised indeed that it was not his work.

The show to which I refer is Stranger Things.   It is the story of young boys who are swept into a situation of chaos, danger, and conspiracy.  The story is told with an excellent eye to the lives and doings of young boys.  It captures the spirit of the moment between childhood and puberty.

All that happens in this tale is measured with fine action and poignant dialogue.   The boys chosen to play the lead roles in this are perfect in time and physique for the parts.  Their personalities shine through as young actors.   

At the heart of the story are lessons in faith, magic, and the unknown that we can all share.  It is worth the time to watch this show.  I look forward to its next installment.

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 ͡°)

IF- Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of my favorite lines from the movie Aladdin is when Jeanie refers to the power of a Djinn; “Phenomenal cosmic power, itty bitty living space.”   When I ponder the word “if” I think  of its place in things.  It is an Itty bitty word with phenomenal cosmic consequences. 

One of the great things we do with it is try to reason through the past.  This is dangerous.  If when reflected on the past can lead to dangerous regret and empty misgivings.  We cannot change the past with “if I had…”.   We cannot alter what has been with if. 

When focused on the future this small word has the power to create so many binary choices.  Remember that I believe that most things are binary, black and white, true or false.  You will either agree or disagree (that is a binary choice).   Most of life is a series of “if then” situations. 

Most of the great questions of the universe are balanced on an “if”.   As I strive to follow Christ I must measure many of these if questions.  Remember that as I write these things I am measuring what is right for me as a Christ follower.  You Dear Reader are welcome in the conversation because I love you and value you.  As always I welcome your thoughts and questions.  Walk with me please; I need the company.

IF - Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, 
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, 
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken 
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
    And never breathe a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
    If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

23 July 2016

Lightning Bugs

Greetings Dear Reader,

If you have not yet read Sheetrock on the Road then you do not know of my love for fireflies.   I will refer you there to the chapter “The Rising Lights” for understanding.  Last evening transported me back to that time in a most endearing way.

The night felt like the summers I endured as a child and through much of my adult life. It was hot and humid.  The thunderstorms of the previous evening had left everything damp and lush.  The grass on the ball field held the shimmer of humid air refusing to accept it evaporated offerings.  Ground balls cast out a rainbow in the setting sunlight as they sped along the damp carpet of turf.

The storms had also gifted us with an impromptu doubleheader.  My local team won the first one and lost the second.  Once again my Grandsons sang to the crowd during the seventh inning stretch.  The moisture and heat clung to me soaking my clothing and slowing my movements.

The second game ended and the lights were silenced as the crowd prepared for post-game fireworks.  The man made lights began to rise with more smoke than usual due to the soaked air. 

As I watched the fireworks a single firefly flashed just a few feet in front of me.  It was rising in the night to seek companionship.  It occurred to me that the firefly competes for others of its kind for attention.  How must it feel it chances are among the flashes and flares of the fireworks? 

I could imagine it seeing the bright green flares that almost matched it hue.  I found it humorous that this small insect seeking a mate would be thwarted by manmade similitude.  It also reminded me of something far more important.

I too often compare myself to things that are not a just comparison.  I diminish my own opportunity by failing to see that I am created as I am meant to be.  Who I am is a result of either following or failing to follow Christ.   We are meant to shine in the darkness.  We are commanded to do so even if no one responds.

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 July 2016

Satisfaction – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Satisfaction is elusive but attainable.  We must be discontent with our lack of it.   We must only pursue those things which truly satisfy.  We must also learn that contentment with that which is good is a great thing.

Things will not satisfy me.  Money is a love I dare not embrace.  Power is something I do not want.  It is in Christ alone that satisfaction is found for me.  It is in following the commands to love and grace that feel the most content. 

The current distresses that haunt me are passing.  The present conflicts are nothing if I find solace for them in Christ.  I have learned that no collection, game, or distraction will satisfy.  Now if I could only apply it in all things.

That, however, is always the challenge.  I must not find my contentment or satisfaction in the journey.  It is in the destination that it will be found.  If I thoughtlessly chase things that will not satisfy I waste my time and life.  In Christ alone my hope is found.

The times are changing.  There is something in the air that is different.  I follow Christ in hope that all will be as it should.  I must do so with eyes wide open to the truth that nothing will satisfy except Christ.

Times Like These – Dan Fogelberg

Tell me a secret, tell me a lie
Tell me the truth if you have to
Say what you see fit but don't ask me why
Love never seems to last you

In times like these
It's hard to keep a man off his knees
In times like these
It's hard to keep a man off his knees

Over a barrel, under a spell
Money's the demon that drives you
Limping through heaven or running through hell
Happiness smiles but denies you

In times like these
It's hard to keep a man off his knees
In times like these
It's hard to keep a man off his knees

Nothing before you, nothing behind
Thoughtlessly chasing the thunder
Traveling lightly, traveling blind
Never detouring to wonder why

Tell me a secret, tell me a lie
Tell me the truth if you have to
Say what you see fit but don't ask me why
Love never seems to last you

In times like these
It's hard to keep a man off his knees
In times like these
It's hard to keep a man off his knees

Nothing before you, nothing behind
Thoughtlessly chasing the thunder
Traveling lightly, traveling blind
Never detouring to wonder why

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 July 2016

Satisfaction – Need or Want

Greetings Dear Reader,

I need that new video card for my gaming.  That statement is a lie.  I do not “need” it.  I may want, desire, crave, and covet it.  I do not need it.  One of the great lies we believe is that we need things that we do not.

The consumer market is driven to make us dissatisfied with what we have and instead push us toward what others want us to buy.  From phones to shoes what we have that is still serviceable and good is no longer up to speed or in fashion.  We are robbed of our contentment because the market is always hungry for our money.

Simply being honest about what I need versus what I want can carry me very far down the path to contentment.  Forcing my mind to say “I want” instead of “I need” when it is proper is a valuable discipline.  Forcing my wants to be subject to my means becomes a holy thing and instructs in contentment. 

It is not as important to have as is it to understand why I want.   I know that things will not content me.  I have funds for the things I want if I am patient.  It is in mastering my desire for a thing that I learn contentment.  It is in discerning between need and want that I gain the power to choose wisely.

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 July 2016

Satisfaction - Contentment

Greetings Dear Reader,

This is something I have not mastered but wish to master.  I want to be content in whatever state I find myself.  I am further down this path than I was but it would be a lie to say that I have mattered this. 

Contentment is one of those ever needed and elusive qualities.  It is one of the things that is a two sided coin and the obverse is dangerous.  We must be content with things we cannot change.  It is not that we accept that things will not change.  We accept when we cannot control change.

My duty to love, kindness, grace, and mercy is the same no matter what the circumstances.  Those who follow Christ should be able to live this way under any circumstance.  The commands to be these things are not circumstantial. 

  • I am to love God in any situation with all my heart, soul, and mind.
  • I am to love my neighbor.
  • I am to love my enemies.


The essence of contentment is found in this.  The things I do that show greed or avarice violate these commands.  When I am discontent with the state I am in I cannot focus on the love I must show to others.  I cannot put the needs of others ahead of my greed if I do not learn contentment. 

There are also things about which I must not be content.  I must never be content with my devotion to Christ.   It can grow deeper every day.  I must never be content with my love for my fellow travelers.  I can always learn ways to show that love more deeply.  Relationships sour because we do not do this.

I must never be content with a world that does not know Christ.  This does not mean that I do anything unkind or force him on the world.  It means that I love him and follow as faithfully as I can.  It means that I see everything through the lens of my obligation to love and his promise to return al things to good.  The world will  not be content until all things are returned to good.

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 July 2016

Satisfaction - Guaranteed

Greetings Dear Reader,

How often do we hear this in advertising?  Businesses wish us to buy their products and guarantee to satisfy us.  We spend money, look for satisfaction, and even go into debt based on this claim. 

The promise of low prices, double quantity, or free financing are just lures to the pursuit of satisfaction.   Whether it is a need or wants we pursue satisfaction.   We go into debt to feel satisfied when we could wait for satisfaction and pay cash. 

Do we really get satisfaction form things?  It the guarantee ever truly fulfilled?  Power, money, and possessions all guarantee satisfaction.  We must ask ourselves honestly if they deliver.  We must demand that the promise be fulfilled but it will not. 

I have learned that the common guarantee of satisfaction will not be met.  Instead I must search for satisfaction in the eternal.  I must avoid the feelings of pride and avarice.  I must be content with what I have and not seek to possess for the sake of possessing.

The quest for possession exposes our weaknesses.  It shows me what I value more than Christ.  It reveals what I think will satisfy.  I can use the desire to trap the hunger for more.  I can use it to expose what seeks to be more than Christ ot my eyes.

Loose Ends – Dan Fogelberg

Climbing a mountain in darkness
Stranded alone on the ledge
Every attempt that I make to hold on
Pushes me nearer the edge
Sensing the changes impending
My thoughts are diffused by despair
I feel like I'm swimming straight up underwater
Desperately racing for air
I'm racing for air

And the chords struck at birth grow more distant
Yet, we strike them again and again
And we plead and we pray for a glimmer of day
As the night folds its wings and descends
Exposing the loose ends

Surrounding myself with possessions
I surely have more than I need
I don't know if this is justice hard earned
Or simply a matter of greed
A matter of greed

And the chords struck at birth grow more distant
Yet, we strike them again and again
And we plead and we pray for a glimmer of day
As the night folds its wings and descends
Exposing the loose ends

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 July 2016

Satisfaction - Never

Greetings Dear Reader,

Some thirsts can never be satisfied.  They crave and want and cry for more.  Some hunger can never be filled.  We all have these hollow places in us.  We want things that only make us want more.

We damage ourselves and others in these pursuits.  Depending on our power and position we damage ourselves or the world.  We can harm our own health and life or we may cause a war.  Each siren call for that we crave is a moment of choice.

I have hunger in me that cannot be satisfied.  In following Christ I find the will and power to stay hungry without starving.  I do not wish to push the metaphor too far.  I do want the image to be clear.  Following Christ does not guarantee the absence of selfish hunger or desire.  It doe promise the strength to do what is right out of love and grace. 

There are things I have “tried” that have left me with the desire for more.  I know in one sample that these things are wrong but the temptation is always there.  I know what is right and sometimes hunger to avoid it.  At the recently revived parable reminds us, it is the hunger I feed that grows stronger.

Every moment is a choice.  The choice is mine to do good or not.  Christ will give me both the will and the power to resist the hungers that cannot satisfy.  He will also provide sustenance for those genuine hungers that go unmet.  It is in Christ alone that find the power to choose the right side of every costly bargain.


The Lion’s Share – Dan Fogelberg

Grand slam, your moment's at hand
The day holds a costly bargain
Lost lamb asking the lion's share

Homespun, a prodigal son
Comes begging a humble pardon
But no one rises to hear his prayer

Lone star, you've wandered so far
And long in the unfamiliar
That now you travel a map unknown

Star bright, a constant delight
To those in the dark and still your
Birthright's to shine in the night alone

Living in the shadows
Of the things that might have been
Torn between the blessing and the curse

You may starve the hunger
But you'll never slake the thirst
For the nectar you remember
But you'll never taste again

Nonesuch, your Midas' touch
Has gilded your heart and left you
So much playing the prince of clowns

Hell-bent, empty and spent
Just look what your gamble's got you
Exiled, far from the sacred grounds

Living in the shadows
Of the things that might have been
Torn between the blessing and the curse

You may stop the hunger
But you'll never slake the thirst
For the nectar you remember
But you'll never taste again

Grand slam, your moment's at hand
The day holds a costly bargain
Lost lamb asking the lion's share

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 July 2016

Second Thoughts – Pokémon Go

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.

If you live under a rock or somewhere where there is no internet you may not have heard of Pokémon Go.  My Grandsons seem to enjoy playing it with their dad.  I realized as they explained it that it was a game that could motivate me to exercise more.

I tried it this weekend.  You see I like walk but not simply for exercise.  This got me to walk in search of something.  It motivated me to travel from point to point playing a game.  I walked over two miles without realizing it. 

I also shared the game with someone who had asked me to try it.  That made it twice the fun. I was able to inject some fun into someone else’s day.   It also prepared me to try and build an adventure for my Grandsons.

There are some simple things of which one should take heed.

Watch where you are walking
Watch your data consumption
Take along a spare charger or battery
Be respectful of others using the space
HAVE FUN

There is more I could say but really I just wanted to share my new discovery.

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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Satisfaction – Can’t Get No

Greetings Dear Reader,

We rarely are satisfied.  That is both good and bad.  I must never be satisfied with “good enough”.  My Grandfather would always say, “good, better, best’ never let it rest, until your good is better and you better is your best.”

I told this to my students for years and demanded it.  We must give our very best in what we do.  This is what God expects of us.  It is our obligation that whatever we do we must do it with all our hearts to the Father.

We also must realize that satisfaction with food, leisure, and things is fleeting.    The taste fades.  Rest becomes restlessness.  Things decay, tarnish, or become mundane.  The only thing that endures is not a thing.

We are not meant to be satisfied with the world as it is.  Whether you adopt the position that man can make it better or that God is working to bring things back to good, we are dissatisfied with the world as it is.  A simple look at the world around us tells us that things are not good.

I cannot get satisfaction here.  Since I chose that Christ would be my hope and strength things are easier.  My selfish nature still calls out to be satisfied by things that are here.  Jesus gave us absolute instructions about where to place our desires and hope.  When I am hungry for true satisfaction it is found in Christ alone 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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16 July 2016

Satisfaction – Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

What does it mean to be satisfied?  It is a fleeting pursuit or a state of rest.  It is a state or a quest.  Often when we grasp what we think will satisfy but it does not.  We lie, cheat, and steal to get satisfaction but we do not get it.

When we are truly satisfied it is beautiful.  From what does that satisfaction spring?  From where does it stem?  Where does it go when we lose it?  The answers to these questions yield a path.  It is that path that joins the greater way in following Christ.

There are things that I need and there are things that I want.  The line between the two is not always clear to me.  It is always clear to God.  This is why I must follow.  I must learn when to be satisfied and when to be dissatisfied.  I must ask and answer the questions around this so that I can use wisdom in discerning.  I must follow both paths as required.

Walk with me as I deal with my dissatisfaction over the question of satisfaction.  We will likely find a laugh or two in this serious endeavor.  As always Dear Reader your part in the conversation is welcome. 

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 July 2016

Going Swimming

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of our common practices this summer has been for my Son Maxim and my Grandsons to come over for a swim an dinner on Thursdays.  My younger Grandson brings to mind both my Sons when they were learning to swim.

He is so very close to being able to really swim.  He wants to and works at it.  It occurred to me last evening that this is one of those transitions we make that takes many moments but occurs in a moment.  There is the moment when one struggles to swim and the moment when one can swim.

That moment will occur.  So many moments of transition lie before him.  He is smart and compassionate.  He has his own mind and expresses it well.  One of the ways we mark our lives is in moments of transition.  We learn to walk, to read, to ride a bike.  

As I grow older I wonder what moments of transition lie ahead that I should look for with joy.  I want to assure that I have moments of transition in my faith and following.  I want to become a closer follower of Christ.  I want to learn how to be kind in every moment.  I want to respond to others in with love.  I wish to be good to others.

After all, there will be transitional moments out of my control as I grow older.  If I do not learn to take all the moments in grace and peace then I will not deal with those moments well.

Slipstream – Jethro Tull

Well, the lush separation enfolds you
And the products of wealth
Push you along on the bow wave
Of the spiritless, undying selves

And you press on god's waiter your last dime
As he hands you the bill
And you spin in the slipstream, timeless, unreasoning
Paddle right out of the mess and you paddle right out of the mess

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 July 2016

Updating Jesus - Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

We do not need to update Jesus to fit our culture.  Those who follow Christ must be sure to communicate in a way that is clear to our culture.  We must neither water down truth nor use language that makes the Gospel hard to understand.

An honest reading of the Gospels shows us clearly what Jesus requires of us.  An honest look at our culture shows that we are not doing as much as we cold to follow faithfully.  The balance we must adopt is simple and difficult all at once.

We must hold high standards without judging those who do not meet them.  We must love unconditionally even those who hate us.  We must feed those who are hungry without placing expectations on them.  We must live an example every moment.

Jesus did not promise that following would be easy.  He did require us to give all to do it.  I must follow in faith.  I must always love and be kind.  I must hate evil and hate no human.  I must live and move in Christ.  I must follow with my whole heart the Jesus who is. 



Make my life a prayer to You
I wanna do what You want me to
No empty words and no white lies
No token prayers no compromise

I wanna shine the light You gave
Through Your Son You sent to save us
From ourselves and our despair
It comforts me to know You're really there

Well I wanna thank You now for being patient with me
Oh it's so hard to see, when my eyes are on me
I guess I'll have the trust and just believe what You say
Oh You're coming again, You're coming to take me away

I wanna die and let You give Your life to me, so I might live
And share the hope You gave to me, the love that set me free
I wanna tell the world out there, You're not some fable or fairy tale
That I've made up inside my head, You're God the Son
You've risen from the dead

Oh I wanna thank You now for being patient with me
Oh it's so hard to see, when my eyes are on me
I guess I'll have the trust and just believe what You say
Oh You're coming again, coming to take me away

I wanna die and let You give Your life to me, so I might live
And share the hope You gave to me
I wanna share the love that set me free

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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13 July 2016

Updating Jesus – Pet Food and Hunger

Greetings Dear Reader,

I was standing in line at the grocer’s recently when I overheard a woman complaining to her companion that they were out of the “Halo” dog food at another store.  She went on to say that her dog would not eat anything more “domestic”. 

This dog food is $45 a serving.  Before I get too wound up I want to be clear that I love dogs, I tolerate cats (even though I am allergic and am sure they have a plot to kill me {You can learn more about this in Sheetrock on the Road my latest book}), and I like most animals that are domesticated.  I hate animal abuse and feel that being cruel to any living creature is abhorrent.

I also think we need to understand the excess we accept to have pets in our home.  I do not want to be hypocritical here.  I have a bird.  It was a gift from my Daughter.  I have good bird food for it.  It is not high priced but has all the right nutrition.  The thing is that the market wants me to buy toys, perches, and treats for the bird as well.  The market demands that I anthropomorphize my bird.  I refuse.  I am, however, trying to teach him to talk. 

I refuse to succumb to the trend to make this bird an expensive plaything.  I enjoy his company and am amazed at his ability to mimic things.  I refuse to put him before the needs of humans.  This is what I mean.  We spend more on pets than we do on the hungry and homeless in our own country.  Again, it is not a bad thing to have pets but we have moved far beyond the pale.

Think for a moment what $45 dollars a meal means.  I can take my Son, Daughter, and Grandsons out to dinner for that.  The right organization can feed ten people with that.  I have not had a dog in a long time but I know that they eat at least twice a day.  I could not in good faith or conscience spend $90 a day on dog food if I were not at least matching that in feeding the hungry.

We look at the great wrongs in our culture and ignore the common every day excesses that make us selfish and unkind. Pets are not wrong.  Overindulging in them is.  Always wrong.  We do need to update our view of Jesus to include things he never mentioned , our cultural excesses included. 

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 July 2016

Second Thoughts – And the Southern Cross – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

So we cheated and we lied and we tested
And we never failed to fail; it was the easiest thing to do.
You will survive being bested;
Somebody fine will come along, make me forget about loving you.
And the Southern Cross.

We do that to each other.  We cheat, lie, and test.   We fail because it is easy.  We take and break solemn vows to God.  We do not love when we should.  We give up on love when we should hold on a little longer.

I have failed at love because I would not keep trying.  I have failed at it because I wanted my own needs met.  It is what we do.  It is our baser nature to fail when we don’t get what we want.  This is not the essence of love. 

We encourage people to leave and move on to “better” things.  We support people in rejecting love they have vowed to sustain.  When Avalon left me people thought and still think that I would be fine.  The message they want me to hear is that I can abandon this love I took up and vowed to hold. 

Love endures all things.  Love believes all things.  Love never fails.  I may have to travel the rest of the journey alone.  I may spend my nights in solitude.  I will not pine away. It is not about false hope or not accepting reality.  It is about the nature of eternal things. 

My love is not supposed to be based on what others say or do.  It is not rooted in the proximity of others.  It is rooted in the eternal nature of vows to God and his love for me.  It is rooted in the love I receive from God that I am supposed to mirror to others..and the Southern Cross

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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