30 September 2016

Broken Roads – Possessions

Greetings Dear Reader,

We pursue things with such fervor.  We grasp and hold and hoard.  We sacrifice things that matter for things that are temporary.  We trade life for stuff that does not satisfy.

Seeking possessions becomes a broken road so very quickly.  During the end of the last century people idolized things with phrases like “He who dies with the most toys wins.”  When we worship things the road beneath us crumbles quickly.

A year ago I cut what I own by over half.  I still have more to leave behind.  I have things I treasure but am working to not obsess over things.  My Son made the observation to my Grandsons, “Grandpa likes to collect things.”  It was more eye opening than he realized.

Nothing material will follow me to the end of the trail.  Shed of all the things that do not matter I will enter the clearing having traveled either lightly or burdened.  The broken road of possessions also weighs down the traveler. 

The Things We Leave Behind – Michael Card

There sits Simon, so foolishly wise
Proudly he's tending his nets
Then Jesus calls and the boats drift away
And all that he owns he forgets

But more than the nets, he abandoned that day
He found that his pride was soon drifting away
And it's hard to imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind

Matthew was mindful of taking the tax
And pressing the people to pay
Hearing the call, he responded in faith
And followed the light and the way

And leaving the people so puzzled he found
The greed in his heart was no longer around and
And it's hard to imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind

Every heart needs to be set free
From possessions that hold it so tight
'Cause freedom's not found in the things that we own
It's the power to do what is right

With Jesus, our only possession
And giving becomes our delight
And we can't imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind

We show a love for the world in our lives
By worshiping goods we possess
Jesus has laid all our treasures aside
And love God above all the rest

'Cause when we say no, to the things of the world
We open our hearts to the love of the Lord and
It's hard to imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind

And when we say no, to the things of the world
We open our hearts to the love of the Lord and
It's hard to imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind
Oh, and it's hard to imagine the freedom we find
From the things we leave behind

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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29 September 2016

Broken Roads – Bleeding Feet

Greetings Dear Reader,

Recently I spent a number of days walking all day.  On the second to last day my feet got wet due to a short rainstorm.  By the end of the day I had a very large blister on one foot and a blood blister on the other.  I also had another day of walking to do.   

By the end of that day’s walking the large blister had burst and the blood blister had swollen.  Walking was difficult.  The socks I had on needed to be discarded.  Thanks to my Daughter, my Brother, and my Sister-In-Law I got the care I needed for them to heal.

It reminded me of a time when I had another injury and the response from those who were supposed to care for me was to chide me for getting hurt.  It became about the delay I was causing and the cost of my care instead of my broken bones. 

One of the dangers of broken roads is that we take damage as we travel.  It is the responsibility of fellow travelers to care for each other.  It is my obligation not to shoot the wounded.  It is my duty to help them up, walk with them, and help tend to their hurts where I can.

The damage others take is the opportunity to show love and compassion.   Instead too many of those who claim to follow see the damage in others as the opportunity to judge and condemn.   Condemnation of others is such a broken road.  It is marked with injury and harm.  It is in the pain that we can see the we are all on the same journey.  If we go down the broken road of judgment, then we do more damage to ourselves and others.

When others suffer it is my place to avoid the broken road and take the narrow one.  I must take the narrow road of love and kindness.  When we care for each other the travel is so much easier.  The road is so much smoother. We can avoid the broken road of judgment and tend to the bleeding feet of the weary.  It will provide great joy in this journey.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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28 September 2016

Broken Roads – Substantial Abuse

Greetings Dear Reader,

First let me be clear that I do not believe that alcohol is wrong.  I realize that since Jesus turned water into wine some of his followers have been trying to turn it back to water.  There is even a provision in the Law of Moses for using God’s funds to buy wine or strong drink.

That said, it is the abuse of alcohol and others substances that is a very broken road.  I come from a history of alcohol abuse.  In times of great pain and sorrow there is a siren call to dive into a bottle and numb the world. 

I have seen how much it can destroy people.  The road that seems so smooth at first becomes filled with disaster.  The brain becomes dependent.  There are so few off ramps on this constantly crumbling highway.   There is help but it cannot be forced or coerced. 

I fight the call by being rigid about my consumption.  I do not allow this to be my courage or refuge.  That is really where the road breaks.  The false courage or unsafe refuge lies and makes us think we can handle it.  Instead it winds its way into us until it owns us.

The only place I should find my refuge is in Christ.  In following him, even if one is already on this road, a better road can be found.  There is truth in wine but there are also lies. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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27 September 2016

Broken Roads - Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Recently I was driving down one of the busier streets in our town.  The pavement is cracked and ruddy from heat and cold and harsh conditions.  When I reached the intersection where the road crosses a large motorway the pavement changed.  The feel of fresh pristine blacktop under my tires was amazing.  The sound was less, the ride smooth, and wish was that it never end.

When I was much younger I had the same experience on a motorcycle over 145 miles of newly opened interstate.  I can still feel the smoothness of that ride.  The beauty of the stars in my solitary night ride held the feeling of drifting through the air unfettered by anything.  The memory of that unbroken road is the standard by which I measure all roads riding or driving. 

We take so many roads.  Some are rough and hard.  Occasionally there is one that is easy and light.  Too often we choose broken roads when we are called to take the narrow one where the burden is light.  We choose roads where there is guaranteed pain and sorrow.  We choose the ones where the sings warn us:  Turn Back, Road Closed, or Danger.

We convince ourselves that we have a tough four wheeled drive vehicle.  We arrogantly believe that we can travel the road unharmed.  We lie to ourselves that we can travel the broken roads in the world.  Jesus made it clear that the way is narrow.  I have discussed that Jesus makes it clear also that he is the way, the truth, and the life. 

I see so many that I love traveling broken roads.  The pains that we self-inflict to hide other pains become the treacherous roads that destroy our ability to travel.  The journey does not have to be this way.  As I travel I need to think through the roads that look like a challenge but are really a temptation to detour to destruction. 

Ride with me a bit as we look at the road and its place in the journey.  As always Dear Reader your questions and thoughts are welcome.  Oh and don’t forget to look for the beauty along the way.  There is plenty.

Someone Worth Dying For – MIKESCHAIR

You might be the wife,
Waiting up at night
You might be the man,
Struggling to provide
Feeling like it's hopeless
Maybe you're the son
Who chose a broken road
Maybe you're the girl
Thinking you'll end up alone
Praying God can you hear me?
Oh, God are you listening?

Am I more than flesh and bone?
Am I really something beautiful?
Yeah, I want to believe,
I want to believe that
I'm not just some wandering soul
That you don't see and you don't know
Yeah, I want to believe,
Jesus help me believe
That I am someone worth dying for

I know you've heard the truth
That God has set you free
But you think you're the one
That grace could never reach
So you just keep asking,
Oh, what everybody's asking

Am I more than flesh and bone?
Am I really something beautiful?
Yeah, I want to believe,
I want to believe that
I'm not just some wandering soul
That you don't see and you don't know
Yeah, I want to believe,
Jesus help me believe
That I am someone worth dying for

You're worth it, you can't earn it
Yeah, the cross has proven,
That you're sacred and blameless.
Your life has purpose!

You are more than flesh and bone
Can't you see your something beautiful
Yeah, you gotta believe, you gotta believe
He wants you to see,
He wants you to see that
You're not just some wandering soul
That can't be seen and can't be known
You gotta believe, you gotta believe
That you are someone worth dying for

You're someone worth dying for
Someone worth dying for

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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26 September 2016

Second Thoughts – The Dented Peanut Butter Jar

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.

Recently I bought a two pack of peanut butter at my favorite purveyor of bulk items.  Upon releasing said jars from their shrink wrap I noticed that one of the jars was dented at the bottom. 

This bothered me greatly but the jar was still sealed so I used it.  Each time I saw the jar on the shelf the dent bothered me.  Then I chose to have PBJ for dinner earlier this week.  Usually the distribution of the Peanut Butter jar, the Jelly jar, the plate, and the bread bag are a challenge. 

This time the plate slide right into the dent on the jar.  It created just enough room on the tray so that the entire cadre of items fit perfectly.  The irritating defect had become a helpful deviation from the norm.  This week I ate the last of the peanut butter from that jar and now will mourn the absence of the utilitarian dent. 

I wonder how often I miss the value of something because I only see the defect?  I suppose it is more often than is good.  I know that it is more often than is right.  The imperfections in things and people are one of the things that create uniqueness.  An infinite diversity of differences is what creates beauty in the world.

If I am to live my faith I must strive to see that even the imperfections are there to teach me.  They exist to show me how God uses the foolish and broken things to accomplish his aims.  He uses his fallen creation to bring all things back to good.  At times, when I allow it, he even uses me.

When we embrace this thought we can get out of the way faster.  We can be of better and more suited use.  The dents, blemishes, and scars become the compass points that help us 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.”

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The Batter Swings and the Summer Flies – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

The world is working its way to gray.  The sun rises a little later every morning.  The memories of this summer will long linger for me.  The trip to the ocean was great.  The Disney trip was magical for my Daughter.  I shared some great times at the pool with my Grandsons and Son.

The pool is closed and has a covering of Locust leaves.  The water is too cold for swimming now anyway.  The last week of September will be swallowed by the wind.  Before long my windows will be decorated by morning frost.  The world will move towards the closing of the year.

Some of the classics of Autumn are on the horizon.  My Son mentioned apple picking and pie making.  My local grocer is already featuring cranberry sauce and bread crumbs.  Those moments of crisp clean air will surprise me with deep breaths and the feeling of being energized by cold.

The seasons move in their courses without regard to our wish for another swim, another campout, or another inning.  The year seems to have slipped by so quickly as we usher in its last quarter.  As life moves on with the seasons I can look back on the memories of summer and look forward to the next one.

More importantly what I must do is embrace and cherish the moments.  I must take the time to enjoy every fiery maple leaf and brisk breeze.  I must remember the needs of others as the world grows colder.  I must see my life reflected in the seasons.  I must find Christ in the moments and 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.”

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25 September 2016

The Batter Swings and the Summer Flies – Harvest Home

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday I was privileged to show our local farmer’s market to a couple of friends.  One can tell that the true harvest has begun. It seems everyone has zucchinis the size of a space station.  Giant Kohlrabi is in fashion as well.  

There are vegetables and flowers available in so many varieties.  I tried a Hush Cherry for the first time.  It was quite delightful.  The honey kiosks were crowded with bees that seemed to be demanding the return of their hard won nectar.

The visit with my friends was fun. It also put me in mind of how much abundance we have.  It is good to celebrate he harvest but only if we also give an eye the hungry homeless who sleep in that same space after the market is over. 

I pondered as I walked the square the difference it would make if everyone attending donated a small amount to Second Harvest.  How many micro-moves could be made to make a macro difference? 

As the harvest is gathered hunger will remain.  When the snow and wind clear the sidewalks around the capitol the homeless will still be there.  Their needs will be the same.  Those in our town with hunger challenges can get help but even our town does not do enough.

I have found some ways to increase my ability to make a difference.  I hope you can do so as well Dear Reader.  It is not my place to dictate but I am free to hope. 


Come, ye thankful people, come
Raise the song of harvest home
All is safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin
God our Maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied
Come to God's own temple, come
Raise the song of harvest home

All the world is God's own field
Fruit unto His praise to yield
Wheat and tares together sown
Unto joy or sorrow grown
First the blade and then the ear
Then the full corn shall appear
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be

For the Lord our God shall come
And shall take His harvest home
From His field shall in that day
All offenses purge away
Giving angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast
But the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore

Even so, Lord, quickly come
Bring Thy final harvest home
Gather Thou Thy people in
Free from sorrow, free from sin
There, forever purified
In Thy garner to abide
Come, with all Thine angels come
Raise the glorious harvest home

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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24 September 2016

The Batter Swings and the Summer Flies – Pumpkin Spice Everything

Greetings Dear Reader,

Over the last few years the norm has become that the advent of Autumn turns everything pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavored.  The Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spiced Latte’ (PSL) leads the charge.  Whilst I enjoy them they are really just an over priced caffeinated hot milkshake.

It used to be that the fall would yield the odd homemade pumpkin bread.  I am always willing to have a piece of pumpkin pie.  Some of the products that have adopted the pumpkin spice are understandable.  Others seems a little absurd.

The idea of IHOP making pumpkin pancakes I get.  Twinkies have been flavored with chocolate and key lime so pumpkin makes sense.  I have make homemade pumpkin cream cheese.  Oreos get flavored with everything but the pumpkin ones are a keeper.

I guess that M&M’s and Skittles are not too far afield.  Pumpkin spiced toothpaste seems absurd.  I have had pumpkin wine and beer and likely will not again.  Pumpkin spiced margarine seems like a big tub of mistake. 

We try to inject what we like into everything.  Business tries to capitalize on the popularity of a flavor to make profit.  We obsess over something to feel good.  The combination of the two is how we end up with pumpkin spiced vodka, tacos, and antacids. 

It is our nature to do the ridiculous with what we like.  It is our obsession that drives us.  We do the same thing with our relationship to Christ.  We try to Jesus Christ latte’ everything.  We make bracelets, t-shirts, and tattoos that proclaim our obsession.  The problem is that no matter how we wear it on the outside it does not matter unless it is on the inside.

There is a crisp bright beauty to the spice and flavor of Autumn.  The genuine thing is refreshing and alive.  It is in following Christ with our hearts that we find the genuine thing.  We do not need to force him into everything.  He will permeate it all if we simple follow and love.  I will find him everywhere I look for 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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23 September 2016

The Batter Swings and the Summer Flies – The Fall Classic

Greetings Dear Reader,

Twenty-one years ago the summer ended with my beloved Braves winning and winning.  They took the world series and dominated the division for the next fourteen seasons.  This year, with only a couple of weeks left in the season they are at the other end of the race.  Thanks to the Twins they are not the worst team in baseball but only by a narrow margin.

The baseball season, however, is apocalyptic.   The Chicago Cubs are the best team in baseball.  They have already clenched their division and may finish the regular season with the best record in the game. 

This could be the year that the Cubs take it all.  This makes me happy for my friends who are Cubs fans.  It has been a long dry time for them.  Once the Braves are out of it I really have little interest in who wins as long as it is not the Yankees. 

By the time the fate of the Cubs is decided the air will be chill and the trees almost barren of leaves.  If there is a game seven of the World Series it will be played on November 2nd.   Most thoughts will have turned to post Halloween candy sales and where to find the best turkey.  Depending on the weather a game could even be snowed out.

Time will flow and the world will move on to Christmas and the New Year.   As I enjoy the movement of the season I will enjoy the changes around me.  My thoughts will mostly be on the unfolding of Advent by then.  Still the fall classis is one of the beacons of hope I see through the year. 

As winter descends from the north a portions of my mind will turn to Spring.   I will await the heralds of new life and new chances found in the new leaves, warming air, and opening day.  As the summer flies away I do not wish away the Autumn and Winter but I always move through them with the hope of new life and new opportunity.

It is the way of following Christ.  There is always hope.  There is always another chance.  Death gets turned back to life.  The hope of the resurrection is renewed.  The world moves in series in the unfolding spiral that is life.  It is always in the following that joy is found.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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22 September 2016

The Batter Swings and the Summer Flies – Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

As Autumn official arrives at 9:21 AM Central time I am pondering the adventures of the summer.  There were more than anticipated and they were amazing.  Autumn, however, is also a time for adventure.

Baseball is nearing the playoffs.  Some of the maples have already begun to show red.  I yearn for the smell of fires and damp leaves.  The air is already cooler and less humid.  The week has been filled with the latter rains in abundance.

As I mentioned earlier in the month the seasons reflect so much about the journey.  The transitions and changes come whether we wish them or not.  It is the way in which we dance with those changes where we are found.  Who we are is revealed.  What we value is exposed. 

Before my heart runs out of summers I want to assure that I am ready for Autumn.  This will be a short transition.  The things that reflect the world to me in this change are simple but I wish to ponder them.  As always you are welcome to join me Dear Reader and I cherish your thoughts and questions.


There was a man back in '95
Whose heart ran out of summers
But before he died, I asked him

Wait, what's the sense in life
Come over me, Come over me

He said, Son why you got to sing that tune
Catch a Dylan song or some eclipse of the moon
Let an angel swinging and make you swoon
Then you will see... You will see

Then he said,
Here's a riddle for you
Find the Answer
There's a reason for the world: You and I...

Picked up my kid from school today
Did you learn anything cause in the world today
You can't live in a castle far away
Now talk to me, come talk to me

He said,
Dad I'm big but we're smaller than small
In the scheme of things, well we're nothing at all
Still every mother's child sings a lonely song
So play with me, come play with me

And Hey Dad
Here's a riddle for you
Find the Answer
There's a reason for the world, you, and I...

I said,
Son for all I've told you
When you get right down to the
Reason for the world...Who am I?

There are secrets that we still have left to find
There have been mysteries from the beginning of time
There are answers we're not wise enough to see
He said... You’re looking for a clue; I Love You free...

The batter swings and the summer flies
As I look into my angel's eyes
A song plays on while the moon is hiding over me
Something comes over me

I guess we're big and I guess we're small
If you think about it man you know we got it all
Cause we're all we got on this bouncing ball
And I love you free
I love you freely

Here's a riddle for you
Find the Answer
There's a reason for the world: You and I...

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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21 September 2016

The Main Quest – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

From birth to the grave we are on a quest.  It is a journey back to God.  We are given the quest.  We did not seek it.  It is our just the same.

The Main Quest is simple:  Seek the Father with all your heart.  Love him.  Love his others creations.  I realize that this seems too simple.  There is subtext but Jesus made it clear that all things are built on this.

I must keep to the quest.  I must make all that I do a part of the quest.  There are sign posts along the way.  There dangers and rewards.  Moments of sorrow and joy abound.  The joy in the journey abounds in following Christ. 

We cannot quest well on our own.  We have fellow travelers.  We have gifts and provision.  We must be wise in our side quests.  We must assure that we follow.  The goal of the quest is home, peace, and life.  I must stay the main quest.

Pilgrims to the City of God – Michael Card

Pilgrims of passion we follow the One
Who holds out a cross and a crown
We travel a dark road that has but one Light
For we have here no lasting town

Sometimes we run by the power of His might
On our own at the best we can plod
What we hopefully look for is just beyond sight
We are pilgrims to the city of God

The stigma of strangers lost in a strange land
In a fallen world that's not our home
But we are not homeless prodigals here
Because we have someplace to go

Sometimes we run by the power of His might
On our own at the best we can plod
What we hopefully look for is just beyond sight
We are pilgrims to the city of God

Behold you have come to Mount Zion
The the City of Great King
To thousands and thousands of angels who've come
Assembled to joyfully sing, they sing

Sometimes we run by the power of His might
On our own at the best we can plod
What we hopefully look for is just beyond sight
We are pilgrims to the city of God

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 September 2016

The Main Quest – All Those Who Wander

Greetings Dear Reader,

There is something about every great quest that seems hopeless, impossible, or even a little mad.   The quest seems foolish so easily.   I am following by faith someone I cannot see.  I learned about him through an old book handed down for centuries.  I am seeking things that I cannot see.

Everything about my current life is temporary.   Everything I have will be someone else’s trash or treasure some day.  The entirety of my life will be weighed by the value of things that cannot be touched.

To the uneducated eye Christ followers are wandering homeless.  We are not supposed to have a “home” her.  We are on the sea, questing for that undiscovered country.  We are weary travelers in search of rest.  If all this sounds a bit disjointed, then It is because it is.  Although the quest is completely logical it is also mad. 

We are not just lost travelers.  We are pilgrims.  We have a destination that matters.  We know where we are going even when we are not sure how to get there.  Our obligation is to keep moving.  Our job is to follow.

Sail on Sailor – Mustard Seed Faith

Sailin’ over the ocean
In search of life’s mysteries
Torn by tears and fears, forgotten dreams
And rusty memories

Sail on, sailor
Til you find what it is you’re lookin’ for
Trim your sails and turn your ship around
To the Lord

So many ports you’ve seen
And still your search goes on
Hoping that you’d find your way
But loneliness and pain are all you’ll ever find
Until your captain is the Lord

Sail on, sailor
Til you find what it is you’re lookin’ for
Trim your sails and turn your ship around
To the Lord

Sail on, sailor
Til you find what it is you’re lookin’ for
Trim your sails and turn your ship around
To the Lord

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 September 2016

The Main Quest – What About Side Quests?

Greetings Dear Reader,

There will be side quests.  Some of them can lead to long delays, unnecessary danger, or abandonment of the main quest altogether.  The side quests must be accepted carefully.  Some of the side quest turn out to be part of the main quest.

The idea is to choose carefully the side quests we accept.  We must always consider the danger.  We must always consider the consequences and rewards.  The dangers and benefits must be a part of the equation.  We must use wisdom.   We must be sure that the side quests are still a part of following Christ.

Most of the side quests are useless and unrewarding.   They rob us of time and resources.  They harm us.  They leave with scars and pain.  They are part of the reason we suffer, fail, or completely give up on our quest.

The quest is the thing.  We must follow the main quest without distraction.  There will be side quest that enhance the main quest.  I must be vigilant to choose well.  I must assure that all my questing leads to the main quest.  When I have failed at this is when I have done the most harm and taken the most damage

Sticking to the main quest is where the real reward is It is.  There will still be danger but there will also be wonders.  There will be miracles and magic.  I may even get to fly or walk on water.

Walk on the Ocean – Toad the Wet Sprocket

We spotted the ocean at the head of the trail
Where are we going, so far away
And somebody told me that this is the place
Where everything's better, everything's safe

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone

And half and hour later we packed up our things
We said we'd send letters and all those little things
And they knew we were lying but they smiled just the same
It seemed they'd already forgotten we'd came

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone

Now we're back at the homestead
Where the air makes you choke
And people don't know you
And trust is a joke
We don't even have pictures
Just memories to hold
That grow sweeter each season
As we slowly grow old

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone

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 September 2016

The Main Quest – Magical Weapons

Greetings Dear Reader,

In my years of gaming I have created some very interesting magical weapons.   My younger Son, who inspired this line of thought, still talks about his sword that helped make his character very powerful.

We have magical weapons for the quest.  They are only useful for the quest but have benefits far beyond it.  The three most powerful are the obvious ones.  They are our to wield as needed.

The obvious ones are faith, hope, and love.  They are always available through Christ.  We do not need to roll the dice or roll play to avail ourselves of the benefits.  We only need to use what we have been given. 

We even have a metaphor for the other weapons we have.  It has the purpose of helping us stand against the evil we will encounter.  We fight against “the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world.”

These weapons are:
The belt of truth:  The truth has its own power
The breastplate of righteousness:  Our righteousness in Christ protects our heart
Boots for walking the journey to spread the Gospel:  As we are going we get to share the good news of peace through Christ.
The shield of faith:  Faith protects us from the flaming attacks of the evil.  It is how we live.
The helmet of salvation:  Our head; our thoughts are protected by the assurance that we are going home.  That is our destination.
The sword of the spirit:  We have the Word of God as our weapon.  It is fast and powerful.  It is living.  It discerns between the thoughts and intents of the heart.
 
These are our weapons and armor.  They are magical, powerful, and available to all who follow Christ.  They are ours to use.  They work.  It is up to me to assure that I avail myself of them.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

17 September 2016

The Main Quest – Rules of the Quest

Greetings Dear Reader,

In every quest there are rules.  There are guiding principles.  There are imposed standards.  There are guidelines.  These rules are either intended to protect or manipulate.  The rules are either good or bad.  In any event when the one questing violates the rules there are consequences.  Following them can also yield rewards.

It is not my place to dictate rules.  I am required to discern which ones come from the right sources.  The quest is fraught with danger.  Some of the rules; the ones from the proper sources are there to protect the traveler.  They exist to keep us moving toward the main quest.

One can argue all one wishes about the rules and their source but there are some that work at the universal level.


Rules of the Quest:

  • Love your guide (Love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength)
  • Love your fellowship, party, or fellow travelers (Love your neighbor)
  • Love the evil wizard, evil dragon, evil killer bunny (Love your enemies)
  • Be Good (Lawful, Chaotic, or otherwise)

I realize that sometimes we feel like the game master is just messing around with us.  The problem is that we do not know the end of the quest and he does.  We try to circumvent the rules and meta-game our way through the journey.  This also does not work. 

I must discern if the rules relate to the main rules listed above.  I must understand that the journey is my responsibility and my obligation.  I must follow the leader of the fellowship with all my heart.  It is the only way I can get to the main quest.

Bungle in the Jungle – Jethro Tull

Walking through forests of palm tree apartments
Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents
Down by the waterhole
Drunk every Friday
Eating their nuts
Saving their raisins for Sunday.
Lions and tigers
Who wait in the shadows
They're fast but they're lazy, and sleep in green meadows

Let's bungle in the jungle
Well, that's all right by me
I'm a tiger when I want love
But I'm a snake if we disagree

Just say a word and the boys will be right there
With claws at your back to send a chill through the night air
Is it so frightening to have me at your shoulder?
Thunder and lightning couldn't be bolder
I'll write on your tombstone; I thank you for dinner
This game that we animals play is a winner

Let's bungle in the jungle
Well, that's all right by me
I'm a tiger when I want love
But I'm a snake if we disagree

The rivers are full of crocodile nastiest
And He who made kittens put snakes in the grass
He's a lover of life but a player of pawns
Yes, the King on His sunset lies waiting for dawn
To light up His Jungle as play is resumed
The monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune

Let's bungle in the jungle
Well, that's all right by me
I'm a tiger when I want love
But I'm a snake if we disagree

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 September 2016

Second Thoughts – The Light Has Changed

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.

As I sat by one of the large lakes a few evenings ago the sun was drifting westward to the horizon.  It was the first evening that I noticed that the quality of light had changed.  The air is cooler and the sunlight filtered through leaves weary from summer breezes tossing them about.

 The quality of light coming through the just waning leaves is not the same as when they sprung newly from the branches. It speaks of chill and fires, passing and winter where once it spoke of life and potential for a summer yet unborn.  That summer has run through its fields and  now Autumn calls the leaves and the light is so clear.

Soon the leaves will catch fire and crackling in the wind burn away in their fiery fall to the ground.  My world will turn to winter soon enough after the Autumn has its moment in the cooling sunlight.

The other Son is constant.  The other Son is reflected in the fall that gives way to the rise.  The death will give way to the life after the long dark.  The Son will come to give us back the life he promised after we see our way through the long dark by his light. 

For now we continue the fall.  We do not see the light as we wish it because the angle of our view is altered.  It is we that are clinging to the branch, waiting to die.  It the seasons that tell the journey.   It is in them that we find that light no matter how far away it feels is always there.  It seems changed but it is only our perspective and relation to it.  It will alter soon and we will be warm again.

Season Suite – John Denver

Silently the morning mist is lying on the water, captive moonlight waiting for the dawn.
Softly like a baby's breath, a breeze begins to whisper.
The sun is coming quick you must be dawn.

Smiling like a superstar the morning comes in singing, the promise of another sunny day.
And all the flowers open up to gather in the sunshine, I do believe that summer's here to stay.

And do you care what's happening around you,
Do your senses know the changes when they come?
Can you see yourself reflecting in the seasons, can you understand the need to carry on?

Riding on the tapestry of all there is to see, so many ways and oh, so many things.
Rejoicing in the differences, there's no one just like me.
Yet as different as we are, we're still the same.

And oh, I love the life within me; I feel a part of everything I see.
And oh, I love the life around me; a part of everything is here in me.
A part of everything is here in me, a part of everything is here in me.

[Fall]

Reflections on the water, like shadows in my mind,
Speak to me of passing days and nights and passing time.
The falling leaves are whispering, winter's on its way.
I close my eyes remembering the warmth of yesterday.
It seems a shame to see September swallowed by the wind.
And more than that, it's oh, so sad to see the summer end.
And though the changing colors are a lovely thing to see,
If it were mine to make the change I think I'd let it be.
But I don't remember hearing anybody asking me.

[Winter]

It's cold and it's getting colder. It's gray and white and winter all around.
And oh, I must be getting older; all this snow is trying to get me down.
There's a fire in the corner slowly dying, sometimes I just don't feel like going on anymore.
And yet I know it's more than worth the waiting for another chance to see the summer sun, come on, shine on me.

There's a fire in the corner slowly dying, sometimes I just don't feel like going on anymore.
And yet I know it's more than worth the waiting for another chance to see the summer sun, come on, shine on me.

[Spring]
Open up your eyes and see the brand new day, the clear blue sky and brightly shining sun.
Open up your ears and hear the breezes say, "Everything that's cold and gray is gone."
Open up your hands and feel the rain come down,
taste the wind and smell the flowers' sweet perfume.
Open up your mind and let the light come in, the earth has been reborn and life goes on.
Do you care what's happening around you? Do your senses know the changes when they come?
Can you see yourself reflected in the seasons? Can you understand the need to carry on?

Riding on the tapestry of all there is to see, so many ways and oh, so many things.
Rejoicing in the differences, there's no one just like me.
Yet as different as we are, we're still the same.
And oh, I love the life within me; I feel a part of everything I see.
And oh, I love the life around me; a part of everything is here in me.
A part of everything is here in me, a part of everything is here in 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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The Main Quest – What is Your Quest?

Greetings Dear Reader,

For some of you Dear Reader this will evoke images of Monty Python.  I am good with that.  I see the levity in the idea of questing.  I also see that we so often forget what the main quest is.

I wish to draw a distinction between something first.  People use the word “religious” to generalize about faith and following.  It is also used to dismiss, reject, and marginalize.  The distinction is that those who follow Christ are not religious.  They are part of a family of faith on a journey home.

The main quest is to get home.  The journey is fraught with dangers and side quests.  So many things work to distract us from the path that leads to our destination.  The quest for now is to follow. 

This begs a larger question for those who do not have faith.  What is your quest?  What is the chief end of man?   There are as many answers to this as there are variants of unbelief or other belief. 

My quest is to follow.  My journey is to get home.  The journey will have challenges, dangers, opportunities, and rewards.   My responsibility is to stay the quest.  There will be guidance when needed.  There will be provision and care.  The one I follow is Cleric, Wizard, Warrior, and Rogue.  How about you Dear Reader?  What is your quest?

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 September 2016

The Main Quest – Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

My Son Bezel posted a thought the other day that resonates with me.  “I feel like I'm at a point in my life where I know I need to advance the main quest, but instead, I faff about doing side quests because the main quest is intimidating and I don't feel like I've leveled up enough to be able to handle it.”  I cannot find the source of the quote but it is something that is spinning in my mind.

I have been a fan of table top gaming for fifty years.  The idea of advancing the main quest is one familiar to all of you Dear Reader.  It may not be due to hours of Dungeons and Dragons or GURPS.   
First a note to those who see these things as evil or a waste of time.  The truth about gaming is that any it is far from evil.  It is a great tool for teaching creativity, courage, and character.  It is a great way to build community.  Any evil that arises is in the people not the game.  I think that also covers the wasted time aspect.  Anything that builds character is not a waste of time.

I am more interested in what keeps us from the main quest.  What is it that draws our interest from what we desire to do?  What is it that has us chasing small things that do not matter when there is a dragon to slay and a maiden to rescue? 

Thank you Son for something to ponder.  You do that for me often.  Walk with me for a bit Dear Reader and as always I cherish your thoughts.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

14 September 2016

East to West – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

So I was up again in the wee hours pondering this.  There is no answer that I can put into words without metaphor.  Then again the concept of sin and redemption must be explained in metaphor.

Defining how far the East is from the West can be measured point to point.  It cannot be measured in terms of things like redemption.  We use terms like; “I once was lost but now I am found” or “All I know is that I once was blind but now I see.”   We cannot see the spiritual so we express it in metaphor.

The image of the extent of God’s love is expressed in the cross.  The tree of death becomes the new tree of life.  The Son of God comes to redeem us and dies to make it so.  He explains that there is a symbol, a metaphor for how far away our sin is removed.   

Psalm 103:12 - As far as the east is from the west— that is how far he has removed our rebellious acts from himself.

Then the question comes.  It is begged, repeated, and demanded.  How far is the East from the West?  The answer both metaphor and vivid visceral reality is in the answer:  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 ͡°)

13 September 2016

East to West – Who Holds Whom?

Greetings Dear Reader,

“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.”

So much of the wrong side of Christianity teaches us that we have to hold on to Christ to keep our relationship with him.  To manipulate believers constructs have been created that make us think we have to struggle and suffer to earn God’s continued love and acceptance.  The truth of this is truly as far as the East is from the West. 

Jesus made it clear that all that were his would not be taken from him.  He also made it clear that he would not cast them out. That means you and I Dear Reader.  The truth is that Jesus pursues us relentlessly. 

On my very darkest day Christ is there in every moment.  In most wicked moment Christ is there begging me to follow him and not my own will.   Even when I ignore him he stays with me.  I can hold on to Christ if I choose to but the reality is that he always holds onto me. 

No matter how I feel or think Jesus is there in every moment holding me as his own.  I must walk by faith in the truth of these promises.  It is never that I merit God’s favor.  It is that I always have it and need to tap into the riches that it provides.   I am never not his no matter how I feel.

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 ͡°)

12 September 2016

East to West - The Day Begins

Greetings Dear Reader,

“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.”

Most mornings the first few moments of being awake are great.  I usually awaken with music in my head.  It is almost always some song that I love or need to learn from that day.  Then there is the processing of what must be done.  That is when I remember that I am alone.  That is when I the guilt, the loneliness, and the reminders of my failures begin to vie for my attention.

It is only by placing my faith if following Christ for the next moment that I find the will and strength to write, work, prepare, and live.  I learn in those moments that I would rather follow than falter. 

I know that God will not reject me yet the rejections from my past try to make me believe that I am always going to be rejected.  Experience with humans MUST NOT translate to my expectations of God.

The Father loves me as and where I am.  He does not require perfection and he does not care about the past failure.  What he wishes is that I follow his Son in the moment.  He does not promise that I will not still feel how I feel.  I am not assured that I will not struggle.  I am promised that my needs will be met.

It is the reminder of my failures that I use to drive me toward Christ.  What I am when I do not is hurried.   The east to west becomes evident when I follow.  It becomes blurred when I do not.

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 ͡°)

11 September 2016

East to West – A Reminder of Distance

Greetings Dear Reader,

“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.”

The things I want are simple.  I think that the pain of the past often causes me to forget the Father’s forgetfulness when it comes to past failures.  I never want to be the man I used to be before I became moment by moment serious about following Christ. 

I can count all of the terrible things I used to do to and know when they try to assert themselves.  It is not enough to decide I am not going to “do ths again.”   I must moment by moment do what is right so that I do not have time to do what is wrong. 

It is in the following that peace is found.  It can be a struggle and part of that struggle is forgetting the depth to which I am forgiven.  People will remember our past failures and treat us badly based on them.  Jesus does not.

I need to be reminded daily how far the east is from the west.  I need to walk in that remembrance.  It is in this that I live and move and have my being.

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 ͡°)