31 October 2016

Allhallowtide - All Hallows Eve

Greetings Dear Reader,

I realize that to most of you this is a day to celebrate costumes and candy.  I am excited about my Grandsons and their costumes.  This is also the beginning of a very important season for me.

Allhallowtide is the three-day liturgical celebration for remembrance of the dead.   It includes All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day.  In the past this was an evening dedicated to preparing for the observation of All Saints Day.

This puts me in mind of how we are supposed to consider those who have gone on before us.  As a matter of faith, I work not to speak of the dead in the past tense.  As I ponder this on All Hallows Eve I ponder how this is the beginning of my personal season of gratitude and giving. 

I owe so much about my life and faith to those who have come before me.  There are lives that have influence mine.  There are souls that have invested in my soul.  There are lives that have sustained my life.

As I ponder those I have lost in the journey I ponder also the way in which we deal with death.  My Son, Maxim and I discussed this recently and I was reminded of how much the death of my Daughter Rachel impacted my Sons.  It was their introduction to death. 

Every person’s death diminishes me.  Some impact me more than others.  The point is that every life matters.  I will spend these three days remembering that in a world filled with so many injustices and horrors every life matters.  I am not disconnected from the world events that result in unjust killings.  I am never separate from the murder of unborn children. 

Every soul matters.  I will hallow my spirit and show my gratitude for those that have aided mine.  I will remember those I miss.  I will not forget those who need my aid.  The journey is not a solo one.  It is an opportunity to enrich others souls along the way.

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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30 October 2016

Sitting and Centering

Greetings Dear Reader,

People are often surprised at how early I rise to write.  I might do so later if I were only writing for my sustenance.  I am not there yet but to get there I must write.  So each morning, when most of you are still sleep I face the blank page. 

Before I do this though I center my day.  No matter how I feel when I awaken I work to make following my focus.  I pray and ask to be focused on following Christ.  I look at what I will write and ponder how it will draw me closer to being the man I am supposed to be in Christ.

I also pray for my Children and Grand Children.   I pray for my friends and my enemies.  I ask that I might somehow show love and kindness to everyone I encounter each day.  I ask for help in fighting my weaknesses and the things that make me selfish. 

Then I pray before I write.  I pray as I write.  The purpose is to follow Christ more closely by wrestling with the questions that plague me about following Christ is an increasingly more fallen world.  When I ask you to walk with me Dear Reader it is because I love you and value your company.  I am so grateful when you join the conversation.

This morning I catered my spirit longer than usual to fend of pride and entitlement.  I needed to address some things that could have gone very wrong.  It is in being reminded that I am a crooked stick just like everyone else that gives me the level ground to be loving and forgiving. 

My writing for the next two months will be focused on gratitude and giving.  As we enter my favorite time of year I want to do so centered on Christ.  The only way I can do that is if I do it daily.  Sometimes I need to do it in every moment.  Imagine the difference we could make if we did this every day as one.  It is not impossible.

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 October 2016

Second Thoughts – A Heart Less Ordinary

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.

Let me start out by saying that this is not about romance or infatuation.  It is not about the flirtations and innuendoes that permeate diner conversations all over the world.  It is about a woman who waits tables in a diner.  This is as an upscale bistro trying to masquerade as an every-diner.   The food is excellent and always in demand. 

Her name is Zoe.  I will not identify here further so as to avoid any undo tension in her life.   Her obsidian hair and fauzia eyes combine to create a visage that one would get lost in were they not careful.  I fear that too few look past the amazing beauty to the more amazing person who is content to be a server and give her very best to it.

Her smile always reaches her eyes.  Her greeting is always genuine.  I always want to be a good man in her presence.  It is not because she is a woman.  It is because she genuinely leaves me better after every encounter.  I want her to experience the same.  I want to reciprocate.

That is what it is.  This journey back to God is about doing my best to leave everyone better than I find them.  I want this person to feel her value and gifts as the rare and precious things they are.  I long for her to feel free of doubts about who she is and difference she makes.

I want everyone I encounter to have a moment of feeling whole when I am with them.  This is not a power I possess but a power that can pass through me when I get out of its way.  I long for people to see me and feel that their day is about to get better.  It costs me so little to be this kind of person.  I think that Christ and the Gospel can be seen more clearly when I am.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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You Were Never Meant to Carry This – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Dear Younger Me, you were never meant to carry the shame and regrets of your past.  You were never meant carry the penalty of your sin.  You were never meant to carry your failures into your future. 

You are designed to be holy, righteous, and free.  We are all designed for this.  We are all meant to live in complete goodness and harmony.  The past is written in stone.  The present is that same stone molten and malleable to my choices as it slips around me. 

It is my responsibility to mold every moment to match the Maker’s design for it.  In this I can follow.  I cannot do it if I am constantly carrying the stone I have already created.  Whether that stone is a lower mill stone grinding all around it or a great obelisk of honor it is the past.  It is not meant for me to carry.

I must follow with as little as possible.  I must follow with all my heart.   Nothing I would say to a younger me would change anything.  I can, however, learn from his failures.

Dear Younger Me – MercyMe

Dear younger me
Where do I start
If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far
Then you could be
One step ahead
Of all the painful memories still running thru my head
I wonder how much different things would be
Dear younger me,

Dear younger me
I cannot decide
Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life
Or do I go deep
And try to change
The choices that you'll make ‘cuz they're choices that made me
Even though I love this crazy life
Sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride
Dear younger me, dear younger me

If I knew then what I know now
Condemnation would've had no power
My joy my pain would've never been my worth
If I knew then what I know now
Would've not been hard to figure out
What I would've changed if I had heard

Dear younger me
It's not your fault
You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross

Dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

Every mountain every valley
Thru each heartache you will see
Every moment brings you closer
To who you were meant to be
Dear younger me,

Dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

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 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This – Every Moment

Greetings Dear Reader,

Thru each heartache you will see
Every moment brings you closer
To who you were meant to be
Dear younger me,

The span of our lives is made up of moments.  Each day we encounter a thousand moments and over the years those moments become our lives.  The choices in the moments become who we are.  A life is made up of the cumulative results and consequences of moments.

We view most of our life through the past and the crisis or joy of the moment.  We see the distresses and consequences of the moment as they occur but rarely remember to live in the moment. 

No matter the circumstances those moments are what shape us.  They shape us through our choices, attitudes, and responses.  They shape us relative to the efforts of the Father to bring us back to good.

We often, I think forget that God’s plan includes the response to every choice each of us will make.   It takes in to account every nuance of thought and action.   The King of the Sunset lies waiting for the dawn when his counter moves to our moves bring all things back to the way he intended them to be. 

It is my place to find him in every moment so that I am no surprised in the moment when I find myself with him.  It is in him that we live and move and have our being.  It seems only logical to recognize that each moment is an opportunity to find Christ and follow.  In a life we have 36.792,000 such moments.  He stands in each one waiting to help bring me closer to who I am meant to be.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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27 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This – Every Mountain, Every Valley

Greetings Dear Reader,

I recall fondly that my dad and I used to play a game called Feudal.  It was one of the popular Bookshelf Games.   In it you set up your army and used some very contrived moves to attach your opponent.  There were mountains and rough terrain on the board.  One had navigate around mountains and only certain pieces could go on rough terrain.   

The journey is often over rough terrain.  We have to traverse it whether we wish too or not.  We climb rough rugged mountains.  We traverse deep dark valleys.  Some days even smooth soft paths hurt our feet.   Some days every step is an effort.

Other days we the journey is easy in the warm sunlight.  The wind is at your back and the path is filled with loving fellow travelers.   Some days the journey is filled with real joy.

The challenge is to realize that the easy path and the rough terrain are all necessary and good.  They are all part of our movement toward home and permanent good.   It is never the journey younger me.  It is the one we follow on the journey.  It is the love we show our fellow travelers.

No matter where I find myself in the journey make the most of it.  I must follow in faith and only carry the things that I need.  It will get better. To resit the path is, after all, futile.  

Mountain Top – Second Chapter of Acts

The mountain tops are not as tall
The valleys seem to be getting small
Still the river rolls deep inside me
Take the dreams that didn't grow
And visions that melted in the snow
Take away my laugh
Still I'll climb the pathway home

With my hand in your hand
My life in your life
My spirit will rise
Until I see the rainbow

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 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This – Bondage

Greetings Dear Reader,

We are bound to so many things.  We are tied to our possessions, careers, habits, and addictions.  We are bound by the consequences of our choices.   We seek freedom but shackle ourselves to things that prevent true freedom. 

We are meant to be free from the things that hinder the journey.  Joy comes from the freedom to make the journey without burdens.  It is not freedom from obligation or responsibility.  It is not freedom from commitment or duty to others.  It is that all of this must spring from our commitment to follow Christ.

It is only in Christ that we find freedom from our bondage to the things that enslave us.  We live and move in Christ.  Freedom is found in obedience to the journey.  We will eventually be free from all that besieges us.  Until then we can find freedom to follow by refusing to carry the things that hinder our walk.

If You Want to Get Free – Waterdeep

In the gas station bathroom by the condom machine
I heard the word of the Lord
He said "Take off your shoes,
this is holy ground too
you know I came for the sick and the bored."
Beneath the selling of beers
And the welling up of tears
Out beyond the beam of the remote control
There's a whispering voice
That the humble ear ears
that says "I am still waiting
for you to ask just to be made whole."

And the bush it was burning on the mountain top
and though the leaves never blackened, the fire didn't stop
That's the way that it works in this old life of sin
You gotta let the fire burn you just to get clean within

I am so often deterred from my actual intent
by distractions in a cellophane wrap
And the cruel voice that taunts me when I open them up
to find just one more box full of crap
It's where you're mocked while you abstain
and then cursed when you give in
It's all a game that's impossible to beat
But there's a peaceful refrain God'll sing in your brain
when you put the nails to your hands and your feet

And the smell of our sacrifices
still fills up my head
There's just a few left at the altar, Lord
all the rest of them fled
And we've cried and we've tried
We've sweat and we've bled
But we don't just need atonement
We need to be raised from the dead

When they took down the cross from that dark hillside
The blood on their hands was the blood from his side
That's the way that it works, That's the way it must be.
You gotta let His blood stain you of you want to get free
If you want to get free
Don't you want to get free?
I think you want to be free.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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25 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This – New Hearts

Greetings Dear Reader,

The things we carry that are not for us break our hearts.  Whether it is love or pain our hearts get broken.  In truth they start out needing something more than they have.

We need the love that the Father provides to keep us whole.  Our broken hearts can be constantly renewed through faith and following.  I realize that this seems puerile but it works.  The memories that hurt and haunt are only quelled by faith and following.  It is only salved by renewing my heart’s dependence on Christ.

I tend to complicate things in hopes of find a better answer.  I tend to look for answers where I know they do not exist.  I wish younger me had realized this earlier but I am not meant to carry those regrets.  I am meant to carry faith and love.  I am meant to be renewed daily. 

The road is too long to carry things we are not meant to carry.  It is also too hard without a new heart each day to get us through the pain.  We will hurt.  We will fail.  We will fall.  The key is that our fellow traveler will help us rise and walk a little further.  He can give us hearts of fire to warm the journey for ourselves and others. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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24 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This – Why Not?

Greetings Dear Reader,

Dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed

I think that one of the things we misunderstand is our standing once we follow Christ.  We are no longer under the penalty of our failures.  We no longer are subject to the power of our past if we choose not to be.

We need to keep in mind how the Father sees us.  We are holy.  We are set apart as one of the one who belong to the Father and we cannot be wrested away from him.  He has claimed us as hi own. 

We are righteous.  We may still make wrong choices.  We may still fail but we are seen as righteous by the Father.  He sees our redemption. He sees Christ our advocate claim us as his own.  All the guilt both genuine and false is no longer over us.

We are redeemed.  Currently just the penalty and power of our failures is redeemed.  Eventually we will be redeemed from the presence of failure as well.  We can live righteously through obedience and humility if we choose to.

We are not meant to carry these things any longer.  We are not required to be under the pain and guilt.  We can choose to live as what we are.

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 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This – Not Your Fault

Greetings Dear Reader,

I spent from age 9 to 14 believing that my Grandfather’s death was my fault.  Family politics had cut me off from him at age nine and he declined and passed away very quickly.  I did not yet understand the difference between heart break and heart damage when his heart ran out of summers.

As a young boy, I was often saddled with things not meant for young boys to carry.  So many of the things that we carry as guilt are not meant to be ours.  We have enough honest guilt to deal with without succumbing to false guilt. 

So many things are out of our control.  We take on responsibility for things we have no control over.  This is one of the things that drives us to avoid reasonability for our actual faults. 

My sin is my fault.  The sin of others, of the world Is not.  My own faults must be acknowledged and repaired.  They must also not be carried forward as reality or guilt.  In this journey sins of the past are just too much to carry.

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 October 2016

Second Thoughts – Meteors and Wireless Phones

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.

I was privileged to have dinner with my Son and Grandsons on Thursday.  It had been the first night of the Orionid Meteor Shower and I shared with them how much fun I had watching it.   I explained the relationship between the meteor shower and Haley’s Comet.

I then asked my eldest what he wanted for his birthday.  He first deflected the question by reminding me that I should know since I am Santa Clause.  My Son and I gently pressed him to tell us what he wanted. 

After some hesitation, the soon to be six-year-old said he wanted his own phone.  The look that passed between my Son and I was one that every parent knows.  I watched as my Son gently inquired as to why he wanted a phone.  

The lad’s explanation was that he wanted to be able to call his family whenever he wanted.  My Son deftly explained how my Grandson could use his phone to do that whenever he wished.

The moment carried me back to when I would call my Grandfather.   My mum never knew about the long talks he and I had when I was home alone.  We would listen to afternoon baseball games together and talk about baseball and fishing or hunting.  We would plan our adventures when next I visited him. 

The heart longs to communicate with those we love.  It desires to be with others in any way possible.  Perhaps this is why I find that I pray so much more of late.  I long to talk to my Father and know that he is there with me.  I long to hear his voice reassuring me that all is unfolding as it should.  I long to lay under the stars with those I love and see the meteors streak across the autumn sky.

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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You Were Never Meant to Carry This – No Condemnation

Greetings Dear Reader,

The younger me has memories that constantly haunt me.  A parent who abandoned me and filled my life with lies challenges every attempt at self-worth.  A spouse who told me that I was no longer viable on paper echoes in my mind every time I try to advance my plans.  Someone I love telling me that I was at the center of the worst moments of their life cripples my attempts to be good to others or even any feeling of good when I succeed.

There are also the memories of a Grandfather, who, no matter what I did never condemned me.  He lovingly guided and corrected.  He always listened.  He always had time for me until he ran out of time.

I wish that the positive and hopeful things echoed more loudly in those moments of pain and heartbreak.  Mostly the condemnation is what I hear.  The power comes in whether or not I choose to listen to it.  Sometimes it freezes me but sometimes it frees me.  The voice I listen to makes all the difference.

We are not meant to carry past condemnations.  We are not designed to prosper under the weight of our failure.  This is why we are required to leave them at the cross.  It is why we are to deal with each other in grace, mercy, and forgiveness. 

Some days are glorious.  Some days I am just holding on, blocking out the condemnations of my past.  In either state there is no condemnation from Christ.  In him we live, love, and hope.  We should not be surprised when we move outside of his grace that things do not get better.

Broken – Lifehouse

The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
I am here still waiting though i still have my doubts
I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain, there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

The broken locks were a warning you got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded, I'm an open book instead
I still see your reflection inside of my eyes
That are looking for a purpose, they're still looking for life

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
with a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain (in the pain), is there healing
In your name (in your name) I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin') I'm barely holdin' on to you

I'm hangin' on another day
Just to see what you throw my way
And I'm hanging on to the words you say
You said that I will be OK

The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone
I may have lost my way now, haven't forgotten my way home

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
with a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain(In the pain) there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm barely holdin' on to you

I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm barely holdin' on to you.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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21 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This – Smoother Ride

Greetings Dear Reader,

We all want a smoother ride.  I wrote recently about a smooth ride I had in my twenties.  I compare so many things in my mind to that ride.  When it comes to life I do wish for a smoother ride often.

I wish things were easier.  I complain about the things I dislike and too often want a path of least resistance.  That is not what the world is.  The world is a hard fallen place where those who seek to do what is right will find opposition.

The one we follow did not have a smooth ride.  When we show love and kindness it does not make the ride smoother.   We validate between joy and sorrow through the fleeting moments that speed by at the never wavering speed of time.  The only thing that survives is the love we give. 

We ignore the need for sacrificial love in hopes of a smoother ride.  We try to control things to make the journey easier.  We manipulate others, choose wrong paths, and carry what we should not in hopes of a smoother journey.

The path is the path.  The road is the road.  We cannot make it smoother but we can endure the journey and even prosper in it.  We will be carried when necessary. 

What we need to do is not carry the things that make the journey harder but focus on carrying each other.  We need to help each other through the rough patches without hesitation. 

Lovers in a Dangerous Time – Bare-naked Ladies

Don't the hours grow shorter as the days go by
We never get to stop and open our eyes
One minute you're waiting for the sky to fall
The next you're dazzled by the beauty of it all
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

These fragile bodies of touch and taste
This fragrant skin, this hair like lace
Spirits open to the thrust of grace
Never a breath you can afford to waste

Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

When you're lovers in a dangerous time
Sometimes you're made to feel as if your love's a crime
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight

Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

We were lovers in a dangerous time
We were lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers, lovers, lovers
Oh
Lovers in a dangerous time

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 October 2016

Second Thoughts – Westboro Baptist Church

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.

So today I came face to face with people from Westboro Baptist Church.  They decided to come from Florida to the Midwest to protest and sing and preach.  Those who know me well know that I am a conservative Christ follower.  I am not part of the “religious right” or any organization that teaches hatred to anyone.

Those who know also know that these “Christians” to not represent what we were told by Christ to teach others.  This must be why they chose to target me today based on appearance.  I have long hair and a long beard for those of you who do not know me by appearance.  As I was walking past the protest (it was unclear exactly what they were protesting other than that God would not bend to there will and destroy this city on the spot), they chose to tell me that my long hair was a shame for a man.

Now I need to be clear that in First Corinthians it does say “Doesn’t nature itself teach you that it is disgraceful for a man to have long hair?”  I will not go into right now but I have good reason why I willingly embrace this “disgrace”

The problem as I see it is that nothing I heard from the folks from Westboro came close to the commands from Christ to:

  • Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind
  • Love your neighbor
  • Love your enemies
  • Love one another as I have loved you


I wish to apologize to my city on behalf of those who understand that it is not our place to judge and condemn.  It is my obligation as a Christ follower to love, serve, care, and communicate in a way that shows Christ for who he is and not as a vehicle for my own agenda. 

I want to say to every group that the Westboro people condemn and judge that I love you.  I do not always agree with you.  I will always treat you with respect and kindness.  There are many of us who follow Christ who do not hate or reject people.  Please do not judge Christ based on the bad actions of a few.  I welcome questions and comments on this.  I care that you were treated badly by those who should risk all to show you love and respect; kindness and grace.

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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You Were Never Meant to Carry This – Crazy Ride

Greetings Dear Reader,

As I ponder the things I carry I recall an assignment from my favorite professor many years ago.  We had to create a graphical representation of our journey with Christ over time. 

Occasionally I recreate this graphic to update my understanding.   It requires a level of honest introspection that is uncomfortable at best.  The ups and downs of this crazy journey are all things that I would attenuate in some way if I could.

I would enhance the good I have done.  I would multiply it.  I would focus on it.  I would also avoid some of the foolish selfish choices that have hurt those around me and hindered my journey.

The problem is that I can do none of that.  I can only learn from the past and apply the lessons to the present.  It reminds me of the lesson in Kung Fu Panda.  Maybe one of the best ever delivered by a cartoon.

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift; that is why it is called the present.

If I hope to carry only the things I should I must only live in the moment.  My eye must stay on the destination but always relative to the now.

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 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This - Oh the Choices You’ll Make

Greetings Dear Reader,

So much of our day is a series of choices.  Every single one of those choices shapes us in some way.  What we eat defines a part of our health and it influences our feelings.  We choose what to wear.  We make moment by moment decisions about leisure, work, and family.

Those choices shape us.  They have benefits and consequences.  The choice to embrace reading at age six has benefitted my education vastly.  The choice to eat badly in my twenties has continuing consequences in my fifties.  Other large choices have benefits and consequences that impact me and those who know me.

All of those choices made me.  However, it is not the choices alone that shape me.  It is the Father’s constant response to our choices that shape us as well.  Since he has prior knowledge of everything he anticipates my needs for love, discipline, and nurture and shapes responses to them.

The error we make is that we do not trust this.  We foolishly think that God abandons or tortures us.  He is always working to bring everything back to good.  In the midst of that work he allows us choices, free will.   He then responds to our choices making the necessary course corrections to improve things.

“I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.”

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 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This – One Step Ahead

Greetings Dear Reader,

The song I used to introduce this series, Dear Younger Me has a line; “If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far then you could be one step ahead of all the painful memories still running thru my head.”

We would all like to be a step ahead of the results of our choices.  We would all like to know the outcome before the choice is made.  We do not.  We have warnings and portents.  We have advice from those who precede us. 

The thing is that we all have painful memories we carry.    We all have failed at things that matter.  We are not meant to carry those things.  We are to learn from them.  We are to grow and become better.

We are never meant to carry our failures beyond the cross.  They are forgiven.  They are paid for by Christ.  We are not able to change the past but we are able to throw off the pain if we adopt the proper perspective.

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 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This - Shame

Greetings Dear Reader,

First let me apologize for being absent for a few days.  I have an injury that makes typing painful.  I am recovering but things are going slowly. 

I feel shame when I miss posting.  I do not need to but I do.  There is shame that is genuine but it, like guilt, should dissipate with forgiveness.  We hold on to shame for many reasons.  It causes us to disconnect and hide from community.

We must not let our own shame disconnect us.  More so we must not shame others.  The moments we do feel shame we must move through them to forgiveness and doing what is right.  We are not meant to carry shame.

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 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This - Guilt

Greetings Dear Reader,

False or deserved we all feel guilt over things.  Some of it is deserved.  When we do wrong genuine guilt is healthy.  Too often, however, we carry guilt over things that are not our responsibility.  Real or imagined guilt is something too heavy for us to carry on the journey.

It has too much power over us.  My younger Son once talked about the things for which he cannot forgive himself.  I have past failures that assail me in the dark robbing me of peace and rest.  It is no small thing that guilt extracts from us. 

There is also the cost of denying genuine guilt.  This too has great power to burden us.  It has vast strength and it endures.  We are not meant to carry it either.   We are meant to find forgiveness, learn the lessons, and move on down the path. 

We are meant to admit our wrongs, make restitution where possible, and leave our guilt at the cross.  We are never meant to take up false guilt.  Some things are out of our control.  We must not take up burdens we are not meant to carry.

The journey is too difficult on its own without baggage that harms us.  I cannot change what my younger self chose to carry.  Perhaps I can lighten your burden.

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 October 2016

You Were Never Meant to Carry This - Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Sometimes songs make me weep for my younger self.  Sometimes they make weep for the troubles I see in the lives of others that I cannot fix.  Sometime, as in this case, they bowl me over, back up over me, and run me down again.

This is not a bad thing.  It is often good for me to be knocked down by truth.  It keeps me looking up and following in humility.  I can tell I am listening when the truth leaves me feeling love and compassion for others who need it. 

I have often spoken about what I would do if I could speak to my younger self.  I have spoken about what I would do if I could go back and change something.  The reality is that the former me would not be likely to listen.

Still pondering what people need to know as they are younger brings me to some current understanding.   There are things we are just not meant to carry.  There things we need to leave behind that we do not. 

This round of thinking is for both of us Dear Reader.  We carry too much that should be long gone.  We do not see our younger selves as we should.  Walk with me and let us reason together for a bit.

Dear Younger Me – MercyMe

Dear younger me
Where do I start
If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far
Then you could be
One step ahead
Of all the painful memories still running thru my head
I wonder how much different things would be
Dear younger me,

Dear younger me
I cannot decide
Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life
Or do I go deep
And try to change
The choices that you'll make ‘cuz they're choices that made me
Even though I love this crazy life
Sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride
Dear younger me, dear younger me

If I knew then what I know now
Condemnation would've had no power
My joy my pain would've never been my worth
If I knew then what I know now
Would've not been hard to figure out
What I would've changed if I had heard

Dear younger me
It's not your fault
You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross

Dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

Every mountain every valley
Thru each heartache you will see
Every moment brings you closer
To who you were meant to be
Dear younger me,

Dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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11 October 2016

Be The Reason… - Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

We are always an example of something.  We move back and forth between being examples of good and bad things.  We choose the patter of our example.  We become either reasons for belief or cautionary tales.   

It is my obligation to be the reason that people believe in good things.  I must do so by example.  I must do so by living out love, kindness, and faith.  I must become an example of these things no matter how I feel or what my circumstance.

It truly is possible to choose to do right no matter the situation.  It is not easy and it is not simple.  It is my duty to be the reason that others have hope.  Only in this can I be sure that I am following; if I live out the Gospel in every endeavor.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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10 October 2016

Be The Reason… - Someone has Faith

Greetings Dear Reader,

I said all that to say this…   We who follow Christ need to be the reason that people find faith.  We need to live lives that put hands and feet on the Gospel.  We need to be a living example of faith. 

The difficulty is that I cannot take out my faith and show it to someone.  I have be an example of love, compassion, kindness, goodness that can be seen as a glimmer of who Christ is.  Too long we have inundated the world with things that detract from the Gospel. 

When we fail to deal in the things people need to believe in by being the reason to believe in them we hinder others from seeing Christ.   Faith comes from seeing the things that faith yields.  Faith comes from living out the Gospel and earning the right to be heard.

I do not want anyone to put his or her faith in me.  I do want to be a reason that someone puts his or her faith in Christ.  Someone did this for me and it saved my life.  I must do the same.  I must be an example and give people a reason to believe.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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09 October 2016

Be The Reason… - Someone Believes in Kindness

Greetings Dear Reader,

People need friends even if they do not realize they need them.  It is easy to be solitary when one chooses to be so.  It is difficult when one does not.   It is easy to hard.  It is easy to be indifferent to others. 

It is hard to be kind.  It takes constantly thinking of the needs of others.  It requires insistent intentional putting ourselves in the place of others.  We need to see and understand how others feel and think.  It is remembering the needs of others and even if we can do nothing having compassion.

Kindness changes things.  It can cool tense situation.  It can ease the burdens of others.  It can open doors to friendship.  Kindness fueled by love is the paving material into the lives of others.  It also provides an exit ramp to a solitary selfish existence.

It is easy to guard our hearts and not share them.  It remains easy until we take the risk of doing so.  We will get hurt.  We will be damaged.  It is, however, always worth it.   When the kindness pays off in someone believing that there is genuine kindness in the world it all becomes worth it.

Easy to be Hard – Three Dog Night

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

Especially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil and social injustice
Do you only care about being proud
How about I need a friend, I need a friend
How can people be so heartless
You know I'm hung up on you
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

Especially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil and social injustice
Do you only care about being proud
How about I need a friend, I need a friend
How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be proud, easy to say no
Easy to be gone, easy to say no

Come on, easy to get read
Easy to say no
But too easy to be cold
Easy to say no
But too easy to say no

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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08 October 2016

Second Thoughts – Uncommon Common Moments

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.

Today is one of those rich October days where the temperature is cool.  The sun is out and standing in it feels just right.   It is one of those days where the portents of winter are in the air but so is the last breath of summer.

I had to gather groceries for the coming week.  I went to my favorite grocer, smiled at several clerks I know, and went to the checkout.  Both the cashier and bagger were people I have interacted with for many years. 

I noticed that the bagger, Sheri, did not greet me with her usual smile.  She was stone faced and woodenly doing her work.  I asked her how she was and she only shook her head.  As the cashier was ringing up my groceries Sheri took a moment to step away from the bagging station and speak to me.

Still stone faced she spoke, “I just learned this morning that my husband only has three to six months to live.” 

Her statement hung there in the air like a bomb in the moment before detonation.  She searched my face for a response.  I looked her in the eye and said, “I realize there is no time to discuss this now.  I do, however, care.  Thank you for trusting me enough to be real.  I will look for you whenever I come in so that you can update me.  I will be praying for you both.”

It was then that Sheri smiled.  That was all there was.  A brief smile.  Then she spoke again, “I know you care.  You treat us all with respect when you are here.  Thank you for reminding me.”

As I walked to the car I prayed for Sheri and her husband.   As I drove back to my place I prayed again.  The difference we make by being kind every day pays off in opportunity to be good to someone in pain.  It results in the chance to do more good for someone.  That is what we do.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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Be The Reason… - Believes in Love

Greetings Dear Reader,

The engine that drives hope and good is love.  The power to crush the barriers of pain and suffering is love.  The path to all things worth finding is love.

I am not talking about romance.  What I am pondering is the power of selfless unconditional love for those we encounter daily.  It is where we can find the strength to combat all the besieges the work of getting back to good.

This establishment of reason is very simple.  Moment by moment my motive needs to be to be the reason that others believe that love is possible.  People need to see it in everything I do.  They need to feel loved, respected, and valued. 

This means that selfishness and anger must go.  It means that genericity must be a part of who I am.  It also means that I cannot substitute anything less than love for love.  I must not replace love with things or people.  I must always seek to act in a loving way with all my endeavors. 

It is in loving others that makes progress down the path of following Christ.  If I work at being the reason that someone believes in love then perhaps I can help them believe in other good things as well.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

07 October 2016

Be The Reason… - Someone Has Hope

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the byproducts of too little good is too little hope.  So often the world seems weary and worn to me.  It seems old, tired, and dusty.  It feels “thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

The world needs hope.  When we live out the love and compassion of the Gospel can build hope.  When we deal in grace and kindness we can provide hope.  When we care for the social needs of others in practical ways we can give hope. 

Hope is the fuel that gets us to good, better, and best.  Hope is the engine that can drive us down the path when it seems we cannot go on any further.   Hope is what can push us past pain and suffering.  Hope is what keeps sorrow and loss from consuming us.

I must give others reason to hope.  I must set an example.  I must show love and kindness.  I must be patient and humble.  I must follow Christ as closely as possible so that I maintain my own hope. 

What I most need to remember is that in Christ alone is hope that endures.  In Christ alone is hope 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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

06 October 2016

Be The Reason… - Someone Believes There is Good

Greetings Dear Reader,

We need to keep in mind that in the beginning all things were good.   We messed it up.  We created the things that are not good.  We are the reason that good is sparser than it should be.

The difficulty is that it is that the bad in the world wears away at us.  It drags us down.  It dogs our spirit.  It haunts our attempts to do good.  It steals us of belief that there is good.

Whether it is in small things or great we can do good.  Sacrificing something for the benefit of others can be great good.  The cumulative acts of daily being good to others can be just as powerful.  The truth is we may never know the impact.  It is in the doing of the good that we create belief that there is good; even if it is only within ourselves.

I must be good to others.  I must be good to the gas attendant no matter how surly he is.  I must be good to my coworkers.  I must be good to strangers.  I must show that there is good by being good to others.

I might be the only good someone sees in a day.  This is not a point of pride.  It is a point of opportunity.  It is a chance to be the bright spot.  It is my privilege to do any good.  It is my chance to make a small difference that might grow into something great.  Whatever I do I must do 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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