17 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Without A Doubt

Greetings Dear Reader,

Doubt is a curious thing.  It is one of those creatures that has power only given to it.  It does not live on its own.  It is born and lives in the mind.  It is completely subject to the will.

Faith comes very easy for me.  That does not mean that I do not doubt.  What it does mean; what it necessitates is that I deal with doubt honestly.  I musts acknowledge it when it tries to flicker to life.

I am sure this is one of the things that is meant by bringing every thought into captivity.  It is not wrong to have doubt.  I have spoken of this at length.  How I deal with it, however, can determine my entire future.

No one wakes up on a Thursday morning and abandons faith.  They start earlier by nursing the spark of doubt in the wrong way.  They entreat and nurture it until it becomes an all-consuming fire.  They find a focal point for the doubt and magnify it.  Thursday comes and faith has been added to the fire of doubt.

It is not wrong to doubt.  It is wrong to doubt in dishonesty.  Job makes it clear.  He points out that he will not charge God foolishly.  He will not doubt the goodness of God even amidst the ruin of his life, the loss of his children, and the damage to his health. 

I must let the spark rise from the fire if it tries.  I must also be ready to cling to faith that the Father is good.  The Son is worth following.  Faith is more powerful than all that I see.  Again my friend Job makes it clear, “even if he kills me, it will serve him…even if my body is turned to dust, I will se him in the flesh.”

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 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ It Is Certain

Greetings Dear Reader,

What do we mean when we say something is a certainty?  We assure people that we will do something or be somewhere.  We commit to an event, a time, or a place.  We commit to relationships or participation.

Then we back out.  We modify our minds.  Things change.  We decide that we want something different than that to which we have pledged a certainty.  That event, time, relationship becomes something to which we will not hold our certainty.

This is not how the Father deals with us.  If he says it is certain then it is certain.  There is not even a shadow of uncertainty.  We ascribe uncertainty to the Father because we are uncertain.  When we do not have all the answers we allow our uncertainty to be projected on others.

I cannot fault others when they are uncertain due to my failures in the past.  I must not, however, doubt the one I follow.  He has said it is certain that all things are under his care.  He has assured me that his promises to me will never fail. 

If I doubt it must be my uncertainty and not a false accusation that I cannot be certain about Christ and following him.  Doubt is not wrong.  Failure to distinguish between my uncertainty and the assurances of God is dangerous.  If I do not assure that my questions are founded on what is certain then I cannot use my faith whilst I sort out the rest.

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 August 2017

Second Thoughts – Progressing Princess

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.

When I wrote this post last year it was from a luxury room at a Disney Resort.  I was weary from an amazing day of escorting my Daughter, Christmas around the Magic Kingdom where she dressed like a true Princess for our dinner at Cinderella's Castle. 

Tonight our dinner was a simpler fare at a local steak house.  Her Brother and I did our best to make her feel beautiful and celebrated.  Nothing I can do even with my vast power over words can express how much she is loved and valued. 

As each year slips through the glass I am amazed at her power to rebound and recover.  She has the ability to dazzle and delight others.  She is a gifted artist who uses imagination and insight to help others see what they envision.

I am proud to be he papa and blessed to see her impact in the lives of others.  Happy Birthday Christmnas.

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 ͡°)



Eight Ball Answers ~ It Is Decidedly So

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of my favorite recurring lines from Star Trek: The Next Generation is when Captain Picard would say, “Make it so.”  It was his command of decision.  It meant that discussion was ended and there was work to be completed.  His crew was to transform the command to reality.

Sometimes the answers we give seem like more than yes because of the way in which we give them.  There is a confidence in this one that implies more than affirmation.  There is a timbre to it that communicates beyond certainty.

This answer implies that the thing is not just on the horizon but is complete.  If something is “so” it exists.  Instead of hoping we may have realization.  Instead of wondering what will be this answer assures that it is. 

I think that there are many things that do not yet exist that want to be so.  We count on them even if the outcome is uncertain.  We depend on them even if the odds are slim.  There are things that require faith and there are things that are accomplished.  I must assure that I do not confuse the two.

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 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ You May Rely On It

Greetings Dear Reader,

For those of you who are regular readers you know that when I write thoughts in a series I tackle an aspect a day until I am finished.  Because of this, on longer paths I do not always know what will be unfolding in my life when I reach a certain thought in the topic.  This gives God opportunity to work out his sense of humor in my life.

It is the nature of life that we must rely on certain things.  I think we live in a constant imbalance in this area.  We rely to much on the things for which we think we have all the answers.  We put our security in things that we think are stable and fixed.

The problem with this approach is that things are never as stable as they seem.  A company is sold to another company and seven hundred people are found redundant.  On a Thursday they are told they no longer have a job.  On Friday they no longer have insurance.  If they have relied on that paycheck with no contingency dire straits are on the horizon.

We rely on our families in many cases.  They fail sometimes.  Sometimes they learn from their failures and work to be reliable again.  Sometimes they repeat the pattern of failure no matter how often they say they understand and will stop.  Sometimes they just do not care.  Sometimes they walk away to pursue their things never considering the years of devastation their children come to rely on.

I must be reliable.  I have not always been so. I must also realize that I must not rely on others for anything without a contingency.  I do not mean this in a harsh way.  I do mean that I must recognize that only the Father and the Son are the family that can be completely counted on when they say “You may rely on it.”

Sweet River Roll – Waterdeep

Homebound Henry's he’s got a tumor in his head
He wakes up sweating every morning after dreaming he was dead
He used to think that life was boring, but now that's not the case
He turns to his wife in the evening
He says "Honey I'm afraid I'm gonna lose this race"

Sweet River roll all over me
Sweet River roll, hey all over me

Soaking wet Juliet, she lives in a well full of tears
Her husband left her for some bimbo after twenty-two years
Now she's got to start all over, but she's just so terrified
She thinks it woulda been so much easier if he woulda just died

Sweet River roll all over me
Sweet River roll, hey all over me

Now I'm lookin' out my car window sittin' in the pouring rain
Although your house is fifteen miles away, I can still feel your pain
Now I've thought and prayed and worked it
Through about a hundred times or more
How your soul just cries to everyone to help you get up off the floor

Right now it's morning, you're probably sleepin'
I bet you're totally unaware
Of the flood of kisses you hold back by the way that you despair
It ain't me I'm talking about here, or anybody else you can touch
That's all I want to say right now, I don't want to say too much

Except Sweet Jesus roll
Roll all over me
Sweet Jesus roll, hey
All over me

Sweet Jesus, oh you has to roll, hey
You gotta roll all over me
Sweet Jesus, oh You has to roll, hey
And use to set me free
Ahh just set me free, hey

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 August 2017

Second Thoughts – One Small Thing

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.

Because staying in my small abode alone is unhealthy for me I have taken to spending one morning a week writing in a coffee shop.  I have a couple of favorites but both have the same need.  By nature coffee shops have limited seating and even fewer seats with access to power points. 

My tenure at these busy purveyors of caffeine and cream is usually a few hours.  The seats that offer readily available electricity all have tables that seat four or more.  I feel guilty taking up the space when all I am doing is drinking lemon ginger tea and working away at my next tale. 

Then I stumbled upon an idea.  With the manager’s permission and assistance I made up my little sign.  It simply says, “Feel free to share my table.”  I place it behind my laptop and focus on my work.  No has joined me yet.

There has been, however, a stream of comments about it.  At least once each visit someone will comment how thoughtful the sign is.  I know it makes the owner happy.   Then there are the curious.  There are people who actually ask if I am serious.  I assure them that I am but they move on to another table.

The most curious are those who notice and feel the need to apologize to me.  They explain that they are meeting other people or need to sit outside.  I try to reassure them that I am not offended and thank them for saying hi.  It is just curious that they are worried about me being bothered by their not sitting with me. 

It reminds me that I live in a society where offense is so easily manifested and sometimes even sought.  It reminds me that the motorways and footpaths of my town are paved in eggshells. 

I must remain difficult to offend.  I must assure that I remain open to the company of strangers. I must be considerate of the business owners to whom I give my custom.  It is vital that I am aware of the needs of all those with whom I congress.  If I am to follow Christ well I must remain approachable and available; generous and kind.

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 ͡°)

Eight Ball Answers ~ As I See It, Yes

Greetings Dear Reader,

There is a picture in one of our family albums from when I was a teen.  We are at an outing for my dad’s business.  I am about to depart for college and my youngest brother is a toddler.  The picture is of toddling along holding my hand.  Only my hand with my massive school ring shows as the focus of the shot is my brother.

In that picture my hand and class ring look large because of the small size of my brother.  I am looking at that same ring right now.  It looks small and insignificant just held in the palm of my hand. 

So many of the differences in our world are a matter of perspective.  When we discuss things with others from the mundane to the universal is so often comes down to where we stand when we are looking at the issue.  We use values, information, and beliefs to color in the black and white of things to construct our perspective.

“As I see it” always implies perspective.  From where I stand it means that there is information behind the assertion that is being offered.  The agreement has been weighed in the scales of perspective.  This is both good and bad.

The counsel of others always comes from their perspective.  It is why we must seek the counsel of those who understand ours.  Our choices must be informed by good counsel.  In making it good we must consider the perspective of those we ask.  We must always take I to account the source of our support. 

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 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Most Likely

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of you asked me yesterday if I was just shaking the Magic 8-Ball® and writing about the answer that came up to the surface.  I am not.  I am going in a very specific order.  I did repeat one answer.  I will leave it to you, Dear Reader, to discern why.  I think I know who will most likely sus it out.

That brings us to today’s ponderance.  When I ask a question that is a yes or no question and someone says most likely, I always feel that the question is being avoided.  That does not mean that it is true but that is how it feels to me. 

Most likely implies yes but does not assure it.  It is left to the hearer to infer the degree to which the person is affirming.   It is a loophole for the person giving the answer.  It is easy to slip out of the apparent assertion by simply pointing out the it was likely but not confirmed. 

The difficulty with leaving oneself a back door is that one is not being honest.  It is not wanting to commit to something but wishing to appear that we are committing.   This response can take other forms such as “we could do that”, “that sounds good”, or “that’s a great idea”. 

These are not affirmative answers.  They are simple diversions intended to make one think that there is agreement.  Using this to manipulate a situation is not right for me.  If I am unsure I must say so.  If I am reticent to agree I should not make one believe that I do just to keep favor.  It is my obligation to speak the truth in love.  That is enough.

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 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Outlook Good

Greetings Dear Reader,

Too often we think that the outlook is the answer.  In the current climate the outlook is not good in many ways.  A madman in Asia threatens the world.  Our own nation is divided on so many issues that it is frightening.  The outlook in the now is not good.

That, however, is not supposed to be my focus.  It does not take many words to explain that no matter the current distress my outlook is supposed to be colored by my faith.  It always comes back to that.  It is always the undercurrent of what I perceive in the world.

When I accept that I must live by faith and not by sight then there are certain things that must inform my outlook.  The first is that Jesus does not wish us to live in fear and worry.  He wants us to consider that all things will unfold to his ultimate success in bringing the world back to good. 

The bad in the world will run its course.  There will be hard times and there will be bad things.  In every response the Father has the goal of healing the world in the plan.  It is my duty to follow his Son in faith knowing that no matter how deep and dark my current valley may be, the outlook is 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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

10 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Signs Point to Yes

Greetings Dear Reader,

At this turn we begin to address the positive facets of the Magic 8-Ball’s icosahedral.  Some of these are the opposite of the negative and some are unique.  There are as many positive responses as there are negative and neutral combined. 

This first one is one of prognostication and not certainty.  I have already touched on the lack of certainty in most things.  I have spoken about the certainty of faith being required in all things.  What it leaves us to is to consider how we follow the signs and our level of dependence on them.

I will deal with how to follow the signs first.  The simplicity is to think, seek counsel, and make a choice.  The difficulty is that thinking can be trying.  Even the clearest thinking can be muddled by the import of a choice.  The grave matters can easily summon questions and doubt.  Our thoughts can be assailed by our fear.

Seeking wise counsel is prudent and desired.  Finding good counselors can be more difficult than one would seem.  Each one must be honest and understand my faith and following.  They do not have to agree with that faith but understanding can prevent counsel that runs against it.

Making choices in dire circumstances can be taxing.  Choosing can direct where life goes and can be a permanent act.  We make choices that limit our choices for life whether we accept that or not.  Choosing, when we must choose, must be no light thing.

The other aspect of this is looking for a sign.  This is the most dangerous aspect.  Jesus makes it clear that to look for a sign in matters that require faith is spiritual adultery.  When it comes down to it signs and portents may inform but they must not replace faith and following.  The signs may point to yes but it is still my obligation to choose in faith.

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 ͡°)

09 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Concentrate and Ask Again

Greetings Dear Reader,

This particular response only occurs In the Magic 8-Ball® and in my head.  No one has actually said it to me.   It surfaces in my head when I think that I am being unclear or that my listener is being obtuse.  

I strive never to get irritated when I must concentrate and ask again.  I fail more often than I would like.  The truth for me is that I am more impatient teller than listener.  I choose all my words carefully and in my pride, I wonder why people just don’t get it.  This is an excellent opportunity for me to learn more grace, patience, and humility. 

When I take the time to concentrate and ask again I find that I am more patient and show more compassion or understanding.  Perhaps I give better information.  Sometimes I find a new and better way to say what I am saying. 

Good communication is so vital to good relationships.  It must always be my endeavor to communicate well.  I must be clear and kind.  I must seek to understand before begging to be understood.  I must always put the moment of good repour ahead of the moment of understanding and both must precede my urgency for agreement.

In communicating well I can assure that focus my mind on following Christ.   He is Dear Reader the living Word and the final one on all matters.

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 ͡°)

08 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Cannot Predict Now

Greetings Dear Reader,

In many ways we make choices, decisions, and the like without all the information.  Sometimes we are in a hurry or sometimes the information is not available.  We sometimes have to make choices against the pressure of time and must do so without full assurance that we are correct.

Life is one of constant choices.  Some of them become automated by habit or the dictates of others to which we agree.  At times we limit our choices through the consequences of previous choices. 

In any situation when faced with choices we try to predict the outcome.  We hope that we come out favorably even when the situation is grim and the odds are against us.  Our nature is to sometimes deny the truth before to avoid the logical choice.  We will seek the prediction of others to shade things in our favor. 

It is true that in a multitude of counselors there is safety.  It is also true that when seeking counsel we sometimes hope to diminish our responsibility of our choices.   When Gildor the Elf is speaking to Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring he puts it best;  “Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill.”

I always want to predict what will happen.  I always want it to be good and positive.  I am often wrong.  I am not a prophet.  I am a mere scribe.  I delve into this space to better guard my journey and my faith.  I do not offer you predictions or advice Dear Reader.  Rather, I hope that you can benefit from my blessings and learn from my failures. 

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 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Better Not Tell You Now

Greetings Dear Reader,

More frustrating perhaps than “Ask Again Later” is the response “Better Not Tell You Now.”  The difficulty is that I perceive a bit of goading in the latter response.  There are times when one must withhold an answer. 

The difficulty is that there is a clear difference between having to withhold an answer and being dishonest.  Then the second layer is honest withholding of information and being sure that one is not being taunting or cryptic.  Both are necessary for those times when answers are requested but not forthcoming.

I struggle with not being cryptic to the point that it is necessary for me to actually state that I am not being cryptic.  I like to lead up to things.  I like story as much as I like the information.  Apparently not everyone shares this.

The difficulty with not being able to reveal things is that I want people to know the whole story.  This is not always a good idea.  This is not always honorable.  Issues such as privacy, work product, and proprietary information necessitate the guarding of my words.  The truth is vital but at times the whole truth must not be disseminated. 

It is my obligation to be clear without violating my obligations to the truth and to privacy.  It is also my duty to avoid indulging my pride when I must withhold information.  “I better not tell you now” must be followed with a clear explanation of my duty to be clear but keep information for specific purposes.

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 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Ask Again Later

Greetings Dear Reader,

Of the neutral answers on the Magic 8-Ball® this one is the most frustrating.  I am prone to want the answers now.  It is difficult for me to be patient when there is information that I want or need.

We all want the answers to the questions that plague us.  There are questions we cannot answer, questions we cannot express, and answers that are not easily forthcoming.  Some of the more universal questions cannot be answered in our current state of knowledge and/or wisdom. 

I do not know if I have ever had a human say to me “ask again later.”  Instead we skirt around giving direct answers.  We will say things that mean ask later but we are not that direct.  This is usually a tactic to delay an unpleasant response or one to buy time to ponder the answer further.

What I need to hone in on for this thought is to make sure that I distinguish between wanting and needing an answer.  Answers are there but I do not always need them as quickly as I presume that I need them.  I am a planner.  I want to know now. 

In truth if I am going to walk in faith then I need to be more patient about the answers I want.  I must be willing to keep moving without answers.  I must follow in faith not sight.  It is in the questions where I need to ask again later that I may learn more than in the immediate answers.

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 ͡°)

05 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Reply Hazy, Try Again Later

Greetings Dear Reader,

We are often so poor at communication.  We do not always say what we should or need to say.  We fail to communicate honestly.  In order to avoid risk we parse what we say. 

The intricacies of communication can be complex and frustrating.  We ponder what we should say, how we should say it, or if we should speak at all.  We give hazy replies to clear questions or in asking vague questions we entrap others. 

When I am uncertain I have to choices.  I can communicate clearly that I am uncertain or I can give clear communication.  What I must not do is give hazy replies.  I must be clear.  I do not need to tell everything I know.  I do not need to be painfully blunt. 

When it comes to communication I almost always like the circuitous route.  Too often I overuse this device.  I like the long lead into things.  I enjoy building a foundation for my point.  This is not wrong but it is not always appropriate.

What I must do is speak the truth in love.  This is the command.  This is the guideline for communication.  We can use truth as a weapon to harm others if we do not speak it in love.  We can use love to be deceptive if we do not embrace the truth. “The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love.” William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

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 ͡°)

04 August 2017

Second Thoughts – Journey Updates

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 some of you know I am working toward the place where I can work only as a writer.  Although I grow closer I still need your help Dear Reader.   Book sales are the highest key. There are other things that can help as well:

Amazon Reviews:  I need more reviews to raise my visibility on Amazon.  One can do so on my Author’s page on Amazon.  Feel free to do this and let me know you did.  It would brighten my day.

Sharing my Blog:  I know that many of you read my posts and some of you even comment. To raise my visibility there needs to be more sharing.  I am happy with any way you choose to do this.  One can share the link on his or her social media page or forward the post they like to others.  Even if you did this once or twice a week it would be significant.

Hire me to write for you:  Whether it is technical or non-technical writing I can help.  If you need help wordsmithing something send me an email and we can chat about it:  aramisthorn@aramisthorn.com

Have me come speak to your group:  I love talking to people interested in writing or reading.  I am happy to come and speak with your group.  I can do this virtually or in person. If you would like to take advantage of this you can email me and we can chat about this as well:  aramisthorn@aramisthorn.com

The idea is to get to the place where my time for writing does not take second place to some other form of gaining income.  Thank you for your support Dear Reader.  I cannot do it without you.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Eight Ball Answers ~ Cannot Predict Now

Greetings Dear Reader,

We complain that the weather report on the news is always wrong and yet it is the most watched part of the news.  Except during times of crisis the weather gets the most air time.  There is even an entire channel for weather.

We love predictions.  We want to know what is going to happen.  We desire to know the future as long as it is favorable.  Many have spent fortunes trying to find out the future.  Charlatans and the sincere will tell you what the future holds.

The honest answer is that we cannot predict the future with accuracy.  All we have to do in order to get a clear understanding of this is reference technology.  Bill Gates told us, “The past teaches us that the present is very poor at predicting the future of technology.”  We are supposed to be a paperless society.  We are supposed to only have to speak to our computers.  Where is my hoverboard?  Where is my flying car?

We are poor predictors of what is to come.  We are also poor at managing ourselves when we know what is coming.  If we do not like the prognostication we look for ways to mitigate it.  We search to change the future to our liking.  Worse, we sometimes resign our lives to futures that could be diverted with a little effort.

When we get an answer that says that the future is unclear we need to understand that we are not necessarily meant to know.  I know that the more I know about the future the more likely I am to mess it up.  Not knowing can be frightening.  It can be daunting.  It is also yet another opportunity for me to have, walk in, and increase my faith. 

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 ͡°)

03 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Very Doubtful

Greetings Dear Reader,

Doubt is such a dangerous thing.  It rises from our fears.  It rises from the failure of faith.  It is not something that makes us better.  It is also not wrong if we deal with it well.

What we fail to see is that in the moment of doubt we have a choice.  We get to choose how we respond to doubt.  We get to exercise faith, the other side of the doubt coin.  I realize that it sounds like a platitude but in the moment it may be the best choice.

If my faith is real then the moment or hours of doubt must be the summoning call to exercise it.  If I claim to live by faith then the rise of a storm that makes me doubt has the shelter from that storm in it. 

My problem is that I want to know what is next.  I want certainty and answers.  Demanding these things that I think will make me secure is not the path to peace.  Without faith I cannot follow Christ.  If that is the fuel to following then I must see it as more than a platitude to be told to use it. 

My doubt is ferocious.  It screams fear and despair into my mind.  My faith in Christ alone brings me solace.  It does not consume my need to know but it gives me direction.  It gives me a foothold.  It gives me protection from the storm if I wish it.

So it comes down to the ever-asked question, “Is faith enough?”  Once again I must exercise faith.  I must also change the question.  I must change it to, “Can I make it without faith?”  The answer for me is very simple, very plain, and sounds like a platitude.  My answer must be, “Very doubtful.” 

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 ͡°)

02 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Outlook Not So Good

Greetings Dear Reader,

In a world where we are supposed to live in the moment whilst considering the past and the future we instead spend too much time in the past and future.  We look to the future more often than we live in the moment.  We even use Outlook® to manage much of our working and some of our personal lives. 

It is good to have plans and planning tools.  It is wise to prioritize events and opportunities.  The difficulty is that we get more invested in how we think things will unfold than we do in how we are supposed to be in the unfolding.

There are times when the outlook is not so good.  It may be work, a medical diagnosis, a spouse who wants out of the marriage.  There are times when the situation is grim.  Sometimes hope seems fleeting. 

I am not intended to live my life based on my outlook.  I am meant to live my life following Christ no matter how grim the situation seems.  When the outlook is bleak it is time to harness my faith not my limited view of the world.  When the outlook is bright I should enjoy it but not put my confidence in anything but Christ.

The outlook may not be good but God is good all the time.  He knows what he is doing even when I do not see the possibilities.  That needs to be enough for me.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

01 August 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Don’t Count on It

Greetings Dear Reader,

This specific answer from the Magic 8-Ball® is negative but also neutral.  It is listed as one of the “no” answers.  It also subject to one’s own disposition.

It is much more important that I focus on that in which I put my dependence.  We count on answers, information, and understanding.  We put our security in money, jobs, and relationships.  We count on status, popularity, and position for our relevance. 

When we define our lives by the anything that is temporal we assure that we will face disappointment.  We provide the sand on which our hopes will crumble.  We set ourselves up for disappointment.  We create a situation where we will lose that on which we depend.

Living in a world where humans depend on each other requires that we count on things that are uncertain.  We put many things in place to assure that others can be counted upon to do what they should do.  None of those things can control the human will.  People will do many things, even heinous ones to avoid keeping commitments that have become contrary to what is willed.

People will lie, steal, even kill to keep that which they count on for their security.  Perhaps the Magic 8-Ball can remind me here that I should not count on anything temporal for my peace of mind.  My choices, decisions, and security must be because I count on Christ and his unfolding of the universe. 

When I get this answer I must turn my attention to faith and following.  I must not count on even having the answers to feel secure.  I must ask the questions and keep following Christ knowing that, as my Grandfather use say, “What is to be will be even if it don’t happen.”

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 ͡°)

31 July 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ My Sources Say No

Greetings Dear Reader,

There are times when the answer is no.  There are others where the source we are asking says no.  Having already discussed the merits of no one would wish to focus on the merits of considering the source of no.

By the source I do not only mean the person who is answering.  I also mean the factors related to the answer.  No is not always permanent.  It is not always final. 

There are circumstances that can change.  There may be bias in the source.  A no may come from a perspective that is not yours.  It may be that the source does not have all the information. 

Whatever the case, one must always consider the source or the answer.  We must think and observe.  We must review options.  I must assure that I meet the no with integrity and faith.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

30 July 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ My Reply is NO

Greetings Dear Reader,

When one inverts the Magic 8-Ball® one gets an answers Five percent of the time that answer is “My Reply is No”.  Of the twenty possible answers five are negative.  There is a fifty percent chance of getting a positive answer, twenty-five percent chance of a neutral one, and twenty-fiver percent chance of a negative one. 

What we first need to consider it the context in which the answer is being given.  The negative answer is neither good nor bad without context.  The question that is asked will determine the timbre of the answer.

If I ask the ball, “Will I get a pearl in this oyster” the reply disappointing.  If I ask “Will I get food poisoning from this vending machine tuna sandwich” and the reply is no then the reply is reassuring.  For every answer, the value and feeling is determined by the question.  It is also impacted by the attitude and hopes of the asker.

The most negative of answers can be definite and final.  The serious of situations can have a negative answer that we do not desire.  Still the answer may be no.  Still the asker can determine his or her response and attitude. 

A no answer that I do not want does not mean that it is the wrong answer.  It is an opportunity for me to do what is right no matter how I feel.  It is an opportunity for faith.  When it comes to the choice of fighting the answers that are no that I cannot change, I must ask, “Am I going to let the answer I dislike determine my heart and actions?”  My reply is 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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

29 July 2017

Eight Ball Answers ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

When I was very young I received a Magic 8-Ball® as a Christmas gift.  For those unfamiliar with this toy it is a softball-sized 8-ball filled with alcohol, blue dye, and an icosahedral (20 sided) die.   I was still a few years away from knowing how much importance icosahedral dice would play in my future but that is another tale for another time.

The Magic 8-ball has answers that are positive, neutral, and negative written on the faces of the icosahedral die.  One holds the ball window down, asks the question, and inverts the ball so the window faces up.  The ball slowly swims up through the murky liquid revealing one of the twenty answers inscribed on the die faces.  The answers are:

 It is certain
 It is decidedly so   
 Without a doubt
 Yes definitely
 You may rely on it
 As I see it, yes
 Most likely
 Outlook good
 Yes
 Signs point to yes
 Reply hazy try again
 Ask again later
 Better not tell you now
 Cannot predict now
 Concentrate and ask again
 Don't count on it
 My reply is no
 My sources say no
 Outlook not so good
 Very doubtful                    

One might ask what a divination toy has to do with following Christ.  There are answers and there is an answer.  Questions come to us every day.  Some are easy and some are taxing.  I would never relegate important things in life to chance.  Then again I do not always know what to do when faced with demanding choices.

I want to ponder the answers offered by the Magic 8-Ball.   I do this for a couple of reasons that will be light hearted and for a deeper reason that I will discuss later.  For now Dear Reader, I wish to invite you to join me as we look at the possible answers and their ramifications.  If you need to consult your Magic 8-Ball before deciding feel free to do so.  I will wait a moment.  If you are joining you may be wondering if this will be a good use of your time.  All signs point to yes.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

28 July 2017

By Faith ~ Closing Thoughts


Greetings Dear Reader,

As I said earlier in the week, we all have faith in something.   The current climate in my life necessitates that i exercise faith actively in areas that are usually easy for me.  I do not like not knowing the answers.   I do not like being unable to give easy answers to others.

I have hope.  I am doing well.  I was able to spend some time this morning with a dear friend and reassure him that I am well.  I was privileged to renew my position that if my faith is not enough when I am in diversity then it is useless altogether.  This is truth Dear Reader.  If my faith only sustains me when things are good then it is not my faith that sustains me.

 Faith is the fuel for my journey.  Each day, each moment must be lived in faith.  If I do not live the high and the low in faith then I am not living by faith.  Circumstances and the fortunes of life are not what determine my life.  I cannot follow Christ and cling to a job, a human, or a thing and say that I follow in faith.

My kindness and generosity must not go away because I think I lack.   I must not be less loving and compassionate because I feel alone.  I cannot live by faith and count on things to sustain me.  

Once again thinking through faith reassures me that I must stand in Christ alone.  It is in him that I live and move and have my being.  It is in this that if find peace, hope, and sustenance.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

27 July 2017

By Faith ~ Hands and Feet

Greetings Dear Reader,

Someone asked me this week what type of leader I think I would follow.  He listed several different aspects of leadership.  Right away the answer was clear. 

To lead others one must embody every aspect of leadership at some time and sometimes all of them at once.  The connection to faith is that I must assure that I lead others by my faith.  I must become the embodiment living by faith by putting hands and feet on the clear aspects of the Gospel.   Faith without works (living out the Gospel) is dead.

It is clear that love and care for others is what we do to show evidence of our faith.  It is clear that understanding who others are is a clear path to showing that love and care.  It is not my place to approve or disapprove of another’s life and choices.  That is a conversation that the Father reserves for his leadership.

It is vital that no matter what state another is in that I possess genuine love, compassion, and care for each individual.  It is vital that I show that love by meeting the needs of others without condition or expectation.  It is my responsibility to be the hands and feet of the Gospel in faith that the Father will work out the results. 

You see my obligation is to love and provide in faith as obedience to the Father.  It is not my job to make sure that this act results in something.  That is conditional care.  That is not the way it works.  If I obey in faith then I have done my job.  If I add expectations then once again I am adding baggage to the task.

I must also be wary that what I am told is acting in faith is not cruel, unkind, unloving, and lacking in compassion.  It is in following the great commands in faith that I can give substance to my faith.  It is being a man who trusts his leader in the moment.  I must remember that our leader, the one I follow, Jesus assured me that he would make all things right. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

26 July 2017

By Faith ~ Authorial Intent

Greetings Dear Reader,

As a writer I often face the          question of what I intend by what I write.  This is one of those areas where unthinking people foster ideas that serve individual purposes and not the greater good.  It is a basic foundation of communication that something means what the author intends it to mean.

This is one of the ways that we do what I was pondering yesterday.  We put too much baggage into what Jesus told us by ignoring the intent of the authors of the Gospels.  An example would be the way we ignore the intent that redemption is through faith alone.

The Father never intended for us to earn his favor.  The system of sacrifices in the Old Testament could never redeem us.  The intent was for them to serve as a place holder until Christ completed the work of redemption for us. 

It is not faith plus anything you can think of to add.  It is faith alone.  It is faith that is required.  The intent is that faith start our small and grow.  It is not to be made complex.  It is not intended to be hard. 

I must not defy the intent of the author of my faith.  I must not add anything to faith as a requirement for my reclamation.  I must live out my faith so that others can see it.  I must evidence the intent of the author in all that I 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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

25 July 2017

By Faith ~ Baggage

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things that we do as Christ followers is add baggage to faith.  We insist that there need to be things we do to prove we have faith.  I need to be clear that faith is evidenced by what we do.  It is also necessary for us to do things that show we have faith.

This does not mean that we do what others say we “have” to do to prove to them we have faith.  We do not need to subscribe to what a denomination or church says we must be to prove our faith.  Jesus requires that we love and act in loving ways.

We are required to be holy, righteous, and set apart for God.  That does not mean that I get to deiced how that is lived out for you.  It means that I am responsible to live it out for the sake of showing the Father that I love him.  Obedience is evidence of love. 

What I must not do is add baggage to faith.  I must not tell others they must do this or that.  I must constantly direct them to do what is loving and kind.  I must echo specific things that Jesus tells us not to do but I must do so without judgement or condemnation. 

I must have faith that the Father will make all things right.  I must have faith that the Son will draw ALL people to him as he promised.  I must not add any baggage to faith even for the purpose of helping others follow.  The purpose of redemption is freedom.  The way of redemption is faith.  I must follow in faith.  I must not carry anything that is not connected to this.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)