31 January 2017

Second Thoughts – One Month In

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.

Here we are at the close of the last day of January in the Year of our Lord 2017.   What have you done with the first twelfth of the year Dear Reader?  There are only 327 days left until Christmas.  The sand drifts through the pinch and our resolutions have been mostly swept up with the New Year confetti. 

What are your aspirations.  I am not here to chide you but to remind you that amidst the joy and sorrow of a new President in office we need to remember that our lives must move forward.  Winter will wane.  Spring will erupt with new life and potential.  Summer, and peaches, and swimming will come to pass.  Autumn will rip the spring leaves from the trees and we will carve pumpkins and turkeys.  Turn the page.

I am on track to things I wish to do but some attempt to elude my grasp.  Unexpected events already have tried to derail me.  At the closing of this month I urge you to cling to hope.  Do not give up on us.  Raise your voices and be heard no matter what you believe.  Talk with each other and become people of reason.  My faith can handle honest conversation.  Can yours? (If you think that you do not have faith in something that is another conversation we need to have.)

I care about the social woes we battle.  I care about the fears we feel.  Sacking and burning is never the answer.  Honest respectful dialogue is.  We do not nor have we ever lived in a Camelot.  The people in Camelot never lived in a Camelot.  We can, however, find a bit of it from December to December if we try.  What do you think Dear Reader?


It's true! It's true! The crown has made it clear.
The climate must be perfect all the year.
A law was made a distant moon ago here:
July and August cannot be too hot.
And there's a legal limit to the snow here
In Camelot.

The winter is forbidden till December
And exits March the second on the dot.
By order, summer lingers through September
In Camelot.
Camelot! Camelot!

I know it sounds a bit bizarre,
But in Camelot, Camelot
That's how conditions are.

The rain may never fall till after sundown.
By eight, the morning fog must disappear.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Camelot.
Camelot! Camelot!

I know it gives a person pause,
But in Camelot, Camelot
Those are the legal laws.
The snow may never slush upon the hillside.
By nine p.m. the moonlight must appear.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Camelot.

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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An Aspect on Ratio – Two to One

Greetings Dear Reader,

We live in such a noisy world.  Except for the fact that he is referencing Christmas I identify with the Grinch on this, “oh the noise, noise, noise, noise.”   Were I able I would rid the world of noisome things. 

I often imagine what the world would be like if we practiced the two to one ratio with our heads.  We have two ears and one mouth.  My Grandfather would always say that is because we should listen twice as much as we talk.

In this this political climate and with the emerging social needs of our time we need to listen.  We need to listen to the opposition no matter what side we are supporting.  We need to seek understanding.  We need to listen the what Christ really commands not what American Christianity interprets him to have said.

We must learn to hear when we listen.  We must understand so that we earn the right to be understood.  The world is not getting better.  We cannot create a utopia.  What we can do is offer life and hope but only after our message has hands and feet.  We must listen and respond with action before we speak. 

I have friends that I love dearly who have walked away from faith because the church has failed to listen to them.  It has failed to hear their needs.  It keeps speaking with authority when it has lost their loyalty and respect.

The Gospel is true and has great power.  We can only speak to the love and provision of the Gospel when we have listen to and responded to the needs of the world around us.  This aspect on ration is not lost on those with whom we employ it.  I like those odds.

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 January 2017

An Aspect on Ratio – Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday after church my Daughter and I went to some shops on the west side.  As we were returning to our car to go for lunch another car cut around a car waiting for a parking space.  It nearly hit a couple who were making their way from the car park to the sidewalk.

The guy observed loudly that the people in the offending car were probably “on their way to shopping from church.”  I called out to him that we had just come from church and that we do not drive like that.  He smiled and the moment passed. 

It caused me to ponder the everyday things we do that reflect on our faith.  It made me wonder what had happened to cause that man to blame Christians coming from church for poor parking lot manners.

I must embrace that we have areas where we fail to have the proper aspect in terms of our social values as Christ followers.  I must see that I have balance in this.  It is not about politics or even social justice.  It is about being faithful to the commands of Christ.

This again will be a brief part of the journey but it is vital to the long trek.   Walk with me Dear Reader and share your thoughts and questions with me if you will.

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 January 2017

A Necessary Progression – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

As I said this is a short simple progression.   The path to loving others is always going to take time to learn.  It is always going to necessitate that we take steps to get to the habit of loving others. 

If we practice kindness and being tender hearted, we learn to love.  Intentionally doing things to be kind builds our understanding for the need of it.  It shows us that compassion is the path to take to do well.   Having compassion heightens our sense of what others need.  It moves us to act in ways that are selfless and serve others.

If we forgive we have room for love.  If we forgive it is much easier to be kind and compassionate.  If we do not forgive we give a foothold to bitterness and evil.  Love for others does not come from just willing it.  We need to love in order for others to see the path to Christ.

This necessary progression allows me to follow Christ daily.  It lights the journey and lightens the burden.  It is in following this path that I will find my way home.  It is not always easy but always worth the effort.

Ephesians 4:12
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven 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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28 January 2017

A Necessary Progression – Forgiving One Another

Greetings Dear Reader,

This thing called forgiveness is so neglected by so many.  It is neglected yet so very powerful.  It is need both as a gift given to others and received by ourselves.  It is a fluid to lubricate the progression.

 I fear that we have lost the understanding of how vital it is to forgive and seek forgiveness.  I do not use colorful metaphors as I find them to be vulgar and often disrespectful.  A couple of weeks ago, for the first time in a long while I slipped in front of a coworker.

She immediately noticed it and commented on it.  After a few moments of further conversation I made a point of asking her forgiveness.  She commented that she was not offended and that forgiveness was not necessary.   I am thankful for her graciousness but I think we have lost an understanding of the depth to which we need to be forgiven for things.

Seeking forgiveness is a transference of power.  When I have transgressed in some way and seek forgiveness I transfer the power of the relationship to the offended party.  It takes courage and humility.  It takes a commitment to restoration and reconciliation. 

In a world where anger and strife seem to multiply exponentially forgiveness stands out so brightly.  We validate others when we ask for forgiveness.  We restore relationships and germinate hope.  I need to remember that Jesus ask the Father to forgive us as we forgive others.  That is reason enough to forgive readily.

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 January 2017

A Necessary Progression – Tender Hearts

Greetings Dear Reader,

As I ponder this aspect of the necessary progression toward unconditional love I think of the antithesis.   Our society has hardened its hearts toward so many things.  We have not just become hard hearted about some things.  We have become indifferent and complacent.

Whether it is refugees from other shores or homeless veterans in our cities we do not care enough for the needs of others.  We politicize issues of compassion and kindness so that factions fight and those in peril get forgotten.

We measure someone’s politics and belief before we offer comfort and aid.  We legitimize murder over resources, land, and convenience.  We allow others to be in want whilst we have plenty.  It is all because we are not moved by the needs of others.

I realize that we convince ourselves that we are compassionate.  Instead I would say that we are not tender hearted enough.  Our hearts must be tender toward our enemies and neighbors.  I must be tender hearted toward all needs.  I cannot solve all problems but I must not disconnect from them.  I must that every death diminishes me.   Every hunger pang should resonate in my belly.  Every sorrow deserves my compassion.

I cannot claim to love all humans and be heard hearted towards the needs around me.  I cannot be selfish and self-absorbed and claim to have a tender heart.  If I hope to show love to others I must do so in the tender actions of meeting their needs.   It is in those actions that I show unconditional love and more importantly experience how to do it.   

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 January 2017

A Necessary Progression - Kindness

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have written on kindness before and could write on it for days.  As we look at the necessary progression toward showing unconditional love to others it is worth revisiting. 

The word kindness appears forty-eight times in the Bible.  We are required to be kind to others.  It is not something to take lightly.  It is a way to get to love.  It is a path out of anger and bitterness.

I know people for whom giving them a kindness is painful.  They have been so mistreated by others that kindness if foreign to them.  I heard someone just last week say that for fifteen years they have been verbally mistreated daily by someone that mattered.  When people are kind to her it confuses her.

We must be kind to everyone.  Friends, family, strangers, and enemies must be always treated with kindness.  It is what erodes hatred and fear.  Jesus made clear that even cups of cold water make it difference. 

I must approach everyone with kindness.  Some will embrace it.  Others will reject it.  Some will even use it to use me.  That is not the concern.  My responsibility is to keep being kind. 

Kindness is part of the unstoppable force that can heal hearts and souls.  I see it as a vital weapon in the battle for faith and following.  It is a facet of the gemstone that becomes unconditional love.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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25 January 2017

A Necessary Progression – Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Recently someone tried to tell me what a good man I am.  I do not believe that I am a good man.  I can easily recall a time when I was nothing but a mass of anger and pain.  I can clearly recall the thoughts, desires, and actions the evidence the contrary.  I see clearly that I am not good but rather fallen and in need of daily grace.

With that understood I have left behind most of the anger and learned to manage most of the pain.  It is not anything I have accomplished and I am no better than anyone else.  Instead it is a moment by moment yielding to that which has been imparted to me.  It is stepping into the grace offered me.

Since I did not come fully to the idea of loving others it is important that I review the necessary progression that got me there.  It will be a short venture along the path but perhaps in it I can renew my strength and impart something of value to you Dear Reader.

In a time when our land desperately needs to see the path to loving our neighbors and enemies it is important that I recall how I got here.  Walk with me for a spell as we find the necessary progression.  As always I value your thoughts and questions.    

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 January 2017

Second Thoughts – 5 Days in and We Are Still Here

Greetings Dear Reader,

Sometimes I will end the day with thoughts that are important to get out.  Usually I just write them and put them in my journal folder.  I have chosen that on occasion I will share them with you Dear Reader.

I know that both my Democratic and Republican friends feel very strongly about our new President.   There seems to be so much fear and anger pervading the comments that we have forgotten that we need to work together.

Even though I thought that our recently former President was not a good president I did not want the things that would benefit our nation to fail.  I do not want our current President to fail.  I do want the people to find peaceful, honorable ways for our voices to be heard.

Shouting down those with who we disagree is neither honorable nor honest.   Justifying intolerance of even the intolerant is hypocritical.  Fear mongering only destroys the possibility of honest dialogue.  We have forgotten that we can work together without making everything political. 

I would not have chosen this man to be our President.  It is the President that was, however, chosen.  We need to work together.  We need to let go of any bitterness and spread compassion and care for each other as thickly as we spread hate and anger.

For those of you who do not know what Christ followers are supposed to do here is a quick list.  I urge you to hold us accountable.

  •  We are to honor our leaders as the ministers of God’s justice:  Romans 13:1 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
  • We are required to pray for them: 1 Timothy 2:1-15 “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, ...”
  • We are to love and respect everyone even if we loath what they stand for:  Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
  • We are not allowed to be mean, cruel, selfish, or dismissive:  1 Peter 2:17 “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
  • We are required to meet the needs of those around us without expectation of return:  1 John 3:17,18 “"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

If anyone claims to follow Christ and argues with any of this ask them to explain how they can justify it.   I hate that there is so much strife in our nation.   We need to try harder to be good to each other.  What do you think Dear Reader?

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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Everything I needed to Know – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

As the Good Ship Earth sails is courses I dream often of what it would be like to sail among the stars.  I am a starship captain born two hundred years too soon.  It is one of the reasons I can watch and re-watch most of the Star Trek episodes. 

The lessons of these great adventures aid me in the great adventure.  They remind me of who I am supposed to be.  They often align with what I must become in Christ.  If I can use the stories to live the truth then I am better for it.

The capturing of my imagination so long ago has aided me for fifty years.  I look forward to the crafting of new adventures and exploring new frontiers.   It is the stories that give me safe ground to sift through my thoughts and feelings on important real issues.  It is a safe place to ask the hard questions.  Perhaps this is one of the primary roles of all fiction.

As I seek to follow Christ daily this gift from Roddenberry and his apprentices aids me in many ways.  The final frontier is far beyond space.  It is that undiscovered country to which we all draw near with every breath.  My hope is that I can use the lessons of Star Trek to navigate my way in a manner that befits the best of those lessons.    

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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23 January 2017

Everything I needed to Know – We are Guardians of Forever

Greetings Dear Reader,

My favorite episode of the original series is The City on the Edge of Forever.   In it we encounter being called The Guardian of Forever.  It is able to deliver vast amounts of data on the history of those around it. 

I will not further expose what happens for the sake of the two or three people who have not seen it.  The key to my thinking here is the parallel between the entity and Christ followers.  There is a forever.  We are its guardians.

The Gospel is entrusted to us.   We are to teach others as we boldly go home.  We are to be ready to answer questions.  It is our responsibility to love and care for the world so deeply that they can see the hope and possibility we offer.

We get in the way.  We interfere with the world instead of building grace and peace into it.  We are to be guarding the path to forever.  We are to live an example that puts the benefits of our forever at the forefront.  We are to do this by being good, loving, and kind in the present.

I am required to always have an answer as to the reason and the hope within me.  No matter what is done I am not to argue or be unkind.  No reason is good enough to fail to be loving.  There will be questions I cannot answer.  There will be circumstances where all seems lost.  There will be days that are grim. 

In all of these times I must cling to faith and following.  I must stand guard over forever.  So, Dear Reader, I await a question…

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 January 2017

Everything I needed to Know – When Your Logic Fails, Trust a Hunch

Greetings Dear Reader,

There are times when reasoning through things just does not work.  We cannot make sense of something or do not have all the data needed to make a logical choice.  Yet there are times when we still must make that choice without delay.

We forget how to trust out instincts.  We fail to listen to that little voice in our head that is always more aware than we are.  We don’t trust out gut. I suppose that the first thing I would say is to trust that instinct.  Listen to your first thought as long as it aligns with good and right. 

I also have a method for choosing when I cannot choose but must.  This will sound simplistic but done in faith I have found it to be true and reliable.  Proverbs 16:33 tells us “The dice are thrown, but the LORD determines every outcome.”

When I must choose and there is no logical or clear direction I pray, toss a coin, and obey the outcome.  This may sound puerile but as long as I honor the process in faith I believe that it works.  I have established clear rules for this.

It must not be done lightly
I must pray first
I must set the binary choice clearly
I live with the outcome without equivocation

There will be times when logic fails us.  Circumstances occur where we do not know what to do.  We will have to trust our instincts or allow others to guide our choices.  We will find that we must in times act in faith.  Then again, without faith it is impossible to please God.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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21 January 2017

Everything I needed to Know – Invisible Enemies

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the great devices in Star Trek is that enemies have cloaking devices.  The enemy can hide in plain sight.  He can lay in wait for the moment that is right to attack and disarm us.  He can stalk us and destroy us.

In truth we do have hidden enemies as we journey home.  Whether it is the enemies of God who seek to destroy his creation or our enemies in society we do have hidden enemies.  The more we work at being good and doing what is right the more we will draw the attention the enemies of good.

Unlike the fiction of Star Trek our enemies can attack whilst cloaked.  They can plot and scheme.  In some cases they can even destroy us without us knowing what was done to us.  In reality TV the blindside has become a device for winning.   In life being blindsided add betrayal to attack.

When this has happened to me it has done so much damage.  My choice is to learn, heal, and move on down the path.  My defense is not my own ability but rather that Christ promises to defend me. 

It sounds paranoid and a little delusional.  Sounding that way does not make it so.  It is the denial of unseen enemies and an all sufficient Saviour that endangers us.  The cloaked enemies in our lives will attack and try to destroy us.  It is only in clinging to Christ that I have any 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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20 January 2017

Everything I needed to Know – Aliens

Greetings Dear Reader,

I do not have the time here to present my entire reasoning on this but I do believe there are other worlds with sentient life.  We speculate and theorize about them in literature and on film.  There are even a few songs about them.

Sometimes I identify with aliens more than I do my own kind.  I am allergic to this planet.  In spring time the very air assaults me.  Since we made things no longer good in our world the fact is that we live in a death based echo system. 

The writers of the New Testament made it clear that we do not belong to this world but are merely sojourners here.  Attachment to this world is a hindrance to our journey.  Yet it is this world through which we travel that we want to reclaim and redeem.

We are not meant to “fit in” but rather to stand out as examples of love, kindness, and generosity.   We are to be tolerant of each other’s differences but must not tolerate evil in any form.  We are to love every human but hate the sin that weakens us all.

The very truth is that we are not home.  We are on our way there but we must not get to comfortable here.  Nothing here will travel on with us but the love we give and the good we do for others.  Even on our own world we are alien.

Aliens and Strangers – DeGarmo and Key

Sunday morning, and the pews are filled with friends of mine, yeah, friends of mine,
And, for the first time, I look around,
I realize, I realize...

My closest friends are aliens and strangers,
Travelers here, living with danger,
My closest friends are aliens and strangers,
Travelers here, living with danger.

I used to wonder why they act so strange,
Now I know, yeah, now I know,
I heard the preachers say this world we're in is not our home, it's not our home.

My closest friends are aliens and strangers,
Travelers here, living with danger,
My closest friends are aliens and strangers,
Travelers here, living with danger.

They're all pilgrims just passing through, heroes away from their homeland,
And, since I've discovered the truth, I look at my friends and I can't help but think that....

All of my friends, they're aliens,
Just passing through, yeah, they're aliens,
My closest friends, yeah, they're aliens,
My closest friends, oh, they're aliens,
Just passing through, just passing through,
Just passing through, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

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 January 2017

Everything I needed to Know – Phasers on Stun

Greetings Dear Reader,

As we move out into the world each day we will encounter things that endanger us.  There will be enemies.  There will be struggles and challenges.  Things will go wrong.  Friends may betray us.  Competitors will try to beat us.  Adversaries will attempt to undermine us.

We must be wary and careful but we must also not retaliate.  Whether it is actual attack by an enemy or the cutting remarks of a coworker we must always be gentle and kind.  We can use love and patience to be disarming.  

Just last week a customer told me that when we first met almost three years ago, she thought my kindness was being sarcastic.  She is excellent at her job and expects those who work with her to be the same.  She told me also that realizing that my kindness was genuine gave her confidence in what we do.

It is too easy for the things we do to become adversarial.  We must be vigilant in our pursuit of living peacefully with all humans.  We must not harm others to gain or control.  We are always to love and make that our most powerful weapon.  It can crush barriers and disarm the angry. 

In all that I do and in all that I think my heart is to lead with love for others.  It is vital that I set my phaser to stun.  It has become obvious that this tactic disarms and instructs.  I am usually the one who does most of the learning.

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 January 2017

Everything I needed to Know – IDIC

Greetings Dear Reader,

The Vulcan philosophy of IDIC is one that I have understood long before I understood the idea of Christ and following him.   IDIC is infinite diversity in infinite combinations.  It is the idea that each life is unique and is valuable for that uniqueness. 

Since I believe that every soul is a unique creation of the Father’s this makes every life has unique value to me.  I am not allowed to devalue an enemy, an adversary, nor even a detractor.  I choose to live this by choosing to love everyone. 

I do not have to like someone’s choices and values to love them.  I do not have to agree with someone to love him or her.  I do not hate anyone because I find what he does to be wrong.  Because I choose to love everyone does not mean that I accept all of their values or condone all of their actions.

It does mean that every life is precious.  Every pain and sorrow matters.  Every injustice impacts me.  Every death diminishes me.  Christ followers who dismiss any other life as less than precious are not following Christ.  It is in the diversity that we see the great creativity of the Father. 

 It is the obligation of all who follow Christ to embrace that the Father has created all lives to be held in love and value.  It is my duty to love and value everyone.  It is my joy to see and learn the diversity in the lives of 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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17 January 2017

Everything I needed to Know – The “No Win” Scenario

Greetings Dear Reader,

The “Kobayashi Maru” is the unwinnable test that every star ship captain must face.  It is to measure how he handles death.  Like Captain Kirk I do not believe in the no win scenario.  I do not believe that death is losing.

I do not believe there is ever a time when there is not a way to turn death into a fighting chance to live.  Even when things are grim and seem hopeless there is the opportunity for a victory.  The essential element of winning is always the application of faith.

We suffer loss but we do not lose without hope.  It is in faith that the just live.  It is not death that is loss.  It is instead a transition from the shadow to the light.  It is in faith that we find this transition.

You will notice Dear Reader that there is never condemnation in my writing.  It is my place to give hope not to condemn.  There are things that are wrong and there are people who do wrong things.  That does not mean that I condemn people.

I do not believe that ultimately the Father will not win all he wishes.  He is not willing that any should perish.  The Son draws all to himself.  I do not pretend to know how the Father will work it out.  I do know that if anyone can beat the no win scenario it is him.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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16 January 2017

Everything I needed to Know – Having is not so Pleasing as Wanting

Greetings Dear Reader,

Once again we are confronted with a truth that is not logical.  We want so much more than we need.  We desire things that are not good for us.  It is not that it is wrong to desire things but that desire must be held in perspective.

It is that drive to consume that we must avoid.  It is the culture of more that contributes to our destruction.  We want and acquire then those acquisitions do not satisfy.  We repeat this futile exercise.  We gather and hoard.  For some it is destruction of their lives.   

The line one must watch is that line between the justice of things earned and the gaining of things out of greed.  Knowing where the line is becomes a vigilance we must keep.  The love of things is always one sided.  The love of power destroys us.  The love of money leads to evil.

It is not seeking things that I want that matters.  It is seeking Christ and drawing closer to him that must drive me.  Having the next thing does not satisfy.  Having many things becomes a burden.  Having Christ as my only possession makes me “richer than a king’s exchequer.

The Things We Leave Behind – Michael Card

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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15 January 2017

Everything I needed to Know – Humans are Illogical

Greetings Dear Reader,

I am not saying that we do not use logic but at the heart of it we are illogical beings.  We reject that which is best for us often.  We see clear paths and instead take rough and brambled ones.  We know what our heart wants but instead settle for a grind that saps our life and energy.

We scream and march for our own rights whilst ignoring the needs of others.  We say we love our enemies whilst allowing their children to starve.  We are illogical in so many ways that betray our faith.

We also fail to embrace the illogic of our faith in ways that will make it real.  It is not logical to love our enemies but it is right.  It is not logical that the Creator should die to redeem his creation.  It is foolish to give up the pleasures or a life we can see for the treasures of a life we cannot.

The one we follow holds out both a Cross and a Crown.  We must embrace both or neither.  There are no half measures in following Christ.  Whilst we can make sense of our faith as it is a reasonable faith.  It is also, all at once, foolish and illogical. 

We are asked to choose to follow the most illogical of dreams.  I must always embrace that I am a fool for Christ’s sake.  I must abandon the illogic of my own designs and embrace the both logical and illogical call of Christ.

God’s Own Fool – Michael Card

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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14 January 2017

Everything I needed to Know – Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

There have been so many things that have contributed to my character as I have journeyed this half century plus.   Long before I came to the place where I wanted my life to belong to Christ alone I was influenced by Tolkien, Lewis, and mostly Roddenberry.

Many years ago I was given a gift of a poster that was styled on the poplar “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, by Robert Fulghum.  I highly recommend his book.  What I was given, however, was titled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Watching Star Trek.”  

This world that Gene Roddenberry created sustained me through some dark times when I was too young to have dark times.  The more direct social lessons about racism and the like were lost on my youth.  I did not yet understand their vitality.  They would do much in later years to shape my thinking. 

There were lessons that I did learn.  They are made clear by the simple lines of the poster that I was gifted.  As I focus on becoming more attuned to following Christ in every aspect of my life I return to some simple phrases to reinforce that I cannot live the vertical relationship with the Father if I do not live the horizontal relationship with people.

As I reread the advice of the poster it reminds me that I must dwell on the things it says and align myself to many of them to faithfully follow Christ.  I will spend a few days enforcing the thoughts on my standards to assure that they align with my actions.  Please walk with me Dear Reader.  I value your company and thoughts always. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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13 January 2017

Things Lost in the Fire – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

We will not get through the journey without loss.  One of the things that makes us who we are is how we deal with the loss.  It is vital that I treat every loss as something that can make me more aware of who I am and how I must follow Christ.

If I do not assure that I see things this way then I giver foothold to doubt and bitterness.  I must not allow anything to prevent me from seeking Christ in the smallest loss.  He is there waiting for me.  He is there longing to comfort and guide.  I just need to really look.

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 January 2017

Things Lost in the Fire – A Moment to Clarify

Greetings Dear Reader,

A few of you have expressed concern over this conversation.   First let me express my gratitude for your kindness, compassion, and prayer.   I want to assure you that even when memories hurt that I move on in faith.

One of the bedrock reasons for this writing is to address the things in my thoughts relative to my journey.  When old loss and pain attempt to reassert their grip on me I must think and often write my way through the pain.  Doing so reminds me of who I am and whose I am.

There is no guarantee that the journey will not have difficult moments.  How I work through these moments determines how I also deal with the day.  If I do not deal with my feelings honestly then it will infect my dealings with those around me.  This is not allowed. 

The other benefit of working through this in this venue is that it may aid you Dear Reader.  I share my joy and pain so that perhaps you can find solace, hope, or merely a fellow traveler for a space.  I hate being alone and if honesty yields a moment of comfort for you then it is worth it.

Again I thank you for your kindness Dear Reader.   May the Father richly bless you for it.  I hope this yields further understanding for you.  The invitation to follow Christ is not one to always be happy and satisfied.  It is one to carry the cross in hope.  It is the opportunity to journey home with assurance that no matter the hazards along the way the destination is worth the walk.

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 January 2017

Things Lost in the Fire – Vocations

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things that I miss is teaching.  Not just being a professor but teaching in a place where young minds have come to learn more about following Christ for both life and vocation.  It is my fault.  My choices led to this loss but I still mourn it at times.

In the autumn is when I miss it most.  As the air crisps and the nation begins to return to school I miss the preparation and anticipation.  I miss the moments of reunion with fellow teachers and beloved students.  I miss the story telling about summer adventures.

The study and preparation also energize me.  Wandering through the things that must be imparted for the lesson to be lived was great joy for me.  Spending the day reviewing and then imparting the truths of teaching the journey of following Christ to others was so joyful.

I failed in life and so lost this amazing privilege.  If I could recapture it I would.  Some would say I am unfit.  Others would say I am not good enough.  The fire that consumed this still smolders in me.  I accept the consequences of my actions but still long for what I had for a brief 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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10 January 2017

Second Thoughts – Surprised by Pain

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.

The weather is such that there is a damp chill in the air.  I pulled out a very old sweater to keep from getting chilled whilst I prepared dinner and watched Jeopardy.  The day has been fairly easy and I am coasting into the evening. 

It is likely that I have not worn this sweater in twelve years.  It is one of my old teaching sweaters that I used to ward off the damp winter days in Georgia; days much like today.  The temperature is above freezing but the rain is gelatinous.  I would walk from my office to chapel in sweaters like this one as a coat was too heavy.

After moving to the northern Midwest this garment was too light for winters and too heavy for autumn or spring.   Instead I reserved it for gaming in the basement with friends I dearly love and often miss.  It is a classic cardigan with too large lower front pockets.  As I am want to do I slipped my hands into the pockets whilst waiting for my dinner to cook.

In the right pocket was a carefully folded piece of blue-grey paper.  In faded black ink on it was a short note from Avalon.  For those who do not know Avalon was my spouse and some years ago, chose other things over our marriage.  I do not say that in a condemning or mean way.  It is, however, true. 

The note was sweet, kind, and filled with loving promise.  It spoke of potential and passion.  It used code that was part of our secret language that made communication easy and fun when we wished it to be thus.  I can still feel the moments when these notes would appear and the promise they shored and sustained. 

So I am sitting here, my meal gone cold.  I am longing for something that I will never have again.  I am remembering things that are beautiful and good.  I am wondering why I have no fellow traveler when I feel the need for one so very deeply.  And in all of that, as the tears refuse to remain in the deep well of my romantic’s soul, I read the note again.  I remember that once in a while; for a brief time I am worth a little romance and the promise of adventure. 

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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Things Lost in the Fire – Companions

Greetings Dear Reader,

There is a line from a Kipling poem: “And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light, of stumps that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.”

Over the years there are friends who have been with me through difficult times and tumultuous waters.  There are friends with whom I have walked through dark days.  I love them all.  Not all of them still love me. 

Some of the loss is my fault.  Some of my greater failures have harmed them and those friends have chosen to forsake me rather than allow things between us to heal.  This is not a judgment against them.  I do, however, long for the time when past offenses are left behind in the desire to journey home in companionship and harmony. 

Others have left the faith.  I love them no less but there is something about the common ground of a common path on a shared journey that binds us.  When we walk together in that shared faith we have a foothold to solve all ills.  When faith is forsaken once comforting conversation become contentious or offensive. 

The distance is there even when the space is common.  The heart breaks freshly when I see those who are dear to me but have chosen distance over forgiveness, faith, and fellowship.  Again, that is not a faulting of these friends.  It is my sorrow over the loss of communion and counsel.

I learn from this to love everyone without condition.  I fail at it but strive for it.  I cultivate joy at the encounter of those who are dear to me whenever we meet.  I treat strangers with kindness and welcome.  I keep all doors open so that should any of these friends seek me out they will find welcome.  I long for the time when Christ makes all things right and we can sit together in the light of peace.

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 January 2017

Things Lost in the Fire – Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

As we journey there are things that we must leave behind.  There are also things and people lost along the way.  We do not wish.  It does not bring joy.  Sometimes the sorrow of the loss lingers for a lifetime.

I have lost things along the way.  Most of them do not matter to me.  Friends lost along the way, however, is a much different thing.  I will not embarrass anyone by naming them but there are losses that grieve me.  They have revisited themselves afresh in my mind and I am going to ponder the pain to see what there is to learn from it.

When loss attempts to reassert its grip on me I must review what was the cause, the cost, and lesson of the loss.  I will walk through the memories and remember what I must carry away from the losses.  Walk with me as we remember how to turn death into a fighting chance to live.

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 January 2017

Evil be thou my Good – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

We are the ones who try to walk a narrow path when our steps stumble and wander.   The journey home is long and often challenging.   We choose what we embrace.  We carry with us things that either burden or ease our travel.

So many dangers and distractions exist along the way.  There is abundant evil that clamors for our attention.  It wants to wants to walk with us just long enough to get our attention.  Perhaps evil can convince us to simply stand for a while and slow down the journey.  It may be that evil can convince us to stand in its company and neglect what we are to be doing.  Its ultimate goal is to get us to stop, sit, and scorn that which is good.

Whether we accept it or not we are on a journey.  Evil becomes good to us when we fail to keep moving in our journey.  We must not embrace that which is not good for and cause even if the cause seems like a good reason to do so.  It is in Christ that we must live, and MOVE, and have our being.

Anything that distracts me from this is an attempt to get me to embrace evil over good.  There are no issues that do not connect to Christ and his desire for me to follow him.  There are not situations or circumstances in which I am allowed to avoid my obligation to love and grace.  Any attempt to rationalize being unloving is a proclamation that I am willing to embrace evil over good.  In that is the hinge on which all things swing.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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07 January 2017

Evil be thou my Good – Crooked Sticks

Greetings Dear Reader,

Someone once counseled me on how to know that I am flawed.   He simply said to ask my family.   Those closest to us know our flaws.  Sometimes they love us anyway.  Some of them at least tolerate us.

We embrace the idea that we are right and others are wrong in arrogant divisive stubbornness.  It may be our greatest clinging to evil when we forget to be humble in our correctness.  Truth is not ours.  Truth is something to which we must cling in remembrance of a time when we had it not. 

When we abandon the fact that we are all crooked sticks in daily need of grace we give foothold to the evil that is pride.  We give place to the evil in the world when we think it does not infect us.  When we say we are without sin we embrace evil.

I cannot ever claim to be a “good man”.  Rather I am a fallen man who by the grace of the Father has opportunities to do good.  I must never forget that in moment I must choose to do what is good.  In each moment I must choose to follow Christ and not my own designs.  It is only in daily giving my self back to the Father that I can avoid embracing evil as 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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06 January 2017

Evil be thou my Good – Faith and Politics

Greetings Dear Reader,

I think that a primary principle in this discussion must be the premise that there are no secular issues.  For the Christ follower every political discussion must be centered on what is consistent with following Christ.  It is never acceptable to lay aside the spiritual and social commands of Christ in political matters.

That said, it is vital that we set out the premise that neither of the primary parties gets this right.  The parties are not what matters.  Loyalty to a party over the Gospel is going to be always wrong.  The evil chosen over good is to promote issues we prefer over what is righteous and loving.

It is not enough to claim to be Christian.  History is filled with unspeakable acts done in the name of Christ.  None of those things are obedience to the foundational commands to love and kindness; grace and mercy. 

It is also wrong to reject others simply because they are not Christ followers.  We must not use politics to prevent us from being kind, loving, charitable, and compassionate.  Any political position that neglects these things is not one a Christ follower can support with integrity.

It is my obligation to weigh every matter in light of the Gospel.  If I put any political position before the Gospel then I make evil my good.  I am not allowed to usurp Christ for any cause.  I am not permitted to choose to deny social justice because of politics.  I am not allowed to hate or reject anyone for any cause. 

No politics can allow us to ignore the commands of Christ.  It is the essence of evil to replace Christ and his desire for us to love one another without condition. 

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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