30 April 2017

Father Hearts and Father Wounds ~ Father Heart Round One

Greetings Dear Reader,

On April 12, 1966, my Grandfather took me to my first Braves game at Atlanta Stadium.  It was the initiation of a love for baseball that still holds my heart.  It is a legacy of fathers and sons and grandsons the I cherish.  It is the moment I first began to see how much my Grandfather loved me with a father’s heart.

Yesterday I was privileged to spend the day with my eldest Son, my Grandsons, and my Daughter.  It was my Grandsons’, aged five and six, first professional baseball game.  My Braves won 11 to 4.  There was a moment that I will treasure for as long as possible.

Before the game there was a very cold rain falling.  We had to wait about five minutes for the gates to open.  We put my Grandsons in my large waterproof coat and zipped them up in it.  We created the four-legged coat monster.

Now protected from the cold and rain, the boys played and laughed.  I laughed.  My Daughter took pictures and laughed.  And most richly, my Son laughed his genuine rich laugh.  Amidst all the grandeur and adventure of the day this moment is eternal.  Son delighted in the joy of his Sons showed the depth of his father heart to those beautiful boys.

On such a small scale I caught a glimpse of how the Father must delight in us.  I thought about how much joy was in that moment.  The rain and cold were forgotten.  The only thing that mattered was the laughter and warmth.  We were for a moment unified in pure sweet family.  A father’s heart was filled with mirth.

I know that life is much more that moments of mirth.  It is also a pursuit of the Father who has a longing heart for us.  It is turning and tuning our hearts to seek him, find him, and love him.  It realizing that there will come a time when every moment is a moment filled with the of which I caught a glimpse yesterday. 

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 April 2017

Father Hearts and Father Wounds ~ Father Wounds Round One

Greetings Dear Reader,

When I wish to include music in my post I usually place it at the end.  I wish this time to set the tone right away.

Tucson Arizona (Gazette) – Dan Fogelberg

Tucson, Arizona rising in the heat like a mirage
Tony keeps his Chevy like a virgin locked in his garage
He brings it out at midnight and cruises down the empty boulevards
And he prowls the darkened alleys that snake between the city's thirsty yards
The lonely desert skies reflect the anger in his eyes and it is dawn

His father died of drinking and left five children sinking with his mom
His older brother Bobby never made it back from Viet Nam
With high school well behind him he lives at home and works this shitty job
And he thinks his '60 Chevy is the only true amigo that he's got
His heart is filled with sadness and his soul is like some ugly vacant lot

Mary Estelle Hanna came out from Louisiana for the sun
A deal gone bad in Dallas left her burned and broke and on the run
To make the rent and groceries she takes this job at $3.15 an hour
Serving shots of whiskey and tequila in some smoky red-neck bar
And she dreams some day she'll make her way to L.A. and become a movie star

Tony saw her working, he swallowed hard and asked her for a date
Mary laughed and answered "I would but every night I'm working late"
He said he had some cocaine that she could have if she'd just ride along
She said "What the hell, I may as well, I haven't had no fun in so damn long"
He picked her up at closing time they pulled out on the road and they were gone

Tony's mom got frantic when she found her son had not come home
Mary's roommate panicked and called the sheriff from a public phone
They asked her lots of questions
She tried her best to tell them what she saw
And late that night they found poor Mary lying in some narrow, dusty draw
The coroner reported that she hadn't been deceased for very long

Two weeks on they found it buried to the windshield in the sand
There inside lay Tony with a small revolver in his hand
The papers simply stated it must have been the drugs that drove him mad
The neighbors speculated what could make a good boy go so bad
Well, it might have been the desert heat
It might have been the home he never had

When I hear of young men and their crimes I have two reactions.  The first is to thank that Father that the wounds I have inflicted on my Sons through my failures have not put them in those places.  The second is to pray that someone would come along to father the many fatherless young men in our world.

I had very poor father examples growing up and I still feel the damage from them every day.  My progenitor treated me as thing to be neglected, damaged, and used.  The next two men who would fill the “dad” role were distant and mean.  The man whose name I carry did better than all three combined. By then, however, I was too damaged to gain much from him.

If not for the intervention of the Father and a man name Ray I would have been much like Tony in the song.  I stood many times on the precipice of evil and madness desiring just to squelch the loneliness in my soul and anger in my heart.  Even after I came to Christ it too many years to be free of the anger.  I suspect the pain will remain all my life.

I believe more and more that a loving father can do so much that no one else can.  Hearts harden so quickly now and the veneer is so difficult to crack once it sets.  A friend of mine told me just last week that one of his children has chosen to reject the faith that sustains him.  He too feels the guilt and pain of his failures as a father.  We prayed together for our children.

The wounds inflicted by fathers can be healed.  The wounded must be willing.  Like my damaged shoulder that I have carried for forty years, the pain may always be there but there is life beyond it.  All I want for my Children is for them to see how much the Father loves them and to love him in return.  I am just learning how much this is core to all that there is.

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 April 2017

Father Hearts and Father Wounds ~ The Heart

Greetings Dear Reader,

We refer to the heart so often when we think of how we feel about things.  We use the heart to distinguish between our passions and our thoughts.  The heart is our reason for ignoring reason.  It is our justification at times for being unjust.

We tell people to follow the heart but certainly do not mean for people to constantly follow their emotions.  That would lead to chaos.  We are told that the heart is deceitful and difficult to know.  We must seek God with all our heart. 

The mercurial nature of the heart is the reason that it must not rule.  It is the reason that we must use reason.  The mind and heart must work together to adjudicate what is proper and good.  The heart must be disciplined to love God.  It must be subjugated to morals and values.

Some think that to follow the heart is to embrace real freedom.  My greatest failures occur when I follow my heart over what is definitively right or wrong.  We use the heart to avoid that there are moral absolutes. 

Love is beyond the heart yet must include it.  When we vow to love it is not just that we vow to give our heart but that we must guard our hearts against violating the higher demands of 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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27 April 2017

Father Hearts and Father Wounds ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

As a father and now a grandfather I become keenly aware of the things that are successes and failures in my life.  I am also well aware of the things that I lacked early on that are necessary to take on life.  I would that it were that I could simply dismiss the voids created by and in me.

I also think that as I mellow I find that I understand the heart of a father in a new way.  In that learning are both regrets and thoughts of success.  In those realizations are pain and insight.  It is in this that I find my next part of the journey. 

I don’t know how to get past the wounds I carry.  I have tried for so long and the pain resurfaces unbidden even after forgiveness, confession, and counsel.  There are also the memories of the moments that are good as well.  There have been those with father hearts who have helped me along the way. 

Still I long for a way to heal my failings as they have impacted others and to be free from the things inside me that feel so damaged and scarred.  If you can bear it, walk with me for a space Dear Reader.  You companionship is always solace and gives me insight. 

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 April 2017

A Noble Son

Greetings Dear Reader,

I can still recall speeding through Atlanta traveling north from Peachtree City where I worked to Ashford Dunwoody.  The others involved were amazed at the speed of my arrival.  I had hurried there to wait.

It was not long until my eldest Son made his advent into the world.  He insisted on giving us a scare at first by lowering his heart rate to the point that the doctor thought to excise him surgically from the womb.  Just as his mother reached to sign the papers he declared that his exit was forthcoming. 

In a short time I was holding tiny boy full of energy and action.  Even when the nurses first placed him in his bed in the nursery he was already lifting his head.  I loved him so instantly and deeply on that first day. 

He is now a man with two sons of his own.  He loves them to the depth that I love him and perhaps more.  He is intelligent and hard working.  He has compassion for those in need and chooses to work in a place where he does good instead of chasing money. 

Today is his advent anniversary and I celebrate him.  We will gather this evening with his coworkers to bolster the effort of caring for those with great need.  He chose to ask us to participate in this rather than some special celebration for him.

I only love him more as the years pass through the glass.  I would find better ways to show it.  I love you Son.  Happy Birthday.

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 April 2017

Holy Ground Reprise ~ Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

I am at a loss.  This song will not let go of me.  Even weeks of thinking through it have not let go of it.  It is spinning in my head when I awaken.  It haunts my dreams.  I find myself humming it when I am not focused on other things.  Even when I am focused on the task of the moment it plays in the background like the hum in a wire.

Perhaps it is that I have not found the lesson in it yet even though I have found many.  Perhaps I am just obsessed.  Whatever the case this particular song worm is still gnawing away at me.  I must move on to other writing.

Still I have learned more about holy ground Dear Reader.  The most important is that I can become holy ground for others.  If I treat them with the love of Christ then I can create holy moments where they have the opportunity to see Christ more clearly.  This brings me some comfort.

I have also learned that the things for which I feel the deepest need are still eluding me.  All of them are shadows of what lies ahead and the need for them is intended to draw me homeward.  I still deeply feel the absence of a fellow traveler.  I still feel the strong desire to follow Christ as closely as I can.  I also feel se very damaged and broken.

Things about which I must write in the coming days are heavy but I must be true to the focus of my heart and mind in follow Christ.  So, Dear Reader, as we move further down the path together I leave with thought from Waterdeep.  It is all holy ground.  Jesus is in the midst of us.  I follow him and cherish the holy ground that is created when you walk with me.

If You Want to Get Free – Waterdeep

In the gas station bathroom by the condom machine
I heard the word of the Lord
He said "Take off your shoes,
this is holy ground too
you know I came for the sick and the bored."

Beneath the selling of beers
And the welling up of tears
Out beyond the beam of the remote control
There's a whispering voice
That the humble ear ears
that says "I am still waiting
for you to ask just to be made whole."

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

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

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

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

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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24 April 2017

Holy Ground Reprise ~ Home

Greetings Dear Reader,

I am aware that most of our speculation about what comes at the end of the journey is based on very little hard evidence.  Most of what is written outside of the Word is culturally defined.  Most of what we discuss has to do with circumstance over location.

Defining what home is seems difficult for me always.  I know it is not what I have currently.  I know that it is not what I had growing up.  If home is holy ground for us then I am sure I am unsure what it is.  I know it when I feel it.  I know it when I experience it.

Perhaps we create home here because of our imbued longing for the home of that undiscovered country.  Perhaps any home is intended to be a shadow of what is to come.  It is promised that what is to come is beyond our imagination.  It is assured that there is room for us all. 

I am sure that the depths of my imagination cannot touch the creativity of the Father.  I am also sure that this is part of the contract of faith.  We are not supposed to concern ourselves with the material but rather the quality of what comes next.  We will be free from the presence of all wrong.  We will be loved and able to fully love.  We will be without apprehension and hindrance. 

Our faith will be fulfilled.  Our hope will be realized.  That undiscovered country is home.  Everything else would be shadow of that.  I long for that feeling of home.  I long for that desire to be fulfilled.  I long for the loneliness to end.  For now I must keep walking by faith.

Pilgrims to the City of God – Michael Card

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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23 April 2017

Holy Ground Reprise ~ Fellow Travelers

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have driven the route to and from my residence in the northern Mid-West to various family dwellings around Atlanta for seventeen years now.  The drive takes fourteen hours give or take.  I always observe if there are cars or trucks common to the route I am driving.  On one voyage I leapfrogged with a green GMS Palm Beach the entire journey.  It was from Wisconsin and I can only surmise that it was headed to Florida.

Even though the journey is solitary for each of it requires that we journey together.  It is necessary for us to care for each other.  It is even required.  The analogy of the long drive is so apropos.  We encounter others whether long term or briefly.  Those we encounter see us from their perspective; their journey.

We are told how we should see all fellow travelers.  We must see them as Christ sees them.  We must love them as he loves them.  Some will hurt us.  Some will benefit our lives briefly or in the long term.  Some will promise to journey with us the entire way and then abandon us.  All are worthy or our love. 

These fellow travelers are not so different from me.  They are flawed and in need of all that Christ offers.  They are obligated to love me just as I am obligated.   They are under the requirements from God that I am under.  Not one of them will reach the end of the path without at some point needing that love.

No matter how briefly someone journey’s next to me it is my obligation and honor to be loving and king to him or her.  Just yesterday I encountered a friend I have not seen in a couple of years.  Our encounter was brief but it filled me with genuine joy to travel together for a moment.  I want to become holy ground for those whom I encounter.  I want to be an oasis on the journey.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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22 April 2017

Holy Ground Reprise ~ 1000 Memories

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have so many memories.  Conversations with others resurface.  Events experienced cause videos to play themselves in my head.   For good or ill I cherish the memories that the journey has afforded me.

Sometimes the painful memories surface unbidden when I am alone.  They attempt to divert me to things unhealthy and unbearable.  It is simple enough to pray my way through them.   Sometimes, however, I must entertain them briefly to see what they have to teach.  

This practice does not make things easier.  It is necessary for the journey.  Then there are the memories that a beautiful and pure.  Memories flecked with light the bring me back “to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.”  The companions of recalling time with my children and others that I love dearly ease the pains and sorrows of life.

It is in the memories that I carry the lessons of life that urge me to be a better man, father, and friend.  It is these good memories that are holy ground to me.  It is in them that I see the moments where Christ carried and comforted me.  It is in the holy ground of memories that put me in the proper place to find deeper faith; to follow more closely.

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 April 2017

Holy Ground Reprise ~ Cracked Rear Vision

Greetings Dear Reader,

I know what the road is.  I know what comprises the journey.  As I look in the rear vision mirror I cannot help but see some of the pieces of me scattered along the way.  As each moment slips into my cracked rear vision I see things given, discarded, and lost.

The things lost are beyond my control but some of them are things I would not have done.  I would not have lost my Grandfather when I did.  I still believe that family politics hastened his demise.  His passing was the zenith of a dark age for me and some of that darkness still marks me.  Still his departure was allowed and so part of the journey set before me. 

A sister, a daughter, and some few friends completed their journey ahead of me as well.  All of these moments leave me carrying less than I would.  There are not even enough memories.  Each step closer to home makes me yearn for that reunion.  There are a few material things I would like to hold again but they are temporal and not significant to the journey.

There are things that I discarded for good reason and when their memory returns I review the lessons learned from leaving them behind.  There are also things discarded that I would have again.  None of them are possessions.  They all involve people and situations.  They are all too painful to illuminate.

I do not regret the things given.  All of them will have their own part in bringing things back to good.  Whether material, monetary, or time the investment in others is never wasted.  From time to time I hear from former students of the way in which their time under my tutelage has aided them.  This is so joyful.  Nothing about having given to others is wasted or lost.

The primary thing about that rear vision mirror is that I must never look into it for too long a space.  One cannot move forward accurately if his focus is on what is behind.  Time spent on holy ground in the past should be remembered. I must, however, keep moving to the next bit of respite along the way.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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20 April 2017

Holy Ground Reprise ~ The Road

Greetings Dear Reader,

Since my faith informs me that my life is a journey back to God then anything in this life is part of the road home.  I long for the holy ground of home so deeply.  When, however, I try to make it here it never seems to materialize. 

I know that any home I have here is a shadow of things to come.  The places where I grew up were never really a home.  As a boy the only place that felt like home was my Grandfather’s place.  There I was always loved and always taught to do right.  It was taken from me abruptly.

I had a home as an adult for a brief space.  I was so entrenched in my own pain and dealing with it improperly that failed to cherish what I had and lost it.  Now it seems that I will not have a home again.  Instead I have the road.

If I am to follow Christ fully then I should realize that even what I think of as home is a small thing to sacrifice.  It is also a shadow of what lies ahead at the end of the path.  I do not long for a mansion or some great reward.  I long for a place where the love and peace of Christ fills every thing and every moment. 

Until then I have the road.  I must follow.  I must leave behind the things that hinder me.  I must carry the things that aid the journey.  The nights in the wilderness are those of a homeless man with shelter but no permanence.  There is solace for this as well.  Christ has promised to be my home. 

He has promised to be with me in every moment; every step.  He has assured me that I am never alone, even when I feel so alone that I could die from it.  He has given his word that every moment of pain will be worth it.  I always believe it even when I do not feel it.

I Will Bring You Home – Michael Card

Though you are homeless
Though you're alone
I will be your home
Whatever's the matter
Whatever's been done
I will be your home
I will be your home
I will be your home

In this fearful fallen place
I will be your home

When time reaches fullness
When I move my hand
I will bring you home
Home to your own place
In a beautiful land
I will bring you home
I will bring you home
I will bring you home
From this fearful fallen place

I will bring you home
I will bring you home

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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19 April 2017

Holy Ground Reprise ~ Identifying It

Greetings Dear Reader,

Before I can assess what I need in light of what is going on I must first define what holy ground is for me.  The definitions are both obvious and not so obvious. 

The obvious is church for me.  I drink deeply from that well and it sustains me often.  It is, however, not the holy ground that is most precious to me.  Some of the ground that is holy to me is simple.  Anywhere that my children are present becomes holy ground to me.  I only ever feel at home around them.

Home is holy ground to me though I currently do not have one.  I have a place where I lay my head and scratch out my writing but it is solitary and so not a home.  This is one of those longings that haunts me daily.  Home is holy ground upon which I need to be but fear it is lost for me for the foreseeable future.  I will get back to this later.

My favorite diner is holy ground.  My Friday breakfast ritual is precious to me.  When others choose to join me it is even richer.  I take comfort in being kind to those who are always there.  I would spend more time there were I free to do so.

This writing desk is holy ground.  For years now this chair and desk have been the primary place from which I spin my yarns and think my thoughts.  It is where I ask the questions and search for answer.  It is where I read and pray.  It is my small sanctuary from the general loneliness of the room. 

There is a town in Georgia that is holy ground to me.  It is like Rivendell in my mind with less magic and more mystery.  I will journey there later this year and hope to find a bit of peace to last for a space.  There is family in Georgia that is precious to me as well.  Some time with them brings me better focus and perspective.

I need consistent contact with holy ground to get by.  The most precious to me is denied me at this point.  So I feel like a vagabond most of the time lacking home and a fellow traveler.  Some of that is my fault and some was forced upon me.  Still I follow the one who is ultimately my home.  It is in Christ that I find rest when I can.  It is in him that all the treasures of home endure.

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 April 2017

Holy Ground Reprise ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have mentioned song worms and their impact on me.  I have had one working its way through my brain for almost two weeks now.  Having to pay attention to Holy Week I needed to let it have its way with me without much work on it.  Am I at last free to address the worm and all it is saying to me.

It is not small thing that the worm also involves Christmas.  I take anything that forces me to think of Christmas very seriously.  As I take a little time to unearth the worm and his lessons I get to enjoy thoughts of Christmas. 

I will of course share the song and the lyrics bellows.  The link is to a very beautiful driving video.  I have listened to the song on repeat at work for all of the last two weeks.  It is obvious that there are messages of Christmas and family.  There is, however more.  Please, Dear Reader join me as I journey on pondering and positing holy ground, road trips, and a thousand memories.


I'm driving home for Christmas,
Oh, I can't wait to see those faces.
I'm driving home for Christmas, yeah,
Well I'm moving down that line.

And it's been so long, but I will be there;
I sing this song to pass the time away
Driving in my car
Driving home for Christmas

Its gonna take some time
But I’ll get there

Top to toe in tailbacks.
Oh, I got red lights all around,
But soon there’ll be a freeway, yeah,
Get my feet on holy ground.

So I sing for you,
Though you can’t hear me
When I get through
And feel you near me.
Driving in my car
I’m driving home for Christmas

Driving home for Christmas
With a thousand memories.
I take a look at the driver next to me;
He's just the same.
Just the same…

Top to toe in tailbacks.
Oh, I got red lights all around,
I’m driving home for Christmas, yeah,
Get my feet on holy ground.

So I sing for you,
Though you can hear me
When I get through
And feel you near me.
Driving in my car
I’m driving home for Christmas

Driving home for Christmas
With a thousand memories.
I take a look at the driver next to me;
He's just the same.
He’s driving home, driving home
Driving home for Christmas

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 April 2017

Holy Week ~ Worth Dying For – The Next Advent – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

My mind runs a binary liturgical calendar.  Most of the days are filled with thoughts of the Advent and life of Christ.  I commit time each year to mourning the death and celebrating the resurrection.  There is a reason for this imbalance.

I not only have great love for celebrating the first Advent of Christ but I am longing for the second Advent as well. The entire reason for both seasons is to get us to the latter event.  It is the return of Jesus that will get all things back to good.  It is this that we have been journeying toward since the expulsion from the garden.

I may not live to see this moment but I believe it will come.  The resurrection is our security.  It means nothing or it is everything.  It is at this next beginning that all things wrong and unjust will be needed.  That of which we dream and long for will be fulfilled.

Christ will return.  He will end injustice.  He right our course and give us a path that will always meet our needs.  This life is for us to practice following so the great adventure in the undiscovered country will be less of a shock.   

Jesus did ask a question about this.  He questioned if he would find faith on the earth.  I hope that he does.  After all, he does not exist because we believe in him.  He is here and always with us longing for us to walk with 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 April 2017

Holy Week ~ Worth Dying For – How Should We Then Live

Greetings Dear Reader,

We are worth dying for.  We are the object of the Father\s affection.  All of this is to bring us back to him.  Some of you disagree and I understand.  Some of you think I am crazy and I understand that as well.

In light of what I believe and all that was done to provide for my faith I am still faced with a question.  How, in light of the resurrection, should I live?  It is not about candy or bonnets.  It is never about sunrise services or textual criticism.  It is all about faith and following.  It is loving and living. 

It does not matter how much we profess our love and devotion if we are not faithful to the duties that dome with it.  I cannot forget to love in word and deed.  I cannot fail to follow Christ out of that love.  I cannot fail to love everyone no matter how he or she feels about me or my faith.

The resurrection provides for transformation.  It changes everything.  It is the turn of the hourglass refiling time with hope and opportunity.  We cannot make the world whole. We can begin to bring wholeness into the lives of those around us.  I can treat other with love and compassion.

I should live as if the Son is risen and has commanded me to bring hope to the world. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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Greetings Dear Reader,

On this morning of triumph I offer another set of moments from Chronicles of Thanatos the Reaper.  We see the Resurrection. We should ponder the moments.

Awakenings 


Thanatos stands a silent vigil over the tomb of the Son.  The cold Jerusalem night takes its toll on the soldiers guarding the tomb.  Unaware of the Death Angel’s presence, they mock the Son and his followers.  The impetus for their mockery is their dissatisfaction at drawing guard duty over a corpse.  As one, they express their loathing for the Jews and their religious fanaticism.  Longinus, alone, remains silent.  He has seen too much this week to doubt what is to come. 

At the crucifixion, Patrius, his first lieutenant, gambled for the carpenter’s cloak and won.  He wraps the homespun around his armor to shield him from the chill of the night wind.  He also hopes that the zealous followers of the dead carpenter will try to steal his body.  At least that would break the boredom of cemetery guard duty.  Patrius begins to angrily pace in front of the sealed stone with growing impatience. 

Thanatos realizes that it is almost first light.  He gently glides down from his perch atop the tomb, coming to rest on a spot before the heavily waxed Roman seal.  Had Thanatos chosen to land just a few feet further away from the entrance to the tomb, Patrius would be pacing through him.  The Angel of Death waits in front of the tomb.  The time has almost come, but time is moving arthritically at the moment.  Waiting for time to pass can be quite burdensome for a being that is seldom concerned with its constraints.  Thanatos turns to regard the men who share his watch.  The pacing one, the one who thrust a spear in the Son, is irritating the Angel of Death.

Walking next to an angel does not go unnoticed by our spirit.  We sometimes choose to ignore our spirit’s call to our own detriment.  Patrius feels a chill run up and down his left side.  This last chill is too much for him to bear. 

He explodes in anger and outrage.  “Curse these Jews and their carpenter-gods,” growls the centurion.  “Imagine, Romans guarding the tomb of a dead man from Nazareth.  If the priests want him protected so much, why do they not post their own guard?”

Longinus considers the tomb and the rumors he has heard.  He cautions his friend.  “You may not know everything, Patrius.  We have seen much of the world, but we have not seen everything.  You saw the way the world seemed to react to this man’s death.  Be careful what you say.”  

Patrius retorts angrily, “Let anyone but you tell me to be careful what I say about these stinking Jews and their solitary god and I will guard their tomb as well.  Tell me this, if he were alive in there, who would move the stone for him?  It took eight of us to place it and seal it.  I saw the beating he took.  I put my own spear into his side.  This stone will not be moved by him, and I will gladly put my sword into anyone who tries from the outside.”

The time has come.  Thanatos takes on a mischievous grin.  Stepping into the world of men, he brings himself, in all his angelic brilliance, face to face with the centurion, Patrius. 
“Feel free to run me through.  Try to spit me on your spear as you did the Son,” growls the Death Angel.  While he speaks, the boulder in the cave mouth begins to vibrate and roll to the side.  The proud Roman seal crumbles under the stone’s vibrations.  Patrius’ eyes widen in shock and terror.  He and the rest of the Roman guard respond to the unrestrained fury of the Angel of Death as one man.  They faint dead away.

Thanatos does not give them a second thought.  Instead, he turns and moves into the tomb.  Forgetting himself, he runs to the Son who is just getting up from the stone slab where he had been laid to rest.  Just as morning breaks over the tomb, the Angel of Death wraps himself around the Son of God in an embrace bursting with the joy of life.  Only God can hug one of his beloved children so deeply and so well.  The Son drinks in the welcome and admiration.  Thanatos has stuck with him through the entire ordeal.  Others would soon return to him, but Thanatos had stayed.

Reluctantly breaking the embrace, the Son regards Thanatos.  “I have much to do before I see the others.  Stay here and comfort any that come looking for me.  They will need it.  Their faith is weak.”

Without anther word the Son departs.  The Death Angel resumes his vigil with joy.  Guarding an empty tomb is joyous when you are directed to do so by its living, former inhabitant.  His watch is soon rewarded.  He hears the familiar voices of the Son’s disciples approaching.  He overhears their concern at the moved stone.  As he expects, Mary Magdalene is the first to enter.  Salome and Mary, the mother of James, follow closely.

Thanatos takes on the appearance of a young man in white robes.  Mary Magdalene gasps when she sees him.  Instantly weeping over the assumed and imagined loss, she drops the spices she had brought to anoint the Son’s body.

Barely controlling her fear she asks the only question in her heart, “Where have they taken my Lord?”

Thanatos takes a gentle step toward her and answers, “Why do you search for the living among the dead?  Do you remember that the Son told you about this?  He said that he must suffer and die, but that he would rise again.  He is risen just like he promised.”

So instant is their belief in his words that they rush out of the tomb to tell the apostles.  Thanatos regards the cave one last time before departing.  The empty, winding sheet, so like his own mantle, now resembles an abandoned cocoon.  This cold, dark chrysalis had held the lifeless body of his own true King.  From that lifelessness, he has witnessed the birth of endless life for any who would follow his example and embrace the risen Son.

Dear Reader, He is risen indeed.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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15 April 2017

Holy Week ~ Worth Dying For – Evening Vigil

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of my most sacred practices during Holy Week is that from Thursday evening to Sunday morning I do not ask God for anything.  He has given so much and we commemorate his most precious gift.  I still express worship, confession, gratitude and my heart.  I simply leave our supplication for a few days.

So tonight as I take up the last of my dark vigil I express words that are not to be heard as a request to the Father but rather a voluntary application.  I want to be all that these words say.  I wish to live, and move, and have my being in the Son.  Please Dear Reader spare a moment to ponder all that was in the balance this night before Sunday. 

All that we have is given by this grace, this mercy, this sacrifice.  All that we hope for hovers over the abyss whilst the tomb remains sealed and filled.  From the first keening wail of Abel’s blood in the sand to water and blood flowing from Christ’s side it has been death that ruled.  Tonight death can be defeated if we hold on until morning.  Look to the easy for that salmon colored dawn that reminds of the fulfilled promise. 

Keep vigil with me Dear Reader…

The Vigil – Kemper Crabb

Waiting for flame in eye of night, I am the fuel for your fire
Light calls ever unto light. Make me a fleshen pyre.
Touch my lips with the altering coal; leave your shining upon my soul.
Zion shall ever be my goal; Zion the telling of light.

Scanning the silence with inward ears; life is a listening.
Enfolded in echoes of timeless years; the Word comes whistling.
Build my being from your throat; meld my meaning with every note.
Wrap me round in an aural cloak, so I may truly hear.

Drawn towards destinies darkling kite, riven by reality
Riding the passion to terrible height, life upon death’s tree
Cause me to drink from the chalice of fire. Forge me anew in the heat of desire
Let me inhabit the holy empire and make war on the armies of night.

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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Holy Week ~ Worth Dying For – The Vigilant

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things I imagine is that I would like to camp outside the tomb for the entire time.  I want to believe that I would believe.  I want to think that I would be vigilant.  There were those that were vigilant.

A guard is posted outside the borrowed tomb.  Men are posted to assure that the absent disciples do not return to steal the body.  It seems that the priests listened more closely than the disciples.  They knew he said the he would rise.  It never occurred to them to wonder how he knew that they would kill him.

I want to watch it all.  I play it over and over in my mind.  I want to hear the conversations between the guards both before and after.  For now though we wait.  We hold the vigilance of hope.  We trade in the coin of promise.  We watch and wait and hope and pray. 

Or do we?  We have been told to do all of these things in relation to the next Advent.  We rarely do.  I rarely pay the attention I should to the hope of the return of Christ.  I take some time now to reflect while we wait.

I will sit in the cool of the morning with my coffee and think of him returning for us.  I must be always vigilant as it is my duty to Christ.  I hunger for his return.  I long for him to make all things good again.  It really is my only 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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14 April 2017

Holy Week ~ Worth Dying For – The Death of Death

Greetings Dear Reader,

Yesterday I mentioned my novel, Chronicles of Thanatos the Reaper.  In it I follow the Angel assigned to manage death through history.  He understands the necessity of death for mankind.  He also hates that man’s redemption requires the death of the Son.

I have a hard time seeing this as Good Friday.  It commemorates the time when God proved that we worth dying for and the extent he would go to for our reclamation.  A great joyful sadness captures me.  The nails, the wood, and the pain are all forged from my failures as much as anyone’s.  The God/man was suspended between his two homes and the only one who truly understood him had to turn away.

The beloved Son never broke faith with the Father and in turning away in the instant the Father kept faith with the Son.  That which forged the suffering of Jesus, my sin, becomes the thing that makes them part for the moment.  The Father forsakes the Son for my sake.  The angels see their most beloved wounded, hated, and die. 

The Passover is completed.  The red stain is on the doorpost.  The Lamb of God is sacrificed.  The bitter herbs were offered.  The unleavened Bread of Life is consumed.  The wine of offering is poured out.  It is time to put things away and a few of the followers do just that. 

It is only Friday. We have a couple of days until we are back to money changing and our pursuits.  The Passover feast is come and gone.  This year, however, we paid for the party with our dearest blood. 

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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Holy Week ~ Worth Dying For – It is Friday

Greetings Dear Reader,

We love to have our heroes and we love to watch them fall.  Superman is too good to be interesting.  We have to give our modern heroes dark flaws to enjoy their company.  There he is, however; Jesus the Son of God.

He hangs between earth and sky as the defender of Jehovah and man.  He cries out serving justice through being the victim of our injustice.  He promotes faith through our faithlessness.  We rend his flesh to redeem our souls.  He lets us kill him so that we can live.

This dark and glorious day should be all the darkness we need to find the right hero.  This turn of the tide is what begins the realization of hope.  In death we find the way to life.  In the madness of the dark and thunder it is the Son that shines.  “Forgive them” he says.

He says that we do not know what we are doing so it must be true.  I cannot help but think that we might have done it in an case.  We are so in need of seeing the bright light hung upon the hill for us. 

The hours will be long.  The pain will last far beyond his last breath.  I can still feel it when I follow him the closest.  I am guilty of God’s blood; the most innocent blood.  I am the thief mocking him. I am the soldier flogging him.  I am the friend handing him over to the priests.  I am the mocker ripping his beard and punching his face. 

I have no hope save the man to whom I did all these things.  There he hangs forgiving me before I was ever born. 

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 April 2017

Holy Week ~ Worth Dying For – Dinner with Friends

Greetings Dear Reader,

Almost every Thursday evening I have the joy of having dinner with my Son and Grandsons.  It really is an oasis in my week.  I love them all so dearly.  Some nights I even pick out something that everyone likes.  Tonight was such a night.

All through our lovely time together I pondered just how blessed I am to have these men as my companions.   My Daughter was able to be with us tonight as well.   She also enjoyed the repast I offered.

The moment was not lost on me.  Here I was celebrating a meal with my family on the night we commemorate Jesus sharing his final meal before his death with his closest friends.  He knows what is to come.  He is aware of their fear and failures.  He is fully aware of the cost of Passover.

The Lamb of God blesses the lamb.  He shares the bread.  He drinks the cup.  He makes his promises.  They sing a song and he takes them to the Garden to pray and watch.  He knows what is coming.  He has to be at the garden so the Judas and the soldiers can find him there.  He is there to make the final commitment to the death, the burial, the redemption.

In the novel Chronicles of Thanatos the Reaper I try to capture this moment:

     As he kneels praying, great beads of sweat mingle with the tears flowing from his eyes.  The tension of the moment causes his pores to overload.  A single drop of blood from a burst vessel slides down his brow and then his nose.  It hangs there for a single transitory moment until a sob vibrates the drop loose. 
     The Son is kneeling in the garden.  In the few seconds of time it takes the drop of blood to travel from face to ground, all of history is changed.  Redemption has received her down payment and the earth is screaming.  The scream is the sound of salt generously poured on an open wound.  Healing can be as painful as poisoning, and much more costly.

It is in this that we must writhe and rest.  It is in that first drop of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane that we see that time is truly full.  We see that God’s blood is what it will take to win the day.  I must not waste one precious drop, even the sweat mingled ones when I am busy judging the Apostles.  It is all for me.  It is all for you Dear Reader.  This passion is because you are worth dying for. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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Holy Week ~ Worth Dying For – The Father’s Business

Greetings Dear Reader,

As a boy, when Jesus remained at the temple after Passover his parents sought him out.  They found him and he explained that he was doing his Father’s business.  Here on this Passover weekend we find him doing the same. 

He is doing what he always does.  He keeps the Law of Moses.  He walks in communion with the Father.  He lives the example of a perfect Israelite.  He also gives himself totally to the mission.  He knows who the Passover Lamb is and yet he follows all protocol. 

What are we thinking as we approach the commemoration of suffering?  We have turned to bunnies and candy as the high marks of our remembrances.  We give more time to our finery and bonnets than we do to his pain.

As I begin my Holy Thursday I ponder what was in the mind of Jesus as he went through the day.  He knows that his friend has acted to hand him over to the Pharisees.  He knows that the rest of his followers will run.  He knows that once evening comes things change forever.

I ponder that today the fullness of time arrives.  It is the day when everything hangs in the pinch of the hourglass and just a few grains away is the moment of truth.  For today I will walk with the Messiah as he does his duty to the very last.

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 April 2017

Holy Week ~ Worth Dying For – Oil and Silver

Greetings Dear Reader,

Jesus is in Bethany again.   The air must have been electric with the building anticipation.  Even the most obtuse of the apostles must have sensed that things were different.  Jesus had sent them earlier to find a place for the Passover.  They knew that tomorrow they would return to Jerusalem.

Tonight their thoughts are not on what is to come.  Judas, thirty silvers richer is pondering money.  He still pondering it when Mary of Bethany comes with expensive oil to anoint the feet of the Messiah.   She is forever remembered for her service in preparation for the burial of Jesus.  Judas thinks of the value of oil far over the value of Jesus.

Jesus is looking forward.  Tomorrow things begin to move more quickly.  Tomorrow fear and fight will grip his friends.  Tomorrow will be the Passover but it will not pass over him.  He will decide once and for all if we are worth dying for.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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Holy Week ~ Worth Dying For – A Bridge of Spies

Greetings Dear Reader,

We have seen the Priests reject the one they serve.  That, however, Is not enough.  They want him dead.  They seek a way to kill him without upsetting the masses or violating the laws enforced on them by Rome.  What they need is a conspirator and as in all great stories one will be provided.

Whilst they plot his death another plots his own efforts.  He thinks to get the God he has watched for three years to act like a God.  He want Jesus to move against Rome.  He wishes for the conquering King to un-shroud and take his throne.  His plan is to use the enemy, the priests to force the hand of Christ.  He will build his bridge to victory through subterfuge and secrecy. 

Judas goes to the Pharisees and arranges for them to arrest Jesus away from the throng.  He must have been privy to Christ’s plans as he is able to instruct the Priests.  He must have not realized that the omniscient God he follows would know even when discussing his plans. 

We cannot ask for a more sorrowful and shortsighted plot.  We too act on our own contrary to God’s instruction.  We hate where he commands us to love.  We fight where he demands that we make peace.  We plot where he moves in the open.  It is our voice that speaks softly to the Pharisees; “On Thursday night you’ll find him where you want him; far from the crowds, in the garden of Gethsemane.”

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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