30 June 2017

The War of Indifference ~ Pain Part 2

Greetings Dear Reader,

Physical pain is nothing compared to emotional pain.  The problem with continuing emotional pain is that it hides and attacks.  It can summon memories from long ago to torment us when we least expect it.

Emotional pain is a siren to indifference for me.  I spent some time with my emotions shut down because of it.  I was indifferent to the pain of others.  I would feign emotion when the situation called for it.  I could be angry in an instant.

I have learned to deal honestly with how I feel and to separate feeling from fact and action.  This does not prevent emotional pain from assaulting me whenever it wishes.  It does not mitigate the pain or the temptation to be indifferent. 

This war fought in the mind and heart must be one of constant vigilance.  It must be an act of will in every moment to care.  I must have compassion.  I must do what is right even when it hurts.  It is in follow in faith that I have the power to do this.

I cannot afford to be indifferent if it makes me numb to the needs of others.  This is not a safe place.  It is a selfish one. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

29 June 2017

The War of Indifference ~ Pain Part 1

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have lived with pain in my right shoulder since March of 1978.  It subsided for the first time last year when I injured my left shoulder.  Please do not hear this as a complaint. It is information that is foundational to this discussion.

This is short and simple.  If I am to remain compassionate about the physical pain of others I must fight indifference.  When my heart is in the right place the discomfort or pain of others always impacts me.  I remember to use my discomfort as a reminder to be compassionate. 

When my heart is centered on my own woes I forget to be compassionate and am indifferent to others.  I have trained my mind to think of others when my own pain rises.  I have trained it to consider their pain in the midst of my own.

The lesson I need to remember is that if I do not plan to fight indifference then my pain will cause me to be indifferent to the pain of others.  My own anything must not keep me from seeing and caring about the needs of others.  It is a constant war that requires constant indifference.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

28 June 2017

The War of Indifference ~ Stubbornness

Greetings Dear Reader,

I am so very stubborn.  I get my mind set on something and budging off of it is right out.  This can be good or bad depending on the focus of my willfulness.  Most of the time when I am stubborn and irritated it is a bad thing.

Hermann G. Simon
I become especially stubborn when I am wrong.  I become angry stubborn when I am wrong and I know it.  This is so dangerous because I become indifferent to anything anyone says.  Nothing can calm me or sway me until i realize that I have chosen to follow my will instead of Christ.

The danger of the indifference born of stubbornness is that it can lead to refusal of all faith.  It takes humility to see that you are wrong.  It is pride that fuels my angry stubbornness.  The angry stubbornness is not a product of faith.  It is not a product of love.

When I am indifferent to love and humility I act in faithless ways.  This is dangerous.  It easily leads to unbelief.  Indifference to love, humility, and faith breeds pride and stubbornness. 

The writer of Hebrews warns me, “Be careful, brothers and sisters, that none of you ever develop a wicked, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”  I must battle indifference by battling stubbornness.  I must battle stubbornness by embracing humility.  If I fail at this I will ultimately fail at faith. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

27 June 2017

The War of Indifference ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have fought so many things that keep me from following Christ as closely as I desire.  In the ebb and flow of temptation and determination I can often but not always choose to do right.  The hardest battle I fight is that of indifference.

It seems to me that this may be the most common struggle for me is indifference.  When the pain mounts to high or the struggle is too difficult I have an indifference switch that wants to flip as a means of “preservation”.  I make my very worst choices when I choose to flip that switch.

It seems that indifference becomes armor for some.  If one acts as if they do not care then less can hurt; less can reach the damaged places.  Humans are meant to be loving kind beings.  They are designed to treat each other with compassion.

When the world becomes too difficult to endure we need somewhere to turn.  When we do not have a place of solace we can use indifference as a shield.  It becomes a carapace if we do it too often.  We become less human to protect ourselves from the pain.  We become indifferent to the needs of others as a side effect.

I need to bolster my defense against indifference.  I need to assure that I have put a safeguard over the switch.  I must put my faith into the forefront.  I must develop a carapace against indifference.  I could use your company on the walk 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.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

26 June 2017

Magic Every Moment ~ Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

All of creation has something to show how beautiful it is.  Whether you like sunshine or storms there is wonder to be found in the world.  There is great beauty in the small and the large. There is wonder in the tiny and the vast.

Whether it is the natural occurrence of the Fibonacci sequence in plants or the master building of ant hills and bee hives there is order and design.  The complexity of the cosmic dance amazes me.  The world has so much to remind me of the depth and creativity of the Father.

It is in the creation that I find the wonder of the Creator.  It is in this that I am reminded that what is to come is promised to be better.  It will beyond what I can imagine.  I follow the Son through whom the Father created all things.  In him I find things that I would like to be.  Creative is one of the primary things.  I must use the wonder of creation to move me to follow more closely and more creatively. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

25 June 2017

Magic Every Moment ~ Biblical Sunshine

Greetings Dear Reader,

The storms continue to run through our unseasonably cool days.  Yesterday my Daughter and I had to drive to a neighboring town just after one of those storms.  As we passed through the rolling hills west of us the rain abated.

As the storm broke up the sun shot down through the clouds.  The rays splayed out across the green fields and stretches of wood igniting patches of it in brilliant light.  It intently reminded me of the pictures from my Grandfather’s family Bible.  The most significant picture was the one after the flood where the ark is on the mountain.

Ever since I can remember I have called this effect “Biblical Sunshine”.   The memory of looking through that old giant Bible on my Grandfather’s coffee table is always a pleasant one.  The event of seeing Biblical Sunshine always triggers it and reminds how much beauty there is in a freshly watered world. 

The magic in those moments comes from deep inside me.  There is a depth to the beauty and love of that beauty that is unique for me.  I shared my thoughts on it with my Daughter as we drove.  We both reveled in the way that the world can be so very lovely in storms and in that which follows the storm. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

24 June 2017

Magic Every Moment ~ ARP 273

Greetings Dear Reader,

If you do not already know what ARP 273 is you will.  When I first saw the image of it I was immediately transported to a night during my ninth summer.  I was in a place with no light pollution and clear skies.  It was overnight camping in a vast field.

ARP 273 - Hubble Space Telescope
The sky erupted with so many blazing stars.  Several shooting stars spent their brief brilliant lives to draw out my wonder.  It was the first time I felt the vastness of the universe.  I felt so small and so vast all at once.  When I read Thomas Traherne many years later I found his view of stars to echo my own. 

Century 1:34 Would one think it possible for a man to delight in gauderies like a butterfly, and neglect the Heavens? Did we not daily see it, it would be incredible. They rejoice in a piece of gold more than in the Sun; and get a few little glittering stones and call them jewels. And admire them because they be resplendent like the stars, and transparent like the air, and pellucid like the sea. But the stars themselves which are ten thousand times more useful, great, and glorious they disregard. Nor shall the air itself be counted anything, though it be worth all the pearls and diamonds in ten thousand worlds. A work of God so Divine by reason of its precious and pure transparency, that all worlds would be worth nothing without such a treasure.

ARP 273 is a pair of interacting galaxies in the Andromeda constellation.  The forces of the intertwining galaxies imitate tidal like movement on a literally cosmic scale.  This vast beauty, brought clearly to our attention by the Hubble Telescope captures the great magic and majesty of the cosmos. 

We see the stars in moments.  Sometimes we venture out to see them and sometimes we are surprised when they impose their beauty upon us.  When I make the time to notice I am reminded of the magic in those moments.  I am reminded that the heavens declare the glory of God loudly and clearly.  They declare it magically every moment.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

23 June 2017

Magic Every Moment ~ Distant Lightning

Greetings Dear Reader,

As I was departing the Duck Pond after the baseball game last night lightning could be seen off in the distance flashing orange warnings in the clouds.  The storm was not yet close enough to hear thunder.  The smell of rain was already in the air.

I know that thunder and lightning cause fear in some folks.  For me it is a symphony.  When I was young I lived in an old Victorian house where the windows rattled when the thunder rolled.  During summers at the beach I would watch lightning play in the clouds our at sea. 

I have seen lighting play tag with mountains and the thunder that follows echo through valleys.  I have been close enough to a lightning strike for my hair to stand out from the wave of static.  I have seen Saint Elmo’s Fire on a tall ship. 

There is such great wonder in the rush of lighting across the sky.  The energy and release are thrilling to me.  I recognize the danger and that could be part of the excitement for me.   Still I find the storm a beautiful part of creation.

At the center of that joy is the understanding that the power of the storm is nothing compared to the one who forges the lightning bolt.  In the storm I remember to ponder the whom the storm obeys.  I remember to see past the wonder to the Wonder Maker. 

It is in the remembering, amidst the exhilaration that I find the true magic.  The one who wields such great ferocity loves me.  He cares about every hair on my head; even when they are standing out from a nearby lightning strike.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

22 June 2017

Magic Every Moment ~ Motes of Dust


 Greetings Dear Reader,

In the Thomas Traherne quote I with which I began he mentions how a mote of dust appeared as gold in the sunlight to his young eyes.  I remember lying on our pink Herculon sofa as a boy.  I would smack the arm and watch the dust dance golden in the afternoon sun.

The couch was itchy, lumpy, and uncomfortable but the simple beauty of that dust in the sunlight caused me to forget about it.  As long as the afternoon sun cooperated I would find my imagination’s fire ignited and fed by the dancing gold.  The beauty of the simple can be so very refreshing.

When something is beautiful to me I am motivated and inspired.  That small boy watching dust in the sunlight had a much simpler view of beauty.  Dust has become my enemy as allergies and sneezing have caused me to avoid it.  I want to recapture the wonder.  I want to see that the simple beauty is all that one needs. 

I see that wonder in my Grandsons.  They find the world still wondrous and adventurous.  I will have to look for an opportunity to introduce them to sunlight spinning dust into gold.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

21 June 2017

Magic Every Moment ~ Sunrise Sunset

Greetings Dear Reader,

I am almost up before the sun.  My Grandfather would say that I “break day with a brick.”   This often affords me the opportunity to see some magnificent sunrises.  My favorite sunrises are at the beach.  I was privileged for some years to live on the Atlantic coast.  I saw a beautiful sunrise every morning and was in the frame of mind to appreciate it.  I also lived on the beach on the gulf for a couple of years and would often savor the light show of the sun sinking into the Gulf.

I was reminded of this on Monday morning when my friend Jessica posted a picture of a brilliant morning sky on the last day of Spring.   It was brilliant and the sunrise of her amazing smile was part of the picture.  Her greetings on mornings when I see her is like a new day.  She gets the idea of magic in the moment and does so much to share it with others.

One of my favorite sunrise memories is with my eldest Son.  We experienced a magnificent pink and orange sunrise when we went out for apple fritters one morning when he was a boy.  The magic of that moment when we both reveled in the artistry of the Creator is a constant reminder of the beauty that can be in a moment if we take the time to see it. 

The first thing created was light.  The first It is in the Light that life is found for me.  It is in embracing the moments of sunrise that we can see the opportunity of a new day.  We can be better today than yesterday.  We can be new and renewed.  Let there be light and the things that bend and shape it to catch our attention.  

Dawn Spawn
By Aramis Thorn
January 1, 1995

Salmon dawn swims against the darkness,
Spawning another day.
Yet it is we who face the peril of fighting the flow,
Ours is the call to return
to that place,
to that time,
to our birth.
It is our internal call to move upstream,
to climb the falls,
to defy the very nature of things,
to prevent the death of day.
So that when today’s fight against the ever-encroaching darkness is done,
We have given birth to more light, more love, more life.
So that that day will come when day will never need spawning again.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

20 June 2017

Magic Every Moment ~ A Single Drop of Dew

Greetings Dear Reader,

So many things come to mind when I ponder a dew drop.  Memories of running through dew drenched clover in my bare feet as boy speak to me of summers with my Grandfather.  The time I came upon an orb web covered in morning gems of dew is vivid in my mind. 

Growing up in the south I encountered many dewy mornings.  The vast ocean of humidity would cling to cool surfaces.  Morning sun would dance upon the gems in such beauty that even those torpid days of high summer had moments of beauty and wonder. 

Pondering a drop of dew reminds me of Honeysuckle in the spring.  You could extract a single taste of nectar from the flowers in the morning if done properly.  That I was taught this by the first girl I kissed does not hurt that memory at all.  Thinking of that forty-plus years later is sweet. 

I enjoy the look of morning mist hanging in the air.  I like the way dew beads up on a clean waxed car.  It used to gather on my Grandfather’s close line.  I would shoot at the clothes pins with my BB gun and cause a rainbow spray in the morning sun.

The moments where I notice the dew remind me how alive and beautiful the world can be for me.  I may not see it always.  When I choose to though it reminds me that the world has great wonder when I choose for it to have it.  The handiwork of the Creator is enhanced by the dew.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

19 June 2017

Magic Every Moment ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

In my series on Answer the Pepperoni I posted the Dan Fogelberg song, Magic Every Moment.  It is posted again below.  In addition to understanding the unique value of every human I need to understand the value of creation as it shows me the love, power, and creativity of the Father.

Ann Taylor
I would be clear that I believe in intelligent design.  I also respect the scientific world and believe that they can live in harmony.  I do not claim to know all the answers about the difficulties others find with intelligent design.  I also refuse to reject scientific data just because it requires me to have more faith. 

This will not be a logical Aristotelian polemic for that belief. Rather, I need to walk through the metaphoric logic of the Designer who designed me and the wonder of what he does.  Thomas Traherne first comes to mind.  In his Centuries of Meditations he explains that we are meant to enjoy the natural world.

Century 1:25 “Your enjoyment of the World is never right, till you so esteem it, that everything in it, is more your treasure than a King's exchequer full of Gold and Silver. And that exchequer yours also in its place and service. Can you take too much joy in your Father's works? He is Himself in everything. Some things are little on the outside, and rough and common, but I remember the time when the dust of the streets were as pleasing as Gold to my infant eyes, and now they are more precious to the eye of reason.”  

I think that as we get caught up in the day-to-day living we forget to see the universe in all its wonder.  We become less aware of the amazing nature of nature.  Living in a city hinders us from some of it.  Spending so much time in doors contributes to it. 

It is my need to be reminded of the amazing beauty that surrounds me and how it declares the nature of the Creator to me.  It is my love of the Creator that compels me to see his artistry and who it is that asks me to move toward the renewal, reclamation, and restoration of that creation.  Please walk with me for bit Dear Reader.  We may discover some beautiful things.


Magic Every Moment – Dan Fogelberg

I awoke this morning to a shattering sound
And I went downstairs and found these shards of glass strewn all around
There upon the floor I found this poor broken dove
And it made me realize how very fragile is this life that we so love

I came back up to bed and I held you so tight
And I prayed up to the Father, oh I prayed with all my might
That He'd always keep you with me, that He'd always keep you safe
And when I went downstairs I found that dove had somehow up and flown away

There's a magic every moment
There's a miracles each day
There's a magic every moment
Oh won't you let the music play
Oh won't you let the music play

On a high and windy island I was gazing out to sea
When a long forgotten feeling came and took control of me
It was then the clouds burst open and the sun came pouring through
When it hit those dancing waters in an instant all eternity I knew

There's so much we take for granted--there's so much we never say
We get caught up in the motion of just a living day to day
We are fettered to the future, we are prisoners of the past
And we never seem to notice 'til our lives have finally
Slipped right through our grasp

There's a magic every moment
There's a miracles each day
There's a magic every moment
Oh won't you let the music play
Oh won't you let the music play

You can see forever in a single drop of dew
You can see that same forever if you look down deep inside of you
There's a spark of the creator in every living thing
He respects me when I work but He so loves me when I sing

There's a magic every moment
There's a miracles each day
There's a magic every moment
Oh won't you let the music play
Oh won't you let the music play

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

18 June 2017

Answer the Pepperoni ~ Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Each of us sees some things as quirky.  We all have preferences and positions.  We are still free to think what we will.  We talk about diversity as a value but we do not truly embrace it. 

If I am to truly embrace the diversity created in all of us then I must not limit it to what I prefer or enjoy.  I must not limit my love and value of others to those of my tribe, preference, or family.  I must proceed through the journey with the understanding that every human, at any point in his or her life has unique value. 

Every life matters equally to the Father.  I cannot hate anyone but it must not stop there.  I do not have to agree with anyone’s values, political position, or social stance.  I do have to accept anyone as a human deserving of love and value. 

With that as foundational then the quirks and differences should be easy.  The things that are our irritants and peeves focus on are our preferences.  I must, in every interaction, seek to make others feel valued, accepted, and loved.  That is at the heart of following Christ.  It is at the core of the Father’s heart to call us all back to good; back to himself.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

17 June 2017

Answer the Pepperoni ~ Infinite Diversity

Greetings Dear Reader,

When I think of music there are artists that come to mind immediately.  Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Dan Fogelberg, and Michael Card, each discovered in a different decade are three of my very favorite.  They are artists from three very different genera but all three produced or produce very excellent music.

IDIC - Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations
There is no genera of music that I dislike completely.  Some have very limited appeal and others may only have only or two songs that touch my mind or heart.  I do not even embrace bands for the sake of the band.  Every song I like stands on its own.  There are some compilations that that I cherish as well.  The songs I choose serve my needs of the moment.   “Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes, peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close.”  

I want to see the diversity in people the way I see the diversity in music.  The Creator of made us each Mira, wonderfully different.   There is no life that does not matter.  There is no human that does not possess something that the universe needs.  I do not have to like every song.  I do not have to like every person.  I do have to love every person. 

Every life is just as precious as mine.  The differences we scorn should be instead understood and dealt with in love.  I was privileged yesterday to have breakfast with my dear friend Jeff.   We were discussing the political vitriol in the world.  Even though we differ on some areas of politics and theology we agree that nothing that is not built on love is something we support.

I can celebrate infinite diversity in others if I proceed from the foundational commands to love the Father and love all humans.  Since Jesus made it clear that everything else is built on that I really have no excuse to accept all differences unless they violate one of those requirements.  That filter is all I need. 

Magic Every Moment – Dan Fogelberg

I awoke this morning to a shattering sound
And I went downstairs and found these shards of glass strewn all around
There upon the floor I found this poor broken dove
And it made me realize how very fragile is this life that we so love

I came back up to bed and I held you so tight
And I prayed up to the Father, oh I prayed with all my might
That He'd always keep you with me, that He'd always keep you safe
And when I went downstairs I found that dove had somehow up and flown away

There's a magic every moment
There's a miracles each day
There's a magic every moment
Oh won't you let the music play
Oh won't you let the music play

On a high and windy island I was gazing out to sea
When a long forgotten feeling came and took control of me
It was then the clouds burst open and the sun came pouring through
When it hit those dancing waters in an instant all eternity I knew

There's so much we take for granted--there's so much we never say
We get caught up in the motion of just a living day to day
We are fettered to the future, we are prisoners of the past
And we never seem to notice 'til our lives have finally
Slipped right through our grasp

There's a magic every moment
There's a miracles each day
There's a magic every moment
Oh won't you let the music play
Oh won't you let the music play

You can see forever in a single drop of dew
You can see that same forever if you look down deep inside of you
There's a spark of the creator in every living thing
He respects me when I work but He so loves me when I sing

There's a magic every moment
There's a miracles each day
There's a magic every moment
Oh won't you let the music play
Oh won't you let the music play

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

16 June 2017

Second Thoughts – The Inner Light

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.

Last night I only slept briefly.  Yesterday was one of those days where old pain descended upon me with crushing certainty.  I only slept for about two hours.  In those two hours, however, I lived a great adventure.

It was like the Star Trek the Next Generation Episode “The Inner Light”.  In this episode Captain Picard is “assaulted” by a probe.  He passes out and lives the live of a man on an extinct planet.  It is one of my favorite episodes of all Star Trek.  It also provided my favorite piece of music of all time.

Back to my dream we go.  In the dream I was me but not me.  I had more wisdom and less failings.  Would that this were true.  I met a girl named Autumn and we shared a day of fun by happenstance.  We parted and in my dream twenty years passed as I worked as a professor teaching that which I love the most.  

I was at a turning point in my career and chose to take a sabbatical.  I rented a beach house for a calendar year and spent time crafting a new novel.  I would take daily walks on the beach early in the morning and just prior to sunset.  As the first few months passed I came to know by greeting others who wandered the sands at dawn and dusk. 

As spring approached the number of sand wanderers increased.  One morning I noticed an elderly woman being helped down the beach by someone younger.  I smiled in greeting.  They smiled back and waved. 

They became a regular part of my morning journey over the next couple of weeks.  We never passed close enough on the wide sand to really speak.  Then one morning things changed.  Just as I was approaching, feeling that warm smile rising to my face, the elderly lady fell to the sand.  The young woman cried out.  I was the only other wanderer present. 

I rushed to their side.  It turned out that the elderly woman had simply fallen and was embarrassed but unharmed.  I reached out a hand to help her up and the younger woman spoke.  That voice from that day twenty years ago was unmistakable.
I called her by name, looking and he lovely face framed in coal black hair with hints of silver.  She responded, hesitant, then also remembering.  I confessed that I had loved her for the last twenty years and that I was so happy to see her.  She responded with a warm smile and said that she had cherished that day always. 

Then I awakened.  I have no idea why this dream beset me but I feel the loss as if that had been my real life and this one was the dream.  It is with the heaviness of real loss and real joy that I end the day.  It is also with the knowledge that I understand how to love even when I am alone. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Answer the Pepperoni ~ Predisposed

Greetings Dear Reader,

My children will tell you that I like my routines and rituals.  I like to get up at the same time every day.  I don’t like naps.  Sleep and I are enemies.  I like rest but not sleep. 

I have a morning coffee routine.  I have pattern for getting dressed and arriving home from work.  I partly do this so that I do not forget things.  I partly do it because I just like patterns.  I am predisposed to them and cannot remember a time when I was not.

We are all predisposed to certain things.  We like what we like.  We are prone to embrace the familiar.  We develop habits that suit our tastes and preferences.  It makes it more difficult to embrace change, new things, and the differences in others. 

It is our love or comfort with the familiar that makes accepting the differences in others difficult.  I am trying to be someone who is predisposed to our differences.  I said to my friend Abby just yesterday that I want to always be looking for the unique beauty in others.  I want to find that bit that makes them unique in all the universe. 

I craft this into my annual birthday greetings that I offer to friends on social media.  It is easy to say “happy birthday”.  Every year I try to create something that celebrates the individual.  I see every life as a unique creation of the Father. 

If we become predisposed to the unique beauty in every human it becomes easier to love and accept everyone.  I will not accept every behavior, choice, or belief.  I will love and accept the person because the Father put them here.  He does everything for a purpose. 

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 June 2017

Answer the Pepperoni ~ A Pause to Respond

Greetings Dear Reader,

It was kind of you Carrie to respond with such open admission.   I want to take a moment to “answer the pepperoni” on your behalf.  I have been privileged to befriend people with anxiety of various levels during my life.  It is difficult to truly understand what these friends go through to function.

I do not, however, have to understand to be understanding.  It costs nothing to be patient and kind when someone struggles with choices or even being with people.  It takes nothing to be understanding and learn what a person needs to cope with an anxious situation.

I wonder why we do not see that this too is a part of the uniqueness of humans.  I would have it that no one felt fear in any situation.  Further I would that all humans were free from anything that hinders their joy in life.  Since that is not yet the case with us, I would that we learn that we learn that we can cast out fear in others.

Love crushes fear.  Taking the time to show love and patience with those who fight anxiety can create safe spaces for them to deal with it.  They may never permanently win the fight.  Then again, I have not overcome all my challenges either.

When we face that the anxiety in others is an opportunity for us to be loving and kind we gain great ground.  I must be good and kind to anyone who fights this fight.  I must be vigilant in learning what helps them fight and win.   Thank you Dear Reader Carrie for the gentle reminder.

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 June 2017

Answer the Pepperoni ~ American Hamburgers

Greetings Dear Reader,

When my Daughter, Christmas first came to live with us I took her to a very nice burger emporium in our town.  It serves excellent food and quality beverages.  She was nervous about being in a new place and hesitant about ordering her meal.  I was unaware of the latter.

The server approached our table and asked for our order.  I gestured to her to go first.  She simply said she wanted a burger with fries.  The server asked, “What kind of bun do you want:  wheat, white, or pretzel?” 

Christmas, visibly nervous replied, “White?”

The server continued, “How would you like it cooked?”

Christmas knew this one but was still nervous, “Well done. Very well done please.”

The serve had more questions, “What kind of cheese would you like?  Do you want lettuce, tomato, grilled or raw onion?”

I saw real fear rise up in my Daughter’s eyes as she was overwhelmed by the choices.  I suggested to the server that she bring it all on a separate plate so Christmas could build her own burger.  I then ordered my burger but was already pondering what made this so difficult for her.

The server was not too far out of ear shot before Christmas explained.  “I am not used to having so many choices.  A burger is burger.  You get it the way it is served.” 

I was keenly reminded of the differences in so many cultures.  We have so many choices in our nation.  We have so many ways to express who we are.  It is in those differences of expression that we find our uniqueness.  It is where we can see that we are all of value. 

It is in loving who each person is that I can find the light of the Father in them.  The spark of the Creator is expressed in his unique touch to each of them.  If I hope to follow Christ well I must see and celebrate this in everyone.

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 June 2017

Answer the Pepperoni ~ Toilet Paper Rolls and Toothpaste Tubes

Greetings Dear Reader,

I know a couple who have been married for over twenty years.  They work together well and have a very amicable marriage.  Their children are happy.  They have rewarding careers and missionaries. 

The harmony of their home, however, is easily shattered if one brings up the issue of how to hand the tissue.  The both believe that there is a “right” way to hang the toilet paper.  The over or under debate is one that seems innocuous but there are people who are very passionate about it.  There is another bathroom debate that does not get as much attention but is also divisive.

The argument of where to squeeze the toothpaste tube also runs throughout families.  This is one of those things that we argue about that really does not matter.  Eventually one must push from the bottom to get all of the toothpaste out. 

What I see is that we major over minors.  I have a toilet paper preference and in my home I simply adjust it that way when I find it the opposite.  I have learned that in this small disagreement there is no need for any negative emotion.  It does not matter how one hangs the toilet paper.  It still serves its purpose. 

I do like to hear why one has a preference on these things.  It is in their explanation that I learn to know them better.  I am trying to learn this about all of our differences.  If they do not matter then I must be patient and learn from others.  I must see the uniqueness of the individual.  I must embrace that the why is more important than the what. 

It is in learning to not care about the minors that I can become more loving.  I can follow Christ more closely and I can create more harmony with 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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12 June 2017

Answer the Pepperoni ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

In the show Gilmore Girls, there is a moment of advice that resonates with me.  Here it is in brief:

MAX: How can they possibly eat more?
DEAN: Kind of surprised.
MAX: I know. They're bottomless pits.
DEAN: I mean at you. You've known them long enough not to be so confused.
MAX: Oh, I'm not confused. I'm just . . . what do you mean?
DEAN: Their eating habits are just the start of what you're gonna have to get used to. There's tons of stuff you should be aware of.
MAX: Really?
DEAN: Oh yeah. Like, don't ever use the last of the Parmesan cheese. And never get into a heavy discussion late at night 'cause that's when they're at their crankiest. Oh, and uh, go with their bits.
MAX: Their bits?
DEAN: Yeah, like, if you're eating pizza with them and Lorelai decides that the pepperoni is angry at the mushrooms because the mushrooms have an attitude and then she holds up a pepperoni and the pepperoni asks for your opinion...don't just laugh. Answer the pepperoni.
MAX: Answer the pepperoni.

Dean is advising Max to be aware of and respond to the quirks of the “Gilmore Girls”.  This is not a deep dive but there is value to be had in shallow waters as well.  We have difficulty accepting the differences of others even when they are unimportant.  We see the quirks of others as a reason to reject them

I want to instead see them as something to celebrate.   I want to understand people better. I want their diversity to be what enchants me about other humans.  This does not mean that I have to embrace every philosophy and belief.  It does mean that there are things about which I should not care. 

Indifference, however, is not enough.  I must also find the beauty and grace in the uniqueness of others.  I must ponder what matters and what does not.  I muse celebrate other deliberately.  I hope you join me as I ponder just how to answer the pepperoni 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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11 June 2017

Contracts with God ~ Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

We bargain all the time.  We make agreements and either keep them or we do not.  We use phrases like “I should not have promised that” to excuse our failure to follow through on our word. 

When God makes a promise we can count on it.  We are supposed to be able to count on each other as well.  There is a thing that happens when we do what is right no matter how we feel.  I know people who have promised their lives to God for his service and have walked away from him.  

He does not react like we do.  He is not speedy in his response.  He is patient with us.  He still makes it clear that when we make a promise to him it is foolish not to keep it.  Hidden in this commitment to the Father is an opportunity.

When we contract to follow Christ there is an opportunity to have all other things fall into that one commitment.  It is like this:
  • I put my life in the hands of the Father by following his Son
  • He then allows everything else that passes into my life to exist
  • I can count on his promise that no matter what it is he has a plan for me


 I close Dear Reader with this.  When I find it painful or hard to keep my commitments or others do not keep theirs I have a final contract with the Father to sustain me.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Promises Made – Dan Fogelberg

Promises made, Promises broken
Measures of our demise
Secrets of souls that, rarely get spoken
Pleasure's a thin disguise.

Dozens of ways, Dozens of reasons
Shielding our hearts from pain
Riddles of romance that distance may yet explain.

Certain of nothing, so fearful of love
Nobody seems to show you enough
Over and over the scenes are replayed
And once again those promises made.

Feeling forsaken, broken in two
How did this ever happen to you?
Taken for granted, bruised, and betrayed
Lonely survivors; these promises made.

Dozens of ways, Dozens of reasons
Shielding our hearts from pain
Riddles of romance that distance may yet explain.

Certain of nothing, so fearful of love
Nobody seems to show you enough
Over and over the scenes are replayed
And once again those promises made.

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 June 2017

Contracts with God ~ He Will

Greetings Dear Reader,

We have another aspect of one way contracts to consider.  The Father makes promises to us that are unconditional.  He vows to do things that are for our good.  He cannot lie and will do all that he says.

Here are just a few things that the Father contracts to do for us:
  • He will always love us no matter what we do
  • All things will be returned to good
  • Once he forgives us he will forget our sin
  • He will be just and destroy evil
  • There will be a better world
  • He will remain constant
  • He has plans for us that are good


I do not think we do enough cement that the Father has so much good in store for in our thinking.  We get too immersed in the problems of life to see the promises of God for what they are.  They require faith and hope but those area things he offers us as well.

I need to keep looking at what God is planning.   My limited view is still enough to keep me journeying no matter how hard things seem right now.  We talk about how nothing worth having is easy.  I must apply that to following in faith.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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09 June 2017

Second Thoughts – Nine Inning Friendships

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.

It was joyful to spend the evening at a baseball game with my eldest Son and his Sons tonight.  We had brats and burgers.  The boys played on the bouncy castle.  Then we stood for the National Anthem and the game began. 

The game was awesome.  Our team won 11 to 3.  The most beautiful thing about the game was watching my five-year-old Grandson befriend the three-year-old boy sitting in front of us.  They talked and played throughout the game.  My Son and I chatted with his parents. 

It occurred to me just how pure my Grandson’s welcoming spirit is.  He welcomes everyone.  He is generous and kind to strangers.  I see in him what I want to be with everyone.  I see in him a love for others that I want to develop. 

Children are taught all the hatred they learn.  I see a purity in the nine-inning friendship these two boys formed that I want to emulate.  It would make me a better man and better Christ follower. 

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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Contracts with God ~ I Will

Greetings Dear Reader,

There are one way contracts in the world.  It is not the IF THEN contract.  It is the I WILL contract.  We call them promises, commitments, and vows.  We make them all the time but we vary in our commitment to them.

We consider the level of commitment to be equal to the importance of the thing we promised to do.  “I will take out the rubbish” gets dismissed with “I forgot.”  It is not the end of the world if you do not take out the rubbish but that failure to commitment erodes trust.  

It should be much simpler than this.  Our “yes” to do something must be all we need to be committed to that thing.  We can put into place conditions when necessary.  That makes the commitment an IF THEN commitment.  The yes contract, however, is unconditional.  The yes contract means that we will do it.

We say yes to so many things and some of them are weighty.  We say yes to life-long endeavors such as marriage but the yes becomes malleable.  We make commitments before all of the information unfolds and this is necessary.  The life-long yeses are unconditional contracts with the future.  They help to build a path for the journey.

My commitment to Christ was a one-way contract.  I vowed to follow him for life.  I must keep this contract no matter what the cost.  Some days it is easy.  Some days it requires momentary renewal.  No matter what it takes I must follow.  If I focus on that it makes the rest easier.

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 June 2017

Contracts with God ~ IF THEN part 2

Greetings Dear Reader,

We make bargains all the time that are two way bargains.  Even our marriage vows sound one way but are two way.  We way for better or worse but often mean unless you make it worse.  We say for richer or poorer but mean that you better not make us poorer.

God makes IF THEN bargains with us and always keeps his THEN.  He never changes.  He never fails to live up to his commitments.  There are very clear statements that we can count on if we choose to count on them.

Here are just a few:

  • IF you do good in secret THEN God will reward you openly
  • IF you believe THEN you will receive what you ask for in prayer
  • IF you love each other THEN all men will know you are my disciples
  • IF you are in Christ THEN you are a new creation
  • IF you give THEN it will be given to you full measure, pressed down and overflowing


The point is that God makes these contracts with us because he loves us.  We can follow in faith and have good things.  The greatest IF THEN though is that it we must have faith.  IF we have faith THEN we have the ability to access all of the other things.  It is the foundation of the contract.  It is the center of what the Father wishes. 

I must not do this for the results but rather must do so out of love for the Father.  I must follow in faith not seeking a “prize” but for better or worse must love without measure and count on God to do the same.

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 June 2017

Contracts with God ~ IF THEN Part 1

Greetings Dear Reader,

When I first learned to program in BASIC back when I used to do so on my TRS80, I was overly fond of the IF THEN statement.  The TRS80 was my first computer.  It had, read this carefully, 16K of RAM and two floppy drives.  It even came with a cassette player so that I could load programs that would not fit on a floppy disk.

A friend and I decided that we wanted to improve a game we both enjoyed.  We discovered that modifying some of the IF THEN statements and enhancing the contained values made the game more challenging.  We also could nest the statements to create multiple outcomes.

For those who do not understand this it is simple.  The statement is a logical contract.  It says IF condition A is true THEN do B.  It can also have a default outcome.  This is IF condition A is true THEN B, ELSE C.  If player has the GOLDEN KEY, open the SECRET DOOR, else RELEASE the fire trap.  

So many linear games depend on this to move the player through the game.  We also apply this logic to much of our lives.  We enter many conditional social contracts where we agree to do something if someone else does as well.  In crisis we create IF THEN contracts with God.

It usually goes like this: “God IF you do A then I will do B”.  My friend Tony once told me that he had been telling God that if he got a date with a certain girl that he would never speed again.  He got the date and a speeding ticket whilst on the date. 

The problem is that IF went enter into a contract with God he THEN expects us to live up to it.  He requires us to pay what we promised.  Solomon clearly points out, “When you make a promise to God, don't be slow to keep it because God doesn't like fools. Keep your promise.”

We may forget the IF THEN Promise as soon as we are out of the crisis.  The problem is that God does not.  I do not want to be in that position.  I must honor my contracts with 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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06 June 2017

Contracts with God ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

In the movie For Love of the Game the protagonist Billy Chapel is in pain late in the game.  He prays, “God, I always said I would never bother you about baseball, Lord knows you have bigger things to worry about. But if you could make this pain in my shoulder stop for ten minutes, I would really appreciate it.”

The device of having someone who does not pray offer up a “I don’t pray” prayer in the moment of crisis works well for storytelling.  I am also sure there are sincere prayers offered in moments of desperation.  It is the bargains in between the fictitious and sincere that captures my mind today. 

I talk to God all the time.  When I am alone I talk out loud.  My thought on this is that I would talk to him if he were physically present in a form that I could see.  I also figure that the more time I spend talking to him now the less shocking the transition will be when we meet face to face.  Spoiler alert:  I honestly thing that there is no way to be prepared for this.

I am trying to approach a very serious thing lightly.  You see, God makes contracts with us.  Some are two-way and some are one-way.  Both are very important.  Some are specific and some are general.  Some are meant for every human and some are meant for those who choose to follow the Son.

I am pondering through these this week to remind me of part of the road map home.   I need to remember that it is not all about the lateral communication but rather that there are important contracts in place.  These binding agreements are there to help me see the journey through with a little pain as possible.  Walk with me Dear Reader.  Perhaps you will see something I have missed.

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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