31 January 2018

Monthly Marketing

Greetings Dear Reader,

As I have explained before one of my commitments is to increase my efforts to market my work.  Most of you do not need to spend money but I could use some help in spreading the word.  Here is what I need you to do if you are willing to help:



You can also:


Thank you, Dear Reader for your kind support.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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Say Something ~ Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Some time ago I started my “please share my table” practice when I am alone at coffee shops.  I have made several new friends and enjoyed the company of some single serving friendships.  I have even had two people make it clear that they were going to sit at my table but I should not talk to them.  They were in the midst of a very quiet but heated argument over car usage.

The thing that stands out relative to this particular series is the number of people who stop to tell me how nice it is that I have the sign out.  It is curious because it is so passive but people are so surprised by it.  It is nice because people take the time to comment on it. 

I benefit from their kindness in saying something but the overall impact is that I am surprised that they see it as so uncommon.  It is courteous to the shop owner.  It is courteous to the other customers.  Where has our sense of human kindness gone?

My challenge to you Dear Reader is the one I give to myself every day.  Do not let a day pass without saying something kind to someone.  Moreover, I endeavor to make it something that is unexpected or out of the ordinary.  Say something kind.  Say something positive.  Put more good words into the world.  There is enough of the other.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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30 January 2018

Say Something ~ Children

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of the things that stands out that should not is when children are polite.  It used to be that children were taught to be polite.  They were not allowed be rude, rush around in shops, and generate mayhem.  I apologize if this sounds too old-fashioned for you but these things matter.

When children are polite to me in public I always thank them for being polite.  I almost always seek out their parents and thank them as well.  I tell them that I do not often encounter this and how grateful I am for it. 

I do not think we need to return to the attitudes and insincerity of Victorian “polite society”.  I do feel that we need to be much politer than we are.  We see it in children and admire it.  We could benefit from a society where common courtesy was much more common. 

Just as I am surprised by the politeness of children I have noticed that people are surprised when I am polite to them.  Saying please, thank you, and being polite should be common.  If I hope to represent Christ then I must involve this very simple practice at all times.  If I want children to be polite I must set the example.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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29 January 2018

Say Something ~ Compliments

Greetings Dear Reader,

My Daughter, Christmas has a practice that I love.  When we are out and about she will see someone in something she really likes.  Or she will notice a hairstyle on someone that appeals to her. 

She will politely approach the person and compliment him or her on the item, the hairstyle, or the look.  I have seen so many faces light up to her kind words.  She has even made a friend or two from the practice. 

What she infuses into those lives cannot be measured.  For a moment, however, we can see the smile, the gratitude, and bridge between two strangers.  There is true magic in those moments.  When I get to witness it the magic reaches me.  She raises my spirits.  I see the love of Christ in my Daughter’s actions.

I have found ways to adopt this practice realizing that I must be more careful to assure that the space is safe for the strangers I approach.  Still the risk is always worth it.  Saying something kind to recognize a person’s efforts to look nice is a good thing.  It is not what matters most and should not be our focus. 

Still the unexpected kindness of strangers is a great way to build bridges and create space for peace.  Say something.  Tell people when they look nice.   Be kind to others when they do not expect it.  You may never know what difference you make but I know it makes a difference.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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28 January 2018

Say Something ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

Recently my eldest Son has been posting positive practical challenges on his social media.  They have been a great inspiration to me.  I am sure they are helping others as well. 

I hear all the time about the negativity that is a common thread in the world.  We see it in the news, our social feeds, and in public all too often.  The sea of negativity seems to be casting a pall everywhere.

I want to spend a day or three pondering how to be more proactive at inserting positive things into the world.  I wish to focus on the practical and situational.  I desire to be sure that I am armed to fight the negative.

You are welcome with me in every moment of the journey Dear Reader.  In this part you are dearly desired.  I want you to be with me as we choose how to cleanse the waters muddied by the refuse of a disheartened world.  As always, your comments and questions are precious to me.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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27 January 2018

The Barefoot Princess and Her Boys

Greetings Dear Reader,

I am not going to call out my friend by name.  I do want to use her choice as an example of the great good that can be done when someone puts love and faith ahead of ambition and plans.  I have known this person for twenty years.  Her choices did not surprise me.

Some time ago her family needed help.  Two young boys needed a safe and stable home.  The reasons do not matter as much as the response.  This intelligent single adult with a career path clearly marked for her set all that aside to take in these boys.  She has used her savings, limited her work options, and lost a relationship to assure that these young men are safe and loved.

As I consider the difficulties with which I struggle they fade when I think of the daily challenges she faces.  She has the education and skills to be the perfect nurturer for these boys.  Further she has the faith and courage to take it on and see it through. 

We all have these moments when we get to do something great for the lives of others.  I want to ask you all to look into your hearts and find a way to follow her example.  To rightly love others, we must be willing to risk great things.  We must put our agenda, our plans second to genuine need. 

Her nickname is Barefoot Princess because of her aversion to shoes and her life being spent as an example of a Daughter of the King.  I must learn from her example and risk everything to show love to others.  I must not put my plans in any situation ahead of love and kindness.  If I let the Father determine the agenda things will unfold as they should. Thank you, Barefoot Princess, for your love, grace, and wisdom.  It is an example to anyone willing to learn.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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26 January 2018

Toddler Words ~ Something Light for your Friday

Greetings Dear Reader,

After the very serious subject this week I need to breathe a little.  I will always deal with what I must to focus my walk with Christ.  Sometimes it is good to revel in the beauty, awe, and humor in the world.

One of the things that endears me to children is the way in which they talk.  They make up words, can be intriguingly honest, and observe things from a perspective we have forgotten.  There are words made up by my sons when growing up that we still use.  I hope this brings a smile to your face.

When Bezel, my youngest Son was three he was the king of new words.  Instead of Yesterday he would say “Lasterday”.  We still say this at times.  He uses it on me when I am tense because he knows it makes me smile.

My eldest, Maxim, used to say “Liddle” instead of Little.  He always moved his thumb and finger back and forth to illustrate his point.  When my Grandsons were born we found ourselves repeating this to them. 

My eldest Grandson called the number Seven, “Sedna” for a couple of years.  We all said it that way too.  We still do at times.  One of the other words he gave us was his version of Banana.  It was “Moonanna”, which I will likely use for life.  He has recently explained that a banana looks like the moon.  How can one disagree with that logic?

I am sure you have similar stories Dear Reader.  It is in this humor that I find one of the facets of the beauty of children.    I would be honored, Dear Reader if you would share some of your “toddler words” in the comments.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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25 January 2018

The Child who was Never Born ~ Innocent Blood – Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

We claim to be the nation that protects the innocent.  There is uproar, rightfully so, over abuses and misconduct that violates the rights of others.  Long concealed crimes of abuse and misuse come to light and we are outraged that women are treated with such disregard. 

School shootings where innocent children are killed bring us to great grief.  We mourn the lives lost to senseless violence.  We cry for an end to the violence and search for ways to insure the safety of the defenseless.  We are willing to do what it takes to protect the children in our society.

We are willing to do this unless they have not yet been born.  I realize that this is purely a discussion of reason and not scientific or data driven.  Still to me there is a vast hypocrisy in our lack of outrage over the constant march of murder of the most innocent in our world. 

There is always a price to pay when we fail to protect those who are defenseless.  It will be much that we approve of the slaughter of the innocent.  There is not a valid reason to kill children for convenience.  I will never force that view on others but I have yet to hear from anyone a reasonable explanation that justifies murder on demand.  It weighs heavily that those who approve cannot even call it what it is.  If I have to make up euphemisms and create neutral language to mask what I am doing, how can I be sure that it is good?

I will not condemn anyone that participates in this practice.  It is not my place.  I feel great sadness for those who carry this burden.  I also know that my own failures are enough for me to address.  I do, however, have to condemn the practice.  There will be a price to pay for this great holocaust.  One cannot be honest and say otherwise.

If I have offended you Dear Reader, I beg your forgiveness.  That is never my intent.  This is one of those things that scars my heart.  I know you may or may not agree with me.  I will remind you that I do not hate anyone and that I can only speak what I believe to be true.

Spirit of the Age – Michael Card

I thought that I heard crying coming through my door
Was it Rachel weeping for her sons who were no more
Could it have been the babies crying for themselves
Never understanding that they died for someone else

A voice is heard of weeping and of wailing
History speaks of it on every page
Of innocent and helpless little babies
Offerings to the spirit of the age

No way of understanding this sad and painful sign
Whenever Satan rears his head, there comes a tragic time
If He could crush the cradle, then that would stop the cross
He knew that once the Light was born, his every hope was lost

A voice is heard of weeping and of wailing
History speaks of it on every page
Of innocent and helpless little babies
Offerings to the spirit of the age

Now every age has heard it, this voice that speaks from Hell
Sacrifice your children and for you it will be well
The subtle serpent's lying, his dark and ruthless rage
Behold, it is revealed to be the spirit of the age

A voice is heard of weeping and of wailing
History speaks of it on every page
Of innocent and helpless little babies
Offerings to the spirit of the age

Soon all the ones who seemed to die for nothing
Will stand beside the ancient of days
With joy we'll see that Infant from a manger
Come and crush the spirit of the age
We'll see Him crush the spirit of the age

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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24 January 2018

The Child who was Never Born ~ Legality and Morality

Greetings Dear Reader,

I wish to begin this with a singular thought.  God does not force us to accept his rules, his love, or his reclamation.  He does not take away our choice in any aspect of accepting or rejecting him.  Anyone who says different may be trying to manipulate you. 

What this means for this issue is that he gives us the choice to set up society as we think fit.  He asks us to be motivated by love, kindness, and compassion but does not even force that upon us.  He allows us to build the world as we wish it and we have chosen to build one in which it is legal to abort children we do not want.

To further the confusion, we have laws that protect the rights of “unborn victims” in the event of a violent act.  The Unborn Victims of Violence Act (2004) states that the penalty for harming the unborn child during violent acts against the mother shall be the same but charged under a separate offense.  This means that unborn children are recognized as legal victims.

We have the wisdom to recognize that unborn children have rights to be free from assault and murder by others.  We become very divided when we allow the mother, however, to do whatever she wishes to that child.  Her right to kill the child ends as soon as he is born.  I do not understand how we can see this as a moral choice. 

We acknowledge the child’s rights as a human relative to everyone but his or her mother.  This may be lawful but that does not make it expedient or good.  Remember our numbers from yesterday, Dear Reader.  I cannot compartmentalize my thinking enough to say that one person has the power or authority to terminate another human’s rights if she wishes to do so. 

I will not violate the law by forcing my will on someone else.  I will call attention to the hypocrisy of saying that a mother may hire someone to commit violence on her child when anyone else doing so would be charged with murder.  I cannot in good faith call this evil a good thing.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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23 January 2018

The Child who was Never Born ~ Some Honest Analysis

Greetings Dear Reader,

There are enough lies on both sides of the abortion debate that it can be difficult to see the truth.  Instead of weighing in on the arguments that are questionable I would like to offer some simple facts.  I am not going to tell you what to think or believe.  I will draw some of my own conclusions for you to ponder.  I will also include some links so that you may verify my information.
Planned Parenthood declared in 1960 that even illegal abortions were mostly safe.  In the article cited they explained clearly that deaths from abortions were on the decline even though the birthrate and safe deliveries were on the rise.  (Mary Calderone, “Illegal Abortion as a Public Health Problem,” American Journal of Health 50 (July I960): 949.)  The myth of the back alley coat hanger was the image that drove the argument.  I am not saying that it did not happen.  I am saying it was not the norm even though it has mythological status.
Dr. Alan Guttmacher of Planned Parenthood said in 1967,” Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life.” (Alan F. Guttmacher, “Abortion—Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” in The Case for Legalized Abortion Now (Berkeley, Calif.: Diablo Press, 1967).  This leads to the idea that saving the life of the mother being a prominent reason for abortion is a weak position at best. 
Then there is the idea of vast numbers.  There is no proof that life does not begin at conception.  There is more information every day that babies learn in the womb at an earlier stage than we consider.  In light of the possibility that the unborn are humans then these numbers are staggering:
Since 1974 there have been over 40 million abortions (CDC report).  Just to be clear this number is reported differently by many organizations.  I have chosen the lowest ones so as not to be dishonest.  If the life expectancy is weighed at 60 years (that too is conservative as the current number is 78), then we have aborted 2.5 BILLION years of potential life in the United States alone.  Let that sink in for a moment.
If there is a chance that these are human lives I cannot for a moment say that abortion is the right choice.  I realize that everyone has a story and that we feel circumstances outweigh what is right.  If, however, we live that way in everything we soon see that it is unjust and dangerous.  In almost every other arena we hear the cry to protect the innocent and downtrodden.  In this, however, we condemn the innocent to death and they have no voice.  I cannot accept this and say that I am being faithful to Christ.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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22 January 2018

The Child who was Never Born ~ The Church

Greetings Dear Reader,

Before I dare address my concerns about abortion as an issue, a wider context is needed.  I believe that the church is largely responsible for the circumstances that led to abortion on demand being a viable option.  We do not need to be prefect to call something wrong but we do need to acknowledge our own wrong if we are to address any issue with integrity. 


The way in which I think that the church has aided in creating this problem is the way in which they have stigmatized pregnancy before marriage.  For centuries we have treated this result of a wrong choice as something shameful and rejected those who find themselves in dire need of grace and mercy.  Is there wrong in the act outside of marriage?  From the perspective of a Christ follower the answer must be yes.  It the resulting pregnancy a sin. NO!

Just like any life that child is a gift from God.  The church should be leading the world in caring so well for single mothers that abortion seems foolish.  Instead we drove women in need underground and heaped shame and judgment upon them.  Our sin in being so very judgmental leads to the great crime of killing the innocent.  It does not excuse it but we must accept that in part this holocaust is of our making.

What we need to do is remove the judgment and shame from the equation and deal in grace and love.  We need to stop protesting with our signs and voices and do so by acting to care for women with the courage to see the pregnancy through.  If we chose to we could care for them in a way that made the choice for life the obvious one. 

We also need to stop expecting those who do not share our faith to live our faith.  We would not accept that from other faiths.  Instead we demand that those who do not believe live as if they do.  We even try to legislate them into such belief.  That is not how the Gospel works. 

I am required to live in such a way that everyone feels loved no matter the situation in which they find themselves.  In moments of fear and difficulty I need to be the one who is kind and a comfort.  I do not have to approve of what is wrong to show love to those in the grip of the consequences of their wrong doing. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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21 January 2018

The Child who was Never Born ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

I going to walk through a mine field in hopes of creating some better understanding for my own faith and following.  This is one of those discussions I do not often have with others because it almost always leads to arguments, strife, and dissension.  First let me lay down some ground rules and a reminder of two.

First the ground rules:
  • I do not ever intend to nor will I participate in condemning someone for what has already been done.  It is in the past and, therefore, prologue to what matters.  There are consequences for our past choices and lessons to be learned.  For me to condemn anyone for his or her past is to neglect my own failures and the ripples of consequence that echo into this moment and onward.
  • Remarks that are anything but reasonable discussion will not be tolerated and will be deleted.
  • Personal attacks are heinous and will be deleted.
  • You do not have to agree with me but you must be reasonable and civil.
Reminders:
  • This blog is my space to work through the things I ponder about following Christ.
  • It is never me telling anyone else how to live.
  • I welcome opposing views.
  • I love you even if you hate me.

With those covered I will stop being cryptic.   My spirit is very burdened over the issue of abortion/choice/reproductive rights in our nation.  I am going to think through this to make sure that I know what I think and why.  I am going to weigh in on some things and I am going to analyze some data.  I am going to say some things as a conservative (not the type that one thinks) Christ follower that may anger other conservatives (specifically the type that one thinks).  That is not my wish but must be acknowledged as a possibility.

I want to thank my beloved friend Lyric for the moment that made it clear to me that I had to address this.  She posted an article that I will reference later in an attempt to give accurate apologia for my position.

I am going to journey through this on several fronts.  I need your company as I am determined to do so without attacking anyone.  If I say things that you do not like please take a beat before assuming that I hate anyone.  I do not.  Please journey with me Dear Reader.  If this is too much for you I understand.  I promise to respond with kindness to every comment.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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20 January 2018

Anti-Social Media ~ Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

As I read through my differing media sources I consider the volume of hatred that is spewed across it.  It is difficult to find honest news sources.  If you think any of the mainstream ones are not biased you might wish to look a little deeper.

It is not wrong for us to discuss the issues of the day in our social media.  It is not the place to spill our vitriol and hatred.  It takes so very much energy to hate.  It also solves nothing.  I have friends that I love dearly whom I see screaming their hatred for this or that person or issue.  It saddens me to see their precious energy spent on this instead of the great good they can and often do in the world.

The true application for me is to never hate anyone for any reason.  It is not my place to judge, condemn, or revile anyone.  I will disagree politely when I think differently.  I will not engage in anger and hatred.  Disagreement does not equal hatred, prejudice, or a phobia.  Holding the position that it does is neither honest nor tolerant.

Whether you consider your position to be right or left it is never tolerant to hate.  It is never a signal that I am correct when I choose anger or hatred over love and compassion.  Christ reserved his anger for those who believed they had the high ground and used it to look down on others. 

Only through loving humility can I hope to reflect what is true.  I will speak what I believe to be true but I will strive to do so with love and compassion.  I will hope always to assure that as I examine my own life that I can weed out anything that is not a reflection of the love of Christ.  Next up will be an issue that I have addressed briefly in the past.  I feel the need to fight off anger in it.  I hope you join me 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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19 January 2018

Anti-Social Media ~ No Dissenting Views

Greetings Dear Reader,

No one agrees with me concerning every issue.  In some areas I have close friends with whom I disagree fundamentally on many things.  We are still friends.  We do not argue over things that we know will not be changed by arguing.

I am not saying that I tolerate everything.  I believe that some things are inherently wrong.  I am not, however, convinced that rejecting someone because he or she disagrees with you is sound theology.  In truth, it is directly opposed to the idea of loving my enemies. 

The people with whom I disagree know that I disagree with them.  They also know that I am required not to judge, reject, or hate them.  In Social Media we often see people beaten down by those with dissenting views.  It seems that the more one disagrees the less one is tolerant of disagreement.  Instead of polite intellectual discussion there is a sea of vitriol and charter attack. 

We cannot have justice and freedom in a nation that shames you for disagreeing.  When we refuse to hear what others have to say we are violating the very spirit of true tolerance.  No matter what color you paint your political animal or what religious symbol you venerate, you cannot be honest and refuse to hear others.  One cannot have much faith in his or her position if one cannot withstand hearing the ideas of others. 

We must express our ideas with kind intelligence.  I must listen with love and patience.  I must value the person speaking no matter how wrong I may think him or her to be.  If I do not I cannot earn the right to be heard.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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18 January 2018

Anti-Social Media ~ Popular Pejoratives

Greetings Dear Reader,

In the discussion thus far, we have talked about anonymity and integrity.  One of the elements one must consider is that of launching pejoratives without considering the impact to your target.  Or even if you feel that the target deserves the impact perhaps one should consider if it is right to launch such things.

It is easy to get a laugh or drip some venom at the expense of others.  It is a great way to gain popularity in the tribe.  It is even legal as long as one avoids slander or defamation.  I am seeking a higher plane of thinking.

Whether we like it or not, we are required to love our enemies.  We are obligated to love and pray for our political leaders (yes even him [whomever “him” is to you]).   I dislike the words and work of most of our politicians.  I know that there is corruption and scandal.  There is in almost every endeavor. 

None of this allows me to launch insults, accusations, and hatred at anyone.  Nothing permits me to speculate publicly about someone’s character.  Nothing allows me to reject someone based on hearsay.  It saddens me when others I love and respect participate in the popular hatred of someone. 

I understand that we will not always agree.  What I cannot understand is where our decency and respect have gone.  We need to respect our leaders even when we disagree with them.  We can demand that they act properly and fire them if they do not.  All we accomplish with running pejoratives is to foster division and hatred. 

I must love everyone. I must not launch insults at anyone no matter how heinous I find their actions.  My obligation is to love, pray, and work for what I believe is correct in that spirit.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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17 January 2018

Second Thoughts ~ Snow, Milk, and Bread

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 could not have been a snowflake. 
That is not free-range,
 whole-grain
, cruelty-free,
 non-gluten bread.
Since it is snowing in the south I will take a moment to defend my Southern heritage.  I grew up in Atlanta.  I now live in Wisconsin.  My tongue is firmly implanted in my cheek.  Two inches of snow is nothing here so we do not understand what that means to the average southerner. 

The usual response to the milk and bread pejoratives is to cry that they are not used to it.  The fact is there are salient reasons why the South is more impacted by infrequent snow.  Had they some whit of letters left about them when faced with this crisis their responses might be thus:

Arboreal:  The overabundant Douglas Firs cannot bear the weight of the snow and cold as well as their Northern cousins thus causing the breaking of branches and downing of power lines. 

Meteorological:  The precipitation visited upon us is rarely true snow. It is often a mix of snow, freezing rain, and sleet which covers our roads in dark sheets of ice making travel almost impossible and always treacherous.

Industrial:  Given that the need to clear our roads of frozen precipitation only occurs once or twice every other year or so the investment has not been made in sand, salt, and snow plows to clear even our major roads.

Experiential:  Referencing the aforementioned infrequency of snow/ice events it is clear that those who live in the South have little if any experience driving in or preparing for the implications of sudden roads, walks, and houses covered in beautiful white death.

Provisional:  You create memes of our pilgrimages to the store for bread and milk without understanding that our larders are filled with non-perishables and we understand the need to have essentials when unable to travel for up to a week (it has actually happened).

Parental:  The announcements of school closings due to the danger of travel visit a dilemma upon us in that places of work do not as readily concede that travel is ill-advised thus requiring parents to scramble for appropriate childcare.

Comparative: During the late spring, summer, and early Autumn we endure humidity levels constant over which the north whines incessantly when they have a few days of it.  We will remember this as should you.

So to my Northern friends I offer this; we have good reason to feel anxious concerning the snow.  Let us know when it gets too humid for you.  We will find you a Wal-Mart to hang out in.

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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Anti-Social Media ~ Light-speed Lies

Greetings Dear Reader,

We have all seen it.  The story of a celebrity death pops up on our social feed.  We express our sorrow at the loss.  Then we find out it is a hoax.  I have been fooled by this.

In the news of late we have found that some professional journalists have abandoned their integrity.  They have coloured, flavored, or in some cases fabricated “reports” to influence political or social positions.  Stories of the negative spread so quickly in our feeds and we believe them without verification.

Terms like “alternative facts” and “somewhat verified” are used to excuse poor journalism and outright lies.  It used to be that journalists and news people were taught to have evidence and verification of their stories.  This grew out of the abuses of print media in the eighteenth century.

Now we can post a lie and it can travel the world at light-speed.  We can turn a spark of rumor into a raging fire of anger and accusation just by typing a few lines and clicking “post”.  Lies become the truth because they scroll through your feed unfettered and unverified.  People repeat and re-post the lie until we all think it is true.

I must verify.  I must not think that something is true just because I read it on my social feed.  The tools are available to me to do the research and learn the truth.  It is my obligation to have integrity in all that I read and write.  It is my duty to put forth only the truth.  I cannot follow Christ properly without filtering out the lies, even when they are told by my allies.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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16 January 2018

Anti-Social Media ~ Anonymous Assaults

Greetings Dear Reader,

There is something fundamentally wrong about hurling insults at someone from the cover of anonymity.  I will occasionally receive anonymous comments on this blog that attack my faith, writing, or me.  I read them and consider whether there is truth in them.  I do not, however, allow vitriol or attacks on my page.

It is too easy to snipe from hiding on social media.  It never does anything but harm.  It is one of the great ills that comes of the ease of communication.  We can create a persona that is hidden and free to spread any rancor it wishes.  One can say horrid things without accountability or fear of reprisal.

Even when we think we are correct in our view we must not be unkind and harsh.   The venom of such attacks does no good and can do a great deal of harm.  One of the reasons that I do not allow negative posts on this page is that I do not want to be a part of spreading the negativity.

Since I am required to love everyone, tolerating this behaviour is an untenable position.  If I need to disagree with someone publicly then I must do so with kindness and respect. I must never resort to insults or attacks.  All that I say must be filtered through grace and love. 

This then allows few occasions for me to say anything other than the things that are good.  If I have good things to say then I can do so with openness and integrity.  I realize that this begs the question of my use of a nom-de-plume.  I choose this because I do not seek fame.  It is simple enough to work out who I am (that is not a challenge).  It is not anonymity but an attempt to live in humility.

Still, Dear Reader, we must never resort to insults and attacks to make our point.  It is futile and useless.  Let me know if I fail in my resolve to never do this.  I promise not to attack you if you do so.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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15 January 2018

Second Thoughts ~ Division in the Dream

Greetings Dear Reader,

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

As I consider Martin Luther King Day for 2017, I wonder what Dr. King would think of the state of his dream.  We talk about the fact that he gave his life for freedom.  My concern is that we have forgotten that he did not intend to die.  His intent was to establish love, respect, and the quality among all people in our nation. 

I would not dare to speak to nor could I begin to understand how it feels two be respected or mistreated simply because of the color of my skin.  What I do recognize is a lack of love, kindness, and justice when I see it.  We live a in world where we hang onto anger, disrespect each other, and put our issues ahead of love and peace.  There can be no peace when any class of people is treated unjustly.  There can be no harm any when we’re all shouting about our own agenda.  It seems that every side of every issue is bent on shouting down the other side without really listening.

I think that if we want to honor Dr. King’s dream, we must again by returning to the fundamental principles of love and respect for all human beings.  If we cannot do this we cannot build the content of character it teaches us to ignore the color of one’s skin.  

Jesus made it very clear that every human matters. We cannot get to the dream if we do not learn to truly love and respect each other.  We do not have to agree on everything but the fundamentals of love, kindness, and respect our vital to producing good society.  I think that Dr. King would be saddened by the division that haunts our whole country.  I think he would look at us with that strong soulful look require that we lay aside our differences and learn to live together in peace.

I am required to love my enemies, my neighbors, and anyone that disagrees with me.  I cannot profess to follow Christ if I do not love you no matter what you think of me.  I think we should spend more time listening to everything Dr. King had to say and less time thinking about his death.  

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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Anti-Social Media ~ Opening Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

First, a little data to get us started on this section of the path.   It often helps to know the terrain before one traverses it.  The data comes from Hootsuite
  • 2.8 billion people were using social media by the end of 2016, up 21 percent from 2015.
  • Social media use on mobile increased by 30 percent year-over-year in 2016, surpassing 2.5 billion users globally (91 percent of all social media users).
  • 83 percent of Americans have a social media account.
  • In the U.K., 77 percent of people have a social media account.
  • In the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), social media growth rates increased by over 50 percent year-on-year in 2016.
  • More than 1.5 billion people across APAC now use social media on a monthly basis, 95 percent of whom access social via mobile—the highest ratio in the world.
  • Social media use in Europe grew by five percent to pass 400 million users across the continent, 85 percent of whom access social on mobile platforms each month.

This sounds like a great many people because it is.  We are given very much because of the ease of access and plentitude of information via social media.  Too often what is posted is unkind or untrue.  At best we often get only part of the story.  At worst we get complete fabrications intended to manipulate our thinking.

I admit that social media has value.  I use it daily for communication and work.  I must, however, be vigilant to be accurate, honest, and careful.  I must not get caught up in things that are not reflective of who Christ is.  I must be accountable and responsible for what I take in and what I send out. 

For a few days I will examine some of the ills that are there to be avoided along the way.  I will review the framework that guides my thinking and writing in this arena.  It is simple to join the cacophony of voices shouting in print and photo about this or that issue.  It is easy to catch the virulent voices vilifying this or that person.  The challenge is to remain a voice set apart for love and truth; for kindness and acceptance.

Journey with me Dear Reader.  I need your company and counsel.  I also highly value your presence.   

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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14 January 2018

A Million Dreams ~ Closing Thoughts

Greetings Dear Reader,

We have dreams whether we nourish them or not.  We fall into dreamless lives of subsistence that sap our strength and steal our time.  Time and most humans will not care about our dreams.  We are the only ones who can frame and build them.

It will take time and hard work to build anything worth building.  It will require sacrifice of other things.  Dreams do not become real of their own accord.  Their reality comes from our faith and work.

We must believe.  We must see the vision of what can be and create it with the gifts given us.  I must fight against the things that would distract and detract.  I must do something every day to make it real so that some day it is. 

I have lost some of my dreams to wrong choices and misused time.  I have tried to build dreams with others but that has not yet worked out.  I must keep my priorities in line and not let distractions keep me from my dreams.

If I follow in faith and do what is right I can get there.  Even from the dark valley of a deep wilderness the light of my dreams can help me follow more faithfully.  If I continue to believe that the Father would not have given me dreams had he not had a purpose for them then the wilderness makes it part of the plan. 

My real belief is that this life is meant to make us hunger for and dream about something better.  I am designed to be something unique.  I am determined to use my gifts to better life for others.  On to the next step Dear Reader.  Your company is precious.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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13 January 2018

A Million Dreams ~ Impossible Dreams

Greetings Dear Reader,

I have loved the story of The Man of La Mancha since I was a boy.  One of the first songs I ever sang in front of an audience was The Impossible Dream.   I think that at that young age I realized that I would be chasing impossible dreams my entire life. 

People are going to tell you your dreams are impossible.  They are going to demand that you explain how they will work long before you have worked out the answers.  That is not how it works. 

Dreams are not things for which one can lay out blueprints.  Sometimes all you have is an idea.  Every book I have written begins with a question ask by someone else or posited by my own musings.  The point is that you know your dream and only you can give it hands and feet.  Only you can give it life.

You may need help.  You might have to get others to drink a little of your Kool aide.   You might have to work hard at things you hate to get to the things you love.  You may have to be called crazy, foolish, and be abandoned by the visionless.  Don’t let anyone else tell you what you can or cannot become. 

I was told by a second-grade teacher that I could be a writer if I wished to be one.  She planted the seed of that dream in good soil.  I have dreams that have the label “impossible” affixed to them by others.  They once affixed that label to flight and landing on the moon.  They affix that label to the things that are not normal.

Following Christ, however, requires us to embrace impossible dreams.  It demands that we see the possibility of life in death.  It insists that we give our all to this journey through the dead lands to that undiscovered country.  If the one I follow can do this, then my paltry impossible dreams are easy for him.

The Impossible Dream – Jim Nabors

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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12 January 2018

A Million Dreams ~ Dreams of Future Past

Greetings Dear Reader,

There are times when I do a thing that may be the ultimate waste of time.  I muse on past events and what I could have, should have, or would have done.  The exercise in futility here is that I cannot change what has already passed.  I cannot do anything but learn from the past.

This means that walking through the event over and over again does not build my possible dreams.  It wastes creativity and mind time that could be spent on things that will last.  It wastes brain power.

The other insidious impact of this poor practice is that it sometimes taps into old emotions that I no longer need to engage.  It can set me on a path of thinking that is negative and destructive to my current day. 

It is not bad to recall things from the past.  It is dangerous for me to involve my mind too much with the emotions and failures of the past.  It is sad when I muse on the dreams that have died because of my failures.  Instead I must focus on the things I can build.  I can dream the things that are possible even if that possibility seems remote. 

I must focus my creativity and thinking on what can be and not what I wish had been if I had been something different.  “For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been'.”  If my eye is always on the rear vision mirror I cannot really see ahead.

Living in the Past – Jethro Tull

Happy and I'm smiling
Walk a mile to drink your water
You know I'd love to love you
And above you there's no other
We'll go walking out
While others shout of war's disaster
Oh, we won't give in
Let's go living in the past

Once I used to join in
Every boy and girl was my friend
Now there's revolution, but they don't know
What they're fighting
Let us close our eyes
Outside their lives go on much faster
Oh, we won't give in
We'll keep living in the past

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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11 January 2018

A Million Dreams ~ Mirkwood

Greetings Dear Reader,

Tolkien understood dreams and building them into reality.   He also is clear that we must follow those wiser than us to do so.  If we consider the dreams of Thorin and his throng then there are several lessons: 
  • We must know where we are going
  • We do not have to know how we will get there
  • The world needs more hospitality
  • We must not travel alone
  • Bring a handkerchief
  • There may not be second breakfast
  • There will be trouble along the way
  • Go further than you think you can
  • Remember where you are going
  • There is ALWAYS hope
  • Stay on the path
Kris Van Allen
I want to focus on this last one.  Gandalf clearly warns the throng not to wander from the path whilst making their way through Mirkwood.  We know them well enough now to understand that they will not listen to him.  The ensuing trouble with the spiders and capture by the Elves were due to the troop leaving the path.

They were upset about the poor food, tired of the lack of comfort, and believing that they would never get out.  The looks of their current circumstances caused them to forget that the path was the way and the only way out was through.

This happens with our dreams.  We must learn from the countless warnings of those who come before us including Tolkien.   We must stay on the path when things seem dark and hopeless.  We must remember where we are headed and that the current distresses wish to distract us from the ultimate goal.

Even now as I feel that I am in the heart of Mirkwood I must remember to heed my guide, remember where I am headed, and stay on the path.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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10 January 2018

A Million Dreams ~ Any Dream Will Do

Greetings Dear Reader,

When we think about our dreams do we really consider that we are allowed to envision things that others will think foolish?  Do we dare to dream still?  Sometimes we are so beaten down by life that we are afraid to dream.  We are short on hope.

Sometimes when my dreams feel foolish to me I start with the small ones.  I recall the dreams that have come true.  I remember also that there is a formula.  Yes, there is a formula for those who follow Christ for making their dreams come true.

“Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”

There are at least two ways to look at this.  The first is see it as a promise to give you what your heart desires.  It is obvious that God cares about this.  In the Law he required that his people spend ten percent of their annual income on “whatever their heart desired.”  If, therefore, we delight our lives in the Lord he will give us what we desire.

The second possibility is that it is a promise to put the desires in our heart that should be there.  It hinges on the word “give”.   Then again, I also believe that God is willing and able to do far above what I can imagine.  I want him to do both.  I want him to put the right dreams in my heart and then help me reach them.  Because of that I am doing the following:

I work daily to assure that my delight is based in God.  By this I mean remembering that he is enough even if I have nothing else.
I work to find honest income using the skills I have been given.
I pursue my dreams by working towards them daily.
I let my dreams be attuned to my pursuit of being delighted in the Lord.

If that seems circular I would submit that it is an upward spiral of refinement.  There was a time when my dream was to be a professional baseball pitcher.  I had to refine that dream and the delight is that I love sharing baseball and its many life lessons with my family. 

If I focus on Christ and being delighted to follow him then my dreams will fall in line with that.  I can start with any dream and bring it in line with this as my primary guide.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

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

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09 January 2018

Second Thoughts ~ The Greatest Showman: A Review

Greetings Dear Reader,

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

As I mentioned before I recently saw The Greatest Showman; the story P. T. Barnum.  I expected the movie to be a good one.  It included Hugh Jackman and was a musical.  He has already proven himself in this genre and I was curious about how the movie would approach the story.

I felt that the quality and timing of the music was equal to Mulan Rouge.  The story captivated me by the quality of the music.  As stories go there is not much there but the simplicity may be what makes it great. It may be what makes it transcendent to us all. 

SPOILIERS AHEAD

The story takes us from the boy to the man.  He shows us how he builds his dreams with the girl he loves doing the things he loves.  To their credit the producers avoided the tawdry seamy things are expected.  This avoidance lends to the enjoyment and the drama of the film.

Even the tragic moments of the film are bolstered by hope and optimism.  The growth of the circus and the characters leads us down the path of one mans dreams and the permission to dream and build in the same way.  Even when everything burns he starts over and dreams again.  I was very inspired.

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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