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Doug the Dog

“Don’t doubt the dog,”
Said Doug the Dog
As dogs will say and do
“For sure as fog,
I’ll make you jog
And fetch your stick on cue.”

But Doug was caught
By sheer surprise
As dogs are want to catch
His faded cries
Bred saddened sighs
From owner Patrick Patch.

Doug fell asleep
Which made his man
Think Doug had passed away
Pat drove his van
With blasted fan
To Doctor Desmond Day.

Old doc assured
His fearful friend
That Doug was sure alright
“He’ll not ascend
To skyward’s end,
But pass a future night.”

Then sure as night
Doug saw the sight
That all good dogs do see
He spied the light
Then Paul’s invite
Brought Doug eternity.

Gus the Goose

The goose whose wings lit up the lake
Whose eyes at night kept birds awake
Whose gilded sheen turned every head
Whose rhythmic preen dropped discussion dead
Came once to land in a foreign pool
Where folk stayed homely, plain, and cool
“My name is Gus,” spoke this refugee,
“And I’ve come to see if you’d all agree
To allow me rest in your sun’s soft rays
To train me in your humble ways,
For all I’ve known is celebrity
I’ve loomed large with all eyes on me
If I flew with you, I could learn a lot
I could get the thing that I don’t yet got
For you folk are close and clean and kind
And my friends who see don't seem to mind."
At this the ducks and geese who heard
Took insult from this​ upstart bird
So as one flock the ducks let loose,
And caused the end of Gus the Goose.

Ron the Rat

Thoughts on Evil

1. If a man cannot act freely, then he cannot love freely. If he cannot love freely, then he is no man. We are made in God’s image, and in removing choice and love from us, God would be rubbing away at least some of his image from us.
2. Far from seeing good most clearly when we contrast it with evil, we see good best when evil is absent. I don't see what God is like by looking at the devil. I see him best when I see him. None of us mistakes an act of love when we see it--as when we witness sharing between children or the care of strangers in need--whether or not it occurs alongside evil. Still less will we mistake God and his goodness when we see him on his return. Evil will cease and we will see good in its purest state. Paul says in the love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, "Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror. Then we shall see face to face."
3. Concerning a destructive 1755 earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed that we cannot blame God …

Advice About College

A former student sent an e-mail recently, asking me for advice about how to approach college. Here is what I considered important while thinking about it.
I can tell you what I know about college. I know that you are not the only one who feels apprehensive about it. Many (if not most) people who attend college have some anxiety about starting something new like college, and more so because college is often more difficult academically than high school; but from my experience, college can be such a wonderful experience if you approach it in the right way.
For instance, going to college will mean more homework than you are accustomed to having, and it will mean being in a place where you may not know anyone. It will also mean learning how to be an adult. You will have to manage your money, balance your time as you choose which classes to take when (as well as balance your classwork with a job if you choose to get a job), and take care of chores and housing needs in those times you are n…

Road Trip 2017

While making our way slowly through a thick but polite crowd in Seattle's Pike's Place market, my eyes met a box of dates. Thinking my friend was next to me, I turned to say loudly that "I haven't had dates in a long time." It was only after these words left my mouth that I realized I had spoken them not to my friend, but to a similar-aged woman. Realizing the implication of my words, I tried to recover, stating something like, "I meant the dates there [pointing to the box], not dates with people." Privy to my mistake, the woman chuckled with her friends and quickly responded with something close to, "I haven't had dates in a long time, either." It was over in a moment, but became one of the many moments I will remember from this road trip to Seattle.

I was joined by a childhood friend as we visited natural features and cities large and small. Our first north stop was the Folsom prison museum, where we learned that men lived in cells opene…

Starfish Prime

I self-published a novella (a short novel) this summer. I will add a link below to the Amazon page where you can read the description, but the book--called Starfish Prime*--is meant to appeal to middle school-aged youth. There are aspects of the book about which I am proud, and other aspects I feel reveal my freshman status as an author.

It is short--in print, it is only 123 pages--and not at all difficult to read. A swift reader could finish in one sitting if motivated. It took me some time to write it, but because of this and the thought I put into it, I grew to learn from the characters I invented. I saw them as flawed, but well-meaning individuals, and I saw, too, parts of myself and those closest to me in them. Specifically, I saw some of the character traits I dreamed of showing when I was a young man, as well as some of the more flawed traits I actually do possess.**

One example of the former--examples of traits I wish I had possessed--took place in a flashback scene of the two…