A Place of Dreams

I love this dream. I lift my arms and pull myself from Earth into the brilliant sky. There is a thrilling sense of rising and great height, of floating, but not control. Whatever magic makes me fly, it mostly ignores my fledgling attempts to steer or speed ahead, and soon, the dream is gone.

I wake in a body that is often stiff and sore, and this I do not love, which raises a fundamental question. Is it enough to feel and not do, to somehow elude the difficulties of inhabiting a real body in a real world? If so, we might better remain asleep.

And yet reality has its charms, too – notably the fact that it is real. This alone might lend a measure of authority that outweighs the charm of any dream. But, curiously, it does not.

Here is the strange hallmark of humanity: this layer of consciousness that lies atop our experience, this capacity to ignore or reinterpret the data of our senses. It may produce hope in the heart of a prisoner or despair in the soul of a magnate, for it transcends physical circumstances, and – far more than our body – it expresses our unique personality and worldview.

And thus, the challenge of humanity: To use this power well. To align our understanding and imagination with reality. To be, in other words, sane.

That may not sound controversial, but it is the fight of our generation because reality itself is on trial.

Like an ancient relic, reality is often considered accidental and meaningless, an obstacle for humanity to overcome. It does not deserve our loyalty or respect. It does not embody some moral to be understood. It is raw material for us to manipulate in any way we choose.

Our new sanity is, for example, to discard the reality of Woman, though every one of us was born to a woman. Or to reject the humanity of newly conceived children, though we were all newly conceived children. Or to pronounce with the utmost dignity that luck made the world, though we know from experience that luck makes nothing.

Our new sanity is insanity, for it turns its back on the evidence that refutes it. It is a waking dream that shuts its eyes to the brilliant world. It is a lunatic, striking out in rage against the light.

Its greatest cruelty is reserved for the innocent. We have become our children’s enemies, denying their inherent value, laying traps for their inexperience, applauding their mutilation, and betraying the trust they place in us.

Our teachers’ unions and school boards were formed to support parents and promote knowledge, sparing children from pain that understanding can prevent. They now subvert parents and suppress knowledge, inviting children into irreversible pain that even rudimentary understanding could prevent.

Our new sanity lives by lies, even lies that no one believes. There are plenty of disputes but little discussion – just the full-throated roar of those who would drown out the question, the silence of those afraid to disagree, and the sophisticated censorship of dissent.

This is the new America, and there is nothing the new Americans hate more than historic America, founded on a bedrock reality they have been unable to suppress.

Our founders recognized that reality is neither accidental nor meaningless. It deserves our respect and embodies a moral easily understood: “All men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights.” They recognized that humans do, by nature, understand the “Law of Nature and of Nature’s God,” whether we admit to this knowledge or not.

Nature’s God is not a popular figure in America today. He brings clarity where clarity is not wanted. He is also our only hope for waking from the cruelty and insanity that surround us.

Reviewer comments for “A Different Kind of Sky”

One of the best books I’ve ever read. Such a captivating story…


Started to read at 11 p.m. last night. Finished it at 5 a.m. this morning. Bad idea but well worth the loss of sleep.


Such a descriptive narrative. Well thought out and expertly written. I feel like I just lived life alongside Mike… There is so much depth and richness in the storytelling that I didn’t want it to end.


This book had me laughing and crying. It was an emotional read full of wonder, hope, and sadness.


I found myself experiencing side-splitting laughter, bouts of deep, heartfelt grief, and curious excursions into the overwhelming vastness of human existence, confronting the age-old questions: How is it that humans exist, and for what purpose?


The characters feel like real people. The storyline contains a solid mix of humor, sadness, suspense, and drama.


This book was really hard to put down. The character development by the author draws you into the story, making you feel a strong connection to their life’s journey. Excellent book for a club as the depth is well beyond a surface discussion of life, faith, joy, tragedy, etc. Can not wait for more from this author!

Find the story on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625862393

The Iconoclasts

It’s fun to be an iconoclast and it requires little training. You don’t need to understand what you’re smashing. You don’t need to be better than what you condemn. You don’t need to offer anything in exchange for what you destroy. If you seem angry enough, people will assume you have something to be angry about. They will assume that what you hate is evil.

It’s harder to take the other position. We’ve never met Lincoln, Grant, Washington, or the rest. There is a layer of dust on our memory of their lives. We didn’t build their statues or experience the problems they helped solve. We know they were real people, flawed as we are flawed, who nonetheless accomplished important things, but our loyalty to them is a dim, cobwebby, inherited thing.

And this is the battle of the moment. Our hazy memories against kids with ropes and spray paint. Our faded gratitude against their frantic rage. Our half-hearted defense of half-forgotten people against a frenzy of self-righteous indignation.

There are arguments to be made against every man, and history would have us make them, and then evaluate those arguments in the full light of day. But the iconoclast does not want light. His hour is darkness, hidden within an anonymous mob that honors no law and tolerates no debate.

He weaponizes history, ignoring his subjects’ culture and denying their suffering, reducing them to comic-book villains, representative of their villainous eras. He rejects his subjects’ limitations and humanity – makes them gods in order to make them devils. He makes them devils in order to discredit their gods.

But, of course, these famous men were not gods. They were humans born into a culture, just as we were born into a culture – humans who suffered and struggled and stood apart from their culture, often leaving it changed for the better. They were brave men, now being mocked by masked men. They were humble and dedicated men, now being judged by self-righteous and cowardly men. They were imperfect men, now being slandered by abysmal men.

It is our forgetting that makes us ripe for this revolution. We have forgotten the price that many paid for this freedom we were born into – our globally and historically unprecedented American privilege. We have forgotten the Creator who inspired our ancestors’ revolution and their painful journey toward equality. We have forgotten our own generation’s brutality to the aborted, even as we criticize their generation’s slow liberation of the enslaved.

It’s fun to be an iconoclast, until you have finally torn down everything you don’t understand. Then, at least, you may begin to understand.

Dominic Roo and the Missing Shipwreck (chapter one)

The pilot’s breakfast club had convened at the appointed time and the small airport lounge rang with shouts and laughter when — suddenly — there was a hush…

Chapter One


The pilots’ breakfast club had convened at the appointed time and the small airport lounge rang with shouts and laughter when — suddenly — there was a hush,  a turning of heads, a shuffling of feet.  Dominic Roo cast an appreciative glance through the wide office window but possessed the decorum to remain seated, unlike others who stood and stared.

“That is one fine-looking dame”, Norm volunteered, to numerous grunts of reverent agreement.

The creature thus admired was stepping into an airplane, her silky legs executing a graceful arc that earned every possible style point from the judges, who groaned when the airplane’s closing door brought an abrupt end to the exhibition.  “Fred has all the luck”, someone muttered as the group turned away and resumed their noisy storytelling.

Whether sharing this view or for some other reason, Dom continued to monitor the scene as the pilot walked to the other side of the airplane and got in.  A moment later, Dom’s dark eyebrows flickered and it was soon apparent that Fred’s luck, though abundant, was not all good.

The right door of the airplane burst open and its passenger reversed her noteworthy ingress, though with greater haste and less elegance, nearly spraining an ankle as the heel of her remarkable shoe twisted on contact with the pavement.  Gaining her balance, she strode rapidly across the ramp toward the lobby, her hand on her face, Fred clamoring pathetically behind.

This second act of the drama was missed by most of the pilots, but at the swelling click of approaching heels, faces turned quickly toward the glass door and then — with the sure instinct of compassion for their fellow man — turned quickly away in a sincere, if unconvincing, effort to appear unaware of Fred’s plight.

The door whooshed open, admitting the urgent sounds of feminine sniffles, the machine-gun tat of stiletto heels, and a plaintive masculine voice entreating Judy to please wait.  This request was forcefully denied by the slamming of the Ladies’ Room door, a fascinating development privately noted (though publicly ignored) by every man in the suddenly silent room.

Bill, chosen by fate to be standing in just the wrong spot, could not, by any stretch of polite fiction, pretend not to notice the troubled fellow panting at his elbow.  In Bill, however, fate had chosen poorly.  “Uh, hey, Fred!  Going flying today?” was Bill’s inelegant breaking of the ice.

Fred ignored Bill’s gregarious presence and rapped loudly on the bathroom door, signaling a new phase in the crisis.  Pilots began to flee the lobby, ducking into the suddenly cooler environment of a muggy summer morning.

Dom glanced at his friend, John, raised inquiring eyebrows, and John gave a subtle nod toward the door.

“What have we here?” Dom said quietly as they moved outside.

“Lovers’ quarrel, I guess,” John replied.  “Fred’s a good guy.  They’ll work it out.”

“Do you know her?”

“You don’t?  That’s Judy Cain, widow of the guy who crashed into Lake Michigan a couple of years ago.”

“Ah.  I’ve heard the story.  Did they recover the airplane?”

“Nope.  Deep part of the lake, I guess.  Maybe she’s not ready to fly again.  Can’t say as I’d blame her.”

“Hmmm.”  John followed Dom’s glance into the lobby, saw Judy through the window, gesturing emphatically and turning toward the door.  Dom pointed toward a picnic table.  “Let’s sit down for a minute.”

John gave Dom a questioning look but complied.  A moment later, Judy burst from the lobby and, pursued by Fred, clicked briskly toward the parking lot.  Fred raced forward and reached the car first, opened the door for her, then trotted back to the airplane, extracting a suitcase from the back seat.  This he carried to the car and threw into the trunk.  The trunk lid rebounded against his first attempt to close it, and he slammed it down again with some violence.

“Fred’s not happy,” John volunteered.

“Indeed, not.”

“Why so interested?  Something about the way she looks?” John asked, disapproving.

“No.  Something about the way she sees.”

John tilted his head, perplexed.  “What do you mean?”

“I’ll tell you later.”

As Fred started the car and pulled away, Dom rose from the bench and walked toward Fred’s airplane.  “Nice paint job,” he said.  “Looks recent.”

“Yeah, Fred rebuilt the thing over a few years.  Finished it about a year ago, I guess.”

Dom walked around the airplane, admiring the finish, put his hand against the window, stared inside.

“Well, I have a lawn to mow,” John said, sounding impatient.  “Thanks for the airplane ride.”

“Sure thing, John,” Dom said, turning to shake his hand.  “It’s time for me to get to work, too.”

John smirked and said, “Now, that I’d love to see.”

“You underestimate me!” Dom said and started across the ramp to his own airplane, a gleaming Cessna 310.  In a minute, he had the left engine running, and then the right, and soon the airplane raced down the runway, rocketed into a steep climb and banked away.  Looking up to watch before he ducked into his car, John mumbled to himself, “What’s on your mind, Dom?  I’ve seen that look before.”

(Chapter Two)

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Hate Your Allies

An ancient religious leader said, “Love Your Enemies”.  Over the years, many Americans have questioned that leader and even more have questioned that strategy, but – until recently – almost none of us believed that war is better than love.

Fast forward to 2018, where war is suddenly respectable, even among followers of his religion.  Where increasingly violent attacks on people and property are excused as “protest”.  Where the presumption of innocence is trampled in our stampede to condemn.  Where respectful disagreement seems a distant memory.  What has happened to us?

Here’s a clue.  The latest battle – one of the most savage in American history – occurred between two parties that go back many years; even longer than there has been an America.  The parties are Man and Woman.

The differences between these parties are – I almost said undeniable, but even physiology is deniable in our day.  We deny much that our parents believed, deny even the ability to know male from female, let alone masculine from feminine.  And the more we deny, the more angry we become.

And that’s the clue: Our anger and confusion about even these, perhaps the most obvious facts of our existence.  Woman is precious.  Man is precious.  If we cannot agree on this, there is nothing left for us to deny.  We have hit bottom, and all is lost.

The clue – our anger and confusion about obvious things – means this war is moving our nation backwards.  The warriors are not fighting for truth, but fighting to fight.  The war is not waged to protect the innocent, but to give hatred something to do.

If we want to stop this war, we have to stop denying what is good and pure and obvious.  We have to stop following and being bullied by people who tear down the beautiful things our parents and grandparents revered.  We might even stop to remember that Jesus was right: It is love and not anger that rejoices in the truth and leads us back to peace.