Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pray for Newtown

Yesterday afternoon, I received news of a terrible shooting at an elementary school in previously unknown Newtown, CT.  Rarely does a news story affect me emotionally, but immediately I knew that this story was different.  I immediately felt a great sense of pain and sorrow.  I could think of nothing else the remainder of the day.  I was devastated and sickened to learn that a young man, 20 years of age, could shoot his mother in the face, travel to the school where she taught and kill 26 people including 20 children ages 5-10!  Unbelievable!  What could possibly be going through his mind?

Undoubtedly, this event will generate a lot of discussion about how we can prevent such occurrences from happening again.  We must have this discussion.  These mass shootings and tragedies are occurring more frequently and more horrifically now than I can remember ever before.  Our culture and society has some serious problems and we need to talk about some serious solutions.  I don’t have all the answers, but I know a good place to start.

We need God.  We have seen a steady push in our culture to eliminate God in the public, and in some instances we have even made it difficult to practice one’s faith privately as well.  I believe that the vast majority of the problems our county and world face are spiritual problems.  We need to foster a culture that values all human life.  ALL human life!  I cried yesterday thinking about the tragedy in Connecticut.  I don’t cry often, but I cried yesterday.  The events break my heart.  I pray for the souls of those who lost their lives yesterday.  It is especially hard to learn that so many children lost their lives.  I have a special place in my heart for babies and children.  I think about how the loss of so many lives impacts us all, but most especially the parents, family members and friends.  I in no way want to downplay the events of yesterday in Connecticut, but did you know that in the United States over 3000 innocent children are brutally killed every day in their mother’s womb?  Over 3000 children in the United States… every day!

Yesterday our nation grieved.  Appropriately so!  The loss of innocent lives is devastating.  The proper response to such tragedies is grieving, sorrow and prayer.  26 people lost their lives in the tragedy yesterday.  Horrendous news, but why does this tragedy bring us to tears when the loss of over 3000 children every day does not even enter our minds on a daily basis.  How can we explain this contradiction?

We were shocked and surprised by yesterday’s events, but should we have been?  In a culture that allows and sometimes even encourages mothers to make a choice to kill their own child resting in womb, which should be the safest place for a child, how can we be shocked that a deeply troubled young man would have no regard for the value of his life or the lives of others?  In a culture that values life based on how that individual can benefit ourselves or society instead of recognizing the inherent value of every human life, why are we so surprised when lives are taken?  In a culture that glamorizes brutal violence, why should we be surprised when we see that violence in real life?

Yesterday’s tragedy has ignited lots of emotions in all of us.  We can see with our own eyes images of children crying.  These children have names.  We can witness their personalities and the friendships they’ve built.  It is real to us.  We can easily identify these innocent children as victims.  Conversely, abortions are most often times secret.  It is a choice that mothers make.  The ‘procedure’ is usually overseen by a doctor.  The child is not fully developed.  The child is hidden in the womb.  Many times the general public may never even know that an abortion has taken place, and so many don’t mourn the loss of children’s lives through abortion.  Many see abortion as a woman’s choice.  Many see abortion as a medical decision and the baby as a condition.  I stand in prayer outside of abortion clinics not to condemn women who make the terrible choice to abort their child, but hopefully to give them one last chance to change their mind and save the life of their child.  We in the pro life movement want to offer women hope, love and support.  We want them to truly understand the decision they are making, which is terminating the life of their child.  Until we as a culture recognize and understand that we are killing our children every day in great numbers through abortion; until we grieve and mourn the loss off children in the womb like we mourn the loss of the many innocent lives taken in yesterday’s tragedy, these tragedies will continue to occur and occur more frequently.

Yesterday I stated on my Facebook page that I trust in God that some good might come of this horrific tragedy, and I am already seeing much good.  Parents are hugging their children.  People are looking at life in a slightly different way.  People are expressing to those close to them how much they love them.  People are starting to discuss how we as a culture need to change so that we can avoid these tragedies in the future.  People are turning to God in prayer.  People are bonding with their neighbors.  It is easy to focus on all of the bad in the world, but there are a great number of really good people.  God can work through the most horrendous tragedies.  God is at work today.  Listen to Him and act accordingly.

God bless,


Friday, October 5, 2012

Let Me Be Clear: Mitt Romney is the Obvious Choice This November for Faithful Christians

President Obama frequently uses the phrase; let me be clear, to emphasize a point.  Well now Mr. President, if you don’t mind, I’d like to borrow your phrase.  To all my fellow Christians and people of faith, let me be clear, this is a very important presidential election in November and the differences between the candidates are stark.  As with all things there are some grey areas and not any one politician or political party is perfect.  However, let me be clear, there is an obvious choice for faithful Christians this presidential election and the man we should all support and vote for is Mitt Romney.

Who are our choices for President?

  • Barack Obama (Democrat)
  • Mitt Romney (Republican)

I have heard from a couple people who have reservations about both candidates, and so they say that they will be voting for Ron Paul or some other third party candidate.  While I respect these people’s passion, the fact of the matter is that either Obama or Romney will win.  No candidate will be perfect, but these are our two options so responsible voters will look at the two options and decide which of the two will be better for our country. Thankfully we have one candidate that is pro-life, pro-marriage, and who respects our religious freedom.  As a bonus, Romney also has a great plan for improving our economy, which would be much better for the poor than government handouts.  So we have a choice: Obama or Romney?

What are the most important issues people of faith should consider when voting?

The USCCB has released a voter guide for the 2012 election.  While I understand why Catholic Bishops would not publicly endorse candidates, it is their job as our spiritual leaders to help form our consciences.  The document, called "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," lists seven major themes that should be on the minds of Catholics and all Christians when deciding on how we should vote.  The most important issues as follows:
  • ·         Respect for Life
  • ·         Respect for Family and Marriage
  • ·         Respect for Religious Liberty
  • ·         Concern for the Poor
  • ·         Immigration Reform
  • ·         Terrorism and War

Other issues are also important; the debt, the economy, healthcare, etc.  It is important to note the difference between issues that are intrinsic evils, things that are always wrong no matter the circumstance, and those issues which require prudential judgment.  Although I’m sure it is not the intention of the USCCB, sometimes I believe that they talk about so many issues that the faithful can become confused as to which issues are of the utmost importance.  Also, it is not always made clear that there can be disagreement about how to solve certain problems such as how to best serve the poor.  It is unquestionable that Christians are called to help the poor, but does that mean Christians must support a big and ever expanding government in the midst of a debt crisis?  Absolutely not!  However, abortion is an intrinsic evil that can never be justified.  Candidates who actively and enthusiastically support abortion should never be rewarded with our vote.  Thankfully, some individual bishops have spoken up and made this distinction.  Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput is one of those Bishops.

President Obama is not only supportive of abortion and the largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood, but as a senator he went so far as supporting the killing of a baby born alive after a failed abortion.  Sickening!  It is inconceivable to me that any person of faith could vote for a man with those values.  Connected closely to the right to life is the right of religious freedom.  As we have seen from President Obama, he has infringed upon our religious freedom with the HHS mandate.  Interestingly, he is quick to condemn anyone who criticizes Islam, but I never once hear him defend the rights of Christians.  One other major contradiction I would like to point out is Obama's message regarding Fatherhood.  If you think fatherhood is so important Mr. President, why do you no longer support marriage?  Obama is now "enlightened" and believes in and supports "gay marriage," which will confuse kids, diminish the role of fathers, and hurt families.  You would like to think that someone who professes to be Christian would act more Christian. 

I encourage you to read the document released by our American Catholic Bishops regarding faithful citizenship.  No candidate or political party perfectly aligns with the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Church.  Let that not discourage us, but rather motivate us to make our voices heard.  While we have a clear choice this election, we must continue to promote Christian values regardless of who wins this election.  My hope and prayer is that Romney will be our next President.  Let’s make this happen!  God bless you and God bless America! 

Your comments are welcome and encouraged.  Who are you voting for and why?     

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Book Reflections: The Didache

The Didache

The Didache

This short document is invaluable for those interested in Church history and would be a great addition to a Bible study.  It was written by some of the earliest Church Fathers and may have even been written before some of the New Testament.  It offers a great insight in the the customs and life of the early Christians.  You will read about the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist among other things.  It is amazing to think that when we go to church on Sunday we are doing the same thing that the earliest Christians were doing.  Pretty awesome!  I found a great review of this book on Amazon that I recommend you read if you want a more in depth review.

An Invaluable First Century Christian Document

God bless,


Book Reflections: Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America


Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America

"We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator (God) with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." - (United States of America Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776)

The purpose of this book is to educate the American public on threats to our liberty.  Mark Levin is a powerful voice for conservatives in America.  This historical and well researched book I believe accurately reflects the principles on which America was founded, and how we as a country are straying from those principles spelled out in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, by allowing more and more federal government intervention in our lives.  We are falling into a Utopian totalitarianism.  If we don't recognize this reality and start to shift back to the ideals and principles upon which made this country so great, our country will forever change and not for the better.  Do you want to live in America or Ameritopia?  As for myself, I choose America! I highly recommend this book if you love the United States of America and want to see it continue to be the leader around the world for freedom, human rights, and hope.



Political Utopianism = Totalitarianism

Utopian ideas first and most powerfully expressed by Plato, St. Thomas More, Hobbs, and Marx.

I have great admiration and respect for St. Thomas More, so I was very interested in the chapter regarding his book; Utopia.  It is a fictional writing, and it is unknown if he was a proponent of all the political aspects he wrote in the book, but the society in which he wrote about denied individuals some basic and essential freedoms.  I do not believe that St. Thomas More had bad intentions, and he saw a lot of political corruption in his time which likely led to some of his biases, he became a marauder for standing up for his Catholic faith, so I take that into consideration.  I believe that he brought up some valid concerns about the current society, and he aptly identified pride as one of our greatest sins and obstacles to a faithful and moral life.  Regardless of his good intentions, the society described by St. Thomas More is not at all desirable because of it's denial of individual freedom in several instances.

John Locke and Charles Montesquieu had a great influence on the founders on how American would be governed.  Most notably, America was to be a land with limited government and free people with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

There will be no perfect society here on earth because we are a fallen people, but a society that respects individuals freedom gives us the best chance at a good and moral society.


God bless,


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Book Reflections: True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty

True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty

True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty

This is a quick read, but it is perhaps the most clearly spoken and masterful explanation of freedom and the protection of human dignity and religious liberty that I have ever read.  I love Cardinal Dolan.  What an amazing leader and spiritual father!  You can purchase this for just $.99 on Amazon.  Please do yourself a favor and give this a read.  I guarantee it will be an hour well worth your time.  This book is not just for Catholics, but is also for all Christians and people of good will who value freedom.  Also included is an excerpt from one of his other books which is on my short list of next books to read.  God bless you Cardinal Dolan for this timeless treasure.  I am sure that I will be reading this again and I encourage you to do the same.  I give this short book my absolute highest recommendation.

God bless,


Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Day Message

Today on Father's Day I pray that I become a better husband for my wife and a better father to my children. The Lord knows that I have lots of room for improvement.  I pray that I am a good Christian example for my children, and that I help lead them to holiness and not lead them astray.  I also pray in thanksgiving for my father, John.  He has been and continues to be a great example for me.  Dad - Thank you!  I love you so much!  I also want to thank my Grandfathers, especially Grandpa Duquaine, who is now suffering from cancer.  I have so many great memories from childhood through the present of Grandpa Duquaine.  He sure knows how to tell great stories.  His time on earth may not be much longer, but I know that he will live forever with God in heaven when his time does come. What a wonderful and holy Christian man is my Grandpa Duquaine.  Grandpa, I love you and my prayers are with you.  If you read this, I selfishly ask that you keep me in your prayers as well.  (We all can use prayer especially from good and holy people such as my Grandpa.)

Don't forget to wish your priests a happy Father's Day as well as they are our spiritual fathers.  Please keep all fathers in your prayers.  The role of fathers in the family is being diminished by our culture today, but fathers are absolutely necessary for raising good and well rounded children.  Children need a positive male influence in their lives and need that love of a father.  We have a great responsibility to our children, fathers, to be spiritual leaders in our families.  Let us never forget this great responsibility.  Our actions or inactions can have a great impact on not just ourselves but on our children and family.  Be a great Christian example for your children by what you say and most importantly by how you live.  Love God and teach your children to do the same.  Happy Father's Day!

God bless,


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Book Reflections: A Grief Observed

A Grief Observed (Collected Letters of C.S. Lewi)

A Grief Observed

I just finished another of one of C.S. Lewis' masterpieces.  This short book is one which he probably would have preferred not to write, but it helped him cope with the loss of his wife, and he hopes others who are grieving will also find his experience and words consoling.  I found this book to be a very interesting look inside the mind of a person who was going through an intense time of grieving.  There is a very touching and personal introduction by C.S. Lewis' stepson which provides good background for the book.  Early on in the book, the author was going through many unsettling emotions.  His grief he found to be like fear or suspense.  The man of faith even began to question everything including God.  I believe that his thoughts were tormenting him more than any other person or thing.  Sometimes his expectations and thoughts were completely irrational; such as he didn't want people to talk about his grief but also didn't want them to ignore it.  In the end, he began to heal and his sorrow although never completely gone was at least a little less intense.  He correctly observed that sorrow is not a state but a process.  It is natural for us to go through times of grief and sorrow, but we must not let sorrow consume us.  Strong faith and hope in God is the best medicine.  This is a book I would recommend to any person who is grieving or for anyone who knows someone close to them who is grieving.  We may never fully understand what another human being is feeling, but at least we can better understand and have a little more compassion and sympathy.  For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, especially the loss of a child, I also recommend reading A Gathering of Angels: Seeking Healing After an Infant's Death.  May the peace of God's grace and love fill the hearts of all those who are grieving.

God bless,


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Book Reflections: A Minute in the Church

A Minute in the Church

A Minute in the Church, written by Catholic evangelist and radio host of Seize the Day on The Catholic Channel, Gus Lloyd, is a great reference guide for Catholics who want to be able to defend their faith in a minutes notice, and it is also a great book for those who aren't Catholic but want a greater understanding of what Catholics believe and why they believe.  People today are constantly busy and don't often have a lot of time for deep and thoughtful reflections.  This book is a very quick read, I finished it in about an hour and I'm a slow reader.  I try to listen to Gus Lloyd's radio show every weekday and he is doing great things for the Church.  I think this book would be great for those considering entering the church and going through the RCIA or for anyone who is at all curious about the Catholic faith.  It is also a great book for the practicing Catholic, who would like to be able to evangelize or at least be able to give a quick explanation to someone about some of the common misunderstandings of the Catholic faith.  The book is only $3 on Amazon and although it is a quick read, I imagine you might want to reference this book frequently when different issues or questions about the Catholic faith arise.  Gus ends each of his explanations with biblical passages which deal with the issue, and he encourages those reading to do more research on their own.  It is great to get a quick explanation, but to get a fuller understanding of the faith more research is necessary.

In my opinion, this book along with the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church should be in every Catholic family's household.  We are all called to evangelize.  Jesus said to his apostles to go and preach to all nations.  This book will be a great help for Catholics in accomplishing this task.  I also encourage those not Catholic, especially Christians of other denominations that are open to exploring the Catholic faith, to pick up this book.  It is a short read, but it might answer some of the questions you have about the Catholic faith.  If you like what you hear, I encourage you to explore even deeper into the Catholic faith.

You can find A Minute in the Church HERE, and I encourage you to learn more about Gus Lloyd at his website HERE.

God bless,


Monday, May 28, 2012

Book Reflections: Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It's Too Late

Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It's Too Late

I discovered this book while watching the two authors talk about it on Huckabee.  It caught my interest because one of the authors, Jay Richards, is a Catholic theologian and the other author, James Robison,  is a prominent Protestant evangelist.  I was pleased to see these two highly thought of Christian men put aside their theological differences and find unity in the serious political, social, and moral concerns in our country.  As the title of the book indicates, issues of faith, family, and freedom are central issues where all Christians can come together and unite.  This book takes a look at several problems in our country from a christian perspective and proposes conservative answers to these problems.  As a Christian and a politically conservative person myself, I found their arguments to be right on for the most part.  I would be curious to know how convincing their argument is to more moderate or liberal readers.  It is time for all Christians to unite in defense of faith, family, and freedom in this country and around the world.  Below are some of my notes I took while reading the book.  As with most books I read, I would certainly recommend this book especially to those of you who are interested in politics and how our faith can and should form our political beliefs.

I am not sure which author is talking.  There is no clear distinction between the two authors.  I guess this is on purpose to present the case in a unified voice.

Pg. 7 - I like this quote.  - "Not to stand is to stand" said Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Pg. 23 - We have a government because of sin.  I found this to be very thought provoking and true.

Pg. 28 - We legislate morality but do not legislate every moral issue.  Our laws shape morality.

Pg. 32 - "If we all do whatever we want, we won't be free to do what we ought."  Freedom is often misunderstood, and I think the above quote is very important to keep in mind.

Chapter 5 - The authors address the problems with Pacifism and why in their opinion it does not match up with Christian ideals.  The authors also suggest that a strong national defense is one of the few primary roles of the government.  I agree in principle that national defense is one of the primary roles of government, but I think there is some room for disagreement about how best to defend our country.  I believe that we must exhaust all peaceful options before making the decision to go to war, and that war should be undertaken only when absolutely necessary to protect our freedoms.  I don't think the authors disagree with the principle, but there can be some discussion on what it means to exhaust all possible peaceful options.

Pg. 74 - Consolidating power into the hands of a central authority, even when implemented by a good man for good reasons (such as the story of Joseph in the Bible), can lead to tragic unintended consequences including slavery.

Pg. 80 - "A government big enough to give you everything you want," warned former President Ford, "is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."

Pg. 84 - "Most voters only support cutting the budget on other people." - The debt crisis in this country is scary.  We need to make dramatic changes immediately, but we will only be able to make the necessary changes if we as a people abandon our selfish ways.  We will all have to make some sacrifices in the present to avoid destruction in the near future.

Chapter 7 - 9 - The chapters on Life, Marriage and Family are probably the three best chapters in the book.  The authors make some of the best arguments for pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-family policies that I have ever read.  They make a very persuasive case on these most important social issues and for that I applaud them!

Chapter 10 - A child's education is first and foremost the responsibility of parents and families.  Government should have a very limited role, and parents should have freedom to choose how their children are educated.  I found it very interesting to learn that government subsidies for education began with the intention of dissuading parents from sending children to Catholic schools.  The authors suggested watching the documentary, Waiting for Superman, for those interested in learning more about our problems with public education.

Chapter 15 - Although I understand some of the benefits and rationale, globalization still worries me a little.  Maybe this is a weakness on my part, but I am not fully convinced of their argument to eliminate all "protectionist" policies such as food subsidies and all tariffs.  I think the issue of globalization is complicated and maybe the authors oversimplified the issue.

Chapter 16 - On this issue of immigration, I am not completely sold on their argument especially coming on the heals of the chapter on globalization.  The authors are supportive of sending jobs outside the country where products and services can be delivered and made more efficiently.  It seems they have a different perspective when the labor wants to relocate.  I understand the reasons why we can't have an open boarder and the importance of rule of law, but it seems to me that an extremely strict immigration policy is at least in some ways like the protectionist policies in the previous chapter which the authors are so forcefully against.  I think this issue of immigration is one that needs more prayerful consideration from all Christians.

Chapter 17 - I agree with most of their points about poverty and wealth, however I think that at times the authors could be more persuasive.  People prefer to come to conclusions on their own rather than be told how they should think.

Pg. 289 - "Much large-scale environmental activism is more about left-wing politics than protecting the environment."

Conclusion - I am glad to see that the authors reinforced that the first principle of faith, family and freedom is that Every Human Being Has Equal Value and Dignity.  Amen!

Pg. 313 - "The government is charged with protecting our rights.  It's not our mommy".  - Funny and true.
As we approach this most important election in November, please keep in mind the importance of faith, family and freedom in this country.  We have seen the destruction our current president has already done to issues of faith, family and freedom.  Things will only get worse if he gets four more years without having to worry about getting reelected.  Conservative values may not always line up 100% with Christian values, but on the most important issues of our day Conservative values are in line with Christian values.

If you are at all interested in politics and how faith should form our political beliefs, please do yourself a favor and pick up this book.

God bless,


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Book Reflections: Decision Points

For anyone who loves history and politics such as me, George W. Bush's memoir "Decision Points" is a must read.  It is very lengthy, but it is never boring and is filled with thought provoking information.  I encourage all readers to set aside any preconceived thoughts about George Bush when reading this book and read it with an open mind.  I happen to admire and respect George W. Bush for his courage to address some of our country's most difficult issues and especially for his reliably pro-life agenda.  He might have been the most pro-life and socially conservative president we have ever had in this country.  Although I very much appreciated his desire to uphold pro-life values, I did not always agree with George W. Bushes decisions or all of his policies.  Quite frankly, it is too much to ask for anyone to live up to our own personal standards 100% of the time, and who is to say that we are always right in our opinions?

George W. Bush wrote this memoir for two primary reasons: to give the public an insight as to what it is like to be the President of the United States, and to give some perspective on some of his most important decisions in life, but most especially during his time in the White House.  He succeeds on both goals.  I am amazed at the complexity of so many different issues that a President has to deal with on a daily basis.  I am convinced more now than ever before that we need to pray for all our civil leaders.  I found his discussion about foreign policy issues especially interesting.  Of course, the chapter on stem cell research was also one of interest to me considering pro-life issues are of the utmost importance as far as I'm concerned.  After reading this book, I still believe that George W. Bush made some policy mistakes and he would admit as much himself.  No person is perfect and no federal policy is perfect for that matter, but what I don't question is George W. Bush's integrity.  He made decisions based on what he truly believed to be what was in the best interest of the country.  He made some tough and at times unpopular decisions, but he did so only after careful and prayerful reflection.  I think we can learn a lot by former President George W. Bush's leadership.  Regardless of your political affiliation, I highly encourage you, especially if you like history and politics, to read this memoir.  I guarantee that it will give you more respect for the difficult duty of President of the greatest country on the face of the earth; the United States of America.  Below are a couple of notes I took from the first several chapters that I found interesting.  There is so much more good stuff packed into this book, but you'll have to read it for yourself to find out more.

My notes from first couple chapters...

  • George W. Bush decided to quit drinking when he realized that he was being selfish and it was hurting his family.  (What are we doing in our lives that is selfish and damaging to the people around us?)
  • When tempted he turned to prayer, which helped him fight off the urge to drink.  (Prayer is a very powerful tool for us when we are tempted to sin.  Ask God to help in times of temptation.)
  • George W. Bush lost his sister when he was only seven.  It was sad for him to lose a playmate, but he knew that it was a much greater loss for his parents.  (Let us pray for all parents who have lost children and children who have lost siblings at a young age due to accidents or serious illnesses).
  • George W. Bush reflected on how lucky he was that he had his parents unconditional love.  He found no reason for rebellion or fear of failure because of this unconditional love his parents had for him.  (Think about how much love parents have for their children and then multiply that by 100 and you almost approach God's love for us.  His love is always unconditional.  How do we respond to this great love God has for us?) 
  • George W. Bush had to take his mom to the hospital when she had a miscarriage.  He saw the fetus.  He knew then even at that young age that this was a human life.  This dramatic event greatly shaped his views on the dignity of every human life even from our earliest stages. 
  • George W. Bush's experience in Communist China convinced him that economic, political, and religious freedom is the only fair and productive way to govern a society.  His desire for people in all parts of the world to experience freedom greatly influenced his foreign policy.
  • George W. Bush believes that the greatest decision he ever made was marrying Laura.
  • George W. Bush often got teased for mixing up words, etc.  I found this line in his book amusing.  I know what he is trying to say, but I think he might have got it backwards... "I listened but I didn't hear."
  • One last note.  It is clear that the late/great Pope John Paul II had an influence on George W. Bush. Our former President had so much respect for the pope and it was clear in his comments about their interaction in this book.  

It's a long read, but it is well worth it!

Decision Points

God bless,


Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 Walk for Life - Let There Be Life

I am participating in a Walk for Life in April to raise money for a local pregnancy center.  Please help me reach my goal of raising $200!  The picture above is of me and my daughter at last year's Walk for Life.  It was a beautiful day!

Please Sponsor me here!

Thank you and God bless!


Thursday, March 8, 2012


The video KONY 2012 is going viral on YouTube.  KONY 2012  is a great and moving video exposing a very grave injustice taking place in Uganda.  All humans should be concerned about such grave injustices no matter where it takes place or who is the victim.  Not to belittle the situation in Uganda, but I hope his next video is titled ABORTION 2012, because abortion takes more innocent lives of "invisible" children all around the world than any one man or woman ever could.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

All Things Work Together for Good for Those Who Love God

It can be especially difficult to recognize the good in times of troubles and suffering.  It is a natural reaction in these times that we often focus on the bad and what is going wrong as opposed to being thankful for all of our blessings.  Sometimes we get so down on ourselves and our circumstances that we fall into despair.  God warns us against this and frequently reminds his followers to not fear.  In times of troubles and suffering I try to remember the following biblical passage: “ We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. ” (Romans 8:28).  I encountered many difficulties and troubles yesterday and I struggled to stay positive, but I was comforted by a number of blessings.
An account of my day:

So yesterday morning I got a text message from my wife that she had failed the 3 hour gestational diabetes test.  From my understanding, this is most likely just a temporary condition while she is pregnant, but it will require her to be on a restrictive diet and probably include more exercise routines.  My wife was understandably upset with this news, and when my wife is upset naturally I am upset as well.

Nothing eventful happened at work and I left at my normal time.  My drive home was no different than usual until I thought I heard a weird noise.  I turned off my radio and I no longer heard the noise, so I assumed it was nothing.  Then I started to smell an odor that I believed to be coolant.  Uh oh!  I had just taken the car to our mechanic to fix a problem with leaking coolant so surely that could not be the problem.  Then I noticed that my temperature gauge was spiking.  Then I noticed that smoke was coming out of my front hood.  Ok, now I knew I had some big trouble.  I was able to pull into a parking lot at a city park.  By the time I was parked, my car was heavily smoking.  Well this is great I thought!

I called my wife to let her know what happened.  She said she would call her dad and see if he’d be able to pick me up.  I grabbed my car handbook for some instructions.  It said not to open the hood while the steam was still coming out because the engine is very hot and could cause burns.  I waited 5 to 10 minutes then opened up the hood to see the damage.  I know very little about cars, but even I was able to see that there was a leak of fluid.  I just needed to figure out what I needed to do to get the car home.  As I was standing there pondering my next course of action, a man came up to me and asked if I needed any help.  He said he was no mechanic, but that he had worked on his cars for years and might be of some assistance.  We discovered that the radiator had no water at all, but we did not see any leaks.  He found a bottle in the garbage and filled it with water.  There happened to be a water fountain right there near the parking lot.  He filled it up 4 or 5 times and poured it in the radiator.  He asked me to start my engine and when it appeared that it was cooled down and that I’d be able to make it home, I thanked him and he was on his way to finish his run.  I know that I messed up his exercise as he was timing himself.  I offered him a $5 because that’s all the cash I had on me, but he refused.  He said for me to say hi to a veteran next time I saw one.
I was relieved to be back in my car driving home; at least for a minute.  Not long after I pulled back onto the busy highway, I noticed smoke coming out of my engine again.  Really?  I thought for sure that I’d be good at least until I got home!  It was a parking lot on the highway and I was stopped with the smoke really coming out heavy.  I was able to pull into a shopping center parking lot.  I called my wife again and she said her dad would pick me up.  This was not a good evening.  I was wanting to get home early and maybe even do something nice for my wife, who had a very difficult day.

My wife’s dad was able to meet me sometime around 6:30 and took me back home.  I ate a quick dinner, ran an errand for Shelly at the grocery store in our other vehicle, got back home and got the trash together to be taken out, and then put Julie to sleep.  I was exhausted, but my night was just beginning.

Our mechanic was coming over to pick me up and take me back out to the car.  He arrived as soon as Julie was down for bed.  We got some bottles of water and were on our way back out to my car which I left in the parking lot about 15 minutes away from home.  The car was still there and when the mechanic started to put water in the radiator, he noticed that there was another hose that was busted and was the cause of the leak (he had replaced one of the other hoses a week ago but the one that was busted now was not leaking when he looked at it).  Now we know what the problem was at least.  He said that he would drive my car back to his place and I would drive his car.  He would then take me back to my place before returning back home.  Sounded like a plan.  He had driven cars that had overheated before so I felt more comfortable with him driving my car.

I led the way because I told him that I knew a faster way to get to his house from where we were.  Everything was fine until I notice him flashing the bright lights.  He had to pull over into a gas station.  When I turned around and parked next to him, I noticed it was smoking bad.  Well, maybe this won’t be so easy after all.  We went inside the gas station and filled our bottles with water.  Once we filled it enough we both thought we’d be able to make it home as we were less than 10 minutes away.  I decided to follow him though just in case.
We pulled up to the stop light in front of an elementary school near my place and when the light turned green, he didn’t go.  Uh oh!  A car behind us couldn’t wait and went around us.  What is going on now?  I later learned that he was concerned that an engine part might get wet and that would shut down the engine completely.  He ended up being able to move… through a red light.  I didn’t know if I should follow, but I knew where he was going so I waited for the green light.

He decided he couldn’t make it home so we stopped at one more gas station.  We did the same routine and were ready to go for the final stretch.  We were only a couple minutes away now.  I started his car back up and was ready to follow him, but now my car (the one he is driving) wouldn’t start up.  Oh wonderful!  After a couple minutes he was able to get it moving and I followed him the rest of the way to his house.  I got back home around 10PM; exhausted.  What a crazy night and a terrible day!  And then I thought, you know what – things could be a lot worse.

Why I am so blessed and thankful:

First and foremost I am blessed and thankful that God is all good and merciful.  Despite my sinfulness he still loves me, and if I am truly sorry for my sins he will forgive me.  I am so blessed and thankful for my family.  My wife is wonderful, my little girl is an angel, my son who has yet to be born gives me great hope.  My extended family and Shelly’s family are really spectacular.  In this case, Shelly’s dad was generous in picking me up when I could not go anywhere with my car in its condition.  Shelly’s mom was helpful in dinner preparation and cleanup at the house.  I am thankful for our mechanic, who worked all day and then took the time to pick me up and bring my car back to his place.  He remained patient and calm throughout the night and was actually apologizing to me at one point.  I am thankful for the Good Samaritan who interrupted his run to help me a stranger.  He taught me some things about how my car works and could not have been any more helpful or nice.  I am thankful that I was able to pull off the main road and find a parking spot for my car when it was overheating.  Not only was I able to find a spot, but one where there was a water fountain and a man willing and able to help me.  I am blessed to be able to afford a car let alone two vehicles.  Many people are out of work or have to find other means of transportation to get to work if they do have a job.  I had a phone with me so I was able to communicate to the people I needed to from the convenience of my car.  We were able to get the car to my mechanic's house without having to get a tow truck, and it appears that my car is fixable.  I came home to a cooked meal and a family that loves me.  I could continue on forever about all of my blessings.  All these blessings occurred on a day when I had so many difficulties and stress.  I often take these blessings for granted.  Sometimes it takes a significant event for us to better appreciate our blessings and to thank God for all he has done and continues to do for us.  Yesterday, I had a moment of clarity.  Life is good.  Praise God!

My Prayer

I pray that we always turn to God in good times and in bad.  May we recognize the goodness in others rather than focus on their faults, and may we see the goodness in every situation as opposed to the negative.  May we never fear, and trust in God that if we believe in Him all things will work together for good.  We have a great, loving and merciful God.  Let us rejoice and be glad!

God Bless,


Friday, February 17, 2012

SBA List Endorses Rick Santorum

The nation's largest pro-life women's political  organization SBA List has endorsed Rick Santorum in the Republican presidential primary.  This is the first time the pro-life organization has issued an endorsement in a Republican presidential primary.  This endorsement adds to the long list of Pro-Family and Pro-Life organizations that have endorsed Rick Santorum.  Below are some of the other well known leaders and organizations that have endorsed or voted for Rick Santorum.

Catholic Vote

Georgia Right to Life

Tony Perkins president of Family Research Councel

James Dobson former president of Focus on the Family

Heritage House

Gary Beuer president of American Values

Abby Johnson Pro-Life Activist

Steven Ertelt founder and editor of Life News

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We Deserve Better Leadership Mr. President

President Obama said that “ALL women DESERVE FREE birth control” in his speech this past week on the HHS mandate to force all insurance companies to cover birth control free of charge.    This is a slight departure from the earlier HHS mandate that all institutions regardless of religious beliefs except for a very, very restricted group must provide insurance that covered birth control.  I’m sorry Mr. President, but all Americans deserve better leadership!  President Obama is masterful at dividing our country, but he has yet to prove that he can get anything done to solve our country’s problems.  This is only the latest example of his poor leadership.

The HHS mandate should also be a great concern to all Americans who value freedom.  The HHS mandate to force all insurance companies to provide “free” birth control is a direct attack on the religious freedom of American Catholics.  However, it is also an attack on any American citizen who does not believe that the government has the right to dictate to us every aspect of our lives, especially our healthcare decisions.  There are numerous problems with the most recent HHS mandate.

First of all, the government has no right to declare such a mandate.  President Obama thinks that he knows better than you and me how we should live our lives, and he thinks it is the government’s role to tell you how you must live.  It is not enough that the government mandates things that go against our conscience, but now we must also pay for those things that go against our conscience.  You think that this is bad?  Just wait until the government mandates that “free” abortion services must be covered by insurance.  You think I’m crazy?  This current HHS mandate already includes some abortifacient drugs.  In fact it is already happening in the state of Washington.  Just this week, the Washington state house approved a bill that would require that any insurance policy sold to state residents for maternity coverage also must require policyholders to pay for coverage of abortions (Life News).

Let us briefly analyze what President Obama says regarding this HHS mandate.

 “All women deserve free birth control”

·         ALL women -  I am not a woman so I will not speak on behalf of all women, but I would like to point out to President Obama that he does not speak for ALL women.  To suggest that all women support this mandate for free birth control is misleading and untrue. Not all women take nor want birth control.
·         Deserve – I deserve a free hamburger at Wendy’s every day for lunch.  I deserve free college tuition, a high paying job, and a fancy sports car.  It is this kind of talk that has led to an entitlement mentality in our country.  It is destroying our country.  I believe in free people to make free decisions and to work hard to earn what they receive.  This president believes that the government must provide for our every need, want or desire.  You are wrong Mr. President.
·         Free – Anyone who has ever taken economics 101 knows that there is no such thing as a free lunch.  I don’t know who President Obama thinks he is tricking.  If I order a meal and the waiter says that the lunch is free is it really free?  Maybe I don’t have to pay for the lunch, but someone had to prepare the lunch, and whoever prepared the lunch had to buy the ingredients to make the lunch, and the person or people who provided the ingredients had to harvest the food, etc.  There is no free lunch.  At the end of the day, when all insurance companies are forced to include anything in their coverage they will pass the cost on to the consumer.  This will likely result in higher premiums for all of us, so that in the end even those that have religious objections to birth control, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs will still end up paying for it.
·         Birth Control – How and when did artificial birth control become a right?  I have never gone shopping for birth control, but I hear that it is readily available virtually everywhere at a very reasonable price.  Does this president ever mention say abstinence as a form of birth control?  If he is concerned so much about the “cost” of pregnancy, maybe he should be open to embracing the birth control method that works 100% of the time; abstinence.
President Obama is a failure as president.  He clearly lacks leadership qualities and this HHS mandate is only the latest example.  He fills his cabinet with pro abortion, pro LBGT radicals and takes his marching orders from them regardless of the will of the people.  He consults the CEO of Planned Parenthood when coming to an “accommodation” on this HHS issue, but he fails to consult the hierarchy of the Catholic Church who were the ones that had the greatest concern about the mandate in the first place.  President Obama has no desire to compromise or lead.  He does not care about religious liberty.  He would rather promote “women’s rights” than uphold the first constitutional right of religious liberty.  A leader finds ways to bring people, even people who strongly disagree with each other on certain issues, together for a common goal.  This President instead tries to divide and conquer.
It is time for all Americans to stand up and say enough is enough.  We want our president to be a leader.  We have God given rights that no government can take away from us.  We will not quietly sit by and watch as our rights are taken away from us.  We have a conscience and no government can force us to violate that conscience.  Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are under attack.  Do not let President Obama take these basic rights from you.  Join me and countless other great American citizens that will hold President Obama accountable for his actions.  He will not lead us; it is time for us to lead.

God bless,


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Movie Recommendation: There Be Dragons (2011)

There Be Dragons is not a movie about dragons.  In fact, it is a movie based on Saint Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, during the Spanish Civil War.  It reminds me very much of the movie The Scarlet and the Black in that it covers a time when the Church was being persecuted and priests were forced into secrecy. As much as I loved The Scarlet and the Black, I think There Be Dragons is even better!  It may be a little dark and violent for young children, but it should be appropriate for teenage children and could make for a great family movie.  It is also a movie that Christians and non-Christians alike should be able to appreciate and enjoy because it is not overly preachy or religious.  It is just a really good story about a really courageous person played by really good actors under great direction.  It is not all about Saint Josemaria Escriva though, as the main story is about a man writing a book on the saint and his father's knowledge considering his closeness to Josemaria Escriva.  That story emphasizes the need for us to forgive.  There are many great lessons and themes that can be taken from this movie.  Below is the movie trailer for There Be Dragons.  If you have not already, watch this great movie!  When you are done, learn more about Saint Josemaria Escriva and Opus Dei.  There Be Dragons

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rick Santorum Scores a Trifecta on Tuesday

Rick Santorum had a HUGE night last night.  He won decisively in the 'beauty contest' in MO, and the caucuses in MN.  It is not too surprising he won those states, but what is surprising is how decisively he won.  He received 55% of the vote in MO (winning in ALL 144 counties) and he received 45% of the vote in MN, which is more than double what Mitt Romney received!  But even more surprising than those results, Rick Santorum also won the caucus vote in CO!  This was totally unexpected as Mitt Romney won the state in 2008 with 61% of the vote!  Rick Santorum clearly has momentum after these 3 wins.  Help me get Rick Santorum into the White House.  Below is my fundraising page.  Please prayerfully consider making a donation.  This is the most important election in our lifetime.  All that is at stake is our very freedom.  Vote Rick Santorum in 2012!

Thanks and God bless!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Assisted Suicide Ban Law Needed in Georgia

I just became aware this week that there is no law banning assisted suicide in the state of Georgia.  It was thought that there was a law that criminalized SOME assisted suicides, however this week the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously ruled to criminalize assisted suicide violates free speech.  This is outrageous!  The intentional killing of a person is not free speech and should not be tolerated in a civil and moral society.  We need a law in Georgia banning all assisted suicides.  My hope is that pro life citizens in Georgia in large numbers will immediately contact our elected representatives and encourage them to introduce a law banning assisted suicide in the state of Georgia.  It is frustrating and sad to learn that a law is not already in place.  Please take a few short minutes to contact your representatives and share this news with all your pro life friends.  Below is a link to a news story from yesterday's AJC.

Below is a link to easily and quickly contact your state representatives.

Contact your Representative

Below is the email I sent to my state representatives.


Dear Sir,

I am deeply troubled by the news this week that the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously ruled that laws against assisted suicide is a violation of free speech.  This is an outrageous conclusion! The intentional killing of a person is not free speech and should not be tolerated in a civil and moral society.  We need a law in Georgia banning all assisted suicides.  I am requesting that you introduce a law banning all assisted suicides in the state of Georgia.  I look forward to hearing back from you on this most important issue and for your support for a ban on assisted suicide.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

God bless,

Mike Duquaine


Thank you for taking a couple minutes out of your day to write about this very important issue, and for sharing this information with family and friends.

God Bless,


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Movie Recommendation: Soul Surfer (2011)

Soul Surfer is the best movie that I have seen in a long time.  It is a great movie for the whole family.  It has strong Christian themes, and it is highly inspirational.  The movie is well made as well.  Great acting along with a great story.  I can unabashedly recommend this movie to anyone and everyone.  Below is the movie trailer.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Reflections: Through My Eyes

My father-in-law, a huge Florida Gators fan (I try not to hold that against him), graciously allowed me to borrow Tim Tebow’s book; Through My Eyes.  Although I am not a Florida Gators fan, I begrudgingly respected and dare I say almost rooted for their star quarterback Tim Tebow from 2006 – 2009.  Once he graduated from Florida and got drafted by one of my favorite NFL teams, the Denver Broncos, it was much easier for me to openly root for this young man.  This book was written by Tim Tebow to clear up some misconceptions about him, and also to simply give some perspective on his thought process during some of the most critical moments in his life. 

I respect Tim Tebow greatly not so much because of his athletic ability or successful college football career, but for his character and his openness about his faith in God.  He is humble despite his popularity and always remembers to give all the glory to God.  His faith is real and he is a genuinely good human being.  Ask anyone he has ever met.  His actions speak much louder than his words.  His service to God and to others, especially children in need, is so very impressive.  Tim Tebow grew up in a very religious family.  His father was a pastor of a church and a missionary who founded an orphanage in the Philippines.  As a Catholic myself, I don’t necessarily agree with every belief or tenant of Evangelicalism, but I do admire people like Tim Tebow who are so passionate about their faith and so open and public with preaching the gospel.  I think Catholics could learn quite a few things about evangelization from people like Tim Tebow.

Many sports fans are bewildered at the popularity and success of Tim Tebow.  His mechanics just aren’t good they say.  He doesn’t have half the talent as some of the other quarterbacks they say.  It doesn’t always look pretty, but somehow the team Tebow quarterbacks usually find ways to win.  Some people call it luck.  Some people think he must be getting help from his God.  I think the reason that Tim Tebow is successful on and off the football field is quite clear and evident; the man is a leader.  He is fiercely competitive, sometimes maybe to a fault, and he works harder than most everyone else.  He believes in the talents God has given him, and he works extremely hard to make sure that he does not waste those gifts but lets those gifts shine.  Tim Tebow has been a fighting against all odds and defying critics his whole life; even before he was born. 

The story of Tim’s birth is truly inspirational for all, especially those of us in the pro-life movement who are working every day to fight against the evil of abortion.  I won’t go into all the details, but Tim’s mom was advised to abort him because of some difficulties; his mom and dad refused.  Abortion was not an option.  Had they listened to that advice, Tim Tebow would not be with us today.  Just think about how many lives Tim Tebow has positively affected and even saved in some cases.  All life is precious.  Tim Tebow is a living example.

Below are some notes that I took while I was reading this book. 

  •          Pro-life story of Tim’s birth is inspirational.
  •          Tim believes winning does matter.  I agree!
  •          Let others praise you.  Good advice!
  •          Competitiveness, determination, and perseverance are obvious traits at young age.
  •          Faith has always played a very important part in his life.
  •          Playing sports in the yard with his brothers sounds very similar to my own childhood experiences.
  •          Tim learns best by doing because he is dyslexic, but he does not believe it to be a disability.
  •          Tim’s dad founding an orphanage is another great example of the family’s pro-life beliefs put into action.
  •          Prayer was regular in the Tebow household.
  •          Parents encouraged kids to participate in a variety of activities and sports
  •          Quote: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
  •          There can be a downside to competitiveness.  Sometimes you can take it too far.
  •          Tim’s parents went to great lengths to give him an opportunity to fulfill his dream of being a quarterback.
  •          Tim went on his first mission trip to the Philippines at age 15.
  •          Tim had a prolific high school football career in addition to his most impressive college football career.  His High School team won the Florida 4A State Title as a senior.  He set many records and received many awards.  He once played with a broken fibula – an example of his toughness and perhaps foolishness.
  •          Tim was extremely close to choosing to go to Alabama, but decided at the last minute to go to Florida.  The coaches were a MAJOR factor in his decision.  He is very close with Coach Shula (former head coach at Alabama) and Coach Meyer (former head coach at Florida).
  •          Probably unintentional, but Tim focusing primarily on his qualities and success sometimes comes off as being boastful.  I would like to hear him talk a little bit more about some difficulties and failings.
  •          Tim goes into great detail on some football strategies and techniques.  This is great for football fans such as me, but I imagine some of that information might go over the head of or bore the casual fan. 
  •          Tim also talks a lot about and goes into great detail on his training regimen.
  •          Be prepared to take advantage of your opportunities.
  •          Final Note: Tim Tebow is a great role model for children, but I think he also has something to teach people of all ages. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

God bless,