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,