“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

"COINCIDENCES" OF THE LIVING CHRIST

Many years ago, my wife and I rescued a woman from an extremely abusive husband. The man was a sheer brute. He was filled with bluster and threats -- ruling his household by intimidation and fear! Perhaps I have met worse men than Leo but I can't remember when. The rescue was planned for a day when Leo was supposed to be away for a few hours.

We took the opportunity to get his wife out of their apartment, along with her clothes and a few cherished belongings. Having multiple sclerosis, I couldn't make it up the stairs to the apartment so my wife and the woman worked feverishly to vacate the place when Leo came home early! They lied through their teeth to get out of the apartment building. The two women made their way across the parking lot to the car. I was gunning the engine ready to whisk them away. Being disabled, I was hardly able to deflect a physical altercation with Leo.

I was praying even harder than revving the engine. I Knew the Lord
has a heart for the oppressed. Psalm 103.6 says "The Lord does righteous deeds, brings justice to all the oppressed." Elsewhere in the Psalms say "He upholds the caused of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, ..." Surely this woman was oppressed! Surely she was a prisoner in her own home!

Suddenly an enraged Leo appeared at the front door of the apartment building. "Please heavenly father" I prayed, "deliver us!"
Without prompting a police car screeched around the corner of the street and stopped behind my car. A policeman with a puzzled look on his face walked to my car. I could see Leo shrinking back into the apartment building at the sight of the police officer.

I rolled down my window for the policeman. "Did you call the
police?" He asked. I responded "No officer, but it's sure good to see you." By this time my wife and the woman were piling into the car. "Did you call the police?" I asked them. Both said No. Leo must have thought I called the police because he disappeared out of sight. The confused policeman went back to his car wondering who called him to that location. I drove away with the image in my rear-view mirror of a bewildered policeman mumbling to himself.

Coincidence? Perhaps. The problem is that there have been too many "coincidences" in my life throughout the years. Too many for them all to be "coincidences." They can't all be coincidences or they would not be coincidences. 

Am I saying that God intervenes in the lives and affairs of
humanity? Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying! He certainly has/does in mine, just as He has in the lives of millions upon millions of people throughout the ages.

What happened to the woman rescued from Leo? She divorced him and started a new life. In subsequent years, she too felt the hand of God in her life. She passed away peacefully a few years ago at the age of eighty-two.

Millions of people (including me) know the reality of the resurrected and living Jesus Christ. The Joy Behars of this world simply do not understand. They can but they don't ... yet.

MDP

Saturday, May 19, 2018

ALAN KEYES' ADVISE TO THE PRESIDENT

I have always admired Dr. Alan Keyes. I believe he would have been a wonderful President of the United States. He twice ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Presidential nomination. Below Ambassador Dr. Alan gives advice to President Trump to embrace the constitution and tell the House of Representatives to do their job. I hope uncooperative members of Congress this to wise man's advice.

[As an aside, many years ago Dr. Keyes called my house and asked for me. I wasn't home. I think Dr. Keyes thought he was calling an office. My 17-year-old son answered the phone with the usual sassiness of teenagers. Dr. Keyes must have thought he called a pretty unprofessional and shoddy office and was blunt. My son pushed back. Dr. Keyes found out he was talking to my son and had called my home. He apologized. My son replied with something to the effect: "Ya dude, whatever" before hanging up. He had no idea who Alan Keyes was. My son is close to forty now and a businessman. I occasionally tease him about his youthful impertinence.]


Thursday, May 17, 2018

THINGS WHICH ARE SEEN AND UNSEEN

I have a vivid memory from about fifteen years ago.

One stifling hot summer night, I awoke to a familiar but dreaded sizzling sensation in my legs. My old nemesis, multiple sclerosis, was visiting, eating internal function -- like termites inside a tree. It was a time of great fear as the disease seemed to threaten everything! Unable to go back to sleep, I transferred from bed to wheelchair and went outside and stopped under the boughs of a cluster of Manitoba maple trees in my backyard. All was still.

My little house sits at the bottom of the hill that Beaumont was named after. I looked the hill to see the reassuring and steady light of an illuminated historic Catholic church. It's been there for over a century. Everything was peaceful, barring that horrible sizzling sensation. I crawled into a hammock tied between two massive maple trunks and gazed up into the dark serenity of a starry sky. It was my sacred little place in the world where I spent countless hours throughout many years: contemplating, reflecting, praying, searching, looking to understand rather than to see. It was beneath the canopy of maple branches that the Christian hope within me swelled within my chest and rose as an offering to God. 

There was a sudden gust of wind that swayed the
branches above me. Leaves rustled as though to whisper, "Do not be afraid, I AM with you." Ecstasy then shame. Ecstacy filled me to know He was near -- then shame to realize my life was deeply stained by sin. Confession. Forgiveness. Divine embrace.

As suddenly as the visitation came. it vanished and all became ordinary again. The yard remained bathed in moonlight and the great old church on the hill still shone in floodlights. The sizzling sensation in my legs remained but ceased to matter. 

Any passerby would have been oblivious to what had just happened. For a brief instant, it had seemed that a sweet essence of Eden opened then mercifully closed: The whisper in the breeze was too much for anything more than those brief seven words. In that twinkling
but earth-shaking moment, centuries melted away and indescribable Joy filled my heart. I wept, not because my body was wasting but because I had been touched by the Holy Spirit.

Saint Paul's words made perfect sense:

"Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inner man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
while we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are unseen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are unseen are eternal. (2Corinthians 4:16-18. cf. Romans 8.18; Colossians 3.10; Hebrews 11.1.)

Two years ago, a violent storm brought down the maple trees. If the evil one was trying to destroy my sacred place, he failed. I realized that sacred place was within me all along.  The trees were only a setting. The maples are gone but the blue moonlight still washes over my little house on the Canadian prairies and the old church at the top hill and reminds me that nothing can separate me from the love of God. 

My forever home is not here. Heaven is my home.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

MOTHER'S DAY: THE LOVING HAND THAT ROCKED THE CRADLE

Motherhood is a sacred vocation and I want to wish every mother a blessed and happy Mother's Day. I am reminded of the poem by "THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE RULES THE WORLD, by William Ross Wallace (1819-1881).
    Blessings on the hand of women!
        Angels guard its strength and grace.
    In the palace, cottage, hovel,
        Oh, no matter where the place;
    Would that never storms assailed it,
        Rainbows ever gently curled,
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
        Is the hand that rules the world.
    Infancy's the tender fountain,
        Power may with beauty flow,
    Mothers first to guide the streamlets,
        From them souls unresting grow —
    Grow on for the good or evil,
        Sunshine streamed or evil hurled,
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
        Is the hand that rules the world.
    Woman, how divine your mission,
        Here upon our natal sod;
    Keep – oh, keep the young heart open
        Always to the breath of God!
    All true trophies of the ages
        Are from mother-love impearled,
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
        Is the hand that rules the world.
    Blessings on the hand of women!
        Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
    And the sacred song is mingled
        With the worship in the sky —
    Mingles where no tempest darkens,
        Rainbows evermore are hurled;
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
        Is the hand that rules the world.

    Mothers are at the center of a child's life and life in the home and shape tomorrow's world.

    MDP 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

IS IOWA'S HEART-BEAT LAW THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR ROE V. WADE?

Speaking in Dubuque, Iowa
5 May 2018
On May 5th, I was in Dubuque, Iowa, to give the keynote address to the Dubuque County Right to Life's annual banquet. I spoke to the audience of 650 about the human tragedy of abortion, and perils of euthanasia and assisted suicide for vulnerable people with severe disabilities and/or incurable diseases. There was a jubilant and celebratory atmosphere to the evening. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds had just signed the "Heartbeat" bill into law that afternoon. It prohibits abortions after an unborn child's heartbeat can be detected which is at 6 weeks gestation.

Governor Reynolds signs the Heartbeat bill into law
5 May 2018
The new law is sure to face legal challenges, possibly up to the US Supreme Court. The courageous defenders of life are prepared and have a legal team at work developing strategies to defend the new law. But if it stands, Iowa's Heartbeat bill may be the thin-edge-of-the-wedge to crack and bring down Roe v. Wade. (More than 60-million of America's babies have been slaughtered since that terrible 1973 Supreme Court decision.) The Heartbeat bill is not perfect: There are still exceptions in the law, but perhaps it is a start the toppling of Roe v. Wade. I pray other states will muster the courage to follow suit. God bless Iowa! Please give moral and prayer support to Iowa and it's courageous and principled governor Kim Reynolds. 

Abortion's vicious blackguards of death, and their media allies, are sure to attack the Heartbeat Law and Governor Reynolds in attempts to bring down this new law and protect their evil. They must NOT succeed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

PRO-LIFE GOOD NEWS

Sometimes two or three small words have the potential to make a world of difference. They initially go unnoticed. Stop! Take note! 


On the website for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) you will find their latest Mission Statement. I have copied the Mission statement and pasted it below.   

Mission Statement

"The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services."
Immediately below the Mission Statement on the website, you will find the Organizational Structure. It says:

"HHS is the U.S. Government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, from conception. HHS is responsible for almost a quarter of all Federal outlays and administers more grant dollars than all other Federal agencies combined."
Did you see it? It says the "HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, from conception." [My emphasis added.]

The U.S. federal government's Department of Health and Human Services now recognizes its mission includes protecting the lives of all Americans at every stage of life beginning AT CONCEPTION! Don't believe me? Check it for yourself at https://www.hhs.gov/about/strategic-plan/introduction/index.html

Under the Presidency of Donald J. Trump, complete recognition of
the value of all human life is now official policy!  Unless I'm missing something, this is a major success for the pro-Life movement. The Trump administration quietly, and without fanfare, amended the mission of Health and Human Services to recognize what you have fought to gain for so long!

Two little words "from conception". Dare we hope this marks a seismic shift in policy, programs and activities that are life-affirming under the leadership of the Trump administration?! Is this the beginning of the end of government support of barbaric organizations like Planned Parenthood, that was so heavily supported by Obama?!  

It is important for America's pro-life movement to actively encourage HHS to put in place a wide spectrum of program and activities that support maternal and prenatal health, education of the nature of life before birth, and help women in crisis pregnancies, as well as protecting their unborn children. 

This can be achieved by supporting pregnancy care centers to serve
women in crisis pregnancies to support themselves, and their babies, or partnering with community faith-based organizations to develop and deliver employment and life skills and mentoring programs for young women who might otherwise be abortion-minded. 

Pressure and support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to quickly put these policies and programs in place in your community.

Those two little words "from conception." Perhaps they can be the start of a new day in America where every life is truly valued and protected. God bless America. 

MDP

Monday, April 23, 2018

MY FRIEND JONI, AND CHRISTIAN DISABILITY MINISTRY

Joni and I at Biola University, California,
to debate advocates of assisted suicide
2009
I have the great privilege of having a dear and treasured friendship of Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni is a devout evangelical Christian author, radio show talk host, an accomplished artist, and head of the international disability Christian ministry Joni and Friends, based in Agoura Hills, California. Joni is also quadriplegic. She is, quite simply, a spiritual giant of the 21st Century. 

Throughout the years we have been supportive of each other's
disability and pro-Life ministries: She, an evangelical Protestant, and me, an evangelical Catholic, working together -- wherever and whenever possible -- to serve the disabled and vulnerable within church ministry and inclusion. Our common ground lies in our mutual love for Jesus Christ, a desire to equip Christians for special needs and related pro-life ministries. The ultimate goal is to bring people to a personal relationship with Christ, regardless of circumstances.

Both Joni and I are acquainted with suffering throughout decades of disability. She has often ministered to me in my pain. I hope that in
some small way, I have ministered to her. At one point in my degenerative MS journey, three out of four limbs were severely affected (triplegia) and there was a very real threat I would lose the use of my left arm and become a quadriplegic.  I contacted Joni and told her about my situation. She said, "You have the use of one arm? Sounds wonderful." Ouch! It was a needed kick in my keester to stop whimpering about something I could not control and carry on with the important work before us. Happily, my crisis passed, and I did not become quadriplegia. In fact, I even regained some of the use in my right arm!


[I am available to speak about a Christian perspective on suffering and disability, and the perils of euthanasia/assisted suicide to the disabled and our culture in general. Send an email to me at HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca.] 

See the video below for a wonderful interview evangelical leader Chuck Swindoll had with Joni Eareckson Tada a few years ago.