“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

Monday, July 28, 2014

CHRISTIAN CONDEMNED TO ISLAMIC TORTURE AND DEATH IS SAFELY OUT OF SUDAN

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2703975/Sudanese-mother-death-row-marrying-Christian-travels-Rome-guest-Italian-government.html
Leon Watson and Daniel Bates, "The baby born on a prison floor to a mother in shackles is blessed by the Pope: Sudanese woman who was put on death row for marrying a Christian Meets Francis after travelling to Rome", 24 July 2014 Daily Mail Online, United Kingdom.
______________


Meriam Ibrahim, daughter Maya
and Pope Francis in Rome last week
Christian Meriam Ibrahim is finally free, thanks primarily to pressure from Christians around the world, other people of good will, and western governments. Meriam Ibrahim is safely out of Sudan.

The byline for the British Daily Mail article above is quite misleading and, quite frankly, inaccurate. Meriam was sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her own Christian faith. She was further sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery (she had sex with her Christian husband). You may recall that I wrote numerous posts about her during late May and June.


Now, l shall be politically incorrect but correct nonetheless: We should see the Meriam Ibrahim case as a clear warning of the brutality and barbarity of Islam and Sharia law. 

A fate similar to what was waiting for Meriam awaits Christian "infidels" everywhere as Islam spreads and becomes the state religion in more places. They are using western pluralistic, multi-culturalists as useful idiots: Islam has no such interests. 

Under Islamic law, Christians who refuse to renounce Christ and become Muslim will suffer and die. If the world becomes Islamic (and that's the Islamic goal) Christian readers of this blog, or future generations of Christians, would eventually face an equally grim fate under Islam as Meriam narrowly escaped. 


In places like Egypt, Syria, Iran and Africa countless Christians are suffering and dying for their faith. It grows each year. Much of the secular western media turn a blind eye to this growing and horrendous Christian persecution. Why? I think it's because that much of western liberal, secular media in vehemently anti-Christian too. 

The Meriam Ibrahim story got coverage because its gross and flagrant violation of fundamental human rights became visible -- to visible to be ignored or suppressed. Millions of other Christians being persecuted fall under the media radar. 

I want to conclude this blog post by congratulating everyone who spoke up for Meriam Ibrihim and her family. You literally helped save her from torture and execution!

Remember, other Christians are suffering and dying for Christ even as I write these words. Please do not forget them in your prayers: They are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Mark

[Click on image below or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAIplRcxM4E for Aaron Pelsue, "I have Decided"]


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A GENTLE BYGONE TIME AND CLOCKS

I married the girl next door. LaRee lived with her grandparents during her childhood. I think we loved each other even as children. Her grandfather Arnold was born in 1906. He was was a short, bald, happy man of quiet old-world values and cultivation. To me he was always a lovable old man quick to smile and laugh. 

Although he was Canadian to the core, Grandpa Arnold seemed vaguely European. He owned a jewelry and clock shop in our small town. Clocks lined the walls  of Grandpa's shop -- tick-tock, tick-tock, keeping time month after month and year after year. Everything seemed to sparkle. Life was stable: man was man and God in His heaven.  

From Grandpa Arnold I developed a love of clocks. His mantle clock now sits in our house. It been in the family for over 85 years ticking away the days, months, years and decades for generations of our family.

The music below is for his memory and a gentle bygone time. It reminds me of Grandpa

Mark 


Saturday, July 19, 2014

MY BLOG REACHES 300,000 HITS

The HumanLifeMatters blog has reached a major numerical milestone: 300,000 hits! The single largest representation comes from the United States. More than a third of readers are American with Canada coming second place. 


When this blog was started a few years ago, I had no idea it would generate this much interest. Tell your friends to visit often at http://humanlifematters.org 

Thank you.

Mark

A LETTER TO A LOST OLD FRIEND

Old friend – I sadly read you’re your words of February 28th. They came as a shock after so many years of not communicating. You wrote


"I am a 64 year old man. I was raised a Christian but no longer believe in any religion. I am a pacificist in a world where many people enjoy fighting. I find that frustrating. I am an advocate of the legalization of the use of marijuana and some other currently illegal substances. Most people seem to need to get high in order to remain sane. I am an advocate of legal assisted suicide. People have a right to die without it having to be a tragedy." 


With the exception of the comment about pacifism, your words saddened me. I knew you as a 34 year old man. We were, at one time, good friends when our children were small. Back then you had a gentle joy of life and a sense of decency rooted in your solid Christian upbringing, or so it seemed. Was I wrong? Why did you abandon it? What happened to my old friend?

I am reminded of Christ’s parable of the seed. He said:

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among the thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on the good soil stands for those of noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8.11-15.)

Old friend, I thought you were the seed on the good soil. As a young man, something deep in you seemed to value purity, character and truth that are at the heart of Christianity – because Christ is the truth. He said it elsewhere. I am not talking about believing in a religion: I am talking about believing in the person of Jesus Christ and following Him.

You went your way, and me another way: You to a successful career while I was prematurely put out the pasture by forced medical retirement. Our friendship ended about the time I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. 

Now I learn that you have become an advocate for legalizing assisted suicide for the incurably ill. What happened old friend? That is not the spirit of pacifism, it is violence against community and the human soul. People like me do not need assistance to commit suicide; we need a reason to live to life’s natural end. And that reason is love and inclusion. It was/is love (both human and divine) that gave me a reason to live despite a horrible disease that ripped so much from me. 

During my darkest days I needed people to lift up my value even when I ceased to value myself. As a backdrop to my family’s love stood the towering love of Christ. It was not religion, rather that personal and daily relationship with Christ that brought hope and sanity to my world in ways that drugs could never do.

Helping people to kill themselves is insanity. It is abandonment of people in their darkest hour of need; it abandons the sense of community in which the Common Good is nurtured and protected and where death is viewed as the last phase of living in which our common bonds of humanity can be strengthened (not severed).


From one Prodigal son to another, come back to the world of
the living old friend. Christ awaits you and so do I.

Mark

[See a Gaelic Blessing by clicking on the image below 

or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObrYXo93QYI ]





Friday, July 18, 2014

THE PROSPECT OF BRITAIN LEGALIZING ASSISTED SUICIDE

Baroness Grey-Thompson
Baroness Grey-Thompson addresses the prospect of Britain legalizing assisted suicide. Her short but compelling message is one that needs to be heard. Her warning is for the sake of people with incurable diseases or disabilities whose lives will eventually be in peril if Britain legalizes assisted suicide. Ultimately the question Britain  decide is whether every life is equally valued and worthy of protection nurture and care even even at the end of life.  

Click on image below or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db8SPmQAxKc for her message.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

HANDEL: ETERNAL SOURCE OF LIGHT DIVINE

George Frideric Handel
(1685-1759)
George Frideric Handel likely wrote Eternal Source of Light Divine, HMV 74, in 1713 to celebrate the birthday of Queen Anne of Britain (1665-1714). This short (3:41) majestic, secular piece has beautiful interplay between the tenor voice, trumpet, and orchestra. Excellent.

[Click on the image below or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCSQd8Nx4mI ]




MEDIA PROPAGANDA PROMOTING ASSISTED SUICIDE

http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/07/how-we-portray-suffering-and-suicide
Wesley J. Smith, "HOW WE PORTRAY SUFFERING AND SUICIDE", 11 July 2014, FIRST THINGS online.


John and Dianne Rehm
The link above is to a recent article written by Wesley J. Smith, one of America's top bioethical thinkers. He was responding to the promotion of assisted suicide by NPR's megastar Dianne Rehm. Rehm's husband John had Parkinson's disease and starved himself to death in what euthanasia advocates call "voluntary stop eating and drinking" (VSED). 

Wesley took NBC television to task for profiling Rehm in an interview, in which they focused exclusively on the pro assisted suicide perspective. He wrote: 
Wesley J. Smith

"It is a profound disservice to the gravity of this issue that the media give scandalously short shrift to the many stories of people who find meaning and hope even as they grapple with the anguish of profound disabilities." 

Wesley then went on to profile ALS sufferer Robert Salamanca, and me. I have noticed that the secular media has become a mouthpiece for the euthanasia/assisted suicide lobby, just as they were for abortion advocates. It should not come as any surprise. My experience with the media is that they are superficial liberals who do not generally take the time to really analyse issues before reporting. 

The fact remains that most people with disabilities do not support euthanasia or assisted suicide. We know we are the targets. Granted there are individuals like John Rehm who chose suicide, but most of us want the hope of life with dignity not the abandonment of assisted death. The death with dignity crowd disguise hostility toward people like me behind a facade of compassion and choice. Some compassion -- some choice!

Mark