“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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ADDRESSING THE GENDER HOLOCAUST

There are 200 million girls missing. Gendercide is prevalent in a number of areas of the world where boys are desired and girls are seen as burdens. They are either killed before birth or just after being born. It is nothing short of a gender holocaust! 

By some estimates, each month in India, 50,000 baby girls are killed.[1] Those who are not aborted are
Body of baby girl in a trash can
suffocated, drowned or thrown in the trash. 
It must stop, alternatives offered.  Western countries such as the United States, Canada and Britain must pressure countries like India and China to remove financial, government and cultural barriers to adopt their unwanted baby girls and open rapid paths for international adoptions to western families.  

I urge American, Canadian and British readers of this blog to ask
your national politicians to lobby China and India to open wide the doors for timely adoptions of their unwanted baby girls. Keep the adoption process free from corruption or prohibitive expense for adoptive families.

Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISme5-9orR0 for trailer of It's a Girl


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Saturday, January 17, 2015

WINTLEY PHIPPS ON AMAZING GRACE

Wintley Augustus Phipps is a world renowned singer, motivational
speaker, educator, pastor and founder of the U.S. Dream Academy. He has sung before U.S. Presidents Barack Omama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, former South American President Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In the video below Wintley Phipps speaks about the hymn Amazing Grace then gives a most moving rendition of it.

[Click image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVcjnNry4do For Wintley Phipps' insights and singing Amazing Grace.] 


Friday, January 16, 2015

MUSIC OF HAPPENSTANCE

I came across an interesting video. Birds were sitting on some telephone wires. Their pattern was transposed into music and expanded by an ingenious musician. The link below to that music of happenstance. Enjoy.

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkRg_FZdLgw for music of birds on telephone wires.]

Thursday, January 15, 2015

DEROGATORY LABELS FOR PEOPLE

Words can be so cruel and degrading. There was a time in the 19th Century when North American natives were commonly called "savages". The term was used to dehumanize first nations people in order to take their land. 

I remember a time when people with a mix of Aboriginal-European descent were called "half-breeds". Somebody at the time might have said it was meant merely to describe rather than to demean, and that would have been a lie. The term half-breed was always used to cast an individual in a negative light and belittle him/her. Happily, I have not not heard anyone use that term in decades. The metis are coming into their own. Injustices of yesteryear are finally being addressed and corrected. 

Black people were called niggers, Gay people called faggots. All derogatory, awful terms to call a human being. These horrible terms have largely fallen into disuse and that is a good thing.

A newer derogatory term is calling comatose or severely brain
injured people vegetables or being in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) rather than the more accurate and kinder term of being persistently unconscious. Again, the intention of equating a human being with a vegetable or being like one is meant to strip them of their humanity. This is useful in an era when there is a chronic shortage of organs to harvest. If a human being is not thought of as a human being then you can do anything to them.  

We are coming across increasing numbers of people who were at one time labelled as vegetables or being in a "persistent vegetative state" who emerge from their comas. Not only that, we are now hearing that over 45% of PVS diagnoses may be inaccurate. 

I want to share with you the case of Martin Pistorious (39) who lived
Martin Pistorius with his
book "Ghost Boy"
in a locked-in state for  twelve years. His doctors told his family he was as good as a vegetable. For the first two years he was unaware of himself or his surroundings but gradually started to become aware. Martin was in a locked-in state. He says, "Yes, I was there, not from the beginning, but about two years into my vegetative state, I began to wake up. I was aware of everything, just like a normal person." Martin states about this about his condition: "My mind was trapped inside a useless body, my arms and legs weren't mine to control and my voice was mute. I couldn't make a sign or sounds to let anyone know I'd become aware again. I was invisible -- the ghost boy." He related his story in an auto-biography book entitled "Ghost Boy". You can order a copy here http://www.christianbook.com/ghost-miraculous-escape-misdiagnosed-trapped-inside/martin-pistorius/9781400205837/pd/205830?kw=martin%20pistorius%20book&mt=b&dv=c&event=PPCSRC&p=1018818&gclid=CJrMlLTRlsMCFZSPfgodl5AAtA


Martin heard his own despairing mother say, "I hope you die." Grief can do terrible things. He believed no one would ever love him. Be careful what you say around those you think can't hear you. Things may not be as they seem. 

Martin is an intelligent and gracious man. He reflects on his mother's harsh words: "As time passed, I gradually learned to understand my mother's desperation. Every time she looked at me, she could only see a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much."

We know so little about the human brain. What I do know is that people never become vegetables. They retain their humanity regardless of their state and deserve respect and love. Those people who are comatose or seem unaware have a great gift to bring to the table of humanity. That gift is this: Their presence among us calls you and me to a higher standard of love. How will we respond?

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBFntsxK-vc for television with Martin and Joan Pistorious. Martin speaks about his years in what medicine shamefully terms as a persistent vegetative state.] 



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?

My oldest grandson (13) gives
his mom (my daughter)
a kiss

Growing old has increasing times where I find myself happy and sad at the same moment. It all revolves around love and the passing of time. My daughter sent me the photo at the right of her being kissed on the cheek by my oldest grandson. I thought to myself: I remember them both as babies. I pushed my daughter in a stroller everywhere; at lunch we would look at each other across her high-chair while I fed her Gerber's baby food. At night I would gently rock her to sleep and hum lullabies. Two peas in a pod. There's nothing better than being a father. 


The same grandson as a baby
about to go on an "adventure"
Twenty-five years later I did the same with her baby, my grandson. The only difference was that the stroller was gone. We traveled on my wheelchair/scooter, exploring grandpa's little town, singing Wheels On the Bus or other children's songs. Two peas in a pod. There's nothing better than being a grandfather.

When they learned to walk they began to move away from me -- at first with unsteady little feet then with increasing steady confidence. In their own time, decades apart, they both looked back to me for encouragement, then less with time. That's as it should be. Their legs strengthened and mine withered. They must increase while I decrease. But I was left with sweet memories of our cozy pea pods. They grew with a foundation of nurture. Every child deserves that.

(I have a tender memory dating back to 1976 when my daughter was born. Stevie Wonder's song about his daughter was a hit: Isn't She Lovely. I was a commercial television writer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The song came on the radio and I pecked away at my manual typewriter in time to the music. I was so happy to be a new dad and could not wait to get home to see my baby. Thirty-eight years later I still say "Isn't she Lovely.")

I watch now from the sidelines with sentimental pride, and wonder
where the time went and where life will take them. God created them for a purpose. My greatest desire for them (and all my family) is that they will walk each day with Christ, desire to serve Him, and discover the purpose for which they were created -- then pursue it. 

I think I will revisit the old song. This for all the new dads and grandpas.
[Click on image below or this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVvkjuEAwgU for "Isn't She Lovely", by Stevie Wonder






Mark

Sunday, January 11, 2015

SANCTUS

Once again, sub-zero temperatures have prevented me from attending Mass in
My parish in winter
 the Church at the top hill from my little house at the bottom. I could not take the Blessed Sacrament so I had to settle for spiritual Communion: "As I cannot receive Thee, My Jesus, in Holy Communion, come spiritually into my heart and make it Thine own forever." I read Scriptures from my LITURGY OF THE HOURS, for this point in the Church calendar, prayed my rosary and listened to selected portions of Beethoven's Mass in C Major.[1] Below is Sanctus.


"Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua.
Osanna in excelsis."


English tranlation:

Holy, holy, holy
Lord God of Hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

[Click on image below orhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNA4CNIUNXA for Beethoven's Mass in C major, Op.86, Sanctus, UCLA Choir

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[1] In the photograph of me at the top of the HumanLifeMatters blog, you will notice a bust of Beethoven on my fireplace mantle. I keep it there to remind me of the ability of the human spirit to overcome adversity. Beethoven suffered deafness and yet was one of the greatest composers who ever lived. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

AMERICA'S ABORTION MEMORIAL BELL


See a memorial bell video showing, in graphic terms, a visual representation of the rate of abortions across America since legalization in 1973. The numbers whiz by in a blur for 5 minutes, the bell tolling at each million lives lost, until reaching the 57-million abortions we are at today. 

Abortion a holocaust of unprecedented proportions. Each number
represents a human life created in the image of God, each one robbed of his or her inalienable right to life, each one could have brought unique talents and gifts to the table of human experience. This is where the "progressives" have taken society. It is, in fact, a regression toward a New Dark Age. The depressed and suicidal old, sick and disabled are next to be pushed into the deadly abyss of "Choice".

Click on the image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Qv6UDT__iU