“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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

EVEN WHEN HE IS SILENT, HIS LOVE ABIDES

Even with all I have lost in this life I still believe in love. Even when love seems silent, I believe in love. Even if God seems silent, I believe in Him for He is divine love, manifested to us in His Son Jesus Christ.[1] He abides with me.

So too, my experience with human love has proved that it remains even after death and time. 


Me at my parents' grave
My father has been dead or 45 years yet a candle of love for him burns bright within my heart. I trust I will see my father again, within my final joy with Christ.[2] 
LaRee and me

My love for my wife, LaRee, dates back to childhood. We have been married more than 40 years. God blessed our marriage with love and it deepens with the passage of time. She gave birth to our two children who were loved by God from before their conception and by LaRee and me since the day we discovered we would have them. Our children have always been loved and they return love to us.

Now, we have five grandchildren. Love grows exponentially. I may be a loser by material standards.  If I lose my possessions or even my life, love still abides because Christ abides and He is the source of my love. Yes, even when He is silent, His love abides.


[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYwYMngq4II, St. Olaf Choir "Even When He Is Silent"]

______________________________-
[1] John 3.16, 1John 4.16-19.
[2] 1Thessalonians 4.16-18, 5.10. Cp. John 14.3, 17.24.

Friday, November 21, 2014

KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS

As we enter the Christmas Season of 2014, I suspect anti-Christians will once again try and squelch the use of the word Christmas in favour of  the flaccid "happy holidays" or "Season's Greetings". Why? The word Christmas it contains the name of Christ. I will not listen to or obey the anti-Christians and secularists who take exception to Christmas. 



Christmas celebrates the coming of the Lord, the Incarnation, God made man. Denying or suppressing this truth will not change the reality that it occurred at a preordained moment in history. The road to Calvary began at Bethlehem. Christ did not come for himself, He came for us. In Him, humanity can truly find itself and the source and essence of eternal love. God sent His only begotten Son to save all those who believe in Jesus, and through Him have everlasting life. 

Christmas is about divine love.  If a heavenly host sang about the
birth of my Messiah, I will not be silent about God's love manifested in the birth of Jesus -- a birth that shook the heavens.[1]

I will not acknowledge political correctness. I will not bow to the tyranny of anti-Christians and take Christ out of Christmas. Jesus Christ is my hope and my Joy. His birth is so eloquently expressed at Christmas -- the Good News that the Messiah has come to save people from the 1st to the 21st Century. 

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93QkaaiRiY4 Downhere How Many Kings.]





_______________________
[1] Luke 2.8-14.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS!

In the past I have written about my great blessings of having a family of artists and artisans. My latest profile is of my wife
LaRee Pickup
LaRee. Many people are aware she is an extraordinary seamstress and has taught sewing for many years. But that's only one side of her varied talents. LaRee's unique crafts are made with the highest quality materials and exacting attention to detail. Below are a few of her 2014 Christmas offerings:
ONE-OF-A-KIND HANDBAG

HB1: Waxed canvas handbag. Dimensions: 12.5x11x3 inches. $95 plus S&H.  Tartan accent, leather closure and nylon shoulder strap. Awesome durability that just keeps looking better with age and use. This handbag is ideal for ipads. Made with meticulous attention to detail. 4 pockets. Contact LaRee at LaRee@shaw.ca to ensure it's still available.  
_______________________

SATCHEL: SA2: Below - Lined brown waxed canvas, Leather flap. Dark brown nylon shoulder strap.  Dimensions: 12x12x4 inches.  Two large exterior pockets, 2 spacious interior pockets. $80 plus S&H. Contact LaRee at LaRee@shaw.ca 

     
Image (below) gives a close-up view to show a leather accent on the front pocket.                 

Image (left) a close-up view to show the leather accent at the bottom of the large front pocket. 
View (right) shows opposite side of this roomy satchel with additional large zipper pocket.
 BROCADE/LEATHER PURSES 

Brocade/leather purses in various colors and patterns. $55 plus S&H. See below. Lined with inside pocket for keys or change-purse. Dimensions: 10.5x10.5


P1: Burgundy brocade-leather purse at the upper left. P2: Light brown upper right. 

Left: P3 - Paisley brocade/leather purse.

 Contact LaRee at LaRee@shaw.ca  ___________________________

LUNCH TOTES (canvas & leather) $35 plus S&H.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

LIFE-AFFIRMING NATIONS UNDER GOD

I dream of a time when America and Canada will be life-affirming nations under God. Our nations must not abandon God or He may abandon us. We must return to Him with repentant hearts -- not only as individuals but as a people. I believe God may still take us back to Himself despite the blood of millions of unborn children that has polluted the land and cries out for justice.[1] Now, the sin of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide is at the door. Do not take this lightly! God judges individuals but history reveals He also judges nations. 


Yet, even at this late hour, I believe God may still forgive our nations if we turn to Him in repentance and away from this moral quagmire into which our culture is willfully descending.

God's spoke through Moses to the children of Israel. His words come to us from antiquity: 


"... For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He  rejoiced over your fathers if you obey the voice of God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. For this commandment which I command you today, it is not too mysterious for you nor is it far off. It is not in heaven that you should say, "Who will ascend into heaven for us to bring it to us. that we may hear it and do it? Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. See, I have set before you life and good, death and evil, ... I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessings and cursing; therefore choose life that you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is you life and length of days". (Deuteronomy 30. 9b-15, 19-20a)

God's Word is the Bible. In it, and through it, we hear God's voice.
The laws of a nation must try to reflect God's laws and commandments. Laws that contradict the Word of God are corrupt. 

We pray that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven; we must then live in accordance to God's will as revealed in His Word.[2]

Let us return to historic Christianity that made western civilization great. Let us embrace once again the sanctity of human life because we all bear the Image of God. Value every life because human life matters, just like the name of this blog emphatically states. -- Mark
[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qTga6GCpAM]


_____________________
[1] Genesis 4.10.: The blood of Abel cried out to God after Cane murdered him. So to the blood of aborted children must cry out to God.
[2] Cp. John 1.1-4. 14.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

REMEMBRANCE DAY

There is an old country graveyard near the town where I live. For years the small Clearwater Cemetery was all but forgotten and neglected. In the middle of that graveyard lies the forlorn grave of a young soldier who died six days before the end of the First World War. The decrepit fence surrounding the grave implies he was deeply loved but eventually forgotten, except by God. Some parents' son almost made it through the war. He's been dead for 96 years. Anybody who knew and loved him is gone. We can not actually remember him or the thousands upon thousands of soldiers who died in the Great War. 


They were so young (average age was 18-22 years). We can not remember them but we can be grateful for their ultimate sacrifice. American President Woodrow Wilson said World War 1 was the war to end all wars. How wrong he was. 

Twenty-one years later World War 2 began. The veterans who survived that awful war are mostly gone now too; those who remain are aged. We can remember them -- and those who fought in wars since then. 

Many of my generation's sons were killed or crippled in the Gulf
Corporal Nathan Cirillo on the left
shortly before being shot.
War, Afghanistan and elsewhere. We remember and honour them. Most recently, Corporal Nathan Cirillo (24) was killed by a terrorist while he stood guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa.


Yesterday I came across some actual film footage from a battle of World War 1. It made me think of the forgotten soldier's grave in Clearwater Cemetery near Beaumont, Alberta, Canada. See link below. 

[Click on the image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSwGT_-WrhE for World War 1 film footage of intense battle.]

Monday, November 3, 2014

PIED PIPERS OF ASSISTED SUICIDE PLAY TO A NATION AND ITS MAGISTRATES

On 3 November 2014 I wrote a follow-up letter to Canada's Chief Justice as the Supreme Court deliberates on the issue of the federal law prohibiting assisted suicide. 


Lawyers for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and advocates for euthanasia and assisted suicide present persuasive arguments to kill the incurably sick and disabled under the guise of compassion.


 The pied pipers of death play a catchy and seductive tune called "Choice". It's a deadly lullaby meant to lull to sleep gullible consciences of a nation and drift into what made previous generations recoil in horror.  

The text of my original letter was posted on the HumanLifeMatters blog on 21 October 2014 at http://www.humanlifematters.org/2014/10/my-letter-to-canadas-supreme-court.html . The text of my latest follow-up letter is below. The nation awaits the high court's decision. 
______________________

The Hon. Beverley McLachlin
Chief Justice
Supreme Court of Canada
OTTAWA, ON

Dear Chief Justice McLachlin:

RE: ASSISTED SUICIDE

I wrote to you last month appealing to Canada’s high court not to strike down Canada’s law on assisted suicide. A copy of that letter is attached. Please ensure the other Justices adjudicating the case of Kay Carter and the wider issue on Canada’s law against assisted suicide receive copies of that letter for consideration.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide lobbyists say Canada’s laws against assisted suicide are discriminatory against the incurably sick and disabled because they are denied the ability to commit suicide that able-bodied Canadians can do. That argument is deeply flawed. Just because someone can commit suicide does not mean they have a right to do it. There is no “right” to suicide in Canada. If there was a right to suicide, why would Canada’s Parliament UNANIMOUSLY support the idea of a National Suicide Prevention Strategy as they did in October 2012?

If the Supreme Court strikes down Canada’s law against assisted suicide or expresses support for assisted suicide for incurably ill and severely disabled Canadians (like me) what sort of message will that send to us? Parliament gives full support to suicide prevention for the healthy and able-bodied while the Supreme Court supports assisting the suicides of the sick and disabled? That is the message I will hear loud and clear. Public policies and laws do not exist in isolation; they must have continuity and consistency.

Right to die proponents bolster their argument for assisted suicide by citing Section 7, Legal Rights, of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” The very section they cite for security of the person undermines their argument about a “right to die”. Section 7 begins by affirming and declaring the right to life: It says nothing about a right to death![1]

     As I mentioned in my last letter, pain management of the 21st Century is so advanced that people need not suffer and die in pain (see quote by palliative care specialist Dr. John Scott).

Advocates of assisted suicide say people should be able to decide the time and place of their own death. If that is true then the ‘right’ of autonomous self-determination applies equally to suicidal healthy and able-bodied people as to the sick and disabled. There is no place for a National Suicide Prevention strategy or suicide prevention programs because they impose on the “right to choose the time and place of one’s own death.” The suicidal able-bodied and physically heathy person can say their emotional pain is as bad (or worse) than my physical pain and who are we to say it’s not. They could be right.[2] They could ask for help killing themselves in fear they might botch their suicide, putting them in a worse position, and jeopardize their twisted interpretation of “security of the person.”

In order for society to recognize one person’s perceived security of the person the greater community’s proper sense of interdependence will suffer. This must not be, Madam Chief Justice. The Common Good must prevail.

                                                                                                     Yours Sincerely,
                                                                                                     Mark Davis Pickup



[1] Even the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3, declares firstly the Right to Life before the Right to security of the person. It says nothing about a right to death either – and with good reason. Without the Right to Life guaranteed, all other human rights become arbitrary and uncertain. Death is an eventuality not a right.
[2] I have suffered great physical pain and great emotional pain. It is my experience that emotional pain is worse than physical pain and more difficult to treat.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

CHILDHOOD'S DIVINE SECRET

"From our own childhoods we remember that before our elders thought us capable of understanding anything, we already had spiritual experiences as pure and momentous as any we have undergone since, ... From Christianity itself we learn there is a level -- in the long run the only level of importance -- on which the learned and the adult have no advantage at all over the simple and the child."  ― C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)