“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, April 29, 2014

FAMILY TRAGEDY IN ARKANSAS

The Tittle family of Arkansas

On Sunday, April 27th, the Tittle family lost their home in a deadly tornado that hit central Arkansas. Rob (the father) and daughters Tori and Bekah lost their lives. Their home was completely destroyed down to the foundation.

Miraculously, Kerry and the other 7 children have survived with relatively few injuries. Please pray for Kerry and the children as they deal with this loss on many fronts. Pray for comfort, for healing, for strength, and for trust in God when the events of their lives are beyond understanding. God promises in Isaiah 41:10, “I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Rob and Kerry Tittle were involved with the homeschool movement. Please include Kerry and the surviving children in your prayers and leave a supportive note for kerry on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RobKerryTittle 

The Tittle Family are regular conference speakers in the Homeschool community and own a small business called Reformation Kidz. The homeschool business provides character building resources that include solid theology and historical significance, to assist parents in raising children for the glory of God.

A fund has been established at the church whereby individuals can give financially on their behalf. If you would like to donate, you may do that in one of the following ways:
  1. Send a check to the church made out to “The Bible Church of Little Rock” with “Tittle Emergency Fund” in the memo.Address: The Bible Church of Little Rock, 19111 Cantrell Rd., Little Rock, Arkansas, 72223, USA.
  2. Visit any Simmons Bank location and ask to contribute to the “Bible Church – Tittle Family Fund.”
  3. Donate using the PayPal button below.
We don’t always know what God is doing, but we can be assured that He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose in Christ (Romans 8:28).

To Donate go to the Church Website, and click the PayPal Donate button directly from the church Site. http://www.bclr.org/tittle/

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

THE JOY OF ORTHODOX PASCHA, BY WESLEY J.SMITH

WesleyJ. Smith
I want to share an excellent article about Pascha (Easter) written by my friend Wesley J. Smith for First Things magazine. It appears under the title "The Joy of Orthodox Pascha". In it we are given insight into the world of our eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ. Click on this link.
http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/04/the-joy-of-orthodox-pascha

Saturday, April 19, 2014

IF I HAD ONLY 1 PIECE OF ADVISE FOR THE SICK AND DISABLED

If I were only to give one piece of advise to an individual facing the prospect of disability or chronic illness, it would be this: Put your trust in Jesus Christ. You will find that He is the center of all that exists.[1] Once you have grasped that beautiful mystery, everything else in life becomes an irrelevance and a diversion. I have discovered that even in my darkest hours Christ has been with me. The beautiful mystery at the center of existence is the light of Christ.[2]

Once you have discovered the Light of the world, let it shine for all to see. Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, there is no other.[3] It is so sweet to trust in Him regardless of our circumstances. 

Mark

(Signing of ''Tis So Sweet to Click below for http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuPGqEntuxc )




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[1] John 1.3-4.
[2] John 1.4, 9, 8.12; Also see 2 Corinthians 4.6;
[3] John 3.16-21, 8.24, 14.6 Acts 4.12; Cf. 1 Corinthians 3.11.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

C.S. LEWIS IN HIS OWN WORDS


Hear C.S. Lewis in his own words. For a tidbit of his wisdom click on the image below or here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkuyRm8OP8k It's a little over a minute long. Excellent.



BLOG SURPASSES 275,000 HITS

The HumanLifeMatters blog has surpassed 275,000 hits.
Readership is primarily American, Canadian and European. Articles (maximum 700 words) are welcome but should pertain to the mandate as identified at the top of the blog. Send your submissions for consideration to HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca under the title "Article submission." (Submissions opposing the mandate of the blog will be considered but expect to be challenged and be prepared to defend your position.)

 I will also considering posting upcoming events such as conferences dealing with Christian living, Life issues or disability.

Mark Davis Pickup   

Monday, April 14, 2014

C.S. LEWIS ON SEXUAL MORALITY

C.S. Lewis
The YouTube video below is called "On sexual morality, by C.S Lewis". It is from an essay he wrote in 1963 (the year the great man died). My copy is entitled "We Have No 'Right to Happiness'" and appears in a collection of C.S. Lewis essays on theology in the book God in the Dock (HarperCollins, 1998). From the essay:

"In words that are cherished by all civilized men, but especially the Americans, it has been laid down that one of the rights of man is the right to "the pursuit of happiness". And now we get to the real point."

"What did the writers of that august declaration mean?"

"It is quite certain what they did not mean. They did not mean that man was entitled to  pursue happiness by any and every means -- including, say, murder, rape, robbery, treason and fraud. No society could be built on such a basis."

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBp8M8M4DMs for an illustrated version of the essay.]
  


Saturday, April 12, 2014

BEETHOVEN'S COUNTRY MUSIC

I like large cities but I prefer my small town near farmers' pastures and open spaces of the country. Architecture, culture and frenetic energy of urban life is exciting but the symphony of nature and rhythms of rural life speaks to my soul. The presence of God can be found in a quiet afternoon in the country or a violent storm with thunder-claps that rattles the windows of my little house and lightening that lights up the night sky.

Ludwig van Beethoven's love of nature. Someone has said that he found his equilibrium in the country. It was Beethoven's love of nature that inspired his beloved 6th Symphony. 

[Click on image below or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQGm0H9l9I4 for  Ludwig's van Beethoven's 6th Symphony, "Pastorale"]

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WESLEY J. SMITH ON EUTHANASIA AND QUEBEC ELECTION

Wesley J. Smith
See Wesley J. Smith comments in the National Review on the fate of the Quebec euthanasia bill and the election that saw the PQ ousted. Go to http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism 

ARE YOU SUFFERING? TRUST GOD

This past weekend I met four other people with multiple sclerosis. It was not by design. I met them at events that had nothing to do with MS or disability. The uncertainty of the disease is terrifying them all. Multiple sclerosis can take a benign course and cause very little disability or it can take a vicious course and cause great disability -- or any variation between those two points. Unfortunately for three out of the four people, the disease is causing considerable damage. The common thread I detected in them all was fear and sadness -- I could see it in their eyes.


I know their terror of going to bed at night fearful of what tomorrow may bring. I know the grief of losing physical function. Tasks that were once second nature become difficult or impossible. I know the loneliness of being avoided by people and the sadness of being passed over when once we were sought. We, the disabled, make healthy and able-bodied people uncomfortable. (Perhaps that's one reason why so many people favor helping us commit suicide. Out of sight, out of mind.)

Of the people with MS that I met last weekend, I have had multiple sclerosis the longest (30 years). What advice would I give them if they were to ask me how to endure this horrible disease? Trust God. Seek Christ in everything. Make Christ your interior Guide and Master. 

Christ has been with me me through the most terrifying MS attacks. Christ has been present through the storms rather than delivering me from them. We do not not understand why. Simply trust God. 

I do know the Bible says that all things work for good for those who trust God.[1] My present sufferings are but a moment compared to the glory that shall be revealed in me.[2] Even though my body is being destroyed Christ is preparing a new home for me.[3] This is not unique to me.
Thomas a Kempis
(1380-1471)

We  have an interior life and an outward life. Thomas à Kempis wrote in his Christian masterpiece "The Imitation of Christ":

"Christ's glory and beauty are interiorly experienced and it is within you that He delights to be. He frequently visits the man who loves the interior life. He gently speaks to him, lovingly comforts him, gives him deep peace, and shares intimacy beyond words." [4]

It is true. Even in the midst of terrors of aggressive disease I have
experience the deep peace of Christ. He abides forever.[5] The Holy Spirit consoles.Within this towering truth lies another principle: We are to be in the world yet not part of the world. Sanctified.[6] Our interior life in Christ does not mean that we should also turn inward and focus on our affliction or suffering. 

On the contrary, I have discovered that the best therapy is service to others. It takes my focus off my own predicament and gives added purpose and meaning to my experience of suffering. Very soon I discovered there are others worse off than me. 

In as much as Christ has given us understanding and comfort, we can let His consolation to us overflow for the benefit of other sufferers.[7] 


Even in our afflictions and suffering we can take the message of hope in Christ to others. Perhaps our afflictions and suffering may give us unique access to others in their private pain. With Christ, joy follows suffering. With the deep peace that only Christ can give there can even be divinely inspired joy in the midst of suffering!

(Click on the image below or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPejUcKVbG0 for Michael W. Smith's song Joy Follows Suffering)





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[1] See Romans 8.28. Also see John 14.1.
[2] Romans 8.18. Also see 2Corinthians 4.8,  1Peter 5.10.
[3] 2Corinthians 4.16-5.1-2. Cf. John 14.1-3.
[4] Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, (New York: Random House, 1998), p.47.
[5] John 12.34.
[6] See Jesus' prayer in John 17.15-20. The Nelson's New Christian Dictionary defines sanctification as "Act, process, or experience of consecration and purification by which a person is made holy and acceptable to God through the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit."
[7] See 2 Corinthians 1.5. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

IMPOSED DEATH - A CONFERENCE ON STEALTH EUTHANASIA

https://www.imposeddeath.org/index.php/conferences/minnesota-coference/

See the link above for a conference in Minneapolis, May 2-3, 2014. A must attend for people concerned about creeping euthanasia acceptance in North America.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

SUPPORT LOCAL ARTS: BRING BEAUTY TO YOUR WORLD


In the small Canadian prairie town where I grew up there is an arts centre named after my mother. The Eleanor Pickup Arts Centre is dedicated to the performing arts.  At center-stage sits a grand piano like a tribute to her. My mother taught piano for 60 years. 

Even at the age of 93 years, as she lay dying of cancer in a hospital palliative care unit, she gave final instructions to a favourite young protégé. It's true, I was there to see it. 


Painting of my mother
(1962)
My mother loved performing arts -- whether music, theatre or dance. She loved visual arts such as painting and film. She passed that love on to me. My children and grandchildren are artistic. 

The arts bring such richness to life. Support them in your community. The arts encourage development in young people and enhance community life and give great enjoyment to you. Invest yourself in a local theatre group, music festivals, an arts centre, or perhaps a community writers' guild. 

Human beings are creative by nature. Encourage them. Bring beauty to your world. -- Mark

Click image below or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsOUcikyGRk for Valentina Lisitsa playing Ludwig van Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27, No.2, Movements 1,2,3.
[It should be noted that Beethoven wrote his Moonlight Sonata in mounting despair of increasing deafness. At the time of this composition, he considered suicide. In a letter to his brother, Beethoven later wrote "Thanks...to my art I did not commit suicide." Thankfully for our sakes he did not. Beethoven went on to write some of his greatest masterpieces despite his deafness.]





Wednesday, April 2, 2014

AVAILABLE TO SPEAK

If I have anything left to say it is that we are not autonomous beings. We are a human family that is called to interdependent community under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. God loves us and wants us to love Him; we all bear the indelible image of God; we must not deal with each other treacherously. Every life has value and we are called to nurture and protect our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Every human being from the moment of conception to natural death -- and every state and stage between those two points. 

I am available to address churches, pro-Life groups, schools and universities about euthanasia, assisted suicide and/or a Christian perspective of suffering. -- Mark



CONTACT for bookings by email  at humanlifematters@shaw.ca