“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, June 30, 2015

WRITING HOME FROM HAITI ORPHANAGE: DAY 1

LaRee teaching orphan children
30 June 2015
About an hour ago, LaRee wrote home from Haiti where she is teaching sewing to children at an orphanage. After two days of gruelling travel, she and my daughter were up early teaching orphans.

Here is the text of LaRee's note to me:


Laying out material to measure & cut
"Hi Mark -- Well, this has to be the most humbling experience I've ever had in my life. I feel disgusted and ashamed with myself. The people here have nothing, and I do mean nothing, and yet they seem happy and content. I honestly could never have imagined this kind of poverty, I have so much to write about, and we have only been here for 1.5 days.

The heat is unbearable. The humidity unreal! I was literally dripping huge droplets of water onto the sewing machines as well as the students!  The kids beamed with excitement when they actually began using the machines. I had to keep taking deep breaths in order to keep myself from bursting into tears! They are so keen to learn. 

Children with
Grandma LaRee
They constantly touch you, and if they were allowed they would climb on you and never let you go. Each of the children have their personal stories. They may not know the story yet, but possibly someday they will be told. 

One little fellow with CP is the most loving endearing little fellow, with a wonderful sense of humour. Karen, the lady that runs this orphanage, was told to just "throw"him away. That he would never see, hear, walk or talk. He does all of the above. Granted, with some difficulty, but he just glows with the love of life!  He is full of humor as well. Another little girl, who I instantly locked eyes with the moment we drove into the orphanage, has no parents, to anybody's knowledge. She is the sweetest child, I only wish I could bring her home with me. She absolutely beamed and giggled when she got behind the sewing machine. 

Another boy, mmmm about 13years old was found in a basket by the river, at about age 1.5 years old. His little legs were so crooked  that Karen was told to just throw him away as well, and choose another child that would be able to help himself. His name is (guess?) Moses of courseđź’“

Anyways, I am exhausted, mostly from the heat. I have something wrong with my eye, and am using polysporin for it. I have feet that would match yours....very swollen from the heat. But hopefully my body will adjust in a day or so.

Our sleeping arrangements are much better than we expected. I'll send photos later this evening. 

I have so much to write about, but can't possibly get it all down. The food is delicious. The cook is adorable. I would like to bring her home with me (as well as all of these children)

The noise at night is CRAZY! The crickets, frogs BIG FROGS, goats, tons of ROOSTERS! I hate roosters! Dogs, horses. Mosquitoes, noseeums.

The morning worship time was heartbreaking, heart warming, and I

just know that Jesus was in that room.

Mark, it is so overwhelming. If I stop to think about the things I have seen, I would break down completely, so you just keep going, and move on. 

It's getting close to supper. I will try to write more tonight.
I love you with all of my heart. 
LaRee"

God is Father to us all; we are His children through Jesus Christ.[1] 
(Help defray LaRee's costs here
http://www.gofundme.com/vvqtt8 )

Click image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuQ-IOA412w for "I Have A Father" by Marantha.


_____________________________________
[1] John 1.12, Phillipians 2.15, 1John 3.1-2.


  

GRANDMA LAREE TEACHES ORPHANS TO SEW

My latest column for The Western Catholic Reporter (Canada) appears under the title "Teach a Haitian Orphan to sew and you can clothe him or her for Life." And that is exactly what my wife LaRee is doing as I write these words. You can read my column at the bottom of this post.


Yesterday, LaRee and our adult daughter arrived in Haiti having lugged four sewing machines through airports at Edmonton, Dallas, Miami and on to Port Au Prince.  Once in Haiti, they traveled to a Christian orphanage and school over 50 miles of bad roads. Whew!


LaRee is going to teach the older orphans how to sew clothing for themselves and for the younger children. By the time "Grandma LaRee" is done, many orphans will be able to replenish clothes that wear out for a lifetime and also have a marketable skill. The sewing machines stay there along with supplies. Grandma LaRee is of an older mindset that values personal thrift and frugality, pride in one's work and developing skills that help to develop self-reliance within the overall interdependence of community. The two are complementary not contradictory. 

Just prior to leaving Canada, two other Haitian orphanages heard about what LaRee's trip and asked if she would consider returning to Haiti and teach their orphans. 

LaRee said she'll have to wait to see how this first trip goes. LaRee is 62 years old and the physical act of carrying sewing machines through 4 airports may be too hard. A different way of getting the sewing machines to Haitian orphanages will have to be worked out. LaRee will also have to get some secure funding to pay for her travel. Her fundraising effort for this trip fell short and we had to dip into our meagre savings to meet the deficit. LaRee taught sewing to children and adults for many years from beginner to advanced levels. Her sewing skills are astounding and have helped augment my modest government disability pension.

If you have any ideas for safely getting sewing machines to orphanages (without them being stolen along the way) write to LaRee at HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca .  If you would like to explore ways to help LaRee with future similar trips to Haiti orphanages that relieve the physical demands on her and allow her energies to teach sewing skills within her tender and loving evangelical Christian witness, write to her at the email above. [1] If you would like If you would like to help defray the costs of the present trip, go to http://www.gofundme.com/vvqtt8 

To read my column "Teach an orphan to sew  and you can clothe him or her for life" go here http://www.wcr.ab.ca/Columns/OpinionsStories/tabid/70/entryid/6727/Default.aspx

Mark
__________________________________
[1] LaRee and I have a mixed marriage. She is a born-again, Bible believing, evangelical Protestant and I am a born again, Bible believing evangelical Catholic. LaRee is equally comfortable working with Catholic or Evangelical missions, as long as the name of Jesus Christ is praised.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL RESPONSE TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGE RULING

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council based in Washington D.C. made the follow comment to the United States Supreme Court's homosexual marriage ruling:

"Five justices on the Supreme Court have overturned the votes of 50 million Americans and demanded that the American people walk away from millennia of history and the reality of human nature.
“In reaching a decision so lacking in foundation in the text of the Constitution, in our history, and in our traditions, the Court has done serious damage to its own legitimacy.
 “No court can overturn natural law.  Nature and Nature’s God, hailed by the signers of our Declaration of Independence as the very source of law, cannot be usurped by the edict of a court, even the United States Supreme Court. 
“Marriage is rooted not only in human history, but also in the biological and social reality that children are created by, and do best when raised by, a mother and a father. No court ruling can alter this truth.
“It is folly for the Court to think that it has resolved a controversial issue of public policy. By disenfranchising 50 million Americans, the Court has instead supercharged this issue.
"Just as with Roe v. Wade in 1973, the courts will not have the final say on this profound social matter.  The American people will stand up for their right to have a voice and a vote, especially as they experience the ways in which redefining marriage fundamentally impairs their freedom to live and work in accordance with their beliefs.
“With this ruling, the Supreme Court has set our government on a collision course with America’s cherished religious freedoms, explicitly guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution. 
“Americans will not stop standing for transcendent truth, nor accept the legitimacy of this decision.  Truth is not decided by polls or the passage of time, but by the One who created time and everything that exists therein. 
“We will not lapse into silence but will continue to speak uncompromisingly for the truth about what marriage is, always has been, and always will be: the union of one man and one woman,” [1]

__________________
[1] http://frc.org/scotus

FRANKLIN GRAHAM ON U.S. SUPREME COURT GAY MARRIAGE RULING

Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham of Samaritan's Purse, and son of Billy Graham, has responded to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on homosexual marriage. 

Read his statement here http://billygraham.org/story/franklin-graham-god-defines-marriage-not-the-supreme-court/  

He spoke with Fox News' Todd Starnes this morning about the ruling. Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP4B5d8zDVo 



Friday, June 26, 2015

A RESPONSE TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING ON HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE

I thought I would post a response of America's National Organization for Marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on same sex marriage.  There have been more than 390,000 hits to date on this blog. Two thirds are from America. This entry is for their consideration. The National Organization for Marriage statement is below. 

https://email.vervemail.com/hostedemail/email.htm?CID=17774635160&ch=D903B075D7A09384AF71A92C8510EA8B&h=69f2e83b82b9f3530942f8657cd143c5&ei=61bvBbpVN




Monday, June 22, 2015

HEART OF A FATHER

My last post was about my father. He was a dad par excellence. He instilled into me a love of fatherhood. 


My son Dean
Last evening my son had my wife and me, his brother-in-law, and his father-in-law over to his house for a barbecue. While sitting around a fire pit, I realized I was surrounded by good, no, great fathers -- men who love being husbands and fathers. They love their children with a father's adoring heart and are active in their children's lives. Although my daughter could not be present last night, she too is also married to a man who is a wonderful husband and father.

They are all men of good natures who are tender with their babies and have nurtured them throughout their growing years with a father's adoring heart. 

Not all children have such blessings. Society has a crisis of fatherless children. Children need their dads and they suffer without them. So does society.

I have posted below Eric Clapton's song "My Father's Eyes"
Eric Clapton
because it hints at the sadness of not knowing one's father. In 1985, Clapton told his biographer, "I never knew my father. And I realized that the closest I ever came to looking into my father's eyes was when I looked into my son's eyes." Sadly Eric Clapton lost his son Conor (4) in a tragic accident in 1991. Such sorrow! Later he wrote the moving and heartrending tribute to his son "Tears In Heaven".


Children need their father's love. A genuine father's heart needs his children to love. 

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bocDpFVhyDw for "My Father's Eyes" by Eric Clapton. ]




Sunday, June 21, 2015

THIS FATHER'S DAY

I came across a video called called "Tell Them Now" in honour of Father's Day. You can see it below. The video's title struck me. 



My father
Howard Pickup
You see, when I was sixteen years old, my father died of a fatal heart attack while we were downhill skiing. I only had about a minute to tell him I love him before he closed his eyes to slip into eternity. I didn't tell him that I loved him (although he knew it). It haunted me for years.

Since that winter day, more than forty-five years ago, I have made a point of often telling my wife, children and grandchildren I love them.  

If your father is still alive, show him and tell him you love him while there's still time. Show love to all your family; tell them often how much you love them.

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSnKNXuw5TE for short video "Tell Them Now"

Saturday, June 20, 2015

RONALD REAGAN ON FREEDOM OF CHOICE AND ABORTION

It is a biologically established fact that human life begins at the point of fertilization when sperm penetrates egg.


I BELIEVE IN LIFE



I am for our children born and unborn. That means giving love and
nurture to them and providing environments where they can thrive and rise to their full potential. I believe we must call out the cultural bigotry that does not view unborn children as part of the human family deserving equal care and protection. I must decry the evil of abortion and governments that pay for it with your tax dollars and mine. 

I stand for good  prenatal and post-natal care, clean drinking water and nutritious food and quality education and medical care for every child. I believe that children with disabilities must be included as indispensable members of our communities.    

I am pro-woman.  We must encourage every woman to reach the full potential God had in mind for them when He created them -- but never at the cost of another's right to life. I want our daughters and  granddaughters to always believe in their own worth and potential to follow their dreams. I want them to believe in themselves.

I believe in life -- at every state  and stage throughout the life spectrum, from conception to natural death. I believe in lifting up every life as worthy of life. I believe we must never abandon the sick or disabled to the darkness of euthanasia. Civilized people do not help suicidal people kill themselves, regardless of their circumstances.

Civilized people always seek life affirming solutions to human crisis. Only barbarians kill. I believe we are better than embracing death to solve problems. We can rise to the rightful dignity of the Divine image we all bear.  I believe we will see a new generation rise to live fully under the Lordship of Jesus and reject the folly of their parents' and grandparents' generations.

[Click on the image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B07iK9uh9qY&index=8&list=PLMQ1f9wJlhmEImlfnQ2w4kK1FEfEwFIP- for "We Are" by Kari Jobe, available on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-acoustic-sessions-live-ep/id721205929?ign-mpt=uo%3D4  



Thursday, June 18, 2015

WOMEN OF FAITH



See the Women Of Faith website at http://www.womenoffaith.com/ Excellent organization for, well, women of faith. Check their listings of conferences for one near you.




YOU DIDN'T HEAR THE POPE'S AFFIRMATION OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE? THERE'S A REASON.

You didn't hear Pope Francis affirmation of traditional marriage? There's a reason. The press that previously embraced him didn't like his comments so they gave it scant coverage.

See column  below by Terry Mattingly:

http://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2015/6/17/that-other-papal-statement-heres-your-rare-250-word-rns-report-on-a-gay-rights-issue?utm_content=bufferac6ff&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

RESPONDING TO CANADA'S DEADLINE FOR ASSISTED SUICIDE

My dear friends at Canada's Association for Reformed Political
Action (ARPA) have put together an important video for Canadian Christians during these months leading to the deadline for assisted suicide legislation impose by the Supreme Court of Canada. I urge Canadian readers of this blog to watch the video and respond as ARPA Executive Director, Mark Penninga urges. 

There is a line Canada must not cross in how we behave toward the sick, disabled and depressed and my nation stands at the edge of it.

I ask American readers of the HumanLifeMatters blog to watch the video (below) laying out the precarious position Canada is in with regards to assisted suicide and fight against it with tenacity when legislation come to your state. If you are in a state that has already legalized it, establish or support ministries that reach out to vulnerable populations.

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2ITKY00dKU]

Sunday, June 14, 2015

SOCRATES MEETS JESUS (THE PLAY)

This blog post requires an hour and ten minutes of your time. Sorry about that. Below is a YouTube link to a play called "Socrates Meets Jesus" taken from a 2002 book of the same name by Peter Kreeft. The play was written by Kevin O'Brien and delivered by an amateur theatre group in Worcester, Massachusetts, at a 2013 conference of the American Chesterton Society. 

From the video: After reading the Bible Socrates says he is surprised by the name of God: I AM, That I AM. (Exodus 3.14)

"That name seemed very special to me. ... When He is telling his name He is telling us his identity, His nature. He is 'Being' itself -- "AM", as well as personhood "I" -- I AM. That revelation to Moses was utterly unique and unpredictable."

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWxop3Kz8Fg ]



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CALIFORNIA'S BILL FOR EUTHANASIA AND ASSISTED SUICIDE

Below is the text of an email I sent to California's State Senators on 02 June 2015 regarding the state's euthanasia/assisted suicide bill SB-128 presently being considered. I am informed it will be before the Senate this week.



______________________________


To: The Hon. Bill Monning, California State Senate Majority Leader, The Hon. Bob Huff, California State Senate Minority Leader

Dear Senators:
Please forward this email to your senators prior to debating Senate Bill 128.

You will soon be considering Senate Bill 128 “End of Life Option Act”. It would enact an Oregon style assisted suicide/euthanasia law for terminally ill Californians. I ask you to reject this bill outright. As you're probably aware, as the Oregon experience verifies, the parameters of laws quickly move outside terminal illness to include non-terminal chronic illness and disability.

I have been incurably ill and disabled with degenerative multiple sclerosis (MS) for over 30 years. During the early years with my disease, my sorrow was so deep and my heartache so sharp, my judgement became clouded by grief. Had I not been surrounded by people who lifted up my value – even when I doubted my own value – I might have taken my life at a low point. When I was a 30 year old man, before the onset of MS, if some clairvoyant told me I would one day be in an electric wheelchair with only 1 limb unimpaired by disease, I would have rejected such a life. Back then, being able-bodied, active and athletic defined quality of life for me. And yet today, at the age of 62, my life has quality. Why? My standard for quality of life changed over time. Today what gives me quality of life is to love and to be loved. I have five beautiful grandchildren I would never have known if assisted suicide had been available to me during the 1980s.

I am a Canadian. As you know Canada’s Supreme Court recently struck down my nation’s laws against assisted suicide, opening wide the gates for physician assisted killing of suicidal sick and disabled people. Please do not take California down a similar path. It is not the hallmark of a “civil society”. There is nothing civilized about euthanasia or assisted suicide. Do not be fooled by euphemisms for killing like “death with dignity”. Dignity is not bestowed on people by injecting them with poison when they are at their lowest point. That is abandonment not dignity. Death with dignity is not an event, it is a process, the end result of having lived a life with dignity, benefiting from the best 21st Century palliative care (which is capable of eliminating physical pain), and being surrounded by loved ones.

Someone may say “What about those who do not have loved ones?” Precisely! What about them? Is the answer to euthanize them or seek to include them within the tender embrace of community? Another person may say, “I should have the autonomous right to determine the time and place of my own death.” Really? That presumes decisions only affect the individual making them. That is not true. Our decisions always impact others. The idea independent personal autonomy is diametrically opposed to the concept of interdependent community.

If I choose suicide (assisted or otherwise) it will not affect just me: It will affect my wife, children and grandchildren. It will impact my community and my doctor for I will ask her to stop being my healer and  become my killer. And it will affect my nation by helping to entrench the notion that there are some lives unworthy to be lived.

No, good senators of California, do not pass SB 128. Seek options that affirm life with dignity -- even when that life is drawing to its close.  I have such love and affection for America; I do not want to see more states passing legislation that allows the taking of human life.  It makes a nation poorer not richer. I can tell you that with the real dread and apprehension of my nation of Canada.

I am,
Respectfully yours,
Mark Davis Pickup
Canada

TEACH ORPHANS TO SEW AND YOU CLOTHE THEM FOR A LIFETIME

http://www.gofundme.com/vvqtt8

There is an ancient proverb that says,"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." So true.

My wife, LaRee Pickup, has been invited by Hands Across The Sea (HATS) orphanage and school in Haiti, to teach sewing to their children. 

Give children a garment you clothe them for a while. Teach them to sew and you clothe them for a lifetime. 

LaRee leaves for Haiti at the end of June. 


CENTRAL SEWING of Edmonton, Canada, has donated sewing machines which LaRee will have shipped to the orphanage before she leaves for Haiti. LaRee still needs supplies. To donate to this mission trip click on the link at the top of this post. 

Thank you. -- Mark

Monday, June 1, 2015

MY ARTICLE "A BATTERING RAM OF LIBERALISM" RE-PUBLISHED IN AMERICA

This morning, the American Life League (Stafford Virginia) re-
published my May 6th blog post "A BATTERING RAM OF LIBERALISM" on their website. This website reaches a massive Catholic audience across the United States.
See http://www.all.org/article/index/id/MTQ4Mzk/