“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, January 31, 2017


U.S. Supreme Court nominee
Neil M. Gorsuch (49)
President Trump's nomination for Supreme Court is Justice Neil Gorsuch. He is a good choice and people with disabilities should be pleased. Judge Gorsuch's 2009 book THE FUTURE OF ASSISTED SUICIDE AND EUTHANASIA sets out clear legal and ethical arguments against assisted suicide.

Princeton University Press has this to say about THE FUTURE OF ASSISTED SUICIDE AND EUTHANASIA:

"The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia provides the most thorough overview of the ethical and legal issues raised by assisted suicide and euthanasia--as well as the most comprehensive argument against their legalization--ever published."

"In clear terms accessible to the general reader, Neil Gorsuch thoroughly assesses the strengths and weaknesses of leading contemporary ethical arguments for assisted suicide and euthanasia. He explores evidence and case histories from the Netherlands and Oregon, where the practices have been legalized. He analyzes libertarian and autonomy-based arguments for legalization as well as the impact of key U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the debate. And he examines the history and evolution of laws and attitudes regarding assisted suicide and euthanasia in American society."

"After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments for assisted suicide and euthanasia, Gorsuch builds a nuanced, novel, and powerful moral and legal argument against legalization, one based on a principle that, surprisingly, has largely been overlooked in the debate--the idea that human life is intrinsically valuable and that intentional killing is always wrong. At the same time, the argument Gorsuch develops leaves wide latitude for individual patient autonomy and the refusal of unwanted medical treatment and life-sustaining care, permitting intervention only in cases where an intention to kill is present."[1]

As a North American advocate for Life and disability issues I applaud the President's pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Legalization and public acceptance of assisted suicide sets back hard-won gains for disability rights, inclusion, and equality. The disabled of America should be thrilled with President Trump's nomination. Disability rights advocates, and their allies, must now lobby Democrats in Congress to support, not obstruct, this excellent nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court. Well done President Trump!

Mark Davis Pickup
[1] Princeton UniversityPress. http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8317.html


Never confuse license for liberty. The nation's sons paid the highest price for liberty. Click on link below.

Monday, January 30, 2017


In 1831, a highly respected French judge named Alex de Tocqueville, was sent by France to America to find out why there was so little crime at that time.  He studied American society, its beliefs and its prisons. In 1840, M. Tocqueville wrote a book entitled Democracy in America. 

The eminent judge wrote his conclusion about why America was great:

"I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests -- and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system and her institutions of higher learning -- and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution -- and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flaming with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

President Andrew Jackson was of a similar view. He believed America's greatness lay in its Christian faith. As he was laying on his deathbed, President Jackson pointed to a Bible on his night-table and told a friend, "That Book, Sir, is the rock on which our Republic rests."[1] 

Abraham Lincoln said this about the Bible:

“In regards to this great Book [the Bible], I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it." [2]

One laments that 177 years after Alex de Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America, America's crime rate is not low. It is high. People stay barricaded in their houses each night behind the bolted doors and security systems. America's prisons are stuffed full. Could it be because God has been shut out of daily life, public schools and universities? Is it possible that the decline of America has something to do with the fact that the Bible is unwelcome in public discourse an many centers of power and influence, or that the press is openly hostile to Christians and their Holy Book? 

The biggest threat to America is not from outside her borders but from decay within. Fifty-nine million of the America's children have been systematically destroyed by abortion. Where is the future in that?Medically assisting in the suicides of the nation's sick and disabled who have despaired of life is creeping across the landscape. Marriage have been redefined by the highest court in the nation. Murder in some cities are at crisis levels. I fear the spiritual and moral decay is advanced, and American civilization may be at the edge of the abyss of extinction. 

And yet, I do not believe it is too late. God is calling America back to Him and to embrace again a Judeo-Christian moral consensus and the sanctity of life and marriage.

There is change in the air.  A new Administration has been elected filled with devout Christians who want to make America great again. How will that be done? America's greatness does not lie in its enormous economic success or its military prowess -- as important as those things are -- it lies in returning to her Christian foundations with a national Christian revival and a spiritual change and renewal the hearts of her people. 

Fill America's churches where the pulpits flame with Biblical righteousness and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  A national chorus will rise again to the heavens -- Glory Hallelujah!


[1] Dag Heward-Mills, BASIC THEOLOGY,  (Xulon Press, 2011) p.29. (https://books.google.ca/books?id=_1bduk2_UsMC&pg=PA29&lpg=PA29&dq=Andrew+Jackson+%22That+Book,+Sir,+is+the+rock+on+which+our+Republic+rests%22&source=bl&ots=SIjdjGxfgI&sig=xsMlTtbC3ZgbTG63zOCopdyKzfE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiJzo7Pw-vRAhVE6YMKHZi0DMIQ6AEIPzAI#v=onepage&q=Andrew%20Jackson%20%22That%20Book%2C%20Sir%2C%20is%20the%20rock%20on%20which%20our%20Republic%20rests%22&f=false)

[2] Heward-Mills, p.29.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


President Trump signs
executive order reinstating the
Mexico City Policy
As a North American advocate for Life & disability issues, I was thrilled to learn President Trump issued an executive order on his first day in Office to reinstated the Mexico City Policy. 

This policy requires international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to agree to not promote or provide abortions, in order to be eligible for US funding. 

The Mexico City Policy was put in place in 1984 by President Reagan. It was successful implemented by the pro-Life Republican Administrations of Presidents H.W. Bush and George W. Bush rescinded by pro-abortion Democratic Presidents Clinton and Obama. Thanks to President Trump the policy is rightfully back in place. 

In a January 23rd 2017 press release by Republican Congressman Chris Smith (New Jersey) stated,

Chris Smith
"Without this protection in place [the Mexico City Policy] foreign NGOs receiving u.S. government funds promote abortion throughout the world with the imprimatur of the United States, ... Organizations like Marie Stopes International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation have reported performing over 1 million abortions annually. Pro-abortion NGOs also set up additional projects oversees seeking to topple pro-Life laws, imposing a new colonialism that fails to respect life-affirming cultures."

I hope and pray that America is emerging from the dark years of Barack Obama's Presidency into new sunlit uplands where every human life is protected an cherished from conception to natural death and every state and stage between those two points. God bless America.

For Congressman Smith's full press release see


Saturday, January 21, 2017


In the Gospel of Matthew (11.25-30) you will find a much loved passage where Jesus says “Come to me, all you who weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Our Lord was extending an invitation to those who follow Him to be obedient to his words.

From the writings of the saints and testimonies of countless Christians throughout the centuries, we know these words of Jesus are true. Although Jesus was addressing Jews suffering under the weight of unnecessary religious responsibilities of the Pharisees, his invitation was, and remains, open to all.

There is something about resting in the love of Christ that has lightened the burdens that I have encountered in my life. Why? I know He is the hope of mankind, the Alpha and Omega – the consummation all things seen and unseen. And as I just stated, Christ is the truth in whom millions of spiritually burdened people have found rest and peace not only today but ever since  Christ made that promise.

Our Lord’s words carry an echo of the first beatitude found earlier in the book of Matthew: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” People who carry heavy spiritual burdens are often the same people who are poor in spirit.

Why would the poor in spirit be blessed? It flies in the face of worldly thinking; we live in a self-centered time that promotes hollow self-esteem and self-exaltation. Well, I think that people who know they are poor in spirit are usually acutely aware of their utter need for something more than themselves. Their abject internal poverty can make them seek God’s mercy. They understand their need of forgiveness and they dare to imagine they can be right with God. They find the answer to their seeking in the forgiveness offered by Jesus Christ, through faith. The Master's blood on the cross can settle their problem of sin. Never underestimate the restorative power found in the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Spiritual blindness can fall from the eyes of a darkened human heart burdened by the weight of sin. The first rays of Christ’s light can break through a heart of darkness as a direct response to the first inklings of new faith (however fragile that faith may be).  Christ became poor so that we might become rich. He died that we may live. He conquered death so that we can experience resurrection too.

Those who are poor in spirit are closer than they think to another of the Beatitudes: becoming “clean of heart”.  Christ said “Blessed are clean of heart, for they shall see God.” The kingdom of God (heaven) is where humanity sees God clearly for all eternity. St. Paul said, “At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face.” (1Corinthians 13.12.)

The kingdom of God is not just our possession at some point in the future. It begins here and now as we humbly detach ourselves of earthly interests in favour of an ever closer attachment and devotion to Christ. Earthly things are no longer see solely as objects for self-gratification rather for the pursuit of a perfect charity, furthering the Gospel, and the glory of God.

In reference to “Blessed are the poor in spirit”, the Church teaches that the Beatitudes “reveal an order of happiness and grace, of beauty and peace. Jesus celebrates the joy of the poor, to whom the kingdom already belongs.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2546.)

The rich rely on their own self-sufficiency and abundance.  It is the poor of spirit who look to God for their hope instead of the world. In doing so they are surprised to find true happiness. The Catechism assures us that as the poor in spirit devote themselves to God with complete abandon, they find themselves free from anxieties about tomorrow. Then it says, “Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God.”

At a personal level, I have been given opportunities to witness for Christ to other incurably ill people and their families. My wheelchair allows me entrance into their grief, their fears and their sorrows. I tell them how Christ abides with me in the poverty of my physical circumstances. He is leading me home and restores my hope and lessens my earthly burdens. He can do the same for them.

God can reveal himself to us even at our points of deepest anguish – when our burdens seem too heavy to be borne. We can go to Christ. He will give us rest.

[Click image below for "Enter The Rest of God", by Brian Doerksen]

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017


I keep a copy of The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis, beside my Bible on my night table. I read the Bible to begin my days and excerpts of The Imitation of Christ to conclude many of my days.  
If I were to be exiled to a remote island, they are the two books I would take. Recently I was reading Kempis’ words on being thankful for God’s grace: “Prepare yourself for patient suffering rather than for consolation, for bearing the cross rather than rejoicing.” I paused and thought how different my experience has been.
I have been so blessed by God’s consolation and joy even during my thirty-two year journey of suffering with multiple sclerosis, and cancer. I did not expect it during periods of suffering and was always astounded to discover Christ’s nearness at points of greatest anguish and fear.
Kempis continued and spoke of God’s consolation: “Spiritual consolation surpasses all worldly delights and bodily pleasures.”  Yes, disease and disability stripped away my capacity to acquire many worldly pleasures for myself and my family but God has infused His love into my world and that surpasses anything the world can offer.
I have been chronically ill for more than half of my life. I think I can see now why God allowed it. The Bible tells me that all things work for good to those who love God (Romans 8.28). It’s true. I’m not the same man I was. Before sickness and disability, my life was ruled by selfish ambitions, an inflated ego and pride. My relationship with Christ was hobbled and shallow.
There’s a cute saying: “If God is your co-pilot, you need to change seats.” That was me. Although not acknowledged as such, I foolishly believed I was the master of my own destiny and God was coming along for the ride to bless me.  I needed to be humbled and brought to my knees. It took disease and disability to do that. My monumental pride and illusions of self-sufficiency needed to be shattered.
In writing about God’s consolation, Thomas à Kempis said “A false sense of liberty and overconfidence in one’s self are obstacles to such heavenly visitations.”  Earthly gain pales in comparison to the treasures of heaven. Things may give us happiness but God is the source of Joy. Again, Kempis wrote, “The world promises things that are passing and of little value and it is served with great enthusiasm.”  He said that Jesus “promises things that are most excellent and eternal and men’s hearts remain indifferent.” Men’s hearts remain indifferent because their perspective does not include the eternal.
Kempis wrote, “For a pittance men will travel great distance, but for eternal life they will scarcely take a single step. … [N]either do they hesitate to wear themselves out working day and night for some foolish promise or trifling object.”  The best the world has to offer are foolish promises and trifling objects compared to the glory of heaven.  
Jesus said:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Therein rests a blessing of chronic illness in my life. It gave me a new perspective. I began to shift my focus from what is seen to what is unseen. The Apostle Paul exhorted us in this:
“For our light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.” (2Corinthians 4.17-18.)
Three decades of sickness and disability are momentary in light of eternity.  Christ’s presence and grace have been my consolation.  He calls me to new levels relationship with him through faith and trust in His sovereignty.  Ever so slowly I have begun to understand what the great Catholic theologian Fulton Sheen meant when he stated, “Abandonment of self to Truth is a prelude to entering into the joy of the Lord.”

Until I was prepared to empty myself to the Truth of Jesus Christ I could not be filled with his consolation or joy. My pride and ego and overconfidence needed to be broken. That is a gift of suffering. Not everyone needs to suffer catastrophic illness to experiencer God’s consolation. Apparently it was needed for me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


New York based publication The Human Life Review has just brought a new blog online. I wrote an article about Chinese dissident and human rights advocate Wei Jingsheng, and the universality of human rights See


Below is a short video I want you to see. An 11 year girl with cerebral palsy talks to us. She has some things to say.

Monday, January 9, 2017


Pope John Paul II once said that the answer to the ‘Why’ of suffering depends on the ability to comprehend the sublimity of divine love. Unfortunately for most of us, it is beyond our ability to comprehend the wonder and perfection of God’s love. Left to my own means, I could not comprehend it; the ‘Why’ of suffering would remain unanswered.

More than thirty years of chronic and incurable disease have often raised the question ‘Why?’  

During my early years with aggressive multiple sclerosis, physical, emotional and spiritual pain scorched like a fire and occupied most of my attention. Internal panic and anguish completely distracted me from being internally still and listening with my heart and not my head, as diseased attacked my body. The ‘Why’ of my suffering was not actually a question – it was part pleading prayer and part desperate demand that seemed to fall into a deaf universe.

The universe may have seemed deaf but the Creator of it is not. God is not some distant, disinterested cosmic entity. He is near, intimate and listening, beckoning humanity to enter His sublime love.  

My natural self-absorbed and prideful state prevents me from receiving God’s perfect love or returning a perfect love to Him. It has simply not been within me to receive or give either. As long as I remained as I was, God’s love would have remained incomprehensible to me.  As long as I was guilty of self-idolatry there was no room for His gigantic love or true worship of Him.

While it is true that God accepts us as we are, it is also true that He does not want us to remain as imperfect and spiritually wretched that we are in our natural state. In his wonderfully insightful book, The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis put it this way: 

“To ask that God’s love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God: because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loves us He must labour to make us lovable.”

As years of infirmity have passed; my own anguish has revealed new dimensions of the reality that God truly and intimately loves me and wants me to intimately love Him in return. He could not leave me in my natural state. The purifying fire of affliction was/is needed to shatter my monumental ego and illusion of self-sufficiency that blinded me from all but the most basic and superficial spiritual truths. I needed to relinquish ownership of my physical, emotional and spiritual pain to Christ.

I needed to surrender, surrender and surrender again my life to God’s will. When I did this (after all other options were exhausted) Christ allowed me to unite my suffering and defeat with His suffering and victory over sin and death.  

As Pope John Paul told us in his Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris,that Christ's suffering
and death and Resurrection can save us from the ultimate suffering which is the loss of eternal life.  At the cross Christ achieved our redemption through his suffering.

If I accept that God is a good God of love (and I do) then I must conclude that my pain is necessary. God would not permit it if it is unnecessary. I think I am finally getting an inkling of why my suffering is necessary. My ego and self-idolatry had to be broken in order for the possibility of self-transcendence. The vehicle for that transcendence toward perfection in Christ is suffering.

A 1996 EWTN commentary about Pope John Paul’s Salvifici Doloris stated, “In the cross of Christ not only is the Redemption accomplished through suffering, but also human suffering itself has been redeemed.”  Later the commentary states: 

“Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished.” In doing so, each sufferer is invited to share in the redemptive suffering of Christ.

St. Paul in Prison (1627)
by Rembrandt van Rijn
The Apostle Paul commented on this in his own life: “I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2.20) This is done by uniting our suffering with Christ’s suffering through personal surrender to Him and offering our pain as a sacrifice to further Christ’s witness, content with whatever that might mean here on earth. 

In heaven I shall finally comprehend the sublimity of God’s divine love. I will know just as I am known.


Sunday, January 8, 2017


There was a man of the Pharisees names Nicodemis, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do the things that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemis said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3.1-6)

Born again. That's what our Lord said. He was referring to spiritual rebirth through Him. The Apostle Peter touched upon this rebirth when he wrote: "You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the the living and enduring word of God. For 'all flesh is like grass and its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls.' That word is the good news that was announced to you."

To have a personal encounter with Christ, who is the Word (see John 1.1), whereby the interior man is changed can be a spiritual rebirth. Spiritually, the old man dies away, with its lusts for power, status, wealth, sex, or acquisition. A new man in Christ emerges who is now concerned about divine love of God and for others, and personally drawing closer to Christ.

The Apostle Paul referred to death of the old man this way: "For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. For if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." - Romans 6.5-8)

The new Christian is a babe or child in the faith. Peter spoke about babes needing pure milk. Jesus said "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18.3) Notice that Christ said childlike not childish. He held up a child as a model because children are dependent upon, and trust in, their parents. Christ's followers should be likewise to God. As they grow in faith, they should move from milk to meatier faith, wisdom and understanding. The one thing that does not change is dependence and trust in God.

Perhaps that is where my serious and degenerative disability has worked to my advantage. Throughout more than 30 years of fear and anguish associated with aggressive multiple sclerosis, I have learned that I must trust God and clearly understand and accept that I can not take this journey on my own, and nor should I. I'm completely dependent on Him.