“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
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Sunday, September 24, 2017
What I said was inconsequential compared to her testimony. I'm forced to live with disease and disability. LaRee chose to stay. She has so much life experience, from abortion to end-of-life-issues. LaRee's heart has often been broken yet remains tender and open to love for love's sake.
She spoke about the pain of watching a number of loved-ones' sufferings and deaths. Her mother spent her last years in a substandard nursing home. Without LaRee's constant advocacy on her mother's behalf, who knows how poor her care would have been. LaRee helplessly watched the infirmities of extreme old age and deaths with her beloved grandparents. For more than 30 years she has lived with my degeneration with aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS).
It was at my urging that LaRee agreed to walk on the stage to address people from all across America. She sat with me at the table provided and looked down at the table cloth. When it was her turn to address the audience, she slowly began to speak with a trembling voice: "There is a special torment experienced by those who watch a loved-one suffer. To see disease rack their bodies, and souls, increases the sum total of suffering ... because I suffer too."
The room became quiet as a tomb. Even the sound of air vents stopped. Still too timid to look up, LaRee continued, "I believe it is harder to watch degenerative disease torture and break my loved-ones, than to actually suffer the disease."
Something profound was about to unfold. LaRee slowly raised her head and looked at the expectant audience.
"Despite countless trials, love has prevailed. Love is like the two sides of a precious coin. The two sides of love are this: It is life’s greatest ecstasy but also the cause of life’s greatest agonies and anguish. The 19th Century writer, Victor Hugo said, 'To love or to have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life. To love is a consummation.' -- And so it is."
She paused, sighed, then continued: "And yet as a wife, mother and grandmother, I want more, and I ask further. I want to protect those I love from pain, emotional hurts, disappointments, and even life as it ends—but I cannot. So often I sat at the bedside of a suffering loved-one and begged God to give me their pain – as though there is some quota of suffering to be filled which I can bargain about with God. There is not."
LaRee went on to speak of life's agonies and love's triumphs, and broken-hearted victories that ultimately prove blessings can appear as burdens, and every life is precious and worth living, even when circumstances indicate otherwise. She spoke of a spiritual beauty only to be found in human brokenness and poverty of spirit.
It is in those shattered and tattered times of sorrow -- after convulsive weeping has reached its apex then subsides -- that the individual collapses emotionally and spiritually defeated and at the end of their human resources. Their heart lies on the floor raw and open like a deep wound. But it is open. Stillness descends. A small voice whispers "weary and heavy-heart, come to Me and I will give you rest." The divine lover and the loved can finally enter a communion of hearts. The loved understands everything happens for a reason and all things really do work together for good of those who love God; and human suffering today will give way to immeasurable glory tomorrow.
And although she did not say it, the inference was clear: the point of life is to love God with our whole being and one another with complete abandon. The joy is part of the pain and the pain is part of the joy. That's how love works.
"For now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see things with perfect clarity. For all I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely." Three things will last forever -- faith, hope and love -- and the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13.12-13)
Click the image below for a sweet song about love, suffering and faith despite trials of life.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
|Mount Edith Cavell|
that included dying for our sake even when we are his enemies. Gigantic and noble love that is rooted in Christ can raise the best of human ideals to the height of mountain peaks and the realm of angels. Christian love seeks the welfare of all and never seeks to wrong any. Christian love looks for opportunities to do good not only to fellow-believers but to everyone. When society’s love waxes cold Christian love excels.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Continuation of this government sponsored holocaust is a horrible betrayal of America's original vision:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
In the parlance of that time, men meant everyone. That vision was a
Thomas Jefferson rightfully put the right to life first because all other rights depend upon this first right in order to exist. To deny this original right to any group or segment of humanity is prejudice, bigotry, or sophistry.
GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD
Congress can present a new stand-alone bill for vote in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to stop funding Planned Parenthood. It will be in their hands to finally severe Planned Parenthood's parasitical dependency on government funding which is so offensive to millions of taxpayers. An organization so contentious should not be receiving government assistance.
[Although my perspective is Canadian, there was a time -- many years ago -- when I worked for the federal government's largest granting agency. We took particular care to avoid funding of any organization offensive a wide swath of the public.]
It is time for the American Congress to be presented for vote a bill that deals exclusively with defunding Planned Parenthood. The bill must not have any added amendments. The vote must not deal with levels of Planned Parenthood funding -- but whether they should receive any government funding at all.
This will bring into clear focus who in the Senate and House of Representatives actually supports the abhorrent work of Planned Parenthood and who does not. If the bill passes, and Planned Parenthood is defunded then voters can judge politicians' actions either way. (But imagine the non-contentious life-affirming programs and measures that can be funded with the $500,000,000 annually that would free up!)
But if the bill fails to pass and Planned Parenthood -- America's largest abortion provider and marketer of baby parts -- continues to receive half a billion dollars a year in government funding, let voters decide next election. Everyone from from the politicians in Washington to main street voters across America will decide whether they support the right of every child to be alive, or whether they support the barbarity of Planned Parenthood's death alternative to unwanted and unplanned children.
It is time America to vote. Present a bill dealing exclusively with government funding for Planned Parenthood. Do not let the vote be complicated with arguments about how much funding. The question simple: should Planned Parenthood be propped up by government support.
Here is why: I believe that Planned Parenthood is out of step with the with most of America. They insult the Founders' towering vision to which most Americans still embrace and hold dear. That is why Planned Parenthood would resist such a bill.
Monday, September 4, 2017