“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, September 18, 2018

THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF BRETT KAVANAUGH

The Honorable Judge Brett Kavanagh is being attacked from every angle by liberals and liberal Democrats. Why? They are afraid that his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court will tip the scales in a conservative direction and put their beloved Roe v. Wade in jeopardy.  What they euphemistically call reproductive choice is the choice to kill unwanted unborn children.

As decision day on Brett Kavanaugh draws near, the Democrats are getting desperate to stop his appointment to the Supreme Court. They are even prepared to highlight the dubious accusation of a woman who stepped forward to accuse him of sexual assault over 30 years ago when they were teenagers. The claim is unsubstantiated and Judge Kavanaugh has categorically denied it.

Christine Blasey Ford accuses Brett Kavanaugh of groping her while he was in a drunken state at a teen party when he was seventeen years old. It would be a case of he-said-she-said, if it was not for the only alleged eyewitness Mark Judge.  Ford claims he was present. Mr. Judge says her sex assault claim is completely false, and Ford is lying. Over the next few days, watch to see if the Democrats will try to suppress or ignore Mr. Judge's word and accentuate Ms. Ford's allegation.

We must ask a few questions: Why did Christine Ford come forward with this accusation now, after three decades? Might the answer have something to do with her anti-Trump political activism? (She reported wore a pink brain "pussy hat" at an anti-Trump rally.)

Why are the Democrats so wholeheartedly embracing an unsubstantiated allegation without establishing its veracity? The answer might lie in the fact that the Democratic Party cares less about truth than winning. They are not above trumping up false allegations to discredit opponents or people with whom they disagree (pun intended). We need only remember Roy Moore, Justice Neil Gorsuch and even further back to Justice Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork.

Should Christine Blasey Ford be heard? Absolutely! But If her allegation against Brett Kavanaugh does not hold up to scrutiny, and her testimony proves to be false, then Christine Blasey Ford's behaviour must be utterly condemned by people of all political stripes! It would tarnish the real testimony of women who have been sexually assaulted. It would possibly even hurt the #MeToo movement.  That would be wrong and an injustice to Justice Brett Kavanaugh!

MDP

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A THOUGHT ABOUT THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE

“Precisely by contemplating the precious blood of Christ, the sign of his self-giving love, the believer learns to recognize and appreciate the almost divine dignity of every human being and can exclaim with ever renewed and grateful wonder: "How precious must man be in the eyes of the Creator…” 

Pope St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, #25

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

STACKING THE DECK FOR EUTHANASIA IN CANADA?

Well, Canada is into its second year of medical killing.  More than 99% of our killings under the Justin Trudeau government's so-called Medically Assistance in Dying law are really legalized lethal injections. That's medical killing, not medical assistance in dying. Medical assistance in dying is called palliative care. What we have is euthanasia on demand (or even coerced). A recent story came out about coercion to accept "medical assistance in dying" (euphemism for euthanasia). 

Roger Foley (42) who suffers from cerebral ataxia has released an
audio tape he says proves an Ontario hospital offered him assisted suicide when he actually wants to live with dignity at home. Mr. Foley stated, 

“I have not received the care that I need to relieve my suffering and have only been offered assisted dying.  I have many severe disabilities and I am fully dependent. With the remaining time I have left, I want to live with dignity and live as independently as possible.” 

Mr. Foley continued:

“It is the real truth of what is going on in Canada regarding so many assisted deaths without appropriate safeguards, in combination with the lack of necessary care that is not being provided to persons who are suffering,” 

Foley's lawyer commented: "“Here he is, needing society’s help and care and we turn our back on him and we’re in essence … asking him if he is interested in assisted dying rather than working with him to provide the services he needs,” 

A spokesperson for Canada's Health and death Ministry parrotted the official government line that the federal government's 
policy ensures safe and consistent access to medically assisted death for all Canadians, in accordance with all Charter rights.  Yada-yada. (Pssst! The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not mention a right to death, only a right to life.) The new right to death is a recent twisted aberration of the Canadian Supreme Court.

Welcome to 21st Century Canada where killing the vulnerable is good and helping them to live with dignity is bad. Oh, Canada! 

You can see the news article here.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF LOVE

My grandson comforting me
There was a time when multiple sclerosis (MS) threatened me with quadriplegia. It was not the excellent medical care I received that sustained me, it was love that got me through it. Happily, the attack receded, the love did not.  

Never underestimate the power of love (human and Divine). When all is said and done, love is all that really matters

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

FATAL FLAWS DOCUMENTARY SHOWING IN CALIFORNIA STATE CAPITOL


Kevin & me during taping of one
of his previous documentaries
My friend and documentary filmmaker Kevin Dunn has made another penetrating film showing the fatal flaws of assisted suicide. Below is the text of an email I received this morning regarding his most recent documentary entitled FATAL FLAWS.

California will shortly be considering AB 282, a measure to expand The promotion of assisted suicide; it will also aid in their litigation defense.

Fatal Flaws will be shown today in the State Capitol and all legislators and staff are being invited.    Please hold the subsequent deliberations in prayer. 

The Isle of Guernsey considered similar AS measure. Fatal Flaws was shown before the vote and author was in attendance. She wept at the viewing and the next day withdrew the measure.

Keep fighting, friends. Keep presenting the truth.  And of course, keep praying.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

WE WERE NOT SAVED TO BE SILENT

We were not saved to be silent. Christ wants us to take the Good News to the world. He said:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the ends of the age."[1] 

In another place, Christ said that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name. He said we are witnesses to these things.[2] I was not saved to be silent and if you have met the risen Christ and given your heart to Him, then you know the hope and joy that He offers. You were not saved to be silent. 


Not only that, Christ also said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."[3] Elsewhere we read Saint Paul's words of encouragement to fellow-Christians: "And may the Lord make you increase in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you.[4] [My emphasis added]

If Christ told his disciples to take the Good News to all nations, then surely that also includes our next door neighbor and our own communities. We were not saved to be silent. Our secular culture demands that we keep our faith private, that we 'don't shove our faith down their throats.' It is not Christians shoving our faith down their throats, secularism is being shoved down our throats. Who shall we obey: the secularists or Jesus Christ? 

As I write these words, my teenage granddaughter and grandson are
witnessing to people in the poorest areas of a major Canadian city. They are bold yet tender; their faith is alive and joyful; they want others to know the same life and joy in Christ. They are not only witnessing to addicts and prostitutes and other broken people living in the inner city, they are witnessing to their grandfather. If they can travel a thousand miles to take Christ's Great Commission to the world around them, then surely I can take the Gospel to my comfortable, tidy and well-tended street and community. 

The young teach the old.

MDP
_________________
Notes:
[1] Matthew 28.19-20.
[2] Luke 24.47-48. Cf Acts 1.8.
[3] John 13.34-35. cf. 1Thessalonians 4.9
[4] 1Thessalonians 3.12.

Friday, August 3, 2018

CHRISTIANITY IS PRO-LIFE

This past February, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' pro-Life blog "Life Issues Forum: How To Build A Culture of Life" had a revealing quote for devout Christians (not just Catholics):

"When someone is facing great trials, we need to meet them where they are, walk with them on their journey, intercede for them, and be open to sharing Christ's love however he directs."

"When a woman becomes pregnant, and her boyfriend threatens to leave if she continues the pregnancy, we need to lovingly walk with her. When parents of young children need a break, we need to consider how we can help and act on it. When family members or friends become seriously ill, we need to assure them that God still offers them something in this life, and they still have purpose. We need to consistently be with them every step of the way."

"Our lives are often changed by the witness of others; so too, others' lives may be changed by our witness and authentic friendship with them. Sometimes our actions speak for themselves; other times, words are needed. Whatever the situation, Jesus knows how to speak to each person's heart; we simply need to follow where He leads."


"Let us go, therefore, and not be afraid. God is always with us."[1]

Christianity is pro-Life. Jesus said: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."[2]  Christ did not say he came to give death. That is what the thief of life does: He steals and crushes human potential; he kills and destroys. It is the abortionist, the doctor who euthanizes the sick and disabled who do Satan's bidding. 

Followers of Christ are called to be witnesses for the sanctity of all human life. Life is so sacred that Christ willingly came and died precisely because God loves us so much. He wants us to be with Him forever.[3]  It is through Christians' prayerful and faithful actions and responses to human circumstances that they give their most effective and powerful witness for that love. Yes, we are called to reflect Christ's love and salvation to a lost and hurting world. Every human life has meaning regardless of age or stage. Every human being is worthy of love, care, protection and nurture.

MDP
_____________

[1] Life Issues Form: How To Build A Culture Of Life, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 23 February 2018. http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/life-issues-forum/life-issues-forum-how-to-build-a-culture-of-life.cfm
[2] John 10.10.
[3] John 3.16.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

CANADA'S DANCE WITH DEATH

Canada looks glowing as its 2016 euthanasia law (euphemistically and deceptively called "Medical Assistance in Dying"). We think it's a celebration and victory of "Canadian values." Our new god is choice (even over matters of life and death). In his latest article for the American publication The National Review: "THOUSANDS OF EUTHANASIA KILLINGS IN CANADA", Wesley J. Smith gives a more sobering and realistic assessment of Canada's dance with death. See 
https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/canada-euthanasia-killings-increase-steadily/

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A THOUGHT ABOUT KINDNESS

"There will be times when you will be sorry about something you said; sorry you stayed too late, or sorry that you went to early; sorry you won something, or lost, but all your life, you'll never be sorry you were kind." -- Unknown

Sunday, July 29, 2018

CANADA'S STATE-SANCTIONED EUTHANASIA

As you know, Canada has legalized euthanasia (euphemistically called "medical assistance in dying). Bill C-14 was enacted under the pretext of assisted suicide. That's not what Canada got. The second federal report on Canada's new assisted suicide law reveals that less than 1per cent of deaths were self-administered. The rest were lethal injections -- administered at taxpayers' expense -- regardless of whether they object! By definition, that's state-sponsored euthanasia not assisted suicide. It is not medical assistance in dying, it is medical killing.  

Being one of the vulnerable target group, I asked my physician to put the note below on my file. I removed her name as a courtesy. She is not one of the killer-doctors.

American readers of this blog should use Canada as a lesson of what not to do. State-sanctioned euthanasia always turns bad.

If you would like me to speak about the perils of assisted suicide or euthanasia, from the perspective of someone who is disabled and has been incurably ill for more than 35 years, send me an email at HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca 


Mark Davis Pickup







Tuesday, July 17, 2018

WHEN DESPERATE PRAYERS SEEM UNANSWERED

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It was in his terrible agony of being crucified, Jesus cried those words of abandonment.[1]  Christ was abandoned by his friends -- except John and, of course, his mother. He was abandoned by the fickle crowds that -- one week earlier -- heralded his entrance into Jerusalem with jubilant shouts of "Hosanna in the highest!" Then the one who lived in perfect fellowship with God felt alienated from God.

Christ cried those heart-breaking words because he felt abandoned by God at the very moment he needed his Father most! Why? Because Christ took on the weight of the world's sins.[2]  In God's perfect holiness, He had to turn away from the great body of human sin, even when borne by His only begotten son.

Abandonment 

Do you feel abandoned by God in your pain? Does it seem that God does not answer your desperate prayers? Christ understands. He has been there. God does not turn away from us, although it certainly may seem that way at a critical moment of crisis.


I think we can begin to understand why the door to God's comfort and consolation seems to have slammed shut when our need for Him is most desperate. The key lies in the word "desperate."

C.S. Lewis wrote about this aspect of grieving. He explained that in
most things, we can't get what we want if we want it too desperately, or at least not get the best of it. Lewis used the analogies of not being able to see clearly when our eyes are filled with tears; that really delicious drinks are wasted on a ravenous thirst. I think he was right. It is the drowning man, flailing frantically in wild panic, who cannot be rescued, lest he drags down the rescuer and himself. 

We've all heard accounts of firefighters finding bodies of victims piled at the exit of a burned out building. The chaos of panic prevented orderly evacuation. Everyone perished beneath the exit sign. 

Sleepless nights

I know the stark terror of sleepless nights. I remember (more than 35 years ago now) the feeling of being abandoned in my anguish, staring out the kitchen window at 3:00am, while everyone else in the house slept peacefully. The fresh shock of being told I had an incurable, degenerative disease filled me with a strange mixture of numbness and panic. The only sound was the steady ticking of the mantle clock in the living room. As I looked into the backyard bathed in silver-blue moonlight, I was struck by the contradiction of the tranquillity around me and the terror within. I wanted to run away. But run where? The terror was in my own body!

My future had stretched out ahead of me, full of promise. Suddenly, it was all in ruins, or so I thought. My desperate prayers were unanswered, or so I thought. I felt deserted and alone. I remember looking up at the ceiling and saying to God, "If this is the way you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them."

Do you see the problem? This was no way to approach the sovereign God of the universe! I was angry that my agenda had been derailed. I demanded to be delivered back to my former self (disguised as a prayerful petition). God was only welcome on my terms. (I suppose Christ could have rightfully responded, "If this is how you treat your friends ... ."

Pray another prayer

I needed to place my sorrow before God, and honestly, humbly pray another prayer, with a different heart. In the hours leading to his crucifixion, Christ prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."[4] Christ asked three times that his cup of suffering be removed, and yet each time qualified his request with a willingness to submit to his heavenly Father's will, whatever that might be. Christ's request was not granted but an angel was sent to strengthen him in his suffering.


If God had granted Christ's earnest prayer request, the stain of humanity's sin would have remained. Even now, centuries later, it is only through faith that Christ's blood shed at Calvary has paid the penalty for our sins, are we reconciled in repentance to God.

Jesus spoke of people opening the door of their hearts at the sound
of his voice.[3] But how can a man hear Christ's voice if he is screaming in terror, confusion, desperation or anger? The man is pounding on the inside of a door only he can open.

Sometimes the most effective prayers are not what we say but how we listen. Sometimes God wants us to be still so he can calm our hearts. Only then can He speak to us at our deepest level. God wants us to utterly surrender every corner of our being to Him. He wants us to trust Him regardless of our circumstances.

There are times when suffering has a far greater benefit than deliverance from it. We must quieten our hearts, humbly seek God, and submit to his will, whatever that might be. Perhaps it is at the apex of suffering, and the door to God seems to have shut, that the seed of real faith can germinate. It is when all evidence of God's presence seems to have vanished that we have a unique opportunity to cry out with the great family of sufferers throughout the ages: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me" -- yet still choose to believe and obey.

MDP
____________
Notes.
[1]Matthew 27.46.  Cf. Psalm 22.1.
[2]See Isaiah 53.5; 2Corinthians 5.21; Galations 3.13; 1Peter 2.24, 3.18; 1John 3.5.
[3] Revelation 3.20.
[4] Matthew 26.39


Friday, July 6, 2018

THIS IS MY FATHER'S WORLD


"Was not this narrow enclosure, with the sky for a background, enough to enable him to adore God in his most beautiful as well as
in his most sublime works? Indeed, is not that all, and what more can be desired. A little garden to walk, and immensity to reflect upon." -- Victor Hugo



That is the case for me, except I can not 'walk' in my little garden.  
Still, I can tend to my enclosure with a tall hedge that gives a place of solitude, my little sanctuary, to adore God.

Be content with your life. Blossom where God plants you. He is our consolation, the final reality.

Although I am in the autumn of my life, the perpetual summer of God's love glows in my heart. This is my Father's world. See video below courtesy of Fountainview College.




Saturday, June 23, 2018

CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS PROVIDE CONTEXT FOR LIFE

[NB: Although this post deals with Catholic Christian traditions, I encourage Evangelical followers of this blog to read it. It may provide some context to understanding the mindset of your Catholic brothers and sisters.] 


St. Vital Church
I worship at a French Catholic church dating back nearly 100 years: Saint Vital on Beaumont, Alberta. Situated on the western Canadian prairies, it harkens back to a time when the church was the center of the community. And that's exactly where Saint Vital is situated in my town: Smack-dab in the center of town, perched at the top of the hill the town is named after. Houses spread out from there. There is a sense of history and French Catholic tradition that seems to emanate from the church. You can see the church from miles away.

Faith, family & community

Saint Vital was built by hardy French Canadian farmers who came
to western Canada from Quebec to homestead the rich land in the area. Their lives revolved around a common faith, family, and a deep connection of interdependent community -- in that order. That is the way its supposed to be. Those pioneers endured, survived and thrived. The original church was destroyed by fire and the new church was built of brick. A walk through the graveyard at the back of the church bears silent and powerful witness to that history and those people.

When my grandchildren were little, they loved to go to "Papa's church" as they called it. In their vocabulary, I'm Papa (don't ask why. It's a convoluted story). Sometimes we would go there when the church was empty. I talked to them about God and the parish history. They loved it. Even as pre-school children, they seemed to desire a connection to what went before.

Catholicism is historically oriented. The Holy Scriptures and Traditions of the Church provide a basis for preserving Christ's teachings, as revealed to the Apostles. It is the basis of revealed truth (cf.  John 1.14, 14.6). It is the root of understanding.

Train up a child 

Proverbs 22.6 says "Train up a child in the ways he should go, and
when he is old he will not depart from it." Some parents have mistakenly thought this is an iron-clad promise from God. I sure did. I thought that if I did my parenting correctly there was a binding promise from God to save my children. The problem with this notion is twofold: One is hard-pressed to find such a guarantee in the Bible (including this verse). The other problem is the issue of free will. Proverbs 22.6 is a proverb, not a promise.  No matter how godly a parent may be, it is not a guarantee of faithful or godly children. Each generation is responsible for its own relationship to God.

Participation with God

I understand that now with the hindsight of an old man. Proverbs 22.6 provides a general principle to be taken in divine balance. There's no magic to it and certainly no guarantees. God will not override humanity's free will of choosing to love him.

As a grandfather, I can only provide a supportive, secondary role to my adult children and convey some sense of the reality of Jesus Christ in my own life and point toward a personal relationship with him as the most critical decision any person can make. The Holy Scripture and Church traditions only provide a framework and context for that.

MDP

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

FAIRNESS IN JUSTICE & GRACE OVER REVENGE

Ted was an anti-Christian bigot.

He took great pleasure in depicting God as a vengeful Being -- ready to pounce on poor humanity for the slightest infraction against His holy law. Ted would attack God and Christianity based on this caricature; he would contort his face like an ogre in mock imitation of this caricature and hiss, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth!"

Biblical Ignorance

One day, after hearing this tiresome routine for the umpteenth time, I asked Ted if he knew where in the Bible that passage is found, or if he could complete the verse. He could do neither and flew into a fury at having his biblical ignorance exposed. Ted did not know the Bible. He merely regurgitated snippets of Scripture he heard somewhere in his past in order to bolster his case against God and his prejudice against Christianity.  I doubt he even owned a Bible.


The actual Scripture is found in Exodus 21 and must be taken in context:


"If men fight and hurt a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; but if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.*

Lex Talionis

This Scripture deals with Lex Talionis, or the principle of tit for tat. It was meant to do more than enforce strict justice; it was also meant to prevent greater penalties than crimes warranted, or punishments that exceeded the injury. This is different from exacting personal revenge.


For example, we read in Genesis 4.23 that Lamech bragged to his wives: "I have killed a man for wounding me, even a young man for hurting me." That was distorted revenge, not justice.

Under God's guidance, Moses placed judgment for wrongdoing under the authority of judges. The "tooth for a tooth" statement was meant to call judges to be absolutely fair in their rulings. 

Christ spoke about the principle of a tooth for a tooth: "You have heard that it was said, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." (Matthew 5.38-39. Cf. Proverbs 20.22, Luke 6.29, Romans 12.17, 1Corinthinians 6.7, 1Peter 3.9) Jesus exhorted Christians to forego legality for the sake of love not hatred, grace not revenge. In doing this, Christians give a powerful and disarming witness to the love of God.

Several years ago, Ted died from a heart attack. As far as I know, he went to his grave cursing God and His Church. (I must be careful about conjecture.) What happened in Ted's last few moments on earth are between him and God. What I do know is that God does not want anybody to die in their sins. 

"As I live, says the Lord, I swear I take no pleasure in the death of a wicked man, but rather in the wicked man's conversion, that he may live. Turn, turn from your evil ways!" (Ezekiel 11.33)


The Apostle Peter said that God is "longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2Peter 3.9).

We are all called to repentance, through faith in Jesus Christ. How we respond, ... well, that's up to us. Yes, that is up to us. God will not make us love him.

MDP

___________________
NOTE:
* Exodus 21.22-25, cf. Leviticus 24.17-20, Deuteronomy19. 

NB: Abortion advocates have occasionally used this passage to try and show that the unborn child has less value than the woman. But that's not what it's saying at all. In fact, one biblical commentary makes the follow the comment about verses 22-25:

"Of special interest to many Christians are verses 22-25. Unfortunately, most translations leave the reader with the false impression, which has led in turn to the wrong application of the passage to the abortion issue. In short, this law deals with the results of a pregnant woman being struck (accidentally) by two men who are fighting. The result of this unfortunate attack is a 'miscarriage' according to most English translations. The text continues: "[If] there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined. . . . if there is injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye . . ." (v.23). This has often been interpreted to mean that a miscarriage occurred. Then the issue becomes how the mother was affected -- the implication being that the fetus really did not matter; it was not considered a human being and the focus of attention was the mother. This passage is often used by advocates of abortion to say that since God did not demand punishment for the loss of the child, then the fetus did not have image-of-God status.

However, the Hebrew of 21-22 literally reads, "and hit a pregnant woman so that her child(ren) come forth, and no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined." Here the King James and New Internal translations are helpful. The Hebrew word for miscarriage is not used here. Our text portrays a woman being struck then delivering prematurely. The very passage used for some to support abortion, in fact, goes in the opposite direction. In this case, the woman is accidentally struck, but if she or the child dies as a result, the guilty party could be sentenced to death. This is the only instance in the Torah where involuntary manslaughter calls for the death penalty. Generally, the guilty party was to receive refuge from the 'avenger of blood' and was not to be put to death (Deut. 19.4-10). Injury to the unborn is the only exception. The reason seems clear enough: God places high value on the unborn. The law always expresses concern for those least able to defend themselves." (James K. Hoffmeier,  "Exodus" in Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids, MI: BAKER BOOK HOUSE, 1989) P. 56.)



Monday, June 11, 2018

LIFE AFTER DISABILITY ONSET

I became disabled with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of thirty. It was a terrible shock going from healthy and athletic to life with mobility contraption, house adaptations and ever-increasing restrictions on what I could do. My career with the Canadian government ended when I was unceremoniously put out to pasture before the age of thirty-eight. Serious adult-onset disability is a harsh reality. We can either let it make us bitter or better. If we are open to God's leading, we can find life after disability can be as vibrant and fulfilling as before.

Below is a video of a remarkable young woman who suffered a spinal cord injury. Her resilience is a testament to the human spirit as she explores the parameters of her new life. If she hasn't yet met Christ, I pray she will. With Him, she can transcend her circumstances.   


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

CHRISTIAN RESPONSES TO EUTHANASIA IN CANADA

In the months after Canada legalized medically assisted suicide, the Archdiocese of Edmonton held a series of presentations, under the guidance and leadership of Archbishop Richard Smith, about this new national reality.  Canada's courts and parliament have chosen this radical departure from its Christian origins as a nation. It is the beginning of a dark chapter in our history.

How then should Canadian Catholics respond? What are Christians to do? Below is a link to the fifth in the Archbishop's series addressing this question. I presented a disability perspective, palliative care physician and evangelical Christian, Dr. Anna Voeuk gave a doctor's perspective, and Archbishop Smith presented the Catholic perspective. It should be noted that since this presentation in 2016, more than 2,000 Canadians have been euthanized; the most common reasons are cancer, ALS and MS. 


See below for my contact information.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

"COINCIDENCES" OF THE LIVING CHRIST

Many years ago, my wife and I rescued a woman from an extremely abusive husband. The man was a sheer brute. He was filled with bluster and threats -- ruling his household by intimidation and fear! Perhaps I have met worse men than Leo but I can't remember when. The rescue was planned for a day when Leo was supposed to be away for a few hours.

We took the opportunity to get his wife out of their apartment, along with her clothes and a few cherished belongings. Having multiple sclerosis, I couldn't make it up the stairs to the apartment so my wife and the woman worked feverishly to vacate the place when Leo came home early! They lied through their teeth to get out of the apartment building. The two women made their way across the parking lot to the car. I was gunning the engine ready to whisk them away. Being disabled, I was hardly able to deflect a physical altercation with Leo.

I was praying even harder than revving the engine. I Knew the Lord
has a heart for the oppressed. Psalm 103.6 says "The Lord does righteous deeds, brings justice to all the oppressed." Elsewhere in the Psalms say "He upholds the caused of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, ..." Surely this woman was oppressed! Surely she was a prisoner in her own home!

Suddenly an enraged Leo appeared at the front door of the apartment building. "Please heavenly father" I prayed, "deliver us!"
Without prompting a police car screeched around the corner of the street and stopped behind my car. A policeman with a puzzled look on his face walked to my car. I could see Leo shrinking back into the apartment building at the sight of the police officer.

I rolled down my window for the policeman. "Did you call the
police?" He asked. I responded "No officer, but it's sure good to see you." By this time my wife and the woman were piling into the car. "Did you call the police?" I asked them. Both said No. Leo must have thought I called the police because he disappeared out of sight. The confused policeman went back to his car wondering who called him to that location. I drove away with the image in my rear-view mirror of a bewildered policeman mumbling to himself.

Coincidence? Perhaps. The problem is that there have been too many "coincidences" in my life throughout the years. Too many for them all to be "coincidences." They can't all be coincidences or they would not be coincidences. 

Am I saying that God intervenes in the lives and affairs of
humanity? Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying! He certainly has/does in mine, just as He has in the lives of millions upon millions of people throughout the ages.

What happened to the woman rescued from Leo? She divorced him and started a new life. In subsequent years, she too felt the hand of God in her life. She passed away peacefully a few years ago at the age of eighty-two.

Millions of people (including me) know the reality of the resurrected and living Jesus Christ. The Joy Behars of this world simply do not understand. They can but they don't ... yet.

MDP

Saturday, May 19, 2018

ALAN KEYES' ADVISE TO THE PRESIDENT

I have always admired Dr. Alan Keyes. I believe he would have been a wonderful President of the United States. He twice ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Presidential nomination. Below Ambassador Dr. Alan gives advice to President Trump to embrace the constitution and tell the House of Representatives to do their job. I hope uncooperative members of Congress this to wise man's advice.

[As an aside, many years ago Dr. Keyes called my house and asked for me. I wasn't home. I think Dr. Keyes thought he was calling an office. My 17-year-old son answered the phone with the usual sassiness of teenagers. Dr. Keyes must have thought he called a pretty unprofessional and shoddy office and was blunt. My son pushed back. Dr. Keyes found out he was talking to my son and had called my home. He apologized. My son replied with something to the effect: "Ya dude, whatever" before hanging up. He had no idea who Alan Keyes was. My son is close to forty now and a businessman. I occasionally tease him about his youthful impertinence.]


Thursday, May 17, 2018

THINGS WHICH ARE SEEN AND UNSEEN

I have a vivid memory from about fifteen years ago.

One stifling hot summer night, I awoke to a familiar but dreaded sizzling sensation in my legs. My old nemesis, multiple sclerosis, was visiting, eating internal function -- like termites inside a tree. It was a time of great fear as the disease seemed to threaten everything! Unable to go back to sleep, I transferred from bed to wheelchair and went outside and stopped under the boughs of a cluster of Manitoba maple trees in my backyard. All was still.

My little house sits at the bottom of the hill that Beaumont was named after. I looked the hill to see the reassuring and steady light of an illuminated historic Catholic church. It's been there for over a century. Everything was peaceful, barring that horrible sizzling sensation. I crawled into a hammock tied between two massive maple trunks and gazed up into the dark serenity of a starry sky. It was my sacred little place in the world where I spent countless hours throughout many years: contemplating, reflecting, praying, searching, looking to understand rather than to see. It was beneath the canopy of maple branches that the Christian hope within me swelled within my chest and rose as an offering to God. 

There was a sudden gust of wind that swayed the
branches above me. Leaves rustled as though to whisper, "Do not be afraid, I AM with you." Ecstasy then shame. Ecstacy filled me to know He was near -- then shame to realize my life was deeply stained by sin. Confession. Forgiveness. Divine embrace.

As suddenly as the visitation came. it vanished and all became ordinary again. The yard remained bathed in moonlight and the great old church on the hill still shone in floodlights. The sizzling sensation in my legs remained but ceased to matter. 

Any passerby would have been oblivious to what had just happened. For a brief instant, it had seemed that a sweet essence of Eden opened then mercifully closed: The whisper in the breeze was too much for anything more than those brief seven words. In that twinkling
but earth-shaking moment, centuries melted away and indescribable Joy filled my heart. I wept, not because my body was wasting but because I had been touched by the Holy Spirit.

Saint Paul's words made perfect sense:

"Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inner man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
while we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are unseen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are unseen are eternal. (2Corinthians 4:16-18. cf. Romans 8.18; Colossians 3.10; Hebrews 11.1.)

Two years ago, a violent storm brought down the maple trees. If the evil one was trying to destroy my sacred place, he failed. I realized that sacred place was within me all along.  The trees were only a setting. The maples are gone but the blue moonlight still washes over my little house on the Canadian prairies and the old church at the top hill and reminds me that nothing can separate me from the love of God. 

My forever home is not here. Heaven is my home.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

MOTHER'S DAY: THE LOVING HAND THAT ROCKED THE CRADLE

Motherhood is a sacred vocation and I want to wish every mother a blessed and happy Mother's Day. I am reminded of the poem by "THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE RULES THE WORLD, by William Ross Wallace (1819-1881).
    Blessings on the hand of women!
        Angels guard its strength and grace.
    In the palace, cottage, hovel,
        Oh, no matter where the place;
    Would that never storms assailed it,
        Rainbows ever gently curled,
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
        Is the hand that rules the world.
    Infancy's the tender fountain,
        Power may with beauty flow,
    Mothers first to guide the streamlets,
        From them souls unresting grow —
    Grow on for the good or evil,
        Sunshine streamed or evil hurled,
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
        Is the hand that rules the world.
    Woman, how divine your mission,
        Here upon our natal sod;
    Keep – oh, keep the young heart open
        Always to the breath of God!
    All true trophies of the ages
        Are from mother-love impearled,
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
        Is the hand that rules the world.
    Blessings on the hand of women!
        Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
    And the sacred song is mingled
        With the worship in the sky —
    Mingles where no tempest darkens,
        Rainbows evermore are hurled;
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
        Is the hand that rules the world.

    Mothers are at the center of a child's life and life in the home and shape tomorrow's world.

    MDP 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

IS IOWA'S HEART-BEAT LAW THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR ROE V. WADE?

Speaking in Dubuque, Iowa
5 May 2018
On May 5th, I was in Dubuque, Iowa, to give the keynote address to the Dubuque County Right to Life's annual banquet. I spoke to the audience of 650 about the human tragedy of abortion, and perils of euthanasia and assisted suicide for vulnerable people with severe disabilities and/or incurable diseases. There was a jubilant and celebratory atmosphere to the evening. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds had just signed the "Heartbeat" bill into law that afternoon. It prohibits abortions after an unborn child's heartbeat can be detected which is at 6 weeks gestation.

Governor Reynolds signs the Heartbeat bill into law
5 May 2018
The new law is sure to face legal challenges, possibly up to the US Supreme Court. The courageous defenders of life are prepared and have a legal team at work developing strategies to defend the new law. But if it stands, Iowa's Heartbeat bill may be the thin-edge-of-the-wedge to crack and bring down Roe v. Wade. (More than 60-million of America's babies have been slaughtered since that terrible 1973 Supreme Court decision.) The Heartbeat bill is not perfect: There are still exceptions in the law, but perhaps it is a start the toppling of Roe v. Wade. I pray other states will muster the courage to follow suit. God bless Iowa! Please give moral and prayer support to Iowa and it's courageous and principled governor Kim Reynolds. 

Abortion's vicious blackguards of death, and their media allies, are sure to attack the Heartbeat Law and Governor Reynolds in attempts to bring down this new law and protect their evil. They must NOT succeed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

PRO-LIFE GOOD NEWS

Sometimes two or three small words have the potential to make a world of difference. They initially go unnoticed. Stop! Take note! 


On the website for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) you will find their latest Mission Statement. I have copied the Mission statement and pasted it below.   

Mission Statement

"The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services."
Immediately below the Mission Statement on the website, you will find the Organizational Structure. It says:

"HHS is the U.S. Government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, from conception. HHS is responsible for almost a quarter of all Federal outlays and administers more grant dollars than all other Federal agencies combined."
Did you see it? It says the "HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, from conception." [My emphasis added.]

The U.S. federal government's Department of Health and Human Services now recognizes its mission includes protecting the lives of all Americans at every stage of life beginning AT CONCEPTION! Don't believe me? Check it for yourself at https://www.hhs.gov/about/strategic-plan/introduction/index.html

Under the Presidency of Donald J. Trump, complete recognition of
the value of all human life is now official policy!  Unless I'm missing something, this is a major success for the pro-Life movement. The Trump administration quietly, and without fanfare, amended the mission of Health and Human Services to recognize what you have fought to gain for so long!

Two little words "from conception". Dare we hope this marks a seismic shift in policy, programs and activities that are life-affirming under the leadership of the Trump administration?! Is this the beginning of the end of government support of barbaric organizations like Planned Parenthood, that was so heavily supported by Obama?!  

It is important for America's pro-life movement to actively encourage HHS to put in place a wide spectrum of program and activities that support maternal and prenatal health, education of the nature of life before birth, and help women in crisis pregnancies, as well as protecting their unborn children. 

This can be achieved by supporting pregnancy care centers to serve
women in crisis pregnancies to support themselves, and their babies, or partnering with community faith-based organizations to develop and deliver employment and life skills and mentoring programs for young women who might otherwise be abortion-minded. 

Pressure and support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to quickly put these policies and programs in place in your community.

Those two little words "from conception." Perhaps they can be the start of a new day in America where every life is truly valued and protected. God bless America. 

MDP