“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

Sunday, September 24, 2023



Father Mike Schmitz with the Newman Catholic Ministries (University of Duluth, Minnesota) gave a homily for the 25th Sunday in ordinary time. He spoke about the difference between envy and jealousy, in reference to the Gospel reading of Matthew 20.1-16a, the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard:

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. Those who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Using this parable, Fr. Mike explained the difference between envy and jealousy. Jealousy is looking at what someone else has and wishing you had it too. Envy is not about what you have or don’t have, instead, it is wishing someone else did not have it. 

That provided some clarification about something that happened to me about 20 years ago when I was seriously disabled and in an electric wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis. It happened during the Christmas Season.

My toddler grandson sat on my lap as we ventured up the hill on the sidewalk from my house past the historic old church at the crest of a hill, in my hometown. We sang happy Christmas songs out of tune, as usual. As my chair whirred up the hill, we stopped to watch another grandfather with his grandchild going down the hill on a toboggan. They laughed with delight as they passed us, a cloud of snow kicking up behind them. My little fellow watched them pass and it broke my heart knowing we would never do that.  My small grandson and I continued up the hill in silence except for the sound of the motor on my wheelchair. I was jealous of that grandfather. 

For years I felt a vague sense of shame at the thought of that day and my envy of a joyous grandfather and his grandchild. I did not even know the man. 

This morning, Father Mike insightfully made a subtle but important distinction between envy and jealousy. Jealous is to wish you had what someone else has. Envy is to wish the other did not have it. I was jealous, not envious! I simply wanted what the other grandfather had; I did not want his joy to be taken from him. An important distinction! My life has been filled with many regrets and shame, but this morning, I discovered that envy that day, so long ago, was not one of them!

A wonderful miracle happened in recent years. God reversed my widespread paralysis of advanced end-stage MS and raised me from my electric wheelchair, as an old man, to walk again. The small boy who sat on my lap 20 years ago has grown into a man. But there is now a small granddaughter I can toboggan with down the same hill with the same delight. 2023 could be my best Christmas yet!

See the link below for Father Mike’s sermon 


Monday, September 18, 2023


I recently gave an interview to podcaster Jerry Cirino about my disability journey, my miracle, and a screenplay I've written TRANSCEND: A Journey Toward Love. I was released today. You can watch it on any of the following.

Apple Podcast app:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mark-davis-pickup-transcend-a-journey-toward-love/id1521572764?i=1000628295753

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6meORQv4gTZm5h9VyElTRl?si=4dXs2PCLTA-HTPwhNVQA_w


Donate to the making of TRANSCEND: A Journey Toward Love at https://www.givesendgo.com/G9F2R  

Thursday, September 14, 2023



For most of my adult life, I have advocated for disability inclusion, starting before contracting MS in 1984. Creeping paralysis put me in a wheelchair (among other things). In 2018, I received a Eucharistic miracle. God raised me from my wheelchair to walk again after many years, even though I was an old man with end-stage, advanced disease. I was told not to forget where I spent half of my life and to use His gift revealed in me to tell others about His love. I'm taking my queue from the blind man who was healed by Christ in John 9. Jesus said that the blind man was disabled so that "... the works of God should be revealed in him." Then Christ gave the man sight. So I will also use my miracle to show that God still works in the lives of humanity 2,000 years later. 

I am 70 years old and I've been walking for 5 years. My brain is still riddled with plaque. Legs that were weak and atrophied gained strength. I walk unassisted in my house and only use a cane when I'm outside and going somewhere. This should not be happening! Granted I have a slight limp, but I'm walking again. Make of it what you will. Doctors could not stop my degeneration. My next address was expected to be either a nursing home or a cemetery. Only God could have released the paralysis that marred my life for so many years. That is exactly what happened. 

If it is the Lord's will that I return to my electric wheelchair sitting in the back bedroom gathering dust, I will still praise Him for giving me 5 years with no paralysis. 


Wednesday, July 26, 2023



Based on my true story 

TRANSCEND: A Journey Toward Love is the love story of Mark and LaRee Pickup (LaRee & Mark Fraser in the script) that transcends the heartbreak of abortion, degenerative disease, and catastrophic disability to reach a profound commitment to each other and God. It’s the story of their difficult journey toward a deeper and fuller understanding of love (both human and divine). In the end, a wonderful, miracle happens.

Prolific Christian movie producers of "God's Not Dead" & "Left Behind: Rise of the Anti-Christ"SAM AND KEVIN SORBO have agreed to produce this movie, but I have the responsibility to raise funds for the production budget. Thus this fundraising campaign. I realize it's a mammoth, near-impossible task to raise the $2 million needed! My life has been one of facing impossibilities, like walking after decades of creeping paralysis that put me in a wheelchair for decades. And yet I was raised out of that wheelchair to walk again at end-stage MS, and in my old age. 

If God wants this movie made, He will make a way.

After reading the TRANSCEND screenplay, international disability advocate, author, radio show host, and actress, JONI EARECKSON TADA commented:

“My friend Mark Davis Pickup has written a remarkable screenplay which echoes his own story in a warm and personal way. Mark and his wife have overcome insurmountable odds to discover a rich and abiding love which inspires all who spend time with them. In the broken world where many marriages are crumbling under pressure and disappointment, there is ample room for stories like theirs.”

Your financial and prayerful support to help make this important life-affirming, pro-marriage Christian movie is needed for a desperate time such as this. Lick the link below to partner with me on this evangelistic project. Thank you and God bless.

Mark Davis Pickup


Wednesday, July 5, 2023


 “Such is our Christian life. By desiring heaven we exercise the powers of our soul. Now this exercise will be effective only to the extent that we free ourselves from desires leading to infatuation with this world. … God means to fill each of you with what is good; so cast out what is bad! If he wishes to fill you with honey and you are full of sour wine, where is the honey to go? The vessel must be emptied of its contents and then be cleansed. Yes, it must be cleaned even if we have to work hard and scour it. It must be made fit for the new thing, whatever it may be.” — Saint Augustine from a sermon on 1John.

Do you long for heaven? If you are a Christian, you should because heaven is your home. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” — Jesus[1]


As sordid and evil as the world around is becoming corrupt and evil (and will get worse). We must hold to the reality of the Holy Spirit in our lives, our love and loyalty to Jesus Christ and his teachings and the absolute Divinely inspired an inerrant of the Holy Bible. We must increase our desire for heaven and to be with God. That is our perfect reward. Do not love the world or the things of the world.[2] We are in the world not of the world—nor we should not be.[3] Infatuation with the world and the things of the world only serve to distract Christians from what matters to God. What matters to God? Salvation of every man, woman and child in the world through faith in Jesus Christ. We have a Great Commission. 


“Go therefore, and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and behold I am with you always even to the end of the age.”


The great “I Am” is with us always even to the end of the age. Taking the gospel message to the world around us is our Lord’s assignment to His followers. Do not think it will be easy, but it is our imperative if we are followers of Jesus Christ. We are to take the hope and presence of Christ that abides in us to others. We are to be concerned about matters of the soul—our own and souls of others. The world will not love you for your witness. No, it will despise you, just like it despised Christ who is the Word that was from the beginning with God and is God.[4] The Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.


Christ said He was preparing a place for us, His followers. What a joy to anticipate! Thomas asked the Lord, “master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Then Jesus told Thomas an eternal truth that every human being needs to hear: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”[5]


These words are incongruent to 21st century progressive liberal minds. They pretend to be inclusive, in an exclusionary way. Of course, they are welcome in this new inclusion of their own making, as are LGBTQ+ and the woke crowd (their gutter Stasi). Conservative evangelical Christians and Catholic Christians loyal the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, are not included, nor are unwanted children in utero.  


New-age television talk show host Oprah Winfrey once said Jesus Christ is not the only way to God, she said there are many ways. [6] Who should we believe? The created or the Creator? If there are a multitude of ways to get to God, why did Jesus pay the terrible price at Calvary? No, what Oprah espouses is the way of the world and Western civilization is collapsing before our eyes. Perhaps you’ve noticed. It is happening because Western Civilization has rejected God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Creator of the universe, for self and self-gratification. 


Our marching orders from Jesus Christ could be clearer. The stakes could not be higher: the soul and salvation of every man, woman, and child.  We must point the way back to Christ just as He said: 


“Go therefore, and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and behold I am with you always even to the end of the age.”


If followers of Christ do what Christ asked us to do perhaps there can still be another great awakening. Who knows? It happened before.


[1] John 14.2

[2] 1John 2:15-17.

[3] 2Corinthians 6:1-18.

[4] John 1:1-3.

[5] Revelation 22:13.

[6] Oprah Denies Jesus is the only way to salvation and heaven:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noO_dCWtB1E


Thursday, June 8, 2023


Our new woke culture tries to censor all opposition to the dogma of the new establishment orthodoxy. There is no revelation only subjective truth of each individual—unless the individual's truth runs contrary to liberal, woke, or fashionable thinking at any given point in time. 

In this new madness, men can be women and women men. All one needs to do is "identify" which gender they feel like or want to be. Viola! A magical transformation happens. The new liberal left orthodoxy tells us—with a straight face—there are a multitude of genders, not just two, regardless of biology and anatomy that prove otherwise. Science gives way to ideology and psychoses. 

If you dare to not buy into this new orthodoxy, you must be silent. If you are not silent and express your opposition, well, you may be attacked and vilified, your character slandered, even fired from your job by the intimidation of woke thought police and obsequiously supported by media toadies. 

If the intimidation is successful, you may be thrown off platforms like Facebook, or platforms like this one: Google. You may be "canceled" by woke goons, those self-appointed arbiters of the new objective truth. You become persona non grata. But wait! I thought objective truth was dispensed by the very mentality that declares there is none? The hypocrisy!

I want to share an address about free speech given by Rowan Atkinson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUezfuy8Qpc

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


There is a short passage about Jesus in the book of Hebrews that I love: “In the days when He was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered; and when He was made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.” (Hebrews 5:7-9) 

Loud cries and tears of our Lord were heard in the Garden of Gethsemane to the One who could save Him from the agony of crucifixion and death. “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from Me, but not what I will but what you will.” (Mark 14:35-36) 

Christ’s sweat was as blood as He earnestly prayed and contemplated his pending passion, unspeakably cruel death by crucifixion, and being forsaken by God for our sakes as He would hang dying on the cross. The One who could save Jesus from death did not save him from death but overcame death in Christ’s resurrection! Christ’s perfect offering at Calvary gave the only path to reconciliation of sinful humanity back to God. 

Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was, and remains, a perfect offering; it fulfilled the law. It put aside the requirement of the old Mosaic covenant by which the blood of lambs, goats and bulls were offered to God by a Levitical priest. 

I was diagnosed with aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1984. Terrifying neurological degeneration and progressive paralysis put me in an electric wheelchair for many years. My legs withered from disuse. A completely wheelchair accessible home was built for me. (This was a miracle in itself because I have always lived with limited financial resources.) 

I found great hope in the obedience Christ learned from suffering—as Hebrews says. I believed that my suffering could teach me obedience to Christ to overcome my stubborn and stiff-necked nature. I had to learn to accept suffering and relinquish my self-will and place my pain into Christ’s scarred hands. 

This was the beginning of spiritual contentment regardless of my human circumstances. For me to accept suffering meant an understanding that nothing in my life escapes God’s will and desire for my ultimate good. I had to accept the mystery that my pain was/is achieving perfection in Christ that can only be fully realized in eternity. It is part of the weight of glory that comes with being endowed with the image of God. 

Saint Paul put it this way: “Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2Corinthians 4:16-17) 

The grief of my slow and torturous creeping paralysis seemed insurmountable at times. But I knew it was insignificant compared to the eternal results. I believed then, as I do now, that my suffering was transforming me, in some small, to be more like Christ. This belief gives meaning and context to the suffering that occupied more than half of my life. 

In 2018, after praying that if it be God’s will that I would be allowed to get out of my electric wheelchair to stand and walk again—even with crutches, a walker, or canes. It was a similar prayer to many I had prayed throughout the decades of physical degeneration. Something was different. 

God raised me from my electric wheelchair to stand and walk again. Was it a miracle, a sign, or both? I was raised to walk as an old man. Was it a miracle for others who have only known me in an electric wheelchair—a testimony of God’s hand in actual people’s lives? It was an affirming sign to me of what I believed and knew for close to 40 years. God has been with me. 

Five years later, I’m still walking, sometimes with a cane, sometimes without it. Granted I have a limp. Why wasn’t I completely delivered? Does it matter? The legs that were once paralyzed now walk. The arm and hand that were virtually useless for a quarter of a century now write hand-written daily love letters to my wife of 50 years, LaRee. 

What if I must return to my wheelchair? Why should I complain? I have walked just as I asked. I will still praise God. He gave me five good years. I even danced with LaRee in our living room one cold winter night—the first time in decades. We cried as we held each other; our darkness of fear fell into a dawn of love’s new light. 

I turn 70 years old, tomorrow. All is well. All is well. Our future is in God’s sovereign care. All my whys have been answered in the love of Jesus Christ.