“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

Saturday, April 6, 2024


Fifty years ago, I trained in radio and television arts. I briefly worked in both before moving to the federal government to work in community development. Multiple sclerosis (diagnosed at 30) forced me into medical retirement at the age of 38. 

But my love for television's potential continued: Not in what it turned out to be, but what it could have been. Television could have been so much more than the programming wasteland of mediocre formula sitcoms and reality shows (that are not real). Television should have been about education not the indoctrination of liberal agendas. 

Television could have been a constructive tool to promote community, human development and social cohesion. It could have been a tool dedicated to educating children and adults about the arts, sciences, history, classics in literature, ... programming that people can trust not to have a political bias or promote special agendas such as sexual orientation and gender identification (SOGI). The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and PBS used to do that, or at least they tried. 

I'm still an optimist, even when there is no reason to be. If the public had demanded better from television networks, they would have done better. Television decision-makers did not use their opportunity wisely. Today's social media is making network television irrelevant.

In 1969, Mr. Rogers saved public television

Thursday, April 4, 2024



I remember visiting a couple who had just lost their disabled daughter. I’ll call them Mrs. and Mrs. Smith. Their daughter’s name was Abby.  Abby was born profoundly handicapped and she died at the age of 34. She never spoke a word, never walked, never fed herself or lived independently. But Abby was loved by her family. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were in deep grief about their loss of Abby.

I asked them to tell me about their daughter. A cascade of memories poured out, accompanied by photographs, as they reminisced about their daughter’s life. Although initially surprised at their willingness to freely share bittersweet memories, I was deeply touched that they trusted me with something as fragile and tender as their sorrow and broken hearts. 

When Abby was born, a doctor with the bedside manner of a bulldog told Mrs. Smith to put her baby in an institution and forget the day she was born. Some advice! Some doctor! Some bulldog! 

Throughout her life, most people wrote Abbey off as a “vegetable.” But for those who made time for her, she was a blessing to their lives and she changed them. It was only in her last few years when Abbey became increasingly ill and frail, that she began to communicate through her little finger: up for yes, down for no. And then she was gone.

At the end of my visit with Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I asked if Abby's disability made their lives richer or poorer. Without hesitation, both responded in unison, “Richer!” Mrs. Smith told me that Abby taught them “what really matters in life.” I asked, “What really matters?” She responded, “Health.”

Indeed, health does matter. Every person wants a healthy life, a healthy spouse, healthy children and grandchildren. It is right for us to always thank God for our health and the health of loved ones. But we must also be aware that health never lasts. It can't. The Fall mutated God's intention for His creation making inevitable decline and death as our fate.

I know of what I write. I lost my health decades ago at the age of 30. I’m 71 now. How would I answer the question: “What really matters?” Being a hopeless romantic, my answer would be “love.” But that answer is also incomplete: love of what or whom? Just as we are not guaranteed health, neither are we guaranteed human love. Although I am blessed with the love of a wonderful wife and family, I have met disabled people who seemed unloved by anyone. From all appearances, they do not seem to have health or love. 

Here's the very good news: appearances can be deceiving. They, you, me, we all are loved by God — the author of life and love — even if our health fails, our loved ones reject us or die, and our sorrow and loneliness make us turn in on ourselves, we are still loved by God, (even though we may be oblivious to it).

God's love is the one constant—the only thing we can ultimately depend upon. The divine Lover seeks the loved (Matthew 18:12, Luke 19:10, Revelation 3:20). The loved must seek the Lover (Jeremiah 29:13, Luke 11:10, Acts 17:27). 

Jesus told us what really matters: “you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:27-40)

There we have it, from none other than Jesus Christ. We must seek God and love him with our whole being. This comes first. The natural outgrowth of loving God with all our heart soul and mind is that we will begin to ache with genuine compassion for humanity. We will begin to look beyond ourselves to concern for others and that puts us on a road to a marvelous spiritual healing.  Out of spiritual healing of broken-hearted people, a new sense of purpose and meaning can come to their lives.

My own inner healing seriously started when I stopped focusing on my own situation of slow deterioration from disease. I needed to stop stewing in my predicament and become equally concerned about the predicaments of others. Seeking to serve rather than be served is an indicator that spiritual healing is happening and blessings result.

What about those who can’t serve, like Abby? Again, appearances can be deceiving. Abby served by simply being in the world. Her presence called others to a higher standard of love and service. That was her gift to those around her.

Throughout the decades, I was able to serve God more disabled than when I was healthy, and I have been blessed in it. To humbly serve in love gives purpose and meaning. It is a truism our Lord illustrated by washing the feet of his disciples. Before entering the anguish of His Passion Christ said: 

“If I, therefore, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.” (John:13:14-17)

Mutual servanthood: We are served in our suffering and serve others in theirs. It is impossible to fully understand its depth because it embraces the concept of human community and interdependence with Christ as our model and master in the ultimate comfort of His divine love that needs to seek no more. 


Friday, March 22, 2024



Someone once said that a good slogan can stifle rational thought for 50 years. A new slogan is “Love is Love!” It is a great-sounding slogan, but is it true? I know from personal experience it is not necessarily true. 

I knew a teacher who “fell in love” with a 15-year-old student. He was 47. I’ll call him N. He left his wife and four children to be with her. (Think Mary Kay Letourneau with the genders reversed.) 

N spent time in jail for sexual exploitation of a minor. His teaching license was revoked, and he became a community pariah. N betrayed his wife of 22 years, his children, his profession, and the trust of the student’s parents. He was a  stiff-necked and unrepentant hebephile (sexually attracted to girls in early pubescence) who stubbornly maintained “Love is Love.” (It was later discovered his hebephilia overlapped with pedophilia.)

Did the slogan hold true? He was certainly in love with the girl. There was no denying it. Is love still love when it’s used to justify deviant behaviors that defy community standards, betray those who loved the culprit most, or defy long-held societal morality? No!  Not all behaviour can be justified by catchy phrases or slogans. 

And that’s accentuated when it is harmful to children. Why do children always seem to pay the highest cost for adult aberrance from societal norms or cultural social experiments? This is glaringly evident with abortion acceptance (contrived “reproductive rights”), and sexual orientation and gender identification (SOGI) curriculums being thrust upon children as early as kindergarten.

Not all behaviour is acceptable just because a society’s sexual mores and preferences change or become accepted by the majority, by a well-connected vociferous minority. Pedophilia and hebephilia are never acceptable, even if most people support it! Pedophiles call themselves “minor-attracted” persons. Bah! Beware of people who hide their abhorrent behaviors behind slogans, catchphrases, or euphemisms.

I am part of the baby boom generation. I witnessed the sexual revolution that took root during the 1960s-1970s. There were popular slogans to promote sexual promiscuity and drug use. Slogans like, “If it feels good, do it” were used to justify promiscuous sex outside of marriage. The slogan “don’t knock ‘til you’ve tried it” was used to justify illicit drug use, among other things. “Free love” was used for casual sex. It wasn’t free. The cost came in the form of broken homes and divorce, rampant sexually transmitted infections, abortion, and countless broken hearts. The slogan of free love promoted lust, not love. The sexual revolution was based on a false promise of freedom, behavior without consequences, and irresponsibility to the community in favour of personal autonomy. Instead, what we got was more than the ‘boomers of yore anticipated. As of 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated:

  • STIs like herpes, gonorrhea and syphilis can increase the risk of HIV acquisition.
  • Mother-to-child transmission of STIs can result in stillbirth, neonatal death, low birth weight and prematurity, sepsis, neonatal conjunctivitis, and congenital deformities.
  • HPV infection causes cervical and other cancers.
  • Hepatitis B resulted in an estimated 820,000 deaths in 2019, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are major causes of pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women.[1]

That is not free love. It has been a catastrophic 60-year social experiment that has deviated within deviancy, where a hook-up culture is normalized, or the myth that men can become women and women become men has been embraced by the cultural élites, educators, and media. Free love was a failure.

True freedom comes with responsibility. It never includes the freedom to kill another (abortion and assisted suicide). True freedom does not search for ‘my truth’ and ‘your truth’ or relative truth. It searches for THE Truth. Freedom does not just include what I want to do, but also what I ought to do. The word “ought” indicates there is such a thing as right and wrong, truth and falsehood. What I want to do is less important than doing what I ought to do. 

Am I saying there is such a thing as objective truth? Yes. My behaviour should draw me closer to that truth. My smallest of actions or behaviours either draw me closer to it or take me further from it. The sexual revolution (and its sad legacy) has taken us further from the Truth. That Truth is found in following Jesus Christ,[2] and His word.  The dismantling of our former Judeo-Christian cultural ethic and ethos was intentional. I think our culture is collapsing because we have thrown off restraint and the idea of an ultimate source of what defines Goodness, Beauty, and Truth. In other words, God.  America and Canada must turn back Him.

That is the only way out of the cultural and human collapse we are witnessing.


[1] World Health Organization, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), 10 July 2023.  https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)


[2] John 14.6.

Saturday, March 9, 2024



A Journey Toward Love

(Based on a true story)


Screenplay by

 Mark Davis Pickup

Email: markdpickup@icloud.com

Logline: TRANSCEND is the love story of Mark and LaRee Fraser[2] that transcends the heartbreak of death, abortion, degenerative disease (multiple sclerosis) and serious disability to reach a profound commitment to God and each other.  It’s the story of their difficult journey toward a deeper and fuller understanding of love (both human and divine).



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.”


Commenting on Mark’s miracle, author, lawyer, and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute Center for Human Exceptionalism in Washington, DC, Wesley J. Smith said:


“I met Mark Davis Pickup in the early 1990s and we became good friends. When I met him, he could barely walk using two canes because of his progressive MS. Over time, I noticed his condition worsen, to the point he became triplegic, that is, only able to use his left arm. He had no use of his legs whatsoever. I am convinced Mark’s dramatic improvement is a miracle. What else could explain a man in the later stages of MS being able to walk again and ride a bicycle? Mark is a very prayerful Christian, and I believe his faith was answered as a sign to the world.” 

If you wish to support the making of this film, you can do so at TRANSCEND movie. Thank you and God Bless.

[1] TRANSCEND: A Journey Toward Love has a Canadian copyright and is registered with the Writers Guild of America (West).

[2] The surname of LaRee and Mark Pickup has been changed to Fraser in the script.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Goodbye Pooh Bear Revisited

One of my more popular blog posts was in 2015 under the title Goodbye Pooh Bear. It was so popular I have decided to update it and repost below.


Winnie the Pooh has been loved by millions of children. Pooh and his assorted friends had a tender place in the early years of my grandchildren, as, I'm sure, Winnie was/is for the wee children in your life. 

2006 was a time of mixed emotions for me: A granddaughter had just been born at the same hospital as my aged mother was receiving treatment for terminal cancer. I remember traveling up and down the elevator, maternity ward to palliative care, thinking how peculiar it was to have s sorrow and joy in my heart at the same time.  

I also had a small grandson. He lived in the same town as his grandmother and me. He and I rode miles around town in my electric wheelchair to visit various playgrounds dotted throughout the community; in winter I pulled him on a sleigh behind my chair or snuggled on my lap under a warm blanket. I saw my little guy nearly every day. His world was our small town and our family (it was my world too). 

Something else happened in the Spring of 2006. My daughter and son-in-law told me they were going to move away from our community come summer. Between my mother dying and knowing about the move, it was a sad time. We would soon be me

One rainy day in the spring of that year, my little grandson and I were watching Disney’s children’s movie Pooh’s Grand Adventure (1997). It starts on the last day of summer with Christopher Robin trying to break the sad news to Winnie the Pooh that he must go away to boarding school:

CR:  Pooh Bear, what if, someday, there came a tomorrow when we were apart?
PB: As long as we’re apart together, we shall certainly be fine.
CR: Yes, yes, of course, but if we weren’t together. If I were … somewhere else?
PB: Well, you really couldn’t be, because I would be lost without you. Who would I call on those days when I’m just not strong enough, or, or brave enough.
CR: Well, actually …
PB: And, who would I ask for advice when I didn’t know which way to turn?
CR: Pooh, we …
PB: We! We simply wouldn’t be.

The scene stabbed me in the heart as my little guy sat eating
popcorn, oblivious to changes in store for him. In the touching exchange above, Winnie the Pooh is asked by Christopher Robin to consider the possibility of them being separated. It’s unthinkable to Pooh and Christopher Robin can not muster the courage to say he is leaving for boarding school. The unthinkable happens. The next morning Pooh discovers that Christopher Robin really is “somewhere else.” And so a brokenhearted Pooh Bear embarks upon a misguided but grand adventure to find his best friend.

Like Christopher Robin, I couldn't bring myself to tell my grandson that soon we would be separated from the daily intimacy we had known. His family was moving away. A tomorrow was about to come when we would be apart.  

My mother died the same day my grandson moved away. I felt empty inside.

Separation by distance or time

It is terrible to think about being separated from those we love. Yet, it is a heartbreaking prospect we all shall face at some time or another. The sadness of separation will surely visit you and me. It may be the result of events, or time, or distance, or death. But eventually, we will all feel an inconsolable ache of being separated from the human relationships that matter most to us.  

Painful separation by death

To be widowed or orphaned is a terrible thing. To be suddenly left alone in the midst of life’s journey can cause such sorrow that the griever may be convinced their heart is irreparably damaged and about to break in two. They wake each morning to the dreadful reality that he or she really is gone.  The gaping hole left by the loss of a loved one seems too great to bear and the griever weeps at the thought that ‘we’ has become ‘me’.  The griever’s heart cries out: “I am lost without you! I am not strong enough or brave enough to endure this pain!”  Pooh Bear was right: We ceases to be!

Pooh’s Grand Adventure spoke to me of things I should have said to my grandson (and mother). But like Christopher Robin, I couldn't bring myself to prepare us both for the day we would be apart. Distance and death would separate us.

For those of us who live by faith, our consolation in the agony of 
separation is Jesus Christ. The separation of loved ones through death is not final.  Jesus said, “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  (Matthew 5.3.) And so we shall be comforted. Saint Luke’s parallel account of the Beatitudes (Luke 6:20-22) puts Jesus the words this way: “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” Present pain carries a future promise and blessing. 

These words come, of course, from the Beatitudes found in Matthew chapter 5:  and a parallel account found in Luke. Our Lord's words respond to the human desire for happiness, not for things of the world, but a divine desire God placed in the heart of every man, woman and child, in order to draw people to Him. He alone is capable fulfilling that desire. To seek God is to seek real happiness and enter heaven's joy.

Glorious hope awaits us

Present human understanding of love and relationships will seem like poor reflections of the genuine articles when we stand face to face with the Creator of both.  We will realize that we were always fully known, even in the loneliest of earthly sorrows. (See 1Corinthians 13.12-13.) 

Standing face to face before God, He will personally wipe away every tear we cried here. God’s children will be with Him (John 1.12). The Bible says:

"I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God). He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away.” The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21.3-5)

We must teach our children and grandchildren of this glorious hope that awaits those who trust in Christ.  We will be together again with Jesus in Paradise.  If the promise is “trustworthy and true” (and it is)  then, the only response possible will be joyous laughter. We simply will be, Pooh bear. We simply will be, together with Christ. — Mark


My four-year-old grandson is now a man. He's on his own making his way in the world. I may not be with him but he will always be in my heart.  Time and distance may have put us 'somewhere else'. but love has proven strong enough and brave enough to keep us we. I trust he will succeed in life. His destiny calls. Goodbye, Pooh Bear.

Monday, January 22, 2024


The local newspaper of my home city (Beaumont, Alberta) just published a story about my faith-based movie screenplay TRANSCEND. See the end of this post. It has a local tenor because, well, it is a  community newspaper. It's apropos because I'm at heart a community man with my heart thoroughly ensconced in my community. My article was sandwiched between minor hockey news and a photo of a kindergarten class in their jammies on pajama day. Community newspapers: They seem to be fading away; victims of the internet.   

As mentioned in the article, a few phases must occur before the TRANSCEND movie ever makes it to the big screen, little screen, or streaming service. The first phase is to develop a 'pitch' package to present to possible major investors. It involves such things as:

-    Research related to the story, 

-    Having a Story Editor polish the existing script to meet industry standards.

-    Identifying the Production Team and key Creatives (Producers, Production Manager, Director of Photography, and composer. The Creative Team will envision style and create a Treatment and Cinematic Approach.

 -   Make a complete Budget for the film.

-    Make a Production Plan and Schedule.

-    Do Market Research with respect to viewing trends and markets.

-    Make a Financing Plan for the project.

-    Create a compelling summary of the elements of the film in the form of an industry-standard graphically designed One Sheet. 

-    Identify and approach possible leading actors, and their bios, along with other actors.

-    Pitch the Script to appropriate TV, Video On Demand, Subscribed Video, and Pay Per View buyers as well as Digital Media for Pre-Licensing the Project along with Distributors for Theatrical Distribution.   

-  Pitch the film, its Script, and Production Package to possible Equity Share Investors in the project.  

Once financing is secured, production of TRANSCEND begins. But first, a complete and thorough investor proposal must be put together and that has an estimated cost of $55,000 ($40,650 USD)

If you are interested in partnering with Mighty Motion Pictures to underwrite part or all of the development phase, contact Drew Martin, President and Executive of Mighty Motion Pictures by email at mightymotionpictures@gmail.com, Telephone: (780) 710-5017, or contribute to my crowdfunding site for the movie here: TRANSCEND MOVIE. Thank you.


Friday, November 10, 2023



Taken from: Evil Advances in Increments , The Human Life Review, Summer 2023.

Subscribe to The Human Life Review Inc., 271 Madison Avenue, Room 1005, New York, New York, 10016, editors@humanlifereview.com

Evil Advances in Increments addresses Canada's 2015 barbaric legislation legalizing assisted suicide, in a misguided attempt to address the suffering of physically and mentally ill Canadians. Human Life Review, editor Anne Conlon commented on my article: 

"Woven throughout his heartfelt—and surprising—article is Pickup’s own story as a long-time sufferer of a disabling disease who has “come to understand that assisted suicide and euthanasia have no place in a genuinely human family.”

Contact for Mark is: HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca