“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

Monday, January 22, 2024

PITCHING THE FAITH-BASED, MARRIAGE AFFIRMING MOVIE SCRIPT "TRANSCEND" TO POTENTIAL INVESTORS

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.

Mark





Friday, November 10, 2023

EVIL ADVANCES IN INCREMENTS

 

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


 





Friday, November 3, 2023

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR AND BIBLE PROPHECY

 

AllIsraelNews* was started by Jewish Christian New York Times best-selling author Joe Rosenberg.**  Read a guest blog column below by Dr. Hormoz Shariat that appeared on the site recently titled, "Finding Hope AmidstTensions: How the Israel-Hamas Conflict is Fulfilling Prophecy" at "Finding Hope Amidst Tensions: How the Israel - Hamas Conflict is Fulfilling Biblical Prophesy" at https://allisrael.com/finding-hope-amidst-tensions-how-the-israel-hamas-conflict-is-fulfilling-biblical-prophecy?cx_testId=2&cx_testVariant=cx_1&cx_artPos=1&cx_experienceId=EXHEQXGY5QWM#cxrecs_s

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*Subscribe to Allisrael News at https://allisrael.com/ for news and events impacting Israel and he Middle East for the evangelical world.

**https://joelrosenberg.com/


Monday, October 30, 2023

WALMART GETS IT RIGHT ABOUT CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

Below is a message I have sent to Horacio Barbeito, CEO of Walmart Canada regarding an excellent Christmas toy catalogue that had children with disabilities interspersed throughout it. I mentioned only two.

________________________________

Dear Mr. Barbeito

Re:       CANADA’S #1 TOY STORE, Christmas catalogue

(WSC39-23-D, WK39_23_TOY_CAT_01_E_D_NAT)

___________________________________________________

 

I want to commend Walmart for its Christmas catalogue noted above. Your inclusion of various children with various disabilities throughout the catalogue was a breath of fresh air. The children were not “featured” rather simply included within settings of normal play. No fanfare, no singling out for special recognition, just children playing.  Having said this, I know it's contradictory for me to point out a child with Down’s syndrome on the cover and a child with a wheelchair (Page 19), and it is. Still, what you did for the 2023 Christmas toy catalogue is important: I’ve long advocated for disability inclusion and have wanted to see all our children included as indispensable members of our community and within the public mindset. That is real inclusion.

 

What you have done is promote proper, legitimate inclusion and integration of children with disabilities. Bravo! It’s wonderful to see. Thank you.

 

Mark Davis Pickup

North American Life and disability

Inclusion advocate

Beaumont, AB

Canada

Email: HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca


Thursday, October 12, 2023

SIMPLICITY INVITES DIVINE JOY

 


Simplicity helps bring Truth if you are searching for truth. Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14.6)  Our interior lives must remain as simple and quiet as possible if we are to be sensitive to the presence of the Holy Spirit. 


The psalmist wrote under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "Be still and know, that I am God." (Psalm 46.10) Our interior life must not be cluttered by the cares and worries that incessantly clamour for our attention. We must learn to be still even in the storms of life and trust and trust God.  


This is the wisdom and truth of simplicity that can be found in solitude. It is a similar truth to what I found in my sickroom during months that stretched into years of vicious multiple sclerosis attacks. It was the truth I encountered throughout many Canadian winters of mountainous snowbanks. They stopped my wheelchair from venturing out into the cold and enforced annual cloisters in my little house on the prairie, when days are short and nights are long. I waited in stillness for Christ.


Our technological world can distract us with the allure and promise of pleasures. It is in simple joy that comes from nowhere in particular when we encounter the presence of God who is the source and meaning to our lives and humanity.


This joy can be traced back to the simpleness of our earliest life. We did not know, of course, how to express our encounters with ecstasy. It simply came for a fleeting moment, from beyond us, then vanished without warning and life became ordinary again. 


We were left an after-glow of that sensation, a visitation had came from beyond us, but linked something before Joy's visitation and a vague yearning or desire for what or where we did not know.  C.S. Lewis wrote about being surprised by this divine joy in his wonderful little book, Surprised by Joy and again in his essay entitled "The Weight of Glory." I think it has something to do with what the Scriptures say about God:


"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." (Ecclesiastes 3.11)


In matters of simplicity and joy, babies and small children have much to teach their elders. It embarrasses me be to mention this primordial joy, but I think that if your reach back to your earliest memory you will discover what I am writing about. C.S. Lewis said this about the spiritual experiences of small children:


“From our own childhoods we remember that before our elders thought us capable of “understanding” anything, we already had spiritual experiences as pure and momentous as any we have undergone since, ... From Christianity itself we learn there is a level ― in the long run the only level of importance ― on which the learned and the adult have no advantage at all over the simple and the child.” (C.S. Lewis, "The Weight of Glory" in They Asked For a Paper, (London:Geofrey Bles, 1962) p. 197)


Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18.2-5)  He was speaking of becoming childlike not childish. Like a small children's complete trust in their parents, we are called to be obedient and completely trust Christ, come what may. 


I have spent much of my adult life trying to recapture what came naturally as a child. In a strange and unexpected way, chronic and serious neurological disease of aggressive multiple sclerosis blessed me in that regard. By losing my health, my career, my foolish and delicate sense of self-sufficiency, extraneous things in my life were stripped away, leaving only that which is essential. Thomas a Kempis wrote:


"Sometimes it is to our advantage to endure misfortunes and adversities, for they make us enter our inner selves and acknowledge that we are in a place of exile and that we ought not to rely on anything in this world." (Imitation of Christ)


The meaning of my life has not been a discovery rather a re-discovery. After more than three decades of aggressive MS, all I have left that means anything to me is the simplicity of Divine love and the love of my life for 50 years, my wife, that washes over me. It provides fertile ground for joy to take root and blossom as my constant possession in eternity. 


Five years ago, after a lifetime fighting the paralysis of aggressive MS, God gave me back the use of my legs and arm, as an old man, to walk again. He comes to me in my old age with gentle peace and the warmth of quiet joy of His. 






Sunday, September 24, 2023

MY HEART WAS FILLED WITH JEALOUSY, NOT ENVY

 


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 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxgE3HLBqw8

Thursday, September 14, 2023

ONE THING I KNOW IS THAT I WAS PARALYSED AND NOW I WALK (cf. John 9:24-25)

 


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 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. 

MDP