“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

Friday, January 31, 2014


It is by watching the dynamics between their father and mother that children learn about proper (or improper) relationships between the sexes. It is in the home that children are first introduced to the concept of love between a man and a woman united in marriage. It is by observing their parents that children first learn about loyalty, commitment and mutual submission and self-sacrifice for the betterment of the other. That is the way it supposed to be.

Boys learn from their fathers. Dads, be careful of the example you set for your sons. Whether bad or good, your example will be your legacy. Only you can decide which it shall be. 

After 40 years of marriage and being a father and grandfather I believe the truth of the old adage: The best complement a man can give to his children is to tell and show them he loves their mother.

Marriage between a man and a women is a holy covenant ordained by God. Men, nurture your marriages, honor your wives.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Is there anything so wicked as a man trying to silence his
conscience?  It is a willful act that happens in stages: Bit by bit, incident by incident, rationalization by rationalization, the voice of a man’s conscience can be stifled—that still small voice within him eventually becomes fainter, until his heart turns to stone and covers the voice within.

But even within a stone-heart, his conscience knocks and pounds against the inner granite wall, making muffled cries of protest.

How many murderers have used alcohol or drugs to dull a stabbing conscience! How many corrupt business tycoons keep their lives busy with the hum of constant shady wheeling and dealing to distract them from a relentless nagging conscience? Occasionally, at an unexpected moment, a whisper of conscience escapes from behind their stone hearts and catches them off-guard—only to be quickly squelched. 

Perhaps they tell themselves they would not be so cruel if it weren’t for their own abusive upbringing.  Perhaps they ease a twinge of shame by telling themselves it was their own poverty as a child that drives them to accumulate ill-gotten wealth so their own little ‘Johnny’ or ‘Suzy’ won’t have to endure deprivation.  Besides, the wily old tycoon has done good things too. Remember that charity drive for crippled children he hosted in 1972?  It must have helped dozens of kids!

As long as a man is still making excuses for his bad behavior, we know his conscience is alive. There’s still hope for his humanity. As long as he’s trying to hide his misdeeds, there is still acknowledgement of good and evil and right from wrong. The fact that the evil or misdeeds are hidden bears witness that he knows what is right.  

Natural law

People of older times called this innate sense of right from wrong the Law of Nature or Natural Law—a standard of decent behavior that people instinctively understood beginning in early childhood. It was innate and didn’t need to be taught. 

C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis began his marvelous book Mere Christianity, by addressing the Law of Human Nature.  He started with the premise that people everywhere ascribe to a common standard of Objective truth, a set of rules of fair play or morality to which they expect others to know about.  You can tell this by the way children and adults alike quarrel. Lewis wrote:

“They say things like this: “How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?” ─ “That’s my seat, I was there first”─ “Leave him alone, he isn’t doing you any harm” ─ “Why should you shove in first? ─ “Give me a bit of your orange, I gave you a bit of mine ─ “Come on, you promised.””

Lewis noted that seldom does the other party reply: “To hell with your standard.” No! The offender pretends that there’s some special reason why “the person who took the seat first should not keep it, or that things were quite different when he was given the bit of orange, or that something has turned up which lets him off keeping his promise.”  In fact they both agree with a common standard of decent behavior. The fact that they are quarrelling indicates that they are trying to show the other person is in the wrong. Otherwise, as Lewis wrote, they would “fight like animals”.

C.S. Lewis originally put this idea forward in the 1940s for a series of British radio broadcasts.  Mere Christianity was not published until 1952.  The idea of a natural moral law ingrained into humanity has weaved throughout history.  America’s founding Fathers talked of ‘Truths’ that are ‘self-evident’ (human equality and being “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”)

Saint Paul referred to natural law written on human hearts (Romans 2.14-15). The Catholic church teaches that “natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie:” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 1954). Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903) said, “the natural law is written and engraved in the soul of each and every man.” 

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) said,

“The natural law is nothing other than the light of understanding placed in us by God; through it we know what we must do and what we must avoid. God has given this light or law at the creation.”

Brave New World

And yet I see rampant immorality with little obvious guilt. People parade their sin in the streets! How can this be?  Abortion advocates successfully secured abortion on demand, resulting in the deaths of millions. Biomedical researchers experiment on embryonic human life. They advocate strip mining comatose patients for their organs. Euthanasia and assisted suicide proponents are gaining acceptance in mainstream society.

People with serious progressive disabilities (like me) are left to wonder what awaits us in our Brave New World of the 21st Century?!  Has modern secular man been able to finally eradicate God’s natural law from the human heart?[1]

The Catholic church teaches this is not possible.

“Even when rejected in its very principles, it cannot be destroyed or removed from the heart of man. It always rises again in the life of individuals and societies.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1958.)

Nazi euthanasia victims wait
their fate
And history teaches this too. Despots and scoundrels, prevaricators and deniers of natural law have risen before. They have their day in the limelight but the natural law they denied or twisted still beckons good people back to the Truth.

The Church speaks the Truth to provide moral clarity to humanity—even at the darkest moments of confusion. If this generation rejects the principles of natural law and God’s Word, another generation faithful the Word of God will rise to replace error with Truth. I believe this with all my heart. I must!

[Chopin's Prelude in e minor, Op.28, No. 4]

[1] For more reading on these subjects see Wesley J. Smith’s books (Culture of Death, Encounter Books 2002) & Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World (Encounter Books, 2005).

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


There is a new Christian movie called ALONE, YET NOT ALONE. See  the trailer here.

My friend Joni Eareckson Tada sang the title track and it has been nominated for an Oscar. Although a disgruntled composer of a rival song challenged the nomination, the Academy has ruled the song is eligible for the Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.[1]

See below and listen to Joni's wonderful voice. Here's hoping we see my dear friend Joni on the red carpet for the Academy Awards!

[1] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/alone-not-alone-eligibility-oscar-673329

Monday, January 27, 2014


In the January/February edition of Christianity Today (they called themselves CT now) a small article caught my eye. It was entitled  "More evangelicals see suicide as moral." Really?

According to the Pew Research Center, 1 in 3 evangelicals who worship weekly think that "a person has a "moral right" to suicide if, they are "in great pain with no hope of improvement. Fewer approve in other circumstances (incurable illness: 27%; ready to die: 19%; burden on the family: 19%."

Deeply, deeply disturbing... . 

I presume the reference to "evangelicals" means people who claim to be biblical Christians. The NELSON'S NEW CHRISTIAN DICTIONARY: An Authoritative Resource on the Christian World. (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001) defines evangelical this way: "Member of a Bible-based Protestant church emphasizing personal salvation solely through being born again and through uncompromising  commitment to the person of Jesus Christ." 

How can one third of evangelical Christians give a biblical justification to support suicide? What Scriptures would they use? How can nearly 30% of evangelicals support suicide for incurable illness? 

If a born-again evangelical Christian has an uncompromising commitment to the person of Jesus Christ, and believes the Bible is the inerrant word of God, I defy him to find any place in the Holy Bible or in the life of Christ that would support his position. Actually quite the opposite is true. 

The great 20th century Christian apologist Malcolm Muggeridge once said, "Jesus healed the sick, raised Lazarus from the dead, gave back sanity to the deranged, but never did He practice, or include, killing as part of the mercy that occupied His heart. His true followers cannot but adopt the same attitude."

I have been incurably ill with multiple sclerosis for 30 years. At about the 2-3 year point of my degeneration, my sorrow was so deep, my heartache was so sharp that I might have chosen suicide had I not been surrounded by people who loved me and a Christian community of concern that lifted up my inherent value --even when I doubted my own value. They would have intervened with psychiatric care had I been in danger of hurting myself or found someone to help my suicide. Today I am so happy I did not kill myself when I was at my lowest point.

Granted, I now use an electric wheelchair (at one time it was so repugnant to consider) and I have been unable to work for many years, but I am still surrounded family who chose to still love me. I am head-over-heels in love with them, including five wonderful grandchildren who bring me such joy. Look what I would have missed had I opted for suicide 20 or 25 years ago!

Followers of Christ must stand for the sanctity of every life. There are effective pain medications and medical techniques that can eliminate all physical pain.[1] Emotional and spiritual pain are more difficult to reach and treat, but good Christ-centered palliative counselling can manage this pain. The love of Jesus Christ can reach and heal emotional and spiritual anguish. (I know, I have personally experienced it.)

I hope the Pew Research Center was wrong in their claim that so many evangelical Christians support suicide for the sick. 

Fellow Christian, do not let the culture of death that is all around us change you. Challenge and change the culture to embrace every life, regardless of how hopeless circumstances may seem for the incurably ill.  With Christ there is always hope. I know it.


[1] Dr. John Scott, palliative care expert at the University of Ottawa, wrote these words in 1995: "The World Health Organization has demonstrated the access to pain-relieving drugs, along with a simple educational program, can achieve relief in a vast majority of patients. Specialists in various parts of the world estimate these basic approaches can control 85 to 98 percent of cases. The remaining cases require more careful attention and the use of multiple drugs and therapies to achieve complete relief." How much more have therapies have improved in the intervening 19 years!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Gregorio Allegri
I came across a BBC program on the story of Gregorio Allegri's iconic masterpiece Miserere. As usual the BBC made a visually elegant production with vaguely anti-Catholic undertones -- but it's still worth watching. The program is 30 minutes long and traces the Miserere we know today back to its more simple beginning. 

Friday, January 24, 2014


I want to post story coverage about this year's March for Life in Washington, D.C.. After all, the American mainline national media (dominated by liberals) only gave the scantest coverage. Most Americans may not even know that tens of thousands of Americans showed up if it was left to the mainstream media. 

The same thing happens in Canada.  In my city of Edmonton, a dozen protesters can show up in front of the provincial legislature in support of tax funded sex reassignment surgery and it leads the evening news. A thousand people show up at the legislature and march through the street to protest the killing of thousands of unborn children by abortion (all tax funded) and the media is virtually silent. 

But  new social media is getting the word out where the news media refuses. This blog is part of that new approach to gathering out  information. Thousands of people visit the HumanLifeMatters blog each month. 

See video below.


Greg Abbott, Republican candidate
for Governor of Texas
Supporters of Democratic candidate for Texas Governor, Wendy Davis were caught on hidden tape ridiculing the Republican candidate's disability. Greg Abbott uses a wheelchair. To be fair, I must acknowledge that once the tape  hit the Internet, Wendy Davis was quick to denounce her supporters. What else could she do?!

This incident caught my attention for obvious reasons. Anti-disability prejudice must not be tolerated from whatever side of the political spectrum from which it may come. The offensive video is below. Beneath it is an interview of Greg Abbott by television journalist Megyn Kelly.

Christians in Texas have an opportunity to publicly denounce this revelation of Wendy Davis' supporters and to identify with Texans with disabilities. Promote full inclusion of people with disabilities and the removal of barriers -- whether physical or prejudice -- that may prevent them from meeting their full potential and place in society.    

Greg Abbott responds. See below.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Joni Eareckson Tada
In the evangelical Christian world, Joni Eareckson Tada is a Superstar. She is Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center (Agoura Hills, California) and a global disability advocate. Cut and paste the following internet address to read her impressive biography - http://www.joniandfriends.org/jonis-corner/jonis-bio/

Joni has been a good friend to me over a number of years, and has been very supportive of my work against acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. 

In a 2013, Joni stated:

Joni and me at Biola University, CA
"... I support my Canadian friend, Mark Pickup, in his efforts to oppose euthanasia and assisted-suicide in Canada. As a fellow wheelchair user with a significant disability, Mark has a keen understanding of how our actions and efforts influence public policy."

"As a stalwart Christian, Mark believes that in this darkening juncture in history, followers of Christ have a vital role to play in restoring a cultural mindset that holds fast to the sanctity and dignity of all human life. ..."

"I pray you will support Mark Pickup -- my friend is spearheading a valiant effort to push back the tide of darkness in Canada and shine a light of biblical truth across every province."

That darkening juncture in history to which Joni refers is a New Dark Age where incurably ill and disabled people will eventually be routinely euthanized -- with or without their consent! The ominous shadows of that New Dark Age threaten Canada, America and much of western Europe. Christians must unite now to resist the cultural acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide added to sea of blood that is polluting the land by abortion. Let me again use Joni's words that we must "push back the tide of darkness in Canada and shine the light of biblical truth across every province."  

I am available to address denominational leaders, churches, Christian hospitals and medical groups, universities, colleges and schools, politicians and legislative committees, pro-Life and community groups about the perils of euthanasia/assisted suicide acceptance and how Christians can stand against them and for human dignity. To obtain my biography or bookings please write to me at HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca

If you would like to join me to "shine a light of biblical truth across every province" contact me at the same email as above. I'm interested to discuss collective Christian strategies not only for life-affirming public policy but life-affirming alternatives to counter euthanasia and assisted suicide that threatens vulnerable people. 

If you would prefer to help financially, you can contribute through the donation button on the right side this blog. (It is not tax deductible and because of the political aspect would probably be ineligible for a tax number.) You can also send donations to HumanLifeMatters c/o 4417-51 Street, Beaumont, AB. Canada, T4X 1C8. This will help pay for integrated IT services and increase a life-affirming internet presence of HumanLifeMatters, production of educational materials, audio-visual display costs, commercials and support services as needed.


"Defend the poor and fatherless; Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. They do not know, nor do they understand; they walk in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable." (Psalm 82.3-5)

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Edward Elgar wrote his moving cello adagio, Sospiri, Op. 70 just prior to World War I -- a terrible war that would decimate a generation of young men and change the world. The word Sospiri is Italian for "sighs". The website of The Elgar Society (yes, there actually is one)[1] speculated that "perhaps it was the gathering storm clouds of war that moved him to write a heartfelt, bleak adagio" which was Sospiri. 

We have all experienced a sense of dread. We may not be able to identify why we have fear and our dread is unfocused. Sometimes there are circumstances developing that makes our sense of unease well founded. Elgar's dread was well founded. 

World War I was called the war to end all wars with the loss of an estimated 37-million people, but it did not end all wars. Only God knows the true numbers of lives lost to war since then and the incalculable grief of loved-ones. 

I am a Christian. I believe there will come a time when God will put an end to war and wipe away every tear of the brokenhearted (See Revelation 21.3-4). 

"They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." Isaiah 2.4.

[Link below to Edward Elgar's Sospiri, Op. 70, Cellist, Sol Gabetta or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=886dO7OA6eY ]

[1] http://www.elgar.org/elgarsoc/index.html


My father
It was 44 years ago yesterday that my father died. (See previous blog post for January 16th entitled "Desiring Heaven where love is complete"). He was an conservative, evangelical, Biblical Christian who brought me up in the faith of his father and the Faith of our Fathers. 

His greatest wish was that I would love Jesus Christ with all my heart. It was not so important to him that I worship in an evangelical tradition or within a more orthodox liturgical way. One of his dearest friends was a Catholic Priest. This was interesting to me because I was brought up during the 1950s and the 1960s when Protestants believed Catholics were lost and Catholics believed Protestants were lost, yet my father did not. One day I asked him why one of his best friends was a Catholic priest. He simply answered: "I see Christ in him."

They had their doctrinal differences but on the central points of Christian faith they were in agreement as is articulated in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. They both believed that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. They both had a personal and daily relationship with Jesus Christ and desired to serve Him. Both my dad and Father Edward Lynch were gracious men who knew there were things where they would not agree but they also knew they were still brothers in Christ.  They were one in Christ Jesus.

My father died when I was 16 years old and Father Lynch stepped in to love me through my grief and give me fatherly guidance.  He had been a presence in my life for some years even before my father died. I was surrounded by their manly good natures and devout Christian faith from the time I was of about twelve. My father was a scholar and the priest was an athlete. Both men had a profound influence on my life. Many years later  I wrote about this in a Catholic newspaper:

"Two towering, authentic Christians overshadowed my boyhood. One was my father, a devout evangelical Christian. The other was a Roman Catholic priest. A love of Christ was clearly evidence in both men.They created in me two immense chambers. On the door of one chamber was stamped Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), on the other was stamped Scripture and Sacred Traditions. From beneath both doors radiated narrow beams of white light from divine love." 

This morning across the country, Catholic Christians prayed "For dialogue, reconciliation and unity of Christians throughout the world, we pray to the Lord." I prayed it too. If there is to be reconciliation between Christians I submit that it is between Catholics and Evangelical Protestants and not liberals Protestants who have compromised the historic Faith of the Fathers. (Many liberal Protestants have denied the Virgin birth, the miracles, the inerrancy of the Scriptures, the physical Resurrection of Christ and other truths of authentic Christianity.)

I am an old man now and consider myself an evangelical Catholic. I don't want to fight about doctrinal differences that divide Christians. I want to talk about what unites us: Jesus Christ.

[See link below without political or sectarian interpretations rather simply glory to God.]

Friday, January 17, 2014


LaRee and me then and now
A few months ago, my wife LaRee and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We have experienced so much together, both good and bad. LaRee gave birth to our two children and we raised them in our little French village of Beaumont in western Canada. Our children grew up and eventually gave us five grandchildren. Life has been good.

Granted, there have been sad and hard times as loved-ones died
and disease and disability broke our hearts. Despite it all I still remember the wish that I expressed when we were young: I want us to grow old together. It is coming true. One love for one lifetime. I wouldn't have it any other way. My heart still skips a beat when LaRee enters the room.

And if I close my eyes, I can imagine that my wheelchair is not here and we are dancing once again cheek to cheek in the old fashioned way. If you are reading this LaRee, isn't it lovely to imagine? 

Marriage as God planned it: A man and a woman united in matrimony for life with God at the center of their lives.

[NB: LaRee responded to this blog by saying: "Ahhh... you still have that romantic spark in you. That's part of why I fell in love with you. I remember so clearly the last time we danced. Your MS was moving at a rapid pace. We knew our time for dancing was limited, so we specifically set out one evening to dance even if it was the old fashioned way. Yes, I closed my eyes, swayed and imagined while this song played. It was lovely. Thank you Mark for sending me down memory lane. I loved it. -- LaRee.]

(Click image or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x5hNzoBc6E, Charles Aznavour, "Old Fashioned Way")

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I've been thinking about eternity. As I mentioned in an earlier post my wife is grieving the death of her mother. She asked me when the pain stops. I said the stabbing pain will subside but the love continues, even decades later.  I remembered an article I wrote that was published a number years ago about my first experience as a teenager losing a loved one. It has been updated and appears below. Perhaps there's a kernel of something in it for you. 

I remember sitting with my father in a boat on the middle of a still prairie lake. It was August of 1969 and I was sixteen years old. A cool mist rose from the surface of the lake that August morning. Fishing was good just after sunrise and so there we sat still half-asleep, casting our lines into the water. 

It was the last summer he and I would have together. I think we both suspected it. Dad suffered a terrible series of devastating heart attacks the year earlier. My family almost lost him. He was only a shell of his former robust self; his health was destroyed.

We sat quiet and motionless. Occasionally a fish jumped and broke the water’s glassy surface. A strange sensation came over me. It was as though we were suspended away from time, somewhere between heartbreak and eternity. A lonesome call of a loon came across the lake.  Its cry expressed the ache in my heart and it must have done the same to my father because he looked sadly at me. It seemed I was not looking into his eyes rather behind them.  In that brief second we lived centuries and our eyes filled with tears. We sat in that awkward state of emotion when neither of us dared speak for fear of weeping. Dad coughed to clear a lump from his throat. 

A fish bit his line and startled him. He reeled in his catch and I passed him the net.  I sat silently looking at his venerable head as he leaned over the side of the boat lifting our breakfast from the lake. We fished in silence for a little longer then headed back to shore.  The experience changed me. I knew we had touched something akin to our eternal soul-bond and that the days of two hearts beating as one would soon be over.

My father died the next winter at the age of 52, while the two of us were downhill skiing. He took a heart-attack on the hill and collapsed in the snow ahead of me. I took off his skis and sat in the snow holding his body while someone went for help. My father entered the ages. For the first time in my life my heart beat alone.  I looked down into his lifeless eyes and remembered that earlier morning in the boat the previous August.  Not even death could break our soul-bond.

Longings for eternity

It’s been forty-five years since that fateful day my father died, but time only increases my longing to be reunited with him in the perfect joy of Christ. It’s my physical health that is destroyed now (multiple sclerosis).  

Just as my Christian father shed his broken body, I must eventually shed mine. Our lowly diseased bodies will be transformed gloriously to be like Christ’s. We will see Christ as he is. We will know as we are known.
Saint John wrote:

Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1John 3.2)

The Apostle Paul tells us that our Christian’s citizenship is in heaven and that Christ “will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.” (Philippians 3.21)

The more decrepit I become the more my desire for that final ecstasy of heaven increases. Infatuation with things of this world must be quieted. Dross of the temporal must be removed so that the gold of the eternal shines through. Anticipation intensifies desire.

Saint Augustine wrote:

“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.”

Love fulfilled

Followers of Christ must throw off infatuations with this world as we make our pilgrim way toward the Celestial City. Lighten the load! Everything in this world is passing away with the exception of you and me.  As image bearers of God, all humanity is designed for eternity. Our home is not here.

The only thing worth our investment here on earth is love of God and love for other people that the Infinite cultivates.  Everything else merely obscures the eternal waiting for us in Christ Jesus. 

All temporal human love is but a cry, a moan, a longing for a deeper expression of unfulfilled desires.  It is unfulfilled because only in Christ can it be complete and Christ is God and God is the Author of love.

The love for a parent, mate, child or grandchild can only be complete on the other side of the grave.  Those who mourn a lost loved-one will be comforted (Matthew 5.4); they will laugh (Luke 6.21b). Sorrow and suffering will be turned to joy! Jesus promised it. Place your faith in him and his atoning sacrifice at Calvary.

Click below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0NCnsaPhXg  for Samuel Barber, Agnus Dei, Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge)    


Monday, January 13, 2014


"Christian love gives the dying souls peace", re-published by American Life League, January 8th 2014. 

It was a difficult time. Ten days after my wife's mother died, during a brutal Canadian January cold-snap, the weather moderated slightly to allow us to bury her body. A pall hung over the family waiting for the burial.

LaRee stood brokenhearted at the grave site. It was not that her mother's death was unexpected, her health had been gradually failing for years, but the dreaded moment arrived and this was the conclusion. 

LaRee can take comfort knowing she lovingly and faithfully journeyed with her mother to the end of her earthly life. I wrote about this a few months ago for Canada's Western Catholic Reporter. The American Life League re-published it two days before the burial of LaRee's mother, with a note acknowledging the death. (See attachment at the top of this blog entry.)

I sat in my wheelchair, a respectful ten feet back from the grave-site, to give LaRee some time to say goodbye before the casket was lowered into the frozen earth. Despite cold Canadian air, the sun shone and slightly warmed the side of our faces like a reminder that winter will eventually give way to Spring -- and to punctuate the point, I heard a chickadee in the trees above the grave. 

Nature itself proclaims the glory of the Lord (Psalm 19.1-2). Nature is a teacher. The shadows of the valley disappears in the ascent up the mountain to reveal the magnificent peak. A grain of wheat falls into the ground and comes forth later to bring its harvest. Our Lord spoke of this. 

LaRee's mother was a simple woman who loved shiny things and
butterflies. Even the butterfly is a metaphor for our resurrection. The lowly caterpillar goes into a cocoon only to emerge a beautiful butterfly. Yes, nature is a witness to its Creator.

Spiritual things are not mere metaphors for physical reality. The physical world is a metaphor for spiritual reality. -- MDP
(Link below is to John Rutter's Look At the World, Cambridge Singers, on image or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb0g-npfVcI ) 

Monday, January 6, 2014


Dr. Heidi Janz
The notice below is for people in the Edmonton (Canada) area interested in services for disabled Albertans. Dr. Janz is a personal friend and fellow Christian. She's brilliant.

Friday, 17 January 2014
The John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre invites you to a Health Ethics Seminar


Presented by
Heidi Janz, PhD

Assistant Adjunct Professor,
John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre

FRIDAY, 17 January 2014
12:00 - 1:00pm

Dvorkin Centre (2G2.07 WMC)
University of Alberta Hospital
Link to view map:http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/facilities.asp?pid=facility&rid=6600

To register for Telehealth please visit:
 or contact your local Telehealth provider or dossetor.centre@ualberta.ca


*AHS  stands for the provincial Alberta Healthcare Services. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Below is an article published previously. I think it is worth re-visiting.

There are two questions most people avoid. The questions are: “Why am I here?” and “Where am I going?”  They are such penetrating questions that vast numbers of people spend their lives going to great lengths to avoid them. 

Questions call for answers and these two questions pierce to the core of who and what a person is (or is not). They will expose a person’s spiritual state and their humanity (or lack of it). The questions can be unpleasant, threatening and make a person feel uncomfortable. They can spark internal crisis.

Most people would rather busy themselves with frenzied activity of work, rushing here and there, or trying to satisfy the insatiable demands of commerce. They would rather fill their cars with ear-piercing music than be surrounded by the threat of quietude. They prefer a nightclub of raunchy strangers to a room of blessed solitude. They will occupy themselves with inordinate obsessions of hobbies, or even walk over a bed of hot coals, rather than answer those two fundamental human questions. Anything is preferable to introspection and the possibility of confronting those two questions. But not facing, not contemplating, not answering those questions is so much more costly for people’s spirits and souls than seeking an answer.

Henry David Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” He also said, “If misery loves company, misery has company enough.” He was right. What could more miserable and desperate for a person than not knowing why they exist or where they are going?

Contemplating why you are here and where you are going will either rekindle joy or break your heart. But avoiding the questions is much more costly -- you will die with the song God gave you still unsung. 

The natural conclusion for an atheist is that there is no purpose or destiny to life.  The universe is as silent as his grave, or so he thinks. The evolutionist believes us we are nothing more than ancestors of primordial slime, and to conclude we have any more value than that has no basis. After all, according to evolution, everything is the result of random chance. Thought itself is ultimately meaningless -- merely the product of electrical or chemical impulses and reactions. Concepts like right and wrong, fairness or justice are meaningless in a world of chance. The logical conclusion for an atheist and evolutionist must be that humanity has no more value than a leaf, a stone or the slug found under it.

Yet something deep within us rails against the idea of meaninglessness. We want to believe our lives have meaning and purpose. We instinctively believe our lives have value and we are not the products of random chance.

Within of us rests a longing for something (yet unattained) beyond ourselves, a feeling we have been deprived of something that should rightfully be ours. It is as if we are royalty in exile, and we are. (C.S. Lewis dealt with this in detail in his essay, The Weight of Glory.)

The Bible tells us that we are made in the image and likeness of the King of all creation: God. (Genesis 1.26-27.) 

What is heart breaking is that when a person seriously contemplates those two questions -- Why am I here? And “Where am I going? -- they will probably discover that while he/she have a royal and divine lineage, they do not behave like royalty. They are alienated from the King. They are in rebellion against His royal Kingdom.

They can not realize their royal potential because it lies beyond them. It can not be reached without being reconciled to the King, through His Son, the Prince of Peace.

Deep within you and me is a spirit which is most responsive to love and withers without it (we all know this).  The human spirit comes from God. That is why the human spirit is made for love.  That entity we call our spirit has a nagging desire and hunger for something we can not identify or satisfy without confronting those two questions head-on.  

We were created by God for His purposes. The answers to those two critically important question lie beyond us, but we have been told we will find the answers if we dare search for them with all our hearts. God gave a message to Jeremiah about other exiles:

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the LORD, and I will change your lot; ….” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Dare to believe that message from God is for us too.

Through his Son Jesus Christ, God will shower His love and grace upon us like rain. Our spirits will be revived and renewed like dry and parched land after a rain storm.

Why are you and I here? I suspect that you may discover that the reason you are here is to love the King and take that love to others who bear the King’s royal image and likeness. That is the answer I found.

Where are we going? The King wants his royal subjects to occupy his Kingdom (heaven). He sent his Son, Jesus, to retrieve us all, through repentance, faith and love.  He wants to lead us back to the Kingdom to rule with Him forever.  All we have to do is follow Him. 

Click below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNgd-kue_Fc