“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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Saturday, November 26, 2016


How could it have happened in Canada? At the beginning of the 20th Century, we were a Christian nation, but within 100 years we were a secular nation. We now are even seeing social policy that is anti-Christian by design or in its application.  Nowhere is this more evident than in how the most vulnerable amongst us are mistreated.  Rampant tax funded abortion is taking the lives of 100,000 unborn children annually. Now euthanasia and assisted suicide for the dying, chronically ill and severely disabled has been legalized.

Followers of Christ must put aside denominational differences and stand together in the present darkening age into which we are descending. We must speak for the sanctity and value of all human life. This is critically important. Jesus Christ is the light of the world. His transforming light exists in sharp contrast to the New Dark Age. I believe we are being called to shine the penetrating light of Christ love and truth into that darkness.

I want to see grassroots Christian unity and collective displays of Christ-like love and determination to oppose abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide. We can work with secular groups like the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition whenever and wherever possible but our central and publicly proclamation is our loyalty to Christ and Biblical truth. 

We must be witnesses for sunlit uplands of Christ’s love on a confused, barren, darkened and increasingly loveless landscape. Only someone who has not experience the light of Christ would refer to our death culture as "sunny ways". It is only sunny ways for the powerful, healthy, rich and loved. Christians must take the light of the Son to the powerless, the sick, the poor and unloved. It has always been that way.

As you probably noticed, there is a major lobby effort in bioethics, with secular politicians, the courts and supported by the media to embrace and normalize abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide for the unwanted, the sick and the disabled. 

Followers of Christ must come together for the sanctity of human life and raise a chorus of voices to stem what seems like an unstoppable tide of darkness. Don't be fooled. The darkness can be stopped by the Light of Christ. We must resolutely stand for the common good and human interdependence under Biblical Truth as truth.

We will be opposed and criticized. Expect it. Efforts will be made to silence and marginalize us. But our loyalty is to Christ and Christian love expressed and never with anti-Christian secularism enforced.  

Reach out in friendship and Christian love to abortion minded women in crisis pregnancies. Show them a better a better life-affirming way that honours their lives and the lives of their children. Befriend people grieving acquired disability – whether physical or mental. Lift up their value and help restore their sense of self-worth so that suicide (assisted or otherwise) is not chosen.  Use online communications to reach out to, and speak for, the most vulnerable amongst us, and pursue of life with dignity – even when life is near its end. 

Dying can be seen as the last phase of living in which the bonds of humanity can be strengthened. It’s all a matter of spiritual perspective. The light of the Son can shine through our New Dark Age.


[Click on image below for Third Day "Jesus, Light of the World"]

Friday, November 25, 2016


The kindness of a little girl toward a lonely old man gives him a new sense of purpose. Lovingkindness can cost so little but can make a difference to someone's life. Click on link below (make sure you have tissues handy).


Tuesday, November 22, 2016


In a previous post entitled "Cholera in Haiti: Urgent" I asked readers of the HumanLifeMatters blog to send a twitter message to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation to mount or increase efforts to stop the spread of cholera in Haiti. Thank you to everyone who did that. 

Since I published that post, I have been told by a number of sources that Hillary Clinton and the Foundation are despised by people in Haiti. I do not know if that assertion is true (I hope not). The Clinton Foundation is in Haiti and command massive resources. If their efforts will be compromised or hampered by people's distrust -- assuming they are willing to put a stop to the cholera epidemic --   then I suggest an alternate strategy for followers of the HumanLifeMatters blog.

Send another urgent and immediate tweet to the United Nations Secretary General-designate Antonio Guterres (@AntGuterres or @AGuterres_UNSG) and outgoing Secretary General Ban Kin-Moon @secgen. Insist the United Nations immediately commit significantly more resources to stop the cholera crisis in Haiti. It is a crisis they apparently started inadvertently after the 2010 earthquake. 

The Guardian newspapered interviewed to Beatrice Lindstrom, staff attorney at the Institute for Justice and Democracy (IJDH). They reported that the IJDH "has led a campaign to hold the UN accountable for its role in the cholera outbreak that hit nine months after the January 2010 earthquake. The disease was previously unknown in Haiti, and overwhelming evidence suggests that it was introduced to the country by UN peacekeepers from Nepal."[1]

In a New York Times article, reporter Azam Ahmed wrote:

"... The torment has only started. Cholera, the disease at the heart of Haiti’s last disaster, is being spread again by this one. About 10,000 people have died and hundreds of thousands have been sickened since cholera first appeared in late 2010. Scientists say it was brought to Haiti by United Nations peacekeepers stationed at a base that leaked waste into a river. After years of deflecting blame, the United Nations this summer acknowledged “its own involvement” in the suffering Haiti has experienced from the disease."[2]

Credible source have maintained it was U.N. sloppiness that caused the problem which has claimed thousands of life and caused immeasurable suffering. They resisted taking responsibility while thousands of people died. They finally admitted it. Now it is their moral responsibility to IMMEDIATELY deploy massively more resources to IMMEDIATELY stop further spread of cholera and treat people infected.  How? 

We are not talking about scientific sophistication such as we saw with the Ebola outbreak in Africa. The battle with cholera involves providing clean water, basic sanitation and antibiotics where required. Pretty basic. Yesterday, I spoke to a physician who confirmed that it is quite simple. The first thing is to clear away contaminated water and replace with clean. What then? 

Well, the World Health Organization (WHO) website says this:


Measures for the prevention of cholera mostly consist of providing clean water and proper sanitation to populations who do not yet have access to basic services. Health education and good food hygiene are equally important. Communities should be reminded of basic hygienic behaviours, including the necessity of systematic hand-washing with soap after defecation and before handling food or eating, as well as safe preparation and conservation of food. Appropriate media, such as radio, television or newspapers should be involved in disseminating health education messages. Community and religious leaders should also be associated to social mobilization campaigns.
In addition, strengthening surveillance and early warning greatly helps in detecting the first cases and put in place control measures. Conversely, routine treatment of a community with antibiotics, or mass chemoprophylaxis, has no effect on the spread of cholera, can have adverse effects by increasing antimicrobial resistance and provides a false sense of security.

Key messages

Provision of safe water, proper sanitation, and food safety are critical for preventing occurrences of cholera.

Health education aims at communities adopting prevention behavior for averting."

A World Health Organization global task force on cholera control posted this information:


... Once an outbreak is detected, the usual intervention strategy aims to reduce mortality - ideally below 1% - by ensuring access to treatment and controlling the spread of disease. To achieve this, all partners involved should be properly coordinated and those in charge of water and sanitation must be included in the response strategy. Recommended control methods, including standardized case management, have proven effective in reducing the case-fatality rate.
The main tools for cholera control are:
  • proper and timely case management in cholera treatment centres;
  • specific training for proper case management, including avoidance of nosocomial infections; [infections acquired in hospitals.]
  • sufficient pre-positioned medical supplies for case management (e.g. diarrhoeal disease kits);
  • improved access to water, effective sanitation, proper waste management and vector control;
  • enhanced hygiene and food safety practices; improved communication and public information."
  • ____________
It isn't rocket science, but it does require immediate human resources redoubled to stop the spread of cholera.  The United Nations has a special responsibility to immediately stop the crisis they caused. I call on them to do it now!



[1] Amanda Holpuch, "Haiti faces fresh cholera outbreak after hurricane Matthew, aid agencies fear, The Guardian, 14 October 2016 (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/14/haiti-cholera-hurricane-matthew-aid-agencies ) 

[2] Azam Ahmed, "Cholera deepens Haiti's misery after hurricane" 15 October 2016, The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/15/world/americas/cholera-haiti-hurricane-matthew.html )

For additional reading see:

- Jonathon M. Katz, "U.N. Admits Role in Cholera Epidemic" New York Times, 17 August, 2016 (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/18/world/americas/united-nations-haiti-cholera.html

-  Commentary by Dr. Renaud Piarroux, "The U.N. Responsibility in Cholera Epidemic" New York Times, 7 September 2016 ( http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/08/opinion/the-uns-responsibility-in-haitis-cholera-crisis.html)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

HumanLifeMatters across North America

The photo at the right is from an interview on EWTN's Jim and Joy show. I was approached by EWTN to appear on their show in Irondale Alabama. They wanted to learn more about HumanLifeMatters. There is no HumanLifeMatters organization. It is me and my blog (granted, approaching 500,000 page views as you can see from the page view counter for this blog). Apparently it's striking a chord across North America. I also write commentaries from time to time for various publications and occasionally invited to speak in Canada or the U.S. about Life issues, disability or a Christian's perspective on suffering. Over the years, I have been able speak to many audiences and thousands of people about these issues, albeit spaced out to accommodate declining energy levels. In a public sense, it's all I have left to offer and I will continue as long as I am able.


Friday, November 18, 2016


I spoke about incurable illness and disability to a staff meeting of Catholic Social Services in Edmonton, Alberta, (Canada). It was for a training series they call The Sophia Talks. My talk was recorded. See below. -- Mark


Image may contain: baby and one or more peopleURGENT: I ask readers of this blog to do something. 
Everyone with a Twitter account, send Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation a tweet appealing to them to mount a renewed massive effort to stop the spread of cholera, NOW. As you may know, in the wake of the hurricane, cholera is now ravaging Haiti. Be kind but please send an immediate message. Hillary Clinton's twitter account is @HillaryClinton and the Clinton Foundation's is @ClintonFdn.

Granted the Clinton Foundation is under investigation, but they do have a presence in Haiti, and command massive resources. Hillary Clinton is at a low point in her life. She is the butt of ridicule and scorn from conservatives.(I must confess I am guilty of it to.) Granted, she is misguided on Life issues, but do not forget she bears the image of God. 

This is an opportunity for her to recover. (The best way to treat grief and sorrow is service to others, and nobody needs help more that Haiti's orphaned and abandoned children.) If Haiti is at the bottom of the heap in the western hemisphere, then its orphans are at the bottom of the bottom of the heap!

Children always seem to pay the highest price and cholera is ravaging orphanages. Allow Hillary and the Clinton Foundation and opportunity to regain respect and serve those in desperate need by mounting renewed and expanded campaign to stop this epidemic. They have the power to to change the situation. Be kind but please send an immediate message. Please do it now. People are dying as I write these words.

Thank you and God bless. -- Mark

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I love everything about it including the smallest details and traditions commonly associated with the season. Every year, throughout the last half of November my wife resists my requests to put up the Christmas tree. She reminds me that it takes up too much space in the living room for my electric wheelchair to manoeuvre easily. She's right. The Christmas tree stays in the basement until Dec. 1st.

I have to settle with re-reading Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol. First published in 1843, A Christmas Carol has remained a standard at Christmas for 168 years. My latest reading of A Christmas Carol was not so much for the story (as enjoyable as it is); this time I am trying to get a sense of Christmas in the early 19th century.

Dickens had such a talent with description of the particulars of daily life. It's almost like travelling back in time to Victorian London of the 1840s. In my imagination I can hear the sounds of horses' hooves on the streets, children playing, frosty shop windows and gritty smells of the old city. A spirit of Christmas excitement and goodwill is portrayed in A Christmas Carol that humanity still experiences in 2016. It illustrates for me that Christmas has given a bond to humanity throughout the generations. That bond is conveyed through the vast treasury of Christmas music and carols, art, literature and traditions.


The most meaningful Christmas traditions should point to Christ's birth, rather than merely generating warm fuzzy feelings associated with gift giving, elves, decorated trees and a fat little man with high cholesterol, wearing a red suit.

Christ's birth carries the same timeless hope across the centuries. Millions of Christians have experienced that hope as they contemplated the incarnation and placed their faith in Jesus Christ. God became man. Immanuel - God with us, as mentioned in the first chapter of Matthew's Gospel and alluded to at the end of Matthew when the risen Christ assured his followers, "I am with you always, until the end of the age."

Christmas reminds me of that promise. (That's the real reason it's my favourite time of year.) The reality of that promise is alive within all who have met the risen Christ and place their faith and hope in him. Christ is with us. 

The road from Bethlehem to Calvary can lead humanity to the sublime love of Christ's sacrificial act on the cross and provides the means for reconciliation of sinful humanity back to God.

A traditional English Christmas carol mentioned in Dickens' novel is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen which dates to the 15th century. It carries the beloved lyrics:

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy.

The words "rest" and "merry" are prominent in the lyrics. For years I thought the word "rest" meant, well, to rest or relax, but recently I discovered that the word carried different meanings in the Middle Ages. In Ace Collins' book 25 Days, 26 Ways To Make This Your Best Christmastime Ever, he explained that during the 15th century the word "rest" could also mean "make" or "keep." Collins explained "Thus, when God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen was written, the composer's charge was for listeners to let God make a change in their hearts and minds about the good news found in Christ's birth and life." The word "merry" means happy today but in the Middle Ages it also meant mighty. 

Again Collins explained: "Thus when taken in context, the new meaning of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen becomes "God keep you mighty, gentlemen.'"


Perhaps the person who penned this traditional English carol 700
years ago had a clearer grasp of the purpose of Christmas observance than many 21st century Christians. Yes, we should do acts of generosity to our fellow man, celebrate the birth of Jesus, but as the lyrics remind us "Christ, our Saviour was born on Christmas Day, to save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray."

Throughout Christmas Season, and throughout the year, let us commit ourselves to goodwill between ourselves and others, meditate upon our Lord's birth and expectation of Christ's return. Let's use Advent to recommit ourselves to the good news of Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection, and to be mighty in our faith and loving evangelism. Remember the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, every one!" -- Mark

[Click on image below for Libera boys choir singing Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen]

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I was cleaning out my filing cabinet and came across an overhead (remember those?) from an old presentation I made back in the 1980s. I did not write the section on Divine Law and don't remember where I got it, so I am unable to give proper credits. What I do know is that overhead was part of a larger session of the sanctity of human life. At one point I addressed absolute truth that forms a proper understanding of ethics and morality. At the time, our culture was shaking off the last vestiges of a previous Christian moral consensus. In the wake of the cultural revolution of the 1960s North America had rejected absolute truth for relative truth and ethics were situational.  Only bitter fruit of relativism was the inevitable result.

I thought I would post the contents of that old overhead. Now, over 30 years later, spiritual confusion in rampant, precisely because North America (and Canada in particular) overthrew Christianity and the Judeo-Christian moral consensus that accompanied it. See below:



"Nowadays, when we talk of the ‘laws of nature’ we usually mean things like gravitation, or heredity, or the laws of chemistry. But when the older thinkers called the Law of Right and Wrong ‘the Law of Nature,’ they really meant the Law of Human Nature. The idea was that, just as all bodies are governed by the law of gravitation, and organisms by biological laws, so the creature called man also had his law–with this great difference, that a body could not choose whether it obeyed the law of gravitation or not, but a man could choose either to obey the Law of Human Nature or to disobey it."

C.S. Lewis 

Mere Christianity
(London, England, Geoffry Bless, 1961), pp.4-5.


Gradual revelation of Divine Law was written into nature, next upon man's conscience, then the fundamental principles upon tablets of stone. Later the entire Scriptures contained a larger and more complete edition. In due time Jesus appeared as the perfect embodiment of the truth which he illustrated in his own sinless life. It was divine purpose that the law, at last, should be written in the hearts of men and the final illustration of its precepts be found in their outward lives.

  • Divine law is revealed in nature (Psalm 19.2-3, Psalm 97.6, Romans 1.20)
  • Divine Law is written in the conscience (Romans 2.15, 13.5)
  • Divine Law is written on tablets of stone (Exodus 24.12, written by the hand of God - 31.18, cp. 32.15 & 16, 34.1, see ten commandments Exodus 34.28).
  • Divine Law in the entire Scriptures (Romans 15.4, 1Corinthians 10.11, 2 Timothy 3.16,)
  • Divine Law illustrated in Christ (John 1.14, 8.32, 18.37, Galations 4.4, cf. Isaiah 40.5)
  • Divine Law written on the human heart (Hebrews 8.10, 10.16, Jeremiah 31.33, 2Corinthians 3.3,
  • Divine Law to be shown to all people by Christians and their lives. (Matthew 22.35-40, John 13.34-35, 15.9-12, 1John 2.5, 3.11 & 23, cf. Matthew 25.34-40, 1 Thessalonians 3.12)

Christ's true followers must proclaim that absolute truth exists and that truth is found in Jesus Christ. Say it often in private and public. It's all that left worth defending.