“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, February 11, 2017


I was going through old USB memory sticks looking for a document when I discovered something I wrote in 2005. It was a terrifying time. What I feared most from multiple sclerosis threatened to happen: Quadriplegia. You can read it below. If it seems dramatic, forgive me. I was afraid. Happily and thankfully, God pulled me back from the precipice of becoming quadriplegic and the prospect of a nursing home. The drastic symptoms eased returning much of the use of my right arm, and all the use of my left. My legs are still badly effected but it's a lot better than what my wife and I feared. My words of twelve years ago are below.


I fear my darkest, most terrifying days are about to begin. I am so frightened!

The MS has become more aggressive. Quadriplegia seems to draw nearer with each passing month. Only my left arm and mind are unaffected by disease. Not even a vulture would fly to my carcass—some things too repulse even for scavengers.

In an attempt to stop this quickening degeneration, my neurologist has put me on a experimental and risky drug therapy. It has shown some promise in slowly the progress of certain kinds of aggressive multiple sclerosis. The therapy involving the drug combination involving the anti-cancer chemotherapy drug mitoxantrone followed up with an MS drug called copaxone.

When LaRee and I met with my neurologist to discuss the therapy he told us bluntly that there is a risk of heart failure due to cardiac toxicity of mitoxantrone.  It’s not a huge risk and he will carefully monitor liver function, white blood cell counts, and cardiac function.  

LaRee and I have finally reached a dreaded phase of degeneration that we avoided discussing for years. We could not bare the topic of me being quadriplegic, bedridden or the thought of – and I can hardly bring myself to type the words! – put in a nursing home.

My doctor is a brilliant MS scientist with the Clinical Sciences Division at University of Alberta. He has over three thousand patients of which only thirty (one percent) are on this risky therapy. I will be the 31st.

As I write these words the infernal Accuser is whispering over my shoulder, “Congratulations! You’re at the bottom of the heap of an incurable disease. See what your life amounted to? You are going to be institutionalized and forgotten.”

Ah, the old serpent raises his ugly head again.  It seems he’s been prowling the earth in my neck of the woods; he knows when a man is down.

I remind myself of St. Peter’s warning: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” [1]  Do not be dismayed, Peter immediately gives us instructions to deal with Satan.

“Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering. And the God of all Grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”[2]

Even if the Prince of lies was right in taunting me that I will be put in a nursing home and forgotten by friends and family, God will not abandon me. He will deliver me from this fate, either in this world or the next. I have the Word of God upon which I can rely.

The Bible is God’s word

I have accepted that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. It pays wonderful dividends in desperate times such these. In the words of Saint Paul, “For whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.”[3] 

The Bible tells me all Scripture is given under inspiration of God:

“[A]nd that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,  and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”.[4] [Emphasis added].

I have accepted that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, irrefutable and unalterable. I am able to rest in its blessed assurances. Regardless of what is about to happen, this is when it is important to accept the validity of the Bible as the inspired Word of God.  I'm terrified but will place my fate in the hands of God, whatever that fate may be. I have no other hope than in Him.

[1] 1Peter.5.8.  Also note Job 1.7 & 2.2 - records Satan roaming through the earth.
[2] Verses 9-10.
[3] Romans 15.4
[4] 2Timothy 3.15-16. Also see 1 Peter 1.20-21


kimba said...

I share your pain, Mark. I have Spina-Bifida and Osteoporosis and dread being so incapacitated that my Sister will have to put me in a Nursing home.

Mark Davis Pickup said...

Thank you for your comment.