“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

Thursday, May 28, 2020


Having a neurological disease like multiple sclerosis, one becomes acutely aware of the brain and its power over the mind. We all know about the brain's direct relationship to the body but I have also become aware of the colossal power of the mind and its profound influence over the body. Most of all, I have become very, very aware of the influence of God over the human mind and body. He may or may not choose to influence the body apart from the mind but more than often than not, His influence is in conjunction with the mind.

Violent MS attacks took away my physical functions such as vision, speech, or caused paralysis, spasticity, loss of balance, incontinence, and other frightening symptoms. It was important for me to clearly separate functions of the mind from functions of the brain and body. This was important because the human mind is intricately connected with the heart and soul. That's distinctly different from functions of the brain. (Happily, my experience with multiple sclerosis did not effect cognition so the separation was easier to make.)

I came across a website that gave an excellent distinction between the brain and the mind. I don't know where I saw it so my apologies to whoever wrote it. I can't give proper credits. The writer observed that the brain sends electrical signals to the body, the mind receives messages from the heart and soul. The brain is capable of understanding the science of art, the mind can understand the art of science. The brain learns about the universe while the mind can know the Creator of the universe. The  brain calculates and understands, the mind perceives and can 'know.' It is the mind that conceives darkness and desires evil, the brain invents weapons. The brain learns from the physical senses while the mind learns the emotional and spiritual senses. The brain understands what makes a human being live but it is the mind that is able to understand what gives life purpose, and meaning of being.

During my darkest times of neurological terror that could not be stopped, it was very important that I valued my mind over my body. My mind was all I could rely upon: It could reason and discern. But there came a time in the midst of catastrophic circumstances when I faced the possibility of quadriplegia and a desperate and risky medical therapy was taken to try and prevent it. I could not reason about what was unreasonable. Defeat and a sense of hopelessness threatened to overtake me.

I was my mind—with its connection to my heart and soul—to
which God appealed. Intellect alone would have given up: Suicide. I spent hours, days and months on my sick-bed:[1] praying, seeking, listening with my heart not my ears for that still small voice of God.[2]

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, the thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." — Jeremiah 29.11-13.

I had to surrender to my spiritual being, still underdeveloped, and wait upon God to bring me into clearer focus with my human being. That interior being is rooted inextricably with the Image of God that was endowed upon me from my beginning when I was conceived within my mother. I had to look beyond my electric wheelchair, my creeping paralysis, and calm my sense of panic and terror to listen for that still small voice whispering to my  soul, like a gentle breeze: "Be not afraid, I AM with you."[3] 

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light." -- Jesus (Matthew 11.28-29.)

It is at such moments when an individual lives centuries and descends into the sweet spiritual abyss of the soul to see with our hearts rather than through the blur of tear-filled eyes. It is then that a human being can truly begin to comprehend and understand the meaning of being human

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by renewing your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." Saint Paul, (Romans 12.1-3.)

While Christians are to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice to God, some of us have little more to offer than a living carcass. The body degenerates with time (some faster than others). The mind continues to grow with time. It has been my mind that renews according to God's will, gradually revealing inklings of liberty that awaits me (and you). For those Christians afflicted with dementia or Alzheimers, they and their loved-ones can rest assured their memories and faith are safe in Christ's keeping. Nothing is lost.

The renewing of our minds involves prayerfully seeking God and His plan for us.  Each of us was created for a purpose. When we discover that purpose, everything else becomes a diversion and an irrelevance. Offer yourself as a living sacrifice to God and His glory. 

[1] Psalm 4.4.
[2] Cf. 1Kings 19.12-13.
[3] See Matthew 14.27,

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


LaRee speaks to America
Ten years ago, my wife, LaRee, and I delivered a keynote address to a U.S. National Right to Life Prayer Breakfast. I’ve written about this before. At one point in LaRee's speech, she quoted Victor Hugo:

“To love or to have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further.  There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.  To love is a consummation.“

I have often used this quote since.  But what did Victor Hugo say leading up to these immortal words? He wrote about the sacredness and beauty of the marriage bed. 

“Upon the threshold of wedding nights stands an angel smiling, his finger on his lip.”

“The soul enters into contemplation before this sanctuary, in which is held the celebration of love.”

“There must be gleams of light above those houses. The joy which they contain must escape in light through the stones of the walls, and shines dimly into the darkness. It is impossible that this sacred festival of destiny should not send a celestial radiation to the infinite. Love is the sublime crucible in which is consummated the fusion of man and woman; the one being, the triple being, the final being, the human trinity, springs from it. The birth of two souls into one must be an emotion for space. The lover is priest; the rapt maiden is affrighted. Something of this joy goes to God. Where there is really marriage, that is where there is love, the ideal is mingled with it. The nuptial bed makes a halo in the darkness. Were it given to the eye of flesh to perceive the fearful and enchanting sights of the superior life, it is probable that we should see the forms of night, the winged strangers, the blue travelers of the invisible, bending, a throng of the shadowy heads, over the luminous house, pleased, blessing, showing to one another the sweetly startled maiden bride, and wearing the reflection of human felicity upon their divine countenances. If, at that supreme hour, the wedded pair, bewildered with pleasure, and believing themselves alone, were to listen, they would hear in their chamber a rustling of confused wings. Perhaps happiness implies the solidarity with the angels. That little obscure alcove has for its ceiling the whole heavens. When two mouths, made sacred by love, draw near each other to create, it is impossible that above the ineffable kiss there should not be a thrill in the immense mystery of the stars.”

“These are the true felicities. No joy beyond these joys. Love is the only ecstasy, everything else weeps.” (Les Misérables)

And then we read those immortal words that my wife quoted.
Victor Hugo’s passage held up the sacredness of the wedding night, the marriage bed, and a marriage blessed by God.   “Authentic love is caught up into divine love.”[1]

Sex is to be reserved for marriage. I know it sounds hopelessly old fashioned of me, but there it is.  Sex taken casually is destructive to the individuals involved and ultimately to society. In a hook-up culture, people give away their most intimate gift to strangers, someone they met at a bar or party, or acquaintances they may not even be sure about their last name.  When something so beautiful as our sexual self is given away so casually, what is left for the exclusivity of true love expressed in marriage?  (I won’t get into the prospect of unwanted children that may result from a fling, affair or one-night stands. They [the children] often pay the highest price with their lives.)

Marriage was created and instituted by God. Catholic marriage is a sacrament. Many Protestant denominations consider marriage a covenant between a man and a woman before God.  Marriage was instituted by God. Man can not meddle, alter or redefine it. We have tried and all we are left with is mockery or counterfeit marriage. Marriage must not be taken lightly. It is an indivisible, intimate, indissoluble union between a man and a woman.