“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, October 30, 2023


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


Email: HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca

Thursday, October 12, 2023



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.