“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, April 6, 2024


Fifty years ago, I trained in radio and television arts. I briefly worked in both before moving to the federal government to work in community development. Multiple sclerosis (diagnosed at 30) forced me into medical retirement at the age of 38. 

But my love for television's potential continued: Not in what it turned out to be, but what it could have been. Television could have been so much more than the programming wasteland of mediocre formula sitcoms and reality shows (that are not real). Television should have been about education not the indoctrination of liberal agendas. 

Television could have been a constructive tool to promote community, human development and social cohesion. It could have been a tool dedicated to educating children and adults about the arts, sciences, history, classics in literature, ... programming that people can trust not to have a political bias or promote special agendas such as sexual orientation and gender identification (SOGI). The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and PBS used to do that, or at least they tried. 

I'm still an optimist, even when there is no reason to be. If the public had demanded better from television networks, they would have done better. Television decision-makers did not use their opportunity wisely. Today's social media is making network television irrelevant.

In 1969, Mr. Rogers saved public television

Thursday, April 4, 2024



I remember visiting a couple who had just lost their disabled daughter. I’ll call them Mrs. and Mrs. Smith. Their daughter’s name was Abby.  Abby was born profoundly handicapped and she died at the age of 34. She never spoke a word, never walked, never fed herself or lived independently. But Abby was loved by her family. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were in deep grief about their loss of Abby.

I asked them to tell me about their daughter. A cascade of memories poured out, accompanied by photographs, as they reminisced about their daughter’s life. Although initially surprised at their willingness to freely share bittersweet memories, I was deeply touched that they trusted me with something as fragile and tender as their sorrow and broken hearts. 

When Abby was born, a doctor with the bedside manner of a bulldog told Mrs. Smith to put her baby in an institution and forget the day she was born. Some advice! Some doctor! Some bulldog! 

Throughout her life, most people wrote Abbey off as a “vegetable.” But for those who made time for her, she was a blessing to their lives and she changed them. It was only in her last few years when Abbey became increasingly ill and frail, that she began to communicate through her little finger: up for yes, down for no. And then she was gone.

At the end of my visit with Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I asked if Abby's disability made their lives richer or poorer. Without hesitation, both responded in unison, “Richer!” Mrs. Smith told me that Abby taught them “what really matters in life.” I asked, “What really matters?” She responded, “Health.”

Indeed, health does matter. Every person wants a healthy life, a healthy spouse, healthy children and grandchildren. It is right for us to always thank God for our health and the health of loved ones. But we must also be aware that health never lasts. It can't. The Fall mutated God's intention for His creation making inevitable decline and death as our fate.

I know of what I write. I lost my health decades ago at the age of 30. I’m 71 now. How would I answer the question: “What really matters?” Being a hopeless romantic, my answer would be “love.” But that answer is also incomplete: love of what or whom? Just as we are not guaranteed health, neither are we guaranteed human love. Although I am blessed with the love of a wonderful wife and family, I have met disabled people who seemed unloved by anyone. From all appearances, they do not seem to have health or love. 

Here's the very good news: appearances can be deceiving. They, you, me, we all are loved by God — the author of life and love — even if our health fails, our loved ones reject us or die, and our sorrow and loneliness make us turn in on ourselves, we are still loved by God, (even though we may be oblivious to it).

God's love is the one constant—the only thing we can ultimately depend upon. The divine Lover seeks the loved (Matthew 18:12, Luke 19:10, Revelation 3:20). The loved must seek the Lover (Jeremiah 29:13, Luke 11:10, Acts 17:27). 

Jesus told us what really matters: “you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:27-40)

There we have it, from none other than Jesus Christ. We must seek God and love him with our whole being. This comes first. The natural outgrowth of loving God with all our heart soul and mind is that we will begin to ache with genuine compassion for humanity. We will begin to look beyond ourselves to concern for others and that puts us on a road to a marvelous spiritual healing.  Out of spiritual healing of broken-hearted people, a new sense of purpose and meaning can come to their lives.

My own inner healing seriously started when I stopped focusing on my own situation of slow deterioration from disease. I needed to stop stewing in my predicament and become equally concerned about the predicaments of others. Seeking to serve rather than be served is an indicator that spiritual healing is happening and blessings result.

What about those who can’t serve, like Abby? Again, appearances can be deceiving. Abby served by simply being in the world. Her presence called others to a higher standard of love and service. That was her gift to those around her.

Throughout the decades, I was able to serve God more disabled than when I was healthy, and I have been blessed in it. To humbly serve in love gives purpose and meaning. It is a truism our Lord illustrated by washing the feet of his disciples. Before entering the anguish of His Passion Christ said: 

“If I, therefore, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.” (John:13:14-17)

Mutual servanthood: We are served in our suffering and serve others in theirs. It is impossible to fully understand its depth because it embraces the concept of human community and interdependence with Christ as our model and master in the ultimate comfort of His divine love that needs to seek no more.