Author Archive for Mark Davis Pickup

Christ Understands Every Grief
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Christ Understands Every Grief

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Today I met a 14 year old boy who was paralyzed in a freak accident last summer. He is quadriplegic. It’s not yet been a year since his accident. I’m not sure if the reality of severe, permanent disability has been fully internalized for him or his parents. It is a hard grief journey that will […]

The Law of Human Nature Still Exists
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The Law of Human Nature Still Exists

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Is there anything so wicked as a man trying to silence his conscience?  It is a willful act that happens in stages: Bit by bit, incident by incident, rationalization by rationalization, the voice of a man’s conscience can be stifled—that still small voice within him eventually becomes fainter, until his heart turns to stone and […]

The Cross is for Wretches Like Me
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The Cross is for Wretches Like Me

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In his remarkably profound book, Lift Up You Heart, Bishop Fulton Sheen said, “The Cross is the most inescapable reality of life. If we will not accept it outside of ourselves, to pardon us and to heal, then we will have it inside, as frustration and despair.” The life changing reality of Calvary has been […]

Holy Week, Choice and the Problem of Evil and Sin
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Holy Week, Choice and the Problem of Evil and Sin

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We are in Holy Week 2015, so it is most appropriate to consider the problem of evil and sin. The sacrificial Passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ was to settle with God the problem of human sin and evil. I have often heard the question, “If there is a God, why does he permit […]

Van Gogh: Accomplishment and Mental Illness
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Van Gogh: Accomplishment and Mental Illness

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Vincent Van Gogh’s career as a painter began when he was 27 years old and lasted a brief ten years, ending with his suicide. His works are, perhaps, better known than those of any other painter and yet during his lifetime he was virtually unknown. He suffered from mental illness.[1] His mental illness drove his […]

Shadows of Suffering Fade in the Light of Christ
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Shadows of Suffering Fade in the Light of Christ

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Maurice Ravel’s Pianoforte Concerto for the left hand was written for Austrian pianist, Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm in the 1st World War. Imagine Wittgenstein’s grief! Music was the center of his world. He grew up in a prominent Viennese household visited by composers such as Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Straus: […]

The Heartache of Cavatina
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The Heartache of Cavatina

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Most people associate the beautiful song Cavatina (written by Stanley Myers) for classical guitar with the 1978 movie The Deer Hunter. But Cavatina’s heartbreakingly beautiful melody originally appeared in a 1970 a movie called “The Walking Stick”. The Heroine of The Walking Stick was a 26 year old woman named Deborah Dainton who walked with a limp because […]

Christians in a Dying Western Christian Civilization
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Christians in a Dying Western Christian Civilization

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“Having turned away from the knowledge given by God, the Christian influence on the whole of culture has been lost. In Europe, including England, it took many years ? in the United States only a few decades. In the United States, in the short span from the twenties to the sixties, we have seen a […]

Ignorance of God: The Spirit Poverty of Our Age
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Ignorance of God: The Spirit Poverty of Our Age

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We often think that ignorance is a lack of knowledge, education or social training. But if ignorance is not knowing, then not knowing God is the greatest human ignorance. I want to address ignorance in the context of the human heart’s ignorance of God.  It is my opinion that this form ignorance is the primary […]

Doctors Must Refuse to Cooperate With Court's Assisted Suicide Decision
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Doctors Must Refuse to Cooperate With Court’s Assisted Suicide Decision

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In his book The Nazi Doctors, author Jay Lifton wrote about the Nazi euthanasia program. He pointed out that it was important to blur and ultimately destroy the boundary between healing and killing to convince German doctors to participate. The imagery of killing in the name of healing was an effective tool in achieving this […]

Recapturing the Joy of Children
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Recapturing the Joy of Children

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I love children for their sense of wonder! Babies can teach their grandfathers anew how to be enchanted with life. That is the great gift my grandchildren gave me. Revisiting wonder, enchantment, joy. They also made me ashamed that I lost those child-like qualities somewhere along the path between early childhood and adulthood. But living and […]

In Silence We Can Hear and Grow
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In Silence We Can Hear and Grow

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In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves; ideas come to birth and acquire depth… Deeper reflection helps us to discover the links between events that at first sight seem unconnected… For this to happen, it is necessary to develop an appropriate environment, a kind of ‘eco-system’ that maintains a just […]

Derogatory Labels for People
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Derogatory Labels for People

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Words can be so cruel and degrading. There was a time in the 19th Century when North American natives were commonly called “savages”. The term was used to dehumanize first nations people in order to take their land. I remember a time when people with a mix of Aboriginal-European descent were called “half-breeds”. Somebody at […]

Does the Slaughter of Innocents Bear a Witness?
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Does the Slaughter of Innocents Bear a Witness?

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I’ve noticed that before a colossal spiritual event in history, a slaughter of innocent children occurs. Satan seems to know something is about to happen and strikes out at the most innocent of God’s image bearers. Prior to the birth of Moses, Pharaoh ordered the mass murder of all baby boys (Exodus 1:15-22). At the time […]

From Angels We Have Heard
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From Angels We Have Heard

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“The Word became flesh” (John 1.14) is a central tenet of Christian truth. It’s what Christmas is about ? not some little fat man in a red suit. Jesus is the Word that became flesh. The Incarnation: God made man.  It is a unique and singular historical event so significant that the universe rejoiced. Saint […]

Christian Professor: "I Am Equally Pro-Choice and Pro-Life"
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Christian Professor: “I Am Equally Pro-Choice and Pro-Life”

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During a November 4th 2014 university panel discussion in Indiana on the topic “Life versus Choice”, Wesleyan Professor Gregory Fiebig stated “This is our belief, that life begins at conception. It is not the world’s belief. And so if we start telling the world how to live their lives, and hold them to a morality […]

Even When He is Silent, His Love Abides
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Even When He is Silent, His Love Abides

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Even with all I have lost in this life I still believe in love. Even when love seems silent, I believe in love. Even if God seems silent, I believe in Him for He is divine love, manifested to us in His Son Jesus Christ.[1] He abides with me. So too, my experience with human […]

Memorial Day
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Remembrance Day

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There is an old country graveyard near the town where I live. For years the small Clearwater Cemetery was all but forgotten and neglected. In the middle of that graveyard lies the forlorn grave of a young soldier who died six days before the end of the First World War. The decrepit fence surrounding the […]

The Importance of Quiet Moments with God
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The Importance of Quiet Moments with God

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Throughout more than 30 years with chronic degenerative multiple sclerosis, I have spent long periods of time convalescing. It was in the solitude and stillness of my sickroom that God’s voice became increasingly evident. Is that a blessing? Yes. I have drawn closer to my Redeemer despite and even because of my illness and vulnerability. […]

<em>Isn't She Lovely</em>: A Million Grandfathers Say
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Isn’t She Lovely: A Million Grandfathers Say

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In 1976 my daughter was born. I was head-over-heels in love with her. At the time I was a commercial writer for a television station; I remember clicking away on my manual typewriter in time with a new tune by Stevie Wonder: Isn’t She Lovely. To me (and a million other new fathers) that song […]

Go Through Doors of New Possibilities
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Go Through Doors of New Possibilities

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Helen Keller was deaf and blind from early childhood, yet she became one of the great humanitarians of the 20th Century. When news of her death in 1968 came over the radio, I remember my father said, “There goes a great person.” I was fifteen years old at the time and too self-absorbed to care […]

Including People with Schizophrenia
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Including People with Schizophrenia

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My wife, LaRee, never knew her maternal grandmother: Her name was Dora and she suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Dora was institutionalized in a mental hospital in 1932 at 34 years of age. Eighty-two years ago the shame and stigma of having a family member in a mental institution was so great that few people in the family […]

Including People With Downs
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Including People With Downs

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A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) news blog featured a story about A new line of clothing for people with Downs Syndrome has been launched. Karen Bowersox of Mentor OH, has developed a clothing line specifically for people with the condition. Being an advocate for people with disabilities, I took note of the story. It’s not […]

Humanity of the Comatose Denied by Inhumanity of Euthanasia
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Humanity of the Comatose Denied by Inhumanity of Euthanasia

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On March 20, 2004, Pope John Paul II delivered an address to an international congress on “Life-sustaining treatments and vegetative state: Scientific advances and Ethical Dilemmas.” The pope dealt directly with the issue of doctors withholding medical treatments and nutrition and hydration (food and water) from comatose patients. I was happy to see the pontiff […]

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