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What Has Been Happening at VSM?

Dear friends of Vital Signs,                                                             May 2015

            It has been a very busy beginning to spring for Claire and me as we pursue not only the regular duties of Vital Signs Ministries but also care for our lawn, family stuff, riding the bike, etc.  Therefore, this month’s letter will be a quick but “newsy” one as we describe a few things that have made up that hectic schedule. 

            As you may have heard, the Planned Parenthood abortion businesses in Omaha and Lincoln have been disrupted by the exit of abortionist C.J. Labenz from their employ.  Tragically though, they found someone to kill preborn babies until they find a permanent replacement.  And, never forget, their lucrative dealing in chemical abortifacients continues apace with those poisons leaving the children just as dead as if they had been dismembered by curettes or suction machines.

            Naturally, our presence outside the Planned Parenthood abortion mill on North 93rd Street goes on.  We go in order to give public witness against abortion, to pray, to show our beautiful pro-life signs to the clients, and to do sidewalk counseling in those rare occasions when we have the opportunity.  Last Monday morning that actually happened three times with one of the couples being persuaded to go to the nearby pregnancy aid office.

            We also are more keen than ever to promote our “3 for 5” prayer campaign against Planned Parenthood.  We do this through the blogs, Facebook, personal correspondence, and spreading the word in person. We continue too in our ongoing calls for the de-funding of Planned Parenthood to political leaders. Just yesterday I had a phone chat with Senator Deb Fischer about this critical matter. The Senator was cordially responding to a recent letter I had written her, one that reminded her that the mega-abortion business, already exorbitantly wealthy from selling abortion, was receiving over $540 million a year from taxpayer funds!  

            Our internet outreach goes on (available not only around the world but also 24/7) with articles at the Vital Signs Ministries website, Vital Signs Blog, The Book Den, and our Russian-language site.  Among April’s posts which drew quite a bit of attention were articles on Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Top Ten list of hints for a successful marriage, a brief piece on Planned Parenthood, an open letter to Senators regarding the repeal of the death tax, and several which listed “best of” reading suggestions.  Also in April, I started a new practice in my almost daily Facebook activity. I began posting excerpts from (and links to) some of the devotional sites I frequent: Joe Gibbs, Joni Eareckson Tada, Michael Youseff, Randy White, and a few others.  Also on the cyberspace front, we posted in April our fourth video clip, one dealing about living more “unplugged” from TV and social media. 

            April (and even these first few days of May) have seen Claire dealing with issues of finance and taxes.  Thanks to the ever-expanding Nanny State, these are made more difficult every year. Claire’s background, of course, is in literature and grammar, not math or accounting!  Nevertheless, she is very conscientious and hard-working in taking care of this big job.  There was an extra wrinkle too because in March Vital Signs Ministries had been given an extraordinary gift from two of our longstanding supporters – an exquisitely cared for 2003 Toyota Highlander!  Thanks again, dear friends!

            Books, of course, are always a part of our lives…and our ministry too.  That includes the books we read on our own, the monthly selections for our book club (the Notting Hill Napoleons), and those books we read for Vital Signs’ Book It discussions.  Our next such meeting is on Monday evening where we will talk about the first half of Norman Geisler’s and Frank Turek’s excellent introduction to apologetics, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Also, I wanted to mention another book that I found remarkably invigorating and insightful, Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow.  I recommend it most highly and, if you do read it and want to talk about it over a cup of coffee, please let me know.

            Of course, no review of Vital Signs Ministries is complete without at least a few words about “When Swing Was King.” April was especially wonderful. We had the usual enthusiastic and appreciative audiences. But the visits seemed especially warm-hearted and timely, including several opportunities to pray with residents.  One of our regular facilities (Immanuel Village) had to cancel a program so we only had ten places to go last month: Skyline, Life Care Center of Omaha, Oxbow in Ashland, Bethany Lutheran in Council Bluffs, Pacific Springs, House of Hope, Brookstone Meadows, Brookstone Village, Heritage Pointe, and Immanuel Courtyard. 

            Here’s another issue that came up in April. I have frequently been asked over the last ten years about whether I would want to do radio programs again. My general response has always been 1) “I’m sorry, but we can’t afford it. And 2) “I really wouldn’t be interested in broadcasting anymore except perhaps for Bott Radio.”  Well, lo and behold, Bott Radio’s KCLV-FM called with an invitation and a generous offer.  They were looking for a “radio guy” who knew the issues, who could write his own commentary, and who had established a reputation fighting the culture wars. “Would you ever consider radio again, Denny?” 

            Now, to be honest, I don’t know what to make of their question. It’s a pretty good package they offered and Bott has a unique listening audience that certainly lines up to our issues. The time required to do the program wouldn’t be overwhelming because it would dovetail with blogging.  Also, because of technological changes over the last ten years, I could now record and edit the programs myself. The most sensible of KCLV’s proposals was a 1-minute commentary every weekday during the afternoon drive time, probably “opening” for one of their national programs. It would cost just under $6,000 for a year. That’s reflective of a 30% discount but, with our current financial status, that would still be a big bite.

            I’m passing along the news to our LifeSharers and asking for your prayers as the Vital Signs Board considers this. Also, we would appreciate any encouragement or warnings you might have or suggestions for possible program sponsors. We will, of course, keep you informed.

            Okay, there are a couple other items I could write about here (like the next series of L’Abri lectures coming up in June, the status of The Christmas Room, and an opportunity to help Vital Signs just by shopping at Baker’s/Dillons supermarkets), but we will get back to you on those things. In fact, Claire will be sending out a note to those of you in Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri about the Baker’s deal in a few days. But that’s enough for right now. After all, you’re as busy as we are and I’ve given you not only plenty of news highlights but several things to be praying about too. So, as always, you have our ongoing thanks for all of your support.