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May Days and C.S. Lewis

Dear friends,

It’s very early on the Monday after Mother’s Day, but the temperature is already in the high 60s and the eastern horizon is showing that the sun will soon be ablaze. I’m sitting in the Scooter’s coffee shop nearest our house trying to write this month’s Vital Signs Ministries letter. It will be rather brief because I don’t have much time. I have to pick up Claire at 7:45 so we can meet Quint Coppi and Keith & Carol Moran for our regular prayer and pro-life witness in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion mill. Then Claire and I have a “When Swing Was King” show this afternoon and a letter-writing event tonight for which, truth be known, we’re not quite ready. It will be a pretty busy day.

The last few weeks have been a bit difficult for us because of illness. We’ve managed to stay on top of our ministry duties but, along the way, we’ve both had to deal with heavy congestion. Mine created a hacking cough but 2 rounds of antibiotics may have finally reined it in. For Claire’s part, the congestion was mainly nasal and sinus. Some nights were so bad that we had to prop her up on the couch in order for her to get some sleep. But we both are doing better now and, like I said, the only duty that we didn’t get round to was getting our flowers and ground cover planted when we had planned. Maybe this weekend. Or, again, maybe not because our schedule only intensifies in these next couple of weeks. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s coming up.

* The letter-writing party I mentioned above is a modified version of the ones we do for Vital Signs Ministries at our house every quarter or so. We’re always delighted to show others how to shine their lights for the Lord through letter writing. Thus, we are very grateful to Allen & Cindy Nelson for the invitation. It’s really a great idea for a small group or Sunday School class and we hope you might consider inviting us to create a similar activity with one of the groups you’re involved with. Heaven knows, we could sure use a lot more light in this dark world.

* This is a huge month for “When Swing Was King” because, in addition to our regular 13 places, we are doing a road trip to Fremont and Columbus where we will present the show to another 5 senior care facilities. That’s 18 in all and, yes...that’s a bunch. (By the way, I was forced to do a “When Swing Was King” show all on my own on the day Claire was required to work the polls. With a lot of computer coaching, I managed it. But I sure hope that doesn’t happen very often.)

* Related to “When Swing Was King” is our recent offer of history talks to the senior care facilities where we regularly go. We have told you about this in recent letters. Well, I’ll be presenting “Piety on the Plains,” my talk on the church history of Omaha at Immanuel Village at 11 and Heritage at Sterling Ridge at 10:30 on the mornings of Tuesday, May 23 and Thursday, May 25, respectively. This is an entertaining, anecdotal-based presentation, yet one that is not without inspiration, moral challenge, and even Christian testimonies. It has been well received wherever I have given it (care facilities, civic groups, church groups), so please give a thought to perhaps inviting us to your group. We come, of course, free of charge.

* I’ll be preaching at the two morning services of Community Bible Church on May 28. The sermon is “The Annunciation and the Amazing Aftermath” and covers Luke 1: 26-45. It is a text that expresses pro-life truths in a spectacular way. I think the sermons show up on the church website if you’re interested.

* Claire has been doing yeoman’s work on the “Sentence Sermon” project we’re doing in honor of Darrell Scott. We are now nearing the end of this massive effort with less than 2,000 of the 14,500 quotations we started with needing to be typed in. We are feeling very blessed and very grateful, especially to Lura, Cheryl, Sophie, Dan and, of course, Darrell and Barb Scott. And Darrell, who is now in hospice care, is over the moon with excitement as it has become evident that his lifelong accumulation of treasured observations and quotations will soon be in print and available.  It will be a dream come true.

* Claire has also been busy in the last few weeks with taxes and other Vital Signs Ministries business affairs. And, of course, she’s indispensable to all other areas of our ministry – the pro-life witness at the abortion mill, the outreaches to seniors, the correspondence, discipleship, networking, personal visits with folks who can’t get out much, and everything else. What a chick!

* Our home is serving as a way station in the next couple of weeks as we entertain friends who are traveling through town. One longtime friend, Dave Mirro, is coming in Tuesday night from Washington State on his way to a work obligation in Kentucky and then 3 college students, one the daughter of our dear friends and pro-life colleagues, Craig & Cindy Young out in Loveland, Colorado, will be coming through the follow week.

* May 21st is the kickoff of another recent tradition for Vital Signs Ministries; that is, our Summer Reading Program. Like last year, the focus is on C.S. Lewis but instead of The Chronicles of Narnia which was our project last summer, we are tackling only 2 books this time: Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. We invite you to join us as we read these two classics and then to join us for an evening discussion over each book -- Monday, June 26th for Mere Christianity and Saturday, August 12th for The Screwtape Letters. Another feature of our summer adventure are 3 nights where we are showing “An Evening with C.S. Lewis,” the remarkable one-man play starring David Payne. And, finally, we are encouraging all fans of Mr. Lewis to check out the terrific lectures offered by Hillsdale College in their free on-line course.

Well, okay, that’s enough for now. It’s time for me to go get Claire and load up the signs and banners for our pro-life witness this morning. However, I have time enough to send along our profound thanks for your prayers, your financial support, and all other encouragements you invest in our behalf. Also, please remember to give some thought to what I’ve mentioned about “Piety on the Plains,” the letter-writing parties, and the C.S. Lewis summer project. We would love to have you participate in any or all of these opportunities with us. Blessings...  

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