An Omnibus of Opportunities
Dear LifeSharers, September 2014
Driving into autumn is a veritable omnibus of ways in which you can give Vital Signs Ministries a big boost as well as directly participate in some exciting educational and Christian service opportunities we’re offering. So let’s get right to unloading them.
1) First item from the bus – The “3 for 5” Prayer Program.
We realize that only a few of you are able to join us for the prayers, public witness and sidewalk counseling we do in front of the wicked Planned Parenthood abortion center on North 93rd Street. Nevertheless, you can still make a huge impact in the spiritual warfare that occurs there by getting involved in Vital Signs’ “3 for 5” campaign. 3 minutes of intercessory prayer each weekday, concentrating on specific elements of the battle, and praying in concert with many other believers – that’s the program. And it can be done by anyone, anywhere. We know we have informed you of this strategy before but it’s important enough to promote it further. Prayer does make a difference. So, let’s step it up and get more Christians praying fervently and frequently against this sinister abortion business.
If you would like more information about the "3 for 5" Prayer Program, please click on the following link. Consider running off copies to pass out to others -- family or even your church or Sunday School group.
2) Second item from the bus – As most of you know, I have been serving as the teaching pastor of a small, inner-city church for the last seven years. I have taken my responsibilities as a preacher there very seriously, spending many hours each week preparing expository sermons and almost never missing a Sunday. In addition, I have taught adult Sunday School series and other classes; organized group projects involving reading, letter-writing, and service; conducted funerals; visited in hospitals and nursing homes; provided a lot of individual discipleship; and, in many other ways, become deeply involved in the lives of the people there. But, in point of fact, it had become too deep an involvement. And since our responsibilities with Vital Signs Ministries seem to be ever-increasing, not only were we running out of time, we were running out of both physical and spiritual energy. So, I informed the church last month that I am leaving this “perennial guest speaker” position by the end of the year.
What does this mean for Vital Signs? How does it fit in this omnibus of opportunities? Well, the main thing is that we will have more time on the weekends and in the evenings for Vital Signs outreach. In other words, the “open sign” is again out for us to come to your church, your Sunday School, your youth group, your men’s group, your local pro-life meeting. Whatever. In fact, we’re even going to submit for your consideration some specific presentations that have proved popular in this last year. For a Sunday morning sermon, I usually do an exposition of a Scripture text but, for other meetings, we suggest the following possibilities.
* A Winsome Witness: 35 Years in Christian Pro-Life Activism --- Denny & Claire Hartford have been on the scene for a long time and their pro-life ministries cover a lot of ground: sidewalk counseling, nursing home outreach, a crisis pregnancy center, peaceful protests, a wide variety of educational programs, international travel, radio broadcasts, writing, and more. In this presentation, Denny will share illustrative stories and relevant exhortations from their ongoing work.
* Christian Activism and the Code of Chivalry --- Ah, chivalry! The very word stirs the imagination and moves the soul to embrace manly virtues: strength, courage, a willingness to fight in a noble cause. But also kindness, innocence, courtesy and grace. Nor can we forget honor, self-discipline, loyalty, and a burning love for God. How do these noble virtues relate to the spiritual challenges of the present age? That’s the question we will explore in this presentation.
* Why Is Abortion Still “Issue Number One” in America? --- “Why, after so long a time, is abortion still such a desperate controversy here in the United States?” That was the question asked of Denny by an NRK news crew (Norway's public television network), when they were in Omaha a few years ago doing a story on the subject. This presentation expands and updates the three basic answers Denny gave in that interview.
3) Third item from the bus – Another terrific offer we’re making for your church, Sunday School, and/or seniors’ group is a December showing of the unique and compelling program that is “When Swing Was King: The Christmas Edition.” What a sweet way this is to celebrate the season! The Christmas “WSWK” program features the same big bands and crooners that we have in our monthly presentations (performed now at 12 different nursing homes and other senior centers) but the songs and pictures are all about Christmas, making it relevant for people of all ages. Including both the festive elements of the season and the sacred, the Christmas “WSWK” is fun, beautiful, and inspirational. Plus it makes for a great outreach to the unchurched.
What do you say? Let’s celebrate Christmas together with “When Swing Was King”! Of course, it will be first call, first serve so I’d suggest you call Claire real quick at 402-341-8886.
4) Fourth item from the bus – We are hosting another L’Abri lecture series at our home on four consecutive Monday evenings starting September 29. The lectures come from a Rochester L’Abri conference from just a few years ago. We will listen to the lectures and then discuss them over dessert. These lectures are delivered by such heavy hitters as Jerram Barrs, Ranald Macaulay and Nancy Pearcey. Please contact us if you’re interested.
5) And finally, the fifth item from our September omnibus is a request for frequent prayers for Vital Signs Ministries. We have had many blessings this summer and fall including extra speaking engagements, adding another senior center to our “When Swing Was King” schedule (as well as giving 4 special showings), intense ministry at the abortion mill, unexpected success in writing projects, effectiveness in our various cyberspace ministries, finding expert help in revising our website, and strengthening our Governing Board by adding longtime friend Pat Osborne. (Remember also Allen Nelson joined us in March.) But, of course, we need God’s favor to keep the ministry going strong, to make the right decisions, and to continue to experience His breakthrough power. Prayers are also needed to cover our expenses for, to be quite honest, we’re not very doing well financially. We really need more LifeSharers to help share the load. So, if you can let others know of the ongoing effectiveness of Vital Signs Ministries and of the reasons that you yourself support us, that would be super…and greatly appreciated.
Okay, that’s it for this September letter. The omnibus is heading back to the barn. But we trust that it brought some opportunities that you’ll consider taking advantage of. Please know that Claire and I (and our whole Board: John Malek, Quint Coppi, Karla Struble, Don Kohls, Matt Troutman, Mary Roberts, Keith Moran, Allen Nelson and Pat Osborne) are forever grateful for every encouragement, every donation, and every prayer. May our Lord richly bless you all.
P.S. For those of you in the Lincoln area, I will be speaking in behalf of the Pro-Life Education Series on Sunday, October 19, 7:00 at St. Patrick’s School. I’d love to see you there. And, closer to home, I’ll be speaking next week at Blair Christian Academy and (with Claire, of course) presenting a special edition of “When Swing Was King” for the seniors at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church.