Dear VSM LifeSharers, March 2011
A couple of weeks ago, Claire was called for jury duty but, as these things are wont to go, she ended up being passed over. That's what being a pro-life activist, a co-founder of a crisis pregnancy center and the wife of an evangelical pastor gets you in post-Christian America -- you're not qualified to weigh evidence, make moral judgments, or pass sentence in a criminal case.
Because I figured she would be dismissed pretty quickly, I hung around downtown in order to pick her up. I was wrong. It took them 6 hours to decide they didn't want her. Anyhow, I sat at the Panera's drinking decaf for a few hours. I went over the agenda for the Vital Signs Board meeting this month, jotted down some slogans to use for signs outside Planned Parenthood and wrote some letters. But having a presentation of "When Swing Was King" early in the afternoon, I finally had to pack up and head out.
I had never attempted presenting a "When Swing Was King" program by myself. My job is to do the sound, the narration, the screen, the preliminary music, and the conversation with the residents. Claire visits too, of course, but she also handles all of the computer stuff: the Power Point program, the projector, and the various connections that keep all these things "talking" to one another and to the power source.
I did have a few things going for me though. Her prayers were very important; so too was the generous and warm-hearted welcome we always get at this particular facility. And then there was the delight of having 4 members of Faith Bible Church show up: Allen, Cindy, Paul and Harriet. They visited with the residents. They covered the windows so the images could be better seen on the screen. And then Allen operated the Power Point. It was a wonderful testimony to the staff and residents of how church is supposed to work. And it was certainly a tremendous help to me. Thanks a million, guys.
There was only one small glitch. Claire's sister called on the cell phone during the program. I got the phone out of my pocket pretty quick but there was another problem when I opened it. You see, earlier in the morning I had somehow turned on the speaker phone and I didn't have a clue as to how to get it back to normal. (Without Claire, I'm absolutely helpless with this kind of thing.) Anyhow, I made a dash for the door to keep Peg's voice from drowning out the song that was playing. And the song that was up at that very moment? I kid you not -- The Ink Spots singing "Ring, Telephone Ring!" The unscripted comedy was one of the afternoon's highlights for the 18 people present.
Claire found out a little before two that she wasn't going to be picked for jury duty after all. So she waited patiently at the courthouse, enjoying Jeff Shaara's Gone for Soldiers until I could get down and collect her. We then had a most enjoyable early dinner with the Nelsons at a health food place we all enjoy -- Five Guys Burgers and Fries! A couple of hours conversation about Christianity, our common ministry, church matters, Vital Signs, flowers (Allen sells them), and Claire's experience with the judicial system that day was a great way to get things back to normal.
Okay, on to a couple of ministry updates before I let you go. The educational, motivational work on the blog continues with 25-35 different posts a week. Those posts are also published twice a day on Facebook with two a day published on Blogs Lucianne Loves. The result is that they are being read by several hundred internet visitors each day. Among recurrent themes of recent weeks have been the National Public Radio scandal, the arrogant injustice of the Obama administration, the push to defund Planned Parenthood, and the extreme dangers to women posed by both surgical and chemical abortion. We hope those of you connected to the internet have taken advantage of these posts to get relevant information to pass on to friends, family, church members and your political representatives. And we hope they help motivate and inform your prayers too.
Speaking of Planned Parenthood, we have begun going out to the new northwest facility to pray, hold signs and talk to those we can. With the building set up the way it is, the last task is especially difficult. Please pray that our witness there is effective. We are also in the process of putting audio narration to our two You Tube presentations as well as creating some brand new ones. Some of these will focus on Planned Parenthood as well.
I am nearing the conclusion to my Sunday morning series on the book of Nehemiah. These are available on the internet as are my “Beasts of the Bible” series. (The Russian text version is available through the Vital Signs Ministries web site too.) This spring we will be extending our Russian language pro-life materials even further. In fact, several articles have already been sent over for translation.
There are other things going on too – speaking to AWANA groups, correspondence regarding pro-life legislation and other matters, spending time with Mom and so on. And, oh yes; there’s “When Swing Was King,” the outreach in the nursing homes and assisted living centers that continues to be a source of great excitement. Writes one activities director: “Our residents love ‘When Swing was King.’ They await the program all morning and enjoy reminiscing about it after it is through. It’s like a window to the past…The pictures and the music are wonderful! We look forward to ‘When Swing was King’ every month! Thanks, Claire and Denny!” While another writes: “This monthly show is a much enjoyed special event in our facility….The quality of this presentation is awesome. I am so grateful to Denny and Claire for enhancing our activity calendar. I appreciate their kindness in sharing their time and talent.”
What wonderful encouragement. And the complements and thank-yous from the residents themselves mean even more. There’s no doubt – “When Swing Was King” has become a wonderful addition to Vital Signs Ministries.
And so that’s enough for this LifeSharer Letter. As I mentioned earlier, please keep us in your prayers for all of our work – at the abortion mills, the various internet outreaches, the advocacy, the discipleship and our involvement with seniors. We appreciate so much every prayer, every financial donation, and every word of inspiration. God bless you.