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An Interactive LifeSharer Letter

Dear LifeSharers,                                                                      March 2014


            This March letter is action-packed in two ways.  First of all, I list a few of the interactive opportunities that Vital Signs has for you this spring (and, of course, if you cannot directly participate, you can still pray for God’s blessings upon these ministries). Secondly, there are reviews of some of the things that have kept Claire and I busy in these last few weeks.

            Of course, the most obvious thing is to answer your question, “Why did you send me these postcards?” {Note to e-mail and website readers.  The LifeSharer letter that was mailed through the post was accompanied by 3 postcards, the image of which you can see at this Vital Signs Blog post.  If you would like copies of this postcard, just let us know.}  We’re enlisting you in the effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood by providing you with a winsome, common-sense postcard to send your Congressman and two Senators.  The photo is of Claire at a Mother’s Day March for Life held in south Omaha way back in the mid 1980s.  The caption is simple, profound and, we believe, effective in turning the very name of Planned Parenthood against them. We also think it’s effective to have these politicians encounter a recurring image and slogan.  It catches the interest and is better retained in the memory.

            But you’re now saying (at least, I hope you are!), “Okay, Denny.  I’m with you.  This is a neat idea and I’m happy to be a part of this concerted effort.  But what am I supposed to put on the reverse side of the postcard?”  Write whatever you find relevant. But may I make a few suggestions?  Consider one or two of these points:

            * During the fiscal year of 2012-2013, Planned Parenthood itself reported receiving $540.6 million in taxpayer funding.  (That’s almost $1.5 million every day!)

            * Planned Parenthood promotes itself as a charitable organization but, in fact, it is a major corporation (with its main business being abortion) that reported more than $1.3 billion in assets and $58.2 million in excess revenue just for last year!

            * Over the past 3 years, Planned Parenthood has performed nearly a million surgical abortions – and untold more millions of chemical abortions.

            * Other points you might put in your postcard? Planned Parenthood employees work zealously against any and all restrictions to abortion.  They also aggressively advocate “sex education” which promotes premarital sexual activity even among the very young.  Planned Parenthood also works to weaken parental authority, to marginalize natural marriage, and to penalize those who speak up for pro-life, pro-family matters.

            That’s enough for now. However, for further information, I’d encourage you to check out the Planned Parenthood tag at Vital Signs Blog.

            Okay.  Mission understood?  Let’s send some postcards!

            What else does Vital Signs have to offer this spring in the way of ministry opportunities, fellowship and Christian growth? Read on.

* You can join us for prayers outside the Planned Parenthood abortion mill. In addition to individuals praying there at various times, a small group of us go out on the first and third Thursdays of the month (8-9:30 AM) and the first and third Saturdays (8-9 AM). We also encourage you to use the “3 for 5” prayer program (three minutes of prayer each weekday) as part of a concerted effort against the nation’s leading abortionist.  That “3 for 5” program was sent to you in a LifeSharer letter a couple of years ago but, if you’ve mislaid it, you can get another copy from us or find it at the Vital Signs Ministries website.

            * Guests are always welcome to help us visit with the residents of the 11 nursing homes and other senior facilities where we present “When Swing Was King” every month. The schedule can be found at our website.

            * We just had a “P.A.L. Night” last Sunday evening but we will be organizing another for June.  At these parties, we provide everything you need to write courteous, informative and meaningful letters that shine the light of Christ into the halls of power. In addition, we always have a few thank-you letters and cards on our list. Give us a call if you’re interested.

            * Ready for a reading challenge? Several friends of Vital Signs have committed to completing one of two reading tracks by the end of the summer. (In fact, some have signed on to both!) The first track is the seven short books of The Chronicles of Narnia. The second involves three books: Heaven by Randy Alcorn, The Heart of Prayer by Jarram Barrs, and Teaching to Change Lives by Howard Hendricks. Interested? Come August, Denny & Claire will host a barbecue dinner at their house for everyone who was involved in either project.

            * Beginning at 7 o’clock on Monday evening, April 7th, Denny & Claire will be hosting the first of four L’Abri evenings, featuring the best lectures of the recent L’Abri conference in Rochester, Minnesota.  April 7th will be “The Biblical Basis for True Spirituality” by Jerram Barrs. On April 14th, we will listen to “Spirituality According to Francis Schaeffer” by Bill Edgar. “Three Theories of Everything” by Ellis Potter is the lecture for April 21st. And we will finish off on April 28th with “The Christian Life - An Other-Centered Walk” by Dick Keyes. They are all stimulating, illuminating and inspirational. We hope you can come.

            Alright, along with these interactive opportunities, I also promised to give you a few brief reviews of Claire’s and my life in the weeks since our last LifeSharer.

            There are 5 things that stand out.  1) Claire has been spending a lot of time creating a brand new Vital Signs Ministries website.  It is cleaner, more organized, and a more user-friendly site even though it will end up being even bigger than the one we’re using now.  And, certainly as important, it will be a more editor-friendly site as well!

             2) Claire also did the lion share of the work necessary to prepare for our Vital Signs quarterly board meeting last week. 3) The outreach of Vital Signs Blog continues but I am gradually shifting more writing time to other projects.         

            4) Claire and I spent several hours in February arranging speaking engagements and home meetings for Hleb Yermakou, our friend and ministry colleague who lives in Belarus and who continues to provide the translation for our Russian-language website.  Hleb was in the U.S. for a month, 6 days of which were spent with us.  The schedule was a very ambitious one: four classes at Omaha Christian Academy…a class at South High School…an informal seminar at Grace University’s mission conference…two Student Venture meetings…three home gatherings (with about 30 guests in all)…two KCRO radio programs…a superb Thanksgiving dinner where Hleb talked to four couples…delivering the Sunday morning sermon at Faith Bible Church…and a lot of conversations and prayer with the Hartfords.

            And finally number 5 would be “When Swing Was King.”  Claire and I could talk a long time about this but instead I’ll print just a few of the responses from one of the 11 facilities where we present “When Swing Was King” every month.

* "Oh, that was a wonderful program! You know, I'm 93 and I knew almost all of those songs. And even the ones I didn't know very well, I had heard before. But, oh my, weren't they all just great!"

* "I loved each song you played. So many brought tears to my eyes -- they were so lovely and they brought back memories that were so sweet to me. Thank you so much."

            * "We just love it when you guys come. You make the whole week special because we look forward to it before you come and then, after you're gone, we still hum the songs and talk to each other about it the whole rest of the week. Thank you so much for thinking of us and doing all this for us."

            Okay, that’s it for this month’s LifeSharer.  I told you it was action-packed and I hope you found it interesting, encouraging and a stimulation to “love and good deeds” for our Lord.  As always, we’d like to close with our immense and abiding appreciation for your support of Vital Signs Ministries.  Your donations, your prayers, your encouragement are having a wonderful effect – for eternity.  Thanks.  (Now, go send those postcards!)     


P.S. You can now follow Vital Signs on Twitter @DHVSM.