After beginning the evening in prayer, the Vital Signs team members who had assembled for last night's P.A.L. Night (Prayer, Action and Letters) watched this 5-minute video clip for a few helpful pointers. True, everyone there was a letter-writing veteran but the clip is a very effective inspiration and help.
Then they read through this introduction to the evening's work:
The action targets for tonight's P.A.L. Night? Take your pick.
For starters, how about contacting your U.S. Senators about the Elena Kagan nomination to the Supreme Court? Or American Idol once again deciding to funnel large amounts of money to organizations that aggressively promote abortion? Perhaps you'd prefer to begin with some letters to the diplomats of countries with a particularly grievous record of persecuting Christians? We've got the embassy addresses for the worst of the worst.
Maybe you never heard a reply from your last letter to the Nebraska Attorney General about his office investigating charges against notorious abortionist Leroy Carhart. If not, it's probably time for a follow up. And have you written lately to remind your political representatives your opinions about ENDA or the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" or the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy?
For those of you who follow Vital Signs Blog, you know there's plenty of other situations that could use our prayers and our polite but principled letters. Those would include Comedy Central's plans for a mean-spirited cartoon series which blasphemes Jesus Christ. But others involve the leftward leanings of the National Association of Evangelicals (a group which just might be receiving some of the money you put in the offering plate at your own church), the effrontery (and stone cold hypocrisy) of Mexico's President criticizing a legitimate law of one of the states while a guest of our country, and any one of a number of stunts pulled by our own President Obama.
But that's not all. What about a few thank-you notes to some of the conservative columnists you regularly read or to some of our political representatives for the bold actions of fiscal restraint, patriotism and pro-life commitment that they've taken in recent weeks?
There's also new wickedness afoot from Planned Parenthood, new schemes from Washington liberals to steal more of your money and personal liberty, and new moves by Team Obama to weaken national security.
Oh yeah, it's time for a few prayers (make that a lot of prayers!) and a few handwritten letters.
Let's get started.
And start they did! In fact, the pens were smoking! And by the time we stopped for ice cream two hours later, those 6 letter-writers had 67 letters ready for sending out! They included letters to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer; Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman; Senators Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns; Congressmen Lee Terry, Jeff Fortenberry, Tom McClintock and several others; State Senator Tanya Cook and Charlie Janssen; the Iowa and Nebraska Medical Boards; Attorney General Jon Bruning; Viacom; American Idol; President Barack Obama; Mexico President Felipe Calderon; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and a dozen ambassadors of foreign countries whose records on human rights has been despicable.
67 letters from a principled, polite and very productive group -- great job, guys!
Of course, you can be a part of this kind of significant effort too.
Vital Signs Ministries hosts frequent P.A.L.Nights like this and you are always cordially invited to be a part. Just give us a call for info on the next one. You can also use the information you receive from places like Vital Signs Blog to be a "shiner" instead of a mere "whiner" and write letters on your own -- or, better still, with a few friends or family members. (As an example, I've always thought advocacy letter-writing should be a staple of home school education.)
There are letter-writing tips right here at the Vital Signs Ministries web site and feel free to use the address sheet we used last night. You'll find it right here.
So go on and write a few letters. It does a lot more good than just complaining. In fact, as that Omar Ahmad clip reveals, it does a lot more good than you think!
By the way, over the next few days I'll post a sampling of the letters written last night. They may give you an added bit of oomph to write a few yourself.