Monday, October 03, 2011

A Weekend Review

It was a very busy, very productive weekend and, while I'd love to review things in detail for you, I don't have very much time today. Or, for that matter, this week. We're on a fast track for awhile (I know, it never seems to be a slow one!) with a week with four "When Swing Was King" presentations, a project for Nebraskans Against Planned Parenthood to be done, web page updates, articles to be completed for translation for our Russian-language site, hospital visits, sermon preparations, and more. Oh, boy.

So, I am only putting two posts on the blog this morning. This one which will give a quick rundown of the weekend's highlights AND the one following which will give a "quick hits" list of some of the news stories from the culture wars that I don't want you to miss. Here we go...

The weekend's activities started off with an early morning prayer vigil outside the northwest Omaha Planned Parenthood abortion mill. It was a different set up than our regular Saturday morning presence in that our regular sidewalk counseling team was joined by more than 20 other pro-life advocates including Suzanne Gage from Americans United for Life; Pastor Don Moore and his wife, Jane, from Hope Church; Pat Osborne; Steve Langenfeld; Mary Jane Ziola; Ann Bowen; and from Amarillo, Texas, Rita Diller, the National Director of STOPP Planned Parenthood.

Rita's presence with us was the capstone of a recent effort sponsored by Nebraskans Against Planned Parenthood (a network in which Vital Signs Ministries is honored to be a partner). That effort began with a series of speaking engagements and training sessions by American Life League's vice-president Jim Sedlak in a number of Nebraska cities. Then Rita had come to Lincoln for another couple of speaking engagements on Friday before visiting Omaha on Saturday.

Our prayer vigil went without incident -- except in the heavenlies, of course, where the fervent prayers of faithful Christians shakes things up more than we can ever realize! We had a few prayers together but for most of our time there, we spread out on the sidewalks along 93rd Street and prayed individually or in small groups. The abortion facility remained closed the whole time.

Immediately after the vigil, we walked up to Hope Church where donuts and coffee awaited us along with the chance to hear a very engaging presentation from Rita Diller. She shared several inspiring stories from her experience in helping many abortion mills to close down in the Amarillo area. But those stories all had practical applications to our situation here in Nebraska. The turnout for the meeting was, to be frank, disappointing. There were only 35 people there. But for the ones present, Rita had great information about how to improve and expand our opposition to Planned Parenthood. Indeed, a couple of them we've already started in on. More on that tomorrow.

The rest of our Saturday involved taking Rita to dinner, seeing her to the airport and then getting home to work on Sunday's sermon and Sunday School class at Faith Bible Church. Both duties require a lot of work but I'm enjoying and drawing an awful lot of spiritual benefits from them. Sunday's class was the fourth in a series I'm doing on the Old Testament tabernacle while Sunday's sermon was the first in a new series on the New Testament book of Galatians.

Following those services on Sunday, about 25 people from our small congregation went out to eat together and then gather at 72nd and Dodge for the Life Chain. We had a wonderful time in beautiful weather presenting a winsome witness for the sanctity of life. Tragically, the event has pretty much fallen apart in Omaha. Primarily because of the failure of the clergy and youth pastors to organize and promote (as a priority) the Life Chain, the number of participants has dropped to a few hundred scattered around the city. In the early years, there were over 16,000. My, how weak-kneed and pitiful is the staying power of the modern Church.

But we did our best to reflect Christ's light yesterday afternoon. And we trust that Jesus will, like He did the loaves and fishes, bless our meager offerings for His purposes and His glory.

Following the Life Chain, Claire and I had a visit to a new friend in a nursing home and then an old friend in the hospital before making it home to dinner and a restful evening.

It was a good weekend.