Monday, December 24, 2018

Your Pre-Christmas Compilation

Okay, while you've been out Christmas caroling through the countryside, here's a few key articles about what's been happening in the culture wars that you may have missed.

* “IRD’s Top 10 Evangelical News Stories of 2018” (Chelsea Vicari, Juicy Ecumenism)

* “No Surprise Boy Scouts Headed for the Ash Heap” (Cal Thomas, Daily Signal)

* “Former Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic Manager: ‘It’s a Demonic Organization’” (Micaiah Bilger,

* “Will We Abandon Syria's Christians?” ( Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin & Travis Weber, FRC’s Washington Update)

* “Don’t Expect New, Unbiased Social Media Anytime Soon” (Saurabh Sharma, National Review)

* “Democrats Vs. Ordinary Catholic Guys” (Rod Dreher, American Conservative)

* “The U.N. Gives Palestinian Terrorists a Free Pass” (David May, National Review)

* “Masterpiece Cakeshop Baker Jack Phillips Now Facing Lawsuit for Refusing to Make ‘Gender Transition’ Cake” (Brianna Heldt, Town Hall)

* “Texas City Featured in Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ Lost Millions in Its Green Energy Gamble” (Michael Bastasch, Daily Signal)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Let My People Go: Advocacy Letters to Persecuting Nations

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, the Vital Signs Ministries’ Christmas card party produced (among the 140 letters and cards we wrote) colorful cards to 14 Christians being unjustly persecuted and imprisoned in places like China and Eritrea merely because of their faith in Jesus.  We sent each prisoner 3 different Christmas cards with different greetings and Scripture verses in their own language. Thank you to Voice of the Martyrs website for that service.

Well, related directly to the cause of these brothers and sisters in Christ, we also wrote letters to the ambassadors and other diplomats representing the offending nations: China, Eritrea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.

I print an example below as an encouragement for your prayers and perhaps, your letters also.

Dear Ambassador,

We, the undersigned, urge you to please demonstrate fresh justice and compassion in regards to the sad plight of prisoners in your country who are experiencing unfair and harsh imprisonment because of their Christian faith. We specifically intercede today for ————————————.

Please recognize that sincere Christians represent a blessing to your nation as they are morally upright, diligent workers, respectful, kindhearted, and generous. They do not seek to undermine the State but rather to enhance its strength and culture through prayers, devotion to family life, and peaceful service.

To mistreat persons merely because of religious differences (or other acts of conscience) is a tragic mistake, one that frustrates, angers, and saddens people of tolerance and goodwill throughout the world. Please act quickly to open the jail cells of those enduring undeserved punishment for their religious faith. 

“Religious freedom, an essential requirement of the dignity of every person, is a cornerstone of the structure of human rights, and for this reason, an irreplaceable factor in the good of individuals and of the whole of society as well as of the personal fulfillment of each individual.” (John Paul II)

Thank you for your consideration of this crucial human rights matter.


Okay, Now Christmas Is Underway!

Well, let's see now. We have had our first Christmas party and we have had a very successful Christmas card party with 11 of us writing nearly 140 Christmas cards to political leaders, businesses, Christian heroes, and persecuted Christians in other nations. And Claire and I have attended “Christmas at the Cathedral” at St. Cecilia’s and Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the Holland. We have watched Miracle on 34th Street, read a few Christmas-themed books, and started listening to Christmas music. We have even started to pass out CDs of Patrick Osborne’s latest music creation, Winter Night.

But it isn’t really Christmas until we’ve started in to the presentations of the Christmas “When Swing Was King” shows at area senior care centers! And that began (the first of 12) yesterday afternoon.

We are cordially inviting you to come along and enjoy the marvelous sights, sounds, memories, and holiday visits of these beautiful and festive events. The schedule is on the Vital Signs Ministries website and here is the songlist to help get you in the mood.

1) Benny Goodman Orchestra — “Jingle Bells”
2) Jerry Vale — “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
3) Frank Sinatra — “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
4) Mills Brothers — “O Come All Ye Faithful”
5) Gene Autry — “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
6) The Lennon Sisters — “Hark the Herald”
7) Perry Como — “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”
8) Nat King Cole — “O Holy Night”
9) Woody Herman Orchestra — “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”
10) Judy Garland — “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
11) Glenn Miller Orchestra — “Silent Night”
12) Bing Crosby — “White Christmas”

Monday, December 10, 2018

Among That Christmas Card Pile

Among the 140 cards written at Saturday morning’s Christmas card party were those sent to President Trump and many other national political leaders; Governor Ricketts and many other state political leaders; businesses including a few who have stopped supporting the violence and injustice perpetrated by Planned Parenthood (and some who still do); Christian heroes involved in gospel, relief, and pro-life ministries; and Christians languishing in prisons in persecuting countries like Eritrea and Communist China.

Here are a few of the messages contained in our cards. Perhaps they’ll encourage you to write a few of your own.

Dear Google,

In this Christmas season, why not make a New Year’s Resolution to start actually practicing what you claim to champion; namely, tolerance and open-mindness.  You can move forward in this by stopping the unfair censorship of conservative and Christian speech.  Thank you. Merry Christmas.

Dear Secretary Pompeo,

Why the delay in offering asylum to Asia Bibi?  Please, as a Christmas present to her and her family (as well as to the global cause of religious freedom), offer protected asylum to this dear woman immediately. Thank you.

Dear Justice Brett Kavanaugh,

We are gathered together with eleven pro-life friends writing Christmas cards.  We are proud to tell you that we consider you a genuine hero as you stood strongly against purveyors of hate and darkness.  Be advised, I can say that we lifted you up in prayer often, as you stood strongly against wickedness. We continue to pray for you in your Supreme Court position.  The Lord bless you and keep you (Numbers 6:24).  Blessings in this Christmas season.

Dear President Araujo,

Congratulations on your election to the presidency of Brazil.  We are going to be praying for you, your family, and your efforts to move Brazil forward.  We especially pray for your effort to defend the sanctity of human life even in its earliest stages and to extend religious freedom in your nation.

Dear Congressman Bacon,

May the Lord bless you and your family in this holy season and may He move in your efforts to protect and improve the United States as you serve in the Congress.  Thank you for your work, especially for your support of the pro-life cause and the defense of religious freedoms.  Oh yes; one more thing. In your next election campaign, please give us a bit more specifics about your record and positions…and a bit more gravitas instead of the overuse of “Bacon.”  Thanks.

Dear Netflix,

As we send along our genuine Christmas greetings, we also send a request that your company stop the over-sexed, violent, and profane programming like “Baby” and “13 Reasons Why.” Thank you for your consideration of this urgent request.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Making the Most of Christmas

Ah, Christmas!  Bing Crosby crooning carols; the Christmas tree lighting up the cold winter nights; the eggnog and cookies at holly wreaths…There is a myriad of special delights rolled into one splendid season. However, the secular traditions themselves cannot adequately create an authentic Christmas spirit. Not that those traditions are wicked as some might argue. No, not at all. They are simply inadequate. For, of course, the foundation of the holiday and its most profound purpose is to celebrate the Advent of Jesus Christ, He Who was expressly given to the world for the salvation of sinners.

Nevertheless, Christians can not only enjoy the colors, sounds, tastes, and other cultural adornments of the holiday but they should be creative and diligent to utilize every opportunity which even secular Christmas traditions provide to share the higher meaning of the holiday with others. One need not criticize the Christmas tree, Santa Claus, gift giving, and other seasonal traditions; instead use them to winsomely enlighten ones friends and neighbors to the most important truths (truths that are both historical and supernatural) of the holiday.

For more on how to accomplish this task, why not contact Vital Signs Ministries today and ask for our “Making the Most of Christmas” packet. We will be thrilled to send it out to you.