Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Vital Signs' Services to Seniors Facing Obstacles

With the quarantines coming back to nursing homes and senior living facilities, both the "When Swing Was King" outreach and the church services that Vital Signs Ministries conducts every Sunday afternoon at Aksarben Village Senior Living are being severely restricted. 

For instance, where our regular "When Swing Was King" schedule involved 12 facilities every month, we had only been allowed back in 7. And, in the past few weeks, that's been reduced again to 5. And the church services? Well, last month the administration moved to have everyone wear masks again for the whole service. And, even though I'm 20-25 feet away from the residents when I'm preaching, I'm masked as well. Furthermore, they ended our visitation team altogether -- only Claire and I are allowed. Also, no treats afterward can be served and they even cut our visiting time in half.

But just now, we have been alerted that they might close the church services completely for 2 weeks...or more.


So, you can appreciate why we have re-launched the ministry we created last year; namely, distributing our 9-page "activity packets" to any and all facilities that want them. Wherever they were passed out last year, these packets of trivia, song lyrics, quotations, photographs, and a personal letter from Claire and I, were a huge hit.

And yet, such is the malaise existing in so many of these places, very few of the activity directors that we have sent the offer to have responded. How sad. The packets have proven remarkably helpful in raising spirits, combatting isolation and boredom, stimulating minds, and forging friendships. And they come weekly -- free of charge. So why aren't activity directors utilizing them?

Search me.

By the way, if one of your friends or family lives in a senior care facility, why not make a personal request that the activity director there (or a higher official) take advantage of this free offer? And if they don't, you go ahead and copy each packet and give it to your loved one.

And, of course, prayers are very much in order here. Thank you.

Will Someone Please Turn Off the Noise?

When asked what he would like the orchestra to play while he was dining at a London restaurant, playwright George Bernard Shaw thoughtfully replied, “Dominoes.”

In this matter, I’m with Shaw.

It is a crazy, unhealthy feature of modern life — this matter of unrelenting noise. For instance, having television or radio, canned music or internet advertisements blaring at us absolutely everywhere we go. Airports, restaurants, convenience stores, doctor’s offices. the car mechanic’s waiting room, shopping malls, the vehicle next to yours at a stoplight, coffee shops, nursing home and hospital rooms, even church. For crying out loud, the other day I was putting gas in the car and had to try and block out the TV playing inside the gas pump!

Will someone please turn off the incessant noise!

George Prochnik, in his book “In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise,” warns of the harmful physical impact of noise. “Noise wreaks havoc on all different parts of our bodies. The heart rate accelerates. We get vasoconstriction…The really scary thing is even if we do habituate mentally to noise, that doesn't change what's happening to our bodies.”

Is noise truly inescapable in our time? Is there no place where we can escape the intrusion of dissonant sound? Must our bodies and brains be forced to suffer the constant stress from clamoring, clattering commotion?

Perhaps not. But it will certainly take effort to turn down the noise in our lives, to listen more attentively to the natural sounds of life: God’s creation, calm conversation, serene music. More radical still, shouldn’t we be making time to relish some peace and…genuine quiet?

William Penn, in a book containing advice to his children, wrote, “True silence is the rest of the mind and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. It is a great virtue; it covers folly, keeps secrets, avoids disputes, and prevents sin.”

Amen, Brother Penn. A quiet but unqualified amen.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Reviewing the Recent Best in Alternative Media

* "What A Competent Republican Party Would Be Doing About Democrats' Tyranny" (Joy Pullmann, Federalist)

* "The Squalid 'Squad' Is Trying to Destroy Bipartisan Support for Israel" (Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute)

* "Pope Francis Critiques Afghan Democracy Promotion in Interview, Silent on Taliban" (Mary Burke, Juicy Ecumenism)

* "Facebook denies having '2 systems of justice' for users after scathing WSJ report" (Breck Dumas, Fox Business)

* "Josh Hawley demands answers after Google blocks pro-life ads" (Samuel Dorman, Fox Business)

* "FEC just turned Twitter into all-powerful propaganda machine accountable to no one" (New York Post Editorial Board)

The Latest in "Not-To-Be-Missed" News (A Vaccine Edition)

* "Federal whistleblower comes forth claiming disturbing secret recordings about the jab" (Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, BizPac Review)

* "Tired of woke politics, COVID vaccine mandates? There's a new job site for you." (Breck Dumas, FOX Business)

* "Another COVID 'Fact' Turns Out To Be A Wild Exaggeration" (Editors, Issues and Insights)

* "Self-medicating for COVID with Cheap Drugs" (Jon N. Hall, American Thinker)

* "Reason to Fear a Vaccine Mandate" (David Solway, PJ Media)

* "Unvax Me Here" (Scott Johnson, Power Line)

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Neutral On the Subject of Abortion?

I recently came across some letters from a few years ago. The first was a polite but firm letter of protest I had written to CEOs of companies and charities who gave money to the mega-abortion conglomerate Planned Parenthood.  

We had, of course, written many such letters in the past but, given the revelations of Planned Parenthood’s latest acts of barbarism (namely, doing late term abortions and selling off the baby parts), we had taken the opportunity of writing these company leaders again, hoping they would reconsider their support of such an ugly, violent business. 

Well, among the  replies I received, the saddest to Claire and I came from the March of Dimes.  For they openly admitted that some of their chapters give money to Planned Parenthood.  But, not to worry, they tried to assure us; "The March of Dimes is neutral on the subject of abortion."  

How ghastly a sentence is that?  The torturous dismemberment and killing of an innocent little boy and girl in their mother’s womb – that’s what March of Dimes is neutral on?  

Lord, have mercy.

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Latest "Wow" Articles (Part Two)

* "18 States Passed Election Reforms This Year. Here’s What They Did." (Fred Lucas, Daily Signal)

* "The Real Existential Threat" (John Hinderaker, Power Line)

* "Joe Biden Marks 20th Anniversary of 9/11 Criticizing ‘Dark Forces’ in America Against ‘Peaceful Religion’ of Islam" (Charlie Spiering, Breitbart)

* "Rep. Nancy Mace: All House Democrats Voted Against Survey of Weapons Left in Afghanistan" (Robert Kraychik, Breitbart)

* "Australia's insane COVID rules are a warning to the rest of the Free World" (Rich Lowry, Jewish World Review)

* "The Fading Family" (Joel Kotkin, American Mind)

The Latest "Wow" Articles

* "The Problem with Biden’s Vaccine-Hardball Strategy" (Jim Geraghty, National Review)

* "Left Doesn’t Just Want to Censor You on Social Media. It Also Wants to Close Your Bank Accounts." (Annelise Butler and Anthony Imperato, Daily Signal)

* "A Failure of Memory and Nerve" (Roger Kimball, American Greatness)

* "Hundreds of L.A. cops and firefighters join forces to fight city’s vaccine mandate" (Ashley Sadler, Life Site News)

* "Hospital to stop delivering babies as maternity workers resign over vaccine mandate" (y Brendan Straub and Diane Rutherford; WWNY, Watertown, NY)

* "Biden Administration Orders Ideological Purge Of U.S. Military Academies" (John Lucas, Federalist)