Dear friends of Vital Signs Ministries,                            December 2023

            As I write this on an early morning with my Panera coffee, Claire and I are already heavy into our Yuletide activities which, as you know, are always intense, widely varied, and fully packed as we start the night of Thanksgiving (eating Paleo pumpkin pie and watching the original “Miracle on 34th Street”) and go on through Epiphany on January 6th. The Christmas decorations are up here at the house (and on the house), the large nativity set is on the front lawn, and the heartwarming music of the season is playing on the stereo. It’s always a particularly delightful time of year for us. And busy…for in the weeks to come we will be hosting a lot of dinner parties, singing carols amid our prayers and pro-life witness outside the abortion business, studying and preparing the Christmas-themed sermons for our Sunday afternoon church service at Aksarben Village, maintaining Saturday’s Top 5 and other entries on the blog and social media, and 12 showings of the fantastic Christmas edition of “When Swing Was King.”

            There are also our New Year’s resolutions to prepare this month. (We sometimes refer to them as “Christmas presents for Jesus.”) It’s a spiritual exercise we take quite seriously, involving as it does not only the honest evaluations of how we have done on last year’s vows and goals — indeed, we do that evaluation each quarter throughout the year — but also our careful, prayerful consideration for those we will make for 2024. We recommend the practice highly.

            A few of the season’s highlights have already occurred including the quarterly luncheon for Business and Professional People for Life we helped organize and the two Christmas card editions of Vital Signs’ letter-writing parties. In those events, 13 of us sent out over 100 letters and Christmas cards, including two Christmas cards apiece to 12 Christians imprisoned for their faith in Eritrea and Communist China.

            Of course, before these latest happenings, we had already had a jam-packed November with all of our regular ministries (prayers and public pro-life witness outside Planned Parenthood on business, Vital Signs Blog and Saturday’s Top 5, the Sunday afternoon church services at Aksarben Village Senior Living, social media and the VSM website, 12 “When Swing Was King” shows, etc.) plus our interview of Sandy Danek, the director of Nebraska Right to Life to promote their January Walk for Life…and then my being interviewed by KCRO’s Jackie Mahr as a promotion of my novel, The Christmas Room. There were also sermons and Sunday school classes for 3 different Sundays up at Herman Community Church.

            Anything else? Well, we filled 6 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child; raked, mowed, and mulched leaves in ours (and our neighbor’s yards); and completed what was a fun and very profitable exercise for us. It’s called “10 Books That Made Us…And 5 Others That Also Helped.” (More on that in a moment.) And we hosted 5 special friends for Thanksgiving dinner. One of our guests — a 96-year old WWII veteran who is part of our Aksarben Village church family – wrote in a thank-you not, “It was an exceptionally good day for me!”

            One other November item. We celebrated our 52nd anniversary. Hooray!

Anyhow, that’s just about it for this LifeSharer letter but then we do have an awful lot going on these next few weeks. However, before I do finish, I would like to draw your attention to a few Christmas presents we’re offering to you.

* 1, 2, and 4) “10 Books That Made Us…And 5 Others That Helped” can be found in the Articles section of the Vital Signs Ministries website. That’s also the case with “On Spiritual Disciplines” and “Making the Most of Christmas.”

* The number 3 present is our invitation to join us for one of the Christmas “When Swing Was King” shows this December. Our schedule is in the Seniors section of the VSM website.

* And Number 4? My novel The Christmas Room is available directly from Amazon for $6.95 or you can actually get autographed copies from us for only $5. If you have a Kindle, you’re really in good shape because the Kindle version can be downloaded for only 99 cents. And while you’re there, you might also be interested in two Christmas-themed short stories of mine that are available there: “Christmas on the Freedom Train” and “Winter in the Woods.”

But be doers of the word,
and not hearers only.