11-28-2019 Letters and Commentary

Good to give thanks

If you were to wander the halls of Philadelphia’s Hopkinson Elementary School at morning assembly time during Thanksgiving season in 1957, you would hear us singing “Come, Ye Thankful People Come”, a familiar Thanksgiving song. That’s where I learned it. And then, in 1962 when I graduated from sixth grade at Fitzpatrick Elementary, our class recited an extended passage from Proverbs about wisdom and how to get understanding. We had practiced it repeatedly and there are portions that I still remember today. When Thanksgiving was established in 1789 by George Washington, the “Father” of our nation, it was by request of Congress. We didn’t have any problem acknowledging God’s blessings on our nation until more recently. And now it’s become illegal to do so. What a turnaround – to the point that our young son was stopped from privately praying in thanks before his lunchtime meal at a Fulton, NY public school where he was enrolled. It had become illegal. The foundations of our nation are clear to those who have the courage to report history instead of having the audacity to invent it. God’s “Providential” guidance and protection of our nation was clear to Washington. But that reality has become foggy with the rise of the religion of secular humanism, which, at best, sees God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, only “deistically”. The idea of “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” however, cannot be surrendered. When Sodom and Gomorrah were to be destroyed, God was willing to spare those valley cities and others around them for the sake of just a few that did not surrender to their culture’s debauchery. For the good of our nation and because it’s the right thing to do, we need to remember the Psalm 92 passage: “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, oh Most High.” (NASB)

Free up your time by using “my Social Security”

Time is one of our most valuable commodities. That’s why at Social Security, we are constantly improving our online resources to make doing business with us easier and faster. With a “my Social Security” account, those receiving benefits can change their address and direct deposit information; get proof of their benefits; and request replacement documents, like a Medicare card. For those that aren’t currently getting benefits, they can check their earnings record, get estimates of future benefits, and view their Social Security Statement. In Michigan, they can even request a replacement Social Security card online. To see everything that can be done with a “my Social Security” account and to open an account, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. The following actions can be done without a “my Social Security” account. Select or change the way information is received from Social Security if blind or visually impaired at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/blind. Block electronic and automated telephone access to personal information at www.socialsecurity.gov/blockaccess. Apply for extra help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs at www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp. Be sure to share “my Social Security” with friends and family. By freeing up their time, they may plan on spending more of their valuable time with the people they love. Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.