Archive for 2010

Chosen to Bear Fruit

In my last blog (His Workmanship), I shared some thoughts from Andrew Murray about being God’s workmanship and being “in Christ” by His work. We become a “new creation” when we are joined to Christ, and bear much fruit as we stay connected to Him. Let’s explore these truths a bit further.

Have you ever thought about how a vine produces fruit? It’s certainly not by thinking or effort on the part of the vine. Fruitfulness comes naturally as the branches are connected to the vine, if it has good soil, moisture, and care.

According to Jesus’ teaching, He is the vine, His Father is the husbandman. I am a branch. (John 15:1-5) Fruitfulness comes when I abide in Him – when I stay vitally connected with Him. My Father is in charge of pruning and lifting up in order to increase fruitfulness.

But all of this is “of God.” Of God I am in Christ Jesus. Of God, I am a branch in the Vine. Of God I am a new creation in Christ. I, “who formerly was dead in sins – I who formerly was far off, apart from the covenant and the promises – am now  “in Christ” by the calling and choosing and creating power of God.

Jesus said, “I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” (John 15:16)  So what is my part? To believe Him. To say, “Yes, Lord! Amen! So be it!” To stay connected to the Vine. And to be thankful and cooperate with His grace which mightily works within me.

I did not choose Him – He chose me! Not because of anything good in me, but according to His sovereign power and plan – that I might bear fruit – and that He might manifest His glorious love, mercy, grace, and power, in and through me. What a high calling! What a privilege! What a blessing!

Mary Jo Nutting

Evolution and Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer!

I just received a call from a friend of mine who had watched a Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer Christmas/New Year’s program on television. They must have worked really hard to weave it into the story, but sure enough, they managed to squeeze evolution into it! They went back through “Father Time” to the first “Father Time” “millions of years ago.” Of course, in keeping with the true spirit of evolution, “Father Time” back then was a hunched over half-man/half-ape caveman. “My friend lamented, “They are indoctrinating even 2 and 3 year olds with that movie!”

You just can’t escape it! It’s a battle out there! We are indeed in the midst of cultural and spiritual war. Evolution permeates our society. Unfortunately, the constant barrage of evolutionary indoctrination has certainly taken a big toll. Even in the church, a high percentage of kids drop their faith because they think evolution is a proven fact –making the Bible obsolete.

That is exactly why we at Alpha Omega Institute pack our schedule to bring the truth of Creation to churches, schools, universities, etc.! If you really see the importance of this ministry, please help support it both in prayer and financially.

Dave Nutting

Donate Now to the work of Alpha Omega Institute

Black Bart the Friendly Pirate

Black Bart - the Friendly Pirate

Just before Christmas, we had a visitor adopt us … a coal black raven. I have been putting scraps, left over from butchering an elk, out near our pond for the wildlife to enjoy. The birds have really enjoyed this “manna” from heaven. Within minutes of putting out the scraps, magpies show up, followed by ravens, blue birds, and then an occasional red-tailed hawk. Coyotes and bobcats have also visited the banquet.

One day I was kneeling on the ground out in the back yard, splitting some apple wood for the meat smoker, when a raven landed on the fence about 20 feet away. I continued to split wood with my head down when I heard a swish, followed by guttural clucks and clacks. I looked up to see the raven within an arms length, sitting on top of the smoker, softly talking to me in raven language (you have to hear them talk yourselves – it is hard to describe). I slowly stood up and extended my hand to him … I was amazed … he didn’t fly away! Instead he stretched his head toward my hand and gently pecked it. I backed away and went inside to get him some bread. When I came out, he was still waiting for me on top of the smoker. Turns out he doesn’t like bread; however, being a carrion eater, he did enjoy some meat scraps I brought him, eating them right out of my hand. He would occasional grab one of my fingers, just to check its edibility.

Black Bart harassing Archimedes

I went back in the house and got my wife Marilyn, and when we returned he was still there waiting for us. We spent quite a bit of time with the raven that morning, watching him “harass” Q-tip (our small pet dog) and Archimedes (our very plump cat). He would keep just out of reach of the two pesky pets by “crow-hopping”, and as soon as they turned their backs to him, he would bounce up and grab their tails with his beak. I can tell you, they acted most indignant to this cheeky bird’s behavior.

I decided to name the bird Black Bart the Friendly Pirate because he has the habit of carrying off anything small and light enough to pick up in his beak. He has stolen several of our grandkids’ outdoor toys, sidewalk chalk, small toy shovel, and even tried to fly off with the red handled butane lighter we keep by the barbeque grill. I won’t let him in the garage with me … there are too many tools lying about for his thieving pleasure! He usually visits us once a day to check up on his adopted family.

Black Bart's Thieving Ways

The Bible mentions the raven six different times … a raven was the first bird Noah sent off the Ark after the flood. The raven is just another example of God’s wonderful Creation.

Lanny Johnson

His Workmanship

In his classic, Abide in Christ, Andrew Murray powerfully reminds us: “God Himself Has United You To Him.“ According to I Cor. 1:30, “Of God are ye in Christ Jesus … ” We are “in Christ,” not of our doing, but of God’s – and therein lies our confidence and our fruitfulness. Murray writes:

“You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works”: grafted by Him into Christ, unto the bringing forth of much fruit. Whatever God creates is exquisitely suited to its end. He created the sun to give light: how perfectly it does its work! He created the eye to see: how beautifully it fulfils its object! He created the new man unto good works: how admirably it is fitted for its purpose.

“Of GOD I am in Christ: created anew, made a branch of the Vine, fitted for fruit-bearing. Would to God that believers would cease looking most at their old nature, and complaining of their weakness, as if God called them to what they were unfitted for! Would that they would believingly and joyfully accept the wondrous revelation of how God, in uniting them to Christ, has made Himself chargeable for their spiritual growth and fruitfulness! How all sickly hesitancy and sloth would disappear, and under the influence of this mighty motive – the faith in the faithfulness of Him of whom they are in Christ – their whole nature would rise to accept and fulfil their glorious destiny!” ( pp. 42-43)

“If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (II Cor. 5:17)

Powerful truths! A new creation – Created by God in Christ Jesus – HIS workmanship! Powerful reminders as we enter a new year. May we walk in His love, empowered by the Holy Spirit, vitally connected to the Vine.

Mary Jo Nutting

What is Christmas?

The celebration of Christmas is a wonderful time of year that I enjoy very much. However, the Christmas season is not about traditions, emotions, the giving of presents, family, or decorations … and it’s certainly not about Santa Claus. Even though these can all bring us delight and give us warm “fuzzies”, these are not the true meaning of Christmas.

At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ child. What that infant did when he grew into a perfect man, who was without sin, is what makes the birth of Christ so special. That infant, because he is Immanuel, God with us, would forever change the whole world. He died upon a cross, shedding His blood to atone or pay for our sins, sins that we are incapable of paying for ourselves. He died for our sins. Without His death, His birth is without meaning for us.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Just as you might traditionally give gifts to your loved ones this year, understand that God is offering you a gift as well: the gift of salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven. Just like you must accept a Christmas gift for it to be yours, you must accept God’s gift of salvation. To know more about this gift, and how to accept it, go to http://www.discovercreation.org/kids/documents/KnowYourCreator.pdf .

May you have a joyful Christ filled Christmas!

Lanny Johnson

AOI’s Newsletters

I was able to get the Kids Think & Believe Too! newsletter finished and ready for the printer before the busyness of Christmas season took over. AOI publishes an adult newsletter and a children’s newsletter every 2 months. Dave and Mary Jo Nutting, along with occasional guest writers, write the articles for Think and Believe, and then have graphic artist Mark Sonmor add the artwork and layout. I (with occasional help from my wife Marilyn) write the Kids Think & Believe Too, do all the artwork, layout, and back page puzzles. I then have Marilyn, our secretary Gail, accountant Glenn, and Dave and Mary Jo edit it for grammar and content.  Once that is done, I make corrections and finalize it for the printer and website.

Each issue takes many hours of research, writing, artwork, and editing. We send out 6,000 to 10,000 of these FREE (to the subscriber) newsletters every two months. At the end of all that hard work, a natural question would be, is it worth it … are these newsletters glorifying our Creator and having an impact on people’s lives? This letter we received this past year encourages us and inspires us to keep on getting the word out about our awesome Lord and Savior:

I was reading one of the past issues of Think and Believe for Kids and I couldn’t help but Thank God for your efforts.  The battle against the lie of evolution is waging today because of your efforts.  Both L_____ and I want to thank you for your seminars, your summer camps and the many, many issues of Think and Believe that reside within our home.  My children are blessed in ways they can’t even understand because of them. L_____ and I were stuck with issues of National Geographic lying around when we were kids.  Who knows the difference of reading materials will make for them and the world in the future.  Please know that you are very loved and appreciated during this yearend. God Bless you all.

If you are not currently receiving AOI’s newsletters, you can go to http://www.discovercreation.org/articles.htm  and view them online, or e-mail us at aoi@discovercreation.org,  requesting to be put on the mailing list … be sure to include your complete mailing address along with e-mail address (for future notices when the newest  newsletters are available on the web).

Lanny Johnson

40th Anniversary Thoughts

Celebrating 40 Years

We wrote this a few days ago while looking out over the lights shimmering across a beautiful bay in Manzanillo, Mexico. What a wonderful spot to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and reflect on the beauty of God’s creation and our life and work together!

When we were first married, we had no idea what God had in store for us – the miles we would travel, the sites we would see, the people we would meet, the blessings we would receive, and the challenges we would face. We also had little sense of the depth of His faithfulness and love, the treasure of family and friends, or the growing love we would experience as the years went by. 

So, after 40 years together, do we feel old? No! There are still places to see, people to meet, and work to do in God’s Kingdom. So we move forward with anticipation of even deeper love, trusting in our God Who created us, redeemed us, and put us together by His love.

We are truly thankful to the Lord – and the people who have prayed for, encouraged, and supported us through the years. We are especially thankful for our parents’ wonderful examples of long and faithful marriages. (Mary Jo’s parents were together over 50 years before her dad went home to be with the Lord; Dave’s folks are going on 72 years together. We have a long way to go!) Please thank Him with us and pray for another great 40 years to serve the Lord together.

Dave and Mary Jo

Prophecy Fulfilled

In the 1830′s Charles Lyell created uniformitarianism, the idea that “the present is the key to the past”, a popular philosophy. From this philosophy came the foundation of modern geology – billions of years of slow and gradual geological processes. With this timescale in place, Darwin’s theory of organic evolution emerged to try to explain the development of all life on earth. As a result, the worldview in place today has turned away from the Biblical account of Creation and the Creator.

Almost 1700 years before the evolutionary worldview became predominate, Peter prophesied man’s rejection of God’s Creation: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4 [Sounds like the idea of uniformitarianism].

“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:” 2 Peter 3:5-6 [Willing ignorant – replacing God's Word with evolution]. We certainly see that the worldview today is scoffing at the idea of special Creation by God … prophecy fulfilled.

(Adapted from Acts and Facts, Sept. 2009, Genesis Real, Reliable, Historical. Introduction to Earth’s Catastrophic Past, Andrew Snelling, PH.D., page14)

Lanny Johnson

A Note of Thanksgiving

Notes like the one below are a great encouragement as we prepare for 2011.

“Hi, Everyone!

     Thank you for your ministry!  My oldest son, who is 15, had been taking Marine Biology and Oceanography at the local community college.  He’s had the same professor for both classes.  This teacher is hard core evolution in thought.  My son said he was thankful and glad that he got to hear your seminars, because he said if he hadn’t, he would have easily gone to the side of evolution. The teacher made it sound so convincing.  So, thank you!!”

Letter from a friend and supporter

Creation Ministries – Making an Impact

Recently I was in the doctor’s office getting some stitches in a couple of my fingers as a result of an accident in the workshop. As the doctor, still in residency, was stitching me up, I began to ask him about his education, where he was from, etc. … just getting to know him. After a short time, he asked what I did for a living. Since I was dressed in old patched insulated coveralls (covered with grease, sawdust, and fresh blood), and beat-up work boots (with grease smears and various splotches of paint), he had assumed that I was employed in some type of construction trade. He was quite surprised to find that my wife and I were in the ministry.

We shared with him what our ministry was with AOI, how we had both believed in evolution at one time, but that we now believed in Creation, and how the Creation message had led me to believe in Jesus Christ as my savior. He admitted that at one time he had also believed in evolution, but now was totally convinced of Biblical Creation. When I asked him what had influenced him to change his mind, he shared that while attending a Nebraska college he had heard two different Creation speakers – Kent Hovind and Dan Woods. He was challenged about his beliefs, and began to see the “nonsense” of evolution. As a result he became a Creationist and a Christian.

Over the years we have heard many testimonies similar to this young doctor.  With hundreds of Creation ministries located throughout the globe, the Creation message is having an impact.

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? … So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:15a & 17

Lanny Johnson