We came home the other night after 3 weeks out teaching VBS’. It was good to get home for a little R&R before we head out to do 3 more VBS’, a Bible camp, and several churches yet this summer. The first thing we did as we climbed out of our motorhome was to head towards our pond. Ryan (one of our son-in-laws) had reported a great wind had come through earlier in the week and blew over the willow tree by the pond.
He was right … there it lay with its roots exposed to the sky. As we approached, our sadness from the loss of the tree was replaced by joy. There amid the fallen branches was a young buck mule deer with its antlers still in velvet. He was contently munching on the leaves of the weeping willow. I am still a little sad about losing the willow (and the unscheduled work it will take to remove it), but am reminded that it was a gift from God. You see, only 4 years ago it sprouted up along the bank of our pond. We didn’t plant it … God did.
One of the poems I learned in high-school was by poet Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918). After all these years I had forgotten all the words, but looked them up tonight.
I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Funny, I didn’t recall the last verse. In high-school I had already began the slide towards atheism. Today, I know who really made the tree. The verse says it well!
Recently, I was talking with two women I had just met. I found out that one of the women was familiar with creation evidences. After talking a short time, she asked if we might be available to do a program in her church. At that, the other woman also invited us to her town. When I asked if she attended a church that would be interested in a seminar, she said she went to a Hindu temple.
Now that would be interesting! I asked her what Hinduism teaches about evolution. She didn’t really know, but began talking about reincarnation. I told her that I found reincarnation to be really depressing, because you had to keep coming back again and again to try to “get it right” – and then you never for sure knew if you had “made it.” I was able to share the simple gospel message with her – that we don’t have to keep “coming back” again and again, because Jesus had already purchased our salvation and all we need to do is trust in Him and His work.
As we were leaving, she said it was a new idea and she would have to think about it. I praise God for the opportunity to share the gospel with her and pray that He will continue to water the seeds planted during this short encounter. What a privilege it is to be able to know and share the truth!
Mary Jo Nutting
Living in Grand Junction on the edge of the desert, we don’t get to see God’s ocean creatures “up close and personal.” However, on the past trip to Oregon, we had the privilege and pleasure of meeting Carrie Newell, a marine biologist and whale researcher. Carrie has been studying whales for the past 18 years, and is a wealth of knowledge about them (and other sea creatures). She shared many fascinating details about their lives, diet, reproduction, and migration patterns. Carrie specializes in gray whales, but the day she took us out in her Zodiak we saw no grays. Instead, we had the thrill of seeing 4 killer whales the size of her boat. What a rare and special treat! We watched them for more than a half-hour as Carrie maneuvered her boat in what she considered “safe” range, took hundreds of pictures, and shared information with us. In all her years of whale research, she had only seen killer whales in the wild about 7 times, so we felt God gave us a real treat of seeing them our one time out. Whales are certainly great and awesome animals – how much greater is our awesome Creator who made them!
P.S. If you’re ever in Depot Bay, Oregon, look Carrie up. We can’t guarantee you’ll see a whale, but we do know you will enjoy meeting Carrie and learning from her – or take a virtual trip at: www.whaleresearchexcursions.com.
By Mary Jo Nutting
I have been traveling and teaching in India every winter for the last three years, and one request that I repeatedly receive from my Indian Christian friends is the crucial need for good laptop computers. Many of the Christians there are very poor and cannot afford them. We all know the blessing that this technology can bring in education and learning. This will help run items such as Bible software and other critical tools in a ministry environment. If you are able, consider donating to help a Christian in India.
Please send your donations to AOI, and designate that it is for foreign computers. Both AOI and the recipients will be greatly appreciative. Next, please pray that we would find an efficient and inexpensive way to deliver them. They have begun charging a fee if someone brings more than one computer into the country. I have not encountered many problems in the past, but policies for entering India are changing. Thank you for your prayers and support.