Archive for July, 2010

Netherlands Update 2: Fringe Benefits

We arrived safely in Amsterdam over 16 hours after leaving our home – a little wrinkled, but glad for the opportunity to be here to do a packed schedule of creation teaching! Our hosts met us at the airport and took us to our hotel to freshen up and get a short nap before heading to church for a time of introduction, fellowship, and a taste of Chinese hospitality. Following that, we experienced some of the “fringe benefits” of a traveling ministry.

First we were treated to a delicious Chinese dinner. Then we spent the afternoon sightseeing in downtown Amsterdam with a group of friendly and enthusiastic young people from the church. A scenic boat tour and a couple hours of walking on the cobblestone streets introduced us to the diversity of cultures and languages in Holland – and taught us to be alert to avoid being run over by bicycles, trams, cars, and other pedestrians! Following the foot tour, we were treated to a dinner of traditional Dutch pancakes.

We arrived back at the hotel shortly before 9:00 PM – almost 30 hours after leaving home. Although that was only 2:00 PM (“naptime”) in Colorado, we were ready to hit the sack for a good night’s sleep – grateful to God for giving us strength and energy to overcome jet-lag and enjoy the new people and experiences on our first “long” day in The Netherlands.

Mary Jo Nutting

Netherlands Update 1: A Divine Appointment

As Christians, we pray and believe that God directs our paths each day, but sometimes He gives us clear confirmation of His leading. Upon receiving the invitation to teach in the Netherlands, we were not sure it was God’s timing, as we already had a very packed schedule for the summer. However, as we prayed, we became convinced that God was indeed opening the door for us to go.

Our decision was confirmed on the second leg of our flight. When I noticed one of the flight attendants reading a novel by a Christian author, I commented on the book and that began a conversation. After inquiring about our trip, she shared her concern for her two teen-aged children who were being heavily influenced by their public schools and by their peers, to the point that both of them were questioning their faith and looking for alternatives.

 This caring mom was excited as I shared some ideas and suggested resources to help her give her kids the information they needed to confirm the truth of the Bible and the uniqueness of Jesus. As we parted, she told me that she had prayed on her way to work that morning that God would send help for reaching her kids. She felt that our conversation was an answer to her prayer. Praise God!

Please pray with me that that these two teens – and multitudes of others like them – will be able to get the answers they need to have confidence in the reliability of the Bible and the truth of Jesus.

Mary Jo Nutting

Teaching in the Netherlands

Please be praying for our teaching time in the Netherlands. We are excited to have the opportunity to teach  a week-long camp for 150 Dutch/English speaking young adults (ages 18-30) of Chinese heritage. We are also scheduled to speak at 2 churches during our time in the Netherlands.

Please pray that God will prepare the hearts of those coming, and that He will enable good communication and comprehension. Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower us to speak the truth with grace and love, that the Word of God to go forth unhindered and that there will be much fruit for eternity.

And on a personal note, please pray that God will grant us safety, health, energy, and grace in overcoming jet-lag so that we can be fully “there,” both during scheduled teaching times and during informal one-on-one times of discussion and ministry. Thanks for partnering with us in this ministry. Your prayer support is much needed and appreciated.

Mary Jo Nutting

Has Evolution Crept Into Your Family?

While teaching about dinosaurs at a family VBS recently, I came across several skeptics. Amazingly, these very vocal skeptics were 4 and 5 year olds. Almost everything I taught about dinosaurs that did not agree with the present evolutionary viewpoint, these little ones would pipe up that I was wrong. Some of the parents were embarrassed about the behavior of their children. A few of these parents came up to me afterwards to apologize. As we talked, these church attending parents began to realize how strongly the worldview of evolution had crept into their families. 

On the last night, while teaching on the Origin of Man, I showed a picture of a tree shrew, asking the audience what kind of an animal they thought it was. One child responded, “A half-mouse, half-squirrel!” Another said, “A half–squirrel, half-chipmunk.” … “Half-monkey, half-lemur!”After about 4 half-animal responses, I noticed that almost everyone in the audience was smiling at the response of these children.

At this point I made a comment, “This animal in not a half-anything. It is 100% tree shrew. It is only because of evolutionary thinking that it would be half of anything.” The smiles stopped! The older kids and adults realized how far the evolutionary worldview had slithered into our lives.

Where do these children pick up these ideas of evolution? It is on television (unfortunately, even some Christian programming), in newspapers, computer games, magazines, schools, movies, museums, and even some churches. As parents, grand-parents, and uncle or aunts, we need to take a closer look at what they are watching. We need to be safeguarding our children. 

 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Pr 22:6 

Lanny Johnson

Traveling with a Geologist

Traveling with a geologist can be a real “experience!” I remember a time a few years ago when we were driving with our friend Johnathan in Minnesota. Johnathan was right in the middle of a deep spiritual discussion, when Dave suddenly flung his arm right in front of Johnathan and exclaimed, “Look at the ripple marks!” Fortunately, Johnathan had a good grip on the wheel and an ability to see through Dave’s arm to watch the road ahead!

Over the years, we have traveled thousands of miles, and Dave continues to be excited by ripple marks, rounded hills, boulder deposits, ancient shorelines, canyons, and other indicators of catastrophic erosion caused by collapse of giant lakes and seas. We’ve also observed volcanoes, lava flows, ash falls, lava tubes, fault zones, arches, bridges, caves, cross-strata, “pushy-ups,” glaciers, moraines, arêtes, as well as petrified wood, dinosaur bones, “clam-burgers,” and all sorts of other fossils, rocks, minerals, and crystals.

Along the way, I’ve learned more about geology than I ever knew there was to know. I’m glad to be learning it from a young-age creationist and to see how all this geology testifies to the truth of God’s Word. It’s fascinating and exciting! But sometimes I just long to sit back, enjoy the beauty, and marvel at greatness of God displayed in His creation!  

Mary Jo Nutting

Until They Know How Much You Care

I had a good week of senior high camp at Camp Salvation, which is located near the small town of Stonewall Gap, CO.  Usually my wife and family would attend camp with me. But, since my wife has been away from the children plenty this year and some of our children are now employed, I decided to travel alone. 

I like to spend as much time with the campers as possible.  A good Christian friend of mind once said, ‘People don’t care what you say until they know how much you care.’   A good way to show that you care is to spend ample time with them and just listen to them.  So, I bunked in with them.  This usually means I will not get a lot of sleep, and that I didn’t!  We had many late night talks about creation and other Biblical topics.  One night, I stayed up to 1:30 in the morning just answering questions a camper had about Scripture. 

Many of the young men opened up and talked about some of the struggles they were facing.  It was heartbreaking, so please pray for our young people!  One camper was overjoyed to discover I was a creation speaker, and I was staying in his cabin.  He has an atheistic teacher who he is having an ongoing debate about creation and evolution.  One of his Christian friends had already been converted to atheism and he did not want to be next.  The creation information was just what he needed! 

Another young man was on the fence about the age of the earth.  He was confused and leaning to an old earth position.  After hearing the assumptions and problems with radio isotope dating methods, and comparing them to the extreme accuracy of Scripture, he became convinced of a young earth.  The best part of camp was the fact that a number of campers began to trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior!  Praise the LORD!  So please pray for these campers and for me as I continue in this ministry.      

Rich Stepanek

Training: Is It Worth It?

Is the time, energy, and money spent on training worth it? We think so! Below are excerpts from a message we received recently from a former trainee in response to a recent prayer update. She writes:

 Hi Dave & Mary Jo!
   … So glad you are on twitter now!  If you post tweets, I will retweet them when I see them. 
   July 12-16 I’m headed to Chicago to do a Creation Geology Camp for grades 6 -12.  My first time for an audience of this age – and I’m pretty nervous!  Please pray if you think of it!
   I’m pretty excited also, because my book, “Mystery Rangers ~The Case of the Missing Mountain” is due to come out in September!  Yeah!  It is in the fall catalog for New Leaf Publishing Group! 
   I appreciate so much what I learned while at AOI!  Your example and knowledge have been a great blessing!

   In Christ,

   Kim Jones

 We do pray for Kim – and the others whom God has brought to us for training. We are blessed to see them following the Lord and passing on what they have learned.

 Mary Jo Nutting

A Tropical Oasis

A short distance outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming is a small town of Kelly. Approximately a mile away, following the road to Slide Lake, is a small pond. At first glance, it appears to be just an ordinary pond with weed covered edges. However, closer inspection reveals something quite out of the ordinary. Many pockets of bubbles arise throughout one end of the pond. Stick your little toe into the water and you discover the water is warm. Warm water is flowing out of the ground! They have named this little pond Kelly Hot Springs.

If you ever happen to be in the Grand Teton National Park, take the time to drive out and have a look at the Kelly Hot Springs. On the way you might see a moose or two, pronghorns, and possibly a herd of bison. Take along your swim suits and take a dip in the pond (there is a parking lot with a nice toilet facility right there).  For a real treat, take a dive mask and snorkel. You will be amazed at what you will find … TROPICAL FISH!

For many years the locals, tiring of the upkeep and maintenance of their aquariums, have been dumping the tropical fish into the pond. The fish have found this pond quite to their liking. Even in the winter the water is warm. If you quietly float along, trying not to stir up too much mud from the bottom, you might see 6 to seven different species of tropical fish. You might also see some yellow perch and large gold fish. If you stick around long enough you might even see some novice kayakers learning to do an Eskimo roll.

This last week on vacation, I had my grandkids out at Kelly Hot Springs. They were having a ball. As I floated along I began to ponder … if this little patch of water was rapidly buried and all the little critters fossilized, how would evolutionary scientist interpret the evidence? Would they say it was an ancient sea where sword-tails (the precursor of a rainbow trout?) flourished? I had to be careful not to smile too big – I did have a snorkel in my mouth!

Lanny Johnson

It Always Amazes Me

Mary Jo & I have just recently finished our session at Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs, CO (just west of Colorado Springs). It was a full session with about 180 high school and college age students who are there for 2 weeks of worldview training. 

The students were quite interested in creation and had a lot of good questions.  Some of the students have never heard of evidence for creation and the problems with evolution and yet they in most cases, grew up in a church attending family!

That always amazes me! It is so good to see light bulbs go on for these students! We will be back again at Summit for a couple more groups of their students later in the summer. Pray that some of these students will take us up on our offer to train them to become a resource in their schools, universities, and communities.

Dave Nutting

A Student Who “Gets It”

Even though we live in times of instant communication, I still enjoy receiving a personal, handwritten letter – especially if it contains good news, a personal testimony, or words of encouragement.  Well, we recently received such a letter from one of our former students.

She wrote, “Your ministry has encouraged me and taught me to think critically.” She went on to tell us about a workshop on early childhood development she had attended. The speaker was a prominent Ph.D. working in the neuroscience department of a well-known medical school. Our student wrote of this speaker “spouting all kinds of illogical evolutionary/Darwinian ideas” and then the speaker concluding by saying, “You can never prove these evolution ideas.”

The student wrote, “To me the speaker lost a huge amount of credibility. Everything was stated as fact throughout the lecture, but concluded with the premise that it is impossible to know for certain. Thank you for teaching me to recognize fallacies.“ 

The Bible tells us: “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (II Thess. 5:21-22 NKJV) We are so grateful for opportunities to teach students to think critically and measure all things by the Truth of God’s Word – and we’re glad that some of them really “get it.”  

Mary Jo Nutting