Archive for August, 2010

In Everything Give Thanks

Sometimes we struggle so hard to “find” God’s will for our lives, but often it’s easier than we think. I Thess. 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

We recently had an “opportunity” to practice this teaching when our refrigerator died just a day-and-a-half after our latest speaking trip. So (after some time to get over our initial frustration), we thank God:

  •  That His love and care are constant despite the frustrations and trials of life;
  • That we hadn’t gotten groceries yet, so the fridge was almost bare;
  • That it happened when we were home and could save almost everything that was there;
  • That He led us to a demo unit, saving several hundred or more dollars;
  • That He had provided ahead of time so we had money to buy it;
  • That we now have a new refrigerator which will hopefully give us many years of service;
  • That we have food to put into a refrigerator – after all, millions of people around the world live day-to-day with no refrigeration at all – and scarcely enough food for the day.

 Oh, and one more thing – we thank God for all the people whose pictures adorn the front of our fridge. What a blessing to have caring friends and family to enrich our lives!

“In everything give thanks.” Thank You, Lord!

Mary Jo Nutting

In Awe of My Creator

We were recently ministering in Oregon and had an opportunity to visit the beach near Seaside for a day. Standing at the edge of the vast expanse of water with an immense dome of sky over my head, viewing a horizon that stretched farther than the limit of my sight, I was awed by the immensity of God’s Creation. The continual pounding power of the surf reminded me of the awesome power of our Creator. “Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.” (Ps. 21:13)

The next day we travelled up the Columbia Gorge along the interstate highway with monumental vertical walls of volcanic basalt hemming us in on one side and the mighty Columbia River on the other side. The seemingly endless varieties of beautiful green vegetation lined both sides of the gorge, swaying and bending from a stiff, blowing wind. Numerous majestic plunging waterfalls added to the magnificent scenery.

Traveling out of Bingen, WA, up the ascending, narrow, winding Cook-Underwood road we came to an overlook of the Columbia Gorge. Over a thousand feet below was a grand view of where we had traveled earlier that day. What a different perspective! I could see what appeared to be small vehicles traveling along the bridge and roads we had crossed earlier. Dozens of colorful wind and parasail surfers scurried across the white capped river, frolicking in the brisk wind. Tugboats pushing loaded barges plowed along the mighty Columbia. The huge walls of basalt and abundant plant life could still be seen, but now on a different scale. To the south could now be seen the towering, snowcapped vista of Mt. Hood. All around was a world that seemed to stretch to infinity. It puts me in awe of my Creator!

“I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.”  (Ps. 145:5)

 Lanny Johnson

Beware of False Teachers

The Bible frequently warns believers to be on guard against false prophets and false teaching. Evolution is one of the most common and dangerous forms of false teaching which has permeated our schools, society, and even churches today. As we speak around the country, we run into many well-meaning Christians who have been led astray, thinking that evolution is science, and that it has been scientifically proven. They then try to find ways in which to “fit” evolution with the Bible.

The truth is that evolution is not science. It is an idea about the history of life. There were no human observers of the supposedly millions of years of evolution leading up to man. It is impossible to repeat it or to test it by the scientific method. Molecules-to-man evolution is simply an idea about the development of life – not “proven” science.

Of course, the creation account given in Genesis is not “science” either – but it is an eye-witness, historical account given by the One Who claims He was there. The integrity and character of this witness is impeccable. This is the same God Who loved us enough to die for us. Furthermore, the true “facts” (observable evidence) of science are more consistent with the Biblical account of creation, the fall, and the flood, than with long ages of evolution through mutation and natural selection.

We urge you – beware of false teachers and false philosophies. Stand firm on the plain truth of God’s Word.

Mary Jo Nutting

A Fruitful Summer

Wow! Marilyn and I definitely had to rely on the strength of the Lord this summer! It was exhausting, but what an awesome and fruitful ministry we have had! Here is a brief synopsis of events:

Family Vacation Bible Schools (adults and children) in Broken Bow, NE; in Lilliput near Broken Bow, NE; in Chadron, NE; in Rawlins, WY; in Pound, WI; in Holyoke, CO;

Family church seminars in The Dalles, OR; in Newberg, OR; in Cook, WA;

Bible Camp Wa-Ri-Ki (for boys 9 – 12 years old) in Washougal, WA.

We were so excited and blessed to see 56 kids put their faith in Jesus Christ, and many more rededicated their lives to the Lord! That my friends is what it is all about … reaching people with the truth of Creation and Salvation! That is what God has called us to do, and we are so blessed when He allows us to see some of the fruits of our labor. 

Lanny Johnson

God’s Blessing at Creation Mountain Adventures

After a quick 1-day turn-around from speaking in the Netherlands, we arrived mid-week at AOI’s Creation Family Mountain Adventure. We were blessed to find the camp going very well in the capable hands of the Stepanek family, together with volunteers, the Galbraiths and the Nances.  

This year marked our 24th year of Creation Family Camps at Redcloud. Not only do these camps provide a great vacation for families in a beautiful mountain setting, but they also provide a wonderful opportunity for in-depth teaching and great one-on-one time with campers.

I especially enjoy these “informal” times to interact with campers to answer questions about creation, evolution, and the Bible. In addition, they open doors to talk with campers about the “nitty gritty” of walking with the Lord in the trenches of “real” life.

Over the years, the Lord has used the camp setting to deeply impact the lives of campers and staff alike. Among many blessings this year was having a seven-year Redcloud “staff kid” open her heart to the Lord after gospel presentations by AOI staff. Another was hearing the testimony and witnessing the faith of a young woman who requested to be baptized in the lake at Redcloud. We praise God for His wonderful grace in the lives of these campers!

 (Join us next year for AOI’s Creation Mountain Adventure — a real “Vacation with a Purpose!”(http://www.discovercreation.org/vacations.htm.)

Mary Jo Nutting

A Story or a Historical Event?

Webster’s New World Dictionary and Thesaurus defines a ‘story’ as the telling of a happening or connected series of happenings, whether true or fictitious; account; narration. I have noticed that when people are referring to an account in the Bible they normally use the word ‘story‘ … “the Creation story“, “the story of Adam and Eve”, “the story of Noah’s ark”, “the story of Jesus”, etc. If used in the context of these stories being true historical accounts, then the word is being used properly.

However, how is the word ‘story‘ perceived by the listener, especially children? Children spend hours watching fictional stories on television or movies, they are immersed with fantasy stories and games on their computers or game boxes, and are read fairy tales from storybooks.  Our children are living in a world of fables, tales, myths, fairy tales, fiction, allegories, and fantasy … fictional stories. They are living in a world that promotes the evolutionary viewpoint of the Bible being a myth. 

The Bible is the Word of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (II Timothy 3:16). When speaking of anything from the Bible, I have begun to try to use the words ‘true story’, ‘account’ or ‘historical event’. With children, I try to explain that these are things that actually happened, not made up, not fictional fairy tales. Shouldn’t we be aware of how children hear and believe words? Do we want to misuse a word and make them stumble?  Hmmm … I know what I need to do … try to build up the Word of God, not minimize its truth. 

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17)

 Lanny Johnson

Great Sessions at AOI Family Camp

It was a great week for the AOI Creation Mountain Adventures Family Camp located at the beautiful Redcloud Ranch near Lake City, CO.  The people who attended the sessions were eager to learn about creation and study the book of Genesis.  Actually, many were so eager that we had to do extra sessions in the evenings.  It was not uncommon to teach from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. – Monday thought Thursday. 

We taught several who were struggling with the idea of a literal seven day creation week, due to what they had been taught in evolutionary science classes.  As they sat through the teaching sessions and spent some one on one time with staff, they began to see the fullness and truth of creation and the subsequent emptiness of evolution. 

We had one father mention he was planning on bringing his young daughter to AOI Creation Mountain Adventures Family Camp every year. He wants her to be well grounded in the truth of Scripture and its account of creation.  So please continue to pray for those who attended, and for us, as we continue in the battle for hearts and minds. We  recommend taking a look at our future camps.  It is a time of fellowship and learning that will keep you coming back for more. 

Rich Stepanek

A Day is Like a Thousand Years

A reoccurring theme we encounter time and time again at our seminars is the idea that the days of creation are long periods of time … a thousand years each. The reasoning used by individuals that tell us this is almost always based on 2 Peter 3:8. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

Is this verse speaking of the days of Creation being “as a thousand years”? The preceding verse (2 Peter 3:7) puts it in context – “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” In context, verse 8 is referring to the end times, NOT to the Creation account! Verse 9 follows up to reveal God’s great patience concerning the end times. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

 Think about this … if a day is a thousand years, at Creation and at the end times, as some believe, then would not all days mentioned in the Word also be a thousand years to a day?  Consider – (Luke 4:2) “Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.” Can this verse be interpreted as, ‘Being forty thousand years tempted of the devil. And in those thousands of years he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. ‘?

Consider also – Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days and then arose. History shows that this event took place about 2000 years ago. However, if you change 3 days into 3,000 years (staying faithful to interpreting “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years”), then we still have about a thousand years to wait for the resurrection of our Lord and Savior from the tomb! Hmmm … I think I will stick to believing a day as a 24 hour period, using the parameters God gave us by defining the word with “evening and morning”.

Lanny Johnson

Netherlands Update 4: Cross-Cultural Creation Evangelism

We’re back from The Netherlands, safe and sound! It was a packed trip, with some very LONG days, but God gave great grace and sustained us well. Now we’ve done a quick turn-around, adjusting to jetlag, and are currently at AOI’s Creation Mountain Adventure at Redcloud.

Teaching in The Netherlands was an interesting cross-cultural experience! Audiences were almost entirely composed of Chinese living in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, or Spain. At the Youth Camp (ages 18-30), we taught for 3 hours each day, and then had LOTS of opportunities for questions and fellowship with small groups and one-on-one. Since backgrounds ranged from recent high school graduates to research scientists, we had a good range of discussions!

Following the camp, we did a well-attended afternoon seminar in Rotterdam and sermon in Den Haag. Meals and sightseeing following events gave more time for questions and fellowship – and a taste of Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, and Greek cuisine. (Anyone for fried jellyfish? Mmmmm…)

Praise the Lord! He graciously answered prayers for protection, provision, and fruitful ministry. Seven young adults responded to the Gospel message. Another told us that before the camp, he was a theistic evolutionist and his walk with the Lord had been very up and down. He told us this teaching had strengthened his faith in God’s Word and he believes it will help stabilize his faith. In addition, several individuals talked with us about creation training and possible future ministry.

To God be the Glory! He is worthy of all praise!

Dave and Mary Jo Nutting

The Answer is Back in Genesis

I had another great week at Camp Salvation near Trinidad, CO.  The second week I was able to minister to 7th and 8th grade students.  I also had the privilege to bunk in a cabin with the boys. This gave me a greater opportunity to get to know them and minister to their spiritual needs. 

God blessed us with twelve lives given to Christ, three of which were in my cabin.  Some of the questions asked were: “Why did Jesus have to die?”; and “Why did God have to become a man to save us from our sin?”  To answer these questions, we needed to go back to Genesis. 

The penalty for sin (eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) was death, and Scripture does not only mean spiritual death, but also physical death.  God would clothe them with coats of skins (animals had to die and shed blood) – which was a blood sacrifice for their sins. 

But the death of animals could not atone for sins, only a perfect man could to that.  The fulfillment of the prophecy of the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) was Jesus Christ, who is God and the perfect man. Only by putting trust in His death and bloodshed, as a substitute for our sins, can we be saved.  Some of the campers thought they were saved, but after hearing this they realized they were not.  Starting in Genesis gave them a better understanding of the gospel message. Praise the Lord!

Rich Stepanek