Archive for September, 2010

God is Good!

God is sooo Good!  We recently had a last minute cancelation with only a few days to fill it.  But God is so good, and He filled it with an event at a church near Cornerstone Bible Institute where our daughters, Claudia and Abby, attend.  So we were able to see them and celebrate Abby’s birthday on Sept. 19th.  I was also blessed with the opportunity to teach an additional two hour Genesis class at the Institute.  As it states in Proverbs, God truly guides our stays.

 Proverbs 3:6  “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Rich Stepanek

Fall Colors

Colorado in Autumn

I think fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the cooler temperatures and the beautiful fall colors. I especially love to walk in the woods, delighting in the colors and smelling the fragrance.

Here in our part of Colorado, there aren’t many hardwoods, so we don’t have the variety found in other parts of the country, but the aspens have a special beauty all their own. They turn a striking gold, sometimes highlighted with deep orange or red. Highlighted against the bright, blue Colorado skies, they are absolutely gorgeous!

Scientists explain the changes due to various chemicals and processes. The technicalities of this process are fascinating to study and show the intricacies of God’s wisdom and creativity. (See But to me, the fall display is just another demonstration of God’s amazing goodness, and love. He could have made a gray world, but instead, like a Master Artist, he paints the landscape with a dazzling array of colors – all for our delight, and His.

Enjoying a day among the colors

James 1:17  says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights,  with whom there is no variation, or shadow of turning.” (NKJV)

Aren’t you grateful for the good gift of fall colors? I know I am. Thank You, Lord!

Mary Jo Nutting

(Photos by Steve Nutting, Sept. 2010)

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkey

We are staying a few days with a host family that lives along a creek bottom in the farm lands of Nebraska. They have a small produce garden and milk cows located near their home. The lady of the house gets up early every morning to feed the cattle and clean the corrals. She shared that she likes to do it before the sun rises; otherwise she has to contend with wild turkeys underfoot.

It seems that as she is pitching hay from a “jelly-roll” hay bale, the turkeys swarm in and scratch and throw the hay in all directions in search of food. Although they are wild, they have learned that newly pitched hay is easy pickings. Normally wild turkeys are very wary of humans, but have become very trusting around this lady and her husband. My wife and I went out early to watch the spectacle, but the wise ol’ birds scattered immediately as we approached. They knew that we were strangers, so ran to safety. Wild turkeys are very cunning birds.

The North American wild turkey is nothing like the domesticated turkeys you buy in the grocery store. The wild turkey has a longer neck and legs than the domestic, and can fly. Domesticated turkeys bred for the table have large, heavy breasts which makes most of them incapable of flight. Author G. T. Klein said the true American turkey was “wild and wary to the point of genius.”

Ben Franklin thought the North American wild turkey should be the national bird. He expressed his feelings on the subject in a letter to his daughter:
“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country…. I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

Eagles, King Birds, or wild Turkeys … all are marvelous creatures that God has created.

Lanny Johnson

Spider silk

I hate to admit it, but I just don’t like spiders. However, Mary Jo and I just got back to our house after being gone a week, and I found a nice spider web. Although I quickly got rid of it (and contemplated where the spider might appear), the web made me think of God’s amazing design. Spider silk is actually stronger than steel of the same diameter.  Spider silk is also extremely light. A strand of spider silk long enough to circle the world would weigh just slightly more than a pound! Could you imagine how much the same amount of steel would weigh? What design! We should always remember to thank God for even little, everyday things — including cobwebs!

Fall Is In The Air!

Driving over Hoosier Pass, between Breckinridge and Fairplay, Colorado, we were pleased to see the striking colors of autumn leaves. The bright, vibrant yellows and reds of the turning aspens were spectacular. Yesterday, as we travelled through Nebraska, we saw the golden stalks of corn, and the yellow to gold leaves of soy beans. Only a short time ago all of these leaves had been a beautiful bright green. The changing fall foliage never fails to delight me. 

Leaves are plant’s food factories. Through a process called photosynthesis (“putting together with light”), sunlight turns water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. Glucose is a kind of sugar that the plant uses for energy and a building block for growing. We use the oxygen to breathe. A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. It is the chlorophyll which gives plants their green color.

As winter approaches, the days get shorter and shorter and there is not enough water or light for photosynthesis. The perennial trees begin to shut down and go into a state of rest, living off of the food stored during the summer. As the green chlorophyll fades, the yellows, oranges, and reds that were present in the leaves all along, now are able to be seen. In a short time, the trees will go into a stage of dormancy and the leaves will fall off. In the case of the corn and soy beans, the same process is taking place; however, these plants are annuals, and will die after their seeds have reached maturity.

What a wonderful process God has created!  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” (Ec 3:1)

 Lanny Johnson

Multiplied Fruits

I just received an email from a friend of AOI named Juan, who got excited about creation at one of our Creation Family Adventures, and then came to AOI for further training. Juan is now teaching Creation at a Spanish speaking church in Texas. He wrote:

 “Wanted to share with you that last Sunday was the 3rd of 8 (maybe 10… depending on timing) sessions on Creation I am teaching for my Church’s Spanish congregation. It is a Genesis 1-3, Flood, Tower of Babel study, basically going way deep – verse by verse – into understanding the POWER and IMPORTANCE of Creation within one’s faith… I’m halfway into Ch. 2   :-)
Thanks for all you do for us and God bless you, Mary Jo, and everyone @ Alpha & Omega.”

It really excites us see people take the message and multiply the impact to many others! Please pray for more people like Juan, who see the importance of the Creation message and share it with many others! If you want training to be one of these, please contact us.

Dave Nutting

Judas Asparagus

I have been working with children for many years, and have been amused (and sometimes shocked) about how they sometimes perceive things they have heard. The following (author unknown) has been floating around for years.

Judas Asparagus

Just in case you have forgotten your Bible lessons, here is a refresher course. A child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible. I wonder how often we take for granted that children understand what we are teaching??? Through the eyes of a child: 
 The Children’s Bible in a Nutshell 
 In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, ‘The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that. 
 Anyway, God said, ‘Give me a light!’ and someone did. Then God made the world. 
 He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn’t have cars. 
 Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel. Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something. 
 One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check. 
 After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat. 
 Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable. 
 God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. 
 These include: don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more:  Humor thy father and thy mother. 
 One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town. 
 After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me. 
 After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t have to worry about them. 
 After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, ‘Close the door! Were you born in a barn?’ It would be nice to say, ‘As a matter of fact, I was.’) 
 During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him. 
 Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Republicans and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn’t stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.    

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.  

Lanny Johnson

A Family Favorite

Grandboys on Tube

Lake Powell is one of our family’s favorite getaways. We began coming to the lake about 30 years ago, when our oldest daughter was around three years old, and our youngest daughter was only months old. There we have spent hours of camping, boating, water sports, swimming, fishing, hiking, and exploring. At Lake Powell, we have experienced everything from frigid snow storms, fierce winds, high seas, to searing hot breezeless days. Actually, our favorite time is early fall, when the air temperature is in the mid-80’s, yet the water temperature is still in the high 70’s.

 A lot of things have changed at Lake Powell over the years. Many people have discovered the beauty of the place and it has become very populated. With more and more people visiting, the National Park Service has had to begin charging fees to help belay the increased costs of park maintenance. Access that was once free is long gone. Today it costs $15 to get in the park, with an additional cost of $16 if you have a boat. Primitive camping now costs $6/day per person or $12 per family.

More people also means more we have to put up with what was rare only 15 years ago – loud music at night, illegal fireworks, generators putting away into the wee hours, increased lake traffic, and more abandoned fire pits (everybody seems to want to make their own and leave them for others). We still enjoy Lake Powell and try to visit every other year (takes a year to save enough money) with the family, only now it also includes the son-in-laws and the grandkids. By the way, we are still using the same old boat (35+ years old).

Silas Fishing

Thad Fishing

 Other things have also changed. When I first began coming to Lake Powell, I was an atheistic evolutionist. All the wonderful geology surrounding the area I attributed to vast ages of oceans advancing and retreating, laying down layer upon layer of different rocks – things I had been taught as a geologist in college. Today, as a believer in Jesus Christ as my Creator and Savior, I see the geology surrounding Lake Powell in a totally different light … I see overwhelming evidences of a global flood, just as that taught in the Scriptures.

Looking upon the massive layers of beautifully sculptured buff and reddish sandstones of this area, I see more than just fantastic geology – I see tombstones, a reminder of God’s past judgment against man’s sin. Yet even in a sinful fallen world, we see how God can take what was the result of man’s evil and turn it into a thing of beauty. I am encouraged … He can take my sinful nature and change it too! For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Phillipians 3: 20-21)

Lanny Johnson

The Crown of Old Men

Grandfather once again!

On September 3, 2010 another one of God’s wonderful creations entered this world … our 4th grandchild, Aspen Marie! She is a big girl, weighing in at 9 lbs. 6ozs. Her mother, my youngest daughter Robin, is a petite thing of 5’3″, so trust me – that is a big baby.

 Marilyn and I were married 10 years before we had our 2 wonderful daughters, so I am approaching … no, I have arrived … at old age. ”Children’s children are the crown of old men;” (Pr. 17:6a) I feel blessed and honored to have lived to see, hold, experience, and love my children’s children. I praise God for these “crowns”!

 I am also blessed to have 2 daughters who love the Lord, and 2 son-in-laws who are Godly men. My prayer is that these families will stay strong in the Lord and remain in His word. I pray that each of these grandchildren will put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and that they will be shining lights in a dark world. I also pray that God will use me to help these precious children see their Savior – to guard my tongue and my actions, that I might not be a hindrance to their salvation. Thank You Lord for the family You have given us.

Grandmother once again!

 Lanny Johnson

Blockhead Ants and Anonymous Authors

I was Google-searching the web entries on blockhead ants when I found an article by an anonymous author entitled, “Lessons from the Ants.” I thought the article was pretty good and wanted to forward it a friend who is very interested in insects. It sounded vaguely familiar, but I didn’t think much about it.

It wasn’t until I read the last line encouraging people to submit lessons they had learned from insects and other animals that I realized Mary Jo and I had written the article for our July/August 1990 (page 2)  issue of Think & Believe. We were the anonymous authors! Funny how we can work so long on an article and then forget we even wrote it! (Maybe we are the blockheads!) Oh, well … we’re glad to see that our articles are not only on our site, but on others also. The word is getting out! God is an amazing Creator!

Dave Nutting