Archive for October, 2010

God’s Provision

Since joining Alpha Omega Institute fulltime in January of 1994 we have seen God’s provision in so many ways … I could probably write a book on the gracious methods by which He has taken care of us. Let me share just a few of His provisions in the area of transportation;

In California, a man approached us about the noise our truck was making. Smilingly he said, “It sure sounds like a diesel.” I assured him it was a gasoline engine; it was just in need of a new muffler. When he found out about our ministry, he said, “Come to my muffler shop and I will put a new one on for you. No charge.” … God’s provision!

While visiting some friends of ours in Wyoming, they felt led to give us $5oo for personal use. Fifty miles from their home, one of the very worn tires on our truck blew! Cost of new tires – $500. … God’s provision!

My parents gave us a 1970 motorhome, which was a blessing as we traveled in the ministry and homeschooled our children … God’s provision!

While snowed in by a blizzard at a gentleman’s farm in Minnesota, the farmer was walking by the front of our old motorhome. He stopped, fell on his stomach, looked under the front, jumped up, and banged on our door. “You need new front tires,” he exclaimed! He bought us 2 good tires! By the way, that gentleman’s name is Richard Stepanek, my good friend; he joined AOI a few years later! … God’s provision!

The old 1970 motorhome’s engine was underpowered for the mountains we travel through. Our home church provided money to replace the engine and transmission with a 1997 model. … God’s provision!

The brake system for the 1970 motorhome was worn out, and because of the age of the unit, parts could not be found to make it roadworthy. A family donated a reliable, younger 1986 motorhome. … God’s provision!

As the gas prices have increased so much in the last 5 years, using the motorhome in our ministry has become very costly. We have been searching for about a year and a half for an affordable truck that is mechanically sound with enough power to pull a medium size camper trailer. God used a Pastor and two Godly men in Nebraska to find us just such a truck. … God’s provision!

These are only a few of the bountiful ways God has provided for us over the years. He is truly a faithful God!

 “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (Eph 5:20) 

Lanny Johnson

Skeptics Abound

Teaching about creation at universities is always “interesting” – and often challenging. It’s refreshing when honest seekers come to hear an alternative to evolution. However, sometimes these seekers seem to be few and far between (or maybe they are just not as “vocal” as the skeptics who come simply to debate).

Somehow it seems to be a badge of “intellectualism” to doubt, mock, and blaspheme the God of the Bible. Sadly, this “intellectualism” is really just pride which will eventually be exposed as foolishness.

I am reminded of the words in I Corinthians 1:19-25:

“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

The intellectual arguments of the so-called “wise” of this world will come to naught, but the Word of the Lord stands forever. How much better it is to humbly believe God than to scoff and debate and stand on human “wisdom” and the ever-changing theories of men.

Mary Jo Nutting

In The Public School Arena: Highschool and University

In Harrison, NE, I had the unique opportunity to speak in a public school.  Over a two day period, I spoke to four different science classes.  Some of the students already believed in creation, so the teaching reinforced their beliefs,  but others were doubtful, and so the information was a challenge for them to rethink what they believe.  Many of the students also attended our evening seminars held at a local church. 

We appreciate the Christian teachers in public schools, and the pastors who work so diligently to guide young people to know the truth.    Please pray for these faithful servants of the Lord!

 The last stop on our month long seminar tour was in Laramie, WY.  I conducted a tour at the University of Wyoming’s Museum of Geology.  There was good attendance with a wide range of ages represented.  It was an excellent museum to show the mistakes that scientists have made in reconstructing dinosaurs.  They have a tendency of making them look more bird-like than they actually are.   We were pleased to see the attendees’ high level of interest in the information and their many good questions.

I also had the opportunity to join a friend of mine at his booth, which is set up every Friday at the U or WY student union.  We were there all day fielding questions about creation, Christianity, and Christ.  We were an encouragement to those who believe and a challenge for those who didn’t.  The secular humanists also had a table in the student union.  We had a wonderful time conversing with them as they sent their people our way. 

I was amazed at the lack of true scientific knowledge, especially about: the Law of Biogenesis; the new discoveries in genetics; and the Bible.   To believe in evolution, one must believe in spontaneous generation which has been proven false by science decades ago.  Their reply was, “we are still trying to find a way spontaneous generation could happen” (using intelligence in their experiments by the way).  

I learned firsthand that people are willingly ignorant as stated in II Peter 3:5,  “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:.”  I pray for these unbelievers (for we love them) that God would unblind their minds so they can see the light of the glory of Jesus Christ.

Rich Stepanek

Museum Worldview

A woman in Minnesota shared that she had been to the Smithsonian National Museum in early 2009. After watching a movie on the origin of man, she asked one of the staff where the movie on Creation could be viewed. After being told the museum had no such movie, she asked to see one of the directors to protest this one-sided portrayal of origins. After many excuses about the unavailability of any of the directors she was given a Visitor Comment Form to fill out with her complaints. Eight months after submitting the form she received this letter from the Smithsonian National Museum, which she allowed me to share:

Dear Mrs. O….

 Thank you for taking the time to complete a Visitor Comment Form during your trip to the Museum of Natural History. Your feedback provides us with the opportunity to understand your experience, take appropriate action, and respond to any questions you might have.

Let me apologize for my lateness in responding to your comment form. The Museum has undergone some staffing issues and I have been tasked to clearing up the backlog of forms.

I was very sorry to hear how sad the Museum’s portrayal of evolutionary theory made you. The Museum’s policy on evolution, as stated on its website, is as follows:

 ”All living beings have developed over time from ancestors through a series of changes. That life has evolved over long periods of time, with all forms of life related to one another, is a scientifically well-established fact. Along with researchers throughout the world, scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History have contributed significantly to understanding the patterns and processes of evolution in humans and other species of animals and plants.

 As one of the world’s leading research museums, the National Museum of Natural History has the responsibility to share with the public the latest research on the process of evolution. It is not the Museum’s responsibility or intent to determine how visitors relate this information to their own religious or personal views.”

Thus while the Museum does not presume to interfere with its visitors’ beliefs, it strives to convey theories which its scientists believe are backed up with scientific evidence. Since all of the scientists who work at the Museum believe in the theory of evolution and have studied it closely, the Museum exhibits must support the research which these people do.

Thank you for your comments and for coming to the Museum. I hope your disappointment in the Museum’s display of evolutionary theory will not deter you from visiting again soon.

Sincerely

Eleanor Levine

Office of Guest Services

Isn’t it amazing that the theory of evolution is stated as a well-established fact. Thousands of scientist (Creation and secular) certainly don’t think so! As to all of their scientists believing in the theory of evolution – Ben Stein’s movie Expelled revealed that those who believe in a Designer are fired from their positions, so of course all of their scientists would believe in the theory of evolution. Perhaps the excuse of staffing issues which delayed the response to the comment form was rousting out all those “non-believing (evolution)” personnel.

 Lanny Johnson

Lectures at the University of Minnesota

So far things are going well at the University of Minnesota. The design lecture seemed to connect with most of the students last night. During the Q&A time, students did not really question the weight of evidence for design which was presented. One student asked how I explained disease or when things don’t work as “designed.” My answer had to delve into the Biblical perspective: There was a creation with fabulous design, but there was a FALL by Adam and Eve leading to disease and death (and there is redemption in Christ.)

Others quickly challenged, “How can you believe the Bible when there are so many contradictions?” Students are regularly taught that. The “contradiction” that we hear so often is that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are conflicting accounts of Creation. Actually they are complementary accounts —not conflicting. The first is the overview, the second zooms into the central theme of relationship of God and man and deals specifically with the Garden. Another so-called contradiction brought up are the passages in Genesis 6 when God told Noah to take two of every kind of animal, but a couple of verses later said take two of every kind and 7 pair of clean animals. For the life of me, I can’t get a contradiction out of that, rather additional information. However, if someone is bent on discrediting the Bible, like some are, I guess they will easily believe a lie.

More nights to come!

Dave Nutting

Thank You for sending Us!

We are returning from a month of speaking in WY, NE, and SD.  It has been a fruitful time of teaching and fellowship.

 While we were at Frontier School of the Bible in WY, we had the privilege of enjoying an Austrian breakfast at the home of Harald and Helga.  They had come to the U.S. several years ago in order to thank Christians for sending missionaries to their country, which resulted in their salvation.  Their hearts were filled with gratitude. 

While here, they heard of Frontier and eventually moved their family, which includes four daughters. This was so Harald could attend school.  After listening to five Chapel messages that I taught through the week, they were encouraged to acquire a strong foundation for the truths of Scripture.   We would like to thank you, our prayer partners and supporters, for making it possible for us to be an encouragement to others who have not heard the message of Creation!

Rich Stepanek

Northern Illinois University Ministry

I recently finished speaking 5 nights to students at Northern Illinois University. I am now ministering to Minnesota universities and churches for a packed 2 weeks. Some nights at NIU we had really die-hard skeptics; yet other nights (Thursday), I had no verbal skeptic in the group. It seemed I was coming alongside to aide mostly Christian students. That is OK too.

Two goals of AOI are to strengthen Christians and reach unbelievers. The first part is exactly what happened at NIU. Several who had attended multiple evenings expressed their appreciation—especially that they could be free to believe the Bible! About the other goal, please pray that the seeds planted among those who were skeptics or on the fence will sprout and grow well!

Dave Nutting

Sitting On The Edge Of Their Seats

Our last week on the road was jamb packed with children’s ministry.  After finishing a family program in south-east Minnesota, we traveled to Minneapolis/St. Paul area. There we taught at two Christian schools for 2 hrs at each location. That in itself is unusual; normally the schools will only let you have 30-45 minutes during their chapel time.

However, I had taught an hour at one of the schools last year, and they were amazed how attentive the students were for the whole talk. They invited us back and allowed us 2 hours this time. Not only that, but they recommended us to another Christian school, which also let us teach for two hours. A kindergarten teacher, who had not seen me teach last year, brought her students in for the first talk about dinosaurs. Before I began she warned, “We will only be in here for 10 minutes … that is maximum attention span for these children.” I assured her that would be fine, but that she might be surprised to find they probably would not want to leave.  I was right … not only were the kids sitting on the edge of their seats as I taught about dinosaurs and the Bible, but the teacher too!

That night at an Awana program for 230 kids and their parents, an Awana leader shared that he has a hard time keeping his 6 boys attention for even 5 minutes. He said, “Wow, I couldn’t believe it … they were glued to your talk for the whole hour and a half!” On Sunday we taught for 5 hours and were getting the same response.

 How are we able to keep kids attention beyond the “norm”? It is definitely a God thing! He has provided us with wonderful subjects to teach about, given us great power point presentations with eye-catching art work, Eugene the puppet, and a heart for children and families. It is really amazing how many times we hear, “I didn’t know that …” or “Thank you so much for coming. You answered a lot of questions we have been having.”

 A children’s pastor sent me this letter that she received after an Awana program we did for her church last week:

Thanks!

When we were on our way to the seminar, my 9 year old son was not excited about sitting for over an hour listening to teaching, after all, he had already gone to school that day.  However, during the course of the evening I could see him being attentive and laughing quite often throughout.  On our way home, I said, “It wasn’t so bad after all, was it?”  He got a huge smile on his face and agreed, admitting that he really liked it.  He enjoyed all the pictures and learning about God’s creation, including the dinosaurs.  

Later, I told my husband that our son really enjoyed it, but I didn’t think our 6 year old daughter picked up on too much because she was quite pre-occupied with her friend.  She heard my comment and proceeded to tell her dad just about every single fact and creature that had been talked about that evening.  (Really!  I think she talked for over 30 minutes about it.  We pity the science teacher that tries to teach her something other than creation).

I have to say that even before I knew how much my children learned I was very impressed with the quality and presentation.

S… W…

Lanny Johnson

Missing my missing missionary ministry missus

This speaking trip to Northern Illinois University, I had to do by myself. That is because Mary Jo has really pitched in to help with a health crisis with my parents. My dad is back at home now after 24 days in the hospital and rehab after surgery. I was glad I was able to be there for the first 18 of those days before heading to the scheduled university speaking times. (My dad was emphatic about me not cancelling anything!)

Anyhow, not having MJ right alongside me as my ministry partner to take part in the lectures and share in the frequently long Q&A times seems quite strange after so many years of ministering elbow to elbow. You might say I’m missing my missing missionary ministry missus. I will be happy when Mary Jo joins me on Monday to begin the university ministry in Minnesota. She has really been missing being at the university here too, but glad it worked for her to be home with my parents.

Dave Nutting

Great on the Frontier

We had a great week at Frontier School of the Bible.   I taught Monday through Friday during their chapel time.  Many of the students had questions, so there were plenty of discussions after chapel, at breaktime, and also during meals.  Some of the students desired extra creation information - so the afternoon proved a good time to teach on other creation topics.  The students and staff were very encouraged by the information and talks.  We also had the pleasure of having breakfast with a couple from Austria, who are attending the school.  They wanted some extra time to ask questions on the subject of creation.  Keep us in your prayers as we finish up our trip in Wyoming.

Rich Stepanek