Archive for December, 2010

SEARCH ME, O GOD

Almost as soon as she could talk, my oldest granddaughter, who is now 4 years old, has been praying at mealtimes when given the opportunity. At first I couldn’t decipher all of her words. She always started out with “Jesus”, which I recognized, but then followed with a phrase that took me a year to finally figure out. “Jesus” was, and is to this day, followed by the phrase, “Help be good.” I find it interesting, that children, even at very young ages, can know that they are sinners, even though they might not yet know the word sin. ”For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Ro 3:23).

As an adult, I truly understand sin and the impact it has in our lives. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I strive to be righteous. It is a challenge … immorality is rampant in this world we live in, and is presented to us on a platter by the media. We need to guard our hearts and minds from the corruption around us. I don’t know about you, but just like a child, I need help …”Jesus, help be good!”

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.        (Psm 139: 23-24)

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1Co 10:13) 

Lanny Johnson

Snow and Snowflakes

Wow! Even in the midst of cold shivers in a blizzard, we can marvel at the beauty and intricate design of what God has made. It escapes me how someone can look at snowflakes under magnification and not see this.  The hexagonal shape and pattern is slightly different in each flake. The shape depends on many factors happening right at the boundary of the snowflake as it is forming. This includes the air temperature, humidity, wind, and interaction of other nearby snowflakes. Since each snowflake forms under slightly different conditions, each one is different—each one is uniquely beautiful.

Years ago, I heard of someone from a tropical environment who had visited the mountains and saw snow for the first time. Without even knowing of the intricate design and uniqueness of each snowflake, he was ecstatic. Why? For the first time the passage in Isaiah 1 became clear to him. “. . .though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. …” He had never seen snow, so he never knew how bright white it is. Now he knew just how cleansed he was.

Though I might prefer fall (see earlier blog), winter does have its high points among the low points of temperature. Let us all be ecstatic over not only the intricacies and detail of what God has made in each snowflake, but of what Jesus has done for us his work on the cross!

Dave Nutting

The snowflake pictures are from Wikipedia commons.

A selection of photographs taken by Wilson Bentley (1865–1931)

Teaching Revelation in India

In preparation for another creation tour to India in Jan. and Feb. 2011, I am planning what new topics I will teach.  Not only are the Indians interested in Genesis and creation, I have discovered they are also fascinated with the book of Revelation and end times.  This became apparent while I was teaching from Genesis, there are many similarities between Revelation and Genesis, and they began asking many questions about Revelation.   

Being limited on time, I quickly answered their questions and continued in Genesis.   With one pastor, I had the opportunity of an extended conversation and was able to touch on my teaching in Revelation.  In his enthusiasm, he wanted his class to know more about this topic.  So before my return trip to India, I will be preparing a presentation on Revelation and end times.  It is truly amazing how the first book of the Bible is connected to the last book of the Bible!  Jesus Christ is the First and the Last and His Word reflects this truth.

Rich Stepanek

Granddaughter’s Dedication

The dedication

This past Sunday, my youngest grandchild was dedicated to the Lord at her parent’s church. This dedication really had not so much to do with our granddaughter; rather it was a time of celebration … an opportunity and a privilege for the parents, family, and church family to commit to do something, not just for the children, but for the parents as well.

The parents (and grandparents!) were challenged to make a commitment:

  • To lifting up their children/grandchildren in prayer every single day.
  • To walk with God in such a way, that when they see us, they see the path they are supposed to take.
  • To lift up our children/grandchildren, allowing them to grow into the man/woman God wants them to be, showing them the ways of God all along the way.
  • To make an early commitment to follow through with raising children and being part of a process of leading them to a place where they will make a decision for Christ.

The church family was also challenged:

  • To set a Christian example of what it means to walk and live for Christ.
  • To pray for the parents.
  • To help as needed.
  • To walk with them as they set an example to their family.

Oh Lord, I pray that we might be shining examples and not stumbling blocks …not only to our families, but to all those we meet.

Lanny Johnson

Thank God for Winter?

I would love to hold onto Fall for another 4 months and skip winter altogether, but with the weather turning very cold and snowstorms predicted, I guess that isn’t going to happen. Anyhow, amidst the shivers, I can console myself in the fact that spring, summer, and another beautiful fall will come again. I just have to be patient!

I know you snow fans and skiers are happy for the winter, but for me (while waiting for that warmth to reappear), I remind myself that God made both summer and winter, so we need both. He knows what His Creation needs most in whatever part of the world they live:

Ps 74:17: Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

I also warm my inner being in the fact that winter demonstrates the Truth of God’s Word as given to Noah shortly after the Flood:

Ge 8:22:  While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

That certainly has been a true promise. I am thankful that God promises to take care of what we need. That includes the seasons. Seasons for planting, season for harvesting, (and a season for eating—like during this Thanksgiving/ Christmas season).

How would you like to wake up one day that is in mid-summer heat and the next day find it is the coldest of colds.  Or what if the morning rolls out and the sun is gone-there is no day? That doesn’t sound so good.

I thank Him for the order and predictability of what He has made. I thank God for the Truth of His Word. Therefore, I thank God for seasons – including winter!

Dave Nutting

When Snakes Fly

You have all probably heard the statement “when pigs fly”, but have you heard “when snakes fly”?  That’s right, snakes can fly, well, they actually glide.  Scientists have discovered a strange species of snakes located in Southeast Asia, India, and southern China that can glide.  You have heard children say, ‘Look mom, no hands’.  Well these snakes have neither wings, nor wing like appendages, to help them glide.  How do the snakes do this?  The Department of Defense would like to know and so they are funding Virginia Tech to research this amazing feat.  

The snakes will climb the biggest trees in the area (about 200 ft.), take a flying leap, and glide to a spot about 780 ft. away.  While in the air, they undulate from side to side to create an aerodynamic system. Their whole body becomes one long wing.  They can even turn in the air.  Humans are trying to discover the technology to fly without wings or create a flying machine that is all wing.  When we study snakes, they truly give God the glory.

Richard Stepanek

Source:

“DOD tries to uncover secret of flying snakes” by Mark Kaufman – Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 22, 2010; 11:37 PM

Master Plan Ministries

Demonstrating the Divine Proportion

Just recently, I was invited by the ministry of Master Plan of Mesa State College to a retreat with 33 college students at a beautiful mountain lodge in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. I was able to teach on several subjects (Age of the Earth, and the Hand of God) to a crowd of believers and non-believers of Biblical Creation. I was also able to share the Gospel message with the entire group. The teaching time was followed by a period of question and answers. I pray that the faith of those that do believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior was increased, and a seed was planted in the hearts and minds of those who doubt.

Cascade Lodge, where the retreat was held, is about 30 miles north of Durango, Colorado, close to the Purgatory Ski Resort. The lodge was built during the late 1920′s and early 30′s. The construction (on National Forest Service property) was a community effort, spearheaded by a local pastor and a banker. The lodge was created for the positive moral and spiritual enrichment of the youth in the Durango area.

Cascade Lodge

In the mid 30′s, the lodge was transferred to non-local private families. It remained this way for the next 50 years. During this time many of the original purposes of the lodge were lost to the Durango community. The lodge was donated to Master Plan Ministries in 1986. The Forest Service informed Master Plan that they had to tear down and remove Cascade Lodge. After a battle that eventually went to Washington D.C., the lodge was declared a historic building and was saved from destruction. In 1987 the long process of restoring and repairing the historic building began. Through Master Plan Ministries, the original purpose has been restored.

Master Plan Ministries’ goal is “preparing others to reach and influence the world for Christ through spiritual multiplication.” They have ministries on 2 campuses on the western slope of Colorado. If you know of students attending Fort Lewis State College in Durango have them go to http://eternityimpact.com for more information. For students attending Mesa State College, go to http://mytnl.com . These ministries will help the students meet their spiritual needs.

Lanny Johnson