Archive for March, 2011

Tsunami

It’s hard to describe the emotions felt while watching tsunami waves engulfing Japan in real time. Viewing the before and after images gives a glimpse of the destruction. And yet the loss and human suffering is unimaginable.

Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, friends, farms, businesses, personal belongings – and their sense of order and security in life. The trauma they have faced, and are continuing to face, seems overwhelming. Oh, that they would turn to the Lord during this time of incredible suffering.

The earthquake that triggered the tsunami has been reported as the most powerful in recorded history. The far-reaching and devastating effects impacted areas as far away as California. And yet, by historic standards, this is a small earthquake and an insignificant tsunami.

Much more catastrophic earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and floods are recorded in the rock layers of history – and according to Scripture, more devastating ones are yet to come. If a local earthquake and resultant tsunami could have such catastrophic effects, how much more multiplied would be the impact of the Flood described in Genesis!

The Genesis Flood was not just a “local” flood, but a world-wide catastrophic cataclysm. It would have completely wiped out pre-flood civilizations and reshaped the surface of the earth. The death toll and the damage are unimaginable. As we witness the devastation done by this relatively “small” tsunami, we can only begin to get an inkling of the destruction caused by the Flood.

In II Peter 3, Peter refers to the reality of the Flood in the past as he warns of the coming judgment. He says it is only God’s loving patience that stays His hand, offering time for repentance. The door is still open, but no one knows when it will close.

The people who perished in the recent tsunami had no idea when they awoke that day that it would be their last day on earth. How important it is to live each day with an awareness of eternity – and to be about our Father’s business, sharing the truth of the Gospel with those who have not yet heard.

Mary Jo Nutting

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Junk DNA and Creationist Predictions

As much as 98% of the DNA molecule has been labeled “junk.” It was thought to have no function and thus, that mutations could accumulate there without being “weeded out” by natural selection. However, research is rapidly showing functionality for the so-called “junk DNA.” Even Francis Collins, long-term DNA researcher who just a few years ago thought that non-coding areas of DNA were non-functional, is now recognizing complex functions taking place in the areas previously called “junk DNA.”* All this is taking many evolutionists by surprise.

These findings do not surprise us, though. We never bought into the idea of “junk DNA” in the first place. Since we believe in a wise and powerful Creator, Who does “all things well,” we predicted that critical functions would be found for the so-called “junk.” And that is exactly what is happening.

Critics often claim that creationists can’t be good scientists because our model has no predictive power. Not so! Here you see an excellent example of the predictive power of the Biblical creation model. The Bible provides a historical outline for understanding the world in which we live. Science provides the “tools” to study the physical evidence and processes. Together, they make a powerful combination.

Based on our Biblical worldview of a good Creation, corrupted by the Fall, and devastated by the catastrophe of the Flood, we can make some general predictions about what we will find. Using the tools of observation and logic, we study the DNA molecule and its relationship with other molecules in the body. The fact that we find function throughout the DNA “fits” with our predictions based on a good creation. Any true mutations can be interpreted based upon corruption introduced by the Fall.

The more that we learn about our world, based on what we can see and do observe, the more we see that scientific observations “fit” with God’s Word. Science done in this way brings glory to God and good to His Creation.

Dave Nutting 

(*Ref: www.evolutionnews.org/2011/03/has_francis_collins_changed_hi044601.html)

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Raising Up Faithful Men to Preach

This was my fourth time to travel to India teaching creation.  The spiritual hunger I observed was  greater than all previous trips.  Many have been taught evolution and have compromised Scripture with this philosophy. 

Once they realize the fallacies of evolution, and Genesis is true history, a burden was lifted and you could see the joy arise in their faces.  Many truly understood the importance of this message and some are eager to teach this message to others. 

Rich and Sandeep - Interpreter and Trainee

We are now in the process of equipping and training Indians so they can reach others in India.  2 Timothy 2:2  And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

It is essential that God’s Word is spread through this multiplication concept the Lord has given us.  By training faithful, native men, the message can be communicated more effectively in their own language and culture. 

Please pray for our efforts in India, and especially for those receiving training.

Rich Stepanek

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Treadmills, DVDs, and Friends

While exercising on my treadmill this morning, I enjoyed watching a DVD called “Creation the Facts of Life” by Dr. Gary Parker. This multitasking makes the time go faster and gives me an opportunity to meet new friends or touch bases with people I haven’t seen in awhile. It was fun to spend the time with Dr. Parker today.

Dr. Parker was one of my professors/mentors while attending the ICR Graduate School. His unique teaching style and ability to see relationships between widely diverse topics and bring them together in ways that show “bottom line” principles made classes fun and exciting. He communicates even technical information in simple, down-to-earth terms, using everyday examples to illustrate his points. I need that!

Parker’s tests were another story, though! Basically they amounted to “Write everything you know about everything we discussed.” Oh, I would write furiously as fast as my hand would go trying to recall and reconstruct voluminous amounts of information in the time and space allotted. At the end, I felt crippled and brain dead, but it was good practice in recall and communication.

I don’t miss those tests — but I do miss the times spent exploring “bunny trails” and learning to think “outside the box.” You couldn’t help being drawn into the topic. What fun!

I count it a blessing that Dr. Parker and his wife, Mary, continue to be special friends. Though our busy lives don’t allow our paths to touch as often as we would like, it is so good to be with them whenever we are able. We treasure their friendship and their input into our lives.

Parker’s book, Creation: the Facts of Life, is available from the AOI on-line store. I highly recommend it. You might also be interested in the creation adventure camps and museum the Parkers run in Florida. See their website for more information: Creation Adventures Museum.

Mary Jo Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

“,But the LORD directs his steps.”

I would like to praise the LORD for His faithfulness in my recent trip to India.  He provided abundantly in so many different areas.  

I am thankful for the provision of finances to allow me the opportunity to minister to the Indian people. 

God was also faithful in providing safety while traveling to seven different cities in one month, good health throughout the trip, and the strength to endure a very rigorous schedule.     

It was a joy to see how God worked even through delayed and cancelled trains, buses that did not complete the trip to the scheduled destination, and various other situations.  The complications in travel provided additional opportunities to teach the message, and travel was often done during the night, which really maximized the teaching time. 

This trip was a great testimony to this verse.  Proverbs 16:9  A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

I will be telling more and more about the trip, with its blessings and difficulties, in the days and weeks to come.  Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Rich Stepanek

 

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Are You Hungry?

At a recent staff meeting, I was blessed to hear Rich Stepanek’s report on his latest trip to India. As often happens on international trips, Rich found a refreshing hunger to learn about creation and how it relates to the gospel message, and a welcome eagerness to sit and listen for many hours on end.

(I think it’s going to be hard for him to come back to the “reality” here in the States – rigid time constraints and the busyness that tugs and pulls on people’s willingness to devote more than a couple hours to come and learn.)

That’s not to say that there is no hunger here in the States, but we have so much and so many options to “feed on” that we often do not make very wise choices. Far too many people are “full,” but they don’t even know that they are “starving.” They are constantly running from one activity to another and from one fad to another. Information comes so fast and life becomes so hectic that they frantically grab quick bites of “junk food,” and never take time to savor the pure milk and meat of the Word.

Proverbs 27:7 says “The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” How many of us have filled ourselves with bitter things to the point that we have no hunger for the sweet? Isaiah 55:2 says: “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”

Jesus is the Living Water and the Bread of Life. As we “feed” on Him through His Word and prayer, we will be satisfied. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

Are you hungry today? Take time for a real meal. Spend some time savoring the Word and enjoying fellowship with the Lord. Hmmmm …. delicious!

Mary Jo Nutting

Hummingbird Spy Planes

I thoroughly enjoy hummingbirds and dragonflies. They are certainly marvels of creation. However, there may come a time when people will start shooting them.

The Associated Press (2/28/2011) just had an article about new research with working models of tiny spy planes that mimic birds and insects. The hummingbird “drone” can fly forward and backwards, up and down, sideways, and rotate. However, unlike the real thing, it is loaded with video and audio equipment to record sights and sounds.

They can be very helpful for spying behind the enemy lines in battles. Of course, hummingbirds don’t live all over the world and would really stand out and be shot or captured, so other models are being researched as well including dragonflies and other insects.

One spy plane looks like a maple leaf seed (whirly-bird) and is quite small. Fully equipped, it weighs only 0.07 ounces! Some research is even exploring implanting the technology into live insects to be controlled by an external stimulus (It makes me think of the weird flying creatures mentioned in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Hmmm . . ., I might have to study that further.)

If this new technology ever hits the common market, the bird at your hummingbird feeder might become that “little birdie that told me so” that people refer to. Not to be paranoid, but I hate to think about having to wonder if the grasshopper on the window ledge or the fly on the wall is spying on me.

Looking at the hummingbird has always reminded me of the awesomeness of God’s creative ability. Now when I see one of those fantastic birds or insects, I guess I will also have to think about spy planes. Basically that is where we live — in God’s beautiful creation marred by the effects of sin resulting from the Fall. 

By the way, I really recommend Lanny’s great articles on the tremendous design of hummingbirds and dragonflies. See: Hummingibrds; and Dragonflies (and then click on July/August 2009).

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.