Archive for October, 2011

Great Timing!

Veni, vidi, vici

Last week, David DeCesare and Paul DeCesare, a father and son team who have been doing our computer work remotely from Arizona, came to Grand Junction to make some needed changes to our computer and data-base systems.

While they were here in our office working on the computers, the server crashed. They both looked at each other while working on different computers, and asked, “Did you shut off the server?” Neither had done so.  It turned out that the server’s power supply burned out, which consequently caused damage to some other components and corrupted some programs.

Paul and David  had nothing to do with the failure. That malfunction could have happened at any time, but we are very thankful it happened while they were here! Otherwise, we would have gone crazy trying to figure out the problem, and then would have needed to bring David up, by plane or car, for a separate trip from the Phoenix area to take care of it.

God’s timing was great, although the extra problem did cause David many additional hours and some long nights on repairing things while they were here. The above picture is their Victory picture over the computer.  Needless to say, both were quite tired when they headed out of our office toward Arizona.

We also are very thankful to have capable people in the DeCesares who have a heart of service and dedication to the ministry of AOI! Thanks, Paul! Thanks, David!

 

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.

Dinosaur Journey Museum Tour

On Saturday, I was able to lead several families on a tour of the dinosaur museum in Fruita, Colorado. The museum is very evolutionary, hands-on and noisy; therefore I always try to meet with the families ahead of time in a quieter location (usually at our AOI library) where I can teach a Biblical view of dinosaurs.

According to evolution, dinosaurs all died out 65 to 70 million years ago, and man has only been around for 200,000 to 3 million years; therefore, man and dinosaur never lived together. In a 1 ½ hour presentation, I give evidence of man and dinosaurs living together, which definitely goes against this evolutionary idea.

One of the other ways I try to arm the families, is to challenge them to think about the different things they will see in the museum. How much of what the museum is presenting is actual science, and how much is speculation?

In other words, is it science or imagination? What is real and what is artwork? If it turns out to be artwork, then what did they find to get that artwork? The main goal is to teach families, especially the children, to ask, “WHAT’S THE EVIDENCE?”

These questions can be used to prepare and arm them for any museum they might visit.

After the teaching session, we normally break for lunch and then head to the museum. Once in the museum, I am available to answer questions and share some interesting points on many of the exhibits. Participating families have been very thankful for arming them with a Biblical view of the evidence.  Many times, others outside the group will tag along, listening to a creationist viewpoint. For me, that is just a bonus … planting a seed of truth!

If you are ever in the Grand Junction area, and would like a museum, or Colorado National Monument tour, call the AOI office (970-523-9943) to arrange. Availability of tours depends on the presence of AOI speakers in town at the time. The AOI portion of the tour is free … we only ask that you might consider a love offering to help cover our expenses (mileage and entry fees).

You would be responsible for the museum or Monument entry fees. You can call Dinosaur Journey Museum (888-488-3466) for their current pricing. Larger groups can sometimes arrange for group discounts.  If you would like a Colorado National Monument tour, call 970-858-3617 for their current pricing.

 

Lanny Johnson

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.

God Provides

When we scheduled to go to the universities in Illinois and Minnesota earlier this year, I have to admit that it was with a bit of misgiving. You see, both Mary Jo’s and my favorite time of the year in our area of Colorado is the last half of September and first part of October.

This fall time in the mountains provides us with some of our most favorite hikes amidst some of the most fantastic mountain scenery ablaze with spectacular fall colors. The temperatures are just right for us, and there are very few pesky bugs!

Anyhow, the campus ministries requested us earlier this year, and we gulped and said OK. God certainly provided great ministry at the various universities with good fruit, and when we arrived home, we found out that God provided for our personal desires.

He extended the fall just for us! We were able to take a few days in the mountains, and then on another late afternoon to get an unexpected time with a great hike to enjoy what He has made. He even saved us some great pockets of aspen trees to enjoy the golden leaves. God takes care of His kids!

 

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.

Winter Is Coming!

Mary Jo & I just visited our son, Steve, at Camp Redcloud at Lake City, CO. While there, we managed to get in a couple of good hikes. We always really enjoy the fall season in the mountains and the temperature was just perfect.

However, as you can see from the photo looking across the lake over the Camp Redcloud property, winter is coming! Almost all of the aspen leaves were off of the trees.  In fact snow has already hit the higher mountains and will likely stay there until next spring. Still, this area is beautiful in every season, and will also be when it is totally covered by the thick snowy blanket.

The beauty of the area is certainly testimony of a wonderful Creator. What makes it even more special is that this gorgeous scenery is actually the destroyed remains of a likely even more beautiful, original, pre-Flood Creation.  It tells me that God can and does take something that is utterly destroyed — even by a world-wide Flood — and make something beautiful out of it.

To me, that means He can take the ruined messes of our lives and remodel them as well into something beautiful and useful for His purposes. I certainly hope that you let Him do that! Like the scenery in the pictures, you just may be amazed by the results.

 

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.

Cooperative Youth Program in Rural America

Last night, Marilyn and I had the opportunity to teach a youth group that meets weekly in a small Nebraska town. We had a normal attendance of 35, consisting of middle school and high school students and about 6 adults. Many of the students come from as far as 45 miles away to attend every week.

This youth group is sponsored by four different churches, all of different denominations. Three of the churches are local, and the other church is located about 15 miles away in another small town. These churches have been doing this for several years.  It is a blessing to see these churches working together for the spiritual growth of their youth.

The youth group first met in a school where they had the use of a basketball court. The students would come weekly, get fed a meal, play basketball, be presented with a devotional, and then play some more basketball.

Recently, a burned out building with an intact outside wall structure was donated to the group. Through a lot of hard work and generous donations, the building was remodeled into a very nice youth center. Because the new facility did not have a basketball court, one of the pastors was concerned they would lose some of the students – however, the number attending has increased. It seems that not all of the youth were into sports, but were more interested in discipleship and fellowship with their friends.

Now some might say that 35 students doesn’t seem like much; however, the total enrollment of the Middle School and High School in this community is only 55 students. That translates into two – thirds of the older student population willingly seeking spiritual truths on a weekly basis. I know of many youth groups in large communities that would covet a percentage like that.

 

Lanny Johnson

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.

Mockers and Scoffers

Reflecting on our past trip to Minnesota, I still find myself troubled by the response of 2 students at one of the universities. These 2 young women sat right up front with smirks on their faces through most of the presentation, often turning to one another to comment. During the Q&A time and our time one-on-one with them afterwards, things didn’t improve. They continued in an arrogant, mocking spirit. It seems they were completely impervious to any of the points brought up in the presentations or our answers to their questions and comments. It also appears evident that they were there only for the purpose of ridiculing, mocking, and arguing with whatever we said rather than seeking to hear or understand.

It grieves our hearts to see such hardness and deception. However, we take it as a call to prayer – not only for these 2 students, but also for the thousands of others who are being taught to scoff and mock at the Word of God and the evidences of creation. It seems many of these students will believe anything their teachers say or they read on atheistic websites that contradicts or undermines the Bible.

However, the Word of God is powerful, sharp, and active – and the Spirit of God continues to call people to repentance. We are encouraged when we realize that Saul, a skeptic and persecutor of early believers, ended up as a chief apostle to the Gentiles. And we also remember how God called us from our former way of life to follow Him.

So we have hope, as we continue to share the truth of God’s Word with everyone who comes, and we pray that God will bring a harvest. Please pray with us that He will use seeds sown during this past university lecture series to bring many to a saving knowledge of Jesus, and that many would become true disciples in following Him and sharing His Word with others who need to hear.

 

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.

Making a Difference in the lives of Children

As I look back over the past month, I am grateful to the Lord for His gracious mercies to us.

We, Sue and I, have spent the past four Saturdays teaching at AWANA conferences in Idaho and Oregon.  We were thankful to be a part of helping to encourage and equip AWANA leaders in their task to evangelize and disciple children.   They are a dedicated group who work tirelessly week after week to make a difference in a child’s life.  We are grateful to have been asked to teach at these conferences again on a rotating basis, about every two or three years.

I also want to tell you of an interesting encounter we had on the street of a small town in Oregon.  We had just completed five hours of teaching on Sunday and Monday at a local church.

As we were walking back to our camper on Tuesday with some groceries we had purchased, we met a young man, maybe age 12 or 13, who had attended the seminars.  He greeted us and then quickly asked, “Are you teaching at the church again tonight?”  We told him we were not, and we would be leaving soon. He has very disappointed, because he wanted to know more about God, His  Word, and His creation.

What an encouragement to see young people eager to attend church and hear the Word of God! We, along with the AWANA leaders, are so thankful to be used in making a difference in the lives of God’s children.

 

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.

Is Evolution Compatible With The Bible?

I have recently had conversations with several theistic evolutionists who believe God used evolution to create. Surprisingly, most of these individuals tell me they also believe the Bible. I have to really question that … is evolution compatible with the Bible?

Sir Arthur Keith, an atheist, (who wrote the forward to Darwin’s book for the 1959 – 100 year anniversary reprint) certainly doesn’t think so. He wrote in his book Evolution and Ethics: “The law of Christ is INCOMPATIBLE [emphasis mine] with the law of evolution . . . The two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.” I would have to agree with Sir Keith … they are incompatible.

Consider what the Bible teaches in comparison with what evolution teaches:

  1. The Creation account tells us the earth was made (Day 1) before the sun and stars (Day 4).  Evolution teaches the stars and sun came before the earth.
  2. The Creation account tells us the oceans were created (Day 2) before the dry land (Day 3). Evolution teaches the land came before the oceans.
  3. The Creation account tells us light was created (Day 1) before the sun (Day 4). Evolution teaches the sun came before light.
  4. The Creation account tells us land plants were the first life forms (Day 3). The first animals were not created until Day 5. Evolution teaches marine organisms were the first life forms.
  5. The Creation account tells us land plants were created on Day 3 and the sun was not created until Day 4.  Evolution teaches
    the sun came before the land plants.
  6. The Creation account tells us that marine mammals (whales, dolphins, etc.) were created on Day 5 and the land mammals on Day 6. Evolution teaches all animals came from the ocean and then some reverted back to the oceans.
  7. The Creation account tells us the birds were created on Day 5 and land reptiles on Day 6. Evolution teaches reptiles evolved into birds.

These are only a few examples, but as you can see, the two ideas are incompatible.

 

Lanny Johnson

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.

Naturalistic Mindset on the Campus

Mary Jo and I just finished 3 weeks of speaking at 4 university campuses in Illinois, and Minnesota. One huge concern we see is the mindset of way too many students. Along with the teaching of evolution, they have embraced the philosophy of naturalism. Now many of them are at a loss to even consider that there might be a Creator and have fallen prey to the atheist perspective that they don’t need God. Sadly, many of these students came from evangelical church homes but are now arguing the case for atheism.

Sitting in the university under the constant teaching of no-God naturalism is certainly a slippery slope that too often leads to unbelief. The Bible gives a clear warning concerning that in Ps 1:1 where it says, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!” Yet that is exactly what millions of students are doing daily at thousands of institutions of “higher” education.

If you are a Christian and find yourself in a class where you are sitting in the seat of the scoffer, then you need to be well prepared. I would hope you consider yourself a missionary in your class who is willing to stand up for the truth (gently and with respect). You can make a difference. If you are there just to soak in the “education,” you could be in danger of a steep slide. Heed carefully the warning in Colossians 2:8  which says, “See to it that no one takes you captive  through philosophy . . .”

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.

Ministering at Wayne State College

This summer at a Bible Camp, the assistant director shared with us, ” … your teachings blew me away … they have totally changed my life.” ( Changing Lives –  August 30, 2011) The young man then invited us to come and share with the Campus Crusade ministry he is involved with at Wayne State College.

Thursday night this last week, we were able to share with this group. Because of an upcoming event, the room the ministry normally uses on campus was not available, so our seminar was moved off campus to a church. Usually they get around 100 students to their Thursday night meetings, but on this evening we had 130. This was surprising to the organizers because of competition with a free movie night at the local theater.

Before the seminar, we learned that a college biology Professor had offered extra credit to students to show up at the meeting. We thought we might be in for a night of heckling, but all the students were very polite. We did have 5 students leave about half-way through the talk, but no disruptions during nor after the meeting.

During the seminar I taught about human origins, with a special emphasis on the artwork students see in their textbooks, and challenged them to ask, “What’s the evidence” for that artwork. I also was able to give a gospel presentation. After the seminar, we spent a lot of time talking with several of the students. Some had questions about salvation, and others about Creation.

I was able to spend almost an hour with one very intelligent and sincere young man who believed in Jesus, but was convinced that evolution was the means God used to create.  Very quickly I recognized the arguments he was using are the same arguments we refute in our talks on ‘The Icons of Evolution.’ Prayerfully, I hope the time was well spent with this young man, and that he will someday believe the Bible for what it says, and not rely on the words of man.

 

Lanny Johnson

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.