Archive for April, 2012

Beauty, By Land Or By Bug

I shot this picture at Zion National Park as we were nearing the last part of our Southwest Field trip (the picture does not do the view justice). It was getting colder! Snow decorated the tops of the sandstone pinnacles. When we arrived at Bryce Canyon, we had some snow, but the temperatures were certainly beginning to dip.

That same night the students headed to Salt Lake City to stay in a church while we “older folk” camped out at Kodachrome Basin State Park. We had a peaceful, clear, yet cold night with the temperature dipping to 25 degrees. With dire predictions of snow on its way, we chickened out and welcomed the warmth of a night’s stay in a motel at Kanab, Utah. We were glad we did when we awakened to 4 inches of snow.

The snow continued long into the day before we headed to Page, Arizona where we were scheduled to conduct a Sunday Creation seminar at a church.

We were glad  to get back to Grand Junction after the seminar, where the weather has been warm and beautiful!

We certainly saw a lot of gorgeous scenery during the field trip we had taken the Bible college students on! However, sometimes, the beauty of the scenery is more than rivaled by the beauty in God’s creatures. Even the seemingly insignificant beetle was created with tremendous coloration.  Although I was glad not to have had to share my sleeping bag with it on the camp out, I felt privileged to see it on the trail. This beautiful beetle sported brilliantly iridescent green and blue colors.

As I was looking online to try to identify it, I was amazed at the varieties of beetles which are also brilliantly colored. The one we found was identified from my photo by John Burnside from Jackson, Wyoming. I call John “The Bug Man” as he is so excited by God’s bugs.  He reported that what we found is called the ground beetle or caterpillar hunter. Thanks John! I see why you get so excited about bugs! They certainly reveal the creativity of our Creator God!

 

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.

God Knows the Heavens

It was once believed that the stars were fixed. Today we know that they actually move in a predictable way.

Thousands of years before this was discovered by modern astronomy, God declared, “… the stars in their courses …” Judges 5:20

All stars look alike to the naked eye. However, the study of their light spectra reveals that each is unique and different from all others.

The Bible also says that each star is unique. “… for one star differeth from another star in glory.” I Corinthians 15:41

In the 20th Century, scientists and astronomers studied the stars and discovered that they actually gave out radio signals. They were the sort that could not be heard by the human ear, but when they adapted their instruments, they were able to hear the sound the stars made. It was like singing!

The Bible said the stars produce sound 4000 years before man found out. “When the morning stars sang together …” Job 38:7

In the 20th century astronomers learned that the stars of Pleiades (Seven Sisters) are bound and the stars of Orion are not.

4000 years ago, the Bible said: “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” Job 38:31

Today there is no consensus about how large the universe is … a few astronomers guess that the known universe extends about 10 billion light years in all directions This means it can take light (traveling at 186,000 miles/sec)approximately 20 billion years to cross from one side of the universe to the other.

The Bible indicates the size of the universe: “… If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath …” Jeremiah 31:37 (see also Job 22:12, Isaiah 55:9). Notice the word “if”, indicating that we (humans) cannot really know the size of the universe.

And once again the Bible reveals a great deal of scientific truth written hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of years before being “discovered” by modern scientists.

 

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.

So Tired — Even Slept Through An Earthquake!

You can probably imagine after being on a field trip with a total of 42 students and leaders for 1.5 weeks, it certainly  can start  getting a bit physically tiring. This was not only true for Mary Jo & I as  the instructors, but also for the students.

Even though the students in the picture below were having fun as they posed for other students, the underlying sentiment is certainly true. “Give me my bed and my pillow! I want to sleep!”

Part of the tiredness portrayed here in the campground at Zion National Park, certainly reflected the fact that the previous night brought high winds and rain. Fortunately, all  of us managed to stay dry and no tents blew away carrying students up the canyon in their tent sails. That would have been a hard one to explain to the parents back home.

It might be that they were so tired, or perhaps the wind shook the tents hard enough that night, that no one even noticed the  4.8 Richter scale earthquake that also occurred close by where we were staying. What a shame, as that would have been a good thing to talk about while the earthquake was in progress.

 

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.

The Genesis Project

 

AOI is starting a new Project called the Genesis Project.  We believe the project is greatly needed ,due to the fact that many people have questions and are extremely confused about Genesis.  Many churches do not even teach the truth about Genesis.

What does Genesis tell us about science?  If Darwin would have known the scientific information proclaimed in Genesis, he probably would not have made the mistakes he made about evolution on the Galapagos Islands.  Genesis predicted what Darwin would find on the Islands, 6,000 years before he was even born!  The finches do not show Darwinian evolution, but they do proclaim the greatness of God found in Genesis.

Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk who is known as the ‘Father of Modern Genetics’, but is he really the father of modern genetics, or  is there someone who lived thousands of years before him who also understood genetics?  Not only does Genesis reveal information about genetics, but also many other aspects of science.

We have been using this method for years, and are now working to get it in book and video formats.

I am currently teaching a small group from our church by going through my presentations on Genesis 1-3.  They are a select group who have shown specific interest in creation teaching.  It is a family event, as all ages listen together.  It has been a great time of informal, but deep study.  We have been able to address questions as they arise, and progress at whatever pace fits the group.

Some have expressed dismay that so many of our Christian colleges do not teach this information, and do not stress the importance of Genesis in regard to the Scripture as a whole.  It is good to see these families equipping themselves and their children with a foundation for their future.  We hope that this similar type of study can be duplicated all over the globe with the materials that we are producing through this project.

Please keep us in your prayers as we work to complete this in the near future. You can also help financially with donations of any amount to AOI.  Also, stay tuned for another blog, next week, giving the history of when and why God had me begin to look in this direction for teaching.

 

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.

The Indian Ladder

One of the places we like to stop, with the students on our Southwest field trip, is where they have numerous Indian writings on a sandstone wall. One of the drawings is of a mammoth which was supposedly extinct long before the drawing was made. (See my Blog, Indian Drawing of a Mammoth, for information on that one.) Just below the cliff face where those drawings are is another set of drawings as well as an Indian ladder.

The pictures included here, show how the native peoples constructed a log ladder to get from one level of the canyon to the next. Several portions of the ladder extend to a lookout above and then onto the higher bench. The preservation here is exceptional due to the very dry climate, the wood does not rot away.  This is just one of the many points of interest that help break up the pattern of looking at rocks and talking about the geology and biology of the area on the field trips.

The log ladder reminded me of my distant past, shortly after Mary Jo & I were first married. We had worked our way around a narrow trail to an ancient ruin I had spotted high up on a ledge. We came to a spot just before the ruin where a piece of the ledge had broken off. The Indian people who lived there had mortared in a log to span the gap. Likely, they would put their feet on the log and their back against the cliff to get across the gap and onto their cliff house.

The log was solid looking and I was young and foolish enough to think I could make it across the log, which was suspended 300 feet above the rocks below. My young bride, however,  mounted a sufficient protest as she did not want to become a widow that early in our marriage. Mary Jo’s protest is perhaps why I am still here to write this blog!

 

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.

He Calls Them Each by Name

Before the invention of the telescope, Hippocrates (190-120 B.C.) charted and numbered 1,022 stars.

A few years later, Ptolemy (~170-100 B.C.) upgraded that number to 1,056, but suggested there might actually be more than 3,000 hidden somewhere out there.

Astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) believed the universe possessed only 777 stars.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) had counted 1,005.

But it was not until 1608 that Galileo, using his home-made telescope, was able to declare the stars were innumerable.

Today, scientists estimate there are 125 billion galaxies in the universe, and each galaxy contains hundreds of millions of stars. All the stars visible to the naked eye belong to earth’s galaxy, the Milky Way.

The Bible said that the stars cannot be numbered 3000 years before astronomers figured it out:  “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured:” Jeremiah 33:22 (see also Genesis 15:5, Genesis 22:17). The “host of heaven” are stars.

For humans, the number of stars truly is innumerable; however God knows how many there are …He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” Psalm 147:4. Wow! God not only knows how many stars He made, but has a name for each and every one!

Once again the Bible reveals a great deal of scientific truth written hundreds, and sometimes thousands of years before being “discovered” by modern scientists.

 

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.

The Real Goods

On our field trip to the American Southwest with the college students, we stopped at the Cameron Trading Post in Arizona. Earlier I had cautioned the students that many items in the gift shop were not made by local Navahos so they needed to be careful.

While in the store, I picked up a very decorative piece of pottery which had the Southwest traditional Kokopelli figure.  I certainly did not want to purchase something with that figure on it, but out of curiosity I looked at the bottom of this very Navaho looking “Indian” vase. I was amused to see the sticker which read, “Made in China.” Hmmmmm…. A Navaho Chinaman made it???

You just can’t be careful enough. It is way too easy to get taken. That’s kind of like Evolution isn’t it? God said He created the world and secular science has been trying to pawn off a substitute. At AOI, we strive to give you the real goods – not the lie of evolution!

 

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.

Painless Surgery

Last week, Rich Stepanek and I both had to undergo surgery for inguinal hernias. After surgery preparation, as I was lying on the operating table, I can remember the anesthesiologist saying, “It’s time to put him under.” The next thing I remember was waking up feeling very relaxed, and most important … no pain! Whatever the anesthesiologist had given me really worked well. Thank God for anesthesia!

The first surgery and anesthesia is mentioned in the Bible at the beginning of Creation. “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;” Genesis 2:21. Before God removed one of Adam’s ribs (surgery), He put him into a deep sleep (equivalent of anesthesia).

Amazingly, until the 1800’s, surgery was performed without anesthesia. Ouch! It wasn’t until the early 1800’s that anesthetic gases were discovered. A Dr. Wells was the first to use inhaled ether to numb or remove the feeling of pain; however, it was a dentist named Dr. William Morton who in 1846 used ether, in the presence of students and physicians, to have a painful and well rooted tumor removed from a patient. The patients comment after the surgery, “I have felt no pain, but only a sensation like that of scraping the part with a blunt instrument.”

It has been claimed that Morton’s inspiration for this painless surgery came from Genesis 2:21.

Many great scientists of the past were “Bible-believing” Christians. An English doctor, Dr. James Simpson, discovered chloroform’s anesthetic qualities in the 1800’s. When Dr. Simpson was asked what his greatest discovery was, he replied:  “It was not chloroform.  It was to know I am a sinner and that I could be saved by the grace of God.  A man has missed the whole meaning of life if he has not entered into an active, living relationship with God through Christ.” – Reference

If scientists had looked to the Word of God a little sooner, perhaps anesthesia would have been discover far sooner, and many more lives saved through painless surgery.

 

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.

Ranger Attitude

Sometimes at the national parks, we encounter rangers with attitude. Some good and some bad.  We remember one ranger last year who knew that the group of students that Mary Jo & I were leading were from a Bible college and actually believed in creation, and so he took it upon himself to try and knock that belief.

Other times we find ones who may not agree with our perspective, but who respect people enough not to be combative. The ranger in the picture was great. She knew where we were coming from and respected that. She made the instruction part of the tour fun and actually tried not to “stomp” on our feet. That we appreciate. While with her, our group also tried to respect her position. Sure, I had opportunities to give alternate explanations to her and the students, and she was open enough to hear it.

Last year we encountered another ranger with a very unusual attitude for today’s era. When he found out that Mary Jo & I were actually going to camp out after our group headed out, he came by a couple times to check on us and even asked if there was anything we needed such as firewood, etc. That was at Kodachrome Basin State Park. That exemplified what the rangers used to be like, back in a previous generation, and is the kind they used to make movies about. In general, we encounter some who are helpful while others have a bulldog attitude and almost demand, “What are you doing in my national park?”

We like the former type, and certainly appreciate those who know their job is to help people really enjoy their national parks.

 

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.

Not Enough Time

Sorry Dave (in response to Savings from Daylight Savings???)!  We only have soooo much time.  Some people would like to have more days in a week like Dave, but it doesn’t work.  The French tried it during the French Revolution.  They implemented the French Republican Calendar in the later part 1793.  The plan for the new calendar was to change the seven day week into a ten day week.  This was to remove all religious (Biblical) and royalist influences from the calendar.  The project did not work.  Man and his domesticated animals had a hard time functioning in a ten day week.  The French Republican Calendar ended in 1805, officially thrown out January 1st, 1806.

Studies have shown the seven day week, six days of work and one day of rest, is the most efficient week there is.   In every country I have traveled they all use the seven day week.  In these countries Sunday is usually the day of rest.  I find this very interesting.  So Dave if you can’t get it done in seven days you are out of time, Daylight Savings time, or not.

 

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.