Archive for June, 2013

Why?

  Map

One might ask us “Why?”

WHY would you drive 2 hours and 113 miles through a desert in the heat of the afternoon – throw your bags in a motel room, grab a quick bite to eat – and continue on for another 21 miles (1 hour) up a rough, although paved, pot-hole filled, narrow, steep mountain road, dodging the grazing and meandering cattle all the way – and then carrying on 6 more miles on a wash-boarded, teeth rattling, gravel, dusty road?

WHY would you set your equipment up under a small open canopy, in the wind and rain, to only have time to teach a handful of youth for 1 brief hour before their teeth began to chatter because of the cold?

WHY would you then tear your equipment down and load it up in the minivan – then head back down the mountain in the dark (almost 2 hour trek this time), dodging pot-holes and headlight frozen cattle in the middle of the road – arrive back at your very noisy economy motel about 10:30 at night to spend a restless night on a strange uncomfortable bed?

WHY would you get up early the next morning, load up the minivan with your luggage, and have a very inadequate ‘Continental Breakfast’ – drive 2 hours back through the quickly heating up desert – arrive at home to unload all the equipment and reload it all into a travel trailer and pick-up truck?

WHY would you then grab a quick bite to eat, then jump in the truck and head out for another 2 hour drive (71 miles) pulling the trailer behind – upon arrival at a church, to get the trailer parked and all our equipment unloaded into the church in the sweltering heat of the afternoon – to then spend 3 hours setting up equipment (crafts, puppet stage, computers, sound equipment, etc.) and books in preparation for teaching Vacation Bible School that begins the next morning and continues throughout the next week?

WHY are you willing to spend your afternoons in a sweltering trailer that the air conditioning cannot keep up with because of inadequate electrical voltage – or put up with the sounds of noise and traffic at night as you try to sleep while parked on a city street?

An easy answer to the WHY questions – “WHY NOT?” God has instilled a passion in all of us at Alpha Omega Institute to share the truth of Creation and the joy of Salvation. So we are willing (oh, we do sometimes grumble) to put up with a lot of different, sometimes uncomfortable and stressful situations to be able to share those truths.

“…Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.”  Colossians 4:17

 

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.

Learning to Trust

 

Learning to TrustWhat is it like to climb to the top of a 130’ cliff, get hooked into your belay rope, lean backwards and step off the edge for the first time? If you are anything like me, or most of our campers, you feel more than a bit of apprehension and a lot of adrenalin flowing! After all, it’s not natural to step backwards off a cliff and “walk” down the face of a mountain, even if you are “on belay!”

Here at the Creation Action Boot Camp, our campers are having a wonderful opportunity to have their faith stretched in more ways than one. For many of them, rappelling for the first time is a mighty big test of faith. For others, it might be going out in a canoe, or climbing a 14,000’ peak. For some, it is the challenge of sleeping in a cabin with 20 other people or being in a strange environment with people you don’t know. For some, it might be having their ideas about evolution questioned, or grappling with evidences for creation and being challenged to put their lives totally in the hands of their Creator/Redeemer.

Just as rappelling requires a person to face their fears and deliberately choose to trust in the strength of the ropes and the faithfulness of the person belaying them, true Biblical faith requires believing the truth of God’s Word, committing our life into the hands of our faithful Creator, and “stepping off the cliff.” For many people this act of faith is just as scary as stepping off that 130’cliff.

The creation evidences, Bible studies, and testimonies that we share with our campers can help them gain confidence in the truth of God’s Word and in His faithfulness. But it still takes a deliberate act of faith to forsake the teaching of the world and dependence upon self, and trust completely in the Word of God.

But praise the Lord! He is faithful! His Word can be trusted. His testimony is true and His character is reliable. We thank all our prayer and financial partners who make this ministry to campers and so many others possible. May God bless YOU in whatever next step of faith He is putting before you.

 

P.S. If you missed Creation Action Boot Camp this year, we still have room for one more family at our Creation Mountain Adventure, July 28-August 2, and space on our Green River Raft Adventure (Aug 24-30). Check our web or call today to sign up for one of these high-quality adventures which will challenge, encourage, and equip you in this walk of faith with our faithful God.

 

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.

Time well spent at CHEC

 

CHEC logoSue and I had a wonderful time again this year in hosting a booth and teaching workshops at the CHEC home school convention in Denver.  It is truly a place where old friends meet, as well as a place to find new ones.  Year after year we have the privilege to fellowship with former Twin Peak and Camp Redcloud alumni, parents who are interested in building a solid foundation for their children in science and Scripture, and some parents who are just curious about our ministry.

We also had the opportunity to meet Terry Beh, the author of a new dinosaur book called T is for T-Rex.  While at the AOI booth, Terry sold and autographed his new book.  He is a very delightful man and very knowledgeable in the subject of dinosaurs and creation.

Of course, I brought along my mini-fossil lab to teach both children and adults about the flood and creation.  I get a charge, along with the participants, when I have them guess what my mystery fossil is.  The mystery fossil is coprolite, or in lay man’s terms – fossilized manure.  Coprolites are good evidence of a catastrophic event, because manure decomposes very rapidly.

I also carry other fossils, like trilobites, which are excellent evidence for a designer because of the complexity of their eyes.  Also in the exhibit, I had both fossilized and unfossilized clams, snails, sand dollars, and others, that all demonstrate the stasis of a created kind.

We thank the Lord to be able to encourage many people at this event and to rest in the truth that teaching the Word of God is never done in vain.

 

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.

“Creationist for Life”

 

Creationist for lifeSo many times, Mary Jo & I run into high school or university students who had attended church but now have rejected Christianity and the Bible because of evolutionary teaching. Some have become quite weakened in their faith and have begun to embrace evolution, even though they may not have dumped their faith altogether (yet). In the last couple of years, we have talked to several students who were on the verge of doing just that.

Not too long ago, we heard from someone who attended one of our family camps years ago, who claims it was the creation teaching at the camp that turned them around. Another individual said that the creation teaching they heard us give, almost 20 years ago, is what got them through college with their faith intact.

Just recently, a girl told me that evolution, as it was so pointedly presented in her high school this year, made so much sense to her. However, after hearing us show the problems with standard “proofs” of evolution, the lights came on for her. She said that she has now become a committed creationist for life! Praise God. We sure like to hear that.

If you think that evolution is a fact, make sure you come to one of our camps or seminars. If you can’t do that, at least read the portion of our website that talks about what the evidence actually shows. You can find it at:  What’s the Evidence?

Please pass that link on to others as it can make a lot of difference to many students.

 

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 Confounding Mouse Trap

 

Everywhere I look I see design in nature. At one time, I removed God from the equation and assumed that all design had happened through the processes of evolution. I began to believe (without much thought behind it) what I was taught … that small changes over huge periods of time produced the wonders of nature. My main argument with my ‘Jesus freak friends’ was “Given enough time, anything is possible.”

But is this true? Just one of the many problems with evolution is the interdependence of different functions of any organism. On a molecular level this precept has been called irreducible complexity1 - for most biological features to operate there is a minimum number of parts or steps which must be present.

Mouse TrapMichael Behe explained irreducible complexity with the analogy of a simple mouse trap. The mouse trap has only five basic parts – the base, the hammer, the catch, the spring, and the hold-down lever. Yet if any of these parts is missing the trap will never function properly. Even if you had the needed 5 parts, you could put them in a paper bag and shake and dump them out for billions of years, yet you would never come up with a working mouse trap. For the mouse trap to work, each part needs to be performing the right job and be in the right position. The same is true for the clotting of blood and all of life on both a molecular and a macro scale.

Bruce A. Malone explains about irreducible complexity and the chameleon tongue: “Evolution proposes two explanations for complex structures such as the chameleon tongue. “Phyletic gradualism” assumes small changes add up over time. “Punctuated Equilibrium” assumes structures stay the same for a long time (equilibrium) but then change rapidly without leaving any fossil record of the change (punctuation). Skeptics try to avoid the creation implications of irreducible complexity by showing that the individual parts of a machine could have other functions – thereby implying that the new function could develop in some step-by-step manner (either slow or fast). For example, in the mouse trap analogy: the base, spring, and hammer could be used as a crude tie clip; however, this does not explain how a tie clip could develop into a critter-killing machine. Nor does it explain how the other parts could be added one step at a time, with each step along the way producing a useful, functioning machine. If any intermediate “tie clip/mouse trap” link were not useful, natural selection would eliminate it from further development. So is the chameleon’s tongue best explained by an intelligent designer or by time and chance alone? Which possibility is really easier to believe?”2

When I really began to think about it and look at the evidence, God was the answer! The time and chance of evolution just doesn’t answer what we actually observe.

1Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Michael Behe, Free Press, 1998.

2Censored science, the Suppressed Evidence, Bruce A. Malone, www.searchforthetruth.net

 

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.

Encouragement For Pastors…much needed

 

VacationsBlack Hills Ministries of Hot Springs, SD, just hosted its first conference for pastors/missionaries needing a time of encouragement and Christian fellowship. Its founders, Pastor Phil and Charlotte Shively and Darren and Becky Deford, who are also on staff with Cornerstone Bible Institute, have this dream to help pastors and missionaries who are overworked, burning out, or having difficulties in the ministry, and desperately need a time of rest and relaxation.

Pastor Phil and Charlotte themselves, while on the mission field, were approaching burn out and were blessed when someone helped them with a much needed two week vacation. This vacation was just the ticket to help energize them and encourage them to continue in the ministry. From this experience, they wanted to help uplift and energize others in similar circumstances. I had the opportunity at the conference to encourage these pastors and missionaries by teaching the scientific evidence for Biblical creation. Giving them a firm foundation for their ministry, and that their work is not in vain.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

 

Richard 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.

Family Camp Combined with Boot Camp

 

Family Boot CampMary Jo & I are at Camp Redcloud with a combination family camp and boot camp. What that means is we have a youth group of teens joining the families this week. I think that the combination is powerful as the youth group brings a good dynamic to the mix. The students also benefit from the maturity of the other participants, and in this case, seeing strong families in action!  These students seem excited to be hearing this material for the first time. Most of them attend public school and have never heard of any evidence in favor of creation, which speaks volumes against the idea of evolution.

We love having them with us, with the added benefit of bringing a lot of energy to the program. So far, they seem to not only enjoy the material but are interacting well with the other participants and their sponsors. We can’t help but think that these youth are being impacted themselves. By the time they all leave on Friday, we will be encouraging them to pass the torch on to many others at their homes, churches, and schools.

We certainly encourage other families and youth workers to come to any one of our events with their group. It will be faith-saving for some and definitely faith-building for others.

If you want to join us for our June 23-28 Creation Action Boot Camp or to join us on the Creation Mountain Adventure for July 28-August 2, then check out our website and call our office to register at 970-523-9943.

 

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.

Box-Like Aerodynamic Car

The Bionic Car

When I first saw a picture of the Mercedes-Benz bionic concept vehicle, I had to laugh. In my view, it was quite comical, as far as cars go. All humor aside though, the boxy, rectangular body of the Bionic Car is a very efficient design.

As it turns out, the engineers at Mercedes-Benz were looking for a new aerodynamic design in a car. They found their inspiration in the tropical boxfish (Ostracion Cubicus) that lives in warm ocean waters. Although the rather large body of the boxfish appears to be cumbersome, it is able to swim very fast because of its low coefficient of drag and rigid exoskeleton.

The BoxfishBy modeling their concept car from the overall shape of the boxfish, the engineers designed a vehicle that had one of the lowest co-efficient of drag ever tested.

The 2005 model of the Bionic Car was able to reach a top speed of 118 miles per hour, while getting an astounding 70 miles per gallon fuel economy. Not only does the aerodynamic shape give the car a highly efficient fuel performance, its rectangular frame adds stability.

Once again, through biomimicry, engineers have examined God’s creation and applied what they have learned to make efficient products we can use.

 

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.

Passing it on!

 

Passing the batonI had an opportunity to conduct another geology field trip to the Colorado National Monument near our home base in Grand Junction.  This particular tour was certainly a blessing to me, as the wife of this couple had a good background in geology and could easily pick up on the importance of what I was sharing. She could also ask those deep questions that I don’t normally get to discuss with most people.

The real blessing, however, was her testimony. She had heard me speak along with several other creationists from the Institute for Creation Research over 20 years ago. At that time, she was a student and decided to go into a field that could have a major impact on the creation vs. evolution issue and especially with kids. She decided to become a public school science teacher with a strong emphasis in geology.

Of course, during her time of public school teaching, she couldn’t openly teach about creation or the many problems with evolution, but the students would ask penetrating questions about some of the topics she chose to bring up. Some of the questions would ask how evolution can explain certain details. Being a teacher, she would be able to answer the question with, “Well the textbook says . . .,” but does that really make sense? In it, she would have the students thinking critically, rather than just memorizing a bunch of stuff. That is a good education for students. In part, the students were teaching themselves not only the issues with evolution, but also how to see the same data through a creationist and Christian perspective.

Frequently, she would have students ask her just what she believed. At that point, she was free to share her doubts about evolution. So she certainly had a big impact with them.

To me, it was a blessing to think that a presentation I was part of, 20-25 years ago, has had such a major impact not only on her, but also on the huge number of students that she has been able to impact over those many years. Praise be to God! We hope that many others will follow suit and also pass the material on to others.

 

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.