Archive for July, 2013

Smoke in Camp

 

Smoke in camp 1Mary Jo & I were recently conducting a Creation Action Boot Camp at Camp Redcloud. One day in each camp is set aside for an all day group activity – this time we chose a hike up 14,000+  foot Redcloud Peak.

When we got there at the beginning of the week, a fire was raging on the other side of the ridge from Camp Redcloud. At least this ridge is the continental divide which has sufficient altitude to put it above tree line. This was a great barrier to keep us safe from the fire. But what about the smoke?  Fortunately, we had prevailing winds that kept everything clear at our Boot camp. However, the evening before the anticipated hike, the wind shifted and the valley became filled with smoke from the fire. That night, the air was thick and there was concern if the group could do their mountain climb activity if the air quality didn’t improve.  According to the report we had received, the poor air quality was to continue until 4PM the day of the hike. Not good!

Smoke in camp 2We told Grant, the leader of the group that had joined us from the University of Minnesota, about the issue and that he should pray about the situation as it may make it inadvisable for the group to make the climb. “Let’s pray right now,” he suggested. We did. Within two minutes the air began to clear, stars became visible, and a favorable breeze was noticed. In a few more minutes most of the smoke had cleared. In the morning, the air was as clear as mountain air should be and the group embarked on the climb. That was a real and quick answer to prayer and a good reminder to cast all our cares upon the Lord!

 

Dave Nutting

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Dinosaurs at DIA

 

Pioneer Bible Camp 2Pioneer Bible Camp just continued to get better.  The campers were just getting started and began asking even more questions.   I believe in part because I took the time to partake in some of their activities. A wise man I knew from Minnesota once said, “people do not care what you know until they know that you care.”  How true!

Most of the counselors attending Pioneer Bible Camp are from Bible schools and colleges.  It was an encouragement to dialogue with the counselors as well as the campers.  One counselor made the observation that by reading Genesis literally it would help prevent him from falling into false doctrines and also help him to defend the faith.  One camper expressed his excitement in planning to attend a Bible school so he could learn even more about Scripture.  Another said his goal was to focus on becoming a godly man, and to prepare himself for whatever God has planned for him.  It is always exciting to see young people get excited about the Word!

After I finished teaching at Pioneer Bible Camp, I departed as soon as I could for a six and half hour drive home.  I arrived home at 11:00 pm to unload and re-pack in preparation for my next speaking trip to West Virginia. My plane departed Saturday morning at 9:30 am, and I would not arrive at the airport in Charleston, WV, until 11:30 pm. I had a number of long delays along the way.

Dinosaurs and DIAOne such layover was in Denver, where I met a father and his two young daughters.  They also had been waiting for quite some time to catch a plane.  His daughters were getting bored.  We got to talking and I informed him that I taught about dinosaurs.  His girls had a number of questions about them, so I did my dinosaur PowerPoint program to answer their questions.  The father had so many of his questions answered that he thought this information would be valuable for his church.  You just never know when you may have a teaching opportunity that helps someone to have a better understanding about God and His creation.  I thank God for such opportunities.

 

Rich Stepanek

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In One Sentence

 

Campground teachingAfter a 3 hour drive through a hot desert and up a narrow winding mountain road, we arrived at a campground in the Manti-LaSalle National Forest, near Moab, Utah. We were to meet a youth group that was from the Salt Lake City area. We circled around the campground looking for the group, but were unable to find them, so we stopped at the campground host station to see if they had checked in yet.

The host was a very friendly man, who informed us that, yes the group was there, but they were on a hike at that time. He was very helpful, even walking us over to show us their camping spots.

On the short walk, we told him that we were there to teach the youth group. Interested, he asked, “In one sentence, tell me what you will be teaching?”

My wife Marilyn responded, “We are here to teach that God made everything and that it did not happen by evolution.”

His response … “Guess I’m going to have to have a little more information than one sentence!”

As I talked with him a short while, I discovered he was a retired 8th grade school teacher (having taught evolution for many years) now traveling around the country “in search of truth.” I told him that I had also at one time been in search of truth and had found that truth was not in evolution. As a scientist (geologist), I had found major problems with evolution that I could not resolve. What I had discovered was evidence of a Creator.

It was at that point the he quickly interjected that he had other campground duties, and so began a departure. As he left, I invited him to join us that evening as we shared some of those evidences with the youth group. He said it sounded interesting and he would try.

Curious DoeSurprisingly, he did show up that evening for a very short time, far enough away that he could hear some of my talk, but not close enough for interaction. Amusingly, right at the edge of our group was a doe that seemed to be very curious about what I was teaching. It was there far longer than the gentleman!

When the program was over we had to pick up the equipment and take shelter because of rain and wind, and later head back down the mountain, so we were not able to talk to the man again. I am pretty sure he did not hear enough to convince him of a Creator. However, even though it might have been tiny, a seed was planted. Hopefully, that seed of truth might grow in him and he will discover the truth … the truth of Jesus Christ. Over 23 years ago, I was also a staunch evolutionist. A seed was planted and it did grow! Today I am a follower of Jesus, so if it can happen to me, then it can happen to this gentleman as well.

 

Lanny Johnson

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Assault on Academic Freedom

 

Assault on Academic FreedomThe photo is of the Shafer Bell Tower at Ball state University. At this moment, some radical atheists are hoping that any sound that might be coming out of it might be a toll on academic freedom that challenges evolutionary dogma. World Magazine reported June 18th that one of Ball State’s untenured faculty members, Assistant Professor Dr.  Eric Hedin, “crossed a line when he encouraged classroom discussion that included multiple views of life’s origins.”

That got some of the atheists mad who only want to hear atheism taught in the universities. The Freedom From Religion Foundation jumped on a rumor that Dr. Hedin was “proselytizing.”  Evidently that stems from their idea that if you challenge atheistic evolution by suggesting intelligent design, you are promoting a different religion other than their revered atheism. In other words’ “How dare you challenge the “God of Atheism and Evolution.”

This is a direct assault on academic freedom. I also consider it an assault on student’s minds to think that they need to be protected from other viewpoints, even if that viewpoint opens the door to a religious possibility. A teacher’s role is to help students think. From reading all the positive ratings the students have given this professor, he is apparently doing a great job.

In a letter to the editor at News-Sentinel.com, Dr. Arnold Burron wrote, “As a graduate of Ball State University, and as a professor of education at the University of Northern Colorado for almost three decades, I urge the Ball State community to vigorously support professor Hedin. It is time to stop stifling academic inquiry by acquiescing to the cacophonous complaining of special interest groups.”

He also wrote, “Shutting down one’s opponents by clamor, rather than by challenging them in intellectual discourse, is a threat not only to achieving quality education, but also to maintaining a free nation.”

I can certainly identify with this discourse. While teaching at what is now called Colorado Mesa University, I was warned by my department chairman that my challenge to evolutionary dogma was a “touchy subject” and that I “had better drop it.” Even my outside speaking on the topic got too much for them. Well, . . .  today, I am a full-time speaker on the subject of origins. As this was in the mid-eighties, you can see that this assault on academic freedom has been going on for quite some time.

Dr. Hedin, I encourage you to hang in there and keep up the good work! Students need teachers like you! I hope university instructors across this nation will get behind you in this and will also help you lead the charge against this type of censorship by special interest and outspoken atheist groups.

 

Dave Nutting, Director

Alpha Omega Institute

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Pioneer Bible Camp

 

Pioneer Bible Camp 1Recently, I had the privilege of teaching at Pioneer Bible Camp, which is located in the mountains near Eden, UT.  I had never been to this camp, so I did not know what to expect.  Upon arrival, I discovered it was a delightful camp nestled on the side of a mountain.  A beautiful environment.

There were about sixty upper high school campers in attendance, plus about twenty camp staff, which made it a nice sized group.  The teaching was focused on Genesis and its scientific content.  But the teaching was not just focused on the science, some was about events recorded in Genesis that still have an impact on our world and lives today.  In other words, to truly understand what is happening in the world around us you have to understand many historic events in Genesis.

Just in teaching the intro and the initial foundational information leading up to Genesis, the campers were already excited.  And only midway through the week, the campers were asking great questions about Genesis, and not Genesis only, but also many other portions in Scripture.  There is a hunger for deep and intensive Bible study and the related scientific topics.  I believe young people are eager to hear truth and are tired of the abundance of watered down Bible programs.  I am usually the last one to finish my meal, because of all the questions the campers are asking.  I also taught additional material in the evenings to anyone who had questions or just wanted to know more.

Pioneer Bible Camp HikeNot all of my time was spent in teaching. I also like to mingle with the campers and get involved in their games… if the time allows.  I was able to hike with the campers to the top of a nearby mountain, which gave me additional opportunities to talk with them and answer lingering questions.

I also had the chance to participate in some paint balls games, which I haven’t played for about twenty years.  I discovered I make a better target than a marksman.  It was fun and a good time to get to know many of the campers.  I am always eager to see what new questions will be asked.

On one morning, the temperature dropped down to 36 degrees!  Most of the campers, counselors (and even the speaker) were freezing up.  But the testimonies of the campers helped to warm a person’s heart.  One camper commented that he had never heard the creation/Genesis science message before.  He could not believe he could have fallen for the evolutionary lie. The Genesis science message fit perfectly with the observational evidence.  I am constantly intrigued to see what the LORD will do with these campers!

Check back soon for more reflections on the Pioneer Bible Camp as well as what happened at the airport on the way back.

 

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.