All posts in Nuttings from the Front

Question Your Assumptions

 

Wrong WayAs Mary Jo & I were driving the other day to one of our speaking events, we were reminded of something we frequently tell students: Question your assumptions.

We were driving on Highway 69 and had been told that the highway made a jog in a little town. When it jogged to the left, we thought we were right on track. We didn’t realize that the highway also had a quick jag to go along with the jog.  Having missed that part, we happily sailed down the wrong highway thoroughly enjoying the scenery – but unfortunately it was the wrong scenery.

Down the road quite a ways, and still thinking we were on 69, we saw signs pointing to Highway 165 and some other towns. I asked Mary Jo where else this highway 165 went to as it looked like a nice highway. When Mary Jo looked at the map, the assumption that we were on the right road, led to the following wrong conclusions. That highway number just wasn’t on the map, and that section of the map didn’t even show the towns the road signs listed. We had even concluded the map was very accurate. Since there were only graveled roads and no paved roads marked on the map for that section of the highway we thought we were on, we also were led to believe that the nicely paved road taking off to the right must have been very recently paved, or maybe just paved close to the intersection and the rest a gravel road.

We never questioned our assumption that the map was right and that we were on the wrong road. It wasn’t until we saw the sign telling us how far it was to Pueblo, CO, that we even began to question our assumptions. Pueblo?? How could that be?? Highway 69 doesn’t go to Pueblo. We then looked at the map and saw the missed jag that went with the jog way back there. At that point, we turned around and ended up taking that nice highway we had wondered about. It at least went mostly the direction we wanted to go, albeit, the missed jag cost an hour of driving time. However, it was wonderful scenery on that nicely paved road.

Needless to say, this illustrates the point to students we speak to. Question your assumptions. Don’t just assume that your teachers and professors are unbiased when it comes to their anti-religious statements and “facts.”  Don’t assume that that they have looked into the evidence for creation when they speak against it. Perhaps they are biased or had just assumed themselves that their own professors or authors they consult had given an unbiased presentation.

The Bible tells us to “examine all things.” That includes our assumptions. Don’t get led down the wrong road. Hold fast to the true North—Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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.

Here We Go Again!

 

Hail ice ballYep, here we go again. Mary Jo & I are in Texas for a homeschool conference. Yesterday morning, we were in Waco, Texas, heading for San Antonio.  Can you believe it, a big tornado was hitting just north of us.  One system was heading for Waco.  A thunderstorm nearby had dropped hail ice balls the size of a soft ball –  that is 4 inches in diameter.   The picture is what I snapped off of the TV report.

Sure hope these storms don’t hit any closer! Reminds me of Revelations 16:21 in the Bible, where it warns of huge hail stones of about 100 pounds each coming down from heaven! Softball size hail is big enough, but can you imagine hail stones 50 times larger?

So why did I say, “Here we go again”?  Well dodging tornadoes is what we did a couple of years ago when we were driving from San Antonio, Texas, to Missouri. We dodged tornadoes at Austin, Texas, through Oklahoma and managed to get through Joplin just two hours before the big tornado demolished much of that city. (See our blog called “Ducking the Tornadoes.”)

It looks like strong storms will be with us for the next several days, so we don’t know what to expect.  Please keep us in prayer for a successful conference in San Antonio, as well as the weather.

 

Dave & 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.

AOI’s White Water Rafting & Kayaking Adventure

 

AOI WWR 1The dates have been set and permits obtained! Excitement and learning loom ahead! Mark your calendar for AOI’s 60 mile raft trip down the Green River through Desolation and Gray canyons. We are teaming up with Journey Quest, a Christian rafting ministry.

This is a tremendous trip with a lot of river fun and excitement in both rafts and kayaks… whatever you prefer. See Flood geology and biology up close, as well as Indian cliff paintings and old west historical sites. Hike, raft, Kayak, relax, explore, and have a blast in or out of the water. Hear fascinating stories (some might be true), camp along the river, and enjoy Bible teaching and worship time.  There will be many fascinating “mini-lectures” and discussions.  Good meals are provided as well as tents. You will only need to bring personal items and sleeping bags.

AOI WWR 3The stretch of river is not overly dangerous but has some great excitement with over 50 rapids. The minimum age is 5 years old.  The cost is only $695 per person. A love offering to AOI is always appreciated for extra expenses, but not required.

We will meet in Grand Junction, Colorado, at noon on Saturday, August 24, to organize our gear. As soon as our gear is packed, we will be transported to our first camp site for a launch on the river the next morning. We will be on the river until about noon on Friday, the 30th, and then be transported back to Grand Junction.

For MORE INFORMATION, many MORE PHOTOS, a VIDEO of last year’s adventure, and REGISTRATION, visit: the Journey Quest website

Space is limited, so register soon! Hope you can come!

 

AOI WWR 4Dave & Mary Jo

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.

Snow Storm Surprise

 

Snow Storm SurpriseYou have to like Colorado. It is frequently said that if you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait 5 minutes. It will change. Sometimes it really surprises you. I almost hate to admit it, but the Christmas photo out my front door (to the right) was not actually taken at Christmas. It was taken about two weeks ago. I hadn’t yet taken down the Christmas lights, as we have had a pretty busy schedule. Or should I say, I am really early in getting prepared for this coming year’s Christmas season.

The extra snowfall also hit the mountains hard, which is a good thing as it looks like we may not have as much of an issue with a drought like we had last year.

On the Monday after the snowstorm, the temperatures were around 84 degrees. I kind of like that better, as I’m not too fond of cold temperatures.  I was also particularly thankful for the quick change to warmth and snow–free weather, because I had to drive over the Rocky Mountains for a Creation project with the Navigators in the Colorado Springs area.  I certainly don’t like that drive in a snow storm. But when you do a Creation ministry and are scheduled months in advance, you take the weather you get… and that includes road conditions.

 

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.

Petrified Forest National Park

 

Petrified Nationa Forest 1This year we added Petrified Forest National Park to the Jackson Hole Bible students’ itinerary for the annual geology field trip. Petrified Forest is located in eastern Arizona. The petrified logs, which are brightly colored, give the park its fame. Visitors certainly enjoy not only seeing the rainbow of colors found in the logs but also the large size of the trees and the vastness of the deposit.

Petrified Nationa Forest 2The colors are produced by the different elements present along with silica during the petrification process. Iron produces much of the red, brown and yellow colors, while carbon gives some of the black. Chromium, cobalt, and copper can each add blue and green hues. Manganese frequently gives pink, orange, black, and yellow tints.

The name Petrified Forest is a misnomer, as this area really is a petrified log jam. The trees are not only found in the 146 square miles which comprise the park, but are also abundant in a very broad region across Arizona. I have also found petrified trees, in the same geologic formation, extending into Utah and Colorado.

It would be so good if the 600,000 – 1 million people who visit there each year would be told how this vast formation, with all of its petrified logs, is a testimony to the Flood of Noah’s day. However, about all you hear is the millions of years of geologic history that is so prevalent in all the parks.

Petrified Nationa Forest 3The closest they might come was found in the following statement:

“Visualize stormy floodwaters carrying Triassic trees here to the floodplains, where over time, the trees would petrify.”

Yes, I can visualize that, but in way I can’t… as the floodwaters they are referring to would be a drop in the bucket compared to the immense floodwaters during Noah’s Flood. It is hard to imagine what it really was like during that time.

I have often thought I would like to see a video replay of the Flood when I get to Heaven, but am sure that it would be a heart wrenching experience to see the massive destruction and loss of lives, both of people and animals. Besides, I’m sure God will have much more pleasant things for me to see in Heaven than that.

 

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.

Fuzzy Dinosaurs

 

I received an Email from Terry Beh, who is the author of a new kid’s book on Dinosaurs which we sell at seminars. It is called T is for T.Rex - Some of Gods Most Amazing Creatures from A-Z. (Available from AOI for $20 includes shipping, just mention in the comments that you saw it here).

Terry Beh mentioned, in his email, that he has just recently visited the Witte Museum in San Antonio. Currently the museum is featuring a traveling exhibit on dinosaurs. Terry was certainly “impressed” with the amount of artwork, but also noted a definite lack of actual evidence for that artwork in the exhibits. It is evident that the main thrust of the exhibit is to convince all the kids who come to the displays that dinosaurs evolved into birds – despite the lack of solid evidence. Why the big push?  I think it is to help children connect with evolution at the youngest possible age. Since dinosaurs are always a huge attraction to kids, start them off with a bang by introducing them to the idea of evolution through dino’s evolving into birds.  Here is what Terry wrote:

Would you believe feathers on a T.rex? How about Velociraptor? I’m talking long, stringy, hair-like stuff that evolutionists are calling “protofeathers”–and that make some of these dinosaurs look like refugees from a nightmarish hippie convention. This is exactly what I found recently at a new dinosaur exhibit at the Witte (“witty”) Museum in San Antonio, where the latest in secular scientific propag…er, that is, education, is on display at an exhibit called, “Dinosaurs: Bigger, Better, Feathered…”. To read the whole story, read my article, “Museum’s Dinosaur Exhibit Not Too Witte,” at http://tisfortrex.com/?p=383.

Parents, make sure you understand the hype, and the rationale for that hype, so that you can guide your children correctly in truth!

 

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.

Brrrrrrrr…

 

Brrrrrrrrr, it is certainly cold. Here I am heading back up the trail to the rim of the Grand Canyon. It certainly would be more pleasing to curl up with a good book in front of a nice warm fireplace, but that’s not happening today.

I am with a group of college students on a geology field trip. This is the only day we have for his hike, so forget the fireplace and the creature comforts, and pass me my warm coat and rain gear. We headed out… hoping for the best . As you can see from the picture, the best didn’t come and the hike and field trip events for the day were cut short.

When you do a trip like this, you just have to take the weather like it is. Anyhow, I’d better send this blog in today now that my fingers have thawed out enough to text on this iPhone.

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.

Geology Field Trip 2013

 

Once again, I’m with another group of energetic and fun-loving Bible college students from Jackson, Wyoming, on a geology field trip for the better part of 2 weeks (24 students and 15 staff).  Some of these high energy students (usually the guys) like to climb on anything they find, and showoff how close they can get to the edge.

As you can see from the picture below, that could be a deadly mistake. Sandstone tends to be undercut. If one would walk out to the edge without knowing this, the already cracked slab and the unfortunate person on it would likely fall over 1000 feet straight down to their death below. So, one of the very first things I warn those students before they have the opportunity to try their wings is, “WATCH OUT and don’t get close to the edge!”

Today, a woman who happened to overhear my talks on the rim told me she wouldn’t have enough nerve to take college students to places like this. Since she was a college professor, she knows the nature of the breed.

We not only warn and point out hazards, but also do a lot of praying and careful watching. This group is doing great and is taking the warning seriously. For that, we as the staff are very thankful. So please pray with us for safety on this trip, and also for the educational and spiritual results as these students see first-hand evidence for the Flood of Noah’s day.

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.

“Roly-Poly Theology”

 

Like me, I’m sure many of you enjoyed watching pill bugs or “roly-polies” when you were kids. This common little bug rolls up into a tiny, hard ball when threatened. The pictures from Wikipedia Commons will remind you. (My search for how to spell the pill bug’s nickname brought quite a revelation in itself. Various sites had: “roly poly” or “rolly polly,” rolie-polie!) But what do roly-polies have to do with theology? Just what can we learn from these little bugs?

The other night, Mary Jo and I were at a dinner where we met Janis. She shared with us her “Roly-Poly Theology” story. You will understand why I am passing this on to you as you read on.

Janis told us she was sitting next to a swimming pool and noticed a roly-poly crawling around. The little bug walked right over to the edge of the pool and fell in. Oh, no! The poor bug was doomed to drown with absolutely nothing it could do on its own to get out of its predicament. But then, Janis reached into the water and scooped that bug out of the grips of death and lifted it to safety on dry ground, where it quickly unrolled and walked away.

As Janis thought about it, God gave Janis her “Roly-Poly Theology.” This is a picture of exactly what God had done for her (and for all of us). God reached down while we were hopelessly drowning in our sin, and with no means of saving ourselves. He lifted us up out of certain death (through no action on our part) and gave us life.

You can likely add many other aspects to this theology, such as Christ placing our feet on solid ground, etc.  So, have fun with it as you think of various ways to apply Janis’ “Roly-Poly Theology” to your own life. I am certain that I will remember this theology lesson every time I see a roly-poly and would hope that you do, too.

Thankfully lifted up in Jesus’ arms.

 

[Note: Pill bugs are not really insects, but crustaceans and actually have gill-like structures. They can survive for a short time in water, but eventually will die. Likewise, we might be able to “survive” in sin for a time, but will eventually die if we reject the gift of life in Jesus.]

 

Dave Nutting

 

“For the wages of sin [going astray, missing the mark] is death; but the gift of God is eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

 

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 Bible Says …

 

Our 3 year old grandson, Samuel, was instructed by his mother to put on his pajamas. Samuel grabbed what he had worn the night before. However, his mother said that he shouldn’t because he had spilled water on them earlier and they were wet. Samuel responded by saying, “The Bible says they are not wet.”

Ignoring some of the issues, in a way, I like his approach. Samuel is already banking on the authority of the Scripture and applying it to real life situations. I really wish that many young people today would trust in the authority of the Bible instead of taking the words of friends and teachers above God’s Word. This is especially true regarding moral choices and evolution as well.

Of course, my 3 year old grandson’s “standing on the Word” also illustrates that Christians need to read and study the Bible to adequately wield it in a discussion. Some atheists know the Bible (at least select parts of it) better than many Christians. Sometimes un-prepared Christians find themselves in trouble rather than being “salt and light.”

When we speak at the universities, we frequently find atheists who defend their position by telling us what the Bible says. Many times, they do one of 3 things: misquote the Bible, take the passage out of context, or simply pull something out of thin air.

Although we have heard many arguments utilizing the first two items, we had a very vocal atheist student state why he can’t believe the Bible. He said, “It’s because the Bible says the earth rests on the backs of two turtles.” Of, course, we asked him to show us where it says that in the Bible (It doesn’t.)

So just like this atheist’s appealing to the authority of Scripture (falsely), or with Samuel’s attempt, we must be on our toes! The only way to do that is to know what the Bible actually says first.

I also like to try to figure out how the person got what they say. For the atheist, perhaps he was mixing up eastern mystic religions with Biblical thought. One religion does teach the 2-turtle idea. But where could Samuel have gotten the idea that the Bible says his pajamas were not wet? Perhaps it’s just a 3 year old way to not obey and instead do what he wants. Who can fathom the mind of a 3 year old?  Perhaps he heard in Sunday school, or someplace else, the story of Gideon putting out a fleece (Judges 6: 36-40). Yes, one day the fleece was perfectly dry. Since Samuel had ‘fleece” pajamas, in the 3-year old mind, it could all make sense!

Now you know why we tell students, “Context, context, context! Study the full council of God’s Word.”

 

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.