All posts in Stepaneks from the Front

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.

Cornerstone Bible Institute Graduation

 

Rich and EugeneI had the honor of giving the Cornerstone Bible Institute commencement address for our daughters’ (Claudia and Abby) graduation in Hot Springs, SD.  It was a lovely day, and graduation went very well.  The girls’ old friend, Eugene the Lion, showed up to congratulate the graduates.  Of course, Abby and Claudia sank deep in their chairs when they discovered that Eugene was there.  They have fond memories of Eugene and traveling with the Johnsons as we taught creation.

But how did I become the commencement speaker?  Well, I had just joined the board of CBI  (it was my very first full board meeting) and they needed a speaker.  I did not realize until it was too late, the board usually has a new board member or someone who has a graduate speak. Well, I had both!  If I had to speak about bacteria, black holes, or junk DNA, then it would not have been a problem, but this was out of my comfort zone.

GraduationThat is where God likes us to be, out of our comfort zone. Beyond our abilities so we cannot get the glory, He gets the glory… and that is exactly what happened.  He received the glory during the address.

But why would I join the board of a small Bible college?  Cornerstone Bible Institute is a Bible college dedicated to protecting and defending the Word of God.  Many Bible colleges are compromising with evolution and liberal theology, but Cornerstone is standing firm on the Rock of a literal Genesis and creation.  The Creator, Jesus Christ, is the Rock and the Truth.  Cornerstone believes that there is absolute truth and they teach it.  Because of their commitment to the truth, I wanted to be a part of equipping  students to be sound in the Word.

 

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.

Ministering to the homeless

 

Homeless-Please-HelpWhile I was on tour teaching creation in Eureka, CA, my host pastor asked me to teach to a particular audience I had never taught before.  I have taught in jails, private and public schools and colleges, homeschool groups, private homes, camps, churches, etc., but I had never taught to the homeless.

I was invited to teach at a rescue mission.  I really did not know what to expect.  Would they accept or even care about trying to understand the scientific information for creation?  Would they even be interested in this subject at all?  After all, they are without jobs, homes, and many without families.

To my surprise, the experience was far beyond what I had imagined!  They were excited, supportive, humorous, and some were very knowledgeable about the subject.  It was a wonderful time.  By teaching a firm foundation in which the Bible is true, the men were encourage to know that God is real and He loves them.

 

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.

A Primary Intent….To Reach The Lost

 

Just ThinkingAs I reflected on my last speaking trip to California, a couple of thoughts stood out in my mind.

A pastor from Eureka, CA, asked if I did debates or if I was, instead,  just interested in teaching on a university campus.  I informed him that I was not interested in debates, but I was interested in teaching and dialoging about scientific ideas.

The primary reason I hate debates is that people who disagree with my ideas, on the origin of life and the universe, are not my enemies.  I love those people and so does God.  God actually loves them so much that He died for their sins, so He could have a close relationship with them.  I would sooner be seen as a fool, so they can have a close relationship with the God of creation, than win any debate.  Debates have the atmosphere of a battle, or war.  I am not at war with flesh and blood.  My enemy is much more powerful and resides in a different realm.  I see people who reject God’s Word and His plan of salvation as victims of a masterful deception.  This concept does not come from my own thoughts, but from the Word of God.

I spoke at Humboldt State University, in Arcata, CA, this last trip.  We had a good turnout, but only people favorable to my ideas seemed to have attended.  This was in a way sad.  Please do not get me wrong, I was very glad they attended, but I knew where most of them will spend eternity (in heaven).

It was very good to encourage and edify the saints, but what about all those who have rejected God and His salvation?  Where will they spend eternity? This I felt was the matter at hand.  Evolution is the number one reason why people reject God’s love.  My teaching at the university was not so much a discussion about evolution and creation, but more about where we will spend eternity.  What was sad is that those who would disagree with me did not even attend, so they could learn about my arguments for Genesis and creation, and be able to dialog about creation/evolution and the scientific concepts in Genesis.  They don’t seem to be concerned about their eternal state.  I pray for these people and I hope you do to.

 

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.

In season, out of season…

 

2Timothy 4:2 “ Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

California Seminar Tour 5We list our speaking schedule on the web, so that people can be informed about when and where we will be presenting the creation/Genesis message.  But, this is only a small portion of the creation teaching that we actually do.  Not only do we teach during the seminars, but around the dinner table with friends, during the day and night when we have a few free moments, and even while waiting before teaching in a school classroom.

During these opportune times, the teaching is usually with a small group or just one on one.  Many people have questions, and the Bible and science have answers to their questions.  Between classes in a Christian school, I was asking some of the students various creation/evolution questions.  The school I was at does not teach evolution to be true, but many of the students had compromised their thinking with evolution anyways.

The deception of evolution is great, but as they saw the light and understood that bacteria always stay bacteria and Darwin’s finches always stay finches, along with the science behind the ‘Law of Biogenesis’, they came to the realization that Darwinian evolution is just an illusion.

California Seminar Tour 4It is a joy to see the lights in their mind turn on, and the smile on their faces when they discover creation is really true and they are loved by a wonderful God!

 

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.

The Orchestrating Hand of God

 

California Seminar Tour 1We are just in the second week of our California seminar tour.  We recently finished teaching at our second church, Fellowship Bible Church, of Belmont, CA.  Our time there was very encouraging.  They had four different teaching sessions from Thursday to Sunday.  The session on Friday was especially well attended with the auditorium filled and rows of chairs placed in the entrance area for the overflow crowd.  Sue also had a large group of kids on Friday night to minister to in the children’s program.

We also enjoyed great Chinese food and fellowship as we dined with old and new friends.  What a blessing the Lord brings with the care and encouragement we receive from the Body of Christ!

California Seminar Tour 2During our California seminar trip, we have seen the hand of God working in many ways.  It is always a joy to see how He works to orchestrate our schedule.  Going into the trip, we had about five days that we had been unable to fill.  But by God’s grace, He brought three opportunities for Christian school teaching into those vacancies.  In addition to that, a church member graciously offered his vacant house for us to use for a couple days to rest and catch up on some work.  What an answer to prayer it has all been!

 

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.

Why all the hype about finding water on Mars?

 

Why all the hype about finding water on Mars? Below are some quotes from articles about finding evidence of water on Mars.

 

“Mars once had conditions favorable for microbial life, NASA scientists announced”

“It shows veins of sediments that scientist believe were deposited under water and was an environment once hospitable to life.”

“We have found a habitable environment that is so benign, and supportive of life, that probably if this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it,”

“The question about habitability goes just beyond the simple observation of water on Mars to recreating the environments in greater detail, with an understanding of the chemistry that was going on at that time, to ask if this is the kind of place that micro-organisms could’ve lived,”

“There is life virtually wherever there is liquid water on Earth, and the possibility that there were once oceans on Mars leads many to wonder if life ever evolved on Mars and, if so, whether it might be extant. Answering these questions might help shed light on how common life may or may not be in the rest of the universe.”

 

It seems to me these people are wanting to find water on Mars so they can speculate if life evolved there, since we know it cannot evolve here on earth.  Where there is water, there must be life… right?  Not necessarily.  Through decades of scientific research, scientists have developed the ‘Law of Biogenesis,’ which states that life can only come from pre-existing life.  People used to believe in the myth, or faith statement, of abiogenesis (spontaneous generation), but science has disproven this false idea.

So the only way life could be on Mars is either it was brought there from earth by our Mars rovers or space probes for example, somehow the material from earth made its way there, or God created it there.  I doubt the truth of the latter idea, because as I study Scripture, I do not see any indication of God making life anywhere else in the universe except here on earth.   But with the scientific knowledge provided by the ‘Law of Biogenesis,’ we know it could not have evolved there.

 

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.

Water on Mars!

 

Lately there have been a number of articles on the web, tv, and in newspapers, stating: Flowing Water on Mars? Strange Red Planet Features Stir Debate; Mars Water Mystery: NASA Rover’s Ancient Streambed Discovery Is the Latest ClueThe 2,000-pound Mars rover, Curiosity, has been sending back information and images of what looks like sedimentary rock layers that were laid down by water. Also, what looks like evidence for an ancient, flowing stream on Mars, as well as evidence of lakes and oceans.

They are excited about this information, and rightfully so, but it should not be unexpected or surprising.  As we study Genesis chapter one, God makes everything directly or indirectly out of water.  So with this knowledge, we should see evidence that at one time there was probably an abundance of water on Mars.  Today, water on Mars is usually only in the solid or gaseous state, and not in the liquid state, because of the planet’s low atmospheric pressure being about 1/100th of Earth’s.  With this low pressure, liquid water will not last long on the planet’s surface. So there is evidence that at one time there was liquid water on the surface of Mars. But why all the hype? We will touch on this with my next blog.

 

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.

Hungry for Answers

 

Well, that Tuesday (see my last blog “Genesis Series on the Road…“) Sue and I, with the help of our son Joel, taught six hours at Faith Baptist Church in Pawnee City, NE.  The seminars went very well.  I taught one hour on dinosaurs, science, and the Bible, and the next five hours we spent on the Genesis Series. We covered Genesis chapters one and two.  Sue, with her changes to the children’s ministry, was a big hit.  The people at Pawnee were truly “hungry” for the information and requested a continuation of the Genesis Series at a future date.

Two boys, who were in either 5th or 6th grade, came up to me after the last evening’s program wondering if there was another two hour program tomorrow.  I was sorry to say that there wasn’t.   It is very encouraging to see young people getting so enthralled about the Word of God!

From March 8th through the 10th,Sue, Joel, and I were at the Fairview Baptist Church near Towanda, KS.  The pastor scheduled eleven hours of teaching, which is quite unique for us since we normally teach for only four to six hours at a church.  The goal of the seminar was to cover Genesis chapters one through three by teaching two hours on Friday night and another five hours on Saturday.  The plan for Sunday was to teach approximately four hours of my creation science series.

I was not able to finish Genesis chapter three Saturday afternoon, and the interest was so great, that many attendees requested two more hours on Sunday afternoon to allow us to finish the chapter!   We were amazed!  Thirteen hours of teaching in one night and two days.  Sue ended up teaching eleven hours for the children.  People of this country are hungry for the foundational teachings of Scripture and science!

 

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.

Genesis Series on the Road…

 

We had a wonderful time at Sheridan Lake, CO, teaching and having fellowship with the saints.  We taught eleven hours at Sheridan Lake Bible Church, and nine of those eleven hours were spent teaching Genesis chapters one through three.  Even with the nine hours of teaching, we did not quite finish Genesis chapter three.  It was a casual time of teaching, and during the teaching I enjoyed answering various questions they had about Genesis and creation in general.  After all was done, the pastor shared his thoughts about the importance of taking Genesis literally and not falling for the wisdom of the world.

The following Tuesday evening we started teaching at Faith Baptist Church located in Pawnee City, NE.  Since I was just here last year, and taught my creation science series, I thought I would teach my Genesis series.  While I taught the young people and adults, my wife Sue, taught the children.  She is improving her programs by incorporating creation science power point presentations into her time with the children.  She is excited about the changes and so are the children.

I truly enjoy teaching the Genesis series, because Genesis proclaims many of the scientific concepts and laws modern scientists have just discovered in the last few hundred years.  In other words, Genesis is relevant to scientific discovery and things we observe today.  I was always taught that “the present is the key to the past,” but that worldview can cause many scientific mistakes.  The truth is “the past is the key to the present,” and this is why Genesis is so important for scientific research today.  Stay tuned for more from the Genesis Road Show.

 

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.