All posts tagged Events related

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.