All posts tagged General Thoughts

What’s impossible?

 

ImpossiblewebWhat is impossible in your life…right now? Before reading on, answer that question.

Just recently I had the opportunity to go back to the Christian high school that I taught at for the last two years to speak for their mid-week chapel service. With as much work as I have been doing preparing Creation presentations the last three months, I was actually very challenged and conflicted about what to share with them for that afternoon. One of the problems was that my students knew me pretty well and knew what “my thing” is. So I didn’t want to just share something that my students have heard me share a thousand times.

As the chapel service approached, I became increasingly nervous and unsure of what to speak on. I continued praying that God would give me the right words to speak.

Aimee and I were staying with some close friends while we were visiting the area, and it was such a blessing to see them again. We had a wonderful time being encouraged and encouraging them in our new seasons of life.

One day before the chapel service while visiting with our friend Patty, she sincerely asked questions about what we are doing and, more importantly, why we are doing our creation ministry. I shared my usual viewpoint that there are so many confused and deceived people dealing with the issue of evolution and the truth of the Bible.

I will admit that sometimes I have a hard time communicating or showing passion, but Patty is not like that. She caught on right away. She began exclaiming with passion her own experience that we serve a BIG GOD and that a lot of people don’t truly believe that and that they don’t truly believe God at His word. She commended us for our work and sent us out with an added fire within us that our message is true. Do you really believe the Bible? Do you really believe God? How Big is Your God?

It was the morning before the chapel service. I woke up, but just lay in bed, because my mind was still reeling with thoughts from our conversation the day before. I was still connecting the dots and praying that God would clearly show me what I was to share and to give me a peace about it. The longer I lay there, the more the thoughts swirled and twisted until eventually I had to write them down… before they swirled away never to be connected again.

I started writing. My mind jumped to verses from the Bible. I wrote those. I connected more thoughts. God was working. I was excited and at peace feeling confident about what was pertinent to share at chapel. God answered my prayer!

At chapel, I shared most of what lies below. This is the outline for the talk. I encourage you to spend a devotion time this week going through it and you can also read more of what I have written about it at our personal blog Adventures in Faith.

 

What is impossible in your life right now?

Read Psalm 37:1-11, 17, 23-25, 34, 37, 39

Sufficiency – 2 Cor 3:5

  1.      Give up control
  2.      Wait on the LORD
  3.      The LORD will provide

Don’t learn the hard way.

Make my will become God’s will (Luke 22:42, Rom 12:1-2)

God always answers our prayers: Yes, No, or Wait.

I shared how God provided our house to move in to and some financial blessings that God provided for us.

Wait on the LORD and He will provide (Is 40:31 and Rom 8:28)

Our desires and will become God’s desire and will for us. (Matt 6:10, Luke 22:42, Rom 12:1-2)

How Big is Your God?

Did God create everything or just use evolution?

-Why do we not believe Him? Who do we believe more?

Read Matt 6:25-34, 7:7-17

If you are single, do you believe that there could be a plane crash right outside and a guy or girl could crawl out of the wreckage and that could be the one God has for you to marry?

What is impossible in your life right now?

God could move a mountain right outside your door. (Matt 17:20)

God can do the impossible. (Matt 19:26)

Do you really believe the Bible?

Do you really believe God?

How Big is Your God?

 

Brian Mariani

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.

 

Rapid ‘Hoodoos’

 

 

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

In Bryce Canyon National Park (located in the High Plateaus region of the Colorado Plateau in Utah) are some amazing rock pillars called ‘Hoodoos’. These hoodoos have wondrous, fantastic shapes that a person could spend hours viewing.

How were these hoodoos formed … here is a quote from a web site on the geology of Bryce Canyon: “The chaotic destructive force of water, not wind, is responsible for the fantastic shapes in Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon’s Hoodoos formed over thousands of years by the same processes that form the features of surrounding parks.

Water, ice and gravity are the forces at work in Bryce Canyon National Park. These three forces coupled with the differential erosion of the Claron Formation produces a different morphology than that of any other area in the world.”

September 2013 saw much flooding in many western states. On a trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, during these heavy rains, we saw much evidence of flooding – rivers and streams overflowing their banks, homes flooded, flooded and muddy roads, washouts, and drainage systems clogged by floating plant debris.

One of the amazing things we viewed were what appeared to be ‘hoodoos’ like those of Bryce Canyon. However, these were made in a very short time … only days! (See Pictures Below)

These new hoodoos were made by water flowing in packed soil. Makes you wonder …

does it really take thousands of years for hoodoo formation?

 

New hoodoos 1New hoodoos 2New hoodoos 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.brycecanyon.com/about-bryce-canyon/bryce-canyon-geology

 

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.

 

Northern Lights in Minnesota

 

Northern Lights 3Between midnight and 1 AM Wednesday morning, Mary Jo & I were returning to Minneapolis from our university presentations at Duluth. God demonstrated his glory in a great display of northern lights. It was not just a single burst of light, but for many miles along the highway, the display illuminated 1/3 of the sky. The timing was great as this light show punctuated the conversation that we were having with the campus ministry leaders as we were driving. We all actually got out of the car for a while to view the display.

One of the remarkable discoveries about the northern light electromagnetic phenomenon is that if we could have a camera set up in the southern hemisphere we would get a mirror image picture of the same scene pictured here at precisely the same instant. This was demonstrated by researchers several years ago.

We felt privileged to behold this long-lasting northern light display during those many miles on the highway. It certainly fits what I wrote in an earlier blog titled Glorious. Several news channels reported on this display we saw. If you wish to see a great video of this spectacular event taken at another city just west of where we were, check out Northern lights put on show over Minnesota.

 

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.

God Most High

 

God Most High

I sat down today to write about having a high view of God.

“This should be easy,” I thought to myself. “After all, there is so much to say about how big, how awesome God is, it should be no big deal to write that down.”

I was wrong. It is a daunting task indeed to mentally plumb the depths and scale the heights of the greatness of God. I invite you to take a little trip with me as I trace my thoughts on this subject.

Let’s consider….

…The human body – full of complex intricacies and delicately balanced systems that centuries worth of scientists have not fully comprehended.

…Outer space – miles upon miles of vastness, galaxies of stars and our own solar system, all of which contain inexplicable features that inspire scientists and artists alike to marvel.

…The Oceans – murky depths and shallow wonders, teeming with life and color, mystery and intrigue.

…Underground caves – revealing another world’s worth of pattern and scenery, creatures and mineral growth.

…Animals – from insects to birds to crawling creatures, the wild assortment displays design.

…History – Approximately 6,000 years of time, filled with a mosaic of events that together make up His Story, the working of God through the lives of men.

Even with years of incredible scientific advancements, scientists still can’t comprehend the immense mysteries that remain. All of these things together merely scratch the surface as a representation of the created universe. “But,” you may ask, “What does this have to do with the bigness of God? You can’t use the physical world to discuss that – it’s got to be all spiritual.”

In fact, I believe that the investigation and marvel of the physical world is a vital part of the study and worship of God. Many people object to a God who asks us to believe in Him, though He is not seen. I can understand the argument, but it is actually unfounded.

Romans 1:20 says “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

Belief in God does require faith, but that does not mean that He has given us no proof! His power, nature and attributes have been on display since Day One…..literally.

So I ask you this: is your God big enough to be Savior and Creator? Or has the deception of evolution caused you to have a low view of God?

Little inconsistencies in our beliefs can often lead to hairline cracks in our faith. At first they may be invisible, but they can eventually result in a decaying foundation. If we do not believe God could have created the world and all it contains in 6 literal days as it says in Genesis 1, then do we really believe that Christ literally was crucified for our sins and was raised on the third day? (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) Can we toss out the first chapters of the Bible, and still keep the gospel?

Praise God, He is trustworthy and reliable, unchanging, all-knowing, and everlasting! He has shown us Himself through the wonders of His creation and the truth of His word. I invite you to look around, and consider and marvel with me…our God is truly God most high!

 

Aimee Mariani

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.

WHAT’S THE EVIDENCE?

 

What's the evidence human evolution

Dave and Mary Jo Nutting (directors of AOI) taught me early on, when we joined this ministry, to recognize the pretty pictures, or what we call ARTWORK. We find these everywhere – school textbooks, media, scientific journals, and museums – and it is being shown and used as evidence for evolution. What we always teach in our seminars is ARTWORK is just someone’s personal idea of the evidence. Once we understand that, then we should ask, “What’s the Evidence?”  In other words, what was found to get that ARTWORK?  “What’s the evidence?” is a good sword to wield against the lies of evolution.

Below is a short article that Pastor Jerry wrote about our talks in his “Running the Race” commentary in the NSCF bulletin for 9/22/13:

One of satan’s favorite tactics is intimidation. He does so in order to restrict our joy and take away our witness. His constant barrage of accusations (see Rev. 12:10) is meant to divert our attention from the greatness of God to our own failure, shame and littleness. I was thinking about this last week while listening to Lanny Johnson [of Alpha Omega Institute] address about 50 upper level Christian School students.

As he exposed the lies of evolutionary teaching regarding the origin of man and the age of the earth, he challenged the young people to ask the other side, “What is the evidence?” In other words, don’t let them intimidate you!

Evolution is an empty lie, refuted by the truths declared to us in God’s Word. We don’t have to be ashamed or embarrassed for believing it. If the enemy accuses us of being simple minded or close, that describes us perfectly! Our attention will not be diverted from the greatness of our God by the little minds that deliver lies and not evidence. “What is the evidence?”  It is the evidence of God’s Word, which as Josh McDowell put it in ‘Evidence That Demands a Verdict’.

 

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.

3-D Brain

 

Brain 3DMy first recollection of 3-D technology was as a kid going to the 3-D movies, where we were handed a pair of cheap, cardboard colored glasses, with one red lens made of a flimsy plastic material, and the other lens of blue plastic. It wasn’t very exciting, but with a little imagination you thought you were seeing in three-dimensions. I understand the 3-D movies today are a vast improvement over the movies of old.

Today we know that brain cells communicate with each other through connections which reach out in three dimensions. The speed at which cells communicate with each other has been shown to be very rapid, even while we sleep.

Until recently, the “thinking” parts of a computer have only been able to communicate using two dimensional flat chips. Scientists felt computers could be greatly enhanced if they could develop a three-dimensional computer chip that mimicked the wiring of the brain.

The first 3-D chip arrangement was in cell phones, however these are just individual flat chips stacked on top of each other. Researchers have recently developed true three-dimensional chips (called TSVs). These TSVs are more efficient than flat chips – they pack more “thinking” power into a smaller space, work faster, and use less power. Chip manufacturers are working on methods to mass produce TSVs.

Scientists understand that mimicking the 3-D wiring of the brain greatly improves computer technology (at least in the area of calculation), but they also understand that they are nowhere close to mimicking the total power of the brain… a brain that points to the creative genius of a Creator!

 

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.

What Are You Looking At?

 

It’s incredibly easy to get off track from where we need to be. I am a task-oriented person, delighted when I am crossing things off my “to-do” list. But how do we know what really needs to get done? What if we doubt and question where we are, what we’re doing, and where we’re going? And what if that “to-do” list becomes the end-all? If the number of tasks crossed off becomes a gauge for the value of what we are doing?

What is the ultimate goal? Where should our sights be set? The answer is startlingly simple and beautifully complex:

The Gospel.

If Christ is not in the center of our vision, we can easily swerve from our course.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

A dear, wise friend recently reminded us to, in our focus on creation teaching, not to lose sight of the Gospel because ultimately it is the Gospel that brings salvation.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)

If we focus so intently on the goal of teaching creation that we forget why it matters – how it supports and points to the Gospel of Christ – we will miss the point. After all, it isn’t facts that change people, it is the work of Christ through the Holy Spirit that saves them. So whatever we’re doing, let’s run well, studying, thinking, working, teaching, learning, growing… not merely for the sake of doing, or crossing items off a list, or getting the job done.

Let us live with the truth of the gospel of Christ at the center.

 

Aimee Mariani

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.

 

 

 

Do Scientists Cheat?

 

Here is an interesting documentary from a popular secular source, NOVA. Remember to be skeptical and do your research to study and evaluate the claims that you hear, be a Berean.

Do Scientists Cheat?

By NOVA in 1988

 

questionsThings to think about:

-Science works on an assumption that scientists are being truthful and their data is true.

-What percentage is acceptable in dealing with how many scientists cheat?

-Is 1% acceptable? .1%? What is the possible true percentage?

-Piltdown Man example

-“People believed in it, because they wanted to believe.”

-It was not until the 1950’s that it was disproven.

-This deceived almost a whole generation.

-“Sometimes cultural bias overwhelms scientific objectivity.”

-Organized skepticism is important.

-Burt’s faked psychology testing.

-Breuning’s work on medicine and the behavior of “mentally retarded” people.

-Sometimes the results are very clear and most often data can be interpreted in many ways.

-You should do further research and more experiments, but you might not want to take that extra time, effort and MONEY.

-“It doesn’t take much to cook the data.”

-You have to rely on the ’Truthfulness’ of the data that is recorded.

-Fraudulent or sloppy work can still be published through any publisher.

-With over 1 million papers being written each year, most are not read or important.

-repeating studies is not worth it and if you do repeat a study, and the results are different, there are too many variables usually to disprove the previous papers.

-Scientists are not surprised with the idea that fraud is happening.

-90% of the scientists that have ever lived were alive in that time.

-You can’t get ahead, get tenure, or advance if you are unsure of the results of your experiment…so scientists have learned to make their results worth something – often even if their data isn’t conclusive.

-The environment of the scientific community lends itself to making more out of your data than it really says.

-Even young students lied about their results.

-Scientists have signed their names on as many papers as possible so that they can be more advanced.

-Robert Slutsky had many fraudulent and questionable papers.

-Standard deviations (errors) are often made smaller so that the results look better.

-We don’t assume that someone we know is being fraudulent, especially if they are of higher rank than you or if they are well respected.

-Whistle-blowing can be dangerous for your own reputation.

-“We cannot have cheating and fraud in Medical research!”

-This should be ethically required, legally required, and morally required.

 

Other resources for this topic:

http://creation.com/science-fraud-epidemic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_misconduct (use discretion in believing Wikipedia…and all of these sources)

http://www.naturalnews.com/041592_scientific_fraud_research_papers_junk_science.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/09/opinion/l-in-commercialized-science-era-fraud-thrives-018791.html

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/half-cancer-scientists-have-been-unable-reproduce-studies-survey-finds

 

Brian Mariani

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 History of the World in 2 Hours – Questions to Consider

 

Here is a very interesting documentary (The History of The World in Two Hours) about the naturalistic view of how life has become the way it is today. Even if this is not what you believe, it is interesting and educational to be able to see their perspective in a full overview. Keep thinking as you watch. They will often say things as a matter of fact, because they believe that these various opinions have been validated. So be skeptical and question and research the basis for what you hear.

Note: Be open and respectful. Notice that you will clearly hear their worldview and take note of the assumptions that they make.

Ask: Is there evidence for this? How do they know? How does this fit with the Bible and how is it contrary?

Notice that they don’t believe in the worldwide flood and so the rock layers have formed slowly over time.

 

History-of-the-Universe13.7 Billion years ago

-“For reasons, we may never know…our universe suddenly erupts…”

-What was before the big bang?

-Why did the big bang happen?

-Why wasn’t the big bang uniform in its explosion?

-How did the big bang create the energy?

-How fast was energy moving at the early stage of the big bang?

-First atoms – 380,000 years after

-How did the energy become hydrogen?

-“Where there is stuff, more stuff can develop…where there isn’t, more…”

-How are stars formed?

-How can gravity overcome temperature and diffusion forces of gasses?

-How does clumping of gas (stars) happen?

-Heavier elements are formed in stars.

-When was the first supernova? (why so soon?)

-Is there observation of heavy elements created in a supernova?

-How do we still have so much Radioactive material on the Earth?

-How did the sun get all of that mass/matter?

-How did the planets form?

-Why are some planets solid rock and why are some gas planets?

-GRAVITY IS NOT THAT STRONG!

 

4.5 Billion years ago

-How did the Earth and moon stabilize after such a destructive collision?

-How was the moon able to tilt the earth due to the collision – shouldn’t we see after effects of unstable or elliptical rotation?

-How far away from the Earth was the moon at 3.8 billion years ago when oceans formed…what were the tides like?

 

3.8 billion years ago

-That was a huge jump between chemical compounds and a strand of DNA. How did it do that?

-How simple was the first cell?   (How did that gain more DNA –genetic material, and become more complex…we see no evidence of that today?)

 

2.5 billion years ago

-Do we see evidence today of rusted iron (iron oxide) from the first oceans?

-How do we go from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells?

-How do organisms become multi-celled?

 

550 million years ago

-Why was the Cambrian explosion so fast?

-Where is the evidence for the transition between Precambrian animals and Cambrian animals?

-Where is the evidence for the transition between Cambrian to modern day organisms?

-Why did the amphibian evolve from a fish? (or how?)

-What is the evolution of bugs?

-How did the egg go from jelly-like to shell-like?

 

300 million years ago

-Coal is created for us…how?

 

250 million years ago

-Permian Extinction – more than 70% of all organisms went extinct due to volcanic destruction

-Now the continents divide from one continent – what was Pangaea (or continents) like before this time?

 

65 million years ago

-Where was this meteorite? What is the evidence? Because this meteorite strike was so big, would this ruin all attempts of dating rock, since that meteorite might spread all over the world?

-Why are the sea shells able to pile up at the bottom of oceans?

 

10 million years ago

-Mountains disrupt weather patterns and cause the beginning of the ice age.

-Why is grass just now (simultaneously?) taking over? What is the mechanism for more grasslands?

 

2.6 million years ago

-How do we know when this advancement of rock chipping and tools happened?

-“Earth is unique in its ability to sustain fire”

-“Our ancestors had fire firmly under control around 800,000 years ago.

-How is cooked meat linked to brain capacity?

 

200,000 years ago

-When did we begin to think and become conscious as compared to animals? How did this evolve?

-“Dispersal is extinction insurance.”

-50,000 years ago glaciers descended from the poles over the continents.

-What caused the ice age?

-How did we get symbolic thought?

-Is there evidence of human remains and building around the coasts as the ocean levels were lower? (ruins now underwater?)

-The emergence of rivers (and therefore river valleys) becomes influential in the settling of humans.

-How did it take us this long to plant seeds?

 

2,600 years before us

-Why is religion just now happening?

-Was monotheism before or after polytheism?

-The Bible explains that Adam and Eve knew God.

 

2,000 years before us

-Why is disease getting worse?

-Note: No mention of the name of Jesus Christ or explanation about him…simply about Constantine converting and then Christianity spreading around the west.

 

500 years before us

-How much did ancient people use boats in the past?

-If they did, how was that technology and knowledge lost?

-Notice the humanistic (almost worship of man) happy ending.

 

Brian Mariani

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.

Massive Canyon Discovered

 

Frank Sherwin, a friend of mine serving at ICR, sent me a link to an interesting article. According to the online site, a canyon almost twice as long as the Grand Canyon has been discovered under the ice in Greenland by utilizing airborne radar data.  ( to read the article - Massive ‘Grand Canyon’ Found Hidden Beneath Greenland’s Ice ; here is another article with additional links and some quick thoughts from a different perspective – Grand Canyon Demoted by New Discovery)

New-Canyon-Discovered-in-GreenlandThe winding channel is about 2600 feet deep in some places. The article states:

“One might assume that the landscape of the Earth has been fully explored and mapped,” said Jonathan Bamber, professor of physical geography at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and lead author of the study. “Our research shows there’s still a lot left to discover.”

I find that quite intriguing, especially considering the quest to discover Noah’s Ark which some suggest is under a thick blanket of ice in the mountain range encompassing Mount Ararat. Skeptics have maintained that an ark of the Biblical portion (1.5 to 2 football fields in length) should be a piece of cake to locate. They then use that assumption to dismiss the idea that there really was a Biblical Flood.  This discovery shows that even massive items or structures beneath ice sheets and glacier fields can certainly go undetected for a long time.  Even as large as Noah’s Ark was, it is miniscule compared to the size of the recently discovered canyon.

It is also exciting to think about other features that may lie hidden, either in the depths of the sea or even on land. Some of these may be hidden like this canyon, but other things may be just sitting under our noses waiting for someone to realize their significance.  A good starting point could be spending some time with Google Earth images. If you decide to pursue it, have fun exploring!

 

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.