All posts tagged General Thoughts

Presentations at the University

 

University PosterAs you can see from the picture of the poster, Mary Jo and I were recently at Minnesota State University at Mankato. The presentations started last Tuesday evening, I also spent a lot of time at a booth with some college ministries (Maranatha Christian Fellowship and International Student Outreach).

While there, I had a campus newspaper reporter do an interview with me. I gave a lot of good information to him, but you never know about the objectivity of the reporter as well as his editor.  Sometimes there is accurate reporting while at other times —  well, sometimes, I can’t even recognize what they quoted me as saying. Time will tell for this article.

We love engaging students in conversation if they tarry long enough by the booth. The conversations usually range from those that fully agree with us to the atheists who are really looking for a good argument and want to let us know that we have no clue about what evolution teaches (even though we have been giving lectures on it for 30 years).  One student I talked with seemed genuinely interested in coming to the programs (hope she made it).  Of course, the candy given out at the booth always creates some interest and does help lure people in to talk. It’s kind of like going fishing for open minds, and we pray God will continue to send them our way.

We want to thank all our partners, both prayer and financial, for making these university tours possible. We hope you understand what a difference you are making in students’ lives.

 

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.

A Confused Visitor in Paonia…

 

Paonia Event 1Recently I taught in Paonia, CO, for a church which was trying to reach out to their community.  The seminars were held at the public library from Monday through Wednesday.  Before the seminar, I was talking with the pastor about what key topics I should teach on and other important event information.  As we talked, I discovered they had double booked their Wednesday night program.  Wednesday was also the opening night for their local AWANA ministry.  The pastor had realized this after the secretary sent out the mailings for the creation seminar.   We both agreed God must have something special planned for the Wednesday night creation teaching, and He did!

A man came to the library to attend a geology program, but was confused about the actual date.  He came a day to early.  As he talked with one of the church members, he discovered his mistake, but not until after he had heard some of my talk on the scientific evidence for creation.  To my disappointment, the confused guest did not want to stay for the seminar and decided to leave.  Then, to my amazement, he returned!  I tried to listen in on his dialog with a church member.  The guest had asked the question; “Why is this information so important?”

Paonia Event 2It is vitally important, because teaching creation reveals scientific evidence that points to the existence of God and the Bible proclaims information about the Creator and how we can have a relationship with Him.  He stayed for the two and a half hours, listening to the program, asking questions, talking to the pastor, and became interested in learning even more.  As I listened to his questions, I discovered that there is truly a lack of both true scientific and Biblical information in the world.  Because of this lack of knowledge, people are missing the blessings and salvation from the God of creation.

Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”

 

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.

Noah’s Flood – True! – Downpour Demonstration

 

Downpour DemonstrationMary Jo and I were giving a presentation at the Maranatha Christian church (U of Minnesota campus ministry) on a Wednesday night, about a week and a half ago. Thunder, lightning and a huge downpour (pictured right) lasted for the duration of the evening.  Up until then, for our university presentations here in Minnesota, we had weather that made you want to go outside and enjoy the fall weather — but certainly not that night.

Once again, it seems that God was punctuating our lectures as well as conversations. The topic was Noah’s Flood – True! God’s Grace in the Midst of Judgment. How fitting! One person came in absolutely drenched from the huge downpour. What a great demonstration of the Flood topic. Further punctuation was that he had just been given a t-shirt which he was wearing under his drenched sweatshirt which he shared as a testimony that night. The t-shirt had a large picture of Noah’s Ark and the words “The End is Near!”

I love it when God does 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.

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.