Creation Evangelism

Posted on Aug 22, 2013 in Stepaneks from the Front | 0 comments

  Looking back over this summer’s camps and VBS programs… we had a wonderful year.  We had a full summer with a number of different teaching opportunities.  Many of the campers either trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior, rededicated their lives to the LORD, or just had a great time of discipleship. I have discovered using creation evangelism is a wonderful way to explain the gospel, and to proclaim the true character of God.  Using Genesis and creation science as our teaching tools, the students discovered interesting information about God and science. In Genesis chapter one, God the Creator, demonstrates His great power and intelligence in His creation. In Genesis chapter two, God reveals He is the Law Giver by giving Adam a commandment.  He is also viewed as the humble servant by making a very special place (the Garden of Eden) for man to live. God wants the best for mankind, so He supplies and meets every need for the man and woman.  We see the same characteristic with the Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ, when He washes the smelly, dirty feet of His apostles. Then in Genesis chapter three, God reveals Himself as the Savior.  Adam eats of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus bringing death and sin into the world (1 Cor. 15:22 – For as in Adam all die,…).  The expression, ‘surely die,’ means to be physically put to death.  Adam and the Woman are to physically die on the day that Adam eats of the fruit, because this is what the law demands and God, as the just judge, must carry out the law.  But, God as the loving God that He is allows a substitute sacrifice.  Adam and the Woman were covered with coats of skin.  Which means innocent animals became substitutes and died, so the man and the woman would live, thus appeasing the law. We know from Scripture that the death of animals does not take away sin and death, but God (‘The Word’ John 1:1, 14) takes on human flesh and dies for our sins.  He knows we can’t save ourselves, so the Servant of servants, Jesus Christ, does a task that no human being can do, die on the cross to take away our sins.  I believe this is God’s greatest act of love and servanthood.  All we have to do is trust in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to have our sins forgiven.  It is all very simple. When the campers understand the meaning of Christ’s death through creation evangelism, they realize their sinful state and believe!  Glory!   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...

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Local Creation Museums

Posted on Aug 20, 2013 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

On our recent trip to a friend’s wedding, Aimee and I were driving through the middle of Nebraska, through big farms and small towns, and just so happened across “The Boneyard Creation Museum” in Broken Bow, Nebraska. That night we didn’t have the chance to visit, but immediately thought, “WE NEED TO GO THERE!” So Monday morning came and we were again in the middle of rural Nebraska, on our way back home, and pulled up with great anticipation of what we might see and experience at “The Boneyard.” We made it to the door and saw the sign with the words “Closed on Mondays,” and our hearts sank a bit, but the door was open and we saw a few people inside…so we inquired about entrance. The owner said, “Come on in!” There were some other visitors who had asked to come, so the owner had arranged to meet them for a tour. Praise God for the perfect timing to allow us the opportunity to tag along! This museum was a rather unique find! One of our goals at AOI is to train others about Creation in a way that they can go out and multiply the work and share the message of Creation… and ultimately the gospel. We want to go a step further and make disciple-makers…and not just disciples (although that is good too). So right now, I am all about seeing small local Creation groups and Creation Museums “pop” right out of the cornfields! In fact, we are working on resources to prepare you to start your own creation groups and museums, or maybe, just the right resources for you to simply host a Bible study…without a lot of headaches. “The Boneyard” has a number of fantastic exhibits, many of which are home-made and well done. The museum is a small, well decorated warehouse that has great sections about Worldviews, Timelines, Astronomy, Dinosaurs, Spontaneous Generation, Homology, Natural Selection, Mutations, Supposed Human Ancestors, Radiometric Dating, Mount St. Helens and more! There are some wonderful hands-on demonstrations and an excellent collection of fossils. There are even four video stations you can visit! The owner assured us that it is still a work in progress, but it is already a great testimony to truth for the surrounding rural communities. Check out their website. We are excited and look forward to supplying you with resources on how you can set up your own ministry, and who knows…maybe that garage of yours will become a fascinating new local attraction!   Brian and 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...

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An Inside Scoop to Children’s Creation Ministry!

Posted on Aug 13, 2013 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  A recent opportunity has become such a blessing to us, that I thought I would let you in on it.  As Aimee and I are just starting out and plugging in to AOI’s Creation ministry, God is continually teaching us. We had the privilege to go to Redcloud Family Camp and help out with the Children’s ministry. Alan and Diane Galbraith were in charge with a lot of help from their grandson, Griffin. Sue Stepanek, Aimee, and I were all able to help as well. So we had the inside peek to what goes on in the Children’s ministry. For five full days, we helped out as we could with plenty of teaching, labs, activities, crafts and more. We covered a lot of information and did a lot of hands-on learning. Aimee and I learned a lot of good classic activities and had a lot of great new ideas. If you have never experienced a Children’s Creation week, check it out. It’s great teaching on Dinosaurs, the Creation vs. Evolution debate, the amazing design of animals, the amazing fossil evidence of Noah’s flood, and I even shared about The Genius of Ancient Man (check out their blog). This includes great puppet shows too! There are great exhibits, demonstrations, and labs with a lot of dinosaurs, animals, fossils, shells, minerals, and other rocks. This is a great opportunity for kids to explore, observe, and do science for themselves. They even got to measure out the life-size perimeter of Noah’s Ark in a field outside, and explore the great scale of the universe online! The kids made some great things to take home to remind them of the day’s teaching including: A Constellation viewer using a Pringles can A Personally designed Dino T-shirt A Creation Bead wristband – to remember God’s order of creation in 6 days A Candle decorated with flowers picked by each kid A shell craft A fossil imprint plaster A homemade sock-puppet And More!   The kids even had a lot of fun memorizing 5-10 verses each and got little prizes to take home! Wow, what a great time…and a tiring time, but we are sure that God was working through that week! What an amazing ministry this is and can be for kids all over the country…or even the world! Praise God!   Brian (and 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...

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Enjoying God’s Creation

Posted on Aug 6, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

Mary Jo & I recently taught a week long kid’s camp at Camp Shiloh in Wyoming. On the way back, we decided to spend the weekend in the Wind River Range in Wyoming, enjoying God’s Creation… which we had been preaching about that entire week. I hope you enjoy the shots. These “older vintage” hikers managed a 12 mile hike high into the wilderness the first day. As if that wasn’t enough, the next day we took a 5 mile hike to loosen up the sore muscles.  Those sore muscles continued to chastise us about acting as though we were still in our 20’s! There are so many wonderful and spectacular places in this world and we feel privileged to be able to see some of it up close. By the way, the young bull moose did not even know that we were within 50 yards of him.  After catching a few pictures, we quietly snuck away. Wildlife is always more challenging than shooting rocks, lakes and flowers. The latter don’t move or run away. We were thankful that this moose was unknowingly quite cooperative. We hope you can slip away for a day or two and also enjoy God’s Creation wherever you might be. Take advantage of those opportunities God puts in your path. I think God likes it when we admire His Creation.   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...

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Water in a Dry Place

Posted on Jul 25, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

  It was a fun, but challenging week at Camp Shiloh in Wyoming, teaching 45 kids, ages 6-16, from extremely diverse backgrounds. Some of the kids were from solid Christian homes and have been at camp every summer for many years. Others were there for the first time and came from extremely difficult home situations. In addition there are cultural differences, as about ¼ of the kids are Native Americans from a nearby reservation. The knowledge level and spiritual understanding of the kids was so varied. Some were strong believers in Jesus – others didn’t even know who He is. Teaching such a diverse group can be a real challenge, but we believe each child came by God’s sovereignty and design. Each one is fearfully and wonderfully made and needs to know the truth of Creation and the wonderful love of the Lord in salvation. Camp Shiloh is an interdenominational camp held at Circle J ranch near Ten Sleep, WY, at the base of the beautiful Big Horn Mountains. The camp sits in a magnificent canyon, and has an interesting history as a cattle ranch, apple orchard, and now a Christian camp and retreat center. Our meetings were held in a quaint historic chapel, and we enjoyed watching a flock of sheep pastured near our campsite, a cattle-drive down the main highway one morning, and the beautiful rushing river that ran through the camp. The only down-side was the heat during the day and the gale-force winds that threatened to blow us away one night (quite an experience in our little roof-top tent!) Creation ministry on the road sometimes has other interesting “challenges.” One night, I had an unexpected surprise as I made a mid-night journey across the camp to the necessary facilities. As I rounded the corner to the bathhouse, I was royally doused by a sprinkler, right by the door of the ladies’ bathhouse! I managed to get inside and do my business, but managed to get doused again as I tried to dodge the sprinkler on my way out. I’m glad it was a warm night. It really was pretty funny, and now I know how they keep the grass so beautifully green in this dry canyon country! We pray that God will water the seeds planted in the hearts of kids that week and touch the life of each child at their level of need. May the lessons learned through the teachings, songs, memory verses, crafts, games, cabin times, and relationships take root and grow strong. What a privilege and blessing it is to teach the truth of Creation, the reliability of the Word, and the wonderful gift of salvation in Jesus!   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...

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Glad Tidings Bible Camp

Posted on Jul 24, 2013 in Stepaneks from the Front | 0 comments

  A couple of weeks ago, I was at Glad Tidings Bible Camp teaching a group of 5th and 6th graders.  They were a lively bunch of kids, full of energy!  It was hard trying to keep up with them.  The time was full of new games and activities. One day, we took a short run in the morning after flag raising.  I played carpet ball with them.  At first they beat me every time, but I eventually got the hang of it.  I participated in ‘capture the flag’ and of course got caught and sent to jail early on in the game.  I also had the opportunity to play ‘gaga ball’ for the first time.  It is a fun and active game. I didn’t just play at camp, there was also chapel time where I taught on creation/Genesis accompanied with the gospel message.  I have discovered by really being a part of the campers lives they are more open to listening to me and the gospel.  There is definitely more to camp than just fun and teaching, there is also counseling. I discover many people who are hurting, confused, and some are in need of some spiritual advice.  I probably spend more time in counseling than teaching.  The needs are so great!  People want more than just milk, they want meat!  Even children!  People want to know the in-depth teachings of Scripture.  It is fun to learn the truth if you use the Bible as your guide to study true science.  It is a delight to see both young and old grow in the LORD!  Thanks for making times like this possible.     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...

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Comfort in the Gospel

Posted on Jul 19, 2013 in Johnsons from the Front | 0 comments

  In all our seminars, Vacation Bible Schools (VBS), and Bible camps, I always share the gospel message in one way or another. At camps and VBS I usually have time to do a skit using three men and my wife to visually demonstrate why Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Part of that presentation involves Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” This verse tells us that it is not by anything we can do ourselves that sin is removed from our lives … it is all about what Jesus did for us on the cross. We have seen many children over the years respond to the gospel message after this presentation. Just last week I was reminded that God’s grace not only impacts our lives with the gift of salvation, but His grace also gives us great comfort. After finishing a salvation message at a VBS last week, I stopped to talk to a woman seated in the auditorium. Even though this particular VBS was a children’s program, instead of a family program that we normally do, this lady had attended every teaching session that week. She shared that she had been having a very rough week, with a lot of conflict and difficulties within her family. She said that when she came that day, she was at the brink of her endurance, but the gospel message had given her a renewed hope and comfort. She was reminded how much Jesus really cared for and loved her, that He was willing to die for her sins. It was that love that gave her great comfort and a renewed strength to face her troubles. When was the last time you pondered the cross and gave thanks for your salvation and gained comfort in it?   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...

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Family Hits Road With Creation

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

  After working so hard teaching and writing, it’s always good to know that your work is having an impact on the lives of others, and that they are taking the material learned from you and passing it on to others. Recently we received an encouraging testimony from a woman in Montana. She wrote:   Quite a few years ago [my husband] and I were at a marriage retreat in Colorado – over by Horn Creek at Hermit Basin. [We] were edified by the Creation Series. We have since purchased a video series to share with others and have sent one to a friend.  This summer my three younger kids and I are traveling across the states and we made a “re-purposed,” tall, card-board animal book into the creation story – 7 days – and then your copy of the plan of salvation. We have ministered to almost 100 people so far with the Creation story in two weeks – we have 6 weeks left on our journey. One girl came to Christ, one young man rededicated his life, Christians have had answers to where the dinosaurs fit in. The body of Christ has been so excited that we have shared the story with them. Thank you for sharing the truth. [My husband] and I do try to financially support you guys as often as possible. This fall we will be starting small groups in our home showing your DVD series to families. Thank you and bless you!  M.D., Montana (slightly modified)   This family has stepped out in faith and boldness, and God is blessing the endeavor. How encouraging to all of us at AOI! We wish everybody that hears the message of Creation and the Gospel would be so bold and creative. How about praying and asking Him to show you ways you can share with others. AOI’s DVD series would be a great place to start! Call AOI at 800-377-1923 to order a set or check out our website to get even more information, and order it there. “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men [and women], who will be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:2)   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...

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The IFCA National Youth Convention

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 in Stepaneks from the Front | 0 comments

  In June, I had the opportunity to teach at the IFCA National Youth Convention which was held on the Appalachian Bible College campus.  Over 370 youth (junior and senior high students), from 30+ churches, attended the conference.  Each year the convention seems to grow just a little more.  This is a good sign since the convention is focused on training youth to be more involved in the church.  The competition was fierce, but in a godly way.  The final Bible knowledge competition went into overtime with the champions winning by only ten points. It is a great privilege to be involved in the lives of these godly young people.  I had the pleasure to teach sixteen hours while at the convention, sometimes ending as late as 10:30 pm. Some of the comments are below: “Thank you for speaking at the convention this week.  I enjoyed all of your breakout sessions, especially the one on astronomy.  It gave me a glimpse of just how small I really am.  It blows my mind that the God of this universe would love me.  The past few months I’ve really been struggling with committing myself to God’s will completely. Last night I did, and your session on astronomy is one of the reasons I did. Thank you so much!” “Dear Mr. Stepanek,  Thank you so much for your boldness in declaring the truth in your Friday breakout session.  If you hadn’t told me these things, I’d probably never have heard them.  May God bless you for telling the truth.” I want to thank our donors and prayer partners, you really make events like this possible.   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...

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Who are the Marianis?

Posted on Jul 11, 2013 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  Hello AOI Followers, we are new on staff at AOI and we wanted to introduce ourselves in our first blog post. We are Brian and Aimee Mariani and here are our brief testimonies of how God has worked in our lives in exciting ways and brought us to this position at AOI! That is actually a picture of us jumping into service with AOI at a Creation Boot Camp at Camp Redcloud during the last week of June. Brian: Hey guys, first off, I grew up in Bloomington, Illinois and was raised in a close family, a good church body, and in public schools. I was always interested in math and science and first learned of Creation science right before high school. I always just trusted the Bible at face value, since it is God’s word. So as a freshman and in biology class, I never knew how to combat the arguments of evolution. God led me to two different secular universities as I studied for a physics teaching degree all the while struggling to explain my faith and the evidence to my peers. It saddened me to see very intelligent people deceived by the claims of evolution. God then led me to Jackson Hole Bible College, which strengthened my creation worldview and I had the opportunity to research and help write The Genius of Ancient Man with the research team there. This is where Aimee and I met and got to know each other. From there I spent two years teaching science at a small Christian school, where I was blessed to be able to teach them the evidence, the arguments, and the philosophies as we compared creation and evolution. I was able to show my students how the Bible is consistent, that God did create everything in six days, and that there is evidence to back that up. I was also able to show the pervasiveness of evolution, despite there being very little evidence to support the theory and a lot of things that could simply discredit the theory. Aimee: I grew up in northern California in a strong Christian home. My seven younger siblings and I were all homeschooled through high school, which was a huge blessing. This not only knit a tight bond of friendship within our family, but also helped to give us a strong foundation and belief in Biblical creation. My parents both have a love for science and encouraged us all to learn and marvel at God’s creation, and my dad, a mechanical engineer, loved to explain scientific concepts to us in an interesting and understandable way. After high school, God used my love for history to lead me to a position at Rock-N-Water, a Christian camp in California. Over the years I ended up being a program director there. This was a huge part of my practical education, where I learned a lot...

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Smoke in Camp

Posted on Jul 10, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 4 comments

  Mary Jo & I were recently conducting a Creation Action Boot Camp at Camp Redcloud. One day in each camp is set aside for an all day group activity – this time we chose a hike up 14,000+  foot Redcloud Peak. When we got there at the beginning of the week, a fire was raging on the other side of the ridge from Camp Redcloud. At least this ridge is the continental divide which has sufficient altitude to put it above tree line. This was a great barrier to keep us safe from the fire. But what about the smoke?  Fortunately, we had prevailing winds that kept everything clear at our Boot camp. However, the evening before the anticipated hike, the wind shifted and the valley became filled with smoke from the fire. That night, the air was thick and there was concern if the group could do their mountain climb activity if the air quality didn’t improve.  According to the report we had received, the poor air quality was to continue until 4PM the day of the hike. Not good! We told Grant, the leader of the group that had joined us from the University of Minnesota, about the issue and that he should pray about the situation as it may make it inadvisable for the group to make the climb. “Let’s pray right now,” he suggested. We did. Within two minutes the air began to clear, stars became visible, and a favorable breeze was noticed. In a few more minutes most of the smoke had cleared. In the morning, the air was as clear as mountain air should be and the group embarked on the climb. That was a real and quick answer to prayer and a good reminder to cast all our cares upon the Lord!   Dave Nutting If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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Dinosaurs at DIA

Posted on Jul 9, 2013 in Stepaneks from the Front | 0 comments

  Pioneer Bible Camp just continued to get better.  The campers were just getting started and began asking even more questions.   I believe in part because I took the time to partake in some of their activities. A wise man I knew from Minnesota once said, “people do not care what you know until they know that you care.”  How true! Most of the counselors attending Pioneer Bible Camp are from Bible schools and colleges.  It was an encouragement to dialogue with the counselors as well as the campers.  One counselor made the observation that by reading Genesis literally it would help prevent him from falling into false doctrines and also help him to defend the faith.  One camper expressed his excitement in planning to attend a Bible school so he could learn even more about Scripture.  Another said his goal was to focus on becoming a godly man, and to prepare himself for whatever God has planned for him.  It is always exciting to see young people get excited about the Word! After I finished teaching at Pioneer Bible Camp, I departed as soon as I could for a six and half hour drive home.  I arrived home at 11:00 pm to unload and re-pack in preparation for my next speaking trip to West Virginia. My plane departed Saturday morning at 9:30 am, and I would not arrive at the airport in Charleston, WV, until 11:30 pm. I had a number of long delays along the way. One such layover was in Denver, where I met a father and his two young daughters.  They also had been waiting for quite some time to catch a plane.  His daughters were getting bored.  We got to talking and I informed him that I taught about dinosaurs.  His girls had a number of questions about them, so I did my dinosaur PowerPoint program to answer their questions.  The father had so many of his questions answered that he thought this information would be valuable for his church.  You just never know when you may have a teaching opportunity that helps someone to have a better understanding about God and His creation.  I thank God for such opportunities.   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...

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We Have a New Location! 2140 Broadway, Unit B-103. Our phone number has not changed: 970-523-9943 / 800-377-1923.