Training Your “Cubs” for Survival

      Dave and Mary Jo Nutting have a creation ministry entitled the  Alpha Omega Institute located in Grand Junction, Colorado. A number of  years ago we had the privilege of having them come to the Troy High School  auditorium and put on a seminar on “Creation vs. Evolution.” They did an  excellent job and have a very effective outreach ministry as they present the  scientific evidence for creation.
    This past July they  came to Montana to teach two weekend creation family camps at Glacier Meadows  Lodge as well as a church seminar in Chester, Montana. In between seminars they  had a couple of days off so got to do some hiking in Glacier National Park and  got to witness something very amazing. They watched a sow black bear trying to  teach her three cubs to swim across a river. They related the story in their  September/October 2010 newsletter Think and Believe. I contacted the  Nuttings and asked permission to share their story and application as it really  fits the purpose and goal of the “Wisdom of the Week” articles I share with you.  Here’s the scene that the Nuttings had the unique privilege of observing:
     “The mama bear  swam part-way out into the water again and again but the cubs would not follow.  So back to the shore she would go. Occasionally we’d see her up on the shore  with the cubs following. Then she would try another spot–or return to the same  spot. I can only imagine what she was telling them, but she was very persistent  in her efforts!  Finally, two of the cubs followed her across the river, but we could hear the third bawling loudly on the other shore. So back across she went. However, instead of staying put on the shore, the two cubs that were  already safely across followed her back–one swimming in the water and the other jumping on her back for a ride!  At this point you would think any mother would lose her patience or just give up, but not this mama. She continued working with those cubs until she finally succeeded in getting all three cubs safely across the river.
     “Reflecting on this experience, I am reminded of how important it is to be diligent and  persistent in teaching our ‘cubs’ the knowledge and skills they need to survive in the hostile environment in which they live. There are many dangerous ‘rivers’  which young people need to learn to navigate in order to survive and thrive in  this world with a vibrant faith. Students need careful and persistent teaching  to learn to ‘swim’ safely through the currents of popular philosophies and  teachings. There are also many dangers and obstacles to faith. Some of these are just natural hazards of living in a fallen world; others are dangers arising  from our own sin nature. However, some are traps which are laid for the purpose  of demolishing the faith of students and causing them to fall. In our  experience, evolution is one of the major philosophies destroying the faith of unprepared Christian youth. It permeates our society and underlies many of the other destructive philosophies and obstacles to faith. Schools, textbooks,  museums, national parks, the media, and even many churches present evolutionary philosophy as though it were scientific ‘fact.’ As a result, many students begin to doubt or even reject the plain teaching of the Word of God. This can lead to  ungodly thinking, destructive lifestyles, or even to out-and-out rejection and mocking of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
    “Scripture warns:  ‘Beware lest anyone take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of  the world, and not according to Christ’ (Col. 2:8).  It also says,  ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the  faith’ (I Pet. 5:8).
      “If we as parents, grandparents, and mentors really believed that there was a lion seeking to devour our children, would we be complacent or would we do everything in our power to protect them?  Like the mama bear in Glacier  National Park, we must be diligent and persistent in guarding our children and training them well for life on their own ‘in the wild.’  ”         (Amen!  Good words,  Mary Jo!)
     And by the way,  the Alpha Omega Institute website has lots of great material to help you train your ‘cubs.’ Check it out at  
You might also ask to be put on their mailing list for the bimonthly publication of Think and Believe and the accompanying Kids Think and Believe Too.
                                                                                                                   Forever His
                                                                                                                     Pastor Dave


About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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