Profile On Stewardship: Bill and Ellie Vandervelden

Bill and Ellie Vandervelden met at a Bible study, but it was not until ten years later they went on their first date. He loved scuba diving and she loved ballroom dancing – but their love for Jesus surmounted every difference. For their first Christmas together Bill gave Ellie scuba lessons and Ellie gave Bill ballroom dancing lessons. From that time on, they have pursued both hobbies with great passion.

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Oil and Water

At the time of this writing, the largest oil spill in U.S. history is still not under control. For 56 days after British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil platform was destroyed by fire, an estimated 1.7 million gallons of oil per day are pluming up from the well some 5,000 feet deep. The ecologic and economic impact of this event is unknown. The emotional toll has Gulf coast residents, many who rely upon fishing and tourism for their livelihoods, in fear and anger over the negative impact to their lives. And, let us not forget the families of 11 workers who lost their lives during the Deepwater Horizon fire.

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The Third Diver

Imagine yourself on a scuba dive to 120 feet. The conditions are good and the dive site is beautiful. It’s really a great dive. That is until you draw in a tight breath of air! You look at your pressure gauge and see the needle measuring under 100 psi of air remaining in your tank. You quickly realize that you failed to monitor your air supply often and now you’re in immediate need of air.

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“I Feel Closer to God Underwater Than Anywhere Else on Earth”

By Tec Clark

I first heard this expression 28 years ago, from my mother, just as we completed our Open Water Diver course. When I became a scuba instructor, I heard this again and again from students who were overwhelmed by the beauty and diversity of the underwater world. So what is it about the underwater world that makes people feel closer to God?

Key Largo

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The Great Rescue


Last week I taught another Rescue Diver class. My background as a sheriff’s department dive team member, a national scuba training agency director, and a forensic dive accident investigator serve me well in teaching a very robust Rescue Diver course. During the class orientation I ask students why they want to become rescue certified. The most prominent response is, “to know how to help others in diving emergencies”. However, it is interesting to see students’ responses to the very first lesson of why most diving accidents occur: poor judgment. As we unpack scenario after scenario, poor judgment on behalf of the injured diver becomes obvious. Sometimes my students’ passion for helping others becomes tainted knowing that the accidents could have been prevented if the injured divers had used common sense or followed the rules.

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No Going Solo

The diving industry has a common safety practice called “the buddy system”.  Since the human body is not designed to be underwater for prolonged periods of time divers must employ procedures, calculations, and equipment to aid in their underwater exploration.  And if something fails in those procedures, calculations, or equipment divers are exposed to a higher than normal risk of injury or death.  That is where the buddy system is effective as dive buddies can assist each other in monitoring their dives and help out in times of need.  However, there is another type of diving that ignores the safety principles of having a dive buddy and relies on oneself  – solo diving.

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Scuba and Scripture Liveaboard Retreat 2013


Enjoy Christian fellowship, scuba diving, and worshiping God as you experience His glorious underwater creation for a week-long liveaboard adventure exploring the Exuma Islands of the Bahamas! The Reef Ministries Scuba & Scripture Liveaboard Retreat is a unique Christ-centered way to enjoy a liveaboard dive trip.

Reef Ministries is enhancing the liveaboard mantra of “dive, eat, sleep and dive again” by adding creation biology presentations, devotionals, and worship to the daily activities. And, with up to five scuba dives per day, your opportunities to explore God’s underwater world are plentiful. Other activities include snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, star gazing, and island exploring. Continue reading “Scuba and Scripture Liveaboard Retreat 2013”

The Flaw of Science

Christian, what do you believe? Evolutionary Science or Scripture?
By Tec Clark

We are inundated with “research” and “data” of the physical sciences. Simply peruse the television to see countless programs documenting nature, and you will inevitably get evolutionary doctrine mentioned in every episode. “Millions of years”, “evolution”, “Darwin” all seem to be requisite words flowing freely from the mouths of the narrators. But hold on. When scientists produce data from the physical evidence (rocks, galaxies, coral, primates, etc.) they automatically look at the evidence with a particular “worldview lens” already in place: either uniformitarian or biblical. If a scientist does not believe in God or scripture, then the origins of life, the accounts of earth creation, and accounts of a global flood are all simply fictional stories and cannot be used in the interpretation of the evidence. This leads to fundamentally flawed data since interpretation and analysis never even get a chance to consider the possibilities of a Sovereign God.

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Shark Week Woes

One of the most frequently asked questions about Reef Ministries’ trips is, “What about sharks?”  This seemingly benign question is loaded with apprehension as most people only encounter sharks through their television.  Take for instance the annual occurrence of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.  Every year producers attempt to create programs that are increasingly dramatic from the year before.  Stories of naval seamen being eaten, surfers losing limbs, and actual footage of shark bites on humans evoke sheer terror in most people watching.  Combine that with a large amount of evolutionary dogma added in and you have an overly inaccurate portrayal of one of the most important animals in God’s underwater world.

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