"I feel closer to God underwater than anywhere else on Earth"
I first heard this expression 35 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?
Scripture tells us to "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8a NKJV). When we go into the underwater world, especially when scuba diving or snorkeling, we partake in an intimate exploration of God's creation. The natural world (creation) is a wonderful testimony for the existence of God. And, God can be glorified by our rejoicing in His creation. As C. S. Lewis writes in his Reflections on the Psalms, "The world rings with praise - lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game." Also, Jonathan Edwards writes in his book The Works of Jonathan Edwards, "God is glorified not only by His glory's being seen, but by its being rejoiced in." When we behold firsthand the splendor of God's aquatic creation, we must give God the glory and praise He is so worthy of receiving.
"God's Underwater World: Why We Feel Closer to God Underwater" is an online video course that explains, both Biblically and scientifically, the unmistakable beauty, symmetry, order and design of the underwater world that are the Fingerprints of God - our Creator. There are two versions of this course - a Standard Edition and a Homeschool Edition. Both will have chapters featuring amazing and thought provoking subjects including:
- With Which the Water Teams
- Fish & Mammals
- Science & God? Yes!
- Symbiotic Relationships
- What We Learn From Fossils
- How Old Are Coral Reefs?
- Environmental Stewardship
It was put on my heart in 2008 to create a ministry that shared a mission of seeing the underwater world as the handiwork of God. That local ministry has taken hundreds of people snorkeling and diving here in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but now it is time to share this mission with the entire world of divers, snorkelers, and ocean enthusiasts. This online video course will open hearts and minds to God.
"O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions . This great and wide sea, In which are innumerable teeming things, Living things both small and great." Psalm 104:24-25
Please prayerfully consider contributing to this project and its mission.
The assembly of contributors is a line-up of Biblical scholars and marine biologists who have each been blessed with expertise that glorifies God in their areas of proficiency. These contributors are:
- Robert Carter Ph.D.
- Tom DeRosa M.S.
- Christa Jewett M.S.
- John Richert Ph.D.
- Sherri Seligson M.S.
- Frank Sherwin M.S.
Stunning underwater footage from Emmy Award winning videographer Frazier Nivens will be used throughout the course. His material is from all over the world and has breathtaking examples of God's underwater creatures. Many still photos will be from award winning underwater photographer Tim Grollimund.
The "God's Underwater World: Why We Feel Closer to God Underwater" Homeschool Edition is created to complement homeschool curriculum for middle school students and higher. The Homeschool Edition has graded quizzes at the end of each chapter. It also comes with downloadable worksheets for the student, as well as a Facilitator's Guide for parent educators.
Any amount given is a blessing! As pledge amounts increase, so do the rewards. Each level includes the rewards from previous levels. Pledges are not tax-deductible. We start at the $1 with a prayer of thanks for your contribution. At the $10 pledge you will get your name in the credits, as well as a prayer of thanks.
God's Underwater World STANDARD EDITION: At the $15 pledge you will receive first access to the "God's Underwater World: Why We Feel Closer to God Underwater" Standard Edition at 25% off regular price ($19.95). Also, your name in the credits and a prayer of thanks.
God's Underwater World HOMESCHOOL EDITION: At the $23 pledge you will receive first access to the "God's Underwater World: Why We Feel Closer to God Underwater" Homeschool Edition at 25% off regular price ($29.95). Also, your name in the credits and a prayer of thanks.
Video Course Plus The Diver's Devotional Audio Book: At the $50 pledge you will receive The Diver's Devotional audio version. This book contains 40 devotions that tie in diving related themes with scripture. Written by Pastor Paul Hudson and Cory Imboden, both passionate divers, they bring great examples of scriptural context into diving activities. A great devotional for Christian scuba divers. Also, you will receive first access to your choice of either God's Underwater World Standard Edition or Homeschool Edition, your name in the credits and a prayer of thanks.
Video Course, Audio Book & eBook Series: At the $150 pledge you will receive the Marine Life eBook Series by underwater photographer Tim Grollimund. These twelve ebooks feature stunning photography as well as outstanding information on each featured subject. Also, you will receive The Diver's Devotional Audio Book, first access to your choice of either God's Underwater World Standard Edition or Homeschool Edition, your name in the credits and a prayer of thanks.
Diving or Snorkeling with Tec Clark: At the $500 pledge you will get to explore God's underwater world with Tec Clark on either a scuba trip (up to 4 divers) or on a snorkeling trip (up to 6 snorkelers) on the reefs off of Fort Lauderdale, Florida (transportation to Ft. Lauderdale and accommodations are not included). These are worshipful experiences as Tec not only leads the in-water activities, but gives a meaningful presentation on God's Underwater World prior to the experience. Also, you will receive the Marine Life eBook Series, The Diver's Devotional Audio Book, first access to your choice of either God's Underwater World Standard Edition or Homeschool Edition, your name in the credits and a prayer of thanks.
Be a Co-Producer: At the $1,000 pledge you will be CO-PRODUCER. You will be listed as Co-Producer of the God's Underwater World video course! The Co-Producer title is given to those who have financially committed generously to the highest pledge level of this project. Plus, get a two-tank charter scuba dive trip with Tec Clark. Also, you will receive the Marine Life eBook Series, The Diver's Devotional Audio Book, first access to your choice of either God's Underwater World Standard Edition or Homeschool Edition, your name in the credits as a Co-Producer, and a prayer of thanks.
The need for funding is related to production costs. Reef Ministries has secured hours of underwater footage and associated photography. However, to give a professional presentation style, teaching footage is required in a studio. Here is a breakdown of costs:
- Studio Rental $1,100
- Lighting $450
- Camera 1 & Cameraman $750
- Teleprompter & Monitors Setup $100
- Graphics $175
- Music $199
- Kickstarter Estimated Fees $396
Total Project: $3,170
Editing and local interviews will be conducted in-house.
If this project is funded more than the requested amount we have plans for that blessing! We will use additional funds towards the following: Studio backdrop, camera 2 & cameraman at the studio, on-location interviews of as many of the out of state contributors as we can afford, and finally to enhance editing personnel so the course will be live sooner.
Risks and challenges
There has been so much support and excitement about this project that it feels as if challenges are extremely minimal. The challenge that is most present is being able to shoot and edit and meet the deadline of end of November 2017. If the campaign is over funded, then monies may go towards editing so that it could be expedited. However, there is just a very real challenge of life happening and things getting in the way of the process. Towards this end I pray for a smooth process, and seeing how the Lord is blessing this project already, I have faith it will work out.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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