Tom, our daughter Melissa and Jennifer Ish
The tree is "only" 250 feet tall and over 25 feet in diameter six feet above the ground!
Louis Agassiz was a naturalist, geologist, and teacher.
He was a lifelong opponent of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
Creation Illustrated is published quarterly (beginning in Fall 1993) as a private, nonprofit, non-denominationally owned ministry dedicated to the eternal impact of sharing Biblical truth and character-building lessons through the blessings of God's creation.
The editors and publishers are a Christian couple, Tom and Jennifer Ish, who homeschooled their daughter, Melissa, and have dedicated their lives to serving God by providing positive choices in reading material for the whole family.
Our purpose is to share the wonders of God's creation. By revealing fresh insights of His infinite wisdom, gentle touch, undeniable justice, redeeming love, and flawless design, pure truth shall bring renewed peace. Each part of this publication is offered as a reprieve from the daily rigors of life so that all can look to the future with unbridled gratitude and hope.
In 1993 the couple wondered how they could work together out of the home, and they thought with Tom's background in journalism and Jennifer's training in health education, why not a health journal? With too much competition in that area, they asked, "What do people need most in our fast-paced society?" Stress relief was the obvious answer, and that could come only through a greater understanding of and appreciation for the loving Creator and Redeemer. And what better way to share His tender mercy than through His handiwork?
Hence, Creation Illustrated was born with its three sections on nature, Scripture, and living to provide a balance of mental, spiritual, and physical enrichment in each edition. But this would not have been possible without major advancements in desktop publishing computer technology. With digital photography and all of the layout, design, 4-color separations, and editing done on computer, the publication could be done for a fraction of the cost of conventional magazine publishing with only two people rather than eight or so.
As progress and wide reception of the publication has taken it to all 50 states and 35 foreign countries (so far), Tom has been able to download the record keeping to an accountant as well as some of the promotions to a marketing assistant and various distributors. The circulation details have also been transferred from Jennifer's shoulders to a magazine fulfillment company in Southern California.
But there is still much planning, promotion, editing, proofing, and design work that must happen every quarter. Photos are submitted by free-lance photographers from all over the country (and even some from overseas) to accompany stories that have been assigned or have been submitted by free-lance writers. Great attention is given to every detail to see that about 1,300 items on a checklist are covered for each edition. Working as a team, even six-year-old Melissa gets involved in selecting the cover photo and color which augments her homeschooling.
Then the stories and photos sent to Denver, Colorado where final preparations are made for the press. After final proofing and printing on large 4-color presses, the publication is run through the bindery and shipped off to the mailing house where our mailing list has been sent by the fulfillment company. Within days, subscribers are reading about the wonders of Creation and sharing the blessings with others.
It is with heartfelt gratitude that the publishers recognize that none of the above (or the two Angel Awards) would be possible without the dedication and talent of writers, photographers, proof readers, record keepers, marketers, data processors, printers, and mailers. And none of these tasks would happen without the interest and support of readers and sponsors who want to see Creation Illustrated spread far and wide.
We learned that instead of one Angel Award, God surpassed our hopes as Creation Illustrated was granted two Silver Angels for Excellence in Print Media and Photography at the 22nd Annual International Angel Awards in Hollywood. The Angel Awards organization is dedicated to encouraging people to produce positive and spiritually enriching material for the film, television, radio, print, music, and video industries.
Our trip to Hollywood for the awards banquet was an experience in itself, and God again blessed beyond measure as our marketing assistant obtained permission to give everyone in attendance a copy of Creation Illustrated. Our six-year-old daughter, Melissa, even gave "Touched by an Angel" star Roma Downey a copy, and they posed for a photo together. Our prayers were answered when several other contacts were made at the event, and we trust that many will turn out to be very fruitful relationships.
When submitting press releases to newspapers on the awards, there was a definite desire to gain exposure and name recognition for the promotion of our product while sharing the truth about our Creator God. Again our hopes were surpassed when the story appeared in several newspapers (twice on the front page). God blesses beyond our expectations so often, we can only give Him the credit for opening the way and impressing the editors to run our story in a prominent position.
Then came the public reaction of friends and totally new contacts who congratulated us on the awards and showed a keen interest in Creation Illustrated. We confess that in the haste of various moments, we didn't always point to our God (without whom we could do nothing). We simply express
Let us take this opportunity to say from our hearts that none of the past five years of minor and major miracles in publishing Creation Illustrated could have possibly happened without the guiding hand and direct intervention of an all wise, all loving God who desires a positive eternal outcome for all His children. It has been a faith building venture that has codified our belief in Him who says we must simply believe. Our work and service, we pray, are an expression of our gratitude for His providence and salvation and not something for which we must gain worldly accolades, approval, or stature for having "made the mark."
As the hymn so aptly states, it is only Christ's sacrifice that purchases eternity. We must constantly remind ourselves to ". . . cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down . . ." Only then will we be able to sing praises to God for eternity with the real angels.