Sunday Service

  • 24 January 2021
  • Pastor Troy Renata
  • Faith * Hope * Aroha Series


  • 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting 8-28 February
  • Family Camps at Finlayson Park commencing this coming weekend.

 Last week: Rest

This week:

  • Matthew 15:29-16:12
  • Provision

Feeding 5000 (men, therefore approx. 15,000 people)

  • 5 loaves 2 fish
  • 12 baskets leftover (1 each for each tribe of Israel and/or each disciple)
  • In a Jewish area

Feeding 4000 (men, therefore approx. 12,000 people)

  • 7 loaves 2 fish
  • 7 baskets leftover (a perfect number = completeness)
  • In a Gentile area


  • Provides
  • Is the Sign (the sign of Jonah, Matthew 12:38-41)
  • Opens our eyes

The Yeast of the Pharisees

  • Like Minesweeper
  • Jesus warns us where lies the mines
  • Measure all teaching (especially coming from the front of the church) against Scripture

James says:

  • Winkie Pratney once got us (OAC Ministries – Youth Leadership training) to think about the correlation between the 2 feeding miracles.
  • He challenged us to formulate an opinion.
  • I struggled to understand his meaning.
  • Winkie’s point was that where the faith was greater (5000 > 4000) then the provision was greater (12 baskets > 7 baskets). Romans 5:20

The Truth

Sunday Service

  • 13 Dec 2020
  • Pastor Troy Renata
  • Series: The Unexpected Gift
  • Part 3: The Truth

John 14:6

  • Jesus said ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.  Nobody comes to the father except through me.’


  • When does a joke become a Dad joke?  When it becomes apparent (a parent)
  • Why did Adelle cross the road?  So she could say hello from the other side.

The Truth of Jesus Should Be Our Foundation

  • What does a building with a great foundation look like?  The Sky Tower.
  • What does a building with a poor foundation look like?  The Leaning Tower of Pizza

Matthew 7:24

  • “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Where do we learn the Truth?

  • Read your Bible
  • (James says) Not from the passing fads of the world e.g.
    • Global cooling vs Global warming
    • Food shortages vs technology improvements
    • Clean, green energy vs nuclear power
    • Etc.

The Truth of Jesus Should Be Our Compass

Romans 12:2

  • Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The Truth of Jesus Brings Us Freedom

John 8:31-32

  • So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

James says:

  • What I like about this sermon is it’s a great exposition of the 3 pillars of navigation:
    • Foundation = Where I’m starting from
    • Compass = Where I’m heading
    • Freedom = How I’m getting there

An idea to change the future of New Zealand

Tena koutou katoa

Never before have I written an email like this. I must confess that as I look at the NZ Political scene, I am really concerned as to the direction our country is heading. I want to leave a better NZ for my children, and it is because of this, that I am writing to everyone on my NZ email database.

I make no secret of the fact that I am a New Conservative political party supporter, and am glad to be one. Although not a Christian Party, there is no doubting that their values are Judeo-Christian, foundational to our Western Civilisation.  I suggest you have a look at the New Conservative website, check out the bio of the Candidate in your electorate, plus any of their policies that may interest you. They are a strong grass roots party with a candidate in every electorate.

The bios of the Leader and Deputy Leader plus others that I have read, indicate all have a pretty impressive work history, in the real world, which is lacking with many MPs currently in Government. At their June Annual Conference, I met many of the candidates, and apart from their sincere desire for a better NZ, I liked the fact that none of them had any egos, and none are career politicians.

Here is a link to an “Are you Conservative?” questionnaire, and you may like to check this out, to see if you have conservative values.

Although you know who I will be voting for, there is no way I will know how you cast your vote. However, it sure would be great if you could see your way clear to vote for the New Conservative candidate in your electorate, and more importantly, if you have conservative values, it would be FANTASTIC if you could give New Conservative your Party Vote.

If New Conservative can get it least 5% of the Party Vote, they will get 6 or more conservative voices representing us in Parliament. This is primarily why I’ve written to you, as our freedoms are being taken away with the present strongly left leaning Government, led by a professing Socialist Prime Minister.

I certainly hope you will give serious consideration to at least looking at what New Conservative offers. They are worth a look, and as I have indicated, it would be FANTASTIC if you at least gave them the Party Vote. If not, then please vote for a party whose policies and candidate best align with your values, as only that way is there a chance of you being truly represented in the next Government.

It would be fantastic if you could send this email on to all your NZ email addresses, to allow others to check and see if they hold conservative values, and if so, maybe consider casting their votes for New Conservative, both the Party Vote and the Candidate vote.

Personality Types and Diversity Training

Executive Summary

Had an interesting week.  Toastmasters tried to teach us about personality types from a Wiccan based on tarot.  Then my work tried to teach us Diversity and Inclusion from a liberal professor based on a false spectrum.  Thank God, He leads me in the paths which are straight and true.

Personality Types

I learned something I didn’t know.  The Myres-Briggs personality test is based on the writings of Carl Jung1.  Jung based his research on the Tarot.2  Scientists have discredited Myres-Briggs based on, among other things, the same person taking the same test renders different results.3  Science is meant to be measurable, testable, repeatable and falsifiable.  Truth statements that are unfalsifiable are religious in nature.  Welcome to my domain.

That training was two hours of my life that I’ll never get back.  But, at least the presenter was entertaining, and I am more informed than I was.  Now, when people try to speak to me about personality types, I can use one of my favourite lines.  “Given you believe in Tarot, then let me ask you, what star sign were you born under?  Because I was born under the Star of David.”

For the benefit of those without historical context, or a sense of humour, I am not claiming to be born Jewish.  I am claiming to be a born-again Christ-follower, adopted son of God, disciple of the Carpenter of Nazareth, a Jew.

Additionally, somebody within the organization complained to the District Director about my using “Blessings” in my email signature.  After thinking carefully, my response was that I was open to hearing from the person directly, or alternatively, open to hearing what the specific complaint is.  Because my salutation was specifically chosen.  I did not choose “Good luck” because I don’t believe in luck.  Faithfully and Sincerely are too old-fashioned.  I did not choose “God bless”.  Hindus, Muslims, Christians & Jews have no problem with “Blessings”.  New Agers have no problem with it.  Even the Wiccan uses “Bless your heart”! Only Atheists seem to have a problem with it.  Which is not very tolerant.  And not logical.  If there is no God, then it doesn’t matter.  So, the complaint is vague and offensive.  Talk to me directly, coward.

Diversity and Inclusion

There’s currently a huge push in the corporate world in the West to avoid law-suits and cancel culture by virtue-signaling adherence to woke Social Justice Warriors.  This takes the form of optional compliance with Diversity and Inclusion training.  So far, I’ve managed to dodge it, rather than face the unpleasantness of trying to explain to brain-washed acolytes the errors of their ways.  One time I was put on the spot about why I was opting out, and responded that, in my opinion Diversity and Inclusion is racist against whites, sexist against men and bigoted against Christians.  The look of total disbelief was priceless.

However, this week I was obligated to sit through some mandatory live, on-line training.  I took notes.  Thank goodness I did.  I was able to clearly see a gap in the teaching, and when offered the opportunity to provide feedback, was able to do so, publicly.  So, about 90 people heard about a weakness in D&I training at university level.  I hope it does some good.

Specifically, Dr Chellie Spiller of Waikato University referenced a Cultural Proficiency Continuum4.  This is supposedly where a person moves from negative views of other cultures and ends up being culturally proficient.  I could immediately see that what a Liberal views as a spectrum from the evil, bigoted, racist right-winger to the enlightened, tolerant and righteous left-winger, is actually a pendulum.  This is because the left-winger is blind to the fact that the Left can go too far.  Also, from the extreme-left, anybody in the Centre appears far-right.

So, I asked why the continuum stops short and doesn’t show people who move into False Humility and further into Self-Hatred.  To her credit, the Prof was gracious and appeared to listen.  I hope it does some good for the benefit of her innocent students who are not taught critical thought.

Hippolite’s Law

Subsequent to this encounter, I have now formulated a new Law, which I am naming after myself.  This law recognizes that everywhere a Liberal study shows a progression from ignorance to enlightenment, it should actually be a pendulum.  The healthy individual, society and civilization should move to the centre, not to either extreme.


On the whole, it was a very good week, despite being unnecessarily locked-up by a Socialist government and attempted indoctrination by well-meaning but wrong-headed Leftists.


My opinions are my own and in no way represent my employer nor Toastmasters.



How to Build a Better Bloke

Sermon on Integrity and Perseverance

Pastor Troy Renata

I just heard something on this morning’s Sunday sermon which, on the surface, left me with a question mark, but upon reflection, I realise is actually very nuanced and correct.

Troy was talking about demonstrating integrity (especially with respect to our Christian walk) while in the workplace.  But when the conversation turns to topics which are not edifying, how to deal with them?  Troy’s practical suggestions were ways to turn (avoid) the conversation.  Things like,

  1. How about them All Blacks?
  2. Remember that time when we…?
  3. (Drop whatever you’re holding, causing an incident) – Depends on the value of the thing you’re holding!

Now critics of religion (and super-religious zealots) may attack this advice as being cowardly or avoidance, rather than daring or bold or courageous.  I admit, I was initially conflicted about Troy’s advice.

However, upon further reflection, Troy was not talking about any genuine, searching conversation, where the other person is ready, willing and prepared to engage in meaningful dialog.  Troy was specifically talking about banter, which had turned to a off-colour topic, or where you are unwilling to participate.  Rather than walk away (as I have done upon occasion), changing the subject is right and proper.  Troy’s practical suggestions are useful for the minority of guys who, like I used to be, are socially awkward and haven’t a clue how to engage in light conversation. 

Well done, team.

The Story of The Delaware


Rather than try to journal my week, this time I have been challenged by something my daughter said on our daily lunchtime walks around the block.  Lockup has not been a disaster for me and my family.  Because I have not lost my job, I am able to stay healthy and go for walks.  On one of these walks this week, Aimée challenged me to put into writing one of the oral stories of my family history.  This is the first.


Date: 4 September 1863

After leaving Nelson for Napier, the newly built brig Delaware ran into bad weather.  It was wrecked on rocks in a bay between Grahams Point and Pepin Island, about 30 km north-east of Nelson, that is now known as Delaware Bay.

The story usually focuses credit for the rescue of the crew of the Delaware to Hūria Mātenga, the only maiden of the group of 5 local Māori who helped the crew get ashore.  Oral tradition passed down to me, instead gives the credit to her father and my ancestor Hohapata Kahupuku (Ngāti Toa).  A big man, he was the one to swam out to collect the lead line.  On my Nelson marae Whakatu, my son Hamish’s height of 2.03 metres (6 foot 8 inches) is remarked upon as being a consequence of being a direct descendant of Hohapata.

“Hūria Mātenga, her husband, Hemi Mātenga, and Hohapata Kahupuku swam out in extremely stormy seas to grasp a line thrown out by the crew. They returned to shore to secure the line to a large rock and then entered the water again and again to assist the crew to make their way to land by means of a second stronger rope attached to the line. Shortly after the Captain, the last of the nine to make the journey, reached the shore, the rope frayed and disappeared into the sea. All were saved apart from chief mate Henry Squirrell who was injured and left for dead on the ship. Other Māori from Wakapuaka assisted on shore.”

In paying tribute to their conduct, Captain Baldwin, master of the Delaware, said that: “but for the bold and unwearied exertions of the Maoris, he did not believe one man would have been saved from the wreck”.  Hūria Mātenga became a national heroine as a result of her great bravery.

  1. Hohapata Kahupuku (1842 – 1913)
    Married 1872, Rahapa Morehu, (1840 – 1901)
  2. Te One John (“Jack the Count”) Hippolite, 1880 – 1929
    Married 1905, Te Pohe Hippolite (born Hohapata Te Kahupuku) (1880 – 1918)
  3. Benjamin Pene Hippolite (my grandfather), (1903 – 1974)
    Married 1928, Mariapoto Tuo Elkington (my grandmother), (1910 – 1998)
  4. John Te One Hippolite (my father), (1929 – 1993)
    Married 1953, June Noreen Gray (my mother), (1931 – 2009)


Week beginning Sunday 23 August 2020

Jame’s Journal

Public Reflections

Just as, every Friday afternoon, I am forced to fill out a timesheet which causes me to reflect on what activities Spark is paying me to do, so too, I hope to be able to use this time to reflect on what activities God is asking me to do.  Did I focus on His priorities, or on my frivolities?

Sunday: Watched Church Service under Lock-up.  I refuse to give it the soft name “lockdown” but call it by its real designation.  This government, under threat of punishment, has confined the general population.  Instead of quarantining those that are vulnerable, our right of assembly has been summarily removed, without recourse to repeal.  That’s true dictatorship.  Because we can’t meet, my evening class “Life’s Healing Choices” has had to be postponed.  This means that vulnerable men, for whom our group may be their only counselling opportunity, are denied access to the fellowship of other men.  The potentially disastrous consequences of this situation invalidates the government’s entire rationale for lock-up.

Monday: Chief Judge at the Table Topics and Humorous Speech contests for Silver Service Toastmaster Club.  Once again, the choice of venue was removed from us.  In exchange, I was meant to be shouted a free meal at Bricklane Restaurant.  That didn’t happen.  The consequence to that business is obvious.  It was an honour and a privilege to be asked to fulfil this role.  Remembered to walk around the block for my exercise at lunchtime.

Tuesday: Unable to attend my Step Programme at Celebrate Recovery because of lockup.  Did attend CR teaching time and men’s breakout group.  This was very good.  I’m not good at finding time during the week to phone my contacts.  Lord, help me to prioritise reaching out to my accountability partners.  MCBC Men’s lunch meeting was friendly and uplifting.

Wednesday: Pourewa (Watchtower) prayer meeting at 07:00 online.  My prayer partner is a real antidote to my deterministic (Calvanistic?) utterances.  Cooked Chorizo Penne Pasta for dinner.  Delicious.  I don’t like gluten free pasta, but I should get used to it.  Pohutukawa Coast Toastmaster Club, normal meeting.  I was Zoom master.  Today was the first day (of 2) this week, where I sat down to my desk at 08:00 and didn’t stand up again until 17:00.  Not good.  Too much priority work and requests for “just 5 mins” and meetings interrupting productive coding.  Nevertheless, got some productive coding done.

Thursday: Deeper Bible 301 class online.  Finished our study on 1 Corinthians 12:1 and its sense unit.  Quite a frustrating exercise, trying to glean all Paul’s meaning without recourse to commentaries.  For example, how was I supposed to know there was a controversy over chapters 9-11 being potentially not written by Paul?  And how am I meant to respond to the controversy, if I don’t know its basis?  Got through it.

Friday: Just a normal work day.  Binge watching Star Trek: Enterprise on NetFlix.

Saturday: As Vice President of Education for my other Toastmaster Club at Manukau City Baptist Church, it was my duty to prepare for today’s Table Topics Contest.  I organised the contestants, judges and officials.  Then I delegated to the Chief Judge and the Contest Chair to run the proceedings.  I sat back as Zoom Master and sent participants to their various Breakout Rooms at appropriate times.  It was fun.  The Table Topics question was: “Should prisoners be allowed to vote?”  It was a very good question.  The answers were predictable.  There were some who were aware that the argument can be nuanced by the level of crime. 


  1. If everything is priority 1, then nothing is priority 1.  I have to remember to take lunch breaks.  Nothing is more important than my health.  Without my health, I can’t help anybody else.
  2. Contests are hard work, and delegation is essential.
  3. I can get too inward focused.  I need the company of men to draw me back to the light.


  • While I am Centrist, I don’t like the Socialism of the Left.
  • The elections have been postponed.  Probably wise.
  • If National had been in power, they probably would have done about the same as Labour.  Therefore, there is nothing praiseworthy about the way the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has handled the situation.  Therefore any praise for Jacinda is electioneering, in my opinion.


It has been a big week.  I sense a general frustration this time with the lock-up.  People are unwilling to wait for a mythical inoculation.  There is the realisation that perhaps Sweden was correct to let life continue as normal, in order to build up herd immunity.  Our goal posts shifted from flattened the curve to attempting to eradicate, which is impossible and naïve.

The Good Shepherd

Sunday Service

  • 16 August 2020
  • Senior Pastor Arnie Hall
  • Online via YouTube, due to Covid-19 NZ Lockdown Level 3

When you don’t understand, trust God

  • Trust = Confident, secure
  • Pastor Suz Holmes

John 10:

  1. “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
  2. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
  3. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
  4. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
  5. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
  6. Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
  7. Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.
  8. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.
  9. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
  10. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
  11. “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
  12. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep.  So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.  Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
  13. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
  14. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep knows me –
  15. Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.
  16. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
  17. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again.
  18. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”


  • Jesus walks ahead
  • He is legit
  • He is committed
  • He talks to you
  • He leads you
  • He sustains and provides
  • He sacrifices for you
  • He knows you


  • Will you feed my sheep?

Food, glorious food

Sunday Service

  • Senior Pastor Arnie Hall

NZ Baptist Convention

  • Will be held at MCBC
  • 5-7 November 2020

1 Corinthians

  1. Define the Problem
  2. Respond with the Gospel

The problem this week:

  • Food
  • Jewish Christians – “Don’t eat it!”
  • Non-Jewish Christians – “Bon Appetite!”

Respond with the Gospel

  • Core Principle: Love
  • Because of the Resurrection, we have the power to love others more than ourselves

1 Corinthians 10:1-24

  • Warning to us!
  • Don’t crave evil things!
    • Feasting
    • Drinking
    • Pagan revelry
    • Sexual immorality
    • Testing the Lord
    • Grumbling
  • Don’t worship idols
  • Most did this.
  • Relevant today!


  • God’s faithfulness and strength shows us a way out and gives us endurance!
  • Flee!
  • Think of we!
    • We are united
    • We are one body
    • We share from one loaf of bread
    • We drink from the same cup
  • Don’t drink from the cup of the Lord and of demons


  1. I am allowed to do anything
    1. But not everything is good
    1. But not everything is beneficial
  2. Don’t be concerned for your own good, but the good of others.

The referendum on:

  1. Recreational use of Marijuana
    1. I value the mental health of our youth more than my right to get high.
    1. It sends a mixed signal about reducing smoking.
  2. Assisted Suicide
    1. I value the life of our seniors and people with physical disabilities, rather than my right to end my loneliness.
    1. It sends the wrong signal to our youth about suicide.