METTLE Weekly Newsletter

Mens Elim Team Together for Learning Experiences

Volume 3

Issue 37


20 October 2008



Hippolite Musings

  • Been busy with project work; project has just ended (not well; not my fault; I got out okay).
  • We’ve got an Elim Men’s Breakfast coming up election Saturday @ JJ Murphy’s bar.  I’m a conservative swing voter.  If you would like to discuss our options after the breakfast before your vote, I would love to just sit and chew the fat with you guys.  (Note: this part would not be an official Elim event, just some guys talking politics.)
  • Started reading yet another creation science text book, and decided it was at a level where my boys (9 & 11) would understand it.  So now I’m reading it to them.  Review will follow (much) later, as I’m averaging only about a chapter a week.
  • I gave a presentation to the Wellington .NET User Group this week, called “ORM101: An introduction to Object Relational Mappers” which was well received.
  • Note to Christian leaders: if you’re going to copy and paste dictionary definitions of terms (such as adrenaline), please proof-read and remove all references to evolution.  They are unnecessary and just plain wrong.


DVD Review

  • Destination Films, Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sherwood Pictures present in association with Provident Films and Carmel Entertainment
  • A Kendrick Brothers Production
  • Facing the Giants
  • Music by: Mark Willard
  • Associate Producers: Tracy Goode, Brad Weston
  • Executive Producers: Michael C. Catt, Jim McBride, Terry Hemmings
  • Produced by: Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick, David Nixon
  • Story and Screenplay by: Alex and Stephen Kendrick
  • Directed by: Alex Kendrick
  • Rated: PG
  • Review: an awesome use of Hollywood’s best techniques, with no-name actors, to present a modern gospel parable.  I have no idea whether this American High-school Grid-iron movie is based on a true story, but it’s great.  Our entire family sat down together to watch this, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Highly recommended.  Thanks to Mike B. for recommending it to me.


Michelle’s Story

  • Went to Japan on a school trip; 3 weeks ago for 2 weeks
  • Praying about how to make an impact
  • Wasn’t make an impact (immediately) so asked (in Japanese) “would you like a Japanese Bible?”
  • Host family took her to church
  • A smaller version of Elim (modern music)
  • Stayed for lunch then broke up into small groups
  • Michelle and host didn’t understand the Japanese preaching
  • But her host gave her heart later


Things you need to know

  • Toolbox Early Years Course, at Elim
  • Magnify; tonight; here; don’t miss
  • Women’s overnight coming up; boutique conference; 24&25 October;
  • Connect lounge, next Sunday after both services



  • Wedding anniversary; 35 years
  • Birthdays
  • Claire & Mike’s anniversary


Sunday Sermon

  • Guest speaker: Richard Knott, all the way from Brisbane AOG (only kiwi of 35 staff)
  • Humour note: Rick prefers to call what he does “speaking” rather than “preaching”
  • Marissa Knott (né Soukotta) says “Selamet Pagi”; doing (music?) workshops earlier this week
  • Intimacy in Worship
  • Worship is not:
    • a ballad;
    • singing at the start of a service;
  • Worship is (from Old Testament):
    • hawah = submission;
    • abad = service;
    • yareh = reverence
  • Why worship God?
    • God deserves it
    • He requires our worship; he commands it; (If we worship him, our focus is better.)
    • He enables it; (I worship him, just because I can?)
    • They do it in heaven (Isaiah 6:1)
    • Chesterton; you will worship God or something else
    • (Matthew 22:37) the 2 commandments (the 10 commandments summarized)
  • How?
    • Nothing is secular; everything is sacred; God is always speaking to us.
    • Live your life in the presence of God; he’s not just your Sunday friend.
    • Are your angels bored?   Because you haven’t needed them?  Go doing something terrifying.  Better to be scared than bored.  Tell a stranger that God loves them.
  • Intimacy
    • Be vulnerable to God; you can trust Him with your secrets.  He wants you to confess your dark thoughts, to bring them into the light so they can be dealt with.
    • Abandon to Him in your worship; you can’t be worried about what you look like; you wouldn’t be docile at a rugby match;


Praise Reports

  • Creation Museum Draws Half a Million Visitors – The museum exhibits are taken from the Old Testament, but the special effects are pure Hollywood: a state-of-the-art planetarium, animatronics and a massive model of Noah’s Ark, all intended to explain the origins of the universe from a biblical viewpoint. More than a half-million people have toured the Kentucky attraction since its May 2007 opening. The Creation Museum teaches life’s beginnings through a literal interpretation of the Bible.
  • Google’s 2008 election gadget – Google have launched an online gadget for Kiwis wanting to follow 2008 election news. Quite a tidy little tool.
  • Public Interest in Global Warming Evaporates – from Uncommon Descent by Dave Scott.


Prayer Requests

  • Steve Fuller on Michael Reiss and academic freedom – Steve Fuller offers his thoughts on the removal of Michael Reiss from his position at the Royal Society, and what it means for academic freedom. Fuller believes that the furore over Michael Reiss’s comments signifies a worrying trend that is bad for freedom to do science. He comments further on the Index for Freedom site that.  “All theories with the grand explanatory aspirations of creationism or evolutionism are based on worldviews that people have believed for reasons other than their specific scientific payoff. The challenge then for the science educator – especially the science textbook writer — is to demonstrate how such worldviews provide the basis for valid scientific research.”
  • Flirting with Palin earns Pakistani president a fatwa – A leading religious leader condemned Asif Ali Zardari’s comments to Sarah Palin at the UN.
  • The Messiah is Absolutely Speaking – Brothers and sisters, can I get an amen?

End Notes

  • METTLE is an acronym for Men’s Elim Team Together for Learning Experiences. We are primarily (but not exclusively) businessmen from Wellington Elim Church, who meet occasionally in the CBD to encourage each other in our daily walk with Jesus. This newsletter is our primary means of communication.  If you know of anyone who may benefit from these newsletters, you are welcome to forward them along. Similarly, if your circumstances are such that membership in this distribution list is no longer relevant, then hit reply and type UNSUBSCRIBE to have it removed.
  • METTLE has no affiliation with Telecom New Zealand Limited.
  • If you choose to respond to any item raised in this Newsletter, please indicate clearly which items you wish to remain Private, as any correspondence may be considered Public and could be published.
  • If this week’s newsletter has been of benefit to you, why not drop a line and say so.  Or better yet, visit the TVORNZ website to read past issues and add a comment!



5 thoughts on “METTLE Weekly Newsletter”

  1. Hi James

    I cannot seem to get all the article on “The Messiah is Absolutely Speaking” article.

    You might be interested in this:,CST-NWS-faith08.article

    What concerns me is not whether Obama supports/is supported by Islam: it is the overt planting of blame that the rumours were begun by McCain, until Obama was corrected by the interviewer.  This is contrary to the blatant left-leaning reporting coming out of America, that is painting McCain as a desperate, mud-slinging loser versus the “noble” Obama who has not been resorting to such tactics.  Until I read this, I had some respect for Obama.



  2. Keep trying; that link definitely works for me.
    Thanks for that link; I took a look at it; interesting.  I’m like you: kind of had respect for the guy, but now I don’t.


  3. I am still working on these concepts, and any challenge is welcome.  I believe in testing things (which is part of the growth of knowledge).

    The issues within science, politics and religion seem to stem from ONE belief structure that is not willing to yield to another.  Often, these belief structures are based on privately held philosophies that are not surrendered to God.  There is no concept in these belief structures that:
    a)      The belief needs to be challenged to ensure it is sound.  If an inference in the belief is regarded as false, then debate occurs and either the belief is strengthened via debate or it is discarded.  The fear of having your beliefs discarded is what stops it being transparent.
    b)      A belief structure, surrendered to God, is transparent.  If it is true, God will defend it and will also highlight any false, fallen aspects of that belief.  He will also highlight what to use to replace the false aspects, so that the belief becomes more sound. If the whole belief is false, then God will either remove it and replace it with something new OR He might redeem the belief, altering its state so that it is no longer false (i.e. unsound) and becomes sound. This could be termed as an example of a miracle!
    c)       We are blind to truths (refer to Galileo Galilei – “the difficulty is to discover them [truths]”) – and the Scripture says we are walking in darkness.
    d)      Our Westernised thinking calls for all of these issues to be categorised: we cannot think that a concept can have more than one meaning, or that the full meaning of something is only contained in a realm (“keeping things within a box”). And example is in Ancient Greek language.  The multitude of meanings in phrases and in words in Ancient Greek are often missed by us today, as we only think in a singular, individualised manner, as per our culture.
    e)      We have no grasp that our culture influences our thinking. Instead we consider that our beliefs are based on rational thinking and that we are correct and individual in our thinking. We have no concept that our Westernised, individualistic thinking influences our beliefs.  Nor do we consider the conflict in that influence: that a philosophy purporting individualism is influenced by the collective.
    f)       Based on this bias towards our culture in our beliefs, our beliefs are therefore biased in favour of our stance and bigoted against others from a different view. Does this mean our belief structures tend towards racism? Probably yes.
    g)      Does f) mean that our culture, which influences our thinking, is naturally bigoted and racist? Probably yes.  Does this make a case for sin in our hearts? I would say yes.


  4. Deep; heavy

    You remind me of another friend of mine: Darryl Burling.  He works for Microsoft, has a phenomenally fast mind (and typing) and this is his blog:; enjoy!

    As for your issues, these are my (knee jerk) reactions:

    The ethnocentrism of missionary activity is a well thought out phenomenon; from St. Paul’s “I become all things to all people, so that I may persuade some” to the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course.
    There is no doubt in my mind that early missionary activity in this country, while largely successful and wholesome and good, had fringe elements of “Civilise first, Christianise later.”  Their definition of civilise was “to make British.”


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