METTLE Weekly Newsletter

METTLE

Volume 3

Issue 39

Monday

3 November 2008

Gentlemen,

Editorial

Thank you to the METTLERS who responded to my previous newsletter with your thoughtful posts.  You all can read them here: http://tvornz.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!A93B6100E328706D!718.entry#comment

I thought it was high time to stop beating around the bush and give my political picks for the coming election. 

Party

Progressives

Greens

Labour

Maori

United Future

Kiwi Party

Family Party

NZ First

National

ACT

Leader

Jim Anderton

Jeanette Fitzsimmons

Helen Clark

Tariana Turia

Peter Dunne

Larry Baldock

Richard Lewis

Winston Peters

John Key

Rodney Hide

Formerly

N/A

N/A

N/A

Labour

Christian Democrats

United Future

Destiny

N/A

N/A

N/A

Hopes

Gone

Gone

25%

9%

Gone

8%

8%

Gone

40%

10%

Expects

1%

6%

32%

5%

1%

0%

0%

3%

46%

6%

Analysis

Socialist

Communists

Socialist

Welfarism

Socialist

Christian Left

Christian Right

Self-serving

Conservative

Libertarian

Personal reflections

Passed his used-by date

Loonies, social engineers of the worst kind.

Passed her used-by date

My sister is standing for Southern Maori.

Passed his used-by date.  

Pity they couldn’t get together with Destiny.

Pity he couldn’t come under Kiwi Party authority.

Passed his used-by date

Marginally better than Labour

Marginally better than National.

Bottom Lines

N/A

N/A

N/A

Entrenchment of Maori seats

Income Splitting

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Flat tax?

Pro-Life?

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Some

No

Climate Change Alarmists?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Creationists?

No

No

No

No

No

Maybe

Yes

No

No

No

I Like:

Nothing

Nothing

Nothing

Rahui Katene and Pita Sharples

Judy Turner and Denise Krum

Larry, Gordon Copeland and Bernie Ogilvy  

Their evangelistic zeal 

Nothing

Bill English, Rosemary Thomas, Stephen Franks

Heather Roy Heather Roy

Labour 32% + Progressives 1% + Greens 6% + NZ First 3%= 42%

National 46% + United Future 1% + Act 6% + Maori 5% = 58%

Implications:

  • The Maori seats will be entrenched.
  • Personally, I couldn’t care less about entrenching of the Maori seats.  I think that MMP does what the Maori seats were designed to do.
  • However, I also see the point of the argument that the Maori seats should have the same level of protection as General Electorate seats.
  • Also, I recognise that MMP may be under threat.
  • I’m also personally disturbed about the level of welfarism inherited by some of my people.  Hopefully we can get over that and go into coalition with National.
  • Otherwise, by my calculations there would be a 47% vs. 53% split to National.  Close, but still governable.
  • I predict a coming together of the Christian parties again next election.  They cannot hope to cross the 5% threshold separately.  Larry Baldock is running a close battle in Tauranga against Winston, but the National guy (Simon Bridges) looks to have it sewn up.
  • Both Progressives and United Future will fail to cross the 5% threshold, but will win their respective electorate seats (again), as will Ron Marks (NZF, Rimutaka)
  • Peter Dunne will have a vastly reduced majority, but will manage to buy himself another election with Income Splitting.

Sunday Service

Things you need to know:

  • Baptism… an essential step
    • Baptism class, Sun 9 Nov @ Elim @ 5:30pm
    • Baptism opportunity, Sun 16 Nov @ Encounter Service 6:30pm in Auditorium
  • Mission Possible lunch today
    • Craig & Francee Pilcher sharing about their last trip to Mt Hope, Indonesia
    • Alyssa Hosking sharing about her recent time spent with Rahab Ministries
  • God’s Gym (men’s breakfast) Sat 8 Nov @ 9am @ JJ Murphy’s bar
  • Bring your Christmas lights to church for a Light Sunday Nov 30.

Crunchies:

  • Various celebrations
  • Dana Bell has “passed the bar”
  • Craig & Francee wedding anniversary (27 years)
  • Richard & France (no relation J) wedding anniversary

Tithes and Offerings:

  • Dana brought the message
  • Break
  • Video by Craig Pilcher about the work @ Mt Hope

Building Great Relationships

  • “Home is Where the Heart is”
  • Pastor Mike Knott

Musical Interlude: Daniel Bell and Janie-Lee Avia sing the “Returning Home” song from the Prodigal Daughter play

What is your lineage?

  • Ziba replied, “Your Majesty, I will do exactly what you tell me to do.”  So Ziba’s family and servants worked for Mephibosheth.  Mephibosheth was lame, but he lived in Jerusalem and ate at David’s table, just like one of David’s own sons.
  • 2 Samuel 9:11, CEV
  • Mephibosheth = “shame destroyed”
  • Shame-based society – Hebrews 12:2

A Household Free From Shame

  • Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect.  He suffered death on the cross.  But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him.  And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.
  • Hebrews 12:2, NCV

If home is where the heart is, then what is the heart of a home?

  1. Love
  2. Acceptance
  3. Forgiveness

Love in any language

  • The word love has many different meanings in English, from something that gives a little pleasure (“I loved that meal”) to something one would die for (Ideals, family).
  • Saya cinta pada mu – I Love You
  • Saya sucre rendang – I Like Rendang

Real Love?

  • This is what real love is: it is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us.
  • He sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins.
  • Dear friends…

Love, (James?) in Action

  • Love is patient…
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NCV

Acceptance

  • Acceptance doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.  It means that you have learned to look beyond the imperfections.
  • Acceptance is when someone understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.
  • Acceptance is of a person as someone created by God, not necessarily an approval of their beliefs or behaviour

The Ultimate Acceptance

  • I will say “You are my people” to those I had called ’Not my people”  And they will say to me “You are our God” (Hosea 2:23, NCV)
  • At one time you were not a people, but now you are God’s people (1 Peter 2:10, NCV)
  • But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13, NIV)

The Power of Forgiveness

  • We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.  He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.  There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.  When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
  • Dr Martin Luther King Junior.

Forgiveness

  • Be kind and compassionate to one another…
  • Missed it…

In Christ Jesus

  • You are loved
  • You are accepted
  • You can be forgiven
  • But if we confess our sins, he will forgive us our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right.  He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.
  • 1 John 1:9, NCV

Praise Reports

  • Lest we forget Global “Warming” – the hoax is dead, thank goodness!
  • NZ Votes – Maxim have put together a nice election resource at NZ Votes.  They have a useful graphic guide to the various sites such as decision08, TVNZ, Scoop, Voteme, policy.net.nz etc with what you can find on each site. Also links to all the political parties, and details of upcoming forums.  Well worth a check out.

Prayer Requests

Other News

  • Liberal fascism: What it is and why you should care – this is a political landscape with increasingly authoritarian government and increasingly supine citizens.  Culturally, it reached the point recently where the term denialist began to characterize anyone who departs from a consensus – as if departing from a consensus were not part of the engine of progress in the Western world.

Book Review

Title

The Creation Answers Book

Picture

CreationAnswersCover

Author

Don Batten, Contributing Editor

Publisher

Creation Book Publishers, 2006

Pages

269

Price

US$14.00

Description

The new and updated Creation Answers Book provides biblical answers to over 60 important questions that everyone wants to know on creation/evolution and the Bible! Not only does it answer your own questions, but equips you to effectively respond to those that resist the Gospel due to worldly teaching on origins. This important work is a ‘must have’ for anyone’s library!

Contents

Includes answers to over 60 of the most-asked questions in the following 20 categories:

  • Does God exist?
  • Six days? Really?
  • What about gap theories?
  • What about carbon-14 dating?
  • How can we see distant starlight in a young universe?
  • What about arguments for evolution?
  • How did bad things come about?
  • Who was Cain’s wife?
  • Were the ‘sons of God’ and/or the “nephilim” extra-terrestrials?
  • Was the Flood global?
  • What about continental drift?
  • What about all that water?
  • How did all the animals fit on the Ark ?
  • How did fresh/saltwater fish survive?
  • Where are all the human fossils?
  • How could animals get to places like Australia ?
  • Were there really ice ages?
  • How did the different races arise?
  • What about dinosaurs?
  • What can I do?

Review

Great resource.  Of all my previous book reviews for Creationist books, I would rate them about secondary school level.  This one is university level.  Don’t get me wrong: it’s still accessible (readable, enjoyable) by anybody, but it has the in-depth information you need to be able to prove the assertions made.

If ever you’ve:

  • Entertained the notion “gee, I’m not quite sure how to respond to that particular evolutionist argument, therefore creationism might not be true” then this is the book for you.
  • Or thought “Creationism is a side issue”, then this book will help you to realise how central it is to an effective witness.

9/10

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!

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5 thoughts on “METTLE Weekly Newsletter”

  1. Hi James
    I thought I might send you this item from the Christian Scientist Monitor.  I have been referring to the publication lately, due to its original determination to be independent (which is a moot point, given their Christian Scientist sect base – but I prefer it to CNN).  Check this out on http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1018/p01s06-uspo.html?page=2 . McCain does not refer to himself as “Born Again” and claims never to have been baptised, but when asked, he will say he is Christian.   This is a story of a defining moment in his life
    Blessings
    Matt
    Toward the end of the war, when the North Vietnamese lightened up a bit and put the POWs together in a room, the prisoners organized Sunday church services. McCain was the room chaplain, "not because the senior ranking officer thought I was imbued with any particular extra brand of religion, but because I knew all of the words of the Apostles\’ Creed and the Nicene Creed," the senator says.
    McCain conducted services and gave sermons, of sorts. "It was a topic, a talk," he says. "We had a choir that was marvelous…. The guy who directed it happened to have been previously the director of the Air Force Academy choir."
    McCain will always remember the first Christmas they were allowed to have a service together. They had never been able to have a Bible before, but shortly before this particular Christmas, the Vietnamese handed McCain a King James Bible, a piece of paper, and a pencil. He jotted down bits of the nativity story from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
    "On Christmas Eve, the first time we had been together – some guys had been there as long as seven years – we had our service," he says. "We got to the point where we talked about the birth of Christ, and then sang \’Silent Night,\’ and I still remember looking at the faces of those guys – skinny, worn out – but most of them, a lot of them, had tears down their faces. And they weren\’t sorrow, they were happiness that for the first time in so many years we were able to worship together."
    For McCain, there were other moments of grace in prison. While in solitary confinement, he would be left for the night with his arms tied back in a painful position. One night, a guard walked in and loosened the ropes, then came back five hours later and tightened up the ropes again, without saying a word. Two months later, on Christmas Day, McCain was allowed to stand outside for 10 minutes in a courtyard, and that same guard came up to him. The guard stood beside him for a minute, then drew a cross in the dirt with his sandal and stood there for a minute, looking at McCain silently. A few minutes later he rubbed it out and walked away.
    "My friends, I will never forget that man," McCain recounts during a town-hall meeting with voters, his voice choked with emotion. "I will never forget that moment. And I will never forget the fact that no matter where you are, no matter how difficult things are, there\’s always going to be someone of your faith and your belief and your devotion to your fellow man who will pick you up and help you out and bring you through."
    It was, he said later, the most transcendent and uplifting experience of his imprisonment.

    Like

  2. Hi again
    Obama has a testimony too – interesting:
    It was at Trinity United Church of Christ here, in the late 1980s, that Senator Obama says he found religion. Raised in a secular household, with ancestral roots running from Islam to Baptist to atheist, Obama had grown up a skeptic. But Mr. Wright\’s blend of scripture and social action resonated with Obama, then a young community organizer in black neighborhoods ravaged by steel-mill closings.
    And when Wright preached one Sunday about the sustaining power of hope in the face of poverty and despair, Obama says he found himself in tears.
    "The questions I had did not magically disappear," Obama wrote in his recent book, titled "The Audacity of Hope" after Wright\’s turn of phrase, of the day four years later when he made a formal commitment of Christian faith. "But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God\’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth."

    Like

  3. Hi James,

    Thanks for your political summary e-mail – I found it quite interesting and informative indeed. I now know which half a dozen parties you will be voting for on Saturday (if you had that many votes to use yourself!).
     I’ve not been able to follow as much election coverage this time, so I feel quite out of it actually! Maybe I’ll find time to stream replays of the party leader debates…
     Eric

    Like

  4. Subject: Taxation explained in terms of beers
    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this: The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.The fifth would pay $1.The sixth would pay $3.The seventh would pay $7.The eighth would pay $12.The ninth would pay $18.The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.So, that\’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. \’Since you are all such good customers,\’ he said, \’I\’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. \’Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his \’fair share?\’They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody\’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man\’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so, The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.\’I only got a dollar out of the $20,\’declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,\’ but he got $10!\’\’Yeah, that\’s right,\’ exclaimed the fifth man. \’I only saved a dollar, too. It\’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!\’\’That\’s true!!\’ shouted the seventh man. \’Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!\’ \’Wait a minute,\’ yelled the first four men in unison. \’We didn\’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!\’ The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn\’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn\’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.Professor of Economics

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  5. I predict the following:
     
    National will further cut taxes, but that is unlikely to have major impact economically anymore (this should have been done four years ago by Labour).
     
    They will ignore one of the key abortion issues: the key issue here is that the majority of abortions conducted in NZ are for “psychological health” reasons, even though many of the women involved have no psychiatric concern or history, apart from being upset that they are pregnant. Considering the research indicates that abortion increases the likelihood of psychiatric affliction, not only is this practice highly unethical of health professionals, it is possibly illegal.
     
    National will allow the referendum against the anti-smacking legislation to proceed, but will make sure the methods of gathering the referendum, the analysis of the results and the timeframes concerned are so narrow that the results will skew.  Even if a majority of people still say that the legislation ought to be reversed, the results will not be binding and any outcomes will be delayed for the extent of the National Government term.
     
    They will pander to their lobby groups in business and similar. There will be fewer improvements in the labour laws. Salaries will increase, but they will be slow to act on this area and will be criticised for taking too long to bring inflation down and bring equity in incomes between groups and in comparison to the inflation rate.
     
    They will intervene in the economy only when it suits them in maintaining their powerbase. They will increase state borrowing.
     
    University fees will increase substantially and permanently. More people will receive university grants as a sweetener for the increases, but it will not make much difference.
     
    Certain sectors of health will be favoured that Labour ignored. Conversely, the disability sector will not receive increases  – in fact, I think that they will find their resources diminished under National, whereas under Labour they were favoured. This is a sector most politicians have ignored and one of the few areas I would praise Labour for doing well in –although, Labour was not altruistic in favouring people with disabilities.  The votes in this sector are tremendous, and only Labour realise how strong this voting body is and know that they have this voting market sown up.
     
    Defence will suffer. Labour has made fundamental errors of judgement in defence spending and National will use this as an excuse to make cuts in defence. The Air Force will get some new planes, but the Army and Navy will lose support.
     
    Business confidence will grow, but after about four years, something will happen that changes the economic scene substantially. I suggest this will be on a par with the asset sales programme of the late 80’s and early 90’s in impact: probably a major privatisation of the health sector and competition introduced for ACC. I think that they will underestimate the impact of this on the economy and confidence will be shaken.
     
    MMP will be reviewed, and we will hear some rhetoric from different party sources such as, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and “There is insufficient support for change” and similar. National will only review this and institute change if they see that an alternative will favour them. In that scenario, if they are the incumbent party in power, then I suspect that they will move to end MMP and institute STV, as this can favour the incumbents in the outcome of an STV vote. If it does not favour them, then they will pass the need for change on for perpetual review.
     
    Peter Dunn will be Minister of Revenue in Cabinet. He will press for the removal of GST on rates. This will fail at the vote.
     
    There will then be a review of the Local Government Act and a lot of rhetoric about the relationship between Central and Local Government. Some councils will amalgamate.
     
    There will be a review of the Resource Management Act. It will not be repealed, but will be watered down.
     
    So… we all wait with baited breath.

    Like

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