METTLE Weekly Newsletter


Volume 3

Issue 42




Hippolite Musings

Last week I took two days Annual Leave and attended the inaugural annual Wellington Homeschoolers Association family camp at Brookfields Scouting Camp in Wainuiomata.  I say "inaugural annual" with tongue-in-cheek, because it was an experiment, and I’m really hoping the woman who organised it will consent to doing it again next year.

For someone like me, whom greatly values the lessons for my kids of an (albeit brief and extremely safe) outdoor experience, this was the perfect compromise.  The added benefit that I was able to share in said experience was a real bonus!

The first day consisted of arriving, unpacking and an orienteering exercise.  My seven-year old daughter and I were able to complete it in about an hour, and came third!  Next year, I may even allow her to have the map!!  Hamish and his buddy went off and won the exercise.

The second day, we split up the kids into 4 teams by age.  I was put in with the 11-14 year olds.  Tane was meant to be with me in this group, but graciously offered to stay with one of the younger kids who had developed a fondness for him.  Fiona went with the 8-10 year olds (including Hamish).  The 5-7 year olds (including Aimee) were the third team, and there were preschoolers too making up the fourth team.

 James Kayaking

The activities were age-appropriate:

  • Abseiling was a favourite, and with two levels catered for both the most adventurous and those a little more cautious.  (I don’t think the toddlers did this.)
  • Confidence course followed by free time on the flying fox, gave me time to fool around safely but encouraging the children to experiment with the limits of their own fears.
  • Kayaking is perenially fun, especially for getting the instructors wet!
  • Treasure hunt was a bit of a fizzer for the seniors, because by the time we’d done all the other activities, we’d sorted out where the treasure was, and were able to go straight to it, when it was our time.
James Abseiling

Meal times were left up to each family to organise as best for themselves, so there was no communal sharing of chores – yay!  This was very practical, as some families had special dietary requirements.

About half the families that stayed chose to bring in tents.  The other half stayed in cabins, as budget and inclination saw fit.  This arrangement allowed for maximum comfort, of which I am very grateful.  There were no dormitory arrangements; it was quite Biblical, "each family returned to their own tent" 🙂

Also on this second day, our numbers approximately doubled, as a number of families who hadn’t chosen to stay overnight, nevertheless chose to participate in the day’s activities.  This is indicative of the home-schooling mentality: we typically don’t conform to somebody else’s structure, but instead pick-and-choose what we feel is best for each of our situations.

In the evening there was a BBQ, camp fire, singing and roasting marshmellows.  What more could you ask for?

In summing up, why have I given you my "What I Did On The Holidays" story?  I wanted to contrast what it is that I allow my children to do now, with what I did when I was a school child:

  • Family is supreme over friendships.  Friends are good; but family is better.  With this, it is hoped that I can eliminate negative peer pressure.
  • Strict age-segregation is artificial and unhelpful in the long-term.
  • Parental supervision (2-to-3 ratio) beats teacher shortage (2-to-30 ratio).  Positive male role modeling ratio is better too.
  • By being there, I hope to establish some great memories for them to fall back on in later years.
  • Avoid negative socialisation i.e. the "pash" and the "bash".

I really don’t want to offend or devalue some lovely people and dedicated Christians in the education system, attempting to do great work under some very difficult circumstances.  I believe you need to be there, to temper the worst excesses of the system.  I think non-Christian parents are blessed to have you there.

However, I think Christian parents need to ask themselves these questions (as I have) on behalf of their own kids:

  • Do I think Home Schooling is best for all kids?  Yes.  Have you ever heard a NZ parent render 100% praise for the NZ Curriculum?  I haven’t. 
  • Is it easy?  No.  Is anything worthwhile ever easy?
  • Is there anything nice I can say about the NZ Education System?  It’s cheap (but not free) babysitting.
  • Is it really as bad as all that?  Where else would you expose your children to anti-God hostility?

Sunday Service


  • None this week
Things you need to know

  • Welcomer: Selwyn Jackson
  • Presenter: Daniel Bell
  • “Love Has Come” Elim Christmas Production, Saturday 13 December
  • Elim International Kids has positions available for a cook, a casual teacher & full-time ECE-trained and registered teaching staff.
  • Parachute Festival next year, tickets on sale now, 
  • Christmas Lights service, “Light Sunday”, next Sunday, bring a set of lights to the church, light up the neighbourhood!
Baby Dedications

  • by Mike Knott
  • Alissa Jian Hua Peries, Chinese adopted baby girl of Linda and Thomas, sister to Zarina
  • Ari Sastra, you will be one who would love the world of God; first born son of Yanti

  • 28 years married, Kathryn & Tony Griffith
  • First grandson, Geoff Gould
  • Selwyn & Ann Jackson 1st anniversary at Elim Wellington
  • New jobs
  • Paid off student loan
  • Birthdays
  • First time visitors (relatives) from China
  • Won an award from Corrections for most influential & effective volunteer goes to Anne Gartner
Tithes and Offerings

  • by Selwyn
  • Oral Roberts, “within the seed there is life, blessing & harvest”
  • Let our tithe be like a seed
  • “I want to be in the light, as You are in the light”

  • Mike Knott
  • Lessons from the Legend of King Arthur, the Sword in the Stone
  • Bearing in mind that (a) Arthur is fictional; and (b) God is Love and Light
  • Mike believes we are to take up the sword (the Word of the Lord) in a new way

Light – Take up your sword

  • Excalibur gave off a light
  • It blinded the opposition
  • Light is powerful


  • One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!” (Judges 6:11-12, The Message)
  • Gideon was chosen, not because he was the greatest of the greatest; God can use you too, o mighty warrior.
  • Gideon’s army was whittled down from 30,000 to 10,000 by eliminating those that were fearful.
  • His army was further whittled down to 300 by choosing only those that were alert and skilful.

Judges 7:15-22

  • When Gideon heard about the dream and what it meant, he worshiped God. Then Gideon went back to the camp of Israel and called out to them, “Get up the Lord as handed the army of Midian over to you!” Gideon (lead them to victory)
  • Then they shouted “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” Each of Gideon’s men stayed in this place around the camp, but the Midianites began shouting and running to escape. When Gideon’s three hundred men blew their trumpets, the Lord made all the Midianites fight each other with their swords!

This is our mission

  • And here on this mountain, God will banish the pall of doom hanging over all peoples, the shadow of doom darkening all nations. Yes, he’ll banish death forever. And God will wipe the tears from every face. He’ll remove every sign of disgrace from his people, wherever they are. Yes! God says so! Isaiah 25:7-8
  • God will do it, through us (his church).


  • But you are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
  • 1 Peter 2:9, NCV

The Armour of Light

  • “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:12
  • Jesus – ‘I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me.” John 14:30

Satan’s got no hold on me!

  • Mike tells the story of an old-time preacher, who woke up one night, with his bed shaking. He looked down and saw the devil at the foot of his bed. He said “oh, it’s only you,” rolled over and went back to sleep!
  • This story is significant later in this blog (see book review, below)

The Sword of Light

  • For my sword shall be bathed in heaven… Isaiah 34:5
  • You will chase your enemies and defeat them, killing them with your sword. Five of you will chase a hundred men; a hundred of you will chase ten thousand men. You will defeat your enemies and kill them with your sword. Leviticus 26:7-8
  • Demons, not people!

Not by might, nor by power…

  • It’s not who you or others think you are, it’s who God says you are!
  • It’s not what you or others think you can do, it’s what God says you can do!
  • Stay in the light – it is your protection and your testimony
  • Take up the sword – it’s time to stand up and be strong in declaring His Word, which is Truth and Light to scatter the works of darkness.
  • Set the people free!

Praise Reports




Prayer Requests



  • $1.5m paid to control kids – This seems to me to be a quantitative indicator of the decline in discipline in schools – and evidence of how wrong philosophies towards children are costing the taxpayer – MJ

Humour by Russell

A man died and went to Heaven. As he stood in front of the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, ‘What are all those clocks?’
St. Peter answered, ‘Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock move forward one second.’
‘Oh’, said the man. ‘Whose clock is that?’
‘That’s Mother Teresa’s’, replied St. Peter. ‘The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie.’
‘Incredible’, said the man. ‘And whose clock is that one?’
St. Peter responded, ‘That’s Abraham Lincoln’s clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abraham told only two lies in his entire life.’
‘Where’s Winston Peters’ clock?’ asked the man.
‘Winston’s clock is in Jesus’ private office,’ said St Peter, ‘He’s using it as a ceiling fan!

Book Review

Alien Intrusion Cover


Alien Intrusion


UFOs and the Evolution Connection


Gary Bates


Master Books, 2004






UFOs and aliens—a phenomenon that won’t go away

Most people at one time or another have probably been curious to know, “What could account for all of those strange objects in the sky that many credible witnesses see?”

Or, what about the modern mystery of alien abductions and stories of visitations by beings claiming to be from other planets or star systems? Are aliens really making contact with human beings? Is it important anyway?

At last, an easy-to-understand book traces the history of this strange phenomenon utilizing the research of many of the ‘heavyweights’ of UFOlogy—and it’s been making sense to a lot of people. Since the book’s launch, author Gary Bates has been in great demand as a speaker on this subject and has conducted dozens of radio/media interviews around the world, with listening audiences in the millions.


  • Preface by Dr John G. Hartnett: Why Would a Cosmologist Care about UFOs?
  • Introduction: Why Write Yet Another Book on UFOs?
  • Chapter 1: The Invasion Gets Underway
  • Chapter 2: The Science of Fiction
  • Chapter 3: Is There Life on Other Planets?
  • Chapter 4: Did Aliens Create Life on Earth?
  • Chapter 5: Lights in the Sky – Where Are They Coming From?
  • Chapter 6: Mysteries, Myths, Mayhem, and Money
  • Chapter 7: Abducted – Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind
  • Chapter 8: The Gospel According to ET
  • Chapter 9: Look to the Sky – Change Is Coming
  • Chapter 10: The Gospel According to the Creator
  • Appendix: UFOs in the Bible and Other Questions
  • Recommended Resources


Warning: This review contains spoilers your New Age friends shouldn’t read.

Wow!  If ever there is an Unified Theory of Everything, this is it!  This book is full of those "uh-huh" moments where things just fit together. 

My own testimony of coming to the Lord, includes a curious episode shortly after my conversion.  I was asleep in my bed, when I suddenly became aware of a malevolent Presence in my room.  In my own defence, I will say that I was still so new in the Lord, that I did not cry out to Him to save me, but instead shouted for my flatmate.  The episode terminated abruptly, and I haven’t thought further about it until reading this book.

I realise now that very similar episodes occur to others (see passage in Sunday sermon above), but instead of looking for a spiritual explanation, people today are instead deceived into believing it is an alien abduction taking place.

This book moves from logical point to logical point, demolishing arguments, such as:

  •  The UFO’s can’t be physical as they defy known laws of physics, hence they must be multi-dimensional or in other words spiritual.
  • Similarly, worm holes and hyperspace are literary devices for getting around the insurmountable distances required for interstellar travel, hence the "beings" must not be physical but spiritual.
  • These spiritual beings lie about their origins.
  • They have an agenda.
  • The impossibility of the complexity of life arising spontaneously, hence there is a Creator.
  • The specific targeting of the Bible as being "erroneous".

Highly recommended.  Give it to your New Age friends.  Gary Bates starts out evaluating the evidence objectively and scientifically.  He ends up defending the orthodox interpretation of the Bible.  Brilliant.

Help Wanted

I (James) have been asked to prepare a slide presentation for a 1-2 hour discussion about Evolution vs. Creation.  It is envisaged that a couple of METTLErs could present these to various Care Groups on request.

I have plenty of ideas and resources, but don’t want to do this alone.  Does anybody else have a passion and an interest to assist me with this?  Specifically, what would a condensed discussion for the average Christian look like?  I.e. what would we leave out?  What are the essentials?

Any discussion (either email or using the comments below) would be gratefully received.

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 Weekly Collaborative Blog is our primary means of communication.  If you know of anyone who may benefit from this WCB, 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.
  • If you choose to respond to any item raised in this WCB, 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!
  • Published by The Voice of Reason, New Zealand, copyright (C) 2008


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s