METTLE Weekly Newsletter


Volume 3

Issue 44




Hippolite Musings

Aimee sees her cake

Thought for the Day

Around 1998, Rob Reid formed a discipleship group of men called “The J Team.” The “J” stood for Joshua. We were so named because Joshua was a godly man who stood for his people at a time of war. His most famous verse is: “Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” We dedicated ourselves to serving the LORD first. Russell and I were the class clowns, but beyond that, this was when we begin to bond in a friendship that I hadn’t experienced since my school days and for that, I am truly grateful.

A valuable lesson Rob taught the J Team was that as kiwi males, it is in our nature to demonstrate friendliness with gentle (and not-so-gentle) put-downs. Rob opened my eyes that this behaviour is nowhere to be found in the Bible, except as “mocking” and is generally negative. It is wounding and destructive, not edifying nor enlightening; so I have (attempted to) stop this behaviour in myself.

At the conclusion of the J Team experience, Rob spoke many words of encouragement over each one of us. I remember his words to me clearly; he called me “tenacious.” In context, it meant that I clung to God, but also that when I was given a task then I pursued it through to the end. I have appreciated that word. Of course, Rob was careful to balance his encouragement with an admonishment that being tenacious for the wrong reasons is merely stubbornness.

During the occasional time when I would visit the church office for pastoral advice, another one of the lessons that Rob dispensed to me was to be careful that my naturally flippant behaviour didn’t demean the holiness of God. I have taken that lesson to heart, and seen to it that as I’ve matured, that my sense of humour has matured also.



I have greatly appreciated Rob’s:

  • spiritual maturity (he was raised a Christian and never strayed: a great testimony to me as an adult convert);
  • bloke-i-ness (when discussing his motorbike);
  • tastefulness (great choice of wife);
  • business acumen (successful in his financial dealings); and
  • Organisational ability (a great balance to the visionary zeal of the Coach).

Sunday Service

Things you need to know

  • Sat 13 Elim Christmas Show 7.30pm
  • Tue 16 Partners Celebration 7pm
  • Fri 19 Elim Office Closes
  • Sun 21 Carol Service 6.30pm
  • Wed 24 Christmas Eve Service 10.30pm
  • Thu 25 Christmas Day Service 10am
  • Sun 28 10am Service Only
  • Thu 31 New Year’s Eve Party 10.30pm


Adam & Eve deceived over their identity

  • “…you will be like God…”
  • “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.” – Genesis 3:5

The result

  • “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” – Gen 3:8-10

Adam & Eve experience fear

  • They hide from God because they’ve been robbed of their identity and have lost who they are.
  • Fear should not be a part of our lives – “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” – 1 John 4:18

Adam & Eve experience deficiency

  • They have a sense of being incomplete/ uncovered/exposed – they realise their own nakedness.
  • They saw lack and focussed on what they did not have.

ELIM – Do not forget who you are!!

  • Jesus said: “Come, follow me, and I will make you… “
  • As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ”Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.” – Matt 4:18

Praise Reports


  • None?


  • I’m still just really happy that Helen has gone.


  • My work has blessed me by sending me to a Microsoft training event in Sydney.

Prayer Requests


  • Pray for continued healing for those in our church family and beyond – especially pray for Alana, Ian and their families
  • Pray that all end-of-year Christmas celebrations go well in our various ministries – EIK and Sing & Jive – pray that it would be a meaningful time with the families involved.
  • Elim’s Christmas Production – “Love has Come” – pray that many people would come and be challenged to respond to the message.
  • Pray that many people will be coming to church in this Christmas season to be exposed to the Love of Jesus


  • Society calls for Chief Censor to be Replaced – The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc. is calling on the new government to dismiss Chief Censor, Bill Hastings and the Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA), Dominic Sheehan, for their role in commissioning a market researcher, Colmar Brunton, to pay "children as young as 14 [to be] subjected to footage of rape, sadism and domestic violence as part of research directed by [these] two broadcasting watchdogs", as reported in the Dominion Post (4/12/08). Hastings in a feeble and misguided attempt to justify his appalling judgment, when confronted by the Dominion Post, admitted that the teens had indeed viewed attempted rape and graphic violence, but that much of it "went over their head" as they practiced "a type of self-censor". Society President John Mills responds "Yeah right Bill!" and asks: So if children are so skilled at self-censorship and are so oblivious of objectionable content and so unaffected by it, then why are you paid from the public purse over $220,000 per year to censor such material and demand that no adult allow it to be screened to kids, when these same kids can self-censor effectively – so you claim?


  • Frustration high in Zimbabwe’s Army, a Mugabe power base – Hundreds of soldiers looted in the capital, Harare, in the past week. Has President Robert Mugabe lost control?
  • Judge Jones and the double standard – In the Kitzmiller vs. Dover decision the honorable Judge Jones writes (or rather, to be more accurate, regurgitates from the complainants): While supernatural explanations may be important and have merit, they are not part of science. This self-imposed convention of science, which limits inquiry to testable, natural explanations about the natural world, is referred to by philosophers as “methodological naturalism” and is sometimes known as the scientific method. Methodological naturalism is a “ground rule” of science today which requires scientists to seek explanations in the world around us based upon what we can observe, test, replicate, and verify. If only this was true.

Other News




  • Retailers tiptoe between Christmas, holidays – As American shoppers embark on their annual shopping binge , a prickly marketing question splits American consumers and stores: “Christmas” or “holiday”?
  • The Psychology of Blinding Obedience to a Paradigm – In church on Sunday the sermon was about Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead. What does this have to do with the ID/Darwinism debate? Nothing, of course. But the story does contain a remarkable illustration of what I will call the “psychology of blinding obedience to a paradigm.”
  • Students Lie, Cheat, Steal, But Say They’re Good – In the past year, 30 percent of U.S. high school students have stolen from a store and 64 percent have cheated on a test, according to a survey suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards. "What we need to learn from these survey results is that our moral infrastructure is unsound and in serious need of repair. This is not a time to lament and whine but to take thoughtful, positive actions."


Thanks James for including "Gift Idea" in the latest Mettle. Readers would need some guidance in how to get it. I should have included my website


Book Review

The Last Jihad


The Last Jihad


A Novel


Joel C. Rosenberg


Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2002






The eerily prophetic New York Times best seller that predicted an attack on the U.S. and the war in Iraq… but was written before any of it happened!


Jon Bennett and Erin McCoy are two of the shrewdest strategists on Wall Street and close friends of the president of the United States.  Their secret project: a billion-dollar oil deal off the coast of Tel Aviv and Gaza that could form the basis of a historic peace treaty and bring enormous wealth to every Israeli and Palestinian.  But nothin ghas prepared Jon or Erin for the terror that lies ahead.

  • Terrorists hijack a jet plane and fly a kamikaze mission into an American city.
  • Israeli commandos foil a nuclear attack but find evidence that the next targets could be Washington and New York.
  • And suddenly the United States finds itself in a war in the Middle East over terrorism and wapons of mass destruction that will forever change the course of human history.


 Very exciting; an eye-opener.  Joel Rosenberg (a Christian) proves himself a modern-day prophet with this piece of fiction.  The action really was page-turning, can’t-put-down, riveting.

Through a clever literary device, Joel suggests one thing is happening, when in fact something else just took place, right under your nose.  This keeps you guessing right to the end.

Highly entertaining and most definitely recommended reading.  9/10

Guest Commentator

Ben Stein

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning


My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a crèche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said OK.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it… no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Creation Syllabus

So here’s the draft agenda.  Look forward to your input:

  • What does the Bible say?
    • 10 minutes
    • What does it mean?
    • Hebrew for "day" means "day"
  • How can that be true?
    • 40 minutes
    • Noah’s Ark?
    • What about Dinosaurs?
    • What about fossils?
    • What about carbon dating?
  • Wrap up
    • 10 minutes

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


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