METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 10


Volume 4 Issue 10

Monday 16-Mar-2009

Hippolite Musings

Thought for the Day


Four auspicious events occurred this week::

  1. I sat and passed Microsoft Exam 70-442, Designing and Optimising Data Access by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005.  This was the third exam in a series which renders me a new credential: Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Database Developer.
  2. I had my biennial performance review.  My manager is satisfied with my performance, to the point where he is willing to go into bat for, fund and advocate for my desire to recertify as a Microsoft Certified Trainer.  In essence, this is the beginning of the fulfilment of a vision I had for my career as an internal Consultant, albeit potentially modified into something else called a Microsoft Certified Learning Consultant.
  3. I played my first game of squash interclub for the season.  I got thrashed 3-0.  Sigh, you can’t win them all!
  4. I celebrated my 15th wedding anniversary by taking 2 days annual leave, thus making a four-day weekend.

May your work and sports careers be as rewarding and fulfilling and even better than mine!

Correspondence #1

Here is an outstanding video on the Credit Crisis.  It neatly and succinctly explains all the difficult phrases, without dumbing it down for us non-economists.  Thanks to Martin H. for ferreting this out for us.

Correspondence #2

Hi guys

Many of us sponsor children or support Tear Fund through micro enterprise projects etc, this is the first request we have ever received from them to take action and we believe it to be a request that deserves time and action.  It will probably only take you about 10 minutes to respond.

Have a read:

Sallie, Denys, Steve
on behalf of Promote

Sunday Sermon

Praise & Worship (lead by Jamie Fukafuka)

  • God of Ages
  • Holy is the Lord
  • Saviour King
  • Back to You

Communion Service

  • lead by Jeannie Knott
  • prayed for by Fern
  • served by Sybill, Marie, Holden, Susan, Fern & Jin
  • Word for today is “kindness”

Things you need to know (by Ella)

  • Students: March 29th Free Lunch, Studio 6 straight after 10:45 service
  • Easter is coming! Festival
  • Easter choir, see Jess
  • The Living Room, A time for women, 6 April @ 7:30pm
  • eMale (alias ‘God’s gym’) Saturday 28 March @ 9am at Murphy’s Bar
  • Working Bee, Saturday 21 March @ 9am – 1pm, sign up in foyer @ Resources


  • Neville = new job
  • James & Fiona = 15 years wedding anniversary
  • James = 3rd exam
  • New visitors
  • New-born baby
  • Wellington’s first Arabic newspaper “Ambassadors” (Haani and Grace)

Faith-Based Giving

  • Are you inflicted with inverse-paranoia?
  • Instead of believing that everyone is out to do you wrong, choose to believe God is out to do you good!
  • Also, protons have a positive charge
  • Matthew 6:33
  • Be positive!

Sermon (by Mike Knott)

  • The God Factor
  • Part 1 of 3
  • God Living in Us!

NZ Herald 11/03/09 (or 03/03/08)

  • “God Spot” research finds faith hard-wired in brain.
  • A belief in God is deeply embedded in the human brain. Religious belief and behaviour are a hallmark of human life, with no accepted animal equivalent, and found in all cultures.

We already knew that!

  • Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)
  • Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has placed eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

Open to all

  • Ephesians 3:16-17 (The Message)
  • I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit… that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love,

This is intimate

  • Revelation 3:20 (NLT)
  • “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
  • Contrast this with Abraham’s hospitality to the three Strangers. This was normal middle-eastern custom.
  • So, when Jesus knocks, do we show him the minimum hospitality of Abraham?

A New Beginning

  • John 3:3 (CEV): Jesus replied, “I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God’s kingdom!”
  • John 1:12 (NIV): Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

The great exchange

  • “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.”
  • Philippians 2:13

This is Life!

  • My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20
  • Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Eph 3:20

His plan for us

  • God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.
  • Romans 8:29 (The Message)

The hard part

  • The greatest challenge for those of us who call ourselves Christians is to let go and let God. To rest in the sense that there’s somebody inside of me. He has the knowledge, I don’t. I just need to trust and obey.
  • The secular system states, your value is what somebody else is willing to pay for you. God paid the ultimate price for you: the life of His Son.

Contagious Christianity #4

Telling Your Story

  • 1 Peter 3:15 “always be prepared to give a reasoned account of the faith that you have…”
  • Somewhere, sometime, somebody is going to give you the opportunity to tell your story.
  • Will you be prepared?

Your Story Matters:

  • Your friends will be interested.
  • Your friends will be able to relate to it.
  • It’s hard to argue with.

We are not talking about: a prepared speech.
We are talking about: a prepared framework.

Paul’s Story: Three Handles

  • Before Christ (This is what I was like)
  • Met Christ (How)
  • After Christ (What changes have occurred)


  • Concluding Question: What about you? What do you think of Christ?
  • Unifying Theme: Paul’s was intense passion. What’s mine?

Develop Your Story

  1. What was your early spiritual background? How did it affect your life?
    James says: “My mother taught me not to be a bigot, and to hate all religions equally! Unfortunately, she never taught me that materialistic naturalism is itself a religion. And I was zealously materialistic. My highest goal in life was ‘He who dies with the most toys wins.’ However, there was never enough.”
  2. What caused you to begin to consider following Christ?
    James says: “I was a tutor at VUW. I was cleaning up in the computer lab one day, when I picked up a publication by the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship. In it, was a very simple cartoon depiction of the 8 steps from ape to man. Under each and every step was a serious refutation. It was the first time I’d realised that intelligent people believed in literal creation. It started me on my journey.”
  3. What realization did you come to that finally motivated you to receive Christ?
    “As I was investigating Christ, I came to the classic question posed by both Josh McDowell and CS Lewis, ‘Giving everything you know about the claims of Christ and His impact on history, was He a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord?’ I realised he is Lord.
  4. Specifically, how did you receive Christ?
    “I knelt in the shower and asked to be forgiven.”
  5. How did your life change after you came to Christ?
    “Right priorities in relationships means I have a loving family; trust and security in my marriage”
  6. What other benefits have you experienced since becoming a Christian?
    “Right priorities with money means I control it, not the other way around.”

Concluding Question

  • End your story with a concluding question
  • Transitions from mere autobiography to evangelism
  • E.g. “How about you?”
  • “What do you believe?”
  • “Does this seem right to you?”

Unifying Theme

  • The central issue in each of our stories
  • E.g. In my 6 story examples above, there is a common thread of financial lack and sufficiency. The spiritual law of sowing and reaping applies. The Biblical doctrine of tithing applies.
  • Depends on the audience as to which theme to pull out. Another unifying theme could be incorrect vs correct priorities. Leading to feeling confused vs rational. Or being unclean vs clean. Or being in bondage vs set free.

Avoid or explain jargon:

  • Get into the Word = Read the Bible
  • Personal Saviour (<> a small Buddha) but God is personally interested in you
  • Lord = master and commander, leader of my life
  • Born Again = spiritually alive, spiritual eyes open, sees God in everything

Final Story Tips

  • Length e.g. about 4 minutes is good
  • Sequence (don’t be dogmatic, but make it logical)
  • Focus on your friend. Make the story relevant.

Praise Reports



  • Government committed to real solutions not slogans – Environment Minister Nick Smith today (11 March 2009) stated that five programmes led by the Ministry for the Environment would be discontinued or scaled back to ensure the Government could afford to meet its priorities for the environment.  Let’s pray this is the beginning of a complete scale-back of ALL Global Warming Alarmist Propaganda.
  • TelstraClear kill off s92A Code – TelstraClear have killed off the TCF Code of Practice designed to try and get workable process around the deeply flawed s92A. They have said they will veto the code at the TCF Board. TCF rules allow any board member to veto.  Yippee!  With no voluntary Code of Practice, this bad law stands exposed.  National should repeal this fiasco now.


Prayer Requests


  • Getting Hands Dirty in Name of Race Relations – Libraries around Wellington will be full of adults and children getting their hands dirty to make friendly armies of clay people next week. It’s all in aid of Earth People, which celebrates Race Relations Day (21 March).  Pray that the Prince of Peace is lifted up, and not merely His creation.


Other News




Why I Am A Creationist

“Christian faith is not irrational and is supported by logic and reason (Romans 1:18-20, 1 Peter 3:15).  Darwin committed logical fallacies, and his arguments against God fail because he disregarded the evidence that God has supplied, both in His Word and in nature.” – Creation Magazine, Issue 31, pp12-14.

Darwin’s fallacious arguments were:

  1. Darwin rejected the miraculous in Christianity.
    How can you reject the miraculous, with incomplete knowledge of them?
  2. Darwin resented the biblical doctrine of future judgment.
    Relies on the fallacy of ‘argument from outrage.’
  3. Darwin thought that natural selection rendered design redundant.
    Natural selection culls from existing populations: it cannot produce anything new.
  4. Darwin thought that the suffering and misery in the world was evidence against God, and for natural selection.
    But his own theory had suffering and death as integral parts, so was no consolation.
  5. Darwin discounted the inner conviction of Christians as evidence for God.
    The inner conviction of the early Christians would never have been produced were it not backed up by irrefutable historical proof that Jesus rose from the dead.
  6. Darwin acknowledged that a ‘First Cause’ was a more impressive idea than blind chance, but then wrote, ‘[C]an the mind of man, which has… been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?’
    This is something to remember when debating sceptics – given their own evolutionary assumptions, why should we trust their sceptical thoughts to be true?
  7. Darwin thought that belief in God was the result of ‘constant inculcation’ of children.
    This argument commits the genetic fallacy – the error of trying to disprove a belief by tracing it to its source.

Humour #1

Only the English Could Have Invented This Language

We’ll begin with a box and the plural is boxes, 

But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.

One fowl is a goose but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,

Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice. 

If the plural of man is always called men,

Then shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,

And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth, 

Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that and three would be those,

Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,

And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,

But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; 
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren’t invented in England .

We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing,
grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?

If you have a bunch of odds and ends
and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? 

Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

We ship by truck but send cargo by ship. 
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.

And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language 
in which your house can burn up as it burns
down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing, if Father is Pop,  how come Mother’s not Mop? 



Humour #2


Job Description


  • Mum, Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
  • Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop


  • Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment.  Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
  • Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!  Travel expenses not reimbursed.
  • Extensive courier duties also required.


  • The rest of your life.
  • Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.
  • Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
  • Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
  • Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
  • Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
  • Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
  • Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
  • Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
  • Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
  • Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
  • Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


  • None.  Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.


  • None required unfortunately.  On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


  • Get this!  You pay them!  Offering frequent raises and bonuses.  A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent.
  • When you die, you give them whatever is left.
  • The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


  • While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

Forward this on to all the PARENTS you know, in appreciation for everything they do on a daily basis, letting them know they are appreciated for the fabulous job they do… or forward, with love, to anyone thinking of applying for the job.



Book Review #1




The book of cyclic rebellion and obedience of the people.


Probably Samuel; I used to know, but my Bible Dictionary is packed away.


The Book of Judges contains accounts of events which took place during the lawless period of Israel’s history between the invasion of Canaan and the establishment of the monarchy.  These stories are about the exploits of national heroes called ‘judges’, most of whom were military leaders rather than judges in the strictly legal sense of the word.  One of the better known of them was Samson, whose deeds are recorded in chapters 13-16.

The great and obvious lesson of Judges is that Israel’s very survival depended on loyalty to God, while disloyalty led to disaster.  But at another level there is a deeper, underlying truth: even when the nation was disloyal to God, and even when disaster inevitably came, God was always ready to save his people when they repented and turned to him again.


  1. Israel Fights the Remaining Canaanites
  2. The Angel of the LORD at Bokim; Disobedience and Defeat
  3. Othniel; Ehud & Shamgar
  4. Deborah
  5. The Song of Deborah
  6. Gideon
  7. Gideon Defeats the Midianites
  8. Zebah and Zalmunna; Gideon’s Ephod; Gideon’s Death
  9. Abimelech
  10. Tola; Jair;
  11. Jephthah
  12. Jephthah and Ephraim; Ibzan, Elon and Abdon
  13. The Birth of Samson
  14. Samson’s Marriage
  15. Samson’s Vengeance on the Philistines
  16. Samson and Delilah; The Death of Samson
  17. Micah’s Idols
  18. Danites Settle in Laish
  19. A Levite and His Concubine
  20. Israelites Fight the Benjamites
  21. Wives for the Bejamites


What can you say?  Quite sad how the people would constantly fluctuate in their devotion to God and thus incur cyclic seasons of blessings and curses. 

I find chapter 19 particularly difficult to read, because that passage was used by one of my favourite science fiction authors (when I was not a Christian) to justify his non-belief, and thus also negatively influenced my own journey to belief.  Specifically, I am referring to Robert A. Heinlein’s book Job, which belittled the Levite’s behaviour in getting his concubine killed as begging disbelief in a loving God.  Of course, now I realise that bad things happen to good people, not because God doesn’t care, but because of evil in the world.  Which is another reason I am a Creationist, because without a literal Satan in a literal garden tempting a literal Eve, how else do you explain the problem of sin?

I am fully aware that psychologists have seriously attempted to redefine the meaning of sin out of existence, to which I respond, to paraphrase Tom Cruise, “psychology is a non-science because it is non-sense.”


Book Review #2




The book of reward for dedication and personal loyalty


Probably Samuel also


The Book of Ruth tells a peaceful story even though set in the violent times of the Book of Judges.  Ruth, a Moabite woman, is married to an Israelite.  When he dies, Ruth shows a rare loyalty to Naomi, her Israelite mother-in-law, and a deep devotion to the God of Israel.  In the end, she finds a new husband among her former husband’s relatives, and through this marriage becomes the great-grandmother of David, Israel’s greatest king.  That Ruth was an ancestor of David secured the place of the book in the Hebrew Scriptures.  She was therefore also to become an ancestor of Jesus and listed in the New Testament genealogies.

The stories in the Book of Judges show the disaster that came when God’s people turned away from him.  Ruth shows the blessing that came to a foreigner who turned to Israel’s God, and so became part of his faithful people.


  1. Naomi and Ruth
  2. Ruth Meets Boaz
  3. Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing-floor
  4. Boaz Marries Ruth; The Genealogy of David


As a father of a daughter, I am grateful that there are also stories of faithful and pure women in the Bible, although by modern standards, that threshing-floor episode is a bit dubious!  However, I trust that just as the Bible is unflinching in its depiction of the depravity of Israel in general, therefore it is equally as truthful in its depiction of the purity of that moment.


Book Review #3

The Power of a Praying® Husband


The Power of a Praying Husband


Stormie Omartian


Harvest House Publishers, © 1992


From memory, I think I paid $15 to the Elim bookshop.




“Men, what do you really want for your marriage?”

You love your wife – and you want nothing more than to see her happy, flourishing, and growing together with you.  And there’s no better way to love her than to pray for her.

In The Power of a Praying Husband you’ll find the excitement and hope that come from inviting the God who hears and answers prayer into your marriage.  Evin in situations full of hurt, He can do far beyond what you imagine – He can do the impossible!

In 20 short, easy-to-read chapters, Stormie Omartian shares how you can intercede for your wife in areas where she longs for your prayers (see contents, below).

Advice and personal stories from well-know Christian men, prayer ideas, and words from Scripture will also help you shape your requests to God.  And as you depend on Him in prayer, He will lead you and your wife into new fruitfulness, fulfilment, and everyday happiness!


Foreword by Michael Omartian
The Power

  1. Her Husband
  2. Her Spirit
  3. Her Emotions
  4. Her Motherhood
  5. Her Moods
  6. Her Marriage
  7. Her Submission
  8. Her Relationships
  9. Her Priorities
  10. Her Beauty
  11. Her Sexuality
  12. Her Fears
  13. Her Purpose
  14. Her Trust
  15. Her Protection
  16. Her Desires
  17. Her Work
  18. Her Deliverance
  19. Her Obedience
  20. Her Future


As promised on the dust cover, these where 20 very easy to read chapters.  You could easily read more than one per sitting, but I don’t recommend it.  Not because of anything bad, but because I recommend you actually take the time to stop after each one, pray it through, and even potentially discuss it with your wife.  They are that good.  The only down-side is that it would therefore take at least 20 days to complete the book!

I find Stormie’s humour spot on.  She neatly encapsulates why it’s appropriate for a woman to write this book for husbands.  And her husband’s (Michael) endorsement was spot on too.  Each chapter ends with a personal testimony from various contributors including:

  • Neil T. Anderson
  • Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Michael Goldstone
  • Michael Harriton
  • Jack Hayford
  • Rodney Johnson
  • Eddie L. Long
  • Michael Omartian
  • James Robison
  • Kenneth C. Ulmer


Bible Reading


Week to 22 Mar 2009

  1. 1 Chronicles 4:1 – 6:47
  2. 1 Chronicles 6:48 – 8:40
  3. 1 Samuel 1:1 – 3:18
  4. 1 Samuel 3:19 – 7:17
  5. 1 Samuel 8:1 – 11:15
  6. 1 Samuel 12:1 – 14:52
  7. 1 Samuel 15:1 – 17:30

Week to 29 Mar 2009

  1. 1 Samuel 17:31 – 19:24
  2. 1 Samuel 20:1 – 22:23
  3. 1 Samuel 23:1 – 25:44
  4. 1 Samuel 26:1 – 29:11
  5. 1 Samuel 30:1 – 31:13; 1 Chronicles 10:1 – 10:14
  6. 2 Samuel 1:1 – 3:21
  7. 2 Samuel 3:22 – 6:23

End Notes

  • METTLE is an acronym for Men’s Evangelical Team Together for Learning Experiences. We are primarily Christian businessmen from Wellington, who meet occasionally in the CBD to encourage each other in our daily walk with Jesus. This Weekly Collaborative Blog (WCB) 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 fortnight’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) 2009

One thought on “METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 10”

  1. Russell & Sharon also served !Do you want to come out to Kapity and have another go ?You refer to my 15th wedding anniversary – shouldn\’t that be "our" 15th anniversary ? !thanks to Russell for the humour


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