METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 13


Volume 4 Issue 13

Monday 6 April 2009

Hippolite Musings

Hamish's 10th birthday

Thought for the Day


I met a French-man, Jerome, here in NZ on a working holiday.  He told me he’s had significant spiritual experiences while over here.  I invited him to read this blog, in the hope that we could encourage him to investigate Christianity as a possible all-encompassing explanation of the many and varied experiences he has been having.

When we recently re-met, he said something to me that has really got me thinking.  I asked if he was enjoying the blog.  He said he was, so I pressed further, and asked whether he enjoyed the way that I “put the needle into those things which are wrong (in my judgement).”

His response was along the lines of “if you have no respect for the other side, then you will just throw stones and not build bridges, and then start wars.”

I wanted to argue with him about being too tolerant of everything, and non-judgemental to the point of standing for nothing and therefore falling for everything.

But in my heart, I was getting a prompting from 1 Peter 3:15, “always be prepared to give a reasoned account for the hope that you have within you, but do it with respect.”  In other words, yes, it is important to always stand up for truth, but not to deliberately provoke your opponents, I think.

Anyway, I think I need to be a little more loving, and a little less cheeky.  Hopefully, I can continue to make this blog lively and entertaining at the same time.




Aimee learning squash

Last week I asked you-all “what would you do” about a situation with regards to reading a certain book, given a certain set of circumstances.  I immediately got three responses, one of the best I’ve ever received.  So, for your edification, I offer them up for you here verbatim.  Names have been shortened to protect the innocent.

Nate said:

What would I do?
read the book and find out what my friends talked about and also what my pastor was talking about. Forewarned is also forearmed.

Craig said:

James I think I am guilty of being one of those who A) asked you about it, and B) asked Mike about it.
My reference point goes back to the Bible College class all those years ago when I first hear that ‘God is truth’ which means that truths that are found and spoken by all people are of God. If a Muslim says it is raining – and it is – He is speaking truth.
But regarding the book, I think that this is one persons point of view. It is written as if it is an account of a dream. In it there will be somethings that are ‘True – according to God, and probably some things that are personal viewpoints that others would challenge.
One thing I have really enjoyed about Elim is the praise for things that are good – rather than dismissing things because they contain an error (lots of examples including the Amazing Grace film and the work of other churches in the city). So I was surprised by Mikes catagorial objection to the book.
If you search of the internet you will find the book is the topic of a vast number of opposing reactions.  So if you want the reaction of another human to be your guide then you can choose between Mike Knott (and thousands of others) or Eugene Petersen, Micheal W Smith (and thousands of others.)
Personally I would read it and ask God what he Truth wants you to learn about the authors viewpoint, and yet be discerning to anything that you think is not a God truth.
One thing is for sure. It is helping lots of people come to grips with their relationships with Father God, because they have never been able to get past the role model of their own father.
I’ll be interested in your own view if you choose to read it.

Wayne said:

In relation to your quandry over reading the book ‘The Shack’, read it and make your own mind up! It is not disrespectful towards your pastor if he says you shouldn’t read it. You are a Christian adult for goodness sake. No one has the right to tell you what you should read, especially pastors. If it has come down to that, then perhaps your pastor needs a reality check!

Foreign Correspondent #1

Carlos wrote:

Dear James

How are you?

Today, I have received the attached "chain letter" (the pictures are rather though).

Knowing that you are sensibilised to development in the commonwealth and UK, I would like to know if you can ‘proove’ that the following sentence as true:

<< Recently The United Kingdom erased the Holocaust from
the British School Curriculum because it offended ‘the Muslim
population beliefs’ that the Holocaust never took place. >>

I do not want to spread this message without such a proof.

Be blessed

Greetings from Switzerland, 15 ° C after al long, cold, nowy winter….

James replied:

Kiaora Carlos,


That statement is false:

Foreign Correspondent #2

To all our friends

Thought we would just keep in touch.  These few weeks at the Bible College we are blessed with visitors, visitors, visitors!  The week before last we had a Pastors & Bible Students’ seminar with speakers from Perth and San Diego.  Last week Allen & Charlotte Teal of World Outreach NZ were here for 2 days, plus a team from Elim, Dunedin … to bless us all.  Adam Dodds of Dunedin taught in the classes and preached on the Friday night and Sunday service.  This week Malcolm & Linda Bayliss will be here from Mt Hope to teach Church Planting to the 2nd yr bible students and Harvey, Carol’s brother will also arrive to teach on Missions.   We are enjoying having them all … at least I (Carol) don’t have to do all the cooking and dishes!  But it seems strange how the visitors usually come around the same time and then for months and months, we have no one!

The seminar was great … everyone was truly refreshed in their spirits and received the teaching of the Word with hunger. Most attendees were alumni of Tawangmangu Bible College.   Allen Higgins (a Kiwi), who came with his wife Beverly, was the main speaker, ministrying on ‘The Anointing’, whilst Peter Hack of Perth, spoke on ‘The Kingdom’.  We do enjoy having visitors in our home. 

This morning we received word that one of our teachers had passed away.  He had taught here for some 20 years but was ill for the past year with diabetes and his kidneys.  Today is the funeral and so Sam together with 3 or 4 other staff are now on their way to Malang, East Java … a 6 hr trip.  So it’s 12 hrs travel today plus the funeral.  I think I will have a tired husband tonight! 

As our eldest daughter will be giving birth by caesarean on the 7th April and will definitely need help with her 2 young boys of 3 and nearly 5, Carol will be flying over to Brisbane to give a hand for 3 weeks.  It will be a busy time for her!  She’ll probably return to rest!

At Mt Hope the building of the new ‘Home for Children’ continues.  It’s always progress there.  The Lord is good and He provides for the daily needs of  around 180 ‘living in’ at Mt Hope and 120 at Tawangmangu.  We never cease to be amazed at His provision!

Trust you are keeping well and rejoicing in God’s goodness.

Friends as ever
Sam & Carol [Soukotta]

Sunday Sermon

Praise & Worship

  • Awesome Is The Lord Most High
  • Let Creation Sing
  • I Love You Lord
  • Healer

Things you need to know

  • Parents Room Available, Alpha Room
  • Easter Services, including:
    • Good Friday Services:
      • 9:30am service
      • 11am Special Guest
      • 7pm Easter Festival
    • Sunday 12 April:
      • 6:30am Sonrise @ Byrd Memorial, Mt Victoria
  • Elim Partnership Forms, please sign your agreement to share your contact details, etc.
  • The Living Room
    • “this will be the day”
    • Monday the 6th of April – 7:30pm
    • Cheryl Thomson – guest speaker
    • Cheryl is a dynamic Christian woman.  For the last 9 years Cheryl was ministerial secretary for the Prime Minister.  during that time Cheryl gained a lot of spiritual wisdom and insight in warfare and leadership.  Cheryl has a great sense of humour and a mature biblical knowledge.  She has a lot to give and we are looking forward to hearing her – don’t miss this!
  • Baptism Classes here tonight after 6pm service


  • 3rd wedding anniversary
  • (Immigrant) got full driving licence!
  • Ike tried water skiing for the first time
  • James got his Solution Architect’s exam, and was first international speaker for Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS)
  • Another wedding anniversary
  • Parents are attending church for the first time in their lives!

Wisdom from a Wealthy man

  • One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
  • A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
  • Proverbs 11:24-25 (NIV)

The God Factor

  • God All Over Us
  • Mike Knott
  • Mike says, “We can’t be followers of Jesus Christ without knowing the Holy Spirit.”
  • James says, “I would like to hear from some of my Brethren friends how they feel about/interpret the above statement.”

The Holy Spirit has been there with us throughout all history

  • Brooding over the waters of creation
  • Gideon, Samson, David were filled with the Spirit of God and did great exploits
  • Presence over the ark of the covenant
  • Pillar of fire and smoke
  • Presence in the Holy of Holies
  • Presence over Mary
  • Appeared as a dove over Jesus (after which Jesus performed miracles)

The Baptizer

  • “I baptize you with water so that you will give up your sins. But someone more powerful is going to come, and I am not good enough even to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
  • Matthew 3:11 (CEV)
  • Object lesson: to create a pickled onion, one must first blanch it. The word used for the process is baptiso
  • A short immersion, where a thing changes state
  • Its nature is permanently change
  • Mike believes that the HS wants to give us more than an experience. He wants to gives us a transformation that we can never go back to what it was like before.

The Impact

  • Peter, who had denied Christ three times…
  • Philip, one of the early deacons, went down to Samaria…

Born Again

  • Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
  • The he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
  • John 20:21-22 (NLT)

We Really Need This

  • Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day.
  • It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem; ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’
  • You are witnesses of all these things. “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
  • Luke 24:45-49 (NLT)
  • Mike says, “Don’t leave here today until you are filled with the HS, because you will only muck it up otherwise.”

The Purpose

  • But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samara and to the ends of the earth.
  • Acts 1:8 (NLT)
  • The power of the HS is not for us. It’s for others. That we might reach them for the Lord.

The Confidence

  • You fathers – if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not!
  • So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more with the HS…

The Model

  • And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
  • Acts 10:38 (NLT)

Some Key Steps

  1. Born Again – power to become children of God
  2. Baptized in Water – commitment to be a true follower of Jesus
  3. Baptism with the Holy Spirit – power to serve

Praise Reports


  • I successfully passed Microsoft Exam 70-300 Analyzing Requirements and Defining .NET Solution Architectures.  This was the last in a series of four exams which together grant me the credential of Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (for .NET).
  • I successfully presented my first Web-cast (broadcast over the Internet) on the subject of Introduction to Object Relational Mappers for Database Administrators to the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS).
  • Tane and I attended the screening of five-minute films written and directed by CREW 17 of the Wellington Film School.  The screenings were at the Film Archive, corner of Taranaki and Ghuznee Streets on Saturday 4 April @ 4pm.  We acted (as father and dying son) in one called Maui and Hine-Nui-Te-Po by Pikihuia Little.



  • UN Commission Ends with Delegations Saying No to Abortion – As the sun rose on the last day of negotiations at the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) at the United Nations (UN) today, delegations were still embroiled in a contentious debate over language concerning “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” which some radical NGOs and UN committees have interpreted and used to promote abortion. As UN member states came together at the closing meeting to adopt the document, delegations took the floor to define abortion out of the document.
  • US-Iran thaw could bolster Afghanistan rebuilding efforts – In The Hague this week, Iranian officials offered to cooperate with the US. Iran has pursued an ambitious redevelopment effort in Afghanistan since 2001.
  • Obama and Medvedev hit ‘reset’ on arms control – It makes sense to restart relations by cutting nukes.

Prayer Requests


  • As G-20 battles protectionism, a cautionary tale in Ecuador – The country has put steep tariffs on an array of goods. Seventeen of the world’s 20 largest economies have broken recent promises not to take protectionist measures.
  • Pakistani Taliban Leader Threatens to Attack US Capital – The leader of the Pakistani Taliban threatened Tuesday to carry out a terrorist attack on the U.S. capital, and said his forces were behind an assault on a police academy in eastern Pakistan. A senior U.S. official said, "We’ve seen a widening of the attacks," out of the tribal areas, and added, "this has had the effect of having a lot of Pakistanis binding together.


Other News


  • NZ withdraws Human Rights Council bid – New Zealand has decided not to pursue its candidature for election to the Human Rights Council in 2009, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced today.  This is good because a) we couldn’t do much on that council; b) that council does a lot that’s bad; and c) our place will be taken by the US who have shunned it previously but could now do some good.


Why I Am A Creationist

April Acts and Facts is now available

In this issue:

  • Taking God at His Word – Lawrence E. Ford
  • The Graffiti of Judgment – James J. S. Johnson, J.D.
  • The Vital Doctrine of a Global Flood – John D. Morris, Ph.D.
  • Made in His Image: Balancing Body Temperature – Randy J. Guliuzza, P.E., M.D.
  • Speciation and the Animals on the Ark – Daniel Criswell, Ph.D.
  • A Shocking Group of Fish and Eels – Frank Sherwin, M.A.
  • The Apobetics of Aesthetics: A Hairy Problem for Evolution – Brian Thomas, M.S.
  • The Nature of Naturalism – David F. Coppedge
  • Troubled Times, Unspeakable Joy – Henry M. Morris IV
  • Catastrophic Superfaults and the Biblical Flood – John D. Morris, Ph.D.
  • Radio Log
  • Click here to view these articles  


John Key the comedian

Book Review



The Second Book of Samuel


Probably orally passed down from Samuel via Nathan to Ezra or Nehemiah.


The Second Book of Samuel records the history of David’s reign as king, first over Judah in the south, and then over the whole nation, including Israel in the north.  It is a vivid account of how David, in order to extend his kingdom and consolidate his position, had to struggle with enemies within the nation as well as with foreign powers. David is shown to be a man of deep faith and devotion to God, and one who was able to win the loyalty of his people.  Yet he is also shown as being sometimes ruthless, willing to commit grave sins to serve his own desires and ambitions.  But when he is confronted with his sins by the LORD’s prophet Nathan, he confesses them and accepts the punishment that God sends.

The life and achievements of David impressed the people of Israel so much that in later times of national distress, when they longed for another king, it was for one who would be a “son of David”, that is, a descendant of David who would be like him.  In the New Testament, this becomes an important aspect of the way in which Jesus was understood and described.


  1. David Hears of Saul’s Death; David’s Lament for Saul and Jonathan
  2. David Anointed King Over Judah; War Between the Houses of David and Saul
  3. Abner Goes Over to David; Joab Murders Abner
  4. Ish-Bosheth Murdered
  5. David Becomes King Over Israel; David Conquers Jerusalem; David Defeats the Philistines
  6. The Ark Brought to Jerusalem
  7. God’s Promise to David; David’s Prayer
  8. David’s Victories; David’s Officials
  9. David and Mephibesheth
  10. David Defeats the Ammorites
  11. David and Bathsheba
  12. Nathan Rebukes David
  13. Amnon and Tamar; Absalom Kills Amnon
  14. Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
  15. Absalom’s Conspiracy;  David Flees
  16. David and Ziba; Shimei Curses David;
  17. The Advice of Hushai and Ahithophel
  18. Absalom’s Death; David Mourns
  19. David Returns to Jerusalem
  20. Sheba Rebels Against David
  21. The Gibeonites Avenged; War Against the Philistines
  22. David’s Song of Praise
  23. The Last Words of David; David’s Mighty Men
  24. David Counts the Fighting Men; David Builds an Altar


Whoever wrote down this account of David (whether Nathan or Ezra or Nehemiah) if he was alive today, would have a career in script-writing for epic movies!  You couldn’t make up stuff like this.  It’s gripping; it’s heart-rending; it’s credible and yet incredible.

No wonder David’s humanity inspired Michelangelo’s sculpture.  It’s a great pity and shame that he chose to make it pornographic.

Another exciting read.


Bible Reading


Week to 12 April 2009

  1. 1 Chronicles 14:1 – 17:27
  2. 1 Chronicles 18:1 – 22:1
  3. 1 Chronicles 22:2 – 26:19
  4. 1 Chronicles 26:20 – 29:30
  5. Psalms 1:1 – 8:9
  6. Psalms 9:1 – 17:15
  7. Psalms 18:1 – 21:13

Week to 19 April 2009

  1. Psalms 22:1 – 28:9
  2. Psalms 29:1 – 34:22
  3. Psalms 35:1 – 38:22
  4. Psalms 39:1 – 44:26
  5. Psalms 45:1 – 50:23
  6. Psalms 51:1 – 57:11
  7. Psalms 58:1 – 65:13

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


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