METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 35


Volume 4 Issue 35

Monday 7 September 2009

Hippolite Musings 

Thought for the Day


This week, I:

  • respond to comments on the blog;
  • revel in some interesting Science Fiction rumours (but not gossip!);
  • pour cold water on global warming alarmists;
  • faithfully reproduce Rob Reid’s Father’s Day message;
  • list the latest contributions from the Institute for Creation Research;
  • gleefully report a One News Now article on us “evil conservatives”;
  • prayerfully submit the latest from Friday Fax;
  • positively report on the academic achievements of Home-Schoolers;
  • lazily copy the latest from One Jerusalem Blog;
  • throw in a couple of Media Watch stories;
  • laugh over some modern common church customs;
  • dare to review the work of a Minor Prophet; and
  • challenge you with my Bible Reading programme.



Responses to Comments on the Blog

Wayne: Thanks for sharing.  That’s the way I read the situation too.

Russ: Psychiatric drugs are worthless, and most of them are harmful. Many cause permanent brain damage at the doses customarily given. Psychiatric drugs and the profession that promotes them are dangers to your health.

Tony: See Wayne’s post from above.

K-House News


Jobless Rate in ‘Eurozone’ Highest In 10 YearsSeptember 01, 2009
Unemployment levels across the 16 countries that use the euro hit a 10-year high in July, as the impact of the recession continued to be felt. The number of people unemployed across the eurozone region totalled 15.1 million people in July, a seasonally-adjusted rate of 9.5 percent.

Abbas and Netanyahu To Meet in SeptemberAugust 31, 2009
President Obama is expected to moderate a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in late September, a discussion that could lead to the resumption of peace negotiations, Israeli President Shimon Peres told FOX News. Fox News

No War In Darfur Says UNAMID CommanderAugust 27, 2009
There is no more war in Darfur, according to the outgoing military commander of the joint UN-African Union (UNAMID) peacekeeping force in the western Sudan region. "As of today, I would not say there is a war going on in Darfur," Martin Luther Agwai told correspondents. "If war is a conflict whereby today you attack and then go back home and stay until three, four, five months and come back… If that is a definition of war then there is a war in Darfur. But if that is not the definition then there is no war as of now in Darfur," said Agwai. AFP

Swedish Article Accuses Israelis of Smuggling Body PartsAugust 27, 2009
Sweden’s fervent defense of free speech has sparked a diplomatic storm with Israel over the government’s refusal to condemn an article accusing Israeli soldiers of smuggling dead Palestinians’ organs. Israel has urged the Swedish government to condemn the "anti-Semitic" article, which claimed that Israeli soldiers snatched Palestinian youths to steal their organs and returned their dismembered bodies days later. AFP

Lofgren Aknowledges that Obamacare Will Fund AbortionsAugust 13, 2009
The New York Times and both claim that Obamacare will not allow taxpayer funding of abortion. According to a townhall video, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) disagrees. The Heritage Foundation

Science Fiction News

David Tennant Tipped For Bilbo Baggins Role

from The Hobbit Movie by ady

The UK’s Telegraph newspaper is tipping David Tennant for the part of Bilbo Baggins.

They’ve done a bit of digging and put 2 and 2 together. Whether they have their sums right, we’ll have to wait and see.

They’ve based their hunch on the fact that Peter Jackson is expected to be at the Comic-Con expo is San Diego next week so an announcement seems likely to be made. Del Toro recently said they expected to name Bilbo Baggins within ‘the next few weeks’

The logic follows that if they do make the announcement at the Comic-Con, the lucky actor would probably be there as well and it seems Tennant is indeed pencilled in to make his first visit.

Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times told The telegraph: “David Tennant just happens to be making his very first trip to the San Diego expo to promote “Doctor Who,” a television series that he will soon be leaving behind. “Peter Jackson, the producer of the two-film “Hobbit” series that begins its theatre run in 2011, is also slated to appear this year, and, well you can see the dot-connecting possibilities. …

Tennant is currently filming a St Trinians follow up and he makes his finale as the Time lord at Christmas so he’s free at the time filming is due to start on The Hobbit.

Now, if you could have your pick of virtually any actor in the world to play the part of Bilbo Baggins, would David Tennant be you choice?

Update: Empire have just spoken to Peter Jackson about this rumour and he tells them they are still working on the script so an announcement won’t be made at Comic-Con.

He tells them that any actor they approach would want to see a script before making a decision (really?) so they need to get the script finished first.

GDT though said earlier this month that he expected to tell us the Bilbo Baggins actor was close to being named.

Either GDT is jumping the gun or PJ is throwing a smoke screen. At least it’s all good publicity for the Comic-Con :-)

Situation Vacant

Bilbo Baggins?

(See above)

Why I’m An AGW Critic

New data pours more cold water on global warming believers

It began as a trickle, now it’s a flood. Not melting ice but the torrent of studies and raw data now suggesting global warming is cooling off.

Despite the optimism of the tumbleweeds inhabiting Hot Topic, The Standard and Bomber’s threads on Tumeke, Arctic sea ice loss is not "gaining momentum" but in fact the reverse. Latest data shows the Arctic ice extent this northern summer is higher than it was last year, which was in turn higher than 2007.

Sunday Service

Praise & Worship

  • With Ike & Jess
  • Every Day
  • Let Creation Sing
  • Remember

Things You Need To Know

  • School of the Supernatural with David Peters, this week, (11-13 September) free course
  • Raze Youth, Friday @ 7pm @ Studio 6. Juniors – mini golf; Seniors – Racing the Couch
  • 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, 6-7pm daily
  • Friday 25 September, Youth Insomnia
  • Sunday 27 September, Daylight Saving
  • Thursday 15 October Capital Prayer Breakfast

Father’s Day

  • Mini-Magnum’s (yum)
  • He’s So Shy (musical interlude by Jess)


  • Jeannie is 59 again (for 6th time)
  • Michelle Foley won film awards
  • A 30th and 12 weeks pregnant

Julia Grace

  • An engineer father and an artistic daughter: not a harmonious world-view.
  • However, we value your input. The love was there.
  • First: A song for all the dads.
  • Second, a hymn: As I survey the wondrous cross

Rob Reid

  • “Visitor” from Parachute Music
  • Not really, he’s one of us

Three stories

  1. Three mates looking for work. First one gets a job. Persuades boss to hire his mate at lunch time. Later that day, hires the third mate. They all get paid a full day’s wage. First dude was bitter. Employer asks “Whadup? You got what was agreed.” You and I are the third mate. We got salvation, in these last days.
  2. Young upstart kid; looking to do big things. Leaves home. Blows it. Comes home. Father forgave him. That’s us.
  3. Lost sheep. Shepherd goes looking. Found it; rejoices. We are that 1% missing. Our Father God will pursue us.

In each one of those stories, there was a cynic:

  • The first mate
  • The elder brother
  • Other shepherds who couldn’t be bothered

Life isn’t fair

  • God’s grace is unmerited
  • Our horizon needs to keep growing, not shrinking.

Rob gave a testimony of the effectiveness of one of our songs

  • Living Rain by Rick Knott
  • Parachute Band is touring the world with that song as their main theme
  • Dutch churches and others are praying the lyrics over their countries
  • But don’t let circumstances “silt up”

Why I Am A Creationist

September Acts & Facts is now available

In This Issue

Why I Am A Christian

Evil Conservatives And Wrong LiberalsAugust 25, 2009

Marcia Segelstein writes about the tendency of liberals to promote tolerance for everybody except conservatives. "I have long thought that one of the striking differences between liberals and conservatives is this: liberals believe conservatives are evil, while conservatives believe liberals are wrong…It’s important to keep in mind that the label ‘conservative’ (or Republican) brands us, in the minds of many liberals, as just plain bad people." OneNewsNow

Why I Am Pro-Life

Berlin UNFPA Conference Calls For More "Reproductive Rights" Advocacy

By Samantha Singson

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) This week in Berlin, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the German government are hosting a meeting that brings together 400 "reproductive rights" activists from across the globe to discuss strategies to push "sexual and reproductive health and rights" – including abortion – at the local, national and international level. The conference is billed as an event for non-government organizations to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) that was held in Cairo in 1994 and touted as the "world’s most comprehensive blueprint for sexual and reproductive health."  

Legal Scholars React to UN Committee’s Homosexual Rights Recommendation

By Piero A. Tozzi and Susan Yoshihara

(NEW YORK – C-FAM)  This week leading conservative legal experts condemned a United Nations (UN) human rights committee’s recent inclusion of "sexual orientation and gender identity" as a protected category under a cornerstone human rights treaty. As reported in last week’s Friday Fax, the committee that monitors the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), one of two implementing treaties of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, recently released its own re-interpretation in a "general comment" on the treaty’s non-discrimination article.

Why I Am A Homeschooler

Homeschoolers Rank Higher On ACTSeptember 01, 2009

Compared with other students, homeschoolers scored higher than the national average on this year’s ACT, a national standardized test used to gauge educational development and college readiness. The national average for 2009 graduating high schoolers reported by ACT (American College Testing) officials is 21.1 on a scale from 1 to 36. Homeschoolers scored a national average of 22.5. CNSNews

Why I Am Pro-Israel

Dear Friend of Jerusalem,

Here are the latest headlines from the One Jerusalem Blog:

Media Watch

[NZCPR-Weekly] Dealing With Abuse – the way forward

"I’m appalled that Mr Key thinks he is above the people and that his past promises (not to change the law) are more important than their wishes. Political parties are elected to govern the country according to the wishes of the majority. That’s how democracy is supposed to work. In some circumstances, the majority view will be uninformed and the government may make laws that they think will provide a better result for society. But this is NOT one of those situations. I’m further appalled that he thinks that it’s OK for him to just tell police how to enforce a law as has been reported in the news. That’s not his or their job. It’s his job to make laws that he thinks are correct and it’s the police’s job to enforce them without fear or favour. Then the courts decide if the police are correctly interpreting the law. The law is clearly against the wishes of the, by now, well-informed majority and MUST be changed or repealed." – a reader’s response to last week’s poll where 98% of informed NZCPR readers believe that the present anti-smacking law should be repealed.

Smacking debate proves both parties want to play nanny

By MICHAEL LAWS – Sunday Star Times
Last updated 09:47 30/08/2009

OPINION: Is John Key thick? Or does the prime minister think that we are?

These are the only two possible explanations, after a week in which the National Party leader exposed a hubris that has taken him only nine months to acquire. By contrast, Helen Clark took nine years.

The pro-smacking referendum result of nine days ago was the most significant defeat of Wellington liberalism since McDonald’s ended the reign of “nouvelle cuisine”. And yet Key keeps finding new ways to forestall and frustrate democracy.

His latest effort has been his unilateral declaration that National will not support Act MP John Boscawen’s private member’s bill that seeks to enact the public will on the smacking issue. Why? Because the law is working properly, replied the PM.

Which is a nonsense. Because it is not working at all.

Exhibit one: the 16 dead children – killed by their family/whanau since the passage of Sue Bradford’s anti- smacking bill. Those 16 children are a roll-call of shame and not one of them was saved by parliament’s good intentions.

They will, inevitably, be joined by more child fatalities. From the same predominant ethnic group, and the same appalling underclass. Toxic whanau who will never reference their behaviour by what parliament says or does.

Of the 16 kiddies killed since the passage of this hated legislation, 11 were of Maori background, two Asian, one of Arab extraction and two are unknown at the time of writing.

And yet this was an act of parliament intended to arrest the onward march of child cruelty. It was supposed to “change the culture” – although change it by stopping the majority of good parents from lightly disciplining their children.

Exhibit two: the law itself. And this is where the prime minister is not simply wrong but deliberately misleading the country.

The law is explicit. Section 59 of the Crimes Act (1961) states that “nothing justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction”. And if anyone is in doubt on that – and Section 59 delineates occasions when parental force might be warranted in protecting a child – the above imperative trumps those exceptions.

Indeed the law is so inadequately and poorly drafted that it now includes the Key/Clark amendment that the prime minister seems determined to protect.

“To avoid doubt,” it states, “it is affirmed that the police have the discretion not to prosecute.”

Frankly, this is no concession. Police always have that discretion. The section simply recognises existing police practice. That the police have created their own operating procedures with regard to Section 59 is accepted. But Child Youth and Family do not have that discretion. They simply applied the law as it was written. And who could blame them?

The best solution then is to change the law; not to retain a section that categorically states that, if I smack my child on the bottom or hand for corrective reasons, I am guilty of assault. This was always the intent of the Bradford bill – and remains the intent of the “Yes” lobby.

Little wonder that Key is being lauded by Bradford, Bagust, the Children’s Commission and the like. In fact, this in itself should cause the National caucus to pause. The anti- smacking zealots back the prime minister, the rest of the country does not.

In fact, it must be doubly embarrassing for Key that the best argument against his supine sophistry was advanced by himself in originally opposing the Bradford bill. Why, he asked parliament in 2007, would you allow a law that you have no intention of applying? Why indeed, prime minister.

Key attempted an answer last week by suggesting that he didn’t want to waste parliament’s time. Except private member’s bills are inherently not the prime minister’s to dismiss. They are the private bills of individual MPs and used to address outstanding moral issues or to remedy quirks of fate or law. In this case, both imperatives apply.

And what could be more important to any ordinary family than parliament interfering with a parent’s right to correct their child? Such is, surely, as important as parliament gets? Especially when your party ran its “anti-nanny state” line so vigorously at the last election.

Which leads one to the only possible conclusion. Key, secretly, thinks parents should be banned from lightly disciplining their children. Key is, we now discover, actually one the state’s nannies. A petty fascist.

This means this is the end of the honeymoon. As the anti-smacking legislation came to define all that was wrong with Labour, so it has worked its revelatory magic with National. It has proven there is no real difference between the parties: that they both think they know best and the public is stupid.

Tomorrow it will still be illegal to smack your child. The law states so. And it is also illegal for the prime minister to tell the police and CYF they can practically ignore this law. He simply does not have that authority as any number of public law precedents prove.

Meanwhile, kiddies are being killed. The culture of violence that produces those deaths continues to spiral out of control. And we refuse to target those groups that we know are the most abusive and the most feral.

No wonder US TV host David Letterman wants the prime minister on his late-night talk show. He could not have written a script so surreal.


Cartoonist: Rick Stromoski, 1997

Events Schedule

In this section, I highlight dates, times and venues of events either I am presenting at, or of interest to METTLE.  I’m available for bookings.

Date Event Venue James Talk?
Promise Keepers Wellington Conference Lane Park, Wallaceville,
Upper Hutt
12-Sep-09 eDay: Dispose your electronic waste Westpac Stadium N
13-Sep-09 Presentation: Microsoft Certification Code Camp, Crowne Plaza, Auckland Y
Microsoft Tech-Ed Conference Sky City, Auckland N
17-Sep-09 Honours Student Poster Presentation Cotton Club, VUW, Kelburn Parade N
20-Sep-09 EuroDance: A Kaleidoscope of European Folk Dance Little Theatre, Queens Drive, Lower Hutt N
29-Sep-09 Presentation: Creation: Why I Believe Jeannie’s Life Group Y
29-Sep-09 A concert with Jaime Thietten St. Anne’s Parish Hall, Emmet St, Newtown N
30-Sep  – 02-Oct-09 Elim National Conference Auckland Elim N
07-Oct-09 Euthanasia and Human Dignity: Are You Concerned? Johnsonville Community Hall N
Machol Pacifica 2009 – Israeli Dancing Wellington Performing Arts Centre N

Bible Review

Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, Joel

Author: The Book of Daniel identifies the Prophet Daniel as its author (Daniel 9:2; 10:2). Jesus mentions Daniel as the author as well (Matthew 24:15).

Date of Writing: The Book of Daniel was likely written between 540 and 530 B.C.

Purpose of Writing: In 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon had conquered Judah and deported many of its inhabitants to Babylon – Daniel included. Daniel served in the royal court of Nebuchadnezzar and several rulers who followed Nebuchadnezzar. The Book of Daniel records the actions, prophecies, and visions of the Prophet Daniel.

Key Verses: Daniel 1:19-20, “The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”

Daniel 2:31, “You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue-an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance.”

Daniel 3:17-18, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

Daniel 4:34-35, “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?’”

Daniel 9:25-27, “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

Brief Summary: Daniel can be divided into three sections. Chapter 1 describes the conquest of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Along with many others, Daniel and his three friends were deported to Babylon and because of their courage and the obvious blessings of God upon them, they were “promoted” in the king’s service (Daniel 1:17-20).

Chapters 2-7 record Nebuchadnezzar having a dream that only Daniel could correctly interpret. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great statue represented the kingdoms that would arise in the future. Nebuchadnezzar made a great statue of himself and forced everyone to worship it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused and were miraculously spared by God despite being thrown into a fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar is judged by God for his pride, but later restored once he recognized and admitted God’s sovereignty.

Daniel chapter 5 records Nebuchadnezzar’s son Belshazzar misusing the items taken from the Temple in Jerusalem and receiving a message from God, written into the wall, in response. Only Daniel could interpret the writing, a message of coming judgment from God. Daniel is thrown into the lions’ den for refusing to pray to the emperor, but was miraculously spared. God gave Daniel a vision of four beasts. The four beasts represented the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
Chapters 8-12 contain a vision involving a ram, a goat, and several horns – also referring to future kingdoms and their rulers. Daniel chapter 9 records Daniel’s “seventy weeks” prophesy. God gave Daniel the precise timeline of when the Messiah would come and be cut off. The prophesy also mentions a future ruler who will make a seven-year covenant with Israel and break it after three and a half years, followed shortly thereafter by the great judgment and consummation of all things. Daniel is visited and strengthened by an angel after this great vision, and the angel explains the vision to Daniel in great detail.

Foreshadowings: We see in the stories of the fiery furnace and Daniel in the lions’ den a foreshadowing of the salvation provided by Christ. The three men declare that God is a saving God who can provide a way of escape from the (Daniel 3:17). In the same way, by sending Jesus to die for our sins, God has provided an escape from the fires of hell (1 Peter 3:18). In Daniel’s case, God provided an angel to shut the lions’ mouths and saved Daniel from death. Jesus Christ is our provision from the dangers of the sin that threatens to consume us.

Daniel’s vision of the end times depicts Israel’s Messiah by whom many will be made pure and holy (Daniel 12:10). He is our righteousness (1 Peter 5:21) by whom our sins, though blood-red, will be washed away and we will be as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).

Practical Application: Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we should always stand for what we know is right. God is greater than any punishment that could come upon us. Whether God chooses to deliver us or not, He is always worthy of our trust. God knows what is best, and He honours those who trust and obey Him.

God has a plan, and His plan is down to the intricate detail. God knows and is in control of the future. Everything that God has predicted has come true exactly as He predicted. Therefore, we should believe and trust that the things He has predicted for the future will one day occur exactly as God has declared.

Recommended Resources: Daniel – the Key to Prophetic Revelation by John Walvoord.
Daniel, NIV Application Commentary by Tremper Longman III.
Daniel, Holman Old Testament Commentary by Kenneth Gangel.

Review: Brief, exciting, happy ending.  What’s not to love?  10.

Bible Reading 

Week to 13 September 2009

  1. 1 Chronicles 9:1 – 9:44; Ezra 4:24 – 6:12
  2. Ezra 6:13 – 8:20
  3. Ezra 8:21 – 10:44
  4. Nehemiah 1:1 – 4:23
  5. Nehemiah 5:1 – 8:18
  6. Nehemiah 9:1 – 10:39
  7. Nehemiah 11:1 – 13:31

Week to 20 September 2009

  1. Esther 1:1 – 3:15
  2. Esther 4:1 – 7:10
  3. Esther 8:1 – 10:3
  4. Malachi 1:1 – 4:6
  5. Job 1:1 – 5:7
  6. Job 5:8 – 9:24
  7. Job 9:25 – 13:28

Don’t forget you can look up these references for yourselves at:

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 © 2009

4 thoughts on “METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 35”

  1. "Psychiatric drugs are worthless" – I am afraid we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this one! Having experienced the frailty of the human body (brain included) 1st hand through my wifes stroke, resultant serious loss of memory, depression and psychotic episodes (before she was on any meds) resulting in 3mths hospitalisation, i can categorically say that the \’worthless\’ meds she is now receiving is giving her a 2nd chance. I can also say with absolute confidence that should she stop receiving these meds (as she has done a couple of times) that the results are quite catestrophic and tragic, both for her and those around her. And before you say anything about any lack of faith, hope or strength from our lord, i would let you know that she is of solid foundation and strength of faith – such as i have not seen from many of my bretheren and alas much greater than my own at times. Hers is a life of struggle day to day, but she perserveres with faith, love and a never ending hope of restoration by the lord upon his glorious return.


  2. Incidentally, on a more positive note … i am undertaking my 1st ever full speaking engagement this Sunday at my church. Despite my intial trepidation (which was considerable!) i said \’yes\’ to the invitation from our elders and the date now looms. Anyone keen enough to take on the challenge of listening what i hope will be a solid message on Galatians 3:23 – 4:7 – "Sons of God" is most welcome to attend at the Broderick Road Chapel in Johnsonville (next to the InnKeeper) – service starts 10am. Any prayers of support and encouragement would also be very welcome 😉


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